Bicycles on the brain and in the news

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND –  (and the EU, Israel, Malaysia, UK, US, Zambia) Following last week’s snow dumping and recovering from a vicious chest cold, I took a “virtual” bike tour of the web to air out my brain and found a few gems worth mentioning.

Who would’ve thunk Top Gear’s James May was a bikers best friend? May sings the praises of cycling in a recent blog post, but says cyclists are in his experience, sad sacks who must “cheer up or fall off.”

It’s official, or nearly, now you can ride to work in style on recycled paper thanks to Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni’s cardboard cruiser.

Gafni’s creation costs a mere USD 9 to produce, is a visual stunner,  is made from mostly recycled cardboard treated for water and flame resistance, and weighs just 9 kilos. The inventor is currently arranging mass production with bikes selling for under USD60. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

Looking for a “natural sourced” bike frame? Check out Bamboo Bike Studio‘s bamboo frame kits starting at USD699 (components extra).

In less virtuous news, Zambia’s former Minister of Mines is on trial for allegedly stealing 20 bicycles destined for small-scale farmers. Really? this guy gives the Grinch a good name.

Tired of looking for a handy bike rack or a sign post to lock your bike, wheels and saddle to? Ma-Sistemas “Biceberg” and Bigloo concepts could change your mind about biking to work…The secure, under and above ground bicycle storage designs allow you to stow a bike, helmet and minor accessories in a rotating bike locker, retrievable via an interface similar to an ATM machine. Very cool indeed (especially the underground), remains to be seen just how many municipalities will find these cost effective…

Yeah for the Malaysian Tourism Ministry! In a move to promote bicycle tourism in the country, the Ministry is encouraging airlines to waive additional fees for bicycle baggage.

Related to a favourite peeve of mine (e-bikes masquerading as bikes), the European Parliament has voted to separate legislation for pedal power cycles and E-bikes. Thanks EP.