Book Review: “Just Ride” promotes the Spandex-Free Zone of bicycling

Just Ride

Grant Petersen doesn’t think you need all that gear or all those gears in this guide for everyday people who ride every day.

“Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike” by Grant Petersen is a “just do it!” spandex-free guide to bicycling.

Petersen, a bicycle racer wants to encourage “unracers” to use their bikes as transportation and recreation, not a style statement. It is a reaction against the commodification of bicycling. You can hear his June 5 interview on the website for Lake Effects, WUWM 89.7 public radio, or read a summary of the interview.

In the interview by  AND , He busts three myths about cycling today.

  1. Lycra is a bicyclists’ best friend: Dress for comfort. Dress appropriately for your destination. Bike shops sells clothes to make money, not make you a better cyclist.
  2. Helmets aren’t invincible: There is not much difference, if any, between the $40 helmet and the $400 helmet when it comes to safety. They all have to meet minimum government standards. Petersen advises a helmet does not make you safe. It just softens the blows. Ride like you are not wearing a helmet.
  3. Eight is enough: When we were kids, we had three gears; then 10 gears. Now some bikes have 30 gears. But almost any urban topography can be conquered with 8 gears. (This goes along with the three-speed theory of life. We have 21 possibilities, but habitually use only three.)

WUWM reports Petersen lives in California and owns Rivendell Bicycle Works, a maker of steel bike frames.

My Commute: Thieves continue cannibalizing locked bike

A Schwinn bike first spotted three days ago u-locked to a street sign in Milwaukee, WI, continues to be cannibalized by thieves, it appears. Unless the owner just wants to take it home one part at a time.

A Schwinn bike first spotted three days ago u-locked to a street sign in Milwaukee, WI, continues to be cannibalized by thieves, it appears. Unless the owner just wants to take it home one part at a time.

Thieves continue to cannibalize the carcass of the bicycle locked to a street sign that was featured in a post two days ago. The Veggie Biker really could use that luggage rack.

Stolen bike parts

Your bicycle can prove to be a sidewalk parts store for thieves. There’s a reason one U-Locks the frame and rear wheel to the pole, while running a cable from the front wheel, through the seat to the U-Lock.

My Commute: Your bicycle can be a sidewalk parts store for thieves

Stolen bike parts

Your bicycle can prove to be a sidewalk parts store for thieves. There’s a reason one U-Locks the frame and rear wheel to the pole, while running a cable from the front wheel, through the seat to the U-Lock.

We need a bicycle locking system that works as easily as parking and locking your car.

Consider, you start out parking your new bike using a U-lock connecting the rear wheel to the frame plus the bike rack, with a cable strung through the seat and around the front wheel.( Or you secure your seat permanently with its own cable and remove the front wheel and U-lock it, the frame, and the rear wheel to the pole.)

  • Then, you get tired of using the cable.
  • And then you just snap the U-lock around the frame and the pole.
  • And then, finally, you just lean your bike against the store and run in for a second to grab your laundry.

And, then, someone grabs your bike–or just parts of it.

Thieves are happy just to treat your bike as a sidewalk parts store. And that can be a real pain–if they just took your seat.

Veggie Biking wants a bicycle “Club.” Or it wants bicycle companies to start manufacturing a theft-resistant product that is as easy to use as parking and locking your car.

 

Product Review: WeeRide Kangaroo Child’s Seat comes up a wee bit short

Parent and child using Kangaroo Carrier

The beauty of the center-mounted seat is you embrace your child. However, how the many brands of seats mount differs with manufacturer and engineering elegance. The WeeRide Kangaroo is over-engineered, meaning you can haul heavier children. But it requires more tools and time to install.

The WeeRide Kangaroo Center-Mounted Child Carrier comes up a wee bit short of pleasing the Veggie Biker.

That’s not to say is does not work well; it’s to say it takes too many trips to the hardware store to make it work effectively.

The Veggie Biker bought this seat through Craig’s List. Given he paid $30 and the previous  owner, a parent who used it with two children, installed it the first time for the Veggie grandad, the Veggie Biker should be happy and just quit writing, now. But…, that would not be the blogger way.

The short and the long of Veggie Biking’s complaint is the length of the bolts and the thickness of the clamp that connects the cross-bar rail to the seat stay (the pipe the seat slips into) and the head tube (the pipe the handle bars slip into). On the two bikes used, a Giant XL Cypress and a Raleigh C30, the bolts are too short in the rear. We got it to fit the Raleigh by removing extra pieces fromt he clamp. But just had to get longer bolts for the Giant. And on the Raleigh hybrid, there is not enough clearance for the clamps to slip neatly onto the seat stay and the head tube. The tubes extend well above the Giant’s cross bar. But on the Raleigh, the clamps interfere with the seat adjustment lever.

And, of course, for the cool dad who drops the kid at child care, leaving behind the seat for the afternoon pickup, the bike still has that ugly cross bar attachement. iBert avoids this  with a simple handlebar bracket. But, iBert is rated at 38 pounds, while WeeRide carries up to 42 pounds.

The short and the long of Veggie Biking's complaint is the length of the bolts and the thickness of the clamp that connects to the seat stay (the pipe the seat slips into) and the head tube (the pipe the handle bars slip into). On the two bikes used, the bolts are too short in the rear. And on the Raleigh hybrid, there is no clearance for the clamps to slip neatly onto the seat stay and the head tube. For the Giant, shown here, only the bolts were ill-fitting.

The short and the long of Veggie Biking’s complaint is the length of the bolts (note these are not the factory bolts) and the thickness of the clamp that connects to the seat stay (the pipe the seat slips into) and the head tube (the pipe the handle bars slip into). On the two bikes used, the bolts are too short in the rear. And on the Raleigh hybrid, there is no clearance for the clamps to slip neatly onto the seat stay and the head tube. For the Giant, shown here, only the bolts were ill-fitting. But at least the Giant’s tubes extend well above the cross bar for easy clamping.

The test ride with a real child requires many strap adjustments, no matter whose seat you use. And it just adds to the fear the child has for the first time ride. Solve this by having the kid sit in the seat in the house–on the floor–and make it a game.Then, when it is time to ride, just plunk the kid in and click the buckle. Do the same with the helmet.

Fear is the enemy of teaching children to ride.

Knee knocking was the Veggie Biker’s biggest fear. This did not occur even with a 6’2″ father and granddad. However, it would be nice if one could slide the seat back and fourth along the cross bar for a better fit depending upon the brand of bike being used.

The final consumer review was uttered by the passenger as her father pedaled away. “Go, Daddy, go!”

Giant bike with Kangaroo

The Giant XL Cypress hybrid bike seemed better suited for the Kangaroo Child Carrier than the Raleigh. The head tube and the seat stand both were extended well above the cross bar, making attaching the clamps much more effective.

 

Places We Like: Anaheim Brewery adds Bicycle Parking, Delivery

 

anaheimbrewerybikedelivery

The Anaheim Brewery is embracing bicycling officially.

Of course, you could always ride up to the brewery, lock your bike to the rail that surrounds the outside dining area, and buy a brew. But now, they have real bicycle racks and bicycle delivery, according to Kevin Kidney, vice president of the Anaheim Historical Society. The society is a big mover in making Old Anaheim and the Colony area “cool.”

The Veggie Biker is tempted to call into the brewery and ask for bicycle delivery to Fullerton; but maybe that’s asking too much for a waiter on a beach cruiser. But it’s another place to which you can pedal–even from Fullerton–and enjoy a relaxing moment.

anaheimbrewerybikeracks

The brewery site reads:

“Welcome to the Anaheim Brewery! We’re a 140-year old company that just opened. That’s right! The first Anaheim Brewery opened in 1870 in downtown Anaheim. We took a 90 year break after National Prohibition closed the taps in 1920.

“Today, the home of the Anaheim Brewery is the Packard Building, a 1920s structure within the city’s Historic District.

“Stop by our Tasting Room and enjoy a glass of “Famous Anaheim Beer!???
336 S. Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

Hours:
Tuesday 5 – 9 pm
Wednesday 5 – 9 pm
Thursday 5 – 9 pm
Friday 4 – 9 pm
Saturday 11 am – 9 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

anaheimbrewerymap

 

 

 

Cycling News: Race to score winners on ability to ride bicycle while wielding their battle axes

Lutsk costume bike ride

Three Lutsk, Ukraine, bicyclists announce May 16 the costumed bicycle ride to promote safety for cyclists. Entrants are judged on their ability to control their bikes while carrying medieval weaponry.

 

Link Contributed by Okasna Tsymbaliuk, VolynPost Reporter/Photographer

Would cars share the road more with bicycles–if bicycleists carried battle axes?

Some bicyclists in Lutsk, Ukraine, think cars would and have set about to win “a chivalrous space for cyclists.”

A costumed bicycle race, featuring historical characters dressed as knights, will take place May 26 in this city that lies about 70 kilometers east of the Polish Border.

Costumed rider

An entrant for the costumed bicycle race Sunday, May 26, in Lutsk, Ukraine will also be asked to decorate his bike in medieval style, too.

In a Google Translate interpretation, the article reads, the “Velodnya” will be dedicated to costume and historical subjects, announced representatives of the Association of cyclists Lutsk at a press conference.

If you can make it, meet at 10:00 at the statue of the poet, Lesya Ukrainina, in the city square next Sunday. The race starts at 10:30 Cyclists will pass thru “Theatre Square, and along streets Vynnychenka, Victory Avenue, Unity, Youth, Renaissance, Rivne Street, Prospect Will.” The race will finish in Theater Square.

Afterwards organizers promise contests for the best costume and the ability to ride a bike through an obstacle course. At 13:00, at the Botanical Gardens, near the street Chopin, there will be a cross-country race with obstacles..

Organizers said riding with medieval weapons is considered an extreme sport. A surprising distinction in this land where young women learn by 16 to walk to school on glare ice wearing stiletto heels. This is also the land where bored young men jump off five-story buildings into snow drifts below. However, The organizers say they have tested the bicycling-with-weapons event for safety.

One of the organizers of the race, Yuri Moklytsi, has asked participants to not just dress as knights and ladies, but dress their vehicles “in the elements of costume.” The city is offering authentic costumes to entrants.

“This is a very cool thing. If we have 30 percent  of (the attendance) we have conceived, it will then (be our message) is very powerful thundered,” Google translated the president of the Association of cyclists, Dmitry Sandolov, as saying.

Regional Development Association Chairman Peter Hotsalyuk was translated as saying, “For Lutsk cyclists, there are many obstacles. For example, the absence of tracks, parking, safety, too high of fumes. A massive velosvyata will draw attention to the problem. We must win a chivalrous space for cyclists.”

Added Moklytsya, “Sometimes people say the more cyclists (on the road), the greater the risk for (cyclists). However, the European example of this: the more cyclists, the more (drivers) notice and drivers get used to these road users.”

The first bike ride in Lutsk in 2007 gathered 40 participants. In 2011, the event gathered about a thousand entrants. VELODNYA View photos of 2012.

close-up knight cyclist

If you were driving down the street, would you cut off this cyclist–if he was carrying an axe?

ALERT! Free Metrolink ride to OCTA bike rally 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Orange

octalogo2

Alert courtesy Marcia Jeffredo

The Orange County Transportation Authority is sponsoring a bike ride 7:30 p.m. Thursday from the Metrolink Station, 194 N. Atchison Street, in the City of Orange to the OCTA headquarters, 550 S. Main Street, Orange. You will be riding with local elected officials, so get your biking wish list ready.

This is part of its celebration of National Bike Month.

As you can read on this poster, OCTA writes it wants to show you the new bicycles and bicycle parking equipment being introduced by the OCTA for the new BikeLink System. Because Metrolink is offering free train rides to anyone boarding with a bike, you can jump aboard at any Metrolink station and arrive at the Orange station in time for the rally.

octabikemonthpledge