In the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, The Hour Record was hotly-contested. The best bike racers in the world tried to be the person to ride a bicycle the furthest on a track in one hour. It's so grueling that Eddy Merckx said it burned three years off of his life. [more inside]
Originally proposed to American audiences in a 2011 video, Dutch-style Protected Intersections have recently gained traction in the US as an effective means to protect cyclists and pedestrians in busy intersections. Four such intersections are under construction in the US; a similar intersection opened in Canada last year; and more are certain to follow, as protected bike lanes become commonplace in American cities.
On December 22, 2012, Buhring arrived back in Naples. Guinness World Records certified her time of 152 days total, 144 of them on the bike. She had wanted to be the fastest woman to cycle around the world; instead she was the first, or as Guinness defines it, the first to do it alone, traveling continuously and in the same direction . [more inside]
You live in the Bay Area, it's a Friday evening and you have nothing to do...why not try Bike Party? It's like a less angry, more laid-back Critical Mass. There's one in San Francisco every First Friday of the month, another in the East Bay every Second Friday, an even bigger one in San Jose every Third Friday (which had a special guest rider last March), and a Peninsula ride every Fourth Friday. These rides change their route (and their theme) every month to keep it fresh. Not everyone is a fan, however, as evidenced by the comments on this local news article about the Sep. 2014 East Bay Bike Party.
"Women and men should have equal prize money". Helen Wyman, UCI pro cyclist and newly-minted UCI commissaire, has been working diligently this year in her new role to ensure, among other things, gender equality in pay and treatment for women in the demanding and rapidly growing sport of cyclocross. [more inside]
The 2014 Cycle EXIF Top Ten - it was a great year for absurdly pretty bikes.
The excellent Copenhagenize blog presents a short glossary of idioms, in Danish and a few other languages, that are semantically derived from cycling terminology.
Roads Were Not Built for Cars - an Atlantic Citylab interview with Carlton Reid, author of the ebook and blog titled Roads Were Not Built for Cars, on institutionalized classism and historical revisionism that drove the design of car-centric infrastructure. [more inside]
The Afghan Women's National Cycling Team trains six mornings a week in the quiet predawn streets of Kabul to futher their dream of one day qualifying for and participating in the Olympics. "In a country where girls have faced acid attacks just for going to school, the dangers of doing sport in public go beyond insults or the momentary impact of a well-aimed stone." [more inside]
Railbikes are pretty self-explanatory. You take a bike, attach an extra wheel sidecar-style, jump on some railroad tracks, and ride. There's no need to steer, so you can look around as you pedal. You stick to abandoned railroad tracks so there's no surprises either. It's not a new idea, dating back well over 100 years to the first bikes, and recently even custom bike builders have devised their own versions. More at Flickr on the railbike tag and in the railbike group. There's even a book about it .
On Sunday 27 July, history will be made when a group of professional cyclists rides the Champs-Elysées. Among the riders who have never before been allowed in the Tour de France, is an athlete The Guardian has called "the finest cyclist of their generation" and who Bicycling Magazine recently touted as one "who could be the most naturally gifted, hardest-working cyclist who ever lived", Marianne Vos. Also riding will be writer, filmmaker, former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine. Triathlete and marathoner Emma Pooley described her expectation for the event: "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say that La Course is 11 on the excitement levels." Along with the athlete who holds/held all three Ironman world and championship records (including the overall world record), Chrissie Wellington, they created the campaign Le Tour Entier, whose motto is Liberté, Égalité, Cyclisme, a play on the French national motto. [more inside]
The rise and fall of Lance Armstrong is not simply a story of one man’s moral failures. To understand Armstrong you have to understand the people who use their money and power to shape the culture of competitive sports. And if you follow the trail of money and power in this particular case, it will lead you to Thomas Weisel, which is where the real story begins.
Cycling in a skirt? Avoid flashing onlookers by putting a Penny in Your Pants. Alternately you could buy or DIY a bike garter - or simply perfect your mounting technique with this super sick trick.
Joseph Stromberg writes about science for Vox. He has recently written three articles about bike safety. First, he argues that "cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights". Second, he argues that it should not be illegal to cycle without a helmet. "Let's start thinking of biking as a normal, safe activity, like walking — and helmets as an optional accessory for people who are really into it." Third, he looks at some data on the frequencies of different sorts of bicycling accidents in the US.
Strava, the bike and run tracking system, is using their database to create Strava Metro, to sell to urban planners for commute data. But unless you're the Oregon DoT, London, or Alpine Shire, you might find the Strava bike and run heatmaps more useful. [more inside]
In May 2008, while excavating around the castle, the archaeologists of Bristol University made a surprising discovery. They have unearthed two graves side by side. In both of them they have found the rests of the body of an armored knight, and above it in one grave the well preserved skeleton of a horse, while in the other the fragments of iron objects which, seen from above, resembled… a bicycle.[more inside]
Martyn Ashton gets a little help from his friends to finish Bike Party 2 Earlier this year, Martyn Ashton, one of the fathers of trials riding, sustained life changing injuries (Previously). He is currently paralyzed from the waist down. When he was injured, he had partially completed the sequel to his first Road Bike Party video. His friends, Chris Akrigg and Danny MacAskill, helped finish the new video.
The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
Martyn Ashton, one of the fathers of trials riding, sustained "life changing" injuries on September 1st. [more inside]
The Dutch Army Bicycle Band. Does exactly what it says on the tin (helmet).
In 1891, William L. Sachtleben and Thomas G. Allen Jr. graduated from Washington University and set off to travel around the world. But their adventure was unusual for that time, in that they would travel on bicycle, following in the tire tracks of the Englishman Thomas Stevens. The two young lads returned safely to the US after three years, after traveling some 15,044 miles on wheel. Sachtleben was then asked to find another young traveling bicyclist (and photographer), Frank G. Lenz, whose goal was to surpass Stevens' journey "in both distance and daring." Lenz had disappeared in Turkey, where Sachtleben learned of Frank Lenz's untimely demise. [more inside]
Ted King, everyman cyclist from New Hampshire and Middlebury Alum, riding with a separated shoulder, was cut from the 100th Edition of the Tour de France after missing the time cut during the Team Time Trial by 7 seconds. [more inside]
The Bicycle Craze of the 1890s had a significant impact upon women's lives. Leaders of the women's movement saw bike riding as a path to freedom. Many women cyclists enjoyed the freedoms and experiences bikes gave them. Although many health experts recommended biking to women for its health effects, other health experts and some moralists saw dangers in letting women venture off into the wild blue yonder with and without men, danger in potential physical damage to women's bodies, disaster in letting them adopt "unfeminine garb" - and of course, they might enjoy it TOO much. [more inside]
"Bicycle helmets do an outstanding job of keeping our skulls intact in a major crash. But they do almost nothing to prevent concussions and other significant brain injuries—and the very government agency created to protect us is part of the problem. The time has come to demand something safer."
Last February, the cyclocross world championships came to Louisville, Kentucky - the first time it had been held outside Europe. [more inside]
Gamera II is the University of Maryland's Human-Powered Helicopter. So far it has remained aloft for 65.1 seconds and reached an altitude of 9.4 feet, not quite enough to win the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter competition. [more inside]
Major bicycle tools manufacturer Park Tool maintains a neatly sorted bevy of repair, maintenance and technical information articles. Their lead mechanic Calvin runs a video channel that includes -- among many other things -- on-the-road bicycle repair tips. Even more bike info (new bike assembly procedures, road and mountain bike positioning charts, thread concepts, drive train troubleshooting, etc.) is available on the miscellaneous topics page. Don't forget to check out the bicycle mechanics language spreadsheet!
Following a parent-governor meeting at North Downs Primary School last Thursday, pupils will be banned from cycling and walking to two primary school sites over fears it would be too dangerous.
"Hans explains there is a policy to keep certain routes clear. Since all streets in Dutch cities are categorised (also because of the ‘sustainable safety’ policy) it is very clear which streets are main routes that must be cleared. In the past, the cycle paths were not really thought important. But there were many complaints about it and the policies shifted slowly towards clearing the cycle paths more as well. Hans: “Especially when the city was elected Cycling City of the Netherlands in 2011, the department of public works felt it was our moral obligation to give the main cycle routes the highest priority. Now the cycle paths are cleared at the same time as the 8 main routes for motorised traffic.” -- Cycling blogger Mark Wagenbuur explains how one Dutch city, 'S-Hertogenbosch, deals with keeping the cycle paths clear during winter.
After a few weeks of well-reported rumors that Lance Armstrong was going to confess, he publicly admitted to years of doping in the first of a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey. [more inside]
Garmin, the well-known navigation company also makes bike computers. Today they unveiled a GPS-enabled bike computer that adds bluetooth to pair with your phone (and piggyback on your network connection). The resulting product video featuring Garmin's pro team riders is a little Hollywood and a little silly showing riders competing virtually against each other but paints a pretty impressive picture for real-time stats, weather, maps, and data sharing among cyclist friends. More at Wired's Gadget blog and a complete review at the DC rainmaker cycling site.
"I thought the matter over, and concluded I could do it. So I went down and bought a barrel of Pond's Extract and a bicycle." "Taming The Bicycle" by Mark Twain.
The bicycle racing photographs of Timm Kolln. Tour de France 2009. The Peloton (previously). Racing polaroids. Roubaix. Jens Voight. Luis Ocana. Juan Antonio Flecha on a Winter Ride. Stage 9 2010. At the races. Bicicletas Zeus. Lo Stelvio. Federico Bahamontes. [Side scrolling photography site, your forbearance is appreciated.]
Cargo bikes, long a mainstay in the Netherlands and emerging as an automotive alternative in the U.S. (via bike-friendly Portland), come in many flavors: Longtails, longjohns, cycle trucks, porteurs, trikes and the traditional Dutch bakfiet. Will a cargo bike transform your life?
“We are very good, but we want to be better,” said Brian Hansen, the head of Copenhagen’s traffic planning section.
In Bike-Friendly Copenhagen, Highways For Cyclists: 'Every day, one-third of the people of Copenhagen ride their bikes to work or school. Collectively, they cycle more than 750,000 miles daily, enough to make it to the moon and back. And city officials want even more people to commute, and over longer distances. So a network of 26 new bike routes, dubbed "the cycling superhighway," is being built to link the surrounding suburbs to Copenhagen.'
Silly Cyclists: The Video Series. Silly Cyclists was created by Gaz, a cyclist from London. The series features footage from Gaz and other cyclists showing silly, stupid, or extremely ill-considered decisions by cyclists around the world. Each episode features a top-ten countdown of Silly Cyclists, followed by a Savvy Cyclist. [more inside]
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now." Lance Armstrong ends his fight against the US Anti-Doping Agency. This will most likely lead to a lifetime ban from competitive sports and possibly the loss of his 7 Tour de France victories.
Ex Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant (previously previously previously) reveals struggle with alcoholism, and his thoughts on cyclist's death in new memoir, 28 Seconds. CBC radio "The Current" interview, and CTV tv interview. Allan Sheppard, the deceased's father, asks people to scrutinize Bryant's story.
The 2012 Tour Divide kicked off on the 8th of June. This grand tour takes self-supported cyclists from Banff, AB CA to Antelope Wells, NM, USA along the North American Continental Divide. Riders must endure 4418 km (2745 miles) of dirt and gravel, with over 60,000 meters (200,000 ft) of climbing. If you want to win - plan on riding 16+ hours a day. Participants are now spread across the route, with the leader approaching the Colorado border.
Gino Bartali achieved fame by winning the 1938 Tour de France, but what he did on his bike during the war is what made him a real hero. [more inside]
Mike Hall, a 31 year old British man, has just cycled 18,000 miles around the world unsupported. In 91 days and 18 hours. [more inside]
Canadian Ryder Hesjedal is cycling’s rising star Like many "rising stars" Ryder Hesjedal has been struggling for many years to attain this honour. Today his efforts are realized with his win of the Giro-Ditalia.
It’s National Bike to Work Day today [in some cities], and maybe you noticed a lot of cyclists on your commute this morning. If you didn’t—and you’re a driver—that’s cause for concern. A plea for safety from cyclists to motorists. How to Not Kill a Cyclist [more inside]
Cartoonist and Essayist Tim Kreider on the soothing effect of dangerous situations. (NYT)