Archive for category design

Bikes will save us

Biking And Health
Created by: Healthcare Management Degree – healthcaremanagementdegree.com

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trusty steed

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If I could read the website (or be bothered to use Google tranlate) I might learn that this is, in fact, a joke. I think I’m better off not knowing.

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Slimm Buick at Sac Swing Fest ’12

Celebrated artist and music aficionado Slimm Buick, who recently relocated to the Sacramento area, will present a competitive showcase of custom-designed bicycles at the 2012 Sacramento Swing Time Festival. The event, called The Kustom Bike Show, will be curated by Buick at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Buick is legendary for his bicycle creations, which often embrace historic Americana themes, and feature classic bikes with sumptuous and eclectic adornments. His celebrated and much-photographed piece Rawhide is a whimsical re-imagining of the cowboy aesthetic, translated to West Coast beach culture. The cruiser is decked out in calfskin, with embossed leather wheel arches, rhinestones and a sheriff’s badge. The Wild West caricature is subverted by the the large basket on the handlebars.

The Kustom Bike Show competition is open to all entries for a $7 fee, and Buick will be judging the best bikes on show. The artist will also indulge his other passion, spinning 45s from the era of Swing to conjure up a mood of early 20th Century American automobile and bike culture.

The fourth annual Sacramento Swing Time Festival will be held on June 23rd, 2012. Tickets are $20.

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Lightning Vest

I seem to be on a visibility kick, I know, but really I just happened to see this over at Swissmiss. It’s a good idea, I guess. Not nearly as ugly as some of the hi-vis yellow clothing I see out on the road. But it seems you could just make one yourself and save $80.

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now you see me…

It’s dark at 6:00 am (and cold, but that’s a different story). The darkness (and the cold) has thinned out the already svelte bike commuting crowd. Of the bike commuters left, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who refuses to wear a neon yellow top. I have my reasons.

They’re ugly.

Random San Jose cyclist

And, I’m not even sure hi-vis jackets and vests work all that much better than other visibility solutions. There doesn’t seem to be much out on the interwebs linking blindingly yellow clothing to cycling safety, “there seems to be even less research on the effectiveness of high-visibility clothing for the bicyclist than for the motorcyclist.”

Much of the clothing I wear is black or gray but also has built in sections of reflecting fabric making me, at least somewhat, visible in the dark. But, more than that, the flashing white headlamp and the red taillight I ride with in low light should do more to make me visible than even the brightest yellow (and unlike reflective clothing, my lights don’t rely on others having their lights on).

Many cyclists out there probably look at my refusal to wear hi-vis clothing and think it’s foolish (much the same way I look at people who eschew helmets). In fact, one thing “research” turned up was a high number of websites suggesting, with no data to support the claim, that wearing hi-vis clothing is a must. Some may even feel that Hi-Vis clothing is the most stylish and fashionable trend in cycling since spider helmet covers. Which helps explain the guy I saw this morning in a bright yellow jacket without any lights on his bike.

I’m not convinced on either count.

Image by Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious

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Urban Lace

I’ve seen old bicycle components repurposed as jewelry before but I’m really liking what they’ve done with old bicycle tubes over at Urban Lace.

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When you know a trend is on its way out…

Riding home yesterday I pulled up to a stoplight and noticed on the opposite corner a young man with black pants, white shirt, tie, pocket protector, helmet and backpack on a standard issue mountain bike.  I thought it was odd he was by himself and then guess who rolls up?  None other than another young man with tie, pocket protecter, etc. but what is he riding…  a slate blue fixie with bright yellow deep dish rims!  No brakes, yellow grips on a tiny flat handlebar.  Wish I had pulled out my phone in time for a picture…

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almost makes me want to build a track bike

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Image by Prolly
Chainring available here.

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need more time in the saddle?

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Shutt Velo Rapide Signature Sportive | Review

Way back in October, or September even, when I first read about Shutt Velo Rapide I was just getting tired of the obnoxious advertising that plastered the replica team jerseys I usually wore. Will someone please tell me which marketing genius figured out cyclists would pay $100 just to be a billboard? This blog was still in its infancy – or this version of this blog – and I wrote a quick note to Shutt Velo Rapide to get some information about their product. Eventually, a Signature Sportive found its way to my house and the only disappointment I felt was that it was late October and the weather was turning from nice to cold, wet and I knew I wouldn’t have many opportunities to wear the jersey before it was too cool for a summer training top.

My first impression of the jersey was favorable. It has a simple, stylish design with a little color and none of those disgusting graphics you find on so many jerseys. The jersey also has two standard pockets in back with a small zipper pocket in the center. It is hand sewn (in the UK) and made of high quality sport wool. At £79.00 I wasn’t exactly sure how much it cost (I’m pretty sure that works out to about $130.00 US) but I knew it wasn’t ridiculous.

So, I wore it once (not counting the times I wore it around the house just to see how it fit). After my second ride I was a little less impressed.

The zipper on the center rear pocket zipped vertically from the bottom up to close the pocket. The pocket itself had been one of the things I was most excited about; a safe place to put my, still new, iPhone 4. When I got back from my ride I was dismayed to find my iPhone stuck in the pocket. The zipper’s slider was stuck and the pocket was closed. I spent 40 minutes or so gently trying to finesse the slider down the zipper and free my phone. I wiggled it, twisted it, swore at it, and pleaded with it to it with no result. It was still stuck. Eventually, starting to feel iPhone withdraw, I changed tact and pulled the slider up, forcing it past the top stop of the zipper and then, once the slider was completely removed from the jersey, used my fingers to pry apart the teeth and free my trapped phone.

I was a little disappointed. In addition to the now useless pocket, the jersey itself had 2 small holes in the back, where the pocket was sewn to the rear panel, from my less than gentle attempts to free my iPhone.

A few days later I sent an email off to my contact at Shutt VR and told her about the issue. Her response was that I must of gotten a jersey with a defective zipper which would be covered under warranty:

Faulty or Broken Zips
We only use quality zips but they do break, if you believe the failure is due to quality or manufacturing fault please contact us immediately. If the fault is outside of normal wear and tear we will arrange either a repair or an exchange free of charge. If not then we can still arrange for a repair at cost.

Directly following the zipper incident I didn’t have much time to ride and when I did it was usually too cold for a lightweight jersey like the Signature Sportive. It was January before I got to start wearing the jersey again regularly – with a baselayer and a wind proof jacket on most days. Without even really thinking about why, the Signature Sportive became my everyday commuting jersey. I wore it rain or shine, with or without base layer, twice a day, three or four days a week. In that time I’ve washed it every day (delicate – line dry) and stuffed it in my bag rain and sweat soaked. We’ll just say it’s been well used.

If I ignore the issue with the zipper, write it off as a defective product – a quick Google search turns up only glowing reviews of Shutt Velo Rapide’s jerseys and no mention of any problems with any zippers – I love this jersey. It’s durable and shows very little wear considering the daily abuse it gets. It’s stylish. The sport wool is comfortable and does just what sport wool promises to do – wicks moisture away from the body.

In the end, I guess, the overall quality and durability of the Signature Sportive far outweigh the minor, warranty covered problem with the zipper. But if you all go out and buy one, then my favorite thing about the jersey won’t be true anymore – to date, I’m the only person I’ve ever seen wearing it.

All images from shuttvr.com.

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