Saturday, December 30

Register Them All?

Justine Valinotti, in Mid-Life Cycling, here, talks about bicycle registration. That got me thinking . As when it came to licensing, I pondered things from the viewpoint of someone that likes to take a "small government" approach, as well as someone that might want to recover his own bicycle if it were to be stolen sometime in the future. Accordingly, I started to look into things. This is PART 1 of the ugly story about bicycle registration.

For bicycle registration to be effective, two things need to happen. First, you need to register your bike. Second, the police in the jurisdiction where your stolen bike is recovered need to use the service you registered with. So far, this is entirely consistent with "small government" since you'll note that I've not suggested that anybody set up some sort of government regulations or whatever. In fact, there ARE national registries for bicycles in the US. While the Bike League is silent on the topic, Seattle's Cascade Bicycle Club has a page, here, where they attempt to shut the door after the horse has left the barn. I use that analogy since most people won't have their registration number in the databases and an already stolen bike is not available to copy that vital identification number down.

When it comes to the police, the "National Bike Registry" has a list of law enforcement agencies that use (maybe) their database. It can be seen here. Bike Index also has a list of "Partners," but Index law enforcement partners are rare, with Los Angeles PD, Berkely, and Saint Louis being the only major participants. It isn't hard to see why - the Index web site doesn't seem oriented towards getting the police on board and they have no provisions for police to actually sign up. Their organization sign up page is here. Looking at places me and my loyal reader frequent gives the following NBR results. Places I frequently ride are in bold italic.

Participating Law Enforcement Agencies
  • United Kingdom - all police agencies and register via the registration site; here
  • Phoenix and Tucson - So at least the agency Justine refers to participates
  • Fort Collins, Denver and Summit County in Colorado
  • Winter Park and Florida Highway Patrol in Florida
  • Atlanta and Roswell in Georgia
  • Honolulu in Hawaii - I don't know if they transferred their old bicycle licenses to NBR or not
  • Boston, Cambridge and Somerville in Massachusetts
  • Santa Fe and Santa Rosa, NM
  • At least a half dozen New York City PD Precincts and the New York State Police
  • Ontario Provincial Police
  • Portland, Salem, and Oregon State Police
  • Austin, Denton, Euless, Plano,  Tarrant County Sheriff, and Wichita Falls in Texas
  • Hoquiam, Olympia, Seattle,

Not Listed as Participants
  • Breckenridge, Colorado so my little sister is probably out of luck unless the sheriff recovers her bike
  • Springfield, Missouri and MSU, so Andy ought to be careful
  • Los Alamos and Tucumcari, NM
  • Dayton, Ohio (home of the Wright Brothers; bicycle manufacturers)
  • Tulsa, OK
  • No local jurisdictions listed in Ontario
  • Bedford, Colleyville, Dallas, Ennis, Fort Worth, Hurst, Irving, and Southlake, Texas
  • Aberdeen, Everett, Ocean Shores, Tacoma, and Washington State Police in WA

Hmm, looks like places I ride the most are mostly non participants by a 7 to 2 ratio. I may need to make some quiet inquiries to see what happens when these 7 recover stolen bikes. I imagine that if they recover a bike reported stolen they'll send it own home, but what if the bike was reported stolen in another jurisdiction? As an example, while my Texas house is in Colleyville, Bedford and Euless are both only blocks away. There are hundreds of cities and towns around DFW. Stay tuned for future developments.

Friday, December 29

Annual Ritual

Last year, on Boxing Day, my post, here, outlined some sadly abandoned blogs. I checked, just to make sure none of them have been resurrected. The only action was that "Let's Go Ride a Bike" is now a domain for sale and Hugh did make a single post back in May about a kid's department store bike.

This year, I'm going to be a little more rigorous. Gone this year are
The Invisible Visible Man - signed out with grace last July. He'll be missed
One Speed Go - John Romeo Alpha seems to have moved on. His sad little monkeys were always amusing and usually useful
Suburban Assault - I think Dick David might be off raising funds somewhere, but we may or may not find out how he did

There's also a problem of a different sort. Anniebikes is still active with her excellent blog, but there's some sort of a problem with "latest post" links. I sent her a comment to that effect, but we're not all blog html experts, so I'm moving the link to her blog to my Other Sites to Visit page. On that page, I deleted Ian Walker's Blog and Two Feet off the Asphalt since neither posted at all in 2017.

Sunday, December 3

Cycle RAT

Hmm, Where Might this Colorful Tree Be? Annie SAID Bikes had to be Involved!
Back in the day, Rantwick held an annual "Rantwick Autumn Throwdown;" RAT for short. It started when he looked for challengers to "The King of Autumn." The King was a spectacular tree. After a few years, seems it was the third or fourth RAT, Anniebikes took up the responsibility, and now it's just a fond memory. JUST IN CASE, however, at top is my own mysterious RAT entry for this year. It was shot somewhere north of Texas and east of Washington. For those still mystified, the photo at bottom clears up the "cycle" part of this title and also the particular locale.

Tending to the Bikes on an Autumn Tour

Wednesday, October 11

No Dogs or Bicycles Allowed

Dogs and Bicycles are Banned from the Wooden Boardwalks in Yellowstone Park
I notice things related to both dogs and bicycles more than a lot of people that don't own dogs or ride bicycles. Recently, we passed through Yellowstone National Park. My loyal reader may know that it is the World's first National Park. It was created under US Grant and was largely protected under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt. My reader might also know that many hot springs are accessed via wooden boardwalks that pass over the hot and unstable ground. Dogs and bicycles are prohibited from these boardwalks.

I suspect that bicycles are prohibited in order to keep people from riding on the sometimes slick boardwalks. Bike racks are provided, such as the one shown below.

Bike Racks are Provided for Bicycles. Locks Not Provided.
It might not be quite so clear why dogs are also prohibited; particularly those on leashes. Well, dogs have been known to lunge at passing people and it'd be pretty gruesome if a passerby fell into a hot spring while trying to avoid that aggressive dog. My own theory is that dogs are banned in order to protect water dogs such as Labrador Retrievers such as my own. He's been know to leap off docks into unknown waters, and even sometimes when on a leash. I'd hate to see Fergus jump off a boardwalk into one of those clear but nearly boiling springs. Some prohibitions just make sense.

I'd Hate to Imagine a Dog after Extraction from an Inviting-Looking, but Nearly Boiling Spring

Thursday, October 5

A Tent for Eva?

Shower Tent Set Up in Ocean Shores. Water is Temperature Controlled from Outside of RV. Tent was $35 Locally Sourced
Trevor Woodford, over on his excellent "Original Purple Traveller" blog rides his bike when his RV, named "Eva," permits. On a recent post, I inquired about how useful his "Eva the Eriba's" in-trailer shower was. It turned out it was marginal. I noted that I'd seen shower tents that might be just the trick when stopped at a campsite without showers.

This morning, I stopped and got a shot of one that's currently stopped on the owner's empty lot in Ocean Shores. It is shown at the top of this post. The owner noted that it cost $35 at the Aberdeen, Washington Bimart. He also noted that his rig had hot/cold outlet on the outside of his RV that made things really convenient. I suspect that option isn't in the cards for Trevor, what with the cost of British Airways First Class travel nowadays. However, Amazon has a lot of these things in prices ranging from $30 to as much as you want to spend.

It seems to me that smaller ones are best in the "foldable popup" variety. For a little more work, you could get one that is much bigger. Both varieties are shown below. For sunnier days, one could even use one of those solar showers, in which water in a bag is heated by the sun. THOSE are just the ticket for a quick after swim shower when on a boat. Heck, one of those solar showers might even be nice for rinsing off sweat after a spirited bike ride upon return. One thing all these things have in common is they store in little space, are quick to set up or put away, and don't weigh a lot. I'm not sure how Trevor's RV shower experiences have been, but there seems an awful lot of drying down and moisture afterwards to make taking a shower in the RV entirely satisfactory. In-house toilets, on the other hand, are WONDERFUL for those late night times when you have to go and the camp facilities are a long ways off and it is raining...

Popup Tent for about $35
Bigger Tent for about $100

They Even Sell Solar Showers. Just the Thing for a Tent Where You Don't Want to Heat Water IN the RV. About $12