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Stories

Portapedal: A Bike Shop, not a Sitcom

A couple of weeks ago, I went looking for Portapedal, a new-ish bike shop in Tempe, Arizona specializing in portable bikes. When I found the correct address, this is what I saw:   And this is what I imagined would be inside: And I was partially right. Inside that suburban ranch house was an architect […]

It Never Hurts to Ask for a Better Price

Americans tend to be very shy about asking for better prices. Maybe it’s part of the reason we accept having obnoxious pitchmen shouting Sale! Sale! Sale! at us. It compensates for our own reticence to initiate a deal on our own. When I returned from two-and-a-half years of living in Cameroon, I couldn’t pay retail […]

Cyclists on the Sidewalk: What’s a pedestrian to do?

So a cyclist is cruising down the sidewalk, and there’s a close call with a pedestrian — or maybe even a collision. Harsh words are exchanged. You should be in the street, you mountain of mad flesh! I can’t ride in the street, you cockered dread-bolted strumpet. There’s no bike lane! Listen, you rampallian, you […]

Have you realized your racks, bags, and panniers are junk?

When I was younger I used to buy my bike bags at the army surplus store. They weren’t actually army surplus equipment. There was nothing army about them. They were cheap junk. I still have some of them. I’ve bought several cheap bike rear racks too, including the classic cast-aluminum “mousetrap” rack, shown here pinching […]

How does your town say ‘No Bicycles?’

I managed to forge a cycling purpose into a non-cycling vacation in August, 2011, using the brute force of a big-ass 1996 GMC camper van. Here are the posts: Vapid Transit, Snap Judgements, How to Blow $20 in Boulder, Public Art You Can’t See from a Car, and How does your town say ‘No Bicycles?’ […]

Snap Judgements on Silverton, Montrose, and Salida

I managed to forge a cycling purpose into a non-cycling vacation in August, 2011, using the brute force of a big-ass 1996 GMC camper van. Here are the posts: Vapid Transit, Snap Judgements, How to Blow $20 in Boulder, Public Art You Can’t See from a Car, and How does your town say ‘No Bicycles?’ […]