BikeCommuters.com

Commute

2017 is here!

2016 is finally gone and it was quite the memorable year. We lost a lot of famous people but in a personal note; I also lost my father to Diabetes. Diabetes is one of those diseases that kill you very slowly and yet, it can be reversible with proper diet and exercise. Being that I am in high risk of Diabetes, cycling has kept my sugar levels below the dreaded “pre-diabetic” line. In fact, my mileage tally for 2016 was 1,407 miles, that was 407 more miles than my original goal of riding 1,000 miles for the year. I also mixed it up with some hiking and walking miles, my knees won’t handle running so I don’t run.

Where am I going with this? This is my number one New Year’s resolution: Eat healthy and do more exercise. I guess the exercise part is the bonus part for us bike commuters, in fact, it doesn’t even feel like exercise! I am going to raise my mileage goal for 2017 to 2,000 miles. I think it is an attainable goal but I will have to commit to longer rides this year.


Image courtesy of bicycletouringpro.com

Resolution number two: Go bike-camping. That was one of my goals that I was not able to do in 2016, but I feel 2017 will be the year that I finally stop making excuses and do it. Who knows, a special touring bike build may be in the near future.

Resolution number three: Become more involved with bicycle advocacy. I am sick and tired of reading how we are a nuisance to drivers and how we don’t belong on the road.

2017 is also BikeCommuters.com’s 10th year anniversary. It is hard to believe that we have been doing this for this long and although our audience has diminished quite a bit (I blame cheap gas prices), we are committed to doing at least one weekly post.

We are also going to be celebrating throughout the year with some giveaways, follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more details.

Sticker Bomb Fixed Gear Bike

Hello and welcome back to our weekly Monday post. We are getting close to Christmas and to the end of 2016 so things get wacky since our workload gets lighter and we have lots of time to surf the net for “inspiration”. One of those hair-brained ideas came from RL as he continues his Sabbatical and is still wondering if The Grand Tour is better than Top Gear. He showed me a picture of a scooter that had been “Sticker Bombed” and was considering doing that to one of his scooters.

As you can see, a “sticker bomb” scooter is a basically a scooter that is full of stickers, so yes, an idea came to mind: What if I sticker bomb my Awnry Bikes testing mule? First item of business was to get a shit load of stickers, once the stickers arrived, I enlisted the help of my young daughters to apply them all over the frame.

2016-12-18_03-08-36

Yes, I had to use child labor but if Apple does it in China, why not me? I mean, I do feed, cloth and drive my darn kids everywhere! Anyhow, here is the result:

2016-12-14_09-03-53

I think it came out rather good! And better yet, my girls really liked it and they would be willing to ride a sticker bomb fixed gear bike! In fact, they shared the picture on their social media accounts and it got a good response.

2016-12-18_10-08-00

So as I am getting close to launching my own line of simple but fun commuter bikes, I’ve been working on incorporating this sticker bomb scheme into one of the Awnry bikes called the Awnry “Da’ Bomb” (yes, my kids came up with that name). Some of the challenges have been the durability of the stickers and the lack of water resistance but I have gathered a team of skillful engineers to solve that issue. Well, not really, my co-worker is helping me out since he works on different types of decal substrates.

20161218_220636

Awnry Bikes is almost ready to launch, the bikes were slightly delayed because of some added features such as anti-theft bolts, flip-flop hubs and brakes needed to be added. We will have the official launch announcement once we are satisfied with the bikes.

So what do you think about the bike? Yay or Nay?

My Bike-Train commute in the dark

Hello Bike Commuters, I hope you enjoyed my NiteRider Lumina Micro 600 review from last week. This week’s post is sort of a prequel to last week’s post, I want to share my experience of riding my commuter bike to the train station in the dark.

20161122_173606

I’ve always been hesitant to ride my bicycle on the streets during darkness and I guess I am not alone because I did not see many bike commuters during my ride. As with most of my bike commutes, I always tend to plan methodically my rides and my equipment. Did I over do it? Maybe a little, but you can’t tell me that I wasn’t visible.

2016-12-11_05-10-40

I got a few questions regarding the green light that I installed at the bottom of my bike; this is a Brightz, Ltd. Go Brightz LED Bicycle Light that I purchased from Amazon for $12.99.

20161122_181725

2016-12-11_05-28-47

Another question I got was what the hell is that on the downtube? That is the Folding Abus Bordo Folding Lock Granit X 6500 which came in handy because I had to lock up my bike to a post while I retrieved my car from an indoor parking lot (I have a roof rack).

nightride1

Enough of product placement, how was the ride? My apprehension of riding through the streets turned into excitement; cars actually moved over to their left because they actually saw me coming on their rear view mirrors! The NiteRider Lumina 600 Micro Light was plenty enough to light my way through the streets and never worried about outrunning it.

nightride2

Riding the San Diego Creek is also part of my commute, fortunately Irvine happens to be a very safe city and the bike trail was fully lit. I still recommend using a decent light while riding on the trail, the rider on the left was barely visible in dark areas.

nightride3

My last concern was the train station, I’ve seen plenty of movies where shit goes crazy at dark, creepy stations. My concern was unfounded; the Tustin Train station is fully lit and I felt safe.

I truly enjoyed bike commuting while is dark and I plan to continue doing it… until it rains.

NiteRider Lumina Micro 600 review

2016-12-04_07-20-59

Bicycle lights have come a long way, they are smaller, more powerful and less expensive. I own a NiteRider FireStorm HID light which weighs about 800 grams, produces about 400 lumens and used to sell for over $300.

2016-12-04_01-28-13

We now have plenty of choices for lights that produce over 400 lumens for less than $100. I selected the NiteRider Lumina Micro 600 because I think that 600 lumens would be enough for riding on the streets and off-road. I also chose the Lumina Micro 600 for its price point; $64.99 is affordable for a 600 lumen light.

20161203_085510

I’ve been taking the NiteRide Lumina Micro 600 on all of my rides; from commuting, road riding and mountain biking. Yes, I even use the Lumina Micro 600 on my morning road rides to the beach.

20161126_214957

Here are the Lumina Micro 600’s features:

  • 4 Light Levels plus 1 Daylight Flash Mode
  • FL1 Standard IP64, water resistant
  • Affordable, high output light
  • Ultra lightweight 600 lumen head light, weighing in at only 130g including mount
  • Easy on and off handlebar strap mount with quick release tab
  • Fits standard and oversize 35mm handlebars
  • Small compact design that’s perfect for helmet mounting (Helmet Mount Sold Separately)
  • Convenient USB rechargeable
  • Low battery indicator
  • Lock Mode, perfect for use during storage and transporting the light. Press and hold
    power button for 7 seconds to lock out operation of light.

20161203_085540

My favorite feature of the light is how versatile it is, the flashing mode is bright enough to be seen during daylight, the high output mode is perfect for riding off-road and dark commutes. The 300 Lumen mode is great for riding on busy lit trails so you won’t blind incoming cyclists/walkers and it also doubles the run time.

20161011_193409

The light beam is round with a slight bluish tint, this limits the amount of “glare” you get during those foggy nights. The Lumina Micro 600 is very compact, light and the mounting strap fits nicely on all of my oversized handlebars. There was no flickering while riding on bumpy terrain and I never ran out of juice even running at full blast for over an hour and twenty minutes. Charging took about 2 hours using my USB charger so I had plenty of time to recharge the light during work hours.

20161122_173604

I don’t have anything negative to report about this light, I really love it and it pairs perfectly with the NiteRider Sentinel. For more information about the NiteRider Lumina Micro 600 or to purchase this light, check out NiteRider’s website at https://www.niterider.com/

Here is a video of me riding with the light:

Holiday Gift Guide Part Two

I hope you enjoyed part one, here is part two of our Holiday Gift guide:

2016-10-10_01-36-24

Lights: The NiteRider Lumina 600 and the Sentinel rear light are an excellent combo. The Lumina’s 600 Lumens seem to be the right amount of light for bicycle commuting, not too bright and not a light that you can “outrun”. The Sentinel’s lasers are still cool in my book and are very noticeable at night. Another favorite of ours is the Planet Bike’s Superflash.

20160717_153234

Bells/Horns: We did a small comparo of different bells and horns and the Planet Bike Courtesy Bell was my favorite. The sound, the look and the quality won me over. If you mountain bike, the Timber! Bike bell is worth riding with if your trails are full of hikers and walkers, cool thing about this bells is that you can “turn it off” because it does get annoying.

IMG_20161017_162316

Safety Accessories: I always ride with my RoadID, this little bracelet contains all of my emergency information in case something happens to me, I really hope not to use it at all but “just in case”. Another product that I found online was Brilliant Reflective Iron on strips. I added the strips to shorts, shirts and socks. The strips work as advertised but make sure that you do not put the clothing in a dryer.

20161001_083640

Odds and Ends: Cat-ears, yes, I love those weird pieces of fur. Are they goofy looking? Yes. Do they work? Oh heck yes. Not only do the Cat-ears diminish the wind noise, they also block the cold air preventing your ears from freezing.

20160911_210131

Non biking stuff: Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout beer. Yes, I know you caught me drinking Bud Light but Chocolate Stouts are our beer of choice and Young’s chocolate stout is also a very good one. Not into stouts? How about some Tequila? Don Julio 1942 is my choice of poison.

So now you need to go and buy all this stuff, but where? Support your Local Bike Shop! I have four around me but The Cyclery Bike shop in La Mirada is my LBS of choice. If you are in the Portland Area, River City Bicycles Outlet is the place to go.

Oh and before I forget, we will be launching our own line of bicycles under the Awnry Bikes name, stay tuned!