Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fat Cyclist domain under construction

I know this isn't exactly huge news -- every website is "under construction," and if it's not, it's probably not a site worth visiting -- but the Fat Cyclist has finally decided to do something with his domain besides redirecting visitors to his MSN Spaces blog site. He has (or will have):

  • The blog. That'll be on the home page. I'mhappy to say that my "idea list" (a Word doc I keep with a bullet listof things I want to write about on my blog) now has a nice buffer of 15items. So the writer's fatigue thing should be over.
  • Comments. Iknow a lot of you readers don't currently comment because it'sdifficult to sign up with Microsoft's Live Passport. I've (for now) setup my blog at www.fatcyclist.com to not require registration. Just type and post. If spam or abuse gets to be a problem, I'll rethink that later.
  • Fatty's Forum.I'd like to be able to have ongoing conversations with you guys, andthe comments zone is kind of a weak way to do that, so I've got a forumat www.fatcyclist.com/forum. Please register and post something there, because it's currently entirely empty.
  • Epic Rides Library.Long before I ever did the "Fat Cyclist" blog, I maintained a littlewebsite called "Epic Rides," where anyone who wanted could contributestories about long, difficult bike rides they had taken. I lovedwriting and reading those stories, so I'm going to make that part ofthe Fat Cyclist site, too. Start thinking about (and writing) yourstories.
  • Training / Weight Loss Bets and Competitions: Oneway I've been able to force myself to stay on track with diets andtraining is by having a bet or competition with other people. I thinkthat's probably the case with others. So I'm planning on having an areaon the site where you can either compete with me or with other FatCyclist readers to see who meets their goals.
  • Stuff to Sell.I'm thinking of selling T-Shirts, stickers, jerseys, and other stufflike that. I haven't actually started getting any of that produced,yet, though. Soon.
  • Ads-for-Schwag: I'd liketo put some ads on my site. Not to get money, mind you (though Iwouldn't necessarily be opposed to money). I'd like to do barter-styleadvertising, where small companies can advertise on my site in exchangefor giving me stuff which I can then give away as competition prizes.
Drop by at <a href="http://www.fatcyclist.com/">Fatcyclist.com</a> and let Faitty know that Fritz @ Cyclelicious sent you.

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Fraudulent eBay bicycle shop

The company's Web site, www.steves-bikes.com, shows images of scores of bikes and several employees eager to serve you at a shop in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Trouble is, there are no bicycles or employees at Steve's Cycling Store in Cheyenne, because there is no such store in Cheyenne. The address listed on the Web site is actually the location of a large truck stop.

That hasn't stopped hundreds of people nationwide from being taken for tens of thousands of dollars through an elaborate scam that uses the company's fake online store and eBay, said Barbara Read, communications supervisor for the Mountain States BBB.

Read more at C.I.C.L.E.: Online bicycle store is a fraud

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Jap boy band bike video

Jap boy band bike video

Keirin fixed gear bikes are featured in this music video as the Japanese boy band "Rip Slyme" dresses up in matching bike mechanic overalls. Kawai, ne?

Hat tip to Go Clipless and Masi Guy.

Does anybody remember Pink Lady and "UFO"?

Bus Pirates video

Bus Pirates, Episode 1.

With a broken-down Geo and a late start to his day, Dan tempts fate by stepping aboard Los Angeles City public transportation. In no time Dan’s little orange bus has been taken over by Pirate Jack Bonnier and his band of ruthless bus pirates! Stranded with the most villainous sea-dogs of the interstate and one other passenger, the beautiful and mysterious Christy, Dan must choose between joining the pirates or a vague fate that may be even worse. Will Dan and Christy survive the pirates’ musical number? Are all bus drivers inarticulate and unhelpful? What’s up with that handless guy? Is Christy really a robot? Watch and find out!

Via Bus Chick.

No, Nancy, No!

C.I.C.L.E: On The Path To Co-Existence

Recently, on a business trip to Berlin, I saw something that, had it existed in West Hartford, would have transformed my bicycle experiment from scary to satisfactory. It is simplicity itself: bicycle lanes on sidewalks.

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Melbourne school encourages biking to school

I see more examples of this here in the United States, where school administrators and city planners encourage parents to get their children to walk and bike to school.

Of the 500 children at the school, 68 per cent were coming bycar, creating gridlock morning and afternoon. The council, fearinga child would be hurt or killed by an exasperated driver, asked theschool to close a bay where up to 30 cars queued each morning.

"It was a very unpopular decision with parents," Johansen says."I was quite worried, because I felt it might (hurt) enrolments ifparents thought our school was difficult to get to."

The enterprising principal turned a negative into a positive.

Read more: Freewheeling into the future

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Business fined for keeping bike out front

A shop owner with adverstising on his bicycle was fined by city code enforcement for violating town code regulating signs. In the meantime, other businesses with much larger advertising on their cars and trucks parked out front never get hassled by the town. Talk about double standards!

One to ponder: bicycle vs SUV signage | Cyburbia - urban planning community

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Bakfiets blog

A blog about Dutch cargo bikes.

Portlander starts Bakfiets Blog

Northeast Portland resident Richard Wilson is on a Dutch bike kick. Like myself, he’s especially smitten with cargo bikes, or “bakfiets.”In fact, he likes them so much, he’s started a Bakfiets blog that he hopes will become the, “…go-to resource for bakfiets and to stimulate serious interest in the bike [...]

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Jersey to ban quick release wheels?

A proposed law working its way through the New Jersey legislature would make it unlawful to sell bicycles equipped with conventional “quick-release” wheels in the state, unless they were equipped with a secondary fail-safe device to prevent the accidental release of the wheel.

Read more: Benepe's Bike Blog: NJ Moves to Ban Unsafe Quick Releases

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Three hours

That's how long it takes for the beeping horn car alarm to completely discharge the batteries on my neighbor's brand new Prius. Just in case you needed to know.

After about an hour and half, the beeps become weak and almost plaintive.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Time change and your bike computer

Most people in the United States need to fall back this weekend. Here are links to bicycle computer manuals if you can't figure out how to change the time on your bike computer.

Web 2.0 good for Cannondale Bicycle Corporation

Cannondale Bicycles is featured prominently in an article about how Web 2.0 technologies and blogging are increasingly being embaced by the corporate world.

In February 2005, Janet Maurice, webmaster for Cannondale Bicycle Corp., introduced a blogging platform to her company's Web site. The Bethel, Conn.-based bicycle manufacturer has seen a resurgence in its brand ever since.

"From the quantitative perspective, I can tell you that we've increased traffic to our sites by almost 50% in the last year," Maurice said. "People are coming in, they're reading, they're subscribing, they're talking about us on different forums and new groups and they're directing people back to our site to continue the conversation. Blogging encourages and fosters community. And when the general community is talking about your product and your brand in a positive way, it doesn't get any better than that."

Cannondale's employees blog on the company's Web site, too, and talk up new products, bicycle events, the latest technology in the industry and news about professional bicyclists.

Read more: IT execs eager to exploit Web 2.0 wave. Found via the amazing Bike Search Tool. Use the Bike Search Tool to extend your reach into the Long Tail.

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Ultimate bicycle facility: 35km air conditioned bike path

Qatar cycle path

Qatar to build 35km air-conditioned cycle path.

It's not really air-conditioned: water will mist from the canopy onto cyclists to cool them. Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani wants to get people riding bicycles. One of the challenges, though, is Qatar is hotter than a blast furnace.

But this is no sweat when you have billions in oil money, courtesy of American motorists. The Emir hired the Rand Corporation and Rand proposed a 35 kilometer shaded, solar-powered, mist-cooled bike path. With no cumbersome democratic processes to get in the way the project sailed through to approval. For more details, see Vélo Mondial's page describing this project.

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Bicycle drum machine

From Engadget:

Michael Una built what he calls the Beat-Bike v.1, a "bicycle-controlled drum machine." He's loaded up this bike with sensors on the frame, which are activated by turning the front wheel, or, y'know, riding the thing. As Michael writes: "Once activated, they trigger a momentary sounding of a single drum sound- kick drum, snare, tom-tom, and "disco-bleep" from a kids' toy drum machine. As the wheel spins, the sensors are triggered in a sequence which becomes an audible, repeating drum beat."

Beat-Bike brings "disco-bleeps" to cycling - Engadget. Seen via Bike Search.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bike blogger Grahl makes the news

Crooked Cog founder Tim Grahl's TwentyNineInches.com blog was mentioned in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Kudos to Tim and his crew for a job well done.

BRaIN: Zion Bicycles Licenses TwentyNineInches.com Branding

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HOW TO: Campaign signs to bike fenders

Fend For Yourself provides instructions on do it yourself bike fenders made from campaign signs. Like Sue J reminds us, though, wait until after the election before pilfering recycling Coroplast signs into bicycle fenders.

Bike Search Engine: I've gotten all fancy using Google's AJAX programming API for their search engine. Check it out -- now, you also get bicycling-related search results from blogs, from the news, and from the website at large as well as from the narrower focus provided by the Cyclelicious Custom Search Engine. Try searching for articles on fenders -- not "bike fenders" but just "fenders" -- and see what you find. It's kind of fun, I've already found some new and interesting sites using this powerful tool.

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SRAM Rival preview

Masi is specing the new SRAM Rival group for their new Gran Criterium bike. SRAM Rival is the consumer or enthusiast end of SRAM's new road group offerings, with SRAM Force designed for the pro cyclist.

Masiguy installed brakes, derailers, shifters, cassette and chain on a bike and gave the SRAM Rival a spin. Read here for Masiguy's report.

Question for Tim: I had read that multiple upshifts/downshifts with one swing of the lever aren't possible with SRAM shifters. Campy and Shimano both have that capability. I like the ability to shift multiple gears at a time. Will this limitation hinder SRAM's acceptance in the bike marketplace?
Photo info: SRAM Rival by racerboy339.

Exercise to prevent colds

Want to prevent colds? Start exercising

A long-term moderate exercise program can reduce the risk of colds among older women, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

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Custom search engine for biking

Folks visiting Cyclelicious might have noticed a new search box near the top of the main page. That's an experiment using Google's new Custom Search Engine Feature. Search using that search box and Google will return results from a number of bicycling websites and blogs that I've entered.

What's cool is that Googler Matt Cutts specifically mentioned biking search engine that could attract volunteers, traction, and first-mover attention. I've configured the "Bicycle Stuff" custom search so anybody can add sites to the list of searched sites. As soon as I figure out how you can add to this Custom Search, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, what are some specific things you would look for in a specialized search engine for bicycles? Leave a comment with your favorite bicycling website, even if it's your own, and I'll add it to the list of sites to search.

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Weight gain = lower gas mileage

Weight gain means lower gas mileage

- Want to spend less at the pump? Lose some weight. That's the implication of a new study that says Americans are burning nearly 1 billion more gallons of gasoline each year than they did in 1960 because of their expanding waistlines. Simply put, more weight in the car means lower gas mileage.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

China planning national car-free day each September

Photo by Shanghai Sky.
China is planning to stage an annual car-free day across the country, an official with the Ministry of Construction said on Thursday.Lan Rong, director of the ministry's department of urban construction, revealed the plan at the inaugural meeting of the China Urban Public Transport Association's intelligent traffic committee in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province."We will promote the event in order to encourage more citizens to choose public transport instead of private cars to reduce the worsening air pollution caused by car exhausts," Lan said.

Read more in the China Daily. Via CICLE.

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Bicycle factory video

Bicycle factory video

This is a ten minute video showing the mass production of "mamachari"-style bicycles in a bike factory in Japan. It shows framebuilding, painting, decal application, robot pipe benders making handlebars, polishing, automated wheel building, and assembly. Hat tip to Spinopsys for this nifty video.

Record participation in Bay Area Spare the Air Days

According to the Bay Area Air Quality District, 10 percent of people who responded to a survey about driving habits said they drove less or took public transportation on Spare the Air days. District officials credited free transportation with the increased response.

Read more in the MercuryNews.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Arizon study examines trail impacts of mountain bikes.

Woman mountain biking on a trail at nightPhoto by David Hunter.
   The IMBA issued a press release to publicize a study that looks at the environmental impacts of mountain biking. Researchers measured trail erosion and other impacts on 31 trails used for mountain biking in the southwestern U.S. The study concludes that, "certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are comparable or less than hiking or multiple-use trails, and significantly less than impacts to equestrian or off-highway vehicle trails."

Read more: New Study Examines Mountain Biking Impacts.

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Be Safe Be Seen

cyclists biking on Fyn, Denmark "Rainy day on fyn." Photo by Gary Oppenheim.

From Peterborough Today. The city of Peterborough in the UK will launch a "Be Safe Be Seen" campaign by handing out flourescent freebies for cyclists and walkers.

“For best all round protection, people should wear clothes or safety accessories that combine fluorescent colours with reflective material.”

Flourescent colors work well in daylight and dusk. At night, light colors and reflective materials are good.

I also use plenty of active lighting on my bike, including a white blinkie on my helmet to catch the attention of whomever I look at, red lights on the back, white lights on the front, and a yellow Xenon strobe mounted on my messenger bag strap up high at my shoulder for the heavy urban cross traffic I ride through.

My goal is to be mistaken for a construction zone. The danger, of course, is that impaired drivers will focus on me and drive straight into me, but that risk is probably lower than that of the invisible cyclist.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

How I fled from terror on a bicycle

On November 10, 1956, the Soviets invaded Budapest, Hungary.

There were mass arrests and killings and an estimated 200,000 Hungarians - including Imre Antal - fled the country.

Imre, who now lives in the tranquil village of Westgate, in Weardale, remembers how thousands of his countrymen, including neighbours and friends, were sent off to labour camps by the Russians."Nobody knew really what was happening, but they were very frightened."

Along with three pals, Imre decided to make his way to Austria - by bicycle. "It was a frightening ride for all of us. We kept hearing of killings and people being sent to labour camps. But luckily we eventually managed to reach the border. We made contact with the Red Cross, and they eventually took us to safety in Graz.

Read more: How I Fled From Terror On A Bicycle (from The Northern Echo)

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BikePortland: Victim of its success

Fans of Bike Portland have already noticed that the site is down, with just a brief message from the site's owner:

My site is temporarily down while I make a significant server upgrade. My hosts have suspended my account twice in the last week due to excessive traffic.

I apologize for the outages and should have my own, dedicated server set up in the next few days. The good news the site will be much more stable, the bad news is the new server plan costs 14 times more a month than I'm currently paying. Growing pains I guess...

BikePortland's owner Jonathan Maus tells me that his hosting service shut him down because his site generates too much traffic. 87% of server usage was from DB requests from bikeportland.org. His blog is in the top 8,000 in Technorati and is considered the #1 rated bike blog in the world. (Cyclelicious, in contrast, is only #7). In August, BikePortland.org had 250,000 page views.

With his increased hosting costs in mind, Jonathan says to contact him about sponsorship and ads and he'll be happy to talk. ;-)

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Time RXS & RXE pedals recalled

RXS-Ti-carbon recalled

Time Sport International is recalling approximately 15,000 pairs of Time RXS and RXE automatic pedals for road cycles across North America. There is a potential safety issue affecting these models, which concerns the detachment of the axle system from the body of the pedal.

Time Sport International Announces RXS and RXE Line Pedal Recall

Visit Time Sports for detailed info.

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Disabled woman to receive replacement bicycle

A feel-good story:
A 53-year-old disabled woman whose customized bike was recently stolen appears on her way to receiving a new one.

Read more: Offers pour in to replace disabled woman's bike

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Newsflash: Puncturevine causes flats!

They have hard, stout spines, up to seven millimeters long. There are hundreds and hundreds of these nutlets, probably thousands, lying in streets all over town, and on country roads. They almost resemble thumbtacks — in fact “tackweed” is one of the alternate popular names for the plant. And the seeds have a similar effect to thumbtacks on bicycle tires.

The Davis Enterprise

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Exploration and adventure in cycling

Jill in Alaska echoes my opinion of cycling as adventure so perfectly:

My opinion about exploration has always been that if I've never been there, it's new to me. I'll probably never vie to be the first person atop random peak #37 in the Alaska Range or to ride my bicycle across the frozen Bering Sea. But as long as I can wrap my adventure around dodging porcupines on a leaf-littered trail or carving tracks through thick, crunchy snow, I stay satisfied.

Read more: Up in Alaska: The precedent

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Starbucks Corporate and cycling to work

You've probably seen the story on other blogs and forums. Starbucks store manager Fabian Mills rode his bike to a manager's meeting. His manager apparently made disparaging remarks about Fabian's bike commute. This news hit the web. And now, Starbucks attempts damage control.

UPDATE: The story made it to AdRants. And the BikePortland website is currently down. And Fritz doesn't go to Starbucks anyway (generally preferring the local roasters and brewers). And while we're talking coffee, don't forget to visit Bicycle Coffee Systems.

Pedestrian Tip: Taps to save your shoes

For you heavy walkers who wear out your shoes, The Seattle Bus Chick ran across this neat idea to save your shoes.

Arif puts rubber taps on all his shoes. They prevent the heel from wearing down, are fairly easy to replace, and because they're rubber, have the added benefit of muffling sound.

Read more: A mile (and more) in a bus chick's shoes

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Burbank bike lane opponents win city hall fight

NIMBYism prevails as Burbank neighborhood stops bike lane striping on their street. "Sparks street residents are glad the city will not be using their neighborhood to connect Chandler Bikeway and Riverside Drive. They argued that the proposed connector would pose safety hazards for residents and their children, increase traffic congestion, the potential for crime, loitering in the area and also create conflict between horses and bicyclists in an area used for equestrian activities."

Read more: Bike lane opponents win city hall fight

Google Maps upgrades Public Transportation coverage

Treehugger: Google Upgrades Coverage of Public Transportation

Last year, Google launched a new service called "Google Transit". It was a version of Google Maps that provided directions for navigating public transportation. It was great, but it only covered one city: Portland, Oregon. Google has now added five more cities to the service: Seattle WA, Pittsburgh PA, Eugene OR, Tampa FL, and Honolulu HI.

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29er Interbike roundup

Full suspension 29er roundup

Graham @ Go Clipless tried a number of 29 inch mountain bikes at the 2006 Interbike.

Cross-country race inspired

Endurance or all-mountain style

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Minneapolis airport workers destroy classic bicycle

In 1957, Paul Caspersen bought a black, three-speed Raleigh bicycle for $90. This American classic carried Caspersen, now 70, through Europe, the Wisconsin and Minnesota countryside and, of course, the streets of Minneapolis.

Caspersen asked airport employees where he could lock up his bike. They looked at him blankly and shrugged their shoulders.

Read more: Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says

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Bike theft prevention in the UK

Via Velorution:
Reinventing the Bike Shed was launched to encourage inner city cycling and provide a catalyst for some critical thinking on how better design can play a pa

Reinventing the Bike Shed

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New mountain bike?

10% off all web orders
I'm pretty exclusively a road cyclist. The only reason I own a mountain bike is that it enabled me to ride through heavy snow when I lived in Colorado. It's a cheap GR "Aggressor 2.0" I bought from a garage sale. This bike has very low end cheap components: Alivio derailleurs, Rock Shocks Jett shocks, etc.

I pulled this bike out last night for a mountain bike trip this morning. Mostly everything works fine, except the cheap shocks are shot; they're completely frozen up.

What should I do, sports fans? Get rid of this bike and get an entirely new bike? Just replace the suspension fork with something slightly better quality? Keep the frame but replace all the components?

The last time I went mountain biking was in 2005. I intend to do a little more here in Santa Cruz County, California, but that will probably only be five or six forays a year.

Coupon Code 6001731 is good for 10% at PerformanceBike.com through October 23.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Light & Motion NOT recalling batteries

The CPSC accidentally re-published a recall from two years ago. Oops!

More at Bicycle Retailer: Retraction: Light & Motion Not Recalling Bike Light Batteries

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Australian State to promote cycling to school

School bike plan to tackle obesity

October 20, 2006THE Victorian Government will spend $4 million on a plan to encourage children to ride bikes to school as part of the continuing fight against childhood obesity.
Read more: School bike plan to tackle obesity | | The Australian

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Franklin and his Cannondale Jekyll

Franklin moved to Santa Clara County from New York with his 2003 Cannondale Jekyll. It's a full suspension bike with 700 road slicks, disc brakes, and the "Lefty" suspension fork.

The Jekyll is a reasonably light and fast bike for a full-suspension frame. Franklin chose this bike with road wheels to stay fast on bad roads. According to a survey by The Road Information Project (TRIP), San Jose has the worst roads in the US. This is probably for freeways in San Jose -- the surface streets are okay; I think San Francisco's streets are much bumpier than San Jose's.

This is at the VTA Lightrail platform at San Jose Diridon Station. We're waiting for the Winchester/Campbell LRT.
Photo info: Franklin and his Cannondale Jekyll by richardmasoner.

More cars at schools = more child deaths

"School drop-offs: A danger zone" in today's Murky News.
"It's all too common. Absolutely all too common," said Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars, a non-profit child safety advocacy group based in Kansas City.

"Drivers have to be very, very careful when they're in any neighborhood around a school," said Gilroy Superintendent Edwin Diaz. "The awareness when there are little children crossing intersections has to be high."

Across Silicon Valley, kids who may live just a few blocks away from school are regularly shuttled there by car.
Incidentally, October is International Walk / Bike to School Month. When you drive, keep your eyes open for the little ones.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tour of Missouri September 2007

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Lt. Governor Peter Kinder announced today that the state will play host to the inaugural Tour of Missouri professional cycling race, September 11 – 16, 2007.

In its initial year, the Tour of Missouri will be anointed one of the nation’s top three stage races behind the prestigious Tour of Georgia and Tour of California races, providing an historic landmark for the sport with three major domestic stage races on American soil.

"Missouri is known as the Show-Me State, and we look forward to showing our state to spectators around the world through the Tour of Missouri," Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt said. "This event has great potential to bring economic benefits to our state and is an opportunity for us to join these world class cyclists to spread the message of the positive benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle."

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, in his role as Chairman of the Missouri Tourism Commission remarked, "The Tour of Missouri is an exciting way to showcase our beautiful state. The entire state will be surprised and pleased by the size and economic impact this event will have on Missouri and Missouri's tourism industry. This race represents millions of additional dollars each year being pumped into our larger cities and our smaller rural areas."

The Tour of Missouri has been slated as one of only five stage races in the newly created USA Cycling Pro Tour, which will highlight the top multi-day races in America. The race also will be granted a high-ranking by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body for the sport of cycling. The race is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the official cycling organization recognized by the USOC.

“It’s a distinct pleasure to be involved with the continued evolution of the sport of professional cycling in this country, and Missouri will be a great venue for a world-class event,” said Jim Birrell, the race’s director and someone who has been involved in staging elite professional cycling races for more than 20 years. “The support of the state has been tremendous, and I’m sure the citizens of Missouri will enjoy this free public event while also enjoying the rolling festival that comes along with it.”

The Tour of Missouri will play host to up to 16 major international professional teams, including top U.S.-based pro tour teams as well as some of Europe’s top Pro Tour teams.

Fred Rodriquez, a three-time U.S. Professional Champion and a rider with the Belgium-based Davitamon-Lotto team, one of the top squads in the world was in attendance as well and commented, “The Tour of Missouri is situated perfectly for American domestic teams as well as top Americans who have raced much of the season in Europe. For an American, having three major stages in the U.S. for the first time is great news. It shows the growth of cycling as a sport. The Tour of Missouri will provide a great opportunity for Americans looking to prepare for the World Championships at the end of the season.”

The mid-September dates follow the USA Professional Cycling Championships in Greenville, S.C. and before the World Championships, which are usually the last week of September. Rodriquez, who attended Tuesday’s press conference at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, finished a very respectable 15th in the World Championships in Salzburg, Austria three weeks ago.

The six-day race is expected to start in the western part of the state around KansasCity and finish around St. Louis, according to race organizers, who will begin negotiating with potential start and finish cities immediately.

The race is expected to cover about 600 miles and highlight urban as well as rural parts of the Show Me State.

The State of Missouri is a proud supporter of the Tour of Missouri. Tourism is a $13.4 billion industry for the state of Missouri, generating more than 37.7 million domestic person trips each year. The professional cycling races in other states like Georgia and California has registered more than $40 million in quantified economic impact and tourist attraction.

Medalist Sports, Inc. of Tyrone, Ga., just south of Atlanta, in partnership with KOM Sports Marketing, are the premier event management and marketing organization for professional multi-day cycling races in North America. It currently is the event management group for the Amgen Tour of California and Tour de Georgia, as well as the USA Cycling Professional Championships. Medalist’s managing partners are Jim Birrell and Chris Aronhalt. KOM is led by Steve Brunner. Combined the three have more than 50 years combined experience organizing top international sporting events, including elite cycling events the Tour de Trump (1989-90), Tour DuPont (1991-96), Tour of Georgia (2003-06), Amgen Tour of California (2006), as well as five Olympics Games, multiple Olympic Trials and three Goodwill Games. Medalist is also the event management group for the USA Cycling Professional Championship held annually in Greenville, S.C.

Via Roger Kramer. See also Tour OfMissouri.com and Missouri Bicycle Federation.
Photo info: Tour of Missouri logo by MoBikeFed.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Floridians respond to new three-foot passing law

Some motorists cry, New bike law is unfair. “Roads are for vehicles.” No duh.

Meanwhile, cyclists in Manatee, FL want more safety. Near Orlando, cyclists celebrate at the Mount Dora Bicycle Festival.

Bicycle safety is for motorists

The League of Illinois Bicyclists, with funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation, produced a seven-minute video on motorist-bicyclist safety. The video is narrated by Robbie Ventura and is intended for driver's education classes. The video has been distributed to 900 high school and private driving education programs across Illinois and to more than 900 police and sheriff's departments. You can see the video on line at: http://www.bikelib.org/video/index.htm.

Cycling rain gear

Ian sports his winter cycling clothes for his daily rides to and from his middle school. The jacket is the REI Ultra Light Jacket. His REI Ventana pants have adjustable ankle cuffs. Jacket and pants are waterproof, windproof, and seam-sealed to keep Ian's clothing dry during the rainy season in California.

The jacket does not have pit-zips, but it's only a mile to his school so he won't get sweaty. This gear also worked on mild winter days in Colorado. For extreme cold, he has his ski gear to wear: balaclava, ski gloves, ski coat, and lined pants.

Photo info: Pre-teen winter cycling clothes by richardmasoner.

Friday, October 13, 2006

California Proposition 1B and cycling

One of the issues California voters will decide in November is Proposition 1B. If passed, this proposition will allow the state of California to borrow $40 billion for transportation spending over the next twenty years.

Many local and regional cycling advocacy groups in California are neutral on 1B because improved roads are beneficial to cyclists as well as motorists. 1B also earmarks significant funding for public transporation projects.

The California Bicycle Coalition and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, however, both oppose 1B. According to the CBC:

The bond proposes to expand California's automobile infrastructure and highway capacity, which will encourage ever more motor vehicle trips, causing air and water pollution. Expanded highway capacity will undermine the minimal transit investments proposed by continuing to make driving the most convenient transportation mode, stranding those who cannot afford or choose not to drive a car.

Collectively, the bicycle transportation plans developed by regional transportation planning agencies around the state have identified over $4.3 billion in bicycle projects. Despite CBC's diligent and patient work with legislators, no funds are earmarked for bicycle projects by Prop 1B.

Bicycle crash photo contest

Bicycle crash photo contest. Submit the best photo, win $1000.

More US cycling news

Keep on your toes, Austin cyclists. Mandatory helmet promoters are still trying to make you wear the foam lid.

Greensboro, NC has adopted a bike plan for expanded facilities for cyclists and walkers.

Florida has a new three-foot passing law for cycling safety.

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is lobbying hard to get more money in the next state budget for bike projects. Read more.

Comfort bikes are big.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Atlanta Georgia Alleycat

FM.24.06 is a 24 hour urban relay through the streets of Atlanta. Gather a team of four to six riders and pass the baton through heavy traffic, up insane hills, and through dark alleys to complete laps for prizes. Faster Mustache, in conjunction with Johnny's Pizza and a host of sponsors, offers the most exciting weekend of urban cycling of the year and a chance to be crowned the king or queen of the streets! You have 24 hours to see how many laps your team can complete along the 10 mile course.

According to Atlanta cyclist Brian Goldner, "Atlanta's slowly improving as a place to bike, partly due to our Critical Mass, which has consistently held up a 200 person attendance."

More info about the 24 hour Atlanta Relay at Faster Mustache.

Winter cycling

Wintry weather has arrived in the U.S. Midwest. My tips for winter cycling are focused on transportational cycling along the Colorado Front Range. The best resource for winter cycling is ICEBIKE.

Photo info: Winter comes.. by Aditya Grandhi.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Drunk cyclist crackdown good for taxi business

News from Japan.

A police crackdown on drunken cycling is prompting an increasing number of cyclists to use taxis that have special equipment to carry their bicycles, industry sources said.

Fujitaxi, a taxi firm that became the first to launch a bicycle transportation service in December 1996, said more people were starting to use the service, saying that they are afraid to drink and ride.

In 2001, the taxi company's president, Tadahiko Kato, obtained a patent for a cycle carrying device called "InterCarry" which is fitted to the rear of vehicles and can be set up to carry a bicycle in about three minutes. If the bicycle is fitted so the car's license plate and indicator lights can be seen, then there are no problems with the equipment under the Road Traffic Law. So far, some 3,000 taxis at 400 taxi firms in 46 of Japan's prefectures are using the devices.

Under the Road Traffic Law, a bicycle is a light vehicle, and if people are caught cycling while drunk they can be handed a red ticket, which is reserved for serious offences. In 2005, apprehensions for light vehicle violations were made in 326 cases, with bicycles accounting for most of the cases. This figure was 3.8 times more than the 85 cases recorded in 2004.

In May this year, a nationwide police crackdown on cyclists led to four apprehensions for drunken riding. The apprehensions came after the National Police Agency sent out a notice to prefectural police in April ordering officers to actively apprehend cyclists for serious traffic violations such as riding while drunk.

As of the end of August this year, Fujitaxi's bicycle transportation service had been used 5,460 times during the year, up 354 from the previous year's figure. Some 60 percent of users are those who have been drinking. In giving a reason for using the service, many say they are afraid of being apprehended for riding while drunk. Most of them use the service between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Taxis in the firm that offer the services have stickers bearing the label, "Wheelchair/bicycle transportation OK."

"Not only does the service help stop drunken riding, it also acts as a measure against discarded bicycles and contributes to peace and of mind and safety for children," Kato said.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Interview Reminder

Just a reminder, if you'd like to have any questions answered by professional cyclists Antonio Cruz or Fred Rodriguez, or retired professional cyclist Davis Phinney, please get your questions into me by the Friday night at midnight PST. All questions submitted (within reason) will be asked.

Email me at SusquCyclist@gmail.com with your questions.

And in the words of Colavita-Cooking Light cyclist Tina Pic, "Pedal fast and keep the rubber side down."

Monday, October 02, 2006

A New Cadillac

Cadillac displayed their line of bicycles at Interbike 2006. What struck me as odd when I was talking to the representative, was that they are not cross-promoting it with Cadillac cars at all. They are basically relying on the Cadillac name to get consumers to buy. The representative mentioned that most people looking to buy bicycles won't know of the Bianchi, Cannondale, or Trek names, but they will know about Cadillac. They are not directly linked with the Cadillac brand, rather, they are an officially licensed product.

No Gears Here

Fallbrook Technologies stated that they had the solution to the problems with gears, and it seems like they were correct in their assumption. The technology used is uncommon in bicycles. Rather than match up two sets of gears to achieve a certain ratio, their is only one shifter (if it can even be called that) that affects the balls inside the rear wheel of the bicycle. When you turn the dial, it changes the contact that is made, and makes it easier or harder to pedal.

I had a chance to test-ride a bicycle outfit with this technology out at Interbike. What struck me the most about the bicycle was the changing of "gears" at a complete stop. They had a bicycle set up on a trainer and told me to shift to the highest setting, as if you were going downhill. I was told to come to a complete stop and to shift to the lowest setting without pedaling, then start to pedal. To my amazement, there was none of the common gear jumping to get there.

Fallbrook Technologies has key partnerships, such as Ellsworth Bicycles, that will help spread the technology to the greater public. It is probably only a matter of time before more bicycles start showing up with the continuously variable transmission made by Fallbrook.