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Thread: Cycling Miscellany

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Default Cycling Miscellany

    I can't see an existing thread where either of the following fits, so I'll start a grab bag for cycling-related items of interest that don't necessarily elicit lots of discussion, a kind of cycling random thoughts thread...

    The first is a video of Danny MacAskill (there's a brief ad at the start, but stick with it). I've seen other videos of him, I don't think I'd seen this before and his stunts are spectacular. And when matched up with the Scottish countryside, the effect is breathtaking. I will encourage Mrs. PAC to try some of these on our next ride.

    The second item was a story told by a friend from high school at a party last night. He's one of the chief scientists at a major biotech company, but loves to cycle in his spare time. Unfortunately, that means he's riding either very early or very late in the day. His wife, an RN, really hectors him about being safe and telling him not to ride. But last winter, he went out on an early morning ride in the hills around Berkeley and Moraga. Descending on Pinehurst Road, he hit a patch of black ice, fell, and skidded over 100 yards and was badly banged up.

    Rather than call his wife or the paramedics for help, he rode home, including the final mile-long climb up near Strawberry Canyon that features a 12% grade. He felt horrible, but didn't dare tell his wife and he went off to work as if everything were all right. But by the afternoon, he couldn't walk. He was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with, among other things, a pelvis that was fractured on both sides. I can't imagine getting up, much less riding my bike for miles and up a very steep climb, under those conditions. And yet as a husband who wants to avoid spousal wrath, I understand.

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    the danny macaskill videos are incredible.
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    it's all a blur mtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    I will encourage Mrs. PAC to try some of these on our next ride.
    Careful what you ask for. She might bust a move that you can't match. I've seen that video, or one very similar, before. That guy's amazing. It'd be great to have the balance and timing that guy has. Although I wonder how many takes some of those moves took. Many of them seem like they'd hurt pretty darn bad if you missed just by an inch or two one way or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    The second item was a story told by a friend from high school at a party last night. I can't imagine getting up, much less riding my bike for miles and up a very steep climb, under those conditions.
    Yeah, pretty crazy. Reminds me of a story a guy told me years ago of crashing his titanium mountain bike and breaking his shoulder while riding way up Mt. Olympus or somewhere similar. I asked him how he got his bike down, but someone listening to the conversation thought we were both crazy to not even consider leaving the bike there. That's just not how a dedicated cyclist thinks.

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    I've always been bothered a bit by my eyes watering on descents or generally windy conditions. I've wanted to get sunglasses that cover up well and sweep around to the sides of my face, but the cost of the prescription version of those types (e.g., Oakleys) seemed prohibitive (i.e., $400-500 or more).

    But Performance had a couple of brands that permit one to add a prescription lens insert right behind the sunglass lens. Since they were were only $60, and the cost of prescription lenses (at Kaiser) for the insert were $100, I gave it shot. I've worn them twice now, and absolutely love them; the difference is remarkable. I wish I'd done this years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    I've always been bothered a bit by my eyes watering on descents or generally windy conditions. I've wanted to get sunglasses that cover up well and sweep around to the sides of my face, but the cost of the prescription version of those types (e.g., Oakleys) seemed prohibitive (i.e., $400-500 or more).

    But Performance had a couple of brands that permit one to add a prescription lens insert right behind the sunglass lens. Since they were were only $60, and the cost of prescription lenses (at Kaiser) for the insert were $100, I gave it shot. I've worn them twice now, and absolutely love them; the difference is remarkable. I wish I'd done this years ago.
    Glad you were happy with them. Do they feel heavy or unwieldy compared to sunglasses or regular glasses? I had Lasik 11 years ago, but my eyes are getting worse. I'm generally ok without correction, but it would be nice to have a little better distance vision sometimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker View Post
    Glad you were happy with them. Do they feel heavy or unwieldy compared to sunglasses or regular glasses? I had Lasik 11 years ago, but my eyes are getting worse. I'm generally ok without correction, but it would be nice to have a little better distance vision sometimes.
    So far, very happy. It's all polycarbonate and plastic, and the fit is very good, so they don't feel heavy at all. Indeed, I don't even notice them. Before we headed out this morning, the missus took this a pic featuring said eyewear along with an awesome cycling jersey our daughters gave me for Father's Day.

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    PAC, you are looking really fit! nice job. i would like to know what the jersey reads below the sandwich but I feel awkward spending too much time gazing in that area. help a brother out.

    PS that Spam sandwich looks freaking delish.
    Fitter. Happier. More Productive.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TripletDaddy View Post
    PAC, you are looking really fit! nice job. i would like to know what the jersey reads below the sandwich but I feel awkward spending too much time gazing in that area. help a brother out.

    PS that Spam sandwich looks freaking delish.
    It says, "Crazy Tasty". And thanks. Occasionally I'll tell the missus that I wish I'd worked at being in better shape during my 30s and 40s and she reminds me that things like lotsa kids, work and more demanding church callings were a bit of a hindrance.

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    That jersey is awesome.
    I want one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    They come runnin' just as fast as they can
    Coz' every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp Spam-dressed man

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    This evening Pleasanton hosted a Fast and Furious criterium with about 80 "pro" cyclists. I put pro in quotes because the total purse was around $10K, and there wasn't a recognizable name in the bunch. Still, this was a great event to watch up close, something I hadn't done before. The course was a 0.9 mile loop around downtown, and it was easy to walk around, watching at the corners and then the finish. It was amazing how fast they were able to corner without biffing. The little redhead in the forefront is our granddaughter, who was enthralled by the experience.


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    Getting the proper fit is essential to comfortable and successful riding. Here's an example of a poor job of that.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Getting the proper fit is essential to comfortable and successful riding. Here's an example of a poor job of that.

    Just think about the weight savings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker View Post
    Reminds me of a story a guy told me years ago of crashing his titanium mountain bike and breaking his shoulder while riding way up Mt. Olympus or somewhere similar. I asked him how he got his bike down, but someone listening to the conversation thought we were both crazy to not even consider leaving the bike there. That's just not how a dedicated cyclist thinks.
    When things are at their darkest, it's a brave man that can kick back and party. --Tuck Pendleton

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    In case you don't read the movie reviews thread in Critics Corner, I'll mention here that we saw Premium Rush tonight and enjoyed it. Watching bike messengers careening through Manhattan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt rides a fixie) was surprisingly entertaining, and watching them biff in countless ways was more than a little disconcerting--no way could I ride in heavy urban traffic. The film doesn't spend a lot of time with it, but the bike messenger subculture was interesting. As they're cranking along through midtown and Central Park it almost feels like you're out on a bike yourself. Not a lot of substance to the movie, but a fun ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    In case you don't read the movie reviews thread in Critics Corner, I'll mention here that we saw Premium Rush tonight and enjoyed it. Watching bike messengers careening through Manhattan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt rides a fixie) was surprisingly entertaining, and watching them biff in countless ways was more than a little disconcerting--no way could I ride in heavy urban traffic. The film doesn't spend a lot of time with it, but the bike messenger subculture was interesting. As they're cranking along through midtown and Central Park it almost feels like you're out on a bike yourself. Not a lot of substance to the movie, but a fun ride.
    I watched Fixation the other night and recommend it. It's a short documentary about fixed gear bikes and the subcultures in LA, San Francisco and San Jose. I found it to be pretty interesting. Another one I found interesting is To Live and Ride in LA.
    When things are at their darkest, it's a brave man that can kick back and party. --Tuck Pendleton

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    Quote Originally Posted by mar121y View Post
    It's simply a collection of quotes and facts about cycling some informative some amusing .
    Unclear antecedent. -20
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    Have anyone been following the proposed bike tax in the state of Washington?

    Ed Orcutt, who I believe is a state Senator, has endorsed a bike tax of $25 to help pay for road maintenance, which he says bicyclists are using but not paying for as they are not buying the gas that motorists are, and in turn, are not paying their fair share of taxes.

    In addition, he says that bicyclists are emitting more CO2 into the atmosphere due to their elevated heart rates and respiratory rates, thus polluting the environment.

    Here is a copy of an email sent by the senator defending the tax:



    It sounds like he has recently recanted his statement about the CO2, but is standing by the bike tax legislation.
    "The spirit of contention is SO non-fabulous."
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoose View Post
    Have anyone been following the proposed bike tax in the state of Washington?
    Arrgh. I just wandered over to the water cooler and saw that Clark beat me to the topic. The Water Cooler, Clark??? Really??? What exactly do you think we talk about all day here in the Bike Shop, anyway?
    "The spirit of contention is SO non-fabulous."
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    This looks like an appropriate place to post this. Since PAC has noted this thread can have anything in it
    You mentioned movies and fixies above. It reminded me of this short:

    If you have a couple minutes I highly recommend it. It's not about bikes, but has some great shots of a custom in it.
    It's won a number of awards on Vimeo. I keep coming back to it.
    Last edited by NorCalBYUFan; 04-19-2013 at 01:53 PM.

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    I've really fallen in love with urban riding the last few weeks. We live a block from FDR Drive and the belt of bike/walking paths and greenways that follow it up and down, but for some reason I've continually been drawn to riding up 1st Ave or down 2nd Ave, both of which have dedicated separate bike lanes. The surface isn't as nice and you have to stop for a red light every now and then, but I find it thrilling every single day. Anyone else prefer the chaos of riding on busy city streets over the solace of a secluded/separated road?
    Visca Catalunya Lliure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Anyone else prefer the chaos of riding on busy city streets over the solace of a secluded/separated road?
    I don't, but I take what I can get during the week.
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    This could go in the Weekend Rides Report thread, but since it's Monday.... Mrs. PAC and one of her regular riding buddies are doing a lot of training for next week's Wine Country Double Metric. I should be training as much as they, but during the week I've been opting for a variation of Dr. Harold Hill's Think Method. Anyway, today the ladies headed over Patterson Pass (a ride we did with Piney a year or so ago), down into the valley and back over Altamont Pass. Unfortunately, at the farthest point from home, her friend's rear derailleur cable snapped--not a good thing under any circumstance but especially bad 35 miles from home and several climbs yet to come.

    But shortly after they stopped a group of 20 riders went racing past. One member called out to ask if the women were okay and my wife, said simply "No", thinking they wouldn't even hear. But three riders dropped out of the peloton and circled back, ascertained the nature of the problem. They told the ladies to get to a spot a couple of miles ahead where their club was regrouping. Once there, the women discovered that one of the group riders, a bike shop owner, carried an extra cable and other items for just such emergencies. They fixed the bike and the ladies went on to finish a 70-mile ride. My wife's friend said her bike hasn't shifted this well since it was new (it's an Orbea). Anyway, I love the camaraderie that exists among cyclists, and thankful there are people looking out for my womenfolk.

    BTW, if anyone needs bike help in Tracy we now strong recommend Silva's Bicycle Service.

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    Glad to hear it.
    I too have never found so many friends that are strangers, out in the most remote wilderness mountain ranges. If you're a mt biker and in need, simply pray for another mt biker to pass along. I've been fortunate a few times myself.

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    Yesterday my lunch was interrupted by the sound of sirens that were very close, but I ate on while wondering what was going on nearby. It turns out a teenage driver had hit a husband and wife who were cycling on Foothill Rd., just a few hundred yards from our house and at a spot Mrs. PAC and I have ridden past literally hundreds of times, most recently the day before. The woman was killed instantly and the husband was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

    No more details at the moment, but as this is along one of my running routes as well, I jogged over there this morning. There weren't any police barriers or other identifying marks, however I saw skid marks and a small hole from which a pole had apparently been uprooted (there chunks of concrete lying around, presumably from the post hole). Farther off to the side, and approximately 25 yards from the hole, I saw a pole that was very badly bent, at the top of which were two signs: "No Stopping Anytime" and "Bike Lane." A small bunch of flowers and a single rose had been placed in the hole. Imagining my wife and me laid out on the spot is simply nauseating, and my heart really goes out to the poor guy who thought he was just going out on another fun ride with his wife.

    Interestingly, the house nearest the accident is the home of John Madden.

    And another cyclist, a guy in his '50s, was also killed out in Oakley yesterday by another inattentive driver. We can take every precaution while riding, and still we're no match for a driver who only for a moment isn't paying attention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Yesterday my lunch was interrupted by the sound of sirens that were very close, but I ate on while wondering what was going on nearby. It turns out a teenage driver had hit a husband and wife who were cycling on Foothill Rd., just a few hundred yards from our house and at a spot Mrs. PAC and I have ridden past literally hundreds of times, most recently the day before. The woman was killed instantly and the husband was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
    It's hard to read stories like this and not worry about how safe you are on the road. All it takes is one driver reading a text and being distracted. Please try and do everything you can to be safe out there.

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    Ugh, throw in some wind and miles of ugly flatness--miserable.

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    Just dropped a wad on a Trek mountain bike for my 11-year-old. Ugh! Are we crazy to get a kid a nice bike? I was tired of buying him Walmart shit. What kind of wheels do your kids ride?
    What's to explain? It's a bunch of people, most of whom you've never met, who are just as likely to be homicidal maniacs as they are to be normal everyday people, with whom you share the minutiae of your everyday life. It's totally normal, and everyone would understand.

    -Teenage Dirtbag

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    Quote Originally Posted by marsupial View Post
    Just dropped a wad on a Trek mountain bike for my 11-year-old. Ugh! Are we crazy to get a kid a nice bike? I was tired of buying him Walmart shit. What kind of wheels do your kids ride?
    My kids ride Walmart shit. They'll continue to get Walmart shit as long as they continue to leave their bikes outside overnight, leave them where the sprinklers will get them wet, forget to lock them up when they ride to school, and leave them lying in the garage where they have the potential to get backed over by our cars.

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