Rock The Bike: BLOG

Just Picked Up some Waterproof Speakers for some Winter Cruiser Rides…

Nov 12, 2008Posted by

Although we’re fortunate to not have nearly as much wet weather here in Hermosa Beach,CA as other parts of the country, that doesn’t mean you won’t get caught in a downpour on a cruiser ride.

Granted, no one melts in the rain. However rain as I’m sure you are probably well aware, isn’t the best thing in the world for a bicycle stereo system to be exposed to, and can easily ruin one.

What’s more even though it doesn’t rain as much in So Cal as in other parts of the country, you can get some pretty foggy nights on a fairly regular basis here near the beach. As we head into this time of year it’s not uncommon to come back with damp dripping speakers whether it’s raining or not.

With those factors in mind I set forth to find me some waterproof speakers and I ran across these by Pyramid…

http://www.shop.com/31697375-p.shtml

I actually picked these up (Pyramid 5071WP 2-way Waterproof Speaker System) from Amazon for about the same price…I think Etronics was the seller on Amazon that I bought them from.

I was a little skeptical at first about them. I couldn’t find one third party review about these speakers anywhere on Amazon. However, my buddy Julio, who also has them on his bicycle stereo system swears by them.

So i picked them up and hooked them up to my soul cycle head unit. They sound awesome! I just connect them to the stoker bar on the back of my xtracycle, although they are small enough that you could probably bungee them onto a rack on any bike. The lows and the highs come out really clean, and I can turn up the volume much louder than my last pair without much distortion.

And of course the added benefit that they are waterproof makes them one less thing to worry about while on a cruiser ride.

Of course the soul cycle head unit and my ipod cost considerably more than the speakers. Both of those items are definitely not waterproof, but I’ve found that placing a couple plastic see through bread bags over the head unit and ipod keeps them dry. Heck use a third bag if you are concerned.

Curious what other people’s strategies are for cruisin’ in the rain with a stereo system. Obviously it’s not something most of us plan to do. But undoubtedly at some point you could get caught in the rain.

Southbay Cruisers: The Roller Derby Ride III Recap…

Nov 12, 2008Posted by

The evening of November 1st, 2008 started off with a threat of rain, but our spirits weren’t dampened as it turned out to be another great Roller Derby Ride! The weather turned out to be just perfect. We met at Hermosa Pier and got things kicked off with some jump roping on Hermosa Pier. With the Super Hero Ride right around the corner, and given that Roller Derby players are pretty much Super Heros in their own right, we headed off to the Toyota Center cruisin’ to our Super Hero mix.

Our route was one of our favorites. Starting off on the Southbay Bike path, we eventually made our way through residential Manhattan Beach, the Manhattan Beach Mall, and then industrial El Segundo. Our favorite part of the ride took us underneath the Douglas Station “Roller Coaster” Tunnel where we had fun racing back and forth a few times before continuing on our journey to watch the Angel’s City Derby Girls compete.

Once there we were treated to another intense roller derby match. We’re still bascially lost on the rules of the game. Let’s see the jammer, she’s the one with the star, scores all the points, and everyone on her opposing team is trying to stop her, right? At any rate it was an intense game with many spills and falls. And we saw our very own Southbay Cruiser Sonia Sanchez help her team, the Block Steady Crew, to victory against the Prison City Derby Dames.

We cruised back to Hermosa after the game and finished the night eating at Rocky Cola Cafe. It was another awesome night of cruising. We look forward to more Roller Derby Rides next year!

For photos of this ride and a look at other upcoming Southbay Cruiser Rides see our website at www.southbaycruisers.com .

Up Next…The Super Hero Ride III: Cruiser Ride/Barbecue/Games/Karaoke on Nov 15th! This will be EPIC!

Welcoming Solano Cyclery, Ken’s Bike & Ski, and The Bicycle Chef to the Rock the Bike

Nov 12, 2008Posted by

Ever since Interbike we’ve been signing up some great new Dealers. Here’s a small profile of a few of them:

The Bicycle Chef, in Sacramento, CA

The Bicycle Chef in Sacramento, CA

With their recent move to a spacious spot on N Street just outside Downtown Sacramento, The Bicycle Chef has redoubled its commitment to supporting commuters and lifestyle cyclists. Manager Whit told me that they actively support sustainability by encouraging customers to keep and repair old bikes. They make a lot of people smile that way. And it only boosts their reputation when people are rolling around town, psyched that they’ve got that good bike feeling again and all they had to buy was a pair of brakes and new tire. And now they’re going to be the Sacramento joint for Mundo test rides. They’ve got the affordable, bright red single-speed Mundo, perfect for flat cities like Sacramento.

 

Ken’s Bike & Ski:

This is the kind of shop you want to buy a bicycle from. Ken’s is huge in size but still owner-operated, and has been in business for decades. I could tell by the questions Ken was asking about the Mundo as he pondered it over, that this shop that supports every sale with superior service over the life of the bike, not just the first year or the 30-day tuneup. In other words, it means something to buy a bike from Ken’s.

I personally prefer not to test ride bikes in a parking lot, and conveniently, Ken’s is located next to a few good residential blocks where you can pedal hard and test the bike out. They’ve also got the bright red single-speed Mundo in stock.

Solano Cyclery:

Solano Cyclery

Located on Solano Ave. in the Berkeley/Albany area, Solano Cyclery was our host for the street party / Xtracycle rally on Solano Stroll. This fellow Xtracycle dealer has a great reputation for quality service and shop spirit. They picked up the Down Low Glow when they heard about its unique Side Visibility safety benefit. Another cool shop that cares about your safety and style. Definitely worth a visit, and they have the Down Low Glow in stock, which is more than I can say for Rock the Bike at the moment.

Stopping by the field on a foggy night.

Nov 12, 2008Posted by

Cool moment, amazing light, had to stop and take a shot of our trusty new 18-Speed Mundo.

Like Where’s Waldo for Halloween Critical Massers

Nov 6, 2008Posted by

Video: LalaVirnana
See if you can spot yourself in this still shot of last Friday’s Halloween Critical Mass passing under a downtown building.
Plus, check out the Down Low Glow in action at 0:55 through 1:30! I had no idea it would be that visible from above. Plus, what the heck are the light up tires you see at 3:39 – 3:50? And check out MonkeyLectric in effect at 4:00 The funny thing about this footage is that I thought I was in the back of the pack, but there was still 4 minutes worth of Critical Mass behind me.

Also, Check out McKenzie’s tunnel footage from last Friday:

My people in London are up to some good stuff.

Oct 31, 2008Posted by

Sam Valiant is a Flickr friend, so when posted this new sound system in progress, i took note. Serious bass potential with this rig. Something tells me I’ll meet Sam some day.

DSCF1477.jpg

Checked Flickr and found we’re not the only ones carrying other bikes on the Mundo.

Oct 31, 2008Posted by

MundoItalvegaTowTruckP1020664.JPG by macpaulster.

Photo: MacPaulster.

Being able to quickly improvise a towing or carrying rig that gets two bikes across town with one rider is one of the Mundo’s unsung features. This is one of those features that you might read, and say to yourself “I’d never do that.” But then you find yourself in a situation where, you know, it would just come in handy. This is a lifesaver on social rides. If you’re the bike person in your group of friends, you can bring an extra bike to the start of a ride. Or, say someone gets a flat on their front tire, but you’re only a mile from home. Might be simpler just to tow that thing than bust out the patch kit.

towing bike and flowers2 by gregraisman.

Above: Greg from Portland tows a bike and flowers.

IMG_2950 by Jeremy Towsey-French.
The Stumptown Mundo crew Mundo towing a mundo for delivery to a customer.

mundo towing xtracycle
Mundo towing Xtracycle, courtesy: Cycle9

Carrying a stumpjumper to the shop to convert to a blender
Not towing, carrying, in this photo. With the Mundo’s steel chassis as stiff as it is, all you have to do is strap the frame of the silver bike to the Mundo in a couple different places using cam straps. Then I used scraps of cardboard as separators to keep the paint job intact.

By the way it’s a 1983 Stumpjumper. I was bringing it to the shop to convert it to a blender, see the finished product here: www.rockthebike.com/node/1618

IMG_2947 by Jeremy Towsey-French.Stumptown Mundo crew towing a townie.

IMG_2951 by Jeremy Towsey-French.
A closeup of the Stumptown Mundo rig. Two bungees and a U-lock, y’all!

Greg from Flickr carrying his recumbent

Greg from Flickr carrying his recumbent

It starts to become an addiction….

Oct 27, 2008Posted by

But how were dinner guests supposed to go riding with us at night?

Trouble in Suburbia……….

Jorge Molina performs LiveOnBike at Green Festival Saturday Night

Oct 25, 2008Posted by

Posted by fossilfool
Time:
11/15/2008 – 19:00


We’re psyched to host a mobile performance by one of the Mission’s favorite songsters. Be there as multi-instrumentalist Jorge Molina performs original music on piano and vocals. He has been playing piano since the age of 5. Known for walking the Mission with a berimbau, he has made a lifelong commitment to exploring and playing music from indigenous people.

His Project Tierra is where you can hear a small taste of his music online, though the live performances that I’ve seen are considerably more rollicking and melodic. Through all his songs, he pays homage to our ancestors, and Mother Earth. “All of our personal activities are due to us being on earth, but sometimes we don’t behave like polite guests.”

What does a LiveOnBike performance feel like? Check out Janaysa performing a cover of “Maybe Not” by Cat Power at this year’s Bicycle Music Festival.

 

Jorge is a beloved Mission District performer show here playing berimbao next to his own likeness in Mona Caron’s new mural.

You may recall that we originally scheduled Jorge’s performance for the Nov. 3rd Festival of Light ride. Rain cancelled that performance, but with support from the Green Festival and the Bike Valet crew we’ll have an even better group this time around. Come join us!

Time: 7 PM.

Starting at: 8th and Brannan. Green Festival bike valet.

 

Southbay Cruisers News Update for Oct 20th…

Oct 20, 2008Posted by

For those of you that are interested, here is the latest info on the Southbay Cruisers as well as some bicycle related news in Los Angeles…

CONGA CRUISERS INVADE VALLEY PARK: Creepy Cruise II Ride Recap!
(pictures and a Youtube Video are now posted on www.southbaycruisers.com)

I didn’t think we could top the Bicycle Rodeo Ride last month. But, in fact, I think we may have indeed done so.

Another cool autumn evening greeted approximately 30 Southbay Cruisers as we met at Hermosa Pier for our 2nd Annual “Creepy Cruise” on Saturday, October 18th, 2008. We saw quite an array of costumes including Jolly’s Dorothy costume, a shy and reserved Tito dressed as…well we’re not sure what, but then again we never are quite sure with Tito, and Gin Master Jean, or was it Lucille Ball? Some of us honestly couldn’t tell the difference. She was dynamite!

We met new comers Danielle(little Red Riding Hood) and Kelly in their tricked out Halloween bikes and bearing glow sticks for everyone. Come back you two we’d love to see you ride with us again! We saw Energizer Bunny Lili, her daughter and even her dog on the Cruiser ride and at the post ride barbecue. We saw Ziv, the knight, and his Home Wrecker sidekick. And we saw pirate Liliana, who brought a few friends with her as well.

We saw some old school Southbay Cruisers rejoin us including David “Electric Assisted” Dutra coming from his new home in Long Beach, and Dr. Alan took time to meet with us after a long day of mountain biking.

We headed off up Catalina Avenue, and the Esplanade to the tunes of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” and howled at the moon in unison while we cruised the Esplanade.

Eventually making our way to Valley Park in Hermosa for our post ride barbecue/bonfire event, we were met by a handful of local teenagers asking us, “Is this really what you guys do on a Saturday night?” Needless to say they joined in with us and we all had a blast!

We started off the evening with a little jump rope, witnessing the athletic skills of our new high jumping teenage friends that joined in.

We then moved on to Pinata busting where Pajama Jammer Ally, used all her mental and physical might to literally knocked the pinata off the rope with two or three swings.

After scrambling for the contents of the pinata, we became Toilet Paper Zombies. This race to toilet paper your partner, brought to us by Ninja Cat Mary and toilet paper purchased on sale at the 99 Cent Store in Hawthorne proved that you can have fun while even on a budget, as the photos illustrate. Amongst the contestants was Pajama Jammer Ally. Ally was buried alive in the sand at our last ride and this time found herself getting mumified alive.

We then moved on to Wheel Barrel racing where our new teenage friends in the park dominated. With youth on their side, they edged out all of us taking first, second, and third place. But we all had fun in the process, as the rest of us relearned what it was like to be a kid again.

Next came Bobbing for Plumbs. Not a sport for those with a weak heart. We learned that plumbs don’t float. And we saw one of our new young teenage friends dominate. Beating everyone, including all his friends in a matter of seconds. Could this become a new Southbay Cruiser Olympic sport?

The evening went on with barbecuing, a group Karaoke, Star Gazer Jeffery climbing several trees while he made Tarzan yells, Dracula attempting to fly off one of the park benches, and our first ever spontaneous Southbay Cruiser Conga dance around the park.

Yes, it was another awesome night of cruising. And we look forward to more cruising at our upcoming Roller Derby Ride III, and Super Hero Ride II !

TINA IS OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AND RECOVERING WELL!

We look forward to seeing her at some of our events soon!

CONGRATULATIONS NINJA CAT MARY: SOUTHBAY CRUISER OF THE WEEK!

Ninja Cat Mary is well known for earning her recent Southbay Cruiser World Champion Intergender Pajama Wrestling Title Belt by defeating Jeffery at a recent bonfire ride. She was also a huge contributor to this week’s “Creepy Cruise II” cruiser ride. She hauled most of the karaoke equipment, wood, and games to the ride. And in fact, she came up with alot of the ideas for the games, made some awesome hot chocolate as usual, and as well she carved us a pumpkin. Without her, this would have been just another ride.

See Ninja Cat Mary in her 15 minutes of fame on the homepage of www.southbaycruisers.com

UPCOMING RIDE: THE ROLLER DERBY RIDE III: A Night to Dis Member
Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Meets at 6:45PM/Rides at 7:00PM
Ride Starts and Ends in front of The Lighthouse Cafe at Hermosa Pier

We will meet at Hermosa Pier, then ride to watch the Angels City Derby Girls play at the Toyota Center (555 Nash St, El Segundo, CA). After the game we’ll ride back as a group. We’ve outlined a fun, bicycle friendly route to and from the game. We’ve also arranged for a Southbay Cruiser discount ticket offer for the game. Click on this link:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/44381 (password is ‘cruisers’)to purchase tickets for $10; $5 off the regular price. I’ll also have a limited number or tickets on the day of the game that you can purchase as well for $10. Our Roller Derby rides have always been a blast! See the Southbay Cruisers Calendar page on meetup.com to RSVP and for more details.

THE SUPER HERO RIDE II
Saturday, November 15th
Meets at 7:00PM/Rides at 7:15PM
Ride Starts and Ends in front of the Lighthouse Cafe at Hermosa Pier

Time to dig up those Superman Tights and Star Wars light sabers, the Super Hero Ride II is nearly upon us! Our first Super Hero ride was a blast, and this one will be even better! Our journey will start at our usual spot in front of the Lighthouse Cafe (30 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA) and will take us on a 10 mile slow to moderate paced cruiser ride through the streets and neighborhoods of the southbay.

Our Super Hero cruiser ride will end at Valley Park in Hermosa Beach (corner of Gould Ave/Valley Dr.)where we will barbecue/bonfire/karaoke and test our Super Hero skills through feats of mental and physical strength. Dare to leap tall buildings in a single bound…or maybe just a milk carton or two…come experience the Super Hero Ride II !!!

As always, if you want to eat at the post ride barbecue please remember to bring food. We will supply charcoal and firewood. You will need to bring whatever you want to eat at the ride. See the Southbay Cruisers ‘Calendar’ on meetup.com for more information and to RSVP. This will be epic!

A WORD OR TWO ABOUT BICYCLE LIGHTS AND LICENSES

With the increase in bicycle commuters in Los Angeles I think it’s entirely possible that you will see more police enforcing existing bicycle laws. I sent out an email last week about how police in downtown LA are starting to ticket bicycle riders who don’t have a license on their bicycles. This is an old law in Los Angeles, that has largely been not enforced until recently. After I sent out the message last week one person on this email list wrote me back saying that if you go to the Redondo Beach Police station during regular work hours that they will give you a free bicycle license. I haven’t verified that yet myself. And I’m really not sure if Southbay cities are going to start to enforce this law as well. I would say it’s entirely possible. If any of you learn more on this topic please let me know and I’ll share it with the group.

When it comes to bicycle lights however, the law is clear and is being enforced more by police in the Southbay. Bicycle head lights are required when you ride at night. At the recent Creepy Cruise II, I had one guy approach me who said he was recently given a ticket in Manhattan Beach for not having a bicycle headlight. I’ve seen Police in El Segundo and Redondo also pull cyclists over for not having a headlight. With that in mind, I want to remind everyone to put a headlight on your bike when you ride with us. If you don’t have a headlight you can bungee a flashlight on your handlebars. You can also place a light on your helmet. I bring a limited number of headlights and flashers to our rides that you can purchase. Please email me if you want to take advantage of buying one.

By the way, I have one spare Down Low Glow, for the ultimate in night riding side visibility protection that I loan out on rides. If you want to test one out on one of our rides please contact me before hand.

The law also requires that you have front and rear reflectors and reflectors on your pedals and tires. To learn more about lighting and reflector requirements at night, please see the “Safety” and “Prepare” sections of www.southbaycruisers.com

BICYCLE SKILLS CLASS

I saw this advertised in the LA Bike Coalition Newsletter…

WHEN:Sunday October 26th, 2008 10am-3pm (reg. 9:15am)
Saturday November 1st, 2008 9am-3pm
WHERE: Community Corp., 502 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401
COST: Day one $15 LACBC members/$20 non-members
Day two $25 LACBC members/$30 non-members
Register: www.la-bike.org
The Road 1 course is designed to give cyclists age 16 and up the confidence and skills they need to ride in all types of city traffic situations. League of American Bicyclists certified League Cycling Instructor Ron Durgin teaches this practical ten-hour program. Day one features a comprehensive presentation on the principles of bike safety, helmet fit, and basic bicycle maintenance. On day two, attendees will develop bike-handling skills and learn essential evasive maneuvers on a vacant paved area. Participants will then apply what they have learned and receive constructive feedback that encourages safe riding techniques during a 5-6 mile road test. Day two requires a bike in good working condition and a CPSC or SNELL approved helmet.

Participants who successfully pass this course receive a Road 1 certificate.

The class fills up quickly. Please email or call Ron Durgin 424-288-1747, rdurgin@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

NEXT STEPS FOR THE BICYCLE COMMUTER ACT

This I also saw in a recent LA BIke Coalition Newsletter…

The Bicycle Commuter Act, which, as part of the federal Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, will initiate a tax-code change, beginning in January, to allow companies to give up to $20 a month to workers who pedal to work. It would be tax-free to cycling commuters, and a tax write-off for employers. Riders could use the subsidy to defray commute costs, such as bike tires or lights, helmets or rental fees for bike lockers at work.

The League of American Bicyclists and its allies are working on Capitol Hill to finalize details about how the tax benefit will be implemented. The League is taking the lead to ensure that implementation guidelines are established prior to the provision’s effective date: January 1, 2009.

To get answers to some of your questions and regular updates go to: www.bikeleague.org/news/

That is all for now.

Enjoy your week! Ride safe!

-john
www.southbaycruisers.com