Monday, October 31, 2005

Disclose dangers of automobiles?

Here's an interesting proposal.

Tobacco companies are required to disclose the risk of using their products. Producers of alcoholic beverages also create advertising reminding people to "drink responsibly."

Car manufactuers, whose products kill 40 thousand people in the USA every year and a staggering number worldwide, market their products as fun, sexy and sporty. Should they be required to remind people that piloting a huge hunk of metal and plastic is potentially deadly?

James looks at the question on his Bicycle Design blog. Take a look, because CycleDog says "Go read this."

UCI to Le Tour: 'Screw you'

When the 2006 Tour de France route was announced last week, Tour directors Tour directors Jean-Marie Leblanc and Christian Prudhomme and ASO President Patrick Clerc made some juvenile cheap shots at Lance Armstrong.

The UCI, which has been negotiating with Tour organizers to include the Tour de France in the new UCI ProTour, denounced Clerc's discourse and withdrew from these negotations. UCI President Pat McQuaid told Clerc that he regretted attending Thursday's presentation revealing the 2006 Tour de France route. "You decided to remove the conditions of serenity and without pressure for the ProTour negotiations," McQuaid wrote in a letter, adding cycling's governing body was "surprised" and "indignant" about the anti-doping discourse offered up by Clerc to open the 2006 Tour presentation.

Team managers and sport directors complained that the Tour itself was hardly even mentioned. "I could tell certain people in the crowd, other directors, almost got up and left," Discovery Channel Johan Bruyneel said Thursday.

Cyclingpost: UCI and Tour de France halt negotiations.
CNN: Drugs dispute halts cycling talks.

NYC Bike Kill 2005

Think of everything normal and safe related to cycling, and then think of the exact opposite. It is basically Mad Max with bikes.

There are cool photos from last weekend's Bike Kill at Big Apple Blog, including one of a tallbike with a unique design I don't think I've seen before -- the pedals drives chain that drives tire that drives another tire that drives yet another tire. featured in Google Blog

The Official Google Blog thanks for their participation in the Google Video service.

I just happen to have a post about lame bike video's queued up -- I want to assure my readers that I'm not talking about the BIKEMag videos! The BIKEMag videos I've sampled are promotions of freeride and freestyle videos from Fall Line Productions and PinkBike.

Bicycle computer instruction manual

If you did the "fall back" thing yesterday with the end of Daylight Savings Time, your bicycle computer is now an hour fast and you probably have no idea how to reset the time on your bike computer.

Several bike computer manuals are available online as PDF files. I have Sigma and Trek computers so those are the ones I've found. If you know of others please feel free to point to them in the comments.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lance: Keep your day job

Lance Armstrong isn't much of a comedian, but maybe it was just the material that Saturday Night Live gave him. Friday's Foaming Rant in VeloNews, on the other hand, is pretty good.
"A vengeful Armstrong reportedly was planning to deliver his SNL monologue in German, astride a scale model of the Maginot Line while Sheryl Crow covers the Randy Newman classic 'Political Science': Let's drop the big one and see what happens." *rimshot*

Steve Jobs likes bikes

Steve Jobs, CEO of Pixar Animation Studios and the guy who pushed Apple into selling the iPod, was asked what is the last piece of technology that he acquired - not made by Apple - that really delighted him. Jobs answered, "I actually bought a bicycle recently. It's just wonderful."

Thanks to BikePortland for the tip. Tags:

Perfect rain pants

The IceBiker worked with Lou Binik of FoxWear to create the perfect pair of winter rain pants. He only had a couple of important criteria:
  • Cuffs adjustable enough to go over the boot top. (Keeps rain out of the boot)
  • Roomy enough to slip on over a cycling shoe or small boot.
  • Draw string waist, No zippers. No snaps.
  • Secure Pockets (I hate trying to fish keys out from under my rain pants.)
  • Pockets located away from hips where you bend while riding.
  • No seams in the Sit area
  • Rugged, snag proof fabric
  • Warm
  • Wind proof
  • Non Cling fabric
  • Reinforced Seat
  • Stretchable
  • Breathable
  • Oh, yeah, water proof. Almost forgot that one.
The final product also has reflective bands. You can custom order it from FoxWear for about $95.

Fall forward

That's what I'm going to do if I don't get my rear in gear and dig out my lights. Daylight Savings Time ends tonight in most of the United States, which means Monday night I'll be biking home in the dark. Don't forget to set your clocks back (not forward) one hour tonight.

"The law should be strictly enforced against bicyclists"

The following letter to the editor appeared in the August 18, 2005 edition of the Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY):

"In most respectable communities, there are ordinances against people walking the public streets indecently attired. Not in Kingston, where the latest fad has males walking Broadway and its intersecting streets exposed from the waist up. This is offensive and should be curbe [sic]. It indicates a lack of breeding and affects the sensitivities of others who are repulsed by it. If there is no law against such indecent and common behavior, one should be enacted. Also, bicyclists utilizing the public highways and streets are required to observe the state traffic laws (Sections 1231-1238). One would hardly know it by observing the huge number of bicyclists who ride irresponsibly throughout Kingston without regard to the danger they present to themselves and motorists. The law should be strictly enforced against bicyclists. Walter R. Byer, Kingston,"

A fad is something that is embraced for a brief period of time. I do not consider 25 years (the number of years I recall men walking around nude from the waist up) a brief period of time. Also, I think Byer intended to write "a lack of good breeding," since he likely has the belief that these "vulgar" (after all, they are walking on Broadway) men breed all too often, and their offspring grow up to ride their bicycles irresponsibly while nude from the waist up. I was a pedestrian, motorist, and cyclist when I lived in the Kingston area from 1995 until 2002. I do not recall irresponsible bicycle riding, but I do recall irresponsible driving. Byer's remarks remind me of remarks made by CarFree listserv members who defend the use of a car and irresponsible motorist behavior with as much passion as a room full of alcoholics openly sipping from bottles of alcohol during an AA meeting while declaring their sobriety. That is, Byer sounds like he's the problem.

Friday, October 28, 2005

100 reasons to ride in the winter

The members of BikeForums have counted down the Top 100 Reasons to Ride in the Winter. Some of the ones I like:
    More layers = less pain when you wreck.
    Eating as much pie as you want during the holidays.
    You get to laugh at people in their cars stuck in the snow.
    Listening to your triathlon/road buddies complain about how boring riding the trainer is all winter.
    Not having to scrape your windows before you can drive home.
    Being able to whip a snowball at the car that just cut you off.
    Being able to whip a frozen water bottle at the car that just cut you off.
Do you ride in the winter? What do you like about winter riding?

Cycling addiction

I turned 0x28 years old this week which I guess is supposed to be some sort of milestone. My wife is so wonderful and thoughtful; she threw a surprise party for me. She took me to a pizza place where several friends were at. I was amazed that the restaurant even participated in my party by decorating the place up with a death theme in honor of my old age -- skeletons, coffins, and grim reapers.

Everybody got me cycling stuff as gifts. Rich decorated a cake with a picture of a cyclist and his bike. My son got me the shoe and glove dryer that I blogged about last week. My lovely wife got me a big, framed Graham Watson print. Amanda gave me a plastic model kit of a bicycle. I didn't even know those things existed. Melinda bought me a really nice jersey. I received two gift cards for the Local Bike Shop.

I have other interests in my life. Really. When I think of them I'll be sure to let my friends know what they are.

Alta Bikes Ad

This is an ad for a Norwegian builder of fixed gear bikes designed for city use. There are more ads at the Alta Bikes website, but it's an annoying Flash-only website with clunky Flash-based navigation.

Photo info: Alta Bikes Ad. Originally uploaded by feaverish.

Pulling over for the police

In Colorado we've had instances of faux cops attempting to make traffic stops. Motorists are now advised to call 911 and drive to a public, lighted area if they don't feel safe when an apparent police officer tries to pull them over.

CycleDog asks the question: "If a cop tried to make a traffic stop in [an isolated area], would a motorist or a cyclist be justified in refusing to stop until he reached a more public area?"

We then find a real life example of this. Andrew and Brian were out for a bicycle ride when a state trooper shouted for them to pull over. The cyclists were on a road with no shoulder so they rode to a nearby parking lot after indicating their intentions to the trooper. For their courtesy, Andrew spent the night in jail and has been charged with a felony!

Tags: , ,

How many ways can you say bicycle?

Venice di Milo in Pink
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom.
I've lost about a thousand of my readers over the last week. I suspect this is because I'm being such a nitpicky, legalistic drag lately. Here, I return to something a little less mundane.

On the Flickr photo-sharing service you can "tag" your photos to organize them into various categories. Tags also help other people find the photos they're interested in, which is how I find most of the photos I post to CYCLE-licious.

Lorenzo tags all of his bicycle photos in about a dozen different languages. Below we have English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Japanese. Which do you know? I don't see Portuguese, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic or Hindi. What other important languages are missing?

bike bicycle bici bicicleta vélo Fahrrad bicicletta fiets sykkel
велосипед 自行车 腳踏車
じてんしゃをこぐ 自転車を漕ぐ バイク ちゃり じてんしゃ 自転車

Apologies if you don't have the fonts installed to correctly render all of these character sets.

More tag spam in Italian, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Norse: , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 27, 2005

200 miles in 9 hours

Dan McGehee, the current holder of the world century record, has set a record for the double century,pending certification by the UMCA. He rode 200 miles in 9:02:41 on the same course used for his century record in Arizona.

Read about it and see photos here.

2004 Olympic cyclist to retain medal

Colombian cyclist Maria-Luisa Calle Williams finished third in the women's point race in the 2004 Athens Olympics but was disqualified after testing positive for Heptaminol, a banned stimulant. Calle appealed the disqualification. Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled her disqualification and reinstated Calle's bronze medal.

Calle Williams took Neo-Saldina, an anti-migraine medication. Neo-Saldina contains isometheptene, a substance that transforms into heptaminol during laboratory analyses.

Another high-profile CAS appeal -- that if American cyclist Tyler Hamilton's blood doping suspension -- is still on hold. The Olympic Gold medalist tested positive for blood transfusion on September 11, 2004.

CBC Sports: IOC to return cyclist's Olympic medal.

Tour de France 2006 route

Tour de France 2006 map

This article in Velonews comments on the route and the likely players for next year's Tour de France. Velochimp notes where speculation was right and wrong and includes pointers to other commentary about next year's Tour. OLN will have some news about this Tour tonight at 6 p.m. EDT.

Ear Mitts for cool weather cycling

Thomas in Buffalo wonders what he can wear when the weather is too warm for a hat but cool enough that your ears are chilly.

I usually use a headband in these conditions. Various ear warmers are also available, with one of the more popular being Ear Mitts. People who have Ear Mitts rave about them. They slip over the ears and can be easily removed and stowed in a pocket if you want.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The artist, Rudi Nadler, rides and races his fixies in Arizona. If you're a fixed or singlespeed fanatic you've probably already heard of him, or you've at least seen his work here and there.

24% of peds hit by bikes

I contacted Dr. Richard Potts, the professor who studied perceptions of cyclist safety at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. The studies are done by students in his Research Methods in Psychology class as a recurring lab assignment.

According to Dr. Potts, "On our campus, cyclists are unofficially allowed to ride wherever they want. There is no enforcement of any existing laws, including the one which prohibits bikes on sidewalks or riding against traffic."

"In observational portion of the study, we watched and counted cyclists crossing the crosswalks. A no-bikes symbol was painted on most of our crosswalks last spring. Despite those symbols, 90% of cyclists rode across the crosswalks [of 645 cyclists observed]."

In the survey, "an astonishing 24% of students report having been struck by a bike while walking on campus."

Here's a letter to the editor from a pedestrian who's been hit twice by sidewalk cyclists in the last month. Translation note: "pavement" is UK-speak for "sidewalk."

Dog-powered scooter

This guy in Bend, Oregon sells a scooter with a harness to connect a dog or two to get them to pull you. Say "Mush."

Tour de France 2006 route unveiling

The 2006 Tour de France route will be disclosed this Thursday in Paris. John Wilcockson @ VeloNews makes his predictions about the route.

Another hat tip to Velochimp for this news.

Lance Armstrong on Saturday Night Live

Remember, Lance-spotters, Lance Armstrong will host Saturday Night Live this weekend. His fiance Sheryl Crow will also appear on the show. Thank you to Velochimp for the reminder.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Psychology of sidewalk cyclists

You're riding in the street minding the traffic around you when *BLAM* some guy on a bike blasts from the sidewalk, across the intersection and almost into you. Because you're such a do-gooder, you begin to explain to him that sidewalk riding is about a zillion times more dangerous than cycling on the road.

This sidewalk cyclist will then look at you like you're a wild-eyed freak. You've just gathered empirical evidence that bicycle safety education does not always work. Dr. Richard Potts, professor of psychology at Oklahoma State University, came to the same conclusion after several years of studying cyclist behavior at the Stillwater campus. “It’s a complex and almost unsolvable problem,” he says.

I think fear of the unknown is the major barrier. This barrier might be partially countered by education. I believe education is an important factor in improving cyclist behavior and safety, but experience is much more important. We really need to encourage our children to get out and ride with traffic. To that end, our local bicycling advocacy group has organized a program to encourage children to walk and bike to school. I ride with newbie bike commuters to show them that riding in the streets can be done safely.

Safe cycling education has to go beyond pamphlets and websites and into the realm of example and hands-on. What are some other things we can do to help cyclists get beyond the sidewalk and path and into the street?

Bus driver

Sistah Rosa Parks took a seat on the big bus to Glory last night. She lived an amazing life before passing at 92 years of age. What a courageous woman.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Watch for gators!

A father and son ride their bikes after Hurricane Wima flooded their neighborhood in Rockledge, FL this morning.

From Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog.

Bike patrol catches truck-driving robbers

A bicycle patrol officer made an arrest in a robbery that happened near the Alamo. The officer was able to make the arrest even when the robbers were riding in a Ford F-150.

Four men armed with a shotgun robbed an individual at about one in the morning. Police say the robbers took the victim's money, cell phone, and cigarettes, and then left in a red Ford F-150.

A San Antonio bicycle patrol officer saw the truck and forced it to pull over.

The three adults and one teenager accused of the robbery are now in police custody.

From here and here.

SACEUR bikes to work

General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of the U.S. European Command, rides his bike to work. "It's an absolutely essential part of my day," says General Jones. "It's mind-clearing, invigorating. I get to go out and pedal through the countryside in the early morning hours, and see life come back and rejuvenate every day as the sun is coming out."

VeloSwap in then news

The Vail Daily News sent a writer to Denver to write about VeloSwap. Ms. Farnell expresses her misunderstanding of fixie culture and also writes that "you're bound to run into someone you know and brag about the computer you just scored for $10." At the end of the swap meet, Cateye was selling boxes of 10 bike computers for $25, so there.

I didn't run into him there, but my sometime-riding-partner randomdreams complains a little about how commercial the swap meet has become, "with greasy pro racers hawking last year's components" stuck out back.

Rob from Boulder, on the other hand, mentions the freaks, freakazoids, nuts, and bike sluts at VeloSwap.

Dustin went to VeloSwap hoping to score a sweet fixed-gear bike but went home empty-handed. Note to Dustin: you buy a used frame for like $10 at VeloSwap and build that up into a fixie. I ran into my buddy Jason at VeloSwap who had bought a nice frame for exactly that purpose.

Ben walked to VeloSwap and finishes his post with "Ski season is here, and bike season is still underway. I love Colorado." Amen.

One last question: Do you pronounce it "VEE low swap" or "VAY low swap"?

Michigan Make My Day and bike theft

The state of Michigan is considering a Make My Day law in which residents can use deadly force against an intruder without facing criminal or civil prosecution. Currently, victims of crime in Michigan must retreat from an attack before responding.

Carolynn Jarvis is executive director of the Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence and opposes this bill. She cites shooting a bicycle thief as an "extreme measure" that might occur as a result of the proposed law.

I own a firearm but I'm not going to off some punk just because he's stealing my bike. Nevertheless, I think extremism in the defense of cycling liberty is no vice.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Big Wheels for Big People

Big Wheels for Big People
Originally uploaded by richardmasoner.
VeloSwap 2005 in Denver was cool. The best booth was Vitamin Cottage because they literally stuffed my bag with free goodies -- samples of supplements, soy and whey protein powders, Clif Bars, Luna Bars, drink mixes and the list goes on.

Larabar (I LOVE Larabar) was there too handing out samples. Yes, I was hungry, but don't let that indicate that my biases were directed to food in any way.

The usual gang of people with junk to sell were there. I said hello to the nice people from Bicycle Colorado and ran into a couple of people I know from Longmont and Boulder.

In addition to the usual bike and bike-stuff vendors (Giant, Performance, Moot, Axis, Cateye, etc), the unusual were also present. The photo here shows Captain Obvious and his team from Big Wheel Rally in Lakewood Colorado. They take children's toys -- Big Wheels and Green Machines and the like -- and chop and extend them for an adult fit.

Another unusual product was the "WRFF iT" -- a three wheeled pedalcycle with no saddle. You always stand on the pedals.

My son (age 10) was looking at the $4000 CF road bikes and $5000 mountain and freeride bikes. He started with one of the vendors trying to talk him down in price. The vendor began to crack up laughing and told my son to come back in ten years to work for him as a salesman.

Bicycle Colorado @ VeloSwap

Bicycle Colorado staff man their booth at VeloSwap 2005 in Denver. These are executive director Dan Grunig, membership director Neal Lurie and volunteer coordinator Jannell Shaw.

Bicycle Colorado does a great job working to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions, and provide a voice for cyclists in Colorado. If you cycle in Colorado, I strongly encourage you to join.

More about VeloSwap in a minute.

Friday, October 21, 2005

First time bike ride

Here's a nice essay by Leigh Ann Henion who learned to ride a bike for the first time while vacationing in South Carolina.

If you're new to cycling be sure to read CycleDog's educational, instructional, motivational and informative "Cyclist 101".

Give me that old time religion

While every Sunday and Wednesday is "Ride Your Bike To Church Day" for me, the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Kingston, ME has given that designation for Sunday, October 23 to make a statement about their concern for the environment. Read more.

Fingers and fixed gear

What happens when your finger gets caught between the chain and the cog? You've heard the stories, now see the photographic evidence. Caution: Grody photos.

Hat tip to CycleDog. Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Race mechanic clinic in Colorado Springs

USA Cycling is sponsoring a race mechanic clinic at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO from January 12th to 15, 2006. If you have U.S. citizenship, $250, two years of experience as a bike mechanic and want to have a Race Mechanic License you can come to this clinic.

Speakers and presentations from different areas of the race community cover numerous topics including:
    • Caravan and motorcycle support
    • Pit setup for road and mountain bike races
    • Tool, equipment and supply needs
    • Race equipment preparation
    • Track, Road, MTB & Cross support
    • Wheel components and building theory
    • Wheel changes in competitive races
    • Bike wash techniques
    • Working and professional relationships between the mechanic and the athlete, coach, and soigneur.

$250 covers the clinic, housing, food, and instructional materials. Send check payable to USA Cycling and brief resume with email address by November 4th to
    USA Cycling
    Attn: Mechanic's Clinic
    1 Olympic Plaza
    Colorado Springs, CO 80909
For registration information contact Marlis Johnson, Program Manager -- 719.866.3511 or mjohnson@usacycling.

The $100,000 $75,000 Trek

A gold and diamond studded Trek Madone 5.9 SL sold for $75,000 at a charity auction, according to BikeBiz. $4.7 million was raised for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's programs. Read more.

Top 100 Bicycle Retailers selected

International Cycle Works has released a list of the Top 100 bicycle retailers in the United States for 2005. Sales representatives from 6 of the leading bicycle brands and 6 of the leading accessory brands voted for the leading retailers in their territories on market share, community outreach and store appearance. Sales representatives from Cannondale, Giant, Haro, Raleigh America, Specialized, Trek, Shimano, Bike Mine, Giro, J&B, Pearl Izumi and QBP voted for the leading retailers in their territories on market share, community outreach and store appearance.

International Cycle Works is a Boulder-based market research and consulting company specializing in the cycling market.

19th century mountain bikers

Fixedgear has posted some information about "The Original Mountain Bikers", the 25th Infantry Regiment which used bikes to cross the plains of Montana. Cool historical stuff.

Air quality worse in cars

According to Robert Baker, president of the non-profit U.S. Indoor Air Quality Association, the air inside cars to be more contaminated than the air outside, even in urban areas. "The air in an indoor space does not clean itself, unlike the outdoors, where air travels."

120x90 Brand
Besides that, the plastics inside of cars can emanate up to 35 times the health limit set for volatile organic chemicals in cars in Japan, making its enjoyment akin to glue-sniffing.

Oof. Maybe it's time to get outside and enjoy some of the fresh autumn air.

Via Treehugger.

Electric bicycle kits

Seven Generational provides some handy links to providers of electric bike motors and kits.

Electric bikes are expected to be big business next year. According to this press release from a market research company, the output of electric bikes is expected to rise substantially, with new companies joining the line and many existing suppliers increasing focus on the product.

This is one of those things that some of us bicyclists get a little uptight about -- if it has a motor, is it still a "bicycle"? I really like riding the bike, but I can anticipate that I might not be able to pedal long distances some time in the future but I still want to get around in a bike-like manner. To me, an electric-assist seems like a reasonable compromise.

'Motorists will eventually adjust to the change'

A nice letter to the editor published in the Boston Globe predicts that as cycling becomes more popular, drivers will adjust to the change.

Cyclist dies in accident with semi-trailer truck,1,1841784.story

Published October 18, 2005

CHICAGO -- A male bicyclist was killed Monday by a semi-trailer truck driving on a Stevenson Expressway ramp, officials said.

About 10:35 a.m., while the truck driver was preparing to merge from the Stevenson onto Cicero Avenue, he noticed a bicyclist had become wedged beneath the trailer's rear tires, according to Illinois State Police Trooper Michelle Tufenkjian.

The unknown bicyclist was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at the Stein Institute, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

He was carrying no identification, and police were using his fingerprints Monday night to try to identify him, Tufenkjian said.

No citations were issued in the incident, she said.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Google's Jagger update

Google is in the midst of a major update of their indexes that search-engine professionals are calling "Update Jagger." PageRank is Google's measure of a web page's value or worth. The inaugural or initial PageRank for Cycle-licious is PR5, which is fantastic for a brand-new website, especially one on a niche topic like bicycles. As far as I know, it's extremely difficult for a site that's less than a year old to rank any higher than a 5.

I see that Jon Maus's new BikePortland website also has an initial PR of 5. Good job!

Thank you to my friends for helping to make this happen. This is a communal thing -- I read every bit of your feedback and I really appreciate the input you provide.

Off-season MTB training

Graham at GoClipless points to a four-part series on training in the off-season. Ashwinearl tells us why, how, and when of strength and interval training over the winter. Check it out if you want to be good, fit and strong come the spring. It might even motivate skinny me to move the weights around a little.

Public Enemy #1: The CycleDog

Several influential bloggers and pundits are pushing for substantial cutbacks in already-approved Federal programs to make more disaster relief funding available. While I've avoided commenting on the topic, several funded bicycle facilities are under attack as "pork" projects. Many bicycle advocates are defending these projects as absolutely vital to promoting bicycling in the United States.

CycleDog, however, suggested on the Thunderhead Alliance discussion list that some bike facilities funding could be preserved if bike advocates compromised with legislators by offering up a list of some trails we could live without for the time being. He also splashed some cold reality into the list by noting that cyclists are a tiny minority, and took a couple of people to task by reminding them that not all bicyclist advocates are completely in favor of facilities.

Sue Knaup, Thunderhead Alliance's Executive Director, being the progressive-mind individual that she is, then labeled CycleDog an "enemy of cycling" and immediately banned him from the TA discussion list!

I know a couple of the people involved with Thunderhead Alliance and I was disappointed in Ms. Knaup's heavy-handed reaction to Ed's mild criticism. The advocacy group in my community is currently working toward 501C3 incorporation and we're aiming for participation within TA's umbrella. Most of the active members are strong vehicular cyclists. We don't have a strong aversion to facilities and in fact we lobby for them locally when they make sense, but TA's apparently blind push that all facilities of any kind are Good and anyone who thinks differently is an "Enemy" (good grief!) goes beyond the pale.

Shoe and glove dryer

Seirus QuickDry Skate, Boot and Glove Dryer

Problem: I rode in the rain this morning. I wear rain gear and put my wet socks and gloves on top of the computer monitor to dry them out. This evening when I go home the rain will have stopped, but I'll still put on damp gloves and socks and my shoes will still be soaking wet.

Solution: Lauren Cooper lives and bikes in rainy south Florida. She uses boot driers to dry her cycling shoes, socks and gloves. Some people are concerned that that using these might shrink or otherwise damage the shoes, but Lauren reports she's been using a boot dryer for several years without any problem. A small fan pulls air through the shoes and gloves. In the portable unit shown here, you can turn the heat on or off. This boot dryer will also dry one pair of shoes or boots PLUS a pair of gloves at the same time, according to the product literature.

For this particular model of shoe dryer, some thought needs to be put into supporting the unit. Other, more expensive models have their own stands.

Disclosure: I hope this is obvious, but if you click here or on the image and buy from, I might get a couple of bucks from the transaction. I haven't tried this product yet but I think it would be a great Christmas gift for the year-round bike commuter.

Ride with ID

Cycling Dude's post encouraging us to bring ID when we ride reminds me of this local story in which a bicycle rider remains unidentified two weeks after his death from head trauma inflicted by an aluminum baseball bat. None of the articles I've seen indicate if the man was wearing a helmet or not.

When you ride your bike, carry some identification. On road rides, I always slip my driver's license and a credit card into my jersey pocket. I also wear a helmet but I don't know how effective they are against metal baseball bats.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dear Abby on cycling safety

In response to this column in which a 13-year-old girl asks how to avoid creeps and weirdos while she's out riding her bike, several people wrote in to offer their perspectives. Dress like a guy. Carry a cell phone. Be aware of your surroundings. Ride with a group.

My wife carries pepper spray and a heavy U-lock. My friend Lauren, an LCI, tells me that she often rides on the streets rather than trails because the streets are not as isolated as the paths, especially after dark. (Lauren has also told me to dress like a woman and wear Terry cycling skorts for better motorist interaction.)

In light of a recent sexual assualt in broad daylight on a local bike path, there's certainly reason to be concerned about your personal safety. How about it, ladies? What tips can you offer to enhance riding safety? Let's talk empowerment, not fear or blame-the-victim.

Cycling in automotive history

The Detroit News has a great article about how the bicycle was instrumental in the creation of the automobile industry in Detroit. Many of us know that "historians attribute the automobile's explosion of growth in Detroit to the network of superior roads built for bicyclists." Robert Hurst's Art of Urban Cycling touches on some of this, mentioning that bicycle racers flocked wholesale to the much faster race cars and helped promote cars to the public. Detroit was home to a myriad of small shops making carriages and bicycles. These shops were filled with tinkerers for whom the simple idea of adding a motor to a wheeled contraption seemed obvious. Some car manufacturers started out as bike builders.

From fixedgear.

Bicycle winterizing

The time for darkness, wet, and cold are approaching many of us in the northern hemisphere. Fat cyclist writes about how he's prepared for winter riding in Seattle. Fat carries a bit more clothing than I do, but cold-weather clothing is one of those highly personal things anyway. Be sure to read the comments also for some good tips.

Monday, October 17, 2005

#23: Juli Furtado

Juli Furtado
Third in a series of profiles of the Top 25 change agents in American cycling.
Juliana Furtado dominated mountain biking in the early 90s, winning the 1990 Cross-County Mountain World Champion, 1992 Downhill World Championship and three World Cup titles. In 1993, Furtado won 12 consecutive races to earn the World Cup and NORBA cross-country championships.

After participating on the U.S. Olympic Mountain Biking Team, the winningest mountain biker of all time retired in 1997 when she was diagnosed with Lupus.

Reasons to drive

Danielo gives his "9 great reasons to drive a car". I'm pretty sure his tongue is planted firmly in cheek in that post.

GT Bicycles -- only in your Local Bike Shop

Pacific Cycles announced today that they are pulling GT Bicycles out of the mass merchant and discount retail markets to focus that brand on the Independent Bike Dealer (IBD) market.

GT Bicycles, which started out as a boutique builder of great bikes in Longmont, Colorado, went bankrupt and was purchased by Pacific Cycle in 2001 after the death of GT's founder, Richard Young. Pacific Cycle, known for importing cheap Bike Shaped Objects and selling them through the discount stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart, transformed GT from a respectable bike builder into Yet Another Cheap Brand sold primarily through sporting goods stores.

Lately, however, the GT Design Center in Longmont (just up the road from where I work) has been creating sweet bikes yet again. My mountain bike is an older GT and I'm very glad to see them return to their roots creating high quality bikes and dedicating this line to the IBD channel.

25 miles per snack

I have a Wednesday evening ritual. I go to the Philips 66 gas station at Boston and Sunset and pay about two and half dollars for a fried pie and a carton of whole milk. A Hostess Cherry Pie has about 500 Calories. The milk with about 300 Calories brings the total up to 800 Calories. This $2.50 worth of junk food will get me about 25 miles on my bike. That's somewhat farther than I could go on a gallon of gas in the average vehicle sold in the U.S. in 2005.

Jim Carson looks into the economics of bike commuting in more detail. He adds up his bike maintenance and use expenses, compares that with what he didn't spend driving the Subaru, and discovers that, financially, he came out behind. He concludes that "the economic argument isn't working."

I'll spend about $600 this year on bike expenses -- maintenance, a couple of new lights, a new jersey and gloves, several tubes and patch kits, new tires and so forth. I'll put about 6000 miles on three bikes this year, which works out to about 10 cents per mile. That's considerably less than the 40 cents per mile the IRS tells us it costs to run a car. Plus, I can eat fried pies, drink whole milk and not get fat.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Lite Ride flashlight holder

The NiteIze Lite Ride is a rubber strap designed to mount a mini flashlight to your handlebar, seatpost, or any other tubular thing you want to attach a mini light to. This clever five-dollar doodad probably works in a pinch or to mount a backup light, but no mini flashlight I've seen puts out the light needed to see or be seen on a bike.

Product info from NiteIze.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Spooks and goblins

A few years ago I lived in a 100-year-old parsonage in a small town in central Illinois. The stairs creak, the stained-glass windows rattle with the slightest breeze, doors open and close spontaneously. The halls are dark and narrow, because of the crooked walls and floors and cracks in the walls and ceiling, they have a crazy-house look. Ominous moaning sounds issue forth from the vicinity of the chimney, and invading critters occasionally make a ruckus in the attic, within the walls, or in the basement. Gurgling noises occasionally come from the ancient plumbing.
The biggest tree in town is in the front yard of this house, and the branches of this and other trees constantly scrape against the side. The big trees surrounding the home also ensure the house is constantly in shadow.

Because the town funeral home is directly across the street, tales abounded of dead bodies stored in our parsonage and of embalming fluid or blood leaking from the pipes. The guy we bought the house from was untalkative, pale, reclusive and a bit strange.

Consequently, every kid in town thought our house was about the creepiest place in the whole world. My son's friends would come to spend the night in "the haunted house" on a dare, and in every instance we ended up having to drive the kids back home by 10 p.m. It probably helps that this home is on the edge of town where the huge cornfields surrounding our farm town butts up against our fence. Have I mentioned that kids hate the movie "Children of the Corn"?

My children, though, lived in that house since birth. They were familiar with every creak, every moan, every gurgle. To them, there's nothing at all frightful or dangerous about the home.

This fear that my children's friends have of our haunted house not a rational fear, but the fear is very real nontheless. In the same way, many cyclists are fearful of riding with traffic, even if rationally you understand that riding in traffic is not all that dangerous.

My teen years were spent in Japan, where I biked all over the congested streets of my town outside of Tokyo. As a 13-year-old it was no big deal at all that I rode within inches of truck traffic right on the highway. Today, I ride right in the midst of heavy traffic and I'm teaching my children how to do the same. I'm familiar with riding in traffic and it's no big deal to me and many other road cyclists. I spent my college years and most of my working years cycling in large cities, over rural farm roads, and through sprawled suburbs.

I've discovered, though, that many people can't imagine riding with traffic. My city and nearby Boulder, Colorado have wonderful wide bike lanes all over the place, but I see several cyclists riding on the sidewalk right next to the bike lane. Many mountain bikers that I know who jump cliffs and break bones doing what they love absolutely refuse to ride on the road because it's "too dangerous."

I write all of this to point you to Cycledog, who writes about fear of road traffic with much more skill than I'm capable of.

How about you? Do you believe that bicycling with traffic is dangerous? Are you fearful of riding in traffic in spite of what you know?

The $100,000 bike

From BikeBiz: A diamond and gold encrusted special edition of the Trek Madone 5.9 SL will be auctioned off next week to raise money for the Lance Armonstrong Foundation. The bike, which was donated by Trek, will be unveiled Sunaday at the Bike Mart in Richardson, Texas. "Our goal is to raise in excess of $100,000 for the foundation. This could make it the most valuable bicycle in the world," said Jim Hoyt, owner of the Richardson Bike Mart. Lance Armstrong – who lived across the street from the store - bought his first road bike from Jim Hoyt and joined the shop team in 1987 as a junior, his first ever cycling team.

Personal encounter with fame: I rode my first century -- the Hotter-n-Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, Texas -- with Lance Armstrong back in 1987! Of course, so did 8000 other people...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Moderate excercise sheds visceral fat

Yet Another Study shows that excercise is good for you

New findings published in the October 2005 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that moderate excercise can prevent and even reverse the accumulation of deep abdominal fat. This deep or visceral fat is not visibly apparent but is linked to type 2 diabetes, high cholestorol and heart disease.

"We eat everyday," says excercise physiologist Cris Slentz. "So we should walk everyday."

Michelle Wie on bikes

Q. What is it that you enjoy so much about golf?
"When I started riding a bicycle, it took me -- like I did it every morning like 6 o'clock in the morning, trying to ride a bike. And then after I started riding the bike, I didn't even ride the bike. I don't know if I could ride the bike right now. So I just stop after I know how to."

Wie doesn't ride a bike because it's too easy or too boring?

I'm famous. You can be too.

Steve Rubel liked my post about Google Reader and linked to it from his influential Micro Persuasion blog. My 15 seconds of fame resulted in, oh, about a 10% increase over my usual number of visitors for the day.

If you want your 15 seconds, there are a couple of ways you can have it.

The first way is to post a cycling-related photo over at Flickr in a way that I can find it. The best way is to tag the photo "bicycle." For your photo to make the cut, make sure it has a good caption: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. The photo should be technically good. It's Not About the Bike: I like to focus on people or places, not things, so Bike Porn will rarely be featured. I explain these things in more detail here. Take a look at previous feature photos to get an idea of what I like.

Another way is to leave a comment on any post with a link to your website. If I like the website or blog, I'll probably write a blog post about it. If you've left a comment and think your website is worthy of mention, it's likely I've forgotten so feel free to remind me.

Bode Miller: 'We need dope'

In comments printed in Ski Racing magazine, American ski champion Bode Miller expressed surprised that EPO is illegal in Olympic sports and argued that use of the banned substance could improve safety for skiers.

Cycling legend Eddie Merckx weighs in with his opinion about the recent drug scandals, telling L'Equipe, "We need to redefine what constitutes doping. To see where it starts and finishes. I support the war on drugs but I'll never back a zero tolerance policy."

Original L'Equipe article here in French: "Merckx Defends Armstrong". Hat tip to Human Powered Transport.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


This lovely quote swiped from Brave Athena
"After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow."  —  H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance

U.S. winter cycling outlook

NOAA announced the 2005-2006 U.S. Winter Cycling Outlook today for the months December, January and February. NOAA forecasters expect warmer-than-normal biking temperatures in most of the U.S. The precipitation outlook is less certain, showing equal chances of above, near or below normal precipitation for much of the country.

The precipitation outlook calls for wetter-than-normal conditions across most of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and northeastern Texas. Drier-than-normal conditions are expected across the Southwest from Arizona to New Mexico.

Bicycle water pump

The C&C Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand connected this bike to a water pump to irrigate their gardens. A sign encourages guests to water the garden by promoting it as an excercise bike.

National Bike Summit Call for Papers

The League of American Bicyclists is now accepting papers for the sixth annual National Bike Summit to be held March 1-3, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Paper/Presentation ideas should focus on the local and state level. Suggestions include, but are not limited to:
  • Implementing Safe Routes to School Programs
  • Maximizing Safety Funding for Bicycling
  • Creating Complete Streets in Your Community
  • Strengthening the Industry Role in Advocacy
  • Bicycling beyond Transportation
  • Building Bicycling Friendly Communities
Details are available here.

National Bike Summit links

Bike Summit Brochure PDF file.
National Bike Summit online registration.
Preliminary schedule.
Travel info. PDF file
Bike Summit FAQ. PDF file.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Number 24: Horace Huffman

The second in a series of profiles of the Top 25 change agents in American cycling.
After selling the Davis Sewing Machine Company, Horace Huffman formed Huffman Manufacturing in Dayton, Ohio in 1925. After World War II, his "Huffy" bikes become a household name as it grew into one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world.

Huffman didn't just build and sell bikes, however. He provided inspiration, guidance and funding for local and national cycling advocacy groups, including the Miami Valley Bicycling Coalition, the Dayton Cycling Club, the Ohio Bicycle Federation, the Bicycle Federation of America, and Bikecentennial (now Adventure Cycling).

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cycling Health slams skewed helmet reporting

New Zealand cycling advocacy group Cycling Health advocates safe cycling practices in New Zealand. In this press release, they criticize skewed helmet reporting by the news media.
Founder member Graeme Trass is scathing of the usual media practice of reporting when helmets are not worn and not mentioning helmets where they are worn, especially in fatal accidents.

Trass says this type of reporting misrepresents the effectiveness of helmet use as protection and can lead people to assume helmets will save them in vehicle related crashes. The facts do not support this and may be putting cyclists at risk by assuming helmets make them impregnable.

Continued over emphasis on helmet use as a cure all for cycling accident fatalities and injuries means investigation of other more effective methods is sidelined.

The helmet law has failed in its objective and the only measurable result has been a decline in commuter cycling. This has had a negative effect on health particularly among the young plus they are also missing out on vital road user experience for later driving says Trass.

Discussions are currently underway with national media groups to correct this omission and a formal complaint to the Press council may eventuate if the misrepresentation is not fixed.

Trass also points to the legacy of deserted school bike racks and deserted cycle lanes as stark witness to the misguided helmet regulation.

Bicycle reflectors

Optics, lighting and reflectors is an inherently boring subject, but John Schubert does a good job making the topic of bike reflectors understandable. He answers the question, "If all these reflectors are so darn bright and easy to see, how come the bike safety nerds insist you need active lights to be seen at night?"

Sheldon Brown's page also points to articles about lighting and reflectors by John Allen and John Forester.

I suspect most of my audience already knows this stuff (after all, you're a BRIGHT group of people {guffaw}), but hopefully you'll find these references helpful.

First time 30 mile commute

I don't know if he's a cyclist or not, but Mr. John Campanelli writes of bike commuting the 30 miles from Hudson, Ohio all the way into downtown Cleveland. His round-trip time was 5 hours, 45 minutes. He griped about it a little, but good for him for at least trying this long distance commute by bike.

SilverPhoenix writes of her first bike commute. "The ride reminded me of when I was growing up. I had a lot of fun coming into work today. Even got to work a lot earlier than I would have because there was an accident on the highway which had traffic completely stopped."

RubberSide is a regular bike commuter, but he had his first encounter for the year with snow last week.

Bike commuter: Don't forget your underwear

The New York Times has one of the more substantial articles I've seen on the recent trend toward more bike commuting. Author Alex Williams writes that many of the factors usually cited as obstacles to bike commuting -- errands, children, laptop computers, bad roads, weather, sweat -- "no longer seem quite so insurmountable in the face of $70 fill-ups at gas stations."

According to Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong, commuting was a major "buzz topic" at Interbike, with bike reatailers seeing "a whole new breed of customer, people who haven't ridden bikes at all, coming in mainly because of eyeball shock at the gas pump."

Chris Hornug, chief executive of Pacific Cycle, reports that sales of adult cruiser bikes with wide tires and cushy seats -- "the sort commonly associated with commuting" -- "jumped off the Richter scale," rocketing 20 percent in the week of Sept. 7 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the spike in gas prices.

Breezer Bikes reports that sales are up 33% this year, with sales this last summer double what they were a year ago.

Williams also writes about some of the hiccups that new bike commuters are learning to work around. Bike commuters are learning to adjust their sleep schedules or daycare arrangements. Janelle Gunther, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, has found herself scurrying into an early morning meeting still clad in her Lycra cycling gear after her five mile commute.

Harry Brull, 56, an organizational psychologist in Minneapolis, joined a local gym so he can shower; stocked his office with suits, shirts, belts and dress shoes; and rode to work Monday morning. That's when he realized he forgot his underwear.

Read the full article here.

Zabel wins Paris Tours

German Sprinter Eric Zabel of T-Mobile gave his team a going away present by winning his third Paris-Tours on Sunday.

If you're sitting indoors to avoid the cold and rain, see Graham Watson's gallery of the Paris-Tours in sunny France.

Velonews report of the race and Cyclingnews story and photo gallery via Velochimp.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cyclecide's Chupacabra Bike

Check out Joe Reifer's artsy gallery of flame-throwing bikes, bike bombs, bike mowers, tall bikes, choppers, and their people. The burning of San Francisco by the Chupacabra flame-thrower is captured in a photo essay. Navigation-by-SWF is always annoying, but it's still worthwhile to browse through Reifer's web gallery and see his work.

Photo caption: Cyclecide's Chupacabra Bike by guacamole airlines. "Behold, Cyclecide's Chupacabra bike. Yes, a crazy green bicycle with moving arms that spits fire. Hide your goats."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

things one think one can do when tipsy

I haven't posted any decent photos lately. I don't have any geographic tidbits; there's nothing deep here other than an adhoc tandem might not be the best thing to try when you're drunk in the middle of the night on a bike-shaped object. Then again, you're invulnerable when you're drunk so what the hey.

Number 25: Robert Rodale

The first in a series of profiles of the Top 25 change agents in American cycling.

Cyclists probably know about Bob Rodale through Rodale Press's Bicycling Magazine.

Rodale Press was started in 1942 by Bob's father, Jerome Irving Rodale, when he began publishing Organic Farming and Gardening. Rodale began publishing Prevention in the 50s. In 1951, Bob Rodale was named president of Rodale Press. Robert took over completely after his father's death in 1971.

Bob became fascinated with cycling in the early 70s and purchased Bicycling Magazine in 1977, building it into the world's largest cycling publication. He provided the land and financing for building the Trexlertown Velodrome (formerly the Lehigh County Velodrome). Bob Rodale was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1991, one year after he died in a car accident in Moscow.

Top 25 change agents for cycling

A couple of weeks ago, the League of American Bicyclists announced the Top 25 Change Agents for Cycling at Interbike in Las Vegas. They selected the 25 people who changed bicycling in America.

These Top 25 were selected by a panel of celebrity judges: Joe Breeze, president of Breezer Bicycles; Dan Burden of Walkable Communities; Alison Dunlap, a champion mountain bike racer; Phyllis Harmon, who's been guiding the LAB for just about forever; David Herlihy, the author who wrote Bicycle: A History; Chril Kegel, former president of the LAB; Steve Madden, editor-in-chief of Bicycling Magazine; Georgena Terry, owner of Terry Bicycles; Megan Tompkins, editor of BRaIN.
Interestingly, four of these nine judges made the top 25.

In the next couple of months I'll profile the 25 individuals who were selected. I'll tag these posts with "Top25" (if I don't forget!).

Snow bicycle

Originally uploaded by smadness.
Today was sunny with a high of 83° F (28° C). Tomorrow we'll have rain and cold, with a Winter Storm Watch in the mountains and significant snowfall expected. Monday, the wintry weather and snow will come down to where I live at 5000 feet (1500 meters) above sea level.

The problem is that I left both of my crummy weather bikes at work, meaning I'll have to ride the nice bike in the slush and salt on Monday morning. Rats.

I'm also getting a serious attitude problem. I don't feel like riding in the cold. I've been riding year-round in all weather for nearly 20 years, but this year I'm just not enjoying the cold and wet like I used to. I've actually glanced at the classifieds for cars once or twice. Help me!

Lights for night riding

Northern hemisphere days are getting shorter, darkness is coming sooner. For most of my readers, Daylight Savings or Summer Time will end soon. Whether you bike on the road or trail for recreation or transportation, that means lighting to extend your biking hours.

Cory at Making It Easier has a night riding primer. While he focuses on trail riding, he introduces the bare basics of lighting systems for bicycle use.

I'm currently using "be seen" lighting on my bikes for my twilight and after dark riding, but after Daylight Savings Time ends at the end of October I'll switch to my 12V 20W helmet light. In heavy traffic during the evening commute, I've discovered it takes more wattage to be seen than in light traffic.

Bike Zine

I wrote an issue of The Derailleur (Chicago Critical Mass publication) about riding a bike/riding a bike in the winter. Here's a link:

Bike Zine

Friday, October 07, 2005

Reasons you can't bike

I'm a zealot. You're a zealot. Sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture. The bigger picture is this: Not everybody likes to ride a bicycle. This columnist in Oregon passes on his reasons why he doesn't like to bike for transportation.
  • Riding a bicycle hurts.
  • Riding a bicycle is hard work.
  • You get hot and sweaty in the summer.
  • You get cold and wet in the winter.
  • Cycling takes too long.
  • You're too old or too young or too frail to ride a bicycle.
The writer concludes that bicycling has to get easier if we seriously expect people to use a bike for transportation.
"I'm totally in favor of reducing reliance on cars. We need to design and build more compact, walkable cities and neighborhoods so that fewer car trips are necessary. We need, above all, to create public transit systems that are just as comfortable and convenient--if not more so--than car commuting."