Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stop and Smell the Cherry Blossoms ! No Wait ......

Stopped on commute home at tidal basis edge, under cherry trees, to take this

The motorists were beeping at one another trying to escape the city before the next snow storm, but I was able to stop and take this of the fog over the tidal basis, which is unusual.

What looks to be something on my lens is a jet flying over the Memorial, having left National Airport.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sad Bicycle on Capitol Hill

This lonely and completely ice-covered bike near Capitol South metro stop

Now of course the conditions are fine but this morning everything was covered in ice except for the asphalt used by cars, so I came in on Metro.

This old Specialized, perhaps not abandoned by seemingly not much loved, made me sad. Is one to feel sympathy for inanimate objects?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor Trainer From 1896

Very little (that isn't digital, or made of carbon fiber) for bicycles is all that new.

Page with ad as printed.
RIDE ON THE STURGIS HOME TRAINER The most startling thing of its kind ever invented. You simply put your own wheel [bicycle] on, mount, and ride straight ahead, just as you would on path or track. No fastening or support of any kind. Very little noise. Rollers are connected, and power is transmitted by chain; steel bearings; rollers are adjustable to resistance.
It is interesting that this photograph, part of an ad for this new product, was taken outdoors when the product was intended for indoor use. Since this publication was not for cyclists but for the bicycle "trade," it emphasizes the possibility of bicycle sellers to use this device for teaching new riders how to ride a bicycle, but the "testimonial" in the ad also talks about the usefulness as a training method.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Back to Bicycle Commuting

Mount Vernon Trail bridge near National Airport - solid ice

Last week Monday was a holiday and the government (and my job) were closed due to weather. The remainder of the week I went to work by Metro. It was the first week when I worked the "full week" (or as much as was available to work) and didn't ride one single day to work on my bicycle. Ugh.

Today I took my heavy yellow monster and rode to work. The trails in Arlington and roads in DC were fine, but the Mount Vernon Trail was not great. In the morning some of it was slushy, which presents traction issues if you slow down. The temperature fell during the day and most of the way was frozen solid on the way home. I ended up riding more than I would ever do otherwise using the small ring on the front of this old mountain bike, spinning very slowly in the lowest possible gear.

This bike has 1.95 inch wide mountain tires that have studs - amazingly it is possible to ride along at a slow steady pace on conditions like this bridge without difficulty - frozen ruts are the biggest problem.

Since I stopped to take some pictures and stopped somewhere else to talk to a guy and generally was riding pretty slowly, it took me close to an hour and a half to do what should take 45 minutes at most in regular weather.

An odd trade off with tire pressure - I ran with the tires at 50 pounds per square inch, which is somewhat too soft for the miles where the roads or asphalt trails are bare but is certainly too hard for conditions like what is in the photograph. A compromise, but not a great one.

Somewhat embarrassingly I will take Metro again tomorrow, because it will be colder and I think I am up for this every other day but not every day.

Where is spring?!?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Online Bicycle Travel Magazine "Bunyan Velo"

Bunyan Velo Issue 5

"Bunyan Velo is a quarterly collection of photographs, essays, and stories celebrating the simple pleasures of traveling by bicycle." An example of the amazingly well executed publications that are available online for free. This particular irregularly published magazine features more articles that are longer with more photography than anything you would subscribe to published in print on a regular basis. My only quibble is that it is too much!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Presidents Day, Jimmy Carter, and Cycling

Whippet172 on Flickr has a ten year old photo of Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn with their pair of Rivendell bicycles. I should not embed the image in my blog without permission, which I don't have, but I can link to it).

President Carter was the first president for whom I cast a vote, while living in Leningrad USSR (where my father was working at the time) via absentee ballot. More recently I saw President Carter give a speech at American University in Cairo in 2008 while I was working there for some months. I strongly admire President Carter, both his time as president and his activities since leaving elected office.

Not the photo I was searching for!

I was looking for a photograph of President Carter riding a bicycle where the he and the bicycle are in motion, and in which he is not wearing a helmet. (The photograph occasionally appears with some remarks criticizing him for the lack of helmet.) Instead I found th rather different photograph (above) in which President Carter is also not wearing a helmet, but does have some headgear. And that isn't a Rivendell bicycle.

Flickr user Buster&Bubby has this information:
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter biking in Yangshuo. According to a tourist web site: "In 1987, The USA president Jimmy Carter visited Yangshuo, his wife and he insisted that went around Yangshuo countryside by bicycle. Since that time, Rent a bicycle go around Yangshuo countryside has become the first choice to the tourists." Photo from lobby of our hotel.

Aha, I found the famous (or perhaps not so famous) photograph I was looking for. What do you know, he is riding his Rivendell.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Riding with Horse-Drawn Traffic the Library of Congress A cyclist appears about 2/3 through this short film, riding in with the horse drawn carriages. Riding in traffic with carriages and horses almost makes riding with automobile traffic look relaxing.

Title - South Spring Street, Los Angeles, Cal.
Summary - From Edison films catalog: Various equipages pass, including a tally-ho and six white horses. A peculiar, open-end trolley car comes along; bicycle riders and pedestrians. 50 feet.

Advertised as part of the "Southern Pacific Company Series" (Edison films catalog): The Southern Pacific Company ("Sunset Route") offers special inducements to winter travelers, by reason of its southern route, thereby avoiding the extreme cold of the winter months. Its course lies through a section of the country that presents a variety of beautiful and picturesque natural scenery. It is also the direct route to the popular resorts of Southern California, thereby making it a favorable route for tourists. The following subjects were taken by our artist while traveling over the very extensive lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co., to whom we are indebted for many courtesies, and without whose co-operation we should not have been able to bring before the public these animated photographs of interesting and novel scenes (p. 43).

Created / Published - United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1898.