(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
If Andy Clarke has had a single mission in more than a decade at the League of American Bicyclists, it’s this: turning the U.S. bicycling movement from what he calls “a narrow special-interest group that by and large people don’t like” into “a public-interest group.”
“We’ve made such huge strides on the busy streets in cities. But the suburbs are the next great big frontier.”
In a telephone interview the day after announcing his resignation, Clarke said he thinks this is happening — but that even as it gets its ship in order, the movement is facing down a tidal wave.
On Wednesday we spoke with Clarke, 53, about the changes he’s seen during his 11 years at the helm of the national bike advocacy group; about the biggest threat facing the bike movement; and about the unique challenge of further improving biking in Portland.Clarke seemed to approve of this buffered bike lane in downtown Portland.
How has the League itself changed while you’ve been there?
I moved here to work for the League when it was the League of American Wheelmen in 1988. I’d been working in the same kind of work for an environmental group in England for three or four years out of college. It was 1988 to 1990. Then I left and for about 10 or 12 years, I’d been hearing from other people that I didn’t really feel that the League was playing its role, supporting state and local advocacy. During the 90s you saw the Alliance for Biking and Walking start, the Rails and Trails Conservancy. When I got back, that was changing; the League was kind of getting its act together again and starting to play that national role, first with the National Bike Summit and then with the Bike-Friendly Communities program.
One of the things that makes me happiest about the BFC program was that we looked at more than 800 applications, and in all but a handful of instances, people want to know what the feedback is and they want to get to the next level. They just want to know what to do next, how they can do better and what we think they should do. And then they just go out and do it.
At the federal level and the congressional level, certainly we’ve had our ups and downs. I feel like we’re providing that voice for cyclists and are a good representative for the cause in Congress. It’s a big world out there and the League is a small part of all the activity, but I’d like to think that we’re a part of all that momentum that everyone sees at the state and local level.Clarke and former Vancouver (WA) Mayor Royce Pollard in 2006.
But overall, the total number of people bicycling at least a few times a year isn’t growing (according to latest study by the National Bicycle Dealers Association) which means it’s shrinking as a share of the population. What do you see as the biggest challenges the biking movement faces?
“There’s kind of a divide, a growing divide, between those cities that get it and are capitalizing on it and those that are not.”
I was pleased that this year at the National Bike Summit we had a big session on suburbia and suburban development. We’ve made such huge strides on the busy streets in cities. But the suburbs are the next great big frontier, and if we think downtown city streets are hard to change, then the expanse of suburbia that has yet to become bicycle friendly can be a little daunting without seeing the evidence that we saw this summer that this is changing, that people are retrofitting the suburbs…
It seems to me that there are places that clearly are getting it, the Portlands and the Boulders and the Davises, and the Minneapolises and the Memphises and the Louisvilles and the New York Cities and the New Orleanses. There, things are flourishing beyond our wildest dreams. My fear is that that success and that progress is not being seen in the suburbs. There’s kind of a divide, a growing divide, between those cities that get it and are capitalizing on it and those that are not.
I’ve been riding to work basically the same way for 25 years, the same trail, from Fairfax county through Arlington County into the District. There are 10 times the number of people riding in the morning compared to 25 years ago.
The challenge is: is that happening throughout Fairfax County? Is that happening in every community in Virginia? Probably not. It would be impossible to say that cycling isn’t thriving and growing in DC and Arlington. What I worry about is once you get off that trail in Fairfax County, the roads are still pretty challenging and intimidating. The schools aren’t very accessible. My kids aren’t riding as much as I would like them to.
I think there’s a generation of kids that we continue to lose to cycling and that we’re not getting invested in cycling. That would be on my list of big-picture worries. There’s not a widespread effort to make sure that every kid that leaves elementary school knows how to ride a bike and has an affinity to that activity.- Advertisement -
It’s sometimes hard for me to imagine how we get from a world where bicycling is perceived as something for them and into a world where it’s perceived as something for everybody. The great strength of the bike movement is that we’ve got so many foot-soldiers who are willing to go out and throw themselves against the bayonets, and the great problem is that people keep throwing themselves against the bayonets.
“The door’s open. We’re at the table. Now’s the time to sit down and start talking to people like normal, rational human beings.”
I was in Nantes, France, for the Velo-City conference. From the mayor of Nantes up to the regional government, the national government who was there, the person from the OECD who was there — to a person, they said basically what we heard from the research up on Capitol Hill. People get that bicycling is part of the solution. That’s not really at question any more. The door’s open. We’re at the table. Now’s the time to sit down and start talking to people like normal, rational human beings… elected officials and heads of chambers of commerce don’t need to be beat around the head with the idea that bicycling is a good thing.
When we do the BFC program, there are too many places where we’ve seen the elected officials and the city staff saying, “Man, we need the advocates to catch up and give us the space to get stuff done.” The local cycling community isn’t helping them enough or showing up to the public meetings or playing the role that they need to to do the protected bike lanes and the more extensive treatments. That’s kind of the wake-up call for us. I look at what my next role might be, and I think, “Hmm, maybe that’s something we need to fix.”
You talk about Portland as a place where things have succeeded, and that’s true. But it also seems like you have the New Orleanses coming up while we’re at a plateau here or in DC, and biking is still far from mainstream. Why is that?
There’s a bunch of stuff you can do that’s relatively easy. I think places like Portland are at the place where the projects get tougher and the decisions get more complicated, and you start to have to make choices between parking and transit and cycling access and taxis. We won’t reach the next level in U.S. cities unless we start to deal with parking and with pricing and with stuff that ostensibly has nothing to do with cycling and actually has everything to do with whether people are riding or not. To make it harder to drive — not to be punitive, but to make a rational choice that actually it makes sense, as we get more people in cities, to make it possible to ride a bike and walk and not have to drive everywhere.
Here in Portland I think one of the things we’re missing with biking is the “Why.” If you could pick one “why” that advocates, city leaders, ordinary people would say more of, what would it be?
The one that seems to raise the most eyebrows for me is that the reliability of the bike is just unimaginable. I know exactly how long it takes me to get to work in the morning and how long it takes to get home in the evening. The bike is so reliable and flexible and adaptable. There is no one who goes by transit or drives that can say it with a straight face; it could take them 20 minutes, and it could take them two hours.
You’re right, I’ve never heard that one before. So what are you looking to do next?
I’m looking to spend a little time riding my bike and enjoying the summer and to try to figure out from me, with a little bit of distance from things, where I can continue to make a difference to the movement. It’s an extraordinary group of people and institutions to work with, and I want to figure out how I can continue to play a valuable role.
The post Q&A: The League’s outgoing president on state of biking in Portland and beyond appeared first on BikePortland.org.
By Julien Pretot UTRECHT, Netherlands (Reuters) - The Giro/Tour de France double would be a career-changing achievement, Alberto Contador said on Thursday as he embarks on a the world's greatest cycling race less than two months after winning in Italy. The Spaniard, who has won seven grand tours since his maiden Tour title in 2007, is one of four pre-race favorites along with Britain's Chris Froome, Italian defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and Colombian Nairo Quintana. The last rider to win the Giro and the Tour in the same season was the late Marco Pantani in 1998.
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Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com
The Tour de France starts this Saturday, July 4 in Utrecht and finishes on July 26 in Paris. All of the teams’ nine-rider rosters for the 2015 race have been confirmed.
Ag2r La Mondiale
Jan Bakelants (B)
Romain Bardet (F)
Mikaël Chérel (F)
Ben Gastauer (Lux)
Patrick Gretsch (G)
Jean-Christophe Péraud (F)
Christophe Riblon (F)
Johan Vansummeren (B)
Alexis Vuillermoz (F)
Vincenzo Nibali (I)
Jakob Fuglsang (Dk)
Lars Boom (Nl)
Andriy Grivko (Kaz)
Michele Scarponi (I)
Lieuwe Westra (Nl)
Rein Taaramae (Est)
Tanel Kangert (Est)
BMC Racing Team
Tejay van Garderen (USA)
Damiano Caruso (I)
Rohan Dennis (Aus)
Daniel Oss (I)
Manuel Quinziato (I)
Samuel Sanchez (Sp)
Michael Schar (Swi)
Greg Van Avermaet (B)
Danilo Wyss (Swi)
Jan Barta (Cz)
Sam Bennett (Irl)
Emanuel Buchmann (G)
Zakkari Dempster (Aus)
Bartosz Huzarski (Pl)
Jose Mendes (P)
Dominik Nerz (G),
Andreas Schillinger (G)
Paul Voss (G)
Frédéric Brun (F)
Anthony Delaplace (F)
Pierrick Fédrigo (F)
Brice Feillu (F)
Armindo Fonseca (F)
Arnaud Gérard (F)
Pierre-Luc Périchon (F)
Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg)
Florian Vachon (F)
Andrew Talansky (USA)
Daniel Martin (Irl)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Jack Bauer (NZ)
Dylan van Baarle (Nl)
Sebastian Langeveld (Nl)
Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit)
Kristijan Koren (Slo)
Nathan Haas (Aus)
Nacer Bouhanni (F)
Nicolas Edet (F)
Christophe Laporte (F)
Luis Angel Mate (Sp)
Dani Navarro (Sp)
Florian Sénéchal (F)
Geoffrey Soupe (F)
Julien Simon (F)
Kenneth Vanbilsen (B)
Mark Cavendish (GB)
Michal Kwiatkowski (Pl)
Tony Martin (G)
Rigoberto Uran (Col)
Zdenek Stybar (Cz)
Mark Renshaw (Aus)
Julien Vermonte (B)
Matteo Trentin (I)
Michal Golas (Pl)
Bryan Coquard (F)
Pierre Rolland (F)
Thomas Voeckler (F)
Romain Sicard (F)
Yohann Gene (F)
Angelo Tulik (F)
Bryan Nauleau (F)
Perrig Quemeneur (F)
Thibaut Pinot (F)
William Bonnet (F)
Sébastien Chavanel (F)
Arnaud Démare (F)
Alexandre Geniez (F)
Matthieu Ladagnous (F)
Steve Morabito (Swi)
Jérémy Roy (F)
Benoît Vaugrenard (F)
Tom Dumoulin (Nl)
Koen De Kort (Nl)
John Degenkolb (G)
Warren Barguil (F)
Roy Curvers (Nl)
Simon Geschke (G)
Georg Preildler (A)
Ramon Sinkeldam (Nl)
Albert Timmer (Nl)
Matthias Brandle (A)
Sylvain Chavanel (F)
Stef Clement (Nl)
Jerome Coppel (F)
Martin Elmiger (Swi)
Mathias Frank (Swi)
Reto Hollenstein (Swi)
Jarlinson Pantano (Col)
Marcel Wyss (Swi)
Joaquim Rodriguez (Sp)
Alexander Kristoff (N)
Tiago Machado (P)
Albert Losada (Sp)
Giampaolo Caruso (I)
Luca Paolini (I)
Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus)
Jacopo Guarnieri (I)
Marco Haller (A)
Rui Costa (P)
Nelson Oliveira (P)
Kristijan Durasek (Cro)
Ruben Plaza (Sp)
Filippo Pozzato (I)
Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Col)
Rafael Valls (Sp)
Matteo Bono (I)
Davide Cimolai (I)
Lars Bak (Dk)
Thomas De Gendt (B)
Jens Debusschere (B)
Tony Gallopin (F)
Andre Greipel (G)
Adam Hansen (Aus)
Greg Henderson (NZ)
Marcel Sieberg (G)
Tim Wellens (B)
Robert Gesink, (Nl)
Wilco Kelderman (Nl)
Laurens ten Dam (Nl)
Steven Kruijswijk (Nl)
Sep Vanmarcke (B)
Bram Tankink (Nl)
Tom Leezer (Nl)
Jos van Emden (Nl)
Paul Martens (G)
Nairo Quintana (Col)
Alejandro Valverde (SP)
Jose Herrada (SP)
Adriano Malori (I)
Gorka Izagirre (SP)
Winner Anacona (Col)
Jonathan Castroviejo (SP)
Imano Erviti (SP)
Alex Dowsett (GB)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (N)
Steve Cummings (GB)
Tyler Farrar (USA)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (SA)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (SA)
Merhawi Kudus (Eri)
Louis Meintjes (SA)
Serge Pauwels (B)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri)
Michael Albasini (Swi)
Luke Durbrudge (Aus
Simon Gerrans (Aus)
Daryl Impey (SA
Michael Matthews (Aus)
Svein Tuft (Can)
Pieter Weening (Nl)
Adam Yates (GB)
Simon Yates (GB)
Chris Froome (GB)
Peter Kennaugh (GB)
Ian Stannard (GB)
Geraint Thomas (GB)
Luke Rowe (GB)
Mikel Nieve (Sp)
Richie Porte (Aus)
Nicolas Roche (Irl)
Wout Poels (Nl)
Leopold Konig (Cz)
Alberto Contador (Sp)
Peter Sagan (Slv)
Michael Rogers (Aus)
Rafal Majka (Pl)
Robert Kiserlovski (Cro)
Daniele Bennati (I)
Ivan Basso (I)
Roman Kreuziger (Cz)
Michael Velgren (Dk)
Matteo Tosatto (I)
Trek Factory Racing
Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
Stijn Devolder (B)
Bob Jungels (Lux)
Laurent Didier (Lux)
Haimar Zubeldia (Sp)
Markel Irizar (Sp)
Gregory Rast (Swi)
Bauke Mollema (Nl)
Julian Arredondo (Col)
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Start line for first Red Zinger
The start line on 9th street, in front of North Boulder Park, was the site of the first Red Zinger in 1975. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: North Boulder Park start
The Red Zinger/Coors Classic grew to become one of the biggest men’s pro-am, and women’s races in the world. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Wayne Stetina
Wayne Stetina wore the yellow jersey after a stage of the Red Zinger. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Live race coverage
A unique, reverse swivel-seat BMW camera-bike was created to attract network TV coverage. The race eventually received network rights fees and aired on CBS, NBC, and ESPN. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Mass start
The race helped to establish careers of cycling greats such as: Greg LeMond, Davis Phinney, Connie Carpenter, Jeannie Longo, Rebecca Twigg, Jonathan Boyer, Phil Anderson, Steve Bauer, Andy Hampsten, Luis Herrera, Adrie van der Poel, Dag-Otto Lauritzen, and Raul Alcala. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Tea booth
The incredible marketing efforts to promote the races played a major role in the success of the event. A million Coors Classic drink napkins promoting the race were distributed on Frontier Airlines, and Continental Airlines planes as part of their race sponsorship. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Women's podium
Red Zinger/Coors Classic was one of the biggest women's races in the world, hosting stars like Olympic champions Connie Carpenter, Jeannie Longo, Beth Heiden, and Rebecca Twigg. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Women's start
The Red Zinger is credited by the Tour de France for inspiring its addition of a women’s Tour in the 80s. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Stage race
The Zinger hosted Olympic teams just before the Los Angeles Games in 1984. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Post-race rest
After a long day of racing, the riders sat back and relaxed. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Peloton
In 1984, Warner Bros. Studios secured exclusive theatrical rights for a feature film "American Flyers," starring Kevin Costner. The film was shot on location during the actual race. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Finish line, Boulderado Hotel
This start/finish line was featured just outside of the historic Hotel Boulderado in downtown Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Stage start
Three five-time Tour de France winners attended as guests: Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, and Bernard Hinault (who rode the 1986 race as the last stage race of his illustrious career). Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Mo Siegel
Mo Siegel was the founder and owner of the Red Zinger, up until he sold it to Coors for one dollar. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
- View Larger Image.40th anniversary of the Red Zinger: Michael Aisner
Race director Michael Aisner was included on the list of the 10 most influential people in world cycling, by France’s L'Equipe newspaper. Aisner was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2005, and received the Korbel Award. Thanks to Aisner for helping VeloNews create this 40th anniversary gallery. Photo: Robert Alexander Carpenter
The post Gallery: 40th anniversary Red Zinger retrospective appeared first on VeloNews.com.
Boy Scouts earn cycling badges
Abilene Recorder Chronicle
Sweat dripped from their faces. Their quadriceps burned. The sun beat down heat upon their shoulders. In spite of sizzling temperatures and powerful headwinds, four local boy scouts completed a 50-mile bike ride June 20. Most of the people they were ...
Back in Vegas on July 21st for SXSW V2V 15 and another social ride. This one is mellower that our traditional Mobile Social Interbike later this year, but we’ll ride the Strip just the same. More details after the holiday and see you soon.
It’s like one of those cooking shows…you have a week before the Tour starts to wow the judges with an aero road bike. The ingredients are: carbon, some aluminum, and you have use of a wind tunnel.
Who Wore the Aero Road Bike Best?
After updating our Who Wore the Aero Road Bike Best graphic with the new Madone, shared it with Mark V, who wrote back with these observations.Venge
Somehow the stem/bar looks like a Soviet submarine detail. What really pushes this design into a league of its own are those crazy brakes, unlike any mechanism I’ve ever seen on a production bike. Lots of proprietary parts makes initial fit critical, because the design makes tinkering with rider position largely impractical to any degree. One small virtue is that the handlebar is adjustable for tilt, but hand height is achieved with a combination of bar rise (0 or 25mm) and spacers on the steerer.Foil
This one will probably not make shop mechanics roll their eyes, being largely devoid of kooky aero tricks. Scott again exploits Kamm-tail sections to produce a versatile bike with an excellent balance of weight, ride quality, and stiffness. The BB-brake position has its share of detractors, but it can still function well. Not running the cables through the stem or head tube makes the Foil the most conventional of the three. The top of the line model has a one-piece bar/stem, while mid-level bikes have an aero stem that accepts conventional bars.Madone
The biggest details are the internally routed bar/stem and the IsoSPeed “decoupler” which basically allows the front and rear wheels to respond independently to the road surface. Trek uses a proprietary direct-mount brake that appears to use an internal roller cam mechanism similar to the old Cunningham-design Suntour mtb/bmx brakes. Overall the design reminds me of Robocop.
And what I said was
Prediction! History will consider cowled rim brakes on aero roads bikes, as the transition year before discs were legal.— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) June 18, 2015
I’ve ridden and reviewed two of the three previous versions of these aero road bikes and the Cervelo S5. What it comes down to, at this level of bike, is they’re all fast and good. It’s the geo and ride quality that makes the difference. Having spent time getting jack hammered by a seat mast, I can tell you comfort will win for the rest of us, and not the pros.
That’s because all the aero advantage is lost when a rider shifts around in the saddle, trying to get comfortable. Haven’t ridden an ISO-coupled bike, but assured by colleagues and friends that it “totally works,” I’d bet on the Scott for the best ride, but then it has those darn BB-mounted brakes. Again, I imagine what these three bikes will look like in their next version, with discs
As I opened this post, if the pre-Tour bike hype was conducted like a cooking show, now add discs into the mix, and see what happens. Then it gets real interesting.
Let us not forget Cervelo, as Mark V followed up in another message
Cervelo Soloist got the ball rolling on aero road, but S5 and 1st-gen Foil became the bookends that defined aero road market. S5 is a triathlon bike morphed into a road bike (as in fast in a straight line but lacking the handling and sprint stance expected of a pro road bike). Meanwhile the Foil is all about cropped airfoil sections that give light weight and drivetrain stiffness. The first Venge took many features seen on early Cervelos along a different stylistic route; second gen leaps off that springboard into highly developed aerodynamic integration (ie proprietary parts). 2nd-gen Foil keeps the aero tech in moderation as did its predecessor. 2nd-gen S5 completes that Cervelo’s evolution into a proper road bike….unfortunately Cervelo have no media presence at Pro Tour level, and they are literally last (model) year’s news.
BMC racing gets a preview of the Tour de France's cobblestone stage.
The post Video: Tour de France stage 4 cobblestone recon with BMC Racing appeared first on VeloNews.com.
John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) is no stranger to winning big races, but he has yet to notch a Tour stage win. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com (File).
UTRECHT, Netherlands (AFP) — Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb claims he is feeling no more pressure ahead of the Tour de France despite the fact that his Giant-Alpecin team will not have sprint king Marcel Kittel.
The last two years, burly German Kittel won four stages in each Tour, including both the first and last.
The entire Giant team was built around bringing him to the sprint finishes on flat stages with the best possible lead-out train — and Kittel rarely failed to deliver the final punch to the line.
But the 27-year-old has been suffering from illness this year and only really started his season in May, at which point he was always struggling to be fit to make the Tour start.
Giant coach Christian Guiberteau said the Tour has just come a touch too early for Kittel.
“We knew it wasn’t ideal because he had to catch up. We had all the team around him to give him confidence, but in the end we decided there was too much risk,” said Guiberteau.
“He really had to be in super form, especially this year with the course, which is very tough for sprinters. We believed he had a good training camp and then he came back before the Sierra Nevada camp and then went to the [Ster ZLM Toer], and we said we’ll see.
“But there you go, he was coming back but not quickly enough — he needed another month.”
It means Degenkolb will be the main man for the German outfit, not only in the flat stages where they would normally have been planning to set up Kittel for the bunch sprint, but also on the intermediate or rolling stages in which the lead peloton that reaches the line tends to be reduced.Classics specialist
Rolling courses are the kinds of stages that ideally suit Degenkolb who is not a pure out-and-out sprinter but rather a one-day classics specialist, capable of a fast burst to the line but also with the strength to get over short climbs that tend to spit sprinters out the back of the peloton.
“Marcel [Kittel] is not here so I have more responsibility to be the lead sprinter in the flat stages. I’m probably not the biggest favorite in these kind of sprints; that’s not my best quality, but with a great team behind me and a lead-out that gives me an advantage over other riders, I see great chances to compete in flat sprints,” said Degenkolb, although he admitted he hadn’t expected this opportunity.
“It was in the end, of course, a surprise [that Kittel was dropped]. I trained a lot with him and was a long time with him together. I saw his progression and knew it would be really tight for the Tour, but still it was a surprise because it’s a big step to make a decision like this.”
Degenkolb may have won some prestigious races such as Milan-San Remo in March, Paris-Roubaix in April, Gent-Wevelgem last year and nine Vuelta a España stages since 2012, but he has yet to win a Tour stage — something he hopes to rectify this month.
“Basically, the general goal is to win a stage. The goal hasn’t changed but if there’s the possibility to go for the green jersey, definitely I will try it and will not leave chances on the ground.”
And Degenkolb, 26, already has certain stages in mind such as stage 6 from Abbeville to Le Havre with its three category 4 climbs and slight uphill finish.
“There are these stages where you maybe have to survive a climb before the finish line and be there in a reduced group of 30, 40, or 50 riders. I think that would be the chances where I have the best qualities to win a stage, but also flat stages are not bad for us with Koen de Kort, Ramon Sinkeldam, Albert Timmer, and Roy Curvers. We have a very experienced team.”
The post Degenkolb ready to take responsibility from absent Kittel appeared first on VeloNews.com.
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Bicycle Retailer and Industry News is looking for retailers to participate in our 2015-2016 State of Retail panel.
Retailers selected for the panel will weigh in on business-related topics affecting the industry. Responses are printed in each issue of the magazine.
The State of Retail panel is made up of 10 retailers in North America. Shops are selected to represent a diverse cross section of bike retail, geographically and with regard to the customer base they serve. The panel is a one-year commitment and requires retailers to provide timely responses for 18 issues.
To apply, please send an email no later than Friday, July 24, outlining why you would be a good fit for the panel to features editor Val Vanderpool at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A bill that would have let Oregon cities require some condominiums in some new housing projects to be sold for below-market prices reportedly died in the state Senate on Wednesday.
One leading advocate for inclusionary zoning, as such policies are known, said late Wednesday that Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Southeast Portland) had “opted against a final caucus on the bill, claiming that the votes aren’t there.”
“We believe otherwise,” added the advocate, Jonathan Ostar of Portland-based OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, in an email to supporters of House Bill 2564. “It’s beyond frustrating that the caucus won’t get to discuss this last amendment.”
The bill’s backers include the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Upstream Public Health, Transportation for America and other groups looking for ways to keep Portland’s decade-long housing shortage from making it impossible for most people to afford homes in Portland’s bikeable, walkable neighborhoods.
Even advocates of inclusionary zoning regularly describe it as an incomplete, though useful, response to the massive problem of affordable housing. Because of the wording of a different Oregon law that bans rent control, HB 2564 as written probably couldn’t have be used to regulate prices in new apartment buildings. But advocates have pushed it as a way to preserve income diversity in resident-owned buildings and neighborhoods.
Opponents of inclusionary zoning, most notably the Oregon Home Builders Association, have argued that Oregon should continue forbidding its cities to enact laws that they see as violating private property rights.- Advertisement -
It’s a surprising turnaround for a bill that up until a month ago seemed likely to pass thanks to large Democratic majorities in both state houses.
As the bill neared death, its most powerful advocate seemed to be House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-North Portland. Here’s Ostar on her role:
Speaker Kotek went above and beyond, drafting a second amendment that reflected Builders’ ongoing concerns while staying firm on the integrity of the policy tool and flexibility for local jurisdictions statewide. She personally shopped the amendment to key Senators, and we believed we had a pathway to move the bill over these final few days. …
Speaker Kotek is calling for a hearing on her final amendment, which we support. It appears the legislature will be working through the weekend, which means there is time for something to shift, however unlikely. I will let folks know if there is any movement on her call for a hearing, which might provide us an opportunity to mobilize a final time this session to show Senate leadership the breadth of support for this bill. Practically speaking, we may not get much notice on this, but we’ll do what we can.
In the meantime, it would be great if folks could email/call/write thank you notes to the Speaker for her leadership. Eventually we’ll circle back with Reps. Williamson and Keny-Guyer and others who were instrumental in getting us this far, but for the moment, let’s make sure Speaker Kotek knows how much we appreciate her work. She definitely extended herself. This one lays squarely at the feet of current Senate leadership.
“Oregonians are feeling real impacts of a statewide housing crisis every day, so the Speaker believed it was important to continue working until the end of the session to give local governments this tool,” Lindsey O’Brien, Kotek’s spokeswoman, said in an email to The Oregonian Wednesday.
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Trek aimed for aero advantages with total integration. As a rider you'll reap the benefits, but mechanics will have a headache on their hands. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews
ZEIST, Netherlands — They say it’s lonely at the top, but for the past several years Trek has shared its throne in the cycling world with the likes of Giant and Specialized. All three companies innovate fast and furiously, so it came as no surprise that all of the ‘big three’ took the opportunity to roll out big product launches just before the start of the Tour de France. Each tried to dethrone the others, with interesting results.
Trek’s entry into the arena is the all-new Madone, which was redesigned from the bottom up. Trek president John Burke touted the release as the most important day in Trek’s history, and the hype machine trotted out the old cliché with big implications: the ‘game-changer.’ Trek’s aim was to do more than revolutionize the aero bike; instead, it hoped to revolutionize the road bike altogether with a combination of stiffness, aerodynamics, and comfort. We’ve heard this before; many have tried and failed.
VeloNews’ Caley Fretz and Dan Cavallari were on hand in the Netherlands to put the Madone through its paces, to see if the game was really changed. Here’s what they found out.
Caley Fretz’s impressions:
In our earlier overview of the new Madone, I described its center-pull brake setup as “like an old Dia-Compe, but hopefully less terrible.” The brakes were the nagging question for me going into a first ride: A bike can go like hell, but if it can’t stop, nobody should be riding it.
Good news. Though the return of center-pull brakes was at first startling, much like all the neon and hideous patterns that have risen from dead out of the 90s in the last year, the Madone’s new brakes are not terrible. They’re not even bad. In terms of power and modulation, they’re perfectly fine, as stiff and responsive as any top-tier brake.
I never thought about them while riding, albeit on quite flat terrain. We made a few panic stops, as usual in a large group on unfamiliar roads, and the power and control were excellent. The design is better than the mini v-brakes found on bikes like the Giant Propel and Ridley Noah. I can’t yet compare them to the v-brakes on the new Venge, as I haven’t ridden that bike.
The brakes have a great range of adjustability, with screws to adjust spacing and tension. There’s a little switch that can be flipped to open them around a wide tire, too. But adjusting cable tension itself is one of those projects that would be far easier with a third hand.
Such is the cost of aerodynamics. Do you want to go a bit faster? Then you pay at the bike shop, or with your own time in your own garage.
As for ride quality, the IsoSpeed decoupler works on the Domane, on the Silque, and on the Boone. Despite a considerable design change, it works on the Madone, too. It allows the seat tube to flex (a hidden seat tube, in the Madone’s case, and a normal one for the rest of the models) in ways that would be impossible without the small pivot at the joint of the top tube, seat tube, and seat stays.
The inclusion of the decoupler was brilliant. We’ve become accustomed to aero road bikes that ride poorly, too vertically stiff to provide any comfort over the long haul. The Madone is quite comfortable in the saddle, with noticeable flex from the rear end. It’s a welcome change.
The front of the Madone, with its massive fork and head tube, is not as comfortable. It translates vibration straight to the hands. Cornering stiffness is phenomenal, but at the cost we’ve come to expect.
Handling is quite good. The steering geometry is the same as the Emonda, with a trail figure around 56 depending on tire size. That’s good and sharp, and you feel the bike waver a bit with lots of weight is over the front end — climbing out of the saddle, for example. It’s race-bike geometry, solid and dependable and, most importantly, predictable.
Flip the Madone back and forth, out of the saddle, and it responds well. Bottom bracket and torsional stiffness are excellent.
The new Madone, much more so than its predecessor, does not apologize for its eccentricities. Trek does not apologize for the wacky brakes, or its proprietary steerer/stem/handlebar setup. The old Madone was compromise; the new one is purpose.
You want to go fast? The Madone a great option. It’s more comfortable than any aero road bike I’ve ever ridden (and that’s pretty much all of them), and if the wind tunnel numbers pan out, probably the fastest too. It’s going to be an almighty pain to keep it running properly, but so is the old race car in Pop’s garage. He loves that thing anyway, right?
Dan Cavallari’s impressions: I didn’t get a good sense of how the Madone climbs since the Netherlands are legendarily flat, but the first few surges in pace in the peloton (led by none other than Jens Voigt) revealed a very stiff bottom bracket that rocketed forward. Yes, rocketed. The bottom bracket junction is utterly massive, and it’s built with Trek’s OCLV 700 carbon.
You’re probably assuming this means I ended the ride with a backache and shaking molars, but Trek has addressed the almost-ubiquitous harshness of aero bikes with their IsoSpeed decoupler. I agree with Caley; simply stated, it works. The ride was comfortable, and not just for an aero bike. We hit some cobbled streets and the decoupler delivered.
The mechanic in me wonders what the long-term maintenance will be like on this redesigned system that includes an internal tube for flex and an external tube for stiffness, but in terms of ride quality, I was immediately convinced. The mechanic in me was fully quaking in his boots thinking about running all the internal cable routing, but from a riding standpoint, all that effort to hide the cables entirely makes sense. You may want to farm out maintenance to the local bike shop, and be ready to tip your mechanic well.
As with all things in life, with the good comes the bad, but the bad in this case was very little. On chattery cobbles, the internal cables tapped against the inside of the tubing, and while it was annoying, it was not a constant noise, so it was barely a problem.
Burke touted the exceptional handling of the Madone, and when compared to other aero bikes he’s right, it does handle well. But if Trek hopes to redefine road bikes in general, the handling was not its finest quality. When I stood up for a sprint, small movements garnered bigger movements; in other words, if my hands moved, the wheel moved a lot. The result was a little bit of twitchiness, but not nearly as noticeable as other aero road bikes I’ve tested.
Trek is on to something here, a real contender for the throne. Expect to pay top dollar for that seat on the throne, though. Serious racers will appreciate the attention to detail and the smooth ride that will keep them fresh in the saddle longer thanks to the IsoSpeed decoupler. Detractors will bemoan the almost-twitchy front end. This is a racer’s racing bike for sure; Sunday group-riders need not apply.
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UTRECHT, Netherlands (AP) -- 10 riders to watch in the Tour de France, which starts on Saturday in Utrecht, Netherlands. The 30-year-old's victory earlier this month in the Criterium du Dauphine, a warm-up race for the Tour, showed the rider for the ultra-professional Sky team is in fighting form for cycling's showcase event. The lack of a long individual time-trial on this year's Tour route takes away an opportunity for Froome to do some damage, because he excels in that discipline.
Fabian Cancellara is a contender to win Saturday's stage 1 time trial at the Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
UTRECHT, Netherlands (VN) — Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) is refusing to be nostalgic about what might be his final ride in the Tour de France.
The Swiss superstar, who’s won five opening prologues during his Tour career, admitted Thursday he doesn’t know if he will race one more Tour in what will be his final season in 2016.
“Nothing is decided yet,” Cancellara said about his 2016 racing schedule. “In cycling, you never know how your program can be changed. It might look like it will be my last Tour. I am focused on what is now.”
Trek officials confirmed that Cancellara has a contract to race through 2016, something the Swiss superstar said will be his last. With the Olympic Games on the radar and one more gallop across the spring classics also in the cards, there is a possibility that this Tour might be Cancellara’s last.
“This is my 10th Tour. I thought that this could be my last Tour, and my last chance to ride into Paris. This is on my mind,” Cancellara said. “I want to enjoy the race, and all the experience I have in the race. It is a special and tough race. I will do what I have to do.”
“Spartacus” has had a tremendous Tour career, winning eight stages, including five prologues or opening-day time trials. With 28 days in the yellow jersey, the most among active riders, he ranks 11th on the all-time list for days in the maillot jaune. Beginning with his prologue win in 2004 in Liège, Belgium, Cancellara also won opening prologues in 2007 (London), 2009 (Monte Carlo), 2010 (Rotterdam), and 2012 (Liège).
A searing back injury that knocked him out of this year’s spring classics and the inevitable advance of age sees a different Cancellara lining up for Saturday’s 13.8km time trial to open the 102nd Tour.
Under normal conditions, Cancellara would be a five-star favorite for another yellow jersey. But after struggling through the Tour de Suisse, even Cancellara admits he might not be the top hope to claim a sixth Tour opening-day win. Cancellara pointed to the obvious favorites — Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step), Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), and Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) — but said he will go down swinging.
“It’s a different type of time trial. In my past, I’ve been successful on non-French roads,” he said, referring to his prologue wins, all out of France. “I am confident, and I am looking forward to it. I had a tough time before and during the Tour de France, but this is what I’ve been training for. I am used to the pressure. It’s you against your bike. You have to give your maximum effort.”
Talk of Cancellara’s Tour farewell underscores a major shift inside the hierarchy of the Trek Factory Racing team. The previous incarnations of the team, under the banner of Leopard-Trek, were built on the pillars of Cancellara and the Schleck brothers. Things are clearly changing. Andy Schleck retired with a knee injury at the end of 2014, and Frank Schleck is missing this year’s Tour also due to injury. For the first time in a decade, a rider with the last name of Schleck will not be in the Tour.
Trek is already building a new base for the future, signing Dutch hope Bauke Mollema over the winter to lead the team’s GC ambitions. The 28-year-old Dutchman, who slotted over from the Rabobank/Belkin team, is aiming for a top-5 overall.
“I rode many Tours with [the Schlecks], and we shared a lot of good and different things. Now it’s a new chapter,” Cancellara said. “We don’t have Frank here. Now we have Bauke, with have 100 percent to play with him. I have my experience to help. Bauke is Bauke. He’s not Andy or Frank. We are all professionals, we know what to do.”
The first week of this Tour is brutal, stacked with classics-style courses that include cobbles, wind, and sharp, uphill finales that are perfect for Cancellara’s style of racing.
“The first week gives a lot of possibilities for the yellow jersey,” Cancellara said. “It’s quite a tough first week. I don’t know if I’ve seen such an intense first week. We have team goals, my goals. With Bauke, we have heaps of possibilities.”
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SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — TSG Consumer Partners LLC, a strategic equity investor, has acquired the online outdoor sports retailer Backcountry.com, including its CompetiveCyclist.com division, from Liberty Interactive Corporation. The company said that Backcountry founder Jim Holland will continue to own a stake in the company, but otherwise the terms were not disclosed.
Holland founded Backcountry in Park City, Utah, in 1996. Its portfolio of websites includes CompetitiveCyclist, MotoSport, Bergfreunde, Steep&Cheap and Whiskey Militia. Liberty Media took a controlling stake in Backcountry in 2007. Backcountry bought Competitive Cyclist in 2011.
Jamie O'Hara, the president of TSG, said, "Backcountry is the online destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and the core consumer is highly loyal to the site and the brand. TSG is excited to partner with a company with such a strong brand heritage and authenticity."
Jill Layfield, the president and CEO of Backcountry, said, "We are thankful for the support that Liberty has given us during their ownership to allow us to grow and expand Backcountry. We look forward to this next chapter with TSG, a proven brand-builder with over 25 years of experience in the consumer industry. We believe TSG represents the ideal partner for Backcountry, and we will work with them to continue to improve our offerings and merchandising, optimize our technology platform, and enhance our distribution efforts. By combining TSG's expertise with Backcountry's leadership position in the outdoor market, the company will be well-positioned to build on our current platform and drive significant growth."
Prior to the purchase, Backcountry was a division of the Liberty Ventures tracking stock group of Liberty (NASDAQ: LVNTA).
TSG Consumer Partners LLC has approximately $3 billion in equity capital under management, focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Past and present partner companies include vitaminwater, Smart Balance, popchips, Muscle Milk, Yard House, REVOLVE Clothing, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, e.l.f. cosmetics and Paige Denim.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — Dutch police on Thursday called off their plans to disrupt the second stage of the Tour de France in the Netherlands on Sunday, but vowed to press ahead with a protest for better pay.
The announcement by the police unions came after the Dutch government dropped a request for an urgent interdict to bar disgruntled officers from demonstrating on Rotterdam’s iconic Erasmus bridge, which the riders will cross.
“Rotterdam has given us all the space to be present, visible and recognizable in the city to strengthen our legitimate demands,” union negotiators Albert Springer and Gerrit van de Kamp said in a statement.
“The discussion between police unions and the Rotterdam city council has led to the urgent interdict being dropped and the Tour de France will pass through undisturbed,” they added.
The police, who are demanding better pay, had announced plans on Monday to carry out traffic checks on the advertising caravan that precedes the Tour’s competitors — a move that would hold up the riders.
The unions on Thursday said they had abandoned the plan.
“There’s no question of carrying out a traffic check on the advertising caravan. Even better, we’ll escort it” through Rotterdam, they said.
Instead, they said, a union member will cycle ahead of the publicity caravan and “many” police vehicles will be parked on Erasmus bridge, but in a way that will not obstruct the race.
The police also plan a protest bike ride in the city of Utrecht shortly before the start of the tour in that city on July 4.
The officers want a pay raise of 3.3 percent, higher overtime pay, and a cash bonus for undergoing a reorganization of the police force.
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