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I Learned to Fly… On A Mountain Bike: Wende Cragg Documents the Birth of Mountain Biking

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I Learned to Fly… On A Mountain Bike: Wende Cragg Documents the Birth of Mountain Biking

As a kid, I wanted to fly. Like Superman. The recurring dream never materialized but the fantasy took flight when I met the mountain bike. The history of the early mountain bike is often seen through the lens of a handful of guys who modified their old Schwinns back in the mid-1970s. However, as the lone woman participating in those early riding adventures, I snapped a few photographs along the way, capturing the age of innocence often associated with those seminal days. A small group of trailblazers, pioneering a new course of action riding these old relics, would soon change the future of cycling.

Resurrecting the Revolution: Cinelli’s Historic Laser Rivoluzione Prototype “Dumpster Find”

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Resurrecting the Revolution: Cinelli’s Historic Laser Rivoluzione Prototype “Dumpster Find”

The 80’s and 90’s were a wild time for track bikes as design teams competed for gains through technological innovation. Cinelli was right there in the melee shaving power loss through aerodynamic design in partnership with Columbus tubing. The resulting Cinelli Laser changed bicycle design forever, winning more track world championships and Olympic gold medals than any other bicycle in the history of the sport. Andrea Pesenti’s hand-hammered steel gussets curved elegantly between tube junctions producing a fluid, edgeless art that slid through the air and whose DNA can be seen in all of today’s curvy carbon racing machines. Antonio Colombo brought vision and fidelity to art in design. Paolo Erzegovesi brought revolutionary engineering through liberation from lugs telling him where tubing should intersect and at what angle. These customizations nudged riders over the finish line first and set off raging bike crushes on Lasers that some of us never recovered from.

Dancing on Fascism’s Grave: Beyond Bike Racing in Euskadi 

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Dancing on Fascism’s Grave: Beyond Bike Racing in Euskadi 

More than a year later, I’m still captivated by the memory, the scene, the moment.

It was a hot autumn day, one of the last of the year before the seasonal chill poured from the Bay of Biscay into the Spanish Basque Country. A young man stepped into the middle of the road. He wore a flapping outfit of white with a red handkerchief and belt. It was the kind of attire that flails down the narrow streets of Basque cities during the annual running of the bulls in Northern Spain.

A Story about Kittie Knox: the First Black Person Inducted into the League of American Wheelman

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A Story about Kittie Knox: the First Black Person Inducted into the League of American Wheelman

Kittie Knox might not be a name you’re familiar with and that’s ok! Let’s learn about her today. She was a bike racer at the end of the 19th century, the first black person to be inducted into the League of American Wheelman, and pushed the paradigm at the time by wearing clothing only associated with males, like pants! Kittie fought for the rights of black Americans as cyclists, pushing for the ability for more to be allowed into the League of American Wheelman.

Head to Medium to read this great story.

When you’re done there, head to Bicycling.com for more stories by and about black cyclists.

Los Angeles Had a Bicycle Highway

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Los Angeles Had a Bicycle Highway

“But what most people don’t realize is that way back in 1900, Los Angeles began construction on the world’s first bike highway. During this bike-crazed era, cities across the US built the earliest precursors to today’s protected bike lanes — and the country as a whole was briefly at the forefront of global bicycle infrastructure.”

Check out more of this interesting historical story at Vox!