Paul Andrews

Archive for the ‘News Cycle’ Category

News Cycle: EMBA’s new ED, Pivot’s new TM, If John Cook only had a brain & more

In News Cycle on February 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has named Glenn Glover interim executive director, following the departure (as of Mar. 1) of Jon Kennedy for Diamondback Bikes. We’ve sat in on board meetings with Glenn and done trail work with him and feel he’s a great fit. Congratulations to him and best wishes moving the organization forward.

Pivot Cycles has signed the reigning 24-hour-race world champion, Jason English, to its team for 2010. English, an Aussie, rides a Mach 4 that tilts the scales at under 22 lbs. We want that build!

“I don’t believe a bicycle is a transportation device,” stated Fairfax (VA) County Supervisor John Cook. Which might carry some weight except that John Cook’s brain is not a cognition device. (See comments queue.)

Great (reprinted) interview with someone whose brain is firing on all cylinders, mountain biking founding father Charlie Kelly.

And Ned Overend is profiled in the Durango Herald. A seldom noted fact about Nedly: His name is the most perfect mountain biking anagram ever! (That’s right…end over end.)

News Cycle: Seattle’s Biking Mayor, Lou Mazzante, Ultegra chain failure & more

In News Cycle on February 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

Great video from Streetfilms of Seattle’s new Mayor Mike McGinn riding around town. It was a long ride politically for McGinn to get elected, and serving in office is always filled with potholes and doorstops. We could continue with the bike analogies ad nauseum, but let’s leave it at this: In all the times we encountered McGinn riding in the past, he never was coasting! (Obviously we missed his “electric bike” phase!)

Congrats to Lou Mazzante, named editor of Mountain Bike magazine. We liked his work for BIKE, the best-written bike magazine around, and trust he’ll bring similar sensibilities to Mountain Bike. We hope this signals, in fact, a greater commitment to Mountain Bike, which has been a kind of weak sister to the somniferous Bicycling since it “absorbed” Mountain Bike a few years back. I didn’t realize Mountain Bike is 25 years old, though. That makes me feel old. Wait a minute, I am old…

Older I bet than this guy. He looks pretty buff too!

SeattleLikesBikes does not like the Burke-Gilman Trail’s “Missing Link.” Take a ride on the pitted side…

Cozy Beehive on the Shimano Ultegra chain failures. See comments queue too. This one needs to be networked: The visual evidence on Cozy is compelling but one would think that, if the problem is widespread, we’d be hearing from a lot of cyclists out there. The Bee says to stay tuned

Outside Magazine: Ban on mountain bikes in wilderness areas is plain wrong.

News Cycle: Digital Lockdown in the Wired Age

In News Cycle on February 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

In this wired universe we live in, we’re supposed to have ubiquitous access to comprehensive information on a real-time, as-it-happens basis. And until a light plane takes out a transmission tower, we do.

After a private plane apparently took a left instead of a right after takeoff in fog yesterday morning at two minutes to 8, things in our Palo Alto apartment went into what might be termed Digital Lockdown. It was kind of spooky, because in the past when the power went out, you still had (corded) telephone. You still had (transistor) radio. And you had news media who could draw together information quickly for an up-to-date, comprehensive report.

Now you don’t. Now you’ve got pretty much a black hole. For all the Twitter, 3G, Wi-Fi, Facebook, blogs, cell phones and other always-on communications available at our fingertips, if you were in Palo Alto yesterday you couldn’t find out a damn thing about what had happened to take the whole city’s power out.

After the incident happened, we checked El Camino Real and discovered pretty much everyone else was down, too. But nobody knew what had happened.

I’m not sure if AT&T’s network went dead during the power outage. I was still getting bars, although they were in wild roller-coaster mode — you know, 5 bars then none, then a couple, then 5, then none. Even if the network was up, getting onto it was a hopeless task.

When I went to Twitter, I got an “unable to connect” error. Same with e-mail. The iPhone was registering “3G” as active, but it was dead to me. I switched 3G off, which under normal circumstances helps. Still nothing.

We have friends with land lines, but you know what? Cordless phones go dead when there’s no power. The one friend we know with an old-fashioned corded phone never did pick up, even after we left town in search of a signal. And why would he? Who wants to hang around a place with no lights, heat or Internet? A corded copper line is useful only if other people have corded copper lines as well.

The truth is, though, hardly anyone has land lines any more. Statistical latency prevents a true assessment of just how deep the cellular-only trend runs, but anecdotally we all know how few people in metro areas use anything but a cell phone for calling.

Finally it occurred to me to go out to the car and turn on the radio. There I got a brief bulletin stating that a plane had crashed in East Palo Alto, taking out a power tower. And that was it. No details on when power might be restored, who was affected, etc. etc.

The best information strategy turned out to be walking outside and strolling around, talking to people, comparing and collating information. Gradually some details emerged — something about a Tesla CEO being killed (incorrect), and the plane taking off in fog, and Stanford University hospital being without power. By noon — fully four hours after the incident, a scratchy (obviously wireless, maybe even handheld radio) report was being made from campus by a KCBS Radio (San Francisco) correspondent, explaining the measures Stanford Hospital had taken in the wake of the outage.

Within a couple hours of the outage, we’d had it with Digital Lockdown. We took off for Santa Cruz — sunny, warm, beachy and — most of all — connected Santa Cruz.

There I found out that a few folks had been twittering about the incident, and there was a hashmark #planecrash. Too bad the people who could most use, and were most interested in, the tweets couldn’t get them in Palo Alto. Even so, #planecrash was like water-cooler info, random bits that didn’t really add up to anything meaningful.

When I worked for The Seattle Times, we had a newsroom mobilization plan built around the Worst Case Scenario, which we always depicted as a Boeing 747 crashing into the Space Needle. Essentially it called for full-onslaught reporting by all news staffers, which editors would pull together for that day’s (when we were still an afternoon newspaper) or the next morning’s paper. Or even a momentous “Special Edition.”

I haven’t seen Palo Alto newspapers yet (the accident happened at the worst possible time for an a.m. publication), but they’re so thin these days it’s hard to imagine they’ll have room for extensive reporting. I will say this: The best place for information on the accident is the “newspaper” site of paloaltoonline.com — the Palo Alto Weekly. It beats #planecrash like a carpet.

The incident underlines how much the online universe still needs a newspaper metaphor for providing news and information. With all the stuff on the Interwebs, who woulda thunk? After all, we live in a Connected World — until something really significant happens, anyway.

News Cycle: Japanese folder, Springtime Olympics, E-bike sales, Lopes Sprinter & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes on February 16, 2010 at 1:31 am

Slick Japanese folder!

BikeHugger is covering the Spring Olympics by bike and may, just may, be the culprit behind balmy weather suited more to wheels than blades and boards.

E-bike sales: Growing but still tiny, tiny when compared with regular bikes, or e-bike sales in other countries: 300k expected in 2010, double 2009. But total in U.S. is just 500k.

Idaho’s mountain biking license plate moves forward.

Brian Lopes is selling his pimped out Sportsmobile for a mere $67,000…the good news being you can claim it as a second home mortgage deduction. Assuming you have another home. And it’s worth more than $67,000.

Despite all the rain, things are cookin‘ in Aptos!

SeattleLikesBikes: Issues with counting bike commuters.

Good LA Times story on bike thievery. It’s every bit as ugly as we assume.

Psst. Hey. You and I could sell our homes and buy an entire town up by Whistler in B.C. Mountain biking all summer long. Skiing all winter long. You don’t get to see another soul, but hey. You’re getting away from it all!

3-feet-please? How about FIVE. More on Iowa’s Bicycle Bill of Rights.

News Cycle: Bike freeways, Dirt Bowl, new Banshee site, Fork drag & more

In Mountain Biking, News Cycle, Videos on February 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Jacquie Phelan on Sunday’s Dirt Bowl fundraiser in Fairfax.

How the premiere of “Women of Dirt” in Seattle last Friday evening went, here and here.

Banshee Bikes, winner of our Top 10 Bike Names of All Time citation, has a killer new Web site. Unfortunately, someone forgot to renew the bansheebikes.com URL. We’ve messaged them and will alert when back up (unless they’re changing domains, but even then they need pointer).

You’ve felt it, I’ve felt it. You lower the travel on your fork on a long fire road climb and immediately the bike feels more sluggish, like brake drag. RC speculates on its origins but, like every other explanation I’ve seen, doesn’t quite nail it down. Should be a simple matter of physics. Get MIT on the case! Why is this so hard?

Where does your stolen bike go? Trek-Livestrong theft shows up in flea market in Mexico, sans wheels.

Normally when a car runs down a cyclist, it’s by accident. But not always.

BOOKMARK this link: Bike footrests not same as metal knuckles, court finds. For the next time you get stopped for carrying assault weapons on your BMX.

Can the Prime restore Hayes’ disc-brake glory? I rode Hayes, the industry standard, for years till their weight, grabbiness and lack of adjustability drove me to Magura. Plus they really needed to do something about ease of pad replacement. Lots of buzz about Prime, which seems to address most of these issues, but we’ll remain skeptical till we see the things. Strokers just did not turn the trick, and at this point it’ll take a lot to win me back from my Martas and Louises.

Bicycles should have their own freeways? Why, certainly. With a car lane on the right-hand shoulder of course.

News Cycle: Women of Dirt premiere, Pedaling consternation, Rider Ryder & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Mountain Biking, News Cycle, Obama Bikes, Videos on February 5, 2010 at 12:53 am

Reminder: World premiere of “Women of Dirt” tonight in Seattle! The DVD is out btw and can be ordered online.

Washington’s “Vulnerable User” legislation is already further along than a similar bill made it last year.

Jonathan Maus at BikePortland.org raises the question of why a local newspaper seems deliberately provocative (one might say antagonistic) on the issue of the city’s 2030 Bicycle Plan:

“Instead of helping to foster civil public discourse about a very important plan for our city’s future, I’m afraid this story will only serve to intensify the “bicyclist” versus “motorist” sensationalism that The Oregonian has admitted to “overplaying” in the past.”

As newspapers (the ones that survive) continue to focus on their natural constituency, that being local communities, our hope is that they’ll show more sensitivity and receptiveness to the bicycling community in the transportation matrix. The perplexing irony in this case is that The Oregonian has on staff one of the nation’s experts on just this subject — Jeff Mapes, author of “Pedaling Revolution.” Maybe he could persuade an editor or two at his newspaper to read his book?!

For your good deed of the day — heck, the whole weekend — take the Bicycle Leadership Conference survey.

We like Ryder Hesjedal for two reasons: First, his mountain bike heritage. Second, his first name. Keep an eye on him in the 2010 season.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully the weather will let you Get out ‘n RIDE!

News Cycle: Ghost bikes, RUI, Utah won’t yield & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Mountain Biking, News Cycle on February 4, 2010 at 2:32 am

The Ghost Bikes Film Project that Bike Intelligencer subscribed to failed to reach its fundraising goal, but Meaghan Wilbur says she’ll soldier on and do the documentary one way or another. Best of luck to her!

Man riding a bike in Naples, FL gets a “DUI” for being intoxicated. $7,000 bail. Chicago DUI Lawyers is watching the case, so maybe they could tell us if, technically, the guy was “driving” while UI.

Utah considered a progressive law to allow cyclists to yield at stop signs instead of having to come to a full stop. It died in committee in part over fears that cyclists would sue when run over by drivers. Now there’s a perfect get-rich-quick scheme. Get a bike, watch for a car at an intersection and ride in front of it! No more worries over money — you’re set for … life!

In Marin County, the celebrated birthplace of mountain biking, where legendary Mount Tam and Repack and Tamarancho draw mountain bikers from all over the world, the local newspaper is running a poll asking how much trail access mountain bikers should get. And mountain bikers are getting hammered.

Fun story from totcycle on “Why We Drive.”

Not so fun story (with fortunately happy ending) from Cyclelicio.us about his encounter with a left-turning vehicle.

News Cycle: Crashed bike, e-bike, Lance’s bike, stolen bike & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on February 1, 2010 at 1:54 am

So we have a question here. Exactly how cautious does a cyclist have to be to prevent a driver from turning left in front of him or her? We almost got run down today in Aptos in that very scenario, so we’d like, really, we’d love to know. You wonder if this cop would tell a gunshot victim to be especially careful not to get in the way of bullets.

In Idaho they’re still cranking along on the “Preserve Our Trails” mountain-biking license plate. Good on ‘em!

Pinarello Dogma worth “thousands and thousands” brazenly stolen from an Issaquah bike shop that should have known better.

BikingBis, who’s been on the case since the start, updates the 3-feet-please movement for 2010.

Jacquie Phelan: The A Side and the B Side of the “Modern San Franciscan”…aboard a bike of course. But first look at the photo.

Commute Seattle off and running…er carpooling…and biking!

What about Ennnn Ohhhhh don’t you understand?

Even with this on his side, the answer is still the same.

On the rise: The electric bike! I think of e-bikes the way I think of e-books: Nice implementation but Old School is better. Still, there’s no denying e-bikes are on the upswing. Battery technology is getting so insanely light and malleable that you can barely find the batteries on the bike any more. It’s only going to get better. In my dotage I may come to actually appreciate the things.

News Cycle: Protection for cyclists — is strangulation covered? Dirt Bowl, Women of Dirt, all the best dirt & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on January 29, 2010 at 2:17 am

If you try to run down a cyclist in your car but somehow miss, never fear. You can always go for strangulation.

In L.A., a booming promise that “The culture of the car ends now!” No throwing projectiles, no verbal abuse, no cutting within 3 feet … and yes! No strangulation! “(No) making physical contact with a bicyclist from a moving vehicle on the roadway either by physical person or use of an implement.” Yay!

I remember when I was this anal about my ride logs…but it was a long time ago.

Reminder that the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s “Dirt Bowl” fundraiser is Sunday, Feb. 7.

(Two) wheels ‘n feet account for 9.6 percent of all trips, but just 1.2 percent of federal funding. Other goodies as well in the Alliance for Biking & Walking “Benchmarking” report.

Add mtbchick to the growing list of hosts for “Awesome Land: Women of Dirt” showings .

Alan at EcoVelo looks at the iPad’s potential for mobile blogging.

Nothing to do with cycling, other than Yokota’s involvement, but a wild story nonetheless. So wild that the Man Himself, Gary Fisher, retweeted it.

Have a great weekend! Winter’s on the decline, time to get out ‘n RIDE!

News Cycle: Haiti relief, Bike RV, Lance’s chances & more

In Lance's Chances, News Cycle on January 27, 2010 at 1:35 am

Guy gets so excited about Google Street View camera he crashes his bike. I’ve heard of more riders losing their iPhones exactly this way.

In 2009, the Dutch bought 1.3 million bicycles.

Which is 1.3 million fewer than Americans bought in the first quarter of 2009.

No longer does Preston Peterson have an excuse to show up at the trailhead with his trashed-out RV.

Craigslist continues to be the most successful weapon of choice against bike theft.

Adageo Energy Pro Cycling Team jerseys are being sold to benefit Haiti.

Even better, a 7-year-old cyclist is raising funds for Haiti by riding around his local park.

Twisted Spoke has scoped out early odds on Lance winning the Tour.

Today’s inspiration.

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