Category: Events

I attended the Tampa Bicycle Co-op grand opening party and workshop last night on behalf of Bikecommuters.com. There were about 30 bike enthusiasts of all types in attendance, from fixed-gear stylists to professional bike mechanics to casual bike club members. A small contingent of riders from the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club made an appearance, too, and they were very eager to learn about bike repair and to absorb some of the burgeoning Tampa bike culture.

The event was held at the Transitions Art Gallery, which is located at the Skatepark of Tampa. This is a temporary location for the once-monthly co-op workshops, too (first Monday of every month to start).

flyer

Dave Japenga, one of the “brainchildren” behind the co-op, stressed that the co-op “isn’t about me or you — it is for ALL of the Tampa bicycling community!” Here he is (in the red shirt on stage) addressing the attendees:

Dave speaks to the crowd

At the grand opening, there were a couple of repair workshops, food, music and bike-related videos. A screening of the influential NYC Critical Mass documentary “Still We Ride” was staged for the attendees. The core of the co-op, of course, is bike repair: teaching folks how to do it for themselves. Here is Joe (another founding member) offering a quick lesson in side-of-the-road flat repair:

Joe

On display was a sweet vintage Schwinn Varsity in the classic yellow color…this bike was set up to demonstrate a number of repair techniques. Here’s a group learning the ins and outs of derailleur adjusting:

varsity

This is a very exciting development for the Tampa bicycling community — and a sign of healthy growth. We wish the Tampa Bike Co-op the best of luck! If you live in the Tampa area and want to get involved, the co-op is looking for volunteers with mechanical skills to help repair bikes during the monthly workshops. Also, they’ll welcome donations: tires and tubes, bicycles, bearing grease, spare parts.

I’ll leave you with a final image — these days, what bike event isn’t complete without some sweet stylie tricks on a fixed gear? Have no fear…this guy was on the scene to wow the crowd:

stylie

We are really happy that C.I.C.L.E. is organizing this event once again. Last year RL and I had the opportunity to be a part of this event that celebrates bike commuting. Not only did we get a chance to meet and greet people, this was the even where we had first met Russ Roca.

So if you’re going to be in the Pasadena area in May, come by, chit chat, get some free commuter goods from us and enjoy the show.

Did I mention that there’s no attendance fee? That’s right, its FREE! Come and check it out and support CICLE by buying lots of raffle tickets!

Here’s a description on the event:

The Urban Bicycle Commuter Expo on Saturday, May 17, will boast a wealth of exhibitors focused on encouraging bicycling for transportation. Local Pasadena area bike shops, bike manufacturers, accessory manufacturers and local advocacy groups will come together to present the latest bicycles, fashion, and gear emerging from the ultra-hot urban bike commuter scene. Experience how-to workshops on bike maintenance, bike commuting, and apparel clinics. Entertainment will include live-music, DJs, and the BIKE chic fashion show.

For more information, check you Cicle.org!

The owners of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com have recently sold the rights to all five of the sites they own to Evomo Clothing for an undisclosed amount. When asked why Moe Ramirez and RL Policar had sold out, they simply said, “It was about F#$%^ing Time! We’ve wanted to do this for so long!�? “We worked our butts off to make sure that we got noticed and bought out quickly,” stated Ramirez. Policar said, ” I’m glad I don’t have to put up with the staff any more – geez, it was like trying to babysit little kids after a night of drinking…excruciating!”

Ramirez and Policar at the 2007 Interbike
interbike 2007

Ramirez and Policar were asked about the amount that they were paid for their brands, but refused to give concise answers to the question. Rather, Policar had said, “Just think about it this way, I don’t have to work until the end of the year! The temporary tattoos and gift certificates to my favorite restaurant, Hometown Buffet made it all worth it!” Ramirez stated that he plans on taking his family on a long vacation to Catalina Island with the money he made. “What?! Its not like I can afford to take them to Hawaii or Fiji! You kidding! No way Jose, I am taking them there because I had to make sure that I put a big deposit down on a new Hummer H2.”

The rest of the staff of the sites, including Policar’s wife, Priscilla, Jeremy Yang, Lance Lowry, Russ Roca, Khoa Nguyen and Jack Sweeney, have all been terminated as soon as the deal had closed. All six bloggers are now looking to write for other sites, but when Yang was asked what his next step was, he stated, “My next step, well, I’m going to forget about those idiots! They didn’t even tell me that they were selling off the company! This experience has severely traumatized me and I don’t think I can ride bikes again! I’m going to go back and start racing lawn mowers again…”

Priscilla Policar, RL’s wife of nearly 13 years, spoke about the sale. “You know, being married to RL for so long, I would have thought he’d tell me these sorts of things, but he didn’t! He woke up the morning after the deal had closed and demanded eggs and chorizo for breakfast! He doesn’t even like chorizo! I don’t know who he is anymore….” she stated.

The rest of the staff was contacted but all were speechless. In fact when Jack Sweeney, a staffer and Sheldon Brown-wannabe for BikeCommuters.com was approached, he gave reporters the international hand signal for anger and ran away, cursing loudly.

Jack Sweeney visibly upset.

Lance Lowry, a staffer on MtnBikeRiders and BikeCommuters.com, was simply distraught over the sale, that he decided to get away from Ramirez and Policar and move from Orange County, Ca. to Portland, Oregon. As he drove away in his U-Haul Van, he was pumping his fists in the air and yelling, “Damn you both to hell!”

Khoa Nguyen was found later found by family members locked in the bathroom of his new home. He too was upset about the events and was heard saying, “Up yours Moe, up yours RL, screw MtnBikeRiders and BikeCommuters.com!!!” Russ Roca, also a professional photographer and recent recruit to BikeCommuters.com, was clearly bothered by the event and was found in a Long Beach, Ca. wings and beer restaurant stuffing himself with their hottest wings and best beers on tap to wash away the pain.

“The acquisition of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com from Moe and RL has been in the works since December’s meeting at the Hometown Buffet. This deal went through with only a few stipulations including the gift certificates in lieu of stocks.”, said Sedrik Vomir, Evomo Sponsorship/Marketing Director. “This is our first step towards the purchase of high traffic internet based companies in the form of blogs and user generated content. Our list of companies that we are in talks with his quite large and by 2010 we will have about 45% ownership.”

evomo clothing

Both Ramirez and Policar will remain on staff until their replacements can be found. In the meantime, if you are interested in running BikeCommuters.com or MtnBikeRiders.com, please leave a comment below. If you are selected, you will be sent a rose, a voucher for Hometown Buffet and your username and passwords for the site. KHS Bicycles have also donated a KHS Green and Lucky 7 to give to the new Editors of the blogs as a “Welcome Aboard!” gift.

Recently reported on the Spoke ‘N’ Word blog, Tampa will soon have a bicycle cooperative! This is very exciting news for the Tampa cycling community in that a bicycle co-op is a good sign of a healthy and growing bicycle culture. Atlanta has Sopo, Los Angeles has Bike Oven, Portland has Citybikes, Minneapolis has The Hub…and now Tampa is going to join these other cities and give a little back to folks who really need some bikes to get around…

flyer

I had a chance to speak briefly with one of the founders of the co-op, Dave Japenga. I asked him what kinds of parts and supplies he needed and what we could do for him as far as promotion. He said,

“I think it is going to be a good experience. I just kind of threw the idea out there and let the momentum carry it. Fortunately there seems to be enough like-minded people that this project will be a success.

Parts we could use are really wide open. I have about 30 bikes (mtn, road, and cruisers) that all need a bit of love. Once the co-op gets more established they will be rebuilt and for sale via a no minimum required donation price. In an effort to both get more bicycles on the road, and to have bikes that are accessible to anyone underprivileged.

Any coverage would be much appreciated. One thing that needs to happen is for this to be promoted in all niches of the cycling community. I’ve been living with no car for the last 6 months. I love bikes, all aspects, but as a commuter I’m always in need of an adjustment or quick fix and spend a lot of time behind a wrench. I think education on how to fix the basics is both empowering and a defining part of getting more bikes on the road.”

The co-op is having a grand opening celebration on April 7th from 6-9 PM at the Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa (the co-op’s current location). If you are in the Tampa Bay area, please come out and show your support at this gala event. If you are coming and you’ve got bicycle parts or bicycles to donate, the organizers would love to have whatever you’ve got.

I’ll be covering the grand opening party for Bikecommuters.com — and I’ve got a box of parts and spare tubes I’m going to haul along to donate. I’m so excited about this!

The owners of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com have recently sold the rights to all five of the sites they own to Evomo Clothing for an undisclosed amount. When asked why Moe Ramirez and RL Policar had sold out, they simply said, “It was about F#$%^ing Time! We’ve wanted to do this for so long!? “We worked our butts off to make sure that we got noticed and bought out quickly,” stated Ramirez. Policar said, ” I’m glad I don’t have to put up with the staff any more – geez, it was like trying to babysit little kids after a night of drinking…excruciating!”

Ramirez and Policar at the 2007 Interbike
interbike 2007

Ramirez and Policar were asked about the amount that they were paid for their brands, but refused to give concise answers to the question. Rather, Policar had said, “Just think about it this way, I don’t have to work until the end of the year! The temporary tattoos and gift certificates to my favorite restaurant, Hometown Buffet made it all worth it!” Ramirez stated that he plans on taking his family on a long vacation to Catalina Island with the money he made. “What?! Its not like I can afford to take them to Hawaii or Fiji! You kidding! No way Jose, I am taking them there because I had to make sure that I put a big deposit down on a new Hummer H2.”

The rest of the staff of the sites, including Policar’s wife, Priscilla, Jeremy Yang, Lance Lowry, Russ Roca, Khoa Nguyen and Jack Sweeney, have all been terminated as soon as the deal had closed. All six bloggers are now looking to write for other sites, but when Yang was asked what his next step was, he stated, “My next step, well, I’m going to forget about those idiots! They didn’t even tell me that they were selling off the company! This experience has severely traumatized me and I don’t think I can ride bikes again! I’m going to go back and start racing lawn mowers again…”

Priscilla Policar, RL’s wife of nearly 13 years, spoke about the sale. “You know, being married to RL for so long, I would have thought he’d tell me these sorts of things, but he didn’t! He woke up the morning after the deal had closed and demanded eggs and chorizo for breakfast! He doesn’t even like chorizo! I don’t know who he is anymore….” she stated.

The rest of the staff was contacted but all were speechless. In fact when Jack Sweeney, a staffer and Sheldon Brown-wannabe for BikeCommuters.com was approached, he gave reporters the international hand signal for anger and ran away, cursing loudly.

Jack Sweeney visibly upset.

Lance Lowry, a staffer on MtnBikeRiders and BikeCommuters.com, was simply distraught over the sale, that he decided to get away from Ramirez and Policar and move from Orange County, Ca. to Portland, Oregon. As he drove away in his U-Haul Van, he was pumping his fists in the air and yelling, “Damn you both to hell!”

Khoa Nguyen was found later found by family members locked in the bathroom of his new home. He too was upset about the events and was heard saying, “Up yours Moe, up yours RL, screw MtnBikeRiders and BikeCommuters.com!!!” Russ Roca, also a professional photographer and recent recruit to BikeCommuters.com, was clearly bothered by the event and was found in a Long Beach, Ca. wings and beer restaurant stuffing himself with their hottest wings and best beers on tap to wash away the pain.

“The acquisition of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com from Moe and RL has been in the works since December’s meeting at the Hometown Buffet. This deal went through with only a few stipulations including the gift certificates in lieu of stocks.”, said Sedrik Vomir, Evomo Sponsorship/Marketing Director. “This is our first step towards the purchase of high traffic internet based companies in the form of blogs and user generated content. Our list of companies that we are in talks with his quite large and by 2010 we will have about 45% ownership.”

evomo clothing

Both Ramirez and Policar will remain on staff until their replacements can be found. In the meantime, if you are interested in running BikeCommuters.com or MtnBikeRiders.com, please leave a comment below. If you are selected, you will be sent a rose, a voucher for Hometown Buffet and your username and passwords for the site. KHS Bicycles have also donated a KHS Green and Lucky 7 to give to the new Editors of the blogs as a “Welcome Aboard!” gift.