Category Archives: Podcast

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

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

#21 – Have you tried turning it off and on again?

…in which we find out why Mike uses a hammer to work on his bike, and Randy tells of a close encounter with a train.

  • Canadian football is played on a field 110 yards (not meters!) long.
  • Randy had broken the front giant fender on his Pugsley. Now he breaks the rear one, too. Sad.
  • People ask inane questions about repairing bikes. People are idiots — including us!
  • Randy considers the idea of having a bike devoted to not crashing.
  • We recorded the show on National Bike to Work Day (in the US; Bike to Work Week in Winnipeg is next month).
  • We discuss feelings of ambivalence about riding bikes among text-messaging drivers, and the lack of proper infrastructure for transportation cycling in North America.
  • Randy sees kids riding to school in a large group, and we talk about our own kids riding to school.
  • We have a sponsor: StemCAPtain! You can have a clock, a compass, or even a thermometer mounted on the top of your stem! For a 15% discount, use the offer code “SPOKESANDWORDS”!
  • Wheels without spokes: Loopwheels & Softwheels!
  • A flat on a fatbike. Does that make it a “flatbike”?

#20 – Beeswax and Bottle Openers

…in which we learn how Mike pronounces his surname, and Randy huffs paint thinner on his way to work.

  • More on stolen and abandoned bicycles.  Mike made a photo gallery of bikes he found one day in Winnipeg, and mentioned an article about bike locks (and bike thieves).
  • Randy continues to lust after the fancy Surly trailer hitch.
  • Adventures in wheel truing, or “How does one free a frozen (spoke) nipple?”
  • Chain tensioners that don’t fit, and cleverly-angled dropouts.
  • Changing chainrings, or “How does that chainring nut wrench work?”
  • Basically, we’re having trouble with threads getting stuck this week.
  • The “LESS CAR, MORE GO” Kickstarter has been funded!
  • A lightweight fat bike?

#19 – Spherical Rubber Lollipops

…in which Randy decides he wants an Ice Cream Truck to replace his six-week old fat bike, and Mike encounters a mystery bike in the woods.

  • Kickstands are good for cargo bikes!
  • Trailer hitches!
  • We discuss bike snobbery, with a brief mention of BikeSnobNYC.
  • There are now lots of different Surly Bikes.
  • Mike explores Winnipeg’s bicycle graveyard, and sees evidence of thievery.
  • Springtime is here, and that means…things getting dropped out of bakfietsen.
  • Randy mentions a collection of photos showing wonderful cycling infrastructure.
  • New rail trails are being built in Massachusetts!
  • Rotaries, roundabouts, and other traffic “circles”.  We talk about some badly designed ones, but to see some examples of how to make a good one, see A View From the Cycle Path.
  • Kickstarter projects of interest: Loud Bicycle (see also AirZound) & bicymple (see also other articulated trick bicycles).  Listeners might also be interested in the LESS CAR, MORE GO documentary.

#18 – Lazy Sack!

…in which Mike summons bad weather by changing a tire, and Randy works on wearing out his replacement frame with tires that are too big.

  • It’s time to get the kids to start pulling their own weight.  Randy looks forward to leaving the trail-a-bike behind, and Mike gets some pedalling help from a four-year-old.
  • We talk about the awesome hitch on the Surly cargo trailers (which, alas, do not have movable axles, like the Bikes at Work trailers).
  • A surprise guest! Sarah wants to tell you all about her tandem bicycle, and how Mike’s family can get around without using their bakfiets on occasion.
  • How to startle pedestrians in the woods — without even moving!
  • The merits of different bicycle bells.
  • Randy tells us about his new hipster clock!
  • We find out about “bikeshedding”, or Parkinson’s Law of Triviality, as we hear about the plans for Randy’s new bike shed, and the various ideas he has for a bike rack.
  • A mention of the 1950s “Cyclists’ Special” train for carrying bikes.
  • Kickstands with two legs!
  • And last, but not least, Max’s little sister is a Lazy Sack!

#17 – It Got Warm, It Got Cold…

…in which our kids start getting used to their new bikes!r3

  • Keeping joints warm – with wrestling knee pads!
  • Taking pictures of moving bicycles – and from moving bicycles.
  • Mike couldn’t remember the Fly6 combination tail light & camera (possibly useful for monitoring children in trailers).
  • Kids learning to shift gears for the first time!
  • Drawing pictures on Strava:
  • Randy cleaned out his shed.  He had a few extra wheels and tires:
  • You’ll have to listen to hear the stories of Randy’s series of clipless-pedal crashes, the deadly railroad bridge, and the need for mudflaps.

#16 – Where Did You Get These Soft Little Hands?

…in which we acquire new bikes for growing boys.

  • Mounting fenders on a fat bike — because it’s not fun to get sprayed in the face.
  • Why we hate quick release hubs.
  • Randy’s giant ninja bike attracts too much attention from drivers.
  • Fitting tires that are just a bit too big for the frame…
  • A fantastic new way to make your child crash on his bike: Minibrake!
  • Mike does a bunch of research on lightweight kids’ bikes:
  • Randy does the sensible thing, and gets a normal bike at a local shop.  Importantly, the Trek Superfly is Red!
  • Kids have trouble shifting…

#15 – The First Mosquito of Spring

…in which a Christmas movie is filmed in Mike’s neighborhood, and Randy discovers an unexpected benefit of portaging a fatbike!

  • Fixing flats, and other broken bicycle parts.  How not to extract a sheared-off bolt from a nut!
  • We discuss that old saw, “When your seatpost clamp is busted, take the bus.”
  • Attempted shopping for kids’ bikes.
  • Randy’s broken frame gets replaced…with Darth Vader!  (It’s got a nice beat, but you can’t dance to it.)
  • We mentioned that there is a confusing panoply of tire sizes, all explained best by Sheldon Brown in his article on the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization standards.
  • Large (balanced) tires can spin for a long, long time on a stand.
  • A video of Nik Wallenda riding a bicycle on a high wire!
  • If you want to know what Randy discovered about his Pugsley, you’ll have to listen to the show.

#14 – Ghost Train

…in which we debate the finer points of the by-laws of Mudwater.  And also a brief discussion of cycling!

  • Mike has some trouble with ice caused by spring freeze-thaw cycles in alleys that haven’t been cleared of snow.
  • Randy goes on an adventure in the woods, and invents some new trick moves on ice, with a brief stop near Chernobyl.
  • Mike mentioned an advantage of a tricycle in climbing hills, and made reference to an article about Sheldon Brown’s Greenspeed.
  • We discuss a bicycle drivetrain puzzle that you can try out on your own bike(s)!
  • We talk about cycling promotion events in general, and the upcoming 30 Days of Biking, in which we pledge to ride our bikes every day in April to benefit Free Bikes 4 Kidz.
  • Randy and his wife are both riding in the Pan Mass Challenge.  As a result, Another New (used) Bike!
  • Should one buy a Princess Bike from Toys’R’Us?  (Hint: Try to find one at a real bike shop…)

#13 – Living in Hawaii is Delightful!

…in which we wish for a device to adjust tire pressure without dismounting.

  • We learn why Mike keeps referring to Winnipeg as “Mudwater“.
  • Randy’s adventures on the ice banks with his Pugsley!
  • What does Mike’s family do when they have visitors from out of town?
  • Letting children sleep in bike trailers – while grocery shopping, or just sitting in the driveway.
  • A discussion of the relative costs of cars and bicycles, with absolutely no numbers (we just make stuff up).
  • The new WorkCycles Kr8 bakfiets!  (And also the WorkCycles Cargobike Extra Extra Long…)