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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
  Rear view of my commute
By Yokota Fritz 
I've been having some fun with the GoPro Wide Angle Hero Cam. Steve Woo captured his spectacular Wente Criterium Crash over the weekend and was able to do a post-mortem of the crash with his front and rear mounted GoPro.

My rear view of part of my commute isn't nearly as exciting, but it occurs to me that constantly running video of my rides might be helpful in determining fault in bike vs car collisions, and may even assist in catching hit and run drivers.



That red tire, by the way, is Hutchinson's Fusion 2 Pro. Carbon bead makes this folding tire a snap to install, Kevlar belt seems to provide good puncture resistance (though it hasn't gone through my East Palo Alto test road yet), and sticky compound on the sidewalls provide good grip for cornering. This fast tire enabled me to take two minutes from my personal best for the 10 mile trip from Menlo Park to Mountain View.

Here's the second half of my commute, where I cross the Ringwood Avenue pedestrian bridge into Belle Haven then cut across a parking lot and a dirt trail to avoid a couple of lights.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008
  Bicycle kung fu video
By Yokota Fritz 
This video clip of a bicycle kung fu fight has so many levels of awesome! Watch with friends and dub your own English translations!



From the YouTube description: Kara Hui Ying Hung and her minions fight off some men with bikes in this classic Shaw Brothers movie, directed by Lau Kar Leung.

Movie also starring Gordon Liu, Johnny Wang Lung Wei, Hsiao Ho, Robert Mak, Wong Yu and Ku Feng.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008
  David Byrne's bike racks
By Yokota Fritz 
Ride along with former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne as he bikes across Brooklyn to show off his whimsical bike rack designs.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008
  Crazy urban cyclists sell soft drinks in Japan
By Yokota Fritz 
Stunt cyclists in San Francisco in a Japanese soft drink commercial for Kirin Beverage's Millenium METs soda.



METs is a grapefruit flavored beverage. I'll need to run to my local Japanese supermarket and see if they carry it. Urban Velo.

Urban Velo and Streetsblog also mentioned this old news about the proposed "Idaho stop law" for the state of California. I seem to recall hearing that the MTA BPAC already gave up on looking at this after a flood of negative input from both cyclists and the general public.

I imagine the news that the MTA BPAC was taking a preliminary look at the Idaho stop law was probably released prematurely. For those who want to advocate for this law, I have a couple of ideas:
  • Get motorcyclists on board. I frequently see motorcycles who are stuck *forever* at a red light. It's a fairly common problem for them. I believe the Idaho law came about from the efforts of groups like ABATE, and bicyclists in the state just happened to sign on and asked to have the law amended for their benefit as well. In California, the motorcycle lobby is fairly influential and well connected.

  • As a result of a new law that passed last year, Caltrans is required to develop standards to ensure that all new and replaced traffic actuated signal lights are able to detect bicycles and motorcycles. (Though CABO was influential in getting this law passed, the motorcycle lobby was vital in getting this pushed through.) Caltrans is still working on developing these standards, but the fiscal impact of requiring signal actuators that can detect bikes will be extreme -- there's an order of magnitude difference, for example, in the cost of installing loop detectors versus video detectors. If the law was changed to allow cyclists to street red lights as stop signs, I imagine many municipalities would sign on to promote an Idaho stop law, especially if the Caltrans stop light requirement was written to take traffic volumes into account. Bike detecting actuators, for example, might only be required for certain traffic volumes (i.e. high volume throughways like ECR where it's impossible to cross without a light).
I pointed to it before, but this article about the scofflaw cyclist is an excellent discussion about the "taboo" of running a red light. It's good, thoughtful stuff.

Finally, here's yet some more discussion on can't we all just get along.

Remember the contest! Only another 2 days to enter.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008
  San Francisco fixed gear riding
By Yokota Fritz 
Macaframa in San Francisco is releasing a new DVD this summer featuring fixed gear cycling in San Francisco. View the video below for a taste .



And this little snippet from Macaframa absolutely rocks.



I wasn't originally planning on it, but I think I might spend the Independence Day weekend in San Francisco. More at Macaframa MySpace page.

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Friday, May 30, 2008
  The annual car vs bike vs transit challenge
By Yokota Fritz 
Transportation Alternatives in New York City held its 7th annual Commuter Challenge yesterday. Streetfilms had cameras on each of the car driver, cyclist and public transit user and Elizabeth Press stayed up all night to create the video of the challenge in less than 24 hours!



More here.

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Friday, May 16, 2008
  I can ride my bike with no handlebars
By Yokota Fritz 
The song "Handlebars" by Denver hip hop group the Flobots is amazing. The subtle theme of the song caught me by surprise, and the animated music video accompanying the song serves to drive the point home.



If the embedded video doesn't work, this is the link to the video on YouTube.

Read more at Urban Velo. See also Flobots website.

I'll be on the Santa Cruz rail trail bike train tomorrow with my children. I hope you're having a good weekend. And for a final word for this Friday night I give you this recipe for pain: Ride 30 miles on a fixed gear bike in hot weather + jump into a cold pool = excruciating leg cramps!

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Friday, April 11, 2008
  Panda portrait how to video
By Yokota Fritz 
Pure narcissism. Enjoy your weekend. The shirt is this master/slave shirt from one less car.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008
  Fun bicycle commute video
By Yokota Fritz 
Enjoy this fun 1 minute SnorriCam view of Dunstan bicycling to work.

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Monday, April 07, 2008
  Bicycle propaganda videos
By Yokota Fritz 
The NRDC video demonstrates the correct way to navigate your bike through heavy pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.



State Farm Insurance shows us what it's like to "swap four wheels for two" in this ad, suggesting an excellent way to save money on insurance and gas prices! (Via, with numerous mentions all over the place.



Farmers Insurance demonstrates a cyclist wearing his business suit assertively taking his place in traffic, taking the lane and signaling his turns on his bike commute. The office worker rides a practical, small tire bike (prefect for multimodal commutes) equipped with fenders.


Farmers insurance rush hour commercialby business-garden


This more serious video is a cyclist instruction video on The Rights and Duties of Cyclists, from Cyclist View. The video shows cyclists making normal vehicular maneuvers including lane control, lane sharing, left and right turns, through movements and a freeway ramp crossing. This video is intended to show cyclists and motorists how it looks when cyclists act and are treated as vehicle drivers in normal urban traffic in the City of Long Beach, California. I've seen this video posted in a few places over the past few weeks, but I'll give props to Velo Chimp for the reminder.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008
  Bicycle parts video
By Yokota Fritz 
Do you want to know your dropout from your downtube and your seat collar from your seatpost? Watch this guide and you will be talking bike in five minutes. The music, created from sampled bike part noises by Greg Johnston, is also really cool.



Bicycle Anatomy for Beginners from Quickrelease.tv on Vimeo.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008
  BIke more, drive less
By Yokota Fritz 
That crew in Fort Collins are a zany bunch. Bike commuting is crazy fun! Bike more, drive less.



Props to Brendan for pushing me to watch this. I've seen this video mentioned elsewhere -- it's worth the watch!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008
  Lucas Brunelle in Sweden
By Yokota Fritz 
I'm a fan of Lucas Brunelle's alleycat cycling videos. Here he is in Stockholm, Sweden.


I found this at Pierre Requiroule's blog, where he writes: "Complètement malade et ça ressemble à une compilation de ce qu’on peut faire de pire à vélo." That's French for "These guys are freakin' maniacs on bikes!" Those Swedes sure like their car horns, and those articulated buses look scary.

And I love the name of Pierre's blog, which is "Tant de belles choses à vélo." That's French for "Cyclelicious" :-)

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Friday, January 25, 2008
  Fixie hipster rock anthem
By Yokota Fritz 
Here's the Nada Surf "Whose Authority" music video on YouTube, featuring a guy riding his fixed gear bike through New York City, dodging cabs, hooks, doors, pedestrians and red lights.



Via Bike Snob, who of course has much more to say about this video.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007
  Bicycle video clip of the day
By Yokota Fritz 
I'd like to remind everybody that Steephill.TV has a video clip of the day feature. Just subscribe to the RSS feed there for a bike video of the day. Right now, they feature my ugly mug with a link to the (in)famous "Lost Episode" of the Spokesman podcast.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007
  Brakeless singlespeed in San Francisco
By Yokota Fritz 
DJ Ted Shred is INSANE.


This video by filmmaker Matt Goldman features great footage of San Francisco DJ Ted Shred bombing down the hills of San Francisco on his singlespeed (freewheeling -- not fixed!) brakeless bike. Shred stops by pushing his shoe into the rear wheel to "Fred Flintstone it." Set to Ted Shred's music, the excellent videography makes this suicidal practice look kinda cool, just like TV forensics dramas make dead bodies look hot and sexy.

Via the man who hates goats.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007
  Chain snap video
By Yokota Fritz 
I hate it when that happens. Watch the track cyclists go. And not go.



Via.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
  'Share the Road' TV ads
By Yokota Fritz 
The San Luis Obisbo County Bicycle Coalition has created a series of "Share the Road" public service announcements for broadcast on local TV stations, reminding motorists and cyclists that the roads are for all users to share.







Props to Diane, who saw the ads on television, and Al in Arizona who found the videos on the SLO Bike Coalition website.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007
  SFPD bicycle training video
By Yokota Fritz 

San Francisco cops tell cyclists to "take the lane" for safety.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Police Department worked to create this outstanding police training video on the rights and responsibilities of cyclists in San Francisco. Cyclists are instructed to ride "about four feet away from parked cars when you're riding your bicycle," to report instances of driver intimidation, and report injury accidents. This video is used at the San Francisco Police Academy and at district stations around the city.


The men and women in uniform tell cyclists and motorists in this video that cyclists should take the full lane, and motorists can be cited for dooring and driving dangerously around cyclists. This video has useful information for everyone on the road, not just police officers and San Francisco cyclists — take a look and share the link! More information at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition website. Via SF Cyclotouring. Direct link to video on YouTube. Please click the Digg and CycleCluster buttons below if you believe this story is worth sharing.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007
  Win $1000! Sweetskinz video contest
By Yokota Fritz 
A note from SweetskinZ, makers of some very interesting colorful, reflective tires.
SweetskinZ is asking riders to submit their videos featuring SweetskinZ tires (and you and your buds catching big air or taking some mean spills). What’s in it for you? A cool grand.

The rider who submits the best footage of SweetskinZ tires during the day and night will receive the grand prize - $1,000 bucks. And, the winning video will be shown to thousands of industry insiders at the SweetskinZ booth during Interbike, in Vegas from September 26 – 28, 2007.

The winning video will also be featured on the SweetskinZ website, www.sweetskinz.com. But the best part - anyone who submits a video that meets our contest requirements will be eligible to receive a rebate on every tire featured in the video or a free pair of tires. Yeah, not too shabby, huh?

So what are the requirements? Videos must be at least 1 minute long and clearly feature SweetskinZ tires bold graphics during the day and the reflectivity at night. Entries can be submitted by uploading the video at YouTube.com and by sending them directly to SweetskinZ. Entries must be received by August 17, 2007 to be eligible for the $1,000 grand prize.
Note to SweetskinZ: 3 weeks isn't much time to make a decent video.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007
  Bicycle used to move GMail
By Yokota Fritz 
Did you know Google uses bicycles and other human-powered transportation to deliver email with their GMail service?

From the new GMail blog @ Google. Let's see how many unique bicycle video submissions we can get added to this project!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
  Short skirt and shimmery tights
By Yokota Fritz 
Cool BMX flatland tricks, too!



Everybody else is mentioning this Donnie Darko-ish video, so I figure I should, too.

Bat for Lashes is the stage name of British songwriter, musician and multi-media artist Natasha Khan. She studied film and music at university, both of which strongly influence her work. I copied that last sentence from a blog somewhere because it's so inane. Enjoy.

I forgot to mention earlier that Doc Logan posted this video too.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007
  Cyclist fashion show video
By Yokota Fritz 
Several of the models can even handle a bike well! This video showcases the Pret a Rouler cycle fashion show that has been featured at Velorution lately.


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Friday, June 08, 2007
  1899 trick cycling video
By Yokota Fritz 
Carlton Reid brings us this amazing video of fixed gear trick riding from 1899. The cyclist rides backward, spins his bars, trackstands and does other tricks for filming by Edison's "Kinetograph," an early motion picture camera. The cyclist would fit right in at a modern alleycat.




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Monday, May 21, 2007
  Cyclist tips from a car driver
By Yokota Fritz 
Natasha now has her driver’s licence, so that pretty much makes her an expert. Watch the video for important safety tips for cyclists from a car driver. Natasha tells us why we should avoid opening doors ("I've had to replace mine three times!"), why motorists throw insults and objects at cyclists, and complains about bearded guys on those "lie-down" bikes.


Tips For Cyclists - video powered by Metacafe


The video comes from the ingenious folks at Bicycle Forest, via Treadly and Me and CycleDog.

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