Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ventura II

Photo Credit: Me

Picked up the paint for the bike at lunch today, not positive that this is the color im going to use but I was getting a can of PB Blaster for the stem and saw it. I am leaning toward using Montana Paint for the frame as I have read some good things about it (aside from it being the favorite paint of Taggers) Still having an extra can of paint (especially an extra can of orange paint) around the house has to be a good thing.


E-assist Cargo Bike

Found at http://bicycledesign.net

This showed up in my Google reader from the fine people over at bicycledesign.net and is an attempt do design an E-Bike (Bike with Electrical Assist) to be a possible replacement for the 2nd Car.

I for one think this idea has a great deal of merit to it and you can read the whole article (as well as see more photos) at http://bicycledesign.net/2010/08/urban-arrow-a-new-bakfiets-design/

Check it out it even comes with a Cup Holder!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ventura - Anyone?

Photo Credit: me

This is the Bike I picked up on saturday over at Free-Ride (see photos of Free-Ride) I picked up the bike for 42$ and it is a beautiful lugged frame that I can already see it in Orange and Black with the words Fatguy - OrangeBike.

Lets not forget going with all Orange Reflectors and Orange and Black Tires. Already I am running into some problems as I make a list of parts I will have to replace

Bottom Bracket

The Stem seems to have  melded itself with steering tube and will have to pick up some penetrating oil. The Bottom Bracket sounds like it has been filled with rocks and the frame itself looks like it has been painted with a roller.  My Goal is to free up and replace the stem, get replace the BB, cranks and pedals and pick up a set of new wheels (27x1 3/8) and turn this into a single speed commuter.

First things first,
Get stem off and BB off so I can strip and repaint frame. If I can get that done before October I will call it a Win

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don Parker Ride

Photo Credit: Me

Three months ago today something tragic happened,  From the original article:

“A man from Allison Park has died following an accident this morning in Indiana Township.
Don Parker, 52, had two passions - one for the people in his life and the other for bicycling.”

Today I had the privilege to ride with people whom I had never met and only known by names on a computer screen. We came from all over the city, meeting along the way, groups growing larger and more visible as we neared town. We came together in town the couples that became groups now become an assembly as we now rode not just on common ground but also with a common purpose. We rode through town stopping at the county building in hopes of meeting with the District Attorney Stephen A Zapalla Jr. and asking him about the tragedy and what if anything is being done.

We didn’t get to talk to the D.A (We really didn’t expect to) but we did get to talk to Mike Manko the Spokesperson from the DA office. Here is what we learned.

Taken from Bike Pgh Forums
- The DA's office only received the case in the last "10 days or two weeks or so", and is still investigating. The local LEO and County police may have completed their investigations, but the DA's office has only begun looking into it. He emphasized how slow the legal process works.
- If the driver was issued a ticket, that is a summary offense issued by the local LEO's and has no bearing on the DA's investigation.
- He could not comment on the status of the investigation, but he said that when the decision to press charges or not is made, it probably won't be well publicized. He did invite the community to check in every few weeks or so for a status update. There is a feedback link on the DA's office's website that will go directly to Mr. Manko. (mmanko@da.allegheny.pa.us)

As Mick said in the same thread:
If our goal was to get some kind of justice for Don Parker, then we accomplished (perhaps) a little. Maybe or maybe not.

If our goal was to let our elected officials know that a dead cyclist will not go unnoticed, then we succeeded.

I'm glad we did it.

So am I.

It was during the Moment of Silence, as I stood there on Grant St. that I realized that it could of just as easily been Me, or John, or Tabby, or Eleanor. If you are reading this then know that it could of been you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Photo Credit: Google Image Search

The other day I decided to take the plunge. To quit fooling around and sell out completely to the cycling lifestyle!

NO! This has nothing to do with lycra! (a topic for another time)

I finally broke down and ordered a RoadID  I had been meaning to get one for a while now and always seemed to find some reason not to. I was suffering from a real lack of motivation. Then one of the guys over at the Bike-Pgh forums found a 20% off offer on getting a RoadID.

A RoadID is a laser etched piece of aluminum you wear (usually but not always) around your wrist. This ID gives first responders your Name, Emergency Contact, and some Medical Information in the case of an accident where you can’t speak for yourself.
End Aside

After riding so much over the past few weeks I realized that almost all of my riding is done alone. Going to work, to the gym, the store. Looking at the past summer I can count the number of times I rode with others on the fingers of one of my hands. (My lack of friends who ride is also a topic for another time) I began to wonder about what would happen if I got into a really bad crash. I have had two bad crashes since I started riding and any number of normal crashes. So I know that the idea of a crash isn’t a matter of “IF” but “WHEN”. So I find the idea of having emergency contact and allergies on the RoadID to be a comfort.

I can hope another bad crash won’t happen but I’m not going to count on it.

Neither should you.

This is from the RoadID Website with the 10 reasons you should wear a RoadID
  1. If you can’t speak for yourself, Road ID will speak for you.
  2. Road ID enables First Responders to immediately contact family members and friends.
  3. Road ID enables family members to provide additional details about your health or give consent for potentially life saving procedures.
  4. Road ID enables hospital staff to locate vital medical records.
  5. Road ID can communicate medical conditions or allergy information to medical staff.
  6. Road ID can prevent serious delays in treatment by saving crucial time during the “golden hour” of medical treatment.
  7. It’s far better to have Road ID and not need it than to need Road ID and not have it. It’s not just a piece of gear, it’s peace of mind.
  8. Accidents happen far more than you think they do. Each year approximately 450,000 of us are taken to hospitals unconscious and without identification.
  9. Road ID looks good on and makes a statement about your athletic lifestyle – not to mention that studies would probably prove that people that wear Road ID are considerably smarter than those that don’t.
  10. Road ID can save your Life. Period.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Photo Credit: Make: Magazine

"Precious" is the name of the bicycle modified by New York makers Zolty, Mattias Gunneras, and Michael Lipton of Breakfast. The project started when its rider, Janeen, had decided to ride across the US on the TransAmerica Trail to raise money for LIVESTRONG. The crew at Breakfast wanted to lend support and saw it as an opportunity to create something different and exciting.

They ended up outfitting Precious with a new "brain" consisting of a custom microcontroller board, GPS, and GSM module. Temperature, humidity, speed, cadence, grade, direction, and location are sent to the cloud via SMS. This data is then processed and displayed on the bike's website yesiamprecious.com

Precious's brain is an on-board device that captures all of his experiences, combined with a cloud-based system that analyzes those experiences. Put this all together and get a bike that's able to express itself in his own words. He shares his up-to-the-moment thoughts, and has a subconscious which allows him to dream about all he’s been through. Take a peak into how his brain functions below...

Join Precious andJaneen as they attempt cross this country and  raise money for LIVESTRONG (Something I am a supporter of) as part of Team Fatty. Follow every sweatin’ mile, every dog chase, every brain fart Precious has, and then show your support by donating to their LIVESTRONG Challenge page.



Follow the bike on twitter

Rider's Blog

Read More on Make:

two of my favorite things

Found on verydemotivational.com

Two of my Favorite things cycling and Chuck Norris

Friday, August 13, 2010


Photo Credit: ME

Today marks my first full week of commuting to work (at least part of the way) by bicycle. As I sit here at lunch I look back on this last week and consider what lessons I have learned.

First lesson:
Blinky Lights are not optional in the morning.  I figured this one out on Monday morning, as I rode at the blistering pace of 9 miles per hour. I had looked for my headlight and had no luck finding it but the annoying red blinky light helped me stay visible on the early morning ride in.

Moral: Be Safe.

Second Lesson:
I have yet to get over my last accident.  Back in May I tore up my leg with a good case of road rash and messed my shoulder up.  While I have ridden since then I had not ridden as much as I have this week, as well as having all that riding be on streets I'm only marginally familiar with.  I realized that the ride was stressing me out and I was riding slower than I used to. What really made it clear to me was descending 18th street to the SouthSide.  This is a long twisty turny narrow road that I found myself going down really slowly. I noticed that my hands and shoulders hurt from gripping the handlebars and tensing.   As the week went on and I found myself getting more comfortable on the roads and on the hills. This made riding in a little bit more joyful each day.

Moral: Have Fun.

Third Lesson:
Its easy to get cocky. Really easy, so easy in fact that you don’t even realize it until afterward.  There is something about doing something that most other people don’t do (like riding into work) that just tempts you into feeling superior.  As I was walking out of the parking garage where I lock up my bike I saw a guy in a fast looking sports car pull into the leased parking section.  I had to wait for him to pass before I could cross and I stood there thinking:

“Look at you with your gas guzzling hundred thousand dollar car, You should be ashamed!”

I wanted to look around for the pompous AssHat who said that before I realized that the pompous AssHat was I.

Moral: Don’t be a Dick.

Fourth Lesson:
The term “Hill” is a relative one. OK let me preface this thought by admitting I have a long running love hate relationship with hills, Specifically climbing hills.  I’m a big guy, I weight a lot (not as much as i used to), My bike is a big heavy orange bike, it can be difficult to drag that weight up the hill.  My first ride on Saturday was a lot of huffing and puffing, and wondering just what I got myself into.  As I became more familiar with my surroundings and learned what to expect from the road ahead it became easier. In my mind the hills (most of them at least) became smaller.

Moral: Don’t over-think it.

A bit over the top

Found on Thereifixedit.com

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bike Sharing hits NYC this fall

From Engadget (Read article here)

"Social Bicycles is a bike sharing system using an iPhone app, the system allows users to drop off, locate, and borrow a bike nearly anywhere. The bikes are equipped with a GPS  device which is locked to one of the wheels, and when the bike is locked, it's locatable using the app, so that someone can borrow it; when it's in use and unlocked, it doesn't appear in the app. "

One of the great things about Social Bicycles is that these bikes can be locked up at any already existing bike racks. Making it convenient for the user and much easier and less expensive to run.

Video is below

The Social Bicycle System from Ryan Rzepecki on Vimeo.

Velodrome in Detroit reclaimed


a group of volunteers, armed with mowers and weed whackers, who reclaim overgrown areas of Detroit, one gnarly piece of scrub brush at a time. Here, they work to reclaim the Dorais Velodrome bicycle track in northeast Detroit.

Watch Video Here

Read more about it here

Clif Bar - Shark Week

Found on Bike Hugger

Monday, August 9, 2010

Riding In

Photo Credit: Me

This week I will be house-sitting / Dog-Sitting for a friend while he is enjoying himself on a well deserved vacation. While the dog I am watching is just a hair smaller than a large SUV (Airedale) and I love the dog, I am really happy to get to work today since it gives me a bit of break from having the giant dog sitting and staring at me with a ‘Who are you’ look.

So in preparation for my big experience next week (more on that later) I have decided to to ride the 8.5 miles from where I am staying into town on my bike. The ride was just about as perfect as I could have wished for.  I was surprised that at 7:00 am this morning I got the last open rack at the I am learning that the neighborhood I am staying at is a much more bike-friendly neighborhood than I am used to. At the very least, these people know how to drive when there is a bike around (unlike the people in Penn Hills who seemingly either freeze up or actually aim their car at me.)

Photo Credit: Me

On my ride, I passed a mural on 18th (for those who know 18th is a HILL, not a hill, not even a Hill, but a HILL!) and I had to stop and take a pic. Then it was back on the bike and down the hill, through the Southside and onto the Trail and into town. This kind of ride really makes my day, it reminds me of the fact that I can do these thing. I can accomplish more than I think I can. Moreover I can accomplish these things as a Fat Guy on Orange Bike. I am constantly wondering about this. If I can make it into town from Brentwood on my bike then why do you Mr half caf double pump whole milk foam Caramel Macchiato with a sprinkle of nutmeg feel like you have to drive your car the 3 and half blocks for your fix

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Photo Credit: Katayun

Ok I know this isn't bike related but I wrote this for Writer's Group today and I really thought it captured how I have been feeling lately.

Such a pretty word
Poets love the word

Just saying the word makes me feel poetic
Group it in with Azure, Tympany and Onomotopeia
And you got yourself something special
A true blue died in the wool Lizard kind

Come on baby Light my Fire - Doors Lyric
But their wrong, They are all wrong

Is an ugly word
A word that falls from lips like kisses don’t
A word that means No
A word that means Never
A word that Scream Loss

There is no
Come on baby light my fire
Try to set the Night on fire

The word means alone
The word means Isolated
The word Screams Forsaken

There is No Mr Mojo Risin

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces Look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down

It seems the Lizard King knew it well
As Do I
So don’t give me poems of Unrequited Love
So don’t speak to me of unanswered hope
And dreams Left to die alone and silent

To me the word has a special meaning
To me the word is a screaming mirror
To me the word is a Wailing wall
To me the word is Me


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

People Are Strange

Photo Credit: J.Star

People are strange when you're a stranger ~ The Doors

The more I ride my bike in Penn Hills the more I think there is some kind of reality distortion field the encompasses me. Again I headed down to the local grocery store. I should be used to it by now. It started when I locked my bike up to the Handicapped sign.

You can’t lock that up there.” said the guy bringing in the carts

Excuse me.” I asked

You can’t lock that up here.” He repeated. I had heard him the first time I just needed a moment to collect myself lest I decide to do something I regret. Like beat this man senseless with the u-lock in my hand.  I reached down and finished locking the bike to the sign, I took my helmet and attached it to the strap of my backpack and took a deep breath.

tell you what, James (I read his nametag)  I’m going in. If you really have a problem tell the manager. I won’t be hard to find.” I turned my back and walked into the Store.

I saw the manager several times as I walked around. I nodded and he nodded back. Now on to summer repeats. Checking out I tell the girl ‘No bags please’ and proceeded to put my stuff in my Backpack.

“You ride your bike here?” she asked, noticing my Helmet.

“Yep” I said simply not offering any more. I packed up my groceries (minus my lunch) and headed out to my bike, unlocking it and walking over to the nice shady tree to sit and enjoy my lunch.  (Twinkies and Cherry 7up) While sitting under the tree I had two cars stop and ask me if I was ok.


Some of you are thinking that it was good that people were asking me if I was OK. is it really? I wasn't trying to fix anything on my bike or even touching my bike. I wasn’t sprawled out trying to recover from some hill or asthma attack. I was sitting with my back against a tree eating a twinkie and drinking a bottle of pop. What about that other than I wasn’t in a car sounds so out of place that people had to stop and see if I was OK?

As I sat there I was reminded of a short story I read a long time ago. I had to get on the internet and look it up but I found that it was called "The Pedestrian" and was written by Ray Bradbury. You can watch the an animated version of it below.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Reason

Photo Credit: Google Image Search

I was hanging out on the Bike-PGH Forums when I saw this post "Bikes Belong on LA Streets" and after reading it I realize that Pittsburgh has yet another reason to be ashamed. Actually we have 1663 reasons to be ashamed. Since LA is planning on 1663 miles of bike lanes/bike friendly streets. Along with the Idea of Education and Enforcement.  Education and Enforcement are without a doubt two of the most important things you can do to make roads and trails safe for everyone.

It is just those things (Education and Enforcement) that are so seriously lacking here in Pittsburgh. Cyclist are regularly attacked, cut off, forced off the road. Don Parker was struck and killed in the middle of May, The driver was to busy freeing his flip flops to even notice that he had hit anyone, and still no charges have been filed (Really?!?) Couple the idea that drivers have no idea how to drive around cyclist or what rights the cyclist have with the knowledge that should they hit someone with their car there won't be any legal backlash and you only have one place


Blue Monday

Just something I came across last night and found it to be compelling. makes me want a fixie even more.

Fuller post later.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bad Biking Day

Photo Credit: Ballookey

Found this on Bike-PGH Forums.

Dear Driver of the Green Ford F150 License plate *******(removed),

Yes, I realize you're probably having a bad day, but I'd like you to consider for a moment that by running me down it would cause BOTH of us to have EXTREMELY bad days.

Yes, I know it must be frustrating to not be able to pass me on Highland Avenue between Alder and Center. I would really like to give you the room, but frankly, if I get doored, it's going to do more damage to me than the car door. Also, you may note the solid line that means it's not safe to pass in that area. That includes me, by the way.

And yes, I know it's annoying that I take the lane once it widens out. But get this - it's to protect me from people like you (well, okay, maybe not people like you, since you actually TRIED to hit me. I think most other people would only do it accidentally if I was too far right when I mean to go straight through that light).

I'd like to apologize for yelling at you, but seeing as you yelled at me first... (My "Hey!" doesn't count as it means "You are driving a 4,500lb truck, and I weigh 120lbs on a good day and if I've had a large lunch, so please do not squish me.")

You have a good point that I was going "slow" although I would argue that the 15 mph I was probably doing is not the same as the 5mph you alleged. Of course, I was at about 13 miles for the day, so I'm sorry that my downhill speed approaching a red light was inadequate to you.

I realize that screaming back "I am a legal vehicle" was probably not the most eloquent thing I could have said. Nor is it likely to cause you to reconsider your intent of apparently driving your vehicle into a person. Perhaps I should have quoted from the PA vehicle code: "Every person riding a pedalcycle [this would be referring to me, by the way] upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle."

Somehow though, I don't think that would have helped you realize that you tried to hit me.


Seriously? What is wrong with you?

My name is Quinn. I am the oldest of 5 children. My parents live in Florida and Toronto, and they would be pretty sad if I died. I work downtown for a local business, and I ride my bike to and from work when the weather is nice. I raised $600 for Multiple Sclerosis research this year, by riding my bike. I pay my bills, volunteer my time, and attend church regularly. I'm hosting a birthday party this weekend. There is a guy that I'm kinda fond of and hoping to catch his eye. And I could have died because you're having a bad day and tried to hit me with your truck.

Thankfully you didn't.


Evil Project - Painting

Photo Credit: Dbacklover

Well I finally got some paint thrown down on the frame after weeks of grinding, sanding, bondo-ing and primering - sanding - primering. The first coat of semi-gloss black went on and the humidity of the day was making for quite the challenge. still the paint is on and tomorrow I will sand it and put a second coat of the semi-gloss before moving on to the gloss enamel.

All in all this has been a long and drawn out process that I alreay have a feeling I will be repeating in the near future with a road bike frame that is destined to be ridden (not used as art) I also have my next two art-bikes planned out and am just trying to figure how I will go about making them a reality.

If anyone has old frames they want to donate I am willing to take a couple off your hands as long as you understand that they will most likely be cut up and never ridden again.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bike Soccer


The guys over at Urbanvelo.org had this video up on their site when I got home from church this morning. I don't normally post anything on the weekends (this is usually when I try to write my posts) but I just really enjoyed the video and wanted to pass the goodness on to all of you.