You can find the craziest bits of information in the strangest places. There is no question that the late Sheldon Brown’s website is the go-to site for bicycle technical information on the internet. However, clearly there are other repositories of cycling wisdom out there too. What I didn’t expect was to find an extremely articulate article on wheel truing posted to – get this – the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories website. No kidding… If the internet is great for only one thing, it is trails of breadcrumbs just like this.
Note: I originally wrote this as a guest piece for the awesome BikingInLA blog. Seeing a video posted over on Cyclelicious reminded me a lot of the sentiment of this post, so I decided to share it again.
There are many of us so-called avid cyclists that are big on participating in, but also promoting cycling. I’m one of those folks. For me, this is partially self-serving. The more folks that we have out on the road riding their bikes, the more accustomed to bikes on the road motorists will be. Makes it safer for all of us overall. Socially I think it is a win. The oft-cited benefits to health and the environment seem like obviously beneficial gains to me as well. That, and the natural human compulsion to want other folks to enjoy what I enjoy.
For some, it is about fostering a “bike culture.” A culture where going to the grocery store, or tootling down to the local cafe, or getting the kids to soccer practice, are all things that are perfectly reasonable to do on a bike. A culture where riding a bike in the rain to get to work doesn’t make you extreme, eccentric or even on the fringe. A culture where riding a bike is normal. As normal as driving a car.
And now we have a conundrum.
The Xtracycle is, in my opinion, the ultimate cargo bike. Doesn’t matter if that cargo is groceries, a Laz-y-boy chair, or a couple of children, it can be carried on one of these. And the cool thing about these is that you can actually buy just the cargo-carrying parts and convert your favorite frame into the ultimate bike utility vehicle that will make any dutch basket bike rider envious. But even with my fondness for the rides I wouldn’t imagine one on an indoor track.
I’ve been doing a fence-straddling maneuver here at JustAnotherCyclist regarding the issue of bicycle helmets. Again I will reiterate that I do not encourage folks to go about without a helmet. Nor do I encourage you to ride with one. It is entirely your choice (except for areas where specific laws apply.) My frustration comes entirely from the dogmatic nonsense that the issue seems to instill in some folks.
I first started to become openly frustrated with the whole helmet situation when I was in the hospital for a broken collar bone due to a bike crash. I distinctly recall one of the ER nurses asking me “Were you wearing a helmet?” I simply answered the question at first, but then I started to think a little more critically about the question. Keep reading →
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.