“The Program” – a movie review

The Program - a movie about the career of Lance ArmstrongI just finished watching “The Program” – a dramatized version of the events of Lance Armstrong. The movie itself credits its inspiration to David Walsh and his book “Seven Deadly Sins.” Somehow I had been aware of this movie and had (incorrectly) assumed that it was another in the line of documentary works that come out since the Oprah Winfrey interview with Lance Armstrong. After watching, however, I realized this was a bit different.

This movie was a dramatization in that there were actors playing all the roles. The astute cycling fans will recognize the moments of actual footage scattered throughout the production. But there is no denying that Lance Armstrong, Frankie and Betsy Andreu, Johan Bruyneel and other key figures were played by actors. That sets it apart from the majority of the films published since Lance Armstrong’s admissions. Keep reading →

Garmin GPS vs. Speed/Cadence sensor

Garmin Speed/Cadence SensorMy trusty Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence sensor gave up on me the other day. I think this may be the original sensor that came with my Garmin Edge 500, and I know for a fact that my Edge 500 is the single oldest piece of cycling gear that I still own. I have data on Garmin Connect going back to August 21, 1999. Therefore I am not entirely sad nor upset that my sensor went out. It has served me well for a very long time. It has survived more bikes then I can remember, inadvertently tracked a couple of Amtrak Capitol Corridor trips, managed to NOT be on any of the bikes that got stolen, and held it together through more than a few crashes.

What did surprise me however was what seems to be a change in my overall average speeds since the GSC went out of service. That change, of course, was down. Keep reading →

Ikea selling bike as “car replacement”

News of the launch of the IKEA Sladda urban bike began to spread shortly after the recent Red Dot Design awards. The bike received Best of the Best in the product design category. While we assume that the Red Dot judges had an actual, physical product, as of yet it is only the officially released graphic rendering of the bike and accessories that has been made available.

ikea-sladda-render

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Cycling heads-up display

Cycling heads-up display from GarminGarmin has unveiled what is essentially a cycling heads-up display: the Garmin Varia Vision. Come on – you know you want to call this thing the “Garmin Glass.

The device is designed to display GPS data and other alerts right on the lenses where it is visible to the cyclist. Keep reading →

Become a Blackburn Ranger

Blackburn RangerMany of us dream of cycling down the Pacific Coast Highway from Canada to Mexico. Now imagine doing that with all brand new gear that you didn’t have to pay for. Oh yea – and imagine someone throwing in some cash to help you do it. Think you can handle it? Then you may have what it takes to be a Blackburn Ranger. Keep reading →

Chalk this up as a WTF?

I try to be open minded. Really I do. But I saw this and all I could say is… WTF?

Kilimanjaro-3-4-clipped

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Helmets that actually go through testing

I’ve ranted and raved about helmets and the odd fact that no helmet manufacture seems to advertise their testing strategies. I always found it odd that auto manufactures will show somewhat gruesome footage of crash test studies to show how safe their cars are, while helmet advertising never seems to even mention the word “safety.” Instead, we get sold $100 upgrades for improved cooling, better looks and lighter weight.

Well, now those crazy Swedes have proven me wrong. Keep reading →

Line of Sight

16mm_lucas_taxiskitch_zenga_480I just got done watching “Line of Sight” – an alley cat racing film by Lucas Brunelle. Right off the bat I feel a bit conflicted writing about this movie. It is about alley cat races – which means a bunch of guys riding like jack asses; completely ignoring all traffic laws in a dense urban area. It is exactly what we DON’T want to encourage our children to do, and personifies each and every negative stereotype that uneducated motorists will hurl at us as we pedal on the run.

It is also one hell of a lot of fun to watch.

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How to spoil your children

Getting young kids into road bike racing is a worthwhile endeavor, in my opinion.  In my recent interview with Dean Alleger, he talked about a lack of support in the United States for youth racing – “there’s no pipeline” as he put it.  Most of the time kids get BMX bikes for boys, and banana seats and streamers for girls.  Because of this lack of demand, it can be difficult to find actual road bike equipment for kids.

For my own children I went with the Fuji Ace bikes.  Available with 20 inch, 24 inch or 650c wheels, they offer a reasonably usable frame and road-bike position that is great for kids.  And at about $350 it is a reasonable investment for kids serious about road bike racing (or parents serious about their kids road bike racing) without sinking the bank on a bike they will outgrow within a season or two.

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Falling back in love with Continental Gatorskins

It was a cold and rainy New Year’s Day ride when I first fell out of love with my Continental Gatorskin tires.  No – strike that.  That was when my ambivalent “Yea, they’re OK” turned into a “Why did I pay extra for Kevlar casing tires??”

In hindsight, however, neither my ambivalence nor my negative impressions of the tires were correct.  In fact, it was only because the tires performed so well that I was able to ride for so long without thinking about them in the first place.

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