Slow Moving Vehicle Triangles on My Bike

3 Feet Please bike jerseyThree Feet Please Jersey

My virtual friend, Andrew, AKA Aushiker, was blogging about the 3 Feet Please jersey designed by Florida rider Joe Mizereck to encourage drivers to observe the three-foot minimum passing distance.

He was trying to start a groundswell campaign in his native Australia to get a similar One Meter Law passed.

Slow Moving Vehicle sign attached to Camelbak MULE

Slow Moving Vehicle Sign on Camelbak

I told Andrew that I like the jersey, but the Slow Moving Vehicle triangle attached to my CamelBak M.U.L.E. would cover it up, unfortunately.

He asked if I could show him how I have it mounted. Wife Lila snapped this just as Son Matt and I were getting ready to dip our wheels in the Gulf of Mexico after riding across Florida.

Taillights add visibility

Matt and I both rode with taillights. My RealLite and Nightrider were caught between flashes, but the always-on generator light is can be seen glowing.

We were on the last, short leg of our tour, so I left the panniers behind. Otherwise, you’d have seen another  SMV triangles mounted on the left one.

An experiment with the Flash Flag

I experimented with a Flash Flag, visible above my left knee. It’s kind of lost when panniers are mounted. I had to do some playing around to get it to work on the rear of my rack. I’ll dust it off and see if I can make it work on my Surly Long Haul Trucker and give it another try.

I bought mine after my eye was drawn to the flags when a couple of tourists come through town several years ago.

Looking for Gifts for a Cyclist?

One of the phreds posted a link to a site that had inexpensive
Cycling Posters and Gifts

That word “inexpensive” snagged me because I have quite a few bikers in the friends and family category. (You know the ones: close enough to need a gift, but not a really good gift.)

Perfect for the go-fast rider

I published a picture last week of my brother wearing his I’m With Wheelsucker” T-shirt, so, finding something similar at BicycleGifts
for $6 and free shipping was something I couldn’t pass up. Put me down for three.

It’s always safer to pick small

The Girls Just Want to Have Fun T-shirt for only $6 was perfect for my old riding partner, Mary.

The ad copy warned that “these run very small,” so I was careful to check the sizing chart, which said that a Large would wrap 36-38″. I bought her a medium one time and she complained that it was too tight, so I figured Large would be a safe compromise and XL might be an insult.

They arrived today

The shirts were well-made with nice illustrations. Well worth the price.

When I got to Mary’s shirt, though, I did a double-take. I checked out the web site and it didn’t say that it was for kids.

I picked a minor nit

I dropped an email to the company suggesting that “You might be better off to say that the Girls Just Want to Have FunT-shirts are child-sized.

For the price, it’s not worth returning. I’ll find someone who has a kid the right size.

Just a minor nit. No big deal. I figure your other shirts were priced well below market value, so I still came out ahead, particularly with the free shipping.

This is good customer service

Within minutes, Richard Kuhlman returned my message:

Hi Ken

These shirts have been a nightmare since we got them in and even in closing them out. Because they are stretchy they really only work for the very young that like to wear their clothes tight.

Please look at our new version at:

These are normally sized women’s fitted T’s. Let me know what size you would like and I will ship you one no charge. If you know someone with a young girl that would like the small one make her a present of it. One less aggravation if I don’t haver to try to sell it again.

Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

It’s nice to deal with folks like Ralph.

Bike Shorts Must Be Worn at All Times

Lio by Mark Tatulli: Welcome to Hades; Bike Shorts Must Be Worn at All Times

If Mark Tatulli’s Lio is right and this means there are bikes in hell, my afterlife is looking up. On the downside, I’d prefer bibs to shorts.

Speaking of Hell and Bike Bibs…

Pearl Izumi Slice UltraSensor Bib Short - BusticatedThis weekend, I wore through the Pearl Izumi Slice UltraSensor Bib Shorts that I just bought last month. With just five outings and 153 miles on them, these should not have worn out.

By the end of my short ride Saturday, the insides of my thighs had been rubbed raw where the fabric developed holes. I’m still walking funny today. Ouch!

It is a good thing Mark Cavendish wasn’t wearing this bib on his winning 232-kilometer trek from Cholet to Châteauroux in the Tour de France. He may not have made it across the finish line before his crotch fell out.

The last bib I had was worn for two years and nearly 1,100 miles. I’m hoping this was just a spurious anomaly in the Pearl Izumi manufacturing process. My experience with Pearl Izumi has been good and their bike clothes have held up very well. So, I’m going to take another swing at this bib — for the few miles I did wear them, they worked very well.

Fortunately, Performance Bike has a great, 100% satisfaction return policy. So, I’m going to send these back and pick up a new pair. I’ll let you know how the next pair works out for me.

If the second Pearl Izumi pair fails as quickly, I’m going to give the Performance Bike branded line of shorts (Ken’s bike bib review) another look.


Don’t Let Anything Come Between You and Your Bike Shorts

When I started riding before the Turn of the Century (that sounds neater than “in the 90s”), I wore a pair of cut-off army surplus fatigue pants. I wore them until my wife pointed out that they had become so threadbare that my privates were about to become publics.

About that same time, I was in Dallas on business and rented a bike from Richardson Bike Mart, one of the biggest bike shops I’ve ever been in and where Lance Armstrong worked as a kid. While tooling around White Rock Lake, I was passed by a guy who had a caboose at least twice the size of mine. I thought, “If he ain’t ashamed to stuff a sausage in that sack, then I won’t be either.”2008 Performance Elite Bib Short

Shorts aren’t cheap

When I got back home, I bought my first pair of Pearl Izumi bike shorts, paying almost three times what my last suit cost before I got married. I can safely say that I got more value out of the shorts than I did the suit.

After my shape became more aerodynamic (think keg, not six-pack), I transitioned to bib shorts and have found them much more comfortable. My first pair was the Performance Elite Bib Short. The editors at Bicycling Magazine gave them a 2008 Editor’s Choice rating.

For some reason, I decided to switch to the Performance Ultra Bib Short and I passed my Elites on to my son, Matt. He called last night to say that his shorts were finally approaching the private / public stage after several years of hard riding.

Facing a full moon

Matt’s first pair of bike shorts clearly demonstrated the difference between good shorts and cheap shorts. My brother Mark, his buddy Wally, Matt and I took off to Illinois for what turned out to be a century ride.Mary & Wally\'s first century

We were cranking along when I turned to the other guys and asked, “Do Matt’s shorts have some kind of weird shine on them or are we looking at what appears to be a full moon?”

That question was answered when a pickup truck passed us with the woman driver holding her hand over a small child’s eyes. Yep, you truly do get what you pay for. We increased our pace to keep Matt and his cheap shorts BEHIND us for the rest of the ride. Continue reading “Don’t Let Anything Come Between You and Your Bike Shorts”

Not So Sexy Tan Lines

If you’re concerned about white lines on your face from your helmet straps, grow a beard.
Strange tan lines are part of the game. I ride in Shimano Sandals. They make for a really weird pattern.
Shortly after I started riding, I looked down at my hand on the keyboard and thought, “Wow, that’s an odd bruise. I can’t remember hitting my hand.” Then I looked at the left one. Same bruise mark.
Suddenly it dawned on me: bike gloves.
I consider the unusual tan lines not to be silly, but an indicator of many happy hours on the bike.