The first bike horn to talk about is the “Loud Bicycle” by Jonathan Lansey. This bike horn is fueled by a rechargeable battery that powers 2 differently toned horns (with an output of 120dB), that look very similar in design to what a modern car horn looks like. This is great, because it truly makes it sound like a car horn, something most drivers are used to hearing. Drivers automatically react when they hear the noise from a car horn, as opposed to a bike bell or a single toned horn. The 2 horns and battery are one unit which is mounted to the downtube of the bicycle frame, with a wire leading to a button trigger that you can place wherever it’s convenient on your handle bars. I really like this design, and wouldn’t mind trying it out. Though it might take up a a decent amount of space.
The second bike horn is the ORP Smart Horn, also known as the “SMORN”, by Tory Orzeck. This more compact bicycle horn is great and comes loaded with a couple of nice features. The first thing I like about it is it’s not only a horn, but a 87 lumen bike light, with some functions of modern bike lights (constant on, slow strobe, fast strobe). This is perfect for the people who don’t like to deal with a lot of items on their handle bars; one unit does 2 things. The horn functions by toggling the lever in the rear of the unit. Toggle down, and it’s a friendly sounding 76dB(usable on pedestrians and cyclists). Toggle up, unleash the loud 96dB(usable on motor vehicles). All of this is packaged with a rechargeable battery in a nice looking silicon package, mounting easily on to your handle bars.
When the Kickstarter is over you can view the production on ORPland.com.
I really hope that both these horns get funded and are produced. I really love seeing bicycle safety devices like these out on the market. I have a true belief that all bicycles need bells, at least for pedestrian and other cyclists’ sake. And if you interact with large motor vehicle on the road, it’s great to get their attention with horns like these. So stay safe out there.
If you can’t wait or want something in the mean time before either of these come out, you should be happy to know there are some other horns available already.
Delta Airzound Bike Horn, I have one of these, Reviewed Here. This was one of the first bike horns on the market that would actually be audible to people in motor vehicles. It’s a great horn, powered by compressed air. Some things that I have found after using it for some time is I don’t tend to air up the canister much, so I never have use of the horn when I really need it. I also have found cold weather really does mute the reed that makes the sound when the PSI is not to the max. So having a rechargeable battery powered horn would be much nicer.
The Hornet, This is a newer electric horn created in 2011 by a former London lawyer and cyclist. The horn has a high pitched, ear bursting 140dB. I think this is too much power for this horn. Horns should have a deeper sound if they’re going to be that loud.
This past weekend was the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland. Angel and I traveled to the show, as we always do. The OHBS was one of the first events I saw in Oregon, even before moving here. I came to visit Angel on Halloween 2009, the show was going on that weekend and we went. I have been back every year. The show was great; I really enjoy looking at all the bikes, and talking with the builders and other people at events like this.
Here are some of my favorite things from the show.
There were a lot of great things to see there, and if you didn’t make it to the show I hope you enjoy the photos. I also heard some good news about the show in up coming years. They are planning to hold the OHBS in Portland for 2013 and in Eugene in 2014, rotating around Portland, Bend, and Eugene every couple years. Can’t wait.
If you enjoy handmade bicycles, you can also see photos from our trip to OHBS 2012 photos HERE. (Now I just need to find the other photos I have)
Yesterday Angel and I got a chance to hang out in Portland after taking her sister back from a visit. We started out the day by going to the newly opened Velo Cult Bicycle Shop. Started in 2006, the shop originally is from San Diego, but decided to move the entire shop to Portland, employees and all. We visited them Sunday, on the morning after their Grand Opening Party. (They were still cleaning up after it). The shop caters to commuters, tourers, randonneur riders, and other subcultures of cycling with refurbished and new bicycles, but this is not just a place to sell and service bikes, but a place where all “bicycle culture” gets to meet. There is a large and open floor plan. They have some amazing mechanic work stations, with benches for customers to talk with their mechanic right in front of them; a bar offering local beer and food, a photo booth (which sadly was shut down when we were there), and even an authentic castle drawbridge (which doubles as a stage) in the shop!! I believe the drawbridge is from Canteburry Castle, after it was demolished in 2009. This is a really cool shop and you should check it out if you have a chance. They plan on hosting shows, and screening movies there in the future, as well as putting on other fun events for cyclists.
Also while at Velo Cult I got the chance to check out the Complete Surly Troll. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these as my first mountain bike. I also think it would make a great touring bike for Angel. It would be a good companion to my LHT. If only the Troll came in some color other than orange (her least favorite).
Before we went to Pedal Nation, we stopped by the Off The Griddle food cart. With super nice staff, they offer amazing veggie burgers from their solar-powered cart. Angel went with Vegan Cheeseburger, and I went with O.T.G Burger (no lettuce, tomato) just grilled onions and added BBQ sauce; I like my burgers simple. It’s always fun waiting for your food to come out while you read through some Trivial Pursuit games.
After we arrived to Pedal Nation, I spent a lot of time talking with different people about their products and learning whatever I could. There were a lot of cool things there. The spectrum of booths was across the board, with everything from wooden helmets, a fat tire recumbent, to an upcoming indoor mountain bike park (The Lumberyard) and other great cycling groups. Full list of exhibitors HERE. One thing I thought was really cool is that Nutcase is coming out with 4 bell designs based off of their helmets, which will be available for purchase in the near future (possibly June), along with a new visors to attach to their helmets and even cycling jerseys to match the helmets. Those should all be great. I’m sure Angel will want a watermelon jersey.
Before leaving Portland we had to get our favorite pizza at Sizzle Pie. I went with 2 slices of cheese, and Angel got a rabbit salad. There was no Spiral Tap in the case, (our favorite) so we got one to go that we could eat at home. It was a super great idea. Angel wanted the pins, and I thought I might put the patch on my safety vest. This is truly good pizza.
Last week some friends and I went to the Leatherman Tool factory for a tour. All Leatherman tools are made in Portland, Oregon in this factory, and they are proud of it. Sadly, on the tour they do not allow photos to be taken. It was really cool to see how the tools are made from big steel rolls. Then they’re punched, bent, polished, and assembled into a finished product. (Parts that are forged do not get made here). I have been carrying a Leatherman Wave for the past years and use it everyday. Leatherman has this video tour on the site to make up for no photos in the factory, and it is really nice because you can see things closer up than what we got to see some of the time.
After the tour we went off to the retail store not far away. It had a case that contained the first prototype of the multi-tool from Tim Leatherman, along with a really old, giant, multi-tool made of hundreds of pieces of the tools. I picked up a new knife for Angel, and for my dad. If you ever have a chance to take a tour of the factory, it’s pretty cool, more info about that HERE.
Hot Lips Pizza
After the tour, we ate some lunch at Hot Lips Pizza. It was the first time I ate their pizza and I thought it was great. I have had their sodas. It is great soda made with fruit from the Pacific Northwest. You can find it bottled all over the place out here. I had a Black Raspberry along with a nice simple slice of cheese pizza, and garlic bread sticks. It was all really great, and I can’t wait to have at all again the next time I make it up to Portland.
Black Star Bags
Right Down the street from Hot Lips on Hawthorn is Black Star Bags, which moved into that location a year ago. The company has been around for the past 5 years, offering great handmade and costume backpacks, messenger bags, panniers, and accessories. David Stoops (Owner/Designer) has great skills, and is capable of making all your bag dreams come true, along with his amazing freestyle embroidery skills on his machines, you can get a piece of art on the bags. Be sure to check out Black Star Bags and stop into the shop if you are looking for a new bag.
My friend who was with me in the shop was getting the design and features of his backpack worked out with David. With David & Black Star, my friend was able to get everything he wanted for his bag, and in a couple weeks he will have his own custom bag that is perfect for him. I can’t wait to see my friend’s backpack after it is finished.
Collin’s Cycle Shop held Eugene’s first bicycle job fair on Sunday February 26th. This might even be Oregon’s first bicycle job fair altogether. This was a great opportunity for people who could make it out to the fair to meet and great with some great company representatives looking for talented people to fill all sorts of positions. I don’t have the numbers, but a lot of people came to the job fair today. With gas prices going up, green culture is growing, and the over-all popularity of bicycling is increasing. Portland, Eugene, and other cities across the US are growing their bicycle industries from small bikes to big name companies. Hopefully there will be more events like this across Oregon and the US in the future.
Here are some photos from my Instagram over the past week with Angel’s sister and dad visiting. We spent lots of time in Portland with her sister walking around, hiking MacLeay City Park and Ecola State Park along the beach, as well as some other things through out the week.
Eugene has added a temporary sign, the one that flashes words, saying “Bikes Use Bike Signal Only”. This is great for cyclists and motorists who have yet to realize there is a newly placed bike only traffic signal last Thursday located at 18th/Alder. I am not sure when the light was actually placed or when they will remove it. But I think this is a good idea to help bring awareness to the new signal. To read more about the newly placed bike only traffic signal, read my article here; Eugene’s First Bike Only Traffic Signal
On Thursday, Eugene got its first bike only traffic signal at the intersection of Alder crossing 18th. It looks like a standard traffic signal with green, yellow and red lights but in the shape of bicycles. The signal right now is considered temporary, only until they get a yellow housing for it, as well as its own mast. It’s a much needed addition for this intersection of the recently redesigned Alder. It allows cyclists to cross 18th safely without the worry of being cut off by cars. Alder is now a one way for cars going south, and 2 lanes for bikes going north and south on the other side of the road. This is an intersection with lots of traffic especially coming away from the university on Alder. I have encountered a couple times where cars would try and turn left in front of me, even with multiple cyclists waiting next to them in the bicycle lane. Hopefully Eugene starts adding more of these bike only traffic signals at other busy intersections. North of 13th of Alder could really use them and it seems like they plan on that from the looks of it.
Some background on the bike only traffic signal: In June the Governor signed SB130 into law which adds bike only signals to Oregon’s list of traffic control devices. (You can read more about the bill here: Bike Portland and Oregon Live) Portland was a big push behind this bill and is working to get its first couple bike only signals in. Portland has been a great help with the innovation of bicycle infrastructure in the US.
This event is happening during the same weekend as the Day of the Dead Cyclocross Race, which should be a great time as well. It’s happening just over a mile from the OHBS at the Old Mill District. There are a couple other bicycle related events going on as well, full list HERE.
This should be a great time for everyone.
We have a friend staying with us right now in Eugene. Drift Roberts, a young stand up comic, is walking from Portland, OR to Los Angeles, CA, which is roughly 1000 miles, at the rate about 25 miles a day. He started October 15th and is going through November 23rd, spreading the word and raising money for Smile Train and its cause. Smile Train’s mission is to provide free cleft surgery to hundreds of thousands of poor children in developing countries. (more info HERE)
He spent some time with us in Eugene. I showed him Eugene by bike and we spent time riding around and just relaxing. We hiked up to the top of Skinner’s Butte, then ate some biscuits and gravy at the Wandering Goat. It was a great time; we enjoyed having him around.
I grew up in central Illinois. In August of 2007, I bought my first real “adult bike” after needing a bike to save money on gas. Since then I have had many bikes. In April of 2010, after moving out to Oregon, I got my beloved Surly Long Haul Trucker. I have put a lot of good miles on the bike. This blog is about my life in Eugene.