The Monday Roundup: David Bragdon, hands-free navigation & more

The Monday Roundup: David Bragdon, hands-free navigation & more

Rails to Trails Conservancy meeting-4.jpg

Bragdon, left, at a Rails to Trails
Conservancy meeting in 2008.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Today’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Portland real estate broker Leigh Perretta. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Leigh wants to show prospective home buyers a “love nest” in Linnton between the St. Johns bridge and Sauvie Island with river and mountain views that’s “just minutes from the City’s best cycling.” Contact Leigh via email for a private showing.

And now, here’s the bike news from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Bragdon in Gotham: Four years after he fled to New York, calling Portland complacent and analysis-obsessed, former Metro President David Bragdon is saying nuanced things about both his cities — and about the “mysterious blend of arrogance and humility” that makes great leaders. Highly recommended. (Including the forelock-themed graphic.)

Hands-free bike navigation: CycleNav, which attaches to your handlebars, is “the first navigation device that, when connected to a smart phone via Bluetooth, provides audio commands and visual light indicators to direct riders to their desired destination.” $60.

Fat biking matures: As fat biking becomes “a real live sector” of the mountain market, it’s going to need some rules, an industry expert told the annual Fat Bike Summit.

Flying bike lights: “The product design firm that brought the world the Sony Walkman” has a new idea: flying drones that soar in front and behind road bikers to alert nearby drivers to their presence.

Simple protection: A row of inches-tall “armadillos” was part of the recipe for boosting traffic on one London bike lane by 40 percent.

Truck regulation: Every truck entering London will soon be required to have side guards to prevent people from being dragged under the wheels.

Theft recovery: We Bike Eugene has a twist-and-turny story from a man who used elbow grease, the Internet, an ounce of deceit and a bunch of good friendships to recover his stolen bike.

Uber dangerous: Better not get hit by someone using Uber, the turn-your-car-into-a-taxi mobile platform — if they get distracted while using Uber’s phone app to locate their next fare, the company will try to avoid covering their liability.

The littlest lawmakers: “Another reason I think it should be the state sport is because it is awesome,” Alysia Prentice, one of a contingent of Delaware elementary school students who showed up to lobby state legislators to honor bicycling.

Amazing road diets: A before-and-after sliding photo tool is the perfect way to show off 25 of New York City’s most transformative road diets.

Enforcement machines: Six speed cameras near New York City schools have issued 900 tickets in two weeks to cars driving more than 10 miles over the limit. Each ticket is $50.

Pothole lawsuit: Following on a recent British case, an Arizona man has won a $426,000 settlement from his city after a pothole in a bike path caused him to crash.

Not so green: As China cracks down on exports of rare earth metals, the search for tomorrow’s Prius batteries is now tearing up part of Quebec.

Slow car growth: In Multnomah County from 2002 to 2012, “the number of registered vehicles grew by less than 1 percent, even as the population grew by 11 percent.”

Freeway slayer: It wasn’t visionary officials that made Vancouver BC the continent’s greenest city: it was an anti-freeway movement led by an immigrant garment worker. High Country News has the inspiring story.

Atlanta’s disaster: Snow locked down Atlanta streets last week, but is snow really to blame in a metro area so wedded to the automobile? A longtime Atlantan blames her own city.

Conference fatigue: Mikael Colville-Andersen is ruefully familiar on bike conferences: “So, what do you think? Anything new?” he asked 10 random colleagues. “They all replied, ‘no, not really.’ But the meatballs were delicious.”

Efficiency infographic: I’m not sure how this infographic calculated the “efficiency” of 12 different types of pedaled vehicles, but it’s a nice concept.

Speed compulsion? Whether they’re on bikes or in cars, many people can’t seem to stop for an Albany rail crossing where a train killed a young man on a bike last month. A yard worker says he’s seen as many as 10 people run the gates in a single hour.

Bikeway nomenclature: Des Moines is using a simple, intuitive name for its first neighborhood greenway: a “quiet street.” Brilliant!

Dropout Club alumnus: Not only was the late Pete Seeger one of the many famous people to drop out of Harvard, he was one of the many famous people to bike across the country. In 1938.

Can you guess why one of our videos of the week was banned from TV in Scotland? I’ll post the answer as the first comment.

And for some fun, check out this hilarious “How to be a Road Biker” video put out by

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

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