April 2015
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$9.00 cardboard bike

Gotta thank Dave Bonan (@still_flowing) for this one.

Izhar Gafni has designed a bike that weighs 20 pounds, costs between $9-12 to build, can hold up to a 485 pound person, and it made out of cardboard.

Engineers told Gafni that his idea was impossible. Yet he realized that paper could be strong if treated properly. As in crafting origami and tearing telephone books, he explains, “[if] you fold it once, and it’s not just twice the strength, it’s three times the strength.”

The development to what you see today took three years. Two were spent just figuring out the cardboard complications–leading to several patents–and the last was spent converting a cardboard box on wheels to a relatively normal looking bike.


Fyxation’s new looks for 2013 and straps for me

I have to give a big shout out to Fyxation, makers of sleek fixed gear cycling parts and now frames (more on this in a minute.)
They were super kind to answer my request for some new pedals and foot straps.
For you brakeless fixed gear riders out there who haven’t tried a foot retention system, this is worth giving a shot.
Not as easy to get your foot into as a classic track pedal and metal toe clips, but where it lacks in a quick flip of the foot, it makes up in a secure and snug fit that really locks the shoe in for serious power stopping. For urban commuting, brake or not, these straps do not incumber the foot, until you really need it. Free style riders have really embraced this system for popping wheelies and a wide variety of tricks. I’ve found these straps incredibly comfortable on my daily commute for quick handling to avoid the onslaught of joggers who think bike lanes are their own personal running track.

Fyxation hooked me up with their classic Gates pedals, inspired by the world of BMX. These are made out of high impact nylon for all kinds of abuse and incredibly light weight. They have a molded surface for a grippy ride and come in 7 colors for your color mix-and-match needs.
To complement the system are highly durable Gates straps made with nylon and 2″ of solid velcro.
These straps really mold with your foot and maintain their shape. There are a lot of straps out on the market, and the gates pedals will take just about any one of them. Gates straps will work with most BMX platform pedals.
Meanwhile Fyxation has been super busy. As well as maintaining a large selection of handlebars, tires, saddles and stems they have just released their 2013 catalog which includes 3 new framesets, taking urban cycling to a whole new level.

Here is a little about their new product line from Fyxation:

One product we’re particularly excited about is our Quiver frameset.
The concept behind this bike is to offer riders and shops a versatile frameset that can be built up as a single speed/fixed gear, internal hub or geared bike. This one bike can be your “quiver” due to it’s versatility. We used 132.5mm rear spacing so the frame can accommodate a wider internal hub or a cassette.

To maintain the look of a single speed bike we used a horizontal dropout and the frames come with removable cable stops if you’re running gearless.

In order to get around the issue of hanging a derailleur off of a horizontal dropout we designed our own derailleur hanger that can be used to mount a derailleur.

The Quiver is our street frameset and will be available in black, white and silver with a bladed/aero track fork.
The Third Ward is our city frameset and has the same geometry as the Quiver but will be available in polished black and beige with a more traditional curved fork. Both can be built up with fenders and racks so any rider can customize their bike as they see fit.

Looking pretty hot, and innovative too. For their complete 2013 catalog, go here.

Remembering 9/11

Today is definitely a day of reflection. Remembering all those who lost their lives on this day, eleven years ago.
I felt compelled to ride my bike today to my job site in the Bronx near Arthur Ave. It was 18 miles each way and although tiring, I felt determined to use a non-polluting form of transportation. As I rode home under the shadow of the blue beams of light, a memorial beacon in the sky, I couldn’t help drawing the connections between that ruthless terrorist act and our dependence on foreign oil. It made me think about the United States ties to to the Saudi’s and exactly what these relationships have caused in international wars and the collateral damage waged on both sides through the senseless murder of civilians.

I saw this on Urban Cyclist Worldwide. A collection of powerful photographs from 9/11.

A series from Remembering September 11th, the big picture.

I was also reminded of this video by cycling activist Christopher Ryan from the bike punk band Team Spider, and his production company, along with his wife Allie, Dedicated Lane Productions.

Chris was riding his bike around on September 11th, 2001 and recorded some video of that horrible day:

May we never forget. May we move forward as a country to find more equality in the world and to seek out cleaner sources of renewable energy.

Nora and One Left-Cycle Chic Anthem

As fashion week’s madness passes here in the big city, a bicycle still remains the best accessory on the street and off the runway. I mean just look at these guys:

Now I believe there is a soundtrack to go with this worldwide cycle chicdom. Ladies and Gentleman presenting Nora and One Left, a D.C. based band that is the perfect accoutrement to a leisurely bike ride in your hood or around the globe.

They were kind enough to give me a free CD and I’ve been riding with it for a couple of weeks now with their smooth poppy and whimsical sounds floating in my head space.
Nora and One Left remind me a lot of the pop anthems of the 60’s like the sugary flavor of the Turtles and more recently the playful harmonies of the Swedish band the Cardigans. This is light fun stuff with an occasional ukelele and banjo thrown in for a little Southern Twang. If Country is about pickups and gun racks, then let Nora and One Left be modern country for tandems and bike racks.

(photo by:

Their most notable hit is “Cycle Chic” , which is a real worldwide roll call to all the European towns to ride in and the Cycle Chic Republic that started as a fashion blog in Copenhagen and has clone sites all over the planet.

This is a really fun album with lots of great tracks, perfect for a mellow ride on your bicycle: “Lazy Afternoon”, “Out in the Rain” and “On Down the Road” to name a few. It’s all about how no matter what, bad weather, lost relationship…life’s just better on a bicycle, or at least it’s a great way to clear your head.
I’m not sure if every song on this album is about bike riding, but I can’t help but think when Nora sings: “Got a dollar in my pocket, got a song to sing, And I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, We’ll meet on down the road…” It’s meeting friends for a bike ride.

I really like this album for its fun spirit and gave it a shout on my website’s ad column. Definitely give it a listen on your next commute…with one ear bud (that’s the law) or a portable speaker…of course.

Uncommongoods Design Contest

Uncommongoods is having a design contest:
20120906-140140.jpgUncommongoods is a Brooklyn-based online retailer, is hosting a Bicycle Lovers Design Challenge from now until September 15 and we would love to see the work of the online bike community.

DEADLINE: September 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET

GRAND PRIZE:$500 cash + an UncommonGoods vendor contract

This open call is for any designer to submit a finished product that would appeal to a bike lover. This can be anything featuring a bicycle, an accessory or gadget to use while riding or a gift made of recycled bike parts. The winning designer will win $500 and a vendor contract with UncommonGoods, getting their design in front of thousands of customers. All finalists will have the opportunity to submit their entire portfolio to UncommonGoods buyers, get their work critiqued by a panel of judges that will include designer Emily Rothschild and Pasqualina Azzarello of Recycle-A-Bicycle, and experience some serious online exposure.

Artists can learn more on the contest page and submit their designs through the online form.

Calling all designers, inventors and especially velophiles!

Has your beloved bicycle made its way into your artwork or designs? Have long rides in the saddle inspired a new gadget or accessory? We want to see what amazing gifts and accessories you have for the avid cyclists and “dandy horse” enthusiasts.

RUNNERS UP: All runners up will receive a critique of their work from the guest judges, as well as tips for marketing and growing your business. Additionally, the UncommonGoods buying team will be happy to review your full portfolio in consideration for future work.

WHAT CAN I SUBMIT:We love all things bikes! We want to see your creative gadgets, accessories, and cycling gifts. Take a look at our bike products to get an idea of what we might be looking for.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN UNCOMMON ARTIST:Your designs should tell a story, be intelligent, and show your individuality. We love to see designs and gadgets that are original and uncommon!

WHAT KINDS OF MEDIUMS CAN I USE? We accept all sorts of materials as long as they are safe and animal-friendly — so no lead, leather, feathers, or pearls. But we love unique materials that tell an interesting story. Don’t forget to share that story with us in your product description and with alternate images.

GOT A QUESTION? Browse through our rules. or send us an email to If you have trouble with the form, make sure you’ve filled out your contact info — especially a valid email address! — before you upload your images.

Erin is the senior buyer at UncommonGoods. She rides her hybrid bike from Manhattan to the UncommonGoods offices in Brooklyn. Her favorite bike accessory is her purple helmet and the Bike Glow Safety Light.
Emily Rothschild is an Industrial Designer interested in all things art and design. Equal parts problem solver, designer, maker, and writer, Emily can usually be found building, prodding, torching, or tinkering. She aims to identify areas of our lives that are often overlooked in order to create new, lasting, and often humorous design solutions. Emily lives and works in her hometown of New York City.
Pasqualina Azzarello is an artist, public muralist, and director of Recycle-A-Bicycle. Recycle-A-Bicycle is a grassroots community bike shop and non-profit organization in NYC that teaches youth how to build bikes, ride bikes, and transform old bike parts into beautiful, wearable art.

ABOUT UNCOMMONGOODS: Since 1999, UncommonGoods has worked with independent artists and designers to promote their work via our catalog and website, and we place a high value on supporting emerging artists and designers in a variety of ways. This year, we’re expanding our business to support local artists with development events, provide content on our blog to help them grow their craft and business and give opportunities to more fine artists through our challenges.

The Villager and Time’s Up team up to write a column.

The Villager is partnering up with Time’s Up for a weekly column about bike related issues, Spin City.

Here is the first installment written by Time’s Up volunteer, Keegan:

Communication breakdown: Bikers and critics just can’t see eye to eye.
By: Keegan Stephan
Published: September 6th, 2012

Bicycling has become one of the most volatile subjects in New York City. Almost no other topic inspires such passionate responses from both sides; few people have no opinion on the issue, and there are virtually no “middle-of-the-road” points of view. Some of our most esteemed writers have spent countless column inches trying to convince people one way or the other.
About a month ago, Randy Cohen, the original “Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine, came out of retirement to write a column about why he believes the way he and thousands of other New Yorkers commute on their bicycles is ethical, if illegal. Two weeks later, in his review of the new movie “Premium Rush,” Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin, posited that almost all cyclists, even if they are perfectly pleasant and normal in the rest of their lives, become rude and dismissive of everyone else the moment they mount their bikes.

Stephan is a member of Time’s Up!, a New York City-based cycling advocacy and environmental organization.

Read the entire article: here.

How I Roll Exclusive: Gina of King Kog

Thule, Sweden’s own bike rack giant is sponsoring a video series to promote their new line of commuter bags, “pack n’ pedal.”
(see sneak peak on Bike Rumor)

The documentary series is created by Peter Sutherland of Pedal fame and takes a look at several key members of our worldwide bike community.

They were kind enough to allow me to post up one in advance of it’s release on their YouTube channel.

Here is NYC’s own Gina Scardino, owner of the high end track boutique King Kog.

More about the video and Gina from Thule:

King Kog bike shop owner and drummer Gina Marie Scardino gives a unique tour of her legendary shop and takes the family on velodrome afternoon.

Gina Marie Scardino has managed to turn her bike shop King Kog in Brooklyn into a phenomenon. It is reputed to be the Aladdin’s Cave of bike shops, and the truth is even better than fiction. King Kog is famous for selling everything a dedicated fixed gear and vintage bicycle enthusiast may ever need or want, from apparel to custom made bikes.
Fixed gear bikes have existed since the late 1800’s, but in recent years the interest in them and the surrounding culture has boomed. The rumour has it that Gina Marie and her shop has somehow predated the current fixie-fad and will most certainly outlive it as well. When Gina is not running the shop, she is busy creating art or making music. Drums are her specialty, and she is currently drumming in the punk band Guts for Garters.

Crackdown continues, Central Park and elsewhere

On a side note, I forgot to include this but one of my readers Al Silber sent me this note that he saw abandon bikes in Central Park.

It’s a little late now, because these bikes were seen over the weekend, but maybe it is some insight if you’ve had one of these stolen, at least to know it’s out there. Al saw them unlocked at 85th St. near mariner gate. Thanks for looking out.

Speaking of Central Park, the good news is it might be a source of dumped bicycles, the bad news is the Police are continuing to crack down on cyclists daring to use the park loop as (GASP) a place to ride their bikes.

This all started last year during the NYPD’s famed…”Operation Safecycle” which sounds like a term out of an Orwell novel. Judging by the sting operations and the ticketing we all know the NYPD couldn’t give a crap about safety and it might as well be called “Operation F with the Cyclists to Make Buck.” I mean let’s face it, there is bad cycling behavior out there, especially with more of us on the road but really…you can always find naughty street behavior if you choose to look for it. It just seems to be the cyclists are the flavor of the moment.

It seems especially odd in Central Park. Isn’t this the one place we are supposed to ride our bikes? But now your expecting us to stop at every traffic light? During car free hours? Yes, some of the more competitive types tend to go rather fast, often in groups…it’s called training. It’s why we have one of the largest cycling clubs in North America. (CRCA) Pedestrians and tourists should be advised, look both ways when crossing the bike path in Central Park. Wait for oncoming traffic…then dart across. It’s how NYC works. You also have to watch for the in line skaters, skateboarders, joggers, pedicabs, horse carriages and everyone else flaunting the lights in the park. Are we supposed to tell all New Yorkers to stop jaywalking too while were at it in the Nanny state?

It is really infuriating.

Another of my readers, Dr. Gene Boccialetti, alerted me of the recent crackdown in Central Park. He wrote:


Not sure if you can post. There’s yet another (apparently very selective) crackdown on cycling in Central Park. I learned today that on Monday September 10 at the Central Park Precinct there’s going to be an open meeting with the NYPD for community input.

I spoke briefly with a police officer today who said that cyclists caused eight deaths in the park last year(!!) I was astonished and incredulous. The only deaths I knew of were from falling trees. Apparently, folks are making up facts to justify leaning on recreational cyclists. I also noted this crackdown comes as all the tourists are leaving for the season. I ride 5 (sometimes 6) days per week for three hours each day. While I see a fair number of accidents most are caused by tourists.

Can you help get the word out?


Meanwhile, I see a lot of reports like this on twitter:

Keep alert out there.

Sunday, September 9th-TA’s NYC Century

This Sunday is Transportation Alternatives, NYC Century.

Register by September 7th for a chance to win one of three Trek Bikes.

More details,

Reminder, Bike Jumble-Saturday, September 8th

An article in the Park Slope Stoop.

Bike Jumble Returns to Park Slope September 8th

By: Jean
20120905-125824.jpgphoto by: bikejumbleny

Harry Schwartzman’s Brooklyn Bike Jumble is coming once again to Washington Park by the Old Stone House. On Saturday, September 8th, from 10 am–4 pm, the bike-themed flea market will feature up to 100 vendors selling everything from vintage bikes to trendy accessories, and offer plentiful opportunities for bike enthusiasts to meet up and network. Local bike shops, Ride Brooklyn, Dog Day Cyclery, and 9th Street Cycles, will be there, plus independent dealers from all over. Tip: get there early to get the best deals.

Full article: here.