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Updated: 1 hour 15 min ago

GoPros on Sale

7 hours 57 min ago

I don’t usually post on bicycle-related Black Friday sales, with pretty much every brand having one and for a week now, but GoPro just sent out their press release.

It’s the first sale I’ve seen from them and on the HERO6, HERO5, and Karma.

The Sale

Starting Monday, the HERO6 Black is $50.00 off and tonight at 9 PM PST, the HERO5 Black is $50 off and comes bundled with a 32GB SD card, rechargeable battery and a gift bag.

The Karma + HERO6 Bundle is $200 off now.

Find the HERO5 and HERO6 deals on their site when they start and Amazon shipped free with Prime.

Here’s video from the launch and my colleagues at HD Video Pro attended it in September.

And, the features

  • Powered by GoPro’s Custom-Designed GP1 Processor
  • 4K60 and 1080p240 Video
  • QuikStories Enabled, GoPro App Compatible
  • Most Advanced Stabilizationof any HERO camera
  • All-New Touch Zoom
  • 3x Faster Offload Speeds via 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Waterproof to 33 Feet (10m)
  • Compatible with Karma and Existing GoPro Mounts
  • Improved Dynamic Range and Low-Light Performance
  • RAW and HDR Photo Modes
  • Voice Control in 10 Languages
  • GPS, Accelerometer and Gyroscope
  • WiFi + Bluetooth

Worth nothing, I was skeptical of the first-generation GoPro, had one in 2009 and I can confirm, the latest versions are WAY BETTER.

At the time, I thought it was crap, and saw no market for a cube camera. Now that I think of it, the founder probably sent it to me.

Here’s the video.

Good thing you didn’t listen to me and GoPro went onto fame and fortune. Of particular interest to me is the Fusion offering spherical media and breakthrough software to match.

I’ve got one of those coming in on demo and the HERO6 just arrived.

I’ll get to the 6 after the holiday; maybe even recreate the ride from above. I’m still riding those routes.


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Another Whistler Edit by Bernard Kerr

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 18:37

Bernard Kerr stood on his first UCI World Cup podium at Leogang this year but then sat out half the season with a shoulder injury. Even with the time off the bike, he came back fitter and faster. And, hit Whistler on Closing Day just to make another edit.

It’s awesome. I had my share of good rides this season but did wish I could get another run in….

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Mission Bicycle Lyra

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:39

Mark Twain, described the Hotel Galleria’s previous incarnation as, “Heaven on a half shell.” While today, I’m describing the bikes I placed in one of the Sutter Suites.

Mission Bicycle Lyras in our Hotel

It was 1861 when the Occidental (now the Galleria, before that Hotel Sutter) opened in San Francisco and around the same time in France Pierre Michaux figured out how to attach pedals to a draisine to create the velocipede.

Far out west, a few years later a writer for the Scientific American observed

The velocipede has now fairly conquered the entire world. San Francisco has entered the lists, and we understand has produced some improvements that will, when they are made public, reflect credit upon the ingenuity of its inventors.

That ingenuity was rubber tires.

Integrating lights into a bicycle frame powered by a lithium battery in the headset, likely won’t land Mission Bicycle more than a footnote in the history of the bicycle, but it’s a nice touch for a sweet fixie style urban bike. That’s easily configurable and ships very well-equipped at $999.

And you thought your style was stylish.

Looking out at the financial district, I imagined that Scientific American writer observing the rubber-tired velocipedes from his hotel window too. San Francisco at that time was being transformed by the bicycle and riding in Golden Gate Park, as we did, was a favorite past time.

Cycling in Golden Gate Park in the 1890s.

Now the city has marked lanes, the Wiggle, its own distinct bike culture.  And, a bike shop that calls the Mission District home.

Mission Bicycle crew getting us ready to ride.

They assemble the bikes upstairs from the shop, per your order.

Mission Bicycle Lyra downtown.

The Lyra integrates 100 LEDs into the inside fork blades and rear of the seat post with a push button on/off switch in the headset cap. The battery last 8 hours at least and is rechargeable with a micro USB cord. You just unscrew the top cap, pull it out, charge, replace, and go for a well-lit ride. The lights on the Lyra are for visibilty, you’ll still need your own headlight on the bar.

Mission Bicycle Lyra near Union Square.

Integrated lights are smart system for a bike city like San Francisco, and one with many steep hills. The steel frame is a pleasant, sure ride, and I suggest you get the model with more than one gear.

Commenting on another invention in his lifetime, the penny farthing, Mark Twain wrote, “I have been familiar with that street for years, and had always supposed it was a dead level; but it was not, as the bicycle now informed me, to my surprise.”

Mission Bicycle Lyra.

The modern bicycle will inform you of the hills in San Francisco too, we got to know them pretty well, riding from the Mission District, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and back to Union Square.

Rode across the Golden Gate Bridge to get this photo.

And, of all the bikes you can purchase, getting one made in the Mission is special, so are the integrated lights.

If you saw it earlier this year, the Lyra started as a crowfunding project with lighting and GPS, but the crowd rejected the tracking part, wanting just lights.

Mission Bicycle Lyra

That make sense, with so many GPS options available. Now that I’ve tried it, the system works well.

The Lyra ships in January with Conti rubber.

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Cannondale Midwest Safari with Allan Thom

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 18:28

The car is a 1989 Porsche 911 “Safari.

The bike a 2018 Cannondale Slate Force 1.

And, the escapism is very well played.

I’ve not ridden the 18 Slate, but Mark had this to say about the genre. And, hey it’s cool to have a gravel car for a gravel bike, right? Sure

The car and the bike are metaphors for each other, they are both expertly modified machines that come alive when the pavement ends.” Equally at home crushing gravel under the all-terrain tires of his car or bike. Allan Thom finds himself on the gravel backroads he loves in search of an adventure.

Read the rest of the story and see my post on another bike from Cannondale, the Slate. They sure got the demographic right for the riding road bikes on dirt scene too, Allan Thom is the CEO of Weathertech.

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Phil Gaimon’s Book

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:09

Motor doping is back in the news this week, after a brief lull in headlines, and this time because of an accusation Phil Gaimon makes in his 3rd book, which has received very positive reviews.

Draft Animals: Living the Pro Cycling Dream (Once in a While) has been out since October of this year and people are either slow readers and just getting to the incriminating passage or it’s not number one with a bullet on the holiday reader best seller lists.

Either way, I haven’t read it, and not that engaged in racing anymore, but when he tweeted upset that people were just reading that one doping part, we had this exchange on Twitter.

in context that part was actually dismissing the whole motordoping thing, but that is what I think happened, so I had to say. Serves me right. Just not what I'd like the book boiled down to.

— Phil Gaimon (@philgaimon) November 9, 2017

So what’s going on is a “nothing new to see here” claim about Cancellara and eyeballs. Phil is a gadfly of an ex pro making a living riding a bike for fun and gets tons of eyeballs. Now that the book is getting more eyeball tonnage, it’s best to work the topic, and work it he does while also discussing his teammate Danielson’s doping.

In case you missed it, the conspiracy theories about motor doping started with Cancellara and suspicious behavior on his bike at a classic.

We’ve covered the topic since then and what’s important about the story is less the prevalence of motors in bikes, but that doping following the Omertà narratives that were initially dismissed as outlandishly false.

Not to say that there isn’t a little spectator value in the UCI’s new president Lappartient investigating claims of motor doping dating back to 2010.

What….are they going to test the bike’s B-sample?

Well, as it turns out, motors do exists in bikes, and I’ve seen them firsthand. The problem isn’t the cheating so much, but the suffering hero narrative sold to fans of the sport for a century. We’re supposed to believe those that race bicycles do so out of a some higher calling and with moral fortitude.

They don’t.

Despite what we’re sold, it’s not glamorous, but a blue collar sport more like another one driven by motors, NASCAR. The working hard aspect is what Phil’s book is supposed to be about. And, racing is rubbing, sure, and we shouldn’t be surprised by any new devious method to cheat.

What is surprising is that fans still believe that athletes don’t cheat and honestly the fact that Gaimon called out Spartacus so blatantly.

More on Motor Doping

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Unity Through Bicycles

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:47

A group of fierce, brave girls in Kenya who are breaking down gender and cultural barriers and boldly pursuing their dreams on bicycles. Here’s a video from World Bicycle Relief about young girls conquering their fears, pushing past cultural constraints, and moving boldly towards their dreams – on two wheels.

For many students in rural Kenya, distance is a barrier that prevents them from going to school. With access to a bicycle, all of that changes.

But, Muslim girls in this area traditionally are not allowed to ride. In 2016, 122 students received bicycles at Umoja Secondary School. A group of Muslim girls chose to challenge cultural expectations that confined them. This is what they had to say about their newfound freedom of riding a bike-

“Owning a bicycle has changed my life a lot. I have come to face the world. It has helped me be confident. We can be ourselves, not what people want us to be,” said Ayan,16 years old.

“It was so surprising to see the Muslim girls riding the bike. It changed my opinion because I now knew Muslim girls, they are just like us,” said Kelly 14 years old.

There’s a bright light that shines now from Umoja Secondary School in Eldoret, Kenya, where children of Christian, Muslim, and traditional African faiths study together and embody their motto- “Together We Rise.”

Even brighter on those girls that ride.

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Starting CycloCross: Kym Nonstop

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:38

I was just wondering, “When is Kym Nonstop gonna make an awesome video about CX?”

Well, here ya go.

And, note the scene is just as big on the West Coast. I’m not competing anymore, but totally think you should. Sure there are pros and cons and also lots of fun.

I’m not competing anymore, but totally think you should, and click through to hundreds of posts about the most community-oriented niche of the sport.


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Bike Industry Marketing

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:15

The video is an old meme, but funny again with captions like

One day we mistakenly received a container from China, full of tractor tires…..we put them on some bikes and we called them Fat.

The script also reminds me of the Mitch Hedberg joke. “I think Pringles’ original intention was to make tennis balls. But, on the day the rubber was supposed to arrive, a truckload of potatoes showed up. And Pringles is a laid-back company, they said, “F**k it, cut ’em up!”

Cut ’em up indeed.

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One 1985 GORE-TEX® SHAKEDRY Jacket Review

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:15
Gore Bike Wear® Keeps Getting Better

The backside of the Grand Ridge approached from Exit 18 off of Interstate 90, and taking the fitness trail is my favorite mountain bike ride. That’s because you get all the climbing done in about 20 minutes or less and the grunt of a climb starts right from the parking lot. It’s also the perfect environment to test a jacket that’s promising next-level, outdoor fitness performance. The One 1985 Gore-Tex SHAKEDRY® is their best and most realized technology to date.

On the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail en route to the Grand Ridge

Starting from the One release, they’ve iterated the “membrane” only design into a full line and I didn’t get steamy or sweaty on the climb. Once into the flat sections, and before the Water Tower Loop, I zipped up and was comfortable at a balmy 45 degrees. And, most importantly, wasn’t cold on the descent.

Cross one of the bridges, in the trees.

The practical offroad use case for ShakeDry is an emergency poncho if you get caught out in a squall. There isn’t a face fabric protecting the membrane, so do not use it with a hydration backpack because the straps will wear the laminate. I’m super into fanny packs now, so it’s fine for my offroad rides, but to be clear, Gore designed this for road cyclist and runners, not backpackers.

You can get the ShakeDry tech in two cuts to find one that fits and with reflective accents. I also noticed improved inner seam welds and an adjustable collar for comfort around the neck and zipper backer. If you’re wearing only a thin liner, you’ll feel the zipper on the coldest days without that backer.

As the name suggests water permanently beads on the ShakeDry and will shake off before stowage in the zipped back pocket or your bag. Compared to the first iteration that was literally just the breathable membrane. This version is much more wearable; as I said, when it launched, the tech totally works, and I appreciate how Gore has responded to the needs of us in the Pacific Northwest, where it never gets that cold, but wet.

Really wet. 

Considering it’s the rainy season now in Seattle if I’m not wearing the ShakeDry, I’m carrying it with me.

That tree wasn’t there the last time we rode here. Retro Styling

Even as a journalist in the outdoor market with a highly-qualified team of PR professionals explaining this product to me, Gore Bike Wear’s naming is a bit confusing. This jacket is called the One 1985 Gore-Tex ShakeDry because it’s a nod to the original and first ever (also steamy and too hot for our climate) cycling jacket that debuted when Like a Virgin and Wham topped the pop charts.

While that seems like forever ago, what made that Giro Jacket so special, was the combination of windproof, waterproof, and breathable fabrics. The Giro was also the first to introduce a cycling-specific, drop-tail design. It wasn’t perfect, but better than stuffing newsprint under a jersey, or sweating it out under a plastic rain cape. Remember those? Like slap-bass, track jackets, and acid-washed jeans, now nostalgic.

The Giro Jacket was very well received, eventually being used by the Superconfex professional road team—a Rabobank precursor—and Gore Bike Wear gives the past a nod with orange Rabobank-like accents.

Rabobank styling. The Specs

Back to the future, what you need to know is, the latest jacket from Gore eliminates the face fabric, further increasing breathability and decreasing laminate thickness by 50% with corresponding gains in breathability. The MSRP is $300 and available directly from Gore Bike Wear, Amazon, or a retailer near you.

What’s most important about 1985 One and the legendary jacket it evokes, is how it feels on the ride. I’m at my most comfortable with it and a liner. The inside comfort is related to the micro-grid backer, that slides easily over the liner, and doesn’t have that plastic bag, squishy sound.

Considering the retroness, I have an old iPod with a bunch of 80s. I’ll pack that with me on the next ride.

Stop for an adjustment and with the Camelbak Repack.
  • GORE-TEX® Active with SHAKEDRY Product Technology
  • Adjustable collar with velcro for optimum fit and protection
  • Back zipped stow pocket
  • Elastic sleeve cuff
  • Partially elastic hem
  • Zip tags for easy opening
  • Reflective print on back
  • Reinforced hem for easier closure of the zipper
  • Reflective logo on sleeve
  • Reflective logo on front
  • Advanced matt black look
  • Shake dry surface: Water beads on the surface so a few quick shakes renders the garment dry
  • The lightest and most breathable GORE-TEX® Active Product available
  • Comfort fit
  • Weight 116 gram (Size L)
  • 2-way front zip for chimney effect
  • Permanent beading surface
  • Reflective transfers for higher visibility and safety
  • Ergonomic shape and comfort cut
  • Durably waterproof and windproof
  • Minimal pack volume and stow away solution
  • Extremely breathable
  • Super lightweight

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Magazine: 48 Hours with the Tern GSD

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:09

This is the first story originated from our new home for Bike Hugger Magazine on Medium and provided free—no paywall—by our friends at Tern Bicycles.

Of course, I want to earn subscription money for the story, but also know paywalls aren’t an easy sell. So each month we’re offering up one free article sponsored by our partners like Tern and hopefully that’ll encourage you to sign up at Medium and unlock a membership.

Membership costs $5/month and gets you our content ad-free and access to other leading media outlets with news analysis, original reporting, and opinion features.

Our authors get paid by the views, so you can reward us (or not) for what we do here, like review the Tern GSD.

The GSD is a utility bike with more range than most electric cars. And, we’ve been getting lots done with it. The 150-mile range means it can replace a car, an SUV, and whatever else you want to do. The capacity is two kids, a week’s worth of groceries, and all my camera gear, but it’s only 180 cm long—shorter than a standard e-bike. It packs down small enough to fit in a large SUV or an urban apartment, and it adjusts to fit riders from 150 – 195 cm.

48 Hours with the Tern GSD

That’s more range than most electric cars.

My usage for the GSD is errands, dropping off packages at the shipping center near my house, and the occasional commute. I’ve also zipped around to shoots like the one yesterday about morning commuters and another today about taking photos with an iPhone.

There’s much buzz about the GSD and, as you can read, it’s well deserved and mostly because of how the bike handles. As I wrote in the article

The GSD works so well, because it was designed around a Bosch mid mount electric motor, and considers the ride above all.


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A Commute Across the Duwamish

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:52

135s are usually categorized as portrait lenses for studio work, but if you take one to the streets, the subjects are as sharp as the schedules they keep. On an assignment for Sony Mirrorless Pro, I shot the morning commute across the Duwamish river.

Sigma 135 attached to an a7R.

Like the commuters, I cross it at least once every ride. The Duwamish is an industrialized estuary and Seattle’s only river. It’s estimated that less than 1/2 of Seattleites know the river exists or that it’s on the Superfund list.

Best known for the tech companies here, the tides of the Duwamish are a reminder that Seattle is really a port town and a hub of trade since the gold rush.

Be it gold, bits, or groceries delivered in an hour, Seattle has always boomed and busted. I don’t think I’ll see a bust again, been through 2 in my time here, but will photograph the industrial side of Seattle before it’s gentrified into condos and office buildings.

Deep in a 5-billion-dollar boom, the commuters rushed across the bridge to work and the construction cranes downtown, while tugs pushed freight along the Duwamish River and people fished for chum salmon at the port.

There’s a blue-collar essence to Seattle lost in the hum of tech like Amazon, jets at Boeing Field, and the smell of Starbuck’s coffee with whiffs of pungent cannabis grows.

Sigma 135: at the Port of Seattle.

I rode the Tern GSD and true to its name, it helped me get shit done, like a photo shoot.

Sigma 135: on the Spokane Street Bridge. Sigma 135: with a pint at Naked City. Sigma 135: on the bike path. Sigma 135: fishing at the Port of Seattle. Sigma 135: crossing the Duwamish. Sigma 135: tugs pushing freight. Sigma 135: train drawbridge. Sigma 135: bike share. Sigma 135: Concrete plant.

Read more about this morning commute shoot on Medium or Sony Mirrorless Pro, and I’ll have a full review of the Tern GSD soon.

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Sony a7R III: 42 MP, Fast Performance, Compact

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 14:51

Ed note: Sharing this post from the camera side of the house, Sony Mirrorless Pro. 

After a private press event in New York last night, Sony announced the a7R III with an unexpected Pixel Shift Multi Shooting Mode (whoa!) and specs that respond to pretty much all the feedback they’ve gotten since the first and second marks.

  •  35mm Full-Frame 42.4 MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
  • Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps with either Silent Shooting or Mechanical Shutter and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
  • 399 phase-detection AF points covering 68% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and approximately 2 times more effective Eye AF
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
  • High Resolution 4K Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning
  • Completely redesigned for professionals, including upgraded Auto Focus, Dual SD Card Slots, Extended Battery Life, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ Terminal and more
  • Compact, Lightweight body at only 23 oz
  • $3200 USD and shipping next month.

The 6th bullet is for the pros, the 1st and 2nd are for pretty much everyone else and that’s the main point. The Sony a7R III is a 42mp camera, so the resolution is traditionally for portrait work but it’s fast enough for use in all situations and with stunning results.

Those situations include bicycle races, an epic shot of a ride in the loam, or an assignment to capture the morning bike commute. I just so happen to have a max res lens in for review that performs wonders on my 1st-gen A7R, and I can’t wait to see what the Sigma 135 will do on a new Mark III.

That lens is also traditionally for studio work, but as learned, it really shines for street shooting. It was specifically designed for 50mp resolution, I guess anticipating this release from Sony and the Nikon D850

What that means is distracting elements disappear while your subject remains tack sharp even with the lighting isn’t ideal.

As I explained in posts about Kando, the intent of Sony’s cameras is to put you in the moment so you can get your best shot with the technology doing most of the work.

All About Image Quality

About the technology, the 42.4MP high-resolution, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor utilizes a gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s seal glass to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range.

The all-new α7R III also features a front-end LSI that effectively doubles the readout speed of the image sensor, as well as an updated BIONZ X™ processing-engine that boosts processing speed by approximately 1.8 times compared to the α7R II.

These powerful components work together to allow the camera to shoot at faster speeds while also enabling its impressive ISO range of 100 – 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400 for still images) and massive 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings.

As I was saying, shooting in pretty much all conditions with sharp subjects is what this generation of cameras is about. And, handheld with a 5-axis optical image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support the high-res shooting capacity.

But wait there’s more! The new low-vibration shutter reduces vibration and image blur in all modes, including the high speed 10 fps shooting.

Addressing another complaint, Sony has finally resolved the dreaded red read light. The image pipeline will push 42.4MP images at up to 10 fps and most of the image functions are still operable.

That’s right, no more tapping your toes, or getting a cup of coffee while images write to the card.

In Focus

The upgraded focusing system of the α7R III is comprised of 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 68% of the image area in both the horizontal and vertical directions.  There is also 425 contrast AF points, an increase of 400 points compared to the α7R II.  This advanced system delivers AF acquisition in about half the time as the α7R II in low-light conditions, with tracking that is approximately 2 times more accurate as well.  The acclaimed Eye AF feature is also approximately 2 times more effective.

That means, you’re job is to compose with this camera, and it’ll get the shot.

4K Video

When shooting in Super 35mm format, the mark III uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 5K of information, oversampling it to produce 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth outputted with the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) for an Instant HDR workflow. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3 are available for increased color grading flexibility and it’ll record full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion with AF tracking.

Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

I’m getting breathless reading all this, and then there’s the whoa part of the launch: Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode.

The mode takes full advantage of the advanced 5-axis optical in-body stabilization to precisely shifts the sensor in 1-pixel increments capturing four separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of approximately 169.6 MP of image data. The sequence of images can be composited together and processed utilizing the new “Imaging Edge” software suite.

That I gotta see for myself and will post the photos as taken. I’ll happily stuff the a7R III into a backpack with a lens and shoot from the top of the Lake Olallie climb.

TFW you show up for the ride hungover and your bro is more hungover than you @i_dream_bikes

A post shared by Byron (@bikehugger) on Aug 19, 2017 at 9:01pm PDT

Amazon hasn’t listed the a7r III yet, but those looking for a value should note that the Mark II is now 17% off at $2398 and the Mark I is $1898.

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Randonnees Around Town

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 16:15

One of my Internet friends, tweeted how he loves encountering randonees in the wild.

Me too, like these in White Center earlier this year. In fact, I see at least one on every ride around town and with good reason, there’s a practical then as now.

I’m having one made too (sort of) and will share that story soon enough.

If you were wondering how to spell the term Randonnee as I was and the plural version, see Sheldon Brown.

The French word “randonnée” is not exactly translatable into English. The closest is probably “hike”, which is not commonly used in bicycle contexts. A randonnée is an organized group ride, with some emphasis on speed, but it is not a race. Riders will typically be on road-racing or light-touring bicycles. Randonnées are often quite long, but do not normally involve stopping for the night away from the start. Some randonnées run all night. One of the most famous (and most rigorous) is the quadrennial Paris-Brest-Parisride, 1200 kilometers, (750 miles) stopping only for meals and catnaps.

Also read more about Randonnee bikes in an article by Mark V from Issue 00, now on Medium and this story about Sugino cranks.

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43 Issues on Medium

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 09:07

Well, that took all week, but 43 issues of Bike Hugger Magazine are now available to members, behind the “open paywall.” I’ll let Medium explain how it all works.

What you need to know is fans of ours can read bike-related articles ad-free along with all rest of the member-only content published here, like Noteworthy, and Creativity.

And, now I’ll get to work on Issue 44. Here are the covers from the past 3 years.

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Where Words Matter

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 20:18

Just about halfway through uploading our magazine to Medium and pausing to share a video they just made about their paywall. How it works, what it costs, and all that.

What we’re doing there is monetizing 40+ issues of content that have been without a home since the company that made our magazine app quit. I explain what’s going on in this post and encourage you to sign up.

The tl;dr version is: Medium subscribers pay $5 a month for unlimited articles and our bike-related content is on their site. As participants in their program, Bike Hugger gets paid by participation on the articles; there’s a formula to it, but again put simply is by view count. The more views on our content, the more we make.

If you hate paywalls and will never pay for content, our web content will continue as it has done for over 10 years with ads. 

Issues 1-21 are available now and here’s how to find them:

If you’re wondering how Medium is working out for us, here’s how I responded to a comment about that. 

You know like there’s no money in radio, but is in concerts? That’s the analog I like to use. The Medium paywall is our small venue for long form content and all the web/facebook stuff is like a 3 minute song on the radio. We give it away.

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Our Magazine is Back On Medium

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:45
3 years of Articles Plus New Ones

In March of this year, I learned the company that made our magazine (an iOS app), 29th Street Publishing, was closing shop, and issue number 43 was the last one we’d publish. Ever since then I’ve been working on where to put 3 years of archives and where to start publishing again. Medium is the obvious place, but with no revenue model at the time, it didn’t make financial sense.

Now with Medium Memberships and the Partner Program, we can paywall the content again, and offer it for you to read ad-free. Membership costs $5 a month and as a Partner, me and Bike Hugger authors will get paid by the views on the articles.

Read this explainer on how membership works. Behind an “open paywall,” the more people that read our magazine content, the more we get paid.

That’s way better than NOT getting paid and the content just sitting on my hard drive collecting dust after the app closed.

I’ve migrated 3 issues so far and the articles are collected in our publication here, under the magazine tag. After moving over the rest of the issues, I’ll work on issue 44.

It took 8 months, but I’m happy to share the news and hope you become a Medium member.

Also, thanks for being a part of what Bike Hugger does. Remember, the more you read member-only content on Medium, the more the authors get paid, including us.

For an archive version of our magazine with ads and up to issue 7, see the magazine archive here. With no practical way to paywall content on WordPress, we’ll just leave that there.

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New Zealand in 6 Minutes

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:08

One man solo’d the entire length of New Zealand in the middle of winter. 2,336 km over 13 days through rain, hail, snow, ice and incredible beauty.

It is incredible and on our list to ride. Read the story here.

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Aerial Cinematography with DJI Zenmuse X7

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 08:41

I’ve been waiting for this news to drop and now expect to see even more cinematic mountain bike edits deep in the British Columbia loam. It’s a aerial cinematography platform from DJI and spec’d with Super 35, 6K, and shallow depth of field lenses. And, the high-rez video evolution that was expected when DJI bought a majority stake in Hasselblad.

Next up, expect a medium format drone too.

But who knows when.

For now, considering new form factors, like the small cubes I’m shooting with from Sony, high-res bodies hanging from a drone, are going to open up even more creative avenues. Check the showreel below and this behind the scenes look.

All I know so far is what’s in the pre-release, but expect insight from my colleagues at HD Video Pro and Digital Photo Pro when it ships.

In the press release, Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI, said

“The Zenmuse X7 offers everything professional content creators need to make their aerial footage as stunning and vivid as they demand.”

“From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras.

The Specs

Equipped with a Super 35, the Zenmuse X7 sensor features 14 stops of dynamic range promising more detail in low-light conditions and low-noise with a shallow cinematic depth of field. The X7 is capable of shooting 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes at up to 30 FPS, as well as 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 FPS. And, integrate seamlessly into industry-standard post-production workflows.

Mount System

The DJI DL-Mount is an ultra-short flange focal distance to carry prime lenses optimally. Those are f/2.8s at 16 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm, is crafted out of carbon fiber.

The 16mm lens is equipped with a built-in ND 4 filter, and the 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm lenses feature a mechanical shutter.


DJI also introduce a new Cinema Color System (DCCS) working with Technicolor and said,

With their guidance, our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.

So that’s a D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space to give more flexibility and color options during the post-production process. The D-Log further extends the dynamic range, while the D-Gamut RGB color space preserves more color information to support the most demanding filmmaking scenarios, providing accurate color for quick and easy post-processing.

Reassuring filmmakers, there’s an EI Mode that mimics film with detail in the dynamic range and noise. Different log curves in the EI Mode also offer flexibility during the post-production process.

The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs 631 grams with the 16 mm lens. Attached to a DJI Inspire 2 the flight time is up to 23 minutes.

Price and Availability

The Zenmuse X7 camera is priced at $2,699 USD and ships next month. The 16 mm, 24 mm and 35 mm lenses will be available for $1,299 each, and the 50 mm for $1,199. There is a prime lens bundle of all 4 lenses for $4,299.

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Backlot Bicycles with the Sony RXO

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 19:59

Hoping to stumble onto the set of Ray Donovan and see that Mercedes he gets around LA so fast in, but alas I only found the set of the Goldbergs.

But there was a bike.

Lots of them actually. And, my favorite was the chopper.

I wondered what filmmakers have ridden that bike?

Probably a lot.

Getting around the backlot

It makes sense because any mostly flat large area to traverse is perfect for their use; especially, when you can just hop on and off of them. I don’t think Sony has any formal “bike share” designation, but like factories around the world, the bicycle is the most effective way to get from a to b and no matter what you’re delivering.

That includes hard goods, cameras, moving pictures, or you to work. Speaking of work, I was there to shoot with the Sony RX0.

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Sony RXO, Much More Than an Action Cam

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 15:31

I attended a media event for the Sony RXO last week at Sony Pictures Studios and here’s the edit I made for Digital Photo Pro with stills and video; including, high-frame rate, and sequential stills

Here’s what you need to know:

The tiny box form factor looks like an action cam, but it’s much more capable and for multicam immersive experiences.

Also, pretty cool that there was Flatland BMX at the event. As I explain in the story, flatland is about spinning brakeless tricks and insanely difficult, but also fits into an indoor space quite nicely.

You get exciting things to photograph in a small space; especially with a small form factor camera like the RX0. I know you think it’s an action cam, but it’s really really a miniaturized version of Sony’s bigger RX100 V.

The image and video quality look like they’re from a much more advanced camera. After shooting high-frame rate sequences, a Sony Pictures Studio grip attached the camera to the seat tube with gaffers tape and the talented athlete made it look easy. I shot more views from his hat, under the bike, and a couple crashes.

Flatland BMX teaser with @LennieWestfall and shot with the #SonyRX0.

— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) October 5, 2017

Because I know you’re looping back to it being a GoPro competitor, the difference is the RX0 has a threaded hole for mounts, the lens is centered in the body for much easier image stitching math, and the output has no tunnel vision distortion like a GoPro.

RXO on a BMX Bike

In other words, it’s made to shoot professionally, in any way you can imagine. Stack several in a VR rig, attach one to a bike, stick it on a weather vane during a storm, pretty much whatever you want.

I’d toss one in my jersey pocket for those moments on a ride.

Available now for pre-order on Amazon, the RX0 costs $698. Read the rest of the story on Digital Photo Pro.


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