During this unprecedented time of uncertainty, there is one certainty—cycling makes sense! Whether you are riding to work, the grocery store, to a restaurant for take-out, or just for some exercise, riding a bike allows you to avoid crowded buses and subways, touch fewer public surfaces, and ditch the car. Now that that it is Springtime, it is great to be outdoors!
Guidelines recommend solo riding, or if with others, to keep a reasonable distance.
One of the most well-known names in bicycling is Schwinn and the fact that the Schwinn company was founded and the bikes manufactured in Chicago makes it extra special to us. According to Mike Santomauro, Working Bikes volunteer and board member, and Trevor Clarke, Executive Director, speakers at the March 11 Chicago Cycling Club meeting, an initiative focusing on Schwinns has resulted in the refurbishment of over 350 donated Schwinn bikes that have been accumulating in their basement. These bikes are now available to return to the streets of Chicago.
In the National Public Radio (NPR) podcast “How I Built This” the host, Guy Raz, always asks the entrepreneur at the end of the interview whether they attribute their success to luck or hard work, intelligence and skill. It always surprises me when a guest says they were just lucky, i.e. they were in the right place at the right time, it happened by chance, or they were mysteriously born under a lucky star.
St Patrick’s day is coming and we will be celebrating Irish history and culture and trying to find a Leprechaun to get some of that famous Irish luck. If you find yourself stepping over cracks in sidewalks, throwing salt over your shoulder, and saying “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of the month then you might be like cyclists who have habits they believe gives them luck on the bike. Here are some of the superstitions of professional bicycle racers:
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.
Sharon Kaminecki comments on adventures in bicycling and other stories