Archive for the ‘bike’ Category

Snow biking

Snow bike by Dave Kleinschmidt

Last night I went snow-biking. I finally got my hands on the requisite tools to crack open the bottom bracket on my fixie and get it cleaned out, repacked, and beautifully adjusted. I was anxious to take it out for a spin, and was feeling undeterred by the late hour and the two feet of snow on the roads. Hard-packed snow—courtesy of the lack of plowing and stubborn DC drivers—is actually pretty good riding—not too slippery, no slushy sliding around, not too rough when it’s fresh—and riding a fixie in the snow is quite nice, since you can feel exactly how much traction you have at any given moment, and adjust your speed intuitively.

I cruised down Georgia Ave/7th St NW, soaking up the snowed-in-Saturday-night Chinatown scene, and then rolled down to the mall to gawk at the empty streets, snowy trees, and impressive obelisks. By the time I made it to the Lincoln Memorial I was pretty cold and my mittens had actually frozen, being still wet from the afternoon’s shoveling extravaganza. On the way home I got stuck behind a convoy of snow plows (one usually does the trick, guys), got stuck in too-much-snow on Vermont Ave, and got stuck behind homeward bound revelers on U St. All in all, an absolutely fantastic night.

Biking today was slightly less pleasant but still awesome. A little bit of sun, a little bit of traffic, and a lot of salt produced a bumpy, slushy, slippery mess on Georgia Ave, but I was out of coffee and determined to make it to Qualia. A couple of cops in an SUV asked me if I had snow tires “on that thing” after seeing me plowing through a pile of slushy snow. Had I been thinking a little more quickly I might have made a crack about only having one-wheel-drive, which I guess is all you really need.

(Link: photo from flickr)

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Hanging out by the pool by Dave 'Coconuts' Kleinschmidt

Not exactly breaking news, but I finished my bike. It’s now immortalized in the Great Shrine of the Fixed-Gear Bicycle, FGG (number 10,280).  This thing makes getting around the city much, much more fun.

(Link: photo from flickr)

DC (bike) blogs

So I’m moving to DC soon, and in preparation I’ve been scoping out DC-oriented blogs. There are certainly plenty out there: the Washington Post of course, and DCist, as well as more Columbia Heights-specific things like Prince of Petworth and New Columbia Heights. But my favorite so far is ReadysetDC, which has a art/design/fashion slant and a DAILY BIKE FEATURE. Its appeal to me is self-explanatory.

Awesome miscellanea

  • Freelance science and health journalist and mental_flosser Maggie Koerth-Baker is guest-blogging at boing boing. So far she’s got posts on how to colonize a nation, a proposed expedition to the center of the earth, and Scutigera coleoptrata, the house centipede (including such fun facts as

    2) Scutigera Coleoptrata are Efficient: They’re actually capable of eating several other bugs at once, noshing on one meal while holding onto another with one of their 30 legs. They usually hunt at night, waiting for prey to get close enough that they can jump onto it, lasso it in, or whip it into submission.

  • The March issue of The Atlantic has a neat article on class in America that looks at changes over the last 25 years. Most notable is the rise of the bohemian “creative type” X-ers as a social class all their own, and how this is related to and affected by the economic boom and impending doom.
  • Today on my bike ride I had to ford the Green River. There’s a small bridge that’s out on Water Street, and the presence of actual construction workers prevented me from using their little foot bridge like I did last time. This brings the number of things I’ve survived in real life that you can die from in Oregon Trail to two.
  • My wheels are trued and tensioned and beautiful. Assuming they pass muster with Paul at the Spoke, all I need to do now is…everything else.

On the truing stand by Dave 'Coconuts' Kleinschmidt

New photos up on flickr as promised, including my wheels and a couple shots of the GQ bowlstravaganza.

(Link: On the truing stand on flickr)

Today

Two notable things happened today. The first is that I finally ordered an electric kettle on Amazon, so that very soon I will be able to make truly ridiculous quantities of coffee with my lovely 8-cup french press and burr grinder combo. Since my current water heating solution is a tiny, ancient microwave that boils a cup of water in a blazing six minutes, the gigantic french press has been sadly underutilized.

The second is that I stole the Ark’s truing stand and am now in the process of truing my wheels, which I laced last weekend. They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen (except you, Ruth). This is very, very exciting, and hopefully the big fixie project will get wrapped up soon. Hopefully. I’ve got a nice series of photos of the whole process that I’ll put up sometime soon when I can justify procrastinating some more.

He lost his leg because he sacrificed it to save a kid from getting run down by a truck on the cruel, cruel streets of New York City. Was homeless for a while, and then someone gave him a bike. Now he is gainfully employed, and probably the chillest person I have ever seen.

And he rides a fixie.

Link: YouTube (via The Sometimes Angry…)

Well now you know </bill nye voice>

Link: Fixed Gear Gallery