Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bike News Round Up

Rounding up the news of bicycles:
New York

Actor Matthew Modine, (Private Joker) is throwing a bicycle event of his own.

Lifestyles of the Green and the Famous

Matthew Modine bicycles, Bono recycles, and Willie Nelson wails for Farm Aid
Actor Matthew Modine (of Showtime’s hit series, Weeds) is taking New Yorkers for a ride on the city’s bike paths with Olympian Sharon Seagrave this Saturday with his Bicycle for a Day event. Advocating for biking, walking, and public-transportation, “it’s a call to action to reduce the carbon footprint and have fun doing it!” The day includes a Luke Haas concert, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaking, and prizes such as Puma “Glow” Bicycles and a Segway.

read more of the article over here.

An article on Rock Racing in the Kansas City Star.

Rock Racing wants to bring cool to pro cycling
The Kansas City Star
ST. CHARLES, Mo. | Fashion mogul and team owner Michael Ball has a unique vision for the future of American cycling, and it goes something like this: Speed, raw competition, tattooed competitors, rock ‘n’ roll and, oh yes, stunning women rolling up to races in tricked out Escalades.

“It’s an extremely hard sell here in the United States,” said Ball, the owner of Rock Racing, which features the “bad boys” of cycling, models and an in-your-face attitude. “When you look at those big sports, specifically baseball, it’s about tradition. So how does one get people involved in bicycle racing here?”

That’s the question facing officials, cyclists, owners and fans as the Tour of Missouri draws to a close today in downtown St. Louis. Cycling may be an exciting sport blending speed, endurance and strategy. But none of that matters if you’re just another fringe sport without enough eyeballs watching what you do.

“There is something of a ceiling out there for cycling as to how far it can go in America,” said Jeff Roake, a host announcer for this week’s tour and cycling expert. “We’re nowhere near that ceiling yet. We’ll never be a ball sport, but if we could be as popular as hockey — that could happen. Lance Armstrong coming back next year will have a huge effect.”

article can be read here
And in the Guardian, UK's Sports Blog,


Kenyan trailblazers turn their talents to cycling
Despite their dominance of distance running, no black African has ever cycled the Tour de France. If Nicholas Leong gets his way, they will soon.

Nderi and Myangi took a while to get used to the new bikes. Photograph: Nicholas Leong

Sport blog

Kenyan trailblazers turn their talents to cycling
Despite their dominance of distance running, no black African has ever cycled the Tour de France. If Nicholas Leong gets his way, they will soon

Nderi and Myangi took a while to get used to the new bikes. Photograph: Nicholas Leong

Here's an interesting fact: despite being recognised through their distance running as among the finest endurance athletes on the planet, no Kenyan or Ethiopian has ever ridden the Tour de France. In fact, no Kenyan, Ethiopian or black African of any nation has ever become a professional cyclist.

Team GB's prodigious success in the saddle in Beijing drew a degree of rather measly sniping along these lines. It seems unfair to disparage the achievements of individual athletes, who can only beat the field in front of them. But the fact remains. Africans don't cycle - and for a variety of reasons, mainly to do with habit and tradition, but also things like start-up costs and prohibitively expensive racing technology.

For the first time, however, there is a suggestion this might not always be the case. Last month two amateur Kenyan cyclists, Zakayo Nderi, a shoe-shiner by trade, and Samwel Myangi, a 24-year-old bicycle taxi rider, performed a time trial on the Alpe D'Huez, a blue chip Tour stage finish. This is a serious test: 13.8km at an average gradient of 7.9% with 21 hairpin bends.

more here.


an article on Scram bicycle parts manufacturer in the Chicago Tribune.

Sram shifts gears in bike-parts world
Chicago-based innovator set to sell 40% stake to Lehman unit, eyes expansion

By Jon Van | Special to the Chicago Tribune
September 15, 2008

As some Chicago bicyclists pedal along, they wish their machines rode better.

Stanley Day took that thought a step further. About two decades ago, he wondered why he had to move his hands off the handlebars to shift gears. So, working with some friends, he turned an innovation into a company that has put Chicago back on the map as a powerhouse in two-wheeled locomotion.

This strategy of developing new bike equipment enabled Day to build Sram Corp. into a $500 million-a-year component supplier that is poised for potential expansion. Later this month, Day intends to close a deal to sell a 40 percent minority stake in Sram to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking for an undisclosed amount.

The privately held company is a serious player in a business that once was dominated by Shimano Inc., a Japanese bike-parts giant that is three times the Chicago firm's size. Sram has grown 15 percent to 20 percent each of the past five years and has been consistently profitable, Day said, but to get to the next level, where it can continue to expand globally while churning out new products, it needs a boost.

read more over here.


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These events are very motivating. Especially when they are organized by somebody famous like Matthew Modine

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