Friday, October 29, 2010


Thanks Edmonds over at the Bike Pgh Forums for posting this. I agree, looks like I need to move to Budapest.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Urban Commuting

Photo Credit: SlinkyDragon

Found this on Commute by Bike written by Josh King

10 rules for urban commuting.

1. Obeying traffic rules is not your first priority. There are traffic rules aplenty to deal with in urban riding – street lights, stop signs, one way streets, construction zones, bus lanes, etc.  Obeying these rules is all well and good, but priority number one is staying safe.  I will unapologetically admit to breaking at least a half-dozen traffic rules each way, every day.  Roll through stop signs? You bet.  Run red lights?  Check.  Disobey the “Construction – street closed” signs that have been blocking my route home for the last month?  Absolutely.  You see, while traffic rules have a certain logic, they are built around cars, not bikes.  A moving bike is a safer bike, as momentum allows you to skirt obstacles and avoid danger from any direction.  Sitting motionless in the road at a stop sign or light, a cyclist is at his or her most vulnerable.  Better, then, to slow down, look carefully and keep moving if the way is clear.  The idea is to be critical, to not slavishly accept and obey the traffic rules just because they are there.  Recognize that your safety comes first.

2. Don’t pay attention to bike lanes. Hell, nobody else in the city does.  I routinely encounter buses, double-parked cars, delivery vans, wrong-way skateboarders and inebriated pedestrians blocking bike lanes.  Always be prepared to take the lane.  Plus, many bike lanes put you solidly in the “door zone” when you’re anywhere on the inner two-thirds of the lane.  That’s not much of a problem when traveling uphill, but a major issue on downhill bike lanes.  Always take the lane – not the bike lane, the whole damn thing – when traveling downhill.

3. Better aggressive than meek. While stupidly aggressive riding is problematic and dangerous, overly-cautious riding is also a problem.  Riders who are afraid to assert themselves in traffic are a danger to themselves and other riders.  Seeking refuge from traffic, they ride too close to the curb, where the pavement sucks, junk abides and car doors and pedestrians are apt to strike at any moment.  They give up their precious momentum when moments of indecision strike, cutting back on their options and imperiling riders behind them.  Riders new to city streets should accept their trepidation and actively work to overcome it.  As this study about traffic deaths among London cyclists found, an abundance of caution in riding is not a benefit.

4. Pacelines are very bad. Riding on someone’s wheel is fine when you’re spinning out in the country, but not so good in the city.  You’ve got no idea whether they’re a confident rider, or if they’re going to suddenly brake because someone’s puppy gets too close to the curb.  Be cautious of other riders and give them a wide berth, particularly if they look skitterish or cautious.

5. Variety is not the spice of life. Save the mixing it up for whatever else you like to do for fun.  You’re riding a bike to and from work for chrissakes, isn’t that fun enough?  You don’t need to alter your route just to add variety.  Knowing your route – every pothole, blind right turn and nasty intersection of it – is critical to riding safely.  Be predictable in your riding and your route.  Get a tattoo or something if your route isn’t exciting enough.

6. Don’t signal. Look, let’s be honest here – most bike riders don’t know what a right-hand turn signal looks like, let alone drivers.   Signaling is just not going to be useful most of the time, and engaging in the pointless pursuit means taking one hand off your handlebars.  I’ll start signaling when I get nice smooth streets, but until then I’m keeping both hands on the grips.  Go ahead and signal if it’s helpful to a driver and you can do it safely, but dispense with that dumb-ass right turn signal nonsense.  Just point where you’re going.

7. Don’t stand on your rights. Yeah, you’ve got a bike lane, or the right-of-way, or whatever.  It doesn’t matter.  The laws of physics trump all traffic rules.  A bus is entering the bike lane to meet a stop right ahead of you?  Don’t try to pass in the bike lane.  Ditto for drivers making right turns, clueless pedestrians and lost dogs.  Ride like your life is on the line.  Do what’s safest and most predictable to others in the road, even if that means giving up “your” lane or, God forbid, stopping.

8. Take the lane. This is a key skill for all urban riders.  Visibility and safety demand that you be able to take the lane any time.  If circumstances feel the least bit dodgy, take the lane.  It may piss drivers off, but better a honk than getting doored or run over.  This is particularly true when it’s not fully safe for a driver to pass you with enough clearance.  If there’s any doubt, don’t tempt drivers to pass you – take the lane and block them, even (especially?) if they honk.

9. Don’t be a right-winger. I see this all the time:  cyclists waiting at a red light, hanging at the right corner.  Or passing traffic through a green light, on the right.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  This is the number one way to get hit when riding in the city.  The cars won’t see you as they’re trying to turn right, and they’ll plow right into you or pull across you when you don’t have time to stop.  This is why cities like Portland have installed so many bike boxes:  The safest place to be at a red light is at the front of the line of traffic.  Failing that, take the lane and take your turn with the cars.  Just don’t think you should use the right lane when going through intersection.

10. Wear a helmet, stupid. I seem to see more helmets in Seattle than in Manhattan, where wearing one must be against the law.  But still – too many fixie hipsters and other too-cool types are cruising around with helmets.  I like that as much as the next guy when cruising on the beach or a resort bike trail somewhere, but the city is HARD.  There’s lots of stuff that will jump up and bite you, and a crack in the pavement or an errant car door can smack your head before you know it.  It’s too high a price to pay for fashion, and besides – there are lots of cool bike helmets starting to hit the market.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happiness is...

Photo Credit: ME

...A full Bike Rack

Brought BOB (Big Orange Bike) into town with me today so I could make it to the Flock of Cycles ride tonight. Even with the chilly weather the Bike Rack at the garage was full.

Got to love it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Photo Credit: Rik C

Something happened to me recently. I am thinking that this is something that has happened slowly over the past few months and I am only now beginning to understand it. I realized the other day as I was walking down the street. I passed several bikes locked up at bike racks and I realized that I recognized several of the bikes from the bike ride last week. I began to realize that I am becoming part of the cycling community. I find that I like the idea of becoming a part of community.

I’ll admit that when I first began to dip my toes into this community I was a little fearful of what I would find. After all I am not what anyone thinks of when they think of cyclist. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted by the community here in Pittsburgh. I was worried that I would be looked down upon because I am a Fatguy on an Orange Bike

I am not a girl pants wearing hipster riding my fixie, playing polo and drinking either PBR or some strange named specialty beer.

I am not a Lycra wearing Roadie riding my carbon fiber bike and worrying about getting my miles in.

I am not an environmentalist who wants to ban all cars and use bicycles to change the world.

I’m not any of these things and yet I am welcomed into the community simply because I like bikes.

Bike Sub

Photo Credit: Make Magazine

Underwater Biking anyone. This showed up in my news feed today and since the blog is for all things interesting and all things biking I figure this fits.

head over to  for all the info

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chez KiKi

Found over at Thanks Urban Jeff

Vintage Bike PrOn

Photo Credit: Make Magazine

Found over on MAKE this 1896 book on design and construction of all types of pedal powered loveliness is a fully (and legally) downloadable file over at google books. hit up the links below for more info.

Article over at MAKE
Book Download

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Butch Chicks

Photo Credit: Me

You see some pretty strange things in the strip district on a Friday night. Some of them are more disturbing than others. The image above may have scarred me for life. What you see above is what I found when I got to the Bike-PGH offices.

All in all the ride was amazing and has me looking forward to all the others Rides.  I took the bus part of the way and rode my bike the rest of the way. After the ride I rode my bike to town and threw the bike on the bus and rode home.  Now I know that I can get to the ride, enjoy the ride and get home all in one piece, I am way more willing to go out to these rides.

You can check out the photos of the ride over at the flickr site of the rather talented photographer named Rob. I tried to get some photos with the Iphone but I am pretty much a blind epileptic with a crayon when it come to taking picture. So just check out Rob's Photos by CLICKING HERE

Photo Credit by Robjdlc

This was at the beginning of the ride and you see that we had quite a crowd. We had men (and women) in tuxes and dresses, we even had a DJ playing classic 80's Wedding reception Music. Perhaps the most interesting thing was the responses the group got as we rode down the strip and into town.

Got another ride on Friday. Looking forward to it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Sunday is my Birthday and Celebrate I did a couple things. First I took today off to try and enjoy myself. I also stopped at Thick Bikes and picked up the last couple of parts I needed to finish the Project. Last night I finished the Bike and today I took it out for its First Test Ride.

I wasn't Looking Forward to this.

As you all may know this project, while fun and very educational, was a huge PAIN IN THE... well you know. So as I took the first ride on the bike I was totally prepared for the bike to fall into pieces as soon as I got up to speed. Things went way better than I thought. I found a few loose bolts and I needed to adjust the brakes. I also learned something else.

My legs are nowhere as strong as I thought they were. I had to change from the big chain-ring to the smaller chain-ring. Effectively  switching from 9th gear to 3rd gear.

I also Picked up the tool kit you see below. I had two of the tools you see below in my hand (BB tool and Pedal Wrench) when I realized that for 10 bucks more I could get this whole kit.

So what I am saying is.

Happy Birthday to Me

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Found a Cure

Photo Credit: Cuito Cuanavale

Ok not a cure, but perhaps a treatment. I was (and still am) feeling quiet anti-social but this story about  Dedicated to putting 1000 bikes into the hands of foster kids each year.

Yeah even I have stop and realize I am focusing to much on the negative.

Thanks to

My Bitter is Showing

Photo Credit: Marko82

I'm not really sure why it happens, or how I get started down these swirling rabbit holes of what can only be called a shot of seething anger followed with a chaser of impotent rage. (If your laughing cause I said impotent then stop reading now, and go ask your mommy to slap you for being an immature child  -  Yes that bitter)

My days don't start this way, well not all of them start this way, Ok today started this way but I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.

here are a couple of the threads that set me off today (Ok I came up with the titles myself)

911 is staffed by total TARDS
Sandcastle is run by uncaring A-Holes
The D on a car shifty thingie stands for D-Bag
People in General Suck

Sure there were some positive threads and Yes I am one part away from finishing the Ventura, but I think what really gets me are not the people who are pissed off, but the people who call for calmness. Since October 1st I have gotten 62 news articles that google alerts has pulled up for the term "Cyclist Killed"  Yes some of them have been duplicates but still 62 articles in 11 days?

The Police Don't take us seriously.
Politicians and their two faced cronies Lie to our faces.
Port Authority Bus Drives seem to think trying to hit us is a game.

Our Complaints are never taken seriously and really why should they be? We don't do anything after the complaint. They tell us to go away and like the abused child we have been convinced that we are, We go away.

Why do we always Go Away.

Why can't we start our complaint with "Hello, yes this call is being recorded and will be on the internet within moments of me hanging up, I have a complaint about one of your drivers, but first can I have YOUR Full Name and position please." and end the complaint with "If you or another person would like to call me back with the resolution of this complaint I would be happy to post that conversation as well." Fair is Fair after all.

How great would it be to see groups of Cyclist blocking entry to Sandcastle's (everyone talks about how that wont make us any friends but they seem to forget WE DONT HAVE ANY FRIENDS) and when one group is taken away (yes TAKEN AWAY) another group takes their place.  Hopefully with video and news coverage.

I know it wont happen, but I can dream

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bing Bang Boom

Photo Credit: Me

So you can see I am making some progress. I found out that this progress comes at a price. I picked up two new tubes and two new tires.

I know what your thinking. Where is the other tire.

Yeah about that, it seems that when I was pumping the tire up and watching the pressure gauge for it to get up to the 80-90 PSI range. I looked down just in time to watch the tire go BOOM. yeah it was kind of scary. So back to square one on that one. Still it is good to see some progress.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ventura - Progress

Photo Credit: Me

Well it seems as if I am finally beginning to make some progress in putting the Ventura back together. as you can see I have forks and brakes back on. I need to get a new Bottom Bracket (including cranks chainring and pedals), Stem, brake levers (maybe) and cables. You know only most of the bike.

My plan is for it to be a single speed so I wont be putting the derailleurs back on and will keep an eye peeled for a good deal on a single speed 27" wheel. For now im gonna use the one that came with it and just shorten the chain.

After all the false starts with painting I am happy to be actually putting parts on the bike. I only wonder what adventures putting it back together is going to hold for me.