Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
Artist Kiuchi Tatsuro painted this image entitled “Car Free,” which pretty much sums up any cyclist’s ultimate dream.
The rain is falling. The sun is setting. The acid in my stomach is beginning to churn. Cross season is upon us. How did this happen? Last I checked it was July; and sunny and warm, and cross was months away. Now, on this dark, soggy, slippery evening, on shore of Lake Sammamish, Cross has arrived. And it has arrived in a big way. STARCROSSED!
Why am I doing this? Why am I here? Why am I willing sacrifice my ego to the cyclocross gods? The heckling fans? The cameramen there to take pictures of the pros, but casually click the shutter as I ride by, with the off chance they will capture an image of someone that might, one day, be great? The mud, the pain, the hours of training, the paychecks that seem to be deposited directly to the Bike Account?
I do this because I love it. Because I am half-crazy, fully-sane, and 100 percent addicted to the sport of cyclocross. I do this because, somewhere between the pain and oxygen debt and sweat and tears, comes clarity. Clarity of the mind, of the soul, of the spirit. I do this because there is nothing else I would rather do.
Recently, I read an article that stated “the number of bikes one should own can be expressed using the formula:
N+1 where N= the number of bikes currently owned
This equation can also be expressed as:
S-1, where S= the number of bikes you can own without your spouse leaving you
As a first time exhibitor at the Outdoor Demo segment of Interbike, these equations have taken on a whole new meaning. My shed is already jam packed with more bikes than I could ever ride (I think it is 12 or 13), however this show has made me realize how many gaps there are in my riding arsenal. The primary purpose for my attendance at the Outdoor Demo was to staff the Osprey Packs booth and demo the new Raptor hydration packs to parched riders who braved the 100+ degree temps to hop on the latest in mountain and road bikes for a ride in the desert of Bootleg Canyon. As these thirsty riders hung out at the Osprey booth and maybe even took advantage of the awesome deals we offered as a fundraiser for the 88bikes Foundation, it gave me time to drool over the coolest innovations the bicycle industry had to offer.
Fortunately, I have not found the exact number equal to S (where your spouse leaves you) but may push the envelope in the near future. Surely my wife will understand that I absolutely need a carbon fiber, geared, 29 inch hardtail for racing 24 Hours in the Sage next year as my current carbon fiber singlespeed will no longer suffice. With Cyclocross season upon us, there is no way I can survive without one of the wicked fast 2011 model upgrades. And then there were all of the super cool cruisers that would make my evening pub commute so much better than my red steel townie that is a dozen years old. The myriad of new road bikes was so overwhelming that I could not possibly limit my purchase to just one.
Welcome to Pedaling Change! There’s a lot of good work being done in the world of bikes, to alternative transportation advocacy to international development. To highlight some of the great action that’s going on out there, once a month we’ll be profiling a non-profit in the bike world to look at just how they’re working to make positive change.
When you think of the words “non-profit” and “mountain biking,” the International Mountain Bicycling Association is probably the first thing that comes to mind, and with good reason. Founded as a non-profit educational association, IMBA’s mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. It has over 35,000 individual members worldwide, more than 160 corporate sponsors and members living in all 50 U.S. states and in over 30 countries. Talk about a global biking powerhouse.
We caught up with Mark Eller over at IMBA to talk bikes and learn a little more about the organization.
What have some of IMBA’s biggest accomplishments over the last year been?
This year, IMBA renewed a partnership with the National Park Service to continue adding mountain biking opportunities to America’s most scenic parks. We launched the Public Lands Initiative to protect access to key riding areas, and we built innovative Gateway Trail bike parks across the country to help bring new riders into the sport and give kids great places to play. This fall, we’ll help thousands of kids get outside on knobby tires with the sixth edition of IMBA’s International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
Courtesy of IMBA
Why is it important to do bike advocacy?
IMBA’s work is based on the idea that riding mountain bikes provides a great outdoor experience and provides a fun, athletic challenge that is accessible to millions of people. We advocate for broad access to trails and for good places to ride bikes because we want to share the enriching experience of exploring the natural world on two wheels.
“Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.” – Grant Petersen
There are a lot of excellent bike quotes out there and in conjunction with this week’s official Osprey Bike Blog launch we want to know your favorites!
Submit your favorite bike quote via Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment right here on the blog for chance to win! We’ll be choose two winners who will get their choice of one our new bike bags: the Momentum and the Metron.
We’ll be taking submissions until Wednesday September 29.
Today we’re honored to feature this guest post by 88 Bikes Founder Dan Austin.
While galavanting through the hinterlands of Mongolia a couple of weeks ago, my brother Jared and I spotted an idyllic ger, set on a hillside, lit up in the sun. We hiked through the stubbled grass and were met halfway up the hill by three teenage girls, a couple little kids and an old fellow who looked like he’d been squinting into the sun across these eternal fields for the better part of eighty years. I asked him the question I always ask when traveling with 88bikes, but didn’t expect an answer. I was shocked when, after our fixer translated my question, the nomad’s rutted face broke into a huge grin.
Congrats to Washington D.C. who this week launched the nation’s biggest (and maybe baddest?) bike share program, Capital BikeShare.
The program has 1,100 bikes at 100 kiosks in the District and Northern Virginia. With an introductory yearly rate of $50, which will go up to $75, or a day pass for $5, the new bike share program certainly competes with other modes of alternative transportation, which means you should probably consider killing those cab fares next time you’re in town.
This is our first time at Interbike, and we’re very excited about showing off all our new bike product! But we’re also excited about partnering with a fantastic cause, 88Bikes. All through today we’ll be selling Raptor 6 and Raptor 14 hydration packs with 100% of the proceeds going to supporting 88Bikes.
All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to 88Bikes in support of VILLAGES, their fifth and biggest project to date. From June through November 2010, 88Bikes is reaching out to children in Africa, Mongolia, Latin America and the United States, focusing on small rural locations where their bikes can have a major impact. The funds raised through the Osprey event will specifically support 88Bikes efforts to bring bikes to kids in the Navajo Nation.
Pick up a Raptor 6 for $20 or a Raptor 14 for $30 and know that you’re helping kids round the world discover the love of two wheels.
Editor’s Note: As of 12:17 p.m PST all the packs are officially sold out! Thanks to everyone who supported 88bikes and we’ll now be happy and hydrated out on the trails!