Outspoken Cyclist Podcast
Podcasting Since 2010
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vision zero article in washington post is interesting
Thanks! Vision Zero podcast coming up next week with Leah Shahum from the NY Symposium.
Feels like we are on the cusp of a seed change in cycling. Getting so I can’t support my bikes. Parts are disappearing. Rim brake rims, 5 arm cranks and chainrings, triple cranksets, rim brake hubs, 10s parts let alone 9s, 8s etc., Non-tubless tires, Non-disc forks, etc etc. The marketers say “you must buy road bike discs” and the sheep march to the tune. Solutions without problems.
Then on the horizon are eBikes which threaten to complete eliminate non-electric bicycles. On a recent tour from Munich to Verona Italy over 50% of the bikes on the trails were eBikes. Visited familiar high-end road bike shop and it was so different. Owner said high-road bikes were now a niche and he made his living selling eBikes 80%. Volume sales drive everything in the mass production world.
Will take longer in the US because no one commutes but as volume brings prices now manufacturers are going to be pushing the ebike. More consumables for the seller in the form of batteries and bikes that don’t have to be sold on performance basis. Lightness or fineness of components is unimportant.
I can see a time soon when our world is gone.
You might also find a good interview with Lloyd Alter of treehugger.com on his point of view of bikes of a green transportation society.
Thank you for writing!
I know we are on the receding edge of what we all knew as “road bikes” – but, the niches that are the Handmade Show or the Builder’s Ball or even French Fender Days still keep me engaged.
What goes around comes around and, even though E-Bikes will be a huge part of the story, they will never “replace” bicycles. More people riding will, hopefully, make the roads safer though.
It remains to be seen – and, I will still hold out hope that some diligent parents will “teach their children well.”
There are many of us still riding, and even building, 9 and 10 speed bikes as if they’re brand new.
Some newer stuff is legitimately superior. For myself, and most of my customer base, the benefits of discs may never overcome the drawbacks, and it is indeed discouraging to see the non-disc choices diminishing, especially with the marketing clout of the major parts manufacturers. Options, mostly aftermarket, do remain however, and may never disappear entirely.
11-speed finally made triples obsolete. It took several generations, but the operation, reliability, crispness, light-weight, gear-range, performance, and (debate-ably) even appearance have indeed surpassed what triples had to offer. This is one of those rare instances when I say, “Just do it. It is better, and it is worth it.”
(I have exquisite 5-speed, 7-speed, 9-speed, and 10-speed bikes, and they’re perfect as they are – all with top-end components – so I’ll not be changing any them, but my 11-speed is far superior to all of them.)
There are still several great choices for rim-brake rims, including Velocity, DT-Swiss, HED, Velo-Orange, H+Son, Alex, etc. For classic cranks, we have Phil Wood, White Industries, Stronglight, SpecialtiesTA, Sugino, IRD, and Rene Herse (3-arm).
I too am heartbroken by the loss of non-disc hub choices, especially the recent elimination of Ultegra and Dura-Ace.
As for eBikes… I’m hesitant to disagree that they’ll make pure-pedal bikes a niche, but E-assist bikes are in their infancy of development, and have a long way to go before we can lament the elimination of pure-pedal bikes. It’s hard to argue that more people on bikes, of any type, is a negative thing.
Today we spend large percentages of our income on smartphones, tablets, and computing technology, because 1.) they magically deteriorate every couple years, 2.) it’s easy to lump the payments into the data plan so it feels like they’re free, and 3.) in many cases it’s challenging to “keep up” in today’s society with anything less. Only a couple decades ago we spent in one year, on a landline, less than many spend in a month now for mobile access. This is far more than inflation, and it’s insane.
Only a couple decades ago $500 bought you a great bike you intended to enjoy for… Well, perhaps forever, and $2000 bought you an exquisite handmade machine that really would last a lifetime. Now it’s “normal” to NEED a new $6000+ foreign-made disposable carbon marvel every 2-3 years. I’ve made my living building and selling expensive custom bicycles but, much like the smartphone craze, this is not inflation, and it’s insane.
Hi Diane. My name is Ed Ewing, I’m the founder of the Major Taylor Project in Seattle. I understand you would like to speak with me about the Project. I may be reached at email@example.com. Thank you Diane, I look forward to speaking with you.
To Outspoken Cyclist. I listen often, great show
Personally I’ve been cycling since preschool, BMX racing then freestyle, then 25 years in a touring club, my longest trip was the Maine coast From NB Canada to Portland, I have been finishing Sprints and one Olympic since 2006
Acquired a tadpole recumbent trike last summer and love it
HAM Radio operator since 1998 VE9GIS, and avid geocacher.
Moving to shorter cranks
suggested cadence while standing
use of trailers
travel by train, air (after COVID)
Can we bring bikes on a cruise
major tour routes like Pacific coast, great divide, Atlantic, Northern tier, southern tier, Canada coast to coast
Bicycle Mobile HAMs
Podcasts: Pedal shift, Bike Talk, Sprocket, bentrider online
Ja Yoe Nation
Trails in Montreal, 700 kilometres (435 miles)
Laid Back Bike report
using bikes to facilitate other hobbies like geocaching
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your comments on the blog. Unfortunately, I check email much more frequently (as in a million times a day) as so many more messages about interview requests, product reviews, etc. come in that way. I appreciate you taking time to make a list of possible topics and can actually click a few off the list – Laid Back Bike Report with Gary, eBikes, train travel (and in fact, I’ve reached out to Amtrak in the past month to get updates on that,) cargo bikes, recumbent bikes, and so much more. If you are looking for a particular topic or interview, you can usually find it in the search bar on the site. If you’d like to receivee more timely responses, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Best, Diane
Dear Outspoken Cyclist team,
I’m sure you’ve heard about the explosion in popularity of bicycling these days—and we have a well-timed gem of a book called BICYCLING FOR LADIES that we’re hoping can capitalize on that. We’re bringing BICYCLING FOR LADIES—originally published in 1896—back into print on March 23, 2021. The book, written by Maria E. Ward, was the ultimate scandalous 19th century bicycling guide for ladies, and is a fascinating (and frequently very funny) snapshot of the role that sports played in the lives of Victorian age women. I’m pasting more information about it below my signature, and here is a link to view the entire book via Dropbox:
Victoria Munro, Executive Director of the Alice Austen House and Maxine Friedman, Chief Curator of Historic Richmond Town are both available for interviews about BICYCLING FOR LADIES. They can talk about Maria Ward and her unconventional, trail-blazing life; the importance of bicycling to women’s independence in the 1800s (before bicycling exploded in popularity, proper women were not allowed to travel unaccompanied by a man); bicycling’s dramatic impact on women’s clothing; the book’s place in lesbian history; and much more.
Please let me know if I can send you a hard copy, when available? Thank you for considering!
gregory.henry (at) apollopublishers.com
“Bicycling by young women has helped more than any other medium to swell the ranks of reckless girls, who finally drift into the army of outcast women of the United States.”
—Women’s Rescue League, 1891
“I think the most vicious thing I ever saw in all my life is a woman on a bicycle-and Washington is full of them. I had thought that cigarette smoking was the worst thing a woman could do, but I have changed my mind.”
—The Sunday Herald, 1891
“Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one’s balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted ‘bicycle face.'”
—The Literary Digest, 1895
“Have you ever seen anything more off-putting, uglier, meaner than a wench on a bike, wheezing, her face red like a turkey, her eyes reddened by the dust? What a horror!”
“Don’t cultivate a bicycle face.”
—New York World, 1895
“Female bicycling must be sharply looked after and care exercised in its indulgence… bicyclingis a leading factor in disturbances of nutrition, in neurasthenia, hysteria, chlorosis, dyspepsia, chronic constipation, anemic amenorrhoea, and nervous dysmenorrhoea.”
—The Medical Age, November, 1897
“It is a fact that so called bicycle schools do tend to foster immorality to individual members of the sex.”
—The Medical Age, January, 1897
Bicycling for Ladies:
The Classic 1896 Guide to Skills, Exercise, Mechanics, and Dress
By Maria E. Ward
On sale: March 23, 2021
Bicycling for Ladies is the trailblazing book that introduced women to bicycling and shocked a Victorian culture on its release in 1896. Today it remains comprehensive and useful, but also celebrates women’s advancement in the sport and offers an inspiring, and amusing, look back.
Maria E. Ward let the social norms and gendered expectations of the nineteenth century eat her dust when she wrote the groundbreaking guide to bicycling for women. In chapters such as Women and Tools, Dress, and How to Make Progress, Ward explains the function of wheels, gears, and spokes, gives instruction on how to safely and efficiently ride, and discusses optimal attire (layers and a stretchy corset, of course).
Ward’s detailed mechanical and physical instruction, paired with helpful images and charts, makes daunting ordeals like hill climbing, navigating traffic, and bike maintenance a breeze. In modern times, when so much is outsourced, automated, and unreliable, Ward’s approach to transportation is refreshing. But while bicycling is rich with health and environmental benefits, male bicyclists still outnumber female riders, most competitive cyclists are male, and women are more likely to report feeling unsafe on a bike. Ward’s text gives women the tools they need to claim their stake of the road. For seasoned cyclists or those just starting out, it is a timeless and relevant directive—ideal for today’s woman who’s ready to take the world by the handlebars.
The photos and instructional images throughout Bicycling for Ladies are the result of a collaboration between Ward and Alice Austen, one of America’s earliest and most prolific professional female photographers. The volume has an elegant new design and is small enough to ride with.
About the author
Maria E. Ward, known by her nickname Violet, was an avid bicyclist, the cofounder of the Staten Island Bicycling Club, and the author of Bicycling for Ladies. Ward was born in Manhattan, New York, the daughter of General William Greene Ward and Emily Graham Ward, and later lived in Staten Island with her parents and sister. She cofounded the Staten Island Bicycle Club with her friend, the acclaimed photographer Alice Austen, in 1895, and Austen’s photographs were used as references for the illustrations in Bicycling for Ladies, originally published by Brentano’s in 1896.
Ward has been widely celebrated for her contribution to the bicycling world in a wealth of media, including the May 2019 New York Times article “Bicycle Diaries: Two Centuries of New York City History,” the Bust magazine article “First The Bicycle, Next The Vote: The Story Of Bicycles And Feminism,” the book Mothers and Daughters of Invention, and Momentum Mag, which called her one of the three women “who changed the course of history on bicycles.” Ward lived in New York, and died in 1941 at the age of seventy-eight.
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