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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Feedback: 16 Inch Ultralite Folding Bike

Recently, I received these 2 comments from customers concerning their Kent Ultralite folding bikes. I'll post more comments as they're received.

Seal Beach, CA

Hi, Larry:

We took the bike on a local 3-day camping trip, and it performed great. My wife was riding her ten-speed, and was impressed that I was able to keep up a steady cruising speed (7-9 mph, but I'm not riding the bike because I'm in a hurry!). Being able to fold the bike made it a snap to put it away in our truck overnight, especially since we were camping on a beach, with plenty of salt air at night. The rear-wheel reflector popped off, but I should be able to get the local bike shop to re-mount it... At any rate, thanks for the help and advice in getting the bike to me; it's become part of my daily exercise regime, and, in addition to our camping trips, I intend to use it for short, local errands.

Jerry W
Burbank, CA

Dear Larry;

I had a chance to take one of the "Mangos" for a short ride so I thought I would give you my initial assessment of them. Keep in mind I am kind of a bike snob with high end road and mountain bikes in my garage. I purchased these bikes for my wife and I for weekend biking around our marina. Setup from the box is easier than simple. Well packaged. The owners manual with assembly instructions was for a different bike but no matter. There was little assembly required. The folding mechanisms are easy yet secure. After adjusting the seat post and handlebars for my preference I started off. The saddle seemed a bit too close to the handlebars, for my liking, but I soon got into the swing of it. The flexibility of the stem is a little unnerving when applying pressure to the pedals. The Shimano Nexus 3 speed is wonderful. Quiet, smooth, and effortless with a nice gear ratio. This bike would not be suitable for more than a few miles of riding but for my intended purposes, it is great.

Thanks for your help.

Michael F

To learn more about the Kent Ultralite folding bikes, use the Google search box on the bottom of this page or visit one of the following 3 links:
- Kent Single Speed Folding Bike
- Kent Ultralite 6 Speed Folding Bike
- Kent Ultralite Nexus 3 Speed Folding Bike


Friday, September 28, 2007

Movie - Ultralite 1 Spd Folding Bike

by Larry Lagarde

Here's a short movie as well as a series of stills I shot to demonstrate the single speed Ultralite folding bike.

Ideal for riding around the RV park, for use with your private plane or simply for casual riding, this corrosion resistant magnesium/aluminum alloy folding bike is outfitted with rust free fenders, folding pedals, alloy carry rack, kickstand and adjustable height seat post and handlebar post.

Currently priced at $169 including shipping (within the USA lower 48 states), this 21 lb bike makes a great gift too.

More about this folding bike


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Great Bike Trails - Long Leaf Trace

Today, Ken V. of Birmingham, Alabama reminded me that the Longleaf Trace should be listed as one of the great bike trails in the USA. Per Ken...
I know it's probably hard to keep a web site up to date but I did want to make you aware of some information that I think will be useful for your readers. First, your list of trails does not list one of the best in the nation, The Longleaf Trace, that is in the neighboring state of Mississippi. Talk about a super trail! Rest stops, cold water, peaceful, well maintained and some 40 miles long, The Longleaf Trace has to be one of the nation's better trails.
Actually, Ken's right. The Longleaf is one of the nation's best bike trails and it should have been on my list - which is why it is now.

By the way, a group ride to raise funds for improvements on the Trace will take place on October 20th. Known as the Jerry Ryan Memorial, this bike ride honors the memory of a Hattiesburg cyclist that helped to create the Longleaf Trace. Cost to participate is $20; the fee includes a t-shirt and food.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Copenhagen - A Model For New Orleans

Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid statueWhere Walking, Biking & Mass Transit Beat Cars Every Day

by Larry Lagarde

Thirty years ago, the people of Copenhagen embarked on a journey to ween themselves off expensive, foreign oil and cut traffic congestion. The urban landscape was retooled to encourage walking, biking and greater use of mass transit. As the following video shows, the experiment worked.

Today, just 1/3 of commuters in the city of Copenhagen use private motor vehicles. Copenhagen now has less traffic than any other major urban area in Europe; it also doesn't reek of diesel fumes or noise pollution and Copenhageners are in better health...

Balcony view - New Orleans StreetscapeIf ever there is a city in the USA that could emulate Copenhagen's complete streets approach and see similar traffic reduction, energy savings and health benefits, it is New Orleans.

Never in 100 years has a major, North American city experienced such complete devastation as that wrought by Hurricane Katrina. The saltwater that inundated the Big Easy for several weeks did more than soak buildings, destroying basic, public utilities like sewer and gas lines. To make repairs, streets across the New Orleans must be torn up and repaved.

The massive amount of rebuilding that is needed has led to a lot of soul searching. Some New Orleanians are gone for good but those that have stayed are determined to recreating a better New Orleans. Like never before, neighborhoods are abuzz with fresh and exciting civic ideas. Talk is leading to action but not without controversy.

Recently, a bike lane was worked into the repaving of St. Claude Avenue (a major artery into the city). Though the cost to stripe in the bike lane was minimal, some residents balked at the idea of adding a bike lane when the street in front of their home was virtually impassable with pot holes. Never mind that they lived on a minor side street with minimal traffic or that the St. Claude bike lane would provide many residents with a safer route to bike to work or school.

Obviously, some people will always drive their cars; however, it is possible for most residents of a major metropolis to choose to bicycle, walk or use mass transit. Just look at Copenhagen.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Lafitte Corridor Among New Orleans Most Endangered Landmarks

The Louisiana Landmarks Society, a non-profit devoted to is to preserving Louisiana's historic sites and resources just released their list of the 11 most endangered landmarks in New Orleans in 2007. Fourth on their list was the Lafitte Corridor. Here is a detailed description why the society is concerned.

The Lafitte Corridor runs from Basin Street to Canal Boulevard along St. Louis Street through Mid City. Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods have been working to preserve this open space and are in the process of creating a bike path that would run the entire length of the corridor, permitting a pedestrian friendly way to traverse the city from the French Quarter to City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art. National Historic Districts are in place along both sides of this 3-mile stretch of land. The concept of a public park amenity in this swath of land has been embraced as part of the city master plan since 1999. Logically, the Sojourner Truth Community Center, Lemann Playground and Community pool, complete with tennis courts, would all be a all logical components with this larger amenity serving the children of New Orleans. Right now, these facilities sit neglected, in need of major attention from the City.

This neglected strip which was once part of the Carondelet Canal and later became the old Norfolk Southern Rail Line, is ideal for a trail and park network in the corridor. In 1794 the Carondelet Canal was completed from Bayou St. John to Basin Street and was a small but critical waterway for commercial ships to reach the back of the French Quarter near Congo Square.

In 1938, the canal was filled in and railroad tracks were installed, the Lafitte Corridor remained an important path for the delivery of mail and other non-passenger freight. It was here that Storyville formed on Basin Street between the Lafitte Corridor and Canal Street where the passenger terminal was located in the late 1800s.

Recently, the Friends of the Lafitte Corridor, an organization working to secure portions of the corridor for a dedicated bike and pedestrian path were a substantial grant in support of their vision. Commercial developers have begun the push to acquire some large parcels of land along this corridor. Development along this critical area, which runs through the heart of the city, should be done with gentle consideration for the residential core of Treme, Mid-City and Bayou St. John.

Threat: Inappropriate Land Use, development pressure, neglect.


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