January 30, 2003
Thanks to Bundles of Wonderful!
A hearty thank you to Kristen, of the blog called Bundles Of Wonderful, for the link!
Seems she's happier than a cat in catnip over finding another Cyclist in the BLOGGERVERSE. :-)
Just take a look at her photo gallery for pictures of SOLVANG 2002, a couple of triathlons, and the Avila Criterium.
She's from up San Luis Obispo way & is a not just a ROAD RACER for the University, but also participates in MTB RACING.
Brave, & energetic, gal, she is. :-)
Oh, and she likes HORSES. :-)
Relatively new to blogging she has a very interesting site, and her cycling posts are fun to read.
Welcome to the BLOGGERVERSE, Kristen! :-)
January 26, 2003
More on Slogans
As I rode to and from work today I thought some more about slogans bicyclists of various political bents might be seen waving about.
I forgot to mention, earlier, that at ANY event where folks are waving signs about, regardless of the political persuasion, there will be the chap with the JOHN 3:16 sign.
Only these particular fellows would have an Angel on a bicycle on one side of the sign. :-)
As for my fellow Democrats my first thought was of a sign saying:
GIVE ME A BICYCLE, OR GIVE ME DEA...
Then I realized that it was probably TOO EXTREME even for a Democrat. The Greens maybe? :-)
Democrats would more likely be seen waving these:
Not One Bike Lane In My Back Yard! ( NOBLIMBY )
Hug a Bicycle Today!
A Bike Ride a Day keeps the Doctor Away!
Bicycles Have Feelings, Too!
No Bicycles, No Peace!
Make Bicycles Not Bombs!
I Brake For Tricycles!
Safe Cycling Saves Lives!
Practice Safe Cycling, Use a Helmet!
Bicycles Don't Kill People, People Do!
I Flunked Bikeaholics Anonymous!
Then there are the ORGANIZATIONS, a cyclist might wish to join, such as:
NAMBA: North American Marvelous Bicycle Association
PETOB: People for the Ethical Treatment Of Bicyclists
Ok, it's after 130 in the AM here, and I'm getting sleepy....
If anyone on the Republican side of the Bike Path has any suggestions then send them in.
My sense of humor is an equal opportunity amuser & offender. :-)
I mean why should the Motorist have all the fun laughing at us Bicyclists, when we can have just as much fun laughing at ourselves? :-)
January 25, 2003
As my posting of Dan's piece, a while back, illustrates, while MY opinions and commentary will make up the majority of such items that I post here, posting links to the writings of others, OR posting ( & giving credit to the writer ) items of interest to bicyclists, of a reasonable length ( 500-1000 words ), submitted by others, is something I feel is worth doing as my time permits.
By items of interest I don't just mean opinions and commentary, but reports from participants in an event, & even links to news stories related to bicycling in some fashion that appear in your local newspaper. Know of a bike shop that opened BEFORE 1941 that has an internet presence? Let me know. You get the idea.
Feel free to send submissions to me, at the e-mail listed on this site, and you just MAY find yourself linked to from here, or your submission posted for all to see and even comment upon.
And, be aware that I will most likely have something to say, myself, about the contribution, if linked to, or posted. :-)
Do Republicans Ride Bicycles, Too?
I mean, Republicans to the far right of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, that is. :-)
I strongly believe there are and that they CAN BE FOUND running around SOMEWHERE waving signs proclaiming:
RIGHTWINGERS FOR BICYCLING!
Pedal, for Godssake, don't drive!
Save Your Soul, Ride a Bicycle to Church!
Even Rich Folk Ride Bicycles!
Join Your Personal Driver on a Tandem!
If you, dear reader, can think of any more such slogans of the Right-Leaning Bicyclist send them to my e-mail for inclusion & credit in a future entry. :-)
Pedaling History Bicycle Museum
A WEBSITE REVIEW:
I've spent the morning pedaling around this website a bit more than I did in the brief time I had available when I discovered it yesterday, and it's a fascinating site.
The Museum, itself, is located in Orchard Park, New York, and bills itself as "the world's largest Museum soley devoted to the impact of the Bicycle on our lives."
The first thing that gets the visitors attention is the colorful, and amusing, EVOLUTION OF THE CYCLIST that is incorporated into the site name banner ( I guess that's what ya call it! ).
My favorite "step" up the road shows the first Cave-cyclist & his trusty steed. ( This guy probably was President of the Bedrock Wheelmen Cycling Club & a neighbor of Fred & Barney ) :-)
Next are links & to and about several new books about cycling.
The next item featured is an invitation to join a Group Guided Tour of the place, and the pitch is enough to make any cycling enthusiast wish his or her vacation would hurry up & get here.
Next up is an introduction to the MUSEUM, and if that photo of ancient bicycles, on display, doesn't whet your appetite for more.....
This introduction is a must for the pictures alone, but there are other things to recommend a look: a gift shop link, links to monthly Special Events Info, including the upcoming Black History Month and its emphasis on the history of African-Americans & Cycling, & links to other exhibits around the USA.
On the left side of the page are a series of useful & interesting links, including:
The BICYCLE HISTORY link is what brought the site to my attention, and for a person, like myself, who has little idea of the history it was an education, and a pleasure to read.
For one thing, learn why, in 1896, Susan B. Anthony said that, "the bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."
BOOKS: The Museum sells & also publishes many great books on Cycling.
If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, and love collecting POSTERS, then this link will empty your wallet for a long time to come. The humor, and beauty, of these items is a joy just to look at.
There is a link to Travelling Exhibits for those of us too poor, or busy, to travel to New York.
There is a link to information about International Cycle History Conferences which are intended to "advance our knowledge of the roots of bicycling and to give due recognition to the pioneers."
Anyone who rides a bicycle, for sport, commuting, or recreation, & is interested in learning about the Bicycle, will find visiting the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum worthwhile.
January 24, 2003
Birth of the Bicycle
A 1st Look:
Observant folks will have noticed the date 1817 in the intro at the top of the page, and some have probably been wondering about that.....
Afterall, wasn't the 1st contraption to actually be called a "bicycle" invented in 1870, & weren't "safety bicycles" born in the 1880's?
Well, this site has a brief, and interesting, History of Bicycle Design.
And then there is this from a teaser on the Encyclopedia Britannica site ( but to read more about early bicycle history you have to have a subscription ):
"The first two-wheeled, rider-propelled machine of which there is evidence was the draisienne, invented by Baron Karl de Drais de Sauerbrun and exhibited in Paris on April 6, 1818."
Not to worry! Here is an interesting site I just discovered that has a wealth of information!
January 23, 2003
A Most Unusual Bike Maker
Peter Wagner makes new bikes.
Not just any bikes, mind you, but a rather unconventional collection of the darlings. :-)
This Davis, Ca., man, the inventor of something called the "Whymcycle" loves bikes, and lives in a cycling loving town known for its annual bike parade, the Cyclebration.
I agree with his sentiment that "Bikes are a low-cost, fun way of transportation"
Read all about him & his contraptions, in an article from the August 18-24, 2002 issue of AMERICAN PROFILE, at The Bicycle Recycler
January 19, 2003
Bike Lanes: Heaven or Hell?
1. The welfare of good cyclists is not the objective of the Bike Lane.
2. The judgement of Lane Designers is suspect.
3. You are often better off NOT using the Lane, and riding using proper road riding behavior.
After many moons of pedaling the pavement I have finally come across a bike lane that cements my feeling that riding in a Lane can be dangerous.
This lane is several miles long, on a major street, and is positioned to the LEFT of parked cars...... IN THE DOOR ZONE.
Yes, you read right, cars are allowed to park along the curb in the area NORMALLY reserved for Bike Lanes, & where bike riders would travel anyway.
Wassup with that?
This means trouble, and despite the supposed convenience I've decided to use another route to get to my destination.
I don't like Lanes because they give cyclists, AND motorists a false sense of security.
The naive cyclist assumes the motorist won't intrude on his path, and the ignorant motorist believes that cyclists BELONG in the gutter, and should never share the rest of the road.
The rest of us, cyclist and motorist, know otherwise.
Bike Lanes cause hazards in all sorts of locations and situations for the cyclist, and I've begun to realize, over the years, that being a vehicular cyclist instead of always hugging the gutter is a safer way to travel.
The added fact that I am more likely to encounter glass, gravel, and other trash & debris that could cause my steed a flat, while hugging the curb, is further reason to avoid being restricted to using such an area.
I share the public roadway with motorists, and as long as I practice safe cycling techniques I should have little to fear from motorists or them from me.
The more motorists, and cyclists, who learn to properly, and safely, share the road, the better traveling upon it will be for both of us.:-)
January 17, 2003
Friendly Neighborhood Bike Shop
Before the Bicycle Chain ( pun definitely intended! ) Conglomerates There Were the Family Shops of an Independant Nature.
Do you remember your 1st visit to a bicycle shop?
Did your family buy their bikes and get them repaired at the same shop, generation after generation?
Do you take YOUR kids to the same shop for their cycling needs?
Do you consider the owners, and employees to be friends?
ARE they family?
Bicycling is 186 years old.
America was changed forever by WW2.
So I figured why not make a fuss over those Bicycle Shops that have been around since Hector's GRANDFATHER, or even GREAT-GRANDFATHER, was a Pup.
or, possibly, even earlier.... :-)
That is the reason for the links I've added today. To honor those shops and their off-shoots, if any, that have been around since BEFORE 1941.
I have been a steady customer of Coates for 20 years, and while I don't know the names of the employees, and have only met the owner a few times, in the course of making a purchase, I continue to be pleased with the service they provide, and the products they sell.
The Bike Shop peddles the merchandise to us, and we pedal it away.
The next time you visit your favorite shop, say thank you for the many years of service. It will be appreciated.
And while you are at it, let me make a request...
The Elder Statesmen, and Women ( such as Helen's in Santa Monica, Ca. ), of the world's bike shops are a heritage, and a resource, to be honored, and cherished:
If anyone, reading this, knows of any shops, with an active web presence, or that has a linkable news story about their history, instead, online, in the US, or Internatioanlly, that have been around before the world changing events of WW 2 ( 1939 for Europe, and 1941 for America, and the rest of the world ), please send me an e-mail so I can consider adding them to the Honor Roll.
January 15, 2003
What Do Cyclists Wish For?
Are Our Dreams, Impossible Dreams?
I, for one, don't think they are.
As Bicyclists we wish for alot of things beyond just the smoothest pavement, the coolest bike, and the Perfect Bike Ride.
There's the hope that every place we shop, eat at, and otherwise spend our hard earned cash has a Bicycle rack, and especially one worthy of the name.
There's the hope that our mode of transportation, to and from work, is taken seriously by our employer, and co-workers.
There is the wish that sombody would bloody-well hurry the hell up and invent the 100% punctureless inner-tu.....
Ok, ok, sorry I got carried away there for a moment...... :-)
In 2001, a contributer to a message board I used to frequent wrote a wonderful piece concerning HIS Cyclist dreams.
I loved it so much that I saved it for future reference.
With the birth of this Blog I hit on the idea of sharing this piece with a wider audience than it had previously had, and so secured the individuals permission to post the piece here.
Dan is a long time cyclist. He is both teacher, and activist. A man whose knowledge and opinions have always impressed me.
He provided me with several of the links you see in the column to the left, is a member of several of the organizations listed, and I look forward to reading the links more fully, and commenting about them here.
So, without further ado, let me turn this space over to someone with a dream, actually several dreams, that all cyclists can eagerly get behind:
I ALSO HAVE DREAMS
By Daniel A. Gutierrez
Aerospace Cycling Club, Founder and Current President
Long Beach Cyclists, Technical Advisory Committee Chair
CA Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations (CABO), District 7 Director
League of American Bicyclists (LAB), Certified Instructor, LCI #962
International Bicycle Transportation Institute (BTI), Founding Board Chair
1. I have a dream that I'll not be the only vehicular cyclist, riding safely & legally in traffic, that I encounter on my morning cross county commutes.
2. I have a dream that ALL bicyclists will become empowered (critical mass=1) & learn to use the many thousands of miles of roads they already own, rather than fear them.
3. I have a dream that bicyclist advocates will 1st & foremost support cyclists' rights to safely & legally use all public roads, rather than help the anti-bicyclist forces (motorists, pedestrians, & many bicycle riders) push cyclists onto bike lanes & bike paths.
4. I have a dream that bicyclists will not be an afterthought in the planning & design of ALL public roads & that bicyclist education will be supported & funded by local government.
5. I have a dream that bicyclist advocates will encourage cyclists to improve their cycling skills & thereby replace fear of traffic & unsafe maneuvers with knowledge of traffic, rather than seeking dangerous facilities that promote low skill levels, unsafe maneuvers & reinforce existing fear.
6. I have a dream that bicyclist advocates will stop actively discriminating against skilled cyclists that already use major roads safely by falsely claiming that those same roads are mean, unsafe, or "not viable commute routes."
7. I have a dream that bicycle advocates will stop confusing bicyclists with pedestrians & acknowledge that transportation cyclists require MORE, not less, integration with motor vehicle traffic on public roads, & require MORE, not less, separation from pedestrians on so called "bike paths".
8. I have a dream that bicycle advocates will realize AND acknowledge that ALL public roads are already bicyclist facilities & that bike lane stripes don't "create space" for bicyclists , they take it away; even a narrow traffic lane is wider than a bike lane!
9. I have a dream that I will not have to build special re-inforced wheels for efficient bicycle commuting; so bad are the present surface conditions of many major roads.
10. I have a dream that when I arrive at my destination by bicycle , that safe & secure parking will be available.
11. I have a dream that the public will stop telling me that I'm crazy for bicycling major arterial roads, which are fast, safe & convenient for transportation.
12. I have a dream that bicyclist advocates will someday wake up & realize that "cyclists fare best when they act as & are treated as drivers of vehicles" & act accordingly...
Ok, dear reader, what do you think of Dans dreams?......