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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fashion Friday: A Rain Burka for Monsoon Season

Why is monsoon-worthy rainwear so hard to find? Proper gear is key to staying dry when the wind whips up and the rain comes down hard. My cycle-specific long rain coat, merino wool cap, leather motorcycle boots and nylon gloves have me covered head to toe, and protect my sweater dress from the ravages of the elements.

Full Coverage
My full coverage rain gear comes close to meeting strict Islamic dress-code laws.

Inside Look
Works so well I can wear a cotton shirt and sweater dress underneath with confidence.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Crosswalk FAIL: Skyport Drive at Guadalupe Fwy

How many buttons do you have to push to cross under this freeway? How many minutes does the crossing take? This dull video goes on and on, just like crossing this road. It’s no surprise that everyone jaywalks here.

The crosswalk connects workers like me in nearby office towers to an entrance to the Guadalupe River Trail. Fortunately, there aren’t many scofflaw pedestrians. Since there aren’t any trail signs, few even know it’s there.

Location: Skyport Drive at the Guadalupe Freeway, San Jose.

Update: I contact the City of San Jose’s Bike and Pedestrian group within their Department of Transportation. They agreed that the crosswalk signal wasn’t timed well. Unfortunately, the State of California’s DOT regulates this particular intersection so they urged me to contact them. I’ll do it after they open tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Bike Lane FAIL

 

Fashion Weekend Edition: Holiday Escape

When your bike tour spans only a holiday weekend and you can hop a ferry to speed your travel, dressing in style is a breeze. A Navy inspired pullover, basic tee and casual shoes are perfect for roaming around Tiburon.

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About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Commute Diaries: I’m Not a Real Commuter

A tip of my cycling cap goes to the hardcore men and women who commute daily alongside 45 mph traffic. I am not one of you. Today, I put on my lycra big girl panties, donned my hi-viz security blanket, and intrepidly rode Central Expressway to avoid suicide-related Caltrain delays. If this was my only bike option, I’d drive.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Spotting: Autoshifting GT AutoStream Cruiser

Some ordinary-looking bikes deserve a second glance, like this cruiser with AutoShift we saw on Caltrain.

We sat next to its owner, who fell in love with his first AutoShift bike on first ride. So when the cops repossessed it for being a stolen bike, he searched until he found a replacement. He plunked down a whopping $40 on it used, a huge discount over the original price of 4 payments of $99.95 each (a special TV offer!).

How could you not love a bike with an infomercial like this?

Location: Bicycle car on the Caltrain commuter railway, Mountain View to San Mateo, California, USA

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Bike Gallery

 

Bike Commute Diaries: I’m a Big Spender

When Black Friday comes, I’ll park outside the door. And spend a big wad of money at the most bike-friendly store. Riding my bike has changed my shopping habits: I shop closer to home and more often at small businesses. Great merchandise without the driving and parking hassles and my sales tax stays local.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Commute Diaries

 

Fashion Friday: Another Day, Another Dress

Knit dress, long scarf, warm tights, tall boots, poplin coat. Check, check, check, check, check! Seems like I’m pulling out this dress uniform every day, sunshine or dizzle. Why? Because it works, both on and off the bike.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Fashion Weekend Edition: A Poncho for the Villa

When the thermometer takes a nosedive and you long to stay in bed under a warm blanket, there is a solution. A cowl-neck sweater poncho wraps you in warmth and comfort while up-styling your weekend look. So long, sloppy sweatshirt. Hello, posh poncho.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Bike the Vote

I live in a state that offers vote by mail so I don’t have to wait in line to vote. But there’s something about dropping off my ballot at the polling station that feels right. Lucky for me I skipped the line in the parking lot too.

Note: If you haven’t already voted and you’re undecided about which local candidates support bicycling, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offers these endorsements. The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition cannot endorse candidates, but has posted results to “ask the candidate” surveys related to bike-related issues.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Commute Diaries, Issues & Infrastructure

 

Santa Cruzin’ on the Coast at Wilder Ranch

How did I not know abut this sweet trail on the coast? Probably because it’s too flat and smooth to interest my mountain biker friends. And I don’t have kids. I’m sure all the outdoorsy families in the area know this trail. If they don’t, they should, as should anyone looking for a mellow ride with jaw-dropping gorgeous views.

My friends and I were down in Santa Cruz competing in a cyclocross race. Let me clarify: not racing, but competing in the costume race, a single lap on the 1-2 mile official race course. Most “racers” take it slowly, we took it so slowly that CX Magazine wrote: “This group kept a leisurely pace, and got a lot of fan attention.”

We did get a lot of attention. I guess four women in shiny pink mini-skirts and fake go-go boots is the closest thing to NFL cheerleaders that you get at a cross race. More photos here and here and here.

Since the race hardly gave us a workout, we headed up the coast to Wilder Ranch State Historic Park. With our cross bikes, we skipped the rockier, steeper trails and took the Ohlone Bluff Trail instead. It was the right choice. The non-technical dirt road meant we could admire the coastal views without having to focus on the trail. And we already had enough bruises from a single parade lap at the cross race.

Five miles out, five miles back, with a lot of camera stops and a misguided attempt to clear an overgrown stretch of singletrack. We rolled along on a Sunday afternoon until our growling stomachs demanded we leave.

Do you have a favorite Sunday afternoon leisurely ride? What about it keeps you coming back again and again?

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Dirt Trails

 
 
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