Monday, July 27, 2009

Vive le Tour!

At Urbane, we've done the best job we can to help people get to and from where they need to go, for the most part on basic commuter-friendly city bikes fitted out with racks, fenders, bells and lights. A very different machine than the ultra light weight, speedy racing bikes pro racers use.

Plenty of us who work here are also huge fans of this beautiful sport. Bike racing is one of the oldest organized sports in the world and also one of the most beloved. This year there were over 500,000 people cheering on the slopes of Mount Ventoux! Crazy. And hard. A race like the Tour is well over 3000km long, takes 3 weeks to complete, goes up and down AND THEN back up mountains. The result is often 20% of the starting field drops out due to crashes, disease, fatigue and sometimes even death. It requires a special athlete to even complete this event, let alone win it.

For anyone who saw it, the 2009 Tour was a very exciting race, with lots of drama and suspense. Lance Armstrong, at 37 years old made his return to the event he dominated for 7 straight years. This year he came in 3rd, a position he had to defend by countering numerous attacks from riders itching to get on the most prestigious podium in the sport. In the end it was the wiry Spanish climber, Alberto Contador, who proved he is the top stage-racing cyclist in the world. Can't wait to see what happens next year.

Since cycling is only on TV once a year in Canada, we'll have to wait until July 2010 to watch the story unfold again. I highly recommend following it. Even if you're not into racing bicycles, give it a chance, and watch a stage or two. You might even think about these guys the next time you ride your bike to work.

2009 PODIUM: Andy Schleck (2nd), Alberto Contador (1st) and Lance Armstrong (3rd)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Bicycle Family

Can a mini-van even fit 8 family members inside? This family stopped by the shop and showed us how it's done. What we've got here is 2 adult tandems connected together with metal tubes (essentially a quadricycle), which is pulling a children's tandem trail-a-bike, which is itself pulling a 2 seat Chariot kid's trailer.
Now for the details: The left side tandem has a Bionx electric assist generator hub and on the top of the kids trailer is a set of solar panels which is powering a small fan inside the trailer, helping keep the little passengers inside a bit cooler.

I wonder if Mom and Dad up front would notice if someone stopped pedaling. I guess that's when the electric motor comes in handy.

Off they go!

Watch out Mr. Hipster!

All aboard!

Final check