Friday, September 09, 2005

No. 43, Vol. 4 - Are You A Commited Bicyclist?

Bicycle Envy, Or Just Plain Ignorance?

Gasoline prices have skyrocketed, which really shouldn't be a surprise to most Americans. The Big Three in Detroit, General Motors, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler, are scratching their heads over what to do next to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, the commited bicyclists of this country silently turn the pedals, somehow trying to tune out the white noise of the media sqawking about intervention from the government. People need to realize that habits are not formed over night, and most cities are designed for cars, not bikes, skateboards, pedestrians or even buses. If there's any pain being felt by Detroit's Big Three, they can thank their own lobbyists for the pressures they inflicted on the government these past 80 years. Additionally, the oil companies certainly relish the extra cash they have on hand, thanks to the past 10 years of record-breaking SUV sales (coincidentally, the highest margin products from Detroit).

To the commited bicyclist, I say `keep up the good work, and let's all hope your silent example of a healthy transportation alternative inspires others to follow.'

Are you a commited bicyclist?

~ ~ ~

Most everyone has ridden a bicycle one time or another. And despite the billions spent on automotive
advertising and marketing, more bicycles (about 16 million) than cars (about 15 million) are sold in this country each year. Americans depend on their automobiles because our cities have been designed for automobiles, and the Greater Dayton Area is no exception. But the level of ignorance concerning where bicycles belong is at an all-time high. Case in point.

Justin Kellermeier lives in North Dayton and chooses to ride his bicycle to work in Springboro. He is keenly aware of
what the Ohio Revised Code says about bicycles: ride with traffic on the right side of the road, stay off sidewalks (lest ye be fined $100 in Dayton), and obey all traffic laws. Pretty simple, right?

Not quite.

Kellermeier has chosen to ride his bicycle versus pay for gasoline and the wear and tear on his vehicle. He rides on streets with wide shoulders, dresses in visible clothing, and obeys the rules of the road. But that hasn't been good enough for a handful of drivers that think Kellermeier doesn't belong on "their roads." He's been physically threatened four times in seven days, had a driver with his children in the car purposefully back into him and his bike, and as a whole, been treated like a third-class citizen, all, Kellermeier notes, because he has chosen a healthy and cost-saving alternative to driving his car to work.

Earlier this summer, while riding with friends through Moraine, Kellermeier et al were stopped near Dryden Road by a Moraine police officer and verbally abused because they were riding their bikes at night (with lights): "What's in that bag? Are you drunk? Why are you riding your bikes at this hour?" So, because these tax-paying, bicycle-riding adults were doing something fun, the Moraine policeman took liberty on a slow night to chastise and bait them?

Recently, after riding my bike to a men's meeting in Springboro, a church mate "humorously" told me he felt like knocking me off my bike with his side mirror! That's akin to me saying I feel like driving past Heatherwoode Golf Course and playing Joe Sniper with all the golf-cart driving enthusiasts! This isn't healthy, folks; it's ignorance at its worst.

There are many white- and blue-collar friends that choose to commute to their workplace by bicycle, and I applaud them. A bicycle commuter typically chooses to ride instead of drive for many reasons, not one of them to be treated so shabbily by fellow co-workers, tax-payers, or public servants. It's time folks around here understand that respect is a two-way street. We all pay for these roads, and we're all entitled to use them in a manner befitting all walks of life, even the "lowly" bicyclist. Bikes belong on the streets.

Hopefully, more Daytonians will choose the bicycle as an alternative means of transportation, knowing their choice will be respected.

Gary B.


Durable Goods for the Good and Durable
Now that you're all fired up to get out and ride for the cause, here are some essential, er, essentials to get you ready for the mean streets of your city commute. To order, call 937-748-8862 or email us for more information.

The best lights to see and be seen come from Cateye and Planet Bike. Our recommendations include:

Cateye HL-EL400 3LED headlight
Waterproof, adjustable, and highly visible. Includes batteries. Just $39.

Cateye LD1000 red tail light 10LED taillight
The red-blinky version of the EL400 headlight. Waterproof and highly visible. Includes batteries. Just $39.

Planet Bike BRT-3 helmet taillight
Attach it to your helmet with its self-leveling kit, or clamp it on the seastay or seatpost. Includes batteries. Just $15.

SKS/Esge and Planet Bike are the top sellers here.

SKS/Esge 700x35mm road fenders
Strong and lightweight thermoplastic with breakaway stay brackets on the front. Black or silver. Just $38/pair.

Planet Bike Freddy Fenders - 700x42mm
Similar to the SKS/Esge, just a bit more plain styled and slightly wider. Yellow. Just $35.

Planet Bike Flipper seatpost fender
Just clamp this around your seatpost for an instant, affordable rear fender. Just $15.

Need to take some of the load off your back? Bolt or clamp these on your bike to carry extra stuff on your commute.

Nitto Mark Rack
Versatile enough to go on the front or rear of your bike. Just $92.

Delta MegaRack
12.5" height ; 10mm tubing diameter. Platform measures 12 1/2" x 4 1/2". Ultra-strong tubular 6061 aluminum design. One size fits over 95% of all adult racks. Rubber grippers keep loads in place. Weighs only 430g. Carry up to 25lbs. Black. Just $35.

Jaand Grocery Store panniers
Like the name suggests. Removeable and durable panniers to carry groceries, books, etc. 1,294 cubic inches. Just $53/each.

Mama always told me layering is the key to commuting comfort. Arm and leg warmers work best, especially when it's cold in the morning and warm on the way home at night.

Salsa SuperRoubaix arm warmers
Salsa Superoubaix arm warmers have rubber grippers at the biceps, reflective logos, and are fleece lined for better moisture wicking and comfort. Sizes: Med., Large, XL. Just $35.

Salsa SuperRoubaix leg warmers
Salsa Superoubaix leg warmers have reflective logos, rubber grippers at the thigh, and an ankle zipper. Sizes: Med., Large, XL. Just $40.

Salsa Merino Wool arm warmers
Salsa Wool Arm Warmers are 100% Merino wool with elastic wrist cuffs and an embroidered logo. Sizes: Small, Medium or Large. Just $46.

Always strive to keep the moisture off your torso and keep you warm, when properly layered, of course. Shorts help eliminate friction and cushion your nether region.

Endura Munro jacket
Showerproof and windproof, with zippered and taped removeable sleeves. Orange or Dove Gray. Just $100.

Craft Longsleeve Base
layer thermal fabric made of worsted Merino wool, an itch free fabric. Sizes: Small, Medium, Large or XL. Just $65.

Craft Bottom Base Layer
Dual layer thermal fabric made of worsted Merino wool, an itch free fabric. Sizes: Small, Medium, Large or XL. Just $65.

Craft Balaclava
The Craft Balaclava is thin, close fitting, and makes a good base layer. Fits wonderfully under your helmet. Just $20.

Kucharik Wool shorts
TRADITIONAL 100% Merino wool shorts. Elastic waist, dDrawstring, Ultra suede pad and rear pocket. The finest 100% Merino washable wool, with less than 3% Shrinkage. Don’t be fooled by imitation wool. Sizes: Med., Large, XL. Black. Just $79/pr.

Endura CoolMax boxers
Perfect to wear under your cargo shorts, K-Mart khaki kut-offs, or whatever you find works best. Sizes: S, M, L, XL. Just $22.

Gaansari Merino Wool socks
We're huge believers in Merino wool, so it was just a matter of time before we did our own wool socks. Black with gold "Gaansari" logo on 4-inch cuff. S/M or L/XL. Made by Sock Guy. Just $12. Or, the same great sock, with ribbed 5-1/2" cuff. Just $14.

The most reliable, transportable and affordable lock is the MasterLock Python, nifty 3-Position lock that allows you to adjust the cable length without backslip. Velcro Tail Holder – keeps unused cable from slapping the bike or car roof. Ideal for use with roof or rear car racks. Interchangeable 10mm braided steel cable. Patented lock cylinder is extremely pick resistance. Standard cable length is 6 feet; choose 8- or 12-foot replacement cables. Just $30.

Need to replace your old knobby MTB tires with something more roadworthy? Want to use chubbier tires on your 700c commuter? Schwalbe and Panaracer are the best for the job.

Schwalbe Marathon 26 x 1.35"
Built-in suspension which absorbs over 36% of vibrations at the handlebar Kevlar-MB belt puncture protection using a combination of natural rubber and Kevlar fibers. 55- 95 PSI. 490g. Just $32/ea.

Panaracer T-Serv 26 x 1.75" KV
Features Zero Slip Grip tread technology, a kevlar belt under the tread for flat protection and durability, and a kevlar bead for light weight. 95 - 110 PSI. 380g. Just $35/ea.

Panaracer Hi-Road 26 x 1.5"
Features a slick tread designed to channel water away from the tire. 40 - 85 PSI. 480g. Just $20/ea.

Panaracer T-Serv 700 x 25 or 28c
Features Zero Slip Grip tread technology, a kevlar belt under the tread for flat protection and durability, and a kevlar bead for light weight. 95 - 110 PSI. 380g. Just $35/ea.

Panaracer Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 700 x 28c
Features Tornado casing with round profile and checkerboard tread (alternating smooth and diagonal tread squares). Kevlar belt flat protection. 90 - 120 PSI. 290g. Just $46/ea.

Schwalbe Stelvio 700 x 25 or 28c
Features Dual Compound Technology for durability and cornering adhesion. Puncture resistant tread. 85 - 115 PSI. 335 and 350g, respectively. Just $32/ea.

Choose from 26" and 700c, all sizes, Presta valve. Standard 35mm valve length just $5/each, 48mm valve $7 each.

Looking for a change of pace with your handlebars, tape or both? We have some of the most sought-after and hard-to-find bars on the planet.

On-One Midge bars
Based on the much-ballyhooed WTB Dirt Drop cyclocross bars, UK style. The Midge has a 25.4mm clamp diameter, and is 58cm wide with a 113-degree flare on the ends! Just $65.

On-One Mary bars
Say good-bye to wrist pain. Clever bar design for on and off-road use. Just $55.

On-One Mungo bars
Based on the much-ballyhooed Nitto Moustache bars, UK style. The Mungos have a 26.0mm clamp diameter, and are 53cm wide. Just$50.

Nitto TT/Messenger bars
Ideal for your Scorcher or old-bike fixie project - 26.0mm clamp diameter, heat-treated aluminum, and KAS team-era Sean Kelly approved. Just $45.

Nitto Moustache bars
Designed by Grant Petersen during his high-flyin' Bridgestone Cycle days, based on a widely popular design used during the Wright Brothers' era in the 1890s. Ideal for extra hand positions, climbing leverage, and the occasional need to get aero. Made by Nitto with simple elegance, wonderful compatibility, and heat-treated aluminum. Ours has a 25.4mm clamp diameter, and is 54cm wide. Just $65.

Nitto Scorcher bars
Probably the most Wright Brothers-worthy bars for the Scorcher or fixie project bike on the planet. The cromoly Scorcher bars have a 25.4mm clamp diameter, and are 56cm wide. Just $45.

Cloth tape
Most every color a good set of bars needs. Just $4/roll.

Velo Gel
Synthetic cork with thin gel backing ; becomes tacky when wet for better grip. Red, black, white or blue. Just $14/pair.

Velox bar plugs
How else you gonna plug up those Tressostar-cloth-taped bars? Black. Just $6/pair.

Gotta keep your chain rolling smooth, no matter what the terrain or the number of gears on your bike.

Best for singlespeeds, fixed-gear, and 5, 6 or 7-speed chains. Teflon. 2oz. Just $4.

ProLink ProGold
Best for 8-, 9-, or 10-speed chains. Designed to shed dirt, mud, and abrasives, and reduce tacky build-up in all climates. 4oz. Just $7.50.TOOLSEvery good cyclist carries tools.

Hans Multi-Tool
The most popular-selling item in our shop. Folding Hex/Screwdriver Set (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm hex key w/ 8mm adapter, flat & Phillips screwdriver). Just $10

Rivendell Burrito Wrap/Tool & Tube Tote
This is just a square of waterproof fabric. It's the best way to carry a tight, compact load. Just roll up a tube and some tools like a burrito, and strap it to your saddle rails with a toe strap (not included). If you get a flat, just spread it out like a placemat, and you'll be less likely to lose anything amid the road-side debris. Just $5.

All good stuff from Brooks, Carradice and Baggins, found right here.

We sell Louis Garneau's Rev and Oregon ($55 and $40, respectively). If you're not in the Dayton area, buy from your local bike shop, but never pay more than $55 for a good helmet.

Remember, the easiest way to order: call 937-748-8862 or email us for more information.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like helmets should be on your list, too. 'Specially for Justin.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

As a Christian at a, I'm guessing, Christian men's group say to a fellow Christian "I feel like knocking to over with his side mirror" isn't just wrong; it is sinful. I'm sure I have students that feel the same way, but at least they keep it to themselves. Keep riding and use a mirro.

Steve in Central CA

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Eric Snider said...

In the past 3 weeks I have had someone throw a liquid out their window at me, had a guy (hate to say it, almost) with a LARGE SUV towing a LARGE boat (with twin outboards) nearly clip me (when the SUV went by close enough already I tucked in my elbow more, enough to keep from getting clipped by the boat that was wider than the SUV). On that one, a mile up the road I saw him at a gas station, and perhaps made the mistake of confronting him as to why he had to come so close to me instead of giving me 4' of space. His responses: a) ride on a sidewalk; b) confine yourself to a dedicated bike path; c) a car was coming the other way and he had no room to move over. He did not seem to appreciate that: a) it is illegal for me to ride on a sidewalk, b) I have a right to use the road, c) he can slow up until it is clear to pass.

It seems nigh impossible to get many motorists to respect bicyclists' rights to the road. Maybe if the fuel prices drive more folks to use their bikes more often, motorists will learn to give the bicyclists their space.

12:03 PM  

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