In 1982 John Marino first organized The Great American Bike Race (now known as Race Across America, or RAAM.) The rules were simple: start at the Santa Monica Pier and end at the Empire State Building 2,968 miles with a small support team. Along with Marino were three other riders: Lon Haldeman, John Howard, and Michael Shermer (a decade later being a founding member of Skeptic Magazine.) Haldeman won with a time of 9d 20h 02m with second place, Howard coming in 14 hours later. ABC covered the race that first year as part of their Wide World of Sports [part 1 of 10]. [more inside]
News from the world of ultramarathon cycling: 1. Peter Heal recently rode the ~15,000-km perimeter of Australia in 48 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes; 2. The 3005-mile Race Across America recently concluded, with veteran Jure Robic winning the men's solo in 9 days, 1 hour, 1 minute, and Barbara Buatois winning the women's solo in 11 days, 19 hours, 48 minutes. [more inside]
What happens when you strap one of those new Canon 7D SLR cameras that do HD video to a remote controlled helicopter? You get amazing video, on the cheap. [via]
The Copenhagen Wheel project transforms ordinary bicycles into hybrid electric bikes that also function as mobile environmental sensing units. [via digital urban] [more inside]
"Au Soleil" is based on my memories of a cycling trip I undertook across Eastern Europe from Berlin to Istanbul. Vimeo video. A (surprisingly relaxing) short multimedia documentary, created using open source 3D animation software and a keen artistic eye. [more inside]
SFPD's new chief, George Gascon, is reportedly considering putting an end to Critical Mass, the group cycling event that occurs the last Friday of every month. There has been speculation, after a January ruling that New York City can force groups of 50 people or more on bicycles to get a parade permit, that similar action may be taken in San Francisco. Critical Mass appears unworried. (Previously)
Recumbent cyclist David Cambon shares with us a breathtaking, scary and wry photo diary of his 3224 km (~2000 mile) bike trip from Vancouver, BC to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, with portions along the famous Dempster Highway. [more inside]
Some bike messengers last month took justice into their own hands when they caught two suspected thieves, teenage boys who attended a local Catholic high school. According to police, the messengers stripped down the teens to their boxer shorts before taking their cellphones, backpacks and clothes. But there have been countless other incidents, of real and desired vengeance [more inside]
Kolelinia is a city fly attempt. We are born to move, this makes us alive. The transport is not only a transport, it has to be an experience! (via)
The Ride Journal is a lovely mag by/about/for cyclists of all types: bmxers, fixed gear riders, road racers, tricyclists, casual riders... you name it! It's a beautiful publication--great photography, nice paper, good personal stories. However, it's a print mag. As their 3rd issue is being mailed out, they've made their first avaiable for download as a 26MB PDF.
In the late 1890s, a wooden "cycle-way" was built between Pasadena and Los Angeles for bicycle travel before freeways existed. It ran along the Arroyo Seco and though it was planned for the full ten mile distance, only two miles were completed by 1900 as the popularity of the bicycle waned. In 1983 a bike path was built along the stream basin but is both riddled with glass and debris and dangerous to impassible during a rainstorm. For the last 15 years, a group in Pasadena has been leading the effort to restore a bike path between Pasadena and Los Angeles.
Franny Armstrong is the director of McLibel, The Age of Stupid, and founder of the 10:10 campaign, which aims to cut 10% of carbon emissions in 2010. She was walking through Camden, North London, on Monday night, when a group of young girls pushed her against a car. One of them was armed with a metre-long iron bar. She called for help from a passing cyclist ... who turned out to be Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. [more inside]
Fear of Cycling, an essay in five parts: introduction, constructing fear of cycling, helmet promotion campaigns, new cycling spaces, making cycling strange.
A huge collection of vintage cycling board games. The main site also has resources for rolling your own cycling game.
Why is (Radio) Shack -- a company that only markets to North Americans -- spending $20 million sponsoring Lance Armstrong and his team as he spends a year racing bicycles mostly in Europe? "Somewhere, someone has a Venn diagram showing the crossover between electronics geeks and cyclists. I’m sure those two sets have a lot of crossover." [more inside]
In light of the recent tragic death of a cyclist in Toronto, even normally well-balanced MeFites have polarized in the bikes vs. cars “war”. But according to Guillermo Penalosa, the fight is really about better urban design. He helped to radically reinvent the transit and parks infrastructure of Bogata, making it of the best cycling cities in the world. The recent changes to Broadway in New York were influenced by Bogota's success. Gil now advises the Project for Public Spaces and is Executive Director of Walk & Bike for Life. Their solution to the pedestrians vs. cars vs. bikes battle is simple: better urban planning (previously on MeFi) that gives everyone their own safe space. Not sure if your city's infrastructure is up-to-snuff? Apply the 8/80 rule. In the meantime, keep safe out there.
Late last night, a cyclist was killed in Toronto. "Ontario's former attorney general Michael Bryant ... will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death, a police source tells the Globe, after a collision left a 33-year-old cyclist dead." Accounts vary, but the sequence appears to be 1) Some collision and argument between the cyclist and the driver; 2) The cyclist grabs the driver's door and hangs on (or he may have been caught on the car accidentally) while the Saab convertible drives on; 3) The car drives into the opposite lane, across a construction zone, and the cyclist is battered against mailboxes and light posts; 4) The cyclist falls under the car's back wheels and is killed. [more inside]
The Big Africa Cycle. Peter Gostelow is cycling from Dorset, England to Cape Town to raise funds for The Against Malaria Foundation. And it's not his first big adventure. [more inside]
Performance, it's the name of the game. (SLYT) For cyclists who are sick of being associated with hipsters on fixies, this track is for you (and me).
The bike racing world has a tradition of attention-getting designs, but some spectators at this year's Tours of California or France might have done double-takes at some of the art on Lance Armstrong's rides. As it turns out, Trek and Nike have commissioned custom designs promoting Livestrong, and as I write this Lance is cycling into Paris on a bike covered with butterfly wings, courtesy of Damien Hirst. [more inside]
Bicycle Snobbery - whether "mustache handlebars", silly tattoos, "mankinis" or other male cycling fashion statements, brass knuckle bicycle grips or celebrity brokeback pie-plates, NYC's Bike Snob casts judgment on all he surveys from one high gear
Lightlane builds lasers that shoot out from your bike onto the road, displaying a bike lane wherever you ride. Written about here and here.
Fliers are being distributed in rural Boulder County calling on motorists blockade bicyclists in an upcoming organized ride (via 303cycling). [more inside]
The hour record is one of the greatest challenges in bicycling, with seemingly the simplest rules: Ride as fast as you can for exactly sixty minutes, zero seconds. If you go farther than anybody else, you hold the record. In 1993, Graeme Obree held that record for one day. Fifteen years later, at the age of 44, Graeme Obree will fly again. [more inside]
The Vélocouture flickr pool. Over 1600 photos of stylish (and, uh, "differently-styled") bike fashion, from the hipster to the formal, the casual, the young, the old old-timey, the new old-timey, and much, much more. There's also a blog.
The Skycycle (google translated) at Washuzan Highland Park (warning: noisy) in Okayama, Japan is (not) a pedal-powered roller coaster. Video, photos. Other things called a skybike: skybike, sky-bike, skybike, skybike, skybike.
Journalist Jill Homer writes about and takes media of snow cycling Up in Alaska. Now deputy managing editor of the Juneau Empire, she has written for NPR about being a snow cyclist. From the first cycle tour she went on in 2002 to recently when Jill said "If I don't die or worse, I'm gonna need a nap.", there is no shortage of pictures and video and accounts of scenic places encountered via cycle along the way, all over the country. There are a wealth of stories to read and pictures to look at while you sit out Winter in your home. [more inside]
I like watching videos of people riding fixed gear bikes in the city: Empire, MashSF, Macaframa, Fast Friday, Bootleg Sessions, Lucas Brunelle's crazy vids (linked on MeFi before). Don't like videos? Try Fixed Gear Magazine (pdf of vol 1 and vol 2) or CogMag (dead tree mag, but excerpts from each issue are on their site).
Police Officer Seen on Tape Shoving a Bicyclist Is Indicted - Update to the widely viewed video of a NYC police officer shoving a critical mass rider off of his bicycle, reported on MeFi here.
R.I.P. Ian Hibell. Bikes rarely let him down. Escaping once from spear-throwing Turkana in northern Kenya, he felt the chain come off, but managed to coast downhill to safety. He crossed China from north to south—in 2006, at 72—with just three brake-block changes, one jammed rear-brake cable and a change of tape on the handlebars. In his book, “Into the Remote Places” (1984), he described his bike as a companion, a crutch and a friend. Setting off in the morning light with “the quiet hum of the wheels, the creak of strap against load, the clink of something in the pannier”, was “delicious”. [more inside]
Thirty-seven year old Lance Armstrong has announced that he will end his 3-year retirement from professional racing to try for a record eighth victory in the Tour de France.
Up to now, no black cyclist has ever competed in the Tour de France. One man hopes to to change that. Last month Nicholas Leong, a Singaporean photographer and supporter of the Major Taylor Association (previously: 1, 2), travelled to Eldoret in Kenya, a place better known for producing world-class distance runners. There, he found two Kenyan cyclists and took them to France to tackle one of the Tour's most iconic climbs: Alpe d'Huez. [more inside]
The Peloton. A gallery of professional bike racers taken just moments after they crossed the line after a brutal long stage of 2006's Giro d'Italia. After a hundred miles of racing, the rider dumps their bike on a team soigner and enters a makeshift tent for a quick photo among the finish line chaos. The photos showcase the pain and suffering well, but some photos also capture a bike racer's most damaging feeling: doubt.
Destined for display at this year's Burning Man, a very impressive quadricycle is out and about in an early appearance. (via) [more inside]
From New York City to Seattle, Critical Mass cyclists are not having a good week. In Seattle, some question the motivations of Critical Mass, some report conflicting stories, while others suggest foul play.
As the Tour de France concludes, let's spend a moment commemorating the derrière garde of world-class cycling, those bad enough to come in last but never bad enough to fail, les Lanternes Rouge. If Wim Vansevenant can retain his tenacious hold on 145th place in Sunday's stage he will be the worst cyclist to complete the Tour de France for three consecutive years and set a Tour record. You can, indeed, win by losing. [more inside]
The Bicycle Tutor is a site with lots of video tutorials designed with a sole purpose; to teach you how to fix your own bicycle. [via mefi projects]
ShelBroCo which has brought us:
The ShelBroCo Chain Cleaning System
Real Man Bicycle Saddles, and
this year brings us.....
Crank on Captain Bike. In memoriam to Sheldon Brown.
The ShelBroCo Chain Cleaning System
Real Man Bicycle Saddles, and
this year brings us.....
Crank on Captain Bike. In memoriam to Sheldon Brown.
I Finally own a Zipp Wheel… A little story of how a bike racing fan came to own a fancy, schmancy carbon race wheel during the recently concluded Tour of California. [more inside]
Marshall ("Major") Taylor was the first black American to be crowned World Champion in any sport, ever. Care to guess the sport? In 1899, he set the world one-mile track record in cycling (and repeated his win in 1900 and 1901. His legacy continues today with an association, a society, a foundation, cycling clubs, and a velodrome. [more inside]
It is the oldest currently active bike ride in the world. Older than the Tour, the Giro and Race Across America, the Paris-Brest-Paris is a 1200km (750 mile) odyssey from the outskirts of Paris to the coast of Normandy and back that must be completed in 90 hours. It is no longer a professional race, having fallen out of favor amongst racers who viewed it as too grueling for too low a set of stakes. Instead, PBP and its offspring (London-Edinburgh-London, the Rocky Mountain 1200 and Perth-Albany-Perth) are ridden by a group of amateur riders known as randonneurs. [more inside]
"A Ghostbike is a junker bike that has been painted stark white and afixed to the site where a cyclist has been hit or killed by a car driver." [more inside]
Cycling for a cause is the project/site of Canadian college student Michal Brichacek. On May 3rd of this year he set out from Alaska on his bike, aiming to ride all 12,000km (7440 miles) by early August. He's riding to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and he's over halfway done, currently riding across a hot Mexico landscape. His blog has his daily adventures (mostly about having to look for tent spots, supplies, and meeting interesting strangers). He's also posting daily photos of the trip.
Japanese Bicycle History Research Club With a nice gallery of photos, illustrations, and ukiyo-e of vintage bicycles in Japan.
Has Australia's largest cycling club attempted to cover up the possible causes of a fatal crash at its latest event? The Canberra Cycling Club's press release says that the race was conducted in accordance with Australian road rules. Their photo gallery for the event certainly shows small groups of riders keeping to one side of the centre line. Local sleuths The RiotACT say different.
The ShelBroCo Bicycle Chain Cleaning System It is well-known that proper chain cleaning is the most vital and important aspect of cycling. There are zillions of doo-dads and gimmicks out there intended to make this task easier for spoiled, lazy cyclists. Unfortunately, there's no "free lunch" in bicycle maintenance, and all of these existing systems are fundamentally mono-buttocked kluges.