Sunday, August 29, 2010

The removable tire & inner tube

Michelin patented the removable rubber tire and inner tube, replacing use of tubular tires that were glued to the rim (and much more time consuming to repair).

There are many good Flickr sets . . .

For example, this one. With photos such as this ~


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bike racks, parts

Rivendell Bicycle Works has an blog with an interesting page about racks - I have been thinking that my commuter bikes rear rack set-up might be more to my liking if I switched to a front rack set up, but it will bear some further investigation.

Another interesting parts site is even if the web site development work is awful.

Exercise and music (NYTimes article)

The NYTimes has an article about benefits of listening to music during exercise, including cycling. (Article includes an absurd-ish photo of a woman on a bike in a bikini.)

In a typical study, from 2008, cyclists who rode in time to music used 7 percent less oxygen to pedal at the same pace as when they didn’t align themselves to the songs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visit to Davidson Bicycles in Seattle

I dropped off a check to subscribe to Davidson Bicycles in downtown Seattle (near the Pike Place Market) and spent about a half hour talking to Bill Davidson, the owner. It was a great pleasure. Amazing bikes.

An example of some of their work ~
Mauricio 5

There is a Flickr group with photos of Davidson bikes for further perusal.

Epic bicycle journeys - books

Am reading "The Lost Cyclist," a history of an American, Frank Lenz, who disappeared in Turkey during a ride "around the world" in the early 1890s. Two other young Americans were also riding around the world at roughly the same time and eventually one of them went searching for Lenz. These two Americans published a book describing their travels that is available full text.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Philadelphia Bike Exposition

The Philadelphia Bike Exposition, October 30-31 2010 looks quite interesting and worth the drive (from DC).

Interview with Jan Heine of Bicycling Quarterly

An interview with Jan Heine, editor of Bicycle Quarterly has some interesting views.

"It's not something you thumb through once and throw away—each issue is printed on coated card stock, made to archive and re-read for years to come." (About Bicycle Quarterly)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Wheel flop" and other such terminology

One can easily feel that an engineering degree would be useful for understanding bicycle design and optimization.

What makes a bike handle beautifully does a good job of explaining wheel flop, rake, offset, and other terms.

The Bicycle Quarterly glossary comes at this from a different (and also helpful) direction.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bike parking at Pike Place Market

Bike parking at Pike Place Market
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

I assume this style of parking of bikes at the Pike Place Market in Seattle is intended (to some degree) as a rebellious statement. It certainly doesn't seem very convenient. At any rate, the bikes lined up nicely for the photo.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2009 Speedvagen Road

2009 Speedvagen Road
Originally uploaded by Vanilla Workshop

Speedvagen bikes are in the "Bespoked" book (really an exhibit catalog) I just bought. Very nice!

Ballard locks & bikes

Ballard locks & bikes
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

Since the locks are a federal facility, the federal Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is cited as governing the walking of one's bicycle at the Ballard locks.

Common sense suggests the same thing but it seems reasonable I suppose to make this point more clearly.

Wooden frame bikes (Renovo)

Renovo bikes site - maker of wood and bamboo frame bikes. Located in Portland, Ore.

It's the smoothest bike you'll ever ride, stealth quiet, lightweight and responsive, stiff as you want. Renovo hollow wood and laminated bamboo frames will forever change your understanding of what a bicycle should be, and how brilliantly these natural materials perform when designed to their strengths.

Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle (exhibit)

Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle is an article with some photographs of the amazing bicycles in the "Bespoke" exhibit. Most (but not all) are steel frame bikes.

The online version of the exhibit with more photos.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Downtown Seattle

Pike Place Market area
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

Celebrating the cyclist? I guess.

Huffy racing bike

Historic pro bike: Andy Hampsten's 1988 7-Eleven Huffy Giro d'Italia

Hampsten's steed back then was a prototypical road racer of the late '80s with a lugged steel frame and fork, a 1in threaded steerer and shifters that were mounted on the down tube, not conveniently integrated into the brake levers. But the characteristics he sought from his machine back then aren't far off what racers demand today.

Photo gallery of this steel bike

LA mayor changes view on cycling

Fall from bike spins LA mayor into cycle advocate much to everyone's surprise, apparently.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mountain biking park, under I-5, Seattle

Mtn biking park, under I-5
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

This park was written about in the NYTimes a while ago - it seems to have been added to since last summer. ((Link to NYTimes article from here.) Pretty elaborate riding experience possible, right in the middle of the city. (Noone here when I photographed it since it was like 8:45 Sunday morning.)

Warning sign makes it clear that this is at your own risk. The recommendation that one wear "body armor" seems a little extreme.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to cross RR tracks in Ballard

Track crossing guidance
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

Somewhat complicated signage to keep cyclists from hurting themselves while crossing railroad tracks in Seattle.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NYTimes article on Google maps for Cyclists

Google leads, you pedal

While cyclists say all this bike-mapping software is handy for planning trips, most agree it is more useful as a Plan B than a Plan A, which should be just a normal, fold-up bike map. “I never would rely on it 100 percent,” said Mr. Maus of Portland, Ore. “Just as I wouldn’t only rely on car directions from GPS. It’s not as smart as a human being on the ground.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Univega Superstrada

Univega Superstrada
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

Steel used bike that has been refurbished (restored?) rented for 2.5 weeks from Recycled Cycles in Seattle.

Set of photos of the bike on Flickr.

Strictly speaking at 54 cm this is a little small, but the distance from end of saddle to the front of stem is OK and this was the best (really only) choice. I am comfortable riding it, so that seems like the big thing.

Some research suggests that this is something like a 1998 or 1999 model, frame made in Taiwan. (Earlier Univega steel frames were made in Japan, apparently.) The bike has mostly 105 components - the drive train is entirely 105 but the brakes are RSX (a lower component grade) and having both on one bike seems peculiar. The info I see shows that from 1995-1997 the Superstrada has all RSX. Hm. Also, the 97 model was shown with seven rings in back and this has eight, so again I'm thinking this is a later model than 97. But in 2001 the brand disappeared, so no later than that!

The back wheel appears to be original but the front wheel is new. Odd that the back wheel would outlast the front wheel. The paint has been touched up in a few places but generally for a bike more than ten years old, I don't think this was ridden that much.

The metallic flake burgundy paint job is not something I would probably choose but one gets used to it. The extemely strange lettering used for the "Univega" brand name is a peculiar choice - does it help with marketing to make the name of the company impossible to read??

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What to ride in Seattle?

Last year in August in Seattle, I bought a bicycle here, but I can't do that every year. Went to Recycled Cycles to see if there something to rent or pseudo-rent but nothing appealing there. Alas.

Will have to investigate further.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two women with bicycle, around 1900

Two women with bicycle, Hoquiam, Washington, ca. 1900

On verso of image: A tea party in the garden of an early Hoquiam home.

Bike is typical of the period - identical to the design of a man's bike but has the low top bar. Also, has a back fender that is covered with a mesh to keep skirts out of the spinning wheel.

From the University of Washington digital collections.

Classic book of early cycling

The American bicycler: a manual for the observer, the learner, ... predates the "safety bicycle" and describes bicycles with the oversize front wheel and the tiny back wheel as the state-of-the-art. (The so-called "ordinary.") Published in 1879.
The weight of roadsters varies between thirty-five
and sixty pounds, and of racers between twenty and
thirty-five pounds
. The diameter of front wheel
ranges from forty to sixty inches, —forty-eight, fifty,
fifty-two, and fifty-four inches being the most com-
mon sizes ; and the wheel is chosen to fit the rider
as pantaloons arc, —according to length of leg, &c.
The whole is made in form and finish, lines and pro-
portions, with a view to comely appearance as well
as utility, and, when mounted by an accomplished
rider, is remarkably handsome.
Sixty pounds! Wow ~
From HathiTrust - digitized by Google at the University of Michigan.

Cycling in DC - 1912

Title: Wilbur H. Woodward, 428 Third St., N.W., Washington, D.C., Western Union messenger 236, one of the youngsters on the border-line, (15 yrs. old) works until 8 P.M. only. Location: Washington (D.C.), District of Columbia.

From the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs online catalog.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Parking Garage - Trailer with Two Bikes

Parking garage - trailer with two bikes
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

OK, so this is the first time I have seen this - the guy used to have a trail-a-bike built for two kids, now he has two 16 wheel bikes he hauls in a bike trailer after the kids are dropped off at day care. (It's hard to see in this photo, but there are two bikes there - you can see the two green helmets, anyway.)


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Traitor Ruben - Photo on Flickr

Traitor Ruben - new cycle
Originally uploaded by Michael Neubert

This, oddly, is my most viewed photo on Flickr even though it is low res from a cell phone camera. I bought this bike in August 2009 in Seattle to use as a commuter bike here in Arlington (Virginia). Slightly surprising assortment in the group on an steel frame. Ultegra brake levers/shifters, 105 in the back, FSA compact crank in the front, Avid road disk brakes, Nitto road handlebars.

And yes, the seat post, seat, handlebar tape, hubs and rims are all white (or were, when I bought it - the handlebar tape and seat have changed . . . ). The spokes are black and the frame is a dark grey. The lugged steel fork is chrome (no paint).

I replaced the pedals with cages with better pedals when I got home (Arlington).

The Traitor site has photos showing more details, but the version shown there doesn't have a front derailleur and has a single bar-end shifter. Also they have made some small changes since I bought mine.

I really should take some better photos to make available.

Cycle travel

Getting in Gear: Bike Trips From Colorado to Croatia in the New York Times. Detailed look at bike tourism example in US southwest but lists other examples.

Flickr Blog Entry - Bikes in Amsterdam

Flickr blog entry that points to interesting photos of "pedal power" in Amsterdam.

The Bicycle: It's Selection, Riding and Care (1892)

The Bicycle: It's Selection, Riding and Care is a book (or more like a booklet) published in 1892. The "safety bicycle" (with two wheels of equal size like today's bikes) only became common in the 1880s so for many this was new information, as evidenced by chapters with titles such as "How to Dress," "How to Ride," and before that, "How to Learn to Ride."

Below we see the "incorrect" position for riding a bike, according to this book. Perhaps the fellow is simply having too much of a devil-may-care time??


Here is the "correct" position ~


Major Taylor's story

The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World is the autobiography of Major Taylor, who was a talented African-American cycle racer at the turn of the last century.

Wikipedia's article on Major Taylor notes that, "Taylor was the first African-American athlete to achieve the level of world champion and only the second black man to win a world championship—after Canadian boxer George Dixon."