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Bike Shaped Objects

Central Baghdad flooded by women on bicycles following social media campaign | Al Bawaba

The power of the bicycle

Young Iraqis have organized a mixed-gender cycling event in the middle of Baghdad, after a photo of a young woman on a bike went viral last week.

Marina Rada had posted the picture, taken by photographer Ayman al-Amiri, on her Facebook page last Sunday, accompanied with the caption: “I am society”. The image captured Iraqi imaginations and has become a symbol of the need for greater flexibility with regard to gender norms in the country.

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Sad dog bike on eBay

This sad dog needs a new forever home.

sad dog bikeBikes like this remind me of a sad dog in a shelter begging for a new owner. They’re raggedy and rusty but are all there and with a little love could be made to be wonderful again.

This old bike fixed up would not only be a cool ride but riding it will build up your legs faster than any stairmaster.

And the price? 9.99 for the opening bid and $30 for the buy-it-now. If it wasn’t 32 states away I’d be all over this.

Look at this on eBay

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North Star Route 41 – MnDOT

Route 41 mapMinnesota’s newest bicycle route 41

MnDOT learned while developing its Statewide Bicycle System Plan (PDF) that the public prioritized creating a few key bicycle routes across Minnesota. One of those priority routes was to connect the Twin Cities to Duluth and Lake Superior. In 2016, MnDOT sought public input to plan the route. The route is now designated as U.S. Bicycle Route 41, the North Star Route, which connects Minnesota’s State Capitol to Canada.

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USA Cycling Pro Road Tour 2017

The good and bad of next year’s Pro Road Tour

Pro Road TourThe best news about next year’s Pro Road Tour is that most of my complaints about this year’s tour were addressed. Of course I doubt that my voice had any sway but it shows that I wasn’t alone in mindset.

What they have done is eliminate overlapping events which makes it either for teams and especially easier for us fans to follow what’s going on. It’s much more likely that all the teams and riders I watch will be at each event. That’s a good thing.

The series is also moving some dates to cut down on travel costs for the teams. That’s also a good thing. These are not the bank bank-rolled World Tour Teams. I doubt that any rider is buying a Bently with their continental team salary.

Speaking of World Tour Teams, I got another rough lesson in the oddities and castes of UCI bike racing. I was so excited when the Tour of California was bumped up to the World Tour. What I didn’t know though, that now all my favorite teams are excluded from the event. That is not good.

All is not lost though. I’m sure that the Tour of California will still be a great race and it’s great that the women’s event is getting its own days. For the American continental teams I’ll just move my focus forward a few days to the Redland CA Classic.

Ah well, you can’t have everything. As Steven Wright says, “Where would you put it?”

So what does all this mean for you my faithful followers. I’m finalizing my plans for covering 2017 bike racing that doesn’t get followed by most media. I’m planning on starting with the Pro Road Tour and expanding to other series if time  and interest allow.

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Grown-up bike on eBay

What you used to ride when you were a grown-up.

grown-up bikeWhen I was a kid this was my idea of a grown-up bike. I swore I would never own such a bike. I never did, but the wisdom of aging has perhaps shown me my foolishness.

Seriously, I thought, why would anyone need three speeds? My bike only had one and I got around fine. On the other hand, if you were a racer, you had ten speeds. What good was it to have just three?

The other problem was abusability. That spindly thing would never make it through the path in the woods. One jump off the little cliff and those thin little wheels would be toast. Hell, just try doing a wheelie on that thing.

These are the things that were important to me when I was young. However, like my promise to myself never to own a four-door car, tastes change. Now I look at this bike and think that it would be great for a nice leisurely ride in the park.

Oh my God! I’ve become a grown-up.

Like most old bikes this Indian won’t keep up performance-wise with modern bikes but would be way cooler to ride. Any sense of hurry would quickly melt and after a couple miles you would be in dog getting its belly scratched happiness mode.

Before that ride though there is work to be done. The pictures show bits of corrosion throughout. I would have to do a complete tear-down, clean, lube and rebuild before I would trust it on a ride. But really, that’s half the fun owning a bike like this.

Unfortunately I will never own this bike. While it’s opening bid of $99 is more than fair, its location in Duluth and the cost of shipping from there puts it out of my range.

Look at this on eBay

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