Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Reporter interested in those carfree.

Taken from the so-called car-free listserv:

To Those Carfree,

I have really enjoyed the posts on this forum for the past few weeks. I am a student reporter from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism reporting on car-free living in the U.S. If you, any individual or any family you know live car-free, I would be very interested in hearing about your challenges/ reasons for becoming car-free/ reactions from those around you. For my project, I would like to shadow anyone who lives in New Jersey for a few days in December or early January to see what it is like to live car-free in such a car-dependent place.

In New York City, where I live, many people are car-free. However, I think it will be important to report on the challenges people face who live in smaller communities such as towns and suburbs more typical of the rest of the country. I would be grateful if you could get back to me if you are car-free or if you know any individual or family who lives car-free. [. . .] My email is ts2279@columbia.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

More on Colorado bicycle event ban

Several news resources in Colorado have picked up the story of the Colorado State Patrol's restriction on cycling events in the state. A quote in the Boulder Daily Camera confirms what I already knew: that the restriction isn't for safety as is claimed but is for motorist convenience.
"One of the problems the State Patrol is trying to correct is when large numbers of cyclists ride side-by-side during bike tours, taking over a highway and delaying traffic, [Colorado State Pastrol Sergeant Jeff] Goodwin said."
Here's another winner from 9News.com:
"We've had everything from people throwing tacks out the back of pickup trucks to take out a bunch of cyclists, to drunk drivers getting out and attacking the bicyclists they're making their way around the course."
Instead of busting the motorists who are breaking the law, you punish the cyclists. What a bunch of geniuses.

Add feed for OneFeed added

I've added a link in the left sidebar to add the Cyclelicio.us feed to the new OneFeed blog reader application. This AJAX application is another web-based blog aggregator sort of like Bloglines and Google Reader. There are still some bugs to work out -- for example, when I tried to add CycleDog's feed, I got an error.

In case you're wondering what all this talk about feeds is about, it's a way to read all of your blogs without actually visiting the individual websites. All of the new content is automatically updated in the feed reader. It's a tremendous time saver if you follow more than one or two blogs.

In his mention of OneFeed, Steve Rubel talks about the possibility of these web-based readers wrapping their ads around other people's content. I've long wondered why Bloglines and Google Reader doesn't already do that.

Oh, if you have a blog with the big list of subscribe buttons, here's the link code. Because OneFeed is still a work in progress, there are no guarantees this will work beyond the immediate future. Be sure to remove spaces and newlines.


http://www.onefeed.com/ops_feeds.php? feed_url= http://FEEDURL/file.xml& add_feed=1


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Firefox 1.5 browser released

Mozilla has released version 1.5 of the Firefox browser. All of the news stories I read about this release claims that Firefox has about eight to twelve percent of the browser market. However, 40% of the visits to Cyclelicious are with the Firefox browser. That just confirms my thoughts that Cyclelicious readers are smarter than the average web surfer.

I use and love Firefox. 40% of Cyclelicious visitors also use Firefox. If you're not using Firefox, you should.

Important safety tip

According to CycleDog, many house fires are attributed to battery charging systems. He's seen a cordless phone fly across the room when its battery blew, and a water-bottle battery burn up its charger. He writes, "Please be extremely careful when handling leaky batteries! Be wary when a battery seems to be getting warmer than usual while it charges. Your eyes, your skin, and your family are worth far more than a battery or a charger."

I'm not the only idiot on two wheels

I never imagined anyone could be stupid enough to yank on loose handlebar tape like I did, so I was surprised to see Bisbee confess he did the same thing! Click to read nine of his other "biggest goofs on a bike."

Rocket powered bicycles

Nick's post about the The Intergalactic Single Speed World Championships ("...deeper, danker, darker, more uncut and definitely, absolutely colder than any other Intergalactic Single Speed Championship...") reminded me of this historical information about rocket powered bicycles. You'll see in the photos that these are all single speeds, and that single speed is really really fast -- up to 55 mph on two wheels way back in the 1920s.

That article, in turn, reminded me of a more modern (and safer) rocket powered bike, built by a real live rocket scientist for his 13-year-old daughter.

Buycycling

I've just received the January/February 2006 issue of Bicycling magazine and, wow, it's lived up to it's nickname of "Buycycling." There are about 25 pages of editorial content, 70 pages of advertising and -- beyond that -- anther 100 pages of two inserted catalogs from Veltec and Craft.

I've also received glossy catalogs and junk mail this past week from Performance, Nashbar, World Cycling Productions, VeloGear.com, Colorado Cyclist, Campmor, Sierra Trading Post, REI, Patagonia, two (of five) local bike shops and probably two or three others. Whose mailing lists have I managed to avoid this year?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bicycle calendars

The International Bicycle Fund is selling their "Cycle and Recycle" 2006 wall calendar. This calendar celebrates bicycle as an everyday transportation vehicle, in every season, throughout the world. Included with each month are remarkable photos of the bicycle as art and utility, captions, and provocative quotations and illustrations.

In keeping with the recycle theme, this calendar is reusable in 2017 and 2023.

Some Cyclelicious readers may also be interested in the Ditty Bops' Bicycle Bikini Calendar.

Ditty Bops via C.I.C.L.E.. IBF via Treehugger. Tags:

Then delete this pink text

Some of my readers wonder why I focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so much on Cyclelicious. I talk about it because I want the Local Bike Shop to do well. They invest -- at the least -- a few hundred dollars a year on a website, and I think the bike shop should expect a return on this marketing investment.

Imagine that you're Joan Mom looking for a place to buy a bike for little Timmy's Christmas gift. These days, Joan fires up the browser and might search for "mycity children bicycles." I've seen shopping sites with ads for $60 bikes from Target and Wal-Mart as the first link. In my city, you get the local motorcycle junkyard. You might get a link to your city's police department page giving bike theft statistics.

There are exceptions, of course, but what rarely filters to the top are links to the local bike shops. Try it: Search for "yourcity children bicycles." Tell me what you get.
Google

If you want your bike shop to rise to the top of the search rankings, do not use software that automatically generates links to your website or otherwise practices spammy, shady, blackhat techniques. It's very easy to screw up and get eliminated entirely from the search results.

Jonathan retiring from JRA

Jonathan Maus, owner of the bike marketing blog Just Riding Along, has announced that he's bowing out from that little corner of the blogosphere. He's putting his time into other projects such as Bike Portland. I'm sure his baby might have something to do with this decision also.

For bike marketing information, Jonathan suggests following Donna Tocci and Drink the Kool-Aid. Donna Tocci is the PR manager for Kryptonite. The Kool-Aid Krew konsists of Tim "Masi Guy" Jackson, Chris "iheartbikes" Cashbaugh, Jill Hamilton (brand manager for Haro), Karl Weidman of Pedro's, and Donna Tocci of Kryponite. These names are familiar to many biking bloggers and I'm looking forward to seeing some good stuff there.

I think most of my readers are about my age (middle age and up), but for the younger readers: Are you totally lost in this reference to Drinking the Kool Aid?

Colorado bike events to be restricted

I just received this action alert from Bicycle Colorado.

We need your help to overturn the State Patrol's decision to ban popular bike rides in Colorado. Please take a minute and follow the steps below. Together we can overturn this decision and improve safety for bike events. Thanks!!

BIG BIKE EVENTS BANNED!!

The Colorado State Patrol has just added a policy banning the biggest bicycle events in Colorado!! Their new policy:

* Limits bicycle and triathlon events to 2,500 riders
* The limit can be lowered at any time putting every event at risk
* Bicycle tours, races, charity rides, group rides, and triathlons are affected


WHAT YOU CAN DO

Follow these four steps at: www.BicycleColorado.org/to/petition

1. ADD YOUR NAME: Sign the petition to overturn this damaging policy.
2. GET OUT THE WORD: Please send this email to other bicyclists. We can only win this issue with a huge outcry.
3. USE YOUR VOICE: Send an email/fax/call State Patrol Chief Mark Trostel asking him to reverse this policy and include bicyclists in discussions regarding bike events.
4. STRENGTHEN THE EFFORT: Bicycle Colorado is here to lead this campaign and protect bicyclists' rights but this campaign is going to require long hours and extra resources. We need your financial support to overturn this bike ban.

SAFETY HAS NO LIMITS

The State Patrol says that they are using this ban to “ensure safety.” But a random cap does not address safety of bicyclists. Safety is based on good event planning, educated bicyclists, traffic management plans, safe roads, and law-abiding motorists. A well-run event can be safe for 10,000 bicyclists and a poorly-run event can be unsafe for 100 riders.

The 2,500 cap is subjective and may be changed at any time by the State Patrol. If tomorrow they decide that 500 is a “safer” number, amazing rides are at risk like Elephant Rock, Triple Bypass, Ride the Rockies, MS 150, Iron Horse Classic, Courage Classic, Bicycle Tour of Colorado, Tour de Cure, Mount Evans Hill Climb, and on and on.

Colorado’s largest bicycle event, The Elephant Rock, reports having only one car-bike crash in nineteen years. This fact strongly questions bicyclist safety as the reason for this ban. Is this the bicycle-friendly Colorado you want?

BAD POLICY DECISION

Keep in mind that the State Patrol officers are heroes to bicyclists. They cite unsafe drivers and provide emergency assistance. But this is a bad policy decision which they need to reverse. Bicyclists, event promoters, state bicycle planners, businesses, and event sponsors were excluded from behind-the- scenes meetings on this policy.

TAKE ACTION NOW

We formally asked the State Patrol to reverse their decision and they declined. Now is the time to act. With the holiday season here, we may be strapped by a small outcry because people are too busy to act. Apathy could let this ban stay in place. Take action today and protect your right to bicycle. Together we can end bike bans and build a bicycle- friendly Colorado.
If you are a resident of Colorado over age 18, please sign the petition.

Dave Zabriskie article

The Salt Lake Tribune printed a nice story about American cyclist David Zabriskie. Zabriskie's one of my favorites in the road racing world with his offbeat sense of humor and humble demeanor.

The story discusses his crashes. My most spectacular crash was during an otherwise forgettable Century somewhere in north Texas. A piece of handlebar tape had been flapping in the wind and it was driving me nuts. I was in the midst of a tight pack cruising along at 22 mph at the 20 mile point.

Stupidly, I yanked on the tape. That force input on my handlebar resulted in the handlebar turning sharply to the left, which in turn resulted in the bike swaying to the right and dumping me into the roadside gravel. A bike bunny hopped over me and a couple of others ran over me as oaths and curses were shouted. Miraculously, I didn't take anyone else down with me.

My shorts were ripped to shreds. I finished the Century in pain with my bleeding butt cheek hanging out and gravel embedded in my right arm and leg. And that stupid handlebar tape still flapped in the wind for the remainder of the ride.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cycling camp for special needs children

Lose The Training Wheels is a group of big-hearted people who run camps to help special-needs children learn to ride bikes. Their goals are to educate all who will listen that bike riding can be efficiently and safely taught, and that the universe of people capable of riding bikes is larger and less restrictive than previously realized.

They use specially adapted bicycles to allow children to "Lose the Training Wheels." Dr. Dick Klein, a retired professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and his wife have dedicated their retirement to studying the difficulties special needs children have riding bicycles. Dr. Klein has developed a series of training bikes that have proven successful with children who suffer from autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities.
Lose the Training Wheels image showing special needs children riding specially adapted bikes.

I met the Kleins when I lived in Illinois a few years ago. They are everything you might expect of the kind of people who run this kind of program, and more! A story about the benefits of Lose the Training Wheels is in The Brunswick News. Via Spokes 'n' Folks.

Viking Bike

This excellent bike with the funky handlebars was spotted at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA.


Photo info: viking bike by nedward.

Sunday roundup

Cory points us to BikeMagic's great article on trail riding at night.

When BikeBiz.com reported on the Basque seperatist bombing of a Spanish bike factory, BikeBiz originally noted that bike builder Orbea is a favorite among Basques. To my mind it seemed that BikeBiz suggested some sort of connection between this bombing and Orbea. Orbea apparently took the same meaning. BikeBiz abridged the original article in response.

BikeBiz also reports that the U.S. military is winning in battles for carbon fiber. The shortage in carbon fiber is at the point where the material is simply not available at any price. Contracts and jobs are being lost because of the worsening shortages, and businesses unable to get the raw material don't have any choice but to fold.

The Missouri Bicycle Federations gives their tips on clothing for winter riding.

Vote for your favorite Interbike Booth Babe.

In case you haven't heard yet, Roberto Heras failed the followup test.

Missouri bike maps.

MTB in NYC
.

Josh Hallett's Public Transportation Experiment in Florida wraps up.

Don't forget to nominate your favorite Bike Blogs of 2005.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Best bike blogs of 2005

Update: Nominations are closed. I'll have the voting online Real Soon Now.

Bloggers have been blogging for a few years, but 2005 is the Year of the Blog. Mainstream media are participating, the portals and search engines have jumped into blogging in a big way, corporate America is spending money in the blogosphere, useful tools proliferated in 2005, and everybody and their bikes began blogging this year.

You, faithful readers, will be the ones to pick the Best Bike Blogs of 2005. Leave a comment below for nominations of your favorite bike blogs. After the list of nominees is created, you will have the opportunity in December to vote for your favorite blogs next month.

I'll select a few that I think are worthy of mention, but beyond that it will be a pure popularity contest. Remember to vote early and vote often when the time comes.

If you know of some easy-to-use voting/survey software then please let me know about it. MySQL and PHP are available on my server.

The blogs don't have to be purely about bicycling, but they should have a strong bike flavor. The type of biking isn't important: lifestyle, roadie, MTB, OCP, bent, race news, utility, advocacy, VC, facilities, CM or whatever -- it's all open for nomination.

The blogs that are in my blogroll are automatically nominated, but please feel free to mention them anyway in your comments. Please nominate your own blogs. Please help spread the word!

2006 EMS Bike Ride

The registration deadline for the annual EMS Memorial Bike Ride is coming up.

In May 2006, EMS professionals from the Northeast will once again embark on a six day, six hundred mile bike ride from New York City to Roanoke, Virginia. The ride will conclude as part of the annual EMS Memorial events. For the fourth year they will ride to honor the memory of those EMS professionals being inducted at the memorial service as well as in support of the To The Rescue Museum.

The route is currently being developed. As with past rides, ride organizers have
depended on EMS and fire departments along the way to host meals and water breaks. Hosting the ride in your community is a great way to not only support the riders, but you will also be honoring those of whom the riders are riding for.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Land of the free...

Deborah Davis of Denver was commuting to work on a Denver RTD bus last September. She was minding her own business when a security guard boarded the bus and asked identification from all passengers on this public conveyance. Deborah refused, was arrested and will probably be charged with federal misdemeanor crimes.

After reading the facts of the case I think you'll agree that the law in this instance has gone absolutely overboard. The ID check serves zero security purpose, and the demand for "papers" restricts the rights of Americans to travel freely in their own country. Twenty years ago we used to vilify the commies because official permission was required to travel between cities. Today, Ms. Davis can't even get to work in her own city without the appropriate ID.

What really ticks me off about this is that most people don't care and cannot understand why Davis didn't just present her identification. It's an erosion of civil liberties that we're seeing here, where my children won't think it any big deal that a person in uniform can demand ID at any time for any reason. The next step is travel restrictions -- if the "authorities" don't like the church I attend, the friends I see, or the charity bike ride I'm headed to, it's just tough luck for me if they detain me for 20 minutes while they check out my paperwork.

Freedom to travel, friends, is a basic American right that is worth defending.

Update: Be sure to read CycleDog's opinion on this issue.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm going to have a blog-free holiday weekend. For my U.S. readers, have a great Thanksgiving weekend. Gig em!

Homebrew carbon bikes

James the bike design guy posts an article about Damon Rinard's homemade carbon fiber bikes. Inspired by Rinard, Brano Meres built a couple of frames of his own design. Meres' second bike is a carbon-bamboo mix! Read more here.

Cyclist snatches snatcher

Jeffrey Miller, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, was riding his bike from his office in Augusta, ME, when heard screams and shouting. "I looked back over my shoulder and saw this man carrying a purse and this woman screaming 'Thief.'" Miller and another man tackled the purse-snatcher and held him until police arrived. Read the full story in the Kennebec Journal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

VH1 links to Cyclelicious

Well, this is interesting. VH1 is asking visitors to vote for their favorite toy. Each listed toy has a link to a representative website. Guess which website VH1 picked for Bicycles?

More bike news than you can shake a frame pump at

For the blog-junkies out there, I've added a sidebar item listing most blog mentions of bicycles. I don't know how long I'll keep it there but I thought I'd try it out. Right now you can only see it by visiting the Cyclicious home page -- I don't have these bike entries on the permalink pages.

Since somebody will ask: Here's how you can add the same thing to your blog, and no Javascript is required :-)

When I read about Technorati's new "Mini" service and followed the link from FreshBlog to Steve Rubel's post about adding the Minisearch window to my sidebar, I thought that looked handy. But, Steve's instructions tell me how to add the search results to the sidebar of my Firefox browser, not to the sidebar of a website.

I was inspired, however. The size of the minisearch box is right, so I just wrapped it in <iframe> code and there it is. Specifically, the code looks like this:

<iframe src="http://technorati.com/search/my+search+terms?floatr=1" width="190px" height="360px" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"> </iframe>


Change the width and height to match your blog's design. Replace "my+search+terms" with the keywords you're interested in, specifying different keywords with OR and replacing spaces with the plus sign. I use "bicycling+OR+cycling+OR+bicycles+OR+bicycle" and so forth, along with a simple profanity filter using the NOT keyword.

Roberto Heras: "I'm clean"

Four-time Vuelta a España champion Roberto Heras has vowed to fight if a second urine analysis tests positive for the banned substance EPO, promising to take the battle beyond an appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport and to the legal courts. Heras races for team Liberty Seguros.

Heras tested positive for EPO use but maintains his innocence, claiming that there are flaws in the testing procedure. His lawyers believe the the outcome of the second test will be negative. The results are expected Thursday. Me and many of my U.S. readers will be fighting the sleep-inducing effects of another substance -- tryptophan -- on that day.

Orange is the fastest color

Sambot has started an Orange Bicycles pool over at Flickr. Here's the description.
This group is devoted to the proliferation of the color orange (the fastest color) in its purest form: the bicycle.

Please consider contributing a photograph of your homebrew orange bicycle to this flickr group. It's time we, as a community, band together and unite! Lovers of the orange bicycle need no longer lurk in the shadows.

Our time has come! Our day is now! Our bicycles are orange!
If you don't yet have an orange bike, Sambot has instructions on The Correct Way to Paint a Bicycle Frame.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Real Cyclist's way to cross the tracks

In an article about crossing railroad tracks, CycleDog explains the proper method is to ride perpendicular to the tracks to avoid a faceplant. Trials rider Ryan Leech demonstrates the New School way to cross the tracks in this video (16 seconds, Windows Media, 488KB).

One-click subscription to Google Homepage

Google finally provides one-click addition of a blog or other RSS feed to the personalized Google Homepage service. After clicking on the button, your readers then select to add the feed to either their personal My Google homepage or to Google Reader.

Via Search Engine Watch, which also mentions Yahoo's "Save to My Web" button that provides one-click addition of a web page to somebody's My Yahoo Web 2.0 list of social bookmarks, similar to de.licio.us tagging.

Tyler Hamilton appeal in January

Update 11 February 2006: Tyler Hamilton's appeal denied.

Tyler Hamilton's blood doping appeal hearing has been scheduled for January 10 in Denver. The original hearing scheduled last September was delayed because of an inability to present all of the evidence required.

Hamilton was suspended from competing in professional cycling after he tested positive for homologous blood doping during the 2004 Vuelta a España. Homologous blood transfusion is the practice of transfusing blood from another individual into an endurance athlete for the purpose of boosting red blood cell count and, hence, athtletic performance.

Testing involves the antigens in the blood cells. These antigens can be used as markers to identify them, a bit like fingerprints.

The test for homologous blood transfusions was new during the '04 Vuelta. Hamilton's appeal rests on the newness of the test, and Hamilton is expected to provide evidence about the test's inaccuracy.

Maverick responds to made-in-Taiwan criticism

You've got to read this. Several people on MtbReview.com heaped criticism on Maverick Bikes for outsourcing their manufacturing to Taiwan. Maverick Bikes chief Paul Turner responded directly to the critics on the forum. How's that for transparency?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Colorado bicycle blogs?

The only real bicycle information blog specific to Colorado that I can find is my own Longmont/Boulder bike blog. If you're aware of any other blogs about Colorado bicycling with a decent signal-to-noise ratio, I'd really appreciate it if you could point me to them.

I know about the roadie and mountain bike blogs already and some of them are in my blogroll. I'm looking for a blog that posts more advocacy news and information for Colorado cyclists.

Tokyo: Bicycle Film Festival

photo: Bicycle Film Festival. San Francisco, CA.

This week a group of New Yorkers will bring the
Bicycle Film Festival to Toyko, Japan. This is the fifth year of the festival with 13,000 attendees already in NYC, SF, LA, and London this year.

With a wide range of bicycle related topics, this film festival has a film for everyone or you can see them all (like I did recently in San Francisco).

Tokyo will complete the film festival this year but they plan to continue the festival with new films next year.

Bush rides with Chinese Olympians

President Bush took a trip to the Olympic Mountain Bike Course in Laoshan outside of Beijing.

Bike blogs: Sunday roundup

You know cold weather has hit when everybody talks about dressing for the cold. Making It Easier schools us on wet weather riding, then follows that up with his tips on dressing for cold weather. The sudden onset of wintry weather surprises Tanya, who also describes how to dress for conditions in Toronto. Thomas slipped and fell on the icy streets of Buffalo, New York. Stay warm and stay safe!

Here's other news from the world of bike blogs.
Tags:

Add search to any blog

Make sure not to miss the updated information and comments below.

Walter asked for the code to add a search box to his blog. I use a tiny PHP script for universal browser compatibility, but there's a Javascript method that will work on any server.

Somewhere in your blog template, include this code to create the search box. This code is customized for Walter's blog; you just need to replace the two mentions of bikefridaywalter with the URL of your own blog.
<form id="b-search" name="b-search" action="http://search.blogger.com/">
<input type="text" id="b-query" name="as_q" />
<input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" />
<input type="hidden" name="bl_url"
value="http://bikefridaywalter.blogdrive.com/" />
<input type="submit" name="Search" id="b-searchbtn"
value="Search BikeFriday Walter"
onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value='http://bikefridaywalter.blogdrive.com/'"
/>
</form>
The result of the above code will look like this:


This code is based on the code for the search box in the Blogger.com navbar and uses Google's Blogsearch search engine. JavaScript is usable on any server. The disadvantage is that many people disable JavaScript on their browsers. This code will work for any blog that Google Blogsearch knows about, not just Blogger.com blogs. Note that if you run a blog with Blogger.com and use the Blogger.com navbar, you already have a search box at the top of your blog.

You can get fancy with the interface if you want and search by author, by tag to create a primitive categorization scheme, and so forth.

Update: This code does not work with the Safari browser. Does the Blogger Navbar search box work when you surf with Safari?

Update 2: There's an easier way to do this that's free of Javascript.

Cyclelicious updates

This news is for the benefit of those reading via RSS aggregators. I've added an easy contact form, a privacy statement, and a search box for Cyclelicious. Now let's see if a form can be propogated through RSS!



The coding for the search form is trivial. If you'd like a similar search form on your blog please feel free to leave a comment here or use the contact form to contact me.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Socks: SmartWool vs Bridgedale

Comparison of three hiking socks

Smartwool socks

Smartwool socks seem to be universally endorsed among experienced winter cyclists. The New Zealand merino wool used in Smartwool socks is extremely comfy, the socks are reasonably priced and the company is based here in Colorado.

I own several pairs of Smartwool socks and I also recommended Smartwool socks enthusiastically. In the summer, I hike and climb mountains wearing these socks. In the winter, I hike, snowshoe, and ride my bike in these Smartwool hiking socks.

The two bottom photos to the left shows two pairs of my Smartwool hiking socks after two years of this use.

Bridgedale socks

Eventually, I asked the local hiking shop for socks that won't fall apart on me. They recommended Bridgedale Socks. I bought the Trekker from them, a midweight sock similar to my Smartwool socks made of merino wool designed for trail running, hiking and backpacking. After two years of use, my Bridgedale socks have held up significantly better than my Smartwool socks. There is no hint of sagging in the cuffs. The socks fit my feet better, meaning there don't blister like I do with the Smartwool socks on my peak bagging runs (the discolored areas on the Smartwool socks are blood stains).

Because they're made of the same Merino wool as Smartwools, the fabric is just as comfortable. The Bridgedale's are a little bit pricier but the construction and quality are significantly better.

The top photo shows a Bridgedale Trekker sock after two years of use similar to what I've done with the Smartwool socks. There's absolutely no thinning and the sock fits just as perfectly as when I first bought them.

I currently own two pair of Bridgedale Trekker socks and I'll buy more in the near future. I now enthusiastically recommend Bridgedales to anyone who asks.

Bicyclists' Bill of Rights

In 1989, Tom Frost, Jr. wrote the Bicyclists' Rights Triad, a one-page list of statements consisting of a Bicyclist's Code of Ethics, Motorist's Code of Ethics Regarding Bicycles, and Bicyclist's Bill of Rights and Duties. He has since modified the Triad into its current form. Tom continues to receive commentary and suggestions to improve this Bicyclists' Rights Triad. If you would like to provid your input, he invites people to join the "Bicyclists' Bill of Rights and Duties" discussion group. Note that the core value for this discussion group is that bicycles are vehicles and cyclists have same rights and duties as any other vehicle operator.

BICYCLIST'S CODE OF ETHICS
  • CYCLISTS SHALL ride in the same direction as the other vehicles on their side of the road.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL obey traffic laws, including waiting at red lights at all times regardless of convenience.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL not move sideways without first seeing that there's no overtaking traffic that will be surprised. If you use a rear-view mirror, remember it is not a substitute for knowing when to turn your head.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL at night, use at least a headlight and rear reflector. A taillight is recommended in addition, but there are no substitutes for a headlight and rear reflector.
  • CYCLISTS SHALL note that the above items are a partial list, to correct just the more common errors. When in doubt, ask, "What would I do if I were driving any other vehicle?"
MOTORIST'S CODE OF ETHICS REGARDING BICYCLES
  • MOTORISTS SHALL scan the roads for all potential objects, not just big ones such as cars.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL when entering a road, guard against underestimating the speed of a bicycle.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL not automatically overtake in the same lane just because the vehicle they want to overtake is a bicycle. Cyclists are very often able to share their space with you as a courtesy, but this shall not be abused.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL save their horn for emergencies and rural greetings. If they have something to say about a cyclist's driving, there are ways to say it other than by road rage.
  • MOTORISTS SHALL note that the above items are a partial list, to correct just the more common errors. When in doubt, ask, "What would I do if I were interacting with any other vehicle?”
BICYCLIST'S BILL OF RIGHTS AND DUTIES
  • A bicycle is a vehicle. Therefore, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as any other vehicle operator.

Seattle : Box Car Bikes on Buy Nothing Day

The busiest shopping day of the year, known as "Buy Nothing Day" to some, will be celebrated by cyclists in Seattle, Washington as Box Car Bikes day. The Friday after Thanksgiving, 3 hours before Critical Mass takes to the streets, cyclists will ride in mass while wearing homemade cardboard box cars.

Photos to come!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Carfree move in Boulder Colorado

Rich Points and Wanda Pelegrina and their car free move in Boulder, Colorado with the help of Boulder Bicycle Commuters. Boulder residents Rich and Wanda moved from their old house to a new condo completely by bike and trailer. 11 people took four hours to make four round trips to move the contents of their home. See more photos. Photo courtesy Boulder Bike/Ped planner Marni Ratzel.

Book: Carfree Cities

Danilo Di Luca's website

Danilo Di Luca


I hate Flash animation entry pages, but Italian road racer Danilo Di Luca has the absolute best Flash gateway that I've seen on any cycling website. The 80s-style heavy-metal track is annoying, but the anime-style imagery sets Di Luca's site apart from the run-of-the-mill.

DiLuca races for Bianchi-Liquigas, winning the 2005 Vuelta al País Vasco, Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne. He also ranked highly in the 2005 Giro d'Italia, Tour de Pologne and Züri-Metzgete.

Great Bike Blog-off in Moab

A great gathering of bicycling bloggers will gather Saturday, November 19 at Moab. That's tomorrow, ladies and gents. Some pretty big names in mountain biking will be there.
"Never have so many bloggers convened on one area at one time. The plethora of knowledge. The profusion of potential keystrokes. The opulence of poorly composed digital imagery."
Via Nick Martin.
Tags:

$2 million for Emily Kandemir's family

I'm never sure if links will last, so here's the full story about a settlement reached for the family of Emily Kandemir. Emily was walking her bicycle across the street when David Moro killed her with his dump truck when he made a right turn on red. He was issued a failure to yield ticket ($100 fine I believe). "No right turn on red" signs were put up at the intersection (all corners, quite prominent) but at least once a month I see someone make the same right turn on red that killed Emily. People keep that corner supplied year-round with balloons, flowers, and teddy bears. (I pass the spot she was killed twice a day.)

*

$2 million to be paid in crash that killed girl

By Joseph Sjostrom
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 18, 2005

A $2 million settlement was reached Thursday in a lawsuit against a company whose dump truck fatally injured a 13-year-old girl in La Grange in 2003.

Emily Kandemir, then an 8th-grader at Park Junior High School, was walking her bike across Willow Springs Road on her way to a tennis clinic when she was hit by a dump truck owned by Le Pretre Excavating Inc. of Orland Park. The truck was trying to make a right turn from Willow Springs onto 47th Street, according to police accounts at the time.

In a court deposition, the truck driver said he didn't see the girl before striking her, said lawyers involved in the case.

According to Kandemir family lawyers David Wise and Michael Mahoney, witnesses said the girl was standing at the intersection as the truck approached and that the driver should have seen her before she became hidden by the "blind spot" on the passenger side of the tall three-axle vehicle.

But Terry Fox, an attorney for the trucking company, said one witness to the incident saw the girl approach the intersection from the truck's passenger side at an angle from which the driver could not have seen her, and then crossed the street in front of the truck.

The $2 million settlement was reached without going to trial and was approved Thursday by Judge Thomas Hogan in Cook County court.

Emily was on her way to a daily tennis clinic at Lyons Township High School on July 16, 2003, and was walking her bicycle from the southeast corner of 47th Street and Willow Springs Road, police said. The truck was northbound on Willow Springs and was trying to make a right turn on a red light onto 47th Street, according to Wise.

The driver, David Moro of Hickory Hills, did not see Emily at that point because she stood lower than the hood of his truck, and struck her and her bike as he put the truck in motion to make a right turn, lawyers said. Moro received a traffic citation for failure to yield.

Emily was described by family and friends as an energetic A student who enjoyed her summertime tennis camp and who had been travelling throughout the United States and Europe, and visiting her grandparents. A family statement said she was a wonderful friend to many, and especially to Teoman, her 10-year-old brother.

She also was survived by her mother, Barbara, and her father, Emre.

Masi track bike

Tim Jackson AKA Masiguy has posted some photos of a very sweet looking prototype track bike from Masi. Tim is trying to drum up some support for Masi to make a track bike.


Beijing Bicycle?

What can I expect over the next couple of years of Bicycling in Beijing?. Are there any China expats or former expats (ex-expats?) who read Cyclelicious?

An American technology company is hiring operating system kernel developers in Beijing. I'm thinking about it. I grew up as the son of an expat American in Japan so I'm familiar with the whole lifestyle thing, but I'm wondering about a few specifics in China. Specifically --
  • Although state controlled sources report that it's getting better, Beijing has the worst air pollution in the world according to independent resources. How will that affect somebody like me who bikes everywhere I go?
  • I finding conflicting information about bicycle bans in Beijing. What's the real scoop?
  • Is there opportunity to ride my road and mountain bikes somewhere around Beijing? If so, are there bike shops to service these kinds of bikes? Or should I store the racers and go with a Flying Pigeon?
DVD:Beijing Bicycle

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Camden to cyclists: 'Get on the road!'

City officials and police in Camdem, UK are warning cyclists to stay off of the sidewalks and ride on the road where they belong. "The fact is that it is extremely dangerous to ride bikes on the pavement," says Kentish Town ward councillor Lucy Anderson.

"There have been so many accidents outside my shop with cyclists crashing into pedestrians," according to Jake Morgan, of Morgan's Stationery, Kentish Town Road.

Note to our American readers: "Pavement" is UK-speak for "sidewalk."
Camden Cycling Campaign -- Cycling advocacy in central London.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Time to ride


bikespin
Originally uploaded by raysto.

Bike blogs round up

Fattie forgets the wrench on the fixie and flats. Twice. I solve the problem by having a seperate toolbag for each bike.

CycleDog writes on living with pain. I feel like junk today but I still rode the bike. A little.

Sue experiences pre-sheen sweat in my old hometown of Urbana.

Cycling Dude gets political with CM organizer Chris Carlsson.

A third sock?

Okay, gents, what do you do to keep the boys from freezing solid in the cold? I've been doing year-round cycling for a couple of decades but I don't recall having this problem in the past.

Bike video tips

I'm working on a bike video project and I've downloaded gigabytes of similar videos so I can find what works and what doesn't. Here are real life examples of what I've seen.

DOs:

  • Crashes. A spectacular crash will guarantee viral distribution of your video. The same with losing body parts. Think Bambi Meets Godzilla, which has humor and irony.
  • Stupid Motorist Tricks. Right hooks. Left crosses. Doorings. Plain inattention and cluelessness. We've all seen it, we might as well make the video a little educational.
  • Stupid Motorist Antagonism. Go head and perpetuate the myth that all drivers are jerks. Seeing a punk pitch a beer bottle from the window of his pickup truck connects deeply with the inner cyclist in all of us.
  • Stupid Cyclist Tricks. That's why Lucas Brunelle videos are so well known. We see cyclists running red lights, going the wrong way, hitching rides, and riding drunk. We condemn the behavior and then we forward the URL to 20 of our friends.
  • Traffic noises. I want to hear the honks, the diesel engines revving, the words of encouragement from passing motorists and startled pedestrians.
  • Go fast. Ride it like you stole it. If you're trying to outrun a big dog, a cop, or a motorist who's ticked about the big dent that appeared after you kicked his fender then so much the better. If you actually did steal the bike then wow.

DON'Ts:

  • Motion sickness. PLEASE try to hold the camera reasonably steady. PLEASE DO NOT wave your camera left and right to capture everything around you. Otherwise, I'll vomit like Linda Blair.
  • Six minutes of footage of the golf course. That's about as exciting as, well, watching grass grow.
  • Nobody wants to watch the wheels of the bike going round and round. Round and round. Round and round. The wheels of the bike go round and round. All through the town. The same with pedals. We know that they go round and round. Round and round. You get the point.
  • Techno dance music. Pedaling is repetitive enough. Don't compound it with drudgingly boring synthesized beat-beat-beat-thump.
  • Thrash music is so cliche. For goodness sake do something a little unique. And please, if I hear Queen's "Bicycle Race" one more time I'm going to puke. There are at least a hundred other good titles in every genre out there about bicycling.
  • Speeding up the video. Juicing up the frame rate a little is okay, but cranking it up past 2X to make it more "exciting" is lame and stupid.
  • Slow riding. A relaxing ride down a beautiful forest path is very nice personally, but vicariously it sucks. Unless you have some outstanding prose to go with it.
So how about it? What are some good examples of bike videos out there? What are your personal likes and dislikes?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Slower bicycling in winter

In his post the other day about winter cycling, CycleDog noted that "you ride more slowly in the winter ... probably due to the extra clothing and the related drag."

ItsJustMe commented, "a surprising amount of the slowness in the winter is due to the air being more dense."

In addition to these factors, this article at IceBike also mentions stiffer grease, energy use in your body redirected to keep you warm, greater rolling resistance in the tires, and the discomfort of generating sweat in typical winter clothing.

The Real Reason

I have discovered the real reason for slower cold weather bicycling. During this morning's commute I wore tights and top and a fleece cap under my helmet. The clothing is snug but not confining so my motion was in no way restricted. I didn't wear a plastic shell -- everything I wore is very breathable, yet the midweight fabric was just thick enough to keep me warm. I rode my lightweight fixed-gear skinny-tire road bike in. The temperature was a comfortable 25° F (-5° C) during my 30 minute commute. I was all set to go fast.

Too cold to breath

But I went slow. I sprinted to 24 mph near the end of my ride to beat some cars to an intersection. The physical effort wasn't any more difficult than usual, but I felt like I was going to die. Why? Because it's too cold to breath hard. Sucking subfreezing air into my lungs hurts. Here it is three hours later and I'm still coughing up mucous and gunk from that sprint.

We go slow in the cold to avoid oxygen debt and hard breathing. So, like the CycleDog writes, take it easy, go slow, and protect your lungs.

Biking through Tokyo traffic

It exactly like I remember it from 25 years ago, when I used to bike as a kid through the Kanto region.

Photo caption: another day in pradise 2
Originally uploaded by まてぃあすMattias.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Jagger 3 impact on Cyclelicious

This is another geeky search engine optimization post. If you're not interested in drawing more traffic to your website then skip this article. If you need help improving your website's search rankings, please feel free to contact me.

According to Google Guy Matt Cutts, the latest Google Dance (called "Jagger3") is winding down. Jagger is a three-part adjustment in the way Google indexes and provides search results for web pages. Jagger3 has a significant impact on a lot of websites.

The consensus among search engine professionals (as much as one can exist) seems to be that sites that practice "white hat" SEO -- optimization that falls within Google's Quality Guidelines -- are unhurt by Jagger, while Black Hat techniques are heavily penalized. Techniques such as hidden text, paid link exchange, reciprocal linking, and internal link building apparently don't work as well as they have in the past.

I practice mostly white hat SEO techniques, though I do occasionally venture a little into gray areas. I stay far away from pure black hat techniques such as spam blogs, scraped content, redirects, hidden text and gateway pages.

The result: Four-month-old Cyclelicious now appears on the first page of Google search results for the keyphrases that I've focused on. I won't tell you what those keyphrases are (though it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out), but I'm pleased on the progress thus far. I aim to be in the top three by next summer.

Door story

Most cyclists know what getting doored is about. Here's a dooring story I think you'll like over at bikeforums.net.

If you don't know what dooring is about, go find out at Riin's Door Zone Project.

Brazil Bus Bike

Okay, this is weird.

You can ride the bike outside along the seaside in gorgeous weather, or you can sit on a trainer inside of a moving bus and watch it all through the windows in air conditioned comfort.

It just looks like another "Get off the road!" ploy to me.

Via Treehugger.


Bike cops catch reckless driver

On Saturday, a group of San Antonio bike patrol officers chased down and caught a motorist who had hit another bike cop. The injured officer was attempting to make a traffic stop when the driver swerved to hit the cop. Read more at MySA.com.

Those bike patrol officers in San Antonio are tough. Last month, a San Antonio bike cop caught a thief making his getaway in a pickup truck. I'm going to have to see these guys in action some time.

Google Analytics

This has nothing to do with bicycling, but it's hot, especially if you're an AdSense publisher and you're interested in drawing more traffic to your website.

I've been seeing something called "Google Analytics" when I accessed blogger.com and I've been wondering what it was. Google has finally taken the wraps off of this powerful, free service and I'm impressed.

To use Google Analytics, you integrate some Javascript code into every web page you want to track (modify your template to do this quickly). From this tracking, Google Analytics will generate reports about page views and routes taken through the site, how people found your site, visitor geographic locations, and so forth.

Google Analytics' site is being slammed as I write this so it's very slow going right now, but if you're interested in improving your web traffic then Google Analytics is a resource to consider.

Book Review: The Kite Runner

The Richmond, VA Times-Dispatch printed a story about Professor James Starrs. He teaches forensic science at George Mason University and digs up and studies corpses in his spare time. He's also crazy about bicycling. So crazy, in fact, that he wrote a 400-page book in 1982 on the role of the bicycle in literature. Here, I make my contribution and note the presence of bicycling in literature.

Bicycles are mentioned five times in The Kite Runner. Coincidentally, there are Five Pillars of Islam, suggesting that bicycling is like religion.

This novel by Khaled Hosseini follows the dark and depressing journey of Amir, an Afghani who lived a life of privilege growing up in Kabul. He and his family lost everything after the overthrow of King Zahir Shah and the chaos that followed afterward with Soviet occupation and eventual Taliban control. Very bad things happen to just about everybody Amir is close to.

If you're looking for escapism, avoid this novel and read some good sci-fi. If you want fascinating insights into Afghani culture and the tragedy that has befallen this impoverished nation, this novel written by one who's lived the life is a difficult and melancholy but interesting read.

Why "Kite Runner"? Kite competitions were a big deal in pre-Taliban Kabul. Amir was one of the best kite flyers. Amir's servant-boy, Hassan, was one of the best kite runners -- the children who chase and retrieve fallen kites. Kites, kite running, harelips, pomegranate trees, and sheep all serve as metaphors for different themes throughout the novel; you'll need to read the novel to find out exactly what. Bicycles serve no storytelling role other than to provide exotic third-world background scenery.

The author, Khaled Hosseini, was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. His father was a diplomat in Paris when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1980. The family was granted political asylum in the U.S. Dr. Hosseini is a physician in California.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Riding in snow and ice

The weather forecast calls for snow tomorrow evening. I get to ride to work in the morning with a 40 mph headwind. I suppose I should write something about winter cycling since I'll be doing that tomorrow night, but I'll point you to CycleDog instead, who offers his perspectives on riding in the snow.

I ride the fixed-gear in wet and slushy. For ice (slick and hard-ice frozen ruts), I have a cheap garage-sale mountain bike with a studded front tire.

If you haven't seen it yet, you really should check out IceBike if you plan to ride in snow and ice.

California Big Dig

Planners are considering an 11 mile tunnel under the Santa Ana mountains to connect Riverside and Orange counties in southern California. Most bloggers (like this one) are commenting on the apparent stupidity of drilling tunnels 700 feet below ground in an earthquake zone. Here's the part of the news article that really jumped out at me, though.
Howard Gottesman, 44, can spend 1 1/2 hours on Highway 91 to travel just six miles from his job as a property manager in Orange County to his home in Corona, just inside Riverside County.

"I call it the longest six miles in the world. It's wear and tear on the car and it's wear and tear on me," said Gottesman. "They need to do something, whether it's double-decking the freeway or tunneling under the mountains. We need relief."
1 1/2 hours to go six miles, and the solution is to build another freeway.

Bicycle rentals in Japan

You can rent bikes in Japan for about $20 a month! That's less than what I paid per day on my recent trip to Austin. The value of the bike I rented was probably close to ten times those being rented at train stations in Japan, but still....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Giro d'Italia 2006 route

The organizers of the 89th Giro d'Italia unveiled the 2006 route in Milan. The 3,553 km, 21 stage race begins with an individual time trial in Seraing, Belgium and concludes with a final dash to Milan, Italy, with mountain stages passing through Switzerland and Austria.

Velochimp: "Giro 2006 Presentation."
Velonews: "2006 Giro route unveiled."
Daily Peloton: "89th Giro d'Italia Presentation."


Glo Gloves

Claire mentioned these Glo Gloves on Usenet at wreck.bikes.misc. They're reflective gloves that you can wear either alone or over other lightweight gloves. They're one-size-fits-most Spandex that stretch over your hands or undergloves.

Two models appropriate for cyclists are the Original (shown here) and the Sport (with padded palm and inside reflector moved to the wrist).

If you're riding at night, you're probably also riding in cool to cold weather so the utility of these gloves seems limited. If you ride at night in mild conditions, however, these bright reflectors seem ideal to boost your conspicuity. Suggested retail runs $23 to $25; online retailers charge about $20 to $22.

Millar's Time

David Millar was a world champion cyclist, a Tour de France stage winner, and a doper. The Scotsman was arrested in 2004 when French police found EPO stashed in his apartment. Team Cofidis fired him, the Tour banned Millar from competition for two years, he was thrown off of the UK Olympic Team, stripped of his 2003 World Time Trial Championship, forced to sell his home, and returned home to Scotland in shame.

And this last Summer, he started riding again. The Spanish team Saunier Duval has agreed to sponsor Millar, and Millar plans to compete in the 2006 Tour de France.

“But even before that I’d already decided to come back to racing. I had it planned out in my head and I’d never imagined having more than a year off the bike. I’ve had to be much more structured about it because I don’t have any other structure in my life.”

Read more in The Times Online: "It's possible to win without doping, Millar confesses." Via Honk de Bonk.

David Millar news archive at tdfblog.

Ride The Steeps

I ran across a new blog, The Steeps, while reading CycleDog last night. The bloggers, Shawn and Billy, have both been riding mountain bikes since the early 90's. "I have tried my hand at racing, but have found recreational riding to be more of a joy," says Billy.

The blog is only a few days old but they have big plans for The Steeps. "Trail reviews will be the main focus," according to Billy, "but product reviews, racing, advocacy and environmental issues will also make their appearance when appropriate. We're actually hoping to get cycling bloggers from around the web to become contributors to the site, and help make it another hub where people can come to to get their fill of cycling info."

When they're not mountain biking in Southern California, Billy and Shawn are co-workers who do the graphics and animation for the show NFL Total Access at the NFL Network in Los Angeles. That sounds like about the coolest job in the world to pay for their hobbies.

Cyclelicious welcomes The Steeps to the bicycling blogosphere. Check them out when you have a chance.

Friday, November 11, 2005

HONK de BONK

Secret fact: Boku-wa nihonjin desu. Partly, anyway.

I ran across a bicycle blog with the coolest name: HONK de BONK. My Nihongo is very rusty, but HONK de BONK covers professional bicycle road racing with '06 TdF speculations and similar stories -- you know, the same stuff you can read in English at Cycloblog and Velochimp. The blogger also likes to blog about cookies that he thinks are tasty.

Kumataro-san, if you follow the trackback here, please let us amerikajin know where you got the name HONK de BONK.

I'm just mentioning HONK de BONK because it's such a cool blog name. That, and it's a slow evening at Cyclelicious Central.