Bicyclone-3

Hyderabad Bicycling Club (HBC) and World Wildlife Fund organized Bicyclone-3, the eco-friendly cycle ride today. The response was awesome. Good to see so many school kids turning up for this event.

I opted to rent a bike for this 20km ride, so that I could avoid the 30km commute to/from the venue. That turned out to be a bad decision, both for the time it took and the height of the bike I got. However, I am very lucky to get hold of a basic bike for the ride. I switched to the 10km path of the ride, given the low height of the bike.

Met my niece Manu and my co-worker Kalyan at the ride. Managed to click a few pics before and after the ride.

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It is a great experience to see people of all ages turn up in good numbers for such a good cause. Congratulations to all the participants and thanks to HBC.

 

Copenhagen Wheel

What happens when a premier academic institution teams up with the City of cyclists? You see one of the best inventions getting now into mass production.

MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and City of Copenhagen bring us a pedal assist electric system called the Copenhagen Wheel. The wheel can be retrofitted almost on any bicycle. Superpedestrian, the startup that has exclusive production rights for the technology, is now accepting back orders for the wheel. The wheel comes both in single speed and multi-speed variants. The wheel itself may cost lot more than an average bike, but I think the wheel is really worth it.

How does it work? The prime factor of the wheel is its regenerating braking capability. The rider can use the exercise mode, pedaling against the motor and charging the battery in this process. Or the rider can use the motor assist mode, in which case the battery power is used to help the rider pedal easily thru, say, slopes. Each of these modes will have 3 levels and the modes/levels can be selected using a smart phone that communicates to the wheel wirelessly. Not sure if the modes switch automatically using the torque sensors in the system (my guess is it would be so, but we need to wait for more details and see.)

The wheel may be a costly affair in the initial days (the wheel is much costlier than average bike on streets) but offers a great potential for bicycling adoption. Excitedly waiting for mass production and global availability of this wheel.

Bicycle, Joy Rides and Mudguard

Its rainy season, the season of potholes, puddles and muck on the road. Unless you are very lucky, you don’t get to see fresh water on the road when you are pedaling. Excluding the mud factor, this is the best season for joyful bicycle rides (especially if you have a mountain bike).

My bicycle doesn’t come with a mudguard by default. In my recent trip to US, I got this entry level mudguard (the one I can find in a sports store in the last minute of my shopping) made by Blackburn. The model is called Splashboard rear fender. I installed it last week (in a matter of a couple of minutes) and my early morning bicycle rides are much pleasant now.

The fender is effective only around the speeds of 15kmph and for heavy dirt. I still see that the light (ash-like) dirt manages to fly to my shoulder level when I pedal at about 25kmph. Given the low number of stretches that allow me to pedal close to 25kmph, the fender is doing an okay job for me. The amount of post-ride helmet, dress and hair cleaning is drastically reduced now. With the fender, I am enjoying my biking along dirt roads a lot better.

Here are a few pics of the fender and more importantly, the dirt on my bicycle. Good indication of the great mornings.

 

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BTW, if you are looking for monsoon maintenance tips for your bike, you should read this blog post by The Bike Affair. Simple and very useful, as always.