Tag Archives: bicycles

Celebrities on bikes

Evel Knievel with bicycle in Fort LauderdaleWhile searching for bicycle in Fort Lauderdale, Google turned up an odd search result: a photo of Evel Knievel in his caped suit, standing with his bicycle in front of his Fort Lauderdale house. (Who knew?) Was he preparing for a ride to the grocery store? Or a training ride on highway A1A? This picture is part of an entertaining article in Cozy Beehive from 2008 titled Celebrities Who Ride Their Bicycles. It features photos of everyone from Albert Einstein to Frank Zappa with their bikes.

I guess that cycling is chic. Here are more photos:

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Recyclable Bicycle Exchange

I believe in recycling. So does Jeff Torkelson, who’s a generous Fort Lauderdale cyclist who additionally believes in giving to his community — and he has acted on his beliefs. Jeff created the Recyclable Bicycle Exchange (“RBX”) in Fort Lauderdale to convert unwanted and/or unneeded bicycles into dreams come true for kids who otherwise couldn’t own bikes.

Recyclable Bicycle Exchange and Jeff TorkelsonI first met Jeff in 2013 when he came to the Marino Campus to introduce the students to the Broward B-cycle bicycle sharing system. Jeff is its founder and manager. He gave away free bike helmets; I still use mine almost every day.

Our local newspaper, The Sun Sentinel, published in December an article titled Bike exchange turns trash into treasures about Jeff and RBX. It explains,

He decided he wanted to give back to the community after his father died of cancer five years ago. The idea for the exchange came about when Torkelson started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County.

“Here were children living lives where it was considered ordinary not to have a bike,” said Torkelson, 47. “I always thought every kid had a bike, that it was part of growing up.”

Future RBX mechanicOn the RBX website, Jeff defines the RBX mission:

To supply quality and safe bikes to the kids (big kids too) of South Florida, including the kids of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County (BBBS), as a means of introducing an entertaining activity that promotes an active lifestyle.

The Recyclable Bicycle Exchange Facebook page contains RBX news and reviews . . . and big smiles on little cyclists.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Lightweight oil source

I have a number of small motors whose bearings need occasional lubrication. Paper shredders, impact printers, and tape libraries contain mechanisms that require lubrication with a light oil. Hunter original ceiling fans, assorted locks, hinges, and small electric motors require SAE 10W straight weight, non-detergent oil. Good luck finding it locally! Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears stores have driven out the small hardware stores that used to carry this stuff.

The popular “3-In-One” brand oil in tbe red, black, and white squeeze can is about 20W, but it contains detergent, which is bad news in most applications in which you can’t flush, filter, or drain the old oil with the dirt particles held in suspension. Those particles will abrade bearing surfaces in simple machines.

squeeze oil bottleI found exactly what I needed on Amazon. It’s La-Co 4 ounce Zoom spout oiler 79704G. It contains four ounces of pure 10W non-detergent oil. It’s packaged in an easy to use squeeze bottle with a tiny extendable tube for precise application. Cost is about $4.00. It’s sold by Pandora’s OEM Appliance Parts. It was delivered to my door within a couple days of my order.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

A cure for muscle cramps

I’ve always been bothered by painful muscle cramps in my legs after strenuous exercise. They wake me at night after a hard day of hiking, biking, or swimming. Occasionally they’ll occur during a long hard bike ride or a hard swim workout. For decades I thought that I’d just have to tolerate the pain. Yes, some cyclists fill their water bottles with Gatorade, but it’s loaded with sugar. I thought that it was a useless gimmick. I’ve tried gorging on bananas to replace lost potassium, with no apparent effect.

gu-brewDave at Lauderdale Cyclery suggested that I try drinking a solution of Gu Brew and water (one tablet per water bottle) while cycling. I was skeptical, but was pleased to find that It actually works! No more cramps at night, and only occasional minimal hints of cramps when after a flip-turn, I push off the pool wall.

I drink this solution when swimming, cycling . . . any form of exercise. I wish that I’d discovered it earlier. The tablets are available in a variety of flavors. I don’t have a favorite flavor; I like them all.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Pushing the limits of road bikes

These guys perform tricks that look impossible . . . on a road bike. Fantastic riding from England. The 6-minute video is beautifully photographed and edited.

Youtube videos: Road Bike Party 2. All tricks were performed on one bike: The Making Of Martyn Ashton’s Colnago C59 Disc. Postscript: Martyn broke his back last September when he fell ten feet during a demo. His legs remain paralyzed. His mates helped him finish the video.

Feds shut down ten counterfeit bicycle gear websites

I found this opening paragraph in a May 8 claimsjournal.com article titled Houston HSI Seizes 10 Domain Names Selling Counterfeit Cycling Products:

Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Friday seized 10 Internet domain names that were illegally selling counterfeit cycling equipment and apparel globally. The 10 seized domain names are a continuation of “Operation In Our Sites” (IOS), an HSI sustained law enforcement initiative that began in 2010. These seized domain names are now in the custody of the U.S. government. Visitors typing those domain names into their web browsers will now find a banner that notifies them of the seizure and educates them about the federal crime of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

The sites were apparently selling high-end carbon-fiber bicycle frames, apparel, and shoes. The counterfeit goods had Specialized, COOLMAX®, LYCRA®, SRAM, Cervelo, and Pinarello brand names.

Click to view CyclingYong.com as of Feb 8, 2012 (Courtesy of WayBack Machine)
The affected websites:

  1. Ecyclingonline.com
  2. Ecyclingjerseys.com
  3. Bike-jersey.com
  4. Teamscycling.com
  5. Samewood.com
  6. Cycling-jersey.net
  7. Cyclingyong.com
  8. Yongcycling.com
  9. bikejersey.com
  10. Cycleoutfit.com

The sites looked legit. You can use the WayBack Machine to view them as they appeared before they were shut down.

If a counterfeit product fails, the manufacturer probably won’t replace or repair it. Manufacturers protect themselves by assigning serial numbers to frames. Not so with most apparel or shoes.

My concerns are:

  • Bike stuff is vulnerable to counterfeiting because it’s easy to manufacture (if you’ve invested in molds, presses, and paint equipment, or industrial sewing machines) and margins are high. I’ve been told that today’s molded carbon-fiber frames are manufactured in automated presses. One can buy an unbranded carbon-fiber China-made frame for about $700; the genuine article from a brand name manufacturer retails for $3000. So an unscrupulous seller could stick a respected name label on an unbranded frame, sell it for $2000, and make at least $1000 profit.
  • What happened to trial by jury? The Feds were able to seize the domain names because ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is based in the U.S. They’re trying to seize the websites’ PayPal accounts, as well. I don’t know if these actions have been tested in the courts.
  • Most larger American and European bicycle manufacturers have offshored manufacturing to Asia, so to some degree they’ve lost control of their quality and distribution, which helps counterfeiters.

An Australian article about carbon-fiber bike frame branding: Are all carbon bikes created equal?

Carbon-fiber parts — even name brand ones — can fail catastrophically: bustedcarbon.com

In May 2010 I wrote an article about counterfeit computer network equipment.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

Bicycle Maintenance 101

Bicycle Cassette teethI’ve ridden bicycles for decades and thought that I understood their maintenance. One procedure that I have trouble with is derailleur adjustment, so when my Trek 7900 hybrid bike’s rear derailleur stopped shifting smoothly, I took it to Miguel Escobar, the chief mechanic at a Fort Lauderdale bike shop.

I expected that Miguel would carefully adjust my bike’s rear derailleur. Instead, after noticing that both up- and down- shifts were erratic, Miguel began carefully cleaning my bike’s freewheel, followed by cleaning and lubricating the chain.

I thought that clean freewheels and chains looked nice, but aside from reducing friction, I wasn’t aware that they affected gear shifting. I was wrong. Miguel pointed out that dirt and oil form a sticky paste that glues the chain to each cog on the freewheel, so the chain doesn’t obediently follow the rider’s shift commands.

He’s right. After the freewheel cog cleaning, the bike shifts gears smoothly. I still have lessons to learn, even on relatively simple devices.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695