Archive for April, 2007

Fixed Gear Bikes – NY Times

April 30, 2007

See below for an interesting read about Fixies in the NY Times.  Titled “Unstoppable” by Jocko Weyland

Read the article.

Basso leaving Discovery

April 30, 2007

Ivan Basso announced earlier today, he is leaving Discovery Team. Apparently the re-opening of an investigation by Italian authorities has Basso concerned.

Read More.


Bicycle wins in biker vs. car errand race

April 28, 2007

From Gainsville.com.

The two were involved in an “errand” race that pitted car against bike.

The car took 20 minutes to run a set of prescribed errands, while the bike took 10 minutes.

Read More.

Favorite Riding Bud !

April 27, 2007

Woody

Sometimes it is difficult to coordinate work, family, in general free time with fellow buds to ride with. Everyone has a lot of responsibilities. Everyone except for your Favorite Riding Bud…… “The Mountain Biking Dog”.

On the trails, I have seen all breeds from mutts, to AKC registered Champions, to shop dogs. They come in more sizes than your Wendy’s Drive-Thru menu: Extra-large 175-lb (Great Pyrenees) to Beagles with large bellies and small heads (Molly Heskin). However, all these dogs have something in common….that is only a commitment to riding with you on your terms and your schedule.

My favorite riding bud is Woody, my 95-lb Golden Retriever. He would fetch my helmet, add some impressive teeth marks in the process and wag that tail with more excitement than a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

I used to drive a ’68 Ford Galaxy (Two bikes could fit in the trunk without removing any wheels…impressive) that had a black vinyl interior. Anyway on any given mtn. bike adventure, Woody would find every mud pit and take a little dip. Woody rode in the back seat and I usually spent more time cleaning car interiors than riding. To clean Woody, I would stop off at the local car wash along Main Street. Needless to say, I had a few on-lookers.

Woody could smoke me on the climbs (4 wheel drive), and I returned the smoking on the downhills. Although Woody was never the fastest or most graceful, he loved our adventures.

A few years ago was Woody’s last real mtn. biking ride. It was in Tsali, NC and he had heat exhaustion only after two miles. He ran too hard, trying to be with me instead of slowing to run with my wife. This was singletrack and we tried to carry the 95-lb fellow. We then made a stretcher with logs and a backpack straddled between two bike toptubes. After a emergency visit to the vet, Woody was fine, however his mountain biking days were over.

Woody is now 13 years old. He loves to camp and still gets excited about biking adventures even though he can only watch and not participate. Somedays will I am wrenching in the garage, I’ll take a quick bike spin and Woody tries to run to catch me.

His heart and mind still ride with me, even though his body can’t.

Why ride a bike to work?

April 26, 2007

I ran across this awesome photo slide-show of Durham and part of my daily commute. See the link below. Thanks nicomachus for the great photos.

http://www.nicomachus.net/why_ride/

Who you ride with, not where or what you ride.

April 25, 2007

New River turnaround point.
Sometimes the key ingredients for a perfect ride are made up of who you ride with verses where or what you ride.

Boone, NC was always this magical riding place I have never been.  Magical because of this is where Lance Armstrong decided to ride again after cancer.  Magical because it is Western North Carolina.  Magical because however many times I have been in W. NC, I was always 3 hours away and I never did travel the squirrel path to Boone.  This all changed several weeks ago when my high school friends/groomsman/groomswoman and their family had vacation planned here.  Opportunity was ringing the bike bell “BRRINNG, BRRINNG”. In the back of my mind, I was expecting a major epic ride (No wives, no kids). 

Sometimes it is best to change plans.  Due to a limited schedule, we decided to take both families.  We looked at the local cycling guide from Boone Bike & Touring Shop (very helpful, thank you), and found a railroad grade road.  Considering the loads and my friends being from Florida (had to dig on you Ray) this made everyone happy. 

We chose a route that started at Todd General Store, 3866 Todd Railroad Grade Rd, Todd, NC 28684.  The route was a simple out and back with no turns or directions to worry about.  20 miles round-trip, and yes it was completely flat.  It followed the New River. 

Both Ray and I towed a kid trailer, Melissa had a child carrier on back and Kelly had a bun in the oven.  Ray and I were able to catch up on old times, while the Shelia’s did the same.  The trailered children laughed and chatted to each other the whole morning.  At our turn around point we stopped to let the children play at the river’s bank.  To top off a great day, we ate at the General Store. 

So yes, I finally had a magical ride near Boone, NC because of the folks I rode with. 

Perfect Cartwheel on a Bike

April 24, 2007

Fixed Gear Commuting

April 24, 2007

Excited about the flat terrain here in Raleigh/Durham NC, I flipped the Lemond hub 180 degrees (Fixed Cog) to find out what all the fascination and fuss was with “riding fixed”.  Which follows the mantra “simplify until it breaks”.

My commute is 14 miles one way (fairly flat compared to N. Atlanta, extremely hilly compared to Florida’s Gulf Coast).  I have been riding the heaviest bike in the world Trek 520(see below, soon to be featured in Guiness Book) and wanted to lighten the load and the simplify all the shit I carry.  So made some mods to the Lemond Fillmore and took her for a test commute.

This first commute seamed fast.  Commute time was comparable to the 520, which is amazing considering I was only using one gear.  The braking was downright frightening, especially a downhill followed-up with a stop sign or light.  My legs could pedal forward and slow the bike, however stopping required the full square inch of front caliper brakes.

Everyday was better.  It is cool to slow down with your legs, almost natural after awhile.

This is week #3 on the fixie and I am hooked.  You can fly uphills.  Your feet and pedaling become a extension to the surface below.  My cockpit is clean with only a front brake lever, no shifters , and no rear brake lever.  The drive-train is quiet and awe so simple.

I can remember only a couple of times being so excited about a bike.  My first BMX bike (Schwinn Scrabbler), first MTN. bike (Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, pre-Trek) and now riding fixed on the Lemond Fillmore.

For great Fixed Gear photos & articles see Fixed Gear Bicycle Gallery.

Discovery Channel suspends Basso

April 24, 2007

The Discovery Channel team suspended Italian Ivan Basso from racing on Tuesday after the Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping office reopened an investigation into the 2006 Giro d’Italia winner. “Team management…has requested that Italian rider Ivan Basso not compete pending further information in a new investigation coming out of Italy,” the team said in a statement.

See Link. 

Floyd Landis Follow-Up Tests are Positive.

April 24, 2007

 

 

PARIS: Follow-up tests on samples given by Tour de France champion Floyd Landis have found traces of synthetic testosterone, French sports newspaper L’Equipe reported Monday.

The paper said on its Web site the tests on seven samples clearly showed traces of the banned substance. Initial tests on the samples had not produced positive results, it added.

Landis gave the samples while on his way to winning the 2006 Tour, it said.

For More.

Jan Ullrich Salute !

April 24, 2007

Bike Lingo

April 24, 2007

Bike Lingo

“I’m out of shape”
Translation: I ride 400 miles a week and haven’t missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.

“I’m not into competition. I’m just riding to stay in shape”
Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering. I will win the line sprint if I have to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seat post, and spray energy drink in your eyes.

“I’m on my beater bike”
Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce.

“It’s not that hilly”
Translation: This climb lasts longer than a presidential campaign. Be careful on the steep sections or you’ll fall over — backward. You have a 39×23 low gear? Here’s the name of my knee surgeon.

“You’re doing great, honey”
Translation: Yo, lard ass I’d like to get home before midnight. This is what you get for spending the winter decorating and eating chocolate. I shoulda married that cute Cat 1 racer when I had the chance.

“This is a no-drop ride”
Translation: I’ll need an article of your clothing for the search-and-rescue dogs.

“It’s not that far”
Translation: Bring your passport

chris@promocycle.net

Bicycle Commuter Act *2007*

April 6, 2007

Georgia Bikes http://www.GeorgiaBikes.org sent me the following message:

The League Of American Bicyclists (LAB) has updated their website and their Congressional contact application on the 2007 versions of the proposed Bicycle Commuter Act.

The U.S. House and Senate bills were re-introduced during the National Bike Summit earlier this month. Eight of us from Georgia attended the Summit including three bike shop owners (Fred Boykin of Bicycle South, Dan Thornton of Free-Flite Bicycles, and Mikki Griffin of Perpetual Motion Bicycles) and representatives of SORBA, Bike/Walk Northwest Georgia, SBL, and GEORGIA BIKES! The House bill’s author, Congressman Blumenauer, staged a press event about the Act during the Summit’s Day-On-Capitol-Hill breakfast event.

Please take the time to A.) review the information linked below and B.) auto-generate a message to your U.S. Representative and Senators. Ask them to co-sponsor, or at least, support the bills.

– Take action at:
http://capwiz.com/lab/issues/alert/?alertid=9520176&type=CO

– To see who the bill’s current co-sponsors are (none from Georgia yet):
http://capwiz.com/lab/issues/bills/?bill=9543536

– To read the Congressman Blumenauer’s synopsis:
http://blumenauer.house.gov/issues/Issue.aspx?IssueID=15&SubIssueID=25
(scroll down)

– To read a Dear College Letter on the subject (from last year though):
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikeadvocacy/bikeweekdearcolleague.pdf

– And FYI, to the review HR1498 and S858:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.1498.IH:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.858.IS: