Bike Burrito

Bike Burrito

0 comment Saturday, July 26, 2014 |
I had to ride down to DU for work today, and on the way there from my apartment, I kept looking down at my rear wheel, (on which I've replaced two spokes in the past two weeks) thinking, Wow, that thing is really wobbling. Not like the big wobbles you get when a spoke breaks on one side, but just small, frequent wobbles. Yeah, I thought, maybe I'll swing by Savage Eddie's and get a new wheel on my way back to work.
So I did. I got a new wheel, this Easton EA50SL that's definitely too nice for my mongrel blood (I don't know anything about wheels, but I can read the sticker on the side of this one). Brian put a new cassette on it, and Scott gave me a quick run-down on how to put new cables on my derailleur to fit the new cassette. I'm a bit nervous about trying it and not ruining my new $200 wheel.
But alas, what timing. Four blocks from Savage Eddie's, I'm cutting through the plaza at the art museum, new wheel strapped to my pack, and PING! Another spoke breaks on the old wheel. Now I have a real wobble. I just said the hell with it and walked my bike the rest of the way to my office.

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0 comment Friday, July 25, 2014 |
I was about halfway through my arduous 10-block commute this morning, stopping at the stop sign on Race Street at 13th, and continuing across 13th, when I heard a little motor to my left. A guy on a scooter was passing me, inching by in order to get to the next stop sign on the next block a little faster. Right on, buddy.
I mean, I know these things can keep up with traffic better than the average cyclist, and lots of them are quite zippy, but come on, man, you are not that fast. My crappy old Trek has better gas mileage, better horsepower, and it has a little issue with its bike rack spots being taken up with things that run on gas. It gets competitive sometimes.
So at the next stop sign, at 14th, I stopped quickly, then cranked past the scooter, winning the pointless race to the red light at Colfax and Race. I am a winner, yet a loser.
For the record, I have, on a couple occasions, actually passed scooters driving in the bike lane on 16th. I believe they were lower-end models, though.

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0 comment |
Hi. My name is Eric Bunch (if I didn't say that you wouldn't know until the bottom of this post). Will invited me to contribute to the blog due to my new involvement with BikeDenver. I just moved to Denver about six months ago and find that the city is quite agreeable for bike riding. The flat terrain, 300 days of sunshine and endless bike trails (and by endless read: a few hundred miles) make it a bike commuter's heaven. Enough of that.
This is me being a total ham:
From Oscar Party...
More about me. That's what is important, no? Chronicling the nuances and tribulations in the lives of the average utility cyclist?
I moved here from Columbia, MO a college town in the heart of The Show Me State. Has anybody ever been to Columbia? Or Missouri for that matter? Well it doesn't really matter, I'll briefly describe it. Picture Fort Collins with more trees, fewer mountains and sans the awesome breweries. Throw in one of the largest public universities in the country, 90% humidity and the rolling hills of the northern Ozarks and you have Columbia. It's greener too. No not more environmentally friendly... just a lot more of the color green. On the whole, Columbia residents are pretty bike friendly and highly educated. Typical of liberal college towns.
The great thing about riding a bike to and from places in that town was Columbia's size. I lived five blocks from a supermarket and two miles from work. A mile-and-a-half from the rockin' bars ($1.00 cans of Stag for cryin' out loud!) and within easy biking distance of most of my friends' homes. Thus, parties often ensued. College towns are bad for twenty-something college grads.
My move to Denver has re-opened my eyes to the fact that cities can be larger and more involved than twenty square miles of drunken college students. I still live within biking distance of downtown, pubs, work and groceries. However, each of those rides is just a bit longer. I now commute eight miles to work, two miles to the grocery and three miles to downtown night-life. No biggie. I have a dedicated bike path for a lot of my commutes and I don't have to dry my bike shoes over the heat register every night. Soggy shoes and three months of winter cloudiness are two things I will not miss!
My longer commute is actually good because it dampens my wild hipster-like lifestyle I once led. No more nightly visits to local watering holes, midnight concerts or raging house parties. Moving into domesticity is a very good move for the long term. I actually really enjoy living with someone who doesn't smell like a critical mass after-party.
I digress. The reason for my move into a much calmer, more adult lifestyle is pictured below. My girlfriend, Kaitlyn, decided to go to grad school at DU. I hear it's a good school. So I followed.
From Oscar Party...
Kaitlyn likes riding bikes too! She's gonna hate me for posting pictures of her without approval.
Anyway, I haven't blogged about my commuting habits in well over a year. So this will be an interesting exercise in publicizing my lifestyle in a semi-regular manner. We'll see.
Email me with any questions. I probably won't have very good answers.

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0 comment Thursday, July 24, 2014 |
I'm now a full half-year into my little "never run red lights" experiment, and starting to waver a little bit. The more bicyclists I see on the streets this summer, the more I realize that I'm in a very small minority of people who wait for green lights. I mean, I think if I were to sit at an intersection and keep track for a few hours, I would guess 95 percent of cyclists I saw would run red lights.
Of course, sitting there on my top tube at all those red lights, I've had some time to think about all this. I wonder where we get the idea that it's okay for us, cyclists, to break the law. Is it because we figure we deserve it? Maybe it's like the speed limit, which a very small number of drivers actually obey. Maybe we see everyone else doing it and assume we're an exception to that one traffic law. Maybe we know cops don't care if they see us running red lights in broad daylight (from my observations, they don't). Whatever it is, I'd like to know.
Why do you, or don't you, feel like it's okay if you run red lights?
I'll go first: I stopped running red lights because I think it might, in some tiny way, build a little respect for cyclists, and cut down on some of the animosity motorists feel towards us. I notice every time there's an article about cycling on RockyMountainNews.com, the comments section is full of non-cyclists whose No. 1 complaint seems to be the fact that we run red lights. I'm not real convinced it's doing anything at all, but I feel like I'm trying.

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0 comment |
Sara had troubles stopping at a four-way intersection today. The snow on the snow packed roads is soft right now, and when you're on a road bike with slicks, control is not optimal.

Sara's not pleased that I want to photo her mishap.

This is the last bit of evidence that Sara went down. Her whole leg was covered with snow but it got rubbed off before the camera could catch it.

This is not a shit stain from the fall, but rather the road grime from a bike with no rear fender. Sara bought fenders from Salvagetti today as well.

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0 comment |
It's a lot easier to pull over and spend 10 minutes trying to take a snapshot of the sunset:
At Confluence Park

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0 comment Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |
On a ride to Morrison from Denver, Josh Barker takes time out of his 45 mile ride to pull over and help another bike commuter fill up a flat. This guy's tire was full of thorns, but he thought he could get the bike somewhere to buy a tube if he just had a little air in it.
Interestingly, this guy's buddy was given a bike and a combo lock without the combination from Derailer Bicycle in Denver. It took him a week of trial and error, but he finally figured out the combo to make the lock useful. Will and I tried to do the math, but ultimately decided there must have been at least 1000 possibilities.
Josh explains how the scrap yard behind him works. On a good day you can watch cranes use giant magnets and throw cars into the shredder. It's sweet.

Will sets the pace around Bear Creek bike path near Morrison. Josh and I talk about the sandwiches we just ate.

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