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Friday, May 6, 2016

Short Rides: Friday Links

Untitled Ebikes: 

Beginning July 1, Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation will be tightening regulations on Ebikes requiring riders to be licensed and the vehicles to be registered with the MoT. The new regulations will view the Ebike as a light motor vehicle as opposed to a bicycle. The move was due to the sharp rise in collisions between Ebike riders and pedestrians. Taiwan's strategy is a bit more subtle than the heavy-handed approach China has taken to address the problem by banning the vehicles in several major cities. 

Travel and Politics: 

A traveller from Hong Kong uses the bike to take a gentle dig at Beijing by contrasting Taiwan's urban development to Hong Kong's recent trajectory. 
On our first stop in Taipei what struck me was the freedom of movement; there are bikes everywhere. 
It’s similar to the mainland in that regard, but you soon notice how the government has been responsive to the needs of its citizens. 
Everywhere you go in Taiwan there are bike paths, sloped shoulders to drive on and off the pavement, and even lights specifically set up for cyclists to bike diagonally at crossing. 
As a tourist I felt I could travel anywhere with little concern for practicality.
 Pollution and Commuting: 

The Guardian has put out a piece that claims the benefits of cycling outweigh the harm caused by inhaling exhaust fumes in traffic.
The researchers modelled the effects of cycling and walking at different levels of air pollution and established a tipping point – the length of time after which there was no further health benefit, and a break-even point, when the harm from air pollution began to outweigh the health benefit.  
For Delhi, the most polluted city on the World Health Organisation’s database, the tipping and break-even points for cycling were 30 and 45 minutes per day respectively, while for walking they were 90 minutes and six hours and 15 minutes respectively.
While the researchers looked at the levels of particulates – PM2.5 – in the air and not NO2, which has also been established as harming health, “we did lots of sensitivity analyses and the message would have been the same”, said De Nazelle.
Personally, I don't feel braving PM2.5 levels over 150 is enough to convince me to test the researchers hypothesis. I do know that my asthma will flare up after riding in that shit and we should all be lobbying to not have to make the choice to bike in it at all. I guess they are trying to get us all to feel better about the realities. 

Disc Brakes: 

Don't throw away that disc brake equipped bike just yet... it appears the UCI has decided to give limited testing another go this June.  

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