The 2008 Commuter Challenges are on! With Spring approaching and the Sun out, so start the ad-hoc challenges on Seattle streets and presumably everywhere else. Yesterday, riding downtown, a commuter clocked me from Western to Dexter. I took a shortcut through Denny park and lost track of him. We met again near Mercer, stopped at a light, and he took a right, then a left onto 9th. I didn’t realize that was now a 2-way street and he gained about 8 seconds on me! I promptly chased him down and assumed the lead down Fairview. We chatted about how many condos are being built and where all the cars are going to go.
The Bike Hugger bloggers are easy to spot, if you’re planning a challenge … .
Our 32nd Huggacast features Austin bike culture. We rode with the locals in Austin, attended SXSW 08, threw a massive BBQ, ate some really good tacos, and saw a bike posse. Also noted is that I was stuck in Memphis, but was feeling Minnesota. Read our Urban Ride and BBQ page for more details about the event.
Bike Hugger is visiting Shanghai for the Intel Developer Forum. We’ll ride, meetup, and blog the mobile social. The plan is to meet at the Shanghai International Convention Center to start with routes, stops, and locations TBD.
Check below for the ride details and back here for updates.
Intel Developer Forums offer global access to technology, ideas, and people who will transform the future of technology and how the world is using it.
My shop has one of the new Hyland Civia bikes sitting in the window, and I have to say that it is one clever commuter.
The frame is aluminium with sliding, modular drop-outs and 135mm spacing. The sliding portion also mounts the fender mount (but not the rack mount) and has provision for a post mount disc brake (easier aligning of the caliper). The fork is carbon fiber with a post mount caliper mount as well.
The frame thus can easily mount a standard hub, a Shimano or SRAM internal hub, or the famed Rohloff 14-speed internal hub. Be prepared to pay…the Shimno Alfine equipped model seen here should just squeak under $2k. Expensive? Yes, but the component spec is absolutely first quality.
The hydraulic disc brakes and metal fenders are standouts.
You can also buy the frame/fork/dropout set for a little over a thousand bucks.
Departs at Noon from the All City Coffee House in George Town
Ride: 3 hrs/ 10 miles, lumpy pavement (bring a patch kit and a pump), stopping at 3 rail yards. Ends in Ballard.
To do: Check the site the day before to ensure no cancellations.
I gotta admit, I love riding through the train yards. I’m really looking forward to getting a few details on what’s actually happening in them. I don’t know much about the outfit, but I think these guys do the Secret Seattle tours which are well regarded.
I saw this guy the last day I was in Austin. This guy declined an “interview”, tossing a sorry-on-my-way-to-work our way as he searched his bag while negotiating traffic.
It seems tall bikes are not at all limited to the West Coast. Personally, that ain’t my bag, baby, but my head didn’t spin till just now when I looked at the photo trying to figure out how he stops the bike. He’s got bare brake bosses and no levers, so unless he welded that multi-speed freewheel to fix the wheel, I am totally baffled. Because that would seem like a really bad idea to be without some way to slow or stop.
Pinchie counted up all the carbon I used getting to SXSW for the BBQ – lots of it – so noted and flattered that someone would count carbon for me. I don’t know how much carbon we offset by advocating cycling so heavily at SXSW with the organizers, riding around Austin with the locals, or offering baked potatoes for the vegetarians, but I think a large amount. This guy was one confirmed bike rental, on a Lime even.
Maybe Bike Snob NYC will hit us next for our hugga jerseys or for thinking we know something about bike culture. Try as we might though, we’ve never made it onto the Bummer Life, but it’s all good with more Hugga events coming, including one in Shanghai.
Everywhere I go, I try to bring my travel bike, specially made for me by Sycip Designs. I actually didn’t sleep the night before I flew down because I went psycho cleaning bikes before I packed. As I parked the now gleaming bike on the rack outside the convention hall, I got a chance to size up the adjacent bikes.
A genre of bike that stood out to me in Austin was the BMX cruiser, in both 24in and 26in. You don’t see too much of those in Seattle. But since Austin is relatively flat (compared to Seattle but not to… say…Miami), I could see that a BMX cruiser would make a stout yet quick choice if you weren’t faced with a lot of climbing. I personally don’t care for that kind of bike for sustained climbing; it’s a lot to do with the positioning.
How does a BMX 26in cruiser differ from a single-speed mtb? Well, usually 110mm rear spacing, 3/8” front axles front and rear, and no suspension. I wonder about the exact genesis of single-speed mtb…seems to me that the technical similarities are more an example of convergent evolution rather than ss-mtb being a offshoot of the bmx cruisers.
Otherwise, I saw a number of smartly modified mid-80s to late 90s road bikes. Like this sharp Specialized Allez.
Not only can Mark V outpack me, and has traveled with his bike like ten thousand more times than me, but he’s got this pictogram in his S&S case as an anti-TSA device. I’ve formally requested a copy. It illustrates to the person opening the case in some dank airport basement somewhere, how to reassemble the case with the compression members intact. The two disks and a piece of plastic pipe are also known as the pizza box things (from the plastic thingies that prevent the box lid from smashing your pie).