April 11, 2010

Pedaling Exercise Bikes to Criminal Couch Potatoes

Over at About Bicycling, David has discovered the latest effort by the Lovable Sheriff Joe Arpaio to ingratiate himself with the inmates of his jail, and Civil Liberties activists across the nation. ;-D

To paraphrase a misquoted Marie Antoinette...Make them ride Bicycles! ;-D

He added managing prisoner behavior by wiring the TVs in the prison to exercise bikes that power the sets when pedaled to his bag of tricks! 

He saw that half of the inmate population was overweight, many, um, consiberably.

He decided that if inmates want to indulge in their favorite pastime - watching TV - they would have to pedal for that privilege.

It's actually working out rather well, so far.

As expected opinions from the citizenry is heated as the comments show.

I say...You go, Joe! ;-D

Read the story, and comments, on David's Bicycling Blog

April 11, 2010 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 31, 2010

WSJ Can't Keep a Secret, Rats Out Popular Bike Blogger! Pass it On!

In 2007 one of the most popular voices in Bike Blogging first took to the internet.

Yesterday, with the help of a willing, and eager, snitch, a tower of the Mainstream Media revealed to all the world the identity of The Bike Snob.

A mystery that even The National Enquirer, and Matt Drudge, could not solve has been solved by Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal.

Imagine that! ;-D

Over his nearly three years of obsessing over, satirizing and deftly puncturing the sport of cycling, the anonymous blogger Bike Snob has made his worldview clear. He loves to ride his bike. He wants you to ride, too. Just maybe not on those florescent wheel rims. Or pedal against traffic. Or with your helmet on the handlebars. And even if it's not fashionable, he'd like you to consider using brakes.
Such style and safety points are well known to the readers who log on daily to the Bike Snob's sharp-edged and fetishistically detailed Web site...

You can read the whole piece, here, and you can read more from the The Snitch who helped break this story, one Eben Weiss, who, after revelling in his complicity, moves on to considering switching the focus of his blog to Gardening, followed by a fascinating discussion of "a landmark legal decision that may very well negatively impact the world of cycling forever."

 

March 31, 2010 in Blogging Cyclists, Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 22, 2010

Cyclist Doing Detto Pietro Vintage Restoration Looking for Info

In March 2007 I did a story on one of the oldest Bike Shops in the world.

Detto Pietro, of Milan Italy, opened for business in 1895.

I added a link to their website in my Elder Statesmen, and Women, of the Industry List in the sidebar (Stories about the inductees can be explored here.).

The other day I received an e-mail from Matt, of the blog Bike Nelson, alerting me to a project of his.

The various photos of the vintage bike he is restoring are cool, especially the one showing off the bike in its entirety.

He gives a little backround on the bike, and his pland for it, and a list of Component Parts.

He is asking for any help, and advice he can get from other cyclists.

As he writes on his blog:

"Repeated attempts to contact DP and find out more about the frame results only in returned, undelivered emails. Internet research finds very little information or documentation about Detto Pietro frames from the 1980's. They seem to be more well known for cycling shoes and helmets and the days of bike racing seem to be a lost period of time."

Read: Detto Pietro Restoration.


February 22, 2010 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 23, 2009

Google Search Proves Schrader vs. Presta Cycling Debate DOES Rage On

Recently David Fiedler, of David's Bicycling Blog, on About.com: Bicycling, declared that the title of his post was a joke because "there's no huge debate that I'm aware of between fanatical factions of Presta patriots and Schrader supporters" whle at the same time advising his readers that "it's good for you to know the difference in case you haven't been exposed to one kind or another."

His short piece then explains the difference, and suggesting several great online resources about the valves, and about Bicycle tires.

Read: Schrader vs. Presta: The Debate Rages On.

I decided to test his claim with a series of simple Google Searches. ;-D

schrader vs presta = 2,610,000 results.

presta vs schrader = 65,000 results.

schrader vs presta valves = 399,000 results.

presta vs schrader valves = 32,000 results.

schrader vs presta tubes = 637,000 results

presta vs schrader tubes = 31,800 results.

schrader vs presta tires = 409,000 results.

presta vs schrader tires = 42,500 results.

Raging Debate, no Raging Debate, or just a minor disagreement, and half-hearted debate, and discussion?

The Cycling Dude reports...you decide! ;-D 

September 23, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (3)

September 14, 2009

Blog Posts About Segways, and the Smell of Apathy Bring Great Comments

A couple of weeks ago I wrote two stories that reader Randy Eady found a way to connect together with his comments:

In an earlier Cycling Dude Post on Segways in Huntington Beach I mentioned one community/urban mobility planning tool called the Green Transportation Hierarchy. (A graphic depiction of the priority of consideration in governmental planning for various modes of transportation, walking first as the most green form, followed by cycling, transit, delivery vehicles, taxis, and finally SOV (single-occupant vehicles).

This tool consistently rubs against a cultural imperative that relates to automobile-reliant urban transportation and the challenge of incorporating eco-sustainable lifestyle choices.

Read the complete comments:

Segways in Downtown Huntington Beach? (As of this writing no word any new decisions about this issue.)

Does Apathy Smell, and What Does That Have to Do With Bicycling?

September 14, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists, Riding Orange County | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2009

Does Apathy Smell, and What Does That Have to Do With Bicycling?

I came across an interesting essay, on the Bike Commuters Blog, from 2007:

it is our willingness, as modern Americans, to drive anywhere and everywhere that facilitates a culture that ignores the real problems of our own communities. I guarantee that no one who walks by all the trash on the road smiles and says, “that is so pretty, and the smell…heavenly!” Instead, we plop ourselves into a car to drive someplace, and are not confronted with the reality of it. It’s not that we are always the ones creating the litter. But we ignore it, all from the comfort of our air conditioned, sea breeze-scented, rolling world-shrinker.


Read the whole thing.

September 3, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 28, 2009

A Challenging Alternative to My Slow Pokes Ride in the Santa Monicas

The writer of the great blog, GT in LA, recently took what he called a "Training Ride" with a few friends, in the Santa Monica Mountains between Brentwood and Calabassas, Ca.. ;-D

Now, as long time readers of this blog know...I've done a specific route in the Santa Monicas myself, twice, and while it was not without its challenges, and was easier the 2nd time around, in comparison to GT's adventure it was, well, I'll let GT explain:

"Today’s ride marked a mile stone for me. Over 7000 feet of elevation gain in 71 miles is the hardest ride I have ever done....

During todays ride there were times when I questioned my sanity, especially on Encinal, which seemed 'never-ending as far as you can see’ winding uphill furnace, and it really got to me....

For the full report, route description, and a few cool pictures, read... Santa Monica mountains training ride. ;-D

August 28, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2009

Celebrities Caught Riding Bicycles! News at 11!

Photographic proof of serious, and not so serious, Celebrity Moments on bicycles, are hunted down, posted, and their stories linked to, by Fritz, of Cyclelicious.

This is a great collection of photos, and the interesting stories behind them, as well.

Browse the Archive, here.

August 8, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 05, 2009

Thoughts on Bicycling and Socialism

“Socialism can only arrive by bicycle.”

A quote attributed to Chilean Socialist Politician Jose Antonio Viera Gallo.

Over on my other blog, Musings of a Mad Macedonian, I went on a rare Political Rant, this morning. ;-D

Dear Mr. President, I Respectfully Disapprove.

THEN...On a whim, I did a Google Search for "Bicycling for Socialism".

I know, I know...I'm a Baaaad Boy! ;-D

Much to my surprise I found more than a few interesting results. ;-D

Mark, of Thought on Bicycles, and the Simple Life, wrote in February:

Socialism??

That's been a political buzzword, lately. I hate the thought of it but a lot of cyclists are enthusiastic about the whole socialism thang. The general thought process from the cycling socialist point o' view is that spreading around the wealth of America will make it harder and more expensive for the general public to live and, therefore, drive more people onto bicycles and away from their automobiles because it's so much cheaper to ride than it is to drive (for general, everyday stuff)..........

I REALLY want to see more people riding bicycles!! It'd be a (personal) dream come true for a mass of people to jump on bikes.....Rich, poor, skinny, round, short, tall, straight, gay, famous, infamous, and the invisible people too. Ride to work, ride to school, ride for leisure, and ride competitively.......It's all great stuff! I don't want the Guv'ment to legislate everybody onto bicycles though!! We'd be losing more than we gain.

He then lists 6  advantages for making everybody ride a bicycle.

And 6 disadvantages to making everybody ride a bicycle.

Read: Socialism??

Matthew Yglesias recently had a accident on his bike, and blogged about it, resulting in a ton of comments, some debating the question of whether "falling off a bicycle makes “an extremely strong case” for socialized medicine" as he tries to claim.

Socialism, Capitalism, and the Banality of Health Care.

Random Rants, of Singapore, writes a fascinating essay, in Sept. 2008, as the 1st of a multi-part "Rant" that, for some reason, turned out to be his last post on his blog:

One tends to blame the nature of Singaporean drivers, infamous for not giving way to other road users and their negative attitudes towards cyclists because “they do not pay road tax thus they have no right to use the roads”. Or we blame the government for not building cycling lanes for us to potter about on our 2 wheel commie-mobiles in tax free bliss. After all, in creating cycling lanes along the roads, the government has to give up opportunities to tax us up to 6 times over, from COE, to road tax, and GST on the car which leads to fuel tax and ERP, not to say parking as well. The infrastructural cost of building cycling lanes are high, and short of raising the low income tax it is difficult to justify expending such a huge amount of money on an extra strip of tarmac when that can be used to generate more revenue.

There is little initiative for the government to implement cycling lanes; pressure from society is still fairly low, given the justifiably negative perception that cycling is sweaty and dangerous, with reckless children (and in recent years foreign nationals) zipping recklessly on the sidewalks. To argue that cycling reduces carbon footprint is a fairly moot point as well. Given that our roads are almost at capacity during rush hour, it is impractical to mark off a portion of the road as designated cycling lanes a la London or Seattle. Thus it would seem that unless cars are reduced as an act of legislation one would need to build into the road reserves, which currently are simply grass verges and storm drains. Coming back to my point on the ecological sensitivity of cycling, while the act itself is sustainable, the creation of cycling lanes, with the repaving of the road reserves and the supporting infrastructural works, has an ecological impact that probably outweighs the benefit, especially if it doesn’t displace the pollutive car as a mode of transport.

Read the rest: On the Socialism of Cycling Lanes, Public Transport and Subsidised Transit: Part 1

If you think the notion of Socialism and Bicycling is a relatively recent phenomenom, think again!

As a history lover I found this post, on another very short-lived blog, Socialists, cycling and Sunny Spain! absolutely fascinating! ;-D

As an offshoot from the the Clarion Cycling Club, the National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 still wishes to support the original principles of the Club which was formed in 1895. The slogan of the original Clarion Cycling Club is “Socialism the Hope of the World” with the motto “Fellowship is Life” and “Lack of Fellowship is death”.

In the late 1880s the bicycle boom and rewakening of socialist principles through various organisations in Britain gave birth to the “synchronisation” of the coming of the Safety bicycle with the spread of Socialism. Tom Tyas, secretary of the Handforth Clarion Cyclists’ Clubhouse recalled it as “a happy combination of natural forces”. The bicycle itself “brought within easy reach all the things which the new philosophy taught (people) to enjoy”. It offered an “escape from city life after the daily round of toil” and gave them “the power to roam on the King’s Highway”.

Read the whole wonderful article: The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895.

For more on the history of the club, there is this wonderful page full of posts, and of old photos! ;-D

In the mid 1930's the Clarion grew rapidly (1934-1,600; 1935-1,200) to about 10,000 members with branches in many towns. However the start of the Second World War (as did the WW1) stifled its growth.

The National Clarion Cycling & Athletic Club still functions today with branches from Bolton to Brighton.

On their History Page is the following:

The Clarion House was built to be a non-profit making co-operative with any excess money to be used in spreading the word of socialism.

This was no accident, no coincidence. It was planned in the hope that others would take it as a model of how society as a whole ought to be organised.

Fascinating stuff, their History Page, and picture collection. ;-D

There are no doubt many other articles I could list, from the hundreds of thousands of results Google came up with, but these will more than suffice to, I hope, stimulate discussion. ;-D

Now, I know that some of my fellow Right-Wing Riders are gonna freak out over the possibility that ridng their Trusty Steed, hither, and yon, could be construed as support for Socialism, but I'm here to say...

CALM DOWN!

Take a deep breath, relax, and KEEP ON PEDALING! ;-D

Do so secure in the knowledge that I, and other long time Conservative BikeBloggers, have your backs.

Um, hee, hee! ;-D

August 5, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists, The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 04, 2009

Welcoming a New Voice in the LA BikeBlogosphere

A comment left on The Dude, this morning, led me to discover a new BikeBlogger, Gerhard, of GT in LA.

He describes his blog as one about "my records about cycling for fun and health, and otehr things that matter to me.:

In an effort to encourage a new voice that has only been at it since February here are a few of my favorite of his posts:

1. His tale of riding the Solvang Century is tinged with the knowledge that he was recently unemployed, but his joy in the adventure of the day still shines through, and the pictures are cool!:

Once all numbers were secured it was time for a final pit stop, bike and self check and head on over to the start line. This is the time when you can feel the high. There is an unmistakable energy and buzz which builds with every minute closer to the start. People smiling, talking excitedly, fidgeting, checking and re-checking gear, expressing hopes and fears and finally the “Whooo-hoooo’s” as the first group of 30 riders is allowed to leave the gate.

His descriptions of the route, the weather, the stops, the people, and the ride, are vivid, exciting, and often humorous.

43 MPH on a downhill? I can't imagine!

I've done 30 on a downhill before, in San Dimas, and that scared the hell out of me! ;-D

I've never done a century (66 mi. in 1 day is my record!), but would love to someday....an easy one, to start. ;-D

Read his story here.

2. In April a 50 mile ride results in an unexpected encounter:

As I got into Hermosa Beach I noticed that I had someone on my tail and at the next red light I turned to see who the rider was. Turns out it was a tiny framed young woman.

What happened next will make you laugh...even as you count your lucky stars you weren't in his shoes. ;-D

3. "I started talking to myself, telling me to relax my grip, shift position, get out of the saddle, roll my shoulders, pedal without hands and just keep turning the pedals, over and over and over."

Just a taste of his description of riding another Century, in April, Cruisin' the Conejo. ;-D

4. My favorite post is this one.

My ride today felt like I was a tagged deer in open season. I rode 24 miles and I kid you not, had to come to a full emergency stop twice, got cut off by a car turning right three times, swerved around four car doors carelessly flung open and barely avoided a motorcycle shooting out of a stop street disregarding the ‘STOP’ in it all together.

Today’s more than usual ‘bullets’ got me thinking about the recent movements, such as ‘bike to work week’ and ‘bike for life’ initiatives. Whereas I really support these noble quests in principle, how realistic are they for the average rider?

What follows is a thoughtful, thought-provoking, essay on cyclists, safe cycling, the places one rides in Los Angeles, and motorists, parked cars, and other things one encounters while in the saddle.

The most important thing he says in the piece deserves to be spread far and wide, and so I will share it here:

One of the biggest problems to overcome, perhaps even bigger than the inaction by city, state and fed, is the mental approach of motorists towards cyclists. The culture does not support the existence of the cyclist, who is seen as a nuisance on the road, an annoying bug to be squashed. Cyclists take too much time to get through intersections, take up valuable real estate and often behave as if traffic laws do not apply to them. Yes, many of our fellow cyclists are responsible for an unfavorable view of us as a whole.

How many times have you seen a cyclist blow through a stop sign? – a red light? – change lanes without signaling? – smash their hands on someone’s hood? – scream profanities? My guess is many times. I am not saying that I am a saint, oh no, there are times when I go through a stop sign or roll through red. (very early morning, with no cars or pedestrians in sight)

And then, yes, my absolute favorite, the interest groups. Critical Mass and one of their underground off-shoot called Crimaminal_Mass, riding on the freeway, to prove what point? In my opinion these organizations do more harm than good.

Glad to see yet another person who doesn't think much of the likes of Critical Mass. ;-D

For years I wrote about Critical Mass, including my my correspondence with its supporters, and Founders, and for years I've written about Sharing the Road (See their respective Category Archives for all the stories.), including,  most recently, about the 3 Feet Campaign, inbetween bouts of poetry, humor, and song, of course. ;-D

Read his piece called Open Season.

Gerhard is a fan of this blog, it appears, as it's in his Blogroll, and now I'm returning the favor by adding him to mine, and the above 4 posts are a good reason for you to check him out for yourself.

June 4, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack