Extreme unicycling vid gets extreme level of YouTube views

Off-road unicycling is cool and getting cooler.

Chateau Productions of Manchester placed the following video on YouTube on 14th April. To date it’s had 207,984 views, has been commented upon 903 times, favourited 350 times and this exposure is set to increase as the film – shot for the Keswick mountain film festival – has been chosen as a YouTube featured video, and is appearing high on the YouTube home page.

And, just to show that YouTube views can be a fickle commodity, a lower-res version of the same video was posted seven months ago and has had only 11,795 views to date. Why has one version gone sky high? The latest video is Chateau Production’s biggest success on YouTube by far. I’ll be asking why they think this particular vid has gone through the roof.

Get the QR.tv vids on Apple TV

Or on your video iPod or watch via iTunes on your Mac or PC.

The old podcast – Cycling: news and views – is now replaced by the Quickrelease.tv podcast. Videos will continue to be loaded to YouTube but they lose quite a bit of resolution in the process. The iTunes videos look a lot better, especially when ported to your hi-def TV screen via Apple TV.

Long-time users of iTunes will have noticed a recent explosion of high-quality video podcasts from major broadcasters. And all because of Apple TV? Probably.

Either way, getting the Quickrelease.tv vids on to iTunes means you never need miss a single one. Subscribe, for free, here.

The old podcast was hosted by .Mac and was sometimes a bit flakey. The new one is hosted by LibSyn, the pre-eminent podcast hoster. I’ve loaded just three podcasts so far. More will follow over the weekend. Thanks for tuning in.

What would Jesus ride?

Anybody else tickled by this Nimby story in Scotland’s The Herald?

A bunch of car-driving Christians are objecting to the rolling road closure of the B846 along the Tay. The road will be temporarily closed on Sunday June 24th to allow the passing of 2500 Sportive cyclists on the Etape Caledonia.

The congregation of Dull and Weem Church of Scotland is up in arms at such a breach of their “right to worship.”

Church elders say the five-hour road closure will cut them off from their Sunday service.

According to The Herald, the rather unchristian-like Christians are threatening legal action against Perth and Kinross Council, which is backing the Etape Caledonia.

Church elder Tom Pringle said the road closure would breach his and other families’ right to worship.

He said: “It was with disgust that I heard this cycle event had been agreed, along with the necessary closure of many roads in Highland Perthshire.

“All this seems to have been done minus any consultation with the people living, working and worshipping in the area.”

The event was first publicised in January on Bikeforall.net.

Councillor John Hulbert, vice-convener of Perth and Kinross Council’s Enterprise and Infrastructure Committee, said he would attempt to find a “compromise” for concerned worshippers but did not know if one could be found.

Hmm, theologically speaking, there’s no strict need to attend a church building to worship. Of course, plugged in Christians could always worship at St Pixels for the day. Or, God forbid, maybe the congregation could cycle to church on Sunday 24th June? Where in the Bible does it say:

“Thou shalt pootle for a couple of miles in thy motorcar to worship thine God?”

On a road to nowhere?

Blogger David Byrne of the Talking Heads has had his bike stolen, reports Streetsblog.org via Papermag.

The Montague full-size folding MTB was stolen in New York City.

Byrne said: “If anyone sees a bike with both a Che sticker and one for the MOST space telescope that’s mine.”

Here’s a video of Byrne and his bike at a Transportation Alternatives conference held earlier this year:

Byrne is shown riding with Enrique Penalosa, the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia. Penalosa is the poster child for bicycle advocacy, literally wheeled out at event after event worldwide. He’s a former presidential candidate in Colombia and was mayor of Bogota from 1998 to 2001. He famously transformed the city into one friendly to cyclists and pedestrians.

No leg to stand on?

The world is a mad, bad place. There are needless wars, predictable famines, and senseless killings. In this context, one man’s battle to save his healthy right leg from amputation is neither here nor there.

But every injustice is still an injustice and the following case is just as important, if not more so, than many stories that often rise to the top of the news agenda. The case is in the public domain and is receiving some discussion on specialist blogs but it’s unlikely to receive mainstream media attention until May 14th, when a two week hearing will decide a man’s future. Or, more precisely, the future of his right leg.

In July last year, Mr X, an American citizen, was on a French cycling holiday when he Continue reading “No leg to stand on?”

“There’s something in the air…” about cycling

Matt Seaton, The Guardian’s cycling scribe, gave the keynote speech at ‘Marketing and Promoting Cycling’, a conference at the University of Bolton on 3rd April 2007.

He has strong views on jumping red lights and Tory leader David Cameron’s cycling credentials. He also believes we’re at a tipping point, with cycling about to go mainstream in the UK. I sat at the front of the audience and videoed Matt’s talk.

As well as having an influential weekly column in the Granuiad, Matt is the author of the brilliant Escape Artist: Life from the Saddle and On Your Bike: the Complete Guide to Cycling. In July, a compilation of his Guardian articles will be available in book form as Two Wheels. He also writes for Rapha’s Rouleur magazine. His latest article is The Nearly Performance.

The 10-minute video below is brought to you in association with Ultimate Pursuits.

Video proof for ‘wheel ejection theory’

Readers of BikeBiz.com will be familiar with James Annan’s wheel ejection theory, where disc brakes and quick releases do not co-habit in the normal way. (Just type ‘Annan’ into the BikeBiz search box for loads of my news stories on the topic).

Well, here’s brand new video proof of the theory in action.

Sorry, it was a video posted to the YouTube video competition and I couldn’t resist.

Paul Smith releases steel jeans and hemp jerseys

Grand Depart hemp jersey

The new ‘531’ range of jeans and jerseys from Paul Smith are named after the famous Reynolds double-butted tubeset, developed in 1935 and used by Tour de France champions such as Luxembourg’s Charly Gaul (1958), France’s Jacques Anquetil (1961) and Belgium’s Eddy Merckx (1969).

531 was named for the ratio of key elements in this manganese-steel alloy.

Smith was a one-time Nottingham racing cyclist, hoping for a possible job as a pro when an accident Continue reading “Paul Smith releases steel jeans and hemp jerseys”

YouTube contest takes off

It’s great to see ten videos have already been posted to the Quickrelease.tv YouTube video comp.

Most are not terribly pertinent to the comp because they feature lots of Lycra and MTB antics rather than happy images of ‘normal’ cyclists. They all appear to be pre-existing vids and none have yet been made especially for the comp. This will change.

But I’ve just added the video below to the contest group:

It’s from the Netherlands, natch. It’s a mash-up of Dutch ‘get cycling’ ads from YouTuber adformatie. Thanks to David Henbrow for the heads-up.

Upload a bike vid short, win Shimano schwag

Quickrelease.tv has created a YouTube competition site for posting short videos on the topic of ‘I want to ride my bicycle.’ Think of the videos as TV adverts extoling the virtues of bicycling to a mainstream audience. So, go light on Lycra. No techie stuff. No Critical Mass protest vids. No art installations. Just great images of cycling that could make Joe and Joanna Public get out there and ride…for the sheer fun of cycling.

The video submissions must be two minutes or shorter. Preferably shorter. You must own the copyright: in other words, the vid is yours. Upload to YouTube as normal and submit to this YouTube competition site. The judging will take into account public popularity of the videos, ie number of YouTube views, but there will also be off-line judging on the merits of the videos submitted.

The competition winner and two runners-up will win Shimano schwag. Lots of Shimano schwag. Shimano has kindly supplied a full Alfine groupset and a ton of other top kit, including Deore XT mechs, Deore hydraulic brake sets, 105 brake calipers, the list goes on.

Shimano Alfine is a stylish component group for a new category of sporty bicycles with internal hub gears. Alfine features a premium 8-speed hub gear, hydraulic disc brakes, a state-of-the-art crankset with an integrated bottom bracket. Shimano offers also Alfine wheelsets with a hub dynamo in the front and an internal hub gear built in the rear wheel.

Quickrelease.tv has a black Alfine groupset as part of the video prize.

Alfine is not All-Fine, or Alf-Een. It’s Al-fin-ay. So there.

The competition closing date is 30th August 2007 (the first day of Eurobike, Friedrichshafen) and the winner will be announced on 27th September (during Interbike, Las Vegas).

The judges include almost all The Spokesmen as well as Phil Liggett and Bob Roll.

Official comp rules here.