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Month: April 2013

Business Insider & Copenhagenize Index: What Americans Don’t Get About Cycling

Business Insider & Copenhagenize Index: What Americans Don’t Get About Cycling

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The 2013 Copenhagenize Index of the world’s most bike-friendly cities is out, and not a single American metropolis made the top 20.

By failing to embrace cycling culture, American cities are losing out on significant financial benefits, Colville-Andersen (CEO of Copenhagenize)  told Business Insider. Studies show that every kilometer cycled in Denmark earns the country €.23 (partly because cyclists have been shown to spend more money in local stores), he said. And even with significant taxation of automobiles, every kilometer driven in Denmark costs the country €.16.

The problem in the U.S. is all about perception, said Colville-Andersen. Many commuters see cycling as a form of exercise, not convenient transport, and cities are still being built around automobiles.

Read the full story here: Here’s What Americans Don’t Get About Cycling — And Why It’s A Problem

 

Review: Mission Workshop The Torre Merino Wool Hoodie

Review: Mission Workshop The Torre Merino Wool Hoodie

For the last two months I have been more or less living in the Torre Merino Wool Hooded Zip-Up Sweater from Mission Workshop. It has been put through a lot both on and off the bike in this relatively short time. I’ve been wearing The Torre in the shop while wrenching on bikes, in a couple of alley cat races, on some urban cyclocross rides, island bike trips and blustery ferry crossings, daily errands in the city, out to the bar and even to a dinner party where Greg’s cat completely covered it in white hair…

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Here is what Mission Workshop has to say about it: “The Torre is a classic fitted zip-up sweater made with a unique 380 Gram, 18.9 Micron New Zealand Merino wool reinforced with core filament stretch nylon. This hybrid fabric was developed exclusively for Mission Workshop. Merino Wool is naturally antibacterial, an excellent temperature regulator, and it draws moisture away from the skin. With nylon woven into the fabric, it has added stretch and durability, making this a garment that will be a staple for years to come.”

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Here is what I have to say about it: The Torre is an incredibly versatile piece of clothing that feels and wears casual but functions like a technical garment.

The first time I donned the hoodie I was impressed with the quality of the fabric and the fit. It is soft against the skin and instantly comfortable. The body is constructed out of five panels, the fit is slim and long, and it naturally stretches with your body movements. There are two “hidden” zippered pockets, one inside the left hand pocket, and a second under the right arm pit. The zippers feel solid and aren’t visible when closed. The Torre has a very sleek and clean look to it.

After two months of wear it still looks as good as it did when I first put it on. The fabric is proving to be very durable. There are no signs of piling or wear in the usual places. The merino wool breathes extremely well which I found allowed me to wear it at a variety of temperatures. It was warm enough when leaving on a brisk morning ride, and I didn’t overheat a couple hours later when the temperature had risen. It dries quickly and stays relatively warm even when wet. My other favorite part about the Torre is that the fabric doesn’t absorb odors. You can sweat it in, cook in it, sit around a bonfire and the next day you’d never know.

Specifically in regards to riding a bike in the Torre: The slim fit is great for riding as there is not extra fabric flapping around in the wind. The hood is also on the smaller side and stays put pretty well both up or down. The hidden pockets are useful for keeping things in place while riding, and the under arm pocket worked well for stashing an ipod/phone if you like to listen to music while you ride. The only real critique I have about the Torre is the sleeve length proved to be a little on the short side for me while on the bike. I am 6’4″ and have long arms, so this most likely will not be a problem for most people, however I would have liked a couple more inches in sleeve length to cover my wrists when stretched out on the bike.

At $235 retail, the Torre is a few bucks more expensive than other comparable merino wool pieces. But it is made in the USA and the quality of construction is nothing less than impressive. The quality combined with the durability of the Torre definitely point to a piece of clothing that will last for many years.

 

 

Brooks C17: Vegan Saddle

Brooks C17: Vegan Saddle

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Vegans rejoice! (Hey Greg, shouldn’t you be posting this instead of me?)

Brooks is soon to be releasing its new C17 saddle (The Cambium). It is reportedly made from a uniquely flexible natural rubber and organic cotton top, enhanced by a thin layer of structural textile for added resilience. A vulcanized waterproof top, which follows the rider’s movements, is supposedly immediately comfortable, maintenance-free, and highly abrasion-resistant to offer the longevity for which Brooks is legendary, without the break in time for which Brooks is also legendary…

Check out the Brooks website for more information and a chance to be 1 of 100 testers of the saddle. It is being released to the public on June 17th, but if you are chosen to be a tester you will receive a free saddle a month early. Sign up here: Cambium, A New Generation of Saddles.

 

Resurrection VI Wrap-Up!

Resurrection VI Wrap-Up!

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We did it, people! SIX YEARS! The Resurrection has now survived longer than Webster (the TV show, not Emmanuel Lewis who I think is still alive, but who has time to fact check?)! And what a day. This Resurrection took place earlier in season than usual, being in March instead of April. We could  have had terrible weather, but Seattle gave us incredible sunshine as we sent more than fifty racers all over the city to get smeared with blood, confess to terrible, terrible things, climb awful hills and hang out with rabbits.

Without the help of our sponsors, volunteers and riders we could never keep doing this, so to us you’re ALL winners. It’s just that some of you are a more winner-y than others, for example our top five overall racers:

  1. Fred Marshall
  2. Matt Face
  3. Sean Marsh
  4. Dustin Riggs
  5. Colin Northcraft
And our top three women, who weren’t messing around either, with Ali just cutting in to the top ten overall:
  1. Ali Masterson
  2. Rachel Green
  3. Molly S.

1st/2nd and 3rd/4th pairs this years opted for opposite routes around the city, with Fred and Matt taking the clockwise route and Sean and Dustin taking the counter-clockwise route:

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Between flat tires and close times, it’s hard to tell which route was the better choice but we DO know that Fred took home this year’s AWESOME champion’s bag for Seagull Bags. The prize table was fully stocked with other good, too, from the awesome folks at Recycled CyclesArt CoreSwrve, Bombus BikesPeddler BrewingEmerald City BicyclesSugar Bakery, and All Hail the Black Market:

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Be sure to check them all out, and maybe even send them a note (or better yet an order!) and tell them you appreciate them supporting bike events like ours.

There are a ton more photos on Facebook (special thanks to Rob and Dida!), and all of the photos with Demetrius are in the gallery after the cut as well. If you have photos, post a link in the comment or on our Facebook wall!

Thanks again, and see you at  the Nine to Five, White Trash Sprints, NACCC, Tour de Watertower and all the other great Seattle summer events we’re looking forward to!

Photos by Rob Kittleson, Dida Lopez and myself (Greg Mertzlufft). Thanks!

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NBA Stars & Critical Mass

NBA Stars & Critical Mass

NBA & Critical mass

It has been a few years since I have ridden Critical Mass, and it is the general consensus at GMG that Seattle Critical Mass has ceased to be a relevant or positive event for Seattle bicycle advocacy.  That being said, more power to anyone looking to get on two wheels and spread bicycle love.

Men’s Journal recently reported on NBA superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade riding Critical Mass in Miami, FL and a little bit about their new found love for cycling. Read the whole article HERE. Wade was quoted saying “I had one of my best games of the season after a Critical Mass bike ride.” Which obviously raises the question, if the Super Sonics return to Seattle will they start commuting by bike and riding critical mass? Watch out Seattle drivers, next time you plow your Subaru through a Critical Mass ride you might be running over your beloved NBA team!

Boreas: Lagunitas Backpack

Boreas: Lagunitas Backpack

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The Lagunitas backpack from Boreas has been spending some time on my shoulders over the last several weeks. It is designed to be a “hike-bike-travel-commute daypack.” That is a mouthful, and when I first donned the pack it didn’t seem much different than any other light weight hiking day pack. What sets this pack apart though is its flexible metal frame. By pulling the blue strap the frame bows out away from your back so only the mesh portion of the pack is touching your back, leaving a couple inches of room between the pack and your back.

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