Tag Archives: bike commuting

Ride of Silence

21 May

I going to be at the ride of silence in Portland.  I decided to buck up and go.  It’s important in a larger context and if I loose my shit I can stop at any point.  It might feel better than last time because I wont be alone I’ll be with others.  So if your in meet me at NW Park and Everett maybe we can get a beer afterwards.

Above all be safe.

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To ride or not to ride.

20 May

A classmate of mine was killed last October as some of you might know.  The driver was finally sited and I was content not to rehash it more that I needed to.  I had panic attacks leaving my house and a things where generally kind of a downer around school.  I went on the memorial ride for Tracey after she died and swung by school and wrote my thoughts about Tracey in the notebook for her parents and presided home.  I was a bit of a wreck and not really in riding condition resulting in a conflict with driver in the pearl right after I left PNCA.  Some of the conflict was be not being assertive and some of it was him.  I wanted to tell him why I got upset but his windows where up.

Okay, why am I bringing this up?  Portland is holding a ride of silents and I’m feeling conflicted on weather to go or not.  Is it necisary, can we teach motorists anything from this?  Will I be mentally competent to finish the ride after getting to Tracey’s bike?  Could my time be better served working with PNCA to get student bike trailers next year and possible covered bike parking.

It’s tomorrow, I have a little time to think this over but I’m getting ball in stomach just thinking about it.  Sorry for such a downed piece after such a long break.

On choosing a bike: Part 2

5 Mar

Wheels can make quite a difference. The most important thing for a larger rider to consider is wheel strength. If your wheels aren’t strong enough they can go out of true. When a wheel is in true it is perfectly straight. If the wheel takes a hard hit it can get slightly bent or a spoke can break. Breaking a spoke will also affect the tension of the wheel making it go out of true.

The rim material is also important for braking. If you live somewhere rainy you want to avoid steel rims because you wont be able to break as easily. Aluminium is a much better stopping surface than steel and pretty common with newer bikes.

The wheel size will affect the durability. The smaller the diameter of the wheel the stronger it is. 26″ wheels are stronger than 700c wheels. The main problem with the smaller wheel is something called rolling resistance. See Sheldon Brown if you want to get technical. Rolling resistance isn’t much of a problem unless your aiming for speed. It’s also easier to get going from a dead stop with a smaller wheel than a larger ones. There are other wheel sizes but these are the most common you will see.

A slick 26inch tire is going to be much easier to use than knobby mountain bike tires. Unless your riding off road you don’t need need the knobby tires. secondly keep your tires properly inflated and you should be in good shape. As far as pumps go, if your not going to carry one with you don’t buy a travel pump buy a floor pump they are much easier to use.
Rims:

When looking for rims try to find a touring rim. These are often double walled are really strong. Again made for carrying a load. The rear wheel is the most important wheel to for strength since it carries most of your weight. I am a huge fan of Mavic A719 for a 700c rim. They are super strong.

A strong rim is especially important if your buying a 700c because they are more fragile. If you have 26″ rims they are stronger and you may not have to consider further action.

Spokes: The more spokes you have the more your weight is distributed. If your can find a wheel set with double butted spokes they will be even better because they disperse the load over the spoke better.

If your are buying a brand new bike you may not have control over some of these thing if you get a bike that’s already built up. Wheels with double butted spokes must be build by a person thus making it much more expensive. Make due with what you think you’ll and if it becomes problematic you can invest in a new wheel or wheel set.

next up saddles!

Cute Monday:

25 Feb

I just got home from school and what do I find in my inbox? A lovely video (PSA) from London.  It’s a little sappy but I’m happy it exists.

Enjoy.

Weather and other thing that sometimes inspire.

24 Jan

Today is another freezing cold day.  My bedroom is at about 41 degrees and I keep checking the forecast to to see when this cold will let up.  The pictures of snow that hovered at the edge of the extended forecast are now moving closer and I can’t help but wonder about the possibilities.

Most the question coming to mind is weather or not I could pull my mountain bike off the wall and have some fun.  Could I have a snowy bike commute?  what else could I do?   I mountain biked a lot when I was younger but since moving to Portland it seems silly to drive anywhere to ride a bicycle.  And I have a much funner speeder bike for getting around town.

Now I am just wondering what kind of snow sports could be translated into two-wheeled fun.  Any ideas?

A small peice of justice

22 Jan

A very small piece of justice today.  The driver of the cement truck that hit and killed my class mate Tracey Sparling has been sighted.  I have mixed feelings about this.  While I don’t think the driver should be hung out to dry I truly wish more could be done.  Perhaps I am more angry about this because the driver that killed Brett Jarolimek was not given a ticket.  Perhaps all the wrong conditions came into play.  I can’t help but feel angry today, it’s been a sad winter but it will be over soon.

On a better note we are all going to be a little bit safer because of this.  Regardless of your feeling towards bike boxes I’m sure we can agree that heavy truck side guards are a good idea.  And these guards will start being installed on at least all city trucks.

Making it happen.

21 Jan

Being that this is one of the coldest days of winter and I am about to bundle up and ride to the co-op to get so groceries I can’t help but think I made it.  I made through the winter.  Nothing like practical clothing to help help along the way though.  My suggestions for winter commuting when you can’t afford or wear cycling clothing.  To of my favorite things are good gloves.  I have some thinner waterproof gloves and those awesome thick wool fingerless+mitten gloves.  Second a waterproof jacket (you can find these on amazon unto a men’s 5x, there aren’t build for women but it’s cheap enough you wont care, just make sure it will accommodate your hips).  Layers are important and wear good (wool) socks.  Just in case you  didn’t know wool is amazing.

Any other inexpensive or plus sized winter cycling clothing suggestions?