Here’s a quick guide to how PracticalBiking.org works and an overview of what it is and isn’t all about.

Gift from my friend Pete, who is mentioned below. Not the bike itself, just the graphic.


I’ll do my best to distinguish between truth and opinion in my blog entries, and I ask that y’all do the same in your comments. I welcome a spirited discussion even when (maybe especially when) we disagree, but I’m committed to running a friendly, G-rated blog, so comments that stray into George Carlin territory or into flame wars will, um, disappear. 😉

Your comment should show up immediately as long as it includes no more than three links and contains no obvious spam words, meaning any discussion of wearing cheap Rolex watches while riding is probably out.

If you have a G-rated avatar from Gravatar, it’ll appear automatically when you add a comment and enter the email address that is associated with your avatar. Sorry, racier gravatars won’t display; I want kids to be able to read these pages without giving their parents a conniption fit. If you don’t have an avatar, I won’t embarrass you by automatically assigning you a picture of an ogre.

You can use simple html in your post, including text formatting and links. My friend Pete let me borrow his quick primer on the html tags supported in WordPress comments:

Type This Get this
<a href=”http://mylink.com”>My Link</a> My Link
You can also <a href=”http://mylink.com” title=
“Text visible while hovering”>create a link</a> with a title, so that hovering over it shows the text.
You can also create a link with a title, so that hovering over it shows the text.
This is <b>bold</b>.
This is <strong>strong</strong>.
This is bold.
This is strong.
This is <i>italic</i>.
This is <em>emphasis</em>.
This is italic.
This is emphasis.
This is <strike>strike</strike>. This is strike.
This is old-style <code>computer code text</code>. This is old-style computer code text.
Here is: <blockquote>Some text in a blockquote.</blockquote> Here is:

Some text in a blockquote.

As noted in the comments form, you can also use abbr, acronym, cite, del, and q tags.

WordPress, the blogging application I’m using, converts text emoticons to graphics. For more information, see the WordPress.org page Using Smilies.


When you comment, a bit of information is collected to reduce comment spam. You need to enter an email address, but the address is never displayed, it’s just buried in a database that I have no interest in mining. (I can also see it on the Comments page in WordPress.) You’ll never hear from me except in a comment reply or, occasionally, in a request for more information. Neither will I sell you out to marketers or to anyone else. In addition, your IP address is recorded when you comment. This is a function of the blogging software that I can’t control.

What PracticalBiking.org is about (and not)

There might be a single place somewhere on the Internet that explains what you need to know to use a bike as everyday transportation, but I haven’t found it. I have no illusions that you’ll ever find everything here, but my goal is to eventually give you enough background that you can make intelligent decisions about what will work for you. As I offer some perspective on what’s important, what isn’t, and why, I’ll try to be clear about my biases, so you know why I think Mr. Tuffy Tire Liners are more trouble than they’re worth and what I think is a good alternative for preventing flats. To the extent that I know anything about biking, I know about how to use a bike to get from point A to point B and back again, possibly with a bag or two of groceries, and that’s what this blog is about.

Despite my great appreciation for Bike Portland and Copenhagenize, I don’t have enough enthusiasm for politics or advocacy to join the fray, so you won’t find me prattling on about misplaced priorities in transportation spending or the long-anticipated extension of the Burke Gilman trail in Seattle. Besides, Michael over at Seattle Likes Bikes! is already doing a bangup job for Seattle (where I live), and the folks at StreetsBlog are doing the same on a national level. Neither will you find me talking about the Tour de France, velodromes, or cyclocross, about which I know nearly nothing and care even less. 😉