Saturday, September 26, 2009

SF Critical Mass for 2010 SF to Boston

Did Critical Mass in San Francisco last nite with John Oleery. Both of us were on our HiWheels. What fun!

It was John's first Mass and he handled it amazingly well. This considering the fact that he has only been riding a Penny for the last five months. I remember the first CM that I did and from all the starting, stopping and slow speeds, my arms were fried and I slept more than well that night.

Tho we, and a few hundred others got caught at a light and lost the ride, we still got over two good hours worth of riding in. And for me on the Eagle, I barely felt it! What a confidence builder for next June. It can only add to the skill set that i will need for my ride to Boston.

As I watched John ride with no hands and remembered how that was far more than a trick for me when I rode regular HiWheel bikes, I knew it was all the other little things I was learning that would make next summer a lot easier for me. When we rode around the Giants baseball game at ATT Park near the waterfront, for example, a curb I could not see knocked me off my bike. Because I had been practicing lifting my front wheel in my daily jaunts, I spotted the next one and all three after that in enough time to lift my front tire up and over them. The rest of the bike followed. With grace and ease!!

And at those times when I was forced off, because there were always people on bikes behind me, I could not stop and poise myself for a mount. I had to keep moving. So I returned to the way I had first learned to get on the Eagle. With a twenty foot or more runway. Only last nite, no failures could take place during my fast walking starts.. Nor did they! More yahoo!!

Besides being forced to learn new abilities, I know it is rides like these that are creating a buzz for my 2010 SF to Boston. Many times I overheard people pointing me out as the guy who rode to Salt Lake. A couple people interviewed me. I got invited to lots of special rides and there were so many cameras pointed at me (John too) all night long, I knew the logo on my handlbar pak would be seen far and wide.

Indeed it is an honor to ride this, the Spillane Eagle!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Creating Cyclists - The San Jose Bike Party !!

Last night's San Jose Bike Party was epic beyond compare. It was filled with happy smiling faces, not the ones you see preoccupied with the clock and/or cadence or heart monitors, etc. All I saw were people dressed in regular street clothes. And as we rode, speed was not an issue, camaraderie was. The cyclists who rode from Mission College, in Santa Clara, to Palo Alto and back last night were more concerned with seeing all the bikes that were out there and talking with friends and making new ones than who was going at a speedier clip than they were.

Granted I went faster than most because I wanted to see who all I was sharing the road with so I could make this report. And, I only reached the front one time. Partly this was so because I
had to stop at lights, which everyone was very good about doing. Partly because it stretched out for miles and miles. Partly because I was not on my Eagle HiWheel but on my recumbent (yes I ws the guy riding a short wheel base S&B recumbent with a pith helmet on) and I could go fast. And mostly because I live in Palo Alto....

Since Charleston and Middlefield was the end of the line for me. I stopped and counted cyclists. A neighbor named Joe Cowen, even came out to see what all the hub bub was about and decided to help me. As group after group after group arrived, he hit the cross walk button to give the riders a longer light. He and I briefly talked and had fun in between the bikers that were non stop.

In all, I counted over 2000 cyclists. And I don't know how many were ahead of me but I suspect that it was a few hundred two wheel (I did see maybe half a dozen trikes) fun makers.

A 24 niles ride, there were recharge stations set up along the way. The one at the Castro Street Cal Train parking lot was filled with people having good clean fun. No snell of marijuana wafting in the air. No alcohol. Just one guy set up with a bike trailer selling cold vitamin water.

Here are some of the bikes I remembered seeing:

- innumerable one speed cruisers
- a guy (Josh Agie) playing bagpipes as he rode (if I get time, I will put up what I recorded as an mp3)
- Greg McPheeters on a tandem towing his couch trailer
- 2 tall bikes
- one guy on a skateboard (24 miles ouch)
- 6 to 10 stretch bikes that I only saw at the beginning
- 2 circus bikes where the front end can be moved independent of the rear
- 10 recumbents
- 2- 38" wheel Coker unicycles
- one woman (Aisha Hicks) on a kick bike (more ouch)

What a night, I even got to meet one of the event co founders. She was on the train to Santa Clara. We became Facebook friends today. Here is what I just posted on her wall:


Martin Krieg
Lauryn McCarthy is the one who is **Bad Butt**. I was on my bent (I am the Penny rider she talks about below. See the ride, also below, I just did to Salt Lake) for the SJ Bike Party and, from the Cal Train station, she dropped the four other guys who were riding with me. I had to hammer with her just to see where the start was located. Big Fire Lauryn and major WOW on the SJBP that U helped begin...

SF to Salt Lake on a HiWheel

We need more of these kinds of rides. All over America! This will grow cycling a lot faster than the 'look over your shoulder, he could be catching you' consciousness that our industry's magazines and bike shops often tend to promote. As well, that is why I also applaud Critical Mass. In rides such as these, the stars of the show are not the ones with the technology that can make them go the fastest.

At the San Jose Bike Party, everyone is a star - just because they ride!!

Martin Krieg "Awake Again" Author
'79 & '86 TransAmerica Bike Rides
Coma, Paralysis, Clinical Death Survivor
2010 w/"How America Can Bike & Grow Rich"
NBG Founding Director, HiWheel Cyclist

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Martin Krieg - HiWheelin' for Low Wheels

Just posted this at our recumbent site:

Martin Krieg - HiWheelin' for Low Wheels

At the end of June, I finished a ride from San Francisco to Salt Lake City on the bike you see pictured here:

It ended up being a trial balloon for the ride I will be doing with the Busycle in tow to Boston next June because the two weeks of electric storms that I hit drained the budget and torpedoed the schedule. Here is the blog about that ride.

I am doing all this for the National Bicycle Greenway and to dispel the stereotype that RecumBent riders are not fit and/or cannot ride regular bikes any more. Having myself been 'bent since 1982, including my 1986 TransCon on a recumbent, it has been the recumbent seating configuration that has kept my body strong and able to pedal great distance on the 1891 Eagle HiWheel I am pounding away on.

In fact, I know of very few cyclists from three and four decades ago who can still roll the big miles on an upright much less even begin to think of riding a Penny Farthing for any measure of distance.

Martin Krieg "Awake Again" Author

2010 w/"How America Can Bike & Grow Rich"

'79 & '86 TransAmerica Bike Rides

Coma, Paralysis, Clinical Death Survivor

NBG Founding Director, HiWheel Cyclist

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Palo Alto to Mountain View on Bike Blvds!

I went out for an evening ride on the Eagle today and it suddenly became magic. Kowabunga as in WoW!! I've been here in Palo Alto for six years and I am only just now discovering this. Seems all the cyclists here are so consumed with training and/or speed, that I've never heard this routing discussed, much much less celebrated like it should be. I feel like I've opened the doors to a whole new world of bicycle joy.

I can get to the heart of Mountain View where there are restaurants, coffee shops and even a metaphysical bookstore, etc. in the same time it takes me to get to University Ave where there are pricey restaurants, rug galleries and other establishments that only the well heeled can afford to frequent. To be fair, however, Palo Alto's main downtown (I prefer California Ave, its other downtown located in the middle of the city) does have an Apple Store and a Rite Aid.

The ride through Mountain View using this route is so painless that you will be surprised that it gets you to your destination so effortlessly. Nor is it boring or hamstrung by light controlled intersections like Palo Alto's famous Bike Blvd. Because it is is not a straight shot, the time you would normally spend waiting for lights, is time you spend biking away from where it looks like you want to get. But it takes you off Alma Street (aka Central Expwy), through quiet neighborhoods and is so very well signed (even with travel time estimates) that you will be on Shoreline, Rengstorff, or Castro Street well before you expect to be there!!

Here it is -

(do also feel free to plot routes of your own at our site and if you can code for such a page, we need it to run on IE and also we need it to be able to accept GPS data)

WoW - do use the comments here to let me know what you think!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Andrew Heckman - The Man Who Inspires the NBG effort!

In 2002, the first year we ran our Mayors' Ride, a true giant stepped forward to give his future to the National Bicycle Greenway. Andrew Heckman, who you can read about here, nearly lost his life for the exact thing we are trying to promote - an interconnected network of bikeable roads and paths that will make it possible for all those traveling short distances and long to safely co-exist.

It was Andrew, for example, who I thought about when I rode for 14 hours across the Great Salt Basin as per this post.

Indeed Andrew, you did not give your now compromised body for nothing. The National Bicycle Greenway will one day become real. And know that it was your example that greatly inspired it!!