Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Photo - Shop Kitty

No, we don't sell cats
We now have a shop kitty, which you may see roaming around when you visit our store. Her name is Tootsie and she occasionally "attacks" customers, but it's always just playful (Her front paws have been de-clawed). You might find her looking at at you from inside one of the display cases, as seen in the photo above. Tootsie is about one and a half years old. She's a little shy at first, but she does like to be petted.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday Video - The Bike Butterfly

Michael Wallis, inventor of the Bike Butterfly
This week's video shows is about the bike butterfly. It's a short video, just over a minute long. For most of it, inventor Michael Wallis talks about his creation and the motivation behind it. Wallis commutes to work by bicycle everyday, and reports that pedestrians are a bigger problem than motorists. When deployed, the bike butterfly makes him more visible and slows him down. They give an internet address at the end, but the website is no longer functioning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Crochet Bicycle

A crochet bicycle in New York City
This week's weird bike is not a rideable bicycle, but a piece of art. I found this photo out on the Lion Brand Yarns website. The person who submitted the photo said she saw it on the Lower East Side of New York City. It is the creation of a Brooklyn crochet artist known as Olek. She has done a number of interesting projects,such as covering an entire house in Finland with pink crochet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Tunnel Hill Trail

Tunnel Hill Trail in Illinois
If you are looking for an interesting bike trail not too far away, consider the Tunnel Hill Trail in southern Illinois. It's a 45-mile trail that runs from Harrisburg to Karnak. It is built on a rail line that was donated by Norfolk Southern to the state of Illinois in 1991, after it had stopped using the line.The most notable feature of the trail is its single tunnel. The tunnel was over 800 feet long when it was originally built.  A portion of it collapsed in 1929 (The same year the stock market collapsed), and it is now only 543 feet long. The trail also has 23 trestles, with the largest being 450 feet long and 90 feet high. About half of the trail runs through the Shawnee National Forest.

For more information about the trail, please visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Tunnel Hill State Trail web page. Here's a two and a half minute video that shows cycling on the trail:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tweed Ride this Saturday

Don't Miss It!
IndyCog will hold its annual Tweed Ride on Saturday, October 29.If you are wondering what a tweed ride is, it's a bicycle ride with traditional British cycling attire. However, anyone is welcome to come with any kind of attire or any kind of bike. However, if you do have an old bicycle, that would fit right in. You might even see a penny farthing on the ride. Lunch starts at 11:00 AM and the ride begins at noon. It is a leisurely, no-drop ride, with stops at the Bent Rail Brewery and Union Jack pub.There will be prizes for:
  • Best beard
  • Chappiest Chap (best gentleman's attire)
  • Lassiest Lass (best ladies attire)
You can find more information about the ride at the IndyCog website, where you can register for the ride online.  The cost is $15 for IndyCog members and $20 for everyone else.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Photo - Bicycle on Semi

Special Delivery?
I have no idea what the story behind this photo is, but it's good to see a bicycle getting special treatment. At Circle City Bicycles we have bike racks for all kinds of vehicles, but I don't think we have any for semis. This photo is courtesy of BikeRoar.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Video - Can You Ride a Bike After Throwing it Off a Three-Story Building?

The testing begins
Here's a scientist(?) who wants to find out if you can still ride a bike after throwing it off a three-story building onto pavement. I don't know exactly what inspired his curiosity. Perhaps it was Galileo's experiments where he dropped things off the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This was one of the films for the 2013 version of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival. If you would like to enter your masterpiece for 2017, just visit their website. The films have be 12 minutes or less in length and have something to do with bicycles. Those are the only requirements.

If you want to know the answer to this man's burning question, you'll have to watch the video. I'm not going to spoil it by telling you the result.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Weird Bike Wedneday - The Hula Bike

The Hula Bike from Bicycle Forest
This week's bike comes from the ingenious (and slightly warped) minds of the folks at Bicycle Forest. As you can see from the photo above, it lacks the pedals that are found on most bikes. You're probably asking "How do you make it go forward?" Well, the key is the rear wheel. Note that the hub is not in the exact center of the wheel. This allows you to move forward by jumping up and down with the proper rhythm. Still not convinced it will work? Well, take a look at this video, you Doubting Thomas, and you will become a true believer.

Monday, October 17, 2016

First Meeting of New Women's Bike Club

Circle City Bicycles
WE Bike Indy, a ladies cycling club, will hold its first meeting this Thursday at Circle City Bicycles. The meeting will start at 6:30 P.M. when the shop closes for business. It's free to join the club, which you can do over at the WE Bike Indy meetup page. The club meets on the third Thursday each month.

This month's meeting will be an organizational meeting. There will be time for socializing and the group will discuss their visions for the club as well as what events will the club will have in October and November. There will also be a few rounds of Bike Parts Bingo (whatever that is) with prizes. Free refreshments will be provided by Circle City Bicycles.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Video - Dog Causes Crash

Gordan the dog wandering onto the road during a stage of the 2007 Tour de France
This week's video goes back to the 2007 Tour de France. During stage 9, a Labrador retriever named Gordan wandered onto the course right in front of three riders. The first two dodged him, but the last guy hit him right in the middle of his body. It is amazing how fast the front wheel folded over like a taco. Gordan walked away unhurt and unfazed, but the cyclist (Marcus Burghardt) went flying over his handlebars and took a nasty spill. Fortunately, Marcus was able to finish the tour. Later on, during stage 18 of that race, there was another dog-induced crash. Two riders who were part of breakaway went down. Sandy Casar, one of the riders who went down, got back on his bike and ended up winning the stage.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - AeroVelo Eta

The AeroVelo Eta surpassed 89 miles per hour last month
This week's bike is weird, but incredibly fast. In 2013, AeroVelo set out to create a bike that could beat the world speed record, which was just over 83 miles per hour at the time. At the 2014 World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, things did not go well, but they learned some valuable lessons. AeroVelo returned in 2015 and exceeded 85 miles per hour, and them 86 miles per hour. They returned again in 2016, and came within 0.5 mph of hitting 90 miles per hour. That's traveling well above highway speed on a bicycle.

There numerous engineering challenges in designing this bike. A recumbent bike is used to reduce frontal area. To keep weight and aerodynamic drag down, it needed to be as small as possible, but yet big enough to allow a human to pedal without hitting the shell with his feet or knees. The shell was made of carbon fiber to keep its weight down. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was used to minimize aero drag. A window to allow the rider to see the road would increase drag, so there are two cameras to show the cyclist what's going on outside. Another issue was making sure the operator had adequate ventilation with a minimal increase in drag. You can see a small tube sticking up at the rear of the vehicle. 

 Here's a video that shows the bike in action:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pedal & Park at Mural on the Circle This Saturday

The Indiana Red Cross celebrates its centennial on Saturday, October 15
This Saturday the Indiana Red Cross will be celebrating its centennial with a downtown event called Mural on the Circle. The event is free, and runs from 6 to 10 P.M. Pedal & Park will be providing attended bicycle parking at no charge. Click here for more information about the event.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Video - Bicycle Kite

Our video this week is the bicycle kite. It was developed and flown in Asia. Not only does it fly, but the pedals rotate and the legs move. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Pterosail

The Pterosail is a recumbent trike with a sail
Here's a pretty weird bike: The Pterosail. I saw this at Interbike a number of years ago. I always thought it was not very practical (Great downwind, lousy upwind), but apparently some were commercially available. It appears they are now shut down. Their website is gone, and their latest Facebook post was in 2011. Here's a video (Note how they only show it going downwind).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Touring Tuesday - South Carolina to Key West

Whoever designed this road must hate cyclists
In 2013 Jim Sayer of the Adventure Cycling Association rode from Charleston, South Carolina to Key West with his 14 year old daughter and eight other cyclists. He reported that Florida was pretty bicycle friendly, but South Carolina and Georgia were a little deficient (Compare the photo above with the one below). Although the rumble strips forced them off the shoulder, drivers were extremely courteous and gave them plenty of room (Look at the semi above). Jim also reported that southerners lived up to their reputation for "Southern Hospitality", and the food along the way was excellent.

Florida has lots of bike lanes

Monday, October 3, 2016

Harvest Fest Bike Ride

2015 Harvest Fest Ride
The 2016 Harvest Fest Bike Ride will be this coming Saturday, October 8. It will start and finish at McClure's Orchard near Peru, Indiana. This is a family friendly event, so the riding options are a little shorter than usual:
  • 10 miles
  • 17 miles
  • 28 miles
An optional lunch will be available after the ride. The orchard will also have some activities going on, including:
  • Petting zoo
  • Wine & hard cider testing
  • Orchard tours
  • Horse rides
The event is put on by Breakaway Bicycles, Peru's local bike shop. You can register online.