Pennsylvania is a big state, and we’ll be making the trek eastbound to visit our good friends Bilenky Cycle Works at the Philly Bike Expo, two days of artisans and activists at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The list of exhibitors is impressive, with Bicycles Times (of course) joining All City Cycles, Bern, Brompton, Gunnar, Knog, Princeton Tec, Raleigh, Surly, Thomson, Velo Orange, and dozens more.
Events? We’ve got events. The Hardcourt Couture fashion show will leave the runway in the dust and hit the bike polo court Saturday night. If you’d rather be indoors, there is a screening of “Where Are You Go”, a film documenting the Tour d’Afrique from Cairo to Capetown. Got some energy to spare? Get in on the Gold Springs for just $5 and win a custom R.E.Load bag. Plus there will be rides, seminars, yoga and book signings.
By Maurice Tierney
Now in its third year, Pedalfest in Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., offers something for everyone, not just committed cyclists, not just bike riders, but people off the street that might not otherwise get turned on to bikes in all their goodness. That’s a turn-on.
There’s music courtesy of Rock The Bike’s pedal-powered sound stage all day. Right around the corner is the New Belgium beer tent in support of the East Bay Bike Coalition. Then you’ll find the Bicycle Times/Dirt Rag tent, where we’ll be giving away some sweet goodies when you subscribe to either magazine. And that’s down the road from the Whiskeydrome, where fearless feats of derring-do take place on a 30 foot wide banked—and I mean BANKED track—which is sure to please those with an appetite for destruction.
If that doesn’t suit your fancy our friends at Brompton will be holding folding bike races, hopefully NOT on the Whiskeydrome, plus there is the kid’s bike rodeo, BMX Stunt Team performances, the display of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame, the Meet Your Maker framebuilder ride, the bicycle-trivia dunk tank, the New Belgium beer garden and if that’s not enough, Cyclecide will be there!
Join us July 20 in Jack London Square. See you there!
Whiskeydrome Stunt Action
Cycling daredevils will ride at thrilling speeds and perform exciting stunts in a 30-foot banked wooden velodrome!
BMX Stunt Team Performances
TGC Actions Sports/BMX Stunt Team with James Brom returns to Pedalfest for an action-packed day of BMX riding competition including eye-popping jumps, wheelies, bike stunts and more.
Oaklandish’s Kids Bicycle Parade
Be a part of Oaklandish’s kids bicycle parade and help kick-off 2013 Pedalfest! Children are invited to show up with already-decorated bicycles, or they can deck-out their bikes at a special Oaklandish decorating station, at 11 AM. The parade will cruise through Jack London Square at 12 PM.
Bicycle Stunt Shows
Professional stunt riders Chris Clarke and Mike Steidley will wow crowds with exciting, two-wheeled stunts showcasing bicycle balancing and agility on obstacles!
Rock the Bike’s Pedal-powered Sound Stage
Enjoy live music on Rock the Bike’s pedal-powered sound stage that produces electricity from the pedaling of stationary bicycles! Enjoy performances by the following groups:
Noon: Antioquia. Afro-Columbian Progress Rock.
1 p.m.: Cello Joe. One-Man, One Cello | Bike-touring, BeatBoxing-Cellist Genius
2. p.m.: Antioquia
3 p.m.: Conbrio. Powerful vocals and soulful grooves that blends old-school grit with new-school sophistication
4 p.m.: Will Magid Band. Deep drum groove with trumpet lead “…sweet spot between traditional vibe and global beat.”
5 p.m.: HoneySweet. R&B vocals with blues and rock influence
6 p.m.: Fossil Fool. The Bike Rapper and Rock The Bike’s founder takes the mic and sings funny, soulful hiphop with a not-so-subtle Bike Bias.
U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame
A collection of vintage bikes.
Handmade Bicycles on Display
Dozens of top independent bicycle frame builders including Petaluma-based Soulcraft and Retrotec will showcase their handmade steel creations.
Pedal-powered Art & Food
Hop on stationary bicycles and pedal to create smoothies and enjoy other pedal-powered treats including coffee, tacos, ice cream and more! Pedalfest-goers are also invited to create pedal-powered spin art to take home and enjoy!
Brompton Folding Bike Race
To celebrate the upcoming Brompton World Championship, Pedalfest will host a Brompton Folding Bike Race throughout the day. Contestants will race against the clock and each other to see who can fold and unfold their Brompton Folding Bike in record time. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest fold!
Kids Bicycle Rodeo
A team of youth cycling instructors will lead a fun-filled bicycle rodeo for children throughout the day including a bike safety course, skills building lessons and bicycle safety instructions. Bikes and helmets will be provided to participating children, grades 3-6.
Pedal-powered Rides by Cyclecide
Little kids, big kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy whimsical fun on The Cyclofuge, a kiddie carousel, a bike corral of altered bikes and more!
Bike Stand Demo Stage
This festival stage will host contests, demos, tricks and DIY bicycle tips throughout the day!
Bike Trivia Dunk Tank
Bike geeks and cycling newbies can test their two-wheeled knowledge of bike safety trivia against Pedalfest bicycle safety instructors. For each correct answer, participants have a chance to dunk the instructor or other event VIPs in a midway style dunk tank!
Bicycles and Bike Gear
Check out the latest bicycles, gear, clothing and accessories from dozens of bicycle vendors.
New Belgium Beer Garden
New Belgium Brewing Co. will pour beer with all proceeds going to support the advocacy work of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, a non-profit organization.
Pedalfest Pig Roast by Lungomare
Lungomare’s Chef Craig DiFonzo will slow-roast a whole pig and serve it up Italian style with a bountiful selection of side dishes for all to enjoy. Click here for all the details and a special price for those who reserve in advance.
Editor’s note: After the unfortunate passing of cycling innovator Dr. Alex Moulton earlier this week, we wanted to share the story of our 2010 visit with Moulton in England. It is reproduced here.
By Maurice Tierney.
While the previously reported Brooks and Pashley factory tours were amazing, the highlight of the whole journey was a hour spent with a 90 year old man by the name of Alex Moulton. I really had no idea what I was getting into as we approached his modest home in Bradford-on-Avon.
What the? Is going on here? Who the heck is Alex Moulton? Turns out Mister Alex Moulton’s great grandfather, Stephen Moulton, brought Goodyear’s vulcanizing process to England back in 1840 or so. Alex himself was also a rubber pioneer, developing the hydrolastic* suspension that, along with the smaller wheel size, allowed the original Mini Cooper to be so mini. We got a look at one such Mini at the Moulton Museum residing on the estate.
In the late 50′s, Alex turned his attention to the bicycle and pioneered a design that would become quite the rage in the early 60′s. And remain relevant 50 years later. Small wheels had not been considered seriously against the then-standard double-diamond “Safety” bicycle, but Moulton was eager to challenge the staus quo after observing the benefits of smaller wheels in automotive use.
Thinking that the lower inertia of small wheels made for faster acceleration and an easier-to-mount frame design. And while Moulton’s were not designed as folding bikes, they were easy to disassemble for travel. And if that is not enough, Moultons were fully suspended for a comfy ride. How about that for ahead of your time?
Moulton showed his bike to Raleigh in hopes of licencing the design them to manufacture. But Raleigh was not interested. So Moulton set up his own factory and went ahead anyway. The Moulton bike took off in the early 60′s; their bicycle factory became the second largest in England behind Raleigh (Who I’m told was making like 7,000 bikes per day). Moulton sold 200,000 bikes before Raleigh knocked off the idea and took over the market with their RSW series. Moulton wound up selling out to Raleigh in 1967, just in time for the Raleigh Chopper to steal the limelight and rush the market.
That’s the ancient history. Much more has happened through the 70′s and 80′s, yet today the Moulton factory still sits in a former stable on the same property where it all began. Let’s take a look.
Inside the blue door on the right, the Moulton team is hard at work making bikes.
And barely have time to stop for a photo.
With these kind of results. This New Series model is made of stainless steel, and is worth near $15,725 American. It’s called a Space Frame and there’s a whole bunch of little tubes that come together to form one. It’s no wonder they are expensive.
But Moulton, being connected with Pashley, has some more affordable offerings being made in the Pashley factory in Stratford-Upon-Avon, ranging from $1,900-$3,600.
But Alex Moulton awaits. We have been granted a one-hour audience with the man. He is 90 after all so we understand. We are led into his great room and gather around a rather large dining table to talk. Whereupon Mister Moulton share some of his exploits. The cat listens in.
Alex shared his thoughts on his first and only mountain bike ride, which left him wondering why anyone would do such a thing as ride down a mountain. Perhaps if he had bigger wheels the experience might have been better? Alex talked about how he didn’t like the crossbar on the conventional bikes of the day. He liked recumbents but found them unstable. Small wheels were the answer. We also heard about the numerous records that have been broken riding Moulton bicycles over the years. And looked through his biography, full of pictures and drawings of his designs.
I myself was in a bit of awe at this guy nearly twice my age. Pretty cool. He’s done so much.
Got to ride some bikes as well, around the test track on the property, a good time to blow off a little steam after so much travelling. And think. About all the people that have influence the bicycle through history. On and on…
The Bilenky booth had a camping theme and this groundhog (woodchuck?) welcoming visitors.
By Adam Newman
Our hometown of Pittsburgh might share the state license plates as the city at the other end, Philadelphia, but the two cities couldn’t be more different. Pittsburgh is hilly and decidedly Mid-western, while Philly is flat and far more densely urban. But the one thing the pair do have in common is a love of cycling, most notably celerated by the Philly Bike Expo and its hosts, Bilenky Cycle Works.
This past weekend we packed up the van and headed across the Turnpike, just in time to enjoy two days of pure bike geekdom before Hurricane Sandy blew everyone out of town. There were boths from custom framebuilders, local companies, big names like Shimano, and some awesome food trucks to keep everyone stuffed. And despite Philly’s reputation as a tough city, we experienced nothing but brotherly love.
If you still have electricity, spin through our photos and make some plans to join us again next year—Mother Nature willing, of course.
Born in the USA.
San Francisco cyclist and cycling cap maker Chuey Munkanta was in the news recently for disturbing reasons, and his sitation was on everyone’s mind.
R.E.Load bags are handmade in Philadelphia.
Princeton Tec was building custom-colored blinky lights for customers in its booth.
Cooper Bikes takes its inspiration from four wheels.
GiveLoveCycle created a new line of bags that combines cycling practicality with high style.
American craftsmanship on display.
Horse Cycles had a booth-within-a-booth.
Minnie Mouse would look great on me.
Expo hosts Bilenky Cycle Works was showing off this Wonder-ful bike…
…as well as its popular service of retro-fitting S&S couplers for traveling with your bike.
Bilenky is also known for its tandems, and this one suffered no shortage of accessories.
Contests at the show included a fastest flat fix…
…and a mechanic’s bike-building contest.
Go home groundhog. You are drunk.
See you next year everybody!Tweet Print
By Karen Brooks, photos by Trina Haynes.
You’ve seen the ads in our magazine for a while now, and this past Saturday the day finally came for this gran(d) event. Trina and I made the trek north to the town of Warren, Pa., to check it out.
As it turned out, a good friend of mine from college days, Bonnie, was also going to be in Warren that weekend to help her parents close up their summer cabin on the bank of the Allegheny River. She found out about the Fondo and enthusiastically offered us a place to stay. We were able to offer her a bike to do the ride. And thus an excellent weekend adventure came together.
The start of the ride was frosty, in the mid-20s. Josh and Aaron from the local shop doing sag support, Allegheny Cyclery, wisely brought gloves, shoe covers, and even Bar Mitts to sell. (They got some of my business—I bought heavier gloves and was glad I did.) But the day was beautiful, with the amazing colors of fall on full display.
I opted for the Gran option, consisting of 110 miles. The route was quite pleasant—the roads were butter-smooth, the few climbs were relatively gentle, and the local car drivers were polite. The twisty, rolling roads going through the Allegheny National Forest were my favorite. Despite not having as many course markings as I’m used to, fortunately there were few turns, and I found my way without incident.
Bonnie was nervous about completing the 68-mile Medio option, but I reassured her that an organized Gran Fondo is a great way to attempt a long ride, since there would be support along the way and other riders to share the fun (and suffering). Their route choice had the benefit of crossing over the scenic Kinzua Dam. She and Trina finished and had a great time.
We all chowed down at the finish line barbecue, then unfortunately had to split before we could enjoy more homemade cherry pie, courtesy of Bonnie’s mom.
Did you do the Fondo and have feedback? Let us know in the comments!
By Trina Haynes
My very first official cycling bag was a Timbuk2 “Bolo”. I was handed it, my clipboard and a rain jacket my first day as a bike messenger in 1989. Needless to say it is still in my closet, adorned to my wall as a momentous turning point in my ongoing love for bicycles. While in San Francisco last month I had the opportunity to visit Timbuk2‘s California office.
For more than 20 years Timbuk2 has been making and shipping custom/build your own bags, out of their California office.
Founded by a San Francisco Bike Messenger, Rob Honeycutt, who was determined to make a bag that was durable enough for the gritty lifestyle of a real messenger, he sewed the very first bag in his garage in 1989, the company name was “Scumbags”. By 1990, the realization that “Scumbags” needed a more credible name, Timbuk2 was born. It was not until 1991 that the swirl logo was developed.
I found this old gem at the Seattle Bike Expo the following weekend.
Timbuk2 has continued to grow with a complete line of bags and accessories. I am excited to announce that Bicycle Times has teamed with Timbuk2 in creating our very own custom bag. Made in San Francisco and adorned with the Bicycle Times logo, it’s now on sale in our Online Store. With a large reflective stripe, a padded laptop sleeve and super-durable ballistic nylon fabric, it’s going to last you a long, long time.
Our third installment of photos by Justin Steiner at the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. You can see parts one and two online, as well as a full gallery by “liking” us on our Facebook page.
Photos by Justin Steiner
We have a ton of great coverage headed your way, but we didn’t want to make you wait, so here’s a sample of some of the bikes we’ve been taking a closer look at. We’re shooting video interviews with the builders, so you’ll get the behind-the-scenes details straight from them. Stay tuned!
P.S. Got anything you want to make sure we don’t miss? Post in the comments!
Do you know a Mundo Hero? Someone who serves the community rain or shine? Volunteers at a soup kitchen? Helps kids learn how to read? Rescues cats from from burning buildings?
Nominate your local hero in the Mundo Hero Contest and they could win a free Yuba Mundo!
To enter, simply submit a photo of your favorite do-gooder with a description of their community service on the Yuba Facebook page between now and December 31. Come back in January and vote for them. The hero with the most votes by January 15 wins the bike, so encourage your friends to vote.
Nominations will be accepted until December 31, 2011. Voting will take place January 1-15, 2012, and the winner will be announced January 17, 2012.Tweet Print
In September 2011 we visited the Moots factory in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Here are some photos from our visit.
Photos by Adam Newman