Cycle Seen is a celebration of the cultural diversity found within one city’s cycling community. The event features bicycle related photographs collected from local artisans and cyclists. Photos are grouped together and displayed in 9 locations throughout the city of Portland. The locations are as diverse as the photos; they range from cafes and bike shops, to a local grocery store. This makes each gallery and its surrounding community of artists unique. A 30 mile organized ride is scheduled to hit all 9 stops on June 14th. The above pieces can be found at Stumptown Coffee Roasters and will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit “Bikes to Rwanda.” The show will run in most locations through the end of June.
I ate shit Tuedsay night. Sure it was my fault, but it didn’t make it feel any better.
I was rolling up to the light on my way home, close to the right side of the road next to a construction area. There was one of those slick steel plates covering the road, so I went further right to avoid it. As soon as I did that I felt like Lance as my bike was ripped out from under me. I just barely grazed the orange netting, but enough to yank my right lever. Be careful out there kids - even the non-moving traffic is out to get you.
As always we’ll be riding Seattle’s downtown this month to promote civility between cyclists, motorists, and pedestrian. This month it’ll be the Change Your Luck ride, bring your lucky charms whatever they may be. We’ll meet at Westlake Center around 5:30-5:45, chat for a few (pick an ultimate destination, maybe one with beer and food) minutes while we wait for any late arrivals and depart around 6:15. There is no no fixed route, we’ll decide as we ride based on what looks fun. The pace is very social, no one left behind.
The goals are to promote cycling as an integral part of our city’s traffic, demonstrate civility in action between roadway users, and to have fun doing it. The more folks out riding the safer we all are, so let’s get out and ride!
Combine some CX park riding with some safety tape and on-bike sound effects and you’ve got real-life lightcycles! You may want to turn down your speakers on this, there’s no profanity but there is plenty of loud Billy Idol. These guys go all the way, even dressing the part. Too bad skins weren’t around back in 2006.
I know it’s been a while since I loved you, when I had all Campagnolo on my bike, but why do you hate me now? I’ve heard ugly rumours that you’re planning on introducing 11 speed cassettes and shifters for 2009!
My first road bike was a 1994 Specialized Allez with Veloce components, but I scrimped up enough cash to upgrade the Ergopowers to Record. Eventually I had a Bianchi EL/OS with full Record two years later. But then everyone went 9sp and you abandoned me. Suddenly my shifters, derailleurs, and hubs were obsolete with the new 9 speed systems.
That’s when I turned to Dura Ace 7700…sleeker, more daring. Don’t say it’s because I like Asians! The cranks were stunning and the new STI just fit in my hands better. And not nearly so expensive to get replacement parts. Hell, Dura Ace didn’t mind if I used a 8 speed Ultegra derailleur as a back up.
Then you, Campagnolo…you came out with 10 speed. Okay, I’ll give it to you: I didn’t think it could be done and you proved me wrong. And yes, when Dura Ace went 10 sp, I decided to follow. But you gotta admit, cassette and chain lifespans are WAY down from previously. I still don’t think that anyone has yet made a truly satisfactory 10 sp chain, though my Dura Ace 7900 might be ready to nail it.
Now I work at a bike shop, and for the last five years you have been making my life hell with your never-ending revisions to your derailleurs and cranks. I really don’t want to have to stock your $600 cranks because they could go out-of-style without a moment’s notice. And front derailleurs? I can’t even begin to keep track. Why do you do this to me?
And now I hear that you’re gonna wedge one more cog onto the current cassette body? Alright, I’ll hold off from saying it can’t be done, but you can’t keep doing this. Every time you need attention, you can’t just keep adding cogs. I’d even be open to your electronic shifter set-up….of course, I suspect that my Dura Ace will beat ya.
No doubt you’ll demand that I sell only the newly revised Record 11 derailleurs, chainrings, shifters, and probably those $600 cranks. Well, if it wasn’t 11 sp I’m sure it would have been something else to make my inventory prematurely obsolete.
But a 5.5mm wide chain… I just don’t feel good about this.
Check this hand-built beauty from Sound Speed Scooters. It still has pedals for when the juice runs low. It’s almost painted and ready for a hugga test ride. I like the retro look of it, like one of those Honda Trails.
Before being annexed by Seattle in 1910, Georgetown was a wide-open saloon town with its own horse racing track, leading a local preacher to dub it œthe cesspool of Seattle. Built up by workers at Boeing and the Rainier Brewing Company, the neighborhood, just south of downtown, faltered in the postwar era. Interstate 5 drove a concrete and rebar stake through its heart.
As I described it, Adobe killed Fremont and it was reborn in Georgetown. The article doesn’t mention the bike piles, tall bikes, scooter shop, artist lofts, or biker clubhouses you find in Georgetown as well.
Stand Over Height – Fully loaded, with kids, a spouse, or Clip-n-Seals, the stand-over height of Bettie is always a concern and difficult. You’re balancing a hundred pounds or so, then stepping up, and over to get onto Bettie. The top tube of a cargo Bettie would need to be as low as possible or made like a factory worker’s cruiser bike with a basket in front or back.
The curve in the Big Dummy is nice, but I hit it each time with my foot. It’s a balance between lots of ground clearance and stand-over. It’s manageable and Val has a stand you can pull the Bettie up on – like a motorcycle – to park it; instead of balancing it fully loaded.
Whippiness – Bettie is a whip machine. Some cyclist may like that sensation, I most certainly do not. While I understand why Bettie whips under load and deal with it, standing up is scary, and a Bettie 2.0, Surly, or custom frame should address that problem.
No more whip! You can stand up!
We built this version of Bettie sans Monkey. Maybe it’ll come back for 2.5x.
Slow Ride – Over time with Bettie, I learned to just slow down.
And it’s even slower with Bettie 2.0! Like a Bootsie Collins, slow, funky bass line. No rush, just pedal.
Bettie 2.0 delivers, but at a more deliberate pace.
Ever since we broke the Big Dummy story during a visit to Interbike, we’ve been anticipating it and the bikesphere has already posted and uploaded photos of their Big Dummies. The bike addresses our biggest concerns and it’s like riding around on a big mtn bike v. a cargo bike and that’s a good thing.
A Surly Big Dummy with Redline Spec
For the build, we enlisted the master-mechanic talent of Val Kleitz. Technically, Bettie 2.0 is a Surly Big Dummy with Redline Spec and sponsored in part by Seattle Bike Supply. Besides the tech, there’s a lot of love going into the spec and the lengthy parts list includes
NuVinci Continuously Variable Transmission rear hub for total cadence control and ease of shifting in high torque situations
Custom chain tensioner with sealed bearing pulleys (by Rolling Jackass) so that dual chainrings can be used with the NuVinci hub
Vintage Redline decals
Bike Hugger Decals.
The magic of the new Bettie is the Nuvinvi hub. Val spent lots of time lobbying me on Nuvinci and his dogged convincing got me to first agree to it and then finally appreciate it (see his review here). In my first review of the gear-less drivetrain, I wasn’t down with it at all and that’s because I didn’t know how to use it. You’ve got to unthink how you shift now when riding Nuvinci and learn all over again. The twist-shift visual indicator is a good analogy. It looks like an inchworm and that’s how you should think about shifting. Instead of gears, it’s minor adjustments. You nudge it either easier or harder and maintain a continuous cadence. Once you get it, it’s very much appreciated and works very well on a cargo bike.
From my quick review
The bike is remarkably quiet. All I hear is the tires. Old Bettie was a cacophony of sound with the StokeMonkey, two chain rings and gears. It’s also like I went from driving a beat-up old truck to an Escalade. It’s smooth. Now that I understand how Nuvinci shifts, it’s a thing of drivetrain beauty. Also slow. Smooth and slow.
I’m sticking with that. I’ll update again later this summer after many more mail dispatch runs. For the loads I’m carrying Bettie works. For lighter loads and commuting, we’re big fans of the Kona Ute.
Writing Looking for a Sport-Utility Bike last year, I considered the whole cargo bike subculture, the niche market, and what the bikes are called. There are longtails, cargo bikes, xTracycles, and sport-utility bikes. When asked by motorist or just interested bystanders, I tell them, “it’s Bettie, a sport-utility bike and it replaces a car.”
Local Bike Shops
The Bettie 2.0 frame and parts are available via your local bike shop, ‘cept for the decals.
Both Bettie revs were built with help and lots of work from