Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Like a Kid on Christmas Morning

Today I finally got something good off craigslist. A red Schwinn Speedster 3-speed. In very un-Buddhist fashion, I'm practically giddy at my new acquisition. A special thanks to Paul in Peachtree City who sold it to me for only $25. The paint is in very good shape for a bike of its age. I figure it to be a 1974 or 1975 model, because its Sturmey-Archer hub was made in 74 (thanks Sheldon wherever you are). Shifting action is good but it'll need some new tires. Since I'll have to special order 597's I'll take the opportunity to break everything down and change the oil in the hub. Pictures to follow tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day After Christmas Tragedy

From Tampa Bay Online:
A 7-year-old bicyclist was killed this afternoon when he was hit by a pickup while riding on a bike trail that crosses U.S. Highway 301 north of Stacy Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Rohan A. Berringer of Zephyrhills was riding with two other bicyclists – his mother and sister –when he rode into the path of a 2002 Ford F-150 about 2:11 p.m., according to investigators. The truck, driven by George D. Thomas, 79, of Thonotosassa, hit the boy, who died at the scene.

Neither Thomas nor his passenger, Mary J. Thomas, 75, also of Thonotosassa, was hurt.

The road was closed for more than two hours as the crash was being investigated.

The incident remains under investigation.

I don't want to assign blame but google maps shows that the crossing in question has no lights, bridges, or tunnels to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to safely cross the highway. If you're going to have separate facilities for cyclists you have to make them safe. Even a stop sign for the cars may have prevented this tragedy.

Compare the crossing on 301:

View Larger Map

To a highway crossing on the Silver Comet Trail:

View Larger Map

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cyclists and Lights

Tonight on the long ride home from dropping off a forgotten Christmas present at my mom's house, I nearly ran over a cyclist. He was what's commonly referred to as a bike ninja. Now I realize some people ride bikes not by choice but by necessity and bike lights can be expensive. But when there's a dollar store on every corner selling red and white leds for a buck there's no excuse for being a bike ninja. A couple of years ago on the ride to work I stopped a bike ninja and gave him my spare blinky, so starting next week I'm going to keep a small stash of dollar store leds on me at all times to help vanquish the world of bike ninjas.

Long Sleeve Merino Wool Jerseys $5

Well not quite but lately I've found a couple of lightweight merino wool sweaters at my local thrift store. They're just the thing for winter riding and at $5 each you can't beat the price. They've pretty much become my standard wear for cool and wet weather.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I think I'm in Love

Bicycling at Christmas Time

One of the great things about being a utility cyclist at Christmas is you don't have to put up with parking hassles when you go shopping. I had to go to the mall the other day and my grin was extra wide as I cruised past lines of cars looking for a spot.