NEW ORLEANS UNOFFICIAL BICYCLE RULES & REGULATIONS
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PICTURES!
Bicycles are NOT TOYS!!!
The American Public has to stop treating bicycles as toys! The humble bicycle is a tool of transportation. In the state of Louisiana, by law, it is treated the same as a motor vehicle. But, the American Public's disdain for the bicycle is unbelieveable.
Here in Louisiana, a man had to die, and a law passed, for what should be commonsense. The 3 foot law basically states that the driver of an motorized vehicle must give three feet of clearance to a cyclist. Should be commonsense, right? No, it is not. I have been harrassed by drivers on more than a few occasions. There was the redneck in a pickup truck who screamed at me, "Why don't ya get a car and drive like a white man!" And the ignorant teenage boy who yelled, from the passenger seat of a passing auto, "Get off the road, you homosexual freak!" I'm gay, because I ride a bicycle??? That was news to me and my lady! And then there was the jackoff who kept speeding up every chance he got, so that he could cut short in front of me, trying to get me to rear end him. Where a police officer when you need them???
During the Vietnam war, the North Vietnamese transported hundreds of thousands of tons of war material up and down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, using the humble bicycle. Even today, bicycles are used around the world, not only for self transportation, but as a modern day work horse to move goods.
Take a look at The Mad Crazy Badass Delivery Bikes of China.
In parts of Europe, there are high-rise parking garages just for bicycles. After seeing one of these, I would shudder to think how long it would take to find one's bicycle, should you forget where you parked it. There's that many bicycles.
What is a Friday Bike?
A Friday bike is a reference to a poorly assembled bicycle. Nothing is adjusted the way it should be, and there may even be parts missing. It reflects that the worker that assembled the bicycle was more interested in turning out quantity, rather than quality. Or they were just plain tired of the grind of the workplace, looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Some of these worker are paid piece work wages. That means they get paid per piece that they turn out. Lax quality control allows these cycles to be sold in the American market place. This is a major reason that when you buy a department store bicycle, it should be inspected by a reputable experienced bicycle mechanic.
A Bicycle is a Bicycle, Right?
Not really. A certain well known retail department store chain tells its suppliers how much they will sell their bicycles for. Then those suppliers cut corners in materials and quality to meet those dictated prices. So tolerances are widened, affecting the final fitting of parts. They use cheaper grades of steel and aluminium, which is prone to bending, and breakage due to metal fatigue. So, you get what you pay for.
When new, these bikes look great, but within a few days or weeks, you are looking for someone like me to fix these problems, and I have to give you the bad news.
Then, there's the other problem areas, proper adjustments of brake levers, shifter controls, seat height, brakes pull and shifter cables. A bicycle is like a pair of pants. If its not fitted to you, then its sloppy and often uncomfortable. Because people are not aware of this, they often buy a bicycle with a frame either too small, or too big, for them. Many stores contract outside help to assemble bicycles for them. They pay piece work wages, meaning the worker get paid for each piece they complete. One such company pays $3.50 per bicycle. A worker would have to do twenty bikes per day to equal the federal minium daily wage. It takes me 30 minutes to prep a new bike, making sure all the cables, the wheels, the handle bars and the seat are secured are properly adjusted. That means it would take me ten hours to do the needed twenty bikes, without taking short cuts. These companies are about quanity, NOT Quality. Putting the customer's safety at risk.
Wheel size has little to do with how well a bicycle is going to fit you. For Road and Mountain Bikes, you want the following. With the tires properly inflated, you should be able to stand, with the bicycle between your legs, having an inch and a half of clearence between the top tube and your sensitive bits. Admittedly, one can adjust seat heights to your liking. But, if you can't properly extend your legs when pedaling, you will have a miserable ride.
Well, I'll climb down from the soap box now, and give it a rest.
Why I Don't Sell Bikes.
Quite often I receive emails and phone calls asking if I sell bicycles. To that I say a resounding NO! I have found the experience to be a parade of tire kickers, many of whom wanted me to give them the bike I was selling at the time.
Before I would sell a bike, it was gone through completely. New cables, new tubes, new tires and a lot of labor.
When you buy them at a local department store, a set of four cables runs about $7.50, new chain is $11.50, a pair
of tubes around $12.00, and a pair tires tires about $40.00. That's OVER $70 to start off with. Then the labor of
repacking the grease in all the bearings, wheels, bottom bracket and steering head. Installing the cables, chain,
tubes and tires.
Had one lady, who came to look at a bike, that I wanted to sell. She hemed and hawed. Then drove off to "Think About It."
See, she didn't want to spend more than $20 on a bike. Later, she calls me, wanting an estimate to redo her brother's
bicycle, it needed tires, tubes, cables and a chain. When I told her the cost of parts, she flipped out. Telling me,
I was trying to rip her off.
I'm sorry, it just not worth the hassle.
Had one lady, who came to look at a bike, that I wanted to sell. She hemed and hawed. Then drove off to "Think About It." See, she didn't want to spend more than $20 on a bike. Later, she calls me, wanting an estimate to redo her brother's bicycle, it needed tires, tubes, cables and a chain. When I told her the cost of parts, she flipped out. Telling me, I was trying to rip her off.
I'm sorry, it just not worth the hassle.
Old Bikes versus New Bikes.
A gentlemen called me once, he lamented that his son rather he buy him an old bike, rather than a shiny new department bike. I responded, that his son was probably saving him money in the long run. In my opinion, department store bikes are JUNK.
A certain department store, that shall remain nameless, dictates what they will sell their bikes for. In return, the bike makers must cut corners to meet that dictated price. So the bike maker takes shortcuts in contruction, materials and quality control. Then when the bikes are put together at the stores, shortcuts in assembly happen there. Brakes are not properly adjust, neither are the shifters. Seat height is not fitted to the rider. Making for a miserable and unsafe experience for the rider. Leaving the bicycle to be forgotten in the weather or collect dust in the garage.
I, highly, recommend that you look at older name brand bikes. I am of the opinion that it is best to avoid Huffys made in China as well as most Chinese made department store brands. If one takes care of their bike, an older name brand will give years of service, when treated properly.
And should you need tires, I highly recommend Nashbar.com. Often they are cheaper than Walmart.
What Bicycle Thieves don't want you to know!
There is no sure way to prevent your bicycle from being stolen, unfortunately. If you keep your bicycle outdoors, I don't care how heavy a chain or padlock you put on it, an expert thief can open it in 5 seconds and not draw any attention doing it.
If you want to hang on to your bike, keep it indoors. While it is no guarntee that it won't be stolen, it does greatly reduce the chance of it happening. Less opportunity for thieves to obscone with it. Plus, the upside of this is that your bicycle will not rust as much as it would left out in the elements.
Personally, I favor bicycle registration. Its one way to have a chance of recovering one's bike. But, since the cities of New Orleans, Covington, Mandeville and Slidell, to name but a few, do not have such a requirement, I offer this suggestion. Take two slips of paper, print your name, the bicycle's serial number (this is on the bottom bracket housing) and phone number on it, seal them both in clear tape or clear shelf paper. Roll one up and put it inside your seat tube or post. The other in a safe place, such as your wallet or purse. That way, if your bike is stolen, and you spot it afterwards, you will have a way to verify that it is your bicycle.
Also, remember to photograph you and your bicycle together. Date stamping the photo helps to prove the bike is really yours.
Stolen or Lost Bike in New Orleans?
Check This NOPD Link!
Here's a link to a list of recovered bicycles. Click the "bicycles" tab and search for your lost bicycle, be sure that you file a police report if your bike is stolen.
BICYCLES RECOVERED by the NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Suicide Recumbent Bicycles
What is a suicide recumbent bicycle? Not a ride for the faint or weak of heart! Also known as a Low Racer, it is a recumbent bicycle that has a large rear wheel and a smaller front wheel and the pedals are over the top of the front wheel. Its like riding a bicycle with your legs over the handlebars. They're not too stable on takeoff. Nor are they great for maneuvering or turning. And off road, they offer a ride scary than any amusement park ride. These bikes are best ridden on smooth paved trails. Such as the Tammany Trace. Riding on city streets, you take your life in your hands. It takes a while to gain confidence in handling one of these bikes. You take a look at any old school Harley Davidson chopper, more likely than not, the rear wheel is small and wide and the front wheel is large and narrow. Why? Because old school scooter trash discovered that little front wheels were unstable and had poor maneuverability.
Though they may be clumsy on take off, they are fast as "L", once they are underway! A recumbent holds the world speed record for a bicycle. They have been banned from racing under the UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale, which translates International Cycling Union] in 1934, and now race under the banner of the Human Powered Vehicle Association [HPVA].
Recumbents are not a new design, just a new take on an old idea. In October of 1896, a photograph, taken by M. was published in "La Nature", entitled "The Horizontal Bicyclette normale." See more about recumbents of the past at Recumbent Bicycle History by the Bicycle Man And be sure to check out Wikipedia's Recumbent Bicycle page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle
CYBER BULLIES ON NEW ORLEANS CRAIG'S LIST
Never ceases to amaze me, the lengths people will go to, to dump on their fellow human beings. I post ads on the New Orleans Craig's List aka neworleans.craigslist.org. And these cyber creatures called Flaggers by Craig's List, and Ad-Nazi's by me and others, seem to have made their mission in life to run me off Craig's List. LMAO!!!
You want to see how fast this works, make a post in any discussion forum on Craig's List about being flagged. And before you can reload that forum, there will be four or more insulting replies. Then, they will obsess themselves in berating you and flagging your ads.
Shortly, thereafter, two ads were posted in the For Bicycles Sale/wanted section [ http://neworleans.craigslist.org/bik/ ] referring to my ads and the posts I made in the "cl - Flag Help" forum. They said I was a "jerk and a racist." I challenged the poster of that libelous trash to show one post where I have made a racist remark. Admittedly, I did refer to the person or persons that were flagging my ads as "ad-nazis. But, The term Nazi refers to a misguided political view based on racism. Nazis are not a race, but, they are, themselves, racists.
The very next day, he calls me three times. Since I recognized the number, I didn't waste my time. So, he leaves this voice mail, which I have saved and recorded.
Transcript of Harassing Voice Mail:
Phone Number of Origin: (248) 784-6XX7
"Boy, you are really quite the little piece of s__t aren't you.
Come on the Flag Help Forum, crying how you are disabled, how you are getting...
Who the, Who the hell knows what the f__k you were claiming...
Oh, the nazi thing, that's right.
And then, and then, you just keep posting your ad..
you just post your ad continously.
As soon as its flagged, you post again
What a f__king worm.
How's that going to get you more business?
hunh, Worm Boy.
Ahhh, I'm going flag your a_s
Individual called once on 08/11/2010, three times on 08/12/2010. Voice Mail left on 08/12/2010.
248 area code is for Oakland County, Michigan, which borders the city of Detroit to the north.
So, in parting, I say this to the Ad Nazi's of Craig's Lists everywhere, in the words of Bill the cat,
CUSTOMER CONCERNS ABOUT ME
Many of my clients find me via neworleans.craigslist.com. And a few have expressed concern about using my services. And to tell the truth, their voiced concerns are quite valid. Seeing as I have no storefront, and I use a post office box and a pre-paid cell phone for people to contact me, I may appear to be a "Fly by Night" operation.
First off, I use a post office box to keep people from coming to my home,
1.) to keep people from being disappointed having drove to my home and finding that I don't have a store front.
2.) For my own security, the bicycle specific tools, as well as the other tools I have managed to gather over time would be costly to replace if stolen. Not to mention any bicycles I may bring home to work on.
3.) For personal piece of mind, having dealt with stalkers in the past. Long story that, and not for public review.
As for my use of a prepaid phone, the Tracfone I use gives me better service, and coverage, than most higher priced cell phone plans. I may pay between $80 and $120 a year for my phone. Yes, that's right, a year, not a month. And my service, not my minutes, is good for another 5 years. So, unless you have an Obama cell phone, I challenge you to beat that.
Next concern expressed was my ads only being found on New Orleans Craigs List. I have been listing my ads on Craigs List since April of 2008. I have many repeat clients. I don't get a lot of business, but enough. See, I am disabled. Another long story, not for public review.
Where To Next?
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