- September 28th, 2011
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Archive for the ‘BIKES’ Category
Well the Syracuse alleycat race didn’t happen on april fools, but it was a fantastic time, with a great turnout, and lots of great people. Checkout my shakey helmet cam video:
(sorry for all the fast motion, I don’t like it either really, but I already have way too much time into that 5 minute video 🙂
We had a nice little thaw out here last thursday/friday, but by Saturday morning, winter was back. Checkout the fun we had ebiking to the public market:
And though I’m pretty good at riding in the snow/ice, I did manage to go down on the way home, when I forgot which lever was which….:)
To many winter motorcycle riding, at least in the northeast, is a conflict of terms. The only riding that most people refer to in the winter is riding in the car (which itself is a conflict of terms) or perhaps the occasional snowmobile(r?) (which seems like a nice way to ruin a winter day…but thats another story) There are some people who find ways to ride bikes anyway, like the enthusiasts I see on the lake and on the canal with Kold Kutter ice screws in their tires. I salute them. But thats just not quite my style. In the winter I have to get out and enjoy the world one of the few ways I know how.
There are certain questions in which if you have to ask, you’ll never understand. First and most importantly my goal is to spread the word of bike. I’m talking about transportation most importantly. Motorbikes (and cycles of all kinds) are the most ingenious and perfectly suited to move people from one place to another in an incredibly efficient manner. That of course, is not the only reason I ride bikes, but it’s an important message thats been obscured by what I call “toy” culture. Whereby, motorbikes are toys first and utilities second. I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. Though there comes a time in the northeast, when there is enough snow to stop a freight train, there are alot of opportunities in the middle of the winter that aren’t so bad. It’s not that I think everybody should ride their bikes through the winter. I realize that there are alot of perfectly good reasons not to. But I hope to make people consider what actually IS possible. Maybe that cloudy day in the summertime, is actually a great day to scoot or pedal to work. So that’s reason #1, because they still work:) And no, I’m not cold. In another post I’ll explain the preparations necessary to extend the riding season in the northeast, all the way until the spring.
The second reason and less important but equally as motivating is adventure. Not so much the type of adventure you get from skydiving while slamming a mountain dew, but more like adventure you get from climbing to the top of the mountain only to reach the ridge just as the sun is starting to set, far on the horizon. Admittedly this reason is a bit more touchy-feely, but we are humans after all and there is value in keeping some awe and wonder present in our lives. There is no freedom like flying though a back-country rode while the trees are covered with thick snow, and the ribbon of runway is still dry enough to keep the landing gear up (terrible mixed-metaphor, I know). It’s a unique experience that’s freeing, and beautiful in a way that you just can’t appreciate inside of a cage…
The last reason is challenge. When the roads are truly snowy, I take the car. Look even someone as bike-crazy as me can realize that there is a threshold that shouldn’t be crossed. The challenge however, is taking advantage of every day you DO have that is reasonable. That means alot of preparation and planning. It’s true that this is important in the summer as well, but it is essential in the winter. It also means keeping 110% diligent on the road as well. The roads are generally clear if I’m going to ride but in case there is the occasional splash of snow along the way, I have to be prepared. The challenge enables me to dig deeper and understand more about the science/art of riding and that, above it all, is worth the trouble.
Note: in another post I’ll cover more on the technical side of winter riding, on the who what when whereand how…
A few years ago I built my first bike on a shoestring budget. After riding it through a couple of Potsdam winters and the salt/sand and wear had got the best of it. All the while I was thinking of how to improve upon it. After endlessly ready the forums at endless-sphere I came up with a plan that would be the perfect electric bike for me.
It’s an endless work-in-progress. Lots of updates (pictures are actually a bit old now) I still managed to get over 1000 miles on it this past summer.
Current projects include: Rigid battery box construction, controller reprogramming, various wire-harness tweaks, wide-loader xtracycle accessory, adding additional bracing to the xtracycle frame,additional lighting, hubmotor performance modifications, twist throttle (instead of thumb), and the list goes on…:D
Checkout some more pictures below:
CNN did an amazing story about Justin Lemier-Elmore, an Ebike revolutionary indeed. It is a fantastic piece on the state of ebikes and a celebration of adventure and engineering. If you take a peek in the gallery, you’ll notice a familiar bike…MINE! Although the caption refers to me as “Terry”. You win some, You lose some.