Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fog-free bicycling scarf

I like to wear a light scarf over my nose and mouth on cool morning commutes. Unfortunately, my exhaust breath fogs my glasses, as it sneaks up the gaps on both sides of my nose. It's bad when I ride slow with my head upright, and worse when I stop at a traffic light.

To fix this problem, I sewed a piece of insulated copper wire inside the top edge of my scarf, with the wire bent to fit the contour of my nose and cheeks. It closes the air gaps, and eliminates almost all the fogging. (Click on the thumbnail photo to enlarge the result.)

Here is a complete tutorial in photos. Feel free to copy and improve upon the idea.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tar Heel 200 - Valentine's Day 2010

I rode the RUSA Tar Heel 200 permanent today. It was chilly cold, but most of yesterday's snow was gone, and I saw almost no ice on the route. (There was plenty of ice on I-40 south of Raleigh while driving this morning, but that doesn't count.) Photos with details of the ride are posted below.

My original title for this post was going to be Bonk Early And Bonk Often. I decided against it, thinking no one would read it.

Meanwhile, I re-learned many lessons from Rando 101 throughout the day.
- Eat well and drink often, whenever you are not barfy.
Unfortunately, I can't remember the rest of the lessons. "Not Barfy" didn't happen often, and I think I was too bonked.

I do remember, however, searching for landmarks and checkpoints from other rides. Soon after the start, I wondered if I had I passed the Kountry Kwik Pick yet. No, wait, that is on the Black Creek ride. Later I was obsessing about how far to the Wawa in Pemberton. No, wait, that is in New Jersey.

Oh, and I think I also hallucinated about the bike-lane marking on a new strip of pavement on River Rd in Bladen County. Click on the thumbnail photo for a bigger view. (full disclosure: it's not real, it's been modified by Gimp, hehe.)

Luckily I arrived home with a signed perm card, receipts, and photos to document my passage.


PS: I experimented with a dollar-store scarf, trying to make it stop allowing exhaust breath to fog my goggles. Today was its inaugural ride. It worked very well. You'll notice it in the photos. I'll post a blog entry about it soon...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to disable Google Buzz

Attention Gmail Users... Google has deployed a new social networking app in Gmail this week called Buzz. I got fooled into enabling it. Buzz may be great, but I do not yet fully understand it and I am wary of automatic opt-in and privacy issues. I have disabled it completely, until more info is generally available. If you want to do the same...
- Scroll to the very bottom of your gmail screen.
- Click on a text link that says 'turn off buzz'.
Official reference:

Note the option to 'hide buzz from view' only removes the icon from the left side of your gmail screen. It does not stop buzz from running. 'Turn off buzz' does both.

I hope buzz is not evil and I am just being paranoid.