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The Ingenious Bike Bells you (Probably) Can’t Buy

Check out this homemade bike bell system I came across in Madagascar. The owner of the bike — perhaps the inventor — was more than happy to demonstrate. I was visiting the Cold Water Geysers of Analavory. I was not commuting per-se; I was being a tourist. The geysers are not a natural phenomenon, but […]

Life with an Abundance of Roadside Bike Mechanics

I just pumped a tire for the first time in 10 months. Not because I haven’t had a flat. I have. Not because I ride on my rims when my tires are flat. I don’t (usually). It’s because between my house and my workplace there are at least six roadside bike repair guys. I live […]

Volvo Life Paint is the equivalent of Colt Camo Paint

The NRA convention just concluded a few days ago, and let me say that I had a great time — not being there. But I’ve been thinking about the NRA for the last week because of the ongoing fuss over Volvo “Life Paint” — the amazing new reflective paint that Volvo thinks will bolster their […]

A Child’s Bike that Says Bikes are for Adults

I bought a bike in Madagascar. I met a kid in the town of Mahajanga. Five years old and full of attitude. I couldn’t understand much of what he said in Malagasy, but bicyclette came through loud and clear. He wanted one, bad. I told him I’d work on it. A month later I heard […]

Pro Tip: Hauling and Treating Questionable Water

There are lot of photos of my left hand and arm in this post. But if you look closely, you’ll see a couple of bikes. Some bicyclists do need to carry water — a few yards, or even miles from where the water will be consumed. It’s the way of the world, but maybe not […]

Riser Bars become Drop Bars South of the Equator
(and more Science from Madagascar)

We all know for a fact that toilets and drains swirl counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. (And by “fact” I mean “falsehood.”) But did you know that south of the equator riser bars become drop bars? That’s right. I have the scientific proof from Madagascar. Check it out: […]