Sean McElroy had only known about the Civic Center Crit for a week, maybe two, before coming to claim the dog tags in the men’s road category in 2013. None of L.A.’s local bike racers had seen him before, and none of them had any idea that their biggest competition that day would be a 14-year-old from Palmdale.
“It was really last minute, to be honest,” said McElroy, who had found out about the race from his friend and mentor, Rich Bartlett. “He told me it was going to be a pretty big turnout, and it was in L.A., so I just decided to go do it.”
The young cyclist may have been a last-minute entry, but he was prepared nonetheless: With three years of road racing under his belt, McElroy was already gearing up for the Junior National Road Racing Championships that would be held just a week and a half later.
“I was definitely fit, but I didn’t really come expecting to win the race,” he said of the fateful day he joined the elite ranks of dog tag holders on 2013—Jo Celso, Willo Juarez, Kathryn Donovan, Veronica Volok, Craig Streit, Evan Stade, Walton Brush, Nate Koch, Shelby Walter—and Sean McElroy, the youngest among them by nearly a decade.
And while there was much surprise to see a 14-year-old even entering the race, his performance is ultimately what blew everyone away. With Barlett in the race with him, the two were able to work the peloton and split the field.
“Rich told me that there’s going to be people just going off the front, and the guy that went, Jon [Budinoff], was right in front of me so I was on his wheel, so when he went I just went with him, not really with the intention of getting a break,” he says. “As soon as we saw the gap, I just started working; when people tried to close the gap Rich would chase them down and slow down the pace of it. He really helped me to win, it was really just a real team thing. Read more →
A cyclist was struck and killed by a police officer in Mexico City over the weekend, and another is in the hospital in critical condition. A sedan carrying two adults and two children was also hit by the police car. It is reported that the driver of the car, Federal Police (Policia Federal) officer Brenda Barrón Magali Rivera, attempted to flee the scene, but was was stopped by witnesses who became hostile towards Rivera and the other officers in the car. More than 100 officers in riot gear came to the scene to assist Rivera and her passengers.
It is alleged that the police officer was intoxicated at the time of the crash, which occurred on a busy street outside the Mercado Sonora in downtown Mexico City. Rivera has been released on bail, and according to District Attorney Rodolfo Rios Garza, may face manslaughter charges; today it was announced that the results of Rivera’s toxicology report are negative for alcohol.
Tonight cyclists in Mexico City will ride in honor the fallen rider, and will install a ghost bike at the site on Saturday. Local activists are seeking legal resources to aid in ensuring justice for the fallen rider and his partner.
Read more about the crash in Mexico City here (in Spanish)
Bicycle R & D – Best job ever?
Experience the California sun and scenery with Emi Brown and Luke Binder as they take the Leader EQNX through the Golden State’s golden roads.
Jacob Landis rode 10,666 miles and had hit almost every stadium in the country by the time he reached Polk County, Florida last September. With 180 miles left to reach the last one, Marlins Park in Miami, he was struck by a semi truck that kept on driving. The accident took him off the road, bringing his tour to a grinding halt. But it didn’t end his mission. This weekend, he’ll finish Jacob’s Ride, his cross-country tour to help others overcome hearing loss in the same way he has.
“Without the [cochlear] implant I couldn’t talk to you,” he tells me. Landis was 10 when he heard his brother’s voice for the first time, or anyone’s for that matter. He had just received one of the first cochlear implants. A decade later, Landis would have another life-changing experience when he visited his brother in Los Angeles.
“Noah didn’t have a car then and he gave me his road bike,” says Landis, who rode bikes as a child but, like many people, left them behind with the playthings of childhood. “He took me on one of those group rides – Taco Tuesday – I just had so much fun riding a road bike for the first time that when I got back to Annapolis even though it was so cold I went out and got my own single speed. Then I got a $500 Jamis and I started putting a lot more miles on.”
After fifteen years with his cochlear, Landis is making the same come true for others, and he’s doing it with his bike. Last year, he raised more than $160,000 to help others who cannot afford the implant. Supporting established nonprofit organizations such as the Gift of Hearing Foundation and the Hearing Loss Association of America, the donations have helped fund implants, which can cost from $50,000 to $100,000, for five people. The first went to a 24 year-old male, same age as Landis (at the time of the procedure).
By working with Major League Baseball teams, Jacob’s Ride has been able to raise awareness and support for cochlear implants at each stadium. 500,000 Americans suffer from severe hearing loss, but only 7 percent have benefited from cochlear implants. Unlike a conventional hearing aid, which amplifies sound, a cochlear implant sends electrical impulses to the the auditory nerve, bypassing damaged parts of the inner hear. Contribute to Jacob’s Ride and learn more about cochlear implants at www.JacobsRide.com.
PedalBXL is a courier service in Brussels, Belgium, located relatively close to the famed Tour of Flanders spring classic. Epic roads out there, last year I had the opportunity to ride part of the Tour of Flanders course and it’s not something I will soon forget — steep climbs, serious cobbles, classic Belgian farmland views. Cobbled 22% slopes aren’t the easiest climbs I’ve ever done, and I’d certainly not want to do them on a loaded cargo bike or with a backpack full of gear. I like their style.
Project529 is a bicycle serial number registration site and has started an online petition to ask eBay and Craigslist to require serial numbers in bicycle sale listings. It’s no surprise that bicycle and parts are fenced through online classified sales, and requiring serial numbers seems a reasonable way to help curb the lowest common denominator sellers.
Every 30 seconds, a cyclist has their bike stolen in the United States. Nearly half of college students with bicycles will lose them during their education. Bicycle theft is rampant in the United States, and it’s due in part to the ease of fencing stolen bikes through online sites.
There’s a simple solution that would help dramatically cut down on these statistics: requiring a serial number when selling bikes online. Just as VIN numbers are required to list cars for sale, requiring a serial number will deter criminals from using your sites to move stolen bikes. It additionally gives the victims of theft a chance of recovering their bikes.
We the undersigned are petitioning eBay and Craigslist to add the simple requirement of including serial numbers for bicycle listings. We believe this poses no material impact to legitimate sellers or to your business. Please help keep this vibrant category on your sites ethical and above board.
Sign up at www.project529.com
Riders are killing it in this full length video from Turf Bikes. Fixed gear freestyle isn’t dead.
The GreenGuru FreeRider is a simple open top pannier meant to be left on the bike, doing duty holding a backpack or other cargo. The FreeRider locks in place for an extended stay on your rear rack, and is made in the USA of durable, upcycled materials. Top compression straps cinch it down to a slim profile when not in use, and the addition of a reflective triangle panel never hurts visibility. Available with either bicycle tube or vinyl awning scraps as the body panel. For the dedicated utilitarian rider, a locking bag like this might be a simple solution to prevent bag theft without having to remove and attach panniers at every stop.
Sometimes the best crowdsourced projects to feature are the ones that quickly reach their funding level. This one took only two weeks time, showing that people are into this $60 – $75 bag for their carrying needs. If you like what you see there is a little over a month to go to preorder your own at the FreeRider Kickstarter.
Greg Lemond doesn’t need as asterisk next to his Tour wins, and didn’t just learn to fix a flat.