Thursday, April 19, 2007


Proj-B's east end went out this evening to take advantage of typecasts in the bike community. Yes, Lyle decided it was time to buy a set of post-winter roadie rollers. Attention Everyone: the days are longer and the weather is nice. Time to sell your rollers and do your training on the road. Then you can buy new, upgraded rollers in the fall!

We headed out, BOB in tow, with the tripod to make sure we captured the first moments of new awesomeness in sharp focus. The trip would be wasted without a stop at Kingsgate for some tall cans of Shaftebury. Remember when those were on sale last summer? $1.79 including deposit. That was rad.

As complete newbies to rollers, we thought it would be a good call to learn right away. After loading up, we headed for China Creek North Park to give it a go. We cracked a beer, and got lolling. Lyle was able to get it going without too much trouble, and was soon rockin' it eastside in the grass:

As we realized that rollers on grass was not ideal - they were sinking in - a '63 Impala rolled by on 13" wires, all but dragging the rear bumper. How appropriate. We then took it to the streets, Great Northern Way style:

Unfortunately, the rollers were set up for a longer wheelbase than the tight-angled KHS and, though I was able to get moving on them, it was easy to get bucked off. Lyle's Bianchi was perfect though, and I lolled off into the sunset.'s Commuting forum was a fun time today, as Lyle and I both posted in their Show Us Your Dashboard thread. No computers, HID lights, or excessive cables and levers here, folks!

... and continuing on the topic of bicycle typecasting, here is a very well-written, albeit slightly dated (Aug '06) article from PingMag, called "Bike Messenger Style." Whether we'd like to admit it or not, even those of us who don't courier have been pegged in at least some part of this piece; it goes into much deeper detail than the average article. Somehow, it has me wanting to build 40-spoke wheels, just for bling factor.

Our friend Leo is shown in one of the photos, apparently from the book Messengers style (thanks Mark). I'm sure he's got some great stories to accompany that. I really want to do a project with Leo: some type of custom bike, maybe another tall bike. Great conversations with him were a big part of my building the Mielgeot. If not for that, I may not have ridden it through the fountains at Queen Elizabeth Park!

That image was shot at Tuesday's Hey Fixie by Damon, who is from Melburn, and will be over here for the next while. He's very excited to get involved with the Vancouver bike scene, with plans to help map bike routes and gain knowledge by becoming immersed in another city's bike culture. Imagine going to Critical Mass in another large city... Damon gets to do that in Vancouver for the first time this month. Eventually I hope to do something similar - possibly the 15th anniversary CM in San Francisco in September. Anyone in for that?

Back to the subject of the PingMag article, another consideration is their mention of the flowing, high speed urban riding that "couriers" are known for. With both Nick and Lyle having had car-bike incidents (on bikes with brakes) in the past couple weeks, I've been pondering is whether car-bike incidents are higher in amount of occurrences, but less dangerous overall when riding a very assertive style in traffic.

We associate such riding with an oft-used label on this blog, and a term we use to describe ourselves, which has an almost-accurate description on wikipedia: hoon. Yes, we share a moniker with a group of Australian street racing, car modifying hoons. Definitely one for the B-Tionary. Primer grey anyone?

The part about "consensual sodomy amongst the tribal adult males" is a bit odd and, considering the well-reported-ness of the rest of the article, seems like it almost might be a joke. Well, Camilo and Skylar, we've yet to see that one through - but that's a topic for a completely different blog.

I know we make some fairly complicated manoeuvers and, though we have run-ins with cars, we often see them coming in advance and have already slowed down to expect it. When riding in a group, we communicate with each other very well, informing of bus signals and the like. So, back to the original question: higher amount of incidence, less catastrophic results? Or am I just making all this up?

In terms of injury, Project-B has a much higher rate of getting hurt riding BMX at the skatepark or falling off a proficiently trackstanded tall bike because someone grabbed the rear triangle to "help out." Who knows, maybe someone will injure themselves trying to learn how to ride backwards on the new rollers or, even worse, riding them on a tall bike.


urbanbicyclist said...

Count in in for SF!

((lyledriver)) said...

Excellent postage Morgan.

So many things to comment on...

'I've been pondering is whether car-bike incidents are higher in amount of occurrences, but less dangerous overall when riding a very assertive style in traffic.'

I don't feel I have a lot of 'car-bike' incidents. For the time I spend on the road, and the amount of potentially dicey situations I put myself through, I think my ratio is fairly good.

On Tuesday I got 'pinched' due to multiple factors.

1)I knew the intersection was a clusterfuck, with cars already backed up and behaving erratically, so I made my best judgement call on how to enter it

2)A Mazda was trying to establish dominance and 'nose' his way out into the mess, he caught my attention for a millisecond too long

3)The Jetta I was shadowing swerved to claim a parking spot without signalling, while I was paying attention to the Mazda

Since I didn't unclip my pedals and was able to ride out of the situation after getting checked by the Jetta, I didn't even get mad.

I guess I'm starting to see the cars as lumbering beasts as well, each with their own personalities and behavioral characteristics.

I've started touching them more. ..and for the most part, they behave when I interact with them this way.

So I agree on the less dangerous part, disagree on higher in occurance part.

Every time I read that commuting forum there are stories of people getting hooked, cut off etc. I often have to wonder if they are riding assertive enough.

nikcee said...

hoon it

also known as 'revheads'...