Category Archives: Cycling

Edinburgh BMX wunderkind — Danny MacAskill

Not my usual cup’a, but you’ll see for yourself why this video is going viral in both the cycling and x-sports worlds.

If some of this stuff doesn’t give you goosebumps, you must be dead.

Something to smile about this moneyless Christmas

Radio Shack’s — sorry, that’s “The Shack” to you buster — improbably clever new multi-channel ad campaign.

The Shack is unexpectedly well positioned as a retailer of the less expensive electronics that are flying off the shelves this year — smartphones, PDAs, netbooks, Flips, cheap cameras. Why drag all the way down to the mall for something that only costs $99? Your retrograde Shack store is in some low-rent strip mall near you. And as we all keep our electronic devices just a little longer and longer, they’re also positioned as a reliable source for replacement parts, upgrades and repairs.

So it’s no accident that The Shack has suddenly emerged all over TV, with a very clever series of :15s. And no accident either that they’ve created a YouTube channel with all the executions. (We are hoping they were following Alan’s first rule of emarketing: Even if your Internet ad buy doesn’t cost a lot of money, you still have to bring your A game.) Cisco’s own Flip rebranding don’t hold a candle. From what I can glean from exactly ten seconds of Googling, The Shack’s new (as of April 2009) agency of record is Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners. While still not a Susan Boyle-level viral marketing home run, this is first-rate work, dudes.

Lance What's-His-Name Previews the Team Radio Shack Jersey

And don’t forget, either, that The Shack is now the inheritor — as name sponsor — of the US Postal Service/Discovery Channel cycling team that will feature at least 2 of the favorites for the 2010 Tour de France and other major cycling races — Lance What’s-His-Name and Levi Leipheimer. It will be interesting if they can leverage the ongoing Lance saga — especially if Lance outperforms athletically in the coming season — in ways that the USPS and Discovery Channel never did, and continue to revive a brand that until very recently was deeply mired in the past. Or worse, subject to the cruelest form of slacker ridicule.

Since she’s in the photo business, “Oh Snap,” below, is my wife’s favorite Shack execution:

CA anti-cyclist road rager convicted!

One for the good guys!

Despicable Mandeville Canyon/ER doctor road rager (see our earlier coverage here) who purposefully rode down two cyclists earlier this year was found guilty on all counts yesterday in a California courtroom.

Full coverage in Velonation is here. Dr. Christopher Thompson is being held without bail, and faces up to 10 years in jail. Cyclist Ron Peterson, who still has no sensation on his nose and other parts of his face which were severed in the incident, is quoted as saying he’s “happy justice has been served,” and hopes the case will highlight “how vulnerable cyclists are out there.” For these quotes, and an excellent overview of this whole case, see last night’s NPR All Things Considered coverage here.

For too long, the notion that one could, with complete legal impunity, cause all kinds of murder and mayhem behind the wheel of a car, then simply call it an “accident,” has left cyclists and pedestrians vulnerable and legally powerless. Bus ran over your head? Oops, sorry, it was just an accident!

This case will hopefully set a national precedent, that anger behind the wheel does not translate into a license to kill. One can only hope courts in New York State are listening.

The Funniest Cycling Video Ever

One of these guys is my hero. Can you guess which one?

More delightful cycling blogging from fellow WordPresser “Ritte Van Vlaanderen” here.

Share the Road, Share the Rage?

What is it about a bicycle?

Heaven knows, I don’t mean to be provocative or radical when I set out on my bike, my backside a brightly colored billboard, my nebbish noggin rocking a hopeful helmet.

I’m just a middle-aged guy who, having ceded the basketball court to younger, fitter men (the President! sigh!), is looking for some age-appropriate fun and exercise. But from the suburban soccer mom, late to corral her better-than-average but shockingly fragile offspring, to the rural teenager succinctly expressing himself with a well-aimed beer bottle, the response is the same: “Get off the d*mn road!” More threat than suggestion, two trials opening this week spell out how deadly a threat it can be.

Dr. Thompsons rear windshield after cyclist crashed through it. Photo by Chris Roberts

Dr. Thompson's rear windshield after cyclist crashed through it. Photo by Chris Roberts

Ron Peterson, whose nose was severed in the Mandeville Canyon incident.

Ron Peterson in the hospital after Mandeville Canyon incident.

In car-crazy Los Angeles, a successful doctor is charged with two counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, having exchanged heated words and then “brake-checked” a group of cyclists on the popular Mandeville Canyon Road, where he lives. Dr. Christopher Thompson, an emergency-room physician, did nothing to aid one cyclist who severed his nose crashing through the car’s rear window, or another who suffered a grade 3 shoulder separation and lay bleeding in the road. Thompson allegedly told responding officers he was “tired of” cyclists and wanted to “teach them a lesson.”

Former Attorney General Michael Bryant. Photo by Daniel Fox via Creative Commons.

Former Attorney General Michael Bryant. Photo by Daniel Fox via Creative Commons.

In bike-loving Toronto, the former Ontario District Attorney, Harvard Law School grad and rising star of Canada’s Liberal Party, Michael Bryant, faces trial for “criminal negligence causing death” and “dangerous driving causing death.” Bryant had a minor collision with a cyclist as he and his wife drove home from a dinner party. Words were exchanged. Bryant tried to drive away, but the cyclist, Darcy Allan Sheppard, clung to the side of the car. Bryant accelerated to what witnesses described as a very high rate of speed, and steering to the opposite curb, crashed Sheppard’s dangling body into a small tree, and then head first into a mailbox, killing him.

Who knew a simple bicycle ride could occasion such violence and anger? But then, we shouldn’t be surprised. This is, after all, the era of the town hall crier, of the second Brooks Brothers riot, the death throes of a decrepit political order upon us certain as $5 gasoline. Rage is all the rage. And whether we like it or not, bikes are suddenly a symbol, provocative as a liberal president. Still, I plan to ride again tomorrow.

[Note: This article was written for the Washington Post’s “America’s Next Pundit” contest.]

Enhanced surveillance video of the Toronto incident:

Witness statement from the Toronto incident:

Bike Lanes are not enough

An abject lesson from Paris. Bike lanes and “complete streets” are not adequate without proper enforcement and a proper “share the road” attitude from drivers both casual and professional.

How Cyclists are Changing American Cities

Pedaling Revolution
An important book for everyone interested in making American cities and suburbs more intelligent and safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

There’s an excellent review in The New York Times by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame, of all people.