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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bicycles in Iceland 

Well here I am in Iceland and I don't have a bike to ride. I am located at a forest house in the ├×jorsardalur forest, southern Iceland district. We went into Selfoss yesterday to shop for groceries and supplies for the house, and saw lots of bikes. People use them regularly here in the cities it appears, but not so much out in the countryside. I wonder why?

Well maybe because, it is so far from place to place once you get out of the city limits, and what else, the roads are so damned narrow! No berms when you get outside the city! Out of all the tourist type activities I have witnessed so far, bicycling doesn't seem to be one of them. I have seen horseback riding, ATV riding, 4x4 SUV driving, but no bicycle touring going on.

People also seem to be very trusting here. All the bikes I saw outside of buildings and stored in town where just sitting idle and unlocked! Very trusting i say again.

Well, one goal while I am here is to try and find some used bikes to install at the forest house. What fun it would be to just use them to wheel around, maybe along the forest roads? I'll let you know how this quest turns out. I can't really spend much money from my travel budget for this, and things are quite expensive here so it may be tough to acquire any bikes. If anyone is reading from Iceland and has some extra runaround bikes for cheap or free you'd like to donate to us student volunteers, speak up please. Or if you know of any groups, organizations, flea markets etc where they might be acquired, well that info would be greatly appreciated as well.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bikes in Storage 

Well, it comes down to this. I am traveling for a bit this summer, and have moved out of my apartment, and I am going out of country. So the bikes of mine (sweet little bikes of mine, they gonna let their love light shine!) are in storage. My main bike was literally the last thing I put away, as I held onto it to use until the very last moment. I will miss them, though of course, not in the same way as the people I love. I'll probably still post here though, as in Iceland, there may very well be biking opportunities or related stories. Anyone been to Iceland by the way and want to pass on your story? If it is bicycle related I'll even post it as a guest blogger post.

I am even hoping to get my hands on a used bike while at the forest house I'll be living at to ride around the country roads, or maybe there is already one or two sitting there waiting for riders, after all, lots of itinerant travelers come and go for this internship position, and you would think someone had gone through the trouble of having some bikes on hand? We'll see. peace.

Listening to: Sigur Ros

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Left for Good 

Well, I guess this is an example of what can happen when you are lax about locking up your bike properly. What I do when parking in any public place is use the dual lock method. Lightweight cord lock around frame, and rack, and through front wheel; then U-lock through rear wheel, frame and rack. This protects everything.

As you can see, this unfortunate soul only had their front wheel locked up, and someone made off with the rear wheel, which according to my knowledge is the second most expensive part of a bike to replace after the frame when you consider it contains the wheel, frame and cog set.

I had at first thought maybe this rider just had a flat and took the rear wheel home to replace it, but alas, I've been keeping an eye on this beauty as I walk by on occasion crossing the S.U. campus, and it has been in this location and in this condition for about a whole year now. Vandalized and abandoned, wonder when the S.U. staff will remove this bike?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Along for a Walk 

While riding home on Thursday, I spied my friend Nate walking his bike along the side of the road. Naturally I pulled over to check in and say hi, see what was up, though anyone could have guessed it was a flat necessitating his pushing his bike home. And it was, he didn't know what caused it. Just rode into campus in the morning fine, then come to get his bike for the return trip in the late afternoon, and flatness greeted him.

So I hadn't seen Nate to chat in a while, and this was a good opportunity to do so. Our routes are the same, at least they were today as I was not veering off the main road but just intent on getting home. So I walked him to his apartment house before continuing on further to mine.

This just reminds me though of one of the reasons why, when distance and time is not a factor, that I have been choosing to walk rather than bike. We speed by each other most of the time when on bikes just as if we are in cars. Sure there is the occasional pulling up to a stoplight at the same time and exchanging a few words, but nothing like walking and talking for 20 or 30 minutes will get you. And in general I find my mind works better when my legs are doing their job. Whether it is just chatting, or believe it or not, studying for an exam, or practicing a presentation, getting the whole body in motion energizes the mind, and I find at least, energizes a conversation as well.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy 

First off, I apologize for te broken picture links on the main page here at bcn. Somehow they have just started failing to work, so I need to go check with the site where they have been hosted. I'll get to it soon I promise. It's just been very busy, busy, busy with Earth Week festivities and planning, and finals week coming up.

On a lighter note, I found a brief extra half hour to print out some graphics and have a friend (Marcia) laminate some spoke cards for me the morning of the Earth Day event yesterday (Saturday). We only made up about 9 cards (all the laminate I had on hand), but it was enough unfortunately as only one person showed up on bike, with child in tow no less via trailer. Anyway, here;s a quick pic, nothing special, just our group logo and website, and the event flyer in miniature. We'll get more funky next time for sure.

Be sure to visit alchemicalnursery.collectivex.com

Friday, April 25, 2008

Earth Day at Lipe Art Park 

Monday, April 21, 2008

Can you feel my speed? 

Word has it that you don't need to stop at traffic lights or stop signs, nor do you need to yield at yield signs, if you are riding a bicycle. This would have made a good April Fool's post, no?

It ain't true of course. Myself, on a bicycle, I often am buzzed by bicyclists who are not stopping when they should be, and end up almost running into me. Case in point, the other day I am stopped at a 4-way stop sign, and proceeding to make a right, when the bicyclists coming straight from the left blows his stop sign and we are forced to swerve away from each other. If this bothers me, and other fellow bicyclists, do you imagine what choice words car drivers are having for these folks? Way to garner that good will for sharing the road, my fellow cyclists, keep up the good work (sarcasm in case you didn't get it)!

So I get passed many, many times when I am sitting at a red light, and a cyclist comes up along my right side and blows through the light without even slowing down. Incredulity rises within me at moments like these, and I take it upon myself to hunt them down and blow past them on the next straight-away, just to prove that all that not-stopping ain't getting them anywhere quicker than me, who was stopped, and just because it makes me feel good to hammer it down and fly by. Jerk. ; > )

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