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News, Events, Updates


Buca Boot: Local Entrepreneur Creates Fashionable Secure Storage

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 09

From Kickstarter:

Looks pretty cool, and they are pretty close to their goal. I am digging this movement towards fashionable, city bike based, transportation oriented cycling. I am thinking in a couple years we will start seeing cargo bikes, city bikes, parents with kids on bikes, and a lot more diverse population of folks riding to work. To the future!

Check them out if you see something you like.


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Posted in Bike Business, Merch | No Comments »

Car Horn For Your Bicycle

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 10

Interesting…very interesting…

More here.


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Posted in Bike Business, Merch | 4 Comments »

The Ultimate In Visibility

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 23

This is fantastic. I wonder if it comes in hornet, or dragon, animals I think Bostonians would respect more.


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Posted in fun, Merch, video | 2 Comments »

Back Bay Cycling Club 1st Annual Bike Swap

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 06

Got this in the email. Looks good.

—————————————

Back Bay Cycling Club 1st Annual Bike Swap and Gear Sale, Presented by The Record Company

WHEN: November 18, 2010 – 5-11pm

WHERE: 960 Massachusetts Ave, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02118 (in the Newmarket Industrial District)

WHY: To sell or buy things.

HOW MUCH: $10 for a selling space, $2 to enter. Spaces can be shared.

Please contact Greg Whitney ([email protected]) to reserve a space.

WHAT ELSE: Parking is available in the adjacent lot. Nearby Bus and Train — 8 and 10 bus, Boston Medical Center Orange Line. click here for more information:

WHO: Back Bay Cycling Club (B2C2) is a competitive cycling team based in Boston, Mass. For more information about the team, visit http://www.backbaycyclingclub.com

The Record Company (TRC) is a non-profit recording studio committed to the revival of youth music education and the advancement of independent record-making in New England. For more information, visit http://www.therecordco.org

For all general inquiries please contact [email protected]


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Posted in fun, Merch | 1 Comment »

I Make Stuff

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 16

I love to make things, and often these things are bicycle related. Head badges, bike earnings, bike bracelets, bike name tags, you know, that sort of thing.

I also occasionally make other non-bike related things. Several people have tried to get me to sell these things, and well I am a little shy, and wasn’t really ready, but now I am. So I have listed in the sidebar the things I currently have for sale. (currently working on a whale related set of head badges)

I am also available for custom head badges, and other work (contact me if you are interested).

If you would like to keep track of my stuff I make, or like to see what I have for sale you can check out my other website here, and my etsy store here, and as always you can get your snarky boston stickers in the shop.

I would love feedback.


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Aww Shucks, Nice Write Up About My Headbadges

Written by Boston Biker on Feb 11

I like to fiddle around with metal, occasionally making some head badges. The nice author of Lovely Bicycle, has been kind enough to write up a nice post about my work.

After looking around a bit, I discovered that Boston Biker is a metal worker and makes splendid bicycle headbadges.

What I like about Boston Biker’s work is that it is artisanal: every badge is hand made, which I think is a good match for the “expressionist woodcut” style logo I have chosen. In the course of making arrangements with him to create my headbadge we also discussed the process itself, and I paraphrase it here in case others are curious how this works.

Thanks!

At some point I am going to put up some of my creations in the shop, but until then, if you are interested in a head badge, contact me. I also do other assorted bike jewelry/stuff with metal.


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Winter Riding In Boston: Dealing With The Cold

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 14

I talked about what to do as it gets cold, and how to keep your bike from rusting into a puddle before if you are interested. In this the third installment of the Winter Riding In Boston series we deal with how to stay warm in the cold. Our next segment will be winter riding skills.

coldBoston

You might have noticed, it’s cold out now. It took it’s sweet time getting here, but it is most certainly here now. The winds blow, the air bites, but bike riding can still be fun. Dealing with a Boston winter (and the frigid conditions) is all about two things, staying warm, and staying strong mentally.

Staying Strong Mentally:

You might think that a Boston winter will beat you into submission. It’s dark when you wake up, dark when you come home, it’s cold, the wind blows. It can get grim out there, winter seems to go on and on, and never a warm day in sight. This is far from the case!

Winter on a bicycle is amazing. All the things people like about cross country skiing, hiking in the snow, making a snow man, having a snowball fight, and seeing the beauty of nature is all wrapped up into each bike ride. There are sunny days, and sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. The cold drives a lot of people indoors, leaving you to experience the gentle beauty of newly fallen snow, or simply to experience a rare moment of silence in this busy city. Pushing your bicycle through the gently falling snow is fantastic. The whole world seems to quiet down and the city takes on a unique beauty as it is wrapped in fluffy padding. It’s like nature is putting on a show just for you.

Putting yourself into this frame of mind will really help you move from hating the winter to loving the cold. Plus there are a lot worse things than riding your bicycle in the winter.

You could take the T, but…have you been on the T in winter? Every surface is covered in snot, the air is thick with H1N1, it’s cold, then it’s hot, then it’s cold, then it’s hot again…it also makes that great squealing sound.

Driving is not much better, if your car isn’t destroyed by the salt and ice, there is a good chance you wont even be able to get to it because the snow plows have encased it in several feet of impenetrable snow-ice (snice?). If you do spend a couple hours chipping out a little home for your car, there is a good chance someone will steal it before you get home (sorry putting a chair there is not going to protect your spot). You car is just warming up as you pull into work, and then you have to scrap all the frost caused by that heat before you can go home.

You could walk, but you might get lost in the arctic tundra and eaten by wolves…or at the very least slip and fall on the treacherous ice moguls on the sidewalks. Plus walking is slow, and the longer you are the outside the more time you have to freeze.

Staying Warm:

Once you have girded your loins, (or the mental equivalent of loin girding), centered your winter chi, and generally accepted the fact that it is going to be cold and you are going to make the best of it, you are ready to keep yourself warm.

Like most things in life a little understanding of science will help you out here. Human beings are mammals. Meaning (among other things) that we are “warm blooded.” Specifically that we regulate our temperature, get too hot and you sweat, get too cold and you shiver. Sweating cools you down because the water evaporates off your skin taking the heat with you (this is important, being wet makes you cold!). Shivering warms you up because the muscles that are moving produce heat.

Shivering is a bad sign, it is the first step in hypothermia (freezing to death). You will not want to rely on it for your warmth productions needs. Mitochondria are much better at keeping your temp up. These little buggers live in your cells, consume food and oxygen, and pump out energy and heat. All we have to do is properly manage this heat.

If you get completely naked and walk outside on a icy winter day. You are going to freeze to death. The human being, au natural, is not that good at dealing with cold. We don’t have fur, we don’t have thick layers of blubber, and we don’t have the good sense to hibernate all winter in a warm cave. Lucky for us we have clever brains and nimble fingers and we can put clothes on to stay warm.

What you wear, and how you wear it, has a big impact on how you stay warm. So long as you eat, and breath your little mitochondria are going to be pumping out the heat. It is our job during the winter to trap the appropriate amount of that heat.

I say appropriate, because it is very possible to overheat in the winter. Once you start sweating you will cool down, then you will be wet, and cold. A very uncomfortable situation, and a potentially dangerous one if you are on a long bike ride. Dressing like an arctic adventurer is only going to make it harder to move on your bike, while at the same time making you hot and uncomfortable. “Day 45, the men are sweaty and cold, morale is low. We had to eat the horses.” I digress…

Don’t leave your house warm, you should warm up a couple minutes into your ride. If you are hot when you leave, you will be drenched when you get to work. The general rule is to plan your clothing for 10 minutes into your ride.

winter-cycling-by-will-davies

A lot of people want to know “what do I wear to keep my: finger/toes/head warm.” Staying warm in winter is about battling two things, wind, and water. You do this with layers. Layers are very important as they allow you to add and subtract clothing to stay the right temperature. If you plan all your winter riding around a single layer of clothing, what are you going to do when it is too cold/too warm for that single layer?

The clothing you will need is the following:

  • Something for your head (hat, helmet liner, ear muffs, etc.)
  • Something for your hands (gloves, mittens)
  • Something for your feet (good socks, boots, special shoes, etc.)
  • A base layer, to keep you warm (hoody, long and short sleeve t-shirt, light jacket)
  • Outer layer, to keep the wind and water off (wind breaker, performance shell, bigger jacket, etc.)
  • Pants, with optional rain pants for the days when it is wet (rain pants also offer good wind protection)
  • (you might also be the kind of person that prefers tights, arm warmers, leg warmers, or flannel underpants, adjust to your special needs)

Clothing basically comes in two flavors, low tech, and high tech.

High Tech:

You can buy the latest rain/snow/jacket combo with the super high tech fabric that wicks sweat and has breathing holes, and makes you hot chocolate when you get to your destination. There is a reason these things cost so much, because they are the products of a lot of research and a fair amount of hype. Don’t get me wrong, they work. A high performance base layer, a wind layer (which is often water proof) will keep you warm, and dry, at the cost of several hundred dollars.

If you are interested in going to the high tech route head on over to any outdoor store, they will be more than happy to show you a good base layer, a good wind layer, a good set of gloves, a hat, and the latest in awesome shoe technology. Expect to pay a lot. Frankly I could go on and on about the latest this, and the high tech that, but I will leave the sales pitch to the people at the clothing store. All of it works about the same, with minor differences in performance, and price.

Low Tech:
If you don’t have $500 to outfit yourself with the latest in high tech weather gear you will want to kick it low tech. This is how I roll, for two reasons, I don’t have a lot of money, and I have found that it works very well. Here are some examples of low tech solutions to the clothing categories mentioned above.

Head:
Put packing tape over the vents in your helmet, you now have a wind proof helmet.

Wool helmet liners are cheap and do an amazing job of keeping your head warm.

Cycling caps offer added protection against blowing snow and ice (the brim blocks it from your eyes).

Grow a beard, if you are able a beard can keep your face warm.

A scarf works wonders to keep cold off your lower face, and works well for the non-bearded. It can also help to keep cold air out of your lungs. I get raspy lungs if I breath in cold air, so you will find me rocking a good wool scarf all winter. Put the scarf under your eyes, but over your nose, if done correctly this will keep hot breath from steaming up your glasses (if you have them).

Balaclava’s and face masks are also very popular.

2156299484_1d36f39e5b

Hands:
5 dollar cheapo mittens with fingers and a pair of cheap thinsulate gloves combined create a fantastic and warm glove combo that allows you still move your fingers.

HGMG100-S

Plus these

gloves

Work wonders, just open the flap if your fingers get warm, put it down if cold. If you want to make them more waterproof put a rubber glove on first. (very low tech)

Feet:
I rock wool socks during the winter. They are warm even when wet, don’t smell (that badly) when wet, and still fit inside my shoes. For extra water proofing I will put my socks on then put a plastic bag over my socks, then put my shoes on. Water proof (to an extent) but also protects against wind.

Socks rainbow 400

Base layer:

I wear a long sleeve t-shirt, with a short sleeve t-shirt over it. On top of that I put a good hoody. That’s it for the top. On the bottom I wear a pair of running tights (spandex like material), under a pair of jeans. This keeps me very warm on non-windy days.

Wind/water layer:
If it is blowing/snowing/slushing I will throw a jacket on over my hoody. If it is really nasty I will put on rain gear over my base layer. This keeps me warm (often too warm) and dry. On my legs I will add a pair of rain pants over my jeans, this has always kept me very very warm, and dry.

In certain very crazy situations I have been known to wear wool arm warmers, but on most days these make me too hot, the nice thing about arm warmers is you can pull them down if you get too hot without taking them off. Layers layers layers!

General Tips:

Keep moving! Moving your body makes heat, if you can lower your gearing (if you have a single speed), or put your bike in an easier gear. This will keep your legs moving more and keep you warmer.

Heat is stolen by wind and water, if it is windy or wet out don’t forget your wind/water layer! If you can stay dry, and keep the wind from penetrating to your skin you can pedal through just about anything comfortably.

Don’t over bundle your extremities. A common thing people do with both gloves and shoes is that they put way too many layers on cutting off blood flow to your feet and hands is a great way to make sure they are cold no matter how many layers you have one. If you can’t feel your fingers or toes when you get to work it might be because you have too many gloves or socks on.

If you are having trouble with fogging glasses you can try putting shaving cream on them (then wiping is off), there is a product called CatCrap that skiers use, I have also heard that rubbing the fog off with your finger works.

If you have any good staying warm tips share them in the comments, or if you have questions drop them there as well and I will see if I can answer them.

If you ride all winter and want to proclaim your street cred pick up one of our great “This bike survived a Boston winter” stickers at the store.


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Posted in education, Merch | 10 Comments »

Boston Tweed Ride Head Badge

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 07

I made a little head badge for the Boston Tweed Ride…perhaps if you had a very fine outfit you might be able to win it.


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Cycling Makes Us Safer April 18, 2014
      TweetYou have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do of dying in a terrorist attack.  The same can not be said about other dangers we face every day: Comparing the CDC numbers to terrorism deaths means: … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Cycling Makes Us Safer April 18, 2014
      TweetYou have a better chance of being struck by lightening than you do of dying in a terrorist attack.  The same can not be said about other dangers we face every day: Comparing the CDC numbers to terrorism deaths means: … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Site Update April 18, 2014
      TweetIf you have a site with us, you will notice some new fun features.  For everyone else, shouldn’t notice a thing.  Let me know if  anything is broken.  
      Boston Biker
    • Open Letter from Midnight Marathon Originator April 18, 2014
      Dear Midnight Marathon Riders, Now is a good time to fill you in on what's going on with the Midnight Marathon bike ride this year (it's still happening, but after months of questions and back and forth). But first, a few words about last year, the most successful Midnight Marathon bike ride to date... Continue reading →
      greg
    • Open Letter from Midnight Marathon Originator April 18, 2014
      Dear Midnight Marathon Riders, Now is a good time to fill you in on what's going on with the Midnight Marathon bike ride this year (it's still happening, but after months of questions and back and forth). But first, a few words about last year, the most successful Midnight Marathon bike ride to date... Continue reading →
      greg
    • The Rise Of Bicycling In Suburban America April 17, 2014
      TweetIn America, cars have always been associated with affluence. Early in the days of the automobile, only the wealthy could own cars, since they were prohibitively expensive. It wasn’t until mass production began, which lowered prices significantly, that cars were … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Bikes Not Bombs’ 27th Annual Bike-A-Thon April 16, 2014
      TweetIt’s that time of year again! Event Name: Bike-A-Thon (https://bikesnotbombs.org/bike-a-thon) Time/Date/Location: Sunday June 8th (June 22nd Raindate) Rides leave in AM; Festival goes 12 – 5:30 @ Park across from Stony Brook MBTA Station 100 Boylston Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Event Details: … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Is This Street Wide Enough? April 16, 2014
      TweetI have posted a video of a group of avid recreational cyclists riding on Hampshire Street in Cambridge, in the middle of the day. Ah, once again, bostonbiker.org won’t let me embed a video, but you may view it in … Continue reading →
      jsallen