By Léo Woodland, Illustration by Rich Kelly.
It’s been held by General De Gaulle’s chauffeur, by a professional, by several amateurs… yet never, so far as I know, by an American. It’s the record for the greatest distance covered in a year. And 75 years ago this winter the record was broken by the oddest man of all, and certainly the most disagreeable.
Walter Greaves had reason to think little of the world. For a start, he had only one arm. But he developed his grievance into such an unpleasant personality that one member of his old club told me he didn’t dare reflect on the old record-breaker “for fear of what I may say about him.”
The idea for a one-year distance record was born in the days when bike companies advertised the reliability of what they made. Working men bought bicycles and they wanted them as indestructible as themselves. What better proof than a bike that had gone further in a year than any before?Tweet Print
Ask any Brompton owner and they’ll tell you, it’s not just a folding bike, it’s a way of life. Since 2010 those owners have been gathering for the Brompton US Championship, an event that combines style, speed and often a little silliness. This year it’s taking place in Washington D.C. Read the full storyTweet Print
How do you have fun on your bike in the city? Share your urban bike fun with us on Instagram and and you could be one of the first to own an Oregon Manifest winning Bike Design Project bike!
Oregon Manifest is a design and construction competition to create the ultimate urban transportation bike. Five teams in five cities are planning, designing and constructing their own bikes to be unveiled July 25. The public can then vote on its favorite design and the winner will be put into full-scale production by Fuji Bikes!
To share your inspiration, post your good times on Instagram before July 17 and include #urbanbikefun and @oregonmanifest in the caption. The Bike Design Project crew will choose the most interesting, creative image.
The winner will receive one of Oregon Manifest’s Bike Design Project winning bikes to be produced by Fuji Bikes. Open to US residents only. By posting a photo you agree to the following contest rules found here. CONTEST ENDS ON JULY 17! Winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 21.Tweet Print
Bicycle culture is big in San Francisco, big enough in fact, that more than a thousand readers of the San Francisco Public Press, a non-profit local newspaper, kicked in more than $30,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to begin delivering the newspaper by bike. The total more than doubled its original goal of $10,000, and got a big bonus from the Knight Foundation which added $10,000 in matching funds. The first bike-delivery issues will begin hitting the streets later this month.
Get the story here courtesy of KPIX San Francisco:
Ladies (and gents I guess) who ride in a skirt can find it difficult to keep from flashing everyone around you. But this little trick courtesy of CycleHack uses just a penny and a gumband*.
In the near future you can even head over to pennyinyourpants.co.uk and order a more stylized version that will keep your skirt’s fabric from getting bunched up. The proceeds will benefit the women’s cycling team in Afghanistan.
Go ahead and try it, and let us know how it works!
* Yes, I said “gumband” and not “rubber band” because I’m proud of my Pittsburgh roots!
Portrait of Yours Truly by Stephen Haynes
I get a lot of email from readers. Fan mail, really. Marriage proposals, requests for autographs, that sort of thing. But some folks ask me about their bicycles and I’m always happy to help. Click on through for some I thought I’d share:Tweet Print
The 2014 Tour de France begins Saturday in the United Kingdom, and to commemorate the special event, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has developed a surprisingly understated steel bicycle made by U.K.-based Mercian Cycles, to be sold online by mens fashion outlet Mr. Porter.
The collection is called Paul Smith 531, named after the famous Reynolds lightweight bike tubing used by Tour de France champions up until the early 1980s; the number 531 refers to the ratio of manganese (5), molybdenum (3) and carbon (1) in the steel alloy.
Click through to see video of Sir Paul talking about his love for cycling and the making of the bike.Tweet Print
How much could you save by going by bike?Tweet Print
Bike theft is a problem in all major cities, but San Francisco is making a serious effort to eliminate it with a bike theft task force, headed up by Officer Matt Friedman. His unit has planted bait bikes with GPS trackers all around the city, and not only catches bike thieves, he posts their mug shots to twitter.
This New York Times video show you how the program works, as well as some other efforts the department is doing to stop bike thefts. (Only in San Francisco would a police offer sport a Steal Your Face sticker on his sidearm.)
Have you ever had a bike stolen? Share your story in the comments.
Having ridden the crowded and chaotic cyclepaths of Europe, it’s hard to imagine how having more and more cyclists could lead to fewer collisions, but that’s exactly what a recent study conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder found.
Boulder has one of the highest rates of cycling in the country, measured at 12 percent of the population. The proximity of the campus made it an ideal research location.Tweet Print