World Remembrance Day This Sunday Nov 18th

From The BCU:

Sunday is World Day of Remembrance. Will you join the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition in honoring victims of traffic crashes?

World Day of Remembrance
Sunday, Nov. 18 // 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Learn more + RSVP

The day will begin with a ghost bike ceremony at 12:30 pm, followed by a vigil and silent march from the State House to City Hall to demand swifter action to prevent traffic deaths.

We know you are angry and sad about recent fatalities on our streets. So are we. These kinds of tragedies are avoidable with better, proactive planning and policy. Stand with us to show that life-saving infrastructure improvements cannot wait.

While Boston has made some progress toward reducing injurious crashes, change has not come quickly enough. In 2017, there were 1,162 cyclist and pedestrian incidents that prompted an EMS response — or more than 3 per day. Meanwhile, Boston’s bike fatality rate continues to be higher than the rates in comparable cities. (It’s one reason Boston fell this year to #20 in Bicycling Magazine’s ranking of the best bike cities in America.)

Friday’s fatal crash, in which a dump truck driver hit and killed BU graduate student Meng Jin as he biked near the Museum of Science, serves as another devastating reminder of the dangers posed by deadly street design. (A ghost bike ceremony will be held on Sunday before the rally and demonstration; for more information and to RSVP head here.)

Meng Jin Ghost Bike Ceremony
Sunday, Nov 18 // 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Intersection of Charles River Dam & Museum Way
Learn more + RSVP

On Sunday, members of the Coalition will be placing silhouettes at crash sites throughout the Boston area, as well as statewide, as part of the #CrashNotAccident awareness campaign. Crashes are not accidents — they’re the tragic, preventable results of inadequate planning and policy. People make mistakes; our streets must be designed so those mistakes are not fatal. Please join us to ensure that these lives are not forgotten and to demand safe streets for all in our communities.

Take part in the following memorial actions:

12:30 pm – Meng Jin Ghost Bike Ceremony at Charles River Dam & Museum Way
1:45 pm – Gather on the steps of Massachusetts State House for a Memorial Vigil
2:00 pm – Program for Memorial Vigil begins
2:45 pm – Silent Walk of Remembrance to Boston City Hall Plaza to demand safer roads
3:30 pm – Event ends

Please dress warmly and wear yellow in remembrance of those we’ve lost to traffic crashes.

We also encourage you to invite your elected state and local representatives. Show them the human toll of dangerous street design and urge them to support Vision Zero. You can find your city legislators here, and your state legislators here.

Help us spread the word via social media by using the following hashtags before and during the event: #WDoR2018 #CrashNotAccident #SafetyOverSpeed #VisionZero

The vast majority of these traffic crashes are preventable through engineering, education and enforcement. In numbers, we can recognize our loved ones, and also demand action from our elected officials.

We hope to see you there on Sunday, November 18th.

The post World Day of Remembrance, Sunday Nov. 18 appeared first on Boston Cyclists Union.

Another preventable tragedy and ACTIONS you can take to help

From Cambridge Bike Safety:

Last Friday we lost a member of our community. Meng Jin was killed while biking on the Craigie Bridge near the Museum of Science. He was a grad student at Boston University studying economics and had just arrived in Cambridge two months ago to start school. We cannot imagine the pain and grief his family is now going through. Our hearts go out to them.

MassDOT and DCR were told a long time ago that this bridge badly needs bicycle infrastructure, something which is obvious to anyone who tries to commute across it. They promised to work on it after the Longfellow bridge project completed earlier this year, but it never happened. Meng is dead because MassDOT and DCR prioritized six lanes of motor vehicle traffic over safe bike infrastructure.

While we can’t bring him back, we can tell our governments that this isunacceptable and that these deaths are preventable. While the Craigie Bridge is under DCR jurisdiction, Cambridge has control over most of the roads leading up to the Craigie Bridge and a responsibility to keep people safe on them. Furthermore, the O’Brien Highway is identified as requiring protected bicycle lanes in the Cambridge Bike Plan, and Cambridge must work to build out its plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes—including proactively engaging with state agencies—to prevent future injuries and deaths.


1. Attend the World Day of Remembrance this Sunday, Nov 18 at 2pm at the Massachusetts State House, and Ghost Bike Ceremony at 12:30pm near Museum of Science. 

We will gather to mourn the people who have died on our roads this year and to tell our elected officials that protected bike lanes save lives. We will not accept any more heartless trade-offs in our streets.

Please tell everyone you know about this, including your elected officials, both local and state. We need a huge turnout to show our elected officials that many people care deeply about this, and that their decisions affect the lives of many people. Please attend this event if at all possible.

Earlier that day there is a ghost bike ceremony in memory of Meng Jin. Meet us at 12:30pm at the intersection of Charles River Dam Road and Museum way, near the Museum of Science where Meng Jin was killed. After the ceremony we will ride to the World Day of Remembrance event at the State House.

2. Email Cambridge officials, and cc and tell them:

  • We want them to stand with us at the World Day of Remembrance so that they can hear the stories of people who are closest to the pain and learn from them.
  • We want them to support rapidly building out the city’s own plan for 20 miles of protected bike lanes because protected bike lanes save lives.

3. Email your state representatives (find them here) and tell them:

  • We want them to stand with us at the World Day of Remembrance. Their support is crucial for making changes happen at the state level.
  • If the State House acts quickly there is a chance they can pass the piece of the bike omnibus bill which requires state and state-contracted trucks to have safety side-guards and convex mirrors. Tell your state representative that they should help pass this bill to keep us safe around trucks. (Only the State House can help here; the State Senate has already passed this bill.)

Every death leaves our community hurting and scared. We will work together to make sure our streets show compassion instead of violence.

Ski helmet brand Briko to bring its bike helmets to US market


Retail trainer Dan Mann authors new book

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — The Mann Group’s Dan Mann, a longtime retail trainer and consultant in the outdoor and bike industries, has unveiled a new book, ORBiT, The Art and Science of Influence . Mann takes from his experience in leadership and leadership training to provide tips on how to influence adult behavior.

UK nutrition brand Science in Sport enters US market with USAC, Team Sky agreements

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Science in Sport, a nearly 25-year-old British sports nutrition brand, is making a push into the U.S. market this season.

UK nutrition brand Science in Sport enters US market with USAC, Team Sky agreements

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Science in Sport, a nearly 25-year-old British sports nutrition brand, is making a push into the U.S. market this season. The brand is endorsed by the Tour de France-winning Team Sky and recently became the official sports nutrition supplier to USA Cycling.

Michael Gamstetter joins Safe Haven Brands as brand manager

SPRINGBORO, Ohio (BRAIN) — Safe Haven Brands, the parent company of Airborne Bicycles, DK Bikes and System Cycle Supply, has hired Michael Gamstetter as brand manager of all brands and product manager for Airborne. Gamstetter is a 26-year industry veteran who most recently co-founded Cycle Group Inc., and helped launch the Box Components brand.  “Watching Michael’s career over the years has been exciting – I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to work with him,” said Bill Danishek, Safe Haven Brands’ president

UK’s biggest mountain bike demo day returns to Cannock Chase

UK’s biggest mountain bike demo day returns to Cannock Chase

UK retail giant Leisure Lakes Bikes is once again set host the UK’s biggest mountain bike demo day. The event will take place at the trails of Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, over the weekend of 20 and 21 March. 

Participants should be spoilt for choice when it comes to machines to demo, with more than 170 bikes available from the likes of Specialized, Whyte, Santa Cruz, Orange, Trek, Yeti, Intense and more.

Several clothing and equipment manufacturers will also have stands at the show, so visitors can expect to see the latest kit from Fox Clothing, Hope, Giro and Science In Sport, among others.  

The event will be free to attend and will start at 10am on both days. The last demo bikes will go out at 3:15pm. To get involved, all you need to do is register at the Leisure Lakes Bikes website.


You can

Interbike adds new retail education courses

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Interbike has expanded its retail education schedule for this year’s show

Throwback Thursday: 1995 Kestrel Rubicon Comp Kamikaze

World Cup-style downhill mountain bike racing today is an awe inspiring display on courses that are both very fast and extremely demanding technically. The early days of the sport, however, more closely resembled downhill ski racing with one major goal: outright speed. And no event epitomised that period better than the Kamikaze at Mammoth Mountain, California.

The Kamikaze course is at its heart little more than a fire road that provides maintenance access to the mountain’s various features. Compared with modern World Cup courses, that thoroughfare was wide open and comparatively free of significant obstacles, which made for some staggering speeds. Top riders regularly crested 100km/h (62mph) – and as you would imagine, crashes at those speeds were less than pleasant.

It's incredible to think of what the downhill riders of yesteryear were willing to do on machines like this. nearly two decades later, you can almost still see the dust roost off of kurt stockton's old kestrel rubicon comp:

It’s amazing to think about how fast riders were going on bikes like this back in the day

Much as the discipline of downhill racing was in its infancy at that time, so, too, was the equipment that the racers used to hurtle themselves toward the bottom of the mountain.

Kurt Stockton was a US-based pro in the mid-90s racing for Kestrel – then one of just a handful of companies offering carbon composite frames. While Kestrel may have been considered to be ahead of the curve in many ways at the time, the Rubicon Comp chassis that Stockton used was a far cry from the highly evolved, purpose-built downhill rigs of today.

The upper and lower chain guides were hand machined out of blocks of nylon:

Chain retention was especially challenging in the early days of DH, especially given the lack of refined solutions

Kestrel designed the Rubicon Comp as a cross country bike, complete with about four inches of front suspension travel and nearly five out back courtesy of a modified high single pivot layout. A link connected the swingarm with the articulated top tube so that when the rear wheel went up, the saddle went down.

The angles were steep, the wheelbase was short, there was no provision for any sort of chain retention, and speed control came courtesy of two pairs of rubber blocks that were squeezed against the rim. Both wheels were attached with quick-release skewers.

While there was about eight inches of travel available out back, it was matched with just half that amount up front courtesy of an early rockshox judy dh. inside each 28mm-diameter aluminum leg was a stack of mcu bumpers, plus a single oil cartridge damper in the left leg. both wheels are secured with quick-release skewers: ringl? ones, not the ritchey ones shown here:

The RockShox Judy DH was state-of-the-art in the mid-90s but few would consider it even for rigorous XC riding today

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t inherently suited for downhill racing.

The first modification made to get it to that point was to the rear suspension.

“We were playing around with that bike and I was looking at the linkage one day,” Stockton told BikeRadar. “I said, ‘You know, that rear link looks like the same exact length as the shock we’re using.’”

As it turned out, Stockton was right and by replacing that rigid link with a second shock, the rear travel nearly doubled from its original 4.5 inches.

Former kestrel racer kurt stockton was able to nearly double the rear wheel travel of his rubicon comp by replacing the rigid rear link with a second shock. note, too, how the only external adjustment on tap aside from air pressure is rebound damping - and only on one of two fox alps 4 units:

If one shock is good, two must be better, right?

That additional travel – and more importantly, the additional sag – also served to slacken the angles a bit for additional stability. A 63-tooth chainring was fitted to better suit the Kamikaze’s ridiculous speeds, a fully bespoke chain guide was made out of welded steel and machined nylon, the aluminium riser bar was reinforced with a bolt-on brace, and Magura hydraulic rim brakes made the most of the available friction. While Stockton mostly raced on Mavic rims, he at times also used HED’s ultra-rare deep-section carbon-and-aluminium rims laced on to Ringl? hubs, all shod with similarly rare (for the time) Michelin downhill-specific rubber.

Modern downhill gear is fully dedicated equipment while, despite the extensive modifications, Stockton’s bike was still ultimately an XC rig – and like many DH machines at the time, it performed accordingly.

The magura hs-22 hydraulic brakes made the most of the available friction produced by the rubber pads on the alloy rims:

Disc brakes were still a long way from being common in the mid-90s

“It was designed to be a cross country bike,” Stockton told BikeRadar. “We threw these two shocks on this thing and it laid back the angle a lot more but the head angle still wasn’t slack enough. In the steep stuff – and we did have some, not like it is now, but still – it was a big problem that we dealt with.”

Even the positions riders used differed massively from what would be considered typical today. Back then, the courses were much longer – some nearly fifteen minutes in duration – and there was much more pedalling involved. Stockton’s handlebar is just 620mm wide, the stem is 120mm long, and the XC-length seatpost sticks way out of the frame.

The custom 3t aluminum riser bar is just 620mm wide:

The bars would be considered unusably narrow by modern standards

“We were still looking at modifying cross country or even road positions for downhill rather than looking at it completely differently. I was totally skewed from racing on the road. We were still trying to run our seats high so we could pedal because there was a lot of pedalling on these courses.”

Then there were perpetual issues with reliability. Though the courses often weren’t insanely technical, there were still a lot of forces applied given the speeds.

The ultra-rare hed downhill carbon-and-aluminum rims were wrapped with team-only michelin tires:

Though the science was perhaps a little lacking, companies at least had an idea what helped riders go fast

“The equipment was road stuff that was being modified,” Stockton said. “It just wasn’t beefy enough. They got it to work on cross country bikes but for downhill, it wasn’t there. We were blowing shocks out, blowing forks out all the time, and that was it.”

Stockton’s frame was even fitted with a fully custom swingarm with additional plies of carbon fibre after the original one broke.

The stock rear swingarm couldn't hold up to the forces of downhill racing so kestrel handmade another one with a burlier lay-up:

The carbon swingarm is a handmade one-off

Even though the bike was essentially a beefed-up cross country model, it still wasn’t exactly light, either. As shown here, Stockton’s Kestrel weighs in at 15.34kg (33.8lb) and that doesn’t include the much heavier downhill inner tubes he used to use or pedals of any sort. For reference, Greg Minnaar’s current Santa Cruz V10 comes in at 15.08kg (33.18lb) complete.

Despite that extra weight, Stockton recalled that riding that modified Rubicon Comp was anything was confidence inspiring at those speeds and on that terrain.

“It was sketchy but it was like, we were all doing it. I remember going off the top of Mammoth and you’re going 50, 60 miles an hour. You just hung your ass off the back, kept your hand off the front brake and you just went. That was it! It was just, go for it.”

“At 60 miles an hour on a really nice road bike on smooth pavement, you’ve got to be attentive, right? We were riding down a bunch of pumice where you’re basically just floating on the marbles. It was all just kind of a controlled power slide the whole way down. As long as you kept air in the front tyre, it was ok.”

Now and then. american racer kurt stockton - and others - rocketed down the side of mammoth mountain in california at upwards of 100km/h aboard bikes that were, in hindsight, woefully ill-suited for the task:

Special thanks to the folks at The Pro’s Closet, who will soon open up a museum of noteworthy vintage bikes at their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

Complete bike specifications?????

  • Frame: Kestrel Rubicon Comp w/ custom rear swingarm, dual shocks
  • Rear shock: Fox ALPS 4, Fox ALPS 4R
  • Fork: RockShox Judy DH
  • Headset: Chris King GripNut, 1 1/8in threaded
  • Stem: Ringl? Zooka, 120mm x 10?
  • Handlebars: Custom 3T aluminium riser, 620mm
  • Tape/grips:?Pedro’s Blackwalls
  • Front brake: Magura HS-22
  • Rear brake: Magura HS-22
  • Brake levers: Magura HS-22
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore XT RD-M737-SGS
  • Shift levers: Grip Shift X-Ray
  • Cassette: Shimano XTR CS-M900, 12-30T
  • Chain: Taya
  • Crankset: Ultimate Machine, 175mm, w/ 63T Avitar chainring
  • Bottom bracket:?Ultimate Machine
  • Rims: HED Downhill, 32h
  • Front hub: Ringl? Super Bubba, 32h
  • Rear hub: Ringl? Super Eight, 32h
  • Spokes: Bladed stainless steel, 32h, 3-cross
  • Front tyre: Michelin Service Course DH, 26 x 2.2in
  • Rear tyre: IRC Mythos XC, 26 x 2.1in
  • Saddle: Selle San Marco Bontrager No-Slip
  • Seatpost: Ringl? Moby
  • Other accessories: Bullet Brothers chain tensioner, custom chain guide