Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Things Thursday (A Quickie)

1. Don't forget that tonight is the I Street Social Ride, hosted by BicycleSPACE. Tonight's theme is Robot Rumble, so break out your tinfoil & best blinky lights (cuz that's what robots are made of, right?). Unfortunately I can't make the right tonight due to my work schedule, but luckily it happens every Thursday evening! It's a fun, gentle ride through the streets of DC. You never know where you'll end up.

2. Win up to $5,000 for WABA (or any other bike-related organization of your choice). Submit a photo of your bike and your best biking story (250 words or less), and you win a year's supply of CLIF bars & a 5K grant for your favorite bike non-profit (like WABA). Two Runner-ups will receive a messenger bag full of CLIF bars & $2,500 for their favorite bike non-profit (like WABA). Details HERE. Do it.

3. If you haven't read this already, you must. I'm generally not a fan of the City Paper, but Alex Baca knocks this one out of the park: how the Symbolism of Bicycling in DC was hijacked.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Favorite way to start the day...(Columbia Heights Coffee)

Looking deceptively mild (Bastard Hill)

Reward for conquering Bastard Hill (view from Cardozo)

Honking Hoo Ha's.

P.S. Please be sure to check out BicycleSPACE's facebook page and "like" my photos so I can win the contest, k? Thanks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Things Tuesday

1. I kept noticing people riding around with very low pressure in their tires today, which reminds me that I need to check the air in all my bikes. I know my work bike definitely needs some air. Checking air pressure is something I need to make a better habit of. Along with cleaning my drivetrain. And lubing my chain. And...oh hell. I'm never going to do any of that on a regular basis. I should though. But. AIR. yes, I need some.

2. The awesome folks at BicycleSPACE answered my call for suggestions for a new bike--I'd like to get a touring bike for longer trips--and they pointed me to Velo Orange. I think I'm in love.....come mid-September I think one of those babies will be mine....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three Things Thursday (Right Turn Rant Edition)

1. I get really annoyed at drivers that do not make right turns properly when there is a bike lane present. I've noticed lately that drivers will not enter the bike lane (which they are supposed to do) to make their right turn, but will rather make the turn from "their" lane. This is WRONG. And dangerous to cyclists.  I'm guessing their thinking is that they are being considerate of cyclists by staying out of the bike lane at all times; however there are times when it is safer for a vehicle to do their business in the bike lane (like turns). According to DCMR, Title 18, Chapter 22:
Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge or the roadway.

This way, there is very little chance of "accidentally" right-hooking a cyclist, since theoretically there shouldn't be a cyclist on your right since the curb is there.  There have been plenty of times I've been cycling in the bike lane and a driver ahead of me will turn from their lane, essentially cutting me off. That is why there is a dotted line in the bike lane, drivers---it's so you can enter it. PREDICTABILITY, people.

2. Conversely,  I get super peeved at the bike lane hoggers who position their vehicle half-in & half-out of the bike lane while they are stopped in traffic because they are going to make a right turn half a block ahead. NO. You are also doing it wrong. You move your vehicle into the bike lane at the approach to a right-hand turn. You are not approaching anything if you are stopped. And half a mile away. Stop it.

 3. I get really peevey at drivers that go around me while I'm stopped at a red light so they can make a right turn on red. NO! You will just have to wait your damn turn. You wouldn't go around a stopped vehicle at a red light so you can turn right, why would you do that to a human being? If your vehicle is not positioned next to the right-hand curb/edge because there is a cyclist next to you, you shouldn't make a right turn (asshat). This should be common sense.  Maneuvering your 2-ton vehicle directly in front of a human being so that you don't have to wait 25 seconds for the light to turn green is a dick move.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

(shamelessly stolen from other bloggers) (Oops, I just used words)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five Things Friday?

I guess I will do this too...

1. Even though the weather has been much nicer/cooler than it has been for quite awhile, I've been a lazy boob and haven't really taken advantage of it. I only feel slightly guilty about this.

2. Betty had her first flat tire last night. Not bad, considering its been about a year & a half since I bought her, and she's got quite a few miles on her. After the I Street Social Ride, I stopped at the local watering hole for a few beers, and when I came out her rear tire was completely flat. Oh no! And despite my own advice, I had never attempted to figure out how to remove her rear tire (it's a little different since she has a 3-gear internal hub & coaster brake). I walked her home and decided that 2am while slightly tipsy was as good a time as ever to figure it out (HI NEIGHBORS). So I fired up YouTube and went to work. Turns out it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be (it's definitely not a roadside repair though). I got the wheel off, inspected the tire, found the offending hole (although not the culprit), patched the tire and got it all back together again. I even re-installed Betty's front fender so it was facing the correct way. Unfortunately, 2am while slightly tipsy isn't a good time to judge whether the chain tension was tight enough, and as soon as I rode Betty down the street the next morning (which came way, way too soon), her chain bumped off before I even got out of the block. DOH! No chain = no brakes. So, I put Betty back inside and took Bikeshare instead (yay, CaBi!). When I got home from work I fixed the chain problem. I rode Betty up and down the block just to make sure, and it was fine, but I'm still a little paranoid about hitting a bump or pothole. Oh well. I'm sure it will be fine.

There's the hole in the tire. Whatever caused it must have fallen out.

The hole in the tube. I didn't have another one, so I decided to patch it.


3. Apparently the best way to get me to buy a product is to slap a bicycle on the packaging. I couldn't decide which 6 pack of beer I wanted, so I went with Flying Dog's Tire Bite--why? Because there is a drawing of a dog biting a bicycle tire. I also noticed that the package of cookie dough (SHUT UP, ITS FOR A GOOD CAUSE IT SAID SO ON THE PACKAGE, A PORTION OF MY PURCHASE GOES TO KIDS WITH CANCER, EVEN IF IT NEVER SEES THE INSIDE OF AN OVEN) had a drawing of bicycle on it too.

4. I have a love/hate relationship with amateur group rides. On the one hand, it's always a festive atmosphere and its nice to have other cyclists to chat with. On the other, I tend to break out into RAGE HATE with all the weaving, sudden-braking, light-running, wrong-way going, WHY CAN'T YOU RIDE IN A STRAIGHT LINE FOR THE LOVE OF BOB cyclists that attend them. This might be my next post. It might be a post I write and never publish.

5. The VP of the League of American Bicyclists called me personally yesterday to thank me for my donation (I renewed my membership which lapsed as of June, plus threw in a little extra) which I thought was really cool & kind of them to do. Unfortunately my crappy AT&T cell service meant that she couldn't actually hear me, so it was an awkward conversation. Unfortunately, their website seems to be down at the moment, so I can't find her name. But if you are reading, Ms. VP, you are very welcome! Also, if you are looking for worthy organizations to donate to, the League and WABA should be at the top of your list. Also you can buy pre-made cookie dough that will save kids with cancer in your local supermarket.