How Falling Off a Bike Made Me Want to Build a Crowd Powered City

I remember the shock of being on the tarmac with traffic and trucks narrowly missing me on the busy familiar road I had been cycling on for 12...


I remember the shock of being on the tarmac with traffic and trucks narrowly missing me on the busy familiar road I had been cycling on for 12 years in London. I inadvertently drove my bike into a pothole. Like the proverbial Alice in Wonderland, I went through the rabbit hole and started thinking about the city and the neighborhood I live in, particularly why citizens seem helpless to do anything to fix their streets.

Since I am a designer of mobile operating systems I am used to creating feedback loops for users to file bugs so that we can improve software systems. The challenge of applying this sort of thinking to cities is to create an evolutionary operating system that is not merely a one way bug-reporting tool that files complaints to already overworked city councils, but a two-way bug solving tool that citizens can use to come together to crowdsource solutions to common problems, help optimize and share scarce resources, and possibly crowd-fund those solutions with local businesses, neighbors, and town councils.

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VIDEO: Think Your Work Commute is Long? This Courier Bikes 80+ Miles A Day

Steve Hamilton, a 49-year-old London bicycle courier, clocks almost 22,000 miles a year while weaving between traffic in central London. n

Steve Hamilton, a 49-year-old London bicycle courier, clocks almost 22,000 miles a year while weaving between traffic in central London. The self-employed Hamilton won the "National Courier Award" in 2012 from the U.K.-based Institute of Couriers.

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Pedal Pairings: Booze and Bikes (Five Ways)

Many would agree that there is perhaps no better combination than bikes and booze

It's Spring. That means warm weather, biking, and socializing outdoors. For those who partake, that also means drinking outside, in parks, on lakes, and—in the progressive cities—on the streets. Many would agree there is perhaps no better combination than bikes and booze, so long as one is stationary while partaking in the latter. So in celebration of this fantastic pairing, here's a roundup of the five best ways to combine booze and bikes. Just make sure to wait until you've sobered up before getting back on the road.

Travelling Gin Company

Entrepreneurs Edward Godden and Joseph Lewis have peddled their gin and tonics all over Europe under the name the Travelling Gin Co.—a roving bicycle bar. Equipped with a basket full of limes, mixers, spices and a curated selection of local gins, their cocktails are as complex any old timey bar's, without the overhead or environmental impact. Now that it's warm, you'll see them out again at various events in London and beyond. Why gin and tonics? "It's our favorite!" they explain.

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Will Los Angeles Survive? The Best Carmageddon PSA Ever

Angelenos, we know you're freaking, but this video will help you brave this weekend's shutdown of the 405.

Us Angelenos are only a few hours away from the start of Carmageddon, the July 16 and 17 shutdown of 10 miles of LA's eternally clogged 405 freeway. Over 500,000 cars travel the 405 in a given weekend, so it's no wonder this city is in the midst of an epic freak-out over how hellish traffic might be if drivers don't heed advice and take a much-needed vacation from their cars.

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City Biking 101: Road Tips for a Safe Ride

Learn expert techniques and the safest and best strategies for navigating city roads.


This post is in partnership with the CLIF Bar 2-Mile Challenge


We start on tricycles, graduate to training wheels, then the fateful day when we're off on two wheels. But remember, cycling is a constantly evolving learning process. Keep fine-tuning technique and safety measures and that first moment of exhilaration can be a constant.

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Derringer Cycles

Like the idea of biking to work but hate those hills on your commute? Los Angeles's Derringer Cycles has come up with a solution.

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