Monthly Archives: March 2020

Seattle’s Bus Lanes

Bus only lanes in Seattle are used daily by cars because there’s no enforcement at all.
But bus riders had enough, so they decided to direct the traffic out of the bus lanes themselves

Provide flags so that other people do it

And since the politicians and the police won’t do it, the Seattle Department of Transportation decided to enforce it as well.

30 días en bici

30 días en bici is the Spanish campaign of 30 days of biking an international, one-month event for promoting the bicycle use. It consists in riding every day in the April month and taking photographs. Participants share images online. The American version, the pioneers, use the hashtag #30daysofbiking.

Founded in 2010, 30 days of biking started in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its power lies in its simplicity. Bikers just need to pledge to bike everyday in April, no matter the weather (indoor photos are welcomed), and share their adventures. An easy and powerful idea as thousands follow it around the world.

Why 30 days? Rumor has it, one of its founders read a paper about developing a yoga habit by practicing it for 30 days. Then he asked himself if 30 days were enough to develop a habit, why do not we use it to promote the bike use? Again, easy and powerful.

Ok, but why April? April was chosen as the ideal month since is the first complete month in Spring and people love it after the Winter. Moreover, daylight hours increase (in the north hemisphere) and hence riding is increased at least for those who appreciate moderate temperatures.

The Spanish version has spread to more than 50 cities. It started in 2013 thanks to a bikeaholic group leaded by Carlos Rodriguez. But they do not limit the activities they do to April. Their ambitious targets tend to generate a social change by promoting the bicycle daily use, inspiring bikes as the main way of transport, educating citizens about the benefits of using the bike regarding health, and transforming cities in human-friendly spaces and caring for the planet.

Puncture: How to repair it

One of the worst situations in cycling is produced when riding a bike and suffering a puncture without the proper tools to repair it. In that case, the best you can do is calling somebody to help you or walking while pushing your bike. But lets be positive and think about what you can do if experiencing a puncture and do have tools. In such a situation, you need tire levers, a spanner (in case you do not have quick-release wheels), a bike pump and a repair kit. The process has two parts: Dealing with the inner tube and fixing the puncture.

First of all, take a look at the tire and remove whatever object that has caused the puncture like a thorn or a nail. Then, loosen the wheel nuts with a spanner, or undo the quick release bolts if your bike has them, and check that the inner tube is deflated. Continue with grabbing the wheel on the opposite side to the valve. Move the tire around some inches, repeat it with a second lever and repeat this process by using two or three levers. Finish this first part by removing the inner tube and checking its inside to confirm that whatever caused the puncture is gone. This last step is important.

Second, repair the puncture. Find where the puncture is either by listening for air or putting the tube in water and looking for bubbles. It is a good idea to mark the hole with a crayon or a pen. After that, roughen the area around the hole with sandpaper, then stick on the patch from the repair kit. Some patches are pre-glued, while others come with a separate tube of vulcanizing solution or rubber cement so stick them on with. Then, put a small amount of air in the tube, put it back into the wheel and tuck the tire back over the wheel rim. Push the valve back into the hole, seat the tire and pull the valve back through. Finally, pump the tire back up to the correct pressure and put the wheel back on the bicycle.

Due to the fact that it is much easier to just replace the inner tube if you puncture when riding, it is a great idea to carry a spare one while enjoying your bike.