Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Fahrradi

The Fahrradi is a 4 wheel, two person recumbent bicycle with a sporty exterior
Our weird bike this week is the Fahrradi. On the outside it looks like a fancy sports car. On the inside, it is a two-person, recumbent bicycle. It has an 11-speed hub, but unfortunately this does not give it the speed of a sports car. It features gull wing doors, which can be put into "Butterfly mode," which makes the doors flutter up and down while you're riding along. For more information, please visit the Fahrradi website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Touring Tuesday - The Alps

A cyclist's dream: Paved road, no cars & spectacular scenery all around (photo by Piaw Na)
This week's post features the 2014 tour through the Alps of Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein by Piaw Na and friends. Even though they started on June 30, the weather on the first day was very cold as they went through the mountains. Each day of their trip has a separate page on his blog, including a map with data such as total mileage, average speed and elevation gain. There are several photos for each day, featuring spectacular scenery. I was amazed at how many paved roads there were with very few cars on them. The blog also contains an occasional short video like the one below that shows the fog they had to deal with on a mountain pass.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Photo - Porcupine Rim Trail

I'm glad he stopped in time (photo courtesy of MTB Project)
This week's photo is a view from the UPS (Upper Porcupine Singletrack) trail in Utah. the trail is 2.2 miles long, and follows along the top of a cliff, at an altitude of over 7,000 feet. For more  information on the UPS Trail, visit the MTB Project website. Be sure to click on the "Virtual Ride."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday Video - The Parabike

The parabike can fly at speeds up to 8 knots
Here's an interesting comtraption - the parabike. It has a helium filled balloon to provide lift. The pilot pedals, which drives a big fan behind him to generate forward thrust. When the rudder is applied, the balloon remains essentially stationary, while the bike rotates underneath it. There is also an elevator which allows the craft to go up and down.

Here's the parabike in action:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Dolphin Bike

The Dolphin Bike (photo courtesy of Beached Miami)
Check out the "Dolphin Bike" which comes from Miami, home of the Miami Dolphins football team. In an April, 2011 Craigslist "Missed Connection" post, a guy wrote:

"I beep beep as I passed by on my green motorbike. I really liked your Dolphin styled bike. You're awesome!"

At the end of May in 2011, there was a Critical Mass Ride in Miami. Photos from the ride appeared on a website called Beached Miami. Among those photos were the ones shown at top and bottom of this post (Note the fin on her helmet in the bottom one). The lady's name is Regina, and she became known as "The Dolphin Bike Girl." Unfortunately her bike was stolen in November of 2011, when she had an accident and broke her wrist. Some scumbag pretended to come to her aid, but then stole her bike (It was not in dolphin mode at the time of the accident) while she was helpless. I haven't been able to find out if:
  • She ever got her bike back
  • Sher ever hooked up with the green motorbike guy.

Regina, a.k.a. "The Dolphin Girl"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Lake Baikal

Bicycle touring across the frozen Lake Baikal (photo courtesy of Sidetracked)
Two Germans, Andreas von He├čberg and Waltraud Schulze, decided to do a winter cycling expedition. They eventually set their sights on cycling over a frozen Lake Baikal. Now Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world by volume. In fact, it contains 20% of the world's liquid fresh water. It is the oldest lake in the world, and 80% of its fauna is found nowhere else in the world. It is also the deepest lake in the world, with a maximum depth of over one mile (By comparison, the maximum depth of Lake Superior is just over one-quarter of a mile).

Lake Baikal is also very remote, located in Siberia. It took five days by train to reach their starting point at the northern end of the lake. Their goal was to ride across the lake from north to south, a distance of about 400 miles. Their daily mileage ranged from 15 to 35 miles. They road from sunrise to sunset, which aren't that far apart in Siberia during January. Finding a good place to pitch their tent each night was a bit of a challenge. They didn't get much sleep their first night because the ice around them was moving and cracking. After that they either camped on the shore or found an area where the ice was quiet. After 27 days of cycling, they reached the village of Kultuk (population 3,700) at the south end of the lake. For more information about the trip, please visit their website, which has a map and lots of photos.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rio Olympic Cycling Results

Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland took the gold medal in the time trial
The Rio Olympics are now history, and I hope that you got a chance to see some of the cycling action. The men's road race was held on the first day of competition and the men's mountain bike race was held on the last day. Great Britain solidified its position as the dominant nation in cycling. They took home 12 medals, including six gold. The Netherlands won six, the United States five, and no other nation had more than three. British cyclists have also won four of the last five Tour de France races (one for Bradley Wiggins and three for Chris Froome). Bradley Wiggins was part of the British gold medal winning team pursuit. Froome failed to medal in the road race, but took home the bronze medal in the individual time trial. Mark Cavendish, who stands second all-time in Tour de France stage wins, took silver in the men's omnium.

Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland was participating in his last Olympics. In fact, this is his last season as a professional cyclist. He's finishing his career on a high note, winning a gold medal in the individual time trial.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday Video - The Buscycle

Passengers must pedal on the buscycle
Our featured video this week is "TU Buscycle - The Human Powered Bus". It is the creation of the Sustainable Research Unit at Tokyo University. It weighs a couple tons and can seat up to 20 passengers, who have to pedal to drive the vehicle forward at speeds up to 12 miles per hour. It requires at least four people pedaling to move the bus. I don't know what they do when they're down to only three people on the bus. The video runs for one minute and fifty-six seconds.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Cyclone

The human powered Cyclone can accommodate up to four passengers
This week's weird bike comes from The Future People, which is the husband and wife team of Cameron and Rachael Van Dyke. Both of them are designers and artists. Their Cyclone is a four wheeled bicycle, which is designed to be functional and stylish. Both occupants in the front pedal, and it can carry cargo and or two additional passengers. The shell is made of aluminum, and the interior includes leather and mahogany. They obviously didn't do any wind tunnel testing during the Cyclone's development.

Here is a video that shows them going out for the evening in the Cyclone. I like how they are all dressed up and wearing cycling shoes with cleats.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Touring Tuesday - The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Cyclists out on Kentucky's Bourbon Trail (photo courtesy of Broken Sidewalk)
If you would like to go cycling and visit some of Kentucky's bourbon distilleries, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is for you. Among the distilleries you can visit are:
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Wild Turkey
  • Four Roses
  • Jim Beam
  • Heaven Hill
  • Maker's Mark
There are three route options. The shortest is a 43 mile loop which visits three distilleries. If you want to visit all six distilleries, there is a short and a long route. The long (147 miles) route visits all the distilleries plus a couple historic sites, Perryville Battlefield State Park and Old Fort Harrod State Park. The Battle of Perryville was fought in the fall of 1862. Afterwards, Union forces held Kentucky for the remainder of the Civil War. The original Fort Harrod was built to defend Harrodsburg, one of Kentucky's oldest settlements. There is now a reconstructed fort in the park, along with the log cabin where Abraham Lincoln's parents married.

Here's a video about cycling the Kentucky Bourbon Trail:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pedal & Park

Pedal & Park provides attended bicycle parking
There is a Bicycle Indiana program in Indianapolis called Pedal & Park. They provide attended bicycle parking at numerous Indianapolis events, including:
  • Earth Day
  • Indianapolis 500
  • Indy Criterium
  • Brickyard 400
  • Penrod Arts Fair
You can find a complete list of events on their website. There is also a mailing list that you can sign up for to stay informed. This service is provided to cyclists at no charge. There are modest charges for the event organizers, but Pedal & Park relies on volunteers to staff the events. If you would like to help, please contact the program manager.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Friday Photo - Bikes in the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Three-wheeled bicycle leading in the host nation
As expected, the opening ceremonies for the Rio Olympics were fantastic. As a cyclist, I really liked the ladies on three-wheeled bikes preceding each nation's athletes. The woman in the photo is ahead of the Brazil delegation, which is why everyone in the crowd is looking behind her.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Photo - Bananas on a Bike

I know cyclists like bananas, but this is ridiculous!
Our photo this week comes from Uganda. It features two hard-working men using a bicycle to transport their bananas to market. I don't know how many bananas they have, but it's obviously a lot. Since an average banana weighs about one-third of a pound, there's quite a bit of weight on that bike. I hope they don't have to go too far or up any steep hills.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The New 2017 Scott Spark Mountain Bike - 1749 Grams - Bred to WIN

"You want to race? This is your weapon..."



"... there are few bikes as successful on the race circuit as the new Spark, and the new version cements itself at the top by shaving serious weight. -

Scott's approach to the new Spark was simple - make a bike that will perform for the best riders but one that can still be used by everyone.

Despite the simple look of the bike, it is packed with technical features and details. Exquisitely detailed, built to perfection.

The new generation of Spark frame contains a dedicated RC collection which comprises the lightest and most race-driven mountain bikes that Scott has ever built.

The new RC family consists of 16 high-end, race dedicated models. The RC family includes all options- HT or full suspension, 27.5" or 29" wheel size geometries. All RC models come with 100mm of travel.

The engineers at Scott continue to dial in geometry that results in better fit, control, and ride quality.

The new Spark has a 1.3 degree slacker head tube angle, 13mm shorter chainstay, and a steeper seat tube angle. The reach has been lengthened by 17mm, as well as the stack being 17mm lower. And the full suspension platform offers best bump sensitivity and bottom out resistance as well as a good mid-stroke support

The new pivotless swingarm allows the rear triangle to be moulded in just two continuos carbon parts, where the older version was made up from 18 seperate parts. The 130g saving is where most of the weight has been taken from the frame. The rear end will now give a few degrees of flex to allow the suspension to do its thing, instead of a bushing pivot and all its hardware.

The Boost Technology results in increased wheel stiffness and improved tire clearance. On the Spark project, we wanted to go beyond the basics and reap all the benefits of this innovation by optimizing frame design and geometry.

All this technology goes directly into the trail bike and 27plus frames, which are identical. And while the Spark RC is single ring only, the Spark and 27plus bikes are single or double compatible.

Scott worked with Syncros to develop a new component line that follows the philosophy of the new bikes: reduce weight, add comfort, and increase structural rigidity.

Stay tuned to our blog for more information about NEW Scott bikes!

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Thursday Video - Zach Grimmett

Zach Grimmett landing on a ramp
This week's video is a short one on Instagram. It shows Zach Grimmett riding his BMX bike at a local skate park. In this video he does a number of tricks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Bicycle Built for Three

That guy in front doesn't look comfortable
This week's weird bicycle comes from Bikewrter's Blog. Now I have seen triple bicycles before, and generally they look just like a tandem, but with another saddle and set of pedals. I don't understand this contraption. The guy in front looks really uncomfortable. The one in the middle looks like he has a pretty normal configuration, while the guy in the back looks like he's setting in a super-sized child seat, and holding onto weird handlebars. What really confuses me is that there appears to be only one crank. Are they all try trying to pedal one crank? I don't see how that can work very well.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Cycling South America

On the road in Brazil

 He traveled through Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. Sean had a low opinion of the driving in Argentina, and a semi-truck once hit his helmet with its trailer. When he asked an expatriate from the Netherlands why the Argentines were such bad drivers, he was told "It's the Italian in them."

Sean went all the way down the continent to Tierra del Fuego, where it was cold and windy. On one of those days he wrote "There comes a time when this is no longer fun." When he traveled back north from Tierra del Fuego he traveled over 100 kilometers on a gravel road.

Sean's home was in Ireland. He flew into and out of Buenos Aires. Flying back home was difficult. A Patagonian volcano erupted, and the ash cloud caused the cancellation of his flight from Salta to Buenos Aires. Eventually, the ash subsided and Sean was able to return to Ireland.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Oliver the Basket Dog Passes Away

Oliver modeling our pet basket
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Oliver the Dog. He was 17 years old and is survived by his owners. Oliver became famous when he modeled our pet basket (holds pets up to 8 pounds in weight). When one of our distributors used Oliver's photo in their catalog without his permission, Oliver wanted to sue them for a box of Milk Bones. Fortunately, we were able to convince him it was important to stay on good terms with our suppliers.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Photo - Olympic Cycling

The U.S. is the favorite for gold in women's team pursuit at the Rio Olympics
The Rio Olympics open tonight. Cycling is one of five sports that have been contested in all modern Olympics. In Rio there will be road, track, mountain bike and BMX events for men and women. France leads the all time cycling medal count with 41 golds and 89 total medals. The United States stands fifth with 14 gold medals and 52 total. The first cycling event will be the men's road race on Saturday, August 6.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thursday Video - Colombian Downhill Street Race

Start of the race
This week's video shows a Colombian street race from the perspective of one rider. The route includes going down a number of stairs, and over some jumps. The video is two minutes and eight seconds long. The first 28 seconds are just waiting at the start, but after that the action is fast and furious.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Tall Bed Frame Bike

The Bed Frame bike
I couldn't find out much about this week's weird bike. It's made from a bed frame and was featured in a 1948 bicycle pageant. This photo is from the Life magazine collection.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Touring Tuesday - The Erie CanalWay Trail

One of the sights along the Erie Canalway Trail
The Erie Canalway Trail in New York State is a great option if you are looking for a lengthy, relatively flat trail with lots of history. The Erie Canal first opened in 1821, and greatly aided America's westward expansion. Today, cyclists can ride 360 miles along the canal from Buffalo to Albany. Most of the trail is crushed limestone, and there are a few segments that are on roads. Along the route  there are restaurants, campgrounds, bed & breakfasts and motels. If you travel east, from Buffalo to Albany, there is an elevation drop of over 500 feet.

It's pretty easy to do on your own, but there are other options if you want someone else to handle the logistics. There is an annual ride that spends eight days traveling the full length of the trail. There are also a couple companies that do tours of the trail, Classic Adventurers and Wilderness Voyageurs.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tippecanoe & Bicycles Too

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the Panhandle Pathway
 The Tippecanoe & Bicycles Too ride will start from the Winimac Depot at 7:00 A.M. this Saturday. Ride length choices include 12, 28, 44 and 65 miles. All rides use at least some of the Panhandle Pathway, a 21-mile paved trail running from Winimac to within a mile of France Park near Logansport. The ride is a fund-raiser for Friends of the Panhandle Pathway, which maintains the trail.