Moving on a bike is beneficial to you and people around you. It enhances your mood and indirectly your neighbors’ health since you do not produce pollution. These statements seem quite clear but incorporating them is quite difficult. This change can be produced by social pressure as it was done in the Netherlands in the 70’s, or by selecting the right persons in key positions. Some people were surprised in seeing the former London mayor Boris Johnson in the city metro some years ago. It appeared to them a leading figure could not use the public transport. Obviously, this is wrong. Going a step further, putting elected urban cyclists in the public institutions is specially advantageous. In Valencia both, the mayor and the sustainable mobility city councilman, have been practicing cycling for ages and even participating in demonstrations against deaths in car accidents. The new point of view regarding biking has allowed the city to overcome the pig-headedness of the former government and implemented mobility changes from the biker perspective, producing a tangible progress in sustainability. Although there is a way to achieve the total sustainability, a lot of cities and villages around the world are moving in the right direction step by step.
I always believed living in the city was better for the community, but I never imagined how wasteful it is to live in suburban environments until I saw this image in paisajetransversal.org
Patterns are used all around public infrastructure to help us remembering what should we do. Therefore, using different materials, colors and designs prevents drivers from remembering to look for bikes. The Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands know this well, that’s why they always use the same color and shade, and they have a very limited number of designs. However, consistency seems to be impossible to find in Seattle because the city is rather focusing on expanding its cycling facilities instead.
Although we don’t know for sure when the first ever bicycle was designed, it clearly goes back hundreds of years. Since its invention, the bicycle has undergone massive innovation yet there’s more on its way. Here are some of the new things you may find the next time you go to the store, but be careful, some of these new innovations may not be ideal:
The shaft-driven bicycle
Shaft drives operate at a very consistent rate of efficiency and performance, without adjustments or maintenance, though lower than that of a properly adjusted and lubricated chain.
The belt-driven bicycle
A belt-driven bicycle is a chainless bicycle that uses a toothed synchronous belt to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. The application of belt drives to bicycles is growing due to the low maintenance and lubrication-free benefits.
The hub gear
Hub gears are sealed within the hub, which protects them from water, grit, and impacts. Thus hub gears usually require less maintenance. Additionally, Hub gears can change gear ratios when the rear wheel is not rotating.
Airless bicycle tires
You’ll never have a flat tire if you use airless bicycle tires. Also, whether solid or not, they obviously require less maintenance.