Jobst Brandt R.I.P.

I just learned that the legendary Jobst Brandt succumbed yesterday at age 80 after a long struggle with his deteriorating health.

Jobst Brandt

We weren’t friends, but I’d run into Jobst in his blue jersey (polypro, not wool) and his freakishly large bike (custom made Tom Ritchey 10-speed, six-speed cogs are too prone to failure, painted yellow because cracks are easier to see) during his Highway 9 rides and we’d talk. And oh how he loved his own opinion on every topic. Yeah, he was a little bit full of himself, but he also knew his stuff and he was mostly a likeable guy. One person famously described him as “not opinionated; he was correct.”

Jobst wrote the book on bicycle wheelbuilding. Some Internet and Usenet old-timers will recall how he held court on every cycling-related topic over at rec.bicycles.

Locally, Jobst was famous for leading insanely punishing off-road adventure rides all around the Bay Area with road bikes forty years before gravel riding became a marketing category. Among those who joined Jobst on these epic rides was local cycling author Ray Holser, who pens his own short obituary of Jobst’s long life here.

As he would say: “Ride bike!”

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R.I.P. George Kaufer, Jr.

55 year old George Kaufer of Danville, CA was cycling to his dentist appointment when he was struck and fatally injured by a 1997 Toyota Avalon. According to the Contra Costa Times, the unnamed driver of the Toyota was traveling northound on Crow Canyon Road when she hit Kaufer at Crow Canyon and Tassajara Ranch Drive.

My heart-felt condolences to his family, who are understandably heartbroken over this loss. Kaufer, who leaves a wife and two daughters behind, was facilities manager for the San Mateo County school district and was known for using his bike to get around.

H/T to Murph

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Oakland challenges San Jose in Bike Off

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf challenges San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo: Which city employees can log the most riding miles for Bike Month?

San Fernando green lane bikeway ribbon cutting

Schaaf, Liccardo and the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission created this cute and corny video to encourage residents and employees in their respective cities to commute by bike this month. I’m typing this post using a keyboard with a broken “b” key, which really cuts into my words-per-minute when writing about bikes, bike month, the Bay Area , a bike challenge, bicycles and Libby Schaaf.

Commute miles are logged to the Bay Area Team Bike Challenge online tool. For our beginning week of Bike Month, 51 registered members for the city of San Jose have logged 53 miles, while 84 employees at the city of Oakland have registered nearly 800 miles so far.

I’d say San Jose has some catching up to do if they hope to beat Oakland in this cross-Bay contest, though I know several daily commuters at San Jose City Hall who have at least a five hundred miles (or, in metric units, nearly one billion millimeters) of commuting among them over the past week, so there’s also the matter of logging their miles to the Bike Challenge website.

Via Pizzaro and Andrew “B-B-B-Bad to the Bone” Boone, whose name contains a ‘b’. The green bike sock in the photo above belongs to San Jose DOT Director Hans Larsen, who has no ‘b’s in his name nor bees in his bonnet. Bonne chance!

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It may be Wednesday, but I’m so fast it’s already Thursday.

After a hard day of "working" there's nothing like a twilight Citi Bike ride to soothe the nerves--or at least to shift your irritation from one set of nerves to another, since attempting to dodge taxis on a 50lb three-speed leaves you with little energy left to dwell on the day's indignities:

New York City is forever changing, and over the past couple of decades we've seen the downtown precincts of Manhattan transformed from a haven for free-thinking weirdos to a place frequented by the sorts of people who go "Whooo!" when they're excited.  Furthermore, yesterday was the 5th of May, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo, which meant the sorts of people who go "Whooo!" when they're excited were "Whooo!"-ing their faces off thanks to an abundance of margarita drink specials.

As the bicycle becomes a more visible thread in the fabric of life in New York City it increasingly represents the city's agents of change.  For example, ten years or so ago we witnessed the sudden proliferation of what were then called "hipsters," who annoyed the fuck out of everybody on their fixed-gear bicycles.  Since then, time has mitigated the phenomenon.  Some of these people moved away, others learned how to ride bicycles properly and assimilated, while still others matured into full-on yuppies and traded their fixies for Subarus.  Now you've been priced out, the word "hipster" has become obsolete, and the fixie has become wholly unremarkable--just another aesthetic choice for the casual bike shopper, a decision no more profound than deciding between the lace-up sneakers and the slip-ons.

Yesterday evening, however, I had something of a revelation when I realized New York City cycling has a new scourge, and it is the "bro on a bike."

Indeed, after about the fifth or sixth "duder" in a polo shirt nearly salmoned into me, I realized that the "Whooo!"-ers are now taking to bicycles.  On one hand this is a positive development, since it indicates that riding bicycles for transportation in New York City has now gone entirely mainstream--so much so that fraternity types with entry level jobs at investment banks are now doing it.  On the other hand, when some Ultimate Frisbee is making a bee line towards me like I'm a keg at a frat party it makes me miss the days when legions of Napoleon Dynamites on Bianchi Pistas and yard sale 10-speeds imported from the far exurbs was the worst the city had to offer.

Alas, I suppose it's just the natural order of things.  First the city got hipster-fied, then it got bro-ified, and I guess in about five years the city will be totally taken over by billionaires and I'll be dodging Russian oligarchs salmoning on jewel-encrusted Cipollinis:

Actually, I'm thinking like a poor person.  They won't be on jewel-encrusted Cipollini bicycles.  They'll probably be riding bedazzled clones of Mario Cipollini himself.

("You want ride-a da Cipo?")

Speaking of the winds of change, don't you want to slice through them like a hot Cipollini through butter?  If so, you'll need to get yourself a full set of "Spoke Fins:"

Spoke Fins Reduce Bicycle Wheel Drag, Even in Crosswinds

Spoke Fins cut bicycle spoke drag by more than 50%, even in crosswinds.  Streamlined Spoke Fins swivel like a wind vane in response to variable crosswinds, which constantly change orientation as the wheel rotates.  Your help is needed to purchase a 12-cavity injection mold required to economically produce our innovative bicycle Spoke Fins.

Spoke Fins: Convert round spokes into bladed spokes

  • Cut Spoke Drag more than 50%
  • Effective in both Headwinds and Crosswinds
  • Reduce Pedaling Effort in All Winds
  • Enhance Stability in Crosswinds
  • Colorful Fashion Accessory for the Kids' Bicycle

Yes, why spend $20,000 on a Malcom McLaren Venge-Schmenge:

(Venge-Schmenge: The bicycle of choice for the Salmoning Oligarchs of Tomorrow)

When you can transform your $500 special into a wind-cheating Fred rocket with just a handful of plastic?

Just listen to this testimonial!

"After 100 miles in two days of testing, the fins are very effective.  They are much faster above 15 mph, specially when facing headwinds, and remarkably stable in crosswinds.  The bike feels different, and is now faster than my own bike.  While cycling 16 mph in a moderate crosswind, I was able to pedal hands-free, where I could not have before.  I will not be riding again without them."

See that?  They are much faster above 15 mph.  See, without spoke fins, at 15 mph your bike will only travel at 12, 13, maybe 14 mph.  However, with the spoke fins, once you exceed 15 mph your bike will go as fast as 16 mph!

(As far as the part about pedaling hands-free, there might just be something wrong with his other bike.)

By the way, these are the same people who invented the Null Winds fairings:

" is my conclusion that when riding into a headwind with the addition of the Null Winds Technology Upper Wheel Fairings, any bicycle will be noticeably faster at any speed!"

In other words, at 21 mph, a bicycle equipped with Null Winds fairings will be faster than an un-faired bike traveling 21mph.  

Jason Shutz may be a Cat 2 at bike racing, but as far as science goes he's a Cat 8 at best.

Still, as a hardcore bike share user you can believe I'll take any advantage I can get, so you can expect to find me kneeling at a Citi Bike kiosk and attaching these to the spokes of my prospective azure blue bank-branded steed.  (Pro tip: attach Spoke Fins before un-docking the bike, you don't want to incur costly overtime fees.)

Lastly, while we're on the subject of the relentless pursuit of speed, a reader has sent me this video in which a Fred (who pronounces "Vuelta" as "View-letta") removes a pawl from his freehub in order to make his bike go faster:

I'm not sure this will have much effect on your speed, but it sure seems like a great way to squash your "pants yabbies" on your top tube.

Then again, if he takes it down to one pawl and adds some Spoke Fins he could very well leapfrog Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed and go straight to plaid:

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App sync with National Bike Challenge?

The Kimberly-Clark National Bike Challenge now supports syncing with Strava in addition to Endomondo, MapMyRide, and Moves. You log your miles to one of these popular activity tracking applications, and I think it’s supposed to automatically upload your activity to your National Bike Challenge account.

Except for me, it doesn’t seem to work.

I linked my Strava account to my National Bike Challenge account; for National Bike Challenge to see my activity, however, I must go to the Bike Challenge website, click through “Edit My Profile,” and hit the “Sync” button.

Is this normal? The FAQ says ” Your miles will automatically sync to your National Bike Challenge account.” To me, this implies no requirement to manually sync my rides.

Am I missing something?

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Bike Expo Episode II: Attack of the Freds

(Via the Twitter.)

When last we met, I was sitting on a commuter train with this:

By the following morning, however, I had traded the Brompton for this:

Sorry, I meant this:

As you recall, I'd planned an early morning sub-epic road ride for this past Saturday, to be followed by a mid-morning café rendezvous, after which we'd meander on down to the Bike Expo.

With regard to the sub-epic, when I arrived at the super-secret meeting place at the super-secret appointed time I was pleased to find an assortment of hale cyclists, and after the dispensation of free hats I gave the order and we proceeded to cut a swath through the varied terrain and assorted real estate north of the city.  I'm sorry to report that we did lose at least one rider to some loose gravel, presumably because he was not riding a CPSC-approved gravel bike, but I did see him later at the Expo and apart from some road rash it was clear he'd emerged from his ordeal ready to ride another day.  Overall, everybody who finished the ride seemed to enjoy it, or if they didn't enjoy it then they pretended to for my benefit.  In any case I enjoyed it, and isn't that what's most important?

Yes.  Yes it is.

Therefore, given the relative success of that ride (by which I mean I enjoyed it, the rest of you are incidental), I feel semi-confident in confirming that a BSNYC Gran Fondon't will indeed take place on Sunday, May 17th.

As for what the Gran Fodon't will entail, expect to ride a bicycle on different types of surfaces for a few hours and to finish up in a place where they sell beer for consumption.

If doing those things in that order interests you then stay tuned for more instructions, either via this blog or else by skywriter airplane:

From there, the sub-epic morning ride dissolved into the second ride from the café to the Expo--which, given the more leisurely pace, attracted more disparate riders such as this one:

That's a Ross in case you're wondering:

Did you know that Ross used to be headquartered in Rockaway Beach and they made their bikes in Allentown, PA?

I didn't either until fairly recently.

Anyway, I felt a kinship with the above rider for two reasons: 1) I remember Ross bikes just like that one from when I was a child; and 2) If you think about it, riding a bike like that isn't much different from riding a Brompton--except instead of folding his bike before boarding a train he merely secrets it in his voluminous pant leg.

Oh, there was also a fat bike on the ride, and it probably won't surprise you to learn the guy on the child's bike made ample use of the fat bike's porcine slipstream:

(Cyclists: working together regardless of pant size or wheel size.)

Eat it, Portland.

After making our way down Manhattan's spine we arrived at the Expo, which was considerably more crowded than it had been the day before.  Here's what the valet bike parking line looked like at one point:

Are you freaking kidding me?!?

There was absolutely no way I was going to wait.  Not only was I due at the Walz table at that very moment, but long lines are against my religion as a solipsist, because waiting on them offends my fervent belief that only I exist.

"I mean, if it's only me, then who the hell are all these other assholes?," I wonder to myself as I wait to board an airplane or purchase a burrito from Chipotle, at which point my entire faith crumbles.

So, like any good solipsist, I abandoned my fellow riders to their fates on the valet line and headed straight for the entrance, where for the second day in a row I explained that I was an exhibitor and that I needed to take my bike in with me.

The woman at the door flashed me the universal expression for "I know you're full of shit but I'm too goddamn tired of dealing with you fucking bike dorks all day to argue," and then she waved me through.

Hey, what was I supposed to do, park it here?

Fancy-schmancy bicycle parking structures seem like a great idea until they become receptacles for rusty, long-abandoned children's bikes whose former owners have probably graduated medical school by now.

Anyway, pushing a bicycle through a crowded exhibition hall is about as much fun as you'd imagine, and in fact I bet it's pretty much exactly what "riding" the Five Boro Bike Tour feels like these days.

Upon reaching the Walz table I didn't even have time to change, and so I sat there stewing in my chamois the whole time.  Then afterwards I hit the beer tent, and finally I went "full woosie" and took the train home again because I was tired and hungry:

The end.

See you at the Gran Fondon't.

Speaking of spirited cycling, Freds love to obsess over freehub engagement, and so some enterprising Australians are attempting to Kickstart a "zero lag" rear hub:

Appropriately enough, the introductory video "locks up" at this very moment:

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "There's already such a thing as a 'zero lag' hub.  It's called a 'fixie.'"

Yeah, good one.  Well, you know who's not laughing?  Australian cycling great Robbie McEwen, that's who:

He may not smile at any point in the video, but he does hold a wimpy, laggy freehub and wiggle it suggestively with his disembodied hand:

While doing so, McEwen explains that this sloppy piece of hardware has a whopping four (4) millimeters of lag!

Four millimeters may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that it can be the difference between winning a race and still winning it anyway, only four meaningless millimeters later.

Nevertheless, McEwen is so disgusted by freehub lag that I kept expecting him to compare the one in his hands to the genitals of an aging prostitute or something equally cringeworthy.  Fortunately he doesn't go that far, though he does grab this bicycle and proceed to demean and degrade it:

"That lag!  You don't want a whole lot of nothing, you want PEAWAH*!"

*"Peawah" is Australian for "power."

After which he demonstrates the zero lag hub:

"When my foot's at twelve o'clock, I feel like I'm already generating PEAWAH!"

It was at this point I began praying to myself (I'm a solipsist, remember?) for a Mario Cipollini cameo:

("Twelve o'clock?  Meednight?!?  Dats also when-a da Cipo like-a to lay-a down da powah!  We make-a da threesome, eh Robbie?")

Alas, he never came.**

**I mean the cameo never came.  Cipollini always comes.  Always.

Ultimately, as far as McEwen is concerned, the "zero lag" hub is going to revolutionize cycling:

"Teams talk about going for marginal gains, finding every improvement in performance, nutrition, training, racing.  Well, this isn't just a marginal gain right here with the Zero Hero.  This is going to revolutionize cycling as far as drivetrains go."

Oh save it you old doper.

Still, the inventors have graphs to prove it:

Not to mention a catchy yet mis-italicized slogan which the inventor delivers like a threat:

(I think you meant to italicize "much.")

Hey, sometimes a little play is good.  My wide tolerances are the only reason I don't fall apart completely.

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San Jose Vision Zero Report 2015

Earlier today, the city of San Jose released it’s 2015 street safety report during an event in which they also announced the City Department of Transportation (SJDOT) “Vision Zero San Jose ASAP” Initiative. The report details street safety statistics, and immediate and future initiatives.

District 6 representative Pierluigi Oliviero proposed a city-wide Vision Zero policy earlier this year, seeking to prioritize street safety for all road users — whether you walk, bike, drive, or ride transit. Since then, city DOT officials have taken policy direction from the Mayor’s office and the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee to create a Vision Zero San Jose program and encourage a “safety first” culture to make safer streets a reality.

Vision Zero San Jose AS

What is Vision Zero?

In 1997, the Swedish government introduced “Vision Zero” as a street safety policy to eliminate all traffic fatalities for all transportation modes. The initial goal was to eliminate fatalities by 2020—Sweden has since adjusted their reduction target to 50% by 2020 and to zero deaths by 2050.

Over the past decade, many European nations have adopted Vision Zero programs and have achieved significant fatality reductions, for example: Sweden (39%), Switzerland (41%), Germany (45%), France (48%) and Spain (53%). In the state of California, the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Mateo have adopted Vision Zero policies.

The effectiveness of Vision Zero comes from a “safety first” collaboration among political leaders, roadway designers and managers, traffic enforcement agencies, vehicle manufacturers, transit operators, government regulators, educators, public health officials, community advocates, and the public.

Vision Zero San Jose

The city of San Jose announced its “Vision Zero San Jose ASAP” initiative today, with six core principles to guide the Department of Transportation and San Jose Police Department in setting policy. These core principles are:

  1. Traffic deaths are preventable and unacceptable.
  2. Human life takes priority over mobility and other objectives of the road system. The street system should be safe for all users, for all modes of transportation, in all communities and for people of all ages and abilities.
  3. Human error is inevitable and unpredictable; the transportation system should be designed to anticipate error so the consequence is not severe injury or death. Advancements in vehicle design and technology are a necessary com-
    ponent toward avoiding the safety impacts of human errors and poor behaviors.
  4. People are inherently vulnerable and speed is a fundamental predictor of crash survival. The transportation system should be designed for speeds that protect human life.
  5. Safe human behaviors, education and enforcement are essential contributors to a safe system.
  6. Policies at all levels of government need to align with making safety the highest priority for roadways.

The SJDOT Vision Zero 2015 report notes that San Jose ranks as the second safest large city in California, with an injury crash rate half that of the state average. Still, this results in 40 deaths and 150 serious injuries each year out of 2,400 crashes resulting in 3,200 injuries. SJDOT assesses in their report that “these aren’t ‘accidents.’ Traffic crashes are mostly the result of poor choices, along with roadway designs that in the past have focused on the efficiency, speed, and convenience of motorists.”

San Jose Car Crash

In developing the Vision Zero initiative, SJDOT noted that 50% of traffic fatalities occur on just 3% of the city’s streets. These streets include portions of Almaden Expressway, Alum Rock Avenue, Blossom Hill Road, Branham Lane, Capitol Expressway, Jackson Avenue, King Road, McKee Road, McLaughlin Avenue, Monterey Road, Senter Road, Story Road, Tully Road, and White Road.

During the Vision Zero launch, Mayor Sam Liccardo acknowledged that the days of planning for unrestricted motorized mobility at the expense of safety and quality of life are behind us.

“We like to be Number One in most things,” quipped Liccardo, “but I have a new number to aim for: Zero.”

SJDOT Director Hans Larsen outlined his department’s role in designing for all modes of mobility, with several road diet projects already completed and more in the pipeline throughout San Jose. District 2 Council Member Ash Kalra discussed how technology can be used to improve safety for all road users, while District 6 Council Member Pierluigi Oliviero discussed enforcement policies.

SJPD Deputy Chief David Knopf indicated his department’s commitment to improved traffic enforcement, especially in the high collision areas highlighted in today’s Vision Zero report. SJPD will look at automated red light enforcement at “hot spot” intersections, especially in the vicinity of county expressways. Knopf also highlighted his department’s role in education.

Vice Mayor Rose Herrera talked about the importance of community involvement. She also announced the creation of the Vision Zero Task Force, led by Jaime Fearer of California Walks and Colin Heyne of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

While the SJDOT has already moved forward on Vision Zero policies, at this writing the policy for city-wide consideration is under discussion at the City Council Transportation and Environment Committee. After this committee hearing, the policy moves on to the full council for discussion.

I’m looking forward to reading next year’s Vision Zero report to see what the city of San Jose has accomplished.

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Bike Expo Part I: I Expo’d Myself!

I am pleased to announce I survived Bike Expo New York.  For a normal person this would be no big deal.  However, I am a solitary creature, so attending a bike expo for two (2) whole days is nothing short of a social maelstrom.

It all started on Friday, when I contemplated a seductively blue sky and considered how I would get down to the Expo.  See, the show was way down on the end of Manhattan's wingtip, whereas I live all the way up in Manhattan's fedora.  That's a distance of roughly 20 miles.

Inasmuch as I'm a semi-professional bike blogger it seemed exceedingly lame to take the subway to the show, yet as a full-time lazy person who was saving up all his energy to CRUSH IT!!! on the sub-epic ride the next morning I simply didn't feel like riding the whole way.  Fortunately, I am currently testing out a Brompton, so I figured I'd do the whole genteel multi-modal thing and ride to the Metro North.

Lest you think this makes me some kind of a "woosie," keep in mind that riding to the nearest Metro North station to my home involves summiting the highest natural point in the Bronx and indeed the second-highest peak in all of New York City, a town famous for its mountains:

(Ascending the Cima Coppi.  Can you believe there's no snow up here?)

Let's also remember I was riding a bike with only two (2) speeds.  Fortunately, as the 183rd-fastest singlespeeder IN THE WORLD according to my SSWC '08 keychain, I crested the ridge without too much difficulty and then hit the screaming descent to the river:

(Note porta-potty for those about to soil themselves in fear.)

Please note I refrained from taking any photos past this point, because while the Brompton is a joy to ride it is still a folding bike, which means the front end is more susceptible to rider input than a "normal" bike--which in turn means if you're riding down a hill one-handed at 20+ mph and you hit a bump you'll leave a big red streak with your face all the way down to the bottom.

However, the Brompton will go down just fine as long as you keep both hands on the bars and look out for giant holes (oh my god that sounded filthy), and because I did both I arrived at the station unscathed:

Even though I wasn't wearing a helme(n)t, for the simple reason that wearing a helment on a folding bike is pathetic.

You're goddamn right it's about looks.

Sartorially speaking, wearing a helment while riding a folding bike is like wearing safety goggles to light a menorah.

As I waited for the train I gazed upriver and basked in the idyll of a beautiful spring day:

In fact it was so idyllic that these picturesque waterfowl paddled by:

Not all swans mate for life, but it is true that they're the only Anatidae who enter into prenuptial agreements.

From there I rode the Metro North to Grand Central, and from Grand Central I headed down to the Expo.  I had time to spare, and so I wasn't even remotely stressed when I got stuck behind a Citi Bike redistribution flotilla:

Now that looks like hard work.

Upon my arrival at the Expo I folded the Brompton (I've gotten the fold completely down, though I'm not quite at competition level) and walked right past the bike valet parking, but--IRONY!--they wouldn't let me in with it:

Yep, that's right, they wouldn't let me take a folding bike into a bike show.

So I simply lied and explained that I was an exhibitor and the bike was part of my display, and in we went.

Apparently to own a Brompton you've got to be a good liar, which is why you should never trust a Bromptoneer--to wit:

(Roberto Heras: doper and Brompton enthusiast.)

Anyway, I knew I was in the right place because where else in Manhattan are you going to find Freds on Stilts?

Since I was early, I took a little time to browse the Expo.  My first stop was the photo booth, where I undercut the professionals by taking my own souvenir photos and offering to text them to people for half price:

See that?  It's like they're right there!

Next, I checked out this Taiwanese folding bike display:

As I did so, the Brompton harrumphed indignantly, like a gentleman in a bowler hat who's just been served a sandwich with a mouse tail sticking out of it.

There was also a poorly-attended flat repair class:

A pair of preternaturally oscillating aero bars:

People rubbing other people with sticks:

And apparatus for portaging children on bicycles:

I own two children and I own a singlespeed On-One bicycle, but never in a million years would I consider combining those two things, because there's no way I'd get that over a hill without falling over.

Then I walked by the packet pickup area for the Five Boro Bike Tour:

If you're unfamiliar with the Five Boro Bike Tour, it's the reason your non-cycling coworker thinks a bicycle race is 30,000 people wearing pinnies and riding slowly on hybrids.

Since it was still early on Friday the Expo was not yet crowded, so not only was it an ideal time to pick up your Bike Tour packet, but it was also a perfect opportunity to have the beer garden to yourself:

I could have easily parked myself there for a few hours, but instead I presented myself at the Walz booth, where I was touched to find they had made a sign for me and everything:

Gamely, I assumed the position:

Over the next two days I was honored to receive various visitors at my table.  For example, a representative of Chia Squeeze stopped by and presented me with some samples of their wares:

I have no idea if chia is one of those water-intensive crops that is helping drain California dry even though nobody even really wants to eat it.  However, I did ask her if it was chia like the pet.  I then observed, "I bet everyone makes that reference, right?"  She assured me they did not, and that's when I realized that people who know what a Chia Pet is are old.

I was also pleased to meet Yvonne Bambrick, author of the Urban Cycling Survival Guide:

If you're keen on both riding bikes in cities and surviving then you'd be stupid not to check it out.

I even got to meet Leroy's dog's owner, who gave me this moving card:

I appreciated the gesture, and the card will go well with the turd he left in the back seat.

Some other old friends stopped by as well, but by that point I think I may have been suffering from exhibition hall-induced delirium:

And so I unfurled the Brompton and headed back towards Grand Central, a journey which took me past the Manhattan-side landing of the Williamsburg Bridge bike path, where the Channel 11 News Team was hanging around and trolling for cyclists:

Specifically, they wanted to know if anyone was planning to ride the Five Boro Bike Tour.  Had they gotten an affirmative response from anyone I assume they would have proceeded to stick a microphone in the cyclist's face and ask stupid questions:

("Will you stop at red lights?  Do you wear a helment?")

Naturally I ignored him, then the light changed, and I was halfway down the block when I realized I should have answered yes and explained that my name was Lawrence Orbach and I was totally going to destroy the ride again this year.

I really blew it there, that's for sure.

Then it was the usual assortment of bike lane obstructions, like this douchebag from Jersey who was hunting and pecking at his smartphone:

As well as the NYPD, who go nuclear when it comes to bike lane blockage:

See that?

I assume they were hanging out there because of protest activity in nearby Union Square, and I didn't dare get any closer to take a picture because you never know when the police are feeling "arresty."

I'm sorry to say some of my fellow cyclists also behaved in a vexing manner, and I was very nearly sideswiped on at least two occasions by this overzealous "bro:"

Notice the schmutz on my jacket:

In case you're wondering what it is, there's a 50/50 chance it's either seasonal allergy mucus or baby puke.

Finally, I made it to Grand Central, where I cowered with the rest of the "foldies:"

As you can see, we're an iconoclastic breed, but those of us who ride Bromptons do tend to keep shod:

And yes, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  My shoes certainly do match the bike.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Expo, and if you want to know what happened on Saturday's rides stay tuned for "Bike Expo II: The Search for Fred."
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San Jose Bicycle Festival photos

The 2015 San Jose Bicycle Festival took place Sunday at Kelley Park in San Jose, CA.

Jill, Mike and Doug

Turnout and participation was much better than I anticipated and included all types of people on all types of bikes representing a good cross-section of San Jose. I loved it.

During the bike festival, Viva CalleSJ announced the six mile 2015 route for their open streets event coming up in October. VTA invited the public to comment on how they would spend $300 million on bicycling facilities, which is what VTA anticipates budgeting for bikes over the next five years; more about that later as I review the 2016/2017 VTA budget. There was a meeting of BPACs that I missed because Sunday is a busy day for me.

History San Jose organized the festival with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Their Silicon Valley Bikes: Passion, Innovation & Politics Since 1880 Exhibit continues at Kelley Park through July 26.

If you missed it, I have a short slideshow of highlights here. You can find an even larger collection of photos from the festival at Sheldon Hamrick’s Facebook page. Please feel free to leave a link to your photos and comments if you shot any from the bike festival.

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Cool Copenhagen Cruisers

We have a few custom cruiser bikes cruising Copenhagen streets in the weekends showing off their...

For the full photographic glory and the rest of the text, you know where to go. The Original Cycle Chic awaits.
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