Get the Just Another Cyclist app

Just Another Cyclist is now in the Android marketplace – making it easier for you to keep up with cycling info right from your Android based phone.  This is somewhat of an experiment at this point – so give it a try and let me know what you think.  Just search for ‘Just Another Cyclist’ in the marketplace.

Winter cycling in Sacramento

It was about 8:30am on Dec 12.  It was a chilly winter’s day.  The skies were overcast, the ground was slightly damp, and the temperature was…

…57 degrees.

OK.  For most of the country Dec 12 is supposed to be a chilly winter’s day.  Folks think about storing the bike for the winter, or long workouts on a trainer until spring comes around to thaw out the ground and let us all outside.  But I ride in Sacramento.  And to be honest, I can’t really find a good reason to ride any differently in the winter than the summer.

I was out in my normal kit – just jersey and bibs.  No base layer, no arm warmers, no leg warmers.  And I wasn’t cold at all.  My only real concern was the wet mass of leaves that formed into slippery piles in my paths.  I also wasn’t some “nut job” out in inclement weather.  Lots of folks are realizing the possibilities of winter riding.  57 degrees is early morning summer temperatures in some parts.  Even if you are the type that favors warmer weather, a simple jacket, or long sleeve jersey, will probably make you comfortable.

And don’t forget – pro cycling goes on too.  Teams are out at training camps, getting to know new team members after transfers.  And the race calendar kicks off with the Tour Down Under on Jan 16.

If you really must have an off season, take off the week of Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Otherwise, keep on riding!

Podcasts of Note

Cycling’s online resources continue to grow.  Websites, forums, blogs – they’re everywhere, for every possible facets of the cycling world.  But if words and pictures aren’t your thing, and you are more of a listener, then there are a plethora of cycling podcasts available.  I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites below.  This list is by no means comprehensive, and rather represents my own personal tastes.

VeloReviews This podcast is the audio extensions of the cycling website VeloReviews.com.  Featuring three regular hosts with varied background, the shows regularly cover fitness & training issues, as well as bike maintenance and wrenching.  It is also one of the few cycling podcasts that has a woman as a regular host – giving a voice to women  specific issues and concerns.  For the latest podcasts, see the page on VeloReviews, or search on iTunes.

FredCast The first cycling podcast I ever listened to.  David Bernstein produces the FredCast, and has worked himself into something of a icon in the online/new media cycling world. From coverage from the floor of Interbike, to the latest product recall information, David’s FredCast sets the bar with this very polished and professional production. see the FredCast website, or again, look to iTunes.

The Spokesmen Taking the format of a “roundtable” discussion, The Spokesmen podcast regularly features different representatives from new media, as well as the greater cycling industry.  Another of David Bernstein’s productions, the shows rotation hosts feature a couple of regulars.  Among these are Carlton Reid of BikeBiz.com and Quickrelease.tv, Neil Brown, blogger on versus.com and founder of Carolina Cycling News and “The Masi Guy” Tim Jackson of Masi bikes.  Other members of the Spokesmen have included Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, and Jeff Helfand of VeloReviews (above).

Two John’s Podcast While composed mostly of racing news, the Two John’s has a personality and feel all its own.  Definitely one of my favorites, with an underlying wit and humor all its own.  The podcast has found a home for itself over at missingsaddle.com.

Spin Burger mixes burgers, beer and bikes in Midtown Sacramento

There is no question about that fact that Sacramento has changed in the last couple of years.  Bike culture is in full effect.  And every culture needs its patrons.

Fred Haines is doing his part to help with that patronage role.  Fred is President – and Executive Chef – of SRO Inc. SRO is responsible for dining establishments throughout the greater Sacramento area, including Bistro 33, Riverside Clubhouse, Suzie Burger and Side Bar.  There have been hints of Fred Haines’s interest in cycling before.  Riverside Clubhouse used to offer a special on Friday nights to folks that rode in on their bikes.  Many in the area have even ridden with him before.  However, his latest endeavor Spin Burger takes his cycling interests a step further.

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Nods to my doppelganger

They say great minds think alike.  In that spirit, I simply must acknowledge that there is, in fact, another JustAnotherCyclist.  And he seems to have a thing for fat, hairy Russians.

I’m speaking of the guy from Parma, OH that goes by the online moniker ‘SG.‘  His blog – The Fat Hairy Russian in American Flyers is BadAss – just happens to reside at the URL http://justanothercyclist.blogspot.com – clearly marking him as a man of intellect and taste.

Oh yea – and if you’re into big fat hairy Russians, SG’s blog has got a picture for you!

Sac press and Hal Grades on deterring bike theft

Sacramento Press has put out an article titled Tips for deterring bicycle thieves. Most of the article is repeating the “lock it, lock it, lock it” mantra.  However, urban cycling supports in the comments for the article took minor exception to the description of cycling as a sport.

Interestingly enough, the statement made by a Sacramento Police Offices – as quoted in the article – is one of some contention as well:

Try not to leave it in areas that aren’t well-traveled,” said Sgt. Norm Leong, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department.

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Auburn, WA plans for cycling in its future

The Auburn-Reporter recently posted an article on the future of cycling in Auburn, WA.  Situated in a North-South valley south of Seattle, Auburn actually provides many opportunities for cyclists.  The terrain is basically flat around town, but has ample opportunities for reasonably challenging hills surrounding the valley for those that want to climb.  The local rail service – the Sounder – allows bikes to be taken on board, making bicycles a viable option for large portions of the region.  In addition, the Interurban Trail travels nearly 15 miles of the North-South corridor, providing yet more out-of-traffic travel opportunities.

With eyes fixed on the future rushing onward like a freight train — a future in which Auburn is expected to swell to a city of more than 150,000 within 50 years — Mayor Pete Lewis formed the Bicycle Task Force last March to study bike trails and routes within the city.

Task force Chair Terry Davis

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2011 Pro Cycling Team Presentations

Pro Cycling is, unfortunately, not very well covered on television in the US.  For most of us, that pushes us to either insane satellite TV receiver hacking, or the internet.  And for the internet, nothing is as valuable a resource as www.cyclingfans.com.  You can follow them on twitter, or facebook.

And thanks to them, use yankees (and non-yankees, as the case may be) can catch a glimpse of the 2011 pro team presentations.  Even though we already know who will be on most of these teams, these presentations are still fun to watch.

Helmets and the “They Can’t Hurt” theory

I’ve said it many many times, I’m neither pro- nor anti- helmet.  My statements on the subject have been very accurately described by others as ambivalent.

I may, however, be changing my mind.  And you, dear reader, get to come along for the ride.

So to stop skirting the issue, I’ll state my opinion, as it exists today:

I don’t really mind wearing a helmet, but I really don’t think they do squat to protect me.  The risks the helmet protect me from are the same risks I experience when walking down the street.  I’m just as comfortable riding my bike without a helmet as I am walking across my living room without a helmet.

And that is when the “Say what” and “this guy’s nuts” comments come on.  “Clearly you’re safer with a helmet on.   It’s obvious.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is a moron,” is another possible retort to my sentiment.

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Helmet Laws. That’ll fix it.

Ah bicycle helmets.  The topic that I just can’t leave alone.  While I try to remain non-judgmental to the choices of others, and personally can take it or leave it, I still remain decidedly against helmet laws.

Unfortunately, the folks that support helmet laws often throw out statistics without saying where they come from.

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