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Bike Blog: Friday Flotsam

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Behind the times, that’s what I’ve been. Toiling away, rummaging through my drawers for long-lost, outdated maps of vague bike routes that I got from the county when I first moved here a year ago – and the answer was before me all along: the internet, man – it’s all on the internet.

Recently, the Bike Blog was made aware, largely through the postings of Spokes N’ Folks blogger John Hopkins, of some pretty decent resources for the lonely long-distance biker.

There are a couple of places you can go to find good bike routes, posted by your compatriots. It’s a great idea: if you find a ride you like, you post it online so everybody else can do it, too. Routeslip is a good site; it’s got several nice routes posted for Miami, including the charmingly-named “Lonely Morning Route.” Map My Ride is pretty decent, too, although so far it’s got less content.

Both sites utilize Google maps, and that brings up an interesting little tidbit: there’s a petition going around asking Google to include bike routes on its maps. Good idea, no?


Here we are, seven days into Florida Bike Month, and my own ride is – there’s just no denying it – a piece of shit at the moment. Last weekend, having no functioning brakes to speak of, I assembled a new front brake with parts cannibalized from my last (also shitty) bike . Then, realizing my spokes were as loose as spaghetti in the rear, I pulled off an ambitious drunken trueing after getting home from the bar. Recently, though, I discovered that my other wheel is even worse, and trueing a wheel - even sober - is a pain and a half. Then I got one of these tires that you need a team of ninjas or something to pry back onto the rim without ripping up the tube, even with the big yellow plastic tire irons (which we endorse - those little blue and black plastic ones are no good, and forget about metal).

But enough about me: What kind of shape is your bike in this month? What mechanical heroics have you performed lately?

Comment below, and let us know.

-- Isaiah Thompson

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