Drive My Bike


And Now For Something Completely Different…
November 17, 2009, 4:29 pm
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Here’s something you don’t see every day… a peloton of sumo wrestlers!

SumoPeloton1

My daughter and I were driving around on Halloween day and came upon one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen when it comes to cyclists. There was a whole group of riders dressed in funny sumo suits. We were actually going the other way when we passed them the first time, but it was so cool that I had to get pictures, so we turned around and passed them again, grabbing some pictures out the window as we went by.

SumoPeloton2

There were probably at least twenty riders, and they were creating quite a stir. Folks were honking and cheering, but they seemed oblivious. I have no idea who the group was, and if the traffic hadn’t been so crazy around them I probably would have tried to make conversation out the window to find out.

SumoPeloton3

It made our day!

In other news…  We’ve had some unseasonably cold temperatures the last few days, which means it was 16-18 degrees (F)  when I left the house in the morning, making for a brisk commute! The temperature has climbed to the mid 30s for the ride home in the evening, and that has felt almost tropical compared to the morning.

The bike commuting herd gets pretty thin when it gets this cold, but I’ve seen more riders still out than I saw last year, which is pretty cool. (No pun intended)

I’ve got my cold weather commuting wear figured out pretty well these days, so I was comfortable. Layering and coverage is everything. Maybe I’ll do a post in the near future to review my current outfit choices.

Thanks for stopping by. Ride Safe!



Need More Space Than A Backpack Or Panniers?

Does it always seem like you need just a little more cargo space on your commute? Well maybe something like this is the answer…

CamperBike

A friend sent me this link to Kevin Cyr’s site, and at first I laughed, but then I realized how serious he is. Go to his site and take a look around. This guy has some interesting ideas on mobility and habitats. He’s also got some nice paintings.

This summer I’ve been using a backpack for my cargo since I’ve been riding Jake’s speedy road bike. The temperatures are starting to drop though, and that means packing a lot more clothing to stay warm, so soon I’ll be going back to my trusty Trek with a rack and panniers.

Yes, the Trek is a lot heavier than Jake’s road bike, and the fully loaded panniers make it even heavier… but I bet it is a lot lighter than Kevin’s camper bike! 🙂



Catching Up…

It has been about three weeks since I last posted, so I figured I’d put something together to let you know what I’ve been up to…

EmigrationFullMileage

Probably the most noteworthy piece of news is that in the last three weeks I decided to start training to ride a Century (100 mile ride) at the end of September. I have become comfortable with 25 mile rides, and figured that it was time to take things to the next level.

The less noteworthy part of that same news is that in the same three week period I decided NOT to train for said Century ride. It goes like this…

Several weeks ago I decided that I’d do a 50-60 mile ride on a Saturday morning to start working up my mileage. I was a little intimidated by that mileage, and rightly so, since my biggest ride at that time was about 25 miles. I checked out a few route possibilities, and decided that I would ride from my house to the top of Emigration Canyon, and back, which I figured was about 60 miles. (You may remember that Emigration Canyon is where I rode with my friend Dave, but we started from the parking lot at the bottom of the canyon.)

The ride to the canyon was great, but once I hit the grade on the way up, I started running out of gas quickly. I took a break about halfway, caught my breath, and then proceeded on to the summit. I paused at the top and took a picture to prove that I had been there.

EmigrationMileage

The speedy ride down the canyon was effortless, and fun, but I got so comfortable that I almost crashed when I underestimated my speed and overshot a corner, missing the edge of the asphalt, and the rock filled ditch, by a few inches. At about 30 mph, that would have been very, very bad.

I had a steady downhill for the next 10 miles or so, and felt pretty good, but then I started hitting a wall. I had to do a few small, but fairly steep hills on the way home, and each one of those seemed to empty my gas tank. I had to take multiple breaks along the way, but eventually made it home. I took the picture at the top of this post, showing the 55.01 mile odometer reading, to commemorate my weary victory.

Looking back, I think the biggest problem I had was that I wasn’t drinking or eating enough. I started experimenting with Hammer Nutrition products a couple of months ago, and I’m very happy with the results, but I’m still figuring out how much water and fuel I need on a long ride. I think if I had fueled and rehydrated more regularly I probably wouldn’t have “bonked” so hard.

Anyway, I was so blown out by that long ride that it took the wind out of my sails for a bit, so I decided to postpone my first century ride until next year, when I can follow a more gradual training program.

In the meantime, I did a nice 35 mile loop on the following Saturday, heading downtown to the Salt Lake Farmer’s Market. I was determined to enjoy this ride, so I slowed things down a bit, and tried to eat and drink more. I stopped at the dog park and snapped a few pictures, which made things fun. I had some soreness in one of my knees, but all in all it was a good ride.

FarmersDogPark

Along with these weekend rides, I’ve continued my regular commutes to work on Mondays and Tuesdays, and I’ve been able to enjoy riding with a couple of regular commuters that I’ve become acquainted with on my route.

I’ve also noticed that there are a LOT more people riding their bikes these days, and most of them look like they are commuting. Vive Le Revolution!

Lastly, I figured I’d share a picture I took yesterday morning. I went to my gym for the early (5:45 am) spinning class that I hit semi-regularly. It is an intense class, and the trainer who leads it is an avid biker herself, so she makes sure we get a good workout. I was thoroughly exhausted when I left the gym, but this is what I saw…

LifetimeFitnessSunrise

That was a nice way to start my day.

Thanks for reading. Keep riding. Stay safe.



Save Some Money Right Now
August 28, 2009, 10:41 am
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I am a pretty big fan of REI, and have purchased a lot of my biking equipment there, as well as getting a bunch of free advice. My local REI store has a great selection in their cycling department, and I regularly keep an eye on their outlet deals on their web site. If you shop their sales you can sometimes find great deals.

They have a BIG sale going on for the next week, and there are some great cycling deals.

image

Several of the products that I now swear by are on sale:

Lights – The Planet Bike SuperFlash / Blaze combo light set. I can’t recommend this combo enough when it comes to lights that help you “be seen”. The SuperFlash rear light is the brightest rear flasher I have ever seen. The company claims it can be seen from a mile away, and I believe it. You really have to see one of these to know how bright they are. If you can only afford one thing for your night riding, buy a SuperFlash, as I think it is the best way to “be seen” out there.  If you buy the combo, you’ll save more money, because you’ll also get a nice 1/2 watt Blaze front light that is reasonably bright and has a solid mode and flashing mode. For about $10 more you can get the combo with a brighter 1 watt Blaze front light.  I use the Blaze in flashing mode to “be seen”, along with the next item…

Lights – The NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB rechargeable LED light. I picked this up on sale about a year ago, and it has made all the difference in my confidence level when it comes to riding at night and being able to see where I’m going. This is a serious investment, but if you end up riding a lot at night I recommend considering something like this. It is rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about buying batteries, and will even recharge from the USB port on your computer. It is lightweight and easy to install and remove, so you only need it on your bike when you want it there. It is very bright, around 100 lumens. I use this in front along with the Planet Bike flasher, and I feel this gives me a good mix of “see” and “be seen. If you have a bigger budget, NiteRider introduced a couple of other models this year that are even brighter, so you might want to check those out.

Shoes – The Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek commuter shoe. I have featured these here before, and I bought them when I was getting started with clipless pedals. They are comfortable, both on and off the bike. They are reasonably lightweight, and with the sale price you’ll be paying a lot less than most other cycling shoes.

Shoes – The Keen Commuter bike sandal. I was skeptical when I first saw these, and I don’t think I would have paid full price for them, but REI holds “garage sales” every few months where they clear out their returned goods, and I found a pair of these for $40, so I bought them. I’m really glad I did. I have worn these all summer as my main cycling shoes when the weather is warm. They are so comfortable that I don’t bother bringing along shoes to change into, I just wear them like normal sandals. I realize that the price is kind of steep, even on sale, but if you can afford them I give them two thumbs up.

I use all of these products on a regular basis, and I am very happy with them.

In addition, REI has cut prices on all kinds of other cycling products, from bikes, to clothing. I realize that with the economy right now, and this being back to school time, a lot of people don’t have extra money, but there are some good deals out there right now if you can take advantage of them.

In the interest of full disclosure, the links above are ad links, and if you click on them and then order from REI.com I will make a small commission on your purchase. If you have a problem with that, then don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of these deals… just go to REI.com on your own, or better yet, go to your local REI store and meet the people there and check out the products in person.

UPDATE: wordpress.com doesn’t allow any advertising… so they blocked the above links. I changed them all to normal links to REI.com… so go take a look and enjoy the deals..

Happy Cycling!



What Would It Be Like?

What would it be like if the majority of commuters rode bicycles?

Think about it…

What would happen to the environment?

What would happen to healthcare… obesity… nutrition?

What would happen to our stress level?

What would happen to our sense of community?

Obviously bike commuting doesn’t work for everyone…

But what if it worked for most of us?

As you can see from the video, it is possible.

Thanks to Bike Commuters and Kona.



Another Terrible Reminder To Be Careful
August 18, 2009, 9:43 am
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There’s another horrible auto-cyclist accident in the news this morning.

j0400454

A driver in Texas, who was apparently drunk, hit a cyclist, who went through the car’s back window, and ended up in the back seat. The driver then drove home and tried to hide the vehicle, with the cyclist still in the back seat! A relative found the car and called 911, but the cyclist was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – A driver accused of slamming head-on into a bicyclist, who was left in the car’s back seat after he toppled over the roof and crashed through the rear window, was jailed Monday on an intoxication manslaughter charge.

Vincent Paul Riojas, 27, is accused of hitting Ronnie Monroe Keller, 59, on Saturday in Grand Prairie, a suburb of Dallas where both men lived. Investigators said Riojas was driving on Texas 180 when he drifted into oncoming traffic.

The impact hurled Keller into the windshield of the car and flipped him over the roof before he crashed through the rear window, investigators said.

Riojas drove from the scene to his home and apparently tried to hide the car in a side yard before fleeing, according to a police statement released Monday.

Riojas’ relatives found Keller critically injured in the car and called police. Keller was dead when he arrived at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Quoted from MSNBC

This just serves as a reminder that no matter how careful we are when we ride our bicycles, we still have to constantly be on guard for things beyond our control.

Be alert. Ride safe.



Denied
July 30, 2009, 3:19 pm
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This morning I had a great ride to the office. It was cooler this morning than it has been for a long time, and even though I pushed the speed, I felt strong, and I wasn’t overly tired when I got there. Then I got to the office…

LockedOut

…and realized I had forgotten my keys and wallet!

I was the first one at the office, so without my keys I was locked out. Doh!

I did have my cell phone, so I was able to handle a couple of appointments I had scheduled, but then I just had to sit and wait for someone else to show up to let me in. I figured I’d take the picture above to commemorate the moment.

Oh well, at least it was a nice morning to be stuck sitting outside. 🙂