Argonaut Cycles, the one-man custom carbon fiber frame shop of Ben Farver, introduced its latest project, the disc brake Space Bike at the Rouge Roubaix. The race is 106-miles of “true grit” traversing some of the worst roads in Louisiana and Mississippi. Argonaut bikes are built by hand, one at a time, with custom geometry and layup for the ultimate in ride perfection. It was even awarded Best Layup and Best in Show at the 2014 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. This short film by Brian Vernor captures it in action.Tweet
By Henri J Boulanger
The act of creating, disassembling, or modifying something is what tells the child inside of me that there isn’t a monster under the bed. When everything in life is handed to me pre-made, guaranteed, and safe as can be, I begin to feel something akin to claustrophobia; it’s like watching somebody play Monopoly for me. I feel robbed of the opportunity to expand, simplify, or simply tinker. This poking, prodding, construction, deconstruction, and overall exploration of the resources at hand and the structures of my mind is how I breathe, how I exercise, and how I live. It’s the Manual Life.Tweet
Riding with the kids at our 2013 CycloFemme ride.
No matter what type of bike you ride, or how often or far you ride, CycloFemme is a day for all women cyclists. It is also a day for anyone who supports women on bikes to join the rides as well. The goal is to create a unified voice for women’s cycling by building a tribe of riders who recognize the need to empower one another and build a supportive community.Tweet
The Marin Museum of Bicycling recently announced it would begin construction on the Mt. Tamalpais Legacy Wall in Fairfax, California, that will be fitted with brick titles funded by museum donors. The public can purchase bricks and help fund the museum, the future home of the Igler Collection and the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.Tweet
Ride For Reading is a national non-profit dedicated to promoting literacy in low-income areas. This year from May 5-11 it will celebrate the third annual Ride For Reading week and recruiting bicycle volunteers to help sort and distribute books.Tweet
The 2013 National Bike Challenge united Americans to pedal 19 million miles and sights are set even higher for 2014. The goal of the the friendly, online competition remains the same: to get more Americans bicycling, whether it’s for fun, for work or for health. But the 2014 Challenge is looking for 50,000 riders to pedal 30 million miles.Tweet
Carlos Perez and Greg Fisher are the hands behind Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo, held on the roads of Sonoma County, California. Each fall since 2009, more than 7,500 cyclists transcend on Santa Rosa, California, and its roads take the toll. That hasn’t stopped their events company, Bike Monkey, and a merry band of volunteers from taking care of the roads that take care of the riders, many of whom travel from all four corners of the earth. The event’s organizers got permission from the county to hire their own contractors and repair the roads using funds raised from event entry fees, donations and corporate sponsorships. In all, $40,000 has been spent on patching 48 miles of road.
I spoke with Fisher about what prompted them to take action, and what they’ve done to mitigate road damage, because no one wants to see roads go neglected.Tweet
Google has taken its self-driving car to the streets of Mountain View, California, to help it learn to navigate complex urban environments. As this video demonstrates, one of the special considerations it makes is yielding to cyclists. The computer can recognize simple hand gestures and react accordingly. Could this kind of technology ultimately make the streets safer for all users? Sure seems that way.Tweet
From 1995 to 1997, Adventure Cycling Association mapped the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the longest off-pavement mountain-bike route in the world spanning 2,774 miles from Canada to Mexico along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. Now, Adventure Cycling and Co-Motion Cycles, in association with Revelate Designs, present highlights from the route and gear suggestions for cyclists wishing to tackle the entire Great Divide, or a short section.
Has the Great Divide Route inspired any of your own adventures, either past or planned?
If you’re in New York this Friday you’re going to want to head over to Aether Apparel to check out the new Argonaut Disc Racer and meet its creator, Ben Farver. The Racer Disc won Best in Show at the most recent edition of NAHBS in Charlotte, and videographer Brian Vernor will be debuting his film from the Rouge Roubaix. Plus complimentary drinks, so why not?!Tweet
The Oregon Manifest is one of the most creative bicycle competitions in the world, and this year the organizers have upped the ante with a new set of challenges and a new format.
In years past, custom bike builders produced one-off projects that had to complete a series of tasks, including a fairly daunting ride. This summer, five teams in five cities will design an urban utility bike for people who do not consider themselves “cyclists” with the winning design chosen for production by Fuji Bikes in 2015.Tweet
Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced 80 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) in 29 states and Washington, D.C. These new awardees join a trendsetting group of almost 700 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies in 46 states and D.C. that are transforming the American workplace. Bicycle Friendly Businesses encourage a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere for employees and customers alike. BFBs attract and retain energized, alert and productive employees, while decreasing healthcare costs.Tweet
Our hometown, Pittsburgh, has been making big strides in the past few years in promoting cycling and making the streets safer. At the forefront of that movement is Bike Pittsburgh, an award-winning advocacy group.
In August 2013, Bike Pittsburgh installed four billboards and 15 bus shelters with its Drive With Care campaign. Featuring real cyclists and real people, it reminded drivers that people on bikes aren’t a nascence in the road, they are nurses, students, daughters, sons and star NFL players. Yes, one billboard features Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a football town after all.
Now Bike Pittsburgh is raising funds to expand the program to other neighborhoods, create a web campaign where riders can share their stories, and spread the word to drivers that all road users are people, not impediments.
The Indiegogo campaign is raising $50,000 to fund the following:
- $10,000 – 15 bus shelters for two month
- $14,000 – 45 bus cards (aka “Queens”) on the sides of buses divided between four routes, for two months
- $16,000 – Strategically placed billboards around Pittsburgh for two months
- $10,000 – Web development and app creation for people to take their own pictures and make Drive With Care profiles
More than just making streets safer, your donation will earn you a little something too.
Various donation levels will earn you prizes, including T-shirts, cycling caps, water bottles, a spot on one of the billboards or my favorite: Rick Sebak will record the message on your voicemail or answering machine. Pittsburghers are going to especially excited about this one.
The campaign runs through April 20, so don’t delay—donate now.
Brought to you by Swobo and Bicycle Times. Movers and Makers is a series of interviews and short videos about people that inspire us in the bicycle industry. Builders, bakers, artists, makers–people that are doing cool things and motivate us on a daily basis. See previous episodes here.Tweet
I’ve attended hundreds of bicycle events the past 23 years, and the one I’ve grown to enjoy the most is the Sea Otter Classic, held at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif., every April. When the weather cooperates, it’s heaven on earth.Tweet
The Raleigh Cycle Company was founded by Frank Bowden in 1888, seven years before Ignaz Schwinn hung his shingle in Chicago. Bowden was a lawyer working in Hong Kong who had to return to England because of his ill health. In 1870, a doctor in Harrogate suggested he take up cycling to build up his strength, so Bowden bought a tricycle and set off to France to tour around. His health improved and he decided to try and encourage others to recognize the benefits of this new form of transport.
Bowden also saw the business potential and while visiting Nottingham he invested in a small company on Raleigh Street which was run by three men, Woodhead, Angois and Ellis, and was turning out about three bicycles a week. Bowden offered his business skills (and money) and The Raleigh Cycle Company was founded. An old lace factory on Russell Street was purchased as a new workshop, and when they outgrew that, a new factory was built on Faraday Road, increasing production to about 10,000 bicycles a year by 1900.Tweet
Bike Pittsburgh has continued to make strides for cycling in its city. It has created an ad campaign that helps drivers make cyclists more relatable, built a growing number of bike lanes and now hosted the very first Women’s Biking Forum in Pittsburgh.Tweet
While May is National Bike Month, there’s no reason not to get started early with April’s 30 Days of Biking. The idea is simple: Pledge to ride your bike every day in April and share your experience with the hashtag #30daysofbiking. There are also events scheduled all over the country to keep you motivated and having fun. Then visit 30daysofbiking.com to see what others are up to. Plus, for every 30 folks to take the pledge, 30DaysofBiking will donate a bike to Free Bikes 4 Kidz, a group of compassionate cyclists who refurbish used bikes and donate them to folks in need.
By Marie Autrey
When I stepped through the exhibit hall doorway, I knew the world had changed.
I have a recurring dream in which I’m driving the interstate or walking to the mailbox, when a meteorite rips the sky in half like a broken zipper. I feel the shock wave and watch the smoke rising from the crater where a city used to stand, and say to myself that things won’t ever be the same.
Sometimes it happens in real life. When, after a hard crash, I tried to stand and discovered that one leg didn’t reach the ground. When Mom’s doctor said that he’d done all he could. There’s no blast or ash cloud like the dream, but I know just as certainly that the past has passed and things will be different from now on.
The 2014 show was my fifth North American Handmade Bicycle Show. That’s Indy, Richmond, Austin, Sacramento, and Charlotte. (No Denver; see above, about crashing and legs.) I always get an early start, hitting the show as soon as the doors open, buttonholing the exhibitors while they set up, chatting before potential customers clog the aisles. There’s always a sense of excitement in the air. It’s like at a concert when the band is taking the stage. What’s coming may be pure rock and roll energy, or it might be a mish-mash of muffed lyrics and tangled chords. What fills the air is risk—Wallenda placing his foot onto the high wire.
If you know cycling, you know the story of NAHBS: how track bike specialist Don Walker assembled a couple of dozen of his lug-brazin’ buddies to show off their work in Houston in 2005. Apparently the idea struck a chord with cycling’s psyche, because as it roved from town to town in succeeding years, the exhibitor list doubled and doubled again, and the lines of visitors circled the block.
Well, that’s how it used to be. Attendance peaked in Sacramento in 2012, when a bright sunny weekend in a city two hours from San Francisco swelled the convention center to bursting. The momentum broke the next year in Denver, when a snowstorm sent visitors running for home. Emerging shows in Seattle, Philly, and San Francisco siphoned off exhibitors. This year’s NAHBS felt more like a trade show, with manufacturers and vendors—companies with the budget to buy a double booth and commission frames to show off their gear—outnumbering custom frame shops.Tweet