darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
I just spotted a fantastic project on Ravelry: Skirt Guards! (log-in required) and on Etsy: similar skirt guards! (no log-in required).

Colorful and charming, and one of most effective uses of crochet's peculiar strengths (radial openwork, multiple colors) I've seen in a long time.

I thought some of the community might enjoy them. I did.
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Apparently the NYPD has been cracking down on cyclists for not riding in the bike lane, issuing tickets for as much as $130. A guy was stopped and tried to tell the cop that sometimes the bike lane isn't safe, but the officer still ticketed him. So he made a video showing what happens when you ride in the bike lane ALL THE TIME. Warning for OW OW OMG OW.
roadrunnertwice: DTWOF's Lois in drag. Dialogue: "Dude, just rub a little Castrol 30 weight into it. Works for me." (DTWOF.Lois - Castrol)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
The cover of Butler's <em>Gender Trouble,</em> with bike helmets badly Photoshopped onto the kids.
I realize I'm the only person who's going to find this picture funny, but since I went to the trouble of making it before that occurred to me, it's going on up.

I decided this was the year I was finally going to bother equipping my bike with fenders, and immediately ran into a brick wall. >:[

See, Brigadelle (my epic mount) is a late '80s Schwinn road bike, and it does not have a whole lot of clearance. And I kind of maxed out what clearance IS there by equipping it with a pair of Schwalbe Marathons. (I haven't had a flat since the previous Panaracers gave up the ghost, BTW, so I can't regret that.) And also the frame is only like 49cm, which means we're basically operating at the frozen limit of what you can get away with putting a 27" wheel on. (In fact, we're probably past it, but I don't think anyone making bikes in the '80s had yet realized that shrinking the front wheel was a viable approach.)

This is what we're dealing with, basically: )

I've only poked at one shop's supply so far, and what I learned is that full fenders are just plain out of the question, the fattitude of the Schwalbes rules out the more common size of those Planet Bike halfsies that attach to the fork blades with zipties, and even if I can get ahold of the wider "hybrid" size of halfsies, the minuscule distance between the tire and the down tube will make it a challenge anyway.

Has anyone come up with any brilliant fender solutions for smaller bikes with clearance issues? Any brands that you've found work better than others? It seems like this might require some creativity.

On Slime

Nov. 17th, 2010 06:28 pm
roadrunnertwice: Wrecked bicyclist. Dialogue: "I am fucking broken." (NeverAsBad - Fucking broken)
[personal profile] roadrunnertwice
Ah, the wet season. Let's get a great big "welcome back" for all the puddles of decomposing leaves and unidentifiable slime that will be assisting in wipeout-related program activities for the next six months. 

I think I managed to avoid any major slime incidents last year, but there was a real gnarly one in early '09 that involved slowing to a stall in the median to let a cop car pass  and then losing all friction as soon as I pushed to accelerate. It was epic: I was clipped-in and couldn't put a foot down, so I just fell sideways like a cartoon character hit with a poison dart. The cop totally saw me bite it in his rearview and did not slow down. I ended up with a bruise the shape of California on my hip. 

Also, I definitely spun my back wheel at a stoplight yesterday while idly thinking about this post on the commute. 

Anyway, take care of yourselves, and watch out for slime on the corners!
foxfirefey: A cat with a fish bowl on its head. (space cadet)
[personal profile] foxfirefey
So, I have a vague idea of what traffic signals you're supposed to do on a bike. The problem is, I apparently don't always have the talent to bike *and* signal at the same time! I totally tumbled onto the road today trying to signal a right turn with my right arm.

Is there a better way? Does anybody have particular strategies? Should I just practice more in non-traffic areas until I'm more confident? Do they matter that much in your experience--how bad a sin is it to not do them?
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
[personal profile] sara
Bike helmets came up in discussion on a cycling listserv I read, and I referred the list to the BHSI site I linked to here earlier this year. And then, because the BHSI site is a giant black hole of data and I have a lot of phone calls to make this morning and I just loathe making phone calls, I started poking around, and came across these stats.

Did you know that more Americans were injured by beds, mattresses, and pillows in 2007 than bicycles, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission? I am not surprised that "stairs, ramps, landings, and floors" are tops when it comes to injuries, having had a couple of bad falls on stairs myself (I was sober, dammit, I really was!) but...beds?

I suppose these figures may include injuries suffered while moving beds and jumping on beds, but still. When someone tells you your bicycling habit is really dangerous, you can point out that it's less dangerous than their sleeping habit, statistically speaking.

Careful!

Jun. 9th, 2010 03:51 am
vlion: magical weaponized pony! (weaponized pony)
[personal profile] vlion
Saturday I was toodling along on a lovely sunny day and I crossed the street - legally - when a truck rolled a red light and hit me.

My quite nice bike had to be replaced. If I had been more defensive, I would have waited for the truck to come to a complete stop.

Be careful when you cross the street! Cars just crumple your bike!
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
American litigiousness meets American bike-o-phobia, a sardonic post by Mikael of Copenhagenize, riffing on a report from Chicago's Let's Go Ride a Bike.

If you join a group bike ride in the US, you may be asked to sign a waiver that, in the words of commenter and Portland Cycle Chic blogger Portlandize, "sounds like if you look at the bicycle funny, it will suddenly throw you 20 miles into the jaws of a waiting Indian tiger, to be chewed up and spit into a pit of boiling lava."

The photos of Copenhagen bike-riders in the post are a wonderful counterpoint to the American madness being reported on. The woman in the first one is older than me! A little better-dressed, too.

If you lean towards the Cycle Chic side of bicycling, and have never visited Dottie's Chicago Cycle Chic blog Let's Go Ride A Bike, I recommend it as a visual feast and a great source of inspiration.

Portlandize covers the Cycle Chic beat here in my hometown, and his occasional updates are what support me in my own slow-bike preferences when I'm surrounded on the bikeway by muscular athletes in barely-there spandex faux-team jerseys.

Copenhagenize is the sometimes-snotty, sometimes-amusing, tolerantly-anti-American blogfather of Cycle Chic. Proceed with caution: Mikael made his case based on photos of pretty schoolgirls in short plaid uniform skirts on bikes, but, that said, he has a good case to make for bikes as daily transport rather than as competitive sporting equipment.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
Gosh, I hope I'm not spamming the comm today. This just came to my attention and I thought it was fantastic and worth sharing. It's an instructional video designed to explain the "Idaho stop law." In the US state of Idaho, traffic law allows bicyclists to use a rolling stop--i.e., an informed slowdown--at stop signs, rather than requiring a full stop in all instances.

"Cyclists are scofflaws and always blow stop signs" is a common complaint by motorists who sometimes seem to think that this fact rules out funding for cycling infrastructure (or, in extreme cases, justifies attempted vehicular manslaughter).

This video, by Spencer Boomhower, is the clearest, most rational explanation I've seen for why the Idaho stop law makes perfect sense as a general cycling strategy on streets and roadways shared with cars. It's well worth showing to non-bike-riding friends and family.

Check it out! )
uhhuhlex: Me posing by my isight with new glasses. (Default)
[personal profile] uhhuhlex
Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day. To mark it I've found some interesting cycling-links about women's cycling.

The first one is a quote on bicycling's contribution to feminist progress:

"The bicycle has been responsible for more movement in manners and morals than anything since Charles II. Under its influence, wholly or in part, have wilted chaperones, long and narrow skirts, tight corsets, hair that would come down, black stockings, thick ankles, large hats, prudery and fear of the dark; under its influence, wholly or in part, have blossomed weekends, strong nerves, strong legs, strong language, knickers, knowledge of make and shape, knowledge of woods and pastures, equality of sex, good digestion and professional occupation--in four words, the emancipation of women." --John Galsworthy (1867-1933), winner of Nobel Prize for literature in 1932.

Up next is a BBC article from 2009 which asks 'Are women in more danger than men?': 'This year, seven of the eight people killed by lorries in London have been women. Considering that women make only 28% of the UK's cycling journeys, this seems extremely high.'

And, finally, something I hadn't really ever considered before - safety considerations for women cyclists on a website that offers some excellent tips for bike commuting.


sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
[personal profile] sara
I've probably got to replace my bike helmet (it's, er, old, and I walloped it pretty hard against the side of my house on Sunday, with my head inside), and while poking around the internets yesterday looking for helmet data, I found the very useful site of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, which is a nonprofit with a huge amount of data online about, you guessed it, cycling helmets.
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
[personal profile] sara
In celebration of the fairly-stupid bike accident I had this morning (I'm fine, though my left brake hood will need adjusting, and my left elbow is a lot more colors than usual): what's the most exciting bike smash you've ever had?

I've gone down in front of moving cars three times...and I've mostly been lucky enough that the driver was able to stop (most recently, she even offered me her cell phone so I could call someone to come haul me home). Once I had a driver roll over my front wheel, which was never quite the same after; I was mostly glad she hadn't rolled over my leg, though, so the wheel seemed a comparatively small sacrifice.

You?

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bicycles: Cyclist on a red clockwise spiral background, text reads "Bicycles!" (Default)
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