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Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 Festivus Ride Recap 12102011

70+ riders
1 Festivus Pole transported by the keg bike from Paradise Garage to Hal & Al's
10 mile loop from Hal & Al's to pickup pole and back to Goodale Park returning to the bar
Bike decorating contest
Ugly sweater contest
Water jug holding contest
Huffy toss for men and women
Airing of grievances

Toronto’s Urban Repair Squad Strikes Again

Toronto’s Urban Repair Squad Strikes Again

Urban Repair Squad Bike Lanes
Guerrilla bike lane – photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country

At approximately 10AM this morning, Toronto’s Guerrilla bicycling advocates - theUrban Repair Squad - re-painted the intersection at Dundas and Sterling, the location where cyclist Jenna Morrison was run over by a truck and killed last month.

Bike lanes were painted on both sides of the street, and the southbound vehicle lane was widened to give cyclists more space at the intersection.

A source involved with the re-painting told me the police showed up at the end and the team scrambled, leaving behind their materials. When I arrived on the scene at 11AM there were several police squad cars at the scene cleaning up.

The guerrilla group used water-based paint, so the intersection changes aren’t permanent, but the re-paint was done to make a point and to highlight how easy it is to make positive improvements in a city that is tearing out its bicycle infrastructure.

The source also said several cars passing by were honking and giving thumbs up to show their support. A fire truck showed up on the scene with the police, so the source thinks a motorist who didn’t appreciate the efforts made a call to the 911 emergency service.

At approximately 12:15PM a City of Toronto employee arrived on the scene. He told me he was called in to remove the paint immediately because the police were not happy about the unauthorized painting.

The city employee works in the transportation and roads division and is tasked with removing the bike lanes, even though his personal opinion is that the bike lanes are a positive improvement for this intersection.
“Personally, I have nothing against it. But the police weren’t happy about it so they called me in so I need to remove the paint or I will have my bosses breathing down my neck.”
In fact, the city worker ironically has personal ties to this intersection. His wife was a friend of Jenna Morrison, the 38-year-old pregnant mother who tragically died at the intersection on November 7th when a right-turning truck clipped her and ran her over...

Innovative "share the road" signage coming from Cincinnati [FOX19]

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati has developed new signage promoting bicycle safety, the first of its kind in the region. The signs alert motorists that they should change lanes in order to safely pass cyclists. The signs will be installed in corridors where the city has already installed “sharrow” (shared lane) pavement markings.
Sharrows are pavement markings that are installed within shared travel lanes (lanes shared by cars and bicycles). The marking is a bicycle with a chevron above it. Sharrows can be helpful on streets where there is insufficient space to add bicycle lanes. Sharrows help cyclists position themselves within the lane safely to avoid being squeezed off the road or hit by suddenly opened car doors.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Car Bike Rack - 1 car = 10 bicycles, sorry no cover : (

Editor's note: Burlington VT has similar models installed around town and even though there is no cover there were bikes locked up during a snowstorm. Cycle Hoop products were also installed in Montreal Canada on the parking poles.

Innovative design originally commissioned by the London Festival of Architecture, has since been Installed around the UK and several cities in Europe.
  • Converts a car space into cycle parking for 10 bicycles.
  • Perfect  for promoting cycling at events
  • The car shape acts as a barrier to protect parked bicycles from the cars.
  • Easy to assemble and transport, it is ideal for temporary cycle parking.
  • The unit can also be bolted down for permanent use
  • Options include an integrated bicycle pump and a central display panel for branding

Proposed law would force cyclists off roads on federal land and onto paths [LAB]

The draft of the Senate’s transportation authorization (S. 1813 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act) has been a bit of a disappointment for cyclists. It reduces funding for dedicated bicycling programs and allows state departments of transportation an opt-out for spending it. However, even aside from funding, there is an egregious clause that has rightly upset cyclists.
Section § 203 (d) (p. 226), the part dealing with the “Federal lands transportation program”, states:
(d) BICYCLE SAFETY.—The Secretary of the appropriate Federal land management agency shall prohibit the use of bicycles on each federally owned road that has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or greater and an adjacent paved path for use by bicycles within 100 yards of the road.
Sign the petition to tell the Senate to remove this clause.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This paragraph would introduce a mandatory sidepath law on roads in our National Parks and other Federal lands.
For those unfamiliar with this term, it’s a provision that used to be found in a lot of state vehicle codes that says that when a sidepath (bike path, trail) is provided for cyclists, they have to use it and can’t ride on the parallel roadway. Over the past 20 years, the number of states with this law still on their books has dwindled to just a handful. The problem with the provision is that the restriction applies regardless of the quality, safety, and utility of the path provided; it disregards the needs of cyclists to be on the roadway to access shops, services etc.; and ignores our fundamental right to the road.

Are freeways doomed? [via Salon]

 (Credit: iStockphoto/Diverstudio)
Everyone freak out: Carmageddon is back. Right now, several U.S. cities are scheming to shut down major freeways — permanently. In the push to take back cities from cars, this is what you’d call throwing down the gauntlet.
The drive to tear down the huge freeways that many blame for the inner-city blight of the ’60s and ’70s is one of the most dramatic signs of the new urban order. Proponents of such efforts have data to show that freeway removal is not at all bizarre, that we can return to human-size streets without causing a gridlock apocalypse. And that may be true. But pulling down these shrines to the automobile also feels like a bold rewriting of America’s 20th-century urban script: Revenge of the Pedestrian. This time it’s personal.


  • 700C
  • CrMo4130 Double-Butted tube
  • Original Lugs
  • 1" Threaded fork
  • Two water bottles bracket
  • Down tube shifter studs
  • Fender & Carrier adapters
  • 1" Threaded Headset
  • F OLD:100mm/ R OLD:130mm
  • BB 68mm ISO.JIS 1.370 x 24
  • Fork Crown 26.4mm
  • Head Tube ID 30.2mm
  • Seat Post  27.2mm
  • Color:Dark Red, Dark Blue

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Coffee and Cycles: Cycling in Auckland

From the blog: Something about coffee and bikes go hand in hand, maybe it’s the effect caffeine has on the brain and body with the added ingredient of a bicycle it can create a great days adventure around the city. Most kiwi’s have no idea the we have some of the best tasting coffee in the world. Like anything good we get complacent with it, you could say the same thing for Auckland in general, people always complain about this city but I think it’s the fact most people never leave? Seems strange I guess. What we have in this post is a combination of a great Auckland coffee shop Eighthirty, found on K’rd next to the Mobil petrol station and bicycles. Glenn the owner is adopting bikes into their business for delivery and we worked together on this tandem turned cargo bike. The coffee at Eighthirty is nothing but the best around and next time your riding your bike past his cafe stop by for a coffee, you will not be disappointed- it’s good shit!

[See more at Cycling in Auckland]

For the ladies: MovModa

Style Number: 1004
XS, S, M, L, XL
106 White/Silver044 Silver/Black002 Black/Black502 Ink/Black
603 Rouge/Black438 Turquoise/Black265 Nude/Black 
• Comfort and ease of one garment to be worn under clothing or on its own
• Contrast detail at top of bra and at edges
• Flattering princess seams with shirring and lighter weight fabric at sides
• Adjustable bra straps can be worn straight over shoulders or
  criss-crossed in back for a more secure fit
• Adjustable back closure
BENEFITS: Moisture Management; UV Protection
FABRIC: 72% Nylon/ 28% Lycra® Spandex

Testing the Especial Cuatro [timbuk2] at Paradise Garage!

From the timbuk2 website: This year our design team worked really hard to develop a collection of serious cycling bags for serious cyclists. They created the Especial collection. It includes three packs – the Dos, Tres and Cuatro – and one pannier – the Viaje – and launches February 1, 2012 on But who wants to wait until February?! We thought you’d enjoy an earlier look at the Especial products that may change your commuting ways.
Cuatro with tires
We gave our new Especial Cuatro Backpack to CS Couriers in Columbus, OH and asked them to ride it around. Here’s what the CS Couriers like about the Cuatro:

The Bicycle: Art on Two Wheels

It is the nature of a beautiful object to inspire obsession. The bicycle—a practical, relatively simple machine—has been reimagined by countless enthusiasts over the years and cleverly crafted to fill nearly every imaginable niche and purpose.

London designer Michael Embacher caught the bike bug about 10 years ago, when he traded his car for a pedal-powered commute. He fell in love with the bicycle's clean, efficient design, and it transformed his life and health. More than 200 bicycles later, Embacher boasts an impressive collection of two-wheeled works of art.

Enthusiasm is best when shared, and Embacher does just that with his new book, Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design(Chronicle Books), a compendium of 100 strange, sleek, and classic bikes from his collection. This slide show features a few more of our favorites.

View the slide show --> The Bicycle: Art on Two Wheels

Spinlister: Peer-To-Peer Bike Sharing Gets Rolling

Spinlister: Peer-To-Peer Bike Sharing Gets Rolling

City bike shares are nice and all, but what if you want a bike that’s a little… sleeker. Just search an online data base and take a neighbor’s for a ride.
If you’ve been hiding from the Internet for the last five years, you can be forgiven for not knowing about the collaborative consumption economy. It’s everywhere. It’s like this: You have stuff. You don’t use it all the time. Others pay to borrow it. Today, you can rent out your rooms on Airbnb, let your car on, or find a bidder for (almost) everything in your life, even your dog, as Rob Baedeker recently proved inNewsweek. The next big thing is probably your bicycle.
Bicycles have not had an illustrious history (PDF) when it comes to sharing. Amsterdam’s abortive attempt in the 1960s lead to widespread theft and canals filled with the unfortunate white bikes. Other modest programs followed. None with much success. It would take another 45 years for the technology to make bike sharing a practical reality. Spurred by French experiments with 1,500 bikes in Lyon, and now 20,600 bikes in Paris’ own bike‐sharing program called VĂ©lib’, the idea has gone mainstream. More than 100 initiatives are spinning around the world, as you can see on this Google map. Most are run by city governments, allowing riders to use the bikes for short trips at a small fee or annual membership.
Spinlister has different idea. It wants everyone to post their bike online, choose a price, and then let the collaborative economy commence. Those who want to see their bike roam free can post a profile, and accept any bidder who sends in their price and preferred time. According to the website, a "system of reviews, Facebook Connect, and renter credit cards" are on file allowing Spinlister to investigate any theft or foul play. Common sense applies: If you break it, fix it, and late fees apply if you’re running behind.
But will it work? So far, it’s only just getting rolling. Spinlisters’ founder Will Dennis emailed in with an update:
Co.Exist: How long until you go live in various places?
Dennis: We are finalizing some paperwork and are looking forward to launching our pilot in Santa Monica and Los Angeles in the next few weeks. We’ve been getting a great response from the biking community around the country. The best areas thus far look to be San Francisco, L.A., New York, and Portland, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of listings from around the world. There’s something pretty cool about going to a site and being able to rent a bike from someone in Australia, Romania, Paris, or Austin, Texas.
Why is now the right time to launch a bike sharing/rental service?
It’s a mixture of social and business trends. People are becoming more comfortable connecting online using their real identity and people seem to be increasingly looking for more authentic experiences. Of course, being able to make a few extra dollars off your bike when you’re not riding it is pretty appealing. Being able to pay your utilities or take your girlfriend out to dinner just for renting out your bike is something that people can connect with.
The emergence and success of other peer-to-peer businesses is continuing to raise awareness and support for the business model. Luckily, they’ve dealt with and have disproved a lot of the early skepticism surrounding P2P business. As far as biking goes, it’s the most popular recreational activity in the U.S. Individuals and cities are starting to see the numerous ways being pro-biking can improve quality of life. 
What’s the average cost? What’s the typical type of bike? 
We have a wide range of bikes, from vintage Dutch cruisers to fixed gears to professional road and mountain bikes. If you’re looking for a great bike we should have something you’ll be excited about riding. We let the bike owner set their own price, which has ranged from $4 to $50 a day. 
What is the biggest challenge for your business? 
Exposure! We’re currently bootstrapped (in the process of fundraising) and are looking to get as many people listing as possible. We’re having great response from people around the world and we just need to keep getting the word out to fun-loving travelers, bikers, innovators, and people looking to make a little extra change.

The Fourth Annual Founders Brewing Co. Barry-Roubaix is March 24th, 2012

Michigan's 2012 cycling race season kicks off this year with the Killer Gravel Road Race- Like the classic it's named after, Barry-Roubaix will test riders against rolling gravel roads (80%), pavement, one mile of rough two track, rocks, sand, mud, and possibly snow and ice, along with 2200 feet of climbing over its 35 mile loop. There is 1500 racer limit for 2012! 

What is Barry-Roubaix?
  • A classic road/off road race featuring a variety of terrain and surfaces to test all your cycling skills. Cyclocross, Mountain, Road, Single-Speed, Fixie and Tandem bicycles are welcome in any category.
  • The course will be determined according to conditions just prior to the race start. Maps will be available for pre-riding the course. Click on the map link on the website. Course marshals will NOT be at every corner or intersection, rules of the road apply!
  • The course will NOT be closed to traffic and does not have a rolling escort. Cycling rules of the road apply, i.e. stop at all stop signs, yield to cars, no more than 2 riders abreast and do not cross yellow center line. Violations will be penalized by disqualification. Anyone caught littering will be disqualified.
  • A sag van will make rounds looking for drop outs.
Where is Barry-Roubaix?
  • CITY: Middleville/Hastings, Michigan
  • COUNTY: Barry County
  • Start/Finish/Parking: Gun Lake Unit-Yankee Springs Recreation Area
Who is Barry-Roubaix for?
  • Cyclists and racers of all kinds and performance levels (no license required) that want to start their season with a real challenge and experience the scenery of the Barry County back roads
  • Open Class 61 miles*
  • 35 miles*
  • 23 miles*
  • Single Speed – 23 miles or 35 miles*
  • Fixies (one brake mandatory) – 23 miles or 35 miles*
  • Tandem- 23 miles or 35 miles*
  • Distances are approximate depending on final course designation made prior to race start
  • We reserve the right to combine low category fields.
  • Road, mountain or cross bikes can be used in any class. The 61 mile race is for elite/pro level athletes. Consider it is March, it may be cold out and last year it took the pros over 3 hours at 20+ mph avg! That would be over 4 hours for us mere mortals.
What else can I expect at Barry-Roubaix?
  • $2300 cash awards plus trophies or medals to the top five 61 Mile Open racers (no age categories). 1st-$500, 2nd-$300, 3rd-$200, 4th-$100 and 5th-$50.
  • Michigan Youth Cycling and Kisscross Events will award $375.00 in scholarship to the fastest under 18 year old male and female in the 23 and 35 mile races each.
  • NEW! $1000 cash awards sponsored by Greenware plus trophies or medals to the top five 35 mile racers overall (no age categories). 1st-$250, 2nd-$150, 3rd-$100, 4th-$50 and 5th-$25.
  • Trophies to the overall male and female winner of the 35 and 23 mile race. Medals to the top five in age categories (generally 10 year age splits for 23 milers and 5 year splits for 35 milers) and pre-race raffle prizes to many lucky racers. Podium awards and photos within 30 minutes of the completion of each category.
  • 4 wave starts, one for the 61 milers, two for the 35 milers (11-44 yrs and 45+ yrs) and one wave for the 23 milers. Racers will be disqualified for starting in the wrong wave.
  • Instant Chronotrack Timing by Race Services Company. Rigid handlebar number plates with timing chips will be used for the best timing available. The race will be scored as a time trial (just like Iceman) to avoid a mass start with 1500 racers!
  • All vehicles entering the Gun Lake Unit will need a $10 Michigan State Park motor vehicle passport or a daily pass for $8. Michigan residents please have vehicle passports purchased in advance to speed up the entrance to the parking area come race day. Out of state racers may purchase a daily pass for $8 or annual for $29 on site.
  • Rustic Camping is allowed at the Gun Lake Unit Campground adjacent to the start area.

How cycling set deprived Indian girls on a life-long journey [via The Guardian]

One simple initiative in Bihar state not only solved an everyday problem for schoolgirls, but also expanded their horizons
Bike blog :  Schoolgirls riding bicycles in India
More than 870,000 schoolgirls have benefited from the bike subsidies. Photograph: Michael Melford/NGS/Corbis

In Bihar, one of India's poorest and most populous states, half of the women and a quarter of the men are illiterate, and about 90% of its 104 million inhabitants live in rural areas. Life here is particularly difficult for girls, and one of the greatest hindrances to their development is the simple journey to school. For many, the trip is long, expensive and dangerous.
But here, in rural Bihar, we recently saw that a two-wheeled solution to the problem has been found.
Three years ago the state's new chief minister Nitish Kumar adopted a "gender agenda" and set about redressing his state's endemic gender imbalances in an attempt to boost development in one of India's most backward states. His vision was to bring a sense of independence and purpose to his state's young women, and the flagship initiative of this agenda is the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna, a project that gives schoolgirls 2,000 rupees (about £25) to purchase a bicycle.