Category Archives: bicycles

>Return of the Scorcher

>http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-1753917347928363206&hl=en&fs=true

I just came across this short documentary (27 minutes) and if I had to sum it up in a word it would be: excellent. If I could use another it would be: inspiring. I know many have probably seen this before–given it was originally released in 1992–but I had not. And I found it interesting that what it says (the over all message) is just as relevant, possibly even more relent, today. I’ve you’ve not seen it and are interested in bicycling as a valid form of transportation I encourage you to do so.

Here’s a description copied from Ted White’s website (the filmmaker).

This half-hour documentary looks at bike culture and bike lifestyles around the world with beautiful and inspiring scenes of bike use filmed in China, The Netherlands, Denmark, and the U.S.
In the 1890’s, before automobiles ruled the roads, bicyclists were referred to as “Scorchers” because of their blazing speed. A century later, in a world filled with car-related environmental and social problems, Return of the Scorcher discovers an inspired and evolving bicycling renaissance.
This documentary touches on a surprising variety of subjects including romance, rebellion, early feminism, and spirituality – all viewed within the context of bicycling.

Return of the Scorcher questions our obsession with “progress” and status and presents a diverse cross-section of cycling visionaries who see the bicycle as a life-affirming vehicle for change.

Featured interviewees include: Marcia Lowe, Michael Replogle, Iain Boal, Ellen Fletcher, George Bliss and others.

Return of the Scorcher

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-1753917347928363206&hl=en&fs=true

I just came across this short documentary (27 minutes) and if I had to sum it up in a word it would be: excellent. If I could use another it would be: inspiring. I know many have probably seen this before–given it was originally released in 1992–but I had not. And I found it interesting that what it says (the over all message) is just as relevant, possibly even more relent, today. I’ve you’ve not seen it and are interested in bicycling as a valid form of transportation I encourage you to do so.

Here’s a description copied from Ted White’s website (the filmmaker).

This half-hour documentary looks at bike culture and bike lifestyles around the world with beautiful and inspiring scenes of bike use filmed in China, The Netherlands, Denmark, and the U.S.
In the 1890’s, before automobiles ruled the roads, bicyclists were referred to as “Scorchers” because of their blazing speed. A century later, in a world filled with car-related environmental and social problems, Return of the Scorcher discovers an inspired and evolving bicycling renaissance.
This documentary touches on a surprising variety of subjects including romance, rebellion, early feminism, and spirituality – all viewed within the context of bicycling.

Return of the Scorcher questions our obsession with “progress” and status and presents a diverse cross-section of cycling visionaries who see the bicycle as a life-affirming vehicle for change.

Featured interviewees include: Marcia Lowe, Michael Replogle, Iain Boal, Ellen Fletcher, George Bliss and others.

>New Chain Guard…New Squeak

>

Last week I posted on prepping the Mule for winter (click here) and one of the things that I wanted to do was install a new chain guard. Well, the short answer is that I was able to install it and I really do love it. I love how efficient it is and I love how it looks (I know not everyone will agree with me on that second part…I used to be part of the non-chain guard camp myself). You can see how it originally looked in the upper left photo, and then how it protects my pants in the photo next to it. The slightly longer version of the story is that when I purchased the guard I was not aware that the bracket mounted behind the crank. I do most of my own bike repairs but had never removed a crank and bottom bracket. Well, lets just say that this was no easy task on a bike that is more than 10 years old (I’m guessing as I bought it used), and on one that has primarily been used as a winter bike. Needless to say it took the purchase of two new small tools (not a problem; I like owning my own tools), and two trips to the bike shop (click here to see it being towed by the Mundo). On the bright side–besides the fact that I love the new chain guard–I am now fully acquainted with the removal and reassembly of a crank and bottom bracket 🙂

Now here’s where I’m hoping some of my virtual bike friends can be of assistance. Since installing the new apparatus I not only have a new chain guard but also a new squeak. There is nothing rubbing, everything is securely re-installed, and it sounds like it is coming from the left crank (which seems to be firmly attached) or possibly inside the left side of the bottom bracket. It happens when I press down with my left foot; when I coast there is no sound. I’m also wondering if it is something as simple as old pedals…they are original and not the best quality. There is no drag…just a small squeak…enough to make it annoying.  As I rode home tonight from work…squeak, squeak, squeak….

Any thoughts?

New Chain Guard…New Squeak

Last week I posted on prepping the Mule for winter (click here) and one of the things that I wanted to do was install a new chain guard. Well, the short answer is that I was able to install it and I really do love it. I love how efficient it is and I love how it looks (I know not everyone will agree with me on that second part…I used to be part of the non-chain guard camp myself). You can see how it originally looked in the upper left photo, and then how it protects my pants in the photo next to it. The slightly longer version of the story is that when I purchased the guard I was not aware that the bracket mounted behind the crank. I do most of my own bike repairs but had never removed a crank and bottom bracket. Well, lets just say that this was no easy task on a bike that is more than 10 years old (I’m guessing as I bought it used), and on one that has primarily been used as a winter bike. Needless to say it took the purchase of two new small tools (not a problem; I like owning my own tools), and two trips to the bike shop (click here to see it being towed by the Mundo). On the bright side–besides the fact that I love the new chain guard–I am now fully acquainted with the removal and reassembly of a crank and bottom bracket 🙂

Now here’s where I’m hoping some of my virtual bike friends can be of assistance. Since installing the new apparatus I not only have a new chain guard but also a new squeak. There is nothing rubbing, everything is securely re-installed, and it sounds like it is coming from the left crank (which seems to be firmly attached) or possibly inside the left side of the bottom bracket. It happens when I press down with my left foot; when I coast there is no sound. I’m also wondering if it is something as simple as old pedals…they are original and not the best quality. There is no drag…just a small squeak…enough to make it annoying.  As I rode home tonight from work…squeak, squeak, squeak….

Any thoughts?

>Planning for Winter, Prepping the Mule, its New Chain Guard, and How I got it

>

First of all…no it is not snowing here in Western New York, at least not yet. The above photo is of my bike I fondly call the “Mule;” the photo was taken last winter. It’s an old Trek that I purchased at a flea market for $40.00 and made some adjustments and have ridden it for the past 4 winters…it is truly a good ride and  a rugged piece of machinery. Anyhow, like many bikes sold in America it does not come with a chain guard…I can’t tell you how many pairs of pants are either stained or ripped because of this. Here’s a picture of the crank up close.

After tearing the pant leg of a brand new pair of jeans last spring I decided to do an internet search for universal chain guard. I came across one that looked good by a company out of Germany called SKS. I originally found it at this page on Amazon and at closer inspection I saw that it was sold through Niagara Cycle Works, which after Googling it I found it was only about 30 miles from my house, and they, in fact, had the same item listed on their website. So on a cold, rainy, and slushy day last spring I drove my vehicle to their shop. When I asked for the item the sales person told me they didn’t have it. Will you be getting it in? I inquired. No, he replied, we don’t actually carry it. But it’s listed that you do on your website. To get to the point, he told me that many of the items listed they don’t actually carry at their store, they are at their “virtual warehouse.” Huh? He told me I would be better off just ordering it through them on Amazon because if I didn’t like it I could return it through Amazon but If I ordered it through the store directly it would be un-returnable. I say again, huh? At any rate, I put off ordering it through the summer but  as the cold months are encrouching I decided to prep the Mule for the winter and I finally got around to ordering it. It arrived today and it looks pretty good (pictured below). I haven’t installed it yet because I lack the neccessary crank tool to do so (I’ll visit the bike shop tomorrow). The guard comes in a few sizes and I ordered the larger size (I figure it would be easier to modify a larger one if it didn’t fit perfectly than try to stretch a smaller size)…anyhow it looks like it’ll fit pretty well. I’ll post pictures after it’s installed. I’d be interested to know how other bikers out there in the blogesphere deal with a guardless chain, or if they’ve used this item. And also…do you ride through the winter 🙂

Planning for Winter, Prepping the Mule, its New Chain Guard, and How I got it

First of all…no it is not snowing here in Western New York, at least not yet. The above photo is of my bike I fondly call the “Mule;” the photo was taken last winter. It’s an old Trek that I purchased at a flea market for $40.00 and made some adjustments and have ridden it for the past 4 winters…it is truly a good ride and  a rugged piece of machinery. Anyhow, like many bikes sold in America it does not come with a chain guard…I can’t tell you how many pairs of pants are either stained or ripped because of this. Here’s a picture of the crank up close.

After tearing the pant leg of a brand new pair of jeans last spring I decided to do an internet search for universal chain guard. I came across one that looked good by a company out of Germany called SKS. I originally found it at this page on Amazon and at closer inspection I saw that it was sold through Niagara Cycle Works, which after Googling it I found it was only about 30 miles from my house, and they, in fact, had the same item listed on their website. So on a cold, rainy, and slushy day last spring I drove my vehicle to their shop. When I asked for the item the sales person told me they didn’t have it. Will you be getting it in? I inquired. No, he replied, we don’t actually carry it. But it’s listed that you do on your website. To get to the point, he told me that many of the items listed they don’t actually carry at their store, they are at their “virtual warehouse.” Huh? He told me I would be better off just ordering it through them on Amazon because if I didn’t like it I could return it through Amazon but If I ordered it through the store directly it would be un-returnable. I say again, huh? At any rate, I put off ordering it through the summer but  as the cold months are encrouching I decided to prep the Mule for the winter and I finally got around to ordering it. It arrived today and it looks pretty good (pictured below). I haven’t installed it yet because I lack the neccessary crank tool to do so (I’ll visit the bike shop tomorrow). The guard comes in a few sizes and I ordered the larger size (I figure it would be easier to modify a larger one if it didn’t fit perfectly than try to stretch a smaller size)…anyhow it looks like it’ll fit pretty well. I’ll post pictures after it’s installed. I’d be interested to know how other bikers out there in the blogesphere deal with a guardless chain, or if they’ve used this item. And also…do you ride through the winter 🙂

>Fish Bikes

>

The above photo was taken by a friend on a recent trip to San Fransisco (thanks Monique!). It’s a pretty exquisite piece of machinery/art, is it not? I couldn’t help thinking how you’d have to have a certain strong constitution to ride a bike that was made to resemble a big fish on wheels. What gives, I wondered? Is it a publicity bike for a fish store? A band? I’ll probably never know. But I also began to wonder who else would ride such a bike so I Googled fish bike and was somewhat surprised…it seems there are plenty of fish in the sea, err…street. Out of curiosity, if there are any San Franciscans (or anyone else for that matter) reading this blog and you know the meaning behind any of these fish bikes I’d love to know.

Image found here.
 Image found here.
Image found here.

Fish Bikes

The above photo was taken by a friend on a recent trip to San Fransisco (thanks Monique!). It’s a pretty exquisite piece of machinery/art, is it not? I couldn’t help thinking how you’d have to have a certain strong constitution to ride a bike that was made to resemble a big fish on wheels. What gives, I wondered? Is it a publicity bike for a fish store? A band? I’ll probably never know. But I also began to wonder who else would ride such a bike so I Googled fish bike and was somewhat surprised…it seems there are plenty of fish in the sea, err…street. Out of curiosity, if there are any San Franciscans (or anyone else for that matter) reading this blog and you know the meaning behind any of these fish bikes I’d love to know.

Image found here.
 Image found here.
Image found here.

Bicycles in Amsterdam, circa 1986

I just purchased a new printer (was in very desperate need) and it is also equipped with a scanner which I’ve been playing around with. Anyhow, here’s a few pictures of bikes I took on a trip to Amsterdam in the mid-1980’s…and yes, I was interested in bikes even back then, my entire life actually. I found it interesting looking through these old photos…when I took them I had never heard of a digital camera, scanner, or the Internet.

>Bicycles in Amsterdam, circa 1986

>

I just purchased a new printer (was in very desperate need) and it is also equipped with a scanner which I’ve been playing around with. Anyhow, here’s a few pictures of bikes I took on a trip to Amsterdam in the mid-1980’s…and yes, I was interested in bikes even back then, my entire life actually. I found it interesting looking through these old photos…when I took them I had never heard of a digital camera, scanner, or the Internet.