Urban Velo

About Krista Carlson

A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.

EQNX: SF to SD

Experience the California sun and scenery with Emi Brown and Luke Binder as they take the Leader EQNX through the Golden State’s golden roads.

Jacob’s Ride Hits A Grand Slam For Hearing

jacob-in-camden-yards-alleyYYY Jacob Landis rode 10,666 miles and had hit almost every stadium in the country by the time he reached Polk County, Florida last September. With 180 miles left to reach the last one, Marlins Park in Miami, he was struck by a semi truck that kept on driving. The accident took him off the road, bringing his tour to a grinding halt. But it didn’t end his mission. This weekend, he’ll finish Jacob’s Ride, his cross-country tour to help others overcome hearing loss in the same way he has.

“Without the [cochlear] implant I couldn’t talk to you,” he tells me. Landis was 10 when he heard his brother’s voice for the first time, or anyone’s for that matter. He had just received one of the first cochlear implants. A decade later, Landis would have another life-changing experience when he visited his brother in Los Angeles.

“Noah didn’t have a car then and he gave me his road bike,” says Landis, who rode bikes as a child but, like many people, left them behind with the playthings of childhood. “He took me on one of those group rides – Taco Tuesday – I just had so much fun riding a road bike for the first time that when I got back to Annapolis even though it was so cold I went out and got my own single speed. Then I got a $500 Jamis and I started putting a lot more miles on.”

jacob-with-hearing-impaired-kids-at-Northern-VoicesAfter fifteen years with his cochlear, Landis is making the same come true for others, and he’s doing it with his bike. Last year, he raised more than $160,000 to help others who cannot afford the implant. Supporting established nonprofit organizations such as the Gift of Hearing Foundation and the Hearing Loss Association of America, the donations have helped fund implants, which can cost from $50,000 to $100,000, for five people. The first went to a 24 year-old male, same age as Landis (at the time of the procedure).

By working with Major League Baseball teams, Jacob’s Ride has been able to raise awareness and support for cochlear implants at each stadium. 500,000 Americans suffer from severe hearing loss, but only 7 percent have benefited from cochlear implants. Unlike a conventional hearing aid, which amplifies sound, a cochlear implant sends electrical impulses to the the auditory nerve, bypassing damaged parts of the inner hear. Contribute to Jacob’s Ride and learn more about cochlear implants at www.JacobsRide.com.

Turn Down for What? Bike Polo’s Greatest Hits 2013

Bike Polo’s Greatest Hits 2013 from Mr.Do on Vimeo.

Bike polo at its most brutal. Warning: this is the best of the worst, or the worst of the best. You decide.

Damian Kevitt & Finish the Ride

In February of 2013 Damian Kevitt was hit and dragged by a car before being dislodged on the 5 Freeway on-ramp. This Sunday Damian will finish that ride. Join him at Finish the Ride and support safer streets in Los Angeles. Find out more about the ride and how to be a part of the movement at FinishtheRide.com.

Cetma – An interview with Lane Kagay

Lane Kagay is the owner and fabricator behind CETMA, and builds racks and cargo bikes in Venice, California. He recently took in his first apprentice, to share his skillset and improve his own production process. It all began 8 years ago when he built himself a rack to ease his work as a bike messenger. Since adding cargo bikes to his line, they have been embraced by parents and business owners to make their lives go a little smoother as well, including the University of Kentucky’s mobile bike shop, a bike rental and delivery business in Austin called Bikes on Bikes, and a coffee delivery business in Montana.

Read more.

Anything Could Happen

For many, bikes occupy a huge chunk of their lives. More than just a means of transportation, our bikes give people a way to move around, connect with their communities, and stay healthy. As a result of spending infinite hours in the saddle, cyclists often treat bikes like children: We name them, we groom them, and we protect them with our lives—but just like any good parent, you can’t always be there for your bike.

Read more.

I Think I Can. I Think Icon. (Video)

It’s all about the ride.

North American Bicycle Week

NO AM BIKE WEEK_CUT

North American Bicycle Week will kick off in Detroit, and in its sister city of Windsor, this Thursday. The four-day event will celebrate the culture and healthy lifestyle of cycling. With so many multi-day bike events staged across the continent, we caught up with co-founder Mike MacKool to get the 411 on the big shindig.

Urban Velo: What sets North American Bicycle Week apart from other large-scale bike events (like Interbike, NAHBS, Sea Otter, etc.)
Mike MacKool: We have always embraced the rider, in all forms, so we naturally tend to organize around the culture, the social aspect, and community growth through riding bikes together.

We also created a consumer show with an open market—not a lot of larger trade shows allow people to purchase on site. We see the NoAm Bike Week and Detroit Bike City EXPO to be not only where manufacturers and suppliers can meet, but where everyday people can enjoy buying a bike. Plus a lot more riding, music, parties, group rides and races.

UV:What prompted you to organize an event of this scale?
MM: We started Detroit Bike City a few years ago, knowing that we wanted to create something big like the Auto Show, but for bikes. After two successful shows at Cobo Center and an incredibly successful 2013 season of Slow Roll, we felt it was the perfect time, for us and for Detroit.

UV: So the previous Detroit Bike City events were precursors to NoAm?
MM: Yes.

The third Detroit Bike City Expo will return to the Cobo Center on Saturday, March 29. Check out the North American Bicycle Week event schedule and more at NorthAmericanBicycleWeek.com.

#CrashtheCrash Marathon Crash Video feat. Aerial Footage

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Marathon Crash Report

An hour before go time.

One hour before go time.

Every Marathon Crash event comes with its own surprises, and this year had its own unexpected circumstance. From the very first one being an impromptu event, announced upon discovery that the longstanding bike tour was no more, to the false start of 2012 and the sudden cancellation of the race this year and last-minute reinstatement of the ride portion of the event.

Who knew that several hundred cyclists would show up to a guerilla street race at 3 am? Five years ago, that was the lesson to be learned. Five years later, and the Crash Race Ride continues to be educational. Perhaps the biggest lesson this year is that the passion to ride is a powerful force. That’s what the City of Los Angeles learned this weekend, when more than a thousand cyclists showed up to ride on Sunday morning.

Even though the race was cancelled, local and visiting cyclists who had marked their calendars for this night long ago, weren’t willing to call off their plans just because they didn’t have the city’s support. After all the ground that race organizer Don Ward aka Roadblock had gained over the years, the City Attorney saw the the Crash Race as too big to continue existing without the requisite red tape throwing an event in Los Angeles required.

Here’s how things went down the night of: There were no dog tags, but everyone won (unless you were gunning at a chance at earning a pair of dog tags for risking life and limb in the most chaotic street race – hundreds of riders of novice, amateur and pro status competing for space and speed on semi-closed streets, and couldn’t let go of your dream without bitterness). Competition junkies were able to get their fix on Saturday night, at Hernan Montenegro’s Plan B Alleycat, which provided all of the shenanigans a good race should.

The Crash Ride was easily half the size of the previous year’s, although the number still broke 1,000 cyclists easily. The cops protected every intersection along the route, so riders never stopped once–although the course was somewhat abridged and skipped the section through the downtown area. The Santa Anas blew hot, so this early morning ride was surreal in its warmth–a warmth that describes more than just the weather, as the feeling was familial, with nothing at stake but our Sunday agendas (naps were in order across town).

The ones who trained still could still claim all the strength and skill and personal improvement they had gained, and those who feared the dangers the clusterfuck could breathe a sigh of relief. Some of us stayed up all night, and got a hand up from Daylight Savings, which washed away 2 am in the blink of an eye, and thankfully so, as we were dangerously close to running out of whiskey and balance. Others set alarms for the oddest hours, rolling up to the start still foggy-eyed. To train harder and eat healthier in preparation, or commit to making a marathon out of the night itself, with antecedent adventures and another round to kick off at the edge of the sea, as the sun rises and alcohol wears off.


“Thanks everyone for coming out!” announced Roadblock, sporting a grin big enough to swallow all the anguish of the days preceding. At the end of the line, where the land met the Pacific, he spoke through a megaphone, a high-rise human among a sea of cyclists who just came out to ride, “Who wants to go to the beach?”

And without a doubt, the sunrise was the sweetest reward, as if the ride itself wasn’t a boon enough. I can’t even tell you how many cyclists posted “Best life ever” in their statuses throughout the day on Sunday (a lot).

As for the future of the Crash Race, and the rest of the 2014 Wolfpack Hustle series, here’s what the tall dude had to say:

How was Herbalife able to help out exactly, and what was the status of the agreement with the city (permitted to ride but not race)?
Don Ward: The Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series is 3 points races (road crit and drag race) and an invitational track event. With the loss of the Marathon Crash the series only had two points events. Herbalife stepped in and offered enough support to add an additional crit race to replace the loss of Marathon Crash points. We are working out the complete details this week and will announce soon but it looks like they will be title sponsoring our athlete zone. Pretty hyped on that.

What is the likelihood that the MCR will achieve a more official status in the way the bike tour once operated, with full street closure, full city support, and fully permitted?
DW: I think the likelihood is actually fairly high that we can get it done. With the reality that people will crash race no matter what, I think the city will work to keep this event legitimate. My hope is that we can do a chip timed race event followed by the fun ride.

How was your ride?
DW:It was the first time I’ve gotten to actually ride the course in 5 years. I was having a blast riding turtle on my tandem together with my sweetheart and taking in the excitement of riding some if the most famous streets in the world.

City Reports