Friday, December 30, 2011

Red Rock Riding

I didn't put in as many miles as I generally do on my trips to southern Utah over Christmas but I certainly enjoyed every mile I did put in. With views like these how could I not?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blue Sky Ride

A little ride today through the red rock.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bicycle Designs of the Future?

I'm not quite sure what to make of these designs. At first glance they seem quite eye-catching but whether they are a functional improvement is debatable. They look more like props from a scifi movie. More here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, December 23, 2011

R.I.P. Mr. Hitchens!

No matter whether I disagreed or agreed with the man there is no doubt that he was one of the best writers of our time.  I'd always heard of his hard livin' ways but never seen anything about him riding bikes until now.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure Funding Video

 I don't know how "cool" this is really but it comes by way of Ventura and they are asking an important question about the percentage of funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure vs. other modes of transport.  Implicitly they seem to be taking a bit of a cue from the "Occupy" movement, in a sense asking, "what about the rest of us?".

More here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The New Urban Vision?

Salon has been running a series of stories about the new urbanism that is growing in our country and around the world and asking questions about the future of our cities.  This piece is particularly relevant to Reno in that it is asking if it isn't better for everybody to slow down in the interior, or cores, of our urban centers, to create a safer and more pleasant environment for all users.  It seems this is a primary argument for the "complete streets" philosophy which asks all users to take a deep breath and slow down a bit.  On the bicycling side of this issue with the growing number of bike lanes and the hesitation that some cyclists have to them, it is important to remember that in this new model even more experienced (read Faster) bicyclists need to slow down a little in order to maintain safety.  To be more specific, cyclists shouldn't be traveling on California street at too fast of a clip to be able to survey the parked cars, pedestrians, and motorists, that are also using the space.  By slowing down it gives all users more ability to react accordingly to the multiple users of the urban space.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Ever Happened To Putting Cards In Your Spokes?

You have to keep a close eye on the "animation" but this is pretty cool.  You can still purchase these apparently over at etsy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Brooks Bicycle Saddles

I love the aesthetics and history of the Brooks saddles.  But only recently have I felt compelled to give them another try after bruising the posterior on the wood like hardness of these elegant stretched saddles.  Turns out my bad history with these was more about poor fit on the bike than there being anything wrong with my saddle.  My new saddle sits proudly on my Rivendell and is working out just fine.

Anyway, I'd not seen this nicely produced promotional video but it's well worth the viewing for the historical footage alone.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bicycle Baggage

There are all sorts of ways to carry stuff on a bike.  For fully loaded touring the front or rear rack is the obvious choice.   Trailers have certainly gained in popularity over the years as well.   If you are carrying a load, whether across the country, or from the grocery store, those are two great options.

For day to day commute riding I prefer a good backpack for its balance and stability.  I've had multiple messenger style bags, the only one of which that I felt was super well-made and had the aforementioned balance and stability, is the pacdesign bags.  Pricey but worth every penny.

One of the reasons that I prefer carrying stuff on my back is purely an aesthetic one.  To my eye bicycles look best when the "accessories" are pared down.  I mostly find that racks and fenders clutter up the natural austerity and elegance of the bicycle unless they are actively being used.  I realize this flies in the face of the current utilitarian bike chic and the randonneuring craze a la Bicycle Quarterly.   I appreciate that style and the workmanship in bicycles but unless you are almost always carrying a big load and riding through poor weather conditions I find it to be overkill.  Granted in Reno I have the luxury of not needing fenders for 96% of the year.

I was thinking about this when answering a question on the boblist about recommendations for bicycling specific backpacks.  It occurred to me that perhaps the gear I use everyday and take most for granted is my Vaude backpack.

I don't have the latest incarnation of the Vaude bag but it is amazing!  So many features, that are smart, and well-made.  I've owned two and the only reason I bought a second was because the first was stolen when my house was broken into.  The second one is 5-6 years old with no signs of giving out.  And the price is amazing for what you get.  Be sure to watch the video to get a better picture of the airflow and fit features!

Frankly, I'm shocked these aren't more popular with cyclists.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I Think Therefore I Shift - Part II

 I already posted some time ago about this project to create a bicycle that you could shift gears by just "thinking" about it.  But this is a more thorough follow up on the project so I thought I'd pass it along.  To be honest I'm not sure how one shifts without thinking since my brain is continually telling my hands shift gears as I navigate different terrain.  I guess I just didn't realize how much effort and calories I was wasting by moving my finger until the little lever clicks.

More here:
With minimal training -- and perhaps a little sweet talking? -- a cyclist can shift the gears on the bike with just a thought. One type of brain wave instructs the bike to shift downward, while another type causes it to shift upward. It definitely takes some practice, so until your mental powers are refined, prepare to be tossed over the handlebars, steered into a giant pile of leaves or flung into the side of a parked car.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bicycle Vending Machines?

You have to watch most of this video to get to the Bicycle Vending Machine part.  I keep imagining little elves inside using their magic to create a two-wheeler on demand.  I'm not quite sure what to think of a culture that feels they need everything "on the go" so to speak.