Show #608 – August 11, 2022

Guests: Heather Dowd; Josh Poertner

Want to tour Italy?  Want to tour Italy and learn about the culture, the food, the wine, and some of the areas many tour companies don’t visit?

Heather Dowd, who along with her husband Beppe Salerno, own and operate Tourissimo – an “Italy Only” tour company that is both innovative and culture-rich, was recently featured in Forbes Magazine in an article that delved into women who own companies such as hers.

We’ll explore Tourissimo’s tour options, how Heather thinks about women and cycling, and a lot more when she joins me in a moment.




Then, we’ll speak with Josh Poertner.  Josh is the owner of Silca – yep that iconic company that makes the Silca pumps and now, a whole lot more.

Cycling Tips did an interview with Josh about what is becoming a nightmare to small businesses like his – counterfeit goods, fraud, and theft – and the new rules he had to implement in regard to returns – thousands of dollars of often fraudulent returns!

In a conversation that runs the gamut from what Silca has had to do to cope with fraud, counterfeit product, and outright theft to the future of the independent bike shop and how brands like Silca will fare as the industry continues to consolidate, Josh Poertner has some deep understanding and an ability to make it clear to anyone listening.

At mid-show, I mention two interesting events that are coming up.

First,  Classic Bicycles Auburn is a celebration of vintage lightweight bicycles that will be held at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum August 26th to the 28th.  You can register for all three days or a-la-carte for any of the many options including the exhibits, the swap-meet, and the rides that are being offered each day.  For more information, log on to classicbicyclesauburn.com

And if you can’t get to Indiana for the Classic Bicycles Auburn event, how about going to Pittsburgh for what is one of the oldest and most respected rides in the U.S.?  Pedal Pittsburgh started way back in 1994 and is the largest ride in Pennsylvania. This year, the date is August 28th and you can register for the event at pedalpgh.org/register

Show #607 – August 3, 2022

Guests: Gary Fisher; Buzzy Cohn

He’s funny, irreverent, and now he’s FREE to be himself – 100% of the time.

Gary Fisher, whose 29-year relationship with Trek ended this year, is on a tear.

And now that Gary Fisher is free to be himself – no more Gary and Pony shows with Trek as brand ambassador – he’s finding a lot of interest in people wanting to collaborate on any of a number of projects.

Recently back from Eurobike in Germany, I rang him up and we just started chatting… talking about everything from hydroforming to motors and transmissions and 3D printing and of course his book – Being Gary Fisher. And, being Gary Fisher has been a lifelong pursuit of bikes and all things bike related.

 

If you’ve ever had to file a claim on your homeowner’s policy for anything beyond a catastrophic occurrence, you may have found that either a. your deductible was outrageous and/or b. your insurance would be either cancelled or the rates would skyrocket.

Victim of a nasty bike crash a few years ago, Buzzy Cohn learned that his “comprehensive” homeowner’s insurance wasn’t so comprehensive.  What he found out led him on a quest that has produced a brand-new insurance product exclusively for your bicycles.

So, what’s a cyclist to do?  Let’s ask CEO of bikeinsure, Buzzy Cohn.  He has some answers.

Show #606 – July 20, 2022

Guests: Bill Nesper; Dan Cavallari

Today, the question is – What is possible by bike?

With a new infrastructure bill, money in the coffers to build protected bike lanes and connect them, and more people riding eBikes, a whole lot more than we’ve ever experienced is possible.

My first conversation is with Bill Nesper, the executive director of the League of American Bicyclists.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the League is our action committee on the ground to whisper in the ears of Congress about getting bicycle deals done. Bill and I talk about an urgent action alert to stop the defunding of the DOT – wait, what? Who would want to defund a program that is already appropriated?  My guess is you can guess who.

Then, don’t forget to go to bikeleague.org and sign-up for the League’s e-newsletter to get your action alerts and other Bike League news and information.  And, join the Drive Less_Bike More Challenge!

In the second half of the show, I want to introduce you to Dan Cavallari, the Slow Guy on the Fast Ride.

Dan was tech editor for Velo News for 6 years and now out on his own, he’s writing, riding, podcasting, playing guitar, and sipping good whiskey – he’s got a lot of cool things going.

For this year’s Tour de France, Dan Cavallari thought he’d try something different from what he’d done in the past.

Usually traveling with the rest of the journalists, Dan flew himself AND his trusty Merlin Road bike over to Copenhagen to “follow the tour” for a few stages.

He quickly figured out that, a. you don’t need a fancy road bike in Copenhagen, and he got most of the work he wanted to do done in the first five days.  Then, he flew back to the States to follow the Tour from home.

I caught up with him on Day 11 of the race and, if you have been watching, you know THAT was the day… the very day of the most exciting stage in YEARS!  (If you haven’t been watching, Dan says you need to at least see Stage 11.)

Show #605 – July 9, 2022

Guest: Peter Nye

The history of American Bike Racing is actually long, storied, and full of amazing characters.

Peter Nye, who has probably forgotten more than any of us might ever have known about that history – except, I’m not certain he’s ever really forgotten any of it –is a veritable encyclopedia of facts and great stories about the sport.

For example, our conversation starts out with the little-known fact that there was an American Olympian – Art Longsjo – who competed in both the 1956 Winter AND Summer Olympics.

And, in 1985, when Greg LeMond was heading for the TdF – Peter knew that someone who had the wherewithal to win once, could win multiple times.

As our conversation unfolds, we look at the history of bicycles and bike racing from Peter’s unique first-person perspective.

Heart of Lions, The History of American Bicycle Racing is one of those books hat not only gives you the colorful story of our sport in the U.S. but also serves to offer you a reference guide to so many aspects of US bike racing.

 

On our next episode I’ll be speaking with blogger and former tech editor for Velo News, Dan Cavallari.  He’s also Mr. Slow Guy On The Fast Ride and is just back from France where he had a close-up and personal view of the first few stages of the Tour de France.  We’ll get his perspective and maybe even some predictions about the race.

 

 

Show #604 – June 27, 2022

Guests: Laurens Winkel; Glenn Frommer

This week, we are going to talk about sailing – and biking – and river cruising – and biking… with Boat Bike Tours.

Unlike a lot of European tours, Boat Bike Tours emphasizes the boat as well as the bike, giving you 4 basic options for the type of tour you might want.  You can download one or more of a series of Ebooks that offer stories and inspiration.  And, in their effort to be the most socially conscious of businesses, there is an entire section on sustainability and what BoatBikeTours does to work towards that.

In the second half of the show, we speak with Glenn Frommer.  Glenn was home for a short break before heading out again to pick up the remainder of his 5300-mile cross country adventure – Ride For PKD.

It’s hereditary, there is no cure, and you will end up on dialysis and the kidney transplant list if you have PKD.  Hoping for new technologies and breakthroughs, Glenn Frommer isn’t waiting around – he’s immersed in knowing all about his disease and struck out to raise money as well as awareness, riding from California to Massachusetts this summer.

To date, and with 3100 miles to go, he’s almost met his goal – so, I told him to up it!

Show #603 – June 18, 2022

Guests: Allison Burson & Kristine Keeney – ECG Guests: Sara Studdard & Zoe Kircos – City Thread

With flowers in bloom and trees in full leaf, we look to put the cold weather behind us and take to the paths and trails.

Which takes me to our first guests – Allison Burson, National Director, and Kristine Keeney, Northern New England Manager – with the East Coast Greenway.  

It’s been almost a year since I’ve checked in with the Greenway and with all the great legislative wins, state and local funding options, and a carbon reduction program, I wanted to hear how things are percolating along the trails.

 

In the second half of the show, we learn about City Thread – a new non-profit start-up that has been leading the charge in getting trails done – FAST.

When we look at our local cycling and walking infrastructure, are we seeing great networks of connected paths and trails?

In some places that answer is yes, even here in the U.S.

But, in many places, that answer is not only no, there isn’t even much of a plan in place, or that plan, having been on the drawing board for years if not decades, still only sports a series of disconnected and unprotected byways.

But, what if you could harness the powers that be – local, state, federal – and especially every-day folks like you and me, and get our dream networks finished and paid for – quickly and efficiently?

Sara Studdard and Zoe Kircos are two of the three principals at CityThread and in a relatively short time they’ve taken their combined 50 years of experience in urban planning, marketing, communications, equitable public participation, fundraising, grant making, community engagement, strategic planning, and campaign management to bring hundreds of miles of trails to fruition.

When they were working with People for Bikes, Sara and Zoe , along with Kyle Wagenschutz, who has been on the show in the past, collaborated to plan and implement the Final Mile – a project that took 5 cities including Providence, RI and Austin, Tx,, either of which had a comprehensive mobility plan for protected bikeways, and from soup to nuts, completed hundreds of miles of connected trails in under three years.

And, as a side note, if you like following cross-country riders – you know – voyeuristically speaking  – you can follow our friend Mike Ball.  His photos are breathtaking and his blog is excellent.  You can find it at Mike’s Life On A Bike .

Show #602 – May 25, 2022

My first guest is Dave Wiens, the executive director of IMBA – the International Mountain Bike Association.  We’ve spoken with Dave in the past and I always learn so much about mountain biking.

This conversation is a bit different though because it isn’t just about mountain biking – it’s about trails – all kinds of trails, and what it takes to build them, finance them, maintain them, and ferret out the best places to build them.

As Dave says – “IMBA’s all about helping communities realize the best possible trail system that they could have…”

In our conversation, IMBA Executive Director Dave Wiens gives us some great insight into how trails are found, funded, and maintained as well as how you can find local trails with crowd sourced apps like Trail Force and MTB Project as well as IMBA’s Trail Champions.

Then, we speak with the Amanda Carey, the president of NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.

In the past, we’ve learned about the organization, but it’s been morphing and growing at an amazing rate, and I thought revisiting it right now would be a nice complement to my conversation with Dave Wiens.

In fact, in my conversation with Amanda, you’ll hear some familiar commentary because the work NICA does with kids leads right into the long-term goals that IMBA has too.

Starting as a volunteer for NICA, the National Interscholastic, Cycling Association, back in 2015, Amanda Carey has risen to President of the organization.  Her unbridled enthusiasm for the organization is evident, as you will hear in our conversation.

NICA – which was founded in California in 2009 with one school – now has 31 leagues in 29 states with 27,000 kids and 14,000 coaches.  It almost boggles the mind!

Show #601 – May 9. 2022

Guests: Noa Banayan; Steve Magas

This week we speak with Noa Bayanan.  Noa is the Director of Federal Policy for People for Bikes, and she helps us unpack the America’s Recreation Act of 2022.  This a bi-partisan piece of legislation that was introduced in the Senate in November of last year.

This bill provides for additional recreation opportunities and facilitates greater access to federal public lands

In it, there are two bills that pertain specifically to bicycling – one that helps to open up and connect “long trails” and the second that frees up some time and hassle for tour directors, ride directors, and even race directors who are tasked with the permits required to use state and federal lands.

Here is the information on how to contact your legislator(s) regarding the Recreation Act of 2022.

My second guest is Steve MagasThe Ohio Bike Lawyer.  

While I intended to just sort out the crash statistics for Ohio, hoping to be able to extrapolate them across the country, we actually do a lot more than that, diving into some of the reasons that fatalities – which were very high in the 1970’s began to decline until the early 2000’s – then began an upward trajectory.

In 2021, 21 people were killed on our roadways while riding their bikes.  In 2022, it was even more devastating when the total rose to 28.

Attorney Steve Magas has been tracking the statistics on fatalities as well as noting other pertinent facts in Ohio and Kentucky for many years.  In our conversation, Steve gives us some very important and detailed information about what is and isn’t important when it comes to being involved in a crash in addition to some observations about how and why things are so much worse these days.

Here is the information on the Ohio Bike Federation and the maps mentioned on the show.

Show #600 – April 23, 2022

Guest: David Zipper

It’s a milestone. Today, is our 600th episode! Yep – 600… and looking back to that very first episode in September, 2010, it just doesn’t seem possible that it’s been over 11 years!  My heartfelt thanks to WJCU for hosting and supporting the show!

This week, we are going to talk about Vision Zero and why it is achieving its goals across the globe – except for the U.S.

When on-the-road fatalities are down 30-50% in other countries, they are up by double digits in some states here.

And, David Zipper thinks we need to get mad – really mad – to bring attention to the carnage that is happening on our roads.

David is a visiting fellow at Harvard-Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government. He is a contributing writer at Bloomberg City Lab and has written extensively for Slate, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Wired.

His abiding interests in cities, mobility, transportation, and safety along with his broad and deep background in government, finance, and more, have all combined to give him a unique and authoritative perspective on what we need to do to get our heads on straight about how we live and how we move.

Click on the link for his article on Vision Zero in Bloomberg.

Show #599 – April 16, 2022

Guest: Paul Sadoff – Rock Lobster Cycles

This week, my guest is Paul Sadoff.  Paul and I haven’t connected since our last conversation in 2014 and when I saw a post of his come up on FB, I knew it was time.

One of the many victims of COVID was bike shows .  From NAHBS to the Builder’s Ball, we’ve missed being able to mingle among the artisans whom we’ve both admired and, in some cases, aspired to emulate.

So, when I saw a post on Paul’s FB page talking about something called “Guest House” I wanted to know about it and of course, catch up with him.

Turns out, it was quite the “thing!”  From a celebrity chef to some of the high rollers – like Chris King, The Sycips, and of course Paul himself, the show might have been small, but it was attended.

Paul Sadoff started building bikes in 1988 and is still building almost 100 frames a year.  He still sponsors a racing team, and he still loves and plays music.

UPDATES FROM PREVIOUS EPISODES:

Afghan Cyclists

Over the last few months, I’ve spoken about the women cyclists of Afghanistan.  To date, they are not allowed to ride bicycles or go to school in the country.  Many are not back at their jobs.  The Taliban is not living up to its promises – although, I’m not certain anyone really believed they would.

The original 25 women who were evacuated by my friend and colleague Shannon Galpin are FINALLY heading to Canada after 7 months in limbo in the UAE.  Once in Canada, they will begin rebuilding their lives.

Since then, there are 80 more cyclists who are being safeguarded around the globe and another 70 in safe houses still in Afghanistan who are waiting for the right time to leave.  Most are in hiding.

The situation becomes more dire as resources in and to Afghanistan dwindle and, with the world focuses on Ukraine, we might forget the Afghans for a time.

If you want to help, here is what Shannon says and a link to the current fund raising organization.

“All of the fundraising is going directly through the human rights organization iProbono who will be handling all of the funds as it’s a registered charity! I am working with them to ensure a long-term oversight for the safeguarding of the cyclists and ongoing evacuations.”

Dmitry Nechaev

Here is a quick update on Russian frame builder Dmitry Nechaev.  As you may remember, he left Russia at the beginning of the Ukraine invasion at the urging of his family and fled to Israel.

His family FINALLY made it out of Russia a couple of weeks ago – his wife, children, Mother, Mother-in-Law, AND the family dog all arrived safely in Tel Aviv.

He is hoping to have his company, Triton Bikes, up and running again soon.

Flags For Ukraine

Lastly, just a reminder that you can help the Ukraine war effort with the purchase of a Ukrainian flag or lapel pin at ukraineflags.org.  The money will buy medical supplies for the front lines.