Category Archives: Comings and Goings

Albany Tweed Ride Returns on April 27

TweedIt’s time for Albany’s third Tweed Ride – Sunday, April 27, 10:00 AM.

Don’t have any tweed? Don’t worry: just dress in your Sunday best and leave the spandex & Day-Glo at home. Meet at The Cheese Traveler, 540 Delaware Ave., 10:00 AM where there will be breakfast specials. We will depart around 10:30 AM. There will be ride marshals to help through intersections and to keep us together. This is a casual ride and is neither fast nor competitive. No one will be left behind.

There will be a group photo shoot in Washington Park after which we will end at Olde English Pub & Pantry at 683 Broadway for brunch. Riders get 10 percent off their orders. Previous Tweed Rides were a lot of (very civilized) fun with friendly people. If you are looking forward to getting back on your bike this spring, and meet some other cycle-friendly people, this could be a good opportunity.

Eric tweed

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Commute by Bicycle – Book Review

The Bicycle Commuter’s Handbook* by Robert Hurst would make thoughtful gift for someone contemplating commuting by bicycle. This pocket/purse size book packs a lot of useful information into its 97 pages. However, an urban rider with 5-8 years of experience would enjoy this book as an entertaining refresher with some perhaps new ideas.

The included sections are “Equipment and Clothing,” “Preparation,” “The Ride,” “At Work,” and “Routine Maintenance.”

“Preparation” has some good thoughts on route planning based on different skills and riding preferences. Among tips that would be evident to an experienced rider but valuable to a newcomer is the observation that the most important ingredient for a bicycle friendly street is the attitude of the people who use it. Street features the author recommends avoiding include high traffic speeds, on-street parking, time-sapping traffic signals, oblivious pedestrians, interstate entrance/exit ramps, high schools(!), damaged road surfaces, and bad attitude or “street vibe.”Bicycle Commuter's Handbook 2013

Again for the prospective commuter, “The Ride” section has a number of tips to avoid trouble – better to read about them and be prepared rather than to discover that, for example, longitudinal cracks can get you in trouble.

One not so obvious observation in the “At Work” section is the attitude about cycling and cyclists commonly held by one’s non-cycling co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. While the experienced cyclist already will have experienced this phenomenon, it might be “news” to the budding commuter the first time she clumps into the office in helmet with a messenger bag. The author notes that the USA never had a bicycle commuter culture, so forewarned is forearmed.

One helpful section covers diagnosing (and correcting) bicycle fit issues by the nature of the pain experienced. This and other straightforward bicycle fit tips are a break from what one might have read in articles that are more “technical.”

Overall, this is a nice little book – well written and well organized.

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*Hurst, Robert, The Bicycle Commuter’s Handbook, (Guilford, CT), 2013, ISBN 978-0-7627-8468-4, US$12.95.

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MeetUp Ride to Troy and Back 10-19-13

On a splendid fall day, we met up at the boat launch for a leisurely ride to Troy to visit the farmers’ market. Riders Keith (MeetUp coordinator), John (“Mr. Erie Canal”), and Lorenz were joined by two riders from Connecticut. We invited Ally and Pat (see photo #1) to join us – which they did.
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Walkers, riders, joggers, and cyclists pleasantly filled the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail giving us plenty of opportunities to say “hello” or “good morning.” We took to the streets in Watervaliet (and then braved the supper-highway Rt. 2 Bridge to Troy – a four-lane bridge connecting two-lane streets in Troy and Watervaliet – NYSDOT at its best and all for only $12.3 million.)

In Troy, we enjoyed the happy shoppers and strollers, chocolate croissants, coffee, and lasagna. (See also photo #2 – buying bread.) ??????????????????????????????? After a lengthy chat with our new friends from Connecticut – who were heading off to Waterford to the study the “Waterford Flight” of canal locks – we headed off to our various destinations.

Aren’t you sorry you missed the ride? Sign up for info on more rides at Capital Cyclists MeetUp Group

. . . and for those who “read the paper on the web” — Wear Your Helmet TU 10-19-13 001

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1st Friday Gallery Spin – Live in Albany!

With renewed effort by the Capital Cyclist Meetup Group coordinator and the new 1st Friday director, several riders enjoyed a balmy fall ride through the welcoming streets to tour the art sites.

Per custom, we met at the 1912 Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Washington Park and then headed out for the ride’s traditional start at the Upstate Artists Guild for the Grey (or “Gray”) show. The always-elegant ladies of UAG greeted us warmly as the gallery filled with other art aficionados. After being joined by another rider and some chitchat on the crowded sidewalk, it was off to the College of St. Rose student gallery on State St. to view some excellent studio work. With wonderfully pleasant evening weather wise for riding, we took a cruise through Center Square and Washington Park over Lake Ave. to the Opalka Gallery at Sage College. The show – a knock off on the 1913 New York City Armory Show is not to be missed. Local artists Ken Ragsdale has outdone himself – better check it out. Another rider joined us here for the best hors d’oeuvres in Albany and packed gallery.
GS 10-4-13 COMP

A new venue, Overit (web design and development), in the former St. Teresa of Avila Church down the street on New Scotland Ave. featured “art by musicians” – showing clearly the multiple talents of our local performers/artists. (As a side note, Overit has done a wonderful conversion of a 1920s ecclesiastical building into an open space work area. In the redesign, they incorporated many of the remnants of the church into walls, worktables, and desks – all very tasteful and, one might guess, comforting to the former parishioners. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for the out-of-place, garish “Allstate Insurance” sign plastered on the front of the former rectory – YIKES!)

At this point, two riders headed off to meet another at Franklin Towers with the remainder going to Crisan pâtisserie for some “edible art” (their tag line). We enjoyed pastry, gelato, and late evening coffees in this bright and cheery Albany venue. If you have not been to Crisan, you have not lived a full life. It will be one of the cornerstone destinations when the City of Albany converts Lark St. into a pedestrian walkway/mall a la Burlington or any other advanced city. Can’t wait!

While in Crisan, we waited out a brief, cleansing rain shower by solving many cycling issues (electric bicycles, crazy drivers/riders, road design, going to Europe, traffic safety, etc.), planning Bicycle Expo 2014, and enjoying good company.

As a closing note, one of our first-time riders used a combination of his neat-o touring bicycle and CDTA’s bicycle buses to join us from Cliflton Park. It is riders like this who will help Albany become a truly bicycle friendly community.

The next 1st Friday will be on November 1, 6-9 PM with many post-event entertainment, socializing, and dinning opportunities. Why not “get off that couch,” grab your lights and helmet, and join in? Even if you are not a big art fan, this is a great way to enjoy the city and its opportunities for riding as well as being with some nice people (with our without bicycles).GS 10-14-13 COMP

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Hudson Valley Ramble Bicycle Tour – Sun, Sept 15

To: All Who Love to Bicycle, Explore, Discover, and Socialize:

Alb Visitors Center 9-13
Join us for a Hudson Valley Ramble Bicycle Tour this Sunday September 15, 2013. We will meet at 10:00 – 10:30 at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, 25 Quackenbush Sq., corner of Clinton and Broadway in downtown Albany for an 11:00 am start.

This ride will be 25 miles, a casual pace with a couple of short climbs, on roads with medium traffic and short sections of unpaved bike paths. We will visit the sites and cities that were part of the great American Industrial Revolution of the late 1800′s.

Sights and sounds that we will experience include the original Erie Canal, the Great Falls at Cohoes, the Waterford Harbor, and countless “Industrial Revolution” era buildings that were used for factories, workplaces, entertainment, and homes in downtown Albany, Cohoes, Waterford, and Troy.

Bring your camera with your mandatory helmet along with an extra tube for your bike in case of a flat. This is a self-supported ride so be prepared!

Cost is $10. Snacks, fruit, and water provided at the start.

We will stop for lunch near the halfway point so bring a little cash ($10- $15.) This new deli has great soups, sandwiches, baked goods, and picnic tables with a spectacular view.

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