Update!!! I am moving to Minneapolis!

So I am moving to Minneapolis, MN to start my new IT job at Quality Bike Products! Since it’s been so nice out this summer I hadn’t been doing any writing, hence me not stuck inside and day dreaming about bikes, but trust me i’ve been doing plenty of riding and bike polo.

I have no bike friends out there yet and will need to make some new ones! Does anyone know what fun riding events I should know about? Good weekly rides? Or even areas to just stay away from while riding? Shops to not even set foot into? oh yes, coffee and or good place to get a beer or some tasty food(i am vary interested in those kinds of things)?
Not trying to sound ignorant of the biking community out there but I can only research so much online, and an advice from people that have had feet(or wheels) on the ground out there would be very helpful. But i do have to say it looks like its going to be pretty great out there for riding.  I made sure to hit up the bike polo group already.

I will be continuing this blog and my food blog Kitchen 365, I will probably be renaming the A2 Bikegeek blog and changing it’s URL to something more location neutral. Don’t worry I will make sure to post the appropriate links so that you will be able to find it!
Any advice and or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks and stay tuned!
-Nick

Posted in a2, a2 bike polo, ann arbor, bike, bike polo, bike shop, bikes, community, cycling, fall, maintenance, maps, Minneapolis, non-profit, polo, tips, touring, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Cross Canada Project

So this evening I spent an hour watching “The Cross Canada Project” by Mike Beauchamp. He spent 109 days crossing Canada on bike, while filming it at the same time. His reason why to take such a journey was simple, “why not?” I really enjoyed watching his transcontinental trip unfold on film and I think just about anyone will enjoy this film also.

The Cross Canada Project

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Weekend Recap – May 1st-2nd, 2010

This weekend was the Bike Ypsi Spring Ride & Festival 2010 for which I was in attendance for. I had a fun time, I initially was thinking that I was wanting to go on the 33mile long ride but after awaking Sunday morning I felt the 13mile medium ride would be more appropriate. After arriving the groups were quickly forming, Georgina from Bike Ypsi was standing on a picnic table trying to coordinate this heterogeneous mass of cyclists in every range of experience possible,

“FAST – Long ride riders amass there, SLOW – Long ride riders gather behind them, GO GUYS GO! , NOW FAST-Medium ride riders…”

I’m not sure how long it took to stage the last couple groups that progressively where consisting of the slower and slower riders (but i do know there was five, and the 5th group finished up to 45min+ later than our own group).

I already knew who I was already wanting to ride with so we grabbed my buddy from Bike Ypsi who was a guide, grabbed my friend that was also riding with me , we quickly formed our 13person group. We were the second medium – ride group, I knew we would have clear sailing ahead with enough of a gap behind us to not worry about groups clumping. So then we set off onto the gray and overcast road.

The weather was never an issue today, it was supposedly going to be storming all day but we barely got anything worth noting. Our ride took us out west on Packard rd out of Ypsilanti and over onto Platt rd in Ann arbor, up Huron parkway then back east on the Border to Border trail to Ypsi , then surface streets back into Rec. Park from where we began. We couldn’t really go as fast as I would normally would want to while riding on surface streets like those ones, but with 10 riders behind me I never worried about a vehicle not seeing us or coming to close so I felt comfortable riding slower. Although I do have to say having a group like ours I do feel it made me a little complacent. I still did my usual making sure we weren’t dropping people, making sure we cleared lights, point out hazards, but I still just cruised along and carried on a conversation the whole time. I do think it might of just been a really comfortable ride. I could use more like that.

After we returned we had our cookout, hot dogs , vegi dogs, chips, apples, oranges, banana’s, trail mix, brownies, I’m pretty sure there was other food too but we had all our bases covered for refueling. There were a couple goofy bike games that were played, then bike polo started up, for the most part we just took it easy to let other people be able to play. Soon after polo stopped people started to pack up and head out, I made my obligatory post Bike Ypsi event stop over at Corner Brewery with my buddies.

We chatted about the days happenings, everyone was pretty much pleased, but everyone has their opinion of some of the happenings. Some vocalized them some did not. Luckily we also stumbled upon the idea of an Espresso Tour, start in Ypsi, ride to Ann Arbor and back to Ypsi again, and of course stopping at select coffee establishments along the whole way. Alright, that is it for now! Pictures to follow shortly!

Related Links:

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride & Festival 2010 – via A2 Bikegeek

Corner Brewery

Border to Border Trail

Posted in a2, a2 bike polo, ann arbor, bike, bike polo, bike shop, bikes, community, cycling, google bike maps, maps, non-profit, polo, spring, tips, touring, Uncategorized, ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride & Festival 2010

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride & Festival 2010

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride & Festival 2010

Here is a shout out for another local cycling organization!

Bike Ypsi will be holding their annual “Bike Ypsi Spring Ride & Festival 2010″ this coming Sunday May 2nd, 2010.

Bike Ypsi Spring Ride and Festival 2010

Calling all bicyclists! Time to pull those bikes out of the garage and dust them off. It doesn’t matter what style of bike you have or even the condition. Bring them down and let’s get you riding. We have rides for all levels of riders. Can’t do one of the rides? Then just come down for the festival. We have activities for all ages.

The When:
Sun, May 2, 2010
Rides: 10 a.m.
Festival: 11:30 – 2:00 p.m.

The Where:
Recreation Park, Ypsilanti MI map

The What:

The Rides
Rides give local bicyclists a chance to meet, discover bike friendly routes, and gain confidence with street and group riding.

  • Long Ride (33 miles); non-supported ride for the more advanced riders.
  • Not-as-long Ride (13 miles): guided ride, ideal for learning proper street and group riding.
  • Scavenger Hunt: this is a short, fun, and safe neighborhood ride.
  • Helmets required for riders under 18. Helmets encouraged for everyone 18 and older.

    We want you to be safe… if you don’t have a helmet, but need one, you’re in luck. This year, sponsored by the AABTS and the YpsiPD, we’re having a giveaway of new helmets for kids and adults that need them.

    The Festival
    Post ride rally and BBQ (hot dogs and vegetarian hot dogs, etc.)
    Learn great commuting routes from local commuters.
    Meet and get your bike checked out by a local bike shop.
    Learn basic bike maintenance from changing a flat to adjusting your bike for comfort.
    Learn how to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
    Play assorted bicycle games for all ages.
    Take a shot at learning Bike Polo.
    Bike Rodeo for kids.
    Bike decorating for kids with the FLY Art Center.
    Booth Fair with health and transportation related information.

    This is always a fun festival to attend, I think I’ve yet to miss one! Family friendly, all ages are welcome  and all bikes are welcome. Ann Arbor Bike Polo will be there as always to demo and play exhibition matches for and with the public, everyone is welcome to come and give it a try, we will have extra mallets for people to use! I also believe that Common Cycle will be one of the attending parties!

    For More information:

    Bike Ypsi

    Bike Ypsi Flickr Stream

    Common Cycle

    Bike Polo – via A2 Bikegeek

    A2 Bike Polo – via A2 Bikegeek

    Posted in a2 bike polo, ann arbor, bike, bike polo, bike shop, bikes, community, cycling, google bike maps, maintenance, maps, non-profit, polo, spring, tips, touring, Uncategorized, ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    Common Cycle

    I would love to introduce everyone to Common Cycle ! Common Cycle

    This is a huge advancement for our local community and I truly hope that this will be a great organization that will carry on for years to come. They are currently still in their infancy and working off of their own customized bike trailer/portable work shop but they are going at it with all their heart! They hopefully in the not too distant future be able to acquire a space in which the community can join them for classes, safety tips and have a roof over their heads so they can work on bikes for you too.

    If you would like to know more about Common Cycle please check out their website at http://commoncycle.org or you can also follow them on Facebook | Common Cycle .

    Here is a little footage from their first Sunday here at the Ann Arbor Artisan Market

    Posted in a2, ann arbor, bike, bike shop, bikes, community, cycling, maintenance, non-profit, spring, tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Amsterdam Morning Commute Traffic

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamhsu/4133730543/

    via Amsterdamize

    Even though it is gray and wet out in the video I would still love to live there for the biking and other things.

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    Everyday Tires – What works well

    So spring has sprung and your bike might need some new shoes… well tires that is. There is everything from fast rolling to slow rolling tires. Ones that can go flat if you look at them wrong or ones you can ride to hell and back.

    So what do you want to look for for an everyday tire that you can use rain or shine? Well that is not to hard, but it is not always the cheapest. With initial purchase you will put some money upfront ($35-45 per tire) but the amount you will save on flats will compensate for the price. I am a huge fan of Continental – Gator Skins and Specialized – Armadillos . Both of these tires are comparable and both utilize Kevlar as a protective layer, I have never had a flat yet with them, I’ve even torn chunks out on nasty pot holes that would of otherwise destroyed any other tire. These are both available in a very wide range of sizes, everything from 26inch slick MTB tires to high volume and race/road/training low volume 700c models.

    My Surly Cross-Check - Summer '09

    These next tires are also great for commuting and or touring. They incorporate flat resistant protection, have large volumes of air for comfy riding and work great. These two are Continental – Contact and the Panracer – Pasela . Both of these tires are great options for year round use in all conditions. I have a set of the Continental – Contacts on my Surly Cross-Check , they have been great. They are also one of the tires that come on the complete Surly Long Haul Trucker.

    Ok, that’s enough plugging for tires now lets talk about why different tires are better for different types of bikes and riding. Skinny road tires, they are great on bikes when you want to go fast but you do pay for the price of comfort, since these tires have a lower air volume you are required to run them at a high pressure. That high pressure translates into a lower rolling resistance since the tire is not making such a large  contact patch with the ground, but then the tires cannot absorb a whole lot of the impact from bumps and pot holes causing a rougher ride on anything but the perfect road surface. Using a larger volume model of a similar if not same tire model will result in a smoother and less jarring ride due to it’s increase in air volume and ability to be run at a lower air pressure. Now if we look at the larger volume touring/commuting tires you will notice that they don’t roll as fast or as easily as the road style tires. This is of course due to the increase of the tire patch with the ground and the lower air pressure. The results are a more comfortable experience on uneven surfaces due to the tires absorbing the impact. Here is some more info on tires via Rivendell Bicycle Works , also their Pick a Tire Chart and last but not least the plethora of information from none of than Sheldon Brown – Tires. And as always the best thing you can ever do to avoid flats is to keep you tires pumped to the right pressure, even more important than avoiding tiny chunks of glass.

    More info:

    Spring Maintenance Tips – A2 Bikegeek

    Fix a Flat Tire- Bicycle Tutor

    Posted in a2, ann arbor, bike, bike shop, bikes, cycling, fall, loaded, maintenance, spring, surly, tips, touring, Uncategorized, winter, ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Obama Transportation Secretary: ‘This Is the End of Favoring Motorized Transportation at the Expense of Non-Motorized’

    This article just came in:

    “(CNSNews.com) - Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that federal transportation policies will no longer favor “motorized” transportation, such as cars and trucks, over “non-motorized” transportation, such as walking and bicycling.
    LaHood signed the new policy directive on March 11, the same day he attended a congressional reception for the National Bike Summit,
    a convention sponsored by a bicycling advocacy group, the League of American Bicyclists. LaHood publicly announced his agency’s new direction four days later in a posting on his blog—“Fast Lane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation”–where he effusively described it as a “sea change” for the United States.”

    Rest of the article can be read here

    I thinking the restructuring of the funding will greatly help us increase the amount of infrastructure and trails within our communities. There are many locations close to many people that just don’t have the adequate infrastructure to get people there without motorized transport which is truly a shame.

    Posted in a2, ann arbor, bike, bikes, cycling, google bike maps, maps, pedi-cab, pedicab, spring, Uncategorized, ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Ann Arbor – Bike Polo in the news

    We recently had a local writer come down and experience bike polo for his first time he got some great footage and video to boot too!

    From: Richard Retyi @ AnnArbor.com

    “I’ve always been mistrustful of bike people. Thousand dollar rides. Tight shirts and ugly logos. Thinking they’re cars when they lollygag on tight streets in front of the 168 roaring horses of my Volvo. The word Shimano.

    Despite my prejudices, I’ve sponsored bike people in AIDS rides where my only tangible thank-you was a photograph of my rider triumphantly hoisting a bike over his head at the finish line – usually accompanying a request for additional funding for the next seven-day, 545-mile, look-how-much-fun-I’m-having trek.


    I’m friends with a few bike people. Not good friends (GOD NO!) but friendly enough that we’ve accepted each other’s friend requests on Facebook and have an unstated agreement not to tag each other in unflattering pictures. One bike person friend is Nick Tenbrink. Nick generally posts about work, food and, yes, bikes. Last year and through this winter, I noticed that his Sunday posts were always about something called bike polo. “

    Read the rest here

    If anyone is passing through Ann Arbor and wants to play polo hit us up! We are always down for a game!

    Image from: A2 Bikegeek

    Ann Arbor Bike Polo

    A2 Bike Polo

    (Richard Retyi writes the bi-weekly-ish column, Lie to Your Cats About Santa while casually working on the great Canadian novel. Email him at richretyi@gmail.com or read more of his stuff here, here and here.)
    You can find more about Ann Arbor Bike Polo through hereTwitter – A2 Bike Polo and also Facebook – Ann Arbor Bike Polo.


    Posted in a2, a2 bike polo, ann arbor, bike, bike polo, bikes, community, cycling, polo, spring, tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    Phil Wood – Rest in Peace.

    I have recently found out through Bicycle Retailer and Urban Velo that Phil Wood has recently passed away at age 84.  Phil Wood helped pioneer sealed bearing technology in bicycles, primarily in hubs and bottom brackets.

    Phil Wood created a clearly superior hub that has yet to be rivaled in my opinion. Overbuilt for longevity, sealed bearings that felt like butter not matter what conditions they are in. The bearings for the Phil Wood track hubs even will go into cheaper Formula Track hubs.  I think all of us in the cycling world have nothing but thanks and well wishes for the Wood’s family after sharing Phil with us for so long.

    Posted in bike, bikes, cycling, tips, touring, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment