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Co-Ed Bike Polo Tournament in DC

picture-6
April 18th and 19th in DC.
for details check out Hotboiledp-nuts.com

a quick posting on new Time’s Up space in Williamsburg

The blog Changes Brooklyn, has the tagline…volunteering in the age of Obama.
Its writer recently went down to the new time’s up space in Williamsburg,
Check out ChangesBrooklyn.com

More about this stolen bike

Sorry for the delay. I was waiting on a picture of the bike itself. So it turns out the Bianchi Milano was stolen on Houston and Mercer in front of the Angelika theater in Manhattan. The lock that was broken was a Kryptonite KryptoLok U-lock
4912875
which sells for about $25.00.
These are good for locking a back wheel, but shouldn’t be relied on for the main lock of the bike.
Also if there may be some strategy to not looking a bike near a movie theater, which gives the impression to thieves that they have at least an hour and a half to steal your bike. I had a bike stolen locked to the bike racks at the 2nd Ave and 11th St. movie house, but that had a fairly crappy lock.
It sucks to think that you can’t just ride your bike to a movie in NYC without going to great lengths to strategize about where to lock up…but…its something to think about. Why not put it near a pizzeria or place that has food delivery so as not to be a more obvious target.

Bike Stolen

OH NO. Could be the beginning of bicycle theft season.
A good friend of mine, Nara, just alerted me her bike was stolen in what seems to be a rather bold attack.

My bike was just stolen from the corner of Houston and Mercer, right outside the Angelika. Someone smashed the Kryptonite lock, which was twisted in a heap when I came out and found the bike was missing. Description: 18″ celeste green Bianchi Milano — older model without fenders with a non-standard WTB saddle (black with red details). Anodized blue aluminum bell on left handlebar, and possibly the vestiges of a lock attached to the crossbar.

Grrrrrrr.

please be on the look out for this bike.

Follow up with David August Trimble

After getting a good healthy buzz off of Gothamist and the NY Times I thought it would only be fitting to follow up with David August Trimble and find his personal insights to the Redhook Criterium.
I asked him the following questions:
Who won? (race results)
Only 7 riders finished on the lead lap and were scored.

1. Neil Bezdek
2. David Trimble
3. John Kniesly
4. Chris Thormann
5. John Taki Theodoracopulos
6. Gabriel Allen
7. Lyle Driver

What were some of the challenges of putting on this race?
The most difficult part of organizing this race was attracting the
racers. Perhaps the average alley cat racer was intimidated by the
promised speed of the event but the average road racer was terrified
about the idea of racing on an open street. In conceiving the idea I
received a lot of negative feedback about the format and seemingly
reckless nature of the race. Trying to convince a roadie who is
envisioning his entire season down the drain because of a cobbly crash
was extremely hard. In the end I had a much smaller field than I
anticipated (which actually worked out well considering the
conditions on course). I think the word is out now that this race is
relatively safe, fast, hard, and fun. I didn’t receive any negative
feedback about the race from anyone who competed.

For about a week before the race I was obsessively checking the
weather forecast. The day before the race there was a 90% chance of
thunderstorms. I was frantic and was exploring options to postpone
the event. I stayed patient and the rain gods smiled down on Red Hook.

The rest of the race organization while difficult was enjoyable. I
somehow attracted a stand up crew to help run and promote the race.
Every element from the party, race directing, to the press coverage
came together seamlessly. It even started on time (more or less)
which is unheard of in unsanctioned bike races.

What was the turnout like from the racers?
We had approx. 30 entrants which was lower that I anticipated but
actually pretty good considering the misty weather conditions and late
start time. I think everyone also expected the race to be shut down
after all exposure in ended up getting in the press. I am forever
grateful for the racers that showed up. Several of the guys in the
field let me know they were only racing because it was my birthday.

How was it with the Roadies mixing it up with the Alleycats?

The roadies don’t give themselves enough credit. Before the race I
could see the terror in their eyes. Eric Robertson was muttering
under his breath about how fucking dangerous and crazy it was.
Gabriel Loyd was very calmly panicking about the wet cobblestones.
After the first lap I could see in their eyes that they were no longer
concerned with the danger and were racing race hard. I actually felt
relief in the race when I realized the fast roadies were mixing it up
through the corners. The alleycat racers were in their element.
Monstertrack champion Crihs was a monster out there. Every-time I
struggled through the chicane he would yell at me to go faster. The
bike handling skills displayed by everyone were impressive. There was
a lot of strong communication in the bunch when approaching the
dangerous corners.

What was challenging about the course?
The original course could not be used. For some reason I thought I
would get away with running the pack through the IKEA parking lot.
The police barricaded the entrance and I was forced to go to plan B
which I wanted to avoid because of the tricky chicane on the back side
of the course. I had no idea if a fast pack could make it through
there safely. When it started misting the cobblestone corner picked
up a nice shine to it which is a tell tale sign that you’re about to
crash. The pack communicated well and everyone filed through the
corners with extreme skill. I still can’t comprehend how no one
stacked it over the slick cobbles. I held my breath every lap as I
turned in and transitioned onto the cobbles.

What was the cops reaction?
The police were strict and professional. About an hour before the
race I heard rumors that they were stopping bike riders and trying to
find information on the race. I immediately went to the course with
Al and sought them out to do damage control. They were very concerned
about the use of the IKEA facility. We quickly reverted to plan B.
More cops kept showing up and Al had to speak to each one
individually. The police officer he was speaking with before the
start of the race warned that he would shut down the event if it
looked like we didn’t know how to ride our bikes properly. Al just
responded “Yes sir, I can ensure you these all are very skilled riders
sir”. During the race they even cheered us on a bit. Hopefully
next year I can get a permit.

How did you go about getting sponsors?
My original sponsor was my friend Katherine’s homemade granola. She happened to make me a jar and it instantly dawned on me that all
cyclists love granola. After that I was contacted by Eddie from the
Coffee Den who is an avid cyclist. He expressed interest in
supporting the underground race scene. Through these two ideas I came
up with the breakfast and dinner themed Primes. All cyclists are also
obsessed with good food so it was perfect. I got Magia Zaferiopoulou
to donate the Greek olive oil and pasta. I donated the rest of the
food based off my favorites. Luckily my roommate won the Primes so
I’ll get to enjoy some of it.

My uncle Sam and I are forming the Trimble Racing entity and decided
to sponsor the race through that. Sam donated the first place cash
($300 in all $1’s!) and the bike swag. The day of the race we went
over to NYC VELO to buy the prizes and the owner Andrew hooked us up
with some heavy discounts which amounted to a sponsorship from his shop.

Did someone really win a cobblestone?
I found the cobblestone in Red Hook. I wanted a pedestal to display
it on so I designed the trophy. Another uncle Roo fabricated the
trophy at his shop in Massachusetts. He is an industrial designer who
is currently designing a green “Alternative Vehicle”. He calls it the
Roo Pod (roopod.com).

What changed about your expectations? Were they met?
My expectations were surpassed. All I did was organize the original
idea for the race and everything else followed. I never expected the
amount of exposure this race obtained. It was a combination of a
bunch of interesting people coming together and trying to create a
cool and completely grassroots event. The racing also couldn’t have
been better. We had an epic break away followed by a tactical and
unpredictable chase group battling for the final positions. The
podium celebration had very real energy as well. I knew that I had to
hold it immediately after the race to contain some of the excitement.

My only real regret was the amount of flats suffered by the field. I
guess that’s part of racing at night in the rain in a post industrial
part of town. Next year we’ll be more prepared to deal with this.

What may change for next year?
I have lots of ideas for next year. I want to keep the basic feel of
the event but will definitely include many improvements. I also have
a feeling that I will have to accommodate a much larger field. I’m
going to look into what kind of permits I would need to ensure the
race doesn’t get shut down. One thing for sure is that I’ll have a
free lap and wheel in/wheel out policy to help take care some of the
flat problems. It will be very exciting to see if people are fast
enough to change a wheel and make it back into the field within one lap.

What did you think of your performance at the Race?
I was suffering like crazy. I wasn’t able to train much leading to
the event and the night of the race was stressful and busy. I didn’t
get to warm up but nevertheless tried to attack straight from the gun
as I went for the 1st Prime. This was probably the stupidest thing I
could do on cold tired legs. Neil drove around me at the end of the
first lap and soon disappeared into the darkness. I was in serious
oxygen debt at that point. Aside from Crihs I pulled more than anyone
in the lead pack. After awhile I knew we were fighting a losing
battle against Neil and switched tatics. With (3) laps to go I
silently slipped to the back of the lead pack and recovered for the
most crucial part of the race. With (2) Laps to go I attacked hard
down the long front straight. Only Crihs was able to respond and we
put a gap on the field. I pulled for most of that lap before waving
him through. Crihs was probably the strongest rider in that bunch but
he pulled me around (and maintained our gap over the 3 chasers) on the
last lap. I made sure to stay tight into his draft through the
cobblestone corner and as soon as with hit the smooth pavement I
attacked.

Who came to watch?
Many people came to watch. Most of the racers had friends spectating and partying. The press was there along with the film crew. I had family fly in from far away to attend. A large contingent from my
Kissena Cyling Team showed up to cheer on the race. I’m pretty sure a
lot of the neighborhood also came out to watch. You get used to
racing road where there is never any spectators. To have a
(relatively) large and enthusiastic crowd cheering you on the whole
time makes you dig just a little bit deeper each lap.

what was with the video crew?

John Hoppin and Kalim Armstrong contacted me soon after I posted
details of the race on the internet. That had the idea to cover the
race like a real sporting event. I was instantly sold on the idea.
John Hoppin looked and sounded the part. I can’t wait to see the
final cut in the Bicycle Film Festival.

What was it like getting in NY Times article?
I would like to thank Colin Moynihan for covering this race. I think
his article captured a realistic picture of the race atmosphere and
was very positive. Everyone I’ve talked to in the cycling community
is surprised with the exposure. We realized that writing an article
about a bike race that appealed to the general public and to the
cycling scene would be difficult. I hope he comes out and does a
follow up story about next years event.

Nice work David. Thank you for daring to promote competitive cycling here in NYC. I know it can be a stretch, especially when the safety of the Ikea parking lot at night might be compromised. (sorry I couldn’t help myself)
All kidding aside, you did a fantastic job and your efforts really benefit the cycling community as a whole. Thank you for daring to dream and bring together the different worlds of cycling.

Bike Blog of the week-Austin Texas

So for our bike blogger of the week we feature:
Andrew “Dancakes” Stevens of ATXFixed.blogspot.com
atx

This originally started as a Monster Track profile for an out-of-towner, but Andrew wasn’t able to make it to race.
But he has been kind to share his thoughts with me about the scene going on in Texas.

The interview:

Name:
Andrew “Dancakes” Stevens

How old are you?
22 yrs old

Where do you live?
Born and raised in Austin, TX, with a 2 years stint in Portland, Or.

What bikes do you own?
I own 1 Spanish track bike and 1 hand built eight-speed cyclocross/commuter bike.

What got you into track bikes?
I got into fixed gears/track bikes because they were cheaper than the bus in Portland and because I could work on them myself.

Have you ever been a messenger?
I have never been a messenger. I would like to be, but there are only, like, six of them in Austin.

What got you into alleycats?
I got into alleycats initially because they were the only way i could meet other cyclists to ride with. Now I’m into them to push myself to the next level physically and mentally.

What do you like about them?
I love the social aspect of alleycats because you get to meet riders from different cities and I love combining the culture of urban cyclists with actual athletic competition.

Why did you start the blog?
Chris Lee, Ahlee, and I started ATXfixed because we wanted to develop a singular voice for the Central Texas fixed gear scene. We, along with riders in College Station, Houston, Denton, and San Marcos are all working our asses off filming, editing, reading, drinking, hosting races and racers, wrenching, eating, training, and creating on our bikes in order to establish a powerful network of friends and peers, involve riders from different towns, and hopefully interest people in what we are doing down here in Texas. We started the blog in order to document our progression, and to get free shit ;)

What Kind of people read your blog?
Typically it’s the riders who are looking for local events to attend. Because we try so hard to showcase original and exclusive content, we get a lot of feedback from locals that read our blog everyday after they read Tracko, Prolly, Bootleg, Zlog, and BBNYC, but ideally we want to appeal to the national audience by offering articles, pictures and opinions that are unique to us and our regional culture. We have a consistent and dedicated following for our monthly Fab Friday races and our weekly Sexy Sunday trick meet, but we are proud to have such a wide variety of people show up. Trialthetes, cyclocross and road racers, bmx and cruiser guys, mountain bikers and pedicabbers, messengers and food delivery folks, and then the predictable urban fixed gear riders all show up to our events after reading the blog, so we try to come up with content that is interesting to all of them, and hopefully we can continue succeeding at that.

What is the scene like in Austin?
The scene in Austin is just now coming into it’s own. There have been SO many races this last 9 months, whereas it was really hard to find them before. With our crew/group of friends starting the Fabulous Fixed First Friday races, we have definitely become a more solid social group, and a good amount of us have started going out to races in other parts of Texas, and hosting races so racers from out of town can come and crash on our floors and get drunk with us. We have freestyle dudes, commuters, and straight up mashers who can all hang out and talk about bikes and learn about bikes from eachother. At this point a lot of us are building up bikes for different purposes, like cyclocross, which is gaining a lot of momentum down here, or geared commuter bikes for groceries, or road bikes for longer training rides and short tours. It all comes back to the track bike standpoint, though, in the way we move ourselves through the city and react against all of the random variables. Essentially we are just cross training, which ultimately helps our riding on our favorite bikes: our track bikes.

What do you think of all these fixed gear blogs? What surprises you? What bike blogs do you follow?
I think fixed gear specific blogs are great, but I think that there too many of them out there that don’t update enough. It is really hard to update a blog consistently when you have a job that doesn’t allow you access to a computer (or when you don’t own a computer, like i didn’t for the first 4 months of ATXFixed!) or when you are a busy student like Ahlee and Chris, so we have added several moderators to try to make up for our busy schedules. It is also really really difficult to come up with original content, as opposed to just reading the bigger blogs and culling content out of them. I keep up with Prolly, Maca, Mash, Bootleg, Bike Blog NYC, and Tracko, as far as the big blogs go. I love Bike Jerks from Minneapolis and I always check Jason Abels’ and Les Bennetts’ local blogs, ATXBS and OneLesCar. My reading has gotten narrowed down because I have eventually figured who puts up original content more often then others. Again, a lot of that seems to have to do with what kind of job you have. Guys like Prolly and Jason both work desk jobs, so they have access to computers all day at work, and that turns into where they get most of their blogging done. They get a lot of face time with the community and by being so accessable, they are given information first in order to post it and bring it to the masses. I appreciate how quickly they work, and at this point we are trying to figure out how to have that same access to original content so that we can eventually become a nationally read blog.

What was one of the most interesting experiences you had on a bike?
To me, the most consistently interesting thing about riding my bike is hanging out with all of the awesome people that get together to ride. I loved (and hated) hosting all 6 of the raven feeders during SXSW this month, as well as ben w and justin from feetbelts and bootleg sessions. We got to ride all day for a week, simultaneously filming and drinking, talking shit and playing dice, and I got to be a part of some of the most elevated riding I have every witnessed. Recently, all of the races and premiers we have been helping with have put ATXfixed in the forefront of the austin fixed gear community. We like that. We like to bring people together. We like hearing other ideas and seeing how different towns call for different bike setups and riding styles.

Any memorable posts or comments you want to share?
The one that ahlee posted on my birthday about me being a fatty.
Atxfixed.blogspot.com/2009/03 growing pains
The comments on Tracko about Arak’s video.
Tracko

What are your future goals for the blog?
More content. More recognition. More race sponsors. Personally, I want to be able to go to NYC or SF or Seattle and hang out with the people who write what I read. Big blogs like Bootleg, Maca, MASH, Prolly and Tracko are really seen as tastemakers in the fixed gear culture, and I feel that ATXfixed has a role to fill, too. I really have a huge amount of respect for those bloggers, and I pull information and inspiration from their hard work and connections. Ideally, we want to be able to supply enough content to get readers in other parts of the world interested in what we are doing in Central Texas, but on a day to day level, we are just glad that we get to write about how much fucking fun we have.

Bikeblognyc in the NY Times…again.

Hey I got a mention in the Times.
Nice.
A Brooklyn Bike Race Worthy of James Dean
30bike_span
In the Red Hook Criterium, cyclists rode 16 laps of a route on city streets, without any brakes.
photo by: Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times
article by: Colin Moynihan
Published: March 29, 2009

The old cobblestones on the Red Hook waterfront in Brooklyn have felt the weight of many kinds of vehicles, from wagons to tractor trailers to the snazzy cars and S.U.V.’s of the neighborhood’s newer residents. But as a soft drizzle fell on Saturday night, the stones felt something new — a clandestine bicycle race.

Read the rest of the article here.

Movie time again

Sit back and watch some movies from around the globe of Track Bike Love:
A day with Tanner Monmaney from Honolulu, Hawaii’s Aloha Fixed.

Tanner for Aloha Fixed from ALOHA FIXED on Vimeo.
San Francisco and Scali*Wags

“Human Traffic” Trailer #1 from Scali*wag Productions on Vimeo.
Austin Texas

A Taste of The Toast from Michael on Vimeo.
Trailer for Bootleg Sessions 3

Bootleg Sessions v.3 — Trailer #1 from Ride/Relax Productions on Vimeo.

we are 138. from steve clark on Vimeo.

Video from 2009 Red Hook Crit.

Words about last nights Crit.

Words from Dave August about last nights Red Hook Criterium:

Amazing Night. I owe many thanks to the following:

Al Barouh (Race Director). He ran a tight ship. Amazing diplomacy skills with the police. He calmly and respectively handled the pre race negotiations. Al had to give the same spiel to about 5 different cop cars.

Corner Marshals: They did an amazing job of stopping traffic. I really felt like we were on a closed circuit. There were many occasions that cars had to be held back. The chicane was also communicating with the cobblestone corner via radio. As far as I know there wasn’t any close calls with traffic.

Chris Kim: Offered me invaluable advice in running the race and responding the cops.

NYPD: By the end of the night they were some of the most enthusiastic spectators. The cop stationed in turn 1 would honk his horn each lap and command us to “DIG” over the loud speaker.

Kalim and John Hoppin (and film crew). The film crew presence added immensely to the feel of the event. Having cameras shoved in your face at all times made everyone feel like they were at some big time event. I can’t wait to see the footage and complete film. From what I heard from the crown John’s commentary was very entertaining.

NY Times: The reporter who showed up was super cool and was asking all the right questions. Expect an entertaining and exciting article in tomorrow’s edition.

Hali Young: She did a great job handing out the prizes during the podium presentation.

Sponsors:

Trimble Racing: My uncle Sam came on as a huge sponsor. He sponsored 1st place prize $300 in $1s. He also provided all of the red themed prizes (Vintage Selle Italia Saddle, Michelin Tires, Craft Jersey, Handlebar tape).

John Taki: He was cool enough to offer up his house for the second year in a row for the after party and awards. The combination bike race/house party adds a lot to the event. He provided both kegs of beer and the sound system. He also sponsored the bottle of red wine for the dinner prime.

Roo Design: My uncle Roo fabricated the 1st place trophy. He’s a genius industrial designer. Luckily I get to have the trophy on display in my apartment since my roommate won it. I’m playing with the idea of having in engraved each year with the winner. The winner get to keep it for the year and then it transfers to the next champion.

Magia Zafeiropoulou: She handled the stress of the registration and even got everyone to pay the entry fee. (Victor we owe you $10 apparently). She sponsored the Olive Oil and Pasta in the dinner prime. She also provided the milk crate podium.

The Coffee Den: They donated 7 bags of Gorilla Coffee and inspired me to create breakfast/dinner primes.

Grandma Katherine’s Granola: My friend Katherine slaved away for an entire day in the kitchen cooking up her special homemade granola. Thankfully both jars ended up in my household. Amazing stuff.

NYC Velo: I visited the shop yesterday to buy the prizes and Andrew hooked us up with heavy discounts.

Spectators: The crowd was amazing. I’ve never had that many people cheering me on before while racing. The roar of the crowd when I sprinted for 2nd was awesome. The cobblestone corner must of had 50 people at it. The constant camera flashes and heckling helped us push hard every lap.

And most importantly the racers. I know the event seemed sketchy and it took some bravery to race. The roadies who had never done something like this before were really terrified before the race and had to put some trust in me that I wasn’t going to get them killed. I could see the fear in their eyes. After the race they were hooked and I think next year we can expect a much heavier turn out from that contingent. The race had an excellent mix of alley cat racers and roadies. Everyone showed extreme bike handling skills and no one crashed (except Eric Robertson who crashed while warming up)