feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Archive for April, 2010

"We all have to respect each other"

Friday, April 9th, 2010

I think Nicole Freedman’s statement regarding the two recent cycling accidents pretty much sums it up. We just all have to respect each other.

Please, stay safe and courteous. What sad days in Boston.

This little light of mine

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I think of cute determination on the rare occasions when I see a Brompton. With Harris Cyclery and Broadway Bicycles now selling them it’s become a lot easier to welcome a Brompton into one’s tiny Boston apartment.

So while today is (so far) merely a two Brompton day, on Monday I saw a record-shattering four Bromptons around town, meaning three that weren’t my husbands!!! (for the record, I didn’t see Sexy Brompton or Elton from Harris, so that means there are at least 6 Bromptons in Boston!)

Last spring I saw a wonderful Brompton tail light modification. We have now implemented a version of this ourselves. Here you can see the new Planet Bike blinkie mounted to his rear rack:

blinkie tail light BromptonThose two brass pieces are corner braces from the hardware store. I think a pack of four of them cost .50 but I could be off by as much as 50%. I just don’t remember. They hold a Planet Bike Taillight Rack Bracket – you will need a set of screws and bolts (we conveniently had some, if you don’t have some plan to buy these too).

The bracket is compatible with Blinky 3,5,7 and Superflash – had I known this I would have bought the Superflash, which is by far the best tail light ever.

Yes, the light is off-center. The holes were drilled into the rack slightly off-center. Don’t know why.

side view tail light Brompton bike blinkie
Here you can see how the corner brackets and the rack bracket still keep the profile of the light within the Brompton’s carrier wheels. This means that the light does not strike anything when the bike is folding and unfolding.

rear view of a BromptonHere the light is safely folded under. You can also see another light dangling from the seat. I cannot find this light anywhere on the web, but I know it’s out there. We bought it at Harris but they don’t list it. It’s great for a Brompton because it is so flexible and not impeding the seat post.

three tail lights on a Brompton
In one weekend we went from one tail light to three. Three tail lights are probably overkill, but given the dangers of cycling Boston it makes me feel better to know that he’s visible. The helmet-mounted light moves with his movements (including checking traffic where it can’t be seen anymore), the seat-mounted light swings wildly with all movements, and the rack-mounted light is low, but constant, and that’s good.

Finally, apropos these darling Bromptons, you must remember:
Ce n’est pas un petit vélo, c’est un vélo qui sait se faire petit.

Whimsical Reflective Stars

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

bicycle reflector shape star starsLove these little reflective stars stuck on the rear fender for a little smile, and a little safety. Safe riding to everyone!

Places to go, things to carry

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

lady with cargo on her bikeWe saw this bike parked outside our café and were marveling at the amount of cargo this person was carrying. Imagine our surprise when a lady about our mothers’ age emerged from the café with a box of pastries, added it to her load, and pedaled off in her black ankle boots and little red riding jacket. Definitely not the urban warrior we expected, but an urban warrior all the same. I want to be like her when I grow up!

lady with cargo on her bike

Sunny 3 Speed

Monday, April 5th, 2010

beautiful brown three speed bike
This classy three speed bike made me smile. I love the white sidewalls on the tires, the beautifully broken-in Brooks saddle. For necessary modern upgrades we have the Continental Kool Stop brake pads and the Planet Bike blinkie, both of which I enjoy on my own bike (more on that soon).

vintage basket on a 3 speed
Those worn cork grips complement the brown frame perfectly, and Grant “Beausage” Petersen would certainly approve. The Crane bell is the perfect touch, of course, and I can’t neglect the vintage basket. Everything is perfect.

classy three speed bike
Since starting this blog I’ve learned to appreciate many subtle things about old 3-speed bikes (painted fender stays? check!) This one has them all. Perfect.

Marathon Monday Ride

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

My friend Cris alerted me to this ride last year, after I’d sadly already missed it. Won’t make that mistake again! See the press release or read on….

Be a part of history with this bicycle endeavor. Since 1986, every Patriot’s Day, a group of 40+ cyclists, lead by Hal Gabriel, join forces to bike the Boston Marathon path. It’s a 52 miles excursion from Boston to Hopkinton and back. Be assured you will not be alone and there is enough support to get everyone through this trek.

Upon the participants return, the Greater Boston Central YMCA will provide free refreshments and Fitness Foundry will dole out free T-shirts. It’s a Win, Win event.

Here are the details on ‘Hal’s 25th Annual Boston Marathon Day Ride’:

52 Total Miles. 26 miles each way.
BYOB: Bring Your Own Bicycle
Cost: Free
Experience: All are welcomed
Date: April 19, 2010
Start Time: 6:00am EST
Estimated End Time: 10am
Location: The front steps of ‘The Greater Boston Central YMCA’ on Huntington Ave., Boston, Mass.
Weather: Rain or Shine.
Pre-requisite: Must sign agreement form to participate in physical activity.

Things to Consider:
Please arrive 20 minutes early to prepare for the ride.
They ride to the starting point in Copley Square.
There is no competition. Ride at your own pace.
Weather elements. Dress accordingly.
Be cautious of potholes.
Be smart and alert to surroundings.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride.
Hal’s motto for this year is “Keep Moving”…
Be well and stay active

Sounds like the closest I’m ever going to get to participating in the Boston Marathon so I’m planning to ride. Hope to see you there!

Yellow Dawes Galaxy

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Yellow Dawes GalaxyThis tiny yellow Dawes Galaxy can often be spotted downtown where I always say hello. It’s a tiny bike, as you can see from how short the headtube is, it’s almost too short to allow those elegant lugs.

The bike is essentially original and in very good shape. I don’t know if the bulb horn was stock on a Galaxy, somehow I think that was added!

engraved Dawes handlebarMy handbuilt Dawes shares many of these same components, despite being a later non-Galaxy model (probably a double five). Mine also originally had engraved drop handlebars, though mine were not as fancy as these beautiful bars.

Yellow Dawes Galaxy hand built bicycle
Here you can see the older-style Dawes torch headbadge (which my mother’s bike also sports), and the Galaxy’s original fork. I adore the gold swirling edge on that badge. My lugs are more elaborate, but I have a similar headset (and need to replace it).

A cute, cheerful vintage bike for sure!

Single Rose

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Rose on a red bikeSpotted parked in the South End, you know I smiled when I saw this racy-looking chromed red singlespeed, with a rose on the handlebars.

I imagine the person who rides this bike – probably someone who is usually a speedster, but was given this rose-ring by someone dear to them and so s/he abandoned the minimalist aesthetic to keep it close, there on the handlebars.

Or maybe it’s a conscious reminder to ‘stop and smell the flowers’?

Whatever the story, I love flowers on bikes in general, and the dichotomy of this mental image in particular.

rose on a bike