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Friday, February 29, 2008

Revolution?

Yes, things in the bicycle industry are starting to change. I failed to write about this change in my late night ramblings, as I described the Cayne Cyckle. The industry is slowly feeling the demand for utilitarian transportation bicycles. When gas goes to $4 per gallon this summer that demand may grow even more. For example, I keep coming across Freewheel's blog, Bikes For The Rest Of Us. Just check out his link list, commuters, cargo haulers, advocates, and many many others (he even put my blog there).

Here is what Freewheel says about the industry: in the late 80's "bike shops across the country began putting aside their single speeds, 3-speeds and cruisers to make room for expensive, lightweight, “high-end” racing bikes. In other words, bike shops lost interest in selling regular bikes to regular people. We need a bicycle industry that pays attention to people who bike as a means of basic transportation, instead focusing solely on roadies and mountain bikers. We need bikes that you can hop onto at any moment without putting on spandex or special cleats. We need bikes with wider, more comfortable seats. We need bikes that can carry stuff. We need bikes that are fun to ride. We need bikes with function and style."

Well, I agree. Recycled & New Bicycles will always focus on "selling regular bikes to regular people."

If you need even more people writing about bicycles, check out the Bike Blog Collection. Then, stop reading and go ride.

I Can't Sleep

Yes, it's 3 in the morning and I am posting. I can't sleep. Why, you ask? Well, my mind will not stop; it's busy with worry about all the new merchandise I bought this week. It's pretty exciting really, I just hope it all sells, and sells fast. I know, now you're asking, "what did he buy?"

I bought a whole bunch of these, the Cayne Cyckle (click on cycles, then click on urban). It is a lugged steel, retro-looking scorcher with a SRAM (you have to click on usa, then products, then T-3 to see it) T-3 internal 3-speed, and cantilever brakes. The bars are not as pictured. Incredible isn't it? How much? $449. No, that is not a misprint. $449. Sure, I can put a wheel with a fixed cog on it for you. We would not have it any other way. Choices are good.

Oh, this is so exciting. What else, what else? Recycled & New Bicycles now has a small selection of real messenger bags from R.E. Load Baggage Inc. These are not cheap bags sewn is Asia. These are the real deal, hand sewn in the USA, custom designed messenger bags. Oh, the colors! I have the Deluxe, the Civilian, and the Small Civilian.

On the serious side, we have all heard about the potential health effects of using plastic water bottles. I'm not going to go into the debate here, but this I know. Water out of plastic bottles tastes like plastic to me. So, Recycled & New Bicycles will not be selling any more plastic bottles. I just ordered dozens of Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. I have the 27 ounce size to go in your water bottle holder on your bike and the 40 ounce size to go in your pack. I also have slings for the big bottles. I ordered plenty of stainless steel caps if you don't want the plastic caps.

Is there more? Sure there is. The credit card is so thin you can see through it. I love this bike too, the 08 Redline Monocog 29er. Black is back.
And, I have all sizes of the 08 Redline D440 29er. This bike is just fantastic. It's a 1x8! Check out the picture below and the reviews so far. There are some nice pictures at that link by bikerboy.


Well, that's about it. It's funny, last week I was questioning the whole bike shop thing. This week I'm spending money I do not have and getting pretty excited about the coming busy months. Flipflopper. I'm not even going to complain about our air this week (I'll just let you take a look for yourself). If I can just sell a whole bunch of bicycles, the air will get better. Thanks for putting up with my fit of insomnia. I'm going to bed now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

This Morning's Snow Ride

"Go ride," Patty said
As I sat mesmerized
By the falling snow

Along the east bench
Below cloud shrouded mountains
Rolling through the gray

Focus on the sound
Water spraying on fenders
Ignore cold numb toes

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And The Rain Washed Us Clean

Clean at last, clean at last. The p.m. 2.5 levels in Logan, UT have dropped from 100 ug/m3 to around 10 ug/m3 in less than 24 hours. What does this mean? Well, the national standard is 35 ug/m3. This means there is not a lot of particulate matter in the air today; there's a lot of precipitation, but not a lot of particulate matter. My lungs are safe. I am going for a ride in the rain and snow today. Really.

I read Matt Chester's blog today and started thinking about how much I would love to tackle rides like the GDR, the Tour Divide, and Trans Iowa. Matt wrote that it is silly to burn fuel to show up at these events unprepared. I agree. I pulled out the Utah Gazetteer (I love the word gazetteer) and looked at the countless possibilities for my own grand tortures. Jeez, I live in Utah. I could ride from my door, spend the next five years on my bike, and not see all the trails and unpaved roads in this state. If I did, there is always Wyoming. Then Montana. Then New Mexico. Matt is right. Why do an event just because it is an event? I can make up my own. Just ride my bike.

So here is my plan. I do as many 8 to 12 hour rides as I can this summer, right from my door. The first one will be Deer Fence to Avon to Eden (with a stop at Eden Coffee) up 39 to FR 54 to Hardware Ranch to Nibley and back to home. There. My own one day of hell. I better rethink the timetable. Perhaps I could do it in 14 hours.

The next day I could do a different loop. Logan to Mantua to Willard Peak to Skyline Trail to Eden (and the coffee) and back over the pass to home. It would be like doing the Tour Divide without the bivy sack, sleeping in my own bed every night.

There are so many possibilities. How about an off road tour all the way down to Moab or Escalante? As I said, I could ride for a long time and not see all of my back yard.

Friday, February 22, 2008

08 Redline Bicycles

I will soon order some 08 Redline Bicycles. I have had quite a bit of interest in the D440 29er. For some one gear is not enough, 8 just about right. Simple, quality, bombproof, great reviews, and very inexpensive. One is already sold. Anyone else? Speak up now before I order.

Orange to Red

Well, the Air Quality Index in Logan is above 150. That puts us at Unhealthy, rather than Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups. That's it. I'm out of here. I'm mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore.

Our air quality situation is complicated, a combination of topography (we are in a bowl), cars, and cows. It is cold when the air gets bad and when the air gets bad it stays cold. No one wants to ride a bicycle or wait for the bus when it is 20 degrees outside. Who wants to walk when your lungs hurt? What do? What do? The easy answer for most people is to get in their car and drive around just like it was any other day. Some drive even more. It is so cold they let their car idle in the morning before they drive, and they let it idle in the parking lot while they shop. It is a real catch 22.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Still Brown

The air that is. I want to go for a bike ride but my lungs deserve better. I was thinking about getting out of the valley, but where would we go? We would have to drive hundreds of miles to get out the brown gunk. Ike took a road trip and here is what he got. Thanks for the picture H. Here are some more pictures from his trip. I will now stop complaining about ice on the roads.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Das Vinterbike


This is my winter bike. It was also my first off-road fixed-gear bike. The frame and fork were found in a dumpster in Bozo, MT. The On One Mary bar is just the best for winter control. Fenders are a must when the roads are wet with melting snow.

Up Into The Blue

I got my ride in yesterday. The only choice, really, was to go up the canyon. I pedaled Das Singlespeed Vinterbike all the way to Beaver.

Up into the blue
Out of the brown inversion
A dance with my bike

It's a simple dance
Standing up on the pedals
Rhythm, circle, sway

I saw literally everyone who is anyone driving down from their day on the slopes. I'm sure they were shaking their heads, saying "what is wrong with that guy." Sure it was cold. Yes, the road had snow on the sides. But, hardly anyone was going up. The sun was at my back nearly the entire ride, so I was visible. I spent a lot of time looking directly at my shadow. The only mishap was the guy coming down who drove his car into the Logan River. Only one person told me I was crazy. I saw him point to his head and turn his hand in circles. Near Tony Grove, one really nice guy honked and swerved across two of the three lanes (passing area) pretending that he was going to flatten me. Maybe I am crazy.

Skis, boards, snowmobiles
A single file armada
Subys and diesels

Perhaps I should ski
Not crazy, just different
I do not like snow

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Air We Breath

It is a Red Air day in Cache County. Red is the county designation. The actual label is USG, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Cache wants to make it simple for people and focus on not using wood stoves rather than the real problem, cars and cows. Want to see the air quality forecast for the next few days? Not good.

There is not a cloud in the sky, but you can't see across the valley. I can't really complain. I rode in the car last night after Patty picked me up at the shop. We made two or three stops, doing some shopping, contributing to the gunk. Today the heat is on in the house. The only way out of the bad air is to go up. Patty and Lupine want to go skiing up at Beaver, another car ride. Perhaps I will pedal up.

Here is an edited haiku I posted on December 10, 2006:

The inversion's back
Mountains have disappeared
In fog white and brown

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Sunday Ride With H.

H. took these pictures on our Sunday ride, without my knowledge or permission of course. It was a beautiful warm day. Really.


The shadows are long
On cold winter afternoons
In the Cache Valley

Erik D., the new jacket works pretty well. Toasty. Thank you for the wonderful gift. I should be your national winter wear model and spokes person.

So, does anyone in Florida want to come out for a ride next week? It's snowing like crazy today in Logan, Utah. Peter, my brother?

Pick The Date

There is a big pile of snow in front of Recycled & New Bicycles. I've been working to get the ice off of the sidewalk and wondering when it will all melt. My guess is March 23. Post yours by leaving a comment. The winner gets something.

Yesterday's Ride

We went for a ride
Two guys on one geared bikes
Around the valley

The valley was white
Except for brown manure
Fresh spread on the snow

A yellow air day
The inversion, a tight lid
Trapping the odors

Cow and diesel mix
Red-tailed hawk and kestrel
Sight, sound, and smells swirl

As the sun went down
The temperature fell too
Numb fingers and toes

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fix It!

I'm back in the shop
Another turn of the wrench
More snow on the way

It is a strange thing
Everyone wants a fixie
The bandwagon rolls

I have two choices
This, or this, (click urban, then uno) or your old frame
I have wheels, flip-flop

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Back In Logan...

...and back in the snow. Is it too late to turn around? Seriously, we made it safe and sound. The snow is knee deep, the cat is really sick, but the rest of us are doing just fine after six long days in the car. I will never drive to or from Florida again. Really. I know, I said that last time.

I will post some pictures when I can. We did little but drive, so the trip was pretty uneventful. North Texas really is a horror movie set.

Here is one last Florida haiku. I wrote it on the first hour of the trip passing through the flatwoods of north Florida near Lake City. It seems to me fall and spring in north Florida blend together. Leaves on many of the trees don't really change color and fall. They are "tardily deciduous". The new flowers and leaves of spring just sort of slowly push the old leaves off the tree. The real color comes in late January and early February when red bud, plum, and maple break bud.

The maple forests
Turn a leafless crimson red
Samaras swelling

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