Bike lanes are both a blessing and a curse, and anybody that has done much commuting in urban environments has likely experienced both sides of that. On the blessing side, studies have demonstrated that bike lanes do, in fact, encourage more folks to ride. However, it may also create a false sense of security, and can even create greater danger in some situations. Here in US cities, most bike lanes are right in the “door zone” along parallel parked cars, causing cyclists to need to dart into traffic unexpectedly should a car door get opened in front of them. Couple that risk with the pretense of “Mandatory Use Laws” and the dark side of bike lanes shows itself.
Liza Rachetto is a pro cyclist with the Primal/MapMyRide women’s team. She has started spreading news of some of her racing tales at her blog “Racing Rachetto.” In addition to her blogging efforts, Liza is also the Women’s editor for VeloReviews.com and the VeloReviews podcast.
Liza has not only enjoyed success in the saddle. She has done stints as the director of the TIBCO Women’s Pro Cycling Development Program, as well as the Women’s SugarCRM Elite team. Throw in a USA Cycling Level 3 Coaching Accreditation and you’ve got a woman that knows a thing or two about how to ride a bike.
I know I’ll be watching her blog for news from the Pro Women’s world. Good luck Liza!
I hadn’t really realized how much I had become used to riding on the same ol’ roads and paths around my family’s home in Sacramento. I had several routes I already knew of, and was familiar enough with them to match them to whatever my particular goal was for the ride. If I wanted to grind hills, I knew where to go. Looking for a flat TT type ride? That would be repeats on Captain’s Table road. Long endurance ride? Ride through Old Sacramento to the American River Bike Trail and just keep going.
However, now that I’ve got my self a new hometown (well, part time hometown at least) in San Mateo I’m kinda at a loss for where to ride.
[singlepic id=57 w=320 h=240 float=right]I found it particularly rewarding to watch Chris Horner win the 2011 Amgen Tour of California. Horner is one of my favorite riders in the peloton. As anyone that has been reading my posts will have noticed, I’m primarily a Leopard-Trek fan. Or, more precisely, I’m a Voigt, Schleck, Schleck and Cancellara fan, and they just happen to still be riding on the same team.
While my Leopard Trek fandom comes form watching the guys race, my appreciation of Chris Horner is much more personal. I had the opportunity to both meet and ride with Chris Horner at last years Clark’s Corner Cycling Challenge. That’s where I learned that, well, Chris is just a really cool guy. There are few folks as down to earth, approachable and humble. Oh – and the guy seems to have a perpetual smile on his face.
Hypocrisy is something that drives me particularly nuts. I am especially sensitive to situations where I find myself acting or thinking in this way, and strive to stamp it out. Thanks to Alberto Contador I’ve actually found myself in one of these situations, and I’m still trying to figure out where my thinking may have gone wrong. Specifically, I’m realizing that I’ve not been judging Lance Armstrong and Contodor by the same standards. Even more so I’ve found myself holding the exact same opinion of Contador that I previously criticized others for having regarding Armstrong.
My friend and general Mr. Cycling of Sacramento Chris Dougherty brought the below video to my attention on Facebook. Yet another example of the value of the efforts of the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association.
I’ll stop talking now and let the video speak for itself.
It is unfortunately difficult to ride a bicycle on public streets in most parts of the country without running into someone expounding on all the ways that bicycles hinder auto traffic. While there is no denying that a car has occasionally been slowed by a cyclist, the more realistic truth is that cars do a much better job of slowing each other down than a cyclist cruising in a bike lane ever will. In fact, that cyclist is actually helping by removing one car from that traffic snarl.
Despite my best efforts in the past, looks like I’m back to working in the bay area, while living in Sacramento. The dynamics this time around are a little different from my previous Palo Alto employment, so I’ll be spending some nights in the bay area and some nights in Sacramento. So what does that mean for cycling? Well a couple of things.
I feel like I need to preface this post with the statement that I’m not looking to embarrass or disparage any sponsors. Corporate sponsorship is absolutely critical to the sport of professional (and amateur) cycling. It clearly takes a lot to run a pro cycling team – a delicate balancing act between athletes, sponsors, crew and media.
But these names are making it really really hard for me to cheer for you as you go flying by me.
Sacramento was treated to some fantastic pro racing as the modified stage 2 course of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California offered 3 circuits around the state capitol building. A breakaway of 4 riders struggled to stay ahead of the peloton, but were caught before rolling onto the streets of California’s capitol city, where huge crowds waited despite the threat of poor weather.