Show #386 – February 3, 2018

Guests: Susie Marcks; Richard Fries, Don Walker

I cover a wide range of topics this week starting with toddlers on balance bikes.

My first guest, Susie Marcks, is the media voice of Strider Bikes. When the company was founded in 2007, the founder, Ryan McFarland, realized that his child needed and wanted to learn to ride. As with many children, training wheels were not working – and, Strider was born.

Today, the company has arguably become that “first bike” for thousands of kids from toddler through the 20″ BMX machine.

Then, there are the Strider Cup races, the World Championship, the partnerships, the philanthropy, and so much more.

Then, I have conversation with Mass Bike’s Richard Fries, a frequent guest on the show.

While Richard and Mass Bike are doing some amazing advocacy feats in Massachusetts, our conversation today is once again about the serious issue of police officials getting it wrong when a crash occurs – in these instances killing the rider.

We pick up the story of Dr. Anita Kurmann who was riding in her lane, carefully navigating traffic. In a video compiled from traffic cameras in the area, Richard tells us about the 16 seconds that the driver of the truck had Dr. Kurman in his mirrors, yet turned right anyway. She never had a chance.

What happened in the aftermath is the heart of our discussion about what it is going to take to enforce the laws, teach the police and prosecutors, and in effect change the system.

Finally, it’s time for the 2018 North American Handmade Bike Show and this year it is finally on the east coast in Hartford, CT.

Kicking off on Friday, February 16th and running through that weekend, NAHBS is celebrating 13 years of beautiful bikes, interesting and educational seminars, and a look into the myriad ideas of the handmade machine.

Show director Don Walker will give us the rundown on the event and how it has changed the industry.



Show #362 – August 26, 2017

Guests: Patrice Martin; Richard Fries

This week, we take a trip up to Michigan to speak with the proprietor of the Hart House Bed and Breakfast that takes sustainability AND cyclists to heart. In fact, it’s IN Hart – Hart, Michigan.

Patrice Martin and her husband Allan did their due diligence before retiring and learned not only how to run a B&B, but how to attract cyclists as well as other outdoors people with their lovely bedroom spaces, their 3-course breakfasts, and the amenities they provide.

The B&B is located just three blocks from the Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail, Michigan’s first rail-trail.

Then, off to California where we catch up with the “man of many hats” Richard Fries. Richard is taking a couple of days to prepare for a Best Buddies ride before heading back home to Boston for a crazy fall season.

He’s the executive director of MassBike, the executive director and co-founder of the KMC Cross Fest, a fabulous race announcer, and has one of the best “bicycle minds” I know when it comes to just about any topic on the industry.

Richard and I have a lengthy conversation that covers the gamut from education for young people to the killer course for this year’s KMC Crossfest at the Thompson Speedway Motor Park in Thompson, Connecticut.

Show #341 – April 1, 2017

Guests: Dave Kirk; Tom Kuglin; Richard Fries

April 1st – No Foolin’

This week I speak with framebuilder Dave Kirk who won two first place ribbons at NAHBS in Salt Lake City last month.

His Reynolds 953 stainless steel bike won in the fillet brazed category and he also won for best road bike.

Dave and I delve into his journey to the one-made shop he runs in Bozeman, MT as well as the reasons his traditional bikes might have attracted the judges’ attention.

We talk a bit about his Dad, who passed away many years ago when Dave was just a little boy; and, how his JK Specials honor his father and his father’s work.

Staying right in Montana, I talk with Natural Resources reporter Tom Kuglin about Senate Bill #363 which just cleared the Montana Senate and was sent over to the House with a $25.00 per bike fee for anyone coming in to Montana from out of state with a bike in tow. Tom’s March 30th article caught my attention and I wanted him to explain why Senator Sales might have pitched this amendment and what is likely to happen next.

Then, we head back to the east coast to catch up with the busier-than-ever director of MassBike, Richard Fries. The organization is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year and, while there is no way we can cover everything that is happening in Massachusetts on the bike front in one conversation, we touch on quite a few topics. One that sounded like a lot of fun was opening day at Fenway Park, where you can ride your bike, avoid the $30 parking fee, and enjoy the game while the Bike Valet takes care of the parking for you.

We also just graze the topic of the Spring Classics and Richard’s race announcing schedule for 2017.

Finally, I will read you the short excerpt from Adventure Cycling Association about the sudden and untimely death of Mike Deme. I just spoke with him on the show at the end of February. It was a a terrible blow to the Adventure Cycling community as well as the cycling community at large. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.


Show #313 – September 15, 2016

Guests: Richard Fries, Eric Weis, Kelly Hodgson

Middle of September already and we are deep in cross season.

This week, Diane talks with KMC Crossfest’s consummate announcer – and promoter – Richard Fries. While we do discuss Crossfest, we delve into a lot more of the issues and successes that Richard is addressing as the head honcho at Mass Bike.

After two fatal crashes in one day, Richard dropped into high(er) gear than he usually uses to pursue his passions and the results of what might be coming next are quite thought provoking.

Then, we catch up with Eric Weis, who is in full-tilt boogie mode as the New England Builder’s Ball nears the launch date.

Last year when we spoke with Eric, he was wrapping up his long tenure as the head of the East Coast Greenway Director of Development. He’s passed that baton and after a couple of months off to pursue some of his long-held dreams of bike touring and more – which of course did not turn out exactly as planned – he is hard at work putting the finishing touches on the New England Builder’s Ball and KMC Vendor Expo.

The Ball and the KMC Crossfest move to a new venue this year – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, CT (I know you can hear that announcer yelling “Sunday-Sunday”).

The NE Builder’s Ball is a one-of-a-kind event, taking place from 7-11pm on Friday, September 30th. The new venue, which is a huge storage barn for vintage cars, is going to see some interesting action as the cross races ride right on through the middle. Oh, and did we mention there will be free beer?

Let’s let Eric tell you the rest.

Finally, we hear a heartwarming story about United Cycle and Sport Central in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. United Cycle’s Kelly Hodgson fills us in on the details of the $500,000 in sports equipment and supplies his organization promised after a devastating fire forced more than 80,000 people our of their homes in Ft. McMurray last year.

Sport Central’s commitment doesn’t stop with the 53’ semi that delivered the equipment; rather, it has set up a permanent office to continue to help the community rebuild.

Show #229 – January 17, 2015

Guests: Richard Fries; Elly Blue

When the Heritage Tree Foundation protested the final day of our Cyclocross National Championships in Austin, Texas, riders, fans, and officials had to scramble to figure out what to do to qualify our National Team and make the Junior men and women whole.

First the event was canceled, then it was postponed, and finally the last of the events was rescheduled for Monday . Some folks went home disappointed, others were able to compete, but it just took some of the fun and excitement out of one of the most interesting of our cycling disciplines.

Richard Fries – race promoter, commentator, and the new Executive Director of Mass Bike was there and fills us in on all that happened last weekend.

Richard will also give us his understanding of and ideas for bicycle advocacy for the State of Massachusetts as he embarks on this new phase of his already long and illustrious cycling career.

After our news, we’ll head on out to Portland, Oregon to catch up with one of the busiest journalists, writers, and feminist cyclists I know, Elly Blue.

Elly’s company, Elly Blue Publishing (AKA Taking the Lane) merged with Microcosm Publishing last month and the result is – MORE Elly Blue opportunities. With more resources and a lot more titles, Elly will be able to continue her work, expand her portfolio of titles, and get back on the road with her popular Dinner & Bikes events.

It’s a full plate of cycling so, let’s get to it.

Show #211 – September 13, 2014

Guests: Robin Bylenga, Richard Fries , David Trimble

September 13th and it’s FALL here in NE Ohio! Temps are cool, winds are blowin’, and the leaves have started turning colors.

September is also Interbike time and we will hear about this year’s event from a colleague of mine from Greenville, SC. Robin Bylenga is the proprietor of Pedal Chic. Robin gives us a glimpse into what the industry is offering for 2015 as well as her thoughts about the IBD and what s/he is up against when it comes to competing with on line marketers.

Richard Fries, who is one of our perennial favorite guests, will fill us in on what he’s been up to including an opportunity to announce the UCI Para Cycling World Championship races for television audiences. He shares his work with Anthony Shriver and the Best Buddies Challenge and gives us an update on the Providence CycloCross progress toward becoming a World Cup event.

Finally, we will speak with David Trimble, the director and founder of the Red Hook Criterium Series. Starting with a simple birthday ride idea back in 2008, the Red Hook has become one of the premiere non-sanctioned events growing from one race in Brooklyn, NY to a worldwide series. The final race of 2014 will be held in Milano, Italy next month.

So, hang on to your handlebars and we’re off to Las Vegas!

Show #181 – February 8, 2014 – RADIOTHON!

Guests: Richard Fries, Cyclocross Worlds; Mark Livingood, Tandem Geek; encore storyteller Maynard Hershon “Nice Wheels”

This week at WJCU is our annual Radiothon, which among other things, gives us something to talk about besides the weather. This year, WJCU’s Radiothon theme is Thrive and Survive, which is a sentiment we as cyclists can relate to. Some days on the bike, we’re just surviving, and other days we’re thriving.

For 52 weeks every year, WJCU brings you independent, commercial-free music and talk programming, created by actual human beings with a passion for serving you, the listener. One week out of those 52, we ask you to make a donation to help ensure that WJCU can continue to bring you great shows like The Outspoken Cyclist. Pledge your support online through Sunday, February 16th. 100% of your donation goes to WJCU, and it’s tax deductible!

Now, on to this week’s show. Richard Fries has been announcing at bike races for decades, and recently he’s been promoting Cyclocross in New England. He’s just back from the 2014 Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, and he has a full report, along with some upcoming plans for ‘cross racing here in the U.S.

In the second half of the show, Diane and Tim bring you the week’s news, and then check in with The Tandem Geek himself, Mark Livingood. Mark brings news of changes at the Tandem Club of America, including a revamped website.

And we wrap up with an encore presentation of a story by one of the great cycling writers, Maynard Hershon. First aired in November, 2011, Maynard’s story “Nice Wheels” is ripe for another spin.

Show #165 – October 19, 2013


We’ve probably all said at one time or another, “I love my job, but it gets in the way of my biking.” I said that a few times just this week. Our first guest on today’s Outspoken Cyclist acted on that sentiment by leaving a scientific research career to become a downhill mountain bike racer. Marla Streb has worn many hats over the years, and currently she’s a wife and mother, coach, and writer, as well as the proprietor of Streb Trail Systems, a mountain bike park design company in Costa Rica. Clearly, Marla is a woman who loves all of her jobs.

Filming started yesterday on the new movie Seven Deadly Sins, based on Irish journalist David Walsh’s book about Lance Armstrong. Chris O’Dowd has signed on to play David Walsh, and Ben Foster will portray the “seven deadly sinner”. Friend of the show Charles Pelkey figures into this story as he was part of the entourage that included Walsh, Rupert Guiness, and John Wilcoksen during the 1999 Tour. Pelkey will be played by Nathan Wiley, and he’s on this week’s show to talk about that and much more.

Lastly, Diane catches up with Providence Cyclocross Festival director Richard Fries to talk about how “holy week” went, and the festival’s unique tribute to the late Amy Dombrowski.

Show #107 – September 15, 2012

‘Cross season is upon us, this weekend is Ride for Miles at JCU, and women will be riding for charity next Mother’s Day in Washington State. Plenty to talk about this week on The Outspoken Cyclist.

Guests: Richard Fries, Tina Kuna, Jeff Mapes

Cycling renaissance man Richard Fries was about to board a plane for the Netherlands (where he’ll be announcing the World Championships) when we caught up with him to talk about the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, coming up in Rhode Island October 6th and 7th. As Richard says, “in New England, ‘Cross is racing; everything else is just warmup.”

Billed as “Washington State’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride for Women”, Women’s Living the Dream Ride debuts in Snohomish, Washington May 11, 2013 (time to start planning that spring cycle travel). It’s a benefit for Snohomish Community Kitchen thru Living the Dream Foundation, and guys are welcome, but the event’s focus is on being woman-friendly. Ride organizer Tina Kuna joins us to talk about all the details.

After some news (including a riveting micro-analysis of traffic light and intersection dynamics) Diane welcomes journalist, author, and bike commuter Jeff Mapes. Jeff has authored a book entitled Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities, and he’s in town this weekend to speak at the Natural History Museum as part of the Ride for Miles activities.