When Mr. On Your Left blew through a red light, I didn’t bark at him about it cause it’s still #BiketoWorkMonth, but mentioned it to my bro Chris DiStefano who told me this:
I rang my bell at a guy and he lost it. He said, “You’re supposed to say on your left!” I told him this was a universal indicator and just more pleasant. He said, “‘Oh, you must be one of those new commuters.
I also told him a bell was universal, what if someone doesn’t speak English. He laughed like Donald Trump. That’s ridiculous, is what he replied.
To The Point
It is ridiculous that those of us who ride year around, think this is the month when the tourists show up. So to the point, a bell is most certainly used to alert people on the path of your presence. I’ve have one on all my city bikes and have never had a confrontation over it. Also, if you’re gonna say, “on your left,” it’s done as a courtesy when passing. It does not mean, “Give me your line,” and/or that the cyclists in your way should move or slow down. Like a bell, it’s a courtesy, and much different than flashing your lights in the left lane at the car in front of you, right?
There’s only a few days left of bike-to-work month, so here’s another tip for the “Commuter,” “hold your line around corners.”
And, don’t run red lights.
While I don’t think it’s necessary to write e a bell shootout, I recommend you find one with a loud, pleasant ring and that suits you. I like bells from Crane, as seen in the photo above and that’s on Amazon for $12.00. The bell du jour is Spurcycle and Mark V reviewed it. One just like it is on Amazon too for $11.00. Also see this Vine with another Crane I have that I used to get brogramers’ attention downtown.
After that balance bike act, how about a Guiness World Record for Longest Bicycle Manual? Yep, the longest manual on a bicycle is 338.9 m (1,111.87 ft) and was achieved by Harry Denton (New Zealand), at Nelson Airport, Nelson, New Zealand, on 9 December 2015. GWR Shared it today.
Extending that quip from Twitter, and until that actually happens, I defer all fender matters to the experts at Portland Design Works. Despite having Portland in their name, they’re not a group of millennials that moved to not actually work in Oregon’s largest city, that sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood. Instead of being rewarded for just showing up and having consultants try to figure them out, they’re hard at work designing quality bike kit; including, the full-metal fenders that have replaced all plastic fenders across my current quiver of rain and adventure bikes.
If you’ve been following along, I’ve shared photos of the full-metals on my demo Roubaix, and Boone. The Boone being the most interesting, because Mark V also attached a rack to the front for an all-day ride and mostly to carry beer. I’ve covered the Boone at length here, on Medium Bicycles, and in our mag. And, now specifically to the fenders, they’re doing double duty keeping me drier in the wet AND preventing debris picked up by the tires from flying off the wheels and hitting me or the cyclists near me.
Since they were installed, the fenders have held up to hundreds of miles of riding. That’s because, as the name implies, being all metal, they can withstand vibrations. Plastic fenders will eventually fail, some sooner than others, from vibrations at the attachments. Metal is stronger than plastic, right? Attaching the PDWs is as difficult as any fender install: get a beverage, put on some ambient music, and take your time. Relax knowing that while fiddling with the proper strut length, that these fenders will likely last the life of your bike, and are well worth the cost compared to plastic.
I like the full metals so much, I wrote PDW suggesting they devise a suspension/elastomer vibration reduction system for dirt roads to extend the fender’s life further; also, to consider a less-malleable metal that was less finicky during portage in and out of a truck or car. My usage of the fenders is at the far end of their purpose, sure but for commuting they’ve got plenty of room for 32 tires, and a curve in the left strut to clear the brake.
I asked Mark V about installing the PDWs, and he said
Stronger, simpler than Honjo in 45mm Full Metal, but 35mm are a dodgy fit.
The 45s are J Lawrence. Versatile, looks good fancy, but not afraid to get dirty. Good times.
35s are J Lopez. Looks good but never a good fit for the role
Fits bikes with 700x28-35mm tires and fender eyelets
510g (18 oz)
and how PDW lovingly describes them
Made of anodized aluminum and adorned with laser graphics and an embossed alloy head badge, the Full Metal Fenders™ are a beautiful complement to any bike. They provide full-wrap coverage, even shielding riders behind you from tire spray thanks to the sturdy rubber mudflats.
Safety release tabs ensure your wheels will keep turning even if debris gets lodged between the fender and tire.
City size Full Metal Fenders™ are designed for touring and CX bikes with 700x35 tires maximum.
Order them from PDW directly or at a bike shop near you. Get the 45s and don’t be cheap about it like a millennial. They’ll last longer than a millennial’s next “real” job, in the gig economy.
Cle Elum, in the state of Washington lies in the mountains about a hundred miles from Seattle, and Suncadia Resort is another five miles from Interstate 90. The wealth from this land has already been removed by lumber and mining companies, but riches remain in adventure and four seasons of activities like the bike ride we had on a road previously used by farmers, loggers, miners, and homesteaders.
Read the rest of the Suncadia ride story in the next issue of our magazine that’ll drop later this month. Issue 35 is available now.
The backstory surrounding an alleged institutional doping program in Russia makes tales of Motoman schlepping EPO for Armstrong seem like mere baby town frolics. Government agents swapping urine samples like a scene out of Mission Impossible and later the suspiciously convenient deaths of disgraced anti-doping officials.