For Sale: 2008 Brompton S3L **SOLD**

My Brompton was puchased at C.M. Wasson Co. in Palo Alto, CA. in March of this year. It has low miles and is in near perfect condition. Includes the Brompton S-Bag, Brooks B-17 saddle with Penta-clip, standard and extended seat post, Eazy-wheels, Brompton frame pump, and Brompton slip cover. This is the latest model with QR clamp and dual-pivot brakes as standard. The cockpit has been upgraded with slightly wider and far more comfortable handlebars and grips. I paid approximately $1475 + tax for the full package.

Asking Price: $950

Buyer pays actual shipping costs to be determined at the time of sale. No sales outside of the continental US please. Either e-mail me with questions or ask in the comments section below.

Please Note: The lights are not included and the actual saddle is a Brooks B-17 Champion Special, not the S-A shown in the photos.

The bike now has these wider bars & full-width Ergon grips : roomy and comfortable

This Evening’s Errand Run on the Hyland

Bike Cameras

Just about everything I know about photography I learned by osmosis by sitting near a couple of pros in the graphics department where I work. I know just enough to understand that my photos are technically lacking in many ways. All I have going for me is that I know what I like when I see it, and I’m stubborn enough to figure out how to get the most from the limited tools that I employ.

Speaking of tools, I’m frequently asked what kind of camera I use. It’s a cheapie Canon 3S IS (now discontinued and replaced by the SX10 IS). It’s what is classified as a “super zoom” camera. Super zooms are essentially point-and-shoot cameras with long zoom lenses and some added manual controls. They’re versatile cameras, but they have poor image quality in comparison to even the least expensive digital SLR. I think they make pretty good on-bike cameras because they’re relatively small and light, they have a long zoom range, and they’re cheap enough that you won’t kill yourself if you drop one when you’re attempting a Panda Portrait (Can you imagine dropping a $10,000 camera while goofing around on your bike?).

Russ Roca, the Eco-Friendly Bicycling Photographer, is a professional photographer living and working car-free in Southern California. It’s patently obvious by looking at his blogs that he’s a real pro who employs real pro equipment. Visit his Epicurean Cyclist and Eco-Friendly Bicycling Photographer blogs to have a look.

Russ recently added an on-bike camera to supplement his professional equipment. This is quoted from a blog post from a couple of months ago:

I’m becoming less and less enamored with carrying a DSLR on bicycle trips. My current camera that I take with me is usually a D200 or D300 with a 17-55mm and 12-24mm lens.

For one, they’re not cheap to replace. They’re also not light. A single camera and lens takes up ALL the room in my Ostrich handlebar bag. When I’m tired, I’m less inclined to take it out of the handlebar bag and out of it’s separate case to take photos.

Russ eventually ended up with a Canon G10 – you can read all about it here. It looks like a super camera and, along with the Panasonic Lumix LX3, would be on my short list if I was to purchase a camera today.

So I’m struggling with this idea that I need to upgrade my camera. I’m never going to be a pro, and I don’t even see photography as a hobby per se; it’s more something that I enjoy that ties in with this blog and my graphic design business. I’m concerned that I may invest mucho bucks in a DSLR system, then end up using my cheapie on-bike camera most of the time anyway. Maybe I should just make do with what I have — there is, afterall, something to be said for wringing every last bit out of a tool.

So, I’d be curious to hear what others are using for their on-bike camera. Do you risk taking your expensive DSLR on the bike, knowing there’s the possibility of strewing that expensive glass all over the road, or do you willingly make the sacrifice in image quality and carry a less expensive point-and-shoot camera for the peace of mind? And if you don’t have a DSLR, are you happy with your current point-and-shoot camera, or would you like to have better image quality and more features?

A Different Kind of Efficiency

There’s no question about it, bicycles are highly efficient vehicles. Walking, for example, requires approximately 330 kJ (70 kcal) of food energy per kailometer, whereas cycling only requires around 120 kJ (25.5 kcal). This roughly translates to 653¬†mpg (these numbers vary depending upon how they’re calculated, but you catch my drift).

As efficient as most bikes are today, designers of racing bikes are continually pushing the envelope with ever lighter, stronger, and more aerodynamic designs. Racing acts as the testing ground for new technologies, and cutting-edge racing bikes fuel the still-huge sport cycling market in the U.S.

On the other side of the coin are technologically unremarkable, heavy, and relatively inefficient bikes like the roadster. Old style roadsters have hardly changed in 75 years, but even with what can only be described as lackluster performance, they’re making a resurgence among people who ride them for everyday transportation.

So what is it about these bikes that people find so appealing (myself included)? I believe it mostly has to do with their inherent practicality. The design elements that make these bikes inefficient also make them convenient and easy to use. Components such as internal gear hubs, drum brakes, integrated lighting systems with hub generators, fenders, skirt/coat guards, chain cases, bells, racks, and the like, all contribute to a riding experience that is more vehicle-like and less bike-like than what we’re usually accustomed to here in the U.S. Combine these features with an upright seating position that feels a lot like sitting at a desk, and it’s no wonder they’re gaining in popularity.

I believe it’s possible to think of efficiency in terms of something other than performance; for the transportational cyclist there’s an efficiency within the practical as well. That might mean a bike that can be ridden comfortably in street clothes without taking the time to change into specialized clothing, riding slow enough that a shower isn’t necessary when you arrive at your destination, or a bike design that nearly eliminates the need for maintenance. And, of course, any bike that is used to replace a car trip is infinitely more efficient than a bike that gets left at home.

Even a relatively inefficient bicycle, when ridden at its natural pace, is highly efficient when compared to almost any other mode of transport. When I’m on my roadster I tend to think of my pace as “fast walking” as opposed to “slow cycling”; doing so gets me to where I want to go without getting into a wrestling match with my “heavy and inefficient” bike, while also reminding me that efficiency in cycling comes in more than one form and at more than one pace.

SF Bike Plan DEIR

The Draft Environmental Impact Report on the San Francisco Bicycle Plan was released this week. It only took two years and over $1 million in taxpayer dollars, but the document that was triggered by Rob Anderson’s lawsuit is finally ready for review. I, for one, am hoping that the document passes muster, and with the release of a Final EIR early next year the City is finally able to get moving on implementing this much needed plan.

Read more at StreetsBlog

A Few Things I’m Thankful For

In regards to cycling, that is.

  • Healthy knees
  • Wide bike lanes
  • Crisp fall days
  • Drivers who give a wide berth
  • Tailwinds
  • Sunday mornings
  • Quiet backroads
  • And last, but not least, an amazing riding partner.

How about you? What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving! —Alan

Xtracycle Newsletter

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