Monday, October 31, 2011

The Philadelphia Bike Expo - 2011

Well, I chipped the car out from two inches of solid, frozen snow and set off for the Philly Bike Expo in brilliant sunshine.

The show, sort of in between a swap-meet and an exhibition, was made up largely of bike-builders, accessory and component manufacturers and snake-oil sales salesmen selling their own concoctions of miracle bike lubes and cleaners, no doubt conjured up on their kitchen tables, and even more doubtlessly, effective and environmentally friendly.

I felt a little conspicuous, lacking an old cycling cap and bushy beard, sans moustache. I was going to say, and that was just the women ... but I won't.

Anyway, here are a few images I captured. I mean, strictly speaking they're not photographs.

Most bikes tended to be of a utilitarian nature

Some design innovations

This dog cart combo was a show stopper

One for Steve ...

Who hasn't wanted to wear a helmet to a wedding?
A real Mini

PS: Don't ask me why the images don't line up ... Blogger problem?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's that bit called?

Here it is, as a service to cyclists, every bit of a bicycle named:

Larger version here ...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's In Your Seat Pack?

I'm a seat pack Nazi. I hate those seat packs which rattle and swing around under the saddle. I like the pack pulled up tight and silent.

TimBuk2 Bike Seat Pack
So anyway, what's in mine? This is my road bike seat pack. An orange TimBuck2 optimised for running tubeless tyres.

So I cram the bag with:

A compact bike tool. You can get more comprehensive tools with chain-breakers and stuff, but this is for basic, on-the-road, adjustments. If I'm at the stage of needing a chain-tool I'm calling for a ride home.

Tube and rattly bits secured in an old sock
Tyre lever. Tubeless tyres are very tight so I carry two. One lever will do for most regular tyres.

Spare tube, tyre boot and self-adhesive patches. The only time I had a failure with a tubeless tyre was because the tyre fabric ripped. A tyre-boot and inner tube will get you home.

Emergency cash. Whatever you think appropriate. A note will also act as a tyre-boot in emergencies. I rode thirty miles successfully with a dollar bill sealing a rip in a tyre.

CO2 Inflator: Will get your tyre pumped up enough to ride home. CO2 seems to leak through rubber, so your tyre may look flat again the next morning. Just inflate it with your usual air pump.

Yes, it all fits in ...
Hand wipes: Gets the worst of any oil off your hands. I also carry thin latex/poly gloves in my back pocket so I don't necessarily have to unpack all my kit to help someone else.

I wrap the rattly bits in an old sock. This helps stabilise the pack and stop annoying rattles.

So, there you have it ...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Covered Bridges Tour - 2011

This year, I finally made the Covered Bridges Tour run by the Central Bucks Bicycle Club in Pennsylvania, just across the Delaware from Frenchtown, NJ.

The weather was very fine, promising temperatures rising into the 80Fs/high 20Cs. However, the day started in mist and fog around 50F/10C ... chilly.

A group of us, mostly friends and acquaintances, met up and set out on the 50mile/80km route. At 8.30am it was still quite cold, and it took me a half-hour or so for my hands to warm up ... I am such a cold morsel.

Me at the first feed station
Eventually the mist did burn off and the day became the most gorgeous fall Sunday. This was well forecast, so there were a lot of riders on routes from 20miles/32km up to a metric Century - 100km/62.5miles.

This is a very pretty area, with lots of quiet byways and lanes. I thought the route was pretty well marked and the feed/rest stations were pretty good too.

Unfortunately, I had a number of leg cramps after the last feed station. I'm usually quite careful about avoiding cramps, but something went wrong this ride. I thought I drank and ate plenty, but in the end, possibly not enough. It meant I trailed in last of our original group, but received sympathy from other riders who passed me and I commiserated with other riders who had the same trouble. Maybe there was something in the air.

We toured covered bridges; Erwinna (1832), Loux (1874), Cabin Run (1871) and Frankenfield (1872). Sheard's Mill (1873) was crossed on the metric Century ride.

50 and Metric Century Cue Sheet:

Enhanced by Zemanta