National ad features Santa Cruz niche bike builder

shaq on a dirtysixer 36er bike

David Folch of Santa Cruz, California designs large bikes around thirty-two and thirty-six inch wheels for large riders under the DirtySixer brand. His bike appears in a nationally aired ad for American Express featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Wanda Sykes at Berkeley Cycle Works.

I love that it shows the wonderful fun of cycling.

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Carry it with You, Guys!

This is known as the safe way how to carry your things with you while cycling from A to B. The Safe...

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Categories: "copenhagen cycle chic roadshow", bag, bicycle baskets, bike rack, cycle chic ride | Leave a comment

This Post Is Self-Lubricating

First of all, we haven't discussed this:
No hands?  No helmet?  On an old mountain bike with cantis and thumb shifters?

Not only is Kenny okay in my book, but he's about a thousand times cooler than Russell Crowe:


I guess when you're from the Antipodes it's hard to shake off the shackles of bike-dorkdom.

Moving on, after two days of heavy rain the sun is shining upon us once again:


Though as I headed out this morning I was dismayed to discover that my chain was a bit noisy.  Oh sure, I'd lubed it after my rainy ride on Tuesday, but evidently it could have used another slathering.

Clearly I need one of these:
Yes, it's the automatic chain lubricator of your wettest, most Fredliest dreams:


Always forgetting to oil your chain before or after a ride? Take away the hassle with the Flaer Revo Via, an automatic lube dispensing system that oils your chain as you’re riding along and is claimed by the company to “significantly increase the power transmitted through the drivetrain to the rear wheel” by a heady 12 watts. 

Heady indeed--assuming "heady" means "fictional," since a study revealed that chain lube has little effect on bicycle drivetrain efficiency.  (The study is even cited in the story about the chain lube device.)

So really, the worst thing about forgetting to lube your chain is that you might have to hear sounds from it until you can scrounge some White Lightning from a bike shop (they love when you do that I'm sure) or surreptitiously rub your chain on Mario Cipollini's unctuous limbs:


Yes, by rolling your bike past Cipo and allowing your drivetrain to graze his glistening calves you can keep your chain noise-free for up to a year--for free!

Nevertheless, according to the company that makes the auto-squirt, they know it works because they've conducted "extensive testing:"

The company tells us it purchased a Chain Efficiency Tester that is apparently one of only three in the world and with this, it conducted its own extensive testing.

“It is impossible to achieve a 100% efficiency through a drive train, there will always be a discrepancy between what you put in at the cranks and what you get out at the rear hub,” says Flaer’s Andy Parker. “However, what we are able to do is keep these losses to a bare minimum, approx. 5 watts. This is where any chain that has been appropriately lubricated would be at the beginning of a ride. Where the Revo Via provides a performance advantage is, it can keep you at this 5 watt level for the duration of your ride.”

Hmmm, let's see: a special device that totally and conveniently validates their absurd claims?  Isn't that basically the idea behind an E-meter?


Indeed, the gap between Fred-dom and Scientology is rapidly closing, and at this point I'm not sure there's much difference between a custom-tailored training program and an auditing course.

And if special rare devices aren't enough to convince you that you need a chain lubing device on your bike, there's also this chart:


You're probably one of those poor schmucks using "other lubricants," and applying them at home instead of while in motion.  Silly you.  See how low you are on the chart?  Don't you want to be all the way up at the red line where the Revo Auto-Sploodge 2000 is?  Come on, get with the program already!  Plus, it doesn't sound like something that would be a pain in the ass at all:

The Revo Via comprises a small control module and fluid reservoir that can be attached to the down tube of the bike, and a short hose then runs along the chainstay to the dispensing unit which is attached to the rear mech. The whole setup adds 121g before you add any fluid, with a maximum of 27ml of fluid in the system. Refill intervals range from 7.5 to 37.5-hours depending on the frequency, and this will depend on the riding conditions. The system is powered by a battery and run time is 150 hours. 

Best of all, it only costs a mere £250 to catheterize your bicycle, though I suppose now's the time to buy one given the favorable post-Brexit vote exchange rate.

Though I'll probably wait for the gravel version:


In other news, if you've got any money left over after purchasing your Ejac-U-Tron 9000 make sure to help fund the USA Grand Tour, since they've only got another month to raise $1.3 million:
Clearly they've really thought this thing through:

The USA Grand Tour will be a race like the Tour De France, The Giro D'Italia and the Vuelta Espagna. Each of these 21 day stage races, or Grand Tours, is designed to showcase the country in which they are held, the products which sponsor the race, and to push the 198 or so riders to their very limits. The enormity of the race logistics and the secondary nature of bicycle racing here in America has made such an undertaking unthinkable. ..until now.

We've entered a new era where the growth of cycling participation and spectating in America is exploding! As a result of that growth it's time America stands up on the world stage and demonstrates how WE do a Grand Tour!

No it isn't.

And the video's not helping:



"Professional bicycle racing means many things to many people: Incredible speed that you can reach out and touch..."


Yeah, please don't reach out and touch the speed, it makes them crash.

"...and sensational triumphs:"



I'm not sure that's the photo I'd use to accompany the phrase "sensational triumphs."  Chris Horner's biological passport smells fishier than the Dumpster behind a Long John Silver's.

Bike fighting, on the other hand, could very well be the sport America needs NOW, and a commenter on yesterday's post was kind enough to share this article about on-the-bike self-defense:

This studio is the only one in the world with a defense program catered specifically to cyclists. The Krav Maga For Cyclists workshop, a three-hour hands-on tutorial on principles and special techniques, was a response to a rash of attacks against bikers in the city throughout the early 2000s.

Yes, your bicycle can be a weapon, as many triathletes know all too well:


Bike Attack

In most situations, the bike is your friend, you should not leave that friend behind unless absolutely necessary (more on that below). In addition to being a partial shield when you’re off the bike and a trusty escape vehicle, it can also be a weapon.

If your attacker(s) is (are) in front of you, you can pull the bike onto the rear wheel so that your front wheel is in the air with your hands still on the handlebars. Engage the rear brake (right hand), to keep the bike firmly planted. Thrust your arms out, using the front wheel to jab at your assailants.

With the rear wheel planted, you can swivel the bike, keeping it between you and the attackers. As soon as you have an opening, drop the front wheel, run forward and re-mount the bike.

Question: when you're pummeling your opponent in the face with your front wheel, what pressure should you be running?

Also, you may be forced to throw your bike to the wolves, turn tail, and flee for your life:



When To Ditch The Bike

In almost every scenario when you are confronted by a single attacker, keep your bike. But if there are multiple assailants from coming from different angles, let go of the bike and focus on protecting yourself. The bike may be the most valuable item on your person, so surrendering it may “buy” you a way out. Nothing is more precious than your life.

Nothing is more precious than your life?  Really?  Clearly the author has never ridden a CUSTOM RODE BIEK:


As far as I'm concerned Larry Olmsted remains the greatest cycling writer of all time.

Anyway, I enjoyed the bike-fighting article, but I could have done with an in-depth analysis of what the best frame material is for a weaponized bike.  Do you want the lateral stiffness and vertical compliance of crabon?  The supple reliability of steel?  Or the pleasant springiness of titanium?

Though in the right hands even high-tensile steel can yield high performance:



Lastly, here's a tragic instance of life imitating Super Mario Bros.:


Investigators found no evidence that another vehicle was involved. An autopsy showed that Kervin's head trauma was consistent with falling off his bicycle.

The turtle survived the crash with a small crack in the bottom of its shell. It crawled away with minor injuries.

No mention of whether the victim was wearing a helmet, but they do point out the turtle was wearing a shell.
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Everything is in the Details

Super sporty bicycle. As well as the shoes. But his outfit... Pay attention to the mittens, with...

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Categories: "copenhagen cycle chic roadshow", autumncycling, bicycle, Copenhagen, cycle chic ride, details | Leave a comment

A Wednesday by Any Other Name Would be a Tuesday, or Possibly a Thursday

Well, it's gift guide season, and the latest book by Jørs Trüli has made Portland's River City Cycles 2016 Gift Guide:


It's the perfect stocking stuffer, as is a tub of chamois cream:


Indeed, my words and this chamois cream have a lot in common: they're buttery smooth, they're soothing when applied to the scranus, and they've both been tested on animals*.

*[Just kidding, as far as I know Assos chamois cream is not tested on animals, though I did test my book on animals by reading it to the cat**.]

**[The cat coughed up a hairball at around page 96.]

Not only that, but River City also mentioned my book in the Willamette Week:


I've got to admit I'm pretty intrigued by that beehive and am thinking it could make a great Festivus gift for the kiddies.  Beekeeping seems like a wholesome hobby and I see no reason why I shouldn't set up a hive in their bedroom.  In fact I visited the maker's website and they even offer a complete starter kit:

Though I'm sure rocking this will mark you as a total Bee Fred.

Speaking of lit-ritch-ur, today is Mark Twain's birthday:


(Mark Twain was just a pen name, his real name was Mark Goldfarb)

And to mark the occasion I highly recommend reading his account of learning to ride a bicycle, which is the source of this oft-used quote:

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.

Not only is it highly entertaining, but he describes the sensation of riding a bike better than anybody else has since, and this was only 1884:

The bicycle had what is called the "wabbles," and had them very badly. In order to keep my position, a good many things were required of me, and in every instance the thing required was against nature. That is to say, that whatever the needed thing might be, my nature, habit, and breeding moved me to attempt it in one way, while some immutable and unsuspected law of physics required that it be done in just the other way. I perceived by this how radically and grotesquely wrong had been the life-long education of my body and members. They were steeped in ignorance; they knew nothing--nothing which it could profit them to know. For instance, if I found myself falling to the right, I put the tiller hard down the other way, by a quite natural impulse, and so violated a law, and kept on going down. The law required the opposite thing--the big wheel must be turned in the direction in which you are falling. It is hard to believe this, when you are told it. And not merely hard to believe it, but impossible; it is opposed to all your notions. And it is just as hard to do it, after you do come to believe it. Believing it, and knowing by the most convincing proof that it is true, does not help it: you can't any more DO it than you could before; you can neither force nor persuade yourself to do it at first. The intellect has to come to the front, now. It has to teach the limbs to discard their old education and adopt the new.

Now cycling writing is just bike reviewers telling you a $10,000 plastic Fred Sled "goes where you point it."

Indeed, you could argue that the refinement of the bicycle is the very enemy of art.  Consider, for example, that if Twain had had access to a modern-day gravel bike this passage might never had been written:

Stones were a bother to me. Even the smallest ones gave me a panic when I went over them. I could hit any kind of a stone, no matter how small, if I tried to miss it; and of course at first I couldn't help trying to do that. It is but natural. It is part of the ass that is put in us all, for some inscrutable reason.

Instead he'd have bored us with some crap about how the Cannondale Slate ($4,260 with Force group) is equally at home on the tarmac and the trail and gives you the confidence to rail those corners like a monkey in a mining cart.

And would his spills have been half as entertaining if he'd had the false sense of security you get from wearing a helmet?


Though I suppose this is the 19th century equivalent of getting heckled for not wearing one:

He was full of interest and comment. The first time I failed and went down he said that if he was me he would dress up in pillows, that's what he would do.

"The victim was not dressed up in pillows," the newspapers would say.

Oh sure, the safety bike was a welcome innovation, and without pneumatic tires we wouldn't be able to obsess over #whatpressureyourunning, but it should be clear to everybody now that bike innovation topped out years ago and now they're simply grasping at windmills and tilting at straws.  For example, does anybody really need magnet pedals?


Apart from mountain unicyclists, of course:


Note how all-terrain unicyclists flail their arms like they're being attacked by a swarm of invisible bees.

Still, I wouldn't try these in New York City, if only because the streets are littered with bits of metal and your pedals would look like this in short order:


Also, they already ran a Kickstarter like two years ago that didn't get funded.

In other news, a reader forwarded a groundbreaking study with a shocking conclusion:


Yes, believe it or not, when you add bike lanes and stuff cycling becomes safer:

The odds of cyclists being injured in an accident in Boston have decreased significantly in recent years as the city has made a slew of changes to promote bike riding and improve safety, a new study from Harvard University researchers has found.

The study, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that there was a 14 percent reduction in the odds of being injured in a cycling accident for each year from 2009 through 2012.

And when you add more cyclists then cycling becomes safer still:

“There is a concept of safety in numbers that several studies have evaluated and we touched upon briefly,” said Pedroso. “The concept is based on the fact that with increased number of bicycle riders there is increased cyclist awareness by vehicles. This improved awareness results in reductions in vehicle-cyclist accidents.”

If you didn't know better you'd think that adding bike lanes and encouraging people to ride is more effective than making people wear helmets.

And here's a frustrating fact:

■ The odds of injury in accidents involving car doors are 225 percent higher than other types of accidents. “This is an interesting finding because it shows that if we expanded on strategies that separated bicycles from cars that we may have a significant impact on overall injuries,” Pedroso said.

Yes, of all the crap we deal with out there on the roads, we're most likely to be taken out by some asshole who can't be bothered to check before flinging open their fucking car door.

Drivers are so lazy they don't even put any effort into hitting you.

Lastly, on the subject of safety, race organizers are taking bold new steps to keep riders from getting hit by race vehicles:

During the General Assembly of the International Association of Cycling Race Organizers (AIOCC), the three groups decided to decrease team rosters from nine to eight in the Grand Tours and from eight to seven in their other events. This new policy will go into effect for the 2017 season.

"This decision responds to two-pronged objective: The first being to improve the safety conditions for the riders with a smaller peloton on roads equipped with more and more street furniture," read a statement released Friday by the ASO.

Wait, the road are crowded so they're going to reduce the number of bike racers instead of the number of race vehicles?  Aren't the bike racers why people follow the sport in the first place?  Isn't this like "improving" Lucky Charms by reducing the marshmallow count to three per box?

I guess we can look forward to an all-ITT format for the Tour de France by 2025.

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All Men Cycle

                In Denmark, all men cycle....

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I Could Have Titled This Post, But Then It Would Have Been Even Later

When you've got seventeen (17) children and a semi-professional blogging empire to run you take your chances to ride when you get them.  What you don't do is hem and haw just because it's going to be raining for the next two days.  You grab a bike with fenders and get out there while you can, precipitation be damned, which is what I did this morning:


And yes, I do realize that my bulging rear fender line is disgraceful, and that I should remedy the situation by trimming those struts and putting a spacer between the fender and the chainstay bridge immediately:


However, I can promise you I'll never do that, because with so little riding time the last thing I'm gonna do is waste any of it prettying up my goddamn fenders.

They deflect the water and they don't rub so for the time being that's good enough for me.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable ride and I visited some of my favorite hidden climbs of the lower Hudson Valley (you can order my guide to these climbs for only $2.99 by clicking here), though by the end of it I was a bit waterlogged:


But while I may be wet and wobbly-fendered at least I have my integrity, unlike a certain Mario Paz Duque, who apparently doped his way to a 38th place at the Red Hook Crit Milano:


Paz Duque, who finished 38th, is now disqualified from the Milano No.7 results and receives a lifetime ban from the RHC and all Trimble Racing events.

As far as I know this is the first positive drug test from the Red Hook Crit, though it's been pretty obvious for awhile now that the new breed of fixie-crit bro is almost certainly doped to the gills:


I wonder if they'll flag his Strava account:


Of course, in an age when even 45 year-old Fondo Freds get caught doping none of this is particularly surprising, though that didn't stop VeloNews from gloating about it:


(Yeah, saying "Jumped the shark" jumped the shark sometime in the last decade.)



Which is suprising, because people in Colorado have such a laid-back approach to riding bicycles.

I mean sure, of course I think it's hilarious that someone got caught doping at the Red Hook Crit, but I'm not sure VeloNews gets to laugh at it.  After all, the magazine owes its entire existence to performance-enhancing drugs.  It's like a porn film company laughing at a model for having breast implants.

Because Jim Ochowicz totally hasn't jumped the shark:


Speaking of porn, I recently received a press release with the following subject line:

The Sexiest Cycling Bottle in History

And here it is:



Arrive L allows easier and intuitive entry and exit from cages, and pockets. Compared to standard bottles, it slides in and out with less resistance, and easily at severe angles, thanks to tapered ends. It also has a high flow rate, self-sealing silicone valve, and 710ml / 24 oz capacity.


Holy crap, is this a water bottle or a double-ended dildo?

Finally, a bottle that isn’t just a product of engineering. Visual balance and a streamlined shape captures the essence of cycling. The clean façade lacks graphics to scratch, and allows a neutral presentation. The high-gloss cap is available in nine colors, with a smoke black, semi-transparent body.

They should do very well with this whole no-graphics concept, because cycling teams, bike shops, and other organizations who order bottles in large quantities to promote themselves certainly wouldn't want any graphics on them.

“Cycling bottles haven’t fundamentally changed in decades. We’ve been stuck with brute cylindrical shapes, bad graphic design, and basic functionality ” said Yujin Kawase, Founder and CEO of ABLOC.

Thank you, Yujin Kawase, for liberating us from the bottle shape.  You should move onto the wine industry next, the bottle shape has been a huge problem for them as well.

Speaking of things nobody asked for, that paper helmet has made the New York Times:


As bike-share programs have proliferated in cities around the world, a clear point of friction has emerged for bicycle commuters: How do they protect their fragile skulls?

Really?  Has this been an actual problem?  They protect their fragile skulls the same when they do when they're walking or riding the subway or taking the bus: by doing their best not to fall on them.  Reminds me of that Mr. Burns quote: “Ever since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun."  Forget liberating us from bottle shapes; please liberate us from the bullshit idea that people need or want helmets to ride Citi Bikes three blocks at a time.

Many are unwilling to share helmets with strangers, because of germs and stuff. And carrying a helmet at all times can be a burden.

Lice.  They're called lice.

Luckily, a selection of foldable helmets has emerged to help solve the problem. This month, one such product, the EcoHelmet, won the 2016 James Dyson award, named for the British designer best known for making high-tech vacuum cleaners.

The helmet’s inventor, Isis Shiffer, will receive $45,000 to further develop the cheap, recyclable product, which is made from cardstock paper.

I gotta hand it to her, nothing gets people to open up their wallets like a good helmet gimmick.
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Private bike share for San Jose office park

@Zagsterbikeshare at Skyport in San Jose CA.  When did this appear?   #bikeshare #cycling #sanjose #bikesj

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Cycling into the Sunset

       There is something really special about the silhouette a person and a...

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Categories: autumncycling, cyclechic, cyclechicaarhus, cyclechicsunset, urbancycling | Leave a comment

Shopping mall bike lockers

Christmas shopping apparently began early for many people, with crowds reportedly trapped in the parking garage for up to three hours at one popular shopping mall in Silicon Valley, California before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Some shoppers at Westfield Valley Fair abandoned their cars, walked out to the street and Ubered their way home.

Valley Fair Mall doesn’t advertise this among their travel options, but they provide the best bike parking I’ve seen at an American shopping mall — free, secure bike lockers.

Valley Fair Mall bike facilities

The upscale Valley Fair mall bucks the trend of failing malls, pulling in $1,150 per square foot of retail space. During planning for their recently completed $600 million parking garage, the mall development manager met with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. The guy knew nothing at all about bikes, but got bike religion, did a ton of his own research, and selected these lockers that work like a very large hotel room safe. You stash your bike inside, and create your own secret code to lock the locker. You re-enter the same code to retrieve the bike. There’s no signup, no pre-registration, no reservation and no stored value electronic card.

The bike parking is next to a mall entrance, and everyone using the new parking garage walk right through the bike area. They also have several bike racks and a Dero Fixit Station.

Valley Fair Mall bike facilities

I love the bike parking available at this mall. Depending on where you’re coming from, biking to this mall can be a challenge, with very heavy traffic on most approaches with little to nothing in the way of bike facilities. Westfield Valley Fair straddles the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara, California on Stevens Creek Boulevard at Winchester Boulevard. I think most people who bike to this mall arrive via either Monroe Street or Forest Avenue.

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