Urban Velo

  • October 28, 2014SSCXWC 2014 Louisville Photo Gallery

    SSCXWC 2014 Louisville Photo Gallery

    Flaming barriers were just one part of the party that went down thanks to the Colonels at the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships..

  • October 24, 2014The Piano Pedaler

    The Piano Pedaler

    By Rachel Krause, photos by Grant Hindsley. A Salt Lake City man’s piano bike blurs the line between bikes and music. “You don’t see..

  • October 22, 2014The Holy Week of Cyclocross

    The Holy Week of Cyclocross

    Cyclocross for many of us is a religion, a devotion to mud, dust, rain and rutted corners is the reason we get out of a bed in the morning...

  • October 17, 2014PDX Trophy Cup Cyclocross Photo Gallery

    PDX Trophy Cup Cyclocross Photo Gallery

    From the genius of Clint Culpepper and Will Laubernds comes the PDX Trophy Cup, a weekly cyclocross race series that takes place at the..

  • October 10, 2014The Comedown Human Powered Rollercoaster in Glasgow

    The Comedown Human Powered Rollercoaster in Glasgow

    “Scary the first time,” reports builder Stephen Murray. The artist, sculptor and cyclist behind The Comedown figure-eight track..

    Pedicab Drivers Dwindling in NYC

    pedicabAaah New York…always trying to find a way to get over on the tourists.

    According to this summary by AnimalNYC, a number of pedicabs drivers were price gouging riders, culminating in one ride costing $500. In response, NYC stepped up regulations on pedicab drivers, creating something of a disincentive to get in the business or stay in the business. Let’s hope this is just a weeding out process and ownership / ridership rebounds.

    As AnimalNYC detailed:

    Since the city has tightened regulations and cracked down on pedicab drivers, the number of pedaling transit providers has taken a steep dive. Only 903 drivers decided to renew their license this year. That’s down from 1217 at the beginning of 2014.

    After an incident in which some tourists were charged $500 for a short pedicab ride, there has been increased scrutiny on the service: Regulations were put in place requiring drivers to charge by the minute, post visible prices, and use timers approved by the city.

    Road Rage Psychology

    rageI’ve always felt the argument that one rule-breaking cyclist (“You ran a red light?! Now we’re all gonna die!!”) is what compels drivers to hate all our collective guts, is very weak. Human nature is far more complex and subconscious than this, as is argued by BBC writer, Tom Stafford, as he pulls from evolutionary theory and social psychology to give a more thorough explanation of this road rage phenomenon. He explains,

    …It’s not because cyclists are annoying. It isn’t even because we have a selective memory for that one stand-out annoying cyclist over the hundreds of boring, non-annoying ones (although that probably is a factor). No, my theory is that motorists hate cyclists because they think they offend the moral order…

    … Humans seem to have evolved one way of enforcing order onto potentially chaotic social arrangements. This is known as “altruistic punishment”, a term used by Ernst Fehr and Simon Gachter in a landmark paper published in 2002. An altruistic punishment is a punishment that costs you as an individual, but doesn’t bring any direct benefit. As an example, imagine I’m at a football match and I see someone climb in without buying a ticket. I could sit and enjoy the game (at no cost to myself), or I could try to find security to have the guy thrown out (at the cost of missing some of the game). That would be altruistic punishment.

    I don’t think there is much of a cooperative answer to this problem of cyclists avoiding generally accepted traffic laws, in part as a way of protecting ourselves, but maybe this theory can help you shrug off the haters as you circumvent the moral social order next time the light turns red on you.

    Via BBC Future

    Newton Bike Shop Hostel

    Newton Bike Shop “Trans Am Bicycle Trail Hostel” from Newton Bike Shop on Vimeo.

    The Newton Bike Shop & Hostel is located along the Trans Am Bicycle Trail, so it was a logical move to add a hostel to their services, but this would be a great idea for any shop with extra space to utilize. Cyclists could stay in a casual bike-centric environment even just during short weekend trips or vacations. Skip to 1:30 for the information on the hostel aspect of Newton’s Bike Shop.

    Funbikes Scrap Race 2014

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    Funbikes Scrap race in Prague.

    Bike Mechanic

    Bike Mechanic by Rohan Dubash and Guy AndrewsVelopress recently released a new book giving you a behind the scenes look from those who keep the peleton’s bikes rolling smoothly…the mechanics. With photos and interviews, Bike Mechanic gives us detailed stories from the UCI World Tour along with practical tips and tricks to use on our own rides.

    Crisp photography makes Bike Mechanic a tool-lover’s dream, with drool-worthy images of the machinery and equipment that keep bicycles running smoothly. Mechanics reveal their favorite workflow during races like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France, open up their toolboxes and workshops, and show off the techniques for bike tuning that they’ve honed during years of practicing the craft.

    Bike Mechanic is available for $24.95 through Velopress.

    Travel With Care PSA

    PFP PSAThose good friends at People For Bikes have just released a nationwide PSA campaign called, Travel With Care, showing cyclists as everyday people, wearing occupational gear instead of lycra and helmets. As they explain,

    Travel With Care inspires the general public to see every bike rider as a neighbor, friend or family member—just a normal person who chooses to bike. In addition to humanizing bicyclists, the campaign’s message is built around bettering behavior by both people in cars and on bikes by asking them to travel with care and to “melt icy relations on the road.”

    The campaign consists of billboards, print materials and placements on buses and street furniture. The campaign spawned from a similar PSA initiated in our Urban Velo hometown of Pittsburgh PA.

    Solar Bike Paths Are Here (or there)

    Pardon the annoying video, but the description of what a solar roadway is, how it works, and it’s larger social potential is well described. Fittingly, one of the first solar roadways just went down in the Netherlands, as a 70 meter bike path. Yes, bikes leading the way, of course. It’s an expensive technology, but if the funding can be found, the returns down the line will continue to expand practical usage on a larger scale. This article at Collective Evolution gives a good summary of the first solar roadway now in use.

    Fixed Gear Ghent

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    Australian Cyclists Party

    Richard – Australian Cyclists Party from Australian Cyclists Party on Vimeo.

    Voting on the basis of cyclist’s needs sounds relatively absurd, but with what party policies get passed today…why not?!

    I Love Riding in the City – Thomas Connolley

    connolley-t-cycle-shadowName: Thomas Connolley
    Location: Wantage, England
    Occupation: Scientist

    Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
    I live in Wantage, a small town about 13 miles south of Oxford, England.
    Wantage is compact and most places I need to go, apart from work, are within a 10 minute walk or bike ride. There is one bicycle shop, several reasonable cafés and there are good mountain biking and road biking routes. Wantage is close to the Ridgeway National Trail, which is open to cyclists and follows a route that has been used by humans for thousands of years. The town also has a branch of the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) who organise various rides and tours.
    I mainly use my bike to commute to work, 8 miles away. I have a choice of routes, either a busy main road, or a beautiful cross-country route using back roads and tracks. I’ll take the main road if it is icy or in really wet weather. The back country route can get very muddy. It’s not a route for a road bike, and I think it’s important for cyclists to assert their right to be on the main roads as well. There’s an active bicycle users group on the site where I work who campaign for cyclists’ rights and better infrastructure. There are several towns and large employment sites in the area which are within a half hour ride of each other, if only the infrastructure was better. Most people commute by car.

    What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
    Probably Canberra, the capital of Australia. It is well planned, with good cycling routes to get around town and good places to ride at the weekend, for both roadies and mountain bikers.

    The one drawback are the swooping magpies! Some male birds get very territorial and aggressive in the spring, and will swoop on pedestrians and cyclists. Aussie readers will know what I mean!

    Why do you love riding in the city?
    Bicycles are like the fairytale “seven league boots”. You can get so much further for no more effort than walking. I’ve always used a bike as a means of transport, for getting to work, running errands or just going for a ride. I love moving through places and landscapes at bike pace. Unlike a car or bus, there are no barriers between you and the world. Even the fickle English weather feels good! I’ve got a fairly demanding job and the half hour rides morning and evening are such a good way to relax and balance the mind and body. If I’ve been working on a technical problem during the day, the answer will often come to me on the ride home.

    Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?

    Ride clean. The only thing you need to be “on” is your bike.

    Bikes for Special Needs Kids

    Most Innovative Organizations | Edmonton Bike Commuters’ Society from Brent Felzien on Vimeo.

    Hell yeah, this is awesome. Bikes modified to enable special needs kids to ride and gain the benefits of physical therapy through cycling.

    Upright Cyclist Workshirt

    IMG_2173From Upright Cyclist:

    We just dropped the Workshirt, it’s a great piece. It’s styled in an institutional gray, and has some attitude. It’s built in a breathable polyester, is double stitched and bar tacked and is DWR finished to shed light precipitation. Color matched reflective paneling has been added to the rear shoulders and also to the underside of the pocket flap and bottom of the street side seam for visibility in low light. Powder-coated UPRT metal buttons cap everything off.

    Available in sizes S-XL, MSRP is $119. Check out www.uprightcyclist.com

    Photo by Jeremy J Matthews, jeremyjmatthews.virb.com

    Wide Path Camper

    camper2camper1Those Danes are either brilliant or bored. The Wide Path Camper is a pull behind bike trailer / camping domicile. It is light and compact enough to be pulled by a bike, but expands into a shelter that can seat and sleep two (comfortably?), houses a fold out table and still allows for storage. The Wide Path Camper even has a solar powered cell for recharging small electronics. This ain’t no Poler type bike camping, but if you’re going to go that route, why not go all out?!

    It is currently being sold and/or rented through the designer directly.

    9th Annual Supermarket Street Sweep

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    SMSWposter Supermarket Street Sweep 9 is scheduled for December 6th in San Francisco. Meet at Cupid’s Span on the Embarcadero at noon and ride and race to benefit the San Francisco and Marin food banks. This long running event has provided 118,000+ meals to people in need over the first eight years, with the ninth promising to shape up as another fun and productive time for all involved.

    Scott Spitz on the cover of Runner’s World

    Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.42.08 PMUrban Velo’s own contributing web editor Scott Spitz is on the cover of the December 2014 issue of Runner’s World. They said, “Spitz’s tenacity, humility, and hope embody the best of running ideals.”

    Read more.

    SyCip Launches Online Shop

    SyCip JJ BarsSyCip is best known for their custom frames, which have won awards and acclaim over the years. Recently, Jeremy has been working with the good folks at SimWorks in Japan to develop a line of handlebars. Pictured at left are the JJ Bars, one of their four offerings.

    They just opened an online shop so fans can order these handlebars, as well as SyCip t-shirts. Check out sycip.com/store

    Fixed on Fixed – Women of Melbourne

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    Fixed On Fixed is a short film clip profiling five female bicycle riders and their love of riding fixed gear.

    Riding fixed gear is not only about the bike but also the community that comes with it and this particular fixed gear community is a small, passionate collection of riders who all share a love of riding slightly differently from one another.

    Fixed On Fixed profiles each rider, along with the group as a whole, to share their individual story and collective experience in what riding means to them.

    Bigo Bag Five

    Bigo Bag Five – It’s not just a bag from Bigo on Vimeo.

    When my son was born I really wanted a piece that doubled as a messenger and diaper bag, and although the Bigo Bag Five doesn’t quite go that far…it tries. Claiming a 5-in-one bag (and probably many more if you stretch some definitions), the Bigo transforms into a baby sling, picnic blanket, rain poncho, expandable device and standard messenger bag. Already funded through a successful IndieGoGo campaign, the bag will be available for purchase soon at around $118.


    Ice Tires

    Yeah, it’s a “because I can” sort of thing, but it’s Friday…so there. Admittedly, the winter sledding potential is pretty exciting.

    Keirin Cut Jeans

    Well, the Kickstarter doesn’t need any help, but if you wanna get in on a pair of the first run jeans, you can still donate to the cause. Keirin cut jeans are designed for big (huge?) quad’ed athletes who struggle to find leg wear that fit throughout the lower body. More than just a pair of jeans that work for riding in all conditions, these are tailored to your actual body type…should you have huge quads, of course.

    First run jean rewards start at $107 at this point, with options to buy multiple pairs.

    City Reports