Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

i want this

Check out: fast boy fenders.

This falls under the category of things I DON'T need to buy my bike right now, given my "bikes accessories moratorium" where I try not to spend my money on this stuff. They are super sweet though.

The fenders are handmade, as are the frames that this dude Ezra builds. Ezra also has a very artsy, eclectic Flickr account that makes leaves me with a slightly saddened, sickened feeling. He has cancer and takes pictures of his nosebleeds (argh). His photos remind me on Nan Goldin's work.

Check out Ezra's photos here (scroll down).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

sweet weekend: sunday

I seem to be mourning the loss of such a fun weekend, and my work ethic has reached an abrupt standstill.

Here are pics from a lovely Sunday (what I'd rather be doing):

Sunburnt, with chapped lips (aka sexy).

Action shot. I was movin'.

Cortado @ Smooch. I looked for a burger on the menu, but I'm pretty sure they're too healthy for that.

K. with the crossword, saved from Wednesday:

How sweet it was. Sigh.

Monday, April 20, 2009

sweet weekend: saturday

I have been informed by two strongly opinionated and extraordinarily good looking Michiganders that my blog isn't as "funny as it used to be" and has taken a turn for the "technical." I found this slightly disheartening, though perhaps true--and so: here's an anecdotal post.

This weekend was incredibly sweet BUT FIRST: I have a confession to make. I bought a new bike (yikes!). I did this in a typically impulsive style, in full frontal denial of our current economic crisis, holding on to the fragile notion that people are bike-crazy like me, and yes, they will buy my old bike (thank you, craigslist). And they did! I sold my Bianchi to a cool girl named J. It's silly that I couldn't transfer the wheels but my new bike is 650c wheels and the rims on the old one are too big for it. Remember the "kids size" Fuji I said I was going to try? I loved it and I bought it. (The black-grey theme fits well with my embarassingly short skinny jeans and urban lifestyle. It's very Gotham.)

Everyone had told me this weekend we were supposed to have amazing weather and I was excited because I planned to go on this ride to Floyd Bennett field, an semi-abandoned hangar, with BrooklynbyBike. I woke up on Saturday with the intention of eating a healthy, energy-sustaining meal that wouldn't dehydrate me too much for the miles to come (usually I ride maybe 20 blocks at a time, not 12 miles). I went to Colson Patisserie on the corner of 6th Ave & 9th Street and attempted to order sensibly: yogurt with granola, please. The deep voiced countergirl looked at me with pity and said, (literally): "Aw, we ran out of yogurt." Now, feeling slightly childish and clearly incapable of eating a healthy breakfast, I came up with a quick back-up, "Oh, ok--what is in your croissants?" to which the girl responded, "Oh, um..butter and sugar..and (turns to baker co-worker) and asks 'What else is in our croissants?" then I interrupt her, embarassed, and say "I'll take one." So much for my nonbutter option, maybe croissants are the Tour de France breakfast of champions?

They DID have really good fresh squeezed orange juice though.

As I sat there this Mama Dyke kept starting at me. She was wearing a white baseball cap with a pink NY Yankees emblem on it. I felt like turning to her and saying, "No, I'm not hungover, this is just what I look like when I wake up..."

Sitting there, and eavesdropping on the Mama Dyke's conversation, I noticed this:

A new bike shop in my hood! I'm excited about it (be on the lookout for how to be a cool bike mechanic follow up post).

Finally: the ride. We met up at Grand Army Plaza and rode to Floyd Bennett, which was a smooth ride even with the amount of riders we had. It was a great turnout, and I loved riding and talking with everybody.

Here are some pics:

This girl on the ride had a sweet IRO that looked completely new, complete with riser handlebars, front and rear brake, wrap-around lights, a bell, and OURY grips. I really liked that bike and would definitely consider an IRO (not that I'm buying another, I swear).

After the ride, I attempted to sprint up the hilly part of Prospect Park loop, and got really sweaty so my jeans were sticking to my legs. Then we all went to Franklin Park! and I drank 100 Hefeweizens (yes, I had to look that up), which were delicious. At one point some dude's bulldog broke out in an ungodly scream, I think because his owner had sat him in a wire chair (why not leave your dog on the ground?!) but other than that, everyone was well behaved. Jason and I bonded over being prematurely grey, a sign of true maturity. I hope to see everyone I met at the next ride!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Why we need more women on two wheels"

On your bike! Why we need more women on two wheels
Helen Pidd
Monday April 6 2009
The Guardian

Many a female cyclist will have gone into her local bike shop, been blinded by the racks of fluorescent fabrics and wondered if it would ever be possible to buy cycling gear that wouldn't make her look as if she had been attacked by a highlighter pen. Why, she may have wondered, did it seem beyond the imagination of designers to come up with garments suited to the demands of the cyclist that didn't risk the wearer being mistaken for a member of the team mending the water mains?

For the past few years, a growing number of designers have quietly been doing just that. And very soon, their work is going mainstream. From Thursday, Topshop, that barometer of the nation's style, will be stocking cycling accessories in its flagship Oxford Street store. It will be selling panniers, saddlebags, retro cycling caps and much more. All are designed by Cyclodelic (, an all-female design company based in east London, which "believes that girls who cycle don't have to forfeit fashion over function".

The Cyclodelic Topshop concession, which could be rolled out nationally and even internationally if all goes well, is part of a resurgence of women's cycling. Last summer, Her Gear, which claims to be the UK's only shop catering exclusively for female cyclists - "an alternative to the greasy fingernailed, Masonic, very macho environment you find in a traditional bike shop," according to owner Stephen Peters - opened in Kensington, west London.

Recently you had Duffy wobbling around on a bike in the Diet Coke advert, model Agyness Deyn is rarely photographed without her vintage steed, and last year Courteney Cox presented Jennifer Aniston with a Chanel bike for her birthday. The sustainable transport charity Sustrans has recently launched, a website designed to encourage women to get in the saddle. And last month, the London Cycling Campaign organised Birds on Bikes, a night-time ride taking in locations linked with the achievements of women in the capital. Plus, of course, there was the stunning success of the women from the British Olympic cycling team in Beijing.

But despite all this oestrogen-fuelled activity, only a minority of women cycle. According to new research from Sustrans, 79% of British women do not cycle at all even though 43% have access to a bike. It is a sad state of affairs given that cycling was a key part of the women's movement.

Taking to two wheels liberated women from their cumbersome corsets and petticoats by allowing them to get from A to B in "rational dress", without their husbands. And though cycling these days is more about emancipation from the public transport network than the male overlords, the fight to dress well in the saddle goes on.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2009

This is a shirt from Cyclodelic:
Pretty awesome)

blessing of the bikes

The 11th Annual Blessing of the Bikes

(Yes, your kids, skates, and non-motorized scooters are all welcome!)

Saturday April 18th, 2009 This date is now confirmed!

9:30 a.m. SHARP!

(This event is wonderful but BRIEF. Don’t be late!)

Rain or Shine

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

112th Street & Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY

Directions here

All Faiths Welcome

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

interview with Jennifer from Hotvelociti

Q: What made you start designing jerseys?

JB: I was an artist growing up. I had an insecure financial future if I chose that as a living so I went to business school and tried to become a business person. I became very bored with it and went back to journalism and decided to start my own company. The other reason is because when I started cycling about 10 years ago—I was bored by [jerseys] I saw. Why would I want to have a car company on my bike jersey? It’s so engrained to do that, but we’re not cycling to advertise car companies. I didn’t like the colors or designs and all the nice stuff didn’t fit me. [With my jerseys] I ended up not doing exactly what I would have done when I first conceived of this. I thought of doing more masculine things.

Q: You mentioned you were also a filmmaker. Have you done any films with bicycles?

JB: Yes,I did a pilot TV series about traveling around the world by bicycles called “Bike Travels with Jenny B.” I also had a TV show called “The Bike Show” for five years which I co-produced with another cyclist. That covered cycling in the New York region, advocacy, and alternative transportation.

And I did a film called Wheels, about speed skaters and cyclists in Central Park, which won three awards at NYU Film School, including one of the top pictures, editing and cinematography.

Q: What is most important to you about a bicycle jersey?

JB: [That they be] colorful, graphic, and have a message, which is sometimes subversive—I’m also influenced by high fashion trends. I would say fashion, fun, design and femininity are important to me.

Q: Are there any specific artists that inspired you?

JB: I don’t look at artists when I come up with stuff – I respond to trends and I read a lot of fashion magazines. Some of my jerseys are pure responses to trends like one of my earlier designs---for example, the Japanese giraffe stemmed from fashion. [The jersey called] “Circles” has been copied by so many companies you have no idea. [On the inspiration for “Circles”:] I was driving back from Mexico and I started drawing circles. I’m also inspired by the 1960s and 1970s. Technology and things influence the jersey “Aurora771” in the future. “Anatolia” was based on a visit I took to Istanbul. “Speed183” is about tagging and graffiti and all of the words refer to people who live in Washington Heights.

Q: What is the Ecstasy shirt about?

JB: Ecstasy was purely graphic. I just started drawing on the computer what would make a woman look like Darth Vader. That’s how I feel about “Ecstasy.” I didn’t want to use the name of a car company. I didn’t realize I was using Rastafarian colors and the ecstasy of cycling, and to drugs, but we don’t need drugs to feel high when we are cycling. That jersey was a lot of fun to make. I did it from beginning to end without any outside help.

Q: How has designing jerseys shaped your cycling/career? Are you constantly noticing what shirts people are wearing now?

JB: Yes, I’m constantly noticing what people are wearing. I have a fashion background. I worked in retail. I worked for Tiffany & Co. I wanted to be a fashion designer but I ended up going to business school. I think I might take it further into mainstream but I haven’t yet…it’s hard to pace myself. I think I’ll extend the line to include street clothing and dresses.

Q: What is your favorite bike you own and why?

JB: Right now it’s my Trek. Trek actually sponsored my blog. I ride the 5900—it’s probably the fastest bike I’ve ever ridden. It was the highest level Trek at the time, but I’m sure they make better versions now.

Q: I think you mentioned you ride in triathlons. How long have you been doing that and how has it shaped your cycling?

JB: I was racing before and I’ve raced in Mexico. Then I got older and now I don’t race as much… Sometimes when you race you get sick of what you have to do to be a racer; you have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning...when I was racing, I had no life whatsoever. When you’re racing, you’re just racing/working/racing/working.

I started racing again in triathlons because I wanted to move my life in that direction. Triathlons are a little bit easier because you can mix up the sports. I’m a pretty good swimmer but I’m scared of the swimming part. It’s all the people – I’ve had like 9 drowning accidents in my life and I’ve become a little superstitious about it. The second or third triathlon I did, I placed first or second in my category.

Q: What would you like to see more of in women's cycling?

JB: More women cycling. I love men; I’m kind of a jock myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m a man too. I have five brothers but the camaraderie of women when they are cycling together--it’s so great.There was a lot of antagonism between competitive women cyclists in New York – in NJ it’s a very different story. [In NJ] they’re very nice and it’s really great.

Q: What is your favorite spot to ride in NYC?

JB: From NY to Nyack—I like riding along the side of NY too. I love riding in Woodstock and Saugerties and Cairo and Akra. It’s 50 miles and it’s a huge amount of climbing. Also Route 32, near Hunter Mountain up behind Hensonville– it’s very challenging. That was the only time I’ve had to get off my bike to go up a hill.

Q: Which is your favorite Hotvelociti jersey and why?

JB: I don’t think I have one – they’re all personal. They all have their own thing. It’s like saying whose my favorite child. Some days I feel like wearing one more than others.

This year for the 2009 collection, I had a lot of blue and purple designs, so I purposely made a green and yellow jersey because I wanted that color in the collection. I had to find something that would work for that, so I made Sqwak!. I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to do a bird character. I love birds and I feed them even though my landlord threatens to throw me out. I chose red for another jersey, Le Ventoux, which depicts a white woman on the front, and a dark woman on the back—the point is women can ride Le Ventoux, one of the steepest and hardest rides which is often featured in the Tour de France. Red is a very important color, it’s very passionate. I love blues and greens, and black of course is essential.

I think next year my style is going to change a lot and it’s going to be very different.

Q: The colors or the graphics?

JB: All of it.

Check out Jennifer's jerseys at Hotvelociti.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

guerrilla scanning of "sorry, portland"

This has been the week of one botched blog attempt after another but I'm pretty sure that's because I had a concussion. Taking a soccer ball to the dome is never fun; but I can assure you that the 35+ year old players on my team still have what it takes, judging from the strength and accuracy of their kicks. I digress...

While at Bicycle Habitat trying on the Fuji track for size (more about that later..) I picked up this postcard, by an artist named Taliah Lempert.

I dig 'em.

THEN, I randomly bought a magazine called GOOD and found more of Taliah's artwork inside!

I also read this sweet article , that I liked because it talked about the bike scene in each city, fixed gear, bike polo, even soapbox derby included.

Here's my favorite pic from Pittsburgh:

And Austin:

I dutifully scanned these images before they posted the story but I'm glad they did so now you can all read it! I wasn't sure how I was going to swing that one, anyway.

Monday, April 6, 2009

ill bike in NYC

I have a few posts pending but here is an ill bike my brother and Caroline Rea saw last night outside the White Horse Tavern in NYC: