Urban Velo

Anything Could Happen

For many, bikes occupy a huge chunk of their lives. More than just a means of transportation, our bikes give people a way to move around, connect with their communities, and stay healthy. As a result of spending infinite hours in the saddle, cyclists often treat bikes like children: We name them, we groom them, and we protect them with our lives—but just like any good parent, you can’t always be there for your bike.

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Bicycling Art in a Melting Pot

An anonymous door below a green marquee with the number “35” in modest letters marks our destination. It’s a cold winters morning in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and we’re happy to get inside. Up old industrial stairs to the third floor, and we knock on the door. The clock has just chimed eleven.

Until the 1960s, this was an old toy factory. Today, the third floor houses a huge studio and apartment. With dented doors, dusty windows and old wooden beams lining the ceiling, this is where Tahlia Lempert lived together with her boyfriend. Both bicycle enthusiasts, she’s an artist and he owns a bike shop over in Manhattan.

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Publisher’s Statement #41

Maybe I’m just getting old, but this winter seems like it was the hardest I’ve ever experienced. Along with a near constant barrage of ominously named winter storms, the Weather Channel kept reminding me that it was something called the Polar Vortex that was keeping the air temperature far below zero, not to mention the wind chill factor.

And so here I am writing this a few days before the vernal equinox, lamenting the added pounds around my waist and the lack of snap in my legs. Taking the long way home has been a wretched thought the past few months, whereas the lure of takeaway curry and kung fu movies on Netflix has become increasingly hard to resist.

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Bandit Cross

Domestically, outlaw bike races have enjoyed an off-road, off-stage spotlight since the days of the Repack events on Mount Tamalpais back when Saber Tooth Tigers and Woolie Mammoths roamed the earth. Alleycats have been an urban cycling mainstay for almost two decades. In that time, roving bands of cyclists have eschewed traditionally organized events with insurance coverage and astronomical entry fees. The Bay Area has long been the home for off the grid events in every discipline of bike racing, and having a long and sordid history with these races, I was intrigued when Minneapolis resident and All-City Brand Manager Jeff Frane began organizing his own cyclocross series through the network of roads and trails along little traveled banks of the Mississippi River. Having watched the development of his races from afar, I was thrilled that one was to coincide with a previously scheduled trip to the Twin Cities.

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Do you love “I Love Riding in the City”?

Do you love I Love Riding in the City?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.

City Reports Wanted

Urban Velo city-report

Urban Velo’s new City Report will be an ongoing, reader-contributed segment that highlights cities around the world. We’ve prepared one on our own hometown of Pittsburgh, as an example of what we hope you’ll share with other readers.

Visit urbanvelo.org/contribute/city-report

Something About Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland Ohio, its surrounding neighborhoods, and sprawling suburbs closely resemble other similarly sized metros that were developed with automobiles in mind. Streets, even those cutting through the heart of downtown, are as much as six lanes wide with cars regularly traveling ten miles per hour over posted speed limits. Cyclists are often left to figure it out for themselves among the pothole-laden asphalt, often without a bike lane to offer even some notion of protection.

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HD Witness

Of all the uses that have been found for mountable cameras like the ever popular GoPro, the role these mountable cameras have played in bringing dangerous drivers to justice may be the most valuable. When helmet cams first hit the market they were tailored to extreme sports enthusiasts, made to capture the exploits of surfers and snowboarders, and of course cyclists were quick to adopt the technology for their own purposes.

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Unbeknownst to us, HD Witness is a registered trademark to the NetworkOptix corporation. We apologize for any confusion. Check out www.networkoptix.com

2013 WHBPC

The first World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship was not much more than an addition to the much larger, much more well attended Messenger Championship in Toronto in 2008—and even in this, there are some who will say that this was not the first “real” World Championship of bike polo. Point in fact, from the CMWC 2008 website; the event was booked simply as the “CMWC Bike Polo Tournament.”

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Pedal Threading

Right- and left-hand pedals are threaded differently to prevent them from loosening while riding, and to create headaches for riders the world over. A little knowledge can prevent a lot of frustration.

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City Reports