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As we all know, Philadelphia’s bike lanes leave a lot to be desired. However, Jeremy sent this cool artifact over. It’s an old map of the best bike routes in and around Philadelphia. Unfortunately, this image only shows the Main Line, and I mean, why would anyone want to go there?

History & Shit!

I bet some of you didn’t know that we do have bicycle maps for Philadelphia. It’s just that they aren’t necessarily very helpful because they show what a serious lack of bike friendly streets we have in Center City Philadelphia. The Bike Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has a goal of connecting existing bike lanes, and they have some great map services accessible online.

Knock West Philly all you want, they have the best bike lanes.

But as always, there are easier (and dumber) solutions to your problems. You could always just buy a contraption to mount a GPS or your iPhone to your bike. Who honestly thinks this could ever be a good idea? I mean, I would love to use the TPain App while riding down the street, but that just sounds like a terrible, terrible idea.

SHAWTY.. Lemme buy you a mount!

So there’s basically two forces in my life that make me want to be a better, more awesome biker. The first is my friend Robby, in Chicago. He’s so rad, he’s all like “I mastered the cool bike riding, and now I’m going to try out BMX’ing.” He makes anything he does awesome. Having a rad ‘stache doesn’t hurt, as well as being an awesome part of Rapid Transit in Chicago. I guess FuelTV stopped by the BMX spot in ChiTown, so keep a look out for the boys.

Voila - 'Stache BMX

In other awesome boys who ride bikes news, looks like ESPN finally realized Bike Polo is a sport. Link courtesy of my friend Brian in ChiTown, who also makes me want to be a more awesome biker. Its awesome cause it means more money will go into the Bike Polo Tournaments around the world, through sponsors, and to the guys and GIRLS who sacrifice their bodies for the sport. (And what fine looking bodies they are might I add!) This means it will be harder to get a good view of the action from the fence for me!

Check out my favorite site to stalk this sport.. League of Bike Polo, to find out where to throw down around you.

Copyright Bruce Carver

RESPOND!!

In my research of flying bikes, I fell into some cool military bikes. My bro is in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq – he rules. I was never a military person, but having my brother, and also my step-brother being in the military will change your mind. So, basically, it gets really boring in Iraq, and check out what this guy did.

I'm gunna weld me a bike!

And when he was all finished welding each link together with eight welds, they asked, what are you going to do now? And he responded, “Well, finish my tour here, then build a bunch of these for my kids!” Whats not to love about a military guy? Anyway, I like the chopper style. Good frame choice my friend.

I also came across this cool fold up bike, which they claim the military uses. My brother has never told me about hopping out a plane, and then having to ride this bike, but here it is none the less.

And you can jump out a plane with it.

And Europe always has the states beat in the bike game, and its no different with military bikes. The Swiss Army is known for their knives, but they should be just as well known for their Swiss Army Bicycle. I mean this bike has everything, and honestly, all bikes should be this well equipped in case of a problem on the biking road.

Oh baby you, you got what I need.

Today while touring Angers with my friend Steve, we came across a trio on a bike tour. They were more like a pack of gypsy bikers, with spray painted bikes and wagons. Well, this inspired a photo search, and here’s what I’ve come across. Next camping trip, make it a bike trip.

for the small price of $800...

for the hipster headed to the woods on their fixie..

.. and when you are ready to step it up.

Jeremy sent this over today. If you ever wondered what went on in American frontiers, you don’t have to wonder anymore. The answer is: SUPER AWESOME. Check this:

Bicycle Corps at Minerva Terrace, Yellowstone National Park, 1897. Photo by Frank Jay Haynes

I am so hard and awesome. Musician William Brown

According to my calculations, I mean, the calculations of Google, that’s about 230 miles. No small trip. This was made in the summer of 1896. There’s so much that is rad about this, and ‘merican. If you don’t believe me, listen to the music this man William Brown was probably humming on his little bike ride.

All I need now is a mountie hat.

Although I don’t miss certain things about Philadelphia bike culture, one thing to miss is certainly the style. I’ve toted my Small Civilian Re-Load Bag with me all over Europe. Its acted as my carry-on luggage more than once, and I’ve never once regretted taking it with me somewhere.

One thing I could have lived without, is in cities where biking is less popular, the stares for having such a large back-pack bag. I don’t really care, but part of the fun of fashion is scoping out just how other people like you are rocking their style. I mean, everyone in Philly/NYC has a carabiner for their keys, you just don’t use anything else.

I just want to give ups to and my best friend Emily, who gifted me my custom beast.

mine is cuter.

She's hot.

Gratuit is the French word for free. I am lucky enough to live and work in Angers, France, which also gets me a free city bike.

Bike parking on the Maine River, Angers & Chateau d'Angers

my whip d'Angers - femme yellow version

my boy Max's more manly blue bike

It comes with a three-month contract, which is renewable, and the bike is free with a credit card in case the bike is not returned. It’s also free to ride your bike and see the countryside.

The Loire river valley is notoriously known for being a great biking countryside. The Loire Tourism has a pretty oragnized system of bike safe paths and roads to travel, and a pretty great website.

seize the open bike path

from civilization to nature in 5 minutes

the Maine River, just north of the Loire

I was passed this awesome collection of photos by my friend J-Town in Chicago. (Yes, that is most definitely her real name.)

© 2009 sam gove

These were take at the World Naked Bike Ride, Chicago throw down. Everyone should already know that Chicago has one of the largest (and best) bike cultures in the United States. I would say the world, but the U.S. unfortunately has little on European bike culture. I swear the Germans and Dutch give birth on bikes.

© 2009 sam gove

If that doesn’t make you want to get on a bike, no naked men ever will.

These pictures are all taken by Sam Gove, and you can scope the full album here, and his blog here.

I figured its only fair to start this out by putting photos of myself out there. I’ve been living in France for a few months. If you’re ever lucky enough to make it to Paris, I recommend getting on one of these almost-free bikes. You need a French credit card to do so, good luck with that. However, if you succeed, it’s only about 1 euro to take a Velib (Paris bikes) for a ride.

schlegel on schwag

A beautiful view (they are everywhere in Paris). You can see most of Paris’ sites along the Seine with a bike in less than an hour. Also, These bikes are more like tanks, so don’t let French drivers put you off.

pull over that bike too fat

Submissions:

A blog for photos of you and your bike. That’s the only rule. Ideal photos will encourage others to bike. Plus points for originality, oddity, weirdness, nudity, and double-takes.

Submissions can be sent to bikebarings@gmail.com.