Urban Velo

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.

City Reports