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Epic Cycling Adventure + Photography

That post should have caught your attention. Cycling and photography - two things I enjoy very much and really love people who put them together. What about people who put them together for all the right reasons? There is a photography contest going on called the "Name Your Dream Assignment". The winner will receive $50,000 funding to support their efforts to document their dream assignment.

I am a big fan of reading the blog, The Epicurean Cyclist, of photographer and cyclist, Russ Roca. He has entered the contest to pursue his dream of being the first zero-emission, multi-national photo assignment as he pedals his way through North and South America documenting people who are living eco-friendly lifestyle and are leading activists toward a more sustainable planet. Russ is a real cyclist advocate as well and I really hope the cycling community will put their support behind him and this effort.

Please read more about his dream and photo assignment and vote for Russ here. The contest ends on April 3rd, so please vote soon.

Below are a couple of photos (that I have shamelessly taken from his blog and I hope he won't mind) of one of Russ' bikes that he uses to carry all of his gear and of him out riding. He does this sort of traveling all of the time and I would love to see what captures on his journey. Here is also a link to his photography work. He also has many other cycling blogs, so check them out too!


Busted Bikes & Crashes

I just found a very sad, yet very interesting and sometimes humorous blog today called "Busted Carbon". Its pretty much nothing but pictures of broken bicycles. Gasp!! I know! Cranks and Handlebars seem to be a common one.
Captain Bob will especially sad to see that today's bike isn't carbon, but is sadly a busted titanium Litespeed. He will cry, I know he will.

Check it out here:

I've also added it to our list of cycling blogs on the right. =)
Speaking of broken bikes (which either means you did something stupid or you crashed) here is the video of Lance Armstrong's crash earlier this week. I heard he is still going to try and ride??

Lance Armstrong Post-Crash at Castilla y León from CycleTo on Vimeo.


New + B-Cycle

Sometimes all you need is some new shoes. I am pretty excited that my new Specialized MotoDiva shoes showed up at my doorstep yesterday. As Paolo Nutini said, "Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right". I think these new puppies will help me kick off this cycling season right. I've been working on and trying to drop some weight. I thought a little bit stiffer soled shoes would help increase my power and stop the awful hot spots I was getting with my old shoes. You'll notice they are mountain bike shoes. I ride on the road, but use mountain clipless pedals. This girl likes to be able walk when off the bike.
Okay, that is my new. I also found a cool new idea, called B-Cycle. I think this concept would work great in a bigger urban setting. This isn't something that would work for me in terms of commuting from home. I honestly live too far from work with way too dangerous of roads (umm..highways actually) in between. If I was a city commuter or lived in a highly populated urban area, then this might be awesome. Check out the video below.


Routes & Recipes Book

Well, the weather is on the verge of breaking and I don't know about you guys, but I am already adding weekend rallies to my calendar. I'm planning my summer rides and starting to think about getting out there and training. Some of the best ways to get out and ride is to join a club. I belong to two clubs, the Hawkeye Bike Association in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the Illinois Valley Wheelm'n in Peoria, IL. Both would be happy to have your membership and provide a regular riding schedule to keep you fit.

Whether you ride with a club or not, you probably ride on your own and are looking for some good training route or looking for a casual Sunday ride to somewhere new. I have a great solution for you. The IVW, Routes & Recipes Book!

The Scoop:

The IVW has put together a book of 50 routes for the Central Illinois area. It also includes 72 recipes submitted by club members, Great Harvest Bread, Not Your Average Joe and Tanners’ Orchards.

What You Get:

The routes are from 26 different cyclists and area bike clubs covering a total of 1,740 miles with a variety of distances (11-70 miles with 35 miles the average distance) and starting points, such as: Brimfield, Bureau Junction, Chillicothe, Dunlap, East Peoria, Farmington, Goodfield, Hopedale, Hudson, Kewanee, Lacon, Mackinaw, Morton, Mossville, Pekin, Peoria, Princeville, Sparland, Washington and Wyoming. Each route consists of a map, cue sheet, items of interest & an area for personal notes.

The book will have a laminated cover with a coil binding. All proceeds will be used to promote the club’s advocacy programs. These books can be ordered for delivery at a cost of $20 each or pickup for $15.

Want One?

Please contact Mike Honnold at for more information or send $ directly to:
Mike Honnold, Routes & Recipes Book Order, 1822 West Bel Aire Avenue, Peoria, IL 61614.

You can also pick one up at Russell's Cycling and Fitness in Washington. I've been told they have a few left.

Here is a Sample Route From the Book:
"Scenic Peoria County Route"

Location: Peoria County; Peoria; Nelson Sprinkler Factory
1 Sprinkler Lane, Peoria, IL 61615

Location Note: Please park near the north side of the main employee parking
lot. Do not park in the lot used for semi truck trailers!

Distance: 30 Miles
Terrain: Moderate route with rolling hills – flat at the end

Features: Nice rural ride passing through the scenic Jubilee College Park
along the way. Jubilee does offer opportunities for filling up
water bottles or using the bathroom.

Here is the link to this ride on Map My Ride (we will be featuring online routes in the near future).

Now how awesome is that? You get great recipes, great route ideas and you get to put some money into the local community to help with advocacy for things like new trails and bike paths!

Complete RAGBRAI Route!

Who0-hoo! Here it is, the entire RAGBRAI route complete with elevation profiles, milage, and wind on GEOBIKE. This is where I go to see just how hard I actually think the route is going to be. It looks like Day 2 is going to be tough. Long and hilly!

If you are interested in riding RAGBRAI, be sure you sign up online. Registration deadline online is April 1st. If you are planning on riding then this also means you will need to start training and that means spinning on the trainer or rollers inside and as soon as this Midwest weather breaks getting out there for a spin!

Looking for new training routes this year? Well, check out our next post about the Illinois Valley Wheelm'n Routes and Recipies book.


Street Smarts: Bike Lanes & Paths

In today's society full of motorists, it isn't easy to find safe and dedicated bike lanes. Some cities can hardly call themselves "bike friendly". Even if they have bike lanes, it doesn't always mean that these are routes that are direct or go through busy downtown areas - things that would be especially important if you are a daily commuter going to work. If you do commute, it means you are probably on the road next to motorists who are in a hurry on their way to and from work. What about your safety and visibility? I am across two new things today to aid cyclists in the fight both to be seen and to have some rights to road.

The first is a virtual bike lane concept called Light Lane, dreamed up by Alex Tee and Evan Gant of Altitude. The idea is that a laser beam would project a bike lane barrier behind your bike as you ride at night, allowing not only the visibility that motorists need to see you ahead, but also creating that separate barrier and your own riding space, hopefully encourage motorists to give you a little room. As far as I could tell, this is merely a concept at this point, however, it is very interesting and something night commuters would find pretty useful.

The other is an option that leaves a more lasting influence. It has less to do with your immediate visibility or safety, and more to do with showing where bike lanes should be and alerting fellow cyclists where it is safe to ride. How is this possible? Contrail is how. It is a very simple frame mounted device that dispenses chalk onto your rear tire and them wherever you ride, you leave a thin chalk trail behind you. Of course, the more regular commuters who take the same path, the more obvious that route needs s dedicated bike lane. Contrail was conceived by Pepin Gelardi and Teresa Herrmann and designed for for the Power to the Pedal competition.

Photo credit: "skittle bikes" photo by Jessi Pervola

Photo Credit: Studio Gelardi

Thanks to the following blogs and sites for this material.



Bike Hacks

Studio Gelardi



Bike Videos Galore!

Okay, I might have become mildly obsessed lately with cool cycling videos. I think it has something to do with being here in the Midwest and not being able to ride outside yet. It is just so darn cold. So while the days are spent on trainers, getting used to the saddle and dropping some weight just anxiously awaiting being able to ride outside, I find some motivation in watching these swanky videos of being riding. The one below is clearly advertising for Hutchinson tires, but very stylish never the less. Check out the lady wearing red tights and silver pumps of all things, while riding.

It's Your Ride from Cinecycle on Vimeo.

Here is another cool video, which is less produced, but very neat is its own right as it isn't video at all. It is really 900 still photographs taken with a Sony DSLR and a fisheye lens mounted on this guys trike and it captures his morning commute. As a fan of photography as well, I really dig this one and I might have to try it out on my bike this spring, just for fun. =)

Ride To Work from Nicolas Lambert on Vimeo.

So, if your stuck indoors like I am, I hope you are enjoying these cycling nuggets of creativity and I hope it is giving you that little nudge to keep riding those trainers and rollers! Pedal on, my friends!