Diamondback Returns to High-End Road Bicycles

In the years when I was starting to ride a mountain bike (well not that long ago — I am talking 1991-1992 timeframe) Diamondback was certainly one of the recognized brands and good bikes in the hills. Then they sort of disappeared from the radar of at least me and my friends. Now they are back with brand new models including a very high-end road bicycle, a 29inch mountain bike and many models in between. Long story short — they are now again a contender for attention (and your wallet and muscles)

Here is a video of the introduction of their high-end Diamondback Podium 2013:

 

Diamondback Podium Launch 2013 from Diamondback Bicycles on Vimeo.

And then please check out the video of the new Sortie 29 Black:

The 29-inch bikes are a new update to the model that was released in previous 2011 and 2012 but they are with some nice additions — from what I understand the new mountain bikes add a larger front tire and a smaller BUT faster rear tire — I need to check this out in my next visit to a local bike shop.  In the mean time — check out the new bikes at least on the Web 🙂   I will be doing the same.

Happy riding!

 

More on Sinemorets (Синеморец)

Well folks, my previous posting on Sinemorets was very well accepted — I think most people found the images from the area very appealing or interesting, so I decided to post a few more. Enjoy! You can see the nice trails for bikes on some of the photos….

Sinemorets in the evening You can see the trails on the photo…   And another Sinemorets view More views of the trails in Sinemorets  And now a view of the coast line Sinemorets coast   Sinemorets Night (Синеморец) Sinemorets at night

More photos to come later….See you soon!

 

Mopac Mobility Improvement Project

Well, you need to check out the Austin Public Works Department new project — the Mopac Mobility Imprvement project which is part of a larger bicycle related plan for Austin.  Here is a summary from the Official Site of the Austin City Govertment:

"…Phase I includes a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Loop 360 at Mopac. Phase II includes a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Barton Creek at Mopac, the restriping of the southbound lanes of Mopac at the bridge over Barton Creek to improve motor vehicle congestion, and improved bicycle and pedestrian connections to Southwest Parkway, Loop 360, and other planned trails in the area (the Violet Crown and the Oak Hills Neighborhood Trail System). Phase III is a wide sidewalk that would accommodate bicycles and pedestrians on the west side of Mopac from Loop 360 to Barton Creek Square Mall, or Tamarron Boulevard. Phases I and II are completely funded. Phase III is not yet funded for design or construction."

For more information you can attend a session on Saturday July 14th 2012 from 8am-noon, at the Johnson Creek Trail Head, located on Veterans Drive, just southwest of the Austin High Tennis Courts near the RunTex water station.

VERY EXCITING!!!

 

Another Good Destination Off the Beaten Track in Bulgaria – Also a Good Place for Relaxed Cycling

In my last posting I briefly described a place on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria – Sinemorets.  In my next (this) posting I will cover another place of interest in Bulgaria — this one in the Strandzha mountains — in South East Bulgaria near the border with Turkey.  The place is actually also a living museum of old Bulgarian architecture.  The village is Brashlian Бръшлян located in the Strandzha mountain.

Since 1982 the village has been declared an architectural reserve — the houses are representative of the 18th century Bulgarian regional architecture.  While visiting you can also see an example of the early (18th century) school — essentially a single room school which was organized by the regiona clergy — essentially a church school.

Here are some photos to give you an idea of the natural beauty of the region.  Of course you can see a lot more from your mountain bike 

Window In Brashlian Picturesque Isn't it….
Brashlian  Brashlian description Enjoy the views
Old architecture of Brashlian Nice place to relax in Brashlian Another interesting aspect of Brashlian – its flowers

I even found some interesting video on YouTube about the village and one of its restaurants…  See it here:

A Place to Enjoy Great Bicycling — in Bulgaria — Sinemorets (Синеморец)

Синеморец (Sinemorets – in English)

Well folks I have a whole bunch of videos (courtesy of various people posting on YouTube.com) for biking locations around the US.  Those are great, but I wanted now to get you introduced to some places around the globe.  After all, there are plenty of locales that can be excellent places to go either mountain or road cycling.

My first topic in the series is a location along the Black Sea coast in South East Bulgaria — near and in the town of Sinemorets (also spelled Sinemoretz in some transcriptions, and of course spelled Синеморец in Bulgarian)

Sinemorets / Синеморец is located in Southeast Bulgaria near the border with Turkey — the town is an excellent gateway for both beaches and access to the river Veleka where you can go kayaking and observing plenty of interesting wild life.

View Sinemorets in a larger map  

Sinemorets Beach

As you can imagine – a very nice place to bike

Now, as you can imagine one of the key aspects of being in Sinemorets is to get some good biking under your belt.  So here are some photos to give you an idea what nice location the area is.

 

Beach near Sinemorets / Синеморец

Ready to enjoy the blue sea after a great mountain bike ride….

A quick note — there were also plenty of peope riding horses around….All in all a good place.

Another view

Yet another view of Sinemorets

There are a number of hotels you can find in the area.  No worries – the hotels we saw were nice.

 

Places to stay in Sinemorets....

Of course – you would like to know – where do I stay?

And there are also some very nice restaurants in the town — I would recommend restaurant Albatros, which was built like an old barbeque / grill.  It was nice place to sit and relax and the food was great!

Sinemorets restaurant

Not exactly a great sign, but oh well, the food was great

Well, this was a quick introduction — all in all the place is interesting, relatively remote thus lacking crowds — a VERY good thing 🙂  and one that will allow you to exercise to your heart’s content!

 

 

Did Anyone Out There Say “Flying Bicycles”…?

Well, the reality is that curious minds have been thinking about the concept for a long, long time.   Here is the idea developed by a young Czech guy Jan Tleskac who had conceptualized the contraption shown in this YouTube video:

So do you need a flying bicycle??? I would say NO!  that is what we have airplanes for 🙂 !!!   I have no problem with pedal powered flying craft, but make it behave like a plane….not a bicycle!

 

Is Beijing Really the Place to Exlore on a Bicycle

Yesterday I wrote about the growth of bicycle usage in several US cities over the last 3-4 years.   So naturally, I thought, how d I capture the strange situation that is currently the state of transportation in Beijing….the place where there used to be a huge number of bicylces on the road every day.    Just look at the photo below (courtesy of TheBeijinger magazine)

             

                    

I am constantly amazed when I come across various travel blogs or tour agencies that tout the ability / opportunity to explore Beijing by bicycle…!  I would not recommend it.  Not in the current state of traffic in the city.  I would say, you would be taking a severe risk.  Why?  Because there are so many vehicles on the streets of Bejing !  That they have displaced the venerable bicycles from its streets.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s the city was certainly full of bicycles and those were the main transportation options.  Nowadays those options are strongly deminished.

Just take a look at the photo below:

                              

Well, all in all I welcome inputs and feedback on what your opinion is….

In the mean time, I would like to see Beijing full of bicycles again.!

 

 

Bicycle Riding School….Really! Now on CBS News….

Well folks, I did not know that there could be a school for learning how to ride a bicycle, but come to find out, Yes, they exist.  Earlier this evening I watched a news segment on CBS — covering a whole bunch of topics — from learning to ride a bicycle school, to bicycle friendly cities like Portland, OR.

Here is the CBS Video Segment:  

  • 150% increase in trips make by bike in the last 10 years
  • in Amsterdam – an inspiration for Portland OR – more than 25% of all trips are taken by bicycle
  • Portland OR has more than 300 miles of bicycle paths/lanes
  • 40% of all urban trips in the US are 2-miles or less long — think about doing those by bicycle!
  • Across the US, less than 1% of the population rides a bicycle for transportation, but in Portland that figure is 6% and reaches 15% in some neighborhoods

I personally know several of my colleagues who ride to work and enjoy both the exercise as well as the benefits of reducing smog and reducing the $ spent for gasoline.   

OK, so what am I doing?  Well, I ride my bicycle for two reasons:

  1. Exercise 
  2. Combining the health reason of 1. above with the money saving of taking those short 5-10mile trips under my own pedal pushing power…