Friday, August 5, 2011

Follow Friday

Recap: I began the week by finding out this very blog had been listed among the Best of San Diego 2011 according to San Diego Magazine. They deemed Bike 21 as Best Cycling Porn, which is crazy, and I pledged to 1) post a new photo each day this week, and 2) propose other deserving sources of cycling-related visual media.

Finally the week has finished, so I figured I would feature four fantastic photogs from the Twitterverse, ala #FollowFriday. Check out the timelines of these folks for some top notch cycling porn pics.
  • @BikeCrave: read the tweets of local cyclist and wordsmith Jeff Bean and you'll be treated to scenic vistas from the coast to Palomar. This guy clocks the miles and he's got the photos to prove it. His bikes often are featured in the pics, too, so don't worry about that. One word: Moots. Oh yeah, his blog is (usually mostly writing) really good, too.
  • @TimJackson: the former Masi Guy is a self-proclaimed bike nerd, marketing nerd, and social media wonk. Another San Diegan, Tim now shills for Pivot/BH Cycles. You could always count on Tim to tweet sneak peek pics at what was in the works at Masi and it seems to be no different at his new gig. Also: pics of his cute kids.
  • @pathlesspedaled: now I'm stretching beyond San Diego. The couple behind The Path Less Pedaled, Russ & Laura, were based in Long Beach for a time, but they've ventured out on a bike tour all over the map. Russ is actually a professional photographer. More than just bikes, they tell stories of the people & places they visit. It's real photojournalism.
  • @copenhagenize and @_Cycle_Chic: moving over to the Old World, we've got Mikael Colville-Andersen from the cycling paradise in Copenhagen, Denmark. He's got the trademark on "Cycle Chic" and is a renowned expert on urban mobility, so what more do you need to know? Beautiful people on bikes. But also just regular people on bikes, where it is actually regular to be on a bike. Still, the regular people manage to look hip & stylish all the same. Nary a helmet to be seen.
  • Don't forget: All the sites I mentioned the other day are also on the Twitter, too.. @velocult, @ecovelo, and @bikehugger
To close out, I did an impromptu night shoot, as seen above and below.

Thanks to everyone who has checked out the blog for the first time this week. And if you've been coming back throughout the week, thanks again for that, too. I don't think I can keep this pace up, but maybe I can get in the habit of more regular posts. Maybe.

You can usually find me on Twitter, so follow me @juanrcm

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mini Bike Commute

I had to bring our van in for service on Wednesday. As I've taken to doing in the past year when I get a car serviced, I bring my bike along and ride in to work. The auto shop is very close to my office. It is roughly 1.5 miles and only takes 6-7 minutes. I've been to the dealership nearby in the past and used the free shuttle. One time it took almost an hour for me to get dropped off, between waiting for the driver and having other customers get dropped off first. The short bicycle ride is definitely more convenient for me. Anyway, it was good to ride in to work again. I'll be back at the shop on Friday to get something else fixed, so I know I will get to ride my bike another time this week!

The photo of the day is a leftover from my twilight ride on Monday. No filters/post-processing on this image!

That ride reminded me that I still need to pick up a new rear blinky that will attach to one of my seat stays. I was a little under-lit with only that tiny Knog rear light (you can just make it out in the photo). I'm leaning towards the PDW Radbot over the ubiquitous SuperFlash from PlanetBike (or the new SuperFlash Turbo).


I should learn not to foreshadow future posts, because then I end up not getting around to writing them, but...I'll have a couple more recommended blogs for Friday's post.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Real Deal

It's pretty cool how much traffic the blog has gotten the past few days. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't point you toward some real top notch "cycling p0rn," though.

I can start off by still keeping it local to the San Diego scene, but with perhaps some of the best bike photos you will find anywhere: Velo Cult Bike Shop. Their blog is tops, but you'll want to check out the online "museum." Better yet, drop by their shop in person. If that's not enough for you, take home the first volume Velo Cult Book. 79 pages chock full of the best images from resident photog Anthony Bareno.

By the by, owner Sky Boyer and his crew at VeloCult are also behind, a great forum for local bikey people, and the Bike Commuter Discount program - another Best of San Diego highlight.

Another great cycling destination on the Interwebs is EcoVelo. This another great site for bike photos and the focus is on transportational cycling. As with VeloCult, you're going to mostly see steel bikes. While VC skews on the vintage side, the EcoVelo husband & wife duo, Alan & Michael, can usually be found testing late model commuter bikes and gear. There is also a large Flickr stream and a somewhat new Bicycle Commuter Profile section where people submit photos of their own rides. The site is updated almost everyday, it seems, so the content is always fresh.

My last recommendation for today is BikeHugger. This site has a staff of bloggers, lead by head Hugger DL Byron, covering the gamut of the bicycle scene from racing to commuting and more. They cover all the major industry events and product launches, so you'll find the best of what's new in bikes. New content is appearing all the time, and you'll also want to follow along on Flickr and Twitter.

I'll have some more links as the week continues, but I'll leave you with today's photo. I actually haven't biked to work much lately. I took this a little while back. Here's a tip: it's not the greatest idea to take photos from your bike using an iPhone. Especially self-portraits like this. I'm lucky I haven't dropped my iPhone. Yet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Photo of the Day for Tuesday

Black Mountain Ranch sunset, originally uploaded by JuanRoman.
Here's a faux-HDR shot taken from my iPhone last night as the sun was setting. The colors in the sky are slightly exaggerated, but true.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Best of San Diego?

Well, well...if you are visiting my blog for the very first time after seeing the mention in San Diego Magazine, welcome!

I think there's been a mistake. Or someone is messing with me.

In case you missed it, the August issue of the aforementioned San Diego Magazine (and this is a reputable magazine, mind you) has listed this very blog among its Best of San Diego highlights for the month. And what exactly is it best of, you say?

Best Cycling Porn

That's right. I know. It sounds weird, but it means they think I've got drool-worthy bike pics.

In any event, I'm hugely flattered and honored that this little blog would get picked for 'Best of' anything. I never dreamed in a million years that this blog would gain any recognition whatsoever. I'd like to know what writer, editor, or intern selected my blog for the list. I'd like to buy that person a beer, or a coffee, or a gallon of gas. No, probably not the gas. I'm supposed to be advocating bike commuting here. And never mind that they cribbed my Twitter bio for half the write-up. It's all good.

I get props for all the "caress-me hipstamatic pics" of my bike. Again, flattered. I don't even feel like I've posted that many photos of my bike. Especially recently. But let's get this right. My photo app of choice is Camera+, not Hipstamatic. Though that's a cool app, too.

I'm getting long winded here, but in light of this honor that has been bestowed upon me, I am going to make an extra effort to live up to this cycling porn title. My goal is to post a new photo every day this week. After that, all bets are off.

To get things started, here is Monday's cycling porn of the day:

Monday, photo of the day

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rules of the road

Sunday afternoon the kids rode their bikes to the park. I explained to them that bikes really belonged on the road (even though it was OK for kids to ride on the sidewalk) so they wanted to give it a shot. This was my first primer with them on the rules of the road: stay to the right, stop at the stop signs, and a brief introduction to hand signals for turning. Other than cross-traffic at the intersection, I don't think we came near a single moving car (that's for mommy when she reads this).

I need to work on the training wheels situation. It's killing me that they are not past that, yet.

Earlier in the day we had fun on this bike rack.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh, yeah, I have a blog

Almost forgot again that I have a blog. I had drafted a post back in May, but I never finished it, so it won't see the light of day. Basically it was a reminder that May was National Bike Month, including Bike to Work Day. I hope you celebrated appropriately.

I bike commuted on Bike to Work Day. There were more people out on their bikes that morning, which is always a treat. I followed this guy for awhile and then we traded the lead a couple times before I turned off at my office.

Bike to Work Day photo

It was my first commute on new Schwalbe (rhymes with Alba) Marathon tires I got for the San Diego Century ride, which was the very next day. It turned out to be my fastest commute to work, but I'm not sure it was the superior rolling resistance of the tires or the adrenalin of playing "I'm not really trying to race you, but I sorta am" with the fellow pictured above. I didn't even stop at any of the sponsored pit stops this year. I was running a few minutes behind and I just wanted to get to work.

In a wise decision not to tire myself out for the 66 mile ride the next day, I arranged to get a ride home with my in-laws. I want to devote an entire post to the San Diego Century ride, so I'll save that for another day (hopefully soon).


I don't want to quit just yet, though...

I do want to mention that I took a test ride of a Globe Live 2. Globe, for those unaware, is a spinoff brand of Specialized that "specializes" (see what I did there?) in urban bikes. It's like the Scion to Toyota except Specialized bikes are not as boring as Toyota cars are and the Globe bikes did not originate as funky cars sold in the Japanese market. Anyway, you get my drift.

Globe Live 2
photo credit: Globe Bikes

The Live (I think it's pronounced like "give" - short i, not "hive" - long i) is a nice town bike with a sturdy integrated front cargo basket/rack.

Globe Live 02 test ride

The "2" is the mid-level trim and comes equipped with a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal gear hub instead of a traditional derailleur gear mechanism. Shifting is provided by a twist-grip shifter. This is a nice drivetrain, especially for new cyclists. Simple, wide gear range, and you can even shift at a stop. It was with this ease-of-use in mind that I was looking at this bike. It has a nice upright position and cool extras, too, like color-matched fenders, a bell and a double-leg kickstand. I thought it would make a nice bike for my wife. So far, she's not really interested, but that has nothing to do with this specific bike.

The mixte frame is sweet looking, too. That's the one I wanted. For her.

in the shade by shebicycles, on Flickr
photo credit: Flickr/shebicycles

Friday, April 15, 2011

San Diego Sixty-six-tury

I have signed up for my first organized long distance bike ride, the San Diego Century, on May 21. I would like to complete an actual century this year, but this event is not going to be the time. I will be riding the 66-mile route. The full 103-mile route has got some climbing that I doubt that I can prepare for in a little over a month.

Other than my sporadic 30 mile round trip bike commutes, I've thus far managed two training rides. The first was to be about 34 miles in it's entirety, but between a hot day, a late start, and a general lack of fitness, I had to call in the broom wagon after only 23 miles completed. That was a little disheartening (especially since the ride was on part of the course route) but a successful 28 mile ride this past weekend has restored a modicum of confidence.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My ass will thank me later

I decided to join the ranks of Brooks England aficionados and recently purchased a B-17 leather saddle for my bike. The stock saddle on my bike is fairly narrow, about 145 mm, and more suited to sportier riding. The Brooks is 175 mm wide and is considered by many de rigueur for commuting, touring, and other such riding. I'm hoping the change will be of long term benefit. I also like the classic look of the leather saddle - it easily works with my bike - and I'd be remiss if I didn't admit there is some cachet to the Brooks nameplate on the back, too.

Brooks B-17 saddle

By chance I came across a bargain basement find of a pair of Crank Brothers Candy pedals for $6. They were inside a box of some generic platform pedals and I was pleasantly surprised when I took a peek inside! I've already installed them in place of my Crank Brothers Mallet pedals. The platform on these is much smaller, so not as good for normal street shoe riding, but it turns out they are much easier to engage with my cleated shoes. There is still enough platform there that I can just jump on from a dead stop and pedal away. The Mallets will go back on my mountain bike and I can always switch back later on if needed.

Crank Brothers Candy

My bike has seen a nice transformation this week. I'm quite pleased.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Back in the Saddle

It’s been awhile since my last post (whoa, first since October and first of 2011!). Much of that has to do with me not making my bike commute on a regular basis pretty much since September. I definitely had no rides after the fall time change. I have a few bike commutes under my belt in 2011, but it's been a slow start.

As I think I have mentioned before, I haven’t been keen on riding home in the pitch dark on the parts of my commute with high-speed car traffic (basically the start of my ride home from work). I have lights but they’re more of the be-seen-in-the-dark variety than the see-in-the-dark variety. The days have been getting longer again, though, and already the spring time change is upon us. Hmmm...This makes it darker in the evening again for a little while, right??  

I don’t remember having many issues with available light last year at this time. Though last year at this time I was doing the partial bike commute to the park & ride 6 miles from work. These days I’m only doing the 15 mile door-to-door commute, so obviously I’m out on the road longer. It is dark by the time I reach home.

In addition to the darkness issue, I have also just been having a hard time again getting ready to leave early enough to ride in. I did get into a pretty good routine for most of 2010, so I’m looking forward to getting back into those good habits again for 2011.