Brooks England: B66, Brown

The B66 and B66 S are among BROOKS’s most loved products, having been on the market since 1927. Classically sprung with double rails for supreme comfort, B66 and B66 S are the ideal all-rounders for daily city or touring use in a rather upright posture. They are most appropriate for cyclists who set their handlebars higher than their saddles. In general, the more upright your riding posture, the wider, and more heavily sprung, the saddle you should choose.

we’re changing name to “One box, two legs & fourteen islands”

In the U.S., “Cargo Bikes” are becoming quite popular with families, especially in pedal-friendly communities. Families are using the bikes to do everything they do with cars — taking the kids to school, hauling groceries or running errands — without the hassle of finding parking. Some do it to help the environment or to exercise, while others say it is an easier, more fun way to get around. – Wikipedia

Stay tuned.

Riding a bike for an hour extends cyclist’s life by same time, say Dutch researchers

Riding a bike for one hour extends the average cyclist’s life by the same amount of time, according to a study in the Netherlands, which also found that they live six months longer than people who do not ride bikes.

living the dream

Some say Sweden is the most Americanized country in the world. I’m not so sure it’s the 51st state yet but it’s definitely going in that direction.

Driverless vehicles have been wandering around Sweden for a while already and it’s become normal to read things like “Snowplow runs cyclist over” or “She was run over by a black Golf” even in the most influential newspapers. I hadn’t read the “Oops, wrong pedal!” (very popular in the U.S. and New York City in particular) gambit yet though but it’s finally here and Sweden is definitely catching up.

Oops, wrong pedal!
Oops, wrong pedal!

Motorist pressed the wrong pedal – drove off the road.

Hagsätra. It can go bad if one mistakes the gas for the brake.
Police was called out to Hagsätravägen after a motorist drove down a hill and into a parking lot last week.
This was the result of a driving student mistaking the gas pedal for the brake. Both the student and the driving instructor had to go to the hospital.

No one else was injured but we might not be as lucky next time it happens around a playground or a busy terrace. I would have liked to read that the student and instructor had been charged with something because that kind of “mistake” means they both should, in my book, never be allowed behind the wheel again. Ever.

rain, wind, rain, rain, wind, rain, wind, wind and… rain

The correct number of bikes to own is 4

There was a time when I thought n+1 was the right number of bicycles I had to own. But as I grew older and got other things and people to spend time with and take care of, more equipment did not mean more time in the saddle.

Quite the opposite actually and I sure never really needed these two Centurion Le Mans mixte bicycles I’ve had for almost 6 years and barely used. I wanted them gone before winter and put an ad on Blocket (Sweden’s Craigslist) in October last year. I quickly realized I’d better be selling skis at that time of year though.

Centurion Le Mans Mixte, Blocket

That horse was in pretty good condition and I had just replaced both tires with brand new Schwalbe but a guy actually offered me less than half the price I was asking for to, and I quote, “help me get rid off it”. I removed the ad instead and put it back online last week: the horse was sold less than a hour later. Blocket in a nutshell.

I’ve now got 4 bikes -a commuter to display the Brooks saddle I got when I turned old, a full suspension mountain bike to jump on & off curbs in the neighborhood, a cyclocross to ride on roads and a hard-tail mountain bike to carry my kid around- and it’s about the right number.

Stockholm hasn’t had such a rainy month at this time of year for more than two centuries

Sweden hasn’t experienced such a wet May since 1962, according to meteorologists, with double the average rainfall for this time of year across much of the Nordic nation.
The capital bore the brunt of the recent downpours. In fact, Stockholm hasn’t had such a rainy month at this time of year for more than two centuries and the recent soggy weather has dampened a number of major events in the city including the annual marathon.1

According to meteorologists it’s been raining quite a lot in May. It didn’t take me complex mathematical models and insanely expensive hardware to figure that out but I guess that sort of lines are for people who never go out so keep up the good work, you’re on the right track! Now if you want cheap and accurate weather data you could also ask any daily bicycle commuter in the streets and she could tell you that. She probably wouldn’t know about two centuries ago but even if she said so you couldn’t prove otherwise.

If there’s one thing cyclists don’t like and don’t forget though, it’s wind. She could also tell you it’s been windier (last year was also windy) than all those years (at least two centuries) she’s spent in the saddle around Stockholm. So back to work weather boys, you’ve got a cyclist to catch and question!


Brooks England: Cambium C15 Carved, Slate

The Cambium C15 Carved shares the same narrower shape as the existing Cambium C15, but with an ergonomic cut-out to provide relief from discomfort in the perineal area, experienced by some cyclists.
This “registered cutting, a sure preventive to all perenial pressure” is also to be found in the saddles of the Brooks Imperial line.
Made from vulcanised natural rubber and organic cotton top, combined with a die-cast aluminium structure and tubular steel rails. For performance, a distinct dampening effect is delivered by the classic Brooks “hammock” construction keeping the rider in unparalleled comfort mile after mile.

thank you for cycling – May 27, 2015 – tack för att du cyklar

On May 27, the City of Stockholm and Naturskyddsföreningen (the most influential non-profit environmental organization in Sweden) will give goodie bags to cyclists around Stockholm as a thank you for riding a bicycle (“tack för att du cyklar”).

Cycling in Stockholm

In order to get one of the bags you will have to ride by one the following 17 check points:

  • Alvik (Alviksplan)
  • Hornstull
  • Ekelundsbron (Solna)
  • Slussen
  • Årstabron
  • Skanstull
  • Götgatan (by Katarina bangata) – bike service available
  • Hammarbyfärjan (Södermalm)
  • Roslagstull (north side) – bike service available
  • Stadshuset – bike service available
  • Norrtull
  • Lidingöbron (Ropsten side)
  • Sankt Eriksplan
  • Raoul Wallenbergs torg
  • Älvsjö station (by the bicyle pump)
  • Kista – bike service available
  • Hökarängen

Will you commute by bike on May 27 and ride by one of the check points to get a bag? What do you think the goodies will be this time? Or, if you’re reading this afterwards, what did you get?

Sthlm Bike goes Royal

Sthlm bike, the world’s most beautiful bicycle race, is back with a new route on September 6.

This year’s ride (Sthlm Bike is a non-timed race so take it easy and enjoy the scenery) is a bit longer (48 kilometers) than last year’s (42 kilometers) and has been given a new – Royal – dimension according to the race organizers: “We will not just ride through Stockholm’s beautiful landscape but the route will take us from castle to castle.”

Stockholm bike, route, 2015

We’ll start at the Royal Palace and head to the islands of Djurgården where we’ll bicycle by Rosendal Palace followed by Kungliga Djurgårdens Förvaltning (no idea how to translate that but that’s where coffee and snacks will be served).
We’ll then continue towards Ulriksdal Palace where you’ll get a chance to refill your water bottles and bring your blood sugar levels up. We’ll then head back towards the city via Haga Palace and Hagaparken.
From Sveavägen on we’ll ride through the city to the finnish line: City Hall (don’t forget your blood sugar levels), Kungsholmen, Fredhäll and Södermalm. Breakfast will be served at the Royal Garden.

I really enjoyed last year’s ride and will definitely join this year with a couple of friends. I suggest you join too and register already.

Registration starts now and will remain open until August 27 or until all 3,000 entries sell-out.

as if you needed one more good reason to ride a bicycle to work…

… SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik AB, the organisation running all of the land based public transport systems in Stockholm County) is giving you plenty during the upcoming weeks (months even).

From the 2nd of April at 04:00 to the 6th of April at 09:00 commuter trains will be cancelled in both directions between Stockholm C and Älvsjö. But that’s only the first reason.

Train commuters living south of Stockholm (Årsta) will be hit even harder next and should consider bicycle commuting to work rather soon: commuter trains will not be stopping at Årstaberg from the 6th of April (week 15) to the 2nd of August (week 31). That’s 17 weeks. SEVENTEEN weeks.

And last but not least, if one thought she would do just fine and travel by tram to Liljeholmen or Gullmarsplan to catch the red or green subway lines, one was wrong. Trams between Alvik and Sickla udde won’t run at all in July. Summer holidays I believe. Like last year.

As if you needed one more good reason to ride a bicycle to work, SL just delivered. Once again. Do you really want to fork 790 SEK out each month (or 300 SEK each week) for all the troubles? I sure don’t.

Don’t bother with longer and chaotic journeys with them. Get a bike already. For your own sake.

the times they are a-changin

Stockholm will probably not become a much less car-centric city overnight but talks and decisions begin to point in that direction and keep hope alive.

During summer 2012 Stockholm’s first indoor bicycle parking facility (capacity of 350 parking spaces) opened next to the train station in Älvsjö. Another one (capacity of 200 parking spaces) should be ready when the Odenplan station (along the Stockholm City Line1) opens in 2017 and now a third garage (capacity of 700 parking spaces) is planned next to Södra station (Stockholm South)2.

That’s good news for a lot of commuters and I just find it unfortunate that Dagens Nyheter chose to fuel the bikes versus cars debate and focus, right in the title, on the fact that the facility will not be opened for cars. Should a garage always be built with room for cars? No. How many cars can you park instead of 700 bicycles anyway? Not many. So why write such a thing?

The Bicycle Snake, Copenhagen
The Bicycle Snake, Copenhagen

Like it or not growing cities around the world can’t and won’t develop with private cars as the inevitable mode of transport in mind.

Stockholm, more than ever, has to concentrate on walking and cycling infrastructure and build a better mass transit system even if that means taking public space back from off-street and on-street parking facilities. There are around 36,000 on-street parking spots in central Stockholm (28,000 twenty years ago) and 1,500 are soon going to disappear to make room for the first of four planned dedicated bus lanes3. There’s no reason one should be stuck in traffic when using public transportation. Is there?

These two measures were in the news yesterday. They are likely to be followed by others. They’re going to piss off a few people and be labeled as green propaganda among other things. But hey. The times they are a-changin. Always.