Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Designer Who’s a Real Spokesman

A Designer Who’s a Real Spokesman

Bernhard Angerer/Embacher-Collection/By SANDY KEENAN/Published: July 17, 2013

Michael Embacher, an architectural designer in Vienna, with his collection of bicycles.

Michael Embacher, an architectural designer in Vienna, with his collection of bicycles

Michael Embacher, an architectural designer in Vienna, has amassed one of the most diverse bicycle collections in the world, from racing and street bikes to really curious spiky ones for riding on frozen lakes.

This summer, many of the 230 bicycles normally stored in his attic are on view simultaneously at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon. In anticipation of “Cyclepedia,” the Portland show, 100 extra bike racks were installed outside the museum and a call went out for a celebratory ride through the streets, clothing optional. Entry that day was $1 per wardrobe item; word is that many entered free.

It was Mr. Embacher’s idea to suspend the bikes from the ceilings of the installations as if in midride, but he is reluctant to glorify these utilitarian products. There are no pampered relics in the shows. Not even the oldest bicycle, from 1922, has been allowed to retire from active street duty. (His down-to-earth attitude didn’t prevent him from releasing a gorgeous companion catalog and iPad app.)

“For me, bicycling is a very intelligent everyday product and so important to the city,” he said by phone from his home and office in the Neubau neighborhood. “It is not how many people can own cars, it is how many rich people are driving bicycles.”

THE TEXAS TRIBUNE: Bicycling for Thinner Texans and New Businesses

In Fort Worth, the mayor hosts occasional bicycle rides called Rolling Town Halls. The Dallas City Council may soon require new businesses to set aside space for bicycle parking. Over in El Paso, officials are developing plans for a bike-share system, which is expected to be the fifth such program in the state after Austin’s makes its debut this year.

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Officials who participated in the bike ride, mostly mayors and City Council members.

thinner Texans article photo

In car-clogged communities around Texas, a biking movement is gaining speed. Midsize and large cities are expanding bike trails and putting roads on “lane diets” to accommodate bike lanes.

“Biking has just exploded over the last year in Houston,” said Laura Spanjian, director of Mayor Annise Parker’s office of sustainability.

While curbing traffic and air pollution prompted earlier interest in such initiatives, those concerns are now overshadowed in some cities by other motivating factors, particularly boosts to public health, quality of life and economic development.

“It’s really being embraced for solving a lot of problems. It’s not this sort of fringe tree-hugger issue anymore,” said Linda DuPriest, a former bicycle-pedestrian program coordinator for Austin who is now a senior planner for Alta Planning + Design, a Portland, Ore.-based design firm that focuses on bike infrastructure. In June, Ms. DuPriest opened the agency’s Texas office in Dallas.

“Texas is really ripe” for an expansion in bike infrastructure, said Mia Birk, the firm’s president and a former bicycle program manager with the City of Portland, widely regarded as a national model for biking infrastructure. “There’s so many cities that are growing and thriving, and really looking for ways to create healthier opportunities for residents and businesses.”

Trek Bicycle’s Chief on Lessons of the Night Shift

Trek Bicycle’s Chief, on Lessons of the Night Shift
Published: August 31, 2013

WHEN I was growing up, I had a red Schwinn single-speed bike with a silver banana seat that I rode to a friend’s house and to sporting events in which I competed. At the time, Evel Knievel was popular, and I’d imitate him by placing garbage cans on their side in the driveway and jumping over them on my bike.

JOHN BURKE is president and C.E.O of the Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo, Wisconsin

  • AGE 51
  • BIRTHPLACE Wauwatosa, Wis.
  • HAS COMPLETED Four marathons and two Ironman triathlons

My father, Dick, was a runner and a biker. He started the company that I now run, the Trek Bicycle Corporation, in 1975, along with the owner of a bike shop in the area.

My high school was so small that there were only six students on the varsity basketball team. I was the sixth. I like to say I was the assistant coach because I spent so much time on the bench with our coach, Eric Walter. The passion that he had for the game and for playing one’s best was a huge influence.

I attended Boston University because it was the only school that accepted me out of the four to which I applied. The summer after my sophomore year, I worked the night shift in a plastics factory. The company made those candy cane-shaped plastic containers that are filled with candy and sold around the holidays. My job was to remove the red plastic tops from the molds. Returning home at 7 a.m. after my first night, I ran into my father drinking coffee before leaving for work. He asked me how I liked the job, and I told him it was horrible and I wasn’t going back. He turned to me and said, “You’re going back tonight, you’re going to work there for the summer, and you’ll enjoy it.”

That summer provided one of the best lessons of my life. I learned about hard work and making lemonade out of lemons. It may not have been the best job, but I made it a great one. I’d see how many tops I could remove each night, write down the number and try to beat it the next night. I brought business magazines to read during breaks.

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Core: Here’s how to train the most important muscles for cycling.

Core: Here’s how to train the most important muscles for cycling.

By Dimity McDowell 

YOUR BULGING QUADS AND RAZOR-CUT CALVES are the envy of your pack, and you start every ride strong. As the ride progresses, though, your hips seesaw in the saddle, your lower back aches, and you slow in corners. The problem? Your core cries uncle long before your legs wear out. Although a cyclist’s legs provide the most tangible source of power, the abs and lower back are the vital foundation from which all movement, including the pedal stroke, stems.

“You can have all the leg strength in the world, but without a stable core you won’t be able to use it efficiently,” says Graeme Street, founder of Cyclo-CORE, a DVD-based training program, and a personal trainer in Essex, Connecticut. “It’s like having the body of a Ferrari with a Fiat chassis underneath.”

What’s more, a solid core will help eliminate unnecessary upper-body movement, so that all the energy you produce is delivered into a smooth pedal stroke.

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