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Friday, November 30, 2012


Spoke POV is an easy-to-make electronic kit toy that turns your bicycle wheel into a customized display! The project includes a free schematic design, open software for uploading and editing stored bitmap images, and a high-quality kit with all the parts necessary to build your own.
Kits & PCBs available for purchase now!
Specification & Features
  • Can be used with road, mountain or BMX wheels!
  • 30 LEDs on each side (22 for BMX) x 256 radial pixels
  • Runs on 2-3 AA batteries for 10 hours or more, assuming 3000mAh alkalines and 50% image coverage.
  • Can run on rechargable NiMH AA's
  • Comes with high-brightness red, yellow, green or blue LEDs
  • Automatically shuts off after 3 minutes
  • Software runs on any Mac, Windows or Linux computer with Serial, Parallal or USB port
  • Design is all through-hole parts, perfect for a first time kit builder.
  • With one spoke, total persistence at 15mph. Two spokes, 10mph. Three spokes, 7mph. (Assuming a mountain bike wheel). Looks cool even if not completely persistant.
  • Great for safe riding at night, provides excellent side visibility.
  • Playa-tested!

Shopping Local Benefits The Neighborhood: Here Are The Numbers That Prove It [Co.Exist]

Think about this the next time you go to the neighborhood CVS or Starbucks: You could do more for the local economy by visiting the small pharmacy or coffee place on the corner. How much more? According to a recent study for Louisville, Kentucky--which looks at the "local premium" of spending at local outlets instead of big chains--perhaps four times as much.
Civic Economics has been running the numbers for lots of towns and cities over the last 10 years. And the newest batch of studies--for Louisville, Milwaukee, Ogden, Utah, and the Six Corners area of Chicago--corroborate what at least eight similar ones have shown. Money spent at independent outlets is more likely to stay local than that spent at a chain. The study for Louisville found that independent stores recirculate 55.2% of revenues compared to 13.6% for big retailers, and that local restaurants recirculate 67%, while big chains do 30.4%.

Civic Economics analyzes the books of independent businesses looking at profits paid to local owners, wages paid to local workers, procurement of goods and services for internal use, purchase of local goods for resale, and local charitable giving. It then compares that aggregate number with figures taken from public records for the chains. In the case of Louisville, the researchers worked with businesses like Kizito Cookies, Rainbow Blossom Natural Markets, and Dundee Candy Shop, comparing their impact with the likes of Home Depot, Office Max, Target, and PF Chang’s.

Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell Boombox- Electric Blue

-Wirelessly connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device
-Standard threading for multiple accessories
-IPX5 dust and waterproof standard
-Rugged, minimal design
-Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
-9-10 hours of Hi-fi sound or talk time
-Operating distance: up to 30 feet
-Operation time: Talk- 9 hours/Play music: 8 hours
-Standby time: 700 hours

Check Out These Insane Sculptures Made From Bike Parts [FastCompany]

For many bike owners, making sure their vehicles’ parts are doing what they’re supposed to is complex enough a job. But a group of 80 artists was recently assigned a more challenging task: to turn a box full of 100 bike parts into a work of art. On November 29, New Yorkers get the chance to bid on and take home the results, at a charity auction benefitting global development nonprofit World Bicycle Relief.

The event, pART PROJECT NYC, is hosted by bike components company SRAM, who brought the same concept to Chicago last year, raising $96,000 for World Bicycle Relief. This year’s incarnation features a variety of conceptual and abstract pieces, like a nest made from bike parts and twigs by artist Eileen Hutton and a gas mask crafted from leather and gears by Alex Bogusky, among 78 others. The exhibition will be juried, with the grand-prize winner getting a free trip for two to Africa to see World Bicycle Relief’s development work in person. Then, the works will be sold to the highest bidder in a live-auction format, tonight at the Cedar Lake Theater.
All the funds raised will directly support World Bicycle Relief, which brings bikes to people in developing countries to help them access health care, education, and jobs. Since its founding in 2005, The Chicago-based organization has put more than 100,000 bicycles in the hands of people across Sri Lanka and Southern and Eastern Africa, and has trained 750 mechanics to keep the bikes running smoothly.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Death by Car [NYMag]

A composite photograph of the corner where Sixth Avenue meets Houston Street, made from hundreds of frames taken between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 16. 

Jessica Dworkin was an old-fashioned Greenwich Village character. Living in the same rent-stabilized apartment on Thompson Street for decades, she had been an artist during the Soho loft era and a music promoter during the Studio 54 years. At age 58, she no longer worked, but she had taken on the role of unofficial mayor of her neighborhood. Dressed in hippie garb, she’d spend her days chatting with friends at the Local cafĂ© on Sullivan Street and greeting strangers en route to swim laps at Dapolito Pool—on a foot-powered scooter. Those who didn’t know her well called her the Scooter Lady.
On August 27, the Monday before Labor Day, Dworkin began her morning by feeding the sparrows at Vesuvio Playground on Thompson Street. Less than an hour later, just before 9 a.m., she approached the intersection where Houston meets Sixth Avenue and Bedford Street. She was trying to cross Sixth from east to west when an eighteen-wheel flatbed truck made a right turn onto Sixth from Houston, entering the same intersection.

A witness heard Dworkin scream, then saw her being pulled under one of the truck’s rear tires. Dworkin’s scooter fell onto the asphalt, but the driver, unaware that he had hit anyone, kept going. Dworkin was dragged two blocks, to the corner of Sixth and Carmine Street, before the truck stopped. A slogan printed on the vehicle’s cab read: GREG SMITH 7 YEARS SAFE DRIVING. When Smith emerged and saw what had happened, he placed his hands on his head as if to say, “What did I do?” Dworkin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Snyder unveils proposal to connect Belle Isle, Wisconsin with bike trail [Detroit Free Press]

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, shown Sept. 10, 2012, in Flat Rock, shared part of his blueprint for a environmentally healthy and energy-efficient state today.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, shown Sept. 10, 2012, in Flat Rock, shared part of his blueprint for a environmentally healthy and energy-efficient state today. / Associated Press
A 599-mile trail stretching from Belle Isle to Wisconsin — connecting existing trails and meandering through the middle part of the Michigan mitten and across its Upper Peninsula — would showcase some of the state’s most breathtaking vistas to hikers, snowmobilers and countless other off-road enthusiasts, according to a proposal Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled today. 
The trail would wend through the state’s forested areas and prairies, through open lands and by waterways, offering year-round recreation to residents and tourists, said Ron Olson, chief of Michigan’s Parks and Recreation division.
Snyder introduced his vision for the trail — as well as hopes to bolster the state’s other trails — during a special address today in which he outlined a plan for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient Michigan.
To make the trail a reality, 81.5 miles of new trails would be needed in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and 152 miles in the Upper Peninsula to connect to existing trails.
“When we saw what we already had, we were pretty excited,” said Valerie Brader, deputy legal counsel and senior policy adviser to Snyder.

MY PAL MICK, 1958-2012 [Semi-Rad]

My friend Mick’s heart stopped working last Sunday. He died at the age of 54, not knowing that the night before, I had sat around a campfire in the desert, telling a friend, Of course you can ride a bike across the country. My friend Mick borrowed my bike trailer two years ago, hitched it to a full-suspension mountain bike, and pedaled it 1,300 miles to his hometown in Michigan from his driveway in Colorado, just like that.
When people die, we say stuff like He was a good man, It was too soon, and He won’t be forgotten, and all that stuff is true. Then we turn it on ourselves, saying things like You never know, Hug your loved ones, Every day could be your last, trying to make sure we’re doing it right, hoping someone’s death will teach us how to live. And then we tell stories about that person, maybe realizing their life taught us how to live.
The day after Susan, Mick’s wife, called me to tell me he was gone, I had a million things to do and an overflowing e-mail inbox, same as every weekday. My brain kept saying I’m too busy to deal with this right now, I’m too busy, I’m too busy, I’m too busy, and then suddenly I was sitting in the parking lot of the UPS Store blinking back tears, typing Mick stories into my phone with my thumb. Then I was driving up I-25, sighing and letting them stream down my face, thinking about nonsensical stuff like Shit, I don’t own a suit to wear to the funeral. But Mick probably didn’t own a suit, did he?
I have a hundred stories about my friend Mick, and it’s hard to understand that all those stories are now about who he was instead of who he is.
He was an arborist, among a dozen other things. That was what he did for a living: climbed trees, limbed them, sometimes hanging from the top of the tree and chainsawing off an upper section as it was pulled away by a crane. I wrote the longest story I ever published about Mick, House of Trees. It was printed in a literary magazine and told the story of how he built a house out of logs over the course of eight years, without ever having peeled a log or so much as helped build a house before he started, pure balls and stubbornness. My favorite line in the story was:
He seems more proud of his most recent wildflower photo than he is of the house he built with his own two hands in the middle of a country where no one builds their own house anymore, even though most men abstractly like the idea of doing it.

Haute Route Alps (Geneva-Nice)

2013 will see the third edition of the Haute Route Alps (Geneva-Nice) and the first edition of the new Haute Route Pyrenees from the Mediterranean to Atlantic coast. The Haute Route format for both events will be the same - a 7 stage and 7 day cyclosportive, timed and open to all, across the most iconic cols in the world. 
Click on Haute Route Alps or Haute Route Pyrnees logos to find out how to register and for more information. 

Which really is more deadly: cycling or sitting down watching TV? [TheGuardian]

Riskier than a ride through rush-hour traffic - inactivity. Photograph: Victor Rayes/Getty Images
Sometimes, it seems, to get some perspective on the vexed issue ofcycling and particularly cycle safety you need to chat not to a transport expert, let alone a government official, but a scientist.
This occurred to me earlier this week as I watched three fairly eminent scientists with a specialism in public health unveil new recommendations by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Our news story on it is here, but in essence it calls for walking and cycling to become the norm for short trips as a way to combat the increasingly desperate extent of health problems connected to inactivity and obesity.
After they'd introduced the report the floor was open for questions. One of the first was on cycle safety: had they taken into account the potential perils of riding a bike?
The answer from Dr Harry Rutter, lead author of the report and an adviser at the National Obesity Observatory – they gather data on obesity, as opposed to peering at the big-boned from a very great distance – is worth quoting in full:

[Keep reading at TheGuardian]

Pushed to the limit: The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges [CNN]

(CNN) -- While obesity rates soar in the developed world and we live an ever more sedentary lifestyle, the flip side to this health time bomb is the paradox that more and more amateur athletes are taking on extreme endurance challenges.
Running a 42km marathon is still considered a huge achievement, but "weekend warriors" have now turned in their droves to Ironman Triathlons.
For the uninitiated, that's a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle race and the marathon to finish.
And the more offbeat the challenge, the more entrants seem to be attracted.
In Telford, England each year thousands of people take part in an eccentric event called the Tough Guy Challenge, which involves a 12km run and assault course in freezing winter conditions.

Just to make it more interesting, the organizer sets fire to parts of the course and puts in barbed wire fences and muddy bogs. Yet they come back year after year to be subjected to this torture.
Worn out just thinking about it?
The Tough Guy Challenge is a relative breeze in comparison to an Ironman race in Norway with arctic temperatures for the swim in a fjord, biking through a mountainous range, then finishing the 42km run at the top of a 1,880m peak.
That's the challenge awaiting competitors in the Norseman, one of 50 events featured in a book, theWorld's Toughest Endurance Challenges, by Richard Hoad and Paul Moore.

Calfee Adventure

Calfee Tetra Adventure SRAM Force

We are very excited to introduce the Calfee Adventure. Click here to view geometry, features and some feedback.  We debuted this model in Austin, TX at NAHBS the weekend of Friday, February 25′th.  Both the cycling press and cyclists themselves were thrilled with our execution; enjoy this coverage from James Huang, technical editor with, as well as this October 2011 review in Mountain Flyer Magazine, featuring our Bamboo Adventure.  Jan Heine, Editor of Bicycle Quarterly, published a review of our Tetra Adventure in the Autumn 2011 issue.  He hated to give it back.  Here is a link to the complete review.
Along these same lines, earlier this year, Zap and Neil at Road Bike Action asked us to build the frame module for a gravel road race project bike.  The challenge; build a bike that Neil (recently retired top domestic pro) could race to victory in a grueling gravel road race.  RBA’s October issue landed and here is a link to the 10 page feature.  Here is a link to complete online coverage of the bike, rider and race.  The results are in; Neil won the King of the Mountains competition and second overall in Crusher in the Tushar aboard this Dragonfly Adventure.  Our Dragonfly with Adventure frame options proved the “perfect” bicycle for the rigorous event.  This video captures Neil and the balance of the Pro field throughout the difficult day; rain, gravel, altitude.
Monday after the show, we met for a ride with a group from Bicycles Outback in Waco, TX.  We “enjoyed” a 110 mile ride on beautiful, rolling gravel roads.  The video captures the Calfee Adventure in its intended environment.

This is the Modem World: Fear and loathing in the local bike shop [engadget]

DNP This is the Modem World Fear and loathing in the local bike shop
By now, Cyber Monday is probably as big as Black Friday in terms of sales and retail excitement. According to IBM's Smarter Commerce arm, Cyber Monday online sales jumped 30 percent this year. A few years ago, Cyber Monday seemed to start as a joke, e-tailers heaving a "me too" at everyone returning to work, hoping to pick up a couple extra sales from those who didn't score on Black Friday.
This was, of course, when brick-and-mortar shops still outsold their online brethren. Blockbuster Video still occupied mini-malls; Barnes & Noble sold CDs and didn't know a thing about tablets. There was a quiet respect for brick-and-mortar stores in the quaint nature of Cyber Monday: 20 percent off underwear and free shipping, but that was about it.
While some venture out to the big stores to wrestle for a 32-inch, $149 LCD TV that they'd never buy any other day, the rest of us are content to stay home and pick off the good deals as they float by in cyberspace. We watch videos of seemingly normal people pummel one another in animalistic feeding frenzies just to get their hands on phones, socks and microwaves. And we say, "Yeah, no."
I'm one of the latter set: The notion of entering a store on Black Friday is about as appealing to me as a dentist appointment in the dead of winter, but I'm quite happy to pick off some good online deals.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

George's Epic Adventures [Blog]

Follow George's Epic Adventures on his blog 
I am very excited to announce the creation of REV Endurance Cycling.  I’ve been toying with the idea of creating my own endurance cycling team for years.  Just recently a friend of mine suggested it to me and the creative juices started flowing– more like a small trickle;-)  I am creating a team where I coach cyclists with endurance specific goals.  I want to help prepare riders for their first Century.  I want to assist riders who want to move from recreational centuries to climbing centuries.  I want to prepare cyclists for their first Double Century.  And of course, I would love to coach cyclists who want to tackle “the toughest 48 hours in sport” the Furnace Creek 508.
2013 will be my 10th anniversary of endurance cycling.  I began in 2003 with the Grand Tour Highland Triple Century.  I knew so little about this sport when I did my first event.  Over the years I have learned so much.  I wish to share and impart all that knowledge on cyclists who are willing and ready to enter the wonderful and absolutely gratifying sport of Ultra Cycling.
There will be more details to follow.  I have some ideas of my own but I would like to hear from you.
What would draw you to an endurance cycling specific club/team?
What benefits would you be looking for?
Why do you belong to your current club/team?
Is there a specific focus on endurance cycling?
Let’s begin our discussion with these basic questions.  I hope to hear from you soon.
George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas, Furnace Creek 508 Hall of Fame member, pictured at the 2011 Furnace Creek 508 finish line with six consecutive solo finisher’s medals– a record

bike ♥

bike ♥ from Rick Darge on Vimeo.

Trotify In The Wild

Touring The Stagecoach 400 [Salsa]

The Stagecoach 400 is a route developed by Brendan Collier and Mary Metcalf Collier of The Hub Cyclery in Idyllwild, California. The Hub is a Salsa dealer and has become a hotspot of cycling, bikepacking and inspiration. Brendan and Mary are incredibly talented and dedicated cyclists, advocates, frame builders, parents and endurance athletes. They developed this route and ran the inaugural Stagecoach 400 endurance race earlier this year. It’s an impressive route over incredibly diverse, and at times difficult, terrain.
Earlier in the year, I hatched a plan to take an actual not-work-related bike vacation to tour the Stagecoach 400 route. I invited a diverse bunch of friends that I thought would enjoy it. Five of us embarked on the route with the expectation of touring it at a moderate but doable pace. We knew we’d have long days, but we had no intentions of really treating it like any kind of race or suffer fest. In fact, since this was a vacation, I really made it a point to say that we’d take time on this trip to enjoy it. While I had a plan for the trip, I found out later the trip had a plan for us.
This vacation started like any other bicycle vacation; travelling to the destination, driving a few hours to Idlywild, assembling our bikes from boxes, making final gear and food choices, and heading out. Our destination for day one was Bailey’s Cabin out in Coyote Canyon. We set out en route late in the day and rode well into the night.

Metro Parks to reduce budget [Dispatch] -Some bike projects spared

Runners make their way along a trail at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.
Metro Parks plans to cut $6.1 million in its 2013 budget in anticipation of additional state funding cuts and less revenue from local taxes because of decreased property values.
That means fewer land purchases and big cuts in capital improvements at new parks such as the Rocky Fork Metro Park in northeastern Franklin County.
“Our primary focus is maintaining the parks and the staff,” Metro Parks commissioner Jeff McNealey said.
The budget Metro Parks commissioners will discuss today is $24.7 million, down from the $30.8 million the district is expected to spend this year. The district had budgeted $32.4 million for 2012.