Archive for April, 2008


Apr 03, 2008

Get online-HD bike racing content


Vimeo has a velo channel. I didn’t know that. Do now. Soxiam, a staff moderator, added my bike vids, including Bicycle Anatomy for Beginners. Thanks, mate.

I don’t yet have an HD camera, but when I do I’ll def load hi-def vids to Vimeo. When you embed Vimeo vids they don’t play in HD. You need to go direct to the site. This is no chore, it’s a beautifully designed site.

If you have fast broadband and a desire to view online vids in 1280×720, Vimeo HD is the place to hang out.

This Tour de France HD vid is from Eurosport and features some funky graphics and, of course, Kraftwerk’s emblematic TdF anthem.

There’s lots of other HD content on Velovimeo, such as:


Independence Valley Road Race (HD edit) 03/22/08, Men PRO/1/2 from Dessa on Vimeo.

Don’t forget, it’s not HD until you go direct to Vimeo.



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Apr 03, 2008

Wanted: bike-riding scally role models


Yesterday in the House of Lords there was a long and interesting discussion on the merits and demerits of cycling.

I’ve waded through the Hansard transcript and heavily edited their Lordship’s words for ‘Bike-loving Lords chew cycle fat in Other House’ on Bikeforall.net.

Tons of useful facts were used in the debate and all was going swimmingly when Earl Howe put a spoke in the wheel:

“There is an inherent problem with cycling; it is not exactly ‘cool’. It will probably not be seen as cool until we have role models who promote it in a way that resonates with those disadvantaged groups in society who most need to get on their bikes. At the moment it is the relatively affluent and educated sections of society who cycle, and we need to get the message to those at the opposite end of the social spectrum.”

Cycling uncool? Not enough MPs ride fixies, that’s the root of the problem. Bloody Brompton riders!



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Apr 03, 2008

Expedia’s video viral nicely executed


I have had problems with Expedia in the past. Always read the small print, there’s a ‘no changing any details’ reason the flight tickets are often so cheap!

But their latest video viral - all about funny Johnny-Foreigner hotel signs - is smile-worthy. Humour is a good viral tactic, although I can’t see this one being passed on in huge numbers. It’s not very edgy, but probably good for the demographic.

WARNING: contains zero bike content, another minus point in my book…




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Apr 03, 2008

Californian biz pedals bike-roasted coffee


I’ve heard of pedal powered fruit smoothie blending and can imagine somebody somewhere would grind their coffee beans by bike, but I’ve never heard of any business using a bike to roast coffee beans.

Until now.

“A sustainable, bike-powered coffee business starts operation,” reports The Californian Aggie.

A company founded three years ago by…Alex Roth initially roasted peppers, hence the name, but this year converted to coffee bean roasting and delivery.

The Pepper Peddler is trying to make an impact in the coffee industry by using unconventional and sustainable methods in a town that is conducive to both.

In the spirit of sustainability, the Pepper Peddler buys fair trade organic beans from Honduras and roasts them in a bike-powered apparatus Roth designed, built and adapted from what he created to roast peppers.

It’s the whole Davis concept of bikes everywhere and pedal power, Roth said. Why use a motor if you can use a bike?

Although we still use propane burners to do the roasting, the mechanical motion of the cooling is derived from the bike, he said. It’s actually a feasible thing and it’s one less resource needing to be consumed.

If you were interested in only making money you wouldn’t do a lot of things we do, Lorber said. We’re committed to sustainability and we’re doing what we can to make an example and modestly push forward to make the world a better place.

Get it fresh from here.



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Apr 02, 2008

I’m now on Twitter


I’ve joked about not joining Twitter with David at the Fredcast but I’ve now been worn down.

I shall twitter away using the username ‘carltonreid’.

I’ll likely add links to breaking news on there, stuff from BikeBiz.com and maybe info that I can’t use on any of the sites I edit, but which are still interesting, like US-specific news, which I often shelve.

These two blog posts - twitter-is-your-AP-newswire and twitter-is-paying-my-rent - seem to be the most linked-to articles on why microblogging is in. They’re mentioned in this excellent, how-to-Twitter article that contains tons of further reading links.



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Apr 02, 2008

SGB taken in by GM-Specialized spoof, blames naughty RSS




Yesterday’s fake news story on BikeBiz.com was flashed as real by SGB Update, a leading email newsletter for the global sports market.

In fact, it was SGB’s top story for the first of April. Oops.

The newsletter emailed a retraction a few hours later:

“This morning’s issue of SGB UPDATE included a story entitled “General Motors Acquires Specialized Bicycle Components.” The story, which was apparently an April’s Fool Day hoax, was inadvertently picked up in our news feeds.

“After follow up this morning by our editorial team, we have determined that the story is not accurate. Specialized is not being acquired by GM.

“We apologize for any issues that this may have caused for our readers.”

Inadvertently picked up in news feeds? Bollocks. A lead news story placed in an email newsletter didn’t get there via RSS.

The “follow up” by an editorial team should have taken place before the story was nicked. It’s basic common sense to check, and basic web decency to cite where a story has been lifted from.

No doubt there were red faces at SGB yesterday because any journalist worth his or her salt would have tried to verify the story by, at the verry least, going to the Specialized and GM websites.

I’m not overly surprised a major marketing newsletter was hoodwinked, the spoof San Jose Business Journal was brilliantly executed by Fritz, but for them to blame “news feeds” and not their sloppy reporting is poor form.



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Apr 02, 2008

Bicycle Anatomy 101



Bicycle Anatomy for Beginners from Quickrelease.tv on Vimeo.

I’ve produced the above video for bike virgins. Click on full screen or go to the Vimeo site for the video in a wider format. The video zooms into bike parts and names them. It’ll hopefully get newbies up to speed on ‘bike talk’.

It might be aimed at people who don’t know their dropout from their seatpost but even enthusiasts will get a kick out of the music. It was created from twanging and fiddling with some of my bikes.

I recorded the sounds (my favourite is the disc rotor pinging) and then music maestro Greg Johnston turned my disparate recordings into ‘bespoke’ music. The track is now on Libsyn (or subscribe to my podcast on iTunes): it’s an MP3 called Bong. Psst. Twang. Whirr. Psst.

If you like the music and you have an iPhone, download this free ringtone and manually place in iTunes to sync, or subscribe to the Quickrelease.tv podcast on iTunes for the download and sync to be automatic.

Don’t like hi-res Vimeo? Here’s the video on YouTube, Metacafe, DailyMotion, Stupid Videos, Sclipo and Viddler

The video is also available in an Apple TV version on iTunes or as a direct download from Libsyn. Want it on your iPod? It’s here on iTunes and Libsyn.

Check out the credits at the end for the list of folks who helped me nail the technical aspects of the vid. It was especially helpful to get the American ‘translations’ for bike part names.

I’d really appreciate your feedback on the video and, of course, would love you to pass it on to any newbies who you think would benefit from a crash course in bicycle anatomy.



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Apr 01, 2008

GM-Specialized spoof fools some, not others




In cahoots with three other bike bloggers I posted a story to BikeBiz.com last night, a couple of minutes into April 1st.

The piece was headlined ‘GM takes Specialized back into all-American ownership.’

Some may have smelled a rat but their doubts might have been squashed by the brilliant hijacking of the San Jose Business Journal by Fritz. A lot of blogs posted the ‘news’, some were incredulous, others fell for it hook, line and sinker.

The piece was forwarded to lots of industry types. I sent out a BikeBiz newsflash at 12.05am and, almost immediately, started getting ‘wow, this is big news’ emails from industry bigwigs.


Bicycleretailer.com wasn’t fooled but, deliciously, Bike Europe was. Their story has now been taken down but I can see from Google (which itself had an April 1st prank) that for a wee while it read:

Bike Europe - News: Car Maker Buys Specialized Bicycles

With Specialized General Motors intends to create: New transportation choices … Car Maker Buys Specialized Bicycles. DETROIT, USA - The world’s largest …

This spoof was cooked up by Fritz, Tim, Arleigh and myself. [UPDATE: SGB Update swallowed the bait also!]

The BBC ran the penguin spoof at the top of the site (it’s funny and must have taken a lot of CGI work) and MotorTrader of the UK tried its hand at a bicycle-related spoof (all about a new MG Rover bicycle made in China), but let itself down with the spokesperson’s name, April Furst. Puh-lease! Not that our Flora Lopi was much better.

Want to wrap your alu frame in carbon-fibre? It loses weight in the process, spoofs Bikeradar.com.

Sadly, there can be no more spoofs from Sheldon Brown but here’s one of his best, The RealMan Saddle.



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