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Bike + Menorah, year 2!

This topic contains 80 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Vannevar 8 mos, 3 weeks.

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byogman

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Oct 14 2013 at 9:06am #

Hanukkah comes absurdly early this year, which is a promising for the weather of second edition of the bikes join the car menorah parade, ride. Want to build on the success of the first ride and make this just one of those great, quirky Pittsburgh things.

The ride will (most likely) be the evening of Monday December 2nd starting at Lubavitch Center (corner of Hobart and Wightman in squirrel hill) and winding its way in roundabout fashion toward a heated tent with light snacks and entertainment in Schenley Plaza.

The permitting is not finalized, so I have to say most likely and can’t give a time yet. But that’s logistics, will update this thread as they solidify. Our invitation to the parade is solid, our presence was and is welcome. And we will ride as a formal part of the parade, with police escort. Hopefully the earlier calendar date will help us, but the ride will proceed in any weather that doesn’t cancel the parade for the cars.

I want to encourage anyone and everyone to attend. The absurdly slow pacing length and police escort make this accessible to all comers. Much will be the same as in last year’s thread., but all questions are good questions, so please ask away!

I apologize for posting a ride without everything totally nailed down, but wanted to give a good bit of lead time for menorahs. You’re welcome to ride without of course, the more the merrier, but it was cool to see the projects come together last year and I think there can be more this year with the better lead time. So please, use this as a forum for design discussions and share your menorahs as they come together.


Marko82

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Oct 14 2013 at 11:27am #

This was fun last year, I’ll prob do it again.


byogman

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Oct 14 2013 at 12:25pm #

Hope to see you there again Marko, and thanks again for corking those intersections!

For those on the fence, one thing to note is the low cost of a low end string of 10 lights, which was the most common lighting platform.

And no, that you don’t have to be religious (or Jewish, for that matter) to join. It’s a just nice opportunity to commune with friends, neighbors and fellow cyclists and celebrate religious freedom, and light up a dark evening with some silly fun.


byogman

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Oct 14 2013 at 12:48pm #

Actually, for those who work downtown or live in squirrel hill, if I get, say, 10-20 folks who want, I’ll do a bulk order of the lights from http://www.christmaslightsetc.com/. I’ll eat the shipping, throw in a C cell battery to power it if you don’t have, and what the heck, I’ll deliver it too as long as it’s not a pain in my schedule (you can also PM me for my cell and pick up from either location more or less any work/non-work time respectively). So, max convenience and it’s all yours for the low, low price of 2.50 (or 2.49 if you have the pennies)

Can you tell I’m really itching for a good turnout and a lot of menorahs? Yeah…


Vannevar

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Oct 14 2013 at 2:21pm #

This was a blast last year and we were really made to feel welcome. Plus the after-snacks were great. If you’re at all a bike-light geek, then the “festival of lights” is like bike light nirvana (which is probably a mixed-religion metaphor). I’m really looking forward to this.


Vannevar

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Oct 14 2013 at 2:22pm #


byogman

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Oct 14 2013 at 2:27pm #

I do plan to use the baby carrier to mount a bigger menorah this year. I won’t be sporting quite so epic a beard, but I think some lubavitch community members will fill in on that :)


StuInMcCandless

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Oct 14 2013 at 5:50pm #

I’m in on the group light order. I work downtown. Shouldn’t be too hard to find me.


PghDragonMan

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Oct 15 2013 at 12:29pm #

Latkes before / after? Need those carbs!


byogman

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Oct 15 2013 at 12:53pm #

Latkes come after, in Schenley Plaza. This is about un-strenuous a ride as they come. The closest you get is probably just returning to the start, climbing Oakland to Squirrel Hill for which I’ll lead whoever wants, slowly, up Schenley Drive. So the fuel-up comes at the right time.


srpit

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Oct 16 2013 at 12:23pm #

This was a very nice event last year. So many people along the route were cheering and waving and just enjoying the festivities. It was a very slow paced ride that I think would be perfect for bringing along the whole family. Intersections were blocked off and I think anyone would have a very good time.

I’m looking forward to this, Ben. Thanks for including us. I may have to modify last year’s menorah – I’ll have to look at it and see.


buffalo buffalo

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Oct 16 2013 at 12:51pm #

glad it’s pushed back–i was worried i would be out of town, since i’m usually away for two weeks in november, including thanksgiving. if i go up to my parents’ for THX, i’ll’ve just got back on the 1st.

in for the lights, regardless, ’cause, well, why the hell not.


byogman

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Oct 18 2013 at 11:06am #

Just FYI to all, date, time and route now a settled matter:

Monday December 2nd
6:00PM

Start: Corner of Hobart and Wightman in squirrel hill
End: Schenley Plaza

Route (not quite 4 miles)

Return to start (just over 2 miles)

Both rides will be absurdly slow, welcoming to all comers.

The timing on the return ride is total informal, whenever it seems like most people want to go, that’s when I’ll go. No need to do the return ride if you’re comfortable solo or you’re going elsewhere.


srpit

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Oct 20 2013 at 5:16pm #

Working on my Bike-Menorah version 2.0! Last year’s was ok, but I think I can do better.


byogman

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Nov 4 2013 at 5:13pm #

First of 9 lights for the huge lawn / ridiculous bike menorah (UPS to power it in mobile use cases). It’s actually a nice teardrop shape and only 40 watt, but I light the overexposed awesomeness of this picture.

I went a little nuts and bought 50 ft. of lamp coord. This thing will be BIG. Haven’t finalized spray-painted PVC (probably 1 1/2 inch, socket nests nicely and easy to get all the parts) vs. square aluminum tubing… depends if I can strong-arm a friend who’s a welder and figure out how to put a round peg in a square hole.

I also bought both plugs and switches X 10 (9 + 1 for the inevitable mistake). I’ll probably basically do one or the other and return the rest. Switches are more convenient and cooler, and in principle you can wire a parallel circuit here for multiple lights per plug, I’m just not sure how many per plug and how that depends on source and bulb. Time to do a little basic E & M review!

Next weekend, hopefully, will have a monster menorah to share.


byogman

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Nov 4 2013 at 5:24pm #

By the way, if anyone doesn’t see the picture, please let me know. Shared through a google plus post, right click copy image url. I hope that’s visible for all. I think that’s what I did last year with the menorah picture. Anyways, tells you how much I do this stuff.


byogman

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Nov 5 2013 at 10:31am #

FYI, we will not be alone in Pittsburgh this holiday season mounting menorahs to bikes (or again, you don’t have to do that… foil covered cardboard sword (of which I have 8 already made) would make you a fine Maccabee).

The disease has spread to San Francisco.

Hooray! Now we just need to make ours bigger, right :) Can we do that?


byogman

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Nov 5 2013 at 10:32am #

Link broken, trying inline text: http://www.chabadcv.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2375295/jewish/Bike-Menorah-Parade.htm


Drewbacca

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Nov 5 2013 at 1:13pm #

way to be a trendsetter!!! :D


byogman

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Nov 8 2013 at 2:44pm #

Trendsetter is definitely a weird word for me.

About the lights order. The 10ct string seemed to disappear from christmaslightsetc… so got from Walmart website at 2.99 per. I unfortunately didn’t have the volume to merit the case of batteries with associated discount, so I hope folks are cool getting their own.

My plan is to start distributing Sunday Nov 17 for the folks in Squirrel Hill and environs and Monday Nov 18 for folks downtown and environs and/or if there’s a downtown lunch meetup I’ll try and use that.


abm760

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Nov 8 2013 at 3:19pm #

I plan to do the ride with my daughter, as long as its not raining. And I’m in for a couple of sets of lights.

We’re looking forward to the ride, and hopefully there will be a good turnout.


Drewbacca

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Nov 8 2013 at 3:35pm #

byogman wrote:Trendsetter is definitely a weird word for me.

We can also call it God acting through you, if you are more comfortable with that statement. I think it’s cool that you are doing this!


Marko82

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Nov 8 2013 at 4:20pm #

Since I’m not of the faith, can I ask how many candles should be lit on the day of the ride? I was very confused last year because some of the cars had all of the lights on their menorahs turned on while others had only a few, and not always the same number. I thought it might be a trap to get us into a religious conversation – similar to the half-hour discussion I recently had with Yal about how the Jewish calendar works.


edronline

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Nov 8 2013 at 5:57pm #

Marko82 wrote:Since I’m not of the faith, can I ask how many candles should be lit on the day of the ride? I was very confused last year because some of the cars had all of the lights on their menorahs turned on while others had only a few, and not always the same number. I thought it might be a trap to get us into a religious conversation – similar to the half-hour discussion I recently had with Yal about how the Jewish calendar works.

Being a member of the tribe, I can vouch that Jews never try to convert no nJews. conversion is actually really hard to do and requires someone going to a rabbi 3 times and asking to convert before the process starts.


buffalo buffalo

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Nov 8 2013 at 6:04pm #

Marko82 wrote:Since I’m not of the faith, can I ask how many candles should be lit on the day of the ride?

Ordinarily, it’s one for each night elapsed in the holiday, including the current evening–so one on the first night, two on the second, etc.–plus a center candle (which is always lit, and is used to light the others). The first night this year is Weds., 11/27, so Mon 12/2 will be night 6.

Marko82 wrote:I thought it might be a trap to get us into a religious conversation

This would be a strange and awkward concept for most Jews. Except in certain segments, proselytizing is Just Not Done, and as edronline says, conversion is intentionally difficult even for those who actually want to do it.


Marko82

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Nov 8 2013 at 6:35pm #

So that’s 6+1 Thanks.

The other bit was my attempt at humor (failed) . For the record I actually enjoy learning about other’s faith & traditions and everyone treated us non’s very graciously and welcoming last year. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. My apologies if I did.


Drewbacca

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Nov 8 2013 at 7:42pm #

I have a friend who converted… I get a kick out of it every time I see his long beard, his long RED beard.

I’ll never forget how he managed to load several gigabytes of pdfs onto his playstation portable thingy while we were in the navy. He found time to read sections of the Midrash for at least an hour daily… while in the process of conversion. Not sure if it was required, but it certainly didn’t hurt.


edronline

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Nov 8 2013 at 9:26pm #

buffalo buffalo wrote:

Marko82 wrote:Since I’m not of the faith, can I ask how many candles should be lit on the day of the ride?

Ordinarily, it’s one for each night elapsed in the holiday, including the current evening–so one on the first night, two on the second, etc.–plus a center candle (which is always lit, and is used to light the others). The first night this year is Weds., 11/27, so Mon 12/2 will be night 6.

Marko82 wrote:I thought it might be a trap to get us into a religious conversation

This would be a strange and awkward concept for most Jews. Except in certain segments, proselytizing is Just Not Done, and as edronline says, conversion is intentionally difficult even for those who actually want to do it.

In actuality, the very religious like the Chabad try to convert people like Drewbacca and myself who are already Jewish to become more religious. That’s why they stand outside the Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill with their tefillin and that’s why I keep my head down and keep on walking.


Drewbacca

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Nov 8 2013 at 9:35pm #

edronline wrote:
In actuality, the very religious like the Chabad try to convert people like Drewbacca and myself who are already Jewish to become more religious. That’s why they stand outside the Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill with their tefillin and that’s why I keep my head down and keep on walking.

I’m not Jewish (to my knowledge). It could be that I just don’t know it yet! :D Honestly, that’s something that I need to investigate one of these days.


Vannevar

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Nov 9 2013 at 1:15pm #

Marko, I’m not sure on my string of lights that I can disconnect any individual lights without losing the array – so I’m probably running all of them illuminated. If it screams “shegetz“, so be it.

In case anybody’s uncertain, just fwiw: the invitation for bicyclists is non-prosletyzing. They have a celebration car-parade, they’ve invited us to ride along, we all think that’s kind of kicky – and it lets us ride with our friends who usually can’t make the Friday evening or Saturday morning rides. Mega-kudos to Ben for setting this up.

For the cyclists, as long as we know that it’s significant for them and we know that it’s not appropriate to show up with Christmas displays, it’s just a fun short night bike ride, a very different (and welcoming) scene than we usually see. People will cheer for you. And snacks after.

If you weren’t at last year’s ride, rest easy that nobody’s going to be giving you tracts, trying to get your contact info, or anything like that. It’s a very relaxed and fun event, and our hosts were extremely gracious to us last year. I think the rabbis were as amused to see us, as we were amused to be there, it was that kind of a thing.


RustyRed

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Nov 9 2013 at 2:41pm #

My Better Half is surprised his shiksa is considering this… he stopped inviting me to attend Temple with him because I almost always fall asleep during services.

Sounds like fun!

Ben, may I pester you for a set of lights?


byogman

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Nov 9 2013 at 6:21pm #

RustyRed, you just reserved a set (or two if your husband can be roped into the silliness). BTW, disco ball? Just had to ask.

Please nobody worry about having the technically correct number of lights lit. Last year, we all rode with them all ablaze, as did seemingly most cars.


StuInMcCandless

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Nov 11 2013 at 5:05pm #

…proselytizing is Just Not Done, and as edronline says, conversion is intentionally difficult even for those who actually want to do it.

Is that why I get along with so many Jews, and have been at loggerheads with so many so-called Christians?

Looking forward to hooking up lights to the Redline. How many of what size battery should I show up with?


RustyRed

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Nov 11 2013 at 6:18pm #

byogman wrote:RustyRed, you just reserved a set (or two if your husband can be roped into the silliness). BTW, disco ball? Just had to ask.

Awesome, thanks!
Hubby’s still currently my ‘non-biking spouse’. I’m working on changing that though. I actually have him interested in taking a trip to FreeRide to see what sort of beaters they have.

…and no disco ball (yet).


byogman

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Nov 12 2013 at 8:53am #

In answer to the battery question, a pair of C cells.

I actually did just get some (7 pair), just not quite so many as lighting kits (10).

If you already have and can use your own that’s good, but if you don’t, don’t feel bad about asking.


FaunaViolet

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Nov 22 2013 at 8:21pm #

So, I won’t have a Menorah, but would pretty white or blue lights around the bike work?

By the way, Looks like I am in for this ride as well! Woot!


RustyRed

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Nov 22 2013 at 8:49pm #

Dang, Hanukkah decorations are REALLY hard to find! >:(


byogman

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Nov 23 2013 at 5:56pm #

Yeah, we’re a SMALL minority.

FaunaViolet, blue and white lights are great. Anyone who wants can have a macabbee “sword” if they want, pics in last year’s thread.

I also do have more 10 (hide one) light kits if you’re interested. Lotta ways forward from there.


Vannevar

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Nov 23 2013 at 6:01pm #

Nine Days until the Menorah ride.
I’ve posted a Facebook page about the event:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/662046123818457/

Please feel free to forward that to anybody you think might be interested. Thanks!


byogman

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Nov 25 2013 at 9:26am #

Had my first ride with menorah for the year.

This thing:

https://plus.google.com/114473905725595015528/posts/RGuQKchUaAu

Foil wrapped and strapped to my helmet.

The double takes were excellent.

BTW, there’s another Menorah lighting at the city county building Wednesday November 27 at 4:45.

I plan to be there, if anyone wants to join and ride around a bit afterward I think that would be great fun.

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