Strong Women

Out in Alaska

There are some strong and crazy women in the world and one of them is Jill from Juneau, Alaska, USA. I haven’t read everything on her blog yet but the things I read were amazing. Makes me wanne move to Alaska and jump on my bike again. I have to find some more information on all the trails and competitions she mentions (a list of indurance races) and I really should start training more. (Buy myself a new good bicycle perhaps to puch me a little bit…). Maybe one day I take my bike to go and visit her. Just for the heck of it but for now I’m still stuck in Belgium for some other projects like the new recumbent bicycle brand Kifua.com, some crazy ideas for television shows and figuring things out to be with my girlfriend in Eugene, Oregon or get her back here

Smokers Room

Everybody knows smoking is bad for your health and one day I’ll quit smoking like everybody who smokes but it also has it’s advantages. As in all companies in Belgium it’s not allowed to smoke at the desk anymore so most companies have a seperate space where you can go and smoke that damn sigaret. The advantages of this system is that all levels in the organisation come together at the same spot, talk a little bit with eachother and discuss things about the company. Most of the time it’s a little bit of gossip and some bashing about how things are going but sometimes it’s quiet constructive.

An example to explain maybe. I just returned from the spoking area where I had a nice chat with the sales manager and one my fellow R&D friends. Just like in a bar we started of chitchatting about small things and ended up improving the world (the organisation). Talking about the organisation we ended up with what the future will bring now that we are heading towards some management changes. The technology we currently use for our machines is at its limits and there’s nothing new in the pipeline yet. I told that I didn’t understand why there isn’t a brainstorming group. A gang of bright minds who are given the freedom to experiment, who can try out the most crazy ideas, a (not so) secret gang of crazy monkeys. The salesperson, who has good contacts with the main shareholder immidiatly asked me and my fellow R&D nutcase some names we would like to have in that gang. So we made a list of people we think are capable of doing that crazy stuff we talked about and now, on his next meeting, he will propose it to the management. He’s a very capable guy and I’m sure he can pull it off so maybe in a couple of months a new department will be created for the nutcases of the company. I won’t be part of it but it’s me who gave the input. I won’t be in it for several reasons, mainly because I will be moving to the US to my girlfriend. Talking about my girlfriend and my plans to move to the US, the salesguy also gave me some tips on how to talk to the main shareholder (who has ofcourse a big influence on the decission process) and that I should just step up to him and tell him that I want to go and work in Chicago (and that I can be his eyes and ears). So as soon as I see him again I’ll tell him I want to go and work in the US (as an engineer/service manager)… No sucking up needed, just tell it plain and easy. It’s a chance and I have to take. We’ll see how it will go. I can always ask him to help me out starting up a business in the US too. Although I don’t have that much credentials, I know he likes people who take risks. A couple of things to keep in mind and to work on.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

99 Tips for cheap branding

avivagirl

For several reasons I have been searching the internet on ways to get a brand started. I will give you more information when the time is right. During these searches I ended up at http://www.avivadirectory.com/ where I found a great list of tips to promote your brand. Still have to study all the options but certainly some of the things I read are usefull indead…

Check out the site too… I like their style a lot (the green and grey).

Green cars can’t be sexy?

Toyota-hybrid

In most cases there’s no link between beautifull sexy sportscar and ecological sound transportation. The guys at Toyota are trying to change this with their FT-HS Hybrid concept car. It is planned to go from 1-60MPH in less then 4 seconds and should have an appealing action radius… Great to see that at least some effort is put making eco-stuff sexy again.

More technical details can be found at Green Car Congress: Toyota Introduces FT-HS Hybrid Sports Car Concept: An Attainable Exotic

MSOE Human Powered Vehicle

Fully faired tricycles are great and if I would have the money I would certainly buy one. Thanks to Tim Biesemans of Tim Biesemans Ligfietsen, I have had the luck of trying out a couple of the most famous ones here in Europe being the Quest, Mango, Go-One and wAw. The movie above is from a project of some Engineers in the USA that made it on to Fox news. It’s a nice effort but I do have some remarks about the design.
First of all there’s the big air intake on the top of the body, just in front of the window. I’m sure that it’s very nice when the weather is hot but for weather like here in Belgium, with rain all year long, I’m sure you would prefer not to have all that water go into the air intake. The opening behind the head of the rider might give some refreshment too but I’m not sure water won’t be dripping in if your standing still at a red light. I haven’t seen the details of the hydraulic transmission but as far as I know, within low-cost thinking, doesn’t beat the efficiency of the normal chain transmission. Ofcourse I’ve also seen a couple of nice things on it too. As far as I could notice it has nice space-frame like structure which would protect the driver a little bit more on a side impact and it also has a race-car like rollcage which is also something nice to have when somebody hits you sideways and you roll-over…
It’s nice to see, and nice to hear that one thing is universal: all great projects are finished late at night… I would give it a 5/10 overall…

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The B-List of bicycle blogs

A post copied from the “Bicycle Design” blog. Great overview of blogs related to bicycles and cycling:

As I mentioned earlier today, Masiguy just posted his B-List, the bike related blogs that he reads on a regular basis. Tim’s list is a take off of the Z-list, which you can read more about in his post. At any rate, I thought it was a great idea. Before I list mine, here is Tim’s original Masilist of 29 blogs:

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3G Stepper Bicycle

Cool Hunting: 3G Bikes: The 3G Stepper

The 3G Stepper is a cross between a bicycle and a StairMaster; it rides like a bicycle but is propelled by a vertical motion with your feet on two decks on either side of the frame. You stand up while riding, and your upper body gets as good a workout as your lower body does. Arriving in stores in September 2006, the 3G Stepper will come in four models: Junior (for 5-8 year olds); Spyder (for 9-13 year olds); Diablo (8 speed); and the Hammer/Work It models in aluminum, also with 8 speeds. Prices will range from $199-$649. Full size images of the models after the jump For more information on the 3G Stepper contact 3G Bikes.