Bicycle riding in the Middle East is thwarted by challenging climate and terrain, and to lesser extent by culture. A new invisible helmet, akin to an airbag, and pictured above, could incite more Middle Eastern cycling.
Cartoonist Charles Schulz wrote, “Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” A group of women in the mountains of Afghanistan, who likely never read his strip, don’t agree.
The occasional bicycle rack can be found near pedestrian promenades in Istanbul, such as the one pictured above on the Asian side of the city. But the city’s heavy traffic and reckless drivers discourage many would-be bicycle commuters. Developing a more bike-friendly Istanbul was the goal of BikeLab Istanbul, a workshop held in late December and […]
There may have been a public battle to allow Saudi women to drive but an award-winning film explores the sensitive issue of women’s rights through a young girl and her green bike The battle for Saudi women to drive (and also take part in the Olympics) may have hit the headlines in 2012 but there […]
Could it be a world-changer? A cheap solution to help African kids get to schools and clinics? Israel’s Izhar Gafni (who we interviewed here) had an outlandish idea to create a durable cardboard bike from scratch with raw materials sum totalling about $9. Add in some labor costs and you can get a pretty cheap […]
It only costs Izhar Gafni 9-12 USD to produce this sleek, waterproof and roadworthy cardboard bike. At the behest of his wife (who was tired of Gafni’s talk without action), the Israeli Kibbutznik developed an earth-friendly alternative for urban cyclists that is “so cheap it’s not worth stealing.” Like most innovators, Gafni defied the naysayers […]
Jerusalem’s light rail may have been up and running for months already, but some residents believe that cycling is still the best way to get around. In the fall of 2011, Jerusalem finally got its much anticipated light rail (after years of construction). The light rail was intended to offer a comfortable and eco-friendly means […]
Is bike-sharing gaining momentum in the Middle East? Paris got many cities to start thinking seriously about bike-sharing systems when it launched Vélib in 2007 – a municipal bike-sharing network that has been widely successful and grown to include over 20,000 bicycles at 1,200 stations. Cities worldwide have begun adopting the idea, but it is […]
Made by artisans who receive fair wages while upcycling metal products, this bike chain menorah is sustainable for people and the environment. In our recent survey of sustainably designed Hannukah menorahs, we featured menorahs (and other light fixtures) made locally in Israel. Not all Jews have the luxury of being in an area where Judaica […]
Ronen Spector has designed a bike lock so integral to the bike’s actual structure that ruining the lock would ruin the bike. With so many cool bicycle designs out there though, you may still want to sport a rocking bike without worrying about theft. Ronen Spector, a recent industrial design graduate from Shenkar in Israel, […]
Could a bike sharing system work in Beirut? Bicycle sharing has become all the rage in certain cities in the past few years, ever since the Parisians got the trend going with the Vélib’ shared bike rental system approximately three years ago. In the Middle East, Nicosia implemented a bike sharing system a few weeks […]
Bike sharing sounds like progress, but not if the plan only supports leisurely (and not commuting) cycling and without proper biking lanes. It was only a couple weeks ago that a Cypriot law proposal threatened to fine cyclists for riding on sidewalks (among other things out of the cyclists’ control due to lack of proper […]
A new law in the works in Cyprus may deter cycling (and therefore promote more carbon-emitting forms of transportation). We’ve heard some pretty crazy stories coming out of Cyprus lately (such as some Cypriots’ appetite for pickled migrating songbirds), but this may be just as shocking: a new Cypriot law proposal wishes to fine and […]
Environmentalist in countries such as Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon joined 350.org’s ‘Moving Planet’ campaign to celebrate and support greener forms of transport The stifling heat of the Middle East may be one reason why people prefer to take the car rather than walk or cycle but that doesn’t mean that they don’t support the creation […]
Ron Arad’s bike is up for the auction block: These wheels will add some spring to your ride. Unlike the car, which comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes, the bicycle has not been subject to as many design transformations and over the years has pretty much retained its classic shape. Here and there there […]