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Music and Cycling: Should They Be Combined?

15 Comments Topics: Commuting, Musings, safety Written by Melanie Colavito
Music and Cycling: Should They Be Combined?

Is it ok to listen to music while you ride your bike?  It's a question that's almost as controversial as the great helmet debate.  And it's a question that appears to never really be settled.  As long as there have been portable noise making devices and bicycles, people have been putting the two together and arguing about whether or not it's safe. As is common with debates like this, it was recently brought up again.  Just a few days ago, another piece appeared in The Telegraph, positing the very same question, "Should cyclists be allowed to listen to music?"  The article's author, Sam Walker, was hoping to follow up on London major Boris Johnson's threat from last fall to ban cyclists ...

 

Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Commuter Panniers – A Review

4 Comments Topics: Commuting, Reviews Written by John Coe
Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Commuter Panniers  – A Review

Editor's Note:  The Thule Pack 'n Pedal Commuter Panniers are currently on sale at BikeBagShop.com for the insanely reduced price of  $79.99.  That's over 65% off the regular price of $239.99!

A big drawback to using a pannier that doubles as a messenger bag is that, at some point, without thinking about it, you’re going to throw it over your shoulder and smear road-dirt and dried mud all over the back your clean work shirt.

But that’s about the only drawback to Thule’s Pack-n-Pedal system commuter panniers.

Winner of the 2012 Eurobike and 2013 iF Design Exhibition awards, Thule’s Pack-n-Pedal panniers borrow a number of key features from other well-known bike-bag designs such as off-bike portability via an amply-wide

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Ryders Eyewear: The Gia Standard and Polarized Sunglasses

2 Comments Topics: Commuting, Commuting Gear, Reviews Written by Karen Voyer-Caravona
Basking in the Arizona sun. Eyes well protected by Ryders

Until we moved to perpetually sunny Arizona, sunglasses were an occasional accessory, purchased at Target to wear while driving or at the rare trip to the beach. I just didn’t put much thought sunglasses and because I tended to lose them so often. During undergraduate school, I quickly lost the only pair of expensive sunglasses I ever purchased, a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers that I couldn’t afford. What a waste. And like every pair of sunglasses I’ve worn before and since they constantly slid down my nose and fell to the ground. Since then, I have never paid more than $15. I just didn’t see the value. Then came our move to Arizona and my relationship with sunglasses became one ...

 

Bicycle Face

5 Comments Topics: Cycling, Musings, Stories Written by Melanie Colavito
Bicycle Face

I learned about a fascinating new topic this week thanks to Vox.  Apparently, when women started riding bicycles en masse in the 19th century, doctors coined a fictitious disease called bicycle face in an effort to scare then off from cycling.  From the Vox article: "Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one's balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted 'bicycle face,'" noted the Literary Digest in 1895. It went on to describe the condition: "usually flushed, but sometimes pale, often with lips more or less drawn, and the beginning of dark shadows under the eyes, and always with an expression of weariness." Elsewhere, others said the condition was "characterized by a hard, clenched jaw and bulging eyes." It ...

 

Is Rollin’ Coal the Mirror Image of Critical Mass?

12 Comments Topics: Advocacy, Commuting Written by Ted Johnson
Is Rollin’ Coal the Mirror Image of Critical Mass?

It's been said that for every activist there's an equal and opposite reactionary. So I'm just asking: Are these "Rollin' Coal" trolls just the natural polar-opposites to Critical Massholes? Rollin' Coal, if you haven't heard of it, is a phenomenon where people modify their diesel trucks to make them less fuel efficient. The modifications, which can cost up to $5000, allow the driver to belch out thick black smoke on demand as a way of expressing "anti-envrionmentalism." Often this smoke is directed at pedestrians, cyclists, and fuel-efficient automobiles. Critical Mass, if you haven't heard of it, means you are a sweet and innocent person visiting a bike blog for the very first time, bless your heart. It also refers to events where bicyclists ...

 

The Cadillac Backup Plan

8 Comments Topics: Commuting, Commuting Gear Written by BluesCat
The Cadillac Backup Plan

When I returned to bicycle commuting in 2008, my backup plan for handling problems out on the road was pretty simple: I carried a spare tube, a set of tire tools, a multi-tool and a cheap frame pump. If I encountered anything I couldn't handle with that basic kit, I carried my cell phone to call for rescue. Ted Johnson, in his article The Low-Skill Backup Plan, rightfully suggests that if you have no mechanical talent whatsoever, a cell phone is all the backup plan you need. After all, a lot of people don't know how to change a tire on their car, and most people don't know how to fix a car if it dies, so if a

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