Versa IGH Brifter

The Versa from Sussex Enterprises is a new drop bar STI-style brifter that’s fully compatible with Shimano Alfine and Nexus 8-speed internal gear hubs. We don’t have prices yet, but they should be available soon.

Sussex Enterprises

[Hat tip to Rick Steele for the link. —ed.]

The Benefits of Active Transportation

A new study out confirms what we bike commuters already knew: active transportation contributes to improved fitness and health. The study found that, “Active commuting was positively associated with fitness in men and women and inversely associated with BMI, obesity, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin level in men. Active commuting should be investigated as a modality for maintaining or improving health.

This cross-sectional study included 2,364 participants already enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. The new study looked at participants who worked outside the home during year 20 of the CARDIA study. A number of factors were assessed to determine the effects of active commuting including body weight, obesity, fitness, blood pressure, and glucose/insulin levels.

Active Commuting and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

IF Club Racer

We have a new project in the works in conjunction with Rick Steele at Gold Country Cyclery. The frame is an Independent Fabrication Steel Club Racer. The parts list builds upon an Ultegra component group, with an Alfine dynamo hub, Mavic A719 rims, Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires, Honjo fenders, Nitto Noodle bar, Selle An-Atomica saddle, Schmidt Edelux headlight, Nitto Mark’s Rack, etc., etc. The remaining bits and pieces are yet to be determined. I hope to have a complete bike within the next few weeks, followed by a full review within the next couple of months.

Gallery: Gerard’s Patria Roadster

Here is my Commuter/Randonneuse bike, a steel framed Patria Roadster. It’s a comfortable bike with a cool feeling.

  • 9 speed SRAM internal gear hub
  • Moon bar
  • Brooks B17 narrow saddle
  • SKS pedals with Soma clips
  • Nitto front and rear racks
  • Rear canvas bag from Rivendell
  • Grand Bois tires
  • and — very important — a japanese brass bell from Velo Orange

—Gerard (Loire Valley, France)

[This bike reminds me of my old Tour Easy —ed.]

Alliance and Planet Bike Fund M-Path

Planet Bike continues to be an industry leader in bicycle advocacy:

Washington, D.C..- July 16, 2009 —The Alliance for Biking and Walking has awarded a $30,000 matching grant to Miami-based Green Mobility Network. The grant was made possible by Planet Bike and is the first in a series of special grassroots bicycle advocacy grants to be given by Planet Bike in 2009.

Green Mobility Network is a young non-profit with the mission to make Miami-Dade County a healthier, more livable community by promoting bicycling, running, and walking for daily transportation, leisure, and fitness. In its short history, the Green Mobility Network has been a key leader in Miami’s efforts to improve conditions for bicyclist and pedestrians by crafting the city’s first bicycle master plan, orchestrating six successful “Bike Miami Days,” and beginning the development of a Safe Routes to School initiative.

The grant will help fund Green Mobility Network’s “Complete the M-Path” campaign. The Mobility Path, or M-Path, is Miami-Dade County’s most important multi-use path. Currently, however, there exists a 1.25 mile “Dadeland Gap” which prevents bicyclists and pedestrians from safely and easily connecting with the area’s wider network of paths. Once the goal of closing the gap is realized, there will exist a seamless 30-mile bicycle-pedestrian corridor running from downtown Miami to the county’s southern border.

The Alliance, in conjunction with Planet Bike, selected this project for the dramatic impact it will have on improving biking and walking within a major American city. Planet Bike President Jeff Frehner said, “We were really impressed with the deep commitment of Green Mobility Network leaders, and we feel they have the organizational strength to see this project through to completion.”

“This grant will propel our work to close the gap that has kept many potential M-Path users away from jobs and opportunities.” said John Hopkins, chairman of the Green Mobility Network. “This will be a major step in offering alternatives to the historically car-centered community of South Florida.”

About the Alliance:
Alliance for Biking and Walking is the North American coalition of 140 grassroots biking and walking advocacy organization. The Alliance works to strengthen state and local organizations through grants, training, and sharing best practices and resources.

About Planet Bike:
Planet Bike designs high quality bicycle accessories that make it easier and safer for people to ride their bikes. Since its inception in 1996, Planet Bike has believed that the bicycle can improve our environment and our quality of life. Therefore, each year it has donated at least 25% of profits to causes that promote and facilitate the use of bicycles.

By providing the funds to complete the Mobility Path, this grant will directly benefit many bicyclists in the Miami area. Kudos to Planet Bike and the Alliance!

Planet Bike
Alliance for Biking and Walking

Brooklyn on Amsterdam

The Brooklyn Paper has posted an excellent article on the state of bicycling in that most bike-friendly of cities, Amsterdam. Bicycling in Amsterdam sounds like a dream; the biggest issue they face is a lack of sufficient bike parking due to the ever-increasing number of bicyclists — what a problem!

To cater to the ever-increasing number of cyclists, the city has installed 250,000 free bike racks, mandated that office buildings include indoor racks for employees, and installed a three-story bike garage on a barge beside Centraal Station that can house 4,000 bikes at a time.

But the racks are never enough, and cyclists often chain their rides to railings, street signs, and just about anything else that doesn’t move.

As would be expected, bike theft is a major issue as well, mostly due to the sheer number of bicycles available.

Although the crime has declined in recent years, thieves still hijack about 50,000 two-wheelers each year.

To curb the crooks, cops establish random checkpoints and repossess any bikes showing the telltale signs of theft: a missing built-in rear-wheel lock, an etched off identification number, or defaced bike shop plates.

All that said, Amsterdam is just about as close to a bicyclists’ Utopia as you’re going to find; bicyclists dominate the roads and demand respect with their sheer numbers (50 percent of residents use their bikes for transportation on a daily basis). Plus roadways are designed to favor bicyclists. For example, some bridges designate one lane for cars and the remainder for bicycles and pedestrians — exactly the opposite of what we see here in the U.S.

All of this came about by a long-term effort within government to reduce automobile use and increase bicycle and pedestrian travel. We can only hope that we someday see a widespread shift within this country that takes us in a similar direction.

Read the story in The Brooklyn Paper

Gallery: Chris’ Surly Long Haul Trucker

Here is my brand new Surly Long Haul Trucker. After hanging around your old site I moved over with you to the new site. I sold my Bacchetta Strada and I then purchased an Electra Amsterdam and began riding to work occasionally. Then I became interested in trying something that could handle a mid-life crisis. So after months of research, I settled on the Long Haul Trucker.  This bike will change my life. I absolutely LOVE IT! My bike shop had never sold one but they all commented when I went to pick it up, “Dude-have you RIDDEN this thing—it’s amazing!” I knew then that everyone was right. I’ve added a Tubus cargo rack, Rivendell King Grip pedals, SKS fenders, Edge 305 computer, and have a Brooks B17 on it’s way. I am even building a trailer to pull behind the trucker. Thanks for this site—it’s amazing and has had a big impact on my life.   —Chris

[Thank you, Chris! —Alan]

© 2011 EcoVelo™