One Street News
Vol. 4, Issue 9
- Shift Levers for Impoverished People
- Uganda Trip – Delay Brings Boost
- Welcome New One Street Advisors
- Resources – U.S. Road Fatalities Map
- Hot Topics – Car-centric Transportation Priorities
- Supporter Spotlight – 2011 Donors
Design students at the Ecosa Institute spent this past fall semester designing shift lever sets for One Street Components that will serve the needs of impoverished people. The resulting five designs were wildly innovative and diverse. One used an arm, clamp and shaft device that the cyclist would push or pull to tighten or loosen the cable. Another centered on a vertical cam that tightened the cable when moved only slightly.
The three other designs all returned to the common horizontal lever. This simple motion and design fits all the necessary criteria that will ensure our shift levers truly serve the needs of impoverished people: intuitive function, simple, durable, repairable with common items, affordable, and easy to manufacture.
The design that best met these criteria, one of the three lever designs, was dubbed “The Palminator” by the students because it is shaped like the inside of the rider’s hand. Not only does this allow the rider to steer while shifting, it adds a very exciting new element we had not considered—it works for people with hand disabilities!
Starting in early January the students will move into the detailed design starting with The Palminator and making adjustments discovered through the other lever designs; in particular, the bolts and washers needed to cause friction so the lever does not slip back. Also, the clamp details in all three of these initial designs offer various benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, the students will create a simple casting foundry not only so we can test prototypes, but to ensure the lever pieces can be easily manufactured even in the most remote areas of the world. We’re looking forward to working with the students to refine all these design details and, or course, playing with molten metal.
By: Sue Knaup, Executive Director
Now that I’ve gotten over my initial disappointment with not being able to travel to Uganda in January, I have to say I am thrilled with our decision. It wasn’t easy to make. I discussed it thoroughly with the leaders at Ride 4 a Woman (R4W), but in the end, we all agreed that I simply should not travel there until we have raised enough money to also purchase more bicycles and workshop supplies for their bicycle program. Since making the decision to postpone the trip until the second half of 2012, more wonderful donors have stepped up to help. We’re now more than halfway to our ideal fundraising goal of $8,000!
We’ll continue our fundraising effort as well as planning for the trip as 2012 gets underway. All donations noted for the trip will be held specifically to support the trip and our assistance to R4W’s bicycle program. Keep an eye on our e-newsletter for updates. If you know of folks who might like to contribute, please forward them the link to our One Street to Uganda web page. I so appreciate all your support and assistance!
Denis Rubalema, founder and executive director of Ride 4 a Woman in Bwindi, Uganda has been working with One Street since 2009. Under his leadership, Ride 4 a Woman is serving more than 300 woman members with bicycle riding and repair skills as well as other career training. Lately, he’s become an ambassador and mentor for our Social Bike Business program in Uganda as well as other East African countries. Denis received a degree in Development Studies and a Masters in Marketing from the London Metropolitan University in the UK. He has worked for several multi-national organizations and corporations including World Vision and Coca Cola in Uganda. We look forward to continuing our work with him as he steps in to share his expertise with One Street and our local partners around the world.
Michael Linke, is the founder and managing director of the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) in Namibia and has been very helpful to One Street over the years. His program model is one of the most effective we have found because they never give away bikes. Instead, they create small bike shops around bike shipments, hire and train local people to run the shops, and then let these owners use the proceeds to supply their shop with more bikes and parts. After five years, BEN Namibia has supplied more than 12,000 bicycles, trained more than 150 people in bicycle mechanics, and created 90 new jobs. Originally from Australia, Michael and his family will be moving to Rio de Janeiro this month, though he will travel back and forth between Brazil and Namibia. We look forward to continuing our work with Michael to share our collective knowledge with local leaders around the world.Please join us in a rousing welcome for both Denis and Michael to One Street’s Board of Advisors! map of U.S. road fatalities between 2001 and 2009. Prepare for a shock.
After looking at the U.S. road fatalities map in Resources above and considering the ridiculously tiny investment U.S. transportation officials invest in bicycling, take a look at this video we’ve posted to One Street’s home page: “How the Dutch Got Their Cycle Paths.” You’ll recognize the overbuilt roads void of room for cyclists just as we now have in the U.S. You’ll also see that the Dutch had to fight for their bicycle provisions. But something gave way. Officials listened to the bicycle advocates and slowly found ways to balance the use of their public rights of way for all travelers. What will it take for nations like the U.S. to finally loosen their grip on the dying (literally) concept of car-centric transportation?
We also have to send an enormous thank you to all of our grantors and sponsors, most notably
- New Belgium Brewing Company who not only supports our Social Bike Business program, but is also a social business themselves;
- Cyclists for Cultural Exchange for their continued support of One Street’s work with Ride 4 a Woman in Uganda; and
- The Robin Lee Whittlesey Foundation for their continued support of One Street’s work with Ride 4 a Woman in Uganda.
We’ve still got a lot of fundraising to do to build on all of these successes. If you’d like to donate before the end of the year, please click our Donate Now button on our website or pass the link on to others you think might be interested. We so appreciate it and hope you have lots of fun with friends and family over the Holidays.