IKEA Bikes: Sladda

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Starting in February 2017, you’ll be able to pick up IKEA’s new Sladda bike in stores across the US. Or, if you just can’t wait, you can order it now on IKEA’s US website, starting at $399.

I know a lot of folks are already complaining that it won’t be a “real” bike.  Seriously, with a 10 year warranty on the belt drive, with disc brake and a rear coaster brake?  With a $25 Front Rack, a $129 Trailer, and a $30 Bike Bag (that converts to a backpack)?

This was designed with a carry handle on the frame and appears to include lights and a bell.  A BELL!  Standard. 

I think I have just found my new commuter bike.

Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries

In a post today on the NYTimes there was an interesting piece on the nature of cycling and head injuries.  I still object to laws requiring a helmet to be worn at all times and wear my helmet constantly for touring and commuting.  Assumption of risk, and cost, is an issue and not one to be lightly avoided.  And neither are the responsibility to utilize appropriate safety gear.

Cycling Is the Top Sport for Head Injuries

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR

Anahad O’Connor tackles health myths in this NY Times Post.

THE FACTS

Last week, New York City began its long-awaited bicycle sharing program, the largest in the nation. As in many other cities, helmet use was made optional, in part to encourage greater participation.

But a look at the statistics suggests that riding without a helmet is not a decision to make lightly. While football tends to dominate the discussion of sports-related head injuries, research shows that bike accidents account for far more traumatic brain injuries each year.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cycling accidents played a role in about 86,000 of the 447,000 sports-related head injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2009. Football accounted for 47,000 of those head injuries, and baseball played a role in 38,394.

Cycling was also the leading cause of sports-related head injuries in children under 14, causing 40,272 injuries, roughly double the number related to football (21,878).

Part of the reason is that bicycling is so ubiquitous. But people are also more cavalier about taking precautions, said Dr. Gonzalo Vazquez-Casals, a neuropsychologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York.

Bicyclists are also at high risk of colliding with motor vehicles, and when riders are not wearing helmets, such collisions frequently result in serious head injuries. For example, about 90 percent of bicyclists killed in the United States in 2009 were not wearing helmets. A majority were middle-aged men.

In New York City, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents involve a head injury. In addition to wearing a helmet, another helpful precaution is using a marked bike lane: Streets that have them have 40 percent fewer crashes ending in death or serious injury.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Bike accidents contribute to more sports-related head injuries than any other activity.

Simple Electric Bike

bikes_big1_1024x1024I keep waiting for the Faraday Porteur to arrive.  From it’s beginning at the Oregon Manifest to the fundraising on Kickstarter I have found it a fun item to anticipate.  I look at the picture and I know that I might want one, although the picture indicates the designers have little confidence in an upright position despite the urban styling. 

April of 2013 is the current delivery target and like all electric or simply new vehicles, ymmv, so I wait patiently to actually see a production one and have an opportunity to buy one.  But then, I am still waiting for a decent electric car as well.

The Bike I Came Home On

School started, both High School where I teach and Graduate School where I am picking up more Highly Qualified endorsements after my Masters, to teach wider and deeper.  Writing lags just a tad.

I am traveling this weekend and taking the LeMond with me, not the Rivendell.  They are as dissimilar as one can explain.  From the frame to the flaws and back again they have different souls and experiences.  The Old Bike can’t go across the country anymore, my mechanic tells me, the frame has already cracked once.  It has commuter pedals and fenders but a road bike heart when I get on it.  I refuse to get sentimental about it.

Part of why it travels with me is many bikes that go in the Westy return “altered” and not for the better.  I know that I loaded it for the fun of it, whatever happens, as part of it contains a fragment of my biking soul.  It is part of the link I share with my son, a link that will live beyond the life of the bike, a reason that explains the Brooks saddle remaining on it while a new one, quite needlessly, was purchased for the new bike.

That bike,and that Brooks saddle, was the ride my son brought me home on.

Whistle Workwear Safety Shirt does Biking

Whistle Workwear has become my new favorite Work Wear shopping store.  I first saw this shirt on a younger working crew and purchased one for Peter to wear commuting in Chicago.  I have since purchased them for a member of my Bike Commute Challenge Team who was in a bicycle accident last year so that she is easily spotted on the road.  The stripes are actually reflective and as you should know by now, the lights are a small part of the safety and visibility equation, wear reflective clothing!

I finally got one for myself and have been wearing it as a regular shirt, at least the hipsters are too shy to wear it, so I find it nice to have my own fashion statement.

What makes the shirt work is that it isn’t a vest, it isn’t silly, it is just there and highly reflective.  Drop in to Whistle Workwear, you are going to find this isn’t your Dad’s workwear store, this is a STORE, it carries stock, presents it well, and does great customer service.

Oh, this shirt runs $13 and is a great value.  Buy a couple, or buy the bulky Highly Reflective Vest (they sell those too).

Systems Analysis: The Bike and You

The trick to the local trips is to jump on the bike and go, not to worry about anything but the joy of riding and the hardfun of getting there.  I think I view real riding the same way despite everyone talking about the bike and its rider as a unit.  My advice is to view yourself and your bike as a system, and while you are at it to pay attention to both parts.  My issue was a calf-pirformis issue and minor knee skirmishes.  And I viewed them as unrelated to my bike, despite their regular occurrence when I pushed my speed up a notch.

The October, 2009 Bicycling magazine, a great magazine that still doesn’t get the Internet so don’t look for the article to ever be online, had a great article on repositioning your cleats to maximize power as well as removing painful conditions.  They apparently got the information from Joe Friel who wrote the “Training Bible”.  The article includes pictures and details, but is similar to the first paragraph of this article by Jennifer Sherry.

So I moved the cleats back.  Tomorrow I will go out and find out if the adjustment has an impact or needs further tweaking.  The point I am making after I made the decision to adjust and before I know the impact is to read the articles, make your mind up, and think about the system as a whole.  Makes sense.