Marshall Major Taylor has begun to creep into the public eye with the unveiling of a Statue made in his likeness that now stands outside of the Worcester, MA. library. Nicknamed the Worcester Whirlwind, Taylor was much loved by his adopted hometown where he moved to with Louis 'Birdie' Munger, his mentor, in the late 1800s. To think that he did this in the late 1800s when African-Americans couldn't even drink out of the same fountain as whites makes this athlete's story even more incredible!
On another video interview, his Great-Great grand-daughter and Grandson said something that was almost Prophetic; "No one really knows him now but I hope Major Taylor is a household name in my life-time!" Fear not young ones, soon, your relative will get HIS DUE and in a way that every household in this country will scream the name "Major Taylor!"
I came across this bicycle while conducting some VERY LIGHT bicycle viewing. I am posting this not because I like the design or dislike the design, but to tell yall that this bike retails for...umm...$4,000! Oh my, Oh my...Hermes Bicycles were introduced into the market place in the 1980s and is a Dutch Bicycle Company that SAYS they like to push the envelope of stylish bicycle design.
WOW! I am getting a little wound up because if the pictured design is PUSHING the envelope, my brand soon to launch, Iron RIDERZ is going to Rip, chew, burn, smash and OBLITERATE that same envelope. Happy days are here again folks.
Below Article courteyt of www.tuvie.com
Hermes bicycle, with its stylish shape and features, will allow the users to show off their flair and elegance even during the early morning stroll. Hermes bicycles were introduced in the market during 1980s and recently boomed the market with their new idea of wrapping a stainless steel bicycle developed by the Dutch brand Batavus with leather. Hermes decorated the frame, seats and handles of this bicycle by enfolding with Taurillon Clémence, which is an extremely supple grained leather in a pumpkin and zesty Havana shade while keeping its original black finish intact. Spare accessories are not available of this bicycle yet, but can be developed by special workshop upon request. The Hermes bicycle retails at $4,000.
I recently ran across some Karbona Products that I thought LOOKED really NASTY. As you all know, my company, Marshall Taylor will be launching a line of HAND BUILT Performance Bikes under the name of the best Track Bicycle Racer of all time, Marshall Major Taylor. These bicycles will be built buy 'The Fabricator of Funk' over at CDS Components here in Denver, Colorado.
The first thing I checked out from Karbona was their performance Hubs, and well...ummm...excuse the expression, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with their offerings! Why? CDS Components hand builds Hubs and I will tell you what, the Hubs at Karbona are just average compared to what my guy is doing! Check out these HAND BUILT HUBS by CDS people;
With that said, I did see several things that were the FUNK SPOT..I am not into the plain black colors and I have always believed just because a bike is performance and not recreational doesn't mean that it shouldn't have flair! However, these items are NASTY because I can see past the bland colors that these come in;
Karbona...What if this wheel came in Powder Blue, Mustard Yellow or bright orange?
Not a new concept..But NICE! What if this was done in some sort of see through hard plastic with a LIME GREEN TINT? Come on man???!!!
I came across this picture and I just wanted to tell all of you readers something that has been HEAVY on my heart as it concerns bike design. My search for the FUNK that is bicycle design that will appeal to an Urban audience has taken me to all corners of the Internet, to junk yards here in Denver, driving by and inspecting bike racks all over this city. And therein lies the one place that NONE of us look, like could be a KEY to producing a design never before seen in the History of bike design....THE JUNK YARD!
I can't say for sure if the fabricator of the above pictured design found this bike in the junk yard, but from what I can tell, it takes the creativity of someone who is willing to follow wherever their design inspirations leads them to produce something truly unique and that, for all intent and purposes, gets me, your fearless blogger, FIRED UP!
The only thing I can really tell about this bike is it seems to be made of iron from a gate. The good thing is that this frame is clean, thin and because it is long, the weight of this thing is spread out. The color isn't great but the creativity here blows me away! The handle bars are turned backwards which isn't a new thing when building a bike that is unusual, but this is the first design I have seen with the handle bars turned backwards where this tactic REALLY WORKS with the design...Hey, I love this design, not because it is flashy, but at the end of the day, what GREATNESS has ever come from a fresh coat of paint? There are bikes that cost $1000s of dollars that have nice paint, but not the FLAIR of this FUNK BALL...GREAT JOB DESIGNER!
"I'm a ever rolling hill..without a destination real...I'm an ever spinning top...whirling around till I drop...oh but what I am to do...my mind is in a whirlpool...give me a little hope...one small...thing... to please you..... got me going in circles! Oh round and round I go...I am SPUN OUT over you design!"
Now readers, this is some straight FUNK! Look at them colors, looks like some kind of sherbert...certainly you role down the street, you straight riding in style...The lyrics I wrote above are true...when I seen this bike...I had to sing the very title of this post to this bike design, "You got me going in circles.....I'm spun out over you!"
I saw a movie about the 1st black race car champion driver a few years back that starred Richard Pryor called 'Greased Lightning'. It is the story of America's 1st black race car champion Wendell Scott. This was recently brought back to my attention by an advertisement for this same movie that is to come on TV-One this Saturday. I brushed up up my history of this great sports hero by doing a little research and again, this man and his story fits neatly into what I am doing with the Marshall Taylor Project.
Scott was the 1st, and only African-American then and only, to date to accomplish this great feat! He won dozens of races during long and storied career and one NASCAR Event and finished in the top ten an amazing 147 times. This feat was so admirable because he was always working on a very tight budget, didn't have the best pit crews and numerous other challenges because no one really wanted to sponsor a black Race Car driver.
Like Marshall 'Major' Taylor, he had to contend with racism but he overcame the odds. Like Taylor, one of his wins was snatched from him by the judges awarding the win to one of his well known white rivals during an event. NASCAR did do the right thing a few days later by reversing the decision of the judges after irrefutable evidence of Scott's win. Scott, like Taylor many years before him had to overcome the many obstacles that went along with being the 1st and only black in a major sport to compete. There were racers who wanted him to fail at every turn and even conspired to bring about his failure but he kept on pushing and experienced great success as a stock car driver!
Pioneering blacks in American sports were men of vision and one thing they all shared in common was a love for their chosen sport and the will to succeed despite incredible odds. I marvel at the likes of Tiger Woods, Major Taylor, Wendell Scott, Jack Johnson, Arthur Ashe and others were true visionaries within the black community. After you read this, I want all of you to take a moment to reflect and research the careers of some of the African-American community's greatest and least talked about sports heroes. Without them, the groundwork for the mega sports stars of today would never have been laid and more importantly, the can do attitude of an entire community may never have existed! PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE OF SCOTT'S STORY.
Article and Photo courtesy of Bike Europe
(AND, Belgium) – As e-Bike sales march on many new models targeted to specific consumer groups will hit the market. Examples: the race e-Bike, the mountain e-Bike; fully enclosed transport e-Bikes. This raises questions on the legal framework for these vehicles.
As the European Commission is reviewing the type-approval procedure for mopeds and motorcycles it offers the electric bike industry the opportunity to start discussions with European institutions on the legal framework, which the industry believes to be the most appropriate for their vehicles.
Today, it is the European type-approval legislation for mopeds and motorcycles that determines whether an electric bicycle is a bicycle that is excluded from the type-approval procedure or whether it is a moped that needs to comply with the type-approval procedure.
The European institutions have promulgated the type-approval law in 2002, without however properly consulting the electric bike industry on the most appropriate legal framework for their vehicles.
Since then, the majority of the products put on the market have a motor output of no more than 250W and their motor is cut off at 25 km/h. These vehicles are excluded from the type-approval procedure and are classified as bicycles.
Nevertheless, the electric bike offer is becoming much more diverse and a growing number of vehicles have a motor output above 250W and/or a motor that assists beyond 25 km/h.
This development raises two questions:
Are the 250 W and 25 km/h limitations the most appropriate specifications for excluding vehicles from the type-approval, thus classifying them as bicycles?
Is the type-approval procedure for mopeds and motorcycles the most appropriate homologation procedure for electric bikes not excluded from type-approval?
With the review of the type-approval procedure for mopeds and motorcycles currently taking place it is imperative that the electric bike industry starts a discussion on the legal framework which it believes to be the most appropriate for their vehicles.
The European Two-wheel Retailers' Association (ETRA) is prepared to defend and further the interests of the electric bike industry. For that purpose however, ETRA requires the support of the industry and a consensus on how the type-approval should be reviewed for electric bicycles. The matter is urgent since the European Commission intends to produce a first draft in November this year.
That is why, in cooperation with the Light Electric Vehicle Associaton (LEVA), ETRA intends to organize a meeting for the electric bike industry in the framework of Eurobike in Friedrichshafen. The meeting is aimed at discussing the two above-mentioned questions and at deciding whether and how to lobby the European Commission.
The meeting is currently planned for Saturday 5 September 2009 at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen from 9 am till no later than 12 o’clock. However, should the majority of the participants prefer another date and/or time, then ETRA will reschedule accordingly.
WOW! This bicycle would be SOOOO HOOOTTT if it wasn't for those tacky 'Ape Hanger' Handlebars. I love the color, the fan style spokes, sprocket is nice and small, seat could use some work...but WHAT IF they did something alot funkier with the handle bars and got rid of those played out black tires? I give this design, as low riders go anyway a solid C+ FELLA!
Save the emails dear readers complaining and whining about the fact that I am not a low rider fan, how I don't appreciate the art in it, saying I am insulting the Latino culture..blah-blah-blah...The great thing about blogging is it is usually opinion based and used to drive some one's agenda...My blog is no different...My agenda is going to War against crappy bike designs and my opinion matters because...well, this is 'My party and I'll cry if I want to!'
If you think I'm playing, listen to the song...
People...I have dreamed a dream...in this dream there is a Bicycle...The bicycle has the most beautiful aero-dynamic design known to the world..the handle bars are such that you can lay your forearms in them(padded)...the seat is orange velvet..seat post(bar) is diamond shaped..sprocket assembly is the size of a lid on a Pringle's Potato Chip Lid, yet it has the cranking force to generate speeds up to 40 miles an hour..the pedals are trimmed in orange velvet..
Frame is a very light powdered blue...bottom tubing shoots up to attached to the top tubing at an angle that seems impossible according to the laws of physics...the tires are orange with white tiger stripes..rims are clear see through with a hub that measures 8 inches from center to top...
Spokes are unusually short, see through yet speckled powdered blue so lightly that you can barely see it...fork is see through...I need this bike so right now, as the old group 'Honey Cone' is going to sing for you...your fearless blogger is putting this dream in "The Want Ads" because...(as the song says "I need a Bike that's new" (the group says man)
DANG! Somebody send me a better picture of this BIKE...OH MY....OH MY...My Funk Hall of Fame just got another INDUCTEE....As my older brother used to say (I think he got this saying from Grady from Sanford and Son..."GoodGogaleewogalee!")
I really have to get a side and aerial view of this design because IF the rest of the design is as HOTTT as what I see in the picture, we may have another FUNK HALL of FAME Inductee in the Electric Bike category. Those handle bars make a brotha like me lay back in my chair and say "Those look like I could have designed the." Me being the Minister of Funk as it concerns Bike Design, this is a HUGE compliment dear readers.
Somebody please send me a FULL Picture of this bicycle if you have it...HURRY...I'm freaking out!!! Breathing Problems...:)
The above bicycle costs GBP 20,000 WHICH MEANS $40,000U.S.! Interesting...very interesting.
I have to confess dear readers, I really like the below Electric Hybrid...It is clean and nice!
Ultra Motor A2B Bike
$40,000 may seem like alot of money for this fine piece of machinery, but please keep a few things in mind, this is the type of bike that is VERY HIGH erformance and not only that, there are very few of these (that I could find) in the world! It makes me mad that some of you will write in and complain about such a high priced bicycle!
As I said concerning my designs, IF you want a bike to ride like EVERYONE ELSE has, go to your local bike shop and get something off the rack. For you super cheap people, go to Wal-Mart and buy some of that junk. But if you want something that no one else has, suck it up and PAY THE PRICE.
I have little to say about this idiocy...There are productive bicycles that are built to go nowhere...they are called EXERCISE BIKES! This is about the dumbest crap I have ever seen...Whoever built this...Play the Video because you should really say this to yourself...Because I certainly think "You are Dumb!"
This design resembles a freshly shaved bald head my friends....CLEAN!
This Columbia is unrestored and has its original head badge and stove enamel paint. When I obtained the bike, the front rim, which is made of wood clad with steel, was broken. I suspect it had not been ridden for over 50 years. A new old stock rim one was obtained and the front hub reconstructed by Keith Hellon. Except for the seat, the new single-tube original style tires from West Virginia, and one of the cork handlebar grips, all of the components are original. The hubs have straight pull spokes, proving that concept was not a recent innovation in the cycling world. The original owner did not order the optional spoon brake which pressed on the surface of the front tire. Many of these Columbia chainless bicycles are in museums, but this one is now ready to ride.
I came across this video that was being promoted on a popular video upload site the other day. I am IN LOVE with this guys style of bicycle design and his creations! I have told you all in the past that I am not a fan of Chopper Style Bicycles as they all pretty much look alike to me...You know, the small tire in front ape hanger handle bars etc.
This company, Rocket Boom uses those components, but this fabricator has a style all his own. What is beautiful about this style of design is he uses all available things in New York City to assist with his design process. Subway bars are an aide for him on bending tubing and he pretty much does whatever he has to do to realize his vision for each design. He says in the video that he keeps hurting his back and has to take shots, which is a little extreme in my opinion but even in this he does what he has to so that he can live his dream!
I still do not like Chopper Style Bicycles, but I LOVE this guys creation and the icing on the cake was he referred to his designs as art even making reference that the only limitation someone who paints has is the size of the canvas they are using. Rocket Boom is on some 'Other Level' stuff and as I close this post, I will also point out that his greatest strength in design is what I told you all over a year ago, he is not an industry insider and thus has a mind that is free to do what HE WANTS TO DO! Folks, go back through all of my posts and you will not hear me make this statement about any designer I have come across except this guy..."He gets it!" Keep on keeping on Rocket Boom as it concerns putting down the funk...
Da Champ is back with a short video...Keep on pushin Champ and I will be to see about you in a minute bru!
Champ got the promotion as it concerns selling individuality, youth and a positive Message, Mr. Culiver has the Bike Dubz and ya boi...ME, getting ready to role the hottest recreation designs on the PLANET...Do any of you see what I see?
A Haggler emails me!
I am (name withheld) from Richmond, Virginia,I love your advertised bike ,I will be purchasing it, if the price can be reduced a little bit.State your final asking price if you are reducing it.
I will also love to know how long you have been using it and the present conditions is it new? Please include pics in your reply if you have any.
Get back to me.
My Response to this email;
I will not reduce the price as this bicycle is the only one like it on this planet of over 6 Billion people FELLA! It is my suggestion if you want a bike for a lower price that you visit another bicycle companies website. Here are some links to cheaper bikes that millions other people have sir.
If these bikes don't suit your taste, feel free to just Google the search term Beach Cruiser and I am sure you will find a product that is more appropriate to your financial tastes.
I have posted this email exchange with a would be buyer of Iron RIDERZ S.E. to make myself clear on 1 point. If one of my products is placed for sale, the stated price is the price that the buyer will pay, or they can go buy a cheaper more common bike from somebody else. There are those whose dream it is to live in cookie cutter houses in the suburbs. They don't care if their homes look like everyone else's as long as they can afford the mortgage payment. Then their are those who will pay extra to have a home designed because they refuse to live in a house like everyone else has.
Iron RIDERZ is for the latter discerning buyer and not the former! There have been great bike designers who started out with a dream to design bikes that were hot but once the reality of the industry hit them and they realized they would have to make crappy bikes to compete, they sold out their dream to make big money...Well...I ain't one of them people. The integrity of my company's vision is not for sale to hagglers and people who would compromise their values and dreams to earn a buck.
All any of us have is our integrity and dreams in a carnal sense. Once those 2 things are gone, you are left with nothing and to those who sell themselves out in this way, you have stopped LIVING and are only existing. Please, none of you, write me and ask me to sell my dreams for a lower price because not only are my dreams and vision that is Bike Design not for sale, I will not encourage you (by giving in to your demands) in the one thing that keeps you asking a business to do this, and that is ENTITLEMENT! Gibson and you other would be hagglers...Please listen to the video posted here titled 'The Gas Face' cause that is sure what I am giving you...
As has become my custom, sometimes I come across designs that are SO DARN STUPID that I award them my Fred G. Sanford (1970s Sitcom) YOU BIG DUMMY AWARD! This awards don't go to bicycle designs I do not like, just ones that I find that ANYONE would have a hard time liking...I am sorry and I know some of you will email me pleading these 2 clown's case...but they are, as Fred used to say to his son Lamont "BIG DUMMY!"
Not creative...just flat out stupid
The Monster Bike! Impressive...just flat out IMPRESSIVE! I don't know that I would ride it, but DAAANNNNGGGG!
WOW! Not only am I amazed at the mechanics involved with making such a design feasible with these tires...But this is certainly a Head Turner and sure to cause a wreck or two if ever ridden down the street. Now this is some EXTREME BIKING...You other Extreme Pretenders BETTER RECOGNIZE!
This seems to be just a 3-D Rendering but I really like the overall look of this bicycle and for me, especially when it comes down to chopper bike, that says alot for the flow and semetry of this rendering. I hate the handle bars because if someone put this much thought into this nice looking design, much more thought should have went into the handle bars...I tell you what would really set this design off is if the handle bars were 5 inches shorter and lower to the frame. A Moustache style handle bar with 13 inch arms would be hot!
I have gotten a few questions about my tribute design to the Buffalo Soldier Bicycle Corps circa 1897...The design is called Iron Riderz S.E. (Sports Edition)...This bike will sell for $999 and I have offers on it but ya know...I just don't want to sell it for a variety of reasons. Not really sentimental reasons, but The Fabricator of Funk and I can and will do much better than this and come in at the same price folks...I will keep you posted.
Hmmm? Interesting tandem and as far as I can tell...the wood it is made out of is Oak...So guess what...I feel like dancing with my man Morris Day from back in the day again...since the bike is made of Oak...I'm getting ready to do that Morris Day dance called THE OAK TREE!
This fat tire Moots features interchangeable front and rear tires. There are cogs on the front hub so you can switch the front out to the back. 165mm hubs mean no dish in either wheel. Now...oh my...I must say that although this bike doesn't have a close-up picture of it...It is the FUNK SPOT! Does it crack my top 5 Funk Hall of Fame....NO! But this is what I mean when I say 'Fashion Meets Bicycle Design!' Those tires are so fat that I can just close my eyes and hear them coming down the road in a very loooowwww hummmmm against the pavement...Great job guys...looks like something I would design :)
Tribute Bicycle Built called; Iron RIDERZ S.E.
This some grown man stuff here...There isn't another like it in the whole world...3 HOTTER THAN this...colored spokes, rimz, nasty handle bars are coming soon!
In 1897 a contingent of twenty black soldiers, a white West Point officer, a military surgeon and a young newspaper reporter rode bicycles from Fort Missoula, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri, following the Burlington Northern railroad.
The groups' leader, Lt. Moss, was trying to prove to the army that bicycles could be a valuable asset. I first became acquainted with this little known gem of history through the children's magazine Highlights in the early 90s. I have been fascinated with it ever since. George Niels Sorenson's Iron Riders presents this story and the broader context of those "Buffalo Soldiers-on-wheels".
He tells us of the practice trip the bicycle corp made to Yellowstone Park before their epic St. Louis run and the lives of the riders after their trip. This 8 x 10 book has many primary source pictures, documents and maps which illuminate the text. It's the only informational book I know of devoted to a story which deserves a wider audience. If you are a middle school history teacher, like me, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It would make a fantastic unit.
But I agree with the other reviewer: anybody who likes black history, social history, military history, bicycle touring, the west and/or unsung heroes will find a lot to enjoy in this book. And, if you like this book you'll want to check out the PBS video The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels and the children's book Black Wheels.
The subtitle, "Story of the 1890s Fort Missoula Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps" is a good general description of the book's contents. I had never heard of Ft. Missoula, much less known that they had a bicycle corps, before stumbling across this book in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial's bookstore. It's not a long book, but it covers its topic well. Of course I was interested in the horrendous ride from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis, but the account of the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry saving the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill was enlightening.
Also (all too) informative was the account of the "discharge without honor" by order of President Theodore Roosevelt of 167 soldiers, many of them formerly of the bicycle corps. The book also includes numerous photos, a number of which are wonderful shots (and very well-printed) of the soldiers in Yellowstone National Park. I highly recommend this book as an entertaining account of a dedicated group of American soldiers who happened to have been of African descent.
This is the lively story of the only bicycle corps the U.S. Army ever authorized. Using buffalo soldiers, this 1890s African-American unit conducted drills and exercises on wheels. They rode into Northern Montana on muddy trails and toured Yellowstone on their 100-pound iron bicycles. As proof of their capabilities, these Iron Riders pedaled 1,900 miles from Ft. Missoula, across the snow-dusted Rocky Mountains and steamy Great Plains, to St. Louis. As they approached the city over 1,000 civilian bicyclists rode out to escort them into town in a great parade. Learn more about the adventures of this little known buffalo soldier unit and fascinating details about this era in America. Well researched and a good read. Full of rare pictures and drawings.
The subtitle, "Story of the 1890s Fort Missoula Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps" is a good general description of the book's contents. I had never heard of Ft. Missoula, much less known that they had a bicycle corps, before stumbling across this book in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial's bookstore. It's not a long book, but it covers its topic well. Of course I was interested in the horrendous ride from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis, but the account of the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry saving the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill was enlightening. Also (all too) informative was the account of the "discharge without honor" by order of President Theodore Roosevelt of 167 soldiers, many of them formerly of the bicycle corps.