Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Phil O'Lantern is all smiles this year.

Beware of the Headless Shadow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kick Start

Cold mornings call for hot coffee. I’m so happy that my favorite travel mug fits perfectly into my bottle cage.
The first bell I bought for my new bike was this coffee cup bell. It was tough deciding between coffee and tea. Maybe I should have picked the teapot, though; the coffee cup gave such a weak, decaf-like ding that I switched to the Mirrycle Incredibell, a real espresso-style bell – small but strong!
If you seriously want to mix drinking and driving (coffee and bikes, that is), check out this truly hyper-link: (Link courtesy of Trophy Bikes)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Roll" Models

After reading this post on Bikes and The City about a 72-year-old man riding his bike from Colorado to Texas, I remembered a magazine I had saved because of this inspirational photo:

From Liberty Sports Magazine, April 2008. Photo by Mark Gavin.

(City To Shore Bike MS is an annual charity ride from Philadelphia to Ocean City, New Jersey.)

And she did it in a dress.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stretching the Summer

Another gorgeous weekend, another quick escape to our favorite beach town to cycle in the sun while it lasts. One reason we enjoy Ocean City so much is the newly created bike route that runs down the center of the long, narrow island in place of old railroad tracks. The bike route is a mix of shared road, segregated space between the road and sidewalk, and a separated bike/pedestrian path that runs alongside a bird sanctuary. The route begins at 9th Street and is marked by a sculpture of a racing cyclist, also the symbol of the bike route. (Strange choice, considering the route is mostly populated by families on beach cruisers and old beaters.) It ends at 34th Street, but you can continue your ride in the bike lane painted on the next street over and go all the way to 55th Street with very little interaction with cars. Ocean City was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in the Bicycle Friendly Communities competition by the League of American Bicyclists. Well deserved, I think.

Cruising the OC-1 from BIKE Lite on Vimeo.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rubber Stamp Approval

For those of us who still keep one finger in the paper world, check out this custom return address rubber stamp, available from thepaperprincess at Etsy. On second thought, I guess even those who have completely left the postal system behind in favor of online bill paying, email greeting cards and such could still have a use for it – have it customized with your email address or blog! (I haven't ordered mine yet.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stealing Beauty

Sad but true, the sight of anyone riding a bike in this little suburb is relatively rare. So rare that my daughter and I play a kind of spotting game and shout, "Bike!" when we see one. A little less enthusiasm upon sighting riders wearing bike shorts, and much more when a briefcase or groceries are included (extremely rare). Usually, it's a teenage boy on a tiny bike that he never actually sits on, just does the one-legged-lean (note to self: get a photo).

So you can imagine the sensory overload I would experience if I ever had the good fortune to find myself in Amsterdam or Copenhagen amidst scenes like these:

The Green Wave in Copenhagen from Colville Andersen on Vimeo.

Oh, if only I could Amsterdamize or Copenhagenize my hometown...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday Satisfaction

Colder weather is headed our way for the next few days, so I made the most of this sunny Sunday by taking a rare solo ride to a historic section of town. The road that winds through this green valley is closed to traffic on Sundays from April to November so that pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy the smoothly paved hills and curves, explore the creek that runs alongside it, and visit the two old houses on the hill overlooking the creek.
Nitre Hall was built here around 1800.

Lawrence Log Cabin was built in 1710 on a site across town, but was moved here in 1961 in order to save it from demolition.

The sounds of nature drown out any nearby traffic noise.

This little paradise is only about a mile long, but is best enjoyed at a slow pace (except going downhill).

Riding Through Velvet Green from BIKE Lite on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's a shore thing

My family has owned a vacation home at the New Jersey shore for more than 30 years, so I've been fortunate to have spent every summer in a beach resort town since I was a child. Soon after my father bought the house, he bought each of his three daughters a new three-speed bike. In this small town, it was as good as handing us the keys to a brand new car – what freedom we suddenly had! We could ride our bikes to the beach, the boardwalk, the shops “downtown”, or just go for a ride to cool off by creating a breeze when there wasn’t any. A few years later, we used our bikes to go to our summer jobs at the amusement pier and movie theaters on the boardwalk. Fast forward through drivers license, real jobs, marriage, child – the bike was sold somewhere along the way in “the great garage cleanout”. It wasn’t until this summer that I once again enjoyed the freedom that a bike gives you at a crowded beach resort – no need to drive around looking for a parking space; no returning to a ticket on your windshield because your meter ran out of time; no sweltering car interior after sitting in the sun. I traded all that for quiet rides on the bike path beside the bird sanctuary, morning rides on the boardwalk with views of the sparkling ocean, and family rides to breakfast at the tiny airport diner.
Riding to the airport (click to see planes upper left)

Last weekend we decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and drive to the New Jersey shore one last time (until next spring). Since it was only a day trip, we didn’t bring our bikes, but we made the most of our time by taking the scenic route along the coast from Atlantic City down to Cape May Point. Most of the resort towns were rather sleepy now that the tourists have left, but Cape May was full of bird-watchers since it is prime migration season, and Cape May is the biggest migration rest-stop for birds on the East Coast. The beautiful weather brought many people out on their bikes, and the racks along the beach were full.

I wonder if the owner of this pink bike stood out on the beach as much as her bike did in the rack.

I miss the shore already. Especially my flip flops.