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Author Archive

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: […]

17 Bike Commuting Accessories Schlepped 10,000 Miles

More than ten thousand miles from where I sit, there is a storage unit filled with the other 99 percent of my life’s accumulated crap; the stuff I left behind when I shipped off to Madagascar. This includes all four of my bikes. I crammed that unit full of my material attachments like a minor […]

‘Transportation Colonialism’ and Inequality

  Before coming to Madagascar I spent a lot of time organizing my storage unit — and getting pulled into the kind of distracted, time-consuming reminiscing that happens whenever I get near all my old junk. I came across this booklet: “Transportation Patterns in Nairobi & Programs to Improve Opportunities for Bicycling [PDF]” published by […]

Tananarivize’ – Bike Commuting in Madagascar’s Capitol

After a week in Madagascar, I finally got a bike! I rode home to my apartment, taking selfies all the way. That week without a bike served me well. I spent some time on foot, in taxis, taking small public transportation buses (taxi brousse), and bumming rides from various colleagues with their SUVs. I observed […]

Ebola and its Rival Killer: Cars

Note: This was written on September 21, 2014 Not too long ago I announced that I would be working in Madagascar for a number of months. Well here I am, in Madagascar. I arrived today. Ever since that announcement the one topic that has come up repeatedly has been… Can you guess it? Ebola!   […]

Wheel Spikes for Bikes?

I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately. A lot. Recently I was driving on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. I noticed something — some things — poking off of the front wheel of a semi truck: spikes jutting out several inches from each wheel lug where only short nuts should be necessary. Naturally […]