Monday, November 7, 2011

2012 DC Tweed Ride set for November 13

The Dandies and Quaintrelles have announced Sunday, November 13 as the date for the third annual DC Tweed Ride. The ride is free, but there is a $15 charge for the after-ride party. The space for the party is too small for the number of people likely to be on the ride, so they're encouraging pre-registration to make sure you get in.

You can see yours truly in the lower right corner of the photo collage for the ride announcement, riding my Trice recumbent trike in the 2010 event. With the only recumbent and only trike, I got more attention than with the Raleigh Roadster I rode in 2009. Not sure whether I will ride the trike this year or the Dahon folder that I have recently been favoring for urban settings.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Redundancies and Solecisms

Since I monetized my blog (sold out to greed and corporate interests) by allowing Google to place ads on it, which so far has netted me about $3.47, I'm looking at what ads show up. I sold ad space for 20 years, and take a professional interest. The process of ad placement on the page is entirely automatic, based on the content of my posts. So the one I just posted mentioned trikes, and an ad for "three wheel trikes" showed up. I wonder what other kind of trikes there might be besides ones with three wheels. People just don't pay attention to language. Quite often when I am out on a ride on my trike, passersby will call out, "nice bike!" This is of course inaccurate, since bike is short for bicycle and by definition, means it has two wheels. Sometimes I correct them. More often I just seethe inwardly. As a regular reader of Craig's List, I've also noticed that "recumbent bike" to many people means a type of stationary exercise equipment that has no wheels at all and doesn't go anywhere by means of pedaling--though perhaps it goes somewhere by peddling, which is why it's on Craig's List in the first place.

Live Free and Die

On a trike riders' forum I subscribe to, the perennial subject of whether bike helmets increase safety has come up. Someone complained that their head gets hot when they wear a helmet, and suggested that on a trike, which doesn't require balancing, helmets might not be necessary. Then everyone else had to weigh in. It occurs to me that while a trike doesn't fall like a bike does, it can flip (I have lifted a wheel a few times in fast cornering), and if it did, it is perhaps likely to land upside down.

What color is your helmet? I wear a white helmet, which is noticeably cooler (in temperature if not in appearance) than the dark green helmet I used to wear. It is also more visible, which could be helpful--and I have front and rear lights on it, originally for better visibility as my head is higher up than the trike (or bike), and has the additional advantage that whatever bike or trike I'm riding, I have lights.

Back when bike helmets first appeared, we all thought they looked dorky and resisted wearing them. Since then they've been styled more attractively, and we've gotten accustomed to wearing them. I wear mine almost every time I ride, whether on bike or trike. Better to be a live dork than a dead hipster. The debate over whether they really make a difference is more about people resisting the "domination" of wearing a helmet. Last week a motorcycle rider in an anti-helmet protest group ride fell off his bike onto his head (at low speed) and was killed by head trauma. There were people commenting approvingly that he died for his freedom. Personally, I think there are freedoms more worth dying for than the right not to use a piece of safety equipment. The thing is, you won't know if it makes a difference until you are in an accident, by when there is nothing you can do about it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Seersucker Style Today

Has it really been seven months since I posted anything here? Time flies whether you're having fun or not. Speaking of having fun, today is the second annual Seersucker Social ride, lawn party and after-party. I'm going. Perhaps, the thought arises unbidden, I ought to be working. So I'll give out business cards and claim it was some kind of work.

Last year I rode my Raleigh DL-1 Roadster that had also been my steed on the first Tweed Ride. However, that bike went to its new owner last week. While I really liked the Roadster, it was a favorite bike that I rode only about three times a year. So this year I will ride my recently-acquired Dahon. This has the advantages of plenty of gear range (something the roadster definitely did not have), and easy portability to get to and from the venue (which since I sold my Volvo wagon last year, the roadster also did not have). I have a morning event to go to at Landmark Education, so I'll take the bike in the car, park by a Metro, and take Metro to the starting point.

As the Dahon lacks the full gear case of the Roadster, style will be compromised somewhat with practicality--which means I'll wear shorts instead of trousers. But they will be seersucker!

Seersucker, by the way, has nothing to do with Sears (as I once thought). It is an Anglicization of Farsi words meaning "coffee and sugar" and referring to the alternation of dark and light colors and different textures in the fabric. It probably originated in India and first came to the attention of Europeans through the Middle East centuries ago. Its coolness and style have long been appreciated in warm weather. While today's forecast is not as warm as last year's (which was like cycling in a sauna), it will still be a pleasure to stay cool and look good at the same time.

The Dandies and Quaintrelles, organizers of the ride, have as their motto, "Redemption Through Style." Put your trust in seersucker, my children, and ye shall be redeemed!