Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear Diary

A group of us went down to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl (Roll Tide!) this weekend. It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. We hit up Sokol on the first day and rode every trail in the rain which made for interesting times.

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Between three guys, a dog, six bikes (one inside the car), bags, wheels, and gear, it was a tight fit.

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Brandon and Mark ran into Christina Aguillera at Egans

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Crowded bars make it difficult to get a drink. I noticed everyone is double-fisting in every picture.

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Gameday! ESPN just left of the shot. Auburn ass kicking behind the stadium walls

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Sunday morning: It looks like someone left the stadium unlocked

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And it managed to rain on us the last day as well.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Smile On Your Brother


I dont want to come across as just showing the flaws of our little slice of heaven here in the 256. I prefer to be fair and unbiased even though some days it is way harder than others. I recently posted something asking what the hell is Huntsville doing to make this life-forsaken city safer for cyclists? Well, and please excuse this ridiculously horrible report, I am pleased to say that yet another step has been taken. I have been a little laxidasical in keeping up with things lately but It is my understanding that we are getting a butt-load of share-the-road signs and reflective sharrows painted on the roads. I left my notes at work so it may be +/- 5% of a butt-load but you get the point. I was hoping for an elevated hamster-tube like bike lane system but I dont think that has been approved yet. I would love a law which treated people who chronically drive and talk on their cell phones to be treated like repeat DUI offenders and repat DUI offenders to be fucking shot. So there, some positive things.

Can I Get A Tark Tark!

Were you aware that I have what some may call a "thing" for triple triangles? It should go without saying that I will have dreams about this bike for days and days to come. Triple triangle, wound up, and gussets galore, does it get any better? This baby belongs to Ludikriss out of the OC. You are a lucky man sir.




Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone go out and do a nice big ride on your day off then stuff yourself retarded with your family

The Times


Track Bike Times Edit #1 from Matthew Rice on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Study Finds Cyclists Disobey Traffic Laws


NY Times City Room Blog/ By Sewell Chan
New York City is witnessing an upsurge in the number of cyclists, but many of them do not obey traffic and helmet laws, according to a observational study by students and professors at Hunter College.

Among the more important findings of the study, which was released on Wednesday:

Nearly 57 percent of the cyclists observed failed to stop red lights.
About 13 percent of cyclists (and a quarter of cyclists under the age of 14) were observed riding against traffic.
Almost 13 percent of cyclists (and more than half of cyclists under the age of 14) were observed riding on sidewalks.
Nearly 14 percent of cyclists did not use a designated bike lane when one was available.
Only 36 percent of cyclists wore helmets. About half of female riders wore helmets, compared with just about one-third of the males. Nearly half of the children under the age of 14, and nearly three-quarters of commercial cyclists — like messengers and delivery workers — did not wear a helmet, even though the law requires that both groups use helmets.
The study was conducted by Hunter students in research methodology and urban data analysis courses, and was based on observations of 2,928 cyclists at street intersections, bike lanes and bike paths at 69 locations Oct. 1-29.

Peter Tuckel, a professor of sociology, and William Milczarski, an associate professor of urban affairs and planning, oversaw the study and wrote the report. They said that the behavior of drivers had been studied much more extensively than that of cyclists, and called the findings “troubling” and “disturbing.”

Professor Tuckel said:
"Given the findings presented in this study that the overwhelming majority of cyclists in the city are not wearing helmets and the attendant risks of injury or even death, it is important that greater efforts be expended by governmental agencies and other responsible parties including parents, schools, cycling clubs and sport retail outlets to encourage greater helmet use."

Professor Milczarski said that “greater adherence to these traffic laws” would help to reduce reports of “conflicts between cyclists and motorists.”

One methodological drawback: The observations were not a random sampling of all city cyclists. However, Professors Tuckel and Milczarski said the cyclists observed represented a broad cross-section of them.

The students were instructed to choose cyclists they observed within a given location on a random basis without employing subjective criteria, and they were told to remain as inconspicuous as possible. The students observed cyclists at intersections, at traffic lights and on bike lanes, and the observations were made on both weekdays and weekends and at peak and off-peak times.

The students recorded demographic information about the cyclists and also recorded whether the rider wore a helmet, stopped at a red light, went in the same direction as traffic, rode on a sidewalk, used a designated bike path, and talked on a cellphone or ate or drank while riding. (Some good news from the study: Only a very tiny proportion of cyclists used handheld cellphones or ate or drank while riding. The students observed many cyclists listening to iPods and other music devices, although the iPods were not a formal part of the study.)

In 2006, there were 773 bicycle fatalities in the United States (98 of them were children under the age of 14) and an additional 44,000 injuries of cyclists in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A study by the Bicyle Helmet Safety Institute found that nearly all cyclists who died in New York City were not wearing a helmet and that only 13 percent of those seriously injured while cycling were wearing a helmet.

“With the ranks of cyclists growing in the city and the amount of street space becoming even more fiercely fought over, it is imperative that all three groups — cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians — abide by the traffic laws and be more respectful of the rights of others who share that space,” Professors Tuckel and Milczarski wrote in their conclusion.

They also emphasized the need for better training of both drivers and cyclists and the incorporation of bike-safety lessons in school curriculums.

Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, a leading advocacy group for cyclists and pedestrians, said, “It’s our philosophy that good street design gives us better behavior.” Dedicated bike lanes will encourage cyclists to stay off the sidewalks, he said, noting that children under 14 are permitted to ride on the sidewalks.

“Obviously it’s incumbent for cyclists to obey the laws: they have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians and motorists,” Mr. Norvell said. “The most important rule is to yield to pedestrians, always, no matter what. It gets under my skin if a bicyclist doesn’t yield to a pedestrian.”

As for running red lights, Mr. Norvell said, “It doesn’t surprise me to see high rates of traffic infractions on streets that do not have provisions for bicyclists

Monday, November 24, 2008

Its Like Business-Casual Mixed With Biker-Chic

One less excuse not to commute! Save some cash, save the planet, and save yourself.



"Cordarounds Bike to Work pants are everyday khakis with inner brilliance -- the pockets and pant cuffs reflect while you bike or bound around at night. At the office, they're everyday workwear. To and from, they're anything but. Click the links conveniently located everwhere on this page to learn all about these subtle supernovas. Bike to Work pants, like all Cordarounds products, are made in San Francisco and only sold online. Visit our store to view all our inventions. "


Bike to Work Pants from Cordarounds on Vimeo.

Spokes-N-Speakeasy Supreme

What's better than a super hip Tokyo speakeasy full of hot hipsters? How about one full of keirin track bikes from the country that started it all! Add to that a limited run of handmade track frames and try to keep me out! I'm so excited, this may be the first time I wet myself BEFORE I start drinking! I've been looking for a good reason to go back to Japan...



"Ways And Means are proud to present the opening of The KINFOLK Lounge Bar in Nakameguro, Tokyo, JAPAN. Three Ways and Means alumni are behind this new 21st Century speakeasy ~ Maceo Eagle from New York City, Ryan Carney from Los Angeles, and John Beullens from Sydney.

Fresh Fruit Cocktails, Killer Martinis, Lamborghini Margaritas, Ginger Mint Mohitos and True Old Fashioned are all delicious alcoholic concoctions available on the KINFOLK menu.

Ways and Means will also be launching the first two in series of an edition of 100 Kinfolk Keirin track bicycles to coincide with the opening of the KINFOLK Lounge. These bikes are hand built in Japan and painted in Brooklyn New York. They will be available for sale by order in the KINFOLK Lounge and in select shops in New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney Australia."



"Ways and Means presents The Kinfolk Lounge. A safehouse for the new internationalist. Join us for Spirits and Spokes. Players only."



Do Work Son! ...R&D work

H+Sons were the big deal this summer and now there are more and more guys who can't lace them up fast enough. That is, until they see this maybe. I don't want to burn a company that's trying to bring a cool product into the market place and accidents happen. I personally hope they thrive and bring us more dope products that aren't offered stateside. I also know that when it comes to bike part failures, the whole truth doesnt always come out; if you've spent any time around a busy shop, i'm sure you've heard some ridiculous JRA stories. These pictures are just too crazy not to share though. The story is that these wheels were less than a week old and the wheel exploded mid-skid. Just goes to show that deeper doesnt mean stronger. I had heard reports that the rims were really thin and this would lead me to think its true. One case can be a fluke so you guys go test 'em out for me and let me know; i'm gonna keep my veeps (and teeth) for now. More pics at Ganring's flickr



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Come One Come All!


We will be riding this tuesday from the back of the shop after hours. We have a few guys home from school for the holidays so this will be a great time to hang out with good friends, get some riding in, and get out of the house - youre gonna do enough of that on Thursday. Speaking of which, a group of us are going mtn biking on Monte Sano thursday morning. We plan to go early enough so everyone can hang with their family that afternoon. Weather is supposed to be decent both days. Hit me up if youre interested in tagging along.

Oh, Oh, He Got Jokes

This video is really old but apparently a lot of guys still havent seen it. It still makes me laugh and I don't really have anything else to waste your time with tonight so:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reynolds double butted tubing (keepin' it American baby!), modified triple triangle design with lengthened seat tube and 20mm headtube extension, 73 degree seat tube, 73.5 degree headtube, 53.5cm toptube. Lugged (Long Shen) threadless straight leg fork with 6mm overbuilt dropouts and 40mm offset. Silver brazed fork crown and seatstay/seat tube joint; brass fillet brazing and dropouts.






Thanks to my buddy Jimmy James for the awesome photos.

After all the shots were taken and eighteen or twenty beers were consumed, things got a little crazy. Fear of pulic scrutiny will only allow me to show the one following shot. No animals were harmed in the making of these photos.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fяoм яцssiʌ шitн <3

And yes, that is Chernobyl in the background.




This dude does some amazing work. Too bad every single design he has, Americans did it first. Feel free to chest-bump the closest person at will. The work is still clean and very creative. Check it out.

Talk On Phone, Adjust Radio, Kill Cyclist. Get A Ticket?

" A driver who was simultaneously talking on the phone and adjusting his radio hit a cyclist he admits he never saw, and the D.A. suggests citing him for failure to wear a seat belt?"

Sound familiar? Remember how frustrated we all were two months ago when Sarah was hit? The town was in an uproar as it should have been. People rallied together and, I don't know, I guess change is underway. It takes time but at least the appropriate steps are seemingly in progress. I know a lot of us were pissed (unsatisfied, disappointed, whatever...) with the action (or lack of) taken towards Mrs. Whitt, the woman who hit her. It seemed like the system was flawed to allow such a tragedy to go unpunished. Many were quick to shout a loud "Fu#k Alabama and its backwards ass laws!" I personally subscribe to the eye-for-an-eye philosophy but there are bigger issues at stake. Well, I am following up to share with you that while Alabama may very well be backwards with many things, they are far from alone in the area of cyclist’s rights. I still think we have a chance at breaking through the stereotypes and positioning Alabama as a modern, green, healthy, and cycling friendly state. We may ferment our 'shine with antifreeze and sleep with our sisters but by God, you can at least ride a bike to her house safely! Here is a good relevant article from Velo News;



Legally Speaking with Bob Mionske - Can't we do better?
By Bob Mionske

"Two weeks ago, I wrote about the collision that hospitalized Dr. Ed Farrar (see Yet another collision). Since then, I’ve received a letter I’d like to share. First, C.S. wrote in to say:

We held Ed's rally this last Sunday. I figure 700 - 800 riders showed up. It was one of the greatest moments of my adult life. Watching this many people from all over the Pacific Northwest show and give their support to Ed. I actually got to see him. His eyes were bright and sparkly and he had the biggest grin on his face! What a moment.
That kind of support makes all the difference in the healing process—and the good news is that Dr. Farrar continues to make progress in his recovery.
Following my column on Dr. Farrar, I had hoped to move on to a lighter subject for this column. But no sooner had the last column run, than several more stories hit the news. One of those stories involved a cyclist who was killed in Kansas City in June. As some of you may no doubt recall, Sheriff’s Lt. David Dillon was out on a ride one morning when he was struck from behind by a driver who was distracted by his radio and a cell phone call. The driver admitted that he did not see Dillon until he struck him.

Last week, District Attorney Charles Branson announced that criminal charges will not be filed against the 21 year old driver, Kyle Van Meter. Noting that “it is a difficult time for the family,” Branson suggested that the Kansas Highway patrol issue citations for unsafe overtaking/passing, following too closely, and failure to wear a seat belt.

Failure to wear a seat belt? A driver who was simultaneously talking on the phone and adjusting his radio hit a cyclist he admits he never saw, and the D.A. suggests citing him for failure to wear a seat belt? Is this the best we can do? Branson did see a silver lining in the tragedy-- “If any good can come from the tragedy we can only hope people will slow down and pay attention to their driving.” While that’s good advice, how can he reasonably expect that people will slow down and pay attention when killing a cyclist results in nothing more than a few citations for minor traffic offenses?

In July, I wrote about another miscarriage of justice involving a drunk driver who blew through a flashing train crossing and killed 19 year-old Autumn Grohowski. In that case, the D.A. did file criminal charges, although he declined to charge the driver with homicide by vehicle, explaining that “there’s blame on both sides.” In response to that column, I received a letter from a prosecutor, explaining his perspective on charging decisions. It’s longer than most of the letters I run, but worth sharing:

As an assistant DA and a cyclist, it is with a heavy heart that I read your article and an equally heavy heart that I must author this comment. The facts of this case are as tragic as they come from beginning to end. I could tell from the beginning where it was going and what the reactions of your readers would be. Unfortunately, the blame for the lack of justice in this case is not falling on the shoulders of those who are to blame.

I promise you all that the assistant DA in Autumn's case delayed 6 weeks in filing the charges because he was trying to find a way to make the intoxicated manslaughter charge stick. If he is anything like the prosecutors here in Texas, telling Autumn’s family that it wasn't going to work was one of the hardest things he had ever done. Where the case fails is that you have to prove that the intoxication caused the death. In this case, the intoxication was no doubt a huge factor, but not the sole cause. When prosecutors are faced with a situation where they know they can't prove the case, they have a duty to not pursue it. Prosecutors are not like other attorneys. They do not get paid to win. They have a duty to do the right thing, even when it is hard and even when it results in a lack of justice for the victim. It is the hardest part of the job. So where should the blame fall?

The blame should fall on two places. First, the legislatures. They have made these cases so hard to prove. We have had a similar case pending here, where the victim was a cyclist from our office, that has been on going for over four years. It has gone through appeal after appeal and gone to jury trial twice. The defendant was finally convicted of the slightly lesser charge of failure to stop and render aid. The fact is, it is almost impossible to prove that intoxication was the cause when there are so many other factors when it comes to vehicular offenses and so many similar incidents where alcohol is not even involved. How many times have we heard of motorists getting hit by trains? They are stupid, no doubt, but not always intoxicated. Thus, legislatures need to amend the statutes to allow for convictions where alcohol has to be much less than the sole cause.

Secondly, the public is to blame. They do not care about cyclists on the road or their safety. They care more about the 30 seconds they save passing a cyclist unsafely than they do about the cyclist's life. We live in an incredibly selfish and unfriendly time. How do we fix this?" Read the rest of the story here at Velonews

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Once Upon A Time...

while visiting the glorious US of A, a young and impressionable student from the land of the rising sun went out for a night on the town. While out, our young friend met a quick talking American who promised her the world. They went for a stroll then back to his new loft that his recently divorced lawyer dad bought for him to piss his mom off; you know, the one with the view and above ground parking. There they had drinks, drinks, and more drinks. The next day she flew back home and never again heard from the fork-tongued American. Little did either of them know that planted in our sweet maidens loins was a demon seed. That faithful night spawned a bastard child that was soon to be unleashed upon the world. Half man and half goat - wait no, half dragon and half ninja - no, thats not right either. Whatever the hell it is, its f'ing crazy looking...and he came to be known as Starfucker!

BMiXed

Volume Cutter with new fork. (its sad how many of you dont get the cutter reference)


SE POS, I mean Lager


and the SE PK Ripper fixed gear - (when I was a kid, i would have given my right nut for this bike or a kuwahara laserlite). I personally think the fork would look better if it were more like the Volume but with the old SE Landing Gear slash-cut legs but I do like the continuous loop stays.



FBM Sword. integrated headset and compact geometry. bam!



And the soon-to-be-released Subrosa!

A Fireside Chat W/ Dustin

Dustin came by to visit me earlier and we hung out some talking about all these great bikes that have been coming out. In particular, it seems like more and more, and even more BMX companies are jumping on the fixed gear bandwagon. Why not, I mean they have the resources and possibly more important, they appeal to a whole other niche that didn't exist a few years ago. We were talking and I told him how years ago when I first started at a shop, we had a shop track bike and a few guys that rode them. These guys werent vans and skinny-jean wearing art school dropouts (just to exaggerate a little), they were badass spandex wearing roadies who put in the miles and lived on a bike. Now these same guys would probably turn their nose up at the current crop of guys who seem more interested in doing skids and tricks than 7am intervals. Thats fine; to each his own. It may not be your cup of tea but I can tell you now that its a waste of time to hate on them; they are here to stay. Everything changes whether you think it should or not. Everything. Keep up or get left behind.

I remember a time when this little sport known as Mountain Biking (whats that?) came out and hit the general masses. Look back at old MTB photos and you won't see the baggy clothed x-games generation that's so prevalent now. Please google John Tomac and see him downhilling in a skinsuit then later wearing a cowboy hat. On that note, they just outlawed skinsuits for downhilling - WTF. The point is, a roadie-esque breed of mtn biker ruled the trails and they could not wait for the fly-by-night breed of long-travel freeriders to move on. I'm happy to say that more than a dozen years later and theyre still here. The two coexist and accept that, while the other is not forte', it is a legitimate niche of cycling.



Fast forward to today. Instead of svelte lightweight sexy track specific bikes dominating the roads, more and more are choosing to lean towards bikes which have more in common with a modern 20-incher than it does a Pista. Everytime I see a Brooklyn Machineworks Gangsta Track it reminds me of my old Standard Bykes STA - handmade, overbuilt, and ahead of its time. Damn I miss that bike.


Just to go full circle, Brooklyn started out making a name for themselves with crazy big-hit mtn bikes. How many guys do you personally know who have never had a road bike before but have come straight from BMX to fixed gears? To meet the demand for this new generation, there are a dozen or more companies churning out bmx/street oriented fixed gear bikes - I dont know if track bike is appropriate for the nitpicky readers but either way, theyre both badass and here to stay.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do'et!

If you can't make it to T-town to see the Tide kill Missishitty State, then pleasssse, make it to the 'Ham to support the Brocycle guys. This is today so stop reading, grab your bike, get in your car and drive now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

American Psyclo

Here we have President-elect Barack Obama pulling a trailer on his Trek hybrid (which is too small for him, and the rear tire appears low, and he's cross-chainringing, and his front reflector is missing, and...jk)



And the lovely Clintons on their old Specialized (though I know for a fact Bill also had a titanium Merlin). Maybe hilary could raise that stem up a few more yards and tilt that helmet back a little more so its totally useless.



John Kerry on his custom Serotta (the obvious winner if we voted on best taste in bikes...which really does speak volumes) He's sporting italian shoes, french wheels, japanese components, and an american frame. however, cotton shirt with bike shorts FTL.



John McCain on his track bike keepin it real. while we're being real, get rid of those wheels and colored chain.



And the W, strangely enough, also on a Trek. To be fair, I had another pic of him actually riding but I liked this one better because it was a newer model bike. His previous bike was also a trek fuel.

Vintage Saddles / Felt Okay

As seen on Bike Radar
"Selle are reviving three of the most popular saddles from San Marco's racing history in the shape of the Concor, Regal and Rolls. Using the original base moulds with modern coverings - brown suede, white leather, black leather and textured black leather - the hand-made saddles will offer old-fashioned looks with up-to-date performance. For the weight-conscious, the Rolls and Regal will be available with titanium rails. The saddles will be available from late November"



"The US$729 Felt Curbside is a purpose-built, flat-bar road singlespeed/fixie that melds adult BMX fun with a skateboarder's aesthetic.

Based on the California company's signature use of a hydroformed 7005 aluminium frame (pioneered by company founder Jim Felt in the early 1990s), the smartly-specced 700c-wheeled Curbside weighs approximately 19 pounds with pedals, and is laden with gold-finish hubs, headset cap, seat collar and platform pedals.

First introduced at the 2007 Interbike trade show, the 2009 model has a carbon fork and ample room for mudguards, with frame and fork braze-ons necessary. A nifty wingnutted axlenut tool is included, bolted to the water bottle bosses on the seat tube. The 540mm wide Felt Meatstick flat bar is painted to match the frame, and has a massively sized 31.8mm constant diameter out to the cork brown handlebar grip tape. How will the Felt stack up against similar bikes on the market?"