Icy Streets, Falling down
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.
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.
Stay Dry with Raingo
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.
Interactive TV for Sports, and especially Cycling
by Mark V on Jan 14, 2008 at 9:07 PM
At CES last week, I was on hand to see Bill Gates give his final keynote speech as Microsoft CEO. Before introducing guitar legend Slash to the audience, he mentioned interactive technology that would allow a TV audience to choose, per his example, a race car to follow in the Daytona 500. You could then see the that team’s pit crew and the car’s POV camera rather than just watching what the broadcasters select. I say, screw NASCAR, let’s get that technology for the Tour de France.
Wouldn’t it be so much better if you could choose to follow your favourite racer among the 180 athletes on the road? Half the technology is already there since many of the races kit the participants’ bikes out with transponders. The next step would be current speed and maybe HRM data that would be cool. You’re watching tv, use a remote to find Racer A among all the others, and then you see his place, how fast he’s going, and his position in the field. Maybe have an alternate screen with the course profile showing where Racer A is within the field of riders.
A more complex version could be a computer rendering of a 3D map with topography. If anything, something like that could finally make cross country MTB racing a viable television event.
I think baseball is popular partially because of the plethora of statistics involved. Interactive technology would certainly aid in television viewership of bike racing by letting the audience really get into that world.
One of these things is not like the other
by Byron on Jan 14, 2008 at 9:46 AM
Bike Hugger at the Apple Store, in the display window actually – that kit stands out in the crowd.
The Crumpler bag matches the kit …
Commuting in Alaska, perspective for your winter commutes
by Dave R. on Jan 13, 2008 at 8:19 PM
Here’s a great post from Bicycle and Icicles, a commuter from Alaska. Like many winter commuters he gets (more than?) his fair share of “are you crazy?” comments when the weather turns bad. He’s got a couple of thoughts actually written down that I find myself thinking weekly:
Riding in the snow might look cold and miserable when seen through a windshield, but I’m one of the few people having fun while commuting at rush hour.
Good to remember, and pretty inspirational for this rain rider here in the temperate North West/Lower 48.
Updated with snow on bikes image from a CNN story on the 20 inches of snow that hit parts of New England (AP PHOTO).
Bike Hugger Racing Bike
by Byron on Jan 13, 2008 at 11:00 AM
Quick, camera phone photos of the Bike Hugger Racing Bike project in progress … tacked up and ready to weld.
The concept frame and bike will debut at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, February 8th in Portland. Details about its interesting and innovative design and fabrication to follow.
More photos added with full details on 2/08/08.
Cyclocross Exploration riders in the Times
by Dave R. on Jan 12, 2008 at 8:38 AM
The local cyclocross race season’s pretty much wrapped up, but that doesn’t mean you need to hang your cyclocross rig up for the year. Good story in the Seattle Times about off-road/on-road touring, written by Mike McQuaide who rides out of Bellingham.
LED lights at CES
by Mark V on Jan 11, 2008 at 7:13 PM
I saw several vendors displaying long flexible strips of LED lights, as seen in the video I shot at CES. They all seem to run on 12V power sources, so they would be adaptable to bicycle use. One vendor had strips that changed colour in waves, but those required a controller about the size of a Twinkie.
If the system was already bike-ready, I’d be buying it for my girlfriend’s bike, just like the dekochari bikes in Japan. That would be so pimp, I can’t even describe it.
Pilot EL-Tech (Shenzen) Ltd displayed the multi-colour strips.
logisys also had single colour LED strips as well as the products.
Fender Flaps: your bike’s fashion statement
by andrew_f_martin on Jan 11, 2008 at 2:28 PM
UPDATE: Yeah - I’m recycling this post from last year. I had a co-worker tell me today that they came across this post so I thought I’d re-run it. I’m going to Lowe’s tonight to get new flap material. Seems I’ve worn a hole in my rear flap…
There’s been some comments around fenders lately. One of the most important aspects of a good fendering job is a solid buddy flap. The concept is - even with full fenders, your buddy riding behind you is probably getting a good stream of wet grit in their teeth. The buddy flap gives you more coverage leaving you friends dry and clean.
Buddy Flaps makes some pretty sweet custom flaps if there’s interest in showing off your “hugger” love.
What you make the flap from is tends to say a little but about you:
Leather - “I’m a cowboy! Saddle up!”
Semi Truck - “I ride so much that I need REALLY THICK rubber to hold back all the grit”
Half Bottle - “I have so many bottles, yeah I’ve got one to waste to keep you clean”
Leopard Print - “I like to party all the time”
Duct Tape - “I only make a half effort for my friends because I know it’ll fall apart soon anyway”
Me - I use MP2x50 PVC Sump Pump Discharge Hose. You can get it by the foot at the hardware store and it lasts forever. What does that say about me?
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