In the Spring of 2010, bicycle riders from all over the country will stage a relay race in the 8 western states of California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. Approximately 500 selected bikers will attempt to ride the actual Pony Express Trail as it exists today faster than about 500 veteran horseback Pony Express riders. The 2010 Pony Express Bicycle Challenge authentic head to head relay race is a separate event from the historic Pony Express Reride and will compete day and night until there is a winner. The goal is to ride the roughly 2,000 miles from Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph, Missouri in just 7 days, 16 hours.
Not for 150 years has there gone out across the country an urgent call for ‘wiry 18 year old’ riders. Today, the Pony Express Bicycle Challenge is looking for great young bicycle riders from bike shops, bike clubs, college racing teams, military personnel, noted individuals and racing pros. You need not be an ‘orphan willing to risk death’ to apply.
Horses are clearly favored when climbing and powering through soft soil conditions. Naturally, there are huge advantages horses have over bike riders climbing up the Sierra Nevada range and up the western side of the continental divide. Nevada's 40 mile desert and Utah's Upper Sonoran Desert have hundreds of miles of less famous but no less difficult terrain conditions. The single most advantageous factor for the cyclist is that much of the original trail has become gravel roads and paved highways. Horses must run on roads and are at a disadvantage here. Wind and weather will also be a huge factor. Ultimately, the real ‘horse race’ of this horse race is in the marginal areas of terrain where decades of horsemanship experience may trump technology.
Both racing groups have taken advantage of technology. Horses are bred for better blood lines. Bicycles have drastically improved on the simple concept of two wheels and a frame. We intend to use all types of human-peddled bicycles just as horsemen select from Thoroughbreds, Mustangs, Pintos, and Arabians.
In addition to the 80 lb Mochilla (mail pouch), Pony Express riders will carry 150 years of history as a virtual burden. Bicycles, on the other hand, will carry 150 years of history, literally! Their 20 lbs bicycle mochilla contains all manner of portable digital devices filled with the last 150 years of recorded history, including the genealogies of original riders and their horses.
The Pony Express Bicycle Challenge is a historic moment with public morale riding on it. In truth, the Pony Express Bicycle Challenge itself has little meaning in terms of actual accomplishment. Modern bikes with the best riders could not compete over the original Trail with the motivated horses and horsemen of 150 years ago. Mostly, the country needs to be reminded its own historic struggles as a strength and regain an optimism for the future to build on. Motivated citizens can make the unusual and the seemingly impossible happen. Cross country mail delivered in days instead of weeks by boat: imagine that! Elect a black President: imagine that. Bicycles beating horses at their own game on their own 2,000 mile long turf. Imagine that. What’s' next? Imagine it.
The theme of the challenge is “Men propelling themselves on machines at speeds rivaling horses”. But, man against beast has its own tantalizing appeal. Beyond that, 200 horsemen racing against 500 bicyclists is interesting, competitive and just plain fun. Certainly, competition on the grand stage of the original Pony Express Trail speaks for itself.
The race is on for 2010. The country needs a spark to get going again. This head to head match may light that fire.
Google Street View Trike in Singapore!
There is NOWHERE Google won't go people!
Google Street View Trike at Stonehenge
Is Facebook's Pay-Per Click worth the expense to a Small Bicycle Business...Hmmm...NO! Believe it or not, Facebook probably has the most sophisticated consumers of any Social Networking page out there.
I will not waste space and quote their market demographics but it is safe to say that the average consumer on Facebook is much more savvy than the MySpace crowd. People with Facebook profiles tend to be Home owners whereas Myspace users tend to be renters...blah..blah..blah!
I have personally used Facebook's PPC advertising so I speak from experience when I tell you that the MOST VALUABLE piece of this for small bicycle business is not the 'Cost Per Click' but rather the 'Cost Per Impression'.
The difference in a nutshell shell is the cost to get someone to click on your ad could vary from 15 cents to 50 cents depending on your keyword selections.
Bikes are normally considered mid-level to high ticket items so that cost may seem small. It even becomes more attractive IF the bicycle biz drop ships the item. Customer clicks on ad, arrives at your website, buys a bicycle, you ship it and life is good, right?
How many people buy WHOLE bikes from websites though? Especially from an unknown small business? Parts...YES! But bikes are something that a discerning buyer wants to touch and feel.
After all reader, how many times have you purchased a complete bike off of a website?
Is it any wonder most companies put more focus on helping you locate a dealer as opposed to selling straight from their site.
For a small business, CPC can get expensive so I suggest you focus more on the Cost Per Impression! Facebook can get your ad in front of, say 17,000 people in a few days (if keyword is searched), out of that, maybe 150 people will click in your ad.
Let's assume that the 'Cost Per Click' is $.40, that would be $60 per day using CPC. If you have that kind of money...JUST for people to see your business that probably won't buy ($420.00 per week) GO FOR IT!
In contrast, CPM (Cost per Impression) gets your brand out in front of people who will see it, but may not click on it, therefore it will cost you no money!
What a great way to build your brand folks for LOW COSTS!
There are about a billion bicycles in the world, twice as many as motorcars. Almost 400 million bicycles are in China. Every year some 50 million bicycles - and 20 million cars - are produced.
Although Leonardo da Vinci drew some rough sketches of a contraption that looked like a bicycle, the Frenchman De Sivrac built the first bicycle-type vehicle in 1690. It was referred to as a hobbyhorse. However, it did not have pedals. Those were added in 1840 by a Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, who is credited with inventing the real bicycle.
On a penny-farthing bicycle, one pedal gave the wheel one turn. A lot of pedalling was needed to get around! With the advent of gears, bicycles could move as fast as cars.
Air-filled tyres were used on bicycles before they were used on motorcars.
The bicycle as we know it today - with two wheels of the same size - looks almost exactly the same as one from 1900.
The first five-seat bicycle, the quindem, was built in 1940.
The world speed record on a bicycle is held by John Howard, Olympic Cyclist and Ironman triathlon winner from the US. In 1985 he reached 245,08 km/h (152.2 mph), cycling in the slipstream of a specially designed car.
Oh my...No words for this Cat....
This guy is a NUT JOB! I love it...
This DROP IS INSANE!
I really like this bike built for the ladies! The tires (in my opinion) are WAY to masculine unless you live in the country and certainly this isn't built for extreme mountain biking, but this design is nice...really nice!
As you all know, I don't get into these types of bicycle, but for some odd reason, this one caught my eye!
http://www.sitecube.com/promo_bw.asp?pid=bw309_kw_us (Best Value IF you THINK you need a Flash Site)
In a previous post, I waxed philosophical about concerning a status quo website OR a Social Media profile was the best way to interact with your customers. It is true that customers prefer to sit on a bike before they buy it which makes the job of a 'Website Bike Hustler' that much more challenging. That is why it is necessary for you to build an environment of TRUST with your customers and website visitors.
There is also the challenge of the right bike size for your customers. A guy my size, 6'5 230 lbs. would tend to stay away from a regular 26" cruiser frame and nothing would drive a customer crazier than such a large expense and it isn't a GREAT FIT! Adding a Widget to your website-profile where a customer can plug in their height and weight and this script could spit out the right size bike for the customer would certainly make your customers better able to chose the bike that is right for them.
Undoubtedly a Social Media Profile is a mandatory part of business on the web these days.I do not want to suggest that a regular web page is not necessary. I do believe IF your business requires a Flash Site utilize it...However, IF possible, stay away from them!
Why? Flash websites are viewed (by my readers anyway) as 'Sizzle' with no 'Steak'.Arguably, Flash Sites were the place to be in the late 1990s to probably 2004.
However, as Social Media began it's long march to where it is now, with all of it's pop and sizzle, these sites DO NOT hold the attention if visitors like they once did.
Where am I leading with this? I would seriously re-evaluate this expense! However, if you are insistent on building such a site, there is NO REASON (even a novice should spend more than $50 FOR HOSTING, SET-UP AND BUILD) to launch such a site. Email me and I will send you a link that will allow you to have the SAME STUFF the pros build for PENNIES and YOU CAN DO IT YOUR SELF it is SOOOO SIMPLE!
YES you have to have a 'Store Front' of some kind....However, Social Media Profiles have become a HUGE way to drive traffic to your website.
Social Media Profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LINKEDIN, in my opinion, can be the difference between 150 site visits per day and 250 or more (dependent upon the viral nature of your campaign). Traffic generates interest, interest generate return visits, return visits build relationships and those relationships will build your online business.
Even IF you just have a Blog (not to minimize the impact of this median), traffic can make you a few buckets without selling product of your own! We will talk about this in the next post which will deal with some simple changes and additions to your website that can generate TONS of traffic.
As we discuss topics concerning the migration of the 'Blah-Blah' Web page that should be replaced by a more socially interactive page, the question is "Should I feature my company or ME on my Facebook Profile?"I think the answer is fairly obvious...BOTH!
However, as we spoke about in a previous post concerning Company Websites versus Social Media profiles, Websites have come to be viewed as impersonal, sort of "Here is who we are, this is what WE have to offer, take action!"
Companies are always presented as 'WE' which is, from a team work standpoint RIGHT! What Social Media has brought to the table is the SUBTRACTION of WE and added the more personal approach of I.
Think about when you are invited to some sort of social gathering through a Flyer or Billboards. You show up alone and you have no idea who is going to be at this gathering.
You have never heard of the company or group who is throwing the bash and although you aren't gung-ho about going, you decide to anyway!
When you arrive, you stand around for awhile and see 'WE' (company employees) standing around in groups chatting with one another.
No one has welcomed you, spoken to you or anything. You just see a large banner on the wall that says 'Welcome Company employees and Friends.'
You came because you were invited (online ad), you were hesitant to go because you didn't know anyone (unfamiliar with product), company employees never greet you (WE) and all you know of the company is the Welcome Banner (Website). How great of an experience did you have?
To answer the opening question...Customers want to hear voices and see faces! This established repor and repor builds relationships and relationships is what will endure your current future customers to your brand. In closing, a good mix for a bicycle company on Social Media Profiles is 70 percent YOU (or employees) and 30 percent company.
That is a good question and I do believe that one of these is a better alternative than the other.
You have a choice between, let's say, advertising your Bicycle Company in a major sports publication where even an 1/6 of a page advertisement with picture is, say, $2,000 or more depending on magazine circulation numbers.
Utilizing Online CPM (Cost per impression) services from Google Ad words or Yahoo! Search Marketing
This particular magazine requires you commit to a 3 month run which means you are obligated to $6,000 before you ever know IF such a run will yield desired results even though you have top marketing data that says it will.
Magazine Ad Overview
-Upfront costs high
-Long term commitment required even IF results are poor
-Magazine buyer, no matter how well researched, will spend an average of 7.3 seconds glancing at your ad then move on
-Even if interested, they must take a few more steps for further action to be taken. Interest lost in the Interim.
-Services not directly linked to magazine ad for ease of using your product or service.
-No real time statistics available for tracking ad performance based on ad distribution.
-Even those not specifically looking for what you are selling will see your ad. This diminished any company's ROI.
Online Ad Serving
- LOW upfront costs
- Ads for products and services can be changed immediately depending on response.
-Highly targeted niche markets more easily penetrated based on keywords
-Real-Time ad statistics readily available for better decision making based on Ad Distribution (Service)
-Casual viewers weeded out as keywords serve ads to only those who are looking for what you are selling.
Of course much can be added to the above. I guess readers know which way I am leaning :) As someone who helped launch a Brand called Banneker Watches (bannekerwatches.com and banneker jewelry.com) 5 1/2 years ago, I only wish we had known then, and had the Online resources available that are available today!
My personal opinion having participated in a Brand Launch is spend as little as possible on Print Magazine spreads IF your target market is in the age range of 18-30. After all, ask one of them if they even have a magazine subscription.....You will be surprised by the results as was I!!!!!
In the 2 previous posts, I chatted briefly with you about the need for Bicycle Companies to LOSE the status quo websites and give their visitors a more interactive web experience.
I threw out 2 suggestions and want to expand on the 2 previous posts;
1. Lose the 'Dealer Locator' page and expand that into putting an employee within the zip code in charge of following up with a person IF site visitors fill out some sort of preference profile.
2. Lose the 'Contact Us' page in lieu of a page where a visitor can set up a profile and based on their Profile preferences, the company could feed the visitor company information based on their profiles.
The problem with a Dealer Locator pages in this age of Social Media is the user plugs in their Zip Code and the visitor is pointed in the direction of the retail outlet where the product is stocked...With no interactivity, what message is this sending to your POTENTIAL Customer?
-These are our products
-This is where you can go buy them.
My goodness!These same consumers are only 3 friend additions or less from having a LIVE CHAT or at a minimum receiving a 'Tweet' from super stars such as Beyonce, Lebron James and Hannah Montana online...How does your visitor experiences compare to this Bicycle Company owner?
In the last post, your 'Fearless Blogger waxed philosophical on the need for Bicycle Companies to morph their business models into a more Social Website experience than just a regular website that are well...BORING and unable to keep visitor's attention for any length of time. Hint, if your website stats show that the average length of visit is anything less than 2 minutes...You are headed nowhere fast.
Site visits for any business that is selling a product or service is crucial for the survival of said business. Think about this, even using the BEST online shopping cart technology, the average time in the industry to check out is 1 minute 38 Seconds! What can a bicycle company do to keep interested consumers on their page for longer than 2 minutes.(Anything visit shorter than 1 minute means you had nothing of value to your visitor within your targeted keywords...OR you get GARBAGE clicks which comes from people copying images from your page for their own use)
There can be much 'Push back' on these stats but 1 thing is sure, it is tough enough to sell a bicycle off of a website because such a large purchase is something people like to see and feel! Certainly this is true in the higher price points that are only frequented by those who are educated in the art of 'Cycling'.
So what does this mean?Bicycle companies, like I suggested in the last post concerning losing the 'Contact Us' tab on your site in favor of a visitor personal page which will build community.
Enhance the 'Dealer Locator' section of your site in favor of connecting them directly with somebody at the Dealers location who has set up their own personal profile so when and IF the potential client calls one of your dealers...A personal connection is already established!
Give them a more personal experience than the 'Dealer' and 'Contact Us' tab can offer them.
The direction of this blog will now migrate to more of a discussion of HOW the ever evolving nature of the web will impact the Business Model of all bicycle companies.
Let's face it readers, where once business cards were seen as an essential tool to be taken seriously as a business person, the time came where this card was no longer enough and a business having a website became the new standard.
Now, a website that, no matter how elaborate (Flash!), is just the starting point and actually can hurt a business if not done well. A standard website is quickly becoming something that must morph into something that offers a customer or visitor something more than a view of company goods and services.
Why? It is my belief that this started with the advent of what has become known as Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, Linked and other such online communities have created an environment where people (also their consumers) have gotten use to immediate answers from those they are close to.
Why not the companies these same consumers buy from? There is no reason why NOT! Bicycle Companies who hope to grow and prosper in this age of Social Media must redirect a large portion of their resources to mastering this median of Web 2.0. You may say "Well I blog about what my company and consumers want to know about."
SO WHAT! There are those business leaders who talk and those who listen. Those who talk have to shift their business models to be less 'Mouth' and more 'Ears'. This will mean you learning to. Grow your company based on your customer's direction, not your competition's!
Your competition may lead you in a direction where only moderate success is experienced. Those who purchase your goods or services will lead you in a direction where, by meeting their purchasing desires, promise to put you far ahead of the moderate success your competition experiences.
I wrote all of that to write this in particular. Right now, before your competition catches wind that you are heading in a direction that, no matter what their money and resources allow, will put you in the drivers seat...Start small..lose the 'Contact Us' icon on your site into, say, a page that your visitors can build a profile complete with a picture and there comments!!!
Rocket Bike Girl! This is so cool....The little basket on the front, the rocket, this kid has her bicycle helmet on...IT JUST WORKS :)
I wonder what kind of ROCKET that is propelling the bike in this video. Does anyone know?
At just 29 pounds, the Elite is LandRider's top of the line. It delivers all of the excitement and comfort that the LandRider model has to offer in addition to several additional high-performance features that enhance its performance such as the all-alloy frame, pedals, handlebars and suspension forks.
This bike has something resembling an 'Automatic Transmission' which senses terrain, inclines and such! What is really cool is that that the bike does all the gear shifting FOR YOU! The rider just jumps on, does their thing and the rest is taken care of by the bicycle. However, I would thing that the company which sells and distributes this bicycle would put a 'Dealers' section on their website as to add a little more comfort with the buying decision people are making.
In their FAQ Section, if something breaks down or their are maintenance issues, the buyer has to call the company to get a reference for Bike Shops who can fix the issues with the auto-shift system.
No applause for this design but I LOVE THE AUTO-SHIFT System. Great job LAND RIDER!
Folks, a rare event has happened on today when I saw this bicycle design...I do BELIEVE that we have another 'Funk Hall of Fame Inductee!' I mean, look at this...Or look at it AGAIN after you get up off the floor from being passed out...I am ALMOST at a loss for words when I look at this bike.
EVERYTHING about this design is pure perfection from an aesthetic stand-point. It is FREE OF CLUTTER, the color is beautiful, the rim fan pattern works perfectly with the flow and lines of this FUNK BALL. The fork, OH the FORK :0 How many times have you seen a bike that you just say to yourself "I don't even want to ride this bike, I just want to mount it on a wall and stare at it."
I thought the Ellsworth Nuvinci was clean, but this just makes me say "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!"
WATCH THE VIDEO ALL THE WAY TO THE END...This is how I met when I saw this design..."I am not worthy!"
Design Model, ca. 1871
They were BLINGIN HARD back in the late 19th Century ya know...Tell me any one of yall wouldn't roll this so everybody could check yall out..I love this :) When I saw this FREAK SHOW, I thought of this song...because.."This design has me goin' in CIRCLES." Play the video and ABSORB the funk of this design.
Phantom Velocipede, ca. 1869
Reynolds & Mays, London
Velocipede Tricycle, 1868
Michaux & Cie., Paris
OH MY! This is HOOOT!
WOW! Now this is a creative bicycle design. It kind of resembles the frame of the Veloribis I posted a few months back but BE SURE, this isn't a Veloribis. This type of creativity, while not flashy at all, blesses my heart and pleases my eyes folks. Why?
1. This whole design took some thought
2. It certainly wasn't made with the LOOK in mind, but only the material, which is BAMBOO!
3. That rear fender thing (or whatever it is is) shoots straight back over the tire and really completes this design well.
4. The handle bars sit HIGHER than the seat and and THANK GOODNESS, they aren't those APE HANGERS 9Hated them!)
I am ALWAYS a fan of those super small sprockets as I have one on my design (Iron RIDERZ S.E.) because it FORCES the viewer to look at other places other than that area of the bike. Truthfully, one of the first 3 things anyone notices on a bike is the sprocket and usually it is because they are SOOO big.
The straight across Bamboo handle bars are of the nature that they would look good with ANY BIKE and with most any color. This designer gets the APPLAUSE people, not so much for beauty, but for the creativity and simplicity of this design that says (unlike other bamboo bikes) no MASS PRODUCTION was involved. Just a simple builder building a very simple bike with the resources available to them :)
The Steve Allen Show-Frank Zapa playing a BICYCLE as a musical instrument!
Watch Frank Zappa on the Steve Allen Show in Music | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
I don't know WHAT THESE FOLKS are saying, but I love the SPIRIT that this video was done with!
Watch [H!M] A monocycle & tricycle race in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
The colors here are FAB! Yes my friends, in my never ending search for all things FUNK in bicycle design, I saw these 2 rides and JUST HAD TO POST THEM. Why? Well, because they are just very creative and it took SOME imagination to come up with these concepts. Are they new concepts? NO! Remember I posted a bicycle called a 1947 Moon Lander a few years ago.
However, these cats must've taken that concept and built a MORE ROBUST looking Moon Lander. It doesn't make these any better or worse, just creative from the stance of, they saw a concept and improved upon it! Now on the green design, I hate those APE-HANGER handle bars...2 things bother me more than anything else on a design. Ape hanger handle bars and white wall tire...As my boys Damon Wayans and David Allen Grier used to say on 'In Living Color'....HATED IT!
On the Orange bike, can't you just feel that DESIGN RHYTHM? If you look at that FUNK BALL and and don't at least feel like dancing a little, you prolly ain't got no rhythm eh? Well done designers and because I believe these are well done, I must say (minus the ape hanger handle bars) "I saw the FUNK...and it WAS GOOD!"
Your FEARLESS BLOGGER!
WOW! I had an interesting comment from a reader concerning my Gary-Fisher-Trek post... which I feel compelled to respond to... A reader seemed...well..Upset and basically said I post UNEDUCATED comments...The comment was (and the reader didn't post their web address or email)...The comment was;
"If you knew anything about the bicycle industry, you would know by now, that Trek and Gary Fisher are the same company. So many of your posts are nothing more than uneducated opinions. What does any of these uneducated opinions have to do with Marshall Taylor?
What would Marshall Taylor think about you trying to represent him?"
The reader obviously didn't read the post in total because I DID SAY these are the same companies. Trek acquired Gary Fisher! The point of THAT POST was to pose the question, WHY would a company who owns both brands, make competing products that look almost the same and one (Gary Fisher), obviously superior to the other (Trek).
I have read too many other blogs and blog comments over the years to count and the one thing I noticed is that there are some folks (like me) who have some very strong opinions. The strange thing is (while reading comments), I only remember reading a few blogs containing comments of disagreement. This means either the Blog Owner shares the opinions (without any variations within those opinions) with all of their readers, OR the blog owners don't approve those comments for posting or delete the comments that don't agree with the opinion of the Blog Owner.
I, your fearless blogger will do no such thing (not approve or delete dissenting opinions)because what makes MY COUNTRY and the country we live in so great is we are free to express our opinions without fear of syndication or arrest.
Also...the commenter said "If you knew anything about the bicycle industry", Well, this is true, I don't know JACK about the industry! Why should I know anything about the industry? My friend, that is THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS BLOG! To give an IGNORANT OUTSIDERS view of an industry that has so thoroughly uninspired the Urban Areas in this country, that bicycle industry products mean NOTHING to youth anymore.
What would Marshall Taylor think of how I am representing him? From being one of the foremost expert in the world on Marshall Major Taylor, My company is set to REPRESENT HIM in a way that no one in the 133 years since his birth has. How will we do that? Just stay tuned!
Anonymous Commenter, I will go even further than your comments concerning my opinions being 'Uneducated'. As the bicycle industry is concerned, I am "Unlearned AND Ignorant" and if being uneducated, unlearned and ignorant means my mind is free too, very shortly, bring the world the HOOTTTESST Rec Bikes on the planet, I accept your judgment and statement that I am uneducated.
It is my hope that you return to read this blog because soon, my company will roll out something that I guarantee you will love. Until that time though Anonymous, I will continue to post MY OPINIONS. Men of vision, like myself, are often ridiculed by those who have accepted the OPINIONS of others as EDUCATION that somehow (they believe) give them an edge over others. It is ALWAYS such people who end up drawing their paychecks from the very people whom they are more educated than :)
As I have in the past told others, I now tell you...Listen to the video and please accept "It's my party (blog) and I will cry if I want to."
Now either this guy is a DWARF or this bike is a MONSTER! This guys name is josh bender and I ran across this picture after using a search term I have never used before. It yielded a MASSIVE AMOUNT of FUNK which I will be posting in the next week.
Josh Bender doing a 60 foot drop!
Josh Bender - 60 Ft Drop - Massive Crash - Click here for another funny movie.
This guy said it best in the above video when he said "Life is to short...you have to GO HARD!" Insanely eloquent and I say to Mr. Bender what my Marine Corps. Drill Instructors said to me years ago "Boy you are stupid and IGNORANT...but ya got GUTS and that IS ENOUGH!" Josh keep doing big things in the name of extreme Mountain Biking..I tip my hat to you friend :)
The Moulton Bicycle is the original full suspension, separable, small wheeled, high performance bicycle. World renowned for speed, efficiency, durability and comfort.
Expertly engineered for over 50 years and handcrafted in England, these bicycles are the world's most efficient form of transport - designed for universal use, real performance and comfort.
That copy is straight off of their website, now let's get down to some REAL DESIGN DISCUSSION! Umm..hmmm...I really do not have a whole lot to say about these bikes. As the famous (to some infamous) Rush Limbaugh would say, "I mean, this is what it is!" Or an old street hustler from the 1970s would put it like this "Hey young blood, it TIZ what it T...I...Z...!" I am 6'5, 230lbs. so I would look like a Circus Clown on one of their miniature bicycles during the circus acts in the middle ring!
You will not see me riding one of these, but I have to give BIG PROPS to the Moulton Bicycle Company on their vision and direction to stick to making the bikes that make them stand out from any other company on this planet. This company has been around for more than 50 years and they must be disciplined to stay within this niche market for so long.
In conclusion, I like their vision and I love that they just focus on being the best in the world at building these types of bikes. Yes...Moulton stuck to their dream and refused to sell out like most others in the name of a QUICK BUCK! That is called INTEGRITY,
WOW! Your fearless blogger has been humbled once again. As many of my regular readers know, I have a DISDAIN for bicycles that have 'Alot of Stuff' and clutter on them. It, in my opinion, just takes away from the simplicity that is bike design. My eyes start to roll around in my head as I count the number of EXTRA WIRES, gears, and what I view as totally unecessary additions to bikes that make them look more complicated (in the name of adding value) than they really are.
That is until I saw this design people and Urban Funk Enthusiasts! This design certainly won't make it into my design 'Funk Hall of Fame' anytime soon, but this design from a company called Work Cycles catches my eye on a few levels. The first is although I think black tires and black frames are totally MINDLESS and unimaginative, it works on this bike, the sprocket and chain are covered with a slick cover and the top and bottom tubing are a thing of BEAUTY. Not the FUNK, but well done...Work Cycles, I don't like ANY of your other designs, but I like this one...you get the APPLAUSE!
Trek is moving more seriously into the utility/transportation market with a new three-speed they’re calling the Belleville. Well, I think I will keep this post kind of short. I am simply amazed that a company with the brand name of TREK can do such big campaign build-ups to such mediocre products! Hey, TREK, let's get real for a minute. Did your engineers and designers really think of this design, or did yall 'JACK' it from say...GARY FISHER?
Look at this Gary Fisher...and then look at the TREK..Now, sure, Trek owns Gary Fisher, but DANG...Competing products in the same company, who owns all of the distribution to both? Is this a test marketing Stunt? I certainly hope not because the TREK Design isn't even as close to being as HOOOTTT as that simple Gary Fisher!!!
Gary Fisher City 3
Most notably, look where the Top tubing connects to the neck of each design... HA!HA!HA! At least if you are going to make a Knock-Off TREK...At least have other engineers, outsourced or something come up with a design that is different than one you already own...and oh yeh...make a better one the 2nd time around! I feel like laughing, kind of like Nelson...on the Simpsons!
Hybrid electric bicycles (also sometimes called pedelecs, e-assist bikes, or e-bikes) look and ride much like standard bicycles, but with the addition of an electric motor to assist the rider. Now, to the real do! This Hybrid Electric KINDOF SORTOF caught my eye a little bit. Not because it is HOT or because I like it, but I just see so much POTENTIAL in this design that my stomach hurts when I think about WHAT IS IS versus WHAT IT COULD BE!
I do LOVE the frame, but the love affair ends there folks. Listen, I understand that these sorts of bikes have to have those LARGE disc style brakes on them, but why not incorporate some sort of ECLECTIC STYLE and colors even into that component of the design? Does it have to be THAT BORING Round shape all of the time?
The answer is a simple NO! This bike could be ONE OF THE GREATEST of All-Time Folks. Not like a Muhammad Ali "The Greatest" but more like a fleeting great, like when Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson for the Heavy Weight Championship of the World in the early 1990s! Your fearless blogger does have to give BIG PROPS to the motor being encased in kind of a cool black cover. Even with that though...Why can't this look more like a SLEEK BLACK Grill like on a car or something?
There is one thing, even in it's current form that can take these types of bikes to the next level...LOOSE ALL OF THE BUSY LINES and stuff hanging all over the place! Anyway, if GOING GREEN looks like this, I think I will stay with the Fossil Fuel Powered Bikes :)
I will answer this question as quickly and truthfully as possible:
"Do you use any pictures from yahoo's image search?"
Umm...NOOOOOO! Now dear readers I am going to go on one of my rants. I get pictures from all over the net. This means whether the URL ends in .com, .net, .us, .info, .org, .au, .in, .cc or whatever, I grab it and feature it! I also get images from Google's Image program. But Yahoo! seems to have some sort of SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP with Flickr which to me, small time Blogger, STINKS! It stinks because after going sometimes 20-30 pages back, EVERY PHOTO is from users of Flickr. This tells me a few things;
1. Yahoo Crawlers aren't gathering the largest and best assortment of relevant results! I found that Photo Bucket and Flickr LACK the photos that fit the vision of my blog although they are HUGE Online Photo Sharing services.
2. If you favor, say, Photo Bucket or other service for online photos, Yahoo! doesn't give a darn how relevant your photos are to the search query...They are going to scratch Flickr's back..Regardless of the cost in terms of a credible product!
Do a Yahoo Image Search on the term 'Unusual Bike Design'. You will find EVERYTHING except unusual bike designs.
Google still has work to do on their image searches also, but I tell you what...THEY ARE GREAT...Compared to Yahoo! Image Search which, after over 14 years in Business, is down right embarrassing...I have said this before and I will say it again. Yahoo needs a FACE LIFT more desperately that any other Internet behemoth on the web. The first step is to get rid of Jerry Yang..whose time has passed!
The winner has been chosen...
From the 2500 or so entries the winner is Dallas Pynchon He’s 14 and lives in Boise, Idaho. Congrats Dallas! Enjoy your new Blindside!
Uh...DAAAANNNNGGG! I certainly am not into extreme mountain biking by any stretch of the imagination. After having looked at MANY of these types of bikes, I have remained just flat out...UNIMPRESSED..Until just a few minutes ago. I came across this while partaking in my never ending search for that thing which I call FUNK..What caught my eye in particular about this is the way the fork wraps so close to the front tire as to create the impression of a closeness that is uncommon in builds of these types...or any other for that fact. I love the frame color, fork color but do not care much for the other colors and especially those UGLY black tires.
I know some of you will email me and say "Well that is the color that is used"...says who? I can think of at least 10 colors that are dark and would look better on this design than those black THANGS! Anyhow, When I saw the fork on this and the closeness to the tire..I thought about this song, because that piece of this design definitely sent me SWINGIN!
The celerifere - one of the earliest bike prototypes - had no pedals or steering.
The first contraption that can realistically be said resembles a bicycle was constructed around 1790 by Comte Mede de Sivrac of France. Called a celerifere, it was a wooden scooter-like device with no pedals or steering. A similar model, improved with a steering mechanism attached to the front wheel, was created in 1816 by German Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun. He called it a Draisienne, after himself, though popular parlance also dubbed it the hobby horse.
When using either of these devices, the rider perched on a seat between two wheels similarly sized wheels, and using the feet, propelled the bicycle a bit like a scooter. Drais exhibited his bicycle in Paris in 1818, and while popularly received, its design limited its use to really just flat, well-groomed paths through gardens and parks, which were off-limits to a good portion of the population in those days.
When Pedals Were Added - A Big Improvement
A FEW historians credit the invention of the pedal bicycle to Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith who lived from 1812-1878. One day back in 1839, MacMillan was out watching people riding bikes, which at that time were driven by kicking the ground with your feet. Thrilling, eh? Seemed to him that there must be a better way.
According to later research done by family members, after musing on the matter a bit MacMillan came up with an idea for the first pedal set-up that could more effectively drive the bike. Using his blacksmith tools, he put his idea into place, and voila! bicycling suddenly took a giant leap forward.
Macmillan's contraption had a wood frame and iron-rimmed wooden wheels. The front wheel, which provided limited steering measured 30 inches (760 mm) in diameter, while the back had a 40 inch (1016 mm) wheel and was attached to pedals via connecting rods. In total, Macmillan's bike weighed 57 lb (26 kg). His creation gathered a lot of attention, and Macmillan helped generate additional publicity when he rode the bike 68 miles to visit his brothers in Glasgow. Copies of his invention produced by other firms soon appeared on the market, and Macmillan saw little profit from his innovation.
For much of man’s history on earth, he had two choices for getting around, either on foot or on the back of an animal (such as horses, mules, and wooly mammoths). Bicycles were developed to add another transportation option that multiplied human efficiency by a factor of approximately five.
But the history of bicycles is very fuzzy. Sources often disagree as to the names of the inventors and the dates of their inventions. Leonardo DaVinci sketched a facsimile of the modern bicycle in 1490. It was way ahead of its time and, as far as we know, never left the drawing board.
Around 1790 a French craftsman named de Sivrac developed a “Celerifere” running machine, which had two in-line wheels connected by a beam. The rider straddled the beam and propelled the Celerifere by pushing his feet on the ground, scooter fashion.
n 1817 German Baron Karl von Drais added steering. Several versions appeared around France and England by the early 1800s. As a replacement for the horse, these “hobby horses” became a short-lived craze. The roads of the time were too rutted to allow for efficient wheeled transport.
Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan developed a rear-drive bike in 1839 using a treadle and rod for the rear drive mechanism. But, he lived in the Northern British Isles where people and ideas traveled slowly, so his invention didn’t spread. R.W. Thompson patented a pneumatic tube in 1845. Prior to this invention, bikes had metal wheels.
The French anointed Ernest Michaux “father of the bicycle,” as he and his brother Pierre added cranks and pedals. Their Velocipede started a bicycle boom. The larger front wheel made it faster but less stable. The war of 1812 brought an end to the French bicycle boom.
British engineers were next to pick up the design and improve upon it by adding ball bearings, pneumatic (Dunlop) tires, wire-spoked wheels, chain drive, variable gears, and cable controls. Over a twenty-year span, the British brought the bicycle to its present form, thanks mainly to James Starley of the Coventry Sewing Machine Company. In 1885 the Starley Rover safety bike was born, returning wheels to a reasonable size and improving the bike’s stability.
In the early days, women’s dress (corsets, pointed shoes, and voluminous skirts) limited their participation in this new sport. Newspapers of the day railed against the “sorcers” or bicycle speedsters.
Oh boy...This mess defies description...Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you another winner of my Fred G. Sanford (1970s Sitcom) "You Big Dummy" Award. This award is given periodically for the dumbest bike designs that I run across. Now let me inform you all of something you may not know. For a design to earn this award, extra effort in bike design STUPIDITY has to be put forth!
This is, carriage or whatever it is is senseless, a waste of time and in my opinion, the model sitting on this thing should be flat-out humiliated to know that as long as the world is in existence...She will be pictured sitting on top of THIS TRAVESTY! You Big DUMMY!
WOW! Oh boy!Oh Boy!Oh Boy! I really like this Rocket Powered Trike people. It blings, but not in a diamond type, tacky..street way...but in a way that will make even the most ardent trike hater stand up, take notice, and say "You gotta be kidding me people! This monster moves and is powered by 2 rockets and I love MOST everything about it. What I think is straight tacky is the builder took the time to think through every component and parts in this design, but they seem to have lost the steam as it concerns the front tire and front rim.
I would also like to know a bit more about the braking system on this bike because as I look at the front brake, I am wondering how this seemingly ordinary brake is going to give this trike the stopping power it needs and even if it can stop the trike, wouldn't the brake pads be worn down per each stop?
However, this Trike is HOOOTTTT and I want to give a small applause to the builders of this thing of beauty. It stands out in an era where there doesn't seem to be much though put into...well...anything that is sold in ordinary retail outlets. Great going guys!
YouTube has spawned many sudden sensations. Take scraper bikes, for example. A music video about the tricked-out bicycles posted to the site by some teenagers in Oakland, Calif., has attracted a cult following, with nearly 3 million views.
The video spawned what is becoming a worldwide movement, even as it changed the lives of the young men who customized the bikes and made the video.
"Actually, scraper bikes saved my life," says Tyrone Stevenson Jr., who prefers the title "Scraper Bike King."
"Because I was at a young age, getting into a lot of serious trouble, selling drugs and on the verge of going to jail. So my mom told me this is a way to channel anger and frustration, just focusing on something that's creative, something that's me, and the bikes is me."
Oakland is a town where hip-hop is king and cars known as "scrapers" are huge. They're large, bright and have rims so big that they scrape the inside of the wheel well. Stevenson and his friends took those aesthetics and applied them to bicycles, fitting large wheels on small frames.
Stevenson, 19, started making scraper bikes a few years ago. He couldn't afford a car, so he made do with a bike. But not just any bike.
"The idea from the scraper bikes, it basically came from the cars that ride in Oakland — we call them scrapers — basically it's an old model car, such as a Buick, that's painted a custom color to match the rims. I wanted to take that and put a bike onto it."
To do that, he put the few resources he had to work. He added colorful foil food wrappers — from Oreos or Skittles — to the spokes, so when they roll they flash with color. Then he spray-painted the frames to match.
But scraper bikes didn't really catch on until he and some friends recorded a music video about them and posted it on YouTube. And now…
"Oakland has been taken over by scraper bikes," says Stevenson. "On the Internet, it is worldwide. There's people from literally across the world making these bikes, from Portland, Oregon, to Japan to Australia to Jamaica."
Stevenson says he's already making a living scraperizing bikes, but he's got big plans for the future: trademarks, patents and, someday soon, a scraper bike shop.
"The true meaning of a scraper bike is basically, I want to give back something positive to the community," Stevenson said.
"Because there's so much going on. Drugs and killing and stuff, this is a way of giving the kids a way to a positive future, but being creative at the same time."
Jacob Fenston reports from member station KQED.