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
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?
Last summer, two Alaskan explorers embarked on a journey from Cook Island to Bristol Bay, Alaska, and turned the adventure into a film, “Hunting For Monsters”. Now the film is available to rent or buy from Vimeo On Demand.
Lake Iliamna, Alaska’s largest lake, is home to many native communities, the worlds largest sockeye salmon run, potential site of the controversial Pebble Mine and the elusive Lake Monster – Illie. On a hot mid-July, Bjørn and Brent were deposited to the far shore of Cook Inlet in a landing craft cargo ship and began their human powered journey through Iliamna country to Bristol Bay, hoping to catch a glimpse of the illusive creature and slice of Alaska where monsters can still roam free.
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
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
Check out this awesome recap of the history of De Ronde. Will you be watching this Sunday?Tweet
This is My Opus is a five-part video series from Opus Bicycles that examines bike riders and the forces that drive them. It explores their varied lifestyles and offers intimate insights into the complex role cycling plays in their lives. The Commuter, the first installment in the series, profiles cyclists in their day-to-day urban environment.Tweet
I really enjoyed this quick illustrated film of the history of bicycle design. Have you ridden any of these?Tweet
Between a bike, a packraft and a lot of climbing rope, where CAN’T you go?
Via Republic of DoomTweet
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
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 was in Amsterdam all last week getting to know Dutch bicycle culture and logistics (more on that soon), and one of the key tenants of what makes cycling so simple there is the cycle paths. More than just bike lanes, the cycle paths are almost always separated from traffic by parked cars, curbs, or other street features.
The practice is catching on in the US, with New York leading the way with protected lanes on some major thoroughfares. But even those lanes leave cyclists vulnerable where they need safety most: in the intersection.
Urban planner and designer Nick Falbo has put together this piece about how intersection design can make cycling safer and more accessible. His video and other collected works are part of a proposal for the George Mason University 2014 Cameron Rian Hays Outside the Box competition, a challenge to find new solutions to transportation policy challenges.
The gang from FietsKlik knows how to solve a problem I can relate to. Despite the ubiquity of cycling as transportation in their native Amsterdam, the dilemma of how to carry a crate of beer on a bicycle is a real one.
Some design sketches and some local manufacturing later, and a startup was born. The FietsKlik is an integrated system that combines a locking rear cargo rack with a number of integrated accessories, most notably the Crate.
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.
Click the map for a larger view
London has become synonymous with cycling and pedestrian danger, as the city has claimed more than 150 serious injuries or deaths in the past three years. Now the city, led by Mayor Boris Johnson, himself an advocate for cycling and pedestrian safety, is pledging $500 million to radically transform 33 intersections and roundabouts across the city.
Roundabouts at Archway, Aldgate, Swiss Cottage and Wandsworth, among others, will be ripped out and replaced with two-way roads, segregated cycle tracks and new traffic-free public space. The Elephant & Castle roundabout, London’s highest cycle casualty location, will be removed. At other intimidating roundabouts, such as Hammersmith and Vauxhall, safe and direct segregated cycle tracks will be installed, pending more radical transformations of these areas in the medium term.
“These road junctions are relics of the Sixties which blight and menace whole neighborhoods. Like so much from that era, they’re also atrociously-designed and wasteful of space,” Johnson said in a statement. “Because of that, we can turn these junctions into more civilized places for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time maintaining their traffic function.”
The move is part of the Safe Streets London campaign, a detailed plan to reduce the number of persons injured on London’s roads by 40 percent by 2020.
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.Tweet
There are a lot of races that bill themselves as the “toughest”, but none can hold a candle to the World Cycle Race, a wild ride around – you guessed it – the entire planet.
The 18,000-mile (or more) route is entirely up to the rider, and contestants can choose to ride east or west from the starting point in London. There are no stages or checkpoint. The route is entirely up to you. There will be a small ceremonial ride through London before racers toe the line for the official start at noon.
While countless men and women have circled the Earth by bike and set numerous records along the way, the first mass-start World Cycle Race was held in 2012 with Englishman Mike Hall taking the win in 107 days, setting a record for unsupported circumnavigation. Only three of the nine starters completed the ride.
Brooks of England is hosting a pre-race celebration at its B1886 boutique in London tomorrow night, February 28, and a few racers, including Hall, will be on-hand to answer questions and inspire your own tour. There is a good chance several of the riders will be riding Brooks saddles, and the brand released a special edition World Cycle Traveler for the 2012 edition of the race.
Want to get in on the action? The 2015 edition starts April 4, 2015. You can sign up now. Maybe I need to clear my calendar…