Thursday, May 22, 2014

People I Could Do Without.

Humans: They come in all shapes, sizes, and capacities of intelligence.  While the former makes life interesting, the latter is something we are all forced to deal with, like it or not.  Don’t believe me?  All it takes is being attentive to one’s environment.  Look around.  Watch people.  And, you will begin to notice things.  Professionals call them “Human Behavioral Patterns.”  I call them, and this is unfortunately not going to be my final list, People I Could Do Without. 

So, with my sincerest apologies to George Carlin, and without any further fanfare, here is my initial list of people compiled simply by viewing the road-going Flower of Humanity.

Diesel pick-up drivers that rev’ their engines right next to a cyclist, so the full benefits of foul exhaust is administered to the rider - On purpose.

Drivers that don’t use turn signals.

Drivers that hug the right side of the lane.

Drivers that text.

Drivers which are pretty much oblivious to everyone other than themselves.

City Managers: Their roads suck and are rarely swept clean.

Harley riders with obscenely loud, open exhaust pipes which mimic the pick-up drivers behavior: They have to rev their precious, little V-Twin engines to the Moon just as they come along side a cyclist.  The intent is to frighten and startle the cyclist.  Sick.

Cyclists which flout the law and resist any, and all, attempts to be educated, otherwise.

Cyclists that hate motor vehicles.

Motorists that hate Cyclists.

Cyclists that hate other cyclists.

Cyclists that like to sneak up on other cyclists without call-outs.

Cycling “Clubs” which act more like a gang than an actual, benevolent, inclusive organization.

And finally…

Lawyers that ride: I have cycled with a few of them over the years, and 99.9% of them are rolling Homicides: Their common sense was murdered by their egos.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Random Thoughts From The Passing Scene.

I don’t want, or need, to “Own the Road.” I just don’t want to be run over while I am riding.

If you ride with others, make sure they are people that won’t do stupid things, like run Stop Signs.

I used to think riding my motorcycle was an extremely dangerous activity until I discovered cycling.

People should not be afraid to ride with others just because of how they are dressed and what they ride.  Snobbery is for the wealthy.  Cycling is for the People.

Each of the 50-States needs to educate their drives about the rights, and safety, of cyclists.

All of the “Off-the-shelf” sports drinks are too strong.  For better performance, and to save money, cut them with 50-to-75 percent water.

When did CO2 become so expensive?

Cycling computers seem to have joined the realm of Consumer Electronics: Every six-months there seems to be a “Newer” version, and we are all expected to comply at considerable expense.

Discover the “Road Trip.”  Put your bicycle in your vehicle and ride somewhere new, interesting, and fun.  It keeps your regular training rides from becoming boring, too.

The professional bicycle racing season is in full-swing.  Time to see which teams have the best doctor’s.

I am beginning to see more and more steel bikes out on the road.  That is a good thing.

Cycling and ear phones: A deadly combination.

As a rule: Lightweight = Expensive and less durable.  Heavier = Less expensive and more durable.  Pick the one you can live with.

With Peter Sagan now on the scene, Mark Cavendish will never win another Green Jersey competition.

With “Boutique” riding foods now becoming prohibitively expensive, it is time for riders to evaluate what they truly need to consume, versus what they think they need to consume.

The motor vehicle traffic is here, and it is not going away, folks.  We need to learn to coexist.

We’re all cyclists.  So, SMILE, dammit!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Amgen Tour Of California 2014: While It Certainly Had Its Moments, The General Classification Was A Big Snooze-Fest.

Well, another Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) is in the books.  And, truth be told, I tried to like it, I really, really did.  Yes, there were the big stars of cycling, the awesome scenery, break-away mayhem, rabid fans, and the thrill-in-the-air of competition, but the race for the overall was as boring as studying the mating habits of a Clam.  Unless that kind of thing puts steam in your boiler, of course. 

After what was one of the most amazing, and certainly mysterious, individual time trial (ITT) efforts in modern cycling history, the Amgen Tour of California was nothing but a gentlemen’s procession.  I mean, how else can you describe Team Sky’s creepy Bradley Wiggins nabbing a huge GC lead in the ITT, only to have all of the competition basically stare at him for seven-days, not even trying to make a race of it?  There really was just no race at all this year.

In addition to a lack of an actual race, toss in the bloody Poms doing the announcing and it was even more of a bore-fest.  If you took the announcers’ word for it, Wiggins could teach Jesus Christ how to ride a bicycle, while simultaneously healing the planet and curing cancer.  Yeah, that’s how bad the on-air, verbal blowing of Wiggins became.  I was actually wondering when all of them were going to get a room.  But, then again, as General George S. Patton once pointed out, the British will take credit for anything & everything.

Finally, a giant “Thumbs-Down” to the organizers for the abandonment of the Glendora Mountain Road and Mount Baldy stage.  I mean, c’mon!  That was one of the most grueling, most popular stages they have ever run, and now it is off the schedule.  Epic fail on that one, ATOC.

So, here’s to next year actually being something worth watching, and I leave off with an interesting quote from Sir Bradley himself (which probably had eyes rolling all over the world, except in Britain):  “It’s always an honor to wear a yellow jersey. At 34 … it’s nice to still be winning at this age.” 

Yeah, all it takes is a good doctor, Wiggo.  Now, how does one say “Juiced-up” in French?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Assuming The Right-of-Way.

It’s been a bit over a week, and to be honest, I am still a little bit shocked.  I always wrote to help myself sort out the endless supply of punches life keeps sending my way, and I was never really sure anyone read my blog, let alone were able to find it on the web.  Well, due to the fine folks over at BikinginLA (05-05-2014), I seem to have been “Discovered.”  And, while I am grateful for their linking to my article “An Open Letter to Cyclists: If I Can Obey The Traffic Laws, So Can You, (Cycling Dynamics, 04-28-2014), it was the feedback I received, both positive and negative, which I really appreciated. 

Though the article covered many unusual facets of human behavior, it was my comment regarding “Hogging the Lane,” (aka, taking the lane, assuming the right-of-way, call it what you will), a very legal, and potentially deadly practice, which drew the most feedback from readers. While I certainly appreciated the input (some called it “Preaching”), to put it plainly, people are forgetting one very important thing: Assuming the right-of-way DOES NOT guarantee one’s safety.  Allow me to espouse. 

I would be a very rich man if I was given $100.00 for every time I had the right-of-way, and wisely refused it, because I would have been plowed by a motorist who thought differently.  When objectively analyzed, in the totality of bicycle collisions with motor vehicles, it is unknown how many of those riders had the right-of-way in full accordance of the law, and lost out to physics – A much larger vehicle, traveling at a much higher rate of speed.  Not the rider’s fault, just not wise judgment. 

I have a relative which recently retired from a major law enforcement organization, with over thirty-years of service.  And, over the course of that time, one thing I distinctly remember was their take on the concept of the right-of-way.  Whether a motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian, they marveled how many people lying in hospital beds after a collision were still adamant about their assuming that right-of-way, broken bodies, and all.  The most tragic, they remembered, were the pedestrians.  While taking countless accident reports, this relative used to explain to them that while they indeed had the right-of-way, “What good did your right-of-way do you against a motor vehicle bumper?  If you had yielded a few seconds, you would have been fine.”  They finally came to the realization that common sense could not be taught, and that a hard-wired response of humanity was, “I was in the right!”  Yes, but of what value is a legal right-of-way if a person ends up maimed at best, or dead at worst? 

See, I was taught in school there were two, solid components to the Law; the Letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law. However, I would like to add a third component to the list: The Common Sense of the Law.   The bottom line is that while I am indeed an advocate for cyclist’s rights, I am also an advocate for common sense.

Ride smart, and stay out of trouble.   

Monday, May 12, 2014

Introducing The "Softwheel." A Crazy Idea, Or Will We Never Look At Bicycle Suspension The Same Ever Again?

Well, it is nice to see people have not given up on the idea of the definitive suspension system for bicycles.  Just when we thought it was all said and done with telescopic forks, shocks, elastomers, and “De-couplers,” along comes the idea to control damping with the wheel spokes, themselves.

While it truly looks like it could be an innovation in cycling, one still has to wonder about forces not being damped in a statically linear direction, plus if there are rapid rake and trail changes effecting stability at higher speeds?

However the system actually works, it looks like a good idea, and it is really quite “Out of the Box” thinking.

Read an in-depth story (plus video) at, or go to

Thursday, May 1, 2014

From The "It's About Darn Time" Department: Trek Disc-Brake Equipped Domane Breaks Cover.

Photo courtesy of Bikerumor

Well, sooner or later, it had to happen.  I was, however, beginning to lose hope with Trek regarding the adoption of disc brakes for their excellent line of road bikes.

Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

Read the story at the Bikerumor website.