Posts Tagged ‘commuter’

Ten Things To Liven Up Your Commute

June 21, 2009

Editor’s Note: Here are some fun tips from our contributor, Anthony Coley…….

Subject: 10 things to liven up your commute

1. Stop and buy your sweetie some flowers, you’ll be loved!
2. Stop mid way for something to drink and do some people watching.
3. Ride slower and check out the scenery.
4. Run an errand on your way to or from work.
5. Take a detour somewhere you’ve never been.
6. Stop and help someone with a bike problem, flat, slipped chain….
7. Ride a different bike every once in a while.
8. Ride earlier or later than normal. Riding when it’s dark changes everything.
9. Ride with a stranger and talk about something other than bikes. Easier said than done.. 😉
10. Compare gas prices at the different gas stations you pedal by.
— This was the lowest on my Friday commute: (Note: Now gas is over $3.00/gallon!)Since this photo was taken gas is over $3.00 per gallon!

 …….and two more I just thought about..

11. Count the number of traffic lights. My commute has 39. Seems like alot…
12. Take some pics to show your cool commute:
— Here are a few from yesterday:ac1

ac2ac3ac4 ac5

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Gruppo Bici N.A. Introduces Designer Bicycle Bag Collections

June 11, 2009

Editor’s Note: Another press release for your pleasure……….

 

BOULDER, CO USA (June 11, 2009) Gruppo Bici N.A. announces today the release of designer bicycle pannier, shopper, seat bag, fixie top tube protector and tube sac collections by Canditalia S.r.l.

“We are excited to introduce a collection of designer bags for bicycles under the Canditalia brand,” says Gruppo Bici N.A. company spokeswoman D’Abria Versace. The designer bicycle bags by Canditalia include the B-Berry, Doppio G and Louie V, collections resembling Burberry, Gucci and Luis Vuitton fabrics, respectively.

“The designer vinyls are remnants, not considered first-quality or replica,” states spokeswoman Versace. “Instead of ending up in a landfill as waste, we are able to upcycle vinyls that do not meet the stringent requirements of the designer. Though the materials are two- to three-times the cost of non-designer vinyls, we consider the scenario a win-win.”

Introducing the collections in the United States, Gruppo Bici N.A. is offering wholesale pricing direct to consumers for a limited time. “We recognize that consumers are making purchases with economic forces in mind,” D’Abria Versace says. “As a result, we are offering wholesale pricing direct to consumers through July 4, 2009; this offer also applies to our Atala, Carraro and Umberto Dei bicycles while supplies last.”

An example of the bags mounted on a bike.

An example of the bags mounted on a bike.

“The Canditalia designer collection for bicycles is a fabulous way to dress-up any city, commuter, cruiser, fixie or townie bicycle, regardless of condition or vintage,” statess spokeswoman Versace. Canditalia designer bags for bicycles are not authentic, genuine or replica Burberry, Gucci or Luis Vuitton articles nor is the company making any related claim.

Distributed exclusively by Gruppo Bici N.A., all Canditalia bicycle accessories and bags are made in Italy and the United States. Canditalia accessories, bags, carriers and locks are available for purchase online at http://www.gruppobici.com and should be available to consumers and retailers the first two-weeks of July 2009; the designer bicycle bag collection by Canditalia can also be seen on the Gruppo Bici N.A. company Blog at www.gruppobici.blogspot.com.

CANDITALIA S.R.L.
Founded in 2005 by two Domus Academy students, Canditalia S.r.l. is a Milan, Italy-based company specializing in the design of bicycle accessories. Translating to “Candied Italy” or Italian Bicycle Candy, Canditalia products include vintage-style bicycle racks and locks, found on many Italian bicycles as original equipment, and a collection of designer bags for bicycles. Other accessories planned by Canditalia include messenger bags and school satchels, with future designs including the use of non-designer fabrics and vinyls.

GRUPPO BICI N.A.
Gruppo Bici N.A. is a Boulder, Colorado-based distribution company dealing exclusively in Italian bicycle products and publications. Gruppo Bici N.A. is the exclusive importer and distributor of Atala, BiciSupport, Carraro, Compagnia Editoriale, La Cuba and Umberto Dei bicycles, cycling products and publications in North America. Gruppo Bici N.A. also owns the worldmark and name of Canditalia and Cicli Italia, Italian bicycle companies that blend art with function in accessories and bicycles that epitomize timeless Italian style. www.gruppobici.com

“Rocket Shower”: Commuter Friendly Product Now Distributed By Trek

June 11, 2009

Editor’s Note: This is a Press release from 10 Nine 8….

Rocket Shower® — the “Showerless” Body Cleaner — Now Being Distributed by Trek

06.10.09
Fredericksburg, Texas

 

 

The world of cycling has just gotten a whole lot cleaner, because now IBDs can conveniently get their Rocket Shower fix through Trek.

With Rocket Shower, no need to worry about shower facilities at work. A few quick sprays of Rocket Shower all over your body (yes, even “down there”) and you’re ready for the day. The spray-on, wipe-off formula quickly and effectively cleans and refreshes the body, cools the skin and helps prevent even the worse body odor. Simple. And effective.

“I’m really excited that Trek has decided to distribute Rocket Shower to its dealers,” says Linda DuPriest, founder of 10 Nine 8, the makers of Rocket Shower. “Trek’s ‘One World, Two Wheels’ program and its ‘Women Who Ride’ club are key in getting more people on bikes. I’m very happy to be a part of company that is so forward thinking and making an impact on the cycling culture.”

Rocket Shower removes one key obstacle for people looking to commute by bike: personal hygiene. Rocket Shower is formulated using witch hazel, citrus, mint, vitamin E and a trace amount of alcohol. Delivered via pump sprayer, the formula cleans by helping evaporate sweat and killing the bacteria that cause body odor. The lasting peppermint and grapefruit oils cool the skin and provide a fresh, clean feel and fragrance.

“I developed Rocket Shower after the office where I worked moved into a facility with no shower,” says DuPriest. “At first I just used the product myself everyday after riding to work, then other bicycle commuters started asking for it. Now it’s available to everyone.”

DuPriest, who worked as the advocacy director at Specialized for a decade, says Rocket Shower is very popular with women cyclists, bike commuters, and triathletes who work-out numerous times each day but don’t have the time to shower between exercises.

“I have found that once dealers try Rocket Shower they immediately see the benefits and order the product.”

Rocket Shower comes in non-aerosol spray bottle sizes of 8.5 oz., 4 oz., and 2 oz., which is perfect for airplane carryon. The 8.5 oz size is also available in a fine mist sprayer. For those who want to spare the landfill and reuse their Rocket Shower sprayers, gallon and quart bulk refill sizes are available. The Rocket Shower product line also includes three versions of the Jet PackTM, a complete clean-up kit that fits easily into a messenger bag, backpack, airline carryon or checked luggage.

All 10 Nine 8 products are available through Trek or at www.10nine8.net or 512/785-7751.

About 10 Nine 8
10 Nine 8 produces Rocket Shower, the portable shower in a bottle, and Jet Packtravel packs for those needing a complete portable “showerless” shower kit. For complete details go to at www.10nine8.net.

Salsa Cycles Fargo: Conclusions

June 10, 2009

Normally after this long a period with one bicycle I would be giving a “Final Review”. The thing is- I’m not done with this bike yet. The Fargo is just too versatile a rig to put a final word out on it already. That said, I am going to give you readers my thoughts on the Fargo and tell you where I’m going with the bicycle after this point.

origin8crank09-035

The “Big Question”: First of all, the Fargo elicits a strong reaction from folks. Often I get a “Just what is that bike for? Is it a______” (Insert any one of several specific bicycle types here.) The “Big Question” really should be the “Big Clue”. It means that the Fargo is, if nothing else, a very versatile bicycle that could do many tasks well. I can not possibly call out every one of the Fargo’s possible uses, but I can tell you what it isreally good at. The other question about the Fargo has to do with its “drop bar centric” design. I’ve covered the drop bar thing in great detail, but if you have not seen any of those posts, you can check them out here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V.

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The Off Road Fargo: The Fargo off road is a wonderful rig. It really is a fun single track shredder. One thing to remember though: The Fargo is a rigid bike with a non-suspension corrected fork that has a specific offset designed to work with the geometry of the frame. Okay, what does that mean exactly? Well, it means that you shouldn’t put a suspension fork on this bike. You really should stick with the stock fork as it comes with the Fargo. The good news is that this is a fantastic steel fork. The bad news is that this is a fantastic steel fork! The “rigidness” of the Fargo imparts a certain riding style and technique, a certain use that will not be suited to, oh let’s say….. all mountain riding. (Although, once upon a time mountain bikers rode all over the place on rigid steel rigs, ya know.) I think that the Fargo is best suited to buff single track to maybe some light technical trails. I rode it on several occasions where there were rooty, rocky descents, drop ins, and tight, twisty ascents. The Fargo can do this, and it shreds in fast, flowy trail settings. However; the Fargo has a lower bottom bracket height that may, or may not, be a problem for you. I liked it, and yes- I got ejected out of my pedals and struck things with the pedals from time to time.

fargotest08-019

The Back Roads Fargo: This is where the Fargo starts to come into its own. The Fargo absolutely shines on fire roads, dirt paths, gravel roads, and the like. Anywhere a road bike starts to become a liability, the Fargo starts to really make a lot of sense. Of course, if you are putting the Fargo to touring duty, and you have to traverse this sort of terrain, there are not many other choices in 700c wheels that can do what the Fargo can. One thing I found is that the heavier the load, the comfier the Fargo gets, just like a nice steel touring bike for the road. Gravel road riding and dirt road riding, for fun, adventure, or racing is tailor made for Fargo owners. Call it “multi-terrain”, or whatever, the Fargo is the right tool for the job here.

fargotest08-022

The Pavement Fargo: Here is where maybe some folks will have a harder time justifying the Fargo as a viable choice, but they really shouldn’t. Put on some nice, voluminous street rubber and the Fargo becomes an urban pot hole eating machine. That burly steel frame, the rider position bred from off roading, and the way the Fargo’s steel frame gives in that classic way that only steel can makes it a great choice for the urban-bound rider. Add in the fact that it can be decked out easily with fenders, racks front and rear, and any assortment of bags one could desire, and you have a sleeper of a commuter rig. Not only that, but you could spend about a half an hour and swap out rubber, remove some of the urban trappings, and be mountain biking on your favorite secret inner city trail. Going real skinny with the rubber will cause you to have a bottom bracket height that may be an issue though, so if high speed city travel or spirited club riding is in your cards, their are far better rigs for those purposes. (Perhaps Salsa’s own Casseroll model?) However; don’t discount the Fargo as pavement bike. It is a suitable heavy city cruiser capable of carrying a big load and laughing at rough city streets.

fargotest08-087

The Fargo From Here To…: The Fargo here at Twenty Nine Inches is now going to be set up as a light tourer in more of a “bike packing” vein. Think minimalistic gear, lighter weight than full bagged touring, and capable of going off road. The adventures will wait until I can assemble the proper satellite gear, but when I do, I’ll be back with some reports.

fargotest08-010

The Bottom Line: The Fargo is not only a very unique 29″er, it is a very unique bike- period. It is capable of pulling off mountain biking, and doing a decent job of it. It can shine as your “multi-terrain” steed, or it can pull duty on city streets with the best commuter rigs. Is it the one bike for everything? Well, the answer to that question is “no” of course. Here’s where I stand on the Fargo: If I had to get rid of all my bikes but one, the Fargo would be at the top of my list of choices to keep.

Thanks to Salsa Cycles for providing the Fargo for review. Stay tuned for some “adventurous” updates soon.

Lock Up That Bike!

May 28, 2009

Editor’s Note: Anthony Coley files this excellent report on how to keep your bike “your bike”.

Every year thousands of bikes are stolen and The Cyclist is here to help you keep you trusty rig right where you left it.

Some facts about bike theft:  The National Bike Registry ( NBR ) estimates over 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every year.

My guess is these numbers are much higher because I’m sure many people do not report their bikes stolen.
Source: http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/theft.html

NBR also states “Many bikes are stolen from home (yard, porch, garage, dorm room, etc.) Store your bike in a secure place when not in use…”  My home is the only place I have had bikes stolen.  What’s up with that?
Source: http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/proplock.html

The 2007 the FBI larceny-theft data shows bicycles accounted for 3.4% of the total larceny-theft offenses, which equates to about 210K bikes.

Source: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/offenses/expanded_information/data/larthtable.html

Tips for keeping your bike:

Check out this “How to Lock Your Bike” video by Carlton Reid from Quickrelease.tv and author of “Bike To Work”:http://quickrelease.tv/?p=878


Carlton makes a good point stating “2 kinds of locks require 2 tools – & thieves usually carry just one tool”.  I wonder how many people carry 2 locks?  I struggle with one lock, but I’m also pretty lucky that I can just roll my bike inside my office building and keep it next to my cube.
_____________________________________________________________________
Kryptonite lock offers up the following Do’s and Don’ts:
DO keep your bike locked at all times.
DO lock your bike in a well lit area.
DO lock your bike to an object that is securely bolted or cemented to the ground, and that has something affixed to the top to prevent thieves from lifting the bike or lock over the top of the object.
DO position your lock with key mechanism facing down.
DO create a snug fit with wheels and frame so that there is little room in the U-portion of the lock for thieves’ tools.
DON’T lock your bike to itself, or to objects that can be easily cut.
DON’T lock your bike in the same area all the time.
DON’T position lock near the ground to prevent thieves from attempting to leverage or crush the lock.
Source: http://www.kryptonitelock.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDFs/ProperLockUp_2009_onscreen.pdf

Be Careful When The Kids Are Around!

May 21, 2009

Editor’s Note: Anthony Coley, contributor to The Cyclist, gives us a good reminder why you need to be careful when the kids are around our bicycles.

Watch those kiddies and your chain.

Tonight me and my two boys ( 4 and 2 ) were in the garage and my 2 year old got his finger caught in my fixed gear chain. Ugh!!!! They always play with whatever bike I have in the stand and I’m always telling them “watch the wheel, keep your hands out of the spokes, watch the chain…” Tonight I was preoccupied with my 4 year old when I heard my 2 year old start screaming. When I saw him I instantly knew what had happened. Luckily it only caught the tip. It could have been much worse.

Here’s a pic of his little hand:

By the way, he's going to be all right.

By the way, he's going to be all right.

 

Take care of those kids!

One Man’s Commuting Story

May 21, 2009

Editor’s Note: Anthony Coley, contributor to The Cyclist, has a story of the commuting kind to tell…………

My bike commuting story:

It’s been a year since gas was $4.50 a gallon and I started bike commuting regularly. As the price of gas climbed year after year I
kept telling anyone that would listen “once gas hits $4.00 a gallon I’m done driving, I’m going to ride my bike to work“. Sometime in early 2008 gas hit $4.00 a gallon and I kept driving and changed my tune to “once gas hits $4.50 a gallon I’ll start bike commuting“.

Last year high gas prices motivated many to commute by bike

Last year high gas prices motivated many to commute by bike (Photo by A.Coley)

April 2008 in Southern California gas hit $4.50 and I started bike commuting. I didn’t commute every day because I quickly found it was a lot of work to gather all my things and leave my house at 4:45 AM to make the 13.5 mile commute so I can be at work by 6 AM. But, the more I commuted the easier it got and I gradually increased my days. I started commuting one day a week, then two, then three and currently do four days a week.

Unfortunately, my work doesn’t have showers ( or anything bike related ) and the gym down the street is one of the super high-end places with something like $150 monthly dues. Ouch! That’s pricey for me… So, I do the bird bath thing. I actually have a more colorful name for the bird bath process, but I’ll spare you… After a year I have it down to a science. Getting to work at 6 AM has its perks because I hardly ever see any one the restroom, so I pretty much have reign to take care of business. I tried the baby wipe thing, I tried the wet towel thing, but what works best for me is to use the pink soap, a water bottle and get busy. It’s almost as good as a shower, well, maybe not as good, but it works for me. NOTE: Just to be clear, I’m not washing my business ends over the sink. Also, I make a point to leave the restroom as clean as I found it so I don’t annoy my fellow employees or management.

Since becoming a full time commuter I’ve become slightly obsessed with gas prices and I see they are creeping upwards again, which I guess is to be expected since it’s summer. I wonder if will top $4.50 this year? Everyone hears the rumors about how high gas is going to get, but we won’t know for sure until we see it at the pump, or as we ride by the pump. 😉

I used the Gas Savings Calculator and last year I saved enough money to pay for my ‘new to me’ ( it’s used ) Specialized Langster I just bought last weekend.

Daily Savings: $3.25
Weekly Savings: $13.00
Yearly Total: $676.00

That’s great! I should have used this information when trying to convince my wife to let me spend the money on a new bike that I didn’t really need. She’s a sweetie and didn’t give me too much grief. I believe she makes a game out of messing with me about the number I have bikes I have. Hmm…

Anthony makes his regular commute on this Specialized Langster

Anthony makes his regular commute on this Specialized Langster

I read somewhere that people always post how many miles they ride to justify their rider status, so for the record, I logged around 2500 commuting miles and I feel that’s a pretty darn good accomplishment for someone who just started commuting.

How about you?
Do you have a bike commuting story to tell?

Sea Otter 2009 : Urban Goods Part I

April 17, 2009

2Michelin Tires is offering a puncture protection, Protek, in two variants: a 1.5mm thickness foam under the tread only, or a much thicker version that also covers the bead and part way up the sidewalls.  There is said to be many sizes but we are waiting for the press release to know full details.

1Sonoma Bicycles were on display, unfortunately no one was manning the booths for inquiring eyes and minds.  From a little Google searching I learned that these shaft drive bikes start at $350 for beach cruisers up to $499 for the Urban Voyager.  Hopefully in the near future we will see a shaft drive bike that doesn’t weigh 40 lbs!

Charge Bikes are hitting the coast, and with good timing.  With the fixie-flatland taking off in the states we need something a bit tougher for those hard hitting crowd, more than a Bianchi Pista could take.

3

$1300 for a titanium Plug frame, let us know if you want to be top on the list for this guy.  (It sure is pretty though.)

4

A more reasonable $700 for a Plug complete bike made out of Tange.

Sea Otter 2009 : Breezer Bikes

April 17, 2009

Breezer Bikes are still ticking even after the brand was purchased by Fuji.   Oh you didn’t hear?  Neither did I.  It seems that back in September of 2008 Advanced Sports Inc (owners of Kestrel, SE and Fuji) purchased Breezer.   Joe Breeze is still kept on board to promote the line and design new bikes, in fact the press release mentions Joe Breeze mountain bikes!  We haven’t heard or seen any of these bikes.

Read original press release of ASI purchasing Breezer here.

p1000424 p1000426 p1000429

Velo Orange Frames : Sneak Peak

April 3, 2009

Our friends over at Velo Orange released some proto-type photos on their blog of two upcoming frames. A randoneering frame and 650b city frame.

Here are photos of the final prototypes of the VO production Rando and City frames. These frames, and the forks, should arrive here next week and I’ll have more pics then.

I think the Rando frame looks nice, but for three small things. The head tube probably will not be extended. The chain stays should should go higher up on the seat lug. That means using a longer cap (or plug), which is very easy to change. And I’m not 100% happy with the appearance of the rear dropout, though it will work perfectly well. I might search for one with more of a retro look. These small changes won’t neccesitate a new prototype, so if the bike builds up and rides as excpected they should be available in about 90 days. This frame has exactly the same geometry and tubing thicknesses as our semi-custom frame.


Here is the 650b city bike. Again there are a couple of very minor changes we may want, but overall it looks good.


I don’t have final pricing yet, my best guess is around $800 for the Rando and $450 for the City (including the fork). If all goes well with testing we’ll with break with tradition and accept pre-orders, or at least deposits, for the first production run.

Inquiring with Tom, the General Manager of the wholesale side of Velo Orange, VO Imports, I learned more about what makes a city bike special.

The Velo Orange city frameset is built around a 650b wheel, in 5 sizes. I don’t think anyone is  making city bikes with 650b wheels.

It has low trail geometry which makes it ideal for outfitting the bike with fenders with a minium of toeclip overlap. The handling is appropriate for a non fast city bike (your typical 10-15mph city speed), and is made with outfitting it with a front rack in mind.

Our frame will be sold with a fork. There are brraze ons for fender braces, racks, bottle cages and cable guides. It has canti studs. The chain and seat stay bridges are positioned for a perfect fenderline.

The frameset is TIG welded. We did this because it greatly reduces the cost, is plenty strong and is more discrete than showy lugs. You can lock this bike up without it attracting too much attention like lugged steel bikes do. It blends in.

You’ll want to build up the city bike with a porteur rack and go to the farmers market, loading it up with groceries. It will be put into service as the errand bike, hauling big trash day finds, and lumber yard runs.