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Posted by on Mar 29, 2010 in Bicycle Culture | 5 comments


I really like this story by Richard on This is a special season for people of a certain faith, I think this story is a nice way to start it.

Adventures of Alex from Berkeley

Many of the authors and readers of this blog volunteer their time in service to others — officially and unofficially, from organized projects, to mentoring new riders, to random acts of kindness. It’s something that makes me feel really good about this community.


  1. Nice, good faith and will works year round!

  2. Danm I need to get myself a bike, but I don’t know where I can buy a single-speed bike from a bike shop with less crap to deal with for maintaining a bike (coaster brake instead of back lever brake with no front brake, but can add a front lever brake if I want to). That way, I can take part on riding a bike in the road, although I’ve never in my life ridden a bike before…

    Please excuse me for my off-topic comment above.

    It’s nice to see Paul help Alex out and it’s nice to see Alex journey in an adventure to Sanford using his cheap bike.

    Gee, I feel like I’ll be hated (uh, for a lack of a better word) for riding a single-speed bike with a coaster brake at a discount store (which makes it simple to maintain than bikes that have cables in it (and yeah, I’ve watched a YouTube video about replacing a brake cable, which can be found here:, but I’m in for simplicity)), but oh well. :(

  3. Grayson:

    Hand brakes work much better than coaster brakes; a front brake provides 70% of the braking power when a bike has both front and rear brakes.

    Do you live in the Orlando area? We have a great course for beginners.

  4. Yes. I live in Orlando. I live west of Valencia Community College East and I’m located near N. Chickasaw Trail between East Colonial Drive and Valencia College Lane.

    Isn’t hand versus coaster for rear brake just a matter of personal preference? Like I said, I don’t want to deal with too many parts in a bike. My parents have their own bikes and as far as I know, they don’t have hand brakes for their bikes. My parents live in Altha, west of Tallahassee.

  5. A coaster brake is not less complicated than a hand brake; it’s actually more complicated. You just don’t see the mechanism. It’s also more complicated to remove and reinstall a rear wheel with a coaster brake (to repair a flat tire) that one with a hand brake. You could get a bike with a rear coaster brake and front hand brake, but it’s more intuitive to use two hand brakes at once than to coordinate one foot and one hand.