Burke Gilman is Closed! (So what?)

Route

The Burke-Gilman is closed along a pretty heavy commuter route, and personally - I don’t really care. The detour they provide is REDICULOUS, but there are plenty of ways to ride the route pretty comfortably. My route is here on Google Maps. I like to come across the University Street bridge, and travel a number of the bike-friendly routes on wide, one-way roads through the U District and up into Lake City. The bit from 145th back down to Lake Forest Park is easy (and downhill) going North, and cars tend to give you room. Going South…it’s a climb, but it’s shallow and there’s a bus lane so plenty of room. I’ve never had a problem with buses while riding there. The last stretch is Lake Forest Park to Kenmore and there are bus lanes there as well.

One tip for all users - even if the light of summer, I run my Planet Bike Superflash at all times (some bikes even two). Bikehugger has dropped them to “Stock up pricing” so get a couple and get free shipping. I think I own 8 if them between my bikes, bags, and the spares I keep at the office and in the garage.

Reynolds taper gauge, single-butted forks

‘B’ quality would be straight gauge

Uploaded by Kaptain Amerika | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Meet Ruthie the Cycling Coder

Ruthie sent this post to us before getting ready for her trip. We haven’t met her, but know many of the same people. A bike geek who codes? Sound familar? Did to us.

IMG_0039

Hi! My name’s Ruthie, and I’m a web developer in my mid-20’s living in Boston, Massachusetts. This Wednesday, I’ll be getting on my bike in Boston and begin pedaling towards San Francisco, California. Along the way, I’ll be talking with tech folks in towns big and small, brainstorming ideas for how, via the web, we can make life better for people across America.

Why Collect Stories?

Next year I’ll be working as a Code for America fellow, helping American cities use web technology better. By collecting and sharing the stories of tech folks working with and within government, I hope to learn about how web technology is used in different ways in different parts of the U.S.A. I hope that hearing each other’s stories will help us identify common challenges and be smarter about solving them.

Help A Cycling Coder Out

Do you know web technologists anywhere along my route? I’m especially interested in folks working at the intersection of government and web tech in America (examples: a small-town mayor who’s also the town webmaster; a data analyst for a big city who used an open data set to plan better bus routes; etc.), but I’d love to talk to web technologists in other sectors, too—it’ll be interesting to see what patterns and commonalities emerge. If this description makes you think, “Hey, Ruthie should talk to ____!”, please email ruthie@cyclingcoder.com and put us in touch. Thanks so much!

Follow Along

Tag along with me this summer by checking out my route map; I’ll be updating the map with my GPS coordinates daily. I’ll also be blogging my journey at http://www.CyclingCoder.com and posting trip photos to Flickr. Though I haven’t recorded any interviews yet, you should bookmark http://www.cyclingcoder.com/stories and check back in the coming weeks. Thanks for your support, and see you on the road!

Potential Fixie

Before the Tall Bike Joust at the Georgetown Carnival, we observed this couple inspecting a Schwinn Varsity for its fixie potential.

In this photo, they first spot it

Then consider it

Try touching it

And finally realize there’s not much good you can do with a Schwinn Varsity and “hey that’s a really little lock for such a big bike.”

This Varsity must’ve been like a 62 or a 60 and a bike that was

the single most significant American bicycle.

and unfortunate

that we remember the Varsity as an inferior bike.

For more on the history of the Varsity see Sheldon Brown’s archives. High-rez photos on Flickr.

H+Son TB14 rims are in

H+Son TB14 unbuilt

As I said, I’m going to try out the new 23mm wide H Plus Son TB14 low-profile clincher rims. I’m going to rebuild one of my Mavic Classic hub wheelsets with the black 32H version, and the straight-pull Sapim Laser (2.0-1.5mm double-butted) spokes should arrive this week. The rims are available in high polish, hard anodized grey, or black. The two rims I received weigh an average of 503gr each. The TB14 has a welded seam and machined sidewall, though unlike Mavic and others, H+Son anodizes the rim after the machining process, so the sidewall and top of the rim are a uniform colour (until the brake pads scuff off the anodizing). Compared to the high polish silver version, the black rim has a somewhat coarse brushed finish. Similar to some Italian rims, the TB14 has a a counterweight at the valve hole to balance the internal sleeve at the seam. It’s a pretty classy rim.

I’m enthusiastic about wider rims for clinchers, and for a classic steel bike the low profile of the TB14 makes a better aesthetic match than a Hed Belgian or a heavy duty touring rim. Weight-wise, the TB14 falls in between those other two rims. Though it would be nice if the rims were lighter, they’d probably need to take metal out of the sidewalls to do that, which isn’t necessarily a good idea since often rims are retired because the brake pads have thinned and weakened the rim over time. I’m going to use these rims on my commuter/cross bike, since that will be the harshest brake pad use. I will know how well these rims build up later this week, but it’ll take a lot of wet weather riding to see how well the rim wears. At this point, I’d say that Mavic rims are the best for sidewall wear resistance. The Hed Belgian rim, though it is strong against impacts and builds up extremely nice, isn’t remarkably long lasting at the sidewall in Seattle winter conditions.

If there is one rim brand that I find particularly disappointing, it would be DT-Swiss rims. Their finish, especially the black, weathers poorly, the light weight rims have cracked often at the spoke holes, they are a bit hard to mount up tires (though not as bad as a Campagnolo rim) and they seem to wear pretty quick at the sidewall. They also cost 10-20% more than Mavic, and don’t offer a wide rim lighter than their full touring rim.

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