Taken From www.cyclelicio.us

Happy Bike Stories

Lelas is one of the bike newbies I see on the bus nowadays. She told me that before two months ago, she never rode a bicycle anywhere, nor did she do much exercise. She picked up a second hand mountain bike for a commute and began riding the Highway 17 bus ‘over the hill’ from Santa Cruz to San Jose.

And she rode her bike the 10 miles to her work in Sunnyvale.

She didn’t work herself up to the 10 miles rides like all of us “experts” might suggest; she just hopped on and did it.

“And it gets easier every week I do this,” says Lelas (pronounced “Lee Lah.”)

She rides her 10 miles through traffic in about 45 minutes, which is impressive for a newbie on an old mountain bike with knobbies. I joked she might be the next Brooke Miller; Brooke first hopped on a bike when she was nearly 30 years old, and within a couple of years she was winning professional cycling races in the United States and Europe and is now training for the 2012 Olympics.

San Jose Bike Party August 2010

I love, love, love this story in Salon magazine about “One more reason to ride a bike.”

I made it to the store, returned my DVD, and was unlocking my bike to ride back home when a tall stranger called out to me.

“I want you to know that you have convinced me to buy a bike.”

My brow furrowed. What new scam was this?

Then I noticed he too was holding a DVD in his hands.

He continued — “I was behind you back on Shattuck…”

I interrupted. “You were driving the white car!”

Yeah, he said. And then, noting that we had arrived at the rental store about the same time, he said that watching me zip through traffic had convinced him he needed to get his own bicycle. He talked about getting in shape — he even mentioned the magic words “carbon footprint.

Taken from: http://www.spiegel.de/

Bamboo Bikes

The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Ride

By Andrea Reidl

Carbon fiber and aluminum are so 2009. This year's best bicycling model is made out of bamboo and hemp. A new generation of manufacturers are coming up with some of the most environmentally friendly transport yet. Lighter, stronger, more comfortable and these bikes have also got a much smaller carbon footprint.

Craig Calfee is known as the Zen master of bamboo-bike builders. In his workshop on the Californian coast, only a hundred meters from the tumultuous waves of the Pacific Ocean, the frame designer builds breathtaking bikes out of the fast-growing plant, the largest member of the grass family.

But the American, who has become well known for making bikes out of plant materials, has some competition. The number of experts who are making bicycles out of renewable raw materials is growing. Among them are Brano Meres, an engineer from Slovakia and professional cyclist Nick Frey also from California. German engineer Nicolas Meyer is also working along this line, but not with bamboo. Instead he has built a triathlon bike out of hemp.

Still, Calfee is an old hand among all of these newcomers. Before this latest venture he was long known as an elite bike builder, having pioneered carbon fiber, custom models for riders like Greg LeMond, a three time winner of the Tour de France. Then, in the mid 90s he was looking for an idea that would attract attention at a bicycle trade fair. But he wanted more than just a nice idea. He wanted something that would make the general public who came to his stand stop and stare.

It was actually his dog that gave the brainwave. While the pitbull-labrador cross was playing he got hold of a piece of bamboo. When the dog let the piece of bamboo go, Calfee picked up the stick and saw that it was virtually unscathed. What a fantastic material. Calfee found the idea electrifying. He had found what he was after: the bike he was making for the trade fair would have a bamboo frame.

Bamboo Bikes are a Much Smoother Ride

Bamboo is native to all of the earth's continents, including North America and for the new bike prototype Calfee used Californian bamboo. The frame was a little too flexible but it fulfilled its primary purpose: getting a lot of attention.

After the trade fair Calfee withdrew to his workshop and began to experiment with bamboo in earnest. As environmentally friendly and sturdy as the material was, it also had its flaws. One of the biggest disadvantages was that it split easily, down the middle. To solve this Calfee smoked the bamboo and also tempered it with heat. (Today the bamboo has to go through a four- month process before it can be used.) He also coated hemp or carbon fibers with epoxy resin and used them to bind the bamboo tubes together.

Around a hundred frames later, Calfee had finally built a bamboo bike frame he could believe in. His verdict: The vibration absorption of the bamboo frame was better than that provided by a carbon fiber frame. "The bamboo bikes are a much smoother ride," he says. He also found that the bike had impressive impact resistance and was tougher than carbon fiber and less prone to fracturing. These results were confirmed after the bamboo frames were tested at the EFBe bicycle testing laboratory in Germany. But such hardiness has a price -- a mountain bike frame made out of bamboo will set the average rider back around $2,700 (€1,879).

In the meantime, Calfee has also won a number of prizes for his bamboo bikes. Among them, "Best Road Bike," "Best Off-Road Bike" and the "Peoples' Choice Award" at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. On his Web site Calfee himself writes that if there were a prize for the bike with the lowest carbon footprint, one of his bamboo bikes would win it "hands down."

Taken from Bicycle.net
Andy Schleck Pulls Out Of Cycling Worlds

LUXEMBOURG, Aug 24, 2010 (AFP) – Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, who finished second on the Tour de France, will not take part in the UCI road world championships, his country’s cycling federation announced Tuesday.

Schleck is preparing for the Tour of Spain which kicks off in Seville on Saturday and runs through until September 19, and also hopes to race the Tour of Lombardy in Italy on October 16.

The road worlds run from September 29-October 3 in Melbourne, Australia.

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