Yield to Life

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by andrew_f_martin on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Yield to Life is a new campaign founded and fronted by US Pro Dave Zabriskie. The site has some well-constructed articles on how to act properly on your bike to stay safe. The 10 Safety Tips For Motorists should be a must-read for all drivers…but oh well. I’ve pasted the Cyclist Tips below:

From: 10 Safety Tips for Cyclists

1. Cycling Citizenship
Along with the right to cycle come responsibilities. Familiarize yourself with all applicable traffic laws and cycling rules. Each state has its own set; be aware of them. Motorists will be much more willing to accept cyclist’s rightful place on the road if cyclists act lawfully and respectfully. Do not run stop signs or red lights or use the wrong side of the street. It is best and safest to ride single file. If you are not blocking traffic and if the laws in your state permit it, there are times it is safe to ride two abreast. However, on narrow curvy canyon roads it is always best to ride single file. Riding responsibly will do wonders towards easing tensions and fostering a more harmonious environment between motorists and cyclists.

2. Right On
It is generally either illegal or unsafe to ride on a sidewalk or on the road towards oncoming traffic. As a rule, it is best to ride in the direction of traffic, staying as far to the right as is practical. However, make sure there is room to handle emergencies and that you do not ride so close to the right that you run the risk of hitting the curb and being thrown into traffic. There are times when you simply cannot stay to the far right”whether it’s to overtake another cyclist or vehicle, to make a left turn, or to avoid a hazard. Be sure to wait for a safe opportunity and use the proper hand signals when you take a lane.

3. Join In
If you are traveling at the same speed as other traffic, it may be safer to jump in and ride with traffic; because, this may make you more visible to motorists. Joining traffic is sometimes necessary because the road is simply too narrow for both a bike and a car. It is a particularly good idea to take a lane and join traffic before an intersection to make your presence known”especially for right-turning drivers who may not see you as they start their turn.

When you do join traffic, make sure you never pass on the right. This is always dangerous, but particularly so in an intersection. By waiting directly behind a vehicle, you can see a car’s signals; otherwise, you never know if the motorist is about to make a right turn and hit you.

4. Use Your Head
Regardless if you’re going to the corner store or heading out on a marathon ride, always wear a helmet. Make sure it is properly fastened and fitted. (The helmet should fit snugly and not move when you shake your head.)

5. Seeing Eye to Eye
Make eye contract with drivers whenever possible. This ensures that the motorists see you and helps you assert your rightful place on the road. This œpersonal connection reminds motorists that you are indeed real LIFE in need of attention and protection. Once you make that connection, motorists may give you more respect on the road.

6. The Road Straightly Traveled
Try to ride consistently and predictably. For instance, at an intersection, do not veer into the crosswalk and then suddenly reappear on the road again. Don’t thread through parked cars. With such erratic behavior, motorists will not be aware of your presence when you try to re-emerge into traffic. (Inconsistent conduct increases your chances of being squeezed out of traffic or, worse, getting hit.)

7. Playing Defense
Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings. Know what is behind you and watch out for what is in front of you. Always be on the lookout for road hazards; sand and gravel, glass, railroad tracks, parked cars, snow and slush can wreak havoc on you and your bike. Sewer grates and cracks in the road can catch your wheel and cause you to be thrown from the bike. Watch for parked cars where people may be opening doors on the driver side of the vehicle without looking. Always wait until you have ample time to make your move, whether you are changing a lane or turning a corner. Do not expect to be granted the right of way in any instance.

8. Flaunt It
Make your presence felt. Wear bright color clothing. At night or in inclement weather, it is important to use reflective lights in the front, side and rear that make you visible from all directions.

9. Helping Hands
Emergencies happen. Be prepared. Always make sure you have at least one hand on your handlebars, no matter what. Know and use your hand signals whenever you are changing lanes or making a turn.

10. Brake Away
Make sure your brakes are always in top-notch condition. Be aware of how weather and road conditions can effect your ability to brake.

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You want this kid’s bike!

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by Mark V on Jan 29, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Lapierre%2002.jpg

Ever notice how Lady Fortune has a brutal sense of humour? I’m at the Lapierre Cycles presentation. Seattle Bike Supply and Lapierre had a raffle for a Lapierre X.Lite cyclocross frameset, and who wins it? This little kid named Reuben (see picture left). Yes, of course, Reuben’s dad is the real lucky one, but I’m still ticked that he used his kid to win. I mean, I thought I was clever using my girlfriend’s ticket to improve my odds but clearly I was outsmarted. Next time I’ll need to bring in a daycare center or some homeless people to get more raffle tickets in my hands. Don’t I deserve swag?

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Mr. Lapierre shows his 2008 product line

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by Mark V on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:37 AM

lapierre.jpg Last Friday, Gilles Lapierre (seen here on the left with Seattle Bike Supply’s Tim Rutledge) was in town to present the 2008 Lapierre bicycle line. Mr. Lapierre, whose grandfather founded the company in 1946, is hoping to steadily expand into the US market with a selection of performance road and mountain bikes.

lapierre%20s.jpgLapierre’s carbon fibre X.Lite and S.Lite road bikes are premium road frames utilizing the tube-to-tube process of joining the carbon tubes. The X.Lite frameset using high-modulus carbon (HM) is the Française des Jeux professional team bike for Pro Tour circuit, and weighs around 900gr. The S.Lite frame is built with longer chainstays, taller headtube, and different carbon tubes to give a more vertically compliant ride to rock the pave sectors of Paris-Roubaix or whatever tortured and chip-sealed road you’ll ride on your next brevet.

lapierre%20passport.jpgHowever, the real innovation comes in the form of the Lapierre Passport. This is a short-travel full-suspension mtb that happens to fold up without any tools and fit into an extremely clever soft-case for air travel. Two years in development, this travel bike system shows shows a clean and refined design.

Hopefully, Bikehugger will get our hands on a bike for testing.

Lapierre bikes are distributed in the US by Seattle Bike Supply.

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New Cargo bike on the scene: Yuba’s in the UK, USA

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by Dave R. on Jan 28, 2008 at 8:50 PM

Yuba.gif The Yuba is rolling out in the UK and Ghana this week, and the US and the antipodes next month. The Yuba’s an integrated longbike style cargo bike, promising lateral stiffness and lots of capacity (220 kg total load). Built in horizontal racks for hauling the stuff that won’t fit in a pannier or two. Nice touches: chain guard, choice of kickstands, bikes in Africa.

As much as I love the idea of more cargo bikes here in the land of giant SUVs, I love the reality of cargo bikes in the developing world even more. It’s great to see a manufacturer actually shipping to Africa in their initial foray into the markets. Good for you, Yuba!

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Bay Area Bike Culture

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by Byron on Jan 28, 2008 at 4:03 PM

I was googling for something else and found this Bay Area Bike Culture multimedia piece and photo essay. I can’t tell when it was produced but judging by the Saturn jerseys, I’d say a while ago.

bay_area.jpg

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New Year, New Season

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by Kelli on Jan 27, 2008 at 2:48 PM

With 2008 well underway, those of us “fair-weather” riders are looking forward to another cycling season that lies just around the corner. As you try to keep warm through the last few weeks of winter, here are some exciting events to kick off the season…and they don’t all require riding in the freezing cold.

  • Seattle Bike Swap: Grab some great deals and get your bike tricked out for the upcoming season. Back in Magnuson Park’s hanger #30, this year’s swap is sure to get you ready to ride!
  • Clif Bar Chilly Hilly: No other event name describes a ride so well. Back for its 34th year, Chilly Hilly will once again kick off the Northwest cycling season.
  • Bike Expo 2008: Sponsored by Group Health, the Seattle International Bike Expo is sure to provide a good time in the new downtown location, Cruise Terminal 30. As in years past, Cascade has lined up a bunch of great FREE presentations, from Chris Carmichael to The Metal Cowboy and a list of others. Stop by to check out the latest in bike gear, new rides and stay for some fun shows.

And for the rest of us weenies, grab your cup of hot coffee and curl up in front of the Amgen Tour of California, set to ride in only a few short weeks!

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Small Business Cargo

4

by Jason Swihart on Jan 26, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Spotted on Stone Way, in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle. Can anyone identify that bike? I hadn’t seen it before and the shop girl just said that the owner had bought it from Europe.

from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

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How to fix a folder

3

by Dave R. on Jan 26, 2008 at 1:45 PM

little_deuce_coupe.jpg Of all the bikes in my stable my Fixed Folder is the bike I get the most questions about. She’s also the bike I take the most pride in, having built her up from just a frame and some rims. It’s actually not terribly hard, despite requiring some cold setting. Amazingly, these bikes can still be had new on ebay for less than $200 bucks. So if you like to tinker and want a unique-ish ride, my recipe follows.

Props to Rain City Fix for the updated photo.

Here’s the answer to a question I get from time to time: How’d you make your fixed folder?

  1. Find a suitable frame.
  2. I got a Dahon Boardwalk S1. You can find them on ebay for $180 or so fully assembled. This is Dahon’s cheapie, singlespeed, all steel bike with Horizontal Dropouts and coaster brakes.

  3. Buy some parts:
  4. Mandatory:Rear track hub, spokes, sprocket, rim and tires

    Optional:

    1. Front Rear hub, spokes, rim and tires
    2. Front Rim brakes
    3. New cranks, chainrings, pedals, chain
    4. Handlebar post and handlebars
    5. Saddle

    I’ll go into each of these below, read to the finish before heading to your local bike store.

  5. Take all that crap off it.
  6. The rear wheel must go. It’s asingle speed coaster brake, not suitable for fixing.

    If you’re going to do the wheels, might as well get rid of the front as well. I’d also suggest dropping the cranks and pedals (but hang on to those pedals!), handlepost, handlebars and saddle.

  7. Start Building: Wheels
  8. Hubs: get the best you can, but remember you’re not going to win any races on this little beast. Also: Match hub holes to rim holes for spokes (or some fraction there of).

    Rims: Small wheels are strong wheels, so you could afford to go with cheaper rims. BUT: If you’re big like me (200+) go with good rims. Velocity makes good strong rims, see if you can find them in the right size (406mm). Peter White sells them, so does gearlan. I also bought 36 hole rims so I could use 18 spoke crows foot lacing. Fewer holes is fine, just make sure you match the hub holes to the rim holes.

    Spokes: Here’s where it gets tricky. Most shops don’t stock double butted spokes in a size that can be trimmed short enough for your wheels. Ask for the size you need, a good shop will be able to trim down straight gauge spokes to the right size (figure out the size you need based on the hubs and rims you select, using your wheel building manual or the SpokeAndWheel site). Downhill Zone in Seattle came through for me several times in a row, even when other LBS’s claimed a short spoke was impossible.

    Building: Don’t be scared, building wheels (esp. small wheels) is pretty easy. I used Roger Munson’s excellent book on wheel building. There are several other tutorials on the web. Notably:

    Crows Foot lacing and general wheel info at Robert Torre’s SpokeAndWheel site.

  9. Cold setting the frame:
  10. You may have already noticed that the old hubs you had were narrow. Many folders use narrow width hubs so the bike can fold more compactly, and the Boardwalks no exception. Fortunately, since it’s steel it’s pretty easy to change.

    Rear Triangle: You need to apply steady, even pressure to both dropouts, and a substantial amount.

    Go out to your car and find your tire jack. Place the moving ends of the jack between the dropouts, where the chain and seat stays join – be sure to shield the paint from the jack feet with a cloth.

    Screw the jack open until the dropouts are past the size of the hub you need (120mm for a track hub), probably about 6-8mm past. Let the frame sit for a minute then unscrew the jack and see what distance you got the dropouts too. Steel is pretty flexible and forgiving, if it doesn’t turn out just right at first try, try again.

    The front fork is close enough to just muscle it, as I recall. If not, try the jack again, but go gently.

  11. The hard part’s finished — now add:
  12. Brakes — a front V-brake is what I use, Shimano Dx and an Avid lever. NOTE: Leave lots of extra cable housing between the lever and brake. When the handlepost folds you’ll need the extra to keep the whole setup from pulling itself apart.

    Cranks, chainring,and pedals — The stock cranks and pedals are pretty crappy. New cranks will improve your enjoyment quite a bit. I hesitate on pedals because the existing (plastic, in my case) pedals fold up. This is nice if you have to fit your bike into a very small space, but it takes extra time to screw around with them. I ditched mine, but you may want to keep yours.

    I’m running a 53 tooth chain ring, and a 17 tooth rear sprocket. Keep in mind the old 2:1 thing doesn’t apply with your new, tiny wheels.

    Saddle — the stock saddle is uncomfortable after just a few miles. I eventually ended up with a Brooks sprung Champion Flyer carried by Wallbike. I got mine at a local bike store where they did the initial saddle dressing for free and much better than I could have.

    Handlepost — The handlepost that came on my Boardwalk was not suitable for fixed riding by a large guy. Flexy, squeaky, generally unsafe feeling.

    I upgraded to a 2005+ handlepost from Gaerlan, whichis the single best improvement I’ve made on the bike.

    Note:This is a tricky upgrade. The handlepost only works on bikes which have forks threaded on the INSIDE. The handlepost attaches to the fork by a huge threaded bolt with a 10mm hex driver hole in the top. Check to make sure your Dahon has this type of fork before ordering the 2005+ stem.

    Stem and Handlebars:

    • I also upgraded to the Revolve Stem (from the gaerlan site again). The Revolve stem is designed to use with the new handlepost, and fits it very snugly.
    • I had hoped to use the bike with moustache bars, but the revolve stem can’t hold them tight enough to resist slipping when I yank on them. Instead I’ve switched to some riser bars, which seem to work fine.
    • Tighten the quick releases on Handlepost and stem TIGHT. Otherwise you may have some upexpected air-travel.
  13. Finishing touches
  14. You’re very close. Add a chain, and some tires and I think you’re good to go.

    I used Schwalbe Marathon Slicks (which do come in a 406 size) for my tires, and I can’t be happier with them.

That’s it!

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4 Million Bikes Stolen

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by Byron on Jan 25, 2008 at 6:30 AM

When Bryan and I were riding around Beijing (inhaling various flavors of fuel), I fretted about locking the bikes, making sure we picked a good spot to lock them, and was wary of bike thieves. We debated the likelihood of theft and thought with hundreds of millions of bikes on the street, who would need to steal one? Well, according to a China Daily report, 4 million bikes get stolen a year and they just halved that and consider it a success. Wow that’s a lot of bikes!

parked_bikes.jpg

Interestingly, the bikes we did see locked, were more like a cursory lock, not NYC style at all.

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