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Down and Dirty

RasputitsaSpring is the time that the snows melt and the roads turn to… mud. In Russia there is even a name for this condition. It is the Rasputitsa, the semi-annual time when the countryside is just a muddy mess. The Rasputitsa is also the name of this weekend’s 47 mile gravel road race through northern Vermont.

Each year in the Rasputitsa Spring Classic the race travels through Newport, Coventry, Irasburg, North Troy, Westfield, Jay, and Newport Center before ending on Main Street in Newport, Vermont. The Rasputitsa Spring Classic and sister race, Dirty 40 (scheduled for August 30th) will raise money for the Halo Foundation which helps Orleans County residents struggling with cancer costs. The two events are targeted to raise over $15,000 made available to the Halo Foundation in September.

The race departs Main Street, Newport at 9 AM on April 19th. Finishers are first expected at 11:30 on Main Street, Newport. Main Street will also serve as the location of the Apres-Velo Party with live music by Evansville Transit Authority, Lion Bastards, and The Lynguistic Civilians. Food and drinks will be available on-site. Podium awards are scheduled for 2 PM.

It is a dirty race but someone has to do it.

Rasputitsa Spring Classic Official Website

Tripping Up

Trips-for-KidsRaleigh Bicycles will be the new Trips for Kids International (TFK) North American program sponsor and will provide a fleet of bikes to emerging TFK chapters. TFK’s programs give underserved youth the opportunity to experience mountain biking while learning valuable life skills and an appreciation of the outdoors. The 50 new bikes donated by Raleigh will enable newly formed TFK regional chapters across North America to provide mountain bike outings for low income, at-risk youth in their communities.

“We created the Trips for Kids program model to help individual entrepreneurs, established community organizations, cycling clubs and other organizations streamline the formation of their own regional chapters,” said TFK Executive Director Marilyn Price. “A safe bike fleet is a critical and often costly component of forming a chapter. Thanks to Raleigh we can provide new bicycles as part of the start-up services we offer.”

Trips for Kids Official Website

Three Feet Enforced in Texas!

Three-FeetTexas is increasingly becoming a more bicycle friendly place and KHOU in Houston recently reported that police started an undercover sting that targeted drivers who endangered cyclists. In Houston police have been donning bike attire and hitting the roads to go after drivers who aren’t following bicycle safety ordinance.

“What that simply means is that there are officers out there on bicycles, dressed as normal citizens, who are just riding around town,” Mark Eisenman, an HPD assistant chief, told KHOU.

This followed the March 25 announcment by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who worked with the city and BikeHouston to create a new Bicycle Master Plan for the City as part of the Goal Zero Fatalities Bike Safety Campaign.

“As the name of this program implies, the goal is to end cycling fatalities,” Parker said. “Whether on a bike or behind the wheel, we have to abide by the rules of the road and learn how to share the road safely. Unfortunately, a spate of recent bicycle fatalities on Houston streets indicates there is much work to be done in this area. As a first step, I am dedicating $50,000 toward the cost of a Bicycle Master Plan that will guide our future decisions regarding placement of dedicated on-street bike lanes and infrastructure.”

[Via GearJunkie: Undercover Cops Sting Drivers Endangering Cyclists]
[Via KHOU: Undercover stings target drivers endangering bicyclists]

Cool Breezer

BreezerBreezer has launched a new line of of full-suspension bikes with 29-inch wheels and 120 millimeters of travel, called Supercell, which are equipped with Link suspension design Breezer introduced on its 650b Repack enduro bike last year. The MLink was designed with Sotto Group, an independent engineering firm.

“When we introduced Repack last summer, Breezer’s new all-mountain bike, it climbed and handled so well it completely changed people’s perception of what an all-mountain bike could do,” said JT Burke, Breezer product and brand manager. “And with Supercell, our new trail bike, we’re pushing that even further. Our patented MLink suspension technology is so efficient, lockouts are a thing of the past; and Breezer riders are seeing just how fast a balanced and efficient full-suspension system can climb.”

This innovative MLink design features a short-link pivot placed in the middle of the chainstay, which reportedly can balance out opposing braking and pedaling forces for an anti-squat and anti-rise ride. Breezer Supercell and Repack are currently the only bikes available with the technology.

Breezer Supercell Official Website

Double O Light

Double-OThe Double O isn’t exactly something we’d expect 007 or any other British super spy to use, but these are being developed in the U.K. by Paul Coksedge Studios through a Kickstarter campaign. The Double Os put out 80 lumens up front and 45 lumens in the rear. The designers suggest that this round style uses less bright LEDs but more and that results in a more visible light – without being blinding or otherwise distractive to drivers and other cyclists.

These charge up in 90 minutes via USB and have three modes – steady, which can run for about 2.1 hours; flashing at 4.2 hours and Eco at about 10 hours. Video after the jump

The Two Rs – Riding and Reading

USA-BMXUSA BMX knows that there are two fundamental “Rs” – and has launched the “Read to Ride” initiative for young schoolchildren. It is aimed at helping kids make up for learning loss they experience when out of school. This program is currently in a soft-launch and will roll out nationwide in May.

“With the success of our existing after-school STEM Program (science, technology, engineering and math), we felt it was important to continue our commitment to education and a lifelong love of learning. Through the BMX industry partnerships we have built over the years, we have significant interest for support of this new program,” said USA BMX chief executive officer B.A. Anderson.

Students in kindergarten through the sixth grade can read or be read to, choosing any publication or format they like, and log each hour of reading activity through an online tracking system. Each student receives a certificate of participation and a one-day membership to USA BMX. Students who rank in the top tier of their class in hours read earn additional prizes such as water bottles, shirts, hats and synch sacks. The student who logs the most minutes per school wins a BMX bike and helmet and recognition at a school assembly as the top reader.

USA BMX Official Website

Weekend Reading List (04.12.2014): Sport Studies, Name Game, Weight Loss

Sport Studies

Sport

From Sport Techie: #SportsInSTEM Series: Applying Sports to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Issues
In recent years, the United States has fallen behind other nations with educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Only 16 percent of U.S. high school students are proficient in math and actively pursuing STEM careers. In a world run by technology, where the majority of jobs in the near future will require advanced education in technical fields, these trends are troubling and must be reversed. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Dot on the Forefront

ForeFrontSmith Opitcs’ had received the prestigious Red Dot Award in the Outdoor/Leisure/Sports/Fun category for its new mountain bike helmet, the Forefront. Germany’s Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen last month said the helmet, “set itself apart from all comparable projects thanks to excellent design.”

The Forefront also won the 2014 iF Design Award for innovative design; the GOLD Award in the category of Design & Innovation 2014 by Enduro Mountainbike Magazine; and the Best of Interbike Show Awards last year from Outside magazine and Gear Junkie.

This helmet is designed to provide all-mountain protection with road-race weigh. Instead of EPS, it features an Aerocore liner that provides better ventilation and impact properties and lower weight.

Smith Optics Forefront Official Website

UCI Looking at Google Glass

Google-GlassThis week VeloNews reported that a technical commission from the world’s cycling governing body, the UCI, has taken a “look” at Google Glass.

“The equipment commission will address concerns over the outdated method of data and video capture in the biggest races,” one source told VeloNews, on condition of anonymity due to a forthcoming official announcement from Google. “Google Glass technology will take the sport to the head of technological development in major professional sports. The possibilities for entertainment, sport science, and, yes, safety, are nearly limitless.”

Google Glass incorporates a small, Internet-enabled computer in a pair of lightweight eyeglasses and provides wearers with the ability to capture and share photographs and video hands free, and even complete a number of other commands.

This move into cycling marks Google’s first major sports sponsorship as part of its Glass launch. It could mean that Google Glass could soon join such technology as race radios in future events like the Tour de France.

[Via VeloNews: UCI commission to recommend Google Glass use on WorldTour]

On the Trigger

TriggerBellWhile yelling will get someone’s attention, bells on bikes are a less aggressive way to let someone know you’re approaching. The problem is that many bells aren’t exactly placed where they can be easily accessed – meaning that riders have to take their hands off the handlebars to use the bell.

The Trigger Bell, which was designed by London cyclists Stefan Buxton, allows it to be quickly accessed with a single finger! Buxton is now wrapping up a Kickstarter campaign and has already surpassed his goals. That might be something to ring about! Video after the jump

Lightweight is Back In Black

SchwarzedLightweight lives up to its name again, and is offering a new version of its road wheels, the Schwarzed Edition, which feature a new black-on-black color scheme and full ceramic bearings from CeramicSpeed.

Lightweight also offers its wheels in standard graphics, the “Weiss” Edition with white spokes and hubs, and now the Schwarzed Edition. The new edition will be offered on the company’s original Meilenstein wheel, the Meilenstein C clincher, the Meilenstein Obermayer, the Fernweg, Fernweg C clincher, the Gipfelstrum and the Autobahn disc wheel. May the Schwarz be with you.

Lightweight Official Website

Glow Rack

Solo-GlowThere are a number of products to help cyclists be seen at night, but now Saris has introduced a bike rack that will glow in the dark. The Solo Rack looks black in the day but at night it has an iridescent green glow that helps it be seen on the car’s truck. This can help load up the bike as the sun goes down, and maybe even can help a car be seen on a dark road.

Saris Official Website

Rungu for the Hills

RunguFat tire bikes are designed to better dig through loose terrain including snow and sand, but California-based Rungu is looking to make new tracks with its new line of fat-tire trikes, which include names such as Juggernaut and Kilimanjaro

These bikes – make that trikes – feature two front wheels to provide greater stability while spreading the weight out over a greater surface area. This helps keep the rider upright and allows for quicker movement in loose terrain. These bikes look like they can tackle sand, snow and gravel with ease. Read the rest of this entry »

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