Urban Velo

Ride Like a Girl

Oh man…this blog post by Nikki Lee is so good on many levels. Well-written, clever and right to the point…on both issues.

If one of those cars does hit you, you’re probably going to get blamed. The police will assume that you were riding unsafely, and what you could have done to better protect yourself. The driver most likely won’t be punished at all. If anything, it’ll be a slap on the wrist.

Now, a follow up post explaining ways to make both situations better would be rad.

Worksman Cycles Gallery

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Housed in a former candle factory in Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest manufacturing traditions. Worksman Cycles is a 116-year-old, family-owned bicycle maker producing machines first designed in the 1930s and whose best-selling model, says Worksman spokesman Bruce Weinreb, is not a carbon-fiber road bike but a steel tricycle designed for carrying 500-pound loads across factory floors.

From the rugged-looking building to the decades-old machines used for bending and crimping the steel tubes for the bikes, every part of the company’s business model seems to be philosophically in line with the bicycles they produce: low maintenance, no frills, and designed to last forever. For more than a century, Worksman has survived by focusing on the niche market of manufacturers needing industrial bikes to carry people and equipment on their factory floors, and Worksman show few signs of changing.

The company itself began in 1898 in a lower Manhattan store run by Morris Worksman. Worksman started out selling Columbia bikes, says Weinreb, but began selling his own design that was purpose-built for workers carrying heavy loads around the city. Worksman’s 1915 patent shows designs for a tricycle with a removable back box.


Read the rest of our feature article on Worksman Cycles in Urban Velo #42 written by Adam Kroopnick and check out an extended gallery of images from the inside of the factory by Takuya Sakamoto.

Wolfpack Civic Center Crit Racer Profile:
Sean “Young Blood” McElroy

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Photo by Warren Kommers

Sean McElroy had only known about the Civic Center Crit for a week, maybe two, before coming to claim the dog tags in the men’s road category in 2013. None of L.A.’s local bike racers had seen him before, and none of them had any idea that their biggest competition that day would be a 14-year-old from Palmdale.

“It was really last minute, to be honest,” said McElroy, who had found out about the race from his friend and mentor, Rich Bartlett. “He told me it was going to be a pretty big turnout, and it was in L.A., so I just decided to go do it.”

The young cyclist may have been a last-minute entry, but he was prepared nonetheless: With three years of road racing under his belt, McElroy was already gearing up for the Junior National Road Racing Championships that would be held just a week and a half later.

“I was definitely fit, but I didn’t really come expecting to win the race,” he said of the fateful day he joined the elite ranks of dog tag holders on 2013—Jo Celso, Willo Juarez, Kathryn Donovan, Veronica Volok, Craig Streit, Evan Stade, Walton Brush, Nate Koch, Shelby Walter—and Sean McElroy, the youngest among them by nearly a decade.

And while there was much surprise to see a 14-year-old even entering the race, his performance is ultimately what blew everyone away. With Barlett in the race with him, the two were able to work the peloton and split the field.

“Rich told me that there’s going to be people just going off the front, and the guy that went, Jon [Budinoff], was right in front of me so I was on his wheel, so when he went I just went with him, not really with the intention of getting a break,” he says. “As soon as we saw the gap, I just started working; when people tried to close the gap Rich would chase them down and slow down the pace of it. He really helped me to win, it was really just a real team thing. Read more →

Useeme Bicycle Turn Signals

Posted on by in News & Views with 1 Comment

Great video from the team behind Useeme bicycle turn signals. Flashing wrist bands with motion sensors, Useeme automatically begins flashing when you hold your hand up to signal a turn, and stops when you return it to the bars. Final products should be available this fall — get in earlier with the Indiegogo campaign.

Cafe du cycliste Visits The French Riviera

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People always love skinny tires, stairs and skids. Cafe du cycliste produced this video of riding in the quite beautiful French Riviera.

Fyxation Open Fixed Gear Street Crit

Fyxation_Open_11x17_Flier_2048x2048 Fixed gear street crits have become quite the hit. Crossing over from alleycat to more official street racing, these races have been gaining in popularity and attracting riders from across the country to compete and July 26th brings the Fyxation Open to Chicago. An unsanctioned event held alongside a more official-like crit, it will be interesting to see how lap times compare. Fixed gear, drop bars, no brakes, and a $300 and Fyxation Eastside bicycle first prize. 75 rider limit, $30 to register at www.bikereg.com.

Cyclist Dies After Being Struck by Allegedly Drunk Police Officer

Photo from Excelsior.com

Photo from Excelsior.com

A cyclist was struck and killed by a police officer in Mexico City over the weekend, and another is in the hospital in critical condition. A sedan carrying two adults and two children was also hit by the police car. It is reported that the driver of the car, Federal Police (Policia Federal) officer Brenda Barrón Magali Rivera, attempted to flee the scene, but was was stopped by witnesses who became hostile towards Rivera and the other officers in the car. More than 100 officers in riot gear came to the scene to assist Rivera and her passengers.

It is alleged that the police officer was intoxicated at the time of the crash, which occurred on a busy street outside the Mercado Sonora in downtown Mexico City. Rivera has been released on bail, and according to District Attorney Rodolfo Rios Garza, may face manslaughter charges; today it was announced that the results of Rivera’s toxicology report are negative for alcohol.

Tonight cyclists in Mexico City will ride in honor the fallen rider, and will install a ghost bike at the site on Saturday. Local activists are seeking legal resources to aid in ensuring justice for the fallen rider and his partner.

Read more about the crash in Mexico City here (in Spanish)

“Dead Red” Law Passed in Indiana

idaho_s04_0830Going into effect on July 1st, the “Dead Red” law will allow cyclists and motorcyclists to roll through a red light after…wait for it….2 minutes of waiting. As this article mentions, cops aren’t going to put a stopwatch on you, but we do have the option of ignoring the red light for our own convenience and at our own peril. Similar to the “Idaho Stop”, we’ll now be able to run the red…legally, but only because the light tripping sensors embedded into the pavement aren’t activated by our svelte figures and lack of body mass due to all that riding we’ve been doing. Ultimately, this means very little for us by way of convenience, but it does afford us a couple of exploited privileges. 1. We can cite the law should we get stopped for running a red, if we are sure that hypothetical stopwatch wasn’t being used on us, and 2. It’s a step in the right direction for establishing the “Idaho Law”, which, let’s face it, most of us follow already.

First the gay marriage ban was struck down and now Dead Red laws. Mark my words, Indiana is the new Oregon…or maybe Idaho.

Chrome Forged Rubber

Chrome has introduced the Forged Rubber line of shoes, featuring natural rubber soles fused directly to the shoe uppers using decades old tech that just works better. These 70 year old machines were rescued from Slovakia and refurbished, bringing old school shoe making tech back to life. Each sole is fused to the shoe without the use of adhesives or stitching, creating what promises to be a more durable shoe, more akin to army boot construction than sneakers.

FRMFT_Flyer Check out the Forged Rubber construction and pick up your own pair of shoes at discount at the mobile factory tour, slated for the Chrome stores in New York City July 1-2, Chicago July 11-12, Seattle July 18-19, and Portland July 25-26.

Knog Night Ride Pittsburgh

knog_nigh_tride_pittsburgh-4Night rides are best spent exploring the grimey underside of things, at least that’s always been my opinion. Nothing like ‘cross bikes, charged lights and a sense of adventure. A couple of weeks back Knog came to town with a bag full of lights and we got together a few friends for a couple of hours of the finest bike paths, dirt trails and renegade no man’s land railroad track riding we could throw together. Light car and lighter trail traffic make night riding all the better, even if on this particular evening rain made for some treacherous bridge crossings and wet feet all around. Stopped for some backpack beers atop a soon to be developed wasteland, hopped the tracks where trails unofficially converge, filled our stomachs with sandwiches that feature it all. Great times, as all friendly night rides should be.

Look for the next Knog night ride in New York City, tentatively scheduled for the evening of July 24th.

City Reports