Show #653 – July 13, 2024

Guests: Tom Bilcze; Sela Musa

Finally, we will begin our series on cycling trails and paths.  I did hear from quite a few of you about your favorites and we will begin the series here in my home state, Ohio.

Tom Bilcze is the president of the Ohio to Erie Trail Foundation and he has ridden almost every inch of the 326 mile route from The Ohio River to Lake Erie.  Tom will offer us some of the highlights of the trail along with some great information about how to plan your trip including an interactive map.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Tom and, since then, I’ve been following his postings on FB as he rides up towards us here on the shores of Lake Erie.  My conversation with Tom details much of what he is seeing as he moseys along. 

Find out more about the Ohio to Erie Trail at ohiotoerietrai.org – and plan your trip with the interactive map

 

In the second part of the show, I welcome Sela Musa, a reporter for ZAG Daily, an online portal to The Business of Sustainabile Mobility.  Sela will walk us through the EU’s Declaration of Cycling which, while not a mandate, sets forth 8 principles and 36 commitments around sustainability through cycling that the EU and its member states have agreed to commit to.

On April 3rd, the EU Declaration on Cycling was signed by all the EU Transport Ministers in Brussells.  My guest, Sela Musa, wrote in her article for ZAG Daily that “It was a historic milestone for cycling.”

Sela is here to detail the Declaration and tell us about ZAG, the publication she works for that covers “The Business of Sustainable Mobility.”

You can check out ZAG Daily on line where you get a taste of tech, trends, people, and places as well as sign up for their newsletter. 

I hope you enjoyed the show and invite you to send me information on your favorite trails for future reporting.  You can email me at outspokencyclist@gmail.com

One last thing – my thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for including me in their webinar on July 9th about Podcasting for Bicycle Advocates.  It was a fun conversation, and you are welcome to take a listen.

Transcript_July 13

 

 

Show #652 June 13, 2024

Guests: Carla Francome interviews Diane

On my last show, I spoke with London cycling advocate and the truly delightful Carla Francome.  Not a moment after we ended our conversation, Carla sent me a note asking if SHE could interview ME.

Carla had many questions for me, and I hope I didn’t bend her ear too much.

She asked me about my childhood, how I got into the bike business, and of course, about Brian.

I’ve created a gallery of some of the photos we spoke about and you can check out Brian’s great “Be Careful What You Wish For” post,  Bike Cleveland and its executive director Jacob Van Sickle, Ben Serotta, and The Ohio Erie Canal Towpath.

As for some of the books I mentioned (and I haven’t read all of them,) authors include Carlos Castaneda, Richard Bach , and Shirley McClain, among many others that have helped me along the way.

I hope you enjoy it.

Show Transcript June 13 2024

Show #651 May 28, 2024

Guests: Carla Francome; Dave Wilkinson

I’m not sure how I ended up with two guests who exhibit almost identical traits – they’re gutsy, funny, and passionate about everything they do.

And yet, they are completely different from one another.

Guest #1 is Carla Francome.  She lives, works, and rides in London.  She’s a TV producer and a cycling advocate extraordinaire. I discovered her on Twitter (X) and just knew she’d be a great guest. 

We chatted about so many things from the work she has done in television to her experience of trying clipless pedals for the first time.

Carla is also a bicycle campaigner – especially for women. 

When she found her work as a TV producer coming to a screeching halt, mainly due to the writer’s strike, she transitioned to a new industry taking her amazing ability for storytelling with her all the while raising two kids and riding – riding her bike in central London, which has been transformed from a crowded car-centric city to a place where riding your bike is commonplace.

As you will hear, she’s enthusiastic, funny, and gutsy!

Since our conversation, she did in fact complete her 100 mile century ride – in clipless pedals I might add.  And, Sadiq Khan was reelected Mayor of London, so more good things for cycling should be coming to the City.  Follow Carla on Twitter (X) @carlafrancome. 

Then, Guest #2 actually contacted me several months ago to let me know he is about to embark on RAAM.  His “handle” is speedy turtle, so that’s the first thing that caught my attention.  Then, I come to find out he is blind and has been blind since birth.

Apparently though, nothing stops Dave Wilkinson – not rain, nor snow, nor crashes – in fact, any challenge that would seem daunting to me is a “let’s have it” from him.

RAAM is a team effort and Dave Wilkinson makes it abundantly clear how true that is.

He’s completed marathons – his first when he was 40, as well as Ironman triathlons.  He is a skier and apparently, he’s pretty fearless because Dave was born blind. 

Clearly, that has never stopped him and not only is his goal is to complete RAAM as the first solo blind rider, but he intends to do it in under 11 days.

Why is his handle Speedy Turtle? Let’s ask him.

I have NO doubt that he will complete RAAM and wish him and his Captain, Jim Trout a speedy sub-11 day ride!   You can follow them on the RAAM site, RAAMrace.org once the race is underway or at speedyturtle.net.

Show #651_Transcript

Show #650 – May 5, 2024

Guests: Christian Sander; John Surico

Hello and welcome to TOC.  I’m your host Diane Jenks.  Thanks for tuning in today.

My first guest is Christian Sander, the producer and writer of Hard Miles, a full-length feature film starring Matthew Modine as Greg Townsend, a social worker who takes a group of incarcerated teenage boys on a 762-mile bike trip to the Grand Canyon.  It’s based on a true story – there really IS a Greg Townsend and he really has taken thousands of kids on this trip.  In fact, Greg was on set every day during the shooting of the movie!

Brian and I went to a local theater last weekend to watch the new movie Hard Miles and we LOVED it!  Unlike so many cycling movies that focus on competition, Hard Miles is about how the bicycle can be a vehicle of transformation, especially to kids serving time in a juvenile detention center.

Christian Sander has known about Greg Townsend, the central character in the movie, for quite some time and saw this story as a movie long before he was able to bring it to the screen.

Greg is played by award winning actor Matthew Modine along with 4 great young men who learn all about how difficult it is to ride a bike 8 hours a day! Cynthia McWilliams, who was the star of Real Husbands of Hollywood, plays the “keep-em-in-line” psychologist Haddie who grudgingly drives the SAG wagon.

The film lives up to everything Christian said and I’d highly recommend it.  If you can’t find a big screen in your area, it will be available streaming later on this summer.  

NY is about to pass a bill regulating eBikes and there has been chatter on some of the bike forums about it.  After hearing the statistics about eBikes in NYC, I think regulation is probably necessary.  There is also a new congestion fee going into effect at the end of June and the money raised will be used for some really important transportation issues.

With almost 700,000 daily cycling trips in NYC, John Surico estimates that at least half of these trips are on an eBike.

And with that kind of ridership, there are a LOT of issues that are beginning to affect transportation in the City.  So next step?  Regulation.  There is a bill about to be brought up for passage in the State legislature.

In addition to what that legislation might look like and who will be affected by it, John and I talk about congestion pricing that will charge cars being driven in Manhattan and how that money will be used to update public transportation among other things.

You can keep abreast of what John is doing by subscribing to his newsletter Streetbeat on Substack.  Even if you don’t live in NY,  John’s insights are most enlightening on a variety of topics.

May 5 Transcript

 

 

Show #649 – April 23, 2024

Guests: Ian Dille; Tomas Castrillon

The world of bike racing, from the high school through pro levels, has been predominantly male and predominantly white, so when I saw Ian Dille’s article in Outside Online about the Richmond Cycling Corps – the kids from Cool lane, I wanted to know more.

Founded by pro-racer Craig Dawson in 2010, The Richmond Cycling Corps is not just about bike racing – it’s about community and education and giving young disadvantaged youth a perspective that expands their horizons through cycling.

Ian Dille is a journalist, writer, and producer and learned about the Richmond Cycling Corps some time ago.  When he had the opportunity to embed himself into the group in May of 2022, he did just that and wrote about it in his article for Outside “The Kids From Cool Lane Just Want To Ride Bikes.”

In the second half of the show, we head to Bogota, Colombia to speak with touring company owner Tomas Castrillon

Tomas’ company is Arriba! – and its meaning refers to both heights to which you can ride and a place to which you can ascend in the sense of consciousness in the picturesque surroundings of the Colombian landscape.

We talk about the country – and the safety of riding there.  We talk about coffee, and flowers, and gold mines, and food. 

His tight-knit team of 7 provides a fully supported experience in his two signature tours, Bogota to Medellin and a tour in the coffee region of the country.

He also offers non-riding partners an equally exciting experience.

It may be a bucket list tour you haven’t considered and perhaps after our conversation, you will.

April 23_Transcript

Show #648 – March 27, 2024

Guests: Adam Rogers; Peter Flax

This episode features two incredibly thoughtful and knowledgeable guests.

First is someone I would term a renaissance man – at least he’s a modern renaissance man.

Adam Rogers is curious about A LOT of things and while we have a great topic that he recently reported on about bike lanes and their impact on businesses, I just had to ask him about some other projects he’s delved into in his career as a journalist – so far.

One such project involved color, and you might remember the controversy.  Did you see a blue dress with black fringe or a white dress with gold fringe?  And does it matter that you saw one or the other?  Adam thought it was not only interesting, but while working for WIRED, he dove headfirst into the subject. There is even an extensive Wikipedia page about the phenomenon.

Adam Rogers is a senior tech correspondent at Business Insider, covering science, technology, and our weird future. He reports on how technology changes the way we live.

I saw his article, Bike Lanes Are Good for Business, posted on March 7th, and wanted to find out what he discovered.

What I discovered is that Adam doesn’t go off half-cocked on a subject! In fact, he uncovers as much as he can find and then digs even deeper to reveal things many other journalists might miss – over worse, gloss over!

In addition to the dress controversy I mentioned at the top of the show, we also discuss another passion of his – booze. “Proof – The Science of Booze,” is the book he wrote that came out of his discovery that we didn’t know much about the science of distilling liquor.

Oh yeah, we also talk about bike lanes and what the differences are between reality and perception when a bike lane is introduced into a neighborhood.

In the second part of the show, my conversation is with author and journalist Peter Flax.

Photo Credit – Roscoe Flax

Peter and I first spoke when he became editor-in-chief of Bicycling in 2010.  THAT was a long time ago, and since then, he’s moved from the east coast to the west, worked for some other publications, and now has written one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a while.

Peter Flax is a bike rider – he not only says so right at the beginning of his book,  he has and does live it.

“Live to Ride, Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle,” is Peter’s treatise on the bicycle world from the unique perspective of having seen almost every manifestation of bicycling – from the utilitarian to the ultra-competitive. 

In “Live To Ride, Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle,” Peter breaks down his thinking into distinct categories such as adventure, speed, and self-expression.

Each chapter of the book is punctuated by people, photographs, and commentary that represent the title of the chapter.

You know, I think he nails it when he talks about people who ride and how their reasons for riding manifest themselves.  I believe we are all interested in safety and advocacy and have a common interest in our love of the bike, regardless of how we might try to pigeon-hole ourselves.

I like the book a lot and if you want to have a book of thoughtful discourse on your shelves, you would do well to get a copy!  “Live To Ride, Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle,” is available wherever you buy your books!

Transcript_March 27

 

 

 

 

 

Show #647 – March 15, 2024

Guests:  Mike Lydon; Dr. Ralph Buehler

A couple of quick notes – BIG congratulations to American Matteo Jorgenson from team Visma – Lease a Bike for winning Paris-Nice this past Sunday. What a race… the weather was awful, but the racing was daring and exciting.

And for those in NE Ohio who know the Detroit-Superior Bridge over the Flats, the streetcar deck below the bridge will be turned into a bike/ped path with a $7 million dollar grant awarded to Cuyahoga County by the U.S. Department of Transportation! Infrastructure dollars at work! Congratulations CLE!

Today’s episode features two very accomplished guests.

First up is Mike Lydon – and where to begin! Well, let’s see.. Mike is an internationally recognized planner, writer, speaker, and advocate for livable cities.

But wait, there’s more; in fact, so much more that I would direct you to his website, streetplans.com where there is a great description of what he does and the accolades, and projects he’s been part of are enumerated.

Mike Lydon seems to have been “born to” the profession of urban planning with a love for towns and cities from his childhood. His work has been acclaimed far and wide and he thinks about what we can do on both a micro and a macro level to realize better ways to make our cities livable and safe.

I want to make a correction to something I say early on in our conversation. I mistakenly stated the year that the store I opened in downtown Cleveland was 1997; nope, the year it was opened was actually 1989.

In the second half of the show, Dr. Ralph Buehler will be back to speak with us about his part in a study about what happened with cycling during and after the pandemic. Some of the findings might surprise you; some of them we already know; and, some of them give us insight into what we might expect in the future.

The COVID19 pandemic changed the way we behave in so many ways. We found ourselves learning a new way of moving about, and whether it was going to and coming from work, shopping for groceries, or just getting outside for pleasure, the impact of the worldwide need to alter the way we travel is a topic of great interest to my guest, Dr. Ralph Buehler.

Ralph joins me to discuss his findings, which were published recently in an article titled “COVID 19 Impacts on Cycling.”

It is concerning that young people are not learning to ride a bike – I didn’t expect that when we first started talking.  I hope you are teaching your children and grandchildren!

Transcript 3_15_2024

Show # 646 – February 25, 2024

Guests:  Todd Gould; John Howard

Marshall “Major” Taylor – Photo credit majortaylorstory .com

Today’s episode is about one man and his life as told in a new documentary as well as a new biographical novel. 

Marshal Major Taylor is a name so many of us know, yet what do we really know ABOUT him?

Todd Gould is an Emmy award winning producer and author who lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana. Todd is the executive producer of Major Taylor, Champion of the Race, a one-hour documentary that will air Monday, February 26th, at 8pm eastern time on Bloomington, Indiana’s PBS station, WTIU, as well as stream on your PBS Passport app. The film will also be available later on this spring on most PBS stations around the country.

Marshall Major Taylor was not only one of the greatest cyclists and athletes to ever compete, he was a gentleman and a pioneer, navigating a world that didn’t want African American athletes to survive let alone thrive.

As you will hear in my conversation with Emmy award winning producer, Todd Gould, Major Taylor’s story is a timely and fascinating tale that needs to be heard.

Then, sometimes inspiration at a young age ends up being the direction of your entire life. 

Such is the case for John Howard, one of the most successful cyclists of our time. Among some of his feats, John won a gold medal at the 1971 Pan-Am games road race as a member of the U.S. Army cycling team, took first place at the 1981 Hawaiian Ironman, raced in 3 summer Olympics, and came in second in the inaugural Race Across America in 1982.  He set a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1985 that stood for 10 years. Of course, he is a member of both the Bicycling and Triathlon Halls of Fame.

So what drives someone to achieve this kind of success?

In John’s case, it’s the story of Marshall Major Taylor, the talented and ambitious black cyclist who overcame intense racism to become a world champion at the turn of the last Century. 

Marshall Major Taylor was not only one of the greatest cyclists and athletes to ever compete, he was a gentleman and a pioneer, navigating a world that didn’t want African American athletes to survive let alone thrive. 

After 40 years of research, traveling worldwide for details about Major Taylor’s life, John Howard’s new book, The Black Cyclone – A Hero The World Forgot – was just published.

With access to historical documents, including an original copy of Major Taylor’s autobiography as well as a traveling worldwide to delve into places where the cyclist competed and lived, John’s biographical novel gives voice to Major Taylor, bringing him to life.

 

Show TRanscript_February 25

 

Show #645 – February 20, 2024

Guests: Dr. Cara Hamann; Terry Lansdell

We’ve talked about biking and walking infrastructure a lot over the past few years, and it always amazes me that there is so much more to say. For instance…

Crosswalks – who do you think is legally protected in a crosswalk?

Well, you might be surprised to learn that all pedestrians are protected in crosswalks, yet very few States have protections for cyclists, wheelchairs, even babies in strollers.

And this is just one issue that my first guest, Dr. Cara Hamann and I talk about in our conversation today.

As we delve into Cara Hamann’s work, we find that she’s got a series of studies relating to safety and injury for vulnerable road users.

She’s an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa with targeted interests in Transportation safety, Injury epidemiology, Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicycles, etc.) and Global injury prevention.

You can follow the work she is doing at trips.lab.uiowa.edu.  And remember, be careful in those crosswalks!

 

 

In the second half of the show, I’ll introduce you to Terry Lansdell.

I’m not sure exactly how to categorize him… he’s both ridden and crewed Race Across America, he’s done Race Across the West on a fixed gear bike, he’s been a triathlete, and now he’s the executive director of BikeWalk North Carolina as well as a member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission . See… I don’t have a category for that.

Terry Lansdell is just fascinating and uber articulate.  From his advice on ultra cycling – such as riding 1000 in a week to see if you can pass muster for a race such as PBP or RAAM, to remembering your place on a trail, including yielding to pedestrians, Terry doesn’t miss a beat

And get a load of this… since 2013, it’s been illegal for North Carolina department of transportation to spend money on stand alone bicycle projects. Terry is hoping to change that tool.

I’m not sure how he keeps all the balls in the air at the same time, but damn… he sure seems to.

This is the shot I was hoping he’d send with his T-shirt background!

 

 

Before I sign off today, I’d like to mention something that happened this week that I found incredibly disturbing. I don’t want to get into a political or philosophical discussion, but this incident was truly upsetting to me.

Leah Goldstein is one of the most celebrated women athletes I’ve ever had the honor to speak with. She has set many records including at the age of 52 being the first woman to win RAAM.

She has also been in high demand to deliver her message to young girls and women that women can accomplish whatever they wish – she’s an inspiration.
Leah was to be the keynote speaker at the International Women’s Day Inspire Inclusion Conference. Then, she was suddenly disinvited because she is Jewish and had served in the Israel Defense Forces as a young woman.

At first, Leah wasn’t going to publicly address the dismissal, but, after social media and news groups picked up the story, she felt the need to make a statement.

Here is a bit of what she said and a link to the original story as well as her response:

“I speak to inspire and motivate. I speak about obstacles, and how to overcome them. I speak about bravery and growth and standing up for one another.

I don’t believe you hired me because I was a soldier and a cop. While these jobs are part of my story (and I’m very grateful to have had these experiences), they do not define me as a human being. As a Jewish woman, I would never be offended if a Palestinian woman were to speak about her obstacles and life journey. I thought that’s what women were supposed to do for each other – listen and support!”

Regardless of your feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian situation, in my opinion, this incident was both uncalled for and sorely misguided.
Stepping off my soapbox now, and I hope no one was offended by my comments.

February 20_Transcript

Show #644 – February 10,, 2024

Guests: Dave Simmons; Mark & Cal Norstad

It truly feels as if spring is close… and with that, there are thoughts of great riding ahead.

Before we get started. I wanted to mention an upcoming show about a new documentary. As many of you know, one of the greatest riders to ever live and compete on a bicycle was Marhsall Walter Taylor, better known as Major Taylor.

Titled, Major Taylor, Champion of the Race, it will be coming to you from Indiana Public Media’s WTIU on February 26th at 8pm. If you have the PBS app you can find it there or go to WTIU.org after the program airs.

We’ll be talking with past US Champion John Howard, one of the luminaries of the documentary, in an upcoming episode of the show before it airs.

My first guest today is Dave Simmons, the executive director of Ride Illinois. In our conversation we talk about bicycle related crashes and fatalities in the state along with some data, or lack of it about eBikes.

I wanted to catch up with Dave because of the Ride Illinois “Bill Tracker” that the organization has made available on their website. It offers you the ability to not only track statewide bills, but also federal legislation as it pertains to bicycling infrastructure and such things as eBike rebates.

As you will hear, neither Dave nor I has a lot of data about eBike crashes and, since it came up in this conversation as well as the one I recently had with John Surico in New York, I have contacted the NTSB to see what kinds of data they are or are not collecting.

Unfortunately, their response was less than satisfying. In her response, Brittany Rawlinson said: “Unfortunately, the NTSB doesn’t collect or house data on e-bike crashes and fatalities.

For our 2022 report, the NTSB used a mix of methods and pulled from several existing data sources to assess the usability of these databases and compile the numbers we used in our report. In our review, we found that this data is non-standardized and often not recorded. Due to this fact, the NTSB issued several recommendations to agencies responsible for tracking fatalities and injuries (pgs. 33-34 in our report). “

Here is the link to that report.

Also, the 2024 Illinois Grand Bike Tour runs from June 9th through the 14th.
You can find out more about ALL of the things happening in Illinois including the tour, the bill tracker, and how the legislation might be going to make bicycles “intended” users of the roadways at rideillinois.org

Then, we speak with Mark and Cal Norstad from Paragon Machine Works. Paragon supplies the custom frame builder with high quality precision bicycle components dropouts and headtubes to bottom brackets as well as parts, tools, and accessories.

Mark, who started the company in 1983, will be passing the torch to son Cal in June and I wanted to catch up with them before the transition.

Who knew that a bronze replica cannon would lead to a lifetime of machine work? And, that is exactly what happened when Paragon Machine’s Mark Norstad first realized that you could actually MAKE such a thing in a machine shop.

Taking all the machine shop classes that were offered in high school and on into college, Mark started Paragon Machine Works in his parents’ basement in 1983.

Fast forward several decades and Mark is about to pass the torch to his son Cal as Mark looks at retirement this summer. Here is our conversation.

If you would like to know more about Paragon Machine Works, you can follow them on social media or log on to their website.

Transcript_February 10