Show #474 – October 12, 2019

Guests: Marc Peruzzi; Maria Caffrey; Salvador Rueda

It’s been a rather outrageous week here in the U.S. – and, while I like to keep things on an even keel, I’ve had to acknowledge that the “outrageousness” appears to cross all lines.

One of the themes of this strange and unsettling time is lawlessness – it seems to be showing up in the sheer number of deaths of both cyclists and pedestrians where drivers are beyond careless and distracted.

This week, we hear from Marc Peruzzi, a freelance journalist who covers many aspects Cyclists Are Migrating To Dirt, sparked a very lively conversation on our Facebook Page as comment after comment agreed with him that the roads have become scary and paths, gravel, and dirt may be the only things savings the sport.

Another discouraging theme of the times is the concerted effort to discredit science and suppress facts. It never occurred to me that I would be saying climate scientist and whistleblower in the same sentence; but, when I read about Dr. Maria Caffrey, who worked at the National Park Service for 8 years, had her work censored, and finally filed a whistleblower case this past summer, it became too compelling a story not to follow.

Recently, Maria published an article for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ blog, titled Cultivating Censorship at the National Park Service: New Acting Director Issues Controversial Memo”. Since we just learned that the NPS is allowing eBikes in all the parks, I wanted to know if there was any connection.

Lastly, I am able to offer a little light at the end of the tunnel.

Our friend in Florida, Christine Acosta, spent some time with Salvador Rueda, the urban ecology director in Barcelona, Spain. Christine and her family traveled to Spain a few months ago and Christine was able to corral Senor Rueda for a chat. She had originally learned about him and his work at the Vision Zero conference in NY a couple of years ago.

Mr. Rueda has some far-reaching and forward-thinking ideas about how to make our cities more livable, from calming traffic to adding trees. The conversation is filled with ideas we can adopt.

Show #473 – October 5, 2019

Guests: Ed Benjamin; Tucker Schwinn

Before we get to this week’s show, I wanted to let you know that we will be recording at French Fender Day in Lyme, Connecticut with Peter Weigel and crew next Saturday. We will be attempting to stream some of it live on Facebook – if I can figure it out – and then bring you the interviews in the upcoming weeks.

Watch our social media – Facebook and Twitter – as well as our blog outspokencyclist.com for live feed times if you are interested in seeing it firsthand.

So, let’s get to this week’s show.

Finding ways to ride longer – not only into the season, but into the seasons of your life, might fall under the first topic up for discussion today.

Many years ago, Ed Benjamin hopped on the eBike bandwagon and has never looked back. At the time, there weren’t many people in his corner.

But look at him today… Ed is the Senior Managing Director of eCycleElectric Consultants, a consulting group focused on electric bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, and components for these since 1996 as well as the Chairman of Light Electric Vehicle Association, a trade group for the industry.

Today, Ed joins me to talk about the nuts and bolts of the eBike business – how big it is, who is buying and riding the bikes, and where the future of these vehicles is going.

Then, Tucker Schwinn, yes you know the name, joins me to talk about a sport you may not know even existed, let alone thrives.

As far back as 1942, Bicycle Polo was a thing. Whether today’s bike polo scene is a revival or a brand new chapter in the sport, Tucker, who has been competing since 2004, tells us all about it – how it works, who is participating, and how you can join in on the fun if you want.

Show #472 – September 28, 2019

Guests: Steve Frothingham; Jeff Speck

Steve Frothingham, editor of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, talks with me about the tariffs and the effects they have had and are having on the bicycle business.

Then, I speak with Jeff Speck. He is one of the most influential city planners working today. Formerly the Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts, his company Speck and Associates is a planning firm that serves both municipal and private clients.

Jeff walks the walk, talks the talk, and give us a fascinating “civic” lesson in when and how communities thrive, how the environment is either supported or undermined, and where we find inequity in society.

Oddly enough, we have a fairly deep discussion of parking and how it affects how cities thrive – and, in fact, cities are NOT thriving! Making them more bikeable and walkable though?

Yes – bicycles, walking, and public transit play a HUGE role in all of it.

We talk about some practical ideas that even cities in dire financial straits can do to make walking and biking safer as well as controlling traffic more intentionally and successfully.

So, while his book, Walkable City Rules, 101 Steps to Making Better Places, might be a manual for professionals, I believe hearing the ideas and successes puts them into a place where you can see yourself perhaps getting involved and helping to make lasting change. You can attend council and planning meetings and, taking some of Jeff’s simple “rules” show your city there just might be room for protected bikes infrastructure.

One more thought here… many of us have abandoned the roads because of safety concerns. Instituting some of the “rules” in Jeff’s book might just put us back ON the roads – where bicycle belong!

I don’t usually air the small talk that takes place as we begin to roll for recording the show; but, Jeff sort of surprised me by asking ME questions and the interview just began to unfold – without any formal. introduction.

Show #471 – September 21, 2019

Guests: Dan De Vise; Ben Brewer; Gabe Klein

This week, I chat with three most interesting people – two expansive thinkers in totally different fields – one is “urbanism” the other is what he terms “economic sociology” and I bring back Dan De Vise whose book, The Comeback – Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a legendary Tour de France, (which we reviewed when it came out in June of 2018) inspired Congressman Mike Thompson of California to introduce HR Bill #3589 to award Mr. LeMond the congressional gold medal – the second highest civilian award in the country.

I don’t think Greg LeMond was ever totally forgotten; but, I do believe he never really received the accolades and recognition he deserved as a true champion of our sport and of his conduct in the peloton.

Dan De Vise tells us the synchronistic way this honor came about and what happens next.

Then, James Madison University sociology Professor Ben Brewer, who grew up in Northern California during the “big boom era” of mountain biking and innovative frame building, studies and reports on social issues and how they are juxtaposed against economics – and his new case study is bicycle frame builders.

His survey to frame builders is about to close and, in addition to sharing that link with frame builders, I wanted to know what he wants to know.

Lastly, but definitely not leastly – Gabe Klein has been on my radar for a long time. I first learned about him when he was the Transportation Commissioner for Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago.

Gabe’s thoughts and ideas about cities, transportation, and the broader ramifications of getting it all wrong make for a very interesting conversation.

Show #470 – September 14, 2019

Guests: Debra Bogaards; Sue Prant; Kevin Wren

If you are a regular listener to NPR’s Marketplace, which airs weekdays around 6pm in our time zone, you may have recognized my voice – On Tuesday, a 3-minute monologue about our bicycle business aired around 25 minutes into the show on the My Economy feature.

And, what happened next was unbelievable – it was as if someone had unleashed a hurricane as all of our social media feeds lit up, our web site was overwhelmed, and our email in boxes were full.

I really want to thank Bennett Purser, the producer who not only talked me through the initial conversation, but skillfully edited and assembled the piece… I am very grateful and very envious of his talent!

If you missed it and are interested in hearing it, you can log onto marketplace.org and click on the my economy link at the top. The piece is titled A small bike shop with a big customer first idea. Yeah baby!

So, now that I’ve patted myself on the back enough… let’s do a show!

Three great guests – three very different topics this evening.

First up is attorney Debra Bogaards. I met Debra when Brian and I rode in Israel in 2017 and we’ve kept in touch through social media since. Debra’s law practice is in S.F.

Recently, she posted something about cancelling her membership in the luxury Equinox fitness club where she took spinning classes among other things.

Voting with her dollars, Debra’s reasons for taking her money elsewhere are a noble example of honoring your principles and calling out those who don’t.

Then, it’s off to Boulder, Colorado where Sue Prant, executive director of Community Cycles, talks with me about plunger-gate (I believe I coined that expression) when a lane on 30th Street, notorious for being a tough place for cyclists, was mysteriously turned into a protected bike lane with a line of plungers glued to the pavement. Sue and I also talk about her work and how Colorado is handling some transportation issues.

Finally, Kevin Wren of Wren Sports, who is just back from Eurobike, gives us an overview of the show, a lesson in how the bike industry really works, and how he and his partner drilled down to find the niche that they now occupy with some great success

Show #469 – September 7, 2019

It’s Our 9th Anniversary Today!

Guests: Chris Carmichael; Gary Mikitin; Tim O’Mara

It is a very special day for me – the 9th anniversary of the Outspoken Cyclist show. Today’s episode is #469 and I am so proud and grateful to have been able to do this work for so long.

In the past week or so, as I’ve shared this anniversary with some folks, I am told that I am a “veteran” of the medium – podcasting – and, in retrospect, I guess that is true.

What is so interesting to me though? It’s how every week there are so many new stories and new people to fill the hour of time. Sometimes, it even feels like work! Yet, for the most part, there isn’t anything I think I would enjoy more than to continue to bring this show to you each week.

So, thank you – for listening, for your comments, and especially for your loyalty and encouragement.

So, let’s talk about show #469 – this week’s episode.

As promised, Chris Carmichael, who is the founder and head coach at CTS – Carmichael Training Systems, is with me to talk about regaining your confidence after a crash. While much of the conversation pertains to riding with others in a group, there are some noteworthy tips for all of us about skills and handling – whether riding alone or racing in a peloton.

Then, we have our man-on-the-ground Gary Mikitin with us to talk about an announcement made just Thursday by the Department of the Interior about eBikes in the National Parks. You will recognize Gary’s voice as that of the person who opens and closes the show each week.

[Photo of Asst. Secy., of the Interior Rob Wallace by Gary Mikitin]

The Dept of the Interior chose our CVNP as the venue to make the announcement and Gary was there.

Finally, we head south to Atlanta to speak with Tim O’Mara. Tim and his wife Becky bought a fixer-upper on the west side of Atlanta a few years back. But, as fate would have it, a young neighborhood girl knocked on their door soon after they moved in asking for some help. And, the story takes off from there.

Today, Tim and Becky run Bearings Bike Shop – a non-profit organization that gives kids the life skills they will need to be successful – at whatever they choose.

Show #468 – August 31, 2019

Guests: Lynn Salvo; Jamie Whitmore

This week we speak with two incredibly interesting, fierce, and inspirational women.

Lynn Salvo – wow, where to begin! She’s about to turn 70 and in the past couple of years, she’s notched two Guiness World Records on her belt. She holds a PhD, speaks Italian, and clearly loves riding long distances.

We held this interview an extra week so that the upload would coincide with the completion of one part of her current project – that of riding the shape of a peace sign around the entire United States.

We’ll talk about that, her world records, why she focuses her efforts on peace, and what her next projects will be.

Jamie Whitmore was an athlete from the time she was 5. Since then, she has – wait for it:

• 11 Gold, 3 silver, 6 bronze) UCI Para-cycling Road World & UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
• Gold medal winner Road Race, Summer 2016 Paralympics
• Silver medal winner 3000 meter individual pursuit Summer 2016 Paralympics
• Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award 2014
• Winningest female athlete in XTERRA off-road triathlon history with 37 wins
• Member of the XTERRA Hall of Fame

Jamie is the most successful female athlete in XTERRA history with 37 wins, six national titles and one world title.

Overcoming some unbelievable adversity, Jamie went on to win Gold and silver in RIO in 2016, is raising her twin boys, and still competes at world class level.

Her journey is nothing less than amazing

Show #467 – August 24, 2019

Guests: Jessica Chicinno; Heidi Groover; Mikael Colville-Andersen

Jessica Chicinno is with the IIHS – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and joins me to talk about a recent study the organization did titled “Some protected bike lanes leave cyclist vulnerable to injury.” It wasn’t what I expected to see or read; and, I wanted to hear what the study found.

Then, Diane talks with Seattle Times transportation reporter Heidi Groover. Heidi reported on a controversy that left me a little baffled. If bicycle infrastructure had already been approved for a revamping of 35th Avenue NE in Seattle, why wasn’t it implemented?

I wasn’t the only one who wanted to know that answer as the “two sides” those in favor and those opposed, were ushered into a mediation by the Mayor.

Lastly,  Diane jets off to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where I caught up with the whirlwind that is Michael Colville-Andersen.

He’s sort of indescribable with just a couple of words.. but, his ideas about “urbanism” have produced books, Ted Talks, videos, and a television series. His out-of-the-box thinking has also begun to transform cities and the way they look at how things move.

Show #466 – August 17, 2019

Guests: Jason Mutchler; Graham Watson

I discovered Jason Mutchler’s story on the Zwift.com site and after reading it, I wanted to talk with him. I had to wait until he returned from RAGBRAI, but I think the wait was well worth it.

Jason, who is retired from the Air Force after a 22 year career and a horrific incident that forced that retirement, is a member of the Zwift DIRT team – a worldwide group of Dads Riding Indoor Trainers.

After our break, we head to Colorado, which is NOT where our guest lives; and, he just happened to be in the States for a vacation. Luckily for me, and I think for you, he made some time to chat.

Graham Watson is arguably the most famous cycling photographer, and one to capture some of the most amazing cycling images over his 40-year career.

Retiring at the end of the 2017 racing season, Graham chats with me about his career and what life on the road as a photographer is like.

Show #465 – August 10, 2019

Guests: Dr. Jonathan Hersch; Luke Edwardes-Evans

This week, we have two very different conversations for you – one about a book, but not really all about a book, and another with our friend Dr. Jonathan Hersch, but not really about orthopedic matters.

Cryptic enough?

Okay, let’s start with Dr. Hersch. We had already decided we were going to discuss what happens in crashes and emergency-type treatments when he had an incident last Sunday that really disturbed him; and, he wanted to discuss it.

Fortunately, he wasn’t injured and he didn’t crash – but, what MIGHT have happened has spurred him to take on an advocacy role in the his home state of Florida – which touts the depressing statistic of being the deadliest state in the U.S. in which to ride your bike. We’ll get to that conversation in a moment.

After a break, including some cycling news, we’ll head to the U.K. for a long-awaited chat with Luke Edwardes-Evans about his new book, The Official Tour de France Bike Maintenance Book.

Luke isn’t a mechanic, he’s a journalist; and, I couldn’t remember where I’d seen his name, besides on the cover of the book.

But, as we started talking I realized – he had been editor of Winning Magazine and a past editor of Cycle Sport!
Luke and I cover a lot of territory in our lively conversation- including some of his roles in the cycling world and, oh yes, we talk about the book too!