Urban Velo

Lord of Griffith V with State Bicycle Co Team

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The Lord of Griffith alleycat top honors were taken by State Bicycle Co rider Tyler Coplea, who had a few things to say about the event below. It’s nothing outside of the usual post-race glory, but it’s good to be reminded of the fun of competition.

“The Lord of Griffith race is an all out suffer fest up to the Griffith observatory in LA. Consisting of a steep climb straight up to the top, followed by an awesome fast decent, all on one gear 3 times around! I rocked my awesome State bicycle Undefeated with a way to big 48×14 gear ratio that made me choke on regret up that crazy steep climb.

After riding for 2hrs in LA, we pulled up to the race along with hundreds of other riders. Everything was set and ready to go, that is till the park rangers showed up and wanted it shut down. So we all immediately went to the start line and just like that the race was on!

I drilled it as hard a I could to get to the front and spent the next 3.5 laps grinding up climbs and burning out quads on the decent with our newest teammate Hern. The climb wasn’t the issue, it was try to skid stop as well as those guys on the downhill. Man they are talented bike riders! Going up the climb for the last time, I put it all out there and got a gap which I was luckily able to finally hold on the decent and all the way to the finish to get the win! My legs totally felt as if I had done 1000s of squats for the past few hours. I was stoked to turn around and see my teammates Michael and Hern come in for 3rd and 4th!”

Bike Jerks Track or Treat Images

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Track or Treat 7 went down in Minneapolis this weekend, with Bike Jerks sharing a few images and results.

Supermarket Street Sweep 8

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Print The eighth annual Supermarket Street Sweep is scheduled for December 7th, with riders heading all over San Francisco to collect food for the local food banks. Help add to the over 118,000 meals collected over the past seven events. Cargo race, speed race and plenty of folks just along for the ride… see more at supermarketstreetsweep.blogspot.com

Ghost Bikes of L.A. at Red#5 Yellow#7

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Ghost Bikes of L.A. will open this weekend, and the show will be the first gallery display of the memorials, which have served as a unique and positive response to bicyclist fatalities on city streets.

This year marks the 10th anniversary the first Ghost Bikes erected in St. Louis, Missouri. Quickly adopted in other communities as a way to memorialize fallen cyclists, ghost bikes have established an important place in bicycle culture as an icon of community and solidarity among cyclists, and a powerful public awareness tool that communicates value for human life and safety to all street users. Often, ghost bikes are installed through the collaboration of community bicycle advocates and the family and friends of fallen cyclists.

Year-to-date, more than 70 cyclists have been killed on roads in Southern California alone, making this a particularly sensitive subject in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. The Red#5Yellow#7 gallery is partnering with families and the Los Angeles bike community to recognize and reflect on the international movement and how it has contributed to the way cyclists respond to and engage with the communities they ride in.

Several public discussions and events will take place as part of the show:

Sunday, Oct. 27: noon – 4pm family members speak + How to make a Ghost Bike
Saturday, Nov. 2: Ride to Hollywood Forever’s Day of the Dead
Thursday, Nov. 14: 7pm LA Memorial Ride on Anthony’s Candle Light Vigil
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013: 4-8pm Closing Reception

To learn more about ghost bikes and their role in the Los Angeles cycling community, listen to an interview with Jesse Ramon of GhostBikesLA.

Dead City Halloween Alleycat

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dead city 4 The Washington DC alleycat crew seems to have their ducks in a row and is putting on the fourth annual Dead City Halloween Alleycat, a team event set to take place on November 2nd. Meet up at Thomas Circle with your teammate at 5 pm and pedal like mad.

Cultivating Conversations at BikeBike 2013

Image by Brian O'Doherty

Image by Brian O’Doherty

More than 300 individuals representing 80 organizations gathered in New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of BikeBike, revisiting the city where volunteers and organizers gathered at the first BikeBike, setting the wheels in motion for a cross-cultural exchange with biking at its center.

An opportunity to share ideas, stories, and support, the 4-day conference brought together a wide range of people and projects that represented the efforts of a collective bike community from across North America and reaching as far as Austria.

“They come from so many different areas and places,” said Vincenzo Loconte, “from places that are very religious and conservative to places that are very anarchist or liberal, very high-income to very low. You hear a lot of different experiences from everywhere.” Loconte, who volunteers at two Los Angeles coops (Bici Libre and the Bikerowave), shared his knowledge in education through a workshop on how to use the bicycle to teach concepts in science, math and other areas.

In an effort to support the broad scale phenomenon of community bike projects and promote a greater level of exchange, this year’s conference included a third day of workshops. Topics ranged from teaching the basics valuable to newer organizations such as how to acquire shop tools to knowing when to grow, to detailed presentations on how to take a volunteer who knows nothing about bikes and turn them into a confident volunteer, to creating better exchange between other organizations, from bike shops to local community groups and businesses, as well as within and among other projects.

“This year was part of a concerted effort to expand it a little bit, because the past few years it seemed like there wasn’t enough time,” said Victor Pizarro, executive director the New Orleans-based community bike project Plan B, the host organization for this year’s event.

“There’s nothing better than face to engagement,” said Momoko Saunders of Portland, Oregon’s Bike Farm. “Particularly around some of the more touchy subjects of privilege, of sexism, creating safe spaces.”

The topics addressed at BikeBike each year reflect the current goals and challenges of the various community bike projects that take on different forms in different environments. Accordingly, the focus has grown from solving internal organizational issues to building a network that can leverage shared knowledge and resources between groups.

“Global cross pollination is one of our long term goals,” said Pizarro. This theme reappeared in workshops throughout BikeBike, and built upon mutual shop-collective support, collaboration among projects, comparing notes on different cultural settings and facilitating national and cross-border exchange.
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Newcastle Overnight Ride

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This is a ride I wish I could make it across the Pacific for – the Newcastle Overnight, a 100 mile overnight ride from Sydney, Australia to Newcastle followed up by a morning swim. Loosely organized, you are more or less on your own with nothing but a cue sheet and a few friends. Head out around 8pm on November 16th this year. From my experience “racing” in a number of 24hr mountain bike events riding through the night with the sun coming up is a surreal and invigorating experience like nothing else, and I’ll bet immediately taking an ocean swim makes it even that much better.

Bruce Gordon’s Bicycle Gallery and Boutique Grand Opening

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Bruce Gordon is a living legend in the bike world, a master frame builder from the era when bikes were made of metal and suspension had yet to be figured out. Bruce has been making frames for decades, and has a claim to really helping to push larger tires on 700c rims with his Rock n Road tourer meant for gravel epics before people started calling them grinders. The Bruce Gordon shop is expanding to include a retail boutique featuring high end bikes and parts, along with every bike Bruce has built for himself over the past 40 years. I had the chance to see much of his personal collection a few years ago at NAHBS in San Jose, and would recommend the eye-candy to anyone. Check out the new gallery and old bikes at the grand opening on October 26th. There will be beer, and Bruce might wear a fez.

World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships 2013

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The 2013 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships in Ft Lauderdale, FL are upon us, with the Wildcard bracket fighting it out today for a spot in the big show. Thursday and Friday are the “Swiss Rounds” for seeding into the elimination finals on Saturday.

With dozens of teams competing it can be hard to decide who to follow aside from your local favorites — luckily one of the top European players Woods Dubois wrote down some thoughts on the top teams to watch at Northern Standard Bike Polo. Follow the results real-time at www.followpodium.com and watch all of the action live-streamed with play by play commentary and player interviews at www.bikepolo.tv

Five years on it’s all a far cry from the inaugural World Championships held in Philadelphia in 2009. Check out our photo gallery from the first WHBPC and look for a feature story in Urban Velo #40 about this year’s tournament, and the changes that the sport has seen in the past half-decade.

Scaredy Cat Minneapolis

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Scaredy Cat Halloween is always a popular time for alleycats, with the Scaredy Cat scheduled for 5 pm on October 20th in Minneapolis. Beginner friendly, expert approved — get some friends together and hit the spooky spots of Minneapolis on bikes. Find out more at www.mplsbikelove.com

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