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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cycling in the US from a Dutch perspective | YouTube

Friday, September 27, 2013

Avid St. Paul cyclist bikes through pregnancy, to hospital for birth | myfoxtwincities.com


ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
There are many stories about pregnant women driving themselves to the hospital, but biking there? That's what one St. Paul woman did with her doctor's blessing.
For many mothers, just being pregnant is uncomfortable -- but Amber Dallman wasn't going to let carrying a child slow her down.
"I've always biked," she explained. "When we were younger, that's how we got around."
As someone who works in public health and promotes physical activity, Dallman certainly leads by example. She ordered a specially-designed cargo bike from Holland to cart around a couple of kids, pick up groceries and drop her son, Fritz, off at daycare.
"This is probably my favorite bike to ride now," she said.
So, it should really come as no surprise that when it was time to give birth to her daughter, Elise, Dallman made the trip to Regions Hospital on two wheels.
"I'll be the first to admit this is a little over the top," Dallman conceded. [Keep reading at myfoxtwincities.com]

Transforming the Old Bay Bridge Into a Park for Adventure Tourists | Gizmodo


Now that the new Bay Bridge is here, what to do with the old one...? Is the slow and expensive demolition of the iconic structure really the best or even most cost-effective answer? A handful of local proposals have emerged, both earnest and speculative, hoping to find perhaps at least some useful future for the now obsolete mega-span, currently just a ruin strung uselessly through the air.
The Bridge should be broken up and incorporated into local housing, some say; others, like architects Ron Rael and Virginia San Fratello, think the Bridge should instead be seismically stabilized, retrofit with clusters of smaller buildings, and converted into a public park.
Transforming the Old Bay Bridge Into a Park for Adventure Tourists
Transforming the Old Bay Bridge Into a Park for Adventure Tourists
Transforming the Old Bay Bridge Into a Park for Adventure Tourists3
Indeed, several years ago, Rael San Fratello, as their office is called, released a series of images intended not as actual design proposals for the future of the Bay Bridge, but as somewhat tongue-in-cheek conversation starters: they depicted the Bridge refit with climbing walls, bike paths, outdoor cinemas, hotel rooms, and more, with single pedestrians, groups, and families all milling about on the broad and picturesque platforms over the Bay, drinking wine, listening to music, and throwing frisbees. (Check out this PDF for more).
It was an architectural vision like something out of William Gibson's novel Virtual Light—updated with copious middle class comforts—where the Bay Bridge, Stephenson writes, has become a kind of temporary autonomous zone in the sky, elevated outside the world and in between political jurisdictions.
But reusing the Bridge—or, rather, exactly how this reuse should occur—has been a hot topic for years; at the time of Rael San Fratello's first images, a parallel, unconnected design studio was also being taught at UC Berkeley's architecture school by Fred Schwartz and Marc L'Italien, exploring the exact same idea. Could—or even should—architects come up with a convincing alternative future for the famous Bridge? Is simply removing it without considering other options a wasted opportunity?

[Keep reading at Gizmodo]

Glory Hole | YouTube

Tour Divide 2013, Ballin Halls | Bill Bryson is a Pussy

Why does anyone ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race? Why do I ride it? I have said many times, I am a cyclo tourer much more than I am a bike racer. Then why the hell are you racing this damn thing?
 
Hmmmm. Questions I have been mulling over for some time. Reasons for riding the gdmbr mostly fall into a few categories according to me.
 
1. The divide route is gorgeous, amazing, epic, scenic. It brings a rider out, OUT, into the west. Escape from society is not total, but much more than any other normal bike tour.
2. You’re a competitive son of a bitch who loves the idea of going hard and beating the shit out of your buddies. 3000 miles over 2 weeks, an epic race. Along with that are results. You were attracted to the race based on those insane folks who tore it up in years past. Your respect them for their accomplishments and results have stuck with you, and dammit, that could be you.
3. You’re a gearhead  Between the ages of 30 and 50. Hungry for an adventure. Slightly disappointed in yourself for the amount of time you spend on the internet. You love your bike and possibly have an online shopping problem. Pedal strokes < mouse clicks
 
I am willing to guess that those who are honest with themselves are a combination of those three reasons. I definitely choose to ride based on some combination of those reasons.
 
I know that the more of reason 1 and the less of number 2 and 3, the easier it is to ride the divide route. If you can appreciate the beauty in the entirety of the thing. The smile that can follow suffering. The comedy of the number of things working against you. And when the beauty of the ride smacks you in the face you can still appreciate the shit out of it. There’s beauty in pushing yourself to a limit that didn’t even exist even a year prior.
 
When I finished at the us-canidan border due to flooding, it really forced me to examine what the hell I was doing out there.  I rode until I needed to in order to feel I had completed my ride, and then I sat down outside the Roosville, Montana border crossing duty free, on a bench, and a drunk Canadian bought me a beer. Did I ride the tour divide this year for a beer? Nope. Did I do it be because I wanted to break the single speed record and see my name among those I saw come before mine? Yup. A little part of me did. Did I do it for my love of stuff? Fancy bikes and sick light tents with bike bags and gps, and fat wheels..yea, I did, a little part of me.
But those shallow reasons died in Roseville that day. I didn’t qualify for a record according to the archives of tour divide, despite recording (fact checkers welcome) a top 10 all time fastest border to border time, and stacking up 3rd with this years south bound idiots, not to mention a projected SS  record. (Tooting my own horn? Yep, but it’s my blog dammit)
 
Did i love tour divide every second of every day while I’m out there? Nope, but I think this year has taught me there’s beauty in all of it’s faces.
 
 
The tour started in Vail, Colorado for me this year.   I was offered a ride by my sweet girlfriend robin but we settled for camping outside of Leadville together in night 1. There’s nothing like starting a bike tour from your front door (or in my case, shop door). 
 
My time-frame was a little tight to make it down to antelope wells in time for the grand depart so I had to trade sleepy dirt roads for sleepy paved ones. Even though my time table was tight on account of finishing the fabrication if this year’s divide rig, I knew I needed to leave as much time as possible to fit another prologue tour in.
 
I road south along the east side of the collegiate  peaks and crossed the divide route outside of salida. I had the big 3 inch tires on for the first bit but elected to ride the same tires I had used for last year’s td to save the tread on the new rubber. (More on my gear for the trip I the next update.)
 
Continuing south I again skirted to the east of the San juans. I looked at a few maps and for my inevitable westward reach of the journey I could either tackle wolf creek pass or the mighty La Manga pass. Either way, it’d be a pavement cakewalk compared to what I knew the divide had in store.
 
I chose la manga because it was familiar and i thought it would be good to pick up more overlap along the divide route.
 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Vintage Bike Ride In France | Bike Pretty


This past June I found myself on a vintage bike ride through the Loire Valley region of France: the Anjou Vélo Vintage.
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Along with my good friend Kelly, her French boyfriend Sebastien, Jenny and Peter from theLondon Bike Kitchen, and about 2,500 other well-dressed cyclists.
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Despite quaffing obscene amounts of the delicious local champagne sparkling wine the night before, our bike gang managed to ride about 30 kilometers on vintage steeds (lent to us very generously by the organizers of the Anjou Vélo Vintage).

Slow Roll noticed: Massive Detroit bike ride raises questions from city officials


DETROIT, MI -- It started with about 10 bikes rolling slowly through the city.
They multiplied over the last three years, and some 1,600 bicyclists rode through Detroit's neighborhoods Monday night in the extraordinarily diverse weekly gathering.

But the Slow Roll has gotten so big that city officials have taken notice after hearing some complaints about clogged roads.

The attention could threaten to complicate the free, informal gathering.

"I have nothing against bike riders, but... They're blocking the traffic quite a bit," said City Council member Brenda Jones on Tuesday.

"I don't want to see them stop, but they need to know that there needs to be something in place."

She said she was stuck in traffic herself Monday as the bicycle horde rolled through
an intersection and that other drivers were turning to her for intervention.

"There's no way you're going to ticket all of those participants," Jones said. "I'm not saying ticket them... but traffic was really, really backed up."

Council President Saunteel Jenkins directed administrative liaisons to inquire about permitting requirements related to the Slow Roll and a similar monthly event called Critical Mass.

"Every week it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger and they're still conducting it as if they're 20 or 30 riders," Jenkins said. "They need to be notified of what the requirements are."

Mike MacKool, the Detroiter who founded the Slow Roll along with fellow bike hound Jason Hall, is hoping to keep the event informal at least through the end of the season.

"As of right now, we are trying to go under the radar," MacKool said. "I don't know if that's working. We actually are looking to try to work with the city. We're just trying to keep it rolling through this year without having to go through the permit process quite yet."

The last Slow Roll gathering of the year is scheduled for Oct. 28, a Halloween-themed ride.

MacKool acknowledged that some drivers are inconvenienced by the horde rolling through intersections.

He said it took about 7 minutes for the horde to get through each intersection Monday.
"We need to come to a solution on how to make it work," he said.

The annual Tour De Troit took 6,000 bikes through the city on Saturday, fully permitted and with police escorts, but that's an official event with a $35-$55 admission fee.

The Slow Roll is an entirely different affair.

It's a free event that attracts experienced bikers, novices, suburbanites and city folk riding racing bikes, mountain bikes, flashy and absurd custom bikes with helmets, funny hats, baskets, honking horns, bells, reflectors and mounted stereos of all kinds.

"You bring out such a wide range of people and it becomes really infectious," MacKool said.

"People get intrigued... It becomes such a sight to see that many people riding together as one through completely random parts of Detroit."

And it's not without rules. MacKool before every ride tells the crowd via megaphone to stay on the right side of the roads, to communicate with hand signals and "be respectful."

He said he didn't expect Slow Roll to grow like it did, and to become a way of introducing different parts of the city to thousands of people.

"It changed our perspective on what a bike ride could be for the city," MacKool said.
"We've gotten people really looking forward to Monday nights now. And that's beyond all of us."

Video and Photos at: 
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/09/slow_roll_noticed_massive_detr.html

Parents shocked by 'ban' on cycling to Risca school | South Wales Argus


Pupils at Risca Primary school are upset that they are no longer allowed to bring their bikes to school &#40;1106249)Pupils at Risca Primary school are upset that they are no longer allowed to bring their bikes to school (1106249)
Parents say that children at Risca Primary have been banned from riding their bikes to school.
Ceri Jeffries, 32, has three ten-year-olds at the school and says she is shocked the school has taken this decision considering its “eco” status.
Her children normally cycle in a group with four other children, cutting the twenty minute walk down to a five minute ride.
But now she says they cannot bring their bikes on site, and have to chain them outside the grounds if they decide to continue cycling.
Mrs Jeffries said she understood the school bike shed was to be removed.
She said: “The school is an eco- friendly school but has decided that children are no longer allowed to cycle to and from school, even though children have been doing this for years, including myself as a child.”

NYCycle for Google Glass

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The State of Bike Commuting | Bicycling

Rapid Results
Installing a mile-long protected lane on Ninth Avenue in New York City resulted in a 49% estimated potential increase in retail sales among merchants located along the path and a 58% reduction in injuries to all street users (cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers).
Source: New York City Department of Transportation, Measuring the Street, 2012


[See more statistics at Bicycling]

Danny MacAskill's Imaginate | YouTube

Mountain Bike River Jump | YouTube

The 50 Best Bike Shops In America 2013 | The Active Times - Congrats @paradisegarage #23


As we've said before, a good bike shop is more than just a place to buy new wheels. It’s also a place to get your trusty steed patched up or learn how to do it for yourself (teach a man to fish, they say…). It’s a place to swap war stories about the dead-of-winter commute or receive hard-earned advice regarding gear ratios and componentry. It’s where you can find an after-work group ride, link up with a training partner, get information on the local singletrack or volunteer to help maintain it. In other words, we at The Active Times think that, at its best, a good local bike shop (“LBS” in cyclist parlance) is the hub of the cycling community. Because we love biking so much, we wanted to recognize 50 shops across the nation that embody this spirit better than anyone. A couple weeks ago, we asked you to get involved and vote for the best bike shops in America.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Light & Motion Taz 1000 Review | Urban Velo

Light & Motion Taz 1000Light & Motion has always been at the forefront of the high-powered commuter light market. The venerableVega came out more than 10 years ago, and at the time 85 lumens seemed more than impressive for a self-contained, rechargeable headlight. I ran that thing for years, and eventually gave it to a young cyclist who’s still using it to this day. That speaks volumes about the quality of Light & Motion products.
The market has seen tremendous advances in technology, and now the 1000 lumen Taz isn’t even the brightest light on the market. As you might surmise, it’s way more light than most people need, but there are folks out there who want or genuinely need such a light. There are definitely roads in my city that are pitch black at night, but you could still coast at more than 20 mph. Head out into the suburbs and the number of similar situations is multiplied.
DSC_9498And let’s not forget the potential for using the Taz offroad, as I have been doing extensively. I used to own a top of the line 600 lumen mountain bike light that was twice as expensive as the Taz. It had a heavy battery and cables that never ceased to get in the way. Imagine how happy I was the first time I hit the trail with an unencumbered 1000 lumens beaming from my handlebar.
Sheer brightness is only part of the story here, as the Taz has some of the best light distribution I’ve ever experienced. The lens is designed to spread a softer beam directly in front of you, while the road ahead is clearly illuminated for a long, long way...

Amidst Car Culture, Breaking The Law Is “Ethical” | theurbancountry.com

DrivingNight
Driving at night – Photo by Dennis Wilkinson

Here in Canada – and especially in Ontario – you could be cruising along the highway at 125km/h in a maximum 100km/h zone – and many other drivers will still be buzzing past you.

Bicycling on an empty sidewalk, or rolling through a red light at an empty intersection on a bicycle evokes sharp criticism in the media, usually by journalists who are clinging to their car culture and have probably never ridden a bicycle in a city before.

When entitled drivers chastise me about bicyclist behaviour, I ask them if they ever break the law when they drive. First they say no. But when you query them about speeding, they say “well, everybody does that. It’s harmless”.

I am currently enrolled in an online university course in business ethics. While reading the course materials tonight, the text discussed how people can obey the law, but be unethical. Similarly, someone can break the law, but still be acting ethically.

This is of course true. But where they went wrong, in my opinion, is in the example they provided.
From the course text:

- See more at: http://www.theurbancountry.com/2013/09/amidst-car-culture-breaking-the-law-is-ethical.html

Monday, September 23, 2013

Reconnecting the Historic Columbia River Highway | YouTube

Going Slowly: Two Years of Travel | Vimeo


Going Slowly: Two Years of Travel from Going Slowly on Vimeo.


The hungry cycle tourist's guide to slowing down, eating well, and savoring life on the open road. A cookbook with 50 recipes!

THE BEGINNING

After returning from a multi-year bicycle tour across Europe and Asia with my husband Tyler, I set about writing a cookbook for other two-wheeled wanderers. Bike. Camp. Cook. is the result of my labor. Despite the obvious focus on cycling, it's a beautiful food-centric journey for anyone to enjoy.
For a taste of the adventure that inspired me, here is glimpse of two years on the road, condensed into five minutes of photos.  For a more detailed account, check out our award-winning website, goingslowly.com.

Bike thief gets caught

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bike Touring Special: How to Pack Your Bike | adventure journal

Photo by Aaron Teasdale
Photo by Aaron Teasdale
For as long as people have been touring on bicycles, people have been carrying too much stuff when they tour on bicycles. In fact, the central image most people have when you mention bike touring are the people you see with a full set of front panniers, rear panniers, and a mountain of crap — pillows, guitars, their dog — strapped on top. The eternal debate in cyclotouring is panniers vs trailers, but more than once I’ve seen people loaded down with both like they were punishing themselves for past crimes.
The truth is that both panniers and trailers work great, though panniers are a better choice for road touring and single-wheel trailers for dirt. Panniers are fine for mellow dirt, but put more strain on your wheels and affect bike handling more than a trailer. Trailers are fine for pavement, but I’d suggest a two-wheeler like the Burley Nomad rather than a single-wheel trailer. Single-wheelers like BOBs require more handlebar input to balance and make more sense off-pavement, where their narrowness, tracking, stability, and durability all shine.
While the traditional ways still work, the whole concept of packing for bike touring has been upended in recent years, and now there’s a third contestant in the debate that many people argue is better, more fun, and just plain cooler. Those people would be correct.
Bike touring and bike racing have long had opposing world views. Touring is about the soul-nourishing experience of traveling under your own power and finding new places in the world and in yourself. Racing is about the challenge of getting through a landscape as fast and efficiently as humanly possible, often through a haze of pain. The roses will not be smelled. But there is one area in which the two disciplines share an interest and where racing pushed touring in a much-needed new direction — efficiency.
Photo by Joe Cruz/Revelate Designs
Photo by Joe Cruz/Revelate Designs
Mountain bike racing was all about laps on a course until the Iditarod and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route came along. By the late 1990s cyclists had started racing both routes and by the 2000s the Iditarod Trail Invitational had grown to 1,100 miles and the Tour Divide, which followed the GDMBR from Banff to the Mexican border, covered 2,753 miles. Both races required riders to carry food, clothes, and overnight gear for days at a time. After winnowing gear to a bare minimum, racers began finding clever ways to affix it to their handlebars, seatposts, and main triangles. At the same time, the ultralight boom was hitting the backpacking world, creating gear that made it easier than ever to travel with less...