Chain, Chain, Chain

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by Byron on May 10, 2007 at 5:26 AM

A chain broke on Bettie earlier this week while taking my daughter to school. Luckily my cat-like reflexes prevented a crash and we coasted back home. I got the chain fixed with a SRAM power link. That’s a simple invention that works amazingly well – no chain tool required.

Breaking the chain reminded me of the one other time I broke a chain. It was during the 1995 Mt. Spokane NORBA. I was nearly dying, suffering like a dog, flying down a fire road, into a hairpin, up a goat trail, shifted hard, and the chain snapped. The 4 dudes that were behind me quickly passed me and my day was done. In a panicked state, I fumbled with the chain tool for 10 minutes or so, put it on backwards once (wrong way through the pulleys), and then for what seemed like an hour later it was back on the bike.

I chased like a MOFO, with the hope that someone flatted ahead, or one of their Tioga Disc Drive wheels (scroll down to see it) exploded, and keep up a frantic pace until the woman’s field arrived. After the initial humiliation, it was very pleasant to ride briefly with Juli Furtado. She was the smoothest rider I’d ever seen. Like a machine, she rolled up with a few girls, chatted briefly (they probably thought I was near a heart attack or something), and just motored on by.

Later, at the finish, that disaster of a race was forgotten and I was determined to not take 15 minutes to fix a chain again. Sidenote: That was the race that Jerry Markee won the sport/expert field and got a seatpost as a prize. When the official handed him the post, he looked inside of the tube and said, “is there cash in there.” For years, that was the seat post joke.

I also remember a ride where we caveman’d a guys chain with a rock to get it back together. Then one time Randy Coleman’s chain broke during a ride, fell off the chain ring, through the pulleys, and flipped up into his Vento wheels, wrapped around a spoke, and he came to a near immediate stop.

What chain stories do you have? Or the worst ever mechanical?

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Kozmo Messenger Bag

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by Byron on May 09, 2007 at 11:11 AM

kosmo.jpg Marcus couldn’t be happier than scoring a Kozmo messenger bag off of eBay. I’ve seen these treasured bags in Seattle and San Fran. I don’t know more about their history, other than they were used by Kozmo messengers and last forever. I also periodically miss Kozmo and their tragic dotbomb. It sure was nice being able to call someone up to deliver fight club, a bag of chips, a pint of ice cream, and show up on a scooter wearing that cool bag.

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Bike Priorities

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by Byron on May 09, 2007 at 8:23 AM

There’s a joke in the cycling community that bike shops should include marriage counseling with a bike purchase or even offer up some advice with a cup of joe. Maybe set up a marriage counselor network for all them relationships gone bad when the bike becomes a priority as shown in this photo.

I’d think long and hard about putting my bike on the couch – choose wisely with your bike priorities. Unless of course, I was single and the boys were coming over with a case of beer to admire my new sport utility bike.

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Another Sport Utility Bike

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by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 4:30 PM

I was running errands on Bettie yesterday, dropped off more Clip-n-Seals, then to REI for an order, and rolling through the Stadium District, I passed another Sport Utility Bike.

It was a moment.

He waived, I waived all excitedly, blinged the bell, both smiled, and went about our day on our bikes.

For more Sport Utility Bikes, check this related flickr search and the Xtracycle gallery. The photo is from murrayneill’s photostream.

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Basso Blood Bags on Ebay

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by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 11:24 AM

Used Basso blood doping bags (empty and clean for re-use) have appeared on eBay. Check it before they get pulled or sell and the related el dope story from Cycling News

b616_1_b.JPG

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Photo of the Day: Erck

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by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 7:38 AM

Erck in New Zealand …

erc_zealand.jpg

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Get Married, Quit Your Job, & Bicycle the World!

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by Byron on May 08, 2007 at 7:02 AM

Erck.org is a a blog about how James and Sara Welle, “got married, quit our jobs, and bicycled around the world.” Sounds good to me! Well, we’re already married, but have cycled parts of the world and have lots more to ride.

Erck.org was outfitted by Elliott Bay Bicycles, one of our sponsors, and started their journey earlier this year. Inspired by the book, Miles from Nowhere they’re riding New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and South America.

They’re somewhere in Cambodia now, are not divorced, and like our trip to Beijing, are seeing a totally different world.

erck.jpg

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Over 2,000 comments and counting

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by Byron on May 07, 2007 at 7:29 AM

The deadline for the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan has been extended until 5 pm, May 18th, 2007. Get your comments in now; especially in light of the pressure the plan is under from Stone Way businesses.

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NY Times on Electric Bikes

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by Byron on May 06, 2007 at 8:56 AM

Not nearly as surprising as seeing a Biomega in Design Within Reach, but today the New York Times ran a story on electric bikes. While good (any mainsteam coverage of bike commuting is good), the article missed the sport-utility bike market being built by companies like Clever Cycles, Xtracycle, Surly, and custom builders like Sycip and Vanilla.

We agree that cyclists are finding that bikes are, “a viable option for commuting, shopping and other local trips” especially with a long tail, rack, and motor assist.

As I noted in my Bettie Delivers post, if the attention the Bike Hugger Bettie gets is any indication of a national trend, we expect more cyclists to use their cars a lot less, if at all.

For more on electric bikes, check Electric Bikes Northwest ebikes.ca, a bike v. Prius, and Todd’s thougts on motors and bikes.

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