Archive for category road bikes
“Thousands of racers will ascend on and crash the Los Angeles Marathon race course in the dead of the night to compete in one of the toughest urban cycling races known to man. Chrome has partnered with Red Bull to bring the Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series to the next level of urban racing. This is just the first stop of the three race series that will span over several months including a LA Crit, and the 6th St. sprints. Only one man and one woman will be immortalized as winners of the official sacred dog tags which will prove their endurance, speed, and power.”
This weekend after a mountain bike ride in Fairfax, it was suggested that we must stop at the Gestalt Haus for a beer and a brat hot dog. “You can bring you bike inside and hang it on the wall!” was said on our way through the quaint town. As we pulled our bikes through the door, wound our way by the line and along the wall to group our bikes and order one of the seventeen available brats and one of a dozen beers on tap for ten dollars. Waiting for my name to be called to pick up my brat, I found a wall of board games to play and several classic mountain bikes attached to the wall to look at.
The beer is large and well worth the five dollars. I ordered the chicken-apple brat without sauerkraut and it hit the spot, especially after the ride. If you are ever in the Fairfax/Mt Tamalpais area, be sure to check them out, you can find them at 123 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax, CA 94930.
After watching this video of the bicymple, I sort of want one. You can lock the rear steering, as shown in the first part of the clip, then the remaining video it is unlocked.
The bike is on kickstarter and well past its minimum pledge. Come February 22, it will fund, so you have time with several versions of the bicymple starting at an $800 pledge. Totally a one of a kind design and concept.
Awesome teamwork and effort shared through on board cameras and data from Garmin device. The race from this past weekend’s 2012 e3 Cyclebration, held in Folsom, California, LeadOut Racing exemplified teamwork, focus and execution, which helped them dominate the weekend. Data Driven Athlete combed the video and data for the video below from the finish of the race. Kudo’s guys.
I’ve set out in the rain and come home dry, or mostly dry.
I’ve sat comfortably behind big men, the ones that are as wide as Volkswagen Beetle.
I’ve dropped those same men.
I’ve been dropped by women.
And old men.
I’ve set out in the sunshine and come home wet.
I’ve stopped, not because I needed to rest but because I wanted a moment to take it in.
I’ve sat up when the gap was too big.
I’ve had road rash.
I’ve run red lights.
I’ve been defeated by headwinds.
And Coleman Valley Road.
I’ve stopped for wildlife.
I’ve been honked at.
And yelled at.
And waved at.
And smiled at.
I’ve slowed down to chat with strangers.
I’ve taken turns at the front.
I’ve been stopped by the police.
But mostly, I’ve had fun.
The dirt option. The gravel section. Stairway to heaven. Relentless.
If it had been paved the Willow Creek Road climb would be nothing spectacular. It would have been just another tree lined climb up yet another hill through yet another series of switchbacks. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. But, it wasn’t paved and for those of us who quit mountain biking because we fell too often, riding an 11 mile dirt road on a road bike doesn’t seem very logical. Some of us did it anyway.
It took me a bit to get used to picking my lines up the climb. I couldn’t always just aim for the least steep path and head up-most of the time the outside of the switchbacks were littered with loose gravel…anyway, you guys are probably tired of me talking about Levi’s Gran Fondo, so here it is:
New bicycling initiatives being launched in Seattle echo successful projects in Portland, and could influence similar decisions in Sacramento. The new “greenways” being planned in several Seattle neighborhoods will take cyclists off busy arteries and through re-designed side streets, where speed-bumps, modified sidewalks and curbs, and special stop-signs will give priority to cyclists as well as pedestrians.
The first greenway will run through the Wallingford district of north-central Seattle, and advocates hope to develop further greenways in at least three other neighborhoods. The city takes its cue from it’s southern neighbor, progressively pro-bike Portland, which has more than thirty greenways, and which predicts that 80% of city residents will live within half a mile of a greenway by 2015.
The initiatives in place in Portland and Seattle put to shame the efforts in Sacramento, which claims to be a bike-friendly city but which has pitifully few dedicated bike lanes, no greenways, and an outdated but muscular pro-car bent. The region’s single saving concession – the American River Trail – was established decades ago, and has not been expanded or improved upon since, despite expansion and realignment of the city’s commercial and residential areas.
The Portland greenways cost an estimated $250,000 per mile, an expense which Seattle hopes to recoup through an additional car-tab fee of $60. Over ten years, the tax would raise more than $200 million for additional transportation projects to help promote cycling and walking in the city.
In cash-strapped, pro-car Sacramento, the possibility of introducing a levy on motor-vehicles to pay for bike-lane improvements or greenways seems unlikely. Many of the region’s essential roads are in disrepair and further cuts to the DOT budget are pending.
However, as pro-cycling advocates frequently point out, cycling has cost benefits that reach far beyond the immediate advantages for keen bike-commuters. An active citizenry which solves its own economic and health problems by choosing to commute via bicycle instead of motor-vehicle injects vitality and treasure into the local economy, and may even go so far as to improve the desirability of residential property in the region.
Bike lanes and greenways can’t fix every problem that plagues Sacramento, but the cost-benefit ratio is enormous, and worthy of further consideration.
If you follow me on Twitter you might already know that trip didn’t go exactly as planned. Sam and I got to Santa Rosa on Friday night as planned check in and headed downtown to have some dinner and a couple of drinks. Everything was great and both of us were feeling quite keen for the ride. But shortly after we’d gone to bed Sam got ill and in the morning he was barely able to get out of bed. Riding the bike was out of the question.
So I ditched him. I did offer to drive him home and just skip the ride, but in the end his wife drove on down to get him and I went out to ride by myself. Or with 7500 strangers.
The conditions were a lot different than the previous two years. Most of King Ridge and the approach to the coast were socked in with fog. It was cold, the roads were wet and the wind was blowing, but it was a good day. Amazingly, when we got to the coast, the sun came out and it started to warm a bit.
I felt pretty good and just ground out a good rhythm most of the day. After crossing the Russian River near Jenner I opted to turn left on Willow Creek Road for the dirt option and, while it was hard work, I was glad I did. Willow Creek was probably about 10 miles of dirt and gravel roads, all of it gradual climbing with about 3 miles of proper climbing.
I’ll put together another video in the next few days with the footage of Willow Creek Road I have, but for now, this pretty much captures how the day went: