The modest success of our first Bike BlenderMobile Social, got DL and I thinking… What other pedal powered businesses could be out there? With a little web searching, and some help from our friends over at Surly, we found the following Nicaragua based pedal powered phone booth. Using an old computer, car battery, and common 3 wheeled cargo bike, this entrepreneur can charge the battery while pedaling to his prospective customers. Check out the video for a demonstration of this mobile call shop.
Have you run into any unique bike businesses here or abroad?
When you’re a frame maker tired of turning out custom bikes for other people… What do you do? When you’re Marty from Geekhouse Bikes, you build yourself, (perhaps the world’s first,) custom pursuit tall bike. Why? Because you can. This little number is lovingly named “Frankendork.”
I’m not entirely sure how I missed this, though as I mentioned previously my bike hasn’t seen much love recently. And at five weeks post-partum, I’m still not quite ready for any big rides. This afternoon though, I laced up my shoes for a quick six-mile run down along Shilshole.
You can imagine my surprise when I turned left off the Burke-Gilman, only to see all the bikes headed straight ahead, continuing on the newly completed extension to Golden Gardens. The cyclists enjoyed a nice wide lane, beautiful landscaping and a route well-protected from the adjacent road.
I’m excited to take a quick spin across The Locks this summer and test out the new road. Though, I’m certainly turning around at Golden Gardens and bypassing the hill climb to the top of the park and into Crown Hill.
Like Andrew, I too will be watching Le Tour for another year. I’ve been glued to the tube for three weeks every July, since long before Versus was all hip and OLN showed fly fishing marathons every weekend. Back when Indurain was king and there was only one broadcast each day that my father and I taped on worn-out VHS cassettes.
How far we’ve come in fifteen years. Replacing VHS, I curl up each evening with my DVR remote to watch the early morning broadcast in an effort to minimize the “Roll-factor”. New this year, just for geeks like me, experience the course using Google’s Street View.
Organizers have disinvited last year’s winner, Alberto Contador, and his entire Astana team, barring U.S. podium finisher Levi Leipheimer and former T-Mobile rider Andreas KlÃ¶den, as well as perennial Tour scrapper Chris Horner (who I hope winds up a race commentator based on his consistently excellent interviews). Also disinvited? QuickStep’s Tom Boonen, the defending green (sprinter’s) jersey champion, who tested positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test in late May. Slipstream-Chipotle’s David Zabriskie (back injury) and Tom Danielson (fitness) won’t get a chance to show off the team’s new sponsor and name, Garmin-Chipotle.
And, since it’s apparently impossible to announce a cycling doping verdict during the 50 weeks of the year that don’t precede the Tour, we’ve got a final (maybe) Floyd Landis verdict arising from the ‘06 Tour and a Michael Rasmussen decision arising from the ‘07 Tour. This doesn’t smell like the recipe for a great Tour.
On the other hand, we’ve got two U.S. teams in the Tour this year. Garmin-Chipotle and Team High Road, rechristened Team Columbia and arising from the ashes of the old T-Mobile team, are two teams that are in the forefront of longitudinal testing, where teams track a number of blood markers and measurements throughout the season. The UCI plans to bring a similar program, which they’re calling the biological passport, to all teams next year. It’s not foolproof, but it looks like the best way to move beyond one-shot blood tests to a comprehensive and contestable doping defense in depth. Maybe the sport is starting up the hors categorie climb back to credibility.
Garmin-Chipotle brings two American riders without a lot of grand tour experience, Will Frischkorn and Danny Pate, to ride in support of seasoned team leaders David Millar and Christian Vande Velde. George Hincapie looks to be back doing his natural thing in support of Kim Kirchen (and possibly young Kanstantsin Siutsiou) rather than trying to ride as a team leader. And Canada - Oh Canada - finally returns to the Tour, with Ryder Hesjedal becoming the first Canadian Tour starter since Gord Fraser in 1997.
As always, I’ll be covering all the action over at TdFblog, where Byron has promised to drop by for the occasional guest post. I’ve also got a Twitter feed and welcome contributions at my reference wiki, TdFwiki. If you find an interesting link, a news story, or a photo gallery, please feel free to drop it in the wiki.