feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Archive for January, 2010

Hub Bicycle Company to open in Cambridge

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I just happened to be walking by when Hub Bicycle Company was putting up her sign. The owner says she’ll be providing full-service bike repair, done by herself, as well as parts and accessories. She’ll be opening Feb. 1, so go check her out!

(BTW: with a little internet sleuthing, I think her name is Emily)

Pretty Cyclist

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

all black outfit on a bikeOK, so her pretty hair, sleek boots, and adorable jacket don’t really follow the same aesthetic as her bike. But that’s ok, she’s out in Cambridge in January, getting her errands done and looking good while she does them. I want to point out that when I first saw her she’d pulled over onto the sidewalk to use her phone safely. I think she was getting directions. Courteous and cute, a winning combo!

Cycling in San Diego

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

My dad got the cycling bug big time while he was here in Boston. Last week he was in San Diego for work and has this San Diego cycling report to share:

Cycling in downtown San Diego is a little like Boston except with no separate bike lane. It was cool for San Diego and intermittent rain. Hardly any bikers. Didn’t see any bike commuters. Rode around using roadway and sidewalk when available. Cars gave me room. There is a wide promenade along the shoreline which is good for sightseeing, including the aircraft carrier Midway. Rode out to airport to pick up my rental car saving the cab fare… Picked up a bike map put out by the County, but didn’t get chance to use it. The bike rental shop was right downtown, two blocks from my hotel. Closed on Sunday so big problem for weekend rental. My car rental was /day. The mountain bike was /day, /hour.

Another sort of Flower Bike

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I don’t generally go for the decorative bike. I think functional bikes are beautiful enough, I prefer those. This one, spotted outside an independent bookstore on Cape Cod this weekend, made me smile so I wanted to share it. Perhaps I like it because it never was a real bike, never could have been ridden, so being a planter is not degradation. I can’t wait ’till it can be filled with real flowers – just a few more months!

Someone has a sense of humor

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Though not as objectively beautiful as the other “Pinarello” city bike I’ve featured, this one always gives us a smile when we pass it on Newbury Street.

Metabolix Green Machine

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Gary Fisher Metabolix Green Machine bike bicycle
This bicycle has several signs prominently zip-tied to it touting “Metabolix Green Machine”. Google doesn’t have much information, and I haven’t seen another Gary Fisher similarly equipped. I wonder if this is the beginning of that Kendall Square bike share we’ve heard about?

Gary Fisher Metabolix Green Machine bike bicycle

Gary Fisher Metabolix Green Machine bike bicycle

MIT Aluminum Bicycle

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

I was at the MIT museum for an energy club function and I couldn’t get close enough to the display to read about this bike, but I hope to get back and read more about this first aluminum bike.

The richness of the bicycle history in this area astounds me sometimes. Boston’s been part of it all along.

Pretty Blue Fleet Wing

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

OK, you can tell this photo was taken this autumn. There are no pools of briny snow, and those mums look so cheerful!

I loved this bike for the vivid blue color and the white accents.

bright blue Fleet Wing bike bicycle

bright blue Fleet Wing bike bicycle

bright blue Fleet Wing bike bicycle

Start of my Ladies Coat Project

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

LL Bean ladies camel wool car coat

I’ve been envious enough of my husband’s cycling jacket to be on the hunt for one of my own. I finally found what I was looking for in the after Christmas sales. Oh the irony that the perfect cycling coat is currently being called a “car coat“!

The coat is:LL Bean car coat camel wool on clearance

  1. wool (blend)
  2. light camel colored to contrast with asphalt
  3. Thinsulate lined
  4. possessing seam details I can highlight in 3M reflective tape
  5. shorter in length, as my current coat occludes my seatpost tail light
  6. otherwise unremarkable, and thus unlikely to draw attention to itself
  7. inexpensive (yes, that factory outlet clearance sticker says .98)

I’ve been wearing the coat since the New Year and it feels strangely warmer than my JCrew Thinsulate coat. It may be because the LL Bean version is much lighter, so the same warmth seems remarkable.

In social lighting the coat does not read as anything remarkable:

modified cycling coat LL Bean car coat camel wool 3M Scotchlite reflective tape

Here the coat is flashed, you can see the one band of reflective tape and see all those seams where I can add more!

modified cycling coat LL Bean car coat camel wool 3M Scotchlite reflective tape flashed

I look forward to getting everywhere bike and still quickly looking almost “normal” (whatever that really is).

Wheel Building Advice Needed

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

You all know that I have wanted a dynohub for ages. I didn’t end up building the SA vintage front hub for a lot of reasons, but that’s ok because Santa brought me a Shimano instead!

I am *very* excited.

The remaining challenge is choosing a rim. Here’s the scenario I see –

  1. 99% of the time this wheel will be used for commuting in Boston. I look forward to being brighter still during our long winter (I’ll keep using my battery light) and I may use the wheel year-round for safety like Velib’ and others do. The rear rim I’m using is a Salsa Delgado.
  2. Once or maybe twice a year I will use this wheel on long-distance randonneuring rides. My husband rode his last year for the 400k while I fumbled through with two battery lights (only because his illumination helped, and I don’t suggest learning this lesson the way I did), and if I were to do a 600k or even maybe (maybe!) Paris-Brest someday then this wheel will see some distance. The rear rim I’m using on that bike a Mavic Open Pro.

So, what do you wise readers think? Is there a suitable rim that falls between those two uses – sturdy enough for a front wheel year-round commuting, but with enough performance to roll long distances once or twice annually?