Browse Category by Commuting
Commuting, Reviews, Washington

On the Cheap Reviews Pt. 1–Use Protek, son!

 

 

Capture

(Disclaimer: The lawyers told me to inform the readers that this is not a sponsored product endorsement. I am not sponsored by any brand, manufacturer or other type of equipment company. I buy all of the gear, products and parts I review with my own monies. My reviews and opinions are solely my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GoMeansGo or any other sane people who may be reading this.)

To piggyback on Ryan’s recent article, Tire Repair 101, sometimes you have to say “uncle” and give into buying new tires.

Tires are probably the most expensive consumable in cycling…right behind massive quantities of micro-brewed IPA’s.

Historically, the cycling masses have been indoctrinated  into thinking they need ultra thin, ultra skinny, ultra light racing tires on their road bikes, regardless of their riding style or environment. After all, we’re all aspiring to win the next Tour, despite the facts that we’re pushin’ 40 and just commuting to our soulless desk jobs at big corporations.

Right?

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Bicycle, Bike Camping, Commuting, Ride Your Bike, Seattle, Vintage, Washington

On the Cheap

The Seattle metro area is one of the priciest areas in the nation to call home, and while cycling has been called many things by many people, “cheap” is not one of them.

For those of us who live in and around Seattle and like to ride and race bikes, but don’t make anywhere near a six figure income, something’s gotta give.

This usually means that you find yourself sharing a $2000 a month 300 sq. ft. studio apartment with your 2 cats, a dog named Freewheel because you had one too many PBR’s one night and thought it was a good idea to name him “Freewheel,” your road bike, fixed gear bike, fat bike, SS hardtail, full suspension long travel trail bike (to show off your prowess at Duthie Hill), full suspension short travel trail bike (‘cuz it’s faster, goddammit), CX race bike, commuter bike and, since it’s Seattle, your full fendered rain bike.

You eat ramen noodles because your Safeway card gets you 10 for $1 and you’re saving up for that sweet new cargo bike so you can go car-free and  the “N+1” rule of bike ownership mathematically dictates that you need another bike or else the universe may collapse in on itself.

For those not familiar with the “N+1” rule, it states that the number of bicycles you should own is one more than you currently own (N). The same rule applies to snowboards, but that’s another blog.

Algebra’s fun!

…and expensive…..

Even though rent may be expensive in Seattle, with so many great shops in the area, building a bike doesn’t have to be.

I stumbled upon a 1993 RockHopper Comp on the local craigslist for $75. I was looking for a commuter/light touring rig on the cheap and I thought that with some creativity, this old machine may fit the bill.

While I’m not a fan of Specialized and their business practices as of late, their old frames always fit me well (short legs, short arms, round torso) and were pretty reliable pieces of steel, so I thought I’d check it out.

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Accessories, Commuting

Buca Boot: The Bike Trunk

The Buca Boot is a basket that doubles as a lockable trunk for your bike. The Buca Boot is waterproof when closed, lockable and attaches to your existing bike rack from the inside making it as secure as your bike, or rather your lock job. When opened the top panels swing to the sides and reveal fabric pannier-style side pouches. When open you can carry larger or fragile items in the hard case, with additional cargo on the sides. It looks like a pretty slick design offering equal parts utility and style. The kickstarter is already fully funded, but you can still pre-order your own with a wood top for $195 or a plastic top for $145. Seems like a perfect sort of product for Seattle based Hub and Bespoke to carry.

bucaboot

Commuting, Gear

First Glance: ABUS Granit X-Plus U 54 Mini

ABUS isn’t new to the lock/security game (they’ve been in business since 1924), but as of late they’ve really been pushing their bike locks and bike specific products to the North American market. They were also a major sponsor of this years NACCC which was held in Seattle back in July. I’ve been using the same Kryptonite Evolution Mini U Lock for the last 5 years, so when ABUS sent over their new Granit X-Plus U 54 Mini I was excited to try it out.

Here is what ABUS has to say about it:
The Granit X-Plus U 54 Mini, this lock is the highest level of security we offer in a bicycle U-Lock – but featuring a shorter shackle. The lock retains the wide profile of its full size siblings in the Granit X-Plus U lock family, which makes it ideal for cities that have reinforced parking meters available for bike parking and where high security is needed.   The best part is that because of the shorter profile, it’s more affordable:  $109.99 retail. Check out the full line of ABUS bike locks HERE.

DSC_4873

My First Lock-Up: The Granit X Plus 54 U Mini has almost the same length shackle as my old lock, but it is wider, appears more sturdy and is slightly heavier in the hand. The lock body is a little bulky with a plastic cover, but the locking action and turning motion of the key is remarkably smooth. The automatic keyhole cover is pretty slick too. I’ll be reporting back with a full review after some daily miles and lock ups, stay tuned…

Advocacy, Commuting, Media, News, Seattle

Fremont Bridge Bike Counter: A New Record

If you have ridden across the Fremont Bridge since last October, chances are you’ve noticed this electronic sign on the Northwest bikeway/sidewalk. The Fremont Bridge Bike Counter has been ticking away since October 11th 2012 counting cyclists crossing the bridge in both directions and both sides (if you haven’t tested this, I did and it picks up cyclists crossing on either side and direction).

Fremont Bridge Bike Counter
Photo courtesy of bikingseattle

Tuesday May 7th, the second day of the second week of National Bike Month marked the most cyclists to cross the bridge in a 24 hour period to date since the installation of the bike counter, 5,103 bike crossings recorded. The excellent weather that week and the fact it is Bike Month helped pushed the weekly total to over 28,000 crossings. That is a lot of bikes.  The below graph is a weekly tally of bike trips recorded since the installation of the counter.

Bike Counter Graph

Bike to Work Day is this Friday May 17th, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a new record set.

 

 

Advocacy, Commuting, Media, News, Washington

Washington: Ranked #1 Bicycle Friendly State, 6th Year Running

In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Cyclists has released its Annual Bicycle Friendly States ranking. Washington State achieved the top ranking nationally for a sixth consecutive year. As a life long Washingtonian and a passionate cyclist that is exciting to hear. Hey Ryan, whats up with Alaska coming in 45th?WA_#1

From the official press release: For the sixth year in a row, Washington continues to lead the nation, with high performance in all categories. But up-and-coming states — including Delaware, Illinois and Arizona —  charged up the ranking in 2013, shaking up the top 10. “We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Delaware, Colorado and Oregon,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and planning in every state.” Continue reading the full press release HERE.

If you want to know more about how the other states stacked up check out the 2013 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings Chart, or this handy-dandy interactive State Rankings Map. Who doesn’t like charts and graphs?

Advocacy, Commuting, Events, News

May is National Bike Month

bike to life

I would venture to say that a good amount of Go Means Go readers ride their bikes nearly year round, through rain and shine. But its not hard to admit, riding when the weather is pleasant is much easier and more enjoyable. May is National Bike Month, and even if you ride your bike every month (as you should) it is still a great opportunity to get friends, family or coworkers back on the bike or on the bike for the first time. If you haven’t taken a look at the weather forecast in the Pacific Northwest for the coming weeks you are in for a nice surprise. We are going to be hitting the 70s and possibly even 80s with lots of sun, in other words you aren’t going to have any excuse not to be on two wheels this month.

Wherever you are biking this month take extra care and be aware of the other riders around you as there are bound to be a lot of new and out of practice cyclists on the trails and roads.

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