Consigned to kids’ bikes for the past century, the single speed made an impassioned comeback in the early 2000s. For a dedicated few, the spirit of the single speed lives on.You will know Endless Bike Company’s owner Shanna Powell when you see her. If the fairy dress doesn’t give her away, the cat ears attached to her helmet will.In 2008, Powell bought Endless Bike Company, a cottage bicycle drivetrain parts manufacturer for single speed bikes. There was just one problem: she had never ridden a single speed before.“I was just so new to bikes in general that I hadn’t formed an opinion [about single speeds],” says Powell, who had only started working at a bike shop two years prior. “I didn’t know the difference from one bike to the next.”Soon after the ownership transfer, Powell hopped on a single speed at Bent Creek Experimental Forest near her home in Asheville, N.C. Nearly a decade later, she still prefers single speeds to geared bikes.For ease of use, affordability, and low maintenance, Powell argues that beginner riders should start with a single speed from the get-go. If the bike is equipped with a gear appropriate for the terrain, she says, riding a single speed is not much different than riding a geared bike. True, you might be coasting more than pedaling on the downhill, but a strong single speeder knows how to utilize momentum to her advantage and can crush a climb faster than her geared bike counterpart.“I choose to ride a single speed because I think it makes you a better rider,” says Powell. “It forces you to use your bike and your body rather than just shifting.”In general, says Powell, single speeders are the most inclusive subclass of cycling, hinging on the simplest of principles: having fun. And most devout single speeders are characters in one way or another. They have to be. If they’re not taking the brunt of geared cyclists’ jokes, they’re heckling each other. It comes with the bike. More often than not, cyclists who hear “single speed” think either next-level-badassery or stupid pain. The truth lies somewhere in between.Take New River Bikes owner Andy Forron, for example. At this year’s Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race (PMBAR), a 50- to 80-mile self-supported orienteering suffer fest, Forron and his teammate crushed the competition, finishing first in the single speed category and third overall. In jorts and a purple jersey (and a rigid frame with matching purple handlebars), he hardly looked the part.“I wouldn’t put it past Andy to show up in jean shorts and a cutoff shirt,” says Powell. “He’ll be the one standing around at the race beforehand and everyone will be like, ‘Who IS this guy?’ And then he will rip their legs off.”Serious, but not too serious. Or, hell, slap the bag and let’s party. Despite the simplicity of their bikes, single speeders are a mysterious breed. We sat three of them down, Andy Forron (Fayetteville, W.Va.), Rich “Dicky” Dillen (Charlotte, N.C.), and Watts Dixon (Greensboro, N.C.), to get a better idea of the inner workings of a single speeder’s brain. Whether or not their responses lead us closer to the truth is debatable.You’ve all been riding since childhood. Do you remember your first bike?AF: I got a mountain bike for my seventh birthday. I really wanted a dirt bike but I didn’t get that.RD: Some piece of sh*t with a banana seat, yellow and brown because those are the best colors for action.WD: I also had a Schwinn with a banana seat, and then eventually some form of a BMX bike. It was bright yellow. It got run over by a dump truck.How did you get into racing single speeds?AF: I started racing when I was pretty little. I got dragged around to all of the local races when I was 8 or 9. That morphed into doing longer races, and then 100-milers, and then those stupid ones where I don’t sleep for a few days. Now I like to do PMBAR because I can beat Rich and Watts.Read more![nextpage title=”Read one!”]RD: I started mountain biking sometime in college in the late ‘80s. When I moved to Charlotte, my horizons opened. I started racing in Pisgah and doing 24-hour races. Once I learned how to hate myself, that’s when I started single speed racing.WD: I went to a lot of races very early on, but I never raced because I was f*cking terrified. I don’t know why. I rode a lot but I didn’t want to race. Then in my middle school and early high school years, I became obsessed with the idea of doing Ironman. When I got back on a mountain bike, it was always a single speed. The bicycling scene, as vibrant as it may appear sometimes, is just as boring as every other facet of society, so I was looking for something that was not as boring as everything else I had seen.When did single speeds peak in popularity?AF: It seemed like it got really popular about five years ago. Now it’s kinda back to the same people that were doing it in the ‘90s. It’s certainly not what it used to be. You can’t even buy a single speed from a lot of the major manufacturers anymore.RD: Yeah about six years ago. Everyone had a single speed in their quiver then.What appealed to you about riding a single speed?AF: I just started riding single speed because my geared bike broke and I never fixed it.RD: I remember looking at the simplicity of the bikes without all the shit on them. There was a mystique to it. We didn’t know what could be done on a single speed. Once I started riding single speed I couldn’t get back on any of my other bikes because they all sucked. I’ve bought some geared bikes in the last decade and the last one I owned for 47 days. The local shops know not to sell me bikes with gears because I told them to stop me if I ever tried to do it again.WD: Early on, going to all those races and watching, the guys racing single speed were always the biggest characters. It was a lot more nuts back then. They were wearing costumes, like full braziers on a 24-hour race. They stood out and it definitely left an impression and I knew that was more my style.So what is considered proper single speed attire now?RD: No matter what you wear, everyone still has the right to make fun of what you’re wearing. If you wear jorts, you get shit for that. If you take your shirt off, you get made fun of for that. You better have some thicker skin if you wanna play the game. They’re gonna dig shit up forever and hold it against you so be prepared.WD: What about those cargo shorts?RD: If there’s a zombie apocalypse and I’m out riding around, I’m gonna need to put stuff in my pockets so I’m gonna keep those cargo shorts. Just a few pairs. I need a place to put my water.Do you have a single speed hero?WD: Heroes always disappoint. There are no heroes.Read more.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Why is riding a single speed better?AF: It’s really quiet. Usually. And it’s really simple. You don’t have to screw with it, you just ride it. There’s nothing to break off or hang off.RD: It limits the things I have to think about because I‘m not very good with options. It’s like a Mexican restaurant that just has burritos. If it’s a shitty burrito then I just eat my way through and if it’s a good burrito then yay. I just want to ride my bike. I don’t have to think about what I’m doing. I just need to go faster or slow down and I don’t want to think about much more than that.WD: I like Rich’s answer. I do enjoy the challenge of riding a single speed. When Rich and I did the Trans-Sylvania Epic, we were the only people on rigid bikes. It sucked at times. It was challenging. But we still had tons of fun and finished all of the sections and it levels the satisfaction even if you didn’t win by any stretch.Finish this sentence for me: To ride a single speed you must be…AF: Normal?RD: 21 or older.WD: Humanoid.And this one: You should only ride single speed if…AF: You wanna have a good time.RD: You’re not excited about electronic shifting.WD: You’re looking at Interbike coverage and everything makes you go, “Ugh this is horrible.”What is something about the single speed culture that most of us can’t understand?RD: Whether you stand on the podium or not, you just came there to have a good time. But even when you win you don’t have a sense of accomplishment because you’re like, “If so-and-so had showed up he would have beat me anyway.” There is no satisfaction. You’re just always unhappy. Deep down we’re just racing bikes which is really dumb. We could race lawn mowers and it wouldn’t be much different. I’ve got a push mower.WD: Honestly I don’t even like racing. I like beating people. I like being in front of someone, but I don’t like when someone is in front of me. If there are seven of us all riding together in a race, it sucks. I want to beat all those people but I don’t want to have to race them.How would you describe the present-day single speed community?RD: Dead.WD: D-E-D.RD: Okay, for real, we’re making fun of it seriously. There are just certain things that bother me like the guy who shows up on a single speed because he can’t beat anybody else. We can’t make up our own rules but we have social media now and we can shame people. We can ban cargo shorts on the podium.WD: I think if you ban cargo shorts, the whole mountain bike scene would die.RD: Okay, bring your cargo shorts. As long as we get to make fun of it.WD: Riding single speeds is all something we like to do, but we’re not like, “SINGLE SPEED FOREVVVVER.” On some level everyone is guilty to some degree of putting themselves in a category like mountain biker, road biker, single speeder. We’re real people and we are able to look past something as banal as riding a one-geared bike in the woods as a way to define who we are. What I’m trying to say is, we’re all really deep and complicated people. Like, really deep.So are there different degrees of single speed enthusiasm?RD: There’s the calculated go-to-bed-on-time single speeder with a power meter and a training schedule. Then there are those of us who want to put in some effort but not more than what’s required. We might not drink too much the night before a race. Then there are those who drink way too much the night before and don’t even finish the race and don’t care that they don’t finish and those are beautiful people.Do single speeders have a mantra?RD: Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion. Working hard because you’re stupid is called single speeding.WD: Or maybe something existential. Like a Sartre quote. Everything is meaningless.AF: I just like to ride my bike. Yay bikes.What does a single speeder bring on every bike ride?AF: Gummy bears are definitely important. And a good time.RD: Beer and two hard-boiled eggs. There’s something about stopping and drinking a beer and eating two hard-boiled eggs that makes me feel like life doesn’t suck. Or if you can steal bacon from work, that’s good, too.WD: Their neuroses.Do you have a dream single speed bike?AF: A titanium beach cruiser with a dropper post because I want a button on my handlebar like everybody else.RD: What’s my dream bike? A dream bike would be like a four-pound single speed with rockets on it, but then everyone would make fun of me, so there is no dream bike. I have no dreams.
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Life’s been better than good for Stephen Curry. But that doesn’t mean the Warriors star doesn’t have some regrets during the meteoric rise of his 10-year NBA career.OK, maybe just one. Curry now wishes the world wasn’t introduced to his young daughter Riley during the 2015 Western Conference playoffs. His adorable girl may have stolen the show during Curry’s postgame interview, but it may have come at a price. “One thing I do technically regret in terms of how fast this all came …
— Enda (@EndaSportswear) June 30, 2016Kenyan entrepreneur Navalayo Osembo, together with American investor Weldon Kennedy, have created Kenya’s first running shoe company. Enda, which is the Swahili word for ‘go’ is inspired by the country’s global dominance in long-distance running. This proud legacy has, over the last four decades, earned Kenyan runners over 50 Olympic medals, piqued the interest of sport science and created a worldwide fan base for endurance sport.“[We want] to create a way through which Kenya can economically benefit from the running industry, given its reputation on distance running,” Osembo said in an interview with Nigeria’s Signal newspaper. She grew up in Eldoret in the Rift Valley area, a highland region that also produced some of the country’s best long-distance athletes, including two-time Olympic gold medallist Kip Keino.Co-Founder @NavalayoOsembo sharing the Enda story again today pic.twitter.com/BgdriCyGR3— Enda (@EndaSportswear) July 19, 2016DevelopmentEnda raised over $75 000 (R1.1-million) in start-up capital with a kick-starter campaign ahead of its production launch in September 2015. Through its detailed designs and its use of Kenyan culture and sport, the world is starting to take notice of Enda.The company’s first fully developed product – called Iten – is a lightweight trainer with a low heels-to-toe-drop, for use by both professional and amateur runners. It is currently available to purchase via the Enda’s website, with the company hoping to get the product in US and African stores in 2017.According to 2015 market research by the National Purchase Diary group, Enda is targeting the highly competitive $17.2-billion (R246-billion) American sport shoe market with retail prices that are almost 50% less than major name brands. It is also aiming to capture African consumers, including South Africans, who have recently become interested in running competitively or as amateurs.DesignThe company has worked with some of the world’s top designers and consulted with some of the best Kenyan and international runners to create a shoe that is both practical and eye-catching.“What our logo means to me” – @NavalayoOsembo https://t.co/N7lCtr2ZGv pic.twitter.com/TlX5lfj3yf— Enda (@EndaSportswear) September 14, 2015Enda’s logo is a minimalist Maasai spearhead that pays tribute to the company’s origins and fits comfortably among familiar global branding like the Nike swoosh and Adidas’ trefoil.The US product design firm Birdhaus that has worked with Reebok, helped develop the first Enda designs. The shoe parts are manufactured by Jones & Vining, the world’s leading maker of outsoles, inserts, and other advanced components.“We wanted [the shoe] to look contemporary and urbane anywhere in the world, but whisper a Kenyan feel,” Kennedy told Fast Company magazine in June 2016.The parts are all assembled in Kenya, but the company is aiming to make the entire design, manufacturing and marketing processes a fully Kenyan operation.The shoes are currently being tested in the Rift Valley region, at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF’s) High Altitude Training Centre, by up-and-coming Kenyan runners Justin Lagat and Joan Cherop.Despite being the least popular shoe color, when it comes to T-shirts, black is the color of choice pic.twitter.com/Clx9y7A68a— Enda (@EndaSportswear) July 18, 2016FutureWhile the more decorated runners have sponsorships from famous running shoe brands, Enda hopes to make an impact on the next generation of professional runners, particularly from Africa, as well as the casual consumer market.Ultimately, the company wants to connect runners in the West to Kenya’s running culture, leveraging it to create domestic jobs and economic growth rather than benefit global corporations.“We wanted to channel the energy around running into something that can have much more of an impact on the people of Kenya,” Osembo told Fast Company. “If you think about the magnitude of the industry worldwide, and if you think about how Kenya is used for marketing, this is low-lying fruit.”Enda’s social enterprise efforts are small, but growing, with plans to invest part of the company’s profits in local and regional community initiatives that focus on sanitation, education and healthcare.According to the company’s kick-starter page “working with experts, we’ll identify a handful of the most effective projects that could use some extra support every six months. Anyone who buys a pair of Enda shoes and registers their purchase will get one vote to help us determine which projects will receive money from the pool.”“Through this, we will link Enda runners across the globe to local communities in Kenya and vice versa, and encourage sympathy, creativity and innovation.”Source: AFKInsiderWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SouthAfrica.info material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A crush of supporters filed friend-of-the-court briefs, joining the American Farm Bureau Federation in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to micromanage state land-use and development decisions under the guise of the Chesapeake Bay water quality “blueprint.”Filers included 92 members of Congress, 22 states, forestry groups represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, and a broad cross-section of the U.S. economy represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business.“The fact that so many voices are being raised in support of Supreme Court review shows the broad and severe threat that EPA’s action here poses nationwide,” said Bob Stallman, AFBF president. “EPA has asserted powers that do not appear in any law written by Congress, and it has done so in the context of an iconic national treasure, hoping that will inoculate its power grab in the courts. We have faith that the nation’s highest court will see this for what it is and hold EPA accountable to stay within its statutory authority.”Despite aggressive new commitments and water quality achievements by the six states in the Bay watershed in the mid-2000s, the EPA asserted federal control over the Chesapeake Bay recovery in its 2010 “blueprint.” The new federal plan effectively gives EPA the ability to function as a super-zoning authority over local and state governments—dictating where homes can be built, where land can be farmed, and where commercial development can occur.The plan will impose tens of billions of dollars in direct costs — with unknown economic impacts on local communities and economies. It also denies state and local governments and businesses the flexibility to adapt to new circumstances, instead locking in limits that can quickly become outdated but can only be revised by EPA. The lower courts upheld EPA’s blueprint on the theory that it furthers the water quality goals of the Clean Water Act — despite the absence of words in the statute authorizing such federal action. A significant issue presented for the Supreme Court is the degree to which courts should defer to broad agency interpretations of their statutory power.“The broad support for the Farm Bureau petition shows that deep concerns about the Bay blueprint go far beyond agriculture and far beyond the Bay region,” said Ellen Steen, AFBF General Counsel. “Members of Congress, states and business groups recognize that this illegal framework will be imposed throughout the country unless the Court intervenes. Given the enormous social and economic consequences, not to mention the grave questions about federalism and deference to agency overreaching, this is a case that cries out for Supreme Court review.”
NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Real ‘battle’ happens on POC General Assembly, not on Feb. 23 polls Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Meanwhile, the league approved on Thursday the revised trade involving Rain or Shine and TNT, which sent guard Kris Rosales, rookie Sidney Onwubere and a first-round pick in exchange for guard Jericho Cruz.The Texters added Rosales to the deal, paving the way for the approval of the swap by commissioner Willie Marcial. The Batang Pier try to sustain their momentum when they clash with second-ranked Magnolia on Friday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.“We have to continue playing the way we did (against TNT) and not worry about other results,” Jarencio said. “We have to stay aggressive. The players want to make the playoffs and I feel this is our best chance.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBlackwater faces Kia in the curtain raiser at 4:30 p.m. with the Elite gunning for a share of the ninth spot with the Texters. With just two games separating the fourth to 10th ranked teams, Blackwater, with a 3-5 record, is hard-pressed to win its remaining three games to stand a chance of making the quarterfinals.The Picanto, with only one win to show from their first eight games, will kiss their quarterfinal hopes goodbye with another loss. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES (FILE) PHOTO BY TRISTAN TAMAYO/INQUIRER.netNico Elorde’s career performance against TNT KaTropa guard Jayson Castro and Jeric Teng’s return to the PBA weren’t the only feel-good stories for GlobalPort on Wednesday night.GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio feels his team is playing their best basketball at a critical time in the Philippine Cup, where the playoff race is headed for a down-the-wire finish.ADVERTISEMENT Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch PLAY LIST 01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Magnolia is coming off a 101-95 loss to Rain or Shine in a road game in Calasiao, Pangasinan province, last Saturday. The Hotshots are looking to avoid a third straight loss, even as top gunner Paul Lee remains doubtful due to a high ankle sprain.In contrast, GlobalPort whipped up an early storm to extend TNT’s woes with a 99-84 win and climb up to seventh in the standings with a 4-4 slate.Elorde sparkled with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while being matched up with Castro in the game.“I’m just glad to repay the trust coach has shown to me,” Elorde said. “More importantly, we need to stay consistent if we want to make the playoffs.”Signed by GlobalPort just a day before the game, Teng made the most out of his 10-minute stint on the floor with nine points on three triples as he reunited with Jarencio, who coached him at the University of Santo Tomas.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments