Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dark shadows

Very easy to pedal in a shift dress from the Banana Republic Outlet (on sale and an extra 30% off!),
one of my Grandmother Geer's long necklaces and one of collection of cheapo sunglasses.
More fun with Picaso and some bike commuting shot from the last couple of weeks.

My shadow.  Timely for an otherwise not very Halloween post?
One of the few bike shadow photos I've ever been satisfied with.  Picaso editing features helped a lot too.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Phoenix night biking problem

Bob, after the recent Jerry Seinfeld show in downtown Phx.  Note the NiteRider Mako 3.0 on his handlebar.  His B&M headlamp was burned out so we attached battery lighting.
Bob and I were about to leave for the gym the other night but discovered that his tire was completely flat, apparently the result of a section of street we passed earlier in the week with a lot of broken glass.  So we hopped in the the Element and drove to our exercise.  Ho-hum.  Along the way, he commented on the surprising number of people biking busy city streets without any lighting on either the front or back of their bikes.  I'm not one to perseverate on the "dangers" dangers of cycling but good grief, would they drive after dark with out head and tail lights?

Because the B&M headlamp was dim, we added the Nite Rider Mako 3.0.  180 degree of visibility!
Seems like quite a risk you consider how relatively inexpensive bike lighting really is.  Planet Bike lighting provides a lot of bang for often less than $15.  As we were having this chat, a guy on a bike pulled up next to us at the light with no lighting and wearing ear pods.  I'm just going to make a declaration here: even dumber!

Waiting at a light in busy Saturday night traffic. The rear red tail light is indispensable. 
Maybe long-time Phoenicians have some insight into this but I get a lot of questions about whether or not I bike at night and worry about my safety when it's more difficult to see.  No, I've got lighting for all my bikes so I can see and be seen.  Do people just not think about lighting as much here.  I see a lot of cyclists in my neighborhood coming home from wherever after dark and most don't seem to use lighting  - and they are on nicer bikes, too.  I'll have more on this topic later since I have a lot of lighting options to share.  Meantime, for heaven's sake, get a light!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The "art" of bike commuter photography.

Chez nous.
Posting a few shots from a recent downtown movie date at the Film Bar with the Planner Guy. 

Avec mon marie.
Cool evening temperatures, fun crowd to watch the movie, and a bottle of wine with popcorn.  Not bad. 

Here are the resulting shots, which I played around with in Picassa. 

J'aime mon velo!
Otherwise dull photos rendered just a little funkier but you can be the judge.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Brompton has arrived!

Fold pose.
Donna and Al at Portapedal contacted me yesterday to let me know that my Turkish Green Brompton was ready to be picked up.  I had planned to pick it up after my Friday morning class but the Planner Guy was so excited that he insisted on driving down after work and getting it.  I thought I would lose my life on the highway getting down there he was in such a hurry.  But arrive in one piece we did and soon Al was instructing me on proper folding techniques and Donna and Bob were bonding over their Hungarian roots.  By 7:30 were out the door with my new Brompton and a Carradice Brompton bag.  Yippy!  We both took a test ride upon arriving back home but that's why I ordered battery lighting.

With the Carradice bag in black.
Oh, the excitement of pedaling off to my internship this morning.  Naturally, I don't have the 15 second fold mastered just yet but I'm working on it. 

Eazy wheels for easy rolling.
What I do have down pat is rolling my bike into my office.  I just left the bag attached so bending over when I needed anything out of it.

Carradice ladden with all my stuff.

Not surprisingly a couple of people at my internship wanted to see me fold and unfold it so I got in a little extra practice.  If only there had been enough time for a mid-day ride.  It should be a exciting next few weeks as I get my Brommy legs and feel totally at ease.  I'll keep you posted on my progress and post my thoughts on the experience within the next month.  As one might imagine, graduate school has put a crimp in the timeliness of posting but I'm challenging myself to write briefer posts more often.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vintage Dahon sighting!

Vintage Dahon??

I've seen this early Dahon locked up between Cronkite and UCent at Downtown Campus but never it's owner.  I see very few folders in Phoenix and when I do it's usually a Dahon Speed 7 or Broadway (both pre-company breakup).  I'd love to know the story behind this one?  I'll try and look for the owner and get some details but if any readers have know, please share.  Very different frame from what I'm used to with Dahon.  Here's a few more shots:

Definitely needs a tail light! 



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Corry rides a bike

Note the edgy handblebars on the otherwise old-school frame.
I met Corry on Friday as she was locking her bike at the corrals between Cronkite and UCent at ASU's Downtown Campus.  Only minutes before she had been waiting at a light in front of me at the light at Fillmore and 1st Street on this striking mixt frame.  I had wanted to take a picture of her at the light but didn't want to potentially startle her in busy traffic.  I struck up a bikey conversation.  Corry, a graduate student in hospitality and tourism, loves her bike but plan to change out the saddle, possibly to one in brown leather.  I can't think of a better choice.  This bike is all about the details!

For some reason, this bike rack just strikes me as the coolest ever.
It's all in the little details.
Does anyone recognize this brand?


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An old favorite makes pedaling fun

Do any of you have an article of clothing you simply cannot part with and will go to nearly any extent to preserve its life?  I have quite a few and since I've taken up transportation cycling one factor is preservation worthiness is whether or not they will conform to my cycling needs.

Ann Taylor black leather slippers from about 2001. Refurbished.  My new favorite cycling shoe.
I probably purchased these Ann Taylor slippers in 2001.  I'm basing my guess on the squared off toe.  I truly fell in love with them when I first saw them on the store sales associate, a very stylish older woman, and broke down and paid full price for them.  I haven't worn them in years though because in in-soles had become unglued from so much wear and I couldn't find a single shoe repair store in Flagstaff so they just sat in my closet getting dusty. A couple of times I almost gave up hope of ever being able to where them again but I adore them so much that I could't bear to tose them out. Happily, I was pedaling around downtown Phoenix last month and saw a little hole-in-the-wall shoe repair shop and zipped right in to find out if they could help me.  Sure no problem, I was told.  For a mere $5 they replaced my in-soles and polished them so they shown like new.  Fantastic!  No reason to go looking for a new pair when I was able to have this pair refurbished for a song.  And they are so comfortable to pedal in.  I worried that these backless slippers would come off when I launch at the greenlight but so far no problems. I'm so glad I held on to them.  No, the squared off toe is so yesterday but these slippers make me feel glamous.   Like I'm one step away from being Lauren Hutton, you know?  I am sure that Lauren Hutton doesn't throw out great leather slippers just because they aren't the latest trend so why would I.  Anyway, they are my new favorite biking footwear and will remain so as long as I have access to a good shoe repair shop. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Tempe bike corrals

No, my little second cousin is not locked to this bike corral.
Ma cousine sent me these shot of her daughter posing by some nifty bike corrals in bike friendly Tempe.  No bikes locked to them at the moment but they are still pretty great looking nonetheless.  I appreciated her efforts to help me with content while I'm preoccupied with school.  I'll also heartened to know that my cousin is inadvertently teaching her little girl to notice useful things like bike corrals, sending the message that things like bike corrals are a worthy public investment.  People who ride bikes to go to work, shop or visit a restaurant need a place to lock up their bikes. She reinforces that every time she hops on her little red Dahon to go teach yoga or to meet a friend for lunch.   Anyone who follows Mikael Colville Anderson on Facebook knows getting around by bicycle is just second nature to the godfather of cycle chic's kids.  I hope that becomes a trend here in the Valley.

Future Interbike fashion show model?