Reading about the self-induced misery, woe-as-me, sad, geek, overweight bloggers, nearing an early death in the NYTimes, I thought, “get outside!” At least with bike blogging, we’re like out testing and riding bikes – traveling around and blogging about it. And for the celeb watchers, Bicycling is featuring Dr. McDreamy on the cover who lost 15 pounds by riding his bike – yippee! I see a blogger episode of the Biggest Loser already being planned. The irony of social media is how unsocial and unhealthy it is for the people glued to their computer screens, least of which is how unproductive it can become.
I get asked about posting frequency a lot and the volume you read from us is the mininum to push any sort of traffic advertisers and Google will notice. But note that more volume, like that of a Gawker Media blog, and you have no life, outside of Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, WordPress, and various other social media apps. I don’t consider that heroic, btw, even if the money is purportedly good or slashdotted as being really not that much. It’s more heroic to blog and balance your life. For us, there’s just too much riding out there to do and our posting volume shows that.
Hope you all are ok with that and are out riding as well.
The next Ridecivil ride is queued up for this coming Friday. The 10 day forecast looks a bit damp so I’ve themed this the Aquatic April ride. Bring your snorkel for your helmet, flippers for your cleats, swimsuit instead of your favorite woolly knickers, whatever you like. Just bring yourself on down for a fun Friday ride. As always our focus will be on promoting civility between pedestrians, motorists and ourselves.
Meet at 5:30 at Westlake Center park, we’ll depart around 6:15 for an hour plus, consensus driven ride through our fair city. Destination TBD, but generally involves food and drinks. Looking forward to seeing you there.
p.s. Don’t forget a snorkel lock. It sucks to have your snorkel stolen.
Another alternative transportation that totally f’ing rules – at least from a tourist point of view – is Maglev! We hit 301K km/h, got to the airport from downtown in 7 minutes (an hour in a cab) and you wouldn’t know you were going that fast unless you looked outside …
All over the news here in Shanghai, on CNN International, is NYC’s congestion charging initiative. Following London and the UK, NYC is about to implement fees to drive into the city. Woohoo we say and Dahon has already got a page up supporting the measure and expect other manufactures to follow.
We’d hope most people would just realize, “hey you can ride in,” but if we’ve got to do some hand waving to help, then ok.
The French Concession has bike and scooter only roads that wind around and we rode them with Jonathan from the Crash Test Dummy Blog while he shot video. Yes that’s rather recursive, but so it goes in the bike blogosphere …(and I never see this angle, as I’m usually the one shooting video)
Dude was roasting a shoe and some really good popcorn
Another dude nearly crashes looking at our bikes and admiring our awesome helmets. Jason and I are the only people in all of China wearing awesome helmets. I bet next year’s fashion will have a helmet influence; especially the 5-yr old helmets we travel with. This girl was really impressed by them.
In Huggacast Episode Thirty Six, we visit the Bund by way of a trippy tourist tunnel and find the Pudong bike expressway where a scooter-assisted cargo bike is plodding along. Watch for the mockery from another scooter as they ride by.
My daughter and got on our big yellow xtracycle and took the last Seattle Train Yard Tour scheduled so far (previously on Bikehugger. We had a great time and and I learned quite a bit about… trains. For instance, the dumpster trash in Seattle is loaded on to stinkies and sent to the far reaches of the state? My daughter’s reached the age of omniscience so even though she didn’t actually learn anything she was reminded of a few facts and had a good time. More details inside and photos at the Bikehugger urban sightings pool.
The tour was just about 3 hours, as promised, maybe only an hour of actual riding at a social pace. The great thing about a train yard tour is that trains don’t like to go up hill so the route was almost entirely flat. We stopped at 3 of the major train yards, sometimes on bridges or overpasses so we could see what was going on in the yard.
Our guide was very knowledgeable about lines coming in to Seattle, the contents of the trains and where they headed out from here. He never described himself as a railfan, but I think he’d fall into that camp. We had a couple other hard core train spotters along on the tour, but mostly it was just average Seattle citizens coming to find out more about one of the many commerce channels we have coming into the city.
Unfortunately, our guide only runs the tour intermittently, so you’ll have to wait until the next time it comes around. Check back on his site for future events and other tours.
Here’s my quick list of stuff that I’m still pissed for spending money on. I’m sure there’s plenty more out there, but here’s my start. Please jump in on the comments and let us know the items that stung you.
I should have known when I saw it was from Hong Kong Imports, but at under a $1 - I had to buy 12. I put one on each of my bikes, on by messenger bags, on my kids stroller. Why not? - it was only a buck. Turns out the thing sucks - mostly the mounting hardware. I’m sure it’s fine on a wooden velodrome, but any roads that have, say - a bump, they take off. I think I have 4 left on my messenger bags. The rest are strewn throughout the greater Seattle area - probably near a tree root or a pothole.
Instead: Planet Bike Superflash
Performance used to sell illuminite tights. Now it seems they’ve moved to leg warmers instead which probably aren’t as bad. The tights were the worst fitting, baggy in the crotch, unwearable clothing item I’ve ever used. I ride a Fizik Arione which has only a moderately pointy saddle, but whenever I’d try to sit back down from climbing my tights would catch. That sucks.
Instead: Hincapie Leg Warmers
The Polar Speed Sensor sucks. I give it credit for having user-replaceable batteries, but otherwise they are finicky at best. I have 3, and only 1 works with any consistency. The issue is - your HRM stops your riding when the speed sensor kicks off (whenever it wants it seems) and then I’m left with nothing. This is especially annoying during intervals!
I really liked this little guy for a while. It was quick and easy to take on and off a bike. I left them in my bags so I always had at least some light with me. Then it died. The problem with this thing is, when you turn it on - no matter how little juice it has it’ll show full power. When I check it I think I’m good, but then 4 minutes later it fades to a dim nothing and I’m flying blind out there. The light faces forward so you have no sense of your lights strength. Instead: Sigma Sport Micro Light
I probably don’t even need to say anything here. Micro pumps suck. The only thing they provide is the mojo to keep flats away since you are carrying a pump. If you have to actually use it - good luck.
I LOVE my Trek Portland. I HATE the wheels. I’m constrained to a 130 OLD spacing for my rear wheel which leaves me with very few options for disc-compatible hub configurations. These ones are not good. To be fair - I brought them back to the shop and Trek sent me a brand new rim after mine started to crack, but wheels are not something you want to think of on your every-day commute bike. The spokes self-loosen every couple days. I probably average a wobbly finger-loose spoke a week. Ugh.
Instead: I’ve yet to find an answer here! - Help!
I went cheap parting together my Single Speed cross bike. I shouldn’t have on the brakes. The Nashbar brakes were some amazing deal, but the springs are so weak that the levers don’t even return. Adjusting them is a total pain, and the stopping power sucks.
Instead: Tektro Oryx Brakes
Got anything that drives you nuts, or totally fails your expectations? Comment away.