Firstly, Knog, the first name in Australian bicycle illumination, wants you to know that they're having a contest:
All you have to do is submit a photo of you and your favourite place to ride with the hashtag #NoOrdinaryRide via Twitter or Instagram, or enter via this link for Facebook for your chance to win.
The best four entries will be chosen on March 10th and will win a Knog Blinder Arc 1.7 or 5.5 light.
Full details of the competition can be found here.
So go ahead and enter, but you should note that I've already won, because there's no way you're going to beat my submission:
Yes, that's me riding on my favorite road, which you'll surely recognize as the loop in New York City's Central Park.
By the way, Bret's fame is now such that he has spawned many imitators:
(Spotted on the Bicycling site.)
But thou shalt have no other Freds before Bret, so accept no substitutes:
(The One True Bret, via Stephane)
Nextly, this guy wants to go on an extended bike vacation, and he needs $12,000 (or CAD$13,295.27) from you in order to do it:
"So what's in it for me?," you're asking. Well, he'll make you an Internet TV show you'll never watch, so there's that
"Imagine if Lewis and Clark had been able to film their expedition and upload it to YouTube for you to watch!"
Yes, imagine! Imagine also they were a comedy duo and they attempted to entertain the Native American tribes along the way. There would certainly be no shortage of hilarious misunderstandings:
On April 11, while the Corps was waiting for the snow to diminish, Lewis' dog, Seaman, was stolen by Indians but was retrieved shortly. Worried that other such acts might follow, Lewis warned the chief that any other wrongdoing or mischievous acts would result in instant death.
Heh, heh. The dog's name was "Seaman."
(Seaman is coming.)
Anyway, I'm not sure this Internet TV show could approach the "dramedy" of Indians stealing Lewis's Seaman in the night, but at the very least there should be plenty of pannier porn:
Plus, he'll share his experiences, introduce us to people, and eat giant invisible ears of corn along the way:
"I'll be using my skills to share my experiences on the road and introduce you to people I meet along the way!"
I'm not sure that's a selling point, because I've checked out his route, and I'd be horrified to meet the inhabitants of nearly all of those states:
(Alaska? Idaho? Utah?!? Terrifying.)
Though I would like to see him battle wolves and bears:
Bears, Wolves, and Semi-Trucks are just a few of the obstacles that I will face along this 6000 mile solo journey by bike. This a journey that will push myself physically and mentally. There will be dangers lingering around every corner, but one of the biggest challenges will be delivering fresh video content on a regular basis.
And once he gets his twelve thousand dollars, he'll start uploading videos in May, at which point you can expect a whole lot of this:
Interspersed with awkward interviews and the occasional wolf and/or bear attack.
By the way, at one point in the video he unleashes a "Wooo!"
I know what Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed is, but I have no idea what the loaded touring equivalent is, and I'm hoping this project finally reveals it.
And here's his trusty steed, the saddle and levers pointing optimistically towards the sun:
It's an optimistic title too, though I'm not sure you can call riding to Florida "Biking Into The World." It's more like "Biking Out Of The World And Into The Land Of Retirement And Death."
Lastingly, a piece of Serious Journalism in The Guardian looks at which of the world's cities sucks the least for the riding of the bikes:
Most of this was pretty familiar, but I did learn some new things. For example, did you know Danish people don't consider cycling exercise?
One of the most interesting insights the Danish researchers share is how they've discovered that many Danes don't consider cycling exercise. "People here can easily be riding back and forth 5 km per day, and if you ask them on a questionnaire if they are physically active, they will say 'No, I don't do any exercise'," says Ledgaard Holm. For many here, she says, it's not a choice of activity, but your mode of transport.
This is pretty much the opposite of America, where we don't consider snacking eating--which explains our obesity epidemic:
(In America, only actual meals count, so snack all you want.)
Also, the good news is that roads aren't getting more dangerous, but the bad news is that it's because nobody goes outside anymore since walking and riding bikes means almost certain death:
One of the trends Roberts has puzzled over is the long-term decline in the death rates of British pedestrians, despite an increase in motorisation. "Road safety people would point to it as an example of how roads are getting safer. But I was a little bit sceptical … because [the] volume of kinetic energy on the road was going up." An alternative hypothesis was that in industrialised countries, there were fewer people walking, something investigated in research he conducted while working in New Zealand. "Over the years it became obvious that people were walking and cycling less than ever before in the history of humans on the planet," says Roberts. "The world was not getting safer, it was getting more hostile, and people were voting with their feet by getting out of the way."
Pass the Cheetos.