Sausalito councillors may limit bike tourism

Sausalito councillors may limit bike tourism

golden gate bridge

CC BY 1.0 Lloyd Alter, from the Sausalito ferry after bike ride

When I first rented a bike from Blazing Saddles in San Francisco and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, it was the most beautiful ride I had done in my life. There was a song in my head that I adapted to “I wanna live in Sausalito.” I continued to tour Mill Valley, then on to Tiburon where I missed the ferry by one minute because I had stopped for ice cream, and then pedaled back to Sausalito and caught the ferry there. I did the trip again with my daughter, although that time we just went to Sausalito, spent a lot of money on lunch and took the ferry back. It is a truly glorious experience that everyone should do. I never even took out my camera until I got on the ferry, hence this bridge shot is my only photo.

Except if Sausalito councilwoman Linda Pfeifer has her way, you won’t be able to what I did. She says that there are too many of us and that the town is being overrun with tourists on bikes. She tells ABC “That’s 1,000 rental bikes a day coming into our small town, and it’s just unsustainable to have those numbers exponentially increase every year.”

Ted is right. There are thousands of tourists of all kinds coming into Sausalito on a nice day, most in big cars and taking up a lot of space in big parking lots that are all over. They spend money and have big trunks on their cars to put stuff, but cyclists spend money too, and have big stomachs to fill after the ride. They pay for their ferry ride home, too.

Councilwoman Pfeifer says cycling is dangerous: “We’re trying to ensure that people, who our our guests, will have good memories, not sad memories of bicycle accidents”. But perhaps there might be fewer accidents if she put a limit on cars, not bikes.

The ride to Sausalito is a truly transcendent experience that everyone should put on that horrible list. Councilwoman Pfeifer should try it and who knows, she might change her mind.

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Solar Impulse 2: Photos of the Historic Round-the-World Flight

A solar-powered plane has embarked on an unprecedented flight around the world. The aircraft, known as Solar Impulse 2, is designed to fly day and night without using any fuel. The plane took off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, and will circumnavigate the globe as part of an initiative that is expected to last until July. Check out these photos of the Solar Impulse 2 mission. [Read full story about the solar-powered plane’s flight]


Solar Impulse 2 took off from Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi, to kick off the first leg of its round-the-world flight. The plane’s first stop will be in Oman. (Credit: © Solar Impulse)


Solar Impulse 2 is loaded into a cargo plane to prepare for the first-of-its-kind flight around the world. The plane began its historic journey in Abu Dhabi, but will make stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, and the United States along the way. The plane will also touch down in either southern Europe or North Africa, before returning to Abu Dhabi. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |



One of Solar Impulse 2’s massive wings is loaded into the cargo plane. The ultra-lightweight aircraft has a wingspan of 236 feet (72 meters). (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |


Solar Impulse 2 is powered entirely by solar panels and onboard batteries, which charge during the day. This enables the plane to continue flying even when the sun goes down, including throughout the night. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |


Test pilot Markus Scherdel in the cockpit, during early tests of the Solar Impulse 2. (Credit: © Solar Impulse)


Solar Impulse 2 soars over fields in Payerne, Switzerland, during a test flight. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |


In 2013, Swiss pilots and Solar Impulse co-founders André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard took turns piloting a first-generation prototype of the solar-powered plane on a coast-to-coast journey across the United States. (Credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |


The Solar Impulse 2 lands after the first leg of its record-setting around the world flight. (Credit: © Solar Impulse)

10 Ridiculous Things Passengers Thought the TSA Wouldn’t Notice it or not, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) keeps an Instagram account and blog of all the contraband it confiscates from passengers. Most are guns and ammunition, but there’s also a whole lot of hilarious and bizarre items. Here are a few that the TSA has confiscated from carry-on bags. 

1. The TSA was stumped by this one. Turns out it’s weapon used by Dagoth Draven, a character from The Elder Scrolls video games.


2. An airbag was discovered in a carry-on at the Sacramento International Airport, which is contraband because the airbag’s actuator (a type of motor) is on the TSA’s list of hazardous materials.


3. James Bond-style concealed weapons turn up more than you’d think. All three of these knives were discovered at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in a single week.


4. A Batarang was found at San Antonio airport. I bet the passenger was sorry to lose this one.


5. I suppose the “stun” setting tipped the TSA off that this wasn’t an ordinary cell phone. Or maybe they were just suspicious of anybody using such old school phone. This stun gun was found at Baltimore Washington International Airport.


6. If you’re going to try to smuggle a knife on board a plane, it’s probably not a good idea to disguise it as a gun like this Baltimore Washington International Airport passenger did.


7. The FBI was called in to arrest the passenger who tried to get a homemade avalanche charge aboard a flight in Anchorage.


8. Although this souvenir monster was holding an inert grenade, that wasn’t determined until after the explosives detection professionals and law enforcement officers were called in. It turns out grenades, live or inert, are prohibited from carry-ons and checked bags. Good to know. Thank you Colorado Eagle County Regional Airport passenger.


9. This one was just a fishing lure in the shape of a grenade, but once again, TSA had to call in the explosives detection professionals and law enforcement to determine that. Never a dull moment with holiday fishers at Anchorage International.


10. Fireworks were discovered in what the TSA deemed to be a ceramicTrojan horse. Ironically, they were confiscated at the Helena Regional Airport in Montana.


Electric assisted cargo bike RAIOOO

Electric assisted cargo bike RAIOOO is stylish & pragmatic (Video)

Electric assisted cargo bike RAIOOO
From hauling groceries and kids, to getting drunk friends safely home, the cargo bike is extremely useful in urban situations and occupies a special place in many TreeHuggers’ hearts. And these hard-working bikes are a diverse bunch too, coming in folding, solar-powered or upscale, department store versions. From a team of design graduates and professors from Portugal’s Polytechnic of Viana Do Castelo comes this electric-assist cargo bike that sports a lot of style — and eco-minded materials like cork and leather details made by local craftsmen.

photo-RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility

three wheeled mobility

Dubbed Raiooo (“rai” means “spokes” and the triple O’s are a reference to the three wheels), this vehicle was designed for a comfortable and stable ride around the city for urban residents who want to get their daily errands done with a minimum of fuss.

photo-RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility

three wheeled mobility

It’s urban practicality married to the sustainable ideals of reducing waste using locally available materials and digital fabrication. The Raiooo is also an instance of various local and global, handmade and digitally made components coming together: the bike’s aluminum parts represent industrialism, while the locally made leather bags are a work of traditional craftsmanship. The leather bags are detachable, with the smaller one holding an emergency kit. The cork components and plywood panels are digitally fabricated using CNC machines; the seat was 3D-printed using the polytechnic’s digital fabrication lab, while the front fork and handlebars were made from woods like beech, mahogany, and more exotic woods like eucalyptus and sucupira.

photo-RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility

three wheeled mobility

The combination of metal, wood, leather and cork makes for a bike that looks and feels quite organic; the battery, controller and wires all hidden in the central plywood body, lending a clean look to the bike as well. Believing that the cargo bike should have a larger role to play in urban transport, the creators are working with commercial manufacturers to hopefully bring this lovely yet pragmatic prototype from design academia to the market. More about the Raiooo on Domus and Behance.

photo-RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility

three wheeled mobility

The ELF could replace a car for a lot of people
Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter)
Transportation / Bikes
March 2, 2015
TreeHugger Sami lives in Durham, North Carolina where they make the ELF, a solar and pedal powered hybrid vehicle that is “specifically designed to get the cycle-challenged out of their cars.” I recently was in Durham and visited Organic Transit with Sami, and got to try out the ELF for myself, as well as getting a factory tour.

photo-The ELF   1

The ELF 1

Here’s background from Sami if you want to catch up:
Meet the ELF: An American-built solar-powered trike
Organic Transit ELF velomobile now with two-seater option
ELF   2

The ELF is built with as many local components as possible, starting with a welded aluminum frame being handled here by former Ford exec and now General Manager Dr. Apoorv Agarwal, who gave us our tour.

ELF   3

This is the motor (750 watts in the USA) and the black thing is a continuously variable transmission for the pedals. Note how these are both designed to go in the hub of a rear wheel but are mounted in the frame instead. They are constantly refining the design of the ELF, and have found that handling is significantly improved by moving as much of the weight forward as possible. I would have thought the benefit of moving the CVT forward would be offset by the weight of the extra chain but evidently this is not the case.

The CVT (continuously variable transmission) is a relatively expensive upgrade from the standard 3-speed internal hub but for reasons that become obvious when you drive the ELF, it is worth the money.
ELF    4
It was just below freezing when I came outside to get a ride with founder Rob Cotter. However they even have a heated seat option: just take this pad of phase-changing material and stick it in the microwave. After a quick nuke you put it in behind the seat, or even around your neck.

ELF   5

That’s TreeHugger Sami, also on the tour.

ELF   6
Sami noted earlier that the ELF is great for the bicycle-challenged but it really is a bike, or actually a trike, and operates like one. The left hand controls the turn signals, horn and a twist of the handle controls the CVT; the right hand controls the throttle on the electric drive. You quickly learn that when you push the throttle and the ELF speeds up, you have to adjust the CVT on the fly to keep your pedals turning at a reasonable rate. You have to work the two together and it takes a little bit of practice.

I wonder if they shouldn’t have a pedelec motor option like Bosch makes, that I tried at CES last year. These detect the resistance on the pedals and add power as needed, reducing the need to use both a throttle and a gear shift at the same time.

ELF   7
Adding some finishing touches.

Those solar panels on the roofs don’t have enough power to drive the ELF, but they will charge its battery in eight hours, which will push the 160 pound trike with a 350 pound payload at 25 MPH for about 15 miles. Unfortunately for Organic Transport, every country seems to have its own rules, so they have to downsize the motor to 500 watts for Canadians and as low as 300 watts in other countries, all to stay within the rules for bikes.
ELF   9

It was just below freezing when I came outside to get a ride with founder Rob Cotter. However they even have a heated seat option: just take this pad of phase-changing material and stick it in the microwave. After a quick nuke you put it in behind the seat, or even around your neck.

ELF   10 ELF   11 <a

elf from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

Then I went for a ride, with Rob Cotter in the back seat. And I found that it is a terrific urban runabout, with room to carry a good shopping trip’s worth of stuff (let alone a second person) protected from the weather and wind, highly visible with great LED lighting front and back, and easy to park. I can see that in an urban milieu it could easily replace a car and since it is legally a bike, you don’t have to pay for parking or worry about rush hour parking and stopping restrictions. It costs less to buy than a car costs to operate for a year and gets the equivalent of 1800 miles to the gallon.

I think it is a plausible alternative to a car, particularly for those who are not totally comfortable on a bike. Learn more at Organic Transit.





photo-liebster award

Thank You For The Cool Trophy, Really!

Well looky here, I have been nominated for the prestigious, much coveted and fought over, LIEBSTER AWARD! I truly have to give my thanks and appreciation to Shruti of Shruti Insights, for offering me this unexpected and awkwardly wonderful opportunity. She has offered me a chance to experience a shot at the Golden Ring, the Kewpie Doll, the Final frontier of Fame and Glory in the ” Blogosphere “. I certainly would never have attempted, or volunteered for Honors such as these, on my own, so again Thank you for the inspiration, and privilege, only using my fear of shotguns or Wrathful, and thoroughly disappointed Friends, to make a man of me, and Accept this One Giant Leap For Mankind Test. Shruti, you’re the best!
So there are rules to all of this. Apparently in order to be a big shot around these parts, I have to play by THESE RULES.
Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.
Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.
Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for you nominees.
Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post.
No tag-back.


So Shruti, with much pounding of heart, I will under take this feat, and I Thank You sincerely for your having Faith and Belief in my abilities!

These are the Ten questions I get to answer!
1.Among your blog posts, which one is your favourite?
Well thank you for asking! My favorite post was a story I wrote a couple of years ago, called ” The Waiting Game”, and It was basically a true story about circumstances I had no control over. I only embellished it a tad.

2.At what time of the day do you usually write a blog post?
That is tricky because I post whenever I am either inspired by an idea, or feel like I’m not delivering enough, or not giving people what they want.

3.What is your favourite word in your native language?
Wow, I wish you hadn’t asked me that. I don’t believe I have a singular favorite word. My favorite phrase is ” Papa, I love you! ”


4.What do you like to eat in the morning?
That is an easy one, as I don’t eat in the early day. Usually I start getting hungry about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and I’m a guy so it really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it can be wolfed down easily.


5.Choose one: tea, coffee, milk, hot chocolate. Why do you choose it?
Coffee with cream and sugar. But again, I drink freshly ground dark French Roast. Oh I’m sorry, you asked why? I grew up with good coffee in the S.F. bay area, and I’ve learned coffee really is the cheapest beverage, aside from water, and I don’t like water as fish do things in it.


6.Do you have a close friend? Is there one thing that you can only do with that friend?
I am married to my bestest, closest friend, and the thing we do together, I am not allowed to publicly speak about!


7.What is your favourite book and why do you like it?
That’s a hard one, but I can safely say my nearly favorite book, if I can only name one is BattleField Earth, by L. Ron Hubbard. I like that it’s long and involved, even though some of it is rather childish, I enjoy humanity taking back their home, and making a difference out in the cosmos.


8.What do you really want to learn but you haven’t got the time to do it?
Everything! I want my education to always continue. Right now I want to learn how to make my site work for me. The part about not enough time, unfortunately takes presidence over everything.


9.What do you miss from your childhood?
I miss my mommy! She died when I was 9, and I had to grow up because of that.


10.Where will you go if you just feel bored at home?
I am not at home at present. In December, I had to come down here to Reno Nevada to help take care of my family. I don’t get bored at home, as I live on 20 acres, in the mountains, and if the trailer feels cramped I just go outside.


Now it’s time to make my own nominations for the LIEBSTER AWARD, so I hope I don’t lose any friends over this!
Random Musings And Wanderlust 
Bittersweet Sensations  babyruthbeer

Dr. J M Landin @ RedNewtGallery

Victoria Iskak   @  Raindrops & Fireflies
Margaret  @  Suds & Kisses
mboki_m  @  learning web development


And now, finally I get to ask my nominees their most dreaded and difficult to answer, questions.

1) Now that you are here in the magical realm of the blogosphere, what do you want?

2) What is your inner animal?

3) On your blog, are you public, or private, in regard to your personal self?

4) Are you happy in your present place in this life?

5) If I could give you one wish, what would that be?

6) What would be your ideal job?

7) Do you have a favorite kind of pet?

8) Are you able to discuss, religion, politics, or feelings openly, with strangers?

9) Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently, and of course, why?

10) How many fingers am I holding up?

I told you these would be formidable questions, even though I didn’t word it that way. I didn’t want to scare you away. And in advance, Thank You for playing, now take your dang football and go home!