The European design company Lunar has reinvented the stationary wheel. Last month, they began promoting the Vela, a training bike that doubles as art. Or, as they put it in the first sentence of their press release, "It might make you sweat, but in the best possible taste...."
That introduction may be a bit lacking, but what they're going for with the design is clear.
Sander Vandenbrouke has managed to make a 19-minute biking documentary that has nothing to do with the issues you might expect in a politically-motivated film about cycling. There are no mentions of climate change, or the cost of petrol, or fitness in The Brussels Express. Instead, he concentrates on the issue of traffic in, what he calls, Europe's most congested city. He looks at urban gridlock through the eyes of a bike messenger who slices through slow-moving cars, and ends up making a smart argument for reducing congestion.
Chris Horner took control of the 2011 ATOC on Stage 4. Photo: Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious/Flickr
The seventh edition of the Amgen Tour of California started yesterday in Santa Rosa with a thrilling stage that saw the remnants of the day's breakaway caught just seven kilometers from the finish line and a final sprint won by 22-year-old phenom Peter Sagan. And while the young Slovak siezed the leader's jersey, the race has me thinking more about the breadth and success of today's American cycling scene.
Since it's debut in 2006, the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) has become the biggest stage race in the United States and continues to attract an increasingly impressive roster of international talent. Half of the 16 teams that lined up this year are UCI Pro Tour teams, including three of the world's currently top four ranked cyclists: Tom Boonen (1), Vincenzo Nibali (2), and Sagan (4). And California is just one of three international-caliber stage races in the U.S. these days, with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the Tour of Utah, both in August, also luring lots of the biggest pros from Europe. Never in the history of American cycling has there been so many high-caliber races held on these shores in a single season.
The Potomac River Photo: MV Jantzen/American Rivers
River conservancy American Rivers just released its 27th annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers report, naming the Potomac the most threatened river. This waterway earned the top spot not so much due to pollution levels (it’s much cleaner today than in decades past) but due to its proximity to Congress, which American Rivers says is failing to safeguard waterways across the country.
“There are a number of bills in play that would weaken the Clean Water Act,” says Amy Kober, American Rivers’ senior communications director, “which is ironic, because the Act turns 40 this year.”
Other rivers on the list highlight concerns over hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas, as well as hydropower development. “Fracking is still a big problem, and that has been a theme on the list for a couple years running,” says Kober. Fracking produces wastewater that contains toxic chemicals, and fracking activities have polluted waterways in some areas.
While it might seem like hydropower is becoming less of an environmental concern in the U.S.—with the removal of major, outdated hydro projects across the West—the group is watching and fighting a number of newly proposed dams on American rivers.
In October 2009 freeskier Angeli VanLaanen was diagnosed with Lyme disease, 14 years after she first contracted the illness. As a result of the late diagnosis, the 26-year-old former X-Games competitior has had a number of health issues. Now, she's working to make a documentary called LymeLight to help raise awareness about the disease, in hopes that others can spot it sooner.