Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bikepacking...stove options.

I have in my head that I'm doing some type of back country bike trip (bikepacking).....at some point.  This is a great open ended way to play with new toys.  It's well documented that cyclist like toys.  Just look at the bike specific GPS, sunglasses, clothing, custom wheel sets, custom frames, the bazillion aftermarket parts available in shiny anodized colors, and everything that you can possibly form carbon fiber into!!!

In this case, however, the toys couldn't be more simple or less expensive.  I'm talking about stove options....specifically, light weight alcohol stoves. They look something like this:

Yep, all you need is a six-pack of cans (I prefer beer cans of course) and you can make several versions of these stoves.  Some require a few basic tools to construct, but I made my first one sitting at my desk at lunch with nothing more than a scissors and an exacto knife.  In fact, here it is making my coffee last week.

And yes, I realize I have a perfectly good coffee pot and press sitting right there.....but you're missing the point.

They take minutes to build and weigh in at under 10 grams (ten paper clips for us imperial system Americans)!  And it will boil water in ~3 minutes with only one ounce of alcohol as fuel!  So, if we need light weigh, small, and simple for bikepacking trips....these things are probably the answer.

So, if you like to experiment and make things (rather than use a complete reliable and commercially available model), this just might be the project for you.  I found out how to build them here at Pedaling Nowhere.

So give it a try and have some fun.

p.s.  These things burn alcohol....they are flammable....if you spill the alcohol on yourself, you are flammable....so be careful!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Earth Day.

The one day that everyone who never rides a bike is almost required to ride a bike.  It was kinda refreshing to see all the bike traffic on the roads and cars having to wait a bit for them.  The celebration as a whole was dampened a bit by the cool, windy weather but I'd still say it gets bigger every year.  I was genuinely surprised by the number of booths and bands.  Anyway, here's some pics from me wandering around.

Kiwanis bike sale...and there were some nice ones.

The Raleigh Olympian would have come home with me if was a bit larger frame!

People and booths.

More people.

More people and more booths.

Reno Bike Project...Valet Parking!

One of 5 band tents!

Hula Hoop Fun.

Cool tall bike with spiral tubing (an old drill bit I believe).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Plans....they change.

Yesterday evening I was supposed to be playing disc golf.  The wind kinda blew that plan away....pun intended.  So...the revised plan called for mountain biking.  However, my buddy (the Giant) couldn't find his shoes for his clipless pedals (which he finally put on the bike).  This made mountain biking a no go.

Somehow we ended up deciding to meet at REI via bike.  I guess because I need a new helmet.  Easy for me because I work like a mile from REI....the Giant got a bit more than he bargained for.  It was probably only a 5 mile ride for him (with street shoes on clipless platforms), but he had a really fun headwind to deal with!  He was a bit knackered by the time he got there!  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BPAC Notes (Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee)

Ok, just some notes on BPAC last night.

One interesting aspect that's been in the news last week was that we had the official report on the awareness campaign that NHP conducted down by Washoe Lake last week with respect to the 3 foot law.  Officer Andrew McAfee reported they stopped a few less than 200 vehicles over 5 hours (quite a task in that time).  This was because, basically every driver passed their cyclist too closely.  They did write about 20 tickets before deciding it was time to switch from enforcement mode to awareness mode, as it was apparent most drivers didn't have a clue about giving appropriate space.

To be fair, NHP conducted a bicycle enforcement campaign the following week out on the Verdi Loop.  Needless to say multitudes of riders (including a group of 17) were educated about not running stop signs and riding more than 2 abreast.  He had a great video (which I'll try to get) of 17 cyclist blowing through one intersection and making a left turn in front of a large pickup who had the right of way.  They actually split around him passing on both sides.....fricking unbelievable!!  No wonder we can't get respect on the roads!

We also saw plans for a new roundabout on Mayberry Ave at Hunter Lake.  This is a 5 way intersection that's due for a revamp.  The design team has put a lot of thought into how to work with cyclists giving options both to take the lane in the circle and ramps for access to the sidewalks for less confident riders.  I snapped a few pics of the presentation and traffic circle stats.

Next up we heard about a big ultra-endurance bicycle race that is 95% sure it's moving to Nevada!  The AdventureCORPS 508...a 508 mile bike race that can be done as an individual time trial, as a team of 2, or as a relay of 4.  It's long been run through Death Valley, but when the race was disrupted by the closure last year of the National Parks the directory started considering other options.  Looks like we just might get it thanks to the efforts of Rich Staley of Great Basin Bicycles!

In other news, the 2014 bike route maps are just about ready for distribution and will be out before the May 10-16 bike to work week!  You can click on the picture below to link to their site.


So, basically, there are a lot of bicycle things going on!  Be sure to get out there and join in!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

So...is this a new source of money for bike projects?

I recently found out (via Reno Rambler) that we finally got a bikey license plate option.  And yes, most people who ride bikes do own cars, so you will be seeing these!  Apparently, they look something like this:

So, this morning I saw this article over at KTVN channel 2 News.

Basically, it says that the Lake Tahoe license plate $$$ are used for projects around Lake Tahoe.  I think this is awesome!  So, my question is, do the $$$ generated from the new Share the Road plates go to bicycle infrastructure projects!?  I know I'll be asking that question at the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (BPAC) meeting tonight.  And if you happen to want to join the fun...the meeting is tonight at 6:30 pm RTC Board Room, 2050 Villanova Drive, Reno.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Riding a bike....it's not always fun, but you'll build character!

I checked weatherbug for the wind conditions last evening before I left work for a meeting....this is what it said.


Yeah, that would be 29mph sustained winds with gusts to 37mph.  The little red arrow shows the direction the wind is from (SW).  Anyone want to guess the direction I happened to need to ride 5 miles in last night....  Yup, pretty much Southwest.  Now I remember why my bike has drop bars!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

We Heart Bicycle Art Show.

I finally made it to the show.  For one reason or another I've never made it down for this and boy I'm glad I finally did.  With a glass of New Belgium beer and some of the buffet food already eaten, I was able to peruse the art before it got too busy.  Here's a little bit of what I saw (and I took really bad, fuzzy pics....you've been warned).

This one is what you saw right when you walked in.  Acrylic on canvas.  It looked like a perfect picture rather than a painting.....amazing!

The early crowd.

Notice everyone is looking in the direction of that one painting!

Girls on bikes and some Nevada pride.

You can't read the title...because I can't take pictures, but this one is titled "A job well done."

Perhaps this shouldn't be called parking, but an artwork in progress.

As the evening wore on it got crowded!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

More things you see while riding in Reno!

These aren't from today....but both pics were taken over the the last week or so.  I'd say they speak to bike culture being very alive in Reno.

This is out on Dickerson Rd. if you're headed for Oxbow Park....or the Reno Homebrewer.  I'll let you guess where I was headed.  I'm not condoning graffiti, but its out there and at least this one is about bikes!

And this pic is taken in my very own little neighborhood (the old northwest).  A giant tall bike.  Tall enough to be tied up to a flag pole and require two guy lines!  I'm not sure whether I'd try riding this thing or not.  I mean really....what do you do on this thing when you hit a red light?  I'm going with the concept of track standing for your life!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bicycles and Beer....again....it just seems to keep happening.

Last night wifey and I headed down to Great Basin.  While this certainly isn't an unheard of situation, last night was unique because we opted for the Reno location instead of our normal Sparks location.  We've been there before (several times), but it's just not our usual.  We were motivated by Tight Wad Tuesdays $1 pizza slice special!  Due to some baggage, in the form of our dog, wifey drove over while I biked.  Headwind's aside, it was a nice ride.

Early on at Great Basin Reno, I used to have a gripe about the lack of bike racks.  However, after a quick complaint to Tom Young (one of the owners) several month back, a rather cool solution was provided.  **A disclaimer here....the rack has been up for several months...I just don't go to the Reno location often.**

For me, the cool part of what Tom did is putting the bike rack in the absolutely best parking spot he had....10 ft from the door and the outdoor patio.....not in the back alley where it would be easy to steal a bike while out of sight!  He also customized the rack with really nice Great Basin metal logos.  And as you can see, it's definitely getting used!

So if you're heading out to Great Basin, consider a ride rather than a drive.  The bike lanes will lead you here and the parking is top notch!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just riding....

I've had a bit of time to just ride around in the evenings lately.  Kinda weird but I sometimes it seems like I don't just ride my bike to ride.  Either its a commute ride or I'm intending to get someplace or its a mountain bike ride that seems like exercise.  So these are just some shots from a bike ride....

Monday, April 14, 2014

Evidence of an evening ride.

Usually I don't seem to notice the shadows until a bit further into summer.  However, last evening I was out for a ride and this guy was stretched out in front of me and caught my attention.  So if you're bored in the evenings this week get out and try to catch you're own version of this guy.  It's pretty rewarding.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cool Kickstarter Campaign.

Well, this one isn't new.  In fact, I think I saw it and blogged about it almost a year ago.  But it's been redesigned and routed through Kickstarter this time.  The video is below, along with a link if your interested.  It's purpose is to create a documentary about how a cargo bikes can change your life and our world for the better.  I've been on board with this type of transportation (thanks to the Preacher) for about 5 or 6 years now, so I sure think it's worth checking out.

Here's the link to the Kickstarter page:

The Kickstarter page

Low traffic commute.

Even when you ride a bike for transportation there can be a bit of a morning traffic rush.  Yes, that means there are more bikes out there.....but it also means you have to deal with the morning drivers.  Somehow I got out a bit early this morning and hit that perfect window where the streets were just clear.  No bikes, no cars, just a few people out running.  So, pretty much a perfect commute!

1st St. without a moving car in sight!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Things you see on a bike ride.

This morning it was some new(?) rose bushes and and what looks like a new pathway through the landscaping over at Rock Park.  How about it....what did your commute show you?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pedals....in a pinch.

I'm not sure if it will be obvious what these are at first glance....

Basically, they're platform pedals that "clip" in to your clipless pedals.  This way when you want to wear flip flops and ride your nicer bikes you can.  The idea is simple and pretty well executed.  Just install your cleats onto the bottom of the platform and with a little cussing and swearing you can clip them on to your pedals.

It's also a great problem solver for those of us who commute to work and then occasionally ride home with wifey, leaving the bike and shoes in our office.  The next day when we think well just ride another bike to work....we are left without proper shoes to use our fancy pedals with!  This solves that problem.

Overall they work well, as long as you flip them upright with your toe (they tend to hang upside down) before really pedaling.  If you do just try to get going without flipping them over, the egg beater style (Crank Brothers) pedals will sometimes compress the spring and drop the pedal on the ground.  I don't think this would be as much of a problem with SPD style clipless pedals.  Unfortunately, it's just how the Crank Brothers work....but once you get the hang of it they do work well.

Anyway, it's a neat little addition to your kit that might be interesting to some people...and about as close to a product review as you'll get on this blog. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday Parkways....Would it work in Reno?

So, could we do this in Reno???  I would certainly say we can.  Why not, we close streets in downtown every weekend all summer for casino events, Hot August Nights, and Street Vibrations.  Why not do something for the more "pedestrian" crowd!?  There is already some planning going on at the Reno Bike Project for it, but we do have some ground to cover.  I mean it could really work...the food truck crowd would be in, we have plenty of local bands that would set up for it, and the number of people "Riding in Reno" is growing.  Perhaps, this is the year.