Archive for the 'bicycles international' Category

Nude Zealand: Ride in Style

Wind tunnel approved.

Sometimes this blog writes itself.  The stories are just too good to pass up.  For example:

A 40-year-old New Zealand man has asked the High Court to rule that it is okay to ride a bicycle naked on a public road. Nick Lowe, a Wellington builder, appealed to the court against a NZ$200fine and conviction for offensive behaviour, saying there was evidence that New Zealanders had become more tolerant towards nudity.

Lowe was reported in Wednesday’s Dominion Post newspaper as saying there was nothing offensive about his ride on a quiet rural road in Upper Hutt, 32km north of Wellington, on last year’s World Nude Bike Day. He was charged after a passing motorist objected and called police.     “It’s a lifestyle thing,” Lowe told the paper. “To put clothes on is uncomfortable. It’s not about exhibitionism, I’m just uncomfortable in clothes.

“I walk around the house naked, I mow the lawns naked, I’ll do the garden naked. A lot of smelly, sweaty clothes – why do that when you don’t need to?” Lowe cited nudity in street parades, National Nude Day, Naked Wedding Day and a recent naked cycle on the Central Otago Rail Trail as proof that “we’re not as puritan as we used to be.”

He described himself as a natural athlete, said he regularly trained nude and had completed a Coast to Coast triathlon naked from the waist down and nobody had complained. The judge reserved his decision.

There’s a really good chance that New Zealand could make Portland look like a conservative haven.  Perhaps the best thing about this story is the purely human element of promoting nudity.  That, and the fact that nudity, when not airbrushed and sexualized, is pretty funny:

Justice Denis Clifford reserved his decision. At one point he apologised after chuckling at a photograph of naked people in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square.

Fight for your right (to chafe).

Go for it, Nick.  At least no one will want to steal your seat.


April 11th is Coming

If you’ve never seen A Sunday in Hell, be sure to watch it in the next two months.  Paris-Roubaix, a classic of the Classics, is just a couple of months away.  Tom Boonen, sponsored by Quickstep and fuelled by cocaine, won last year.

This is not cyclocross.

For a bunch of great photos from last year’s race, go here. While the riders kill themselves on pavé in the quest of getting their name on a plaque in the showers, I’ll be taking it all in on whatever crappy live stream I can find for free.

Not too shabby.

I’m personally hoping that they run the Montreal ProTour race through Old Montreal for a lap or two.  Just for kicks.

Rapha-related product surprisingly affordable: Subscribe to Rouleur

Will lighten, but not eviscerate, your wallet.

When I lived in Europe (Paris and London, for a too-brief 6 month period), I enjoyed the easy access to cycling material.  When in London, I would often get off at King’s Cross station (alight! I mean alight!) and walk to Condor Cycles, where I found lots of gorgeous bikes and all the Rapha gear I could drool over.  I could only look at the clothes and bikes (save for one time when I treated myself to the Fixed Jersey), but I had no problems justifying buying issues (and back issues) of Rouleur Magazine.  When I prepared to fly home, I had to shed a few pounds of baggage and the magazines sadly were left with friends.

Magazine box. Overkill perhaps, but the upside down 13 is a nice touch.

I have often looked into subscribing to Rouleur, but the shipping and handling was, in their words, prohibitively expensive for North Americans.  Well, that seems to have changed.  On a whim last week I visited the Rouleur site and was thrilled to learn that subscribers now pay nothing extra for shipping and handling.  A one-year subscription is £36 ($61.25 CAD), which isn’t too bad for 4 issues.  For those of us more interested in the history and intrigue of road racing (instead of the power-meters and discussions of “junk miles” that are the focus of most bicycle magazines), you’d be hard pressed to find a better read.

While it’s easy (and quite enjoyable) to make fun of Rapha, I’m glad it exists.  There’s nothing like treating yourself once in a while; although a new jacket isn’t in my future, some good reading is.

Where the A-holes are: Philadelphia

Here’s one for the weekend.  I love this show.  It’s like Seinfeld on crack.

The internet is abuzz with news that USA! USA! USA! will be hosting the CX World Championships (not the entire country, just Louisville) in 2013.  If you happen to love riding your bike, dismounting it to run up some stairs / hop over a hurdle, and getting really muddy (and really, who doesn’t?), then this is good news.

There’s also a video edit of Steve Bauer’s announcement that Canada has a Pro Tour team.  It’s partly in French, partly in English, and mostly in music.  Weird.

In other good news, it feels like -30 (Celsius) in Montreal today.  Good weather for merino everything.

It’s Fin du Monde Friday, so do something fun tonight.

Tour Down Under: ALLEZ VICHOT!

Quoi de what?

You’ve likely never heard of Arthur Vichot.  Me neither.  Sure, he rides for one of the few teams with a quasi-stylish kit, but that really has nothing to do with him.  So, why was he such a fan favourite at the Tour Down Under?

Not the work of the Chalkbot.

It seems that Australian cycling fans like to have fun.  According to various news reports, a group of fans decided to pick one unknown competitor in the TDU and make him a star.  After a little research, they settled on Vichot and went about transforming this 20-year-old water carrier into a cycling celebrity.

“Only two weeks ago the idea came up to create an Australian fan-club for an unknown rider who would be doing his first race here, who had never been to Australia before and doesn’t speak English,” said Alsbury [from the Port Adelaide Cycling Club]. “We went through the start list and we found Arthur on Facebook. That’s how we got to know that he came second at the U23 French championship. The club has grown from words of mouth.”

During his first training ride with local cyclists in Adelaide last week, Lance Armstrong was asked by Alsbury: “Do you know Vichot?” The seven-time winner of the Tour de France had never heard this name but he was told: “You’ll know him by the end the Tour Down Under.” That’s exactly what’s happened.

To his credit, Vichot is being a good sport.  “It is fun that this story occurs to me,” he noted in one interview.  I just might try and snag one of those Allez Vichot shirts.

Good on you, Australia.

EDITED TO ADD: Be sure to check out the Facebook page.  Lots of great pictures.

Portland Schmortland: Random Website Thinks Montreal is Better!

Can we be smug now?

If you’re like me, each morning you open up your RSS reader and wait patiently to see what has to say.  Sure, it’s usually boring stock coverage or an article on RSPs, but once in a while the writers hit the nail on the head.  Today was one of those days.  MoneyControl (which is India’s #1 financial portal for a reason) had an article on the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities.  Montreal was listed at #5, which is respectable.  However, PORTLAND WAS #6!  This is a huge boost for Montreal’s quest to make Portland look like a second-rate Eugene, OR (which is itself a third-rate Copenhagen).

MoneyControl’s description of Montreal is quite flattering:

Two years ago, Montreal embarked on a $134 million plan to revamp the city’s bike trails and create a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere. The plan included incorporating bicycle-friendly lock points into standard parking meters. The city currently boasts 2,400 miles of trails with plans to expand. Montreal also has the first urban bike-share infrastructure in North America, the Bixi program.

Now, I’m the last person to be quibbling over details (especially with an online news site that features articles on how a solar eclipse will impact my finances), but 2400 miles — or 3862.425 kms — seems like a lot of trails.  And we’re expanding? No wonder we put Portland to shame.

Perhaps the city would have received a better return for its investment if part of the money that went into constructing our Montreal to Edmonton bike path (a mere 3764 km) was directed to advocacy groups like the WCA.  I’m not complaining, though; that trail makes my commute to the University of Alberta totally manageable.

Copenhagen Climate Conference & Bicycles

Thanks, Harper.

Well, today marks the beginning of the Copenhagen Climate Conference.  Canadians look like total douches.  And we will for years to come.

I’m guessing the place to go for updates (especially of the bicycle variety) is Copenhagenize.  It’s a great read no matter what, but should be particularly useful for the next ten days.

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Every day is bike day

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