Ira Ryan doesn’t just build some of the world’s nicest custom bikes—first under his own name and now as a partnership with Tony Pereira known as Breadwinner Cycles—he’s also one heck of a fast rider. He twice won the epic Trans-Iowa and when he appeared at the starting line of the inaugural Oregon Outback with a new bike designed especially for events like it, you know it was game on.
Congrats Ira on finishing the 360 miles in just 28 hours.Tweet
Like most cyclists from the 1980s, I’ve been a steady wearer of Lycra tops and bottoms for the road, and baggies and loose-fitting tops for the dirt. A costume for a specific gig, as it were. Now, the garment game is changing, and I welcome it for several reasons, several of which evolved on the same weekend in early April.
As fate slammed our Dirt Rag editor to the tarmac during a freak motorcycle accident in late March, so too went his ability to attend a few media launches prior to the Sea Otter Classic in early April. So, I got called up from the bullpen to attend the Specialized MTB apparel launch in nearby Santa Cruz. There I experienced two things that changed the course of my ride clothing choices: poison oak, and the heavily pocketed and smart Specialized Mountain Bib liner shorts with S.W.A.T. (storage, water, air, tools) technology.
The first was somewhat avoidable (it was uncharacteristically muddy on a hot day on a borrowed bike on a new trail for me, but I digress), but the second was fate, providing an ‘aha’ moment to help me rethink traditional clothing choices: what if the S.W.A.T. bibs could be used under non Lycra uppers and lowers, providing a bit more freedom of movement and making me look less like a mutant ‘spandex’ freak to non cyclists on the roads?
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Combine two key outdoor industry organizers, mix in the growing purchasing power of women and you get The Women’s Story, a cycling and outdoor media event, with a splash of fashion. I headed out to New Jersey to see what was new in the world of women’s outdoors gear.
Throughout the day attendees from multiple media backgrounds had the opportunity to experience and learn about different outdoor activities: yoga, hiking, biking, stand-up paddleboarding and fly fishing to name a few.Tweet
We always love sharing stories of American-made cycling products, and one of our favorites is Aero Tech Designs. Based just down the road here in Pittsburgh, it manufacturers cycling apparel of its own designs and offers custom work as well.
On June 15, Cathy Rogers, the founder and CEO, will embark on a fast-paced cross-country tour from Redmond, Washington to Washington, D.C., covering 3,300 miles through 12 states in 48 days. The trip is a product testing and development excursion, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, and a lifelong dream come true.
Rogers is always seeking the best apparel innovations to improve the ride, and a cross-country tour is a great opportunity to test clothing to its limits. She will be wearing current Aero Tech designs and items from other brands sold on the Aero Tech website, as well as prototypes of new ideas Rogers and her team have been working on. Chief among her concerns are sun protection, long-distance comfort, chafe durability, and high visibility on the road. The tour group will also be sporting custom kits designed and sewn by Aero Tech in its factory near Pittsburgh.Tweet
One of the best things about opening the new home office as the Portland Bureau of Bicycle Times is that I’ve landed right in the middle of Pedalpalooza, Portland’s month-long celebration of bicycles, eccentricity and the joyful intersection of the two. Among the dozens of events schedule are a Prince vs. Bowie dance party ride, a Doctor Who ride, a Traffic Signals Wonkery Ride and of course, the World Naked Bike Ride. Last night I joined the Grill By Bike Ride, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Grillin’ out and drinking beer while riding bikes?
Sign me up.
We started in Ladd’s Circle where I’d estimate roughly 200 people showed up. After an hour or so it was on to Laurelhurst Park (after a beer stop, of course) then finished up along the Springwater Corridor for a dance party meet-up with the Silent Disco Ride.
While everything went fairly smoothly, it should be noted that only trained professional would ride a bike with burning charcoal shooting flames and sparks all over the place.
Anyway, on to the photo gallery, and let us know which is your favorite Pedalpalooza Ride!Tweet
While May is National Bike Month, the city of Boulder, Colorado, is keeping the fun going with its own Walk and Bike Month in June. Since 1977 the event has grown from a single day to a full month with more than 70 free activities, including mountain bike rides, running races, scavenger hunts, historical bike tours and more. It all ramps up to Bike to Work Day on June 25, with breakfast stations fueling hungry riders on their way.
The whole shebang is coordinated by Community Cycles, a local nonprofit that educates for safe bicycle use. It is sponsored by Go Boulder, a division of the city transportation department focused on reducing single occupancy car usage, along with more than two dozen other corporate sponsors.
It’s hard to stand out these days, but Chrome is helping with its limited edition run of Artist Series bags. Produced in small numbers, once they are sold, they’re gone. There are only eight of this edition.
The latest edition features the work of Japanese artist NOA. Using oil and acrylic paint on canvas or wood, his style recalls traditional Japanese line-making. He created this piece just for Chrome based on the Japanese phrase “黒霧”, which roughly translates to Black Fog.Tweet
The PeopleForBikes Ride on Chicago successfully reached its destination last week and exceeded its fundraising goal of $100,000 for better bicycling.
Previously known as the Ride on Washington to coincide with the National Bike Summit, the ride moved to the midwest this year. Founded by pro racer Tim Johnson in 2011, the Ride on Chicago aims to raise funds and awareness for better riding conditions in the U.S.Tweet
The third installment showcases Andréanne Pichette, Opus MTB World Cup racer and 2012 Canadian champion enjoying some California sun aboard her Opus Fhast.
Share your favorite trails on Instagram #opusbikeTweet
Former Bike Trial World Champion and 10-times Guinness World Record holder, Italian Vittorio Brumotti, has upped the ante with road bike trials videos. His new film, “Brumotti Road Bike Freestyle” is a tribute to Martyn Ashton and his 2012 film “Road Bike Party“.
While filming the sequel, Ashton’s life was transformed by an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. “Road Bike Party 2” was completed with help from riders Danny MacAskill and Chris Akrigg.
Vittorio Brumotti is an Italian mountain bike trials rider and celebrity. In 2006 he became the Bike Trial World Champion and over the following two years he travelled to the United States to win the “blessing” of mountain bike trials legend Hans Rey.
Brumotti has been entered into the book of Guinness World Records 10 times, most specularly for back-hopping 71 times on an exposed spire-like rocky peak some 150m high. In 2012 he claimed the record for climbing the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, by bike in 2 hours and 20 minutes. He also holds the record for the highest jump into water on a bicycle at 17m, amongst many others.
Brumotti’s original road bike trials video, “100 percent Brumotti on Road Bike – Volume 1“, was released in 2013.Tweet
As a student of the world and a practitioner of The Manual Life it’s about making time to do things that you love and the things that need to be done, and allowing that process to take as long as it needs to, whether you’re changing a tire, making a drawing, or fixing a toilet.
As a kid, I painstakingly recreated surf, skate and punk rock band logos in pen, marker and paint. Capturing every nuance, I transcribed them onto backpacks, skate decks, t-shirts, book covers and hand-made patches.
The thought then was “I could just make that” and so I did, spending hours getting things to look right (at least in my mind). The time it took was secondary to the want of making it correct (and cool, if I’m honest).
Somewhere along the line, probably in college, I started trading accuracy for efficiency and began trying to get things done in the shortest amount of time possible. While my teachers loved me for getting things in early, it started a trend of taking the easy “A” at the cost of growth and self-discovery.
Now, I argue with myself that, because I now have kids and a job, and a dog that needs to be walked and a hundred other things that can be seen as time bandits, that I have to do things fast just to get them done, but that’s B.S.Tweet
The deadline is drawing near for Adventure Cycling Association‘s 2014 Bicycle Travel Video Contest, which celebrates the beauty and spirit of bicycle travel through videos shot around the world by amateur videographers traveling by bike. Submissions must be made through the contest’s Vimeo group by June 30, 2014.
“As of today, we’ve received about 20 submissions,” said contest coordinator Michael McCoy, “from nearly as many countries. We have entries from cycling videographers living in Slovakia, France, the Czech Republic, Canada, the Philippines, Nepal, Belgium, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. This worldwide geographical spread is quite amazing, really.”Tweet
Tim Johnson’s Ride on Chicago (formerly Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington) is preparing for the annual five-day bike tour benefiting PeopleForBikes. Champion cyclocross racer Tim Johnson and 24 other riders, including world-champion athletes, journalists and business executives, will pedal through the Midwest, from Kansas City to Chicago, on May 29 to June 2.
Founded in 2011, the ride has raised nearly $200,000 for the national bike nonprofit PeopleForBikes, helping to build more safe and appealing places for people to bike. The ride has also increased awareness for bike advocacy amongst the racing and enthusiast communities.Tweet
Image courtesy of VeloDirt.com
It hasn’t even begun but the inaugural Oregon Outback bikepacking “race” is quite possibly the most talked-about bikepacking event of the year. Covering 360 miles of dirt, gravel and (probably) mud, the route travels north from Klamath Falls near the California border to the Deschutes State Park along the Columbia River.Tweet
Since today is National Bike to Work Day, it only seems fitting that we share this e-book from commercial bike rack maker Upbeat. Biking to work is on the rise across the country, and beyond adding more bike racks, there are several things you can do to help your employer make riding to work more comfortable and convenient. Doing so doesn’t just help you, it helps others who may be interested in trying to ride to work and countless others who will benefit from less congested streets, less pollution and better overall health.Tweet
In Bike Month in May, communities across the United States are focusing on the benefits of bicycles- economic, health, environmental. Whether someone is bicycling to avoid urban gridlock in the U.S. or trying to reach a distant school in rural Africa, bikes provide a simple solution to some of our world’s most complex problems. In this short video World Bicycle Relief showcases the hard work of individual across the country who are showing how they, one person at a time, can make a real difference. Nine-year-old Griffin Donovan, Team WBR Indiana members and Ironman World Champion Jordan Rapp are making a world of difference through the Power of Bicycles. Learn how you can get involved here.Tweet
Cuba underwent a bicycle revolution in the 1990s during its five year ‘Special Period’. Oil was scarce as a result of tough economic constraints, and throughout those years of austerity, bicycles where introduced as an alternative mode of transport. Thousands of Cubans used bicycles on a regular basis, as pedaling became the norm on the island.
Years later, the transportation crisis subsided and motorized vehicles returned, and the country’s bicycle culture took a hit. Now, new bikes are difficult to come by and parts are not readily available, yet many Cubans still use bicycles daily and, despite the limited resources, a handful of mechanics provide a service to those who rely on their bikes in their everyday lives.
Plenty of cyclists roam the streets of Havana and the rest of Cuba. Ángel, a typical bike riding Habanero, provides a brief insight into Cuban bicycle culture and the importance of bike mechanics in the capital as we come across both riders and repairmen.Tweet
By Rich Kelly
Some of my earliest work dates back to 1986. Abstract swirls dance across the crisp white sheet of copy paper. With the literal mental capacity of a toddler, I’m sure there was little connection between the right side of my brain and my chubby little toddler fingers. My tools were manufactured by Crayola, 64 colorful sticks made of wax.
Over the next 28 years my artistic focus shifted from trucks and monsters to detail-crammed imaginary laboratories (a la Where’s Waldo) to making paintings that looked like the photographs I was referencing. I took pride in being “the kid who could draw” in school, and with my parent’s blessing and encouragement, I went to Syracuse University to study Illustration. Finally it was revealed to me how I could apply these abilities to a career: a client would contract the use of my hands and my brain to make images, which I would then exchange for currency, a perfect plan.Tweet
“Deep down inside, most folks just want the freedom of choice,” says Mayor A. C. Wharton, Jr., of Memphis, one of the most pro-bike mayors in the country. Adding to the choices is the rise of protected bike lanes in Memphis and beyond, which make riding in the city safer and more comfortable.
Promoting that choice is the Green Lane Project, created to help cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. It focuses on on protected bike lanes, which are on-street lanes separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars, or posts. Protected bike lanes are part of a connected system for biking around town, which is an essential ingredient of a great place to live and work. They are a simple tool to transform city streets into places where more people feel comfortable riding a bike, making it easier to get around, save money, and live an active life.Tweet
Pump up those tires and lube the chain, National Bike to Work Week starts Monday.
Just one of several events happening during National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists encourages everyone who can to bike to work May 12-16, or at least on Bike to Work Day, May 16.
More than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 47 percent.
And if you’re in NYC, you’re invited to join the Bike Home From Work Party on Friday!