When Corey Trager was hiking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) along stretches where he did not see more than one person the entire day what did he think about? At the Evanston Bicycle Club meeting on Feb. 18, 2020 he confessed that his thoughts went in two directions, one was to the comfort food he planned to enjoy at his next supply stop and the other was hearing the Jeopardy theme song "Think!" in his head.
At the Chicago Area Bicycle Dealers Association (CABDA) 2020 midwest bicycle industry show on Feb. 12-13 bicycle retailers walked through the exhibit hall, met bicycle suppliers and spied new products. Following are 5 that I selected as new and worth taking notice of:
In the movie The Last Crusade Indiana Jones is after the Holy Grail, and what better place to hide it than in an ornately carved sandstone temple façade which dates back to the first century AD in Jordan? The Al Khazneh, in Petra, Jordan is a real-life place known as "The Treasury." Just like Indiana Jones, Thomas Berube and his nephew visited this tourist attraction in Petra, Jordan getting in touch with their inner Indiana Jones. Thomas shared photos and stories of his trip with the Chicago Cycling Club at its Feb. 12 meeting.
Just returned from a brief warm-up in the “Capital of Latin America," Miami Beach, Florida. With its 248 days per year of sunshine, you might expect there to be a lot of cycling in the dense urban South Beach area, but that is not exactly what we saw. There are more people on bikes in Chicago in 20-degree weather than we saw there, which proves it takes more than fair weather to get people on bikes.
In a 1962 episode of the television series Rawhide, "The Devil and the Deep", trail boss Gil Favor and trail hand Rowdy Yates talk about looking forward to arriving in Abilene where they will sell the cattle they have been driving across the country and collect their wages. Rowdy says Abilene is the biggest little town in Kansas and he has no problem selecting company to spend his money with because, after all, "Only half the population is women, half of that is young, and half of that is pretty." That narrows it down significantly. It is the same process with bicycle lights.
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has an exhibit dedicated to wearable technology—smart clothing and devices designed to extend the human body’s capabilities for health, strength, and safety. The exhibit featured three novelties that have the potential to enhance safety while on a bike.
Hovding Helmet - This is an airbag helmet for cyclists first introduced in 2011. You wear the device like a collar and it inflates in 0.1 seconds to cover you head and neck in the event of a crash. The Swedish developers claim an airbag affords 8x the protection of an traditional helmet. The Hovding website has an fantasy video of a cyclist who crashes and has a flashback on all that is important in his life until he realizes he is saved by the airbag. I doubt it is CPSC certified in the US and there are no US distributors listed on their website but it appears to cost about $300.
Living in an urban area constantly under development we hear calls for city officials and developers to plan for more green space. The benefits of spending time in nature are well documented; reduced stress, better sleep, and overall well-being. While building and maintaining urban parks is something we still need to advocate for, since 1915 there has been a large green area on the outer belt of Chicago known as the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Kevin Kuhn, Volunteer Program Specialist with the Forest Preserves came to the Jan. 21, 2020 meeting of the Evanston Bicycle Club to provide an update.
There is an exhibit currently at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago called The Art of the Bicycle. Bicycles were first invented 200 years ago, so over the years there is plenty of material for any bicycle exhibit. It is always interesting to see what the curators select as a focus, i.e. would it be a specific type of bike (road, mountain), classic races (Tour de France) , training (speed, ascending, descending), racing (winning, losing), types of cyclists (kids, women), equipment, style, learning to ride, or legends and champions?
The milder winter has resulted in more rain than snow for our bike rides. Even if you are not rolling out in the rain, there is a chance the skies can open up before you return home so being prepared helps you be safe and comfortable on your bike. Preparations include you, your bike, while riding, and after the ride.
If you want to be visible on the roads it helps to have a lighting system and a smart system includes both active and passive elements. In the last blog we talked about lights both at night and during the day, front, rear, on wheels, and helmets. But having passive or reflective features is a plus that multiplies your safety. If a headlight or other light source is shone upon something reflective it will shine back, they never run out of batteries, and even if a reflector is cracked or broken, it still offers some visibility. Anything that reflects as a result of a rhythmic pattern, an up and down motion of the pedals or rotation of wheels, will catch the eyes of other road users better than something static. Reflective elements are available both on the bike and on the cyclist.
Sharon Kaminecki comments on adventures in bicycling and other stories