Friday, March 27, 2009

Bike Girl Is A Nerd

Bike Girl has often wondered what life would be like if she one day woke up and had turned into a car. One of Bike Girl’s loyal readers has sent her some quite amazing Math to help her figure it out.

This particular Math purports to calculate the efficiency of a cyclist as compared to a car. While Bike girl has no intention of fueling her bike rides with gas, she was interested to find out how man Miles Per Gallon she would get if she suddenly woke up one day and had transformed into some sort of science fiction car/cyclist hybrid.

Bike Girl immediately plugged in her weight, and a reasonable touring/commuting speed of 12 miles per hour. Using complex Math, the widget calculated Bike Girl would get 979 miles per gallon!

Intrigued, Bike Girl tried again with a quicker pace of 16 miles per hour, thinking surely her efficiency would improve.


Bike Girl’s efficiency actually dropped to 809 miles per gallon.

Now surpassing mere intrigue, Bike Girl’s fascination with the calculator grew. She moved the miles per hour back to 12, and entered her Pre-Cyclist weight. (Bike Girl was once a more voluptuous protagonist than she is now.) Only 930 miles per gallon. It turns out shedding a few pounds increases efficiency!

Try it Here

To read more about Bike Girl's tendency towards all things nerdly, click Here or Here or Here

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bike Girl Suffers

As a cyclist, Bike Girl enjoys a certain amount of suffering. She’ll frequently don tight clothing and pound her legs and lungs into submission. How sexy does that sound? But there is one thing that crosses Bike Girl’s threshold for pain. That thing is the saddle sore.

One would not think something that looks very much like a pimple would incapacitate a protagonist as fearless as Bike Girl. But this tiny pimple, when in Certain Places, can make riding a horrible, horrible experience.

Furious googling yields a plethora of home remedies for the tiny bumps. Bike Girl has tried a number of them, with limited success. They range from using a cream usually reserved for cow teats, to drying them out with isopropyl alcohol, to applying a steroid cream. Bike Girl’s usual cocktail is obsessive cleaning with witch hazel or antibacterial soap, followed by a dab of Tea Tree oil.

However, even with the most wonderful treatment, the only true way to get them to go away is with time off the bike. Since Bike Girl doesn’t like this solution, she generally prefers to avoid getting them in the first place.

She advises fellow cyclists to remove their sweaty, sweaty bike shorts or underpants as soon as possible after riding. While certain cyclists Bike Girl knows love to languish in their chamoises (chamoi? chamoisez?) as they eat far too much food after a ride, this is not advised. Never wear a chamois twice without washing it. Wipe down at your destination. On long rides, some readers may wish to venture into the squishy world of chamois crème. (Known more colorfully in some circles as Butt Butter)

But despite these precautions, saddles sores sometimes happen anyway. Bike Girl invites her readers to share the intimate details of their own regimens in the comments section.

Bike Girl Goes Shopping Pt 3

This installment of Bike Girl’s search for the perfect new bike for touring could also be titled, “How NOT To Sell A Bicycle.”

Our fearless protagonist found herself on Craigslist, searching for a cheaper solution to her N+1 problem. She was hoping for an 80’s bike with a triple chain-ring she could convert to become a touring machine.

During her search, Bike Girl came across a stylish looking vintage number with nice components. However, despite the long description, she was unable to find the bike’s size. Bike Girl emailed the seller, thinking this was an oversight. Here is the conversation that transpired [with commentary in brackets].

Bike Girl: you didn't post the size [ok, so maybe that was a little terse]

your welcome [that’s actually how the seller spelled that word]

so you're not going to say what size it is? [Bike Girl is confused]

only if real interested...tire kickers-not so much [Bike Girl thought this was a bizarre response]

Well how would I know if I'm interested unless it is my size. What a bizarre thing to not post.

That's like saying "I'm selling some pants, but I refuse to say what size they are." Or "I'm selling a picture but I won't show it to you first."

No one is going to click on your posting unless they're looking for a bike. If they're looking for a bike, they need to know what size it is to know if it will fit them. If it won't fit them, then there's no point in them looking any further.

I'm not sure what your definition of a "Tire Kicker" is, but you will waste a lot more of your time having people come look at the bike and it not being the right size than if you just post the size so people know if you're wasting THEIR time or not by drawing them out to look at a bike that will have no chance of fitting them.

Seller: get a friggin life instead of telling people what to do or how to advertise...i could tell you were a nag from the get go and thats why you got the answer i gave-there are many like you on cl...[Bike Girl was out to buy a bike, not out to nag]

Just have to say, out of all the bikes I've bought on craigslist, and out of all the bikes I've inquired about, I've never encountered such resistance from a seller to telling me the size of the bike. It really was a simple question from an interested buyer.

here's another clueless person trying to school me on how to advertise and how little i know about bikes...

" you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about – your ad says campy and campagnolo- which are the same brand-- If you knew what the numbers meant you would know road bike sizes are usually in cm, not inches – it’s not a mountain bike or a kids bike- If you really knew bikes you would’ve put the size info in the ad. I’m embarrassed for you. "

this ignoramus doesnt know that road bikes WERE measured in inches by trek in the early years.

as for campy,i used it for search engine keywording which this idiot didnt know crap about...

So i had to school them and deal with their stupidity.

If you ever sell stuff on cl you will see plenty of foot in mouth syndrome and free advice syndrome...


At this point, Bike Girl told the seller it was obvious she didn’t want to sell her the bike, and told the poor seller she was sorry she had to deal with that person. Bike Girl wishes this seller the best of luck, but hopes other hapless potential buyers do not have any questions about the frame size.

Bike Girl’s quest for a new bike continues…

Related posts:

Bike Girl Goes Shopping Pt 1 and Pt 2

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bike Girl Goes Shopping Pt. 2

In her quest for the perfect touring bike, Bike Girl did a lot of research. That research lead her to REI, where she made the reasoned decision to purchase the Randonee.

Bike Girl believes the plus sides of the Randonee are many. It's low-priced, and it is green.

Excited about her new green bicycle, she headed out to the store in Santa Monica to pick it up. When she arrived, there was bad news. The one that had been shipped to that store had a faulty shifter. The Santa Monica REI sent her out to the REI in Rancho Cucamonga.

This excursion required a long car trip out to the middle of nowhere during the week, which was pretty stressful for our protagonist. Yet being extremely stubborn, Bike Girl made the trek, picking up the bike, and returning to her homeland just in time to be five minutes late to work.

In her haste, she did not check the bike as thoroughly as she should have. It turns out the lovely, yet customer-service challenged woman who put together the bike at the Rancho Cucamonga store had put together the bicycle incorrectly. Besides that, Bike Girl found that even the extra small size had too long of a top-tube for a short lady.

Thanks to REI's wonderful return policy, the bike was taken back to the store, and Bike Girl's quest for a touring bike continued...

Related: Bike Girl Goes Shopping Pt. 1

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bike Girl Goes Shopping Pt 1

Bike Girl happens to be in the market for a bicycle. Our fearless protagonist, while she has not blogged about riding in awhile, has been riding as much as ever on the three trusty steeds in her bicycle stable. However, she has a nagging desire to add to her herd.

As Bike Girl's loyal fans remember, adding to one's bicycle fleet is a mathematical inevitability, because of the N+1 equation.

The bicycle Bike Girl seeks is very specific. It is a road bike with a triple chain ring in the front and braze-on's for touring. It also fits her perfectly.

Finding this bicycle has been quite a trial. Bike Girl has had to dust off her noir-film-esque detective skills.

In order to get back into the blogging groove, Bike Girl will chronicle the arduous process here.

Related: Bike Girl Goes Shopping Pt. 2