Oregon Manifest returns with most ambitious project yet

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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.

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League announces new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses

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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.

See the list here.

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Donate to create new singletrack and you would win a Moots

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Even if you don’t live in Colorado or might never have the chance to sample its sweet singletrack, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity like this. The Routt Country Riders – a local IMBA chapter – is raising funds to purchase some new trail building equipment, and Moots is pitching in to help.

For every $50 ticket you purchase, you’ll get another entry in a raffle to win a Moots Rouge YBB, a 27.5 titanium hardtail with Moots’ famous YBB softtail design. That’s an $8,000 value we’re talking here.

If you’re not familiar, the partnership between Moots and the RCR goes way back. Formed in the early 1990s, the club advocates for both mountain bikes and road riders, and has earned a Bronze level certification from IMBA and built the only IMBA Ride Center in Colorado and one of just 17 in the world. They also worked with Moots to create the amazing “chainsaw” trail building bike we saw at NAHBS last year.

Only 250 tickets for this raffle are available now through June 10, and you can grab yours at the Moots online store. Good luck!

 

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Raleigh celebrates 125 years

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.

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NAHBS 2014: The times they are a changin’

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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.

Keep reading and see the bikes.

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