SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Introducing the Rawland Cycles Owners Group [rCOG]

From the recent blog postings and related discussions on the Rawland
Cycles blog about their proposed new models, there was a demand for a
more generalized forum. To that end, I've created the "Rawland Cycles
Owners Group [rCOG]" -- an unofficial discussion forum for owners and
fans/friends of Rawland Cycles bicycles and products. We're at 25
members currently, and would welcome more. Sign up at




Hmmm...at 0.5"x2", I bet one of these would just slip into the steerer tube...AND they take AC input and convert to DC! Read more about it.


PUBLIC Bike , Racked

PUBLIC Bike , Racked
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Last weekend, I moved Lofi Rack #2 over to Dawn's PUBLIC M8. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself! Also added a V-O steering stabilizer to help cancel the high-trail wheel flop.


Are Cyclists Colorblind?

This is a ripe, perhaps overripe, week for bike-commuting.... I've previously written about how I almost rear-ended another commuter, and now today another "interaction". There's a particular intersection (Division @Potrero) that I cross on my morning ride to the Caltrain station. Generally the traffic signal is red, so I stop and wait for the light to change. There's also a pedestrian crossing signal that runs parallel to my direction, which, more often than not, is displaying the white "WALK" sign while the traffic light is red. So 99.9% of the other "bikers" that pass through this same spot somehow magically decide that -- at that split second -- they can morph from "vehicle" to "pedestrian" and blow the red light, but honor the pedestrian sign and rationally proceed.

Or maybe they're just colorblind?

Today I stopped at the red light as usual. Another "biker" came up behind me and leaned in with "Hey, it's OK to go, the crosswalk signal is good!" I replied with "Yeah, but it's a red light". He then actually tried to tell me that it was safer to go on the crosswalk signal than it was to wait for the green light. Now, I've ridden through this spot at least a hundred times in the past six months, and I can't tell you how many close calls I've seen from bicycles blowing the red light, especially if a car/truck/bus is making a right turn onto the cross street. If this guy was driving a car or motorcycle, I'd bet he wouldn't even consider running that red light -- why then should the rules be any different just because you don't have a motor bolted to your ride?

He kept going. When the light turned green, I went, too. And promptly caught up to, and then passed him. I let out a "and it doesn't get you there any faster, either" as I went by. Which was pretty juvenile in retrospect, but it's true.

A while back, I gave up trying to convince other cyclists which way is the right way. You ride however works for you, and let me do my thing, OK? I've been bike-commuting for over twenty years with a clean track-record, for whatever that's worth. But it still really galls me when "bikers" demand equal access to our roadways, yet randomly decide which, when, and how they're going to follow the rules of the playing field. It undermines progress, and relegates us to second-class citizens. I never want to be one of "those damn bikers", thank you!

So man, don't tell me how to ride, OK?!?


For Whom the Bell Tolls...?

My daily commute involves a stretch of riding on a paved, multi-use path, which crosses underneath a highway via a dark, narrow tunnel. At nearly every access point along this path are signs instructing cyclists to "alert others before passing". So this morning, I'm riding along, following behind another cyclist as we both enter this tunnel, and come upon a jogger -- who is of course wearing earbuds. I don't think she's aware of our approach, so I ring my bell -- exactly once. Out of nowhere, the guy in front of me slams on his brakes, and I almost collide with him, ending up between him and the opposite wall, leaning against it with my left shoulder.

Adrenaline pumping, I yell out "&^%@ dude! Why'd you stop in the middle of the trail?!?"

"Because you were trying to pass me, and she [the jogger] was in front of me" he retorted.

Although I didn't think I was close enough to indicate that I was trying to pass him -- I (sort-of) saw how/why he might think that, apologized, and continued on my way.

It could be argued that I was following too closely. I do a good amount of group riding, where everyone is generally comfortable with close-quarters riding, drafting, etc. -- but I need to better remember that the general public is not like this!

But the main thing I want to highlight is that, had I not rung my bell, this incident would never have happened! Trying to do the safe/polite thing -- warning the jogger of my approach -- had exactly the opposite result. Sheesh! What do you do when you encounter other people on a bike path/trail/etc?


Rack Tubing Costs

Mental note: 5/16 x 0.35" rack tubing costs about $3.25 per foot, including tax and shipping. Or $13 for each 4-foot section.

I just ordered 32 feet of it! Woohoo!