Austin Biking in October

Well folks, Austin continues to be the place for all things biking related.  Why you may ask?  Well, simple — all you have to do is experience the weather here and you will know exactly what I mean.  It is October – but the weather continues to be perfect – day temperatures hovering around 85-degrees F, and that combined with clear, sunny days.

And just to make you feel it even more – just take a look at the photos below:

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May be it is that great weather that makes Austin bicyclist very nice…Just read (from Bicycling magazine):

When confronted with a difficult driver, some riders opt for the one-fingered salute, which doesn’t do much to help the situation. Austin cyclist Adam Butler, is all for the one-handed salute, but he’s making a movement for that to be a wave.

Butler is launching the WAVE campaign in his hometown in hopes to improve relationships between cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. “We need something to lube this big old crazy machine called ‘getting around’, and I think it’s waving,” Butler says.

Butler has been a cyclist for 37 years, and a driver for 25, so he knows both sides of the story. Six years ago he, his wife, and his three children downsized to become a one-car family and he became a full-time bike commuter. It was then that he realized how vulnerable you can feel commuting on a bike.

and the rest of the article here and see the video below

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Car Free Day – Recent Event

Every year on a day around September 22nd – a global organization drives an event with very interesting concept – the Car Free Day.  The event is truly global – people in various cities around the world gather on the streets and remind everyone that our cities are being over-run by motor vehicles.  Yes, this is easy for me to say as I drive in my nice car, right?  But I truly think that we could be leveraging both forms of transportation in our daily lives.

Bicycles are truly amazing form of transportation – they occupy much less space on the roads, and accidents on a bike (if no cars or trucks involved) rarely end up in serious damage to the riders.  Can you visualize how much space bikes take?  Well these guys in Latvia recently pulled off an interesting demonstration — they used light frames to demo how much space bikes vs cars take on our streets

The blog here provides more interesting photos from that demo;

If you are interested further in the concept of global traffic thoroughfares with fewer cars and trucks check out the Web site of the World Carfree Network;

There is another aspect of car ownership or its reduction — if you are living in a downtown area – you may consider the Car2Go option.  That alternative is being touted as the ‘new mobility’ option – why ?  Due to the cost savings and reduction of overall vehicles on the roads as people share….Below (courtesy of Car2Go’s web site) are the costs for leveraging the Car2Go vehicles:

So, as you can imagine the option above is certainly a method for getting to a more car free / or near car free towns (where people share vehicles)….Oh, and saving on a vehicle will allow you to invest in more and nicer bike…YES!

 

New Mountain Bikes to Consider

I am yet to consider spending over $1500 for a mountain bike — after all – the biking experience is not coming from having the bike of magic but having the good skill set and physical endurance.  (Although I need to admit – my current bike was $1700 but I bought it on end of the model year clearance sale for $1200 — I considered it a GREAT deal)

But if you have inherited some big bucks recently or have come into a nice bonus — well, then you can consider some of the bikes I list below… I have test ridden some of them – for example the Giant Trance and must admit – it is a very nice bike….So here we go – the new best bikes below $3000!

  • Giant Trance – this is a 27.5″ bike — not the 29-inch bikes I like a lot, but as I said above, it is a very nice bike.  It comes outfitted with FOX Shocks and aluminum frameset – with aggressive weight-to-strength ratio – which is still very stiff and comfortable.

Bike-52 Giant Trance 27.5-inch $2550 per giant.com

  • Jamis Dakar AMT COMP:  This is cross country and all mountain bike – based on an aluminum frameset; but the design adds a 150mm travel front fork X-Fusion and of course like the Giant – this is a fully suspended bike and given that it is also a 27.5-inch that makes sense.

bike-52.com Jamis Dakar AMT Comp List $2599

  • Juliana Juno R: This is a bike for the women mountain bikers – not that Specialized or Trek are not offering women’s bikes… Now they do (for the last 3 years or so) but Juliana offers higher end bike in that type.  The men’s counterpart to Jualiana is Santa Cruz — also good bikes to consider

Bike-52.com Juliana Juno R $2599 starting for the D spec (the R-spec starts at $2799)

The bike offers dual suspension approach (given that it is also a 27.5-inch bike) with a 130mm travel front shock — RockShox Sector Gold RL Air Solo;  You can check the specs further here

  • Felt Compulson: This is an all mountain bike – and at this price range ($2699) also (as the rest of the bikes above) comes with an aluminum frameset; I was surprised to see a Suntour front fork on this bike – admittedly an advanced Suntour fork but I have been associating the brand with more low-end coil based forks/shocks.  Well, live and learn.  Here the Suntour offers 160mm travel and remote lockout.  The rear shock is RockShox Monarch –

bike-52.com Felt Compulson 50

Well, these are some of the newer bikes.  Enjoy!