Tag Archives: bicycles

Tony and his really groovy bike…

So this is Tony. And that’s his really groovy bike. I was riding home today on a particularly hot and humid evening after a bustling day at work when I noticed him in front of me. He was riding somewhat slow and with headphones on, so I pulled up next to him and had to yell to get his attention. I asked if I could take his photo and he said yes. I started to pull over but he pointed to a sunny spot at the next corner. Tony is proud of his bike, as he should be. He built it from the ground up. I asked him if he minded if I took a few photos and he obliged, but with the caveat “don’t forget the hog” (which is in the bottom photo). That is one cool bike, I told him. Thank you was all he said. And then we rode our separate ways.

Urban Simplicity.

Tony and his really groovy bike…

So this is Tony. And that’s his really groovy bike. I was riding home today on a particularly hot and humid evening after a bustling day at work when I noticed him in front of me. He was riding somewhat slow and with headphones on, so I pulled up next to him and had to yell to get his attention. I asked if I could take his photo and he said yes. I started to pull over but he pointed to a sunny spot at the next corner. Tony is proud of his bike, as he should be. He built it from the ground up. I asked him if he minded if I took a few photos and he obliged, but with the caveat “don’t forget the hog” (which is visible on his fender in the top photo, and in a closeup in the bottom photo). That is one cool bike, I told him. Thank you was all he said. And then we rode our separate ways.

Urban Simplicity.

Snow Hunger…

So a couple things. I came out of our local JCC where where I regularly steam and swim and this moon was staring me in the face. I had my tripod with me because I’m participating in the Fun-a-Day project for February–and am taking a photo a day for the month–and wasn’t sure what would inspire me until I saw this. I came out the back door just as it rose over the horizon on another really frigid night and it nearly took my breath away. The February full moon goes by many names–Sad Moon, Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, to name a few–but the one that really resonated with me was Hunger Moon, so named because food (in times bygone) was often scarce during this frigid month. And yes, it has been frigid…and snowy. Below is an image of my bike after arriving home this evening. I’d be lying if I said it has been easy these past few days, but I’m still enjoying it and know it won’t last forever (and I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s about this time of year that I don’t start to pine for warmer weather). This said,  I really enjoy being an active part of my environment, plus it’s a great workout. Some people downhill or cross-country ski, some mountain bike, this is what I (and others) do. And there is something really ironic, I think, when a guy on a bike stops to help push a car that is stuck in the snow.

Urban Simplicity.

Madonna on a bike…

This is Madonna on her bike. No not that Madonna, the Madonna of Buffalo. Or at least that’s what she told me her name is. I’ve seen Madonna in her colorful clothes riding her colorful trike for quite some time now. And when I got out of work today she was at a shop on Allen Street here in Buffalo so I stopped and asked if I could take her photo. She agreed, and I handed her my business card with this blog’s address on it. She looks at it, then looks up at me. Then she says my name, and “I know you, you’re that bike-riding cook-minister guy”…all I could do is smile. We ended up talking for about 15 minutes…about how difficult the winters can be on a bike but that we still don’t want to own a car, about reincarnation and our past lives, and why she says a Hail Mary and does the sign of the cross at every intersection. Then later this evening I passed her on Elmwood Avenue, both of us calling each other’s names as we passed. Nice. I’m finally glad to have met you, my eccentric friend.

Urban Simplicity.

Sometimes two seats are better than one…and they’re for sale.

Yup. It’s true. My beloved tandem is for sale. We sort of outgrew it. And by “we” I mean my son and I. This is the bike I used to transport him when he was a kid, now he is a young man. It’s a really good and solid bike, it rides great, and is really fun to ride. If you happen to be in the WNY and are interested feel free to contact me. If you want to see some of the specifics of the bike and it’s price, click here for its craigslist posting.

Urban Simplicity.

Mului and his new bike!

Nearly a month ago I posted a fundraiser request to get fellow co-worker Mului a new bike (click here for that post, or here for the original Go Fund Me page). At the time I was impressed (but mostly moved) by the fact that what I thought would take a week or two to raise the money only took an hour-and-a-half! Well the check finally came in and I was able to pick up his new bike with him today. In the picture above (from L to R) is yours truly, Mului, and Tom, the owner of Rick Cycle that helped put the bike together for us. I just wanted to say thank you again to all who helped with the donations.

Urban Simplicity.

Mului and his new bike!

Nearly a month ago I posted a fundraiser request to get fellow co-worker Mului a new bike (click here for that post, or here for the original Go Fund Me page). At the time I was impressed (but mostly moved) by the fact that what I thought would take a week or two to raise the money only took an hour-and-a-half! Well the check finally came in and I was able to pick up his new bike with him today. In the picture above (from L to R) is yours truly, Mului, and Tom, the owner of Rick Cycle that helped put the bike together for us. I just wanted to say thank you again to all who helped with the donations.

Urban Simplicity.

A bike-centric post for National Bike Month (and week)

So as many of you know, May is National Bike Month, and this week is National Bike Week. And over the past week or so I have been seeing a fair amount of bike activity. The biggest being that there are tons of people on bikes with the warm weather upon us (I just wish more of them would follow the rules of the road). Anyhow, I thought I’d post a few random photo representing this. Pictured above are two bikes which are part of the brand new Buffalo Bike Share program…I have been seeing these bikes everywhere. Below are two friendly guys (And I am really sorry that I cannot remember your names) who are offering free breakfast or take-away lunches or coffee from Cafe 59 (in recognition of Bike Week). The chap on the left is from Rick Cycle Shop right across the street, and on the right is from Go Bike Buffalo…thanks guys! The next photo down shows a full “parking lot” at the local JCC (you can see the Mundo in the distance). Next are a couple photos of random bicycle tire sculptures I’ve been seeing around. And the last photo really has nothing to do with bikes other than I pass it everyday while riding one…but I really like it. Anyhow, to quote Freddy Mercury…get on your bikes and ride!


Urban Simplicity.

A bike-centric post for National Bike Month (and week)

So as many of you know, May is National Bike Month, and this week is National Bike Week. And over the past week or so I have been seeing a fair amount of bike activity. The biggest being that there are tons of people on bikes with the warm weather upon us (I just wish more of them would follow the rules of the road). Anyhow, I thought I’d post a few random photo representing this. Pictured above are two bikes which are part of the brand new Buffalo Bike Share program…I have been seeing these bikes everywhere. Below are two friendly guys (And I am really sorry that I cannot remember your names) who are offering free breakfast or take-away lunches or coffee from Cafe 59 (in recognition of Bike Week). The chap on the left is from Rick Cycle Shop right across the street, and on the right is from Go Bike Buffalo…thanks guys! The next photo down shows a full “parking lot” at the local JCC (you can see the Mundo in the distance). Next are a couple photos of random bicycle tire sculptures I’ve been seeing around. And the last photo really has nothing to do with bikes other than I pass it everyday while riding one…but I really like it. Anyhow, to quote Freddy Mercury…get on your bikes and ride!


Urban Simplicity.

The view from my handlebars, or the beauty right in front of me, or a few things I saw while riding my bike today…

It’s always sort of invigorating to finish a project no matter how big or small. This morning, for example, I finished a short paper that I had to write and I thought I’d reward myself with a bike ride and take a few photos. I rode first through my neighborhood and the downtown area, then on to the outskirts through the more industrial area (yes those deer are in the city). Heavy wet snow fell the entire while but it felt good. Great, actually. It felt good to be out in the elements and see what was right in front of me.

Urban Simplicity.

Yes, there are not enough [sic]…

I was in Amsterdam only once, and it was many years ago (egad, 25 to be exact). It was on my first and longest visit to Europe; I went with a friend with open-ended return tickets (is one still allowed to do this today?) and nothing but what we could carry on our backs. There were no iPhones, tablets, DSLR cameras, etc., etc. at the time. Just us, our clothes in our back packs, a few books, and 35mm cameras. Even then I was taken by not only the beauty of the city but also by the way most everyone got around on bikes. And I actually remember the day I took the above photo. It was an alley in the heart of the city (don’t ask me where) and as we passed I was taken by it’s tranquility.

Anyhow, I recently came across this story at Treehugger regarding this story in the NY Times which comments on how there are too many bikes in Amsterdam. It’s interesting in that the NY Times article appears in the very renaissance of bikes in its very city. The below video is in response to the NY Times article.

Urban Simplicity.

And now for something a little different…

Okay. So you know by now that I like bicycles. A lot. I believe they are one of our most efficient machines, if not the most efficient. But, well..I don’t think I really want to leave the ground on one. Interestingly, the original plane at Kitty Hawk took flight using bicycle parts, and the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics prior to building their plane. Anyhow, I recently came across this on Treehugger and thought it was interesting enough to share. Their actual site is located here, and their kickstarter page is located here. Take a look at the short video below. I’d be interested in hearing what others thought…could you take off on this thing?

Urban Simplicity.

Five (or nine) Quotes about Bicycles

“Get a bicycle.  You will certainly not regret it, if you live.”
~ Mark Twain

 

“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”
~ H.G. Wells 

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.” 
~ Elizabeth West 
 
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.”
~ William G. Golding  

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood.”
~ Susan B. Anthony

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair. That which made me succeed with the bicycle was precisely what had gained me a measure of success in life — it was the hardihood of spirit that led me to begin, the persistence of will that held me to my task, and the patience that was willing to begin again when the last stroke had failed. And so I found high moral uses in the bicycle and can commend it as a teacher without pulpit or creed. She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life”.

~ Frances E. Willard 

“The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.”

~ Iris Murdoch

Urban Simplicity
More in the Five Quotes series. 

The Holstee Manifesto via Lifecycle…

You may have seen this before (the Holstee Manifesto), or at least variations of it. Well, this is another one, this time put to video with music and bikes. While I do find the manifesto really inspiring, parts of it are not that practical (how, for example, could a single working mom quit her job simply because she doesn’t like it). Nonetheless, I do find it inspiring, and the video of people on bikes is pretty cool, too.

Winter Riding Tip…

Okay. So if you are an all-weather cyclist you likely already know this. I do have a tendency to state the obvious (or at least the known), and for that I apologize in advance. But I read somewhere years ago, and it’s something that I found out really works, is that if you lower the pressure on your tires (ever so slightly) you will get better traction in the snow. The theory behind this is that more tire will be touching the ground (or snow). You don’t want to deflate them so much that it is difficult to ride or dangerous…just a bit that it’s barely noticeable (air, I’ve also read, naturally compresses when it’s cold, thus the tires lose a little pressure on their own when the temps drop). Anyhow, I just thought I’d pass this on. I’d also be interested in hearing if other winter cyclists have tried this or have other tips.

Urban Simplicity.