Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’

I had a sudden realization yesterday that I must have as many helmets as women have shoes. So I thought it would be fun to gather them together and see what they were for. (of course they each have their own specific boots as well) So from left to right they are:

Snowboarding , Rock/ Ice climbing, motorcycle, whitewater kayaking, bicycle, luge, and martial arts/ sparring. This pretty well encompasses my various hobbies. Does that say something about my personality that pretty much anything I choose to do for fun I need protective headgear for? I wouldn’t consider myself an adrenaline junkie but now I’m not so sure. What kind of crazy stuff do you do?

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So after my bike was stolen from my garage last month, I now have an insurance check to get a new one. But which one? I had a Globe commuter bike that served me well, but it was like a tank when I took it out for long (25-40 mile) rides. Especially when my companions have racing bikes.

Now I am deciding between this:Specialized CrossTrail

And this:

Specialized Hardrock

The first bike is the Specialized CrossTrail. $580. It’s a hybrid with a mtn bike frame, a locking front shock, and medium sized tires that are flat in the middle for easy riding on the road, but knobby on the sides for grippage on the trail.

The second bike is the Specialized Hardrock. $610. This is a straight up mtn bike with large knobby tires, a locking front shock with a larger travel, disc brakes, and slightly better components like derailleurs, shifters etc.

So…which one should I get?

My riding style for the last two years has been primarily inner-city road riding. Lately, I had taken the globe on some light trails. My usual ride would be 3-6 miles around our park and neighborhood streets with the baby in the carrier on the back. One of the parks we ride through has some trails, but they are mostly smooth. Sometimes I have an urge to ride down the steep sides of the hill though, but I obviously can’t because of the baby on the back…and I had a commuter with street tires.

If I got the Crosstrail, I would get a bike that fits my needs perfectly now. But maybe not in the future. It would be easier to keep up with my dad on long road rides, but hard trails would be beyond my reach.

However if I got the Hardrock, I could still ride around the neighborhood, but have potentially more fun going off little jumps and taking some gnarly trails that I used to ride several years ago. Skytop anyone? I think that a mountain bike might fit my idea of outdoor fun a little more than a commuter bike.

So…cyclists out there, what do you say?

In a time when most fast food chains are offering healthier options on their menus, Burger King sends a different message. “Stay Fat America.”

I was out doing errands today. My wife has our only car so I was on my bike. It was lunchtime and I was mightily hungry from riding five miles to the bank, post office, etc. So I thought I would grab a quick Whopper Jr. from the drive through. Or as they so charmingly call it, the drive-thru. The car ahead of me pulled ahead so I pulled up and waited. A squawky intercom voice told me to hang on. Then they told me to move to the second window. “But I  haven’t ordered yet.” I replied. “Move up to the second window.” They repeated. Once there, a helpful cashier leaned out and yelled that they can’t serve people on bikes. I would have to come inside to order. “Why?” I asked, my money flapping in the wind, just waiting to be given away. “BK policy” she yelled. At this point, fearing I might do something stupid, I just said “Fine” and rode off in a huff.

When I spoke with the manager of this particular “restaurant” later that day over the phone, he said that the only reason they can’t serve bikes is because of insurance. I asked about serving drivers whose cars aren’t insured. He said that was between them and the state. When I asked him about people who just walk through the drive through, his response was, “coupons.” Clearly the type of manager I would want to have serving me food. I’m glad I ended up not eating there.

Corporate Headquarters assured me that bikes can’t be used in the drive through because of safety concerns but said nothing of insurance. I asked if there had been any previous accidents where a car had hit a cyclist and she denied any such occurrences. If I was on a motorcycle though, it would have been fine. So a machine that goes 200 mph and kills 5,154 people every year is much safer than a bicycle that can get up to 30 mph in the city and kills 698 people a year. Hmm. Especially the high-speed lane of the Burger King Drive-Thru. Gosh, I think I got up to 4 mph going around that corner. I’m such a daredevil.

Apparently Burger King is fine promoting riding bikes in video games though, but not real life. God forbid people should want to get in shape. Stay off that bike America. Stay in your car instead.

So I’m asking you to boycott Burger King and take your money elsewhere. Will you join me? What do you think?

I’m still going strong, even though it has been pretty chilly the past few mornings. It was 32° this morning. Coming down off the hill is very cool. I’ve had to alter my clothing set-up a bit. I also switched helmets. I was using my nice bike helmet with all the vents, but that got too cold. So now I’ve got my snowboarding helmet. It has much smaller vents and even insulated ear flaps. Very nice. I seal my jacket at the wrists over my full finger gloves and also use a face shield.

Well this week is my 24th week commuting by bike this year. Last year I rode 29 weeks so this year I should be able to ride right up until December to make 34 weeks. I love it. It gets me energized for the days work, and sweaty and sexy for the ride home uphill so when I walk in the door, I have my business shirt all unbuttoned like Superman. Plus I estimate I’m saving 384 miles on my car, or $76.80 on gas so far this year. That may not seem like a lot because work is only two miles away from home. I planned it that way when I bought my house. But every little bit helps when you have a baby. Plus I get exercise everyday. It’s a good deal all around. I suggest you try it. I have another post that explains it a little more. Cheers for now.

This is a list from “The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices”

Priority Actions for American Consumers

Transportation:

1. Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive.

2. Think twice before purchasing another car.

3. Choose a fuel-efficient, low polluting car.

4. Set concrete goals for reducing your travel.

5. Whenever practical, walk, bicycle, or take public transportation.

Food:

6. Eat less meat.

7. Buy certified organic produce.

Household Operations:

8. Choose your home carefully. (smaller, not in newly cleared development)

9. Reduce the environmental costs of heating and hot water.

10. Install efficient lighting and appliances.

11. Choose an electricity supplier offering renewable energy.

If we choose to do even a few of these things, we will have a big impact. I was encouraged when I read this list because I do all of them! (more…)

Commuting

Posted: August 15, 2008 in Uncategorized
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My commuter.

My commuter.

I already mentioned that I ride my bike to work but I thought I’d talk a little more about it. I started last year when we lived 3.5 miles from my work and my wife was 25 miles from her workplace. When we started looking for a house, location relative to work was definitely a factor. Now I am only 2 miles away (about 12 minutes by bike and 11 minutes by car) and Lydia is only 15 miles away. I hear about these people who get up at 4:30 am and drive 3 hours to go to work. Everyday. That’s crazy! My time is more valuable than that. And my money goes to other things instead of Gas. I only filled up once in June. If you decide to do this, here are a few tips: get fenders, they prevent that stripe up the back from rain and puddles. I use the rack on the back everyday for my messenger bag or my laptop so having one of those is also important. Mine has lights in the front and back that run off a little dynamo on the back tire. When they’re off, they’re just reflectors. I don’t use this very often but when it’s dark coming home, or raining or misty, it really helps. The only other big trick is to have a back up transportation plan in case the weather is terrible. I could ride the bus or snag a ride from my wife if I really needed to but since the car would be going downtown, that defeats the purpose of saving gas. If more people would realize that they can commute by bike if they rearrange a few things in their life, they could save money, time, and get fit doing it.

Living Green

Posted: August 14, 2008 in environment
Tags: , , , ,

I have been trying to live a more “green” lifestyle. I ride my bicycle to work (only 2 miles so about 12 minutes) I installed a 95% efficient furnace, and also got a new washer, dryer, and fridge which are all highly rated with energy star. We compost and only clean with natural products. I even go so far as to shave with a straight razor because there are no replacement blades. (although sometimes when I am lazy I use an old safety razor that has double edge razor blades. But those are 10 cents each, not 4 dollars each like mach 3 or fusion blades are. There are many other ways we save as well. Here are a few: (more…)