Wednesday, December 11, 2013
SRAM worked with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other global authorities on a voluntary product recall of SRAM RED 10-speed medium cage rear derailleurs. SRAM has determined that there is a potential for the derailleur parallelogram to jam and no longer shift...
Continue reading the details at Roadbike Action Magazine.
See the Recall Notice at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Specialized Bicycle Corporation Steps In It, Again. Unleashes It's Legal Dogs On Small, Independent Bike Shop (Again!). Industry And Consumers Step In And Smacks Specialized Down.
It is a story that would actually be amusing, if it were not so sad. In a classic tale of the proverbial David versus Goliath, Specialized Bicycle Corporation, Goliath, went after David (again), this time in the form of little Cafe Roubaix, in Alberta Canada, and its owner, Dan Richter. Seems the issue was over the use of the name "Roubaix," which Specialized claims to have ownership of due to its line of Roubaix road bikes. Mr. Richter believed the name of a French city, and probably the hardest one-day bicycle race in the world, was an open-source name, and offensive to none. So, that's what he named his small shop (which, by the way, does not sell Specialized bicycles).
Well, Mr. Richter was wrong, or so thought Mike Sinyard (Specialized's Head-Honcho) and his merry team of lawyers. So, Cafe Roubaix was hit with a C&D letter (Cease and Desist), courtesy of the big, red "S." That was when the Fit-hit-the-Shan, as social media lit up with anger at Specialized for doing what Specialized does best: Namely, bullying small businesses.
In short, it appears that Specialized has now backed-off, but it seems to be more from public backlash then from suddenly finding a corporate conscience.
So, without getting too much farther into the big details, here are some links to stories from the bicycling industry which explain the situation in much greater details.
Red Kite Prayer
Riding Against The Grain
The Apparent Resolution:
Bicycle Retailer And Industry News
Riding Against The Grain
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Full story on what is known at the moment can be seen over at Bikerumor.com
All we can say here is that it was bound to happen sooner or later. In addition, will electronic gruppo's across the main manufacturer's spell the end of mehanical systems? Probably not.
Pedal safe, my friends.
Monday, December 9, 2013
The Whittier Greenway Trail
Every once in awhile it is nice to just get out and ride. No destination, no usual routes, and no course where one is seeking a new, best time. I mean, just getting out, turning the pedals and seeing where we can end up. Well, this was one of those rides, and it was suggested by a friend of mine. I certainly was glad she put forth the idea which led to the interesting ride described below.
I arose early in the morning (not one of my personal, strong suits), ready and roaring to go with thoughts of coffee and good food in my head. Dressed, tires pumped-up, and eyes finally open, I rode to the meet-up point to join my posse. We usually meet at a local park, and this morning was no exception for the group which assembled for the adventure. Saddled up, we headed south on the San Gabriel River Trail in search of mischief. Riders in search of a unique, morning adventure, headed for the path less pedaled. And, we found it.
After heading south on the trail, we hung a big left in Pico Rivera, headed for Uptown Whittier, where we struck gold: The Whittier Greenway Trail. A former Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way, turned bike-path, the Greenway runs from Pioneer Boulevard on the west, to Mills Avenue on the east. While in Uptown, we stopped to refuel at the California Grill. Not only was the food, coffee, and service excellent, but they were very bike friendly, even on the super-busy, crowded morning we dropped in. That’s class, being there are still a lot of eateries which are none-too-kind to cyclists for some reason. The California Grill was a nice exception.
Fueled up, we hit some of the local bike shops to check out their wares (emergency bikeshop tours are a habit of mine), then we headed back to the Greenway, thus using the trail to Uptown and back, traversing a lot of territory off of city streets. That was the actual goal of the ride, as combined with the San Gabriel River Trail, it was a good scenic run free of motor vehicles. However, the only downside to the trail’s unique, smooth pavement is the amount of it punctuated by street crossings. Other than that, it is a good, scenic trail.
This was without a doubt a fun ride, relaxing, and very interesting ride. It was conducted mostly on bike-paths (about 98%), and according to the trusty Garmin, it was 40 miles round-trip from our start point, making for a moderate leg-stretcher. The real beauty of the route, however, is that one can start from about anywhere up or down the riverbed to lengthen the ride to suit. In short, it won’t be boring by a long shot.
So ride, boldly ride, my friends, till you find Eldorado*.
* Regards to Mr. Edgar Allan Poe
Thursday, December 5, 2013
And, just what was it that I was doing my best to stay away from? Why, Cycling and Politics, of course. However, it just seems damn impossible to do in the age of Media Made While You Wait, and innuendo-turned-fact before our very eyes. For some reason, more than any other sport, we just can’t ride, read, or hear about cycling without politics being at least some part of the discussion. And, it goes something like this: Lance Armstrong and Doping, or Doping and Lance Armstrong. It is as if the two were not mutually exclusive, and have in fact for many, become Proper Nouns. And, there seems to be no shortage of people lining up to take a swing at the Armstrong piñata for their own macabre self-validation.
Here is my ire with the whole Cycling/Doping/Lance conundrum. First, cycling is supposed to be fun. Let’s keep it that way. Two, doping, i.e. looking for an advantage over another, is as old as humanity itself. And three: Armstrong is who he is, and he did what he did. Anything else, above and beyond, is just plain B.S. And, pray tell, what do I mean by this? Simple: Armstrong is being held up as the Eternal Scapegoat for all things wrong with cycling. And, there is no shortage of people in the sport piling on, including many big-name racers, as they seek to distance themselves from the situation. It is all a feeble, sleight-of-hand attempt to make it appear like the problems of the Pro Peleton were solved because Armstrong was finally busted. Dream on, sports fans.
While there are those who feel even being in the same room with Armstrong will give them a case of the heaves, I say Lance has actually done cycling a huge favor. If folks can just peel back their outright hatred of the man, they would see he can be of immense use to cycling’s future in the realm of catching past, current, and future cheats. See, if he won seven Tours all without getting caught, then who better to help the Powers-That-Be police the ranks, right? And, this is not too far-fetched of an idea.
For a prime example, just look at the Cyber-Security industry. Cyber-Security companies are not as dumb as professional cycling in terms of eating their own and recognizing the existential value of a cheat, as in their case, Hackers. While cycling pretends doping does not exist, in the high-tech world of network security, to catch hackers, they hire the biggest hacker they can get. Conversely, want to find out how riders did it, what they took, who administered the juice, and how the support system operates? Call in the best “Expert” we have – Lance Armstrong.
If Cycling can only park its sanctimonious pride, it could learn a lot from Lance Armstrong. No, it does not matter how big a dick he was/is, as there is no law on the planet against being a large, walking penis. However, there are laws against Performance Enhancing Drugs, and tragically, the top expert on the planet is being ignored because he might have hurt some people’s feelings once.
Grow up, cycling. And, for all of the myopic Lance Haters out there: Shut up and Ride!
Friday, November 29, 2013
Black Friday Specials: "Frankenbike" Becomes A 2.5 & This Writing/Product Evaluating Thing Is Not So Bad.
Well, I really did not go out shopping on this "Black Friday," as I never do, anyway (I have way better things to do with my time). These latest toys are just part of my "Happy Birthday to me" upgrade plan to make Frankenbike homogenized, component-wise.
When I purchased my Trek 2.3 in 2010, it had a complete Shimano 105 gruppo. The 105 performed admirably, however, as time went by, the urge and opprotunity arose to upgrade and to be honest, try new things. And, try new things, I did. Components, wheels, tires, you name it, it all pretty much got tried, all except for the entire groupset. Well, not anymore. With the addition of the front and rear derailleur's (to go along with the crankset, bottom bracket and shifters), my bike will pretty much be what Trek sold around the world as the "2.5," alloy road bike. It differed from the North American 2.3 by means of having a Shimano Ultegra gruppo, while the 2.3 was equipped with a full 105 compliment. So, with a complete Ultegra setup, I now have the aforementioned 2.5, save for the brakes, which are SRAM Red's.
Frankenbike went through quite a few upgrades and experimentation, all as part of its life as a Product Testing platform. Not that it was planned that way. See, after I got down-sized out of the Aviation industry (if any of you are dying to take a career roller-coaster ride, try Aviation - More Up's & Down's than an evening in Kim Kardashian's bedroom), I suddently had the chance to ride a whole lot more than I previously could, and I felt a need to pen my thoughts, so to speak, and keep my brain occupied via the life of a scribe.
And, I can't say I am complaining, either, as this budding Scribe/Product Evaluator, in addition to having a lot of fun, has had the opportunity to meet a lot of new, and very nice people in the business.
And the latter, you cannot put a price on.
Pedal safe, my friends.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A time to give gracious thanks for all things is also the time to remember to whom all these gracious things were made possible: The Good Lord.
May we all experience His infinite Blessings in 2013 and beyond.
Pedal safe, my friends.