The first bike horn to talk about is the “Loud Bicycle” by Jonathan Lansey. This bike horn is fueled by a rechargeable battery that powers 2 differently toned horns (with an output of 120dB), that look very similar in design to what a modern car horn looks like. This is great, because it truly makes it sound like a car horn, something most drivers are used to hearing. Drivers automatically react when they hear the noise from a car horn, as opposed to a bike bell or a single toned horn. The 2 horns and battery are one unit which is mounted to the downtube of the bicycle frame, with a wire leading to a button trigger that you can place wherever it’s convenient on your handle bars. I really like this design, and wouldn’t mind trying it out. Though it might take up a a decent amount of space.
The second bike horn is the ORP Smart Horn, also known as the “SMORN”, by Tory Orzeck. This more compact bicycle horn is great and comes loaded with a couple of nice features. The first thing I like about it is it’s not only a horn, but a 87 lumen bike light, with some functions of modern bike lights (constant on, slow strobe, fast strobe). This is perfect for the people who don’t like to deal with a lot of items on their handle bars; one unit does 2 things. The horn functions by toggling the lever in the rear of the unit. Toggle down, and it’s a friendly sounding 76dB(usable on pedestrians and cyclists). Toggle up, unleash the loud 96dB(usable on motor vehicles). All of this is packaged with a rechargeable battery in a nice looking silicon package, mounting easily on to your handle bars.
When the Kickstarter is over you can view the production on ORPland.com.
I really hope that both these horns get funded and are produced. I really love seeing bicycle safety devices like these out on the market. I have a true belief that all bicycles need bells, at least for pedestrian and other cyclists’ sake. And if you interact with large motor vehicle on the road, it’s great to get their attention with horns like these. So stay safe out there.
If you can’t wait or want something in the mean time before either of these come out, you should be happy to know there are some other horns available already.
Delta Airzound Bike Horn, I have one of these, Reviewed Here. This was one of the first bike horns on the market that would actually be audible to people in motor vehicles. It’s a great horn, powered by compressed air. Some things that I have found after using it for some time is I don’t tend to air up the canister much, so I never have use of the horn when I really need it. I also have found cold weather really does mute the reed that makes the sound when the PSI is not to the max. So having a rechargeable battery powered horn would be much nicer.
The Hornet, This is a newer electric horn created in 2011 by a former London lawyer and cyclist. The horn has a high pitched, ear bursting 140dB. I think this is too much power for this horn. Horns should have a deeper sound if they’re going to be that loud.
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
Last week Angel and I went on our first camping trip of the summer. We haven’t had enough time since she got done with the school for summer. We went with two of our friends Tuesday night until Wednesday morning. This was a quick bike camping trip we spontaneously decided to do just days before. It was super fun. The weather called for some rain and thunder, and that is what we got. Even so, it was fun.
Due to the secret location of where we camped, I’m only going to post the elevation of what we did. There were some great hills with some gravel logging roads on the way home.
We left Eugene late in the evening, just a couple hours before sunset. It was a nice ride through the country with some nice hills between here and where we camped. Right before we arrived at the camping location we started hearing some thunders. And right when we got there it started sprinkling, although that ended really fast and it didn’t rain anymore that night.
The next morning one of our friends had to leave early to get back to work on time. So it was just 3 of us on the way home. We took our time because none of us had anything to get to that day. We took a longer way home, featuring some long down hill gravel roads where Angel ended up getting a rear flat tire at one point, which got patched up quickly. We got a nice strong bout of rain at one point, which let up quickly. And we only had a couple very small spouts of rain after that. We ended up coming across one of Oregon’s many covered bridges. Here is a 360° Photo from a clear cut along our route.
Overall it was a great trip and ride. Angel did super well riding her Linus Mixte 3speed, climbing most the hills with no or very little (at least verbal) complaints. Hopefully soon we can get her something with more gears. I’m just trying to figure out what frame would be great for her right now. Hopefully doing an internally geared hub again like a Nexus or Alfine 8 or maybe even an Alfine 11. I’m sure she would appreciate it. It was a great trip, and I hope Angel and I can go on more trips like this before the end of the summer.
It’s my 100th post on this blog. I wanted to do something a little more exciting for this post, but I think this will do for now. Angel and I have been in Eugene for 11 months now. We find new places to go, and things to do everyday. Here is a link to my first post from right after we moved here and rode the Fern Ridge Bike Path all the way out for the first time. Since then we have found so many more places to ride, but Fern Ridge is still one of the nicest places we like to ride here in Eugene. Our last adventure didn’t include the FRBP, but instead one of our favorite places to gets treats, Sweet Life Patisserie. Angel loves their chocolate tortes and pies, and I always get an oven-warmed cinnamon roll.
The other day we went to the Owen Rose Garden, and here are some photos I took there. I’m not a big fan of roses, so I tend to take photos of all the other pretty flowers at the garden. I did take one photo of a wild rose though, but they look nothing like a cultivated rose.
Yesterday, June 2nd, was the Bike Music Fest, put on by the University of Oregon Bike Program. It was an entirely pedal-powered music festival. I was only there for the last couple hours, but it was a fun time, here are some photos and a nice little video.
Here is a simple video I made, sorry it is a little shaky, I was generating power on a bike at the time.
On Memorial Day, Monday the 29th, I got the chance to ride Scenic McKenzie Pass (Highway 242) for the first time. Being my first year in Eugene, I really wanted to do this ride. I had seen a lot of photos of other cyclists on the ride before, with the high packed snow walls; it just seem incredible. Also, last October, Angel and I had a chance to drive it while going to the OHBS in Bend, it made me really want spend more time there and revisit the Pass.
They close off Hwy 242 during the winter months due to snow. They open it back up in May for a couple weeks only to cyclists, which is a great time to venture out, because you have no fear of cars coming up the hill behind you. The pass is about 4o miles from the turnoff at 126 to Sisters, OR. I chose only to ride up to the Dee Wright Observatory, (22miles) the summit of 5325 feet elevation. 3600 feet of climbing with great views throughout of the Willamette Nation Forest, Mount Washington Wilderness Area, Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and into the Deschutes National Forest (if you continue or start in Sisters). Up towards the top there are amazing lava fields, it’s kind of crazy to think about the lava fields, and how much volcanic activity Oregon had just a couple thousand years ago. At the top, like I mentioned, is the Dee Wright Observatory where you can look out at all the amazing mountain and land formations.
It was a super fun ride. I tend to ride a little slow, taking about 4 or 5 hours on my way up, but that includes a lot of stops for photos, food, making a couple snowmen, and just enjoying the view. It then only took about 45mins to get back down to the bottom. An incredible descent after riding that same route up. I totally recommend this ride for anyone who ever gets a chance. Just be prepared to climb a lot. Here are my photos from the ride.
Along the way I decided to made a couple snow men just for fun. I thought other cyclists would like the encouragement while going up and down the pass. The one in the road has 2 faces. I had to climb the snow wall to get his features, but that was really cool itself.
360 Degree View along Highway 242
360 Degree View from atop Dee Wright Observatory
Here is a 360 Degree View from atop Dee Wright Observatory from the first time Angel and I drove the pass last October on our way to Bend for the OHBS. We took a lot of photos that day. I’m really glad I got a chance to ride the pass, hopefully I get to do it again.
The Ride Of Silence was last night, May 16th in Eugene. If you don’t know what the Ride Of Silence is it a ride to remember cyclist killed or injured on the road. The ride has been going on for 10 years now, and is held on the third Wednesday of May, at 7 p.m local time all across the world.
Here is what the route looked like. Other Coverage: KMTR
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.
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.
Last week some friends and I went to the Leatherman Tool factory for a tour. All Leatherman tools are made in Portland, Oregon in this factory, and they are proud of it. Sadly, on the tour they do not allow photos to be taken. It was really cool to see how the tools are made from big steel rolls. Then they’re punched, bent, polished, and assembled into a finished product. (Parts that are forged do not get made here). I have been carrying a Leatherman Wave for the past years and use it everyday. Leatherman has this video tour on the site to make up for no photos in the factory, and it is really nice because you can see things closer up than what we got to see some of the time.
After the tour we went off to the retail store not far away. It had a case that contained the first prototype of the multi-tool from Tim Leatherman, along with a really old, giant, multi-tool made of hundreds of pieces of the tools. I picked up a new knife for Angel, and for my dad. If you ever have a chance to take a tour of the factory, it’s pretty cool, more info about that HERE.
Hot Lips Pizza
After the tour, we ate some lunch at Hot Lips Pizza. It was the first time I ate their pizza and I thought it was great. I have had their sodas. It is great soda made with fruit from the Pacific Northwest. You can find it bottled all over the place out here. I had a Black Raspberry along with a nice simple slice of cheese pizza, and garlic bread sticks. It was all really great, and I can’t wait to have at all again the next time I make it up to Portland.
Black Star Bags
Right Down the street from Hot Lips on Hawthorn is Black Star Bags, which moved into that location a year ago. The company has been around for the past 5 years, offering great handmade and costume backpacks, messenger bags, panniers, and accessories. David Stoops (Owner/Designer) has great skills, and is capable of making all your bag dreams come true, along with his amazing freestyle embroidery skills on his machines, you can get a piece of art on the bags. Be sure to check out Black Star Bags and stop into the shop if you are looking for a new bag.
My friend who was with me in the shop was getting the design and features of his backpack worked out with David. With David & Black Star, my friend was able to get everything he wanted for his bag, and in a couple weeks he will have his own custom bag that is perfect for him. I can’t wait to see my friend’s backpack after it is finished.
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.