Skip to main content
Tag

environment

Royal Enfield Successfully Completes Quest For The South Pole

By General Posts

90° SOUTH – Quest For The Pole is a success! Two riders successfully trekked across Antarctica to the South Pole on Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycles.

90° SOUTH – QUEST FOR THE POLE, first-of-its-kind expedition on Royal Enfield Himalayans, commemorates 120 years of adventure and exploration on motorcycles.

Milwaukee, WI (Wednesday, December 22, 2021) – Royal Enfield, the world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production since 1901, has tested the endurance of man and machine time and again, and last week, it made history once again by successfully completing the 90° SOUTH Expedition, the quest for the South Pole on the Royal Enfield Himalayan. This extraordinary endeavor is a tribute to the brand’s 120-year commitment to pure motorcycling, and to the courage and resilience of countless riders and explorers who have made history on two wheels.

On December 16, 2021, two riders Santhosh Vijay Kumar and Dean Coxson reached the geographic South Pole in 15 days, making the ambitious attempt a reality.

The team arrived at Novo in Antarctica from Cape Town for four days of acclimatization, loading of supplies, checking equipment and the motorcycles. From Novo, the team covered an overland distance of 3200 km (1988 miles) over the next 9 days braving extreme weather conditions with temperatures between -30° to -25°C (-22° to -13°F) and wind speed of 60 km/h (37 mph), towards Ross Ice Shelf.

The Royal Enfield Himalayans and crew arrived at the geographic South Pole on December 16, 2021. (The team is in communication via satellite phone, hence the low-resolution image.)

The Ross Ice Shelf was the designated start point for the riders, however, an unexpected blizzard forced the team to alter their course. Instead of starting the ride from 86 South, the team started the 400-km (250-mile) ride from 87 degrees South. Despite a few initial roadblocks and a slight detour, the expedition team completed the quest by reaching the South Pole on December 16, 2021.

For this expedition, two Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycles were modified in-house, with functional upgrades to be able to navigate snow and ice, and function under extreme conditions in Antarctica. The motorcycles were ridden on a compacted snow track from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole, to reduce motorcycle drag and limit emissions to an absolute minimum. Royal Enfield is consciously ensuring no footprint is left behind by the expedition team except wheel tracks that will be quickly lost to snow drift. In line with our #LeaveEveryPlaceBetter initiative, the team is ensuring all waste including human waste is brought back for appropriate disposal.

The team is currently heading towards the western part of Antarctica, Union Glacier, from where they will fly out to Punta Arenas, Chile.

Minimal changes were made to the 90° SOUTH Royal Enfield Himalayans; smaller countershaft sprockets (15- to 13-tooth) increase low-end torque and stronger alternators enable the team to run heated gear.

About Royal Enfield
The oldest motorcycle company in continuous production in the world, Royal Enfield made its first motorcycle in 1901.

Studded tires, a tubeless setup and low tire pressure will only do so much–riding in snow is no easy task.

Royal Enfield North America (RENA) is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is developing a growing network of more than 140 dealers in North America, including the contiguous U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

RENA currently offers the all-new Meteor 350, Himalayan and the 650 Twins (INT 650 and Continental GT 650) motorcycles, along with a range of Genuine Motorcycle Accessories and apparel.

For more information on Royal Enfield North America, visit www.RoyalEnfield.com/us/en/, www.Instagram.com/RoyalEnfield_NA, www.Facebook.com/RoyalEnfieldNorthAmerica.

Climate Dogma Killed Biden’s “Build Back Better”

By General Posts

by Michael Shellenberger

A half trillion dollars to subsidize renewables would have raised energy prices, worsened inflation, and undermined decarbonization. But what do we do now?

The centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda is dead. Senator Joe Manchin today announced that he could not support Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation which consisted of $1.7 trillion in new spending and would have added $158 billion to the national debt over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The largest component of spending, $570 billion, was for renewables, electric cars, and other climate change investments.

Progressives, environmentalists, and Democrats are furious with Sen. Manchin, but it was their own climate and renewables dogmatism that doomed the legislation. Democratic Senators could have written legislation that expanded nuclear energy and natural gas, the two main drivers of decarbonization, which are strongly supported by Manchin, and Republicans, but instead investments went overwhelmingly to solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars.

It’s true that there were good things in Build Back Better, and that one of the worst climate provisions, the Clean Energy Performance Program, was already removed. Build Back Better included a tax credit for existing nuclear power plants, funding for advanced nuclear fuels, funding for fusion R&D, and financial support for communities hurt by the transition to renewables.

But the money for nuclear would not have made much if any difference to the operating of nuclear plans. Nuclear plants in California, Massachusetts and New York are being shut down, despite already being profitable, for ideological reasons. Legislatures in less anti-nuclear states like Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticult step in to save their plants when they need to. And higher electricity prices due to natural gas shortages are making nuclear plants in other states even more profitable.

Of Build Back Better’s $550 billion for climate and energy, the vast majority of it was for weather-dependent renewables and their enabling infrastructure, including $29 billion for a “green bank” program to finance renewables and $10 billion for rural electric cooperatives to switch to renewables. Such subsidies were being offered despite years of false claims by many of the legislation’s sponsors and advocates that solar and wind were already cheaper than grid electricity.

Most dangerously, Build Back Better would have undermined electricity reliability, raised energy prices, and made the U.S. more dependent on foreign energy imports. Over-reliance on weather-dependent renewables in Texas and California, and under-investment in reliable, weather-independent nuclear and natural gas plants, led directly to deadly blackouts in those states.

I testified as much to this problem to Manchin’s Senate Commitee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Sen. Manchin made clear today that the role of renewables in making electricity expensive and unreliable was one of his top concerns. “The main thing that we need is dependability and reliability,” he said this morning. “If not, you’ll have what happened in Texas and California.” In his statement, Manchin said, “If enacted, the bill will also risk the reliability of our electric grid and increase our dependence on foreign supply chains.”

Adding weather-dependent energy sources can only make grids more resilient if significantly more money is spent maintaining reliable power sources to make up for their lost revenue and lost operation hours. That’s what Germany has done, deciding to burn more coal rather than continue operating its nuclear plants, which it’s shutting down, or rely too heavily on imported natural gas.

Manchin is also right that Build Back Better would increase dependence on energy imports. Over 80% of the world’s solar panels are made in China by incarcerated Uighyr Muslims living in concentration camps and against whom the Chinese government is committing “genocide,” according to the U.S. State Department.

Build Back Better contained incentives for the return of solar manufacturing to the U.S., but they were far too small to compete with solar panels made by incarcerated people in China’s already-built and heavily-subsidized mega-factories. Nor did they deal with the coming solar panel waste crisis.

“We have been energy independent for the first time for the first time in 60, 70 years or more,” noted Manchin, “and we should not have to depend on other parts of the world to give us the energy, or be able to hold us hostage for the energy, or the foreign supply chains that we need for the products we need every day.”

Everywhere in the world that solar and wind are deployed at scale they increase electricity prices dramatically. California increased its electricity prices seven times more than the rest of the U.S. over the last decade. Germany has the highest electricity prices in Europe, and is breaking new records with the energy shortage caused by lack of adequate natural gas supplies globally.

And now the entire world is paying the price of climate alarmism and renewables dogmatism. Climate shareholder activism and the ESG “sustainable” investment movement caused governments and private sector actors to underinvest in oil and gas production and over-invest in weather-dependent renewables. The result is historic shortages of natural gas and oil.

For the last several weeks Europen and Asian nations have been breaking records for the cost of electricity, due to shortages of natural gas supplies. Oil prices are set to rise to $125 per barrel next year and $150 in 2023, and U.S. winter natural gas prices will be 30% higher this year. Even nuclear-heavy France, which became over-invested in renewables and natural gas, and under-invested in nuclear, is seeing record electricity prices.

But what then, does it mean for climate change? And what should be done to safeguard American energy supplies going forward?

Political Agendas on Electrical Vehicles Charge Up Emotions

By General Posts

by Colby Martin from SEMA Action Network (SAN) at https://www.semasan.com

GROUNDING THE “EV” BUZZ

Political Agendas Surrounding Automobiles Charge Up Strong Emotions

The impending arrival of electric cars and trucks has caused quite a stir. Sure, everyone shares the well-intentioned notion of a healthier environment. But constant announcements about the potential phasing out of new gas-powered vehicles have enthusiasts worried about the future of the hobby. Thanks in part to a 24-hour news-cycle, the automotive-minded are forced to ponder this great unknown with greater frequency. With the topic weighing heavier on many minds, the question arises: what’s to become of the tailpipe—and when? Clearly there are crossed wires needing to be untangled.

Acronym Soup

First, we must understand the common lingo used in automotive discussions. The gasoline-sipping internal combustion engine (ICE) has long been the motivator of choice. However, the low- and zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) categories have emerged and made significant improvements in recent years. There are several different models of these cars and trucks such as electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids, and those running on hydrogen fuel-cells. With such competition, it may seem like traditional rides could have a tougher existence in a yet-uncertain future of alternative powerplants.

Government Directives

The latest update in the automotive world came from the nation’s top office: the Biden Administration. President Joe Biden signed the “Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks” in August. In short, the measure calls for 50% of all sales of new cars and light trucks in the US be ZEV by the year 2030. “It is the policy of my Administration to advance these objectives in order to improve our economy and public health, boost energy security, secure consumer savings, advance environmental justice, and address the climate crisis,” said President Biden.

Biden’s action was preceded by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s controversial notice last year. That order instructed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to draft regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2035. Once drafted, CARB’s proposed regulations will be subject to a lengthy regulatory process, including legal, economic, and environmental analyses, public comment, and hearings. The Governor’s order is also expected to face numerous legal challenges from opponents.

Cause for Concern?

The concern surrounding EVs is understandable, but premature. Many of the proposed rules and legal mandates are far more symbolic in nature. For example, President Biden’s actions were merely issued as an Executive Order, meaning it is not a federal law and has no binding authority. In fact, the following disclaimer is included at the end of the Order:

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Directives like President Biden’s also tend to be highly aspirational with ambitious time frames for implementation. For example, many of the President’s proposed benchmarks extend beyond his time in office, giving him little say on the final product.

Realities: Supply vs. Demand

Perhaps the most direct impact to personal transportation will come from the automakers themselves. The evolving market is already experiencing highs and lows. While seeking to boost ZEV sales, major brands have been subject to factors beyond their control. Supply chain shortages and logistical issues have impeded production schedules, causing delays, and price surges. Additionally, massive investment of resources will be required for materials and retooling throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Many fundamental issues need to be resolved before any major shift to “clean” vehicles is feasible. Most importantly, more than 281 million rides share US roads—a small fraction of which are EVs. Such a massive fleet won’t be replaced anytime soon. Of course, the lion’s share are newer vehicles, which often have a life spanning a decade or longer. Also, the urge to trade-in for an electric model decreases without widespread options for “refueling.” Charging woes include long recharging time, charger availability, and standardization of hardware between brand offerings. Additionally, the U.S. electrical grid can hardly handle its current strain—let alone an entire nation needing to recharge at home or on-the-go. At this point, clear solutions appear far from sight.

Informed & Involved

Although the future of EV adoption remains to be seen, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes a balance can be achieved and has made this fight a top priority. Our community’s rich history of innovation should be celebrated as it continues evolving with emerging technologies. As always, the SAN opposes proposed efforts to ban the ICE and other such mandates impacting vehicles of all kinds—vintage collectibles and their fuel supply included.

With the ever-growing voice of advocates from our hobby, politicians are increasingly aware of how many passionate voters are paying attention to their actions. SAN contacts like you will receive details direct to inboxes as opportunities to act arise—stay tuned for further updates.

Meantime, please spread the word to get others involved in the good fight: CLICK semaSAN.com/Join

–IGNITED WE STAND!

About SAN: https://www.semasan.com/about

EDITOR’s NOTE:
“Here’s the wildest truth. Climate Alarmism or Climate Doom IS misinformation. Oops.” –Bandit

BANNED : Chainsaws, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers & More

By General Posts

from https://mrf.org/

Chainsaws, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers… What’s Next?

Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newson signed a bill into law banning the sale of all off-road, gas-powered engines, including generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, and even golf carts. Under the new law, these machines must be zero-emissions, meaning they will have to be either battery-powered or plug-in.

This law is particularly concerning because of the status California holds within the national economy. The population and market size that California commands often forces manufacturers to react by changing products nationwide, to conform to California standards. Additionally, states with like-minded legislatures often follow with similar laws and regulations of their own.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is concerned that this action by California, will begin a cascading effect that will eventually result in the demise of the internal combustion engine and the fuel supply tied to it. During the legislative agenda setting meeting, held at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, in Atlanta, Georgia this very issue was debated. Working with our state partners, the MRF is currently evaluating how best to address these concerns.

The final 2022 MRF Legislative Agenda will be made public in an upcoming American Biker Journal.

To read more on the bill click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. Visit the Website https://mrf.org/

House Passes Highway Bill – Biker Priorities Included

By General Posts

Thursday morning the full House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684 the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act or the INVEST in America Act. This bill is more commonly referred to as the highway bill. The bill is over 1,500 pages, spends $715 billion and includes five beneficial provisions for motorcyclists. The final vote on passage was 221 for and 201 against. Two Republicans voted in favor and no Democrats opposed.

The Senate has begun work on their version of the highway bill and the two chambers will eventually need to work out the differences before an agreed upon bill is sent to the President for his signature. Traditionally, a highway bill has a five-year lifespan before Congress must fund and reauthorize programs again. Typically, highway bills occur in years ending in 0’s and 5’s. The last highway bill expired in 2020 but was given a one-year extension as Congress was unable to reach a compromise. Congress now faces a September 30th deadline to pass a new highway bill and reauthorize crucial transportation and safety related programs.

Below is a brief recap of the five motorcyclist related items that the House of Representatives approved and included in this major piece of legislation:

Profiling: The bill includes an update to current federal law on the issue of motorcycle only check points. The bill passed today includes language that prohibits state and local governments from using funds from the Department of Transportation to “profile and stop motorcycle operators or motorcycle passengers using as a factor the clothing or mode of transportation of such operators or passengers.”

Traffic Stop Data Collection: An amendment to the bill by Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-R) and Congressman Michael Burgess (TX-R) added the term “mode of transportation” to a newly created grant program for racial and ethnic profiling. The program allows states to use federal money to collect data on traffic stops. Originally the only information that states could use the funds for was to record was the driver’s racial and ethnic makeup. With this added language, states will have access to funds to collect the “mode of transportation” of the person being stopped. If states choose to participate in the program, motorcyclists will have access to data on traffic stops and determine if motorcyclists are stopped disproportionally by law enforcement. This amendment was a joint effort by the Co-Chairmen of the House Motorcycle Caucus and was added just hours before the final bill was passed.

Motorcyclist Advisory Council: H.R. 3684 includes a section that reestablishes the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) and makes needed changes. The MAC has existed for over a decade and allows federal policymakers, state highway officials, and motorcyclists to discuss the unique demands of riding a motorcycle and how roads, bridges, and other infrastructure can be built to better account for motorcyclists’ needs. The bill creates dedicated seats on the council for motorcyclists’ rights groups and manufacturers. It also requires a report every two years be made to the Secretary of Transportation and Congress.

Autonomous Vehicles: The INVEST Act includes specific language requiring that when the Department of Transportation conducts safety studies on autonomous vehicles, motorcycles must be considered as unique roadway users. Additionally, a newly formed working group on autonomous vehicles must include a motorcyclist safety group as part of its membership. As with the MAC, motorcyclists need a seat at the table when our safety and freedoms are being debated.

Motorcyclist Safety Funds: The bill, as passed, would increase the 405 safety funds made available to states for motorcyclist safety by $1,470,000 for the next fiscal year with increases through 2025. This is an increase in the program of roughly 34% over current funding levels. Under this bill, the total amount available to states in the next fiscal year would be $5,760,000.

Visit and join Motorcycle Riders Foundation at https://mrf.org/

J J Solari on CEO of Harley-Davidson

By General Posts

A fictional account of leadership and vision by the one and only J J Solari.

Oh yes, we were talking about me and my vision for Harley-Davidson and whatever it is they do. While I am depicted here with my two-wheeled cycle of manly mayhem, you will notice I am not actually riding it. And the animals and the birds have come to me to ask ‘Good sir, canst thou not defile our sacred home with thine fumes?’ And to this I say ‘consider it done!

I shall merely pose with this monster of manliness: I shall not actually start it up! The forest shall be safe!’ And speaking of not starting things up, this accoutrement to my portrait does not actually have an engine. It is a prototype of what I hope will become the future of Harley- Davidson: engine-free coasting cycles. Noise, smoke, gasoline, decimated rubber forests, asphalt, bugs in the face……these nightmares, under my leadership and guidance, shall be eliminated, to be replaced by happy animals safely crossing non existing roads, bluebirds chirping happily on the ends of our outstretched index fingers, green grass and pine trees reclaiming once again their rightful ownership of the planet.

Click Here to Read this Fun Ride into a new sunset only on Bikernet.

Join the Cantina for more – Subscribe Today.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

How The Pandemic Has Kick-Started a Motorcycle Boom

By General Posts

by Emila Smith

It is hard to think about silver linings amidst a devastating pandemic. However, despite the crumbling health systems and faltering businesses, many people have found ways to keep their heads up. They are taking this as an opportunity to enjoy a COVID-triggered breath of fresh air.

The pandemic has kick-started a global motorcycle boom. More people are turning to their two-wheelers to break away from the stress and fears, enjoy the outdoors, and ease movement.

According to a Bloomberg report, motorcycle industry leaders are optimistic. Eric Pritchard of the Motorcycle Industry Council looked forward to the best run since 2016. Like tech-based companies, motorcycle companies look forward to explosive growth during this COVID-19 season.

But what are the reasons behind this motorcycle boom?

As the experts at McKinsey would say, “The pandemic reshaped what consumers buy and how they go about getting it.” Previously, motorcycle sales were low because people considered it a risky affair. Bike riders had a disproportionately high number of accidents, and people were grey concerning handling injury and claims. But it looks like the tide is turning. The pandemic has somehow caused a shift in how people perceive motorcycling. It is no longer a stressful, hair-raising activity, but one pursued its health benefits.

Read on and learn how wellness-craving buyers are causing a motorcycle boom.

A COVID-Triggered Breath of Life
Before the pandemic, dark clouds were hanging over the motorcycle industry in the US. There were not enough new buyers to replace those who were giving up their two-wheelers. According to  Statista.com, sales peaked in 2015 when industry sales stood at about 500,000 units. But the figures plummeted in subsequent years. Motorcycle companies like Harley Davidson were on the deathbed for a long time.

But then COVID-19 happened. Lockdowns, social distancing, and other containment measures meant stress. Mental and physical wellness were the words that would inject new hope into the struggling industry, and the global sales figures show it.

In Asia and Europe, motorcycle companies in countries like China, Germany, and the Netherlands surpassed their year-on-year growth projections. Overall, global industry leaders anticipate that the two-wheeler market will grow from about $74billion (a rate of 5.3%). There are economic reasons behind this growth as well as social motivations.

Growth in Supporting Businesses
The COVID-driven growth of e-commerce is primarily due to the shift to working from home. As people stay at home, the demand for courier services is surging.

Whether it is Uber eats or Deliveroo, motorcycles are the preferred transport solution for courier services. During the pandemic, industry leaders like Uber eats have reported exceptional growth, triggering an increase in the number of riders. The same was the case for Deliveroo in London. They added 15,000 new riders.

But it’s not only economic reasons that are driving the motorcycle boom. Riding a motorcycle can improve a person’s well-being. We think this takes the chunk of why the pandemic kick-started the motorcycle boom, and here is how.

Motorcycles are An Affordable Escape from COVID-19 Worries
Lockdowns and the demand to stay at home or work from home cause fatigue and tension. People need ways to blow off the steam, and motorcycles provide an excellent route to achieve relief.

Biking is an affordable way to escape the tumults of urban lifestyles and get lost in the open spaces of the countryside. The release and joy of riding is an excellent remedy for stress and tension.

According to the Bloomberg report, dealers in “open space states” like California, some regions in Florida, and Kentucky have experienced exponential sales in the last couple of months. Industry leaders have particularly noted an increase in demand for outdoor and adventure models.

Enthusiasm to Explore
As the pandemic continues to devastate lives and communities, people are turning to new ways to cope. More people are channeling their dreams and pains through their two-wheeled companions.

Many Americans have turned to their two-wheeled companions for stress relief and to build a sense of community. Founders of women’s biking movements, Kelly Yazdi and Porsche Taylor, told cntraveler.com how they saw this as an opportunity to inspire women to ride across the country and help ‘sisters’ cope. And it is driving the average number of riders up.

An Excellent Way to Commute
Travelling within cities and other urban spaces is often marred by traffic jams. Many people detest the downtime and opt to use public transport. However, COVID-19 rendered public transport a not-very-safe way to travel.

Many people who opted not to stay confined in cars chose motorcycles, driving the numbers up. Two-wheelers became a natural choice for urban dwellers who wanted to get to their destinations fast without compromising social distance or other COVID containment measures.

Riding is not only safer but also a faster way to get to your destination. Although lane splitting is not legal in many parts of the US, there is no doubt that it is easier to weave through traffic gridlocks when on a motorcycle. Every month motorcycle riders in London save an average of seven hours and about 140 (about $198) on their commute. Saving time and money has a tremendous positive impact on mental wellness. It is a good reason why the motorcycle figures are staying up.

Makes Environmental Sense
Beating traffic feels awesome; doing it while you are going green also boosts your mental wellness.

The carbon footprint of manufacturing and operating a motorcycle is a fraction of that of a motor vehicle. Manufacturing and running an electric bike leaves an even smaller carbon footprint. Environmentally sensitive buyers are aware of this, and they are saying they want more bikes through their wallets.

The pandemic inspired a 145% growth in electric bike sales in the US. They get to their destination faster, boosting their mood, and they feel good about the environment.

Bottom Line
Behind the pandemic-driven boom is the need for overall wellness. People have realized that biking is not the high-risk activity they perceived it to be. But by observing the safety guidelines and learning a thing or two about handling injury and compensation, riding a motorcycle can turn into a mentally rewarding pastime.

The wellness rewards of riding have kick-started the motorcycle boom.

Proposed drag racing series faces safety, noise concerns

By General Posts

by Joe Werkmeister from https://riverheadnewsreview.timesreview.com

The organizer of a proposed drag racing series at the Enterprise Park at Calverton addressed a number of concerns related to safety, noise and the environment during Thursday’s Town Board work session.

Pete Scalzo, who has a pending special event application for an multi-series event called Race Track Not Street at EPCAL, said all vehicles racing on the temporary 1/8-mile track on the 7,000-foot EPCAL runway will be required to have a muffler. Vehicles will be inspected prior to racing, he said. Motorcycles would not be permitted to race as well.

Several residents spoke out against two pending racing proposals, including a separate event called the Scrambul Runway Challenge, during the May 19 Town Board meeting.

“Everything will comply with strict safety protocols,” Mr. Scalzo said of his event, citing his experience with promoting more than 170 drag racing events that have been successfully completed without incident as well as running four race tracks. “I’m proud to say I have never ever had a claim paid out to a racer or spectator.”

Racing will be limited to the 1/8-mile track with a speed limit set at 115 mph or no faster than six seconds, he said. He said those limits are not common at drag racing events and he’s received some negative feedback from racers, but has agreed to those limitations to ease safety concerns.

Racers will also be required to wear a helmet, a change from his original presentation before the Town Board in April. He said the helmets will be required even thought the insurance company does not mandate it. The event would be sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association, Mr. Scalzo said.

Councilman Ken Rothwell, who has worked with Mr. Scalzo on the special event application, said Mr. Scazlo has “proven himself in this industry” and said he has “great confidence in him.”

Mr. Scalzo agreed to push back the date for the event, which will be held over four weekends starting in late August if approved, due to concerns about nesting birds.

“I did speak to the [Department of Environmental Conservation] and the nesting dates conclude around Aug. 16 so we’re not going to start until the following weekend,” Mr. Rothwell said. “We’re working together between man and nature.”

The Town Board is expected to vote on resolutions for the special event applications for both Mr. Scalzo’s event and the Scrambul Runway Challenge at its next meeting Wednesday. The Scrambul event, which would feature three tracks using both runways, was originally proposed for June but will now be Sept. 25-26.

Mr. Rothwell said he’s been talking to Andre Baxter of Scrambul and he has agreed to change the dates to not interfere with the bird nesting. Mr. Baxter also has decreased the size of his half-mile track so there won’t be the high speeds that officials were concerned about. The application shows a maximum of 1,000 people, including drivers. The resolution on the Scrambul event would amend a prior resolution the Town Board approved for the special event application.

“They are committed to providing a safe venture here,” Mr. Rothwell said.

The Race Track Not Street events would run on Saturday and Sunday and would be held during daytime for the first weekend. Three subsequent Saturdays would be night events, with gates opening at 1 p.m. and competition from 4-10:45 p.m., the latest time allowed under the town code. Mr. Scalzo said the series of multiple events is necessary to make it cost effective to host. Mr. Scalzo estimated needing about 30 staff members to run the event.

There would be a $35 entry fee for racers and spectators would pay $15 in advance or $20 at the gate.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said Mr. Scalzo agreed to give Riverhead Town residents priority in attending the event.

“There’s a big interest here in Riverhead,” she said.

In terms of safety, Mr. Scalzo said there will be over 2,000 feet of highway concrete barriers and additional 1,600 feet of crowd control metal barrier fencing.

Mr. Scalzo said the racing surface where he envisions the 660 feet of racing taking place is “better than probably most of the other race tracks that I’ve been at.”

Spectator viewing, parking and pit areas will be on concrete or asphalt and not on grass areas, he said.

Speaking to concerns about noise, Mr. Scalzo said he can’t blame nearby residents for bringing up the issue. He said in years past, other proposals centered around true drag racing where the vehicles would have been quite loud. But this proposal, he said, is street racing.

“We are so concerned about issues that the public has with noise that we will be on top of that,” he said. “Again, what we’re asking for is this permit to be able to operate to show you the merits of what drag racing is all about. I’m not saying I’m personally looking for a change in zoning or something that should continue forever at EPCAL. No, that’s not what this is all about.”

The Town Board is still waiting for reports from the fire marshal and Planning Department. Jefferson Murphree, the planning administrator, said there are no outstanding concerns.

He said a traffic safety plan has to be approved by the police department as is always required with the special event application.

Mr. Scalzo, 76, who lives in Sarasota, Fla., said he plans to attend Wednesday’s Town Board meeting.

Uber Launches Electric Motorcycles And Scooters For Rides And Deliveries In Kenya

By General Posts

from https://africa.com

Uber Launches Electric Motorcycles And Scooters For Rides And Deliveries In Kenya And For The First Time In Africa.

Uber has announced the launch of electric BodaBodas and bicycles for earners on UberBoda, Uber Connect and Uber Eats in Kenya, allowing riders and eaters the ability to choose a more sustainable option to move around and to have deliveries made. The launch is a first for Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sustainable rides with UberBoda Green

The launch of electric BodaBodas will not only offer an affordable and reliable manner of transportation within the city, but riders will be able to select a zero-emissions ride to help drive a green recovery. Using electric UberBoda vehicles will cost the same as a regular journey, as going green should never be more expensive. Riders can also expect the same door-to-door safety experience.

The launch of electric boda presents a 45% reduction in overall costs for Uber Boda and Uber Connect drivers, for whom fuel is the most significant operating cost. In Kenya, the boda boda sector employs over 1.6 million youths, the vast majority of which are based in Nairobi.

“We are doing our part to help transform mobility in the country so that Kenyans can play their part in reducing carbon emissions. Uber is continuously looking for ways to improve the customer experience, and we have a responsibility to invest in offering product innovations that make a difference to cities. We believe this collaboration will do just that”, says Brian Njao, Head of East Africa for Uber.

Reducing emissions while making deliveries

With consumers being environmentally and health-conscious, it is important for Uber Eats to be part of the journey. The introduction of electric BodaBodas can allow consumers to order their favourite meals while giving them peace of mind that their food is delivered in transportation with low emissions. In addition, Uber Connect deliveries will also be done using the newly launched electric motorcycles and bicycles.

“Uber Eats has grown exponentially across Kenya, with the app being available in Mombasa, Nakuru and Nairobi, which means more delivery people on the road. Providing electric BodaBodas to delivery people means that transportation emissions can be cut drastically, says Nadeem Anjarwalla, General Manager of Uber Eats in Kenya.

Uber will continue to actively work with cities to introduce eco-friendly products to decrease air pollution, reduce urban congestion, and increase access to clean transportation modes.

Electric Motorcycles to help in Wildlife Protection

By General Posts

from https://thewestsidegazette.com

Two-Wheeled Hope: Kenya Embraces Electric Motorcycle Project, Ups E-Mobility Goals

One of the world’s largest urban forests sits just outside Nairobi, one of Africa’s busiest cities. Amid its tranquility, the setting is often pierced by ear-splitting gasoline motorbikes emitting fumes as rangers patrol for poachers, intruders and watch over visitors.

“Normally, we use gasoline motorbikes to patrol this forest, making it impossible to nab culprits because of the noise. In many instances, we have been fighting a losing battle,” John Chege, the infrastructure coordinator from Friends of Karura Forest, told Zenger News.

But now, thanks to an electric motorbikes pilot project recently launched in Nairobi, Friends of Karura Forest is getting a donation of electric motorbikes.

Implemented by the United Nations Environmental Program, it is part of a larger initiative: Integrating two and three-wheelers into existing urban transport modes in developing and transition countries. The effort is funded by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature and Nuclear.

Thanks to an electric motorbikes pilot project recently launched in Nairobi, Friends of Karura Forest is getting a donation of electric motorbikes. (Courtesy United Nations Environment Program)

The goal is to curb greenhouse gas emissions by helping countries reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Chege also said the bikes will help rangers move swiftly and more quietly through the vast forest of 2,752 acres.

“Since they are fast and do not emit much noise and minimal air pollution, we are sure of providing forest security efficiently, while tackling environmental problems,” Chege told stakeholders at the launch.

Despite the Kenyan government hope to transition into a 100 percent green energy nation, with more than 80 percent of its energy coming from hydro, solar, geothermal and wind, it still imports more gasoline motorbikes than cars, doubling its fleet every seven-to-eight years. It’s estimated that the newly registered gasoline motorcycles, commonly used as taxis (boda-boda), which stood at 1.5 million in 2018, will likely hit 5 million by 2030.

With the two and three-wheelers accounting for the same amount of emissions as a passenger car, Africa could see a 50 percent increase in air pollution by 2050 in low- and middle-income countries by 2050, according to a study by the Global Environment Facility.

“Now is a critical moment in the transition to electric mobility. Although we are at relatively low levels, we are 2 percent of sales globally, the change is coming exponentially. The volume is doubling less than every two years,” said Nigel Topping, the UK Government High Level Climate Action Champion for the upcoming United Nations climate talks, known as COP26.

According to Topping, it is possible to end the use of combustion engines and their associated health and climate effects.

“The shift toward electric mobility is a much-needed technology in saving the environment from pollution, and this pilot project will help. We have to grasp this opportunity, which will change the way we move in our cities. We are committed to it,” said James Macharia, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for transport, infrastructure, housing, urban development and public works.

Joyce Musya, UNEP deputy executive director, says motorcycles being imported by Kenya are generally inefficient and poorly maintained. “Shifting to electric bikes in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and elsewhere will reduce costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as create jobs,” said Musya.

Environment Program in Nairobi. (Courtesy U.N. Environment Program)

The bikes, donated by Shenzhen Shenling Car Co. Ltd., will last six to 12 months and will be replicated in Uganda, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“We are committed to set up charging ports across the country to support growing demand for electric-powered vehicles and motorbikes,” said Brian Ngugi, managing director at Kenya Power, the country’s electricity transmission company.

The motorcycle industry supports 5.2 million Kenyans directly or indirectly, which is about 10 percent of Kenya’s population. There are 1.4 million motorcycle riders in Kenya.

Keffa Mwendwa, a boda boda rider, has been using an electric bike for six months within Nairobi, courtesy of Ecobodaa, a Nairobi-based startup that operates on a rent-to-own model. He sees many plusses.

“As compared to the gasoline motorbikes, maintenance is cheaper,” Mwendwa said. “I don’t have to do engine services like changing oil or changing chains. I only have to change brake fluid and tire pressure.”