Archive for category announcements
A couple of months have passed since my last post and I’ll be the first to admit those months haven’t really gone to plan.
I managed 3 or 4 short flat rides in December before succumbing to a huge increase in back pain, which I’ve been unable to get under control, even enough to spin my bike into work each day (it’s a 7 minute ride).
It knocked the wind out of me somewhat, and suddenly the idea of being fit by summertime felt rather depressingly unrealistic. I think I underestimated the problem a little bit.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as in January two metaphorical busses arrived at once, and I’ve jumped on one of them whole heartedly. The first was a chance to have a 1/2 hour chat with world leading sports physio Rob Harris, who after hearing the exact nature of my symtoms was fairly certain I had Spondylolisthesis (try saying that a few times, or at all). I can’t deny It was a massive relief to hear that there could be a tangible, nameable cause for 15 years of intermittent back pain, but on requesting copies of my low back X-Rays from 2009, it became clear that it’s not ‘Spondy’ after all. Square one. Sort of…
Then I had a chance encounter with an ex-England Rugby player Tim Stimpson, who was in our offices waiting for a meeting with the MD. We got chatting about chiropractors (I don’t like them very much based on the amount I’ve spent on them for no benefit) and he ended up contacting his friend and spinal physician who had helped him a great deal. Next thing I know, this guy is calling me up, very interested in my case, specifically because the length of time I’ve had the problem, and the amount of specialists I’ve seen who did no good. He prides himself on finding what other people missed, and fixing the issues. In fact his clinics are the only ones in the country to offer an insurance-backed money back guarantee on his treatment. i.e. at least 70% improvement in your condition or your money back.
Not that money matters, he gave me a free assessment and on the back of it, he offered to give me a full round of treatment at no cost. Apparently I’m the kind of case he likes to take on pro bono, can’t complain about that.
Now I’m awaiting my next appointment in 10 days time, and the onslaught of 3-4 weeks with 2 appointments per week, plus plenty of ‘homework’ exercises. After that it’ll be 1 appointment per week for a while, gradually seeing him less & less over the coming months. Stefaan is confident that I will be fully able to ride and train again by the summer time, which is the best I could have hoped for.
There is a hint of a big ride coming up in September, as part of a team with the guys I work with. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but it’s not working.
Bring on the healing.
From our spam:
riding a bike is not a wkuoort. Exercise?you call that exercise? You sit down then move your feet in a little circle.
From all of us at Talking Treads, we hope the new year will bring you many safe miles, crazy climbs, awesome views and great stories!
Here’s to 2012, Cheers!
…because today we get a little more daylight than yesterday.
Update: (12/23/2011) Because I can’t read a calendar, in fact, today is the first day with more light. Start flipping.
Celebrated artist and music aficionado Slimm Buick, who recently relocated to the Sacramento area, will present a competitive showcase of custom-designed bicycles at the 2012 Sacramento Swing Time Festival. The event, called The Kustom Bike Show, will be curated by Buick at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
Buick is legendary for his bicycle creations, which often embrace historic Americana themes, and feature classic bikes with sumptuous and eclectic adornments. His celebrated and much-photographed piece Rawhide is a whimsical re-imagining of the cowboy aesthetic, translated to West Coast beach culture. The cruiser is decked out in calfskin, with embossed leather wheel arches, rhinestones and a sheriff’s badge. The Wild West caricature is subverted by the the large basket on the handlebars.
The Kustom Bike Show competition is open to all entries for a $7 fee, and Buick will be judging the best bikes on show. The artist will also indulge his other passion, spinning 45s from the era of Swing to conjure up a mood of early 20th Century American automobile and bike culture.
The fourth annual Sacramento Swing Time Festival will be held on June 23rd, 2012. Tickets are $20.
I meant to post this yesterday: Keith Snyder (@noteon) has announced the contributors to the anthology of bicycle fiction he’s putting together for publication in December. Looks like he’ll be posting some story previews here, so keep an eye out.
I haven’t had a chance to read through it, but Women on Bikes Socal, just posted their first issue online. Despite the use of “SoCal” in the title this looks like good, local advocacy for Southern Californian Women.
Host Cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California:
- Stage 1: Sunday, May 13 – Santa Rosa
- Stage 2: Monday, May 14 – San Francisco to Santa Cruz County
- Stage 3: Tuesday, May 15 – San Jose to Livermore
- Stage 4: Wednesday, May 16 – Sonora (new for 2012) to Clovis
- Stage 5: Thursday, May 17 – Bakersfield (Individual Time Trial)
- Stage 6: Friday, May 18 – Palmdale to Big Bear Lake
- Stage 7: Saturday, May 19 – Ontario (new for 2012) to Mt. Baldy
- Stage 8: Sunday, May 20 – Los Angeles/L.A. LIVE
Rather than complain about the lack of bike racing that will be happening in my neck of the woods, I guess I’m going to have to make plans for a road trip.
The political situation in America is…well, it leaves something to be desired and the “say no” attitude of Republicans in the legislature is…ok, I’ll try to make this post a little less about politics in general and a little more about how federal funding for cycling is about to become the next victim of political grandstanding.
The federal transportation bill is set to expire at the end of the month and, without a new law to replace it, the provisions of the current law will need to be extended to ensure that federal funding for highways, transit and bike/pedestrian improvements continues. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has already said that he would oppose any extension that would include funding for Transportation Enhancements (the part of the bill that supports pedestrian and cycling improvements).
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) seem to be right behind Coburn:
We are not opposed to initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure, and believe there are reforms that can be implemented that would improve their effectiveness in a manner that supports economic growth. Current law requires that states set-aside 10 percent of their surface transportation funds for transportation enhancements, which must be used for items such as establishment of transportation museums, education activities for pedestrians and bicyclists, acquisition of scenic easements, historic preservation, operation of historic transportation facilities, etc. While many of the initiatives funded by this mandatory set-aside may be worthy projects, eliminating this required set-aside would allow states to devote more money to the types of infrastructure programs you are advocating without adding to the deficit.
I’m a firm believer that funding for bike projects and other alternatives to driving do a lot to improve the overall transportation system in America. And I’m pretty much in agreement with this comment (hey it looks like it’s by Richard over at Cyclelicious-he doesn’t know me, but I feel like we’re buddies) over at dc.streetsblog:
With Coburn’s grandstanding, I say screw it and eliminate transportation funding completely. If Coburn doesn’t want to fund enhancements by holding all of transportation funding hostage, I say let him.
The League of American Bicyclists has a handy link that makes it easy for you to get in contact with your Senator and tell them to continue funding the Transportation Enhancements. Get over there and Take Action.
Levi’s Gran Fondo, the annual Sonoma County cycling festival and group ride, will take a slightly different route for this year’s event, say organizers. Rolling road-closures and a recent landslide have necessitated the changes, which will not have an impact upon the main climbs and descents of the route.
The basic course, laid out for the inaugural Gran Fondo in 2009, takes riders on one of three scenic rides: the Gran, which covers 103 miles and incorporates King Ridge Road; the Medio, which is 65 miles and cuts out King Ridge and the additional climbs; and the Piccolo, a 32 mile recreational ride which keeps participants away from the more remote western portions of Sonoma County.
The altered route for 2011 affects one portion of the final approach back into Santa Rosa, which riders in the Gran and Medio will encounter. A landslide on Coleman Valley Road, near Occidental, has caused a large hole to open up in the pavement, making passage dangerous for cars and bikes. An alternate route via Bittner Road has been suggested. Bittner runs parallel to Coleman Valley Road, but approaches Occidental from the south side of town. Riders would access Bittner from Joy Road, adding about a mile to the course.
Additionally, CHP have indicated that a mandatory cut-off will be required for Gran-route riders at the River Road/Cazadero Highway intersection. Riders who fail to reach the intersection before 10.30am will be redirected onto the Medio route, thereby avoiding the King Ridge portion of the Gran Fondo. Presumably this is to regulate rolling road-closures at the Meyer’s Grade/Pacific Coast Highway intersection, which was held open for riders in 2009 and 2010. Road closures are particularly important for Gran Fondo, since several of the main intersections are busy, and several thousand riders are required to flow through them during the course of the day.
Finally, event organizers have indicated that part of the route will be on unpaved roadway, a return to the authentic but generally unpopular climax of the 2009 Gran Fondo. In that year, riders were directed onto a loose gravel pathway for two miles before emerging at the finish. A gravel section is common on many European gran fondo rides, but some American participants of Levi’s Gran Fondo – many of whom did not expect the detour and did not know how to handle the surface – were frustrated and unhappy about having to ride on it.
Levi’s Gran Fondo takes place on October 1st this year, and is expected to attract the usual mixture of riders from Sacramento and all over Northern California, as well as a few individuals from out of state and overseas.