Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More new bike news!!!

If you've been reading along, you know that I'm in the process of building a bike up for wifey that will meet all of her criteria for everyday riding.  In the long run it's going to be her ride for Cycle Oregon this fall, so it's important it is just right.  Look for more on this the form of pictures.

Here's the current state of the build!
 Now I know what your saying, ....building a bike up for the wife is great, but what about (poor old) me!?  I mean, I am riding a 26 year old Raleigh that has 10's of thousands of miles on it.  I love that sucker, but as wifey has been mentioning, it could just implode on me one of these days.  Probably not the bike to commit to Cycle Oregon with.

So, I've been scouring the bicycle world for the next ride.  Touring oriented, steel, must take larger tires, must have adequate rack mount options, etc.  It's even harder than it seems when you add in that I seriously considered building this one up from scratch as well. 

Well, the decision came down to these guys....

1) Surly Long Haul Trucker (its as close to the industry standard as you get)
2) Kona Sutra
3) Raleigh Sojourn (I have had good luck with Raleigh!)
4) Soma Saga
5) Rodriguez UTB
6) Salsa Fargo

Keep in mind there isn't a bad one in the bunch, they just have slight differences.  They all can be done for under close to $2000 which was my top end budget.  I've probably lost 20 hours of my life researching all the details for each of these.  Frame geometry, tire clearance, blah, blah.

I finally picked the one that can do it all....

 The Salsa Fargo.  At first appearance most people don't know what to make of this bike.  A mountain bike build with drop bar and no suspension!?

But when you really start to think about's the ultimate touring bike.  Burly steel frame (check), Tons of room for tires (super check), low standover height (Check...almost a male mixte), comfortable ride position (check...not to road racer stretched out), a million mount points for racks (check).  And to top it off.....depending on which tires you run it can be on road or off road.  For me that spells out perfect bike.

Now I realize I won't be winning the sprint cup awards with the steel beast, but if the road is a bit rough,fenders are required, and gear needs hauling.....I'll be your best bet.  Besides I don't think wifey will complain if it slows me down a bit in the hills!

I'm picking it up this weekend so stay tuned for ridiculous amounts of pictures.  And to answer your questions, I am supporting a local bike shop with my's just a local bike shop in Castro Valley, CA!  Reno.....if your need a Salsa Dealer!

Monday, February 25, 2013

From the weekend....

It was a busy weekend for me.  I'm not going to write it all up, because work has been just as busy today.  Needless to say there was multiple trips on a bicycle throughout the weekend.  One that was interesting was a beer delivery for the Preacher!  He's getting ready for a home brew party where you'll be able to taste each of 18 varieties of Hops (beer bittering). 

The question is how to you do this and make it all about the individual flavor of the hops.  Step one start with a beer with literally no distinct flavors (most "american lagers" from large brewers).  Step two, open the beer drop in the hops pellets.  Step three recap the bottle and let the hops flavor dominate the barley pop for a few weeks.  Step four...serve to discerning beer snobs and let them enjoy the unique flavors!

We've skipped the most important step however, deliver the cheap beer by bike!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kietkze update.

So the meeting happened last night and it's looking pretty impressive!  They have all the bike design in Priority 1 status and a huge number of ADA items (think sidewalks, curb extensions, etc.) in Priority 2.  This is probably because bike lanes only use paint or thermoplastic and cost relatively little (in terms of both time and $$$) compared to pouring a lot of concrete for the sidewalks. 

Here's the rather gruesome ped/bike accident statistics on Kietkze (yellow is injury, red is deaths)...definitely time for some updates in terms of facilities!

The meeting drew a rather good crowd even early on.  I had to split after about 30 class was calling.

Here's what that huge long board shows up close....very specific plans and documentation of problem areas all along Kietzke.  RTC has really put some time and effort into this one and it might just make Kietzke a great North-South bike and pedestrian corridor in the near future!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What to do in a "Pinch".

For the last few days I've been riding in along Mill Street.  I don't know why.....I was a little late.  It's shorter.  I was on my road bike and it's fun to pass all the traffic backed up at lights.  It's just the route I chose.  It was all happy days until yesterday, just about as I was at the office.  That's when I got the classic bike lane pinch.  It happens a lot with "traditional" bike lanes at larger intersections (in this case Rock and Mill) and looks like this....

I was heading east on Mill St. at the time and the right turn lane was backed up a bit due to morning traffic.....just about to the location where the cars cross the dashed bike lane.

In the picture above I tried to show the problem area.  The red is a car and the yellow dash is me.  Start the scenario with at the far left.....this is where a large City of Reno truck towing a tank of asphalt (or thermoplastic) passes me, totally getting on the gas only to realize his right turn option is backed up almost crossing the bike lane. 

Meaning he definitely saw me and knows I was there beside him (he was trying to pass).  About 3-5 seconds later, at the center red circle and yellow line, he hasn't cleared me because he's now on the brakes.  He still decides to come through me attempting to enter the right turn lane. 

In response I slammed his passenger side door with my fist as hard as I can, because he's definitely not looking or thinking about me.  He gets a clue and moves back into the primary right lane allowing me to ride through. 

At the far right circle and line you can see he's now even with me at the red light.  I told him he could have killed me!  He tells me to fuck off and gives me the finger.

Nice guy!  I hope he gets scalded by whatever was in the tank he was towing!

Here's an image to give you perspective from the google street view.  I would have been on the left of the vehicle in the picture.

Reminder! Kietzke Lane Bike Meeting tonight!

4-7 pm at Wooster High.  The more people who turn out and vote for better biking the better the redesign will be, so get there!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beautiful day....but beware the ice!

Watch out kids, the skiff of snow is beautiful, but the black ice adds a little bit of adventure!  If your bike commuting this morning you probably wish you had some studded tires, eh?  I can tell you they make a huge difference on days like this.  I didn't slip or slide once on the whole ride. 

The old northwest neighborhood was really icy!

Downtown had a bit as well!

Friday, February 15, 2013

What all bike rides seem like in my mind!

Bicycling on Kietzke....attend this meeting if you want it to be the best street ever!

I'm reporting this from the Reno Bike Project's important to get people here if you want to see the changes happen, so tell your friends and neighbors!

Help us make KIETZKE the most bicycle friendly road in Reno!

Calling all bicyclists to attend the Kietzke Lane Safety Management Plan Open House on February 21, 4-7pm at the Wooster High Gym. NDOT will be presenting their best options for improving Kietzke Lane and creating a safe, community street that connects neighborhoods in South Reno and improves travel between shopping, schools and work. This is a critical meeting to ensure that bicyclists and pedestrians demonstrate that all of the proposed improvements be kept in the plan.
These safety improvements include: Green bike boxes and bicycle signal heads at key intersections, buffered bikes lanes or cycle tracks, and possibly roundabouts at Plumb and 2nd Street intersections. Lastly NDOT is proposing to remove on-street parking and purchase right-of-way to allow space for the Complete Street components of wider sidewalks and bike lanes. This is one of the first times that this has occurred in Reno/Sparks, and it will set a precedent for safety planning and accommodating bicyclists in the community into the future. This project is also important because NDOT will consider relinquishing (trading) Kietzke to the City of Reno down the road, so we need to install these improvements now.
Please attend the Open House and submit comments supporting the improved safety proposals for Kietzke Lane. NDOT is depending on the cycling community to show support for these improvements and to show the governing agencies that we are committed to increasing the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians who will travel this corridor. The estimated cost for everything is $30 million, so they will have 3 levels of priority. We need to keep bicycling facilities at a Priority 1 or 2 to get them built within five years.
See you at the meeting!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stupid laws....and stupid politicians!

Even wonder what you pay those local lawmakers for?  I mean, I would guess that they have some pretty urgent budget issues to address, maybe improve education in Nevada, revamp our local economy.....

Nope, they want to make sure you don't use your cell phone while walking!  Are they serious, this is how natural selection work folks!  Absolute waste of time and money, I mean how are they going to enforce this?  They can't even enforce the ban on cell phones while driving (meaning I see it every day and they certainly aren't getting a ticket)!  Anyway, that's my rant....see the article from channel 4 below:

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- A bill before the Nevada Assembly would make it illegal for pedestrians to read, browse the internet or enter data with hand-held devices while crossing highways in the state.
Democratic Las Vegas Assemblyman Harvey Munford introduced AB123 during the floor session Thursday. He says his intention is for the law to apply to all state roads, even in residential areas.

The bill makes exceptions for uses concerning medical emergencies, safety hazards and reporting criminal activity. Public employees and contractors responding to an emergency are also immune to the restrictions.

Munford says increasing frequency of incidents involving people crossing roadways while using phones motivated his bill.

First offenses would result in a written warning, with second and third offenses incurring $100 and $250 fines.

Flower Power.

Ok kids....if you have any type of "significant other" and you were bicycle commuting this morning, your rig better have looked something like this!  Happy Valentines Day everybody!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Building a bike...from scratch!

Sorry it's been a bit quiet around here.  I'm tied up teaching a class at work and don't get regular breaks to waste time here!  When I have been free I've been scouring the web for parts and pieces to build wifey a custom ride for her Cycle Oregon experience this fall.

I don't have time to go through all the details right now, but let's just say it will be a bike to do it all, with as few compromises as possible (and more specifically EXACTLY the way wifey wants it)!

To get things will be based on the Soma Mixte (Buena Vista) frameset which looks a little something like this:

Totally classic....with 650B wheels it will sport 38C tires and be perfect for rough road touring.  Also perfect since wifey often bikes in skirts!  To make it even better it will be fitted with this rear hub.


Yep, 8 speed, internal muss, no fuss for around town....and without a rear chain movement it will be chain guard compatible.  This tied with a wide low split ring up front and you've got all the gearing you could ever need!

Ok, that's enough bike geeking out for now.  The parts list is coming together and this thing is going to be sweet....

Friday, February 8, 2013

The ride this morning was just Ducky (well, kinda)!

I don't think this one needs explanation.  Amazingly, traffic actually stopped for them!

There's probably snow on the are you getting to work?

UPDATE:  This is what happens when you post the night before....stupid Reno weathermen....2 inches my butt!  It's still a great comic for studded tires.  And even if you don't need them, they definitely make cool sounds when you ride!

Stolen from the Yehuda Moon Comic archives:

The Yehuda Moon series is on hiatus, but if you want to see more just click on the cartoon!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A little too Retro?

Ok, I love retro bikes....but this is just taking it a bit too far!

And seriously, the Apple store.  I'm not quick to label someone a hipster, but this is just too much!

Bridge rehab is complete!

Boy, did they make quick work of that!  I don't think they had it closed for more than 2 days.  The results are a fantastic new decking on the river trail bridge that makes the crossing smooth as silk.  In fact it's so smooth that the rest of the trail now seems a little rough!

When I left the office last night I wasn't sure if the work had been completed or if I'd even be able to get across.  The sunset gave me the extra motivation to go see.

Sure enough, finished and already seeing plenty of use based on the number of tire tracks visible. 

It is a shame they didn't take the time to replace the missing section of railing since they were there with the equipment....but man look at what they did do.  B E A U T I F U L !

The obligatory close up to show the amount of traffic in just a day or so. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bike ban overturned in Colorado!

From the Denver Post (Click on the article to see the whole thing!):

Bridge work is for real!

I was out of town over the weekend (and through Monday!) for a friends birthday brewery tour, but I returned to the river path this morning.  The presents just keep coming as I encountered the city of Reno crew completely ripping out and replacing the deck on the river path bridge!

Unfortunately, they don't sign the detour until you're about 50 yds. from the closure.  This leaves you to detour out on to 2nd St. / Glendale Ave. which isn't exactly bike friendly.

At least the sparks are flying on the rehab!

Out with the old decking!

The only thing to do now is hope that the new deck they put down is silky smooth and lasts for a good long time.  I'll let you know how it's looking throughout the week.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bridge work....

Well, I'm not saying the KTVN doesn't have their story straight, but the bridge was still open this morning about 7:45am.

Yep, pretty open.  No sign of any work or preparation, no signs indicating an impending closure, no nothing.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm actually glad to detour and get this bridge some much needed work!  Wifey would rate this bridge as somewhere between bone jarring and tailbone a little TLC is definitely in order!

Here are the temporary patches that went down last year.

As you can see, the actual deck of the bridge is pretty rough.  I can't imagine hitting this thing on 23mm tires at 120 psi like some of the roadies that use the trail!

So bring on the work crews and closure.  But hey, Reno, if your listening.  How about some signage indicating the closure!