Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shelley Olds stolen track bike

My neighbor Shelley Olds is a professional track cyclist headed USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships. Her bicycle was stolen this morning. Her track bike is very small and very unique, so if you run across it somewhere it's probably hers.
  • BMC Trackmaster 47cm Carbon frame
  • Cane Creek 50mm Carbon wheels
  • white Ritchey Syncros stem
  • 38cm FSA Bars
  • Dura ace 165mm cranks
  • gold Izumi Chain
More info at Proman Racing and Mercury News.

I've heard of a lot of bike thefts lately in the Bay Area. Five bikes were reported stolen during the lunch hour last Tuesday in Palo Alto from four different locations. According to the victims, the bikes were locked.

Nipple Works

Nipple Works sells their Jersey Bag, a heavy duty plastic bag to keep your stuff dry and with a friction strip so it doesn't bounce out of your jersey pocket.

The Nipple Works bloggers blog mostly about bicycle gear stuff -- clothing, wheels, women's underwear, and cyclocross -- with lots of stuff as seen in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you're not familiar with "P" and "D" go check them out.

A roadie with a blog

Jamie Smith is a cyclist. He has an amusing blog on the life of an enthusiastic road cyclist. He also wrote a book that was illustrated by cycling comic strip artist Jef Mallet.

Should I buy this book? The reviews look pretty good.

According to Amazon.com, Podium Cafe says "This book earned Podium Cafe's first ever five-star rating!" But I can't find their review there: When I search for the author's name (Jamie Smith), I get no results. When I search for 'roadie' I get too many results. Imagine that.

It's a guy on a bike, what do I do?

I love Warren's sense of humor.

Does anybody read Cyclelicious from Atlanta? I hear you all have some serious gas shortages. Is it as bad as the news makes it seem. Are more people riding bicycles to get around? How's business at the local bikes shops in the Atlanta area?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kyle Watson's $9,500 cruiser bike

Rock the Bike posts about this Kyle Watson Cruiser Bicycle:

$9,500 cruiser bike

This looks like a K'NEX project, but this frame is TIG welded "aircraft quality" stainless steel and is available in metallic lime green, black metallic or silver metallic flake.

More at Kyle Watson Design. Via.

Interbike 2008 link love

Here are some of the bloggers who have their own take on Interbike. Check them out for their persepctives!

I'm a major fanboy of Momentum Magazine, so I'm stoked to be pictured with about half of their crew here!

Nan of Joy Rider Clothing is a real sweetheart from the East Bay who makes cycling clothing for men and women. You can find her stuff at Warm Planet at 4th & King in San Francisco.

Byron and his Bike Hugger crew covered some of the smaller vendors in the hidden corners of Interbike.

Masiguy got some Interbike love from Bicycling Magazine.

I took the cool photo of Guitar Ted with his brand new iPod Nano. There's plenty more about the show from his blog, and you can find his product notes at 29 Inches.

Copenhagen Cycle Chic posted some of my photos from the Urban Legends cycling fashion show.

Paul reports on the raging optimism at Interbike at Bike Commute Tips.

I met Aki aka Sprinter Della Casa and his lovely wife at Interbike 2008.

Ken Conley was there shooting race photos and product photos. On Thursday he worked 15 hours straight - there was smoke coming from his shutter release when I bumped into him Thursday night at the Vegas Criterium.

Grant Petersen was at Interbike and is astounded by $4000 wheelsets and $6000 component groups (without the wheels).

I have to give a shout out to my friends Urban Jeff and Brad of Urban Velo Magazine.

I wish I knew Rapid Transit Cycleshop folks were there!

David of The Fredcast posted podcasts from Las Vegas. I'm amazed at how hard he works!

The coolest guy at the show would be Paul aka The Fossil Fool.

The fine folks from Xtracycle are a fun bunch to hang out with. It was also a pleasure meeting Yuba Cycles president Benjamin Sarrazin.

Paul Bunyan's wooden bicycle

There's a 2x scale wooden model of a bicycle at Philadelphia International Airport. The wheels on this bike are nearly five feet tall.

This post (with more photos of this bike) is from last June, but the bike is reportedly still on display.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brooks saddle video

I just watched a short, 14 minute promotional film about Brooks England, the famous bicycle saddle manufacturer in Birmingham, England.

The company was started in 1866 as a leather trading company. In 1878, the company founder and president, J.B. Brooks, was riding his horse to work when the horse died. He couldn't afford a new horse, so he borrowed a friend's bicycle to get around and was immediately horrified at the uncomfortable saddle. He created the B-1, the B-2 and then finally the B-17 was introduced in the 1890s. The B-17 is now the oldest saddle design still in production.

Brooks uses only British cows (yes, they really said that in the video) to ensure the highest quality, consistent thickness and the "finish we require." The saddles are assembled by hand in their ancient factory in England; they even drive the copper rivets in with hand held hammers and polish the finished saddles by hand.

If you subscribe to Momentum Magazine before October 15, you can be entered to win a Brooks B-17 saddle and the Brooks Challenge Tool Bag.

Fritzdaughter - future endurance athlete

My young daughter had some blood work recently as part of a physical. She's apparently inherited my good oxygen delivery genes: her hemoglobin measured at 15.2 g/dL and her hematocrit is at 42.8%. These levels are very close to those measured in professional cyclists, and we live at an altitude of about 500 feet above sea level.

Bianchi Dolomiti

My photos don't do justice to the true beauty of this Italian designed steel bicycle. While the fast and lightweight carbon fiber bikes and frames are gorgeous in their own right, the Bianchi Dolomoti stands out like a prince.

2009 Bianchi Dolomiti

2009 Bianchi Dolomiti

Campy Veloce on the  Bianchi steel Dolomiti

Chromed lugs work well with Bianchi's classic Celeste paint scheme, while Campagnolo's midrange Veloce 10 speed gruppo and Bianchi's old logo from the 50s highlights Bianchi's Italian heritage in this classic road design. MSRP $3,299 with carbon fork; available now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Electric bicycles

Thank you all so much for your comments about your feeling on electric bicycles. Electric assist bikes were huge at Eurobike and they were pretty big at Interbike this year. A lot of you expressed interest, so I went around and talked with several of the electric assist bike vendors including BionX, Currie/iZip, Schwinn, UltraMotor/A2B, and even Tianjin Flying Pigeon Electric Bicycle Manufacture Co., LTD. Surprisingly, Flying Pigeon wouldn't allow me to photograph their electric bikes, which were among the nicer looking e-bikes at the show.

I didn't see bikegonewild's favorite -- Pi in San Francisco -- but I tried out a BionX equipped Specialized and one of the UltraMotor A2B e-bikes. There's some question on whether these powered devices are "bikes" or not, but there's absolutely no question that these are tons of fun. Here's Annie Fike of The Bike Rack in Washington DC trying a BionX equipped bike. Her shop serves the messenger and urban cyclists in DC, and even she thinks these machines are fun.

Fikes on Bike / Washington DC

Tim Grahl and I talked about electric bikes, and we decided we'll cover them in a series of articles over at Commute By Bike in the coming weeks. We'll profile some of the products that he and I think are interesting and we'll talk about how bike retailers are responding to (or resisting) this growing market.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Las Vegas Criterium photos

I took over 400 photos last night at the Las Vegas Criterium, and this is the only one that turned out.

Las Vegas Criterium

I was standing directly underneath Ken Conley, who's much better at this than I am. Thank you to JT of Bicycle.Net who let me borrow his camera last night.

Jim Langley is looking over my shoulder right now and he's asking me to post to his blog: So here's the link. Jim's been a bike mechanic for over 20 years and he freely gives his bike fix advice on his blog. He's a really nice guy that lives and bikes not from where I live, so it's really ironic that we meet in Las Vegas for the first time. He also has an ebook for sale (you can find the link at his blog) on the home bike workshop that looks very very good.

People of Interbike 2008

RoadBikeReview and MTBR have their Virtual Tradebooths; I'll do my Virtual Social Meetup.

Ron of BikeWorldNews, Dennis Bean of Fixed Gear Gallery, and Steve Woo of Sportgenic.

20080925-interbike 172

Mia of Momentum Magazine and Brad of Urban Velo.

Mia and Brad

Fossil Fool
rocks the best party at the Las Vegas Criterium. Behind him is Benjamin of Yuba Bikes.

Fossil Fool rocks the best party at the Criterium

Tyler of Bike Rumor.

Tyler of BikeRumor.com

Brian of Raleigh looks dapper with his Nan of Joy Rider Clothing.

20080925-interbike 073

Tracy, Stacy, and Tanya are the Vegas Criterium Umbrella Girls.

Criterium Umbrella

For more photos, see my Urban Legends Fashion Show bike photos over at Commute By Bike.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lance Armstrong confirms Tour of California

Here's my photo of Lance Armstrong as he walked into the press conference this morning.

Lance Armstrong press conference at Interbike Las Vegas

At his press conference this morning at the Interbike trade show, Lance Armstrong confirmed that he'll race in the Tour of California next February in addition to the other races he's previously mentioned.

When asked "Why Astana? Did you think about a Team Livestrong?" Armstrong answered that he has tremendous loyalty to Astana director Johan Bruyneel and the team bike sponsor, Trek.

Armstrong seemed to be setting himself up in case he doesn't win the Tour de France when he joked that "20 minutes into Cross Vegas last night I changed my mind about the Tour de France."

"I'm four years old and I've been off the bike four years," Armstrong continued. "I consider Alberto Contador the best bike rider in the world," signaling that he might be willing to be Contador's domestique next year.

Eddie Merckx sat quietly in the front row at the press conference, while Greg LeMond was not quiet at all as LeMond expressed skepticism about even advanced doping controls.

Armstrong said he would race at least the next year. "There's no contract, no salary, no bonus," said Armstrong. "I'm not saying this will be in and out in a year, but we'l see how it goes."

P.S. For real Lance Armstrong photos.

Electric bicycles at Interbike?

One of the big things at Interbike are electric bicycles. Several vendors have eBikes on display and there seems to be a lot of interest from retailers.

My question for you, my readers: Should I cover e-Bikes on Cyclelicious? Are these bicycles? Or are they small, underpowered motorcycles? What's your opinion?

Traitor Cycles

Traitor Cycles is a new bike builder up in the Seattle, Washington area. Kyle has a line of steel bikes including a road bike, a fixed gear bike, and a cyclocross bike. The clean, smooth lines and lug work caught my eye, as did the attractive paint jobs, but what especially got my interest was the Traitor Cycles head badge.

Traitor Cycles

They just introduced their bikes at Interbike yesterday so they don't have much information on their website yet, but look for more to come from them.

In other news, BSNYC's commentary on Lance Armstrong's New York press conference is the best I've seen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vegas Cyclocross: Lance Armstrong finishes about 20th

Ryan Trebon won the first Cross Vegas cyclocross race this evening as thousands watched. The main draw for many spectators was, of course, Lance Armstrong, who flew in from New York on a private jet and finished somewhere in the middle of the pack. I'll be at his press conference in the morning.

Interbike 2008 photos

I've started uploading my first set of Interbike 2008 photos. Sorry about the late posting -- I had some technical difficulties with my laptop -- but here are some brief highlights:
  • I scored a free t-shirt from Fat Cyclist. He's a genuinely nice guy -- his online persona is a good reflection of what he's like in real life.
  • Surly has new colors for their bikes. I've posted some photos to Flickr for Kit's benefit, who just bought last year's model of the Long Haul Trucker last week.

    Surly Long Haul Trucker 2009

  • There are a lot of Europeans here selling their bike stuff here.
  • The Momentum Magazine girls like to give hugs to their friends. I'm apparently one of their friends, although I continue to confuse Mia's and Tania's names.
  • Dahon has a cool "Guess the number of folding bikes stuffed inside the Prius" contest.
  • Rans -- the folks from Hays, Kansas with their "semi recumbent" rides -- introduced their semi recumbent longtrail cargo bike, the Rans Hammer Truck. The folks from Xtracycle totally geeked out over it. So did I. I'll try to get a better photo tomorrow but here's what I have.

    Rans longtail

  • We have more booth babes here than last year.

    Interbike 2008 Booth babe

More on Thursday. Post your photo and info requests here.

Delta 7 Ascend

Here's a little sneak peak at Delta 7's new "Ascend" road bike frame using their Iso Truss technology. I'll have better photos when they unveil this beauty at the show later today.

Delta 7 Isotruss Ascend road bike frame Delta 7 Isotruss Ascend road bike built

Gun totin' road rager followup

Josh Boggs in Georgia has a follow up about that guy who waved a gun in his face during a bike ride. Hat tip to Roto for this.

In local Bay Area news, a bike by shooting happened in East Palo Alto, California on Monday. A man on a bike fatally shot a guy in a car during the evening rush hour. *sigh* This happened just one block east of my daily commute route just minutes after I passed by.

To lighten the mood a little, I'll now direct you to this list of incredibly corny bicycle jokes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Emmanuel's Gift

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah of was born severely disabled in Ghana, where the disabled are expected to sit on the roadside and beg for change. Emmanuel, instead, participated in sports at his school (in spite of massive prejudices against the disabled in his country), and shined shoes to pay his mother's medical bills. After his mother died of illness, Emmanuel asks the Challenged Athletes Foundation for a bicycle so he can show his countrymen what disabled individuals are capable of. After he got his bicycle, Emmanuel rode it with his single leg 380 miles across his country to raise funds and awareness for handicapped children in his country. "Emmanuel's Gift" is a documentary about his life narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

Interbike 2008 coverage

I'm leaving town in the morning for Interbike. You can expect a few hundred photos of good bike porn and the people of Interbike over at my Flickr photostream. Most of my updates will be posted to Commute By Bike.

You can expect to see coverage about Bianchi's 2009 lineup, the new "Ascend" Iso Truss bicycle that Delta 7 will introduce Wednesday, the Lance Armstrong press conference on Thursday, the small players such as Handsome Cycles, Momentum Magazine's "Urban Legends" fashion show, CLIX quick release, a quick meeting with Specialized, a meeting with the inventor of the Safety Illumination light for cyclists, and tons of other goodies.

In the meantime, check out these sites and page: Watch this space for more!

Bulletproof armor plating for a bicycle

Patent 5619007 describes a "bicycle mounted bulletproof armor shield system."

Bicycle mounted bulletproof armor shield system

Armor plating is installed inside the main triangle and rear triangle. According to the patent:
Peace officers are using a new form of transportation, the bicycle, which has greatly enhanced their ability to perform their duties.

Unfortunately, peace officers on bicycles are extremely vulnerable to gunfire. There is simply no room on the bicycle for an enveloping armor protection system; a est of the "flak jacket" type is out of the question, and a clipboard or portable shield is too bulky and cumbersome.

Accordingly, one object and advantage of this invention is to provide a bulletproof armor shield system which is incorporated within the framework of the bicycle itself.
The idea is that the bike patrol officer who comes under fire crouches behind the protection of his armored bicycle. There's no discussion on how this bike might handle in a crosswind or even when passed by large trucks in traffic.

I think somebody has been watching too many action films.

Word of the day: Fudgatarian

Coined by Sara Best. From this discussion on my Facebook account:

Me: "I had Silk Very Vanilla soymilk and a brownie made with real dairy butter for breakfast."

Desiree: "That's like a vegan sin, isn't it?"

Me: "I'm like a flexaterian, except I'm a fudge brownie eater who occasionally eats vegetables."

Sara Best: "Like a fudgatarian?"

Ford is at work today to show off their "lineup of Green, Safe, Smart, Quality vehicles." I'm going for the free food.

2009 Amgen Tour of California needs volunteers

Organizers for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California need volunteers to help run the popular professional cycling road race. Volunteers looking for an opportunity to participate in the fourth-annual race can apply online for positions, including course marshal, security, media relations and medical control.

The event’s fourth running is scheduled for February 14-22, 2009. Traveling almost the entire length of California, the race will begin in the state’s capital, Sacramento, and end in San Diego County for the first time.

More than 4,500 volunteers in communities throughout the state participated in last
year’s race, making it seamless and successful from start to finish, and establishing it as the largest sporting event in the state of California. In each of the start and finish cities, as many as 350 local volunteers were recruited to help staff the race.

"Volunteers are essential to the success of the Amgen Tour of California," said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. "The support of the communities we travel through has been vital in making the Amgen Tour of California the most successful cycling race in the United States, and with the expanded route in 2009, volunteers will be more important than ever. It is a great way to take part in an event that will capture the attention of local communities and the world."

The majority of volunteers are needed to serve as course marshals, providing support for the 75 professional course marshals that travel with the tour and support the local law enforcement authorities in each city. Course marshal volunteers have an opportunity to be on the race route, close to the cyclists, with responsibility for monitoring pedestrian traffic, barricades and street closures.

Volunteer positions for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California include:

  • Local Stage Course Marshal – Assigned a designated area along the race course to assist with the coordination and safety of the field of play
  • Media – Assist media operations staff, including distribution of media credentials, general media Q&A, office set-up, etc.
  • Medical Control – Escort athletes to and from medical tent for post-race testing
  • Security – Assist security staff with access-control, including on-course, hospitality, awards, green room and press conference
  • Site Decoration/Restoration – Assist logistics crew with hanging and tear-down of event decor
  • Lifestyle Festival EXPO – Assist lifestyle festival staff with expo coordination
  • Sweepstakes Surveyor – Help ensure lifestyle festival attendees are aware of the official sweepstakes
  • Volunteer Check-in – Assist Local Organizing Committee volunteer coordinator with set-up, check-in/registration and deployment
Volunteers must be over the age of 18 or accompanied by an adult. The online sign-up form offers volunteers the opportunity to rank their top-three job preferences, and every attempt is made to match volunteers to their area of interest. Shortly after filling out the online form, volunteers will be contacted by the local organizing committee for further information.

Dates of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California:

  • Stage 1: Saturday, Feb. 14 – Sacramento
  • Stage 2: Sunday, Feb. 15 – Davis to Santa Rosa
  • Stage 3: Monday, Feb. 16 – Sausalito to Santa Cruz
  • Stage 4: Tuesday, Feb. 17 – San Jose to Modesto
  • Stage 5: Wednesday, Feb. 18 – Merced to Clovis
  • Stage 6: Thursday, Feb. 19 – Visalia to Paso Robles
  • Stage 7: Friday, Feb. 20 – Solvang (individual time trial)
  • Stage 8: Saturday, Feb. 21 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
  • Stage 9: Sunday, Feb. 22 – Rancho Bernardo to Escondido

Note that Stage 3 from Sausalito to Santa Cruz is Presidents Day, a SCHOOL HOLIDAY for students. Because Lance Armstrong is expected to race next February in the Amgen Tour of California, the start and finish cities will be madhouses, so volunteering might be the best way to get up close to the cyclists. "Medical Control" is your special chance to see the athletes up close and personal.

Sign up online to be a volunteer.

Shanghai bike share

In an effort to tame traffic, the once and future bicycle kingdom is now promoting bikes for transportation in Shanghai with an experimental bike sharing program. The trial program by Shanghai Metro at a train station encourages people to take transit and ride the rental bikes to their jobs. Read more.

Bike share in Montreal

The city public parking administration Montreal, Quebec also has a new "Public Bike System." They plan to launch with 2,400 bikes distributed at 300 rental stations in the spring of 2009. 40 bikes are now available at four pilot stations, with "an urban SWAT team" informing the public about the project and gathering street-level reactions. Read more.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bikers at Blog World Expo

Carlton Reid showed up early in Vegas and attended Blog World Expo, the show for bloggers and other Web 2.0 nerds and geeks. He writes:
Weirdly, I met loads of folks into bikes. OK, there were lots of fatties at the show but there also lots of fitties.

n a seminar entitled ‘Beyond Adsense: Exploration of Practical Monetization Streams’, Jason Billingsley of ecommerce software vendor Elastic Path Software used the following example for a niche that could make money: bicycle maintenance videos. For a second I thought I was at Interbike because, er, I make money from bicycle maintenance videos.
Read more at QuickRelease.TV. A lot of the Web 2.0 enabling technology and new media comes from bike friendly dense urban areas, so it's probably no wonder that a lot of these guys know to ride bikes to get around. It's cool to see them bringing their rides to the conferences and shows.

San Mateo County Coalition for Alternatives in Transportation

The Coalition for Alternatives in Transportation, San Mateo County -- with the cute nickname of "C.A.T.S.M'eo" -- will host a presentation in Redwood City on Caltrain's proposed Bicycle Access and Parking Plan Tuesday night at Ladda's Thai Cuisine beginning at 6 PM. Ladda's Thai is a short walk or bike ride from the Redwood City Caltrain station.

More at CATSMeo. Props to Cycle California Magazine.

Road rager with gun

A group of cyclists in Georgia are on their morning ride when a motorist buzzes the group. And then...
We followed him, because that's the way we were planning on going. The guy was in front of the group and started brake-checking and stuff and being weird. Then he pulled over to the right side of the road at the next turn. I was in back, waiting on riders, seeing what was happening, so I rolled up to the car when he stopped. I asked him, "SIR! What is your problem?!?" He responded, "YOU'RE THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM!" and proceeded to reach in his passenger seat, pull out a Glock handgun, and stuck it in my face!
Read more. Important tip to road ragers: Because the motorist had a gun, he was arrested. If he "merely" threatened lives with his automobile, he could have gotten away with it.

Watch bike movies online

Watch Quicksilver and other bike movies online.

If you don't see nuthin' here, it's because I have some flash content for the video preview widget.

Tim DeFrisco Denver bike messenger photos

Tim DeFrisco is a photographer in Denver who apparently specializes in sports and "lifestyle" photography, including bike stuff, though he also has some killer portraits on his website.

Denver bike messenger by Tom DeSilva
His latest project has been a series of Denver bike messenger photos that will be displayed at Interbike during the Urban Legend Fashion and Art Show on Thursday evening, beginning at 5:00PM in the Venetian Ballroom G.

See more of Tom DeSilva's work at his blog and his website.

Via Gwadzilla.

Catching up

A lot of people are already in Las Vegas for the Interbike Dirt Demo. Specialized CEO Mike Sinyard rode his bike to Vegas again, traveling 600+ miles from Morgan Hill with 16 other cyclists. Some people criticize that his mode of travel isn't that "carbon conscious" because of his sag support, but traveling with two sag vans for 17 cyclists is pretty impressive to me, and it's probably much more efficient than my travel mode.

I'll post some updates here, but I'm traveling to Interbike 2008 on behalf of Commute By Bike so watch for most of the interesting product news over there. In the meantime, Rich Kelly has already posted some Dirty Demo photos at Interbike Times.

Ian Hibell: I meant to post this a while back but didn't get around to it: The Economist posted a nice obituary of long distance cyclist Ian Hibell the other week. Thank you to Tracy for nudging me to post this.

Silly Japanese games shows: This one has contestants riding their bikes on a narrow floating path. Hilarity ensues. It's a good illustration of the effect of target fixation. Thanks to Roto for the tip.

No Impact Man writes a letter to New York State Senator Jeff Klein. The Senator's administrator got lots of angry phone calls in response. The Senator will meet with No Impact Man this week to discuss transportation policy.

iD FIXED is another fixed gear bike gallery.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Great Handcar Regatta

The Great West End and Railroad Square Handcar Regatta and Exposition of Mechanical and Artistic Wonders -- Sunday, September 28, 2008 at the Railroad Park in Santa Rosa, California.

From the website:
The Great West End and Railroad Square Handcar Regatta is proud to procure Free Secure Bicycle Parking!

Do not pilot your noisome motor carriage and indulge a headache amidst traffic and a limitless pursuit of parking space. Instead, dear reader and ambitious saver of precious resources, ride your “BIKE“!

We are providing a safe and secure setting for you to leave your bicycle or Pennyfarthing Hi-Wheeler at our grand event, free of charge!

The noble Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, whose lofty goal it is to promote the bicycle as transportation and recreation, will be providing free valet bicycle parking.

So, good people of Santa Rosa, retreat from said motor carriages and debark into the fresh air, relishing this great event on two pedal-power wheels instead of four!

Via Bikes and the City.

Night biking at Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space

Santa Clara County Trail riding at night: Friday September 26, 2008. 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM

For one night the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority will extend operating hours at Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve to give bicyclists a chance to experience the preserve after dark. This is a bicycle-only event. The preserve will be closed to all other users after sunset.

This special activity is limited to adults. No minors will be allowed, even if accompanied by an adult. Preserve parking is open to the first 50 vehicles to arrive at the staging area. Safety equipment is required (helmet, headlamp and bike lamp); a rear light is recommended. Participants will be required to register on-site and attend a short briefing before their ride. Registration will be held only the day of the event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Casa Loma Road parking lot.

The Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve in western Santa Clara County along the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains offers 8 miles of trails for mountain bikers, along with hikers and equestrians during normal hours. No pets, no fires, no smoking at this park. No water is available so bring your own. Bikes are not permitted on connector trails into the adjoining Calero County Park. Access is via the open space parking lot beyond Bailey Avenue and McKean Road; go south on McKean, then west on Casa Loma Road about 2 miles to the OSA parking lot.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bike Pirates

Noah did this on Talk Like a Pirate Day last year.

Bike Pirate

Don't forget BIKE PUNX.

Oh, and today is National PARKing Day.

Have a good Friday!

Monkey Electric Contest

Out of over 200 people who started the alleycat, 21 of you finished the race and sent an entry form to me. The winner has been selected at random and notified by email.

Several sent notes letting me know how much you enjoyed it. I might try this again, so please let me know how the contest can be improved.

Thank you to the following sites for allowing us to play through!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Safety lighting for cyclists

The Safety Illumination of Rider light ("SIR Light") from Safe Bicycling Innovations mounts to the seat tube or seat post to illuminate the cyclists legs.

Rear illuminated cyclist

According to inventor Dr. James Carillo, the standard bicycle lights "does nothing to identify the rider as a bicyclist."

Carillo created the SIR Light after a near accident with a motorist while commuting to work on a dark morning. His strobe headlight and rear taillight surprisingly, were not enough light to warn a driver backing out of a driveway that he was about to pass by on his bike. It was this experience that awakened Dr. Carillo's need to create a better way for cyclists, not just bikes, to be visible on the road.

The SIR Light puts a glow on and around the rider and bicycle, making them visible to a motorist whether they are approaching from the side, back or front of the rider.

The website says "patent pending" -- I should look up the patent claims. I've been experimenting with this kind of "body illumination" since the mid 80s after a night time collision of my own, and I know of at least one other cyclist who does the same thing. I wish I thought to patent the idea!

Two speed Strida

Areaware will introduce three new STiDA models at Interbike next week, including this Mark A. Sanders (MAS) Special Edition folding bike with the Schlumpf two speed crank.
Strida MAS special edition with Schlumpf two speed crank

Like the existing STRiDA folding bicycles, these MAS Special, XT, and Sport Duo bikes feature lightweight aluminum construction, fold in just 5 seconds (yes, I regularly fold the Strida in that time), and utilizes a clean and quiet Kevlar belt instead of the traditional greasy and noisy metal chain.

According to Areaware, the new MAS Special is the fastest, most advanced STRiDA to date. Inventor Mark Sanders has stripped the bike down to its simplest and most elegant form while adding high performance technology. At the heart of MAS’s speed and agility is the Schlumpf 2 speed drive – a sophisticated Swiss engineered drive system that allows the rider to shift seamlessly between high and low gears with a simple tap of the heel. A custom black anodized finish on frame and parts, an ergonomic racing saddle, and alloy cranks, chain ring, and pedals top out the MAS’s list of high performance features. Retail $1400.

Learn more at Strida.US; outside of the USA go to Strida.com.

Federal bailout of U.S. auto industry

Executives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler met with congressional leaders this week to get government handouts to keep their businesses afloat. McCain and Obama both have voiced their support for a proposed $25 billion corporate welfare plan. This bailout seems likely to pass in light of other investor bailouts this week as Republican and Democratic lawmakers practically tripped over each other to extol the virtues of American automotive innovation.

Some conservative lawmakers criticized the proposed automotive bailout. Arizona Representative Jeff Flake, for example, said, "Federal bailouts may stave off short-term economic damage, but the long-term economic outlook will be much worse if the market is not allowed to make its own adjustments."

The American automakers claim they need the money to "go green" and invest in alternative fuel research, but market demand is already pushing automakers to design fuel efficient vehicles. In reality, they're losing billions dollars because of their huge inventories of large vehicles they can't sell. Oil production peaked in the United States over 30 years ago and they've had since then to invest in that research.

The market should be incentive enough for the auto industry to do what it takes to get competitive. In the meantime, transit systems around the nation are at capacity and beyond as more Americans discover they can get to work without the single occupant motor vehicle, in spite of service cutbacks because of high fuel prices. Bike shops are closing not because of lack of business, but because there is no inventory.

Contact your Senator and Representative and let them know how you feel about taxpayer support of a shrinking industry.

On bailouts: Read this fascinating alternative history of the 1979 Chrysler bailout.
If Chrysler had collapsed, argues [economist and author Barry Ritholtz], vulture investors might have swooped in and reconstituted the company as a smaller automaker less tied to the failed strategies of Detroit’s Big Three and their unions. “If Chrysler goes belly up,” he says, “it also might have forced some deep introspection at Ford and G.M. and might have changed their attitude toward fuel efficiency and manufacturing quality.” Some of the bailout’s opponents — from free-market conservatives to Senator Gary Hart, then a rising Democrat — were making similar arguments three decades ago.
Ritholtz blogs at The Big Picture.

Chris's poem

Carl lives in Colorado. His son wrote this poem:

My dad is like lightning.
He rides to work and back.
Going up down up down
To pick up my sister.

Carl writes, "When I read this the first time I choked up."

Airline bicycle fees

Cyclelicious: Airline bicycle rules and fees.

This is important if you travel by air and want to bring a bicycle. Bike Hugger says many airlines are not accepting bike boxes greater than 80 linear inches in size at all. You must get it under 80 inches, and they'll still sock you with an oversized luggage fee if the box is larger than 62 linear inches. As Bike Hugger shows in this photo, most standard bike boxes are well over 80 linear inches. The linear dimensions of the box is the sum of the box dimensions, i.e. length + width + height.

Here are fees charged by airlines for travel within the United States as of September 18, 2008. Fees listed are for each way; double the fee for round trip travel. Bicycles must generally have pedals removed and handlebars turned sideways and put in a box less than 80 linear inches. If you can fit your bike in a box less than 62 linear inches, you can generally check your bike as regular checked luggage. Some airlines recommend pre-registration, and some also restrict bikes from flights because of equipment or space limitations.

Some of the fees listed below are specifically for bicycles, while many airlines charge a fee for any oversized luggage. According to the airline websites, several still accept luggage greater than 80 inches, but they'll charge you even more money. Click through to the airline websites for specific checked baggage bicycle rules and fees.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Keep the loonies on the path, Part 2

Joel suggested alternate wording on those Dark Side of the Moon cycling shorts. My image editing skills are sorry, but I think it gets the idea across.

Keep the loonies on the path

All of you Rick Wright fans: Would you wear these "Dark Side of the Moon" bike shorts? Cool, or brain damaged?

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon bicycle shorts

Okay, then, how about the Dark Side of the Moon jersey?
Pink Floy Dark Side of the moon bicycle jersey

There's also a Dark Side women's jersey.

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the moon women's bicycle jersey

All of these are available through Amazon.com:

Off shore drilling passes U.S. House

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a compromise bill Tuesday that lifts the Federal off shore drilling ban. The next step is for a similar bill in the works to pass in the Senate, and after that a conference committee must iron out the differences and then it goes to the White House for a signature.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Honjo brass fenders

Pre-production brass Honjo fenders:

Honjo brass fender

These brass Honjos seen at Soma Fabrications blog.

Ride helmetless and lose your bike?!

Here's a good reason mandatory helmet laws even for children should be opposed: Police in the Boston suburb of Holliston, MA said they will impound the bicycles of youths they see riding without their helmets.
Police here are looking for scofflaws and will snatch the pedals from your feet if you've been warned numerous times but still forgo headgear.

Holliston police, frustrated in trying to drive home the point that riding without a helmet is dangerous and illegal, are hoping the tactic will finally get the attention of young riders.
Read more.

Cycling without a helmet is not dangerous. This story quotes the BHSI factoid that helmets can prevent two thirds of cycling fatalities. Let's see, in Holliston, 2/3rds of zero is.... ummm - what's that number?

I won't pretend that helmets are useless, but the public safety benefit of mandatory helmet legislation is miniscule, and I believe draconian confiscation programs do far more harm than good. Mandatory helmet laws criminalize behavior that is otherwise reasonable and safe, and strict enforcement discriminates against children who already have enough disincentives to outdoor activities and traveling on their own power.

How many automobiles from scofflaw motorists have the Holliston police confiscated?

Free bike weekend at Governors Island

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday (September 19-21, 2008) is Free Bike and Kite Weekend at Governors Island in New York. With help from Transportation Alternatives, Governors Island visitors can borrow a bike this weekend for up to an hour.

Crazy things happen when you offer people free bike rides on car-free streets. People who haven't ridden in decades get on and roll away, grandmas get on bikes, little kids learn to ride, world peace, etc.

The first 250 visitors each day this weekend will also be given a free kite to fly on the Island’s Parade Ground.

Streetfilms (naturally) has a video on Free Bike Days at Governors Island.

Read more.

Going clipless-less

Chris investigates the myths of clipless pedaling as promulgated by Grant Petersen.

He changes out to flat pedals and rides 41 miles.

Chris enthusiastically encourages me to try flat pedals also. I've been riding clipless since I replaced my clips with a set of Looks in 1987. I'm not sure I even remember how to ride with flat pedals.

That's three pairs of cycling shoes (with cleats) under my desk at work in this photo.

3 pair of bike shoes under my desk

Bodyslammed cyclist to sue NYPD

Cyclist Christopher Long, who was shown getting bodyslammed by Officer Patrick Pogan in a bystander's video said he plans to sue the police department for the assault and false imprisonment.
It’s not really personal. [Pogan], unfortunately, is going to be a scapegoat in this situation because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think that the department really helped him do what he did, because he felt safe to act that way. He felt entitled to act that way. That’s the department, culturally. The department set him up for failure. He committed a crime, he assaulted me. He didn’t do that by himself.
Long was asked if he considers himself an "activist":
Things like bicycle activism only happen in New York City. We have 130,000 daily bicycle riders, and yet we still feel like we need bicycle activists? I think bicycles are inherently empowering because they’re inexpensive and they’re a reliable mode of transportation. I would consider myself someone who advocates the use of bicycles.
Read more.

On activism, Alan Snel writes as the Cycling Examiner and tells cyclists about the power in organization.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Road to Roubaix

Watch it this Friday in Austin at the Bicycle Film Festival at Mellow Johnny's bike shop. Or buy the
DVD online.

There's also an exhibit of bicycle art at Mellow Johnny's that runs through September 30.

Jennifer Lopez on a bicycle

39 year old superstar Jennifer Lopez completed a half-mile swim, 18-mile bike ride and 4-mile run yesterday in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon -- her first -- in a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

Jennifer Lopez proves she is a super mom by competing in Malibu's triathlon this weekend. Lopez swam, ran and cycled her way to the finish line!

Other celebrities who swam, biked and ran in Malibue include Amanda Detmer, Nicholas Gonzales (who looks like a runner), Jon Cryer (who looks tired), James Denton, Matthew McConaughey, Brittany Daniel, Estella Warren and Eliza Dushku. Even real athletes like Anna Kournikova and Amanda Beard were among the 2,000 people who participated.

We see a *lot* of Specalized bicycles among the Hollywood celebrities! Here's Eliza Dushku with what looks like a 2007 but brand new Specialized Ruby Comp (Compact).

Eliza Dushku with her Specialized Ruby Comp bicycle

Bike industry generates $90 million in Portland, OR

From Portland, Oregon: a new report shows that the economic impact of the bicycle industry in Portland has grown significantly in recent years - to roughly $90 million. Read more at KATU, with much more discussion and analysis at the excellent Bike Portland.

Tinker Juarez endorses iBert

Though my children are now too old to use it, I loved the iBert child seat when I first saw it a couple of years ago. Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Tinker Juarez loves the seat so much he contacted iBert about endorsing the seat. Here's Tinker's wife Terri Slifko toting their toddler son Josh around in the iBert.

Terri Slifko on a bike with son Josh Juarez. Terri is married to mountain biker Tinker Juarez.

The iBert Safe-T-Seat is a front-mounted bicycle seat that places the child between the adult rider and the handlebars giving parents improved control over both the child and the bicycle. The safe-T-seat uses a specially designed, easy-to-use attach/detach system that fits most bikes on the market today and is available in bright green. I've played with this seat some (sans child) and it seems to work well.

They ride bicycles in the Large Hadron Collider

Bicycles seen in this video beginning at 3:30...

The rapper, Kate McAlpine, is a science writer from Michigan.

Is the Lehman Brothers meltdown bad for alternative energy?

Food for thought from The Oil Drum: Energy companies need well-functioning credit markets to expand their exploration and production, and to pursue alternative energy approaches. For example, expanding the use of wind energy, or electric-powered vehicles, is likely to need a huge amount of debt financing.

How much money will it cost, for example, to build enough windmills to generate 22% of electricity in the United States as proposed in the Pickens Plan?

If cities and states can't borrow, what does that mean for mass transportation in the United States?

When fuel becomes unaffordable for the middle class and the existing mass transit infrastructure proves inadequate to get tens of millions of Americans to their jobs, what will that mean for the U.S. economy?

Reality check: As Congress once again comes up with an Energy Policy in today's session, Democratic opposition to off shore drilling has crumbled. Surveys now show that the majority of Americans now support additional drilling; this in spite of record drilling in the United States over the past five years that has done little to ameliorate high prices.

See also:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gasoline $5 and up along U.S. east coast

Americans enjoyed a brief vacation from high gas prices this last week, but with 20% of U.S. refinery production shut down in the wake of two hurricanes slamming back to back along the Gulf Coast we can expect prices to jump back up to record levels.

The free market responded perfectly to the invisible hand of supply and demand pressures, with gas prices reported to be as high was $5.50 in Florida. Well known Communists such as Florida Governor Charles Crist and American President George Bush, however, proclaimed these free market responses as "gouging" and promised socialist government intervention. "Raising rates to exorbitant levels like this only causes unnecessary panic and fear," said Crist. "This type of behavior will not be tolerated." If federal and state officials follow through on their threats to prosecute free market prices, we can expect real shortages. In fact, gas stations are already limiting purchases and even closing because of severely limited supply.

The refinery closures are impacting gas prices even in Canada, where producers ship their product south because they get a better price from Americans.

While California gets little oil, gasoline and other refined products from the Gulf of Mexico coast, other production from Canada and the Caribbean that normally is shipped to the U.S. West will probably be diverted to meet eastern demand.

More disaster news...

  • Terrorist bombings in Delhi. People are planting improvised bombs on CNG fueled motor rickshaws.
  • Los Angeles Metrolink crash: Metrolink engineer failed to stop for signal. Bottleneck blog at the LA Times has a lot of interesting background information on how Metrolink operates. See also Metrorider LA for discussion from seasoned users of mass transit in Los Angeles. The loss of life is horrible, but it's comparable to about two or three weeks of fatalities on Socal highways.
  • Trojans vs Buckeyes: 35 to 3. Oh my.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Folding bikes at Fashion Week

Bike Friday teamed up with young fashion designer Telfar Clemens by creating five custom monogrammed Friday Tikit folding bicycles for Telfar's models to ride as they presented his new athletically inspired "Breathe" collection for 2009.

Bike Friday's "customer evangelist" Lynette Chang showcases the model selection in this video (spoiler: they have to be comfortable riding bikes), and then the actual show here on September 8 during New York's Fashion Week.

Read the full story at the Bike Friday website.

San Francisco Sunday Streets

The big "Ciclovia" style block party is this Sunday in San Francisco. A big stretch of 3rd Street and The Embarcadero will be closed from 9 AM to 1 PM on Sunday. The T-Third and F-Market Muni lines will be FREE from 8 AM to 2 PM for access to Sunday Streets.

Sunday Streets is modeled after the Ciclovia program in Bogota, Columbia. More here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bay Area bicycle fashion

Shelly rides her bicycle around Berkeley, San Francisco, and Oakland, with frequent trips to Santa Cruz and Sonoma / Napa where she snaps photos of cyclists she likes and posts the photos to Riding Pretty - Bicyle Chic California, like this photo below.

Several years ago, Shelly designed her Riding Pretty helmet covers because she doesn't like the "sporty" look of bicycle helmets but values the protection they offer.

When she got serious about selling her Riding Pretty helmet covers in 2007, she started the Riding Pretty blog. "I began researching the web to find out if there were any people concerned with being more fashionable while bicycle riding," Shelly tells me. "I discovered Sartorialist, Amsterdam Bicycles, Copenhagen Chic, Velocouture. I also discovered London Cycle Chic who’d launched about 2 weeks before I had. About a month later all the rest of cycle/bicycle chic blogs started popping up all over the place!!!"

"My blog is primarily concerned with covering practical aspects of fashionable bicycling for ladies who are more or less new to bicycling. I want to give them inspiration!" she writes.

Another popular Bay Area fashion blogger is Velo Vogue. Lilia is visiting Paris and trying the famous Velib bike rental system.

If you're not familiar with Velo Vogue, it's "where the bike lane meets the runway." Lilia takes photos of stylish cyclists she sees in San Francisco and posts the photos to her blog.

Bikes and the City by "meligrosa" in San Francisco is about "bikes, boys y coffee" has a similar style theme.

"Sunday Ride" photo Copyright © 2008 / All Rights Reserved by Shelly and used with her kind permission.

Venezuela and diplomatic crisis

Hugo Chavez expelled the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela in the wake of violence in Bolivia that Chavez blames on the United States. Chavez also accuses the United States of plotting a coup against his regime.

While Chavez recalled its own ambassador to the United States, sources say they plan to declare the Venezuelan envoy persona non grata and kick him out.

Chavez also said that the arrival in Venezuela of Russian Tupolev Tu-160 "Blackjack" bombers for joint military exercises is a "warning" to the United States. The Tu-160 bomber is a supersonic, long range nuclear-capable strategic bomber similar to the American B1A Lancer.

The United States imports over one million barrels of oil every day from Venezuela, which is the fourth largest provider of oil to the United States after Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bicycles and gadgets

Gina's BIke Map

Gina has a bike that automatically takes photos as she rides, geotags the photos and uploads them to her Flickr account, where you can view her ride map. More details at MAKE.

iPod lock The iBikeConsole is a weatherproof mount for your iPod Nano. It attaches to your handlebar. The iPod Nano can be controlled from remote control buttons in the grips. To keep your iPod safe on your bike, maybe you can use the MasterLock iCage lock for various models of the iPod.

To listen to your tunes without plugging your ears, use the Cy Fi wireless sports speaker mounted to your handlebar stem.

CyFi iPod bike speaker