Drive My Bike

New Cycle Computer
August 31, 2008, 7:56 pm
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I mentioned last week that I got a new cycle computer, so I figured that I’d put up a couple of pictures and show how I installed it. This is not a fancy cycle computer, it is just an inexpensive one that I found for under $10, but it performs all the basic functions that I wanted, basically speed, distance, and trip time.Cycle Computer Display It also has a clock, maximum speed, average speed, a trip odometer, and a lifetime odometer.

Installation is fairly straightforward, involving mounting the display on the handlebars, and then mounting the sensor on the fork and spokes.Cycle Computer Sensor

The device uses a magnetic sensor on the forks that tracks a magnetic screw on the spokes. After installation you have to enter a calibration number from the instructions that tells the computer how big your wheels are, so that it can figure out how far the bike has traveled for each wheel revolution. Each time the wheel goes around the magnet on the spokes registers a single revolution of the front wheel, then the computer does some math, and bingo… it knows your speed and how far you have traveled.

In case you are interested in the details of how this thing works, I found a person who has posted the manual on their website… and I thank them!

I have to say that it is fun to know how fast I am going, and how far I have gone. If you don’t have one of these I would recommend considering one.

Learn To Bicycle Safely!
August 27, 2008, 1:46 pm
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I just found the best site I’ve ever seen about bicycling safely in city traffic. This site does a great job of explaining the most common risks, as well as giving several strategies to avoid them. The diagrams and explanations are clear and easy to understand. Stop by and take a look at because it just could save your life.

Really… do it… I was able to read most everything in about 10 minutes… and that 10 minutes could mean the difference between life and death on your next ride.

Thanks to the Crazy Commuting Cyclist for his post about bicycle safety.

Nice Cool Morning!
August 22, 2008, 9:13 am
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The weather has started to change just a bit here in Utah, and that means we are leaving the dog days of summer behind, and getting just a hint of cooler temperatures. This morning’s ride in was in the lower 60’s, and it was wonderful. It was actually a little cool for the first mile or so, and I even thought about a jacket, but then I got warmed up and the cool air just felt great.j0289387 (No, that picture is not me, but I thought it captured the essence of the day)

I bought a new cycle computer the other day, and got it installed last night. Nothing fancy, just a cheap one from WallyMart, but it does tell me how far, how fast, and how long… which is what I wanted to know. It was fun watching that on the ride in today… but I don’t think it helps with my obsession with speed. Oh well.  I’ll probably put some pictures of it up this weekend.

I also “slimed” my front tire… you know, the good kind of slime… that green gooey stuff. Yeah, I haven’t had any more flats since I installed that heavy duty tube with slime in my rear tire, but recently I’ve had some legitimate flats on my front tire. By legitimate, I mean real road hazards… you know, thorns and stuff. I’ve patched the front tire twice recently, but I figured that the slime wouldn’t hurt. I actually was going to put one of those heavy duty tubes in the front as well, but the store was out of them. In fact, the store was out of a lot of biking stuff… it looked like they’ve been selling a lot and hadn’t been able to restock yet. That’s great!

Have a great Friday!

Excuses… Excuses… Excuses
August 20, 2008, 8:11 am
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Yesterday was my first day riding in over a week. After my last ride it just seemed like all kinds of things came up that got in the way of my riding. The scary part was that as that trend continued, I found myself looking for excuses not to ride. How can this be? I know that I like to ride my bike, so why would I want to find excuses not to? Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing.

Some of the excuses were legitimate. My wife and daughter had gotten some kind of nasty head and chest cold, and at one point I felt like I was trying to fight it off, so that day I decided not to ride. Then some scheduling challenges. Then I found a flat tire when I was getting ready for my morning commute. And then… does it matter? Probably not, because the excuses started piling up.

Well, the good part is that I got back in the saddle yesterday and did my commute to work, and the ride in was really nice. The weather was a bit cooler and invigorating, and I counted 12 other riders, for a BPM of 2.6, which is a new record. The ride home last night was not too bad, although it was around 9:00pm, and I hadn’t had any dinner yet, so I was a bit tired. I tried to take it easy and just enjoy the cool air and the night ambience.

So, I’m back. It’s been too long… but it’s all about starting again once you get off track, right?

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Yesterday’s Great Ride, and Today’s Small Victory

Yesterday I had the best bike ride I’ve had since I started riding again, maybe even the best bike ride of my life. I decided to just “go for a ride”… no real destination or purpose, other than to explore some places I had seen from my car.  It was awesome! I ended up riding about 12.5 miles, but I didn’t know that until I got home and mapped the ride. It was kind of like being a kid again, just riding around exploring. I found a couple of wonderful trails maintained by the city, and I took them almost as far as they would go. It was in the early evening, so the sun was setting and the temperature was great. It was the longest single direction ride I’ve done, yet I came home feeling completely energized and refreshed. That is what biking is about! I wish I had some pictures to share, but I need to get a small pocket digital camera so that I can record journeys like that. Hopefully in the future I can share them with you…


On this morning’s commute, it looked like bike commuter rush hour! I counted eight cyclists, including myself, and three of them were going in the same direction as me. At one point, there were four of us on bikes, all waiting for the same red light. I would have loved to have known what the motorists were thinking as we all pulled up alongside. Actually I didn’t have to wait for the light, so I ended up with a couple minutes of glory that are hard to come by…

There are a few “regulars” on my route that ride some nice road bikes, and it is not uncommon for them to pass me. This has frustrated me, but I have learned that they are geared better and their bikes probably weigh a third of what my comfort bike and pannier weigh, so they have a huge advantage. Well, this morning I was able to turn the tables a bit, because they were stopped at the light, and I saw that it was about to change, so I maintained my speed, and blew past them as the light turned green. I shifted to my fastest gear and pedaled as hard as I could, savoring my victory. Alas, it was short lived, and they soon caught up to me and passed me, one seeming quite irritated, and the other managing a friendly “hello” as he went by. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted, and I had a great workout and a good ride this morning.

The Unsung Hero of Bike Commuting Equipment
August 8, 2008, 12:47 pm
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I just got back from riding my bike over to a local fast food place to pickup my lunch. That got me thinking that I should tell you about one of the pieces of equipment I use that has become absolutely indispensable… my Bungee Cargo Net for my rear rack.Bungee Cargo Net on Rack

I don’t use it all the time, but whenever I need to carry something that won’t fit in my panniers, or that needs to be carried a certain way (like the take out plate of food I just got back with), I fasten it to my rear rack with my cargo net. It is made of bungee material, so it stretches to conform to whatever you are trying to hold.Bungee Cargo Net

It has 4 plastic hooks at the corners, so with a bit of creativity you can fasten almost anything. I have used it to carry my lunch, my floor pump that is about 3 feet long, two 12 packs of soda, and a few other oddly shaped things.

Mine is a Delta Cargo Net II that I purchased from REI, but there are similar ones available elsewhere.

If you don’t have one of these, I would encourage you to purchase one. They are not very expensive, and I have come to consider mine indispensable. I leave it wrapped around my rack when not in use, and I can attach my panniers without even removing it. It is always there when I need to carry something, and I consider it the unsung hero of my bike commuting equipment.

The Mixed Blessing Of Equipment Failure
August 7, 2008, 4:30 pm
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I go into the office a couple of days a week, and work at home the rest. Usually, I ride my bike to the office, but this week I had several situations come up that made biking a challenge, so I drove my car. I hadn’t ridden for several days, and seeing all the bikers on the road, while I was in my car, was just killing me. On one of my normal office days I ended up staying home because I was getting my DSL service upgraded, and I was supposed to be at home to meet the technician who came out to prep for the upgrade. Well, the technician never showed up, but I did get the upgraded DSL, and I have been loving it. (12Mb Fiber for you geeks out there) Anyway, today I was working at home, enjoying my new DSL, and all of a sudden my the DSL quit working. Not just slow… but bam… dead stop. I fiddled with the router for a few minutes, but I wasn’t even getting a DSL signal light. So, I called my DSL provider, and was informed that there was a big problem at the central office, and they had dispatched technicians, and they said it would be back up again within 24 hours. Within 24 hours?!!! That makes things a bit difficult when you need your Internet connection for work. Argh!j0427672

There is a bright side to this. Instead of jumping in the car, I rode my bike to the office. I hadn’t ridden for over a week. It was in the middle of the day, and it was hot, and I was a bit tired, and it was great! It kind of freaks me out that I have become so hooked on this bicycling thing. I guess there are certainly worse things to get hooked on. At least this addiction pays back with things like fitness, peace of mind, less concern with gas prices, and just plain fun.

So yeah, equipment failure isn’t always a bad thing.

By the way, my last article ended up being featured on’s home page, which brought in a lot of new traffic over the last few days. That was quite a surprise! So welcome to all the new readers, and thanks for all your great comments.