No shifting required

This week Pam and I were out on an early evening ride and met Justin, a fixed gear commuter, and talked at length about his bike, his 40 mile commute, single speeds, and the culture. I also talked with colleagues in the bike industry about single speeds and they observed that it’s like mtn biking in the 80s with lots of camaraderie, socializing, and not being so competitive (also noting mtn biking was originally about getting stoned, drinking beer, and riding trails) . Call it old school, minimalism or simplicity, Justin said it best when I asked why he rode with one gear and he replied, “It clears my head to not shift. I just ride.”

Earlier this year, at Swan Island, they had a Fixed Gear category with about 30 racers and I noticed all the back slapping and “wow, nice work, spinning up that gear.” All of them were just happy to have completed the race and rode together.

Responding to the “fixie” sub culture, Redline, Novara, Surly are all offering bikes. Also check Steinworks that manufactures “sculpture in motion,” the fixedgear blog, fixedgeargallery and in the Fall, bike hugger is going to build up a single-speed rain bike from the parts bin and blog all about it.

Howard Rides the Rockies

Howard sent us a link to his personal account of Ride the Rockies. “419 miles later… and now we’ve spent the entire weekend recovering. It hasn’t been enough. And there’s not enough Advil in the world to make us all better.”

Good work Howard. The first thing I always tell anyone that asks me about preparing for an epic ride is to use chamois creme (tip, Noxema works really well).

A Tainted Tour de France

July is the time of year when the world pays more attention to cycling, the tour starts, the STPs are out riding everywhere, the days are long, it’s not raining, and more. It’s usually a good time to be a bike hugger, but this year, what started as a drug scandal with wild speculation, confusing facts, declaration of innocence and guilt by association in the European media, has resulted in riders not being allowed to start the race. Those riders including the two favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso.

As the news about the scandal and suspensions pour in, it’s chaotic and confusing and I’m stunned. I’m following the news on the Tour de France blog, our partner in cycling. More reports from

Later when the Tour starts, we’ll offer some insight here and explanation (besides the scandal) of how the race works.

Would you like a smoothie for your cooldown?

MAKE: Blog: Bicycle blenders

Over at the weblog for Make: magazine, they run down a variety of non-Starbuck options for blending delicious drinks via human power, including the Xtracycle-based Byerley Bicycle Blender, Tyler Durden’s favorite soap blender, and a homebrew margarita mixer from Vancouver.

Fender Blending Fat and Sugar

It what could be the worst use of pedal power ever, Starbucks has been getting press for their Fender Blender that whips up drinks full of fat and sugar. I saw it on MSNBC, found a related news story online, and images. Now if that had been to power the lights in the store with pedals, or a lean drink, or something healthy.

Update

Several clicks and related links later, I found the Bike Blender blog where they are doing good things with their bikes and blenders. We need a beer brewing bike.

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