- 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..
- May 6, 2013
The Swobo Novak is a no-nonsense commuter bike. Swobo set out to create a high-quality bike with virtually everything you need and hardly..
- April 16, 2013
There was a time when Timbuk2 was the only brand of messenger bags you would see on a daily basis. But times have changed and there are..
- April 9, 2013
Turns out every lane really is a bike lane. Some of us knew this already, but now L.A. Metro is spreading the word, with a new bold..
- April 1, 2013
Contents Include: I Love Riding in the City, Product Spotlight Abus, Track of Ages, Roland Burns, NAHBS 2013 Gallery, Alexander Montsenigos..
The SunXCD logo might look familiar as it clearly draws on the 1980s Suntour branding, appropriate as the man behind the new SunXCD is Junzo Kawai, former president of Suntour Japan during it’s heyday. There was a time when Suntour was making some of the finest Japanese components available, and they are credited for the wide introduction of indexed shifting even if not the true originators of it, and Junzo Kawai was at the helm during much of it. As he puts it “the market is too race-centric; carbon fiber, electric shifting, full suspension, 11 speed, doesn’t really enhance the enjoyment of cycling. In the 1970’s and 80’s we cycled to be closer to nature, for the environment, for our health, for the simple beauty of cycling.” SunXCD will be creating a line of high-end randoneurring and touring components, with cranks, hubs and rims available now, well suited to the non-race riding that most people actually do.
See more at the SunXCD website.
People love to record their rides, and the GoPro Hero series of cameras is the industry leaders. Paul Component Engineering introduced their GoPro stemp cap camera mount last year to meet the demands of riders looking for a steady perch for their camera and it continues to be popular amongst the bike video shooters out there. Compatible with 1 1/8″ threadless headsets and all of the GoPro Hero camera models, the camera can be attached directly to this mount or the GoPro articulated arm can be used for more freedome of movement. Retail on the piece is $36, and like all Paul products this mount is made completely in the USA by people you can talk with on the phone.
Through the weirdness that is Instagram, I recently came into contact with Aaron Edge, co-founder of Further Faster Forever, an organization dedicated to “Inspiring & Encouraging Athletes Everywhere”. Soon after I friended Aaron (IG: Man_of_Multnomah) I discovered we have a lot in common, from our involvement with the vegan straight edge music scene, to our running and cycling pursuits, to our interests in graphic design and, most notably, our recent diagnoses of life-altering diseases.
Upon diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Aaron underwent a period of grieving and depression that began to drown the life he previously knew, but since then has rebounded to become another force of inspiration for athletes everywhere. Previously confined to a bed for over a month due to the pain of his MS, he has been slowly getting stronger and is now back out running and riding again.
Friend and photographer, Brenton Salo, recently did a photo shoot with Aaron, highlighting his story and getting shots of him out attacking the Portland hills. The full blog post and photo shoot can be seen here.
To help Aaron with his mounting and continuous medical bills, go here to order shirts.
Brooks is known for their leather saddles, but in June they are releasing the Cambium C17 saddle, the first non-leather saddle from Brooks in a very long time. It is made from flexible natural rubber with an organic cotton top, with the nameplate and rivets you’d expect from Brooks. Prior to the relase Brooks is looking for 100 testers to give it some saddle time, both men and women, exclusive leather Brooks saddle users and people who’ve never tried one before. If you’d like to be considered fill out the form at www.brooksengland.com/cambium
Cycling Legalese is our online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides.
Road rage attacks are a relatively rare but unfortunate reality of city riding. Brendan goes over why it may be best to not speculate on a motorist’s motives if you’ve been hit and concentrate on the facts of the collision.
Q: So many people seem to be angry behind the wheel. How can I go after a driver after I’ve been the victim of a “road rage” incident?
Brendan Kevenides, P.C.:In my hometown of Chicago bicyclists and motorists rarely use five fingers to waive at one another. Sad. The mutual animosity that exists between these two sets of travelers is strange really. After all, many of us are both motorists and bicyclists. Yet somehow we seem to forget our other selves while operating one mode of transportation or the other. I suppose it is because while traveling on congested city streets, whether on bike or in a car, we are trying to get somewhere as quickly and easily as possible while sharing a limited resource, usable street space.
Road rage incidents have the potential to turn out much worse for the bicyclist than for the driver. The motorist is, of course, wrapped in a cocoon of metal while the cyclist is not. A few years ago I represented a young bicyclist who was the victim of such an incident. He was riding his bike on the right side of the road in the city when a driver aggressively cut in front of him, nearly causing a collision. The bicyclist, pissed, rode after the vehicle, a red BMW, which eventually encountered slow moving traffic. As he rode by the car, the bicyclist rapped on the vehicle’s passenger window and waved hello with a single finger. That should have been it. However, the driver, now also pissed, sped forward at the bicycle and struck its back wheel causing the young man to fly forward, ass-over-teakettle. His injuries were not very severe, thanks to nothing but dumb luck. Later, he contacted me to represent him against the driver in a personal injury action, which, of course, I did.
Read more →
We first posted images of this film used Masi from Breaking Away back when I shot it while on display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show a couple of months ago. At the show it was stated to be one of three Masi’s used in the film, and one of two in the collection of Chris Brown, a friend of the screenwriter. I’ve since received more information on it and the other bikes in the film from Tom Schwoegler, the film’s technical advisor and bicycle mechanic.
“At the conclusion of the film one of the two Masi’s that were purchased was given to Steve Tesich (the screenwriter) and the other returned with the production company in Los Angeles. This 2nd bike was purchased by Dennis Christopher and can be seen in the October 12/19, 2012 copy of Entertainment Weekly. There was a spare fork purchased from Masi that we had to bend for the scenes after the pump insertion. But whoever stated that there were three Masi’s built for the film is incorrect.
The “third” bike was a Sears Free Spirit that was painted and hand decaled (Masi refused to supply a set of decals this bike) for the film in Indiana. This was the bike that was used for the scene when the Italian rider sticks the pump in the front wheel of Dave’s bike. It also appears in the Cinzano 100 race scenes where there are front shots of Dave. You can tell because this bike has Weinmann brakes. The brake cable on a Weinmann sidepull brake is on the right side not on the left as in the Campagnolo brakes.
The bike in the photo has different components than were on the bike we used in the film, including the front derailleur, brakes, seatpost, saddle. I read that about Chris Brown in another post. It is possible that Steve purchased another Masi. But I know for a fact we only had two for the film. I’m also fairly positive that the chainstay decals were blue on both bikes; the one on the photo is yellow. Perhaps he grabbed the wrong bike if he has two.
We used Colnagos for the Italian team basically because two of the riders already had them. We purchased 2 frames, a 54cm and 56cm, The 56 (which I still own) was ridden by Christian Vande Velde’s dad, John.”
Red Hook Crit has evolved into a highly organized and highly respected urban bicycle race series over the years, with the first race of the 2013 RHC series setting the bar high for urban bike racing. Drawing out top level racers from all backgrounds, it is proof of the strength of and support for races held on city streets that disregard the bureaucratic limitations of races sanctioned by USA Cycling and UCI.
While the two worlds are largely separate the desire to participate in top-level competitions creates a conflict for bike racers with the UCI’s urging that USAC enforces the rule 1.2.019, restricting licensed racers from competing in “unsanctioned” events.
RHC organizer David Trimble responds to the upheaval with a powerful letter to USAC President Steve Johnson illustrating the reasons why enforcement of the rule is prohibitive to the growth of cycling competitions and of participation from many talented cyclists. Trimble asserts that penalizing organizers is malicious, that sponsors wishing to support cyclists will gravitate towards the most powerful arena, rather than the formal institutional arena, and that it inhibits natural cultivation of talented athletes. He has extended an olive branch to the organization in an effort to unify the competitive structures and has also established a rider support program for RHC’s top finishers.
UCI has recently backpedaled from its initial directive to USAC, changing its demands from immediate enforcement in 2013 to asserting that the organization must development an enforcement strategy to be utilized in 2014. We’ll see how that goes.
Matt Ruscigno, of True Love Health, is keeping the amateur “race” tradition he started back in 2006 alive. On April 28th, he will be again hosting the Feel My Legs, I’m A Racer group ride around the hills of Los Angeles. The ride is based on the Dirty Dozen in the Urban Velo hometown, following the pattern of a group ride to each hill where the race to the top begins, points being awarded 5 deep. In true DIY ethics, the race costs nothing and prizes are…non-existent! This is a ride for the sake of riding, though Ruscigno might have some pancakes on hand at the end if you’re lucky.
As described on the event site:
Yes- fun, rain, shine, any bike, water, snacks, tube, tools, stokedness, riding just to finish, riding for points, waiting at top of each hill
No- bad attitudes, entitlement, car support, jock mentality, entry fee, prizes
Check the facebook page here.
Marin is having a cycling photo contest and you could win a bike, fresh Oakley sunglasses or a new Chrome Niko camera bag. I’m sitting on the judging panel along with Forrest Arakawa of MTBR.com and Russ Hennings of Oakley, so make your submissions good ones. The Suffer and Stoke contest ends May 20th.
Bike Soles is a Portland upstart who are hoping to have their LIT Ultra‐Reflective tires crowd-funded. While reflective sidewall tires aren’t exactly a new idea, they’re such a good safety feature that it’s nothing but helpful to have another company offering them.
If and when they’re funded, Bike Soles will be working with an experienced European partner to deliver the product. Their first model is a 700×28 folding tire that will retail for about $35.
Check out www.bikesoles.com
There was a time when Timbuk2 was the only brand of messenger bags you would see on a daily basis. But times have changed and there are more bag manufacturers than you can count. Hence, the old dog has had to learn some new tricks, so to speak. In order to stay competitive in today’s market they’ve had to innovate with design, materials and customer service. With the Especial series Timbuk2 set out to showcase their best materials and workmanship, and the Especial Messenger bag may very well be the best bag they’ve ever created.
As you might imagine, Timbuk2 went with tried and true Cordura ripstop nylon construction. They also made significant use of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane laminate) inside and out. The result of the black on black fabrics is both subtle and striking at the same time. What’s more, the entire bag is highlighted with black reflective trim.
The Especial Messenger is available in two sizes, and I had a chance to try out both the small and the medium (pictured). The small bag measures just under 14 x 16 inches, and is a great size for a laptop bag, airline travel, etc. It will work as a commuter bag, but I definitely prefer a bit more cargo capacity. At 18.5 x 16.1, the medium bag suits my needs pretty much perfectly. I can fit a change of clothes, shoes, tools, spares, etc. It’s big enough to do handle light grocery shopping, and yes, it can hold a case of beer (cans).
I think I’m still discovering all of the pockets on the Especial Messenger. Suffice it to say there are a number of external pockets with waterproof zippers, a handful of internal organization pockets and a padded laptop compartment.
The Especial Messenger is loaded with features, so many that I’m bound to forget one or two. The most obvious are the magnetic buckles on the flap. They aren’t as big of an improvement as they are when used on a bike helmet, but they’re pretty cool. On the more elemental side, the flap has nice gussets and the main compartment is topped with a unique stiffener that helps make the closure extra water resistant. Like most good bags, the liner is fully floating, so you can ride in the rain with confidence.
The main strap is completely reversible (for left or right shoulder) as is the removable stabilizer strap. The main strap features an awesome pad that extends well beyond the upper connection for superior comfort. You can also adjust the angle of the strap thanks to some slick use of Velcro on the back of the bag. And Timbuk2 took pains to provide various clips and such to keep the excess straps from flapping around erratically.
The back panel of the bag features molded pads that both cushion the bag against your back and provide some air flow. And while I don’t often need them, the Especial Messenger has three handles.
My only real criticism is actually more of a suggestion: There should be a size large, and maybe an extra large. No professional bike messenger (that I know, at least) would use a small or medium sized bag. And if I could only own one bag, I would want one that’s just a hair bigger for true grocery shopping and such. But as I said earlier, for daily use, the medium size suits my needs just fine.
The medium sized Especial Messenger retails for $199, the small for $179. All Timbuk2 products carry a lifetime warranty. Check out www.timbuk2.com
This article in the Indy Star details elite athlete Ken Martin, a 2:09 marathon runner and the marathon champion in 1984 and 1985, who is now battling Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. As anyone who has seen chemotherapy treatments first hand, you know they take an incredible toll on the body, leaving the recipient drained, weak and lethargic, but Martin is betting on his athletic routine to combat those effects. Instead of just sitting in a chair and letting the poison drip into his body, he brings his stationary bike into the treatment center and pedals for 30 minutes at a time, counting on the adrenaline surges and internal system boosting to not only lift his spirits, but also speed recovery time.
Martin is primarily doing this for his own benefit, but he is also working with researchers who are analyzing his gathered data during treatment to measure the potential benefits of cycling and activity during treatment. To the end of promoting this method, he has created The WorkOut Cancer Research Fund to finance the effect of exercise on tumor and cancer treatments.
Read the full article here.
The TiGr lock is a unique design in a crowded marketplace, using a cut and twist resistant flat titanium bow as the “shackle” with a robust but simple lock core securing the ends together. Lightweight (and expensive) due to the titanium construction, the original TiGr was designed to be able to secure both wheels and stow along the top tube of the bike. Since the original design came out, there has been demand for both a longer version for long-wheelbase touring bikes and a shorter version for bikes with short toptubes or to stow in a backpack. The original 24″ length bow is available with either a .75″ or 1.25″ bow for $165 or $200 respectively. The longer .75″ wide x 30″ long TiGr runs $185 and weighs 1.4 lbs and the shorter and lighter .75″ x 18″, 1 lb version will set you back $145. See more at www.tigrlock.com
I was in an upward bound elevator yesterday. The doors to the car opened a few floors early. A woman was preparing to enter when a girl’s voice said: “Mommy, no”. The woman looked to me and the lit white up arrow on the door frame. I acknowledged with a nod that the elevator was indeed heading up.
Just then another smaller child, two possibly three years old, with a giggly face surrounded by curls came bounding toward the car as the doors began to close. I do not know if it was because of her short height or slow reaction time, but the sensors failed to stop the doors. I could foresee her getting crushed by the giant hulking metal doors.
Instantly I reacted, leaping forward to grab the doors and prevent a tragedy. The speed at which I lunged shocked the girl. The mother, having the same protective instinct, yanked the girl from the imminent danger of the doors a second later.
The moments earlier happy face turned into a mask of horrified fear. I tried to smile to let her know that everything was fine, but she began sobbing loudly. The doors to the elevator closed. The elevator resumed its slow upward climb. Two floors later I could still hear the muffled wailing of the frightened child as her mother consoled her.
Although the mother thanked me in the moment just after I saved her little girl, it stung just a bit knowing that somewhere that girl may be forever terrified of bicycle messengers or cyclists in general. Damn.
This looks to be a really promising movie documenting the diversity of bike culture progression around the country. The creator has been touring the country for the last year filming and interviewing cyclists of all stripes to get a perspective on what is advancing cycling in their specific area, but so far it seems to focus on smaller Midwestern towns (The Midwest is best!). I couldn’t find any release date estimates, but the Tumblr is continuously updated with photos of the riders who will appear in the video. Looking forward to a complete production.
I don’t like to look a gift horse in the mouth, but frankly it’s my job. When these new Crank Brothers pumps unexpectedly showed up, I was a little less than excited. In my experience, short pumps are fine for pumping up mountain bike tires, but they’re all but useless for 700 c commuter tires, let alone bona fide road bike tires.
So imagine my surprise when I managed to adequately inflate a pair of 700 x 28 tires without breaking a terrible sweat. I can’t say it was a quick affair, but both the Sterling S and Gem S managed to get the job done. Sure, it takes a lot of pumping to achieve 90 psi, but it’s a matter of patience, not upper body strength.
Of the two pumps, of course the Sterling S is the nicer one. It’s a hair shorter (171 mm), a bit lighter (116 g) and at $35, more expensive. It also feels a bit more powerful and boasts a sleeker design with a CNC machined body. Its universal head works with both presta and Schrader valves with no need to adjust the pump head. The Sterling line also includes a long version, as well as a pressure gauge option, both of which sound like appealing upgrades to an already desirable pump.
The Gem S pump is an exercise in value. At $22 it’s a good looking, affordable pump that will get you home after a puncture without taking up a ton of space in your bag. The Gem S measures 176 mm and weighs 128 g. The head is reversible to accommodate presta or Schrader valves. For a few dollars more you can upgrade to the Gem L, which is 205 mm long.
Both pumps carry a five year warranty. For complete details, visit www.crankbrothers.com
Soul Beach Cruzers has introduced LED wheel light sets for people looking to add some neon to their group rides or some visibility to late commutes. Using a string of compact LEDs for the lights and a weather-resistant battery pack, each $30 set is enough for two wheels and fits up to a 700c rim diameter. Perhaps the light gauge wire is not ideal for abusive city riders, but I can see people putting these to use at any manner of special events. Available in blue, purple, green, white, pink or red at www.soulcruzers.com
Just a couple of weeks back the San Francico Randonneurs held the Flèche California, a 24 hour point to point ride of at least 360 km (223 mi) ending in the San Francisco. Teams get together on their own, and create their own route within the parameters of the event. One of our readers participated and made this short film about the ride — I particularly like Boys on the Hoods team rule #6, “Always ride on dirt trails when the opportunity is present.” Get off the beaten path.
Polo is tough on bikes, and as disc brakes have become more common on the court so have rotor guards. Shown is a custom piece dubbed the Bonerguard by Seattle based player and custom frame fabricator Garth L’Esperance. While this is a custom 180 mm version, “standard” Bonerguards are created to protect a 160 mm rotor. Unlike many other rotor guards, this one incoporates a tab to protect the caliper as well, with enough room to fit a gloved hand in there to turn the Avid BB7 adjustment knob. This version is made from .25″ thick 6061 aluminum and heat treated for durability (and the caliper tab slightly out of place for the 180 mm caliper mount), but future versions will likely be made from stainless steel, with the rotor guard, fork hoop and caliper tab all one piece and bent to shape without the need for welds. Available for $65 plus shipping, L’Esperance doesn’t have a website just yet but you can email Garth and he’ll hook you up.
88bikes has endowed nearly 3000 bicycles to kids throughout the world. This spring they conducted their first-ever dressmaking workshop in Cambodia.
Thirty-three girls rescued from human trafficking and now living in a shelter near Phnom Penh spent several days with Kim Ngo, an LA-based costume designer making stunning dresses for themselves.
All thirty-three girls also received bikes, of course.