Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category
I just want to thank everybody for swinging by and visiting this blog. I’m grateful for good health, an amazing family, days full of inspiration and having the ability to explore my world by bicycle.
I hope you have a great holiday and can spend some quality time with the ones you love.
Ride safe. Ride on.
Cycling is on the rise in north Texas and more people are captivated by active transportation. Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding areas are becoming transformed by cyclists wanting to ride more.
As a leaders, educators and advocates, local bike organization, BikeDFW, strives to keep up with the momentum and remain a valuable partner to all local bicycle advocacy groups. Because of this, we have decided to update our look.
Being a board member of BikeDFW, and a graphic designer, I was given the challenge of redesigning our logo. My goal was to update the look and create a mark that could appeal to a broad audience of local cyclists.
There were several design options explored, and this solution was voted as the final selection. The idea behind this mark was to graphically articulate ‘bike’ while assertively communicating ‘DFW’. I added a single star to the ‘D’ as a nod to the Lone Star State – making the mark a simple, yet powerful symbol for cycling in the north Texas area. To add another layer, I added a sprocket ring to encompass the mark which transformed it into our new identity.
We will use this logo for collateral, marketing materials and swag.
Recently, BikeDFW launched this new logo. Our only hope is that it gets well recognized and becomes the new symbol of bicycle advocacy and education in the DFW area.
We took a trip to Oak Cliff last weekend to check out M’Antiques. As you can guess, instead of the vintage lace doilies, mismatched tea sets and creepy porcelain dolls, M’Antiques is an antique store geared more for men. They have cool stuff, like army surplus, old radios, school lockers, vintage copies of Playboy, and bikes.
Unfortunately, most of the bikes were rusting, outside in their yard – which was more like a bicycle graveyard. Happy Halloween!
Check out my new bike themed book mark. My wife discovered this at the Gecko Hardware store on Northwest Highway in Dallas. My daughter talked me into buying it, only to find out later, that my wife wanted to get it for me as a gift. I guess this is why I’m so hard to shop for.
You can pick one up for yourself (for a couple bucks more) at Pink Tank Ltd.
When I started this blog four years (and one month) ago, I wasn’t sure that I would keep up with it. As I’ve said before, even four 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 635 posts, I still love doing this.
I’m not sure why, but readership continues to climb. 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.
Again, thank you for following and reading Suburban Assault.
Bike accessories are expensive. You spend a lot of money for state-of-the-art, super tough, super light, super high-tech materials that keep you safe, cool, dry and comfortable while riding. High-end helmets are no exception to this expense – even though most of their cost comes from better fit, design and graphics and not so much from better safety (read more here). In my opinion, a comfortable helmet is an expense well worth the price.
What I don’t like is paying a lot for an accessory that doesn’t last. Before I go too far on this topic, please note that I have unreal expectations for the things that I use. My Giro Hex is no exception. Sure, the helmet fits well, looks good and, for four years, kept my skull protected. However, like most helmets, it’s age is starting to show in the padding.
No, I didn’t expect the padding to last forever and four years is actually quite a long time. I just feel that, for the amount of money that you pay for these things, an extra set of pads would go a long way at making the helmet a better value. Is that asking too much?
Giro does offer inexpensive replacement pads that you can purchase from their customer service department for about $4. They’re so cheap that the shipping was almost as much as the replacement pads. This leads me to believe that the cost of producing them is minimal. Would it really set them back too much to toss in an extra set of these pads to go with a $90 (suggested retail) helmet?
As a side note, my pads were lost in the mail. I don’t think that my chances are good for recovering them, but I’ll save my rant about the US Post Office for another post.
I’m a big fan of Danny MacAskill (often referring to him as Danny MaKick-Ass Skills), and love posting when he has a new project. Still sponsored by Red Bull, they produced a new film called Imaginate. “Two years in the making, street trials rider Danny MacAskill releases his brand new riding film. Whilst previous projects have focused on locations and journeys, MacAskill’s Imaginate sees Danny take a completely different approach to riding. Enter Danny’s mind and enjoy.”
Getting off the street and into a studio, the film is a pretty cool play on scale, using life-sized toys. Danny, himself, is a toy that rides through a course made of enlarged wooden building blocks, pencils, playing cards and game pieces. Unlike his other films, where the screen just is filled with bike trials eye candy, this film has a bit of narrative to it – putting his riding into the context of a story.
The stunts, as usual, will blow you away. Click here to see the film.
I must admit, as an LCI, I have no excuse for this happening to me. One of the fundamental things that we teach our students is the importance of the ABC Quick Check. But, I got lazy – which got me into trouble.
Let me put some emphasis on the “C” in ABC Quick Check. “C” is for cranks, chain and cassette – essentially your bike’s drivetrain. Although not as important for safety, as “Air” and “Brakes”, the drivetrain is a very critical part of your bike’s ability to function. If you’re drivetrain isn’t working, you’re not going anywhere.
I had just finished a long ride the weekend before, where I had given the bike a complete check. Because of that, my lazy pre-commute inspection consisted of me squeezing my tires, then while rolling, spinning the pedals and doing a quick brake check.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure if I would have noticed the potential fail of my crank arm. Typically, when I perform the check on my cranks, chain and cassette, I’m just looking to see if the drivetrain rolls smoothly, not really ever torquing the crank more than a few pedal revolutions. This is usually done by hand and I would rarely pull the crank from side to side.
The signs were there from the start of my commute. As I pushed down on the left pedal, it made an incredible squeaking noise. I had recently installed my old pair of SPD clipless pedals for that previous weekend ride and I just figured that the pedal mechanism was in need of some lubrication.
As I reached the halfway point to my office (about 7.5 miles), I noticed that my left pedal was no longer squeaking. Within moments I felt it wobble. At first, I thought the pedal was coming loose off the crank, but when I looked down, I saw that it was the whole crank arm. I pulled over to inspect it and attempt a quick repair. I soon discovered that the bolt that held it in place required an 8mm allen wrench – something I don’t carry in my tool pouch.
My backup plan was to hobble to some nearby auto-repair garage and borrow the tool. That would have worked if it wasn’t so early in the morning, and all of the shops weren’t still closed.
The only thing I could do was push the crank onto the spindle as hard as I could and then thumb tighten the bolt. Because of that, I couldn’t really put any pressure onto that pedal. Fortunately, with my SPD clipless pedals, I was able to do most of the spinning with my right foot, while resting my left foot on the loose crank’s pedal. I had to stop every mile or so, to push the crank arm back on and re-tighten the bolt. Eventually, I made it to the office.
During my lunch break, my buddy ran me up to Home Depot, where I was able to purchase the correct tool. With that, I was able to repair the crank and get home problem-free. That day, I learned that I need to do a more thorough inspection of my bike before a long commute. A few moments before the ride can save you from bigger problems down the road – a lesson I’ll be sure to share with my students.