Life By Bicycle @ Wordpress

Bicycling & Alternative Transportation Collection.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bicycle Thievery Revisitted....

I have had two bikes stolen recently, and it bothered me that it happened to my brother also but that has already been made clear.

When I look back I realize the mistakes I made, and though it took two experiences to get the point through my thick head I realized after the second some of the weaknesses when I looked at how they were locked up.

The first one was a Schwinn Ranger 2.6 fs, a 130 dollar target special. Though after the modifications, including adding a rack, new tires and better gearing the price was higher. Apparently so much so someone found interest in it and decided to take it home. To clarify, it was locked in a parking garage with a camera watching it, so I figured it was a bit more secure. I used the basic cable and key lock. In that was
my mistake. When I look back after watching the surveillance video I realized how useless those cameras can be. It just took a moment, the camera blocked, the thief walks in and walks out and no more bike.

The second experience, Brand New Giant Rincon retailing for about 350 usd stock 435 modified to my preference, I rode to work each day and locked it up to a railing right in front of the restaurant I was working at using the same cable and lock, and right after I get back from a break I lock up my bike and go into work Less than two hours later the security who by the way was supposed to be patrolling the area walks up and hands me a cut cable, all that is left of my bike. Just that moment he had gone into a laundromat next door and was talking with some people there instead of watching the grounds. Useless it would seem, so I filed a report and the bike is still gone, there was a clue I might be able to get it back through the supposed insurance the owners of the lot offer but I don't know and even if I could I wonder if it would be worth the time or the effort.

Finally, the most recent addition, after waiting near three months to have it arrive, a black and gray rincon 21 inch frame, locked with a OnGuard Lock U Lock with Cable and insured up to 2150 usd for failure of the lock or at least that is the story I been told but I have not tested it and verified. Thus far every time I come out of the store my bike is still there. And I am glad don't think it is worth another
three month wait to ship from china.

Thanks for your time and Ride On....securely so you come out to your trusty stead always.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Diverse Benefits of Cycling

There are many reasons why you should ride a bike, for someone relatively new to the concept I hope to help you realize the wonders of cycling, of travel by your own ability. Consider the fact that gas today is up to prices not seen in so long, you figure two to three dollars for the gallon and what an average tank is about twenty gallons. Do some basic arithmetic and you come to about sixty dollars for a full tank that depending on what kind of vehicle it is may or may not last. Lets take that same sixty dollars saved because you just decided to ride the bike a few more times then you drove the car. That same sixty dollars can go towards snacks, gear, or just into savings. Besides the health benefits gained through using your strength to move forward as opposed to the minimal effort of turning a steering wheel and the basic movement of foot from accelerator to brake and back. When bicycling you end up with a great cardiovascular work out and the enjoyment of riding.

Secondly, the additional benefit, of seeing things from a different perspective when you ride. Try a short tour and see what I mean. Things are different when you travel at a pace you choose, instead of traveling so fast that you miss so much. The slightest details as you ride are noticeable the wind in your face the feeling of movement all different on a bike. That vista on top of the hill that you often miss because you cannot enjoy the scenery when traveling at 60+ miles an hour, well on a bike you reach the top of that same hill, after enjoying the experience of climbing a hill can be realized and enjoyed once you just stop and step off your bike and enjoy the amazing view. Take your time, there is no hurry when you are on a tour you just enjoy each moment. Consider also that though there was a great climb, there will also be an even more exciting descent. Cruising time, whether you peddle or not is up to you so enjoy the speed.

Thirdly realize the simple fact that with better health comes longer life. The simple fact that you are out riding extends your life just a bit for each mile you cover. With the obesity that plagues us in these days, exercise has so many more benefits then can be clarified in an article. The simple fact that you are out riding, you are taking one step in the right direction and saving money besides. To cycle is in itself a many faceted activity, with a diverse set of benefits from the experience.

In closing, as diverse a set of benefits that can be derived, by riding a bike, you are gaining experience in alternative transport, you are benefiting yourself and your family. In setting a good example of using the bike more then the car you are also setting the stage for the next generation, your kids to have that same habit with the same results. Family cycling, a wonderful way to enjoy full this wonder that is cycling. So get out there and ride, the initial investment has long term results. Lets all live a long and fulfilled life by riding the bike.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A sad Loss

Today, was supposed to be a day of celebration, both my sister and brother were in a dance recital and I got out and rode, so it was good exercise, I had originally planned to attend a concert that was scheduled for 1400 hours, A Choral Celebration. Upon arriving though, early as it were as the time dwindled down it was understood that, apparently it had been canceled. Now I had traveled to the College where the performance was expected to take place and saw my brothers bike out front locked up. Not to securely which I am sorry to say was proven later that night when he was expecting to travel home.
His bike a Specialized Rock Hopper, red and black, a nice bike had been stolen while he was performing. A good bike but more built for Mountain Biking, and not so much for commuting though that is what he used it for regularly.

I would of liked to tell him that ineffectiveness of cable locks but apparently he saw by example. I wrote an article on bike security on my blog which could of helped in that situation but there can be no guarantees.

So what can we each do in this situation, what has been some of your experiences and some of the solutions you have found to be effective in securing a bike?

All comments are welcome.

Cycling Realized

To think today as I rode a route thoughts came to my head, in realizing with the weather cold how many still ride, when the option is cycle commuting, then it seems it would mean that is a year round activity. An ongoing experience however varied it may be. To cycle commute is the secret to long life so why then would there be some who only play it part time. Sure if they have situations they deal with regularly I can see how it could be frustrating. Better to do then not. Well though this post can go on for a bit I will step away and ponder.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bike Security - How Secure should we be?

Bicycling and security, the wonders of today ... the new thief ... and the wonders of deterrents.

There was a time not so long ago I did not think about it as such a high priority, bike security until I myself had to experience the loss. Looking back my bike was not truly secure as was assumed. A simple lock and chain less then the recommended thickness in a location expected to be secure and the bike not all that expensive though modified to my preference. It only took a moment ... the camera I expected to be watching the bike ... is blocked by a service vehicle and as I watched the tape moments only out walks the thief and my bike. I must say walking was not a preference of mine.

Learning from that experience and realizing now ... it was a simple as taking further precaution on bike security. On the recommendation of a local bike shop I purchased the On Guard pit bull dt which included a 13mm shaft and 10mm solid cable included with bike mount. This lock also offered a warranty of up to 2250 in reimbursement if the lock failed. It also provides a security card with spare keys and laser cut to insure originality.

What that all means to those who just want to be sure their bike is secure ... that with this lock and its flexibility you can go into the store and come out and your bike, your investment, your mode of transport is still there waiting for the next mission whether it be a great ride in the mountains ... or an awesome century, your bike is there and ready to go. Be proud of your wise investment in security. And Ride on!

Learn more about this author, Knatchwa.

Cyclist Views

Considered a vehicle we ride, indeed with the advent of the holidays, as merry as they may be, careful on the road is how we should be. Live another day and see the wonders of the bike reality.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Benefits Of Cycle Commuting

When I started this blog, I had decided to tell the story of my first tour as an opening, and still that story is under revision, because such a remarkable story can only be made better. Perhaps another tour when the seasons change, at least that is the plan.

This particular post though, is regarding the benefits of commuting by bike and will include information and stories made interesting. Well then lets get to it shall we.

The benefits of riding a bike instead of driving a car

When you ride a bike you are saving your money to the tune of thousands of dollars in a year and even more in a lifetime, extended as a result of the healthy habit of commuting by bike.

In commuting by bike you are also helping the environment and curving, global warming. When you think about it the best way to do all you can to help with global warming, as important as it is, simply putting away the car, or just sell the thing, and if you really need a car for a long distance trip consider you can rent it. Instead of having a car sit in the driveway open the garage and bring out the bike and ride.

Perhaps you will argue, not enough space on the bike for my shopping, consider then the investment in bike rack and panniers. It is amazing how much space panniers provide you. Also look at how much you are buying do you eat it all? If it is easier why not purchase your groceries online? Easier and more convenient, besides you can also become more aware of the needs of yourself and your family by planning menus in advance.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stay Alive - Ride with the cell phone off

Should cell phone use be banned while driving?

Over and over a united concern that they are distracting, so much so in fact that there has been attempts by the local law enforcement to ban them to no avail. Certainly I have seen more then a few individuals who for there safety and for the safety of others pull over and talk on the cell. Sadly to say that is not as widely held as it should be, each day I see people driving and talking on phones and driving along. Still they just cruise along talking up a storm, arguing, battling and I hate to say even texting.

Based on experience I am inclined to agree they are very dangerous. Lets take an example, a regular day a regular hour, a nice day, said driver is usually very good about considering distractions, but hey he got this snazzy new cell phone this morning, so great, talk to the world be in touch all the time, exciting. So he puts common sense aside, drives the same route he drives every day at the same speed he always travels. This particular day at this particular moment a cyclist, figuring it was a great day for a ride, the weather is nice, a refreshing breeze so he to is following the same route. Simply because it is a great way into Monterey and well established as a route for an experienced cyclist such as himself. The main drawback of this particular route is that there is a stretch where you are just driving along the road with the cars, not a separate bike path until you near Marina. As the experienced cyclist he is, using the proper signals traveling the same direction as the cars and all in all traveling just as a car would without distractions. Remember the driver has always been careful but he got this awesome new cell phone so he is playing with it calling people seeing what he can do with it. To bad though when you are playing with a cell phone you are not paying attention to what you should be looking at, the road and any slow moving vehicles including bikes. The driver finds something really interesting on the cell phone and it is certainly fun, the problem is he is distracted and as such not noticing the slow movement of his car to the side where the cyclist was riding. This car was probably travelling at 50 mph or the way it usually goes over the speed limit by about 10 mph. A bike can travel at maybe 20-30 mph dependent on weather or the physical fitness of the rider. And the weight differential is considerable. Taking all those into consideration, the driver loses control, hits the rider and goes over the side of the road. Luckily for the driver blanco is not to steep so he ends up in a small ditch off the side of the road. Easily enough to get the car out but can you guess what happened to the cyclist as a result of a moment of distraction? Because that really cool cell phone has this awesome feature he did not know about and sure need to experiment. Considering common sense was aside though, maybe if he was thinking straight he would of figured he could mess with the phone later and kept his eyes focused on the road ahead not the cell phone.

I have found that it is better to be on the safe side when you see someone on the phone while driving considering the resulting lapse of concentration. I am fortunate to have seen some examples of people taking that into consideration and pulling over to the side of the road to use the phone, otherwise leave it off. It is good to see some take responsibility but sad to see most do not.

When you are cycling you must consider traffic as an ongoing concern, simply put ... if a conversation gets heated and your driving your car, you become to focused on the conversation, the yelling the arguing. Similar to road rage all things result from how you are feeling at that time so then would it not be better to leave that at home or turn it off?

Of course you can drive no problem while talking on the phone right, till you make a mistake. perhaps you end up turning into the bike lane, or you veer into another lane and you are hit by another car. Just pay attention,keep yourself alive and others who may of been innocent bystanders, turn off the cell when driving. Someone calls there is always voice mail, check it when you are stopped or be smart about it pull off to the side of the road and just focus on the call. It makes better sense and can result in a longer life wouldn't you say?

Thanks for Reading Additional Writings.
-=Cycling with the Cell Phone Off=-