Weekly Video Roundup: playing on closed streets, bikepacking Norway, more

Welcome to this week’s roundup! I’ve been travelling and otherwise busy the last few weeks, it’s nice to catch up on all the cycling videos. I watched 103 vids this week. We’re starting off with a local video, documentation of the Better Block Broadway project from TransitSleuth. There’s one colorful rant in the middle. There are more vids from him below.

I have crossed paths with the Ovarian Psycos, a powerful feminist cycling group in Los Angeles fighting racism, sexism, and gentrification. There was a documentary about them at SXSW this year. I’d love to see it here in Portland.

STREETFILMS has been unearthing old videos. This one is from 1968 and shows streets being closed so children can play in them. It seems we are just rediscovering this concept almost a half-century later. Does anyone know what the game is with the pool cues around the 2 minute mark? (also: 1954 film about parking and the beauty of parking garages)

I love this video from english-speaking travellers who went bikepacking in Norway. The video quality and audio mixing isn’t perfect, but the terrain is stunning and it’s a great video watch in the background. It’s cool that the “conversation around the campfire” was included. Those are often interesting times. Great music at the end. (the language gets progressively spicy by the 19 minute mark)

TransitSleuth highlights some of the issues with the Williams Street pathway. I like the pathway, but he shows problems like riding in door zones and confusion about which side a cyclist should pass on. It’s certainly better than alternatives, but.. which side would you expect to pass or be passed on? (see also: his observation of Fremont/Williams/Vancouver, his suggestion for a Hawthorne bus island)

I’m always excited for a Brunotti video. Now that it’s racing season we get treated to more of them. Here he is playing on various irrigation infrastructure (among other things, including a reverse front wheel manual). (also: who wants to attempt that water crossing?, playing on a gymnasium/school roof and a crash, and even more new Brunotti!)

Staying on the lighthearted theme, the Brompton Urban Challenge is coming to Portland this summer. I’ll be participating as Team Candy Ass Llamas. This video shows the London version of the Urban Challenge.


Russ from PathLessPedaled, giving a review of the new Ortleib handlebar roll for bikepacking. Does anyone know if there’s a shop in town that carries this?

Have you heard of the “gearbox shifting” system? I’ve seen that Pinion makes one, but I’ve never seen a review on it. Here’s a review of using it for MTB use:

New Yorkers are cycling more. Why? There are plenty of reasons, here are fast-paced responses to “why do you ride?”

Staying in New York, Michael Anderson linked to the 111 Moms video a while back, but it’s worth featuring here. It’s a great complement to the above video.

I like this video of a guy riding a fixie through San Francisco. The night riding is zenlike with a lack of drivers. It then goes to “daytime punk” mode (warning: languge). (see also: a few weeks ago when I featured a SF fixie video)


ek is somewhat distinctive for being a large bike manufacturer in the USA. This is a cute and lightweight video overview of the company:

This ethereal video about the Cape Epic gets good around the 3-minute mark, which is when people start talking about what the bicycle does for women in South Africa.

Here’s Specialized Racing following Jared Graves on an endurance race. He talks about training, problems in a previous race (“microwave-sized rock”), and then it shows parts of this race. It’s a very human video.

Tour of California

Nothing terribly interesting.

Giro d’Italia

It’s going on all month. I’m not going to cover it much because of spoilers. Any videos here don’t spoil the race or leaders.

One of the GCN hosts is also gives TV commentary during the race. I’ve never seen a “behind the scenes” of pro racing commentators that was this detailed:

GCN does bus walkthroughs. Here’s the Team Movistar bus, which is much fancier than other teams:

GCN’s “6 iconic climbs of the Giro”

Honorable Mentions

This week’s honorable mentions: a glimpse into suburban parking lot drama, police car in SF crashes into cyclist, “I’m a cyclist too but…” always leads to the same lecture, GCN’s humorous excuses for ‘sitting on’, GCN’s tips for steep climbs, BMX/street cyclists bringing life to La Defense in Paris, weird/freaky video from Leader Bikes, obsessive wind tunnel testing: where should an inner tube be carried?, very stylized and dubsteppy MTB video from Shimano for the Albstadt race, review of the bottom bracket standards (I’m going to bookmark this one), National Parks event to see the cherry blossoms in DC, bio of Ultra Romance, long-haired thrasher cyclist dude, and yo dog, I heard you like tubeless tires, so I put a tube in it.

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. I will delay videos containing pro racing spoilers by 7 days.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Allan Rudwick
7 years ago

The reason to bike in the door zone on Williams is that often there are no cars and it makes it easier for another bike to pass you. Has anyone actually gotten doored? I would guess not south of Cook at least

7 years ago

Still pretending that we don’t know what’s up on Williams, I see.

People use the door zone because they’re complying with the KEEP LEFT PASS RIGHT pavement markings. There is no clear “left” and they further overcompensate to buffer against passing cyclists (not cars). Fortunately this isn’t disastrous because of Williams’ low-turnover mostly-regular parkers.

The problem is effectively hypothetical, but you could fix it by striping an unbuffered passing lane for the climb (like the westbound Hawthorne Bridge viaduct) from Broadway to Russell. The left/right instructions would mean something, the strong and confident would move up, and everyone else would be buffered as intended.

Jack G.
Jack G.
7 years ago

Streetsblog video of Santa Monica. Several interesting pieces of bike infrastructure. They also have a bike share using the ‘Smart Bike’ system that Portland will have, so it’s a nice little preview.


Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
7 years ago

The Better Broadway video shows only one person biking, who was stopped by the only traffic light turning red just as they arrived. When I was there, it seemed like the lights weren’t timed to match the design.

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  Eric Leifsdad

If you want to catch the lights on Broadway you have to be hauling. I think they are timed at 20mph.

Craig Harlow
Craig Harlow
7 years ago

Does anyone know of an outfit that offers bikepacking tours in Norway?

7 years ago

The game at the 2min mark in the STREETFILMS video is a Carrom Board. You can play it with either a pool cue or use your finger to flick the carroms like you would a marble. My dad use to build them when we were kids and give them to friends/family as gifts. You can Goggle search and still but them.

7 years ago

I think the gearbox tech discussion is really interesting. This is the first time I’ve heard of it being used in cycling (admittedly I don’t have my finger on the pulse like some), and I think there may be some wider applications available. There may be some advantages to commuting bikes as well, though I think the weight might be prohibitive for road racing.

On a commuting bike, most people look to internally geared hubs, and combined with disc brakes, such systems provide a durable, long lasting, low-maintenance ride. Maybe someone with more experience than me can speak up, but it seems the gearbox system would have at least one advantage over the internally geared hub, and that would be that the system does not need to be disconnected in order to remove the rear wheel to change a flatted innertube. Perhaps another advantage to commuters would be maintenance – if the gearbox fails, it would be easy to swap it out and bolt on a new one and then rebuild the transmission later; internally geared hubs mean time the bike can’t be ridden while the wheel is fixed, rebuilt, or replaced. It’s not clear to me whether the suspension advantage or repositioning of the gear weight load with a gearbox would be an advantage to commuters, but it might be helpful in cyclocross.

I think the technology is interesting, and with time, can be made smaller, lighter, and be integrated with the bottom bracket to provide maximum power transfer efficiency. I think the grip shift limitation can probably be solved with the right kinds of springs. Perhaps I’m wrong about standard derailer based systems, but I thought reducing power load was necessary to properly shift with these as well. The gearbox may be able to address this problem with a synchro that allows the gear being shifted to to spin up and mesh appropriately with the main power transfer gear. My knowledge of transmission systems is limited, though.

Curious, what advantages and disadvantages can you persons predict for a wider application of gearboxes in cycling? I neglected cargo carrying and mutli-wheel drive applications in my discussion as well..