Aero Tech Designs CEO balances business with cross-country ride

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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.

Read more about Rogers and Aero Tech Designs.


Gallery: Grill By Bike at Pedalpalooza

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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.

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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!

See the photos here.


June is Bike Month in Boulder

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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.

Check out the full schedule of events and join the fun.

 


Trans-Am bike race starts Saturday

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Long distance racers are always pushing for a new challenge. Race Across America, Tour Divide, the Transcontinental—they inspire awe and certainly some intimidation. This year racers will be tackling a new challenge—the Trans-Am. Think of it like RAAM but without checkpoints or support of any kind.

There is an “official” route, but that is merely the shortest distance. It is inspired by the Trans-American trail pioneered by thousands of cyclists during the Bikecentennial of 1976. Racers are welcome to choose an alternate. The only rules regard self-sufficiency and safety.

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Festivities begin at 5 a.m. in Astoria, Oregon, and the finish line is Yorktown, Virginia, an estimated 4,233 miles.

You can follow along with riders using SPOT trackers at trackleaders.com and follow the action in the Trans-Am Facebook group.

Good luck to everyone participating! It will be an adventure to never forget.

 


Adventure Cycling video contest still accepting submissions

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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.”

Learn more about the contest and how to enter here.


Meet Your Maker ride on May 31, Santa Cruz

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Come join us for a challenging and spirited ride on mixed terrain in lovely Santa Cruz County. The ride will start in the parking lot at Kelly’s French pastry at the corner of Swift and Ingalls street on the west side of the city. Start time will be 9:00 A.M. or soon after.

There will be a place to get food and drink before the big climb. There will be a lunch stop at the summit store after about 3-4 hours of riding. There will be an after gathering of sorts at Rock Lobster Cycles, an open house, if you will. The ride will include some steep climbing on the KOM of the ‘Dolor del culo’ along with some bone-jarring washboard dirt road.

Tires of at least 700×28 are recommended. Two large bottles would be good as well. This will be a fairly difficult ride of about 60 miles. CX or big tire road bike would be ideal but an MTB won’t do you wrong, either. Ride will end where it started as the shop open house is only 2 blocks away.


Oregon Outback starts Friday

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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.

Learn more here.


Wednesday: The Ride of Silence will not be quiet

rideofsilenceAt 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

Read the full story


2014 National Bike Challenge starts today

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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.

Get the details here.


Gran Fondo organizers chip in to repair roads

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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.

Read the interview here.


Highlights from the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

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?

 


Join Argonaut Cycles at Aether Apparel in NYC

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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?!

Get the details here.


Details announced for SSCXWC in Louisville

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A sample of the scene from SSCXWC13 in Philadelphia. Yes, that man is dressed as a shower.

The 2014 Raleigh Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships will be held at Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

This year’s event will continue the great tradition of prior Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, with a full weekend of qualifiers, racing and celebration – all carefully choreographed for an outstanding participant experience and only 45 minutes of pain.

Get all the details here.


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.


A journey to the Conch Republic

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By now you’ve read all kinds of good advice in Bicycle Times on riding your bike through harsh winter conditions, but sometimes the best strategy to deal with it is to escape. I’m not ashamed to admit that during the second of… oh what, three? four?… polar vortices, or dips in the jet stream, or whatever ridiculous weather patterns we’ve had here in the Northeast, I escaped to sunny southern Florida, courtesy of the Adventure Cycling Association. It was the second of its three annual Florida Keys tours. And it was fabulous.

Read about the trip here.


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