Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Q and A with Brad from Urban Velo

1. Names,Ages,Occupations?
Brad Quartuccio, 28, Editor of Urban Velo

2, Were does Urban Velo live and operate?
Urban Velo is operated out of my house in Pittsburgh PA. It's a short commute for me.

3. What are you riding these days?
I own and ride a number of bikes that are ever changing. That said, my bike collection hasn't seen much fresh blood in the past couple of years... Being that I've been playing a lot of polo, and that my Pake track bike doubles not only as my polo bike but as my around-town and post office runner I'd have to say that bike is seeing the most time right now. Fixed/fixed with a polo and street gear, I have a 5-rail CETMA rack that I'm in love with that pops on and off of this bike to facilitate merch deliveries and grocery getting. I have a Bianchi Pista Concept typically setup for long road rides with bullhorns and a front brake and a Vivalo Keirin bike that is remarkably my size that also sees a fair amount of use. My travel bike is a Surly Crosscheck that I've owned since I was 19 that can be setup any number of ways depending on the use or destination, but usually it finds itself in some sort of 'cross mode ready for racks and a weekend camping trip. There's a road bike and a couple of mountain bikes that don't see much use in the mix as well, and a bunch of freak bikes in the basement. It says a lot for the quality of modern bicycle equipment that out of all the bikes to ride I find myself on what amounts to a roughly $700 track bike with nothing particularly sexy about it most of the time.

4. Tell us about Urban Velo. When did it start. What was your main goal?
Urban Velo started as a side project zine for our friends and quickly took on a life of it's own. It is a reflection of the greater urban cycling culture that has coalesced and come into its own over the past few years, and is explicitly not an outlet strictly for product placement. Everyone likes nice stuff, but there is more to cycling than faster, lighter, better.

5. Urban Velo, reviews a lot of products. Out of all of them, what is the one thing(s) that has stood out more than the rest?
It's hard to say. I've been blessed over the years to ride countless bicycles in all sorts of places and with few exceptions they all end with a story worth telling. The aforementioned CETMA rack has been a game changer for me, though I was already a fan of front baskets and panniers. This year's SRAM Torpedo fixed/free convertible hub is one of the few things that is truly unique that has come through, and is a pretty crazy piece of niche componentry—I hope this next year gives me the opportunity to try to equally specialized Sturmey Archer 3-speed fixed hub. Having the opportunity to ride a borrowed Brompton folder throughout London isn't an experience I'll soon forget, and changed my views on how a folding bike can ultimately ride and integrate with urban living.

6. Your site is filled with a ton of great information. How do you stay up to date with everything that is popping up all over the place?
By virtue of running Urban Velo, Jeff and I receive piles of email from readers, fans, industry and other sources which turns us on to a number of the things on our site. We each keep track of our interests within the bike world on our own as well, constantly looking for new content and stuff we've not seen before.

7. How is it riding in Pittsburgh,PA. in the winter?
Cold and wet. Sometimes miserable. Occasionally beautiful. Completely do-able even if I'm sometimes not the best example.

8. The last few years has brought on a giant increase in fixed gear/singlespeed. What is your take on it?
It's great, and not just because it's good for the bottom line. Anything that gets kids on bikes and bikes into mainstream consciousness is good. The chit-chat name calling that goes on about people discovering cycling for the first time now due to some critical mass of popularity, and somehow being inferior because of it, is absolutely ridiculous. More people on bikes is more better, I don't care if someones first bike is from Urban Outfitters with pink wheels to match their shoelaces, people turn on at different times through different means. My cycling button was pushed when I was 13 or so on a department store mountain bike, a consequence of the booming early 90's mountain bike business. Time and time again today's hipster fixie idiot is tomorrow's racer or touring cyclist. Fixed gears and singlespeeds being popular and cool for a key demographic is one of the best things to happen to the cycling community in a long time, hopefully hooking a new round of kids on riding bikes.

9. Between the two of you. Who does more work?
We have things split up pretty well between us for the hours that each are able to devote to the magazine.

10. Ever ridding in South Florida. If so were and when.
Nope, never been. At least not on my bike. Maybe someday? Preferably in the winter.

11. Is there anything that you would like to add? Upcoming ideas for the site or the next issues?
Thanking our readers, contributors and advertisers seems trite, but that's what immediately comes to mind. We couldn't do it without them.


Lane said...

"...people turn on at different times through different means".

A great point, interesting interview, recommended magazine.