Monthly Archives: May 2011

Victoria Pendleton’s Story

Victoria Pendleton is one of track racing’s most successful athletes. Her long list of palmarés includes an Olympic gold medal and several world championships. This short video tells Pendleton’s story of how she was introduced to cycling by her father (a former British grass-track national champion), the incredibly heavy training required to be the best in the world, and how it feels to fly around the track at 75km/hr.

Excellent Idea: Public Repair Stand

In an effort to promote bicycling, the University of Virginia installed a public D.I.Y. repair stand with an air pump and enough tools to fix almost any basic mechanical problem. It’s a simple and clever way for the school to not only show their support for bikes, but offer cyclists something practical and helpful. It’s also nice to see an institution taking a different approach to bike advocacy than slapping down some sharrows or painting some poorly placed bike lanes.

It would be great if public repair stands caught on in cities everywhere. It makes so much sense to install them along bike paths and high-traffic bike corridors. I carry a basic repair kit and pump with me every time I ride. But if I had the option to throw my bike on a stand and use real tools rather than propping my bike against the nearest sign and working my little hand pump until my arms get tired, I would do it every time.

Welcome to Bike Commuting, Try Not To Hurt Yourselves

We’re in the midst of Bike to Work Month. Here in Seattle, it is a big deal. The Cascade Bicycle Club, backed by a small army of corporate sponsors, goes above and beyond to promote bike commuting with the Commute Challenge and a slew of bikey events and parties. Cheesy as some of the promotions can be, they seem to really work.

In May at least, Seattle sees a huge spike in bike commuting. During rush hour, it’s not uncommon to see lines of bikes 20 or 30 deep at red lights along major bike routes. Last year, on bike to work day Cascade estimated there were over 20,000 bike commuters on the road. It’s always a pretty amazing sight to see.

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Alex Wetmore: The Framebuilding Technical Wiz Who Loves to Ride Rough

Alex and the middle stages of his first cycletruck. Photo from Duncan Cycles.

Alex Wetmore is not a household name for most of the cycling world. But in certain circles–like the iBob and Framebuilders listservs and Bicycle Quarterly’s readership–Alex’s name rings out as a skilled framebuilder with impressively deep technical savvy. He’s documented his work as a hobbyist frame/fork/rack builder, his technical trials with the inner workings of bikes and components, his adventures with “rough stuff cycling,” and more on his blog and as a contributor to Bicycle Quarterly. Alex and I talked about his roots in cycling, his attraction to the technical sides of bikes, his love of remote rough-road riding, and more.

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Who Knew Chains Were So Interesting?

Alright, chains alone aren’t terribly interesting despite their importance in every cyclist’s life. But this clip from the show How It’s Made showing the factory production of a new chain is surprisingly interesting. Have patience when you start the video. The first few seconds are a little off.