SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


The CONTINUED Undermining of the SF Bike Advocacy Movement

I've previously blogged about how the SFBC undermines it's own bicycle-advocacy stance, and here they are at it again -- sponsoring another free screening for yet another movie about how trendy it is to ride your fixy like a wanna-be rebellious ass through our city streets.

The SFBC's Bylaws state
...[to] promote a healthy environment and community including specifically the promotion of the bicycle for everyday transportation.

Promoting films which portray reckless stunt-riding in traffic, running stop signs, riding the wrong way down one-way streets, etc. does not promote the bicycle as a means of everyday transportation.

and their Strategic Plan includes goals such as
* Educate bicyclists about safe urban cycling

Promoting films which idolize reckless stunt-riding in traffic, running stop signs, riding the wrong way down one-way streets, etc. does not educate bicyclists about safe urban riding.
* Promote positive, diverse images of bicyclists

Promoting films which celebrate bicyclists recklessly breaking traffic laws does not send a positive message about bicyclists.

Shame on you SFBC!


Resurrecto RB-1

I love this bike:

John took a lemon and made some pretty darn tasty lemonade! Read all about it HERE.

Definitely a chameleon cycle, and a worthy addition to the list of R(650)B-1s!



Quick, somebody get me a bib!


ZugsterBags Front Rando Bag #001

Today Adam dropped off my custom Front Rando Bag! I've spent the past few months putting the prototype through its paces, and I submitted a review to help Adam refine the design -- in return he put me at the start of his order queue. We chose the colors on my bag (black with just a little red) to correspond to my Carradice Super C Saddle Pack and also to the small black/white/red 'ECO' frame-tubing decals on the Kogswell frame. Hey, I'm a bag-matcher now! My new bag is based on the stock Medium size, but I opted for some custom dimensions -- a little narrower and a little taller -- so the bag would fit my bike better.

I spent the rest of the afternoon mangling a few of my favorite raw materials -- flat aluminum bar stock and pop-rivets, both from the local hardware store -- into a custom decaleur (that's fancy French for handlebar-bag-support). I think it'll work out quite well!

Here's the full photo set.


Another Bike I've Always Wanted...

When I worked in a shop during the summer of 1993, a Proflex rep once visited us and had this bike with him. He let each of us take it for a quick test-spin, and I remember really liking the ride. Sure, this was "primitive" suspension technology, offering barely 2 inches of travel at each end, but it was one of the first (and still only!) full-sus rigs I've ever pedaled. I remember that there was very little pedal bob or brake dive -- overall the bike felt really solid, and I wanted very much to ride it on some nice single-track.

Ever since, I've had a soft spot for this bike.

Proflex developed one of the earlier full-suspension MTB designs, and -- unlike most other brands who seemed to try something new each and every year -- kept the same basic design and simply refined it year after year. I think this basic frame still is one of the longest-running designs, in production for something like 5-6 years (that's a guess?) until K2 bought up Proflex early this decade.

You can sometimes find these bikes used for quite good prices, but unfortunately the yellow MCU elastomers have all either hardened or turned to mush, and working replacements are extremely hard to find. A few years after the bike pictured was produced, Proflex moved away from MCU springs (which I still think are a great, lightweight, no-maintenance design!) to steel coil springs with hydraulic oil dampers. They offered retrofit shock kits for the forks and rear swing-arms for the earlier MCU bikes.

When I tried to build my own full-sus frame a few years later, I modeled the rear swing-arm after the Proflex design, even building the MCU shock unit using Proflex spare parts which were available back then. It worked, kinda, but the rear swing-arm wasn't cross-braced well enough, so it bent sideways at the first strong pedal-stroke. Project scrapped, lesson learned!

I still want one of those old Proflex bikes, though!