Stocking up for the holidaysComments
by Byron on Nov 26, 2007 at 6:52 PM
by Byron on Nov 26, 2007 at 6:52 PM
by Byron on Nov 24, 2007 at 8:25 AM
by Byron on Nov 23, 2007 at 10:04 AM
After a discussion, we agreed that a “fast and freezing” descent back home was better then the “slow and cold” longer way home. We wanted to get that ride over with … we got the turkey, fixins, and rather cold.
by Dave R. on Nov 22, 2007 at 12:29 PM
Friday looks like it’s going to be as nice as Thanksgiving here in Seattle, brisk but clear, a great day for an evening ride!
The media climate is shaping up as well: check out this recent SeattlePI letter to the editor criticizing Critical Mass. I’m not 100% down with Mr. Dudley, but I definitely am down with having a down-town ride that’s a bit more integrated and a bit less confrontational than CM. Hopefully that’s just what we need here in Sea-town. Mr. Dudley, we’d love to have you and anybody else who’s wanted to come to CM rides but been put off by it’s reputation.
We’ll meet around 5:30 at Westlake Center in downtown. We’ll plan on leaving shortly after 6:00, and wrapping up the ride around 7:30. See you there.
by Byron on Nov 22, 2007 at 8:36 AM
Earlier in the week, the conditions were just right – a side tailwind across the bike, “lifting” the wheels – and I rode the Modal fast. As “a roleur” type of rider, I get a rush from the momentum of a bike, from getting on top of the gear, and holding it there. Riding a tailwind for me, is like a surfer dropping into a big wave and with 60 mm of wing surface, the Jet 60s catch that wind and roll almost effortlessly.
As we first blogged, the C2s are Hed’s wide rim wheel. The wider rim changes the profile of the tire, spreading it out. OK, in principle, I get that, but really had to just ride these wheels to understand and feel what’s going on. On the rims, a 23 Michelin tire looks like a 25 and at lower pressure, around 90 PSI, the tires ride like tubulars. I didn’t notice it right away, but after a few bumps, cornering, and riding, there’s definitely something going on.
The C2s are also, “fun.” I don’t know that I’ve ever described a wheelset as fun, but because they ride so differently, there’s more road sensation, you want to just throw them into a corner and that translates to fun!
Check with your Independent Bike Dealer that carries Hed Wheels, or ask me out on the road. Whatever you do, definitely try the wide rims out.
by Byron on Nov 21, 2007 at 7:19 AM
The ratio is 7 pedals to 1 turn of the turkey.
by Byron on Nov 20, 2007 at 7:25 AM
Last week Mark toggled the Modal to geared mode and I videotaped the process. The Modal is a travel bike that folds and toggles between single, fixed, and geared modes. In geared mode, I’ll ride it around Seattle and trips where I’m touring, training, and riding longer.
Switching between single and geared took about 16 minutes (without the cassette change, we’re clocking it at around 15 minutes).
Note: the time is compressed in the video.
To ease mode changes, the Modal, has two sets of bars: one with shifters and the other just brake hoods. As Mark demonstrates in the video, he removed the chain, swapped chain rings, replaced the single (or fixed) dropout with the derailleur, changed the bar, and connected the cable split stops.
After a few adjustments, the bike was ready to ride.
In geared mode, the Modal rolls with Hed Jet 60 C2 – Hed’s wide-rim wheelset. Wider is better and the initial rides prove that. A 23 tire rides like a 25 – or a 20 like a 23 – with lower pressure. Read our full review of the new Jet 60s for more.
In single mode, we converted Krysiums to single speed with a spacer kit. The video shows Mark swapping cassettes for demonstration. Way faster to just swap wheels.
The first hundred miles or so with a Wipperman chain and master link are frustrating. The link has to settle in and until it does so, it’ll skip, click, and cause the drivetrain to auto-shift. Periodically stopping to wiggle the master link helps.
To accomodate the Paragon dropouts, the chainstay is wider than normal. Not by much, but enough to cause concern about heels hitting it. My heels do not hit, but are close.
S&S couplings are stiff, don’t creak, or present any alignment issues. They work exceptionally well.
Modal photos in our Photostream.
by Dave R. on Nov 19, 2007 at 9:46 PM
Take a look at these maps of where Cars and Bicycles collide from the Portland Oregonian and the Seattle PI (warning: 500k+ download). Interesting data in both cases, but check out the big brains on the Oregonian! Explorable Google maps, an ODOT analysis of fault (50% motorists, 42% cyclists, 8% shared), and reasonable advice to motorists and cyclists about how to NOT appear on the next version of the map.
Best though is the video of Jeff Mapes talking about Amsterdam, Portland and road travel safety.
by andrew_f_martin on Nov 19, 2007 at 10:39 AM
This is a topic that comes up a lot in online cycling forums and always seems to garner a rather polarized response - and I don’t get why. With the advent of new compact, high-wattage lighting systems cycling commuters have become either the haves or the have-nots. I’m a have-not by choice. I have a Light and Motion Vega light that only puts out 85 lumens. I can see fine with it on low power on the trail(1), reserve the high setting for rainy nights(2), and the flashing mode only when on city streets(3). The whole point of the light is for safety, and I outline my usage to maximize for each of these conditions below.
Trail use - this is where I hate the “me-first” Haves. They use their 700 lumen High Intensity Discharge (HID) light in conditions that do not warrant it. As the commuter density reduces, this is less of any issue, especially if the Haves use common courtesy and occlude their light with a hand over the bulb. My preferred usage here is to shield the left side of the light (right in UK/Aus) so that it doesn’t shine in the eyes of the oncoming rider. You still get to see with the rest of the light generated by your light, without blinding your commuting brethren. The worst offenders are the guys with helmet mounted lights that say hi to you as they pass and stare you in the face. Good luck people might as well ask me to ride while staring directly at the sun. Cover your light. Use a dim setting. Be considerate of others PLEASE.
Rain is tough. Seeing through fogged glasses, rainy conditions, and wet pavement can be a challenge. On those nights I skip the trail and go for a less-traveled road. You need the higher setting to pick your way through all the optical noise, but running a high setting can be brutal to the others who then have to add your bright beam to the mix of challenges.
City riding is the only use for a strobe flasher. It is intended to get the attention of drivers and is not to see by. You don’t need to get the attention of other cyclists on the trail, so turn off your damn flasher when on a trail. The only thing more blinding than a HID light is a flashing HID.
So please Haves - a little courtesy. It takes no effort to shield your light. There are plenty of Have-nots out there riding with 10 lumen lights with every right you have to the road/trail.
Oh - and for gods sake. Do NOT put a red blinker on your front. Red is for the rear, white for the front.
by Dave R. on Nov 18, 2007 at 12:18 PM
Here’s a pre-race write up of the West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race in Putney Vermont. It’s a great taste of Cyclocross on the other coast. It sounds like the fall in VT has been a bit more autumnal than what we’ve been having here in Seattle this year, wood stoves and cider are par for the course. What I like most about the HUP write-up is the focus on the locals. It seems like great spectators is a universal feature of cx races no matter how unique the locals are.