Urban Velo

Denver’s ReCyclery Cafe

My first step into the ReCyclery Café caused a moment of gear-head geek out. Just about everything was once another man’s trash and, in most cases, that trash was a piece of a bicycle. Combination bike and coffee shops aren’t new in Denver, entrepreneurs have begun to realize they can squeeze everything Colorado cyclists want into one storefront: coffee, beer, quick healthy food, and a solid repair shop. The ReCyclerly Café in Denver’s thriving Capitol Hill neighborhood stands out among the pack.

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The Cheetah: Nelson Vails

Nelson Vails got his nickname “The Cheetah” from an announcer at a race at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania early in his racing career—a career that includes racing professionally in Europe and Japan, induction into the Cycling Hall Of Fame, a silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games, and it all began as a bicycle messenger. I met him at Toga Bicycle Shop in New York City, where Nelson Vails was having a party to preview his cycling clothing line and working with a film crew on a documentary film about his life called “The Cheetah: The Nelson Vails Story.”

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Alleycat Explosion

Today nearly everyone and their cousin has heard stories of infamous alleycat races—of messengers jetting between cars and skidding through intersections, reckless and crazed, like a sharknado on bikes. In the last decade, alleycats have gone from underground to ordinary, almost de rigueur. Races like Monster Track, Quake City Rumble and Stupor Bowl have established themselves as long-standing traditions, while countless others in cities across the country are one-and-done affairs of varying size and intensity.

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Issue #38 – Available Online

Contents Include: I Love Riding in the City, Product Spotlight, Alleycat Explosion, Gallery: The Bike Messengers, Product Reviews, The Cheetah: Nelson Vails, Denver’s ReCyclery Café, Cycling Legalese, Rim Brake Maintenance, Fixed Without Dix

Download it for free, purchase it from the Apple Store or order a printed copy online.

Who Loves Riding In The City?

ILRITCWe always hear, “I love that section in your magazine…” but believe it or not, we don’t get nearly enough contributions to I Love Riding In The City. And we’re not overly picky, but we do look for thoughtful, heartfelt answers and a high-resolution photograph that shows you, preferably on or with your bike.

Fill out the form below, or just email us your answers (along with a high-res photo).

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Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?

Why do you love riding in the city?

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?


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Penrose Velodrome

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.

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A Bike Shop for the Whole World

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.

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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.

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Racing Red Hook Crit

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.

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Publisher’s Statement #37

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.

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City Reports