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Wednesday Video Roundup: Colombia’s last bike builder, drone downhill video, and more

Posted by on February 3rd, 2016 at 8:29 am

Welcome to this week’s roundup!

Our first video (above) shows a cyclist who would be at home in Portland, given the number of fairy gardens spread around the city- and Mill Ends Park, of course. “Pothole gardening” is a pleasant form of protest combined with art.

Have you ever thought “I’d ride a recumbent, but only if it were front wheel drive”? The Kervelo (not Cervelo) is for you. It has some gearing in the front axle. Note there’s no footage of the bike navigating turns.

I have a soft spot for Colombia, but even those who don’t should enjoy this 4 minute (subtitled) video of Colombia’s last custom frame builder. We are spoiled- imagine having to scrounge to find books about designing bikes, even in a language you don’t understand- and having trouble getting bike-quality tubing.

Here’s a German Fred explaining the difference between Sufferfest and Zwift. Some people really enjoy Zwift- I don’t feel like it’s sufficiently advanced to be interesting.

Trek put out a video of freestyle mountain biker Cam McCaul jumping down some mountains (and wiping out). The terrain is very bare, which makes for a really interesting video. The music flows nicely too.

Bike tech blogger DCRainmaker shared video of a follow-me drone by Airdog. It’s neat to see how beautiful this footage is, considering there’s no human operator panning the drone.

Speaking of drone video, the terrain on this downhill video is about a “B”, but the videography and soundtrack makes it an A. It’s filmed with the ubiquitous DJI Phantom. I couldn’t figure out where they were, because it looked like Southern California but with cottonwoods (alder? poplar? something in that family). Turns out it’s Italy.

Controversies of note

I don’t want to cover every controversial thing that occurs, but there are two worth covering this week.

First, Audi made a commercial that strongly implies cyclists (and Prius drivers) are vain and inferior to a new Audi car. Perhaps Audi needs to learn about “punching down“.

Second, ugh. Just like Greg LeMond has been saying, “motor doping” is offically now a thing. It’d be nice if UCI released photos or video showing the device, but Womens U23 (under-23) cyclocross rider Femke van den Driessche was been accused of using a motor, presumably hidden in the seatpost, to boost her power. She was caught after her rear wheel locked up on the final lap- not something that happens easily on a well-maintained bike. Like I said we don’t have information on the device, but here’s a video showing her (probably) using it in a previous race. You can read more at BikeHugger, or watch “What is ‘Mechanical Doping’?”.

Painful and outrageous videos

I’m putting these under a section header, so if you don’t want to see lawbreaking or bonebreaking, you’ve been warned.

First, this helmet camera vid shows a confusing intersection. The cycletrack is two-way, but the stripes disappear before the corner. Kudos to the at-fault cyclist for owning up to it, and it gives us all an interesting situation to dissect.

One of the Youtube accounts that has been doing “bait bike” pranks put an airbag under the seat of their bait bike. It doesn’t look very effective, aside from being a loud noise. The thief at 2:30 was entertaining. (warning: strong language and violent ‘prank’)

This week’s honorable mentions: Tour Down Under Stage 7, aka the “Rickshaw World Championships” (warning, colorful language), bikes and smoke bombs (huh?), Lars van der Haar talking about CX Worlds (I liked his comment on disc brakes), surfboard-equipped cyclists (are they are touring beaches? hard to tell), Peter Sagan checking out the Rio road course (it will be in the Olympics, the internet is aflutter that Sagan hasn’t shaved his legs yet), Nikebike got a short discussion on GCN! (they couldn’t figure out how to pronounce it), and finally yes, winter gear makes you less aerodynamic.

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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  • Chris I February 3, 2016 at 8:55 am

    That outrageous Audi commercial needs to be moved to the “Painful and Outrageous” section. Absolutely ridiculous that they show someone driving like that on a neighborhood street. I guess it just confirms that Audi markets to d-bags.

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  • Al Dimond February 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

    The Audi commercial isn’t “punching down”. It’s every advertiser’s right to portray its product as superior to alternatives. In this case I’m not even sure Audi is doing that — the Audi driver is trying to gain the acceptance of the bike-riding local.

    It takes a few wrong turns, though. It glorifies irresponsible driving. The Audi driver is portrayed as a cool badass against a bunch of dour worrywart neighbors, all the way from the beginning. Almost every sports-car ad glorifies irresponsible driving, but this one does so in a neighborhood context with people right out on the street. It promotes the idea that you should buy your way out of environmental guilt (Prius ads are even more blatant in this regard). And the whole thing revolves around sexist tropes. The dour sticker-applying Prius driver is emasculated by the Audi driver. The cyclist, first annoyed at his reckless driving, shows her approval through a nod-and-a-wink — even if she disapproved at first, she must have had some latent attraction his cool badassery, unlocked by his display of (environmental) virtue.

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  • Dan A February 3, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Wow, that Audi driver is an a-hole. Thank you for pointing out another way that speeding harms neighborhoods: noise pollution.

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  • bikeninja February 3, 2016 at 10:59 am

    This video also perpetuates the false meme that electric vehicles are somehow equivalent to cycling and front yard gardening in terms of environmental and energy sustainability. When one looks at the life cycle energy and environmental effect of electric cars they are not much better than gas cars.

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    • soren February 3, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      A nissan leaf charged with wind RECs gets ~2500 mpg(e) according to a recent life cycle analysis by the union of concerned scientists.


      The mpg(e) of someone cycling is in the 70-130 mpg range assuming a typical diet.


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      • resopmok February 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Do studies about how many calories a cyclist expends take into account the fact that a driver also needs calories? Are they calculating the difference based on activity level? What if you grow your food at home as the cyclist, doesn’t that mean your net environmental impact is negligible?

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        • soren February 3, 2016 at 1:47 pm

          Do studies about how many calories a cyclist expends take into account the fact that a driver also needs calories?

          Yes and it’s minimal (6-8 kcals/mile).

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          • Chris I February 3, 2016 at 3:08 pm

            But they ignore the fact that most Americans intake excess calories, and that our country would benefit as a whole if everyone were more active.

            Your Leaf/Cyclist comparison also ignores the embodied energy of the car vs. the bicycle. It’s also difficult to compare the two, given that the batteries require very nasty chemicals to produce, and leave behind hazardous waste when they are eventually replaced.

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            • q February 3, 2016 at 3:32 pm

              Not to mention the fact that electric cars charge off the electric grid, which is largely powered by coal. Not exactly a step in the right direction.

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              • soren February 4, 2016 at 8:03 pm

                coal is toast. as is natural gas. we need to get serious about climate change, not cling to anti-science fantasies.

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            • soren February 4, 2016 at 9:26 am

              But they ignore the fact that most Americans intake excess calories, and that our country would benefit as a whole if everyone were more active.

              I’m not sure what this comment has to do with mine but evidence that moderate exercise is associated with weight loss is weak.

              “Your Leaf/Cyclist comparison also ignores the embodied energy of the car vs. the bicycle.”

              No. The life cycle analysis measured the CO2e cost of vehicle manufacturing and charging infrastructure.

              It’s also difficult to compare the two, given that the batteries require very nasty chemicals to produce, and leave behind hazardous waste when they are eventually replaced.

              EV batteries are primarily manufactured from non-toxic lithium-containing minerals and are not considered hazardous waste. They are also recyclable.

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  • ethan February 3, 2016 at 11:09 am

    The head on crash video: That’s one of the reasons why bike infrastructure needs to be clearly marked.

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  • John Lascurettes February 3, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Wow. There’s a lot of flex in that Kervolo bike. Look around 43 seconds as you can see the guy going down an alley and we get a shot of the bike end-on from behind. You briefly see that one wheel is tilted right and the other left.

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    • resopmok February 3, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      More proof that just because you can reinvent the wheel doesn’t mean you should.

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  • Rebecca February 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    That’s mean of Audi to try and deceive menfolk into thinking that jacka$$ driving on residential streets will earn them Bambi eyes from the lady cyclists.

    In truth, most ladies would make some assumptions about what they’re compensating for and then call the non-emergency police dispatch line.

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    • Dan A February 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      ‘You have disturbed our peaceful neighborhood and blocked my path by spinning out directly in front of me. Hawt!’

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    • John Lascurettes February 3, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Wait, what? I’ve been lied to all these years. Television advertising has taught me:
      – Drink shitty beer, get hot women.
      – Buying performance cars equals freedom and power (and will remove all obstacles from the road)

      Shit. How am I supposed to succeed now?

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  • TheCowabungaDude February 3, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    You want videos?! Check out the livestream of the World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships at http://www.whbpcvii.org

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  • Clark in Vancouver February 3, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    The head on collision video shows that even with a head on collision, cycling is such a safe activity that the people involved, while in some pain, are alive, uninjured and are able to converse and get on with their days.

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  • Mark smith February 6, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    It’s a crazy world when a major auto maker can glorify bad behavior on film. …but yet a driver will scream when a cyclist passes a stop sign. As if that cyclist will realistically kill anyone reliably. Yet. .we know cars kill reliably.

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