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.

5 replies
  1. Grayson Peddie
    Grayson Peddie says:

    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. 🙁

  2. Mighk
    Mighk says:


    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.

  3. Grayson Peddie
    Grayson Peddie says:

    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.

  4. Mighk
    Mighk says:

    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.

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