Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bikes with Baskets

I love my basket (first photo).  It's really convenient on long rides.  I eat more food when it is in easy reach.  I stash gloves there when I fiddle with a camera or zippers.  I also haul things which I purchase on my commute.  (I pass a new Lowe's!)  It's like a handlebar bag, only more flexible.

I rescued mine from an old beach cruiser bike, after my riding buddy Jayjay raved about enjoying the basket on a bike she borrowed.
Apparently I am not the only one.  I spotted this photo of west coast rando Oliver with a basket (photo 2).  It looks like he is carrying a nice bag in it.

(Thanks to Rando Lynne for her photo of Oliver )

East coast rando Paul has two baskets, one in front and one in back (photo 3).  The original "BasketBoy".  And it looks like bungee cords to hold things in place.  Very nice.

(Thanks to Rando Bill for his photo of Paul )

Best of all, baskets are a perfect place to hang Christmas lights (final photo).  'Tis the season.  Start decorating now.

Update Nov 24, 2011:  Here is another rando bike with basket from Alaska on [MG's blog  With Christmas lights too.  Sweet!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kindness of Strangers

I hit a monster pothole while commuting last week.  It dented the rear rim.  Uh oh, not good.  (click left photo)

The next morning, I asked on the NC rando newsgroup if anyone wanted to sell an old 27" wheel or bike.  Immediately I received four offers and suggestions.  By the next morning, another batch.  People near and far offered to build wheels, to search their sheds for old wheels, or referred me to bikes on Craigslist.  I was amazed.

Offers continued through Sunday afternoon.  Right after I picked up a wheel from Rando Blake (thanks Blake!), I received yet-another offer.  Hard to believe.

Thanks everyone!  I am on the road again (see right photo).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Snaps of the commute

Fun with traffic lights
I encountered this traffic light at Corwnallis and Alston in RTP this morning. One of the two policemen directing traffic told me that something had hit the center light fixture and knocked it to face the wrong street. As a result, the trio of lights alternated between red-green-red and green-red-green.

You never know what you'll see.

PS: Note to self: adjust camera's clock for standard time before the next perm...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pamplona 200K?

I wouldn't ride my bike through streets with stampeding bulls.

I ride with careless car drivers.

A local bike instructor was killed in a bike-car wreck last year.  A rando up in DC was killed in June.  Now a local rando got thrown by a dreaded right hook (thankfully he will be fine).

I think I am in the 'honeymoon' period of road cycling, after four years of commuting and two years as a rando.  I am completely comfortable riding with cars.  No wrecks.  No falls.  No fear.

Must be vigilant...

Photo credit:  Pamplona Book Festival

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Motorcyclist Wave

Ever notice the nonchalant little sideways gesture used by motorcyclists to greet each other?  Ever wave at an oncoming motorcyclist that way?

I've been doing it the last few months.  I'm amazed at the positive reaction.  They always wave back.  They always turn and look at me.  Some do a double-take first, but they always smile.

Who knows, maybe they think I have a hog in the garage.  I just think it's friendly.

(Photo credit: link)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fast Flow Technology

There's nothing like bad weather to improve one's preparedness.  Jayjay and I rode the new RUSA Carthage Coffee Run 200k today.  Neither of us checked the weather forecast recently, and neither brought any rain gear or extra warm clothing.  Imagine our surprise during two hours of cold rain in the early morning.  And the temperature went down from there.

We were both considering aborting until we found some hot chocolate in Sanford.  Aaah, instant relief.  Of course, the hot liquid went through me quickly, and I was looking for a place to stop within ten minutes.  I guess that's what is meant by "Fast Flow Technology" on the dispensing machine (see photo).

On the other hand, I was amazed my feet were comfortable all day in Keen sandals and wool socks.  Hmm, maybe there is some magic in all the blather I've read about wool...

On our return trip, we chose the option to ride the American Tobacco Trail.  It was really nice to avoid the traffic on NC 751, aside from the trail sections in Durham which were muddy from the morning's rain.

The Carthage Coffee Run is a great new ride.  Many thanks to Branson for putting it together.  We look forward to riding it many times again.