Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dear friends of One Less Car,

All good things must come to an end, and so must we. As of January 1st, 2012, One Less Car will stop selling clothing and stickers.

I began One Less Car more than six years ago with nothing more than a home screen-printing kit and a love of bicycles. I had no idea how many people shared my love of bike riding until the orders started coming in. I will never forget the first time I saw someone walk past wearing one of my shirts. It was one of the greatest feelings of my life.

Over the years, One Less Car has connected me with an amazing community and led me to opportunities I never could have anticipated. It led to a second business, Bates Crates, which makes hardwood crates for riders who want a quality handmade portage option.

Unfortunately, it has just become too much to maintain two businesses. Both have suffered, as has the One Less Car blog. Rather than operate two businesses poorly, I have decided to devote my energies to Bates Crates. I will fill all open orders, as well as any orders placed through the end of 2011, then One Less Car will close up shop.

One Less Car clothing will live on through our partnership with Pace Sportswear, which this year came out with a line of jerseys and headwear featuring our Classic and Chain Ring logos. All of these can be ordered online at and will hopefully find their way soon to your local bike store.

I would like to thank all of our customers and supporters. I still can’t believe all the places I sent shirts over the past several years. After a break, I hope to revive the One Less Car blog and reconnect with all of you there.


Cole Bates

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trek Bicycle Partners with People for Bikes to Create Army of Cycling Advocates

Support People for Bikes this fall and win a Trek District signed by marquee Trek athletes

In an effort to create a greater, and more connected, network of cycling advocates in the US, Trek Bicycle has partnered with People for Bikes to increase and reach and potential impact of those who will rally support for local and federal spending on bicycle infrastructure. Through its network of retailers, marketing avenues, partners, and athletes, Trek will provide exposure to People For Bikes’ mission along with uniting cyclists across the country.

To help spark pledges on, Trek will be giving away a Trek District autographed by cycling superstars Fränk and Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, and Jens Voigt of the LEOPARD TREK cycling team, as well as triathlon heroes Chris Lieto, and Julie Dibens of the Trek/K•Swiss triathlon team. Supporters can enter the drawing by signing the People for Bikes pledge and will help PFB get closer to reaching their goal of collecting one million signatures in support of federal funding of bicycle infrastructure.

“With funding for bicycle transportation initiatives in jeopardy, People for Bikes’ mission is more important today than ever before,” said Krista Rettig, Director of Advocacy at Trek. “At Trek, we believe that the bicycle is a simple solution to many of our society’s biggest problems, like congestion, obesity, and environmental damage, and People for Bikes helps rally support of that cause. ”

The central goal of People For Bikes is to create a network one-million strong to voice support for cycling advocacy in the United States. With the 300,000-plus signatures it has gathered thus far, People For Bikes has already shown it can effectively create positive change in a challenging political environment. This summer, People For Bikes asked 28,000 California residents who had signed the pledge to contact their local senate representative about their stance on dedicated bicycle funding in the next transportation bill. After 2,000 letters flowed into the senator’s mailbox in a few short days, she publicly announced her support of dedicated bicycle funding.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hands down, this is the raddest coffee mug I've EVER seen in my life! I'm not just hyping up the product either. Trust me, if you love coffee like you love bikes, I guarantee that you'll want this mug, and that it's for you.

These guys know their stuff too. The mug was first made in 2001 by a bike mechanic named Ben, in Minneapolis, MN. Ben is a year 'round commuter, and he liked to drink a gulp at red lights in the winter- who wouldn't? READ MORE...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

more wooden bikes!

Jan Gunneweg is very much ‘into wood’. And not just in a tree hugging sort of way. The Dutch industrial designer creates all sort of implausible things from timber. His latest (and greatest) is an all wooden bike.

While wooden bike frames have been around for as long as dinosaurs, Jan has really stepped things up with his new effort. Pretty much everything you see in the promo photos is made from timber – and that includes the asymmetrical wooden wheels. And the handle bars. And the pedals. And the… well you get the idea. Tyres aside, this thing is 95% wood. And the rest is space age technology.

Whether a bike crafted from wood makes for a more enjoyable / safe trip down to the park is debatable, but you can be pretty sure no one else is going to be riding anything quite as ridiculous as this. Unless of course someone has picked up one of his earlier wooden bike efforts…

There’s no price on Jan’s website, but given the 200 man-hours he spent carving this out of tree trunks it’s not going to be cheap.

More at

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Illinoisans and other interested parties, mark your calendars for
November 5th. That's when the "Bridges & Blues" benefit to build the
32-mile Calumet-Sag Trail takes place at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest
(about 20 miles southwest of Chicago). There'll be plenty of beer on
tap, along with fabulous items for sale and live music provided by
Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials (the Boston Globe called them "The
world's #1 houserocking blues band"). The bash is presented by Friends
of the Calumet-Sag Trail, which hopes to see their pet project come
to fruition by 2014. According to the group's website, the trail will
connect cyclists and pedestrians "to regional trails, transit systems,
retail areas, parks, forest preserves, marinas, nature centers, as
well as the legacies of Big Steel, immigrant communities, and the
Underground Railroad. Trail users will see barges. They will see
bridges. They will see factories, and dams, and purple cone flowers
and deer. They will see each other." Learn more about the fundraiser

Friday, September 02, 2011


Trek Bicycle and international poster phenomenon ARTCRANK have unveiled a new aesthetic for Trek’s popular District line. The Trek District ARTCRANK Edition combines Trek’s top commuter bike with graphics created by ARTCRANK Lead Designer Rob Angermuller. Hand painted and assembled by hand at Trek’s Waterloo, WI manufacturing facility, the limited production project, was an opportunity for both Trek and ARTCRANK to take their love for bikes and art in a new direction.

“Trek is a family full of people that love and appreciate art and how that affects our bikes and design and we’ve done these sorts of collaborations with everybody from Shepard Fairey to Damien Hirst for our riders who compete in events like the Tour de France or Crankworx,” said Travis Ott, Trek Town Bike Brand Manager. “Our project with ARTCRANK is all about elevating the design appeal of an everyday bike that will appeal to a fresh audience.”

ARTCRANK founder and director Charles Youel adds, “The artists in our shows are people who are inspired by riding bicycles, and they tap into that energy and excitement to create amazing posters. This was an opportunity to take that idea back to the source.”

As it turns out, making a bike about art is a lot different than making art about bikes. “Designing this bike was one of the toughest creative challenges I’ve ever had,” says Angermuller, who goes by the handle Lifter Baron. “I didn’t want to create just a nice-looking traditional bike. I was after something that showed how riding a bike feels: energy, motion, excitement and just pure joy .”

Coming up with the look was just the beginning, according to Ott. “The bicycle is a challenging canvas. It’s all skinny round tubes, curves and angles. And when we apply custom graphics to a bike, the process isn’t automated. From painting the frame to fitting the design to the form of the tubes to applying the finished decals, the work’s all done by hand. With complex graphics like these, it’s the dictionary definition of ‘painstaking.’”

The end result is a sleek, stripped-down single-speed bike, with graphics dominated by bold colors and shapes that echo traditional screen-printing techniques and textures as well as pop art and Japanese animé. The District ARTCRANK Edition also features the Gates Carbon Drive — a maintenance-free belt drive system similar to those used on motorcycles — instead of a traditional chain and sprocket, which accentuates the bike’s singular appearance. And it does more than just look good. “As soon as I got it put together, I took it out for a spin in the middle of the night,” says Youel. “It’s super-fast and eerily quiet. I felt like a Stealth Bomber.”

The Trek District ARTCRANK Edition will be on display at upcoming ARTCRANK events in Denver, CO, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA and Bend, OR. The bike will also be at Trek dealerships in those cities before and after each ARTCRANK event. Cyclists who are ready to design their own Trek bikes can get started at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cole just got back from his annual tour work with Bicycle Illinois, and he also took back printing and shipping duties from me.

I'm still without a permanent -or even semi-permanent for that matter- place to live, so it just works out better this way. Things didn't work out for me as planned, so I'm staying in Michigan longer...somewhere.

So, OLC is fully back in Chicago!!!

In other news, we're going to have our first jersey in collaboration with Pace Clothing!!! We're both really stoked about that, as is Pace! I'll keep you up to date on those.

We've also got a couple new reviews for you this week! The first, Mountain Smith's Bike Cube Deluxe- A definite MUST have for all racers and all of you neat freaks out there!!! Then last, but certainly not least, is Detours' medium sized Seat Bag, The Guppy! I've been digging both pretty hard the last month.

Here's a little sample of the reviews...

Mountain Smith's Bike Cube Deluxe

Mountain Smith's Bike Cube is mainly aimed towards people who race their bikes. Straight up- the last time I raced a bike, I was under 12, if not 10, and it was across a long church parking lot across from my house.

I wanted to race BMX REALLY BAD when I was a kid. My dad took me out to our local track to watch a race, but we showed up towards the end and didn't catch any action. Sadly, that's as far as my racing career went. READ MORE...

Detours Guppy Seat Bag

I've been looking for a good saddle bag for a while lately, and in steps The Guppy from Detours.

I recently moved when I first got it and, I was without my bike for a few weeks. I ended up using it as my go to bag inside my BIG bag. Being super padded, I knew I could throw just about anything in it and toss it in without fear of any of it being broken. READ MORE...

That's it for now- stay tuned...We'll be back soon!!!



Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Check it out- Urban City Bike Shelf

What they say: Based out of Queens, NY these bike shelves are made out of solid maplewood, cherrywood, and walnut. Bike shelves are then stained and coated with natural wax. Serves as a unique way to mount your bike, which can be used as a book shelf to store whatever you want. Designed with a creative mind, these bike shelves are perfect for people who need to utilize their space in a standout way.

What we say: Since Cole started Bates Crates, we've both been paying more attention to handmade cycling goods. with that in mind, I got a hold of Urban City Bike shelves, and they sent us one of their bike shelves to check out review.

First off, to all of the naysayers out there, as well as the people that think "I could just do that myself!", go do it. You'll have a much better understanding of handmade goods and why they cost the price they do. Read more...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Read more about it here:


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fixed & fixed freestyle riders alike rejoice!

Check it out- SE's Quad- Fixed. Coming soon... Word on the streets is we'll have one for show & tell in September! Until then, check this out!