Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trek Introduces the 2013 Radioshack Leopard Team Bikes.

Familiar faces will be back on the team, like Andy Schleck, Frank Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Adreas Kloden, Jens Voigt, Chris Horner, Ben King, and many more lads, which should make for a strong team this season.

For the Springs Classics, the Domane features Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler, which should help to smooth out the cobbles.  The chosen weapon of Fabian Cancellara.

Utilizing Kammtail virtual foil tube shaping, the Madone 7.9 will provide the riders of RadioShack Leopard Trek with smooth speed in a lightweight package.

When the clock begins to tick, the team will roll out of the start house on the new Trek Speed Concept 9.9.  Integrated brakes and cockpit will make it one of the fastest bikes for the team when every tenth of a second counts.

The team will have access to the full range of Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheels, in 3, 5, 7, and 9mm depths, as well as Bontrager’s saddle line, the Team Issue, Paradigm XXX, and RXL InForm. RadioShack Leopard Trek rides Shimano’s Dura Ace 9070 Di2 electronic drivetrain, Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubular tires, and Speedplay Zero Pedals, along with SRM power meters.

Videos, photos and data courtesy of RadioShack Leopard Trek 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Bunch Of Dopers Got Together, And A Bicycle Race Broke Out.

With the racing season of 2013 upon us, and the whole “Lance-Affair” on the minds of cycling’s “Powers-That-Be,” the “Media” and rabid fans alike, it was high-time to put the whole racing thing into perspective: For fun and ultimate futility, of course.

The words of cynic, you think?  Nah, I am a 100% realist.  Observe the following.
If anyone has paid even a minor bit of attention to cycling for any period of time, you would have witnessed people looking for an unfair advantage (yeah, I know, what a shocker, right?).  And, not to burst anyone’s bubble, it was not just in the “Armstrong Era,” either.  It has always been there.  It has been pretty humorous observing people actually surprised that their “Hero’s” could be anything other than the great cycling deities the public has made them out to be.   

Well, since the advent of the term “Better Living Through Chemistry,” the Holy-Grailesque unfair advantage in cycling was simply ratcheted up many, many notches.  And it did not magically go away, nor will it, with a wave of the United StatesAnti-Doping Agency (oxymoron) USADA wand. 

So, to the 2013 racing season I say: Enjoy the Circus.  ‘Cause, “Clean” cycling is like Unicorns – Two things some people believe in which are not real.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tested: Park Tools PMP-3 Micro-Pump

                                               Image courtesy Park Tools

It is an unfortunate fact of life – If you ride bicycle, you will get a flat, eventually. Just as much as air escapes a tube (or a tubeless tire), it must be put back in somehow if you want to continue a rollin’.  From here you basically have two choices – Either an air pump or a CO2 inflator. 

I have used both methods with great success, however, no matter how hard you try, CO2 inflators are a 50/50 prospect – Sometimes you get all of the gas in, and sometimes you don’t.  Plus, you usually get the pleasure of a few frozen finger tips to add to the aggravation of the flat.  However, with an air pump, all the air goes in with nothing more than some sweat from the physical act of operating the pump.

My weapon of choice lately has been the Park Tools PMP-3 pump.  This super small micro-pump fits in just about any bag or jersey pocket, or mounts directly to the frame, making it ideal to take along when space and weight are an issue. It has an aluminum barrel with a locking dual Presta/Schrader head, plus a soft-touch, dual-density, flip out handle.
Highlights are:
  • Presta and Schrader valve compatible
  • Max. pressure: 100 psi / 7 bars
  • 7.825 inches long (200mm)
  • Weight: 3.60 ounces (100 grams)
  • Retail: $17.95 USD

                          Schrader configuration.  Image Courtesy Park Tools

                            Presta configuration.  Image courtesy Park Tools

I have been using the PMP-3 for about six months now, and it has saved me everytime.  It is light, reliable, and other than making me work to get 100 psi in the tires, I have had no issues with it.

Park Tools offers a one-year warranty on all air pumps.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's That Time Again - The San Dimas Stage Race 2013.

Get ready, and mark your calendars.  The 2013 San Dimas Stage Race is back, and it will be held on March 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, in beautiful San Dimas, California.

Organized by SC Velo, this three day race encompasses a road race, criterium, and uphill time trial on the famous Glendora Mountain Road.  All levels of skill will be competing, and the racing is sure to be awesome.

Don't miss it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Let’s Ban Automobiles. Well, Why Not?

Let me begin this article putting forth I have been roaming this Earth for the better part of forty years, and I have never had a gun pointed at me.  Not once.  Ever!  On the other hand, I have been threatened by a motor vehicle almost everyday of my life, yet I do not hear cries for banning these obviously dangerous devices of mass destruction.  Why is that?

Some people hate guns, I get that.  There are also people whom hate all-things internal combustion, however, they are just not as vocal as the Anti-Second Amendment People (ASAP’s).  It seems there are more people that hate guns then those whom hate cars, we just don’t hear about the latter because there are less of them voicing their unasked for opinions.  It is similar to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), in the sense there are also Drunks Against Mad Mothers (DAMM), but since there are less of them as well, we do not hear their opinions, either.

At the heart of the matter is this: Just because you personally hate something does not give you license to ban it.  That is your opinion, and guess what?  Other people have opinions, too.  They just don’t go about their daily lives hitting other people over the head with their opinions.  Therefore, and just for fun, since hats are flying into the ring of Public Opinion from every direction, I figured I would throw mine in, too.  I mean, seriously, why can we not ban motor vehicles?  Check the facts – They are big, loud, dangerous in the hands of the stupid (and unlicensed), they pollute, don’t signal their intentions, they don’t honor our right-of-way, they harass us, run us over, and firmly believe they own the whole darn road.  Hey, what’s not to hate?    

So, while the premise of this article may sound silly, the standards of judgment and opinions put forth on the national stage about violence, especially gun violence, should also apply to all dangerous, deadly things.  See, looking at it this way, the argument I put forth makes perfect sense.  It all comes down the device being utilized, and to me, motor vehicles are a deadly threat everytime I get on my bicycle.  See, motor vehicle drivers could care less about cyclists (and pedestrians, too), and they will run us over and just keep on going.  And looking at accident statistics, they do.

Be careful and vigilant while you are out there on your bike, and remember this quote by Mel Brooks from the movie Blazing Saddles: “You watch your ass!”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lance & Oprah – Armstrong “Admits” To Doing What Everyone Else Has Being Doing, And Some People Were Shocked! Can The Earth Return To Spinning, Now?

                                                    Photo Courtesy AP

Well, now that the other proverbial shoe has finally dropped, the seas will cease to rise, disease and famine will be no more, and the polar bears can now begin their playful rejoice – Cycling will be absolutely, squeaky clean now! 

Not!  It never was, and for all of you touchy-feely types out there, IT NEVER WILL BE!  Get over yourselves!  The whole affair of “Did he, or Didn’t he,” was like the old question of who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb – Completely pointless, yet some people still claim to have the answer. 

See, Lance was actually the Best of The Best, on or off the juice.  Taking him down will no more “Fix” cycling than putting a catalytic converter on your lawnmower will save the planet.  Sure, it will make some of the population feel good about themselves, but it amounts to nothing more than a waste of time, money and effort.

Unless you are Travis Tygart.  Queue the Hallelujah music!

If taking down the so-called leader of the dopers by engaging in deals with other dopers is going to magically clean up the peleton, well, dream on. 

It is an unfortunate aspect of human nature to look for an advantage, fair or otherwise.  See, as long we have humans walking the earth, we will have cheaters.  This is not rocket science, people. 

Look back at your youth, your school years, your career ladder, and yes, even in your own families – There has always been those whom have screwed you to get an unfair advantage.  And, unfortunately, a lot of you yourselves have screwed someone else to get where you are and to get what you want.

The best way to combat cheating in sports is to go out and be an honest person yourself, in all aspects of your life.  With a world of honest people, there will no longer be a need for doping/cheating.

So, to those whom feel like they have been mislead and cheated, somehow, well, grow up!  Lance does not owe any of us anything.  If he was the only guilty party, I would be in complete agreement with the Lance Haters.  However, since Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) run the sport, I will save my hooray’s for the time when all of the cheaters are rooted out.

By simply observing human nature - I am not going to hold my breath.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

“Second-Hand Dust” - Leaf Blowers: A Very Real Health Hazard To Everyone.

                                                                          Photo courtesy AP

When I was a child, my three brothers and I were the gardeners in our father’s eyes.  We had a push mower with no internal combustion engine, we edged by hand, and everything was swept up and put into the trash can.  Every house on the block took care of its own yard maintenance. Only one family on the block had a gardener, a very meticulous Japanese man, who took the whole day to maintain that property, and he always left that yard cleaner than when he got there.  However, things on the landscaping scene have vastly changed - And not for the better.  There really are no real gardeners, anymore.  Now, it is an army of people who “Mow, Blow & Go.”  And, they are slowly killing all of us.

Debris and Particulates which should have been safely resting in a landfill after a typical yard clean up are now blanketing the environment and the linings of every person’s lungs.  The number of tons of particulate matter now in the air column and blanketing our cities has to be beyond astronomical, and it is a major health hazard to every living creature.  How did this happen, and just who is responsible for this danger?

Say Goodbye Clean Air 

                                                                                The Enemy

Well, one of the single largest violators of clean air is an evil beast known as the Leaf Blower.  Why is that?  Well, all one has to do is analyze how this man-made piece of hell operates, the people who operate them, and the facts are plainly obvious.  One fact we can be certain of is that the leaf blower was definitely invented by a lazy human.  Its sole purpose is to essentially move large quantities of dirt, dust, leaves, twigs, trash, and God knows what else, around planet Earth, and in almost every case, the dirt is swept under the proverbial rug.  In plain English – It is an effective way of moving debris from one area and depositing it into another, all without that pesky chore of a thing called the Clean-Up.

An unscientific survey of the issue during my regular bicycle rides has shown the problem exists on a massive scale, too.  I have observed at least 95% of personnel using this fiendish device deposit the wares of their work into, and onto, city streets - All without batting an eye at the mess they have just made.  It is like a tennis match in respects to the volley.  “Gardener” number one cuts, mows and blows everything into the street.  “Gardener” number two then does the same next door.  Across the street, “Gardener” number three simply blows back what number one and two sent across the street in the first place.  The natural breeze and motor vehicles takes care of the dispersion around the neighborhood.  And, this goes on street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city, county by county, and so forth. 

That is a whole lot of particulate matter, folks.  And, in what sane and rational world is this not littering?

When is Second-Hand really Second-Hand?

We have all heard of these things called cigarettes, right?  And, I am sure we have all heard of this thing called “Second-Hand” smoke and how it is supposedly lethal to Public Health.  Additionally, smoking and smokers are looked upon as the Anti-Christ (I don’t smoke personally) by the media and by health care professionals.   So, with the entire social stigma associated with smoking, how the heck do leaf blowers get off without notice when the effects are massive, widespread, and immediate to all living things?

In fact, since smoking and second-hand smoke is an issue every walking human is familiar, with billions of dollars in penalties exchanging hands between tobacco producers and lawyers for selling a “Dangerous” product.  Additionally, if there are now massive restrictions on a still-legal activity, said to be mortally dangerous to life itself, then why the heck has no one taken a serious, hard look at the particulate matter in the air we all breath tainted by leaf blowers?  Seriously, in another case of human hypocrisy, how can there be such an overlooked thing as the air ALL of us breathe?  I mean, it’s not like we can step outside or leave the room on this one.  We are stuck with the air mass we have to breathe.
You ready for more hypocrisy?  Well, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) wants to muffle the outflow from bakery ovens, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA - A true oxymoron when you look at their mission and evaluate their results) chases every last vapor of gasoline down the part-per-billion.  However, when it comes to hundreds of thousands of leaf blowers in Southern California alone, well, “Nothing to see here, folks.”

Well, someone finally did take notice.  And then… Nothing.

My own personal vehicle after the "Gardener" used the Leaf Blower.  Remember, we are all breathing these debris.

There was actually a study conducted by the State of California EPA and Air Resources Board (C.A.R.B.) regarding the potential health hazards of leaf blowers, and the dangerous conclusions of the study, as well as the lack of action by the agencies thereafter, will frighten any reader.  The conclusion of the report was the MAJOR HEALTH HAZARD these contraptions constitute via the massive amounts of debris they introduce into the air mass and the toxins they emit.  In fact, the manufacturers of the leaf blowers themselves caution the use of the machines for any purpose other than blowing leaves into a pile for proper disposal.  They are not, repeat, “Are not to be used to sweep and clean any area for any reason.”  It is on the labels, instructions and on the manufacturers own websites in plain English for all to read.  However, probably 99% of their operators use them for sweeping and cleaning purposes.  If there ever was a case for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to get involved for misuse of a product, well, this is certainly it. 

For your viewing pleasure, here is the link to the study dated February 2000:

Here is the link to the CARB Leaf Blower main page:

In a later CARB study, it was estimated that by 2013, leaf blowers will have added 156 thousand tons of particulate matter to the atmosphere.  Again, can anyone please explain how this landscaping tool is a good thing?  If a fixed industry polluted on this magnitude, they would be shut down for good.

And, for those who may claim the particulates were there to begin with, well maybe, however, they are not being picked up and properly disposed of.  Debris are just being moved around and pushed farther than they would have gone on their own.   

Not only are these dust blowing people harming our lungs, they also can block traffic lanes while “Working,” and forces cyclists and pedestrians to alter course or wait until the cloud of dirt has settled before passing.  And yes, many of the violators are contractors working for government agencies at the City, County and State level.  Not good, folks.

To fully understand and personally experience the magnitude of the problem, get out and take a bicycle ride, a run, a walk, or simply leave your car outdoors overnight.  Your lungs will notice the former, and your car will verify the issue with the latter.

The madness needs to stop – Now!  Besides, this planet belongs to all of us, not just those whom are in a hurry to get their yards “Clean.”

Thursday, January 10, 2013

“New” Garmin Edge 510 And 810 Cycling Computers.

Check out the goods at Garmin.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Conforming – Is Resistance Futile?

According to the proverbial “Powers-That-Be,” cycling should be done either at the crack of dawn or when direct sunlight is available.  You must also have the “Correct” riding apparel, and bicycle, lest thou offend the God of The Cycling Snobs.  Well, I say NUTS to that!

Imagine how much better (and fun) life would be if we did not do everything we were told to?  I know a lot of people that indeed do everything they are told or are expected to do.  And, guess what?  They are boring.  Thus, while I may not be the “World’s Most Interesting Man” like in those beer commercials, I do refrain from comfort zones because they make humans two-dimensional and uninteresting.

                                              Just get out and ride, regardless of weather or attire.

Case in point: I rode to dinner tonight with two friends, and while that may not sound very earth shattering, the ride was begun at dusk, went well into the night, and by Southern California standards, was quite cold.  No matter, we non-conformists operate around the clock in all-weather.

Shedding any and all comfort zones builds character, and certainly makes life, and us humans, a whole lot more interesting.

Forget the norms.  Get out and pedal.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Very Happy, and Prosperous, New Year To All From Cycling Dynamics.

Beginning the New Year where we left off - Cycling on the brain.

Stay tuned for more fun, articles, photos, evaluations, opinions, tips and more in 2013. 

Blessings to all, Darryl Bustamante, Editor.