Thursday, October 15, 2009

on a quest

I'm on a quest to find a rain poncho that I can wear cycling and not feel like a total frump. So far I've got a $1 "disposable" poncho (clear plastic) and $5 "several use" poncho (dark green plastic), both by Coghlans, from an outdoors store. (Actually: from the outdoors department at Capital Iron in Victoria. I would go to Capital Iron just to walk up the staircase. I love that staircase.) I found -- but did not buy -- a $75 marimekko poncho at The Bay.

Is there anything between $5 and $75?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

front gears + chain guard

This is the first time I've seen a chain guard on a bicycle with multiple gears on the front:

De Vinci Classic

In the photo you can see where it's attached to the frame at the back, but not where it is at the front. I'm curious.

Chain guards are still in the minority here in North America (I hear that they're more standard in Europe) and apparently extremely hard to find if you want to put one on a bike that didn't come with one. I thought that one reason was the prevalence of 21-speed bikes. This changes things for me: it IS possible.

It's one of the mandatory features at the top of my wishlist for my next bike: step-through and a chain guard.

Edit: Here's another: Torker T-510 Stepthru.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

step thru

My parents are in the market for bikes and my dad was recently lamenting how the step-through models are almost always referred to as "Women's" bikes. I agree with him. There's nothing inately "womanly" about a step-through-style bicycle: it's the colour, shape, and decals that would bring out a preference by men or women. Sure, it's easier to ride in a skirt on one -- a frustration I currently have with my "non-women's" (?) bicycle -- but that's merely one reason, not all of them.

Trek and Giant are examples.

Norco is a bit confused: they have both "W" and "ST" models. I can't tell the difference. (In fact, of the 2 models I just linked to, the ST could possibly be considered more feminine due to the colour.)

But then I found a beacon of hope: Gary Fisher. Simple City Step-thru!

A minor victory. Luckily, my dad isn't the kind of guy who'll let the name of a product influence whether he buys it. Function rules.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

on new wheels

Seven months ago I bought a bike after seven or eight years without one. Since then, it’s completely transformed how I transport myself. I’ve been learning, reading, and thinking about cycling; now I’m going to start blogging about cycling. Not as a sport, but as transportation and enjoyment. As part of life.