Friday, May 25, 2012

Pre Tour De Fat Party At The Pug

Last night I went with a buddy down to The Pug on H street for a New Belgium/WABA pre TDF party. There were lot's of Belgian style beer and bike people, which is always a good combination. There was a raffle to raise money for WABA and NB gave away hats, shirts, and a pretty sweet custom cruiser to this lucky gal.

I apologize for the crappy photos.

The place was filled with poorly lit blurry people. Gwadzilla is in there somewhere.
I had a nice chat with Katie, WABA's DC Bike Ambassador.
I tried the aptly named Tart Lychee, which was both tart and full of lychee. It was pretty damn good, however there is a time and a place and last night was neither. Maybe a hot summer day while grilling pork.

I picked up another piece of beeraphernalia for the LHT.
After having our fill of Belgian style beer, and being raffle loosers, we went next door  to Granville Moore's for some mussels, fries, and actual Belgian beer. I highly recommend the the braised lamb and Navigator mussels.
Over all it was a great night; we met cool folks, gave WABA some money, drank good beer, and ate great food.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Big Box O' Bike Porn

Usually when a man gives another man a box full of magazines it goes something like this. Last week a good friend moved out of town, and before he left he dropped of a box of bike porn he didn't want to pack up. There were an abundance of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rags along with some other random bike porn crap. I've always liked Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times I just never got psyched enough to pull the trigger. This past week I've read a one of each every day and I think I've gotten myself sufficiently psyched. I'm diggin' the articles and reviews, even though they're over a year old . The problem with reading last years magazines comes when you see a t-shirt that you absolutely must have, you learn quickly that you're not alone and everyone else had to have the shirt when they saw it... last year.

Maybe by subscribing I can avert this kind of painful catastrophe in the future.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike To Work Day Blues

I bike to work every day, all year long. There's one day, however, that I particularly enjoy biking to work is (you guessed it) BTWD. I love BTWD and everything it stands for; it’s a day where like-minded folks can get together and geek out commuter style. It's also a day where people who are skittish about riding to work can learn the ropes, get advice, and join the protection of a convoy to get used to the road. It's a great thing.

On this lovely Bike To Work Day I fell victim to the DC pollen and was benched on my favorite day of the year to ride to work. This pissed me off. Then my alarm went off and the first voice I heard was that of Rivendell's Grant Petersen being interviewed on NPR. This really pissed me off.

The worst thing about cycling culture or any other culture for that matter is the large number of judgmental shitholes who get off on telling everyone else that they're "doing it" wrong. This behavior is usually reserved for elitist road or mountain bikers touting the latest unobtainium. This morning however we learned there is a new douche bag in town, the elitist commuter. 

I had to listen to the full interview online...

"Wear the clothes that you're going to wear at work," he says. "Don't dress up like an American Bike Geek just to ride a bicycle to work."
"If your commute is reasonable — say, 10 miles or under — no problem," Petersen adds. "Dress the way you're going to dress for the weather, or the day." 
"Bicycle riding doesn't make a lot of demands on your body, your upper body is still when you're riding and your legs are just turning around in small little circles."
Grant Petersen, who's shop is in Walnut Creek, CA just outside of Berkley, (that place with the best weather in the entire country), wants you to bike to work in the clothes you are planning to wear to work. Anyone who's ridden a bike in DC (or most other parts of the country) knows this is bullshit and would only work a few days out of the year. Grant goes on to say we shouldn't dress like and "American Bike Geek", which I'm guessing means we're not aloud to wear cycling jerseys and shorts. I just want to point out that most European countries, where bike commuting is more mainstream, never have a DC summer.

I'm going to stop here because he said too many stupid things to comment on without getting angry. After this, I'm sure the internet will be full of colorful Grant Petersen critiques. More than anything this interview makes me sad. I think Grant's point was that you don't have to buy the latest high tech race gear to commute to work, which would be a good point had it not been lost in the douche bag delivery. The irony is that in saying don't go hi-tech Grant joined the ranks or all the elitists on the other end of the spectrum.

There was a good opportunity here to inform and encourage novice commuters but Grant dropped the ball.

If you want to know how you should dress while bike commuting, don't listen to Grant Petersen, unless you live in Berkley. If you are new to bike commuting and don't know what to wear, get some advice from local commuters and shop employees who have been riding in the same conditions and roads that you plan to. Consider their advice and then do what makes you happy. Finding the right clothes for your commute can take a lot of trial and error and there is no right fit for everybody.

The bottom line is that if you are comfy wearing shorts in the winter, great; if you like the feel of wool and wearing it all year round is your thing, awesome. If you find what works for you, go for it, just don't let some douche bag, whether they're wearing lycra or tweed, tell you you're doing it wrong.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bike To Work Day 2012

Bike To Work Day is next Friday! Commuter Connections and WABA have done a great job organizing this event in the past and this year will be no different.

Historically BTWD has had it's share of crappy weather but that shouldn't be the case this year as the Ultra-Super-Accurate 10 day forecast from says it will be 78 and sunny.

Register Here.

Join a convoy or go it alone.

Save $10 on a WABA membership

Get a T-shirt.

Justify those feelings of superiority over your co-workers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cargo Bike Grocery Run

Whenever I'm discussing cargo bikes the topic inevitably shifts to grocery retrieval. It seems that when people think of cargo bikes they try to imagine the heaviest thing in their lives and apply it to a bike trip. In turn, for most people, the heaviest and most awkward thing imaginable is 3 or 4 bags of groceries. While groceries can be quite heavy, there are much heavier things in need of conveyance; gardening supplies for one can be super heavy. Unfortunately my local Home Depot is not a bike friendly trip away. This was my first grocery run on the LHT and it worked out fine. Loaded up with a weeks' worth or food for the family (aka 500 apricot Clif Bars), the LHT had a little more twist in the ride than usual but nothing too bad.

Speaking of gardening this seasons first batch of worm compost tea was brewed up and applied to the vegetable garden this week.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Xtracycle Add Ons

I added some DIY foot pegs to the Xtracycle last week. These are re-purposed bar ends that slide perfectly onto the xtracycle v-racks. When my daughter gets too big for her seat I'll move the bar ends down as needed.

I saw this on another blog and thought It looked like a good fix. To waterproof your xtracycle, take sections of road tube and slide them up the racks. When they are all the way on, take the bottom half of the tube and roll it up over the top half. Next put the racks back on the frame and unroll. The tube should create a nice waterproof sleeve where the racks meet the frame.

It's the little things...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In Good Company

I only make purchases from companies that reflect my personal outlook and stance on the important issues of the day, or the ones who send me inappropriate stickers in exchange for a good haiku.

Surly Bikes