Urban Velo

100 Hoopties – Upcycled Art

lucahaCyclist and graphic designer (which comes first?), Jennifer Beatty, is creating posters for the 100 days series using upcycled bike parts. Each poster is a rendition of various pop culture images, some a part of everyday culture and others more obscure fine art representations. The posters use bicycle materials pulled from the bicycle version of a “hooptie”, as Beatty defines,

1: A bicycle with at least one part dangling off that has duct tape holding it together and/or makes you aware of its impending arrival by the volume of the squeal coming from the petrified brake pads or lack there of.

2: A Huffy or Murray mountain bike with three broken spokes and the shift lever unattached, commonly ridden by New York City food delivery riders.

One poster is made every day for 100 days, which will end on July 15th. You can see each new poster as it is created here.
pipe 1 tron

The Big Ones – Rapha Rice Cake Corndog Parody

The SF Composite High School Mountain Bike Team so gets it. Bravo.

View the original Raphia Rice Cakes video.

Kale Or Be Killed – Meet Laura Kline

klineAs the creators of Kale Or Be Killed put it, “Stephanie and Laura are all about being healthy, happy, and their baddest, fittest selves. These healthy hustlas are here to make sure staying in shape and eating healthy make you feel like you’re getting away with murder, without hurting a fly.

Keepin’ it so real, it’s organic.”

Part of their mission is to introduce readers to various (vegan) individuals who offer something in the way of living full, healthy, active lives. (Disclaimer: I was one of them). They recently interviewed duathlete, Laura Kline, where she talks about her perspectives related to eating, training and living.

What race are you most proud of?
Winning the 2012 Duathlon World Championship in Nancy, France. It was a great experience to achieve that result against the world’s best, and it was one of those days where everything just clicked. It felt amazing!

Read other interviews here, including Steph Crumley of Superb Bicycles.

Boris Vs Le Tour

borisIn the world of fundraising, this is how it’s done. No Kickstarter, GoFundMe or IndieGoGo campaign, but some real world shenanigans with considerable effort and sacrifice. These dudes from London checked out one of the Boris bike-share rides, which are notoriously cumbersome (50 pounds!), and rode (or at least tried) those suckers 190km through the first stage of the Tour de France. Along the way (and still to this day) people texted “HARD65 £3″ to 70070, which then sent the money to Macmillan Cancer Support. They are still taking donations and this feat will be repeated in some way next year as well.

Please consider donating to the campaign through this site.

Bicycle Lawyer Blog

bike lawI’m reposting a writing by a Charlotte lawyer, who describes a bit of what it feels like to be on the vulnerable end of an impatient driver’s bumper, imploring us not to just argue for our right to be in the road, but to also check our impatience continuously. Most of the time, as she describes, our impatience manifests as mere frustration, but in our vehicles it can become deadly. Well said.

What I want to talk about is the value of human life and how people can take it so lightly. I want to talk about the instant rage people feel when confronted with what could at most be considered an annoyance. Let’s talk about the complete intolerance of anything that stands in our way for even a fraction of a second. We don’t just see this on the road between bikes and cars; we see it in the grocery store on a busy Saturday, we see it waiting in line in the airport. People are angry and frustrated. No one is breathing. We’re all holding our breaths and trying to get to the next thing more quickly.

In most areas of our lives, this anxious rushing has little consequence other than to make our lives rushed and anxious, and maybe annoy our families. On the road, however, it can kill someone.

Via Cambio Corsa

Bike Share Profit Loss

divvyWell….this isn’t good, but should also be kept in context. Chicago bike-share program, Divvy, posted a first year loss of $148,000, but of a program this size isn’t really THAT much, still, people seem to hate bikes and want any excuse to write them off. All startups tend to have problems the first year, however, and projections for next year look more encouraging, if Divvy can work through some red-tape deal problems with their partner companies. Divvy is also looking into corporate sponsorship to help offset costs and remedy this loss quickly. Most bike-shares are initially partnered with corporate backing (Indy is buoyed by the Pacers), and this could be an easy solution for Divvy’s issues.

Chicago’s bike-share woes certainly aren’t plagued by low use, as ridership broke records over the Memorial Day weekend, so I’m suspecting it will continue on strongly as long as the business deals can be worked out quickly. I have yet to hear of similar problems in other cities, which is encouraging for more programs to be launched elsewhere.

Via The Chicagoist.

Fuji Feather CX 1.1 Bike Review

fuji_feather_cx-2
Cyclocross bikes have long been a choice for the rider looking for a versatile machine—enjoyable on long road rides, capable on trails and light singletrack, able to handle a light tour and near perfect for the committed medium to long distance commuter. As cyclocross racing has grown the selection of bikes under the ‘cross umbrella is wider than ever, from thoroughbred race machines to traditional steel frames and performance commuters.

Trickle down tech is at the core of most any consumer industry, and the Fuji Feather CX 1.1 takes advantage of what has become the new normal at the high end of spec and brings it to a $1220 complete bike ready for the 9-5 and your next mixed surface adventure. The butted aluminum frame features a post mount disc brake, a tapered headtube with a 1 1/2” lower bearing, and a press-fit BB86 bottom bracket. The carbon blade fork has a durable aluminum steerer and dropouts, and a post mount disc brake as well. Single fender eyelets adorn both the frame and fork, with seatstay mounts for a rear rack and a pair of bottle mounts for when the miles start to rack up. Geometry wise the CX 1.1 borrows heavily from Fuji’s race bikes with a few tweaks to fit larger volume tires that ends up with an 11 mm longer wheelbase overall.

The component spec of the Feather CX 1.1 is nothing much to write home about—a 9-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain and industry standard Avid BB5r brakes with 160 mm rotors do the name brand duties, with no-name Vera wheels and house brand Oval Concepts parts otherwise finishing off the bike. The 50/34 chainrings and 11-32 cassette provide a well thought out, wide gear range and while 9-speed isn’t the newest in new it has proven a durable choice with some long time adherents. The wheels are an odd mix of bladed spokes and mountain bike width 19 mm rims — very likely to stay true over many a pothole, but sluggish feeling on a long ride. Disc brakes come with their own weight penalty, coupled with overbuilt wheels the Fuji Feather CX 1.1 weighs 23.9 lbs. Contrary to the spec sheet our 58 cm review bike came with 170 mm cranks, definitely short for the people riding this bike and something I would have asked a dealer to swap before purchase. The blacked out, gloss on matte finish on the frame and fork is hard to beat, it’s a shame the Oval components don’t match.

City streets, light trails, dirt roads—the Feather CX 1.1 has the person that can’t keep their bike clean in mind. Add a full set of fenders and it makes a solid choice for an everyday vehicle that should last the long haul, stock it is more than up for hitting that dirt road loop a dozen miles outside of town. The geometry isn’t dumbed down in the name of relaxed commuting, giving the bike the handling character so many love about cyclocross bikes.

The frameset is where you should be spending your money, and the Feather CX 1.1 gives you a platform to grow with over the years. The press fit BB86 bottom bracket makes the bike compatible with any number of high end cranksets out there, and while I had no problems throughout the test I’m not the only one still skeptical of the benefits of press fit bottom brackets. Post mount brakes are welcome, even if I had issues with the stock spacers deforming during setup. I do wish that the full-length rear brake housing had another cable stop along the top tube to curb what is an otherwise annoying rattle without a loop of electrical tape, even if it’s an easy DIY solution.

Ride it now, keep your eyes peeled for deals on the easy weight saving upgrades and pick up a racier groupset a few years down the line when the original Sora drivetrain is worn out. While neither the lightest nor the snappiest accelerating bike out there, for the non-racer the Fuji Feather CX 1.1 proves a solid disc brake ‘cross commuter and weekend explorer. The Feather CX 1.1 is available in five sizes from 48 – 60 cm, with a lower spec’d $1000 CX 1.3 also available.

Philadelphia Pump Track

Pinkbike posted a story on the Philadelphia pump track, “Pumpadelphia”, (and I can’t help but sing, “Flipadelphia!”) which came about by the impetus of the Philadelphia Mountain Bike Association, which is pretty awesome considering most mountain bikers aren’t engaged with inner city youth, or even inner city riding. But the coalition between the PMBA, corporate sponsors, city departments, various individuals and, most importantly, the kids themselves, turned this piece of public land into a maze of adrenaline-inducing turns and jumps.

Now, to convince them for the need of a pumptrack in my backyard.

pumptrack

“You’ll notice that I put the beginner track higher up in the park than anything else.” Jim says. “That’s because in my books, the children are what is going to keep our sport and culture alive going forward. When they ask “why are we higher than the big track?” I tell them that they are more valuable. They are the most important. We share our property with the kids and give them highest ground.” The kids are the centerpiece of this effort and the kids responded well. Saturdays were dig days and it was common to see 40+ kids at the site ready to get busy with brooms, shovels and anything else they could use to move and shape dirt. Power Corps PHL sent dozens of volunteers to the site as well. The program provides environmental stewardship initiatives as well as the City of Philadelphia’s youth workforce development and violence prevention priorities. Many of the Power Corps volunteers were locals and are itching to get on bike after lending a hand at the track.

Jacob’s Ride Hits A Grand Slam For Hearing

jacob-in-camden-yards-alleyYYY Jacob Landis rode 10,666 miles and had hit almost every stadium in the country by the time he reached Polk County, Florida last September. With 180 miles left to reach the last one, Marlins Park in Miami, he was struck by a semi truck that kept on driving. The accident took him off the road, bringing his tour to a grinding halt. But it didn’t end his mission. This weekend, he’ll finish Jacob’s Ride, his cross-country tour to help others overcome hearing loss in the same way he has.

“Without the [cochlear] implant I couldn’t talk to you,” he tells me. Landis was 10 when he heard his brother’s voice for the first time, or anyone’s for that matter. He had just received one of the first cochlear implants. A decade later, Landis would have another life-changing experience when he visited his brother in Los Angeles.

“Noah didn’t have a car then and he gave me his road bike,” says Landis, who rode bikes as a child but, like many people, left them behind with the playthings of childhood. “He took me on one of those group rides – Taco Tuesday – I just had so much fun riding a road bike for the first time that when I got back to Annapolis even though it was so cold I went out and got my own single speed. Then I got a $500 Jamis and I started putting a lot more miles on.”

jacob-with-hearing-impaired-kids-at-Northern-VoicesAfter fifteen years with his cochlear, Landis is making the same come true for others, and he’s doing it with his bike. Last year, he raised more than $160,000 to help others who cannot afford the implant. Supporting established nonprofit organizations such as the Gift of Hearing Foundation and the Hearing Loss Association of America, the donations have helped fund implants, which can cost from $50,000 to $100,000, for five people. The first went to a 24 year-old male, same age as Landis (at the time of the procedure).

By working with Major League Baseball teams, Jacob’s Ride has been able to raise awareness and support for cochlear implants at each stadium. 500,000 Americans suffer from severe hearing loss, but only 7 percent have benefited from cochlear implants. Unlike a conventional hearing aid, which amplifies sound, a cochlear implant sends electrical impulses to the the auditory nerve, bypassing damaged parts of the inner hear. Contribute to Jacob’s Ride and learn more about cochlear implants at www.JacobsRide.com.

Epecuen – Danny MacAskill

epecuenRed Bull threw up the new Danny MacAskill film, Epecuen, on their site yesterday. Set in a village in Argentina that has been submerged underwater for the past 25 years, MacAskill turns this wasteland into a playground. Equal parts beautiful and devastating, the setting is outshined only by MacAskill’s expected jaw-dropping feats of balance and ingenuity on the bike. Keep ‘em coming Danny.

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