New Stuff for Mountie working well!

I had to change tires recently because the sidewall on my rear tire started going after a long period of service. I ordered a pair of Continental Town and Country from PhatTire, along with a Planet Bike Beamer 5 headlight.

Town and Country Tire - used by many police departments

Town and Country Tire - used by many police departments

These tires are used by a lot of police departments, and it’s easy to see why – low rolling resistance, suitability for urban pavement, and the ability to go off road a bit, make it a  great commuting tire. I was pleasantly surprised by the way they ride. These have a suppleness and a nice road feel compared to the Avocet Cross I used for the last 10 years or so. The bike seems easier to pedal.

5 Led

Planet Bike Beamer 5 LED Light

The Beamer 5 headlight is a big help, now that the mornings are pitch black. It snaps on to a mount. It’s two modes – one flashing, the other continuous, make it useful for different conditions. I used the flash when riding home when it’s still light to increase visibility. On the way in I used the steady version which throws a nice beam. For my station commute, this light is all I need. Kudos to Phat Tire for a smooth transaction and advice on the light.

The Provincelands – Cape Cod

I ride this trail almost every year with my good friend Arnie; we include it in a longer 70 miler we do. It’s about 7 miles of up and down in the dunes near Provincetown. If you’re nearby, try it. If you don’t have a bike, Art’s Dune Tours is a great way to get inside the dunes. We took one this past summer. The “cottages” rented to artists are amazing and worth visiting.

Connecticut Needs to Do Better

League of American Bicyclists story places CT 42nd in bicycle friendliness. Ouch!

USA Today wrote about the rankings:

The League of American Bicyclists’ first rankings of bike-friendly states, announced today, is based on six broad criteria ranging from the extent of infrastructure, such as bike lanes and routes, to effective signage and maps, to how vigorously cycling-related laws are enforced.

A high ranking “means the state, through a variety of ways, encourages people to get on a bike and ride and enjoy the experience,” says the organization’s president, Andy Clarke.

All 50 states were scored on 75 individual points in the six categories. Rounding out the top five after Washington are Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon and Minnesota. West Virginia ranks dead last. (In an oddly timed footnote, the state’s first lady, Gayle Manchin, reportedly received minor injuries after being struck by a car Sunday while biking in the capital, Charleston.) Rounding out the bottom five are Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and North Dakota.

Bike Bus Racks Getting More Use

Bus rack bicycle rack

Bus with bicycle rack

Heartening story in today’s Advocate outlining the rise in bus bike rack use. That means more riders are going “inter-modal,” using bikes and buses to get around. The article quotes a local advocate making the point that one of the issues we have is that bikes aren’t really welcome on commuter trains during rush hours, which needs to change. They are welcome on off-peak trains. Sadly, the Metro North line is changing over to brand new cars, but bikes weren’t seriously factored in. There’s actually a conflict between the rail riders – who want more seats to take cars off the road and who downplay space for cycles because, they feel, that would take seats away. This issue isn’t really easy to resolve, unless commuters switch to foldies.