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.

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Show #643 – January 27, 2024

Guests: Jeff Speck & Chris Dempsey

As many of you know, I have an abiding interest in urban planning, walkable and bikeable cities, and sustainability. In furthering that interest, I love speaking with folks who are involved in any or all of these areas and today is no exception. 

My guests today are Jeff Speck and Chris Dempsey.  In the past, Jeff and I have

Photo Credit Chip Marler

had several powerful conversations about the work he does in assisting cities, towns, and municipalities become “walkable” and “bikeable.”  His books, Walkable City and Walkable City Rules, are nothing short of step-by-step instructions on how to achieve these goals.

Joined now by Chris Dempsey in a just announced new partnership, “SpeckDempsey,” the impact of their ideas coupled with their backgrounds will serve to transform communities nationwide. 

My thanks to Jeff Speck and Chis Dempsey for joining me today.  As always, Jeff just tells it like it is and I was really pleased to meet his new partner, Chris Dempsey.  I know this partnership is going to produce some exciting results and I’m going to be following them.  You can also keep tabs on them and their work at speckdempsey.com and on social media. 

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Show #642 – January 20, 2024

Guests: John Surico; Roff Smith

Happy New Year everyone!  I’m back for a new season of the show and today we begin with conversations with two guests we’ve spoken with in the past.

First up is John Surico.  John’s work is all about sustainability, safety, cities, and transportation.  He melds it all up on his Streetbeat blog on Substack and today we’re going to look back at some things from 2023 as well as look forward to his work in 2024.

In his latest Streetbeat newsletter on Substack, John Surico tells us about Hoboken, NJ, where there have been zero – none, nothing nada – traffic fatalities for 7 consecutive years.  What? Really?  Contrast that with 43 cycling deaths in NYC, just across the river.

We also look at what the Mayor is thinking, with a bit of “NYC can do that too,” and about the expansion of the East Coast Greenway in all 5 NYC boroughs.

Then, we review a new book from National Geographic by photographer/journalist Roff Smith.  Last time we spoke with Roff it was during the pandemic and he created some of the most beautiful and thought-provoking visions for us to gaze upon in a dark and difficult time.

Now, in his new book, 100 Bike Rides of a Lifetime, he offers up great options for every level of cyclist- from the novice to the pro.  It’s one of those books where you can flip to just about any page and say – “yeah, I want to do that!”

While he’s ridden many of the routes he details in the book, he depended upon seasoned riders to fill in the blanks on rides that he believes fit the description, but which he hasn’t done himself. 

The book is definitely a great addition to your cycling library and might just be the ticket for your next adventure.

I’ve also added a photo of his “narrow boat” that will be his home for the next project, as you heard in our conversation.      

 

 

 

January 20_Podcast_Transcript

Show #641 – November 28, 2023

Guests: John Robinson; Peter & Tracy Flucke

This year, with so much turmoil in the world, I wanted to feature a story that is both heartwarming and inspirational. Homelessness is a real thing – and a very disconcerting one. 

So, when a hard-working homeless man, who saved his money to buy an eBike to commute to his job and was swindled out of the money he paid to share an apartment so he wouldn’t be homeless, wakes up to find his eBike stolen, you just have to ask yourself –  what is wrong with people?

But John Robinson, owner of Johnny Velo Bikes in Columbus, Ohio and the shop that sold the eBike in the first place, didn’t ask that question, but instead stepped right up to help.  And there is a happy ending to this story.

Joshua is a man who works hard and is very proud of the work he does.  Joshua cleans a government building for a living and, saving his money, pays cash for the things he needs.  

He also depends on his bicycle to get him to work – about 25 miles a day. 

What happened when his eBike was stolen and he called the shop to get the serial number as well as ask for help to file a police report is nothing less than a heartwarming storybook holiday tale.

I’ll let John Robinson, owner of Johnny Velo Bikes in Columbus, tell the story… and have your tissues ready!  

What a great story and what an outpouring of love and support for Joshua.  My thanks to John for sharing it with me.  There is a link to the video on our website, outspokencyclist.com and you can find out more about the shop at johnnyvelobikes.com

Then, I welcome Peter and Tracy Flucke back to the show to talk about their new book, Bicycling Route 66.

Last time we spoke, they had had to abandoned a cross-country ride, but this time, they traveled the 2600+ miles on their new Co-Motion tandem and documented the journey in a fun and informative he said-she said style. 

From Wisconsin to California, Tracy and Peter Flucke are once again pedaling their tandem, this time traveling iconic Route 66.

Leaving Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 1, 2016, they traveled Route 66 for 49 days to Santa Monica, California– 2600 miles in total – with a running dialog full of humor, insights, and history.

You can buy a signed copy of the book on their website or… of course you can get it at your independent book store or online.  There is also a kindle version.

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Show #640 – November 22, 2023

Guests: Veronica Davis; Eric McBride

My guests this show couldn’t be more different in terms of their focus – one is a civil engineer, ardent urban planner, and transportation specialist, the other is an accomplished Master’s bike racer, winning several medals in this year’s PanAm Games.

But, variety is the spice of life as they say… so hopefully you’ll get something from each of them – whether it be inspiration to do more about your local bicycling/walking infrastructure or decide to enter an event you had been thinking about but have yet to sign on the dotted line.

Veronica Davis is a professional civil engineer an transportation specialist.  She is currently the Director of Transportation & Drainage Operations, a service line within Houston Public Works. Transportation & Drainage operations is responsible for maintaining and improving the infrastructure that spans Houston’s 671 square miles.

As you’ll learn, Veronica comes to the transportation/planning sector from a family immersed in the business where both her mother and father were involved.

Her new book, Inclusive Transportation: A Manifesto for Repairing Divided Communities, was recently published by Island Press and it’s what drew me to her for our conversation.

In her new book, Veronica offers some astute observations on the inequalities and destructive practices present in transportation planning:  how our cities became divided, and why we need to move on from what we’ve always known and redefine urban transportation.

We dive into a variety of topics including how immigration, always a hot topic for politicians, might actually solve some of the issues we see in the job market and how, when we finally have funding for much needed infrastructure projects, there are not enough workers to complete them.

Bruce Springsteen sings about being born to run… well, apparently U.S. Master’s Champion Eric McBride was born to ride!

Eric is the CEO of Palm Beach Health Network Physician Group during the day and an avid elite road and track racer when he dons his kit and cleats.

Eric has been racing bikes since college and now, as a master’s rider in the 45-49 year age group, captured two golds and a silver at the Master’s PanAm Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic this past spring.

Racking up 2 golds and a silver at the 2023 PanAm games on the track, Eric takes every opportunity to race his bicycles – plural – in track, road, and crit disciplines.

His accomplishments this year being what they are, he’s already looking forward to 2024 to see what he and his new squad Kingdom Racing will do.

November 22 Transcript

 

Show #639 – November 2, 2023

Guest: Georgena Terry

As promised, my conversation today is with one of the pioneers of women’s frame design Georgena Terry.

I’ve known Georgena for many years and it is always great to speak with her.

She started out as an engineering student in Pittsburgh and took that engineering mind into the bicycle business in 1985, launching Terry Precision Bicycles.  Over these many decades, she not only produced her very special women’s specific designs, but added saddles, shorts, jerseys, and more. In fact, I would suggest that almost everyone who has been riding for the past several decades has at least tried a Terry saddle – women AND men.

Today, Georgena is still offering her special bikes to discriminating riders and as she says on her website: “I hope I’m part of a movement that encourages women to think for themselves. To be stubborn. To break the rules. And not be afraid to be a pain in the butt sometimes. Susan B. Anthony did. And it turned out pretty well for her.”

For more information about Terry Custom Bicycles and Georgena herself, log on to georgenaterry.com.

Next time on TOC, you’ll meet Veronica Davis, another woman pioneer – this time in the field of urban planning. Her book,  Inclusive Transportation is subtitled a Manifesto for Repairing Divided Communities
I hope you’ll tune in.

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Show #638 – October 15, 2023

Guests: Jamie Swan; Steve Magas

With the demise of events such as NAHBS, The New England Builder’s Ball, Classic Rendezvous Weekend, and even the postponement of The Philly Bike Show until Spring of 2024, any opportunity to see classic bicycles and talk with other enthusiasts is welcome.

I know most of you probably don’t live on or near Long Island, NY, but I still think this event is worthy of a conversation – especially when it’s with Jamie Swan.

Jamie is passionate about vintage bikes, passionate about helping people to learn about them, and passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise. So, come next Sunday, October 22nd, you can head on out to Long Island, NY at the Smithtown Historical Society for a few hours of vintage and handmade bikes along with a swap meet.

Jamie Swan, frame builder and machinist extraordinaire, is the producer of this little event and he’s my guest today.  Jamie will fill us in on everything you need to know about the show as well as his incredibly cool “side gig” at the prestigious Webb Institute.

link to the google group for the LI Rendezvous

After my conversation with Jamie, I check in with Ohio Bike Lawyer, Steve Magas. 

When a group of riders literally ran into a downed wire, causing three of the riders to go down, two with injuries, they needed Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas’ expertise to help with arbitrating the case against one of the big Internet providers.

So, what was the Internet guy thinking when he left the cones and other warning signs that usually placed on the roadway in his truck?  And, what’s the difference between riding on the road and on a trail or path when it comes to liability?  Steve will tell us the story of the riders and fill us in on what we need to know about our responsibilities on and off the road.

Steve Magas is a licensed attorney and has helped many cyclists who have been involved in crashes of all sorts.  He also has a large database of statistics – sobering statistics – about bicycle fatalities, and interestingly enough, Ohio has fewer than most states. Still, it isn’t zero!

In our conversation, it becomes really clear how important it is to take stock when you find yourself in a crash and get all the data you can gather. 

 

 

Show_Transcript

Show #637 – September 26, 2023

Guest: Johnny Coast

This episode was supposed to air a week earlier to coincide with an event my guest was having at his Brooklyn, NY workshop.  Due to COVID and nasty weather, it was postponed to this coming Sunday, October 1st

Also, I want to preface this episode with an important announcement from Shimano.  Last Thursday, September 21st, Shimano issued a massive recall of over 760,000 cranks. 

Instead of reading you all the information about how to tell if your Ultegra or Dura Ace crank has been recalled, here are pdfs of  Consumer Notice_Shimano Crankset Recall, Final_FAQ_Consumer_and the USA_CAN_Poster_Shimano_Recall that shops are being asked to display.  Everything you need to know is there.  Please take heed as Shimano is really doing a great job with this recall including reimbursing dealers and even helping out if you have a power crank.  Shimano has asked that dealers post the information until February 1, 2024.

NOW – let’s talk about my guest because I really enjoyed this conversation and I think you will too. 

You know how I love speaking with custom frame builders about their work and their lives.

Today though, I’m speaking with custom builder Johnny Coast from Coast Cycles in Brooklyn, NY about his experience supporting “Team Coast” at this year’s PBP – Paris Brest Paris.

The event only comes around every four years and two of Johnny’s clients trained for two years to make the journey to France and compete in the grueling 90-hour event.

At one point, the riders approached Johnny, who built their randonneuring bikes, about forming “Team Coast” and asked if Johnny wanted to come along as support. His answer was yes and his experience was almost as exciting and ratifying as his riders’.

I think he’ll go back and do it again in four more years. That’s not all we talk about though, so let’s get to it. 

And, oh, by the way, we mention “Shermer’s Neck” in our conversation and if you don’t know what it is, it’s a condition where the neck muscles fail from fatigue and can no longer support the head. It is not gradual either; after feeling the first symptoms, the neck will usually stop functioning within two hours.  It happens a lot to RAAM riders and others who do super long-distance events that keep you on the bike for extended hours.

You can find Johnny at coastcycles.nyc and on Instagram @coastcyclesnyc.

Next time on TOC my guests are ground-breaking engineer Georgena Terry, whose women-specific bikes paved the way for more women on bikes and more companies to follow in her footsteps; and Veronica Davis, whose work in transportation started when she was just a little girl.  In her own words she said “At the age of 22, I wrote a life strategic plan. The career objective was, “To be a World Renown Expert in Transportation.” And so she is… and her new book, Inclusive Transportation her manifesto for repairing divided communities.

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Show #636 – September 17, 2023

Guest: Lynne Salvo

Dipping front wheel

There is only one word for my guest today and that word is hero!  And, Lynn Salvo is definitely one of mine.

Back in 2019, pre-covid of course, I spoke with Lynn as she was riding across Canada as the oldest woman to complete the trek coast-to-coast for a Guiness World Record.

Then, two days ago and ahead of the hurricane that was about to pummel Maine, Lynn completed her 2023 west-to-east ride to break a record set by another woman (under a completely different set of rules!) and break it she did, once again becoming the oldest woman to ride across the U.S. on a bike.

With her 74th birthday coming up September 21st, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Lynn as she rode into NE Ohio on August 27th.

It was like sitting down with an old friend and picking up where we might have left off decades ago – chatting and laughing and enjoying the company.

If you’d like to see her blog entries and daily videos, log on to lifeislikeabike.wordpress.com.

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