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Friday, December 5, 2014

This Handlebar-Mounted Phone-Holder Turns Your Dumb Bike Into A Smart Machine | FastCompany

The system gives turn-by-turn directions, finds nearby friends, and shows maps of upcoming roads.

If you're someone who likes cycling, but hates being away from their phone, you'll appreciate the COBI. A module that's placed on the handlebars, it lets you control your phone while moving along—for example, to answer calls or navigate Spotify.
But it's more than that. The self-proclaimed "World’s Smartest Connected Biking System" is really a way to integrate a phone into your bike, establishing an operating system to manage fitness, monitor lights and signals, and more.

Developed in Germany, the COBI comes with a powerful LED front-light and a built-in battery that extends a phone's normal life. Once you place a handset inside the housing and download the accompanying app, you can get all the things other bike computers offer, like turn-by-turn directions, "buddy radar" (locating nearby friends), and maps of upcoming roads.
There's also a "thumb controller" unit that lets you tap out up to 10 instructions to your phone without taking your hands off the bike (it's like the controls on a car steering wheelto shift the radio or activate cruise control). The app also integrates with lights on the back of the bike. When you brake sharply, it illuminates, telling whoever is behind you to slow down. When you make a right or left turn, the indicator will light accordingly.
Finally, COBI also has an proximity and anti-theft protection system. Your bike will start working when you and your phone come within a certain distance; anyone else's phone won't have the same effect.
The COBI is available on Kickstarter, starting at $159 for an early bird special. Check out the campaign page here.

The Daily Bike: Schwalbe Reinvents the Mountain Bike Tire | adventure journal


Back in the late 1990s tubeless tires came along and transformed mountain biking. Tubeless tires let you run lower pressures, so the tires conform beautifully to terra firma, and as a result, corner like high-performance sports car rubber.
But they have a few faults. The primary one is that finding your happiest inflation level is a crapshoot. If you weigh 200 pounds that might be 45 PSI; if you’re 150 pounds maybe it’s 22 PSI. Or maybe not, as a g-out, root, or rock can easily “burp,” or nudge, the tire right off the rim, and there goes all the air, whether you run sealant inside or not.
Schwalbe claims it’s solved the problem with the new Procore tire system, an intriguing and possibly game changing setup. Procore tires have dual air chambers. You run a small inner tube right against the rim at a very high pressure, say, between about 55 and 85 PSI. Then you fit the Schwalbe tire over the inner tube. The funky system has a unique, dual valve: It lets you fill both the inner tube and the cavity between inner tube and tire by adjusting the threading. And that outer cavity, the one that determines most of what you feel rolling along, can be filled to just 10 to 20 PSI.
Schwalbe says the system provides two major improvements. First, the inner chamber prevents burping the tire off the rim wall, since the tube holds the tire bead in place. The tire can’t walk off the rim even if you strike a square-edged bump, because the tube is securing it. Second, running exceptionally low tire pressure in the outer chamber of course provides better cornering grip and more surface contact between tire and the ground...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

IMPORTANT: Communitywide Five-Year Sustainability Plan Released for Final Comment and Review

The Mayor's Office of Environmental Stewardship is seeking public review and feedback of the next five-year sustainability plan.  The plan can be reviewed and comments submitted until December 17 online at

"For the first time, this plan is not just an internal city document," said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "It was crafted for the community, by the community because it will take all of us working together to fully realize our vision for a green community that is beautiful, healthy and prosperous."

For the past year, the Mayor's Office of Environmental Stewardship has been crafting the plan with the help of the community. Ideas were solicited for the plan at events, focus groups and via online survey.  The Mayor's Green Team developed the plan's vision statement, focus areas and prioritized action items.

"Columbus is a national leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability," said Councilmember Michelle M. Mills, chair of the Environment Committee. "By continuing to work together on initiatives like the five-year plan, we can create a greener, healthier community."

Mayor Michael B. Coleman released the city's first five-year plan for sustainability in 2005 to strategically reduce the impact of city operations on the environment.  In 2010, a follow-up plan was released.  The initiative's most notable accomplishments include the development of the popular residential recycling service, removal of the Fifth Avenue low head dam and subsequent river restoration, installation of a large-scale solar array, conversion of city fleet to cleaner burning fuels and launch of CoGo Bike Share.

"Mayor Coleman has elevated the environment as an issue of top importance," said Aparna Dial, Director of Sustainability at The Ohio State University and Chair of the Mayor's Green Team.  "As a result, environmental protection is a core value of our community and we are all invested in seeing that the actions spelled out in this plan come to fruition."

The final version of the document is scheduled to be released at the Columbus Metropolitan Club on January 9.

Staff Picks: Winter Tires | Tree Fort Bikes Blog

It’s finally Ypsi’s turn to get the snow dump. With a slow Saturday in the store, Juan and Jesse set out to find their new best friend.

Up for the test: Continental Tour Ride; Continental Top Contact; 45 Nrth Gravdal; 45 Nrth Xerxes.

For many of us here at the shop, this is the first season we’re running dedicated winter tires on our commuters, so we began our frosty day with more curiosity than experience. We choose a diverse tire set to play around with speed and traction variables, and after plowing the drifts for an afternoon, we got a basic feel for ride qualities within our sample group, comparing differences between studded and studless treads, wider and narrower widths, and pitting all-purpose tires against the dedicated winters. Rated from Not Bad to Most Awesome, here’s our take...

Read the review at Tree Fort Bikes Blog

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Summer - City - Freedom

Summer - City - Freedom from Cyclechic hu on Vimeo.'s random summer videos to warm you up in the winter
Music: Punks Jump Up ft. Dave 1/Chromeo - Mr Overtime

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse from Ian Barrington on Vimeo.
A one night bikepacking trip and beach ride on the Gower, South Wales.

What If Every McDonald’s Had Really Good Bike Parking? |

Have you ever been to a McDonald’s and noticed bikes locked to trees, fences, or signposts? Andrew Besold at WalkBikeJersey has, and he thinks a campaign to get fast food restaurants to adopt standards for good bike parking could have a very far-reaching impact:
If you’re “bike aware” (and likely you are because you’re reading this blog) and have ever visited a fast food restaurant you’ve undoubtedly seen bikes haphazardly parked to anything secure all around the restaurant site. A vast majority of these bikes are undoubtedly owned by members of restaurant staff who depend on their bikes to get to their jobs in the restaurant.
Knowing that a number of their employees rely on a bike to get to work everyday, one would think that these fast food restaurants would provided some official organized bicycle parking that preferably meets the basic APBP bike parking standards. Unfortunately this is almost always not the case and the sight of bikes parked to whatever the owner can find is common sight not only in New Jersey but at most fast food and chain sit-down restaurants all across the country.
So this is why we ask, “What would it say to America if McDonalds became ‘Bike Friendly’?” We are not picking on McDonalds. Far from it! We focus on McDonalds because they are clearly the industry leader and we respect them for that. If McDonalds makes the move to standardize bike parking for their employees and guests, WalkBikeJersey believes that it would send a message across the entire restaurant industry. Their engineering consultants that do their local site plans would also be educated about proper bike parking design and hopefully the message would get out to the towns that do the site plan review and then possibly even to McDonalds’ competition. There is clearly the potential for a positive feedback loop here.

Widecracker Lite - Headset spacer bottler opener @wscrckr

Titanium is widely known in the biking world as one of the lightest and most durable materials. It neatly fits as a headset spacer under your handlebars and can be installed in just 5 minutes. This opener has no coating, just the natural titanium color, and features an Ahrens Bicycles logo.
WiseCracker Stats:
  • 1-1/8" Headset Spacer
  • Material = 6/4 Titanium
  • Finish = Bead Blast Finish
  • Stack Height = 1.8mm
  • Weight = 10 grams

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Path - Bikepacking in Pisgah Forest

My Path - Bikepacking in Pisgah Forest from Ryan Sigsbey on Vimeo.
Music: Michael Chapman "A Strangers Map of Texas"

The Town Cycling Saved @bicyclingmag

Don Ness
Don Ness is the Mayor of Duluth Minnesota.
(Photo by Hansi Johnson)

Bicycling: You're the mayor. Of Duluth. Duluth. . .
Don Ness: Yes. It's 150 miles north of Minneapolis on the westernmost point of Lake Superior, the world's greatest lake.
And you ran because. . .
I grew up in Duluth in the seventies and early eighties, when Duluth was one of the 10 most distressed cities in the nation. It was an example of a Rust Belt city that had lost its industry. The leaders of that time worked hard to get us out. But there was a persistent sense of pessimism and lack of confidence, a mindset that we needed to protect what we have.
That makes it sound like they were afraid. Of what?
Of sliding back into the dire times we had pulled ourselves out of. But we weren't capturing the city's energy or spirit. Duluth sits between the St. Louis River and the western tip of Lake Superior. It has industrial heritage, but what makes it unique is its natural beauty and the number of outdoor recreation opportunities we have within the city limits. So what we tell folks is that you can live in this city [of 87,000], and have world-class mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, and sailing right out your back door, right in the city.

Thule Proride 591...gone in 8 seconds (how to steal a bike from a locked Thule Proride Bike Carrier)

State of the Lanes: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania @peopleforbikes

State of the Lanes: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from The PeopleForBikes GLP on Vimeo.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Jones Banana Hammock

Jones Banana Hammock

A mini bar bag that fits inside the Jones Loop bar. VX21 and a single waterproof zipper in a 3" deep bag. Attaches via four Velcro loops that can be custom located around your other straps and electronic gadgets.
Carry snacks, an extra water bottle or anything else. A great little pocket.
Available in all colors that the custom frame packs are but black is in stock and available for shipping.

I want to see the world: The North (1 of 2)

Bike Chains - How its Made

Flint Ridge Gravel Grinder11302014 #gravel @rollbikes

Big thanks to roll: bicycles, clothing, gear. for organizing the ride today. There were close to 40 cyclists for the Flint Ridge route. 40 miles, 4000+ feet of climbing. Temps in mid to upper 50's.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dog-towed bike racer hit by flying wall of deer… (it has a happy ending)

[Story here at]

What riding my bike has taught me about white privilege | Quartz

The phrase “white privilege” is one that rubs a lot of white people the wrong way. It can trigger something in them that shuts down conversation or at least makes them very defensive. (Especially those who grew up relatively less privileged than other folks around them). And I’ve seen more than once where this happens and the next move in the conversation is for the person who brought up white privilege to say, “The reason you’re getting defensive is because you’re feeling the discomfort of having your privilege exposed.”

I’m sure that’s true sometimes. And I’m sure there are a lot of people, white and otherwise, who can attest to a kind of a-ha moment or paradigm shift where they “got” what privilege means and they did realize they had been getting defensive because they were uncomfortable at having their privilege exposed. But I would guess that more often than not, the frustration and the shutting down is about something else. It comes from the fact that nobody wants to be a racist. And the move “you only think that because you’re looking at this from the perspective of privilege” or the more terse and confrontational “check your privilege!” kind of sound like an accusation that someone is a racist (if they don’t already understand privilege). And the phrase “white privilege” kind of sounds like, “You are a racist and there’s nothing you can do about it because you were born that way.”

Acadia Carriage Road Loop Ride Recap

Started from the Acadia NP visitor center carriage road trailhead. 30 miles. 2500+ ft climbing. Crushed limestone/gravel bed with beautiful views of the ocean, lakes and mountains. Temps in the mid to upper 50's. Stopped to make coffee at the top of Day Mountain. The trails are marked but can be confusing.