Strida Tail Light
a light tale

I got a Strida a good a little while ago. If you don’t know what a Strida is you should follow here and see what it’s all about. Short version: it’s a foldable bike.

Since Strida’s don’t come with any lights and I do like to be visible at night I went on s search for a good tail light. Strida actually have a pretty tail light themselves so I got one.

It functions just as you would expect: press the button, light switches on.
It’s a bright light that is also visible from the side. This is by all means better than the €3,- lights you can buy anywhere these days. 

To be honest, those little lights are just an excuse to comply to the law and prevent you from getting a ticket. They don’t do much for actual safety in traffic. Don’t get them, it’s an insult really.

Considering that this light costs little less, only €10,- there is no reason to settle for less.

Okay, back on topic. The Strida light is very easy to mount and can be removed in a second. Just slide in on, or press the tab and slide it off.
The mounting socket is square, sou you can mount it horizontally and vertically.
Though I don’t think you will be removing this often, because the Strida is a folder you would keep it with you most of the time.

Strida didn’t cheap out on mounting options. Three mounts are provided. One for the main frame tube, one for the carrier bracket and one that replaces the rear reflector.

Personally I have replaced the rear reflector with the tail light. However, here in Holland rear reflectors are mandatory and not having one will result in a fine (when the officer is grumpy). I currently am investigating weather the tail light may dub as an reflector during the day. If not I will replace the reflector and move the light near the axle of the rear wheel.

To cut a long story short, for €10,- you can’t really get any better. Plus is is perfectly designed for the Strida to mount it in an unobtrusive way so It won’t interfere with folding or putting it on it’s stand.

Worn & Torn
Bent Strida handlebar lock

Second hand isn’t always the best solution. You should really know the product you’re buying to save yourself from potential disappointment.

But that’s not the story here. The left handlebar lock on my Strida is worn. What I suspected to be a bent tube handlebar (or lock knob) was in fact a worn locking hole. Either by repetitive unlocking the frame by ramming the handlebar or maybe the bike fell. I don’t know. And honestly I don’t really care anymore.

The fact is that the lock hole is worn out. Resulting in the left handlebar riding out when, riding. The bad part about this is that the lock part is not replaceable. Well, it is. You have to replace the entire front tube. Costly.

I contacted Strida about a new front tube and they were available. No problem. But I couldn’t ride my bike!

I decided to hammer the frame back in shape. Feeling like the smith I am not I took a hammer and started tapping. Gently, then harder. This won’t work. Even if you apply enough force to bend the tab you can’t control the direction enough.
I dug around in my toolbox and found a vice. The one you mount on your desk. Big, heavy, clumsy. But the vice easily applies the force needed to bend the tab and makes it very easy to shape it in the proper direction.

I locked the handlebar in place to bend around the brass knob, put an old t-shirt over the frame to protect the framework and applied the vice over the entire tube. Tightening the vice slowly and adjusting position when necessary.

The result is a pretty neat bend following the lock knob. And it does in fact lock in place again. However, bending aluminium comes at a price. Bending it compromises the material integrity and it weakens.
Because of this I would not recommend this as a permanent solution. 
But when you are in a pinch after an accident and waiting for your new tube to arrive? It makes your Strida ridable again.

Putting the metal to the pedal
Strida aluminium folding pedals

It’s about time I posted my Strida. I intended to post when I completed the bike, but I couldn’t wait.
The first image is the bike as I got it, the second with minir replacements made:
- aluminium pedals
- kickstand
- LED tail light

The Strida is a bit unconventional. It folds less compact compared to a Brompton or Dahon. Folded it’s about a meter long. This let’s you wheel the bike in front of you and staah it in almost any luggage rack. Or under your seat.

This particular model is a 5.2 and has 16” aluminium rims.

It’s a you to ride.

I had this one sitting in my concepts for too long.
I’m a huge fan of Harvest Moon and was overjoyed with A New Beginning.
I preordered it and was surprised bu the pre order bonus…
HAMA BEADS
What am I supposed to do with Hama Beads?
I’m off ayinh HM for now.

I’m an asshole now

I travel a lot by train. And I like it, especially outisde traffic hours when there is plenty of room. Reading a book drinking a cup of coffee or just listening music an looking out of the window. Maybe writing a blog entry or two.

But there are some things that annoy the hell out of me. People who think that your bag is a seat, all they have to do is ask. Or people who *shhh* everybody in the Silence area. I know it’s a silence area, but if you tell everybody to shut up at the slightest sound you are the one annoying every body.

At the top of the list are people who eat oranges or mandarins. This will result in the entire carriage stinking of orange even after you finished you bloody orange.

Below that is a special group travellers: the folding bike people. Don’t get me wrong, I have no objection against folders. When folded the are like regular luggage and that regulation applies. Als long as they don’t take up a seat or block doors it’s okay.
However, most members of the Folding Bike People Tribe are a bit off. They lock bikes to doors, block doorways unfolding bikes. Don’t or partially fold bikes. Plage drive chains against your pants leaving you with grease marks. This is asocial behaviour that can’t be justified by having a folding bike. I know folders can be expensive and you would like to keep an eye on the bike. Just fold it properly and put it in a luggage rack.

And this is were it goes wrong. A lot of folders aren’t compact enough and too heavy to take on a train or to complicated to fold.
Missing a train because you need to fold you bike sucks, but that’s no reason to take an unfolded bike on the train. Or unfolding the thing in a crowded train.

So, why am I an asshole now ? Not for writing this entry. Nor did I kick a member of the Folding Tribe in the face. Even though maybe I should.

No.

I bought a folder myself!

It’s a Strida 5.2. And don’t fret, I will remain a gentleman on the train. Even with bike. ^_^

Soon…                    Soon…

(If you got the pun then kudos to you ^_~)

Soon…
                    Soon…

(If you got the pun then kudos to you ^_~)

Breathe in, breathe out, and HURRY!
Yoga Retreat, a brief review

I’m a big fan of Yoga. I don’t practice it on a regular basis any more, I should, I know. But is is great.

How I got into Yoga is a whole different story, so I’ll save that for some other time.

Amyway, to get to the subject. I just fiund out about a Yoga game! I immideately downloaded it. It’s called “Yoga Retreat” and it’s available in the Apple App Store.

Only seconds in the game I realised something was terribly off: rushing people.
The great thing about Yoga is to relax and unwind. Feel refreshed afterwards. Not to ‘hurry’ as you pay your customers in this retreat.

The game is similar to FarmVille, HayDay and TinyTower. I’m not very fond of freemium games to put it lightly. So I don’t expect to play this for very long. But just like Tiny Death Star I will give it a chance and have fun with it for a week or so.

Sony Smart Tags
Implementing in everyday wear

The NFC tags from Sony are nice and they help you change lots of settings on your phone in a mater of seconds and without any effort.

But where do you store the tags?

On your key chain? Getting your keys out to swipe the tag is cumbersome and defeats the purpose. 

So I made a little baggie. It’s made of a piece of elastic band that folds around the tag and fits snug. I sew a piece of hooks velcro on the back and stitched the sides with a contrasty orange for good looks. 

Okay, my sewing sucks.

The top flap is stitched a bit over the top to make the flap close on itself.

This tiny package now sticks to the inside of my Lowepro Passport Sling bag. It sits unnoticed on the inside of my bag and when I swipe my phone past my bag. Bang! WiFi off, mobile data on and volume on high. Ready to go outside.

Swipe it again and there you go: WiFi on, mobile data off and volume on moderate. Ready to go inside.

I know, it’s geeky. But who cares!

Sony Smart Tags
Tag Team Review
NT2 vs. NT3

I’ve reviewd the NT3 and the NT2 tags earlier. You might recall I didn’t like the online feature on the tags.

 I decided to do a comparison so you an decide which ones to get, or to get none at all.

 The NT2’s are quite simmilar to the NT3’s. Yet there are two notable differences. One, there is no sharing data with these tags. Two, they are build differently.

 Te NT3’s are a plastic backing with embedded chip and a coloured cover. They feel solid and have no layered edes. The NT2 ‘s are sandwiched. The white centet contains the chip (I presume) and the outer layers give it it’s colour. Because the edes of the layers are exposed These tags might (might!) be less durable than their successors, NT3.

 Also the NT2’s are slightly thinner and smaller than the NT3’s. Maybe not noteworthy, but still, the hole on the NT2 is larger and fits a dog tag (ball-)chain. The NT3’s won’t fit on such a chain.

 The lack of sharing data as URLs and Contact Information might seem to be off putting. But it is not. Because the NT3’s share data via the Sony database (phone reads tag#, contacts Sony and retrieves data) and require an active internet connection to be programmed in general. The NT2’s are completely offline. Thus they don’t pose a threat to the personal data on your chip (Because none can be stored).

 This difference has another concequence. The limit of NT2’s on your phone is 4. Simply because there are only four tags and each color has it’s own number no matter what package you buy.

The NT3’s each have a unique number, attached on a label when you buy them. This means you can get a second pack of NT3’s and use them as a seperate set.

Though I doubt anyone needs more than four tags.

 The packaging is slightly different, smaller on the NT2. Both contain the ususal warning and instruction booklets. The NT3’s come with neat silicone bands to attach them (to you keys?). I do question durability though. I wouldn’t want to loose a €5,- tag. The NT2’s come with M3 stickers to stick them to whatnot. I didn’t use the stickers but I trust 3M on this. They have good products.

 So should you get the programmable NT3’s or the colourfull NT2’s? If you find sharing contact information via a hip and trendy NFC tag appealing then get the NT3’s. Do realise though, NFC isn’t common enough yet. I got some crazy looks when I swiped the tag in my locker. Not everyone has NFC and certainly not everyone cares.

I you are consearned by security and privacy leaks you might want to opt out and get the NT2’s.

The NT2’s cost the same for less funtionality, that may seem unfair. Also there are no band to attach them to. But neighter are a dealbreaker to me.

 If you are still reading and wondering, why the hell should I go through so much efford to change a setting? Then don’t get them. I wouln’t blame you if you didn’t. ^_~