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
Here’s a teaser for Volume 2 of our series of Movers and Makers, created in partnership with Swobo.
Stevil is a professional blogger, something that makes him inherently opinionated and a fairly public figure. However, getting to know his softer, more thoughtful side has truly been a great experience and something we definitely felt was worth capturing and sharing with our friends. Watch for the full episode online soon and our exclusive interview in Issue #28, coming soon.Tweet
Since 1987, there has been an annual induction of Americans who have achieved success in racing or who have enhanced the sport of cycling through their lifelong efforts to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. Nominee consideration looks at achievements that have made significant and extraordinary contributions to the sport of competitive bicycle racing.
Inductees can be selected as competitors who have had success at the national and international level, or contributors who have advanced the sport through technology, coaching or promotion. Inductees can have a background in road racing, track, BMX, cyclocross or mountain biking.
There are four categories for 2014:
- Veteran: Road and track – 1980 and prior.
- Modern: Road and track – 1981 to 2009.
- Off Road (including BMX, Cyclocross and Mountain Biking)
- Contributor (any discipline)
Anyone can nominate a candidate, but must provide supporting documentation of the nominee’s accomplishments in order for the nominee to be considered for placement on the ballot. Please be as complete as possible and document major accomplishments. A list of what are considered a nominees top 10 accomplishments is a good start. Entries for the 2014 induction are due April 1. Chosen inductees will be notified and invited to attend the induction ceremony in November, in Davis, California, which will be open to the public.Tweet
Author and journalist Molly Hurford rides a lot—and knows countless women who ride a lot—and inevitably all that riding can lead to a little… discomfort. It’s a subject that she found nearly all of the women she knows, from beginners to pros, were reluctant to discuss at the their local bike shop or with their male peers.
So she sought out to answer those questions for female cyclists, by talking to experts in the industry, doctors, product designers and riders. The result is “Saddle, Sore”, an e-book guide for women and their bike. No matter how much you ride, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable, and Hurford’s book can help you avoid some uncomfortable conversations.
Hurford will also be following up with online articles with new topics as they arise, as well as answering readers questions and some video interviews.
You can purchase and download a copy of “Saddle, Sore” in PDF or EPUB format (compatible with most tablets) now.
I don’t know about you but I feel naked if I leave the house without a watch. Since I usually ride without any sort of cycle-computer it certainly helps to keep track of how long I’ve been riding or how long I have before I have to be home for dinner! Of course, not much can beat a cold beer after a hard ride so Happy Hour Timepieces hopes you keep your eye on 5 o’clock. Its new line of watches spells out the magic hour with a stylized “5” on the face.
The one pictured here is the Lightweight, and it’s available in three colorways with a Japanese quartz movement. Each includes Happy Hour’s patented buckle that has a built-in bottle opener so nothing can keep you from your favorite beverage. The all-black model pictured here sells for $149 and you can order one from the Happy Hour website.Tweet
Dwight Eschliman is a photographer in San Francisco who felt inspired by the bicycles he saw on the street every day. He invited quite a few into his portrait studio for a collection he calls Bicycle San Francisco. He also built a wonderful interactive gallery to display his work with some details and a backstory about each bike and its owner.
Here he explains the project in his own words:
Ever since I got that Bianchi catalog from the local bike shop in 1981 or 1982, I’ve been hooked on the bicycle. I never did get the blue-green Bianchi (decked out in Campagnolo) that I craved, but I did work all summer for a red Trek 400 (decked out in something less). That first Trek eventually collided with a car and I moved on to a series of other bicycles from there.
My studio in San Francisco’s SOMA district is situated along a major bicycle commuting corridor. This affords me the opportunity to observe—and document—our evolution into a more bike-friendly city, with many distinct cycling subcultures. One thing that has always fascinated me about the bicycles I see is the way each bicycle reveals its owner’s personality. The hundreds of bikes I see streaming past my studio every day include everything from hipster fixies to pragmatic folding bicycles to durable bike messenger customs. By extension, the way that bicycle culture reflects the larger cultural context is just plain cool.
This is a project that’s just beginning, and it’s as much an anthropological study as a photographic series. Bicycle San Francisco is a visual study of the bicycle, but also a broader look at a compelling place and time in San Francisco right now.
By Andy Carlson
Few winters have challenged the meddle of a year-round bicycle commuter quite like this one. While the Polar Vortex has likely forced many riders to reconsider, some hearty souls embrace the discomfort and tackle the Icy Bike Winter Commuting Challenge.
Created by Colorado cyclist Scot Stucky as a way to stay motivated and keep riding throughout the winter, in its second year participation has exploded with more than 400 members from all over the world taking the challenge to ride to work 52 times between October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. Riders tally their rides online, so far rolling up more than 43,000 miles this winter.
Riding in the cold and dark, through snow and ice, isn’t easy and staying committed to bike commuting in these conditions can prove challenging, so how do the Icy Bikers maintain their motivation during the winter?Tweet
Traveling with children on bicycles is a great way to live the car-free lifestyle and introduce kids to the joys and health benefits of bicycling. But for parents new to cycling with children, there are challenges. What kind of bike works best? Is it best to use a trailer or child seats? Yuba Bicycles has created a three-part series to answer these questions and explain the options for parents.
In Part One, Yuba provides an overview of safely bicycling with children. Part Two examines the different types of bikes available for carrying children. Part Three will provide rider profiles of bicyclists and parents who are living the car-free lifestyle by using their cargo bikes as mini school buses and pedal-powered station wagons. The series can be viewed at www.whatabikecando.com.
Do you ride with your kids? What do you feel is the safest and most convenient way to do it? Let us know in the comments!
One my favorite things to do when long distance riding or bikepacking is consuming mass amounts of food. Tara Alan, author of “Bike. Camp. Cook” and I have this in common. While Tara and her husband spent two years traveling on bike from Scotland to Southeast Asia, she was determined to cook from scratch and she put all her tips, tricks and recipes into this book.
My husband and I try our best to travel as light as possible. This means often sacrificing my husbands healthy, home cooked meals to eat from freeze dried packs, gel packets or gas station junk food. I was excited to get my hands on this book in hopes to school myself on a little from-scratch, camp cooking.Tweet
Yes, 2014 is already off to a fast start, but the folks over at ArtCrank asked their fans to share their favorite bike memories of 2013.
Here’s one we especially liked:
Dena Driscoll (@bikemamadelphia)
2013 was a year of bike memories for me–the first year I rode in snow, the first year I rode 41 weeks pregnant and the first full year of Kidical Mass Philly, amongst other milestones.
I somehow convinced my husband that in 2013 we should buy an Urban Arrow box bike, as it was great way to carry our children. My husband fell for the idea as much as I did, and at 38 weeks pregnant we bought the bike.
I had a successful VBAC that resulted in the birth of our baby girl at the end of April. Exactly 5 weeks after, we strapped her car seat in, and I took her for her first ride.
The experience of watching your newborn being lulled to sleep by the movement you produce while riding a bike is powerful. I felt strong and happy, which in the early postpartum stage can be rare. Taking that spring day’s ride slow and steady was healing both for my body and mind. That ride sealed the deal that this bike would give my children a lifetime of memories.
If you’d like to get involved in an ArtCrank exhibition, there is an open call for artists in Austin and Minneapolis.
Well, if you’ve tried one, you know that already. How popular is it? Singletracks.com compiled the data.Tweet
The Ridgetop Ramble is a gravel road ride that circles through the Shawnee State Forest in southern Ohio. You might think Ohio is flat, but with more than 7,000 feet of climbing your legs will likely argue that.
When the Swallow Bicycle Works crew showed up for the big event, though, they were greeted with a healthy eight to ten inches of snow. The call was made to postpone the ride, but they didn’t let the opportunity go to waste! Plus their photos look like so much fun I had to share and invite everyone out.
The snow changes everything. The terrain develops a micro-character as tracks develop on the snow and ice. As your eyes drift over a landscape that will change before the next ride, a frozen mud rut, left during warmer days, calls your attention back to the surface under the tires. Tracks from four-wheel-drive machines are tempting. They offer the legs a bit of rest, but the deep ice-edged tracks, are just like a game of “Operation”, touch an edge and you’re out!
If you can make it out next weekend, you’ll have your choice of 100k and 70k loops with more gravel than pavement and (hopefully) no snow. Everyone gets a map and a cue sheet and it’s a social ride, not a race, and entirely self-supported.Tweet
It’s hard to imagine a more unassuming guy than Joe Breeze. Unlike his contemporaries Gary Fisher or Tom Ritchey, who are easy to spot in a crowd, Breeze could be the guy standing in line in front of you at the grocery store, or your friendly neighbor who always greets you with a wave and a smile. Of course, if you live in Fairfax, California, there’s a good chance he is both of these things.Tweet
Southwest Airlines has always been the most bike-friendly of the bunch. Now it’s added New Belgium to its list of in-flight beverages. Now you can reminisce on your favorite ride with a tasty Fat Tire Amber or Shift Pale Lager at 35,000 feet when flying Southwest or AirTran.
By now you may have seen our page about kale in issue #27. We’ll be featuring different eats that we consider “superfoods” in future issues. (Don’t worry—we plan to cover the whole spectrum, including less goody-two-shoes candidates such as honeybuns.) Here are some tips and a couple recipes to go with the information in that column.
I’ve been growing several types of kale in my backyard garden for a few years now and can honestly say I love it. Health benefits aside, it just tastes really good, especially fresh (and organic). I eat it often as a side dish, or as a substitute for a cold salad.
Kale survives well in low temperatures. I typically start it earlier than other vegetables, in mid-March to mid-April depending on the mercurial spring weather here, and the leaves stay fresh and green into the winter. (For those who garden by the book, we’re in Zone 6B according to the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
It’s a hardy vegetable for storing, as well, if you buy your kale from the grocery store or farmer’s market. Keep it in loose, air-filled plastic bags, or better yet, a large container that allows some air circulation but doesn’t allow it to dry out.Tweet
Guest column by Adrian Montgomery
There was a common theme during this year’s Global Fat Bike Summit in Ogden, Utah: fat biking is not a fad. Many statements in Summit presentations were preceded with, “I used to think differently about fat bikes, until I tried one.” The Summit provided the opportunity to throw a leg over the industry’s finest products for the uninitiated to the disciple.
There was a diverse group of attendees at the Summit, an event largely overlooked by the big brands in the Bike Industry. Land managers, enthusiasts and niche product suppliers all huddled up to address access issues, talk best practices for grooming and how to deal with potential user conflicts. Sounds pretty organized for a fad. IMBA was on hand too, and when Mike Van Abel compared the fat bike movement to the early years of mountain biking it was clear that this movement has the wheels to roll-over growth obstacles.Tweet
Photos by David Gabrys/45NRTH
The frozen feats of strength known as the Arrowhead 135 started Monday morning and 45NRTH sponsored rider Jay Petervary took the win in his first attempt, finishing the 135 miles in 20 hours and 11 minutes.
Though it was his first crack at the race, Petervary is no stranger to these types of races. He has won the Iditarod Trail Invitational (350 AND 1,100-mile versions), the Tour Divide and now the Arrowhead.
Armed with nearly a full fleet of 45NRTH gear, he likely stayed pretty toasty warm, even as temperatures hit -30 degrees overnight.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Petervary set a record in the Arrowhead. The record is actually held by Todd McFadden at 14 hours 20 minutes.
Composer Johnnyrandom breaks new ground with musical compositions made exclusively from everyday objects. His debut single, “Bespoken”, explores the full potential of sounds generated from bicycles and their components, transcending the role of traditional instrumentation as the accepted method for creating beautiful and thought-provoking music. The following video gives a glimpse into the creative process behind this unique composition.
- Original Music Composition & Sound Design: Johnnyrandom
- Director of Photography: Devin Whetstone
- Mastered by AudibleOddities.
- Editor: Blake Bogosian, Beast
- Graphic Design: Lisa Mishima
- Motion Design: Chris Kelly
- Colorist: Eric Pascua, Beast
- Producer: Flip Baber
- “Bespoken” on iTunes
- “Bespoken (Inverted MTB Remix) on iTunes
- “Bespoken” – A breakdown of selected sound elements