“Drive With Care.” That’s the message to drivers coming from this Bike Pittsburgh campaign. 2012 was a particularly harsh year for riders in Pittsburgh and this campaign was born out of a desire to make humanize bike riders in the face of multiple hit and run incidents and open hostility. “The people behind the windshield and under the helmet are our nurses, carpenters, children, and sports heroes, but the overwhelming perspective seems to be that bike riders are in-the-way nuisances who have no right to the road.” A successful but relatively short billboard and bus stop run was well received in town and around the web, and this Indiegogo campaign is an effort to increase the reach of the campaign much further than before. More bus shelters, more bus cards and more billboards can help to reach thousands of members of the public that are usually out of the reach of bike safety messaging. See more at the BikePGH Drive With Care Indiegogo.
The number and quality of ILRITC submissions has dropped significantly. Some people don’t take the time to write very much. Most people don’t send a high-resolution photo. We’ve already scaled back the number of ILRITC pages in the print edition, and unless we start to receive more quality submissions, the section will be totally relegated to web content or dropped entirely.
If you do love the section and want to see it continue, please click here.
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 cancelled 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.
It’s a bottle cage for a growler.
Fietsklik began simply enough when a group of school friends dropped a case of beer from the back of a bike. The Amsterdam based Fietsklik team is familiar with bikes as daily transport, and felt they could design a better modular system for getting beer and other daily needs home safely.
A few weeks back Julius and Jonathan stopped through town and I had the chance to see the Fietsklik items up close, albeit in the midst of a serious cold snap. At its most basic Fietsklik is a plastic base that fits on most standardized rear racks that then allows various side bags to snap into the sides, and a large cargo box to fit on top. Each accessory securely snaps into place and can be locked down with a barrel style key to prevent the whole bag or box from going missing. Even without the keyed lock, the bags and box are securely fastened in place, requiring depressing a hidden release and preventing them from falling off on their own. The box is sized perfectly for a case of 24 bottles, and features a handle and wheels for use in the grocery store. If you don’t have anything at all to carry, the box collapses flat. A child carrier is in the works, but the next round of safety testing is expensive.
It’s a pretty slick system, and not priced outrageously like some other system solutions can be. I especially can see the removable, wheeled cargo box being very useful for some shoppers. My main concern for the entire system is the same as with most anything based on plastic construction — long term durability. It would be a shame to break off one of the engagement points trying to click it all in place while you aren’t paying attention. I have no experience, simply conjecture. The risk you take in the name of items that securely click and lock together as a system it seems.
Fietsklik just launched their Kickstarter to help get the child carrier off the ground, and to otherwise get their system into the hands of the US market. $99 gets you the Klik rack adapter and a single bag or cargo box, with various other tiers for other bag and box combinations. The child carrier starts at the $215 level, and is the ultimate goal of this round of funding.
Fietsklik is designed and manufactured in Holland and worth a look if a modular cargo and bag solution meets your needs, and especially if a child seat is in your future. Overall I truly liked what I saw. See more details and check out a video at the Fietsklik Kickstarter.