Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cyclist Vs. Cyclist

There seems to be a growing trend as of late, cyclist suing other cyclist for negligence. At the moment there are two trials going on; one in Scotland (link) and one in Australia (link). In both cases a cyclist left quadriplegic from crash is suing the spandex off the opposing rider.

"I have said this quite a few times to many people, that the accident was preventable if the proper riding position and proper hand position was being adopted," (Telfer, of Scotland) said.
Now we are all too familiar with this concept in the world of automobiles, where suing another driver is something you do while exchanging insurance information. Also very common is the cyclist suing a driver after being hit, or in rare bizzaro cases the other way around.

This is a worrisome trend as it echoes the litigious behavior of those behind the wheel. After a few more trials and court decisions, will cyclist still regard each other in the same comradely fashion? Will the brethren of the bike still give each other "the nod" when they pass? Or will they be worried about being sued for having too much float in their cleats if they wreck? Maybe after enough lawsuits, when we throw a leg over the bike we will see fellow cyclists as just another threatening driver and treat them as such.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pabst of Yore

I was working in the basement this weekend and decided it would be a good idea to go spelunking in the crawl space. What I found there was a treasure every cyclist and cheap beer aficionado would be proud of. Whoever built my house in 1937 was drinking on the job, god bless em' and dropped a few empty cans of PBR into the foundation before slapping the house on top. These cans sat still for 71 freakin years, waiting for someone with the lack of common sense to shimmy their way into the darkness and yank them into the 21st century. There they could achieve the greatness those cans were destined for... a handy tool holder on my peg board! With a can opener, a dremel tool, and a wee bit o' moxie I brought a little more honor to my beloved workspace.

suck it.

I used a dremel cutting wheel to make a cut around one inch long at the top of the back of the can. Then it was just a matter of sliding the peg board bracket in through the slit. I finished it off with some glue to keep everything tight.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bike Stand Bike Pump

A pretty cool idea but the cynic in me says that it will be filled with urine hours after installation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bacon Vodka... Bacon... Vodka...

Say it again, this time slower. Baaaaaaaaacon VVVVVVVVVodka. It's starting to sink in a little isn't it. At first you recoil, but now you're curious aren't you. My pal hooked me with this link and I thought I would pass it along.

A Good Idea But Would You Wear It?

Cyclists are growing in numbers in almost every corner of the globe. Naturally we are seeing a growing number of products geared towards commuter safety, like this little number from Safe Turn.

It has some gyroscopic thingy that only lights when your arm is raised in the signal position, which is cool as hell. Maybe soon we'll see technology like this sewn into gloves, jerseys, or maybe the butt end of your spandex.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Craigslist, You Evil Temptress

Last week I thought I had everything I needed in life, wife, house, 3 bikes... and then I was struck by something that happens all too often for cyclists; I fell in gear love. It's that covetous desire that overcomes you when you come across that special piece of bike gear. It almost seems like this thing you have stumbled upon is a piece of yourself you didn't even know was missing until the moment you saw it. It doesn't have to be in perfect condition either. A few dents and scratches that say "flawed" to anyone else are the badges of honor and character that match this object to your personality on a deep and profound level.

After seeing this little honey on craigslist last week I was done. I instantly knew I had to have it. A Salsa Las Cruces scandium cyclocross frame. I had always planned to get into cyclocross but the opportunity hadn't presented itself. Over the winter and spring I plan to build it up into a single speed by scavenging for the perfect parts at events like this. As you can see on the table, I already have the bitchen winged bull bars.


Snow Ride... Take It Easy

This was the view on my way home today on the Capital Crescent Trail. I took the liberty of leaving work when all the car commuters did. Although I didn't need to brave the hours of traffic I figured a nice ride in the snow would do me good. And it did... for a while...

I was feeling so good about my slow drift home I broke one of my cardinal rules. I took my ipod along. I know I know, I was "that dick" on the trail cranking "Off the Wall" who can't hear your audibles when you are trying to pass... but hey, you weren't there, nobody was. What started out so nice quickly turned into a big steaming pile of slush. The temperature climbed into the mid 30s and it soon got very very wet. On the bright side I did get to test out some new gear but I was hoping for a deep freeze to keep things dry. I can't complain though while everyone I know was either trapped a car or a cage I was on my bike.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Innovate or Die - Winner

Specialized and Google's Innovate or Die contest has yielded a winner. There are tons of cool entries on YouTube like this little gem.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dumbest Cyclist of the Year... So Far

This dick head dodgy wanker was caught riding down one of the busiest streets in Peterborough, England with a kid on his SHOULDERS! Dude, if you don't have a helmet, wrapping a kid around your head is hardly a viable solution.

Great Video - "Monday" - Mike Bentham

This is pretty much what goes through my mind when I ride; it's just not what I look like when I do it. The rider is Mike Bentham; I got the link from bike hugger.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shared Space, Across the Pond

Image stolen from here

A handful of small towns in Germany are doing something pretty bold to combat aggressive drivers and hazardous intersections. They removed all the traffic lights, stop signs, lane markers, and even curbs. It's a concept called "Shared Space" and it has the attention of city planners across the globe. The idea is that with no traffic signs or dividers, drivers can't anticipate what is going to happen and will drive more cautiously.

I think it's a great idea that would never work in the US. I am all for removing extraneous road signs but in a country where drivers license are handed out like bus transfers, sometimes curbs are the only thing that keep drivers from crashing into buildings. On American roads the concept of slower traffic using the right lanes and passing traffic using the left, still hasn't caught on! I imagine this concept to directed towards smaller towns but could you imagine if they tried this anywhere near the beltway?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My Cycling Heros - Installment One

image stolen from downtheroad.org

Have you ever wish you could just bike full time? To live on your bike and tour the world? Tim and Cindy Travis did, and have been on an around the world bike trip since 2002. They saved up a bunch of money, sold all of their possessions, quit their jobs and rode out of their driveway in Arizona. They have bike through central and South America, China, and Southern Asia, Australia, and are currently in New Zealand. They plan to tour from Alaska down the west coast of North America and cut across to the east side and then off to Eastern Europe down into Africa.

What they have done is truly remarkable. On their travels Tim and Cindy have maintained a detailed blog and written 2 books based on their adventures. So by selling the book and generating ad revenue through their site they fund their epic trip. As long as they keep biking they keep blogging and a
s long as they keep blogging, they keep biking. A self sustaining process that allows them to bike indefinitely. It's freakin GENIUS!

Aside from the circa 2002 website layout, www.downtheroad.org is full of inspirational tales, interviews and video, photos, and most important of all, advice about touring and honest gear reviews you can't get anywhere else.

Thanks Tim and Cindy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Nutty DC Weather

Original image stolen from www.nbc4.com

So one night last week on my ride home it was 18 degrees, tonight it will be about 60. As strange as that may be it is pretty much par for the course in DC. I feel sorry for Bob Ryan and anyone else who has to "predict" the weather in this town. Needless to say I still have my winter clothes in a pannier, just in case.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Work Space, The Final Frontier

Since the dawn of time man has been drawing lines across the earth, borders, if you will, that separate one space from another. Walls and fences that say Hey, this is my space, and in here I don't need any pants on! This quest rages onward in modern day in many different avenues. Be it a place to park your car or a little piece of the internet where you can blather away, we are all working to find that space for each part of our lives. For the cyclist, no space is more important than “Work Space”. A place to cram all those wonderful machines, tools and broken parts we wouldn't dare throw away. “Work Space” can take many different forms; from the bike stand in your bedroom and the sock drawer full of tools to the dedicated bay of your garage. My first workspace was in the garage of my parent’s house. From there I moved into a little apartment on 16th street where my only bike had its place in the living room up against the bookshelf with a cardboard box of tools under the bed.

Over the years I have fought for many a work space. I have defended my humble plot from many threats, such as the wife who wanted to store my bikes in the crawl space or piled on top of the lawn mower in the tiny aluminum shed in the back yard. My wife and I and our four bikes just moved into a new house with a basement. The basement is small but it’s all mine. Perfecting the space is an ongoing process that may take years. I installed pegboard and shelves and lighting so far and with some effort I think I will be able to squeeze a few more bikes down there.

Cycle Jerk HQ

Here are a few tips if you have a space like mine:

Use the rafters
If you have an old house like mine you probably have a low ceiling with exposed beams. This is a perfect place to hang brushes, pumps and larger items.

Glass Jars
If you nail the lids of jelly jars into the rafters or under the stairs you can screw the jars up into them making perfect place for screws and bolts and all the small things that clutter up your workspace.

Custom Shaped Pegboard
You don't need a 4x6 section of wall for pegboard to be useful. Use whatever spare wall space you have and cut pegboard to fit it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The All Encompassing Resolution

To spend as much time as possible in 2008 not being a wanker.

Happy New Year