"How You Like Them Apples?"

"How You Like Them Apples?' YOU WANNA KNOW HOW I LIKE THEM APPLES READERS? 'Wayne and Garth' from Wayne's world get on their knees in front of some rocker....What they say at the end is how I felt after I saw the name of the below bicycle because..."I'M NOT....have to watch the video to finish the rest of the thought!

Click on the link (and watch until the end)


MEANWHILE..Back at the Ranch

This article isn't meant to imply that Lance Armstrong either endorses this bicycle I came across this bicycle and although not a fan of this particular genre, yall know by now a Brotha' like me gotta hive props where props are due! This is a design by TREK (or so the article states) and I love the look and the name of this bicycle which is "How You Like Then Apples?" THAT name is pure FUNK!


Is this FUNK all in my Mind?

Why ya treat me like this TREK?!
Pictures courtesy of:http://trekroad.typepad.com/trekroad/2008/09/lance.html


Not a Motorcycle Fan.....but DAAANNNGGG!

Dodge Tomahawk



Rover safety bicycle, 1885

The 1st 'Safety Bicycle?'

Until the introduction of this type of bicycle, with its diamond-shaped frame and similar-diameter front and rear wheels, cycling was a comparatively risky sport which appealed mainly to the enthusiast. During the 1870s, when cycling first became popular, the standard bicycle was the Ordinary or 'Penny-farthing'. These bicycles had direct, pedal-driven, large front wheels, the rider sat high and was at risk in an accident. They were also unstable and difficult to mount and dismount. By contrast, the diamond-frame bicycle with chain drive to the rear wheel was much lower to the ground and so changed the experience of riding that it became known as the 'safety bicycle'. The Rover safety bicycle was designed by J. K. Starley of Coventry and was first exhibited in London in early 1885.
His design made the bicycle a universal mode of transport and established a basic form which has changed remarkably little since then. By the early 1890s the Ordinary bicycle was obsolete. Cycle-making became concentrated in Birmingham, Coventry and Nottingham, where mass-production techniques had already been applied to the manufacture of textile and sewing machines, clocks, watches and handguns. Output soared and, at the outbreak of the First World War, Britain was a world leader in cycle exports. Many of the cycle companies also went on to become noted motor-vehicle manufacturers.


From Major Taylor to Nelson Vails to Kirk Whiteman...

Photo and Stats courtesy of http://www.thekinglink.com/

Kirk Whiteman
Sport: Tandem Captain for Matt King since 2000
(USCF Category: Track 1 (elite)
Team: ICG Communications
Residence: Brooklyn, New York
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 190 lbs.
DOB: 10/12/65,
Education: New York Institute of Technology
Occupation: Spinning Instructor

About Kirk: In the fall of 1983, Kirk Whiteman, while flipping through channels, saw a native New Yorker named Nelson Vails win a gold medal at the Pan American Games in the sport of cycling. Captivated by the speed and power of these sprinters, Kirk, not long after, realized that cycling was his calling. Not knowing anything of the sport, Kirk did hear that Nelson Vails was a former NYC bike messenger turned pro bike racer. Whiteman, like Vails, started off by getting a messenger’s job in Manhattan, linked up with one of the best amateur cycling teams in the east, and he too has risen through the competitive ranks and has become a champion. Since 1990 Kirk has medaled at just about every National Championship he has entered.

In 1996, he won his first National Championship in the Tandem Sprints. A year later, he traded in the Stars and Stripes national jersey for the Rainbow colored jersey of a World Champion in the Individual Match Sprint Event at the Masters World Championship in Manchester, England. In 1998, Kirk successfully defended his individual match sprint world championship, he also set a world record and won a gold medal in the Olympic Sprint Event. Kirk’s reign as world champion has been more monumental than just winning.

In 1997, Kirk was the first African-American to win a world sprint title since Major Marshall Taylor in 1899. In 1998, Kirk became the first two time African-American winner of that title in the hundred plus years of cycling. Apart from a brilliant career in cycling, Kirk has been reaching out to the children and athletes in the community. He finds that there is a definite importance to teaching children that there is freedom in discipline when striving to attain their goals.

Competition Highlights:

2000 (as of August 20, 2000)
Colorado Tandem Invitational, Colorado Springs, Colo., placed first in the Men's Match Sprints
WFMZ Invitational, Trexlertown, Pa., placed first in the Men's Match Sprints
WE Media Tandem Invitational, Trexlertown, Pa., placed first in the Men's Match Sprints
Good Shephards Tandemonium at T-Town, Trexlertown, Pa., placed fourth in the Men's Match Sprints

Elite Track Championships, Frisco, Tex., placed first in the men’s USABA kilometer..made the 2000 Paralympic Cycling Team which will be going to Sydney, Australia, in October of 2000.
ICG/WE Media Track Series #1, Houston, Texas, placed first in the Men's Match Sprints

Masters World Track Championships’, Manchester, England, placed fourth in the 200 meter time trial, fifth in the match sprint, and fifth in the Olympic Sprint
Masters National Track Championships’, Plano, Tex., placed second in the match sprints, and second in the Olympic Sprint

Senior National Track Championships’, Trexlertown, Pa., placed sixth in the 200 meter time trial, placed tenth in the match sprint, placed fourth in the Olympic Sprint, and third in the tandem sprint

New York State Track Championships’, Kissena, NY, won the match sprints, and won the Olympic Sprint

#2 EDS Cup, Plano, Tex., placed sixth in the match sprint, placed ninth in the keirin, and won six in the Olympic Sprint
Floyd Bennet Field Criterium, Brooklyn, NY won sixth place

Masters World Track Championships', Manchester, England, won the match sprints and set a world record and won the Olympic Sprints Masters National Track Championships', Seattle, Wa., won the match sprints and placed second in the Senior National Track Championships’, Plano, Tex., placed tenth in the match sprint and placed sixth in the Olympic Sprint
Eastern Regional Championships’, Trexlertown, Pa., won the match sprints and won the keirin
New York State Track Championships’, Kissena, NY, won the match sprints

Masters World Track Championships’, Manchester England, won the match sprint, won the 200 meter time trial, and placed third in the Olympic Sprint.
Masters National Track Championships’, Houston, Tex., placed second in the match sprint and placed third in the 200 meter time trial
Senior National Track Championships, Colorado Springs, Colo., placed third in the Tandem Sprints, placed sixth in the Olympic Sprint, placed third in the 200 meter time trial, and ninth in the match sprints International Grand Prix, Palesco, Trinidad, placed third in the Olympic Sprints and placed third in the one lap scratch New York State Track Championships', Kissena, NY, won the match sprints

Senior National Tandem Sprint Champion, won Tandem Sprints


Harlem Rocks! Urban Pioneer Passes Away...

Photos & Story Courtesy of http://www.harlemrocks.com/

David A. Walker 1942-2008
David Walker, (det. sgt. ret. NYDP) who founded the Annual Father's Day Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic and who revived the sport of Double Dutch, passed away July 20th in St. Luke's hospital. Dave was 66 years old.

The Skyscraper and Walker family thank everyone for their expressions of love and concern during our time of bereavement. We are dedicated to continuing David Walker's work even without him and hope to see everybody at the 36th Annual Skyscraper-Harlem Cycling Classic which will be held on Father's Day, 2009, in loving memory of our founder.

Harlem Rocks Founder David Walker (Middle)


Not Sleepless in Seattle...but Dumbfounded in Denver

The day has arrived readers when your FEARLESS BLOGGER is at a loss for words. I do not know if this loss for words comes because of...well...I don't know what to say


116 Years and Going Strong!

Article Courtesy of Wheelman.org
This organization is a descendant of the professional racing league that Major Taylor was a member of: The League of American Wheelman

The Wheelmen is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to keeping alive the heritage of American cycling, promoting the restoration and riding of early cycles (1918 or earlier), and encouraging cycling as part of modern living. Members are intent on learning lost skills, retelling lost stories, researching and writing of the golden era of cycling.
The Wheelmen embrace a broad range of bicycle-related activities, centered on the historical aspects of cycling. Such activities include riding in parades, tours and demonstrations, holding rides, participating in events to promote modern cycling, displaying bikes and memorabilia, research, writing and publishing cycle history, collecting bicycle literature and memorabilia, restoring cycles, restoring and recreating uniforms and costumes, recreating grand dance balls, picnics, developing buglers, show and tell meets, swap meets, auctions, slide shows, visiting historic sites and museums, and learning trick riding.
Collectors and restorers have salvaged thousands of antique bicycles and preserved large quantities of bicycle memorabilia, literature and other valuable materials of the golden era of cycling. Many Wheelmen have built outstanding collections of cycles that rival the best of museums.
The club was founded in 1967 at Hoopes Park, Wilmington, DE, at it’s first Official High Wheel Tour by 12 men mainly from the Philadelphia area. Today the club has over one thousand members across the U.S., Canada and overseas. In the 30 plus years of its existence, the club has participated in major events such as the 1976 Bicentennial in Philadelphia, the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN, and grand parades in New York, Detroit, Washington, Milwaukee and Indianapolis. Each year the club has an Annual Meet.

The Annual Meet is an activity where many Wheelmen worldwide join together in one spot for a four-day celebration of antique cycling. Annual Meets have been held in such historic places as Mystic Seaport, CT; Newport, RI; Auburn, IN; Niagara Falls, NY; Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI; White River Junction, VT; and Williamsburg, VA, with hundreds of members in attendance. Ten-mile tours on 1918 or earlier bicycles area also held in conjunction with Annual Meets as well as twenty-five and one-hundred-mile (century) rides, bicycle games, uniform and costume judging, and bicycle judging. Ribbons, certificates and medals are presented at most meets for distance rides, games, races, uniform judging, and judging of bicycles for original or restored condition. The club has established a constitution and by-laws, elected National Officers and State Captains, and appointed Committee Chairmen.
In addition to the Annual Meet, there are many Wheelmen gatherings and activities throughout the year sponsored by the various State Divisions that include many of the fore mentioned activities and rides. Periodically, international tours are organized for Wheelmen to attend other gatherings sponsored by the International Veteran's Cycle Association (IVCA).
The club caters to the needs of all aspects of cycle history, collectors, non-riders, and riders of high wheels, tricycles, tandems and safety bicycles. Men, women and children of all ages are welcome to participate in events throughout the year. Wheelmen membership is open to everyone worldwide whether you own an antique bicycle or just enjoy the early days of our history when cycling was being born.

Cycling history is an important part of our American heritage. We invite you to join us in reviving and reliving the memories of the 1880’s and 1890’s – the great cycling era in America.


New Look Blog

As I move a little further down the road to bringing my vision of Marshall Taylor being a household name, I decided to redo the look of my blog a bit. Unfortunately, web design ain't my thing and when it comes to paying the proper respect to Major Taylor and his legacy through web design, this is as far as I take it folks! I am a firm believer that people should stick to their core skill set and this sure ain't mine as you can see.

Nevertheless, I have been SUPER BUSY working on the long range strategy to make this blog a worldwide success and what I can tell you is I am moving away from my 'Urban Design' ONLY thought process. I came to this conclusion because what I have come to understand about Major Taylor is that he was a man that had a vision, and eventually accomplished it. It was, as was the title of his autobiography, 'The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.' Yes, he was an urbanite in many respects but he was a World Sprint Bicycle Champion who happened to be black instead of a Black Bicycle Sprint Champion. His race didn't define him and living in a time when Jim Crow was the law of the land here in America, he succeeded in spite of his race

He overcame to become a champion between 1899-1901 even though the racing circuit at that time was determined at seasons end from a total point placement system and Taylor wasn't allowed to race on tracks in the south and was banned in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana because he was black. Had he been able to race in the south and Indianapolis AND not banned from a cycling organization (Racers had to be a member to be recognized as Champion) because of his race, I guarantee he would have been World Champion from the years 1897 to at least 1905!

Anyhow...as the Terminator said in the 1984 movie "I'll be back."


"Bike Hero" fakeout

Bike stunt turns out to be marketing stunt.
By Mike Smith

An impressive, real-life Guitar Hero short is making waves on movie sharing sites, but it's not everything it seems to be. You can check it out here, courtesy of Yahoo! Video, and it's well worth watching. The video is shot from the point of view of a cyclist riding around to the strains of The Living End's Prisoner of Society, only the ground he's riding over is marked with chalk circles mirroring the note charts on Guitar Hero. As he pedals, he holds up sheets of paper that mimic the score pop-ups in the game.

In other words, it looks exactly like the cyclist is riding through a Guitar Hero session. Not only is it jaw-dropping, it's creative, personal, and leaves you wondering , "Just how did he do that?" It's everything a good Internet movie hit should be. Except it isn't real. Contrary to its lo-fi appearances, the video was actually produced by a prestigious New York ad agency called Droga5 as a "viral marketing" stunt, and published on Youtube as if it was the work of one solitary fan. But does knowing the video's origins make it any less impressive?

Click on the link to see this video!


My Design 'Funk Hall of Fame'

As promised, this posting will deal strictly with designs I have come across from a sampling of 67 Bicycle Distributors and Manufacturers. After looking at not less than 1,327 designs, these are the ones I have picked out as the closest thing to what I think ‘Funk’ is. Even though I think these designs are good, I still want to point out that there is a whole other level of design that can be achieved. I do not yet know how these designs fit into my vision of Urban Cycling but I do know they look good to me. Not one that defines great design with the # of gadgets and accessories on a bicycle, but I am designing strictly from an aesthetic standpoint. Remember, it all about the look baby! Let’s get this party started! Criteria for entrance are as follows


1) When I see it, do I ask this question: "Why didn't I think of that?"

2) Would I personally pull the bike off the shelf in a store, say 'I gotta have this', and then look at the price (This means it's hot) or would I decide whether to buy it based on how much it costs?

3) Does it emotionally move me?

4) Does it look unique and does it appear alot of thought went into it, or can it be grouped into the 99% of all other bikes that basically look the same and the only difference being the company who produced it?

Nuvinci by Ellsworth
I never thought the day would come when ANY design would take the place of my all-time favorite for the past 23 years, but...as always, records are MADE to be broken! This design is called 'Nuvinci'. I love the name and the design is, well, a FUNK BALL. Not only that, it is now my #1 favorite of all time people. I posted an article some months back which, in my opinion sums up my feelings on this design; MVP!MVP!MVP!

The Legendary Pee-Wee Herman
As I have said on numerous occasions, the Pee-Wee Herman is my favorite design of all-time. This is the design that made me fall in love with bicycles! This bicycle 1st appeared in 1985 in the movie by the same name. I made a replica of this as a kid for a little over $75. It was Ghetto Style, but a tribute non-the-less. If there was a hotter bike in the 1980’s, please send me a picture of it and make your case.

Schwinn’s Next Generation Sting-Ray
Please don’t email me and say “I saw a hotter chopper style bicycle than that Brian!" This bicycle was sold through Wal-Mart (that’s where I 1st saw it around 2003) and stands held and shoulder above anything I have seen in a big box retailer before or since. Keeping my criteria in mind, I am forced to say that this is the hottest, affordable bicycle built in the last 20 years! The only challenge I have with this particular design is I would've made a larger version, maybe limited edition for teenagers and kids at heart. I saw an average size and built 13 year old riding this and it looked super small! I am 6'5 255 pounds and is a bigger version were available, I definitely would purchase it!

Wild Buffalo- Taiwanese Design Competition 2005

Wow! What is not to like about this bomb freak show of a design?! I found this a few years back during research and this bicycle definitely produces an emotional reaction in me. This was a proto-type design for an annual design competition held in Taiwan in 2005. I am not crazy about the name because I don’t think ‘Wild Buffalo’ is a HOOTTT enough name for such funk as this. There is nowhere in this country where this bicycle will be ridden that won’t take notice and be like ‘Dang, that is’ hoottt’. Since this bicycle isn’t for sale and just a proto-type, I couldn’t get a price on it, so it makes my list even though I have a hunch it would cost more than $300.00. Since I can’t prove that, it makes the list!

Glam Rock by ‘Cube’
I found this design not long ago and it is distributed by a company called ‘Cube’ out of Denmark. I am not able to provide a high resolution picture of this bicycle which is necessary for anyone to appreciate the aesthetic appeal going on here. I am not a fan of Tour Bikes which we used to call ’10 Speeds’ back in the day. Over the last 2 decades I haven’t come across any Tour Bike that stands out from any of the others. That was until I saw this bad mamma jamma! This bicycle screams ‘Ghetto Fabolus’ with pearl colored paint, pearl colored tires and rims and the kicker is, ‘Snake Scales’ are folded into the paint and the seat cover. WATCH THIS- The snake skin look is also folded into the handle bars, the dark gray accents in the fork break up the pearl and snake! As Wayne on Wayne’s World used to say “I’m not worthy-I’m not worthy!” I challenge any of you to send me a Tour Bike more ‘Urban’ and ghetto fabolus than this funk ball.

Unknown Designer-Unknown Company

Although I was unable to find much information on this bicycle, what I know is that this was one of the very 1st Safety Bicycle Designs ever made. It hales from the late 1880’s at a time when the bicycle industry was making the migration from the old ‘High Wheel’ bicycle to the Safety Bicycle whose design basics survive to this day. This bicycle appears to have no suspension system to absorb impact during riding which would put it in what was called the ‘Bone Rattlers’ category of old. However, this rendering demonstrates what I have been telling you all along. Gadgets are great, but simplicity should be the goal. This features a Powder Blue Frame, golden yellow rims (probably wooden), banana style seat with hook nose that sits on a VERY high cross bar! This design is original, creative, aesthetically pleasing and for all of you designers, take note that this design, with modifications, could be viable in today’s market place. That Glam Rock will make it to the Major Taylor Velodrome, yes, I see this..and it is goog.Holla if ya hear me!


West Virginia University Hosting Pioneering Athletes

A VERY interesting Read! Click on link;

West Virginia Honors African-American Athletes!



Electric 'Funkin Lesson'

Where do I begin? Over the last several years, I have looked at, and scoured many types of Electric Bicycles to simply educate myself on WHY someone would pay $700 OR MORE for a conversion kit that would turn a regular bicycle into an electric or gas type of bicycle….Back in the day, we didn’t call them Motorized or Electric Bicycles, we simply called them Mopeds! I will preface the rest of this article by pointing out…..once again…that a Bicycle that is somehow motorized is not a new thing. In fact, ‘Motorized Bicycles’ are arguably a direct result of the early Track Bicycle Racers such as Marshall Taylor, who despite having tandem pace teams of up to 5 men, couldn’t get their pacers to go fast enough for them to break world records for speed (late 1890s).

What is interesting is that in breaking those world records on the Sprint Tracks and demanding more speed from their 3-5 man tandem pace teams and then from the motorized bicycles, inadvertently Taylor and the rest ushered in the demise of the very sport they loved, Track Bicycle Racing. Before the time of the automobile and shortly before the Engine on motorized bicycles (later called motorcycles) were developed enough to feed the public’s need for speed, these bicycle racers were the fastest men on Earth! The founder of the ‘Indian Motorcycle Company’ was an old rival of Taylor’s mentor and manager, Louis ‘Birdie’ Munger from the Old High Wheel Bicycle racing days!

Anyhow, back to the point of this article, Electric’s Bicycles. I was fascinated that ANYONE would pay as much as $9,000 for and Electric Bicycle, I mean, it made no sense to me. A term that I have used for the enthusiast for this product is ‘Tweeners’. Half-way between bicycles and motorcycles! This term doesn’t only apply to 12 years olds yall! I have viewed products in this category from China, Taiwan, European capitals, Thailand, etc. and as far as this search goes, I AM WORLDWIDE! I do not know if any of yall have noticed, but I am VERY opinionated about design, and once again I will tell you that that all of the Electric Bicycle I saw over the last several years I can describe in 2 words ‘CRAP BOMB!’ Crappy and cheap looking and for the $$$ they are asking, they should do better. I can see a Buffalo Soldier from the Iron Riders Brigade roling on this hear!

Then on yesterday, my whole world changed…If you love Electric Bicycles and want something that I call an ‘Electric Funkin’ Lesson’, you really need to check out a company here in Colorado named OptiBike. I just love the look and feel of this funk ball. The frame is thick and nasty with WILD GRAPHICS. Not only that folks, I am adverse to using black tires on ANY design I produce, but with the wild graphics on this design, I have never seen black tires look so PERFECT on a frame. I don’t know how much it costs and neither do I care because I have just created a new category in my ‘Design Funk Hall of Fame’ called ‘Electric Funkin’ Lesson. Enjoy!


The Early Days

Tracks of Glory!

I was recently searching through the archive folders on my laptop and I came across some interesting things that I had long forgot about. These took such forms as bicycle sketches, notes on my thoughts, rim sketches, etc. In particular, I came a cross 4 sketches that really had me thinking back a few years.

The above sketch is my very 1st design in over 23 years and I was still trying to figure out what path I wanted to take as far as designs go. In the above design, my thoughts were creating a bicycle that had all of the elements of ‘Funk’ yet characteristics of old school bicycle design. This particular design was set to be;

- Pearl in color
- A 7 inch long- 2 dimensional- blinged out logo
- Huge diamond shaped mags
- Old School cruiser handle bars
- A HARD plastic frame
- Stretch. Limousine in length

As I look back at this design from ‘Back in the day’, I cracked a smile because this is the original Marshall Taylor Design that assisted in launching the vision. My designs now look nothing like this and as I told you when this blog 1st launched, I had to teach myself to sketch because I couldn't find a designer that could put my vision of design down on paper or IF I told them something that didn't make sense to them (because of preconceived notions of what a bicycle should look like) freaked out and started to let me know what I was saying didn't make sense to them!

I am telling yall this, I promise when you see my designs, you will say to yourself "This guy is delusional, but his designs sure are hot!"

You want to know my secret? Now, you poor designers that are stuck working for those GIANTS in the industry, although you may understand what I am about to tell you, it is to bad you are to scared to exercise these simple principles...

1) I never start my design process ASSUMING I know what a bicycle should look like.
2) My motto "Genius is the absence of reality".

If you think you know what it is supposed to look like before you begin, you are already STUCK in mediocrity people. Let me expand a bit on on absence of reality. There are some things that you just have to be gifted enough to do in order to achieve greatness. Those who tell you "Work hard at it and you will become great at it" are lying to you. Case in point, "Lebron James". Do any of you think that Lebron James works any harder on his game than the next NBA or College Player? Kobe Bryant? What about Wayne Gretzky? The answer to this is ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I am not saying that they do not work hard, only that working hard won't necessarily make you great absent the gifting you need to succeed!

I want to encourage all of you to look back into your own ‘Archives’ whatever form it is in (computer, scrapbooks, photo albums, memories) and remember when you believed anything was possible. I promise you that there is something there that will bring back a powerful memory…maybe not always good, but all of us had to endure something tough to get where we are. For me, it was simply struggling through to get this sketch completed. Oh yeh, I am posting this sketch realizing that it will make it ‘Public Domain’. The truth is, compared to what I am working on now, if you choose to use it, it will be comparable to those ugly cruisers that everyone is riding on now. Yes…yes…you know who you are! Enjoy


I Feel Really Bad for You …..I really do

My, oh my... I recently received some comments about a few posts that I wrote over a year ago. The title of the post is ‘Slammin Cadillac Doors’. The comment said that they didn’t understand why I was so outraged by the way the manufacturer of the Cadillac Brand of bicycles was disrespecting the Cadillac brand. This particular manufacturer owns the license to produce these bicycles and if I remember right, this manufacturer’s core discipline isn’t even bicycles, BUT TOYS! Now, I am not saying that a toy manufacturer shouldn’t produce bicycles because truth be told, the Cadillac Bicycles aren’t any better or worse than the rest of the Cruisers I have seen out there. I will not rehash that post because I said what I said and I do believe when anyone repeats themselves for the sake of proving their argument. What they are really saying is they do not respect other’s right to disagree with them. Whether you repeat something 2 times or 10 times, a person has the right to disagree with your point of view. You can’t force anyone to accept your point of view, just press your case and leave it alone!

The title of this post, “I feel really bad for you… I really do” specifically addresses one of my readers who wrote me and said “I don’t see what the issue is, it is just a bike!” Writer, I do respect your right to believe that I bicycle is just a bicycle. But one thing I know about you is that you have definitely forgotten what a bicycle meant to you as a child. Bicycles are something deeply personal to children who enjoy riding them and many adults who have never lost their love for bicycling! Close your eyes and remember the days you spent with your friends from the old neighborhood or school riding around, racing, getting into trouble, polishing your bicycle, getting mad when someone knocked it over, or the devastation you felt IF your bicycle was stolen. This may not be as true today because I do believe bicycles aren’t as important to youngsters today as they seem to have become more of an indoor crowd. This is a direct result of the advent and popularity of Home Video Gaming Systems, Home Computers, Cell Phones (texting), etc. While bicycle riding isn’t near as important to me as it once was, what is important to me is that those who still enjoy riding are provided with the choice between what is out there now, or something their speaks more to their lifestyles.My particular consumer happens to be from the inner-city. But there are other crowds like the Fixed Gear crowd, beach cruiser crowd, Road Bike crowd, BMX-Dirt Bike-Skater crowd and many others. I will not ask you to retract or take back your statement, but I will ask you to just take a few minutes, get somewhere where you are able to be alone, close your eyes and remember the old days in the place where you were a child-teen. You must have had friends, no? IF any of that time was spent riding bicycles together, laughing and clowning, understand that to many of us although no longer children, hold onto those memories and thereby (unlike you) have never forgotten what it was once like to be free, without a care in the world, and guess what? Our bicycles had a lot to do with that…Remember….just try and remember.


Other Road Bikes...BOW DOWN when Renovo comes to your town!

I posted ,many months back about a wood framed bicycle. That was then people...I will not tell you that I am fan of Road Bikes and I certainly could never bring myself to buy one because let's face it...that just 'Ain't my type of hype BABY!' However, there is a company called Renovo Bikes (http://www.renovobikes.com/) that caught my attention with their current line up of Road Bikes.
They use not just wood on their frames yall....they use LUXURY WOODS! In 2003 as some of you know, I helped launch a Jewelry Company called 'Banneker', named after Benjamin Banneker the 1st African-American Scientist and Inventor. What the CEO envisioned doing was laying down Luxury Woods in the dials of wrist watches, rings and jewelry. People laughed at him and even people that have launched and manage large jewelry companies laughed and said it couldn't be done. (I challenge any of you to find ANY wrist watch with any kind of wood in the face between the early 1970s and 2004). It got done and now everyone is doing it!
Renovo, has done this thing in bicycle design and their designs are nice (cluttered but nice). I guess they have to be cluttered because the folks who ride these machines need all of those gadgets....I guess. Road Bike Companies other than Renovo........know this.....As Felt Racing before them, Renovo receives my 2nd 'BOW DOWN' Award......which, for other Road Bike manufacturers means......BOW DOWN WHEN RENOVO COMES TO YOUR TOWN!


High Wheel Bicycle..Safety Bicycle..Motorized Bicycle..Motorcycle..THE EVOLUTION of Bicycling

Story courtesy of http://www.statnekov.com/

Writer: Daniel K. Statnekov

In the beginning, motorcycle racing was a competition between the men who built the first spindly, motor-driven bicycles. As they turned their inventions into a business, and then into an industry, the manufacturers' continued their "race" for technical superiority and market share. Competition was the proving ground for innovation. Star riders emerged along with an enthusiastic riding public. This is the story of the innovators and the riders, of the engineers and the race fans; above all, this is the story of the men who gave us the foundation for what we ride today.
In 1876, the high-wheel bicycle was brought to America and exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. A few of the British-made high-wheelers were imported, and within a short time people were riding them on the streets of Boston. At first, only the affluent could afford the expensive mechanical device, and they were considered a novelty rather than a practical means of transportation. Even when riders were proficient, the often muddy and deeply rutted dirt roads of the time made it a difficult challenge just to stay on board the precarious contrivance.

In the 1880's, however, bicycles with equal-sized wheels (called "safety" bicycles) were introduced, and quality machines became more affordable. The "safety" bicycle was not only safer, but easier to ride, and both men and women were drawn to the new invention. For the first time, large numbers of young people had the means to travel beyond their own neighborhoods. By the 1890's, the modern two-wheeler had had a profound effect on American society.

As the 20th century approached, the internal combustion engine also came to America from abroad. It didn't take long before mechanically adept young men became impassioned with the idea that the European invention might be used to power wheeled vehicles. Attaching a motor to a bicycle was a natural progression for many of the bicycle builders, and within a short time a variety of motorized two-wheelers were competing for brand-name recognition.
One of the first to enter the business was a Waltham, Massachusetts company which produced a popular brand of bicycle called the "Orient." Charles H. Metz, president and inventive genius of the Waltham enterprise, began his experiments in 1898, concocting a motorized tandem for the purpose of pacing his team of bicycle racers. Encouraged to increase their speed by the motorized "training machine," the Orient team was successful, and company sales increased accordingly.
The industrialist?s success with the tandem inspired him to assemble a self-propelled vehicle that could be sold to the public. Beginning with tricycles and quadracycles, Metz eventually constructed a heavy-duty bicycle powered by a De Dion-Bouton engine manufactured in France. The motor-driven Orient was unwieldy, but by early 1900 several prototypes had been built and tested. On July 31, 1900, Metz showcased his invention at the Charles River Race Park in Boston.

This public debut of a motor-driven Orient became the first officially recorded motorcycle speed contest in the United States. Albert Champion (a famous rider from France who had been brought to the United States by Metz to promote his line of bicycles) rode 5 miles in a little more than 7 minutes. Shortly thereafter, the motorized Orient was put into production, and in less than a year men were riding them in major cities across the country.
In May of 1901, the first organized motorcycle race in the west took place on a 1-mile horse racing track in Los Angeles. Ralph Hamlin and his Orient bested three other riders to win the 10-mile contest in 18 and 1/2 minutes. By 1902, officially sanctioned endurance competitions were held, and in May of that same year, the first road race in the United States took place between Irvington and Milburn, New Jersey (a distance of ten miles). Again, an Orient was the winner, achieving an average speed of 31 mph.

Meanwhile the Waltham company decided to concentrate their efforts on producing a "horseless carriage," and in the Spring of 1902 Charles Metz left the firm to design and manufacture his own motorcycle. Metz?s friend and employee, Albert Champion, went on to develop an improved spark plug and founded the spark plug company that still bears his name.
The large bicycle manufacturers were not alone in the race to build and market a motor-powered two-wheeler. From a myriad of little workshops that dotted the American landscape other motorized bicycles emerged. The ingenious proprietor of one such shop in upstate New York was Glenn H. Curtiss. Curtiss had been educated in the public schools of his home town, and was notably modest, but from the very beginning his machines were exceptional.
In September of 1902, the 24 year-old Curtiss entered the record books for the first time when one of his machines made the fastest time at a Labor Day road race in New York. The following year, the engine builder (who was also a rider) won the first American hillclimb. Soon afterward, Curtiss startled observers in Providence, Rhode Island when he set a record for single cylinder machines by making a 1-mile run at 63.8 mph.

In 1904, Curtiss took one of his machines to Ormond Beach, Florida where he set a record for 10 miles on the hard-packed sand, and achieved a speed of 67.3 mph. The following year the innovative designer set yet another record by riding a twin cylinder Curtiss around the 1-mile dirt track at Syracuse in exactly 61 seconds.

The engineer's thirst for speed was finally quenched in January of 1907 when he piloted a motorcycle powered by an experimental V-8 motor over a 1-mile beach course in 26 and 2/5th seconds, achieving the astounding speed of 136.3 mph! Before Curtiss was able to make an "officially" timed corroborating run, however, his machine was seriously damaged when a universal joint broke while he was traveling at 90 mph. Lucky to escape injury from the flailing drive shaft, the daring, 28 year-old inventor was forced to call it a day.
Nevertheless, the February, 1907 issue of Scientific American published an account of the New York motor builder's exploits, and Curtiss was widely acclaimed for his extraordinary performance. Although Glenn H. Curtiss would later achieve great fame and fortune (as a pioneer aircraft designer), those 26 and 2/5th seconds through which he "galloped" a mile would establish his fame forever.


You got Questions..I got Answers

Below are a few questions that I feel needed some answering. (Submitted by some of my readers)

Question:You seem to keep changing your mind on what your favorite bike iz, so wut iz it?

Answer: If you have read my posts in chronological order, you will see that in the last 25 years, I have only seen 2 designs that I have called my favorites of all time but several others that I think are hot. To rehash, the Pee-Wee Herman was my all-time favorite design from 1985 to 2008 from 2008 until current...it is the 'Nuvinci' by Ellsworth.

Question: Do you design the whole bicycle or just use other part sources to make what you like?

Answer: Hmmmm? At this stage I think it is a lot of design on my part, some part sourcing but ALWAYS about my vision of the 'Nexus'. The meeting point of fashion, lifestyle, and bicycle design. However, I have been working with a fabricator who kind of got on my case a little just recently. He has seen some of my designs and like I said, referred to me as 'Eccentric', however, what I didn't know is that I showed him nothing he isn't capable of doing! I said to him "I won't short you again concerning your fabrication capabilities." To which he replied "Brian, don't short yourself!" Short story even shorter, I design the frames, tires (you'll love them), logos, themes, but leave the technical stuff (cranks, welds, etc) to the Fabricator of Funk.

Question: I found your blog through research of The Major on wikipedia.com, how did you get a link on his page?

Answer: Know this, wikipedia doesn't really allow people to promote their business on any given page and are very strict about who can link to any page they have. My link is 1 of only 3 that are on Taylor's wiki page because this blog is about, well, Taylor! This was a great (and free) promotional tool for my blog and I thank wiki for allowing me this luxury.

Question: I see other companies that on your favorite links that also are into bikes...the owners of 2 of them are african american. Are there any partnerships between you and the 2 of them?

Answer: Not yet. I have been in email contact with BIKEDUBZ Owner Mr. Culiver and DA Champ's right hand man (Champ is the Scraper Bike Founder) and we all agree that there are opportunities for partnerships, but all of us are really just starting out and trying to find our own footing and make things work in our own respective areas. But if you notice, all 3 of us know 1 thing and that is urban bicycle lovers like to 'Floss' and look good on their bicycles. It isn't about 'Titanium' this or that or 'The latest craze' (fixed gear,etc) but about 'Looking good' while you ride and being seen by everybody. BIKEDUBZ focuses on rims, Scraper focuses on individualizing each bicycle through rims attachments and accessories (and they are GREAT promoters) while I focus on Urban Bicycle design as a whole. We will hook up though as all three recognize the synergies

Question: If you make bikes, how can other company's bikes be your favorite?

Answer: For 2 reasons: 1- I haven't actually produced a bicycle yet. I am in the process of original fabrication right now and one thing a bicycle has to be to be my favorites(s) is be real! Produced! Functional! 2- I, like others am sure and believe that my designs are the hottest on the planet! Now while I may believe that, the fact is that many won't and that makes me bias and delusional. I do not mind being called delusional because when you see my designs come to life, you will think so to, but one thing I do not want to be called is bias.

Question: Who was Mr. S in the Nuvinci posting.I think you made him up!

Answer: So what. I don't really care what you think. I said what I said and that is that.


Isaac Burns Murphy..Kentucky Derby Jockey!

Article courtesy of wikipedia.com

Isaac Burns Murphy (April 16, 1861 - February 12, 1896) was an African-American Hall of Fame jockey. The official Kentucky Derby website and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame say that "Isaac Murphy is considered one of the greatest race riders in American history."

Between 1877 and 1876, Isaac Murphy competed in eleven Kentucky Derbys, becoming the first jockey to win three Derbys: "Buchanan" in 1884, "Riley" in 1890, and "Kingman" in 1891. "Kingman" was owned and trained by Dudley Allen and is the only horse owned by an African-American to win the Derby.

As well, he is the only jockey to have won the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and the Clark Handicap all in the same year (1884). Considered one of the great jockeys in American history, Murphy was dubbed the "Colored Archer," a reference to Fred Archer, a prominent English jockey at the time.

Murphy won 628 of his 1,412 starts, a 44% victory rate that has never been equalled and a record about which Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Arcaro said: "There is no chance that his record of winning will ever be surpassed. [1] On its creation, Isaac Burns Murphy was the fhe first jockey to be inducted in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Since 1995 the National Turf Writers Association has given the Isaac Murphy Award to the jockey with the highest winning percentage for a given year in North American racing, from a minimum of 500 mounts.