April 26, 2009

Tackling Mt. Wilson: The Story of One Bold Cyclist

Over at Swarm Los Angeles there is a wonderful story by a guy named Morgan.

Morgan recently tackled Mt. Wilson, in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena.

 Riding to the top of Mount Wilson overlooking Pasadena is always an
adventure. How can a 19 mile climb fail to be? Particularly
considering the fact that after the first half there's little sign of
humanity beyond the road you're riding on, and the final five miles
have spectacular views of the higher, eastern San Gabriel mountains
with sometimes snow-capped Mount Baldy in the center. When I rode it
towards the end of April this year, I had a little more adventure than
I'd planned on.

Humorous, exciting, and informative, this story is a very fun read, and he gives directions if you want to try it yourself (I just might, one day, try it myself!).

Read: Mt. Wilson by bike, on a weekday in April

Here are my own stories of riding into the San Gabriels, and above Malibu, in years gone by, if you need more encouragement. ;-D

Pedaling into the San Gabriels.

Slow Pokes DO Have All the Fun! (A 5 Part Series with Pictures Galore!)


 

April 26, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2009

Gwadzilla Celebrates 5 Years BikeBlogging With Washingtonian Interview

In October 2003, another powerful voice in the, then, fledgling Community of BikeBloggers, joined me online: Joel Gwadz, AKA Gwadzilla.

Only I didn't know about it yet. ;-D

October 17th:

To BLOG or not to BLOG....this should not be a pressing question. It is free. So why not try it out and see how it goes. It can drift off into the GREAT WEB ABYSS if I choose not to continue it (much like several of the other free web hostings I have gotten involved with in years prior.)

He wondered what to expect from getting involved in this...

Wondered where it would lead, and what he wanted to accomplish.

He asked, in his 2nd post, the simple question that we all asked ourselves when we began: "Am I so desparate to have my voice be heard that I shout nothing to no one?"

It may have seemed weird to him back then but, luckily for all of us,  after that 1st post, he chose to continue.

His 1st month had stories about racing, and poetic accounts of cycling related events from his past, but, for me, the best post from that month is one that discusses a very simple question:

As as bicycle commuter there can never be the question, "to ride or not to ride," as it is unsafe to ask that question.....

Each day offers a myriad of excuses for not riding...
-It is TOO HOT.
-It is TOO COLD.
-It it TOO WET (as it is today and was yesterday.)
-It is too nice outside.
-I am TOO TIRED.
-I am running TOO LATE.
or
-I just don't feel like it.

Giving way to any of these excuses will lead the commuter down a difficult path where they try and hand pick their days for riding to work. Which will become more difficult to select as a new list of excuses enter the equation.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

I didn't discover him until April 2004. ;-D

DC Blogger Writes About Bicycling

I've written about him many times since, have him in my blogroll, corresponded by e-mail, heard his voice over the phone, and came oh, so close to meeting with him in a crowded park in DC on my vacation last spring. ;-D

I am glad to call him one of my friends in the Bike Blogging Community.

That leads me to the 2nd purpose of this post...

On Wednesday the Capitol Comment Blog, a respected resource on the influential Washingtonian.com, interviewed Joel in a wide-ranging, informative piece that is must reading for anyone interested in knowing more about Joel, and about cycling in DC.

The husband and father of two has found an audience among local cyclists, bicycle enthusiasts, and couriers. He calls his blog “an electronic cocktail party,” where, for the past five years, he’s shared information about Washington-area cycling and hoped to inspire people to ride.

Gwadz, a mountain biker at heart, lives in DC’s Mount Pleasant. Every day, he commutes by bike to his job to at 20th and M streets, Northwest, and he tries to squeeze in longer weekend rides outside of the city whenever possible.

Read the full piece here.

To celebrate the new year, and encourage you to check the photos, and essays, of Gwadzilla, here are 3 faves from this month so far:

1. Ah.... the day is behind me

Yesterday as I rode my bicycle into work I thought about a post on URBAN CYCLING...

2. Car Condoms??? ;-D

3. Tired...there is no good tired.

Happy Anniversay Joel! ;-D

January 16, 2009 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 19, 2008

Santa Preps for Big Day By Bicycling Morro Bay

Santa3 

Apparently I was a Good Boy this year!

Last night I got a heads-up from the S-Man Himself!

He wanted to spread the word about how he's getting in shape for his Big Night, next week, and gave me the OK to use a picture! ;-D

Cerro Cabrillo, one of San Luis Obispo County’s famed “Nine Sisters,” is a popular spot for local hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers because it overlooks Morro Bay and is located between “The Rock” and Hollister Peak – both of which are closed to the public.

The peak at Cerro Cabrillo is located more than 900 feet above the estuary below, offering amazing views of the North Coast.

I didn’t make it all the way to the top on my mountain bike, but I go far enough up the trail to enjoy the scenery.

Over at The San Luis Obispo Tribune's Santa Comes to SLO-Town, Santa is sharing his adventures on vacation in San Luis Obispo County. ;-D

The highlights are the Videos, including this one of his bike ride.

Check out the full site: Santa Comes to SLO-Town.

December 19, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2008

The Diversity of American BikeBlogs: 50 States, 2 Blogs Each

100 km is Jason Gilman's bike blog.  He started it in the Fall of 2007 as a way to document his personal cycling renaissance, after 7 years out of the saddle, and connect with other bike enthusiasts in is little corner of Washington state.

Yesterday he did the Cycling Community, and the cause of American BikeBlogging, a great service:

A couple weeks back I started a little project of finding two blogs for every state in the Union. For most states that was relatively easy, especially because there is a definite blog clustering effect within various biking communities. Once one cyclist starts a blog it's common for at least a few more of their cycling friends and acquaintances to start bike blogs of their own.

As he writes, He didn't have a completely set criteria for who he chose beyond only two per state, but he favored those of us that update regularly.

I like his mix of the famous [ Me? Canonical? ;-D ] BikeBlogs, with a bunch of others that are lesser known.

I also like his good mix of "mountain bikers, bike commuters, hipsters, advocates, roadies and randos"

There are many here that I have never heard of before.

As he writes:

The cycling diversity that I found throughout the country was downright American and reinforced what a powerful and unlimited tool for fun, utility and community the bicycle is.

As possibly the earliest American Bikeblog (Jan. 2003), and being beat to the punch only by a British Blog, by a mere 1 month, I am extremely honored that I was chosen to help represent California.

And yes, as one who has devoted some effort to putting together the most comprehensive list of resources found in the sidebar of any BikeBlog this probably DID "take a bit of work."

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! ;-D

A link to the List, and a link to his Blog, will be added to my list of BikeBlogs.

Without further ado... 50 States - 100 Bike Blogs

August 23, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists, Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2008

The Cue Clip is Your Friend

Cue_clip A few years ago I bought 2 examples of a simple, thin, piece of velcro, with a little metal clip, being sold by some guy in Middle America whose name I forget.

The purpose of this simple gadget was to hold ones route slip in place on the handlebar of your bike.

Over at About Bicycling is a review of a wider, better made, and mass produced version of the same idea.

From the report this item, pictured here, is pretty cool, and works quite nicely.

Among other observations is this one:

Cue Clip can be mounted to handlebars or stem (or anywhere else, for that matter) to fit your need and personal preference.

Read: Cue Clip Keeps Directions Handy.

Visit the Cue Clip Website for more information.

June 29, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2008

Celebrating the Spirit of Cycling Through Art 2

Back in October I introduced readers to another artist who bicycles, and whose art often features cycling:

Steve Dennis, of Velopaint.

Veloemailjune04

On Friday he sent me the following e-mail:

Kiril,

Thanks for your post for my site when I launched back in October '07.

8 months later and not only do I now have a wonderful 2 month old daughter but I have a second gallery page on my site and am currently working on a large portrait commission. 


Also keep visiting my blog for the latest updates and other cycling related bits.

Thanks, Steve

He's only posted 34 times on his blog since he began it but, hey, he's an artist, not a writer, so I'll cut him some slack. ;-D

His blog, Velopaint Blog, is "A way of sharing the stages of a work in progress, ideas for future pieces and any news relevant to Velopaint".

My favorite posts?

1. His wonderful "classic portrait of Eddie Merckx".

2.  Tribute to Eddie Mundy:

Eddie was the first person most people met when going to the Addiscombe Cycling Club Wednesday night socials, he was there every week amongst his life long friends. I am sad to say that on Wednesday 9th Eddie collapsed whilst at the club and passed away the following morning.

Eddie welcomed me to the club in 1999 and over the coming years he wowed me with his generosity and commitment.....

3. A visit to the Brooklyn Museum of (Bicycle) Art (Includes pictures).

4. Having fun with some oils: Century RC Complete.

5. Sharing a fascinating YouTube Video:  This is one way to park a bike - the Japanese way.

It's not what they say that matters, for those of us who don't sprechin' zee Jap, but what they show. ;-D

A visit to his website, Velopaint, is a great visual treat.

I'll end this update by sending hearty Congrats on the Newborn! ;-D

June 8, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 31, 2008

An Overdue Thank You for a Podcast Mention

I'm late! I'm late! I'm late for a very im, oh wait, that's been done before, sorry. ;-D

Way back in the Fall, when my friend Fritz, of Cyclelicious, told me about mentioning me in a Podcast, I thanked him, and went to listen to this momentous event.

While aware of Podcasting, I had never listened to such a thing before, and was only just beginning to consider the notion of doing one myself.

There is a lot about the world of computers, and the things we use to bring our thoughts to the wider world that I don't fully understand, and so when I tried to listen to the show, and nothing happened, I figured there might be some expensive program I needed.

Ah, well, at least I could add a new list of links in the sidebar to Podcasts so others could enjoy them. ;-D

In the months since, as other friends began to encourage me to consider this (I'd bought certain gear, and added a program earlier in 2007.), and to finally get more serious about it.

I listened to my first podcast, this morning, and realized my original mis-understanding about what in my computer would allow me to listen, and immediately went to find that old show.

The Spokesmen is a Cycling Roundtable that has now seen 30 episodes since Aug. 2006, and its collection of regulars, and guests, moderated by David, has quite the following among cyclists.

What fun! What an interesting collection of discussions Episode 25, from Ocober 29th, 2008, was! ;-D

I especially enjoyed the ones about the legal issues faced by the statewide bike ride, Ragbrai, and customer service in bikeshops.

The 2nd thing I loved about this show was that I got to finally put a voice to Fritz, and to Carlton, of Bike Biz, a British site, and magazine, for the cycling industry, and the award winning BikeBlog Quickrelease.tv

While I've never mentioned Bike Biz, that I remember, I've found it always interesting,

I will be adding these links to the magazine list, and blogroll in the sidebar. ;-D

I wish to, again, say thank you to Fritz, and to The Spokesmen, for the mention of The Cycling Dude in this episode.

It was a brief mention of a story I did during all the fires last October:

Where there's Smoke, there's Fire: Should You Ride?

It truly does mean a lot to this ordinary cyclist, a non-expert unlike them, to be mentioned in such a forum.

When I began Dude over 5 years ago I set the following mission for myself:

"An ordinary road cyclist spreads the word and the word is BICYCLE!"

I've witnessed the BikeBlogosphere grow, and evolve since then, and maybe I'm finally ready to try to take a few evolutionary steps of my own. ;-D

May 31, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2008

Is the Bicycle Art?

I just discovered another website to add to the sidebar:

Bicycle Fixation celebrates bicycles and bicyclists and has been around under different names since 1997.

It most recently added a blog to its site, and it is there that I came upon the answer asked in the title to this post:

Grant Petersen once described bikes as "movable art that can just about save the world." Maybe that sounds a bit fanciful, but maybe it really isn't....

Can bikes, plain or fancy, really be art?

Can a bike compare to a sonata, let's say?

Read the full piece by Richard Risemberg, and check out the website.

May 25, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2008

Marie Claire Magazine Angers Cyclist

"Ghost Rider" Sweeney, of Bike Commuters Blog, reads womens magazines, but don't hold it against him. ;-D

The other day, I was flipping through the May 2008 issue of Marie Claire magazine, and I ran across something that got my blood boiling. On the last page there’s a column called “The Opinionated Guide to May”, and in that column is a photograph of a bicycle and the caption “Bike To Work Day, Friday May 16: Arrive at Work Day, Monday May 19“…implying that it is such a long, tedious effort to ride a bike to work that one shouldn’t even bother! At least, that’s the implication I’M reading into it!

So, angry as I was, I decided to fire off a letter to the editor.

His letter, and the 27, and counting, comments to his post, is well worth reading.

My commute is 11 miles one way, and it only takes me 60 min. when using a portion of the Santa Ana River to work during the day, and a bit more when riding home at night on the street the whole way, not 3 days. ;-D

***UPDATE - 4/22***

GHOST RIDER responded, yesterday, with the following comment:

Thanks for the "linkey", Kiril...

I just want to point out that there IS a better way to handle a grievance than the snarky, angry letter I sent out to Marie Claire. 

As many of the commenters to the original article suggested, rational discourse gets listened to more than anger.

Still, sometimes it feels good to lash out and get something off your chest!

***END UPDATE***

April 20, 2008 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 30, 2007

Roger Kramer Tours the Community of BikeBlogs

Roger Kramer is the design editor at the Belleville News-Democrat, a medium-sized daily in Belleville, Ill. and an active, knowledgeable, cyclist.

The more cyclists who do like Roger and check out some of the other blogs in our niche, the more aware BikeBloggers and readers will become of just how numerous and varied we are.

Over the past year several BikeBloggers kept up their own efforts in this regard, and we have seen Podcasting enter the mix as a way to spread the word.

We have come a long way since I began this blog almost 5 years ago. ;-D

In 2008 I plan to revive my own Tour de Bicycling Blogs, which last saw action in October 2006. ;-D

November 30, 2007 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack