Thursday, March 31, 2011

New lanes in my hood!

Today was a "ride to work in a t-shirt" kinda of day. Before I mentioned that they were putting lanes in my neighborhood. They are starting to sprout up!

Before I would take the right most outlet part where the tourists would park to see the city and I felt the curve was too much of a blind spot. Now with the designated lane it is much safer to ride in the actual street.

I did see cars cutting into the lane on this curve though. At a rather fast pace too. I am just hoping that the lane extends down to Corbett soon.
Portola Bike Lane

Related posts:
- Directly Affected
- Spring has sprung!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Really nice commute day yesterday. I wish I rode in to work today. For my ride up home to Twin Peaks I just wore a sweater and it was fine. I made it door-to-door as well.

New bike lane on 17th.
New bike lane on 17th St.

Fellow commuter.
Fellow commuter on18th St.

Loooong shadow.
Long shadow

Door to door.
Door to door

Gorgeous day.

Friday, March 25, 2011

XO-1 Poster

XO-1 Poster, originally uploaded by OwlBoogie.

Probably gonna make more edits. But I like it so far. I am gonna get this printed and hang it in my living room. I really would like an XO-1 poster done by George Retseck, the Illustration in the 1993 B'stone catalog. But since I don't think that exists, I thought I'd take a stab at making my own in my style of drawing.

The sketch/painting is rendered in Illustrator CS4 (my favorite program) and Wacom products. Both the Cintiq 21 and a Graphire 4x5 tablet (opposite ends of the Wacom spectrum). The initial sketch was done from memory. A result of spending time on my own bike. Then I'd refer to pictures for the details like cantilever construction or m'bar bends.

I think I've found a way of using Illustrator that is more like the way I sketch in a book. Before my Illustrator work would be tight and clean, almost techincal, which is different from the way my sketchbook is. Now, with the Cintiq I can draw loose as I would with a pen and pad. :D

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Up for sale

Up for sale, originally uploaded by OwlBoogie.


Someone contacted me asking how much they should sell her for. From the looks of it, it's a garage queen. 52cm.

"It's in almost new condition with very few miles on it. It's a real beauty!"

She certainly is! Be on the lookout on the interwebs...

She is up on the bay now. Good luck! This is truly a gem!!!
eBay Link

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Cool!, originally uploaded by OwlBoogie.

I went to check the Sunday Streets schedule on and what did I see? We're in the masthead!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Commute home: No tengo granny gear

Rain Grand View Panda

Today I rode door to door from work to home. :D I had good motivation: It was raining and I didn't want to stop. On the way home, I was pacing a bike commuter up the 3 Bitches, and he totally pulled away with his granny gear. I, on the other hand, had to struggle up. All good, I still managed even though I lost traction and slipped when I rode over the sharrow. After the 3 bitches, I decided to finish off the ride without walking.

Also, while at a light on Valencia I heard a guy tell his friend "that's a Bridgestone XO-1... yadda yadda..." Fiona blushed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Climbed up Twin Peaks

I live in the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco. Great view, convenient location and quiet neighborhood. Not the easiest biking area. It's not like the Mission or Sunset. I've lived here for 11 months and finally I climbed up to the top for the first time today. I loved it. I thought it'd be a long arduous task, but I was up there in 15 minutes. It will definitely be part of my regular training routine for ALC11.

On my way up.
Sutro Panda

Sutro Tower.

I really do.

Saw this house while scooting around Miraloma.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Urban DHing

I imagine this is what it would be like riding around the neighborhood as a kid... but with superpowers. Looks sooooo fun!

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A nice read on CL

I peruse the bike section of craigslist pretty often. I ran across this post in the for sale section. It's a good read.

Ready to Buy a Bike!? (everywhere)

Date: 2011-02-28, 7:53PM PST

For most of us, the pure joy of being on a bike represents our first forays into the world of freedom. But given the bewildering choices in the used bike arena, how does one buy a decent bike at a fair price? In the Bay Area's Uber-Bike friendly milieu the choices seem to expand exponentially. So what criteria does one use to get a good deal?

Generally speaking, it's usually a good idea to source an 1980's or more recent era Japanese bike. Some of the best brands of that epoch were Fuji, Miyata, Nishiki, Bridgestone, and Centurion. SR, Sekai, Panasonic, Shogun, Univega (made in the Miyata factory), KHS, and several "Schwinn-Approved" bikes also came from this era. Japanese-made Bianchi are also represented in this pantheon. There's plenty more, as well, particularly Specialized (SBI) bikes. In my professional opinion Specialized came to represent the "Apple" of the bicycling world. SBI bikes and products are among the world's most well-thought-out cycling products. From inception their Allez road bike, the Sequoia Sport-Touring bike, and their full touring Expedition represent some of the best of the best.

Regrettably, there are lots of European bikes from this period which are woefully incomparable. While many of these bikes have legendary names, they're not equivalent en toto. Beware of overpriced Schwinn's Varsity and Continental models, and be equally scrupulous of most European bikes, especially Peugeot, Gitane, Jeunet, Motobecane, Magneet, Flandria, etc. And if stumbling across a Sears & Roebuck "Free Spirit," referred to in metric sizing, run! The same applies to the thousands of Firenze.

There's been numerous CL ads where these bikes are being sold as "classic/vintage Italian" road bikes for upwards of $300-400. Back in the 80s, if you bought an alarm clock, a toaster-oven, or a Sony Walkman from "Matthew's Top-of-the-Hill" Daly City, you were awarded a Firenze. Most local bike shops were forced to place hand-written placards in their shop windows stating, "No Firenzes." Yep.....they really are that bad.

While some of these bikes were ostensibly "top of the line" in their respective days, they were quickly eclipsed by the influx of Japanese bikes.

When in doubt about a bike's relative value, call your local (reputable!) bike shop and solicit their opinion. Most technicians have plenty of experience and immediately know the difference between a good deal and a waste of money.

Typically, these bikes were designed, imported, and marketed in standard, SAE English sizes. Generally, the more ubiquitous models came in the following sizes: 19.5", 21," 23," and 25." Occasionally, one of these same manufacturers would carry a 27 inch frame, as well. Traditionally, metric demarcations have been the sole domain of truly high quality, hand-brazed or silver-soldered frames. In other words, a "54cm" Varsity is pure nonsense. By indicating the frame's size in centimeters rather than inches is gross pretentiousness and doesn't add a nickel to its value, end of story.

The vast majority of these bikes, irrespective of frame geometry, intent or application, retailed anywhere from $150-450....the operative word being "generally." And generally speaking most of these same bikes were equipped with SunTour or Shimano components. Tragically, SunTour filed for bankruptcy, despite how well their products worked. Shimano thrives to this day and some argue they have even outdone Campagnolo. After all, it was Shimano that developed the market's first production Double-Sprung, Slanted Parallelogram rear derailleur.

Campy's classic Nuovo Record and Super Record Single-Sprung/non-slanted rear derailleurs accommodated a 24T rear cog while Shimano's entry level versions easily handled a 28T cog.

Finally, it's not so much whether the frame is made from steel, aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. All of these substrates work (when properly engineered) and all impart their own resonant and performance characteristics. It's not enough to proclaim that one is "better" than the other, per se. Ultimately it comes down to how large the frame's tubes are (outside diameter) and how thick the gauge of their respective tubes.

Aluminum and carbon fiber do share one dastardly common property---when they fail they usually do so in a catastrophic "snap." Steel frames which include 4130, 1020, 1024 and stainless steels, etc., don't rupture (at least normally) with no warning. Titanium is also a fine substrate and generally not prone to immediate failure.

Moreover, it's inaccurate to intone that "steel is real!" Carbon fiber, Al, and Ti are just as "real," as well. In the end, do some homework, vet the seller, read differing opinions and you'll be fast upon the road of an informed decision.

Caveat Emptor, indeed!