23 August 2016

When Hipsters are Left Unchecked

Disclaimer: I did not post this ad, nor do I have any knowledge of who did. 


Thank goodness someone made a holder for your banana when you are riding on your fixie hipster-sled. I know I frequently ride to the store to purchase a single banana, and then find out I have nowhere to store it during the ride home. 

08 August 2016

T-Shirt of the Day: Thread and Spoke

I haven't done a t-shirt of the day post in a while - since April to be precise - so I say that it is high time that I rectify that.

Whilst Mrs. Bike-Junkie and I were walking around the fitness village at stage 6 of the Tour of Utah, I picked up a flyer for a company called Thread and Spoke. The flyer stated that they sell "Hand-picked tour & cycling inspired t-shirts for men & women designed by independent artists." Intrigued - because I really don't have enough cycling inspired t-shirts (no matter what Mrs. Bike-Junkie says on the matter) - I took a look. Just a sampling below:





So many to choose from, so many that I liked. It was difficult only choosing a few to display on this post. Go check them out and see all of their great designs.

An added bonus, they are local to SLC (I like shopping local, so I guess that is only an added bonus for me, and anyone else here in the 801)!

04 August 2016

E-Bikes and Watercraft - An Outdoor Retailer Adventure

It's the first week of August here in the pretty great state of Utah - which used to be their logo, until they changed it.


I wonder why? Is Utah no longer pretty? Or great?

I digress, I didn't post today to discuss state slogans, I am discussing the first week of August. Two things happen during this time of the year. The Tour of Utah, which pits 120 or so professional cyclists against some pretty and great (I guess in some cases it still applies) scenery and brutal climbs as they race from Zion's National park to Park City over the course of seven days. And Outdoor Retailer, where the outdoor industry crams into the Salt Palace Convention center to show off the latest and greatest in outdoor doodads and thingamajigs. Occasionally some bike stuff ends up in there as well.

I'm not covering the Tour of Utah again this year, but I plan on attending a stage finish or two, and may or may not post pictures, depending on how crappy they are (the pictures, not the stages. Surprisingly, I have standards).

I did, however attend Outdoor Retailer - more specifically the Open Air Demo at Pineview Reservoir - where I discovered a couple of bikes, and something else.

First on to the bikes. I'll start mild and work my up (or down, depending on your perspective).

Rambo Bikes were showcasing their fat tire e-bikes which are aimed at the hunting crowd that wants to get into the backwoods to kill more quickly and silently than hiking. They have a 750W electric motor that will propel the bike up to 20mph without pedaling.


After that, I found Rungu Bikes, who were showing off their behemoth, the Electric Juggernaut, which sports a pair of fat tires up front, and is powered by a massive 2100W motor. 



The dual tires up front aid in stability and flotation across loose sand, they also add a bit of a learning curve, so to speak, as you can't turn it like you would turn a normal bicycle by leaning. 

I don't know how I feel about e-bikes. I rode both of them and they were fun, but not the same kind of fun or enjoyment I get from riding a non-electric bike. I can see the benefits of an electric assist, but where does it become less of a bike, and more of a moped? 

Both companies do offer their bikes in standard, non-electric models as well. 

Now, on to the "not bike" portion of the post. This doesn't really qualify as a bike, but it has a handlebar, and the motion you use to propel yourself is vaguely similar to a peddling motion.



The byproduct of a strange menage-a-trois between a stand-up paddleboard, bicycle, and elliptical trainer; the Hobie Mirage Eclipse was the closest thing to a water bicycle that I have seen at Outdoor Retailer (I wish someone would bring up a pontoon bicycle to OR, you'd never get me off of it!).

The bicycle-like handlebars provide stability, and the "brake" levers are actually controls for the rudder - squeeze the left brake to turn left, etc... The pedals engage the MirageDrive fins - which in my opinion is a fairly clever piece of mechanics.  

video

Fun in the sand and water was definitely had. I did spend the next day on the trade show floor, seeing friends and new products. I'll post more about that as products are tested.

25 July 2016

Product Update: Bolle The One

Back in October I posted about Bolle's new helmet-shaped offering, The One.

I also mentioned in that post that I would follow up once I had recieved a helmet. 
Is he ever going to write that review?

Well, I received a helmet, and promptly forgot to write that follow-up post. Until today.

Not only did I receive one helmet, I recieved two. The first one was too small -as Goldilocks would say if her head was above average in size as mine is - that helmet was given to my willing co-conspirator, Mrs. Bike-Junkie for her usage. The next one was just right. 

Mrs. Bike-Junkie and I at this years Bike Prom (think fancy dress party on bikes), along with our co co-conspirators, Steve and Miss Piggy (James). 

Blurry no-lookie selfie. Nothing but the best for this blog!

Seeing as I have been using the helmet non-stop for the past few months, I think that I can say that I definitely like this helmet. As well as being on the largish side, my head is also a bit oblong front to rear. Some helmets tend to not fit in the fore and aft positions, The One gave me no such trouble. The vents provide ample airflow when not covered up by the aero shells.



The only negative that I can think of is the optional LED capsule on the rear of the helmet. Since I primarily use my bicycle to commute these days, I installed the LED capsule, and have used it on my commutes where the sun isn't quite up. The capsule is powered by a button-cell battery, and has ran out of juice. If it was possible to change that to a USB rechargeable light, the helmet would be flawless. 

The One, Jack of all trades, master of all. 

12 July 2016

Thought of the Day - Zen Edition

I read this earlier today and it resonated. It's been floating around on the innerwebs for several years, but like I said, today it struck a chord. 

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"
The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the student, saying, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do."
The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path." The teacher commended the student, "Your eyes are open and you see the world."
The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."
The fourth student answered, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings." The teacher was pleased and said, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."
The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, "I am your disciple."
Riding is my meditation, when my mind is cluttered, and there is too much weighing me down, it is freeing to get on my bike and focus on the sound of the tires on the gravel, the chain on the sprockets, my labored breathing as I climb because I am out of shape. I could drive into work, and deal with traffic and finding a place to park. Or, I could take the bus. It's easy, conveniently close to both my place of "work" and home. But then I would miss out on riding. Sometimes riding your bike is all you need.

06 July 2016

Checking Back In: Bike Shops USA App for the iPhone

Apps come and apps go,

I first wrote about the Bike Shops USA app for the iPhone over four years ago, and it is still one that I still keep on my phone, and use on a regular basis. 

The features are the same - they still don't have the websites for the shops listed - but what it does it still does admirably. 



And one of the things that still works is the report button. 

I just returned from a vacation in the nice little seaside community of Brookings, Oregon. To my knowledge (which included looking on the afore mentioned app, and checking RideOregonRide.com), there were no bike shops within 2 hours of Brookings. One evening, we went to eat at Superfly (I highly recommend this place, stellar food!), and across the street I noticed... a bike shop! Well, more of a catch-all sporting goods store, but they do have a full bike shop complete with bike mechanic. 

Thanks to the fact that they still update the database, Escape Hatch Sports is now listed on the app.

The app is still free, and it is so worth it! 

13 June 2016

Tales from the Commute - I'm Faster than a Bus!

Well, not any bus, the UTA route 460, which is the bus that I took when I still wasn't able to ride.


The green line represents the route of the 460, the red is my route to work. 

Today, as I pulled out of my neighborhood (the top yellow circle) just in front of the 460. I didn't see the bus again until we crossed paths at the middle yellow circle on the map. At that time, I was waiting at the light, and it was almost a minute before the 460 came into view from the next block down. At the final yellow circle, the bus was still up the street. 

Yes, there are more direct buses from my suburb to downtown SLC, but they don't matter to me because they don't run at the time I needed in order to get to work on time. 

It may be a small victory, but I'll still take it!