Urban Velo

Sea Otter Cyclocross Gallery

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The Sea Otter Classic is the race season kick-off event, with three days of mountain and road racing centered around the midfield of the Laguna Seca Raceway. The expo area is always home to new product announcements, the race courses new faces and teams. Not a bad place to find oneself in mid-April, and I managed to turn my lens towards the Women’s and Men’s Cyclocross Pro/1/2 races between other engagements. ‘Cross in the sand and sun may seem out of place, but it makes for some great racing ripping through the expo. The packed men’s run at the very end of the day proved to be a rowdy time, as expected after a couple of days of sun where beers at 9 am was hardly a rare sight. Good times. Results available for download at www.seaotterclassic.com

Am I Invisible? Opening

am i invisible?Bicycle portrait contest and gallery show, Am I Invisible?, is opening Tuesday, April 8th at the Old Stone House in New York City. The portrait project is meant to “encourage greater awareness of issues of sustainability, health and cultural diversity in the urban space.”

Attendees of the opening can participate in a bike and photography part raffle and view the 5 winning portraits. In concert with the opening, Am I Invisible? “will combine online experiences with a series of community events taking place throughout April and May at the Old Stone House. The public art installation uses image recognition technology to connect viewers of large-format images placed around the city to videos via their mobile devices.”

More info about the opening and following events are here.

Bicycle Utopia NYC
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Twitter : @BicycleUtopia

New York Bike Jumble

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Are you going to be in the NYC area May, June or September? In conjunction with Transportation Alternatives, The NY Bike Jumble will be hosting 3 swaps in the coming months, billed as the “anti-craigslist”, allowing you to see, hold and possibly test the products before you buy them.

The locations this year are as follows:

Saturday May 17th – Park Slope 10AM – 4PM
The New York Bike Jumble returns to Washington/JJ Byrne Park around the Old Stone House at Fifth Avenue and 4th street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. for the sixth year in a row. Fulfill all your cycling needs for the summer! Get yourself a new or used bike, new and used accessories, clothing, collectibles, artwork, overstocks, and bargains galore.

Sunday June 1st – Red Hook – 10AM to 4PM
The New York Bike Jumble presents The Red Hook Bike Jumble in conjunction with Transportation Alternatives’ Tour de Brooklyn. Join us by the Red Hook Ikea for a day of awesome bicycle flea-marketing.

September – Park Slope
date TBA

North American Bicycle Week

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North American Bicycle Week will kick off in Detroit, and in its sister city of Windsor, this Thursday. The four-day event will celebrate the culture and healthy lifestyle of cycling. With so many multi-day bike events staged across the continent, we caught up with co-founder Mike MacKool to get the 411 on the big shindig.

Urban Velo: What sets North American Bicycle Week apart from other large-scale bike events (like Interbike, NAHBS, Sea Otter, etc.)
Mike MacKool: We have always embraced the rider, in all forms, so we naturally tend to organize around the culture, the social aspect, and community growth through riding bikes together.

We also created a consumer show with an open market—not a lot of larger trade shows allow people to purchase on site. We see the NoAm Bike Week and Detroit Bike City EXPO to be not only where manufacturers and suppliers can meet, but where everyday people can enjoy buying a bike. Plus a lot more riding, music, parties, group rides and races.

UV:What prompted you to organize an event of this scale?
MM: We started Detroit Bike City a few years ago, knowing that we wanted to create something big like the Auto Show, but for bikes. After two successful shows at Cobo Center and an incredibly successful 2013 season of Slow Roll, we felt it was the perfect time, for us and for Detroit.

UV: So the previous Detroit Bike City events were precursors to NoAm?
MM: Yes.

The third Detroit Bike City Expo will return to the Cobo Center on Saturday, March 29. Check out the North American Bicycle Week event schedule and more at NorthAmericanBicycleWeek.com.

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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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.

Savannah GA Spring Alleycat

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EvTpULD Springtime is alleycat season, with this one coming up on March 16th in Savannah GA. $5, rain or shine.

Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title

Wolfpack Hustle: The Unified Title Series 2014 from Wolfpack Hustle on Vimeo.

The kids at Wolfpack Hustle just released this Unified Title promo video, kicking off the 2014 series with the upcoming Marathon Crash race going down on the 9th of March. If it’s too late for you to jump into the crash race, get in on all the future action and still compete for the Unified Title.

Get all the necessary info at Wolfpack Hustle.

Smut Pedalers Run

Smut Pedalers RunOn March 29th, Sin City Portage will present their first alleycat, the Smut Pedalers Run. From organizer, Matt Reyes:

Its a uniquely Vegas style alley cat where cyclist collect Porn Smut that clutters the strip from designated pick up points. First to cross the finish line with all pieces of Smut, wins!

Check out www.sincityportage.com

March Madness Is Upon Us

 

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With Monster Track, the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race, and the first race of Red Hook Crit all packed into the month of March, there will be no rest for the hungry. It all starts in L.A., with the Marathon Crash Race on March 9th. Register at wolfpackhustle.com.

Following the pre-dawn peril that is the Crash Race, next stop on the street race circuit is Monster Track XV, followed by the Red Hook Crit series kickoff in Brooklyn. Sure hope your legs are ready!

City Reports