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
How much could you save by going by bike?Tweet
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
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