Author Archives: Kurt

Bike Routing, Tricycles, and the Cinema

When my family gets together we like to see movies and ride our trikes. Sometimes we combine the two, assaulting the trails north of Denver with as many as five trikes hell-bent on making it to the movie on time. We take advantage of some excellent bike paths to avoid automobile traffic in a very congested part of town, but I have to admit I’d be hard pressed to find my own way. It takes a local guide with tons of experience riding in the area to get us through the web of interconnected bike paths. That role falls to my brother Mark and it’s about time he got some help. I’d offer but I don’t want to upset the delicate family dynamic. Better to leave it to Mark so that when we get lost I can point out his silly mistake with righteous indignation. Recently I’ve been exploring some technology that might help us avoid family counseling. Spoiler alert: it isn’t Google Maps.

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Open Street Maps

The tide may be turning for mobile mapping.  Most recently dominated by Google Maps (at least in the US), Open Street Maps are giving them a run for their, um, money.

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Sawtooth Loop: The Third Shoe Drops

Day 2• Sept 4, 2016 •  Celebration Park to Bruneau Dunes •  65 miles

Day Two of the tour dawned with the threat of a recurrence of last night’s rain and no small amount of apprehension.  Rationalization was over:  we were now committed to what was most likely a criminal act.  While I stand by the convictions expressed earlier, in the grand scheme of things it’s difficult to make the case that this act of defiance rises to the level of, say, civil rights or women’s suffrage.  We were a band of middle-class white people trespassing on the property of another band of middle-class white people.  If anything, this act was embarrassingly trite.

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Di2: One Bad Shift

After 4,863 miles of shifting nirvana (5,217 total miles on my Di2 drivetrain), today I had a bad shift.  I’ve grown so accustomed to absolutely perfect shifting with Ultegra Di2 that this was a rather soul-wrenching experience.  The reason I don’t have 5,217 perfect  miles is that it took me a little over 300 miles in the beginning to figure out that Di2 is less forgiving of lateral chain sway than a conventional drivetrain.  Once that was solved, Di2 has been a dream.  What follows is the reason my record of perfect shifting ended today.

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Ebikes: A pedal is a pedal

A bill was recently introduced in the Idaho legislature that would treat a certain classification of electric bike as a plain ol’ bike.  This action spurred much needed debate about the legal status of ebikes in Boise, where their current classification as motor vehicles makes them illegal to use on the greenbelt.  I’m convinced ebike naysayers have no pedal to stand on.

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Sawtooth Loop: Bridge to Nowhere

A Digression

Perhaps Celebration Park’s biggest attraction is Guffey Railroad Bridge.  It was built in 1897 for the Boise, Nampa, and Owyhee railroad, intended to carry ore from Silver City to Nampa for smelting.  However construction of the track never made it further south than Murphy and was used instead by the farming community.  It was “abandoned in 1947, saved from demolition in the 1970s, and purchased and restored by Canyon County in 1989”(1) as part of Celebration Park.  It now connects Owyhee and Canyon counties via a rail trail suitable for walking, biking, and horseback riding, providing a rare opportunity to cross the Snake River without getting wet.  The nearest bridge is about 4 miles downstream at Walter’s Ferry.

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