Monday, February 9, 2015

New Critical Masser

My friend Efstathios on his first group bike ride for Lake Worth Critical Mass, all geared up. He had a great time and hopefully will be a regular from now on

My friend on his first critical mass ride! LDUB Feb 2015

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bike Share

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go experience Gasparilla in Tampa, which is like a big pirate party version of Mardi Gras. I've been once before in college but this time I got to experience the "pirate invasion" from the water in Tampa Bay and watch the parade from a different vantage point (a local's). Hanging out on Davis Island, I noticed their bike share program up and running. It's part of the Social Bike Share program where each bike is equipped with a lock and a GPS unit so you aren't confined to the bike share dock stations.

Tampa Davis Island bike share
Tampa Davis Island bike share

At the same time, the West Palm Bike share program has been finally announced and bikes have been ordered! Expected to open around March.

From the Palm Beach Post article:

WPB bike share stations"The light is green for West Palm Beach’s bicycle rental program, even though the bikes probably will be blue.

The board of West Palm Beach’s Downtown Development Authority voted unanimously last week to close what would be a 10-year deal with consultant P3GM.

The consultant would cover all costs of installing the solar-powered stations and racks, with an estimated value of $1 million. P3GM would earn money from user fees, sponsorships and advertising on kiosks at stations.

Projected costs would be $120 to $155 a year for an annual membership, or $15 to $20 a month with a three-month commitment. The first 1,500 subscribers would get a $99 introductory annual rate, going up later to $125. Membership would allow unlimited use. Non-subscribers and walk-ups would pay $12 to $17 a day, $25 to $35 a week, or $40 to $60 a month.

The DDA had been working on the plan most of last year and the DDA and the City Commission gave initial OKs for the program in February.

The agency had hoped to kick off the program this past summer. But in August, it pushed the project at least into 2015 after it heard that a high-visibility failure of a similar program in New York City had left potential sponsors nationwide hesitant.

In December, the board heard P3GM finally had lined up a sponsor and the program could be running by March. “The bikes have been ordered,” authority Executive Director Raphael Clemente told the authority board meeting Tuesday. Clemente said the bikes and stations probably will have a blue theme.
He also said he expects to reveal the mystery sponsor, identified only as “a financial services” firm, as early as this week. Clemente said the goal is for 140 to 150 bikes at as many as 14 stations in downtown West Palm Beach. And he said he’d welcome a partnership with Palm Beach. Clemente said the expansion will go in phases. He noted that Miami Beach started with 20 bikes and now has some 1,000 at 100 stations.

The bikes will be supplied by Germany-based international firm NextBike. Its web page says it accounts for 20,000 rental bikes in 14 countries but suggested this would be its first foray into the Americas. At last week’s meeting, Clemente showed a video NextBike produced of the program in use in Budapest, Hungary. "


So I am going to go ahead and assume since A) The program is based off of Miami's DecoBikes that B) they are DecoBike bikes and C) they will be blue because DecoBike is bought out by Citibike, the same program in NYC and therefore D) the major donor is Citigroup Bank

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Orange Pedal

This past weekend I had an opportunity to finally visit Orange Pedal, the dutch bike store in Wynwood, Miami. Saturday was crazy busy with the Maker's Faire, Redbull Minidrome, and ArtWalk, but luckily the store was open and I was able to swing in. I didn't have my dutch bikes with me but one of these days we have to do a ride together.

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The owner of the store, Kelly, is extremely generous and warm-hearted and her enthusiasm for the bicycles is contagious! She loves them as much as I do and has run into the same issues as I – the inability to try them out in person. We both went on luck and blind faith and for me personally, there was a steep learning curve. Coming from the same background, we are both incredibly passionate about these bikes and it's awesome she turned her passion into a shop to bring it to others! I loved watching curious customers inquiring about these bikes and being able to experience the fascination I felt when I first stumbled upon them. These bicycles are really a rarity in North America, though they are getting much more proliferous. The recent demand for proper cycling infrastructure and a renewed interest in commuter bicycling has led people to rediscover these "original" bicycle designs that, in Europe, have remained unchanged for over a century because they work so well.

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Kelly's adorable daughter

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The bikes are displayed (as they should be IMO) like beautiful art pieces in a gallery, very befitting of the Wynwood vibe and the amazing craftsmanship that goes into each bike. These bicycles are just beauties to look at, from the gorgeous lug work to the minute attention to detail. They might not be cheap, but they are more than worthy of the prices they command for the quality you get that will last you and your family for decades to come. These bikes are meant to withstand being held outdoors in the salt, rain, snow, sleet, muck, etc. and still require almost zero maintenance.

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Our favorite bikes, the Royal Dutch Gazelles – the Cadillac of them all

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Customers curious about the Vanmoof bicycles and front rack

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Showing people the awesome cargo bike, or "bakfiets"

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Lots of fun accessories!

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And adorable and stylish children's bicycles!

Kelly's shop can be found in the heart of Wynwood, Miami's Design District, at 
310 NW 26th St.,  Suite B, Miami, Florida. Phone number is (305) 515-2679. Like them on Facebook and check them out! These bikes are absolutely stunning.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Redbull Minidrome

This past Saturday was the Redbull Mini Velodrome event where fixed gear riders around South Florida competed for $1000 top prize based on the fastest lap time. Two riders each went head to head per round until the winner was determined. The minidrome is tiny and steep and lots of riders ate it flying off the track. The trick is to have a small gear in order to get up to speed fast. We had a lot of good local talent but the top prize ultimately went to some British guy wearing the weirdest get up. Overall, Wynwood was alive Saturday night with this event (which was one big party) and Artwalk going on. Earlier, 26th street was closed due to the Maker's Fair so Saturday was a busy day.

At Red Bull Mini Drome, skill, speed, balance, and braves are brought together on this steep, shrunken down version of the traditional velodrome. With track speeds exceeding 30mph and course measurements of 46 ft. x 24 ft. and 8 ft. high at the end banking, it is sure to be one of the most challenging and treacherous thrill rides to hit the fixed-gear scene.

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Bikes all packed up and ready to head south.

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Our own Alex Morris being interviewed by the Redbull announcer guy and shocking him away with his "and tonight I'm going fuck her in the pussy" announcement, to the roaring applause of all. Welcome to Miami.