Urban Velo

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

Origin8 Frame Giveaway

Hey Kids, Origin8 is giving away a Fix8 frame, with the requisite brand promotion, of course. So here’s the goods. Winner announced June 20th.
origin8

100 Hoopties – Upcycled Art

lucahaCyclist and graphic designer (which comes first?), Jennifer Beatty, is creating posters for the 100 days series using upcycled bike parts. Each poster is a rendition of various pop culture images, some a part of everyday culture and others more obscure fine art representations. The posters use bicycle materials pulled from the bicycle version of a “hooptie”, as Beatty defines,

1: A bicycle with at least one part dangling off that has duct tape holding it together and/or makes you aware of its impending arrival by the volume of the squeal coming from the petrified brake pads or lack there of.

2: A Huffy or Murray mountain bike with three broken spokes and the shift lever unattached, commonly ridden by New York City food delivery riders.

One poster is made every day for 100 days, which will end on July 15th. You can see each new poster as it is created here.
pipe 1 tron

Kale Or Be Killed – Meet Laura Kline

klineAs the creators of Kale Or Be Killed put it, “Stephanie and Laura are all about being healthy, happy, and their baddest, fittest selves. These healthy hustlas are here to make sure staying in shape and eating healthy make you feel like you’re getting away with murder, without hurting a fly.

Keepin’ it so real, it’s organic.”

Part of their mission is to introduce readers to various (vegan) individuals who offer something in the way of living full, healthy, active lives. (Disclaimer: I was one of them). They recently interviewed duathlete, Laura Kline, where she talks about her perspectives related to eating, training and living.

What race are you most proud of?
Winning the 2012 Duathlon World Championship in Nancy, France. It was a great experience to achieve that result against the world’s best, and it was one of those days where everything just clicked. It felt amazing!

Read other interviews here, including Steph Crumley of Superb Bicycles.

Strider Championships – Thailand

Strider Championship Series Thailand 2014 from BKKStrider on Vimeo.

These Strider Championship events never cease to pull me out of a bad mood. Wee people kicking around on wee bikes in a competition setting. Love it.

Strongest Hearts Campaign

Matt Ruscigno, of Feel My Legs and Day In The Life, and his cohort, Sasha Perry, are in the middle of a fundraising campaign to help create more of their Day In The Life episodes/interviews of vegan athletes. They have showcased a number of cyclists in the series, who have offered great insight into high-level racing and nutrition.

The videos are professionally produced and cost a decent penny to make, hence the campaign. You can donate here and the incentives are pretty nice, including buttons, Purist water bottles, stickers, socks, nutritional consultation, an athlete of your choice in a video (YOU in a video!), etc. Only 14 days left to make this happen…help ‘em out!

Boris Vs Le Tour

borisIn the world of fundraising, this is how it’s done. No Kickstarter, GoFundMe or IndieGoGo campaign, but some real world shenanigans with considerable effort and sacrifice. These dudes from London checked out one of the Boris bike-share rides, which are notoriously cumbersome (50 pounds!), and rode (or at least tried) those suckers 190km through the first stage of the Tour de France. Along the way (and still to this day) people texted “HARD65 £3″ to 70070, which then sent the money to Macmillan Cancer Support. They are still taking donations and this feat will be repeated in some way next year as well.

Please consider donating to the campaign through this site.

Bicycle Lawyer Blog

bike lawI’m reposting a writing by a Charlotte lawyer, who describes a bit of what it feels like to be on the vulnerable end of an impatient driver’s bumper, imploring us not to just argue for our right to be in the road, but to also check our impatience continuously. Most of the time, as she describes, our impatience manifests as mere frustration, but in our vehicles it can become deadly. Well said.

What I want to talk about is the value of human life and how people can take it so lightly. I want to talk about the instant rage people feel when confronted with what could at most be considered an annoyance. Let’s talk about the complete intolerance of anything that stands in our way for even a fraction of a second. We don’t just see this on the road between bikes and cars; we see it in the grocery store on a busy Saturday, we see it waiting in line in the airport. People are angry and frustrated. No one is breathing. We’re all holding our breaths and trying to get to the next thing more quickly.

In most areas of our lives, this anxious rushing has little consequence other than to make our lives rushed and anxious, and maybe annoy our families. On the road, however, it can kill someone.

Via Cambio Corsa

Bike Share Profit Loss

divvyWell….this isn’t good, but should also be kept in context. Chicago bike-share program, Divvy, posted a first year loss of $148,000, but of a program this size isn’t really THAT much, still, people seem to hate bikes and want any excuse to write them off. All startups tend to have problems the first year, however, and projections for next year look more encouraging, if Divvy can work through some red-tape deal problems with their partner companies. Divvy is also looking into corporate sponsorship to help offset costs and remedy this loss quickly. Most bike-shares are initially partnered with corporate backing (Indy is buoyed by the Pacers), and this could be an easy solution for Divvy’s issues.

Chicago’s bike-share woes certainly aren’t plagued by low use, as ridership broke records over the Memorial Day weekend, so I’m suspecting it will continue on strongly as long as the business deals can be worked out quickly. I have yet to hear of similar problems in other cities, which is encouraging for more programs to be launched elsewhere.

Via The Chicagoist.

Philadelphia Pump Track

Pinkbike posted a story on the Philadelphia pump track, “Pumpadelphia”, (and I can’t help but sing, “Flipadelphia!”) which came about by the impetus of the Philadelphia Mountain Bike Association, which is pretty awesome considering most mountain bikers aren’t engaged with inner city youth, or even inner city riding. But the coalition between the PMBA, corporate sponsors, city departments, various individuals and, most importantly, the kids themselves, turned this piece of public land into a maze of adrenaline-inducing turns and jumps.

Now, to convince them for the need of a pumptrack in my backyard.

pumptrack

“You’ll notice that I put the beginner track higher up in the park than anything else.” Jim says. “That’s because in my books, the children are what is going to keep our sport and culture alive going forward. When they ask “why are we higher than the big track?” I tell them that they are more valuable. They are the most important. We share our property with the kids and give them highest ground.” The kids are the centerpiece of this effort and the kids responded well. Saturdays were dig days and it was common to see 40+ kids at the site ready to get busy with brooms, shovels and anything else they could use to move and shape dirt. Power Corps PHL sent dozens of volunteers to the site as well. The program provides environmental stewardship initiatives as well as the City of Philadelphia’s youth workforce development and violence prevention priorities. Many of the Power Corps volunteers were locals and are itching to get on bike after lending a hand at the track.

Indianapolis Mayor’s Bike Ride

MayorBallardBikeRide_May2013_finalI may be a little too Indy-centric at times, but it’s hard not to when our city government hosts events like the Mayor’s Bike Ride. Cyclists in Indy have been pretty ecstatic about our mayor’s promotion of bike amenities and events for good reason, so when he started hosting the Mayor’s Bike Ride, people turned out in mass. The ride takes place a few times each year and no matter the weather, the turnout is quite large for an urban ride. It helps that the mayor joins in and the police guide the group, but the ride is a success by any measure.

The next ride takes place Saturday, June 7th. The first 200 registered riders get a free t-shirt and food and prizes are available to everyone.

City Reports