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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Strida Maker Fighting Fake Bikes

by Larry Lagarde

If you're thinking about buying a fake Strida, think twice. This video is proof that the maker of real Strida folding bikes is fed up with fakes. They're going after importers and distributors, prosecuting them in court and destroying copy cat bikes.

Why Should You Care
1. Fake products are prone to fail.
Strida's are custom made with highly specialized parts. The bike's triangular frame makes a bike that folds quite compactly; however, the frame design reduces redundancies inherent in standard bike frames. To Strida (Ming Bicycles), reputation is everything so they are NOT going to scrimp on quality or components. On the other hand, the fly by night companies producing fake Strida's are only in for the quick buck. By the time someone is hurt on a fake Strida, the fly by night fake Strida maker has changed names and moved on.

2. Warranties On Fakes Are Worthless
Plain and simple, if a fake comes with a warranty, that warranty is not worth the paper that it's printed on. Think about it. If the company is trying to fly under the radar and make a quick buck, do you really think they're going to provide support. If there's a customer service telephone number, chances are that no one will answer or the phones are disconnected within a month or so.

3. Real Strida Parts May Not Work On Fakes
If you buy a fake and a part breaks, good luck finding replacement parts. Don't get me wrong, Strida will be happy to sell you parts but there's no guarantee the part will fit on a fake bike.

Last year, I asked Mark Sanders about this problem with copycat Strida's. He told me that Strida would be clamping down worldwide on this issue. Now we have proof.


Peacock Plummage Photos

peacock plummagePeacock Mating Season Means Spring Is Here
by Larry Lagarde

Spring is in full swing here in New Orleans. After months of dormancy, the Easter Lillies began blooming and the Oaks and Pecan trees on our property sprouted fresh, bright green leaves. For us though, the real sign of Spring is the squawking of our peacocks.

peacock plummageIt's mating season and the male peacocks are running about flashing their tail plummage to attract the females. No doubt, we'll find at least one peacock nest with several eggs (last year, we had 2 nests with new broods of peacocks hatching forth). It's quite a spectacle and lots of fun to watch.

peacock plummageHere are several photos I shot a moment ago of one of the males. It took some effort to get shots of the peacock from the front.
Every time I approached him, the male peacock would spread his feathers and walk AWAY. All I'd see was the rear of the feathers (much less appealing than the front).

peacock plummageAnyhow, I was finally able to get a few good photos from the front. Enjoy.

By the way, click any photo to enlarge it.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Air Canada: $50 Folding Bike Tax

by Larry Lagarde

Imagine Lloyd Alter's surprise and rage when checking in recently for a flight on Air Canada. He checks a bag that's well within Air Canada's dimensional and weight limits for checked baggage; yet, he's hit with a $50 surcharge because the bag contains a folding bike.

Lloyd's a conscientious air traveler. When he flies, he buys carbon offsets but he wanted to do more. Thus, to further reduce his carbon footprint when traveling, Lloyd got a Strida folding bike to reduce his dependence on rental cars and taxis.

So why was Lloyd upset? Air Canada's baggage policy makes no sense and is inconsistent.

Senseless Baggage Policy
Air Canada imposes a 50 lb weight limit and 62" linear dimensional limit on each checked bag. Some items (such as standard sized bicycles) typically exceed Air Canada's weight & dimensional limits and are obviously subject to an overage fee; yet, the Strida is NOT your typical bike.

When folded, the Strida is very compact, taking up less than a third of the space needed for a full size bike and certainly within Air Canada's 62" linear dimensional limit. Packed inside its padded custom carry bag, the Strida and bag combo weigh about half of Air Canada's 50 lb. max weight limit for checked bags. There are no special handling requirements either; the Strida goes on the luggage belt just like every other checked bag.

Inconsistent Baggage Policy
According to Air Canada, every bike is subject to a surcharge because it would be too difficult for check-in personnel to determine which bikes meet the dimensional & weight requirements (I guess the scale and measuring tape works for everything but bikes). Air Canada also argues that they charge for folding bikes because other major airlines do too. Naturally, Air Canada conveniently forgot that Southwest, Alaska and other airlines DO NOT charge for folding bikes (you can even take certain folding bikes into the cabin on Southwest as a carry on).

Insult To Injury: Air Canada's LeaveLess
Air Canada promotes itself as an airline striving for a greener world. As part of their LeaveLess "environmental initiative," Air Canada brags how they're cutting greenhouse gas emissions by converting some of their ground vehicles to propane, etc. If they were serious though, the airline's policies would encourage fliers to use folding bikes. Instead, they charge a fee that discourages use.

Given that folding bikes like the Strida...
- emit NO greenhouse gases...
- are ideal for use with buses, trains and subways...
- meet airline dimension & weight standards...
the only logical conclusion is that Air Canada's policy towards folding bikes is simply a way to generate revenue.

Convincing Air Canada to change their policy is simple: take action & complain. With all the competition out there and the state of the economy, Air Canada would be crazy not to listen.

If Air Canada wishes to comment on this issue, I'll be happy to post that comment here.

Lloyd Alter's Air Canada Story


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 11

Folding Bike Contestant S. Faulkner's Story

Here's the entry from Contestant # 11 in the folding bike giveaway - S. Faulkner of Davenport, FL:
I want to win the E-Z pack bike so I can cruise down to the corner store in style.

Have an extra cup of tea before pedaling (instead of walking) my way to the bus stop in the early morningt.

I want to go on trips by the lake at sunset and lose a few pounds in the process.

Can't you picture my E-Z bike and me having a picnic in the bright green grass, under a gorgeous blue sky?

The truth is the E-Z pack bike looks like a cool gadget that I want to play with. I know some people are into big screen TVs, really loud stereos, cars or a million other things. I'm into bikes. I'm into eco-friendly mobility and freedom to go when I want. Did you see the video? I want it. Vote for me :)
Does S. Faulkner deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you a ballot on April 7th.


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Friday, March 27, 2009

Free Bike Giveaway - Voting FAQ

Answers About Voting On The Contest
by Larry Lagarde

Some RideTHISbike.com readers have asked for clarification regarding voting on the free bike giveaway contest. Here are more details in a Q & A format.

Q: Can anyone vote?
A: Yes. To make the free bike giveaway fair and fun, anyone can cast a vote regarding who should get the free bike.

Q: How can I vote?
A: All you have to do is register.

Q: Why do I need to register to vote?
A: To prevent someone from voting twice.

Q: When is the final date to register to vote on the contest?
A: 6 April 2009.

Q: I've registered. Now when & how do I vote?
A: Voting will begin on 7 April 2009. Voters will be sent voting ballots by email. If no more than 20 contest entries have been received, there will be one voting ballot containing all the entries. If there are more than 20 entries, there will be several ballots and each ballot will have different entries so all the entries can be voted upon.

Q: When will voting for the contest end?
A: 21 April 2009.

Q: When will the contest winner be announced?
A: The winner will be announced on 22 April 2009 (Earth Day).

Round 2 (Run off)
Q: How will one winner be picked if there are multiple ballots of 20 entries?
A: There will be a run off. This will be known as Round 2.

Q: How will the Round 2 work?
A: Votes from each of the ballots in Round 1 will end on 13 April 2009. The contestant in each ballot that receives the most votes will make Round 2 (the run off).

Q: When will voting for Round 2 begin?
A: 14 April 2009.

Q: When will voting for Round 2 end?
A: 21 April 2009.

Q: When will the contest winner from Round 2 (the final round of voting) be announced?
A: The winner will be announced on 22 April 2009 (Earth Day).

As of today (27 March 2009), there's still time to enter the contest or register to vote but the clock's ticking. If you're interested in either entering or voting, don't delay; do it TODAY!


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Participate Tomorrow In Earth Hour

Reader Christina S. asked me to encourage other RideTHISbike.com readers to participate tomorrow evening (March 28th) in Earth Hour - an event in which people worldwide are turning off their lights for an hour to focus attention on little things we can all do to minimize climate change. Here's more about the event from Christina.
Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour got started just two years ago and is now the largest event of its kind in the world. Last year, more than 50 million participated and the lights went out at the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Coliseum in Rome, just to name a few. Even Google's homepage went black for the day! In Israel, President Shimon Peres personally turned off lights in Tel Aviv.

This year, Earth Hour will be even bigger - already 250 cities in 74 countries have agreed to take part - including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville with more signing up every day. Around the world cities like Moscow, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai and Mexico City will turn out their lights.

But Earth Hour isn't just for big cities-anyone can participate. To get a better sense of the event, check out this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qr8QXWzT9U.

Participating in Earth Hour is easy, fun and free. I hope you'll join me for this amazing event. To sign up, visit http://www.earthhourUS.org where you'll learn more including ways you can spread the word about Earth Hour, plus creative things to do when the lights go out in case you need inspiration!

We want the US to turn out more lights than any other country in the world during this historic event so please pass this note along to anyone you think might want to take part. Let's all turn out and take action on March 28 at 8:30 pm.

I know I can live without lights for an hour. Come on; let's all give it a try!



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 10

Folding Bike Contestant M. Ferber's Story

Here's the entry from Contestant # 10 in the folding bike giveaway - M. Ferber of Burlington, VT:
Me, me ,me, pick me! OK, I'm no longer in 2nd. grade, but pick me anyway.

I want a bike, I need a bike, I've been looking for a bike. I've been online for weeks now trying to sort through the info. and make up my mind. The amount of information is overwhelming. I feel a bit befuddled. The only thing I know for sure is that I want a folder.

Please put me out of my misery and decide for me. I have never, ever won anything in my life.

I am a "lady of a certain age" and will never get a glance while walking on the street. However, with a snazzy folder I'll attract attention galore! Just think what it will do for my self esteem, my sense of purpose and my happiness. I may not be a "looker" anymore, but I am still a talker and I'll be the best friend this bike ever had as it will accompany me everywhere and help me make new acquaintances, as sadly many of my friends are no longer here. The students will love it and I'll be a goodwill ambassador for the brand in my Vermont college town.

Pick me, please cast your vote for me and let the "wheels" of fortune spin in my favor. Thank you for your consideration and hopefully your all important vote. Gotta get wheels! Wheels4Me! Gotta get wheels!
Does M. Ferber deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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2009 Tour De Nez

by Larry Lagarde

Lake Tahoe is one of the most scenic places in the world and the annual Tour De Nez cycling race & fest is a great excuse to visit.

Here's an update of this year's lineup of the Tour De Nez courtesy of Constance Aguilar.
This year the TDN will feature 3 days of racing in Downtown Reno, Downtown Truckee, and wrapping up at Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort. A pre-party and an almost Century Ride will begin and wrap up the festivities, along with live music, food and tons of other activites going on to please onlookers.

Sound interesting? Well, here's the latest press release for the event.
Cycling returns to Downtown Reno this June as the Northstar-at-Tahoe Tour De Nez gears up to bring the Reno/Tahoe area 5 days of racing action and parties galore.

The 18th annual Tour De Nez will take place over 5 days, June 17-21, in Historic Downtown Truckee, Downtown Reno and wraps up at the village at Northstar-at-Tahoe. The race will feature both pro and amateur events including men's and women's races, hand cyclists, messenger races, the infamous clunker classic and even The Biggest Little Kid's Race.

Events will kick-off in Reno on the 18th at Amendment 21 bar. For $6, participants can park their cars at the bar and bike ride over to the Reno Aces AAA baseball team stadium, have their bikes valet and enjoy the game with the coordinators and cyclists of the Tour De Nez. The evening will close with a celebration party at Amendment 21, where The Reno Film Festival will project cycling oriented movies onto the wall outside the bar.

Racing begins on the 18th in Historic Downtown Truckee, shutting down the streets for the Downtown Truckee Criterium for Pro men and Pro women, Masters 35+1,2,3 and handcycles. Attendees will also have a chance to burn some of their own rubber in the clunker classic messenger race, and kid's race through downtown. The festivities will begin late afternoon and run throughout the night. Live music, raffles and food will be just a few of the great activities going on that make the Tour De Nez so much more than just a bike race.

The return to downtown Reno will take place on the 19th, bringing the same events to Reno as in Truckee. There will be a group ride with some of the competing athletes in the morning with a coffee stop along the way. The pro and amateur races will send riders throughout the downtown area amongst cheering onlookers. The Downtown Reno Circuit Race for both men and women will start at Wingfield Park and run along the river. After sundown, the Reno Film Festival bicycle film, Breaking Away, will be shown at the Wingfield Park Amphitheater.

The final stage of the race will then move to the village at Northstar-at-Tahoe on the 20th where the cyclists will have one last chance to battle it out for the prize. The circuit race will run through the village, brings the excitement of the last leg up and close and personal. Northstar-at-Tahoe rolls out the red carpet for the Tour De Nez, devoting the entire two days to festivities that will be happening throughout the village such as live music, expos and, of course, tons of parties. This year will mark the first Junior Circuit Race, where cycling enthusiasts under 18 can compete.

Everything will commence on the 21st, where the pro cyclists and Tour De Nez staff, including the master of events himself, Tim Healion, will head the Century Ride around pristine Lake Tahoe. Anyone with a bicycle and desire to enjoy a gorgeous cruise can pay to participate and take a nice ride with some of the top cyclists in the United States.

About the Tour De Nez
Started 18 years ago to celebrate the anniversary of Reno's first coffee house, Deux Gros Nez, The Tour de Nez has grown from a Masters Twilight Criterium to a five-day festival complete with pro, amateur and enthusiast events. Revelers enjoy live music, unique food, mint juleps, bike decorating contests, face painting and the best that the cycling world has to offer. Additionally, top companies from the bike, outdoor and adventure sports industries will be on hand for an expo with booths, displays and demonstrations of the latest and greatest gear. For more information please visit www.tourdenez.com or call 775-287-3599.
Sure would be cool to combine the Tour De Nez with Burning Man.



Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 9

Folding Bike Contestant S. Jones' Story

Here's the entry from Contestant # 9 in the folding bike giveaway - S. Jones of Champaign, IL:
Okay, I'm not sobbing, but my student almost was. Pam doesn't have a car and is coming back to school to get a better job, and working very hard. She's older than most of the students. Yes, we have a good bus system, but she loved the dumpy old bike that somebody gave her, and even though it was locked, somebody else made off with it last November. She doesn't live in the best of neighborhoods, though it's not the worst, either. She didn't mind so much in the dead of winter, but she was going to miss it in the spring and the bad guys had won.

Truth is, somebody has given her a Huffy. As she says, "God is good!" She doesn't want to lock it outside, though... and hauling the huffy down and up the stairs is tough.

She would love to have a folding bike... but I could see in her eyes that she
a: wasn't confident in her writing skills and
b: really didn't want to waste her time on what had to be some kind of scam, since that's her world.

Do I need to tell you that this is one of those ladies who will do anything for anybody? Who encourages the young students that if she can do it, and she's going to, so can you! Who has already overcome more obstacles than I can dream of and thinks the gift of an abandoned Huffy is worthy of rejoicing?

I could fluff this out and dramatize it to 1500 words or whatever when spring break is over I'll even see if I can get her to ride her huffy in to get a picture if it'll get her this far and try to get her once again to tell her own story... but I've always considered slick pitches to lead awfully quickly to plain old greedy dishonesty. That's my story.
Does S. Jones deserve to win the folding bike for her student Pam? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 8

Folding Bike Contestant K. Dossman's Story

Here's the entry from Contestant # 8 in the folding bike giveaway - K. Dossman of Tyler, TX:
There are a lot of people who are worse off than I am, but that doesn't mean I don't deserve a free bike. It has been over a year since my parents had me go to driving school. Supposedly, AAA was going to teach me how to drive. That didn't do much, because I don't have a license. I can't even remember which pedal is the gas, and which is the brake, no joke. My father told me this morning, but I forgot.

One thing I know for sure that I can do, is ride a bike. Which will come in handy when I go off to school in the fall (believe it or not). So please bless me with a bike so our streets will be safe, or at least as safe as they're going to be.
Does K. Dossman deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mini 8 Folding Bike Prototype Photos

by Larry Lagarde

Here is a slideshow of the photos I shot today of the prototype Mini 8 folding bike.

Mini 8 Folding Bike - First Impressions...
BIG grin looking at the bike folded - it's sooo compact! BIG grin riding the bike - just plain fun. If you're shy, this bike is perfect for bringing you out of your shell because it REALLY gets attention. The bicycle is very easy to tote around folded too.

The Mini 8 folder feels heavier than 16 lbs; I'll weigh it later. Seatpost and handlebar/stem are chromed steel. If they were alloy, the bike would be a lot lighter (but steel is stronger so a heavier rider can ride the Mini 8). Balloon tires are low pressure (36 psi) so they absorb road shock well... not sure rear suspension is really needed.

Within the next few days, I'll take the Mini 8 folding bike on the bike trail for a longer road test, speed readings and to shoot a video so stay tuned.


Prototype Mini 8 Folding Bike Here

Mini 8 Folding Bikeby Larry Lagarde

It's here - the Mini 8 folding bike prototype. It was in a truckload of bikes that arrived today.

The wind's howling and it's threatening to rain so I've been busy getting the bikes out of the weather. As soon as time allows, I will be pulling the Mini 8 from the shipping carton for an initial inspection & photo shoot. I probably won't have time to ride it until tomorrow though..


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 7

by Larry Lagarde

Here's the entry from Contestant # 7 in the folding bike giveaway - N. Nelson of Mercersburg, PA:
I am a student at the Mercersburg Academy, a co-ed boarding school in Mercersburg, PA. I bike all fall and spring around the surrounding area.

The dilemma I face is that my bike must remain outside, where it is venerable to rust and weather. My dorm room tends to be too small to fit it in, so I see this fold-up as a solution to my storage problem.

Next year I will be a senior and will be applying to colleges which have more small rooms and limited storage. I can absolutely make this a bike that I will ride all the time and would love to have a way of keeping it in good shape in my room.
Does N. Nelson deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 6

by Larry Lagarde

Here's the entry from Contestant # 6 in the folding bike giveaway - P. Davis of Arlington, MA:

My ankles are too weak to hike.
And jogging I just do not like.
But if I only sit
I'll never get fit,
So I really need a folding bike.

Does P. Davis deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Monday, March 16, 2009

Free Bike Judging Panelists

by Larry Lagarde

Bicycle Enthusiasts Judging the Bike GiveawayAs has been announced before, RideTHISbike.com is giving away a brand new E-Z Pack folding bike on Earth Day 2009 (April 22nd). The winner will be determined based on votes from subscribers to the RideTHISbike.com newsletter as well as a panel of inspirational and respected bicycle enthusiasts. But who are the cycling enthusiasts on this panel?

Following is a list of cycling advocacy and industry leaders that have agreed to act as judges for the free bike giveaway. The judges are listed in alphabetical order.

Harvey Botzman - Rochester, NY
Harvey Botzman only rides a folding bicycle. Outfitted with both front/rear racks and always having a set of panniers on the rear racks it is always ready to go grocery shopping, to the Rochester Public Market or touring. Harvey has authored seven bicycle tour guide books, one for each of the five Great Lakes plus for New York State's Finger Lakes wine region and for the New York State Canal System including the Erie Canal.

Zahid Buttar - Orlando, FL
Zahid Buttar"Z" is a multi-time Ironman finisher and Missouri state triathlon champion. An accomplished swimmer and runner, Z's an elite cyclist in the United States Cycling Federation. He's a USAT triathlon coach that has coached international and national level racers as well as over 200 "every day Joe's" riding in long distance events in places such Santa Fe, New Mexico and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Z manages triathlons, duathlons, inline, running and cycling events throughout the USA.

Sue deRadaSue Derada - New Orleans, LA
Sue is the founder of the Bicycle & Pedestrian Action Committee (BI-PAC), a bicycling advocacy group that envisions a greenway or interurban cycling corridor through South Louisiana composed of a series of "share the road" bicycle routes.

Tony Hoar - Vancouver Island, Canada
Tony HoarTour de France veteran and dedicated bicycling advocate Tony Hoar is an engineer and respected builder of top-quality human-powered transportation devices (such as bicycles, racing wheelchairs and custom bike trailers). In addition to Tony's impressive cycling background, he remains competitive in Master's bicycle racing and has long been a fixture in the British Columbia cycling community.

Arnold KamlerArnold Kamler - Parsippany, NJ
Kent International, Inc. President and CEO Arnold Kamler has an extensive, 36 year history in the bicycle industry. In fact, with 2 generations preceding him in the business, you could say that building, distributing & selling bikes is in his blood. Recently, Kent has produced several mini folding bikes for RideTHISbike.com and is also making the soon to be released Mini 8 micro folding bike.

Kiril KunduraieffKiril Kundurazieff - Santa Ana, CA
In 2003, California cyclist Kiril Kundurazieff started one of the world's first BikeBlogs (The Cycling Dude). Dedicated to the proposition that bike riding is good for you and fun, the blog includes commentary, links, news, opinion, reviews, stories, poetry, travelogue, and occasional heads up about events.

Richard Masoner - Santa Cruz, CA
Richard MasonerRichard Masoner is a dedicated bicycle commuter and the prolific bike blogger behind CommuteByBike. His multi modal commute (via bike, bus, train and bike) spans 3 California counties and 2 transit agencies. Richard also contributes or comments frequently on a variety of other bike blogs and writes for Momentum.

Leah NeaderthalLeah Neaderthal - Chicago, IL
Leah Neaderthal founded The Chainlink (the online community for Chicago cycling) to create a sense of community among the large population of Chicago cyclists. Leah is a Senior Marketing Manager at SAVO, a Chicago software company. Despite launching a successful website while maintaining a full-time career, Leah's proudest accomplishment by far is getting her parents back on bikes and excited about cycling.

Mark SandersMark Sanders - London, UK
Mark Sanders is the pricipal of MAS Design, a product engineering firm located in the UK. Mark has created a variety of innovative products including the Strida and IF MODE folding bikes. Mark believes it essential to increase the number of "Plain Clothes" cyclists and sees regular folks as the future face of cycling.

Rick Shaffer - Wallace, ID
Rick ShafferKnown as the Prime Minister of historic Wallace, Idaho (former mining town & Biking Mecca of the Northwest), Rick is Director of Operations for the upscale Wallace Inn. He's the go to guy for info about the countless miles of paved & non-paved Rails to Trails, bikeable trestles & tunnels, abandoned logging roads and singletrack surrounding Wallace. Rick's riding supplements his need for a psychotherapist as chasing bears on his bike is one of his favorite past times.

Ira StoneIra Stone - Philadelphia, PA
Ira is a 60 year old Conservative Rabbi, published theologian and professor of Jewish Philosophy who rediscovered the joys of cycling less than 3 years ago. Since then, he's gone from pedaling 0 miles to cycling over 12 miles per day. Ira's lost 40 lbs and found cycling an ideal activity to enjoy and share with his wife of 39 years. His inspirational bike blog is proof that average Joe's can take up cycling regardless of age or physical condition & have great fun doing it.

Lauren Sullivan - New Orleans, LA
Lauren SullivanCombining her enthusiasm for cycling with a nack for community organizing and skill at computer mapping tools, Lauren is the founder and driving force behind Nola Cycle (a project to assemble the first, comprehensive, high quality and up to date cycling map of New Orleans). Mapping data is being collected by a team of volunteers pedaling the city little by little on their own time or in neighborhood mapping events.

Your name not on this list? No problem; YOU can vote too! Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 5

by Larry Lagarde

Here's the entry from Contestant # 5 in the folding bike giveaway - K. Oakley of San Jose, CA:
I am a young first grade teacher in the Alum Rock School District in a very low income area of San Jose, California. I currently drive the ten miles to my school, but that would all change if I had a bike to ride -- it'll be great for me, but an even better example for my students and families. And this bike is perfect because I could bring it into my classroom with me so it doesn't get stolen or vandalized. My husband and I make little money as educators so purchasing a bike is out of the question for us. Please help!
K. Oakley has my respect. Both of my sisters were elementary school teachers and I can tell you that's a tough job. But what I really like is that she wants to lead by example. If we all did that more, the world would certainly be a better place.

Luckily for K., the E-Z Pack folding bike is great for commutes. Folded, it's so compact that it can fit under her desk in the classroom and can be taken aboard mass transit if need be. But I digress...

Does K. Oakley deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 4

by Larry Lagarde

Here's the entry from Contestant # 4 in the folding bike giveaway - E. Strickland of So Ro, VT:
I am in DESPERATE NEED to WIN this folding bike as I haven't had a NEW one since graduating high school in 1973!

As a 50-something the bike sound like a HANDY option as I ride everywhere possible.

1,000,000 thanks!
Does E. Strickland deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Friday, March 13, 2009

Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 3

by Larry Lagarde

Here's the entry from Contestant # 3 - J. Burnette from Mercersburg PA:
I think I deserve to win this bike because I'd immediately challenge why the good citizens of Cuba are restricted from this contest. If I were to win, I'd forward the bike to Cuba in a way designed to get the greatest publicity possible.

It's insane that our biggest creditor nation is mainland China, yet for some reason Cuba still strikes fear in our hearts. What's up with that?? Are we scared that they'll get ahold of some super secret folding bike technology and send secret SWAT teams to invade us?

So anyways, give me the bike, I'll help build bridges between cultures.
Cuban SWAT teams on micro folding bikes - sounds like a possible story line for a "Red Dawn" remake. I wonder what Patrick Swayze would say...

Personally, I have nothing against Cuba; however, I was advised that giving a prize to contestants in certain countries was a major no no. Of course, if J. Burnette wins, he can do whatever he wants with the bike.

What do you think - give it to J? Sign up to vote & you become the judge. We'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prototype Mini 8 Folding Bike Coming

Mini 8 folding bikeby Larry Lagarde

Yesterday, I was notified by Kent International that they would be sending a prototype Mini 8 folding bike to me for evaluation. The bike will go out on Monday and I may have it by the end of next week.

The working prototype I'm receiving is the Mini 8 that Kent has been testing at their headquarters; it's the only working prototype in the USA at this time.

According to Kent, they are about to do the production run for the Mini 8. Due to new US safety regulations, the delivery date for the production models will be released after Kent has final confirmation that the bike is in compliance.


Los Angeles Transit Symposium Follow Up

by Larry Lagarde

I just received a follow up note from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) thanking me for exhibiting and speaking at the Technology and Innovation Symposium they held on February 4th. LACMTA (or Metro as they're known in L.A.) is the major operator of bus and rail service in Los Angeles County, California. The symposium drew more than 300 participants.

Metro also sent the adjacent photo showing me at the symposium holding the CarryMe folding bike that I exhibited and demonstrated.

Thanks Metro for the photo and the invite. The symposium was great fun and very informative.

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Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 2

by Larry Lagarde

Here's the entry from Contestant # 2 - S. Moretto from Redford, MI
I feel I should be the winner of this wonderful folding bike! I had to buy a minivan to carry my full-sized bikes everywhere, and I mean everywhere, even if I cannot ride them...I like to have one with me at all times! My current project is getting to and from Canada, and the only way to get across the Detroit River is to carry your bike on a bus, and they don't let full-sized bikes on the busses.

Yeah, I know, not much of a sob story, but it's all I have.
So at this point, who deserves the free bike: a diehard cyclist being denied from taking her current bike across the border on mass transit or "RIDE THIS BIKE.COM WESTBANK GIRL" wannabe D. Saluto? Hmmm. You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.

Maybe things aren't so bad afterall...

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bicycle Built for 5

The New Family SUV
by Larry Lagarde

This is a photo of our new family "SUV." It's a combination of a tandem bike, trail a bike and two seat bike trailer.

I'm looking forward to taking my wife and 3 of the kids on the bike trail this weekend with this setup. I'm sure it will be a hit with the kids and everyone else we encounter ;-)


Monday, March 09, 2009

New Bike Products- Fibre Flare Bike Light

Revolutionary new bike light available soon
by Larry Lagarde

One of the reasons why many road cyclists wear bright and obnoxious clothing is to keep from getting run over by inattentive motor vehicle drivers. If you're not into wearing neon orange jerseys when bicycle riding, fear not. A new option this Spring will make you highly visible even in street clothes - the Fibre Flare.

The FibreFlare is a flexible, super bright, fiber optic light. Visible from over 1000' away, this omni-directional light emitting tube offers up to 20 times more illuminated surface area than regular rear LED blinkie lights.

With the included silicone attachment slings, the FibreFlare can be mounted on seat posts, frame tubes, carry rack supports, chain stays... even on your backpack or messenger bag. In blinking mode, the 2 x AAA batteries will power the FibreFlare for up to 75 hours with a shorter burn time in steady-on mode.

When I spoke with the FibreFlare rep last year at InterBike '08, the product was so new that they didn't even have distributors but that's changed. The light will be available in the USA by the end of May '09 and I plan on offering them. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for individual FibreFlares is $39.99; however, I will be including them free with the purchase of certain bikes (like the SwissBike XO folding bike).

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Friday, March 06, 2009

IF MODE Gets Famed Worldwide iF Design Award

1st Time A Folding Bike Wins
by Larry Lagarde

IF MODE gets iF Product Design AwardThis past Tuesday at the opening of CeBit (one of the world's largest trade fairs), iF International Forum Design GmbH (iF) awarded the coveted iF Gold Award for Leisure & Lifestyle products to the MODE, the innovative full size bicycle that folds effortlessly in 3 seconds. Over the 55 years that the product design awards have been conducted, the MODE is the first folding bike to ever receive this prestigious award.

Accepting the iF gold trophy on behalf of Pacific Cycles (maker of the MODE folding bike) was Mark Sanders, the MODE's inventor and creator. Mark spoke to the audience of fellow designers and international media regarding the unique focus that Pacific Cycles' Integrated Folding MODE bicycle achieves.

iF award description for IF MODE folding bikeWhy The MODE Won
The clean and striking MODE is aimed at commuters that may not have considered cycling as a viable transportation option. MODE avoids the pitfalls of traditional bikes - high maintenance, befuddling gearing choices and awkward storage size. The result is a bike that's more inviting to own and operate as real world transportation.

How It Works
MODE features Pacific's IF (Integrated Folding) technology that offers a single-action, automatic fold that requires no tools or removal of parts. IF technology is based on a patented 3-dimensional 4-Bar linkage that automatically guides the wheels together when folding. Once folded, MODE rolls along in a convenient wheelable package.

About Pacific Cycles, Inc.
Pacific Cycles is a leading producer of bicycles for well known brands worldwide. Riding a bike is one of the most effective and immediate solutions for improving health, the environment and the economy. Multi-MODE transportation is one realistic step Pacific can take to ensure a better future for our planet.

international Forum Design logoAbout the iF Product Design Awards
The iF Product Design Award is presented annually by international Forum (iF) Design in Hannover, Germany. With a history dating back to 1953, it is one of the world's most prestigious design awards. Consumer products from all over the world compete for awards in 16 categories, including leisure and lifestyle, lighting, consumer electronics and interior design.

This year, 2,808 products from 39 countries competed for an iF award. Of the 802 products labeled for excellent designs, the 50 that scored highest in shape, performance, creativity, safety, environmental friendliness were honored with a GOLD award at the annual awards ceremony, held in Hannover on March 3. All winning products will be on public display in a large exhibition area at Hannover's exhibition grounds thru August.

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Folding Bike Giveaway - Contestant 1

by Larry Lagarde

The free bike giveaway is off and running! Here's the entry from the first contestant - D. Saluto from Louisiana.


I am from the Westbank, actually Westwego.

I have heard and seen these bikes.


If I had one, I would be the RIDE THIS BIKE.COM WESTBANK GIRL!

I'll be 45 this Christmas and I am ready to Ride this Bike NOW!


Does D. Saluto deserve to win the folding bike? You be the judge. Sign up to vote & we'll email you when the first 20 entries are in.


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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Win A Brand New Folding Bike

How would you like to win a brand new folding bike for free?

best sob story wins bikeThe economy has put the pinch on a lot of people. Even if you're out of a job, you still need to get around and a folding bike is a great way to do it. So here's the deal:

RideTHISbike.com is giving away a brand new E-Z Pack folding bike including free shipping anywhere within the USA lower 48 states. To apply, post an appeal on RideTHISbike.com explaining why YOU deserve to get a free bike. At 5pm Central Time on Earth Day 2009 (April 22nd), a brand new E-Z Pack folding bike will be awarded based on voting by readers of the RideTHISbike.com email newsletter and a panel of inspirational and respected bicycle enthusiasts (see who's on the judging panel).

How To Submit An Entry
Using the "Email Us" link listed at the bottom of this web page (just below the RideTHISbike.com telephone number), write and submit why YOU deserve to get a free bike. Entries may be no longer than 1500 words; however, to beef up your case, you may also shoot a YouTube video and include a link to that as well. Eligible entries will be posted on RideTHISbike.com.

When To Submit An Entry
Entries will be accepted from 6 March 2009 through 6 April 2009.

Eligible Entries
Anyone can enter but only US participants with a delivery address in the USA are eligible to receive a free bike. No purchase is necessary to win; however, purchase any bike from RideTHISbike.com during the entry submission dates (shown above) and you will be eligible to receive a free E-Z Pack or a $159 credit instead (your choice).

Ineligible Entries
Entries that are sexually explicit, defamatory or include cursing are ineligible; they will be disqualified from voting and will not be displayed. Residents of Cuba, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Romania, Sudan, Syria, or the province of Quebec in Canada are ineligible to participate. The Contest is void in these countries and where prohibited or restricted by law. RideTHISbike.com reserves the right to limit, or restrict upon notice, participation in the Contest to any person at any time for any reason.

How To Vote
To vote on entries, click on the "Folding Bike Giveaway - Vote Now!" link here or at the top left of this page, then enter your email address and click the "Submit" button. You will be asked to confirm your email address and will need to check the box next to "Vote On Free Bike Giveaway Entries". Once you click "Save Profile Changes", you'll be eligible to vote and voters receive 5% off the purchase cost of a bike (for details, see "5% Voter Discount" below).

Round 1
Voters will be notified weekly regarding the contest entries received. On 7 April 2009, ballots containing the contest entries will be emailed to each voter. If there are 20 or less giveaway contestants, each voter will receive just one ballot and voters will have until 21 April 2009 to submit their ballot. If there are more than 20 giveaway contestants, each voter will receive additional ballots (so voters can vote on all the contestants) and voting on these initial ballots will end on 13 April 2009 to provide time for a run off (Round 2).

Round 2
From 14 April 2009 to 21 April 2009, a second and final round of voting will occur. Voters may select from the top entrant in each group of 20 entries and may cast 1 final vote. The entrant that receives the most votes in Round 2 will win the folding bike. The winner will be announced on 22 April 2009 (Earth Day).

5% Voter Discount
Voters that purchase a bike from RideTHISbike.com by 1 May 2009 are eligible to receive a 5% discount off the purchase price. This discount cannot be combined with any other discount and is not eligible on sale items, taxes or shipping.

So what are you waiting for? Start working on that winning entry today!

NOTE: If you have any additional questions about voting, see the Voting FAQ.

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