Industrialized Cyclist Notepad

Bike of the Day: Keith’s Bridgestone MB-1

12 hours left on E-Bay.

Keith is in the intro to my new book The Art of Mountain Biking: Singletrack Skills for All Riders. He bought this MB-1 new from Criterium bike shop in 1988, and has been treating it with the utmost respect ever since. Amazingly, this trail-ready vintage beauty could be yours…

Description by Keith:

“Wow” your mountain biking friends by showing up for the next group ride on this vintage, highly coveted classic. This is widely considered the quintessential mountain bike of its day. Revolutionary frame angles, build quality, and components made this perhaps the most advanced racing mountain bike at the time, which is why today this steel bike is coveted by collectors. See Sheldon Brown’s web page on this bike, along with the PDF file of the catalog featuring it.

I am original owner, having bought this from my local Colorado Springs bike shop specified with a Shimano Deore XT group (see parts list below). Selling this is going to break my heart.

Has age-appropriate paint wear and scratches (see photos). Some superficial rust. No dents. Frame, forks, and wheels are straight. Imprecise shifting can be finessed now, but chain, cogs, chainrings, and possibly cables and housing need replacing for smooth, precisely indexed shifting. Everything else works well. One shifter clamp was re-threaded in the early ’90s and has held tight since. One shifter missing the “Shimano Deore XT” face plate (see photo).

1988-1992: used recreationally as a mountain bike in Colorado and California. 1993, 2000-2011: used as a commuter bike in California, Texas, Maryland, and North Carolina almost entirely on pavement. 1994-1999, 2012: stored unused.


Car Commuting Drives Up Weight, Blood Pressure

And, it kills your back and hips. Which causes more stress.

The bit below about American cities not being built for active commuters. Not exactly true. Somewhat true. A lot of American cities are currently set up quite nicely to accept vast numbers of additional bike commuters should these autonomous individuals choose to take that step.

A 2011 study of 21,000 Swedish workers found those who commuted by car or public transit reported more stress, exhaustion and missed work days than those who walked or bicycled to work. But few American cities are built for active commuters.

“We’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives,” said Hoehner. “We need to change our communities and make improvements to the infrastructure to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

via Commuting Drives Up Weight, Blood Pressure – ABC News.

There is a lot more to making a bike-friendly environment than “engineering” the built environment. Like what:

–The cost of driving in Europe is much higher than it is in the US, due to famously high fuel taxes and fees. We complain about 4$ gas. No Euro country has gas anywhere near that cheap, due to govt. fuel taxes.

–Laws and court proceedings in bike-friendly countries favor bicyclists and pedestrians.

–Culture is overall more bike-friendly.

It’s already an easy choice for many in the US. Let’s stop making excuses. There will always be room for improvement. The built environment will never be perfect here, and it isn’t in Europe.

I guess what I’m saying is this. We all wish for improvements in the cycling environment. If you complain about and push for better bike infrastructure, great! That helps. But I sure hope you’re doing it as a bike commuter, not as an excuse-making car commuter.


Flying Scotsman thinks he may have figured a few things out about building a world-record recumbent. Seriously looks like he may be on to something, again! This looks like the position he always wanted — not Superman but Human Missile.

“You just roll it and go up through the gears. If you get into the top gear you are already doing 80mph,” he said.

The wheels are home-made but are the same size as those used on BMX bicycles, and the gears are from a conventional bike.

While he is confident that “the engine remains in decent nick”, the bid will be as much a test of engineering as physical strength.

His riding position, which will have him lying horizontally on his front, pedalling head first just a few inches from the road, is completely unlike the design used by Whittingham to set the existing record. The Canadian, like other speed cyclists, rides in a reclining position, with his head at the back of the bike, and his legs turning pedals at the front.

To maximise aerodynamics, Obree will also be surrounded by what he calls “the skin”, a carbon shell that is reinforced with bullet-proof Kevlar so that it does not disintegrate if he crashes. “It’s basically a torpedo – a land based missile,” he said.

via The 100mph bike – designed in the bath and made from an old saucepan – Telegraph.

Bike to School Day

Today, “active transportation” means rocking the mini video game while getting driven to school.

Kids are lazy, parents are afraid, and everybody’s fat.

This chart says a lot. It’s not good.

From the National Alliance for Biking and Walking.