Riding home Monday after work I was stopped at a traffic light waiting for the go when I glanced back to see an older guy on a road bike waiting behind me. A bicycle commuter perhaps? Feeling strong and confident about the 1.5 mile section of roadway until the next traffic light, I decided to see if he could keep up. When the light turned green I unleashed the fury. About a mile later I looked back and he was still there! As we neared the stop light I started winding down when he pulled up next to me chuckled and said "that's a large bag you got there", (my timbuk2 filled with 2 days worth of work clothes, water bottle, a book, and camera) "yeah" I said, "you're pretty fast!". He smiled, the light turned green before we had to stop, so I jumped in the left turn lane and he kept heading west.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I fired up the solar oven for the first time this year on Sunday morning. I forgot how much fun it is to use and how great the food turns out. It's also a great feeling to know it uses current sunlight instead of ancient sunlight (i.e., electricity generated by coal, or natural gas) to get the job done. The corn bread took a little over an hour to bake at 225 degrees, not bad for a 60 degree morning. I plan to use it a lot more this year at home and on camping trips so check back for future solar cooking adventures.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
After looking through the manufacturer paint catalog for a few hours I decided on 8491/491 Rocky Mountains Brown Dark met, Mercedes-Benz Maybach paint. I started by using a scotchbrite pad to remove the VERY thin layer of Xtracycle varnish, sprayed a coat of sealer on it, then the base coat, and finally some clear coat. Things looked good until it started to bubble in the oven, so we took it out, wet sanded the whole deck, sprayed another coat of base, 4 coats of clear, and let it air dry this time. It turned out well and it was a great experience! Tonight I am going to take the freeloaders off the v-racks and take them to work to be powder coated flat black.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Bought more than usual this time just to see how it would do. It did great! I should have put the other wide loader on (they help support weight while loading multiple items), and brought more reusable grocery bags. Nothing fell of during the 2 mile ride home but I think I will probably load things more efficiently next time.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I purchased this book online a week or so ago and started reading it last night. I thought the quiet rise of the bicycle in American public life was due from the fact that bikes are so much damn fun to ride and people are starting to slowly figure that out but this book offers several other reasons why more people are switching to pedal power.
Movie poster for "Filmed by Bike" titled Bent. A film by Jane Machamer & Nancy Breaux. "The recumbent bike is often seen as the quirky cousin of the upright bike and not taken seriously. This glimpse into the 'bent world is heart felt and eye-opening"
Yesterday I ordered the 2008 Filmed by Bike DVD which includes this film. I am anxious to see it.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I have been keeping my Raleigh inside the house lately instead of the garage. It all started when the new washing machine was delivered, I was worried the garage door wouldn't get shut after they left. I decided this was the bike I wanted to be left with (I really wanted to get the Dummy inside but parking space is limited in my room) if somebody stole any or all of them.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System website, in 2006 42,642 people died as a result of automobile related accidents in the United States. Every 12 minutes, one person dies because of a car accident. Every 14 seconds, a car accident results in an injured victim.
I think it's time we declared war against cars.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I started bicycle commuting on a daily basis early last year using an older Cannondale mountain bike that was sitting unused in the garage. It was a little undersized but I fell in love with the freedom and benefits of commuting by bike. After awhile I decided it was time to buy a new one that would fit me and meet what I thought were the requirements of a commuting bicycle. I chose a 2007 Specialized Rockhopper. Why? I can't really remember. I think it was the color that attracted me most (and the slick Juicy Avid brakes). I named it "Mango". As time went by, the bicycle obsession grew. I sold my car and started collecting bikes. I now have a Raleigh Rx1.0, a Burley Koosah recumbent, a single speed cruiser, and the the most recent addition--a Surly Big Dummy. Probably more than one person needs but I love them all.
A year later, Mango doesn't get used as much as it should. My Raleigh is usually my first choice for most urban riding adventures and lately I've been enjoying the Surly. I decided Mango needed to go onto bigger and better things instead of collecting dust in the garage. My first thought was to sell it on Craigslist, try to recover a portion of what I paid for it, but I decided to do something else. Today Mango will be going to a new home in Medford, Oregon. I am giving it to my younger brother Jake. I hope it will open the door of two wheels and the "meat motor" for him and infect him with bike-fluenza like it did for me.
See ya Mango.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Today I walked to the metal shop next door to get a price on some aluminum tubing for making a couple sets of knock-off Xtracycle footsies. The owner Tom thought he had some leftover tubing from a special order he made a few months ago but he couldn't locate it. He found a similiar product with a larger inside diameter (should be okay) and I ended up buying enough to build 2 sets of footsies.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Part of the environmental impact of automobile accidents: all of these items will end up buried in a landfill. These parts are from a 2006 Honda Accord, they include the interior headliner, both front seatbelt pretensioners, 2 crash sensors, sun visor, deployed side curtain airbag, miscellaneous interior trim panels, seatbelt buckle, and a restraint control module (1 interior grab handle and 1 additional seatbelt buckle not pictured).
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
The set of Xtracycle Footsies I ordered showed up last week.
I probably could have fabricated my own but I wanted to try the real deal first. After a closer inspection, I was disappointed with the quality of the left side footsie platform. It appears that the varnish hadn't quite dried before it was stacked on top of a like unit causing the Xtracycle decal to flake off in a few places. No big deal really, just disappointing for $59.00 shipped (from Xtracycle). Anyway, they install nicely on the Dummy frame and velco keeps them in place securely. They lack the "springy plunger" that the Wideloaders come equipped with, I think it would be nice if the Footsies had the same feature.
If I made my own, I would use bamboo plywood, make a cool stencil to spray paint on the surface of them, and maybe make a few extras to sell at a reasonable price to other people who want to transport other
Monday, April 7, 2008
I rode the Big Dummy to work last Friday but it started pouring rain when it was time to ride home, I decided to leave my bike here over the weekend and hitch a ride with Justin. So today I will be riding my bike home today and hopefully the weather cooperates... (it was snowing about an hour ago)
I am going to ride with my Raleigh cap for the first time today. Carey from the Raleigh Commutes blog sent it to me and she even threw in a glossy 2008 Raleigh catalog. Needless to say I was excited to receive them both.