BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Firstly, I've been remiss in welcoming EH Works back to the right-hand margin:

Unfurling a fine handmade tool roll is such a pleasure I find myself almost hoping for a flat:

So order one for yourself if you haven't already, and if you have then order another one because who the hell has only one bike?

Also, they make lovely gifts.

Remember: anything else is just carrying your crap around in a plastic bag.

Secondly, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right you're right, and if you're wrong you'll see a c-c-c-c-r-r-r-r-a-a-a-a-s-s-s-s-h-h-h-h.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and Happy Mother's Day.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

(Is it really "disrupting" if you were there first?)

1) Which is not a reason Horace Dediu, a "prominent analyst of disruptive technologies," gives to support  the idea that bikes will "disrupt" cars?

--"You can park a bicycle in your home or your office."
--They're "more affordable per mile."
--"Whenever I open my mouth about electric bicycles, the enthusiasm I get back is literally deafening."
--"What?  I can't hear you because I'm literally deaf from the enthusiasm generated by electric bicycles."

2) When you need to speed up in order to catch the green light, "Flo" shows you the image of:

--A rocket
--A rabbit
--A "+" symbol
--Bret, the Time-Traveling, T-Shirt-Wearing Retro-Fred From the Planet Tridork

3) The Cipollini NK1K has:

 --A "massive bottom bracket shell and taut front end"
--"Chainstays like soppressata"
--"The biggest headtube in the industry"
--"Glandular issues"

4) Campagnolo's new road bike disc brakes require use of a dedicated crankset.


(Tullio Campagnolo)

5) Which is not one of Tullio Campagnolo's patents?

--The quick-release skewer
--The sliding hub rod shifter
--The self-centering wine bottle opener
--The self-hoisting pant waist

6) Fill in the blank:

"Full _____ ahead!"

--Scalded perineum

(More popular than ever...or defunct.  Do you even know?)

7) The Tour of California has:

--Just started
--Just ended
--Just been moved
--Just been cancelled

***Special "Pretty Clever, But Your Kid'll Just Be Bummed You Didn't Get 'Em A Real One"-Themed Bonus Video!***

Waiting for a crabon version with ceramic bearings.
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Breaking: Noted Pontificator Thinks This Whole Bicycle Thing Just Might Catch On

The history of the bicycle is long and zany, as this amazing video shows:

Indeed, it's been a winding and treacherous road from those completely zany and borderline useless old dandy horses to the optimal balance of zaniness and practicality that characterizes (most of) the bicycles we ride today.

Given this long history, it's hard to think of the bicycle as "disruptive," but that's exactly how one smartypants characterizes it:

"Bikes have a tremendous disruptive advantage over cars. Bikes will eat cars," Dediu told CNNTech, referencing investor Marc Andreessen's seminal 2011 argument that software-driven businesses are dominating the world.

I think most sensible people would agree that, when it comes to personal vehicles in cities, bicycles have a lot more long-term viability than cars.  However, saying they're "disruptive" seems a little strange.  After all, bicycles "disrupted" the world well over a hundred years ago when they compelled municipalities to pave the roads.  Efficient and adaptable, bicycles were here before the cars took over, and they'll still be here when the idea of car ownership is obsolete.  Given this, as cyclists we're not so much "disruptors" as we are little furry rodents, scampering about resourcefully and flourishing regardless of whatever giant lumbering creature is squandering its temporary dominance at the time.

But while bikes and the riding of them have been around for a long time, bike share is pretty new, and I do think it's pretty fair to say that's "disruptive."  (That is if you're the kind of person who insists on using that term.)  And in addition to helping us get around, Smartypants thinks bike share bikes will also serve as little data collection probes:

Bikeshare bikes of the future, according to Dediu, will be outfitted with cameras and sensors, collecting valuable data for cities. When a cyclist rides over a pothole, it can be automatically reported to a city. Cameras on the bicycle will provide real-time data, such as pedestrian traffic and pollution. Google Street View will look like an antique compared to near real-time imagery collected from bikeshare cameras.  

The bikes will need to be carefully constructed so that the cameras and sensors aren't easily broken during use.

Well it's certainly an interesting thought.  I could certainly get behind the idea of bikeshare bikes that capture bike lane blocking, reckless driving, and other bad driver behavior.  The downside of course would be if the camera also ratted you out for rolling a red light or something, but maybe that won't be a problem with the Bicycle Traffic Lights of the Future:

Sadly it's unlikely we'll ever see any of this stuff happen here in Canada's saddlebag since it goes against our policy of punishing cyclists for not driving cars.

But try as they might to keep cyclists down they can't argue with physics.  For example, did you know that bikes are portable but cars aren't?

Bikes' flexible nature will aid their popularity. You can park a bicycle in your home or your office. A bike can be carried on a bus, car or train. A car doesn't offer this versatility. A similar case of disruption played out with cameras, as the always-in-your-pocket nature of smartphones helped them leave traditional cameras in the dust.

Yep, that's right, you read it here first: you can't carry a Hyundai onto a train.

Anyway, besides bike share, Smartypants says the other "disruptor" will be ebikes, which makes sense:

While the speed edge seen in New York today doesn't hold up in every city, it will likely change as electric bicycles emerge. Electric bikes -- whose motors generally top out at 20 mph -- will attract customers because they don't have to worry about breaking a sweat, struggling to climb a hill or keeping up with traffic.

"When you get on an electric bike, what we witnessed is a lot of those anxieties are calmed," said Elliott McFadden, executive director of the Austin B-Cycle, the city's bikeshare program. It recently surveyed citizens' interest in electric bikes.

You have to figure if the NYPD is cracking down on something that's usually a good indicator that it's a useful technology that will ultimately benefit humankind:

And Smartypants's vision of the future doesn't stop there, because after ebikes the next phase of disruption will be bikes with roofs:

As Dediu sees it, first the disruptive technology arrives, then the suitable environment follows. Early roads weren't smooth enough for the first cars. Early cellular networks couldn't handle smartphone data. But with time, the world adapted to fit the promising technology. Bike lanes are already growing worldwide.

And then there's weather. Riding in the rain or snow is unpleasant. Dediu notes that the first cars and planes were open air vehicles. But they morphed into cocoons. Dediu expects bikes will follow a similar evolution.

And there's your PodRide:

I have seen the future, and it looks like a giant shoe.

Lastly, reviews of the new Cipollini are in, and you'll be pleased to know it's got a "massive bottom bracket sheel and taut front end:"

Plenty of aero-style bikes feel fast once you’re over the 20mph hump, but the neat trick with the NK1K is that it feels lightning quick from a standing start. The solidity through the massive bottom bracket shell and taut front end make for a truly exciting bike under acceleration.

I'd expect nothing less.
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Bike culture at Adobe Systems

Sal Pizarro writes about the 250 Adobe employees who make 1600 trips each month by bike at Adobe’s headquarters in downtown San Jose.

Adobe Building

He mentions some of the ways Adobe encourages bike commuting for their workers, but he missed what I think is the key element: Adobe’s decision in the 1990s to build a million square feet of office space in three high rise towers in downtown San Jose, California, which contrasts sharply with the sprawling horizontal office park campuses of most Silicon Valley businesses. It’s a little far from high frequency transit to call Adobe’s location transit-oriented, but the towers are within very easy bike distance of Caltrain, light rail, and the downtown transit malls.

Pizarro says to “give Adobe workers extra credit for navigating downtown streets and traffic.” And, yeah, sure, it could be much better, but riding across downtown where bikes are faster than cars sure beats sharing the road with 50 MPH traffic typical of the suburban parts of Silicon Valley. The Guadalupe River Trail — an important bike commute route — connects directly to Adobe, and is patrolled by Adobe private security.

Incentives like food and bike subsidies are good ways to demonstrate your company’s commitment to helping bike commuters, but if you really want to make a difference, locate your fast growing business near transit and bike facilities.

Pizarro’s article in the Merc-News: Adobe puts bike-riding employees on the right path. If you want to check things out for yourself, swing by the Fehr and Peers Bike to Work Day Energizer Station on Thursday morning, located on San Fernando Street immediately west of Adobe Systems. The Google Streetview I embedded above looks towards Adobe from San Fernando Street.

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Silicon Valley: A Bike to Work Day morning alleycat with Cowgirl Bike Courier

Santa Clara and San Mateo County: Visit as many Energizer Stations on Bike To Work Day tomorrow, win prizes!

Bike To Work Day Silicon Valley Breakfast Station Map 2017

Details at the Cowgirl Bike Courier events page and on Facebook. Use the Energizer Station map to plan ahead, start early, and go!

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Tech Weenie Wednesday!

Today's post is a short one again because it's equipped with discs and thus ends sooner due to the increased stopping power.

It's a significant occasion in bike geek history as storied Italian shifty-parts maker Campagnolo has finally gone disc:

This is huge, because until now if you wanted to use disc brakes with Campagnolo you had to retrofit a set of Delta brakes:

Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do that in case you're interested.

Of course, it's tempting to say that if Old Man Campy were alive today he'd be hoisting his pants even higher and harrumphing indignantly, but that's probably not true:

Oh, sorry, wrong pic:

After all, this is the man behind the quick release and the derailleur, which were cutting-edge Fred tech in their day, so if anything he'd probably be wondering why it took so long.

As for the brakes themselves, Campagnolo claims they're even better than Shimano and SRAM, because what the hell else do you expect them to say?

Campagnolo claims its new road disc brakes stop faster than Shimano and SRAM in the dry and the wet, with less hand force required.

They also feature two innovations.  The first is that there are two lever travel settings, which is actually pretty nifty:

The brake levers have two settings for pad engagement. There is adjustment via a 2.5mm hex key socket on the inboard side of the lever body. A clearly marked two-position cam controls the long or short travel settings, with the long position allowing about half of the lever’s full travel before the pads engage.

And the second is Campagnolo's introduction of a"disc-specific crankset:"

This is particularly groundbreaking, because now it's only a matter of time before companies start introducing other disc-specific components such as saddles, pedals, and bar tape:

Then again, there's no such thing as a disc brake "conversion" that doesn't basically involve buying a whole new bike anyway, so what's the difference?  As for what makes the crankset "disc-specific," it basically just moves your chainrings a bit, which in the olden days you'd accomplish with a different spindle or some spacers.  Fortunately now that that we have integrated bottom brackets and proprietary chainrings those days are gone, and you get to buy a whole new crank instead.


Alas, what I was really hoping for when I read "disc-specific crankset" was this:

One of the most entertaining aspects of the Fixie Golden Age was their steadfast refusal to do anything even remotely sensible in the area of braking.  If they weren't destroying $50 tires in three days because they insisted on skidding in order to slow down they were using the greasiest part of the bicycle as a braking surface.

Those were the days.

Lastly, a Bahrain-Merida rider was booted from the Giro d'Italia for pushing, and here's the dramatic video:

If only he'd waited until they were under the tree canopy he might have gotten away with it.

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Full Steam Ahead!

Let's keep it short today because I've got stuff to do, you've got stuff to do, and most importantly this blog is going steam-powered so it's only got a limited range.

There's been a lot of talk lately about ebikes:

(An ebike what I saw at the Bike Expo this past weekend.)

However, I have seen the future of power-assist bicycles, and it runs on steam:

Who says British engineering isn't what it used to be?  Just "put the kettle on" and this baby can hit 20mph:

Sure, that may not Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed, but it's certainly Steampunk nanty narking speed.

It's also a highly efficient machine that's able to travel ten whole miles on a single tank of water:


Which is heated by a highly combustible fuel admixture:

(I hope he's wearing a fireproof chamois.)

This is a tremendous improvement over a regular human-powered bicycle, which can travel ten miles on about three sips of water and a muffin.

Best of all, there are plenty of features for the Victorian Freds to geek out over, such as this analog power meter:


And it tracks really well due to the weight of the boiler:

In fact you might say it corners like it's on rails:

Wow, he came into that turn pretty hot.

Best of all, I hear there's a gravel version in the works, which should allow you to ride unpaved roads with only minimal scalding.

Speaking of cumbersome machines, disaster struck at the Giro d'Italia on Sunday when the Trek-Segafredo bus got stuck on a narrow lane:

If you've ever endured a carload of children asking repeatedly "Are we there yet?," I can assure you it's nothing compared to a busload of cranky professional cyclists who haven't yet had their dinner and massage:

The Trek-Segafredo team were faced with a delay in getting back to their hotel on Sunday for the post-race recovery process of massages and dinner as the team bus became wedged on a narrow Sardinian lane.

Yes, apparently when you're driving a bus on a Mediterranean island, the Google Maps "faster route" option and sheep do not mix:

The bus was driving from Tortoi to a hotel near Bari Sardo, but the 16km journey was complicated by the 'fastest route' proposed by satellite navigation system taking them down increasingly narrow country lanes.

As the team press officer explained in a blog, they had to stop when a herd of sheep clogged the road ahead and, when they were out of the way, it became clear the bus was stuck on the bend.

Who knew?

So serious was the situation that the riders were nearly forced to walk, but fortunately help arrived at the very last second in the form of some team cars:

Riders started to get off the bus, thinking they'd walk the last couple of kilometres to the hotel, but in the end they all hitched lifts in team cars that had come to the rescue. Eventually the bus driver managed to free the vehicle and reversed before turning the bus around and finding another route.

Alas, if only the riders had access to some sort of small, human-powered wheeled vehicle then perhaps they could have made it to the hotel without having to wait.

Perhaps in the future Trek-Segafredo should equip their buses with a few of these in case of emergency:

Lastly, there are few things worse than being the victim of road rage, but at least you're not alone, and even Chris Froome is not immune to attacks from homicidal drivers:

The Tour de France champion was continuing his training back at home in the south of France after riding the Tour de Romandie, but said he was hit on purpose by a driver, who then drove off.

Unlike the damage caused to his bike, Froome said he suffered no physical injury.

"Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement!" Froome wrote on Twitter. "Thankfully I'm okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!"

At this point driving should be classified as an illness.  After all, if even the winner of the Tour de France isn't fast enough for them then who the hell is?

Apart from this guy, of course:

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Sorry I’m late, I thought it was Wednesday there for a minute.

You probably think that when you're a world-renowned bicycle blogger and author you get to spend your weekends doing all sorts of "epic" rides.

Well, for all I know that's probably true, and if I ever meet someone who fits that description I'll be sure to ask them.  My life however is far less glamorous.  See, when you're me you get to ride from the Bronx down to lower Manhattan and go to the Bike Expo, where I eschewed the "bike valet" in favor of this far more expedient lamppost:

I like to stay in touch with the common folk.

My reason for attending the Bike Expo was of course to visit the Walz booth, where they were debuting my newest capway:

The inspiration for the bold (some might even say garish) graphic is of course the local Applebee's, for no other reason than I passed it on the way to Target one evening and liked the way this photo came out:

Also, the Applebee's is just across the Harlem River from one of the most famous spots in cycling--namely the start for the BSNYC Gran Fondon't and associated rides.

Oh, if you're wondering, the answer is "Yes, there will be a Fondon't soon."  How soon?  Well as soon as I figure that out I'll let you know.

Anyway, not only will the new BSNYC speed cap make you faster (it's red, duh), but it's also great for spectating:

That's yesterday's Orchard Beach Criterium, by the way.  My crit-racing days are over (or at least cryogenically frozen like Walt Disney, Bruce Lee, and Marco Pantani*), but I did have a horse in the kid's race as you can see.

*[Just trying to start an urban myth, do your part by spreading the lie.]

As for the Bike Expo, once I'd locked my bike I found the Walz booth, took my place at the table, smiled gamely, and scribbled my signature on anything that was placed in front of me:

Unfortunately the only thing placed in front of me turned out to be an agreement to have myself cryogenically frozen after death and to leave the entirety of my estate to Human Popsicles Ltd.

Next time someone asks me to sign their chest I'll insist that they move the paper out of the way first.

(Hey, what can I say?  He seemed sincere enough.)

After I'd put my time in at the Walz table I ventured into the Bike Expo crowd:

Which seemed to be concentrated as far away from the bicycle fashion show as possible, like a subway car when there's a particularly fragrant homeless person on it:

The fashion show was presented by Momentum Mag:

But sadly giving fashion advice to the sorts of people who think it's okay to wear bicycle helmets indoors is something of a futile endeavor:

As for the exhibitors, they included the Canadian province of Québec, who attempted to lure tourists with their unique and compelling mix of beautiful terrain and Francophonic rudeness:

And of course their arch-rival in the battle for cyclotourism world domination, Taiwan:

It's a pretty close contest, but in the end Taiwan won because it's not just bike heaven, it's the bike heaven:

Can't argue with that.

Speaking of heaven, if you don't want to spoil the exquisite lines of your mid-sized sedan with a traditional bike rack you'll be pleased to know you can instead use the suction cup-based system of your dreams:

For maximum clearance and driver visibility, always mount your bicycle right in the middle of your hood::

There were also fascinating glimpses into the future, such as this Fred pedaling eternally to nowhere:

As well as this person who I assume was dispassionately charging his phone:

And of course no Bike Expo would be complete without an appearance from Minute Rice:

Who invited attendees to spin their Wheel of Constipation:

Rice: it's nearly as binding as that cryogenics contract I was tricked into signing:

Once I'd perused the interior I headed outside, where food trucks dispensed food:

Clif's DJ kept the crowd moving just like their eponymous energy bars keep them farting:

And the over 21 set mingled and enjoyed the view from the beer garden:

Glamor?  Who needs it?
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Silicon Valley Bicycle Festival Sunday, and more

Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bicycle Show takes place Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Kelly Park in San Jose, CA.

Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival & Bicycle Show 2017

$5 entry fee, car parking is available but I recommend biking there. More info at the website.

Bike Week activities in Santa Cruz, CA

Visit the Ecology Action Bike Week activities page for info on events like the “Girls Rock” Mountain Bike Ride on Sunday, Santa Cruz County’s Bike to Work Day on Thursday, and more.

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Silicon Valley Bicycle Festival Sunday, and more

Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bicycle Show takes place Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Kelly Park in San Jose, CA.

Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival & Bicycle Show 2017

$5 entry fee, car parking is available but I recommend biking there. More info at the website.

Bike Week activities in Santa Cruz, CA

Visit the Ecology Action Bike Week activities page for info on events like the “Girls Rock” Mountain Bike Ride on Sunday, Santa Cruz County’s Bike to Work Day on Thursday, and more.

Categories: btwd | Comments Off

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Okay, let's get to it.

First, come to Bike Expo New York tomorrow to bask in my presence and obtain the new BSNYC cap!

(There was a typo on the date.  I fixed it.)

Second, read my thrilling Jersey City bike share travelogue over at the City Bike Jersey City Site!

Thirdly, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz!  As always, study the question, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right then wow, and if you're wrong you'll learn about bicycling safety.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading,

--Wildcat Rock Machine

(Also make sure it's as far back on your head as possible.)

1) Fill in the blank:

"Make sure your _______ is on and buckled every time you ride."


2) Bike lanes are part of a vast Jewish conspiracy to drive gentile commercial enterprises out of business.


3) What is this?

--A new tire sealant on Kickstarter
--A new instant energy food recipe from Clif Bar
--"InstaChamois," the goop that conforms to your perineum allowing you to cycle in any garment
--A Mario Cipollini semen sample

4) Due to danger concerns, the Giro d'Italia recently cancelled a prize for:

--Most enthusiastic fan
--Fastest descender
--Most aggressive press moto driver
--The "Save water!" award for the team with the most conservative fluid consumption

5) I am one of the bike industry's sharpest minds.


6) The latest must-have accessory in cyclocross is:

--Disc brakes
--A dropper post
--A suspension fork
--A motor

7) Giant BMX bikes may be the future of cycling in America.


***Special Safety-Themed Bonus Video!***

Well okay then.
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