Proposal to ban school drop off by car. Bonkers or brilliant?

The idea of a ban on parents dropping-off their kids outside school by car has been proposed the incoming president of the Faculty of Public Health Professor John Ashton. He believes a Victorian sense of ambition is required if an entire generation is not to be written off due to poor diet and a lack of exercise.

The forthcoming challenge for Professor Ashton and society at large is that inactive lifestyles are a reflection of a cultural resistance to change and institutionalised fear.

For example, the Schonrock family, of Dulwich, west London, made headlines a couple of years ago when it came to light that their children, aged eight and five, regularly cycled one mile to school along quiet back roads, alone. It was reported at the time that the school’s headmaster threatened to report them to social services.

Read the full article here at the ETA.

Lumigrids the #pothole detector for cyclists

If you have ever hit a pothole in the dark you will be interested it this. It has won a RedDot Design Concept Award and you can see the concept below.

The idea is that an LED projection is made on the road in grid form. Any distortion of the grid is noticed by the rider, indicating a distortion of the road surface. Potholes are a great deal more difficult to see in the dark as they are in daylight.

Could this save some falls? I am not sure as I wonder how clear the grid would be if it was projected at the same time as a powerful cycle light, would the grid not just be washed out? Perhaps the inventor has thought of that and will make allowances.

As an idea, for drawing the human eye to anomalies ahead, I wonder if it would be useful projected further ahead for higher speeds. I mean I wonder if it could be useful for vehicles.

Saudi Arabian women’s cycling ban is lifted if they wear a full-body abaya, are with a male relative, and stay within parks

In 2013 millions of women are prevented in law from using bicycles.

The late Kim Jong Il made it illegal for women to ride bicycles in North Korea after the daughter of one of his generals was killed riding a bike. The current leader, Kim Jung Un, rescinded the law last year but appears to have reinstated it according to the newspaper, Daily NK, Not only have women been stopped from riding their own bicycles, they are now prevented them from travelling on them as passengers. Bonkers!

The ban on women riding bicycles in Saudi Arabia has been lifted according to reports by Al Jazeera and daily newspaper al-Yawn. But with conditions.

Head of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, is quoted as saying that it’s not the commission’s “job to search or follow women who drive bikes”. But an unnamed official quoted in Al-Yawn was more forthright saying; women can now ride bicycles on the proviso that they wear a full-body abaya, be accompanied by a male relative, and stay within parks and recreational areas.

Women are now permitted to cycle there for recreational purposes only, but not as a primary mode of transportation. What would York’s cycling strategy, or traffic congestion, be if it were the law here?

Lightweight folded plastic tricycle camper with bath and shower included. Extreme large scale #origami

The tiny tricycle mounted house is the creation of the people at peoples-products.com.

It is made from lightweight plastic that has been cut with a CNC router, scored, folded and welded into shape. The polypropylene plastic bodywork can expand like an accordion to create more space, and connect to other houses. The translucent plastic allows the interior to be lit by the sun during the day or street lamps at night.

Camper van or festival luxury? Inside the panels fold out to create a cosy place with two bunks and a little bath.

I like this. Perhaps I should suggest one to my wife as the next holiday solution. Perhaps not! See the YouTube for more:

Mean looking thief-proof bicycle lights

These lights look seriously mean because they shaped like the bullet chamber of a revolver.

Shaped like that I can imagine someone modelling a barrel and a handle and sticking them on. Imagine seeing a bike with what looks like a colt 45 clamped to the handlebars! Cars drivers would give you a wide berth. Then again you might get chased by armed police believing they have a serial killer in their sights.

It is called the Defender and is not yet in production, but soon will be.

According to the inventors it is designed to stay permanently locked to the handlebars. As 1 in 3 city cyclists have had their lights stolen and 80 per cent frequently forget their lights at home, this should do well.

It takes 30 seconds to attach the light and once in place a special tool is required to remove it. The light is constructed from aluminium, features six LEDs and can run for 100 hours powered by its three AA batteries. As you would expect from a light designed to never leave the handlebars of a bicycle, it is entirely waterproof.

Kickstarter is an online Dragons’ Den that allows people to pledge modest amounts of money to help entrepreneurs get their designs into production. In the case of the Defender, an investment of $50 (around £30) will buy one when the light goes into production. The recommended retail price is expected to be around $70.

I think it will do well.