Saturday, May 31, 2008
But putting all that aside, here's Bega's Cannondale SystemSix, rigged and ready for commuter duty.The cognoscenti will note the SRAM Force drivetrain bits, and the Zipp / Flashpoint wheels. But don't ignore the fenders, Speedplay Frog pedals, and the mirrors and bell. Running a carbon race bike as your regular transpo may not be for everyone, but here's proof that it is possible.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Both you regular readers are probably wondering, "What's that gobbledy-gook feed you plunked into your already ugly blog?" It's a status update on the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008, which passed in the House, and is coming up for Senate vote soon.
Who cares? Bike commuters should, because buried within the bill, is an extension of the transportation fringe benefit allowance (the reason nearly every Federal employee in the area gets those $100 in Metro cards every month that occasionally end up on eBay) to bicycle commuting. Rep. Blumenauer of Oregon (of course) has been quixotically championing this issue for years.
Obviously, it would be a great thing for the larger "us" of cycling. But for the small business "us" that pays me every two weeks, allowing companies and Government agencies (there's a few of those around here) to give a non-taxable commuting subsidy for bike commuting would probably bring quite a few people through the store doors.
What are the chances? Well, this bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Legislative Purgatory in the past. This time round, it is tucked it into a bill that would repeal oil company tax credits, and use the savings to fund alternative fuel research. So nobody will oppose it, and it should fly right through the Senate. Yes.
By the by, Tom Davis of Virginia's 11th (Fairfax, Springfield, Potomac Millsville), Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland's 6th (northern Maryland), Frank Wolf of Virginia's (Herndon, Winchester, Sterling), and rural Virginia's voice-of-tolerance, Virgil Goode of the Charlottesville area, are among the local-ish reps who voted against it.
I'm not going to get my hopes up, but I'm also going to write a letter to my senators. Hope you'll do the same. Unless, of course, you're in DC. Like City Bikes. Disenfranchised and it feels so good.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Do you come from a land down under? The bike doesn't, it's a Cannondale SuperSix Ultimate...
.... which is ridden by Leeanne Manderson of Hub Racing, who does. Where women glow and men plunder? I might have plundered that bike, had it not been secured by a lock, and been way too small for me. The SRAM SRM crank features a built-in powermeter, tasteful good looks, a huge pricetag, and two similar acronyms I don't know. If the women were glowing, I was far too tired to notice, as I reported for setup duty at 6AM sharp. Note the fading remnants of the moon just east of the nose of the saddle.Can't you hear the thunder? Yes, quite clearly in fact. I live overlooking I395 (jealous?), where Rolling Thunder convened, just as I had settled down for my post-race nap. Bitchin.
You better run you better take cover. I did, after two laps of watching the Cat5 Men's race, which included a young go-getter named Adrian Fenty. As mentioned, I then beat a hasty retreat for my bed, and listened to motorcycles, wishing I had a head full of zombie. So for race info, you'll have to make due with WABA's pictures, and the results.
I had that awful song in my head all weekend. Sorry. The posts will improve. Maybe.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Hands down, my favorite part of bike commuting is how I zip past all the suckers waiting at the bus stop. They'll be there for another 15 minutes or so, only to have to pay to cram into a sardine-can-esque bus that usually smells of sweat and frustration....Well, I won't trash the bus, it's ambiance, or it's patrons. But I'll run with the central point -- getting to work on the bike is pretty satisfying, in part because I'm almost always moving, rarely waiting. Even though I respect the traffic signals. I may only be loping along at 15 MPH, but there's very little sitting, dawdling, or other wasteful activities. When you're as impatient as I am, avoiding those infuriating delays is priceless.
When I held my own Drive to Work Day, I noticed these two headed the other way, not moving terribly quickly, but they were moving. Unlike me, who was cruising about 24mph below the posted limit.
Friday, May 23, 2008
--plentiful grass space to setup a blanket and cooler to relax
--view of the majority of the course from start/finish
--Bega's stream-of-consciousness announcing
--men's pro race was added this year
--you hardly ever bike east of the Capitol, swing by Eastern Market on the way home, and make a day of it
--more aural pleasure than either Sunday's Rolling Thunder (click here for road closure info), or the old RFK auto race (they really thought it would create $350M in economic impact?)
Or click here to register.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
As if I needed ANOTHER reason to grow out a handlebar moustache....
And does this mean that there will be a Bike to Work Day Baby Boom? A sliver less than 7,000 registered this year, and while maybe only half rode, that's still a bunch of people who chose to Bringázz a munkába.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
By 7AM, the rain had tapered off a bit, and it turned into one of those overcast days where it was great to be a bike fender owner.I coasted my exhausted carcass home a bit after noon, and it was gorgeous blue skies and sunshine.I stopped for a cup of coffee at Crystal City, and took a seat outside to enjoy the weather, and to snap a few pics of cyclists coming off of the Mt. Vernon Trail. Got this one solitary shot.......whereupon a Vornado (formerly Charles E. Smith) security guard informed me that I was on private property, and was prohibited from taking pictures. I explained that I participated in the organization for Bike to Work Day, and was looking for pictures of cyclists in Crystal City (which generously co-sponsored the event at a very high level for a second straight year). I was booted off the property ('the property' being a sidewalk). Boo.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Here's a nice piece from Freedom Plaza for the 11am newscast, featuring a few of our staff and friends rolling out from the store, the usual spandex hokey-jokey stuff, a quick highlight of SmartbikeDC, and some participant interviews.
And finally, Bega has posted a Windows Media file of the first segment on his FTP site, but I think you gotta download all 11MB of it to view.
In his address to the Bike to Work Day crowd at Freedom Plaza, Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham was kind enough to proudly mention City Bikes as one of his constituents, which was nice.
But far FAR nicer was his description of his proposed FY09 appropriation for bicycling. Besides the $1.5M in recurring (not one-time grant money) appropriations, funded out of parking ticket collections, they are looking to fund a full-time staffer for the Bicycle Advisory Council.
Cross your fingers, and maybe drop a line to your councilmember's office. Here's a summary of the proposal we got our mitts on:
1) Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety and Enhancement Fund
· $1.5 million dollars to DDOT recurring each year
i. Faster action on implementing the Bicycle Master Plan
ii. Faster action on implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan
iii. Creative solutions that can’t be done with Federal Dollars
iv. Faster responses to local bike/pedestrian safety problems
2) Bicycle / Pedestrian Safety Public Service Announcements
· $18,000 to Washington Area Bicyclists Association
· Get the message out to drivers that they must drive respectfully
· Encourage folks to ride their bikes and walk
3) Better Bicycle Parking
· $60,000 to help DDOT do bicycle parking study required by law
· Assess the quality of bicycle access and parking at all DC Gov’t facilities.
4) Bicycle Advisory Council support
· Full-time staff person to support the Bicycle Advisory Council in pushing DDOT to provide better bicycle facilities.
· This staff person will be located in the Council Policy Office to provide bicycle and pedestrian expertise to all Councilmembers
BTW Day coverage on Earth Portal News, along with more talk of bike sales rising due to gas prices. Plus a nice quote by Phil.
Anna K makes us blush with all the nice things she says about us.
Gwadzilla's pics still to come, we impatiently wait.
Quick summary from WashCycle.
Much more still to come....
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Howdy. Mike here...
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
But the bike still looked awful. And if you're not going fast, you should at least look good. So, off to the powdercoater. Despite many taunts, I wanted a color approximating the Bareknuckle we just jettisoned. Judge for yourself:Fenders were powdercoated to match, the rack was left chromed. Both are from Velo-Orange. I like the upright bars, but I needed a stupid-long stem to be comfortable, so I snagged this 140mm SR stem on this little site called eBay.tinnnnnggggg!
And a nice French bike needs a nice French crank. Well, it's actually an English Lambert, but it's pretty much the same as the old TAs.I think I have a dropout fetish. I just think they're attractive.I had this bike stashed in the shop one day, and a customer referred to it as "pimpin". That works.