My Gang(s) of New York

With all my photo editing, I thought I'd share some non-phone photo snips of the big apple and Brooklyn with you. Really, it was just me going to visit Dan & Leanne, but, we were lucky to run into lots of friends and have them around for major league fun times. 

Jaimen and Nick!

And Claire & Lisa

The subway takes us to our adventure destinations!

Played lots of arcade games and used up all my friends' quarters.

Eating brunch

Hanging out at museums (in this case it was Leanne on the 4th floor of the New Museum). Later that day we also went to go see the Earth Room.

 Considered making custom muppets for Dexter and Alice.

It was too rainy and then windy for us to go sailing, which was our plan. But we made due one afternoon by taking rowboats out in Central Park.

Don was the most coordinated and powerful at rowing (he sails).

Leanne and I… didn't do quite as well.

There was lots of relaxing, too much food and wine, but much quality time all around.

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Jason Clary Rips SF

Riding the streets of San Francisco never gets old, and watching videos of gifted riders rip it just makes me long for another visit.

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#ReplaceBikeWithCar Portola Valley California

Portola Valley, California is a wealthy town nestled in the hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. With an average median income of $244,000 per year, it’s the sixth wealthiest community in California with the ninth most expensive housing in the nation.

Alpine @ Portola, Portola Valley, CA

It’s also a great place to ride. Residents of Portola Valley and nearby Woodside perpetually complain about the weekend traffic jams as hundreds of road cyclists pass through their towns. When the wealthy residents of this area (including the CEO of my employer, who also happens to be the fifth-richest individual in the world) ask San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks to intervene, the sheriff listens.

They can’t legally keep bikes off of California roads, so they harass them with nuisance tickets because safety in the hopes that the cyclists will go somewhere else. Large groups of a dozen or more people will be pulled over at once and motorcycle officers write citations for all the cyclists. Some of tickets — especially those for supposed violations of CVC 21202 (California’s keep far to the right law) — are routinely dismissed by the court. Others are bona fide violations, especially when cyclists roll through the stop sign as they make the right turn at the T-intersection from Alpine Road onto Portola Road.

Sure, cyclists should obey the law. The selective nature of these enforcement actions, however, really grates on the people affected. Cyclists are routinely ticketed, motorists are routinely let off the hook.

In case you doubt the assertion that everybody breaks the law on Alpine at Portola, I invite you to view this brief video from Slonie. Unlike the two cyclists shown in the Streetview image above who have their feet down at the intersection in spite of the complete lack of cross traffic, every one of the drivers in this video fails to come to a complete stop at the stop sign.

So how about it, Sheriff Munks? When will you begin to write tickets to these motorists?

Categories: Advocacy, San Mateo County, scofflaw | Leave a comment

April Edition of The Tweed Ride Report 2014


April Edition of The Tweed Ride Report 2014

Tweed Ride (Tweed-Mass) Nottingham, UK - Apr 25

Tweed Ride Traverse City, MN - Apr 26

Tweed Ride Cleveland, OH - Apr 26

Tweed Ride Albany, NY - Apr 27

Tweed Ride Vienna - Apr 27

Tweed Ride Chico, CA  - May 4

Tweed Ride FedUni, AU  - May 10

Tweed Ride Windsor, ON - May 10

Tweed Run London, UK  - May 17

Tweed Run Oldenburg, DE  - May 18

Tweed Ride Calgary, ON - Apr 19
Velo Vintage 5th Occasion & Ride, Exeter-Devon, UK- June 14

Anjou Vélo Vintage - June 28 & 29  2014

Tweed Ride Vancouver - Sept 14

Tweed Day Berlin, DE - Sept 21

It’s the April Edition 2014 - THE TWEED RIDE REPORT presented here on RidingPretty's Blog.

Join US! --  The Tweed Ride (Report) Community

THE TWEED RIDE REPORT - Please visit: There you can get in touch with the ride organizers plus visit their ride and event sites by using the links provided.

Here’s an ad hock and running list of new upcoming rides.  Usually mid- month is when the new edition posts goes up on RidingPretty's blog. Please do check back -- new rides get added as I learn of them. The Tweed Ride Report Calendar (the master list) gets updated too. That’s where you'll find the ride poster and links to the actual ride event itself.

As you probably know by now some of the biggest and best rides of the year continue to happen now and through early summer!  Word to the wise - getting word out about any upcoming rides gives people (and you) a better chance of planning for and joining a ride, so keep in touch. 

Thanks for supporting this report and thanks for visiting!

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9-Year-Old Rides to School Every Day for World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides locally produced, durable bikes to caregivers, entrepreneurs and students, with 80% of the bikes funded by individuals. This video highlights some of the stories of the people raising money for the World Bicycle Relief, namely that of 9-year old Griffin who rode his bike to school every day for a year, raising money along the way.

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The President of Turkey rides a bicycle

Turkish President Abdullah Gul (wearing the dark track suit) rides a bicycle before the start of the Presidential Bicycle Tour, in Ankara, April 11, 2014.

Photo: ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

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Taxing Day

Today is the deadline to file my (and your) U.S. Federal tax returns. I filed some time back. For purposes of full disclosure, I’ll reveal that I netted a whopping $86 from affiliate sales and advertising on this website in 2013. Woo hoo, I’m rich!

Bicycle news, links, etc below the photo of the 70-year-old roleur passing me on the infamous 16% grade on “A” Road into Laguna Seca near Monterey, California last weekend.

17% grade

Bike To Work Month / Week / Day is coming up in many areas of the United States. For the San Francisco, we’ll do this on Thursday, May 8. Janet instructs us in the No Sweat Way to Bike to Work in the Mountain View (CA) Voice.

IKEA branded cargo bikes?

[Ad] A singlespeed fat tire bike available online for only $300.

Full suspension fat bikes from Salsa.

Bike Hugger reports from Sea Otter.

Andrew Boone’s focus on the Pacific Coast of San Mateo County, California continues in this discussion on county highway funding and transportation alternatives.

Bikes For the Rest of Us on the Xtracycle Edgerunner.

A profitable bike share program in Boston.

I obviously don’t publish this blog to make money. I hope the contents herein encourage you to personal advocacy in your region. If you need to buy bicycle supplies and books online, however, I do appreciate a click through to my Amazon affiliate store.

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Cycling Legalese: Does the Bike Lane Compel You?

bkevinidesCycling Legalese is our online cycling law column from everyday cyclist and Chicago based injury lawyer, Brendan Kevenides.

Ever expanding bicycle infrastructure is awesome, hands down. But are you compelled to use a bike lane or separated path if it exists, even if it is in disrepair or otherwise not suitable? Read on.

Q:There are new bike lanes popping up all over. That’s cool, but do I have to ride in them?

Bike lanes are awesome, except when they’re not. As someone who has been riding in the big bad city for decades, I am thrilled at the proliferation of bike specific infrastructure in my town and others nationwide. Our cities are evolving. However, no big North American city can claim to be on par with bike meccas like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. In the evolutionary timeline we have crawled out of the primordial ooze, but we are still pretty wet behind the ears. Sometimes bike lanes, and other cycle specific infrastructure, suck. Thankfully, in most places bicyclists are not required to use bike lanes or separated paths.

There are several reasons why a cyclist might choose not to ride in a bike lane. It may be in disrepair, full of potholes, ruts or broken glass. Leaving the bike lane may be the safe thing to do. It is common in U.S. cities for the lanes to be occupied illegally by cars, delivery trucks or other vehicles. Here in Chicago, buses are permitted to share bicycle lanes with people on bikes. In the winter months, bike paths maybe rendered impassable due to the accumulation of snow and ice. There are even times when cycling on a path or in a bike lane clear of obstructions just does not make sense. For example, a roadie on a training ride may be advised to avoid a path crowded with cyclists traveling at a more leisurely pace.

There once was a time when the majority of U.S. states had what are commonly referred to as “mandatory use laws,” that is laws that require cyclists to use a bike specific path or other designated area located adjacent to a regular travel lane. These laws were more common at a time when there were actually fewer such paths in existence, and virtually no bike lanes in North American cities. According to the League of American Bicyclists, “In the 1970s, mandatory use laws of some sort existed in 38 states.” Now, however, there are far fewer such laws, many having been repealed. Illinois’ vehicle code has no mandatory use requirement. Until recently, the municipal code of Chicago had such a requirement which read, “Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.” The ordinance did not define what a usable path was. Was it a bike lane with nothing more than a painted line separating cars and bikes? Or, was more substantial separation required, like a jersey barrier? This vagueness ultimately lead to repeal of the ordinance in June, 2013.

Cyclists throughout Illinois and in places like Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and many others cyclists may ignore bike lanes and paths for any reason. In other jurisdictions a cyclist’s right to do so is qualified. For example, in California a bicyclist must use a bicycle lane where one is provided, unless he or she is traveling at the same speed as traffic moving in the same direction. California bikers may also abandon the lane when overtaking another bicyclist or pedestrian, when preparing to turn left, to avoid debris or hazardous conditions or when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. The law in New York seems to be the same. Where there are bike lanes, cyclists have to use them. It appears, however, that cyclists there may abandon them under the same circumstances set for the in California Code.

The state with perhaps the scariest mandatory use language is one generally considered the most bike friendly in North America, Oregon. Its vehicle code states that, “A person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle lane or path if the person operates a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that is not a bicycle lane or bicycle path when a bicycle lane or bicycle path is adjacent to or near the roadway.”

An “offense.” Yikes. Still, even in Oregon a bike lane or path may be abandoned to pass other cyclists, to make a left turn, to avoid hazard and to execute a right turn. Also, Oregon provides that a person need not comply with the mandatory use law unless it has been determined after public hearing that the bike lane or path is “suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.”

As is generally the case, knowing what the law requires depends on the particular circumstances and where you are. If you want to check the law on mandatory use in your state, The League of American Bicyclists has a very helpful chart online. Be advised, however, that laws can change at any time without notice.

Cycling Legalese Question Submission Form:

Nothing contained in this column should be construed as legal advice. The information contained herein may or may not match your individual situation. Also, laws differ from place to place and tend to change over time. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of an attorney in the relevant jurisdiction. This column is meant to promote awareness of a general legal issue. As such, it is meant as entertainment. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.

Categories: Columnist, Cycling Legalese, News & Views, Social | Leave a comment

You Can’t Spell "Innovation" Without "In," "Vat," or "On." Think About It.


Innovation is the driving force behind the bicycle.  So vital is innovation to the cycling industry that there's a company whose motto is "Innovate Or Die."  I can't remember who it is though.  I think maybe it's Cannondale.  Or is it Trek?

Doesn't matter really, it's all the same crap.

Anyway, innovation is what brought us from the pennyfarthing:

To the "safety bicycle:"

And then for a brief period back to the pennyfarthing, only with three wheels:

After that innovation stood still, trackstanding in time like a fakenger at  a red light that never changes.

Until now.

Thanks to the Internet, and in particular the popularity of crowd-sourced funding or whatever you call it, we have entered a new golden age of bicycling innovation fueled by the creative energy of people who have been riding bikes for months, and in some cases even a handful of years, though more often than not, I suspect, not at all.  Consider the work of Null Winds Technology:

No, "Null Winds" is not an insult, like "dim bulb" or "numbskull."  Null Winds is the cutting-edge think tank behind "Upper Wheel Fairings," which are basically skirt guards for Freds:

"For decades, the bicycling industry has been focussed on improving aerodynamics for the benefit of racing, where the use of fairings is strictly forbidden.  The rest of us, however, need not adhere to this senseless drag-inducing restriction."

As a potential investor (yeah, right), three (3) questions leap immediately to mind, and they are as follows:

1) If Freds won't put fenders on their bikes, what makes this null wind think they'll spoil the "elegant lines" of their plastic dork chariots with these?

2) What about crosswinds?

3) If you don't care about racing, why solicit endorsements from "Cat 2s?"

(What, you couldn't have found a Cat 1?  Give 'em a pair of free tires and they'll say just about anything.)

Love the Cat 2's use of "it is my conclusion," by the way.  That always makes you sound smart.

Anyway, even Freds who don't race should at least loosely adhere to the "senseless drag-inducing restriction" of racing, in the same way people who play pick-up basketball in the park need to adhere to the "senseless shortness-inducing restriction" of not being allowed to wear stilts.  Otherwise, what's to stop your local Sunday group ride from turning into an all-out recumbent freak-fest?

Fairings are only the beginning, so if you see them on your ride stomp them out immediately, lest you find yourself horizontal by next season.

Another part of the bicycle benefitting from both mental flatulence and rider inexperience is the so-called "clipless pedal:"

Like all Kickstarter inventions, this one has a backstory of mild incompetence behind it, and like all Kickstarter inventors, this one rides a Specialized:

Here's that story:

"I started mountain biking five years ago and I found myself struggling to clip into my pedals."

First of all, if you are still having trouble clipping into a pair of halfway decent mountain bike pedals after five years of riding then perhaps clipless pedals aren't for you.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, by the way!  Sure, clipless pedals have their benefits in certain situations, but if you find them to be a pain in the ass just ditch them and be done with it.

But common sense is not the hallmark of the Kickstarter inventor.  Instead, he also uses clipless pedals for his commute, where they really don't do shit for you:

"The more time I spent looking down at my pedals, the less time I spent paying attention to hazards on the road."

A couple of points:

1) Clipping into your pedals is like carrying a beverage from the bar back to your table.  The best way to do it successfully is to not look down;

2) If you're futzing with your clipless pedals to the extent that you risk getting hit by a car, you should not only consider a move to flat pedals, but you also might want to consider leasing a Hyundai in the interim.

But hey, if the mountain won't come to Fred, invent a little foot clitoris instead:

Apparently it's called the "Infinity Pedal," though I think the "Hot Spot" would be a better name:

(Platform schmatform.)

Also, the spring is conveniently exposed to the elements, which is exactly what you want in an all-terrain pedal:

Really, how do you market a mountain bike pedal without at least one image of the thing actually functioning in mud?

Then again, it did win an award--in Utah no less--so perhaps my concerns are unwarranted:

Also, apparently a huge number of people have similar trouble clipping into the many, many, many excellent clipless pedal options already on the market, because he's raised a shitload of money:

It's a real testament to the power of bicycle marketing that so many people who would clearly be much more happy and comfortable on simple platform pedals nevertheless insist on attaching themselves to their bicycles.

Penultimately, what do you think when you read this?

Triathlonbox - A British solution to Triathlon box juggling

Do you think engineering elegance?  Of course you don't!  "Triathlon?"  "British solution?"  Oh boy, this is gonna be ugly:

Leave it to the British to figure out how to convert a time trial bike into a bakfiets:

"No longer do you have to struggle with your box," says the video, and nor do you have to struggle to find a sordid double meaning in that sentence:

And check out those enthusiastic endorsements:

Good idea – Joe Friel - writer of Triathletes Training Bible (via Twitter)

Good idea indeed:

Lastly, Stephane in Munich informs me that you can now buy an appropriate balance bike for your "status child:"

Actually, they should offer that in adult sizes too.  It's a perfect solution for all those people having pedal trouble.
Categories: bicycle marketing, cycling | Leave a comment

Bike In Movie Night

AIGA Greenway Bike In Movie Night from Pixel Napalm on Vimeo.

Spring is here and the outdoor events are following in step. This video showcases a collaboration with AIGA Minnesota and the Midtown Greenway Coalition for their Bike In Movie Night, right off the greenway. Here in Indy we’ve had our Mayor’s ride, Bike to the Ballpark and other events already kicking off, and it seems everyone is ready for more of the same.

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