Monday, September 27, 2010

Bike Polo - Could It Be the Next Olympic Sport?

Probably not.  But I remember some friends who were really into it back in the early 90s.  The matches usually involved lots of crappy Huffys and lots of crappy beer.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Riding with the Street Vibrations Crew

My wife and I rode up near Sierraville and Loyalton on Friday and were joined by some friendly "biker" crews.   Their bikes were much louder than ours but not as nice.

And a hitchhiker decided to tag along on my bike.  I have no idea what kind of insect this is.

Sunday Morning Music - Johnny Dowd

"I woke up this morning"...with this going through my head....

By rights Johnny Dowd should be way more well-known than he is.  Wish there was an actual video for this song.  I wasn't aware until recently about the "documentary" that JD was involved with a few years back: Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus.   Looks just creepy enough for me to be interested.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bicycle Loads

I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone photoshopped some extreme bicycle loads.

I think the real deal is impressive enough.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Night Pick Me Up - Billy Joel

One from the vault...I think I actually saw this tour when I was a kid.  Top to bottom I still think Glass Houses is Mr. Joel's best album.  There's not a dud on it even if this is a pretty silly track.  Suddenly I'm feeling old...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rapha Love

People seem to have a love/hate reaction to Rapha's cycling clothing.  On the one hand Rapha's wool line doesn't seem to fit into the quaint retro wool chic that attracts the middle-aged men who are going for the Rivendellesque notion of style (for the record I LOVE my Rivendell bicycle and RBW but the attire leaves something to be desired).

They also don't fit into the racer, plastic jersey with dozens of logos, style either.  And then they have the audacity to have some of the best and most professional looking marketing pieces I've ever seen produced in the bicycle industry or perhaps in any industry.  Everything from the paper, typefaces, ad copy, and photography is top notch (and then they hire good looking models that actually look like they ride).    Frankly I don't know how they do it since the profit margins can't be great in any section of the bicycle industry.

Then there's the prices.  Their goods are expensive.  But in my book, worth every penny and they do precisely what I ask of my bicycling clothing.   They are comfortable and nice looking and fit me well.  I just purchased my third jersey and the fit and workmanship is as good as it gets.  My older, red short-sleeved jersey is showing some wear after a couple of bike tours.  Most notably the color fade around where my camelback rested.

You can just make out the sun fade in this photo but after a couple thousand miles and two bike tours what can I expect.
In the end I'd rather have a few really great bicycling items than a closet full of crappy ones and I enjoy nice design enough to appreciate it when I see it.

My new jersey came with some nifty armwarmers.

He's Got Lugs, and Knows How to Use Them

Here's a great article on the lug cutter, Ken James.  For those that don't know lugs those are little pieces of metal often used to join the tubes on a bicycle frame.  Of course they are seriously passe for most people at this point.  But if you've ever happened upon a bicycle that had fancy lugs it'll be the first thing you really notice.   The article is a great look at a master lug cutter.

Not as fancy but you can still see some very nice lugs in the above photo on my Rivendell.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yeah,But Can You Parallel Park?

My first thought when I saw this thing was wondering if you could use it for Iditabike?   Seriously, with those wheels and some wide tires you's be unstoppable.   My second thought was that with all the talk in the news about economical cars lately I think this one has them beat.  Imagine carpooling to work on this beast!  Don't miss the video:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bicycles as Musical Instruments, or Frank Zappa: Genius or Insane?

It's not exactly strange to see bicycles used as percussion instruments in 2010 (remember the Triplets of Belleville?) but this is still worth viewing if only to see a young Zappa in action.  It also confirms how ridiculous Steve Allen was when addressing youth culture.  I'll never forget some of his pop music lyric "readings."  He just comes across as out of touch and "square."





Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Morning Music - Liam Finn

I can't seem to stop posting Liam Finn music.  Wonder when he'll have a new album out?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Women Key to Healthy Bicycle Communities?

How well your community does in catering to bicyclists that are not fit 20-40 year old men who like to wear lycra has long been known to be a major factor in establishing your community as bicycle friendly.  This recent article underscores that but if you've ever been to Europe and noticed how many elderly, young children, and women ride bicycles regularly you probably already figured that out.   It's worth noting that this article was written by the founder of PUBLIC bicycles out of the Bay, a company that caters to stylish practical cyclists.  Is he biased?  Yes, I'd say so.  But I don't think he is wrong.

Bicycling in the United States is no longer limited to lycra-clad, gearheads. The activity has experienced dramatic growth during the last two decades, driven by the use of bicycles as everyday transportation in cities. Leading the urban bike trend: women.
Urban riding has never been more accessible or safer than it is now. Encouraged by civic improvements and the popularization of fashionable, retro commuter bikes, a record number of urban women have taken to the streets on two wheels. As a result, city governments are paying attention and urban culture is being redefined.

More here

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday Night Pick Me Up - Vanessa Paradis

I keep seeing ads for this new movie with Vanessa Paradis that is getting rave reviews and it reminded me that Ms. Paradis should be known for a lot more than just being Johnny Depp's significant other.  French pop music is too easily dismissed.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Dumb Bicycle Designs 101

That reversed fork gives me pause.   That and the fact that taking a header on this bike would probably leave you headLESS.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Bicyclists of the World Unite!

You gotta love the slogan that these Jimmy John's workers came up with:   "Wages so low you'll freak!"

With a bicycle picket line and protest ride plus being that it is Labor Day I couldn't resist plugging this news story.  Good luck to the JJ's workers who formed a union and are attempting to secure a more livable wage and benefits.

Excerpt (full article here):

"I wanted to join the Jimmy Union because I made better wages when I was 16," said one worker at the picket line outside the Block E Jimmy John's Thursday evening.  "I worked at a turkey farm in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota.  And I made better wages then."
Wearing shirts that read "Wages So Low You'll Freak"--a play on the profitable fast food chain's slogan--a couple dozen members of the newly formed Jimmy John's Workers Union organized through the Twin Cities Industrial Workers of the World walked the line with supporters in downtown Minneapolis, hours after simultaneously coming out at nine Minneapolis area stores owned by Mike and Rob Mulligan of Miklin Enterprises....

At a press conference Friday morning, union members announced they are escalating the campaign.  A national day of action will see leafleting in 32 of the 39 states in which the company operates stores.  Locally, leafleting will continue with the request to sign a pledge to boycott if the bosses persist in refusing to meet.  A bike ride action is planned for Saturday and a rally for Labor Day."

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Don't Fence Me In!

These images that someone shared on the Bob list reminded of my own "bicycle fence" photo from southern Utah.  And what a waste of decent frames even if it is kinda cool looking.

Down near Zion National Park in Utah.  I can think of better uses for a bike frame.