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Old 04-21-05, 10:44 AM   #1
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Patrick Barber
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Hello from an Oakland newbie

Hi all, my name is Patrick Barber and I'm new to BikeForums. I'm really enjoying all the information and discussion to be had herein, and glad I finally joined!

I live in Oakland, California with my partner Holly. We're both utility cyclists . . . we got rid of our last car in June 2003 after years and years of gradually-increasing bike dependence. Now we're fully pedal-powered, which involves a lot of cycling and, just as importantly, a lot of radius-shrinking.

I currently ride a 1994 (or 1993, I can't remember) Univega Alpina Uno which has seen many modifications over the years, mostly to replace worn out parts. It is very heavy but it rides like a champ, fits me like a glove, and I love it. We also have a 2001 Dahon Speed 7 which we keep around for guests to use. Holly rides a 2003 Novara bike, a comfort-style hybrid that I think she is outgrowing in speed and ability. We are both getting the itch for lighter, faster bikes...probably cyclo-cross style bikes, though as I am an American male approaching 40, I am also growing attached to the notion of a singlespeed/fixie combo to fool around with. Ah. Someday.

For our cargo we have a 3-foot bike trailer from Bikes At Work. It attaches via a rear-stay-mounted hitch and is extremely stable. It is of tubular aluminum truss-frame construction and is designed to accomodate two 18-gallon Rubbermaid storage tubs, which will carry home all our groceries and a case of wine with ease. If I sound like a satisfied customer, it's because I am. This bike trailer changed our life.

We also acquired, through sheer luck and fortitude, a brand new 3-speed Christiania tricycle, a beautifully designed front-loading vehicle appropriate for carrying kids around. As our kid-making plans have been put temporarily on hold, the poor thing lives in the basement, but its day in the sun will come soon enough!

Holly and I are just starting to do as much of our own maintenance work as we can handle, and we find that very gratifying. It's great to have a quiet, smooth-riding bike and know that I got rid of those squeaks myself. We have also been doing a lot of bike-philosophy reading in the past few years, first of John Forester and his "Effective Cycling," and then, recently, Robert Hurst's "The Art of Urban Cycling," which is, to my mind, a very effective, on-the-ground interpretation of Effective Cycling.

(Full disclosure: Robert Hurst and I were friends when we were very young -- like birth-to-preteen. I read his book before I knew this, and I was astonished to find that the author was, in fact, the Bobby Hurst I knew as a tot. Life is full of surprises.)

Other than cycling and le day job ( we keep ourselves busy with our fledgling urban homestead, the trials and tribs of which you can read about at

Thanks for reading, and see you in the Forums!


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Old 04-21-05, 08:46 PM   #2
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