Saturday, February 28, 2009

NAHBS, The Shed Master, and a Contest!

Win a $20 gift certificate. Contest details below.

Russell Jobs, aka "The Shed Master," is the guy who is so kindly covering NAHBS 2009 for me in Indianapolis this weekend. You can also see additional vignettes from NAHBS over at his blog: Life in the Rusty Toolshed.

Over 3,000 people filled the show halls Saturday to gawk at the pretty bikes, like the the amazing, handpainted art on this Kirk Lee carbon fiber bike created for Florida triathlete Rachel Gross.

Kirk Lee

If you like the classic simplicity of lugs on steel frames like I do, there's plenty of that at the show.

Lugs on steel

The 2009 NAHBS features clothing and bags like this made in Japan Ostrich canvas saddle bag.

Ostrich bag

The show runs from 10 AM to 5 PM on Sunday. If you're anywhere in the Midwest you owe it to yourself to see this wonderful collection of great bikes and great bike stuff. Why look at bike porn online when you can see it live and in the flesh?

NAHBS is consumer friendly, the builders are open and available to chat with, and it's a great opportunity to meet up with people in the bike industry. The lovely Canadians from Momentum Magazine are there, as are the Urban Velo crew, along with Velo Orange with his wares (like the above mentioned Ostrich bag), Courtney The Shop Girl, and several other good people.

CONTEST If you're at NAHBS 2009, see if you can ambush any of these people and tell them hello from Cyclelicious, snap a photo of them holding a "I LOVE CYCELICIOUS" sign, and post it somewhere, and leave a link in the comments below. I'll select a winner at random and send a $20 Amazon gift certificate. Some people I know at the show that you can try to catch: almost anybody from Momentum, Urban Jeff from Urban Velo, Mark Nobilette and his daughter, show organizer Don Walker, Jon Norstag of Thursday Bicycles, one or two of the people from Calfee, the Wheeltags people, Jack of Sillgey, Renold of Yipsan,Tom Martin of Velo Orange, Courtney Chambers of Shop Girl Inc, and, of course, Russell Jobs who is covering the show for Cyclelicious.

NAHBS Part 1

Upon arriving at the show, our group took advantage of the free secure indoor bike parking that was staffed by volunteers from These fellows were quick, cheerful and mighty friendly. Not a bad first impression.

One of my favorite bikes in the show was this gem built by Keith Anderson for use by his 3 boys as they grow. I asked if he anticipated having to referee more than a few fights to see who gets to ride it. He says that he's had the idea in the works for the past 3 years, but started building this year. The frame took 10 days, but the fenders were 3 months in the making. They're made of laminated layers of padouk and wenge wood with a center insert of abalone shell.

Their were a few minivelo's to be seen. Sillgey had a large display in a rainbow of colors. but this white one was my favorite. I didn't get to ride it, but those who did were impressed with its nimble handling and snappy acceleration.

MurphyKate loved the red city bike with the wood trim - and not just for the bunny in the cage on the front rack.

Modu phone handlebar mount

The modu bicycle jacket is intended for easy fit on your bicycle when going for a casual ride. The modu bicycle jacket features a large visible and easy to use screen that can be easily attached and detached to and from the center of the handlebar. This jacket offers an additional unit that can be reached from the handlebar grip and allows easy operation of the modu phone's main features using only your thumb.

-- Modu web site

Good idea or insanely dangerous? We can't criticize drivers who text if we do so ourselves, but we will!

Tip of the hat to Sean from Engadget Mobile.

Levi Leipheimer has broken pelvis

2009 Amgen Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer learned that he fractured his sacrum when he crashed on Stage 3 from San Jose to Modesto.

He was checked out after the Tour when the pain didn't go away. "It's not bad," says Leipheimer, "but no Paris Nice for me."

Team Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel thinks Leipheimer riding through the pain "gives even more credit to his heroic win."

Leipheimer was right behind teammate Lance Armstrong early in Stage 3 when he touched Armstrong's rear wheel and crashed, taking out a few cyclists behind him.

The sacrum is is the large triangular bone between the two hip bones.

Casey Gibson crash sequence photos here.

Pre-tax transit benefit up to $230 per month

I completely missed this important bit of news until Murph brought this to my attention: The maximum amount of the pre-tax transit benefit has nearly doubled from $120 to $230 per month!

I currently get the maximum $120 benefit from my employer but still pay $92.75 each month out of my pocket for public transportation. I need to ask if this extra benefit is available at my work.

BART news has more information.

In other news, at least one company that processes transit commuter checks now offers commuter checks for the bike commuter benefit. Accor Services is one of many HR outsourcing providers that manages a commuter check benefit program for businesses. Similar to current Commuter Check programs for public transit and parking, employers can offer the bicycling benefit as a pre-tax salary deduction, saving on taxes for the individual and the company or as a subsidy, which is also tax deductible for the company. Commuter Check for Bicycling vouchers are valid for all IRS allowable purchases using the bicycle benefit including new bicycle purchases, bicycle parts, equipment and accessories, as well as bicycle storage costs. Vouchers are redeemable at a number of dedicated bicycle shops and bicycle parking and storage locations across the country (thought I have't identifed what these bike shops are, yet).

I'll post this news again on Monday, when people are actually browsing the web from their offices for those fortunate enough to still be employed. Unemployment in California is now at 10.1%


The NAHBS is under way in Indianapolis and I'm ready for my first taste! Due to work constraints I missed Day 1, but will be inside the show within the hour for day 2. Reports and photo's from others shows that the City Bike is receiving the spotlight this year. I find this great - it's about time that the "working" bike gets the love it deserves. Imaging bringing home a bag of goodies from the local farmers market in the utmost style with this lovely gem from ANT.

I'll have a larger report this evening.

Friday, February 27, 2009

NAHBS Day One Report

If you're anywhere within 200 miles of Indianapolis you really should make the effort to attend the National Handmade Bicycle Show now happening in Indianapolis. Friday attendance was 1,700 people, beating the previous record 1,254 people who attended in Portland, Oregon last year.

It's good to see Sillgey from Los Angeles there exhibiting their brightly hued steel minivelo bicycles.

NAHBS Day 1 Photos

Bilenky always has groovy cargo bikes.

NAHBS Day 1 Photos

A nice front loading cargo bike from ZR Cycles, built up for a photographer.

NAHBS Day 1 Photos

I haven't heard of MAP Bicycles before, but wow this is a gorgeous bike.

NAHBS Day 1 Photos

We can always depend on Sycip to present some very nice bikes at NAHBS.

NAHBS Day 1 Photos

Watch this space for more good stuff from NAHBS in Indianapolis. See also Bike World news Day 1 Gallery.

If you have photos and news from the show please feel free to link to them in the comments below.

Photos above are Copyright H-I-L-L and used here with permission

Freaks and violence are always good for retweets

I posted a link to a nice tear jerker by Bill Strickland about cancer victim families in Santa Clarita and the response was something like a quiet night with chirping crickets, except without the crickets.

But I post a link to this dramatic photo of Australian Michael Rogers punching a fan in the neck on Mount Palomar, and the crowd goes wild with retweets and responses!

That's taking the High Road, Mick!

The photo was from the set of Tour of California Stage 8 photos that Ken Conley posted yesterday. There were a few freakos out there lending a uniquely California flair to the bike race. They couldn't resist touching the cyclists and leaving their yellow chalk marks on the way up the mountain road.

Palomar - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Chalk Fun - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Chalk Fun - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

In case you didn't notice: Those are not racers getting harassed in the above photos. Read and see more from Ken here.

SF Bay Area transportation stimulus spending

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) decided last Wednesday how the $495 million in transportation funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. The MTC is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Almost all $5.1 million allocated for "bike/ped" projects are sidewalk and crosswalk improvements that benefit pedestrians but do little to benefit cyclists. $185,000 will go to the city of Woodside for "bike facility overlays" on Cañada Road, which I think means repaving the Class II bike lanes on Cañada.

There are many surface streets badly in need of repair throughout the Bay Area that will be rehabilitated from $122 million in ARRA funding. These street repairs will directly benefit cyclists. Let your cities know where the potholes are that need filling!

Bay Area transit agencies Here's a breakdown on how much funding Bay Area transit agencies will receive from the ARRA stimulus package.
  • BART will receive $65.4 million for maintenance, upgrades and station construction projects.
  • Caltrain gets $10.4 million for maintenance, including a $200,000 line item specifically for more bike racks for the Bikes On Board program.
  • Golden Gate Ferry will receive $9.4 million to refurbish ferry boats.
  • San Francisco MTA gets $67.2 million for light rail vehicle repairs and upgrades, subway upgrades, bus refurbishment, equipment purchase, and facility maintenance.
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  • SamTrans (San Mateo County Transportation) gets $7.8 million to purchase up to 137 new buses and perform preventative maintenance. Let's hope they find the operating funding to pay drivers for those new buses!
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will have $47.5 million to spend on 107 new hybrid buses and "bus stop enhancements."
  • ACE (the Altamont Commuter Express train service between Stockton and San Jose) will have $3 million to overhaul their locomotives.
  • Central Contra Costa County Transit Authority (CCTA) will receive $4.3 million for preventive maintenance.
  • $4 million is allocated to Tri Delta Transit in Eastern Contra Costa County for preventative maintenance, "support vehicle" replacement with hybrid cars, and $1 million for IT system upgrades (yay for my industry!)
  • The city of Fairfield: $3.1 million for bus and equipment purchases.
  • $3 million for Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority for maintenance and rehab projects and a new bus wash facility.
  • Napa County Transportation will spend $2.8 million on new buses and a park and ride parking lot.
  • Santa Rosa CityBus: $4.3 million hybrid bus purchase, maintenance and enhancements.
  • Sonoma County Transit will receive $2 million for maintenance and a new CNG bus.
  • Union City will buy two buses with their $300,000.
  • Vacaville: $2.2 million for a new bus and the "Vacaville Intermodal Station."
  • $7.7 million for the City of Vallejo on maintenance, ferry terminal ADA work, ferry engine overhauls, and facility upgrades and maintenance.
  • Western Contra Costa County Area Transit (WestCAT) will receive $800,000 for maintenance.

$90 million in stimulus funds for Santa Clara County

The Bay Area regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission will distribute more than $90 million of Federal stimulus funds to Santa Clara County transportation projects, reports the Palo Alto Daily News. The biggest chunk of that is $47.5 million going to the Valley Transportation Authority for 107 new hybrid buses, with much of the rest going to highway and road projects. SamTrans will receive $7.9 million to fund operations and 137 new buses. Caltrain will receive $10.4 million for track and infrastructure repairs.

Read more.

Much more at MTC. I'll take a look at this in detail myself.

Twitter and bike bloggers

A huge thank you to Chris Spagnuolo for mentioning @cyclelicious in his Mashable roundup of Cycling on Twitter. He did a great job describing each of the people on his list. People added more Twitter links in the comments section of that post.

Notable in his absence from Chris's list is long time cycling journalist and social media maven @Carlton Reid. Carlton maintains the most exhaustive list of cycling tweeters.

Do you Tweet? Post your Twitter username and link in the comments.

Rocky Mountain News: Go online only and local only

NPR's Marketplace talked with longtime journalist David Westphal earlier this week to talk about the challenges faced by newspapers.

A big challenge for the print media is that while online costs are substantially less than printing a dead tree edition, online advertising revenues are only 10% of what newspapers typically have gotten. Veteran news people are having a difficult time trying to find a business model that works for them.

Westphal has noticed the rise of hyperlocal political and issues blogging, though:
The start-ups that are online only, and that are very small -- in some cases one-person operations, in some cases two or three -- that are, however, more just focused on city government, city politics, development in kind of the core city. They don't try to do everything. They try to do kind of the fundamental civic pieces that are important to a metropolitan area's operation. And we're seeing those develop rather quickly, actually.

Some of these metro, issues oriented blogs might be something like the local editions of Streetsblog, which started in New York and now has spinoffs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Here's my modest proposal for the people of the Rocky Mountain News: Hearst is selling the name, the website and the archives. Perhaps a core group of the laid off people can buy these assets and become a local-only and online-only publication.

There's tremendous risk involved, and it's important to get it "right" -- many news agency attempts at social media I've seen don't work too well. Many locally owned businesses are still reluctant to advertise online, preferring to spend thousands on a print ad over hundreds in online advertising. Most issues and metro blogs operate on a shoestring budget and depend on benefactors for most of their income.

We're in the midst of major changes in the news industry. I'm hardly a news pundit or advertising expert, but I do believe strongly that the Fifth Estate of investigative and critical journalism is essential for democracy. Can a scaled back, online only Rocky Mountain News exist as a good resource to help Colorado citizens keep an eye on their government?

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

Please punch the social media buttons -- Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc -- if you think this story is worth forwarding. Thank you!

Torker Cargo-T bicycle headset lock

The Torker Cargo-T bicycle from SBS has a headset lock. You twist the headset lock and it stabilizes the front by locking in the forks and basket. This “anti-wheel flop” device is especially handy if you have the front racks loaded with a basket and filled with goodies.

Torker Cargo-T headset lock

This is on the new Torker Cargo-T bicycle: a cargo bike with 4130 Chromoly frame and fork, step through frame, centerstand, chainguard and fenders, 3 speed Sturmey-Archer hub, coaster brake rear and roller brake up front. Available now from SBS through your Local Bike Shop. MSRP $639.99, one size fits most.

Torker Cargo-T centerstand

Torker Cargo-T bike

Mayor Plans to Close Parts of Broadway to Traffic

New York is considering closing portions of a major thoroughfare to automotive traffic. Courtesy of N.Y. Times.

N.Y.C. is considering blocking off several sections of Broadway in Manhattan, including Times Square. The most intriguing section of the article is this:

Although it seems counterintuitive, officials believe the move will actually improve the overall flow of traffic, because the diagonal path of Broadway tends to disrupt traffic where it intersects with other streets.

Columbus Ave., anyone?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New records for NAHBS 2009

Watch this space for coverages and photos

Indianapolis pre-registrations numbers surpass Portland show

Speedway, Indiana – With names such as De Rosa, Zullo, Serotta, Sachs, Calfee, Crumpton, Vanilla, Walker and De Salvo among the exhibitors, the world’s leading handmade bicycle show presents not only the greatest concentration of quality custom bicycles in the world this year, but in the five years of running the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS).

The show takes place this weekend at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, February 27 - March 1. Policy changes after last year’s show restricted entry to builders with product liability insurance, who had completed at least 50 frames or been in business for two years.

“It is always a risk to introduce a policy that raises the bar like this, but NAHBS is a show that presents the best of the best in bicycling, and to be true to this goal we needed to have only the more accomplished frame builders there,” said Don Walker, the founder and director of the show, a frame builder himself who runs Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works out of Speedway, Indiana.

Not only are the top frame builders in the world showing up among the 116 exhibitors at NAHBS, but also the top component manufacturers will be there, represented by names such as Zipp, Shimano, Campagnolo, SRAM, Cane Creek, Paul, White Industries, Chris King and HED.

With the show starting this week, Friday February 27, online ticket purchases have already surpassed the 2008 Portland figure, and is far in excess of San Jose in 2007. About 6,500 people are expected to attend the show over the weekend.

Admission Price Information
    $20 per day at the door (Cash and credit cards accepted)
    Children 5 and under free
    Children age 6-14 $8 per day
    Teenagers 15 and over pay full adult price
Watch Cyclelicious over the weekend for show notes and photos. Please feel free to leave a comment here with links to your blog posts, Tweets and photos from this year's show.

More details at

I have a partial list of NAHBS Twitter people here, more on the way.

Carson Blume

This is photographer Carson Blume in Sacramento.

Carson Blume

Carson prepares his photo slideshow for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California prologue that took place earlier on Saturday in Sacramento.

I guess Carson is normally clean shaven, but he grew the beard for insulation, anticipating the wet and cold conditions he'd have to endure on the photo motorcycles during the Amgen Tour of California. Because of the heavy media attention, however, even Carson couldn't get a ride on the moto foto!

See Carson Blume's bike photos. He's currently in Santa Barbara where he rides, races, shoots great photography, invents stuff, and teaches photography. He's a super nice and helpful guy.

Tandem program for the blind at Palo Alto VA Hospital

Program this Thursday afternoon in Palo Alto!

United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) partnered with the Blind Center Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto for the 2009 Tandem Program for the Blind.

The Blind Center will present this program with the USABA and Para Olympics this afternoon Thursday, February 26 from 1 PM to 3 PM at 3801 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto, Building 48 in room A208. The Palo Alto VA Hospital is a huge, sprawling complex so give yourself time to find the building if you're not familiar with the facility.

In their partnership with the USABA, the Blind Center seeks to expand their existing tandem program. They need more tandem captains, help with equipment maintenance, and tandem bicycle donations.

Every 4th Sunday and beginning on March 22 they hold a large group tandem and adaptive cycling ride. They will train new tandem captains: prerequisites are confidence and good cycling skills.

If you are in the mid-Peninsula or South Bay area and are interested in becoming a volunteer for the tandem and adaptive cycling program at the VA please contact Kathy Kelley at 650-493-5000 ext 64387 or send email to Kathy [dot] Kelley2 [at] va [dot] gov or Elizabeth dot Jessen [at] va [dot] gov. (Liz is the one who seems to respond to emails more quickly)

Menlo Park Grand Prix seeks Podium Boys

The Tri Flow Menlo Park Grand Prix Criterium presented by Velo Girls and Hawk Relay takes place Sunday, March 8 in (where else?) Menlo Park. Registration is filling up fast for both men's and women's races, with cash prizes for women's races and merchandise for other categories.

Race organizer Lorri Lee Lown is taking applications for podium boys. Qualifications: "Must be hot and willing to wear white shorts," says Lorri, and "Podium boys absolutely must kiss winners. On the cheeks."

For your chance to get up close and personal with the likes of winning cyclists like Liz Hatch, contact Lorri for a personal interview.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bike Hut on Tunitas Creek Road is officially open!

The Bike Hut interior

The Bike Hut on Tunitas Creek Road is a rest stop, picnic area, watering hole and snack bar for cyclists riding up Tunitas Creek Road on the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the area has little retail and Tunitas is quite a climb, the advent of the facility is welcome news to the local cycling community. We first got wind of the Bike Hut last fall, and now, prodded by the passage of the Tour of California, the Bike Hut is officially open. The proprietors (who also run Potrero Nuevo Farm) are friendly, so stop by and check the place out.

A Streets Smarts quiz for you.

On the Santa Cruz Streets Smarts blog, somebody makes the tired claim that cyclists increase net gas consumption by slowing and stopping the other traffic on the road.

Below is a photo of a typical scene of California Highway 1 in Santa Cruz. Traffic is moving at approximately zero mph, bikes are not permitted on this stretch of Highway 1. Look at this photo and see how many questions you can correctly answer!

Santa Cruz Highway 1

1. How many law-breaking arrogant terrorizing critical mass cyclists do you see holding up traffic in this photo?

2. How many cyclists were involved in the four-car fender bender that's keeping traffic at 0 mph?

3. Of the approximately $10,000 in property damage that was done in that collision, how much was caused by cyclists?

4. One of the car occupants was seen getting strapped into an ambulance gurney with obvious head trauma. What is the cost to the public of head trauma to helmet-less car occupants versus helmet-less bicyclists?

5. If just 100 of these cars were removed from the highway, how much more quickly could the remaining motorists get to their destination? (Hint: You can see about 20 cars back in this photo).

Small town wants bike tourists

The people of Twin Bridges, Montana like touring cyclists so much they're establishing a campground just for cyclists. "I have met dozens of cyclists passing through and they were some of the nicest people I ever have met," says local resident Bill White. "So, I gathered the troops and moved a concept to a reality. The problem is, none of us cycle and we don't really know what the needs of cyclists are."

Read more at Biking Bis.

Yellow Wig
San Jose Bike Party cyclists. Photo by Richard Masoner.

More bicycle news...

Maker Faire San Mateo call for entries. Maker Faire San Mateo is May 30 and 31. I'll be there taking photos and gawking at the cool stuff.

Underground Bike Parking in Japan.

Two Way Tandem.

Boing Boing discovers cycling jersey with muscle print. Mario's had more class, IMO.

Why did I mark this for posting?

The Craziest Home Made Bike Mods.

Streetsblog: The state of California eliminated the State Transit Assitance program in the budget that was finally approved last week. Advocates work to restore this funding.

Bike Hugger likes the Alfine hub. I've put some time on an Alfine equipped bike and I like it too.

Maybe TMI.

Fremont Fixed Alleycat March 7, 2009. Race from erick fletes on Vimeo.

Bicycle headbadges slideshow.

Eco Velo is running a bike photo contest and showing off the nice entries he's received so far. Deadline is March 15; prizes include lights, bags, a DVD, bells and other bike accessories. Which photos should I submit?

Link love...

Greenz.JP used a photo from my parents' home to illustrate an article about alternative energy in Japan.

Pedaleiro in Brazil likes the blue socks.

Single Parent Vacation.

Lance's Big Adventure.

Bicycle Jobs this week as seen on Craigslist...

If you're hiring, please feel free to add info in the comments section like some of you have done before...

Atlanta: Performance bike store manager.

Berkeley: Alta Planning seeks Junior Planner and Landscape Designer.

Boulder: Bikes Belong marketing

Littleton, CO: State Park Ranger.

Los Angeles: Cycling delivery person.

San Francisco: Bike rental shop staff

San Francisco: Engineer / fabricator with bicycle design experience.

San Mateo, CA: Performance bike shop manager.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 Santa Rosa Women's Criterium video

Damian posted his video of the Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium in Santa Rosa. View the video here. He does good work, with commentary and some background on the teams, racers, and the race.

Damian was also in San Jose on Saturday morning, February 14 covering the San Jose Cycling Classic. View the San JOse race videos here. I haven't watched the women's race video yet, but you might see Cyclelicious contributor Alison Chaiken.

Bicycles Love Poems

Bicycle Love Poems

"Bicycles" by Nikki Giovanni from her book Bicycles Love Poems

Midnight poems are bicycles
Taking us on safer journeys
Than jets
Quicker journeys
Than walking
But never as beautiful
A journey
As my back
Touching you under the quilt

Midnight poems
Sing a sweet song
Saying everything
Is all right

Here for us
I reach out
To catch the laughter

The dog thinks
I need a kiss

Bicycles move
With the flow
Of the earth
Like a cloud
So quiet
In the October sky
Like licking ice cream
From a cone
Like knowing you
Will always
Be there

All day long I wait
For the sunset

The first star
The moon rise

I move
To a midnight
The dangers

Nikki Giovanni is Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she had Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui in her poetry class and said she knew immediately it was Cho when she heard about the April 2007 shootings.

She opens and closes Bicycles with reflections on the shootings at her campus, filling her book with the idea that love can bring hope out of tragedy.

In her book of poems, the bicycle is a metaphor for life. The wheels represent tragedy and trauma, because they're always there on the bike spinning. Falling and pain is inevitable as you learn to ride a bike.

In an interview with Bill Moyer, Giovanni says, "When we see the messengers on that bike, that's just trust and balance. They just say, 'I'm coming at it. I don't care if the cars are going to swerve, I'm ...' It's beautiful watching them on their bicycles. But we do that in our relationships. It's the same bike. We are continuing relationships through trust and balance."

Watch Giovanni's interview with Bill Moyer or the read the transcript.

Buy Nikki Giovanni's Bicycles.

Knee high bike socks

I saw these marvelous knee high bike socks in Sacramento and it was love at first sight...

Green bike socks

The always fashionable sock lover Meligrosa let me know these knee high bike socks came from Sock It To Me Socks in Portland, Oregon (where else?).

These knee high bike socks are also available in black/white and black/pink.

Dave Zabriskie burglary victim

David Zabriskie returned to his home in Salt Lake City after the Amgen Tour of California to find his home burglarized and empty. "My house was broken into while at TOC. They took everything, a lot of bikes, cars, and you name it they got it," wrote Zabriskie to his Twitter account.

"If anyone out there sees anything you think might be mine, let me know," he continues.

Zabriskie races for the U.S. Garmin-Chipotle professional cycling team. He took second place overall in the Amgen Tour of California that completed last Sunday.

Update: The Salt Lake Tribune reports two cars, 12 bikes and Olympic memorabilia were stolen from DZ's home. David Zabriskie is well known to be a fan of comic characters with his time trial skinsuit patterned after the Marvel Captain America costume, so this list of stolen Marvel comics statues was fascinating:
Thieves also took seven statues of Marvel comics characters from Zabriskie's home. Zabriskie owned two- to three-foot statues of figurines including "Hellboy" pistol; "Ash" Army of Darkness; "Tomb Raider" Lara Croft; "The Punisher; "Alien"; "Ironman" and a "Gears of War" character. The statues are valued at $11,000, Snyder said.
Read more: "Utah cyclist Zabriskie's home burglarized."

Velonews has a list of DZ's stolen items.

Logan was his name-o

These are Amanda and Doc Logan in Sacramento.

AToC Sacramento meetup

Logan blogs about cycling and other stuff from Sacramento. I've known him online for probably two or three years and it's always great to meet these people in person.

Amanda rides a Schwinn Madison; Logan's bike is an old Raleigh. Big props to them because this was at a big bike blogger meetup in Sacramento and these two were the only ones who *ahem* rode their bikes there.

Drop by and say hello to Logan.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bike Shelter at Caltrain in Mountain View

Mountain View's Bike Shelter

Pretty full inside!

Proving that I don't always wear lycra

Mountain View has secure bike parking at the Caltrain station, within easy striking distance of Castro Street shopping or the Sunday Farmer's Market. On the rare occasion when I don't actually need my bike at my destination, the Bike Shelter is convenient for storage while I'm gone.

Inside the shelter, front wheels are to be lifted over racks that hang the bicycles vertically. The concept is a great space-saver and all, except that I can't lift the front wheel of my heavy commute bike that high, and the scheme isn't all that compatible with fenders. I locked to the side of the rack (middle photo above).

The Bike Shelter is accessible via a numeric keypad. Users get a code by visiting City Hall during business hours and paying a $25 deposit. As an MV resident, the convenience is well worth the fee.

What other cities have similar bike shelters near Farmer's Markets or transit?

Podium Girls Joanna and Kristen

Markus Neuert of CycleFilm asked Tour of California podium girls Kristen and Joanna about their important jobs on the stage race podium.

Meet Kristen and Joanna - Amgen Tour of California 2009 Podium Girls from Cyclefilm on Vimeo.

"My main job is to make sure they get on stage and that they get kissed by the podium girls."

Does anybody know how the whole "podium girls" tradition began?

Bike light strapped to the leg

This is Cold Iron of Alameda in the East Bay. He tried strapping his Planet Bike Super Flash bike light to his left ankle; I think it works pretty well. His bike is a Waterford; he also owns a Surly Big Dummy.

Cold Iron's Planet BIke Superflash

What are your unusual bike light mounting options?

Sacramento Cycle Chic

When I visited Sacramento the weekend before last, I met Loreno -- aka the Sac Cycle Chic -- and her husband David.

SacCycleChic and husband

Lorena publishes the Sac Cycle Chic blog from Sacramento, where she encourages riding a bike for everyday travel in regular and even stylish clothing. Lorena's the kind of gal who's the life of the party. Drop by and say hello.

Lorena is also one of the co-founders of Bikeramento. Bikeramento’s mission is to propel Sacramento into the most bikeable city and region in the world.

As the capital of the most populous state in the United States, Bikeramento is in a strategic location to show lawmakers what a truly bike friendly city can look like. Bikeramento has some good people on board to push for good changes and I wish them luck in their mission.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three is a magic number for Levi Leipheimer

Californian Levi Leipheimer wins his 3rd Amgen Tour of California Yellow Jersey - A record 2 million fans watched the race in person

After nine challenging and epic days of cycling through more than 750-miles of scenic California roads, and a thrilling fight to the finish, Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Astana was crowned champion of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, solidifying a three-peat for the California resident. With a week-long total time of 31 hours, 28 minutes and 21 seconds, Leipheimer accepted the highly coveted title of race champion in front of massive cheering crowds in Escondido, which brought the race total to 2 million fans along the race route from Sacramento to Escondido. In a nine-day battle against the best field ever assembled to compete in the United States, which included Tour de France winners, Olympic medalists and World Champions, Frank Schleck (LUX) of Saxo Bank claimed the Stage 8 win.

Hear the Fredcast on Stage 8 and final results.

“I’ve been trying to think about how to articulate this and it’s tough,” said Leipheimer. “To win it once, that was huge. To win it twice, that was almost a little bit of a surprise and almost felt like luck. But now, to have won the Amgen Tour of California three times, it’s the sweetest victory of all. I think we proved that we were the best team in the race. There is no question about that.”

Levi Leipheimer wins number 3 Escondido

David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin-Slipstream finished in second place overall at 36 seconds behind Leipheimer, and Michael Rogers (AUS) of Team Columbia-Highroad finished third at 45 seconds behind.

In one of the most difficult stages of the 2009 race, the 96.8-mile route from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido included one sprint and four King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs, including the ‘above categorization’ ascent of Palomar Mountain, the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California at 5,123 feet. The ascent unfolded over 11.7 miles and included 21 switchbacks at an average gradient of seven percent.

The Queen stage of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California began with an early breakaway of nine riders, which was split up a half hour later. Soon after, a second breakaway formed, which included Schleck and inaugural Amgen Tour of California winner Floyd Landis (USA) of Ouch Presented by Maxxis. Chased and eventually caught by the top-three riders in the general classification, Leipheimer, Rogers and Zabriskie, the breakaway included most of the top riders in the peloton.

Lined with fans, some of which had camped out for two nights to secure their spot to watch the cyclists compete in the final day of the race, Mount Palomar made the final stage of the race an extremely challenging course. Schleck opened up a gap on the descent, but was then joined by three additional riders to make a group of four. With Lance Armstrong (USA) of Astana setting a fast pace at the front of the field, the gap began to close. After riding in the breakaway for most of the day, Schleck battled Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) of Liquigas up to the finish line to take the final stage with the roar of cheering fans in Escondido in the background.

“The riding was furious today and I said, ‘I’m just going to go for it again’,” said Schleck. “On Palomar, that is where I attacked and got up to Andy (Schleck), and then he set a really hard pace. Really, for a guy like me, it took a big effort today for sure.”

Today’s stage brought a close to the competition for the Amgen Tour of California jerseys. The Amgen Leader Jersey was awarded to Leipheimer for the third consecutive year. In addition to winning the final stage of the race, Schleck claimed Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ Most Courageous Rider Jersey. Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Team Columbia-Highroad retained the Herbalife Sprint Jersey and Rabobank’s Robert Gesink (NED) the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey. Jason McCartney (USA) of Saxo Bank held onto the climbing lead to take the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey. With a celebratory champagne fight on the awards stage, Astana claimed the overall team classification for the first time.

In addition to increased programming on VERSUS, the Amgen Tour of California Web site saw a significant increase in traffic during the 2009 race. Total visitors to the Web site topped 1.3 million in the month of February, compared to 777,000 in February 2008, and total page impressions for this month exceeded 5.1 million.

“We are enormously satisfied with the race,” said Andrew Messick, president, AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “We’ve had some epic racing, beautiful terrain and enormous crowds. The ratings for our television broadcast were up about 70 percent, we were broadcasting for twice as many hours and we were broadcast live all over the world. I think people have gotten a much closer and better perspective of the race and we hope they will return as fans next year.”

Full results, more photos, more news, more analysis and commentary from Steephill.TV.

COG Magazine anniversary hardcover edition

Peter DiAntoni publishes Cog Magazine, a print publication featuring good quality photos of fixed gear bikes and the people who ride them around the world. Cog has recently released their First Year Anniversary hardcover edition that I think makes a pretty nice gift for the bike geek in your life.

The magazine edition of Cog is available for free at a handful of bike shops throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

Stage 7: Rinaldo Nocentini

Amgen Tour of California 2009 Stage 7 results

Fans lined the entire race course from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. Holywood celebrities joined the huge crowds of race fans in Pasadena to witness the finish to Stage 7 of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, which included five, five-mile laps on a very demanding circuit through the area surrounding the Rose Bowl. After a challenging day of cycling, Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) of AG2R-La Mondiale crossed the finish line to take the stage, followed closely by Hayden Roulston (NZL) of Cervelo Test Team and Pieter Weening (NED) of Rabobank. Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Astana retained the overall lead heading into the final stage of the race, which will take riders into San Diego County for the first time, as they race from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido tomorrow.

“The Rose Bowl had a ton of people on the floor today,” said Leipheimer. “When we rode in, there was so much noise from the crowd. All of the guys were really motivated by that.”

Nocentini - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

The penultimate day of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California featured the same difficult, hilly and technical terrain that was used in the final day of the 2008 race. The stage opened with a gradual 25-mile climb out of Santa Clarita, through Acton, to the intersection of Angeles Forest Road. Showcasing the breathtaking beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains, the course continued uphill to the massive Millcreek Summit, which at 4,906 ft. is the second-highest elevation ever reached in the race. The riders then headed down a 15-mile trek to Angeles Crest Highway before dropping precipitously to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Surrounded by mountains and the legendary stadium, the field concluded the stage with five challenging laps on a rolling five-mile circuit around the picturesque Rose Bowl.

Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California began with the launch of several attacks and counter-attacks to try and get a break going. It was a day characterized by very aggressive riding that left 16 riders behind the peloton. An hour and a half into the stage, a successful attack was launched led by Saxo Bank rider Frank Schleck (LUX) and George Hincapie (USA) of Team Columbia-Highroad, along five additional riders, with Astana at the front of the peloton setting the pace for the chase.

As the riders approached the only King of the Mountain (KOM) of the stage Millcreek Summit, team managers were urged to warn their riders about the enormous crowds lining the turns on the descent. A similar warning was issued as the pack headed into the finishing circuits at the Rose Bowl, a testament to the huge crowds that have turned out to watch the race throughout the past eight days.

At 48 miles into the race, three more riders joined the break to make it 10 strong, including Chris Baldwin (USA) of Rock Racing, Pieter Weening (NED) of Rabobank, Addy Engels (NED) of Quick Step, Martin Elmiger (SUI) of AG2R-La Mondiale, Markus Zberg (SUI) of Team BMC, Christian Vande Velde (USA) of Garmin-Slipstream, Schleck, Roulston, Hincapie and Nocentini.

After a series of attacks on the final two laps, Weening, Nocentini and Roulston opened up a gap that proved to be the winning move. The trio dueled to the finish with Nocentini beating out Roulston on the line. Leipheimer retained his overall lead with 36 seconds over David Zabriskie (USA) of Garmin-Slipstream heading in the final stage of the race tomorrow.

“This was a hard stage in the beginning,” added Leipheimer. “There were a lot of attacks with riders dangerous for the overall general classification. It took a while before there was a breakaway with which we could agree.”

More Stage 7 Amgen Tour of California news, commentary, photos, video:

KWC: Nocentini notches a win.

Bicycle.Net: Leipheimer leads.

BWN: Stage 7 results.

Steephill.TV: More Stage 7 results.
Stage 8 of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California will feature a KOM competition up Mount Palomar, the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California. Floyd Landis (USA) of Ouch Presented by Maxxis trains on the mountain and provided a glimpse into what the riders can expect tomorrow.

“The climb is pretty consistent and it goes from a five or six percent grade to an eight percent grade,” said Landis. “It’s as hard of a climb as you’ll find anywhere, especially at this stage in the race. After a week-long stage race, a lot of guys are tired, so the peloton will probably split up easier.”

Francisco Mancebo (ESP) of Rock Racing who was previously the KOM leader crashed late in the stage and had to abandon due to medical needs.

Stage 7 brought only two changes to the jersey leaders. Vande Velde was awarded Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ Most Courageous Rider Jersey. Jason McCartney (USA) of Saxo Bank claimed the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey. Leipheimer will retain the Amgen Leader Jersey, Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Team Columbia-Highroad the Herbalife Sprint Jersey and Robert Gesink (NED) of Rabobank the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey. Lance Armstrong is currently in sixth place overall in the GC.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trackstanding Tricia teal and pink

This is Tricia at the February San Jose Bike Party last night.

Tricia and her hot fixie

Tricia is a ton of fun and she really enjoyed showing off her mad skills for the the camera. I hope I run across her in daylight sometime for some better photos. I was experimenting with exposure and using a flash that's incompatible with my camera last night and seriously underexposed almost all of my shots. I need to pay attention to the histogram instead of just looking at the image in the LCD viewer!

CTC comments on UK Cycle Infrastructure Design guide

The Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) is the national cyclist advocacy organization in the UK. The CTC recently released their comments on the UK National Cycling Infrastructure Design (CID) guide which was published last October [PDF].

The CTC mostly welcomes the new guide, which brings together and updates guidance previously available in different Local Transport Notes and other advice published by the UK Department for Transport.

According to CTC, the CID's most useful feature is its 'Hierarchy of Provision' for cycling. This fundamental design principle says that planners and engineers should start by looking for solutions that reduce the volume and speed of traffic – that is, tackling the factors that most deter people from cycling. As such, the CTC says, "We are particularly pleased to see CID state that: 'The road network is the most basic (and important) cycling facility'."

They also welcome the fact that the CID doesn't just outline raw design principles, but gives the reasons behind its recommendations. It sets out how cyclists tend to ride and why they like and benefit from certain features and conditions, and not others. CID also explains how drivers react to cycle facilities and cyclists, and how this should influence design. This helps ground the advice in road user experience, attitudes and behaviour, making it - and its more 'counter-intuitive' stances - easier to appreciate.

CID's weaknesses are mainly sins of omission. The guidance says little on cycle provision at major junctions or the amount of cycle parking needed at key destinations, and nothing much at all on cycle-friendly road maintenance.

CID's biggest problem is its failure to rule out cycle lanes of less than 1.5m, even though it acknowledges that narrow lanes encourage dangerously close overtaking and steer cyclists towards the edge of the carriageway – a position that official cycle training advises against because it makes them less visible to motorists. CTC's view is that we'd rather have no cycle lane at all than one that puts cyclists in danger. If that means reducing either the volume or the speed of the traffic (i.e. the top two options from the 'Hierarchy'), then so be it!

An even bigger problem is that many local authority officers won't read CID and will continue with little understanding of the principles of good cycle planning. CTC will will be pressing the DfT to disseminate the document widely, and to get the principles of the 'Hierarchy of Provision' written into other planning and engineering guidance, not just this one on cycle infrastructure. CID has been published jointly by the DfT, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Read the full CTC critique here. Props to Bob Shanteau for the forward.

Mike and his Bianchi Fremont

San Jose along Bascom before the San Jose Bike Party, February 2009.

Mike and his Bianchi Fremont

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yellow Devil / Lance Armstrong push photos

The Yellow Devil harasses Lance Armstrong with a huge fake syringe and "Live Clean" jersey; Lance Armstrong pushes the Devil into the snow.

Yellow Devil pushed
See the complete sequence of photos at photographer Tom de Waele's website. Props to Maglia Rosa and to Byron, who writes a little more about the Yellow Devil. The Yellow Devil also left a comment with Chris Jones' Diary.

2009 Amgen Tour of California.

Transportation planners who walk the walk

Bike riders and public transportation users commonly lament that the people who govern, manage, plan and design their transportation facilities don't actually use them. Caltrain Board President Don Gage, for example, drives to solo to work in his SUV from Gilroy to San Jose.

I've been blessed to know several people who practice what they preach, however. In Longmont, Colorado, city engineer Len Marquez and planner Ben Ortiz regularly bike to their city jobs. They're intimately familiar with the issues facing cyclists, because they are us.

Matt and his folding bike San Jose parking director Matt Farrell rides a bus and bike everyday to his city job. He also uses his folding bike to get around San Jose for meetings.
San Jose Mercury-News "Roadshow" columnist Gary Richards called Bay Area transportation planners to survey which of them use the alternative transportation they promote. According to Richards, 33 of 42 planners he called use 'alternative' transportation at least some of the time.

Among them is San Jose transportation director Jim Helmer, who I regularly sit near on the Highway 17 commuter bus. Matt Farrell, who (ironically) runs San Jose's city parking operations, also rides the bus and his bike everyday. The two newest members of Caltrain's Joint Powers Board are cyclists.

What about in your area? Do your transportation planners and engineers ride bikes or transit to work?

San Jose Bike Party tonights

SE Lager, repainted

Theme: Mardi Gras Bike for Beads. The 12 mile ride starts tonight, 8:30 PM at Dick's Center, 1350 South Bascom, San Jose. Ride Map Here, more details on the San Jose Bike Party website.