Bumper news round-up

A quick round up of accumulated news from our inbox, including awards, anniversaries, campaigning and competition...

Posted by Peter Eland on Thursday 24 Feb 2011

Sue Archer writes:

HP Velotechnik scoop award
German recumbent builders HP Velotechnik have collected the Verbund Service und Fahrrad award for "Best bicycle manufacturer 2011". The title is awarded annually by the German bicycle trade association, and HP say they were not satisfied with last year's Bronze medal, so they invested in their dealer support to successfully go for gold this year.

Meanwhile, Kamran Ali is planning to ride his Street Machine Gte from Germany to Pakistan, and in preparation for his trip, he named his bike in a traditional naming ceremony - traditional for babies, that is, not bikes. The Street Machine now has nine godmothers, and Kamram sets off on his trip in April. You can follow his progress on his blog.

Improved ICE seating

ICE seat

ICE recumbents now come with an improved Ergo-Flow seat, which features a frame and cover designed to optimise support, materials designed to be breathable and withstand the weather, and a neat little integrated weatherproof pocket for items such as a phone or keys. The seat cover and foam insert can be retrofitted to older trikes with mesh seats.

For 2011 ICE are also introducing the Vortex + model, billed as the ultimate long distance performance trike. You can see videos of all three trike models in the ICE range on their website.

Promoting pedalling policy
Cycle campaigners may be interested in a one day conference to be held at London South Bank University on Wednesday 13 April, entitled 'Policies and practice for promoting pedalling'. You can download the programme and booking form from the University website.

Meanwhile the organisers of the 2011 Velo-City conference taking place in Seville, Spain, 23-25 March, are higlighting recent findings that the city has some of the cleanest air in the country, escaping recent high pollution levels seen in cities like Madrid and Barcelona. It's suggested that this could be due to the 60,000 trips made daily by bicycle, more than 30% of those being switched from car use.

Silver jubilee for Thijs rowing bikes
Derk Thijs, developer and builder of the Rowing Bike, writes to let us know that his creation is 25 years old this year, with the first machine made in 1986. To celebrate, he's having a party for rowing bike enthusiasts, and has compiled a photographic history which includes early prototypes, very low racers and the latest model, a carbon fibre tandem version.

Bigwigs at Brompton
Just a year behind the Rowing Bike, with full time production starting in 1987, but rather more ubiquitous on our city streets, Brompton Bicycles recently played host to British Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable as part of the launch of the Manufacturing Growth Review, which aims to promote manufacturing in the UK. The pair toured the factory and design departments to see the investments Brompton have made in machinery and training.

In other Brompton news, qualifiers are getting under way for this year's Brompton World Championships, with events scheduled for Taiwan on the 27th February, and the USA on 19th March. Details of these events can be found on Brompton's news page.

Two decades of Pedalling for Progress
Also celebrating a significant anniversary this year are Pedal for Progress, founded 20 years ago. The organisation ships unwanted bikes, sewing machines and spare parts to developing countries to provide transport and help people set up thei own businesses. To date they have shipped 129,447 bikes which might otherwise have ended up mouldering in garages, or dumped in landfill. Here's to the next 20 years!

Velomobiles land in London
Our friends at Bikefix write with news of an event for those with an interest in velomobiles. On March 12th, Dries Callebaut from Belgian velomobile makers WAW will be visiting the shop with at least one machine. If you'd like to have a chat about velomobiles, and maybe even have go, pop along.

If you visit the WAW website, do have a play with "Andy's WAW tool" on the front page, where you can get an impression of what your ideal velomobile might look like. Click on the colour options for each part to select your perfect tones!

Designing for utility
Awards for bicycle design often revolve around fine craftsmanship or futuristic concepts, but the Oregan Manifest Constructor's Design Challenge is firmly rooted in utility, with a view to integrating the bicycle into everyday life. Designs must include an anti-theft system, mudguards, lighting, load carrying capability and the ability to park freestanding. Entries will be ridden on a field test route of various types of surface to make sure that they stand up to the rigours of everyday use, so this wil be a test of construction as well as design. The field test will take place in Septemberm with the result announced shortly afterwards. Thanks to Paul Lowing for spotting this.

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