feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Archive for November, 2010

Brown stockings and boots

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

It’s a beautiful day here in Boston, much warmer than expected.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful holiday filled with friends, delicious food, and bicycles!

Mild in Ma

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

It was such a perfect day I was delighted to see so many other cyclists out enjoying it. Unfortunately my camera was not so perfect, we both seem to be lacking charge these days. Still, hurray for the lovely ladies out on Mass Ave this morning.

One handed, in heels.

Black and white and going places.

Yellow trees and yellow bikes make for an autumnal morning.

Unusual Frame spotted on Newbury Street

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I’ve seen frames where the seat tube hugs the outline of the rear wheel, but this was the first frame I’d seen where the seat tube straddles the wheel. Given the triangle formed there it almost looks like the lovechild of a mixte and GT.

Blinkies

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

I have deleted several long posts, I think I’m going to leave this with a few short thoughts:

1) I compared my blinkie to the hazard lights flashing on a UPS truck on Marlborough St., a car on Newbury St., and a Comcast truck in the South End. My blinkie was dimmer than all of them, and really the Comcast truck looked like a mobile disco. Unlike these empty double-parked vehicles, my bike has a largely unprotected cyclist on it (I do wear a helmet but…).

2) My blinkie is also less bright than the turn signals of cars, as best as I can determine.

3) I drove a car through the city recently and naturally was attuned to looking for cyclists, particularly watching for any bike ninjas without any lights at all (note that most drivers are not that careful). Driving past the movie theater I saw a light on the other side of the street. My first thought was cyclist, turns out it was just the reflection of a movie theater light on the side of a shiny trash can. The city is filled with lights, those which are identifiably cyclists help a great deal in actually seeing the cyclist.

4) As someone who has personally experienced a seizure and been treated for them, I have first hand knowledge of the discomfort of blinking lights. No, I don’t love them. Yes, I do notice them. Yes, I’ve learned in my life how to deal with them. I don’t stare at them. I don’t watch Pokemon. What more can I say? We’re not about to outlaw the turn signal! There is a very good reason our society has settled on the blinking light as a signal for “there’s something unexpected in your roadway here, be aware”.

I do switch to solid lights when there are cyclists going my direction for a long period of time. I do blink on my evening commute. These are very different situations.

There is a small but very vocal anti-blinkie contingent here. I respect your choice. I have good reasons for mine, please respect them.

French Reflective Scarves

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Ah, the French and their scarves, always wonderful, always novel.

A friend of mine sent a link to Rayon Jaune (in French), a new company north of Lyon, near the Swiss border, which offers these wonderful reflective scarves. As seen above, the idea is that there is a “normal” side one wears in town, and a reflective side that’s meant for while one is on a bike.

The leaf print shown above is my favorite.

This dot option is my second-favorite, that’s pretty wonderful.

However, I’m not sure either of them compare to these dragon vests, which may be my favorite safety-gear yet. Is it wrong to want a grown-up sized dragon safety vest? Yes, I’m a nerd.

Reflections: Preparing for Darkness

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Here is a test photo of my nighttime reflectiveness, as imperfectly demonstrated by a camera flash (rather than a car’s headlights). It’s easy to see that the wide strips of 3M Scotchlite on my Carradice bag and coat are much more effective than the smaller reflections created by my gloves and the sidewalls of my tires (though those certainly help in correctly identifying my bicycle as such). When riding long distance I add reflective ankle bands, but I usually forget when riding a couple of blocks in town.

Far more effective than reflectiveness is my own light source and you can clearly see that with my unbelievably bright Planet Bike Superflash. They say it can light up a small town. Seriously, this tail light is so bright my husband doesn’t like to ride directly behind me. There are two other tail lights in this photo but you’re unlikely to notice them. I have the main light and the helmet light blinking (when I’m riding in town) and leave the light on my fender on steadily, just for a change (and because it uses batteries less quickly than the brighter lights).

The clocks fall back this weekend, let’s all be ready for the darkness!

Reflective badges

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

A long-time reader alerted me to the fun badges being offered at Velorution.

Sadly, these fun badges are only available in the UK. In looking at the gallery, it appears an approximation could be made with 3M Scotchlite fabric and the Dritz button kits.

I’m thinking a lot about the time change this weekend and how to stay visible and safe when leaving work in the dark. Stay tuned for more ideas and questions.

Better Chevrons for Transportation

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Chevron‘s slogan may be “Human Energy”, but this jacket displays the sort of chevrons I like seeing on my streets.

High Heels and Coffee

Monday, November 1st, 2010

It was early Saturday morning, she was riding slowly enough to not pose a hazard with her one-handed cycling. Love how those jeans fit with her classic black heels.