Collected thoughts on bike commuting

Collected thoughts on randonnees

On riding with your buddies, the Daily Randonneur says:

Take a minute and think about the great rides you had this year, and the laughs and tribulations shared with your riding buddies. That's what it's all about, my friends.

And on a similar line at Randonneur Extra:

I think the best benefit of the regular monthly permanents is being able to connect with all your great cycling pals all year 'round.

After a freaky streak of 84 consecutive months of centuries (yep, that's seven years!), Mike Dayton speaks of camaraderie but also observes

I have a profound appreciation of the goals that can be achieved on a bike, and of the magic landscapes that are accessible only on two wheels.

Ditch the car to save money

Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Arends argues that

Whether you drive a hybrid or an SUV, your car is a cash-guzzler. Families trying to save real money should consider going without.

He runs through the onerous costs of car ownership and some options for cash-strapped car owners and concludes:

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. We are going to see a lot of necessity. It may lead to some interesting developments.

A few more suggestions off the top of the head:

  • ride a bike (of course)

  • sell the car and join a car sharing scheme like Flexicar or GoGet

[via Pirates of the Burley Griffin]

Bike fun, anyone?

Do you get Bike Fun? If you're in (or anywhere near) Melbourne you should subscribe to get Bike Fun:

Bike Fun Melbourne promotes cycling, cycling community and cycling culture in Melbourne through prolific bike fun.
We're currently out riding bikes, relaxing in a pub, or exploring our city (and beyond).

The calendar is online but I reckon it's most convenient to subscribe for the email bulletin—it's such a pleasant reminder when it arrives in the inbox!

Oooh, look! Bikes!

I agree with box on Metafilter:

I like old bicycles. High-wheelers, choppers, BMX bikes, mountain bikes and old ten-speeds. Especially personal bikes from personal collections. I like 'em all.

Not so keen on that damn Queen song though. [Thanks tom]

Brand Management 101 for LBS operators

An interesting article from Bike of Doom's backlist: [Seven deadly sins Local Bike Shops…and how to fix them][] gives some advice on marketing for local bike shops. The key message: neglect those cheap department store bikes at your peril. [via]

Wittering on twitter

Yeah, I'm on twitter. At last. Grudgingly. But I've already picked up that interesting link above, so I guess it could be worth it.

"Follow" me if you're so inclined.


Charlie B.

Yep, the "You OK?" or the "Need a pump or a patch?" as one slows to pass really costs nothing. A few times, I've had to stop to politely advise someone (invariably teens) that I'd give them a hand, but first they really should move their bike off the path to fix it... this has always resulted in no abuse back, just an embarassed "oh yeah, um..." :-) It's funny how common sense stuff just doesn't occur to some people, but being polite is almost always the best way to deal with it.

Treadly and Me

Yeah, I do that all the time. Usually I'm told "No, I'm OK"—so it's a courtesy that costs me nothing but slowing down for a second. But sometimes I've been able to provide a tool or a pump. I've also been grateful to receive the same courtesy awhile ago on the way up to Kinglake when my own pump failed.

I stopped to offer help last weekend and had a long chat with a bloke in a PBP jersey. Damned if I can remember his name now though…


One more thought on Randonnees or any riding. Next time you see a fellow rider on the side of the road with a flat or some other problem, think about what it will cost to stop and help. This year I've made 3 new friends this way including one who's one of the nicest guys I've met. The one who just gave the "No thanks mate, I'm right" can fix his own bike.