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Bicycles

The Hidden Potential Of Bicycles

In perhaps one of the great ironies of human civilisation, mechanical devices to truly magnify human power came along as soon as we didn’t need them.  Pedal-powered devices like bicycles only appeared after coal had already begun to transform the landscape, however – mass production was necessary for the standardised metal parts — and around the same time that gasoline was first being introduced as a fuel for automobiles. We tend to forget, then, three important things about the bicycle. First, it remains the most efficient method of using our bodies, allowing us to attain higher machine speeds for longer than we would on muscle power alone – and without using any more fuel or causing any more weather to go haywire.

How Montreal Became A Year-Round Cycling Success Story

The average daily temperature in February is 26 degrees Fahrenheit, with overnight lows at 12 degrees. There are 12 days of precipitation (primarily snow). There’s a massive, 764-foot-high hill (locals call it a Mont) smack dab in the middle of the city. Who would go cycling in such conditions? Montrealers, and the city’s bikeshare program has the stats to prove it. Montreal’s bikeshare program, called BIXI, has grown exponentially since launching in 2009. With over 10,000 bikes, it has the largest fleet in Canada and one of the largest in North America.

Want Safer Streets For Everyone? Narrow The Lanes

Turns out, wider lanes don’t make for safer streets. In a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a team of researchers found that the opposite is actually true: Narrowing lanes at certain speeds could save lives. The study came from a simple observation, says lead researcher Shima Hamidi, a transportation planner and Hopkins assistant professor of American health. She noticed that the traffic lanes in U.S. cities were much wider than their counterparts in other countries. Without existing data, traffic engineers assumed that wider lanes — which left more room for driver error — would be safer.

India Is Fighting Heatwaves With Solar Cycle Tracks

This innovative new solar cycle track in Hyderabad City offers one way in which less polluting and healthier transport might contribute towards a rapid transition, despite the growing physical challenge of living with climate change-driven heat. Extreme heat is already a problem in India and deadly heatwaves are set to grow increasingly severe as global tempertures rise. According to Telegana state authorities, this is the first long-distance solar panel covered cycle track in India. Laid alongside a major highway in Hyderabad city, it has a solar roof with an installed capacity of 16 MW – enough to provide power to thousands of homes.
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