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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Rainy Day Reading - Bicycle Traveler | Current Issue

Breaking taboos: Syrian young women use bicycles to get around | Middle East Online

Damascenes turn to bikes to avoid endless traffic jams and to save scarce fuel.
Middle East Online
Business has never been better
DAMASCUS - Damascus bike shop owner Ali Jumaa is a happy man despite the civil war raging across Syria: with checkpoint-weary locals in the capital increasingly swapping their cars for bicycles, business has never been better.
"Bike sales are exploding," he said with a big smile.
Young Damascenes especially have turned to bikes en masse to avoid the endless traffic jams caused by hundreds of army checkpoints.
Two and a half years into Syria's brutal war, the economy has taken a beating, with inflation soaring at 68 percent and scores of businessmen leaving the country.
While the conflict has caused heavy losses for most businesses in Damascus, Jumaa, a trader in his 40s, is among the lucky ones.
It's hard to miss his store, which sells bicycles of all types and colours as well as carrying out repairs.

Is this the biggest bike trick of all time?

Incredibly Steep


Posted by 

We’re doing a series of guest posts by riders planning to tackle the Oregon Outback in May.  Look for a new post about every week or so.  Of note – Michael was involved in the creation of the OC&E Trail, which makes up the first 70 miles or so of the Outback route.  Enjoy!
-Words and photos by Michael McCullough.
I am considering participating in the 2014 Oregon Outback bike tour. I love the concept – it is a 360 mile unsupported bike tour, most of which is on remote dirt roads (and trails) in the barely populated Eastern part of Oregon (commonly referred to as Oregon’s Outback).
The best part is that the beginning of the ride, the first seventy five miles or so, is on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail - a 100 mile long Rails to Trails project that is a long, narrow Oregon State Park.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Asshole driver doesn't believe in bike lanes #letsride

Jeff Jones debuts new version of the H-bar | Bicycle Times

For more than a decade Jeff Jones has been producing his 45-degree sweep bars. In that time, they have always been a multi-piece affair with the grip area welded to the crossbar. After many iterations, including some sold under the Titec brand, Jones has a new one-piece bar, the Bend H-bar.
You do lose out on the multiple hand postions of the Loop bar, and it is available only in the 660mm width for now, no 710mm yet. Personally I find that alt-bars like this ride wider than a standard bend bar, so I’m happy on the 660s. Normally I feel weird on anything narrower than 720mm with standard bars.
The best news about the Bend H-bar is the price. At $85 it is $35 cheaper than the Alumnum Loop bar and almost $300 less than the Ti version. It is also 170 grams lighter than the aluminum Loop bar. The longer extensions also play nicer with shifters for you non-singlespeeders.
Also in the good news column, my Bar Mitts fit! I originally stopped using H-Bars on my commuter last winter when I picked up some Bar Mitts and found they didn’t play well with the welded-on grip area. No problems with the Bend, and just in time for a cold snap.
If you’re wondering, the name has nothing to do with the shape. The H-bar stands for “handlebar.”
The Bend is available now in black or silver at


Calgary's two-way protected bike lane last week. Photos: Tom Thivener, unless noted.
For dozens of newly built protected bike lanes across North America, it's the season for one of their hardest tests: How are cities supposed to keep the damn things plowed?
Though most people who never use them will never know it, many protected bike lanes are designed to a particular width not just for safe riding, but because they need to fit a maintenance vehicle.
"We've put in a few projects that were narrower than a pickup truck, and those are the locations that just take forever to get plowed," Chicago transportation planner Mike Amsden said in an interview.
Obviously that's not ideal, Amsden said, but it's the situation.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

ICNY | Black "Dotted" 3/4 Ankle 3M Reflective Performance Sock

Made from the highest quality fabrics these socks last the test of your daily regime, cycling or running needs. 
  • One Size Fits All
  • 3M Reflective
  • Washing Machine Approved
  • Custom Designed Underfoot Venting
  • Ankle Abrasion Protection
  • 83% Cotton / 13% Polyester / 2% Spandex / 2% Rubber
  • Reflective Material Cracks On First Wear

Yay Bikes! Party at Hal & Al's is TONIGHT 530p @halandals @yaybikes #letsride

Stop down to celebrate a great year of biking and wrap-up the "12 Days of Yay" with an evening of food, drink and camaraderie. 

• Food and drink specials.
• Pickup your 12 Days of Yay prize if you are a winner.
• Enter the raffle for some great biking prizes.
• Join Yay Bikes! and support bicycle advocacy in Columbus.
• Pickup a set of pint glasses to support Yay Bikes! courtesy of Hal & Al's.

Not sure what Yay Bikes! is all about? Look for members in our red shirts and find out what we are doing to get people on bikes here in Columbus.

RSVP here

Smart Wheel | FlyKly

Smart Wheel is here to offer a brand new perspective on the invention know as the bicycle: it will make an end to needless effort spent on pedaling, to being tired all the time, to being afraid of having your bike stolen. Smart Wheel now turns a ride through busy streets into a gentle breeze and flattens the steep hills into the horizon so you can finally focus on the road ahead.

Having a Smart Wheel on your bike means distances are now becoming shorter. By quickly replacing your old rear wheel with this minimalistic pedal assist you’re now able to turn virtually any bicycle into an electric powered one. Just start pedaling and the Smart Wheelstarts kicking in at speeds up to 25 mph. It can take you as far as 50 miles on a single charge which should be more than enough for your daily ride to work or school - and back! And in case you do run out of power you can always recharge it by riding downhill or pedaling on your own.

With Smart Wheel you will always be on time. Spare your breath and finally enjoy yourself for a change during your daily commute. There’s no need to be worried about getting to your morning meeting or an evening date all sweaty and sore. Smart Wheel helps you keep your efforts and spend the energy where it really matters.

Smart Wheel connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 through which you’re now able to fully operate your bike. All you really need to do is set the top speed in the FlyKly App and you’re ready to go. The app helps you monitor your current speed as well as the time and the distance already travelled. When you’re done you can simply lock your bike with a touch of a button and even track it in case it starts moving.Smart Wheel learns from your habits and soon starts suggesting ways to improve your biking experience as well as experiences of your fellow cyclists.

Boris Bike turns up in Gambia: Photograph appears to show hire bicycle a long way from home | The Independent

News comes as three friends took a Boris Bike up Mont Ventoux in France and got it back to the capital with 22 seconds to spare

Boris Johnson’s London bike hire scheme has come in for a lot of criticism in recent months – but it’s hard to argue against the sheer sturdiness of the things after seeing this picture, which appears to show a Boris Bike that has made its way to The Gambia.
The image was tweeted by Oxfam’s Campaigns and Policy Director Ben Phillips, who says he only found the photograph and doesn’t claim to know how the bike got there.
If the bike was cycled the whole way to the West African country, it would have had to clock more than 3,500 miles via crossings of the English Channel and the Strait of Gibraltar.

Geared - Build Your Bike by Alex Solomon | Kickstarter

Geared is a 2-4 player bike building card game where players must race against each other to put together as many bikes as they can and be the first one to earn 1000 points. However, watch out for other players who may try to sabotage your bike builds by removing, stealing, or swapping your parts. Whether or not the parts are all the same level determines how much a build is worth. The higher the level of parts, the more points you could earn. You can focus on playing one Parts Card at a time, or you could build a matching bike in your hand and play a build combo to lay it all down at once. Once a build is complete, its Parts Cards can not be used again. This makes it important to complete a bike only when you know its Parts couldn't be used for a better build. In order to build the best bikes and earn the most points, you must be smart about when and how you lay parts down.
Geared is designed for ages 12 and up and a typical game takes 20-30 minutes.

Below is a growing list of articles, interviews, and press releases featuring Geared. If you're interested in featuring Geared on your blog or website, get in touch with me at
“…players will quite literally (as literal as tabletop gaming can get) be in for the rides of their lives.” – Vince,
“I always loved finishing an 80-100 mile day of riding by relaxing and working on my bike. There was something about seeing the parts come together right then and there that made you feel accomplished.” – Myself, Interview with
"What happens when you ask a graphic designer/game developer/cyclist to create a new card game? You get Geared..." - News Article on Gameskinny

Geared comes with 96 cards (5 different levels of Parts Cards, 3 types of Action Cards, 3 Wild Cards) and a folded set of instructions. 

Starting the Game
  • Players start off by choosing a dealer and having them shuffle the cards.
  • The dealer then gives each player 5 cards.
  • The person to the left of the dealer is the one who begins play.
During Your Turn
  • You can play a Parts Card to start or continue building a bike or you can play an Action Card to Remove, Steal, or Swap a Parts Card that another player has already played.
  • You can only play one card per turn. However, a player may play up to three Parts Cards in one turn only if all three cards being played are of the same level.
  • You may freely move Parts Cards between your incomplete builds.
  • At the end of your turn, you must draw the exact number of cards played during your turn.
Building a Bike
  • To build a bike, you must combine a Frame Card, Handlebars Card, and Wheels Card in the playing area in front of you. 
  • The Part Levels do not have to match for a build to complete. 
  • You can earn more points by completing a Set Build where all three Parts in the build of the same level.
Scoring and Winning
  • To win, a player must be the first one to earn 1000 points by building complete bikes.
  • Players earn a total amount of Set Points for a build when all three parts within the build are of the same level.
  • Players add up the individual Part Points for a build when all three parts are not the same level.

So we can just get it out of the way, I love bikes! After I rode 4,000 miles for M.S. across the United States in 2012, I immediately became hooked. There's something about being on a bike that is unlike anything else. A bike can help you commute, exercise, or just have a good time. For a long time, I wanted to play a game that involved bikes. However, there weren't too many of them that I could find that were easy to understand and a lot of fun to play. That's when I decided to come up with my own. Not only do I love bikes, but I love seeing others get involved with bikes and experience the open road like I was fortunate enough to do. I knew that I wanted to create a game that had to do with bikes, was easy to learn, simple to play, and could still keep you entertained, game after game. After a lot of brainstorming, trial and error, play testing, and design, Geared was born. 

Me at the starting point in Yorktown, Virginia
Me at the starting point in Yorktown, Virginia

Over the past several months, I have spent hundreds of hours developing the game, refining the mechanics, designing all of the artwork and packaging, developing and designing the website, shooting and editing the video, and much, much more. Fortunately, because of my experience in design, I was able to do much of this myself and save a lot of money in doing so. However, I have taken the game as far as I can on my own. This is where you come in. 
All of the artwork and graphics are 100% complete, the game play is finalized, the rules are finished, and I am so close to being able to hit the green light and go into production. There is only one thing that Geared lacks, funding. With the support of backers, I'll be able to manufacture and ship the game.
The whole process of creating Geared has been an amazing experience and I have learned more than I ever would have imagined. To see Geared make it this far puts a big smile on my face. I am so close to seeing Geared become a reality and the only way that I can get there is with your help. The best part is, by helping fund Geared, you get to be a part of it's creation. You can also help by spreading the word about Geared. Share the project page, tell a friend, or feature Geared in your blog.
To everyone who has helped Geared get this far, spread the word, or just checked out the project, THANK YOU! Your support is what drives me to move forward with Geared and I could not do this without you.

Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter

As a graphic designer, I know the importance of a deadline and delivering on time. The cards, the rules, the box, everything that needs to be designed for the game is 100% complete. I have spoken with manufacturers and distributors to get you the game as quickly as possible. However, as with any large print run there is always a chance that something could go wrong but I have been working hard to reduce all risks as much as possible. I know how important communication is with projects like these, if there is a delay for whatever reason, I promise to keep everyone updated.
If anyone does pledge to get their own personal bikes within the game, there is the risk that it could take longer than anticipated to receive the picture of their bikes. Ideally, I would like to receive these the day after the project ends, but there is still the chance of delay. However, because I will be doing the designs of the bikes myself, it saves a lot of time that would be spent dealing with an outside designer's schedule. This will allow me to get you the game as quickly as possible.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 The Ice Weasels Cometh

Lynskey Performance explaining wheel hub spacing between 135 and 142mm

Why does cycling thrive in some cities and not in others? | The Economist

BORIS JOHNSON, London’s flamboyant mayor, has long been known for his cycling—continuing on his bike in defiance of traffic, other cyclists and tabloid photographers (pictured, right). But despite his best efforts, cycling in London remains a minority pursuit. Even after a decade of growth, still just 2.5% of people in London bike to work, according to the 2011 census. This, Mr Johnson thinks, is not good enough: “Our streets should be as famous for cycling”, he says, “and as popular with cyclists as the streets of Copenhagen or Amsterdam”. But why does cycling thrive in some cities and not others?

Zackees Turn Signal Gloves Kickstarter Video

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Cargo Bikes Are the New SUVs | ABC News

Even the mainstream media is getting in on this.

"Need to move a mattress, a refrigerator, or a week's worth of groceries? Just throw them in the basket of your bike -- provided, of course, you've got a newfangled cargo bike, the 'SUV' of cycling.

In Europe, cargo bikes are a common sight, having been around for 80 years or more. In the U.S., they're comparatively new and few. 'A niche of a niche,' cargo bike builder Lane Kagay calls them. Kagay hand-builds about nine of his CETMA-brand cargo bikes a week from a workshop in Venice, Calif."

[Read more at]

A Before-and-After Guide to Safer Streets

EDITOR'S NOTE: I think this one in particular might be a good solution to some of the wide, one-way streets in Columbus, such as Spring, Long, 3rd, or 4th.
3. Make the invisible visible. Clear sight lines can improve a street's safety significantly. Curbs lined with parked cars can make it hard for a turning vehicle to see what's in another part of the street. That problem can be addressed by removing some of the parking spaces closest to the corner — a process called "daylighting," which increases visibility considerably (so long as parking enforcement is strict). Curb extensions that bring pedestrians further into the street have a similar effect.

The reason cyclists love green bike lanes | BeyondDC

Green-painted bike lanes make cycling safer, by reminding car drivers to watch out for cyclists when driving across bike lanes. That’s a great benefit, and it works, but it’s not the main reason so many cyclists get so excited over a little bit of color.

Green paint on Seattle’s Broadway cycletrack.
The real reason Cyclists love green-painted bike lanes so much is simple: They send the clearest-possible message that roads are not only for cars.
Despite a century of sharing roads, and despite the fact that people walked and biked in streets long before cars came along, there’s a strong mentality among entitled drivers that roads are for cars. A 5 second google search turns up plenty of examples.

[Keep reading at BeyondDC]

San Francisco bicycle boom follows bike-friendly upgrades | SFGate

Bike commuters cruise along Market Street. Since 2006, San Francisco's bicycle traffic has increased by 96 percent. Photo: Liz Hafalia, Chronicle
Bike commuters cruise along Market Street. Since 2006, San Francisco's bicycle traffic has increased by 96 percent. Photo: Liz Hafalia, Chronicle

It will come as little surprise to anyone who's seen the river of riders flowing along Market Street during commute hours that an annual census shows bicycling continues to boom in San Francisco.
The number of people riding bikes has increased 14 percent since 2011 and 96 percent since 2006. That's the conclusion of the 2013 bicycle count taken by the Municipal Transportation Agency in September and released Thursday.
"We are seeing more and more people riding a bicycle in San Francisco every day," Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement, "and the latest bicycle count data confirms what we are seeing on our streets."
The sharp increase in transportation by bike coincides with a surge in improvements - from parking "corrals" to bike lanes, sometimes with green pavement and protective barriers - around the city. It's all part of an effort to boost the percentage of trips taken by bike to reduce driving, pollution and crowding on Muni. 

Hands on Wheels in San Francisco

Hands on Wheels in San Francisco from Jay Bird Films on Vimeo.

Congrats to Paradise Garage Racing for winning Best New USA Cycling Club

Best New Club – Paradise Garage Racing
In 2013, Paradise Garage Racing won the "Best New Club" award for good reasons. The Columbus, Ohio group recruited 28 riders who were new to the sport, helped newbies through indoor trainer rides and road 101 sessions, played a role in organizing the local series Cap City Cross, and conducted trail work on the Alum Creek mountain bike trails. Additionally, the club offers a very welcoming atmosphere for new cyclists. With intro sessions, and no shortage of experienced riders to serve as mentors, the group is proud to welcome many first time racers on its group rides.

[See more at USA Cycling]

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blinker Grips

Just don't ride down the street continually doing a "left turn" like a distracted motorist!

The bike test that shows what we're really like at work |

Cyclists commuting to work in LondonNot all cyclists are the same
Cycling through the City of London to work on a dark morning recently, I was overtaken by a man in a black coat with no helmet, no lights, and listening to music through headphones, writes Lucy Kellaway.
Idiot, I thought. As he disappeared into the underground parking of a large bank, I wondered - what sort of banker does a man like that make?
He got me thinking about the things we reveal about ourselves when we are on two wheels, and how useful that data could be to our bosses.
I've always fancied that as a group, cyclists make relatively good employees.
All of us are vaguely fit. We have the wherewithal to be reliable and punctual.
We are risk-takers and ever so slightly rebellious, which works quite well - especially in a job like journalism.

Hannah Barnes: NorthWest - A mountain bike adventure through the Scottish Highlands

Conservatives’ new enemy: Bikes | The Boston Globe

EVEN BEFORE TORONTO MAYOR Rob Ford became internationally famous for being videotaped smoking crack, he was known as a City Hall version of Bluto Blutarsky of “Animal House”—swearing in public, proudly overeating, guzzling booze. His boorishness is so conspicuous and well documented that it raises the question: Who elected this guy? And why?
The answer, in large part, comes down to transit. Ford is famously pro-car, and his strongest support came from suburbs outside downtown Toronto, where voters drive into the city during the day and return by car in the evening. One political scientist found that the strongest predictor of whether someone voted for Ford in the 2010 mayoral election was the person’s method of commuting: Car commuters were Ford voters; everyone else wasn’t. Ford repaid their loyalty by declaring on his first day as mayor that the “war on cars” was over; he abolished the vehicle registration tax and announced a plan to kill light rail in the city simply because, he said, streetcars “are just a pain in the rear end.”
But Ford reserves special venom for the menace called the bicycle. He is perhaps the most antibike politician in the world. In 2007, he told the Toronto City Council that roads were designed for only buses, cars, and trucks. If cyclists got killed on roads, “it’s their own fault at the end of the day,” he said. He compared biking on a city street to swimming with sharks—“sooner or later you’re going to get bitten.” He once summarized his views in City Hall succinctly: “Cyclists are a pain in the ass to the motorists.”

5 Ways to Love Winter Bike Riding | TreeHugger

randomduck/CC BY-SA 2.0This does not have to be your bike.

1. Keep Waterproof Gear on You, Always.

Road bicyclists like to travel very light, and they don't mind mud. City cyclists, on the other hand, usually want to arrive to work — or any other destination — looking dry and somewhat put together. That makes it advisable to carry waterproof gear - rain pants, a real impermeable rain jacket, and if possible, rain boots - with you when we're in the wintry half of the year. Good buys: Eddie Bauer's unstylish rain suit, Water Off A Duck's Back stylish Livia rain coat; and for breathability, REI's Taku Pants. In a pinch, even having a folded-up rain poncho will help when unexpected rain or sleet hit.

2. Adjust Brakes, Learn Wet Braking Technique, Get Disc Brakes.

On slippery-slidey winter days, you'll want the best braking ability possible. Learning to do your own brake adjustments is not particularly hard or greasy work, but if you don't fancy doing it yourself, have it done as winter approaches. Check periodically to keep leaves, mud, and other crud off of your brake pads during winter riding. In addition, figure out how to handle winter bike path hazards like wet leaves. Susi at Velojoy has a straightforward post on riding on leaves. Also, it's possible you may want to consider a bike with disc brakes if you are going to be riding a lot in winter. Disc brakes are more complex and expensive than regular rim brakes, but provide more braking power...

Read more at TreeHugger