April 2009 archive

St. Petersburg Cycles, We . . . Sleep

So, the St. Petersburg cycling scene was quite different from the London one Dottie wrote about last week. Though we spotted more bikes than we expected to see in a city that doesn’t exactly make cycling easy, there was nary a skirt or Dutch bike in sight.

BMX bandits are alive and well in Petersburg: a cyclist in Moskovskaya Ploschad.

BMX bandits are alive and well in Petersburg: a cyclist in Moskovskaya Ploschad.

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London Cycling Infrastructure

London cycling infrastructure has some interesting ideas, but it does not come across as a coherent system. What I saw was a hodgepodge of stuff spread around the city with not much of an overall plan or connection.

For example, I saw a few of these bike signal lights. Oddly, they were in the crosswalk with the walk signal, not with the lights for the cars. Since bikes ride in regular car lanes, I’m not sure the point – anyone have insight?

Bike Signal

Bike Signal

I didn’t see a lot of bike lanes compared to Chicago, but the ones I saw were pretty special.

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Cycling Superparents

Some of my favorite discoveries in the cycling blogosphere have been cycling superparents (often moms). Reading about their experiences is always interesting and often hilarious. They are an inspiration for me and, I’m sure, for their kids, too!

My Super Sister Stephanie and Spider Man-Tristan

My Super Sister Stephanie and Spider Man-Tristan

Here is a list of some of my favorites that I can think of at the moment. I’m sure there are some I’ve missed and have not yet discovered. Do you have a fave cycling superparent blog? Are you a cycling superparent? Let us know in the comments! I can keep updating this list.

Full Hands – every day a bakfiets parade
Suburban Bike Mama – angry kid banging on bakfiets rain shield
Car Free Days – reading on the back of a bike!
Totcycle – pronounced like popcycle
Bike Lite – added 5/1 – I don’t know how I forgot this great pair with their set of Jamis!

General cycling blogs with kid-related posts:

Bike Date – trailer hauling
Minneapolis Rad – baby’s first biking
Girls and Bicycles – starting very young – like, in the womb

And there is, of course, Copenhagen’s Supermums.

Silent and Deadly?

[This post was written and scheduled before our departure.]

Don’t worry folks, this isn’t a post about a certain antisocial behavior. (Yes, we’re 130 posts in, but we still have a few things left to talk about before we get to the toilet humor.)

No, the title of this post refers to . . . hybrids. And the particular threats they pose for cyclists. You can debate all day about whether a new hybrid is any more environmentally friendly than a used diesel that gets 35 mpg, but that is not the focus of this post.

My beef with hybrids as a cyclist is this: you can’t hear them behind you. As illustrated in this brilliant “Office” clip. There have been a few times I’ve turned onto a street, only to realize a Prius was hovering at the stop sign behind me, or have been about to turn and realized that car I see, but don’t hear, is moving toward me, and not parked along the side of the road. So far this hasn’t exactly threatened my life, but now that Nashville has introduced hybrid buses to our transport system, I’m a bit concerned. I really like knowing whether there’s a city bus anywhere in my immediate vicinity. Anyone out there have these in their city already, and how does it affect your commute? On the bright side, maybe I might as well wear headphones . . .

Fabulous Guest Cycle Chic!

In the comments of my cocktail party post, JJ shared a link to pictures of her and her husband Mac looking FABULOUS on bikes.

Thanks to your inspiration, we biked to the “prom” (aka elementary school auction) this weekend and had a blast.

macjj-on-bikes

These pictures are gorgeous and I simply had to ask for her permission to create a post devoted to them.

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London Cycles, We Watch

Cycling is quite prominent in London, although the city obviously has a long way to go. The narrow streets, huge double-decker buses, and tiny speeding cars present special challenges for cyclists, but many Londoners are up for the challenge. Walking down the main streets downtown, I watched several cyclists go by each minute. A lot had sportier bikes and special gear, but the vast majority looked quite stylish. I saw a few Pashleys and some Dutch bikes, as well. I took as many pictures of interesting cyclists as I could manage whilst site-seeing. I don’t know how Riding Pretty, Chic Cyclist and others do it so well, because it’s been hard for me to hit a moving target.

My favorite find was this lovely lady on a Dutch bike. Love the flowing locks!

Beautiful

Beautiful

More cycling Londoners:

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Batavus Day Is Finally Here!

Dottie and I made it all the way to Littlehampton today and picked up my bike. Paul and the folks at the Littlehampton Dutch Bike Co. were as helpful and friendly in person as they’d been over email, and we were able to take a little ride around the town — once we figured out what side of the street we were supposed to be on, it went well. (Luckily we didn’t have to go through any roundabouts!) My Batavus had a lot of details that I didn’t notice online, like the reflective tape on the fenders that makes them look like they are hammered, and the whimsical abstract details on the tube. Oh yeah, and the ride is pretty smooth, too.

Can you tell I'm excited?

Can you tell I'm excited?

More pictures, anyone? (more…)

Chicago Tribune: Cyclists Face Daily Perils on Crowded Streets

This article speaks for itself:

Mary Pat Fabeck agonizes over the last minutes her 22-year-old son Tyler spent after being struck by a car while riding his bike in the Logan Square neighborhood a year ago.

“He bled to death and died within a half hour of being hit. That’s what I know of my son,” said Fabeck, through small sobs. “It took him a half an hour to die and that’s as long as it took him to be born.”

Read the rest here.

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