What is a cycling journalist to do?

A Scene from the movie The Program
Scene from “The Program.” Armstrong and Landis in hotel room.

I miss bike races. I miss watching them. I miss following them. I miss enjoying them without needing to be cynical constantly. But mostly I miss the constant feed of interesting things to write about.

As a cycling journalist blogger hack, finding something interesting to write about on a regular basis is the food that feeds the soul. It is super easy to take the advocacy fear mongering path. One can find a steady stream of stupid comments from politicians, tales of death in the city streets, ridiculous public spending on things that are supposed to be “infrastructure.” Some can brave this stream and do the hard work of exposing these important issues. And some can do a damn good job of it. But it it as unfortunately negative view.

Bike industry news is another topic. But even that can be draining. How many times can I enthral you with yet another new product, reinventing yet another old product, by copying what an even older product already did?

But bike racing. The human drama. Battles to the finish line. Heartbreaking crashes. Overcoming incredible odds at the last minute. Ahhhhh….. that’s good stuff.

Except when it isn’t.

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Sacramento Bike Trails: The promise and challenges

American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA
American River Bike Trail, Sacramento, CA

When you mention Sacramento bike trails, many area residents immediately think of the American River Bike trail. Also known as Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, the 32 mile mixed use path winds along the American River between Sacramento and Folsom, CA. The trail is regarded as one of the longest paved purpose-built bike trails in the country. Not surprising that it is what many associate with the phrase Sacramento bike trails. But this gem is only part of a much larger network of bicycle infrastructure.

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There, and back again…

…a cyclists tale.

Way back when, I started riding a bike as an easy way to make the monumental commute from Sacramento, CA to Palo Alto. It was a 7 mile bike ride, to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train, to a bus, to another train. I did it 3 days a week on average. The bike was a very practical thing, and I had a very practical bike.

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The feel good story that keeps getting better

13467596_573088359537395_671161118_oNot too long ago I I related to you the ‘Feel good story of the day‘ that I’d stumbled upon on Facebook. It is an epic tale that should have been titled Michael and the well ridden bicycle. Our intrepid hero Michael had run into a lovely lady and her bike in need or repair. Well, there is now a second part of that’s story. That’s right – Michael actually connected with the bike’s owner and lived up to his word. Keep reading →

Why sell ’em? Just give ’em away.

A parking lot for bicycles in Niigata, Niigata, Japan

There is no such thing as too many bikes. There is, however, an unfortunate condition known as “too little space.” Because of a chronic case of too little space, I reluctantly made the decision that I would need to clear out a couple of bikes.

I don’t like talking on the telephone. I also don’t care too much for meeting random people. I especially don’t care too much setting up times to meet people that don’t show. So… selling the bikes on classified services like Craigslist was not really appealing to me. I did have a different idea however – why not just give them away? Keep reading →

Random American Flyers Trivia

american_flyers1
Why is he holding a bottle of ketchup?

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Stop light sprints

Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_advocacy#/media/File:Bikecultureincopenhagen.jpg
Cyclists queued at a stop light. Photo by Mikael Colville-Andersen

Thanks to a little something I call stop light sprints, those damned self-entitled cyclists are helping me get faster. If you find yourself working a lot, you start to get creative with your training. I don’t drive to work – ever – therefore I always have an opportunity to take my leisurely 5 mile commute and turn it into something less leisurely.

First off – let’s talk about the gorilla I just invited into the room with the title. Stop signs. Stop lights. Those things where we all know that outside of Idaho and a few places in Colorado we are all supposed to stop. And the place where many of us don’t stop. Stopping and training. Aren’t those terms mutually exclusive? Keep reading →

Those darned self-entitled cyclists

A parking lot for bicycles in Niigata, Niigata, Japan
A parking lot for bicycles in Niigata, Niigata, Japan

We hear it all the time. “Those damned self-entitled cyclists!” We hear the word privilege thrown around too. Terms generally used to refer to socio-economic issues. They are often invoked in discussions about running through stop signs and stop lights. I’ve always found it frustrating, as I suspect that many of the people that are saying it are using it as a slur without really understanding what it means.

So what is the term “self-entitled” even supposed to mean, if anything? I think we can all agree to the context there. It implies that some people believe that cyclists believe they have a right to ignore certain traffic laws. Yes – I know that was confusing, some people believe that cyclists believe… I’ve always tried to be very pragmatic about stop sign and stop light running. We all know it is illegal in most places. Many are working to change that, but until then I couldn’t imagine any cyclist honestly believing that running through stop lights was their “right.”

Damn I’m naive…  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 Shimanami Kaido

Back in January JustAnotherCyclist.com got an email that read in part “During my last trip to Japan I rented a bicycle and cycled 160 kilometers across 6 beautiful islands in 2 days.” The route in question was Shimanami Kaido, which by many accounts is one of the “world’s most incredible bike tours.”

Not only that – there was video!

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