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Saturday, July 28th
Bicycle Fixation Reviewed in England's CityCycling
We blush to present this to you, but we present it nonetheless, a rave review of our little 'zine by CityCycling over in the United Kingdom. In their words:
The site is full to the brim with fantastic writing on cycling and sustainability, which together with a few good quality galleries and a wealth of links and resources, adds up to more than a few afternoons where work becomes a write-off.
But read it yourself at: CityCycling Website of the Month.

And take a look at the rest of a very fine 'zine at

Richard Risemberg on Sat, 28 Jul 2007 18:29:25 -0800 [link]  

Tuesday, July 24th
A Car-Free Wilshire Boulevard?
Former LA resident Michael Balter, a writer for the LA Times, carries the idea of a "Subway to the Sea" a few steps beyond the confines of the box in a recent article: he says, rather than spend money tunneling under Wishire Boulevard (the main drag of the city and one of the busiest commute corridors in the US). simply ban cars from it so you can daylight the subway, run it along the center lanes, and reserve the other two for local bus service and a dedicated bicycle lane! A quote:
First, ban all automobiles from the entire 15-mile length of the boulevard. Second, beginning at its Western Avenue station, bring the Metro Rail to street level and run it to and from the sea on two sets of rails in the center of Wilshire, which has four or more lanes down its entire length and is thus wide enough to accommodate the route. Third, create bus lanes running east and west for riders who want to make more frequent stops, leaving express service to the Metro Rail. Fourth, install protected bicycle lanes in each direction at the edges of the boulevard and provide inexpensive, self-service rent-a-bike stations every 300 yards (as in Paris) so riders can pick up a bike anywhere on Wilshire and drop it off where they like.
Read the entire article in the Los Angeles Times: No Cars on Wilshire.

Richard Risemberg on Tue, 24 Jul 2007 07:34:32 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, July 19th
Oakland a Leader Again
Oakland, California, proves itself a leader in sustainability (as well as cool bike shops) once again with its recent ban on the provision of grocery-type plastic bags at checkout counters. The ban affects establishments with sales of $1M or more a year and requires them to provide either recyclable paper bags with at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content and no old-growth content, and to offer reusable cloth or other durable bags as well.

What's most interesting in the ordinance is the statistics offered to justify the ban, some of which we quote here:You may view a text version of the ordinance at

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 19 Jul 2007 08:10:18 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, July 18th
Victory through Cycling
J. H. Crawford, editor of, just sent out notice of an excellent article he found in the Sierra Claub websiste. Written by Mike Davis, it recounts how Americans willingly and effectively lived slower, greener lives during World War II in order to free up resources for the military, and how they found what was in most ways a better life by doing so. They dedicated themselves to smaller houses, simpler clothes, more home-cooked meals, and...bicycles:
More important, that national obsession of the 1890s, the bicycle, made a huge comeback, partly inspired by the highly publicized example of wartime Britain, where bikes transported more than a quarter of the population to work. Less than two months after Pearl Harbor, a new secret weapon, the "victory bike"--made of nonessential metals, with tires from reclaimed rubber--was revealed on front pages and in newsreels. Hundreds of thousands of war workers, meanwhile, confiscated their kids' bikes for their commute to the plant or office, and scores of cities and towns sponsored bike parades and "bike days" to advertise the patriotic advantages of Schwinn over Chevrolet. With recreational driving curtailed by rationing, families toured and vacationed by bike. In June 1942, park officials reported that "never has bicycling been so popular in Yosemite Valley as it is this season." Public health officials praised the dual contributions of victory gardening and bike riding to enhanced civilian vigor and well-being, even predicting that it might reduce the already ominously increasing cancer rate.
Read the entire article in the Sierra Club website; it's called Home-Front Ecology.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 18 Jul 2007 18:28:20 -0800 [link]  

Sunday, July 15th
Bicycle Fixation Editorial in Los Angeles Business Journal
Not about bicycling, but still about sustainable transport in the city, your editor wrote an op-ed piece, published this week in the Los Angeles Business Journal, in support of extending the Metro subway all the way down Wilshire to the city of Santa Monica.

I wrote it in answer to a smarmy editorial published two weeks before, claiming that to build a subway was a specious use of public money.

Those wishing to read it may try the following link, which should allow access at no charge: Extending the Red Line Will Be Good for Los Angeles

Look soon, as I don't know how long the link will be valid.

Richard Risemberg on Sun, 15 Jul 2007 13:39:45 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, July 11th
Hemp & Wool Knickers In Stock Now
Just letting you all know that we are now fully stocked in hemp and wool knickers and have nearly caught up on backorders. We will have plenty of hemp knickers, but the inventory of wool gabardines is a little thin, so if wool's your bag, order now. Obtaining the materials and scheduling a factory takes time and money, and we are small, so we do go into backorder from time to time.

We have a new batch of gabardine for the wool knickers, and it is truly fine stuff which we got at the same price as the earlier charcoal material; we have also improved the thread itself and the stitching patterns, and our sewing contractor found some new subcontractors who do noticeably better work than the former crew. (This applies to the new hemp knickers as well, of course.)

We are also working on a hemp touring short design, and struggling mightily to find a crew to make the James Black hat...but that's not so certain. It will happen, someday--just can't say when.

So if you want to ride and style at the same time, keep checking in on us. We're out to make bicycling better, and better looking!

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 11 Jul 2007 21:02:37 -0800 [link]  

Thursday, July 5th
More Peak Oil news
More Peak Oil news, this time from Dr. Colin Campbell, "former chief geologist and vice-president at a string of oil majors including BP, Shell, Fina, Exxon and ChevronTexaco. He explains that the peak of regular oil - the cheap and easy to extract stuff - has already come and gone in 2005. Even when you factor in the more difficult to extract heavy oil, deep sea reserves, polar regions and liquid taken from gas, the peak will come as soon as 2011, he says." He strongly criticizes the recently-published "BP Stasitical Review of World Energy," which claims the earth holds enough oil to continue our global-warming habits for another 40 years at present rfates of consumption.

Dr. Campbell counters effectively, noting at one point that "When I was the boss of an oil company I would never tell the truth. It's not part of the game."

Among the tidbits in this cogent report:
In 1999, Britain's oil reserves in the North Sea peaked, but for two years after this became apparent, Mr Leggett claims, it was heresy for anyone in official circles to say so. "Not meeting demand is not an option. In fact, it is an act of treason," he says.

The Hubbert Curve shows that at the beginning production from any oil field rises sharply, then reaches a plateau before falling into a terminal decline. His prediction that US production would peak in 1969 was ridiculed by those who claimed it could increase indefinitely. In the event it peaked in 1970 and has been in decline ever since.

Manufacturing requires huge amounts of fossil fuels. The construction of a single car in the US requires, on average, at least 20 barrels of oil.
So it's not just riding your bike that saves oil (and oil saved is global warming slowed). Making your bike, with its 4 to 6 pounds of steel and 10 to 15 pounds of aluminum and rubber, also saves oil--lots and lots of oil--over making a car.

Furthermore, concrete and asphalt have huge embedded energy costs in their materials manufacture as well as their construction--using your bike means you are not creating demand for more paving, which not only wastes energy but obliterates watersheds.

Read the entire article at The Independent.

Richard Risemberg on Thu, 05 Jul 2007 10:39:00 -0800 [link]  

Wednesday, July 4th
Bike-Share Program in New York
Okay, New Yorkers, it looks like there's a group starting a bikeshare program there, and they're having a series of meetings and presentations to show off the concept both as they plan to do it and as it some European communities have implemented it. All taking place between July 7th and 11th, and you can contact them through their website at the New York Bike-Share Project.

Richard Risemberg on Wed, 04 Jul 2007 09:50:17 -0800 [link]  

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