Category Archives: Bike Tech

Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles Opens for Business

Cargo Bike startup Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles officially launched their website www.urbantribecargobicycles.com on 7/12/17. Urban Tribe will be building cargo bikes locally in Denton, TX to ship nationwide. The Danish-inspired family cargo bike design is one of the first of its kind to be sold in the United States.

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The idea for the business came during a family trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. Commonly known as the Bicycle Capital of the World, where 50 percent of residents commute daily by bicycle on 250 miles of bicycle lanes. Aaron Powell, Urban Tribe founder observed, “Not only were there no SUVs on the road, there were large 3-wheeled cargo bikes everywhere that were transporting children to school, grocery stores, and playgrounds. I knew our family needed to get one when we came back home! We found that no one was selling a bike like this anywhere in the country, so Urban Tribe was born.”

Urban Tribe’s flagship cargo bike model “The Gatherer”, stands out from typical bike trailers and child bicycle seats with the following features:

  • Cargo box is in front of the handlebars, allowing parents to talk to their children
  • Can carry up to 4 children and 220 pounds
  • Equipped with an electric assist motor for with hills and heavy loads.
  • Shipped assembled and ready to ride.

On launching the website, Urban Tribe founder Aaron Powell commented: “Our cargo bikes are going to change how the American family travels with their kids. For those living in the city, it is a true car-killer. After months of preparation, I am thrilled to finally show off our bikes to the world!”

About Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles:

  • Founded in 2017 to make cargo bicycle for urban families.
  • The first batch are in production and are available for pre-order at www.urbantribecargobicycles.com .
  • The bikes will be ready to ship, and be available for local pickup in Denton, TX at the end of September 2017.

Press release here: https://urbantribecargobicycles.com/pages/denton-tx-based-cargo-bike-company-opens-for-business

The Albany Bicycle Coalition provides the above information solely as a service to our members and the public.

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The Bicycle Beautiful – DIY

Author Kathy McGee provides comprehensive instructions for making your own bicycle accessories in her book “The Happy Bicycle – Make Fifteen Stylish Bicycle Accessories,” Stash Books, © 2014 ($5 – used, $18 – new).

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While several projects are suitable for construction pre-teens or scout troops, serval require at least moderate sewing skills. In this former category lie saddle covers, flower, bumblebee and ladybug bicycle bells (a glue together project), handlebar streamers, and a jeans “clincher.”

More advanced projects include several panniers/bags – all with apparent attention to functionality while not sacrificing attractive styles. There are cold weather knitted and sewn rainy-day helmet covers and a skirt guard for commuting. There is even a picnic basket for a relaxed visit to the Corning Riverfront Park and a ride on the CDPHP Cycle! BikeShare bicycles.

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The book leads with some helpful hints on the techniques, fabrics and supplies/equipment needed for the projects. Templates or patterns are included for some of the projects.

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(From Amazon)

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Kathy McGee graduated from the (NY’s) Rhode Island School of Design. She has designed apparel and accessories for large retail companies but her love of textiles, handicrafts, and bicycling led her to start her own sewing pattern and fabric design company, Hemma Design. She is passionate about creating functional-yet-fun accessories and draws her inspiration from Scandinavian design and the contrasting seasons of the northern climate. Kathy lives … with … an ever expanding collection of bicycles. For more information, visit www.hemmadesign.com .

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From the Ashes – A Classic Motobecane Super Mirage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYears ago, when people were cleaning out all the French, English, and Japanese bicycles that they bought during the 70s and 80s, one could find almost anything on the curb in the City of Albany on “trash night.” Now it seems that all the cleaning out is over and the owners are in assisted living or Albany Rural.

All that is left is beat-up mountain bikes from WallyMart.

In any case, on one dedicated night-time venture around 10 years ago, the subject of this post showed up – a Motobecane “Super Mirage” with all the features – SunTour VX, Weinmann center pulls, proprietary drop bars, crank arms and seat, Lyotard pedals with Christophe toe clips, Weinmann rims, Dia Compe brake levers, and beautiful black finish with red and gold highlights. (Other color choices for this model were “New Blue” (dull) or “Champagne Gold” (ugly).)

After a lot of disassembly, degreasing, polishing (and more polishing), waxing, and re-assembly, we have a beautiful example of the many French bicycles that flooded the bicycle shops of the area. (This sample came from the Eagles Nest in Delmar.)

See you on the street …

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Wind-Blox – Cut That Wind Noise

Bothered by the rush of wind through and around you helmet as you zip along on your 10-speed? Wind-Blox claims to be the #1 most effective wind noise blocker. You can test this claim for $17.95 (Feb 2017 price).

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This simple device, composed of long narrow pads that are affixed to the helmet’s forward straps with hook-and-loop closures, closes the gap between your cheeks and the straps thereby cutting the rush of wind along the side of your face.

Do they work? Wind-Blox wisely states, “We recommend occasionally lifting your helmet straps away from your face to experience the difference with and without Wind-Blox.”

While there are competitors on the market, yes, the Wind-Blox – using the above test – does reduce the annoying rush of wind and, at the same time, enhances one’s chances of hearing other sounds such as the howl of the cat you just hit.

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Madonna del Ghisallo – Patroness of Cyclists

madonna-del-ghisallo-large-14kt-gold-medal-5986lgMadonna del Ghisallo (Patroness of Cyclists – Madonna del Ghisallo (Ghee-SAL-low) also known as Our Lady of Ghisallo or Madonna of Ghisallo)

The legend is that in late Middle Ages in the Lombardy District of Central Italy (see map) in the hill above Lake Cuomo, Our Lady appeared to Count Ghisallo who was being robbed by highway men. He was praying for help when he saw the apparition. Count Ghisallo ran to it and was miraculously saved.  An alternative legend is that Count Ghisallo was near the village of Magréglio when attacked. Spotting an image of the Virgin Mary in a roadside shrine, he broke away from his attackers and ran to it. There he took refuge, pled for Our Lady‘s protection – and miraculously the vision of the Blessed Virgin scared off the highwaymen. In gratitude, the count started praying to her for protection and told the story to anyone who would listen. He instituted a roadside shrine with flowers and candles.

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The Virgin Mary under this title was originally prayed to for the protection of local travelers. As the story gained credibility among the locals, the count eventually replaced the makeshift shrine with a small chapel he funded. Through the years the legend grew. Once the chapel was built, clergy were assigned officially to maintain it. The patronage of Our Lady of Ghisallo evolved from humble foot travelers to recreational bicyclists. These recreational cyclists passed the idea of the protection from robbers to bicycle racers looking for safety from crashes and injury. They must have documented these cases (i.e., official miracles ascribed the intersession of the Madonna del Ghisallo) because Pope Pius XII established Our Lady of Ghisallo as the patroness of cyclists on October 13, 1949. This was at the request of Father Ermelindo Vigano, pastor at the shrine. There is an eternal flame that burns in memory of the cyclists who are no longer with us, and services are held each Christmas Eve and the Feast of All Souls to commemorate them.

The chapel is fitting because the Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy), bicycle race goes past the shrine built by Count Ghisallo at the top of the Ghisallo climb (the Passo del Ghisallo). The chapel is the finish line for the annual, one-day classic Giro di Lombardi race, and is a regular feature (once every two or three years) stage route of the Giro d’Italia. The shrine includes a cycling museum and a memorial to cyclists who have died.

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The Chapel

The chapel gathered a collection of cycling memorabilia. Bicycle frames, whole bicycles, and jerseys festooned its walls. Over the years, great champions such as Felice Gimondi, Gianni Motta, Francesco Moser, Gino Bartali, Eddy Merckx, Alfredo Binda, Guiseppe Saronni, Mario Cipollini, Gilberto Simoni, and Stefano Garzelli contributed race-worn gear to the chapel. It was believed that one could not be considered a serious champion or potential champion until one donated a jersey or bicycle for display in the chapel. The memorabilia eventually overran the space, and cheapened the spiritual intent of the chapel. In 2000, construction was started 200 yards from the chapel for a Museum of Cycling with the blessing of Pope John Paul II. When the museum was near completion, Pope John Paul′s successor, Pope Benedict XVI, blessed the corner stone on May 31, 2006.

 

One of the great talisman for both professional and amateur bike racers and for cycling enthusiasts all over the world is the Madonna del Ghisallo bicycle medallion. The medal incorporates a crank ring, and the Madonna and Child are framed by a bicycle chain. Even Pope Benedict was the recipient of a custom wooden bicycle with a Madonna del Ghisallo badge affixed.italy_bike

If you are a cyclist or know someone who is, you can purchase a small medal as a reminder of Our Lady’s protection.

Legend – http://saints.sqpn.com/madonna-del-ghisallo/

Museum – http://museodelghisallo.it/

Passo del Ghisallo – Bellagio –

The Climb – http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo%20del%20Ghisallo%20&qryMountainID=2905

See also – Notre Dame des Cyclistes – The chapel of Notre-Dame des Cyclistes is situated in the commune of Labastide-d’Armagnac in Les Landes département in Aquitaine, France. The chapel is all that remains of a 12th-century fortress of the Knights Templar. The Château de Géou was razed by the Black Prince in 1355. It was listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture on 27 February 1996. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre_Dame_des_Cyclistes

See also – http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=748190

The (Motor)cyclist’s Prayer [SOURCE: http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=2115] – O, dear Father, I ask for you to watch over me as I ride from Point A to Point B. Help all other motorists to see me clearly and help me to stay out of their way. Bring me back to my family in one-piece dear God, these things I pray. Amen.

Blessing of a Wagon or other Vehicle [SOURCE: http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=368] – Be gracious, O Lord God, to our prayers and bless this vehicle with Thy right hand. Send Thy holy angels to accompany it that they may keep from all evils those who ride in it; and as once Thou didst grant faith and grace through Thy deacon Philip to the Ethiopian riding in his chariot and reading the word of God, so now show the way of salvation to Thy servants that, always given to good works, they attain to everlasting joys after the vicissitudes of the journey and of this life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Translated by Most Reverend J. H. Schlarman Bishop of Peoria)

madonnaBlessing of the Bicycles – Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, we come to you in prayer and thanksgiving. In a world burdened by motorized transportation and consumption, we give you gracious thanks for the wondrous bicycle, on which we enjoy the goodness and beauty of your creation while improving our fitness and health. We ask you to protect the children who ride or who are learning to ride. We ask you to keep all riders, leisure riders to elite athletes, safe from accidents. We ask you to protect all riders from anger and theft. We ask you to give us skill to ride in all sort of conditions, and to help us forgive those who are negligent and mean. We ask you, in thanksgiving for those who build or repair bicycles, that you will guide them to be diligent and competent in their work. Heavenly Father, be with us now and bless us as we dedicate these bicycles and their use to the preservation of lives to your honor and praise. Grant us faith to know your gracious purpose in all things. Give us joy in them and lead us to use all your gifts, including our bikes, with wisdom, compassion, patience and love. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Fr. Michael Gorchov, Rector, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 58 Third St. Troy, NY 12180
8/13/16 ~ http://stpaulstroy.org/

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