In his first year as a professional (1965) Eddy Merckx was asked the not unusual question for a neo-pro, “What are your principal ambitions as a racing cyclist?” The answer was immediate: “To win the Tour de France and set a new Hour Record“.
Although Eddy Merckx went on to create an incomparable road record, he was equally adept on the track. As an amateur he tried everything on the nearby Belgian indoor velodromes of Ghent and Antwerp, even match sprinting. As a professional he won no less than 17 six day races and contested many more. In short he had no fear of the banked boards. Unquestionably a certain knack is needed to ride the track successfully. Some giants of cycling, such as Bernard Hinault, never could adapt to track riding.
By 1969 he had won both the Giro and the Tour, along with Paris-Roubaix and the World Championships; he knew he had the physical maturity for the Hour. Then late that season his leg was broken in a motor paced criterium putting finis to any record hopes.
It wasn’t until 1972 that Merckx decided to include the Hour in his season’s plans. The general idea was to ease up on the number of races so he would have energy enough to do the intense preparation required. In practice he kept pretty close to his normally full schedule. During the year he won no less than fifty (50!) races, among them a fifth Milan-San Remo, a fourth Tour de France, a third Tour of Italy, a third Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a third Fleche Wallone, a second Tour of Lombardy
If you haven’t noticed already, this year’s Nine to Five registration is now open! The Nine to Five is Seattle’s only all-bicycle sunset-to-sunrise solstice scavenger hunt. Organize your team of up to five or ride solo to complete as many items as you can before sun up while joining group meetups throughout the night for caffeine and snacks, and a full catered breakfast in the morning. A celebration of our city and bicycles!
Pre-registration is very important with the Nine to Five. We order all the food and catering in advance, and it’s much easier if we know how many folks we are going to have so everyone gets food! To help sweeten the deal, this year we are including a specially designed t-shirt with all preregistrations. Wear it into work on Monday to show off when your coworkers ask how you spent your weekend. If nothing else, you can use it as an excuse for cancelling all your Sunday plans.
I could really use a nice large bag like this for summer. Hauling cycling/camping gear, picking up and delivering parts, carrying beer and inflatable rafts to the park… the options are endless. Has anyone gotten in on the pre-release of the Seagull Bags Crit Duffle? Not a lot of info, but I saw a few shots of it over at Pedal Consumption and liked what I saw.
Here is a funny short from the guys over at PDW. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some great new products from them soon. I bet Ryan is still enjoying his fenders up there in Alaska, but down here its almost summer!
By the way, it looks like you guys are having fun standing around down there in PDX, we’re riding bikes up here in Seattle, swing by anytime if you want to join!
If you have ridden across the Fremont Bridge since last October, chances are you’ve noticed this electronic sign on the Northwest bikeway/sidewalk. The Fremont Bridge Bike Counter has been ticking away since October 11th 2012 counting cyclists crossing the bridge in both directions and both sides (if you haven’t tested this, I did and it picks up cyclists crossing on either side and direction).
Tuesday May 7th, the second day of the second week of National Bike Month marked the most cyclists to cross the bridge in a 24 hour period to date since the installation of the bike counter, 5,103 bike crossings recorded. The excellent weather that week and the fact it is Bike Month helped pushed the weekly total to over 28,000 crossings. That is a lot of bikes. The below graph is a weekly tally of bike trips recorded since the installation of the counter.
Bike to Work Day is this Friday May 17th, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a new record set.
Seattle Makers – Highlighted Vendors of the Pedaler’s Fair
Last month, I had the opportunity to stop by the 2013 Pedaler’s Fair, hosted this year in Seattle’s Underground Events Space in Belltown.
The first of the cyclist-targeted clothing lines I was drawn to was Telaio Clothing. The line of designer and maker Katherine Andrews, Telaio’s line of handbuilt wool clothing is comes in colors that seem fitting for the northwest – charcoal greys and khakis, in classic pieces for men and women. The wool blazers and riding pants have a unisex, uniform feel to them – the simple colors and cuts could easily be incorporated into any wardrobe and look nondescript on and off a bike. As Katherine, the designer/tailor behind Telaio expressed, Telaio clothes are intended to easily become a uniform, sewn with the care and intention required for a long-wearing investment piece.
I really appreciated clothing designer Babecycle‘s approach to bike wear for its femininity. Designer Sonia McBride’s recent line included a really beautiful skirt that caught my eye, offered in both a dayglo shade of chartreuse, and a bright orchid / fuchsia color. The feminine, A-line cut and textured fabric are intended to look beautiful both on and off the bike, allowing for movement while cycling, but stylish enough to wear to the office or around town. Personally, the chartreuse color is a bit bright for my personal taste, but I’m really drawn to the idea of incorporating a dayglo piece of clothing into my wardrobe that could serve as a more stylish version of a florescent vest. Pieces from Babecycle’s line are available for purchase in Fremont at Hub and Bespoke, or online in their Etsy shop.
Of all the exhibitors at the fair, I was most intrigued by the beautiful fleet of cycles that the guys of Seattle-based Bombus Bikes were showcasing. All custom built, each of the 4 frames displayed were incredibly unique – not just in the more aesthetic decisions of paint colors and accessories – but in frame type and use. It was easy to tell how much thought went into crafting each frame with a specific purpose and type of rider in mind, and then in the selection of accessories that make the final builds look so intentionally beautiful.