Show #634 – August 6, 2023

Guests: Jennifer Boyd: Dave Wages

Sometimes I wonder how I ever became so lucky as to be able to have conversations with the people I do, and this episode of the show highlights two of those people.

First up is Jennifer Boyd.

Jennifer is the founder of Boyd Productions,LLC, a documentary production company that prides itself on creating films that spark curiosity, connectivity, and societal change. Her multilingual, female-led team has more than 20 years of experience in filmmaking, music, television, and journalism.

Jennifer has produced and directed more than 25 documentaries on topics ranging from climate change to gun control. Good Morning America has called her work “groundbreaking.”

The doc – as she calls it –is called The Street Project.  The production is fascinating, the content relevant, and several of the people who are included in this film have been on the TOC podcast in the past.

The Street Project is a story about a massive movement across the world to reclaim our largest public spaces – namely, our streets. The film starts in NYC and looks at the issues of safety and the usage of space across the globe. With more than 40,000 cyclists or pedestrians killed across the world last year, Jennifer Boyd gives us a thorough examination of how the way we’ve used our public spaces and what has changed through the last ten decades.

Then, I speak with custom frame builder Dave Wages from Ellis Cycles.

The bicycle business has its biggies – the Treks and Specialized and Canyons – and then it has the custom builders such as Richard Sachs, Peter Wiegel, and my guest today, Dave Wages.

Between those two bookends, there were companies such as Waterford Precision Bicycles and Serotta Custom Cycles.  These were shops that could produce a frame-to-order within a few weeks and might have a small staff that could turn out upwards of several hundred to perhaps a thousand frames per year.

Now, those mid-sized custom shops are mostly gone. You may remember that Dave cut his frame building teeth with Serotta and Waterford and now, both of those companies are gone.

So I wanted to know what Dave, has since gone out on his own to produce his exquisite one-of-a-kind framesets, thinks about the situation as well as what he sees going forward.

Dave’s insights are spot-on and I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say.

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