Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you so much to everybody for the feedback, news, notes, and encouragement in 2005.

I haven't gotten much cycling in this last week. On New Years Eve (tonight) my family and I watched some amazing fireworks at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado. We're at about 9,000 feet elevation and the clouds just cover the mountain tops somewhere over 11,000 feet. Watching fireworks against a white snowy mountain backdrop is amazing, especially with the multihued displays reflecting off of the clouds just a couple of thousand feet up. I've never seen anything like it before.


Photo info: Jack by nmoroder.

Friday, December 30, 2005

On the road

I haven't been posting because I'm out of town and usually very far away from any Internet access and water was SPILLED ON THE LAPTOP COMPUTER. I finally got the laptop running today but it's still acting weird.

To give you a short clue of where I've been, I invite you to read about the proposed Grand Canyon Greenway.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bike cop and tabloid news

San Antonio Bicycle Police rule:
Take a star athlete, a famous actress, a bicycle cop, a vehicular incident, mix in some racial tension and what do you get?

A traffic violation that's better suited for a prime-time soap opera.

An officer on a bicycle saw Parker's stopped car holding up traffic early Saturday and rapped the hood with his hand, according to a police report. Parker, behind the wheel as Longoria sat in the passenger's seat, questioned why the officer touched the car, and the couple "began screaming in a verbally abusive and demeaning manner," police said.
Read more.

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Top 10 New Years resolutions

The Top Ten New Years resolutions are to spend more time with family, get fit, lose fat, enjoy life, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, help others, and get organized. Most Americans will fail to keep their resolutions. You have good intentions, but you don't have the tools to help you pursue your goals. Believe it or not, bicycling can help with just about every one of these resolutions.
1. Spend more time with family. Ride a bike with them, instead of being trapped in a car in traffic. Bicycling is a perfect family activity. Ride to a nearby park or shop. Ride with your child to or from school.
2. Get fit. Ride a bike!
3. Lose the fat. Ride a bike!
4 & 6. Quit smoking / drinking / drugs. Drug use is incredibly difficult to quit and this hasn't worked for everybody, but I know cyclists who used to be regular drug users. Their desire to get better on the bike provided sufficient motivation for them to quit. Cycling also can be a substitute for the obsessive behavior that some people need in their lives.
5. Enjoy life. Ride a bike! Several bike commuters I know do it to stay sane on the job.
7. Get out of debt. Save money by commuting by bike!
8. Learn something new. Learn bike repair, or new bike routes or learn to blog.
9. Help others. Bike charity rides!
10. Get organized. Can't help you there.
What are your bike-related resolutions? If you don't ride a bike, how can cycling help you fulfil your New Year Resolutions? Leave your comments below. See related: , ,

Monday, December 26, 2005

More cycling for fun

For those who follow Cyclelicious via a blog reader, several people left their own ideas about why biking is fun. It's all good stuff.

If you want to follow Cyclelicious comments in your blog reader, I've started an experimental comment feed. The actual Atom feed is here. If you have any ideas on how to improve this please let me know.

If you have Javascript enabled on your browser, you can also see the last few comments left on Cyclelicious at the homepage. Leave a comment and get your 15 minutes of fame.

Hangover cure

Health911 tells me that "exercise will help get rid of your hangover by helping the body rid itself of toxins. The increased circulation gets blood and oxygen to your oxygen-starved brain."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Are these people high? Who in the world wants to exercise the morning after, for cryin' out loud? You have a raging headache, your mouth is dry, and you feel like you've been hit by a truck. You feel awful. Worse than awful. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. See related: , , ,

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The commute year in pictures

The Commute Year In Pictures is a photo journal documenting a year of commuting by bike.

Bike Brush

The yellow tool on the left is Pedro's bicycle toothbrush that retails for $5.99. The blue tool on the right is hoof pick with brush (to use on horses), regularly about $2.00 but on sale for a buck thirty eight. A bike riding equestrian tells me the hoof pick works great to clean cogs and gears on bikes.
Photo info: Bike Brush by richardmasoner.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Eco-friendly flip-flops

Matt wrote about Eco-friendly flip-flops, referring to this Guardian story about blackhat SEO. If you want some eco-friendly flip-flops with "zero harmful emissions" for Christmas, don't visit either of those sites.

I used to ride my bike with flip flops when I was a kid, until I mangled my toes in the chain one day. I now wear closed-toe shoes instead of flip flops, eco-friendly or otherwise.

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REI bicycle recall

Novara Dirt Rider
REI has issued a voluntary recall of their Novara Dirt Rider 20-inch 5-Speed and 6-Speed Bicycle. The alloy frame used for these bicycles can be prone to fatigue failure. Frame failure results in the separation of the fork, head tube, and handlebar away from the rest of the bike causing a loss of control and crash, and posing a risk of serious injury to the rider. REI has received four reports of frames failing. All four failures resulted in crashes with one child sustaining a minor injury.

The Novara Dirt Rider 20-inch 5-speed and 6-speed bicycles are children’s bicycles with 20-inch wheels, an aluminum frame, and multiple speeds. 2003-2004 model year bicycles were red/black or silver/blue frost in color; 2005-2006 model year bicycles were black/gravel or white/powder blue in color. They were sold at REI stores from October 2002 through November 2005 for between $200 and $210 (depending on model year) full price and may have been sold as low as $125 on sale.

For additional information contact REI at (800) 426-4840 between 4 a.m. and 11 p.m. PT seven days a week, visit REI online or contact your local REI store.

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Bike for fitness

Bicycling is a great way to get fit for a number of reasons.
  • Cycling is a low impact excercise, causing less strain and injuries than some other fitness exercises. It's easy on the joints.
  • Cycling is easy. Unlike some other sports, cycling does not require a high level of physical skill. When people talk about something that's easy to do, they say "it's as easy as riding a bike." Lance Armstrong got into cycling because he wasn't any good at football at his Texas high school.
  • Cycling is good for strength and stamina.
  • Cycling is as intense as you want it to be. If you need to take it easy, doing so is very easy on a bike. If you want to get to 80% of VO2Max and get the heart really pumping, the bike is still the tool for the job.
  • Cycling is fun. Being outdoors and having fun means you're much more likely to stick with cycling as a fitnes program.
  • Cycling is social. Group rides for a variety of skill, interest, and fitness levels are available in many areas. If you don't like to be in groups, however, cycling is still a great activity for the loner.
Whatever your motivation for physical fitness -- whether you're training for a summer charity ride or you want a better quality of life -- cycling is a great way to become physically fit.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bike for finances

Bicycling can save money and put some jingle in your pocketbook. Here's how.
  • Bicycling is much less expensive than many other recreational activities. After an initial investment of some equipment, incremental expenses are low. You don't need to travel to ride a bike. There are no use fees to pay or season passes or memberships to buy. It's not necessary to buy much special clothing specific to bicycling (unless you want to).
  • Gasoline is projected to shoot through and beyond $3 per gallon in 2006. Bicycling for common errands can save money on gas and wear-and-tear on your car or truck.
  • Many people save substantially more money by getting rid of one or more of the family motor vehicles.
  • Bicycling as part of an active lifestyle saves money by saving on your health expenses. Getting active can substantially decrease your risk of obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers. Besides direct health expenses, employers are begining to look at the health of prospective employees as part of the hiring decision. When you apply for life insurance, your health figures into the premium that is charged.
Some of these may seem to be a stretch, but taken together your financial savings are noticeable.

See related: ,

Bike for fun

I'm going to write a few posts on reasons to ride a bicycle. We've all seen the usual lists of boring reasons: money, health, fitness, environment and so forth. The reason most people ride a bike, however, is simply because it's stupid simple fun.

Whether you go slow or fast, you bike because you like to ride. The fresh air invigorates you. Exposure to the environment awakens and heightens your senses. Closeness to the elements invigorates and makes you feel alive.

Cycling is a great way to explore at a reasonable pace. You make discoveries about your neighborhood every time you ride. You see the birds, the flowers and the trees. You find out the old lady down the street isn't as weird and scary as you imagined. You notice the oddball statuettes in the frontyard garden around the corner. You tune in to the rhythms of nature, with seasons and wind and weather.

Practice random acts of bike fun
Many bike commuters don't ride to save money or to reduce greenhouse emissions, although those are certainly worthwhile benefits. You do it because you like to ride. The morning commute clears your head for the work day ahead. The evening commute releases the stress of working all day.

If you read this and decide to give biking a try, take it easy at first. You don't need the latest space-age technology in your bike or clothing, although you're free to go all out if you want to. Limit your distance to a mile or two. Ride with your child to school or the park. If there's one within a reasonable distance, ride to a corner store for a candy bar, or to an ice cream shop, or even to a supermarket or grocery. Don't focus on speed or performance. Just keep it relaxed and the fun will follow.

Tell me, what's fun about your ride?

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NYC: No bikes in buildings

New York cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives estimates 200,000 commuters are biking to their jobs in New York City during the public transit strike. Many office buildings, however, bar riders from bringing their inside, discouraging many thousands of potential bike commuters. "I have not ridden my bike to work," said Cheryl Cook. "I was told that under no circumstances can I bring my bike into the building."

Read more.

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2006 cycling team roster announcements

Several American cycling teams announced their 2006 rosters. Teams listed in the VeloNews article are Health-Net Maxxis, Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada, Targetraining, Colavita-Cooking Light, Spike, Broadmark Capital-Hammer Nutrition, and Abercrombie & Fitch-Inferno.

The biggest team news is Abercrombie & Fitch signing as the title sponsor of Team Inferno. With its increased budget, the team will be able to support racing at multiple and concurrent events during the season, as well as fund the necessary support staff for a full season of racing premier events in the U.S.

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Filmed By Bike seeking entries

Filmed By Bike IV, a raucous festival of bike-themed movies, is currently seeking entries of bike-themed shorts eight minutes or less in length. The deadline is March 15, 2006. Selected films will be shown to a standing room crowd on Friday, April 28, 2006 at the Clinton Street Theater in Portland, OR.

Filmed By Bike is a Portland favorite and has sold out every year. Deeply plotted bike love stories, dreams of a world without cars and stories of bikers' triumph over cars fill the silver screen for a night in celebration of bike culture around the world.

Visit the Filmed By Bike website for more festival info and an application form.

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Pedal Powered New York: Transit Strike

The combination of the new lower Manhattan driving restrictions and the MTA's transit strike has left many New Yorkers without a way to get into the city. This has also created a bike friendly environment for those willing to fight the cold.

Despite the troubles that New York's Critical Mass faced following the Republican National Convention, the Mayor's office is suggesting bicycling as a form of transportation!!

Hans "No Way" Rey -- 20 years riding for GT

GT announced the return of trials legend Hans Rey for his 20th year on the squad. Hans will be 40 years old next year, but the former trials world champ and mountain biking world champ continues to amaze the world with his big jumps, stunt riding and showman performances.

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Streaming Colors Fitness Journal

"Stay on track with COLOR -- All year long!" That's the promise of the Streaming Colors Fitness Journal.

This seems kinda goofy to me, but I'm a guy. People who use this daily fitness journal rave about it.

What do you use to log your workouts?

Sustainable Alternative for the Ford "Motor" Company

Recently, I saw an article on Global Exchange that listed The Ford Motor Company as the 6th worst Human Rights violator among the top 14 Human Rights Violators of 2005. That prompted me to write the following letter to company presendent William Ford Jr. I thought some of you might find it interesting:

Dear Mr. Ford:

As you may already be aware, The Ford Motor Company has been listed #6 on Global Exchange's "14 'Most Wanted' Corporate Human Rights Violators of 2005:"

http://www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/corporateHRviolators.html

Obviously, most of The Ford Motor Company's problems stem from the current world shortage of oil. The human rights violations in question are evidently considered necessary evils required in order to supply the copious amounts of oil your corporation needs to manufacture and power its product.

Personally, I have no qualms about the pursuit of profit in and of itself. However, I draw the line when the pursuit of profit begins hurting others. Unfortunately, as automobiles are, by far, the greatest consumer of oil of any product in the world, the current shortage of oil has forced large auto manufacturers like yourself to "overlook" some human rights violations among those who control the oil in order to continue fueling their product.

Ultimately, oil is not a renewable resource. Human rights violations aside, it is inevitable, Mr. Ford, that your company must either adapt or fall. Just like the IBM company which would have folded back in the 1950s had the company not branched out from punched card tabulating equipment into the computer age, so too will the Ford Motor Company fall when the oil finally runs out.

I, for one, do not want to see that happen. It probably surprises you that I'd say that. I'm sure, considering everything I've said thus far, you were expecting me to condemn the Ford Motor Company for their practices and hope for your eventual demise. This is not the case. Put simply, I don't like to see the fall of ANY long standing company, particularly one with such a long standing history. I prefer to see companies survive and prosper, adapting as the market changes.

The Ford Motor Company need not continue its current practices in order to survive and be profitable. I'm sure you, or those under you who have made these decisions, have seen what your corporation has done in environmental damage and fueling oil wars as necessary evils of doing business. I'm sure that, if there was an alternative way for Ford to make a profit without hurting people, you'd be more than willing to consider the alternative.

There IS an alternative, Mr. Ford. A PROVEN alternative. Please refer to the following website:

http://www.cadillacbicycles.com

Cadillac is probably the best known luxury car manufacturer in the world. As a result, they also have a reputation (deserved or not) for the worst fuel economy of any car in the world simply by virtue of the fact that when one thinks "Cadillac," one thinks BIG. Big cars aren't fuel efficient. So Cadillac, recognizing that the shortage of oil might one day drastically reduce or even eliminate the market they cater to, they decided to try an alternative: bicycle manufacture.

Right now, because of high gas prices, bicycling is seeing a resurgence throughout the world, particularly in North America. I'm a cyclist myself, and I've seen more fellow cyclists on the road this year than in ANY previous year. There are even a few I've seen that are continuing to ride their bicycles as transportation throughout the WINTER months, showcasing the bicycle's viability as a transportation alternative year-round.

I believe, with a proper ad and education campaign, Ford Motor Company could develop a line of good quality bicycles and successfully and profitably sell them to the public just as Cadillac has done. Not only would a line of bicycles be a potentially profitable product line for Ford, but they would also provide a fallback for Ford should the oil crisis eventually cripple the automobile market.

If the product line is successful, it will also allow Ford to take pressure off the oil industry without sacrificing profits.

In my opinion, this is an idea well worth your consideration.

Good luck.

John A. Ardelli
Moderator
BIFIDA-L: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/bifida-l/
The Crystal Corner: http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/CrystalCorner/
Bicycling Advocacy: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/bicyclingadvocacy/

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Squirrel suicide attack

The flying leaping Al Quada squirrel busted the fork on this Trek 1000.
Photo info: squirrel suicide by bike by richardmasoner.

Oil age poster

The Oil Age Poster

This Oil Age poster is packed with detailed charts and historical annotations, tracing the history of the Oil Age from its 19th century roots to its rise as the engine powering modern industrial economies.

The poster’s main chart features a year-by-year rendering of world oil production based on the projections of Colin Campbell, a leading authority on oil depletion issues and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO). His model projects an all-time peak in world oil production this decade.

"As this poster makes abundantly clear, we’ve already consumed about half of the world’s total endowment of regular conventional oil," said Dr. Campbell. "This has provided most supply to-date and will dominate all supply far into the future. We are now entering the second half of the Oil Age, and face the relentless decline of production, imposed by nature."

Dr. Campbell’s estimates have been echoed in the halls of the U.S. Congress by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who recently delivered a series of special order speeches on the topic of peak oil. "If a picture is worth one thousand words, then The Oil Age Poster is worth one million words because people can not only see the oil production Hubbert's peaks in many countries and regions, but also read the facts proving that global peak oil is both inevitable and quite probably imminent," Congressman Bartlett said.

In a series of detailed insets, The Oil Age poster displays current energy statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, BP Statistical Review and other industry sources. With the cost of oil and gas soaring to record highs in recent months, the poster offers students, educators and journalists a clear and comprehensive resource for understanding the global oil situation.

"The primary goal of The Oil Age poster is to increase awareness of the critical role of oil in modern industrial society, and to call attention to the impending worldwide peak in oil production," said Julian Darley, director of Global Public Media, a non profit organization and the poster’s primary sponsor.

The posters are $12.50 each from the Post Carbon Bookstore, with significant discounts available for bulk purchases and non-profits.

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Revenge of the Methodist Bicycle Company

The revenge of the Methodist Bicycle Company: Sunday streetcars and municipal reform in Toronto, 1888-1897 by Christopher Armstrong and H.V. Nelles, is a delightful telling of the economic, political and religious conflicts around permitting Toronto's horse-drawn streetcars to run on Sundays. Here's a book review by Gord Perks of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

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LBS: Australian persepctive

Spinopsys wonders why bikes down under cost about double what they do in the United States, with a reminder also on the importance of good customer service.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Feeding the meter for park space


The Rebar Group fed the parking meter on a downtown San Francisco street, placed some sod, a potted tree, and a bench on the parking space, and converted the area into a small park.
"We identified a site in an area of downtown San Francisco that is underserved by public outdoor space and is in an ideal, sunny location between the hours of noon and 2 p.m. There we installed a small, temporary public park that provided nature, seating, and shade."

Snazzy new look for Kool Aid Krew



Check out the snazzy new look at the bicycle marketing watch blog.

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The Local Bike Shop

Graham at Go Clipless writes about the problem with your LBS. He joins the conversation started by Tim Grahl about some of the issues facing the independent bike retailers.

New York bike lane video

This one-minute video from Transporation Alternatives shows the hazards of riding in a bike lane on a busy New York street. Delivery drivers and taxis use the bike lane as a load and unload zone, with taxi passengers opening doors right in front of cyclists. One driver deliberately pulled his SUV into the bike lane to block a cyclist from passing. A cab driver turned across the bike lane and nearly hooked a cyclist.

Transportation Alternatives wrote an open letter to New York Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff inviting him to view the video. Since the cyclists are moving faster than the other traffic, I don't think it's unreasonable to take the lane in this kind of situation.

Video is 2.5MB QuickTime. See related: , , , , ,

Monday, December 19, 2005

What' wrong with this picture?



The Transbar Power Bicycle is apparently a real product, and they apparently market to people "with limited ROM arthritis; those who suffer from injured knees, hips, and ankles; or those post-surgery patients who needs to exercise on a specific exercise equipment."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday Schwag 2005-12-18

Ed uses "musette" for his random thoughts and link lists, but I want to be at least a little original. What do you think of schwag? Schwag is the grab bag of little goodies you get at rides.

LBS versus online

That's been the conversation this last week. Tim Grahl says we need both. Grant Killian has his Ode to the LBS.

Bike love

News

Websites

Bikes are for transporting kids

I'm posting this photo from Amsterdam to freak out all of you ninnies who believe child carriers are dangerous and who think bike riding is some sort of dangerous extreme sport requiring helmets.

So there.
Photo info: Riding home on Dam Square by uruandimi.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Endowment claims

What is endowment claims, endowmant shortfall, and an endownment policy?

Somebody in another forum I read asked about it, and I've read an FAQ about endowmant claims at a UK website, but I'm having problems understanding it completely. It sounds something like Primerica's model of life insurance, where you get an interest-only mortgage then "invest the difference" and use your investment to pay off the principal when it comes due. Am I close? Is there an equivalent product in the United States?

No, I'm not interested in buying or selling a product like this. I'm told I need an endowment policy like a fish needs a bicycle.

Interview with Colorado State Patrol chief

  Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio interviewed CSP chief Mark Trostel and Bicycle Colorado executive director Dan Grunig regarding the 2500 rider limit on Colorado cycling events. Click here to listen to the MP3 audio file of the interview.

   Mark Trostel holds to his "safety" rationale, even while explaining in this interview that the events are not unsafe, but that his concern was that these events are impeding motorist traffic.

   Grunig points out that cycling events in Colorado generate $160 million in income and 2000 jobs each year.

   Trostel says the State Patrol gets inundated with complaints during bicycling events. I say cyclists need to inundate the CSP with complaints about the number of cars on the road.

More on the Local Bike Shop

Grant Killian joins the conversation about eCommerce versus brick-and-mortar with his "Ode to the Local Bike Shop." Some of the things he mentions -- such as community, atmosphere and activities -- are already in my hypothetical bike shop (post coming soon). Other good ideas are a monthly movie night and bike repair classes.

Related:

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ring of fire

I revealed last month that I'm working on a bike video project and gave some tips on good and bad videos. My video will involve fixed gear bikes and chicken wings. Animals will, unfortunately, be harmed in the production of this video but it's all in the name of good entertainment science.

Unfortunately, my production has been delayed by technical glitches. The worst glitch is that I don't actually own a video camera, and my friends from whom I normally borrow a camera won't do it right now for selfish reasons like their children's Christmas plays.

In a wonderful cosmic convergence, however, Fat Cyclist has been investigating the explosive properties of foaming bath soaps. This scientific probing has prompted Racer Jared to further inquire: What happens when you touch a flame to a propane-filled bicycle tube? See the video here.

Kryptonite deconstructed

Kryptonite marketing director Donna Tocci talks again about the Bic pen exploit and Kryptonite's response at Intuitive Life.

While some commentors to that post ask "Why haven't we heard this before?", all of this is old news to anybody who's been awake for the past year or so.

Donna's personal blog is Tidbits and More, where she has pledged not to "discuss anything about 'that incident' from September, 2004. Not here. That is work. This is not. Thank you." Donna also blogs as a member of the Kool Aid Krew.

Via BikeBiz, which lists an index of their stories on Kryptonite issue.

You oughta be in pictures

Columbia is making the Lance Armstrong movie. Your story could be in the show. Via Blue Collar and BikeBiz.

Should mountain bikers support wilderness?

The answer to this question seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? So why do the IMBA and many mountain bikers oppose Wilderness designation on Forest Service lands?

When U.S. Forest Service land is given a "Wilderness" designation, all forms of mechanized transportation are prohibited by the Wilderness Act of 1964. When mountain bikes appeared, the Forest Service interpreted the law to include mountain bikes as "other form of mechanical transport" and banned mountain bikes from Wilderness areas.

According to attorney Theodore Stoll, however, Congress never intended to ban mountain bikes from Wilderness trails.

Access is a hot button issue for mountain bikers, and it seems natural for mountain bikers to lobby for increased access to wilderness areas. Outdoor writer Bill Schneider believes, however, that this opposition is "narrow and shortsighted." He also believes that hiker opposition to mountain bike access is shortsighted as well, believing that hikers and bikers should work together to (1) lobby for increased wilderness to exclude motorized access to the backcountry and (2) lobby for allowing bikes on Wilderness trails.

Schneider concludes with this summary: "Mountain bikers and hikers are a natural alliance that has been foiled. The two groups—which oddly enough are often the same people—should form a symbiotic relationship and work together to protect the last roadless lands."

What do you think? Should mountain bikers support Wilderness designations?

Syriana and the Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Participant Productions -- producers of Syriana -- have teamed up to promote opportunities to break the chains of oil dependence.

The Break the Chains website outlines how dependent the United States is on oil consumption, focusing on transportation uses of oil. In their "How To" of breaking the chains, the NRDC outlines the usual list of ineffective solutions: hybrids, better fuel economy, and "alternative fuels" such as hydrogen and ethanol.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about regarding ineffective technologies, read Howard Kunstler's book The Long Emergency. Just don't read it before Christmas, because it's difficult and depressing reading.

If you want an early start on your post-holiday depression, you can read Kunstler's blog (strong language). Another resource that will challenge everything you believe is Tom Wayburn's dematerialism blog.

Bicycle Leadership Conference

The Bicycle Leadership Conference will take place January 29-31, 2006 in Tempe, Arizona. Are any Cyclelicious readers attending this conference?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ellen DeGeneres gives 300 bikes

Oprah gives cars to her studio audience. Ellen DeGeneres gave 300 Fuji Crosstown bicycles to her studio audience on Tuesday. The giveaway includes fitting for each recipient after the show. Go Ellen and go Fuji!

Coast to coast charity fixed gear ride

How does riding 3000 miles across the United States next summer grab ya? Now, imagine doing this with one gear.

That's what the participants of the The Big Fix plan to do to raise money and awareness for the Histiocytosis Association of America. Ride organizers hope to get about 20 cross-country participants who will each raise at least $5000. Riders can also elect to participate in shorter legs of the journey.

Phil Wood is backing this with hubs, building custom bikes, generating exposure at trade shows, and just getting the word out in general. To encourage giving, the first 200 people donating at least $50 will get a chance to win one of 15 Phil Wood hubsets of your choice.

Walter told me about this. Please pass the word about The Big Fix.

Own the road

"Own the road" bicycle sign spotted in St. Louis. See it at Missouri Bicycle Federation .

Biking in a winter wonderland

The creative minds of IceBike have been writing Christmas carols. Here's an example from the collaborative efforts of Yolonda, Mark Lebowitz, and Liz Durham. Reproduced here with their permission.
Chain links ring. Are you listening?
On my back Snow is glistening.
A beautiful sight. We're happy tonight.
Biking in a winter wonderland.

In the lane my studded tires chatter
It's so quiet nothing else can matter.
A beautiful sound,
From my wheels on the ground
Biking in a winter wonderland.

In the basement we can build a beater.
Add disc brakes and Nokians to go.
Doubters sneer that we will need a heater,
But we'll be fine in fleece and polypro - ho, ho!

Later on we'll conspire As we dream by the fire
To ride unafraid in the tracks that we've made
Biking in a winter wonderland.

Join the IceBike mailing list for more Christmas cycling fun.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Feedster claim

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

Bike horn one man band

Dave of Colorado Springs is a Billboard recognized songwriter, a studio musician, an orchestrater of over 200 songs, a regular giggin’ trombone/piano player, singer, and a founder/producer of an award-winning urban acappella group. This degreed, professional musician makes his living as Dave the Horn Guy, tooting 25 tuned bicycle horns to play his music.

Check his website for videos of his bike horn performances.

Vicarious Alaska visit

If you haven't discovered her yet, you should check out Jill in Alaska. Jill moved to Alaska last September to work at the Homer (AK) Tribune, where she is the arts and entertainment reporter, production editor and webmistress. Because she's the webmistress, that means Jill can get away with blogging during work hours.

Professional writers like Jill probably cringe while reading Cyclelicious. My writing is full of typos, basic punctuation errors, cliches and elementary writing no-no's like liberal use of passive voice. Jill's writing is (there's that passive voice) like a fresh Alaskan breeze (simile is good, but not cliches). Her photographs of Alaskan biking are wonderful (passive voice again!).

Jill is currently training for the Susitna 100 a 100 mile endurance race in the Alaskan winter. She is seeking sponsorship from the blogosphere for this ride and pledges to ride a mile for each dollar given.

Cyclelicious - It's the real thing


Searchdon.com lets you create copycat logos in a variety of styles.

Tags: ,

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Natalie Gulbis on a bicycle

Natalie Gulbis is a budding star in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. She can smack a ball 500 yards down the fairway and have it land in the green, but she can't ride a bike. From an interview with ESPN.
On the other side of that, what do you ultimately suck at?

  "Riding a bike. Instead of using the brakes (when I was a kid), I just jumped off. I suck at riding bikes. Hopefully someone can show me how to ride properly and how to use the brakes!"
LPGA golfer Michelle Wie, on the other hand, says bicycling is too easy.


The bike shop and eCommerce

By Richard Masoner

Fastrider

Yesterday at Drink the Kool Aid, Tim Grahl asked the question, "Where does the Local Bike Shop stand in today's brave new world?"

We all know how it works: online shopping is fast, easy and cheap. The local bike shop fixes your bike and provides expertise and customer service. Tim believes there's room in this world for both online and brick-and-mortar shopping. For the local bike shops to survive, however, Tim admonishes the local bike shop owners to play up their strengths of Maintenance and Customer Service. In other words, the local bike shop managers will really need to pay attention to the customers and let them know that they are appreciated.

John @ RogueMechanic has his own ideas of the bike dealer of the future. John sees nontraditional retail locations, consignment inventory, some network marketing and a showroom appearance.

I have my own goofy ideas, but I believe social interaction is key. The busiest bike shop in my city is as much a social hub as it is a bike shop. Cyclists drop by to say hello and chat. I don't know about the others, but everytime I go in I seem to drop at least $30 on something. Group rides start and end at this shop. The shop runs neighborhood group rides for beginners and newbies on cruiser bikes. High Gear isn't just a shop, it's a community.

The owner, Buzz Feldman, is an LCI and very active in local cyclist and cycling advocacy efforts. He paid all of his shop employees to attend the LAB Road 1 class. Buzz and some of his employees are also active in local cycling online forums. When somebody asks technical questions about bikes or parts, Buzz or a shop employee responds immediately with free advice. I know a lot of people who shop at High Gear because of their online participation.

Related: Bike shops and connections -- An interview with Sheldon Brown and others about how online participatation results in more business for the bike shop.

What does your dream bike shop look and act like? Post your comments below.

Disclosure: I think it's obvious, but I pay for Cyclelicio.us and other websites by advertising on these sites. Beyond the actual expense of registration and hosting, I also put money into developing these sites. What's left over goes to my local advocacy group for bicycling education and bicycling promotion. I don't personally make a dime from Cyclelicio.us.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Must see TV

You absolutely must see this video. Color commentary sight puns of a road bicycle race will knock your socks off. From Velochimp.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The private detectives

Until recently, I think Bicycle Colorado was the only tenant on the second floor of Denver Union Station. During my last visit there, though, I observed a sign advertising a private investigation service on the office next door to Bicycle Colorado.

My father recently retired and he was a private investigator for nearly 20 years. P.I.'s are typically nothing at all like the gumshoes portrayed on television. This office in Denver, however, looked like something right off of a movie set. Block lettering on the door, government surplus furniture and a couple of pieces of fake greenery filled the sparse office.

The P.I. leaned back in his chair as I walked in. I could see the bottom of his well-worn size 13s propped up on the desk. He tipped up his fedora (no kidding!) and asked me in his gravelly voice, "What can I do for ya, doll?"

*      *      *

What happens next in our tale? Why had the woman in the red dress visited the private eye? Why does the P.I. have a bicycle in his office? Why does the red dress woman not have her bike? What has Fritz been smoking today?

Online gift cards for the local bike shop

They're a little late for this Christmas season, but here's a brand-new affiliate program just for bicycling blogs and websites -- and it supports the Local Bike Shop. You can make a little bit of money for your website, and it's ecommerce that sends business and money to the little guy.

Here's how it works: Once you sign up, you put a gift card ad on your blog or website, kind of like the big, honkin' Moosejaw ad I have at the top of this page. When a visitor to your site clicks on the ad and buys gift cards, you get 2%. That's quite a bit less than other affiliate programs, but local bike shops operate on razor thin margins and they're the ones that eat the expense of marketing this program.

The gift card is mailed, and the recipient takes the card to a participating Local Bike Shop -- there are now only about 120 shops in the program but they expect that number to grow -- and buys stuff.

Like I mentioned, the payout is only 2%, but the program looks very worthwhile. The list of participating dealers is on their website. The cards come in denominations of $20, $50, $100 and $200.

I applied to the affiliate program today but I haven't been approved so I can't sell the cards yet. In the meantime, you can apply by clicking here.

Sunday links 2005-12-11

I need to think of a better name than "Links" or "Roundup." Jonathan just calls his Friday Link Love, which works well. Any other bikey ideas?

Bike love

Passing on your left

  • Clay Mankin of City Cycle in San Francisco passed during a ride.
  • Tom Cuthbertson, died of cancer.
  • Charly Gaul, one of the great climbers in bicycle racing history and the winner of the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia nearly half a century ago, died.

UCI ProTour news

There was lots of news -- most of it bad -- about the UCI ProTour this last week.

Colorado

Off topic

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Road Biking Colorado

While I visited Bicycle Colorado office in Denver the other day, B.C. executive director Dan Grunig recommended Road Biking Colorado: The Statewide Guide. Every time he reads the book, he gets the jones to get some good mountain riding in.

In a way this book isn't necessary. I've traveled many of the roads author Michael Seeberg describes in his book by pointing my bike west toward the mountains from my Colorado Front Range home and riding. In the mountains, there really aren't any bad cycling roads. The views always take my breath, the mountain streams always rejuvanate, the sounds and smells always inspire and refresh. It's nice living in paradise.

But when I sat down to read this book, I -- like Dan -- got a serious hankering for bike riding. There's snow in the streets, but I wanted to hop on my bike and ride the mountain passes and scenic byways described by Seeberg. It's a great little guidebook if you need a kick of motivation to get out and ride.

There's the usual guidebook stuff such as mileage markers, espresso shops, maps, and landmarks. Seeberg notes that presence or -- more commonly -- the lack of shoulders on mountain roads. He touches on some potential hazards of high altitude cycling such as altitude sickness, rapid weather changes and lightning.

The book splits Colorado into geographic regions. He does not focus exclusively on mountain riding; the final section of the book is on riding across the Colorado Eastern Plains.

If you live and cycle in Colorado, get this book for inspiration and motivation. If you plan to visit Colorado and want to get some mountain road riding in, this book is a must. Buy from Amazon.com.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Bill to prohibit babies on bikes

Washington State Senator Jim Honeyford introduced a bill to prohibit operation of a bicycle with an attached occupied baby carrier on a street. Read the legislation and comments here. I think this is absolutely ridiculous.

Pedal more for laughter

From engadget...
"The Soundbike attaches to the rear of a bike frame, and produces peals of laughter as you pedal. The faster you go, the louder and wilder the laughter gets, until it reaches the fever–pitch of a raging lunatic as you race down hills."
I can see this as a useful training aid to encourage you to pedal faster.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Brooks B90/3 @ McDonalds

These Brooks B90/3 saddles are used for counter seating at the McDonald' restaurant in Limoges, France. The B90/3 is a larger, oversized saddle with heavy-duty springs designed for heavier riders.

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Photo info: by Fun-filled Georgie.

Google transit planner

Some Google engineers who regularly use public transportation developed a local trip planner for transit users: Google Transit. Currently it only covers the Portland, Oregon area, but they're asking for input from other transit agencies.

Locally, I use the Denver RTD Trip Planner for unfamiliar destinations. This has worked fine for me, but I'm fairly familiar with the routes in the Denver-Boulder area and I keep local route timetables in my messenger bag.

I've used trip planners while visiting other cities also. The biggest differences between Google Transit and these other trip planners:
  • Google Transit shows you a map, the others don't.
  • Google Transit seems to be much more flexible than the others in location inputs.
BikePortland also mentions Google Transit.


Going the Distance with my flow of consciousness

This one's complicated, so follow closely.

Fat Cyclist is sick today. Fatty apologizes for his lack of creativity and points to a funny video of a guy guy chasing his dog around a bike shop.

The video has an audio track I'm not familiar with. I search on the lyrics and immediately find the song is "The Distance" by Cake. The first reference I find is in a discussion thread about the "Saddest lyrics in the world" and the poster writes "I get misty eyed every time I hear this."

I download "The Distance" from Rhapsody, listen to it and laugh my head off. The lyrics AND the music are so sappy that it's obviously parody. Think of the scene in Blues Brothers where Jake, Elwood, and the band are singing "Stand By Your Man" and the saloon patrons get *ahem* misty-eyed and that's exactly what I pictured with The Distance.

I read a little more about Cake (I'm an old fart and I hadn't heard of them before) and discover that they're known for their deadpan delivery of sarcasm and wit.

Then, in another review, I read that The Distance "became one of the biggest competitive team sports soundtrack numbers since Queen's 'We Are The Champions,' Blur's 'Song 2' or even Gary Glitter's 'Rock And Roll Part 2.'"

I'm offended. A part of my college experience has been stolen from me. What about Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride" from 1983? That's what we always listened to on the bus during our trips to cross country meets.

If you subscribe to a music service, listen to "The Distance" by Cake. It's a work of genius. The song is from their album Fashion Nugget.

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UK TV show seeking water cycles

A new science-for-the-masses programme called 'Men in White' wants to hear from cyclists who want to cycle to work via Britain's canal network. Forget towpaths, Tiger Aspect Television will get the boffins to design a bike that can pedal in water.

Read more at BikeBiz.

The photo is from the Boulder Kinetics competition, where they do the same thing every year.
Photo info: Martha's Minions by applesticker.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How to get sponsors in 10 easy steps

If you're interested in free schwag in exchange for becoming a billboard, Pedro's marketing director Karl Wiedemann tells you his secret formula for picking sponsorees.

Dinosaur helmet cover

Here's another cool gift idea that CycleDog found at BoingBoing. NoginSox are foam rubber sculptured covers for your bicycle helmet. Besides this lighted T Rex head, NoginSox has lady bugs, spiked mohawks, screaming frogs, brains, and horror-movie-nails-in-head. $20 to $25 from NoginSox

Update: Biking Bis talked with the owner of NoginSox.


Reflective bones jersey

Wear this striking reflective skeleton jersey to be seen at night. By day, the bones are silver-grey - by night they dazzle bright white under car headlights. Fleece lining, breathable waterproof membrane and jacquard polyester shell ensure warmth.

£80.00 from UK bike dealer Foska.com. They will ship to the U.S. and Canada as well as Europe.

Hat tip to CycleDog, who found this at BoingBoing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Contest delayed

I got really busy, so give me about a week and I'll get the "Best Blogs" contest going. Sorry about the delay!
Photo info: Snow Bike in LaCrosse, Wisconsin by DewCon.

DVD: Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance

Here's a new instructional video from VeloNews technical editor Lennard Zinn. Zinn takes his maintenance show on the road with this instructional DVD based on his best-selling book, Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance.

The DVD format allows viewers to quickly reference specific steps of a repair. Disc brakes, wheels, forks, pedals, cartridge-style spindle bottom brackets, and rear suspensions are explained with perfect digital clarity. Troubleshoot and fix your bike yourself with Lennard's help. Approximately 4 hours. Buy the DVD from Amazon.com.

If you're anywhere in the Boulder area, Zinn will be at University Bicycles in Boulder on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a book signing and party.

Cabbie reacts to anti-bike rant

Cabbie slows down for a cyclist in Portland. Passenger rants about cyclists. Cabbie -- a former bike messenger -- responds. From Bike Portland.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Illinois state cyclocross championship

Illinois state cyclocross championship at Montrose Harbor, Illinois.
Photo info: Randy remounts by Luke.

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Bicycle iPod charger

Mark @ Geektechnique started with a handcrank charger for his iPod, then modified things some to charge the iPod with a bicycle generator. Some soldering and electronics skill is necessary. Via MAKE.

U.S. Safety Commission investigating quick release levers


This article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the lawsuit against Wal-Mart and Dynacraft for selling bikes with quick-release wheels includes an interesting tidbit of news. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) spokesman Scott Wolfson, the safety commission is investigating the parents' claims of defective quick-release levers.

If the CPSC is looking at it, it's from the standpoint of the design itself being defective, not improper use of the product. I dug into the CPSC website. In the CPSC 2005 Operating Plan, I found this paragraph.
CPSC has received reports of incidents of front wheels falling off bicycles leading to injuries and deaths. CPSC has reports of seven deaths associated with wheels falling off bicycles, with four of the seven occurring in 2001. Quick release mechanisms are commonly found on bicycle wheels to make the wheel easy to remove for quick tire changes and to break down the bicycle for transport. Other products, such as folding scooters, also use quick release mechanisms. Children and other users with lower strength levels may have trouble properly tightening quick release mechanisms and to assess if a mechanism is adjusted properly. For example, releases may appear to be in the locked position, although poorly adjusted.

Goal: In 2005, staff will complete technical evaluations and prepare voluntary standard recommendations, if appropriate.
Does this mean even larger lawyer lips are on the way, further lessening the utility of quick release skewers?

FSA manager Eric Hjertberg is quoted in the Chronicle article. "A quick release is a pretty sound system when it is correctly installed." Hjertberg notes, "It is extremely reliable. The fact that they are used in the Tour de France and the Olympics shows that they are built using the highest standards. But I would agree that without the instructions, there would be greater risk."

Wal-Mart no longer sells QR-equipped bikes.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday links 2005-12-04

Bike Love
Off Topic

Bike blogs of note
Birthdays: Tyra Banks, Marisa Tomei, and Francisco Franco.