Ride Share

Tuesday is my favorite commute day. That’s the day Michael rides with me for half of my commute before she peels off to pick up our CSA share at the local farmer’s market. As much as I enjoy riding by myself, it’s always better to ride with a friend! And if you’re ever tempted to sleep in an extra hour and take the car (none of our readers have ever done that), there’s nothing like a ride share partner to keep you on the straight and narrow.

How about you? Do you have a “ride share” partner? Do you “bike pool” with your bike commuting colleagues, or are you a “lone wolf” commuter?

Gallery: Rick’s Co-Motion Americano

I just finished adding a Co-Motion classic kit to my 2003 Americano Touring and Commuter Bike. It included their new for 2010 headbadge, Brooks leather bar tape with wood and cork end plugs, and a honey B17 standard saddle. I swapped in the high end B17 with Ti rails and used the other for another bike.

What’s standard on this bike is the Chris King HS, Race Face touring cranks, XT 11-34 9spd cassette, and XTR rear derailleur. I went to a Deda 250 anatomic bar that fits me well along with real aluminum levered 10 spd Campy Chorus Ergo Brifters. Have a little trick that makes the 10spd shifter index the 9spd Shimano cassette perfectly. Wheelset is one I built with White Industries 36h tandem hubs and Ti finish Velocity Deep-V rims. Tires are Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700 x 32. Waiting for a Tubus Cargo rear rack to replace the one that was on the bike. No fenders ’til the rains come back.

[Rick is the proprietor of Gold Country Cyclery. —ed.]

Why Vectran is Your Friend

A.N.T. Bespoke Exhibit Bikes For Sale

Mike Flanigan at A.N.T. is offering for sale a pair of one-off bikes he built for the Bespoke Exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. From the A.N.T. website:

Built for the Bespoke Exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design [on display right now]. Bike was made just for the show and will come with a signed book from the exhibit. On display until Aug 15th. The show may travel to other citys for the next year.

Anyone that would like to secure the bike can send me a deposit.

A.N.T.

BP, You, and Me

Everyone I talk to is incredibly frustrated and disheartened by the ongoing environmental catastrophe caused by the April 20th BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and resultant oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. BP’s inability to stop the oil leak, as well as our feelings of being powerless in the matter, are at the heart of this palpable frustration and despair. Of course, we can apply pressure on our representatives, as well as express our feelings in public demonstrations, but because of our utter dependence on automobiles in this country, I suspect many people are unwilling or unable to hit the oil companies where it would really hurt — in the pocketbook.

There was an interesting piece on this subject posted on Boing Boing the other day. Let me quote some figures from the article:

  • Approximately 9% of the gasoline consumed in the U.S. is from offshore drilling.
  • Americans averagely travel 40 miles and consume approximately 1.8 gallons of gasoline per day.
  • Reducing our consumption by 9% (the amount represented by offshore drilling) would place us at 1.6 gallons, or 35.8 miles of travel; only 4.2 miles less per day.

As can be seen by the numbers above, even small changes, if undertaken by a large enough number of people, have the potential to affect outcomes. I’m not naive enough to think we’re going to stop offshore drilling solely by riding our bikes to work, but I am optimistic enough to think that the example we set can have an impact on those around us.

For those of you who are already doing what you can to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, thank you and keep up the good work. And for those of you who have been thinking about making a change, there’s no better time than right now.

Happy Father’s Day

As parents, I think the most we can hope for is that our kids grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted individuals. Beyond that, if they happen to embrace a few of the ideals and principles we personally hold dear to our hearts, it’s pure icing on the cake. We certainly didn’t assume it would happen, but as our kids are turning into young adults, we’re seeing them demonstrating concern for the environment by making responsible choices regarding transportation and consumption. Honestly, a parent couldn’t hope for a more perfect Father’s Day gift.

Happy Father’s Day.

Kickstand Nirvana

Well, I’ve finally reached kickstand nirvana; for the first time ever, every bike in my stable (other than the folder) is outfitted with a double-legged centerstand. To top it off, 2 out of 3 actually have integrated kickstand plates. Today I received my third Pletscher Double from ThorUSA. This one replaces the Pletscher single that was on my Sam Hillborne.

As you can see, it’s a perfect fit on the Rivendell factory-supplied, integrated plate (many kudos to Rivendell for attending to this small, but important detail that’s overlooked on too many bikes).

The only black spot on all of this is my one bike that isn’t supplied with an integrated kickstand plate (I still haven’t figured out why Surly doesn’t supply a plate on the LHT). If you’re planning on mounting a Pletscher on a bike that doesn’t have an integrated plate, be sure to order a Deluxe Top Plate (below) to replace the stock tube crusher.


 
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