We all know bicycles are a great way to explore. From the other side of town to the other side of the world, they can take you places you never dreamed of. But not every journey needs to include sleeping on the ground and eating dehydrated food. Each bicycle ride is a chance for exploration through the wider world and within yourself. In this issue we celebrate some of the world’s best destinations for cycling, both very near and very far.
Since the United States began to relax the hurdles a traveler was required to clear before visiting Cuba, cyclists have been flocking to the Caribbean island in search of new frontiers. For contributor Colt Fetters it was a chance to explore the bond between himself and his partner as well as the hills and valleys of a new place.
If you’re interested in visiting Cuba yourself you’re going to want to read the piece by Ashley Lance and Daniel Carter that walks you through the process of visiting this summer’s hottest destination.
Cuba isn’t the only spot south of the border that is attracting waves of bicycle travelers. Nearly 100 of them gathered for the first group start along the new Baja Divide route along the Baja California peninsula. Meandering 1,700 miles southward along dirt roads and taco stops, it is captured beautifully by the photographs of Gabriel Amadeus Tiller.
Bicycle tourism isn’t just for the folks on the road, it can have a significant impact on the communities they visit. Unlike a driver who zips through town, a cyclist is far more likely to stop and spend money, especially on food! See some examples of towns that are thriving by welcoming bike travelers.
In our product reviews section we rounded up some of the best gear for hauling yourself and your gear on journeys short and long. Find some cool bikes designed for travel as well as some of the latest racks and bags.
I hope this issue inspires you to explore a little more yourself. It doesn’t have to be an exotic destination halfway around the globe, just a different part of town or maybe aboard a different kind of bike. Cruise through the docks down by the waterfront. See how high you can ride on that nearby mountain. Bring your bike with you on vacation. You might discover something totally new or you might discover something in yourself that’s been there all along.
Finally, I must announce the end of one adventure and the beginning of another. As you read this, I have moved on to a new job and must deliver the sad news that this will be the final print issue of Bicycle Times for a while. But the spirit of the community that has coalesced around it is going strong, and Bicycle Times will continue both online and in our hearts.
I hope you keep reading and keep enjoying your Bicycle Times.Tweet Print
This is the final installment of the National Bike Summit Recap. We highlighted a tiny fraction of the organizations and people that attended this year’s event. Again, the role that these organizations play in bicycle and pedestrian safety is extremely important. So go support your local bicycle advocacy group; become a member, volunteer, go to an education class, attend and support hosted events.
Our last Q&A is with Jamie from The City of Fort Collins FC Bike Program. Jamie hosted a sessions called “Bicycle Friendly Driver” a successful education class that she hopes to share to the masses. The “Bicycle Friendly Driver” class teaches what is legal or illegal with photo reference, it teaches and emphasizes little things that can be done to prevent injuring a pedestrian or cyclist; open your car door with your right hand (makes you look over your shoulder), slow down and pass with care, what are the passing laws, etc. This is a program that Jamie and her colleagues have taken to the Fort Collins transportation service and has taught all the drivers how to be a “Bicycle Friendly Driver”, they have taken this to trucking companies, sanitation companies and more. Everyone who passes receives a sticker for their vehicle, and a certificate to show off. I’m sure we’ll hear more on this program’s success in the coming years.
Bike Summit Attendee: Jamie Gaskill-Fox
Organization: The City of Fort Collins FC Bikes Program
Tell me why did you attended the National Bike Summit? I attended the Summit because I was invited by the League to do a session on the Bicycle Friendly Program that we developed and have been implementing in Fort Collins since December 2015.
What are some easy ways for people to get involved and support an organization like yours? 1) Ride your bike and do so in a safe and lawful manner. Be the example – the more of us who are positive examples on a daily basis, the safer we will all be and the more support we will have in the long run. 2) Vote to support sustainable transportation. Our programs won’t exist without the support of voters. 3) Volunteer with our organization – we’re always looking for more awesome Ambassadors. Ambassadors help educate others about safe cycling and encourage others to ride. Plus, Ambassadors help reinforce the positive cycling community.
Why should people support organizations like yours? The work that we do makes roadways safer and easier to travel for ALL people. Our programming also helps meet much larger strategic goals such as climate action goals and reducing traffic congestion.
What was your #1 takeaway from the Summit? Even though there are great things happening across the country in regards to making our communities better for bicycling, we are at a critical time when we need to reflect on what we want the future to look like for people who ride bikes and to make it happen.. We need to find new ways to reach people through each of the 5 (now 6) Es. and engage them in a way that spurs them into action. Change is good – just as long as we grab it by the handlebars and steer it the way we need to go to make a better biking nation.
The National Bike Summit is a yearly advocacy event held by The League of American Cyclists. The point of this event is to gather bicycle advocates to coordinate and extend their voices to Capitol Hill and be able to attend sessions to give organizations the tools they need to make a difference within their community and beyond. The hope is to work together to advance the cycling movement as a united front.
Advocacy is not exciting to everyone. There is a lot of legislation talk, accessing state funding, bond money, fund raising, rumble strip and chip seal discussions, lobbying, non-lobbying, federal advocacy and much more. There are times when my eyes glaze over a little and I just want to run into any battle, sword in the air ready to strike. Action first, talk later, me angry, me use fist… you get it. My point is it takes a very dedicated and patient individual to stand up and fight for cycling/pedestrian infrastructure and safety.
Almost every state attended The Bike Summit. Some states had multiple people to march on the hill and make the case for infrastructure funding to their State Senators and Representatives. Some states had only one representative and sadly, some states were not in attendance at all.
Listen, I’m not going to stand up here on this website soap-box and shake my finger at anyone or anything for my concern of lack of attendance. That’s not going to help. Instead I want to share with you the people I met, why they attended, how easy it is for you to get involved and hope that they can encourage you to go out and contribute to your local bicycle advocacy club (or start one!).
Bike Summit Attendee: Kyle Lawrence
Organization: Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, Harrisonburg, VA
Tell me why did you attended the National Bike Summit? I have attended the summit for the past 7 years and think it is important to travel to Washington DC and to the halls of Congress. For us, it is part of a comprehensive strategy to connect with our local, state, and national representatives
What are some easy ways for people to get involved and support an organization like yours? Our organization is membership centered and the easiest way to get involved is to join or come meet us at one of our events or rides to learn about how bicycles can improve our community. We aim to grow the number of smiles and high-fives in our entire community. Like every bike/walk organization, our work touches on a number of aspects involving transportation and land-use planning, education, encouragement and more. Joining any organization is usually step one. Whether you join or not, you should come out to a trail work day, go on a group bike ride, or grab food and drink with us at our monthly social. Above all, you can bring your ideas and energy to our efforts. All groups want and need is new inspiration, high energy and diverse interests. An honest desire to have fun and improve the community are always welcomed with open arms.
Why should people support organizations like yours? Bicycling and walking are mere tools to build stronger and happier communities. We all walk at some point and likely it could be easier and more comfortable. Our organization aims to do the same with bicycle riding. Whether you decide to bike or not, we aim to make it easier and more comfortable to navigate the spaces between the buildings. We believe safer and more comfortable cities grow more smiles, break down barriers, and make our communities happier and friendlier places to live, work, and play. The bicycle just happens to be a nice way to make it all happen. If you believe in strong, friendly communities, you’ll believe in our work.
Keep your eye out for Part 2—more stories from all over the United States of advocacy groups and state organizations looking to grow cycling safety!Tweet Print
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What is it about the bicycle that’s so timeless? For more than a century the basic layout of this simple machine has remained intact. Sure, the details have evolved over time, and someday folks will be riding nuclear-powered jet cycles that are piloted through artificial intelligence, but hopefully that’s a long way off . I know what keeps me coming back to cycling is the simple pleasure of traveling under my own power, feeling the wind across my cheeks and exploring what’s beyond the next hill. In this issue we strive to capture the classic delight of travel on two wheels.
We start with a simple product: a water bottle cage. There are dozens (hundreds?) of designs out there, and not much separates them all, except for one: For decades Ron Andrews of King Cage has been hand-making steel and titanium bottle cages in Colorado. There’s no wiz-bang features or high-tech gimmickry—they just work. We visit him in his workshop and learn how he does it.
In Colombia, they’ve been making bicycles for decades as well. Rigid trade restrictions with the outside world le Colombian cyclists to fend for themselves, which they did by creating a bike industry all their own. But now those restrictions have loosened, and the wave of globalization is flooding the market with cheap competitors. Read how the Colombian bike industry is adapting to the changes.
Evolving just as quickly is the modern mountain bike, a concept that has rocketed from balloon tire klunkers to carbon fiber superbikes in a single generation. While the new bikes are certainly fun, there’s something about the bikes from the early 1980s that captures the wild, wooly and wonderful essence of the sport’s early days. At the Keyesville Classic stage race there’s no suspension, no disc brakes and no bad attitudes as riders reconnect with their roots.
As you’ll see in these pages, a bicycle doesn’t need to be cutting edge to be a hell of a lot of fun. Whether you’re taking a trip down memory lane or cycling into the past for the first time, this issue of Bicycle Times has you covered.
– Adam Newman, Editor-in-Chief
P.S. That jet cycle does sound kind of cool though…
Also in this issue
Bike and Mic: Two Portland transportation wonks chat about bikes and a whole lot more in their weekly podcast. By Adam Newman.
Confessions of a Vintage Bike Tinkerer: From forgotten relics to revived transportation—the joy of finding, restoring and re-homing vintage bikes serves as a welcome respite from academia. By Katherine Fuller.
It’s Not You, It’s Me: How to choose a saddle that’s right for you. Hint: It can’t be done by looks alone. By Aixe Djelal.
From the most extreme mountain bikers to the most demure commuters, we’re all a family of cyclists. Sometimes we have different tastes, sometimes different styles and often different opinions, but we all share a love for the wind across our cheeks and the satisfaction of personal power.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be welcomed into the family of cycling with open arms, and here I’ve found not just a vocation but a personal passion. I’ve had countless riders stop to offer me a spare tube, some extra water, or just a tip for a more scenic route. Somehow we instinctively know to watch out for one another, celebrate with one another and, sadly, far too often grieve with one another. Families are never homogeneous and certainly never perfect, but they stick together through and through.
I’ve made countless friends through cycling and I’m looking forward to making many more. While our taste in two wheels sometimes differs, I consider you all part of the Bicycle Times family and I’m honored to be a part of it.
— Adam Newman, editor-in-chief
In this issue
On the cover
Gabe and Leilani enjoy a sunny ride in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Russ Roca.
The Kidical Mass movement inspires young families to embrace life beyond the minivan. By Adam Newman.
3 hearts, 2 wheels, 1 passion
World explorer Cass Gilbert reflects on how cycling with his young son has changed his life.
The Family Adventure Project
A family from the U.K. offers 10 tips for taking your family on an adventure to remember. By Stuart Wickes.
Bicycle Times Adventure Fest
Recapture the fun at the first Bicycle Times Adventure Fest or take a peek at what you missed.
How to encourage your kids to put down the remote and jump on a bike.
Catching up with
We chat with Paul Rozelle, who finished the 1,200 km Paris-Brest-Paris brevet without coasting.
Anna Schwinn dishes on how modern bike geometry and production caters unfairly to men.
An essay on how a change of scenery can reinvent your riding. By Bobble Wintle.
We put two testers on a pair of Bianchi bikes to see how they compare and contrast. By Eric McKeegan and Jon Pratt
Plus we review: Linus Rover 3, Trek Fuel EX Jr., SRAM Rival 1x, Thule Raceway Pro, commuter backpacks, pedals, lights, tires and more.
Get a copy
To make sure you never miss an issue of Bicycle Times, be sure to order a subscription today!Tweet Print
Rotating Mass Media has hired Katherine Fuller to be the new online editor for Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag magazines. Fuller replaces Adam Newman, who was named editor-and-chief of Bicycle Times in July.
As online editor, Fuller will oversee the care, feeding and growth of each magazine’s online presence, from the websites to social media.
Fuller spent the previous five years with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) where she was most recently its communications manager. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is working toward a master’s in marketing and public relations.
“My appreciation for cycling as the finest form of adventure was solidified when I pedaled across the U.S. in 2008,” said Fuller. “I’m looking forward to finding and sharing stories that celebrate such adventures for both Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag.”
“Our websites and digital products are a really huge part of the future of Rotating Mass Media,” said Publisher and owner Maurice Tierney. “We’re fortunate to have Katherine on the team and we’re excited to see where she can take us.”
Fuller is a proud native Texan but currently resides in Golden, Colorado. She can be reached at [email protected].Tweet Print
Issue #36 has shipped to subscribers and should appear on newsstands soon. It’s our Commuter Issue, and it’s packed with stuff that will get you to and from work, school or wherever you need to be.
On the cover
Our Tech Editor Eric McKeegan puts the ZEN AR45 through its paces. Photo by Justin Steiner.
‘Organizing My Workshop’
By Steve Peterson. Getting to work isn’t easy if you bike isn’t functioning properly. Peterson offers some tips on how to keep your bike pile under control and running smoothly.
Interview with Nicky Hayden
By Gary Boulanger. The MotoGP World Champion motorcycle racer stays fit by trading one pair of wheels for another. We chat about his cycling habits and favorite places to ride.
Secrets of an Oakland Uber Commuter
Morgan Fletcher dishes on some of the challenges of being a car-free commuter in Oakland, California, including darkness, traffic and deer!
Taking a Byte out of Bike Theft
By Adam Newman. Technology is making it easier to keep your bike safe, or track down bad guys and find your bike if it’s stolen.
Provisions – Product Reviews
- Zen AR45
- Norco Search XR
- New Albion Privateer
- GT Grade
- Foundry Overland
- Selle Anatomica
- Velo Orange
Made – Abus Mobile Security
By Gary Boulanger. We visit the German town where the Abus factory brings raw materials in one end and sends completed bike locks out the other.
Rotating Mass Media, the parent company of Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times, is currently accepting applications for the position of online editor. This individual will be responsible for operating, managing, maintaining and developing RMM’s digital properties, including the websites of Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times, as well as auxiliary sites and services.
The online editor will work with the editorial team to execute existing content strategies and develop new approaches. They will also work with the Publisher to improve monetization of digital assets. We’re looking for someone to push RMM’s digital offerings into the future. Familiarity with RMM’s titles and history is essential, as is an interest in diverse aspects of cycling—from cargo bikes to mountain bikes.
This is a full time position with benefits, including health care and a 401(k) retirement plan. RMM offers a results-based work environment with a flexible schedule and unlimited vacation. Relocation will not be necessary.
You can learn more about the position and how to apply at our careers page.
Rotating Mass Media has appointed Adam Newman as the new editor-in-chief at Bicycle Times magazine. Newman was most recently the online editor for both of Rotating Mass Media’s two titles, Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag.
“Adam has done a great job expanding our audience online and we know he can do so with the magazine too,” said Rotating Mass Media’s Publisher, Maurice Tierney. “He has a ton of great skills that really make him a valuable asset to the team.”
“It’s an exciting time to take the helm at the magazine,” Newman said. “Bike riders, the bike industry and the bikes themselves have all been changing so quickly over the past few years and I really think Bicycle Times has been ahead of the curve, and will continue to be.”
Newman is stepping into the role of editor-in-chief as Gary Boulanger departs to pursue a career in the motorcycle industry. “The last three years working for Rotating Mass Media have been a podium highlight of my career, and I’m grateful that Maurice and his crew welcomed me with open arms,” said Boulanger. “Bicycle Times continues to make its mark in the publishing world, and I’m confident it will continue to shine and inspire.”
As editor-in-chief Newman will oversee production of six issues of Bicycle Times per year, as well as supervising editorial coverage online and hosting the first Bicycle Times Adventure Fest this fall. Newman earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and spent several years in the newspaper industry before joining Rotating Mass Media in 2010.
Newman can continue to be reached at [email protected].
Rotating Mass Media will be accepting applications for the position of online editor throughout the month of July. Visit rotatingmassmedia.com/careers for details.
For more information, contact Publisher Maurice Tierney at [email protected].Tweet Print
Each issue, Bicycle Times takes you on a pictorial tour of a manufacturing facility, because we know that you, like most devoted grin chasers, dig seeing how things are made. It’s only fitting that our debut tour focused on our own magazine.
Since mid 2011, Rotating Mass Media, publisher of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag, has partnered with Schumann Printers to produce its magazines. That’s when Bicycle Times Issue 13 rolled off its presses in Fall River, Wisconsin, 17 miles north of the world headquarters of Trek Bicycle Corporation. We asked Bicycle Times contributor and ace photographer Dave Schlabowske to take photos and provide the narrative.
Schumann has four web presses. Under the guidance of Mark A. Schumann, the pressroom has the most up-to-date press technology available. Computer to Plate (CTP) plates are digitally created using CIP 3 and G7 Extreme color technology. This technology creates a .ppf file to carry color space settings for the press fountains at each press. Color-up is completely automatic and extremely accurate, saving both time and paper. All presses are equipped with new CLC (Closed Loop Color) controls. Schumann was the second printer in the world to have installed CLC on all its presses.
Every four impressions, color bars are electronically scanned and interpreted. Computers translate this information and set the color. Standard of Web Offset Printing (SWOP) density standards are consistent throughout the press run. All presses are equipped with automatic computer controls to assure paper guiding, tension and cutoffs.
The company, founded by Jack Schumann in 1963, is lead by Daniel C. Schumann, its second-generation president. It prints more than 350 magazines, including MAKE, the popular DIY publication. Take a tour here.
This piece originally appeared in Bicycle Times #30. To make sure you never miss a story and to help keep the magazine rolling, purchase a subscription here.
Bicycle Times Issue #31 has mailed to subscribers and will be available on newsstands soon. As always, if you want to make sure you see it first and never miss an issue, order a subscription!
This is our family-themed issue, chock full of features, featurettes and product reviews all geared toward the active family (and those young couples planning on riding with their future offspring). There’s something for everyone in Issue #31, including: a reminder to ride like you did when you were a kid, what it takes to keep adult children happy on a family tour, taking a toddler on a bike tour of Chile, and what one large family has contributed to the world of American frame manufacturing in Tennessee since 1986.
There’s plenty for the family this issue, plus a tale of being kidnapped in Bangkok.
Our Provisions product review section includes a few humdingers, including an electric-assist cargo bike, plus a few recommended “For Your Consideration” products.
Does this scene look familiar? Reminds me of my bike room 15 years ago.
Finally, our Parting Shot captures the essence of all-surface riding with two old timers who could easily kick your ass if they weren’t so nice, plus a short tribute to the late cyclist, actor and comedian Robin Williams.
All this and more, now available on iTunes. Print subscribers should start receiving their copies next week. You can always visit better book stores and bike shops to buy a copy too!Tweet Print