Show #509 – July 4, 2020

Guests: Dieter Drake; Doug Haney; Liz Canning

I know many of you had long-planned trips and events that have had to either be put on hold or cancelled all together.

Back in December, we spoke with Dieter Drake, who was just taking over the helm of RAGBRAI, the iconic week-long party-on-wheels across Iowa that took place every year at the end of July. As with most events that would host hundreds if not thousands of riders, RAGBRAI was cancelled for 2020.

But, Dieter is also the original founder of the Tour of the Battenkill in upstate NY and last week posted that Battenkill WILL take place this year – not in its usual May time slot obviously, but in September. And, since so few events will actually happen on the ground this year, I wanted to know how the organizers were going to stage it.

Then, Doug Haney, who is the owner and founder of Bike Adirondacks, introduces us to the unique model he’s developed that showcases the beauty of Adirondack Park in Upstate NY.

Reinventing his big events, all of which support local causes, Doug also has found a way to give small groups – family or friends – the unique experience of riding in the High Peaks with his boutique tours – each crafted especially for you.

Lastly, we visit with Liz Canning, director and editor of Motherload Movie. Focused on the beauty of cargo bikes, which Liz discovered when she had twins back in 2008, the 86 minute feature highlights the practicality and progressive ways that a cargo bike can transform your every day life – especially for women.

Show #508 – June 24, 2020

Guests: Clara Honsinger; Paul Berger; “Doc” Wilson

I apologize for the lack of a show last weekend. BUT, I’m hoping this episode will make up for it. I think it has a lot of meaty stuff for you.

First, and as promised a couple of weeks ago, is my conversation with our National Cyclocross Champion, Clara Honsinger. Standing on top of the podium with her family watching and cheering last December, Clara toppled Katie Compton, who had held that honor for 15 years!

Clara and I chat about the race, the bikes, her education, and some advice she would give someone who wants to be “just like her.”

 

Then, Paul Berger, a transportation journalist from the Wall Street Journal, talks with me about his June 17th article titled NYC Proposal Would Vastly Expand Protected Bike Lanes.” But, it was his twitter comment that grabbed my attention when he wrote “Will the new mayor have the will to confront all of the opposition this will en¬counter?”

Lastly, in the midst of all the demonstrations, conversations about social injustice, and with lines being drawn in the sand about Black Lives Matter, Police Restructuring, Economic and health impacts on POC, we meet Reginald “Doc” Wilson.

In a refreshingly optimistic conversation, Doc introduces us to his idea – a new movement as he calls it – the Peace Peloton. It’s so simple – and yet, so effective, that on his FIRST ride 3 weeks ago, 300+ people showed up to ride some miles, eat some food, hear Black owned business owners talk about their work, and just have a good time.
Now other cities are clamoring to replicate it.

Show #507 – June 13, 2020

Guests: Rachael Maney; Sgt Mike Wear

This week’s show tries to put some perspective on the events of not only the past two weeks; but, also the raw realities that have emerged about everything we might have been taught when we were in school and what we think we see in the news and on the streets today – and how the bicycle can be a symbol for both good and bad.

As we try to untangle and understand all the myriad things that are happening – – from COVID19 and its profound effects on our lives and the economy, to the horrific and sickening death of George Floyd and the subsequent global outcries for equity and justice, I turned to my friends and supporters at Bike Law for some perspectives that you may not have heard yet.

Peter Wilborn, who is the founder of Bike Law, started out as a civil rights attorney. In fact, in 2016, Peter wrote a piece for the Bike Law Blog titled, Biking is a Civil Right.

National Bike Law Director, Rachael Maney, has some very personal connections to discrimination and civil rights herself.

So today, Rachael and I take a look at everything from statistics and consequences to illustrations of how inequities show up in everyday situations.

Then, I speak with Sgt Mike Wear, the VP and Public Information Officer for IPMBA. the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting the use of bikes for public safety, providing resources and networking opportunities, and offering the best, most complete training for public safety cyclists.

Over the past couple of weeks as people demonstrated, and sometimes rioted and looted, you may have seen photos of police officers holding their mountain bikes up as shields – or what some headlines have said as weapons – to fend off crowds of people.

From those photos came a barrage of commentary from bike manufacturers that they would no longer supply bicycles to police departments and will “do better” and be “all in” in making changes in their work cultures.

Then I got to thinking and started seeing another side – a way different side – of police on bikes and decided there was way more to the story than the knee jerk reaction – including mine – of condemning the police for the work they were trying to do.

Show #506 – June 6, 2020

Guests: Jesse Anthony; Amy Kapp; Dr. Tab Combs

What a week it has been here in the U.S. And I, for one, am happy to immerse myself in the show and bring you three diverse guests.

COVID19 is still wreaking havoc with a lot of things – including our trails, our streets, and our athletes who had high hopes of competing in any of a number of now cancelled or postponed competitions.

We talk about all three.

First up is Jesse Anthony. Jesse grew up in the Northeast and has been a cyclist all his life, competing until a few years ago. Now, he is the manager and coach of USA Cycling’s Cyclocross team and we chat with him about what we might expect as the cyclocross season looms large in the Fall.

Then, Amy Kapp, editor-in-chief of the Rails-toTrails magazine, gives us some insight into what trail managers are doing, what trail etiquette looks like in the era of the pandemic, and how to enjoy our amazing network of trails this summer.

 

Finally, Dr. Tab Combs joins me to talk about what urban planners are thinking and doing – not only in the time of a pandemic; but, also about how we might need to think about the communities in which newly opened streets have cropped up for more walking and biking, might have to re-think plans with the onset of turmoil and protests in those streets.

Show #505 – May 30, 2020

Guests: Zak Pashak; Chuck Marohn

I believe that life in the time of Covid 19 has changed us all – in a lot of ways and perhaps for the better.

First, I invited Zak Pashak, the president of Detroit Bikes, back to the show.

If you’ve been looking for a bike – especially for recreation or commuting – you may find that the cupboards are bare at many bike shops around the country.

The shops are empty because the suppliers’ warehouses are also empty – for the first time in many years, by the way. And, in fact, some people are seeing what is being called a “mini bike boom.”

In our conversation, you’ll hear what has transpired since the beginning of the pandemic as Zak takes the long and short view of the industry and what he thinks will be the outcome as we open up and live our new normal.

Then, I am always happy to be able share the conversation I had earlier this week with Strong Towns’ director, Chuck Marohn. His vision of what cities need to be livable, desirable, and successful is always uplifting and informative; and now, his ideas and philosophy are more essential than ever.

I always come away from a conversation with Chuck feeling there is hope for a better and more sustainable future.

And, we get to learn about his new book FIRST!!! A scoop… I love it.

Show #504 – May 23, 2020

Guests: Lee Katz; George Liu

Today, I speak with two very interesting and VERY different people.

Lee Katz has been in the bicycle business for 55 years – beginning as a 19 year old as the bike boom of the 1970’s was unfolding.

For those who live in the Chicago area, you have probably been in one of his Turin Bicycle shops. Or, perhaps you had a pair of Lake Sport shoes back in the day – yep – All Lee!

Today, Lee is still very much involved in the bicycle business – and we do a little reminiscing as well as looking forward.

My second guest is immersed in cycling and cities.

As we begin to “un lock” our lives once again, there is a distinct possibility that many of us will not go back to “life as we knew it” before Covid-19 – and, especially as it pertains to the way we get around – from trips to the store, going to work, and even when we go outside for recreation. And, George Liu thinks about this, and much more, a lot.

George Liu is a PhD candidate at the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. He is also the Director of the Urban Cycling Institute which is bringing cycling knowledge from science to practice and back – as their web site states.

In a provocative conversation, George and I discuss Bicycle Highways – the topic of a talk I watched him give on YouTube. As his research for his thesis unfolds and, we explore some of the questions he posed in that talk in our conversati

Show #503 – May 16, 2020

Guests: Brad Bingham; Michelle Baruchman

Spring has finally arrived here in NE Ohio – with a lot of rain, warmer temps, and everything turning green! I LOVE this time of year.

This week, we’re going to visit with titanium frame builder Brad Bingham. He’s another one of those who was apparently born with the bicycle gene, building his first frame at the age of 18.

Born and raised on the west coast, Brad Bingham decided to head to UBI for formal training and began in earnest to work in titanium with Gary Helfrich. He was soon scooped up by Moots.The rest, as they say, is history

Brad eventually bought Eriksen Cycles in Steamboat Springs and now builds under his own brand, Bingham Built. .

Then, after a break, we’ll head to Seattle to chat with Michelle Baruchman, the Seattle Times Traffic Lab Engagement Editor. What is that you ask? So did I! But, her article titled “Seattle will close 20 miles of residential streets to most vehicular traffic” caught my attention, and so I contacted her about that and what else Seattle is facing as the city starts to open up again.

Show #503 – May 9, 2020

Guests: Zoe Zeerip; Eli Akira Kaufman & Barry Gribbon

This week, we visit with Zoe Zeerip, a young woman who, at the age of only 12, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

For 6 months in the summer of 8th grade, Zoe laid on a couch in her home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan while awaiting an appointment with a specialist to figure out what the crazy spider web that was appearing on an X-ray film meant after a scope to her knee.

The diagnosis of idiopathic juvenile arthritis came along with some hefty pharmaceuticals chosen to help her chronic pain and inflammation.

Today, almost 10 years later, Zoe talks with me about her disease, how she is coping – including being able to ride her bicycles – and about the film – Joint Effort – her brother Zep made to show what it’s like to live with JIA.  (The film appears on the Creakyjoints web site)

We also discuss “Protect Our Winters,” the environmental organization about which she is so passionate!

While the pandemic has wreaked havoc with much or our daily lives, there are always a couple of bright spots – including clearer skies and less crowded streets.

Eli Akira Kaufman is the executive director of the LACBC and Barry Gribbon is the ride director for the LA River Ride.

They are here to talk about the organization, the 21 year old ride – and when it will actually happen next – and what we might look forward to when the “new normal” kicks in.

Show #502 – May 2, 2020

Guests: Matt Pinder; Kelly O’Mara

I was never one of those people who said – “this is what I want to be when I grow up;” and, in fact, had absolutely NO idea that I’d spend my entire adult life in the bicycle world.

But, Matt Pinder who is the author of the blog, Beyond the Automobile, knew.

Matt holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Toronto, with a specialization in Transportation Planning & Engineering. And, he’s passionate about improving the way the world moves – and bicycles are a HUGE part of that passion.

After my conversation with Matt, we’ll speak with Kelly O’Mara, the editor-in-chief of Triathlete Magazine.

Her recent article, “will triathlons comes back this year? what will they look like? was just published on April 29th. Those are two HUGE questions and, while we don’t have a crystal ball, Kelly has been talking with athletes, race directors, and sponsors as pools stay closed and events are either being cancelled or postponed.

 

Show #501 – April 25, 2020

Guests: Jenn Dice; Dr. Michael Lewis

I hope you are safe and well and, as we begin to re-enter the world more fully, will continue to be mindful of taking care of yourself and those around us.

First I’d like to say thank you – thank you all for your kind words about the 500th episode of the show last week. Looking back, it just doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been hosting this podcast for almost 10 years! And, it’s still mostly a lot of fun – of course, nothing is perfect and especially all the time!

As the weather continues to improve here on the east coast and, even though we may find many of the plans we had were disrupted, postponed, or cancelled entirely, I thought an upbeat conversation about getting back out there was in order.

I remember many years ago when a fledgling organization People For Bikes asked that people sign a pledge that supported getting more people on bikes with the hopes of getting 1,000,000 signatures. At the time, I wasn’t at all certain about that lofty goal – but, I put the paper petitions on the counter in the shop and watched people sign.

Fast forward to today? 1.3 million people have signed on to support the notion and People For Bikes is a force to be reckoned with as their programs – from community grants and statistical gathering to their political work and industry-wide partnerships – show.

Today, Jenn Dice, the COO of PFB, joins me from Colorado where she is still staying at home and working, to talk about their newest resource for all of us – Ride Spot. It’s an app. And, it is an encouraging sign that bicycles are going to play a bigger role going forward.

Dr. Michael Lewis is back to talk about his work with the brain. 

Originally working in epidemiology, Dr. Lewis was tapped by the Army to work with his idea that Omega-3 might help to balance the inflammatory problems with the brain – especially when injured by a TBI. His work resulted in his book, When Brains Collide. And, I wanted him to explain his work and how it might apply to anyone who hits his or her head – even when wearing a helmet.