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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Photos: A Week on a Bike Tour with Randall and Natalia [Gear Junkie]

Last fall, Minneapolis bike community fixtures Randall Dietel and Natalia Mendez set out from their home in the city with a plan to bike 400+ miles through Minnesota and Wisconsin to a finish line in Green Bay.
bike tour photo.jpg
Dietel, a former bike courier and winner of many local alleycat races, rode a Surly Troll bike loaded with panniers and gear for the road. Mendez, also on a Troll, had a hamburger-shape bell and cue cards on her handlebars to reveal preplanned turns in the route.
Over six days they rolled country highways, rails-to-trails bike paths, slept on the ground in farm fields, and generally lived the wonderful nomadic existence of a bike tour.
Here are a few of Dietel’s photos from the trip. Makes us want to jump on a bike and hit the road right now! —Stephen Regenold

Specialized Brings "Turbo" Electric Assisted Bicycle To The U.S.

MORGAN HILL, Calif.April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Specialized Bicycle Components is now offering the Turbo electric-assist bicycle to its dealers in the United States. The combination of pedal power and electric power gives the Turbo a top assisted speed of 27.9 mph. The Turbodelivers superhuman power to anyone who rides it: it's you only faster.
The Turbo creates an entirely new category of eBikes that we've named "Performance Urban." Turbo is a speed-focused, high-tech urban bike that looks and performs like a fast bike should and it just happens to have a motor. With a top speed of 27.9 mph, the Turbo is unquestionably fast. It's even fast standing still as the battery recharges in just two and a half hours. Every aspect of the design exudes speed, efficiency and style. The incredibly burly yet sleek and racy alloy frame has been built with a performance geometry for high-speed riding with a tapered head tube, fully-integrated down tube battery, internal routing, thru-axle dropouts and full fender/rack mounts. At 50lbs (23kgs) the Turbo is not the lightest bike in the Specialized line, but it's arguably the lightest in its speed class.
"We want to ride fast, well-designed eBikes but what was out in the market today wasn't meeting our needs or the needs of our riders," said Marc Faude , Specialized Europe Urban Bikes Product Manager.  He added, "We believe Turbo is a major leap forward for the eBike rider and the market overall."
Specialized engineers focused on three critical areas: the battery, motor and electronic interface as integrated components of a complete machine. The Turbo was created by choosing the best and most powerful rear-hub motor available, and then customizing and redesigning it for the bike's precise demands. The battery was built from scratch to specific parameters, providing the motor with efficient, immediate and lasting power. The electronics were engineered to assure the entire package works flawlessly and intuitively, easily allowing for rider customization and interface with current and future technology.
"What is really lacking in eBikes on the market today is emotion," said Ian Hamilton , Specialized City & Road Design Manager.  "Turbo is a new kind of eBike that provides a rush of excitement to ride, while looking hot standing still. You can't get off this bike without smiling - it's just not possible."
WHAT Custom alloy frame.
WHY Strength and stiffness in the critical areas of the frame handle the added weight of a battery and motor, and the rigors of riding at up to 27.9 mph, while still steering and braking nimbly and safely. The Turbo frame was designed by the Specialized team from scratch to be as sexy as it is strong.
HOW Custom tube shapes, such as the super-oversized down tube and fork are stiff enough to handle the large forces placed on the front end during steering and braking, while the shaped seat stays, chain stays and a 12mm through-axle beef up stiffness and strength around the motor and rear brake. Attention to detail including internal cable routing and custom formed parts throughout bring clean integration to a whole new level. A 15mm through-axle in the fork combined with a 1-1/2" head tube further bolster stiffness at the front.
WHAT Custom Turbo Li-Ion battery.
WHY Provide maximum power for quicker acceleration and higher torque, with improved battery life and quick charging.
HOW Our engineers found the finest quality Li-Ion cells with the best "C-rates"—this means they allow for maximum power to be pulled out to the motor. They optimized the battery management system specifically to our motor, rather than relying on a generic system like other brands. The Turbo battery has 342 Watt-hours of real capacity, meaning that all of this energy can actually be used by the rider instead of some theoretically possible calculated number. This energy provides the Turbo with one hour of support at top speed though multiple riding modes are possible to get the most out of battery range.  Finally, the cells have been carefully placed to facilitate the quickest cooling.
A wireless interface unit with illuminated display shows assist level, battery status, and light on/off switch as well as normal bike computer features like speed, time and distance. A custom illuminated grip remote switch adjusts the Turbo's power level.  Integrated LED lights in front and rear provide all the light needed for safe riding anytime, anywhere and internal cables means better durability with no clutter. 
WHAT Turbo Direct Drive rear hub motor.
WHY To maximize efficiency in power transfer from motor to forward motion, while minimizing wear on drivetrain.
HOW By putting the motor directly inside the rear hub we assure that all the power generated goes directly into forward motion—nothing is lost or wasted in the process. BB-mounted systems, for instance, drive from the chain rings, meaning potential loss through the rings and chain, while also increasing wear on these components. The Turbo rear hub has 250Watts of nominal power output and is able to function efficiently above this for extended periods; the maximum power output is much higher. This custom system is optimized for reduced heat and top performance, whether you're speeding on the flats or up a hill.  
Turbo features regenerative braking – every time you pull the brake levers (even before the discs engage) you are actually recharging the battery by switching your motor into a generator, boosting battery life even more.
Turbo, which retails at $5,900, combines speed and technology to provide the rider with the ultimate riding experience. to find a dealer near you and experience the Turbo: the most technologically advanced electric-assist bike on the market. Images for the Turbo can be found here (pin code TBLF4) and videos here (pin code 3NRKB).
About SpecializedSpecialized was founded in 1974 by riders for riders.  Based in Northern California, we focus on the rider's need for functional and technically advanced products that provide a performance benefit.
SOURCE Specialized


Friday, May 3, 2013

A Bike Pump That Hides In Your Seat Post [FastCompany]

Flat bike tires are a massive bummer, but pinch-flats are almost extra frustrating; rather than running over a stray nail or something sharp in the street, these sneaky snakebite-like holes most often occur after rolling out on under-inflated tires. So, basically, it’s your own damn fault if you forget to check the pressure before you ride. D’oh!

Sure, portable pumps and CO2 inflators offer decent on-the-go assistance if you’re super low, but the cycle-savvy experts at BioLogic created a clever, multi-functional tool that won’t take up any extra space in your bag (or get accidentally left behind at home). PostPump is a removable seatpost that doubles as a full-powered floor pump, transforming with a few simple steps; so, you know, James Bond might own one if he regularly pursued master villains on two wheels. Following the success of the original, the brand introduced version 2.0 last year with a host of refined features that make it even easier to use: a revamped “flip-to-fit” adapter works for both Presta and Schrader valves; parts that were previously made in plastic--pump head, foot stand, and air hose--were replaced by far sturdier machined aluminum, stainless steel, and flexible rubber; and the overhaul was enough to net the product a Red Dot award.

Currently the PostPump 2.0 is only offered in a 33.9mm diameter version designed specifically for bikes made by Biologic’s “sister company” Tern, which specializes in ultra-portable folding models, but the company plans to incorporate additional sizes in the future. In the meantime, be conscientious and show your tires love by keeping them super firm at all times.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Neighbor’s Keeper 2nd Fundraiser Bike Tour: Sunday, July 21, 2013, Athens OH

Please come to this fundraiser bicycle tour! July is a great month of food-source sustainability awareness in Athens County, Ohio. There are events throughout July (see the Athens County Visitor’s Bureau website at <> for more information) to educate as well as showcase local producers, and enjoy foods produced in Athens Co at area restaurants. The 30- Mile Meal Project is a sustainability movement to create meals from food grown and produced within 30 miles of Athens, Ohio.
This bike tour is a fundraiser to benefit several emergency food-providers in Athens County. The bike tour proceeds will be donated as Athens Farmers’ Market gift certificates. This will enable these emergency providers to assist area residents in gaining greater access to locally produced fresh foodstuffs. At least $10 of each registration goes directly into the gift-certificates.
This year’s tour has three lengths: a15-mile beginner/family ride, a 30-mile ride (both are on the flat, paved Hock-Hocking Adena Bikeway, an Ohio rail-trail), and a fairly arduous 40-mile route mostly on public roads. 30-mile riders cross several small roads, while 15-mile riders cross one city street. The 40-mile riders return via part of the Bikeway.) Riders on the 40-mi route must start by 7:45 a.m. All others riders check in to ride between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. All rides start and finish at the Athens Community Center, 701 E. State Street, Athens, Ohio (map <>).

The $25.00 pre-registration fee includes tour route map, identification number (please display at all times), limited support service, locally produced snack/water stops, and an on-site locally grown
lunch by Kiser’s BBQ Shack following the ride. Lunch will be served from 11:00-1:30. (Lunch not provided if registering on-site unless there are pre-registered riders who don’t show up. “Orphaned” lunches will be available first-come, first-served basis.)
The Athens Community Center has plenty of parking, bathrooms, and is immediately adjacent to the Bikeway. (Two other rest-area stops are along the Bikeway/route, 3 break stops on the 40 mi.)
Pre-registrations must be received by June 30th. We cannot refund if you are unable to ride after you have registered. On-site registration is also possible, but will not include lunch.
Riders are expected to be fit enough to complete whichever route is chosen. The 40-mile route will include many hills-some quite challenging; 40-milers be prepared for a tough ride on 27 of the miles. You should wear a high-visibility jersey.
All riders MUST wear an approved helmet while riding. 

My Neighbor’s Keeper 2nd Fundraiser Bike Tour First Presbyterian Church 69 E. Washington St Nelsonville, OH 45764  For registration for contact Carla and Tom: 

Public Bikes R16

After years of requests for an affordable classic road bike for the city, we designed our own: the PUBLIC R16. It has been styled after the best vintage road bikes but with the benefits of modern components for easier shifting, stronger braking, and lighter weight. We designed the PUBLIC R16 to meet the demands of both urban and recreational riding. With its drop handlebars, road bike geometry, and sixteen speeds, the PUBLIC R16 delivers more performance than city bikes and is ideal for longer commutes. And there are no other new road bikes in the market that come with matching fenders and optional add-on matching rear racks - features more commonly found on retro-inspired handmade steel framed bikes.

Lightweight and agile the PUBLIC R16 can tackle curbs and handle all forms of asphalt, concrete or bike paths. With aesthetic details such as brown tires, leather toe straps, a retro saddle with brass rivets, and matching rims and fenders, it rolls like a custom steel framed road bike. The PUBLIC R16 is ultra-comfortable, versatile, unisex, and capable of turning heads at a neighborhood coffee shop or distant mountaintop. You can add an optional matching PUBLIC Slender Rear Rack to carry a pannier, bag, lock, or other items.

We designed the PUBLIC R16 with several customers in mind.
  • Any beginner or experienced rider who needs one bicycle that can serve both for everyday transportation and weekend recreation.
  • Experienced riders who own and ride high performance aluminum or carbon fiber bikes and want a stylish and comfortable bike for the city.
  • Design aficionados and purists who appreciate simple lines and classic styling over swoopy shapes and loud graphics.

What makes the PUBLIC R16 different from other PUBLIC bikes?

Customers tell us theyve ridden their PUBLIC city bikes on long 30-100 mile rides and even on charity rides from San Francisco to Los Angeles. But with sixteen speeds and lighter weight, the PUBLIC R16 makes any longer or hilly ride more efficient. The classic road bike frame geometry also allows for more agility, quicker handling and acceleration, and better climbing compared to our traditional PUBLIC city bikes. There are special styling details with the PUBLIC R16:

  • Leather toe straps
  • Retro saddle with brass rivets
  • Bar end shift levers for durability and simplicity
  • Perforated handlebar tape for comfort
  • Dual water bottle mounts
  • Real gum rubber dia-compe brake lever hoods inspired by classic road bikes
  • Subtle brown tires with cream sidewalls with painted rims to match the frame
  • Lighter wheels for quick acceleration
  • Optional matching PUBLIC Slender Rear Rack for carrying panniers and bags

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Here's What Americans Don't Get About Cycling — And Why It's A Problem []

biking bike on brooklyn bridge nyc
A cyclist on New York's Brooklyn Bridge.

The 2013 Copenhagenize Index of the world's most bike-friendly cities is out, and not a single American metropolis made the top 20.
That's a problem — and not just a health-related one, said Mikael Colville-Andersen, CEO of Copenhagenize, the consulting and communications company that published the Index.
By failing to embrace cycling culture, American cities are losing out on significant financial benefits, Colville-Andersen told Business Insider. Studies show that every kilometer cycled in Denmark earns the country €.23 (partly because cyclists have been shown to spend more money in local stores), he said.
And even with significant taxation of automobiles, every kilometer driven in Denmark costs the country €.16.
The problem in the U.S. is all about perception, said Colville-Andersen. Many commuters see cycling as a form of exercise, not convenient transport, and cities are still being built around automobiles.

Read more:

Wonder Wheels: Eileen Sheridan

Wonder Wheels: Eileen Sheridan
The 1956 autobiography of Eileen Sheridan, the fantastic time trialist and road record champion of her time. Like Beryl she could beat the men at their own game! This long out-of-print book is well worth looking out for. A great read about a truly amazing cyclist and a golden time in British cycling.
The book has now been reprinted by Mercian Manuals, and a wonderful job they have done to it. I bought a copy myself for comparison. They have also reprinted Beryl Burton's 'Personal Best,' again another brilliant job. So if you want your own copy, it's out there. I've no connection with the company! I bought mine on Amazon.

[More photos here]

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Biking boom prompts a wave of non-pedaling adults to sign up for lessons [Washington Post] Check out Yay Bikes! for classes!

When they were kids, they could only watch as their friends pedaled off. In college, they saw other students go ten-speeding around campus. As grown-up Washingtonians, increasingly surrounded by bike lanes, bike commuters and bike-share stations, they have stood aside as a city zips by on two wheels.
And so, a few decades later than most, 13 adults gathered last week in Alexandria to take care of some unfinished childhood business: learning to ride a bicycle.
“D.C. has become such a bike town; it’s everywhere,” said Chris, a 29-year-old staffer at a child advocacy group in the District. He stills bears the scars of his disastrous first attempt to learn at age 7: a small one on his ankle and an enduring one on his self-esteem.
“I got my foot caught somehow and went down,” said Chris, who asked not to be identified by his last name because he doesn’t want to be known as one of the few adults who never navigated such a basic rite of passage. “Everyone knows how to ride a bike. It’s embarrassing.”

CLIMB Works Mountain Biking

CLIMB Works Mountain Biking from CLIMB Works on Vimeo.

CLIMB Works Mountain Biking in the Smoky Mountains is officially open. From now until May 18th, if you bring your own bike, you ride for FREE. For those that don't have a bike, we offer Trek full suspension bike rentals at our introductory price of $45 for a Half Day Rental (3-4 hrs).
Sparked by IMBA dirt wizard Tony Boone and combined with our expertise in zip line and ropes course construction, CLIMB Works has developed an emerging trail construction crew. We've completed our first two-mile green flow trail, practice loop and pump track, with an extensive, purpose built trail system in sight. The trail is packed with rollers, logs, bridges, and berms, and features our flagship feature we affectionately call "The Curliest." All are rideable for beginners, and rippable for experts.
Directed, shot, edited: Reid Bieber (@reidbieber)

How Bicycles Bring Business [Momentum Mag]

How Bicycles Bring Business
Photos by Kevin Steele from his series "Portraits of Queen West"
Pat Brown was just hoping to hang on in a tough economy. When she relocated her art gallery in 2008, it was the rock-bottom rent that drew her to a still struggling strip of downtown Memphis, TN. “We were just trying to survive,” she said.
Brown was betting on a small core of community members determined to transform Broad Avenue from a fast-moving thoroughfare, where traffic whizzed past boarded-up storefronts at 50 mph (80 km/h), into a bustling arts district. Little did she know that they would hit the jackpot with bicycling.
Shortly after Brown opened T Clifton Gallery, Sarah Newstok walked in. The local nonprofit Newstok led, Livable Memphis, had a vision for Broad Avenue, too. They wanted to build a protected bike lane that would pass right by Brown’s door, creating a vital connection between a popular multi-use trail and the city’s largest park. “We’re a retail business, so any time there’s a concept to bring additional traffic directly by your storefront, it’s very easy to say ‘yes,’” Brown recalled with a laugh.
In 2010, after garnering support from city officials and surrounding businesses, Livable Memphis and the Broad Avenue Arts District rolled out the idea in a dramatic way. They painted temporary bike lanes and crosswalks and invited the community to “A New Face for an Old Broad,” a celebration, complete with live music, street vendors and a kids’ bike parade down the freshly striped cycle track.

Monday, April 29, 2013

First 50 miler photos

I had the pleasure of riding with Joe Powell and Adam Proehl on their first 50 mile ride. We rode from Yellow Springs to Corwin and back.

Motorcycle Crashes into Bicycles

Down by the River [Pink Bike]

The town of Green River is no stranger to the mountain bike world. As the birthplace of many iconic freeride moves, the number of riders visiting this small town has increased over the years. Eric Porter came up with the idea to float down the Green River on rafts to access areas that you couldn't drive to. With his team mate Kelly McGarry, we ventured into the unknown where cell reception and civilization was non-existent.
  Rafts loaded with bikes and camping gear, finding terrain to ride is an added bonus.

8 Things You Can Carry by Bicycle (But Probably Think You Can’t) [Bicycling] by @ellyblue who will be in Columbus May 24th

By Elly Blue
I’m convinced that you can carry anything by bike. Skeptical? Listed below are a bunch of things either friends or I have successfully transported by pedal power, and how we did it.
Chocolate Cake
Mmm, cake! Delicious, but not the most stable substance when, say, stuffed into a melting cardboard box and bungeed to your rear rack. But there is a secret, imparted to me by friends who like to bake: Carry your cake in as tightly fitting a box as possible, and place the box, right side up, into a square-bottom tote bag that you allow to swing gently from one hand while you carefully steer and brake with the other. Your body absorbs all the bumps and shocks of the road, and you’ll still be able to read those frosting birthday wishes when you get to the party.
Mattress and Bed Frame
My bike trailer is large (it’s handmade out of bamboo by a Portlander and measures about 4×6 feet), but not large enough for a bed unless I add a bunch of boxes or milk crates to lift the bed above the wheels. So what did I do when I bought a new-to-me bed and didn’t have anything to raise it with? I stood the bed and frame on edge and tied it all down tight. I also carried the friend who was helping me move the bed, surfing serenely alongside in the sunshine.
Yard Tools
It’s spring. And maybe you’re planning to get a new shovel, broom, or rake—all too long to fit into your bike pannier. My friend Lauren offers this time-tested advice for getting one (or all) of these home using only a spare inner tube: Slip the tube over your handlebar and on to the steerer tube, wrap it tightly a few times around both your top tube and the rake (parallel and next to the top tube, business end to the back) and slip the other end of the tube tightly over your saddle and onto your seatpost.
12-Foot 2x4s
I have done this only on my Xtracycle longtail. Here’s how it works: Attach the boards to the side of your cargo rack, with the center of the boards next to your rear hub. Point the boards out slightly to avoid interfering with your pedal stroke. Use a wedge, like your backpack or your giant bag of nails and other stuff from the hardware store, to angle the boards outward from your feet. Watch out for parked cars!