- June 17, 2013
The fourth annual Bench Minor tournament was held in Los Angeles this past weekend, where the stage was set for some phenomenal bike polo..
- June 6, 2013
Since 1924 ABUS has staked their reputation on making the best locks possible, pioneering and perfecting many of the designs now ubiquitous..
- June 1, 2013
Contents Include: I Love Riding in the City, Racing Red Hook Crit, Stoopidtall, Penrose Velodrome, A Bike Shop for the Whole World,..
- May 27, 2013
My previous headlight died in its prime, of complications from a fall. Coming back to my bike on a wintery night with thick gloves on, I..
- May 8, 2013
An estimated 150,000 people came out the first CicLAvia of the year, on April 21, to enjoy the extended route, which spanned 15 miles from..
The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh will host a unique exhibit all about bicycles. Opening on June 15th, there will be a diverse collection of bikes, science demonstrations and hands-on exhibits that allow visitors to understand the energy, forces, engineering and material science involved in bicycling. Check out www.carnegiesciencecenter.org
Dosnoventa is a line of frames designed in Spain and made in Italy, with a few new additions to the line for this season. The yellow Detroit 2 Pursuit frame retails for $1200 has an oversized aluminum tubeset with a matching carbon fork with a hidden brake hole. The silver Kuala-Lumpur has similar aggressive geometry without the forward sloped pursuit top-tube, an aluminum fork and a lower $770 retail price. The Helsinki is Dosnoventa’s single speed cyclocross racer, with a carbon fork, internal cable routing and cantilever brake mounts only for a 2050 g, $1670 frameset. See the Dosnoventa store for the full line of frames.
From The Guardian:
Richard Ballantine, who has died aged 72, was one of cycling’s most influential and eloquent advocates, inspiring generations of cyclists. He was instrumental in promoting cyclists’ rights and popularising mountain bikes and recumbent bicycles. Richard’s Bicycle Book, first published in 1972, quickly became the cyclists’ bible, selling more than 1m copies through numerous editions. Its encyclopedic format combined astute practical advice on buying and maintaining bikes with an original, passionate, eco-conscious manifesto for cycling – presciently, in light of the Opec oil embargo of 1973-74.
The Citibike bike sharing program is up and running in NYC despite some predicting nothing short of the apocalypse, yet just 10 days in and the bikes have been taken for a ride over 100,000 times, and to my knowledge without a single death! Yeah, Yeah, we all knew once the ribbons were cut and the wheels got rolling that everyone would fall in line, but just in case fears still needed to be quelled a bit, Animal NYC conducted an interview with a bike sharing rep in London to get a feel of how everything has gone since they launched their own program under similar NIMBY-like frustrations and controversy. As is to be expected, everything is rolling smoothly. Good thing for other cities around the country who are looking to implement their own programs who now have another successful example to silence the naysayers.
Sam Polcer is a New York City cyclist and recently gave us a heads up about his photo project, Preferred Mode. Updated more or less daily with a new portrait of a New York cyclist he stops on the street, he aims to document the diverse style of the riders he sees on his travels. Look for a book in early 2014, until then enjoy www.preferredmode.com
Where I’m from we don’t always have a lot to toot our horns about, so when we do we toot them loudly, hence this video. This here is our mildly overweight, very much Republican mayor giving a rundown to Streetfilms on the advancements our city has made towards building bicycling infrastructure and accommodating alternative transportation. I’ve been involved in bicycle advocacy in some form since we had ONE mile of a bike lane and I can solidly say all the advancements we’ve made have been under this man’s watch. The groundwork was laid and many hours of work were put into getting us where we are today, but our mayor was the one who not only stepped out of the way to allow it to happen, but also pitched in to lend a helping hand and keep the momentum going. So yeah, is Indy going to be the new Portland? Give us some time and we’ll see. And hey, if it can happen in our city, it can happen in yours too.
Since 1924 ABUS has staked their reputation on making the best locks possible, pioneering and perfecting many of the designs now ubiquitous in bike shops and hardware stores. ABUS makes all manner of locks, from simple padlocks to window and door locks, and onto a number of locks for securing boats, motorcycles, and of course bikes. If it can be broken into or stolen, ABUS likely has a way to lock it down. One may not guess it from the size of the operation, but to this day ABUS remains a family owned company based in the small town of Wetter, Germany. The stereotype of German manufacturing holds true with spotless facilities and precision machinery throughout, a mix of state of the art computer controlled production and ancient factory machinery humming along. ABUS creates much of its own tooling, maintains tight control of the metal alloys used throughout, and keeps a well stocked test facility to ensure their locks live up to their own standards, and the various metrics set forth by countries throughout Europe and around the world.
Beyond the ABUS Lock test lab we featured in Urban Velo #36, I got an inside look at the entire manufacturing facility. It’s an impressive place employing a couple of hundred people creating all manner of locks for a worldwide market.
Click through for a gallery of 50+ images of the factory operations.
They say that track racing is one of the most addictive types of bike racing. Over and over people say once you take a lap on the velodrome you’ll be hooked forever. Fixed gear culture has exploded over the past 10 years, and much of this popularity can be attributed to things like the allure of the bike messenger, the aesthetic of the fixed gear bike and the ability to customize it. Most riders aren’t familiar with the roots of the track bike and racing on the velodrome, and St. Louis is no different. Until now.
Cycling Legalese is our online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides.
Getting ready for the World Naked Bike Ride? We’ve got some tips to keep you legal and out of jail for the night.
Q:I am thinking about doing my first Naked Ride. I know a lot of people do it, but could I get in trouble?
The World Naked Bike Ride, taking place in cities around the world, is coming up. The reasons for doing it vary by individual, but generally the ride is meant as a celebration of cycling, a work of participatory performance art, and an act of political protest against big oil. It is also meant to draw attention to cyclists as roadway users. (Can you see me now, Mr./Ms. Motorist?)
I have participated in Chicago’s large edition of the event, helping the security detail and the police provide a safe atmosphere for riders. (I ride with the security detail fully clothed. No one wants to see their lawyer streak by in the buff.) From my experience in Chicago, and based on what I have read of the event in other cities, the event is generally peaceful and the police tend to be mostly tolerant. However, there are ways to get in trouble on the ride. Here is a basic guide on how to avoid getting busted:
Ride With The Pack: Staying with the mass of riders you are arguably a part of a well-established political and artistic act meaning that you are probably entitled to the protection of the First Amendment allowing for free speech. On the other hand, once you have separated from the group you are just a dude naked in the street and as such may have a harder time arguing that your conduct is protected under the First Amendment. You could be arrested for violating local indecent exposure laws. If you run into mechanical trouble (with your bike that is) or need to break from the group for any reason, put your clothes on to avoid a run in with the police.
Don’t Act A Fool: It may not be your nakedness that ends up getting you into trouble, but rather your conduct. It seems that some folks down a bit too much liquid courage in preparation for dropping their drawers in front of thousands of city dwellers. Doing so could lead to running afoul of local BUI laws, in places where they exist, or public drunkenness and disorderly conduct laws pretty much everywhere. Avoid alcohol for this event.
Don’t Be A Creep: Perhaps this should go without saying, but be aware that it may not take much to make people around you feel uncomfortable. Do not take anyone’s picture without asking them first. This is common courtesy. Also, be advised that while the World Naked Bike Ride is generally a friendly, welcoming event, unfortunately, it does attract some weirdos who come out just to shoot video and photos. The folks in the security detail will be on the look out for these people but be advised that the creeps do come out. Understand what you are getting into and, as they say, “bare as you dare.”
Nothing contained in this column should be construed as legal advice. The information contained herein may or may not match your individual situation. Also, laws differ from place to place and tend to change over time. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of an attorney in the relevant jurisdiction. This column is meant to promote awareness of a general legal issue. As such, it is meant as entertainment. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.
Cycling Legalese Question Submission Form:
When I lived in Portland back in ’01 I thought I had entered some sort of cycling utopia and found myself daydreaming about opening a chain of kiosks called Tubes and Tires, thinking there were so many cyclists on the roads that it would actually be a viable business. I wanted to believe the demand was so great that Tubes and Tires would be the equivalent of gas stations for cars. Of course, we aren’t there YET, but this fellow dreamer in NYC has started towards that goal with his Express Biker vending machines.
Express Biker vending machines work just like traditional vending machines, but instead of dropping out sugary, fatty food and drink, they deliver tubes, cO2 cartridges, patch kits, lights and more. There are only two of these machines in the NYC area, but they hope to continue to expand, even customizing each machine towards the cycling needs of the area.
Follow Express Biker on Facebook.
Stepping out of the lobby and into the parking lot at Kisumu International Airport, I got my first glimpse of Kenya. The sun dangled behind an umbrella tree, creating a silhouette almost synonymous with an African sunrise. I could already see workers tilling the fields as I looked out beyond the roadway. Small buses, pedestrians, and of course bicycle riders hurried by. There was no diluted big city entrance for me. No prefabricated or framed perspective. I had been dropped straight into the heart of Africa.
A documentary film, The Long Bike Back, is scheduled for release this coming summer after just finishing up a fundraising drive. The Long Bike Back follows cyclist Pearson Constantino after he recovers from a severe hit and run accident, traversing the country on his bike and speaking to various groups about road sharing and bicycle advocacy.
Updates about the film can be found here on their blog.
The JBL Charge and Flip are wireless, portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth compatible self-contained speaker systems. While technically neither is an “urban cycling” accessory in the strictest sense, as they aren’t specifically designed to be used while riding, they are certainly both cool and useful items for those who are willing to shell out the money for entertainment on the go. Think rooftop hang out sessions, rocking out by the river, wrenching in the basement, bike polo under the bridge, etc.
Of the two, the Charge is the clear choice unless money is tight. For a device that’s not too much bigger than a can of beer, this thing pumps out some serious volume. And, I kid you not, it delivers a respectable amount of bass. Sure, you’re not going to compete with the lowriders in the park, but the Charge actually creates enough sound pressure to make your music sound good, not tinny. And if you crank it up indoors, you’ll probably be impressed.
The Charge features a 6000mAh Li-ion battery that charges via USB or the provided wall charger. It has a claimed runtime of more than 12 hours, and you can even take advantage of this gratuitous power source and use the Charge to recharge other mobile devices. It’s got a simple battery life indicator, and
Construction-wise, the Charge is clean and solid, and it seems like it’s built to withstand abuse. Intentionally or not, the Charge just so happens to fit in a bicycle water bottle cage. Electronically, it’s been flawless. I was able to sync it to my iPhone for the first time in less than 30 seconds, and since then I just turn the speaker on and hit play on my phone. No muss, no fuss.
The Charge does retail for a cool $150, which might carry a little sticker shock for some people, but consider that premium headphones are often considerably more expensive. And while there are competitively priced speaker systems on the market, they’re simply not JBL—a company that’s been around since 1946.
The Flip is essentially the Charge’s little brother. It’s still plenty loud—impressively loud—but it’s just not quite as powerful as the Charge. The $99 unit’s battery boasts a 5 hour run time, which is nothing to sneeze at, but lacks the ability to recharge other devices. The Flip also uses a dedicated charger (included) not a universal USB charging system.
The Flip does have one unique trick up its sleeve, however. It features a built in microphone and a call answering button. It’s not a feature that I personally found necessary, but I’m certain there are some who would really appreciate such functionality.
Both models are available in several color options and come with a neoprene carrying case. Check out www.jbl.com
When the streets of Los Angeles were closed to car traffic for CicLAvia in April, bikes of all shapes and sizes came out of the woodwork to enjoy the protected roads. Some of the bikes were old and a little bit crusty, others were brand new, like their riders. One was taller—much taller—than all the others.
At 14.5 ft to the saddle, Richie Trimble’s “Stoopidtall” towered high above the moving mass that filled the streets. The unofficial King of CicLAvia and his tall bike were flanked by a protective circle of friends who helped him navigate his way through the crowded streets.
Fyxomatosis has taken over the full distribution of Cycle Underground chainrings, some of the better ones on the market from what I hear. Made in Australia out of 4 mm thick work hardended alumnium, the rings are individually CNC’d and are guaranteed to be perfectly round. 130 or 144 BCD rings are available for $60 each, with full custom rings (with choice of 12 chainring designs) available for $90. Black anodizing is $10 more. There are some oddball bolt patterns available, think of them for restoration projects or as a solution to those vintage cranks you got a great deal on.
Hipster darlings, The National, will be playing at the Barclay’s Center in New York on June 5th and Transportation Alternatives will be providing secured valet parking for bicycles at the concert. Most bicycle advocacy groups have a bike valet program of some sort, but this one is notable in that it is being hosted by such a massive venue and for a sector of the population who find riding bikes quite enjoyable. I don’t think this would go over as well at a Kenny Chesney concert or something, so it’s nice to see TA servicing events of such a grand scale and focused audience.
One of the stated goals of hosting a bike valet service at such a large venue is to show the growing need for bicycle amenities and accommodations, so it makes perfect sense they would appeal to The National crowd. My town has set up Pedal and Park stations at minor league baseball games, the state fair, and other such events, but this might be a good example for them to reach out to other audiences and set up shop at local concerts.
It would be a true victory if the venues themselves recognized the need for bicycle accommodation and started hosting their own bike valet services. We may get there one day, but this effort is a good start.
Nikwax began as a one-man operation in the UK. Nick Brown simply wanted a better waterproofing product for his boots, and so he developed his own formula. In 1977 he started selling his wax in tins which he had silk-screened the labels onto. In the 1980′s he began to develop his signature line of water-based products that were more environmentally friendly than the competition, and arguably easier to use.
While I’ve long been a fan of Nikwax waterproofing wax for leather, until now I hadn’t tried their other products. Though I had seen them on the shelves of the local outdoor retail shop, I never really thought about buying products to care for my waterproof clothing. Then one sad day I discovered that my uber expensive softshell jacket no longer functioned like it once did.
Nikwax explains that softshell jackets like mine feature a “durable water repellent” finish. Designed to prevent water from entering while allowing vapor to escape, DWR finishes become degraded from exposure to contaminates. Apparently this was the case with my jacket, as a mere dribble of water would still bead up and run off, but any significant deluge would soak right through the fabric. Nikwax calls this “wetting out.”
The first step in reviving my jacket would be to properly clean it. Tech Wash is a soap based cleaner that removes both dirt and detergent residues without degrading the existing DWR. A few ounces in warm water is all it takes.
TX.Direct is a solvent-free waterproofing product. The directions were simple: set the top loading washer for a small load, fill with warm water, dial the settings for heavy duty, dump the entire 10 oz bottle of TX.Direct in, and add no more than three garments.
To make a long story short, the TX.Direct made my jacket every bit as waterproof as the day I got it. And to be honest, it might work even better. As an additional experiment, I treated a pair of non-waterproof cycling knickers with TX.Direct. While it didn’t fully waterproof them, it did impart a water-resistant quality that made light amounts of water bead up and run off.
Sold as a kit, 10 oz bottles of Tech Wash and TX.Direct retail for about $20. Individual bottles retail for about $9 and $13, respectively. While these products are nowhere near as cheap as ordinary laundry detergent, it’s a pretty small price to pay to extend the life of expensive waterproof outerwear. Check out www.nikwax-usa.com
Returning racers and newcomers alike streamed into the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook in the early afternoon of March 30, eager to get a feel for the course at the Red Hook Crit.
One would think that in the grand scheme of things, nothing should take precedence over self preservation. And second to that should be the protection of all human lives. But anyone with an ounce of sense knows that’s far from the case. Countless motorists drop big bucks on cars that offer “driving excitement” that consequently turn transportation into a matter of entertainment. Even tree-hugging hybrid car owners have been known to break the speed limit and roll through stoplights in the name of expedience, forgoing fuel efficiency and safety.
Let’s not just point the finger at motorists. Pedestrians are perhaps the most vulnerable road users, yet I challenge you to find a city free of jaywalking. You might think that common sense would win every time, but the desire for instant gratification via Starbucks Frappuccino has lured many a law abiding citizen to step out from between parked cars.
‘Tis the season to turn over the miles, or casually ride with friends. I live for long summer weekends spent riding and exploring, pedaling fast and then hanging out slow. From one adventure to another, as one ride ends the planning for another just begins. There is no end to the new places to discover and explore by bike, and an endless variety of ways to do it. No matter your flavor, there is a way to do it on bike.