Monday, January 5, 2009

Bozeman Bike Kitchen Newsletter, January 5th, 2009

Bozeman Bike Kitchen Newsletter

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Our Newsletter for 2009 - by Sam Haraldson

Bozeman Bike Kitchen

For those of you who've been on the Bozeman Bike Kitchen mailing list for some time you know there were good changes made to it's formatting in the past year. I joined the ranks of the Bike Kitchen staff during the summer of 2008 and decided one of the opportunities I could bring to the Kitched was that of helping keep it up-to-date in the burgeoning online world that aids in the flow of so much communication in the 21st century. I was lovingly bestowed the title of Webmaster by fellow staffers and it is a title I hold in the highest.

Now that the formatting of the newsletter is under control the next obvious step is to provide content that is readable, interesting, regionally specific and perhaps even fun. In order to begin this process I invited two fellow staffers to write blurbs for this month's newsletter. I hope you will enjoy the words from Liz and Casey. For upcoming newsletters I invite our membership base to submit stories, poems, tutorials, photos, and more of their own choosing. Please direct this correspondence to me via e-mail.

Secretary's Corner - by Liz Layne

Bozeman Bike Kitchen

The decision to lease a space was a big one for the Bozeman Bike Kitchen. For our first 3 years we operated with very few costs, using small cash donations to pay for supplies. Bikes, parts, and tools came and went with little monetary input. Larger expenses like liability insurance, incorporation, and exemption application were covered by Taylor Lonsdale and myself, the two board members with gainful employment. We decided that if our new rent became a burden for the BBK itself, we could personally donate the funds for a few months. Neither of us wants to the see the BBK fail because of eviction.

I wrote our first rent check on December 1, and our highly-organized volunteers got things moving. We had two more months of rent in the bank, but needed funds for utilities and materials for the new space. I have plans to re-apply for grants this year, and have some individual fundraising in the works, but I have had some stress about paying the rent this winter. So when I opened my mail last Sunday night after being out of town over the holidays, I had a few tears of joyous relief when I found three checks that will cover another month of rent and some extras. We’ve got three months of rent in the bank! And a big load of donated firewood too!

I extend personal and heartfelt thanks to the following individuals for their generosity to the Bozeman Bike Kitchen: John Bare, Glenn Huntsman and Tina Albers, Dave Schaub, Ylva Lekberg, John and Jennifer Walsh. All of us from the BBK thank you for your support of our vision for a welcoming and resourceful place for all cycle commuters. Best wishes for 2009!

The Year 'Round Commute - by Casey Schlenker

Bozeman Bike Kitchen
Those of us here at the BBK not only enjoy working on bicycles, we also like to ride bicycles. Most of us like riding bikes so much that we are dedicated bicycle commuters, and yes, even in the wintertime we can be seen pedaling the icy streets of Bozeman on our way to work and social functions. To those of us that regularly commute by bike during the winter it is second nature, and quite pleasant and comfortable. But for the public at large it can seem a tad insane to ride a bicycle on icy streets at temperatures of 100 F or colder. This tends to prompt a lot of questions at gas stations, supermarkets, and bars.

The most common question I am asked is 'Aren't you cold?' The answer to this query is 'no', and no, I'm not wearing clothing suitable for summating Everest. What I am wearing is boots, flannel Carharts, t-shirt, thermal layer, coat, hat, and gloves; in short, what any sensible Montanan would wear in the wintertime. The fact of the matter is that riding a bike generates a tremendous amount of heat. So, no winter commuting is never cold, it's probably even much warmer than driving a car in the winter. When temps dip to negative fifteen, I don long underwear and a balaclava for my face, again like any normal Montanan would, and I still arrive at the coffee shop in the morning and strip off layers before going inside, because I am sweating.

The second question I'm asked is 'Aren't you going to slip and fall?' This answer, in my case is 'No', but the equipment necessary is a tad less commonplace. My winter bikes have studded tires, which allow me to literally ride on an ice skating rink, so the icy, unsalted, sparsely plowed streets of Bozeman are no obstacle. I tend to have far more control than most cars, again the advantage goes to the bicycle. Studded tires are quite expensive, a decent set will cost around $130.00, which is roughly four or five tanks of gas. The one caveat to studded tires is that it is imperative you have the kind with carbide studs, Kenda, Schwalbe (my personal favorite), and Nokkian all manufacture high quality carbide studded tires, and can be obtained from most bike shops and net retailers.

So consider giving winter bicycle commuting a try. I ride year round and can quite honestly say, it is one of the most rewarding and pleasant times to ride a bicycle. Quiet, clear, winter nights can be positively enchanting when experienced on a bike.

1 comment:

scott said...

Great read everyone. Thanks for taking the time to post it. Good luck with 2009.