Friday, June 30, 2006

RAAM: Race Across America on the Weather Channel

The Race Across America 2006 will be featured as part of the Weather Channel's
"Road Crew" with Jeff Mielcarz.

Four segments will air next week: July 5, 6, 8, and 9, 2006.
Wednesday, July 5, 2006 - Evening Edition (9 p.m.-11 p.m. EST)
Thursday, July 6, 2006 - Evening Edition (9 p.m.-11 p.m. EST)
Saturday, July 8, 2006 - Weekend View (7 a.m.-11 a.m. EST)
Sunday, July 9, 2006 - Weekend View (7 a.m.-11 a.m. EST)

Basso, Ullrich suspended from TdF

This is absolutely stunningly jaw-dropping news about the Tour de France. T-Mobile suspended Jan Ullrich from the team along with Oscar Sevilla. Soon after, Ivan Basso was removed from Team CSC. This happened as new evidence was uncovered from the Spanish doping probe apparently implicating Basso, Ullrich and several other pro-riders.

I can't even imagine how Ullrich and Basso must feel.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Go outside and play

For more children, less time for outdoor play. Busy schedules, less open space, more safety fears, and lure of the Web keep kids inside.
Some long-ago summer experiences can shock today's youth. As a child in Stoneham, Mass., in the 1950s and '60s, Neil Gussman rode his bike to Boston (about 10 miles) when he was 8. "When I told my kids that I rode to Boston one day, they could not conceive of doing something like that," says Mr. Gussman of Lancaster, Pa. "I think they suspected my mother of neglect." Noting that his four children are attending camps this year, he says, "My kids and I grew up on different planets."
Read more in the Christian Science Monitor.

Bicycle noisemaker

Did you ever put playing cards in your spokes as noisemakers? The Spokester Bicycle Noisemaker is a plastic doodad that you press onto the front fork of your bike for the same effect, only better and louder. Made in the USA and shipped from Greensboro, North Carolina.
Photo info: spokester by richardmasoner.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Starbucks Celebrity Blender Bike-Off

Starbucks realizes that coffee and cycling go together like, well, coffee and cycling, using Celebrity pedal-power to create their popular high-calorie Frappuccino drinks on stationary bike blenders. Yummmmm. Via the Bike Hugger.

Tour de France TV schedule

OLN TV will cover the Tour de France again this year, with live coverage starting every day of Le Tour at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time and "Enhanced Prime" shows starting at 8 P.M. Eastern, 9 P.M. Pacific. Without a clear-cut pre-ordained winner for the 2007 TdF, will viewership improve or decline over last year?

Carbon vs Aluminum vs Titanium

What happens when a bike is run over by Ford F250 crew cab 4 wheel drive truck? This cool video from the fun folks at Litespeed shows us. Via James and his excellent Bicycle Design Blog.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Legally Speaking handy links

An archive of Bob Mionske's articles

Bob Mionske is a cyclist attorney who writes the excellent "Legally Speaking" feature for VeloNews and a couple of other publications. Here, for your convenience, is a clickable index of his articles.
Please leave a comment if you see broken links here!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bike Swap & Sale, Mill Valley California

Trips for Kids 15th Annual Bike Swap & Sale will be held Saturday July
15 at Mill Valley Middle School, 425 Sycamore Ave, Mill Valley CA.from
10 a.m. - 4pm. The Swap attracts thousands of cyclists and hundreds of
vendors each year and features a huge selection of bikes, bike equipment
and clothing - all at Flea Market prices. For more information visit our

Trips for Kids also welcomes your volunteer help and donations. During
the Swap, we need many volunteers to keep the Swap rolling. Year round
we need volunteers to help on our rides, or in our after school programs
teaching bike repair, environmental education, computer skills and
homework tutoring. Other ways to contribute are through donations of
your used bikes, bike equipment and clothing, which we sell in our
Re-Cyclery BikeThrift Shop at 610 Fourth Street. For further
information, call 415/458-2986.

Please help by sharing this information with friends!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Spare the Air

Today (Thursday June 21 2006) was "Spare the Air Day" in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most transit in the Bay Area was free to anybody. Caltrain didn't seem that much busier than normal during the morning and evening commutes.

Friday is another Spare the Air day. My wife and kids will take advantage of the free public transportation by taking Caltrain into San Francisco, SF Muni to the Ferry Building, then the Ferry to Sausalito.

More Spare the Air photos.
Photo info: Spare the Air by richardmasoner.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ride with Lance for only $40

Pay $40 and you can ride your bike a lap around the 2 1/2 mile around the Indianapolis Raceway track with Lance Armstrong, along with up to 20,000 other participants. Details here.

This "Lap Led by Lance" event is part of the Discovery Team Cycling Team's comprehensive public awareness campaign to promote the Discovery Channel and U.S. Pro Cycling. The fastest rider at this event will be selected to participate in a one day bicycle race at the U.S. Pro Championships in Greenville, South Carolina.

The Discovery Team's doing a good job at promoting their team at Race2Replace, making use of Lance Armstrong's popularity and some cute video clips to keep fans interested.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Race Across America in 8 minutes

The Amazing Shrinking Man participated in a RAAM crew this last week. While he was on the road, Mrs Amazing posted updates on his blog. Tom writes about crewing, "Don't let anybody kid you, crewing RAAM is as tough on the crew as it is on the rider, with long workdays and short sleep."

Tom posted an eight minute video of his adventures across America on Youtube. Props to Tom for going for it!

Bed and breakfast and bicycles

California bed and breakfast inns are adding another B to their list of offerings: bikes. The California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns (CABBI) is launching its newest travel program, Beds, Bikes & Breakfast.

Ninety CABBI B&Bs throughout California are officially designated as bike-friendly and offer secured bike storage facilities and healthy, hearty breakfasts to fuel a day of touring. Many inns also offer laundry facilities and area bike trail maps. Cycling advocate and Bear Valley Inn owner/innkeeper and League board member Amanda Eichstaedt provided CABBI with valuable insight into cyclists' needs while traveling by bike. Travelers interested in finding bike-friendly B&Bs can visit and search for inns marked with a bicycle icon. CABBI's free Travel Guide Map, also available online, pinpoints where each B&B is located so cyclists can plan vacations whether they are avid riders or recreational cruisers. (Via the LAB).

Monday, June 19, 2006

How to pick up chicks at bus stops. Or not.

I was browsing around and found the Bus Chick Blog in Seattle. She mentions the infamous "How to pick up chicks at bus stops" resource and lets the men know that it probably doesn't work.

Anyway, Bus Chick seems pretty cool. Check out her blog.

Free Sun Server

Sun SmartCar
No bikes in this post.
My employer is offering a server computer -- for free -- if you will blog about the machine. You don't even have to run Solaris on the machine.

On his blog Jonathan mentions Ubuntu, power use, Niagara, and Galaxy. Ubuntu is the fastest growing Linux distro, and it runs on Sun UltraSparc. Power use is a big thing to Jonathan and anybody doing anything with data centers knows power and cooling are huge issues. Internally, we have the Sun Environmental Office (SEO) which is chartered to champion Sun's philosophy of Sustainable Computing, Environmental Stewardship and Social Responsibility across Sun's business units and functions. Niagra is Sun's new multi-core multithreaded low-power high-throughput processor.

And Galaxy is what I work with: 64-bit AMD machines that run Linux, Windows, and VMware as well as Solaris. And I'll tell you that demand for VMware ESX is incredible. In this two minute video, I install Windows 2003 on a Virtual Machine configured on an 8 processor Galaxy server. The actual physical machine is in a lab on another floor from where I sit while I do the install.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Chinese cities ordered to install bike lanes

BEIJING -- Chinese cities that destroyed bike lanes to widen roads for cars or new buildings are being ordered to put the pathways back, the government said Thursday amid efforts to battle the choking smog and traffic brought on by booming car use.

Qiu Baoxing, a vice minister with the Ministry of Construction said it was important that China retain its title "kingdom of bicycles," according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency.

Qiu told an urban planning conference in Beijing on Wednesday that the ministry was firmly opposed to the elimination of bicycle lanes and has ordered cities to restore them, Xinhua said.

The report estimated that China had 500 million bicycles in the late 1980s and said that the number had fallen dramatically as car ownership had expanded, but gave no specific figure.

The report cited Qiu as saying that the number of motor vehicles on China's roads in 2004 was 20 times that of 1978, with that number expected to increase as much as five fold by 2020. In 2004 there were 27 million motor vehicles in China and that number could reach 130 million in 15 years, he said.

Qiu's numbers appeared to include all motorized vehicles, including trucks, tractors and motorcycles, in addition to cars. The World Bank said in a report Wednesday that China had 16 million registered cars in 2004.

China's rapid expansion of car use has brought the country severe pollution, snarled traffic and frequent deadly road accidents. The leadership says that cleaning up the environment and saving energy is among the top priorities for the next five years.

On Tuesday, the government ordered civil servants to leave their cars at home and ride bikes or take public transport in a bid to reduce the choking smog that covers many Chinese cities and conserve energy.

Guardian UK.
People's Daily.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Earthquake and I slept through it

I was less than 30 miles from the epicenter but I slept right through it. In the past, a 4.7 quake has been more than enough to wake me up.

Lock your bicycle

Kryptonite yesterday released its latest Top 10 Worst Cities for Bike Theft. They are
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Washington, DC
  • Boston, MA
  • Eugene, OR
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Miami, FL
Even if you don't live in these high-bike-theft cities, you should lock your bike to at least prevent crimes of opportunity. Most bike-theft victims that I personally know have had bikes stolen from "safe" places -- from the bike rack on their truck, while they stepped into the corner store for just a second, and from the front porch of their own home. Don't be careless just because your neighborhood is safe.

I've used Kryptonite U-locks for about 20 years now and I've never had a bike stolen, even while the bike is locked up for several hours in high theft cities such as San Francisco, Denver, Boulder, Palo Alto, and Austin. In those places, I usually double-lock, using something like my Kryptonite Evolution Mini to secure the frame and rear tire, and a thick cable lock (currently a big heavy OnGuard cable) wrapped through the rear-triangle and both wheels. I realize that it also helps that my bikes are fairly low end. :-) Professionals in trucks with equipment are more likely to go after the boutique bikes -- they know what to look for, and my theory is that even uglifying a bike is not a deterrant to the pros.

I use the smallest U-lock available because you can't fit a jack inside the lock if there's no room. Two locks just makes it take that much longer to take the bike.

Chicago Bike Plan 2015

The City of Chicago, Illinois recently revealed their Bike 2015 Plan outlining the city's vision to make bicycling an integral part of daily life in Chicago. The plan recommends projects, programs and policies for the next ten years to encourage use of this practical, non-polluting and affordable mode of transportation.

The Bike 2015 Plan has two overall goals:
  • To increase bicycle use, so that 5 percent of all trips less than five miles are by bicycle.
  • To reduce the number of bicycle injuries by 50 percent from current levels.

The comprehensive plan addresses the traditional "4 Es" of transportation planning: Engineering (lots and lots and lots of engineering), education, encouragement, and enforcement. In addition to the kinds of facilities we're used to seeing here in the USA -- signed bike routes, bike lanes, and multi-use paths -- the plan recommends some newer innovations such as raised bike lanes, contrasting colors for bike lanes, advanced stop bars, and traffic calming engineering.

An entire chapter is even devoted to promoting bicycle messenger service in Chi-town.

News about Bike 2015 Plan
  • CBS2 Chicago -- "What's vague about the plan is how much it would cost and how it would be paid for. But Chicago has a history of delivering on its promises to cyclists, and several parts of this plan are set to go into effect as early and next year. The city is so committed to this new plan that a summer intern has been assigned to ride around Chicago to find trouble spots for bicyclists."

  • Chicago Tribune -- "The new Bike 2015 Plan wastes little time on breezy rides in the park. Instead, the city's Department of Transportation is bent on getting people to bike to work, to school, to stores and to mass transit stops, cobbling together a 500-mile network of designated routes."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cat trees bear

Seems like every blog eventually comes around to mentioning cats.

I think I'll pass on this duct tape tandem bicycle.

Live video: Tour de suisse.

The anti-sissy has some good thoughts on trends in bicycling. Click the link -- it's worth a read.

Dave again with his Rock Lobster bicycle

Dave's the guy with a different bike every time I see him. Last night, Dave rode his Rock Lobster custom CX bicycle; he has it set up for touring right now.

Dave commutes by bike 30 miles from his home in Scotts Valley, California to his job in San Jose. In the evening he gets home on the bus. Scotts Valley is at 600 feet above seal level, and Dave must ride to an elevation of 1800 feet in the Santa Cruz mountains before descending into Santa Clara valley, crossing the San Andreas fault every day on his bike. Dave is a maniac.

On the bus we talk bike geek stuff. Last night we discussed sub-1kg carbon frames, SRAM's new road group, Dave mentioned Shimano's new compact crankset, and we talked a lot about how healthy fast food is for you. Enjoyable conversation makes the bus ride go much more quickly.
Photo info: Rock Lobster custom bicycle by richardmasoner.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tried to contact me? Technical problems...

If you've tried to contact me via the contact form during the past week, your note probably ended up disappearing into /dev/null. I've just discovered the issue and fixed it promptly, but all of your notes have disappeared and there's no way for me to even tell who sent anything. I sincerely apologize; I have fixed the problem.

Gnarly technical details: My contact form just creates an email and sends it to my top-secret private email address. Unfortunately, I did the unbelievable and actually let my domain registration lapse on that domain!!! I've owned that domain for something like 15 years and it's gone. *sigh* I fixed the problem by modifying the contact form to send your note to my gmail address instead.

World Naked Bike Ride

There are probably thousands of photos on Flickr of pale body parts flapping in the wind, if you're into that kind of thing.

Bicycle news in review

I've been doing more riding than blogging lately, which is a good thing but it also means I've fallen behind in the news. I've mentioned them before, but remember that the the Ditty Bops are on tour across the USA and they're posting their photos and notes at their blog. Velochimp saw a photo of himself and subsequently went on a diet to get below 200 pounds. Get your Official Tour de France Guide from VeloNews. Bianchi has gotten into the urban/hipster/bike culture fashion craze.

Air Pollution

It's summer time, which means it's the season for Ozone Alerts and with them programs to promote public transit. In Tulsa, Sunoco sponsors your free trip on public transit. In the SF Bay Area, we have Spare The Air. In Austin, the Capital Metro provides bus rides Free For All on Ozone Action Days. What programs are used in your area to mitigate air pollution on hot summer days?

Photo info: by J!mbo.

Fixed rides in San Jose?

Mary just moved to the San Jose area from Sacramento. She and her partner Dave are looking for other fixed riders in San Jose, California. Is there anything like this already? If not, they'd like to get something started.

Update: I found the San Jose Bike Party.

Photo info: Mary on her fixed Bianchi Pista by richardmasoner.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Co-Motion Bicycle

Every time I see Dave he has a different bike. We ride the Highway 17 Express bus together from San Jose to Scotts Valley. After we board the bus we talk geeky bike stuff.

Dave and his Co Motion bicycle

This bike is his handbuilt Co-Motion bicycle. Note the couplings on the frame to make this bike a little more portable, and it's fairly lightweight at 19 pounds.

Dave also has a Trek 5900, a Seven (another sweet handmade bike), a Friday (yet another sweet handmake bike, this one foldable), and I forget what else. Dave told me that between him and his roomate they have something like 17 bicycles at their townhome.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Boca Raton Bicycle Club vs. Florida Department of Transportation

News from the League of American Bicyclists

The Boca Raton Bicycle Club and the League of American Bicyclists are pleased to announce that the Florida Department of Transportation will file the formal documentation setting forth its decisions regarding the provision of bicycle lanes on State Road A1A in Palm Beach County. The Club and LAB (along with Palm Beach County resident Bruce Rosenszweig) filed a lawsuit on March 1, 2006 in Leon County Circuit Court, requesting that the Court issue a mandamus requiring the FDOT to prepare and file formal design variation documentation justifying its decision not to include full bicycle facilities in the renovations to A1A in Palm Beach County. The FDOT also stipulated in open court that its substantive decisions regarding A1A can be challenged in an administrative proceeding pursuant to Florida Chapter 120. Accordingly, the pending Circuit Court case will be stayed pending the completion of the administrative challenge.

The LAB wants to hear from lawyers who specialize in bicycling and people that provide expert witness services. In response to numerous legal cases, they're compiling a directory of lawyers and expert witnesses who are willing and able to assist cyclists. Contact Mike Mackin with your information.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Video: Santa Cruz Bicycle Tour

Cyclist in Santa Cruz CaliforniaScreen capture from my Santa Cruz bicycle video.
Join Cyclelicious on a short, effortless, three-minute bicycle video tour of Santa Cruz, California. See the beach, the boardwalk, the boards, the boats, the bait, and the bikes. Other "B"'s you'll see in Santa Cruz include buskers, bums, bongs, beer, bikinis, bare bums, bare breasts and barbeque. There might even be bowling.

I've broken some my own video guidelines, but at least the music is cool. It's by the Ditty Bops who are on tour -- by bike. Incidentally, the Ditty Bops were in Santa Cruz the other night, but that was moving day for me.

The video was shot on my Canon PowerShot A620 at 640x480 and 30 fps. I used Microsoft Moviemaker to put this together. I'm disappointed at the resolution loss from YouTube, but I'm not willing right now to upload the 25MB file to my server. I'd like a real camcorder with image stabilization to get rid of the nasty jitter and so I can take more than 15 minutes of video.

Click here to see the video and let me know what you think.

Bicycle Idaho, a site for all aspects of bicycling in the state of Idaho, launched May 28, 2006.

The site provides listings of Idaho Bike Races and events, directory of local bike shops, bicycle photo galleries, interactive cycling forums and more. is designed to bring the local cycling community together in an informative and fun site.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Bicycle appeal

But no one can miss the appeal of the combination of pretty girl, bicycle, fishnets and a firehat. Or a bike sheathed in cardboard boxes warning, "SCURVY DEATH." Or a bumble bee man. Or anyone, for any reason, wearing gold pants.

When the "cruiser crit" hits the Iron Horse circuit, we all love bikes.
Read more in the Durango Herald.

20,000 cyclists and no cars in Chicago's "Bike the Drive."

Many illegal immigrants bicycle into the U.S.

Big news from Dubai: "The use of bicycles for commuting in Dubai is set to become a formally recognized mode of transport in the Emirate, a top official at the Roads and Transport Authority has revealed."

Luxist readers chortle about a $280 bicycle saddle.

Youtube bike videos. Created by Carlton / BikeBiz. On my Youtube profile, my age is a lie -- to register with Youtube you must provide your birthday and IMO it's none of their business.

Win a Cervelo Soloist carbon bicycle frame

Sign up for Cycling.TV premium to be entered automatically for a drawing for a Cervelo Soloist carbon frame or a Team CSC jersey signed by Ivan Basso. Ivan Basso won the Giro on his Cervelo Soloist Carbon.

Book review: Hooked Pirates, Poaching and the Perfect Fish

I recently read the book Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish by Wall Street Journal writer Bruce Knecht. Knecht chronicles the decline of the "Chilean Seabass" (aka Patagonia Toothfish) while telling the story of a dangerous three week pursuit of a poacher by Australian fisheries police across 4,000 miles of icy Antarctic waters.

The story of the Chilean Sea Bass is important and needs to be told. This fish and the closely related Antarctic Toothfish are very popular to American diners, but they are easy to catch and very slow to reproduce. Because the fishing grounds are in remote international waters off of Antarctica, management of this species is non-existant. Fisheries scientists estimate that over half the population of toothfish is captured each year, a clearly unsustainable level.

Other Chilean Sea Bass resources