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Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Lexington Gravel Grinder, Sunday May 18th 9:30am #letsride #gravelgrinder

Let's ride from New Lexington, OH on some gravel roads. Please gather at the park located on Orchard Ave between 9:30am and 10am to roll a little after 10am. Park near the swimming pool.

Route is here -
Distance:37.6 mi

Ohio Gravel Grinders Facebook event

Spring from Peter Nylund

Spring from Peter Nylund on Vimeo.


“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further.” –Ayrton Senna

Content and Images courtesy of Alex Roberts
As I start this, it’s been a week since Trans Iowa.  Sitting on my couch, I can’t honestly say I wish it was this time last weekend.  At this point, I was 11 hours in, and fighting a headwind.  After making great time to Checkpoint 1, the wind was starting to raise serious doubts about a finish.  But we’ll get to that.
We rolled into Grinnell, Iowa just after noon on Friday, April 25th.  The hotel said check-in was not until 3, and the pre-race ‘Meat Up’ didn’t start until 4.  We hopped on the bikes to spin out the legs and find the start.  We found the start just in front of Bikes To You in the charming downtown area.  We met the shop owner Coop who was the first of many wonderful people associated with this event we’d meet over the weekend.  We grabbed a map, ate lunch, chilled with some IPAs, and waited for the pre-race meeting.
Leaving the pre-race meeting, I started getting worried about being too fat.  Well not me, my bike.  I was seeing carbon bikes running Zipps and had to look hard to find bikes with tires wider than 35s.  Here I was with a steel frame, fat 2.0 rubber on 29er mountain bike wheels, and gear that put my total bike weight just over 40 lbs.  Had I made a huge mistake with this bike and set-up?  I couldn’t help thinking perhaps I had.

Sometimes, nice guys don’t even finish | Cycling in the South Bay

There is a rancid piece of burnt meat that bicycle “advocates” regularly wrap in a burrito and try shove down the throat of everyone else. It goes like this: Cars hate us because we’re not nice. Until we are nice, we will never get the treatment we deserve. The latest purveyor of this bankrupt, blame-the-victim, “Can’t we all just get along?” vacuousness is someone named Richard Fries. You can read his thoughts here.
Or not.
The problem isn’t, and has never been, that “we are our own worst enemy.” It is something much simpler. Road cycling is a negotiation for space. For the car, more space means quicker travel, if even a mere second faster. For a bike, more space means reducing the chance of hitting something or getting hit.
That’s all there is to it. If you’re going to use the roadway, you will have to negotiate your place on it every pedal stroke of every single ride, and it’s a zero-sum game. The more space for you, the less for the car. You win, they lose, and no none likes to lose.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Moots Snoots for sale at mere 12K | Big Wheel Deals

When it comes to one-of-a-kind bikes, there may never be another as unique and function-specific as this one.

Way back when I first started dreaming about riding to the South Pole, I knew that any old off-the-shelf bike wasn't going to do the job the way I wanted it done.  I knew that I needed the bike to be light and durable beyond question, but I also knew that it needed to carry all of my gear and fuel in a simple and easy to access manner.

Brad Bingham and I had several conversations about the end product before he put pencil to graph paper and started sketching this bike out.

Salient details include:

-Liquid storage in both fork legs, downtube, and the entirety of the trailer.
-Custom titanium front and rear racks.
-5 bottle cage placements, none interfering with the ability to run a full frame bag.
-150mm spacing with on-center built wheels.  All three wheels can be run in every position on the bike.
-All wheels use DT Swiss 440 hubs, DT Swiss butted spokes, and DT Prolock alloy nips.  Surly Marge Lite rims on the bike, Remolino rim on the trailer.
-Brass valves on each fork leg, one near the bottom bracket, and two on the trailer for decanting whatever liquid you happen to be storing.  Basic input and outflow hardware that can be found at most any hardware.
-Titanium tubing used in frame, fork, bars, seatpost, racks, and trailer to keep the overall package as light and comfortable as possible.  Silky smooth ride as a result--even with tires run at high pressures.
I'm selling this bike as I simply have no need to haul what it can, and I don't need extra expedition bikes around!

Interested?  But have questions/reservations?

I started this thread shortly after I started riding this bike.  In it you'll find most questions and answers that have ever been asked about it.

Price for the whole package is $12k.  

That assumes local pickup.  I'll ship if you insist, but expect roughly $300 including insurance.

Please--no lowball offers.

Why Cyclist Is a Dirty Word | Outside Online

The word “cyclist” can be a dirty one — particularly among the most passionate riders of bicycles. “Cyclist” can be a badge of honor, the thinking goes, but also a shortcut to stereotyping, more charged than “driver,” say, or “runner.” (You rarely hear about jogger-driver confrontations). I first wandered into this thicket while addressing a group of transportation advocates in Australia, and have since absorbed the lesson like a mantra: Better to say “a person on a bike.”
Take my own life. Saturday mornings might find me racing around Central Park predawn or joining the hundreds of riders who throng New York’s celebrated Route 9W. Yes, your quintessential Middle-Age-Man-in-Lycra (MAMIL). But later that day will find me with the family, pedaling our town bikes on New York City’s new protected lanes, with nary a stitch of performance clothing to be seen, to catch the ferry to Governors Island. During the week, I will grab a CitiBike in Midtown and ride it to a meeting in Chelsea, avoiding subway transfers and sitting in a gridlocked cab.

Ainsworth State Park S24O

Ainsworth State Park S24O from Russ Roca on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Across The U.S., Bicycle Commuting Picks Up Speed

As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.

In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.

"I'm one of those year-round warriors, unless the weather is really bad," says Louise Graham, one among a steady stream of backpack-wearing bicyclists getting on the path.

Graham works in sales downtown and travels about 20 miles round trip. The same is true for David Michaels, who works at a digital marketing firm and rides four to five days a week. If he rode a train to work, he says, he'd be buried in his phone.

"If I'm riding, I'm active," Michaels says. "I'm riding down the lakeshore path, which is gorgeous and it's a ton of fun."

It's also a lot cheaper than driving, many bikers say.

Brian McKenzie, a sociologist with the U.S. Census Bureau, says most people still depend on their cars to get to work. But the bureau's first ever survey of people biking or walking to work, Modes Less Traveled, does show some change.

[Continue reading at NPR]

Ride the Elevator 2014 photos #letsride #LifeinCbus

Pro-Joy instead of Anti-Racing | Off the Beaten Path

These days, the “real-world” or “alternative” cycling world often seems to define itself by what it is not: It’s not racing. One company even made a patch that said: “Racing Sucks!”
Perhaps this sentiment is understandable, considering how much racing has dominated bike design and cycling culture in recent decades, often with negative consequences like narrow tires, poor fender clearances and a general attitude of “every ride a race.”
Even so, I prefer a positive vision.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How To Cleverhood

How To Cleverhood from Cleverhood on Vimeo.

Rain cape: style and performance

Metro Parks ready to build next chunk of Camp Chase trail | Columbus Dispatch

Signs mark the Camp Chase multiuse trail where it crosses Alkire Road.
Metro Parks is to spend $2.9 million for the next link of the Camp Chase multiuse trail — a 1-mile section between Hall Road and Sullivant Avenue that crosses over I-270.
The Metro Parks board awarded the contract to the Righter Co. yesterday.
The park district received $1.98 million from the federal government for the project, including $135,000 that was spent last year to put in a bridge pier. The bridge over the freeway will be a little longer than a football field.
The park board also approved spending an additional $289,951 with H.R. Gray for construction administration and inspection.
The work is expected to begin by the end of June and be completed by the end of the year, said Steve Brown, chief landscape architect for Metro Parks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ride the Elevator is at 6PM tonight! @yaybikes @ftoncycleworks #letsride

Join us for Ride the Elevator 2014. This is a FREE ride from Goodale Park (be there by 6pm), Franklinton Cycleworks (be there by 6:30pm) and we will converge on Elevator Brewery. You must be 21 to participate. 

The entrance fee at Elevator Brewery is $10 CASH and all proceeds go directly to Yay Bikes! and Franklinton CycleWorks. You will be handed a beer and bottle opener to pose for a mass cheers photo.

At beer 30 (7:30pm) we will pop open our beer and smile for the camera.

Afterwards we will get Dick to open the taproom and we will hang out.

[Facebook event]

De Blasio Looks Toward Sweden for Road Safety | NY Times

STOCKHOLM — Across this Scandinavian capital of graceful cyclists and speed-regulating shrubbery, cabbies who drive Volvos and pedestrians who look over their shoulders before jaywalking, a simple figure rules:
Zero. It is the number of people permitted to die in Swedish traffic, according to national law.
For nearly two decades, every rising barrier and reduced speed limit has been tailored to this seemingly impossible goal, of eradicating traffic deaths and serious injuries, and its guiding premise: Every inch of street space must anticipate, and accommodate, human error.
While roadway deaths have not been eliminated, the country’s rate of fatalities has been whittled down to an international low. Now its approach faces perhaps its stiffest test: the streets of New York City.
[Keep reading at NY Times]

This Sleek Commuter Bike Has A Secret: You Hardly Have To Pedal

The first unusual feature about the Vanmoof Electrified is that you don’t notice it’s an e-bike at all.

E-bikes make urban cycling more practical and accessible, but they aren’t exactly sexy. In New York City, they’re synonymous with restaurant deliverymen, and in some cases are illegal. In Europe, for many years, they’d mostly been used by the elderly.
The Vanmoof Electrified, made by a Dutch cycling company that focuses solely on making bikes for urban commuters, aims to change all of that with a sleek and intelligent design that gives the e-bike a practical and visual facelift. Using innovations from the auto industry, including fully-integrated powerful LED lights, anti-theft GPS tracking, and a simple fob key, the bike feels like a joy to ride--a far cry from the clunky models that many associate with e-bike technology.

“E-bikes are the future, but not the way they’ve been designed so far. We really believe we’ve managed to create a product that attracts a whole different target group,” says Vanmoof’s marketing director Niels Bark.
The company is already known for making extremely simple bikes for a city commuter. Its other bikes include interesting features like a heavy-duty lock that hides away inside the bike. The company also focuses on crowdsourcing early feedback from users. With the Electrified, it has had more than 100 people in cities around the world become early testers since last Fall.
As Vanmoof gets ready to start shipping the bike this summer (it’s available for pre-sale now), I test rode the Electrified at Rolling Orange Bikes, a Dutch cycling shop in Brooklyn and one of Vanmoof’s 350 dealers around the world. (The shop owner, Marc van der Aart, reassured me that the Vanmoof is legal to ride in New York, since it only uses pedal-assist technology--only e-bikes that are fully motorized are illegal).

The first unusual feature is that you don’t notice it’s an e-bike at all, as van der Aart points out to me. There are no visible cables. The motor and battery pack are nicely hidden with the frame of the bike, in the top bar. To start the bike, I used the clicker and a small unobtrusive touch-screen panel lit up on the frame just under the handle bars. Unlike other e-bikes with complicated options and many gears, here there are only two options--100% power assist, and 50% power assist--plus a battery charge indicator.
The ride on Brooklyn’s streets was as smooth as could be, considering the enormous pot holes left by the unusually harsh winter this year. Like most cyclists in New York City and throughout the U.S.--where e-bikes have not really caught on like they have in Asia and Europe--I had never ridden an e-bike before. The Vanmoof Electrified is designed to be responsive, so the motor gives an appropriate boost tuned to how hard the rider is pedaling, based on sensor feedback from the bike's on-board computer. I could keep up with the slow-moving cars with ease. That said, I might be able to do nearly the same on a regular bike--it would just take more effort.
The coolest and most unique feature of the Vanmoof Electrified is the GPS tracking system. The company worked with Vodafone to integrate GPS into the bike. A system can track the bike if it gets stolen or if you simply forget where you parked it. One early tester in Florida actually had his Vanmoof stolen and recovered undamaged by the West Palm Beach police department using the GPS system. It’s a great idea, though thieves could probably figure out how to work around it if such systems become common.
More at FastCompany

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights

This man doesn't need to stop.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
If you've looked around a city lately, you might've noticed that many cyclists don't obey many traffic laws. They roll through stop signs, instead of coming to a complete stop, and brazenly ride through red lights if there aren't any cars coming.
Cyclists reading this might be nodding guiltily in recognition of their own behavior. Drivers might be angrily remembering the last biker they saw flout the law, wondering when traffic police will finally crack down and assign some tickets.
But the cyclists are probably in the right here. While it's obviously reckless for them to blow through an intersection when they don't have the right of way, research and common sense say that slowly rolling through a stop sign on a bike shouldn't be illegal in the first place.
Some places in the US already allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, and these rules are no more dangerous — and perhaps even a little safer — than the status quo.

This is called the "Idaho stop"

There are already a few places in the US that allow cyclists some flexibility in dealing with stop signs and red lights. Idaho has permitted it since 1982, which is why this behavior is known as the Idaho stop.
Idaho's rule is pretty straightforward. If a cyclist approaches a stop sign, he or she needs to slow down and look for traffic. If there's already a pedestrian, car, or another bike there, then the other vehicle has the right of way. If there's no traffic, however, the cyclist can slowly proceed. Basically, for bikers, a stop sign is a yield sign.
If a cyclist approaches a red light, meanwhile, he or she needs to stop fully. Again, if there's any oncoming traffic or a pedestrian, it has the right of way. If there's not, the cyclist can proceed cautiously through the intersection. Put simply, red light is a stop sign.
This doesn't mean that a cyclist is allowed to blast through an intersection at full speed — which is dangerous for pedestrians, the cyclist, and pretty much everyone involved. This isn't allowed in Idaho, and it's a terrible idea everywhere.
This video, produced when Oregon was considering a similar law in 2009, has some nice visualizations of the Idaho stop at around one minute in:
Continue at

Opinion: Dear America

Dear America,

We'd like the word "enduro" back, please. A couple of years ago it was kinda cute watching you call XC pedal-fests enduro races. It was like watching a baby deer take its first hesitant steps, trembling at the knees and struggling like hell, but at least you were trying. But watching you strap on fanny packs, ride short-travel bikes 'round Soquel Demo Forest and assume that, because it wasn't invented by an American, enduro is a new sport, was starting to grate. Sea Otter was the straw that broke the camel's back, though. It was the point when you jumped the proverbial shark and it's time to go our separate ways. Lycra? Really? On this side of the Atlantic that's an instant DQ from any reputable race. It's not "so enduro," it's really f*cking embarrassing and this needs to stop.

There are a few things you ought to understand:

1. Enduro is not "new"
If you search through the archives of the French website, there are records of rallye races, where the blueprint for the sport was set from as far back as 1989. Around the time you were listening to MC Hammer and wearing ridiculous, baggy trousers, the French were "enduroing." In 2003 a very clever man called Fred Glo ran the first ever mountain bike race called an enduro. Half the field showed up on DH bikes. We could go on, but hopefully you get the point.

2. Enduro is a race
Always has been, always will be. Outside a race we like to do what we call "mountain biking." It involves pedalling up hills and riding fast down them. You should try it sometime, it's ace. Apparently some American fella thought of it, but you don't seem to talk about it much any more...

See the rest of the list at

Deer Creek State Park Bike Camping (S24O) Trip 05112014

Tim, Bill and I rode from Galloway, OH southwest to Deer Creek State Park to camp. 60 miles roundtrip. Route covered the new sections of Camp Chase Rail Trail in Battelle Darby and heading east toward Galloway.

Arundel Looney Bin & Bottle Cage

The Looney Bin is the place for those that just can’t get along with the rest. Not every bottle is a 73mm and not everyone wants to use a “regular” bottle while on their bike. The Looney Bin will hold anything from a convenience store bottle of H2O to a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. This is the perfect cage for a commuter rig or the Mixte for that spring picnic.