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Articles tagged with: Bike

Written By: Gary on May 5, 2012 One Comment

On Saturdays from May until September, Hines Park closes Hines Drive from 8 AM to 3:30 PM so that people can ride bicycles, walk and rollerblade in the road and not have to fear traffic.

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They close the road from Outer Drive and Hines Drive (near Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn) all the way to Hines Drive and Ann Arbor Trail (where they cross is about 12+ miles away? 7 miles?). Many of the parks along that route are open, you just need to access them from a road other than Hines Drive. The parks are the two ends are semi-barricaded off, but it does say you are allowed to drive around them at Outer Drive to get to Helms Haven Park and at Ann Arbor Trail to get to Nankin Mills Park.

Direct link to YouTube video.

The video has a bit of the Rouge River and some geese and baby geese (goslings?). At the end it was later and the road was open, but all the times I shot video, I think I’m on the sidewalk.

Direct link to the PhotoSynth.

Video and photosynth both shot, edited and uploaded from my iPhone 4s. It’s not very fancy edited, just put a few clips together (trimmed a few) and added a (tiny) bit of text.

Written By: Gary on May 11, 2011 3 Comments

So I’ve been needing a new bicycle rack for the last few years; ever since the bicycle accident where a tire rolled off a car and while I managed to swerve, out of the way, it still managed to ruin my bicycle and my bike rack (both of which I really really liked). I’d gotten a new bike and it just didn’t fit right (the bar on my new bike is tilted) so it didn’t fit on the new rack (or the old rack) all that well. So I had to use the old rack and put the bike on upside down (which actually worked pretty well) but I had to use pliers to tighten the old rack and it just wasn’t as convenient as before.

So I’ve been googling, eBaying and sticking my head into bike shops all over, looking for a new rack. Something that plugs into my trailer hitch (which I only have to support a bike rack) and the bike sits into it (these are generally referred to as cradles, carriers or platforms) and isn’t too huge (I have a tiny garage). Actually, that’s pretty much exactly what I got…

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I love it!!! Not only does it hold the the bike up higher than the old rack, I can actually close the garage door with one bike on the rack (I didn’t try it with two); so if I want to set it up for morning or just leave it on for the next day, I’m good to go! Until late last summer, I didn’t see any similar to this that weren’t either huge or expensive then I spotted this Hollywood rack on Hines Drive (which looks identical except the knobs and the cool up/down sliders that I don’t have). I just wish it was supposed to be sunny tomorrow…

Minor complaint: It’s even smart enough to fold down for a SUV or some vehicle with a rear door (which I don’t have), so I think it’s going to rattle a bit more (update) rattling is not a issue for me at all. And the knobs are a little hard to twist, but once I get them most of them adjusted, I won’t need to adjust them any more (just the up/down one). It’s hard to see the up/down support, but you can see them on the links below. And the site lists it as a “powder coat rust resistant finish” but I’m not sure what the “powder” part is, it’s smooth steel, I kind of expected a slightly rougher surface (but I don’t really know these things).

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Here’s a picture of it folded up on the back of the car, so it does get quite a bit smaller. And while it’s pretty compact, it doesn’t really stand up on it’s own once you take it off. It fits my 1.25″ trailer hitch and comes with the adapter for a 2″ hitch. It took me (just like the box said) about fifteen minutes tops to put it together, it was only two bolts and all the hand tighteners.

I ended up buying it from Proline Products they have several other (more expensive) similar 2 bike racks and some 4 bike racks. I ordered it Monday from Greg (at extension 202) and it got here Wednesday the same wek; I only called on the phone since the site listed a scratched one (for less) and I couldn’t get it into my cart, but I think it’s in excellent shape.

Written By: Gary on October 18, 2008 One Comment

So it’s nice and sunny today so I decided to go for a bike ride and go get lunch at Einstein Bagels. It’s sunny but it’s chilly so I bundled up; but the cold still made my eyes start to water a bit. I used to ride my bike in the winter when I was younger and I mean cold winter days with snow + ice. In particular I remember a few situations when I was riding in the winter:

  • Middle School – I used to ride it to school in the winter since it got me out of the cold faster (at least that was the logic). I think after having snow in the middle of the day and having to ride home in it I realized that didn’t work to bad either. The bonus of riding on the snow and ice is that if it’s icy enough for you to fall you’ll generally slide on the ice which hurts a lot less than falling off your bike on the cement.
  • Classes in the middle of the day – My senior year in college at Michigan State University I had a lot of classes in Holmes Hall (Lyman Briggs) and in the middle of winter I had a class down the road between a few other Holmes Hall classes. So I just kept my bicycle at Holmes Hall and drove it from there to my class and back again, it worked out pretty well except when the bike was buried deep in snow at the bike rack.
  • On the far side of campus – My first year at MSU I had a class on the far side of campus so I’d ride my bike out to class and as the fall went on it got colder and colder (and even colder) but I kept on riding my bike. Eventually it got so cold the wind made my eyes water to much (way more than today) so I had the bright idea of wearing my ski goggles. This worked great! An added bonus was since people couldn’t actually see my face they didn’t know who the dork on the bicycle was.

    In hindsight, the best investment I could have made in college was some kind of moped/scooter to get around. I’d recommend this to anyone with a kid going to college. The most useful thing my car was good for was getting me home when I needed to visit the folks (you had to park at a parking lot that was pretty far away). I probably couldn’t have seen this at the time since I’d had a car for ages it was just something I “needed”; I didn’t go away to college until I was 22(?) so this was pretty ingrained in my head as a necessity by this time.

    The car was great for getting groceries (I lived in a cook your own food dorm) but the expense of the car (insurance/etc.) far exceeded a few cab rides a month to get groceries. My car didn’t really become ultra useful until graduate school when I had a permit to park on campus (actually I could only park on the south side of campus but that was almost perfect for where I needed to be) which then allowed me to live a little farther off campus.

    So I’ve gone from bike riding on a nice day to riding in the winter to not needing a car in college. I guess I’m done with this posting for now. I’m heading back out in the 50° sun to ride back home….

  • Written By: Gary on September 9, 2007 3 Comments

    So I got my new bicycle! I got the Cypruss DX from Giant (2007 model) it’s got 24-speeds (about a dozen more than I need) and is silver and gray-ish (I think they call it silver/silver); it’s the one I mentioned the other day. I think these are the 2007 Cypress DX specs. I rode it around a few times yesterday and had him make adjustments a few times. Now I’m off to Hines Drive park to take it for a ride…

    2007-09-09 14-58-10.Img 6498.CropNow is a great time to get a bike, all the 2008 models are coming out and every thing is on sale. Differences are generally pretty minimal, the 2008 of my bike had disc brakes (way cool) but took away the adjustment of the front shocks and raised the price $70 (from $370 in 2007 to $440 in 2008). My bike dropped another $45 since last week (and it was marked down then) bringing it to $295!!! And that includes free adjustments, inspections, flat repair and 10% for the next three years (this was at D & D Bicycles and fitness, 4 stores in the Detroit MI area).

    I really like it so far. I’m off to the park right now to ride it a bit more. The shocks on the front of the bike and in the seat really make the bumps a lot more enjoyable.I also got a new lock (the old one wouldn’t fit in the new shaped frame), a water bottle holder and a bell. They way they tilt the support bar these days it seems like my front tire is pretty close to the road (in the bike rack), I’ll have to set my other bike on the rack so I can see what the difference is, if it’s too low I might have to take to tire off (it’s easy but still a bother) and if I can’t get this one fixed, I’ll get a taller rack(?), I guess. On a side note I think it has a light weight 6061 ALUXX (aluminum) alloy comfort frame.

    Written By: Gary on September 3, 2007 5 Comments

    Cypress Dx SilverSo I’m eyeing the 2007 Cypress DX made by Giant. Anyone have any info on this bike and why I should (or should not) get it? It’s a decent price since the new models are out and I like it but I thought I’d check on some feedback from those of you out there. The new prices are higher (disc breaks) but took some features (adjustable suspension) away.

    They color’s a neutral grey/silver so it shouldn’t bother me when I scratch it. I guess the one I had was a 19 inch frame, I’d have to check the receipt, I put a deposit for next week. But I’m still looking… I like the Front suspension and seatpost suspension, nice on the bumps, configurable too. If I want my old seat back that should work with it too, the handlebars are configurable too, up/down and back/forth. I think it has the light weight 6061 ALUXX (aluminum) alloy comfort frame.

    Written By: Gary on August 29, 2007 3 Comments

    So I started the story the other day about how my bicycle was ripped from the back of my car. This was the first really nice bicycle that I ever purchased for myself, I’m thinking it was just under $400. Generally, I just purchased $99 bikes but I was having a hard time finding tires that weren’t mountain bike (extra wide) size and I didn’t want to get the really thin tires. Plus I was at a point when I knew I’d always be able to keep the bike indoors to take care of it (and I wanted something a little nicer). The weird thing is I just commented several times over the last few months about how much I loved the bike and my bike rack (just slides into the trailer hitch and it’s so easy and sturdy).

    But back to the middle of the story –I was stressing about this a lot this weekend (mostly the beginning and the end, I was too busy having fun in the middle), I’d probably have stressed less if I had totaled the car but it’s the figuring out of the replacing and trying to get reimbursed for the bike and rack. But I was extra annoyed in that the reason I drove my car was specifically to have my bike, it would have been much easier and cheaper to take the train. Little did I know I’d have nothing to worry about, they called me back first thing Monday morning and I stopped by the shop and they wrote me a check to cover the bike (and the $90 in repairs I’d already done) based on the estimate. I said I’d get the rack since I might actually might be able to get replacement parts for it. They probably would have covered more if I had asked but I thought it was fair since I was getting a new bike out of the deal (even though I wasn’t even considering it beforehand).

    My day got much better better after that and I wished I had never worried about it, it was just a bike. No one was hurt and life was good. So on the way home I stopped at a few bike shops and fell in love with a shiny red Trek 7300, it rode so smooth I couldn’t believe it, I thought someone was pushing me along. It was a little more expensive than I was going to spend but if I can find it around home, it’s mine sometime this week. The problem might be is that I think it was last years model and I might not find the same color.

    FYI, the end of the story will be when I get a bike :)

    Written By: Gary on October 8, 2005 3 Comments

    Michigan trip october 2005So I drove 695.9 miles round trip for my travels up north. I’m a really slow traveler though, I stop every so often to shop/look/snack. The 280 mile trip up there took me about 350 miles and 28 hours to do it. Like I said I really like to take my time. You can see on the map (click to enlarge) my zig-zaggedy path (in red on the map). I went Dearborn to Sterling Heights (stopped to say HI to my Mom at work), to Troy (the Apple Store at the Somerset Collection), to Birch Run (the outlet mall) to a hotel near Cadilliac, then to Frankfort (furt?) to bicycle and shop at Gwen Frostic’s then up to Leeland and visit at Jim & Karen’s in Lake Leelanau for a few days. On the way back I went to Traverse City to bike and eat lunch, Mt. Pleasant to have dinner with Dawn and April, East Lansing for Cookie Dough Ice Cream and then back home. Lot’s of other little stops to shop and eat and we ran around a little while I was up there (that might be another post or two).


    The weather was gorgeous the whole time I was there, I rode most of the trip with the top down on my car and it was an excellent ride. Night time was the only time it was too cool without a jacket, so I stopped driving (that’s when I stopped for the night). It was a great week to take a some days off to relax! Then I was at work for a nice short week of just Thursday and Friday (long days, but they went quick).

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