Friday, December 30, 2011

Happiness is a Warm Day

Or should I say Happiness is a Warm anything at this time of year! Staying warm is an art. Starting with warm clothing and a warm bicycle helps. If your handle bars are ice cold, so will be your hands in short order. Warming up your bike before you start helps. Bring it in close to the heater if you keep it in a cold place. Plastic pedals work best to keep your feet from getting cold fast. Plastic conducts the cold poorly. Aluminum cleated pedals unless warmed can send the cold via the cleat right into the shoe. Good winter shoes have a insulated insole to prevent this from happening, but cheep plastic pedals, cleat or not work best for that short winter ride. Bicycle shops have in great supply things to stay warm, The bigger the store, the better. Thinking about how to stay warm will have you happier as you enjoy your ride at this time of year! I hope to see you on the road!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone

Christmas is a good time to be with friends and family and think back to wonderful times past. Rides and places our "Heads Up" style of cycling took us and the details we may have never noticed otherwise. Christmas time is the perfect time to plan second chance adventures for the future. Fireside with a warm drink has you in short order forgetting the cold outside. A trip to look over one's own bicycle if near by will certainly have you out on a short Christmas Ride with a pleasant return back to the fireside and foods we love at this time of year. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cold Rain

Where there is a will,there is a way. Cold Rain riding at this time may be of no choice. A commuter cyclist may need to ride in conditions that the casual rider would never attempt. Recumbents for the most part can work better then the "Up-right" style of riding. Fairings do help with staying dry, but a good rain suit will work well and worth every penny. Riding with your feet further off the ground and above your front wheel keeps feet dryer then directly behind it. At times past, it felt like a hose of ice water being poured over my toes on even fendered Diamond Frame bikes. Sand from the road goes everywhere, A good cleaning right after the ride no matter what kind of bike you choose will help with dirt not sticking and drying on your frame and parts. I never thought that "Rain Riding" was fun. I only have done it to stay fit and to get where I need to be. Always better then a car, rainy days by car are slower. Traffic when things get wet is always slower. Cycling for the most part has you arriving at your destination with in minutes of your normal commute time. Parking is always at the door of where your going and the feeling of having been out (to me)is one of the best feelings in the world

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The New Program

You may have noticed the lack of paragraph separation in yesterdays BOSRUG posting. Sorry for that. It was not my intent to run everything on all in one. Changes have been made as of last Sunday morning that to compose a posting, you need to be on "Google Chrome" It took a while to get Chrome to work with my dial up service but now as a result, we have no paragraph spacing. I assume that the problem will be resolved soon with enough complaints, But for right now, I'm feeling that not all improvements are improvements.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Colder Days, Longer Nights

Its never been easier to stay warm or to be seen on a bicycle. Bicycle shops of all sizes have a selection of Winter clothing and lighting to allow you to see and be seen. Never before has there been so many cars on the road. It seems to me that over the past ten years, the amount of drivers has doubled. What I call "Freight Train Traffic", one car after another for long stretches of road.With the use of Cell Phones and now Internet and Texting, its a wonder a Bicycle Commuter can stay alive. Here are some tips as how I deal with the traffic and the 15 mile commute I have to and from work. First, Assume that you are invisible. Drivers are not looking for bicycles. Its true. If you think you can be seen, it may not be so and could result in being hit. Think about what you would do if hit and rehearse it in your head. Being prepared could save your life. Bright lights even during the day when its a little cloudy or dark attract attention. Having a driver notice you from a far could allow you safe travels. At night place your light so the spot is on the pavement to your left. Drivers while passing will swing wide to miss the spot of light and "open" the view of you to drivers in back of them. This works great and still allows you to see the road in front of you. Bright lights and bright clothing are noticeable more than what we call "Safety Black!" Don't "cheep" yourself when it comes to lighting. Better lights last longer with the electric charge and are usually brighter. Rechargeable lights may be more expensive at the counter, but the money you will save in batters and heaven forbid, out of work from being hit, will pay for themselves in short order. Good lights if you forget to charge them one night, will have enough power to last another evenings ride. Reflectors are good and important, but everybody has seen an occasional driver without their headlights on. Reflectors do nothing unless lit by drivers headlights. Although super bright lights can be seen, make sure that the beam is not in the face of on coming drivers. Simple enough, but it is another thing to think of. When being high beamed by drivers, simply flash them with your light as if you were in a car, Most drivers unless looking for an argument, will lower their beam. At traffic lights, if you can lower your tail light and headlight beam, A blinded driver starting off when the light changes could be dangerous. I like to look in my rear view mirror and place the bike in a safe spot when cars pass. This could mean ether speeding up or slowing down. Starting at lights, it is sometimes safer to let the group of cars pass you while stopped rather then heading out as a group and getting mixed up at the "bottle neck" on the other side of the intersection. Drivers seeing that you are not tiring to race them sometimes offer a little respect next time around. Remember that most of the drivers are commuting too, and will most likely passing at a later date. If they see and remember, they may cooperate next time around. Showing a little respect and obeying the rules of the road may have you enjoying your commute stress free and safer for years to come.
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