Category: Commute

20170316_184700

Welcome back Bike Commuters and Metrolink riders! It finally stopped raining and I am really happy to be back doing the train/bike commute to work. It is interesting that the “comforts” of your car are forgotten once you realize that you are not stuck in traffic and you get to exercise too!

IMG_20170316_094921_534

You may remember that I launched Awnry Bikes last December; these singlespeed/fixed gear bikes are meant to be simple, efficient and really affordable. So I built one for myself to ride to work, I figured that if I am peddling (not pedaling or petaling) these bikes, I might as one ride one!

20170316_184302

I went ahead and built what I call a “Raw Deal” bike. Why “Raw Deal”? Because the frame is unpainted and untreated so it is basically “raw”. I also chose bullhorns on the front and switched to my Crank Brothers pedals (not peddles nor petals) other than that, the bike is “stock”.

IMG_20170316_094921_535

The bike comes with Neco and Lasco parts, I know, they are not name brand but what do you expect for $200? So how does it ride? For being an inexpensive bike, it is surprisingly smooth and comfortable. I thought that the saddle was going to be a pain in my ass (pun intended) but I was really happy with it.

20170319_202821

Interestingly, the bike got a lot of looks and positive comments. The person who scans the tickets in the train stopped to take a second look and nodded in approval! If there is one negative thing about this bike is that it lacks bosses for water bottle holders but I ordered this Bell Clinch Universal mount and cage from Amazon for about 9 bucks and problem solved.

I heard it is supposed to rain this week in Southern California, so stay tuned to see how those SealSkinz products held up.

Hello Bike Commuters and fellow social media enthusiasts! Have you ever noticed our Facebook “live video events”? Well you should! Art and I usually head out to different cycling events that we think it would be of interest to our readers/viewers. In case you missed them, here are the videos:

From Pasadena, here is the video of my visit to URB-E:

The local Giant rep visited my LBS, here is a video of all of the new 2017 Giant Road bikes:

A few videos from the Long Beach Electric bicycle expo:

Make sure you follow us on Facebook for more upcoming live videos!

Hello Bike Commuters and fellow bike geeks! This weekend I was able to visit a company that had my interest for a while: URB-E. URB-E is a company that makes “compact foldable electric vehicles” in Pasadena California. Pasadena happens to be about a 45 minute drive so I decided to pay them a visit.

IMG_20170218_132226_462

I was greeted by Jonathan, a young associate that really knew his stuff. He was kind to explain the different models of the URB-E line up, the difference between them and I actually got to test ride two of them!

20170218_121805

Let us begin with their least expensive model; the URB-E Sport. The Sport starts at a reasonable $899.00 and you get quite a bit for this price. Major highlights include a 16 mile range per charge, a top speed of up to 14 mph, a basic dampener suspension and multiple USB ports. Here is a video of Jonathan explaining some of the folding features of the sport:

So how did it ride? For such as small wheelbase and small tires I was expecting it to be really twitchy. Yes, the URB-E Sport does not handle like a full size bicycle but it sort of handles like a folding bike. The acceleration of this model is gradual, you don’t get the full torque right of the bat but I actually consider that a good thing. I was also impressed by the URB-E Sport folding capabilities, the Sport -and the other models, fold as small an upright vacuum. You can either carry the URB-E with a strap or you can also roll it. The Sport weighs around 35 lbs, not bad considering that electric bikes weigh around 50lbs.

20170218_122524

The other model I tested was the next model up from the Sport; the URB-E Sport GT. Upgrades include a rear shock, a tuned speed controller and a front kickstand. The speed and range remain the same as the Sport’s. Here is a video of Jonathan explaining the additional features of the GT:

The ride on the GT was totally different, the instant torque changed the handling characteristics making it a little more difficult to ride. URB-E also offer two other models; the URB-E Pro and the URB-E Pro GT. I was not able to ride these models but they have a range of up to 20 miles and a top speed of 18 mph. Prices start at $1,699.

20170218_124623

I know that electric bikes/scooters/vehicles may be a “sacrilege” to us that love to pedal, but I sincerely think that URB-E’s products will be able to get people to leave their car at home, just wait until gas prices go up again.

By the way, I was in no way compensated or sponsored by URB-E, I just really like featuring innovating companies that make their products in the USA. For more information, please visit www.urb-e.com.

Hello Bike Commuters! I hope your Superbowl hangover is not as bad, as for me, I didn’t have a lick of alcohol all because of a mishap that happened on a ride.

Shit happens. We all know that, but are you ready when it happens? We learned a hard lesson this weekend when one of our buddies crashed hard and almost severed his finger on a fence.

We were enjoying the decent weather riding around on or Cyclocross bikes on mild terrain when the accident happened. As I got to the bottom of the trail, I saw my buddy waving at me to come back. I was not ready to see all of the blood and part of his finger severely cut.

Luckily my buddy had a gauze and a couple of band-aids so we were able to keep the blood from flowing until we were able to pick them up. My other friend and I were riding at race speed to get to our cars, that was probably my fastest time riding those trails but the battery of my watch died so no Strava segment records for me. We drove back to find my injured friend and were able to help him clean him with a first aid kit that one of our friends always carries.

So that got me thinking, what if I crash or fall when I’m riding my bike to work? I consider myself an over-prepared bike commuter but I must admit that I don’t ride with a first aid kit. A quick google search yielded a few first aid kits but the Brave Soldier Crash pack seems specific for road riding. I have ordered one and I will give you an update once I receive it.

By the way, the bike was not OK 🙁

Welcome to our 3rd post of 2017! Yeah, I went on a small rant last week but it makes my blood boil every time I read anti-cycling comments on social media. The sad truth is that some of these “keyboard warriors” do manifest their aggressive behavior on the road, they forget that some of us do have families and that killing a cyclist is killing a human being.

IMG953035

But I digress. You know how I always keep bragging that it never rains in Southern California? Well, it has been raining for the last 3 weeks ruining any chance of a bike commute or along ride. However, I did squeeze in my first ride of the year; a total 1.8 miles that kicked my ass.

These were no ordinary miles, this was also no ordinary ride; it was my first Cyclocross race. Before I go into the dreadful details of my performance (or lack thereof) I want to mention what an awesome job the Inland Empire Biking Alliance is doing. This is my second organized event that I attend that is organized by the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and I am very impressed by their organization and ride amenities. If you are a cyclist that lives in the I.E., I highly recommend you joining their organization.

28691

So back to my Cyclocross experience, it was a shit load of fun! We were taught the basics of cyclocross and then we raced one lap around the track. Unfortunately for me, I had been sick the week before so my lungs gave up 3/4 of the way and ended second to last. It’s OK, the experience was worth my 6 dollar entrance.

What is next now that cyclocross is over? There is another ride that the Inland Empire Biking Alliance is organizing called the “Redlands Rossa Strada IV” which is a combination of pavement, gravel and singletrack, perfect for a cyclocross bike!

We will get back to posting commuting articles once I start riding again, sorry but I just hate riding in the rain.