Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nice. Thank you for THAT.

Should I bunny hop onto the sidewalk, or veer closer to the high speed traffic?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not Too Many Bikes - Only Too Many Idiots

Wow, there are so many irresponsible cyclists out on the road these days. Something has to be done, because the chaos and tension is really beginning to flourish. Like pools of grease on a pepperoni pizza.

Some of these fools are kids, who will always be doing stupid things. Some are brand new cyclists, who will hopefully learn quickly, and get some traffic common sense, before they kill themselves or others. But many are experienced riders, who just think it is okay to buzz pedestrians in crosswalks, blow traffic stops at high rates of speed, and zigzag between moving cars. Just because you CAN do it, does not mean you SHOULD do it. WTF?

I ride a lot, but I also drive, and I know it is hard to avoid hitting some of these fools.

This has nothing to do with following the letter of the law. Slowly rolling a stop, at a perfectly clear intersection, may be illegal, but it is safe. And therefore not stupid. Just illegal. Two very different things.

At first, I theorized that maybe cyclists, on average, are just dumber than drivers. That would be awful, because there are a lot of stupid drivers out there. And hell, most cyclists ARE drivers, some or most of the time. On further reflection, I think cyclists and drivers share relatively equal levels of idiocy - there are just fewer consequences when cycling, so the stupidity of some people is more likely to shine through in all its blazing glory.

Ironically, the consequences to individual safety are greater when on a bike, compared to inside of a steel cage. But who worries about such a thing like death? The more prominent concerns are traffic fines, dealing with insurance, and expensive car repairs - all these issues are are much more likely to result when stupidity exists behind a wheel, instead of on a bike.

Well, that's great. What to do? Tougher fines for cyclists? There's not enough cops to make a difference. Licensing of cyclists? As if you could read a mini-plate on the back of a bike as it weaves through traffic? C'mon.

Besides, licensing of cyclists, like mandatory helmet laws, have some advantages to society, but in general significantly reduce the number of people riding bikes, which is the last thing we want to do at a time when many more people are finally making more responsible environmental choices. And more bikes on the road also results in increased safety for everyone, as drivers become more aware of bikes, pedestrians and other traffic deviations, and eventually become more careful.

Unfortunately, drivers are also becoming more aware of the plethora of idiots on bikes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SPD (Stolen Picture of the Day)

This is a great picture. Osaka, Japan. No, it is NOT a cat. It is a dog. Yes, I had somebody ask me that - would that be a big ass cat, or what???

Monday, August 4, 2008

Slimed - in a Good Way

I have been riding my new bike (the Schwinn Fastback) since early March. During these 2,500 miles, I have not had a single flat tire, despite inadvertantly ramming through piles of glass and other sharpies on an almost daily basis.

I have been running Bontrager Hardcase tires, which are quite flat resistant. No tire is fool proof, however, and I believe there has also been some luck in the equation, as well as the Slime tube I have been running in the rear tire. This is a tube that comes filled with gooey green gunk, which is intended to fill small tears and holes the instant they occur.

This entire time, I had no idea if the Slime was working or not, but recently I began noticing spots of green goo on my bike. I thought I had been a paintball gun target, or maybe I had hit a can of something toxic laying in the road. Eventually, I realized it was Slime, from inside my tube. There had been no issues with pressure loss, but I figured it was time to replace the tube, if there were holes to the point that goo was occasionally spraying out.

Apparently, the Slime substance works damn well. Upon removing the tire, I was almost doused with a pool of green goo. It had leaked out of the tube, but was still sealed between the tube and tire, and was sloshing around outside of the tube as I rode. There appeared to be mulitple puncture spots in the tube, and amazingly the goo still held on and prevented a flat.

Nice. Much easier to change a tube at home, compared to a flat on the side of a road with cars screaming by...