Category Archives: Comments about Cycling

Fake News??? What to Believe??? – Helmets

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I got an email from “a reader”, which was someone I don’t know, that had some conflicting views about illegal immigration.  He sent me a link to a Fox News story about percentages of serious crimes done by illegal immigrate.

I responded giving a couple links to, what I view as more credible sources, that were pretty much the opposite of the Sean Hannity story.  But, it is a quandary.

All these sources and it is up to us to figure out what is correct.  I don’t think that used to be the situation.   The problem is that most of us don’t have the time, energy, or maybe even the interest, to do our own research to try to decipher the information.

That is the current state of our political system.  Different news outlets presenting conflicting stories.  “Our president”, tweeting incessantly.  Plus all the extraneous stuff.   It is crazy.

I was forwarded a link to a story about helmet use.  It was from The Guardian, a British outlet.  The title was

The big bike helmet debate: ‘You don’t make it safe by forcing cyclists to dress for urban warfare’

Subtitle –

The question of whether cyclists should wear helmets provokes fury – often from those on four wheels. But which has the bigger benefit: increased physical safety, or creating a better environment for people to cycle helmet-free?

Here is a link to the article.  

The article is pretty in-depth, trying to addresses many issues involving helmet usage, other than people whacking their heads on the pavement.

I am interested in this, since I just had a TBI from the very thing.  I wrote in a post that I was in a indefensible position.  I still feel that way.  But, it is way more complicated than what we all think.

According to The Guardian article, so many more things are involved in our safety than just the fact we put a helmet on our heads.  They cite studies that show that automobiles go closer to riders that wear helmets.  Another study that showed when mandatory helmet laws have been passed in different countries, cycling dramatically takes a hit.  And on and on.  You should just click the link and read the article.

Anyway, this kind of fits into the fake news deal.  It is very hard to change someones beliefs in subjects that seem straight forward.  Such as wearing a helmet riding a bike.  Seems pretty straight forward.

But as Chris Boardman states – “I understand why people wish to use them. But these actions seek to deal with an effect. I want to focus the debate on the cause, and campaign for things that will really make cycling safe. That is why I won’t promote high-vis and helmets – I won’t let the debate be drawn on to a topic that isn’t even in the top 10 things that will really keep people who want to cycle safe.”

He thinks he knows what makes cycling safe and says helmet usage isn’t in the top 10 of issues to address.  I have to agree with him somewhat.  Our overall safety has so many obstacles, it does seem that the helmet issue is so overblown and divisive.  I wonder what that is?

From a bicycling article about counterfeit gear.

MTB Design and Preferences

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not at the forefront on knowledge of all the “new designs” of MTB’s.  I only race them a few times a year and most of the races that I do you could get by on a MTB from the 1990’s.  The longer, not mountainous races in the midwest don’t need a big movement full-suspension bike normally.

I saw a few comments on a few posts about how “ancient” my dual suspension bike looks.  “My stem is too long.” “My bars are too narrow.”  “Bar-ends.”  Etc.

There is a real difference between bikes you want to race and bikes that you ride around.  Jimmy Mac told me a long time ago that he thought one of the reasons that MTB racing, at a National Level, was suffering was because the bikes that are fun/great to ride aren’t the same bikes that you would want to race.  I didn’t know enough about it to understand back then, but do now.

The bar width thing is a preference.  I can’t, and don’t want to, ride super wide bars because some, or many of the races that I might go to around Kansas, super wide bars just don’t fit. Plus, I don’t need them.

I was at Ned and Todd’s (Overend and Wells) Grand Fondo last year in Durango and I saw John Tomac.  I hadn’t seen John in a long time and he was telling me about his son and motorcycle racing.  Anyway, he looked at my bike and said, bar-ends, I need to get some of those.

I climb on bar-ends.  I don’t understand how riders get power while standing up without them. I do understand that wider bars give more leverage, but you aren’t using the same muscle group.  I tell you that a road sprinter could not go nearly as fast without the hands and arms being in the position they are.  Flat bars hinder off the seat climbing and accelerating.

I could go on and on.  I love my Eriksen  and might mess around with position a little, but it is never going to look like a enduro bike with a $400 dropper seatpost and a super short stem.  I might get a bike like that, I’ll just never race x-country on it.

On a side note, Vincent is shipping his fork and shock off to DirtLabs in Longmont to get tuned. These are off his tandem.  He’s sending my rear shock too.  I hear those guys are pretty much best in the business.  Guys that focus on one thing usually end up being that way.

From Kent Eriksen website.

 

 

St. George Utah / Porcupine Rim Issues

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That is where I’m at.  Vincent has some computer work to do here this week.  St. George is an interesting town. I’ve only been here once, for a day, so I didn’t get the lay of it much.  But, I’m sure I will now.

We drove here yesterday.  I didn’t drive.  Both Vincent and I had “issues” riding Porcupine Rim Trail on Saturday.  Vincent dislocated his ring finger, like really dislocated it, going over a cattle guard, through a fence, with wet tires.   He did it pretty early, up above the normal Porcupine descent, where there was still snow.   So he was having trouble holding onto the bars.  And still is.

I fell nearly at the bottom, right before the trail turns to singletrack by the river road.  I was following Vincent and went off a small, maybe 1 foot drop, but Vincent’s rear tire moved a loose rock over and I landed on it with my front wheel.  And I got crossed up and high-sided onto my left side.  At least I think that is what happened.

I was going pretty fast and slid on mostly rock.  Incredibly, I didn’t lose too much skin.  The downside is my left shoulder isn’t working too well.  The worse part was having to ride the last 10 miles back to Moab.

I’ve been icing it and taking a bunch of ibuprofen.   I should probably get it looked at, at least a picture of it.

KU advance to the Sweet 16 yesterday fairly easily.  At least the last 6 minutes of the game.  I was reading the score on my phone on the drive.  It was close most of the game and the final score didn’t really show how close it was most the time.  The next round is in Kansas City, a real home court advantage for Kansas.

How about Coryn Rivera winning the Trofeo Binda race last weekend?  Pretty big result for her. I’m going to miss watching her win all the US criteriums this year.  She has been racing forever, but is still young, so should go and experience the European scene, not that she hasn’t dabbled in it some already.

Okay, I’m going to take Tucker out and let him run some.  Then dismantle Vincent’s tandem so he can send the fork and shock off to get repaired.  I probably should figure something out with my rear shock too.  And maybe get my shoulder looked at.  Guess it is a busy day, kind of.

 

Porcupine is pretty technical. I was riding this stuff pretty well. But guess not so good on the more wide open, faster stuff.

There were a bunch of people riding unicycles down the trail. I have no idea what that is about. They have disc brakes. I assume it would take a really long time.

Most of the trail is along the edge of a canyon. Sometimes it is just narrow and off-camber.

Nice views from Porcupine Rim Trail.

A guy rode by with a 50 tooth cog on his rear. I would have just used a smaller front ring.

My elbow is alright even though it didn’t look that good initially. It is really my left shoulder.  This is taken in a mirror.

Tucker exploring a stream in Moab.

Bike wash at a hotel in Moab.

Someone was selling this stuff at a rest stop on I-70 in Utah.

KU box score.

Sunrise this morning in St. George.

 

 

 

Milan San-Remo Final

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Bicycle racing is a very beautiful sport many times.  Yesterday’s finish of Milan San-Remo was great.  Below is a video that doesn’t show the work that Peter Sagan did the last 5 point something kms.  He “deserved” to win the race.  But, that isn’t the way it always works out. Another great thing about the sport.

Milan San-Remo Today / Pretty Sore

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Milan San-Remo is this morning.  The earliest live video is 7:30 CST.  All the fireworks tend to happen towards the end of the race, so you don’t need to worry about missing something if you can’t watch it early.  Odds say Sagan wins.  I would take the rest of the field over Sagan, but he would be a good pick if you only had one.  Live video links are here.

I’m still out in Moab.  Doing exactly the opposite that of MSR.  Maybe not time wise, but riding-wise.  I road 50 miles yesterday off-road.  It took 4:45 minutes.  Lots of big drop-offs and bumpy riding.  My rear Fox shock isn’t holding air and it is bumming me out.  I’m carrying a shock pump today.  The shock is new-ish, less than a year old and hasn’t been ridden that much.  The bike has remote dual lockouts, front and back, on one lever.  But that is pretty valueless when the rear shock has 40 psi in it.

I’m not sure where we rode yesterday, but the scenery is unreal.  That is if you have the guts to look around while riding.  I am having to concentrate pretty hard, so only get to look around when stopped.  It could be worse.  I’m not complaining.  I thought I would be worse.

I fell once pretty good yesterday.  I was trying to ride up a big rock and didn’t make it and fell off to the side.  I have it on video.  Actually, Vincent has it now, so maybe I can post it soon.  I didn’t get hurt, no blood.  Just sore.

But, I was already sore.   My arms, back and neck are aching.  Today is going to be another 4 plus hours, so we’ll see how that goes.  I had only 12 psi in my tires two days ago.  I put 18 in for yesterday and it felt pretty hard.  They are 2.4’s, so feel harder since they are larger.

Okay, want to try to catch the end of MSR and get ready to spend the day in the sun.  I am pretty burnt (sunburnt) right now.  Early season tan I guess.

Vincent’s Racer X team.

Out riding.

Vincent was riding the tandem again with Lisa yesterday.

Pretty.

Last climb before descending to 191.

Map of ride on Strava.

Tucker making friends.

 

 

 

MTB Riding is a Different Animal

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Yesterday, in Moab, I went out twice with the Racer X guys and did  a couple great rides.  Great, meaning it was super scenic and fun.  But even though it was a blast, I realize I’m pretty out of shape for the rigors of MTB riding on ledges.  My body is a bit hurt today.

I haven’t ridden a real MTB ride in over 6 months.  And during that time, I layed in bed about half of it and atrophied.  I need those muscles to ride a MTB well.  I don’t think I have them just now.

I don’t even know where we rode.  We went by the entrance to Arches National Park and the line to get through the booth was out to the highway.  There are so many people here in Moab right now.

So many cyclists and tons of other people making use of the crazy trails.  Motorcycles, jeeps, you name it, it is here.  Lots of foreigners too.

Having a big movement, dual suspension bike on the rides we did today was a must.  I put on some 2.4 tires and rode low pressure, less than 20 psi.  Even so, it was bumpy.

We doing the whole thing again today.  And tomorrow and Sunday, so I should be real sore by then.

I was a little dizzy the first 20 minutes or so, but eventually my brain, eyes and body got into some sort of arranged sync and the rest of the day was good.  I was riding alright considering.  I’m interested in seeing if I start out today a little off too.  I did tip over once, but that is to be expected and just scratched up my elbow some.

Trudi took off for Europe today.  She had a flight from KC to Toronto, then you Europe.  She is going to be there for 6 weeks.  Some race in Spain, then a few of the spring classics, something else, then back.

Okay, I’d better get ready to head out again.  I think it is another 2 ride deal.  Ride, lunch, then ride.   It is supposed to be 85 here today.  Super nice, but a little too hot for Tucker.  At least that is what he told me.

Some photos –