Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cover your melon

Just north of where I live, a 15 year old girl on a bicycle was hit by a truck yesterday. She's fine, and according to the investigator on the case, "...the helmet the girl was wearing was crushed."

I have personally cracked a helmet in half in a crash on the Golden Gate Bridge, and walked away from it (albeit with 2 years of back injury recovery). I can only be left with the assumption my head would have been the thing that cracked in half had I not worn a helmet.

I see so many roadie cool guys in both Chico and the Bay Area blasting by without helmets, and while I'm inclined to get on my soapbox about it, I guess I should take the Darwinian approach and assume they are more willing to be removed from the gene pool than I.

I know helmets aren't 100% guaranteed to protect your noggin - just look at Saul Raisin's accident (and I'm so happy that he's getting better). But you'll never catch me without a helmet.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Non-Cycling Distraction: Laughing Yogis and Liquid Ladies

Those that know me know that my body is pretty darn inflexible. And no amount of stretching or yoga or laughing yoga could ever make me like this dancer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Joe in Missoula inspires

If you didn't already want to blow off work to go ride today, Joe's post on being seduced by - and once again conquered by the mountain will inspire you to play hookie.

He should've swapped out his tires for a pair of SOMA Xpress or maybe some WTB All Terrainasaurs though! :-)

Pugsley across Australia

In this series of insanely great, scary, slightly gross, and intriguing photographs, Jakub Postrzygacz rides a Surly Pugsley across the Australian outback - unsupported - in the Canning Stock Route Adventure. It looks even hotter than California's central valley there... maybe the same sort of heat as California's deserts.

Yeah, those are 4" tires!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Officials in Adelaide, Australia push for car-free

In Australia, the City of Adelaide Minister proposed yesterday to make the city center blocked off from cars for a month - so that citizens could experience what Adelaide would be like if it were a city only comprised of pedestrians and cyclists.

This is a fascinating idea, and I can only wonder if a big city can actually pull something like this off.

In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, each Sunday brings the welcome silence of no cars on the main road - and the result is droves of people (maybe too many?) enjoy riding certain roads of the park without the nuisance and danger of cars. A similar measure to close the park's main roads on Saturday was recently vetoed by the lunatic mayor (he's generally a lunatic, not because of his veto) after it was approved by the Board of Nutjobs Supervisors.

So even in hyper-liberal San Francisco, closing one road on Saturdays couldn't even fly.

Adelaide, our eyes are upon you!

Bike to Work Day madness

This morning I left the crappy Santa Clara apartment as usual, and about three blocks away I started passing people on bicycles. I was still in an early morning daze, and couldn't figure out what so many people were careening around on bikes that they obviously never ride when it hit me: it's Bike To Work Day!

I nearly crashed three times either with people who were wobbling back and forth in the bike lane or with the cars that were whizzing by on my left side. Overall though, it was a really pleasant experience. I'm happy to see so many people riding to work. It makes Santa Clara really feel like a different place - almost enjoyable... almost like it has a soul...

People become a lot more friendly when they're on a bicycle.

When I got to work the folks from Bay Area Bikes had a stand set up and were giving away free Bags-O-Schwag. Yes! Schwag for doing what I do anyway! And tonight at the Tied House Brewery in SanHo there is a BABC-sponsored partay where they'll be raffling off new bicycles, gear, parts, and more. Oh, and beer and snacks are as next to free as it gets.

It blows my mind that so many people - thousands, or maybe hundreds of thousands - live so close to their work, but only ride their bikes one day a year! For me, it is an immeasurably better experience to ride to work every day; to feel the wind, to feel the rain, to move my legs, to get my heart pumping - it all beats sitting in a car any day. And at the end of the day The Ride lets me unwind and relax before I get home. And I'm sure Claire enjoys that!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Will work for Interbike 2006 passes

Interbike recently opened registration for this year's conference in September. I want to go.

If you are in the cycling industry and have an extra pass, or work for a cycling-related publication and want to issue me a pass in exchange for reporting on / blogging about / photgraphing / podcasting the event, get in touch. In exchange for a pass, you'll get a reporter with a journalism degree (from a top journalism school) who has written for several newspapers; a reporter who has run a weekly radio show; a reporter who has been blogging current events for over ten years.

Seems like a great deal to me!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Who reads this blog?

I thought it might be interesting to post an overview of who in the world reads my blog, as well as a snapshot of how many of you are reading. The question I have is why don't more of you participate in the discussions? And where, exactly, are you all from? What towns? Are you at home? At work? At school? And more importantly, what kind of bike do you ride?!

How Many and Where you are

Loyal patrons vs. newbies

Team Bike Challenge

Down in the land of overcrowdedness and insane commuters (a.k.a. the Bay Area), there is currently a huge emphasis to try to get people to ride their bikes. May 18 is Bike To Work Day, but there is also a competition called the Team Bike Challenge which encourages working stiffs to turn Bike to Work Day into Bike to Work MAY.

And to up the ante for getting people to ride their bikes to work, the Team Bike Challenge offers up a bunch of sweet prizes including Timbuk2 bags filled with cycling schwag from the sponsors - for every person that participates! And the team that rides the most during May will score the grand prize of a bike rack to be placed in a public space of choice in their county. I wonder if I can convince people to let me take the rack to Butte County and install it there...

I happen to be the almighty Team Captain for Team Yahoo (I was the first one to sign up on my team, which is how I became El Capitan). Our current outlook in the standings is fantastic. We're leading Santa Clara county by a large margin, and we're continually in the top 5 teams in the entire Bay Area. The stiffest competition is coming from Marin County - and no surprise there!

One of the coolest perks about working at a big company in Silicon Valley is that there are all kinds of funny perks for doing what I would do anyway. I can't complain about that!

Ride of silence

After reading through this, I'm not sure what to think about it. At its core I think it is a good cause, but I guess I don't feel the burn to participate for some reason. From the Ride of Silence web site:

Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride (max. 12 mph/20 kph) in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.

Why does this site exist?

To HONOR those who have been injured or killed

To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here

To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD
I guess I feel like I honor folks that have been hurt or died on the roads every time I ride. Otherwise, we'd all just quit riding, right?

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ready to ride

I came across David in Portland, who has a fantastic blog. Here is the description in his words:
Ready to Ride is for non-competitive cyclists who want to take their riding to the next level. I share strategies that help balance the demands of a career, a family, the physical and mental preparation, and the equipment necessary to achieve Really Big Goals on the bike.
Sounds interesting to me! I also added him to my right hand column of bike bloggers.

Shave Everywhere

This could be slightly related to cycling, but more importantly, I want to point you to the best corporate web site in the entire history of the internet. Watch the intro, and then go through every single option under 'Main Menu'. It'll take about 10 minutes, and every second is worth it. Prepare to laugh.

I'm sold!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Riding, running, floating, crashing

This weekend simply rocked. I RAN on Friday (you know, that thing where you put one foot in front of the other, and pound away until something hurts..), I pulled an epic off-road climb in Upper Park Saturday morning (can you just ride until you hit Nevada or something? It seemingly never ends!), and did the Honey Run loop on Sunday. My legs are pretty tired today, and it feels GREAT.

My buddy Justin didn't fare so well on his China Camp ride down in Marin - to the tune of 30 stitches. Beware, the photos are gnarly! I nearly fell out of my chair at Yahoo when I saw the pics, but Justin tells me, "2 wounds. 1 bad one. The cut is actually only like 1" - but also 1" deep."


In different news, Claire and I finally sold off our surfboards, seeing as how it's too damn crowded on the coast and nevermind the fact that we live in Chico now. There's not much surfing in Chico. So with the surfboard proceeds, we decided to go ahead and reinvest in a different water sport - kayaking. We've both done a bit of paddling in California, Georgia, and North Carolina, and what better place to spend a few summer hours a week than paddling the rivers and lakes of beautiful Northern California? With that in mind and our surfboard funds in hand, I haggled a bit and got us a great deal on two used demo boats from the friendly folks over at North Rim Adventure. I'm already daydreaming about flyfishing from a kayak on the Sacramento... and I figure it is also good preparation in the case that next winter is as wet as this past winter... one has to have a way to get to the Saturday market...

Friday, May 05, 2006

West Coast Rally

This dude rode up nearly the entire west coast and took some amazing photos of the entire ride. His interactive charts, maps, and stats are very cool as well. From what I can tell, he rode a very low end rigid mountain bike with platform pedals. For gear he donned slacks, a sweater, a helmet, and some sneakers. Oh, and when I say the West Coast, I mean the West Coast of India!

For Chicoans: big bike parts sale

Yo Chico dudes and chicks! Posted on Craigslist is the following ad:
This is an add for tons of new/used bike parts... to many to list.
If you contact me- we can set an appointment for you to come and dig through the parts yourself.
Dura Ace
vintage parts
I even have a box with every kind of skewer you can imagine-

Like I said there is more than I can list... I just don't have the time to go through it all and sell each individual part... my loss is your gain.

Steve Zuschin

I'm going this afternoon... maybe it's time to build up some frankenbike?

Gas prices are not the government's responsibility

It's so refreshing to me to finally hear another voice in the cycling community talk sensibly about the current state of gasoline prices. Mellow Velo points to this article and comments:
If the definition of gouging is charging higher prices for a product with dwindling supply and increased demand, you bet.
There is no oil industry conspiracy
It continues to blow my mind that people in this country are terrified of freedom, and feel that any time something economically seems out of whack that the Imperial Federal Government should step in to save your whiny butts. Why in the world would someone think it is the government's responsibility to handle affairs in an open marketplace? The reality is this, and I need you to listen carefully: If you want the price of gas to go down, you have to decrease the demand for gas. It's that simple. If you don't buy it, the price will come down.

Capitalism & The Laws of Supply and Demand
The laws of Supply and Demand are set in stone. It is NOT the government's responsibility to enforce economic equilibrium. Our choices in the marketplace will decide that. So if you are pissed off about the price of gasoline right now, stop whining and do something about it: STOP DRIVING SO DAMN MUCH.

And keep your stinking big government insanity out of my life!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bicycle Porn

I'm thinking that Rodney needs some of those, and so do I. Speaking of The Rod, I laughed out loud when I saw this shot... spread out on the floor, just waiting for you, man!

If you like looking at bikes as much as I do, I suggest that you take a look over on Flickr at the following groups: Bicycle Porn, Bicycling, Single speeds & Fixies, and last but not least, bicycles x 自転車.

Oh, and you can get the cards in the photo from Your Bike Is Hot dot com. Ha ha.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

India's 4 Year Old Marathon Boy

Just on the heels of my recent posts regarding India and distance athletes, I came across this article today via Reuters about a four-year-old child marathoner...
BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) A four-year-old child, sold by his mother for less than $20, has been dubbed India's "marathon boy" after he ran 65 km (40 miles) on Tuesday, but critics accused his coach of risking the boy's health for cash.

Budhia Singh, dressed in a white T-shirt and red shorts, covered the distance in just seven hours and two minutes, after setting out to become the youngest Indian to cover the marathon distance.

$20 isn't even 3 pairs of good running socks... and how does one arrive at that price for a child? I'm sure that I can't comprehend the dire poverty from which he came, but it seems horrible to me.

As it turns out in a search for Budhia, Budhia is becoming world famous. After he was re-purchased by a Judo coach/his trainer from his home town, Budhia has been in television commercials and other appearances which are leading to the financial gains of his coach.

I don't think this is quite the way to go about training young athletes. Do you?