Showing posts from July 13, 2014

The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa - July 20-26, 2014

RAGBRAI,  The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa , is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Heading into its 42nd year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. In the beginning, no one imagined that RAGBRAI would become the Iowa tradition it is now.  We at The Des Moines Register thank all the riders who have joined us over the years.  We especially wish to thank the thousands and thousands of volunteers in the towns we’ve visited along the way for their tireless work to show RAGBRAI riders the hospitality that has made our ride world famous. We encourage you to follow the application procedures and come along only if you are accepted as a registered rider.  It is crucial that we keep our number of riders at the level suggested by the Iowa State Patrol and the Iowa Department of Transportation for the safety of all riders.  We thank you for your cooperation. For those of you who have never ridden, this rolling

This rogue bicycle pony express delivered mail in 1894 | Grist

If any of the cyclists who participated in the great bicycle messenger mail route were still alive to tell the tale, it would make the ultimate “when I was your age story.” Picture this: San Francisco, 1894. The Pullman rail strike in Illinois cuts off all rail service west of Detroit, leaving California train-less and thus, mail-less. One “enterprising citizen” and bicycle salesman Arthur C. Banta decides to create a fixie chain gang relay along a 210-mile stretch from San Francisco to California’s Central Valley with eight primary riders. He charges $0.25 for stamps, 10 times the price of standard mail at the time. I can just hear the conversation now: Old-Timer Cyclist:  When I was your age, we didn’t have no Amazon delivery service or fancy-schmancy computers. We wrote letters with pens and paper and put stamps on them. And when the mail system broke down because of a rail strike, we printed up our own stamps and rode our own fixed gear bicycles on unmarked dirt roads in th

Colorado Brewers to Take On Sixth Annual Tour De BoulDurango | Brewbound

DURANGO, Colo.  — On Monday, July 21 st  owners and representatives from six of Colorado’s leading craft breweries will depart on the ride of a lifetime…for the sixth year in a row.  Commencing at Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, CO and culminating at Ska Brewing Co. in Durango, the annual Tour De BoulDurango is a five day, 426 mile road bike ride through some of Colorado’s steepest and most grueling road terrain. This year’s venture features riders from Avery, Ska, Boulder Beer, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, and Great Divide breweries. Out of the gate the tour will call for a 109 mile ride through Golden and over Loveland Pass before descending onto Breckenridge Brewery. As day one concludes it is likely the riders will reflect on all of the pedaling still to come. “As busy as we all are, I think it’s good to get out in the Colorado hills with some of the state’s brewing pioneers and share a few ideas, as well as a few beers,” says Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co. “Collectively, we have

How to pack for off road Bike Packing

A Radar For Your Bike, So You Don't Have To Have Eyes In The Back Of Your Head | FastCompany

With the Backtracker, tailgating cars take notice. How do you improve the bike light? We've seen a few new ideas recently: lights  embedded in wheels   or installed in   helmets , lights   that project an image on the road   or even lights that let you see what the road   surface is like . Franz Struwig 's  Backtracker  is another new take. His light idea is based around a radar. The back light alerts motorists to the cyclist's presence, flashing more frequently as cars get closer. Then a handlebar-mounted display gives a read-out to riders. Its red bars illuminate as cars come nearby. Struwig, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, is raising money to fund the lights on Dragon Innovation , a Kickstarter-like site specializing in hardware. See the campaign video here: Struwig says the handlebar display isn't really a danger signal. It's more about giving riders extra intelligence. The back scanner,

New York City’s Summer Streets | NYC.GOV

About Summer Streets Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC's streets are opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2013, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets. Summer Streets is modeled on other events from around the world including Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France. The event is part bike tour, part walking tour, part block party—a great time for exercise, people watching, or just enjoying summer mornings. Passersbys are welcome to participate in arts and crafts workshops, listen to musical performances, learn to salsa dance, eat healthy snacks, climb a 25' climbing wall, soar through the sky on a 160' zipline and explore a 179 years voice tunnel. Held b

Mavic celebrates 125 years with custom bikes | VeloNews

THOUSAND OAKS, California (VN) — What do you get when you combine five creative custom frame builders and 125 years of French cycling history? A room full of fantastic bikes. A fleet of five custom bikes from frame builders around the U.S. was commissioned as a tribute to Mavic’s 125th anniversary. Each builder had complete freedom over the build and art, but each bike was inspired by the limited edition Ksyrium 125 wheelset. In 1934, Mavic invented the first rim constructed from an alloy made of copper and aluminum. It weighed 750 grams, rather than the 1.2 kilograms that most rims in that era weighed. Ridden by Antonion Magne in the 1934 Tour de France, the Mavic rims were painted to look like wood, to remain secret, lest the peloton became suspicious of his new technology. Magne won the Tour de France that year. The French component manufacturer has come a long way from its days of disguising new technology — nearly any Mavic product in recent history stands out with a bl

As tensions rise among D.C. road users, many say police enforcement lags | Washington Post

A bicyclist rides along L Street Northwest in Washington. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post) As an increasing number of Washington-area residents forgo their vehicles and choose to bike or walk to work, tensions between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have escalated, with reports of terrifying encounters: drivers intimidating cyclists, cyclists antagonizing drivers, pedestrians at the mercy of both bikers and drivers. The one thing that all three agree on: D.C. police are not doing enough to enforce the rules for any of the groups. “There hasn’t been much priority to enforce those laws,” said Joe Reiner, a member of the nonprofit organization All Walks DC, which promotes pedestrian safety. “Cars and bikes are speeding through pedestrian crosswalks ignoring that pedestrians have a right of way. This is an issue that we really need to have the police do better with.” [Keep reading at Washington Post]

Why the U.S. Will Never Be Bicycle Friendly | Outside

Local laws give potential safer-cycling designs the red light.      Photo:  Paul Krueger/ Flickr The United States has come a long way since the days of shoulderless roads and nonexistent crosswalks.  Protected bike lanes  have contributed to a 171 percent increase in cycling traffic in Chicago and a 126 percent increase in Rio Grande. When it comes to protective outlets, if you build it, they will bike. That's where urban planner Nick Falbo and his  protected intersection design  plan come in. Based on designs used in Europe, he proposed intersections with small islands that wrap around each corner of cross streets, creating a more visible space in the middle of the street where cyclists can wait for a signal. The design forces cars to turn corners before they can go forward, allowing cyclists to be seen crossing the road. With the design, cyclists even have their own signal phase at traffic lights. Brillliant, right? It would be if it could actually happen. [Keep re

Colnago CX zero

Bicyclists, motorists in Akron area still learning to share the road | Akron Beacon Journal

Morgan Loesch heads west on West Exchange Street on his daily 14-mile round trip commute from his Highland Square home to his job in Akron. (Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal) It’s a battle between two groups that has been waged since the early part of the 20th century. If they were gangs they would be the Fearsome Fours vs. the Terrible Twos and their battleground is the streets of Akron and Summit County where the fight takes place every single day. Cars may rule the roads, but bicycles are an increasingly common sight on the streets. Both clans seem to want the other to get out of their respective way, while Akron officials would like for everyone to just get along. During the past decade or so, the city has worked with bicycle advocates and groups such as the University of Akron-sponsored How We Roll Akron to make Akron more accommodating to cyclists. According to the Akron Metropolitan Transportation Study, there are 13 miles of off-road trails in the city, nearly 1


Washington, DC. You can see big changes happening across America as communities from Fairbanks to St. Petersburg transform their streets into appealing places for people, not just cars and trucks. "Over the past five years we're seeing an infrastructure revolution, a rethinking of our streets to accommodate more users — busways, public plazas, space for pedestrians and, of course, bike lanes," says David Vega-Barachowitz of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. "More protected bike lanes is one of the most important parts of this." Protected bike lanes separate people on bikes from rushing traffic with concrete curbs, plastic bollards or other means — and sometimes offer additional safety measures such as special bike traffic lights and painted crossing lanes at intersections. Protected bike lanes help riders feel less exposed to danger, and are also  appreciated by drivers  and pedestrians, who know where to expect bicycles. Streets

Danny MacAskill Spoof Video: WeeSAB letter:I

The spoof video: The original video he is spoofing:


I’ll admit it: I’m a map nerd. Sometimes I wish I could get by with a photocopied cue sheet taped to my top tube—but I know myself—I like to learn the terrain I travel through. I like to look at a map and analyze the topo lines, figure out the name of the surrounding buttes, notice an old cemetery up the hollow to my left, and then when I inevitably get lost trying to find it, locate an alternate route home. Paper maps are great. The amount of detail and finesse put into good printed maps these days is a thing of beauty. Someday I’ll buy every quadrangle in Oregon and wallpaper my studio with them. But they have their drawbacks. They get wet, they get bulky on a big trip, you constantly have to refold them, and, well, they don’t tell you where you are. [Keep reading at  Limberlost]

Real American Locks Up Citi Bike For Personal Use | Gothamist

Oh OK. (John Marsh) The notion of a bike share program is one of democracy—a nominal sum is exchanged for the ability to borrow a bicycle for a short period of time, eventually leaving the bicycle for use by someone else. All of the bikes are the same, and everyone—rich and poor, tall or small,  Lindsay Lohan  or  petrified child , must equally suffer the burden of figuring out how to dock them. Unless, of course, you're the brand of real American who doesn't quite grasp the concept of sharing . Spawned from a long line of descendants, the first of which probably landed at Plymouth Rock, enjoyed a territorial piss along the sandy shoreline and announced that all of this is "ours" now, one Citi Bike user has similarly placed a U-Lock on one bicycle over which he or she has decided s/he has rightful ownership. Yes, you pay the same membership fee as everyone else, but this country was not built on fairness or decency, and no one ever gets ahead playing by the rul

Minneapolis is a very nice city for biking but it is definitely no Portland |

A woman lounges on the bike-frame bike rack outside  Modern Times , Minneapolis’s answer to the  New Deal Cafe . “Can I take a photo?” I asked. “Hell yeah,” she said. (Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland) Now, don’t get me wrong: Minneapolis is a great place to ride a bicycle. It has lots of things that Portland can and should learn from. And yes, those things they do in the November snow and the August sweat are seriously impressive. But is Minneapolis a better biking city than Portland? Don’t be silly. It is not. [Keep reading at]

Ride like a girl - Medium

Inspired by a great chat with  Andy Mangold . Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a woman? Go get your bike. (I encourage you to grab a helmet, too, but there’s a surprising amount of debate about that one.) All set? Great. Go ride to work. Ride everywhere. [Keep reading at Medium]