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Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Ride of Silence Columbus is May 20th

Riding park on a shopping bike

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Self-Deprecation and the Female Cyclist | Machines for Freedom

I’ve been planning on writing this piece for a few weeks now, but struggled with finding the right way to go about it. Wouldn’t you know it, before I got my act together and sat down and finished the thing, badass mountain biker  Stacey, posted something very similar to the draft I had begun. I considered scrapping my piece altogether, but after more consideration, I thought maybe I could build off of what Stacey had started.
So what is this popular issue? I’m calling it self-deprecation. Stacey calls it our need to apologize. 
“I’d love to come, but you might be waiting for me at the top of the climbs…” 
“I’m not sure I can handle that descent...” 
“I’m racing, but my goal is just not to be last...”

Bicycle Touring - DC to Pittsburgh to Toronto

Bicycle Touring - DC to Pittsburgh to Toronto from Levi on Vimeo.

Port Townsend

Port Townsend from Raleigh Bicycles on Vimeo.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What Does it all Mean? 27.5+ and 29+ Bikes

Your guide to the fattening

They say that there are seven stages of grief. I went through all of them when I heard that plus-size tires would be the ‘next big thing’ in the bike industry. You know–shock and denial, pain and guilt, angry-as-hell muttering and throwing of crap at the wall.
Photo by Van Swae
Photo by Van Swae
But you can’t stay mad forever. I mean you can, but if you do you usually wind up living under a bridge, coaching a troupe of dancing rats. So, I resigned myself to getting some answers to the following questions:
What the hell is “plus-size” anyway?
What are these bikes supposed to do well?
What are their limitations?
What kind of rider might like a plus-size bike?
Is this the end of ‘normal’ mountain bikes?
Why are we also getting new fork and rear axle standards? 
Ryan Palmer, Bike magazine’s gear editor, and I headed out on a cross-country journey to find those answers. It was like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” or maybe “The Fellowship of the Ring” minus the orcs and the foxy elf chick. We wound up shooting four hours of video–a mere 12 minutes of which made it into our “Blueprint” video.
Our goal with the video was to cover the broad brushstrokes. What follows are some of the more tech-oriented details–stuff that matters but couldn’t fit within the video without us making some kind of three-hour epic about spoke bracing angles and legally-mandated tire clearances in France. No one–not even the geekiest of you–would have watched that crap.
WTB's Trail Blazer 2.8 tire sure wasn't the first "plus size" tire, but it kicked off the 27.5+ boom that's making waves now.
WTB’s Trail Blazer 2.8 tire sure wasn’t the first “plus size” tire, but it kicked off the 27.5+ boom that’s making waves now.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Janette Sadik-Khan: Work Fast to Change the Status Quo @nextcityorg

Former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says a nimble, tactical-urbanism-style approach was key to her success. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Last week, former New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan spoke to a packed house of enthusiastic urbanists in Seattle as part of a Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) speaker series on the future of city transportation. Sadik-Khan is something of a celebrity in the alt transportation world for her role in implementing major positive changes to New York City streets under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Introducing her to the crowd, SDOT Director Scott Kubly said, “It’s not an overstatement to say she changed how the entire country thinks about transportation.”

Righteous Mothers Bicycle Club - Columbus, Ohio

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2014 Arizona Trail Race

2014 Arizona Trail Race from Aaron Johnson on Vimeo.
In April of 2014, about 17 of us lined up along the desolate Mexican border in Arizona, and headed north in a race across the deserts, mountains, forests, and canyons of Arizona, headed for Utah. This is the story of how my race unfolded.

The Arizona Trail Race is a self-supported mountain bike race along the famed Arizona Trail. Starting at the Mexico border, there are two distance options: 300 miles to the Picketpost trailhead near Phoenix, or the full traversal to Utah, more than 750 miles. There is no race organization, there is no support; you carry all your own gear, and must be completely self-sufficient. Resupply is allowed only at any commercial establishment.

Read more about the race here:

Huge thanks to Joe Polk at MTBCast for providing the call-in audio for the narration. MTBCast is a podcast that offers racers a way to call in and leave messages, sometimes the only communication that friends and family get from their racer. Check them out at

Call-in voices in order of appearance:
Mark Caminiti
Michael Ackerman
Aaron Johnson
Jill Hueckman
Jay Petervary
Brad Mattingly
Mike Prochaska

This race would not be possible without the tireless efforts of the Arizona Trail Association to create and maintain over 800 miles of singletrack trail across Arizona. They rely on donations to fund these efforts, so please support them and give what you can at

Big thanks to Tucson local Scott Morris for masterminding these crazy events. Follow him here:

Another huge thanks to Ghost Kollective for being very willing to provide and share their amazing track, "Dance of the Seven Sisters." They originally developed this song in collaboration with photographer Nicolaus Wegner for his Wyoming Wildscapes II timelapse film, an incredible project and well worth watching. Check them out at the links below:

Ghost Kollective:
Wyoming Wildscapes II:


"Fans" by Kings of Leon (
"No Way" by David Lindley (
"The 2nd Law: Isolated System" by Muse (
"Meet Me There" by Nick Mulvey (
"Dance of the Seven Sisters" by Ghost Kollective (
"Step Outside" by Ki:Theory (

Check out my written recaps and photos of the race:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

And finally - huge thanks to my girlfriend Megan for all her support and encouragement for the race and putting this video together, I couldn't have done it without her!

Friday, April 24, 2015

2013 Colorado Trail Race

2013 Colorado Trail Race from Aaron Johnson on Vimeo.
The 2013 Colorado Trail Race. Self-supported mountain bike race from Durango to Denver, 550 miles.
July 21, 2013
Race info:

Filmed and edited by Aaron Johnson.

"Around the Block" by Pretty Lights
"Holocene" by Bon Iver
"The Stable Song" by Gregory Alan Isakov

Thursday, April 23, 2015

California Sierra Trail Race

California Sierra Trail Race from Aaron Johnson on Vimeo.
From the mind of Sean Allan comes the California Sierra Trail Race, a self-supported bikepacking race in the Tahoe region of California. Beginning and ending in Auburn, CA, the route traverses historic 19th Century mining trails and roads, winding its way slowly up the foothills and dropping down into Lake Tahoe. It then follows the Tahoe Rim Trail around the lake, over 100 miles of some of California's best singletrack, before making its way back down towards Auburn. At 430 miles and 70,000 feet of elevation gain, the route is a monster, but rewards those who attempt it with incredible scenery and riding.

This film showcases the second running of this race, in July of 2014. Turnout was incredibly low, with only 4 starters, and the goal of this film is to generate awareness of this amazing course so more people can experience it.

This year's racers:
Jack Anderson
Aaron Johnson
Jeremy Noble
Greg Levitsky

Aaron's race report:

Race info:

Filmed by Aaron Johnson and Jack Anderson.
Edited and narrated by Aaron Johnson.

Big thanks to Sean Allan, both for all the work he did in creating this route, as well as taking the time to interview for this film.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Women’s SL Pro Bib Shorts with HookUp


The call of the mountain is even stronger during winter, when the snow breaks the tree-tops and the cold weather freezes
the bones. During this time, when most people put their bike to rest, an adventure between two Italian buddies began.
They aimed to search for the COLD VEIN, that vein which come back to pulsate in the winter wilderness.
This was an experience that brought Giorgio and Francesco to find more than what they were searching for.
A journey through their own limits, where what is important, is not the width of the tires but the extent of the horizons.

The video is dedicated to Walter Belli, a dear friend who had a bad injury during a DH session and who is still fighting every day with the wilderness alive in his heart.

Self filmed with a Canon 500D (2009), a GoPro HERO4 and a “no brand” alluminum tripod.
Aerial filming by APR Italia. Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.
Music: Ark Life - "Some Unheroic Hill"

You can follow the adventures of Montanus on:
Facebook -
Instagram -
Vimeo -

A huge thanks for those who continues to believe in our project:
Adidas Eyewear, Alpine Threadworks, Chromag, Endura, EVOC, Ferrino, Five Ten, Formula Brakes, Genesis Bikes, GSI Outdoors, Leisure Lakes Bikes, Porcelain Rocket, Rode, Rycote, SOG Knives, Vittoria.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Introducing the Rocky Mountain Sherpa @rockymountain

Introducing the Rocky Mountain Sherpa from Rocky Mountain Bicycles on Vimeo.

Meet the Controversial Cyclist Fighting for Safer Streets @bicyclingmag

At 6-foot-8, Don Ward is an imposing figure in L.A.'s bike scene. He's the creator of outlaw rides and a powerful voice in the fight for more bike lanes.

BICYCLING: You once organized a race between cyclists and a commercial jet. Seriously?
Don Ward: Los Angeles shut down a section of Interstate 405 in 2011 to remove a bridge, and the city was up in arms. People called it "Carmageddon." Jet Blue created a promotional flight between Burbank and Long Beach. A friend suggested the race. We won by 77 minutes.

What did that show about promoting cycling events?
It's the same thing I learned working for an automative ad agency: Sexy and fast captures people's attention.

[Keep reading at Bicycling]

Monday, April 20, 2015

29+ and 27.5+ Bikes – Innovation or Industry Scam?

Blueprint: 29+ and 27.5+ Bikes – Innovation or Industry Scam?

A no-bullshit video investigation into the bike industry's latest wheel sizes

Video by Dan Barham

What’s the deal with 29+ and 27.5+ bikes?

When we first caught wind of the new breed of 29+ and 27.5+ bikes, we were as suspicious as any rider. So, we started asking questions: why have these new standards emerged? Are the new wheel sizes simply a way for industry big wigs to convince consumers to buy new bikes? We flew around the country visiting the folks who are putting the new wheels to work at Rocky Mountain in Vancouver, Canada, SRAM’s Development Facility in Colorado Springs and Trek’s World Headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. 
Trek and Rocky Mountain are only two of a handful of brands announcing 29+ and 27.5+ bikes. You’re going to be seeing more of these plus-size bikes, and you can be damn sure that we’ll have more to say about them.

Rocky Mountain’s 27.5+ Sherpa

Rocky’s Sherpa is a specialized adventure tool, fine-tuned for riding on marginal terrain. It promises to be a singletrack bikepacker’s dream, and, interestingly, doesn’t utilize Boost 148 spacing. It does, however, feature a rust-proof chain, clearance for up to 3.25″ tires and a Himalayan snow lion-inspired paint job. Stay tuned for more on the Sherpa.
Rocky Mountain Sherpa

Trek’s Stache 29+

The Stache isn’t a new name in Trek’s lineup, but the redesigned bike features 29+ wheels and sliding dropouts on its extremely compact rear end. In order to pull off their honey-I-shrunk-the-chainstays design, they had to elevate the drive-side chainstay, carve away material from the bottom bracket and bend the seat tube. Trek’s approach is that 29+ wheels are simply the logical evolution for their aggressive hardtail.
Trek Stache 29+
Photo: JP Van Swae
Boost 148 is an essential technology to many of the new 27.5+ bikes. Learn more about it in this Blueprint video.

Why Cyclists Ride Two Abreast | BikeWalk NC

Cyclists riding double file on a narrow rural road. Riding double file deters unsafe same-lane passing in narrow lanes and makes the cyclists as visible as a car from the front and behind. [Mike Dayton photo]
Group rides are extremely popular among recreational and competitive cyclists. Although social interaction is a major incentive to ride in groups, so is safety. One technique cycling groups use to reduce the risk of collisions is riding double file, particularly in narrow lanes and when approaching intersections. This article discusses how riding double file can deter common crash types and what group cyclists should consider when choosing their position on the roadway.

[Keep reading at BikeWalkNC]

Red Hook Criterium: 60 MINUTES SPORTS Preview

Helinox Table One from Helinox @Big_Agnes

Helinox Table One from Helinox on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Introducing the VO Mojave Cage

Carrying enough water on longer rides can be a problem, especially for touring cyclists in the southwest, but also in other parts of the country where potable water sources are far apart. We designed the Mojave cage to fit 32oz Nalgene bottles or 40oz Kleen Kanteen stainless steel bottles. Regular tall bike bottles usually hold between 20oz and 25oz. The design is based on our standard size retro cages which we find are better than most cages in keeping bottles secure even on rough terrain.
You may notice that the mounting tab has 5 holes. This allows you to mount the Mojave cage in three positions, higher or lower as best fits your frame. You can also mount it on newer frames with three water bottle screw bosses. We think the three attachment point system is a great idea and you'll see it on some of our future frames.
One caveat, the Kleen Kanteen bottle is pretty tall, about 29cm with the sport top. It may not fit inside the main triangle of smaller frames. The Nalgene is shorter, but doesn't offer a sport top. There are probably other bottles that fit; we plan to check large beer bottles first.
Mojave Cage compared to the standard-size Retro Cage.

Introducing the Rocky Mountain Sherpa from Rocky Mountain Bicycles

Introducing the Rocky Mountain Sherpa from Rocky Mountain Bicycles on Vimeo.
We're excited to announce the new Sherpa overland bike. Bikepacking has been around for a long time, but the Sherpa puts a Rocky Mountain twist on the concept. We wanted a bike that could tackle more challenging terrain and would let us get a little rowdy—even loaded down for multi day self-supported adventures. The Sherpa will carry you and your gear to the ends of the earth, far from the nearest Strava segment and through whatever ambitious backcountry route you didn’t know you were planning.

Music: AdamCaptured — Desert Wind

Boa's 2014 Ride That Changed it All

Boa's 2014 Ride That Changed it All from Boa Technology on Vimeo.
Follow our 2014 Ride That Changed it All contest winner Nick Gibb on his journey to the Leadville 100 MTB Race.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Crank Brothers Bike Multi-Tool





Don't haul your bike to the shop when it breaks down. Carry the Crank Brothers Bike Multi-Tool with you instead. This cycling-focused tool offers 16 functions, including a CO2 inflator, a chain tool compatible with 8, 9, and 10 speeds, #0 and #1 spoke wrenches, hex wrenches ranging in size from #2 to #8, both phillips and flathead screwdrivers, and T-25 and T-10 torx bits. The various tools snap into place using magnets, and thanks to its compact design, it's easy to throw in a seat bag or hydration pack.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Daily Bike: Bikepacking Is Running Away from Home for Grown-Ups @adventurevida

I think it started with the wooden clunk of Brendan stacking a few small fallen logs across the windward opening of the tarp. The sun had just dunked below the ridge across the meadow, and hoping the wind would die down with it, we were about to crawl into our sleeping bags for the night. Suddenly we weren’t young professionals—or even responsible adults—anymore. We were kids. Sneaking off alone in the woods on our bikes. Running away from home for a Tuesday night.
I’d felt it coming on for a couple of hours, pedaling my bike up the winding new trail, tramping around the woods looking for our campsite and then constructing the weather-proof equivalent of a blanket fort. The simple, little-kid joy of exploring and camping out seemed to sprinkle on us like Tinkerbell’s pixie dust.

My bike was hit by a car with me on it | Bicycle Tuscon

First things first. I am fine, my bike is fine and luckily I didn’t have my kids on the bike.
After more than six years of daily bike commuting, I was hit by a car. Or more accurately, my bike was hit by a car with me on it.
Yesterday morning I was riding my box bike to work and was less than a quarter mile from where I park my bike when I was struck by a young woman on the University of Arizona campus.

San Antonio Could Lose Bikeshare, Too |
San Antonio B-Cycle, by most measures, should be a national model: first bikeshare program in Texas, one of the first in the nation, and after four years its network of 55 stations and 450 bikes is set to expand to 76 stations and 650 bikes with a $1.2 million Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) grant. Nearly every neighborhood surrounding downtown will have stations by the end of 2015.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Now Paris Wants to Become the 'World Capital of Cycling' @CityLab

Image REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Paris is destined to become the “world capital of cycling,” or at least, that's the grand ambition declared recently by Paris City Hall.
While Amsterdam and Copenhagen may not be sweating it just yet, the French capital is indeed taking bicycle transportation more seriously than ever before. To underscore that effort, the city has just announced a €150 million ($164.5 million) program over the next five years that aims to make Paris far easier, safer and more attractive for cyclists.

[Keep reading at CityLab]

Why biking to work is a barrier for most Americans @beurbanful

The Nickel Tour: 100 million Americans rode a bike at least once last year, but only 14% take two or more rides weekly. Let’s talk about why.
People for Bikes, a national cycling advocacy organization, has just released the results of the most comprehensive cycling survey in recent memory.
The biggest take home statistics from the survey, based on the online responses of 16,000 adults: 100 million Americans (34 percent of the population) went for a ride at least once in the last year. Forty-five million of those bikers made at least one ride as a means of transportation, rather than recreation, but only 14 percent of bikers take two or more rides each week.
That’s not because they don’t want to:  53 percent said they would like to ride more, but don’t.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Diamondback Haanjo Gravel Grinders

Harvard Study: Better Police Reports On Bike Crashes Could Save Lives @commonhealth

A "ghost bike" is placed in memory of Marcia Deihl, who was killed in a crash in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 11. (Rachel Zimmerman/WBUR)
A “ghost bike” is placed in memory of Marcia Deihl, who was killed in a crash in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 11. (Rachel Zimmerman/WBUR)
 Last month, Marcia Deihl, a songwriter and community activist out for a bike ride on the first warm day after a brutal winter, was struck and killed by a dump truck outside a Whole Foods in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A white “ghost bike” now memorializes her death.
Aspiring photojournalist Christopher Weigl, just 23, was also killed in a bike accident: Wearing a helmet, and traveling in the bike lane near Boston University, Weigl collided with a 16-wheel tractor trailer when the truck made a wide right turn in the winter of 2012. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

The National Forest Explorer | Elephant

The National Forest Explorer (NFE) is the ideal bike for long days of spirited riding on dirt roads. While designed to carry a small load over the wheel for day supplies, the NFE also handles well with low-riders and a rear saddle bag for overnighting. Unlike many heavy "adventure bikes" or "gravel grinders" sold by larger manufacturers, the NFE is light and responsive, built with a double-butted TrueTemper front triangle and 4130 rear triangle.
The geometry is optimized for experienced riders who prefer nimble handling and light steering input. The fork is brazed & lugged with a handmade direct-mount disc tab and a beautiful bend that helps soak up washboard roads.
The fork is brazed and lugged with a handmade direct-mount disc tab and a beautiful bend that helps soak up washboard roads. For more information about the history of this bike, check out this article in Out There Monthly.


A perfect unit made of two exclusive materials: Each V1-Walnut is milled from a solid piece of walnut, supported by a high-quality aluminum core. Every handlebar is unique thanks to the natural grain of the wood, which has been finished with a special varnish. The minimalist design is completed by end caps made of anodized aluminum. These reinforcements and the treated wooden surface guarantee many years of fun with your V1-Walnut.
With a diameter of 31.8mm, V1-Walnut fits almost any standard suspension and brings a unique and timeless look to your fixie or singlespeed bike. Your new handlebar performs well regarding its weight, too: With just 285 grams, it’s a real lightweight, ensuring an exclusive riding experience.

The Complete Business Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes @CityLab

Image acme08 / flickr
acme08 / flickr
San Francisco is moving forward with a plan to add protected bike lanes on Polk Street, one of the busiest cycling corridors in the city, but the decision didn't come easy. The San Francisco Examiner reports that the plan endured about 2.5 years of debate. At the center of the dispute was an objection to the loss of on-street parking spaces by local merchants (our emphasis):

[Keep reading at CityLab]