« March 2004 | Main | May 2004 »

April 27, 2004

Bicycling in the Buff


If, on June 12, 2004, you are out and about and happen to notice bicyclists in their Birthday Suits, by the dozen, or the hundreds, don't freak out.

There's apparently a method to this madness. :-)

Something called the 3rd Annual World Naked Bike Ride.

The Blurbs on the Official Website says:

Protest Oil dependency, and celebrate the power, and individuality of our bodies. NAKED BICYCLE PEOPLE POWER! Consider yourself a radical protestor who will do almost anything to show your disdain for our dependency on oil? Want to make a statement about how e should reacquaint ourselves with our own bodies....

Um, yes.... YOU first, Kimo Sabe. :-)

If I have that day off I'll go to Los Angeles to report on these nimrods getting arrested for indecent exposure, and humiliation of a Bicycle in a public place.

This world wide spectacle is being organized, and endorsed by a wide variety of Liberal, and Left Leaning causes including anarchists in the Bicycle Activism Movement such as Critical Mass, and many non-bicyling related organizations.

The fact that Critical Mass, a supposedly LEADERLESS MOVEMENT is a major world wide player in this is a HUGE Red Flag that no Bicyclist should ignore.

As I've written about before, riding with these people is often an invitation to trouble, and getting yourself arrested.

Why else would there be a need to sell T-Shirts to raise money for a WNBR LEGAL DEFENSE FUND?

Just click on all the links the site provides to learn about event supporters.

All sorts of Left Leaning, print, and electronic media have written about this event, including blogs.

Participating Countries & Cities include

Brasil (Brazil)

Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, & Victoria.

Belgium, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom--London.

New Zealand: Christchurch.

United States: Asheville (NC), Austin, Boulder (CO), Burlington (VT), Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle.

The site has organizing tips, , and sign up links, tips on what to wear (as little or as much as you want ), ideas on what to ride ( including rollerblades, and skateboards), a cycling advocacy page of links, and a page on the history of Naked Cycling.

World Naked Bike Ride

April 27, 2004 in EVENT GUIDE (California and Selective Others) | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 26, 2004

Brandon's Champions


Every year hundreds of kids die from injuries sustained in bicycling accidents.

There is an urgent need to educate kids, and their parents about the neccessity, and benefit of wearing a helmet at all times while riding a Bicycle.

BRANDON'S CHAMPIONS was founded to honor 1 Wisconsin 13 year old, and to provide helmets with ID tags and promote bicycle safety.

On July 15, 2003 Brand was riding his bike, wearing his helmet, as he always did, and following the rules of the road just like a champion, when he was struck by a truck traveling over 60 mph. Brandon was not killed instantly because he wore his helmet.

Brandon had no identification on him at the time of the accident. He suffered major injuries, and the Docs who treated him said the only reason he had a chance to survive was because he was wearing a helmet.

He did not survive.

The family and friends hope to reach thousands of children through speaking engagements of various sorts in local schools, and to effect changes in their community, and others, through speed limits, and the addition of bike routes, and lanes.

There is a website, and a blog.

On the website:

Brandon's Story, and the story of the founding of this organization.

A list of alarming statistics that will convince you of the need to wear a helmet.

A BE SAFE--FOR KIDS information page.

A BE SAFE-- FOR ADULTS, AND PARENTS information page.

A NEWS page.

A DONATION page.

In December they put up a rudimentary blog with the following purpose:

This BLog (weB Log) has been put in place so the volunteers of Brandon's Champions and the SAM Foundation can keep a diary of the journey taken by the organization. This diary is an "unofficial" record of the personal and organizational pursuits in our quest to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a helmet and using emergency identification at work or play...whether young or old.

Brandon's Champions

Brandon's Champions Blog

The message here is not just for kids, but for adults as well.

WEAR THE DAMN HELMET!!

April 26, 2004 in Pedaling Advocacy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 25, 2004

A Yesteryear of Bicycles

Now THIS is how to share one's pride in the Family business!

Or, at least, one very good way to do so. :-)

YESTER'YEAR CYCLERY, Inc., of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been a fixture in New England for 84 years, and is proud to share the amusing story of its founding with visitors to its website.

The company takes pride in saying it's "the oldest continuously operating full service bicycle shop in New England".

Its ABOUT US page tells of its founding and how the Grandson of the founder now runs the place.

In addition to a directions page, and pages about products and services offered there is another useful page.

The LINKS page has links to 8 useful bicycling related websites, some local, some national.

Now if only someone could convince them to add a page, or several pages, devoted to the history of the store, and the merchandise it has sold in its long, illustrious life. Pictures, Pictures, pictures. And stories, especially about famous customers through out the last 90 years.

Even tributes to long time employees.

If they die at their post, after 40 years of loyal service, they deserve to be honored, I say! :-)

A very nice site.

Yester' Year

April 25, 2004 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bike Shop a Hazard in Santa Barbara

Yes, you read right, for 90 years a Bike Shop in Santa Barbara, California, has been a Hazard.

It is currently known to the community as HAZARD'S CYCLESPORT.

And this is a look at their website. :-)

It bills itself as Santa Barbara's most experienced, and largest store, and its services, and accesories pages are informative on all of this, but its the other pages that I want to bring your attention to.

After the LOCATION PAGE there are only 2 other useful pages here:

The COMMUNITY page is a useful list of links in 4 categories.

Sponsored Clubs and Teams.

Sponsored Events.

Foundations and Organizations.

Other Friends.

The LOCAL RIDES page had 5 Road, and 5 Mtn. Bike Rides, but only 1 is linked, and therefore described. For more info on the other 9 you need to go to the shop.

I am disappointed that there is nothing here about the Shop History.

As a history buff I would have liked to see a page, or several pages, devoted to the history of the store, and the merchandise it has sold in its long, illustrious life. Pictures, Pictures, pictures. And stories, especially about famous customers through out the last 90 years.

Even tributes to long time employees.

You know the type: So and so worked here so long that he had to be carried out on a stretcher on the day he died. :-)

This is a useful site that has the potential to offer more to its community.

Hazard's Cyclesport

April 25, 2004 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Keeping Up With the Jones

I have a select few Bicycle shops listed in my links, and those are there for a reason.

Longevity.

These shops have benn in business since before 1941, and deserve special recognition for this as well as for the places they have made for themselves in their communities in various ways.

The closest such shop to where I now live is JONES BICYCLES, established in Long Beach, Ca. in 1910.

The website has links related to these categories:

About Us
Where To Park Near Our Store
Bicycles
Community Involvement
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn More About...
Links
Site Map
Skateboards
Where To Ride Your Bike
Your Privacy
2004 California Cycling Events

The OUR STORE link is pretty cool.

The page begins with a brief history of the store, and then proceeds to a group of photos that, when clicked on give you a virtual tour of the store, which is huge.

I like that they have a link explaining where to find convenient parking near their store.

Another thing to like is their community involvement as they support local schools and the Books 4 Bikes Reading Program.

The FAQ'S page is a treasure trove of useful information on accesories, Bikes, bike fitting, components, injury prevention, maintenance, riding skills, safety tips, training and fitness, and Trail issues.

The LEARN MORE ABOUT section is a whole lot more info on some of the same things as the FAQ'S and a few other things as well.

In other words, just because you don't live in California there is no reason to not visit this site for information you can use.

The LINKS section has plenty of useful website links.

The WHERE TO RIDE section is of use to Southern Californians in a number of ways:

It talks about Cycling in Long Beach: Bike paths, and the San Gabriel River , and Shoreline Trails, but for some reason doesn't mention the Los Angeles River Trail.

There is a page on Mountain Bike rides, and one for Road Rides to 2 destinations with the shop being the starting point for each.

A really cool idea is the page where you can tell them about your favorite ride. It is a detailed way to explain about your ride, and submit it to them so they can spread the word.

There is also a page listing 2004 Cycling events in California.

As a history buff I would have liked to see a page, or several pages, devoted to the history of the store, and the merchandise it has sold in its long, illustrious life. Pictures, Pictures, pictures. And stories, especially about famous customers through out the last 90 years.

Even tributes to long time employees.

You know the type: So and so worked here so long that he had to be carried out on a stretcher on the day he died. :-)

All in all a very cool website that provides much more than the usual sales pitches.

Jones Bicycles

April 25, 2004 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2004

DC Blogger Writes About Bicycling

Joel, of the blog Gwadzilla does a lot of bicycling and writes about it often.

Road riding, and Mountain Biking.

I found several interesting entries upon my first visit.

1. 4/15/04-- The Cycling portion of the entry begins as follows... here it is
the year is 1990...
.

It is a long, interesting, and funny travelogue of a day in a Bike tour through a portion of Europe that he and a friend took.

2. 4/7/04-- He writes an interesting commentary about Bicyclists and Cars sharing the road, in a piece that begins... funny....so often when out on my bike I will get an aggressive response from a car driver about my cycling behavior.

3. In a piece about Mtn. Bikers, and Hikers, sharing urban area dirt trails, he tells a very funny story about a Hiker and Biker at the Gates of Heaven. :-)

The 4/5/04 entry is called Saint Peter.

April 21, 2004 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2004

The Bicycling Diary of Martino

Martino is another Bicyclist in Toronto, Canada, who writes about bicycling in Martino's Bike Lane Diary.

I found several recent entries of his interesting.

1. He finds an amusing cartoon to share, and a link to other Bicycling cartoons, in My kind of Car Tune.

2. He writes an interesting review of a new Bike Lane in town, and provides a couple of great photos for illustration, in Bike Lane Review - Montrose Avenue.

3. He shares a Bike Shop horror story in Unfriendly.

April 20, 2004 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crazy Canadian Biker Chick

Tanya is a Cyclist living in Toronto, Canada.

She writes about her cycling adventures, and life in general on her weblog, The Adventures of Crazy Biker Chick.

Several recent entries caught my attention:

1. She tells an amusing tale of encountering a helpful Police officer at an intersection, in Priority Service.

I can't wait for the first cop to stop me for some safe cycling practice, and tell me I was doing something wrong. :-)

I get enough drivers on the road honking at me that I'm sure there will be some nearby cop, one day, who will react by stopping me.

This guy was pretty cool. :-)

2. She writes about her commute to work in an intersting tale called Dreaming of a shorter commute.

I have a bike ride of 20 minutes for each way, on 2 streets for 3 1/2 miles each way, and it can be a challenge sometimes at certain intersections.

It is interesting to read about the commuting issues of other cyclists.

3. She writes about a day out riding, and how deliriously happy seeing folks on bikes make her [ discovering MY blog ought to give her shivers of ecstasy, then, you think? ;-) ]. She writes about her new road bike, and noticing how many people were, and were not wearing helmets.

The piece is called Joggers, Bloggers, and Bicycles.

Seeing 4, and 5 year olds on their first bikes is always fun for me, and as I watch couples on tandems it amuses me to wonder just how much peddaling the lady is actually doing.

The guys always seem to be huffing , and puffing, heh, heh. :-)

April 20, 2004 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

Tour de OC Airports

I live close to 2 airports in Orange County.

1 is an active one, John Wayne, and the other is abandoned, Tustin Marine Corp Air Station.

The bike ride I describe here is a leisurely suburban ride with a few difficult bits of navigation, and therefore I'd suggest it only be done by experienced road riders used to making lane changes, and left turns in traffic, at major intersections.

Location: Newport Beach, Irvine, Tustin, and Costa Mesa Ca.

Directions to Ride Start:

Various freeways lead south from LA County, Riverside County, and North Orange County to connect with the 55 Frwy. to Costa Mesa, and the 405 frwy comes north as well for anyone traveling from South Orange County.

The 55 becomes Newport Blvd. at 19th Street.

Turn left at 19th. 19th becomes Dover at Irvine Ave.

Turn left at Castaways Lane and take an immediate right into Castaways Park, or a left into Bob Henry Park.

By bus, folks can connect with OCTA 43, south on HARBOR BLVD., anywhere from Brea to Costa Mesa, and transfer to OCTA 55 at Harbor and Wilson, heading south. The 55 stops at Dover & Castaways Lane.

Alternatively folks coming from along the coast, from Long Beach to San Clemente, can take OCTA 1 to Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, and connect with OCTA 55 there.

Castaways is open 6am-11pm.

THE ROUTE:

1. Right on Dover.
2. Right on Irvine.
3. Right on Bristol.
4. Left on Jamboree ( use left turn lane ).
5. Left on Edinger ( follow arrows for proper lane transition )
6. Left on Red Hill.
7. Left on MacArthur.
8. Right on Campus/Irvine.
9. Left on Westhill.
10. Right on Dover back to the park.

Approximate ride distance is 21.50 miles, depending on food stops and bathroom breaks, and while there are a couple of small hills, this is an easy ride.

THE RIDE:

I really enjoyed this ride, even though, because it rained on the day I did it, I spent 2 hours holed up in a Carl's Jr. waiting for the rain, thunder, and lightning spectacle to end. :-)

In the beginning you head up the rolling street that is Irvine Ave. as it passes The Back Bay ecological preserve, and the Newport Beach Golf Course, and approaches the 73 Freeway.

Traveling along Bristol to Jamboree you pass a few fast food joints, and gas stations, and prepare to carefully merge left to make the turn onto Jamboree.

Along Jamboree, to the San Diego Freeway, you will pass numerous Business Parks, and a few Luxury Apts..

Going over the Freeway is tricky as you need to watch the lanes to make sure you stay left. The lane close to the curb is for right turns onto the freeway, the next lane is for left turns onto the freeway, and the 3rd lane to the left is for you, and traffic going beyond the freeway.

From the freeway you pass hotels, and Business parks before approaching Corporate Business Park Plaza Shopping Center, at Barranca.

By now you will have travelled aproximately 8.40 miles and are approaching the Marine Airbase.

Going up, and over, Warner Ave., into Tustin, you get your first of 3 long looks at the abandoned Airbase, and its abandoned hangers, outbuildings, and open land.

As you take the Edinger exit pay attention to the arrows dirtecting you to stay to your left for the turn you need to take.

You can rest, and re-fuel, at the Jack-in-the-Box restuarant after the turn, and take in a full, unobstructed view of the Airbase, and its huge gray hangers.

Continuing along Edinger you have the same view, and then heading down Red Hill you pass the old residential section, and the still guarded entrance to the base.

There are 2 gas stations at MacArthur, and as you pass more Business Parks, you finally approach John Wayne Airport and, in case you have not noticed yet, you will find yourself directly under the Airport flight path for incoming, and outgoing planes.

The Carl's Jr. I mentioned earlier is along here, and gives you another chance to refuel.

As you head along Campus, to Bristol, you pass right next to the Airport.

The remaining portion of the ride is back on Irvine, and if you haven't taken any re-fueling stops, then you can stop near Westhill, or along 17th for several food choices before heading back to your car, or to catch the bus.

April 19, 2004 in Riding Orange County | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2004

Bicycle and Beach Directory

After taking a little more than a week off to do some work on my other blog, I'm back to continue spreading the word, and the word is BICYCLE! :-)

One of the things I want to do is give you my thoughts on the many websites I link to, and with this entry I'm getting that particular part of what I have to offer back in high gear.


DISCLOSURE: This blog is one of the sites linked to prominently on this site, for which I'm honored, but I am here to tell all readers that I've never met the owner of this site in my life, other than through a handful of e-mails over the past year.

Bicycle and Beach is not so much a blog as it is a repository for one mans exhaustive collection of useful Bicycling links, with a focus on California as a place to ride ones bike.

Gary Green writes:

Dedicated to practical street type bicycles, accessories and good places to ride and camp in California...This site is about one of my favorite activities: Camping or living somewhere at the beach or other suitable areas for long periods of time and using my bicycle for transportation.

There are 25 sections listed in a linkable table of Contents, which gives the visitor an overview of what he or she will find on the site.

After an introduction there is a section about the dangers of the open road for bicyclists, and links to stories about cyclists killed by drivers of cars.

There follows Gary's thoughts about the amenities he likes to find in beach towns while riding his bike.

In a nice paragraph about recommended bicycle types Gary writes that "I promote the use of bicycles for personal pleasure and practical transportation type riding. All the bicycles I recommend are always of the city/street type."

In a section on SOURCES FOR BIKE PARTS, ACCESSORIES, RIDING INFORMATION & TOOLS, he lists, links to, and describes 16 companies, and sources of information that are all well worth checking out.

For those who like painting the frames of their bikes he lists, links to, and describes 3 companies "I think carry paint suitable for this job," and 2 websites where you can get information on how to do the painting.

Gary has a section where he lists, links to, and describes 7 major sources for Locks, and lock information.

There is an excellent essay on chainrings where he explains what they are, and why you should change your bikes when needed.

There is an exhaustive list of links to, and descriptions of, Bicycle manufacturers, and other related websites.

There is a similar listing for folding bikes, and for 700c & 26" size wheels in adult bikes, and 20" size wheels in folding compact style bicycles.

There are 3 short lists for bicycle chains, helmets, seats, and saddles.

He has links to 2 internal gear hub systems.

After a list of MISCELLANEOUS Links Gary begins his travelogue section advising adherence to 5 principles for making your trip enjoyable and safe.

Always leave everything and everyplace cleaner and in better condition than you found it (including public restrooms). Respect all "keep out" private property signs. Leave your dogs and other pets at home in the care of someone else. Don't bother the wildlife. The poor animals are having a hard enough time as it is and they don't need the additional trouble that you may bring them.

Respect the peace & quiet of other people.

The last section is the meat of his message: Places to go riding, with links and ( so far ) brief descriptions ( of those places he has been to anyway ) of the locale, and the riding in the area.

So far there are 15 cities listed, and while the information is useful, especially the links to the city websites, I can't help but hope that there will be more to these mini-essays as time goes by.

A route description or 2, or links and/or info on where one can find such information, for one thing, would be nice. Knowing that a place has an Albertsons, a Jack-in-the-Box, and a few outhouses, and that the weather is nice, the terrain is flat, and/or has a few rollies, and is popular, isn't going to tempt everybody who reads the piece into paying the place a visit.

Heck, if the place can't be reached by bus, commuter train, and/or amtrak, a person, like me, who doesn't own a car isn't going to be able to go there no matter how much I may want to.

Gary has a great idea, with alot of potential and, for that reason, I'm adding him to my links, and look forward to the evolution of his site.

Over all this is a well organized site, with a ton of useful information, and opinions, written about in a clear, and entertaining fashion.

Give BICYCLE and BEACH a look. :-)

**** UPDATE: Aug 2004****

IGNORE THE ABOVE LINK as it's since been updated in my Links Section, and I've written an update about his move, and new additions ( for instance the communities covered are up to 23 now, from 15 ) to his site, here:

Bicycle and Beach Moves off Blogger to Good Effect

April 17, 2004 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack