Friday, July 31, 2009

Energizer Trailfinder headlamp

I've been experimenting with using Energizer's "Trailfinder" headlamps. I generally haven't had much luck attaching hiking headlamps to my bike helmet -- the sloped helmets I use makes the elastic strap just slip up and off -- but I've managed to figure out a couple of tricks.

The first trick is to secure the strap by running a small piece of tape or a zip tie through a vent hole to hold the strap in place. That's what my son used during our bike trip last May to Sacramento.

Because the Energizer Trailfinder light can flip up, I was also able to run the strap around the back of the helmet and put the light flat on top, like so:

Inexpensive light

At the rear of the helmet, the strap runs near the back retention straps and doesn't seem to interfere with the helmet fit.

Another helpful feature of the Energizer Trailfinder: It has a pair of red LEDs in addition to the white LEDs!

Red LED headlamp on bike helmet

Something like this is handy if you're caught out later than expected without bike lights and all of the local bike shops are closed. These kinds of lights are available at any outdoor retailer and many drugstores and mass market retailers.

This is mostly a hiking / camping light. The Trailfinder will leave this weekend for a 10 day backpacking trip through the Sangre de Cristo Range so we'll see how it holds up under harsher conditions. For urban bicycling, the light stays on and the white and red lights are both reasonably bright. Unlike most bike lights, the Trailfinder only has "steady on" modes -- there are no flash or blink modes for this light.

If you use hiking headlights for your night time bicycling, I'd love to learn your tips and tricks.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Odds and ends

I've been biking to work since the 80s, and I have bike parts laying around all over the place. Sitting on my desk at work I have a 1986 Shimano 105 brake lever waiting to be put to use somewhere.

Likewise, I have an inbox of bikey links to share, some older than others. Enjoy!

Mission Bicycle in San Francisco started as a side venture in 2008 selling fixed gear bicycles online. They decided to open a retail presence on Valencia in SF. Read more.

Join Levi Leipheimer for a fully-supported fall bicycle ride in Sonoma County in Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo.

World Car Free Network blog from Prague. I thought I had mentioned this before but couldn't find it.

Movie: Bicycle Dreams. I'll more about this later.

BI: Can a professionally run mountain bike organization also be a vibrant social club?

CB: Alberto Contador trivia.

Old cycling photos.

Masiguy: Corny Joke.

More bikey shirts, hat and belt at Pedal Pushers Club.

Photo by Jason Rogers.

California Highway Patrol incident feed for bicycles

I've whipped up a script that takes the California Highway Patrol live traffic incident data feed from the 20 CHP dispatch centers around the state and filters for anything mentioning bikes or bicycles. You can see the results here.

At the time I'm writing this post, there's a single incident between Woodland and Davis, CA: a bicyclist riding in the number 1 lane on State Route 113 just south of County Road 25A is reported to be a traffic hazard. "1097 in the CD" means the responding officer is parked in the center divider. I have no idea if bikes are permitted on this state highway or not.

Location: SB SR113 JSO CR25A, Woodland - 7/30/2009 9:46:53 AM
1125 - Traffic Hazard
    -- 9:56AM 1097 IN THE CD

Right now, this is a rough proof of concept, which means:
  • I grab the incidents as they're available on the CHP server.
  • No caching of incidents, by me or anybody else.
  • No permanent links of incident reports.
  • When the incident ages out on the CHP dispatch center it is gone forever.
  • Good probability of false positives. You'll see reports of motorcycles and anything mentioning "bike lane." I doubt I'll change this heuristic much.
  • You need to decode the terse radio codes and abbreviations yourself. I may work this decoding into the application.

To make this truly useful, I need to:
  • Poll the CHP server automatically every 10 minutes or so and spit the results out to Twitter, an XML feed, or to email.
  • Cache the incidents and;
  • Provide permanent links to the incident information.
I can do all of these things; I just need to be sufficiently motivated and make time to do these things. Please let me know if this would be interesting / useful for you, and feel free also to leave any kind of suggestion and opportunity for improvement.

In the meantime -->

Update: I've modified the script so it can take a query string so you can input your own search criteria. Examples:

Breaking Away with Chris Carmichael in San Jose 8/20

Chris Carmichael, Lance's coach, will be speaking in San Jose CA on August 20. Pricy ($67 with pre-reg) but worth it if you're a hard-core fan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Santa Cruz: Yes to Tour of California

The Santa Cruz city council voted yesterday in favor of signing a "host city agreement" for the Tour of California 2010.

Last week, the city manager added Tour of California host city preparations to a list of items to cut because of budget issues. Cycling enthusiasts sent letters and showed up to the council meeting showing their support for the event.

Read more: Santa Cruz City Council votes to keep Amgen Tour.

Vuelta a Espana live streaming video

NBC Universal Sports will broadcast the Vuelta a España 2009 "Tour of Spain" live every morning at and replayed on the Universal Sports cable channel during the day with "enhanced stage replay" during the evening prime time.

In addition to live streaming video, Universal Sports' online coverage of the Vuelta a España 2009 will include a Tour Tracker showing each rider’s location on the course, stage maps, and integrated videos. The site will also offer full-length videos, highlights, photos, recaps, and behind-the-scenes interviews.

The 21 Stage Vuelta a España 2009 begins August 29 in Assen, Holland and will finish in Madrid, Spain on September 22.

--> Universal Sports Cycling.

For details on the 2009 Tour of Spain, visit Steephill.TV Vuelta dashboard.

San Francisco car fires

Somebody's setting cars on fire in San Francisco. This morning's San Francisco Examiner dead tree edition had this big, end-of-the-world headline on the front page: "CAR BLAZE VANDAL TERRORIZES CITY".

Sure, it's a big inconvenience to lose your car, and I realize some people depend on their cars for their livelihood, but are people in San Francisco really cowering in fear at the risk of losing their automobiles?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Flying Pigeon buys Campagnolo

No, not really. Or at least I don't think so.

What's funny is just last week I was brainstorming with some co-conspirators about our April Fool's joke for 2010. I came up with the idea of Flying Pigeon (the old Chinese bike factory) buying a major US or European bike brand. The Chinese have lots of American dollars, and we don't have any credit to get anything built.

In case you haven't heard: The rumors are flying today that Campagnolo has been purchased by an Asian company. Shimano strongly denies they're involved, while Campy remains coy. Long time bike trade journalist Carlton Reid says "zero facts as of yet."

Update: Campy denies the rumors and advises the rest of us to return to our Mediterranean villas.

Modal Bias

Tom Vanderbilt talks about "Modal Bias," which he describes as the phenomenon in which people who use one mode of travel don't understand those using other modes.

Cycle Dog has been writing a series of "Why do they do that?" articles for the online Examiner in which he tries to bridge the gap by explaining to a motoring audience why cyclists do certain things.

My ancestral Choctaw great grandfather taught me never to judge another unless I've walked the length of a communal maize field in his Keene sandals, so I've decided to examine recent motorist vs cyclist incidents from the viewpoint of the motorist to gain insight and understanding.

Incident 1: Campbell, California

Motorist driving West in a white Ford, CA 5ALZ709; Campbell Avenue, 8 AM this morning, California: I need to turn right into my neighborhood on Victor Avenue. If I gun it to 50 mph in this 35 mph zone I just might be able to get in front of that bike up ahead, who is clearly visible in his bright yellow fluorescent jersey! Oh look, he's right next to me at the intersection, but I still need to turn here. My morning donuts are calling. He won't mind if I run him over!

The cyclist (aka me) slamming my brakes and quick turn: "Hey!" as I think not very nice thoughts about the driver (white or Hispanic female, 30ish, bleached hair, obese, too tight white capris and yellow top).

I still think that driver is an idiot and a menace.

Next case.

Incident 2: Asheville, North Carolina

Motorist Charles Diez driving on Tunnel Road: Look at that family riding their bikes along the side of the road. Don't these idiots know that's dangerous! Unbelievable, that maniac even has his three year old child on the bike with him! I'm going to give him a piece of my mind, pull out my gun and shoot that careless parent!

Cyclist (not me): OMG! I'm glad I'm wearing a helmet! That helmet saved my life!

I'm pretty sure motorist Charles Diez is also an idiot and a menace. Props to Skidmore.

PS: Don't forget the contest.

WIN a free shirt

UPDATE: Contest closed. Congratulations to our two winners: Reese of San Jose and Len of San Francisco. Thank you to B Minus for providing the prizes.

Win a cute shirt like this from B Minus Design.

B Minus Design is giving away two shirts to Cyclelicious readers. YOU MUST ENTER TO WIN. USA only.

Two ways to enter:

1. Visit the B Minus Designs store and leave ONE COMMENT here telling me what your favorite t-shirt is. ONE COMMENT ONLY please -- this means you, Bruce!

2. Tweet to Twitter: deleted.

TWO WINNERS will be selected sometime during the day on Wednesday, July 29 (USA Pacific Time).

Winners' email addresses will be passed along to B Minus, otherwise your email is safe with me and Google.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menlo Park Grand Prix needs your help

The presenting sponsor of the Tri-Flow Menlo Park Grand Prix has defaulted on their $5,000 sponsorship for the race (it wasn't Tri Flow). Race organizer Lorri Lee Lown made promotion and spending decisions based on that sponsorship, including the addition of a third women's race this year. At present, Lorri has been able to cover all expenses except one bill to the City of Menlo Park for $4,000. If can't pay this bill, Menlo Park will not grant permission to have this race again in 2010.

Please give what you can to help save this event for 2010. Lorri is good people and does an outstanding job with the Menlo Park criterium. If just 100 people pitch in $50, her debt would be covered and she'll have a little extra to start with for next year.

Click here to give.

$1400 per year in medical expenses for the obese

New research shows medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than for someone who's normal weight.

The higher expense reflects the costs of treating diabetes, heart disease and other ailments far more common for the overweight.

"Unless you address obesity, you're never going to address rising health-care costs."
More in the Wall Street Journal.

It just so happens that last night I read the chapter on "Health and the Bicycle" in Jeff Mape's Pedaling Revolution. Mapes reminds us that in 1991, only four states had obesity rates higher than 15%, while in 2007 only one state -- Colorado -- had a rate under 20%. In 1996, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report lamenting that our modern, car dependent society hinders any attempts to increase physical activity. Psychologists studying the issue learned that the only way to increase physical activity is to make it a part of an active lifestyle.

That's when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is dedicated to improving public health, got into promoting bicycling in a big way, spending $80 million in the 90s on advocacy, research and grants to promote active transportation. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for example, provided the early funding for the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community Program.

Mapes mentions Prescription for a Healthy Nation by physicians Tom Farley and Deborah Cohen, who argue that American's fixation with the cost of our health care system obscures the real problem: that 'health care' rarely does little to provide real health. 40% of early deaths can be attributed to controllable factors such as smoking, alcohol use, diet, physical activity and vehicle crashes.

Cohen and Farley argue that we should stigmatize sedentary behavior in the same way anti-smoking campaigners stigmatized smoking in the 80s. "We have to put walking and cycling back into our daily lives and temper our addiction to cars," they write. They argue for development that encourages active transportation over car use.

Props to my anonymous tipster.

Cyclists in Europe

Cycling in Europe

John "The Sartorialist" Schuman seems to often work bicycles into his street fashion photos, especially when he's working in Europe. Click on images to click through to Sartorialist for commentary and larger photos.

Bicycle Beauty in Milano

Milano goes green

Eva smiles on a Velib rental bicycle in Paris

Bikes in the background in Milano

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New York transportation information

511 New York is a new telephone and Web service that provides dynamic traffic, transit, and weather condition information.

We thought your readers might be interested in this new service.

You just call “511” (the call is free in New York state) or go to the Web site to get updates. The system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

511NY also just launched 12 Twitter feeds covering individual regions and 9 feeds covering NYC subway lines. The Central Syracuse/Utica area, for example, has its own Twitter feed. You can access these individual feeds at

In addition to the traffic, transit and weather updates, the 511NY site offers a transit trip planner spanning multiple service providers with information on schedules, routes, fares and park-and-ride lots; carpool, vanpool and ride-share referrals; bicycling information and more.

That is all.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Santa Cruz County railroad to enforce track trespass rules

The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railroad right of way is a very popular corridor for cyclists and walkers to travel between the city of Santa Cruz and Henry Cowell State Park, Felton and beyond into Santa Cruz County. Big Trees management has always been supportive of cycling in Santa Cruz County and took a very relaxed attitude about cyclists riding along the railroad, but junkies using the right of way for their activities are forcing Big Trees to protect their right of way.

Because they say trespass enforcement must be applied equally to everybody (huh?), railroad officials this weekend handed out warnings informing cyclists and walkers that they will begin to cite people for trespassing soon.

Props to Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz president Mark Davidson.

What's wrong with this picture?

Take a look at Saturday's Plugger comic and list all the things wrong with that picture.

Props to Jym Dyer.

TdF Stage 20: Gone riding

This is an automated blog post. I'm out riding a bicycle today. Somebody won at Ventoux, but I have no idea who since I'm writing this Friday night. Please visit Steephill.TV for a good list of Tour de France 2009 results, commentary, video, photos and other links out. Have a good weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

B Minus bicycle shirts

B Minus Designs will be giving away a couple of shirts through Cyclelicious. Watch for a contest early next week! In the meantime, check out their bicycle shirts here.

Santa Cruz: We can't afford Tour of California

The city of Santa Cruz, California, will consider at next Tuesday's city council meeting whether to commit to hosting a stage of the 2010 Tour of California.

The city has had to cut tens of millions of dollars from its budget due to falling tax receipts, and Santa Cruz is looking for other areas to cut.

Last February, Santa Cruz spent $80,000 as host city for the Tour of California Stage 2 finish. About 15,000 spectators waited in the cold and rain but they left downtown Santa Cruz almost immediately.

Local cycling enthusiasts are asking people to show up at the city council meeting next Tuesday, July 28, to voice your support for the Tour of California. The council meeting begins at 3 PM at Council Chambers on Center Street (two blocks west - away from the River - of Pacific Avenue downtown), and after the consent agenda and other discussion, the likely time for discussion is around 3:30 PM or so, although this is impossible to predict with certainty. Still, show up early to ensure your opportunity to speak: the council can move agenda items around, especially for items with a lot of interest. Speakers have two minutes to speak so be prepared. There's a clock on the podium so you know how long you have.

A speaking point: The weather was dismal in February 2009, and everybody left downtown almost immediately after the stage leaders crossed the finish line. A finishing stage in good weather in May will do a lot to

Thank you to Karen Kefauver for the heads up on this.

Ready? Okay! TdF Stage 19

*** SPOILERS ***

Tour de France 2009 Stage Nineteen

What do we call Cav's victory salute today? The cheerleader "Ready? Okay!"

Cheerleader Holding Pompoms Jumping in the Air

Or did Cav look more like a drum majorette as he crossed the finish line today?

He looks happy to have this win -- his 5th stage win in the 2009 Tour de France -- even if there's no chance for him to get the Green Jersey with his 25 point deficit against Cervelo's Thor Hushovd. If Mark Cavendish hadn't nudged green jersey rival Hushovd towards the barriers in Stage 14, Cav undoubtably would have the points to take the green lead. Ah well, the misfortunes of racing.

Tour de France 2009 Stage 19

Bisbee: Surprise sprint finish.

Team Columbia HTC: Cavendish's 5th Win.

Garmin Slipstream: Millar in the breakaway.

Other TdF commentary

VN: Contador for Garmin?

Hugger: Cavendish bike notches

NY Velocity: AC is such a ****

Science of Sport: Contador VO2Max.

Science of Sport: Time Trial Analysis. With props to Cozy Beehive.

Velochimp: Horner spills the beans. "Horner pulls no punches talking about the situation at Astana and the reasons he was left behind. Horner also gives insight into the turmoil surrounding the team. Will we see Radio Shack jerseys sooner than anticipated?"

Streetsblog actually mentions the Tour de France.... in their Weekly Carnage roundup of automotive (and motorcycle) fatalities in the news.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

TdF Stage 18: Otra pregunta

While everybody else rode today's time trial stage with black wheels, Lance Armstrong turned some heads with another pretty cool art bike from artist Yoshimoto Nara.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Eighteen - Individual Time Trial

Even his teammate, Alberto Contador, got a little stylish with his aero wheel.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Eighteen - Individual Time Trial

*** SPOILERS ***

Contador's amazing performance today is prompting questions on doping, which Contador declines to answer. Alberto Contador is known for his climbing prowess and dominates on the hills in the same way Lance Armstrong did in 1999. For him to beat time trialist Fabian Cancellara at his own game, however, invites suspicion. The riders are being tested daily and The Tour de France has so far remained free of doping controversy, though it can take a few weeks for some tests to be run.

Cancellara can't figure out how he lost by six seconds and now claims Contador drafted for the win.

Team Radio Shack

As you all know, Team Radio Shack was announced today. Here they are on Twitter.

Elsewhere on Tour de France Stage 18

TdFBlog: Team Radio Shack.

Bike World News: Stage 18 Results.

Bike Rumor: Contador smokes 'em. See also How to enter the Tour to France in six easy steps. Contador crushes.

Team RadioShack?

It looks like Lance Armstrong will race for Team Radio Shack in 2010.

RadioShack and Lance to Form New Cycling Team in 2010 -- powered by

I gotta say, I sure didn't see that one coming. But we know it's real because the website has a black and yellow theme.

In other Tour de France news, Fat Cyclist gives some quick commentary on Alberto Contador as he also writes about an enjoyable two hours with his wife.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009 Tour of Missouri start times

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (July 22, 2009) --- Event organizers and Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today announced the start and estimated finish times for each of the seven stages for the third Tour of Missouri professional cycling race, scheduled for September 7-13, 2009.

The following cities will play host to a leg of the 2009 Tour: St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, Farmington, Rolla, St. James, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Chillicothe, St. Joseph, and Kansas City.

The race will be contested over seven days and seven stages. There will be two circuit races (St. Louis, Kansas City), one individual time trial (Sedalia), and four point-to-point road races (Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau; Farmington to Rolla; St. James to Jefferson City; Chillicothe to St. Joseph).

The start times, with estimated finish times, are as follows:

StageStart CityStart TimeFinish CityEstimated Finish Time
Stage 1St. Louis (Circuit Race)2:30 PM CentralSt. Louis5:10 - 5:45 PM Central
Stage 2Ste. Genevieve11:00 AM CentralCape Girardeau3:00 - 4:15 PM Central
Stage 3Farmington11:00 AM CentralRolla3:10 - 4:15 PM Central
Stage 4St. James2:00 PM CentralJefferson City5:45 - 7:00 PM Central
Stage 5Sedalia (Individual Time Trial)2:00 PM CentralSedalia5:00 PM Central
Stage 6Chillicothe1:00 PM CentralSt. Joseph5:00 - 6:00 PM Central
Stage 7Kansas City (Circuit Race)TBDKansas CityTBD

All times subject to change

Stage by stage courses will be announced Thursday, July 30 in Kansas City.

The overall course will take on a very different slant in 2009. For the first time, the race will route east to west, starting in St. Louis and finishing in Kansas City. The past two years, the race routed west to east starting in Kansas City to finish in St. Louis.

The overall mileage for the course is expected to be more than 600 miles.

Though a stellar world-class field was presented last year, the three-year-old race is expected to be event better as the Tour of Missouri was granted an upgrade to one of the top five-ranked events outside Europe by international and national federation's for cycling last month.

The upgrade has drawn pro tour teams Astana, Cervelo Test Team, Team Columbia HTC, Garmin Slipstream, Liquigas, Team Saxo Bank and Quickstep. Domestic teams participating in 2009 include BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing, Colavita / Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Jelly Belly, Kelly Benefit Strategies, OUCH presented by Maxxis, and Team Type 1.

Last year, the event drew more than 435,000 spectators over seven days. Missouri Tourism noted an direct and indirect economic impact of almost $30 million to the state.

The event is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the national federation for cycling in the United States, and the Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body for the sport of cycling.

They're groomed like precious poodles

A comment about fixed gear bikes -- "They're groomed like precious poodles."

Seth Godin: Winning on the uphill.

Bicycle Santa Cruz Wharf

Check out this grocery getter bike. Wow. It even folds. Via.

Is Sunday Streets the next Critical Mass?

It's illegal to bike to school in James Kunstler's hometown.

Bike Hugger: Disc brake conversion.

Tahoe Trail Building: "The Real Story."

TdF Lawyer Lips.

WIRED: Saddlebags are about to become the next big bike fashion.

WIRED Gadget Lab builds a fixed gear bike.

Bicleta Bandita rants about commercialization of fixed gear culture.

Gizmodo: Garmin vs HTC in the TdF.

Yehuda: Tradition.

Nippleworks: 650 area code is road cycling haven.

CPSC recalls exercise ellipticals because you might fall down.

Why is not from Oracle Corporation

People keep tweeting about this Oracle Cycling website (and I've been one of the tweeters), which just has a "Coming Soon" placeholder on it. Here's why I don't believe the site has anything at all to do with tomorrow's announcement about a sponsor for Armstrong's new cycling team.

1. The site is registered to Los Angeles cycling coach Allen Bean. As far as I'm aware (and I could be wrong), there's no connection at all between Bean and any of Armstrong, Livestrong, or Oracle Corporation.

2. Compare the logos - the first from Allen Bean's website, and other from Oracle Corporation. If Oracle sponsors a cycling team, they want brand recognition.

3. Let's pretend Oracle wants to go stealth by purposely not using their own logo. The site logo looks like something I might have created using Gimp. Anything associated with Armstrong / Livestrong will be professionally created, with lots of yellow and black.


Zero Per Gallon for sale

The owner and Chief Banana at Zero Per Gallon is calling it quits to sail around the world, and his business is for sale.

ZPG at the bike shop

ZPG made about $25K in 2008, says Jonny Waldman, working only one day a week at it, and he's letting the business for for $30K. ZPG prints and sells the popular "$0.00" and "53 Miles Per Burrito" bike stickers, among other things.

He tells me that ZPG stuff is for sale in at least 37 stores and distributed nationally by the Merry Sales Company. Powell's Books in Portland, OR, for one, buys a few hundred dollars worth of patches and stickers every month from ZPG.

Details: ZPG is for sale.

Bicycle hip hop

Hugo from Melbourne, Australia created this music video tribute to the bicycle. Featuring a white guy with dreds, a pink haired girl with a bird cage over her head, a lanky dude in a mini skirt and a cast of hundreds of cyclists riding on the streets of Melbourne.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lance Armstrong's cycling team

Lance Armstrong Book Say what you will about the man, but Lance Armstrong energizes interest in cycling like nobody else, in the United States and around the world. Versus network broke even on their Tour de France coverage in 2008. For 2009, they say that viewership is up a solid 80% over last year. For Cyclelicious, traffic is up well over 100% over last year from people looking for Tour de France information in spite of what I consider very spotty coverage.

Lance Armstrong plans for 2010?

Given Vinokourov's mouthing off about Astana Team Director Johan Bruyneel, today's announcement by Bruyneel that he will leave Team Astana after the 2009 season should come as no big surprise. Lance Armstrong also hinted at a big announcement regarding a new team for the 2010 season. Some of the names mentioned as potential sponsors of a third US Pro Cycling team: Nike, the Livestrong Foundation and (most interesting for me personally) Oracle Corporation. Apple and Google are also mentioned on the short list of potential sponsors. We'll see on Thursday who the sponsors are, and hopefully some unresolved questions on UCI licensing and riders will be answered.

So what about Lance Armstrong? Longtime cycling journalist John Wilcockson (40 years in the business!) has written what he says is probably the most comprehensive story of what drives the seven-time Tour de France champion as told through the words of Armstrong's family, friends, rivals, and — of course — Lance himself.

More details here: Lance: The Making of the World's Greatest Champion.

Jens Voigt

There's been a lot of talk of Jens Voigt's crash today during Stage 16 of the Tour de France. He took a really nasty spill during a high speed descent and hit the ground at 40+ mph. I'm not posting some of the more gruesome photos that are available (you can find them elsewhere if you're inclined), but Jens face got pretty beat up in the crash.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Sixteen

A statement on the Saxo Bank team website says Jens Voigt has a broken cheekbone and a concussion, and quotes Voigt as saying he got off lightly from this crash. Voigt is out of the race and will stay in the hospital at Grenoble for observation.

Early speculation focused on equipment failure, but in the video below you can see the riders in front hitting a bump right where Jens hit the deck.

Original Video- More videos at TinyPic


Stage 16 was won by Spaniard Mikel Astarloza of Team Euskaltel-Euskadi. Team Astana's Alberto Contador retains the yellow jersey, with team mate Lance Armstrong in second place and Garmin Slipstream's Bradley Wiggins holding on to 3rd place in the GC.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Sixteen

Tour de France 2009 Stage Sixteen


2009 Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge Scotts Valley California

Who's coming to visit my town for the Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge this weekend? Are you doing the 100 mile or the Metric?

The last day to register is Wednesday, so do it quickly if you haven't signed up yet.

Dangerous Bob Widin

Say hello to Caltrain Conductor Dangerous Bob Widin.

'Dangerous' Bob Widin

Mr. Widin is a super positive guy. Widin was a set property master and got the nickname from Steven Spielburg during his work on "Back To the Future." He's writing a book on his Hollywood fun -- he even has a publisher and editor -- and he's always a great storyteller.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Arnold Schwarzenegger rides a bicycle

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rides a bicycle
The California Governator is known to ride his bicycle along the American River Trail in Sacramento with his posse of bodyguards.

Like many of us, Schwarzenegger also loads bikes on the back of his Hummer to transport his bikes to the trails.

Santa Cruz Fixed Gear Freak

I've never been to Bicycle Shop Santa Cruz aka "Fixed Gear Freak" before last weekend. There are a couple of other shops that are closer and more convenient to me, but half the kids I talk to in the South Bay with fixed gear bikes tell me they got their conversions from this shop, so I checked it out and talked with the owner, Eric, for a little bit.

Eric the Fixed Gear Freak Santa Cruz.

Eric saw the market for fixed gear conversion bikes fairly early. When he first looked at it he figured out pretty quickly he couldn't make money spending $25 on a junk Univega, spend $125 cleaning it up and converting it only to see people willing to pay only $50 for the bike.

But then the market for fixie conversions started picking up, especially after the cruiser bike market "fell of a cliff," says Eric. "Back then you couldn't get a cheap track frame," he says, "and a lot of people noticed that these old bikes have horizontal dropouts. But the big bike shops wouldn't touch this stuff."

Good Used Tires $5

For many bike enthusiasts, it seems like simple work, but Eric tells me that word got around about his little shop on Mission Street. "People came from all over just to buy my bikes. I had two ladies from Seattle fly into San Francisco, rent a car and drive here to get bikes. They picked out their frames, we built them up overnight, boxed them up and they flew back to Seattle the next day."

The one thing you notice about the shop is the amazing selection of Velocity rims hanging from the ceiling like so much eye candy.

Peugot 53 cm

The Yelp reviews are interesting -- people either absolutely hate them or love them. The complainers either complain about the service (seemingly at or below par for many other bike shops, though I found Eric and Chris to be friendly and open in spite of a busy weekend), or the prices are too high for old 70s & 80s bikes. My opinion: $600 for a tarck bike conversion does seem a tad high, but there's a market for their wares, and not everybody is willing or able to do their own conversions. Think $120 for the frame, $120 for wheels, another $200 for other assorted parts, and at least another $150 in labor and their profit margin starts to look a little thin.

Bicycle Shop Santa Cruz seems to cater a lot to the UCSC college crowd. They're located at 1325 Mission Street about halfway between Bay and Laurel. And as you can see in the first photo of Eric, they don't just sell tarck bikes and accessories!

iPhone bicycle apps

This is cool: WIRED lists five iPhone apps that replace bike hardware. I think the most clever is a Cyclocomputer that measures your bike's speed by counting the sound of a plastic tab on the spokes. Another clever app is a brake light that uses the built in accelerometer.

The creation of a carbon fiber bike video. Via Nippleworks.

Kadisco: An evening at the San Francisco Bicycle Film Festival.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Thirteen

Darcy Darlin' asked what kind of helmet is on Heinrich Haussler's head. That would be a Catlike helmet, which is not legally available for sale in the USA (it's not CPSC approved) although I know people who import it anyway.

Vancouver Commissioner says bikes should be taxed.

Camera simulator shows how changing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO affects a photo. Via my buddy Erik.

That's my roundup for the day. Bike Intelligencer has his own roundup (posted at 1:42 AM! Good God, man!)

Denise Richards rides a BMX bike

Denise Richards rides a BMX bicycle in Pacific Palisades, California.

Former Bond Girl Denise Richards goes for a family bike ride with her two daughters

More celebrity bicycle photos.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2009 Mountain Bike Nationals

Believe it or not, there's much more in competitive cycling right now than the Tour de France. The 2009 USA Mountain Bike Nationals finished up today, for example, at Sol Vista in Granby, Colorado.

Mountain Bike National Championships

Over 1,200 professional and amateur off-road riders, including a very strong contingent of more than 400 junior racers, competed on the world-class terrain of the SolVista Bike Park for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys in cross-country, short track, super D, single speed, mountain cross and downhill contests.

The husband-wife duo of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Gary Fisher) grabbed their second set of Stars-and-Stripes in as many weeks, earning Saturday’s pro men’s and women’s cross country national titles in dramatic fashion. Coming off wins at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships on July 4, the Colorado couple stayed on form to win the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Pro Cross Country national titles on Saturday at SolVista. In the nightcap, BMX Olympian Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./GT) earned another pro 4-cross national title while 16-year-old Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/Café Rio-Canfield Bros) pulled off the surprise victory in the men’s pro 4-cross competition.

In the men’s pro cross country race Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Gary Fisher) came out on top of a fierce battle with Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized) to win the men’s pro cross country national title on Saturday. Wells and Horgan-Kobelski were neck-in-neck until Wells literally lost his crank on the fifth and final lap of the race. Riding strong and steady throughout, last year’s champion, Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) moved into second following Wells’ mechanical. Twenty-four-year-old Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mt./Subaru-Gary Fisher) snagged third in largest field of the event, nearly 80 riders.

“I threw everything I had into that last lap,” stated Horgan-Kobelski. “I had to work really hard to stay with him (Wells) in the middle part of the race.”

More results and photos at USA Cycling.

Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi

Details and purchasing: Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi.

Santa Cruz Bike Girl & SOMA Smoothie ES

Soma Smoothie ES

TdF Stage 15: Blogger holiday

Stage 15 from Pontarlier to Verbier finished today without me watching. Please visit Steephill.TV for race results, commentary and a list of links. Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My bike goes hard, don't need no car!

Next Saturday the Scraper Bike crew will be leading a "healin from killin, bike ride for peace" called Bike 4 Life in Oakland. If I hadn't already paid to be in a conflicting event, I would be there for sure. Tyrone Stevenson and his cohorts are promoting riding and bicycle decorating as positive activities for the teens in his neighborhood. I had a chance to speak to Tyrone at Maker Faire this year and found him to be friendly and cheerful. He is a leader for cycling-enabled change in his tough community. MacArthur Fellowship nomination committee, consider Tyrone!

Check out the Trunk Boiz scraper bike video. Real gangstas gone ride!

Missed it by *that* much! TdF Stage 14

Stage 14 Tour de France 2009...


Russian National Champion Serguei Ivanov of Team Katusha won the stage today with a burst of speed when he attacked out of a long breakaway that nobody could catch.

The story for the day, though, is that George Hincapie missed the Yellow Jersey today by just five seconds, and he's pretty upset about the missed opportunity.

Hincapie was part of a long 12 man breakaway for almost the entire stage today, working to keep the breakaway working together -- almost anyone in the breakaway would have a chance at a stage win today.

The peloton, meanwhile, kept just far enough back to "keep the gap manageable," says Lance Armstrong of Team Astana.

Hincapie - always the bridegroom, never the bride

George Hincapie was Lance Armstrong's perennial lieutenant to Lance Armstrong, assisting in all seven of Armstrong's Tour de France wins beginning in 1999. This skillful rider is legendary for his loyalty and leadership, and when it became clear over the final 50 km or so that Hincapie had a shot at the Yellow Jersey today, many riders within the peloton began cheering for "Big George" of Greenville, South Carolina.

"My vision was George would have Yellow Jersey by two minutes," says Lance Armstrong.

In the final ten kilometers, though -- with some effort, Agr2-La Mondiale knew they could protect Rinaldo Nocentini's Yellow Jersey, and together with Garmin Slipstream they picked up the pace and pulled Nocentini across the finish line.

Although Astana controls the tempo of the race, they're pointing a lot of fingers at Garmin today.

Astana team director Johan Bruyneel: "Bummed, really bummed about George Hincapie not getting yellow. Won't elaborate on the strategies but what Garmin did was just BS. Sorry!"

Lance Armstrong: "George Hincapie deserves to be yellow tonight. He deserves more than that. Look to who pulled the last 50k to see who to blame." That would be Garmin he's talking about.

Slipsteam: Mind the Gap

Many people question Garmin's aggressiveness in chasing the breakaway and denying George Hincapie's lead. Even some members of Team Slipstream are questioning the move, with Dave Zabriskie saying that they're "Pawns in the game" and Bradley Wiggins saying, "[I don't] quite understand what went on today. George Hincapie is a legend and deserves to be in yellow tonight!"

Garmin Slipstream Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters responds to the criticism of a rivalry between the two American teams, though: "That had nothing to do with George or Columbia. Wiggo almost lost 15 seconds the other day due to a split. We can't have that happen again."

Green Jersey and split objectives

Highroad's plan was to put sprinter Mark Cavendish in the Green Jersey today ahead of sprinting rival Thor Hushovd, so they didn't have anybody in the breakaway to help their teammate George Hincapie. When it came time for the team to make their attack to pull Cavendish to the front of the pack, though, Hincapie was within seconds of losing his chance at the Yellow Jersey. They held back just a little and it appeared they even boxed Thor Hushovd in against the barriers. Because of Highroad's hesitation, I believe, Cavendish missed the Green Jersey by just three points today.

Friday, July 17, 2009


TONIGHT IN SAN JOSE: Track racing at Hellyer Velodrome and the "No Pants Ride" with San Jose Bike Party. If watch the racing at Hellyer tonight you can snag free food and drink courtesy of Concept Cyclery in Morgan Hill.

Scotts Valley Mt Hermon Road crash Fun times in my little town last night -- right before the evening rush hour a guy in a Ford Bronco lost control and took out a fire hydrant, a pedestrian on the sidewalk and a utility pole. The main road through town (37,000 VPD) was closed for about four hours as crews worked to clean up the mess. As Holy Man writes, when a crash involves a cyclist, you see tirades about the danger of cycling and cyclists should be banned from the roads. When a single motorist kills, maims, destroys and otherwise inconveniences upwards of 10,000 people, there's zero to little reaction about the dangers of driving. More here if you're so inclined....

TMZ Video: Dog rides cyclist's bike <- see to believe!

I think Kate Gosselin needs a bigger bicycle.

Jon and Kate Gosselin are seen together in their front yard

Freakonomics: Reducing traffic by closing roads.

Gunnar on The Roads We Have.

Wind turbine bike lights. In spite of all the stuff about the efficiency of hub dynamos and what not, I see a clear advantage in the wind turbine light in that you can just clip the thing on. Bottle and hub generators require installation.

Velo Vogue Profile: Jeff Selzer of Palo Alto Bicycles.

DIY Cycling: Courier comeback?

Death Ride 2009 Report.

Dave Moulton's bike history: Present day British cyclists who ride road races owe a great deal to Percy Stallard.

More bike history from Biking Bis.

Velo Orange tweeted Your Bike Shop = Oil Addiction Recovery Center.

UltraRob: Tour Tweets. Speaking of which, Dave Zabriskie tweeted, "Ryder is perfect roommate. He has no sense of smell. You know what that means."

Engadget: Use bikes to power buses?

Antique Chainless Bicycles.

Smallest mountain bike is less than 3 mm long!

TdF: Stage 13

Just a link roundup today for the 2009 Tour de France Stage 13...

Tour de France 2009 Stage Thirteen

NYT: Climbers don't touch Tour leaders.

VN: Haussler solos to emotional win.

CN: Haussler escapes.

KWC: Levi tweets from the operating room. Levi Leipheimer had to pull out today because of a broken wrist, which was the only major change in the top contendors in the GC. Levi was in 4th place.

VN: Some idiot shoots a pellet gun at Oscar Freire and Julian Dean!

Bike Intelligencer: Wet Jersey Contest.

More links at commentary at Steephill.TV.

Your Face Here

The July issue of Urban Velo Magazine is now available for download. I'll have a few issues on me, so stop me if you want the dead tree edition.

Urban Velo San Jose REPRESENT

Colorado county seeks bike ban from public roads


Liberty hating communist commissioners of Jefferson County Colorado want to steal your freedom and your right to travel! In a hearing, the county commissioners talked about having their lobbyist talk to Colorado state legislators about a law that would permit counties to ban bicycles from Colorado county roads.

The commissioners claim they're doing this in the name of safety. There is no move, however, to restrict the real safety hazard on mountain roads -- automobiles.

Since the commissioners claim they are responding to the emailed complaints of Jefferson County Road users, it's time for cyclists to email the Jefferson County Commission and, more importantly, show up at Jeffco Commission Meetings. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, CYCLISTS! You can also call them at +1 (303) 271-8525; and send snail mail to 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO, 80419.

Jefferson County Attorney Ellen Wakeman is drafting the legislation. Her office's phone number is +1 (303) 271-8900; her administrative assitant's email address is Keep them busy!


Messenger Mirror

I got one of Bruce's Messenger Mirrors this week. I'll post more about after I've had a chance to use it, but here's a video of Bruce talking about his bicycle mirror design.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chef On Bike

Chef On Bike by Betty Whiteaker.

Details / purchase here.

Rinaldo Nocentini's last day wearing yellow

Italian Rinaldo Nocentini of Agr2 / La Mondiale enjoys his last day wearing the Yellow Jersey during Stage 12 of the 2009 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2009 Stage Twelve

Robert Pattinson poses with a bike

I thought actor Robert Pattinson was riding around on a brakeless fixie during filming in New York City. But is that a coaster brake reaction arm I see down there on the left chain stay?

I think the black tape around the frame and duct tape on the saddle are marvelous touches by the prop master. A totally unpretentious bike, the complete opposite of shiny tarck bikes with deep V rims.

Robert Pattinson seen filming a bike scene on Wall Street, New York

Robert Pattinson seen filming a bike scene on Wall Street, New York

Nishiki Bicycles

Steve Vance put together a web page about Nishiki bicycle history and information on several specific Japanese made bike models.

Tattooed Swedish devil girls attack cyclist

The Register reports on an alarming assault on a cyclist in Sweden.
Swedish cops are on the look-out for a quintet of tattooed girls who dragged a 50-year-old man off his bicycle, pulled down his trousers and smalls and "sexually molested" the poor bloke.

Having had their evil way, the five assailants made good their escape. The man was "not otherwise beaten or physically assaulted".
More in The Register with its sensationalist headline.

The article the comments include several offers to act as "bait" to catch these criminals, etc.

Original article in Aftonbladet, which appears to be a Swedish gossip / rumor sheet.

Mountain bike in criterium?

What's wrong with this picture?

Mountain Bike in Criterium

Yes, this really is a guy on a mountain bike in the middle of a criterium, and he indeed had a number pinned on. Predictably, bad things happened. It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Read the details here.

TdF Stage 12: Magnificent Seven

A seven man breakaway led off for most of the day during today's stage of the 2009 Tour de France from Tonnerre to Vittel. No big shakeups occurred today, but the Tour de France should get interesting tomorrow as the race goes into the big mountain stages.

Spoilers below.... Soerenson wins.

CN: Sorenson speeds to super stage win.

VN: Nicki Sorenson wins.

Astana blog: Stage 12 recap with photos.

LIVESTRONG Video: Chris Brewer recap of Stage 12.

Big collection of links at out Steephill.TV Tour de France dashboard.


Do you remember Reardon Sullivan? He's the guy who famously declared that "one of the major hazards on our roadways in Montgomery County right now [are] bicyclists."

The San Francisco Chronicle apparently agrees, printing several anti cycling screeds in the Letters To The Editor section while ignoring a hit and run involving a 4 year kid on a bike. The SFPD also apparently agrees, because they've completely ignored tracking down driver in spite of a personalized plate and car description (and an update on that: a private citizen apparently has tracked down the hit and run driver).

Here's a very quick sampling of some recent traffic carnage around the United States.

Man drives his Jaguar through the front window of a toy store in Palo Alto. Vrooom!

Big crash Tuesday morning on Highway 17 across the Santa Cruz Mountains tied traffic up for hours. Two helicopters landed on the highway to transport the victims, and CHP, firefighters and tow operators had to clean up the mess.

Warrensburg, Missouri hit and run kills 1, sends two to the hospital. [Photos]

Elderly driver in Medford, MA runs over children. Elsewhere in Masschussetts, this driver runs down a child in a crosswalk.

Fort Myers Florida: Pedestrian hit by passing car.

And FTW! Out of control driver smashes a non-insured Ford Bronco through the front door of a bike shop. Bike shop now doing a "Door Buster Sale" and offering discounts to everybody with a proof of insurance card. What about car free folks who don't need to carry auto insurance?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Resources for bicycle advocacy

One Street is an international non profit working worldwide to help cycling advocates achieve their goals to increase bicycling.

One Street has a number of resources on their website for bicycling and motorist education, bikes and transit, city planning and design, Ciclovia type events, school programs and more.

One Street is founded by Sue Knaup, former Director of the Thunderhead Alliance.

More ->

Running red lights

Here's a video of a cyclist running a red light. Naughty naughty, cyclist! Shame on you!

Now watch video of a pickup truck running a red light.

I don't run red lights as a cyclist and don't condone it at all, but tell me: Where should law enforcement focus its safety efforts? And where do motorists get off on telling cyclists to clean up our act and obey the rules of the road? Motorists have a huge beam to dig out of their eyes before they can even begin to whine about the mote in the cyclist's eye.

See also:

Saxo Bank Invisible Bike

An amusing catch at Photoshop Disasters shows an investor texting while riding an invisible bicycle.

WIN: Look Quartz Mountain Bike Pedals

The Quartz is Look's mud shedding lightweight clipless mountain bike pedals.

You can spend $100 on Look Quartz MTB pedals here, or you can get a pair for FREE. Watch for a contest to begin in the next day or two from Bike Rumor.

TdF Stage 11: Conspiracy?

The GC standings are really starting to freak me out. Ever since Stage 7, the top three rankings have invariably looked like this:

    NOCENTINI Rinaldo (Italy) Agr2-La Mondial
    CONTADOR Alberto  (Spain) Astana          +00'06"
    ARMSTRGONG Lance  (USA)   Astana          +00'08"
With the exception of Stage 10 when Andreas Kloden briefly bested him, American Levi Leipheimer has been consistently in 4th place at 39 seconds behind NOCENTINI.

What's up with that?

Spoilers in the links out...

You'll see race details in the race reports but Cavendish's win moved him up one place in the GC from 135th place to 134th at 1 hour 14 minutes behind race leader Rinaldo Nocentini.

KWC: Cav unbeatable.

Bike Rumor: Cavendish Continues.

Bike World News: Stage 11 results.

VN: Cav leaps uphill.

CN: Cavendish ties British record with his 4th Stage win

John Franklin's Cyclecraft North American Edition

I recently learned that John Franklin's Cyclecraft is now available in a North American edition.

Cyclecraft is the principal reference for the National Cycle Training Standard in the UK and the basis for training programs in an increasing number of other countries. This North American edition of Cyclecraft has been specially adapted to reflect conditions, laws and best practice in the United States and Canada. It's kind of like John Forester's Effective Cycling but more readable.

San Jose: Trackstanding at red light

Trackstanding at the red light

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SF Tour de Ice Cream

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition organized a bike tour of San Francisco ice cream shops last Sunday. See photos from the ride here.

Mejor En Bici

Mejor en Bici is Spanish for "Better on Bikes." It's also the name of a privately funded bike share in Mexico City. This program complements Mexico City's efforts to make it's transporation more sustainable.

Read more at Planetsave.

Chris Hipp RIP

I really don't know what to say -- the facts are that local entrepenuer Chris Hipp passed Tuesday morning on his way to a local ride. He's not much older than me, though he was a much better cyclist. I've heard he was felled by an aneurysm or an embolism, but I don't really know what happened.

Hipp used to go on club rides with a very young Lance Armstrong in Texas in the 80s. In the late 90s, he pioneered high density computing with blade computers (the world I live in these days), moved to Silicon Valley, sold his company to HP and became an industry analyst.

I took the long way home on my bike Tuesday evening in his memory.


Bicycle news

Salut on this Bastille Day!

"Green" Brothel gives discount to cycling patrons. "The recession has hit our industry hard."

Find a riding buddy Really Fast.

Bicycle skirt

School bans bike riding to school.

NYT: Gender gap in urban cycling. In Scotland, there's a project to specifically encourage school girls to bike.

Urban Outfitters now sells urban hipster bikes for $400 plus shipping. Via Bicycle Design and others.

Bicycle summer inspiration hurray!

SF guerrilla bike lane markings.

Bikes in the City: Velib World Champions give their tips on how to best utilize the famous Paris bike rental service (en Francais).

Skirting Around. And Bike Skirt has their own website now.

Holier: Selling transit to conservatives.

Win a Giant bicycle from Burger King.

Fixie Noob Advice: Don't stop pedaling.

Treehugger reviews shower in a bottle.

Jason Mancebo's Nevada City Classic photos.

Another Lance Armstrong Art Bikes.

Photo by Richard Masoner.