Urban Velo

Don Walker Throwback Stayer Bike at NAHBS

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This throwback stayer bike by Don Walker was making a repeat appearance at the show and I had to give it another shot. Stayer racing is a type of racing where people ride purpose built bikes like this within the draft of a motorcycle on a banked track, reaching pretty incredible speeds in the process. The “backwards” fork and braced saddle and bars are all meant for stability at speed. Newly built to resemble bikes from the 1950′s, this bike has custom Curtis Odom hubs and chainring and genuine wooden rims for that period look. www.donwalkercycles.com

Airtight Cycles Möbius Aero Crit NAHBS

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Airtight Cycles out of Brooklyn, NY built this single speed crit racer. Dubbed the Möbius Aero Crit after the way that the staggered hellenic seat stays seemingly wrap around the top tube, the bike is an understated eye catcher. Check out those seatstay and chainstay end caps and the built up joint behind the headtube. www.airtightcycles.com

Indianapolis Bikeshare Program

bikeshareBikeshare programs may be the new hallmark of a legitimate, socially-progressive city. Indianapolis is the next city to implement a bike sharing program beginning this May. Run by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail organization, the bike share will allow users to secure 24 hour, 3 day or annual memberships and consist of 25 stations and approximately 300 bikes.

Conversations with local riders about the program have been mixed about it’s potential success, but everyone seems to be approaching it with positivity. No resistance to the program has been shown by other residents, such as the furor that arose in New York just before implementation of their program.

If your city is implementing a similar program soon, let us know and we’ll give it exposure.

No More Bike Paths Ever!

LW0727_bikerulesOk, this is an interesting case of which the ramifications are probably no need for concern. Still..

This Salon article details the case of Marvin Brandt Revocable Trust vs. United States, in which the courts ruled in favor of the family who opposed a bike path being laid through part of their land. Here’s the amusing hypocrisy. They are descendants of the owner of a sawmill that built railroad ties, and they stated,

“They want to bring a train through here, that’s fine. We never expected and we never agreed to a bicycle trail.”

To the family, it isn’t that the government is using their abandoned land through right-of-way privileges, but that it’s a bicycle path and not a TRAIN. Umm…OK.

The larger ramifications of this case are more concerning, in the decision undermines the legality of already established bike paths obtained through right of way privileges. But yeah, good luck fighting the established benefits of Rails-To-Trails programs and tearing up all that asphalt.

Read the full article on Salon.com

Friday Follow – Amanda Nauman

MG_1895-710x941Amanda Nauman is a Felt bicycles employee and a consistent podium achieving racer, so naturally her feed is filled with racing photos, podium shots and felt bikes. She takes consistently beautiful shots while out riding and has some pretty epic photos taken of herself while racing. Of course, there’s always a random dog photo or two thrown in as well.

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Instagram : Amanda_Panda_
Blog: PandasPOV

Upness Updates

screen-shot-2013-07-12-at-7-26-11-amCycling, Running and Hiking apparel brand, Upness, is still spinning the wheels, putting out new products monthly and collaborating with other small brands to produce high-quality, stylish, and USA made goods. Birthed as a brand to inspire others to get out and get moving (vertically), Upness also exists to raise MS awareness (both creators have a connection to the struggle). Upness quickly made a name for itself in the cycling and vertically inspired communities, and both creators have recently begun blogging about their riding experiences and other related ramblings.

Follow their Instagram for the latest news and inspiring shots of other Upness advocates.

And hey, don’t sleep, ’cause most of the pieces they create are limited editions…like these amazing kits they put out this winter.
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Indianapolis Radder Day Rides

Radder Day Rides ColorOrganizer, Nathaniel Tact, has begun throwing monthly, casual bike rides around downtown Indianapolis called Radder Day Rides. Simply for the love of riding and communing with other cyclists, these rides are not billed as Critical Masses, Alleycats or any other such association. They do, however, give you the chance to take home raffle prizes from local businesses…just for showing up! Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I really like the idea of a no-stress bike ride that still gives everyone something to take home.

This also seems like a decent alternative to avoiding the sort of prize debacle Brad linked to in this article.

The first ride held in February suffered from low turnout, but that was due primarily to the demotivating winter weather and the March 29th ride promises to be better attended. If you’re in the Indy area or just passing through, join in on the fun. Check out the Radder Day Rides Facebook page for all the updates and prize offerings.
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Drive With Care Indiegogo Campaign

“Drive With Care.” That’s the message to drivers coming from this Bike Pittsburgh campaign. 2012 was a particularly harsh year for riders in Pittsburgh and this campaign was born out of a desire to make humanize bike riders in the face of multiple hit and run incidents and open hostility. “The people behind the windshield and under the helmet are our nurses, carpenters, children, and sports heroes, but the overwhelming perspective seems to be that bike riders are in-the-way nuisances who have no right to the road.” A successful but relatively short billboard and bus stop run was well received in town and around the web, and this Indiegogo campaign is an effort to increase the reach of the campaign much further than before. More bus shelters, more bus cards and more billboards can help to reach thousands of members of the public that are usually out of the reach of bike safety messaging. See more at the BikePGH Drive With Care Indiegogo.

Marathon Crash Report

An hour before go time.

One hour before go time.

Every Marathon Crash event comes with its own surprises, and this year had its own unexpected circumstance. From the very first one being an impromptu event, announced upon discovery that the longstanding bike tour was no more, to the false start of 2012 and the sudden cancellation of the race this year and last-minute reinstatement of the ride portion of the event.

Who knew that several hundred cyclists would show up to a guerilla street race at 3 am? Five years ago, that was the lesson to be learned. Five years later, and the Crash Race Ride continues to be educational. Perhaps the biggest lesson this year is that the passion to ride is a powerful force. That’s what the City of Los Angeles learned this weekend, when more than a thousand cyclists showed up to ride on Sunday morning.

Even though the race was cancelled, local and visiting cyclists who had marked their calendars for this night long ago, weren’t willing to call off their plans just because they didn’t have the city’s support. After all the ground that race organizer Don Ward aka Roadblock had gained over the years, the City Attorney saw the the Crash Race as too big to continue existing without the requisite red tape throwing an event in Los Angeles required.

Here’s how things went down the night of: There were no dog tags, but everyone won (unless you were gunning at a chance at earning a pair of dog tags for risking life and limb in the most chaotic street race – hundreds of riders of novice, amateur and pro status competing for space and speed on semi-closed streets, and couldn’t let go of your dream without bitterness). Competition junkies were able to get their fix on Saturday night, at Hernan Montenegro’s Plan B Alleycat, which provided all of the shenanigans a good race should.

The Crash Ride was easily half the size of the previous year’s, although the number still broke 1,000 cyclists easily. The cops protected every intersection along the route, so riders never stopped once–although the course was somewhat abridged and skipped the section through the downtown area. The Santa Anas blew hot, so this early morning ride was surreal in its warmth–a warmth that describes more than just the weather, as the feeling was familial, with nothing at stake but our Sunday agendas (naps were in order across town).

The ones who trained still could still claim all the strength and skill and personal improvement they had gained, and those who feared the dangers the clusterfuck could breathe a sigh of relief. Some of us stayed up all night, and got a hand up from Daylight Savings, which washed away 2 am in the blink of an eye, and thankfully so, as we were dangerously close to running out of whiskey and balance. Others set alarms for the oddest hours, rolling up to the start still foggy-eyed. To train harder and eat healthier in preparation, or commit to making a marathon out of the night itself, with antecedent adventures and another round to kick off at the edge of the sea, as the sun rises and alcohol wears off.


“Thanks everyone for coming out!” announced Roadblock, sporting a grin big enough to swallow all the anguish of the days preceding. At the end of the line, where the land met the Pacific, he spoke through a megaphone, a high-rise human among a sea of cyclists who just came out to ride, “Who wants to go to the beach?”

And without a doubt, the sunrise was the sweetest reward, as if the ride itself wasn’t a boon enough. I can’t even tell you how many cyclists posted “Best life ever” in their statuses throughout the day on Sunday (a lot).

As for the future of the Crash Race, and the rest of the 2014 Wolfpack Hustle series, here’s what the tall dude had to say:

How was Herbalife able to help out exactly, and what was the status of the agreement with the city (permitted to ride but not race)?
Don Ward: The Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series is 3 points races (road crit and drag race) and an invitational track event. With the loss of the Marathon Crash the series only had two points events. Herbalife stepped in and offered enough support to add an additional crit race to replace the loss of Marathon Crash points. We are working out the complete details this week and will announce soon but it looks like they will be title sponsoring our athlete zone. Pretty hyped on that.

What is the likelihood that the MCR will achieve a more official status in the way the bike tour once operated, with full street closure, full city support, and fully permitted?
DW: I think the likelihood is actually fairly high that we can get it done. With the reality that people will crash race no matter what, I think the city will work to keep this event legitimate. My hope is that we can do a chip timed race event followed by the fun ride.

How was your ride?
DW:It was the first time I’ve gotten to actually ride the course in 5 years. I was having a blast riding turtle on my tandem together with my sweetheart and taking in the excitement of riding some if the most famous streets in the world.

Friday Follow – Jered Gruber

Starting, well…now…we are going to be highlighting Instagram users we think are worth following each Friday.

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First on the docket is professional photographer, Jered Gruber, who somehow manages to get himself positioned on top of various mountains, offering stunning views of switchbacks and epic road riding perspectives. Gruber is a big name in the pro-cycling photography world, but his IG photos of solitary riders tackling a series of switchbacks or mountain roads, simply for the experience of doing so, are most striking to me.

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Instagram – Jeredgruber

City Reports