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Who is Chris Horner and Why Should You Care

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Chris Horner is an American professional bike racer who just won the Vuelta a Espana, which is a pretentious way of saying the Tour of Spain. This is the first time an American has won this stage race and at 41 years old, Chris becomes the oldest man to accomplish this.

Here is more from Grantland.com Shane Ryan:

Chris Horner, the Unlikely American Cycling Hero
By: Shane Ryan
September 18th, 2013
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On Sunday, 41-year-old cyclist Chris Horner became the first American to win La Vuelta a Espana and the oldest man to ever win a Grand Tour.

But with apologies to the real cycling fans of the Internet, I’m going to make five assumptions about you, the Grantland reader who stumbled on this article. First, you’ve only ever heard of the Vuelta in passing, if at all, and ditto for Chris Horner. Second, you’re wondering why you should care. Third, you lack some basic facts. Fourth, the first word that comes to mind when you come across a cycling story is “doping.” Fifth, you’ve yet to encounter the poetic side of the sport.

Read more: Grantland.com/blog/Chris Horner unlikely American cycling hero.

Bike Press-The Good, the Bad and the infiltrated

This week biking in NYC got some love (coverage) in the local rags.

AM NY had a cover story Monday about how the bike sharing program has been inordinately successful and surpassed expectations.

First Summer of Citibike Exceeds Expectations
By: Ivan Pereira
September 15th, 2013

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New Yorkers have certainly done their “share” to make Citi Bike a hit.

The inaugural summer of Citi Bike, which launched on May 27, has been a major success, according to the city Department of Transportation. More than 288,000 subscriptions have been registered for the bike share program through last Thursday.

Read more: here.

Today, the Metro paper had a story about how the popularity of Citibike has lead to many adults to learn how to ride a bicycle.

With no training wheels, adults learn how to ride bikes
By: Anna Sanders
September 17th, 2013

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Jackie Wasilczyk wobbled, struggling for balance and straddling a bicycle with no pedals on the East River Bikeway, when a young child whizzed by on his own two-wheeler.

Survive the R train shutdown with our commuter’s guide
“You’re stuck cause you want to learn, but it’s not easy when you’re older,” the 27-year-old Park Slope resident said earlier. “Especially with CitiBike—I want to be able to use that resource.”

Many adults like Wasilczyk are turning to Bike New York, a nonprofit aimed at promoting cycling in the city, to learn a skill that’s becoming more useful since the bike share program launched in May.

Read more: here.

Unfortunately not all the bike news in NYC is so happy-feel-good.

On this 2nd anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (September 17th, 2013)
It turns out our beloved bike activist group, Time’s Up has been spied on and infiltrated.

Not the best way to make it into the press but it is good to expose the reality of what’s going on and perhaps shed light on what may originally be thought of as conspiracy theory.

Last week the New York Times revealed that NYPD documents highlight not only are the cops spying on Muslim groups but casting a wide net that includes Time’s Up who primarily provides such nefarious actives such as garden clean-ups and dance themed bike rides.

These reports were confirmed by Pulitzer Prize winning AP journalists Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, who identified that the NYPD were spying on Muslim groups as part of their demographics unit.

On Reed-Thin Evidence, a Very Wide Net of Police Surveillance

By: Michael Powell
September 9, 2013

A bicycle glides through the perpetual neon glow that suffuses Times Square to the foot of a military recruiting station. The rider dismounts and then bikes away.

Seconds later, a bomb explodes in a gray cloud of smoke. It is early morning on March 6, 2008; thankfully no one is hurt.

Three weeks later, the New York Police Department’s intelligence division filed a secret report claiming to have identified Dennis Christopher Burke, an anarchist, as a bombing suspect.

Their evidence stood on the frailest of reeds.

Mr. Burke, that secret report stated, might have posted a link on an anarchist blog, “Bombs and Shields,” to a news account of the bombing written by Fox News. The police acknowledged that they were just guessing. Their informers had last linked Mr. Burke to that blog three years earlier.

Read the whole story: here.

There was also a story on yesterday’s
Democracy Now with an interview with Apuzzo and Goldman:

From Mosques to Soccer Leagues: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spy Unit Targeting Muslims, Activists

Since 9/11, the New York City Police Department has established an intelligence operation that in some ways has been even more aggressive than the National Security Agency. At its core is a spying operation targeting Arab- and Muslim-Americans where they live, work and pray. The NYPD’s “Demographics Unit,” as it was known until 2010, has secretly infiltrated Muslim student groups, sent informants into mosques, eavesdropped on conversations in restaurants, barber shops and gyms, and built a vast database of information. The program was established with help from the CIA, which is barred from domestic spying. Just last month, it emerged the NYPD has labeled at least 50 Muslim organizations, including a dozen mosques, as terrorist groups. This has allowed them to carry out what are called “Terrorism Enterprise Investigations,” sending undercover informants into mosques to spy on worshipers and make secret recordings. We’re joined by the Pulitzer-winning duo who exposed the NYPD’s spy program, Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, co-authors of the new book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” We’re also joined by Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, which was among the groups targeted by the NYPD.

Listen or watch the segment:
here.

It seems rather frightening to think that the NYPD would have deeper surveillance then the NSA and that this spying would extend to community groups who’s soul purpose is to make NYC a greener, sustainable and a more livable place, On the positive side, it’s good to know we’re not crazy when suspecting certain individuals of being cops or informants.

The danger here is letting the cops break apart our community with their own unconstitutional behavior and the influence it can have due to paranoia and suspicion.

Time’s Up has always thrived on volunteers to build the bicycle community and hopefully this type of information will only make it stronger.

Big victory for StreetsPac

Not a bad start for StreetsPAC, a group dedicated to electing public officials who share a common vision of safer streets for NYC.

Their members and volunteers made a great effort in getting the vote out, hitting up cyclists across the city with concise literature that highlighted their endorsed candidates.
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Here is an article in streets blog about their success after the September primary:

Big Winners on Primary Day: de Blasio and StreetsPAC
By: Ben Fried
September 11th, 2013

Yesterday, New York City Democrats chose the candidate who’s campaigned as the anti-Bloomberg. But on issues of traffic safety and surface transit, Bill de Blasio, despite some wavering, has pledged to build on the current administration’s progress while tackling the unfinished business of reforming the NYPD’s approach to traffic violence. And with several City Council candidates endorsed by the newly formed StreetsPAC winning hotly contested primaries, the results of last night’s election bode well for livable streets in NYC over the next four years. As StreetsPAC board member Eric McClure put it, “It’s clear from the results the primary that support for safe and complete streets has gone mainstream.”

Read more: here.

Besides the safe streets agenda, the primary results indicate New York City is on route to one of the most progressive administrations its had within the last 50 years. This strikes a major blow to the Wall Street, Real Estate greed agenda that has dominated and made NYC a very unaffordable place.

More on that from Daily News and Democracy Now co-anchor Juan González:

Democracy Now,
New York City Poised to Elect Its Most Progressive Government in 50 Years

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: “Yes, but I think the trend is by now pretty obvious. What’s been happening is that I think that New York City is on the cusp of electing perhaps its most progressive government in the past 50 years, that you have, on the one hand, what’s gotten most of the attention is the mayoral race, where Bill de Blasio is now in the lead and most likely will be the Democratic nominee. I think he just fell—he’s just over the 40 percent threshold in defeating the several other opponents and most likely won’t need a runoff, but even if he falls below the 40 percent threshold as they count 15,000 or so absentee ballots, I think it’s likely the other Democratic contenders will unite behind him. And de Blasio really ran a very progressive race, focusing in on income inequality in New York City, the 47 percent of New Yorkers are at or near the poverty level, and talking about the need to rein in the—all the tax breaks to developers and the business community, and increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for better public education and expanded preschool. So I think that he really—his campaign really resonated with the reality that many New Yorkers are facing, and that’s why he was able to cobble together a coalition.”

Read more: here.

Now we move on the the November election with the help of the:

#allpowerfulbikelobby. Psst, feel free to spread the hashtag.

More from Salon.com:
Political power on two wheels: Don’t mess with the bikers!
Forget Boss Tweed or newspaper endorsements: There’s a surprising new political power in big cities — bicyclists
Forget Boss Tweed or newspaper endorsements: There’s a surprising new political power in big cities — bicyclists.

By: Henry Grabar
September 7th, 2013

New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn swept the big papers; Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, earned the support of the teachers union.
As for the front-runner in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio? Last week, he won the endorsement of StreetsPAC, a political action committee dedicated to improving the safety and mobility of New York City streets, and, at 5 months old, one of the city’s youngest political entities.

Read more: here.

Citibike extreme

There is still lots of backlash on NYC’s 6 month old Citibike sharing program. Maybe New Yorkers haven’t realized the truly awesome potential “cool factor” of what are perceived as clunky rides.

BMX star and co-owner of Chinatown’s bike shop Dah Shop, Tyrone Williams, puts his Animal Bikes Team skills into a bike share bike.

Check out this story and video from Animal New York Magazine Aymann Ismail.

(I hope he didn’t exceed his 30min. limit)

Vimeo:

Source: http://animalnewyork.com/2013/citi-bike-bmx/

Ringing a new bell with Spurcycle.com

Last year San Francisco based company spurcycle.com got all creative with hand grips and made interchangeable mix and match color rings called: GripRings.

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This year, they’ve set out to make the perfect bicycle bell, handcrafted with precision in the USA.

They are looking for crowd source funding on their kickstarter page.

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Bell Details:
–Powerful sound from a trim, precision form.
–Innovative mounting system straps to any handlebar: modern road, mountain, or vintage townie.
–Manufactured in the USA from premium metal components.
–Bells come in three finish options: ——Raw, Polished, and Stealth Black.
–Kickstarter pledge levels start at $35 for the new bell.
–Orders taken now will deliver 60 days following completion of the Kickstarter campaign.

To learn more, check out their kickstarter video:

To fund the project and acquire one of these sweet bells, visit:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/139160027/a-better-bicycle-bell-made-in-the-usa?mobile=0

Custom design helmets-Belle Helmets, new and improved

Danielle Baskin, creator of bellehelmets.com has been hand painting designs on bike helmets for several years now. I was one of her early test subjects, which she gave me on a sweet Bern.
BikePhotoBooth-11-09-48 copy (photo by: Keiko Niwa )

She generally opts for the more skater style of helmet for more surface area, but this is truly a one-of-a-kind gift for any cyclist.
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In the past all the helmets are painted by hand with acrylics which takes around 20 hours. Now Danielle is looking to speed up the process using vinyl printing.
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She’s looking for crowd-funding to help her relaunch her new operation.

Here is a promotional video explaining more,

To learn more and help support Danielle’s project, check out: www.crowdsupply.com/belle-helmets/belle-helmets

Boombotix and Timbuk2 Sack Up Sweepstakes

Here is a contest from two of my favorite product makers, both stationed in the Bay Area… Boombotix ultraportable speakers and Timbuk2 bags.

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From Boombotix:

Timbuk2 an Boombotix have teamed up to offer you the ultimate adventure prize pack… literally. Timbuk2 is a San Francisco based company that makes some of the finest messenger bags in the business. They’ve kicked down three of their new Haight Backpacks to swag you guys out. These backpacks have a built-in laptop carrying pocket and a U-Lock holder for riders and techies alike. All Timbuk2 bags come with a lifetime warranty.

As they say in informercials; BUT WAIT, there’s MORE! When you enter in the contest, you are not only qualified to get a sick pack but we’ll also be throwing each contest winner a Boombot Portable Speaker of your choice. Boombots incorporate wireless connectivity, ruggedized housing, and a built-on clip. Give it a home on the strap/pocket of your new Timbuk2 bag and tune your way through your next excursion.

Enter here.

Citibiker by the numbers

Here’s a guy with an interesting challenge. @Citibiker, is trying to find the first 100 Citibikes, numbered accordingly on the side in white like a serial number, out of the more than 6,000 bikes in circulation in NYC.

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To follow along his progress and various sites around town, visit: citibiker.tumblr.com

I’m hoping for number: 00001

Video Friday 8/3/13

Another installment of Video Friday:

Title: Pure Fix in the City
Featuring our X-RAY, this video takes you through Washington Square Park, SoHo, and the LES in NYC. It wasn’t easy to shoot, either, as our fingers nearly broke off in the cold.

——————->
Title: Heavy Pedal “Flying Tiger”
For the launch of their new “Flying Tiger” kit from Heavy Pedal

——————->

Title:This is Marin
Seen on: Prolly
From Prolly:
I’ve only ridden in Marin county a handful of times and from what I can tell, I’ve only scratched the surface. Marin Bikes were developed there and here’s their new brand intro video.

——————->
Title:San Marco: We Ride with You Trailer
Seen on: Prolly
From Prolly:
Here’s a new campaign from one of the best saddle manufacturers of all time, San Marco:
“We want to share with you the emotions, that inspired us every time we create our products. To achieve this we realized a short film and we will soon have the pleasure to show it to you in its full length.
An emotional video to tell the spirit of our brand and to show a preview of the new products. To describe the history of the company, to talk about activities and tell through images, music and words the different cycling cultures and worlds, we ride with.
We Ride with You!”


——————->
Title:Welcome to the Hold Fast Kareem Shehab
Seen on: Prolly
From Prolly:

Kareem is now riding for Hold Fast, the makers of made in the USA components and frames. That’s a decision I can get behind. Here’s his welcoming edit to the team. Check it out as he rips with the 26″ Subverter frame.

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Title:Les Alpes – Trailer
Seen on: Prolly

Every rider is unique in his motivations. The inspiration to escape the everyday routine, find new experience, and push limits comes from deep within. Imagery in this film acts like a window into the soul of a person seeking to live at the heart of the mountains. He’s driven to explore deeper and ride farther than most people, as a personal challenge coming in August 2013.

Continue reading Video Friday 8/3/13

Hand-Built Bike Show Comes to Brooklyn-Bike Cult Show

Legendary bike mechanic Dave Perry wrote the bicycle encyclopedia bike cult back in 1995 when bicycle culture was fairly outlaw and underground. Now it’s high fashion and much more in the spot light as viable transportation.

This has also lead to a renaissance of bespoke and custom made frames and components with independent builders creating magnificent and artful creations all around North America.

Dave is teaming up with Harry Schwartzman of the Bike Jumblefor a hand built show right here in Brooklyn, to show off some of the brightest Northeast frame builders.

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The Bike Cult Show
Labor Day Weekend
August 30 & 31, 2013
Warsaw Concert Hall, 261 Driggs Ave, BROOKLYN, NY

Continue reading Hand-Built Bike Show Comes to Brooklyn-Bike Cult Show