a Beijing-based artist, is taking his adopted city’s problems head on. Instead of hiding in his apartment and dealing with Beijing’s extreme extreme pollution crisis with the help of air filters and masks, Hope is hitting the streets with a bicycle-cum-sculpture that actively filters the air around it.
A short documentary shows Hope pedaling around the city on his “breathing bike” with his face in a fighter pilot mask. The bike works by creating electricity from the pedaling motion, powering a wind generator. Air gets pulled into the bike through an Ikea trashcan, and the dust particles get positively charged and stick to a metal trumpet. The cleaned air gets propelled through a tube to the gas mask, fit for breathing.
Beyonce did get her act together at that football thing last Sunday but the real sporting event was held in Minneapolis for the 16th annual Stupor Bowl, the longest running alleycat in North America, in the freezing cold ice and snow.
Turns out our own Austin Horse (stunt rider for Premium Rush and NYC bike superstar) won the race.
Congratulations to our homey Austin for winning Stupor Bowl speed race for a second time this weekend. Not only that, but he also took home top honors at Friday night’s alleycat.
Congrats as well, to Brandon, Erin, Erica, Benjammin, Beth, and all the other podium finishers. The word brutal gets thrown around a lot, but Saturday’s fifty miler in zero degree weather was truly that. Props to all who completed.
And speaking of winter, here is a video by Derek Pedros of the Santa Alleycat. But judging by the clothing of the riders, I’d say the Santa doesn’t stand for that jolly fat guy. At least it’s nice to see a warm climate.
Here are some videos to warm you up in the cold frigid weather.
St Louis Lock-In Pinata Video
Seen on: Urban Velo The St Louis Bike Polo Lock-In was this past weekend, featuring another level of 24 hour indoor polo party mayhem. This was my third trip to this one of a kind event, and it gets better every time even if this year the sleep deprivation got the best of me and I found myself curled up in the back of a rental Kia at 4 am. This is video of the 4th annual pinata smashing that happens around 1 am, giving but a taste of the party. Until next year kids.
Seen on: Urban Velo InRoads is a short documentary about the handmade bike culture in the Denver/Boulder area. The full film will premiere on February 23rd in Denver. Visit their site for more updates.
State Bicycle Co. Team Issue Helmet by Lazer
Seen on: Urban Velo Now that’s a good lookin’ helmet. Manufactured by Lazer, the State Bicycle Co. team issue helmet weighs in at 290 grams with 16 vents and they still manage to slap a good lookin’ logo on that thing. I’ve worn a Lazer helmet before and am glad to say it fit my weirdly small adult head just fine, while working for normal sized heads all the same.
Are YOU Cyclist?
Seen on: Urban Velo Here’s an amusing video made by the shop Bike n Hike out of Portland. I get the feeling they’re going the Portlandia route on this one (a stereotype feedback loop?), but hey, it’s more amusing than the bike shop commercials in my neck of the woods.
BMX MONDAY-20Twenty Matt Roe Malaga Edit by Richard Forne
Seen on: Bike Jerks
Just to follow through on a story I’m sure we are quite glad is over, Lance Armstrong.
Lance went on Oprah last week in an attempt to play ball with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and lift his life time ban on competing in endurance sports. Instead he did a lousy job of 1) telling the truth and 2) being even remotely apologetic to the numerous people he discredited in his attempts to hid his decade of lying about using performance enhancing drugs.
David Zirin, sports editor of the Nation and author of his upcoming book: Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, appeared last week on Democracy Now to talk about the Lance interview. It was very telling how David pointed out how Lance had a golden opportunity to point out the larger world of corruption of the pro cycling world and to find out how to protect cyclists from a very dangerous physically taxing sport instead of finding better ways to get away with doping.
Meanwhile, with all this attention on the men of cycling, very little attention has ever been focused on the woman of the sport. In fact they cycling authorities have canceled the woman’s race of the legendary Tour de France. While most people aren’t even aware their was a woman’s race, one of its biggest champions of the sport Nicole Cooke, retired last week. She did not go out quietly though, she used this opportunity to make a scathing speech highlighting the inequality in the sport and why Lance Armstrong should go to jail.
Here is an article from the Guardian:
Cyclist Nicole Cooke: ‘I had to say exactly how it is’
Cycling champion Nicole Cooke’s retirement speech was a fearless attack on inequality in her sport. She tells why she had to speak out – and why Lance Armstrong should go to jail
By: Simon Hattenstone
January 16th, 2013
It says so much about the sport of cycling. The very week that disgraced Lance Armstrong finds redemption in the form of Oprah and a global television audience, the greatest female cyclist of her generation, Nicole Cooke, says farewell to an honest and inspirational career, and the world barely blinks. Nicole who?
But Cooke was determined not to go quietly. She has always said it as she has seen it, and never more so than in her retirement speech, in which she pulled what was left of the rug out from under her beloved sport. Slowly and methodically, she exposed every aspect of corruption in professional cycling, from doping to gross gender inequality. It took 20 minutes to deliver, and was greeted by journalists with stunned silence, then sustained applause.
Cooke, 29, has won everything there is to win in her career – the women’s Tour de France twice, the Italian equivalent, the world championship, Olympic gold. She was the first woman to dominate both long-distance tours and day races. While Armstrong is still worth an estimated $100m, Cooke leaves with little more than her pride and a pile of prestigious jerseys. In the months leading up to last year’s Olympics she wasn’t even paid her wage by her cycling team.
The bicycle is the principle means of transport in the country. It is an iconic machine that is necessary to move workers across the cities and towns. The most famous brand is Yong Jiu Pai, “Forever.” It is used by millions of Chinese daily. The bicycle consists of chains and sprockets and is mass produced. So the installation “depicts the matrix of the labor force–the people,” according to Galleria Continua, which is hosting the exhibit.
If you wikipedia the list of Tour de France winners, in it’s soon to be 100 year history, there is a strange title granted in 6 slots from 1999-2005. This is the time period being called the doping years in which Lance Armstrong, perhaps the biggest cheat in sports, had his named removed and replaced with “vacated.”
This may be the time to replace that word vacated with “the Truth” as Armstrong goes on Oprah’s NOW network and reveals all in a 2 1/2 hour television spectacle being stretched out for two days, Thursday (1/17) and Friday (1/18)
Regardless of Armstrong’s hopes for redemption and motivations behind this public confession, it does seem the truth is being rewarded on the podium in an era where federal investigations on doping athletes are going nowhere even despite confessions from former team mates and fellow cyclists closely aligned with the sport.
One journalist who has an exceptional talent for flushing out the truth in sports and reporting on the politics of the game is David Zirin, author and sports editor for the Nation magazine.
He knows a thing or two about these kind of politics infecting professional sports and is about to release his latest book, “Game Over, how politics has turned the sports world upside down.” released 1/29/2013
David recently published a piece on the upcoming Lance interview in his blog: edgeofsports.com
I wanted to broaden the discussion a bit about this over buzzed cycling story so I asked David a couple of questions:
1) How do you think this would affect the sports world and fan appreciation if this were Barry Bonds confessing on Oprah?
Zirin: I think because of his work on Livestrong and previous popularity – not to mention the fact that he’s white – creates more cultural space for Lance Armstrong to be forgiven as opposed to Barry Bonds who was prickly, had issues with the media, and faced racism in his career from fans and media alike. But one difference in Bonds’ favor is that no one has accused him of actually leading a ring of a performance enhancing drugs (PED) users. He also never sued anyone for defamation. That’s different.
2) What do you think this media stunt does for the world of professional cycling and doping in sports in general? Does it send a message to cheaters and will it change the sport?
Zirin: We will have to see. Cycling needs a massive reformation in terms of making the sport safer and de-incentivizing PED use. Let’s see if it does. I’m not hopeful. If it’s just about criminalization, then we know that this only leads to more research and funding that goes into finding ways to beat the test.
Here is the story David wrote in his blog:
Lance Armstrong’s Discordant Redemption Song
This week Lance Armstrong, our most famous cyclist/cancer survivor/suspected Performance Enhancing Drug user, aims to do something more daunting than ride a bike up the face of the Pyrenees. He is attempting to ride Oprah’s couch back into the good grace of public opinion. On Monday night, Armstrong will, after 15 years of strenuous, Sherman-esque denials, “come clean” and admit to imbibing in illegal “performance enhancers” during his record-setting career. This will not go well and not only because when the broadcast finally airs Thursday night, it will have already been leaked, dissected, and thoroughly flambéed.
If Armstrong was only trying to win back the public support he’s lost since the United States Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles, that could prove challenging enough. But he is attempting the public relations of equivalent of riding his bike through the eye of a needle. Armstrong needs to demonstrate to USADA that he is now on, according to reports, a “path to redemption”. This interview is meant to encourage USADA to lift their lifetime ban on Armstrong’s competitive career and allow him to enter triathlons as well as other events under the USADA umbrella.
The number of bicycle racks will double in NYC, according to the Epoch Times.
12,000 Bicycle Racks coming to New York City
By: Zachary Stieber
January 10th, 2013
NEW YORK—The number of bicycle racks will more than double with 12,000 new racks on the way.
The city’s Department of Transportation will spend almost $2 million transforming old parking meters into bicycle racks, according to a bid won by Long Island-based Louis Barbato Landscaping. A representative of the company declined to give details about the sealed contract, which was published in the City Record on Jan. 8.
Single-space parking meters are no longer used, in favor of muni-meters, which take care of multiple parking spaces. The department decided to experiment with using the old meters as bicycle racks, starting a design contest back in 2008 for how the new racks would look.
A map of the existing bicycle racks in the city. (Courtesy of DOT)
Right now there are 8,193 bicycle racks in the city, according to the Department of Transportation. About 4,000 of those are in Manhattan.
At the first RHC all registered competitors must participate in a open track session which will be held on the afternoon of the race. This session will be the only opportunity to pre-ride the circuit. The field will be split into multiple groups depending on the amount of registered riders and circuit length. Lap times will be taken during the session with the 100 fastest lap times advancing into the race. This will benefit experienced athletes, novices, and spectators. Elite athletes will now be competing in a field with an accumulative higher skill level creating a safer and more competitive race. Beginners who fail to qualify still have the opportunity for more competitive track time than the current lapped rider elimination format allows. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest qualifying time and determine call ups for the two front rows.
Rules for Round 1: Brooklyn, March 30th (subject to change)
– All registered riders will be divided randomly into smaller qualifying groups
– Each session is 30 minutes in length.
– All lap times during the session will be recorded using timing chips
– Drafting is allowed
– Pushing, pulling, or slingshotting another rider is not allowed
– Blocking is not allowed
– The top 100 fastest lap times will advance into the race.
– Call ups for the first two rows of the race will be determined by qualifying times
– Prizes will be awarded to the fastest qualifying time
– Ties will be decided on each rider’s next fastest lap.
– Qualifying will take place the same day as the race.
– Riders must enter and exist the course using delineated ‘pit lane’
– Riders must remain in the Parc Ferme area during their qualifying session
– Equipment changes are allowed but must follow same technical rules as the race
– Each rider is allowed (1) assistant in Parc Ferme to help with equipment changes.