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Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 Eugene Bike/Ped Summit

Whew! Really neat event. Was worth getting up at seven on a Saturday. Full report forthcoming. For now, visit Mike Seager's blog and look at his pictures.

Friday, January 30, 2009

riding in the city

I love it.

Visited Portland Tuesday night.

Rode up with Micah for his birthday. We stayed the night.

Wednesday, he visited his family. I saw the city.

There were people riding bikes.

And walking.

Saw this pizza-delivery machine on my way to meet Bryan.

We visited Clever Cycles, which provides for active transport needs in P-town.

Like this front-loading flatbed trike. The whole front end pivots with the wooden bed. That's Bryan on it. Also: many fun helmets.

The Cetma Cargo had just arrived. Fun to ride and compare with its prototype. Hung around and chatted with Martina Fahrner about cargo solutions and working with various independent bike and trailer companies the world over. They are very much connected with the industry of everyday cycling as a part of life as an upright citizen.

The Recyclery is right around the corner, so we stopped in to look around.

This sexy beast jumped out and bit me right away. Feeeel the stencil.

Mmm. Orange flavor.

Pretty, old brakes.

And a miniature version hanging on the wall!

Parked outside.
I spoke with the tight-lipped owner. Don't know what it's for exactly, but the entire chassis is bolted together—no welds. Open floor.

Picked up Michelle at her apartment building. These new Paul Franks were conspicuously cabled together at the edge of the courtyard. Guerilla advertising? Who knows. My bike flirted with them.

Ended up at a bar in the Pearl with Bryan and Michelle. See them inside? Played pool.

Got snap-happy.

Probably took over 30 pictures from the same spot. I think this one alone made it worthwhile.

PDX JAM 2009! Bar-napkin-directions to the MAX station that would take me to the Beaverton Transit Center, where I met back up with Micah to return to the EUG.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

a trip to the store

By "store," I mean the Salvation Army on 7th and Jefferson. My roommates and I qualify for income-based food assistance, so we biked to our local pantry to pick up a big box of free food.

Sure, there's a store a few blocks from my house, and this route is nearly three miles and goes through downtown. But I actually enjoyed the ride there, and the food was free. Beat that.

Passing the middle school, I saw this chap snoozing in his car. Window down to feel the sun on his face.

Seconds later, this fellow dozing on the sidewalk. No car, no window to roll down. Also: poppin' hi-tops.

Passing the high school, I couldn't help but notice three bikes locked up in a line, as if on display:

Iconic commuter: road bike, flat bar, fenders. Helmet.

Fixed gear. Brakeless, track geometry, risers. Helmet.

Trials bike. Token saddle, rear disc brake, suspension fork. Helmet.

Each bike is as different as its rider, but they all bike to school, and they all wear helmets. It's not so much that I think helmets are the salvation of humanity, but they're required for ages below 16 in Oregon, and the fact these kids choose to wear them without shame is encouraging. Stuff like this gives me faith in the future.

My roomies, Andrea and Garrett, on their matching vintage Schwinns. Andrea's is a singlespeeded Traveler III with tourist bars and a huge basket. Garrett's riding a LeTour or something with 10 speeds, front and rear racks, fenders, and ridiculous risers. It was red once upon a time, but has since faded to a nice, rosy pink.

Because Garrett and I were injured, Andrea got to look tough and pull the trailer loaded with at least 50lbs of food.


media mass

Forgot I filmed this until just now. We're such hippies in Eugene, we hug at the end of every footdown.

My friend Ian Summers was at the last checkpoint from Sunday's race. He helped collect the cat litter for Greenhill, made racers do jumping jacks, and has some fun snaps on his flickr. Click through and look at all of 'em, but these are my favs:

Steve (wearing my camera) does jumping jacks.

Mason does jumping jacks.

Nick's jumping jacks.

AJ dismounts.

Here's the first photo in the stream. Start there and look at all of 'em.

Monday, January 26, 2009

it's hip to be aware

This post was born as a response to the following comment. I started composing a succint reply, but as I collected my thoughts, a monsoon of ideas poured out. Rather than limit myself, the magic of the internet allowed me to paste it into a post.The original comment.

My reply:

By "these stories," you must mean the Register-Guard's effort to stay abreast of the rise in fixed-gear biking, as I was also interviewed in their bike polo story.

I suppose this is because I am involved, approachable and eager to inform, with hopes to breed bike involvement in the community. Unfortunately, this has been limited to the fixed-gear "scene:" I spent a few minutes trying to talk to Matt Cooper of the 'Guard about the cargo bike, but none of this appeared in the story. They even cropped it out of the photo. I suppose this is what happens when you're working with ink and paper. (To be fair, bloggers are known for being verbose; look at this post-length comment.)

Here's to hoping that next time, we're all the "man on the street," and "these stories" are the media's efforts to cover rising interest in bikes in general.

Bike culture in America continues to change; it's not just for children, athletes, and hippies.
Bikes are hip. Two examples.
1.) Bikes are actually cool things for twentysomethings to tool around on. The fixed-gear is today's muscle car. Thirty-five years ago, we were doing basically the same thing with cars—playing chicken, racing in the street, etc.
2.) Bikes are a way of keeping up with the Joneses. I can already hear one spouse murmur to another across the pillow: "Did you hear? The neighbors traded their Prius for a Velorbis! Do you think we can we afford a Bakfiets?"

Okay, one more example and I'm going to bed. How many bicycle manufacturers petitioned Congress for a bailout? Oh, wait—that's right—zero. The bicycle industry is one of the few to experience a very real, very non-bubblicious boom in this recession. Lane of Cetma Racks tells me he's moving to a new warehouse. Look at his website and you'll see he is also in the process of rebranding his business to accomodate new products, including bags, forks and complete bikes.

Oh, and one more thing.

cat scratch fever: post-race

I tried to take pictures and video of the post-race festivities (worst stopper, trackstand twister, footdown, etc.), but I was too tired (finishing mid-field despite a minor weight disadvantage) to shoot anything decent.

Luckily, I saw Nick Fisher snapping away with a Canon G10, and took his number. He just phoned to tell me he posted a Flickr set (from which I stole the image above). Click through, be amazed, and leave the man some comments!

Thanks, Nick!

cat scratch fever: race

I put a helmet cam on Steve Hauck. It was a little crooked, so most of the footage is the patch of road immediately in front of his wheel. I tried to make it more watchable by speeding it up and adding music. More interesting parts play in real time with sound. I did the editing without any fancy software, so it's pretty raw—doesn't really end so much as stop. The memory card lasted until the final checkpoint but didn't catch the finish. Sigh.

1:15-I shout at Steve as he descends the butte.
1:45-Steve gets cut off and crashes.
2:09-After skateboarding around the Alton Baker duck pond, downs a shot of vinegar, says, "That hurts a lot."
2:55-Mentions vinegar. Burps three times.
3:30-Buys canned food.
3:55-Loses three or four minutes trying to find a mislabeled checkpoint at the Agate Alley Cafe until I catch him and some kids tell us they saw bikers going in and out of Studio One.
4:20—4:38-Rides west on 19th from Agate to Washington. Two pretty good hills, 1.4 miles, three lights. No stops. About six minutes.
4:38-Offroading to get to checkpoint five.
5:00-Still hurting, says, "Vinegar is really hard to take a shot of. So rowdy."
5:30-Rides up the wrong parking garage, then back down, then up the right garage.
6:05-Delivers canned food at Hutch's.
6:53-Cheating! Astronaut Kid gives Steve the quote from Fight Club in exchange for directions to another checkpoint. "On a long enough timeline, everyone's survival rate drops to zero."
7:25-Sees Sean on his way out to the secret final checkpoint, asks, "Where are we going?" Sean answers, "Whoo!"
7:30-Arrives back at Tactics. Luke: "Did you get cans?" Steve: "Yep." Luke: "Go get it—Sean's already out there, man."
7:45-Delivers cat litter to Greenhill van outside Ambrosia, does jumping jacks. "Thanks Greenhill." "No, thank you. Do you want your bag?" "Yeah, can you hand it to me? How many am I?" "Third!"
8:33-Memory card full.

Also, the print media has weighed in.

I remember the reporter coming up to me:

"You look like you know what you're doing—mind if I ask you a few questions?" He asks.

"Actually, I'm pretty much making this up as I go along, but go ahead." I answer.

"What is this?" [pointing at Lane's cargo bike]

"It's a cargo bike made locally, here in Eugene." I tell him, excited to get some press for my friend's business. "The company is called Cetma Cargo. Add a dot com for the website."

"No, this." [pointing, more specifically now, at the cargo platform]

"The platform? It's integrated into the frame, which makes it lighter and stiffer than cargo bikes with bolt-on racks. Pretty neat, I think."

"No, this thing." [touching the cheap, unglamorous, plywood bin resting on the platform]

"Um. It's a box."

"What size is it?"

"Ah, medium?"

"Do you know the dimensions?"


"So...what's the secret to winning an alleycat?"


cat scratch fever: pre-race

Yesterday, Eugene had a little alleycat, or messenger race. Typically, this is an event for fixed gear bikes.

But. My back was bothering me a little, so I asked Lane to borrow a cargo bike. He let me use his prototype, which is perfect for a race with its smaller, lighter platform, steeper seat-tube and neon-green paint. It may have weighed three times as much as my average opponent's bike, but it kept the weight off my back and sported gears, brakes, and the ability to coast. I had a dream of sweet cargo victory.

Half my entry fee: a 10lb bag of cat litter for GreenHill Humane Society.

Racers milling about in the Tactics parking lot, pre-race. Note the Schwinn Varsity conversion, bottom-left. It still had a kickstand, which is cheeky.

Saw this great DIY fender. Pun intended.

At 2:00, racers claimed their manifests.

Spaceman here was the only one in costume. Automatic win.

A video and post-race photos to follow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

for rose

Here's that video from polo with the banana seat fixed gear.

Friday, January 23, 2009

what's happening

Three things.


Next weekend is the second annual Eugene bicycle and pedestrian summit! Come to South Eugene High School to meet a bunch of upright, bikey people and learn how to improve transportation in Eugene. Read up on it at the GEARs blog, the BTA blog, and this encouraging report about last year's summit.


This weekend is the first messenger race of the year:

It's being put on by Collins. Details on Luke DeMoe's blog.


Last night, Eugene Bike Polo turned ONE YEAR OLD! I made a quick video:

I actually did the editing before getting out of bed today — and misspelled "Eugene" at the end. Color me Kubrick another day.

There was even a little after-party, with firedancing:


One more thing. Look at this guy:

It's Irvin Coffee. I'm helping him with a film, and he's got a microphone strapped to his helmet.

Hopefully, more on this later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Made Ryan ride with me in the cold the other day.

He saddled my old 10-speed Superia (top) and I rode the Silver Bullet.

We caught a nice view of the ponds at the northwest end of town.
Featuring cranes.
Later, I saw this tiny road bike with a fun paint job on campus. Click to enlarge and check out the work on the crank.