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  1. #1
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Cyclists for Sustainable Bicycles

    Good Evening fellow cyclists! In my spare time I've been putting together a blog that focuses on sustainability within the cycling industry. The hope is for this to develop to an online community, and eventually be a loud enough voice to help move cyclists and the cycling industry into a more sustainable direction. yes, I know, another blog, but I urge you to take a peak, read an article, and if it interests, you, bookmark it and visit again to see where we've taken it.

    Also, if your interested in contributing written content or research, please contact me. I'm also always open to criticism and new ideas.

    Thanks!
    Tim

    http://cyclistsforsustainablebicycles.wordpress.com/

    EDIT: Chicbicyclist changed the future of the site! friends of mine liked Chic's better than any of my ideas! Thanks and Congrats! The Sustainable Cyclist it is, although the link above will still work
    Last edited by tradtimbo; 05-16-09 at 11:17 PM.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  2. #2
    Senior Member chicbicyclist's Avatar
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    Shorten the name to something like "The Sustainable Cyclist" and we're in business.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    My bike is mostly steel and aluminum, all of which is completely recyclable. There's some nylon and foam in the seat and a bit of Kevlar in the tires, but those last a long time. Even carbon fiber can be recycled. Cycling itself is pro-environment. How do you propose making cycling sustainable?
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  4. #4
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    My bike is mostly steel and aluminum, all of which is completely recyclable. There's some nylon and foam in the seat and a bit of Kevlar in the tires, but those last a long time. Even carbon fiber can be recycled. Cycling itself is pro-environment. How do you propose making cycling sustainable?
    Read my article on Carbon fiber, steel and aluminum. also, I'll be doing a follow up on alternative materials, sourcing of materials, manufacturing, and recycling. your right, CF can be recycled, but the process is quite far from mainstream, and the most abundant CF recycling renders it not usable for the construction of bikes. there is a process which does render it usuful for bikes, but it is very costly, and not even close to main stream.

    You are right that cycling is pro-environment, but the products that are made are not necessarily. For example. PVC is found in many things cycling related. PVC is horrible for the environment. Many products undergo industrial processes that are not environmentally friendly. The mass production of bikes in asian countries is not necessarily earth friendly (not to mention factory conditions for workers). some materials last longer than others, some companies are more earth friendly than others. buying local is better for the earth. buying from companies that contribute to eco-friendly causes is better for the earth. patronizing stores that have a commitment to the earth is better. I could really go on and on and on.

    The cycling industry consumes an incredible amount of products from cleaning supplies to clothing, to metal parts. There is always room for improvement when it comes to protecting the environment. an easy example is the waste produced by bike shops. Not all bike shops recycle tubes and tires. Not all bike shops use biodegradable cleaner in their parts washer. I could go on.

    I urge you to keep visiting the site, and you'll begin to see how you can help, and how the cycling industry can change for the better.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  5. #5
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Also, Cod.Peace, I am not personally going to make cycling sustainable. The idea is to change the desires of the consumers. when the consumers demand a certain thing, the suppliers and manufactures follow suit with supply. Many cyclists do not consider the environment when buying a product at a bike shop, but for some reason, they do when buying other things. cycling itself, as an activity is sustainable, but the products need work. This is where we come in.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  6. #6
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    Let's see. If we send you money you will write a blog and tell us what we should buy? Do I have this correct? Good luck.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthorse View Post
    Let's see. If we send you money you will write a blog and tell us what we should buy? Do I have this correct? Good luck.
    Absolutely wrong! I have not asked for, and will not ask for money from anybody. I'm also not telling you what to buy. CSB will be making suggestions on how to make our industry better for the earth.

    Where did you get the idea we were asking you for money? Blogs are free!
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  8. #8
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicbicyclist View Post
    Shorten the name to something like "The Sustainable Cyclist" and we're in business.
    I missed your comment before, sorry. Once I get a core group of contributers, the name may be changed. I know its a little long, but so far, we just call is CSB.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  9. #9
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Pipe dream in the USA. The number of serious cyclists in the USA is too small to sustain several manufacturers of bicycles. 98% of bikes sold is big box crap. Americans think bicycles are a child's toy and something adults shouldn't be bothered with.

    Sad.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Pipe dream in the USA. The number of serious cyclists in the USA is too small to sustain several manufacturers of bicycles. 98% of bikes sold is big box crap. Americans think bicycles are a child's toy and something adults shouldn't be bothered with.

    Sad.
    I'm not quite sure the number is 98%, but yes, much of it is big box crap. This, however, does not mean advocacy towards a healthier planet through grass roots organizing within your own community is a pipe dream. Many people are interested in making all products in general more sustainable. Bicycles are products and subject to environmental regulations and labor laws. If the majority of consumers of a product have a demand, than there is a certain likelihood that demand will be supplied whether through regulations and politics, or the manufacturers and suppliers changing how they do things.

    The only pipe dream is thinking this stuff will improve on its own.

    A perfect example regarding this is paper products. For the longest time paper was just paper. you bought the type you needed and didn't consider the forest it came from. Then "save the rainforest" and the environmental movement came about. All of a sudden, the forest stewardship council came about, and post consumer recycled paper came on the market. Today, you can still buy paper from questionable sources, but you also have the option, as a consumer, to buy FSC certified, or recycled paper.

    Consumer movements are not pipe dreams. All it takes is people caring. Imagine if you are an earth-conscious parent who knows nothing about bikes, and you want to buy a bike for your child. You find a website online to help you make your purchase as earth friendly as possible. Or even better, you walk into a big box store, and in the childs bicycle section you see a selection of bikes made from recycled material. These things happen, because we, as consumers, cause them to happen.

    Also, your thought about adults not bothering with bicycles. This is changing in the US through bicycle advocacy, green building advocacy, and health advocacy. This again, is something that is changed by us. Cities across the US are dedicating millions upon millions of dollars on bicycle infrastructure because they see bicycle use by adults increasing. Developers are designing and building things these days to be more accommodating to pedestrians and cyclists, and less to the automobile. The country is changing for the better, and we need to take our blinders off to see whats going on and to find out how we can help the cause.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  11. #11
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Some of you may find my latest interview with a sustainable design consultant very interesting.

    http://thesustainablecyclist.com/200...able-products/
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    I agree on the big boxy issues. All we can do is educate people, one cyclist at a time.

  13. #13
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradtimbo View Post
    Good Evening fellow cyclists! In my spare time I've been putting together a blog that focuses on sustainability within the cycling industry. The hope is for this to develop to an online community, and eventually be a loud enough voice to help move cyclists and the cycling industry into a more sustainable direction. yes, I know, another blog, but I urge you to take a peak, read an article, and if it interests, you, bookmark it and visit again to see where we've taken it.

    Also, if your interested in contributing written content or research, please contact me. I'm also always open to criticism and new ideas.

    Thanks!
    Tim

    http://cyclistsforsustainablebicycles.wordpress.com/

    EDIT: Chicbicyclist changed the future of the site! friends of mine liked Chic's better than any of my ideas! Thanks and Congrats! The Sustainable Cyclist it is, although the link above will still work

    do you offer stickers? stickers = nearly free advertisemeant. i'd contribute for a *free* reflective logo sticker
    instant human: just add coffee
    trek 830 mountain track - dead

  14. #14
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    no stickers at this point. We do eventually plan on having some sort of sticker/logo. We're working on a logo design right now.

    I'm in the middle of a big move right now, but once I'm settled again, we may be moving forward with a research initiative concerning life cycle assesments. Exiting stuff!
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  15. #15
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    My bike is mostly steel and aluminum, all of which is completely recyclable. There's some nylon and foam in the seat and a bit of Kevlar in the tires, but those last a long time. Even carbon fiber can be recycled. Cycling itself is pro-environment. How do you propose making cycling sustainable?
    Yes... bicycles are both recyclable and durable. You can actually re-build and re-use bike from 30/40 years ago. They do work. This is in stark contrast to, say, cars, where it is possible to re-build, but the costs are exorbitant.

    However, there are some trends in the cycling world that don't sit too well with the concept of sustainability. The biggest issue is the trend to build extremely lightweight components, particularly wheels, that are intended to last -- at best -- a few seasons before being tossed. The ideal of light weight doesn't work for wheels or other components that could last a generation. Yet there's no real reason why you shouldn't be able to buy a wheel that could last 20,000 miles. It would be very marginally heavier, but many riders wouldn't particularly care.

    One heartening trend is the move to more commuter-style bicycles, which are build to endure more miles and more harsh conditions. There's no real reason why the bicycle industry couldn't move to generally more bomb-proof products.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support Gerv!
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  17. #17
    Junior Member toledoeng88's Avatar
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    I work for an Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing Lab doing research and I agree that the cycling industry could be more green but at this time cycling is not where the United States needs to be working on being green. On reason is because you don't see our landfills being filled up with stuff related to cycling. We are located in the city of Toledo and I know if we did a bike shop it wouldn't even compare to many other industries. I think that you would probably be better off working on your recycling habits for your municipal solid waste and maybe educating others once you have a good handle on the issue. I believe this would have a much better impact on the environment.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    My bike is mostly steel and aluminum, all of which is completely recyclable. There's some nylon and foam in the seat and a bit of Kevlar in the tires, but those last a long time. Even carbon fiber can be recycled. Cycling itself is pro-environment. How do you propose making cycling sustainable?
    My objection has less to do with frame materials and more with the components. Manufacturers keep evolving new components but they tend to have poor backward compatability. Bikes with 7-speed cassettes, for example, are rapidly becoming orphaned. Replacement 7-speed shifters, at least in the better quality ranges, are already becoming more difficult to obtain.

  19. #19
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toledoeng88 View Post
    I work for an Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing Lab doing research and I agree that the cycling industry could be more green but at this time cycling is not where the United States needs to be working on being green. On reason is because you don't see our landfills being filled up with stuff related to cycling. We are located in the city of Toledo and I know if we did a bike shop it wouldn't even compare to many other industries. I think that you would probably be better off working on your recycling habits for your municipal solid waste and maybe educating others once you have a good handle on the issue. I believe this would have a much better impact on the environment.
    No doubt this is true. I ask you, however, to think of the cycling industry as a whole and not just Joe Cyclist and the products he buys. There are plants where the products are made and slews of companies that don't take the environment into consideration when making their product. Take Specialized, for example. They have factories in the far east and churn out an incredible amount of bicycles and bicycle products, yet I see nothing of their environmental stewardship. They, like other large companies, want to spend as little as they can to make the products after they've spent a ton on design and engineering. The cost of lack-of-sustainability doesn't seem to enter their equations. Another part of being sustainable is in the treatment of human resources. Cyclists are blind to the treatment of workers in manufacturing plants. This can be improved, and I'm inclined to help out.

    I understand where your coming from, but my passion lies in bicycles, and it bothers me tremendously that the industry is not a leader in creating sustainable products. I'm doing what I think needs to happen, and I'll take suggestions, but will reject those that tell me my efforts should lie elsewhere. My work also contributes to the overall education of a citizen. For example, a cyclist stumbles across my blog, realizes that the sport he or she loves needs serious improvement, and begins to look around and learn how their entire life can be more sustainable.

    Thanks,
    Tim
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

  20. #20
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    My objection has less to do with frame materials and more with the components. Manufacturers keep evolving new components but they tend to have poor backward compatability. Bikes with 7-speed cassettes, for example, are rapidly becoming orphaned. Replacement 7-speed shifters, at least in the better quality ranges, are already becoming more difficult to obtain.
    There is research on this very subject taking place. There is lot to digest, however, so look for an article in the coming months. Thanks for the suggestion!
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

    The Sustainable Cyclist

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