Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book review: Joy Ride

I recently completed reading "Joy Ride" by Mia Birk. Mia served as the Portland Bicycle Coordinator in the past and this book tells lots of short stories about what she encountered as she worked to add bicycling infrastructure in Portland and later as a consultant.

The book is definitely worth reading if you have an interest in bicycling infrastructure like bike lanes, bike trails, bike boxes, etc.

The most striking thing I can say about the book is that it caused me to be mindful and thankful of the hard work that's been put for me and other cyclists by people like Mia Birk. They've worked their butts off to make cycling more accessible and safer. Thanks.

I can loan you the book if you are one of those two readers who lives nearby. If you are the third reader who lives out of town, too bad. I'm not mailing it to you.

Welcome Spammers!

I just turned off the captcha quiz. I also turned off moderation of comments when the post is less than 14 days old.

Welcome back spammers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dirty Riding

I was really looking forward to a Saturday off-road ride, but I got started late and the rain began to fall. I don't ride single-track trails when it's raining to prevent trail damage.

The disappointment turned into an idea. Could I ride the MN river bottoms? Those trails east of a certain point (Indian Mound school, if you care) are partially limestone packed and double track. Those types of surfaces are not damaged by wet riding.

I gave it a try and a couple hours later was happy that I didn't cancel the ride. Most of the muck on the bike is sand and leaves sticking to the water.

This bike is great on that type of trail. However, on Sunday I rode at Murphy Hanrehan and this bike kicked my butt. The Murphy trails are rooty and rocky. The little tires on this bike make that a rough ride. There is an ideal bike for every condition and rider. Someone with better skills than me could fly at Murphy while riding a cyclo-cross bike. But I'm slow, fat, and a poor bike handler. This means a dual-suspension 29er is best for me because it provides forgiveness for my mistakes, of which there are many.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Problem Solvers Products

I read the Problem Solvers blog and usually discover the cure for a problem that my bikes don't have. I wish I had more bike problems just so I could use some of their products. They show lots of smart solutions in their blog that are not their products, so their blog is not just a shill site.

One item I wish I had known about is the front brake cable hanger Problem Solvers sells. I bought the Paul Components version and it's really nice, as all most all Paul Components are, but I bet the Problem Solver version is much cheaper.

I have fun browsing both the Paul and Problem Solvers websites for little gadgets that make things work better.
For example, behold this headset spacer/locknut combo gizmo:

'73 Raleigh Super Course Completed

Note to GrimmTim: Yes, if the guy who moderates this blog would perform his moderation duties in a timely manner, this would be more fun.

Anyway, this is the Raleigh Super Course with all the modifications I felt it needed:
1. Narrow saddle (some kinda Brooks knock off)
2. Drop bars (Nitto deep drops)
3. French brake levers (Mafac)
4. New cables
5. Non-plastic shift levers (Suntour ratcheting)
6. Non-plastic rear derailleur (Huret)
7. Double-sided pedals (MKS)
8. Foofy saddle bag (Frost River)
9. New tires (Michelin World Tour)
10. Fenders (White Somas that look like Blumels)

It rides really nicely and I enjoy it. It seems like the right bike to ride around in the fall.

I forgot to mention that this is my third brown bike in three years. Does that count as a poop reference?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Blogging Used to be Fun

I just reread this post and the comments: http://3speedblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/nearly-instant-laxative.html

It has the second highest hit count of all my posts.

Blogging used to be fun. Maybe I need to throw in a few scatological references and that'll make blogging fun again.

Bike Lane on Park Avenue, Minneapolis

Minneapolis recently resurfaced Portland and Park Avenues. The city took the opportunity to re-stripe the bike lanes on these streets. I rode Park Avenue the other day and took a video to show the nice improvements.

Notice the "buffer zones" next to the bike lane.

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