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1880’s quotes about bicyclists

February 18th, 2011 [print] No comments

"In that time, of course, the bicycle was literally the fasted vehicle on the road. People in the countryside were rather alarmed to see these large groups of cyclists riding furiously through their villages. It caused quite a bit of a stir and of course the people who were really inconvenienced were the people in their carriages and riding on horseback. These were the sorts of people who had influence in those days and before long the local police and the magistrates were taking action against these cyclists riding so furiously on the roads."

and:

"The coaching season on roads out of London commences for the summer this month. We trust that bicyclists will remember that they can easily beat a four-in-hand coach if they try, and that they rest content at that, and not bring an odeum upon our sport by trying to race them as the buzzing about of bicycles causes much trouble to coachmen."

bonus (slightly more recent):

"The world has thrown up a new type of gentleman altogether: a gentleman of all un-gentlemanly energy, a gentleman in dusty oil gloves and motor goggles and a wonderful cap. A stink-making gentlemen, a swift high-class badger who fled perpetually along high roads from the dust and stink he perpetually made."

From the BBC radio show On Your Bike, ep5. Available on iPlayer for those in the UK.

Via Reddit.com/r/bicycling

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

High School Student Makes Wooden Bicycle

January 8th, 2011 [print] No comments

We’ve all seen bicycles made of wood before, but it’s typically just the frame.  Occasionally, you’ll find some hardcore enthusiasts that even sport wooden handle bars, and wooden wheel rims go back a hundred years; in fact, you can still buy them today.

But what makes this bike stand out is that it’s entirely made of wood.  Even the chain is wood!  Click on through to the article to see high school student, Marco Facciola’s, all-wood bicycle that he completed for a school project.

Marco Facciola - Wooden Bicycle

SOURCE:  Lee Valley.com

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags: ,

Snow Plow Trike

January 2nd, 2011 [print] No comments

I shovel hand by snow.  Although it wears on my back, it’s great exercise, and the cheapest method of removing snow.  But what if there was a way to combine tedious winter work, with something I’d prefer to be doing, like riding my bike?

Craig Smith, of Milwaukee, WI, does just that, with a custom-made trike with snow plow attachment.  He says it only works during lighter snowfall, but even so, it sure beats doing it with a manual shovel.

If you’re looking for something a little simpler, check out the Sno Wovel on Amazon.  It features a handle bar and front wheel, but lacks pedals and derailers.

Snow Plow Trike

Snow Plow Trike

Via Hackaday.com via Makezine.com

 

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags: , , ,

Rapha Festive 500

December 16th, 2010 [print] 5 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, but not because I was too busy riding my bike.  Nope, I’ve been sitting on my ass eating pumpkin pie and playing Angry Birds, and managed to put on 3-4lbs of winter blubber in the process.  However, I think I might have a chance to get rid of it all starting next week…

The Festive 500 is a challenge put out to cyclists everywhere, to get in 500km (310.6856mi, if you want to be nerdily accurate) over Christmas, namely the 23rd through the 30th of December.

http://www.rapha.cc/the-rapha-festive-500

The first 100 participants to finish–and somehow prove it–get a cool patch of the logo above, but let’s face it, the real prize is getting your legs back in shape and getting rid of a few extra pounds of winter shame.

More info on Rapha’s site:  http://www.rapha.cc/the-rapha-festive-500

Via Cyclelicio.us 

Categories: Links, Miscellaneous Tags:

Chain Clock

November 26th, 2010 [print] No comments

If you have a spare bike chain laying around, and you’re looking for a project, here’s a pretty interesting way of displaying the time.  I bet it wouldn’t be too difficult to replicate this, and certainly for a whole lot less than $2,300!!  Why not attempt to make one as a gift for a cyclist friend, preferably with a KMC gold titanium-nitrite chain?

Click for larger image

Via Reddit via Unicahome

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags: ,

So, you think you know how a bicycle works…

October 3rd, 2010 [print] 1 comment

Science of Cycology:  Failures to understand how everyday objects work

Although this study only involves bicycles coincidentally, it’s pretty amusing to see how little normal, everyday people understand of their simple mechanics.

Check out the full study here:  Science of Cycology (pdf)
…or here:  http://www.liv.ac.uk/~rlawson/Cycology.htm

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

What Counts as a Century?

September 17th, 2010 [print] No comments

Photo Credit - fekimshura

I guess I hadn’t put too much thought into it before, but RoadBikeReview user Grumparoo brought up an interesting question in this thread:  What counts as a century?

If you don’t feel like clicking, he basically rode 100mi+ in a single day, but broke it up between three unrelated rides.  Typically, a century consists of one ride of 100 miles, with the occasional short break thrown in wherever you think you need it.  BUT, what counts as a break?  Obviously, there are no set rules, which makes categorizing a century that much more difficult.  So, let’s consider a few things:

Does a single ride mean you don’t return "home"?  Home, being wherever you’re staying, be it your actual home, a hotel, a bike shop where you and your group began, your parked car, etc.

What constitutes a break?  Is a 20-minute stop to pee and eat okay?  If so, how about 3 hours?  Maybe you have mechanical issues and have to wait for someone to bring you spare parts and/or tools, and it takes a couple hours before you’re back on your bike…

Does it all count so long as it happens on a single day/date?  And if that’s the case, what if you were to start after dark and ride into the next morning?

What if you did stop by home, even took 5 minutes to take a shower, ate a quick snack, and were back on the road in under 15 minutes?

Can you nap on your break?  If so, how long is too long?  I mean, what if you were to stop, nap on a park bench for 10 minutes, then finish the ride?

Does it count so long as it’s done within a 24-hour period, nothing else taken into consideration?  That seems fair, until you consider one could ride half the miles one afternoon, go home, eat, shower, sleep, then wake up the next day, go to the grocery store, stop by Home Depot, work on the deck/mow the lawn, and finish up before the exact hour they started the day before.  At that point, you’re within 24 hours, but it’s clearly two different days.

Can you ride half on a road bike, then swap to a trail bike and do half off-road?

So, if we say it has to be done in one ride, what constitutes a single ride?  How long can breaks be, and how many can you take?

If we say it counts so long as you don’t return "home", is that fair if you just stop home only to refill your water and grab a Clif Bar before you head out again?

Do we go by the "no sleeping" rule?  In other words, so long as you accomplish all 100 miles between waking and going back to sleep, is that good enough?  And if so, what if one were remain awake for 48 hours?

Or, do we go by the 24-hour rule, when that means you can break the ride up over two days?  That doesn’t really seem fair.

So far, I’ve ridden two centuries.  The first one, I left the house and didn’t return until I was finished.  The second, I locked my car and didn’t return until I was finished.  On both, I had minimal breaks, and I kept break times short, just long enough to eat a PowerBar or guzzle a sports drink.  To me, those were both classic examples of centuries, but because of infinite situations for every rider, at what point do we call it two (or more) decent rides, but definitely not a century?

One thing is for sure:  a "metric century" doesn’t count as anything but a cop-out.

Categories: Cycling, Miscellaneous Tags:

Seat vs Handlebar: Which Should Be Higher?

September 14th, 2010 [print] 2 comments

If you take a look at either of my bikes, you’ll see my handlebars are much lower than my saddles, by as much as 3-4" on my road bike.  To me, this is absolutely the most comfortable position to ride in.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Tell a non-biker how high you like your saddle, and you’re likely to hear them scoff about how your butt is too high in the air, and how it must be uncomfortable to be leaning that far forward.  Most people haven’t ridden a bike since they were a kid, a point in time when it’s best to have your seat so low that you can put your feet on the ground when you stop.  These people, of course, have no idea what they’re talking about.

However, there are plenty of more casual riders, such as recreational types and commuters, who do know what they’re talking about, and they still prefer their handlebars as high as their saddles, if not higher.  I think both methods have their benefits, and each rider needs to determine what works best for their own body and riding style, as opposed to trying to look like Lance, when you ain’t Lance (or even close–yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. Elderly Guy whose belly is about to burst out of that too-small, highly decorated cycling jersey), or sitting bolt upright simply because you think it looks more comfortable.

With that in mind, there’s a great discussion going on over at EcoVelo, with plenty of valid points being made in the comments section.  If you’re happy with your current seating position, by all means, leave it alone.  However, if you think there’s room for improvement–either racier or more relaxed–then maybe you’ll get some ideas based on others’ input.

Link:  What’s Your Position on Position

Categories: Links, Miscellaneous Tags: , ,

Fixie Studio & Pedal Mafia

September 4th, 2010 [print] No comments

If you’ve ever wasted time in Photoshop trying to simulate what your future bike would look like, then FixieStudio and Pedal ID will make your life a whole lot easier.

FixieStudio gives you few options to go with, but the results are far more realistic looking.  It’s also quite a bit easier to use.

Click for larger version

Pedal Mafia’s Pedal ID, on the other hand, gives you more frame types, and a lot more options, but you’re forced to rearrange the bike parts, in essence, building the bike as you go.  It’s also a lot less realistic looking, but you still end up with a decent idea of what your color combo will look like.

Click for larger image

I’m sure there are other sites out there like this, so if you know any, leave a link in the comments!

Categories: Links, Miscellaneous Tags:

Ciclotte Exercise Bike

August 26th, 2010 [print] No comments

This ridiculous thing you see here is a stationary exercise bike by a company called Ciclotte.  What makes it ridiculous is not its carbon fiber, unicorn fart and pixie dust construction, nor the on-board computer that can let you choose between 12 different ride settings.

Nor is the artsy design ridiculous.  Okay, it’s a little odd, but it definitely stands out, and it looks so good, I doubt you’d end up using it as a clothes hamper.  On second thought, the Pikachu handlebars are a bit ridiculous.

Click for larger image

No, what makes this thing ridiculous is the $10,700 price tag.  Add the average state sales tax, and you’re over $11,500 for a bike that can only be ridden in your fancy home office with a lake view (which costs extra, by the way).  You know what else can be had for $10,700, give or take a few?

—  Cannondale SuperSix 2 road bike with full Sram Red – $4,600
—  Scott CR 1 Comp spare training bike – $1,700
—  Trek T1 track bike – $860
—  EighthInch Scrambler V3 singlespeed beater – $600
—  Trek Speed Concept 2.5 Tri bike – $1,980
—  CycleOps Fluid indoor trainer – $300
—  A half-dozen spare tire sets – ~$600

And guess what?  All five of the bikes above can be used with the indoor trainer or–and I know this is a novel idea–taken outside and ridden on the street!  But, I guess for the cyclist with more money than brains, the Ciclotte is certainly cooler than just about any other stationary bike on the market.

Via Gizmodo, Wired, GizMag