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Great Tour Recap from Chris Horner

Team RadioShack’s Chris Horner, from Bend Oregon, is keeping a diary of the events in Le Tour.
Read more Here.

Chrome Shoes hooks me up with the Tobruk

Sometimes this is an occupational hazard from riding a track bike with laces on your shoes:

Fortunately their are choices, like using a slip on shoe like those made famous by classic skate apparel makers Vans. This is a good option and inexpensive vs the specialty cycling shoes, which often have to be used with specific pedals.

A few years ago Chrome got into the action making shoes. This San Francisco based company, known for making great messenger bags now has a full line of shoes that are comfortable and rugged for the needs of the urban rider and dorks like me who get their shoe laces caught.

I really can’t say enough good things about this company. Not only do they make long-lasting functional gear for cyclists, they are deeply involved in the biking community, putting on events and listening to the needs and requests of their riders demands-mainly because they are those same riders.

In March of 2010, they had this amazing giveaway called: “Turds for Gold” where they recycled your worn out shoes and gave you new ones of theirs. More on this from Prolly.
(photo from Prolly’s site)

In addition to their lace up line of low and high top shoes…they now have a new slip on called the Tobruk. What’s with the name? Well if Alex Trebek were asking…”What is the name of an ancient sea-port town on the Mediterranean coast of Libya?” Otherwise I have no idea.

But my buddies at Chrome were kind enough to send me a pair of these fresh slip-ons to try out and take for a spin. (and I didn’t have to turn in any old shoes)

Made from durable Cordura material, these shoes are incredibly comfortable, on and off the bike. They’ve got three ring eyelets on the side for ventilation and a super strong stiff insert which makes for great pedal stiffness. They come in grey and black and sell for around $75.00.

I’ve been using them for a couple of weeks now and find them more comfortable than vans. I expected them to be strong and work with the toe-clips of the bike but was really surprised at how comfortable they are to walk around in.

I posted a bit of their stats on the shoes from a press release:
· Low profile design to better fit into a toe cage
· 100% vulcanized construction
· Weatherproof 1,000 denier Cordura with back-padding
· Re-enforced nylon/glass fiber shank to support the midsole
· Board lasted sole to eliminate pedal hot spot
· Skid resistant contact rubber on the sole
· Polyurethane contoured crash pad insole
· Durable rubber heel cup with reflective safety hit
· Center gore slip-on design

I recommend these if you are looking for a light weight throw around slip on.
Thanks to Chrome for the hook-up.

Escape from New York pictures

Last Saturday was the Escape from New York ride. Put together by Squid to promote the NYC leg of his Velo City Tour.

It was a great time of costumes, tattoos, and fireworks.
Here are some pictures from my team mate, Tod Seelie of suckapants.com



For from his Blog recap and posted here at everydayilive.com/escapefromnewyork/index.html

Get the race recap on the website: escapefromnewyorkfunride.blogspot.com

Father and Son on the Tour

Found this-
A Father and Son, Bill and Liam Flanagan are reporting from this year’s Le Tour. There riding the course and reporting back in their own videos:

Follow along on their website: www.fathersontour.com

Couple of photos from Rapha store opening

The new Rapha clothing store and coffee shop hasn’t officially opened to the public.

But Thursday there was a press party to get a sneak peek at the new diggs.
I missed this opening but the new NYC cycling blog Velojoy was there taking pictures of those in attendance.

Read the recap here.

The official grand opening is today where you can grab a third rail coffee and watch the prologue of LeTour.

352 Bowery, NYC

Recap on Prospect Park Bike Lane

On Monday, I reported of another meeting of local residents angry with the newly completed Prospect Park West bike lane.

This lead to the creation of a facebook group against the bike lane which you can check out here. (Although you have to join it to find out what its all about, which means its made up of a lot of pro-bike lane people who want to be part of the debate-maybe a flaw with facebook)

Seems like this group wants to argue that the bike lane is bad because it has removed a lane of traffic and then when trucks double park, things like this happen…

That’s kind of like the woman trying to sue McDonald’s for burning her mouth because the coffee was too hot. Hmmmmm…Common Sense vs finding someone to blame?

Then there was an article in Streetsblog about the lane, by Ben Fried-

As PPW Intrigue Mounts, Brooklyn Paper Defends the Completed Street
Before I get to the “intrigue” part of this post (it’s juicy), first let me say that if you haven’t checked out the Prospect Park West re-design yet, you owe it to yourself to head on over and take a look. Last time I checked, some of the finishing touches have yet to appear, but it’s already one of the most effective street transformations the city has undertaken.

With two lanes of traffic instead of three, PPW feels like it’s been reclaimed for the neighborhood. I haven’t biked the new two-way path since it opened, but I’ve walked on each side of the new PPW, and it’s a pleasure. The highway speeds and zooming traffic noise are gone, and the calming effect seems to rub off on everybody.
Read more here.

Ben pointed out last weeks op-ed in the Park Slope Courier against the new lane… Here.

and then the Brooklyn Paper’s response in defense of the new lane… here.

Gothamist and the Daily news had articles too.

This lead to a pro-bike lane facebook group which can be found here.

This group has some valuable information such as if you’d like to write the people who support the new lane and helped put it in place you can email them:

Community Board 6: Info@brooklyncb6.org
Council Member Steve Levin: slevin@council.nyc.gov
Council Member Brad Lander: http://bradlander.org/contact

Results of my impromptu poll shows: 143 people voted, 11 said have the lane removed at once, 3 wondered why it couldn’t be a regular bike lane, 5 said they were ok with the lane but cyclist need to be more careful and 124 people loved the lane.

bikeblognyc LeTour Update

That’s right its Tour Time! That other world famous sporting event about to set off July 3rd, besides that thing that’s been going on where people kick a ball around.
Yes the world’s greatest cyclists are gathering in France to battle it out for 2 wheel supremacy.
-By no means am I any expert on professional cycling, but I can’t help but get excited about this internationally famous event, and besides people are sending me things to promote around the tour so I felt a bit obligated to pass along some information.

I’ve been doing a bit of searching on twitter, to get a little preview of this three week cycling extravaganza.

First I found a very short podcast with some commentary form Australia’s own Phil Wrochna, from the triathlon cycling blog: firstoffthebike.com.

I know this is kind of a stretch but it was 11 minutes of commentary that made some good predictions and summarized some of what to expect in this years 2010 Tour.

That can be found at backpagelead.com

Of course there are tons of articles and information and this famous American cyclist giving a preview of the tour.

Now some basic information about the race, from the official website: www.letour.fr

-This is the 97th Tour.
-From Saturday July 3rd to Sunday July 25th 2010,
-there will be 1 prologue and 20 stages covering 3,642 kilometres. (2,262 miles)

Other stage details:
These stages have the following profiles:

* 1 prologue,
* 9 flat stages,
* 6 mountain stages and 3 summit finishes,
* 4 medium mountain stages,
* 1 individual time-trial stage (52 km).

The race kicks off with a prologue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Friday, July 2nd.

Here is a pretty cool map showing the course:

There will be three stages in the Netherlands including a rather brutal decisive stage 3 in Wanze- Arenberg Porte du Hainaut which will involve 7 cobble stone sectors. This is reminiscent of the famous 1 day cycling event, riddled with difficult roads-the Paris-Roubaix.

Now on to the participants.

Favored to take it all, is last years winner, Alberto Contador (Team Astana)
(photo by: Bas Czerwinski/Associated Press)

Known for his all-around abilities including speed and intense hill climbing, the 27 year old Spaniard may have an easy time in this year’s race.

For some other profiles of popular contenders, check out this article in the NY Times.

Well, the LeTour is never without controversy and this year it may stem not for the modifications done to the human body through DRUGS, but rather what’s done to the bikes. Instead of hiding substances in the body, racers are being accused of hiding motors in their bikes.

Some insight in this article here.

Here is another article in the NY Times identifying some

Now here are some twitter feeds to follow. The Racers:

Alberto Contador
tweeting a photo of a team training ride in Rotterdam:

Cadel Evans (BMC)
Bradley Wiggins (team SKY)
Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
George Hincapie (BMC)
Lance Armstrong (RadioShack)
Christian VandeVelde (Garmin-Transitions)
Ivan Basso (Liquigas)

To search twitter for the tour use: #tdf or #tourdefrance

The official Tour De France tweet: twitter.com/tourfrance

Teams:
BMC

Team Radio Shack
TeamSky

News:
Phil Liggett
Bob Roll
Juliet Macur reporter with NY Times.
Cycling News
Velo News
Universal Sports featuring the Bike Snob.
Versustv

Here is some info I was sent from Bicycling Magazine on how to plug into the tour.

Here is their Top 10 riders to watch.

Article on Lance Armstrong’s greatest tour moments here.

Bicycling.com, Tour De France Podcasts.

Expert Analysis by Bill Strickland here.

and

Numerous videos can be found here.

Thanks to Paige Landsem, from Bicycling Magazine for sending these links to Tour resources.

Also the cycling map app and website Map My Ride, is having a TDF challenge which you can resister for and follow along with tour riders. Find out more Here.
(Photo by John Prolly)
Cycling wear company, Rapha has a new store opening up on the Bowery and will be having live tour coverage. Their Grand opening is Saturday, July 3rd.

John Prolly has been all over the stores activity including a press party they held tonight.

Pedal for Pizza

Here is a new one.

A couple of riders in Brooklyn want to train for TA’s NYC Century in September. They also love pizza so they started a new blog called: pedalforpizza.com

They want to have group rides and search for the best pizza in town.

Thanks to my suggestion…they are headed to Coney Island to Totonno’s for their kickoff ride and they want you to come along.

Thursday, July 1st
Here is some info on the ride:
Special thanks go to Michael Green of BikeBlogNYC (twitter @BikeBlogNYC)

Not only was he the second person to follow us back, he also banged out an email expressing his interest so fast it made our heads spin. Totonnos is his favorite pizza place, and his suggestion, so credit goes to him for this one, thanks Mike!

From their “about” page

“Still standing, Totonno’s is the oldest continuously operating pizzeria in the U.S. run by the same family. “

They now have 3 locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan and have been heralded by the likes of Zagat as “The best pizza in New York, possibly the world” and “Only God makes better pizza” and Readers Choice as the “Best pizza in Manhattan”

We’ll be meeting in front of Gino’s at 6:30p with a 6:45p departure time

We expect to return between 8:30p and 9:00p

Wont you join us for this ~14mile ride?

~The Pedalers~

Love your lanes–or loose them.

NYC’s bicycle infrastructure, such as creation of bike lanes, seems to happen in a NY minute. Today I blinked and noticed that 2nd Ave’s more traditional class one bike lane has now become a green painted class 2 where the parked cars have been moved into the street. This is in the section of roadway from 14th St. down to Houston St.

This driver, didn’t blink and hadn’t noticed that parking was moved.

There was even a space available but the oblivious driver choose to stay in the bike lane and pay the muni-meter. Not your average double parking job.

This is proof that no mater how much we try and Amsterdamize the city and make it more bike friendly, its still New York and there is a general lack of respect for this type of change, especially when the police spend way more time enforcing cyclist behavior, then on this.

I’m trying to be open minded to the new lanes, but drivers like this are making it difficult.

So I headed back to Brooklyn and saw this email that there was another issue with a bike lane.

Speaking of resistance to change:

@critmasspanic alerted me there was a meeting against the new bike lane on Prospect Park West.

In case you didn’t know, there has been a new bike lane put on Prospect Park West that is two way, and again where the parking has been maintained and moved away from the sidewalk.

The new bike lane was designed with the intention to make for safer streets and give cyclists the option to travel from Windsor Terrace to Grand Army plaza which is not an option riding the clockwise loop in Prospect Park. It is also designed as a “traffic calming” measure and has removed on of the vehicle lanes.

The lane has meet with some resistance stemming from Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz who called the DOT commissioner a Zealot even though this lane was approved by the community board. Marty’s big plan was to just have people ride on the sidewalk even though…its illegal.

Oh Marty…Fuggetaboutit!

Aren’t you supposed to getting naked if they don’t save the pool?

The new lane which has been in operation for only a couple of weeks has meet with some complaints from local Park Slope residents as observed the Brooklyn Paper who called it a bike lane war.

Perhaps this is growing pains associated with the need to make change in making more infrastructure for alternative means of transportation. Turns out the bike lanes in NYC is not random or zealous at all but rather, part of a bicycle master plan from 1997 which designates a certain millage of bike lanes to be created until they reach their goal by 2030.

Try telling this to the residents of 9 Prospect Park West.

They are up in arms and pissed off at this new bike lane even though it was approved by the community, painted and in full operation.

They called for another meeting, apparently the third to try and reverse the lane and perhaps have a repeat performance of what happened on Bedford Ave. Similarly, the local residents used their political muscle to have the lane removed since the Jewish community of that area is one large voting block. Well 9 PPW has the resident of Senator Charles Schumer and his wife, former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall.

(Iris is not the Blonde)

I was alerted of this meeting through email and twitter and rumors were flying pretty fast that Schumer might be present.

I headed over to 9 Prospect Park West and wanted to find out how to attend the meeting and let the residents the bike lane was already built, in case there was some confusion. Maybe they suffered from the same ignorance as the car on 2nd Ave. I heard the meeting was at 7:00pm, so I arrived early.

One of the local resident confronted us and wanted to make it clear she thought the bike lane was dangerous. We told her that it actually increased safety. We also tried to point out that it was approved from the community board. She replied…”Well I wasn’t informed about this and neither was Charles Schummer who lives here.” UH, she most not be in the building much to not know about this lane, which reinforced my urgency to be there. It also puzzled me how this bike lane on the other side of the street directly effected her and the other local residents. I’m sure with her overwhelming concerns of safety, she will be out there a lot in an orange vest, making sure bikers slow down. I have one if she’d like to borrow it.
Of all the things to be up in arms about…I can think of some others:


More people started to arrive to support the bike lane and we quickly discovered this was a private meeting of the residents with a list…and you can bet…none of us were on it. However, non-residents were invited including people from Marty Markowitz office who casually strolled into the building, obviously wearing the secret Brooklyn label pin that gets you in. Schumer was a no show and on more important affairs in DC.

The cyclists decided to have their own meeting about their support for the lane outside the building…everyone was invited.


I got to meet some twitter people such as: @noneck.
and the NY Times reporter J. David Goodman @spokesnyt and @billytall and @mikepstein.

So it looks as if Marty is still sore about this lane and is trying to work with the residents of 9 Prospect Park West to get his way. 

If indeed the lane is removed…it will be unprecedented…and a sad lesson that if you have enough powerful rich people living in your building you can reverse much needed bike infrastructure.

I’d be very curious to know what people think of the new bike lane on Prospect Park West. Please take a few seconds to answer this simple poll.

What do you think of the Prospect Park West bike lane?
I love it, much needed
The lanes fine, but cyclists are reckless
Don’t care much for it, why couldn’t it just be a regular bike lane
bad idea, but don’t have it removed
remove it at once
  
pollcode.com free polls

Also feel free to leave lots of comments on what you think about this in the section below.

Learn about battling bike theft

J. David Goodman has written an excelent article on efforts being done to battle bike theft, including a LoJack style radio transmitter system created by, Baitbike.com

Efforts on Bicycling Also Attract Thieves
By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Published: June 25, 2010

It has become a kind of mantra for cities looking to encourage cycling through a widening network of bicycle lanes: Build them, and the riders will come.
And, it turns out, the same might be said of bicycle thieves. As cyclists from New York to San Francisco take advantage of new commuting infrastructure, thieves appear to be taking a growing interest in two-wheeled travel as well, riders and advocates report. The response by some cities and local law enforcement agencies has been a kind of high-tech cat-and-mouse game, one involving bait bikes and radio trackers as well as social media Web sites.

In San Francisco, the police are working with advocates to develop a series of stings this summer using hidden transmitters mounted on bikes. “It’s a lot like the drug war,” said Marc Caswell of the San Francisco Bike Coalition, an advocacy group. “We need to get the higher-ups.”

Read the article in the NY Times here.