Voter Lookup

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It’s election time again. For those that live in Albuquerque, Early Voting ends on Nov 1st and the General Election is Nov 4th. I am not going to endorse any candidates here just offer you a few resources so that you can educate yourself on the candidates about the issues that are the most important for you. For me that is representatives that support biking and walking infrastructure and access to healthy whole foods. I believe voting is very important, as well as talking to your representatives.

For more information on New Mexico candidates click here, or check out the League of Women Voters Guide for your state by searching League of Women Voters + the name of the state where you are a registered voter. These web guides will have all the same information found in the print edition.

For information on how your House and Senate Representative voted on food policy go here. I like this document be it lists all the food related legislation that was introduced this year, good and bad, who introduced it and how each representative score as a whole for the year.

 

until tomorrow

 

 

BICYCLING 3 HOURS A WEEK CAN REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE AND STROKE BY 50%

p4b

 

The National Bike Challenge website has the above statistic (title of this post) on today’s slide show. Throughout the challenge I have wondered where the NBC organization gets most of their statistics (like many websites, they never site their sources). With a quick Google search I found my answer. The People for Bikes organization as a Statistics Library site.  Now this is my kind of library, nothing but statistics that links to the research publication. It’s a factoid nerd’s paradise.

 

I thought for today I would just list a few that I found the most interesting, for a full listing go here. The ones on pollution exposure really surprised me.

On the same urban route, car drivers were exposed to more airborne pollution than cyclists, despite the cyclists’ higher respiration rates.
Rank, J., et al., 2001Differences in cyclists and car drivers exposure to air pollution from traffic in the city of Copenhagen, The Science of the Total Environment, 279, 131-36

Kids who ride a school bus inhale up to a million times more vehicle emissions than the average person outside the bus
Marshall, J., and E. Behrentz, 2005Vehicle self-pollution intake fraction: Children’s exposure to school bus emissions, Environmental Science and Technology, 39, 2559-2563

Despite the fact that cyclists breathe two to three times more air than motorists, motorists breathe about 60% more carbon monoxide and significantly more pollutants than cyclists.
Van Wijnen, V., et al., 1995“The exposure of cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians to traffic-related air pollutants,” International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 67, 187-93

Over time, people who commute by car daily tend to gain more weight than those who do not, even if they are physically active at other times.
Sugiyama, T. et al. 2013Commuting by Car: Weight Gain Among Physically Active Adults, Am. J. of Preventative Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 2

After a bike and pedestrian lane was installed on a South Carolina bridge, 67% of users indicated that their activity levels had increased since the opening of the lane.
McCarthy, D., 2009“Wonder’s Way Bike Pedestrian Pathway on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge: A Successful Model for Facilitating Active Living in Lowcountry South Carolina”

 

until tomorrow

 

 

 

You’ll get “bicycle face”

"I think the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world." -Susan B. Anthony

Women afflicted with Bicycle Face?

 

Oh the crazy things doctors come up with. A buddy of mine found this post and I had to share it with my small following. It about a medical condition coined in the mid 1890s.

The medial condition was Bicycle Face and its cause, “Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one’s balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted ‘bicycle face,’” noted the Literary Digest in 1895. It went on to describe the condition: “usually flushed, but sometimes pale, often with lips more or less drawn, and the beginning of dark shadows under the eyes, and always with an expression of weariness.” Elsewhere, others said the condition was “characterized by a hard, clenched jaw and bulging eyes.”

The use of the terminology peaked during the late 1890′s, and made a slight comeback just before the 1920s and during the 1960s and 1970s. Coincidentally, these were times when key event for the Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S. were also happening. Women’s right to vote on the state level (1890s) and the federal level (1920) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act baring discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex (1964) are just a few of these important events. Now, I am not saying these male doctors where trying to squash women’s independence with a fabricated medical condition that seemed to disproportionately affect women who rode bikes…well maybe I am, just a little, okay a lot. Thankfully, as the 1800s came to an end most doctors abandoned this nonsense.

To read the full post go here:  The 19th-century health scare that told women to worry about “bicycle face” – Vox.

 

until tomorrow

Two New Innovations to Make Cycists More Visable

The National Bike Challenge is well under way. I have logged almost 300 mile in two months. Not to shabby considering those are just commuting rides. Haven’t done any recreational riding in this summer.

Okay on with today’s post. Today, I came across a few interesting new bike products that will be available in the near future. The development stage is complete and both products are are in the “kick-starter” early production phase.

Backtracker

image of  backtraker device

The first is the Backtracker. Basically it is two pieces of equipment. The first mounts to the seat post and uses micro-radar to detect approaching vehicles. It detects approaching cars and flashes a red warning light as they approach the cyclist. The fast the car is traveling the faster the red light flashes to help alert the driver to the cyclist presence. The second part attached to the handle bars to alert the rider of approaching cars. The device flashes a white light that slowly moves up the device’s screen towards a yellow light for slow-moving cars. For fast approaching cars the white light travels faster and towards a red light.

The device seems a little pricey to me. It will have an early adopter price of $149 and a full retail price of $199. The concept is definitely an innovative idea, but I wonder how many people will plunk down that much cash for a device that I imagine will cost much less in its second iteration. I am going to speculate that a future  model will have a smaller seat post mounted device that will work with an app on a smart phone.

Useeme

image of useeme wrist band

The Useeme turn signal for cyclist seems like a very promising product. It is an innovative idea using motion sensors inside two wristbands (available in 3 different sizes) which detect the riders movements. The sensor is attached to a micro-controller that continuously evaluates sensor data and recognizes the patterns of hand signals. The micro-controller switches flashing LEDs on and off when the appropriate patterns are detected.I see this as a great product for night-time riding. I have reflective wrists band that I wear to draw attention to my intention to turn, which does a good job. However, I have honestly found myself thinking that having some sort of bike turn signal on my hands would be awesome.

The Useeme is an entirely different product than the Backtracker. However, I see it as a much more useful product in the quest to increase rider visibility. I see it as more financially practice product too. Early adopters can pick one up for

€34 or about $46. If you wait until the Useeme goes on the market it will run  €49 or $67. In fact, you could pick up enough for a family of 4 for just under 20 dollars more than the price of one Backtracker.

fuel’s One Year Anniversary

Holy Moly Guacamole!!!!

It has been just a little over  one year since I started the fuel blog. What a year it has been. M and I went car-free, got to check out some rather tasty food trucks in town, went paleo (80/20 I would say), and  learned how to repair our bikes. I have picked up a few followers for the site. We have even started repaying our student loans! Which means we have also started to do a b-u-d-g-e-t. We even went so far as to purchase a budgeting software, YNAB for those you  who are dying to know.

While our parents sat down and paid the bills, I am not sure if they ever tried budgeting. Even if they did, they never showed their kids the ropes.

Okay, I know what you are thinking. “Fuel, what does budgeting have to do with food or transportation?” So, much more than you may realize my friends…so much more.

Okay, so where am I going with this? I started to follow YNAB’s blog and you guessed it, it is all about budgeting  (yeah I know, I am a nerd) and a few of the more recent posts have been about getting your grocery bill under control. I decided to put in my 2 cents about getting M and my grocery category under control. The first thing I needed to state was that food is fuel and we need it to survive. M and I are okay with groceries being one of our bigger budget categories.

This allowed me to bring up the fact that M and I went car free last summer. I got a few comments on how awesome it was that we were able to give up our car.

The car can be a really big budget hog (payments, insurance, repairs, rear view mirror bling…) and getting rid of the car has allowed us to buy better quality food. We no longer shop at Sprouts, which does have good food, but they have limited fresh food and  sometimes the meat’s quality is a little suspect. We shop at Whole Foods now, which is something we could not afford back when we had a car.

Okay, so back to getting the grocery category under control. We began using the budget software just a little over a month ago. So far so good, or so I thought. After reading a few of the grocery blogs I decided to run a report on or grocery category. This is what I discovered. While we were well within our budget for our regular once a week trip to Whole Foods I was shock to discover that we spent and extra $100 this month at the store up the street just on snacks for our night-time TV viewing. The crazy thing is, we buy night-time snacks for our TV viewing when we go to Whole Foods! The worst part about these extra trips…not one item was Paleo. Oh, the shame. Okay, not really, but I was surprised how many times we go off menu in a one month period. M and I have agreed to take the time and actually think about these night-time snack excursions before we head out the door next time.

until tomorrow