Archive for category awesome

How a Bicycle Is Made (1945)


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in the saddle…

I’ve set out in the rain and come home dry, or mostly dry.

I’ve sat comfortably behind big men, the ones that are as wide as Volkswagen Beetle.

I’ve dropped those same men.

I’ve been dropped by women.

And old men.

I’ve set out in the sunshine and come home wet.

I’ve stopped, not because I needed to rest but because I wanted a moment to take it in.

I’ve sat up when the gap was too big.

I’ve had road rash.

I’ve run red lights.

I’ve been defeated by headwinds.

And Coleman Valley Road.

I’ve stopped for wildlife.

I’ve been honked at.

And yelled at.

And waved at.

And smiled at.

I’ve slowed down to chat with strangers.

I’ve taken turns at the front.

I’ve been stopped by the police.

I’ve underdressed.

And overdressed.

I’ve suffered.

But mostly, I’ve had fun.

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The world needs bicycles

This article was published several weeks ago, but it never hurts to reiterate that a bicycle is more than a sum of its parts.  It’s more than a way to travel, race or find pleasure.  For much of the world, it’s life giving, opportunity providing, gender and class equalizing, and destiny changing.

I’m pretty sure Nitish Kumar is one of my new heroes.  Considering the culture in India, it can’t be easy to take a stand like he is…for women.

[he] set about redressing his state’s endemic gender imbalances in an attempt to boost development in one of India’s most backward states. His vision was to bring a sense of independence and purpose to his state’s young women, and the flagship initiative of this agenda is the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna, a project that gives schoolgirls 2,000 rupees (about £25) to purchase a bicycle.

Kumar succinctly sums up the initiative’s aim and all it stands for: “Nothing gives me a greater sense of fulfilment of a work well done than seeing a procession of school-bound, bicycle-riding girls. It is a statement for social forward movement, of social equality and of social empowerment.”
How do you measure an ROI on a free bicycle? You don’t; and you don’t need to.

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Guys, Rad, the entire film, is available on YouTube – at least right now it is.

This makes the 10 year-old in me very happy. It’s totally rad.


CX Fun

This is the most fun I’ve seen in a cycling video since…ever?


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is that a DSLR in your shirt…

Photographer Justin Olsen wanted a better way to take high quality MTB images, so he rigged up a chest mount for his DSLR. 

I can’t really imagine riding around with full sized DSLR strapped to my chest – but Justin is getting some pretty cool shots.


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Motorist Tip of the Week, 12

Read this car blog.

A car blog giving sane and sensible advice about how to share the road with cyclists, it seems like fiction, but it’s not.

I particularly liked this bit:

90% of cyclist casualties in recent years were caused by careless inattention, firstly by drivers, secondly by cyclists. It’s your responsibility to avoid hitting the cyclist, not the responsibility of the cyclist to avoid getting hit by you.

That’s advice written for people who drive cars by people who drive cars…yay!


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Slimm Buick at Sac Swing Fest ’12

Celebrated artist and music aficionado Slimm Buick, who recently relocated to the Sacramento area, will present a competitive showcase of custom-designed bicycles at the 2012 Sacramento Swing Time Festival. The event, called The Kustom Bike Show, will be curated by Buick at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Buick is legendary for his bicycle creations, which often embrace historic Americana themes, and feature classic bikes with sumptuous and eclectic adornments. His celebrated and much-photographed piece Rawhide is a whimsical re-imagining of the cowboy aesthetic, translated to West Coast beach culture. The cruiser is decked out in calfskin, with embossed leather wheel arches, rhinestones and a sheriff’s badge. The Wild West caricature is subverted by the the large basket on the handlebars.

The Kustom Bike Show competition is open to all entries for a $7 fee, and Buick will be judging the best bikes on show. The artist will also indulge his other passion, spinning 45s from the era of Swing to conjure up a mood of early 20th Century American automobile and bike culture.

The fourth annual Sacramento Swing Time Festival will be held on June 23rd, 2012. Tickets are $20.

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flash them

Comic from here. Via.

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Fix one Get one

Sometimes it’s easy for us roadies and bike commuters to forget about what a bike can mean to a kid. In many cases a bike can give a teenager freedom – at 15 my bike gave me the ability to get to and from work – and, let’s face it, bikes are just plain fun, no matter how old you are. The Latin American Youth Center in D.C. is harnessing that appeal to get kids into the center.

Nicholas, 13, is among more than a dozen middle and high school-age youths who participate in the center’s bike shop program each year, through which they repair and restore donated bikes and ride and keep the bikes they have fixed, said Luisa Montero, director of the Maryland branch of LAYC, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit youth development agency.

Its focus is on bicycle repairs, but the program is more specifically aimed at reaching and assisting youth, Montero said.

In the short term these kids end up with a safe after school activity and a bike to ride around. In the long term kids are learning valuable skills (this coming from the guy that screws up just about every bike repair he attempts) and getting experience working toward a goal.

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