Category: cycling

Austin-Healey Sprite spotted in the wild

I spotted this beauty during a recent bike ride in a local New Jersey park. The Austin-Healey Sprite (aka Bugeye) was introduced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1958. This car is my contemporary, give or take a few years. Wow.

Austin-Healy Sprite aka Bugeye British Motor Corporation sports car 1958
Austin-Healy Sprite aka Bugeye British Motor Corporation (BMC) sports car 1958
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Engineering, yo!

There is probably a very legitimate reason for this manhole to stick out like that in Johnson Park (Middlesex County, New Jersey, location on Google Maps). Still, it doesn’t make engineers look too good in my book.

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In deed

My friend Jon Verpent is not your typical 29-year-old. For one thing, he looks much younger (this is a compliment, Jon). But let me tell you about the other.

Unlike your typical 29-year-old who might want to celebrate their 30th birthday by, say, trying 30 different beers, Jon set out to complete 30 good deeds. Instead of giving something to himself, Jon decided to celebrate by giving something of himself.

So next time someone tells you that today’s young people only think about themselves, you can say “Not all of them.”

Read about Jon’s deeds on his blog 30 Deeds. Jon and his deeds have been written about by various media outlets, including today’s Star-Ledger — New Jersey’s largest newspaper. I enjoyed being part of Deed 12 — Cycle for Survival.

Jon Verpent at Deed 18 : Habitat for Humanity
Jon Verpent at Deed 18 : Habitat for Humanity
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Two paths to online privacy

Eric Schmidt, the Google executive chairman, tells us we must fight for our privacy. This is like Monsanto warning us about the dangers of genetically-engineered food.

There are two paths to online privacy. Path One: Do not participate, in any way shape or form, ever. Good luck with that. I know exactly one person who has taken Path One.

I am here to tell you about Path Two

Path Two was discovered by people much younger than me. It involves populating the social networks’ databases with fake data. It took me a while to warm up to it.

At first I didn’t understand it. It felt childish and disingenuous. Why would anyone want to disguise their gender or home town? Don’t my friends already know my gender and where I live? Why would I post a fake phone number? Don’t my friends already know my real number?

Yes, yes, and yes! That’s exactly the point. My friends already know all they need to know about me. Why do I also have to give it to Facebook? I don’t. I can take Path Two.

If you go to my Facebook profile, you will see that I like cycling, Coors Light, Diet Pepsi, and sailing. You will also see that I was recently at the Playboy Mansion, by the Great Beds Lighthouse, and at the Cannes Film Festival. My friends will know what’s real and what’s fake. I wonder if Eric Schmidt can figure it out.

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A different kind of tandem bike

I found this image of a man and a woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle on the website “vintage everyday: Bikes, bicycles, pushbikes”. According to the caption, the photograph was taken circa 1930 by Sam Hood.

I can’t imagine what kind of coordination it requires to ride this bike.

Man and woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle, c. 1930s, by Sam Hood
Man and woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle, c. 1930s, by Sam Hood
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My cycling track on Google Maps

With spring finally here and my new Android phone in my backpack, I went out for a Saturday bike ride. And because I am a GIS geek, I had to map my ride.

The most impressive thing about this map is how easy it was to create. I used my Google Nexus 4 phone, Google’s My Tracks app, and my Google account. I didn’t need any of my GIS skills. Push button, make a map.


View Office To Johnson Park And Back in a larger map

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The Cyclenox

If you are unfamiliar with Cyclenox (new website coming soon is live), it is because I just invented it an hour ago.

Cyclenox is a New Brunswick/Highland Park cycling meetup event happening twice a year, loosely coinciding with the vernal and the autumnal equinox (hence Cyclenox, get it?). The idea is to meet fellow cycling enthusiasts from our area and perhaps go for a ride together.

The Vernal Cyclenox 2013 will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 23, 2013, by the new pond in Johnson Park in Highland Park, New Jersey. Ideas and suggestions for the event are welcome, either in the comments below (preferable), or by email to atanas@entchev.com.

I look forward to the event — seeing old friends, and making new ones. I have created a public Facebook Cyclenox event — please add yourself if you are planing to attend.

Vernal Cyclenox 2013 Highland Park New Jersey
Vernal Cyclenox 2013 Highland Park New Jersey

Follow me on Twitter @atanas

 

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“Dumb as an Orcutt”

Everyone knows that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get elected to public office, but Washington state Rep. Ed Orcutt (R–Kalama), a ranking member of the State Transportation Committee, takes the qualification requirements to a new low.

In an email to a bicycle shop owner Mr. Orcutt argues that bicycling is bad for the environment and says bike riders should have to pay a tax to help maintain the state’s roads. He rationalizes his position thusly:

“[...] a cyclists [sic] has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”

Below is a facsimile of Mr. Orcutt’s email:

Ed Orcutt bike tax email
Ed Orcutt bike tax email

Follow me on Twitter @atanas

 

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