Monday, October 31, 2011

Philly Bike Expo

I had a brief chance to drop by the Philly Bike Expo yesterday. It was pleasantly tucked into the old Armory on 22nd Street, between two alleys that provided space for used bike parts and a bicyclist valet. Most of the vendors inside this large stone building were handmade bicycle artisans, who brought both imaginative and crafty machines for perusal. Since the vendors ran small operations, it was easy to talk to them about their techniques, such as all the filing involved in making a tube connections look so refined. I was a bit surprised that the event was on a smaller scale for such a prominent biking city, nonetheless it presented a wide range of bicycle designs.
Bike wares alongside the armory....

Interior activity....

Wish my kids fit in this....

Shiny style from Cooper Bikes....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cops and Magazines

I exited the office into much cooler and grayer weather than I expected today. I dodged the smokers who so consistently block the doorway and unlocked my bike. By the time I had arced around Grandview and got to the hospital parking lot, I came upon the Frenchman again. He wasn't pedaling but walking rather hurriedly. He was rushing to meet a friend, so we had only a quick chat, but during our brief updates he explained that the crazy screaming car driver had harassed him yet again. This time, however, the Frenchman called the cops!  Excellent! Having quickly memorized the offending car's license plate number (a skill we cyclists must master), he was able to dispatch the police to whomever has been regularly causing him grief during his commutes (see my earlier post). There is nothing so unnverving as hearing a speeding car approaching your rear and then have to endure screams coming from their errant drivers!

Following our converstion I headed along the bypass to the local, last remaining big bookstore for some sketching. Locking up again to the gas pipes, I then sat near a magazine rack and took this impression:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Philly Data

It's always a plus when my analyst side gets to jive with the bicyclist in me. Recently released is, which seems to be a trove of various Census and other data made available free to the public. Biking data are in the mix! 
Another assemblage of biking data, over at The Atlantic, is of various parking arrangements for bicycles, including ways to launch your bike up a utility pole to keep it from would be thieves (although not squirrels). Those data are not the quantitative kind, but illustrative of creativity and sharp design.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Night BIkes

These bikes -- older, more classic road models -- were locked up in front of the Midtown Scholar recently. A friend of mine and I had coffee there just before the store closed. As we walked out, I snapped this photo (and manipulated the tonal thresholds). There is no question how handy these bikes (one of them a Fuji) are for their owners. With simple efforts they will move toward home with great efficiency.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sufficient Energy & Gas Station

This morning I was running a touch late as I hit the street on my commute. The delay resulted from my being sluggish and congested. A plate of two eggs mixed with cheese, more decaf and a hot shower lent me enough additional energy to get underway. Although I doubted the wisdom of riding with insufficient umph, the commute into work didn't move me backwards in terms of my general constitution.

Also low on energy is this gas station I pass each day, seemingly worn out with its defunct fuel pumps and growing collection of abandoned cars:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bike Loan

Two days ago I loaned my bike to my son. For some reason I can't remember, he needed it. And so off he rode with our Pakistani exchange student (I think my son loaned him his bike, and that's part of the reason he needed my bike) to his friend's house. I haven't seen my bike since! It's only been 48 hours, but since my bike is my ONLY bike, I am missing it. I would have squeezed a ride in today too, but of course, this wasn't possible. The bike remains at my son's friend's house, and since they're out for the day I'm without my wheels.

I'm glad to see my son fit onto my bike and be able to ride it, but next time I need to make sure there is a fail safe return policy before I lend it again!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bike Deals!

These are the second and third bikes I've seen for sale at this Chinese restraunt in the past month. Obviously they are a commodity. Having eaten here, I will conclude the food is in better shape than these bikes, but they are a good deal nonetheless.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Proper Springfield Cyclists

We have read many stories of cyclists suffering the discontent and ire of automobile drivers. Perhaps if we wear a uniform like the one shown before the image of cyclists would improve! Surely our car-driving compatriots would give us more road space when they see us wearing  medals and neat hats! 

Or perhaps bicycling associations can don these duds while they make public service announcements, proclaiming their noble contribution to pollution and traffic abatement? Can you imagine legions of Proper Cyclists clearing the way for us commuters with well-spoken arguments for pro-bike policies?

...well, delusion can at least be self-humoring, sometimes!