Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The road ahead is looking smoother for bicycles in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, according to recent posts by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Here are a few highlights: (read more details on the BCGP blog)
- Bicycling has increased by 104% since 2005 in Center City and West Philadelphia (location of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, among others), much faster than in previous years. The Coalition conducted bicycle counts at a number of major intersections and bridges and has released a report showing the results.
- A whopping $31 million in funding has been committed to the Chester Valley Trail in the suburbs west of Philadelphia. This trail will eventually extend from Exton to Norristown, where it will connect with the wonderful Schuylkill River Trail leading to Philadelphia. More trails mean more bike commuting possibilities, in addition to recreation.
- The esteemed Danish architect Jan Gehl will be giving his presentation, “Public Spaces, Public Life” in Philadelphia on December 5, 2008. He is an Urban Design Consultant and Professor of Urban Design at the School of Architecture in Copenhagen. I hope all the right ears will be in the room taking notes on how to “Copenhagenize” the Philadelphia area.
Thanks to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for keeping us informed and working hard for better bike facilities in the area.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The kids were disappointed that the snow had stopped during lunch, but as they went out for recess, the snowflakes magically reappeared. My daughter and her friends held their breath while trying to get a close look at the beautiful crystals on their coats and gloves.
They waved as I rode away from the playground, and I could tell my daughter regretted taking the bus today after arguing that it was “too cold to ride our bikes”. I think we’ll both be hoping for more snow tomorrow.
Monday, November 17, 2008
*Individual results may vary. Mine sure did.
*Be sure to check with your life insurance agent before starting any new hair treatment.
*Side effects may include, but are not limited to, frizz, flyaways, and a reduction in the use of hairdryers.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Notice the fenders – perhaps influenced by the Danish bike designer Sögreni? After riding a fenderless mountain bike for a few years, I was determined that my new bike would have fenders, yet the bike I ultimately chose did not come with fenders. By all accounts, SKS fenders are the best quality and easy to install, so I chose a pair in black and added them to my bike with no trouble. (Well, except for the fact that the stays extended past the wheels by about three inches, which meant I had to buy bolt cutters to chop off the excess.) I love the subtle stripes below the finish.
My daughter chose her bike, the Jamis Capri 24, for its curvy, retro style and its fenders.
What girl wants to arrive at school with a spatter stripe up her back? Not mine. She couldn’t wait to ride through her first puddle. Straight through it and – oh dear, back spatter! Seems the rear fender comes up short. Didn’t they test it?? She quickly learned to avoid puddles, although the fender did protect her from lightly wet roads. Even that protection didn’t last long, however. One day last month the rear fender fell off during our ride home from school. It had broken off like a soda can pull-tab through the hole where it was bolted to the frame.
Not too impressive after only 8 months of regular but careful use. I wrote to the customer service department on the manufacturer’s website, but so far haven’t had a reply after almost a month. Even less impressive. Moral of this story: If you want the job done right, do it yourself. I’m glad I did.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Cloudy with a chance of showers? Don’t forget your shower cap! Even if you forget to put it on your seat before it rains, you can always put it on afterwards. No one likes a soggy bottom. And what a bargain they are – we bought a package of three different colors for about $3 at the pharmacy.
If you are a “serious cyclist” (what are you doing here?!), feel free to buy a real seat cover in serious black (Sirius Black!) from REI for about $15.
But if you prefer not to take life so seriously, spend your $15 on these three shower caps instead (only $5 each at drugstore.com): Raspberry Beret
And don't forget to wear your swim goggles!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
(You may notice there are no photos or names to accompany this post, since not all of the children involved were mine, and I can't risk being sued by another parent for putting their child on the internet. In fact, all characters in this post are fictitious; any resemblance to persons real or otherwise is entirely coincidental, etc., etc.)