Bicycle maintenance: more than just a good idea. Last year my seatpost bolt snapped, thankfully only a half-mile from the house. As I gingerly hovered over the exposed seatpost coasting back home, I realized just how uncool an unexpected bump could be. Those photos do nothing to dispel that conclusion.
I'm participating in my very first charity bicycle ride, and need your help! Please visit my ride site and donate to this worthy cause! Every little bit helps!
A WaPo columnist recently tried biking to work and the vaguely amusing, vaguely whiny article that resulted got him a nice cross-section of the DC area bike community to respond. Me? That's almost exactly the same distance I ride, when I ride to work. Fortunately I don't have to deal with the unpaved C&O Canal trail, otherwise I'd probably be on a hybrid of some sort. He's already picked a better route than his first few tries. I got lucky with Google's bike routing and have what I consider an ideal compromise between safety, speed, and lack of hills. Keep riding!
Most of the time Jack Russel terriers are annoying with their manic energy. Sometimes, though, sometimes it has a purpose. Me, I'd be worried about doggy miscalculating things and getting run over. Then again all the dogs I've been around have been enthusiastic but not particularly bright. Maybe this one's different?
Jeff gets a no-prize that'll shout "YAAHH POTENYA!!!" at the press of a button for bringing us proof that there is in fact something worse than getting hit by a deer on a bike trail. I regularly see deer during biking season. So far I haven't even had a close call, but I'm still very careful when I see signs they're around.
An exercise equipment company is introducing a new spin bike that will use Google Maps, and a motorized pivot, to more accurately simulate a trail ride. For all that, the price seems pretty reasonable ($1200).
On Saturday a cyclist will attempt the Tour de France using an unprecedented vegan diet. Taking dietary advice from chiropractors sounds pretty suspect to me, but the guy is going faster than he ever has before. If it works for him, why not?
Me? I'm a recovering picky eater. I've got too many latent phobias to give up the few foods I know I'll always like. Vegan just ain't for me.
Making the rounds: a "nose-less" bicycle saddle may be both more comfortable and healthier than the more conventional alternative. What constitutes dignity in the cycling world never ceases to amaze me. Wandering around in tights is fine, but using a saddle that keeps the winky in good working order is not?
Me? No, no problems per-se, but I will admit to a certain mild, lingering discomfort in that region after a long ride.
What? Well of course you didn't need that image. Neither did I! Anyway, not sure if I'll try one of these or not. Need to do more research, I think. Oh, and kudos to the scare-mongering journalist... note the subtle shiv shoved (ha!) in implying such injury [pinky to mouth]may very well be permanent[/ptm]. In my case, at any rate, after some eight years of regular riding I can attest to no permanent impairment of any sort.
Oh, stop cringing. It's tacky.
Mike J. gets a no-prize that crashes with amusing regularity for bringing us this protest of nonsensical bike laws and the people who enforce them. Most non-cyclists don't understand how nerve-wracking bike lanes that run adjacent to parked cars can be. Maybe this will clue them in a bit.
I think my legs would fall off after day 1.
Triatheletes in general are a bit of a cracked bunch. The Iron Man version sits way over in the far corner of the "crazy" bleachers. At 4:30 in the morning.
Finally, finally, we have a bike helmet even Suzanne might be willing to wear. I'll bet it works, but I'll also bet it's probably not cheap. Then again, neither is a high-end regular helmet (they're usually ~$250), and they're one-use items just like this thing. Certainly it makes ventilation a non-issue. I wonder how well it works with high-speed (25 mph+) impacts?
Just in time for, well, for the bike season to end, actually, we have this round-up of folding bicycles. One of my Learning Tree instructors used a folding bike when he was traveling to teach classes. He loved the thing.
Friend Joshua and I decided, since the day was gorgeous and we had no commitments, to see what the end of the W&OD trail looked like. Here's proof!
That includes three detours: one construction-caused outbound which involved a bunch of unexpected hills, then one unforced navigational error which included a two lane road with cars passing us at 55+ mph, and finally the exact same construction zone in the opposite direction. Fortunately, according to Joshua, the construction zone had fewer hills on the way back.
Joshua and I have decided to stop listening to me and Joshua. Those two guys talk us into silly things and then leave us holding the bag.
Sorry, dude, no matter what you think, riding the wrong way down a street and mowing down a jaywalker does not count as "canceling out." Hell I get yelled at for riding up to the front of a line at a stop light.
So, the reason why Tuesday and Thursday has ended up being a bit, well, posting-light, is because I'm biking to work then. ~17.5 miles, one-way. Most of the journey is on a bike trail, well away from traffic. Breathe easy, mom, no reason to worry there. The rest is extremely laid back residential roads. We're talking sleepy subdivision streets. All right up until the end, when I drive down into a bowl and then have to drive myself back out, all at once. Big honking hill, literally just before I arrive.
But I'm finally able to regularly ride a good, long distance without missing out on spending time with Ellen or Olivia. Hell, Ellen's encouraging me to add a third day. Plus, the reaction of a team of good, strong nerd stock to a bit of spindly high-spun bicycle engineering (I park it right next to my cube) is a sight to behold.
Best of all, when I ride in, I get to treat myself to a fresh BLT, courtesy of our lobby cafeteria. Ellen gets a contact high when I message a picture of it to her. It's that good.
Well, I sure as heck can't do that, and neither can you. Geeze, I have a hard enough time talking on the bike and steering it straight!
Coming soon to a bicycle shop near you: a lantern-like device which uses special LEDs to "draw" a bike lane for you in light as you ride. Anything that makes it easier for a driver to see, and notice, a cyclist is A Good Thing. Exactly how legal it will be, well, I'm not at all sure about that.
Mark gets a no-prize shaped like a bicycle seat for bringing us news that scientists have discovered elite male cyclists may be doing permanent damage to their reproductive organs. Not as in, "going to grow boobs and start giggling," but as in "no soldiers on the march." I'm not even close to that kind of mileage, so no worries here.
Our first group ride of the season. Joshua got the award for "best hair."
Hey, wouldn't you want to watch a bunch of convicts riding bicycles all over France? There are some ideas out there so dumb only a bureaucrat would think they were good.
Even though painting zig-zag lines on a highway to slow cars down may sound dumb, if it makes me even the slightest bit less likely to get pasted to the pavement, I'm for it. The rabble at Fark disagreed, of course, but the poo flinging was interesting to watch.
While it is a bit basic, this overview of the latest Tour tech was still worth a look for me. The best part is all the stuff the pros use is available for purchase. For a price, of course.
No, it's not enough to get you over the sticker shock of a $1,000 "real" bike, but it might get your bike shoe in the water, sort of thing.
Strangely enough, it appears we have a sort of "bicycle vs. bear" trifecta now in play. The results were pretty much the same as last time, only at night, and on a mountain bike. Everyone say it with me, "wtf?"
Black bear: 1, cyclist: 0. Yet another case of a cyclist getting splattered because he didn't slow the f- down going around a corner at speed.
Your brakes, let me show you them.
Problem: Gummint doesn't pay attention to yer self-righteous pedaling ass.
Solution: Interest group, baby. Interest group.
Well hell, if a bunch of cranky old white people can do it, why can't cyclists?
Meet Scott Cutshall, a guy who weighed a quarter-ton who got on a bike and dropped nearly 300 lbs in 3 years. I often see plus-sized people, sometimes impressively plus-sized people, out on the trail as I ride. Yeah, even I'm sometimes impressed spandex comes in those sizes, but I'm not grossed out. They're out there same as me, why should I care?
On examining the moves, I think it's wise they've removed both bike seat and post.
Me? Oh hell I can barely get on my roadie without falling off.
While I don't know of any bike lanes as dumb as this one, Northern Virginia is chock-full of bike trails that start and/or end in really stupid places. It's very common, for example, for a bike trail to stop about ten feet from the street, leaving a dirty, muddy patch to navigate or a curb to hop.
My off-season training video coach Troy Jacobson just finished taping a new set of workouts, and I found the location to be kinda unique. "Everyone, big chain ring on the front, fifteen on the back, buy a C-Class Estate in three, two, one GO!!!"
One of the pioneers of on-line bicycle advice, Sheldon Brown, passed away Sunday at the age of 63. His technical info site is still one of the best "vendor-neutral" places to get real-world bicycling information. He will be missed.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one nutty enough to ride a bike on a major highway. As noted in the article, as long as you're just traveling along the shoulders are plenty wide enough for safety. Also as noted in the article, it's really the on-ramps and off-ramps where things get hairy. Which is why I don't really do it that much anymore.
Personally, I'm a "carbon-fiber-and-air" sort of guy when it comes to bikes. Make it plastic, light, and charge me 'till it hurts, that's the stuff. But other folks, well, other folks have other ideas.
Nina gets a no-prize that shouldn't even be possible for bringing us the only known case of a "cycle-sexualist". It will probably amaze some, but I have never in fact even contemplated such a thing.
Well what the hell else am I supposed to title an article about something called the "Toolmenator?" If you ride a bike you definitely need some sort of multi tool. Trust me man, bike shoes are definitely not what you want to be walking home in. Especially if you regularly ride 20+ miles away from said home!
Well what do you expect to happen when a bicycle goes 108 mph? Best I've ever done was just touching 40 mph, and that was one helluva thrill. The tour guys will hit 50-60 mph on some downhill stages, but even they admit it's scary. Gotta be careful!
I don't know man, after 63 miles (100 km, a "metric century"), my butt is so sore it's hard to walk. I don't know how someone can manage 19,500. From Alaska to Argentina, no less. Article includes a picture of his leg-busting ride. No carbon fiber on that one, I'd wager.
The CSC bike racing team is providing fans the ability to track the status of its drivers in real-time via a web-based application. Interestingly, they're not using GPS, but rather are utilizing extremely small and light phone-like devices that leverage existing wireless networks to achieve a much more precise location than is possible with GPS.
If they could market this system at an affordable price, I think there would definitely be a market. I, for one, quite regularly bike dozens of miles from home, often via various dedicated trails for which there are no conventional road markings nor easy access. It would be nice to know if something really bad happened to me way out in the boonies a device would be able to show people where I was.
I wonder if cellphones already provide something like this?
I don't care what your stance is on the environment, bicycling with no clothes on is bad. Sure, a well-kitted cyclist is really cruising around in his or her underwear, but it's a very special sort of underwear that is very important to keeping one's kiester sore-free!
Whilst trolling my online bicycling haunts, I came across this informative article detailing where, and by whom, most bicycles are made. It's not always the obvious choice!
Now that winter seems to have well and truly closed my own personal bike season, I'll just have to settle for spinning and looking at videos like this. Canary Island tours on a bike? Well why not?
It ees good that I canno' speek wi' an hout-rageous Frensh hac-sent, hotherwise I may be temp-ted to huse it to make the 'hoh-hoh-hoh' laughing sound:
The French anti-doping lab that tested American cyclist Floyd Landis' urine samples made an "administrative error" when reporting its findings on his backup "B" sample, the French newspaper Le Monde reported Wednesday.
The article seems to be claiming that this is just a clerical error, but considering how long and hard various French media and rules bodies went after Armstrong, without catching him, I wouldn't put it past someone to make some creative mistakes to prevent yet another American dominating the scene.
What's in the box Coconut?
A Spin Bike You say? WOW! Early X-mas for us!
And why did we get a Spin Bike Coconut? Because Daddy took a nasty spill on the trail in the dark? Good answer!
Mind you, this is 4 days after the incident. It was pretty gross.
While I certainly wouldn't want to try a century (100 miles) on it, this micro-folding bicycle might just be perfect to get you from the Metro to your destination without requiring the bus. Of course, since it's not outrageously expensive and made out of stuff the Department of Defense doesn't even know exists, it's quite passe to me.
BBCnews is carrying this report which summarizes the findings of a study which claims wearing a helmet actually increases the chances of a bicyclist getting into an accident. While a whacky idea on the face of it, the scientist who performed the experiments seems to have used rigorous and technical methods. So what gives? It seems that drivers give less space as they pass to someone wearing a helmet than they do to someone who is not. Stranger still, they gave more space to women than men.
From my own experience, most drivers actually do a good job of giving me enough space on the road. City bus drivers are especially nice, doing what they can to move as far away as possible. Which is good, because there's nothing quite as unnerving as a solid wall of roaring diesel passing a foot away from your shoulder.
Of course, it only takes one inattentive driver to completely ruin a cyclist's day, so I'm really careful, use trails whenever possible and avoid narrow or shoulder-less roads wherever I can. It's worked so far.
Oh, and I'm still going to wear my helmet!
Since today's the day I noticed the abandoned bike in the parking garage of my own building was missing, I thought it appropriate to link up this collection of abandoned bikes scattered throughout Manhatten. Thing is, with the right set of tools it's usually not THAT expensive to turn any old piece of junk into a decent single-speed cruiser.
Mark and Carrie share a no-prize on wheels that'll careen right past them for bringing us today's "having solved all other problems, the Post takes on:"
Once a quiet getaway for lazy afternoon bicyclists and early-morning strollers, the [W&OD] trail has turned into a crowded commuter alley on weekdays and an overcrowded recreational destination on weekends, a place where sometimes speeding cyclists, in-line skaters, walkers, joggers and others fight for a narrow slice of pavement, with increasingly dangerous results.
Help! Help! The crowding's everywhere! We have to get the government to do something!
I ride the W&OD, on many of the specific portions they refer to, at least three to five times a week. I've commuted to work a few times as well. Yes, it can get a bit congested in some places at some times, but really, it's not that crowded. The Mount Vernon trail, held up in this article as the somewhat safer also-ran of "killer trails", is far more narrow and crowded than any section of the W&OD I've ever been on. The citation of fatalities is somewhat specious as well, since (to my knowledge) all but one in the past thirty years have ocurred at vehicle crossings.
This is not to say bicyclists are blameless, far from it. The vast majority of "crash tales" I read about on the various bike message boards I frequent could all have been prevented with a simple application of the brakes. Pedestrians being aware of the world around them would most likely take care of the rest.
In other words, just like the highways, the trails could be made much safer by people pulling their heads out of their asses and paying attention. Warn when passing, or pass well to the left. Slow the hell down if passing will be blocked. Walk to the right, on the right edge if you can, and in single file. Run a line in the middle of the right side, don't wander back and forth across the centerline. Bikers should treat kids like IEDs with Haji's finger on the button, and dogs should be on leashes and not allowed to string them across the width of the trail.
Follow these simple rules and accidents will evaporate like dew on handlebars. Me, I'm going to keep using those trails because if I get in an altercation with a pedestrian or another bicyclist, odds are I'll get hurt. If I get into an altercation with a car, I'll most likely get killed.
Well, I have finally reached a milestone. It now takes me about as much time to drive to work by myself (1:20:00) as it does to bike to work (1:24:28)*. 15.3 mph average isn't much by most standards, but I'll take it. Go me!
* Since Ellen and I work just a few miles apart, we normally use the HOV lanes, which cuts the commute time in half.
Instapundit linked up this informative article describing the nuts-and-bolts of the testosterone tests that triggered the latest Tour controversy. As of this writing, the results of the B test have still not been delivered, but the consensus of the stories I've read says that one will come back positive as well. Which is too bad, but whaddayagonnado?
Joshua gets a no-prize that pays attention and obeys all the rules for bringing us this 1963 bicycle safety film, "One Got Fat". Considering this was the sort of stuff routinely shown in school classrooms in the '50s and '60s, it's no wonder boomers are so damned weird.
Oh, and Orville? Your friends didn't show because they're dead!
Congratulations to Floyd Landis and team Phonac for their Tour de France win. Thanks to a well-timed vacation, I was able to watch the competition for the very first time (we don't get tour-home network OLN at home, but both mom and dad had it as part of their cable packages). As someone who thinks hitting 30 mph on a slight downhill is screaming, watching guys ride that fast on level ground for four hours, six days a week, for nearly a month was both impressive and intimidating.
Then again, I don't fall down at 35 mph like those guys did. Several times. Broken collar bones are not your friend!
Now to see if I can pick up a team T-Mobile jersey. Hey, if a NASCAR fan can wear his boy's colors, why can't I? Git 'er done!!!
Bicycling.com is carrying this nifty bit about FSA's new foray into ceramic bearings. As with all new tech, it's priced out of my reach. But, as with all new tech, it won't stay that way forever. Something I can buy as an upgrade that will make my bike go farther with less energy? Hey man, sign me up!
Well, doesn't this beat all - another American leading the Tour de France. This time it's Floyd Landis and not Lance Armstrong. It's still too early to say that we're going to win it again, but that'd be rather nice if we did.
Of course, were it to happen, I predict that a certain nation would likely be accusing us of drug abuse again, but that's just me.
And yes, I did post this just for Scott so the blog still feels like home. Just like Ellen just had a snake story. Now I just need a kitty story and Amber's taken care of as well.
You make your wife pose with the parts.
Mind you if you check out their other *ahem* items for sale or rather, see the chick pose with the items. Click the link!
*Politically correct readers attacking this post in 3...2...1*
Joshua gets a no-prize he can pedal for bringing us news of planned bike access improvements to the DC area. While northern Virginia actually has a surprising number of good trails, they tend not to connect to each other, and sometimes just stop in the middle of a field or at the edge of a curb. Getting them knitted together and then connecting them to the Maryland side would be very nice indeed.
First GMC, then Cadillac, now Alfa Romeo:
The Alfa Romeo Stradale bicycle was designed in collaboration with Milan-based Compagnia Ducale srl, represented by Veber Ferrari. Veber Ferrari created the design with Wolfgang Egger, chief designer at Centro Stile Alfa Romeo. The shape of the Stradale’s frame has been inspired by the dynamic arrow-shaped Alfa Romeo grille, a feature which has always been a prominent and important feature on Alfa Romeo models ever since the 1946 6C 2500 Freccia d’Oro.
From the pictures it appears to be a "hybrid" bike. These bikes tend to have dirt bike geometry, handle bars, brakes, and shifters while the rest is straight road. Tends to give a more comfortable ride while still providing many of the benefits of a road bike.
This one has pretty odd geometry... that's a really weird head tube angle there (the bit that holds the handle bars to the frame). At 1690 euros (2100 US) it's pretty damned pricey; that kind of money will buy you a very nice full-carbon road bike over here. Of course, with this thing you're not really buying a bike, but exclusivity. Some people will pay more.
The race bike referred to in the article sounds more my speed, but at ~ $5,000 US it's well out of my reach. Ah well. If nothing else, these should be a lot easier to get past customs than the four-wheeled variety.
Thanks to Bike to Work day, I learned it's 21.93 miles from the end of my garage door to the wall behind my desk. 15 mph avg, ~ 1:45:00 travel time. Ellen had a performance last night and will do another one tonight, so we were actually taking it a little easy. Go us!
Now if the rain will either pass through before 3 pm or hold off until 5...
Joshua gets a no-prize with a map for bringing us news of the opening of an extensive new multi-use trail in our area:
A 40-mile trail connecting northern and southern Fairfax County, which will open officially with a day-long celebration Saturday, could give root to a network of walking and biking trails in the congested county, officials said yesterday.
A more detailed description of the trail (found here) makes it sound less like a smooth ride and more like the set of connected disparate trails that it is, so I don't think we're talking about a North-South W&OD here. Still, anything that provides bike opportunities away from cars is always worth exploring!
"It was as if millions of voices cried out in terror, and then were suddenly silent. I fear something terrible has happened:"
Cargonews Asia reports that a massive fire on board a container ship en route from Singapore to Rotterdam may have been caused by an explosion of fireworks in a container.
It went up in flames at the end of March but only now is it becoming clear that many of the containers on board were full of bicycles and bike kit.
Bike-eu.com said: "Dutch AGU for instance, knows that a container with bike underwear, which they badly need, is some still somewhere on the ship, apparently safe. Other containers are packed with the full year’s production of certain types of bikes."
Shorts my friend, bike shorts.
Cyclingnews is carrying this report providing more detail on "the next big thing" in bicycling... electronic shifting. Instead of using conventional cables, ratchets, and springs, the new Shimano system uses wires, computers, and optical sensors. The advantages? Apparently far quicker shifting, far lower maintenance requirements, and a front derailleur that automatically adjusts itself as you shift. Look for it on an unreasonably expensive bike near you in 2007!
Bicycling magazine has linked up this 2005 cover story on "plus size" bikers:
At this point in Sam's life, 39 years old, easily 200 pounds overweight and having trouble breathing, if something doesn't work for him soon, he's not going to be around much longer. He's tried everything to lose weight, a kabillion diets and powders and pills (including Fen-Phen, on which he lost 100 pounds before the substance was banned, then Serzone, which a doctor prescribed to replace Fen-Phen, but which ended up killing Sam's libido and, he says, making him apeshit, thus he had to stop taking Serzone and gained back the 100 pounds, et cetera, et cetera).
To make a gigantic story small, Sam has come to cycling as his last-ditch effort.
He knows, from reading this very magazine, that there is no better form of physical activity for weight loss than cycling. Incinerating fat is one of the principal benefits our sport provides. Ask any group of cyclists, of any size or skill level, if they know someone who has lost significant weight through riding, and the universal answer is not Yes, I know someone, it is Yes, I know GREAT NUMBERS of people who have dropped GREAT NUMBERS of pounds. And it's simply true: If a person pedals for an hour a day, four to six days a week, and avoids sandwiches with five pounds of fixings, weight vanishes.
I'm happy to see anyone out there. Sure, I'll give a second look to that much spandex, but only because one doesn't often see that sort of thing. If you're out there and huffing, you're out there and trying, and that's really all that matters.
So what's stopping you?
Sometimes I think we're a lot alike. Then...
Me, at the dinner table with Ellen, in a 'bouncy-bright-eyed-Amberesque-optimistic' tone: "So, what is it exactly about biking you like? I really like the speed. I think it's cool!"
Ellen's eyes suddenly lit with a weird internal fire, and I swear her voice dropped three octaves into a stentorious baritone, vividly reminding me of a certain movie character. "Oh no, I love the pain. I need to get a trainer so I can ride even when it's cold."
Me, not realizing the danger, still in full-blown Prairie Dawn mode: "You don't want a trainer! It'll make everything the same. Let me order you some lights so you can go out when it's dar--"
I swear, I swear at this point I suddenly started hearing that classic, slow whooosh -- pahhhh, whooosh -- pahhh, "You're as clumsy as you are ignorant. I do not ride for the same reasons you do. Our goals are different. Our reasons are different. I find your lack of understanding disturbing."
And yes, children, at that moment her hand did twitch slightly with her thumb and forefinger in a clench. Suddenly I realized that, for now at least, I'm in front on group rides because I lead.
I have a feeling one day it will be because I'm fleeing.
The trick is to figure out how to fit those side buns under a helmet.
People sometimes think Ellen and I are very different. Until they get to know us better...
Ellen: "Whyyy" (you have to imagine this word in a hybrid Queens/Upstate accent... close as I can get typing is "Wh-hoi-oi", said quickly) "is my body fat scale in the basement?"
Me, in a 'surprised-you-want-to-know-suspicious-you're-even-asking' tone: "I wanted to weigh the bikes. The food scale only went up to 5 pounds."
Ellen: "And?" (Ahy-yand?)
Me: "Yours was 24, mine was 19."
Ellen stood there and blinked twice. The second time was her trademark "lizard blink." You know, the one where her second set of eyelids close from right-to-left.
"That's not possible. You did it wrong. Mine's not supposed to weigh more than 22. The magazines, the website, and the book said so."
Me: "Yeah, I know, but sometimes the manufacturers lie a little bit."
Ellen: "How did you do it?"
Me: "I held the bike on the scale."
Ellen: "No you moron. You're supposed to weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding the bike, then subtract the difference."
Me: "Yeah, well, it won't mean much. Besides, who really cares?"
Ellen: *blink* *BLINK* ... pause
Me: "Okayyy..." (trudges down stairs)
The women in the audience will be little surprised to know she was right. 17.6 and 22.1 respectively. Trust me, I don't feel that superior... what I gain in bike she more than makes up for in smaller rider size, lighter rider weight, and undifferentiated rage.
Now if we could just get Olivia's
parachute trailer to drop below 15...
It's SSSSSSPPPPRRRINNGGG!!! Time to lube the chain, grease the gears, slick up the cleats, and then box Ron around the ears for giggling. The long, dark storage time of the soul is coming to an end. This year Ellen has a new bike, and we have a new trailer that can be clamped to either bike any time we like. Including those of friends who make fun of us for being so slow. Word.
Now if it'll just stop snowing. Yeah, you heard me, snowing. High of 34 tomorrow. God I hate spring...
No, really, bike naked:
One hundred cyclists of all ages and in various states of undress - some fully clothed, others naked - rode from Tarakohe to Pohara on Sunday for a cause they strongly believe in.
There was almost a carnival atmosphere at Golden Bay's third annual World Naked Bike Ride, as spectators lined part of the route, with many waving and cheering as the cyclists rode by.
Includes potentially NSFW picture, so beware!
Oh don't look at me man. I don't go anywhere without my SoopaSeat and UltraPants. My minimum bike ride tends to be 1 hour, and now that the weather's turning I tend to ride 4-6 times a week. With a schedule like that, saddle sores developed during a stunt like this would be a long-term discomfort!
It's #4 of 50 Made, I have gone 70mph on flat ground, 100mph down hill, 50mph uphill, i have entered this bike in 20 different races and the worst place was 5th
50 mph. Uphill. On a bicycle. Yeah dude, whatever helps you sleep at night.
Three words: rocket powered bicycle. Draft this Tour boy!
While cruising a different biking forum, I found this bit of hilarity describing what happens when TrueRoadiestm decide to "slum" by bringing along a group of Triathelets, or "tri-geeks". The results were definitely an abject lesson in the definition of "hubris":
... The light turned green, and I started across the intersection, out of the saddle and cranking hard to get ahead of the group, when one of my feet unclipped and shot out of the pedal. What happened next was later described as either a complete flip or a barrel roll in the air while still attached to my bike. Whatever it was, it was fairly spectacular, with the end result being that I wound up on my butt in the middle of a busy highway in front of a group of stunned strangers.
This was clearly a case of pride going before a fall, and I spent the rest of the ride shaking off the intense embarrassment over my self-inflicted arabesque over the asphalt. Most of my new triathlete friends wanted to know if I would do the fancy fixed-gear barrel roll dismount trick again because one of them had missed it.
Hey man, don't look at me. It's all I can do to keep from getting passed by middle-aged guys on rusty dirt bikes.
Anyone thinking about shipping a bike around should find the Air Caddy of interest. At $149, it's not exactly the cheapest thing in the world, but considering how long it's taken me to dial in my SuperBike, the minimal disassembly requirement is quite a bonus. Definitely something to think about for the next long-distance convention we have.
What? Like you didn't alread know I was nuts...
"Studies show that higher-fat diets make more sense for fit people than low-fat diets," says nutritionist Liz Applegate, Ph.D., author of Encyclopedia of Sports & Fitness Nutrition. "In one study, endurance athletes ran up to 24 percent longer before they fatigued when they ate a diet that was above 30 percent fat compared to one that was below 20 percent," she says.
While it may be cool to look at a bike that weighs less than a gallon-and-a-half of milk (well, ok, it's cool to me, and it's my damned website), you don't want to know how much it'd cost.
Put it another way... it's far easier to shave five pounds off the engine that drives the bike than it ever will be to carve that same five pounds off what is basically expensive sticks with wheels on. Doesn't mean I don't want it. Bad.
Yet another reason why road bikers are brighter than downhill dirt bikers. No blood, no gore, just a sincere ouchie moment. Sort of like what my brother did years and years ago (it involved a ramp, a dare, and his 3-speed), but on steroids.
When they do this for cars, that's a hill I don't want no part of. Well, unless I'm going the other direction.
Bike forums are your (my) friend.
Again, only trumping "weird & f-d up" because of the subject, some roadkill experiences for your enjoyment.
Hmmm? Me? Well, until I started going out for more than an hour at a time, I'd never seen much at all. But just this morning I drove past two deer carcases, one so fresh it made me (who can eat with vet-tech "you-won't-believe-what-came-out-of-this-dead-cat" Ellen) look away, and another which had so many cool vultures around it I wanted a camera.
Oh shut up. If we were normal people, you wouldn't come around so much.
Well hell with it. Now you don't even need functioning legs to drop my butt on the trail.
There's a Santa Claus look-a-like who drives around in my area on the model-T version of this sort of thing, but after more than a thousand miles I've never seen anything even remotely like this. Which is just as well. I don't need another class of people to go ripping past me like an F-18 on afterburner.
(Open this one in Internet Explorer)
One reason why I don't try to "hitch a ride". Trumped "funny" only because of its primary subject.
I mean, really, who needs all those fancy tools for your titanium superbike when a come-along and two trees work just fine.
Looks like a great way to justify a new bike to your significant other, but that's just me.
Surely this must mean something:
On September 24 & 25, a group of 14 U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq rode 100+ miles on their bikes in the desert to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis. Soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty conducted their own version of the MS Bike Tour in Tikrit, Iraq, to show their support for the National MS Society.
A century or more is serious mileage no matter where you're riding. Good to see it's possible even in the most tenuous of locations!
Our favorite moonbat Mandrake beat me to the punch by linking up news that bikes are actually outselling cars now. In my defense I had (what I thought was) a much cooler bike story in the hopper, and let it slide. Yeah right.
Like I said to another gallery member recently, "wanna make something of it, punk? You and me, on the trail, next week. Yeah, didn't think so."
Oh God people. It's a joke. Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?
Trust me folks, there's plenty of crazy above my level:
Chris Curven avidly followed Lance Armstrong's seventh victory in the Tour de France this summer along with millions of other fans. But for the 34-year-old amateur racer and his cycling buddies in Walpole, N.H., the tour is more than just a sporting event. It's also a home shopping channel of sorts for superbikes: Yes, those ultra-pricey, high-tech machines ridden by Armstrong and his colleagues can be ordered from a specialty bike shop near you.
The article goes on to discuss things that cost as much as $16,000 that you have to pedal to get around. Yes, Virginia, they do exist.
However, they're pretty darned rare. In all honesty, you really really have to try to spend more than $5,000 on a bike. Yeah, I know, $5,000 for a bicycle probably leaves most of you gasping, but in the circles I pedal that's merely the highest of the high end. I make no apologies for my Chinese superbike, and I've been around long enough to know the difference between it and a $5500 Pinarello is the difference between a $150 California vintage and a $1500 French wine. I'll pedal 14.7 mph average on either of the former just as I'll smack my lips and go, "meh?" with either of the latter.
Of course, that doesn't mean I have turned my nose up to said Italian boutiques. The largest Pinarello dealer in the US is located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Of course, it's just a coincidence I'm heading out there next summer.
Oh be quiet gramma. You'll get grand-daughter time. Would I put a price tag on such family unity?
Am I your child?
1024 miles in 3 months. I probably broke 1000 yesterday, only checked the odometer this morning after a 20+ mile ride.
In 44 degree weather no less. Found out I need warmer socks!
I have found my team: the Anerobia Nationals. With names like Barfolini, DeBonque and Upgegaven driving for them, and a motto like "Veni, Vidi, Vomiti!", how could I possibly go wrong? I'm certain my 14.7 mph avg. legs will be an asset to the team. As long as, you know, they don't throw any hills at me or anything.
Yeah, right, whatevah. You and me, on a trail. Let's go, let's go. Yeah, didn't think so.
Interbike, which is to bicycling what CES is to gaming, kicks off this week and Bicycling is carrying these highlights. I thought the bike shoe with a titanium shank wrapped in carbon fiber was pretty damned nifty, at least until I looked at the price.
Alternate title: Paging Little Big Man, white courtesy phone please.
No, I will not comment about the center cut-out.
I'll leave Ron for that.
Don't just sit there, buy some socks:
Upland Sports Group, Inc. (USG) announced today the launch of their custom Cycle + Rebuild Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund socks. 100% of profit proceeds from the sale of these socks will be donated to the Victims of Hurricane Katrina through legitimate organizations that are active in ongoing relief efforts.
Hell I think socks are the only bike-specific bit of clothing I don't have. Time to get out the credit card...
A kid on a bike is a wish fulfilled and a promise still in the making.
-- Bill Strickland [Bicycling Magazine executive editor]
Hey, wheels are wheels:
A bicyclist was arrested on drug possession charges this week after a police officer caught sight of him pedaling away with three uprooted marijuana plants under his arm.
Ellen would be wheeling behind me, sniffing the air and sighing.
Did I say that? Me? No no no... Ellen's pure as the driven snow, never done anything illegal. Evah!
Hrm... there is bike stuff for sale there... just... can't... spot it...
Oink oink oink.
Special no-prizes will go out to the first who identify the stuff missing on this otherwise extremely snazzy bike.
According to the texts, no bicyclists were injured.
Being on the small end of the transportation food chain is sometimes bad. I think I now understand why chipmunks are so twitchy.
Yet another thing I'll never do on a bike. To this day I get nervous just taking my hands off the bars. Of course, the number of bike-related injuries I got as a kid was significantly less than just about any of my friends. And I never chipped any teeth either! :)
Nifty road bike rear-view-mirror gizmo there. Since about half my riding is done on city streets, anything that makes me less likely to get squashed by Buffy the Cellphone Slayer is fine by me. Wasn't expensive at all either. For once.
For once an "obsession" entry my mom can't gripe about (much). Turns out what is certainly the slickest and possibly the highest-end on-line bicycle vendor (that I've found at any rate) is actually based in Little Rock AR:
If you're ever passing through Little Rock, we'd love to have you visit our showroom ... We're located in between downtown and the Hillcrest neighborhood, one of the most historic and beautiful sections of Little Rock.
These people carry all kinds of exotica, things like Colnagos and Pinorellos and Pegorettis and a whole bunch of other names I've never heard of and can't possibly afford. Right next door to everyone's favorite cranky southern gramma. Whodathunkit?
Hours and hours and miles and miles of training pay off!!!
At a neighborhood party last evening, I was chatting with the mother of my daughter's best friend -- an alarmingly attractive woman that sometimes makes grown men sigh when she walks into a room. She glanced down at my legs, stopped what she was saying in mid sentence, and asked, "Do you mind if I touch your legs?"...
Actually, I'd fear more for the lady... I already know what'd happen to me. To wit: "Do you think it would be possible to cast cement shoes with a shoebox?"
Ellen: "No reason, just wondering..."
Trust me, after watching 3 hours of Barney, the Wiggles, and Sesame Street, you really wish you had one of these. And a flask to go with it, of course.
To, you know, hold Gatorade. Yeah... Gatorade...
Another day, another "obsession" entry, this time showing off the weirdest looking bicycles I've ever seen. Since these look like CGI drawings, I'm going to file it under "believe it when I see it". The article is dated last November, you'd think by now someone else would've seen/ridden one. Considering the R&D costs, "buy it when I can afford it" will probably be quite a bit further down the line.
For general reference: a nice bike saddle (seat) for "normal" people will run you ~ $30. A nice bike saddle for loons like me would be ~ $100. Then, then you have something like this. Keep in mind the cushions are optional. Otherwise you're sitting on bare carbon fiber.
For $360... well, let's just say it better do a whole lot more for me than just hold my butt off the back wheel.
Ellen's in a bit of a quandry since I've acquired my second mechanical mistress. At least she hasn't threatened to cut this one in half with a hacksaw. Yet.
Well, not exactly, but this "10-speed" joke still gave me a chuckle. Everyone needs a smile now and then, eh?
No, I've never been towed by a car. My parents would've skinned me alive if I'd tried it as a kid. Ellen will do the honors if I try it now.
From their looks of concern as I leave and gasps of horror at my road stories, I'm pretty sure this is what my mom and my wife think I do when I go on street rides. I only wish I was that skilled at handling a bike and that crazy about taking risks. As it is, about the most exciting thing I do around vehicles is pass a line of them waiting on a stoplight.
Then again, if you want to get around Manahattan on a bike with any speed, it would appear you pretty much have to do this. Definitely time to get a bike rack for our next trip "up north".
A few days ago someone in one of my biking communities wrote asking just what, exactly, was up with clipless pedals, should he get some, and how does he keep from crashing after he does? The blizzard of responses was quite informative, the experience even moreso.
Glossary: LBS: Local Bike Shop. Clipless pedals: devices that allow you to mechanically attach your foot to the pedal of the bike. Toe clips: baskets integrated into regular pedals that allow you to pull up and push down.
I went biking with my friend Joshua last weekend with him on my old Cypress. I think it was the first time he'd ever ridden with toe clips, and it took him so long to pull out of them at stops I just knew he was going down once or twice. I kept thinking, "boy, you'd be something to watch in a set of clipless!"
Which is why I'm trying to find some cheap ones right now. Evil? Me?!?
Browsing my biking forums this morning I found out about this eerie but (hopefully) effective way of increasing awareness about the dangers poorly designed roads pose to cyclists:
A beat-up, run-down bicycle often is evidence of years of use and wear. But a clandestine group of activists scattered dozens of battered, twisted bikes, painted stark white, across Seattle early yesterday morning to raise awareness about safety issues facing riders.
The team of about 25 activists are part of an organization called GhostCycle, which has spent the past three months collecting online submissions of bicycle accidents across the city.
The group mapped the locations of about 140 accidents. Then, under cover of darkness, they placed 40 painted bikes at collision sites, each with an ominous sign reading "A cyclist was struck here."
I spend about half my bike time on regular roads, and there are definitely some around here that could stand improvement. Fortunately the vast majority of drivers in my area are not aggressive toward cyclists. They can be a bit inattentive at times, yes, but I always assume a driver hasn't seen me until I personally make eye contact with them. I also mount some pretty serious lights whenever I think I'll be out past sundown.
But that doesn't mean the situation can't be improved, and hopefully this idea will catch on. Hey, it beats the heck out of the PETA loons's advertising, no?
It all started out innocently enough:
I made a huge tactical error on last Monday's group ride. I'm not talking about missing the break, getting boxed in during the sprint or blowing my nose on the beefy guy known as Steroid Sid.
No, my big mistake was believing my buddy when he called that morning and said, "We're going to take it easy today."
So begins the introduction to the Road Bicyclist's Phrasebook. I'm not all of those things (I'm not even most of them)... but that's not to say invitees to rides shouldn't consult the phrasebook before accepting. But hey, Joshua went out with me last weekend and I only dragged him out into traffic twice! Not my fault the damned trail is 3 miles from home!
SA [Spouse A, the spouse of the bike loon] shall be guaranteed quality time equivalent to TB [The Bike] unless it conflicts with TB in which case TB gets preference. Service time shall be guaranteed and considered a separate requirement. In the event of emergency, ie SA stranded, child sets hair on fire etc, SB [Spouse B, the bike loon] shall complete whatever TB related activity as soon as possible and attend said emergency. In the event of a in-law visit or should, for any reason, SB become depressed or otherwise in need of stress relief, SB shall be permitted as much time w/TB or TB related activities, magazines, books, events etc as needed until such time SB feels better.
Oh shaddup. Replace TB with "Canon [something complicated]" or "Dallas Cowboys" or "Trans Am" and there's at least three guys out there who'll suddenly look up at the sky and start whistling.
And don't even get me started on the CD-ROM filled with 2500 pictures!
I have NO idea why I'm the one posting this. Scott is the bike nut.
Lance Armstrong has sealed a seventh successive Tour de France victory after a captivating final stage in Paris.
Organisers decided to stop the race clock after the first of eight laps through the streets of Paris on Sunday because of the dire weather.
That meant Armstrong only had to complete the course to pick up his seventh Tour win.
See full article here.
Scott bought a heart rate monitor. It took him 10 minutes before he handed it over [handed it over?!? What part of "gimme that you wine swilling noob!" could be called "handed"??! -- Scott] to me to figure out how to work the straps.
Scott's resting heart rate: 81
Who's better aerobically now bike boy?
Plus my new toy is going to be cooler. It has a forked tongue, and eats things.
What better way to introduce a new category than a wee bit of whimsy? I don't have the clothing*, but I'm all about the bicycle body (my mom actually commented on the weird tan lines on my hands), and it's only a matter of time before the whole car/bike thing comes true, at least with the Cruiser. As far as courting, I guess I should count myself lucky I already had a mate before I went bike crazy. Even then I'm a lucky bastard, since Ellen treats my latest obsession more with bemusement than anything else. At least until the checkbook comes out.
Then again, at least my latest obsession doesn't require anything remotely related to "pinkies". *SHUDDER*
* Perhaps the only bike-related thing that can be given as a gift without risk of me buying it for myself. No, that's not a suggestion, it's a comment. For me, fashion is something that happens to other people, even when it has a vaguely functional aspect. You should see what I wear to work. And the first person who gets me a leg razor for a gift? Dead I tell you. Dead!