Yesterday was the Holiday Swarm on South Willamette Street for pedestrians and cyclists to get out and do some last minute shopping the weekend before Christmas. The Swarm was planned by a group of citizens to show the city, and businesses along the street, that pedestrians and cyclists are in large numbers along the road, shopping at their stores and enjoying the community along Willamette, even on days like this.
There were a lot of pedestrians and cyclists, though the video doesn’t show them all. It was taken over a short time, and lots were spread out along the entire street, shopping and eating at all the different businesses South Willamette Street has to offer. Notice all the cars out, most are just passing through this nice little section of town, skipping over these shops. I hope the businesses consider how much pedestrians and cyclists mean to them. Improvements for the street are in the works and being discussed with members of the community to help rejuvenate this section of Willamette street. With a bond measure passed last November, one of the plans is to repave and better redesign the layout of the street to be more multi-modal. There will hopefully be much better pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the road with nicer vehicle lanes to help make traveling to and along Willamette Street much nicer.
Rick Smith and Brian Griggs are back with Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Comics : Volume 5, on Kickstater. Last time they well exceeded their project goal on Kickstarter with Volume 2 ,3, & 4 and hopefully will this time as well, helping to support this great online comic for years to come. So if you enjoy the comic please help fund this great Kickstater project. If you don’t already have the printed volumes of the comic, you can get them at different funding levels.
As I always say, if you haven’t heard of Yehuda Moon you can still get started reading them, as they are all online. Here is a link to the first strip. Yehuda Moon 01-22-2008
First there was the Pugsley
Featuring huge 26×3.7-3.8 tires, it was the birth of the “Fat Bike”. Named after Pugsley Addams if I were to guess.
I would hope it might have been named after something cuter like this.
Then there was the Moonlander.
Featuring even wider 26×4.7 tires allow you to float over everything you could imagine. More likely named for the Lunar Rover because of the massive tires, & not the Moon Lander (Apollo Lunar Module).
Now they have a new one.
Introducing the Surly Krampus!!
Bike is features 29×3.0 tires, This is not a “Fat Bike” according to Surly(HERE), to them it’s a “29+“. I could imagine it might be known as a “Chubby Bike”. This tires are wider than any other 29in tires(larger sizes can be 2.1-2.3). This will be great for people who want a wider tire, but don’t want a truely “Fat Bike”, or want a a 29er with fatter tires. This one is nicely named after Santa Claus’s helper Krampus, this lovely fellow.
Hopefully the bike won’t be carrying you off and eating you for Christmas dinner.
Here are more photos of the Surly Krampus: One, Two, Three
I’ll admit I don’t mountain bike, but I love the idea of the Pugsley and would really like one for myself. I do tend to explore dirt and gravel trails with my LHT, 26×1.5 tires aren’t great for that, it would be a lot easier with wider tires & why not get a “Fat Bike” Maybe someday I will treat myself to one of these bikes.
I have had my Surly Long Haul Trucker for 2 years now, and I have never doubted myself for choosing it over a different bike. The love story between me and the LHT began long before I got her. For years I knew I wanted the bike. I would try out other bikes at shops and never be happy with how they felt or how they were set up. I knew I wanted to do long rides and touring so why not go with a full out touring bike such as the LHT? The one thing was I already had a decent amount of bikes and not a lot of money. Also, I didn’t like the colors it was offered in for a couple years. They were dull colors: Utility Blue, Olive Green, Truckaccino Tan, I wanted something brighter, and then they showed off the new color at Interbike in October 09, Blue Velvet (also known as Hill Street Blue) and I knew I really wanted it.
I moved to Oregon in late March of 2010. A month later, on April 25th, I bought my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I was so happy that day, finally getting a super comfortable bicycle to ride for a long time.
This year on April 25th I happily was able to do a nice 20mile ride with a friend in the morning. Then after he left to go home I kept going, ending up riding just over a metric century that day, 67.58miles in total.
Last year on Surly’s birthday I got him the Surly Rear Nice Rack, and this year I got him the Surly Front Nice Rack to Match. This rack is massive, and will certainly see a lot of use. Now I just need to get myself a set of Ortlieb Front-Roller Panniers to match my Back-Roller.
Prasanna won over Richard E. Grant and the panel of judges on the BA Great Britons programme with his clear, original and moving script. The film, now complete, will also be show at our pop up event Flight BA2012 and onboard BA flights in the run up to the London 2012 Games.”
This truly is an amazingly moving short film. I hope they bring a lot of tissues on the flights they plan to show this on. Here is some behind the scenes of the shooting for this short film.
Yesterday Angel and I got a chance to hang out in Portland after taking her sister back from a visit. We started out the day by going to the newly opened Velo Cult Bicycle Shop. Started in 2006, the shop originally is from San Diego, but decided to move the entire shop to Portland, employees and all. We visited them Sunday, on the morning after their Grand Opening Party. (They were still cleaning up after it). The shop caters to commuters, tourers, randonneur riders, and other subcultures of cycling with refurbished and new bicycles, but this is not just a place to sell and service bikes, but a place where all “bicycle culture” gets to meet. There is a large and open floor plan. They have some amazing mechanic work stations, with benches for customers to talk with their mechanic right in front of them; a bar offering local beer and food, a photo booth (which sadly was shut down when we were there), and even an authentic castle drawbridge (which doubles as a stage) in the shop!! I believe the drawbridge is from Canteburry Castle, after it was demolished in 2009. This is a really cool shop and you should check it out if you have a chance. They plan on hosting shows, and screening movies there in the future, as well as putting on other fun events for cyclists.
Also while at Velo Cult I got the chance to check out the Complete Surly Troll. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these as my first mountain bike. I also think it would make a great touring bike for Angel. It would be a good companion to my LHT. If only the Troll came in some color other than orange (her least favorite).
Before we went to Pedal Nation, we stopped by the Off The Griddle food cart. With super nice staff, they offer amazing veggie burgers from their solar-powered cart. Angel went with Vegan Cheeseburger, and I went with O.T.G Burger (no lettuce, tomato) just grilled onions and added BBQ sauce; I like my burgers simple. It’s always fun waiting for your food to come out while you read through some Trivial Pursuit games.
After we arrived to Pedal Nation, I spent a lot of time talking with different people about their products and learning whatever I could. There were a lot of cool things there. The spectrum of booths was across the board, with everything from wooden helmets, a fat tire recumbent, to an upcoming indoor mountain bike park (The Lumberyard) and other great cycling groups. Full list of exhibitors HERE. One thing I thought was really cool is that Nutcase is coming out with 4 bell designs based off of their helmets, which will be available for purchase in the near future (possibly June), along with a new visors to attach to their helmets and even cycling jerseys to match the helmets. Those should all be great. I’m sure Angel will want a watermelon jersey.
Before leaving Portland we had to get our favorite pizza at Sizzle Pie. I went with 2 slices of cheese, and Angel got a rabbit salad. There was no Spiral Tap in the case, (our favorite) so we got one to go that we could eat at home. It was a super great idea. Angel wanted the pins, and I thought I might put the patch on my safety vest. This is truly good pizza.
Everyone loves new electronic gadgets (except Luddites), what about when they are added to something as simple as bicycles? Shimano did that a couple years ago with the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 system. It really interested me when it first was announced, and I have had a couple of chances to try it out on trainers at a couple different shows, never on the road. It truly is an amazing system, and if I was a pro-level racer I would really like to take advantage of the perfect and quick shifting. They are coming out with an Ultegra Di2 now, helping to lower the price and allowing for more people to take advantage of the electronic shifting system.
Who would have ever guessed Shimano’s next step with the Di2 system would be to put it on an Alfine internal gear hub? The Shimano Alfine Di2. To me this system seems confusing, but at the same time it makes some sense. This could be a system that works with some commuters, but probably just those who are already riding carbon bikes to work.
The system is only a prototype right now; the finished product should be out in September of 2012 (no idea on price). It looks like there will be no big changes to the internal hub itself. Instead it will just have an electronic shifting mechanism on the outside (though I could be wrong). It will be offered in a 8 speed and 11 speed, and will offer 2 different brake/shifter lever set ups: road and flat bar. They will offer a road lever system, similar if not the same lever as the Ultegra Di2, allowing electronic shifting with the right lever, while the left will just be a brake. This will be Shimano’s first road lever shifter for an internal hub. They will also have a flat bar system, with a Rapid Fire electronic shifter. The system will also have an electronic display screen to show the gear you are in and battery life. The Dura-Ace Di2 currently only has a small battery indicator. The system will use the same battery system as the other Di2 systems.
I hope Shimano realizes if they want this system to actually work for commuters and people who bike tour, they will need to do something better about the battery. The advantage of an internal gear hub is they are maintenance free. If you throw a battery in picture you are going backwards. It keeps the hub maintenance free even more so by removing the cables, but you have to make sure your battery is charged, and that you have enough power for long rides, and even short tours. The system would probably have a lot more battery life than the Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2, because it only deals with shifting the hub, as opposed to two separate derailleurs. It would really boggle my mind and probably a lot of others if they don’t make a way for the Alfine Di2 to be powered from a dynamo hub. I think that would be a necessity for this system, as it would keep it so much simple. If you can power your light, and electronic shifter, then I think the system would work well. If they only offer a battery set up, then there must be a way to lock the battery in place. On BicycleRetailer.com, they mention a battery placement of a “seatpost-mounted battery”. I don’t what that means, and I can’t find anything else about it. I don’t know if that means the battery could be mounted in the seat tube or just to the seat tube. If the battery could go in the seat tube you would keep it safer. If it’s on a commuter then it should be locked down, no one want to deal with taking more stuff off their bike that could get stolen, so lock it down. The dynamo would be easier though.
Overall I think the Alfine Di2 will find its place, just like the Dura-Ace Di2 has. If the Alfine Di2 system can work with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive, it could make an amazing mix. I would really like to try the Alfine Di2 out for my self when it come out. Maybe then I will understand it more.
Collin’s Cycle Shop held Eugene’s first bicycle job fair on Sunday February 26th. This might even be Oregon’s first bicycle job fair altogether. This was a great opportunity for people who could make it out to the fair to meet and great with some great company representatives looking for talented people to fill all sorts of positions. I don’t have the numbers, but a lot of people came to the job fair today. With gas prices going up, green culture is growing, and the over-all popularity of bicycling is increasing. Portland, Eugene, and other cities across the US are growing their bicycle industries from small bikes to big name companies. Hopefully there will be more events like this across Oregon and the US in the future.
I received my Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Cyclery comic books in the mail today. They had great success with the Kickstarter Campaign that raised money to get volumes 3, 4, and 5 printed, as well as help Rick and Brian bring the comic back from a long hiatus. Rick Smith and Brian Griggs have been working hard to keep the comic going. Right now they offer the comic as a $1 a month paid membership, with the occasional free comic for the public.
Like I said, I received volume 3, 4, and 5 along with the patch today in the mail (a great addition to my collection). I bought volume 1 a while back. I also got the burnt piece of the Kickstand Cyclery (yes, a burnt piece of a fictional building) along with a signed drawing of Yehuda from a previous offering by Rick. I’m not a big comic geek, but I really like these comics. Obviously because they are bike related, and I really like the style and storyline of the comic. Even if you are an occasional bicyclist or don’t ride bikes at all they are still great comics and great stories. You can still buy all 4 volumes and some other merchandise in the Kickstand Cyclery Shop.
Top Left: Patch and Books Top Right: Books, Patch, Burnt piece of the Kickstand, and a drawing a Yehuda Bottom Left: Inside Covers of Books Bottom Right: Drawing of Yehuda that came with burnt piece of the Kickstand, and the all books signed, newest 3 have drawings.
And again, just like my previous post about Yehuda Moon: If you haven’t heard of Yehuda Moon you can still get started reading them; they are all online still. Here is a link to the first strip. Yehuda Moon 01-22-2008
Cars and bikes sometimes don’t get along that well, but car companies and bikes get along really well together. From sponsorships of race teams, to recently a couple different companies have featured bikes in their ads. Today Volkswagen of America announced the beginning of its 2 year sponsorship of Peopleforbikes.org, which is a good step in the right direction for all.
More about the sponsorship with Volkswagen and People for Bikes. Read it Here
Maybe this will also bring some inspiration from Deutsch, the advertising group that brought us the Star Wars themed Volkswagen at *Supper Bowl ad. This year they will be featuring a new ad with the same theme, and have released a teaser for it.
Volkswagen 2012 “The Bark Side” Teaser for upcomming *Supper Bowl Commercial.
Volkswagen 2011 “The Force” Commercial from last years *Supper Bowl.
*Due to trademarking you can figure out what the *Supper Bowl is.
I grew up in central Illinois. In August of 2007, I bought my first real “adult bike” after needing a bike to save money on gas. Since then I have had many bikes. In April of 2010, after moving out to Oregon, I got my beloved Surly Long Haul Trucker. I have put a lot of good miles on the bike. This blog is about my life in Eugene.