Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’

Here in San Luis Obispo, we are proud to have a thriving bike culture. From our monthly Bike Happening to the Tall Bike Posse and Little 500, we are lucky to live in a town where there are cyclists committed to fun, safe riding, and fitness. Chances are, if you live here on the Central Coast, you either know or are related to one of these bike nuts. If you are looking for a great gift idea for the wheeled warrior in your life, look no further. Here are some strange and wonderful gadgets for your pedal person.

Trotify- For the Monty Python and equestrian fan in all of us, we present the Trotify, a contraption that takes advantage of the humble coconut shell to make your bike sound like a horse. The wooden device sits on the front wheel of your rig and creates the sounds of hoofbeats as you pedal. Trotify comes flatpacked, and can be easily shipped and assembled at home. Currently, the designers are waiting for a 1,000 minimum order, and your Trotify would not make its way out of the stable until March 2013. However, for only about $20, it might be worth the wait to turn your frame into a fiery steed.

MindRider- I can’t think of many cyclists that at one time or another wished that motorists knew what they were thinking. The thought-controlled MindRider helmet brain waves to control red and green LED lights that signal emotions and levels of concentration. Developed by MIT animator and computer programmer Alrene Ducao, the helmet takes advantage of a EEG sensor and NeuroSky Mindset to control the lighting display. Green denotes a calm and collected demeanor, red means high stress, and flashing red blinks a warning signal to others on the road. The next incarnation of MindRider is slated to include more LEDs, proximity sensors, wearable visualization, and possible wireless technology that can connect with other helmets to monitor traffic and accidents.

Bike Zone- Cycling at night can be dangerous for even the most experienced of riders. The Bike Zone is a an ingenious gadget that creates a laser-projected area that extends a meter away from the bicycle as well as animated right and left turn signals. The Bike Zone easily attaches to the frame with a magnetic coupling, and wirelessly connects to the signal switches on the handlebars.


Bicycle enthusiasts have long known the environmental, economic and physiological benefits of cycling.  Now, by buying a handcrafted bamboo frame from Zambikes International, bikers can help support Zambian workers and their families.  In Zambia — where literacy is low, there is no free public education, and over half of the population is unemployed — the California-based startup has made strides to offer decent living wages and technical training to communities struggling with poverty.

In a country where public transportation can be unreliable, a bicycle can mean a dependable way of getting to what little work is available.  Since 2007, Zambikes has been using bamboo as a strong, sustainable base for their bicycles, taking advantage of a durable, light, surprisingly shock-absorbent material that is a cheap and abundant alternative to metal.  Bamboo grows well in the Zambian climate, and once the grass is mature and treated, the frame can last up to ten years.

Under the direction of two Zambians and two Americans, Zambikes International employs a large team of builders that produce quality cycles in a variety of styles including a cruiser, road bicycle and mountain bike.  Crafted with rural living in mind, they also offer brilliant cart and trailer attachments such as the Zambulance, which has been fashioned to meet the needs of remote medical clinics, and the Zamcart, a hitch created for farmers that has the capacity to carry a load of up to 250 kg.

By offering bamboo cycles both locally and internationally, Zambikes helps provide environmentally and socially conscious transportation that benefits not only those buying their products, but also those who produce them.  While for many Americans a bicycle is a tool for recreation, in Africa it can be the only form of reliable transportation to and from work, the fastest way to get to a hospital, an efficient means of carrying a heavy load of equipment, or a swift method of removing arrested criminals.

For more information on the mission of Zambikes and the people behind this amazing company, visit Gershom Sikaala’s website and read about his motivations for establishing programs benefiting his fellow Zambians.

It is now May, and in San Luis Obispo that means wildflowers, the return of the swallows, and Bike Month.  Rated as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists (Silver Level), SLO pulls out all the stops for one month each year to show its support for riders across the county.

Here at Bambu Batu, we are expressing our cycling pride with a locally printed, American-made, 100% organic cotton t-shirt depicting the two-wheeled wonder in all of its glory.  Other than stylish, environmentally friendly clothing, what are some of the events you look forward to this Bike Month?

Commuter Bike Challenge- Gather together a team and log your commuter stats on the SLO Rideshare’s website for the thrill of victory, bragging rights, and an iron-clad excuse to indulge in the office donuts in the break room.

Bike Kitchen- Tune up your ride at the SLO Bike Kitchen every Wed, Thurs and Sunday from 4-7pm.  Parts, tools and advice are available at low cost for a day fee and also by donation.

Bike to School and Work Week-  Enjoy free coffee from May 16-20 at participating shops by wheeling yourself in for your daily caffeine fix.  Show your helmet for a cup-o-joe.

Bike ‘N Movie- On May 13th, cycle to the YMCA at 6:30 to view a flick without having to worry about hauling thousands of pounds of automobile along with your popcorn.

Full Moon Ride- Howl at the moon with your nocturnal brethren on May 17th at 7:30 starting at the Jennifer Street Bridge.

Amgen Tour of California- Paso Robles will witness world class riders whizzing through town on May 19th.  Grab a spot along the race route to experience a little Tour de France here on the Central Coast!

Bike Fashion Show- The Old Art’s Cyclery (2140 Santa Barbara St.) will be exhibiting the most chic of cycling couture on May 20th, beginning at 7pm.  There will be music, drinks, food, clothing, and models.  What else could you ask for in a good time?

Tweed Ride- Throw on your most dapper vestments for the Running of the Tweed.  Penny farthings, elbow patches, and creative facial hair are all encouraged.  Meet up at the Train Depot on Sunday, May 15th at 12:30pm for tea, music, and hobnobbing with other arcane fashion enthusiasts.

World Bicycle Relief Festival- An organization dedicated to provide access and independence to those in developing nations through the power of bicycles, World Bicycle Relief will be sponsoring a number of fundraising events on May 14.  SLO will be hosting a Poker Run at participating businesses around the downtown area. Delight in music, prizes, and the great feeling of knowing that you have just gambled for positive social change.

Cote de Tolosa Velo Challenge- On May 22 at 7am, join competitive cyclist Larry Brooks on a 52 mile loop including 5,000 feet of climbing, and a lunch at the end of the tour with all of the proceeds being donated to the SLO County Bicycle Coalition.

Wineries by Bike-  Ride through Edna Valley’s wineries on May 22 starting at 11am.  For route maps, visit the SLO County Bicycle Coalition’s site and download your day’s game plan.

Come and enjoy spring here in San Luis Obispo with your family, friends, and favorite be-spoked companion!

For a full schedule of events, visit the Bike Month Calendar.