1. Roughly speaking, industrial designers focus on outward shapes, forms and aesthetics of products while mechanical engineers look to fill in that box with all the technicalities. But some of you may have a misconception that these two professionals work a world apart in industry. In fact, a February feature article in the ME Magazine (A Focus on Use, Design for Human Factors) put that idea to the grave. Not any more, it says. Its a nice article, I think, since it also discussed department cross-collaboration at the TREK Bicycle Corporation. Take a look.
2. Check out this Bike Counter, set up along the Green Path in the city of Frederiksberg in Zealand, an island in Denmark. It counts the number of cyclists passing and the idea is to encourage more cycling by displaying that number on big screen. Its always nice to see novel ideas like these in other countries. Quick question : Will it be triggered by a bystander or lets say a dog, not on a bike? :) Certainly the motion sensor should be more clever than that, eh?
3. Its official. The oldest cyclist lives in Ladysmith, a town in the KwaZulu-Natal district of South Africa. As of April 27 2007, "Mkhulu" Mkhize was a ripe 112 years old, and was still riding his bicycle around town! If he's still alive and I hope he sure is, he is 113 already! Read this neat newspaper clipping about his story in the Times of Ladysmith . By the way, did I tell you? I plan on contesting that figure, by hook or by crook. Beer, some anti-aging creams from Olay, a regimen of Botox, 12 hour daily naps and wearing helmets more often should do the trick. What do you think?
Btw, if you have no idea how to pronounce African names, Russell Peters will tell you how. Ha!
4. There's a video interview of Mark Sinyard, founder of Specialized Bicycles here on CNN Money. Like most businessmen, he too had a tough time in the early years setting up the company. Venturing into business is a risk, and having the adequate cash flow is always a problem. Its hard to imagine they came this far.
Canadian Bicycle maker Opus certainly has something different to boast about than most others - its Office Headquarters! Its the third L.E.E.D certified building in Quebec. For starters, L.E.E.D is the Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating system, developed by the U.S Green Building Council and is the accepted benchmark for the design and construction of high performance green buildings. The use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling the facility has brought down energy consumption costs while decreasing the overall energy footprint. Great going!
6. Andy over at Competitive Cyclist has a new video review of the latest Shimano Dura Ace 2009 gruppo. Its a nice, detailed video and takes you through every single component, step by step. Along with the video also comes a cross compatibility chart between Dura Ace 7900 and the older 7800 version for the curious cat.
Interbike Times recently had a video interview with Nicholas Woodman of GoPro digital cameras. These cameras are meant for the outdoor enthusiast, especially cyclists, boaters and motorbike folks. Cameras are compact, lightweight, made of impact resistant polycarbonate and can be mounted on helmets, anywhere on your bike or even wrist. This will really find a market, I believe. Its easy to lose, drop and damage conventional cameras on a biking trip and other helmet mounted designs can be cumbersome too.
Swiss Researchers found that coffee blunts blood flow during exercise (myocardial flow reserve) to the heart. I'm not a coffee drinker, and its high time people learnt that injesting a lot of this nonsense isn't good for you, leave alone provide any athletic performance boosts.
9. The mother of a 13-year old is sueing Walmart for an improperly assembled bicycle. Due to the crappy bike, the young boy took a harsh spill that broke his right collarbone, gave him a torn labrum and an AC joint injury, excluding other injuries that he obtained on his head and neck. I was so angry after reading this but hey whats new? Walmart bikes SUCK, so are the unqualified people behind its operations. Read this article from Madison Record. Please spend your money wisely.
Reports have surfaced that President Bush sold his TREK on Craigslist and Mr. Barrack has picked it up. Okay, fine that report was concocted by me but will you check out that rear tire? Surely someone can advise him on the importance of pressure as in PSI's? Sometimes pressure is good for you! And what is that ugly snake like thing on his seat post? A divine halo of the rear wheel, fender on steroids or is he towing Mrs. Clinton along for the ride?
Finally, for the chill out section. Here's a special pick from a great band. Ignore the initial crappy sponsor message, if any.