Urban Velo

Swrve Photo Contest

photo contestThe bike (and hike and climb, etc.) apparel makers at Swrve have announced an Instagram photo contest in which you can win a $100 gift certificate. The winner will be announced on December 22nd after all submissions have been accounted for. The rules are as follows:

1. Wear something Swrve related.
2. Be out in the winter doing something.
3. Hashtag #swrve14winter and #swrve

There are 5 categories to enter in order to increase your chance of winning. Get all the details on the Swrve site here.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Black Women Bike DC

BWBDCThink Progress has a write-up on the group Black Women Bike DC, an organization dedicated to increasing black women ridership and change public perceptions about black riders. From the article:

Regardless of its purpose, biking poses many health benefits for women of color, a demographic often plagued by a host of ailments including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Biking serves as a means of alleviating some of those conditions. Pedaling at a rate of 12 to 14 miles per hour burns nearly 500 calories in an hour. The activity also reduces fatigue, strengthens muscles and joints. Perhaps the greatest long-term gain for ardent riders lies in the reduction that one will develop heart disease, designated as the leading cause of death for American women.

“Seeing other women of color bike has been cool and empowering,” Bavier said. “It makes me feel like this activity is really for us. The city should focus its attention in places without much visibility or commerce. If you look at much of the infrastructure east of the river, there’s not much to accommodate bikes. It’s affected everything, from the levels of community awareness to the ways that the bike lanes are set up.”

Ritte Goes To Malibu with The Rider Diaries: A Chance Encounter

“You got this.” Amazing short film from Ritte.

City Reports