Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

Here's hoping you are all well and get in lots of saddle time over the season!


- Wilson

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bicycling through Grimsby & Beamer Falls

Nice views of Grimsby and Lake Ontario.
It's a multi-use path through the Beamer Falls Conservation Area but I still got a couple of stern looks from walkers.  Must mention that I also got a few hardy "good-afternoon's" as well.

The Pake really is so much nicer to ride with the Clarence bars.  Plus, I threw in a cheapie Velo-Orange saddle (on sale for $15 at a shop in Toronto but I can't find it on the VO website. ??) that is really comfortable.

So far, no snow.  Makes days like this all the nicer as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Magnets - Things I Like

I have a pair of nice Sugoi insulated lobster gloves for winter riding.  Although they are losing some loft, and consequently not as warm as they once were, I will say that they have been indispensable these last three winters.
But what I have really come to appreciate about them are the magnets within each glove.
The magnets enable me to hang them from a heating vent at work, so that they dry very quickly.

Yes.  My office is a dump!
The magnets also allow me to remove them mid-ride and "stick" them to my top-bar while I take photos or do whatever it is I do. This way, I have full use of my arms and hands and am not dropping the gloves in the snow or wet.

Magnets in gloves - you are on the "nice" list.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Soma Clarence Bar

Since I really began bicycling again a few years ago, I have always "suffered" from tingling in my hands.  No matter how I adjusted the cockpit, time and distance always exposed this area of discomfort.
I do not have it completely solved, but I will suggest that the Clarence Bar, by SOMA Fabrications has significantly helped.

I got these online, on sale from a reputable US dealer. They arrived quickly and intact.
I have been using them now for two months and the bottom line is, I can recommend them.
Being a more upright bar, at first I was worried that they weren't "sexy."  A redonkulous notion on my part, but I'm pretty sure it counts for at least 10% of consideration for anything I purchase.

Perhaps a better shot to see the anodized red highlights of the Paké.

While they do put me in a more upright position, I have found that it is easily worth the decrease in hand pain, neck strain, and my back feels much better once I arrive at work.
I think there is still some adjusting to be done, and perhaps there is a new saddle in my future (there is! I will BLOG about it soon). But for now, I believe I have one part of the equation solved. I don't see the Clarence Bars being replaced anytime soon.

One caveat, or drawback, I used a grip shift mechanism. The shifter, brake and grip do not fit on the bar.  As a result I am trying a thumb shifter (from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK). As well, it's really just a matter of time before I switch to the Sturmey-Archer S2 hub, which will negate the need for any shifter whatsoever.

I realize that by not posting as regularly I have risked losing some readership. The way I figure things, my BLOG is a bit of an escape and if I have not needed that escape in the lasts month that is likely a good thing.  Thanks for your patience everyone.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Car Blocking

I have been experiencing a phenomena that is new to me, but perhaps a reader has had this experience and can add to my understanding of it.
Three times in the last five months or so (so not that frequently) I have been blocked out at stop signs and red lights by cars and I think it is intentional.
This is how it happens (with high quality photo explanations below):
A. A car passes me.

In all the images we are moving toward the intersection at twelve o'clock. The silver Nintendo DS is the car and the blue poker chips represent my bicycle.

B. The same car arrives at a stop sign or red light just ahead of me.
C. Before I get an opportunity to come in along their right side, between them and the curb, they pull in very, very tight to the curb.

D. There is certainly no room to squeeze through.
E. In every case, the car was neither turning right nor left, but instead carried on straight through the intersection when appropriate.
F. When they do carry on, the very obviously pull away from the curb, and take a much more natural position within their lane.

So what is happening here?
Is the intent here antagonistic or altruistic?
I can imagine that the driver is attempting to spite me, the cyclist, in effect saying "I'm going to mess up your advantage by taking away your lane." But I have also imagined that the driver is thinking "I want the guy on the bicycle where I can see him, for his own safety."  Most accidents between cars and bicycles happen at intersections and by blocking me and keeping me behind him, he certainly eliminates a lot of right hook, and other negative, potential for me.
So have you experienced this same thing, reader friend?  To me, this is clearly intentional, so why do you think?