Author Archives: Mike Richters

#32 – Tunes from Nantucket

…in which Randy goes on vacation, and makes his kids ride fifteen miles per day. Mike punctures a tire, and finds a new way of getting around.

  • Headphones and speakers, Bluetooth and otherwise.
  • Children are tailgaters. Beware the stop signs!
  • Mike blames Ira Glass for ruining his hearing.
  • Car noise and conversations between cyclists in single file.
  • Encyclopedia Brown always rode his bike everywhere, unsupervised by adults. Why can’t our kids do that today?
  • Mike likes Lezyne glueless patches, maybe because he doesn’t know how to use the old ones properly.
  • There’s a new bike rack at Randy’s son Max’s school, but the placement of it leaves something to be desired.
  • Keeping battery-powered lights charged becomes more difficult the more bikes there are in the group. Don’t point your flashing lights at your friends and family!
  • We mentioned a depressing article about a cyclist killed by a police officer — who will not be charged, and another about the circumstances of cyclist deaths in the US.
  • We also talked about an article about the fact that nobody has yet died on a bike-share bike in the US.
  • Until next time: PMC on Hubway & Boris vs Ventoux.

#31 – Uitgezonderd Fietsers

…in which we hear about Mike’s trip to Amsterdam, and the new bike his family bought there:

kr8-workcycles

  • If you’re interested, Randy wrote up his review of the Pan-Mass Challenge, which we talked about last week.
  • A visit to the WorkCycles shop in the Jordaan, featuring some strange spokes on a very odd bicycle. Here’s a photo of Mike’s family in front of the shop, with the bikes we rented from them:

melanie-fr8

  • Sheldon Brown’s POWerwheels!
  • Randy explains why it might makes sense to run red lights sometimes.
  • Mike tells how it works to let all the cyclists at an intersection go at the same time. David Hembrow does it better.
  • Randy prepares for his own summer vacation, and tells us about his cargo trailer. We hope it will survive:

10482426_10152188921545806_2802940043405199084_n

#30 – Season Two

…in which Randy & Mike return from their summertime hiatus to regale you with tales of endurance, fund-raising, travel to exotic locales, and torrential rains.

  • Randy tells us all about his sixth time riding the Pan-Mass Challenge, and his wife’s first.
  • Mike talks a little bit about his family trip to Amsterdam, and why it’s not nearly as flat as Winnipeg.
  • Randy describes riding in pacelines during the PMC.
  • You, too, can own a water bottle just like Mike’s new one.
  • Find out just how many beers Randy can drink during a 250-mile bicycle ride!

#28 – Body parts may be sheared off

…in which Randy has the greatest day of his life, despite the speedy biting flies in the woods.

  • An optimist and a pessimist discuss existential qualities of the passing of time, and also terms used in framing construction.
  • Randy replaces a chainring again, and discovers that we were wrong about the threading of bottom bracket sides last week.  We said that the right side threads were right-handed, and the left side threads were left-handed, but it’s actually the other way around.  When the bearings are rolling properly, the inside surface of the bearings are actually tightening the bottom bracket in the opposite direction of the motion of the cranks and pedals.  This has nothing to do with quarks.
  • We debate the relative merits of front and rear derailleurs, with a mention of half-step gearing.  We do not recommend front shifts with fingers.
  • Which bicycles are the most dangerous when on a work stand?  Probably fixed-gear bikes.  Not ones with full chaincases.
  • Apologies to anyone who followed that last link.
  • Foreign objects get jammed in the spokes of bikes in movies.  Exhibit 1: Breaking Away.  Also, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was tested out by the Mythbusters.
  • Randy survives his saddle being sheared off while riding (on the greatest day of his life!)
  • The Pan-Mass Challenge is happening in one month!  Donate to Randy & Julie‘s ride!
  • 27.2mm seatpost diameter comes from 1-1/8″ seat tube outside diameter (0.7mm thickness).
  • Randy’s theory of smooth shifting.  This is made more difficult when there’s no saddle.
  • Mike thinks riding a bike with no hands out of the saddle sounds impossible, until Randy explains that it’s done without pedalling.  A kid with a creaky suspension bike made a video to show us all how it’s done.
  • Picking up someone at the airport on a bicycle.
  • Dogs!
  • Running over small animals.  Beware, chipmunks!
  • Here’s the story of the one-armed man who got stopped for only having one hand brake.

#27 – Flywheels & Flailing Arms

…in which Randy runs to work, because riding a bike is too easy.

  • Mike used to ride to work so that he would still be able to breathe after two minutes of dancing.
  • Randy continues to debate which trailer he likes better: Surly or Bikes at Work.  Apparently, Mr Money Moustache has one.
  • Even the four-wheeled Bikes at Work 96ADW trailer has nothing on Nico Jungel’s machine from Berlin.
  • Mike has some trouble securing cargo on his trailer.  Maybe the Jyrobike flywheel could help…
  • We swear off talking about misbehaving drivers, then immediately talk about misbehaving drivers.
  • Replacing drivetrain parts is like pulling a thread.
  • Magnets are useful for picking up small parts dropped on the lawn.
  • If anyone knows what kind of grocery delivery bike appeared in Harriet the Spy, we’d like to know!

#26 – Don’t trust the suicidal pedestrians

…in which we both survive close encounters with buses.

  • It was Bike Week in Winnipeg!
  • Say no to last-minute bicycle adjustments just before a big ride.
  • Randy gets hit…by an ambulance.
  • Pedestrian crossing signs in the middle of the road.
  • We discuss different strategies for dealing with pedestrians waiting to cross the street, or crossing without looking.
  • The downside of signalling for turns.
  • Yet another irresponsible bus driver!
  • Mike is really looking forward to self-driving cars.
  • We mentioned the economic principle of induced demand.
  • New York City taxi medallions are worth ridiculous sums of money.

#25 – 35 Miles From Home

…in which we continue to practice our circus tricks!

#24 – King of the Door Zone

…in which we continue last week’s conversation about teaching kids to ride safely on the road, and Randy actually skips a day of riding his bike to work!

    • Mike talks about his garage being demolished, and the ensuing bicycle storage and security problems.
    • Randy gives us an update on the slow progress of the planning for his new shed, and all the treasures that were hiding underneath the old one.
    • The advantages of unheated bicycle storage.
    • A top ten list of things we yell at our kids to keep them out of trouble on the street.
    • We mentioned the FollowMe Tandem coupler for linking a small bike to a large one, which led to a mention of the theft of Emily Finch’s famous bakfiets in Portland last year. (Mike incorrectly repeated the idea that it had been left unlocked).
    • Who should have priority when bicycles meet on a hill?
    • The kids are starting to do tricks on their bikes!
    • We have a brief, highly speculative discussion about metabolism.  For some real information on that, you could try reading a book by Gary Taubes (if you’ve got a month or so to kill…)

#23 – “I Cycle Safely”

…in which we while away the hour talking about teaching kids how to not get run over by cars.

  • 23 skidoo!
  • Randy considers a radical idea for staying safe on the road. The only real problem is his man-purse… (Note: the word on one of the vests in this overtaking study is “POLITE”)
  • Mike gets all riled up about a safe-bicycling pamphlet distributed at his son’s school.
  • We mentioned David Hembrow’s description of what the “strict liability” law in the Netherlands is really all about.
  • Both of us seem to have trouble keeping our helmets from banging into things.
  • For people interested in teaching kids to cycle safely, John Forester’s Elementary-Level Cyclist Training Program might be of interest.
  • Randy tells the tale of an unfortunate incident involving a chain, a derailleur, a birthday, and bad repair timing. (Here’s an example, though not the one in question)
  • Last, but not least…escaping wheels!

#22 – Stay away from that tree; it wants to kill you!

…in which we try new bicycle tricks, with mixed success.