Urban Velo

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



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


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


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

BikeBike 2013

BikeBike is under way in New Orleans this weekend – and there’s a storm coming in from the Gulf to keep everyone company.

The annual conference for bike collectives will be celebrating a very important milestone this year, as it is the 10th anniversary of the international gathering. Four days of workshops, bike rides, races, outdoor concerts, dancing, and a 10th birthday celebration will be hosted by members of the New Orleans Community Bike Project. This weekend volunteers from collectives and community bike projects from all corners of the globe will collaborate, share and teach each other what works and how to do it bigger and better. As a restless bike traveler, the value of community bike co-ops in cities across the globe is, quite frankly, immeasurable. For more information and access to an international collection of resources by and for collectives, visit www.bikebike.org.


artcrank_pdx_graphic The ARTCRANK bicycle themed poster party was born in 2007 and has since expanded to a dozen different US cities, along with Paris, London and Manchester. Countless folks have picked up limited edition hand-printed posters to brighten up their walls, partying down in the process. ARTCRANK is coming to New York City’s Bicycle Habitat September 26 and 27th. Expect 30 artists selling posters at $40 each and craft brew from Widmer Bros, sales of which benfit non-profits StreetsBlog and StreetFilms.

“I’m excited about ARTCRANK because as an underground bike artist it’s the only venue I have to get the art to the people it’s intended for,” says Greg Ugalde (profiled in Urban Velo #30). “I didn’t make this art to hang in the Louvre. It’s an expression of my passion made for people who share that passion.”

See more of what ARTCRANK is all about in this 60 second time lapse video from last year.

City Reports