Urban Velo

I Love Riding in the City – Mohamed Shalaby

moNAME: Mohamed Shalaby
LOCATION: Newark, NJ
OCCUPATION: Writer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Newark, New Jersey and I’m proud to call it home. A Jersey boy at heart I love riding around my city and taking in all of its sites and history. I find it cool to ride past locations that I have seen in various movies. For example Rounders staring Matt Damon and Find me Guilty staring Vin Diesel are two of my favorite movies that were filmed in areas that I ride past every day. Passing by such places often gets me thinking about all of the different possibilities that life has to offer. Anyway in terms of safety I find Newark to be quite safe because people generally respect bike riders and keep their distance when they spot a biker on the road. Besides everything else already mentioned the geography of the area offers a great variety of flat stretches of land, hills and parks that are lot of fun to ride

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
My favorite city to ride in is New York City. Whether cruising up or down one of its many bike lanes, streets, or avenues there is always something new to take in. Riding in NYC is like eating a really good piece of apple pie. You have to use all five of your senses or your surly to miss something special and fun. I especially love riding on the 12 plus mile bike lane/trail that starts on the Westside of downtown New York City and ends all the way up in the city of Inwood. Whether your young or old the buzz of the city and the good vibes of the people will motivate you to keep pedaling onwards no matter how tired you feel. Basically, I love NYC energy.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I love riding in the city because things are always moving and changing. Either your keeping up with things or your getting left behind. I live for the push and every time I ride I look forward to pushing myself harder than all the other elements racing against the wind.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
I rode last night on lighting and we rode yesterday morning on sunshine.
We still ride every second of every day don’t we?
Like rays of light we traveled in time and met somewhere past the finish line.
Even though along the way somebody got a flat everything was ok.
Strangers helped one another that day and became friends forever plus one more day.
So this is the end, you get your bike and I’ll get mine and I’ll race you to the start of new beginnings.

Check out http://tbs101.blogspot.com

WOHO Ghost Bike Grips and Handlebar Tape

WOHO Ghost GripsWOHO has updated their lineup with two new ways to keep your hands on the bars. Both feature their latest graphics, which depict skulls and lightning bolts. Very metal, indeed.

The grips will be pretty familiar to anyone who’s used lock-on grips in the past. They’ve got aluminum clamps, 3 mm hex screws and a hard plastic core. The grip portion is thick and soft, with deep indentations around the graphics, making them very grippy. They’re comfortable, though some people with smaller hands may find that they prefer a thinner grip. I’m surprised WOHO missed the opportunity to brand the bar plugs with a logo, though. Measurements are 5.18″ x 1.3″ x 1.3″, they come in red, blue, black or white, and they retail for $16.49.

DSC_2479DSC_2478The EVA foam bar tape is also pretty standard, but it’s nice, thick and of course features an adhesive backing. In addition to pink monogrammed bar plugs and vinyl tape to finish the wrap, they include two extra strips for behind the brake lever clamps. The graphics are printed, so expect them to wear away with use. The tape measures 190 X 3 cm and retails for $15.49.

Check out www.wohobike.com

ICNY x SPEEDVAGEN Reflective T

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Those bright kids over at ICNY have teamed up with Speedvagen to offer this limited edition reflective shirt emblazoned with the Speedvagen race vehicle, in expected 3M reflectivity.

Purchase it here for $50. Remember, it’s limited edition, as in only 50 to be made, so get it before it’s gone.

Rap Battle – NSFW


This has been around the block…but it’s good for a few more spins. Surely the creators are working on an urban version?

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.

City Reports