Biking Gear

Bikers don’t need a lot of equipment to get around but here are a few items I use regularly.

Pearl Izumi Men’s Select Glove
As soon as I started wearing these instead of my old worn out gloves my hands started to feel better. No more numbness.

Kool Stop MTN Mountain Bicycle Brake Pads
I’ve been using these for years and I love ‘em. Especially now that I finally learned how to install them properly.

GoPro HD Hero 960 #1 safety item. The new GoPros are improved so you may want that. However, this one still does the trick.

K-Edge Go-Big Handlebar Mount
To mount the GoPro camera on my handlebars I’m using this mount instead of the plastic one that GoPro sells.

Topeak Joe Blow Max Hp Floor Pump
Gotta keep air in the tires. This pump replaced one I had for years and it is a night and day improvement. This pump is fast, ergonomically designed and sturdy.

Levis Commuter Jeans
Update: These jeans are the first ones I’ve enjoyed wearing on a bike. They are reinforced, have a bike lock pocket, include weather resistant properties and reflective stripes. Plus, long legged cyclists look good in these when you’re done biking. This time of year they can be hot so you might go with the new(er) Levis Commuter 511 Shorts.

 

Seconds Away from Being Hit by a Red Light Running Motorist

Be extra careful on the Q Street bike lane as it crosses 9th St. I’ve seen people run the red light going both north and south on 9th and I never knew why. I now suspect it is because there are traffic signals so close together on Q and on Rhode Island Ave and (distracted? tourists?) motorists see the light at Rhode Island and not the one on Q.

Here’s the video that reminds me how timing is everything.

Explore the area in Google Maps: goo.gl/J4Yoe

New Sharrows on 8th St NE

Riders on the Metropolitan Branch Trail know that the trail by the train tracks dumps cyclists on 8th St NE under Franklin St. In the last few days sharrows have been added to 8th St NE which help cyclists and motorists share the road. So glad to see the sharrows on 8th St, even though it is a fairly quiet neighborhood street. The sharrows are helping because you can see from my lane position in the video that I am riding where the sharrows indicate I should and the motorists give me plenty of space while passing.

It does seem strange that the sharrows closest to Monroe St are painted up against the curb. Not sure what that’s about.

Road Condition of Mount Rainier’s Bunker Hill Road

Any cyclists and drivers who have been on Bunker Hill Road in the past years have suffered through the constant poor road conditions on Bunker Hill Road in Mount Rainier, Maryland. It seems to have gotten even worse after recent work done by the water utility. This video below is a no-frills (sorry — dull) look at the road condition today.

By far it is the worst road surface on my 6 mile commute to work in the city. Not being a civil engineer I’m wondering why does the utility work leave the road with so many potholes and uneven ground? Why it is left in such an awful condition?

Driver Narrowly Misses Cyclists then Runs Red Light

This felt like a distracted/aggressive driver situation.

The driver makes a fast wide turn into the right lane where the cyclists are. The shadow of the SUV announces the angle of motion and it’s not good. At the last moment the driver moves back toward the center lane and instead of stopping for the red light, s/he speeds up and goes through even after the first cyclist yells out “RED LIGHT!”

I’m happy nobody was injured because you can see how close the Jeep driver came to causing a collision. Here’s the video:

Biking on Trash Day Stinks

It literally stinks to ride on trash pickup day. My morning commute coincides with the trash trucks’ rounds and entire neighborhoods fill with the stench. It can be even worse when you cycle directly behind a truck.

The more persistent problem about trash/recycle days involves the new contraflow bike lane on R Street between 2nd & 3rd NE. The trash bins are left in the bike lane and leave a narrow path for cyclists that is essentially the dooring zone. The trash bins should be on the grass not in the travel lane.

This video shows how ugly it is to ride behind a trash truck and what the bike lane looks like on trash/recycling pickup days.

Littering Hurts Cyclists. Don’t Litter.

inoperable rear derailleur because of a plastic bag in the cogs

A plastic bag stuck in the chain can bring a ride to an abrupt stop.

This morning I had trouble staying in gear because wet leaves were stuck in the rear cogs. Probably should have stopped to get them out but it was cold and I didn’t want to gunk up my gloves. Eventually the leaves broke down and riding smoothed out. Not as lucky tonight.

This evening as I was rushing home to vote I didn’t think twice about riding past a plastic bag next to a stop sign. As I tried to accelerate past the intersection my gears wouldn’t change. I looked down and found an old empty plastic bag wrapped up in my tension pulley.

Be careful on the roads and watch out for (leaf) litter this fall.