Bike Hugger

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Updated: 44 min 30 sec ago

Huggacast Shorts: Ford eBikes

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 08:36


Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ford announced an update to their Smart Mobility programs that includes ebikes for personal and business use. These are last mile solutions to address congestion and the eventuality of cities filling up with too many cars. The idea is that you get close to the city and then ride in and continue your journey multi modally by van, bus, or train. The cargo service addresses the same congestion problem with a van and a delivery bike. Both personal and business use are enabled by an app. The bikes are built by Dahon and both are interesting concepts. As I’ve said about this segment of the market, if the bike industry can’t figure out how to sell ebikes in the US, then car companies will and combine them with fleet management or share systems.

  • The MoDe:Me e-bike – built with the help of bicycle manufacturer Dahon – is intended for urban commuters to keep moving in congested city traffic. It folds and stows easily, allowing commuters to park on the city outskirts, take the e-bike onto public transport and travel to the centre, then ride the e-bike to their destination

  • The MoDe:Pro e-bike – built by a Ford team – is intended for urban commercial use such as by couriers, electricians, and goods and delivery services. It is designed to stow safely into commercial vehicles such as Transit Connect, which can act as carrier and support vehicle, and be combined with more than one e-bike

The prototype app for both bikes is called MoDe:Link and compatible with the iPhone 6, as shown in the video.

Bike Boom – The Book

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 10:33


My bike media colleague, Carlton Reid has set out to Kickstart another book and this one is about the Bike Boom AND how to make it boomier. I’ll let him tell you about it in this video and later, when he visits Seattle, we’re gonna ride that chroma key bike lane together.

Llama Lanes

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 06:06

A Larrow lane for Llamas. Photo: Gary Kavanagh.

A certain lightness was needed, a comedic break in this crazy F’d up world (including the impending UCI doping report) and it finally happened with the Internets blowing up over a couple of escaped Llamas. We had some fun with the story too, with Carlton Reid’s help… a little bit of viralness, just a bit with the Llamas.

Dutch are big into their modal separation. Witness the new Llama Lane in Groningen. Pic via @bikehugger pic.twitter.com/arBt4C6Tl3

— Carlton Reid (@carltonreid) February 26, 2015

The inside joke here was, just prior I had said aloud in the office “maybe we should talk more about infrastructure and bike lanes.” Well, hey we did for a day! Also joked about the new bike lanes in Seattle that are so green, they look like chroma key screens weather reporters use. They painted it so day glo, like a little red carpet for bikes in green, to attract cyclists and be distinctive. Before it was painted, if you took a right off of Dexter onto Mercer, it looked like another lane of traffic for cars.

Nothing you market @sxsw next month will reach as many as #llamawatch just did. pic.twitter.com/TckcuS1OA9

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) February 26, 2015

And that’s enough about lanes, what I said in the original tweet Carlton responded to about SXSW was true. Being part of the community in 15 AND the year of the bike. We switched up what we do too –– like suddenly we’re dismounting and remounting on the LEFT side of the bike –– to advocacy this year from corporate events with Microsoft, Google, and the like in past years.

We’ll see you there in a few weeks.

Mobile Social SXSW 15

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 02:46

For our 9th annual Mobile Social SXSW we’ve refocused to advocacy and the world premier of the film Bikes vs Cars. The Swedish filmmakers and a delegation of city planners from Sweden are in town for the premier. Joining them are local advocates, us, and you!

So we’ll meet up at Create, in the space where bikes and tech meet to greet filmmakers, city planners, and advocates. After that we’ll ride to watch Bikes vs. Cars at Republic Square Park.

Bikes vs Cars depicts a global crisis we must talk about: Climate, earth’s resources, cities where the surface is consumed by cars. The bike is a great tool for change, but the interests who gain from cars invest billions each year on lobby and ads to protect their business.


See you there and please RSVP on Facebook or G+.

Directions

Meet on the lawn outside the Create ATX Tent in The Long Center for the Performing Arts at 3:30. Then go upstairs to the West Pincer Terrace for the meetup. This event is free and open to the public with no badge required.

Year of the Bike at Southby

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 02:46

There are 8 bike-related talks and events on the SXSW Schedule this year.

Cross is Coming: Cyclocross Meet Up
A casual, social meet-up for Cyclocross riders from across the country to get together and discuss dirt, #svenness, and cool bikes. Everyone will be able to discuss what Cyclocross is like in their specific area of the world and what they have done to grow the sport. Optional CX ride after the meet-up to Mckinney Falls State Park.
Badass Female Cyclists Meet Up
Enjoy a daily commute, joy ride with friends, #NewKitDay or year-round racing? Join fellow badass female cyclists and the men who support us. What has traditionally been known as a male-dominated sport is slowing seeing a rise in attendance and appreciation from women. It’s about time. Led by SXSW Interactive Publicist and cyclist, Kelly Krause, this Meet Up is for those with a passion for bikes and getting more women on them.
Bike Attraction: Urban Bicycling Gets a Makeover
The face of urban bicycling is in a rapid rate of change. From better apparel to constantly improving bike lanes, more and more people are taking to the streets on two wheels. Join this diverse panel featuring perspectives from all over bike culture for a discussion on how urban bicycling goes from fringe to fashion.
Bike Tech Nerd Meet Up
Come talk about the latest in cycling technology from road racing wonderbikes, to advanced suspension design, to e-bikes built for the super commuter. See the latest from some of the tech firms working on cycling accessories and talk with like-minded folks about the future of all aspects of cycling, racing to commuting, smart bikes to mountain bikes, and more.
Bricks Over Screens: Why In-Store Still Matters
In an age where consumer brands are racing to establish a digital storefront to replace their expensive physical locations, Rapha and Design Within Reach are going about it the old fashioned way. Building community and relationships with the consumer is paramount. Online content, mobile applications, and social media are best used to supplement these real world relationships and experiences.
Mentor Session: DL Byron
Having spent a career making interesting content on the independent web, since the beginning, no matter where you are in the process of pursuing your dreams in interactive, Byron trod the path before you and will help you tackle the next steps.
Mobile Social and Meet Up presented by Bike Hugger
At Create, in the space where bikes and tech meet, we’ll greet filmmakers, city planners, and advocates. After that we’ll ride to watch the world premier of the film Bikes vs. Cars at Republic Square Park.
Bikes vs Cars
Bikes vs Cars depicts a global crisis we must talk about: Climate, earth’s resources, cities where the surface is consumed by cars. The bike is a great tool for change, but the interests who gain from cars invest billions each year on lobby and ads to protect their business.

That’s amazing in itself AND for our 9th annual Mobile Social we’ve refocused to advocacy and the world premier of the film Bikes vs Cars.

The ride and meetup starts at 3:30 on 3/15 and then we’ll ride to the movie at Republic Square Park. RSVP now on Facebook or G+.

Have a look at last year’s gallery….

Designing the MegaRack

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 06:09


Yesterday via a live video broadcast, Ross Evans, Xtracycle Founder and CEO teased their new MegaRack. That’s an update to their bolt-on kit.

Ed Begley Rides a Bike to the Red Carpet

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 01:57

Just as I was thinking, “hey did any Hollywood celebs ride their bikes to the Oscars?” Yup, Ed Begley Jr. did and didn’t care one bit about his helmet hair.

Never mind the rain. I'm riding my bike to the @TheAcademy Awards. Pardon the helmet hair. pic.twitter.com/roVFW9qViG

— Ed Begley, Jr. (@edbegleyjr) February 22, 2015

Then handed his bike to the red carpet attendees.

At the @TheAcademy Awards. Now I gotta lose the windbreaker & dry off! pic.twitter.com/dJlNf5XTHD

— Ed Begley, Jr. (@edbegleyjr) February 23, 2015

DKCB Making Bikes in Seattle

Sat, 02/21/2015 - 12:58

Bike-making Ballahs at DKCB

From the center of the universe, at least the bike one in the Pacific Northwest, Bill and Max are making bikes.

Where Bill machines stuff

We attended their grand opening last night and it seemed like so did everyone else. Enjoy the photos and please do stop by for a tour of the showroom and shop. Also see Mark’s post on how the three of them ended up in Fremont.

Mark hangs his bag here

Issue 21: Drop Bar Playground

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 06:50

Ridden with Patrick Brady from Red Kite Prayer enough now to know when he’s really into something, like more than the usual “Fast, new bike from whoever or whatever,” but something that put him at the “intersection of road bikes, unpaved roads and wildly varied terrain.”

Like the Diverge.

He loved it and told me so wild-eyed, sweaty, and almost spitting his words. Seeing him so lucid with expressions about the gravel bike, I insisted he write the experience down and he did.

Drop Bar Playground is included in Issue 21 of our magazine.

Read it with an annual subscription of $16 or $4 for the issue.

Santa Cruz Stigmata: Skinny Bikes are Cool Again

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 04:49


An addition to a brand’s product line hasn’t driven this much traffic and conversation since tubes were shaped to cheat the wind, and aero road bikes became a category. Comments I’ve read about the Santa Cruz Stigmata include

What has Santa Cruz become like Spesh and are making Coastal bikes?

Gravel bikes are to bicycles what the El Camino is to cars: a vehicular hermaphrodite.

and “Skinny bikes are the new fat bikes.” For the record, I was dissing fat bikes, as being over-marketed beyond a few select purposes, before it suddenly became cool.

In Issue 21, we have two stories – both for and against – about fat bikes.

From Matt Haughey

Fat bikes are machines that emit joy, both for the rider and everyone that encounters them.

and Nathan Wright

It is not that fat bikes are bad, the truth is they are great for their intended purpose (as Matt shared with us in Issue 17 and 21), but the way they are being marketed will be their undoing and illustrates the biggest issue facing the bicycle industry, an issue that can be summed up with a joke. How do you make a small fortune in the bike industry? You start with a large one. Welcome to the reality of the bike industry.

And with much of the country snowed in, it’s expected fat bikes are having a great season.

Snowlocked in Boston. Photo: Bruce Morris. pic.twitter.com/2ghZYFi2uL

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) February 18, 2015

A fatbike isn’t gonna ride through a snowbank either, but it will handle the thaw better than most; except perhaps a good cross bike, like you can expect the Stigmata is.

Youth Bike Summit

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 13:57

An event I regret missing happened last Valentines Day and it was the Youth Bike Summit


This annual summit aims to transform local communities and strengthen the national movement by empowering youth bicycle leaders. Youth from across the country will meet at Bike Works and nearby neighborhood locations for 3 days to share ideas and learn together.

In the last five years the Youth Bike Summit has grown to be a national event drawing people from 26 states and 4 countries last year! 484 youth, adults, educators, bikers, crafters, makers and enthusiasts attended last year with 125 additional participants watching online.

Good stuff and I hope to attend next year. The organizers uploaded the keynotes to YouTube and they’re shared above.

A Southby Bike 15 Call for Partners

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 04:37

We have so much fun every year in Austin, never harming any trees either

Our annual Mobile Social SXSW is set for Sunday, March 15th in Austin. We’ll ride a fun urban loop and then back to the Create space at the Long Center for a reception with special guests and partners like Tern. More details to follow.

For now the Southby Call for Partners is out. If you like to join is in the space where the bike and tech meet, get in touch. Want to learn more what Southby Bikes and what the Mobile Socials are about, have a look at the event from last year and our pitch doc.

SXSW 15: Best Advice

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 04:37

Best Advice I’ve read about attending Southby is from my friend Shawn O’Keefe

You’ve gotta eat BBQ like there’s nobody watching, drink beer like you’ll never get fat, play in a band like there’s nobody listening… and keep Austin weird like it’s heaven on earth.

We’ve been doing pretty much that for over a decade and iterate each year. Plenty to share about 2015, when all the details are solid. ‘Till then, the premier of Cars v. Bikes is just one of the events going on….

It’s Bike Hugger 2.0!

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 01:29

Well that was fast! The update to our mag app is available now. And so what’s new in 2.0?

  • Font resizing.
  • Paginated back issues for faster browsing.
  • Delete issues once you’re done reading them to save space (left swipe to delete).
  • Bug fixes, stability improvements, and more.

It swipes a lot smoother too, comes bundled with a new sampler, and Issue 21 just dropped last week with that fabulous cover.

If you don’t have apps set to automatically update, 2.0 is waiting for you in the app store.

On the Web

To read us on the web, sync your iTunes account email via the app or login there. Windows, Droid, and desktop users the web view was made just for you, it’s OS independent, and the same ad-free bike content we’ve published since June, 2013.

Eroica CA

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 05:45


Was just talking this weekend about a new ride to do, something unique and different…then today, got the PR that Eroica CA registration is open.

Eroica CA will be held from April 10-12, 2015 in Paso Robles, California. Registration is limited to 1000 riders and a cost of $150 per-entrant. There are three course distances: 123, 65 and 41-miles.

Owned and organized by the founders of Italy’s famous L’Eroica vintage bike ride, participants may only use a bicycle that was built before 1987, with many riders using two-wheelers built prior to World War II.

Part of the proceeds benefiting local non-profit, Hospice of SLO County.

The ride will take place on Sunday, April 12 and the weekend will include a Classic Bicycle Concours in central Paso Robles and will also feature a vintage market, including classic bicycles, parts and other merchandise.

Riding with the Real Langster

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 03:19

Don works for Specialized and we occasionally ride together

I swear every single goddamn f’ing time Spesh says it’s a gonna be a slow, recovery ride, Don Langley shows up! Dude will build up the pressure slowly, then surgically rip your legs off — not with the same flurry and intensity of his coworker Riekert, but the precision of the Real Langster (his alias and the bike Spesh named after him). His approach is been there, done that and will throw down when needed, v. a punchy ride brimming with piss and vinegar.

He’s also the steadiest, safest wheel when a descent gets sketchy. If you see his national champion jersey out there near Morgan Hill, get on the wheel for as long as you can.

It and he are trustworthy. I discovered these truths, as we flew down the San Jose Soquel Descent towards Santa Cruz yesterday. Banking through s-curves, a truck tried to pass on the left, and ran out of room. The group split as the truck crossed back over the centerline and took our lane around another corner.

Don proceeded to set the pace with an eye ahead of the truck to our bros. I’d normally have sat up, but behind me was an angry line of a cars, and the prospect of riding 11 miles by myself. I leaned into the drops with complete confidence in Don’s lines and later declared people pay for trust exercises like this at corporate retreats.

Building Trust Scenario: 40 mph descent through S-curves in a tight peloton…then suddenly, TRUCK in the middle of your group!

Don’s body language told me what he was doing, what I needed to do – ease up. He was watching the car’s brake lights, and the group ahead. To not get gapped if he quickly accelerated, my wheel was within a wheel of his. As the road opened up, the truck sped away and with a few seconds of fast pedaling, the group was intact again, rolling into Capitola. James Stout took his pulls too, bringing us steadily up to them.

That gap got closed right quick by Don

After a few recovery beers at the rental house, Strava(s) got checked, and descent KOMs were discussed by Logan from Velonews.

It was fast, fun, and at dinner, I toasted to the trust we all had in each other. Roadies gotta stick together like a band of brothers.

Do you have a wheel you trust?

Have you thanked them recently?

If not, go do it now.

Issue 21 Seasons

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:31

The cover: it’s like you want to be wrapped in it, make a comforter with the pattern.

Issue 21 Seasons is available now on iTunes and the Web with articles about fat bikes, gravel, racing, roadies, and relationships.

And lines from our contributors like these:

…fat bikes are machines that emit joy, both for the rider and everyone that encounters them

I like the intersection of road bikes, unpaved roads and wildly varied terrain

As middle-aged men took to Twitter expressing their rage they did so without looking at the fact that every team invited to the 2015 Tour of California is better on a competitive level than Airgas-Safeway.

Annual subscriptions are $16 or an individual issue for $4. Your money directly supports the authors, photographers, and editors who contribute to Bike Hugger.

How to Buy/Sell on eBay, Lesson #1

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 04:37

Lesson #1: Know your product and know your target demographic. Example, this “Bianchi Recumbent Bike” being listed from somewhere in the good ol’ 253 area code. The description says: “This is a vintage bike, what is called a messenger bike, with reverse pedaling.” At first glance, the seller has nailed the description as a laid-back kind of Bianchi bike, and who is more laid-back on a bike than a messenger? Every messenger needs a nimble bike like this when they want to reverse pedal away from a bath with soap. But if you read between the lines, the seller reveals himself to be of the social vangaurd when he equates “messenger” as “vintage”…slyly acknowledging that the messenger scene is so over now that mainstream ‘rents provide a pseudo-messenger bike to their spawn as part of the mandatory community college survival pack. Real MESSENGERS don’t exist anymore, there are only roving gangs of Jimmy John’s delivery riders threatening low-level office drones with ill-timed lane changes and soggy, bland sandwiches.

Notice that no frame size is indicated; this is because the only size that a REAL messenger cares about is a 12oz can versus a 40oz bottle…because the bottle is like way better because it’s twice as big as the can.

Magazine Bonus: Another Free Issue

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:27

Shared yesterday that we created a new Sampler issue from our first 20 issues. It’s bundled as the base issue (free with the download) in our updated-to-iOS 8, iTunes Newsstand app. While the update to the app is being approved by Apple (about two weeks), you can download the previous base issue for free too.

So that’s two free issues for a limited time – after Apple approves our update app, Issue 00 changes from free with our app to the per issue price of $4.00.

To read the free issues, download our app from iTunes, tap “back issues” from the main menu, grab the Sampler issue, and then scroll down to get Issue 00 too.

And I hope you enjoy all that content. Considering subscribing too on iTunes or the Web: annual subscriptions are $16; individual issues are $4.

Here’s what’s in Issue 00….

  • From Lance to Rapha, Cycling Moves to the People — David Schloss
  • Mark V’s Opinion on Carbon Clinchers at Levi’s Gran Fondo — Mark V
  • Garmin Edge 810: GPS Computer Wins Battle-Loses War — David Schloss
  • Reluctant to Change, Grow, and Become Safer — Byron
  • SRAM Hydro: Tested, Approved, Recommended — Byron
  • Lance Can’t Bully the Truth — Byron
  • Old School — Bike Hugger
  • Waiting for Tubeless Cyclocross Options — Mark V