Twenty Percent

That's the failure level among people taking the GMAC Insurance multiple choice drivers test. Twenty questions and you need to miss more than six to fail. The test is actually quite simple. Answer the questions with safety being the overriding factor for determining the correct answer and you can match my 20 for 20. Who says cyclists don't know the vehicle code?

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My Poor Bike!

Yesterday on my way to work I was accelerating off a start when I heard a loud "pang" (like a ping but more discordant) and the steering got a bit wobbly followed by some squeaking sounds I have always associated with the leather saddle especially when the humidity is high. I though the "pang" came from the drive train (slip gear or some such) and continued on to work.

At the end of the day I got back on the bike and started to head home. I came off the sidewalk to the parking lot and the steering felt sloppy again so I stopped to make sure the panniers were secure (a loose pannier will raise Caine with the steering). All mounts were solid as was the rack itself. Then I noticed this:
From Commuting in NC

Which led me to look at the other side of the downtube:
From Commuting in NC

Followed by a look from the bottom (eek!):
From Commuting in NC

I then very gingerly rode home becoming so very keenly aware of how poor the roads are in some sections of Greensboro. Fortunately the rear brake pad is fairly new so was stopping me well as I didn't want to use the front brakes and put more stress on the downtube.

Once I got home I moved the rear rack and lighting systems over to the trike so it could pinch hit as my commuter until I can resolve my diamond frame conundrum.
From Commuting Scenes
Now it so happens there is a new Trek dealer coming to Greensboro: Trek Bicycle Store. Unfortunately for me, they are not yet capable of servicing warranty claims yet but Chris Pieck of Greensboro's Trek Bicycle Store is passing on my info to "the territory manager for Trek". If I don't hear anything by this weekend I'll try the Trek dealer over in High Point to see if they can provide satisfaction.

If not then I'm developing a list of replacement candidates. To make the list the bike must be considered a loaded touring bike and have disc brakes and 700c wheels (700c wheels are a nice to have to preserve my investment in Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires of which I have three waiting to be used). So far the rides that make the grade are the Co-Motion Americano and the Salsa Fargo. If you know of any other candidates, let me know.

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Bike to Work Manual

Found this link through Bikebiz.com. It's a advertiser financed book on bike commuting. It's about 50% ads, 50% content but a quick look at the content indicates it is reasonable sound advice in the main.

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Bike to Work Week--Nothing Like a Challenge

This was the weather radar two hours after I arrived at work. The yellows and reds were directly overhead when I was cruising through Greensboro this morning. Nothing like waterproof panniers to keep your work clothes dry in a heavy rain.

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Next Week: Bike to Work Week

From Commuting Scenes

Next week is Bike to Work Week across much of the nation as well as here in Greensboro. The dates and locations for the GSO refueling stations are listed at the Bicycling in Greensboro website. I will be helping out at the Total Wine-Battleground location on Tuesday.

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NC DOT Doesn't Seem to Get It

According to this article in the News and Record, NC DOT is planning on surveying motorists on how they use Triad area roads. The problem is, motorists aren't the only road users. What about transit users? Pedestrians? Bicyclists? Their road use is just as valid as the motorists. Where is their survey?

General Greensboro seems to have information not in the news article, in a statement on Twitter he said "GenlGreensboro @mplakus Don't know about alt trans. Seems like they are looking for how many people cross county boundaries. " That still has no bearings on transit, ped or bike, they can all cross county lines.

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Put the Onus on the Risk Bringers

Mikael from The Copenhagen Bicycle Culture Blog has got it right. So many times road DOTs design roads with only motorists in mind. They treat pedestrians and bicyclists as invaders who are left to fend for themselves if they dare to travel on right of ways designed for motor vehicles. The purpose of roads is to move people, goods and raw materials, that they are built out to support motor vehicles does not make their operators the sole "owners" of those spaces.

On Your Bike!


Share the Road

Here's an editorial from the Baltimore Sun about sharing the road. Maryland just passed a three foot passing statute and some are up in arms about how it will delay them. This piece, while occasionally sarcastic, takes pretty good aim at the issues.

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It's Bike Month!

So to start off the month, an article from the NY Times about stopping at red lights.

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Jury Duty

I had it. As a citizen of this democracy it's my duty to participate in it. That said, I have a few complaints on how it's handled here in Guilford County. The Courthouse in Greensboro is just a little uptight about security. Have you ever seen an adjustment wrench for a Brooks saddle? It's a piece of stamped steel about 3 1/2 inches long. That was deemed a large wrench. And a Topeak Turbomorph is considered a weapon. Just to compound this problem, the Courthouse website does not list what is not allowed beyond fire arms and knives. The security chief also copped an attitude about me being dressed in lycra at the security point. Apparently he didn't consider the fact I couldn't change into more acceptable clothing until I got past the checkpoint and into a restroom. When challenged as to what they expected me to do about my "weapons" they did back down a bit and secured them for me at the kiosk. Apparently they didn't want to contact the jury clerk as I was pressing them to do.

Now into the waiting room. Thumbs up for the free WiFi. Thumbs down for blocking Wordpress and Blogger. I'm sitting there cooling my heels and I can't surf the blogs, only the RSS feeds, not a problem if the feed is fat but there are a lot of good thin feeds you need to click through to get to the meat of the article. Also a huge thumbs down for blocking Yehuda Moon just as Rick is starting to publish the strip again. That strip if far more than entertainment, a huge amount of advocacy discussion transpires in the comments section. Finally, IMAP and POP3 mail clients do not work on the free WiFi. If you need your mail, you have to use some lame web client, and believe me, web clients running in Safari on an iPod Touch are truly lame.

Anyway, it turned into a day of nothing. Two groups of jurors were taken from the pool and I wasn't in either. We were released for the day at 4:00pm so I was able to get clear of the downtown area before the evening rush got rolling.

Final warning, eat breakfast before you get there...first break isn't until 11:00am with lunch at 12:30. The vending machines though well stocked are well stocked with junk albeit the prices are lower by a large margin than the vending machines on campus at NC A&T.

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Revised BiG Website

Bicycling in Greensboro now has a revised website thanks to the tireless work of Jeff Sovich. The revisions include a modified logo and some streamlining and reorganization.

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Greensboro Ride of Silence 2010

This year's ride will start again at the VF Jeanswear parking lot on N Elm St near the intersection with E Lindsay St at 6:00PM on May 19, 2010. Please arrive a little early to complete the legal rigmarole.

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Nothing to do with Cycling

The British really know how to do a PSA.

Wear your seatbelt.


Champion Cyclist

I mean look at all the Blue Ribbons he's earned!

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BRT--Now Atlantic and Yadkin

The stretch of rail to trail conversion that I have previously referred to as the Battleground Rail Trail will officially be called the Atlantic and Yadkin Trail. Also, the existing trail to the north will also be renamed the Atlantic and Yadkin. And finally, the section of trail from the paved ending north of Strawberry road to the right of way for US 220 is slated to be paved before the US 220 widening. This last is an urgent project because if the path runs up to US 220 when US 220 reconstruction begins then NCDOT will factor the trail crossing into their design, most likely with a tunnel. All this news dropped at the January BIG (Bicycling in Greensboro) meeting last night.

On a side note--It has been asked that everyone stay clear of the Cone Blvd tunnel until the trail is officially opened (sometime in April or May depending on the weather). The tunnel is not safe to use at this time and all the rain just raises the risk factors.

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More on Distracted Driving

Focus Driven is an advocacy group that is attempting to raise awareness to the lethality of distracted driving. The US Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, is promoting the group on the Federal Department of Transportation website. It would appear that anti-distracted driving efforts are indeed Federal level policy.

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