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Stray Cat Bicycles
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Stray Cat Bicycles

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New blog post detailing the $120 we just spent on cheap bike lights on a Hong Kong website!
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Richard Masoner's profile photo
 
Ah, Dealextreme, home of the exploding MagicShine battery packs!
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More proof of success of the Bike Corral on King St.  Build it and they will come.....
 
Why I love "bike corrals".  In the space of one parked car (ok, 1.5?), Madison has enabled *15* cyclists to lock up their bikes.  What's not evident in this picture is that just behind me there are another 4 bike racks (one at each corner) that were completely full as well, and bikes were locked to trees, parking meters, and so on.  

Maybe it's time to kick that SUV out of his/her parking spot and add in another 15 slots for bicycles?
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Whoa.  Gas prices are up ~$0.70/gallon in the last week and a half!!!  It's supposed to be only temporary, so if that's not incentive to try to stretch out that last half-gallon I've got in my tank, I don't know what would be....  
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"Pro" tip - Have a bike light that's never staying in place?  Maybe it rotates backwards so it blinds people, or forward so it only illuminates the ground in front of you?  You can try to wedge a small piece of rubber in it to hold it in place (cut-up road tires work well), OR just mount it upside down.  Gravity works to hold it in place as opposed to trying to pull it out of adjustment.

This works well if you're using cheaper lights (ahem), or just ride like a maniac (cough cough)....
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Want to make cycling more appealing to the residents of your city?  Don't only treat them as vehicles (note the "road" signs signifying the paved trails along with the lane positioning signs), but also grant additional rights to cyclists such as paths connecting dead-end streets, counter-flow bike lanes, ability to turn right/left, and so on.  When riding becomes the easier, faster and more efficient way to travel, more people will take that as an option.  If you live on a one-way street with a counter-flow bike lane, it will (probably) be far easier for you to get where you want to go by bike than by car.  The same goes for living on dead-end streets as well.  It's been well-proven that the fastest way to get around a city is often by bicycle, now it's becoming the easiest as well...
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Have to love biking, beer and movies.  Especially all at the same time.
 
GREAT time tonight at cLips of Faith here in Madison, and a massive turnout as well.  When we got there at 8pm, the "complimentary bike parking" was....  full.  Or almost full, so those of us with locks were asked to lock up our bikes outside.  Films were great, and so was the New Belgium, but I'll still take +New Glarus or +Ale Asylum over it any day of the week.
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What a GREAT Ride the Drive.  Nothing like seeing 20,000 other cyclists out enjoying a gorgeous, sunny June day.  Thanks to everyone who came out!

Bigger thanks to everyone who stopped, chatted, and took bikes for test rides!

But....  The biggest thanks of all are to the Madison Police Department who not only didn't get annoyed at our shirts, but liked them enough to have their picture taken with +Shannon Flasch who was wearing one.

(Note:  The shirt says:  "As far as OWI (operation while intoxicated) while on a bicycle, there is no such thing.  --Sgt. Eric Tripke, Madison Police Dept.")
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Basic question I encounter every time I head out on the bike:  How do YOU want to be seen by other road users?
 
Did a quick bike-light comparison tonight, starting with a 1 LED Planet Bike headlamp and worked my way up to a 1200 (claimed) Lumen Deal Extreme special.  How do YOU want to be seen by other road users?

Conditions were identical long-exposure shots via DSLR on a tripod.  Bike was ~100' away from the camera, and the lights were pointed at the ground in front of the bike.  

Last shot is a side shot with DX headlamp on, wheel lights and rear light.
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As a part of my LAB League Certified Instructor course, we did a night ride and had a huge variety of lights, tail lights and reflectors to compare.  Some of us had obscenely bright (and expensive) lights but in the end, it was the passive devices such as safety vests, reflective tire sidewalls and reflective tape on the bike frames that provided the greatest visibility at a distance.

You need to be able to see where you're riding so you still need a good light but don't underestimate the value of passive reflective devices.
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Our takeaway from this story? Buy bikes NOW to save money and avoid Financial Armageddon altogether. Too often we wait till we're forced to make the hard choices, and the result is that the benefits are minimal. If you save hundreds (thousands?) of dollars before you have to, you'll be far better off if SHTF.

And if it doesn't, you've just banked money that can go into your vacation fund.... 
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Cross-marketing at it's finest...
 
Is it me, or is this a TERRIBLE way to try to sell your product?

"Buy our bikes.  You'll almost certainly get hurt, though, so here's a first aid kit..."

Way to push the idea that bicycles are a safe, dependable and environmentally-friendly alternative to driving, Wal-Mart. 
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Have tailgate party, will travel!  Loaded up the kiddie trailer last night to surprise +Shannon Flasch.  Instead of the deli sandwiches she was expecting, I packed:
Cooler full of, cheese, crackers, sausage, etc.
Bottle of wine with two wine glasses
2 folding chairs
Miniature charcoal grill (including charcoal & lighter fluid)
2' square 1/4" plywood "tabletop"
Tablecloth
DSLR
Plates, knives, etc

Had a great evening of tailgating, followed by watching our very own Dairyland Dolls roller derby team put the hurt on the visiting Northern Lights.  LOVE my little $20 Craigslist kiddie trailer...
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Robert Rowe's profile photo
 
I don't know why I never thought of bike-trailer tailgating before. Great idea! 
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Rode on the Madison FBC ride the other night, and I have to say....  THANK YOU to the ride organizers for kinda/sorta trying to follow traffic laws.  Based on where I was in the group, we stopped at stop lights and gasp waited for them to turn green.  No, it wasn't 100% successful, but then again with 75+ riders out enjoying the gorgeous evening it'd have been almost impossible to get everyone across on one light cycle.

Thinking about bringing a camera along next time for some documentation.  
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Bob Vincent's profile photo
 
Here's a nice helmet cam. I just bought one and I'm very happy with it. Four hour battery life, 1080p x 30fps video, 1 lux sensitivity.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004AP9FSE/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00
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Elegant Economical & Egalitarian bikes