The 2014 car-free season is kicking off this weekend on April 20th with the first Atlanta Streets Alive of the year. Nearly three miles of roads will be closed to car traffic, and instead filled with free activities and local business. This isn’t your typical street festival — no carny food stands or games, only the businesses local to the route opening their doors and spilling into the street. “By opening up our streets to human-powered activity, this event makes it possible for people of all ages and fitness levels to experience the cultural and architectural delights of the West End with their kids, their dogs, their bicycles, or just their own two feet,” said Rebecca Serna, Executive Director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Some 15,000 people are expected to participate in one way or another, see more details about the route and activities at www.atlantastreetsalive.com
Outside Magazine just put up this pretty funny video of Lance Armstrong instructing you on how to change a tube, self-deprecating remarks included. I still feel dirty looking at him and laughing at his jokes, but it’s worth the couple of minutes out of your work day.
Even with the wider availability of SPD compatible casual shoes, some commuters and all around riders prefer to use mountain shoes for the generally higher performance fit and sole, and to cross over into their weekend or after hours rides with the same shoe. Most mountain shoes are based on XC racing platforms, with large lugs better suited to deep mud than walking on pavement. The Giro Terraduro combines a race-rigid sole and top end uppers with a Vibram outsole for low profile, off-the-bike performance. The $180 shoes aren’t going to pass walking around the office, these are definitely high end cycling specific kicks, but you’ll be able to walk into the grocery store without tap dancing across the floor. The rubber toe cover extends around the entire upper, providing protection from abrasion and wear. The Vibram sole and armoring does have a slight weight penalty of about 70 g for the pair as compared to similar race shoes, but the shoes remains far lighter than most of the more casual offerings out there. I can see this one appealing to the super commuters and cross over mountain riders out there, especially the available all black version. The men’s Terraduro and women’s Terradura version available direct at www.giro.com
There are a lot of process videos of experienced frame builders welding together their latest creation, but this one shows industrial design students from Sweden working on frames from concept to realization, giving a deeper look into the procedures.
NAME: Nick Drombosky
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA
OCCUPATION: Founder, Fiks:Reflective
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Most people are probably tired of hearing about Pittsburgh, but as far a cycling goes, it’s a pretty great place to be if you can brave the weather and the hills. We have three bike magazines based here, a big indoor bike park, great mountain biking [in city limits], alley cats, a bike bar, tons of awesome shops, a strong bike advocacy organization, a pro-bike mayor, recreational trails [including one of then longest rail-trails in the country], world-class BMX trails, and outdoor cycling track, indoor velodrome, and a club for just about any type of rider.
We do lack some things, like some of the infrastructure and ethnic diversity of biggest cities, but with all of the things we do have, it’s a good place to live, ride, and run a company in the bike industry.
What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Chicago. Their young city-sponsored bike-share program, Divvy, makes it super easy to get around and gets a ton of non-cyclists out on bikes.
During one ride around Wrigleyville, which is mostly composed of bars and littered with drunk pedestrians at night, we had a cab driver drive up next to us just to say hello and comment on how nice the weather was. Later, while passing a bar with an open front, a bunch of drunk guys started yelling something at us. In most places I’ve been it’s a safe bet that whatever they would be yelling is intended insulting and often homophobic or related to Lance Armstrong, but after a moment we realized they were only recommending that we should wear helmets.
Why do you love riding in the city?
I got into riding for the freedom. I can’t stand waiting for buses and I hate trying to find parking. Now I still don’t like those things, but if I don’t ride I put on weight like I never thought I could.
Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Sun, bridges, hopping the tracks,
rubber, and steel with the wind at my back.
Check out ridewithfiks.com
Riding the streets of San Francisco never gets old, and watching videos of gifted riders rip it just makes me long for another visit.