An Expected Journey

Last week, I went on an adventure with no agenda, just a journey into the unknown to see what I could see. This week, things were different.

I've been getting back into photography and decided that I wanted a little more power than what my iPhone was giving me. For that, I turned to an old friend of mine, the Albinar MS-2, a 35mm SLR. Locked and loaded with a fresh roll of film, I was fully-armed and looking for something great to shoot. That was my agenda, this week.

I wish I could say I were 100% thrilled with the results, but such is the nature of shooting on film -- unpredictability is part of the fun. That said, there are several shots that I'm particularly proud of. Please enjoy!

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An Adventure with No Agenda

I remember how every day used to be an adventure. Where we grew up in Monroeville, I had a friend who lived only about a block away, but it always felt like a grand adventure just to walk to each other's house. Looking back, it's hard to believe that a few pine trees and some underbrush with bare space in the middle could have seemed so big, but it did. It was our own private Neverland.

A small reservoir at the beginning of the trail head.
That small patch of land was home to orcs, goblins, trolls and other mythical beings. Later, it became the prowling grounds for Skeletor and his band of villainous goons. Sometime after that, Cobra Commander made it his terrorist stronghold, and then there were groups of ninjas and other assassins. By the time it lost its charm and became nothing more than a patchwork of pine trees and underbrush, I was no longer living in Monroeville. We had moved to Hazleton and had a real forest to explore as opposed to a small, suburban garden. Back in those days, we had grand adventures with no agenda. Today, I tried to reclaim some of that.

I had to miss out on the Thursday night trail ride last week due to a bout with the flu. I wanted to get out there so badly, to try out my new bike and ride in the snow, but there was nothing I could do until I was well. Finally, today, the warm weather and my growing desire for some exploration became too much to resist. I immediately headed out to see if any of those old trails and access roads were still available. We live in an area where people are constantly riding ATVs and dirtbikes around. Surely, there must be some decent trails I can ride, right? Of course there are.

Forgive me if I'm vague, but I'm not entirely sure of the legality of where I rode, today. I don't know who owns that land. The water company? The various mining companies still in operation? I just don't know. Most of the "Posted" and "No Trespassing" signs I came across only prohibited hunting and trapping, riding ATVs and motorized vehicles in the area. I figured, if it was obvious that I meant no harm, any trouble I'd run into would be easily cleared up. Even so, "No Trespassing" is still pretty explicit, and those signs were posted EVERYWHERE. I decided to tread carefully.

Old creeks and waterways make for a great trail ride.
For the first part of the trip, I was able to get into the wooded areas without much trouble. I easily rode around a gate and made my way across a road I was very familiar with, even though it had been torn up to repel vehicles. Most of the area wasn't as open and as I'd remembered so I had to look around to find any kind of a trail. It felt more like hiking with a bike for a little while. And then, there it was... a clearing and an obvious trail that I was able to ride. GOLDEN.

Being out on the trail, not really sure where I was going, brought back memories of being a kid back in Monroeville. My friend, my brother and I had gone out after school and were exploring the woods. It was sometime in January and we had been out so long that the sun had set. We were soaking wet from jumping trough icy mud puddles and the falling snow. Even as cold as we were, we didn't want to go home, we just wanted to keep exploring. I had that same feeling, today. I didn't want to turn around and go home. It was such a thrill to feel like I was out in the middle of nowhere, miles from civilization.

Jagger bushes. I was careful to avoid being cut to ribbons by these.
The trail gave way to some access roads that eventually looped back and headed into the "strippins" -- swaths of land scarred from strip mining operations. I came across odd concrete bases, pipes that seemed to come from and go nowhere, deer tracks, ATV tracks, dirt bike tracks and hiking boot/shoe prints. Then, suddenly, I came across two men walking towards me. I thought to myself, "Here it comes, I really hope these are just regular dudes, out for a walk or something." When I got a little closer, I could see that they were in their teens and were wearing camo pants -- a regular clothing staple in NEPA -- but we exchanged greetings as I rode past. I breathed a sigh of relief, glad that they weren't cops or men from the mining company, looking to bitch me out for riding on their land.

I was now riding on familiar terrain and knew how to get back out of the woods to get home, a full 2 hours after I'd left. That feeling of going out as far as possible, seeing things few people get to see, was amazing. I wasn't quite satisfied, though, just like when I was a kid. I still remember how angry my dad was with us for being out so late and not telling anyone where we were. I understood why he was upset, but I didn't care. The thrill of going out there and knowing that something amazing could be just around the corner -- that's what kept me going then, and it's what kept me going today. It wasn't a quest and it wasn't a mission, it was just an adventure with no agenda.
Another water reservoir.
The photo from the head of this post, uncropped.

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My new "big box" bike - Excalibur Thruster 2900

For close to 3 weeks, I've been stopping in at Dunham's Sports in the Schuylkill Mall to look at a particular bike that caught my eye -- a 21-speed 29er for only $279, marked down from $399.
What could I do? I've been looking for a single-speed 29er for trail riding on Thursday nights, but everything I looked at was way too expensive. Now here's this big box bike staring at me for a steal. Then, after I finally decided that I would buy it, I discovered that it was on sale and that I had a discount coupon that ended up dropping the price even lower. When all was said and done, the final price was $237 after taxes. I couldn't resist.

Now, I feel a little bit guilty.

Don't get me wrong, it's not the bike's fault. It has a few flaws and some odd design choices (disc brake in the front, v-brake in the back. WHAT?) but I'm happy with it. I gave it a shakedown ride on some rough terrain, really taking advantage of the freshly fallen blanket of snow that we got yesterday, and just having a great time. And maybe that's the problem.

I want to support my local bike shop. They're good people and I try to buy whatever odds and ends I need from them, but I'm not made of money. The bikes they offer come with a warranty, sturdier components and a happy shop owner who might be willing to help out with some maintenance when things go awry, but they also cost more than twice what I can get from a "big box" chain store.

"Big box" stores like Walmart, Dunham's and Dick's can afford to offer huge discounts and low prices because they don't just sell bikes. Meanwhile, the bikes they do sell tend to be of a lower quality, engineered to be cheap and cost less to produce. Another drawback to using chain stores is that they aren't as knowledgeable or helpful when it comes to things like fit, upkeep and repair. I tried talking about certain technical aspects with one of the sales associates at Dunham's and they looked at me like I had a pair of lobster claws for hands. It just wasn't the kind of service I needed, yet I went ahead and bought a bike from them, anyway. Yup, I'm a jerk.

The only saving grace I have is that I still fully intend to buy the Giant Defy that I test rode a few months ago. When it comes to road bikes, I'm willing to spend the extra money because I've seen the difference between a cheap road bike and an expensive one -- I know what I'm getting. On the other hand, what I mostly want from a mountain bike is something I won't feel bad about abusing and possibly breaking on a regular basis. Even if the bike I bought became a total write off, I wouldn't feel nearly as bad as I would if I'd spent a grand or more on it. That allows me to open up, have a lot more fun and not "baby" it like it's a cherished heirloom. It might not be as nice a bike as I could get for much more money, but I'm willing to bet it's still just as fun.
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Thursday Night Trail Ride: Sloppy Seconds

Waiting to go through the tunnel.
Thanks to a Monday night rain storm that ended in a dusting of snow the next morning, my second trail ride with Valley Cycles was a muddy, sloppy mess this week. Lots of slipping and sliding through turns, getting the wheels stuck in ruts and almost completely bailing a few times. Hey, not that I'm complaining... It's those few seconds of sheer terror when you don't know which way the bike is going to go that make it fun!

How many times do you have to do something before it becomes a habit? I don't think I'm there, yet, but I'm definitely developing a healthy obsession with mountain biking. It's something that is equal parts the thrill of the ride and the group I'm riding with. I don't think there's anyone in our group who doesn't genuinely love and live for this stuff. If that doesn't make the experience magical, I don't know what does.

Someone fixing a flat, early on in the ride.
One thing I definitely want to invest in very soon is a powerful light for my helmet. But that's another post...
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"Faster, faster!"

One of my favorite Hunter S. Thompson quotes, and a mantra I recite to myself on steep descents, through heavily wooded trails or just when pedaling my ass off.

Photo credit: me. I shot this picture while biking the Lehigh Valley Gorge and super-imposed the text using an iPhone app called "Over."
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As seen on

Yesterday I had the very fine distinction of my blog being featured in a post on is a great resource that is tying all of the blogs here in Northeastern Pennsylvania together. I've been looking forward to being featured and was very excited for it to finally happen!

There are plenty of bloggers in NEPA working on great projects and who have interesting stories to tell, so definitely add to your blogroll or RSS reader to keep up with them all.
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I'm eager to get my feet on these Grand Cru Sabot platform pedals

I hate to admit it, but clipless pedals scare me -- especially in a trails setting where I might need to touch down to keep from falling over. It happened quite a few times when I was out riding in Kirby Park, but what bothered me even more was how often my shoes slipped right off the platforms. I could probably get a lot further if I had shoes with a non-skid surface, but even the pedals on my bike get slippery the moment they get the slightest bit wet. Time to upgrade?

Over the weekend, I was skimming through my blog subscriptions when I came upon 
this post on the Velo ORANGE blog: Sabot Long Term Test.

The pedals being tested in that post are these Grand Cru Sabot pedals:

Between the large size (100mm long x 100mm wide) and the removable pins (rounded pins are included but can be replaced with sharp pins) for extra grip, I'm definitely thinking of giving these a shot. They're even toe-clip compatible, just in case I'm feeling extra paranoid about slippage.

At $90, the price doesn't seem too steep, considering the quality of craftsmanship going into them. I'm sure they'll make the ride feel completely different, but it's going to be a while before I can get a pair. They aren't available yet, but should be coming soon. I'm looking forward to it!
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Sunday's weather surprise - getting my kicks while it's still 66!

After being threatened with a blizzard a few days ago, it only makes sense that it's 66 degrees out today. Hey, I'll take warm weather when I can get it... Whazzat? 66 is warm?

I guess it really just comes down to conditioning. Now that I've finally come around to the idea that riding my bike in temperatures lower than 40 degrees won't kill me, suddenly there's a wide range of climates I can enjoy. As such, today was absolutely beautiful.

I started off taking advantage of the warm weather by cleaning the mud from my bike and inspecting it for further damage after the ride on Thursday. I pulled the rest of the broken chain-guard from the sprocket and gave the pedals a few cranks, just to see if the drive-train was working correctly. All that was left to do was take the bike for a quick spin to dry it off and make sure everything else was ok. After a mile or so, I decided to go another... and another, and another. 10 miles later, hey, where did the time go?

I saw neighbors putting up Christmas lights, teens skating and riding BMX bikes in the skate park up the street, a guy on a motorcycle and a couple of little kids riding bikes around. One even yelled, "Hey! He's got a bike, too!" I pity you if you're not out there, enjoying the weather today.

In other news, I've been thinking about single-speed mountain bikes, lately. My chief concern is that I won't be able to crank fast enough to keep up with the pack while finding the ratio too high to climb some of the steep inclines out on the trail. If I recall correctly, I mostly stuck to the middle ring while shifting up and down only 1 or 2 gears and did fairly well. I know a few of other riders were on single-speeds Thursday night and they didn't seem to have any complaints. Just something for me to think about...
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Thursday night trail riding in Kirby Park with Valley Cycles

As much as I consider myself a roadie these days, there was a time I loved mountain biking more than anything in the world. And I'm not just talking about riding a bike with knobby wheels around on the street, I'm talking about actually going off-road, through trails in the woods and out into the middle of nowhere. It's been an awfully long time since I've done that.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new bike shop I discovered called Valley Cycles. Every Thursday night they go out trail riding through Kirby Park, which is only a few blocks from the shop, across the Market Street bridge into Kingston. Last night, I took my bike up to join them and had the time of my life.

The post on Valley Cycle's Facebook page said, "Snow or no, we are riding," so I purchased a pair of wool hiking socks specifically for the event. Along with a headband/ear cover to pull on under my helmet, I was ready. With the temperature dipping into the mid-30s, it certainly wasn't warm out, but I was snug as a bug. It was going to take more than a little bit of cold weather to hold me back!

If a picture says a thousand words, the following video I found online from a previous ride should pretty much cover this blog post, and yet it still wouldn't convey the amount of fun I had last night, nor would it convey the enthusiastic, friendly attitude of the Valley Cycles staff in setting up these rides and introducing them to new riders. Just watch:

There were 15 riders in all, and the sight of headlamps flying through the near-pitch blackness of the woods at night was astonishing. Riding along the river bank, knowing that a slight wrong turn or loss of balance could be the difference between mountain biking and an impromptu swim in the Susquehanna River made the ride that much more exhilarating. But it was the feeling of camaraderie as we tackled steep hills, dips, low-hanging branches and thick brush that made the ride a great time for everyone. And don't think these rides are a young man's game! There was a wide range of ages represented in our group, and several women riders, as well.

As one might expect, the ride wasn't without some consequences. There were a few spills as riders hit nasty sections of the terrain, and I managed to find nearly every puddle of mud along way, slipping and sliding as my thin wheels sank into the softer spots of earth. On one occasion, I bottomed out on a log-over and broke the chain-guard on my front sprocket. If I'd been going a bit faster, I might have been able to get a little more air under the front wheel and cleared the log, but at least the sprocket survived without major damage.

To be honest, I'm surprised my city-hybrid survived at all. I certainly didn't baby it, and though it might have fared better with wider tires, I can't say I had much of a problem getting through the night. I think I held on pretty well, considering this was my first night ride on unfamiliar ground. 

Afterwards, kicking back with a post-ride beer and chowing down on a pasta dinner at the River Street Jazz Cafe while sharing battle stories and war wounds was the best way to finish the night. I'm so totally looking forward to next week!

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In Search of Pete's Bicycle Shop

Leonard Nimoy knows what's up.

They said it existed, but I knew otherwise. They needed proof, I found it. The truth is out there... this is my story.

The other day, my friend and I were looking up bicycle shops on, just to see what was out there. That's when I was visited by a ghost...

I'm not sure exactly where ReferLocal gets its information (more than likely Google Local search) but the first hit that turned up was... Pete's Bicycle Shop.

"Impossible!" I said. "He closed the shop years ago!" But there it was. Shocked as I was, I had to see it for myself, I had to know the truth. Had Pete's Bicycle Shop actually closed down? And if so, was it now back? Back from the dead?

What makes this case so compelling is that, as sure as I was that Pete's Bicycle Shop didn't exist anymore, I'd heard from several sources that it did. How could these people have been so misinformed? It had been at 1 W Broad Street in Hazleton for at least 20 years, and though I don't know how long it was there before we moved here in 1990, when a business is that old, you come to expect that it's still there, simply because it's always been there. I had to separate the fact from the fiction, but it wasn't going to be easy.

I remember driving past a few years ago and seeing that the place was empty, and yet, there is photographic proof that backs up the claim that it still exists. Take a look at this Google Street View of West Broad Street. That looks like a shop with bikes in the window, doesn't it? Sure does. What's going on here? Compelling, hard evidence? Time to dig a little deeper.

Never mind the fact that the date stamped on the image is from September 2009 and that Pete's could have closed since then; that's not good enough. The only way to solve this mystery was for me to get out there and see it with my own, two eyes.

In the days since Hurricane Sandy (which spared us most of her wrath, thankfully) the temperature has plunged into the 30s. As threats of a Nor'Easter in the next week loom over our heads, I can already feel the onset of cabin fever. Call it ennui, call it a stubborn refusal to accept that Winter is here, but for whatever reason, I bundled up, hopped on my bike and headed out on the road. I was on a mission.

The ride was comfortable, and though it was 38 degrees, I didn't feel so cold once I got going. I made straight for 309 and headed over the hill to Broad Street, taking the lane like a boss at every intersection. It was a smooth trip, and no one gave me any grief about temporarily being in their way.

My first stop was Jimmy's Quick Lunch for a damn fine hot dog with everything on it (minus onions.) As I walked in and removed my helmet, the owner just looked at me and asked, "Isn't it a bit cold for a bike ride?"
I was actually shocked at my own response when I heard myself saying that it wasn't that bad. Then again, I was bundled up quite snuggly, with two upper layers under a jacket and a scarf around my face. If anything, I was worried about overheating and sweating, as that can make it worse.

I finished my hot dog and was back on the job, making my way up Broad Street towards the building where Pete's Bicycle Shop would have been. As I rolled up to the building, however, I knew I was right all along.

There were no bikes in the windows, or anywhere inside, just a group of people sitting at tables. I decided to head in and see what was going on. What I found was a small headquarters for the Ransom Young campaign in Hazleton, certainly nothing that would resemble a bike shop, but I was skeptical.

I questioned a few of the volunteers, who assured me that Pete's closed down a few years ago, but who knows? Perhaps they were in on the conspiracy? It's only a few days until the election; maybe they'll clear out and return the shop to it's original condition now that they think they've thrown me off the case? Maybe the bikes are neatly tucked away somewhere, and I just need to look around a little more? Something is up, and now that I know local government is involved, this case just got a whole lot more complicated. Maybe this thing goes all the way to the White House?

As I stood outside, I knew there wasn't much more I could do. I decided to whip out my camera and take some photographic evidence of the new front. Unfortunately, a bright light appeared in the sky, and an alien sasquatch ran up and snatched the camera out of my hand. Before I could get it back, Elvis tripped me and tried to steal my bike while a group of Atlanteans zapped me with their crystal sphere, knocking me unconscious. Some time later, I came to and found my camera, but the magnetic interference of the Bermuda Triangle had erased the camera's memory card! There was nothing I could do... So close, yet so far away.

I can't say this case is closed, but I'm walking away, satisfied that I know the truth. I urge anyone who dares to take up this case, to dedicate their lives to finding proof that Pete's Bicycle Shop is gone, to tread very carefully. There's too much at stake, you don't want to end up like I did. I have the proof I need, but you'll just have to take my word for it until you see it for yourself.
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Finding my dream bike at Valley Cycles in Plains, PA

Located in Plains, PA, next to River Street Jazz Cafe.
I stumbled upon a new local bike shop on Friday, while on a job in Wilkes-Barre. We were passing through Plains when I spotted a mountain bike stood up next to a sign that read, "
Valley Cycles." Well, always one to try out a new shop, I made a note to stop in on my next day off. That was yesterday.

The shop is located in the same building as the River Street Jazz Cafe, just in the next door. Inside, I passed along the rows bicycles, stood up like stallions in a stable, each eagerly anticipating a fast, powerful ride. I brought my Frankenstein's creation along with me, hoping an expert's opinion would answer my questions. Could it be saved? Would it be worth the effort and the cost? But even as I gingerly pushed it along, I was lustfully eyeing up the gallery of new bikes.

Dave, the man behind the counter, immediately started looking at several options for fixing up my bike. In the end, my suspicions were correct. I could either spend a few hundred bucks fixing up a bike that was still too heavy for the kind of riding I wanted to do, or I could invest the money into a really nice bike that would be exactly what I wanted and come with a full warranty. I decided to go with option 2, but which bike to choose?

I expressed interest in riding trails and doing some off-roading, which is why I was refitting an old mountain bike in the first place. Based on that, the first bike we looked at was a Giant Escape. It was a nice bike with 700c wheels. Just the right size, good fit and extremely light. The only downside was that it had flat handlebars. Even so, I took it for a ride, just to see if I'd like it.

Out in the parking lot, I gave the pedals a few cranks and just about lifted off the ground. I couldn't believe how nimble and quick the Escape was! It just felt... fun! Fun was the best word I could use to describe it. So light and quick, I was in love. But there was that flat bar. It seemed too wide, and something else didn't feel right. I wheeled it back into the shop and decided to try again.

Here's where I was really impressed with Valley Cycles. No sooner did I mention that I'd like to have drop bars, Dave was on the computer, looking up possible configurations to get me exactly what I wanted out of the Escape. But as I waited, I wondered, were drop bars really for me?

I prefer the lower riding position of a road bike, and even as often as I like to ride along the Lehigh Valley Gorge trail, I'm on the road about 99% of the time. If I were specifically looking to go off-road, I could always use my hybrid. It's not a mountain bike, by any stretch of the word, but it could do. Even so... I'm just more of a road bike guy, that's what I want.

My mind kept poring over my feelings when another bike caught my eye, a 2013 Giant Defy 5. At $720, it was a little more than the $500 budget I set for myself, but when the cost of converting the Escape was added to its $450 base price, I was going over budget, either way. I took the bike for a ride to see if it would change my mind any more.

Even lighter than the Escape and featuring drop bars, the Defy 5 was already everything I wanted the Escape to be. Nimble, quick, as I did sprints in the parking lot, I didn't want to come back in. How I longed for a chance to tackle the Weatherly-Plains Road, just to see what it would be like to slay that beast on a steed like this. That experience would have to wait, however -- at least until I had enough money in my pocket to bring it home. I wheeled it back inside, and let the feeling of riding it burn in my mind. That feeling is going to have to last a few months, while I slowly save up.

As I wheeled my Frankenbike out of the shop, it felt even heavier than before. The back wheel dragged, and I no longer wondered how I was going to fix it, but how I would get rid of it. It would be nice just to get the bike back in working order, just enough to sell it off, but there's no way I could get enough money to make the investment worth it, especially as I could be putting that money into saving up for the Defy.

Last night, I went to bed with visions of the Defy in my mind. Soon, my pretty. Soon.
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Rain or shine, the weather's fine on an indoor magnetic exercise bike trainer

As it turns out, I'm terrible at predicting the weather. Case in point: today started off foggy, rainy and just bad, all around. By the afternoon, it was sunny and in the seventies. Didn't see that coming... Meanwhile, the weather people are saying that next week, it's going to snow on Halloween. Whatever. I don't care what it's doing outside, because now I have a magnetic exercise bike trainer. I can ride whenever I want!
The contraption in the picture is a magnetic exercise bike trainer by FDW. I ordered it last Wednesday and it arrived today.

Setup was a bit weird, thanks to instructions that were written in Engrish, but I managed to get it together without mashing up too many fingers or bloodying any knuckles, and that's quite a feat, for me. Once the bike was bolted in, I got on board for the maiden voyage and did a half-an-hour's worth of interval sprints.

A lot of the reviews I'd read complained about how loud the device is, but I don't think it's much louder than the average powered-treadmill -- maybe even less so. Even when I got it cranking over 18 mph, I was still able to hear music on my iPhone at half volume on the coffee table a few feet away. And usually, when I'm going about that fast on the road, the sound of wind rushing past my ears is a lot louder. So, there you have it. I don't think it's that loud, and no one else in the house was complaining while I was on it.

My only qualm with this magnetic exercise trainer is that I was expecting a little more resistance. I'd read reviews that said to avoid fan and liquid trainers because they couldn't provide as much resistance as a magnetic trainer. Maybe I just need to tighten the bolt that presses the flywheel against the tire a bit more? I'll keep that in mind for next time.

I'm not going to lie, it's been a few weeks since I've gone for a ride of any decent length, and my performance shows it. My average speed after 35 minutes was 12.6 mph, which is a little faster than what I've been able to do in the past, but I'm almost sure that's because the resistance wasn't high enough. Even so, I was terribly winded by the time I was done. But that's why I bought this thing, to get myself back in shape. Now, I can ride whenever I want, rain or shine. The only downside is that, while the weather is always great in the house, the view is crap. Alas, Spring can't get here soon enough!
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Drop Bar Envy

I have drop bar envy, which can be the only explicable reason for why I did this:
Drop bars on a mountain bike.
I bought this mountain bike at a garage sale for $15. My original intention was to take the wheels and drive train off and put them on my
project bike, but they don't fit. So, instead, I took the drop bar off the road bike and put it on this bike. Bad idea?

After spending the better part of the weekend running new cables and installing new brakes, I was able to take it for a ride. It's really not that uncomfortable, despite my worry that the geometry would be problematic. I'm even thinking of getting a set of slick tires. The only problem is that it's heavy, which is why I wanted a light, nimble road bike in the first place. Hence: drop bar envy.

I just love the look, the curve and the feel of drop bars, and I don't go off-roading enough to justify having a mountain bike with knobby tires. I want to go fast, and I only want to ride on the street. Unfortunately, after I priced out new parts for the road bike -- which is now sitting in the garage, sans handlebars -- I realized I was going to end up spending a small fortune, and I was afraid that it won't make the bike any better. Instead of having a nice, quick bike, I'm afraid that I'm going to end up with a junk bike that just happens to have new parts. New wheels, new drivetrain; same old, rusted out frame. If I could find enough junk bikes to supply me with the working parts I need, I would keep at it. I just can't justify spending money on expensive, new parts for it.

All I want is a nice, quick, lightweight road bike, and I'm beginning to think that saving up and buying a new one is the only way to go and still keep it affordable.
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Bikeyface wants us to get serious about this bicycle safety comic

I don't think there are too many bicycling web comics out there, but if there are, Bikeyface by Bekka Wright has to be the cream of the crop. Here's an excerpt from her latest comic on the topic of accident prevention, titled "Serious About Safety."
bikeyface, bike safety, bicycle safety, comic, excerpt, Bekka Wright
Excerpt of Bikeyface's Serious About Safety by Bekka Wright
This excerpt is my favorite part of the comic/infographic, but only because I like how Wright illustrates the outcome of a "what if...?" scenario by literally smashing a car into it. Very clever!

The intention of the drawing in the excerpt is to drive home (pun intended) the point that distracted, impatient drivers could lead to accidents with cyclists and that a helmet may not be enough to save you. As such, believing that a helmet is the only thing cyclists should focus on when it comes to safety isn't very smart, and that would be the central premise of this particular comic, that it's far safer to avoid an accident in the first place.

In the end, the burden of safety isn't solely on drivers or cyclists, but on all of us. If you're reading this, Bekka, great work!
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