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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Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour 2015

IMG_20150516_190346

Before you leave thinking this is just another ride report from yet another ‘bike ride’, please take in the description of this event.

 

 

This is a tour on 3-speed bikes (requirement)
English bikes (almost essential, at least a Sturmey/Archer hub)
Pre-war dress (tweed!)

and tea…

Think about that picture.
A line of 30-50 white tailed Raleigh 3-speed bikes lined up surrounded by lots of tweed.
Now think of seeing a mile of black upright bikes with wool and tweedy prewar fashon rolling by.

Quite a site even if you don’t do vintage. If you do, there’s more than just Raleighs present. Many prewar bikes make the trip.

Every 6 to 10 miles, they stop.

FB_IMG_1431821922211All day they ride past beautiful scenery, lie in the grass with a glass of wine, chat with each other while rolling along, help a fellow rider, make tea on an amazing vistas, enjoy a piece of pie on the porch and a pint on the patio.

The old English way of going for a bike ride is the most laid back I can think of. The bikes are made to haul a modest load (picnic basket, bottle of wine), are sturdy and comfortable. A rolling stroll through the countryside with English manners.

Now the ride report:

5AM- Awake with much anticipation
6AM- Arrive to pick up riding companion
8ish- Redwing starting area. Registration, drop off gear in the lorry, wander, chat and drool over the amazing collection of vintage bikes.
Opening ceremony -Tongue in cheek blessing of the bikes, quite funny complete with multi page bible(ish) read along and song handout done by real vicar in collar.
9ish- Roll out, not everyone, just sort of leave when you’re done chatting in the parking lot.

From here there will be no real time references.

Nice long line of white tailed bikes rolled across ol’ Miss and proceeded to take a variety of routes which all seemed to meet at Bay City.

FB_IMG_1431788850035We stopped for (a well made, from scratch) Bloody Mary at Hase Loft. Saw the Bay City hill. Had another Bloody…

Bay City hill-longest climb at the start of the ride. Good thing I had a flask of brandy along…reward for the climb, courage for upcoming plunge downhill (these are old vintage bikes remember).

IMG_20150516_135540

Somewhere near the Maiden rock, we found that a crank cotter pin could be replaced at a wayside. Full selection of pins with pin press and experienced mechanic, right there at the wayside. Just when my riding companion needed one. Much thanks and a beer at the last stop of the day were offered and accepted.

On to the Village of Maiden Rock for a pint and some food on Oly’s patio. Then fresh rhubarb pie on the porch of Smiling Pelican Bake Shop. Oh my.
Stockholm was next inline, several blocks of stores and shops, population- 66. I think every resident must have their own business, not an empty store front. We had a pint at Gelly’s after strolling around town and listening to the live music playing in the park.

A stop in Pepin is recommended. The ride through the marsh is long, straight and boring. Kind of a green tunnel with bad bridge seams. The rise out of the marsh is almost a revelation. Suddenly there are the great views again.

Neson just around the corner, a stop at Nelson Creamery for ice cream or a pint of micro-brew, your choice.

One more up and over into Wabasha and meet at Eagle Nest Coffee.

Camping in Malone Park with the geese.

A pint or so at Eagle Nest
Diner (Irish Stew) and a pint at Olde Triangle Pub
Couple pints at Slippery’s
Time for bed.
Morning coffee (fresh ground) before tearing down camp.
Ride around town.

Meet at Eagle Nest, discuss how MN doesn’t allow Bloody Mary’s before 10AM on Sunday. Breakfast of egg bake, fruit, various breads, coffee, OJ, still no bloody’s…

Rollout about 10ish
We found our Bloody’s at Port 104 in Lake City before the Brew Up. We needed it, a flat on the ol’ Raleigh got us the use of a wrench and a new tube from our fellow riders about half way to town.

The Brew Up is a group tea event in Ohuta Park. What can I say? A hundred people making tea at a park, in prewar clothing and riding vintage bikes. About it…
IMG_20150517_132755A visit to a civil war era residential area is next. Why? Well, an old stone wall of course. We’re all full of tea, time to stop for a nice cigar or pipe filled with tasty tobacco. Not a requirement, mostly another nice place to stop and chat.

A ride through Frontenac State Park. Quick stop to realize the Raleigh had a stripped rear axle bolt causing the balding tire to rub on the chainstay. Onward, up and down Hill Ave (gravel).
Straight to Redwing from there, end of the ride.

I believe we did about 85 miles, drank 4 or 5 Bloody Mary’s each, a few pints and most of the brandy in my flask.

Can’t wait ’til next year.

Please visit the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour website for a much better description of the event.

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Hauling Couch

8ft couch with kickouts.
8ft couch with kickouts.

I took the challenge of moving a couch, by bicycle.

It started with my wife’s desire for a new couch, ours was getting pretty, well, not pretty. It was about 10 years old and it was time. She picked one out this winter and we ended up making room in a corner to store the old one. My friend was having a garage sale across town recently, time to get it out of the house.

I designed a heavy trailer for towing behind the Xtracycle, tested it with something lighter, then, planned the big haul.

The couch was an 8’ overstuffed with kickout recliners on both ends. It wasn’t light. Not as heavy as a sleeper, but close.

I strapped the two hundred plus pound couch to the trailer and got rolling. At that weight, I had to use the granny ring in 3rd and 4th cogs on the flat road.

It was a pretty good slog (sorry, the word slog is the best descriptor I can think of). The sale was 7 miles away.

Made it with no problems, even felt I could encourage the sale by offering to deliver it.

It did sell, I did haul it, though twice as far as I had written on the tag (4 more miles slogged). The buyer was a bit surprised.

Would I do it again? Yup. Maybe not over 5 miles though. I crawled up a few short hills with that thought we all have when we are doing something kinda crazy, but made it.

Why did I do it?

Well, because the bike can…

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Grandma’s pretty tough…

TrikeTremp

The classic delta tricycle, AKA ‘Grandma’s Trike’.

In an earlier article, I described having broken my left clavicle. Having a deep desire to ride, I’m on a trike with one arm in a sling.

This is the classic Schwinn single-speed delta style trike, borrowed from a friend of mine. It has a rear drum brake on the drive axle and front cantilevers. The gearing is low. 80 RPM spinning gives about 8 MPH. That is all there is to this machine, just a simple three wheeler.

It needed a good test ride, so I gave it a quick going over with lubrication and adjustments, then loaded with bike gear.

The ride. To the state trail, then through several towns on the trail and back.

The first few miles had me thinking the title of this article. I am a seasoned rider and was wondering what I had taken on. Hulk Hogan would have quite a time pedaling one of these this far.

I found the ride to be pretty jostling compared to the standard bicycle. The rear wheels would hit a bump or hole and the whole bike would launch me from side to side. I am tall so with the seat all the way up, it really amplified the effect.

Riding on the bike trails of Wisconsin (limestone), one wheel in the track and two wheels in the grass or middle. Bumpy ride. Riding the streets was better.

During the ride I did some calculations in my head which equaled to many hours of pedaling and the chant in my head of ‘what have I done?!?’.

Once I found a rhythm though, it wasn’t a bad ride and ended up being very familiar to riding any other bike, just slower.

I even found myself out racing a storm.

You may have done this. If not, keep riding and you will. You’re looking behind you at the approaching ‘wall of rain’, looking ahead saying to yourself, ‘where is this place? It must be right up here.’

Looking back and forth, wall of rain, street address, wall of rain, heart pumping, thoughts of getting absolutely drenched, wall of rain, cranking on the pedals…

Now think of doing that on Grandma’s Trike, one handed…

I did make it by about 30 seconds and it really downpoured.

TrikeSwim

I also went swimming with it (PLEASE don’t do that to a bike. I did a complete overhaul the next day, water was in everything, even the sealed bearings). The trail was flooded and being tired with no desire for the two mile detour, I swam it.

We’ve had a lot of rain and the marsh trail was under water. The water went almost to the top of the 26” tires for about 30 feet. Again, Grandma’s Trike got through, seaweed was lodged and hanging all over it. It made for a fun picture, but a lot of work during the overhaul.

The trip totaled 44 miles starting at 10:30AM. Got home at 6:30PM (4 stops for beer and a lunch).

Sitting bolt upright on a stable platform feels being a passenger along for the ride, like cargo in the basket. The handling is best at slow speeds, a bit more squirrelly when going faster. Sit, pedal, go. A tough go to go far on, not something for long trips, unless you just are not in any kind of hurry. The defining word is: slow.

Conclusion, the single-speed delta trike is a worthy machine. Not really cool or fast, but well maintained, it will keep you rolling, haul lots of stuff and get you there with a bit less stress.

No matter what you think of the Grandma Trike, it’s better than walking…

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