Stoned Away

Interesting turn-about with the proposed bike lanes on Stone Way here in Seattle.

* WHY: The city has caved to pressure from businesses and developers and has decided to go against the recommendations of the bike master plan and leave a six-block gap between 34th & 40th on Stone Way N, as well as continue the closure of a section of the Burke-Gilman in Fremont thru 2008.

Taken from Seattle Likes Bikes

Indeed we do, and this is a great way to express your feelings about the “change of heart.” Make sure that when this ride rolls take it by Wright Bros. and give a wave, it’s a frequent topic of discussion at the shop: bike lanes, the master plan, government employee salaries, Cascade’s efficacy and their salaries, etc. etc. etc.

More of this news from the Stranger.

This is a warning…

A warning sign:


Letting you know that a stop sign is ahead (26 paces ahead at this particular location):


How necessary are these signs? They’re nice too, pretty DELUXE for the biking community. Maybe too nice. Solar powered at that. But what on Earth do you need a stop sign to have electricity for? To have it illuminated with flashing LEDs of course. I’m no electrical engineer or solar energy scientist, but seeing all the tree branches and such above the panels might inhibit some energy transfer. (I could be wrong on that point, I’m not sure—seems counter-intuitive at least, especially in cloudy Seattle.)

I’ve heard there are many of these cropping up on the Burke-Gilman trail here in Seattle. They have the look and feel of being expensive.


These people look like they feel much safer, don’t they?

I hope they weren’t so expensive that any other improvements or extensions to the trail aren’t being sidelined. I admittedly don’t ride the trail very often—it just doesn’t go where I need to go—but I do believe that some other improvements could happen that might allow cyclists to enjoy the trail more (read: extensions into Ballard, smoothing tree routes up north, eliminating private driveway stop signs, etc.) rather than adding more impediments to their travel.

Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth? Or is this some placating bone to silence Seattle’s cyclists? As in, “Look how much money we’ve thrown into ‘improving’ the Burke!”

Two Apart

I have to wonder if my neighbors, on their balcony above my building, understand what it was like for Francis Scott Key when he was hearing rockets and cannonballs above his cell. It must have been a profound night for him. I admit last night’s bombardment was only fireworks, but the roman candles and such my neighbors felt like firing above my apartment last night didn’t drive me to write a provocative song, but rather cuss and swear at them from below. Communist I’m not, I’m more concerned with my apartment not burning to the ground on account of one of these hooplehead’s bad aim. I do like a reasonably sound night’s sleep as well. I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July, I sure know my neighbors did.

Speaking of July, le Tour is starting this weekend, right? Looking forward to those lycra laden fellas? Whisperings of drug testing still in the air? Are we tired of all the drama yet? Every time I use the head at the bike shop I’m working at I see this poster on the wall:

Nice Tour camaraderie from days of yore to be sure; a couple of racers assisting another in lighting his cigarette while riding in the peloton. Gotta love those guys in the background, tucked down, catching the draft, while the dude on the left casually watches the smoking take place. What would the WADA think of that happening now? Who cares really? I don’t particularly, but seeing that poster always makes me imagine a more modern version that simply makes me chuckle:

* One racer steadies his left hand on his partner’s shoulder while his right hand is holding firm the rubber tourniquet around the doper’s bicep. A second racer sees the doper about to drop his syringe so sprints up to assist in steadying him on this right side so he may better take in his much needed performance enhancing formula… and a good time is had by all.

A long stretch of the imagination of course. What do I know?

I don’t get there nearly enough lately, but I plan on making my way to the Summit more than a few times to watch some of the Tour this year. Like a train wreck, I just have to look, but watching it at the Summit has some great benefits.

Need a Job?

I’ve recently been working at Wright Bros bike shop in Fremont and have been learning a lot about working on bikes. Maybe one day I’ll be a master mechanic myself! But I’ve been asked to post an opportunity for those that have experience as a bike mechanic here on the Cranked blog. Check it out:

* Bike Works has a current opening for TWO Bike Shop Mechanics. One of our mechanics has decided to go back to school, so we’re searching for great mechanics to work full time or part time this summer, and possibly part time in the off-peak season (usually October – April).

* Bike Works is a not-for-profit community bicycle shop, and offers a rich, dynamic, and rewarding job opportunity. While the technical aspects of the job require top-notch mechanical ability, working in our bike shop also requires a commitment to youth, community development, and sustainable transportation.

To find out more about the opportunity, check out the position opening.

And of course, you should look more into what Bike Works is all about. They do some really cool things, which is why there was a sweet article on them back in issue #3.

This is one of the cool things I’ve learned about bike shops, everyday people come into Wright Bros asking about buying a cheap used bike, or where to get used parts, and invariably—because we’re only a repair shop for the most part—we tell them to check out Bike Works among other shops like Recycled Cycles or Second Ascent. All great shops.