What is a cycling journalist to do?

A Scene from the movie The Program
Scene from “The Program.” Armstrong and Landis in hotel room.

I miss bike races. I miss watching them. I miss following them. I miss enjoying them without needing to be cynical constantly. But mostly I miss the constant feed of interesting things to write about.

As a cycling journalist blogger hack, finding something interesting to write about on a regular basis is the food that feeds the soul. It is super easy to take the advocacy fear mongering path. One can find a steady stream of stupid comments from politicians, tales of death in the city streets, ridiculous public spending on things that are supposed to be “infrastructure.” Some can brave this stream and do the hard work of exposing these important issues. And some can do a damn good job of it. But it it as unfortunately negative view.

Bike industry news is another topic. But even that can be draining. How many times can I enthral you with yet another new product, reinventing yet another old product, by copying what an even older product already did?

But bike racing. The human drama. Battles to the finish line. Heartbreaking crashes. Overcoming incredible odds at the last minute. Ahhhhh….. that’s good stuff.

Except when it isn’t.

Keep reading →

Why eliminating TUEs is wrong

There is an old saying – don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Unfortunately, that is exactly what some are calling for in response to the abuse of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs). Namely, a total ban. While that reaction may seem like “common sense” to other racers that feel cheated by the abuse of TUEs in the pro peloton, it actually impacts others in an unintended way. In fact, there is one entire team that relies on valid, legitimate Therapeutic Use Exemptions to even compete. TUEs were made for a reason – and we must not let that reason be forgotten.

There is a need for TUEs and that is for someone to treat an illness or a
sickness. They are not intended and should never be used to improve
performance.

Phil Southerland. CEO and Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk

Keep reading →

Sacramento Bike Trails: The promise and challenges

American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA
American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA

When you mention Sacramento bike trails, many area residents immediately think of the American River Bike trail. Also known as Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, the 32 mile mixed use path winds along the American River between Sacramento and Folsom, CA. The trail is regarded as one of the longest paved purpose-built bike trails in the country. Not surprising that it is what many associate with the phrase Sacramento bike trails. But this gem is only part of a much larger network of bicycle infrastructure.

Keep reading →

Freedom Cycle System reimagines the water bottle

Freedom Cycle Hydration System
Freedom Cycle System, showing both regular and aero bottles

Adding to a running list of bicycle related Kickstarter projects is Australian effort Freedom Cycle System. We’ve seen numerous bicycle related products get the “kickstarter improvement” – everything from helmets to pedals to lights. Usually these projects revolve around making something “smarter” – or, cramming a bunch of electronics into them and somehow linking them to a phone app. It would be hard to imagine a way to make the lowly bicycle water bottle cage smarter. I don’t need an app to tell me if there is bottle there after all. But Freedom Cycle Systems is focused on making it better. Which is what “smarter” used to mean.  Keep reading →

Ford Motor Company Bike Rack Patent

Ford Motor Company has notably been in the bicycle news lately as the title sponsor of the San Francisco bike share program Ford GoBike. But the company’s recent patent application for a Retractable Bicycle Carrier is geared towards those that own both cars and bikes.

Keep reading →

There, and back again…

…a cyclists tale.

Way back when, I started riding a bike as an easy way to make the monumental commute from Sacramento, CA to Palo Alto. It was a 7 mile bike ride, to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train, to a bus, to another train. I did it 3 days a week on average. The bike was a very practical thing, and I had a very practical bike.

Keep reading →

Chicago balks at contra-flow bike lane, while SF rejects paint-only treatment

Some folks in Chicago are a little confused about why city engineers would actually want to make cyclists ride against traffic. In infrastructure terms this is known as a “contra-flow bike lane.” At first glance, it takes the norm of bikes riding the same direction of travel as cars and intentionally turns it on it’s head.

Polk Street Contra-flow bike lane
Photo by Dianne Yee. Used with permission. https://www.flickr.com/photos/23305535@N00/14611105810

Keep reading →

NAHBS won’t be coming back to Salt Lake City, Utah

Official press release from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS):

 

Portland, OR, 2/19/17 –  NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) releases their official statement regarding the state of Utah and land policy that is affecting the outdoor and cycling industry.

http://www.2017.handmadebicycleshow.com

 

Aligning with the recent actions taken by other brands that exhibit at Outdoor Retailer as well as the conversations regarding the future of Interbike in the State of Utah, NAHBS will not be calling Utah home to the show in the future.

 

“When we were negotiating the show, Governor Herbert hadn’t begun his assault on public lands. His agenda for the state of Utah has the ability to curtail the recreation of our exhibitors and their customers. If not for signed contracts, booked airfares, hotels and the builders depending on the show taking place, we too would be relocating” said Don Walker, founder of NAHBS. “Our goal is to spotlight frame builders and the cycling industry partners that support them. NAHBS moves the location each year to accommodate the needs of builders across the country. Regardless of our schedule we would not chose to bring the show back to Utah unless serious changes are made by government officials.”

 

This news and the subsequent backlash from industry leaders occurred a month before the 13th edition of NAHBS was set to take place. Unfortunately moving the show this year is not an option. March 10th-12th NAHBS will take place in Salt Lake City and NAHBS look forward to spending time with all the small builders and craftsmen that the show was founded for. We hope that Utah will come support these businesses in light of recent events.

 

About NAHBS:

NAHBS Showcases the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. We are a meeting space for frame builders and consumers who are passionate about custom-made bikes.

The winter of my discontent

“Oh c’mon. Work can wait an hour. Ride across me! You’ll love it!” — Golden Gate Bridge Siren Song

It has been a tough month. Well, tough couple of months. Many of the readers can understand the impact a lack of bike riding can have on an avid cyclist. When I should have been basking in my new bike glory, I’ve instead struggled against a series of both planned and unplanned events that seem like a sinister conspiracy to keep me off the bike.

It all started when the office of my day job moved.

The old commute was 10 miles one way, across beautiful scenery that encouraged me to add even more miles – just for fun. Without even “training” I was on the bike over 100 miles every week just in my commute. It made doing even more rides not only easier but also more enjoyable. Cycling can be funny that way – the more you do it the more you want to.

Keep reading →

2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Tickets are now on sale for the 2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. The event is scheduled for the weekend of March 10-12, in Salt Lake City.

The event has a strong following, with 117 exhibitors currently listed on the NAHBS website.

Returning this year is the University of Iowa. You may recall all the attention generated by them in past years. In fact, we featured a bike from UoI builder Willy Tan from the 2016 NAHBS in Sacramento.

You can purchase tickets online from the NAHBS website. See http://www.2017.handmadebicycleshow.com/ for the most current exhibitor and event information.

JustAnotherCyclist will continue our coverage of this event as well – so stay tuned for that.