Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mondays the Hub is closed

It was Peter that got us out to Carr's Pond yesterday for what may be a last stab at pure summer. The air was a silent blue, the water crystal clear, and the sun...

Its roughly 15 or 20 miles from Providence to the edge of those woods. Peter led us down the Cranston Bike Path to where the pavement ends, we zigzagged to New London Turnpike and over the highway from Coventry into the piney woods of West Greenwich. Once we got off the road its classic New England singletrack to the pond.

After a dip in the water and some sun on the rock, we headed back to the place where people work on Mondays. I wonder what that's like?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

There's no such thing as a ...(part 2)

Today there was an exceptional rash of "department store bikes" coming into the shop. Its exhausting explaining to people why we will not service their bike. I personally have this conversation 2 or 3 times a day. While most of the time people will accept our explanation and move on, occasionally people will persist. How many analogies do I need to come up with to make it clear?
The bottom line is if you want a bicycle that works now and is servicable in the future , buy one from a local bicycle shop - not necessarily ours - but one that is convenient to where you live and work. Build a relationship with the people who work there. Support them and they will support you.

If you still don't get it or you think our attitude is elitest, Google "Department Store Bicycles". I think you will find there are many others out there who feel our pain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

OK. Here it is. My new cross bike is out of the barn. Brian at Circle A Cycles finished it last week and I finally found the time to build it up last night. This morning, after stopping by to show off the finished build to Brian, I road it up to Chase Farm and did a few laps of the old Wednesday Night course. This gave me a chance to play with the fit a bit and break in the upholstery. I had planned to only be out for a couple of hours, but this bike felt so good, I kept going so that I finally rolled in 4 hours later, so stoked.

The season is just getting going. For the next three months, cross racers and fans are getting some every weekend somewhere. Check the schedule and plan to get out there at least once this year. Make a roadtrip out of it. Go check out the leaves, whatever. You will not be disappointed.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Jesse and I were recently interviewed by WBRU for a story on the growing bike culture in Providence. It seems as though we're not the only one's who've noticed the new numbers of cyclists out there. Its awesome. Many of you are from the ten's of thousands of students who fill our universities here; but many still are the young and not so young professionals who have recently graduated or have decided to relocate here from other parts of the country. These people come here not because its cheap (see high cost of living) and not because its easy to find work (see Boston), but because Providence offers a scale and style of living that is unique. The people who are staying here want to be close enough to easily work in or visit NYC and Boston, but neither can they afford to live there nor want to have to sit in traffic to get there (see Providence Train Station). Keeping these people believing in a bright cycling future here is vital if Providence wants to actually be the place it promises them to be.

A group of frustrated cyclists has recently come together to discuss a strategy to light a fire under the City to make good on some of those promises such as the "Providence Bicycle Network" in particular and safer streets and parking in general. The Providence Bicycle Coalition (or some such thing) is looking to get off the ground and show our elected city officials that cyclists are taxpaying, homeowning, voting adults who are losing their patience with empty promises. The money is there. What are you spending it on?

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Check it out:

Go see the "...Transportation" show at 5 Traverse Street. Tonight is the opening. It's Art, you know.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

There's no such thing as a ...

Its tempting, I know. You're walking down the street and as you approach that tree ahead you realize that yes, indeed, leaning up against it is a bike that appears to not be locked up. "Abandoned," you conclude, and you decide it only needs some air in the tires to be the free bike of your dreams. So, after looking up and then down the street to make sure you couldn't be accused of stealing this gem, you decide to wheel it away. The Hub happens to be on your way home and so you decide to push it on in.

The conversation always starts like this: "So i found this free bike and I think it just needs..." Fair enough. There are two possible ways this can go. Either we think it's a good idea or a bad idea to pursue the repair. Rarely in the free bike scenario is it a good idea to spend the money on having it professionally repaired. This is for the same reason that when you see a computer by the curb, there's usually a reason why someone has left it there. If you know computers, it should be more or less easy to determine whether it is worth bringing home. While bikes are not the new and rapidly changing technology that the computer is, they are also machines and are either well designed or not well designed --well maintained or not well maintained. Occasionally, the computer nerd will strike gold. Most of the time, they just keep walking.

The bike in the picture above was never meant to last beyond some child's 12th birthday, much less provide a full grown adult with 4 years worth of transportation and recreation. If the bike nerd walked by this tree, they would keep on walking and so should you.