Friday, August 29, 2008

All hail the Superflash

There probably only a few commuters who have not heard of Planet Bike's Superflash. This is one amazing light. I have had mine since last spring and cannot imagine riding without them. I ride with one on my seatpost and another on my rear rack.

At night, this light will light up the neighborhood. I cannot tell you how many times I have been stopped at a stoplight and car will pull up to me to say I look like a police car.

At night it is easy. Bright lights are obvious. The real test came this week. Wednesday brought us the remnants of hurricane Faye. A pretty good rain was pouring down on me. It was overcast and gray. You probably know the creepy not quite light, not quite dark scenario. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, but I think this is when I am least visible.

At a stoplight, a driver commented on how visible I was. She told me, "I could see you as soon as I pulled out of Panera." I figured that was somewhere between a half mile to three-quarters of a mile.

Another driver asked me about the lights because he also rode. He said he had never seen anything like it.

This morning was another test. The two days of rain left Columbus with a heavy fog. When I got to school, my neighbor emailed me. He wanted to let me know that my bike was more visible than all other cars on the road.

If the brightness on this light is not enough to convince you to get one, keep this in mind... Planet Bike donates 25% of its profits to bicycling advocacy. That's not enough? How about free shipping on all replacement parts? Still not enough? How about free shipping if you are a member of any bicycling advocacy group? Planet Bike doesn't just have a great product, they also have a great company.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dhani Jones... Bike Commuter

I feel a little dirty posting this. Dhani Jones is a Cincinnati Bengal after all. I guess I can be the bigger person here and put cycling over a rivalry.

From Bicycling magazine: The Cincinnati Bengals linebacker rides to work on a fixie and spent three weeks getting eco-tutored by Al Gore--but wishes he had more time for the group ride.

P.S. Go Browns!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

100 KM; The Metric Century

I am always amazing when I find people who think what I write is interesting enough to link to. My profile says that I am just some guy on a bike. I really believe that. There are many others out there who are doing much more than me to promote bicycling. I just get out and ride and try to set a good example.

I received an email from a friend letting me know that 100 KM; the Metric Century listed me in their 50 States - 100 Bike Blogs post.

Now, I just hope that Ohio was not one of the states that he found difficult to find two good blogs.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to school

The past couple of weeks have been a mix of vacation and getting reading for the new school year.  In the downtime, I have been writing a little bit, but I keep finding myself side tracked after a while.  That happens when there is a bunch of stuff to do.

Bike Commuters has a great post about getting off your duff and walking/biking to school.  These types of plea often result in someone saying that children can walk/bike to school because of a busy road.  When I was in middle school, I rode a bus because the only way to get to school was to go down a state route.  

As most middle schoolers do, I ended up getting a detention.  I think it was for throwing paper in the classroom, but that really is not that important.  When I was dismissed from the detention, I grabbed my stuff and began to walk out the door.  Ms. G., the teacher, stopped me and asked me where I was going.  I told her that my dad was making me walk home as a punishment.  Ms. G. was shocked that someone could be so mean as to make a middle school kid walk home. Ms. G. got on the telephone with my dad and said told him to pick me up.  She told him how dangerous it was to have me walking.  

My dad lost the debate with Ms. G.  He would have to pick me up.  I was conflicted.  I was getting out of having to walk home, but my dad was the master of creative punishments.  

When my dad showed up, I opened the door to hop in his truck.  He looked at me and asked, "What are you doing?"  I stared for a second.  He continued, "You punishment is that you have to walk home, get walking."  He turned to Ms. G. and promised to keep me safe.  

I walked the  four miles to my house that day.  My dad drove behind me the entire way.  

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Sunday, August 17, 2008


What could I buy for almost $600? I could buy a a Jamis Coda Sport. I have been saving for the Jamis Aurora, but I would settle for the Sport to get through the winter.

What did I buy for almost $600? An oil change, new brakes and calipers, and a tie-rod for my car.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Sixth of August

frank has a wonderfully written blog which you can visit over here. and do send him a box of chocolates. he likes those.

Seriously. His latest post about the Sixth of August is something I really enjoyed. I forget how I found Behind Hidden Doors, but I do remember that this was the first post there I read. It's not always the happiest stuff, but it always well written and makes you think.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Murdered cyclist update

I was away on vacation for a while. Some of you may have already seen this. This is from the Toledo Blade on August 7.

A 19-year-old South Toledo man accused of killing a bicyclist riding to work last month will have a Sept. 22 trial date.

Dounche Jones of 235 Western Ave. pleaded not guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday to two alternate counts of murder. He faces up to life in prison.

He is accused of shooting David Babcock, 46, of 908 Kingston Ave. in the 800 block of Western. Mr. Babcock, an employee of Fresh Products Inc., was riding his bike to work at about 5:45 a.m. when he was killed.

Members of both Mr. Babcock’s and Mr. Jones’ families were in court. Mr. Babcock’s fiancĂ©e, Renee Long, has said that July 15 — the day of his death — was the first day he took his bicycle to work to save gas. He left early to ensure he would be on time.

Mr. Jones is in the Lucas County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond set by Judge James Jensen.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Junk Raft

I found the Junk Raft website about a week or two ago in the Discover Magazine blog. It's taken me a while to read the entire thing, but I found it to be both fascinating and disgusting at the same time.

In order to raise awareness of the problem of plastics in the ocean, they are sailing to Hawaii on a raft made of junk plastic.

Probably the most disturbing thing I saw was this picture:

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Night riding

If you have read this blog for a while, you already know that I love riding in the dark.  (If you have not been reading, I also love riding in the snow and the rain.)  Last night was another one of the great rides.  It's not a major ride.  It's only about 13 miles.  I can easily go out and be home in less than an hour.  I love this ride because it takes me to an area that makes me forget that I live so close to a major city.

I am riding down a road with very little car traffic.  It's pretty safe to turn off my lights and enjoy the darkness.  It takes a few seconds, but my eyes adjust.  The glow from Columbus is enough to help me see.  To the left and to the right are corn fields.  The corn is easily eight or nine feet tall.  In the darkness, I feel like it is a corn tunnel.  Fire flies are flashing all over the place.

It's pretty dark, but the sun has not completely set.  There is still an orange glow to the west.  I pulled off the road and sat on the edge of one of the corn fields.  I watched the orange turn more orange and darker until it became completely dark.

Now that the sun has set, it is time to head home.  I'm only two miles from home, but I am still far from everything.  I still don't turn on my lights.  The night does not need to be invaded.  Soon enough I will hear the hear the cars and see the lights, but for now I can enjoy being alone in the dark.

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