Monday, May 30, 2011

Ride Like You're Invisible!

The Giro d'Italia officially ended yesterday although it was all but over on the first mountain top finish when Alberto Contador rode away from the competition as though he had an extra set of lungs, or a better pharmaceutical kit.  I think he ended up with more than six minutes on his closest competition.

It says something that I started paying attention to the commercials during the broadcast on Universal Sports.  This ad from Road ID caught my eye because it is probably the most succinct presentation I've seen of the dangers faced by cyclists every day.  In one minute the spot covers the three most obvious risks that cyclists face on the road.  With a one minute commercial as an educational tool I can't help but wonder how many lives could be saved if cyclists took these suggestions to heart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Am I The Only Cyclist Who Thinks Reno Is A Great Place To Ride?

I don't generally hold out a lot of hope when the local news media covers cycling related issues.  So I shouldn't be surprised when my favorite local tv news covered the Bicycle Pedestrian Conference that went on today.  At the same time that they gave coverage to the new 3 foot law and the soon to be increased penalties for hitting cyclists, they managed to cherry pick a few quotes from attendees at today's conference that basically said, don't ride your bike because it's unsafe.  I can't imagine a novice cyclist sitting at home watching this story being inspired to commute more to work by bike.  Which is just sad because Reno is a great city to bicycle in.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bike Shop as Art Gallery

There's part of me that can appreciate this approach to the presentation and experience one might have walking into this bicycle shop in Barcelona that was designed by architect, Joan Sandoval.  The displays are clean and well designed.  Then there is the other part of me that would miss what is surely missing at this shop: the smell of grease, rubber, and stale beer.  One of my favorite smells truth be told.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bike to Work/School Week Begins!

Mother Nature isn't really cooperating although it is certainly not going to be terrible riding weather.  But I'm way past ready for some 80 degree sunny days for riding.  Here's to another Bike to Work Week!  Lots of people put a lot of effort into making this week special but it's the year round commuters that I really want to tip my hat to.

Monday, May 09, 2011

When a Bicycle isn't just a Bicycle

Handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession - Jean-Paul Sartre

One of the amazing things about being into bikes is that for a somewhat reasonable amount of money you can own and ride what might very well be one of the best bicycles in the world.  It's not like we are talking Ferrari money here.  Granted, it may depend on your definition of what a great riding bike is.  Certainly there are those who would point to a $12,000 carbon fiber wonder bike ridden by a professional squad and suggest it is the best.  The problem is that next year it won't be the best.  It will have been replaced by the latest greatest wonder bike with ad copy telling you that you will conquer mountains that much faster.  Never mind that the engine will be one year older, and perhaps moving that little bit less efficiently.

It's amazing to look at current bicycle magazines that tout these machines.   And no doubt they bring great joy to the people who can afford to ride them.  At least I would hope so.  But Grant Peterson once wrote that the best deal every year is a tig welded, shimano 105 built bicycle.  It'll perform well for a couple of years and then you can move on to the new year model.    But a good bicycle is more an active possession that requires the user to finesse, love, sprint, manhandle and play with it for it to realize its full potential.   Perhaps it's more musical instrument than static possession.

This is one of the reasons I've slowly migrated towards bicycle frames built by smaller companies or builders.  Even though these bicycles are quite expensive in many ways, it's nice to feel capable of owning and riding a bike that may very well be the best suited for my needs and be nearly as high performance as I could ever hope to attain.  And the bikes still retain a sense of personality beyond a factory produced frame from Taiwan.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Wednesday Night Pick Me Up - Duran Duran

This is a stellar version of this almost forgotten (by me) song.  I'm happy that DD is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.   They're a band that deserves more credit than they've gotten beyond the style/mtv legacy that has forever linked them to the 80s.   I wish I could play bass guitar as well as John Taylor.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

I've had several people send this to me in the last week and I can't help but wonder what it says that they associate me with wine and bicycles.   Actually, I know what it means.  And I'm fully capable of acknowledging my love for both.  As far as the design, it looks cool but I'm not sure this is the best way to carry wine on a bike.  I'd rather fill one of those internal frame "bladders" on the professional time trial bikes.  Less wind resistance that way.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Critical Mass Hungary!

A friend from Hungary sent me this video.  Very nicely produced with great views of the ride and the scenery.

City Of Joy from daniel fiantok on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Sunday Morning Music - Velvet Underground

You can't go wrong with VU.  Especially inspired as I'm heading out for my half marathon at the RocknRiver this morning.