Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bike brake light senses you slowing down

Group riding can be a bit dangerous if the pace is fast and riders don’t notice a slowing in the front of the pack. [WyoJustin] designed a brake light system for cyclists to try and remedy this issue. LEDs are mounted in the end caps of the handlebars on a road bike. When an accelerometer senses the bike slowing down the LEDs light up, warning those behind you that you’re slowing down.
The system is made to be portable, as a lot of serious riders have multiple bikes. To make this happen, all of the electronics are housed in the handlebar tubing for easy transfer. This includes an accelerometer with built in voltage regulator, an Arduino to control everything, and a battery. Take a look at the brake lights in action after the break.
Most of the bike lights we see are for the front of the machine, but this backward-facing package is a clean and easy solution we can get behind (safely).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I got to ride my bicycle!

A ride in the cool fall air
starting out a dusk
leaves crunching and fluttering beneath my wheels
cadence high = exhilaration

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Hardest Race Ever...Its in America

This race is perhaps the "hardest race ever". 100 miles on a mountain bike at over 10,000 feet elevation? That is insane? I would love to do it! I don't have the chops, or at least not enough time to train. I would however tour it on a mtn bike with tent and gear over a few days. That would be a fun trip.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Night Ride with my son.

Cool night, sixty-three degrees,
Warm Latte, exhilarating wind.
Good Bonding, Happiness ensues.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chilly Art and Butternut Squash tart

Tonight my wife and I went out on the town for a well deserved night out together. After dropping the kiddos off at some friends for movies, video games, and pizza, we meandered towards the Magnolia Street area.
After checking out the art that was badly displayed at The Chat Room, we went over to Elerbe Fine Foods for coffee and desert.
Elerbe Fine Foods came highly recommended on Kevin Buchanan's Fortworthology blog so I thought we should give it a go. It was a GOOD move, the food and service were impeccable. I had the butternut squash tart and Carola had a bread pudding, both were "slap-yo-mama", mouth watering, "close your eyes to savor it" good. The atmosphere is a quiet pleasant fine dining experience, it is the perfect place to take your significant other for a night out of dinner and quiet conversation.
After having our respectve "sweet tooths" satiated we decide to stop by a place I saw while riding my bicycle up Jennings street. Gallery Art Cafe is a eclectic sandwich shop by day and a cool hip coffee house by night, there was even live music there. The Gallery part was a modest collection of very good, moderate priced, pieces that I enjoyed viewing. The Cafe part; I ordered my usual drink for late night coffee house visits (quadruple shot espresso with an equal amount of steamed half and half), and it blew your local "S-Bucks" stuff away. Gallery Art Cafe is a cool place to "hang".
Then we went to check out a place that I had seen while riding my bicycle through downtown(I see a trend developing here). ArtSpace111 is a contemporary art gallery that featured a good collection of very fine artworks by local Fort Worth artists. Tonight the sculpture garden had been rented out for a wedding reception so we looked at the artwork inside the gallery. We only spent a few minutes there, but it was long enough to make a plan to go back to see if they would feature some of Carola's work.
All in all, it was a really good date!

Why do I Crash?

Because I am a goober! Because I get careless..Because I don't pay attention to hazards enough. what can I say Stuff Happens.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September and Riding

So now that it has cooled off, I am planning to ride least for the pleasure of just riding.

I rode off to meet my wife.
had coffee.
rode across to the mall
checked out the sporting goods store
went to starbucks to use wifi.
and rode home.

A simple ride to get around but its the little moments that make it especially enjoyable....
The smell of the air as I speed through the woods on a trail, that is seldom ridden, makes my mind wander to the vacation we took to the olympic rain forest in washington. The heaviness of the humid air as I exhale makes me slow. My heart pounds and sweat drips from my nose onto my speedometer bluring it from being read. I don't care; I am exilerated! My legs burn and my knees ache as the fixed gear pushes them up and down. Cadence 140 ---> Micah


Where have I been?
Answer: Trudging away like a good little worker ant.
May= Vacation
June= Work
July= More work+ the Goatneck in Cleburne
August=Even More work+ The HHH in Wichita Falls
It is now September and the weather has cooled off ( less than 95degrees) so much more riding will ensue. Riding that is just for fun, not just comuting.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Music in the Wild

I’m reposting this from ClimbDFW.  These guys are hanging in a portaledge on a big wall in Patagonian Chile — about as remote a place as you can find.  The combination of the music and the scenery is mesmerizing to me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

U.S. National High-Speed Rail Plan Announced


President Obama today unveiled his plan for a nationwide system of high-speed rail lines, naming 10 potential corridors that are eligible for stimulus cash and signaling that more federal funding will follow. "There are those who say high-speed rail is a fantasy -- but its success around the world says otherwise," Obama said. "Building a new system of high-speed rail in America will be faster, cheaper and easier than building more freeways or adding to an already overburdened aviation system, and everybody stands to benefit."

US DOT High Speed Rail Strategic Plan 2009 (3MB)

C-SPAN coverage here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Burning It Down

"I feel fat!" That is what I used to say. I still feel it sometimes; you know the times when you are laying on your side and you look down at your body laying there like a puddle of flesh. I feel better now. I feel like I am doing something about it. I went to the gym and burned 543 calories during an hour and two minute workout. Then I went for a bike ride, rode 20 miles and burned 841 calories in an hour and six minutes.Clearly the bike burns it down faster but the gym helps me get that sexy musular physique. I hope that I can achieve my goals that I stated in my other blog.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We built a world for cars!

Parking lots, Streets, traffic lights, freeways, and garages are all built around the car. If we had a penny for every time we had to drive around to find parking for our money pits we call cars we would be much wealthier. Or all the hours we've spent sitting at traffic lights; that time is not used for doing anything productive...waiting in itself helps people to be more patient. What if the world was built around the bicycle instead of the car? What would it look like? Could we fathom it? Would we feel vunerable or fearful to shed our protective covering? Would we be scared of the people around us? Would we be richer or poorer because of the loss of the marketplace built around the car? These questions are the ones that I will try to Get answered. meanwile I will ride my bike as much as I can and get healthier than the dude driving his Suv.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

2 for 2

  I’ve had a chance to go out riding a little lately, what with the recession and all, and the last two times i have gone out to ride with people both those people have crashed…is it me? Cursed? Am I careless? Do I cause this?  I hope that I or at least someone can learn from all this misery around me.

Point One

My wife and I went to my hometown to visit my mom and bike around…(a very windy day)and while climbing “the Wall” (a 19% grade ) my wife fell. She wasn’t hurt but was a little annoyed. She wasn’t going fast enough for any serious injury and that might just have been the cause of her mishap. Gravity! When it comes down to it, gravity is why we crash. While riding, we’re relying on the gyroscopic forces of our two skinny wheels along with our ability to balance and control our bike, as well as a bunch of other physics that I don’t care to explain. The fact is, if any of it goes out of whack,(loss of gyroscopic force) gravity wins.

Point Two

My wife’s cousin and I decide to skip spinning class and go for a ride instead. She is a rookie and doesn’t have a road bike of her own, so she will ride my wife’s orbea with a set of pedal cages. I am leading this ride and decide a “ride for pastries” will be of sufficient distance. We ride…We eat..We start for home and about halfway back I accelerate to get into the lead and make a right and totally come across her front wheel. I feel the contact, slow and look back only to see her wobble then fall/slide as if the bike had bucked her off. She seemed ok at first glance, the way she got up so quickly. After a second I saw her wince in pain. She was definitely hurt! I helped her clean her wounds and inspect for other injuries, praying all the while that she was ok and that the whole experience hadn’t turned her off from cycling in general. We finished our ride back home, all be it allot slower, and the fun then began of cleaning the debris from all her wounds and bandaging them up. It was a good thing that she was wearing her helmet because her head was the only thing that she didn’t scrape up. The whole crash was my fault because I rode with her as if she was a seasoned cyclist used to riding in a group. I didn’t announce my intentions before my turn and she didn’t know what to expect, being she had never ridden in a group before. Every one crashes sooner or later too bad because of me she had to crash sooner.

PSA #1

Crashing is a fact of cycling but often can be avoided if you have good habits and good handling skills. It's no coincidence that experienced cyclists tend to crash less than beginners. After years of racing they've developed instincts for avoiding danger.

One important habit is monitoring your front wheel so that it rarely overlaps the rear wheel ahead of you. If your wheels overlap and the other rider makes a sudden move -- to pull out of the paceline, to attack, to avoid a pothole -- your wheels will strike and it's going to be you who pays the price.

That said, should the paceline slow, there's no need to slam on the brakes in order to avoid the overlap. Rather than panic and cause trouble, coast and hold your line until you can get back behind that wheel.

Another good habit: Monitor your "outs." At any given time, you need to know what you'd do should there be a crash ahead of you. Can you escape onto the shoulder? Is there a curb or a driveway you can ride onto? Are you completely boxed in? Then you might want to find another spot to be. Like in front of me.