Archive for June, 2011

What’s in your flat kit?

June 22, 2011

This weekend I had a chance to get some credit toward that cycling merit badge I never earned. While running some errands, I crossed paths with a newbie cyclist. He was having a ball except for that whole got a flat and have no means of fixing it part.

Luckily the stars were aligned in his favor. We had a similar tire size so I was able to get him rolling in just a few minutes with a quick how-to lesson thrown in for good measure.

He was so intrigued with my flat kit I thought it might be worth sharing if any of you out there are still pressing your flat tire luck every time you go for a pedal.

Here’s a rundown of what I carry.

  • Tire Lever
  • 2 Tubes- Presta 700 x23 Long Valve (can stretch to fit 700 x 35)
  • CO2 Cartridges (only for emergency use)
  • Mini pump
  • Multi-tool (all the major Allen key sizes plus flat and Phillips head screwdrivers)
  • Glueless patch kit (just in case)

All of this goes neatly into a random bag found in a random bargain bin for under a buck a few years ago. Loaded up it’s about the size and heft of a flattened burrito.  I prefer a set up like this over a traditional seat bag because one kit can work for several bikes. There’s no need to switch anything around.  Just drop it in your bag and go. An added bonus is that it’s just small enough to slide into a jersey pocket when I go ride with the spandex crew though I have to steel myself for the inevitable “overnight bag” jokes.

If you’re in the process of setting up a repair kit, consider your bike and just how prepared you like to be.  If I ever break a chain, I’ll be the one standing on the side of the road.

take action CA cyclists!!

June 17, 2011

Senate Bill 910, cosponsored by the amazing people at the California Bicycle Coalition and the City of Los Angeles, would require motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing from behind under most circumstances.

The California Senate approved SB 910 on June 1. On Monday, June 27, the bill will be up for a vote by the Assembly Transportation Committee. We need bicyclists like you to contact Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, the chair of the committee, by phone, email or fax to let her know why this bill is so important to the safety of all bicyclists on the road!

A file documenting all messages of support for SB 910 accompanies the bill as it moves through the legislative process. This information is read by legislators and their staff and helps make the case for the bill. Your voice definitely counts! The deadline for calling or sending a message is 5 PM Tuesday, June 21.

You can express your support for SB 910 by phone or by email or fax:

By phone

Call the Assembly Transportation Committee office at (916) 319-2093 with this message:

“My name is _________ and I’m from _________ and I’m calling to express my support for Senate Bill 910, which will be heard by the committee on June 27. SB 910 would help create safer road conditions for bicyclists in our area and help prevent the leading cause of bicyclist fatalities in California.”

Please make this call by 5 PM next Tuesday.

By email or fax

Copy and paste the sample letter below into an email message or onto your own letterhead, add your name and location, and email it to or fax it to (916) 319-2154 by 5 PM next Tuesday. Please also send a copy to the SB 910 author, Sen. Alan Lowenthal (no relation to Bonnie), at or (916) 327-9113.

IMPORTANT! If you or a family member have been involved in a collision or fall in California because a motor vehicle passed too close, briefly summarize the facts in your letter. The information is essential for showing why this law is needed.

I hope we can count on your support. Please contact California Bicycle Coalition’s Communications Director Jim Brown at or (916) 446-7558 if you have questions or need more information.




June 16, 2011
Hon. Bonnie Lowenthal
Chair, Assembly Transportation Committee
State Capitol, Room 3152
Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax:  916-319-2154

Re: SB 910 (Lowenthal) – SUPPORT

Dear Assemblymember Lowenthal,

I’m a bicyclist and I’m writing to express my support for Senate Bill 910, which will be heard by the Assembly Transportation Committee on June 27.

Bicyclists too often face dangerous conditions on California’s streets and roads due to motorists passing too closely. When this happens, the slightest error by the motorist or the most minor shift by the bicyclist to avoid trash, broken glass or rough pavement can lead to a collision. This type of collision is the leading cause of adult bicyclist fatalities in California and the U.S.

By requiring motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing, SB 910 can help prevent deadly collisions and make more people feel comfortable about choosing to ride their bikes. The bill modifies existing state law that requires a motorist to maintain an unspecified “safe distance” when passing a bicyclist. The California Driver’s Handbook already recommends three feet of clearance when motorists pass bicyclists. Eighteen other states have enacted similar laws.

A specified passing distance provides a more objective and easily understood definition for “safe passing” and gives law enforcement and the courts a more objective basis for enforcing California’s safe passing requirement. Most importantly, it expresses a motorist’s special responsibility to share the road safely with more vulnerable road users like bicyclists.

I hope I can count on your support for SB 910.




CC: Sen. Alan Lowenthal

matt’s in LOVE!

June 13, 2011

with his new SyCip internal 11 belt drive, with basket!

swrve knicks visit Louvre

June 12, 2011



c’est si bon, wish we could spend the summer in Paris again!