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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Job Posting in Vancouver - Tricycle Mechanic

VANCOUVER, CANADA

Shift urban cargo delivery is a worker co-operative that uses cargo tricycles to deliver goods in the downtown core of Vancouver. Their vision is to build community resilience by transforming the urban goods movement industry, and by shifting the way business is done.

And they are currently looking to hire a Lead Tricycle Mechanic for a permanent full-time position (30 – 40 hours / week).

Wage: $15/hr start (additional benefits & wage increase with time)
Start Date: As Soon As Possible

Applications are due by the end of Sunday July 15th. APPLY TODAY!

Send a cover letter and resume in your application and send it to shifthiring@gmail.com

Questions??? Contact shifthiring@gmail.com or phone 778-231-2866.

Full posting and details can be found at
www.shift.coop or www.facebook.com/ShiftDelivery

They are also hiring Tricycle Delivery People. Huzzah!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Best Craigslist Ad for a Bicycle EVER

Go visit http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/bik/3120277331.html to see the actual ad for the bicycle. Here is the photos shown in the ad:



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The LDN Concept Bicycle you can actually Buy

The thing about concept bicycles is that they are interesting and often beautiful to look at, but they almost never get built or sold. They are a bit like avant garde fashion designers. Amusing but nobody would ever actually wear that in public.

Enter the LDN bicycle shown here on the right.

Its a concept bicycle, but its actually being produced and sold.

It is the creation of British designer Ross Lovegrove, and unlike other concept bicycles which were basically designed by 5-year-olds with access to Autocad and with ill-conceived notions of what a bicycle could look like (without any engineering background to make it actually work) this bicycle DOES work and look interesting at the same time.

FORM + FUNCTION = Huzzah!

So one of the first things you may notice about the LDN ("London") is that it has that big hole in the frame in the middle... A hole which in theory may make it more difficult to lock it up. The hole is meant for hanging the bicycle on the wall apparently like its a piece of engineering artwork.

And if you're a fan of locking your wheels to the bike to prevent wheel theft you will notice that the frame doesn't really allow that either. This therefore is not a good bicycle if you're intending to have it locked up outside regularly. The designer apparently wants you to carry it indoors, hang it above your mantlepiece (how many people have that?) and admire it while sipping Scotch and enjoying your faux fireplace.

Thus as a "London" bicycle its not really practical because as you can see below most people in London support locking their bicycles outside.


Ross Lovegrove designed the LDN for a company called Biomega and they're marketing it for use in the city and keep using the word "urban tool" in their marketing, which seems silly because its not practical for urban use... It does have some nice features like hub gears and a covered shaft draft which keeps everything clean in contrast to the standard exposed chain links design.

The LDN is also not female friendly if you like riding in a skirt or dress, but hey, that is a common enough problem for female cyclists when it comes to finding a bicycle that matches their skirts.

OUR REVIEW???

2 stars out of 5. It may be pretty and it may be sold, but it just isn't practical for city use. Not very practical for trail riding either. So really only practical for small towns with zero crime.

What happens when your lock key breaks?

If you've ever had a lock key break you instantly realize that if you're ever going to get your bicycle back that you will have to cut the lock off.

Such was the case when an ex-girlfriend of mine in Spring 2011 who had an El-Cheapo lock from a dollar store. The key snapped off in the lock and tried as we could to budge the remaining bit of key using vice grips to try and turn the key, it just wouldn't move. (We think its inability to move was why the key snapped off in the first place.)

Anywho, what were we to do? She needed that bicycle and it was locked to the fence over top of my bicycle (which meant I couldn't get my bicycle out of there until we removed hers).

So I went to Canadian Tire, purchased a bolt cutter and we cut the lock off in less than 5 seconds. It was ridiculously easy to cut off a dollar store cable lock.

However since then I've learned that other cable locks aren't much better when another friend lost their key. They had a more expensive cable lock, but the end result was a $10 to $15 cable lock takes about 20 seconds to cut through with a bolt cutter. The cable wires basically squish out sideways, slowing down the cutting process. Still at 20 seconds that is basically very little effort.

For myself I place all my trust in my U-lock. But even U-locks aren't perfect as they can be cut through using a grinder as you can see in the video below.



In the video it takes him about 35 seconds. He says 25 seconds in the video but if you actually count the seconds from 1:20 in the video when he starts the grinder to 1:55 when he stops it then it takes approx. 35 seconds to cut off a U-lock of that type.

Some U-locks, depending on the company, can take between 5 minutes to 20 minutes to grind off. Certain chain locks can also be grinded off in roughly the same time or less.

El-Cheapo chain locks can be removed with just a bolt cutter.

What it makes you realize is just how easily bicycle locks can be removed if you have the right tools (even faster if you had a lightsabre, teehee).

HOW TO PREVENT YOUR BICYCLE FROM BEING STOLEN

Speaking as someone who has NEVER had their bicycle stolen I will however say that there are other ways beyond the lock which will deter bicycle thieves.

#1. Always get a high quality U-lock. The longer it takes to grind off the better. Research videos online which show how long it takes to remove the lock.

eg. It is apparently super easy to remove a Masterlock U-lock with nothing more than a broken pen if you watch the following video. So hot tip, don't buy a Masterlock.



#2. Always ride a bicycle that doesn't look that good. Thieves usually go after the good looking bicycles that can be easily sold. If your bike looks like a crappy beater they are less likely to steal it.

#3. NEVER lock your bicycle out by the street in a place where it is easily noticed by thieves and leave it there for days and days. Especially in a bad neighbourhood. Even if it isn't stolen by thieves it can still be removed by city officials who look for bicycles to be removed. ALWAYS lock your bike near your building to a more secure location.

#4. Paint your name and phone number on the bicycle frame using bicycle paint or some other kind of paint that is difficult to remove. Bicycle thieves are lazy. They don't want to waste time removing your name and phone number in an effort to sell the bicycle.

#5. ALWAYS remove the seat and take the seat with you. Thieves don't want to steal a bicycle without the seat because it will take them extra effort to sell it or steal a seat from someone else.

Basically in combination, a u-lock, a crappy looking bike, your name/phone number on it, a secure location, the lack of a seat will deter bicycle thieves from stealing your bike. Thieves are lazy that is why they are thieves in the first place. They aren't going to go through all the extra trouble required with that combination of things to steal and sell your bike when they could just steal an easier target with an el-cheapo lock instead.

GPS TRACKING DEVICES FOR YOUR BICYCLE

Thanks to technology you can also now get tracking devices for tracking down your bicycle after its been stolen. Its not really a deterrent to people stealing your bicycle because if they have the right tools they can just cut off or remove the tracking device (if they notice it), but in the event it is stolen you may be able to recover your bicycle.

Here is some GPS tracking devices available via Amazon. Some of them are designed more for cars or tracking people, but they can also be used for bicycles.

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