NPR’s TOTN Disappoints

Rob Anderson

I was disappointed by the piece on NPR’s Talk of the Nation titled Cyclists And Drivers Vie For Space On The Road. What could have been an enlightening and intelligent discussion on the subject was doomed by the choice of *Rob Anderson and Daisuke Wakabayashi as guests. Their lack of expertise, combined with guest host Lynn Neary’s thinly veiled bias, made for a piece that was not up to TOTN’s usual standards. Thankfully Noah Budnick from Transportation Alternatives was given a few minutes of air time to inject some real data and expertise into the discussion.

Take a listen, but be ready to be annoyed. And if you’re not happy with the coverage, you can state your opinion here.

*Rob Anderson, if you’re not familiar with him, is the anti-bike activist known for filing the lawsuit that successfully halted San Francisco’s ambitious bike plan. You can read more about him in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Daisuke Wakabayashi is a Reuters correspondent.

Gallery: Ian and Jonas’ Bikes

I’m overjoyed to see the great mix of bikes on your new blog. As you can see, I’m a recumbent rider, but I’ve always wanted them to simply be mixed in with everything else — a goal you have achieved admirably!

The first shots are my Rocket, which I purchased from Basically Bicycles here in Western Mass a few years ago — I believe it’s a 2006. The only part that wasn’t stock when I bought it was the Zephyr seat. I love the bike, but I wasn’t riding enough, and my main opportunity is to ride to work, which is a little too far for me to go on a regular basis. I found myself in the typical catch-22 — not enough time to ride in order to get into better shape so that the ride wouldn’t be so long…

So I called Dave back at Basically Bicycles, and he was happy to fit my bike with a Bionx system (250 watt, Li-Ion battery). It has been *great*, meaning I still get a heck of a work-out (no throttle except my own output) while reducing my riding time by approximately 25%. You will notice that I have the bike on my car, because I have found that the best choice is to go “multi-modal”, driving a mile or so past a really dangerous mountain road, then parking at a state park and riding the rest of the way (about 13.5 miles). Now that the semester is starting again, there should be a bus from Hampshire College to Mt Holyoke College that will accomplish what I’ve been using my car for, with a “rack and roll” setup for the bike (on the front of the bus). I’ve gotten the total time down to the point where it’s only about 20 minutes longer than my drive, each way. I can do that about three times a week, which has increased my exercise time immensely, and decreased my stress level in proportion.

The other shots are of the bike we bought from Dave for my son Jonas’ 6th birthday, which is today. As you can see, it is a kids semi-recumbent from CCM, which I couldn’t find any pictures of on the web (a fact that makes my son even more proud of it). His first question — “Can we go recumbent riding with grandma?” (she also rides a rocket). His second question, “Can I get an electric assist?” :-)

Thanks for launching another fantastic blog! —Ian

[Happy Birthday Jonas! —Alan]

Gallery: Zach Kaplan’s HP Velotechnik Scorpion

This is my 2006 HP Velotechnik Scorpion which has replaced my Earth Cycles Sunset as my commute vehicle. I’ve ridden it 5662 kilometres so far, mostly commuting and errand running. —Zach

The specifications are as follows:

  • Frame: HP Velotechnik Scorpion 7075 aluminium, orange
  • Size: one size fits most
  • Seat: HP Velotechnik BodyLink
  • Rear shock absorber: DT Swiss SSD 225
  • Brake levers: Magura Marta hydraulic
  • Brakes: Magura Marta hydraulic with 160 mm rotors
  • Headsets: TH Industries
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Chain tensioner: Rohloff
  • Crank: Tracer 155 mm with Rotor Q-Ring 53 tooth chainring and double guard rings
  • BB: Shimano UN-72 68 x 107 mm
  • Cog: Rohloff 17 tooth
  • Chain: SRAM PC-991 Hollow Pin
  • Front wheels: Alex X-101 406 mm 36-hole rims, DT 2.0 mm SS spokes with brass nipples, HP Velotechnik tricycle hubs
  • Rear wheel: Alex X-101406 mm 32-hole rim, DT 2.0 mm SS spokes with brass nipples, Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 CC EX, silver
  • Tyres: Greenspeed Scorcher 40-406
  • Skewer: Delta Axelrodz bolt type
  • Grips: Johar high density foam
  • Pedals: Bebop SL
  • Rack: HP Velotechnik custom tubular aluminium
  • Front mudguards: SKS on HP Velotechnik mounts with 3M yellow reflective tape
  • Rear mudguard: SKS with 3M yellow reflective tape
  • Headlights: Busch & Müller Ixon IQ Speed
  • Taillight: Dual Vetta TSL-C taillights running off single 4xAA battery pack, Busch & Müller DToplight XS Permanent
  • Cyclecomputer: CatEye Mity 3, orange
  • Bags: Arkel Tail Rider black rack top bag, FastBack System LS hydration pack, Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic orange panniers

[Zach is the proprietor of Zach Kaplan Cycles in Alameda, California. —ed.]

Night Vision

No. 1

No. 2

700C Stratus LE

Gold Country Cyclery just took delivery of the new Stratus LE XL with 700C rear wheel. From the Gold Country Blog:

The first of the newly designed Stratus LE XL’s has arrived at our shop. This new model sports the same silver/blue paint scheme as the standard size models, but has a redesigned rear triangle to accommodate it’s 700c rear wheel. With that design includes IS disc brake mount for future upgrades. Wheelset has proven Sun CR18 406/700c rims and Shimano Deore hubs. New Continental SportContact slicks (406-28 /700-28) are quite a departure from the Primo Comets.

Brief test riding reveals the new Stratus to be stable and fast! For the moment our retail price is $1490

In my opinion, the Stratus LE is one of the best all-around recumbents on the market and a super value. The 700C rear wheel puts it head-to-head with the Tour Easy.

Gold Country Cyclery

Bar-Ends with Alfine Hub

Hiawatha Cyclery has managed to make an 8-speed indexed bar-end shifter work with a Shimano Alfine hub by installing a Travel Agent at the downtube shifter boss. Pretty cool.

More here

[via The Lazy Randonneur]

Patience, Patience

This evening I took a short ride for the first time in two weeks, just to test the water and see what’s up with the knee. It went pretty well, but I’m not quite there yet. Patience, patience.

© 2011 EcoVelo™