sara: YAY written over a tandem bike (yay tandem)
[personal profile] sara
Had great fun yesterday at the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials, a cargo bike event which is half bike race, half obstacle course: competitors have to haul a five-gallon bucket of water, a five-gallon bucket of dirt, and an orange cone around an urban course, cross obstacles (often with bystanders pitching in!), deflate and inflate tires, and generally do silly things.

I was not competing (I'm only just getting back in the saddle after a lengthy recovery from concussion -- from driving a car, not a bike accident, and yes, I DO wish I'd been wearing my helmet while driving -- and will not be fit enough for something like this for at least a few more months) but we did go down on the tandem, hang out with friends, and watch all the different ways people configured their equipment to meet the challenge! It's also neat that about half the bikes competing were locally-built (everything marked "Bike Friday" is local, as are many of the cargo bikes that look like nothing you've seen before, which mostly come from the Center for Alternative Transportation).

Big photoset on Flickr:

p.s., because I know it may be of interest to some of you: organizers very actively tried to recruit more women competitors; sadly several were, like me, on the injured list, while others had other commitments on a Saturday afternoon. The associated "Fiets of Parenthood" competition was a shorter distance and more evenly gender-balanced (you had to cover an obstacle course with children on your wheeled-and-geared device, and obstacles included "picking up dropped toys" and "hauling groceries.")
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
Okay, it's not Sharknado, but it is a bigger helicopter. It's a bike-icopter. It's a helicycle!

Quoting from the article at This Is Colossal: "The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition was established in 1980... To win the prize a team of engineers would have to build a helicopter powered solely by a human that would achieve a flight duration of 60 seconds, reach an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 ft), while remaining in a 10 meter (32.8 ft) square."

It took 33 years, but a team from the University of Toronto finally did it. Go, Canada!

temve: Detail of my green bastard randonneur (Randy)
[personal profile] temve
And the baby has a name.

See, I was quite certain she was a female bike, even though there's nothing in her geometry or equipment that says so - she's just a small-sized roadbike, and most roadbikes are built for, or at least ridden by, men.

Actually, my tendency to name my bikes at one point completely derailed our nice but very talkative Local Bike Shop Guy (who's an ex-racer himself and who was clearly happy to sell something that isn't a mountain bike or electric city bike for a change) because all the while I kept mentioning Randy he thought I was referring to my wife rather than to the slightly dirty green bike of awesomeness parked outside.

Anyway, so this one had to fit at the end of the phrase "Sithbike, Randy, and...". So, three to four syllables, right? Maybe androgynous since there's nothing girl-specific about her. A bit aggressive. Cute. Mediterranean. And something that goes with the fact that one of her components is labelled, very legibly, "Centaur".

Meet Andromache the Roadbike )
giglet: (Default)
[personal profile] giglet
I have a cheap bike that is only half-functional at the moment. Should I kick it to the curb? Salvage reusable bits from it, and then kick the carcass to the curb? Or save it and try to fix it with found bits from other cheap bikes?

Time and money are both in limited supply, but knowledge is the big barrier for me.
I like fiddling with bikes, know almost nothing about how bikes are put together, have almost no spare cash to spend on a bike and only limited time. I also have too many half-finished projects to lightly engage in a new one.

Another darn learning experience )
Should I even think about replacing gears? I suspect that that is crazy talk, but I don't know.

[Edited to add: Thank you for the help and encouragement! In the end I didn't trash the bike. I now have another thin-tired bike, with rotten tires, but good gears. There will be swapping of bits and attempts to build a single bike that I like in my future.]
lizcommotion: silhouette of a female bicyclist riding with a helmet (biker woman)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
"It has always been an idea of mine that the right saddle is to be found. I said, 'You give up that idea. This is an imperfect world, a world of joy and sorrow mingled. There may be a Better Land where bicycle saddles are made out of rainbow, stuffed with cloud. In this world, the simplest thing is to get used to something hard.'"

- Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on Wheels, 1900

quoted in The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling by Edmund R. Burke and Ed. Pavelka, 2000

 I've been having some pain in my, um, lady bits...the really important ones with all the nerve endings. My sit bones are fine with the saddle I have so far, but I think I either need to angle it down or get something different if I want to go on longer rides. (It's a stock Trek/Bontrager WSD saddle.)

FYI, I know for sure I don't want to get a wide, heavy saddle, for a variety of reasons.

So, this may be a fruitless question, but does anyone have any experience with Terry women's saddles? Thoughts?
lizcommotion: an open road stretches into the distance (open road)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I wrote this in response to a challenge in the excellent [community profile] poetree  comm (which you should check out), and as it was about my bicycle ride on Friday I thought I would post it here as well in case any cyclists here were of a poetic bent. (In case you are wondering, the poem is an etheree).


pump up hill
keep beat with breath
don't stop, don't think just
feel body flow breathe in
still on the edge of the hill
mockingbird breathes its soulmate's song
warbling in time with legs' up down
crescendo and crest the hill, fly back down

cross-posted to my journal

lizcommotion: silhouette of a female bicyclist riding with a helmet (biker woman)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I biked on gravel for the first time this week. Don't laugh, I only learned how to ride a bike at all last year and then spent the second half of the year unable to ride due to illness. I went on a very short ride to reacquaint myself with being on trails, and we detoured onto some unpaved trails for the first time in my biking experience.

They were gravel and went through trees, and there was a point where I may have yelled, "Crappity crap crap crap" as I went over a tree root (and stayed on my bike, thankfully). We went by a pond that I think had beavers in it, and there were a lot of really cool birds that I couldn't identify because I was focused on biking. was really, really fun and I think I am going to try more gravel trails soon because I have a hybrid (Trek 7.3 FX) and so I can do that. I think at some point I may also want to learn how to mountain bike, because it sounds like it could fill the bit of me that enjoys hiking only I would do it on a bicycle. There's a class at a nearby REI that I might try taking sometime soon if I can afford it.

Damn, this means I will probably end up buying a mountain bike at some point. Better start saving now....and to think I was already hoping to save for a proper road/touring bike with drop bars.
n6vfp: (Default)
[personal profile] n6vfp
I saw something like this over on LJ and thought I might try the same thing goes the question... what are you riding nowadays?

My latest bike is a repurposed mountain bike, 27 speeds (3X9) with Shimano components. The wheel set is for disk brakes, sealed bearing Formula hubs, with 26X1.25 slicks. I use the same bike as I have an extra pair of wheels when I want to ride dirt. Brakes are Hayes hydraulic. This bike was made from parts found on sale or on Craigslist.

My bike

My other favorite bike is my Kona Ute.. my venture into the realm of cargo bikes.

ute at Carlsbad

Those are my primary bikes right now, but I have a few more...

A Scattante R330 road bike, 27 speed, (3X9) light and fast, with upgraded wheels and 700cX23 tires.

A K2 Zed 3.0 mountain bike, 24 speed, Manitou Minute fork, light and quick. Vintage 2001. Presently have a set on later wheels with Continental Town and Country tires on it.

A Schwinn Cruiser, vintage 1959, with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub. It is very much original, springer front fork, original 'Schwinn Approved' 3 speed shifter, brake lever, seat and handlebar grips. It is all there, rust and all. I need to give it some much needed attention someday.

I have a few more bikes, that right now I'm preparing to sell. Those include a Scattante Roma 7 speed, small frame (15") and an old Specialized HardRock Sport in an extra small frame (13.5").

Oh, I have a few more bikes in various states of repair, including a Specialized RockHopper comp (1989) and a Gary Fisher Montare (1990).

onlysmallwings: a person holding a sign reading "Free Hug <3" (Default)
[personal profile] onlysmallwings
Hello! I just purchased my first bike as an adult this Saturday, and I'm really jazzed about riding again. As a kid, I rode all over the place, even to places I was technically forbidden from riding. Then I got a car, and my friends got cars, and my bike vanished. Which was fine, I was very happy with my indoor lifestyle.

Then, last year or so, my friends got into biking and other outdoors activities. And started going to Critical Mass here in Houston. And, since they have three bikes for the two of them, they let me borrow a bike to ride as well. And I remembered how much I enjoy biking.

I did a little research, and took my friend shopping with me, and decided on my GT Aerostream. It's a three speed sport cruiser, and it's a really smooth ride. I fell in love at the shop and it's only gotten deeper as I've ridden it. It's the kind of bike I can ride without needing to change into 'biking gear.' Hell, it came with panniers and a rack. It's like I'm meant to run errands on this thing!

I still need a helmet before I venture out of the neighborhood, and lights, of course, but I'm just so excited to have a bike that I love that is mine all mine! I don't care so much about speed, or, like my friends, ruggedness (that's a real word?), so this really seems like it's going to be a wonderful fit.
cpolk: (Default)
[personal profile] cpolk
I bought my first bike last year.

Well, let me try that again, as it wasn't my first bike. it was the first bike I bought. before that I had a heavy green stepthrough with no gears and a coaster brake that was a hand me down, and then I had a late 70's Raleigh Grand Prix that I overhauled down to the ball bearings in 1985 and rode passionately for a few years until it was stolen. I was a cyclist in those days, a creature of lycra and sinew and mashing through traffic because I could get there first, even though my bike was steel.

But last year i went to a bike shop and I bought a Kona Dew Deluxe. I probably shouldn't have, on reflection, as it wasn't the bike that I wanted but I didn't *see* the bike I wanted so I thought that bike wasn't available here. I love Bruce, I do, he's light and zippy and really much more nimble than I need a bike to be and those disc brakes are amazing and i'm glad i have studded tires so I can keep riding all winter even if I didn't actually need them this year, but Bruce isn't the best bike in the world for a woman who wants to be able to ride places and not need to change clothes.

In short, I wanted a bike that was just like my first bike: heavy, simple, with a step through frame and a rack on the back, a basket in front, a kickstand, a seat with springs. A bike that no one would ever use while wearing lycra. A bike that says "okay" to 20 kmh speed limits on recreational paths. A bike I could wear a skirt with and never catch said skirt on the nose of my saddle while trying to dismount, so I land on my ass. (I'm still choked about that.)

Kona has a bike a lot like that, actually. It's called the africabike three and I'd buy it in a hot minute, but the bike shop that sold me Bruce doesn't keep that style of bike in stock, and they don't want to order one if i'm not going to buy it. (If I decide I don't like how it rides, I'm not going to buy it, so I want them to order one so i can test ride it before buying it or not buying it.)

so okay, not buying a bike there. (Sad. I think kona makes a great bike, and i definitely would have stuck to the brand if it rode well.) There's another bike shop in town that caters to that heavy city bike style, and in my price range they have Linus Dutchi 3 and Bobbin Birdies coming in this spring.

My old Raleigh was a damn heavy bike but it was a tank. So I'm thinking a fully lugged steel bike like the Bobbin is going to be nice and strong, and the built in rack on the back is a major selling point for me. The drawback is the colour range is - well. Red is right out. completely unacceptable. I have an aversion to the colour. The blue is really nice but I wonder if a powdery turquoise isn't too-too, and yellow? Well it's bright and happy? I guess? Is my reluctance clear? Linus has more sedate colours but from what I've read, people complain more about the Linus dutchi than they do about the bobbin birdie. So do I suck it up and learn to love yellow? Or is the Linus more of a gem than I've been led to believe?
pinesandmaples: A cropped image of a black Globe Work bicycle (bike: Globe Work)
[personal profile] pinesandmaples
This post is intentionally open-ended: Tell me about your bike(s).
dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)
[personal profile] dragonfly
An electric bicycle hybrid, the Sanyo Eneloop

My friend has one and let me ride it the other day. *sob* Now I covet one sooooo much.
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
[personal profile] sara

I have nothing particularly coherent in mind for 3W4DW, but I do have these pix of a neat cargo bike I saw out and about a few days ago. Should you have other interesting cycling stuff to share, please do feel free to do so over the next three weeks.

And from another angle... )
temve: Detail of my green bastard randonneur (Randy)
[personal profile] temve
Because I saw one of the new models in the street today and because it so perfectly illustrates the European attitude towards cycling as a mode of transport rather than a sport, have a picture of a German Post Office cargo bike.

Given the colour and the swooping step-through frame design, I dare you not to think 'banana'.

I love how the front wheel is smaller to accommodate the massive rack that is custom-sized to fit exactly two standard-size mail crates. Other than that, this one's built for maximum comfort and durability: huge wide seat, really comprehensive chain guard, internal hub gearing, and a pair of baby wheels in lieu of a kickstand because anyone who's ever tried to park a loaded bike on a kickstand knows that thislevel of cargo requires serious steel to keep it upright, and no way would you want to tilt it.

It really is a fine workhorse. But I'm shallow. I like its curves. :)
roadrunnertwice: DTWOF's Lois in drag. Dialogue: "Dude, just rub a little Castrol 30 weight into it. Works for me." (Castrol (Lois))
[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.
sporky_rat: A field of orange pumpkins. (autumn)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
I just got a new bike for my birthday. I'd gone to the good bike shop and had my husband (who's a former bike mechanic) and our good, dear friend Andrew (who is a bike mechanic) to help me pick out the bike I wanted based on a few things that were extremely important to me.

  • adjustable to my small frame

  • a good, comfortable seat

  • feet forward with the pedals

  • being able to reach the ground

So, not much problem at all, eh? Right. So I got the Trek Pure Lowstep in Pale Yellow (it's name is now Buttercup).

I am in love.
temve: Artichokes on a tea towel (Default)
[personal profile] temve
... because her dad's a randonneur and her mum's a crossbike. So, from her father's side she gets the Shimano 105 roadbike components and the casual disregard for things like fenders, rack, and dynamo lights, and from her mother she gets the feminine geometry, the girl-specific seat, and the straight handlebars.

She's a right bastard, but I love her already.

Here she is. )


May. 2nd, 2010 03:28 am
vlion: (tree)
[personal profile] vlion
After reading over the discussion on my prior request for thoughts, I went with the low-end Giant Cypress, and I will report here after a while how it works.

Basic setup:

The Cypress is a 700c bike; relatively thin wheels with a large diameter. This improves efficiency somewhat, which is what I want for the long commuting on a bike path I intend to use it on (for the town, I have a cruiser). Standalone, it is $380.

I added better pedals, panniers/rack, basic fenders, lock, ordered magnetic lights, and most expensively, a leather saddle. Comfort is a huge point with me, and the shop had a Brook's leather saddle which I took the plunge on. According to the information I could find, it should be comfortable... after breaking in!

After all that, the final cost will be about $730. The other bikes I was looking at would have pushed me up to well over $800, if not $900, after my customizations.

One of the 'wow' things for me is the handlebar adjustment ability this bike has. I can maneuver the handlebars up or down and alter my geometry as needed. I'd never encountered this before.

The shop owner who helped me said I need to come in after about 50 miles or so to tweak the bike after it's been broken in.

One downside is that the tires need about 75 psi to operate well; I'll need to get a pressure gauge and pump them up weekly or so.

I took it out for a spin in some hideously wet weather and it performed quite marvelously - it zoomed along without much effort, which is exactly what I was looking for.

I went to Paradise Creek Bicycles in my town (web, facebook), and they have always been very friendly and helpful, without trying to upsell hardly at all.
uhhuhlex: Me posing by my isight with new glasses. (Default)
[personal profile] uhhuhlex
So, I've been pondering panniers for Doolittle for, like, ages. With a folding bike, a kindly and more knowledgeable man told me, they have to be small enough to avoid catching your foot as you pedal. I've looked at all sorts of options but yesterday I finally stopped dithering and ordered a double rear pannier. It was advertised on a folding bike site, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it would do the job. It was also rather cheap considering the prices I've seen for some types, coming in under £20.

I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask about if other people's experience of cycle luggage. Do you have panniers? What kind? Do you love or loathe them? I notice a lot of people park up with the pannier still attached - have you ever had anything pilfered, including the luggage itself?

Read on for a photo of Doolittle's bangs and my experience... )
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