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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Parijs-Roubaix van dichtbij

Havana Bikes

Havana Bikes from Kauri Multimedia on Vimeo.

Cuba underwent a bicycle revolution in the 1990s during its five year ‘Special Period’. Oil was scarce as a result of tough economic constraints, and throughout those years of austerity, bicycles where introduced as an alternative mode of transport. Thousands of Cubans used bicycles on a regular basis, as pedalling became the norm on the island.

Years later, the transportation crisis subsided and motorised vehicles returned, and the country’s bicycle culture took a hit. Now, new bikes are difficult to come by and parts are not readily available, yet many Cubans still use bicycles daily and, despite the limited resources, a handful of mechanics provide a service to those who rely on their bikes in their everyday lives.

Plenty of cyclists roam the streets of Havana and the rest of Cuba. Ángel, a typical bike riding Habanero, provides a brief insight into Cuban bicycle culture and the importance of bike mechanics in the capital as we come across both riders and repairmen.

*Music by VOLT HEIST:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Brainy Bike Lights: Making Urban Cycling Safer

Brainy Bike Lights: Making Urban Cycling Safer from Tim Willrich on Vimeo.

America's Rebel Band of Custom-Bike Builders | The Atlantic

Nearly all of the bikes sold in the U.S. are manufactured abroad, but these guys are welding and tinkering in shops and garages across the country.

Low Bicycles in San Francisco

Like many people who take up bicycle building, Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan are avid cyclists who began experimenting in their home garages, welding together bike frames.
Several years after founding separate bike-building operations in Portland, Oregon, in 2005, both came to a similar realization—that building bikes needed to be about more than passion if it was going to sustain them: It had to be about business too.

“I was only able to build, on my best year, 30 bikes, and that was never going to change,” Pereira said. “I’d been so excited about the actual making of the bikes that I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into, which was owning a business.”

Last year, after years of playing catch-up, the two long-time frame builders teamed up to launch a new venture called Breadwinner Cycles. Rather than designing a brand new bicycle for each customer like they had before, the duo developed six (now eight) basic models, priced from $4,000 to $8,000, that customers can tweak to their specifications and size. While they still build the bikes by hand, they’re able to turn them around in eight to 12 weeks, rather than one to two years.

“It’s been fun to change it up and start over,” Pereira said. “We have a really well developed business plan and a very clear vision of what we want Breadwinner to look like.”

Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan at the 2014 North American Handmade Bicycle Show
Breadwinner’s latest designs—a mountain bike called Bad Otis and a gravel-road bike called B-Road—were among the hundreds of bicycles on display at the 10th-annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) in Charlotte, North Carolina, this March.
The hand-built bicycle industry has flourished since the early 2000s, according to NAHBS chief judge Patrick Brady, publisher of the cycling, who has written about custom builders for the last 22 years.

“Right now is the Golden Age in custom frame building,” said Brady before stepping onto the NAHBS stage to announce the winners of the show’s awards, which included Breadwinner’s Bad Otis for “Best Mountain Bike.” “There have never been more builders producing, and the quality has never been higher.”

Breadwinner’s Bad Otis, winner of “Best Mountain Bike,” is a hard-tail mountain bike (as opposed to a full suspension) designed for the new “flow” style of mountain bike trails, which have a smoother rhythm and deliver a more roller-coaster-type experience than many of the older trails.

[ Read the rest of the story on ]

Fat bikes make Colorado winter riding fun and safer, too | Daily Camera

Cycling year-round

Matt Nunn, of Samsara Cycles, rides a fat bike in the snow earlier this year, on the middle of St. Vrain Buchanan pass trail. (Courtesy photo / Tony Tang)

In Boulder, fat is cool.
Fatter tires. Fatter handlebars. Fat, in the bicycle scene, is just part of Boulder's ultra-fit lifestyle. The wheels around here never stop turning, come ice or snow.
Local bike shops say increasingly more cyclists are riding "fat bikes," so they can bike in the snow, recreationally and as a weather-defying commute option. And around the Colorado mountains, many people say it's not just a trend; they say fat is here to stay.
Fat bikes — named for their ultra-wide tires — are the monster trucks of bikes, says Lafayette resident, Tony Tang. They're not necessarily built for speed, but they can forge just about anywhere.
As these almost comical-looking cycles grow in popularity, you can now find them in most bike shops and all over Colorado's ski towns. Last year, told the Denver Post sales surged an estimated 300 percent in the past few years, and area shops say the trend has not slowed.
Longmont-based REEB Cycles says between September 2012 and March 2013, it sold 13 frames, most of which came toward the end of that time period. Between September 2013 and now, REEB has already sold 20 frames.
"The demand from consumers definitely blew up last year, but the industry wasn't ready for it," says Chad Melis, marketing director for Oskar Blues, which is affiliated with REEB. "The industry is finally catching up to the demand this year. ... This year fat bikes are legitimately becoming visible in the public's eye."
You can even find fledgling fat bike races such as the 2-year-old national championship, the Fat Bike Birkie, in Wisconsin. Fat bikes have popped up at the Winter Mountain Games in Vail, too. Melis says he first saw fat bikes at the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series six years ago, although he didn't get his own until 2011. REEB built its first fat bike for an athlete who wanted to ride the South Pole in 2012.
That year, Melis says, a few more orders trickled in. This year, the majority of the 20 cyclists who participate in REEB's weekly Tuesday night ride are on fat bikes, and anyone can walk into the Cyclehops Cantina in Longmont (a bike-restaurant fusion) or Red Stone Cyclery in Lyons and get a REEBdonkadonk Fatbike, starting around $2,700.
"It has grown from how much fun people are having," Melis says. "It's a blend of bike riding and sledding, to a degree. ... Part of the appeal is being on the edge of sliding and crashing all the time. That's not a place you can play on a regular bike because, well, that hurts."
'The next big thing in bikes'
Tang, of Lafayette, first heard about fat bikes, dubbed "the next big thing in bikes," about a year ago. When he took a demo bike out, he says he was immediately sold.
"I've always been into snow sports, skiing and snowboarding, but I'm sick of the traffic up I-70, the big business of it all, and it's getting more expensive every year to get a pass and sit in traffic and lines," Tang says.
He says he wanted a relaxed way to enjoy the snow — but faster than snowshoeing.
"Why couldn't we bike all year round?" he says.
Fat bikes float over the snow, due to their wide tires, typically inflated with fewer pounds per square inch than road bikes, according to Matt Nunn, of Frederick.
Nunn runs Samsara Cycles, just outside of Longmont, which makes custom fat bikes. (A fully custom, aluminum frame fat bike goes for $2,650.)
It's one of the few companies in the area that builds fat bikes, but increasingly more big-name companies and hobbyists up and down the Front Range are jumping on board.
Golden Bike Shop in Golden sells fat bike parts, wheels and various stock offerings — and even organizes a fat bike group ride from the shop. Black Sheep Bikes in Fort Collins also makes models.
"It's really catching on," Nunn says, adding that 15 of his friends have picked up the hobby this year alone. "It's the perfect winter accent sport. ... When you get out on the trail and you're floating over the top, and you come over a hill and see cross-country skiers and snowshoers freaking out — you never expect to see a bike up here."
Of course, that means ride with caution; snowmobiles won't be expecting you, either.
[ Read the rest at ]

Reinventing the wheel | The Japan Times

As the annual Spring Road Safety Campaign gets underway this weekend, we examine what the government is doing to improve conditions for cyclists in Tokyo

On Jan. 24, a full-page advert appeared in the Tokyo edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun for a petition on behalf of the capital’s cyclists. “Join the new governor in making Tokyo a bicycle city,” read the headline for the ad, which reeled off a series of suggested improvements: more extensive cycling lanes, better parking facilities and the creation of a public bike-sharing scheme akin to the ones used in London and Paris.

Shigeki Kobayashi, president of the Bicycle Usage Promotion Study Group and one of the petition’s organizers, admits that they pinched the idea from London, where a similar campaign took place during the 2012 mayoral election. Tokyo’s own gubernatorial election campaign had kicked off the day before the advert was published, and the effect was instantaneous.

“I listened to a lot of the hustings later in the day,” Kobayashi says. “Suddenly, all the candidates had started talking about cycling.”

Although the petition itself ended up collecting an unspectacular tally of 6,481 signatures, it seemed to achieve its desired result. Five of the six leading candidates in the election pledged their support for the campaign’s goals (right-winger Toshio Tamogami was the only holdout). And on Feb. 19, newly appointed Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe — a big fan of European-style urban redevelopment — announced that Tokyo would be extending the amount of new bike paths that it planned to create by 2020 to 120 km.

For cyclists, the mean streets of the capital started to look a bit more welcoming. But who rides in the streets anyway?

While it boasts a pedaling population that puts most western metropolises to shame — around 14 percent of all journeys in Tokyo are made by bicycle, compared to 2 percent in London and 1 percent in New York — the city’s cycling culture has evolved in a peculiar fashion. Bicycle commuters may be on the rise, but the archetypal urban cyclist in Tokyo isn’t a Lycra-clad road warrior weaving through traffic; it’s a housewife lumbering along the sidewalk on a mamachari (literally, mom’s bike), laden with shopping and — more often than not — a couple of kids perched in seats above the front and back wheels.

There are nearly twice as many bicycles for every car in Tokyo, sure, but the majority of them barely venture onto the roads. They don’t have to — it’s still legal to ride on the sidewalks.

Back in the 1960s, Japan was confronted by a problem familiar to many industrialized nations: Rising car ownership was making the streets downright hazardous for cyclists. It was a common problem at the time.

The same phenomenon led the cycling rate in the Netherlands, now widely regarded as a paradise for bicycles, to drop from 85 percent to around 20 percent between the 1950s and early 1970s.

But while other countries chose to put their motorists first, Japan opted for a compromise. In 1970, the traffic laws were amended to allow cyclists to ride alongside pedestrians on the sidewalks. It was only meant to be a temporary measure, while proper infrastructure was created, but more than four decades later the rule is still essentially intact.

In its current form, the law permits children under 13 and elderly people to ride on the sidewalk as a matter of course. Adults can do so when sidewalks are explicitly designated for shared use, but also when road conditions — parked cars, construction work, narrow streets, heavy traffic and so on — make it “unavoidable” to use them. Or in other words, you’re not allowed to ride on the sidewalk, except when you are.

[ Read the rest on ]

Bike the C-Bus 2014 early bird registration is OPEN! @bikethecbus @yaybikes

Are you a Yay Bikes! member? Get your code for the $25 registration by emailing

[Can't see the form? Click here to register]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Never Bike In The Dark Again With These Fender-Mounted Lights | FastCompany

The newest version of Revolights popular Tron-like bike lights lowers the price point so everyone can glow as they ride.

Revolights was a big hit when it launched in 2011. The unique-looking wheel-mounted bike light system raised more than $215,000 on Kickstarter, and more success followed last year with a second version.
What makes the Revolights different is, first, that the wheel-mounts create a single beam when you spin them fast enough (which is a nice effect). And second, that the beam is close to the road, which offers better visibility than some handlebar-mounted lights. The trouble is, the product is quite expensive. A clip-on version costs $229, while apermanently installed iteration comes in at $499. That's more than a lot of bikers want to pay.
That's why the Palo Alto company is launching a third, cheaper, product. It's called the Arc, and instead of fixing it to the wheel, you mount it to the back fender. It doesn't have quite the wow-factor of the other products, but it might keep you from being rear-ended in the dark.

How to Start Riding Your Bike | Bicycling Magazine

Whether your goal is commuting, fitness, transportation, or all of the above, here’s how to get rolling
By Elly Blue
“How do I get started bicycling?”
This isn’t the question I’m asked most often, but it’s the one I’m asked most timidly, earnestly, and in the quietest tones. And it’s been one of the most difficult to answer. Even though I began riding as an adult, the habits of bicycle transportation are so ingrained in my psyche and daily life that it’s hard to remember what it was like not to ride.
I’ve dug deep for this one—and would love to hear from anyone who has started riding more recently about what helped you get started, what details you got hung up on, and what strategies worked. Here’s a pretty simple formula to start with.
We’ll use commuting to work as an example, but you can use the same formula to try biking anywhere you want to go. I’m also assuming that you own a bike and are able to ride it. If not, then those are your first steps—come back to this post later!

TRAVALANCHE! :: Travis Freeman Benefit Show! is April 12th

Monday Night Ride and Street Sharks Sprint Series of Columbus would like you to show your support for T-Ravis Mitchell Freeman by coming out Saturday April 12 to ride bikes, drink beers and dance hard at the TRAVALANCHE! :: Travis Freeman Benefit Show!

Garage rock hedonists Dirty Girls will be performing along with smooth flows delivered by Envelope. Some of the city's most popular DJs will be on hand including Dan Monnig, dance rocker George Brazil and Adam Scoppa from Heatwave! Bring your ride because we're meeting up before the show to race and the fastest bikes will win prizes! But if you're not a power-pedaller, don't worry - we've got an amazing night planned at Strongwater Food and Spirits with some awesome door prizes and a silent auction too!

Tickets are on sale NOW at for just $5 (plus a very small service fee) or you can purchase the day of the event for $7. All proceeds will benefit the Travis Freeman Recovery Fund!

Opinion: The single biggest issue facing the bike industry | Bicycle Retailer

A blog by Jay Townley
As we finish the first quarter of 2014 the U.S. bicycle business is preparing for its April gathering of industry leaders at the Bicycle Leadership Conference and the IBD Summit. We have noticed that the U.S. bicycle business continues to separate the meetings of the specialty bicycle retail, or bike shop channel of trade, suppliers from the retailers, and the separate agendas for these two important annual gatherings still do not mention or pay attention to the most important single issue facing the U.S. bicycle business today!
The following chart is a graphic presentation of the 18-year history of U.S. bicycle riding participation from 1995 through 2012. The data is from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). The overall trend is a slow decline, from a peak of 56 million in 1995 to flat overall bicycle riding participation at 39 million for the last three years. 2013 bicycle riding participation will be available in early April, but we don't anticipate any significant change from the history you see here.
From the low of 35.6 million in 2006 there has been a steady increase to 39.8 million in 2010, the year after the Great Recession. However, the stabilization of U.S. bicycle riding participation in 2010 through 2012 is not enough to change the trend line shown in the chart.
This is, in our opinion, the most important single issue facing the U.S. bicycle business. What needs to be done to reverse this trend line?
Put another way, what needs to be done to actually grow bicycle riding participation in the U.S. in the years ahead? There have been various answers put forth over the last decade, but obviously none of them have been sufficient to grow bicycle riding, or the U.S. bicycle market.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

3-Feet Passing Law - Keep the pressure on, it's working!

3ft Passing - Ride Together

Thank you to everyone who signed our petition and contacted your state house representative in support of a state-wide 3-Feet Passing Law! It is having an impact. We learned yesterday that the bill sponsor, Rep. Michael Henne, is moving forward with the bill WITH THE MINIMUM 3FT PASSING REQUIREMENT. We need your help in keeping the pressure on to ensure the bill gets passed.

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO: Call and email the offices of the following representatives telling them you want HB145 passed with the 3-feet passing law-
Anthony DeVitis – 1-614-466-1790, email here
Margaret Ann Ruhl – 1-614-466-1431, email here
Doug Green – 1-614-644-6034, email here
Ross McGregor – 1-614-466-2038, email here
John Becker – 1-614-466-8134, email here

Here is a sample talking point: A person on a bike is a legal vehicle on the road, we need policies that ensure bicyclists are safe. People on bikes are people with families who love them, friends who celebrate them, have careers that support them and have lives to live to their fullest. Honor those lives and help PROTECT THEM by including the language in HB145 that will make it a requirement for motorists to give people on bikes at least 3 feet of space when riding on public roads.
Forward any response you get

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why “Share The Road” Is Gone in [the state of] Delaware

“Share The Road”: It’s practically the national motto of cycling advocacy in the United States.
It’s the cycling “message” on license plates in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
But not in Delaware. In fact, as of last November, just the opposite.
In November, the Delaware Department of Transportation announced that, effective immediately, Delaware would stop using the MUTCD-approved “Share The Road” plaque (W16-1P). More, the department would also start removing all “Share The Road” signs currently installed in Delaware.
How did the state’s cycling advocacy group Bike Delaware react to the announcement that Delaware’s department of transportation was abandoning “Share The Road?” Were there howls of outrage and a letter writing campaign to protest? Actually, Bike Delaware just said “Goodbye ‘Share The Road’“.
Despite its ubiquity and apparent iconic status, it turned out that “Share The Road” is actually an example of common ground between traffic engineers and cycling advocates. We both hated it and for the same reason: its unresolvable ambiguity.
For traffic engineers, with our many years of experience with traffic control devices, “Share The Road” is yet another example of “feel good” signage that placates an interest group but has no safety benefit and adds useless and distracting clutter to the visual landscape.
For cyclists in Delaware (and elsewhere), “Share The Road” had long been interpreted as a sign primarily directed at motorists. Cyclists thought it meant something like “Motorists: be cool.” But for many motorists, “Share The Road” is often interpreted as a sign primarily directed at cyclists and meant something more like “Bicyclists: don’t slow me down.” But we finally realized (after years of pointless yelling back and forth between cyclists and motorists, both yelling “Share The Road” at each other!), that “Share The Road” not only doesn’t help, it actually contributes to conflict and confusion.
“Bicycle May Use Full Lane”
In Delaware, our important task now is to figure out the warrant for the “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” sign.
Perhaps the biggest point of conflict between motorists and cyclists is when cyclists “take the lane” (e.g. cycle in the middle of a travel lane on narrow two lane roads with double yellow lines and without any shoulders). This can sometimes make motorists traveling behind angry. But there is a solid reason that cyclists sometimes ride like this.
Riding at the right hand edge of a travel lane is an invitation for cars behind to pass. That’s fine. But where a double yellow line also exists, it is very easy for a motorist to interpret the combination of the cyclist at the right hand edge of the lane and the double yellow line separating her lane from the lane of oncoming traffic as an invitation to pass in the travel lane. But on roads where the travel lanes are only 10 or 11 feet, this is a potentially catastrophic misunderstanding. The only way for a motorist to safely pass a cyclist when the travel lane is that narrow is to (at least partially) exit her travel lane (into the lane of oncoming traffic).
This type of situation is an example of where the Bicycle May Use Full Lane (and shared lane pavement markings) can both help. The sign delivers a clear traffic control message that makes an ambiguous and confusing traffic situation clearer – for both motorists and cyclists. It’s a big, big improvement over that other sign…what was it called again?
- See more at:

Boston Doctors Can Now Prescribe Bike-Share Membership To Patients | Fast Company

One of the biggest hurdles new public bike-share programs face is the problem of social inclusion. For a large part, the programs, which have popped up in cities from New York to Austin in recent years, aren't gaining major traction with low-income communities.
Boston, however, has taken an aggressive approach to making sure that everyone, regardless of income status, has an opportunity to ride--and is aware that they can. While annual Hubway memberships cost $85, the city offers an $80 discount for anyone on public assistance. That means if you live in low-income housing, your membership just costs $5. And, as of late March, doctors can prescribe memberships for those who qualify.

"What we've found is everyone seems to be interested [in the bike-share program]. And that was a relief," says Boston Bikes director Nicole Freedman. "It's just about reaching people in different ways. And maybe it wasn't through Facebook and Twitter, like we normally would."
While some would think that coordinating among the medical center and the public bike-share program might make a bureaucratic mess, Freedman says it was actually kind of easy. "From a logistics standpoint, it wasn't that hard," she says.
As a result, doctors at the Boston Medical Center can now prescribe $5 bike memberships to their low-income patients. Once they print out the Prescribe-A-Bike prescription, the patients can either call the city to register, or walk across the street to the Boston University transportation office and sign up right there. A free helmet and key fob arrive a few days later in the patients' mail.
"We do know that when cities subscribe bike memberships, the initial barriers to people of low incomes are the fee, not having bikes where they live, not having helmets, and Boston has a program that solves all of those things," explains Cassie Ryan, a registered nurse and BU doctoral student helping with the program. "Considering this is a nontraditional program, we thought, 'How do we use the medical system to hook people up to all of this?'"

[ Read the rest at ]

Monday, April 7, 2014


Thoughts Every Cyclist In A City Has | BuzzFeed

  1. So, we’re all just pretending the bike lane doesn’t exist then? Cool, just checking.
  2. Why are all these cyclists trying to kill themselves today? Is there a tube strike on?
  3. I do not trust any other cyclists near me. 
  4. Especially that guy on a Boris bike.
  5. I also do not trust that guy in a suit. 
  6. If you need to tie up your trousers to cycle, don’t cycle.
  7. Why are there so many people without helmets? YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.
  8. There is a strange sound on this bike.
  9. Something is loose. Something is definitely loose.
  10. I should stop and figure out what it is.
  11. Be late vs. bike fall apart?
  12. Well, I don’t want to be late…
  13. I’ll fix it before the next ride. It’ll be fine. Probably.
  14. Actually, did that sound happen last ride?
  15. Was I supposed to fix it before this ride?
  16. Or maybe it wasn’t actually a problem? I’ll carry on.
  17. his probably won’t work out well.
  18. Not sure if this is terrible head wind, or I’m that very unfit.
  19. I’m blaming head wind. 
  20. I hope you die too, taxi driver. Thanks for your unsolicited insult. 
  21. Also, yes, please turn into me.
  22. It’s fine, I am very well-protected against your two tons of metal.
  23. Dick.
  24. That buttcrack in front of me is not an enjoyable view.
  25. That buttcrack more so.
[ Read the rest on ]

Bicycle Joust

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Two wheels bad. Please take train | FT Magazine

‘Cycle-safety training is a good idea although nothing can prepare an 11-year-old for the wanton carelessness of motorists’
Illustration of a girl on a bike©Lucas Varela
The girl has just spent a week learning cycling proficiency at school. She now knows, for example, how to guide her bike through a line of cones. I don’t know why – there’s no call for slalom on the main arterial roads these days, although the close control can come in handy if you want to buzz a pedestrian.
Cycle-safety training is obviously a good idea although, frankly, nothing can prepare an 11-year-old for the wanton carelessness of motorists. But the lessons do strike me as somewhat outdated, teaching only such basic skills as how not to get yourself killed. That’s all well and good but so much more is demanded of the modern cyclist.
Two emotions power city cyclists: fear and anger. Cowardice cannot be taught, though many of us are blessed with it in large quantities. But a new cyclist needs the right kind of rage, and the girl seems to have emerged from her course entirely untrained in how to thump on a car’s bodywork at traffic lights and scream obscenities at a driver. You might think that this needs little training but there is a right and wrong way to do this – the latter being any way that the driver can catch up with you. It is no good yelling abuse if you will soon be cowering in fear, muttering “Sorry mate, no offence” when he draws level with you at the next lights.
Similarly, there is no point in provoking a motorist to violence if you don’t have your GoPro camera charged and filming. There are enough motorists out there ready to beat up a cyclist just for being in their way; if you are going to get a smack in the face, you need something you can put on YouTube. Many cyclists make this classic schoolboy error.
[ Read the rest on ]