Magnificent Streets, Folding Bikes, and Roundabouts

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by Byron on Oct 30, 2006 at 7:10 AM

Barcelona Folding Barcelona had magnificent streets: 4 for cars in either direction, 2 for bikes in either direction, and wide pedestrian promenades that are at least 2 lanes wide.

Those magnificent streets are full of cars, scooters, and bikes. Most of those bikes fold so they can be taken on the Metro, store easily in a small apartment, and are inexpensive. I saw all types of folding bikes, including one with an electric motor. The bike lanes have their own lights and even take you safely around the roundabouts.

Out in the country, near Girona, we just rode right up, into, around, and out of the roundabouts on our way to ancient ruins, hills, or the coast.

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Cycle tourism in Girona Spain

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by Byron on Oct 26, 2006 at 8:07 PM

coast_ride.jpg

Our stay at Hotel Moli del Mig near Girona Spain was more than we expected. From the friendly staff, roads, food and modernist remodel, it’s a new destination for cyclists and only a few had ridden the roads. It was also how we’d approach a cyclo-tourism hotel, nearly exactly. Notes

  • Open less than a year, the “middle mill” was restored from a 400 yr old water mill.
  • Cycle tourism is new to the area – treking has been around and actively promoted by the tourism board.
  • From the lighting to the background music. furnishings, and more, much attention to “modernists” details occured in the renovation.
  • Welcoming people, roads, and almost no one here – it’s off season and about 70 degrees.
  • Most people spoke some english and we’re happy to accommodate us with our phrase book in hand. The language here is Catalan, but they also speak Spanish.

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Timbuk 3

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by Byron on Oct 17, 2006 at 8:01 AM

Timbuk 4 I added a 3rd Timbuk2 messenger bag to my collection for our trip to Spain. Messenger bags work great, but anything over 5 pounds for more than 4 hours gets very tiresome slung across your shoulder and chest. With all their big-box retailer offerings and fashion bags, I thought that Timbuk2 had lost itself along the way from a Hippie messenger shop to a corporate, sellout making poseur bags.

Their Pro Series reminded me of exactly why I bought my first Timbuk2 bag, way back in the day; it’s tough, durable, well-designed, well made, and has plenty of pockets. The tri-color one in the photo is the first and was a shop sampler at Alki Bike and Board that showed all the custom colors you could order. I think I paid like a case of beer for it or something. Later, I got the small pork-chop “man purse” and it used to carry around a Handspring.

A couple years ago, I starting traveling a lot and got the black and gray “business” bag. The business bag works very well when perched atop roller luggage and it’s very functional to take to meetings and later remove the laptop sleeve for a ride.

In Spain, we’re traveling as light as possible with the bikes and I’m going to have my laptop with me. I opted for the Pro Series Messenger Backpack to get the weight up on my shoulders more comfortably and organize myself with all the pockets! Fixed Gear Gallery reviewed the backpack ealier this year. I modified mine by adding a pad to the compression strap Timbuk2 supplies for extra-capacity. I can throw it over my shoulder for another bag position and when I need to get into the bag frequently. I also added pouches for my cell phone and camera

As Timbuk2 says, the Pro Series line was designed by a bike messenger and it shows. The bag is proudly made in San Fran. Finally, there’s no losing me in a Barcelona crowd with that orange reflective strip.

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Two Huggers to Spain

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by Byron on Oct 14, 2006 at 6:28 AM

GironaHugger 1 and 2 (Pam and I) will ride in Girona and Barcelona Spain next week. In Girona, we’re staying at the Moli Del Mig Hotel, which specializes in cycling vacations. Their amenities include bike cleaning facilities, workshop and mechanic, secure storage for bikes, and a menu just for cyclists!

For us, there’s no better vacation that eating, sleeping, and riding and doing that in Girona is going to be even better. As reported in the NYTimes, Girona is home to many professional cyclists, it’s considered a cycling mecca, and we’ll “represent” hugga style on those roads. Of course, I’ll blog the whole experience.

A few days later, we’ll ride in Barcelona. That riding will be more metropolitan and most likely just on bike paths and to coffee shops, but enjoyable just the same.

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Winter project prep: Building a bike

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by Frank Steele on Oct 10, 2006 at 3:50 PM

instructables | How to Build Up a Bike

With winter coming, I know there are lots of Huggers whose minds are turning to new frames with which to meet the spring.

If you’re thinking about buying a frame and components and building it up yourself, instructables.com offers a step-by-step guide to assembling a bike. They break down the recommended tools and provide plenty of photos to shepherd you through the process.

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WSJ brings SUBs to WWW

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by Frank Steele on Oct 06, 2006 at 10:33 AM

WSJ.com | The New Business Cycle

Nancy Keates at the Wall Street Journal looks at the new breed of transportation-friendly bikes making waves in the U.S.

Keane notes that commuter bike sales are up 15 percent in the last 2 years, but still make up a small fraction of total bike sales (she says $900,000, but that must be Euro-commuters only).

Among the featured bikes: the new Specialized Globe, Diamondback’s Transporter, Breezer’s Uptown 8, Electra’s Amsterdam, alongside folding bikes and electric-assist rides.

Keane gets a little wrapped up in the taxonomy – I don’t see why it matters whether it’s a Townie (and why is that capitalized?), comfort, or cruiser bike – but does a pretty good job surveying the segment.

Byron spent some time with her at Interbike, but he (and our Bettie Project) wound up on the cutting-room floor, right next to all of Kevin Costner’s stuff from The Big Chill.

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