Thinking On…

I’m thinking of a word…no…thinking on a word. Better. It is a favorite word that makes me smile. Upon reflection, there are some memories which make me wince. Hmmm. Ouch, ouch…uff da!

You guessed it. Bike.

Such a simple word. 4 letters. Easy to pronounce using the first sounds we learn as children.

Bike.

As stolen from the dictionary:

Pronounced [bahyk]
noun
1.
Informal.
a bicycle.
a motorbike.
a motorcycle.
2.
verb (used without object), biked, biking.
3.
to ride a bike:
I bike to work.
Idioms
4.
get off one’s bike, Australian Informal. to lose control of oneself or become angry.

The Aussies would come up with a funny way to use it…

As an informal word describing a couple types of vehicles, many times I find myself having to reword a sentence even though the first original use is right there in the definition. Ya, First World problems… I guess our lazy population goes for the motorized transport first.

The problem probably stems from it being an informal word. Bike-Bicycle. Bicycle is a long complicated word. No wonder we made a nickname for it.

I have a motorcycle. Sometimes ya just need to get from point A to point B faster. Actually I have a dual sport motorcycle that I have enjoyed ‘souping up’ and love riding out in the dirt. I call it biking or taking the bike, but among those who know me, I’ll try to call it ‘the moto’ just to try to keep from the inevitable rewording of the last sentence which will be done anyway.

For the rest of the post, I am referring to the Informal a. meaning of bike.

I do ride my bike, everywhere, everyday. Ok, some days are couch days when I don’t even open the door to the outside world. When I go though, it’s on a bike. The days when I’m stuck in the box on wheels, yuck. Boring. Ugh! *******

Riding a bike to work is much different than riding a bike for errands or fun. It is more dangerous. The complacency of the morning commute is a big factor. Same time, same route, heading to something which requires payment to be done. Add the stress of operating a box on wheels among fellow commuters…Danger!

For me, I wear a helmet and reflective gear, turn the lights on, stay off main roads and keep an eye on the vehicles around me.

Riding a bike for errands can be a challenge. How do you haul things on a bike? Mostly, use a backpack, racks, baskets and bungee cords. Many errands don’t require hauling.

Riding a bike for fun. Riding a bike is fun! Going out to eat, drink or to see someone/something, much better by bike. Generally I don’t wear the commuter gear. Mostly regular clothes. All my jeans have oil stains on the inner right cuff. Layers if needed. Hat, shorts and Chacos in the summer.

I’ll finish with that last bit before I ‘get off one’s bike’ or as I like to word it ‘get on my soap box’.

Michael Baker, Vice President DRBC

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DRBC Annual Meeting Notice: December 9, 6:00 PM – Arterial Tavern Meeting Room

Every Fall the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition holds its’ annual meeting which is a great opportunity to bring the membership together, meet old friends and make new ones as well. It also offers members a great chance to ask board members questions and offer suggestions for future actions.

During the annual meeting the DRBC holds a business meeting where new board directors are elected and items that are to be voted on by the membership are put forth. Non-members are welcome to attend as well, but cannot vote.

At this meeting we will elect four directors of the board. This is your chance to serve on the Board of Directors. If you are interested in running, please write a short statement, up to 500 words, describing yourself and why you think you would make a good director. You can get on the ballot by attending the meeting and nominating yourself.

Current nominees:
Dan Novak (incumbent)
Michael Baker (incumbent)
Chuck Welch
Andy Butch

 

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Bicycle Camp in Minnesota

The DRBC is sponsoring an overnight bicycle camp outing
The location is Cushon’s Peak campground which is right on the Root River Trail. It is about 23 miles from La Crescent and less than 5 from Houston.
They charge $10 / person for groups, but the Driftless Bicycle Coalition will pay $50 towards that. Firewood is $5 / bundle and showers are free.

Date is September 19 (and 20) leaving La Crescent at 10 AM

I (Brian McCarty) will ride with anyone from La Crescent, but it is Applefest so parking will be difficult (you could always bike from La Crosse…)

Let me know if you have questions

I will probably bring my food, but there is Houston (or Rushford if you are ambitious)

Let me know if you have any questions – leave time is negotiable

[brianm (at) acegroup (dot) cc]

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Bicycle Registration

 

biketheft

I recently read an article on bike theft. It’s a good chance you know someone who had a bicycle stolen. Maybe yourself. Losing a faithful steed is tough. Preventing it from happening can be a tougher. A determined thief is just going to win. This leaves doing your best to dissuade said thief.

 

A big part of securing your bike is knowing the potential for it’s theft. Looking at how other bikes are locked is a good way to measure how secure you need to be. Keeping your  bike in view is ideal. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can bring it inside.

 

There are many types of locks, the heavier is usually the better.

 

-Short stops: Usually fine with a light type of lock (unless the area is known for  aggressive bike theft)

-Longer stops: Secure the bike to something solid with a solid lock.

-Overnight: Lock everything you don’t want taken with very strong locks.

 

I have never had a bike stolen (use your favorite method for scaring away the evil spirits). I am very conscious about security and will go out of my way to secure my bikes.

 

If your bike is taken:

 

Having information on your bike is a really good way to help get it returned. Registration is a good dissuader to the potential thief, makes it a hard bike to sell.

 

There are two bike registries mentioned in the article. One has a smartphone app, the other is web based but accessible via smartphone web browser.

bikeindex

 

The first registry site, Bike Index was started by a bike mechanic in 2007. It has been integrated in 2014 as a nonprofit still mostly using dedicated volunteers. They have over 50,000 bikes in their registry. It is free and easy to use, but you must create a login with an email address. They claim to find a stolen bike each week throughout the summer months.

529garage_yellowonblack100-8f033afe2ab8c1d16a29d2fa3cbf20fb

 

This other site is very new, but sounds like it has the right idea and tools to do the job. This is a quote from their website.

 

“About Project 529

Founded in 2013, Project 529 is a diverse team of software professionals in Portland, Oregon that believes that technology can enhance the cycling experience. Their first product, the 529 Garage is simplest and most complete bike registration system created to date, having helped secure approximately $15M worth of bikes since its introduction last year. Recently, J Allard was appointed to the newly formed Portland Police Bike Theft Task Force by Portland Chief of Police Larry O’Dea to help attack the growing frustration with bike theft in Portland.

For more information or questions, contact media@project529.com”

 

Project 529 requires a social media login (Facebook, twitter, Google). It is a security measure to prevent thieves from creating a registry on a stolen bike by simply making a new email address for it. As we all know, it takes time to create a social media account.

 

The site has a shortcut for a quick registry by having an active member of Project 529 register your bike using your email. I tried this, it does work. They will send you an email on your bike registry and invite you to register (with your own social media account) at your leisure, or not.

 

Bicycles are fun, having to secure one, isn’t. Taking time to gather the info on one dissuades most owners from registering their steeds.

 

These registry sites are easy to use. With a smartphone, you could register your bike in a couple of minutes anywhere you have service.

 

I’ve registered all my bikes on both registries and am planning to get some of the 529 stickers for my favorites.

 

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