|No snow, but this ride was a lot colder than it looks in the photo.|
The Denver area has now officially had snow twice so far this season, yet it hasn't been enough to make fat tires worthwhile. I'm not complaining much, and I have a feeling that a solid blast of snow will be along soon enough. Regardless, my Pugsley remains my most often ridden bike around home as of late.
When I'm at work downtown, I invariably use Denver B-cycle. I do have a fondness for B-cycle's somewhat clunky red bikes, so around this time of year I soak up my appreciation for them before the system is shut down for the year, which this year will be December 14. I'm fortunate enough to need to get around to meetings and other things, so I ride a B-cycle most days. I always look at bikes, and sometimes I even remember that I have a camera on my phone to take a photo of some that I see. Here are a few that caught my eye recently.
The first is a Peugeot mixte of likely late '70s or early '80s vintage, with a lot of carefully chosen new parts installed by an obviously adoring owner. The arcs of the fenders perfectly follow the curve of the tires; evidence of a masterful installation. Plenty of chrome, gold and aluminum with a garnish of honey leather. Nicely done.
|A well comported Peugeot mixte. Note the vintage-y, French-y reverse brake levers.|
|I like how it's all tarted up in a manner only a bike geek would appreciate or possibly even notice. |
Gold looks good on a bike.
Several years ago I rescued a well-worn frame and fork of one of these Stumpjumpers from a dumpster behind a college apartment building on move-out day. I ended up building it into a rigid commuter for one of my brothers-in-law and I still have the functional Future Shock fork somewhere in my shop.
The specimen that I saw still had its original Future Shock fork, but the fork had apparently died and was resting in peace at the bottom of its stroke. The bike is apparently ill-sized to its current rider, with a bottomed out seat and what would appear to be a very long reach to the handlebar. Except for the limitations of the finicky air/oil fork, I would anticipate this era of Stumpjumper FS to live forever, much like its rigid steel ancestors.
|I'd be willing to bet that the owner doesn't know this bike is a 1992 Specialized Stumpjumper FS. |
Note the nicely yellowed pie plate.
The Pacer that I photographed had a dropped chain and a sort of loneliness about it. Maybe it was an undue influence of the cold, overcast day. Once again, this model of Pacer is an example of the long line of Surly bikes sporting a nice green hue.
|Somewhat forlorn Surly Pacer in British Racing Green.|
|A full-sized American sedan mated to a motorcycle front end. I wonder what it says on the vehicle registration?|
|"No comment," replied this suburbanite.|
|A menu from a post-hipster café? A shopping list? A party recipe?|
|The Curtis Street bike route is marked with diagonal stripes as it crosses a central pedestrian corridor.|
I discovered Auraria's implausible bike policy during my first week on the campus several years ago, when I was pulled over by a bicycle mounted officer and given a warning for riding on what appeared to be a multi-use path that intersects a multi-use path maintained by the City of Denver. I was riding slowly and courteously, and the officer was courteous with me, yet I was incredulous, as I'd never heard of a university campus where bicycling was not allowed.
|Bike parking at the North Classroom Building was recently expanded, though it's already filled to capacity.|
The second type of general response was that the official or campus administrator was completely unaware of policies excluding bicycling on campus, often accompanied by an admission that they had never even thought to ride a bike to campus.
After many years and through the efforts of many people, in the end, the policy logjam appears to be easing. Things seem to be changing for the better. The present situation is far from perfect, but we now have an East-West bike route, and a future North-South bike route has been hinted. An on-campus Denver B-cycle station is even planned for Spring 2013. However, the next logical, critical, yet somehow missing step should be education of campus occupants as to the purpose of the new bike lanes.
Whenever I've been on the Curtis Street bike route, pedestrians and parked service vehicles are omnipresent in the clearly marked bike lanes, even though parallel sidewalks, driveways, or service docks are nearby. Additionally, pedestrians inattentively walk into the lanes without looking, sometimes in front of approaching bicyclists. I don't like to think this way, but without a solid effort to educate all occupants of the campus regarding its new bike lanes, inevitably, any collision will probably be blamed on the bicyclist, regardless of actual fault.
|Walking and talking is not uncommon on the Curtis Street bike route.|
|A delivery truck parked squarely in the middle of both lanes of the bike route, even though a service dock is close by.|
|To be fair to Auraria, delivery trucks are a common sight in Denver bike lanes outside of campus, too.|