Bike Potter

1

by Byron on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:27 AM

An AP wire photo with the caption: “Bangladeshi potter takes his wares to a local market for sale on a cold and foggy morning in Rohonpur, 230 kilometers (145 miles), north of Dhaka, Bangladesh.”

From AP Photo by Pavel Rahman and submitted by Jerome, BikeWintering west of Chicago, who spotted the photo using FlickrFan.

bike_potter.jpg

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Bike Justice

4

by Byron on Jan 18, 2008 at 7:52 AM

One of our readers from Taiwan, submitted this story about a bike and a Buick:

Woman hits student on bicycle with Buick. Demands payment for scratches to car. Argument ensues. Mob of students responds with “turning over and violent dismemberment of the sedan” [sic].

crowd.jpg

That’s bike, well, “mob” justice. While Bike Hugger does not promote bike-on-car violence, I did imagine a mob descending upon one of those PI-bike-hater forum trolls, who were out in force last week over storm grates (of all things). Like this cyclist who challenged a driver in downtown Toronto and won!

car_cyclist.jpg

Side note on those grates: I’ve ridden here for over 15 years in Seattle and haven’t known anyone terrorized by grates or seen that myself. That was new to me and as a rule I do not ride over grates or hug the curb. Train tracks are absolutely a concern, especially in a city like ours that’s a construction zone.

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Build Your Own Bag

5

by Byron on Jan 17, 2008 at 6:20 PM

byob.jpg Late last year, right before our trip to Maui, I tried out Timbuk2s Build Your Own Bag site. Ordering up his and hers bags in the Hugga Comfort colors. The bag builder offered very nice interactivity, with lots of custom features, previews, and more.

I was initially bummed to see that 992 other bag builders created the bag I did, but then kept trying and got this message: “this color combination has been created just once.” An original bag … cool. While the Bag Builder works well, I’d like to see it have persistence. It doesn’t remember you, if you leave and come back. I’d also like to edit what I created or duplicate it and for it to send me what I made and let me download it.

As for the bag, like all the Timbuk2s messenger bags I’ve owned, it’s well made (note that I only purchase the models handmade in San Francisco). The medium size fits well in the S&S case snug under the wheel. It’s filled with bike parts, tools, a saddle bag, etc. When I travel, I compartmentalize everything and all of the pockets, zippers, and pouches support that.

For trips with the Dahon, I use the much larger Crumpler bag (also in Hugga Comfort colors) and fill it with clothes and bike gear. Both Timbuk2 and Crumpler make quality bags, but with a different design aesthetic. Where the Timbuk2s are rugged and urban with lots of zippers, the Crumplers offer a cleaner, more designy style without zippers.

One issue with Timbuk2s bag is “floppiness.” That’s the less-than technical description for what happens when you load a bag and it falls over. My older Timbuk2 bags with thicker, heavier materials were sturdier and more rigid and didn’t flop. I liked the bag, but was repeatedly frustrated by the fact that it’d fall over when loaded with a laptop. There’s probably an equation for bag material density, rigidity, and floppage. I suggest they flop less.

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Frame Probe

6

by Byron on Jan 16, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Bike Hugger gets all sorts of weird emails, spam, and photos. These photos caught my eye for the welds and the red-tipped frame probe. I have no idea what that probe is doing or what this guy is doing with the probe controller.

frame_probe.jpg

The email was written in French, links to this website, and I translated part of it to say, “the testing machine tridimentionelle.”

Any ideas?

Val,

Did you see one of those probes back in the day?

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Enabling Commuters

11

by andrew_f_martin on Jan 16, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Cycle London

I love this idea. I have talked with a number of friends about commuting to work. “It’s easy” I tell them. Of course - I have it good. I have a shower on my floor, and I get to bring my bike up the service elevator to my desk. I can walk into the office draped in lycra without raising an eyebrow.

It’s not the distance - the hardest part of the commute is the logistics. Some employers do a great job of helping out by providing the facilities cyclists need. Problem is - not all employers are so kind. The London government looks like they are taking the right steps to bringing these facilities to the masses. Although wide-open public facilities may work, I think there are some better options.

  1. Subsidize a shower-only membership to a gym “ downtown centers are littered with gyms, but oftentimes the membership costs are too high to justify. Commuters only need a subset of the services, so let them pay a reduced amount for it (and have the govt help out).
    1. Provide secure, individual bike lockers in the gym buildings - bury them on the bottom floor of the parking garage for all we care, but cage them off so people can call them their own and keep stuff there. Put in lockers as well so folks can store fresh clothes as well. Laundry services can help resolve the but I have to wear a suit issue.
    2. Create an emergency bus pass program “ there are some days when taking the bus is necessary. Give out passes good for 5 trips a month that commuters can hold onto in a pinch.

The key is lots of locations around a downtown area. Putting all these facilities in one spot is only convenient for those few people that work close. Businesses do a great job of supporting Van-Pooling, Public Transit, and carpooling, but don’t give proper support to cyclists. I think the problem is most don’t know how without a large facilities investment. Maybe we need to talk to Lance and his friends at 24hr Fitness and get the ball rolling.

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Urban Cannondale

5

by andrew_f_martin on Jan 16, 2008 at 1:46 PM

As usual - Europe gets the good stuff first. Raw Cannondale is the name of the new bike released last week at a fashion show in Barcelona. I found it on roadcyclinguk which is a site where I usually find new race gear. Anyway - looks pretty hot with its Alfine trim and rough appearance. At GBP1500 - it ain’t going to be cheap if it ever does make it to the states.

RAW Cannondale

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Icy Streets, Falling down

9

by Dave R. on Jan 16, 2008 at 8:11 AM

The Tuesday morning commute was made extra-special-icy by the monday evening snow here in Seattle. We usually only see real ice here a couple times a year, making it hard to get any real practice in. What’s a committed commuter to do? Ride right through, maybe take a fall or two. Here are some guidelines for falling from Bike Snob NYC – finally a good excuse for fulfilling my breakdancing fantasies.

My short commute is pretty short, enough to just fit outside the 2-mile challenge radius. Seeing the streets all icy Tuesday morning I decided shorter was wiser and called my carpool mate to see if he was OK with unplanned passenger.

Having secured my car-ride, I went out to select my bike. Choices were limited as my main bad weather bike had a bum bearing, and I needed to pick up the wheel from a local bike shop that evening. I thought about taking the mountain bike, but in the end the folder was more convenient and I’d need it in the car anyway to pick up my other wheel and ride home. Folder + slicks it was.

I took it slow and easy on the flats, and slow and 1-leg down while headed down the big hill on 50th st. So far so good and I have to admit some hubris as I sat at the head of the line at the 50th St. Stoneway intersection. As always hubris pays off in spades and sure enough 20 feet later I was splayed out in the middle of the busiest intersection of my commute, thousands of smug car-muters chuckling wisely to themselves.

At the end of the day I’ve got a minor bump on one knee, and I still think I had much more fun than the car-muters. Next annual icy commute? Kneepads to go with my breakdancing.

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Sporting Wood

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by andrew_f_martin on Jan 15, 2008 at 12:51 PM

I ran across this new “must have” (not really) component at bikesnobnyc. Fast Boy Cycles - a craftsman of amazing wooden fenders, is extending his product line to include wooden handlebars. They are probably great for a trophy bike, but in practice I’m not sure I want to ride them over a pothole.

Wooden Bars

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Stay Dry with Raingo

10

by Byron on Jan 15, 2008 at 7:00 AM

This photo shows an old, way-old flyer for the Raingo Stay dry rain shield system. I’ve googled and can’t find this system, but it could inspire some SUB riders to develop their own. As much as I love Bettie, she’s a cold ride, on a cold day. It’s sitting upright, high on the bike, with your face in the wind and rain.

I also like the Jetsons aesthetic of the stay dry rain shield. Also, noting how it’d really pick up a tailwind and conversely a head wind.

stay_dry.jpg

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