A companion site (THE PRACTICAL CYCLIST) is home to
genuinely practical information about using bikes for transportation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saddle Stolen, I'm sad.

Some people steal bike seats for kicks, or to trade for a rock. Some do it because they're selfish. I'm trying to believe that the thief who took my saddle was just down on his luck - lost his job and stole my saddle so he could buy medicine for his sick children - but it's hard to believe. Whoever stole knew what they were looking at, and had a 4mm hex and a 10mm wrench with him. I have selfish moments too, but I try not to steal things that are clearly valued by their owners.

My saddle looked just like this one.
It was taken from my bicycle
at the Silver Spring Metro station,
on the north side of Colesville Road (map below).

If you see it around, please let me know. If you know the dude, or lady I guess, who took my saddle, kindly ask them to return it. It's never too late for redemption, I would forgive and harbor no resentment. I reserve resentments for family members. And honestly, I can't afford to replace this saddle right now.


View Saddle Theft in a larger map

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A.N.T. Step-through Roadster


Kirsten, originally uploaded by antbike.

Mike Flanigan is one of the most innovative bicycle designers in the US. His vision is unique, I think, because he appears to be constantly re-evaluating the principles, goals, and objectives that drive his designs. Obviously, he has a strong dedication to practical use, but his bikes demonstrate a continually deepening understanding of this principle, and a corresponding continual evolution of its implementation. Most striking in this and other recent work is the open-minded combination of old and new technology.

In addition, the focus on practicality appears to be extraordinarily broad. It includes many of issues commonly understood to be part of sustainabiliy, such as efficiency in construction and supply chain issues. For example, several parts on this bike are made by WALD, Inc., a domestic (US) manufacturer. They are not particularly light or refined, but they are extemely functional and inexpensive, and they support domestic industry. I'm don't think of myself as a protectionist, but most bicycles made these days are made entirely and exclusively overseas. This one is distinctly multi-cultural, with three continents well represented.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bike Maintenance Classes at REI

I'm not endorsing these classes, or teaching them, but here they are, at REI in Bailey's Crossroads (703-379-9400; link; map):

Basic Bike Maintenance 4/7/2009 7:00 PM ~ 9:00 Free! Essential skills for safe and enjoyable riding. Read more about this event.

Total Bicycle Maintenance Class 4/11/2009 9:00 AM ~ 5:00 PM $150 for REI members, $170 for non-members. Workstands, tools, and aprons provided. Registration required, call 703-379-9400. Read more about this event.

Essentials of Bicycle Commuting 4/15/2009 7:30 PM ~ 9:00 PM Free! Read more about this event.

Bike there, with directions: