Show #621 – January 15, 2023

Guests: David Stanley; Peter Norton

My first guest is David Stanley and he is a friend Charles Pelkey, arguably one of the nicest guys to ever grace the pages of cycling journalism – along with a lot of other fine attributes.

Every once in a while, a really good guy gets a really bad deal… and in an effort to ease some of that burden, we’re going to see what we can do to help today.

If you ever participated in the Live Update Guy episodes – a mix of running commentary, a Monty-Python like atmosphere, and even some poetry – you will remember the witty and sometimes crazy, dialog between cycling journalists Patrick O’Grady and Charles Pelkey.  They were joined, on line, by others who added their commentary to the mix.

If you don’t know about Charles, he was a Democratic State Legislator in Wyoming – okay, the ONLY Democratic State Legislator in the state, an attorney, a stellar and well-respected cycling commentator and journalist, a breast cancer survivor, a father, husband, and just about the nicest guy you would ever want to meet.

Unbeknownst to me, he has been suffering from a series of vascular issues that have required several major surgeries and hours and hours of anesthesia and when I received a message from Patrick this week, I knew I needed to delve into the situation. GOFUNDME LINK FOR CHARLES

My second guest is a professor of history at UVA – in the engineering department.  And how those two come together is the topic of our conversation today as it relates to sustainability, mobility, and cycling.

Last week, I saw a Twitter post about the history of the automobile as it relates to pedestrians and how the “car culture” became as pervasive as it has, leading to so many deaths of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users – like cyclists.

The poster referenced a book by Dr. Peter Norton, an Assistant Professor of History at UVA.  The book is titled Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (MIT Press) and Peter teaches history of technology, social dimensions of engineering, research, and professional ethics.

In our conversation, we cover a lot of the history of how the automobile became so dominant that the streets are no longer safe for our children.

I think you’ll find that the intersection of history and engineering explains a lot about how we are finding ourselves in a culture where the car is king and we are less than mere peons. 

And, please excuse a couple of places where Peter’s audio wasn’t perfect.

Peter’s other book link here – Autonorama

Show #620 – January 2, 2023

Guest: Wayne Stetina

Stetina Family – Circa 1970

Happy New Year to you and I hope you had a great holiday season.

Wayne Stetina – 1977 Nationals

For our first show of 2023, I had the great good fortune to speak with one of cycling’s elite racers about his life, his family, his history in the sport, and his thoughts about the bicycle industry.

Wayne Stetina – in fact, the entire Stetina family – have had a stellar career in not only racing, but also incredibly valued input into what we ride and race today.

Wayne’s phenomenal memory of people, events, and topics will dazzle those who have an interest and curiosity into cycling – me included (and I thought I knew some stuff!)

For 37 years, Wayne was VP of North American Operations for Shimano.  Now, he is Senior Field Guide with SRAM.

From coining the phrase “never miss a shift” way back when Shimano introduced its first indexed shifting package to his comment that his favorite bike was always his most recent bike, Wayne has seen the evolution of bicycles up close and personal.

I hope you enjoy this extended conversation.

 

Show #619 – December 25, 2022

Guests: Jenn Hamelman; Patrick Greenwood

I hope you have had a great holiday – Christmas, Hanukkah, Qwanza, Festivus – and even just staying in and enjoying some down time.  Certainly here in NE Ohio we had little choice with below zero temperatures, wicked winds, and blowing snow.

Despite the weather, sometimes it’s really nice to be living in one of those States that is doing something so right for cycling; and Ohio is one of them.

My first guest today is Jenn Hamelman.  She’s the program director for the USBRS – United State Bicycle Route System.  We’ve spoken with Jenn in the past and I wanted to wrap up 2022’s USBRS progress.

Turns out that Ohio has done some really cool things to make traveling through the State both safer and easier to follow.

RideWithGPS

Adventure Cycling Association

Patrick Greenwood’s passion for Viet Nam and the events that happened in 1975 and beyond inspired his new book Sunrise in Saigon.

Patrick has taken his lifelong interest in the fall of Saigon and what happened in 1975 and incorporated it into a historical fictional story he wrote from what he knew growing up in the 70’s and what he experienced as he rode his bicycle through Viet Nam and on to Cambodia in 2012.

Young Jack Kendall is the protagonist of the book, and he pondered many questions about what had happened.  As he grew older, he knew that he had to take this journey and that it would have consequences. What Jack discovers, and what many people at any stage of their lives will come to regret, is not making the journey will come to haunt them.

The story follows Jack Kendall, who is struggling with a failing marriage and poor health, as he embarks on a journey to meet a beautiful Vietnamese woman as well as find out what happened to the Lost U.S. Embassy and the Catholic nuns who helped with “Operation Babylift.”

You can find Sunrise in Saigon from any of your book purveyors.  And, we’ll be watching for the sequel next summer. You can also find out more about Patrick’s espresso company at cyclewriter3espresso.com

Show #618 – December 17, 2022

 

Over the past twelve plus years, we’ve spoken with many frame builders and today, we have t he privilege of speaking with an American builder who has been living and working in Italy for several decades.

Darren Crisp didn’t start out as a frame builder – in fact, he has a degree in architecture, decided he wasn’t such a great architect, and began building very exclusive stores for an Italian company.

I caught up with Darren in between his usual shop-time and home-time, which are separate and the same.

Darren is clearly someone who thinks deeply about his work, is easily able to articulates his ideas, and has a broad set of interests.

 

Next episode, we speak with Patrick Greenwood about his new novel, “Sunrise in Saigon.”  It’s a self-discovery story about Jack Kendall as he bicycles through Viet Nam.  In addition to the story, all the proceeds of the sales of the book go to a helmet program for the children of Viet Nam.  Win-win!

Show #618 – December 10, 2022

Guests: Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher; Dan Cavallari

We’re rounding third and heading home – both to the holidays and to the New Year.

2022 has been – um – interesting to say the least.  We’ll take a look back at it after the New Year..

Today, we’re going to wrap-up our gift ideas for cyclists with Dan Cavallari.  Dan thought about it and, as you’ll hear, has come up with a short list of things NOT to give a cyclist!  I had to agree with him as these are items that cyclists tend to want to get for themselves or already have far too many in their stash.

Before we chat with Dan though, I want to introduce you to Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher. Or more rightly, DR Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher as the day before our conversation, she had her convocation to complete her PhD in physics.  It’s apparently similar to what we do here in the States to defend a thesis.

Her work is in data analytics in the field of bacteria and virus interaction. I found it fascinating and would have focused on that, but as you may be wondering, what might THAT have to do with cycling.  Well…

It seems that as a bicycle commuter for 10+ years and a member of Bike Ottawa, her data-oriented mind began musing about traffic and the stress of biking and walking and the inequities that occur when planning comes up against the reality of who lives where and the politics that often lead to inequities. She got hooked and pivoted to working on a project that has been funded by the University of Toronto Data Science Institute.

Then there is her Twitter feed and, when I dove into that rabbit hole, I knew I wanted to talk with her.

My thanks to Madeleine for taking time to talk with me.  You can follow her @mbonsma on Twitter and @mbonsma@mastodon.social.

My thanks to Dan for all the great advice he’s offered over the past three episodes of the podcast.  Remember to check out his show at slow guy on the fast ride, and tune in on Friday afternoons if you want to sip a bit of whiskey with him and his buddies on ThePracticalStill.com

On the next episode of the show, you’ll meet titanium frame builder Darren Crisp.  He’s from Texas but has lived and worked in Italy for several decades.  His story is different from many of the builders we’ve spoken with over the years, and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Show #617 – December 4, 2022

Guests: Shannon Galpin; Dan Cavallari

This week we dive into part II of Dan Cavallari’s holiday gift ideas with a focus on cool things you might not necessarily need but wouldn’t mind seeing in your stocking or under the tree.

First though, we check in with my friend and colleague, Shannon Galpin.  It’s been a while since we talked and much has transpired since our last conversation. The amazing activist, author, artist, and human rights advocate is still working to evacuate more women, girls, and families from Afghanistan while helping to work with a variety of entities to place those who are stuck in a sort of limbo. There are also some women who have resettled around the world and still need help – with education, bikes, housing, and most importantly a pathway to feeling accepted in their new countries.

There is still much work to do.  SUPPORT AFGHAN CYCLISTS

When I log in to chat with Dan Cavallari, he’s sitting in his garage with a microphone and computer, only it doesn’t look much like the inside of a garage.  As a rabid product tester for a variety of entities, Dan’s garage actually looks more like the inside of a bike shop. 

This week, he gives us 5 picks for holiday ideas.  Share with friends and family! Dan Cavallari, The Slow Guy on the Fast Ride, joined me from his garage again. 

Here are links to all the products we discussed this week: the Bivo Bottle, the Pearl Rove Shirt, the Endura Riever bibs, the PNW tiny Pebble Tool, and the Tick’r Fit heart rate monitor strap.

Next time Dan and I will discuss those things you probably shouldn’t give a cyclist – so, family and friends – listen up.

We’ll also speak with Dr. Madeline Bonsma-Fisher.  She’s a physicist turned bicycle infrastructure researcher in Canada and her story is filled with fascinating ideas.

Show #616 – November 24, 2022

Guests: Dave Wiens; Dan Cavallari

In our last episode, we spoke about the Davis Phinney Foundation and all the great work they are doing for folks with Parkinson’s Disease.  That immediately turned into an inquiry to Polly Dawkins, the executive director of the Foundation, for a fund-raising event for 2023.  Makes me feel so good that we – you – can have that kind of impact.

So, today we’re talking with Dave Wiens, the Executive Director of IMBA, and his thinking about mountain biking and how to support trails and paths right in your own backyard and beyond.  Dave has to be one of the best spokesperson for an organization I’ve ever met!  He lives, breathes, and rides IMBA and I always learn so much from him about the organization and his commitment to bringing more trails to more people.

Today, Dave joins me to unpack all the options for you from getting involved as a volunteer to becoming a trail champion and more.

IMBA Programs:

Trail Accelerator Grants

Dig-In Projects

IMBA Donate Local

 

Next, we speak with the Slow Guy on the Fast Ride – Dan Cavallari about his pick for things he believes are “best in show” for 2022. He’s got some great gift ideas this year because his garage, which is also his office, studio, and general store for bike stuff, is packed full of goodies and lucky guy that he is, he gets to test them all!

Products Mentioned by Dan

NiteRider Sentry Aero Rear Lamp

Giro Eclipse Spherical Helmet

Yuba Supercargo CL eBike

Show #615 – November 12, 2022

Guests: Polly Dawkins; Andrew McLemore

As we approach the holiday season, I’ve put together several episodes highlighting charitable gift giving opportunities that relate to cycling.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Scott Bachelor

This episode focuses on Parkinson’s Disease and especially the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Davis Phinney is probably one of the most important U.S. cycling icons winning 328 races in his career, which spanned the 1980’s and 1990’s

But, at the age of 40, Davis was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease, and instead of succumbing to the worry and terror that the diagnosis might engender, he launched the Davis Phinney Foundation.

One of the first projects that the Foundation invested in was the work that Dr. ay Albers was doing here at the Cleveland Clinic, showing how cycling could reduce the tremors of Parkinson’s.

Now at 63 Davis’s symptoms are still worsening, but his resolve to live his best life every day is stronger than ever.

Executive Director Polly Dawkins takes us from the inception of the Foundation to present day and what we can do to support those with the disease as well as helping those who are care givers.

In the second half of the show, I speak with Andrew McLemore, the associate news editor of Gear Junkie. As he says, he’s a general news reporter for what he likes to call the REI sports – you know, climbing,, backpacking, kayaking, and of course, cycling!

Andrew talks with me about a virtual reality experience at the upcoming UCI World Track Champions League in London next month – and I know less than nothing about virtual reality.

We also discuss the crazy Walleye Fishing Contest where the alleged winners were found to be cheating, stuffing their catches with weights and other fish fillets. It sounds really weird, but we’re talking $30,000 in prize money!

Then, next time, we’ll be speaking with Dave Wiens, the E.D. of IMBA.  Usually when we speak with Dave it’s about what IMBA does for us – this time, the conversation goes to how we can offer our support for the organization.

We’ll also have Part I of our gift guide with Dan Cavallari – things you absolutely positively would LOVE to have!

Show #614 – October 15, 2022

Guest: Dmitry Nechaev – Triton Bikes

It’s been over 7 months since I last spoke with Dmitry Nechaev.

When we last spoke, he had just left Russia and “fled” to Israel, something he was able to do because he had Israeli citizenship through the process known as Aliyah.

This process allows people of Jewish descent to freely come to Israel and claim their citizenship by virtue of their ancestry.

Fortunately for Dmitry, he had all that he needed long in advance of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the time we last spoke, Dmitry was explaining to the bicycle industry – and of course to the world at large – that he wanted no part of the this “war” and he, in fact condemned it.  It was his hope that he could still garner some support for his work as the owner of Triton Bikes.

Now, we hear his thoughts on what has transpired since our last conversation, what he is doing, where his employees are now living, what he thinks will happen in Russia, and what the future might – or might not – hold for him and his family.

I think you will hear both his sadness and frustration in trying to sort out his thoughts and feelings at the situation but, there is also his hope for the future.

 

I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Dmitry.  Some of it was difficult to hear and some of it gave me hope for a better future for those who must start their lives over due to war.  It isn’t just Russia and Ukraine of course.

Please remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite app and “like” the show too.  You can follow us on FB, Twitter, and Instagram

Show #613 – October 4, 2022

Guest: Andy Boenau

I want to begin with a question.

How many times have you stood at or ridden up to an intersection and waited – and waited – and waited, for the light to change or for the traffic to clear, or just to feel safe enough to actually make it across?

If you answered even once – let alone the multiple times most of us have been unable to trip a light or waited in the rain – you’re going to want to hear what Andy Boneau has to say.

Andy is a planner, except he’s not.  He’s a transportation engineer, except not really.

What Andy is is a storyteller and an observer of people, places, and the many ways that they don’t get along.  But, Andy is also a believer in positive outcomes and his unique – and almost always happy and positive – outlook gets things done.

Example – multimodal balance… what is it?  When Andy breaks it down, there’s a truth that isn’t often expressed… there isn’t any.

Or, how about an easy way to get from point a to point b on one app with several different modes – say bikeshare, shuttle, and then maybe walk the last few blocks? How can we accomplish THAT?

Andy writes about all the observations and ideas he has at Urbanism Speakeasy on Substack.  Our conversation today is just a smattering of these ideas.

What a great conversation… You can follow Andy at urbanismspeakeasy.com – his podcast and written blog entries are fascinating and full of great information and ideas.

Next time on TOC, we’ll get an update from Russian frame builder Dmytri Nechaev.  Last time we spoke, he was on his way to Israel to escape what was becoming the protracted war still raging in Ukraine.

Now 7 months later, we’ll learn what has transpired with him, his crew that was still in Russia, and what the future holds.