Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Mayor responds to the tragedy on the CRT

The Mayor of Renton has responded to the tragic accident on the Cedar River Trail.

David Hiller, of Cascade Bicycle Club, has a post on his blog about this incident. He offers the following suggestions to cyclists to be safer.

Simply put, there are things that bicyclists can do to minimize the potential for and severity of collisions:

1) Slow when others are present — you can’t know how other trail users will react when you’re overtaking. Going slower gives you more time to react AND will minimize the severity of a collision should one occur. No one’s heart-rate or wattage is worth endangering others. If you “need to go full-out”, do it on the road, on rollers, or on your trainer — not on a trail.

2) Use bell or voice when passing — just like the ubiquitous signs say. If you’re concerned that there’s confusion among pedestrians as to what “on your left” means, try something else like “passing.”

3) Pass safely. It sounds like a no-brainer, but I see bicyclists passing into oncoming traffic, passing two-abreast, and passing too closely daily. Pass single file. Wait for oncoming traffic to pass before pulling around slower trail users. Works best when combined with 1 & 2.

4) Ride single file when others are present and stay as far to the right as is safe to facilitate overtaking. If you travel at a speed below the posted limit on our regional trails, make it safer and easier for faster riders to pass.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

going to B'ham

I have a workshop the next two days in Bellingham, WA and I hope to take a bike with me to explore.

Someone put together some bike routes maps.

There are a few community and/or college bike shops to explore too.

I'm taking a camera (if I remember it) to snap pics.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

bike to work month is coming up quick!

I have three teams started up at my workplace. My team has four plus me. We're "Spokin' Hot" team.

More soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

sad news in local community

An elderly woman was struck by a cyclist this week on a local regional trail and died from her injuries.

More on this story.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday's ride

35-ish miles in about 2:40.

Burnt about 1633 kCals.

my Saturday (rainy) ride

Here's my route from last Saturday.

40 miles in 2:50.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

40 miles in 2:50

I was pretty pumped up Saturday. 40 miles in less than three hours. 14-something mph average speed and no breaks until about 20-something miles in.

3 months until I point the bike towards PDX and chew up 200+ miles.

Only mechanical issue that happened was an extremely wobbly wheel by ride end. Must have been the 37mph descent... lol.

REI dividend time!

Retail therapy. Gotta love it. Even for bike stuff... or maybe especially for bike stuff.

I needed some more polypro socks and another under helmet cap - well, "need" might be a strong word, but of the things I lacked, quick-drying, snug socks were one and extra under helmet caps was another. Everything else I generally have lots of.

Here's what I got today...

Several pairs of socks which included the P-40 Warhawk design, the Jolly Roger, and the chain designs.

A Session (Full Sail brewing's Red Stripe-emulating stubby bottle offshoot) Lager cap.

Oh, yeah. Best part: I used my REI dividend and the 20% discount coupon to save some coin. I think I paid $5 out of pocket.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

LaHood backlash

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said some remarks that got people listening.

Apparently, some people are a bit upset with these remarks.

LaHood states "I'm not going to apologize for any of it..." and "I think this is what the people want."

Let's hope LaHood doesn't get thrown under LaBus.

Monday, April 12, 2010

product review follow-up: Jimi wallet

Last month, I bought a Jimi wallet I said I'd test drive for a while. Well, here it is about a month later, and I thought I'd give a follow-up of how Jimi is lasting so far.

From the outside, we see that well-packed, Jimi has a gap or bulge when stuffed.

This is different from the wearing Jimi in the front pants pocket bulge. Like a Copenhagen can in a back jeans pocket. And I generally tuck Jimi into the left pocket and stuff keys in the right.

Cracking Jimi open reveals the cash stuffed inside (I don't generally carry a wad like this, but this was for testing purposes) and the two sides of Jimi, the credit/debit card side and the ID side.

The credit card side was able to squeeze in 4 cards total. 5 is impossible and less than 4 is feasible, but 1 or 2 might slippy slidey around in there. Getting the cards out takes a bit of practice, like learning to light a Zippo by flipping it onto the side of your thigh without torching yourself, but it is easy enough to do. Just don't try it for the first time at a 12 items or less line in the grocer's.

The ID side has a slide out part (or maybe I broke it...LOL) that allows easy access to ID cards, bus passes, etc. I slipped in a work ID, driver's license, a few medical-related or insurance cards (very slim ones), and a bus pass.

Overall, I'd say the pros about this wallet are:
1) locks in all of the items you might take along with you on a ride - things don't slip out like they do if you had a traditional tri-fold or bi-fold wallet
2) slimness is great - unlike a traditional wallet, this still stays pretty slim provided you mind how much you're trying to cram in there
3) EZ clean - anyone who's slipped a leather wallet into a jersey pocket and later reached for a sweaty (or weather-dampened) mess will appreciate Jimi's durability against moisture

The cautionary notes:
1) if you like to stuff, you won't be friends with Jimi
2) if you don't like people asking questions about your wallet, then Jimi isn't for you
3) it is not approved for a countermeasure to bear attacks - if you are in the wilds, bring another primary bear attack preventative

Note: I did not experience bear attacks while using the Jimi wallet, however, I am not completely convinced Jimi is the sole cause for this not happening.

You can find more about Jimi on the manufacturer's web site. I'm waiting for a womens' purse - as opposed to a mens' purse, I guess - made of the same material, but they could call it the Jenni. Stranger things have happened. Look at Uggs, Jellies, Crocs...

And as always a disclaimer... I am making ZERO money from writing this blog. I paid for this wallet with my own funds - if I got a free sample I would have disclosed that. I am not affiliated with the Jimi people or other manufacturers or sponsors or bears.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I've attended my first road race

Today I went and worked support for the cat 1-3 womens' race in Brady, WA with my friend, Rob.

We drove 20mph behind 30 racers, with two other support/safety/officials' vehicles for 72 miles.

We carried spare wheelsets (for those who brought back-ups for themselves) and were there in the event something went awry. Luckily, we only had two situations pop-up. In one case someone's wheel broke a spoke. Unfortunately, they did not bring a spare wheel. Later, a competitor who lead the pack 35 miles got bad leg cramps in the final lap and we hauled both she and her bike to the finish.

We had a good time, though it was a long day (9:30am until about 7:00pm).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bike to Work Day (and Commute Challenge) - May 2010

Bike to Work Day is rapidly approaching (it's Friday, May 21st). Commute Challenge is all month long.

I just got the materials in the mail today, so it's time to start organizing workplace team registrations and also planning out the BTW Day station we're hoping to put at the clock tower in DT Renton at S. 3rd & Burnett near the Transit Center from 6-9 a.m. on 5/21/2010.

More info on the festivities can be found at Cascade Bicycle Club's web page.

this sounds like a cool ride, after the STP

I suppose after I tackle the STP, I might consider a 104 miler to be "easy". LOL.

Check out the STMB (Sound to Mountains Bikefest) 2010.

Described by the Levee Breaking web site as:
...104 mile road ride begins @ Magnuson Park in Seattle, with up to 1,000 participants riding from Seattle to North Bend over the course of the day. The beautiful, occasionally hilly route takes riders North to Snohomish before winding through the Snoqualmie River Valley to end at the base of Mt Si in North Bend, WA.

And even better...
Riders hop off of their bikes surrounded by mountains, fields of blueberries, concert stages, food, beverages & brews, bike art, NW bike makers and community bicycle proponents. Registered riders will recieve 3 day passes into the festival.

I hope I could find someone to join me.

Note: The Levee Breaking is "a support-the-arts project based in Seattle" which produces projects "that strengthen and unify music, performing, art and film making communities."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

funny vids

If you need a perk-up this morning, here you go. These made the rounds a while back (I don't think I posted them here) but you might find them funny.


Gotta love the skinny jeans dude.

Flight of the Conchords - Mutha Uckers

Not about bikes, but there are bikes in the video. And the sentiment fits my mood for the past few weeks.

Monday, April 5, 2010

cycling stats

* A 200-pound cyclist burns 546 calories while going 12 miles per hour-almost the equivalent of a Big Mac®.

* The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health said, "Physical activity of the type that improves cardiovascular endurance [such as cycling] reduces the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes and improves mental health. Findings are suggestive that endurance-type physical activity [such as cycling] may reduce the risk of developing obesity, osteoporosis, and depression and may improve psychological well-being and quality of life."

* According to the National Sporting Goods Association, consumers bought 18.5 million bicycles in 2003.

* Some 42.5 million Americans ride bicycles, according to the National Sporting Goods Association’s 2000 study. This is more than the numbers that participate in other leading sports (29.4 million basketball players, 27.5 million golfers, 22.5 million runners, 13.2 million soccer players, 11.2 million tennis players, and 7.7 million downhill skiers).

Information pulled from the League of American Bicyclists' web site.

how cool would this be?

REI offers tours in many places of the world for hikers and bicyclists, like this one in Italy.

Though this cycling one, Vienna to Prague, has my eye.

Someday, perhaps.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

road debris

While out riding just over 22 miles yesterday morning, I happened to think about all of the road debris I come across. It isn't just the muck and grime from tires, oil, sand and gravel. It often is items you wouldn't suspect you'd find on the side of the road. Examples:

spark plugs

batteries (AA, C, 9v)


misc. car parts - bumper parts, license plates, door handles

credit cards (!)

All of these things can make you wreck if you didn't see them in advance. What have you found on the road that you didn't expect?

Friday, April 2, 2010

biking in the wet

It's really Biblical crappy wind and weather today in the PNW. I had to pop over to the Commute By Bike blog for their advice on riding in the rain.

And I just got rid of a wetsuit today...