Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Now That's Customer Service

Jansport is replacing the straps on my 19 year old backpack for free.

Rode the old gray mule through the drive through at the bank today. Even though it's technically forbidden the teller took my business without saying a word.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Build Quality

It's easy to tell when something has been made with an eye to quality. If you ride my Schwinn it feels like a million bucks, my old Centurion despite being a low end model was made with the fit of a thousand dollar Atlantis. It seems that now build quality is something only for niche markets. It's all about producing as much as you can as cheaply as possible.

There's a reason build quality is on my mind. This morning as I loaded my pack for a hike one of the straps broke. After almost 20 years and thousands of miles my Jansport Nepali failed. There's nothing spectacular about the pack but it does the job it was designed for and it does it well. It can carry enough supplies for a month in the woods and it does so without complaining. It's an external frame, I know most everyone prefers internal frame packs but I'm old fashioned and I like the ventilation an external frame provides. Made before the china boom, the old Jansport was made in the US. So tomorrow I'll call Jansport and keep my fingers crossed that they have replacement straps, if that fails I'll probably try to rig a homemade solution. Old packs are like old bikes, it's hard to say goodbye.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Not the Bike It's the...

Electra Townies up Georgia's toughest climbs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slow Motion Crash

Yesterday we had some pretty severe storms blow through. This morning I discovered the the results. On one of my turns a bunch of debris had washed into the road, I didn't see it until I was right on top of it resulting in a wipe out. Luckily I was pedaling at 1/4 impulse so nothing was hurt except as they say my pride.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Far Is Too Far

A friend asked just how far is too far to ride. My answer is simple, if you have enough time there's no such thing as too far. I then introduced him to Crazy Guy on a Bike. He was blown away. That's when I realized that to many people the idea of bicycle touring is a foreign as communal living. So I'm trying to get him to join me on a short overnight tour, just to see how doable it is. I'm convinced if more people tried bicycle touring there would be a lot more bicycle tourists.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Idle Bike Toughts Vol. 4

Potholes can appear overnight and usually will hide themselves on the darkest part of your ride.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I've been suffering mightily over the last few days. It's as if I went to India and drank a gallon of water from the mighty Ganges. As a result there's been no riding, no going to work, no nothing. Hopefully I'll feel better this weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top Ten anti-cyclists

The League of American Bicyclists has a list.

It Always Happens

The worst weather of the day arrives in time for the ride home. In this case a crazy wind in my face the whole way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Backup Your Data

Warning this post has no bicycle content.

The hard drive on my 2.5 year old MacBook failed today. Most of the stuff is protected by backups but some is not. Remember to backup your data frequently.

Now for Mr. Angry eyes:

It turns out apple knew it had a problem with the seagate drives in these early intel macbooks and have refused to recall them. Not a good show. I've got 4 computers in my house from 4 different manufactures, and I've been using computers since 1983. I've never had a hard drive fail so quickly. Even if apple had simply publized the defect I would have known to replace the drive before it failed.

Bad apple.

Ironically yesterday I was ready to sing Apple's praises as they detected someone trying to frauduently use my card at Apple's online store.

FYI: I'm writing this post on an old gateway laptop running linux.

Monday, February 09, 2009

From Bad to Worse

What's worse than losing one lane on West Peachtree during rush hour? Losing two lanes. I'm getting tempted to do a little wrong way sidewalk riding.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Errands By Bike

It's Sunday which means groceries. Then there was the ride to Home Depot to get some keys made and price plywood. Unlike Jett my Home Depot has no bike racks to the old gray mule wound up locked to a rental concrete mixer. Then a meandering ride back home.

I think I saw some guys from Atlanta Cycling but they were going way to fast for me to catch. Besides nothing would look more ridiculous than a bunch of lycra glad guys on road bikes followed by me on the commuter with panniers stuffed.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Beautiful Day for a Ride

Just pedaling around today, although I did have to run a few errands. I took a round about route to town, through Piedmont Park and mid-town, and back through Buckhead to home.

Some of the things I saw today:
A guy on a bent with a plastic bucket attached to the back, presumably for storage.
Lots of lovely ladies on bicycles.
A guy flying through town on a single-speed or a fixie.
An old friend I hadn't seen in years. (sometimes Atlanta feels like a very small town)
Lots of people in cars looking for a place to park.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Planning a Ride

I've got nothing to do tomorrow, the wife is busy, the kids are busy, the dog is the dog, so why not go for a ride. I've got no particular destination, I'm just going to ride until I feel like turning around. That's a good thing.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Really, why try to read a book while driving. You know they have audio books at the local library. We all know that distracted driving leads to accidents, reading while driving should be a big no no. Sometimes I wish I had a camera on my phone so I could snap a shot of these idiots.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

How I Feel When I Drive

As always Rick Smith's Yehuda Moon gets it right.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Idle Bike Thoughts Vol. 3

An English Three-Speed or its American equivalent produces more smiles per mile than just about any other bike.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Danagers of Driving and Sleeping

This story should be an eye opener for everyone. If a police officer can fall asleep at the wheel causing a fatal accident, anyone can. Generally I hate to get up in the morning, and with my busy schedule, I'm always tired. But bicycling has a way of waking me up, and if I do fall asleep on my bike the only one that will be hurt is me.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Bike Friendliness of Ikea

I've mentioned before the fact that the Atlanta Ikea located at Atlantic Station has bike racks, but a recent shopping trip there has convinced me that Ikea is the most bike friendly of the big box stores. In fact if I had my Xtracycle or a Big Dummy I could have easily transported the futon mattress that we recently purchased.