If you’ve been visiting EcoVelo for a while you’ve seen our road tests and product reviews and recently you may have noticed a new category called “Stuff We Like”.
Road tests are simply bike reviews under a different name. They usually involve an extended period living with a bike (2 weeks to 2 months or more) and include multiple photos and a detailed description and analysis of the bike.
Product reviews are in-depth looks at products other than bicycles (typically parts and accessories). Like road tests, they usually include multiple photos and a detailed description and analysis of the product.
Somewhere along the way we realized there was a need for a third type of “review”. Something less formal, a sort of, “Hey, we like this product and you might too. Check it out sometime.” To meet this desire/need, we created a new category and called it “Stuff We Like”.
These new mini-reviews won’t replace our full-fledged road tests and product reviews, but we’re hoping they’ll enhance what we’re already doing and provide another source of ideas and inspiration.
There’s an excellent article over at BicycleLaw.com that delves into the intricacies of anti-cyclist bias within law enforcement. Here’s an excerpt:
Another manifestation of the anti-cyclist bias is when law enforcement refuses to enforce existing laws. Thus, in Chattanooga, police refused to enforce Tennessee’s 3 foot passing law when a motorist intentionally brushed a cyclist off the road, going so far as to arbitrarily dismiss an eyewitness corroboration of the violation because of a minor discrepancy in the two cyclists’ estimates of how far apart they were when the incident occurred.
The Marathon Supreme is Schwalbe’s top-of-the-line touring tire. It serves as an exceptional commuting tire as well. It’s extremely durable and flat-resistant, it’s relatively light and fast (37-622mm = 440 grams), it’s grippy in corners but rolls like crazy, it has a nice round profile, it has a supple feel and absorbs road shock better than many other “flat-proof” tires, and to top it off, it looks good. What’s not to like? Well, at $69.95 per tire it’s pricey! The fact is, you have to pay for all the tech that went into this tire, but if you can swallow the initial investment, you’ll love ‘em.
We were up early this morning and rode our bikes across town to a favorite café for coffee and pastries. From there we cut across town and stopped at the hardware store to pick up a few items. It was nothing remarkable at all, other than that it was remarkably enjoyable. We were once again struck by the fact that we never get tired of riding our bikes together, and that driving our car will never provide the same enjoyment. We were also thankful that approximately 25-30% of our route was on separated bike paths with nearly all of the remainder on marked bike lanes.
On the way home, we remembered that a new section of bike trail was recently opened, so we took a detour to check out the new path. It was worth the side trip. This new section ties together a network of trails on the east side of town with the downtown area and the Amtrak transit station; it’s one small piece of a larger plan to tie together a number of trails throughout the surrounding area. It’s a beautiful stretch of trail that follows a creek through a small canyon between housing developments. If the considerable amount of foot and bicycle traffic today was any indication, the trail is going to be a resounding success and well worth the effort and expense.
Our hometown of Roseville, CA is designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. The designation is awarded to communities with a record of promoting bicycling in five categories: education, engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. Only communities with established records in two or more of the five categories receive awards. Since its inception in 2003, the League has given awards to 96 out of the 245 communities that applied.
Our city is by no means a bicycling nirvana, but we’re fortunate to have a knowledgeable and dedicated full-time Bikeway Planner in Mike Dour. Given the difficulties of the current economic conditions in California and the generally low priority bicycle facilities are given within most city budgets, Mike does a remarkable job: we have 83 miles of on-street bike lanes, 27 miles of off-street bike paths, and 49 bicycle lockers for long-term parking for employees and commuters, all in a city with a population of just over 100,000.
The following video is an outreach piece the City created to promote bike trails and bicycle use. You can also view a map of our local bicycling facilities here. There may be some cities that would benefit from looking at what’s being accomplished in Roseville.
Kevin from Terracycle sent me these photos of his Free Radical conversion. The bike is a Mongoose Tyax Comp that he uses for commuting and everyday utility use. For winter riding he has a backup wheel set with studded tires. You can see photos of the bike before the conversion here. A few component details include Paul Sykes fenders and Terracycle accessory mounts for the bank of 4 headlights. Of particular note is the new TerraCycle Xtracycle idler kit (recently debuted at Interbike) using the Sport Idlers and mounts from Terracycle (last two photos).
These are my favorite shifters. In my opinion they’re much nicer than Shimano bar-ends. They’re longer than the Shimano for better leverage, the ratchet is velvety smooth, and they have a subtle contour that lays nicely across the palm. Friction only. Nearly perfect.
Mike Flanigan at A.N.T. is one of my favorite custom builders. He just continues to churn out exceptionally functional, yet stunningly attractive bikes designed to be used for daily transportation. This one was his entry in the Shimano Alfine Design Challenge. Go ahead, it’s OK, drool away.