Eddie Roman’s 1995 mountain bike and BMX video Hammertime is an amazing period piece. Punk rock and metal soundtrack, Hi8 video, choppy transitions between short clips of trick after trick; all staples of the skateboard and BMX videos of the era. Hammertime features big name riders like Brian Lopes, Hans Rey, Fuzzy Hall, and Mat Hoffman jumping dirt jumps, riding their mountain bikes like BMX bikes on the street, and shredding single track.
Brothers Jack, Norman, and Ken Taylor were professional cyclists in Britain in the 1930s and 40s. Dissatisfied with the equipment available to them, they began hand building their own frames. That humble start laid the foundation for Jack Taylor Bicycles, the deeply-influential bicycle company the three brothers ran together for nearly seven decades.
In 1986, BBC produced a short documentary about the brothers, their history, and their work. It provides a terrific look into their craft, their attention to detail, and dedication to doing things by hand and doing them properly. In addition, the brothers speak fondly of their racing days and share their views on the changing world and industry around them. It is a fantastic way to spend 25 minutes.
Jill at the 2008 Iditarod Trail Invitational. Photo via Jill’s Blog.
Jill Homer’s bike racing palmarès read like a checklist of some of the world’s foremost ultra-endurance and adventure racing events. They include the Ititarod Trail Invitational snowbike race, Great Divide Race (for which she’s the women’s record holder), TransRockies, Stagecoach 400, and many more. The 32 year old California transplant (by way of Alaska and Utah before that) lives for adventures that push her to her mental and physical limits. We discussed her path from not even owning a bike in her early 20s to ultra-endurance cyclist, her attraction and need to explore her personal limits through endurance racing, her new pursuits as an ultra-marathon runner, and more.
Bicycle touring’s popularity is on the rise in America. There are no firm statistics available (though Adventure Cycling Association is actively collecting data to help change that), but it’s clear from the number of dedicated websites, blog posts, forums and the fact that nearly all major manufactures have an off-the-shelf touring bike available (certainly not true 10 years ago), more and more people are hitting the road for everything from overnight bike camping to multi-year tours. Unsurprisingly, Oregon seems to be at the forefront of states recognizing the economic potential of the bike touring industry. Oregon tourism website Travel Oregon promotes bike touring. Portland’s Cycle Wild leads guided bike camping trips. Path Less Pedaled is creating a video series about traveling Oregon by bike. And last month, Ellee Thalheimer made her contribution to the state’s burgeoning bike touring industry with the publication of her book Cycling Sojourner, Oregon’s first guide to self-supported, multi-day bike touring.
Cycling Sojourner offers its readers an in-depth guide to eight different tours around the state ranging from an easy several day cruise through Oregon wine country to a challenging week-long adventure out east that’s chock full of mountainous gravel climbs.