Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday Video - Cycling Africa

Encountering friendly natives along the route
Here's a short (3 minutes, 16 seconds) video that shows highlights of a couple's bike trip from Nairobi, Kenya to Tanga, Tanzania. There is a link to their Better Life Cycle website. According to the site, their cycling trip began in 2009. This video was uploaded in 2012. Apparently, nothing has been added to the website since 2013.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Puncture Kit - The Bicycle Drummer

The fixed gear bicycle in drumming mode
David Osbourne is an Australian transplant who has been living in the United Kingdom since 2008. Shortly after his arrival he purchased a fixed-gear bicycle. It was while he had it turned upside down to fix a flat tire that the vision came to him. He could mount a drum set onto the bike frame. Now he rides to a gig with the drums removed. Once there, he removes the front wheel, attaches the drums, and he's ready to play. There is more information about him on his website. Here is a video of him performing:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Bicycle Assembly

Santa uses a bicycle when his reindeer are unavailable
We hope that Santa brought you everything you wanted this Christmas. If Santa delivered you a bicycle but didn't assembled it (He's very busy on Christmas Eve), we can help. Give us a call at 317-786-9244 and we'll give you a quote on assembling it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Photo - Bikes on a Plane

Bicycle Racks Aren't Just for Cars (Photo courtesy of BisiKLETA)
When they say "You may now get on the plane," George Carlin said he would reply "I'm getting in the plane, let Evel Knievel get on the plane." Well, here's a photo of aircraft with bikes on, not in, the plane.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Video - Watch for Kangaroos When Riding Down Under

Australian cyclists passing a kangaroo warning sign
Anytime you are riding in wooded areas, you need to be prepared to encounter wildlife suddenly coming out onto the road. In our area, whitetail deer are the biggest hazard. In cyclists have to watch out for kangaroos. In both cases they can suddenly appear out of nowhere. Take a look at the video below. Fortunately the cyclist did not suffer serious injuries, but she did need eight stitches in her knee. The kangaroo hopped away, but it was eventually hit by a car and killed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Christmas Bicycle Trip

Lots of switchbacks on the Pines to Palms Highway
Looking for a bicycle trip after Christmas? Check out the San Diego Hostel's Christmas Bicycle Trip. It starts the day after Christmas, and covers over 400 miles. You will see the wide variety of terrain that southern California has, including coasts, deserts and mountains. The event is a fundraiser for the hostel. 2016's event will be the 60th time this ride has been held.

To get a good look at the climbing required, check out the route profiles at California Bike Rides. The first day is the shortest, only 50 miles, but it looks like it's uphill the whole day. You start around sea level, and end up at about 4,000 feet. There are two category 3 climbs and one category 4. Day three is the longest (102 miles), but after mile 15 it's downhill for the next ten miles. The toughest climb of the tour is at the start of day four. It's a category 1 climb, with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing in the first 15 miles. After that, there are three more category 4 climbs before the day finishes with around twenty miles of downhill.

Below is a video that shows some of the 2010 edition of the ride. At one point during the third day, you can see a road sign that indicates they are going down an 8% grade.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday Video - The $50 Amphibious Bicycle

PVC Tubing and Foam Provide Flotation
This week's video has a Part 1 and a Part 2. It features a couple enterprising young men developing a low cost amphibious bicycle. In Part 1 the flotation system, which uses foam panels for buoyancy, mounted onto PVC tubing with zip ties, seems to work fine. The problem appears to be driving the bike forward when it's in the water.

In Part 2 they attempt to solve this problem with an electric drill mounted in the stern. Unfortunately, they have a very tiny propeller attached to the drill bit. It must have been the only propeller they could find. It doesn't generate much forward velocity, and eventually there is a catastrophic failure, which results in the bike sinking. They don't show the actual failure, just the aftermath with the bike in the water. Anyway, it's back to the drawing board for these two after this field trial.

Monday, December 5, 2016

December Cycling in Indianapolis

There are not a lot of cycling events going on in Indianapolis during December, but there are a few. IndyCog has several rides on their calendar, including:

  • Thirsty Thursday Urban Ride Downtown (Weekly)
  • The Radder Day Ride (Monthly)
  • Streamlines Bike Ride (Monthly)
  • Critical Mass (Monthly)
  • Bikeparty Indianapolis (December 9)
The Central Indiana Bicycling Association also has some rides in December. One particular ride of note is the Luminary Ride. It goes from Broad Ripple to Irvington to see the Irvington Winter Luminaria. The ride has been held annual for many years. The event has been held since 1976, so this year marks their 40th anniversary. The ride will be held on December 18, the Sunday before Christmas. You will need lights for this ride.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Photo - Cargo Bike Wheelie

Wheelies are tougher to do with a cargo bike
This week's photo comes from the blog of the Copenhagenize Design Company. It was from the 2012 Cargo Bike Championships. This is a Bullitt cargo bike, which you can buy from a couple guys named Larry & Harry in Copenhagen, or from one of their dealers around the world.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday Video - Irish Cargo Bike Championship

Contestants in the Irish Cargo Bike Championship
Here's a video of the 2013 Irish Cargo Bike Championships. Cargo bikes are elongated bicycles with an area between the rider and the front wheel for carrying cargo. These bikes are commonly used in Holland, and Denmark started having championship races a number of years ago. Since then it has spread around the globe to places like Vancouver, Canada and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Typically, the races have a couple laps where the contestants have to ride, load up the bike, and ride to another point to unload. Sometimes the cargo can be heavy or bulky. In the photo above, one team is transporting a ladder. Other times they might have to transport automobile tires.