BBQ @ SXSW Update

We’re gathering schwag for the BBQ, getting everything ready, and planning product giveways. New sponsors include Crumpler USA, Reynolds Cycling, REI Austin, and Sock Guy.

Considering the road ride, we may just race the Tunis-Roubaix X, ride the Spokes ‘n Spurs, or the Jesuit Ranger Roundup and focus on the Urban Ride.

We’ll update the rides and BBQ details, including the giveaways, here and on the BBQ page.



That Naked Bike

Reports are the Naked Bike is en route to a new bike shop in Austin. I’ve looked and couldn’t find anything about Naked online … the bike is also in this Huggacast video.

More from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

Updates



Monday Night Spinervals with Matthew McConaughey

Hearing that Lance was planning to open a bike shop in Austin, I was all, “nice.” I imagined Monday night spinervals with Matthew McConaughey could happen there and it’s pretty much guaranteed that the Lance Shop Saturday morning ride would drop all that showed up!

labicic.jpg

One of the most impressive shops I’ve visited is in Austin – well-lit, shiny floors, and lots of bikes. A shop on the list to visit in Shanghai is LaBici.

From the high end to the hippie, what’s your fav bike shop?

Update

Mellow Johnny’s is announced and it’s commuter-focused.



Monkey See, Monkey Do

My girlfriend spotted this on Boingboing. It’s 1967 bicycle safety film called One Got FatĀ.

It has that weirdness that every Sixties-era public service film had and then some. You see, the kids who demonstrate every thing not to do on a bike are all wearing the freakiest monkey masks I have ever seen. It’s kinda effed up. I mean, I don’t like monkeys to begin with, and now they’re riding bikes on public streets. After watching this, I had this twisted dream involving Planet of the Apes and getting scolded by my elementary school principal.



Another Typical Seattle Commute

I ride 2 commute routes during a week, pretty much the same roads and the same times every day. I’m amazed at the daily differences. Take today for example: 1st real ride on the new gear ratio, nearly crushed by a bus, got smoked by a single-speeder on the Burke, witnessed seattle’s finest patrolling the path down near the U, and got to talk to a Paris-Brest-Paris veteran on the Bus on the way home. This list doesn’t include the amazing, fantastic sunset this evening. Ho-hum, just another wildly varied daily ride.

I finally got my big black and yellow rain bike back on the road after replacing most of the drive train last week. Unfortunately I neglected to get a new rear cog to match the larger front chain ring I put on, so I went from 60 some gear inches to 70 in one go, which may not be a lot for some but it’s a bit much for me. Rolling out of the house this morning I felt like I was standing on each pedal for much, much longer getting started up. Undoubtedly this is what distracted me until the Bus got too close.

Buses have a tough lot in life, they really do. Imagine your car was articulated, 60 feet long, and needed parking for 1 minute every 2 blocks. Now imagine some pip-squeak on a bike is pulling up along side you at an intersection with a stop on the next block. As you pull to the right to make the stop, the space for the rider gets smaller smaller… Fortunately the rider isn’t so distracted that he doesn’t just come to a complete stop to keep from being made into jam. Regardless of how tough life is for buses, this still pisses the rider (me) off. Bah to you, #5 bus!

Having survived the traffic, I made it down to Freemont and hit the Burke-Gilman trail. I figured I’d be going pretty fast on my new 70 gear inches of steel, but even this small hubris was paid off in spades as some guy on a single speed blew past me on the way to the same destination as me, clearly pushing a much smaller gear. Maybe it’s time to consider a different rear-cog.

Even if speed wasn’t on my side, luck was. As I huffed and puffed along the Burke I noticed a new addition to the stop signs at the first major intersection. “Stop. Police ahead”, hand written and taped to the stop sign. This got my attention much more quickly than the blinking red LEDs on the sign. Sure enough, Seattle’s finest bike police were just past the bushes on the other side, presumably warning forgetful cyclists about the dangers of running stop signs. Is Seattle finally stepping up enforcement of cycling laws? I chatted with the officer a bit, but he wouldn’t let on what was up.

So much for the morning commute, the evening commute was just about as good. After 2 buses passed me by with full racks and a minor hail storm, I was a bit surprised to see another rider pull up to my stop on 520. We got to talking and it turns out he’s ridden hundreds of miles in all kinds of conditions, say during the PBP. Turns out Albert’s a veteran member of SIR, the Seattle International Randonneurs and not only rode PBP last year but finished (remarkable because the dropout rate was about twice normal). Anybody who even shows up for the PBP has my complete respect, and it wasn’t wasted on Albert. He commutes up from Federal Way, sometimes as much as 34 miles 1-way on bike. We had a lovely chat about lights, commuting, and some of our local cycling celebrities.

The rest of the ride home was pretty much uneventful, including the part where I made it up the almost 400 feet to my house on the new tall gears. I fully expected to be walking my bike up the last few hills but low and behold I made it just fine. The weather cooperated very nicely, including a great sunset. So nice to have the sun still up when I’m headed home!

My carpool mate was asking me a few days ago if I’d take a bus instead of riding if it showed up directly in front of my house and honked every day. I don’t think I would. My daily commute’s a fantastic antidote to the daily grind, and even though it’s the same route there’s always something new around the next corner.



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