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.
We’ve been busy writing and editing and shooting photos and drinking excessive amounts of coffee and staying up too late—and now the next issue of Bicycle Times has been sent off to the printer. This is what we’ve cooked up for you.
Subscribers usually see it in their mailboxes before it hits store shelves, so be sure to sign up for a subscription of your own and you’ll never miss an issue.
In this issue
On the cover: Trina Haynes and the Breezer Downtown 5. Photo by Jon Pratt.Tweet Print
Photos by Maurice Tierney and Shimano
In response to its rapid growth, Shimano American Corporation has expanded its Irvine, Calif., office building by some 48,000 square feet turning it into a massive 51,000 square foot distribution center. An entirely new, modern business center also opened directly across the street for Shimano’s marketing, R&D and inside sales staff.
A recent move by Shimano to go dealer direct with its products, which also includes Pearl Izumi and a host of fishing brands, not only means lower prices for the customer but a need to expand warehouse capability for shipping, receiving and storage. Even after a year the project is still being completed with a new fire sprinkler system being installed, new hi-tech conveyers being finalized and large storage spaces being prepared. Other changes to the former offices include a fishing rod and reel repair and warranty center for quick turnaround.
Shimano’s Marketing Manager Joe Lawwill, who raced professionally for over 10 years and won a Masters Downhill World Championship in 2002, showed us around the entrance to the new, highly modern Business Center. Visitors are treated to an action video loop on the main screen while a smaller interactive monitor showcases Shimano’s history in cycling.Tweet Print
To paraphrase a famous Army cadence:
“I wanna be an Blackburn ranger / I wanna live the life of adventure”
Sponsorships for the non-racers out there can be rare. Blackburn is stepping up into that gap and offering support to the adventures out there with the Ranger brand ambassador program.
The main criteria for Ranger-hood is a commitment to ride either the Pacific Coast bicycle route or the Great Divide mountain bike route. Of course, Rangers will be responsible to share their adventures via the various social media platforms. In return Blackburn will outfit Rangers with Blackburn gear (including prototypes!) and a small travel stipend to help defray the cost of your adventurous undertaking.
Also in the perks category: Ranger Camp at the Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, Arizona, paid for by Blackburn. I don’t know about you, but I’d be down with missing out on some spring showers to hang out in Arizona April 25-27. The application process involves submitting a short essay, a few photographs and uploading a short video to YouTube. Best get busy!Tweet Print
Building on its journey along the “Neverending Road,” Kona announced on its blog today a new project to be hitting the streets this summer, the titanium Esatto road bike. Built in Tennessee by Lynskey, the Esatto is designed as an endurance road bike, capable of fitting larger tires (up to 32c) and featuring a more relaxed geometry. Details include laser-etched graphics and hidden fender eyelets.
- 3/2.5 seamless Ti material
- Tapered HT (integrated HS design)
- Ovalized DT and chainstays
- New Endurance Comfort geometry
- Kona Carbon monocoque fork with slight curve for smooth and compliant ride
- Full fender and 28c tire clearance (up to 32c without fenders)
- “Invisible” removable fender attachment eyelets
- Available in six sizes (49, 52, 54, 56, 59, 61)
The titanium frame and proprietary carbon fork will retail for $2,499. Bikes are available now, so contact your Kona dealer if you are interested.
Disc brakes have made a big push into the cyclocross and even road bike markets in the past year, but they certainly have had their share of bumps in the road along the way. SRAM, Shimano and TRP have all issued recalls for some of their disc brake products, but the latest news from SRAM trumps them all.
Despite an earlier recall that affected only a small production group of SRAM RED hydraulic disc road brakes, the new recall covers ALL hydraulic disc and rim brakes, and recommend riders stop using them immediately for their own safety.Tweet Print
Bike sharing systems are meant to make simple and practical transportation options available to more people, but rates of ridership among low-income users is incredibly low. According to Transportation Alternatives, only 0.5 percent of riders on New York’s CitiBike system are categorized as low-income.
[It] may have something do with where the docking stations are located. But the people who run these systems say they’re businesses. And they have to start where the demand for cycling is greatest. Paul DeMaio is a consultant who worked with Capital Bike Share in Washington, D.C.
Systems are forced to go for the low-hanging fruit — the neighborhoods that have the highest density of commercial, of residential. And that are gonna provide the most ridership to help pay for the service. And then hopefully catch up with the outlying neighborhoods as quickly as they can.
But it’s more than just location. Even when these stations are sited in low-income neighborhoods, they often go under-used. Partly, this may be about price. A typical bike-sharing membership costs somewhere between $60 and $100 a year. Many of these systems offer discounts for low-income riders, but they’re not always well-known or advertised.
NPR did a profile this past week about LA Bike Trains, a service that helps new cyclists feel more comfortable on the road by arranging commutes in groups. An experienced conductor leads the group along safe roads and the pack of cyclists inherently leads to more comfortable riders and better visibility.
Since launching L.A. Bike Trains in May with just a few routes and no budget, the system has grown to a dozen volunteer leaders, covering Los Angeles by bike by as much as 20 miles per trip each way, like the route from Silver Lake to Santa Monica.
Still, bike trains are far from seeing mass adoption.
Herbie Huff, a policy researcher at UCLA, says there are lots of obstacles to taking part in bike trains. Instead, Huff thinks infrastructure like bike lanes would be a bigger winner, or a concept like bike sharing could be an easier entry point.
“In order to go on the bike train, you need to already have made a commitment,” Huff says. “You need to already have a bike.”
We’ve made some changes around here, and we asked Beardo the Weirdo to stop by and show you around the website. Crack a cold one and enjoy!Tweet Print
I’m not really sure how this qualifies as a bicycle, even though it seems to have pedals and gears…
But anyway, watch as it blasts to 285 km/h (that’s 177 mph for us Yankees).Tweet Print