Bicycles are fun for everyone,
Whoever you are !
Not only is it a wonderful way to get around, it provides you with your daily dosage of exertion and activity as well. So while Bicycles have principally been a means of transport for a long time now, that is no longer the case.
Bikes keep you fit. Bicycles can add adventure to your day. Bicycles also keep the surroundings cleaner. And for the more self righteous ones – bikes make you feel like you are doing the world a favour!
What to consider:
So you’ve decided to buy a bicycle, now the first thing you’ve got ask yourself is:
* Who’s going to be using it?
* What it will be used for?
* How much are you willing to spend on it?
and Most Important…
* Your Reason for buying a Bicycle
Among many bicycle lovers, while most choose to bicycle casually, either to school, university or even work; some more adventurous ones have also been a part of stunt biking groups, professional cycling clubs or mountain biking associations.
Cycling is a great hobby and with so many options to choose from, you can decide how best you associate with this great invention! However, before you jump to any of that, you do need a bicycle. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing a bike either for your kids or for yourself.
Purchasing a bicycle for your toddler
So you’ve decided to initiate your toddler to the wonderful world of cycling; now the right time to get your toddler a two wheel bike is when they have reached age 3. By this age, kids have properly developed motor skills as well as a sense of balance and self sufficiency.
Buying a bike for your child requires some research. Just knowing the brand and the colour preference is not enough. The bike needs to be comfortable enough for the child to ride, especially if the child is starting out learning to ride a bike.
Bicycle sizes are classified via the size of the wheel. There are recommended wheel sizes for all age groups.
When purchasing a bike for your child, pick the bike with the correct wheel size of 12 or 14 inches. Take your child with you for bike shopping. Make sure her legs reach the floor. When riding a bike, this will give the child more self confidence.
Also make sure you purchase a pair of detachable side wheels for training her so she can learn to balance. Another important thing to keep in mind is to purchase a bike that is light in weight. Since you toddler is learning to ride, chances are she might fall a few times. And a heavy bike will worsen the experience.
So while it is a bit more expensive, it is worth the investment. And while you are at it, don’t forget to purchase a cycling helmet!
Bicylce for kids in their pre-teens and teens
By the time your kids are in pre-teens or in their teens, they will have mastered the art of riding a bike and would have long outgrown the toddler bike.
Now is the time for something different!
Since they are a bit grown up, they will want more say in the purchase decision.
It is best to get to know what it is they are looking for. Now, remember, kids might want the world, but you are working with a budget.
So make sure your child is aware of it before hand so he can do his bit of research as well within that budget.
(a big word, but here’s what it means)
In this age group, most kids will use the bicyle to go to school and for after school activities like meeting friends, taking part in local racing competitions etc.
Consider the ergonomics of the bicycle. Make sure the handle bars are not too close to the seat as it will exhaust your child quite easily. And ensure that the seats are comfortable.
The ideal wheel size for a pre-teenager’s bike is 18-22 inches. Make sure bikes for your young teen have coaster breaks for additional safety. Teenagers can use the same bike size used by adults, which is a standard 24 inches.
Take your children with you so they can test ride the bikes before finally choosing one which fits their requirements and your budget.
Read more about Bicycle Ergonomics Here
Also, don’t forget to accessorize.
Items like extra headlights, water-bottle, reflectors, mirrors, radio etc. will personalize the bike for your child.
Considerations when purchasing a bicycle for adults
The ideal bike size for adults is 24 inches. When purchasing such a bicycle, ask yourself a couple of basic questions.
Is the bike for casual riding or exercising or for a special hobby like mountain biking or for sports?
You can opt for a single gear or multi-gear bike giving you the convenience of varying speed limits, based on where you are riding it. These days road bikes offer speed ranges of 12 to 21, to choose from. Another important thing to look for is adjustable seats and handle-bars.
Before you make a final purchase, test ride a couple of bikes since unlike kids, you are not likely to outgrow the bike you purchase.This also means you should go for something that is not just sturdy but also light.
Today, there are different brands with various models of bikes catering to all these specific requirements.
Based on your requirement, choose the right Street Bicycle for your needs.
Thanks for your helpful Insight Mr Marco Terrell
An Australian bike builder says he can create a custom geometry lugged frame in as little as three weeks by using “the only 3D printer in the southern hemisphere capable of producing our titanium parts.”
Lugs are socket-like sleeves used to join different tubes together to create a bicycle frame, kind of like the wooden spools used to connect Tinkertoy sticks together. Instead of brazing the tubes to the lugs as is traditionally done, Flying Machine of Perth, Western Australia bonds titanium tubes to their custom crafted lugs with epoxy.
Traditionally, lugs come in a limited variety of angles, limiting frame geometry to what you can get by changing tube lengths. 3D printed lugs allows Flying Machines to fiddle with custom geometries with much greater flexibility.
Good through March 16, 2014.
#1 – Take $25 off of $200. Use promo code “25off200”
#2 – Take $10 off of $100. Use promo code “10off100” to save on your next $100 order.
Cannot be combined with any other special offer, promotion, or discount; including pricematches, gift or money cards, or other coupons. Some manufacturers do not participate in promotions, non-qualifying items will not count toward the order minimum amount. Valid on new online orders only, no adjustments to previous orders. Expires 3/16/14 at 11:59 pm.
I gotta say, that’s one nice looking clipless pedal.
The designer, Sam Hunter of Ogden, says he created this pedal with “Infinite Engagement Positions” because of the problem of engaging the cleats when the pedals aren’t aligned just right. The pedal appears to have a spiral mechanism; the cleat slides into that no matter the pedal position. Hunter claims this allows super quick and easy engagement of cleat to pedal.
I don’t have this problem — I quickly pop my cleats in on the upstroke; the first thing I see with this pedal is hotfoot, but your mileage may vary.
A part of me wonders if this might infringe on Cranks Brothers’ patent for their Eggbeater pedals. Pedal spindles are also one of those things that are more difficult to design than you might think, even with with field testing on Utah singletrack. The 236 grams claimed for both pedals, cleats and hardware makes me a little bit nervous.
In any case, I really like this design. Hunter already has $40,000 in pledges for this Kickstarter project, taking him nearly halfway to his $85,000 goal with 50 days to go, so plenty of people obviously see the need for this solution.
There’s a nice photo essay of Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn’s ride with San Jose Bike Party in the Merc-News today.
More bicycle stuff below the photo of Pyongyang style bicycle transportation, where North Korean state media announced Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un won 100% of the vote in his election to the Supreme People’s Assembly in a seething atmosphere of electoral delight and happiness.
DC cyclist mocks Cat 6 racers.
Some states allow cyclists (of both the pedal powered and motorized variety) to run red lights if the light doesn’t turn green for “light duty vehicles.” In spite of a constant stream of Internet misinformation to the contrary, California is not one of those states, and it’s not hard to find tales from motorcycle riders who are ticketed in California for running a perpetual red light. This motorcycle forum owner is on a mission to fix that situation for California two-wheelers. Via whoever tweets from People Power Santa Cruz.
Cyclists are 10 times more likely to be killed in South Carolina than in Oregon.
Mr Roadshow (in San Jose California) answers reader mail from Connecticut (?) about the proper method of hooking a cyclist.
This photo shows the view turning from Summit Road (in rural Santa Clara County) onto Soquel San Jose Road (in Santa Cruz County).
Kent’s poetry examines the mindset of victim blaming.
Tektro mechanical disk caliper recall.
Dinosaur Comics and cities designed for the exclusive use of vehicles powered by dead dinosaurs.
Bike Hugger David from Seattle on Austin espresso as he visits SXSW.
CNN goes in-depth on the issue of cycling safety and health: “Cycling: Road to fitness, or accident waiting to happen?” Via the professor who dreams up course ideas while riding his bike.
National Bike Summit wrap up video from Streetfilms.
The public health implications of driverless cars.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation Bike Program office released this “Don’t block the bike lane” PSA last Thursday.
The first to tweet a photo of this sign in the wild gets a free pair of LA DOT Bike Program socks. Are these available as stickers to slap onto offending trash cans?
The people on my street are pretty good about keeping their garbage bins out of the bike lane I use. The problem I see is the trash collection people who just toss the cans willy nilly.
I appreciate this message to people who may not otherwise think about blocking the bike lane with their trash cans, but I’m not sure the legal reference to CVC 21211 is correct. See if you can spot the problem.
California Vehicle Code V C Section 21211
Obstruction of Bikeways or Bicycle Paths or Trails
(a) No person may stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any class I bikeway, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public or private bicycle path or trail, if the stopping, standing, sitting, or loitering impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist.
(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.
Sections (c -f ) listing various exceptions omitted.
Did you see it? CVC 21211 applies only to “class I bikeways,” i.e. bike paths or trails. Bike lanes are called “class II bikeways” under Section 890.4 of the California Streets and Highways Code.
In conclusion, maybe not a legally enforceable thing, but still nice to get the word out that, hey, your trash bin is blocking my lane!
Happy Friday, all. For most U.S. residents, don’t forget you lose an hour of sleep this weekend.
Beyond that, there’s honestly more bike news than I can keep up with, but here are a few quick items of note below the photo of traffic on California State Route 17.
- The Devil’s Slide Trail in San Mateo County, California is scheduled to open on March 22.
- A Sister City bike ride with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland takes place Sunday morning starting from San Jose City Hall. All are welcome.
- It’s been a while, but I and others have commented in the past on the passive journalism so common in car crash reports, in which writers seem to go out of their to avoid the appearance of responsibility on the part of a driver whose involved in a wreck. From the convoluted language in this report of a Highway 17 crash, I can’t even tell if somebody was behind the wheel of the car.
A red Volkswagon [sic] Jetta was just south of Granite Creek Road when it went off the roadway and struck a tree with the front of the car before hitting a second tree on the driver’s side.
From this description, I picture a giant spring somewhere in Los Gatos, California launching red Volkswagens towards Santa Cruz. Cars bounce among bumpers and slings like 3000 pound pinballs. Most of the time the cars make it over the hill to their target, but sometimes the big pinball player in the sky nudges the pinball game too far, tilting the machine and game over for the car and its hapless occupants.
- In my post about Mountain Charlie Road earlier today, I broke the video embed. That’s fixed now. Sorry about that.
A couple of friends are cycling from the Bay Area town of Campbell, California to Santa Cruz today. After ascending to Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, they plan to descend on the infamous Mountain Charlie Road for the first time.
Mountain Charlie Road, named after the mountain man who first hacked a toll road through the hills to Santa Cruz, is a gorgeously serene ride up but offers a harrowing descent. The Strava segment for this descent should be telling, with local pros who know this road averaging 25 MPH on a 5% down grade over four miles.
Even people driving their cars don’t go much faster than about 20 MPH. People on motorcycles exploring side roads always turn back after about a half mile on Mountain Charlie Road.
Motor traffic is limited to the handful of people who live on this one lane, poorly maintained road. Tight off-camber turns, wheel busting potholes, and debris covered curves conspire to discourage even the bravest riders from picking up too much speed lest the fly off the mountain into the valley below.
Unless they’re headed to or through Scotts Valley, most people avoid this Mountain Charlie Road descent. About 500 people have logged their southbound Mountain Charlie rides to Strava, vs 5000 recorded rides on Soquel-San Jose Road with a minus 6% grade and a 47 MPH KOM owned by professional cyclist Freddie Rodriguez during the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. My own best effort of 34 MPH places me just above the bottom quartile of contenders.
Local cyclist Chad Frost shows a Mountain Charlie descent in this video. Enjoy!
I plan to bike up Mountain Charlie from Scotts Valley either next Monday or Tuesday (or maybe both?) for my morning commute beginning at 7 AM. Ping me if you think you’d like to join me for the ride to San Jose / Santa Clara. Remember we lose an hour this weekend. If you’re not familiar with Mountain Charlie Road, we might see four cars in the hour we’re on that road, and they’re all moving at about 20 MPH at the most.