Friday, November 30, 2012

Seems Legit....

seems legit 141 Yep, this all seems legit (26 Photos)

So....did you ride?

No pictures today folks.  As everyone probably knows it is dumping rain today (well at least for Reno).  Normally this type of weather totally gets me going for the ride.  I'm sure that makes most people think I'm nuts (and perhaps this is true), but it just takes the "normal" commute and makes it totally interesting to me!  It's not a big deal if you have fenders and a good waterproof jacket.  Besides, who doesn't remember the days when you used to aim for the puddles instead of avoiding them!

To that end....with the xtracycle out of commission I don't have a bike with fenders....

So, today I hoped a ride with wifey in the car (much to my chagrin).  It does have the advantage of being dry and we did manage to hit some puddles due to minor flooding under the bridges.  If fact, it's kind of cool to send that water flying in a car.  It definitely lacks the "stupid smile on your face" fun that riding a bike in the rain gives me, but mostly because you have to deal with traffic.  Anyway, that's my shameful story. 

Hope you had an enjoyable and wet commute!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another "bump" in the road.

Here are a couple of pictures of one of the other jumps along the river trail.  This is the view you'd get if you're heading east on the river towards Sparks.  It's a little hard to see but the rock in the center of the picture is the lip of the jump.  Then it's just a nice left hand lean to make the hip landing and ride on your merry way along the path!

Here it is from a little more oblique view.  It is pretty steep and gives you a real pop when you hit it.  I started out on the shoulder and I'm still not hitting it totally off the top.  After all I am just on my way to work and not riding the bmx circuit race....

Whether you'd do it or not, you have to admit it sure adds some interesting options on the boring old commute to work!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hardcore bike commuter.

awesome photos 13 Daily Morning Awesomeness (35 Photos)

Even I'd be calling it a day with this one....

A hop, skip, and a JUMP to work!

Ok, so the Xtracycle is out of action for a few weeks, so I'm relying on some of my other bikes.  I've got a nice road bike and a mountain bike to choose from.  I'm riding the mountain bike so far.  Why you might ask....because I need to change a tire on the road bike, and apparently I'm really lazy!

So, why is this worth even mentioning.  Here's why.....

Yep, jumps along the river trail!  This is just one of several.  I've noticed them in the past and not really thought much about it.  The Xtracycle has always been my normal commuter and is NOT designed for these (and this has nothing to do with why it broke). 

Now I'm a decent mountain biker and I can handle my fair share of technical riding.  However, I have not really ridden straight up bmx style jumps in many years.  So I've been kind of taking the shoulder on these and building up to the full Monty.  Today is the first time I hit this one full tilt and boy o boy is it fun.  I'll try to get a few pictures of the others.  There is a nice hip jump where you get to do a little 30 degree turn while air born and a little launch jump that cuts off the river path at the entrance of Brod Head Park. 

So anyway, if your commute is a little chilly this week, try switching up the bike and hitting these!  It will get the adrenaline pumping and warm you up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Driver vs. Car.....or Candid Camera?

Sorry about the commercial you have to watch, but it's a pretty good video story making the rounds on national news.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Bicyclist Killed In Truckee Crash

From News Channel 4:
 Posted: Nov 24, 2012 5:13 PM PST Updated: Nov 25, 2012 6:26 PM PST 

The Truckee Police Department is investigating a fatal accident Saturday afternoon.
Police say it happened around 3 p.m. on the Central Truckee Roundabout, near McIver Crossing.
Police say a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle while riding in the roundabout. When police and fire crews arrived on scene, they found several citizens performing first aid on the bicyclist, 45-year-old Robert Koechlin, Jr. of Los Gatos, California. He was then taken to Tahoe Forest Hospital and was pronounced dead there.
At this time, alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor in the collision. McIver and the area around the roundabout were closed for several hours as crews investigated and cleaned up the accident.
Police say they would like to interview anyone who saw the accident happen. If you have any information, you're being asked to call Sgt. Womack with the Truckee Police Department at (530) 550-2335.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bring on the Holidays!

On my ride home last night I was thoroughly enjoying the fact that I have a really good light. The river path lights need a tune up so there are several sections where it's pretty dark and a powerful light makes all the difference. In my case a good light means a pretty simple minewt light like this.

However, as I rolled into downtown the need for the light pretty much disappeared, because the rink on the river was lit up like the fourth of July.  There must have been a thousand people hanging out, 3 news trucks filming, Christmas tree in full decoration, and professional skaters were spinning around the rink like no body's business.

Not a bad way to wrap up the evening bike ride!  So on that note, I'm outta here for Turkey celebrations.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and a good kick off for the holidays!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Xtracycle blues....and good news.

I have officially done it.  I have ridden so much in 4.5 years that it broke....

This is the main "beam" of the xtracycle frame right behind where the wheel mount is located.  Completely snapped.  I almost couldn't believe it.  I picked up a load of groceries last week and I'd heard a new squeaking, but figured it was just the way the load was riding.  Then I pulled it out Monday and I didn't notice it.  Tuesday morning when I pulled the bike out of the house I heard it again, so I removed the bags only to discover this!  And to top it off it's cracked on the other beam as well!

It's kind of hard to see in this crappy cell phone photo, but it's there.   So of course I still rode it in to work because I was running late, but that's it for this xtracycle.

The really cool thing is that one call to Xtracycle and they said no problem, send it in and we'll ship out the new one!  Full warranty without even asking for it!  I'd have been happy if they welded it back together and called it a day.

So other than being without it for a couple weeks, it's all working out just fine.  The part that has me worried is I've heard/seen this failure before.  My buddy, the Preacher (search previous posts if you need reference here), experienced the same thing with his xtracycle a few years back if memory serves.  I think it might even have been in the same place.  So perhaps the xtracycle does have a weakness (other than it weighs a ton)!  I guess only time will tell.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Local bicycle hit and run!

From news channel 4:

Sparks, NV (KRNV & -- Sparks Police are on the lookout for a motorist who hospitalized two bikers early on Saturday, November 17th.

According to police reports, at 2:49 a.m. two cyclists were hit by a car when riding their bicycles north on Kietzke Avenue, just south of Victorian Street. The 44 year old male and 45 year old female cyclists were taken to Renown Medical Center and treated with non life-threatening injuries. Police describe the hit and run vehicle as a white Honda SUV with front end damage, including that the Honda emblem has been ripped from the grill.

Sparks Police are still searching for a suspect, and are offering a reward for information leading to the suspect. To report any information you may have, call SPD at 775-353-2231 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.

Renued enjoyment of the ride.

There is no denying that any activity you do every day becomes mundane.  Usually this probably means work or maybe some of the household chores that happen all the time.  For some people with a long commute (in a car) I imagine the drive is this way. 

I realized lately that even writing this blog can be that way some days.  And then I realized something even better.....even when writing about bike riding is a bit dull and uninspired....the bicycle ride itself never is!

There is always a variation of the route you haven't tried even if nothing "interesting" to write about happens.  It may not be notable or worth sharing with others, but the feeling of the cold air, drivers actually giving you a place on the road (yes, it happens), or hearing the rush of the river makes every trip fun.  You just notice more things when you aren't isolated behind metal and glass!

Today was no exception (in fact it was a banner day for new things), so here's what I saw.

The street sweeper was out cleaning up all the downed leaves.  No shocker here....but I never knew what they did when the bin filled up.  Apparently, it raises up on a scissor jack and then the whole bin dumps into a truck and he just keeps going.  Who knew.  Sorry, I missed the actual dumping...with my camera out of commission I'm struggling with a slow low resolution phone. 

And if one cool thing on a ride isn't enough.  Check out the life size nut cracker statue at the vintage clothing shop (and some early x-mas decorations).  I'm gonna have to stop and see if the arm actually moves the jaw.  If it does I'll attempt to not use it to crush a beer can!

For the tri-fecta of Monday morning entertainment.  The ice rink has been being built up over the last few days.  It now is sporting ice and I'm guessing will be open for Turkey day skating.  We finally managed to use it last year and it was really fun.  So get out and hit the'll have a blast.

Ok, so that's it for a Monday.  What did you see on your morning commute?  If it's just bumpers and consternation about how stupid the spaghetti bowl is, perhaps you need to try a new way to get to work!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The truth in "modified" advertising!

funny billboards graffiti 28 Sometimes graffiti enhances an otherwise boring billboard (31 Photos)

A fuzzy tour of 2nd St.

I left a little early this morning and changed up my route.  Today I chose to ride all the way down second street (from Keystone Ave. to Rock Blvd.).  Not exactly a bike friendly route, as there isn't a single section of bike lane on the whole thing.  It does however take you right through downtown Reno and is all 30 mph speed limits or less.

For some reason my camera is not focusing enjoy the fuzzy picture show!

Headed East on Second St. through downtown.  If it wasn't so fuzzy you could see all the traffic signals ahead.  They turned out be the theme of the ride.

Looks like you can finally purchase some of those vacant condos they developed!  If you want the urban lifestyle please sign up.  They would be great for the car free lifestyle!

More lights....

The allures of downtown....gambling and women?  Reno still needs to rethink it's identity in my mind.

The baseball stadium....which as of this morning is no longer getting 30 million in tax payer dollars to subsidize the billionaire are owner!   Good first vote new city council members!  This one basket is not where we should put all our eggs for redevelopment in my opinion.

A glimpse of the path I could be on....notice it does not have traffic signals.

More traffic signals on 2nd St.  They always seem to be red.

Another passing of the river path.  It should be noted, at this point it has taken me 8 minutes longer to get here than it takes me to get all the way to work on the path.  The route via 2nd Street is technically 1/2 mile shorter but in the end took me 12 minutes longer to ride due to all the stop lights.

I didn't take any pictures once I turned onto Rock Blvd.  This is not a road for the faint of heart when on a bicycle and no place to be fumbling with a camera.  No room for cars to pass,  no shoulders, two lanes in either direction.  A whole lot of people in a hurry to get somewhere they don't want to be....and they aren't in the mood to tolerate anyone. 

Anyway, it was a different ride and it did make for something to write about.  I don't think I'll ever take this as a regular route, but the section through downtown is at least interesting and shows that all of downtown is at your disposal on a bicycle!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rembering the bike is on the roof rack.

I haven't done this (yet)....I suppose because I don't have a garage.  I do have a few friends who have tried it, although I don't suppose it turned out quite like this!

gifs 10 Daily Morning Awesomeness (30 Photos)

Monday, November 12, 2012


Well, I didn't ride today.  Not exactly news worthy.  Instead wifey and I went out for breakfast at the Squeeze In (in north Reno).  They had a Veterans day special for a free breakfast, and since wifey is indeed a veteran it seemed like a no brainer.  The food was fantastic (as usual). 

So I don't really have anything for you....I hope you rode today and that your path looked like this:

Enjoy those chilly fall rides while they last....soon it will be all studded tires and winter days!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Secret Love Affair....with the bike path.

If you've read this blog for any length of time you might get the idea that I am secretly in love with the river path.  Even I notice how often I post about it....and the fact that we tend to get together almost every day (and even on the weekends sometimes).  Wifey has always managed to turn a blind eye to this....and as of the last few years she has even made friends with the path herself.

This morning however, I encountered something I didn't really ever expect.  The river path seems to return the sentiment!!

Now, I'm not sure who the "artist" is....but it appears their medium is torn up discarded t-shirt, carefully rolled and aligned with, well let's just say love.  I wonder who the message is actually for, but since I'll never know, I'm going to assume that it is a general message to all cyclists from the path itself.  So if you were out on a bicycle on this chilly morning, just remember the ride loves you just was much as you love it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Someone had a bad morning.

I changed up my route this morning and was cruising down 4th Street on the way to work when some colorful lights caught my attention.  Unfortunately, for somebody it wasn't the good kind of colorful lights!

So keep a wary eye out there on the streets...they can't even seem to see the other people in cars, so they probably won't see you on that bicycle.  On the up side drivers never fail to make a bicycle commute more interesting!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sorry, My weekend was better than yours!

Last weekend was the 1st Annual Great Basin Beer Relay (benefiting the one and only Nevada Land Trust).  Basically it's a 40 mile race with teams of four people.  Each person runs two 5 mile legs and you get a Great Basin beer for free at the end.  Oh, and it's along the river you know I'm up for it!

Since it's my commute...and the river path....our team decided to ride bikes in between our legs rather than drive.  Yep, if you're doing the math, that's ride 30 miles, run 10 miles.  It turned out awesome, and looked like this.

The bicycle line up.....note two xtracycles, one with a prepped beer!

At the start, the 55 teams in the ready!

The course included the new cycle track on Nichols Blvd.!

Rolling support crew at the ready.  Yep, it was 35 degrees at the start!

The runners hit their stride early!  Nine minute miles out of the gate!

The first hand off of the wrist band!  From rider to runner!

The reason we're here....word number 3!

Duel xtracycle support means cold beer and hot coffee at the ready....along with all the treats you can eat!

Oh, I mean Gatorade.....yeah, Gatorade on the fly!

At the was definitely the only thing getting me across this line!

The rewards!

Ok, so that was one day of my weekend.  Hope you had as much fun and suffered as much as we did!