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Friday, January 3, 2014

Unlocked | Bicycling

Five seconds go by. Then 10. If we were on a city street right now, a small crowd of spectators might have formed a curious semicircle. Which is exactly the point. Assuming any lock can eventually be compromised, this is the most helpful thing it can do: create such a time-­consuming spectacle when it is assaulted as to make a bike not worth stealing. Because too often—as Loughlin demonstrated earlier by snapping a steel U-lock like a candy cane—it’s over in a flash. We’re standing in a garage in New Jersey where blacksmiths worked iron 200 years ago. This is where TiGr locks originated, in Loughlin’s parents’ 18th-century home, where gilt-framed paintings, yawning fireplaces, and green acreage beyond the barn suggest the estate of a retired American president, not an engineering lab.

[Keep reading at Bicycling]

Afghan Cycles Trailer

Afghan Cycles Trailer from LET MEDIA on Vimeo.

Bike Touring Surly ECR 1000 km impressions build specs | Pedaling Nowhere

“I think they [Knards] will be too slow.” “You won’t find 29er tires or tubes in Africa.” “That thing is going to be heavy.” I pretty much ignored the aforementioned comments, among a couple other worries that were floating around in my skull, and rolled into Africa with the ECR, complete with Knards. Here are my thoughts after 1,000 KMs.
Bike Touring with the Surly ECR: 1,000 km Impressions + Build Specs
The first thing I must mention in this quasi review is the amount of oglers and inquisitors that the ECR has left in its in its wake so far in South Africa. Granted, it is a sight to behold. I think it probably draws comparison to the timeless expedition-built overland vehicles that frequently roam the bush and tackle big trans-African adventures, strapped with gas-cans, spare lugged tires, gear trailers and canvas tarps that provide temporary shelter to the intrepid travelers that spend days behind the wheel in order to reach remote and rugged places.

Wildcat Gravel Grinder 2013 Video

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tires: How Wide is too Wide?

In our original tire tests (above), we tested the same tires in 21, 23 and 25 mm widths on a moderately rough “backroad” surface. The results were clear: The 21 mm tires were slowest, 23 mm was in the middle, and 25 mm tires were fastest. The speed difference between 21 and 25 mm tires amounted to about 2.5%. Over a typical 200 km brevet, I would gain about 11 minutes. It’s not huge, but significant. These results appear to have prompted the current trend of racers using wider tires.
What about tires that are wider than 25 mm?
Our testing on rumble strips showed that on very rough surfaces (the equivalent of cobblestones), 42 mm tires are faster than 25 mm tires. However, few of us ride all the time on cobblestones, and what we want to know is whether we give up anything on smooth roads when riding wider tires.

Pavement As Lab | NY Times

Battery Park  
“Give me the streets of Manhattan!” Walt Whitman demanded, and he had them—miles and miles of crowded, chaotic alleys and avenues, patchily paved with cobbles, wood blocks, or gravel or simply covered in dirt. Whitman waded joyously into foaming currents of traffic, and maybe the risk of being crushed to death by a wagon or a streetcar was part of the lyric thrill. A century and a half later, the sociologist William Helmreich strolled nearly every block in New York City—6,000 miles—on streets that have been designed and redesigned for the complex choreography of striding, rolling, biking, shuffling, and driving. Helmreich doesn’t focus on the surface beneath his soles in his book The New York Nobody Knows, but his, and everyone’s, experience of getting around the city is inflected by a vast menu of design details.
The next time you cross the street, watch where you’re going. Look closely at the symphony of signs and crosswalks, bollards, lanes, and dotted lines. The sidewalk dips gently to the roadbed to let a wheelchair pass, the transition marked with a panel of bumps that catch a blind person’s cane. A few strategically placed blocks of granite guide traffic around a pedestrian plaza. Sidewalks reach out to meet the crosswalk, shortening the trip from curb to curb. A row of parked cars divides a bike lane from moving traffic. A strategically placed bench gives a parent a place to stop and tie the children’s shoes.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Year in Review: By the numbers

1st time riding
Pittsburgh to DC on entire GAP/C&O trail
Amish Country bike camping trip
Akron area
Shawnee State Park
2nd time riding in NC
3rd Ride the Elevator
4rd Tour de Troit
11 Year of Yay rides

24 gravel grinders
38 Tuesday Night Rides
50 miles ride with friends for their FIRST 50 miler

Participated in 75+ organized rides

Personal Mileage
2032 Miles on Salsa Fargo
1237 Miles on Lynskey Cooper CX
3269 Miles total

Top TEN stories on Columbus Rides Bikes for 2013 #letsride

Here are the ten posts with highest traffic for 2013. The top post had two times the volume of traffic than the runner-up.

  1. ATTENTION: HELP ANNIE ROONEY'S FAMILY - Crash victim’s family wants stolen bike back | Dispatch #letsfindthebike
  2. A warning to bicyclists in Columbus! [Craigslist] #speechless #letsride
  4. Don’t Bike Like A Dickweed: 10 Rules for New Cyclists
  5. Rhoades Car - The 4-wheel bike that drives like a car.
  6. Product Review:  Convert your geared bike to singlespeed (DMR STS chain tensioner)
  7. 2011 GT Peace Tour Commuter Bike
  8. Craigslist ad for a bike recounts man's emotional and turbulent divorce from his bike.
  9. Biomega Copenhagen - shaft driven bicycle
  10. PHOTOS :: Camp Chase Trail Project - Hall Road to Sullivant Avenue 

12 reasons to start using a bicycle for transportation

Photo: Lighter Footstep
We're continuing our look at smart ways to start saddling up and using bicycles for real transportation.
We've always taken the greenness of bike transport as a given. But if you're just getting started — or perhaps trying to convince an employer that bicycle commuting is a good thing — we've rounded up a dozen reasons to leave that car in the driveway and start covering pavement on two wheels. Let's ride!
1) It's easier to finance a new bicycle than a new car. Thanks to the recession, auto loans are hard to find these days — even if you have good credit. But for the price of a single car payment, you can buy a well-made bicycle that should outlast most cars. Add a few hundred dollars more for rain gear, lights and accessories, and you have all-weather, anytime transportation.
2) A bicycle has a tiny manufacturing footprint when compared to a car. All manufactured goods have environmental impact, but bicycles can be produced for a fraction of the materials, energy and shipping costs of a car.
3) Bicycles produce no meaningful pollution when in operation. Bikes don't have tailpipes belching poisonous fumes into the atmosphere. They also eliminate the oil, fuel and hydraulic fluids dripped by automobiles onto the road surface — which means less toxic runoff into local waterways.
4) Bikes save taxpayers money by reducing road wear. A 20-pound bicycle is a lot less rough on the pavement than a two-ton sedan. Every bicycle on the road amounts to money saved patching potholes and resurfacing city streets.
5) Bicycles are an effective alternative to a second car. Perhaps you're not in a position to adopt a bicycle as primary transportation. But bikes make great second vehicles. You can literally save thousands of dollars a year using a bicycle for workday commuting and weekend errands in households which might otherwise be forced to maintain two cars.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why is it easier to balance on a moving bike than a non-moving one? | The Straight Dope

"The answer is: trail. Trail is the difference between where the bike's front wheel contacts the ground and where the steering axis (drawn through the fork of the front wheel) meets the ground. Well-designed bicycles have negative trail--that is, the wheel contacts the ground behind where the steering axis meets the ground. When you tilt, the trail causes the wheel to turn, thus converting the tilting motion into a turning motion"

Read the author's original (and incorrect) response.

Read more about Professor Richard Klein's Zero-Gyroscopic bikes.

[Read more on]

Luckiest Bike Rider?

And all this time I thought I was the luckiest bike rider ever!


ColdAvenger Balaclavas are the warmest, most versatile cold weather mask available and are at home in the harshest winter conditions. 

The COLDAVENGER® EXPEDITION BALACLAVA combines our revolutionary two-piece balaclava design with the performance of a tightly knit and highly wind-resistant fleece to protect your head, neck and face in the coldest weather. The unique two-piece design allows for easy removal of the ventilator without having to remove the full balaclava or other headwear. 

The patented, medical grade COLDAVENGER® ventilator allows you to breathe freely while keeping your face dry and your airways relaxed with warm and humidified air.

The COLDAVENGER® EXPEDITION BALACLAVA is built with a hidden “nose-wire” over the nose-bridge of the ventilator and generous hook and loop closures that allow for a snug and custom fit every time. Wear the COLDAVENGER® EXPEDITION BALACLAVA. Stay out longer®!

  • Made with an extremely breathable fleece that is four times more wind resistant than classic fleece.
  • The ColdAvenger® Expedition Balaclava design protects entire head from cold weather, sun and wind with an integrated fully removable ColdAvenger® ventilator.
  • Two-in-one design allows the hood to be used without the ventilator.
  • Soft medical grade and non-toxic polyurethane ventilator is comfortable and inherently antimicrobial.
  • ColdAvenger® ventilator allows you to breathe freely during outdoor activities while managing exhaled moisture off the facial skin.
  • ColdAvenger® ventilator passively warms and humidifies dry and cold winter air to promote airway health in the cold.
  • Hidden nose-wire improves comfort and customization of fit.
  • Designed to fit with goggles and helmets.
  • Helps prevent the fogging of goggles.
  • Adjustable, removable interior valve designed to disrupt the direct inflow of cold air.
  • Generous hook and loop closure design allows for a custom fit and universal sizing.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mexican Bicycle Town Fights for Country's First Slow Zone | Copenhagenize


Guest writer on Copenhagenize, Giovanni Zayas, is a founding member of Cholula en Bici and a junior partner in an architecture consulting firm.

It all starts at around 12:45 PM. A stream of mostly female cyclists starts flowing erratically from several cross-streets, weaving through downtown of the Mexican town of San Andrés Cholula in all directions. They are rushing to pick their kids up from the several schools located in this area. Most of their bicycles feature improvised small wooden seats fixed to the upper part of the frame, right where their children can grasp the handlebar while being protected by their mothers’ arms. However, it is when they are riding with their children when they seem the most vulnerable. In the middle of rush hour, they have to brave impatient speeding cars, distracted pedestrians and the many other cyclists that share the main road. This reality will soon change if the urban cycling collective Cholula en Bici succeeds in implementing Mexico’s first official slow zone. The campaign called Cholula Zona 30 would reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h through a redesign of the streets in a 5 km-wide perimeter in the center of San Andrés Cholula.

Cholula, located in the central state of Puebla, Mexico, is a municipality made up by three towns: San Andrés, San Pedro and the smaller Santa Isabel. Together they are part of the metropolitan area of the state capital, the city of Puebla, the fourth largest in the country. Famous for being home to the pyramid with the world’s largest base and a church on top, Cholula is one of the oldest living cities in the continent. Cholollan, the náhuatl word that the current name derives from, translates to “water that falls in the escape place”. It is a clear reference to the city’s ages-old role of accommodating several cultures throughout its existence.

[Keep reading  at Cogenhagenize]

What Happens to Stolen Bicycles? | Priceonomics

At Priceonomics, we are fascinated by stolen bicycles. Put simply, why the heck do so many bicycles get stolen? It seems like a crime with very limited financial upside for the thief, and yet bicycle theft is rampant in cities like San Francisco (where we are based). What is the economic incentive for bike thieves that underpins the pervasiveness of bike theft? Is this actually an efficient way for criminals to make money?
It seems as if stealing bikes shouldn’t be a lucrative form of criminal activity. Used bikes aren’t particularly liquid or in demand compared to other things one could steal (phoneselectronics, drugs). And yet, bikes continue to get stolen so they must be generating sufficient income for thieves. What happens to these stolen bikes and how to they get turned into criminal income?

First Woman To Bicycle Around The World

Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky (1870–1947) was the first woman to bicycle around the world.

On June 25, 1894, Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, a young mother of three small children, stood before a crowd of 500 friends, family, suffragists and curious onlookers at the Massachusetts State House. Then, declaring she would circle the world, she climbed onto a 42-pound Columbia bicycle and “sailed away like a kite down Beacon Street.”

Fifteen months later one New York newspaper called it “the most extraordinary journey ever undertaken by a woman.”

[Read more on]

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Redline BMX Flight Clinic with Alise Post and Jason Carnes

Redline BMX Flight Clinic with Alise Post and Jason Carnes from RaysMTB on Vimeo.

Ray'sMTB in Cleveland Women’s Weekend 2014 is February 14, 15, 16

Women’s Weekend is a no-barriers, inspirational gathering of female cyclists, friends, families, and women of every background. Our two events are led by hall of fame member Leigh Donovan and her esteemed coaching staff, whose list of championships and world records is unsurpassed. Their no-nonsense yet light-hearted coaching method provides knowledge and confidence that will serve women well on the trail and everywhere else. Women only are allowed during instruction! No boys until 4pm!

Click below to see reviews of our previous Women’s Weekends:
To pre-register and order your limited edition t-shirt submit your information below by February 2nd (CLE) or February 23rd (MKE).
REgistration not required but very helpful. Walk-ins are welcome! (payment due upon event entry)

Top 10 bike stories of 2013 | TreeHugger

2014 is upon us and now is a good time to look back at some notable bike-related stories from 2013. Here's our top 10 based on what you told us you particularly liked and what we think is important:

© SF

1. The love story with Amsterdam continues

It's hard to write about bike culture and not mention Amsterdam. In 2013, a few stories about the city of bikes caught our attention, from the New York Times claiming that there were 'too many bikes' in Amsterdam to a rebuttal straight from Amsterdam, to things you might see in Amsterdam (that Russian lady with the stove rocks!), but what got the most attention this year is no doubt this amazing video about the city:

See the list at TreeHugger