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April 27, 2008

From England to Australia By Bicycle: A Video, and Photo Odyssey

All over the world people tour by bicycle, one state, one nation, one continent at a time.

Some go further.

Many of these adventurers share their tales online, sometimes years after the journey took place, when they finally find the time, and resources, to do so.

The latest to be brought to my attention is the following:

Bike2Oz is the unfolding story of a young school teacher who convinced her partner to cycle with her from Oxford to Sydney.Rather than damage the climate by flying, they choose to pedal the 12,000km hopping on cargo ships to get across the oceans. They partied for car free day in Italy, dodged arrest in Iran, get groped in Pakistan and fall ill in India.
Watch the series and find out if their relationship (and the planet) survived the epic trip?

Kevin and Lowanna filmed their entire 12,000km cycle adventure across the UK, Europe, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India,Singapore and finally Australia.

This journey was 8 years ago.

As they wrote:

As the effects of global warming grow, Government action decreases. We wanted to see the world while contributing as little as possible to its' destruction. We also wanted to search for solutions to the transport crisis and found the bicycle offered the best compromise. Both of us are very new to the virtues of the bicycle (having spent most of our lives on four wheels). We were excited to discover that cycling offers you the intimacy of a walk in the countryside combined with the ability to cover serious distances (at least fifty miles a day).

It is amazing how effortless cycling becomes when you swap the old '3 speed' for something designed for comfort

Not only did they record their adventure by video, but there is a blog, and photo collection, that shares the expedition in more detail.

The videos, and photos, are a stunning testiment to the beauty, and variety of the world they travelled, from the weather, roads, and cultures they encountered, to the health, and political dificulties they endured, and more.

What I truly enjoyed most were the wide variety of bicycles encountered in every country they passed through.

Agree, or disagree, about the issue of Global Warming, a visit with the story these travelers have to tell will be time well spent.

Bike2oz: Go Here first, then here for the 2500 photos, and more.

April 27, 2008 in Voices From The Open Road | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 22, 2008

BIKE TRAILS: A Green Acres Theme Song Parody


Bike Trails are the place for me.
Car free pedaling is the life for me.
Miles of asphalt for me to travel.
Keep the freeway, just give me that cool gravel.

The Interstate is where I'd rather be.
I enjoy the speed you see.
I just adore that multi-lane heaven.
Honey I love you but give me Highway 67.

...The quiet.
...I don't buy it.
...Fresh air.

You are my wife.
Good bye, gas guzzling life.
Bike Trails we are there.

With apologies to the folks responsible for the classic TV Show Green Acres.;-D

With Gas prices hitting $3.85 a gal. here, Santa Ana, and averaging $3.50 nationwide, will see more folks finding other ways to commute? ;-D

If you aren't into duets, I've got some other songs. ;-D

Copyright April 2008.

April 22, 2008 in Creative Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2008

Three Songs Not on Lists of Best Music to Bicycle By?

David Fiedler, of the great Cycling Blog at About .Com, went on a long bike ride recently.

Listening to tunes, while cycling (Normally a no-no, he admits.), he began to wonder "what's on people's lists of best music to ride to?"

It is not surprising to discover that neither him, or his readers who responded to his question, have heard of these soon to be, maybe, possibly someday, classics...

The Bicyclist's Song

Bad Cyclist

I Love to Get on A Bike and Go, Go, Go!

Hee, hee! ;-D

***UPDATE - 4/21***

Make that 4 songs!

I wrote a new one! A duet!

BIKE TRAILS: A Green Acres Theme Song Parody ;-D


April 21, 2008 in Creative Writing | 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!


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

April 15, 2008

Is the Toughest Athlete in the World a Female Cyclist?

Sports Illustrated is convinced  the toughest is Tiger Woods.

I like Tiger, but I think the brave gal I read about this morning deserves consideration.

No, not Jill Homer... she only did the short route of The Iditarod Trail invitational, last month. ;-D

The long route is billed as “The World’s Longest Human Powered Winter Race,” and covers an area of over 1,100 miles in length.

Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant became the first woman to complete the longer race last month.

Hardly anyone in the Mainstream Media noticed. ;-D

As Craig Medred, of the Anchorage Daily News writes:

Iditarod and Yukon Quest champ Lance Mackey -- SI's No. 2 pick -- can certainly make a better claim to true, physical, tough-athlete status than Tiger, though there's no doubt that in any kind of human aerobic competition, Hirzinger-Merchant would hand Mackey his lunch.

Lance had his dogs to help him. Hirzinger-Merchant had only hubby, Bill, who, though he biked north with her, wasn't necessarily all that much help.

According to Craig the Event Website had this to say:

On their approach to Nome, Bill and Kathi faced "immense winds and cold temperatures. At one point, when they were protected from the constant wind, Kathi looked at the temperature and saw minus 30 degrees ... Bill described pushing the bikes at a 45 degree angle to prevent the wind from blowing the bikes away.

A 25 1/2 day journey... amazing!

The full article: Think mushing to Nome is tough? Try pedaling it.

A Tip of the Hat to Alaska Cyclist, and Journalist, Charles Bingham, who also sends word that the effort by the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists, has moved to the next step in March.

First came a proclamation by the City and Borough of Sitka that says that "Sitka is Bicycle Friendly", and committed the city to "an ongoing process of improvement upon the existing standards of cycling transportation infrastructure, education, encouragement, and enforcement."

According to the website the application has been turned in and they should learn its fate sometime this month. ;-D

PDF's of both the proclamation and the application, can be read here.

April 15, 2008 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat...By Bicycle

Larry Lagarde, of Ride This Bike, sends me a great heads up about a grand adventure in which bicycles are playing an important part:

A Canadian husband and wife team are going on a 6,500 km human powered expedition from Scotland through Europe to Turkey and onto Syria.

For transportation, they will use 2 row boats.

When they need to portage or if the seas are too dangerous, they'll tow the row boats with folding bikes and trailers that are otherwise stored on board.

The team is composed of National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Colin (the first person to circumnavigate the globe only by human power) and Julie Angus (the only woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean from mainland to mainland).

Starting from the northernmost tip of Scotland, the pair will row south in the open sea in two, custom built, single person row boats designed by Colin.

A unique component of the expedition is the School Rowed Trip, an interactive and free program that promotes physical activity by challenging school aged children to match Julie and Colin’s physical output.

Educators and students are invited to participate in the initiative and over 20,000 students are already involved.

Colin and Julie seek to inspire youth to embrace active living, environmental stewardship, and rediscover the outdoors.

By the way, the bicycles being used during the Rowed Trip are full size folding mountain bikes from RideTHISbike.com.

Colin is riding a flat black SwissBike LX.

Julie is riding a baby blue Montague CX.

The bike trailers have been specially fabricated by Tony's Trailers.

At the end of each day, the two rowboats will be lashed together into a catamaran using the frames from the bike trailers to form a platform for a tent.

The Official Website, with Journal Updates, and more, is ROWED TRIP: A Journey By Oar From Scotland To The Middle East.

Regular updates about the trip will also be available at RideTHISbike.com.

Wow! ;-D

April 15, 2008 in Have Bicycle, Will Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Got A Hankering to Travel? 50 Bicycling Vacation Ideas

A while back I was given a heads-up about a link filled piece by Jessica Hupp, of TravelHacker:

If you’re an active person, you’re probably not satisfied with the regular vacation. Rather, you’re more likely to enjoy a trip that involves biking, hiking, and more. These vacations fit the bill, offering gorgeous views, fun activities, and plenty of open road.

Top 50 Biking Vacations.

Anyone with the funds to afford these trips will find a wide variety of choices.

April 15, 2008 in Have Bicycle, Will Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jill Homer's Tips for Cycling in the Snow

Jill Homer of Juneau, Alaska, raced in the 350 mile human-powered Iditarod.

The Iditarod Trail Invitational, in February, followed the same route used by the famous dog sled teams. ;-D

In one of a series of articles for NPR, in December, she shared her "Top 10 Tips for Biking in Snow".

1. Think surface area.

2. Fat is the new skinny.

3. There is no shame in walking.

4. When in doubt, let air out.

5. Learn your snow types.

6. Don't be disappointed when you fail to set a land-speed record.

7. All brakes are not created equal.

8. Re-lubricate and be free.

9. Stay away from moose tracks.

10. Stay away from dogs.

She writes interesting, and informative, paragraphs on each of these tips.

Jill wrote a Blog for NPR, from November thru March, about cycling in Alaska, and preparing for, and riding in, the race in February.

She also has a Blog, called Up in Alaska.

Oh, and here's a story about the woman to took a historic ride on the longer, 1100 mile, route. ;-D

A Tip of the Hat to Alaska Cyclist, and Journalist, Charles Bingham. ;-D

April 15, 2008 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2008

When Not Just ANY Cycling Shoe Will Do, Who Ya Gonna Call?

Well...hmm, that's a bit of a puzzle now ain't it? ;-D

So let's say you do a Google Search for "Detto Pietro Bicycle Shoes", and you get a selection of shops, and forums, in the mix of Top 12 results (The 1st two are sponsored, one sort of strangely.) out of just over 1300 to choose from...and you see a year old post by some website you never even heard of before come in at #11...

What do ya do?

Do ya head straight for the Forums, or check out this Cycling Dude thing because Google says it's about the History of Detto Pietro?

I don't know what the guy did, in what order, or why, except that he DID spend 27 minutes wandering around my blog, then left a comment to my last post, that I hear-by promote to post status, to share with the readership, in the hopes that someone out there will notice it, and be able to be of assistance to him in his search because I sure can't. ;-D

I'm looking for one or more pair of Detto Pietro, Milremo, or similar shoe in size 11.5 to 12.

They are the old style, of the 70's and 80's, with ventilation holes and without cleats.

Please let me know if you can help.


Stephen Jackson, of Virginia

stephen at tdsengineering.com

Okay, folks, an average of 225, or so, of you stop by each day so there has to be someone out there who can maybe help the guy out! ;-D

April 12, 2008 in Life, The Bike Trail, and Everything | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2008

New Cycling Term Takes Lane on Wikipedia Highway


A term that describes the culture of everyday cycling in fashionable clothes. It is generally associated with the utility cycling practised in cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berne, Basle, Berlin, among others, where citizens practice a high level of bicycle usage. In many European cities, as well as cities in China and Japan, cycling is an everyday transport choice and many cyclists choose to wear their regular clothes, as opposed to outfits generally associated with cycle sport, such as bicycle shorts, gloves and shoes.

Apparetly this is an up and coming trend in cities that are putting money into bicycle friendly infrastructure and facilities.

Get this!

"Citizens are discovering that it is possible to ride in their normal clothes around town."

WOW! Who'd a Thunk it? ;-D


A Tip of the Hat to new BikeBlogger Riding Pretty!

A quick tour of her blog indicates that a wonderful new site from California has joined the ranks. ;-D

Riding Pretty is a Berkeley, CA., Cyclist who has designed some really cool Bike Helmet Slip-on Covers for the Ladies (Guys, too, eventually, hee, hee???). ;-D

April 11, 2008 in Cycling in Interesting Media Places | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack