October 31st, 2006 |
As noted at the end of this article: Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says. (via velocipete).
Aside from the incorrect characterization of a Raleigh 3-speed as an “American bike”, it’s a sad story about a 70-year-old guy who rode his bike to the airport, parked it there while on a 4-day trip, and came back to find it cut to pieces. Apparently airport maintenance people did this – clueless or just anti-bike??
I find this story interesting because i very nearly rode my bike to the airport this summer for my vacation to Alaska. There are trains with bike carriers that go to the airport, it’s really not that far to go, but there is apparently no provision for secure bicycle parking. I’m glad i didn’t ride, i wouldn’t want to reclaim my bike in pieces, i’d much rather ride it home.
Given the valid concerns over automobile parking at the airport (inconveniently far away, expensive, security risk), why not provide viable alternatives? The rail is great, but it couldn’t be that hard to have a couple dozen bike lockers there. If i were flying on any kind of regular basis (and i’m not), i’d bike there or to the nearest train station just to save taxi or parking fees. They could charge $10 for the use of a bike locker, and it would still be 1/4 the cost of a taxi ride there and back.
October 30th, 2006 |
C race 19/60
Beautiful day, 55° and sunny. Long, twisty course, some nice singletrack, a spiral staircase-like runup, rough in the grass, one fairly steep rideup. Nothing too technical, but not too flat and fast either. If anything, not many long stretches to recover, but overall a nice course.
I finished 19th, Malte was 4th overall, first C3. I was a little tired today, definitely a little dehydrated, but a reasonably good pace through the race. Caught up with Jeff Lisle on lap 4, then he repassed me for lap 5, and i hung with him til the finish, each of us passing two in the last lap.
Fun race overall, hope they have there again.
October 27th, 2006 |
It was apparently my turn yesterday for a bike crash. Here is a shot of the bike:
No pictures of my face, which stopped most of my own momentum. It’s really not that bad, and the beard masks the swelling pretty well.
Almost home from work, I turned on to Hamline heading north, clear street behind me, 2-3 people waiting at the stoplight in front of me. I saw the light turn green, looked behind to see if i could change lanes (since the right lane is a right turn only in the next block), looked back ahead, and WHAM! I think the car at the back of the line had sat for a few seconds before moving for the light, so i ended up a lot closer to it than i’d planned. And going somewhere between 10-15 when i hit. Repeat after me: don’t assume anything in traffic.
As is obvious in the photo, my front wheel wedged under the bumper, and stopped immediately. I had around 30lbs of farm produce in the panniers, so that helped with the inertia somewhat to push the rest of the bike forward a few inches. I think my face hit the corner of the trunk, then i landed on my hip. I got a small cut between my chin and lower lip, but the real action is inside, where i got a good cut on my gums and a beautiful bruise along the inside of my lip. No broken or loose teeth, thank goodness. I was spitting blood for the remaining 4 block walk home.
Two motorists asked if i needed help, bless them. The first one probably saw the crash from behind, and i’m sure it looked impressive. I didn’t know how I looked at the time, but i didn’t feel that bad. The bloody mouth probably didn’t look so hot though. I declined the ride because i figured it would be more trouble wrangling the loaded bike into a car than i would to just walk the rest of the way.
A few aches today, nothing too bad. I’m supposed to race tomorrow, we’ll see about that in the morning. Did i jinx myself by posting about bike safety yesterday?
October 26th, 2006 |
commuting, general, infrastructure, policy
Here is a link to the Minnesota bicycle traffic laws. You know, just in case…
October 26th, 2006 |
commuting, general, metal boxes
Via Kent Peterson:
Fatal Study – Smith
An interesting report and analysis of bicycling deaths in the Seattle area. I point to it also because it supports some of my own feelings on bike safety; ride predictably, wear a helmet and be visible.
Stay safe out there.
October 22nd, 2006 |
C rae, 25/74, 16th C1 (after most of the SS category)
Cold, blustry day, high of maybe 40°F, but with a cold wind. Malte and I rode to the race from home, a nice way to warm up, but flippin’ cold too. I should have brought more clothes to wear after the race, too cold to hang out for the results (below) and schwag raffle.
Nice course, pretty much looped the circumference of the park, lots of up and down the hills, with two sets of stair runups and one steep but rideable hill climb. The first barrier was a little tricky, being right after a realllly fast descent. One killer was the final barrier and runup – it wasn’t so much that it was steep, but it was fairly long. The way the ground slopes on that hill, when you’re on the left side of the bike, you’re slightly downhill from the bike, so you have to go a fair ways up the hill before it’s level enough to jump back on the bike.
I felt pretty good through the race, had a good start in the top 12-15 riders, and kept it pretty steady until fading a bit on the last lap. The race ran 6 laps, and i was done in after about 5 1/2. It was the cold, plus an increasingly tired/sore back (probably from the hill climbing), and the clif shot wore off too. Maybe a second shot and more water would have done it. After 5 laps of passing a few and holding on well, i lost 3 places on the final lap, including one guy who came out of nowhere to sprint by in the last 2 feet. grrrrr… Not that i had anything left to sprint with by then anyway.
There was something going on with the results. I don’t know what the problem was, but it was taking a lonnng time to get results posted. Nothing up by the 2nd lap of the A race, so we headed for home to warm up after 90 minutes of freezing (though the pizza and coffee helped some). There was a little mixup with Malte’s registration. He was put into C1 instead of the usual C3 group. He finished around 5th overall, and would have been the first C3, but because he was put in C1, didn’t win a thing. Because the results were so late, and it was too cold to wait, we couldn’t even see that there had been an error (though i don’t know if it would be changed anyway). It was a fun race otherwise, but this part was a bit of a bummer.
October 18th, 2006 |
There’s a gas station that i go by every day, at least twice a day, biking or driving, and i generally make a mental note of the price of gas when i think of it. For years, this station was independent, family-owned, until about 2 years ago when the old man wanted to retire. The kids didn’t want to run the station, so they ended up selling the whole thing to Holiday, who remodeled, and now it’s a Holiday station store.
One thing i noticed right away after it reopened is that under Holiday ownership, the gas prices were suddenly a LOT more volatile. There’s a huge computerized sign, so they can and apparently do change the price whenever they feel like it. I’ve seen price swings of 25¢ ore more from one day to the next. Under the previous owners, the price changes were maybe weekly, often even less often. It now seems like people are either getting screwed or played. There’s no rational supply and demand explanation for this, because it’s a huge operation, their costs don’t go up significantly because of one tanker truck of more expensive gas.
On Monday this week, the morning gas price was $2.11 per gallon. Around lunch time, it was $2.29. By evening, it was down to $2.13. WTF? This isn’t even near the summer peak of $3/gallon. Is buying gas going to be like playing the stock market? Soon people will be lining up at the pump, just waiting for the price to drop by a penny or two before swiping their card to lock in and fill up.
October 16th, 2006 |
C race, 20/55, 18th C1
After a week of rain, snow and highs in the 30s, Sunday was a perfect day of 60°F, clear and dry. In fact, a good stretch of the course was a cloud of dust on the first lap as the pack went through.
We all rode to the race together, i hauled the Burley and Ella rode with Autumn on the trail-a-bike. It was cold when we left around 10:30, but warmed up nicely by the race start at noon. I could feel the sun on the black parts of my shorts even though the air was cool. The girls mostly stayed at the playset, Fiona working the digger, while Autumn got some good photos and footage for the Boom Island CX race video, lots of great shots there, including some with Julee from the Gopher team.
It was a good race for me, probably didn’t hit the start hard enough for a holeshot, but kept a good pace throughout and kept passing people through the last lap. Had a couple of good passes with a nice speed boost from a little ramp on the back straight, and one solid pass when i had a particularly smooth and fast barrier. Happier with the barriers this time, need to work on faster remounts, lost a little momentum in a couple of places. Finished 20/55 for the C race.
Malte passed me 1/2-way through lap 2 and ended up finishing 13th, first of the C3s, good for a new pair of shades. He should be starting farther up the pack too, he tends to hang back even farther than me and spend the whole race getting through traffic. A little more experience should help, he’s definitely fast enough to be placing well.
Finally, this weekend i passed the 2,000 mile mark for my annual cycling miles. Many ride more, many ride less, but i’m happy with it. Over 1600 miles of it is commuting to work and errands, and i’m happy about that.
October 12th, 2006 |
I don’t think i’d try this myself – i’m too attached to my iPod to chance wrecking it, but it’s a cool idea. I wonder how much this would cost as a product that could attach to a dynohub. It would be a great thing for bike tourists to be able to recharge a cell phone or radio batteries while riding. Great shots of massive piles of bikes too, fantastic.
geektechnique.org: How-to make a bike charger for your ipod!
October 9th, 2006 |
C race, 14/35, 13th C1
First race of the year, and off to a solid mid-pack start. Mid 50s and it started raining mid-race, perfect day for cyclocross. Good race for me, faster than last year, no crashes despite the increasingly we leaves and ruts that broke a rib for one of the later racers. Our german student Malte came back from a thrown chain on lap 1 (when he was 3 places ahead of me) to finish right behind me. I mean like a foot behind me. I sprinted down the final gravel road stretch, with Malte drafting me the whole way. I was afraid he would pass me up at the line, but he didn’t, maybe tired, maybe just being nice :-)
Autumn made an awesome movie of the race, see it here:
lake rebecca cx movie