Archive for category superheroes

in the saddle…

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.

I’ve underdressed.

And overdressed.

I’ve suffered.

But mostly, I’ve had fun.

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Remember the time you pulled up to a stoplight with clipless pedals? You squeezed the brakes and slowed down and, at some point, realized your feer where stuck to the pedals-either that or you clipped out about a block before you actually needed to stop. It was OK, though, you were new to cycling-or new to clipless pedals, at least and your embarrassment was tempered by the knowledge that everyone has done it at least once.

Or, that’s what we tell ourselves.

Now, you’re a pro at getting in and out of your pedals, but what about those other moments of shame you experience, the things you hope nobody saw:

That awkward moment when you’re putting arm warmers on, your hand slips & you punch yourself in the face. Yep I just did that. You can laugh. (@ridempowered)

I once stopped behind a pair of cyclists at a light and opted to lean on post instead of clip out. It was great, until I rolled back a few inches, caught my pedal on the post and fell straight to pavement, feet still safely clipped to the bike. The two guys in front of me just sort of looked back as I dusted myself off. I’ve also spit on myself, dropped a bottle on a hill, turned the wrong way on a group ride, crashed on a descent, and been made fun of by a pedestrian for having hairy legs.

Oh, and I once tried to inflate a tire without twisting the presta valve open…

in a bike shop…

as the mechanic watched.


If you’re worried about looking like a fool when you’re out on your bike, don’t. We’ve all done it. Dust yourself off or ice your face or go running into the brush after that stray bottle, then get back on that bike and ride.


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The Unicyclist is Back

For the few of us that commute on the Folsom South Canal trail between Hazel Blvd and Sunrise Blvd, there are two distinct cycling seasons each year. Unicyclist season and winter*.

The unicyclist appears between 6 and 7 am on mornings there’s enough light to navigate the unlit path without a headlamp. He wears Lycra shorts (never pants) and an unmarked blue jersey. Sometimes he wears a coat. No helmet. I’ve seen him as early as 6 and as late as 7:45. It seems that at some point in the morning he scrambles down the steep embankment and onto the trail, unicycle in hand, then mounts the one wheeled machine and pedals toward Tributary Point. When he arrives at Tributary Point he turns around and rides the other direction. Sometimes he can be seen stretching at the mouth of the tunnel the passes under Highway 50.

Every bike commuter I have talked to on that stretch of the trail knows about the unicyclist. He waves at everyone who passes.

There’s something about the ridiculousness of a fully kitted middle-aged man getting up every morning to workout on a unicycle that makes me extremely happy.

*There’s a reasonable chance he unicycles the same route during the winter but later in the day when we don’t cross paths.

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No Handed Bike Moves

Via Andrew who wasn’t was bragging when he said he could do them all while turning.

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House Industries adventure cycling team, Finnish Edition

The House Industries Blog pointed me to “The Finnish branch of the House Industries adventure cycling team” and the video above.

The whole thing is pretty cool.

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he won’t say how he did it

He’s 16. He’s rode his bike across a lake. He’s not saying how.

via clusterflock

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We interrupt this cycling blog…

To bring you Roller Derby (video by one of our own).

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at my desk, trying not to cry

From some of the best writing about Wouter Weylandt I’ve seen:

But this was something very special. It seemed like the entire route was lined with spectators respectfully clapping. No other noise, no cheering. Just the patter of applause. This was particularly marked in the towns and there were signs of support everywhere; municipal flags at half mast, church bells slowly ringing, Belgian flags and at one stage a rash of what looked like pieces of A4 paper replicating Wouters’ race number reading “ 108 is present “. Meanwhile in Wouter’s home town of Gent, after weeks of sunshine, it was pouring with rain.

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