February 2016

CicLAvia – The Valley

CicLAvia – The Valley

CicLAvia heads back to the Valley for the second time. This time, we’ll be exploring Pacoima, Arleta, North Hills East, and Panorama City!

New to CicLAvia? Here are four things you need to know for March 6:

It’s FREE!

It’s not a race and you don’t need a bike to participate. You can walk or skate to your heart’s content.

There’s no beginning or end. You can start anywhere and go as far or as short as you want.

The flow of participants goes both ways, just like regular traffic.

Learn more at www.ciclavia.org

California Approves $133 Million for Trails

It was another great year for trails in California’s Active Transportation Program (ATP), the largest funding source for biking, walking and trails in the state. RTC recently learned that the California Transportation Commission has approved $133 million for 59 trail projects and separated bikeways in Cycle 2 of ATP.

On Sept. 21, 2015, RTC reported on the funding decisions for the statewide and rural shares of ATP Cycle 2, in which $64 million was programmed for 29 trail projects. In late-January, California approved its final piece of ATP, with $69 million going to 30 trail and separated bikeway projects. This brings California 59 projects closer this year to its dream of creating regional active-transportation networks that promote healthy lifestyles and improve the mobility of residents and visitors of the Golden State.

And with the $97 million approved in Cycle 1 in 2014, ATP’s total investment in trails to date is $230 million. Here is a quick look at some noteworthy trail projects funded in January …

Read more at railstotrails.org

Stevens sets new hour record mark

Evelyn Stevens rode 47.980km in a near perfect hour under the dome in Colorado Springs to topple Bridie O’Donnell’s current women’s world hour record by over a kilometer.

The two-time U.S. national time trial champion missed the all-time mark set by Jeannie Longo in 1996, who used “superman” position, by less than 200 meters, but now holds the official UCI hour record.

“It’s a huge honor to have this record, I thank Molly [Shaffer Van Houweling] and Bridie [O’Donnell] for doing it first,” Stevens said. “It takes a lot of guts to get out there, as I realized when you get closer.”

Stevens sat just under 25 seconds per lap of the 333-meter velodrome for the duration. A grimace crept onto her face in the final 15, as she tried to raise the pace past Longo’s mark. The capacity crowd began to pound on the infield boards as her shoulder’s rolled forward and a slight weave began to creep into her line through the corners. She raised the pace past Longo briefly, but fell back in the final minutes.

“For the first 45 minutes in I was just in the zone, saying ‘pedal, push, pedal, push,’ not thinking. With 15 minutes to go the plan was to try to squeeze, which I was able to do for a couple laps,” she said. “You don’t know your limit until you hit your limit. I think I found it today.

Stevens pacing was close to perfect, according to her coach, Neal Henderson.

“She was on the upper limit of what we knew she could do early on, not over paced,” Henderson said. “It was right that range of what knew she could do. She kept that until 45 [minutes], I asked her for a bit more. She did lift, and had a little difficulty. She was riding some very fast laps toward the end there.

“She started with a full cup of energy, and she was pouring the last drops out in the last laps.”

“I didn’t feel any acute pain, I felt just an overall fatigue, just trying to squeeze everything I physically had,” Stevens said. “I think a lot of the hour is staying present. That’s the hardest part for the first 45 minutes. Then the last 15 minutes was just trying to stay calm and push with everything I had.”

Read more at velonews.com

Ride mountain biking trails in the West you’ve never heard of

From the LAtimes.com

Colorado, Utah and Arizona are filled with hundreds of miles of outstanding single-track mountain biking trails. But if you don’t live there — or have a local buddy to guide you — you probably won’t know where to go.

That’s why veteran rider Steve Mokan says he started Chasing Epic, a new off-road cycling tour company based in Boulder, Colo.

The company aims to fill a void in the cycling world by offering all-inclusive, locally guided mountain bike trips in the West over long weekends.

Trips are aimed at intermediate to advanced mountain bikers — not beginners — who only need to bring a helmet, shoes and an “an appetite for epic single-track adventure.”

Mokan, a long-time Colorado mountain biker and a veteran of the adventure sports world, has worked with adventure travel companies, outdoor gear manufacturers, and ski resorts across the West as a professional photographer with his other venture, Switchback Photography.

Over the last decade, he said he saw “a glaring hole” in the mountain bike adventure travel industry.

“Participants on most mountain biking adventures today are being asked to bring too much to the table before the fun even begins,” he said.

“Without proper guidance and advice, it can be daunting in busy professional and family schedules to follow a checklist of pre-trip preparation, specialized gear and shipment of your own bike (or choosing from a fleet of rentals) before getting on a trail.”

Chasing Epic’s trips include inn and hotel lodging (never camping), hearty meals, high-end, all-carbon demo bikes, local guides who know the terrain, customized eight-week pre-trip training programs, shuttles and lift tickets.

Cycling destinations include Crested Butte, Durango, Fruita and Telluride in Colorado; Sedona in Arizona; and Park City and St. George in Utah.

Unlike traditional point-to-point itineraries, Chasing Epic takes riders to a single town and stays at each destination long enough to cover a variety of daily rides on the best single-track trails (known and unknown) in each area.

Rates range from $950 per person for three days and $1,250 for four days, regardless of location. For private, exclusive customized trips the per person rate is $1,150 for three days and $1,450 for four days (based on a group of six or more).

Eroica California – April 8-10

Bringing Eroica to the USA in 2015 has been a roaring success. We are thrilled to gather again with American cycling enthusiasts and bike collectors in Paso Robles, California in April 2016. Eroica California offers a most memorable cycling experience – a weekend of cycling entertainment, an ocean view ride with various route lengths, and a Concourse d’Elegance for vintage bikes. Join us for the three-day festival starting April 8 and culminating with the heroic ride on April 10th.

Eroica California organizes a unique Concours d’Elegance for vintage road bicycles which aims at becoming a world class event during the next few years, setting the standard for all other Eroica Events around the world.
In 2016, we will have four classes in which to enter. Additionally, Masi USA will be the marquee and host of the 2016 Concours in celebration of their 90th Anniversary year. Please click ‘Learn More’ below for more detailed information.

Learn more here > http://www.eroicacalifornia.com

Watching Cycling on the TV

From Velonews.com

New Velon deal could change the way you watch cycling

Team group Velon announced a 10-year deal with sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media on Tuesday that could challenge race organizers’ grip on TV revenue while bringing live telemetry and on-bike video to cycling fans worldwide.

The deal’s implications extend well beyond simply improving cycling’s TV product, a goal that has been the lynchpin of Velon’s efforts to change cycling’s economic model.

In addition to improving traditional broadcast television, Velon is “building a platform for people to see the content that will reach out to a wider fanbase, and bring the race alive,” Velon CEO Graham Bartlett told VeloNews. In a sport where television revenues are monopolized by race organizers, such a platform is a potential source of revenue for Velon and its 11 WorldTour teams.

“It will provide a unique experience during live racing, with everything [fans] want to know, see, and understand,” Bartlett said. The live telemetry Velon plans to roll out in early summer will include speed, cadence, power, heart rate, altitude, and acceleration data.

Infront is one of the world’s largest sports marketing firms. Through subsidiary HBS, it is responsible for host broadcasting of the FIFA World Cup, among other major projects. In November, Infront was purchased by Wanda Sports Holdings, the same company that was rumored to be interested in purchasing RCS Sport and the Giro d’Italia.

Race organizers have expressed reluctance (to put it mildly) to share their television revenues with teams. Teams are currently reliant on independent sponsorships, a cause of instability even at the highest levels of the sport. A Velon multimedia platform, potentially a source of revenue, would sidestep traditional TV broadcast contracts, which are penned with race organizers.

The long-term partnership between Velon and Infront is positioned to take advantage of the continued fracturing and decline of traditional television viewership, as viewers unbundle from cable packages and, increasingly, get their television online.

Tour de France organizer ASO, a goliath within cycling, is small relative to the big fish called Wanda. It is therefore notable that Infront is interested in a partnership with Velon, particularly over 10 years; it points to the Wanda group’s confidence that the upstart team organization will play an increasingly large role in cycling.

Velon’s stated goal is to increase the economic strength of pro cycling, and in the year and a half since its debut, it has focused heavily on improving the sport’s television product. It struck deals with major race organizers RCS (Giro d’Italia and other races) and ASO (Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix) last year, as well as technology providers like GoPro.

Velon is working with teams to gather more key rider data, and with TV broadcasters to help bring that data to fans, and said it will continue to work with race organizers to improve their product. It is also working with the UCI to ensure that all data release fits within the UCI’s regulations.

The new platform and improvements to traditional broadcast will be made possible through the partnership with Infront, which will quickly take Velon’s plans for live telemetry and on-bike camera footage “from theory to reality,” Bartlett said.

The partnership has been in the works for over a year, according to Bartlett, meaning that discussions began shortly after Velon’s founding.

“The partnership will bring investment and expertise, and will help cycling build a sustainable model,” Bartlett told VeloNews.

From Velonews.com

Spring Classics: 2016 guide

From Cyclingnews.com

The Spring Classics are a unique collection of deeply entrenched and historic one-day races that span Northern Europe and that cut right to the core of what makes cycling such a remarkably special sport. From the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix to the punchy bergs of the Tour of Flanders, they are a part of cycling’s tradition and provide some of the most exciting and memorable moments in the sport’s history.

This weekend sees the start of the Spring campaign with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne raising the curtain with what is traditionally known as the ‘Opening weekend’. Cyclingnews will have complete live coverage from both races.

In March the Spring Classics return with the first Monument of the season, Milan-San Remo, and from there the races come thick and fast with Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Ardennes Classics – Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – February 27, Belgium

Cycling has become a year-round affair with expansion into the Middle East and Australia, but for many die-hard fans the true opening moment of the season comes when the peloton touches down in Belgium for the first major race of the season.

Previously known as Het Volk, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, kicks off the ‘opening weekend’ with Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne taking place the following day.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad covers 200 kilometres of racing and features 11 climbs along the route. The race can often be effected by the weather with driving rain, wind and even snow featuring in the past.

Defending champion Ian Stannard (Team Sky) will not return to the race this year but the challengers lining up in Gent for the start include Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), youngster Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff).

Cyclingnews will have complete live coverage of the race starting at 10:00 am CET on February 27, along with video race highlights later that afternoon.

What happened in 2015?

In 2015 Ian Stannard (Team Sky) rode away with his second win in the race with a virtuoso performance. Up against the full might of an Etixx-QuickStep trio of Niki Terpstra, Tom Boonen and Stijn Vandenbergh with 40 kilometres to go, the British rider chased down several attacks before Boonen and Vandenbergh were dropped in the closing stages. Stannard claimed the sprint, with Terpstra and Boonen completing the podium. For our complete race report from 2015, click here.

Ream more at Cyclingnews.com

Riding in the heartland of Cuba

Here is Cuba in a nutshell. I’m straddling a Trek bike at an intersection in La Palma on the northwest side of the island, and passing before my eyes are a rusted-out Soviet-era Lada, a teenage boy riding a horse bareback, a 1957 Chevy and a man with a pig literally hog-tied to the back of his bicycle.

Part cliche, part undiscovered country.

Although it doesn’t seem like it, this muggy, 80-degree December day represents a historic first in the long and tumultuous past between two countries 90 miles apart. A day we’re marking by wearing fluorescent triangles on our backsides.
It’s the first official American bicycling tour in Cuba.

The question worth asking, and the reason I’m here along with 16 other Americans, is to find out if, at a time when U.S. travelers are yearning to know everything about this gradually accessible Caribbean country, it’s a place you want to see from the seat of a bike. Will pedaling at a slower pace help in discovering what for the most part is terra incognita to us?

And will biking be easier to do — and easier on the backside — when the embargo is finally lifted?

Roadway hazards

As we sit in the Havantur luxury bus, the windscreen of which bears a small flag of Che Guevara’s face, our Backroads guide, Lara, lists the particular hazards of Cuban cycling. First, the enormous number of potholes in the road. Second, the unexpected number of animals (cows, turkeys, pigs) in the road. Third, the fact that what these animals leave behind is, well, slippery.

Read more at sfgate.com

All about SRAM eTap – Video

Sram’s all new eTap drive train takes electronic shifting to the next level. Sram Road PR Specialist and original “Ask a Mechanic”, Daniel Slusser is back in the shop to talk about benefits of eTap, as well as answer some questions some questions from our very own Gregg O’keeffe. Between the wire free design, simple installation, and intuitive maintenance, eTap revolutionizes the road drive train.

From Velonews.com

L.A.’s Bike-Sharing Program Will Debut In DTLA

In an eagerly anticipated decision that brings bikesharing to the City of Los Angeles and others county-wide, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board today voted to award a $11 million contract to Bicycle Transit Systems, Inc., jumpstarting the first pilot bikesharing program in Downtown L.A. next year, with expansions to other municipalities to follow.

Metro will launch the bike share system in spring 2016 with nearly 1,100 bikes at 65 stations throughout Downtown L.A.

“We are building new ways for Angelenos to get around,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Riding a bike is another option people can use to commute to work or explore the region. Today marks the first step in Metro’s plan to bring bikeshare to cities across the county.”

The launch will follow an extensive public outreach process that will give local residents, business owners and other stakeholders the opportunity participate in the planning of the county’s newest form of transportation. As the community input process advances, bicycles will be available for short-term hire at a wealth of downtown locations such as Union Station, L.A. Convention Center, Staples Center, Grand Park/Music Center, 7th Street/Metro Center , Grand Central Market, Pershing Square, the Arts District, the future Figueroa Cycle Track corridor, University of Southern California area and numerous attractions.

Following the launch in Downtown L.A., the system will expand to Pasadena in 2017 as Metro plans to bring the program to eight other communities for a total of 4,000 bicycles in ten communities in L.A. County.

Bikesharing, designed for low-cost, point-to-point short trips using a for-rent fleet of bicycles strategically located at docking stations in close proximity to one another and to transit, is a key transportation and first-mile-last-mile strategy that has already proved popular and successful in other major U.S. cities and around the globe, including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Montreal, London and Paris. The new L.A. system will fill gaps in the transit network with durable bikes at self-service stations located every few blocks in Downtown. Residents and visitors can pick up a bike at any station, ride to their destination, and drop off the bike at any open dock. The system will allow unlimited, short-term access to bikes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Smartphone apps will give users real-time information about bike and dock availability. The system’s fares will be considered by the Metro Board at a future meeting. Metro’s Regional Bikeshare Implementation Plan, also approved by the Board, shares capital, operations and maintenance costs with cities, ensuring the program’s financial viability moving forward.

Metro conducted a rigorous, impartial and competitive procurement process to ensure that only the most experienced and capable vendor was selected to implement Metro’s Countywide Bikeshare Program. Having just completed an on-time launch in Philadelphia, the newest of 34 systems in 42 cities with 7,000 bicycles operated througout North and South America, Bicycle Transit Systems, Inc. (BTS) and its partner BCycle, were determined to have the most industry experience and expertise, proven equipment and technology, and the greatest capability for immediate, on-time delivery of a large-scale, multi-jurisdictional bikeshare system backed by their industry-best customer service. The BTS/BCycle team also includes RideScout, BikeHub and Toole Design.

BTS/BCycle team will be able to provide the required number of bicycles and bicycle docking stations for the agency’s Downtown L.A. pilot program and program expansion. The firm already has one local distribution center in Ontario and a subsidary headquartered in San Diego County, and the L.A. system will create new jobs at these facilities, and more across LA county.

Metro Board members who authored earlier motions in support of Metro bikesharing include directors Eric Garcetti, Mike Bonin, Don Knabe, and former directors Zev Yaroslavsky and Pam O’Connor.

“I am tremendously excited that we are moving forward with bikeshare in L.A. and that we are focusing on developing a system that will connect our neighborhoods through interoperable systems,” said Metro Board Member Mike Bonin. “It defies logic that snowy cities around the country have had bikeshare for years, but a city like Los Angeles, with our wonderful weather and communities begging to be biked, still hasn’t gotten this done yet.”

“Bikeshare can be a key element of the first-last mile and balanced transportation solution, expanding the reach of transit and providing our transit users with another mobility option.” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “As a proven, experienced leader in the bikeshare industry, we are confident that the BTS/Bcycle team will deliver a successful countywide bikeshare system.”

“The wheels are in motion on the region’s newest form of public transportation, and momentum continues to build for cycling on the streets of L.A. County,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and a principal at Bloomberg Associates, where she advised on Metro’s bikeshare contract. “Nothing inspires a city quite like a new bikeshare system, and with by making a safe, affordable, active commute into a reality for thousands more Angelenos, this is a huge step in L.A.’s evolution from car culture to cycling capital.”

Metro’s Bikeshare Implementation Plan establishes a business plan needed to bring bikesharing to more cities within L.A. County. Under the plan, Metro will pay 50 percent of capital costs and 35 percent of net operations and maintenance costs. The agency will manage a master operations contract with its selected bikeshare vendor to provide operations and maintenance for the entire regional system while BTS/BCycle is already working on integrating transit fare cards similar to Metro’s TAP card, bringing a convenient, unified payment system to the county’s rail, bus and bikeshare systems. Building on this board-approved funding mechanism, Metro is also seeking potential system sponsors interested in high-visibility advertising on the stations, bikes and related materials.

“Metro’s commitment to treating bikeshare as an extension of the transit system lays the foundation for Los Angeles to have one of the most equitable bikeshare systems in the country, one that is truly accessible and affordable to the communities that will benefit most. It is critically important that Angelenos’ first experience with bikeshare is seamlessly integrated throughout Los Angeles County and we encourage all agencies to collaboratively seek compatibility across multiple systems,” said Tamika Butler, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. “We commend Metro for taking a leadership role and look forward to the successful deployment of a regional system.”

Metro, the City of L.A., and local partners will host demonstration events, open houses and workshops throughout Downtown and future service areas in the coming year. Angelenos are encouraged to attend, test out bikeshare bikes and provide feedback on how the system will best work for them.

Form Metro.net