My artist/serial entrepreneur friend Julian Bleecker's new labor of love is OMATA. The company and gadget that he and co-founder Rhys Newman have been working on intensely for the last year or so today officially launched on Kickstarter.
When most people think of professional cycling today, the name Lance Armstrong probably still comes to mind. Between 1999 and 2005, Armstrong won a record seven Tours de France, only to have them all tossed out in 2012 after it was revealed the Texan had been using performance-enhancing drugs. Between 1957 and 1964, a Frenchman named Jacques Anquetil won five Tours, also – by his own repeated admission at the time – on drugs. But the trait shared by Armstrong and Anquetil that interests authors Shelly and Brett Horton in Shoulder to Shoulder: Bicycle Racing in the Age of Anquetil is not doping but celebrity. Forget Armstrong (in their book, the Hortons do just that): What John F. Kennedy was to U.S. presidents and The Beatles were to rock ’n’ roll, Anquetil was to cycling.
Anquetil’s story, as well as that of other Anquetil-era racers like Tom Simpson of England, Federico Bahamontes of Spain, and Rik van Looy of Belgium, is told through more than 100 magazine and newspaper photos collected and restored by the Hortons. Each photo is captioned, though not sourced, and accompanied by a short note in the back of the slim volume. We learn, for example, that a 1962 photo of the driver of a support car, who’s leaning out the car’s window to drip oil on the rear gears of a cyclist’s bike during the Circuit des Boucles de la Seine, actually depicts a ruse to give the unidentified rider a chance to lean on the car’s fender for a precious few seconds. Read the rest
There's no question that Belgian cyclist Femke van den Driessche had a motor hidden in a bike she rode in the UCI Cyclocross World Championships over the weekend, because race officials discovered it in the hollow part of the bike frame. But van den Driessche swears she didn't know the motor was there. Here's her alibi, as reported by Velo News:
The 19-year-old denied that she had used a bike with a concealed motor on purpose, saying that it was identical to her own but belonged to a friend and that a team mechanic had given it to her by mistake before the race.
"It wasn't my bike, it was that of a friend and was identical to mine," a tearful Van den Driessche told Belgian TV channel Sporza. "This friend went around the course Saturday before dropping off the bike in the truck. A mechanic, thinking it was my bike, cleaned it and prepared it for my race," she added, insisting that she was "totally unaware" it was fitted with a hidden motor.
The motor and battery weigh 1.8 kilograms, which you would think van den Driessche would notice.
This reminds me of a case many years ago when my friend's cousin in Boulder, Colorado was caught cheating in the Soap Box Derby. His car had an electromagnet inside it that gave it a boost when the gate dropped. Another friend of mine, Colin Berry, wrote about the incident for MAKE, which took place in the 1970s. Read the rest
47-year-old Mark Heryer was killed on October 11th when he was run over by a 38-Geary bus. The SFPD concluded, without investigation, that Heryer's death was his own fault. The city will not release the footage from the bus's camera -- not even to Heryer's lawyer. Read the rest
"O homem mais forte do mundo." Read the rest
The Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan is a massive abandoned sports stadium. Watch BMXer Tyler Fernengel shred the place.
The XploreAir Paravelo is a flying bicycle. The front is a collapsible bike that docks with a trailer containing a flexible wing and a biofuel-powered fan with an electric starter motor. In the air, it apparently operates like a powered paraglider. The two inventors have a Kickstarter running to develop a commercial model they hope will sell for $16,000. More info at CNN. You can watch a video of it flying below. Read the rest
My little brother and I went to the Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC, today and ran across this very cool piece of maker history — a scroll saw operated by a pulley powered contraption resembling a stationary bicycle. Pedal punk? Read the rest
A new bit of wonderfulness from the good folks at Nobrow press: Bicycle, a concertina-folded, 195cm, two-sided grotesque and highly detailed bicycle ride through London by artist Ugo Gattoni.
Inspired by the 2012 London Olympic Games, young artist Ugo Gattoni intricately illustrates a cycle race through the streets of London. From elite athletes to cycle couriers, commuters, bankers, delivery boys, mums with kids, youths on stolen mountain bikes to fashionistas and hipsters on fixed gear bikes – pretty soon you will realize this is no ordinary road race!
A recent graduate of one of Paris’ top art schools, Ugo Gattoni wowed the public with an incredible intricate pen drawing measuring approx 10 x 2 meters. His first foray into the London arts scene saw him drawing on the walls of the prestigious Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank.
This Leporello project for Nobrow Press is his first publication. Nobrow Leporello have become one of our most popular products, selling to all ages and demographics, their dual purpose: as a book and as a frameable print have become a fun way for people to own great art affordably as well as enjoy fun and innovative narratives and educational content (e.g. High Times).
Here's a trailer for "Line of Sight," a documentary on underground bike-messenger racing that uses helmetcams to capture some pretty insane (and often terrifying) examples of cycling skill:
Line Of Sight is a rare view into underground bicycle messenger racing which has become a global phenomenon. For over a decade Lucas Brunelle has been riding with the fastest, most skilled urban cyclists around the world while capturing all the action with his customized helmet cameras to bring you along for the ride.
This is bike riding like you've never seen before, in gripping first-person perspective through the most hectic city streets, on expressways in Mexico City, over the frozen Charles River, under the Mediterranean Sea, across the Great Wall of China and deep into the jungles of Guatemala.