Bike Hugger

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Updated: 3 hours 34 min ago

Climate Change for Cyclists

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 04:09

Cross the Duwamish at least once every ride in Seattle and this view is from the new Southpark Bridge. Those clouds said rain, we were dressed for it, and they never came. We were too warm for most of the ride, in unusually balmy temperatures. The week before, it was like I was riding in a city with no children in it.

It was so warm in the rest of the Pacific Northwest, that Matt rode his fatbike on the beach (again). Matt shared the fun he’s having on a fatbike in Issue 17.

The bike was a machine that output pure joy to everyone that saw it or rode it.

We’re editing and assembling Issue 21 now and it’s yup, it’s about the weird weather….

Committed to Commuting

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 06:11

Committed to Commuting

A vignette from last night on the bike path.

About the Bike and Love

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 04:15


When Laurel Fantauzzo met a young woman and her bicycle in Manila, her relationship to the city was transformed. A beautiful short story about the bike and love with an illustrated video from NYT.

One mechanic zipped the suitcase shut and put the wheel bolts into my palm. “It’s done now,” he said, smiling.

So much we could write too about the bike and love, in February of last year, I collected a handful of stories for our Valentine’s Special. Those included But fear not, Shakespeare: there is love here, in bicycles

I don’t love my bikes. They’re great bikes, but they’re replaceable, tangible, material. Losing any of them would be crushing, sure, but that wasn’t the question, was it? If you lost hot water in the shower tomorrow morning you’d be unhappy, but I doubt you typically run around saying you love hot water. There’s a big difference between ‘loving’ and ‘love having.’

and Annie’s Wheel

I like to think that I’m immune to romantic love. Oh, that doesn’t mean I’m not excited by the joys of a long, wet kiss and God knows I crave the feeling of skin on skin beneath the sheets as much as I love the hum of thin tires on fast pavement.

We have different plans for our next issue, but not the bike and love isn’t on my mind; especially after reading Laurel’s piece.

Bennett’s Bike Ride, Oz Remix

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 03:42


Bennett’s bike ride, Oz remix…

Our Magazine: 7 of 21

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 05:03

In good company: we’re 7th of 29th Street’s 21 titles and working on our 21st issue now. It’ll drop the second week in February. 29th Street delivers it for us to iTunes and the web.

Annual subscriptions to our independently-produced, ad-free magazine are $16; individual issues are $4. Subscription revenue directly supports the authors, photographers, and editors. Issue 20 is on the newsstand now and is about endings and from that new beginnings. Here’s a short video about 20, including a look at the free, cover story comic, the Evolution of Competition.

Cycling Sins (1936)

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:41


And you thought those fixie kids behaved badly in traffic now, these cyclists were doing it in 1936! Fav newsreel line:

Riding without holding the handlebars is about as clever as handing a balloon to a hedgehog. So don’t!

A Southby Bike 15 Call for Partners

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 07:27

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.

ENVE: Building A Faster Wheel

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 04:57

While my CX season was lost to a recurring injury and not being 100% healthy, we did get a set of ENVEs in on test. I didn’t race on them, but for the few spins I did, they sure felt fast. In this feature, ENVE explains how they build a faster wheel.

“FAST” lives at the intersection of stiffness, lightness and durability.

Also see Go-To-Gear: ENVE Wheels in Issue 18 and from last year and the small world department, ENVE uses a product my company makes in their production process. Both are made in the USA.

It’s a propriety process, but Clip-n-Seals keep their resins and carbon fibers fresh.

Taiwanese Animation: Bennett on a BMX Bike

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 02:58


The Taiwanese animation recap of the Seahawks, SuperBowl-winning game has Michael Bennett on a BMX bike doing a wheelie hop on Aaron Rodgers gimpy calf. It’s epic and seen at 1:52.

Seahawks Win: Bennett Rides a Bike

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 02:46

In a Hollywood, storybook ending to a game that returns them to the Superbowl for the second time in a row, Bennett celebrated by taking a cop’s bike and riding around the field. The fans went nuts, we went nuts at the La Ronde bar, all of Seattle celebrated, and for a time, Bennett’s bike ride trended.

Bennett bike is searchable. Even more awesome. pic.twitter.com/BuGiTknasJ

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) January 19, 2015

He probably could have ridden that bike all the way to Super Bowl XLIX. – Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times.

NYT summed the game up the best

After a 1-yard touchdown run by Wilson cut the Seahawks’ deficit to 19-14 with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter, after Matthews fell on the ball, after Marshawn Lynch scored from 24 yards out to put Seattle ahead, and after Crosby made his fifth field goal of the game to force overtime, Seattle won the coin toss, and that was that.

About the ride Bennett said, “just took it. You go to the Super Bowl you can do anything in this city.”

For his next ride, got to get him a Seahawk’s bike, like this one. He’s got three more at his house.

Custom Rodriguez

A City With No Children In It

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 07:46

The satisfaction I got from this ride on a stormy day was composing the shot in my head, riding to the scene, and getting it…

I was riding through a city with no children in it.

Who is the Strongest?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 04:53


Observed by Richard McClung

The French National Championships…what happens when the 2nd strongest guy in the race treats the strongest guy like the golden goose…or maybe plays it to make him lose.”

Glass Explorers Stop Exploring

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 04:42

At the Wired offices

As Google Glass closes its Explorer program everything I have to say about wearing a computer on your head, I did for WIRED in 2013. Like the other explorers I know, I stopped wearing it after several uncomfortable moments and my family refused to engage with me when I had it on. I did capture interesting POV videos and photos with it, and shared most of those on G+, like this Strip ride. The creative workflow for a blogger was remarkable and Google did an excellent job with the Explorers themselves, it failed because…it was a computer on your head.

Socially, a little silver box recording video is OK and I’d recommended in my article and to Google that they redirect the design to action cams and do something absolutely remarkable, like voice-activated, hands-free POV, and maybe that’s what they’re doing. In their email to Explorers, they promised us the next version at some time in the future.

During an adrenaline-rush moment on a Park City trail, I was pedaling downhill on a thin strip of single track with hip-high grass pulling at the handlebars. Don’t look right, lean left, pedal. And breathe. Getting through that section unhurt and alive, I paused and said, “Ok, Glass. Take a picture.”

I’m sure the reactions to Glass were very frustrating to the Explorer dev team. It was Google tech built for people, instead of machines, and intended to stop us from looking down constantly at our phones.

The technology was supposed to liberate us, but I ultimately felt trapped by it because the distraction was too great, even when I was in a city like London where Glass hadn’t launched yet.

A view of London through Glass

They likely made a marketing error also by launching it first with alpha geeks, not realizing that consumers don’t aspire to or want to look like Robert Scoble. The team later got Glass on the runway and into the hands and on the heads of celebrities. The Explorer program certainly did achieve the goals of getting different perspectives, stabilizing, and socializing the tech.

Glass with Cap

The world just wasn’t ready and isn’t likely to accept the computer on your head form factor. What I hope isn’t lost and we’ll see again in another more discrete form is the OS – what I called glanceable computing. So much of what’s on our phones now is distracting instead of enhancing our days, and I have little interest in the current crop of wearables.

We’ll see what Apple does with their watch and if it’s more than a satellite of your phone. More media I made with Glass:

Before the Sunset

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 04:25

Popular on our Instagram this week, got out for a ride before the sunset this week.

Palladian Hotel: Bike Friendly, Rock-n-Roll

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 07:57


We had a lot of fun with hoteliers last night at the soft launch of the Palladian Hotel in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. Quite a story there, with more to come, when they open next month. As I said on Twitter, the Palladian is the first new Seattle Kimpton property in 20 years. It’s also bike-friendly, as all Kimpton properties are, and brings a much needed, rock-n-roll theme to Seattle.

I Vined the tour and edited those with pictures into this Huggacast short – the audio is from Heels to the Hardwood who entertained the guests with music from the debut album. If the icons in the lobby don’t draw you in, the private Hive room (we suspect it’s haunted) with Madame Curie and Nikola Telsa looking on surely will, and each guest room has a portrait pillow.

I unsuccessfully tried to steal the David Bowie one…

We can't blame you, we'd want David in our beds too. RT @bikehugger Tried to steal this seriously #Palladianhotel pic.twitter.com/Cil1MFjxmU

— Kimpton (@Kimpton) January 14, 2015

Kimptons feature a fleet of Public bikes in each lobby AND the staff are more than happy to valet your own bike after a ride. That’s just one of the reasons we stay there when we travel. Now, we’ve got a new hotel to recommend in Seattle.

Public bikes are Kimpton’s Sedona property

Harry Pop Kramer Bicycle Tricks Newsreel

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 02:01


Popular again on social networks, via many different sources, is a bicycle tricks newsreel of Harry Pop Kramer and from Appalachian History, we learn…

He was a vaudeville trick-cyclist who performed along the Appalachian mountains. He designed and fabricated his own trick bicycles and unicycles. He could ride his bicycle while standing on his head or jump rope while riding on a buggy wheel. Pop also built a bicycle on which the front wheel could be detached from the rear while in motion. But most importantly, he could hold the attention of an audience. My cousin Cheri boasts, “Pop dazzled people with his dare devil antics.”

The commentary is as entertaining as the tricks. Pop was the Danny MacAskill of his day and reminds us that the bike has entertained audiences since it’s invention, a century ago. Also see another vaudeville performer, the Golden Ballerina on a Bicycle, who also dazzled audiences…she’d take her bike apart as she rode it.

Last Photo Of 14 Had A Surprise Ending

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 06:44

A Funny Photography Story

Shared in the Medium Bicycles Collection, my last photo of 2014 had a surprised ending.

There it is! An instance with the beach, West Maui Mountains and Lahaina in the background, at sunset with good light, and with the subject looking on….

CX Nats: Resumption of Racing

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 06:28


Racing resumes today after being cancelled yesterday and I recapped how CXNats Disappoints in the Medium Bicycles collection. Also don’t miss the saddest Freebird ever played in Texas….

CXNats Disappoints

In issue 20, before all the drama in Austin, Shawn O’Keefe wrote about the single speed race for us.

Mudageddon in Austin: CX Natz Canceled

Sun, 01/11/2015 - 11:11

Muddy course and in those trees, roots getting exposed, Photo: DBC

In case you missed it, it was Mudageddon in Austin after heavy rains and the last day of CX Natz was canceled to prevent more park damage to heritage trees.

As James Huang said on his Facebook.

If I understand correctly, it’s effectively considered an honor to have a ‘cross course permanently burned into your land in Belgium.

In the US, following this fiasco, an environmental impact statement is gonna be required.

I’m hearing lots of reaction and blame. While a developing story, what I understand at this time is that running thousands of racers on back to back days was/is the issue. 2-3 courses are required for events like this, in precious city parks, and unusual, biblical rain. Providence spent $50k on AstroTurf to protect the trees before the cancellation. The rain also shut down a weekend of events, besides racing.

I’m not there, but contributors Matt Hill, Shawn O’Keefe, and Dennis Crane are reporting for us. On Friday, issue 20 dropped and included a report and gallery from the single speed races.

The general cluelessness of USA Cycling in Austin reminds me of this one time when the TT course at road Natz was on the shoulder of an Interstate. Just like CrossVegas and also shared in issue 20, “Was Steve Johnson there?”

Huggacast Shorts: Issue 20 Drops

Sat, 01/10/2015 - 06:56


While the first take was interrupted by a pug, got the second one, and in this short we share the Issue 20 cover story.