Time for a [footbike] path on the Verrazano Bridge?

A rally for those in favor of putting a foot/bike path on the Verrazano Bridge will be held on Oct. 18 in Staten Island. (Wikipedia)

A onetime Staten Islander myself, the only two-wheeler I could take on the bridge to Brooklyn was my motorcycle. When I lived on Manhattan, Staten Island was a popular cycling spot (we took the Ferry), but Brooklyn is also a hotbed of bicyclists (and nowadays, no doubt, kickers), who would benefit greatly from a bike path on the venerable bridge.

Maybe some could hie on over to the rally.

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OT: Google this!

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All the more time for kicking, I say

Dude – that fake beard is gnarley!

Dude – that fake beard is gnarley!

The founder of Groklaw, Pamela Jones, writes,

The owner of Lavabit tells us that he’s stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we’d stop too.

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Leave it to Scooter-Sport

Czech team ditches pedals for Tour de France scooter epic

PRAGUE — Four Czechs, a Finn and a Dutchman have dispensed with pedals and plan to use only leg-power and a pair of wheels to get them through the Tour de France.

They hope to complete the gruelling three-week cycle race on scooters.

From Europe to the Far East, this Agence France-Presse story has made its way to Australia, India, the Philippines and South Africa … but the U.S.A? No-o-o-o. For that, leave it to Scooter-Sport!

Footbiking still resists dilettantes

Kohler ad screenshot

In this age of social media, any fool with a Twitter account (or do I repeat myself?) can see without effort what the cool people are up to, and if they have more money than brains (also not a rare occurrence), can join right in.

When I raced bicycles, in the ‘eighties, those who showed up had learned the considerable minuitiae of the sport from mentors over years, so that by the time most reached the starting line they had been learning about bicycles and the sport for at least a decade, and subsequently devoted most of their resources and time to the sport. Many traveled just to find foreign magazines at international newsstands (I was fortunate to live near Hotalings in Manhattan where I bought Miroir du Cyclisme and the British newsprint mag Cycling) and struggled to learn enough of their languages to make sense of them.

Now the growing presence of serious cyclists I see on our Beach Road are posers on expensive cognoscenti bikes (Cervelos seem especially popular) wearing their superman pyjamas replica pro cycling jerseys and frowning like Lance Armstrong. They especially never even acknowledge the presence of our many local utility cyclists, who ride around on perfectly appropriate beach cruisers – for transportation.

Footbiking, in the USA, has resisted this corruption, maybe because the term kickbike has already been stolen and now refers to nasty parties. And in the footbike-sporting countries of Europe and the South Pacific there is a strong and traditional family-oriented racing culture, which seems to be growing in spite of the easy availability of trendy static.

This rant was set off by a national Kohler commercial about a city yuppie who, kicked out of his apartment by a girlfriend, collects his most precious possessions to crash with a friend. These possessions comprise mostly Kohler appliances and fixtures – and his trusty hipster fixed-wheel bike complete with bullhorn handlebars and colored rims. That inclusion into today’s shallow zeitgeist would be enough to cure me of fixie bikes even had I not found (through the internet, I must confess) footbiking, which, thankfully, still resists dilettantism.

Oh boy – we needed this like a hole-in-the-tire

Urban Kickbike pic

Vibrant urban slang – which I guess must be Ebonics from all the n*gga references – has highjacked one of the anglophone terms for footbike – kickbike – to mean a party, I guess as in ‘kick back’ your heels.

Use this to search Twitter for kickbike and check out some of the nastiness. (NB: bad language.) Another reason to use footbike as a generic term. Sorry, Hannu.

Me, I’m going to start investing in handbaskets.

UPDATE: This just occurred to me; I am a little slow at times. The way to avoid this is by using hashtag searches: Here’s the Twitter search for #kickbike

‘Finding an 18 inch tire is suddenly more difficult than I’d hoped.’

Twitter screen

Tell me about it. How many makers other than Kickbike™ and Footbike™ even use 18″ wheels? (As far as I know, only Birdy folding bicycles.) A survey of this page reveals a scarcity of 18″ wheels among the products.

Racing 2x700C picWell, I’d like to see a 2x700C” footbike for the mass market (such as it is). Apart from the frame, there wouldn’t be one component you couldn’t buy in any ordinary bike shop. You wouldn’t have to double up on spare tubes and tires (two sizes) for rides. If you wanted to race, you could get yourself a proper set of sew-ups.

Stepteam High Level, which uses some Groeneveld carbon 2x700C’s, also use some bikes with extensions on the original short rear forks to accommodate 700C rear wheels. Those extensions would make a nice aftermarket product.

I weep for the Sidewalker City! The promises of an elegant frame are dashed by a crazy deck height. 24″ replacement wheels might have a shot at lowering everything an inch if it weren’t for the direct-pull-brake anchors on the forks.

No, my 2x700C will have quality medium-reach sidepull brakes – and a threaded headset!

As far as 18″ tires, I know Schwalbe has a good selection as must, presumably, Every Bicycle Tire.