AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin has completed half of its bicycle network it’s been working on since 2014.
The All Ages and Abilities (AAA) Bicycle Network was first recommended six years ago when the city released its bicycle network plan. The 400-mile connected bicycle network aims to provide access for people of all ages and abilities meaning they want to ensure everyone can get around whether someone is eight years old or 80.
The network includes neighborhood bikeways, street crossings, urban trails and protected bicycle lanes.
Data from the American Community Survey Journey to Work Data for the City of Austin shows bicycle networks can help reduce crashes. The rate of crashes involving bicyclists dropped nearly 60% between 2010 to 2015 as the city continued to build bicycle facilities. Officials say the network will help continue to bring that number down as it creates more options for people to travel, and do so safely while maximizing the space available.
“People are looking for those options and as cities grow and people choose to live in urban centers there’s only so much space we have to share and that space needs to be more efficient,” said Laura Dierenfield, a division manager at Austin Transportation Department.
For those who ride around the city, these improvements are a welcomed change.
“I wish they were on every road, that’s a little impractical, maybe, but every road they’re on I feel much safer,” Austin FC broadcaster Adrian Healey said about protected bicycle lanes.
Healey said because of the bikeway system, he’s able to explore the city and feels safe.
Out of the 215 miles of bikeways built so far, 50 miles account for protected bikeways. And, half of the bikeways are within a quarter-mile of a CapMetro transit stop.
City officials expect to complete the remaining roughly 200 miles by 2025.
They plan to continue to expand the bicycle facilities across the city and are asking the community for feedback through its new initiative ATX Walk Bike Roll. The new plan will update the city’s three current plans — the Urban Trails Plan, Bicycle Plan and Pedestrian/Sidewalk Plan. The survey closes on Sept. 26.
OLD FORT, N.C. (BRAIN) — Kitsbow Cycling Apparel begins offering full-service bike repair out of its visitor center beginning this week.
The Old Fort Ride House Bike Shop, Powered by Schoenauer Service Course, will be managed and staffed by Chad Schoenauer, a longtime area bike mechanic and service manager. He has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and the Asheville area road racing scene.
Schoenauer will rent a 700 square-foot space, with Kitsbow providing point of sale terminals, marketing assistance, and other support.
“Kitsbow has been a tremendous partner at startup, and no doubt will be in the future,” Schoenauer said. “Kitsbow has already developed an excellent customer experience with the Old Fort Ride House. SSC will enhance the Ride House experience and vice versa.”
He said with Kitsbow’s help, many of the barriers for beginning his shop have been eliminated.
“Not only is the space itself ideal for a shop, but it’s also within an extremely secure building, has awesome lighting, compressed air lines installed, fixtures, furniture, and even shelving has been shared with SSC,” said Schoenauer, who added he will provide his own tools. “They have graciously allowed me to utilize the Ride House POS, saving a lot of time and expense. Unifying the customer experience is extremely important to Kitsbow and SSC. I am thrilled to work with these folks. (CEO) David Billstrom knows that when SSC benefits, Kitsbow will as well.”
The Ride House is located next to the manufacturing facility and is on the doorstep of 70,000-plus acres of public land and more than 40 miles of trails in and around Old Fort. The bike shop will be part of other amenities already offered, including a cafe, device-charging stations, bike racks, public restrooms, changing rooms, and free filtered chilled water.
While bike sales and rentals are not yet part of the shop’s rollout, it likely will be the next step, said Billstrom, who added the company is talking to several major brands about hosting a demo center.
In addition to service, Schoenauer will “act as a concierge to help choose your new bike,” Billstrom said. “I think he’s going to have a robust business building bikes for people who buy them on the internet. We are supporting him in many ways to hit the ground running.”
And because of the bike boom, Schoenauer predicts a fast start.
“Most shops are out three-plus weeks for turnaround,” he said. “This is where the greatest opportunity lies. This is especially so for an area such as Old Fort, which is seeing growth in the outdoor recreation sector, particularly in cycling.”
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NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A Northeast Florida woman is remembering her older brother who lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001.
Thomas Gambino Jr. was a New York City firefighter for nearly 30 years before being killed at the World Trade Center during the attacks.
He was one of the first firefighters to respond to the World Trade Center and one of 343 firefighters killed that day.
Paying tribute to those lost on this day 20 years ago does not get easier, his family said.
“Pain does not go away it’s the same as day one, your focus though is redirected,” Valerie Gambino said.
Valerie and Laurie Gambino lost their brother on Sept. 11.
“The last contact he was on the 78th floor,” Valerie Gambino said.
Although Nassau County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Jeff Dodd did not know Thomas, they still share a common bond.
“There is a brotherhood and sisterhood that comes with the fire department no matter what county or what state you’re in so our hearts go out to those families still today,” Dodd said.
Thomas’ body was never found, but his helmet was recovered in the rubble. It’s now in his family’s possession.
Valerie made a promise to honor her big brother.
“When he died I made a promise to do something to give back in the same manner. It took 10 years but I found cycling and I wound up with a veteran group who used cycling as a means of rehab and that’s where my journey began in recovery,” Valerie Gambino said.
That program, called Project Hero Hub Jacksonville, a group Valerie now represents.
More than a dozen bicyclists with that group and North Florida Bicycle Club riding 33 miles in the Project Hero 9/11 Memorial Ride.
“By helping others it kind of helps that pain and it keeps my brother’s spirit alive,” Valerie Gambino said.
Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.…
BMW recently showed off not one, but two e-bike concepts. The announcements are sprinkled with tons of gee-whiz claims that are easy to make when something only lives on paper, not roads. But one idea stood out to me as a real solution: the use of geofencing to limit fast e-bike speeds inside congested cities. Especially since BMW already has a working geofencing solution deployed around Europe.
In Europe at least, fast e-bikes known as speed-pedelecs (or Class 3 e-bikes in the US) are capable of going 45km/h (28mph), just like BMW’s new concept bikes, the BMW i Vision AMBY and BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY.
BMW sees the i Vision as a pedal-assisted e-bike fitted with a massive 2,000Wh battery that’s “fast charging,” naturally, for a range of up to 300km (186 miles). The Motorrad Vision, meanwhile, would have a throttle and footrests like a traditional motorbike. Both would have three speeds moderated for different types of roads. 25km/h (15.5mph) on bike paths, up to 45km/h (28mph) on roads within cities, and 60km/h (37mph) on multi-lane roads beyond the city limits. The bikes would also be fitted with proximity radar to alert the rider with a visual and acoustic warning that a vehicle was approaching from the rear.
These vehicles only exist as concepts for now. But what’s interesting is BMW’s inclusion of speed enforcement using geofencing. S-pedelecs, like the impressive Stromer ST2 I recently reviewed, are deemed unsafe for protected bike paths in cities like Amsterdam, forcing riders onto busy streets next to aggressive taxis and, let’s face it, entitled BMW drivers who believe nobody but them knows how to drive properly. Although S-pedelec riders are capable of moderating their speeds to ride alongside ordinary bicycles, some choose not to, creating an unsafe disparity. Geofencing could solve that.
BMW already has a solution to this sort of problem that it uses in its cars. The company’s so-called eDrive Zones communicate with its newer plug-in hybrids to automatically switch the cars into all-electric driving mode when entering certain parts of the cities marked as low emission zones. It works in combination with geofencing tech found in BMW’s GPS navigation system. These eDrive Zones were first deployed in the four largest Dutch cities before rolling out to about 80 cities across Europe.
No wonder geofencing plays such a “central role” in these AMBY concepts: BMW already has everything it needs to make it a reality for e-bikes.
A geofencing solution that caps power delivery to S-pedelec pedals within the city limits would put these fast e-bikes back onto the protected bike paths where they belong. It would also help drive the adoption of S-pedelecs as great alternatives to cars for long commutes to and from the city. And that, in turn, would help European cities achieve their environmental goals that led
German company Schaeffler has just revealed an innovative new drive system for electric bicycles that eschews traditional bike chains and belts for an entirely electrical-driven system. The new system is known as the Schaeffler Free Drive and marks the entry of one of the most divergent electric bicycle drivetrains we’ve seen in years.
The Free Drive, which was co-developed with electric bicycle drivetrain specialists Heinzmann, is based upon a generator installed at the bike’s bottom bracket.
The rider’s pedaling action powers the generator and converts the energy from mechanical to electrical energy.
That removes the need for any form of mechanical power delivery to the rear wheel, such as chains, belts, or driveshafts.
Instead, the electricity is sent to the motor in the rear wheel, where it is converted back into mechanical energy to power the bike forwards. This “bike-by-wire” system is all controlled with CAN communications between the motor, battery, generator, and control electronics.
The generator is able to vary the resistance in the pedals based on how much pedaling effort is required or selected. If the rider pedals hard enough to create excess energy (more than is required to power the motor at the current speed), that energy is dumped into the e-bike’s battery to be used later.
The rear motor is also capable of regenerative braking, which offers one more way to charge the battery while driving.
The motor isn’t particularly powerful at just 250W, though that’s the EU limit for electric bicycle motors in Germany. This drive is designed for pedal assist riding, not high power throttle e-bike riding, and thus can make do with a smaller motor than we see on many electric bicycles in North America.
While this might sound like an overly complicated system for conventional electric bicycles that needlessly reinvents the wheel (pun shamelessly intended), its benefits for non-conventional e-bikes can’t be discounted.
Drive systems for cargo e-bikes, especially those with three or even four wheels, can become complicated and expensive when powered by traditional mechanical means. But a bike-by-wire system would allow cargo e-bike designers more creativity in laying out the bike.
No longer would they be constrained to design around a long, flapping chain or multi-stage gear reductions with jackshafts and derailleurs.
Instead, they can design based on the needs of the vehicle and simply route the electrical system around the frame as necessary.
Plus, the new drive system would allow riders to finally answer “Yes!” to one of the most common (and misinformed) questions from passersby seeing an e-bike for the first time: “Does it charge when you pedal it?”
One key downside to the setup is a reduced pedaling efficiency. Chains are still the most efficient way to power a bicycle and belt drives offer only a slight efficiency loss.
A Schaeffler representative explained to Electrek that the Free Drive is approximately 5% less efficient than chain drives.
As he explained, that means the rider would either need a 5% larger battery to get the same
BMW has taken to the IAA Mobility show in Munich, Germany, to unveil two new electric motorbikes with interesting specs for their categories. Both have the same performance figures, making for a high-speed electric bicycle and a low-speed electric motorbike.
The two models were technically unveiled by different divisions of BMW.
BMW unveiled the i Vision AMBY, which is a high-speed electric bicycle.
The company’s motorcycle division, BMW Motorrad, unveiled the Vision AMBY. That little “i” makes a big difference.
The i Vision AMBY may technically fall in the electric bicycle category, but it shares very little with its e-bike brethren. The frame uses similar suspension components to other high-end bicycles and what appears to be a Gates carbon belt drive, but the electronics appear to be entirely custom.
A higher-power motor and gigantic 2,000 Wh battery enable it to reach much higher speeds in its highest setting. That big battery also has BMW making lofty range claims of up to 300 km (186 miles) in its lowest power mode.
Using an accompanying smartphone app, riders can choose between the European legal 25 km/h (15.5 mph) speed, a second speed-pedelec mode that reaches 45 km/h (28 mph), and a new high-speed-pedelec mode that ups the ante to 60 km/h (37 mph). BMW even floated the idea of having those speeds be modifiable in real time based on geo-fencing, meaning you could be slowed down automatically when you hit the city center, then unleashed to your top speed once turning onto a larger road.
Don’t get too excited though – you’ll need to register the bike and get a special license plate to use it on public roads in anything other than the slowest mode.
This also isn’t an electric motorcycle in disguise. Those pedals are for more than show; they are required to power the motor. Without a hand throttle, riders will have to continue pedaling constantly to achieve and maintain the bike’s high speeds. The range rating also drops significantly to just 75 km (47 miles) when traveling at 60 km/h (37 mph).
The highest speed mode certainly doesn’t fit into any current legal designation for electric bicycles though.
BMW clarified further, saying:
“In the absence of any existing legal framework for a vehicle of this kind with a modular speed concept, the “AMBY” Vision Vehicles set out to prompt the introduction of such legislation and, by consequence, developments of this nature.”
The bike also features other interesting design elements, such as LED light bars integrated into the handlebars and seat post, as well as an angular frame with a highly tucked seating position.
On the other hand, the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY electric motorcycle looks to be a much more leisurely ride.
Instead of a pair of pedals, the Vision AMBY swaps in more realistic motorcycle-style foot pegs.
Interestingly, the Vision AMBY e-motorcycle also hits the same top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph), which is rather slow compared to other entries in the light electric motorcycle class.
13-year-old Poinciana boy killed while riding his bicycle
On August 26, 2021, at approximately 7:35 p.m., deputies responded to a report of a vehicle crash involving a car and bicycle on Tiger Road, just north of the intersection of Dromedary Court in Poinciana. Polk County Deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue responded to render aid, however the bicycle rider, 13-year-old Brandon Klauder of Poinciana, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Evidence at the scene and the witness statements show that Brandon was riding his bicycle traveling south on the west side of Tiger Road before crossing Tiger Road towards the east side. A black, 2020 Hyundai Elantra was traveling north on Tiger Road, and struck the bicycle in the northbound lane. The collision caused Brandon to be knocked off his bicycle and he came to rest on the east shoulder of Tiger Road. The bicycle also came to rest on the east shoulder of Tiger Road, approximately 50 feet north.
Tiger Road is a 2 lane north/south roadway in a residential neighborhood. The speed limit in the area of the crash is 25 MPH. It was dusk at the time of the crash, and the weather at the time of the crash was clear.
Brandon was a student at Lake Marion Creek Middle School.
During the crash investigation, Tiger Road was closed between Caribou Court and Dromedary Court, and traffic was rerouted around the scene of the crash—the road was closed in both directions for approximately 4 hours.
Deputies evaluated the driver of the Elantra, 25-year-old Victoria Ortiz of Kissimmee, and there were no indications of impairment. There were no other injuries in the crash. The crash is currently under investigation.
Sheriff Grady Judd will brief the media on this PCSO investigation at 11:15 a.m. this morning at the Sheriff’s Operations Center, 1891 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven
Designed to be the world’s first wind-powered bicycle light, Vento was created to reinvent the ways we use and produce energy.
In recent years, we’ve had our sights set on renewable energy sources. From tidal turbines that can generate electricity for thousands of homes to small-scale green roofs that host solar panels to power up bus stops, renewable energy is the future and designers are taking note. Aimed to be the world’s first bicycle light to use wind energy for power, Vento from student designer Andy Bestenheider is currently in its prototyping phase, gearing up for a working model by the end of summer 2021.
Inspired by his desire “to reinvent the ways we use and produce energy,” on small-scale levels, Vento is not merely a bicycle light, as Bestenheider describes, but “a power plant, a way to question energy consumption, and an object to connect like-minded individuals. Vento is a mindset.” Composed of four main components, Vento is like a miniature wind turbine. Constructed from recycled plexiglass and aluminum, Vento’s microturbine harvests wind energy while the bicycle is in motion. Then, the energy is converted into electricity through electromagnetic induction that takes place in the turbine’s generator. The bicycle light’s battery then stores this energy and the LED bulb generates light. While moving in your bike, the wind is always whipping past you, so the light will always work when needed. Positioned conveniently right between the handlebars, Vento also features on/off and blinking switches for day use.
Following some sketching and multiple ideations, Bestenheider then moved onto 3D-print modeling before working towards a final working prototype.
In close collaboration with a fellow engineering student, Bestenheider conducted interviews with cyclists and friends to understand the feasibility of Vento. After finalizing a 3D-printed model, Bestenheider and his engineer friend worked together to strike a balance between efficiency, cost, and durability, reaching a final product that equips the light with a working circuit with a twice as large turbine. Built to be entirely self-sufficient, Vento was designed to start the conversation around renewable energy sourcing.
The Missouri Conservation Commission gave initial approval to the Missouri Department of Conservation at its Aug. 27 open meeting on proposed regulation changes that would allow the expanded use of bicycles and electric bicycles on most department-area service roads and multi-use trails.
The Commission also gave initial approval to Missouri Department of Conservation definitions of bicycles and electric bicycles.
According to Missouri Department of Conservation, conservation-area users have expressed interest in expanding the use of bicycles and electric bicycles to include conservation-area service roads and multi-use trails for greater access to the areas.
Bicycle use on Missouri Department of Conservation’s approximately 1,100 conservation areas is currently restricted to roads open to public-vehicle traffic and some multi-use trails. Bicycle use is currently not allowed on conservation-area service roads.
Service roads are non-public roads on Missouri Department of Conservation areas used by staff to conduct resource management activities.
They are marked on online maps on the Missouri Department of Conservation website at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places. Some service roads are currently used as walking paths by the public.
Missouri Department of Conservation notes that conditions of service roads on department areas vary and are not maintained at the level of public-use trails and public roads.
Most state conservation areas do not have applicable service roads or multi-use trails.
The regulation change will impact approximately 300 Missouri Department of Conservation areas by allowing bicycle and electric bicycle use on service roads and/or multi-use trails.
Approximately 30 of these areas will be closed to bicycle and electric bicycle use during all portions of the firearms deer hunting season and the spring turkey hunting seasons.
Exceptions would also include service roads used by staff at fish hatcheries and other heavily used Missouri Department of Conservation areas or where bicycle use could cause damage to sensitive habitats, such as designated natural areas.
Electric bicycles are defined by Missouri Department of Conservation as “any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device equipped with fully operable pedals, a saddle or seat for the rider, and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, and which meets one of the following three classes:
Class 1 electric bicycles are equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour.
Class 2 electric bicycles are equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
Class 3 electric bicycles are equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.”
The next step in the rulemaking process is for Missouri Department of Conservation to have a public comment period during October.
Missouri Department of Conservation invites online review of the full regulation proposal and public comments October 1-31 at mdc.mo.gov/about-regulations/wildlife-code-missouri/proposed-regulation-changes.