Sunday, December 30, 2012

A little bit of work

Did a little bit of maintainence work on BOB yesterday. I cleaned up the frame and took off the christmas lights I had on the frame. I like the idea of riding around with the lights on. I enjoyed the people noticing the lights and waving. I also liked the idea of the added visibility. Still the tape I had used to secure the lights was beginning to fall apart.  I also cleaned things up and lubed the chain. I have tried several different lubes for the chain and for me I have decided that I like Rock-n-Roll Gold the "King of Lubes". I only know that this lube makes my chain quieter than anything else I have used. I plan on writing a review of this lube in the near futuer. i.e. it has made it to the list of articles that need to be written.

I also added a new cyclometer. The Sigma BC1609 with a reader that allows me to connect it to my computer. I did not realize this when I started to install the cyclometer but it also came with a cadence reader. For those of you who do not know, a cadence reader is a sensor that tells me just how slowly I'm pedalling. I am hoping to see how well this works on the icycle bicycle ride on the first of the year. I understand that there is a good chance of snow and cold. Usually I'm not to excited about riding around in the cold and the snow but it has been a few weeks since I have had a good ride. Besides it is time to pull a Number nine. This will give me a good chance to try out my new tires, gloves, and cyclometer.

All in all a ride that I am looking forward to. now I just have to break out the winter gear.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Premium Rush

Last night I stopped at Redbox and what do I find but that the movie Premium Rush is in. Now I didn't go to see this when it came out for various reasons. One of the main reasons what that I really didn't trust the makers of the movie to create a bike positive movie. I was partly right. I was also partly wrong. They showed why some people hate cyclists they also showed some positive sides as well.

I can live with that.

What the makers of the film did is create a story that was both fun to watch and thrilling to watch at the same time. I loved the story and didn't let the few plot holes I saw get in my way. I loved the chase scenes (which make up the lion's share of the movie) I also found myself enjoying all the non-bike parts of the story (the main plot) I enjoyed the ending even if I felt it was a little bit contrived. Most importantly I found that when the movie was over I wanted to get out and go riding. (since I watched this christmas eve morning and had many plans for the day I was left unfulfilled.)

The movie did not leave me unfullfilled however. This will go into the Pick up list of movies that I want to own. Take that for what you will but at 1.20$ in redbox picking this up is a no-brainer.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012

Resolution - Goals

Tis the season, so I'm told. Christmas marks the end of the year and the chance to start over. This is, of course, the time of the New Years Resolutions. I started thinking about the things in myself that I want to improve in myself. After the depression subsided I made the list you see above. For those who can't see the photo I'll give you the list.

  • Ride Bike More
  • Fix Myself
  • Icicle Bicycle 
  • Pedal Pittsburgh
  • Ride more than 1000 Miles
  • Write more
  • Ride up 18th St
  • Go on 7 flock rides
  • Organize my own ride

As you can see most of these resolutions are cycling based and the reason for that is pretty simple. I view the act of cycling as being the answer to many of the problems I face, at least I view the act of cycling as being the one thing that can change me and make me a better me.

I want to talk about a few of the items (goal on my list specifically)

Ride more than 1000 miles
I added this one because I don't know that I have ridden more than 1000 miles this year. I very well might have. I did do quite a bit of riding this year. So I guess the big thing is that I want to know how far I have ridden and that means getting a cyclometer (or 2) and using it to keep track of how far I have ridden. When the last one I had broke I purposely didn't replace it because I found that I was spending too much time worrying about how far and how fast I was riding. Not sure how I can do both but I'm going to try.

Ride Up 18th
On the south side of Pittsburgh there is 18th street. a long sort of steep hill. (well long and steep for me) and last year I made a promise to ride up 18th. well it is December 21st so I don't think Ill make it before the end of the year.

Flock Rides
By Flock rides I am talking about the monthly Flock of Cycles Rides (if you're in Pittsburgh you really need to check them out) this ride is a slow paced, party ride that includes music and (weather permitting) a potluck picnic. Since this is a monthly event I have 12 chances to go on a flock ride. I am hoping to make it to more than half of them (if flock puts on a ride every month)

I also want to talk about what isn't on my list.

Weight loss
I have fought with one all of my life. I have tried to lose weight and I have lost weight, I have gained weight. I have let the idea of what I look like rule over me to to long. I will not allow what I weigh steal my joy, happiness and peace. I have decided instead to judge things on how I feel, not how I look or how much I weigh. I have noticed that more I ride the better I feel, so I'm gonna ride more and not worry about something as insubstantial as what I weigh.

This is another one of those things I have struggled with my whole life, and once again I have found that I let my worries about money to steal away my happiness and leave me sleepless and sick. No More. I have over the past year learned to live a simpler life. This I plan on continuing.

So that is my list of resolutions/goals for the year of 2013 and I hope you will find it interesting and I hope that you make and keep your own set of resolutions. I for one am going to try to post my progress on these goals right here.


UPDATE 1-1-13
I rode on the icycle bicycle ride and had a great time. You can view that post here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Soupaneuring week 1

Tomato soup and grilled cheese at Otb. this is for week one of the Soupaneuring Challange.

Infini Wukong Light - Review

Last night I stopped at Thick Bikes on the Southside (My Local Bike Shop). My goal was to say hi and get some air in my tires (they felt a little soft) and as I was talking with them I saw them unpacking a bunch of these little lights. When I saw that they had one in orange I knew it was destiny. What I found out after buying one was that it was also a heck of a handy light, but first the details.

Wukong light made by Infini
Model - I-203R
Cost - 12.99

Size - 100×64×14 mm
Weight - 9.5gm (without batteries)
Run Time - 120 hours constant 240 hours flashing
Battery - CR2032 X 2

The body is made of a pliable silicon that allows to easily mount the light just about anywhere, and just as easily remove it. The lights are very bright and come in white (front) and red (rear). While this light falls into the "Be Seen" camp it was bright enough that I would feel ok using it as my only headlight in a pinch. After I mounted it on my handlebars I realized that what it was perfect for. I had my main headlight on constant and the little Wukong set on flashing.  I have never liked setting my only front light to flashing but having one set on constant and one set on flashing worked well for me.

Later in the evening when I was faced with a 3 mile ride from the bus stop to my house in the rain on a dark road. I pointed the Wukong down directly in front of my tire and put it on constant as well. this allowed me to see what right in front of me as well as what was coming up.

Overall I am very impressed with little light. What I had picked up because I wanted a new orange trinket on my bike has turned into something I keep on my bike.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bike Zone

I have been lucky enough to live in a city that is actually serious about bike lanes and sharrows. All that being said I have had far too many run-ins with cars, motorcycles and trucks while riding after dark. Even with my lights, reflectors, and fiks stickers. So having something like this that will project onto the street a meter out letting car-holes know you are there.
The Bike zone also acts like turn signals. This is something that I think every bike should own, however since I can't find pricing and it involves two laser projectors, I can only imagine what the price is going to be.

Edit - I was informed that I forgot to put up the link to Yanko Designs. The group that came up with this rather cool idea so I added it. Sorry about that.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Zen Thoughts

I found an article over at Urban Velo about Zen Cycling. Which was actually about an article called "Zen Cycling" written by Anthony Golding over at Resurgence. I Didn't really expect to much out of this article, all to often I find the use of the word Zen to be either overdone or used in some supernatural 'be the bike' kind of way.

This article was neither. The article (which I recommend that you go and read after you have finished here) lists eight ideas of zen cycling and goes on to expound on them. I am going to list the 8 ideals here but you will need to go read the Resurgence article to see what each one means. Some are simple to understand while others will be food for thought for some time.

1. There must be no sense of urgency
2. Leave the radio, music players, cell-phones and (if you can) your watch at home
3. Staying silent during parts of the day
4. Responding to and befriending your surroundings
5. Recognizing and handling fear
6. Handling competition
7. On being assertive
8. Have an adventure by yourself

I am going to post a little of what Anthony said about Ideal 6 - Handling Competition
This is a strange one as we are so brainwashed into achieving. Questions like: "How many miles have you done today?” "How long did it take to get up the mountain – did you walk?" or "What! You put the bike on a train!" "I must have the state-of-the-art machine and equipment."
This has been on my long standing pet peeves. It is also one of my long standing weaknesses. I constantly struggle with feelings of "I should be riding more" and "I should be riding up that hill" Some of this is good. To challenge yourself to do more and push yourself to improve is a good thing. The problem I have and the problem I struggle with is when this challenge become the only thing.

I have noticed that it is when that side of me is winning that cycling becomes more of a chore than a joy.

So head on over to Resurgence and give Zen Cycling a read. The next time you find yourself riding and either rushing to get somewhere or competing with yourself remember to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.