crankedmag

{ ride a bike… everyday, everywhere }

Merry Christmas!

Yes, and I’m in Oklahoma! Just hanging out with family, watching movies and TV, and doing a lot of crossword puzzles. ‘Tis nice.

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It’s snowing here

Hope everyone out there has a great and safe holiday this week!

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Public Transportation

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Personally, I can’t say I disagree with the complaint entirely, but I don’t agree with the method of protest. Personally, I think lawsuits might get better attention when the time comes and that a lawsuit would be a less potentially misunderstood message for the city. Simply riding in alongside a train will likely confuse the intended message of “safety for cyclists”. Wouldn’t riding in front of a trolley whose driver has likely just finished training, close to the tracks, while chanting, portray blatant idiocy and a staunch lack of common sense? In other words: being perceived as riding dangerously while advocating for safety seems rather contradictory at best.

I agree, the new streetcar system, initially dubbed the S.L.U.T, does need some safety measures added, urgently. I call for signs, as well as striping the streets better; get a load of those yellow diagonals as “buffer” zones around the tracks—fill the lane with them. It’d probably be good to slow the speed limit down there too for motorists. The sharrows suggested are good—bring heavy awareness of cyclist’s presence to motorists and trolleys. Having adequate safety signage is basically CYA for the city in my mind, preventative medicine against lawsuits—just make sure the engineering is logical and safe.

These laws (RCW 46.61.755 and RCW 46.61.770) state that cyclists are allowed to ride as far to the right as is safe. My logic tells me that riding in the right-hand lane with tracks present would NOT be safe, in which case, I’ll ride in the left-hand lane sharrow or no; and if I need to, I’ll find another route and just grin and bear it.

Seattle drags it’s ass on many things, including public transportation, I’m not saying this S.L.U.T. is the best presentation of mass transit—it is far from perfect—but I do see it as a start. Let the city make it safe (stripe it, sign it, and sharrow it), and embrace the S.L.U.T. with all of it’s imperfections, eventually maybe it’ll spread wider. And with that width, increased safety. Let’s hope to see more mass transit and fewer cars on our roads and not deliver a potentially confusing message that might hamper other cyclist’s image or limit the positive direction the S.L.U.T. might take us. Give it time, it’s only just begun.

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Cargo

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I’ve blathered about B.O.B. before, but now I get to some more because I’ve got a trailer again. I sprung for the Ibex primarily for the rad suspension. I can’t wait to haul more stuff than this thing is rated for—70 lbs. Having my bike sitting at the bike shop always gets a lot of looks and questions because of it’s rack—C.E.T.M.A., but now it seems to garner more comment what with the trailer attached to it. It truly is my utility bike, I reckon most people roll a trailer with a triple chainring or at least some gears, but I’ve opted to be ultimately utilitarian with my fixed gear bike. It’s become quite the beater, but it still performs like the true beast of burden it is. This just means I won’t mind beating it up more.

If I want gears for the Ibex, it’ll have to ride in luxury—the Coppi has got B.O.B. nuts also. The gears do make it easier under load, but how often have you seen a Ferrari with a trailer hitch? This is why the fixed is the typical B.O.B. puller. Throwing down fixie skids with the attached trailer does prove difficult if not impossible however. Something I can get over pretty easily I think.

There are always the questions as to why? “Why do you need a trailer?” Because I refuse to rely on a automobile to get around, and sometimes I need to haul stuff is why. The questions then sarcastically turn to things like, “what if you need to haul a piano?” When it gets that unrealistically big, well, its time for reasonable alternatives. For the most part it’s been groceries, or runs to drop off recycling, but I’ve loaded it up with copious other things, best of all was the cat on the way to the vet. Like Alex at the shop commented, the cat could easily replace a bike horn, as she was meowing so continually the entire way.

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She’s a talkative kitty, just making sure everything was alright.

The only thing I have been unable to haul was the pair of wooden pallets I attempted to load in. It might’ve worked had I a couple more bungie cords, but the sound and sight of the straining suspension gave me the impression it wasn’t a good idea. Besides they were standing, balanced in the trailer at about the 6′ mark. That would have been a sketchy ride home indeed.

This box however, somewhat close to as tall and imbalanced, was a cinch. Just returning some styrofoam peanuts to the UPS store:

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Any reason why they question accepting returned cardboard as well? Any reason we should not be able to give back UPS Store cardboard to the UPS Store?

At any rate, I’m looking forward to some long distance riding with it soon, that’ll be a good time fersure! I love any opportunity I can get to haul something with my bike, B.O.B. and C.E.T.M.A. only add to the chances. The bigger the better!

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Back-issues

Many moons ago there was an abundance of requests for Cranked in PDF form. Why futz with a digital copy of a magazine if you can have it in print form in your hands.

Issues one and two are no longer available in print. Click the links in the store page (i.e. send me a couple bucks) for them, I’ll email you the files. They are 5MB and 8MB respectively and they look good on screen.

Issues three, four, and five are still available in print form, and shipping is now free for them.

It has been many moons, hasn’t it? More on what’s new with Cranked soon.

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