SFPD Bicycle training video

Check out this video made by Officer Brenda B. Walker, it covers 3 common bike/car scenarios: Dooring, Driver Intimidation and Bicycle Motorist accidents.

Note: Please check your local laws, the vehicle codes cited on the video apply to California.

Got a home remedy?

Usually I’ll get some snot build up and the riding starts to loosen it and all I have to really do is a Snot Rocket and out it goes.

But I remember when I got on my bike after a night of body aches and fevers…I felt horrible! But I didn’t want to miss riding my bike because I love it so much. However, about a mile or two later, I went back home to go rest.

I’ve heard of home remedies such as Apple Cider Vinegar, honey in green tea, or chicken soup to nurse the body back to health. But I’m curious to know if there is a super quick way to get back on the saddle with some of your suggestions for a home remedy?

Nirve Night Owl First Impression

I’ve been testing our the Nirve Night Owl the past few days and I’m very pleased so far on the performance of this bike. So much so that I took it out for some singletrack and fire road action this morning at the local trail.

However, the streets is where the Night Owl really excels. This bike is so much fun. I can’t put my finger on it yet because every time I get on this bike, it just feels right and I’ve always got a smile on my face.

I think what I like most about the Night Owl is its geometry. I don’t feel like I’m so up right like how most beach cruisers places the rider. But because of the BMX bars, I’m leaning over, but not too far and if I’m at a light and it turns green, pumping the bike to get speed of the line isn’t an issue. The Night Owl has some powerful brakes. Though what I didn’t like already was the pedals. This morning was moist so when I started pedaling in some occasions, my foot would slip. I’m most likely going to put some SPD pedals on the bike to remedy that problem.

The Night Owl cruises at a fairly good speed. Once you get moving, its easy to maintain your traveling speed as long as there are no morons in cars to slow you down. I’ve also started testing how strong the wheels and fork would be by jumping off curbs and getting 3 feet of air. So far the wheels are still true. You’re asking why would I jump of a curb. Well in honesty, in my years of commuting, there have been times when I’ve been forced to get on the sidewalk and jump off the curb just to get back on the road again. Which basically means that if I have to do that in real life because some car cuts me off, I want to make sure that my wheels or fork aren’t going to collapse on me when I land.

So the Nirve Night Owl is doing fairly well. Heck it did well in my first singletrack ride this morning. I’ll keep you posted as time goes.

My ears were so cold, they were hurting…

This morning’s ride hurt…it was about 40 degrees and my ears were aching from the cold brisk air….I don’t like putting on beanies under my helmet because I get schwetty and its too bulky. I was thinking of asking Randy to sew me up some custom made beanie that is thin enough to fit under my helmet, yet thick enough to keep my ears warm.

What do you use for your ears?

Tales of Winter Riding in the Desert

I got to ride in the rain yesterday. To some, this might not seem like a big deal, or may even be a daily nuisance; but to me, it IS a big deal. I live in Phoenix. We never get rain. The past two weekends have ushered in some rain as this massive storm system moves across the mid-west and Rockies. When I woke up yesterday morning, I was rather surprised to see moisture on the ground as I stepped outside to check how cold (read: brisk) it was.

At first I had to run through my alternate options of transport, but then I remembered that I have been waiting for this day since I started bike commuting in August. Granted, I yearned for that day in August for completely different reasons, but I still wanted to get some experience riding on wet roads – if for nothing more than my own cycling “continuing education.”

I dressed the same as I have been lately, wearing a compression shirt, half-zip lightweight pullover and my bright yellow windbreaker, which naturally doubles as a rain jacket. It was not actually raining when I left, but the roads were wet, and I got some drizzles along the way.

Rains came and went throughout the day, and I saw a little bit of a heavier downpour on the ride home – but still nothing too crazy. A good introduction to inclimate-weather riding.

The highlight of the day was the surprised look on my co-workers faces when they saw that I rode my bike to work, even though it was raining. Due to the lack of rain in this city, people in Phoenix seem to get thrown off enough by the thought of driving a car in the rain – let alone riding a bike.

In my continuing efforts to make bike commuting look as easy as it really is, I simply commented that riding in this poor weather was not much different than other days. I didn’t dress any differently than I do on a cold day. Naturally, you want to be more aware of your surroundings and more attentive to drivers who might do something stupid, but a little rain is no reason to leave the bike at home.

That’s right, the Velorution is waterproof!

I also broke my shoe yesterday. Bummer.

As I was walking down the steps of my apartment with my bike, the heel of my cycling shoe got stuck on the lip of the previous step. As I continued moving forward, my shoe stayed in place and I ripped the top velcro strap right off of the shoe. Thankfully, my shoes have 3 straps, so even though I ripped off the most important strap, the shoe is still functional. It was looser than normal (obviously) but I was able to ride to and from work without incident. I will reluctantly begin a quest to replace the shoes – but I guess in the grand scheme of things, getting more than 2 years out of a pair of cycling shoes is pretty decent…well at least in the age of the “replace your gear each season” mentality.

While it is not ultimately the shoe manufacturers fault that the velcro strap ripped off my shoe, I am still disappointed that I have to replace the shoes. There is still one perfectly good shoe remaining that will become useless. I will continue to ride with these shoes until I honestly feel that they threaten my safety or ability to ride.

On the bright side, had the strap not ripped off, I most likely would have fallen down the 2 or 3 remaining steps as my heel got jammed in between steps, and would have landed (painfully) on the cement with a bike on top of me, or worse, me on top of the bike.

Every cloud has a silver lining it seems…