The Largest GPS Bicycle Reminds us Bicycles are Rad

The most efficient form of transportation is the bicycle, and to remind us how great the two wheeled vehicles are a couple drew a giant bike in Europe. They used a GPS to record their trip as they rode through multiple countries, and that meant riding in giant circles to create the wheels. Along the way they shared their enthusiasm for two wheels.

You can see the map of their route on their site (linked below).

As a reminder that transport alternatives to the car exist, we have cycled 7237 km to draw the shape of a huge bicycle across 7 countries of western Europe.

We hope that our mad endeavour might motivate others to ditch their car in favour of the bicycle for daily transport needs. We sincerely believe that bicycles can take us a long way in our battle to tackle climate change and environmental breakdown.

As a side note, with this project we have set an unofficial world record for the largest ever made GPS drawing (7237 km). We beat the previous record of 7163.67 km, which was obtained by multiple means of transport. We also beat the previous unofficial record for the biggest GPS drawing undertaken by bike, which was 4106 km. Far more importantly, we are quite happy to have drawn the biggest bicycle ever!

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Thanks to Craig!

Let’s Startup Airships

Silicon Valley millionaires keep trying to solve problems that don’t exist like juice pressing and “smart” appliances. So when thinkers in the valley promote solutions to actual problems it’s a breath of fresh air. And in this case, it is air. Airships to be precise.

It’s well known that air travel is really bad for the planet and so is shipping. But what if we combine the best of those industries instead of the worst? Then we get airships. A sustainable future will include airships so it’s good to see monied individuals seriously considering airships.

The physics of airships are unbelievably seductive.

All aircraft are subject to four forces: thrust and drag in the direction of travel, and lift and gravity in the vertical direction. For an aircraft in steady flight, the vertical and horizontal forces are in balance.

For an airship, which gets lift from lifting gas (aerostatic lift) instead of from wings (aerodynamic lift), the amount of lift is proportional to the volume of lifting gas. The drag is proportional to some combination of cross-sectional area and wetted area—in any case, it increases with area.

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Hop Aboard the Free Transit Movement

streetcar

Our contemporary financial approach to moving people around a city subsidizes individual automobile use, which leads to more car use and worse mobility for everyone. An easy solution to this problem that’s gaining popularity is to change what mode of transportation get subsidies. The most direct way to stop subsidizing cars is to make public transit truly public by not directly charging for it (and instead charge selfish transport solutions).

We’ve previously looked at how free transit also improves the economy (unlike cars).

The fare-free movement turns that funding model on its head. Advocates believe public transit, like other essential services, should have never been a user-pay system in the first place. After all, we aren’t charged a fee to drive down a city street, walk down a city sidewalk or sit in a city park. Our property taxes pay for those basic amenities.

As Montreal urban planner and social economy expert Jason Price, co-editor of the 2018 book Free Public Transit wrote: “We don’t pay for elevators, do we? And rightly so. The very idea is preposterous. Yet the public transit system plays the same role in the city, only sideways.”

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Thanks to Mike!

The Benefits of Free Transit

he benefits of free transit helps more than just riders, it can help a whole city. We already give free road access to car owners and provide them with rights of way, so let’s do the same for all people. Why create an artificial divide between people trying to get from one place to another? Of course, many public transit systems are already receiving finical support from governments, but they are still based on an outdated model that ignores the benefits that public transit brings. Including financial:

Free fares also remove the financial cost of creating ticketing systems and enforcing them. In Boston, an extension of a free fare trial was in part inspired by a $1 billion new ticketing system, Mcarthur says—a serious investment when bus fares bring in only $60 million annually. A single-route bus trial in the city revealed an unexpected benefit: faster boarding time. “That means faster and more reliable journey times, and improved overall service,” Mcarthur says. “If you’re a public transport agency, a lot of money is spent trying to get dwell time down.”

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People Who Ditched Their Car Are Happier

small car

There’s are individuals who advocate against making our cities better places to live because they fear losing their dependence on their automobile (car marketers encourage this too). We need to let car-brained individuals know that their lives will be better if they have more transportation options and that they will be happier too. People who got rid of their car for non-monetary reasons increased their happiness!

to reduce energy and resource consumption beyond technological modifications. One way to do this is to forgo ownership of certain consumer goods, such as cars. Although proponents of sufficiency claim that car shedding (i.e., giving away a vehicle so that the household no longer has its own car) might increase subjective well-being (SWB), there is little empirical evidence supporting this. This paper aims to help fill this gap by adding empirical evidence on the relationship between car shedding and SWB. Data from the Swiss Household Panel is used (2006–2017) with a fixed-effects model assessing the year-to-year changes in evaluative and affective well-being (life satisfaction, leisure satisfaction, joy, and anger) before and after car shedding. Separate analyses for non-affordability-driven and affordability-driven car shedders were conducted. Results show that non-affordability-driven car shedding has a positive effect on feelings of joy one to three years after the event. Affordability-driven car shedding, in contrast, is associated with a decrease in leisure satisfaction and feelings of joy up to three years later. Levels of positive affective wellbeing already decrease in anticipation of affordability-driven car shedding. A sufficiency measure like non-affordability-driven car shedding is not associated with reducing SWB, and this may have policy implications.

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