Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Cyclotron

The Cyclotron
This week's bike is weird, but highly innovative. The makers say they file for more than 15 patents. It is made of carbon fiber composite, and features hubless, spokeless wheels. The tires are solid polymer, so they don't require air. Everything is integrated, so there are no gear or brake cables outside the frame. I have no idea how it rides, but the technology looks impressive.. This project was recently funded on IndieGoGo, and products are expected to be available in 2017.

Here's a video that shows the cyclotron out on the road:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Florida Trails

In Florida you will encounter an occasional alligator on bike trails
It's almost December and some folks will soon be heading to Florida for some warmer weather. I ran across the Bike Florida website, which listed the top ten bike trails in the state (according to Mudfish & Bobcat). One trail on the list is the Pinellas Trail. It is a paved, 47 mile-long trail, running from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. It is in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

Mudfish & Bobcat especially recommend the northern third of the trail from the depot in Dunedin to Tarpon Springs. There is also a short spur trail that connects to Honeymoon Island State Park. They also recommend getting just off the trail a bit to visit the Historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Dock. The sponge industry was started by Greeks, so it is no surprise there are plenty of good Greek restaurants in the area.

At the south end of the trail, Demens Landing Park offers a nice view of Tampa Bay. In St. Petersburg you might want to visit the Salvador Dali Museum. It has over two thousand works of the artist from throughout his career, including 96 oil paintings.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cycling Christmas Ornaments

Cycling Christmas Ornament
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, many of you have no doubt put up your Christmas tree and decorated it. We have lots of bicycling and mountain biking Christmas ornaments available over at our website, that you might want to add to your tree or give to your friends as gifts. You can choose from over 30 different cycling ornaments. If you had a Schwinn Stingray bicycle when you were a kid, be sure to take a look at our Stingray Christmas ornament.

At Fun-Christmas-Ornaments you can also find ornaments for over one hundred different fun activities - Everything from archery to zip lines. We also have over thirty different occupation ornaments, from Air Force to X-ray technician, and many collegiate ornaments as well. There you should be able to find something for everyone on your Christmas list for about $10.

If you're wondering why a bicycle shop is selling Christmas ornaments, it's simple. We don't sell a lot of  bicycles or accessories during the winter (Although we would like to!), so selling ornaments helps us stay busy during November and December. Now if we could just figure out what to do about January and February.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Ho Chi Minh Trail

Rebecca Rusch in front of a rice paddy
Mountain biking champion Rebecca Rusch just completed leading a group on an eight day, 330 mile trip on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The event was a fund-raiser for efforts to safely remove unexploded ordinance from the Vietnam War. In 2015 she rode the entire length of the trail (over 700 miles) and visited the site where her father's plane crashed. Her father, a jet pilot, died during the war. A full-length feature film entitled Blood Road is scheduled to be released in 2017. It documents her 2015 journey.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cycling Infrastructure on Indy's South Side

Cycling Routes on Indy's South Side
Recently I attended IndyCog's membership meeting. I had a chance to talk with Mayor Joe Hogsett and his pedestrian / cycling coordinator, Jamison Hutchins. Both received awards from IndyCog that night for contributions to cycling in Indianapolis. I mentioned to them that the south side of Indianapolis doesn't have the bike routes and trails like the north side and downtown portions of town. In the map above, blue represents the most "bikeable" routes while red indicates least bikeable. The south side does have the bike lane along Madison Avenue, so there is a north - south route. Unfortunately, there is no good route from east to west.

There are two barriers to cycling east to west in southern Marion County. On the west side, there is White River. The only bridge across White River between I-465 and Waverly is at Southport Road. Traffic is bad at that location and the road is narrow. On the east side there is I-65, which has 7 overpasses:
  • Thompson Road
  • Edgewood Avenue
  • Gray Road
  • Southport Road
  • Emerson Avenue
  • Stop 11 Road
  • County Line Road 
Southport Road and County Line Road have interchanges with I-65, so they have considerable auto traffic. Of the remainder, I think Edgewood Avenue is the best option. From the west side, you can pass through a subdivision and get onto Edgewood only 0.2 miles from the overpass. Between White River and the Edgewood overpass, Banta Road makes a pretty good option. East of the overpass on Edgewood, it isn't very good between Emerson Avenue and Franklin Road.

The map below shows a route from West Newton to Acton. Let's lobby the city government to improve the bikeability of a couple sections:
  • Southport Road from Mann Road to Tibbs (1.6 miles)
  • Edgewood Avenue from Emerson Avenue to Franklin Road (3.4 miles)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Photo - A Bicycle Sidecar for Your Dog

Want to take your best buddy along for a ride?
Here's an interesting way to take your dog along on your bike ride. It's a sidecar for your bicycle that you can make yourself. For instructions on how to construct it, visit the Instructables website. The guy who came up with the design (He goes by the online name of Traverdose) looked at purchasing a dog basket for his bike. Unfortunately, his dog Dewey weighs 15 pounds, which was too heavy. He based his design off another sidecar design for carrying a child, which he slimmed down for Dewey.  He also wanted a sidecar he could build without welding, since he didn't have the necessary equipment. Also, he wanted to be able to attach and remove it from the bike quickly and without tools.

Wondering where to get cool sunglasses like the one in your photo for your dog? Those are Doggles and you can find them on their website.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday Video - Baby Loves Cycling

Happy baby out on a bike ride

This week's video shows a mother in the Netherlands riding around with her baby. He's securely strapped in between the handlebars, and there is a fairing in front to keep the wind off him. He seems to enjoy riding. The cycling infrastructure in Holland is fantastic. At 2:07 into the video, you can see they have a strategically place mirror for cyclists. One thing that I don't understand is the lack of helmets. You see numerous riders in the video, and not a single one wears a helmet.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Wooly Mammoth Bike

The Woolly Mammoth Bicycle
Now here's a bike that's really creative - The woolly mammoth bicycle. This creation is from the 2015 Burning Man Festival. Burning Man is an annual festival held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. According to their website, the festival is "A temporary metropolis, dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Mayan City of Tikal

An Ominous Warning Sign
Ernest Markwood is an adventurous guy. You can read about his travels on his Africa and Beyond - by Bicycle blog. He visited the ruins of the Mayan city of Tikal, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of Tikal's buildings date back to the fourth century B.C. The ruins are in the middle of Guatemala's Tikal National Park. Ernest reported that after entering the park, it was another ten miles to the visitor center. He also mentioned that the area is rainy, but fortunately the camp sites had thatched roofs and concrete floors. The buildings were scattered over a sizable area & Ernest said it takes at least four hours to see everything.

Ernest's web page on this trip shows several interesting photos of Tikal's monuments and local wildlife, including a troop of coatimundis. The photo with the snake sign really caught my attention. I don't know if the sign is warning about any particular type of snake, or just snakes in general. They have an exceptionally deadly snake known as the fer-de-lance in the region. It can grow up to six feet in length. With its inch long fangs, it delivers a large dose of venom when it bites. Whatever the meaning of this sign, I think I would be turning around, no matter how fantastic the ruins of Tikal are.

Ernest Markwood's last reported position was in Laos on September 2.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Spin Class

Looking for a spin class? - One starts at our store on Monday, November 14

Beginning Monday, November 14, there will be a spin class that meets three times a week at Circle City Bicycles. Classes will be on:
  • Monday, 6:00 PM - Lasting about one hour
  • Wednesday, 6:00 PM - Lasting about one hour
  • Saturday, 9:00 AM - Lasting about one hour and 15 minutes
Anyone is welcome to attend free for a week. If you wish to continue after that, the cost is $150 for the class, which runs until April.This class is brought to you by the same people who do the Beginner and Intermediate Cycling Meetup.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Photo - Scuba Cycling

Scuba Cycling - The Newest Olympic Sport?
I'm not sure where this photo was taken, but I found it in an article titled 19 Bizarre Laws from Countries Around the Globe That Make No Sense! Apparently, it is illegal in Baldwin Park, California to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool. My first thought on reading this was "Is this really a big problem in Baldwin Park?" Not being familiar with Baldwin Park, I looked it up on Wikipedia. It is a city of around 75,000 people in Los Angeles County. The Wikipedia article did not mention any problems with people riding bicycles in swimming pools.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thursday Video - Artisnal Circus Cycling with Max Poulin's Fixie Tricks

This riding position is not recommended for long periods of time
Max Poulin performs some amazing tricks in this video. He uses a fixed gear bicycle with a wine holder that suspends one bottle of wine under the top tube. I'm not sure why the wine holder and bottle are there. Mr. Poulin is a circus performer who does things like:
  • Riding backwards
  • Riding with the front wheel up in the air
  • Riding with the rear wheel in the air
  • Riding backwards with the front wheel in the air
  • Riding while standing on the handlebars & seat
  • Riding with body horizontal while holding the seat and handlebars
  • Riding backwards with body horizontal while holding the seat and handlebars
  • Riding inverted while holding the handlebars
  • Riding while standing on the handlebars
For these and more, watch this one minute and fifty-one second video:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The High Crank Bike

Novel placement of the crank
I ran across this photo on the Internet, which intrigued me. I have not been able to find any information about this cyclist or his bike. I have come up with several theories about why he has the crank where the saddle should be:
  • He needs to be higher in the air so he can see farther
  • He wants to be higher so he is more visible to traffic
  • He couldn't afford a saddle, so he just mounted the crank there.
  • He's a really bad mechanic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Columbus Indiana

Riding on Columbus Indiana's People Trail
If you're looking for a place not too far from Indianapolis for some day riding, consider Columbus, Indiana. Their People Trail system now includes 27 miles of trails. Columbus is renowned for its modern architecture, so there are plenty of interesting sites along the trails. In their 2012 article The Best Bike Ride in Every State, Bicycling Magazine named Columbus into eastern Brown County as the best ride in Indiana.  I also recommend riding from Columbus up to Hope, which is located in the northeast corner of Bartholomew County. Many cyclists are familiar with the town from the Hope Ride, which is one of the most popular one-day cycling events in the state.

There are a couple places in downtown Columbus that you don't want to miss. One is Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor, which has been there since 1900. Many of the beautiful furnishings in the store go back over 100 years. Their self-playing pipe organ was installed in 1908. Another site you'll want to see is Chaos I, a large kinetic sculpture inside Columbus Commons. It features a lot of interesting but pointless motion. Still photographs do not do it justice, so here's a video of it (It's even better in person):