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Shockproof, Dustproof, Waterproof-Lifeproof cases and bike mount

More often these days I find myself using the smart phone in conjunction with my bike commute. It tends to come in handy as a navigation tool, a weather forecaster, and an entertainment system for podcasts like my daily Democracy Now! or my favorite DJ mix on soundcloud.

Now we all know cycling is a simple form of transportation and shouldn’t be made more complicated with such distractions, but if your a multitasking bike rider like me, you may want your phone handy and one of the best methods of using the phone and keeping your hands occupied on more important things like operating the bicycle in traffic, is mounting it to the handlebars.

A number of companies make mounting hardware but one particular company also makes a hardcore yet light weight case for the phone, that is highly resistant to the elements and shock.

Introducing the LifeProof for the Iphone 4S.

Lifeproof is a small company based out of San Diego California. Their main goal is to provide sleek, lightweight cases that seal your phone and protect it from the elements. They’ve even taken it to the extreme by making the phone 100% water proof…That’s right, you can do underwater photography in the pool…or just protect your phone from breaks or damaging the front and back elements. The case completely seals your phone including a removable screw cover for the headphone port.

The company likes to say it protects from the 4 proofs…
Dirt, Water, Snow and Shock.

Dirt–the case is sealed and provides protection against mud, sand and grit as well as micro particles like dust which can cause severe damage to the inner electronics of your phone. Take it to the beach, the construction site or burning man and feel confident your phone won’t get scratched or damaged.
(photo by: Burning Man Dave )

Water–completely water proof up to a depth of 2 meters (6 ft) After a simple water test (without the phone) you will be able to take photos and video underwater whether its with juniors first bath, a water park or a snorkeling trip to Bermuda.

Snow–Ski the double black diamond or take video of your cousin’s first time on the ski lift as they plow into the crowd, the lifeproof case is made to handle sleet and the snowy elements.

Shock-although it’s been military tested, it won’t survive a road side bombing, but for everyday drops it tough polycarbonate frame will keep the phone intact up to a 6.6ft drop.


Now for the mounting options.
Lifeproof sells a bike mount for $39.00 that clips to most bike handlebars using a easy to remove metal clip. They also provide rings of inner rubber at various thickness to adjust to thicker handlebars.

The mount comes with a really simple to use ball mount for easy adjust ability, simple tighten the ring and rotate the case on the fly in either vertical or landscape mode.

They’ve even designed the mount with a cutout for the camera in the rear so you won’t miss that shot.
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There is also cut out holes for the speaker on the front bottom for listening to music or using the speaker phone, in case you actually talk with real human beings, I know weird. The case mounts into this rack, from the bottom and is held in place with a locking clip which can be removed with one hand.

For the most part, I am super excited about this case, especially for the handlebar mount, but there are a few drawbacks when incorporating the phone into life off the bike.

One complaint I have is not being about to use any headphones or mini plug with the phone in the case. Because of the water seal, the headphone jack on the actual phone is quite recessed in order to fit the removable screw. This small part also gets easily lost. Lifeproof has compensated with this with an adapter but then on the daily use of the phone, your walking around with this strange short umbilical cord that feels rather goosh.

I ended up foregoing the underwater aspect and hallowed out the top hole so I could always be able to insert any mini cable. I still maintained all of the waterproofing and shock for the occasional rain storm however, deep sea photography in the YMCA pool is out.

You also can’t add an external battery like a Newtrent or a Mophie, but this is not the cases fault, rather just a general design flaw with multiple companies.

So if you are looking for a light case that is easier to get in and out of then some of the more industrial brands, this is a great option. I especially liked the easy to instal and adjust handlebar mount making me feel like I now have a high tech dashboard on my bicycle.

There are other handle bar mounts for I phones that don’t lock you into a case, but I definitely appreciate the features of the lifeproof case and how it protects my phone.

It retails for $80.00 and comes in a variety of colors.

More info visit: Lifeproof.com
Twitter: @LifeProof

Triple Rush Screening TONIGHT at Affinity Cycles

Remember that Travel Channel show: Triple Rush?


Yeah, it got cancelled rather quickly, but it was an honest documentary portrayal of NYC messenger companies, dispatchers and life on the road for working couriers.

You can’t view it on tv any more, but there are some screenings at Affinity Cycles (616 Grand Street, Brooklyn)
and then later onto other locations.
(Art by Greg Ugalde (featured in the show)

Find out more: affinitycycles.com/triplerushparty

Tour de France swag giveaway.

Now that the worlds greatest bike race is over, here is a little giveaway in conjunction with tourdefrancecycles.com.

We’re giving one lucky reader a TDF accessories package:

To Win, please leave your comments about the following advice. Positive feedback? Does it apply in NYC? General thoughts…
The winner will be selected by me, yours truly, overlord king of the bike nerds.

Check it out here.
The Tour de France is the single most important competition in the entire sport of cycling with billions of viewers each year, and more than 10 million spectators lining the roadway. Cycle Force Group is an importer of bicycles, parts, and accessories serving all facets of the cycling industry and produces TDF bicycling gear. Cycle Force Group is excited to share with you bike tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer.

Road Safety

• Pump check: Before going for a ride, check your tires! Pump the tires with your pedals to make sure that it will be a safe ride.

• Get a headlight: For those that are bicycling at night do not forget to add a headlight. It not only is required by the law but will keep you safe.

• Wave: Always wave at the driver! It is easier for drivers to see arms indicating your direction instead of seeing a bicycle coming.

• Arm Signs: Learn the different arm signs that will let drivers know the direction you are turning.

• Road Rules: Stop at all stop signs and obey traffic lights.

• Direction flow: Ride in the direction of traffic so people can predict the movement and direction of a bicyclist. In some states such as Flordia, bicyclists can get a citation for not riding in the same direction as traffic.

• Keep Your Distance: Stay away from parked cars, for doors can open suddenly.

• Crossing An Interaction: When you arrive at an intersection, walk your bicycle across the crosswalk.

• Leader Of The Pack: If riding with a group of people, always ride behind one another to share the road with motorists.

• Avoid Noise: Avoid wearing listening to music while biking. Many bicycle accidents could have been prevented if riders were not distracted.

Choosing a Bicycle and Helmet For Your Child

• Maturity Level: The most important component of buying a bicycle is the child’s age and the environment they are going to be biking.

• Be Bold: Make sure that the bicycle is visible to drivers and other cyclists.

• Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Each certified helmet will have a sticker that indicates that the helmet is a quality helmet.

• Check Your Helmet: Because they lose their ability to absorb shock, routinely check your helmet each season.

• Tight Fitting Helmet: Do not wear a hat underneath.

• Love Your Helmet: Do not throw your helmet around. A damaged helmet may be unable to protect you in the event of an accident.

• Spacing: There should be a space of 1-2 inches between your body and the top bar of a road bike, and 3 to 4 inches between your body and the top of a bike.

Caring For Your Bicycle

• Inflate Tires: The recommended pressure to inflate your tires is listed on the sidewall of the tire.

• Regular Maintence: Oil the bike chain regularly and remove any dirt.

• Adjust The height: Change the handlebars to appropriate height as children frequently have growth spurts.

• Complete A Break Check: Look for frayed cables and worn-out brake pads.

• Checking The Tread: Check your tread regularly. By letting the tread on your bicycle wear out you are setting yourself up for danger.

Health Benefits Of Bicycling

• Activation Of Muscles: The muscular system is made stronger and is able to function more efficiently through cycling.

• Balance: Cycling improves balance through the circulation of oxygen.

• Calorie Burning: Bicycling not only is good for the environment, but it also burns calories.

• Exercise Alternative: Bicycling is an alternative exercise for people who are unable to run.

Hydration and Nutrition

• Hydration: For each hour riding drink 20-24 ounces of water. By taking the time to rejuvenate your body you are helping to prevent Charlie Horses & muscle cramps.

• Weigh Yourself: If you have lost a significant amount of weight, such as a few pounds after a ride, it means that you are dehydrated.

• Nutrition: Take time to plan your meals to ensure that you are getting your daily need of vitamins to prove ample energy for your ride.

• Professional Advice: Seek advice from a nutritionist and your general practitioner to help with your training.

About Cycle Force Group
Cycle Force Group is an importer of bicycles, parts, and accessories serving all facets of the cycling industry including independent bicycle dealers, sporting goods retailers, e-commerce customers, premium and incentive companies and OEM customers worldwide. Cycle Force Group’s Premium and Incentive Division also offers custom designed products for promotional and incentive needs. Le Tour de France® is a Registered Trademark of, and used under license from Amaury Sport Organization.

About Tour de France
The Tour de France is an amazing event that has extraordinary deliverables as an annual global event. The Tour de France is the single most important competition in the entire sport of cycling with billions of viewers each year. With more than 10 million spectators lining the roadway the inherent brand media exposure for Le Tour de France far exceeds the media footprint of all other bicycle brands combined.

TourdeFranceCycles.com
Facebook.com/TourdeFranceCyc
Twitter.com/TourdeFranceCyc
Pinterest/TourdeFranceCyc
YouTube.com/TourdeFranceCyc

Good luck!

Bobotix x Instagram, take pictures, win prizes.


Boombotix portable speakers are a great option for mobile sound. There not the boomingist system in the world, but for a little durable unit, they pack a punch and are a great substitute to riding with headphones. Plus everyone gets to share your music style and so cute too. Here is a recent review in CNET magazine of the latest wireless bluetooth BB2 model:

By Josh Miller

My best description of the BB2 is that it looks like a cracked-out squid skull. The two circular speaker grilles in the front represent eyes, which you can remove and customize by purchasing different designs (those go for $5.99). On the top left hand corner is a star-shaped LED light that can indicate several things, including when Bluetooth mode is on, when the battery is low, or when it’s done charging.


Read more: here.

Instagram has teamed up with boombotix for a contest, where you take photos with your speaker, tag them with the hashtag #BOOMBOTIX and win prizes.

Find out more: boombotix.com/swagonomics

CMWC is coming soon, August 2012

The 2012 Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC) is coming to Chicago, August 2nd-5th.

Nice artwork seen on Urbancyclistworldwide.com:

Here is a poem about the world’s by warrior poet, Kurt Boone:
CMWC
by Kurt Boone

Cycle world
Riding on the edge
For big business knows
my name.

Who is the fastest bicycle
messenger in the world.
In the Windy City we will see.

Coming from New York City
Boston
Tokyo
Montreal
Philadelphia
Brisbane
Vancouver
Toronto
Dublin
Berlin
Sydney
Lausanne
San Francisco
Auckland
Warsaw
Copenhagen
London
and other cities
of big business.

It’s not just the race
at 2012 Chicago Cycle Messenger
World Championships.

It’s big fun and games
and the parties won’t stop.

Don’t expect the riders to be slow,
but to be extremely fast. As I write
in my Freitag notepad.

Riding CTA and I know
Michigan Avenue. As we
messengers head over to
Soldier Field to see who
will be number one.

Being a messenger is so much fun.

I’m going to have some on the spot twitter reports from a couple of couriers attending,
@Courier429 from Cleveland, Ohio and @JeffPhila out of Philly. Be on the look out for their #CMWC hashtags live from the mayhem.

If you need a good off line bike map of Chicago for your iphone, check out what my buddy, Steve Vance did. He crafted his own map and made it downloadable to be seen off line.

Find out more at the app store.

Another great video by Casey Neistat

Now this kind of thing happens everyday in NYC. An altercation, generally leading to a fist fight, between two people on the mean overcrowded streets where respect for fellow citizens seems to be overshadowed by everyone’s…sense of being in a hurry. However, what’s not so common place is capturing it on video, and even more so with great post production commentary as this video provided by what appears to be Casey Neistat. (correct me if I’m wrong)

Casey brought us such great videos as his impression of riding in a newly painted NYC bike lane which has over 5 million views.

I just saw his latest on Urbancyclistworldwide.com.

Here is Casey’s explaining a recent battle he came upon between a bike messenger and a cab driver. Truly a classic NYC matchup:

Now things aren’t always as they appear which this video clearly demonstrates. Just like I yelled at a guy on the bike path of the Manhattan bridge the other day for what looked exactly like a moped, which he later explained to my embarrassment that it was an electric bicycle.

The cab driver was clearly assaulted and in a strange twist of fate, the NYPD actually let the biker go (or maybe didn’t care to chase after him)

More often, video capturing the moment tends to tell a more truthful story. Now we can’t go around video taping everything on our daily bike rides…or…can we?

Here is a recent story in the NY Times about one Washington State cyclist who used video footage from a GoPro camera strapped to his helmet, to help identify a driver who hit him.

Cameras Are Cyclists’ ‘Black Boxes’ in Accidents
Doug Mills/The New York Times
By: Nick Wingfield
Published: July 20, 2012

)(photo by: Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Evan Wilder, who commutes to his job in Washington, was hit by a driver who cursed at him.

WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car.

But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode. After watching a recording of the incident later, Mr. Wilder gave the license plate number to the police and a suspect was eventually charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

Read more: here.

Bicycling Times Magazine and Randonneuring

Here are a couple of things I just discovered. My co-worker and cycling enthusiast Dave Anderson and I were conversing on the Ed Koch bridge heading to one of the film stages in Brooklyn. He told me about these interesting races against the clock known as Randonneuring. It involves long distances and is more a mental endurathon then a competitive battle of cyclists against each other. It sounded very intriguing and maybe even more so because I’d never heard of this, not to mention can barely pronounce the thing.

Then I discovered this cycling rag, Bicycling Times Magazine. which just so happens has an article on Randonnuering.

A beginners guide to randonneuring
By: Paul Rozelle
Published: July 17th, 2012

Randonneuring is long-distance, unsupported, noncompetitive cycling within prescribed time limits. The events—called brevets—are 200km (13.5 hour time cut-off ), 300km (20 hours), 400km (27 hours), 600km (40 hours), and 1000km (75 hours). Grand Randonnées are 1200km and riders must finish in 90 hours or less. The original Grand Randonnée, Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP), was first held in 1891 and inspired the modern Olympic Games and the Tour de France. There are also populaires, rides longer than 100km but less than 200km, and the flèche, a 24-hour team event.

Brevets are sometimes called randonnées, a word that has no precise English translation, but which is evocative of touring, adventuring, and wandering or rambling. One may also see the word audax in reference to randonneuring. Technically, audax rides are commonpace events where cyclists ride, rest, and finish together at a pace established by a route captain. Audax is roughly translated as “audacious,” which certainly describes riding a bicycle 750 miles!

Read more: here.

And check out Bicycle Times Magazine for more in depth cycling stories and urban bike culture.

A full year subscription (6 issues) is only $16.95 and they have E versions as well.

Bradley Wiggins becomes first Brit to win the Tour, now on to the London Olympics

( Source of the photo. )

Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins for winning this years 99th Tour de France. Bradley became the first British rider to win the 3,479km epic race with a 3min 21sec lead over British team-mate Chris Froome after Sunday’s 20th and last stage to Paris.

Here is a piece from Bradley himself in the Guardian, talking about a childhood dream come true.

A childhood dream comes true – now it’s got to be Games gold
Bradley Wiggins, the first British winner of the Tour de France, on riding up the Champs-Élysées and what comes after.

Bradley Wiggins
Sunday 22 July 2012

There is a set of railings, about six or eight of them, just before the entrance to the Place de la Concorde, about a kilometre from the Tour de France finish on the Champs-Élysées. I stood on those railings with my brother and my mum on 25 July 1993 watching the Tour de France go past.

It all went by in a flash, but I spotted Miguel Indurain in the yellow jersey – about to win his third Tour in a row – and Gianni Bugno in the rainbow jersey of world champion.

It was my first sight of the Tour. We’d come over from London for the weekend, gone up the Eiffel Tower the day before, then watched the Tour come into town on the Sunday. I remember thinking how big it was, how huge it was, seeing the riders whizzing past. I never imagined that 19 years later I’d be coming down there in the same position as Indurain.

It sounds cliched, but it’s the stuff of childhood dreams really. It’s what I’ve dreamed of for 20 years but I never dreamed it could become reality.

Read more: here.

Fyxation photographer contest

Last week I posted this amazing photo by Kevin Dillard of Demoncats.

Kevin is one of my favorite urban cycling photographers who has been capturing the alleycat scene for years.

Turns out his work is part of a photography contest hosted by urban cycling gear company, Fyxation.

They held a contest where photographers send in a portfolio of work and can win up to $1000 in cash and gear.

Kevin made the finalists list and is vying for the wining slot when the contest wraps up July 25th.

The results will be posted on their Facebook page.

To see the list of finalists, http://www.fyxation.com/blog/sponsored-phtotgrapher-finalists

Congratulations to Kevin and good look in the finals.

Friday Video picks–a day late.

Title: Poleriders from Above
Seen on: Youtube.com/PoleRiders
Andrew Katzander is the creator of Poleriders, a mobile dance pole on a trike complete with soundsytem and lights. What’s the best way to see this traveling spectacle, besides in person? From above. Here is a high angle shot from this year’s NYC Pride parade. *Note. Due to Youtube’s privacy code, the music had to be changed…You may want to crank some Tech House or YMCA to replace the accepted but not fitting classical.

Title: Gothic to Modernism Bike Tour – Bornbike Barcelona
Seen on: youtube.com/bornbikebarcelona
Looking for a bike tour in Barcelona? Check out, Bornbikebarcelona.com

Title: LACON DE CATALONIA – Andreu Lacondeguy
Seen on: Reddit.com/bicycling
Andreu Lacondeguy…going big!

Title: FABIKE Sliding Dropout System
Seen on: urbanvelo.org
From Urban Velo: FABIKE has an interesting take on the sliding dropout design. Their system allows not only for adjustment of the chain length, but allows you to switch between 120 and 130 mm spacing (or to an optional dropout with a derailleur hanger).

Title: Golden Saddle Cyclery Grand Prix
Seen on: Prolly
From Golden Saddle Cyclery: Golden Saddle Cyclery hosted an amazing day of races to raise funds for the Encino Velodrome. The races consisted of a 3 category Omnium as well as a separate sprint race. Aside from racing, the highlight would have to be the camaraderie and the amazing food prepared by Todd of Burrito Project fame. Golden Saddle would like to thank the racers, spectators and all of our sponsors who donated prizes to help keep this amazing facility open. A special Thank You goes out to Keiron, of Ride The Black Line, for throwing this great event and allowing us to participate. Make sure to make it out to the rest of the summer series going on through out the months of July and August.

Golden Saddle Cyclery Grand Prix from Golden Saddle Cyclery on Vimeo.

Title: Tom La Marche Chi Town Baja
Seen on: Bikejerksmpls.blogspot.com

Title: BMX Video Monday
Seen on: Bikejerksmpls.blogspot.com

Title: Bike DealerCamp 2011
Seen on: allhailtheblackmarkert.com
Where do bicycle retailers and dealers go to talk, ride and discuss the future of the bicycle industry, Bike Dealer Camp. Going on July 24th-26th in Dear Valley Resort, Park City- Utah. Here is a video from last year.

Title: The ShockWheel invention by Chet Baigh
Seen on: allhailtheblackmarkert.com

Title: Ochy Hill
Seen on: cyclinginquisition.com

Title: Travis Collier – MacNeil BMX
Seen on: coolbikevideos.com
A bunch of footage from Travis Collier from his trip to Japan as well as a bunch of great clips from Vancouver.

Travis Collier – MacNeil BMX from MACNEIL BMX on Vimeo.

Title: Rocky 2-7 day stage race in Vancouver BC.

ROCKY 2 from Ultramontane on Vimeo.

Title: FOAD in Seattle
Seen on: Zlogblog.com

FOAD In Seattle from FOAD on Vimeo.

Title: Clit Clips 2
Seen on: Zlogblog.com
Rik Anderson,s Clit Clips is back for its second installment and I dont mind the long wait between one and two because this one definitely comes hard. All of your favorite fixed gear dudes plus some guys I dont know getting down. I believe it was mostly filmed in Chicago which has some amazing looking spots and a little Milwaukee too. Watch it a couple times if you know whats good for ya

featuring Murder B, Torey Thornton, Josh Boothby, Shea Hardacre, Tom LaMarche, Mason Willets, Matt Spencer, Mike Dinh, Rik Andreson, Finn Zygowski, Corey San Agustin, Joe Orentas, Julius Carasquillo, Scott Bell, Denis Bejtic, Sam Hanson, and Colin Foster.

Title: Bone Deth BMX bombardment.
Seen on: Zlogblog.com

Title: Mission Workshop presents Julien Colombier
Seen on: Zlogblog.com
Julien Colombier works with chalks and pastels on large surfaces.
Shot in Paris, in early July.

See more of his work here:
juliencolombier.com

Mission Workshop presents Julien Colombier from Mission Workshop on Vimeo.

Title: Global Gutz Mexico City
Seen on: Zlogblog.com

Global Gutz Mexico City from SakeGroup on Vimeo.

Title: Nadeah Odile-Official Music Video-2011
Seen on: coolbikevideos.com

Title: Velocity Tour 2012 in Nagoya Japan
Seen on: Tracko
CYCLE HAWK presents VELOCITY TOUR 2012 in NAGOYA Japan
filmed by Ryota Kemmochi

VELOCITY TOUR 2012 IN NAGOYA from Ryota Kemmochi on Vimeo.

Title: Velo from Motionlab
Seen on: Tracko

Title: SPY+ PERFORMANCE SERIES
Seen on: Tracko

Title: Tour De Francis-Documentary
Seen on: Tracko
Filmed in May 2012 in Belgium and France for Halfords’ sponsorship of the Tour de France on ITV4.
The TV campaign also includes 24 idents shown throughout the Tours coverage.
Agency / DLKW Lowe – Production Company / Another Film Company – Director Nick Mason

TOUR DE FRANCIS DOCUMENTARY from Nick Mason on Vimeo.