Tag: bicycle

Read More

You’re Going the Wrong Way

Strange: I have walked through this intersection countless times over the years and only today recognized the anomalous road sign(s). In the Featured Image, bikers are given distances to destinations that are behind them—meaning where they came from. In the companion capture, of the sign on the other side of the roundabout, information is accurate for everyone riding East towards Normal Heights.

Ah, yeah. Maybe you are unfamiliar with the area and turned onto Meade from a perpendicular street a few blocks away. Based on the first sign, you would be mislead to think that you’re eight-tenths of a mile (1.29 kilometers) from University Heights. The Meade-Utah traffic circle is often nasty with cars, so a biker paying attention to incoming vehicles could easily miss the second sign.

Read More


The Featured Image is more brooding than it needs to be, but the mood remembers what was—and thankfully—what is gone. From before our October 2007 relocation to San Diego until September 2015, The Crypt—a goth, fetish, sadomasochist, sex shop—occupied the corner retail space at Park Blvd and University Avenue. The place closed for failure to pay rent.

The storefront stayed vacant—cursed, if you ask me—for another almost six years. MJ’s Cyclery is the current tenant; refreshing change, too. As the city removes motorized vehicle parking spaces to make more bike lanes, lifestyle and sales opportunities open up for cycle shops.

Read More

You Can Be Too Popular

If buzz is the measure of success, Fujifilm X100VI is camera of the year. Reviewers swoon, sales soar, and an order backlog means some people will wait until summer to get one—if not longer. The fixed-lens compact’s predecessor has been hard to come by for ages, in part because of adoption and hype by social media influencers.

The same crowd is gaga for the sixth shooter in the series. For the record, I wouldn’t buy one—and content creator crazies rank as my top reason. I love this series of cameras and owned several of them, starting with the original, X100, back in the ancient year of 2011. I also acquired later variants X100T and X100F. But something about the thing being a fad—and Fuji catering to the clamoring mob—kills the allure.

Read More

Finally, Somebody Uses the Bike Lanes

Dec. 9, 2023, as I stopped to photograph someone’s life belongings heaped onto four shopping carts, suddenly, and rapidly, riders roared by along University Ave. in Hillcrest. San Diego’s panache for tearing up parking spaces and replacing them with kilometers-upon-kilometers of bike lanes is controversial among businesses and many residents but unapologetic policy public.

On any normal day, bikers are few, and their numbers are next to meaningless compared to the volume of buses, cars, SUVs, and trucks, among other vehicles. So I was rather surprised seeing such mass of riders, who vastly spilled out of the bike lane into traffic.

Read More

Long Haul Trucker

I initially planned to close-crop the Featured Image but instead present it as shot. Both bikes are something of anachronisms in San Diego, where more and more riders mount motorized hybrids. Blame electric rentals or SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—both, likely—for dramatic behavioral shift in a short span of about two years.

The Surly is a Long Haul Trucker model that the manufacturer describes as a “long-distance cargo bike ready to go anywhere”. The single saddlebag—pannier, if you prefer—suggests somewhere. The LHT was retired last year, after 17 years of production, which makes me wonder how much the sudden surge in popularity of electric (and some gas-powered) hybrids played into the bike’s end of life.

Read More

The Future of Transportation?

As part of its strategy to reduce so-called carbon emissions, San Diego is building bikeways through various close-in neighborhoods. The one starting at Georgia in University Heights and ending at Fairmont in City Heights is complete. My wife and I drove the length along Meade Avenue on Jan. 29, 2022 to attend the free-admission Lunar New Year celebration sponsored by the Little Saigon Foundation. However, Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park and the surrounding area was so packed, and parking so scare, we did a drive-by only.

A series of traffic circles and speed bumps has greatly reduced vehicular traffic along Meade—not that a marked increase in bikers is apparent. What I do see, and this is something that should trouble city planners and their long-term goals: An alarmingly greater number of motor-powered bicycles. Everywhere. Some are pedaled, too, and most are battery-electric. But not all.

Read More

Not My Masi

My walk to the pet store on Sept. 25, 2021 was an unexpected trip down memory lane. On the corner of Adams and Ohio, at the leading edge of San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood, someone had locked up their Masi Speciale Fixed. What a great roadster. I used to own the exact same color and configuration.

I bought my Masi in November 2008 and treasured her (my site, my pronoun choice)—the more after thieves tried to steal her (February 2010) out of a locked garage (they got bicycles belonging to my wife and daughter—bastards). The Speciale Fixed is what the name implies: single-gear. However, the bike sports a flip-flop hub that allows freewheel conversion. In fixed-configuration, pedals always move when the wheels are in motion. Freewheel is what most riders are accustomed to: Coasting when not actively pedaling.

Read More

The Bicycle

My wife typically goes to bed and rises earlier than do I. When getting up to feed the cats, Cali and Neko, Annie saw bicycle handlebars sticking up behind a parked car; about 3:30 a.m. PDT. She assumed that one of the apartment building’s other tenants had a visitor who left the bike locked on the sidewalk. But daylight revealed a wayward fixed-speed roadster, apparently abandoned and unlocked. We both wondered where it came from and how in a neighborhood rife with bicycle thieves no one had ridden off with the thing.

Someone stole two of our then three bikes from a locked garage, in February 2010. Annie sees frequent posts on Nextdoor about bikes taken from behind locked fences or about neighbors reporting random two-wheeler chop shops. We wondered where the women’s rider came from. Perhaps someone, ah-hum, borrowed—then abandoned—it?

Read More

Rusty Rider

This exercise bike is nowhere nearly as classic as another that I photographed two months ago today. Condition and color mark the difference. One is rustic, the other is rusted. Still, if you need stationary pedal power, free is the right price. Looked like someone was moving out of an apartment, as I walked by this morning—along Carmelina Drive—and the contraption wasn’t fit to take; of course, assuming the thing works, you could get fit taking it to ride.

Location is close to where lived Hope, who appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series last year. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image (warning: 34MB file), which is composed as shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 10:06 a.m. PDT.

Read More

One Woman’s Treasure

A few days ago, an overstuffed beanbag—suitable for someone of great heft—appeared in the alley between Alabama and Mississippi at Monroe in University Heights. San Diego residents frequently leave unwanted things for foragers to take. What’s that saying about one person’s trash being another’s treasure?

Today, my wife and I happened to pass by, seeing a new addition: The Vitamaster Slendercycle prominently placed in the Featured Image and companions. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 9:50 a.m. PDT. The second, composed as shot, is 1/200 sec, 9:51 a.m. I used Leica Q2 for both. The last, added after posting, is a closer crop of the first.