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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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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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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