Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category
When I started this blog five years ago, I wasn’t sure that I would keep up with it. As I’ve said before, even five years doesn’t seem like much compared to some of the other great bike blogs out there – and I’m humbled by them. Now, with over 745 posts, I still love doing this.
I’m not sure why, but readership continues to stick with me. It’s also truly amazing when I get recognized on the street as the Suburban Assault guy. I deeply thank those who have taken the time to stop by and visit this site. I’m still trying to figure out a niche for this blog to help it stand out among all the others. For now, I’ll continue posting Hump Day Pics as well as plenty of interesting, bike related things. As long as I’m passionate about bicycling, I’ll keep posting here.
Also, over the years, I’ve grown as a cyclist. I started as a slow-rolling goof, who discovered a passion for exploring his city by bike. Now, I’m a slow-rolling, practical cyclist who commutes to work, advocates for cycling and enjoys teaching as a League Cycling Instructor. I could not be happier.
Again, thank you for following and reading Suburban Assault.
We started clearing out an old shed in my mother-in-law’s yard, so that it can be demolished in a few weeks. The shed had been unused, probably, for decades – so who knows what was living in there. All I know is that, with my fear of wasps and spiders – and not to mention small critters that bite – I wasn’t going near it. Fortunately, my wife is a badass and those things don’t seem to bother her. Once I got the overgrown shrub chopped down from in front of the door, it was easier for her to gain access and drag out this beauty for me.
Reading on, you’ll see that I use the term ‘beauty’ quite loosely and probably with a bit of sarcasm.
I’d spotted this ‘beauty’ a few months back, when we had originally thought about clearing out the shed. Through the shrub and slightly opened door, I could see the dark silhouette of an old bike, left to rust at the back of this dark shed. I kept wondering if this was some sort of forgotten treasure of vintage steal, that was only waiting to be salvaged and restored to it’s former glory. Even when my wife, bravely, rolled it out over the busted bags of fertilizer and potting soil, I had high hopes that it was going to be a ‘beauty.’
Not this time. Upon closer inspection, I realized that this bike had seen much better days. The rust, corrosion and the decades of Texas summers had taken it’s toll on this guy. Even so, my mind started wandering into a world of sand paper, chrome polish and elbow grease, to see this ‘beauty’ restored to a showroom finish. Perhaps I had seen too many episodes of American Restorations on the History channel. Unfortunately, I had been down the road of restoration, and the result – if ever finished – is never worth the amount of work I would put into it.
I wondered if it would be worth it to pay somebody to restore it. But then I started to look into the brand and model of the bike. It’s an old (I’m assuming late 60′s early 70′s) Columbia 500. After doing some digging on-the-line, I discovered that the Columbia brand, although it has a rich heritage of building bikes since 1877, is known for manufacturing “…quality bikes at affordable prices. Developed to satisfy the demands of the casual rider, who expects the feature, quality and confidence in a brand of bikes found in specialty bike shops. Columbia bikes offer a brand that is well recognized by consumers and at the same time offers a different product at a great value!” I read this as cheap department store quality bike.
After doing a bit more, light digging, I came to realize that it wouldn’t be worth the effort or expense to restore this ‘beauty.’ It’s too bad I don’t own a small bike shop or café, because this would make the perfect decoration to hang over the awning.
I’m a big fan of documentaries and an even bigger fan of bikes. So, I go nuts when I hear about bike documentaries. One that I’m particularly interested in seeing is Liz Canning‘s new film about the cargo bike culture, called Less Car More Go.
From the Kickstarter page:
In early 2011, almost three years before the Wall Street Journal dubbed cargo bikes “the New Station Wagon,” filmmaker Liz Canning began making LESS CAR MORE GO. The project is a crowdsourced documentary on the past, present and future of the cargo bike movement, co-directed by over 100 cargo cyclists. A rapidly growing online network of bike lovers from all over the world has shared hours of video footage capturing how cargo bikes change lives. The number, quality and content of submissions to LESS CAR MORE GO is a stunning testament to the power of bicycles, community and art. And we’ve only just begun! Read more.
There are only a few days left to help fund this project and Liz is still pretty far from her goal. She states:
Thus far the project been fueled by passion and funded by co-directors and myself. A successful Kickstarter campaign will sustain us through post-production and ensure that all this inspired work pays off. A documentary (especially a crowdsourced one) is really made in the editing. I will need time and some assistance to weave all these disparate elements into a coherent and exciting story.
Kickstarter funds will also pay for a handful of video equipment to be shared by co-directors, media storage drives, an assistant editor/producer, and travel to cargo bike hot spots in and possibly outside of the US. There will be other expenses like music and archival rights, motion graphics and color correction/finishing, DVD authoring and outreach, press and publicity.
If you want to support the post-production of the film and get a copy for yourself, head over to her Kickstarter page and make a pledge.
I have a love/hate relationship with Flickr. Hate, mostly because of the new site design – which is far less intuitive. Love, because it’s great for sharing and getting your images out there.
One great example is getting another pic of mine published in the May/June 2014 issue of Momentum Magazine:
Of course, I took that pic to help promote Bikes May Use Full Lane lapel pin sales. Here is the original:
I had forgotten all about this, until I ran across the pic in my photo stream.
A few years back, during the construction of one of Richardson’s bike trails, I buried a “Bike Friendly Richardson” pin in the ground before they laid the cement. I’m calling it a time capsule of positive thinking.
Hopefully, many years from now - when they dig it up to widen the trail - somebody will see that we cared about cycling back then.
Believe me, I am completely grateful when anybody puts up racks for bike parking in front of their business. I appreciate it even more when it’s a major chain that happens to be a gasoline station – primarily catering to car drivers.
However, I think that the people who installed these racks must not ride bikes with handlebars. Sure, with some careful contorting of your bike, these are somewhat functional. I just feel that pulling them away from the wall, even just a few more inches, would have made much more sense.
It’s a start. I guess I shouldn’t complain. Right?
BACK IN INVENTORY – BY POPULAR DEMAND!
These high quality lapel pins were developed to pay tribute to the bike friendly road signs found along many roads in the US. The original batch was a small, limited run of that sold out quickly. Great news! I was able take part in a larger run and now they are available for you.
If you are a bicyclist, bike supporter or bike advocate, show your support for Sharing The Road, by wearing a Bikes May Use Full Lane Lapel Pin.
The goal of selling these pins is to help spread the word and not make a profit. Prices have been set to recover any up-front costs, time and expenses. I will try to use any extra proceeds towards new inventory.
Here are the updated details:
Price: $3 each – Originally $5
Shipping: $5.60 USPS Flat Rate for each order (Even though these are light, the US Post Office charges that much to ship a bubble envelope.) Sorry, USA shipping only. If you are not in the States, leave a comment below and I’ll try to make arrangements.
How: Click over to my Pop-Up Store for order information.
Details: These are custom die struck iron soft enamel pins in a .75 inch size with one military clutch attachment.
I try to stay involved with local bicycling advocacy to promote cycling in my city. I started Bike Friendly Richardson, a few years back, as a partner for local, non-sport cyclists. With the help of some great friends, it’s growing at a pretty good pace.
I’m also a board member in the regional advocacy group, BikeDFW – which covers a much larger area and many more types of cyclists. In addition to my duties as a board member, I was asked to help design their new logo. Now that it’s approved and out in the world, we’re starting to get it produced in many forms – starting with stickers.
We will also have t-shirts available within a few weeks. There will also be a bike jersey designed and available to order soon.
I want to wish everybody a Happy New Year. I hope your 2014 is filled of amazing discoveries, new explorations and great rides.
Do you have any New Years resolutions? Mine is to challenge myself to do more active transportation – walking as well as cycling. What are yours?
Speaking of doing more active transportation, I started tracking my milage back in 2012. Now with two years under my belt, I can start to gauge my improvement.
In 2012, I rode just over 1300 miles – 1177 for transportation and 137 for fun. In 2013, I rode over 1700 miles – 1295 for transportation and 428 for fun. Both years were tracked from April, but this year, I plan to track the whole year.
The good news is, I reached a new cycling milestone for 2013 – over 3.5 tanks of gas saved. Let’s see what I can do in 2014.