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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Think you ride a lot of miles? Check out this site...

Danny Chew is well known in the Pittsburgh area for the Dirty Dozen ride. He has competed and won RAAM, The World's Toughest Bike Race! Check out his riding log. In 2006 he passed 600,000 lifetime miles. He has been riding an average of 15,500 miles a year.

Here is the site...

Bike Routes in Gahanna, OH

Tricia sent out the designated bike routes in Gahanna. Unfortunately they are not well marked. But she has put them on for all to see.

If you are having trouble seeing the maps, you can remove the Explore panel by clicking the "^" tab which will hide the panel. To see the cue sheet, select Show->Cue Sheet. I think by default it comes up in Satellite mode but I prefer Map mode.

These are the north/south routes:

These are the east/west routes:

If you ever want me to share my "Top 10 List" of projects to make Gahanna (these routes) more bicycle-friendly, let me know. They involve some additional bridges, connector bike paths and bike lanes.


Organized Bike Tours This Summer - UPDATED 03-03-08

We are in the process of organizing a tour of Columbus for September. It is tentatively called Ride the C-Bus. The website is

GITAP - Grand Illinois Trail and Parks

The BON TON ROULET or “Let The Good Times Roll,” celebrates its eleventh seven-day voyage throughout the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State by bicycle. A non-competitive cycling adventure, The Bon Ton Roulet will challenge riders of all ages and abilities. And when you’re done, expect exciting new friendships, a wealth of visual memories, and a great sense of accomplishment!

From Columbus Outdoor Pursuits

36TH WOODSTOCK • Saturday, April 12
7:30-9AM. Jersey Baptist Church, 13260 Morse Road, Pataskala, 9 miles east of I-270 at Harrison Road. Parking and registration in back lot. Traditional first TOSRV training ride. 100/50/30 miles on relatively flat terrain. Columbus Outdoor Pursuits Budget Tour. $2 members, $4 non-members. Tricia Kovacs 614/476-9093.

41ST SPOT • Saturday, April 19
7:30-9AM. Groveport Madison Freshman School, 751 E. Main St., Groveport. Options from 25 to 100 miles Fairly flat course with a few small hills. Budget Tour. $2 members, $4 non-members. Bob Allen 614/866-8698; David Hoodin 614/486-2123 (before 9pm)

34TH MID OHIO CENTURY • Sunday, April 27
7:30-9AM. Mingo Shelter Building, Mingo Park Delaware, Ohio. Routes of approximately 35, 65,100 miles. Budget Tour. $2 members, $4 nonmembers. Woody Barry 740/375-5906 wbarry333(at)

27TH TOP OF OHIO HUNDRED • Sunday, May 4
7:30-9AM. Start at Hilliard Community Center for TOP 100, 51, 20 routes or Milford Center School, just south of town of Rt. 57, at 8-9am for the TOP 50. Varied Terrain. Century route takes riders to highest point in Ohio. Shorter routes are basically flat. Budget Tour, $2 members, $4 non-members. Volunteer needed, contact office(at) 614/442-7901.

47TH TOSRV: TOUR OF THE SCIOTO RIVER VALLEY • Saturday & Sunday, May 10 & 11
Hyatt on Capital Square, Columbus. Annual, pre-registration tour from Columbus to Portsmouth for an overnight stay and return the next day. Half tour from Chillicothe. No entry after April 15. Registration and info on

20TH GOBA: GREAT OHIO BICYCLE ADVENTURE • Saturday to Saturday, June 14-21
Start and finish in Wellington, with additional overnights in Galion, Mt. Vernon, Coshocton, and Orrville. Pre-registration required; May 14 deadline. 3,000-rider limit. For registration info, see or phone 614/273-0811.

A week-long getaway to all-new host towns and beautiful routes. This year’s route will start in Maysville , Kentucky and end on the shores of Lake Erie . Cyclists will bike their way across the state visiting safe houses and museums. The average day’s ride is 60 miles and the terrain mostly rolling. There will be three optional centuries during the week. Rider Limit: 250. Entry Deadline: June 21. Columbus Outdoor Pursuits. Attn: Walt Williams; 1525 Bethel Road Ste. 100; Columbus, OH 43220-2054. (614) 442-7901. For more information, see

Is it time to clean the bike?

I have been riding in crappy weather for the last few weeks and have neglected the drivetrain. Not a good thing to do and I think that it is time to clean it. I use some of the Finish Line products. and found they have good tips on their website for maintenance.

Bike Fit and Comfort
Position your seat height, so that when you sit on the bike and have your foot at the lowest point in the pedal stroke, there is still a slight bend in your knee. Full leg extension will cause your hips to rock when you pedal. Too much bend in your knee will keep full pedal power from getting to the pedals. And, incorrect positioning will lead to discomfort and leg cramps over long rides. Position the seat forward or back, so your knee is directly over the pedal when you have your foot and pedal in the "3 o’clock" position. Handlebars should be approximately shoulder width wide and be positioned at about the same level as your seat. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows when riding to absorb shock. Also, a change in stem length may be helpful. Your local bike shop has a selection of different sized stems to get that "perfect" fit. To avoid hand numbness over long rides, keep your wrists straight and change hand positions occasionally. Keep a firm, but relaxed grip and try a set of bar-ends for additional positioning options.

Braking Performance
Glazed, hardened, dirty, or misaligned brake pads account for nearly all "loss of braking power" problems. Keep the surface of your brake pads clean and fresh by using sandpaper or steel wool to scuff away any debris, and hardened glaze. Check the alignment. The pad should be "toed in" about 1/8" to first make contact with the rim at its front half. Additionally, the pad should contact the center of the rim. The pad should never rub the tire, or hang off the rim. In general, clean and inspect your brake pads every month. Brake pads are inexpensive and relatively easy to replace. You'll be amazed at the difference new brake pads make. Regularly clean your rims with EcoTech 2 Degreaser. Your pads will work better and last longer.

Bottom Bracket
Bottom brackets, (B.B.s) are the bearing and spindle assemblies that your pedal crank arms spin upon. Because of their low and central location, they are constantly being exposed to the worst of contaminants. Many B.B.s feature sealed bearing assemblies. However, it does help to keep an eye on their outer shields and keep them as clean as possible, by wiping away any crud with a rag. Also, do not spray pressurized water at the shields.

Creaking Bottom Brackets
This annoying trait can be caused by a variety of things. All require special tools to fix and are best left to a professional mechanic.

Note Some B.B.s utilize semi-sealed or non-sealed bearing assemblies. They should be cleaned, inspected and re-greased about every 6 months. This job requires special tools, so don’t cheat and use a hammer and/or pipe wrench. You’ll end up ruining your bottom bracket and they’re not cheap to replace.

Lubricating Your Cables
Smooth operating cables are the life lines that keep your braking and shifting system working optimally. There are a variety of ways to lubricate your cables, from removing them, to just shooting a little lube into the ends of the cable housings. Depending on how much wet weather riding you do, your cables will require different amounts of attention. You should inspect and lube, if necessary, every 4 - 6 rides. For quick maintenance, squirt or drip a "dry" style lube into the open ends of the cable housings.

Note When it is time for a thorough cleaning and re-lubing of your cables, a trained mechanic should tackle the job. Unless you are experienced in removing your own cables, you can easily spend a few hours getting everything readjusted properly.

Lubing Your Derailleurs
Your derailleurs are just as important as your chain, in helping to deliver those crisp, exact shifts that make cycling a true joy. The derailleurs shift your chain by using a system of springs and pivots. It is important to keep these springs and pivots well lubricated. They will require a shot of lube every 5 - 7 rides. Lubing your derailleurs is easiest when you flip your bike upside down. This provides better access.
Note: Gears (sprockets) do not require any special lube application. The gears receive sufficient lubrication from the chain, as it runs through them. Excessive lubricant on the gears will attract dirt and eventually degrade the performance of your drivetrain components.

Creaking Stem
Sometimes, the handlebar stem will "creak". This is usually caused by one of two things: either dirt that has worked it’s way down between the stem and the fork’s steerer tube or the stem has come slightly loose. To fix this, loosen the stem, remove it from the steerer tube, and clean it using Citrus BioSolvent or EcoTech 2. Reassemble and tighten to correct torque specification.

Note Some high-end stem mounting designs may require special tools or unique reassembly torques. Check with your local shop if you have any questions.

Caring for Front and Rear Hubs
Some hubs have "open" bearing assemblies, with only a "dust shield" between them and the elements. You’ll need to routinely inspect, clean and re-grease these type of hubs. In general, inspect, clean and re-grease hubs every 4 months. Carefully disassemble the hub and clean with Citrus BioSolvent or EcoTech-2. Inspect all components and particularly look for pits, cracks, or flat spots in the ball bearings and race surfaces. Generously apply Finish Line Premium Grease to the bearing and race surface, then reassemble. Adjust so bearings run smooth and free, but allow no side-to-side or up-and-down play.

Note Many hubs now feature "sealed bearing assemblies". Just keep their outer seals clean with an occasional rag wipe. Don’t spray water or degreaser into your bearings. Properly cared for, sealed bearing hubs will last a long time.

Lubing Your Brake & Shift Levers
All brake and shifter levers work by using springs and ratchets that arc on pivots. You will need to lube your levers every 6 months.
Cleaning: Your levers will require no more than a quick cleaning. A squirt of bicycle degreaser, a quick scrubbing with a brush, and/or wipe with a rag, should do it. If mud and sand have worked its way into the heart of your brake and shifter levers, it is recommended that you have a trained mechanic tackle the job. Disassembly and reassembly of these components can be quite complicated.

Lubing: Run your levers through their full range of motion while squirting a little lube into the spring and ratchet mechanism. Place a drop of lube onto the pivot and work it into the joint.

Note Like your derailleurs, it may be easier to access the lube points on your levers by turning your bike upside down.

Position your front and rear wheel quick-release levers opposite the drivetrain side of the bike. The rear lever should have a tightly closed handle that runs parallel to the chainstay tube. The front lever should be pointed up, tucked next to the fork. These positions will prevent a glancing blow, from a trailside obstacle, from accidentally opening the levers. If you’re new to quick-release axles, make sure your bicycle dealer shows you how to properly use and tension the levers.

Grease your Seat Post
Apply a thin layer of Finish Line Premium Grease to your seat post, where it slides and mounts into the frame. This will keep the seat post from galvanically cold-welding itself within the frame.

Seat Height Adjustment
Use a low seat adjustment for more control during fast downhill riding. Use a high seat adjustment (with a slight bend in the knee) for efficient, long distance pedaling.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Myths and Milestones in Bicycle Evolution

Ever wonder when bicycle technology was invented? This is a great site that chronicles the developments of bicycle technology.

The site...

Bike Snob NYC - Blog

The writer for this blog says,

"While I love cycling and embrace it in all its forms, I'm also extremely critical. So I present to you my venting for your amusement and betterment. No offense meant to the critiqued. Always keep riding!"

The blog...



The site...

Old Ten Speed Gallery

One man's trash is another man's Ten-Speed.

This page is meant to be an outlet for those in the bicycling community who are committed to preserving a bygone era of mass produced low-grade technology. It is meant to celebrate the purest of passions, the transportation method of a most sensible sort, the greatest occupier of space in garages and basements the world over, the beloved and oft misrepresented Department Store 10-speed of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Worse than a Hummer?

I didn't think that there was a vehicle larger than the Hummer. Well, I was at Sam's Club and I noticed a International Harvester Tank Jr was in the parking lot. So I took pictures. And found the website. It is $90000. And I am sure the towing capability is because you need to pull a refinery behind you to fuel it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What about the train?

I received this via email -

Did you know that the $134 million used to create the 161/I-270 interchange in New Albany could have built and launched rail service from Columbus to Dayton all while creating jobs and revenue for the state?

Pissed? You should be!

As many of you may know, my dear friend Andrew has taken on the valiant charge of lobbying for rail service in the state of Ohio. The road, or track so to speak, to rail service is a long haul marked with several major initiatives to slap Ohio government into the reality that such service is desperately needed.

Andrew has posted an online petition here:

This takes 1 minute to sign and you can even do so anonymously. The petition will be given to the powers that be during their April legislative summit. The crazy guy is trying to get everyone in Ohio to sign it before that date (I figured a few out-of-staters couldn't hurt!).

Your name matters! Please sign and pass along to anyone you think would benefit from the joys of rail travel!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bicycling and the Law

When I was at the Winter Riding Seminar, Chris passed around a book about Bicycling and the Law. I ordered it and will give a book report when I get a chance. is a web site that offers bicycling accident advice for cyclists including those injured by motorists, unsafe conditions and defective cycling products. At this site injured cyclists will find information about what to do after an accident to best protect their rights. Contact information and cycling links of interest are also provided.

In addition, at, you will find informative and sometimes entertaining articles of interest to cyclists. "This Cycling Articles" section is a potpourri of interviews, advice, rumors and stories of interest to cyclists provided by various authors. Check back every week or two for new content.

Bob Mionske is the author of the book.

Sunday Ride Recap

I was planning on a group ride starting at my house, but the weather was crappy and people cancelled. So I cancelled the ride.

I was talking with Tricia and she mentioned that COP has a Sunday afternoon ride starting from Jefferson Park in Gahanna.

2:00 PM CLASS B, C. From Gahanna's Jefferson Park on Clark State Road, 1/2 mile east of Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road. 30 to 50 miles depending on weather and daylight. We'll try to get some good views, avoid Rt, 161 construction, and keep the rollers moderate. Steve will lead the B's and Dick will sweep. Steve Hewitt stevehewitt(at) 614-323-1030; Dick Seebode 740-201-3312

There were only three of us at the start. 32 degrees was reason I suppose. We headed east on Clark State, turned south on Waggoner and the left onto some country road. We headed north on Mink for awhile. We crossed 161 and continued north. I was not feeling very good so Tricia and I headed west. Of course there was a headwind. We turned onto Kitzmiller which leads to Reynoldsburg New Albany Road, which in turn leads to my house. Tricia turned off at Clark State and headed west toward home.

25.5 miles total. Cold. And of course the sun comes out just as I headed into the neighborhood to hang it up for the day.

Most expensive bicycle lights I have ever seen, also the coolest and brightest.


A comment was left about the comparison of the B&M lights and the L&M arcs. Unfortunately I cannot afford the B&M lights to compare to the Arcs. I purchased the Arcs at my local LBS after careful consideration of the competition. I have not found a brighter light on the market. 675/550 lumens for 3 hours. They are very bright. If you live in Columbus and want to see the lights in action please come out to the Tuesday Night Ride at 7PM at Goodale Park. I routinely have oncoming cars slow down because they can't figure out what I am. I also freak out other riders because they think that a car is overtaking them. A good site to view light comparisons is Eddy's Bike Shop.


Busch & Müller Sportsline - Made in Germany

Big Bang - $975

As bright as a car headlamp
For cross-country tracks and road traffic
The very first gas discharge headlamp that also meets the requirements of German StVZO
luminosity more than 140 lux
Special CAD reflector
Up to 5 hours lighting via a Lithium Ion accumulator included in the scope of supply
With electronically controlled charging and protection against total discharge
Integral LED capacity indicator
Rotatable and detachable headlamp
Completely water proof
Assembly on and under the handlebars

Available for purchase at Peter White

Does anyone know lux to lumen conversion. I tried to figure out how my lights compare to the Big Bang. I have the Light and Motion Arc NiMH. I routinely ride night rides. I have been on rides in rural and urban areas where oncoming traffic have slowed and pulled over because they could not decide what I was.

Light and Motion Arc description
Two output levels provide multiple burn times. Start up the ARC by double clicking the new more positive power button on the rear of the light. The light comes on in the full power mode; putting out a jaw dropping 675 lumens of clean, daylight balanced light and giving you 3 hours of run time. Press the button again for low power and the slow flashing LED confirms the low setting for 3.5 hours of a still incredible 550 lumens of even light output.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Renegade Radio

Fed up with Columbus's not-too-progressive radio choices, a group of wannabe broadcasters struggled for seven years to start up a station where liberal talk would rule. Now you can finally hear it—provided you're in the right place


Carol Fisher said she nearly drove off the road the first time she heard Simply Living's new radio station. "I almost had to pull over because it was so fresh, so clear," said Fisher, one of the green-minded group's more committed volunteers. "It was like hearing clarity when there's been nothing but static around you from every media."

Fisher obviously was waxing metaphorical about the station's political clarity, as listeners are likely to hear quite a bit of static on the new WCRS. Because it's a low-power FM station, its signal will be hard to grab in many parts of Central Ohio.

But Marilyn Welker, Simply Living's director, isn't complaining. She's just glad the station is finally on the air with its mix of progressive national programs and earth-friendly local shows. It was launched earlier this year after a long effort that Welker said was complicated by the Federal Communications Commission's lack of commitment to community radio.

"The low power frequency is low on the hierarchy of priorities set by the FCC," Welker said.

That's too bad, she said, because such stations are needed to supply the kind of varied viewpoints that not even National Public Radio, much less commercial radio, is willing to supply.

"I don't think NPR is any longer a voice of diverse points of view," Welker said. "Their funding fragility has mandated that they avoid controversy."

Simply Living's station definitely won't avoid controversy, judging from one of its hosts. Zach Henkel recently started producing Cranksters, a show promoting that most green of activities, bicycling. But the self-proclaimed "street biker" made it clear that he isn't all touchy-feely about everyone who climbs on two wheels, especially those who do so while encased in spandex.

"Oh, no, we make fun of those spandex dudes," the 25-year-old said, defining them as "middle-agers who live in Clintonville and other wimpy places and just ride their expensive bikes on trails." (His show, for the record, is produced at Simply Living's offices in the allegedly wimpy Clintonville.)

Judging from another Henkel comment, some of Simply Living's radio shows also may stray from the group's green and health-minded image. Asked why he rides, Henkel says it's neither for exercise nor to save energy. "It's more because of poverty," he said, "and secondly out of belonging to a subculture that I enjoy."

If Henkel veers from Simply Living's hug-the-earth message slightly, that's OK with Evan Davis, a free-lance radio reporter who's helping out at the new station. WCRS has no "political agenda," he said, but is devoted to "providing an outlet for voices, information, culture and perspectives that are excluded elsewhere in the popular media."

The excluded voices, he said, include high-school students, even though the local public radio station WCBE is owned by the Columbus Board of Education. "(WCBE) does not have any programming by, for, about or including Columbus public school students," Davis said. "And that creates a void."

Welker agreed that she and other Simply Living members decided to go into radio because they felt the need to put "a broader number of voices" on the air, particularly those focusing on environmentalism. What they couldn't have known was just how long it would take to actually launch the new station.

The effort started back in early 2001, when the FCC set up a narrow window of time during which applications for low-power stations could be filed. Urged on by a broadcast activist named Ken Kraska, Simply Living filed an application along with three other groups that
wanted to share the signal.

"So we've worked almost seven years on getting the station up and running," Welker said, blaming the delay largely on FCC's foot-dragging.

She said the process also was complicated by Congress's decision—in response to pressure from NPR and another broadcast group—to eliminate three-quarters of the low-power signals it had planned to dole out. In the end, she said, most of the signals went to small communities with little competition.

"Columbus is very fortunate," Welker said. "We are actually the largest market in the country to have a low-power station."

WCRS also lucked out in other ways. For one, it was able to hire Henkel to run the station's day-to-day activities while his salary is paid by the federal service organization AmeriCorps.

And, thanks to financial support from the group that puts out the Columbus Free Press, the station also has a "translator" station that simultaneously rebroadcasts its programs, increasing its coverage area. WCRS's regular frequency is at 102.1 and is broadcast from a tower in Northeast Columbus, while the translator is at 98.3 and has a tower in Marble Cliff. Between the two, said Welker, the station can be heard as far out as the Outerbelt and the first ring of suburbs.

What will viewers hear when they tune in to 102.1 or 98.3? Depending on when they tune in, they may or may not hear WCRS. The Bexley Public Radio Foundation, one of the three groups that filed to share the frequency with Simply Living—and the only one that also decided to get into broadcasting—is on the air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays under the call letters WCRX.

As for WCRS, it broadcasts from 3 to 8 p.m. weekdays, during which time it runs national shows from the liberal-minded Pacifica Radio and local shows with names such as Conscious Voices and Simply Living Healthy. And, of course, it runs Henkel's Cranksters.

Davis said WCRS would like expand its hours and its programming, but that can't be done until Simply Living sets up a fully functioning broadcast studio at its Clintonville offices. For now, Henkel
runs the station from a computer in a back room overlooking the Aladdin's parking lot, while most of the producers record their programs in their own homes.

With a low-powered signal and limited hours, WCRS may sound like a modest achievement. But for Fisher, who has watched Welker and others spend the last seven years trying to make it a reality, there's nothing modest about it.

"It's an act of heroism as far as I'm concerned," she said.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday Ride Recap

I talked Tricia into riding down to the Winter Riding Seminar put on by Chris Luers from Restoration Bicycle. I rode from my house in Blacklick to Gahanna and met her at the McDonalds parking lot. We rode Agler to Westerville to Weber. Then we headed south on Indianola and turned onto Hudson. Down to High and to campus. The temp was around 28-32 degrees.

The seminar was interesting because it covered practical application of equipment to winter/cold weather riding. Chris had examples of clothing and used our bikes as examples of proper winter weather riding equipment. The seminar was three hours long and I started to get a chill from sitting so long and cooling down from the ride. It always seems colder once you stop for awhile and head back outside. It was still overcast and in the low 30's.

We headed back on a similar route. Total mileage was 31.5 miles.

Want to tour the Lake Erie shore by bike?

Lorain County Heritage and the Lorain County Visitors Bureau welcome you to the Back Roads and Beaches bike and multi-sport tour of Lorain County. Here you'll find miles of rolling, rural roads with beautiful scenery ranging from pastoral farmland and forest to the nautical flavor of the Lake Erie shoreline. The Back Roads and Beaches route was formed to provide the most scenic and low-traffic roads and bike paths that lead riders through some of Ohio's best landscape. The route highlights some of the area's most relevant history, culture and arts and cutting edge environmental initiatives. You'll find the entire route has bright green bike route signs to guide you easily on your way.