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Linus Bike Grocery Getter utility bike commuter bicycle

G.G. with a rack of groceries.

Regular readers could probably sense a little guilt in last week’s Other Bike update-  while the situation has improved, money has been tight for me this past year.  I have gotten very accustomed to doing more with less and splurging on a bike did come with a little remorse.  However, I am really enjoying riding the new Linus  bike which I have done almost every day since her purchase.  I say her- because today she earned the name GG which is short for Grocery Getter. 

This morning I rode GG with Liam on his bike to school.  He has been expressing some hesitation and a little fear about crossing a busy intersection on his way to school and so I have been going with him until he becomes more comfortable and confident with the crossing.  As we were riding he mentioned several times that he could “get it from here” and then began quietly  dropping waaaay back from me as we got closer to the school (where other kids were walking).   I have been recognizing the beginning stages of P.U.E. Syndrome, or Parental Unit Embarrassment Syndrome  in Liam since the start of middle school last month.

Parental Unit Embarrasment Syndrome

Dale Price used "Costume Therapy" to overcome the affect that P.U.E. syndrome was having on his teenager.

Top research into P.U.E suggests sensitivity to Liam’s budding desire for independence and acquiescence to his presentations of symptoms that may include redness of the skin, looking at the ground and shortening temper.  I also came across an alternative approach that seems to have worked for one family to overcome the ravages of P.U.E   that is credited with tightening the father/son bond.  Dale Price, of American Fork, Utah, has spent the past school year waving at his high school son’s school bus every day while dressed in costumes as a lampshade, Elvis, and Santa, just to name a few.  While riding a bike in costume may pose some technical challenges I believe that adaptation of Dale’s principles holds a lot of promise. 

Dale and his son were even featured on Good Morning America:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/embarrassing-dad-170-costumes/story?id=13783709

Let it begin. 

Grant Park Criterium, Georgia Juniour Cycling Crit, Atlanta Bicycle Races, Racing, Cyclist

HUGE Junior Field- Can you find the kid wearing a heart monitor?

This past weekend was the um-teenth annual Grant Park Criterium– a plus/minus 1 kilometer lap race around a closed park loop.  Racers ride the course for either for a designated period of time or a specified number of laps before the finish.  This was also Liam’s first “real” race requiring a USA Cycling  Junior’s racing license.  Leading up to the race I felt the compulsion to totally overload Liam with my admittedly limited and probably incorrect knowledge of bike racing, tactics and strategies.  For this year’s Brownwood Bike Rallyin nearby East Atlanta, we elected to focus on just one skill: cornering.  This race had nearly 40 juniors ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old- there were even several teams on hand.  Despite my desire to vicariously recapture my youth or being “That Dad”, our strategy became simply staying with the pack.

Junior Cycling Races Atlanta, Grant Park Criterium, Georgia Pro Races

Liam and Finnis amping up before the start!

Even this proved difficult given the massive spread of ages and abilities.   I limited my sideline ranting to “Get out of the big ring” as he went by one time- Liam has a tendency to want to mash big gears despite the benefits of our constant “spin-it-to-win-it” mantra.  For him, riding in the big ring is the cycling equivalent of talking with your mouth full- not wrong, but something to improve on.   

Liam rode a good race, making some places on a few kids and losing a few to others.  In the end he finished about mid-pack saying to me as he approached from the line “I need to train harder!”

Sorella, Atlanta Women's Cycling, Atlanta Bike Racing, Grant Park Criterium

Our very own Brigette Killion taking 3rd place! (Team Sorella)

Brigette K., one of our fellow Kirkwood Sunday Riders participated in her first race ever and stormed the podium with a 3rd place win in the Beginner Women Category!  We joke that we found Brigette on the side of the road- which we did on a Sunday Group Ride when she had a flat earlier this spring.  Brigette bought a road bike to replace the hybrid commuter she had been riding when we met.  Since then there has been no stopping her!  Good job Brigette- I cant wait to see you in that fancy new Hincapie Jersey.  It also a cycling tradition that if you win a race, you are supposed to wear the medal on every ride for the next 30 days- don’t let me catch you riding without it!  You are awesome!

Thanks to Graham M., Megan L., Brent G.  Jules T., Kieth O.  for comming out to support the Kirkwood Sunday Riders participating in the criterium!  A special thanks to Paul B. for being race-hag with the food & drink!  Good showing everyone! 

I bought a new bike- and I like it.  I still like my primary bike too- so let’s start with that.

I am always hesitant to draw thinly veiled analogies between bikes and relationships so I wont even attempt to veil it.  I kind of broke that stance with The Ex Girlfriend anyhow, so in for a dime in for a dollar- right?  I have a perfectly healthy relationship with my primary ride, the 1994 Specialized M2 that has been in our family in one way, shape or form since it was purchased.  I have personally ridden the bike over four thousand miles in the past two years.  It has been good to me- no accidents, not even an in-ride flat during that time.  In fact, I just installed two new Maxxis Detonator tires, Lizard Skins race bar tape and a new-to-me Fizik saddle because all three were worn out from our two thousand miles together this year.  I have been riding a lot this year, which is good; but probably a third of that mileage has been “non-training” or just cruising around town. 

For those of you who are accustomed to rationalizing irrational purchasing decisions (like most cyclists), you  see where I am headed with this line of  “logic”.  If you don’t see it- hang on cause here it comes!   Popularized by warehouse stores, I classify this particular rationalization as “the more you buy, the more you really save” argument and it goes something like this:  Though less expensive than many hobbies and fitness activities (justification #1), cycling maintenance and parts can be expensive (justification #2).  Though I do most of my own maintenance which saves some money (justification #3), I would save even more if I rode my primary road bike with all the expensive components less frequently for “around town” stuff (justification #4)- fewer miles equals less wear and tear.  However, if I am going to ride my primary road bike less, then I am going to need a NEW bike that I can put those harder city miles on…right?  (Game, set and match).    

Commuter Bikes perfect for the ride to work and urban life | Roadster | Mixte | Dutchi | Gaston | Dover |

My new Linus Roadster Sport (sweet)

Going back to the relationship analogy this is also like the guy who cheats on his wife because he “loves” her, or she just doesn’t understand- or even because “she wont do that”.   Don’t hate the player- hate the game.  The point here is that when people want something, they can take talk them selves into pretty much anything  by any means necessary.    In this case I bought a new Linus Roadster Sport in Olive.

Linus Roadster Bike Bicycle

The Flat Noah's Arc Bars Added Responsiveness

Chris at Loose Nuts Cycles knew I would be back after my failed attempt to win a free Linus earlier this year (Another Day, Another Bike Giveway).  Like a good bar tender, he was hip to my motivation and my justification for buying a new bike.  Can you imagine that they just happened to have the model, color and size that I wanted in stock?  It was destiny- so I decided to take destiny out for a test ride around Grant Park. 

The initial set up on the Roadster was a little more upright than I was wanting, being more accustomed to a compact riding position on the road bike.  While definitely in keeping with the traditional design roots of the roadster and club style, I found that the swept-back  North Road handle bars with thier nearly perpendicular grip position made the steering and response a little softer than I wanted.  This setup is fine, just personal preference here.  Chris happily set me up for a trial ride with a pair of crescent-shaped Noah’s Arc handle bars by Soma Fabrications.  These flat bars dropped my riding positon and the 95mm of backsweep gave me the verve and responsiveness I was looking for.  Chris had never put these bars on a Linus, but they look very slick.   I bought the bike.

While this bike is decidedly not for putting in the miles, I have found myself wanting to ride it- and have found several occassions to do so on just the first day.  I am already saving money! 

Get Your Own Linus Here:

Loose Nuts Cycles Atlanta Bike Shops Grant Park

Phone: (404) 228-5555
Address: 452 Cherokee Ave “A”,
Atlanta, GA 30312
Email: Kareem@loosenutscycles.com
Chris@loosenutscycles.com
Twitter: @LooseNutsCycles
Facebook: Loose Nuts Cycles
AIM: LooseNutsCycles

Atlanta Cycling, Intown cycling, Kirkwood Sunday Ride, Atlanta Junior Cycling, Intown Bike Route

The Braves By Bike 

It was hot- damn hot this weekend!  The boys and I decided to venture over to Turner Field on Saturday night on our bikes to catch the Braves getting absolutely blown out by the Cubbies (8-4).  The 4 mile ride to the stadium was terrific- though the humidity was a wall through which we pedaled.   Team Eddie are not huge baseball fans, but it was a quiet Saturday night and I like to make one game a year because that’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re American.  Turns out it was a big night for baseball  and we had to buy general admission tickets “off street”.   

Once inside Turner Field we discovered that there weren’t any bike racks to be found- anywhere!  We ended up securing our bikes to the perimeter fence but with the Atlanta BeltLine Night at the Braves coming up on September 1st, and lots of folks hopefully riding their bikes- it may be a problem.  Just to be sure I didn’t miss anything I went onto the Parking and Directions, Turner Field Map and event the A-Z Directory on the Braves website to check- there is nothing about bikes or bike parking anywhere on their website even though there are hundreds of thousands of people within reasonable biking distance to the stadium. 

More information on BeltLine Night at the Braves: http://www.atlantabike.org/beltlinebraves

Kirkwood Sunday Ride

Click For Map & Cue

We had a great turnout today and the morning temperatures were agreeable for the ride start in front of Marchet’s.  There were 4-5 new riders to the group which always is encouraging!  This week we set out to do the “Intown Loop” route of 25 miles through East Atlanta, Ormewood Park, Grant Park, Cabbage Town, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey Highlands, Piedmont Park, Morning Side Druid Hills, Emory, Decatur and Oakhurst and back to Kirkwood. 

We had a hard time executing this route when we did it back in June, so I made a route map and cue sheet to ease the waiting and lost riders we experienced last time….and no one brought them.  It was still a good time with some good riding with good people.  We made the Krispy Kreme on ponce our rallying point to regroup and head through Piedmont Park, but lost half the group in the park anyway, so it didn’t really matter.   We all had fun and met back for brunch at Marchet’s.  Tip for next intown route ride: Sean will print cue sheets. 

Team Eddie Preview:

Grant Park Criterium, Junior Atlanta Bike Racing, USCF Junor Races Liam and Ethan will be carrying the Team Eddie colors at the Grant Park Criterium next weekend on Sunday, August 21st.  It should be a spectacular day of bike racing if you want to come on out and cheer us on!   Liam will be racing in his first USA Cycling sanctioned event, so we are going to get him a junior racing license (which I just think is cool).  He will be racing in the 11-14 Juniors category.  We just found out that Frazier Cycling will be there with 6 other racers in his age group.  We will be studying our strategy very carefully- breaking away, attack and setting up for the final sprint.  The junior’s race is 25 minutes +1 lap.  With the coordinated effort of a Team like Frazier on the course, Liam will have his work cut out for him.  He has the legs and ability to win- he just has to race smartly and aggressively.   Our goal will be to take it to Frazier and make them be defensively instead of assuming that thier coordinated team effort will roll everyone in.  I am excited! 

Ethan is too young to race in the junior category and is still on the fence about the “Big Kid Fun Race”.  More to follow!

Riding Bikes To School

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Well, it appears that after 100 phone calls to the Atlanta Puublic Schools transportation department, downtown bureaucrats and Ethans school we finally got the school bus pick-up SNAFU corrected.  It has been said that bureaucy “is the rule of no one”, a more apt description of my experience than the friendly but hollow “APS-making a difference!” greeting I received on each attempted call to see if someone could actually help me with my problem.  But I digress this is a biking blog, not a rail against the system (or is it?).

With Ethan successfully boarded, Liam and I elected to ride our bikes to his school today- a 2.5 mile jaunt from our house in Kirkwood.  There are a couple of major thoroughfares to cross: Memorial Dr., Moreland Ave. and Glenwood.  I have been reconoiterng possible route options since the first day of school with the desire of limiting traverses along these major corridors.  Crossing these busier streets is a bit less harrowing and actually creates pretty nice ride that is shorter than using the busier streets! My main concern of crossing moreland was not as bad as anticipated.

I have also learned that Atlanta Nieghborhood Charter has received a $500,000 grant from the Safe Routes To School program.  Very exciting!

http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/atlanta-neighborhood-charter-school-gets-49992601-for-safe-routes-initiiative

This is my first blog entry done entirely on the Droid, please forgive the mis-spells.

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In my previous post Brownwood Bike Rally 2011, I had written about having made “Go Team Eddie” signs that we held up to send my Dad pictures of.  He was not able to make the race due to his declining health and the pictures cheered him greatly.  I am visiting Jeannie (his wife) in Rochester and found the those pictures on their computer. Enjoy! 

 

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