Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Wednesday Video Roundup: crosswalk safety, unrideable bike, and an ancient derailleur

Posted by on January 13th, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Welcome to this week’s video roundup! This first video shows a mountain bike ride in Arizona. The terrain is beautiful and it’s always cool to watch talented riders doing things I can’t do. (also, it makes me feel better to hear the rider gasping for air the whole time)

Who is doing Portland’s de Ronde this year? I got a tattoo after completing that ride. This ride in Philadelphia is reminiscent of it, and the “camera tricks” in this video make it especially interesting. Skip ahead to the 2 minute mark for “bloopers”.

On a similar vein of suffering, this year’s Tour of Sufferlandria route was announced. As usual, the video is funny and awkward at the same time.

Tom Scott’s videos are great explainers. This one is about crosswalk safety:

Did you see the reverse steering bicycle video last year when it went viral? It turns out that River City has one in their collection. I really like the design they used. It looks like a bodge but is actually pretty elegant.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is devastating. Pro cyclist rode up Galibier with a mask simulating COPD’s lack of air.

I really like this old derailleur video. Obviously it’s a very simple (and elegant) gadget. Many retrogrouches may wonder why we don’t use this now- well, it still needs a tensioning device (or very small tooth differentials, as in the video), it would rub against the chain slightly, it requires body contortion to reach. But still, it is pretty.

Honorable mentions: a nighttime bike shop theft, Pedal PT’s new introduction video, riding a velomobile on icy paths in Belgium, Western Bike Works launched a new website, Col Collective: Monte Zoncolan (Italy), Brunelle’s memorial video to Ferny Heria (warning: lots of dangerous riding and skitching. He didn’t die while riding, though.), GCN’s (juvenile) primer to mini tire pumps for road cyclists, and great video of Adam Brayton downhilling.

Inclusion criteria: If I’ve missed something, post it in the comments! I prefer videos published in the last week or so. Note if there’s a specific point in a long video that is worth highlighting. Also note if there is colorful language. When it gets to spring, I will delay videos containing pro racing spoilers.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

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  • Alan 1.0 January 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    “The Unrideable Bike” – Very cool to see Dave Guettler trying that out. I’ve no idea who came up with the idea, but Destin Sandlin of http://www.smartereveryday.com also did a video of a counter-steering bike, and he practiced for eight months until he could finally ride it:


    What happened next is pretty interesting!

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    • Matt January 14, 2016 at 10:38 am

      One thing that strikes me about RC’s version of the unrideable bike is that their gearing mechanism adds a substantial amount of reach, and then on top of that they put a pretty long stem on it. This amount of reach puts extra weight on the front tire, which makes it even harder to ride. If they put a super short stem on it, I expect it would be easier (albeit still very challenging).

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      • Alan 1.0 January 14, 2016 at 12:48 pm

        Maybe some swept-back bars would help? I like the DIY U-bolt engineering of the RC bike.

        I wonder how little kids just starting out, never having tried any bike steering, would fare on a reverse-steering balance bike? Seems like it would take them longer to learn, meaning there’s something innate about regular steering.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty January 14, 2016 at 12:53 pm

          I’d try hooking up a tiller and pretend I’m sailing. Steering is opposite in that situation, and people learn that just fine.

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          • Alan 1.0 January 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

            Ever tried a rear-steer bike? πŸ˜‰

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) January 14, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Alan- I had already linked to the “smarter every day” video. πŸ™‚

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      • Alan 1.0 January 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm

        D’oh! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great column, Ted!

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley January 13, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    The Pittsburgh hill video is very clever and funny. Well done!

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  • B. Carfree January 13, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    One thing that struck me in the crosswalk video was the statement that marking crosswalks yields no safety dividend on two lane streets and correlates with increased danger on larger roads. I can see the data showing this, but I suspect that people simply won’t cross at all, or only when there are no cars nearby, if there isn’t a marked crosswalk. Therefore, I think the data might just be an artefact of “no pedestrians equals no pedestrian-involved crashes.”

    It frustrates me no end how we are giving over all of our roads to cars and even the formerly cherished notion of pedestrian right-of-way is being burned to ashes on the altar of safety in the presence of the scofflaw motorist. I see and hear constantly that no one should try to cross a road, especially in an unmarked crosswalk, because it is inappropriate to expect motorists to yield the right of way even though they are legally obligated to.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty January 14, 2016 at 10:54 am

      No one is throwing pedestrian ROW out; the rules on that are clear. Alerting drivers to a crossing pedestrian seems the best way to reinforce these rights, which is why I like the flashing beacons.

      Has anyone seen any data on the beacons to know for sure how well they work on these double-lane roads?

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      • wsbob January 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        “…which is why I like the flashing beacons. …” kitty

        I like the pedestrian activated flashing crosswalk beacons too. What I’ve of seen of them in use, and experience I’ve personally had using them, has me feeling the flashing beacons work great at getting people driving to stop.

        Haven’t seen data results indicating the rate at which the beacons are effective in getting people stop.

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  • David Feldman January 14, 2016 at 8:00 am

    I own a bike with that derailleur system on it, and one could think that it’s an Indian invention rather than an Italian one–my ability to execute clean shifts depends pretty directly on how much yoga I’m doing.

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  • Vince January 14, 2016 at 8:05 am

    From here, Pittsburg and Philadelphia are almost the same place, but yins better fix the error before someone wearing a Steelers hat sets you straight.

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  • Capizzi January 14, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Where can I get one of those reverse-steering bikes which pedals backward and has a front-wheel mount for a trailer (I guess that would be a ‘leader’)?

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    • Alan 1.0 January 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      …all of that and a swing bike.

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  • Spiffy January 14, 2016 at 9:51 am



    looks like the same people that did the bait bike that was tethered, causing thieves to be launched over the handlebars…

    this one they electrified a bike and use a remote to activate it… much footage of bike thieves crashing…

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  • Matt January 14, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Cambio Corsa doesn’t need a tensioning device–the second lever is a long quick release arm. You move the rear wheel forward or backward (while in motion!) to maintain correct chain tension.

    I’m sure it takes some practice to use it smoothly.

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  • Jack January 14, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I wonder if riding the unrideable bike no-handed would be easier. Hard to start/stop, but in theory, it removes the problem.

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    • Alan 1.0 January 15, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Good idea! Or handlebars on both stems (vertical offset to avoid interference).

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  • clinton January 14, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Jesse Jackson

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  • Jeff January 14, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Jesse JacksonRecommended 0

    Nah, has been.

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