Oto Cycles Electric Bikes

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Designed by Barcelona-based Oto Cycles, the OtoK and OtoR electric bicycles have a retro cafe racer style.

It can be hard to make electric bikes sexy, but Oto Cycles seems to have pulled it off by borrowing styling cues from vintage motorcycles. Inside of its iconic looking aluminum fuel tank is a NCM battery that powers a 250w electric motor, giving the bike plenty of power with a twist of the throttle. It’s drop handlebars and Brooks leather saddle accentuates the throw-back style, while a LCD display helps give the bikes some modern functionality. The bikes comes in a variety of colors, both matte and gloss.

For more information about Oto Cycles, check out their website: otocycles.com

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Navdy HUD Display

 

 

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The Navdy is a state-of-the-art heads-up display system designed to work in just about any model car.

The device connects with your smart phone via Bluetooth to deliver navigation info, incoming notifications, and even your car’s performance vitals  (accessed via OBD II port) on a transparent 5.1 inch display above your dashboard. All this, without any extensive modifications or complicated wiring.

Navdy comes with an integrated infrared camera that offers touchless gesture control, allowing drivers to accept an incoming call by swiping left or dismiss it by swiping right. Voice recognition capabilities of either Siri or Google voice, can also be used to initiate phone calls or to dictate texts.

Navigation cues, complete with turn-by-turn directions are also provided. With priority given to on-screen direction, the navigation won’t vanish when a call comes in. Instead the navigation continues while the conversation takes place in the background, allowing you to talk to someone without getting lost.

For more information about the Navdy, check out the promo video below. To pre-order yours today, check out their website: navdy.com

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Wood Casting by Hilla Shamia

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Israeli designer Hilla Shamia joins aluminum and solid wood in a process he calls “Wood Casting.”

Placing an uncut tree trunk in a mold, Shamia pours molten aluminum directly onto the wood – burning it slightly and darkening its exterior. The liquid aluminum finds its way into all the cracks and knots of the wood and creates an interlocking connection when it cools and hardens. The wood then gets cut lengthwise and put into another mold to make the frame and legs of the piece.

Each piece is completely unique due to the various types of wood and their particular texture. For more information about the process, check out his website at: hillashamia.com

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Bike Lift and Carry by Mukomelov

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The Bike Lift and Carry by Kiev-based Mukomelov design studio is designed to help urban cyclists carry their bike up steep hills and stairs.

Anchored to the seat post, the Bike Life and Carry unrolls like an airport line divider and attaches to the front handlebar with a clip. This gives cyclists to ability to hoist the bicycle over the their shoulder and carry it. This can be especially useful for bicycles without a straight top tube, such as the Dutch-style step-through featured in the picture above. The Bike Lift and Carry also frees up a rider’s hands so they can more easily navigate crowded spaces and open doors.

The strap adjusts to accommodate people of various heights and different bike sizes. A button on the side of the case can be used to lock the length in place and to automatically recoil the strap away when the rider is ready to get back on the bike.

For more information about the Bike Lift and Carry, check out Mukomelov’s website: mukomelov.com

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The Bunkie Co.

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A collaboration between 608 Design and BLDG Workshop, the Bunkie is versatile prefab house that can be placed just about anywhere.

The two firms came together through mutual appreciation of each others work, and decided to work together to design an inexpensive, eco-friendly housing option. They decided to use CNC milling technology, which is used extensively for mass-producing furniture, in order to cut large pieces of the house. This saves them both material as well as construction time.

They designed a few different versions of Bunkie, each with their own special characteristics, however all of them feature a compact living space that aims to offer maximum functionality with minimal footprint.  To this end, each Bunkie has been designed with integrated shelve-system for storage and a folding murphy bed. Ideal for a guest house, backyard office, or remote cabin retreat, the Bunkie great multipurpose space with a smart modern design.

For more information about the Bunkie house, check out its dedicated website: bunkie.co

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Motorcycle Camping in Big Bear

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There are moments in every city-dweller’s life when we feel compelled to drop everything, forsake our weekend obligations, and flee – by any means necessary – into the wild. This desire to escape our crowded surrounds comes on slowly during the workweek, but swells up suddenly and undeniably once the weekend arrives. It is as if we spend our entire lives in the city holding our breath, and from time to time we are required to come up for a long drag of cool, clean air. This was one of those weekends.

A group of us from Aether: Jonah, Brandt, Matty, and myself, as well as our good friend Davide from Shelter Half, seized upon the idea of getting out of town about midweek, even if just for a single night. One of the main benefits of an impromptu camping trip is that there’s virtually no time to stress out over the planning. No weighing one destination versus another, sussing out the campsite with the best amenities, or trying to determine the absolute ideal route in getting there. Whatever is going to happen, is going to happen – in a very real, kinetic way. This style of last-minute scramble camping can be quite liberating, especially for those who rely heavily on careful deliberation and planning during the workweek. So off we went, without much of a plan, or much of a care, over the hills and far away.

In additional to our own personal motorcycles, we also had access to a loaner Ural Gear-Up sidecar. This Russian beast of a machine is the motorcycle equivalent of an SUV, making it the ideal vehicle for hauling camping supplies. With its passenger compartment, rear trunk, and back rack fully loaded, we have no doubt the Ural would give a Toyota Rav4 a run for its money in terms of storage capacity.

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We were heading towards Big Bear lake, but instead of slabbing it across the highway, we decided to take the back way over the San Gabriel mountains along the Angeles Crest Highway. We stopped off at Newcomb’s Ranch to assess how the Ural was handling the grand, sweeping twisties of the Crest and much to our surprise it wasn’t having too hard of a time keeping up.  Although much of the credit was due to the man riding it, Mr. Matty McCalla.

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Piloting a side-car around tight canyon turns can be described at its best as a “dynamic experience” and at its worst as a “real son of a bitch.” There is a lot of rider participation in the form of hiking yourself off the side of the bike like a deckhand on an America’s Cup sailboat, in order to physically wrestle the vehicle around the corner. For anyone concerned that riding a motorcycle is too sedentary an activity, riding a sidecar allows you to get in a full-body workout before you get to your destination.

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From Newcomb’s Ranch we pressed on down the road to Wrightwood, where we made a stop at the Evergreen cafe. It was about 11:30 am and half of our group felt they could get away with a second breakfast while the other half were intent on ordering lunch. Thankfully, small-town diners don’t really delineate between either meal, so the friendly waitstaff were more than happy to accommodate us. With out stomaches filled and feeling pretty satisfied with life, we got back on the bikes and continued down the CA-138.

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We passed through the hot dusty basin that sits between the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Bernardino Mountains as quickly as we could. All around us were the tell-tail signs of high desert decay: sun-bleached trailer homes on dirt lots, knucklehead kids running amok on ATVs, and corporately-maintained gas stations baking away in the noonday heat. At the lowest point of the valley, representing the absolute nadir of the area, was the I-15. As we crossed over the freeway, we saw beneath us the stampede of drivers who were wildly careening out into the desert in hopes of making their fortune in Vegas. We passed over this motorized migration with a sigh of relief and made a beeline for the mountains on the other side.

Past Silverwood Lake, the topography started to pick up and the dusty scrub-covered hills began to turn back into pinewood forest. We got turned around a bit near Crestline, when we overrode our human instincts in deferment to the authoritative commands of Davide’s GPS unit. However, this minor detour lead us to chance upon the water park on Lake Gregory, which, with its inflatable water slides, bouncy trampoline, and inflatable obstacle course, filled us with an untamable, child-like excitement. We vowed to return some other time to investigate this lakeside wonderland more thoroughly.

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Further down the road, we stopped at Lake Arrowhead amidst a growing clamor from within the group for soft serve ice cream. It’s unclear who put this thought into everyone’s heads, perhaps it was divinely inspired by the perfectly sunny afternoon, or perhaps, seeing the carnival-like atmosphere of Lake Gregory, we all felt compelled to partake in at least one classic summertime indulgence. So off we went, five grown-men on motorcycles, in search of soft serve ice cream.

We found what we were looking for at the Lake Arrowhead Village: a consortium of shops and business that have been contrived – either by misguided city zoning or the demented vision of some enamored developer – to resemble a Swiss alpine village.  Filled with outlet stores and food court-quality vendors, the whole scene seems to fall tragically short of its intended aim, while shouldering the added weight of being painfully unoriginal. However, despite all of its many shortcomings, we can now attest whole-heartedly that Lake Arrowhead Village is a great place for soft serve ice cream.

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Continuing along the Rim of the World Highway we finally arrived at Big Bear lake. Heading along the north shore it wasn’t long before we arrived at the disconcertingly-named town of Fawnskin. From there we turned north onto a dirt road that led to our campsite at Hanna Flats.  Nowhere does a Ural sidecar feel more at home than on a country dirt road. It charges over the washboard grooves in stride and doesn’t miss a beat forging across sandy washouts. We were just starting to get into the swing of things when we arrived our campsite.

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When we pulled in, the camp host gave us two warnings: “Keep your campfires low. And watch out for rattlesnakes. I’ve killed two already today.” With these welcoming words, we were allowed to proceed to our site. Turns out Brandt isn’t much of a fan of snakes, a view which, once shared, offered us plenty of fodder for the rest of the evening. Thankfully it was all in good fun, because we didn’t see any snakes the whole time. Plenty of sticks that looked like snakes, but alas, no snakes.

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And so we arrived from the chaotic streets of Los Angeles, having travelled roughly 150 miles, to a tranquil campsite in the mountains of Big Bear entirely on backroads. To the best of our recollection, there was only one stop light and perhaps a handful of stop signs over the course of the entire route. Living in Los Angeles may have its draw backs from time to time, but having access to these kinds of riding roads certainly makes up for them.

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AETHERmoto LA | The Great Malibu Traverse

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Join AETHERmoto LA every Second Sunday of the month as we explore some of the best riding routes in the Greater Los Angeles area.

When: Sunday, August 10th, 2014.
Meet at 9am for coffee & donuts, kickstands up at 9:30am

Where: AETHERhq
(6100 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA)

What (the Ride): For this ride we will boldly endeavor to complete The Great Malibu Traverse. Our route will take us up the first canyon along the PCH. From there, we we will twist, weave, and snake our way through the Santa Monica mountains until we reach the absolute last canyon back to the ocean. This route will have us traveling the full length of Malibu entirely in the hills. The journey will be long , the views will be spectacular, and the roads will be twisty. Very, very twisty.  So fill up your tank and join us for a motorcycle odyssey  through some of the best riding terrain on the planet.

Click here for the Route Map

Group Ride Guidelines (etiquette):

1 Arrive with a full gas tank, having already used bathroom.
2 Know the route in case you get separated (especially gather points)
3 Ride at your own comfortable pace. Group rides can often push people beyond their skills. Don’t get caught up in keeping up.
4 See #3. Seriously.
5 When making a turn off of any given road, stop and wait until the next person sees you. Rinse and repeat. This way the group can keep moving without losing anyone in the turns
6 Let faster riders past you. The group should automagically end up fastest to slowest after a while (It’s ok to be slowest!)
7 If you have to bail out, send a text so we don’t have to come looking for you.
8 Have fun, that’s the whole point. Extra credit: post your awesome shots and story to Insta/face/ter/gram and the list and tell everybody how fun it was. #aethermoto

Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs

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This Moto Guzzi V7 by Brooklyn-based Venier Customs has been redesigned for two-up riding on the chaotic streets of New York City.

This restyled Moto Guzzi V7 Stone has been transformed by Venier Customs for one of their New York clients. Dubbed the “Tractor 02″, the bike was customized for two people to ride comfortable across the bumpy streets of Manhattan while dogging taxis and buses.

To this end, the bike has been outfitted with dual-sport knobby tires as well as an elongated flat bench seat that has been shifted 30mm towards the back of the frame. It also features a GPS legendary speedo and a black LSL headlight. It has been finished with two tone glossy gray paint with a gold strip and matching gold logo.

A simple, elegant city commuter with an aggressive flat track-inspired attitude, the Moto Guzzi Tractor 02 by Venier Customs is versatile piece of art. Check out more of Venier projects on their website: venier-customs.com

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Good To-Go Freeze Dried Meals

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Good To-Go dehydrated meals lets you bring healthy, gourmet meals into the backcountry.

After a long strenuous hike, the first thing we’re looking forward to when we break for camp is a nice, well-cooked meal. However, more often than not, the bag of freeze dried food we brought along is barely passable – even with our our ravenous appetite! Enter Good To-Go Freeze dehydrated meals.

Founded by Jennifer Scism, co-owner and chef of nationally recognized Soho restaurant Annisa, and her husband David Koorits, Good To-Go endeavors to bring high-quality, healthy, gourmet meals out onto the trail. Their lightweight dehydrated packs are handmade by a team of chefs in Maine, whose sole purpose is to craft the best tasting meals possible. They use real food, fresh produce and toasted whole spices to deliver a flavor that can’t be achieved by other processed freeze dried meals.

To see all the meals Good To-Go offers, check out their website: goodto-go.com They are also available for purchase on Amazon.

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Kit Bike by Lucid Design

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The Kit Bike, a new concept by Lucid Design, could be completely dismantled in minutes and would fit into a circular bag the size of a single wheel.

Coming out of India-based creative agency Lucid Designs, the Kit Bike would be an creative alternative to the awkward, small-wheeled folding bikes currently on the market. When built, it would be made from lightweight hollow aluminum tubing with each piece being held to together by a lockable turnkey. For ease of setup, all the attachable joints would be accessible from one side of the bike. The drivetrain would use a belt rather than a chain, while the saddle and included carrying circular bag would be made from high-grade leather.

The major draw of a design like this would be the ability to completely dismantle the bike for easy transportation and storage. No other design has been able to transform a full-sized into such a small package. This type of bike could be checked for air travel or placed in the back of the closet of a small studio apartment.

Unfortunately, the Kit Bike is still just a concept, but for more information about it check out the video below or Lucid Design’s website: lucid.co.in

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