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Adrich bicycle parking sculpture with classic Schwinn Hornet

Adrich bicycle parking sculpture with classic Schwinn Hornet

Sunday, October 4  was the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s Bike Festival — celebrating the opening of its exhibition, Bike Rides.   A series of well organized group rides (11-24 miles) — Le Tour d’Aldrich — were sponsored by Sound Cyclists Bicycle Club.  We toured the rolling terrain of this picturesque section of southwest Connecticut that is just south of Danbury, and arrived at the museum on main street of Ridgefield just as the afternoon activities were starting.  The festival  outside the museum actually dwarfed the official exhibit inside.

Child category winner of Primp my Bike contest

Child category winner of Primp my Bike contest

Piragua bicycle cart

Piragua bicycle cart

Maybe it was because of the warmth and sunshine (and stunning contrast to the downpours from the previous day),  that many of the special guests whose bicycles were on display inside were hanging out outside on the terrace, in the sculpture garden (where Edward Tufte’s pieces are on display), or amidst the tents in the museum parking lot.  Big draws included Miguel Luciano preparing shaved ice treats (called Piraguas in his native Puerto Rico) from his beautiful orange bike cart, the Primp-My-Bike contest, and the freeriding bike stunts show by Jeff Lenosky.

Purple Pedal project bike with solar powered camera (on handlebars)

Purple Pedal project bike with solar powered camera (on handlebars)

One of my favorites was participating in the “What Makes You Happy” project by Purple Pedals— a bike equipped with a solar powered camera that travels around snapping a photo every 60 seconds and instantly posting to a Flickr album — (my official photo — and a candid camera shot (note – new Hincapie top!)

Another highlight was wild edible foraging with the creators of the Greenhouse-a-go-Grow tricycle.  Colin and friends had biked up from NYC in the rain, but they were all dry and smiles at the festival.

Greenhouse-A-Go-Grow

Greenhouse-A-Go-Grow

Colin pointed out some wild lettuce that was growing right along the parking lot; I couldn’t believe how tasty it was!  I hope their pine tea (made from boiling pine needles) kept them warm at camp in the evening.

On the “green” front, there was a bicycle (and step by step demonstration of the process)  with a bamboo frame with linen and carbon fiber joints from the Bamboo Bike Studio.  They do weekend workshops where you arrive on Saturday and you leave Sunday with your very own complete bike using a bamboo frame!  These workshops support the Bamboo Bike Project, whose mission is to bring similarly designed cargo bikes to Africa.

Creators of the Greenhouse-a-go-Grow bike - Colin and Huong

Creators of the Greenhouse-a-go-Grow bike - Colin and Huong

One of the strengths of the exhibit is its use of multimedia;  there are videos (including David Byrne’s helmet-cam while he’s riding in downtown NYC), a short film, and a mural summarizing transportation issues.

Massachusetts has a strong presence with demo bicycles from Seven cycles from Watertown, PARLEE Cycles from Peabody, and Richard Sachs Cycles from Warwick.

What a wonderful way to celebrate a New England autumn day…

Boneshaker

Boneshaker

another primp my bike entry

another primp my bike entry

Crab sculpture and bike parking

Crab sculpture and bike parking

Freewheeling stunt show

Freewheeling stunt show

Aldrich sculpture garden

Aldrich sculpture garden

Bicycle spin art

Bicycle spin art

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Entrance to Forest Hills Bike Parking Facility

Entrance to Forest Hills Bike Parking Facility

David Watson uses the new bike cage

David Watson uses the new bike cage

September 29 was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Forest Hills T Bike Cage.

Ribbon Cutting at Forest Hills Bike Palace

Ribbon Cutting at Forest Hills Bike Palace

As speakers were giving accolades, they mused on various improvements on the word “cage”. One observer offered “bike palace”; I like that!  As the second enclosed bike parking facility in the MBTA system (the first is at Alewife at the northern terminus of the Red Line in Cambridge), and the first in the city of Boston, the cage uses a different 2-level rack system that can accommodate more than 60 bicycles.

JP resident using the parking facility

JP resident using the parking facility

While not the most beautiful piece of architecture (think chain link fence), the security of the facility is enhanced by bright lighting, and video surveillance.  I was really impressed by the speakers at the event — especially outgoing MA Secretary of Transportation Jim Aloisi, MassBike Executive Director David Watson, and Boston Bikes Director Nicole Freedman.

2nd level bike parking at Forest Hills

2nd level bike parking at Forest Hills

Access to the facility requires a Bike Charlie Card, available at the customer service booth at the T station.  With the new sharrow and bike lane infrastructure between Forest Hills and Roslindale via Washington Street, things are looking up for bicycling in Boston!

Received this amazing video from Georgia, who I had the pleasure of meeting on this year’s Bon Ton Roulet tour of the Finger Lakes region of New York.

I’m preparing to take Traffic 101 (taught locally by MassBike), and was wondering if we’ll be learning any of these moves?


August 29-30 could not have been a more perfect weekend in Greenville, SC for the USA Cycling Pro Championships. I was so lucky to escape the hurricane in Boston, and the temps in SC weren’t too scorching.

Saturday was the 20.7 mile time-trial held at CU-ICAR (Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research – the irony!).

The 3-loop time trial was won for the 4th year in a row by David Zabriskie in 39:37; that’s averaging over 31 mph!  But the chatter among the spectators was not how lightening fast he was pedaling (I’m glad someone else rides with his mouth open!), but about David’s chamois creme, aptly named dznuts.

After the race, 2nd place finisher Tom Zirbel left his training bike outside while he fielded questions from the press.  Bike envy!

The highlight was Sunday.  In the morning, Dad and I biked the road race course as part of the P3 (Palmetto Peloton Project) charity ride.

We created our own second loop, including a tour of Furman University and the partially completed Swamp Rabbit trail.  As we rode through the finish line to start the 2nd loop, I rang the bell on Dad’s bike (a gift from me that I picked up at last year’s Maine Bike Rally), causing the announcer to remark: that’s the first cyclist we’ve had come though who’s rung a bell!  Hmm, maybe there’s a business plan in selling bike bells in SC.

Among the approximately 650 charity bicyclists that morning was a group of 15 riders all the way from Toronto Canada, donning beautiful red jersey’s with their team name — Les Domestiques.  Referring to those bicycle racers who ride primarily to support their team leader, this cycling group recently formed to combine their love of bicycling with philanthropy.  They sum it up in their motto: Cyclists who serve.  Kudos to Les Domestiques!

In the afternoon, we walked down the street from my folks’ house to a neighborhood party along the downtown loop of the road race.

Kids and adults alike cheered each time the racers zoomed by, ringing cow bells.  Does anyone know how cow bells became the noise maker of choice at bicycle events?  Also, it seemed that the marshalls, police escorts, and team vehicles were having a little too much fun flying around the corners on the closed course.

Greenville resident and veteran racer George Hincapie won!  George is such a gentleman.  After the podium presentation, he happily signed water bottles for young fans.  And it was announced that Greenville will be hosting the championships again next year (for the 5th time).  Looking forward to next year already.