Wednesday, October 31, 2012

As Some Cyclists Age, They Forget to Wear Their Helmet....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Golden, CO now an Official Mayors' Ride City

Steve Stevens escorts 20006 Mayors' Ride riders down Golden's Main St

For almost as long as we have run Mayors' Rides, HiWheel legend Steve Stevens has been trying to get his home city, Golden, CO, recognized as an official NBG Mayors' Ride city. Well, here as I upload the actual coast-to-coast National Bicycle Greenway route for "How America Can Bike and Grow Rich", I am discovering that a regular visit to Golden does make sense. I had been waiting for the bike lanes on US-36 to be complete. Projected for 2015. they will make for a straight shot from Boulder to Denver. 

However, state route 93 that connects to Golden, though it does represent a small 5-10 mile detour,  has a shoulder that has been upgraded well enough to satisfy Steve. And once we get there, our path to Denver will get us back on US-40, an historic  road that dates back to 1926. Once called the Victory Highway, it ran from San Francisco  to Atlantic City, NJ. One of America's first coast-to-coast roads, as a US highway, the ascents and descents on US-40 have all been graded so there is not constant up and down hill work. Largely abandoned in favor of Interstate 80, we will have used it to get over the Wasatch Mtn Range in Utah, most of the Rockies in Colorado, most of Indiana and some of Ohio before we end on the C&O Canal Towpath in Washington DC. Upgrading those section of US-40 that we will be using to the NBG shoulder spec should be fairly easy to accomplish over the next 5-10 years.

Besides more enjoyable riding, do consider these interesting facts about Golden that Steve sent me:

Golden has the largest Brewery in the World (Free Tours, Free Beer)! 

   A few reasons you need to include Golden:

1)      It has more museums than any other city in Colorado
2)      Golden is what Boulder wishes it still was!  Boulder is a has been – a crowded big city of 130,000 people. Golden has 18,000…
3)      It has a Bike Park – with Mountain Bile trails, Pump Park, etc… It was established before Denver’s or Boulder's.
4)      Yeti has their bike factory here (all hand made bikes)… the workers ride on Lunch hour up Lookout Mountain from the factory door.
5)      It was the historic capitol
6)      It is home to The Colorado Mountain Club
7)      It is home to Outward Bound
8)      It is home to the American Mountaineering Center (and the Mountaineering Museum and the Rare Books Library (this was moved her from NYC)
9)      Each of the last 3 institutions came here in the last 10 years – rather than locating in Boulder.
10)   Golden was just ranked number 2 in the USA for Livable Cities in the small city class…. Announced in the last 6 weeks.
11)   Golden is home to the USGS National Earthquake Center (with tours)
12)   It has a professional White Water Kayak Course – and hosted the National Championships a few years ago.
13)   It is a Bicycle Friendly City – more than you can Imagine.
14)   It has EACH YEAR hosted a Start in the USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
15)   In the 1980s, it was the host city for the Coors Classic bike race nearly every year (Coors is Based in Golden)
16)   It was featured in the Movie “American Flyer” about the Coors Classic.
17)   It has the Mountain Climbing Classes for the Mountaineering Center… on real mountains in Golden.
18)   Golden had a bike club as early as 1883…
19)   Golden had a cyclist (Jim Boyd) who rode in 1869… on a Velocipede.
20)   Golden hosted the first Colorado State bike hill climb Championship in 1891
21)   The Colorado School of Mines (MIT CALIBER Engineering School ) graduated all the miners who got the resource Boom going – Including Mr Guggenheim – who has 2 museums which he created in his name… NYC and Spain. He also donated a Guggenheim Hall here with a Gold Dome
22)   You can successfully pan for Gold in Golden. On bike rides you see folks doing it.
23)   You can hang glide in Golden from Lookout Mountain.
24)   Buffalo Bill chose Golden for his final resting Place. He is here … as is his museum.
25)   You can ride from my museum at 5900 ft elevation to the peak of Mount Evans (14,370 ft) and back and call it a century – all on paved roads..The only possible century on paved roads to the top of a 14er mountain from a bike museum.


26)   When Obama was here a few weeks ago – he opened his remarks with “ Wow, it is so beautiful here! How do you get any work done?”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Greenways/Bike Lanes Heralded - John Forrester & Vehicular Cycling Debunked

The American Journal of Public Health published a Canadian study which proves that building bike infrastructure such as bike lanes, protected bike lanes, even bike paths, not only makes for significantly safer cycling but that such improvements are the preferred travel option of  regular, two wheeled  users of the road.

This contrasts with the myth long perpetrated by former Palo Alto, CA cyclist, John Forester, who long has had traffic engineers, even the League of American Bicyclists, convinced that cyclists should learn to behave like car drivers.

Good News for Greenway Builders and Improvers of Bicycle Infrastructure everywhere.


Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study

Kay TeschkePhDM. Anne HarrisPhDConor C. O. ReynoldsPhDMeghan WintersPhDShelina BabulPhDMary ChipmanMAMichael D. CusimanoMD, PhDJeff R. BrubacherMD, MScGarth HunteMD, PhDSteven M. FriedmanMD, MPHMelody MonroMPAHui ShenPhDLee VernichMSc, and Peter A. CriptonPhD

Objectives. We compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types and other route infrastructure features.

Methods. We recruited 690 city residents injured while cycling in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. A case-crossover design compared route infrastructure at each injury site to that of a randomly selected control site from the same trip.

Results. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9).

Conclusions. The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 18, 2012: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300762)

Read More:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giro, Maker of $15K Lance Helmet, Quietly Drops Him

Little have I seen this reported anywhere with the exception of this news clipping, but Santa Cruz, CA based Giro Helmets, is fading away from one Lance Armstrong. The very company that made helmets cool back in the late 80's by patterning them after racers, went so far as to create a helmet just for their hero, so he could shave a few seconds off his Time Trial in the 2010 Tour de France. Well, now that he's gone and all their racers look like drug cheats, little is heard from a company that relies a lot on promoting the athletes of a sport that is much tarnished at present. 

One has to wonder if the Skid Lid or the Bell Bucket helmet designs are set to make a comeback...

Here is an article about how they made a helmet just for Lance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunday Streets Success in Berkeley + Tom Bates Podcast

Forward thinking Berkeley, led by the man, Tom Bates, who introduced traffic calming to the world (HEAR the Podcast we did with him), held their first Sunday Streets event on Shattuck Ave on Sunday October 14. 

Here's the STORY!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

77 yo Irish HiWheel Cyclist is International Trick Champion

Peter Matthews offers his UK audience seven minutes worth of tricks. Filmed in 2006, Peter was 70 years old at the time. Based in Dublin, he also HiWHeeled across the USA in 2004 with Gary Sanderson:

More photos from their ride across America

Peter still does tricks.  See them at the end of the recent interview below:

Pete with Martin Krieg and his wife Virginia

Here he is talking about some of his bikes

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Instant Bike Lanes from Copenhagen

In Denmark, a company named Bikway has come up with a way for cities to construct bike lanes in under a year for one half the cost normally expended. I am waiting for them to get back to me to see if they plan to use recycled materials such as old tires and if they have any demonstration projects trey can reference. But for now, there is this REPORT by

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Biking in Moscow - a Hostile Experience

Moscow, a city of 12 million people, has not one bike lane, as in ZERO. Those brave enough to ride, do so on the sidewalk..

Sunday, October 7, 2012

HiWheel Record Holder Builds Most Sustainable Home in USA?

From the food he grows and cooks to the surplus of energy he creates to the recycled construction materials he uses to how his foundation has been rebuilt and the alignment of his walls and windows, etc, etc, this man's home is a case study in the highest art form of sustaianble living. All this from the man who rode a HiWheel bike across America 12 years ago in an astonishing 29 days (Hear the 3-19-06 Podcast (35:35)). I challenge anyone to forward a more sustainable operation anywhere in America. As well, bear in mind, that the home he describes in the above video aslo houses a museum full of some of the rarest antique  bikes in the world.

Here is the .sig he closes his emails with:

Steve Stevens
Golden Oldy Cyclery
“The Sustainable Museum of Sustainable Transportation”

·         Grossly Energy Positive.
·         Net Zero Electricity Since 2006.
·         Net Zero total  Energy since 2008
·         Carbon Negative SINCE 2008
·         Producing Fruit (Tropical and Temperate)
              and Vegetables from the former landscaped
              0.19 Acre lot. 
·         Powering 2 Plug In Cars…
              While Selling ~ 8500 KWH surplus power back …
              to the grid annually from  the Rooftop.

“Home & Museum Powered By the SUN &
and delivered FARM to TABLE by FOOT”

How to Clean a Bike so can Ride in Rain

Found this fascinating report (which I took the liberty of reformatting) on how to clean a bike in the comments section of Bike-Washing Tips From the Pros at Bicycling Magazine. It's of note to me because of how harsh the weather here in Ireland is on my machines. Bear in mind that this guy used to detail Air Force One and lives in NYC:

A different SPIN on proper cleaning

A hobby turned profession, here's an opinion on proper bike care from someone lucky enough to detail Air Force One and someone trained properly on how best to approach the paint on some of the worlds most delicate and expensive motorsport vehicles. 

First of all, cycling materials aren't much different from those we find on aircraft and motor vehicles, so the approach should be similar if you want to do it right. 

(Set up)
1. Materials: 
- Three 32oz spray bottles 
- Bike brushes and a sponge/microfiber mitt 
- 3 packs of micro fiber towels (different colors) 
- Pump type garden sprayer or low pressure hose 
- Dawn soap/bucket 
- No Rinse Wash (go to any car care vendor site - Optimum NO RINSE is great
- Detailing clay - again, any decent care care website (Autogeek) 
- Paint Sealant (instead of wax) - The use of sealants on paint will do more for your bike than wax. There's a place for wax, but as the surfaces of a bike frame are minimal when compared to a car, there's no need to go after the shimmer that some people want with a wax like Swisswax Crystal Rock that absurdly reaches a price point of over $1000/jar. Sealants last longer and products like Permanon, when used correctly, can protect your frame for an entire year from salt, magnesium chloride, etc, etc. Some sealants like water and have to be applied wet. 
- Leatherique - Find it online to treat the saddle - it will push out salts from the leather - the product has a 2 stage process 
- 303 Aerospace Protectant - this is for the brake hoods, cable housings. 

2. Dilute the Dry Wash soap in one of the bottles, following the directions on the bottle 

3. Use the same solution to dilute into the next bottle, following the directions for a "clay lube" which you'll use with the detailing clay 

4. In the last bottle, fill it with the degreaser like Simple Green EXTREME - Allowcowboy was correct above, but there's another product from Simple Green Called: Simple Green Extreme which is approved for aircraft and is formulated for more delicate material and is not near as toxic or corrosive as the regular Simple Green (don't EVER use this stuff - BAD) Now consider a full wash or a quick wash 

(Action Steps)
1. Remove the wheels on a stand 

2. Cover the saddle with a large ziplock 

3. Pre-spray the bike with the dry wash solution - these solutions encapsulate the dirt, lifting it off the paint 

4. At the same time, pre-spray areas of the bike that require degreasing - the degreaser will loosen and dissolve the obvious 4B. Wait 2-3 minutes 

5. Using a saturated microfiber with degreaser, run the chain through the towel and brush out the pulleys - wipe off excess (At this point, use one color of the microfiber towels to gently wipe down the bike frame, brush out the brakes, forks and rear triangle with a bike brush and use gear brushes to clean out the drive train. 

5B. If the bike is really cruddy, dilute Dawn into a bucket with water - Dawn will strip everything off the finish of the bike - and gently sponge down the bike, saving the dirtiest areas for last - remember that the sponge/microfiber will grab dirt and potentially drag it onto your paint finish and scratch it. KEEP WASH TOWELS and SPONGES SEPARATE FROM OTHER TOWELS - DO NOT WASH THEM TOGETHER 5C. Gently rinse off the bike with water or a pump sprayer - too much pressure is NOT a good thing. Dry the bike with your second color towel. 

6. Now, use the clay lube and spray the frame and then follow with the clay in a stroke pattern that follows the air across a bike - front to back. If you drop the clay on the ground, tear off that piece and dispose of it. The clay will remove anything left on the surface - bugs, water spots, etc. Be gentle - you do not need to apply a lot of pressure here. Use the clay procedure on your wheels too to remove brake dust and other small compounds that have collected on the brake surface. Wipe down the surfaces you've clayed. 

6B. Use a second color towel for drying or wipe down of the bike after its been cleaned. 

7. At this point, the surfaces are bare (especially if you've used Dawn. 

8. Apply the sealant to the whole bike and the wheels (not the tires - in fact remove the tires if you can) 

9. Buff the frame and wheels with the third color micro fiber towel 

10. Use a microfiber (from towel selection 2) to sparingly apply 303 Aerospace Protectant to the brake hoods and other plastic/rubber surfaces (not wheels) 

11. Lube the drive train and the cables under the frame that are expopsed and wipe off excess. 

12. Reinstall tires and check for cuts and wear at this time 13. Use the Leatherique on the saddle and you'll never wear it our You now have a protected and clean bike and there's no excuse to not ride in the rain. Go real fast and watch the rain just sheet off the frame. I'll do this for you if you're around NYC : )

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Bikes Sold Than Cars In Italy - First Time Since WW2

From the Bicycle Thief, filmed 1946 in the ravages of postwar Italy.


More than 60 years after the making of ‘The Bicycle Thief’, a classic film about a man desperately hunting for the stolen bike that he needs for work, Italians have also hauled around 200,000 rusty old bikes from their garden sheds and attics and restored them to roadworthiness.
“More and more people are deciding to bring their old models out of the garage or the cellar,” said Pietro Nigrelli, of industry association Confindustria.
“Bikes are easy to use and they cost little. And on distances of five kilometres or less, they are often faster than other modes of transport.”
Out of a population of 60 million, 6.5 million Italians use a bike to get to work or school, while 10.5 million use them occasionally, mostly at weekends.