Urban Velo

Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival & Summit


The first of its kind, the Los Angeles Bicycle Commuter Festival and Summit is a coordinated effort between an array of local advocacy organization, not least of which is AIDS Lifecycle and the Bicycle Culture Institute. The day-long festival will include workshops, vendors and food throughout the day, party to follow, all at the Village at Ed Gould Plaza in Hollywood. Workshops covering everything from commuting, locking up and navigating transit to choosing the right bike, legal issues for cyclists, and more will be hosted by experienced cyclists and advocates from the L.A. Bike Coalition, L.A. Bike Trains, CicLAvia, CICLE, SoCalCross, Wolfpack Hustle and several of L.A.’s bike collectives. Tickets for the festival are $10/individual or $15/family (two plus kids), available here.


Race to Raise – 2LapJam

Screen shot 2014-01-07 at 12.10.58 PMFrom TrackorDieNYC:

The “2LapJam” was created back in the summer of 2012 as a way to end the smack talk between friends. It quickly grew in popularity, and since has morphed into a dynamic charity event we like to dub the “Race to Raise.” Unlike a traditional Alleycat, our race is different in that it is an unsanctioned race in Central Park (with an occasional twist in Prospect Park, Brooklyn). We take the traffic out, and turn it into 2 quick loops, with a twist!

January 31st will be our next and 9th race. We have been throwing these events since August 2012. In just this time we have been able to get between 60-80 track and single speed bike riders of all ages to each of our events. To date, we have had over 200 people race our event, and individuals are turning up from Washington, DC and Boston! A few of our more notable events have been raising $500 for Recycle-A-Bicycle a local non-profit that works with NYC public school students in the areas of health and bike mechanics, close to 50 racers coming out in the freezing rain to race and bring over two cars full of toy donations for Toys for Tots, and over 70 racers coming out to raise $900 to support an injured cyclist. Since the beginning of our events, we have raised over $4000 in donations!

Come “Race to Raise” at the next 2LapJam, this January 31st @ 10PM at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park and help us help others in our cycling community!

Check out trackordienyc.com

Coaster Brake Challenge


Photos by Charles Cetto

The first Sunday of the month marked the beginning of the Coaster Brake Challenge, a regular series of races held on fire roads and mountain trails in the hilly fringes of L.A.’s West Valley. Scarcely promoted and hardly understood, the Coaster Brake Challenge is hosted by Atomic Cycles owner Paul de Valera and draws only the most dedicated bike nerds–the ones who have the gumption to put a coaster brake on a mountain bike, outfit a cruiser for mountain biking, or build up a 26″ BMX-style ride. The rules are simple: A qualified bike must be single-speed coaster brake with no other braking mechanism. Each ride is rated for spectator-friendliness, meat pylons (aka pedestrians), and brake-age (or breakage when a coaster wheel heats up and explodes).

A couple dozen chilly cyclists gathered while the sun inched into the sky, before the sheen of frost melted from the grass. Held twice a year and in its 11th edition, the Coaster Brake Challenge meets at 7 a.m. and hits the trail shortly after 8, in a different park and on a new course each race. For $20 each participant gets a t-shirt, patch and and the chance to test their strength and adaptability skidding and stopping with a coaster brake in all four races of the series. Double-bar cruisers, one-piece cranks, carbon risers and clipless pedals all become commingled in the madness of the Coaster Brake Challenge.

The first race in the series consisted of a large loop with the second half repeated for a roughly 10-mile course that delved into a 2,900-acre parkland of rolling hills. On the inside of the loop, the city ceased to exist and coyotes wandered through the open space between the trails. Challenging climbs were coupled with the brain-twisting trick of mountain biking on a coaster brake, sliding down hills and lining up to brake for left and right turns.

Click through the photos below from the first CBC 11 race and visit atomiccycles.com to check out some more coaster brake bikes and for details about the rest of the Coaster Brake Challenge series.


SSCXWC 2013 Photo Gallery


Following a weekend of debauchery including some bike riding, the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships went off this past Sunday in Philadelphia. Qualifiers for spots in the men’s and women’s race categories included the previous day’s Bilenky Junkyard Cross, a locals led “feats of strength” ride, or last-chance goldsprints. The football fans in the audience may be familiar with how the weather turned in Philadelphia that afternoon, dumping some 2-3 inches of snow on the course in a couple of hours. The 11am “Everyone’s a Winner” category started with clear skies and wet trails, ending but 45 minutes later in heavy snow. By the time the men’s and women’s classes was hitting the course it was just short of a whiteout, with the women getting the worst of it. It all led to a party in the woods with some bike racing happening in between. The top competitive finishers were taking things seriously to turn the laps they did, it’s just that most everyone else on the course was more than happy to embrace the loose rules and heavy heckling in the name of a party. Adam Craig and Vikki Barclay took home the championship tattoos, everyone else went home a winner. Next year it’s Louisville.

Bilenky Junkyard Cross 2013 Photo Gallery


Costumes encouraged, partying mandatory, rules optional. Bilenky Junkyard Cross is a less-than-formal bike race through the junkyard behind Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia. The 8th annual event was held this past Saturday in conjunction with the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, acting as a qualifier for the main event. Ripping through the aisles of the junkyard, over a car and through a van riders raced in heats of about 15 a piece to vie for spots in the men’s and women’s SSCXWC main event. A near perfect event, though you may not want to jump your ‘cross bike over the junked car.

Philly Bandit Cross SSCXWC Hangers On Race

BX_Philly_Flyer The Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships are this weekend in Philadelphia, with a full schedule of partying and racing. Add another to the mix — Bandit Cross is hitting Philadelphia. Meet at Bicycle Revolutions at 7pm this Friday with lights. Go fast.

Dirty Doubles Pump Track at Fat Tire Farm

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dirtydoubles Look out, they’re building a pump track in the Fat Tire Farm parking lot. Show up on December 7th with $5. Bikes and helmets provided, winner takes all the money and one of the race bikes. Rip it.

31st Dirty Dozen Hill Race

The 31st annual Dirty Dozen race up Pittsburgh’s steepest hills, including Canton Ave which is recognized as the steepest street in the USA, is happening this coming Saturday after Thanksgiving as so many before it. Unsanctioned, just go. Is this the oldest “alleycat” in the country? Quite possibly, depending on definition.

Read about the Dirty Dozen in Urban Velo #5, and a profile on founder and legend Danny Chew in Urban Velo #10.

Chrome Wrenched L.A.



Fixie ‘Cross yes please! Uphill Sprints?! Clear your calendar, you’re going to be too busy riding bikes to do anything else, ever. Los Angeles is lucky number 13 on Chrome’s Wrenched Nation Tour and they’ll be sticking around a little while. Orange 20 is opening its gallery space next door for Chrome’s pop-up shop through the next month.

The fun starts November 22nd with a #FooRace hosted by Alvin of CBNC – any bike, any rider. Saturday the bikes hit the track in Carson for the Wolfpack Track Invitational. Follow @Orange20Bikes for updates.

Philadelphia Cranksgiving 2013

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2013cranksflyerphilly Cranksgiving is coming back to Philadelphia for the third year on Sunday November 24th, with all proceeds going to Philabundance. FInd out more about the event at www.cranksgivingphilly.com/2013.

Read more about the evolution of Cranksgiving in our feature story from earlier this year in Urban Velo #35, From Cranks To Food Banks.

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