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Palo Alto bicyclist to head east on rare bike

Original post made on Mar 30, 2009

Palo Altan Martin Krieg, known as the Pennyfarthing bicyclist and driver of the pedal-power Busycle, plans to ride an 1891 Eagle "reverse Pennyfarthing" bike across America starting May 3 to promote his dream of a "National Bicyle Greenway." ==B Photo by Whitney Dafoe/Palo Alto Weekly.==

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 30, 2009, 9:04 AM

Comments (31)

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Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 30, 2009 at 10:41 am

Hey Martin! I still have MY Schwinn, circa 1973. Least I believe I do. Good luck on the ride! It says 4000 miles, how are you getting home? See you at the DP!

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 30, 2009 at 10:42 am

Krieg: God Bless You! I hope you find your audience! You have learned so much about life by coming so close to death. But I wish you the best as to trying to find someone to appreciate what you have learned enough to take the time to listen to you. Most people are hooked into their own system of beliefs and hold on to it for safety. As you and I have learned from auto accidents that put us both within a fraction of death itself we all have our time and we have no control over anything once we reach that critical point. So, do what you can to be who you are right now because this is the only time we know we have. Make it real. Good Luck!


Like this comment
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 30, 2009 at 10:57 am

Krieg gets away with his reckless bike riding in Palo Alto, because people her believe if you are riding a bike, you cannot be breaking any laws. Maybe when he is on his cross country journey, he will learn that laws are to be obeyed by everyone. Maybe his fans can start collecting bail money for him

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Posted by Matt Podoll
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Mar 30, 2009 at 11:08 am

Right on Martin!

Like this comment
Posted by Martin's Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm

There's nothing reckless about his riding; when the cars in the area start obeying stop signs and speed limits, you can complain about the bikes. Good luck and Godspeed, Martin.

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Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Yup! I still have my bike. I checked. Needs restoration though,36 years old!

I've not seen Martin break any laws. I am definitely not a cyclist, but I find him lerss annoying than most.

Like this comment
Posted by Not Interested
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Honestly, is this guy still newsworthy on a local scale? We've all seen him, he's made sure of that. We've probably all met him, and honestly he's super egotistical and actually pretty boring. "I said I could ride a bike across the United States and I would do it in a very distinct way." Doesn't riding a bike with a 19th century design seem kinda... inefficient and overcomplicated? I mean the only thing that would be good for is... attention. oh, right, i get it now.
-he also started hitting on my girlfriend in whole foods when I was in highschool. completely true story.

Like this comment
Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Psssst, maybe after skewl we can meet up behind the gym and pass notes about Martin...pass it on...

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Posted by shireen
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I haven't seen him, and I would love to see this bicycle. I hope he makes it to his destination safely. I have a 1929 bicycle myself, that I love, a one speed that works just fine in the many level areas around here.

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Posted by Lance
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm

To Not Interested,

I just saw your girlfriend on his handlebars, riding away! Run Forest, run!

Like this comment
Posted by Go Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:36 am

Martin is such a lovely man. What he has been through, my God. He is excited about just being alive. I feel like a mother who has to defend him when I see people mistake his love for life with petty accusations. You go Martin. I think about how much inspiration your book gives me to fight through my own disease each and every day! As you always tell us, "THX for You"!!

Like this comment
Posted by nUTJOB
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 31, 2009 at 9:23 am

Yeah, that's what I love about this forum, ridicule the do gooders, the nice guys and gals, those that don't follow the mainstream, pile on you JERKS!

No rip-off insurance,repairs, smog, gas,registration,parking,idiots, road rage. I love being a cyclist and the perks that go with it!

The perception that he breaks the law is from the non-riders in cars that see him stop at the stop sign, but not put a foot down, or dismount, not an easy trick on a high wheeler.

And you non-rider JERKS take note, you don't see your fellow car users who absolutely INSIST on waving us through stop signs; it happens 99.9% of the time, so us bikers are FED UP and we just GO! I had a stand off @ Bryant/California 4-Way, it lasted a good 20 seconds, where this driver was just not going to move until I got in the pedals and went first; they'd arrived before me and I stoppped and put my foot down. Just go! darn it....but knoooooww, go bike GO!

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2009 at 9:44 am

nUT Job,

People wave bikes through for the same reason they avoid erratic drivers. They are dangerous and unpredictable.

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2009 at 10:09 am

A 1891 Eagle wasn't designed for a 4,000 mile ride. I hope he has a good sag wagon because both he and the bike are going to need a lot of repairs along the way. Unless Martin has added some, there aren't any shock absorbers in his bicycle.

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Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 31, 2009 at 10:11 am

Nut Job--your moniker describes you perfectly.
"so us bikers are FED UP and we just GO"--so you admit breaking the law.
Very nice--no wonder you like this Martin Kreig.
We will see how his scofflaw antics play in other parts of the country--nothing like a strip search and a night in county jail to get one to follow the rules.

Like this comment
Posted by Bike shop
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2009 at 10:58 am

I work at a local bike shop and Martin come by and show us how he gets bike to go. Amazing. I know I can not do it. I don't think many people can.

Like this comment
Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 31, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Don't even START me on cyclists. The idiots that ride on the inside track lane on Alma. The ones that blow stop signs. The occasional biker that suddenly decides that they equal a car and ride in the MIDDLE of a traffic lane. I remember living in a front house with a cottage behind and the cyclists living behind me whined that when I started my car in the carport, the discharge from my exhaust was wearing down their bicycle tires. Nevermind they rode to Cupertino every day for work passing THOUSANDS of cars, it was just more fun to persecute a captive audience.

Then there's the rude smug superior idiots that slap your car when they perceive their precious territory has been breached by a car. I remember dropping off a small child once, 100 block of Churchill. There was a car in the driveway, but I was able to pull in almost the entire car so I could safely discharge my small passenger. The butt of the car, which was still running, extended into the bike lane by about 6 inches, literally. I checked, to make sure I wasn't obstructing the bike lane. (You can't park on one side of Churchill) As I was waiting to safely back out, this self righteous moron slammed his hand on my car, HARD, while yelling some obscenity. It wasn't a safety thing, the car is a convertible and we'd already made eye contact.

IfI have to adjust my driving and share the road to accommodate cyclists, they should have to share and adjust for us! It's called SHARE the road.

I chased that s.o.b. for six blocks.

Like this comment
Posted by big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2009 at 7:15 pm

YSK- sounds like you have encountered some really crazy scerios with cyclists, and
hopefully your ability to release all the hostility which you are presently carrying around
on this website can be a healthy release. If this doesn't seem to work you migh want to
consider some sort of therapy, or other common mechanisms for holding onto anger.
It's not healthy for you, or those around you, especially all the people who ride bicycles
around you. Please be considerate of the children that use this form of transport, and
maybe your compassion will grow from there.

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:11 pm

We shouldn't be so hard on Bicyclists. Bicyclists benefit the economy. Especially liability lawyers, ambulances, auto body shops, and roadside shrine vendors.

However, like smokers, I wish I didn't have to pay for their risky behavior in my health insurance bill.

Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Outside Observer,

Those bicylists are helping your health insurance bill.
The main reason I ride is for the health benefits.

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2009 at 9:24 pm


Suggestion. Take up jogging. Same health benefits with much less risk, so long as you don't do it in the middle of the motor vehicle roadway.

Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Outside Observer,

Why are you so bigoted against bicyclists?
Why aren't you showing this concern for automobile travel or motorcyle driving that result in far more deathes and injuries?

Like this comment
Posted by drew nomellini
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:54 am

He reminds me of Kramer, Festivis.

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm


1) If cars are removed our society would collapse - they are a necessary evil. If bicycles are removed everyone would have a safer, faster and less stressful commute (especially the cyclists).

2) The roadways are designed for motor vehicles. Bicycles are a an unsafe misuse of the infrastructure. At a minimum bicycles serve only to impede motor vehicle traffic. Many justify bicycles because there are laws allowing use of the motor vehicle roadways. In my mind those laws are just as legitimate as the Jim Crow laws of the deep south. Liberals can pass any feel-good law they want, but they can't change the laws of physics. Furthermore, those laws allowing bicycles are in direct contradiction to CVC section 22350 (basic speed law), section 22400 (minimum speed law), and very often in Palo Alto section 21656 (turning out of slow moving vehicles).

3) The self-righteous, in-your-face actions and attitude of the majority of cyclist is aptly described by bloggers in this thread, and every other bicycle thread on Town Square.

I could burn up more bandwidth that Town Square has about bicycles, but I'll stop at 3 points. If you would like more, just ask, and I'll give another 3 points every day, but if I do, we might be at this for years! ;)

Like this comment
Posted by Cycle Psych
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Outside Observer,

Like Lady Macbeth, you "doth protest too much". You are obviously a closeted bicyclist! Do not be alarmed. This is treatable. Come out, O.O., the pedalling is fine! The open road awaits!!

Cycle Psych

Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Bitter much?

Like this comment
Posted by DJC
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 3:45 am

Wow, I am reading the comments and sense a lot of hostility between bicyclist and drivers. Palo Altans, where is the tolerance, the consideration and the empathy for your fellow road users?

A strange thing, most bikers are also drivers, though not simultaneously. Like bad, arrogant, incompetent, under-skilled, self-centered vehicle drivers, similar behavior and skill set are found behind the handlebars. I lived in Old Palo Alto for ten years. I rode my bike and I drove my car, noticing unscrupulous behavior from self-righteous cyclists continuing off the bike and into life. It appears to be more of an individual character trait rather than a commonality among cyclists. The same observation applies to drivers. Some are lawful, respectful, polite and considerate of their fellow road-users, others aren't so obliging. I've had encounters with bad drivers while riding but I've also come across some really arrogant, non-yielding, non law-abiding cyclists while driving. I've learned it's best to "Zen it" and move forward - it's the people, not the vehicle, that should be faulted.

Now, I ride my bike and drive my car in the South of France. The lanes, smaller, the obstacles, ever-present, the speed, faster and the risk, higher. Yet, I don't feel an anamosity between drivers and cyclist. On the contrary, I feel drivers and cyclists are on the same wavelength - live to ride another day.

That said, driving a car or riding a bike is not a right; it's a privilege. The rules of the road are written black on white, for both bicyclists and vehicle drivers. Following the rules, being considerate, and tolerating others are the essence of having an enjoyable day, whether you bike or drive.

All the best to my old 'hood and good luck Martin Krieg riding the '91 Eagle across the States.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Apr 2, 2009 at 4:50 am

Cars have the right of way in Asia and India - the bigger (usually black BMW's & Mercedes) honk and plow through bicyclists and pedestrians, honking for them to move.

Motorbikes, with their polluting 2 stroke engines have second right of way - honking while zigzagging around bicyclists and pedestrians.

You will not see many Asian and Indian immigrants on bicycles, motorcycles, or using public transportation here. It would be a step backwards for them – a way of life that they left.

Many of the men came to America to drive our open highways. I know this since I used to work for the State Dept. and met and interviewed many applicants for immigration.

Many women have never driven or ridden in a car before arriving here. They learn to drive here.

It is sad that the increase in our population, with subsequent decline in our air quality and natural resources is largely attributed from lax immigration standards legal or not.

Martin, please be careful on your trip.
I will pray for a safe return.
We will miss your cheerful smiles and gestures around town.

Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm


We've never agreed on much. But, this time, I'm with you.

Like this comment
Posted by Sun and Sand
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

" If cars are removed our society would collapse"

And what if cars aren't removed, eventually? Do you really think that cars are "forever", especially cars as we have known them? Do the math, and please do include a few global warming calculations in your estimate. (check out the Tibetan plateau, where 95% of all glaciers are receding, and galloping toward nearly 100%).

Anyone who has a problem with bicyclists right to the highway is a potential danger to society, especially of s/he takes those attitudes on the road, behind the wheel of whatever 2-ton killing machine s/he happens to be driving that day.

I'm not a biker, but seeing these anti-bike comments makes me wonder about what - if any - responsibility on the road is demonstrated towards bicyclists by uppity drivers who are complaining about something that amounts to no more than a gnat to their armored transportation vehicles.

Sure, there are rude bicyclists, but there are also rude automobile drivers. Get used to it, and adapt, instead of creating a problem borne of generally wrong assumptions.

And, good luck, Martin. Safe trip!

Like this comment
Posted by Randy, I bike and drive
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2009 at 11:46 am

2) "The roadways are designed for motor vehicles" Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community, on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Every time you drive on a good road, thank a bicyclist. It was the bicyclists who fought for good roads way back when roads were mostly dirt. The first cyclist to cross the US didn't even have a road to follow, if you don't count the railroad. Oh, yeah, and he rode a highwheel.
I find the same percentage of poor drivers and riders. I'd rather be run over, but if I were, I'd prefer it was a bike and not a car.

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