And you wonder why they are overweight

My family and I went camping this weekend. Every time I go camping, I always take my bikes and the trailer. We use the bikes to go check out some of the amenities of the campsite, this particular site had 3 lakes with a swimming ‘lagoon’.

Grace riding with Hershey

I would guesstimate that the distance from the lagoon to the campsite was about a quarter of a mile. I used the Breezer Villager to tow my kids to the lagoon and to a playground near by. I also noticed more than a few campers using golf carts to get around the campsite. The interesting part was that most of the drivers were overweight, mmm, I wonder why?

Know anyone who has expressed an interest in giving bicycle commuting a try? Many of us have talked to someone who wants to do it but doesn’t really know where to begin. Well, here are a couple Internet resources (besides OUR fine site!) you can point them to. The following sites are generally designed for and aimed at beginners, although a couple of them offer information that will be useful for even the most seasoned, long-time commuter.

Paul Dorn’s Bike Commute Tips

Paul Dorn's Bike Commute Tips website

I’ll start with my favorite — the excellent site put together by Paul Dorn. This site has something for everyone, novices and pros alike. It is clearly divided into major categories and is well-written.

Paul also writes an excellent blog that highlights bicycle commuting news from around the U.S. and beyond.

Bike Safety Institute

Bike Safety Institute website

This site, despite its lofty title, primarily serves as an online ride calendar (that isn’t updated very often). Still, there are quite a few tidbits hidden around the site for the beginning commuter. One tidbit I discovered during a recent visit is the table of bicycle fatalities by state, compiled in 2004 by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration‘s Center for Statistics and Analysis. The top ten most fatal states (per one million population) are Florida at number one (boo!!!), Nevada, Hawaii, Washington D.C., South Carolina, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Delaware, North Dakota and California finishing out at number 10.

Bicycle Fatalities By State

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

Bicycling Info's website

This website is chock-full of statistical information, image libraries, engineering considerations and many other resources. This site is also very popular with transportation planners who are hoping to include pedestrians and bicycles into their urban plans…our local bicycle/pedestrian planners are actually the ones who turned me onto this site!! Plenty of information is geared at beginners, and even more is available to the advanced commuter or active commuting advocate.

Check these sites out — you may learn something new, and you will certainly be able to point someone in the right direction if you’re ever asked “how do I get started commuting by bicycle?”

As always, if there are other sites you could recommend to beginners, please let us know about them and we may include them in future articles.

Armed and Dangerous

The other day I was listening to this High School kid tell a story about how he and his buddies drive with water balloons and hit their favorite targets: Cyclists.

Armed and Dangerous

So I told him, ‘you know that some of us have the capability to catch up to you on the next red light right? Not only that, some of us carry ‘personal defense devices’. He looked at me kind of dumbfounded, so I told him, ‘yeah, I usually carry pepper spray and I’ve known of people that ride with knives’. The expression on his face was priceless.

I think that drivers also have the misconception that since we ride a bike, we all must be defenseless geeks.

Fixed Gear Friday…and a mountain bike

Typically we’ll post something that is fixed gear related and have some fun with it. Today’s fixed gear Friday is a bit different.

I started a new kick ass job with a Real Estate Investment company 5 miles from my home. So that meant commuting here was a no brainer. Yesterday was my first time riding to work. I brought my fixed gear bike. Since this building doesn’t have any bike racks, I decided to bring in my bike and store it in one of our offices.

Here’s an obligatory shot of me in the office wearing my Hoss MTB Knickers.

I live in a city where they take biking seriously. With that in mind check out how wide this bike lane is. It’s the same width as the car lane!

Ok so you’re wondering what the words “mountain bike” is doing with the title. Well just to let you all know, I do love mountain bikes…heck we run a mountain biking site! But I don’t love them for commuting. I decided to take one for the team and dedicated my commute this morning to our homie Noah. This ride’s for your buddy!

I took my super heavy trail bike, the Woodstock 707 equipped with Tag Wheels to work this morning. If you haven’t already figured it all out, my fixed gear photos were from Thursday.

With that said, don’t say I never liked mountain bikes…its just they are not my favorite to commute with.

By the way, I have a great commute, I go through some wide bike lanes, 2 parks and barely have to deal with idiot drivers.

NuVinci Hub Update

NuVinci Hub

I had a little issue with my bottom bracket on my Ibex B-27R so it was out of commission for a little while. I got a new sealed cartridge BB, but the problem was that it was a little short so that forced me to go to a smaller front ring (a 36T, I believe). I also changed my route to a more hilly one, I wanted to see how well the hub would perform under the stress of going uphill. Although my new front ring took a little bit of the ‘top end’, it worked beautifully on the hills. I was spinning effortlessly while ‘dialing in’ my desired gearing. I totally dig the NuVinci hub, the weight trade off is totally worth it.