ABC at the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair

On Saturday, 10/20/18, the Albany Bicycle Coalition returned to the Energy Fair to promote bicycling and the environmental advantages of bicycles. The Fair ran from 10 AM – 4 PM at Doane Stuart in Rensselaer and featured “alternative energy” vendors, healthy food vendors, multiple presentations, and advocacy groups.

The ABC staff – representing many years of riding experience in the Catskills, Hudson Valley, the Erie Canalway Trail, NYC, Washington, and all over the Capital Region as well as many years advocating for bicycle interests with organizations, elected officials, and governmental agencies – were able to welcome guests to our display with knowledge, encouragement, and advice. The ABC booth featured the interactive BikeAlbanyMap projected on a large format monitor, a large map of the proposed Albany-Hudson Electric Trail map, “See and Be Seen” literature, and an array of handouts on the Coalition, Parks & Trails New York, and the Erie Canalway Trail.

As one might expect, we were warmly received by the Fair organizers, other exhibitors, and – most importantly – by those who stopped at or passed by our booth.

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Filed under Activisim, Events, Support the Cause

Budget Light Mount for Auxiliary Safety Light(s)

You cannot have too many lights. Here is a low-cost way to mount (one or more) “Knog-style” blinky lights on the front or rear of your bicycle.

CAUTION – The “Knog-style” blinky lights should not be your primary nighttime lights – front or rear. They are appropriate for supplemental visibility lighting or as “day-time running lights.”

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 Here is what you will need:

  • M5 bolt (any head style will do – these instructions use a hex-drive head)
  • One flat and one locking washer to fit M5 bolt/screw
  • 4mm hex wrench (or other depending on the bolt’s head style)
  • Electric drill with bits
  • Hack saw (or similar)
  • File and/or 80-grit sandpaper
  • Ruler
  • Thread locker (optional)
  • Knog-style lights (red for rear, white for front)
  • 1-inch diameter RX/pill bottle – hopefully in a color that suits that of your bicycle (discard the cap)

Here are the steps:

  • Mark and cut the pill bottle to 1.5 inch in length
  • Smooth the cut edge with file and/or sandpaper
  • Mark the center of the bottle’s bottom
  • Drill a small pilot hole in the center
  • Enlarge the hole for a snug fit for the M5 bolt
  • Thread the bolt through the bottle’s bottom
  • Place the washers on the bolt so they are between the bottle and the bicycle frame
  • Place a drop of thread locker on the bolt or braze-on threads
  • Mount the bottle to a convenient braze-on or to a fender or rack mount – any place that will accept a M5 bolt.
  • Install the appropriate “Knog-style” blinky light and adjust so that it is visible from the rear (or front)

 

If this is too stressful, you can always shell out $22.00 – 24.00 for a Paul Gino light mount – another top quality product from Paul Component Engineering.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While you are at it, replace the batteries in all your non-chargeable lights and then adjust them to they are also visible. A light with weak batteries or low charge that points down or to the side or is obstructed by straps or folds in pack-mounted bags or your riding gear is next to worthless.

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Filed under Bike Tech, Lighting, Product Review, safety

Demo – One Up Bicycle Rack

At the September 2018 Albany Bicycle Coalition meeting we were pleased to have a complete installation and use demo of the One Up bicycle carrier by renowned cyclist David. See https://www.1up-usa.com/. This made-in-USA carrier is trailer hitch mounted and can carry bicycles weighing as much as 75 lbs. (Think e-bike.) The carrier – with loaded bicycle – tips to allow trunk access, can have as many as three additional “add on” racks, and is made of cast and stamped aluminum (to reduce weight and eliminate corrosion).

This rack is most impressive for it ingenious design and impeccable execution.

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Filed under Bike Tech, Feature

South End Ride-Walk Honoring Qazir Sutherland

This 3rd annual community event was held on Saturday, September 29 at the Ezra Prentice Homes on. Pearl St. This is one of the least safe streets in the City of Albany with a constant stream of high-speed cars and heavy trucks.

See Channel 10 Video here

There were opening remarks followed by a walk with about 25 participants and some Albany Police Department e-bicycle-mounted escorts along S. Pearl St. to the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail. Other activities included DJ Supreme, fresh fruits, healthy living tips, a Y-infor table, and a Capital District Transportation Committee safety and trails exhibit. Walk partners included Qazir Sutherland’s Family, A Village, Capital District YMCA, Albany Housing Authority, the City of Albany, Albany County Department of Health, Albany Police Department, and Capital Roots with media support from the Albany Bicycle Coalition.

What better way to relax after a morning of community organizing than a cinnamon bun and coffee at the 3 Fish Café?

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Filed under Activism, City Review, South End Bike Link

2018 Daily Grind Ride

A report on the 2018 Daily Grind Ride by Hugh.

“We decided to “grind it out” it out on Saturday August 18th from one Daily Grind to another.” 

     by Hugh Johnson

On August 11th it was looking as if “Mother Nature” was going to cooperate and allow for a an Albany Biking Coalition (ABC) ride from the “Daily Grind” in Albany to the one in Troy along the bike path.

Well, at the last minute, rain developed forcing the ride to be cancelled even though some rode through the rain for Daily Grind Ride -18 Part “A.”

DG Pre-Ride 8-11-18

The “A Team”

A week later, the same dilemma unfolded. This time the weather trends went from better to worse, but by Saturday morning, there was hope that we could squeeze the ride despite some gloomy forecasts.

I, being a retired NWS forecaster, put my thinking cap on and looked at lots of data. It looked to me besides a few rogue showers, we might be able to squeeze the ride in. After much discussion, we decided NOT to cancel the ride.

Most of the group, consisting of 11 bikers, met at the Daily Grind on Lark Street in Albany. However, two met with the remainder of the group at the Albany Riverfront Park boat launch. As the group left the Daily Grind, a new line of showers associated with the actual cold front blossomed to our northwest and strengthened. Luckily, the folks who rode from the Grind got down to shelter under I-787 before the big dump.

Unfortunately, there was some small faux pas, as Glenn had to swerve to avoid a biker on the wrong side of the road, taking action only to find his back tire caught in a crack. As a result, the law of physics took over. The wheel stopped the forward momentum of the bike but not the rider. As a result, Glenn took off from the seat and landed onto the road. Fortunately he was probably going less than 10 mph so while a “perfect storm” of events leading up to the minor accident, it could have been worse. He had wrapped his knee up in a Band-Aid as it was scrapped, but luckily not significantly injured. He showed up a few minutes behind the rest of the group.

It took some convincing, but I persuaded all the folks to remain under the bridge. It took some time for the really heavy rainfall to arrive but when it did, I think everyone was glad to be hunkered underneath the 787 bridge as the rain came slashing. We remained anchored for the better part of an hour until the rains finally let up. Our forecast dilemma was not over. There was yet another batch of showers trying to work toward us in the Schoharie Valley. However, I noticed our wind had shifted to the north and there was a distinct cooling compared to the earlier stifling feel to the day. I surmised the cold front had gone through and the next batch of showers would likely remain south of us.

We started, still with some light rain, and MANY puddles on the bike trail. Slowly we ambled, well maybe NOT so slowly. We got to the Rt. 378/High St. Bridge where we had to climb one of our few hills, the curvy extension from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail to the bridge. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was still water flowing down the incline, but it was no problem getting up to the bridge. After that, we stayed on the left side of the bridge and ended up over another bridge overlooking the Wynantskill which was roaring quite a bit due to the rains (see picture).

Wyantskill 8-18-18

The Power of Troy

We regrouped, and then zig zagged our way across the still developing “Uncle Sam Trail” through the riverfront of Troy. At a brief stop, Pam talked about the Burden Iron Museum (second photo below). We did leave the trail, climbing one short but very steep hill that put us on 3rd Street and to our destination, the Daily Grind Café in Troy.

Burden Iron 8-18-18

Burden Iron Co.

We got in and had a nice brunch/lunch for half price. The staff was very friendly and the food delicious. We hung awhile with chatting away. I checked the radar again and alas, it looked as if the second batch of rain was JUST going to miss us!

We headed back to a slowly clearing sky and a refreshingly drier air mass. As a little perk, we even had a tail wind back to Albany (a north wind). The trip back saw a much drier surface, with just a few remaining standing puddles. As usual, the riders split up a little as some had to get somewhere with a deadline. Some were tired and needed to rest more. By the time we pulled into the riverfront, the sun was brightly shining leaving only a small evidence of the earlier deluge. The ride was a little over 20 miles.

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I seem to have this curse about me, the “Hughie curse.” With few exceptions, weather almost always tried to get in the way when I participate in these “organized” events. The same issue happened when I lead a Pine Bush Hike in both May and June. The May hike was washed out but we snuck the June one before it rained. Today was no exception but we won out over Mother Nature!

Our riders were Barb, Oliver, Brent (ride leader), Hugh, Glenn (road warrior), Pam (co-leader), Dana, Mark, Ed, Dick, and Lorenz.

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Filed under Local Bike Rides, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Troy Cycling, Uncle Sam Trail