Cyclelicious 2014-10-24 18:11:31

Friday’s Pro Tip: Don’t try to bike through a police barricade when a maniac in the national capital starts shooting. Even Canadian law enforcement will take you down, albeit politely and with utmost professionalism.

More bike news below the photo of cyclist Bernard Desgagne on the ground.

Back in the Reagan era, bike lights consisted mostly of 3 to 6 volt incandescent bulbs powered by D cells or bottle dynamos. For a while, I also strapped a portable fluorescent lamp to my top tube. This lamp, intended for car camping use, was powered by eight D cell batteries and gave maybe 45 minutes of light. I hoped this lamp enveloped me in a soft glow to enhance my overall conspicuity.

This seems to be the idea behind this Kickstarter for a 360 light, which is significantly brighter than my old camping lamp. I really really like the idea. Single lights for $119 are still available through this fully funded Kickstarter, with a front and back kit costing you $229.

Orfos 360 degree bicycle lights

There’s this guy in Salt Lake City who pedals (yes, pedals, not peddles) a wheeled piano.

Made in USA denim cycling jeans from Upright Cyclist. These jeans are built in a burly 12.5 ounce heavyweight, dark indigo Cone denim loomed in the U.S. and sewn in Los Angeles.

How did people start complaining that the world’s toughest road bike race is too tough to ride?

Path homicide leads to increased path security. Note how different this is from the New Jersey response, which is to close the pedestrian walkway when they have problems.

Golden Gate Bridge District proposal to charge pedestrians and cyclists who cross the bridge out of step with Bay Area values.

Singletrack Magazine explains how to convert your fatbike to tubeless.

Carnage in Sacramento kills three: I’m trying to figure out the sequence of events described in this story involving a wrong way cyclist and out-of-control SUV. It seems the SUV driver was also going against traffic, so this was a rear-end collision? The driver was reportedly traveling 50 MPH through a heavily residential street signed for 35 MPH. The article mentions a bike lane, but the only “bike lane” is a narrow, striped shoulder on northbound Howe.

a 53-year-old woman was southbound on Howe Avenue north of Burney, riding a bicycle the wrong direction in the northbound bicycle lane , when a 2008 Chevy Tahoe drifted to the left across traffic lanes and struck her.

The rider, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown more than 100 feet. The SUV ran over the bicycle, but not the cyclist, then hit a tree, Hertzell said. A female passenger in the SUV, who was not wearing a seat belt, struck her head on the windshield and was thrown into the back of the SUV, he said.

Hertzell said the SUV burst into flames when it hit the tree.

Why does this San Jose police car have a police bike from Hayward? I wanted to ask the officer who stepped out of this car, but he was busy talking with a citizen on the sidewalk and I needed to get going. Note the headbadge on this bike, too, along with the handcuffs used to secure the bike to the trunk rack.


Hayward police bike on a San Jose police car?

Factodesign on a cheap inexpensive yet beautiful bike.

Bike safety checks for children in Menlo Park, California.

Talking Headways podcast on those missing from the bike advocacy conversation.

A new glove design puts the high viz where you really need it.

Stevil’s collection of bikeless cyclists. I think they’re fake.

Prefectural governor in Japan wants mandatory insurance for cyclists.

Tom Babin’s book about winter cycling Frostbike is now available in a dead tree edition in the USA, which might work better as a Christmas gift than the electronic edition.

Speaking of Tom, he answers the common question: Why is that annoying cyclist on the road instead of on that nearby path?

Have a wonderful weekend, all. Note to Northern California cyclists: Rain this weekend!

Categories: Quick news | Leave a comment

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

So yesterday I was flipping through an actual paper newspaper and I came across this New York Times "Style" feature on the phenomenon of non-bikey bikey clothes:


(Obviously this is the digital version, I saved the analog version to stuff in my Sidis when they get wet.)

The movement in the United States signifies a big shift from a decade ago, before bike lanes spread like kudzu in cities across the country. In those days, big-city cycling was generally a commando affair for bike messengers and other urban warriors. No wonder safety gear tended to be drably utilitarian in spirit, like military armor. Now that pedal-pushing professionals, many of them style-conscious women, are gliding down the streets, a next-generation biker wardrobe seems overdue.

Ordinarily I might scoff at this sort of froofiness, but after weeks of reading about cyclists terrorizing Central Park and drivers running over pretty much everybody I was actually relieved to read something about bikes that was utterly non-controversial--not to mention it's the "Style" section so what do you expect?  Also, my wife was looking over my shoulder and announced she wants this red "riding dress," but she's gonna have to fight me for it because it would look absolutely smashing on me:


"Rowr!," I growled at her, miming cat's claws as I shielded the paper from her view.

I would also totally wear this "Lightning Vest" with nothing else:





The technology is based on Acme’s Tornado whistle, engineered through the principle of wave interference – meaning it can produce a highpitched, high volume sound without the need for any moving parts. The shape of the whistle also prevents it from being pushed into the wearer’s mouth in case of a fall. The nylon neckband comes tied with a safety break free knot. It sits securely around your neck but if you pull it off with a quick snap, the knot will break.

I'd like to know the last time a cyclist either choked to death on a whistle, was inadvertently hanged by the lanyard from which it dangled, or both.  I'm also sure that, were a cyclist to actually die this way, the media would still go out of their way to point out whether or not he or she was wearing a helment.

Furthermore, you wouldn't think anybody would still need instructions on how to use a whistle, and you also wouldn't think those instructions would sound so lurid:

Blow softly for a gentle alert or hard for a loud warning. Keep it around your neck at all times and leave it resting on your lip when traveling through a particularly busy area.

It's simultaneously phallic and also evocative of that Star Wars guy's head tentacle:


(He rests it on his lip when traveling through a particularly busy area.)

Another product I learned about from the article was this "CitySeat" artisanal bike share bike seat cover:


I think they'll sell a million of these things if they start a rumor that Citi Bikes spread Ebola and that the CitySeat is your only defense.  Yes, everybody is freaking out that a guy in New York City now has Ebola, and while I hate to recycle my own Tweets this one encapsulates my feelings on the situation:
Nevertheless, everybody's obsessed with where Dr. Ebola has been over the last few days:


The High Line?  Bowling in Williamsburg?  Jogging?  All in the same week?!?  I had no idea anybody in New York City actually lived this way, I thought that was only in rom-coms.

In any case, it says a lot about people that, instead of saying "Wow, I hope the doctor who risked his own life to help people will recover!," they're instead worrying that they caught Ebola off a subway pole like a bunch of idiots.

Get over it.  Basically, if you went to any of the places above and rubbed your faces in any puddles of vomit or diarrhea--or maybe you went bowling at The Gutter in Williamsburg that night and then blew this guy in the bathroom--you should be very concerned.  Otherwise, worry about something that's actually pretty likely to kill you in New York City.  You know, like a car:


But that would require common sense.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right that's nice, and if you're wrong you'll hear Dracula sing the "Cyclist's Anthem."

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and don't use that bowling ball or CitiBike if it's smeared with puke, blood, or crap.


--Wildcat Rock Machine





("A new car!!!")

1)How much to run down a cyclist with your SUV in New York City?

--$2,500
--$1,000
--$250
--$100



2) If you announce your intentions beforehand and then run down a cyclist with your SUV in New York City, you will get in real trouble, because it proves premeditation.

--True
--False




3) The key to immortality is:

--Riding between 75-200 miles per week
--Regular blood transfusions
--Being a retrogrouch
--Hot-tubbing with Steve Guttenberg







4) The 2015 Tour de France route was unveiled this week.  Which is this year's route map?

--This one:


--This one:


--This one:



--This one:










5) In banning Lance Armstrong from the Hincapie Gran Fondo, USA Cylcling is now one step closer to also claiming authority over the discipline of "Cat 6" racing.

--True
--False





(The boys enjoying Hincapie's "platinum package.")

6) Which of the following is not included in the $10,000 Hincapie Gran Fondo "Platinum Package?"

--Helicopter from airport
--Security team
--A Lexus
--Special one-on-one opportunity to give Tom Danielson "the finger"







7) Trading eyes is a good way to get Ebola.

--True
--False


***Special "A Bicycle?!?  That's Political Suicide!"--Themed Bonus Video***




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The Piano Pedaler

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By Rachel Krause, photos by Grant Hindsley.

A Salt Lake City man’s piano bike blurs the line between bikes and music.

“You don’t see that everyday.”

“That’s one way to do it.”

“Is that a… piano? On a bike?”

Eric Rich is used to hearing these responses when he plays his piano at the Downtown Salt Lake City Farmers’ Market. Each week he transports his piano back home with him. On his bike.

In 2010, Eric Rich saw a friend’s band perform at the farmers’ market, and learned they racked in $800 in one day. “Maybe I can go and make money doing what I really love.” He talked to his brother who was a welder, and in three days they built a bike with a piano trailer.

The first piano bike was built out of an old Weser Brothers piano he found through the classifieds, some wheelbarrow wheels, a fork, and a headset. Rich, who picked up the keyboard and piano about eight years ago to fill in for some recordings for some hardcore punk bands, loves that he is able to transport the piano through his own power, without a middleman or boss. He doesn’t describe himself as an hardcore cyclist, but is a car-free bike commuter. “My favorite part about bikes is the idea of it—that you’re the fuel to it,” Rich says. “I also love the design aspect of it.”

The bike he currently rides is not the original piano bike. After a rough winter when the bike fell into disrepair, Rich decided it was time to make a new piano bike. “Design-wise, it was important for me to make it integrated. The old one had too many pieces, this one would be one connected piece. That was my number one goal. I lost so much power with just rolling resistance. Building this new bike was about making it more efficient and making the gear ratio lower so I can take it more places.”

Rich started a Kickstarter fund in 2013 to purchase a better quality Yamaha piano and raised more than $6000. After raising the money, he spent months scouring the internet for special parts. Much of it came from Amazon and Saturday Cycles in Salt Lake City, which specializes in randounneur and touring bikes. In the end he spent about $5000. And it was worth every penny. The original bike only had one back wheel, which made it fairly unstable. The new bike has two back wheels. The original bike had cantilever brakes in the front only. The new bike has a disc brake in the front and two disc brakes in the back.

The current piano weighs in at about 380 pounds and the entire bike is about 420 pounds. Rich plays all of his own compositions (although he added a Yann Tiersen song to his repertoire recently.) For the most part, he says people are widely positive about the bike, although he will encounter the aggravated motorist who thinks Rich is taking up too much room on the street.

He recently rode the piano bike up and down a canyon road, a feat he doesn’t consider easy by any imagination. “I took it up a little canyon for a wedding, and when I rode down it was very very difficult. With the center of gravity so high and the road tilted, it could easily lose traction.”

Rich plays weekly at the Downtown Farmers Market, as well as other festivals and conventions, including the Sundance Film Festival in Park City. The farthest he has taken it was to Columbia, Missouri, for the True/False Film Festival in the spring of 2013. He transported it in an enclosed trailer that was donated to him by his family’s neighbor. One day he hopes to be able to make trips like that by the power of his own bike.

Rich has been designing a Piano Bike 3.0 that would be capable of cross country travel.

“I love designing things,” he says. “For the bike, the biggest challenge is making it narrow enough but also wide enough so it doesn’t tip over. The design challenge is very interesting. The physical challenge is also very interesting to me. I just want to see if it’s possible.”

Rich has been researching options and designing a new model. Piano Bike 3.0 would use a carbon fiber piano, which albeit very expensive, would weigh less than half what a traditional piano weighs.

For now, Rich will keep playing at the farmers’ market until later this fall, and then has plans to start an ensemble and has purchased some new percussion equipment in hopes of playing with others soon. “The piano bike is really hard on my body, my back and wrists start to get very sore. I like to be able to switch it up.”

In the long term, Rich hopes to get a sponsorship (carbon fiber pianos cost about $100,000) in order to make his dream become reality. “I want to address all the physical and design challenges of riding a piano bike across the country, but in the end, I want to share design and music with people that will hopefully inspire others to be creative.”

Originally published in Urban Velo #44, October 2014. Written by Rachel Krause, photos by Grant Hindsley. Contact us at brad@urbanvelo.org with your feature story pitch.

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Categories: Magazine, News & Views | Leave a comment

Seattle Aftermass Discussion

It’s quite long at nearly an hour of panel discussion, but if this is your sort of thing, Joe Biel from Microcosm Publishing and the creator of the documentary, Aftermass, discusses the video and the changing dynamics related to cycling in a post-critical mass society.

Categories: Video | Leave a comment

Surly Wants Women Product Testers

Deadline Surly wants female product testers, and boatloads of email to sort through from people wanting to hop on the free product gravy train.

So here’s the deal, Surly is in need of female bodies to wear and tear the new goods. There is a criteria for this. If you meet this criteria then please reach out. If you do not meet this criteria please do not.

Check the qualifications and if you think you fit apply within at the Surly Blog.

Categories: News & Views | Leave a comment

Levi’s Stadium pilots trail entry for Cal – Oregon game Friday


Oregon Ducks vs Cal Bears

After meeting with community representatives and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition board member Scott Lane, the city of Santa Clara and Levi’s Stadium management agreed to a limited trial to open the San Tomas Aquino Trail between Agnew Road and the south side of the Great America lot near Gate C.

For events with over 20,000 participants at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, policy has been to close the popular San Tomas Aquino Trail between Agnew Road and Tasman Drive, as shown in red in the below map. People who walk or bike along the trail must take the detour shown in green, adding 1400 yards through busy parking lot traffic to those who travel between Tasman and Agnew.


San Tomas Aquino Trail closed by Levi's Stadium

Santa Clara police chief Mike Sellers met with Scott Lane of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, mayoral candidate Deborah Bress, Santa Clara BPAC member Craig Larsen, bike activist Andrew Boone, and myself to discuss the impact of the closure on trail users. Sellers and stadium management agreed to a partial opening of the trail in this pilot.

“Working with cool heads, we’ve been working step by step together with the SCPD, Santa Clara through the Bike Advisory Committee, and the Forty Niners Stadium Management Company in a whirlwind fashion that has required a lot of commitment from all parties,” said SVBC board member Scott Lane.

For Friday’s game, only cyclists with tickets to the California vs Oregon game can travel on the trail north of Agnew to a new valet bike parking location near Gate C at the south side of the Great America parking lot.

The trail will be closed to all traffic between 9 AM and 3 PM on Friday, October 24, 2014 for a security sweep, and will open only to cyclists with game tickets after 3 PM. Those with “will call” tickets, all pedestrians (including those with game tickets), and all other trail users without tickets in hand will be required to continue using the trail detour. The existing bike valet along Tasman Drive approaching Gate A will continue to be staffed.

This is a big first step and we appreciate the work of Chief Sellers, his assistant Chief Phil Cooke, 49ers VP of Operations Jim Mercurio, and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition bike valet volunteers for making this happen with just three days of work. Even with this pilot, however, the all day closure on a weekday will impact a significant number of trail users. We will continue to lobby to keep the trail open during all events.

One of the problems with the detour has been the heavy tour bus traffic. Santa Clara PD and stadium management are now aware of the issue and say they will work to clear the bus congestion in the parking lots and on Stars and Stripes Drive. They will also watch for illegal bus parking in those areas along the bike and pedestrian detour.

This is an interesting day for a pilot. The game will likely be lightly attended because (1) Levi’s Stadium is 50 miles from the University of California, Berkeley, and (2) kickoff happens during Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park.

VTA will also make adjustments for this Friday night game. The crowds will arrive during the evening commute. VTA will continue to provide regular commute service during this peak travel time as well as direct service trains to the stadium. For commuters, this means your trip home will remain the same. For stadium-goers, this means there will be direct light rail trains to the stadium from the Alum Rock and Santa Teresa lines before the game. For everyone, this means planning ahead and leaving extra time. For full details, read the VTA headways blog.

Finally, SVBC still needs several volunteers for the Friday night game. Please sign up to help make this happen!

Berkeley and Eugene are both known for their high population of bike hippies. How many of their alums will bike to a Friday night game?

Important notes about San Tomas Aquino Trail pilot opening
  • Trail will be closed to all traffic 9 AM to 3 PM, Friday, October 24, 2014.
  • San Tomas Aquino Trail will open only to those on bike with tickets in hand to the Cal – Oregon game. Security personnel will know to wave cyclists through on the trail at Agnew.
  • To discourage people from parking in neighborhoods south of the stadium, pedestrians will still be required to take the detour to access stadium entries at the north side of the stadium.
  • Bicyclists with tickets will park their bikes at the valet bike parking near the electric vehicle charging stations, proceed through the security check and magnetometers, and will be held to the same criteria (e.g. bag policy) as the balance of the stadium attendees.
  • The trail will reopen to all users shortly after the game.
  • THIS IS A PILOT PROGRAM SO PLEASE DON’T BE A JERK FACE TO THE SECURITY PERSONNEL MANNING THE CHECKPOINT AT AGNEW. They’re just doing their jobs.
Categories: News | Leave a comment

Cycling Under Attack! Things Are Tough All Over




So how much would you pay to run a cyclist down with your SUV in the Most Bike-Friendly City In America?  $1,500?  $1,000?  $500?  Well, if you act now, you can run down the annoying cyclist of your choice in New York City for the low, low price of $250.  That's only 5,306,250 Vietnamese Dong!


Of course, the cyclist did give the flat-brimmed fucktard the finger, so obviously he deserved to die:

According to Vaccaro and a witness affidavit [PDF], at around 5:00 p.m. on July 13, 2013, Michael (not his actual name) was riding his bike on Avenue B on the Lower East Side. Avenue B is a narrow two-way street with no bike lanes and parking on both sides. To avoid being doored, Michael was riding in the center of his lane. When a motorist approached Michael from behind, tailgating and honking, he responded by flipping the driver off.

Approaching the intersection of Avenue B and E. 13th Street, Michael slowed for a red light. According to the affidavit, the driver, still behind him, accelerated, striking the back of Michael’s bike and flipping him over the handlebars, causing him to hit his head on the ground. With Michael in the street bleeding from his face and head, the motorist swerved around him and attempted to drive off. A second motorist on the opposite side of the intersection tried to block the way, but the SUV driver went around the vehicle and left the scene.

Witnesses noted the SUV’s plate number, and the driver was identified by NYPD as 33-year-old Jose Henriquez, of Queens.

I'm not sure why the SUV driver attempted to escape, given the fact it's perfectly legal to mow down cyclists here in New York City.  Indeed, this turned out to be his fatal mistake, for the New York County District Attorney meted out justice in typical fashion and now he'll have to dip into his gold chain and body spray fund:

But on Monday afternoon, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case notified Vaccaro and Michael that, after consulting with her supervisor, Vance’s office offered to allow Henriquez to plead to leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Henriquez accepted and was sentenced to a fine of $250.

Yep, $250 for what basically amounts to attempted murder.  That's not even a slap on the wrist--basically they just tickled his balls.  Then again, prosecutors are in a bind, since they have to make sure there's enough room in the prisons for all those low-level drug offenders.

This city should not be receiving accolades from cycling magazines.  We should be receiving sanctions from the United Nations.  Unfortunately that will never happen, since nobody benefits more from our motor-vehicular free-for-all than diplomats:


If you're ever riding in New York City and encounter a motor vehicle with diplomatic plates, my advice to you is to immediately take cover under the nearest parked car or subway grate until it passes, because a diplomat driver makes even the most maniacal cabbie look like a senior citizen on a Hoveround.

Meanwhile, down in the Land Frumunda, a reader informs me the guy running for Lord Mayor of Adelaide hates bikes with almost Rob Fordian passion, and to that end he proposed a 13 point "Car Friendly City Action Plan:"



First, he's going to get rid of the bike lanes:

CYCLING LANE POLICY

“It’s insane giving a staggeringly small 0.8% of people 
20% of the road space.”

The proliferation of cycling lanes is out of control.

Everyday 130,000 workers commute into the city, predominantly by car (91%), by public 
transport (8%), and by bicycle, (a staggeringly small 0.8%).

Cycling lanes take up around 20% of effective roadway and numerous on-street car parks have 
been removed to make them. How did we end up with so many cycling lanes in Adelaide where 
there is clearly not the demand. The current Lord Mayor is driving this agenda at the expense of 
easy car access to the city.

Wow, 20% of the roadway in Adelaide is set aside for bikes?  That has to be an exaggeration.  I don't think even Amsterdam has that many bike lanes.  Either way, for good measure he's also going to make sure you have to wear your helment at all times, because he knows this is the absolute best way to prevent the growth of cycling while simultaneously pretending to care about cyclists:

Finally, Mark Hamilton supports the helmet law and won’t allow it to be rolled back in the 
future if he’s Lord Mayor.

Then, just in case you you decide "Fuck it, I'll just take the bus," he wants to get rid of bus lanes too:

“Just 8% of people use public transport. 
This will not change for generations. 
The rest must suffer inconvenience.”

He'll make a great Lord Vader.  I mean Lord Mayor.  If he fails to get elected, he should definitely move to Staten Island where residents would gladly make him their king.

Even in Portland, sub-Canada's erstwhile cycling nirvana, the situation continues to devolve, and recently some kind of AED (Artisanal Explosive Device) was discovered near Forest Park:


The Portland Police called in the bomb squad Saturday night to disarm an explosive device connected to a tripwire strung across a trail that leads into Forest Park.

According to a statement released this morning by the PPB, the tripwire was strung across Firelane 3, a wooded and overgrown old fire access road located east of NW Thompson Rd and accessible via Skyline Road from Thunder Crest Drive. Firelane 3 is open to bicycling and walking.

Here's the original report from The Oregonian, which tells the story of how the device was discovered:

But last Thursday the carefree walk from their Forest Heights home took a bizarre turn.

As they headed down toward the main trail, two men passed them. One was on a cellphone. Both men were sketchy and "were definitely not hikers,'' Colbach said. "It set off the hair on the back of my neck. They stuck out like a sore thumb."

Just before the couple entered the park with their Plott hound, Rhoda, Jennifer Colbach noticed a length of parachute cord stretched across the trail. They were headed toward Firelane No. 3 from the 4000 block of Northwest Thunder Crest Road off Northwest Skyline Boulevard.

"My wife said, 'Be careful here,' and she stepped over the cord," Mike Colbach said. "The dog stepped on it."

The line went slack and Jennifer Colbach noticed something move in the woods off to their right.

They continued on their walk and then went home. But the more Mike Colbach pondered the incident, the more it bugged him. So he went back Saturday.

What he found was chilling: The parachute cord was rigged to a three-quarter-inch-diameter pipe — open at one end, closed at the other — attached to a tree. There appeared to be a firing pin at the closed end. The cord was attached to a beer bottle that was supposed to swing down and strike the firing pin at the back of the device when the cord was tripped.

So they discovered the device on Thursday and didn't do anything about it Saturday?

The police might wanna take a look at these two is all I'm saying.

Lastly, Lance Armstrong may not be able to ride in George Hincapie's Gran Fondo after all:



Lance Armstrong may not, as previously reported, participate at the Gran Fondo Hincapie this weekend in South Carolina, due to the event’s sanctioning through USA Cycling.

Because of his lifetime ban, Armstrong is prohibited from participating in any event sanctioned by any signatory to the World Anti-Doping [WADA] Code.

What is at question is the status of the gran fondo, and how that lifetime ban applies.

Seems like time and money well spent on the part of USA Cycling.

Categories: cycling | Leave a comment

Kickstarter – Orfos Lights


Orfos is running a Kickstarter to fund the production of their bike lights with 360 degree visibility, a unique feature for current lighting systems. They attach by, what look to be, incredibly strong magnets and rival car lights in brightness. The current funding tiers are essentially pre-orders for either a front or rear light with the option to buy both, however, at $119 each (rising to $140 after Kickstarter) I wonder what demographic will pay at this price point. Still, the 360 degree feature is an innovation most light manufacturers should consider.

Categories: Video | Leave a comment

Upright Cyclist New 12.5 oz Riding Denim

Photo by Jeremy J MatthewsThe Upright Cyclist 12.5 oz Riding Denim pants are sewn in Los Angeles from American-made Cone denim. The cuffs have an internal reflective panel for visibility when rolled.

Available in 32, 33, 34 and 36 waist sizes, all come pre-hemmed in a standard 34” inseam length. Retail is $119. Check out www.uprightcyclist.com

Photo by Jeremy J Matthews, jeremyjmatthews.virb.com

Categories: Product News | Leave a comment

Bike Mechanic: Tales From the Road and the Workshop

Bike Mechanic: Tales From the Road and the Workshop covers the history and the work for bicycle mechanics who work the professional pro peloton.


Bike Mechanic: Tales from the road and the workshop.   This book is interesting in a way I did not expect .

Written and photographed by the road cycling loving nerds behind Roleur Magazine, this 272 page book includes about 150 pages of workshop and tool porn. Author Guy Andrews devotes two pages to the humble quick release lever, and a full ten pages to tubular tires.


6 full pages of photos about tubular tires in the book _Bike Mechanic_ published by VeloPress

While this book is not strictly a how-to guide, Guy covers the essential tools of bike maintenance. Everything from tire repair to the most beautifully illustrated guide to cutting steerer tubes that I’ve seen are covered in the repair basics.

We learn the history of neutral support (accidentally invented by Manufacture d’Articles Vélocipédiques Idoux et Chanel — Mavic — when a team director’s car broke down before a race); we see the workshops used by pro teams; we learn how to drive support cars amongst a bunched crowd at racing speeds; and exhortations to “Don’t try this at home, kids; we’re professionals with years of experience and training.”

But we’re enthusiasts, too, so you know we’re gonna try.

Bike Mechanic published by VELO Press will be available November 1, 2014. Look for it at your local bike shop, or pre-order now from Amazon, Powells, or from Bookshop Santa Cruz.\

For those of you thinking of gift ideas for Christmas, this one makes a reasonably priced present for the bike addict in your life.

Disclosure: VELO Press routinely sends me new books in exchange for consideration. The ones I really like get a full page workup. I have a backlog of other books to review if somebody would like to give it a shot – find me at SF Bike Expo on November 22 if you’d like to talk shop.

Categories: book | Leave a comment