Today I’m bringing you a buffet of interesting morsels from around the world-wide internetz:
Photo by Gus Chan, The Plain Dealer
Growing bike rack business run by homeless men
When Cleveland was shopping for bike racks to install around the city a few years ago, they were forced to look out-of-state because there was no local option. Now, thanks to a program known as Metro Metal Works, there is. Run by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, the program cranks out bike racks at a local homeless shelter, employing people on the skids—many of whom are homeless or just out of prison. The program is so successful that Lutheran Metro has purchased a bigger warehouse space with room for more powerful welders.
Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer
The ‘Best Bike-Sharing Program in the United States’
You might not think of Washington D.C. when you think of natural environments for a bike sharing system, but today it is the United Stats’ most popular and successful program of its kind. It took countless people to make the dream a reality, but the root of the idea, Slate writes, can be traced to a graduate student’s late-night idea two decades ago. One of the most interesting takeaways from the piece: Capital Bikeshare’s largest number of employees are actually drivers—members of teams who redistribute bikes from locations with an excess to locations without.
Coffee and bikes, together at last
There’s no doubt the most important beverage for any cyclist—after water—is coffee, and espresso no less. Two product designers combined their love of both into a coffee-vending trike for off-the-grid delivery at festivals, street fairs, or anywhere really. Dubbed Velopresso, it was designed from the ground up as a rear-steer trike with a low carbon footprint, near silent operation, and the finest espresso available. The production model is expected to go into manufacturing in the UK this year, no word yet on prices. Wish I had one of these parked outside…
Designers redesign the bike—again
And finally, in yet another example of designers turning the bicycle into something it’s not: Designaffairs have built a bicycle they’re calling Clarity from a polymer called Trivex that’s completely clear. Used mostly in helicopter windshields and jet fighter canopies, it can made into any shape by injection molding. Designaffairs says it has “high impact resistance, lightweight properties and a gentle flexibility that usually would only be expected on an old Italian steel frame,” which is odd, because old Italian steel frames have none of those things.