Followers of my blog know that I’m fond of shooting bicyclists in cities like Milan and Paris. Recently, I found out that three of the chicest New York men I know also ride their bikes to work, even in the winter. Each cited practical reasons, like the ease of getting around. But I think they also like that throwback feeling of being more physical in their work clothes. It’s not called a sport coat because it hangs on a hook in your office. I asked them how they create their own “cyclist chic.”Click here to view Schuman's slideshow, where he focuses on the men's fashion, not the bikes.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Text message Caltrain delaysMy southbound train wasn't delayed much, but Amtrak had to set up a bus bridge from San Jose to Great America, and northbound Caltrain was delayed up to an hour. I Twittered the delay, but I don't know how many train riders follow my Twitter feed. Afterwards, I discovered the Caltrain information Twitter, through which multiple train riders can post information about Caltrain delays. Thank you to 295 Bus Blog for this good tip. This is not a Caltrain service, but one provided by cooperating train riding volunteers.
Transit schedules on your phone / PDANoah keeps photos of transit schedules in his mobile phone for easy access when he needs to catch the bus. A thought I had: grab a text version of bus and train schedules you're interested in and message them to your phone. I have a current Caltrain schedule pasted to the back of my office door for quick access.
Caltrain multiple bike carsIf your eyes are sharp, you can see if a Caltrain consist is equipped with a second bike car, especially on the old "Gallery" car trains. All bike cars are also cab cars, which is the car in the lead when the locomotive pushes the train. The cab cars (and bike cars) have rear view mirrors at the end of the car, and the front window of cab cars are also much shorter than normal. Look for the mirror sticking out from the side of the train and you've found the second bike car.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
"The beauty of the river path is that it's basically flat and separated from the road for people who want a quieter ride and don't want to hump it over a hill," she said.
The blocker: Universal Studios, which owns property along the Los Angeles River, doesn't want a bike path there.
"We have some very important, high-profile production companies that are located along that road as well, and security is a concern," says Tom Smith, senior vice president of West Coast real estate for NBC Universal.
LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky counters, "The fact is that we have a public bike path along some of the most expensive and reclusive properties along the ocean -- from Will Rogers [beach] to Torrance. I don't think it's a mutually exclusive proposition to have a bike path and a secure studio in the same location."
Read more in the Los Angeles Times, with discussion also at LAist.
Mary rides her fixed gear Bianchi Pista in Crocs. Photo by me. More bicycle blog nonsense below.
Not really bicycle related, but interesting: "Two machete-wielding robbers, aged 20 and 16, attempted a heist at the Regents Park Sporting and Community Club in Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately for them, they picked the night that the tough Souther Cross Cruiser motorcycle club was having its monthly meeting." Ooops.
Some good finds by Fixed Gear Cycling: Probation officers bike to their "clients", and his quaintly scandalous photo collection of bicycle riding tobacco card girls.
Carectomy's photo essay of interesting bike facilities.
Bisbee: 5 reasons this was a great Tour of California.
Commuter Page: London's Two Wheel Transformation, and Escape from the Suburban Fringe:
"... much of the future decline is likely to occur on the fringes, in towns far away from the central city, not served by rail transit, and lacking any real core. In other words, some of the worst problems are likely to be seen in some of the country’s more recently developed areas — and not only those inhabited by subprime-mortgage borrowers. Many of these areas will become magnets for poverty, crime, and social dysfunction." If you live there now, escape while you still have time.Shimano reports their net income has jumped 44 percent over the previous year as they make record profits, mostly on sales of bicycle stuff.
Road safety is a shared responsibility.
Pacific Islanders on hand carved bikes.
We see the coolness of alleycat races as shown in Brunelle's video, but sometimes they result in tragedy. 29 year old cyclist Matthew Manger-Lynch followed the field through a red light and was struck by an SUV. From the article, it sounds like Manger-Lynch was generally a responsible cyclist but got caught up in the heat of the moment as he approached the finish in the alleycat.
Via fixed gear and mentioned in several other blogs.
WCCO in Minneapolis featured the Surly Big Dummy in a recent newscast. You can watch the archived video here. According to the story, Surly sold 90 Big Dummies in about 4 hours the first day it became available. It was already backordered the first week the Big Dummy was available from Surly.
The Surly Big Dummies shown in the video are equipped with Clever Cycle's Stokemonkey, but the news people don't mention the electric assist.
More: Visit Surly Blog. Read discussion about the Stokemonkey (which Clever Cycles currently does not ship). To buy a Big Dummy, visit the Surly Dealer page. Surly is a brand of the big bike distributor QBP, so any bike shop should be able to order the Big Dummy for you. The Big Dummy is only available as a frameset, so you need to use a bike shop that will help you put the bike together and/or you really need to know what you're doing.
If I had a hat on, I'd tip it to Sveden of Minneapolis. See his Minneapolis / St Paul bike race calendar.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I found this at Pierre Requiroule's blog, where he writes: "Complètement malade et ça ressemble à une compilation de ce qu’on peut faire de pire à vélo." That's French for "These guys are freakin' maniacs on bikes!" Those Swedes sure like their car horns, and those articulated buses look scary.
And I love the name of Pierre's blog, which is "Tant de belles choses à vélo." That's French for "Cyclelicious" :-)
- One of my co-workers, Jeff, bought a brand new bike -- a carbon fiber Giant TCR Advanced. We chatted for a while, and then he pulled ahead and I managed to hang on to his wheel for approximately six inches and then he zoomed away from me like Superman off to bring Lois Lane from the dead. He was *gone*. Then I read today's Yehuda Moon and I could relate. What's especially embarrassing: Jeff doesn't ride in the winter. I grow old, I grow old. (I shall wear my trousers rolled...)
- I finally tried on some Chrome pants. They are *wonderful*. Self portrait here and a fuller review later.
"Virtualization software bringup" is what I do at work, so that announcement is good news to me personally and professionally. The project I'm working on right now is top secret, but I can tell it that it's so amazingly futuristic and cool I can't believe I'm allowed to touch this stuff, let alone involved in the design of it.
Back to random bike stuff:
- Let Alberto Ride (following Bike Snob's lead).
- Sierra Club magazine features bicycles. And a different kind of bike rack instruction video.
- Bike messengers a dying breed. Via.
- My kind of bike shop: "At this shop, we want to invite, not intimidate the beginner; listen, not preach to the curious; and salute, not marginalize the commuter."
- Reciprocal link love: Lisa drools and some Belgium dude.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Cartoonist Rick Smith is a cyclist who lives and bike commutes in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He commutes 24 miles a day back and forth to work on the Dutch Azor Mechanic's Series 108 bicycle. Rick has been commuting by bike to work or school since 1986.
Rick pokes gentle fun at Rivendell, facilities as effective cycling promotion, bike snobs, and winter cyclists in his strip that every long time bike commuter can relate to. I've added his strip to my RSS feed and I'm looking forward to some more good bike humor from him. See more at Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery.
Google has recently updated their terms and conditions for using their AdSense program. When you log in to AdSense to see how many pennies you've made for the day, you'll be asked to accept or reject the new terms.
Gerolsteiner riders in Sausalito; photo by me.
Let's catch up on the news I've neglected touring the Tour of California...
Jim G's encounter with a Hot Tri Babe on a carbon racing bike with aero bars.
Summer on her tri bike. Photo by Me.
15 year old Austin Miller was run over by a bus and killed two weeks ago as he rode his bike. Last year, young Austin wrote "please don't run me over" for his school newspaper. Via.
We had an oil spill in San Francisco Bay last year. People were rightly concerned about the effect of the spill on wildlife and habitat as well as the beaches. But if that stuff wasn't in the water, we would have been breathing it instead. "The distribution of airborne PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) really mirrors what is in oil and its refined products. So in essence we are breathing aerosolised oil spill in our big cities."
Also from Streetsblog: Are the big environmental groups now ready to reduce how much America drives?
Video: Levi's Tour of California bike.
More AToC: Tour of California good for bike retailers. “Teams were in our shop looking for rain jackets,” said Adam Galuszka of Palo Alto Bicycles. “We were selling lots of winter goodies for the teams.”
Kona to donate 1000 AfricaBikes.
Cool looking pedal powered snowplow.
I haven't decided yet if this is silly or clever: home made windproof toes for cycling shoes made from old inner tubes. I always just use sandwich baggies.
Ecorazzi: Indepedent Spirit Awards powered by bike.
Bike Love: bikes made of yarn. Mentioned by Gwadz.
I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon and also mention the Google Maps Bike There petition.
DNA on coffee cup ID's serial bike thief, a respected physician and bike racer who apparently couldn't control himself around high end bikes. There's a sad ending to the tale.
This needs more attention, probably.
Sacramento celebrates bicycling.
A good year for the Pigeon.
Another good post from Bike Diaries: our bill of rights.
Winter cycling in the news. And welcome back to blogging, Tonya!
Get your 650B stickers.
Off Topic interesting: A visit to North Korea in disguise. "It is difficult for journalists and professional photographers to gain a visa to North Korea. Because the Internet is not available in North Korea, when I applied for a visa as the vice president of the International Society of Olympic Historians (which I am), no one seemed to notice the other side of my career. There were seven other people on our tour, all of whom turned out to be, like me, journalists or photographers in disguise."
Some people see a resemblance between Rock Racing owner Michael Ball and North Korea dictator Kim Jung Il.
Off Topic irony: Memory testing cards recalled due to lead, which causes memory problems.
Monday, February 25, 2008
The photo, reportedly circulated by "Clinton staffers" according to an anonymous email, portrays Obama wearing scandulously short shorts and riding a child's toy. His caretakers obviously also show an astonishing lack of concern for the child by failing to outfit him with a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe immediately accused Clinton's campaign of "the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we've seen from either party in this election."
Obama's foreign policy adviser, Susan Rice, said the circulation of the photograph was divisive and suggests "that the customs and cultures of those who choose to use alternative modes of transportation are worthy of ridicule or condemnation."
"Enough," said Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams. "If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him on a tricycle is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton rode a bike, once, as a child in Illinois when the family chauffeur called in sick." Clinton's husband, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, first rode a bicycle when he was 22 years old.
In December, two Clinton Iowa volunteers resigned after forwarding a hoax e-mail that falsely said Obama is car-free and participates in Critical Mass bicycle rides in Chicago. Obama recently traded his Chrysler 300C Thugmobile in for a more Democratic voter friendly Ford Escape Hybrid.
And in case you missed it earlier, Barack Obama is your new bicycle, FWIW.
It was posted over at Swobo's blog but I forgot about it until I noticed it again on Honk the Horn.
I consider myself a reasonably fit man, but I'm not the fastest guy on the group rides anymore. Hanging out with all of these truly fast athletes over the past week, however, has induced a bit of self loathing. Those guys are amazingly fit, lean and fast. I was able to get some comfort in the fact that they're all younger than me until Mario Cipollini had to come out of retirement and do well in the Tour of California. Curses to Dorky Doug and now curses to Mario Cipollini!
I think I'll go eat some chocolate chip cookies. And then I'll buy a new bike. That'll make me fast, that's the ticket.
Speaking of jobs, the group I'm in at Sun Microsystems is hiring. I work on cool things like the building blocks of the largest supercomputer now on the planet -- the Ranger at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in Austin, TX. This supercomputer is composed of 3,936 Pegasus blades each with 4 socket AMD quad-core CPUs for total of 62,976 cores packaged in 82x SB6048 (C48) racks, connected thru Sun's Mangum (M24) Infiniband Switch, along with healthy number of X4500 and X4600 systems. This supercomputer provides more CPU, Memory, IO bandwidth and Storage than all other TeraGrid supercomputers combined. If you know more than a little something about Linux device drivers and kernel code, modern PC BIOS concepts, PCI, networking, and storage, please drop me a line. Bonus points if you know something about OS and system bringup, InfiniBand, optimizing drivers for high speed networking, hardware virtualization, VMware, Xen, and SAS. It's helpful if you're handy with a soldering iron and protocol analyzers.
I was cycling down Bryant Street in Palo Alto this morning. The rain has finally broken and I enjoyed beautiful sunny skies on my commute for almost the first time since Christmas. I feel wonderful, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and I'm catching up to a white Nissan Murano in front of me. Out of the corner of my eye to the left I see a flash of the familiar and *zoom*, Mr Safety Minded Dorky Doug with his safety helmet, safety vest, safety reflective leg straps and, I now discover, his safety Air Zounds horn, runs his stop sign at high speed and zips right toward me, seemingly out of control. I veer right into the curb and tumble headlong into somebody's rose bushes, while Dorky Doug swoops left behind the Murano.
Curse you, Dorky Doug! I'll get you for this!
Remember, kids, if you ride like a dork, please dress like a dork so we can see you and take evasive action.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Astana demonstrated incredibly tight teamwork to protect their team captain and helping him win the Yellow Jersey for this year's tour.
The 2008 Tour is one for the history books, with a virus, rain and cold plaguing the riders and staff for the entire week. I hope you had a chance to watch online via the Tour Tracker or to catch the highlights on Versus TV. You can find links to archived video for all of the stages at Steephill.TV. Click through to The FredCast for podcasts highlighting each stage of the tour and interviews. For Tour of California photography, visit KWC's Spare Cycles 2008 Tour of California gallery.
Thanks for following the action on Cyclelicious!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
In the end, Mark Cavendish pushed his way to the front to get High Road's first stage win at the 2008 Tour of California. It looks like Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval) has second and JJ Haedo (CSC) has third place. Levi Leipheimer still holds the yellow jersey as he goes into the final stage tomorrow that starts in Santa Clarita.
Update: As BGW notes in his comments, Cavendish was penalized for drafting a team car in the aftermath of a crash that took out four Rock Racing cyclists. The podium first place went to Brazilian sprinter Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval), with JJ Haedo now in 2nd and Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) in third.
More 2008 Tour of California Stage 6 commentary
Friday, February 22, 2008
Levi Leipheimer in Solvang - Photo courtesy Ken Conley
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) came in strong in the individual time trial today, coming in 29 seconds ahead of sprinting champion David Millar (Slipstream Chipotle) and extending his overall GC lead. Slipstream's Christian Vandevelde rounded out the podium at 31:31. Two other possible contenders for the yellow jersey, Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and David Zabriskie (Slipstream) came in fifth and sixth today on the Solvang time trial.
In spite of yesterday's brutal weather and less than ideal conditions today, Levi did fairly well coming in at 30.47, just over a minute over his time last year.
My wife knows some of Jackson Stewart's family. Stewart is on the mend but they have requested prayer for him. As you know, Jackson Stewart was hospitalized yesterday for hypothermia during the cold and wet race down the Central Coast in Stage 4.
The Tour of California starts in Santa Barbara on Saturday and will travel to Santa Barbara for Stage 6.
Photo: Fans show their support for Levi Leipheimer in Solvang. Photo from Amgen Tour of California.
On the Thunderhead Alliance mailing list there's a discussion about the pros and cons of the "Share the Road" message. Patty Vinyard, executive director of the St. Louis Bike Federation, wants to make biking irresistible. She feels the basic messages of "Share the road" are negative. Consider her points:
- Share the road signs are yellow diamonds, which are classified in the U.S. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as a warning sign. The underlying message is that a bicycle on the street creates a hazard. This sign inadvertently reinforces the idea that bicycling is dangerous and thereby discourages people who do not currently bike on the streets from ever doing so.
- To many motorists it means: Cars have the right of way. Bikes have to move over and let me pass. Bikes are supposed to share the road. In fact, I have heard of several instances in which, after a car/bike crash, the motorist proclaimed: “He didn’t get out of my way! He wasn’t sharing the road!”
- For us as advocates, the underlying meaning is perhaps the most destructive. If we decide to use the phrase “Share the Road” in advertising and promotion, we are beginning with the basic assumption that everyone is going to continue to use their present mode of transport. So it’s like we are saying: We know you motorists are never going to get out of your car and ride a bike. But would you please give us a little consideration? Please don’t run us over while you are driving!
If we truly want more people to choose bicycling, we must put our advertising and promotion resources into developing material that makes bicycling look fun, practical, and exciting. When I searched online for examples of television commercials or public service announcements that do this, I found none. Okay, maybe one (but the guy looked lonely). But I found a lot of “Share the Road” material.You can read the entire article here. Finally, Patty notices that most "bike promotion" advertising are safety lessons instead of anything that actually promotes cycling. She points out that car advertisers don't advertise the very real risks of driving, but show drivers having fun with their cars. Her organization created "Change Your View" videos to promote cycling as something that's fun to do. (Those reading this via the feed probably need to click through to view the video).
Finally, Kent Peterson has his own "Share the Road" story. Kent is the Commuting Program Director of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and he talks about the irony that his program is funded in part by "Share the Road" license plates on motor vehicles, even when they're mounted on big Humvees and other large SUVs.
What do you think? Does "share the road" send the wrong message? Or am I over analyzing a simple message?
Please click those social networking buttons here if this article is worth sharing. Thanks!!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Seaside to SLO leg follows the scenic California Central Coast, but the riders in stage 4 of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California enjoyed none of the views as they slogged through dreary, cold rain and constant headwinds, keeping the pace under 20 mph for much of today's long stage. The racers finally finished after over seven hours on the road, well after the anticipated 4 p.m. finish time.
Team High Road got three of the top five spots as Gerald Ciolek and Mark Cavendish came in fourth and fifth place. I'm certain the cyclists are glad today's stage is over.
It was painful watching today's stage -- I could almost feel the discomfort as they rode through the miserable rain and their soggy kit clinged to their arms. The stomach bug that took Tyler Farrar out yesterday apparently hit several other riders, mechanics and support staff, making the long ride even longer and more miserable for them. Several cyclists dropped out.
Levi retains the yellow jersey going into Stage 5 on Friday. His team protected his yellow jersey and apparently held back just a little when they didn't attack the breakaway and finishing over 2 minutes behind the leaders, probably to save their legs for the 15 mile individual time trial in Solvang. Still, Thursday was brutal for all of the cyclists and Friday is supposed to be another windy day so Stage 5 should be interesting to see.
I'll grab some quotes from the riders and update this post later tonight. I'm sure there will be some good ones so check back here at Cyclelicious for the updates.
Photo Credits: Dominique Rollin Win by Ken Conley; Wet Astana Peloton captured from Amgen Tour of California Adobe Tour Tracker video stream; Rollin Podium my Ken Conley.
Ah Pook reveals all in this shocking disclosure of the contents of .... his bike commuting bag!
The San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission is seeking nominations for people and organizations who extraordinary contributions to the way people get around in the Bay Area each day. See here for details.
A human powered tour of Europe -- Husband and wife team will row their boats from Scotland, through Europe and into Syria. They'll carry folding bikes and trailers on board that they'll use to tow the bikes when necessary across land. RideThisBike.com provided the Montague full sized folding bikes used on this trip. Custom trailers came from Tony's Trailers. Read more and see photos at Ride This Bike.
escaping the tightening vise of fossil fuels:
With or without climate policies, energy prices seem set to rise. The question is, Who will get the money? Auctioned cap-and-trade gives us the opportunity to take charge of price increases and share the benefits widely -- even while we safeguard the climate and stimulate local jobs. Big chances like this don't come along often!For the Amgen Tour of California Stage 4, weather is cool and a little rainy. The San Jose Mercury News has a nice story about the race, mentioning the two guys who rode their unicycles to the summit of Mt Hamilton to watch the racers and the the tourism impact of the Tour as hundreds of people visit the state of California from elsewhere just to watch the bike race. The best part is visiting "all these places you'd never go, especially on a bike," said Theresa Binder of Denver, Colorado. "You don't think of this as California," she said, looking around the foggy mountaintop. "You always think of the ocean."
Photos by me.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Young rider Gesink takes the stage; Leipheimer in Yellow Jersey It was an exciting race today, especially the final 20 miles of today's stage as Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) worked in a two man breakaway as a chase group led by Team CSC's David Zabriskie Fabian Cancellara fought to catch up to keep the yellow jersey away from Leipheimer.
Yellow Jersey Farrar falls ill, abandons race
The 21 year old Gesink proved himself to be a strong climber today. He turned pro just last year and he was obviously elated to win today's stage. The average speed of Gesink and Leipheimer over the 102 mile stage was an amazing 23 mph as they crossed several peaks, including the hors catégorie ("beyond classification") Mount Hamilton.
Tyler Farrar started Stage 3 wearing the Yellow Jersey but had to drop out about halfway through the race. He reportedly suffered from food poisoning last night and reportedly spent much of his night in the restroom. Five other cyclists have also dropped out this week from a stomach bug that's going around.
Mario Cipollini finished 63rd today, coming in 25 minutes after the winners and just ahead of the cutoff time that would have kept him from competing for the rest of the Tour of California.
There were concerns about the weather, but the skies cleared up as the cyclists approached from Modesto. The top of Mount Hamilton was chilly but dry as the peloton passed by the Mount Hamilton observatory.
Ken Conley caught some photos on Mount Hamilton. When I talked to him last he was racing downtown to the finish line. Visit KWC.org for his Stage 3 photos later today.
Go to Amgen Tour of California 2008 for official results. David B has his computer back up and running so he'll have his FredCast report on today's stage up also at a reasonable time. Steven probably already has a list of links out at Steephill.TV already. Bicycle.net has some interesting background information from today's stage.
Photo: Gesink on Sierra Road in 2007; by Ken Conley.
The Swobo Del Norte is an all steel singlespeed bicycle for urban riding, complete with fender and rack mounts. This is a pre production bike and the saddle got loose (hence the weird angle), but otherwise this bike will come equipped as pictured for $679. The 130 mm flip flop allows for a quick conversion to fixed gear, but you'll need to add your own cog to the fixie side of the hub.
The Del Norte is named for the Del Norte ferry boat that runs between San Francisco and Larkspur in the North Bay. See Del Norte product details at Swobo's website.
Here are some more photos of the Specialized Angel -- click on the image to view large. If you like this post, please share it using one of the buttons below (Digg, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Del.icio.us, CycleCluster, email).
A big thank you to Ken Conley for sharing his Tour of California photos. He'll be up on Mount Hamilton for today's Stage 3. It's cold and rainy in the South Bay right now. While race officials have an alternate route ready, weather forecasters don't expect snow or ice today. The inclement weather also hasn't stopped many fans who are already lining up on Sierra Road to watch the cyclist zoom into San Jose this afternoon.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Scott Nydam was visibly exhausted by the time he reached the college town of Davis, and the peloton managed to reel him in just 15 miles from the finish.
Scott has a wonderful blog where he writes about his challenges, his training, and his father's cancer.
Nydam was awarded the "Most Agressive Rider" jersey during the podium ceremony in Sacramento on Tuesday.
The final laps were fast and furious and rain slick streets. JJ Haedo was in 6th place when he flatted. He grabbed a team mate's bike quick as a flash but used up all of his reserves just to catch up to the pack. Haedo managed to get back up near the lead in the final laps.
Team High Road owned the final laps when Cavendish broke free in the last kilometer and pulled off a yards long lead. It was elbow to elbow for Boonen, Cipo, Gerolsteiner's Hostler as they worked to catch up, with Tom Boonen (Quick Step) dashing across the finish line for the win, Gerolsteiner's Heinrich Haussler coming in second and Rock Racing's Mario Cipollini showing he still got the mojo with his 3rd place finish.
Watch KWC for finish line photos from Sacramento; Steephill.TV for the collection of links to Stage 2 news, photos and video; Bicycle.net and The FredCast.
Governor Schwarzenegger on the podium with Mario Cipollini.
Tomorrow will be another wet day, with snow even possible on the summit of Mount Hamilton. The crowds will be thick on Sierra Road coming into San Jose so it should be another exciting day in the Tour of California.
All photos are Copyright by Ken Conley. Click on the photos for more information and other viewing options.
Read more at VeloNews, Outside Online, Bike Biz.
GPS trackers show the locations, and a constant live video feed with commentary follows the action for the entire length of the race. Wonderful!! Audio commentary is from Frankie Andreu and Joe Silva, with Rick Scott updating the text information.
Lifehacker: Best gear for winter cycling. See also DIY Bike rack revisited.
There's more below this photo of Mary in San Jose, California. She's riding a fixed Bianchi Pista down 3rd Street.
Studded tires on bikes? Winter cycling in the news.
Carlton brings us this story of Vegans on Panda bikes.
"Riding a bike in NYC is the greatest thing ever!" From Bike Rant #712.
From the 'not the brighest bulb in the bin category' is this news of a 22 year old felon with an outstaning arrest warrant. She was spotted bicycling in St. Cloud, MN, which isn't all that unusual, but what really caught the attention of the police was the shotgun strapped to her back. Read here for details. Tip for criminals: If you want to avoid arrest, don't do anything to draw attention to yourself.
More criminality: Pistol packing cyclist steals an armload of porn. Armed robbery for porn? That's just weird. It's like one of those movie plots where the government bad guys chase a scientist who has the secret formula to destroy the world and the scientist stashes the formula into the nearest hiding place (the porn) and leaves a message for a friend to tell him where to find the secret just before the bad guys catch up and kill the scientist. So the cyclist is either the friend, an innocent bystander who got the message by accident and got sucked into the evil plot, or he's a government agent going around stealing all of the porn in the city to find the formula.
Grist on Lance Armstrong's commuter focus.
OC Register: What word in 'Bike Lane' don't drivers understand?. Via Interbike Times.
Chicago Bike Blog: Bikes are inexpensive; people are lazy.
NY Times on doping and pro cycling.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Hometown hero Levi Leipheimer welcomed by record crowds
Tibco's Brooke Miller wins first Tour of California Women's Criterium
“The final 60km (40 miles) of the race were very fast; I barely made it to the finish. That was a really hard part for me,” said Haedo, Stage 1 winner. “Everyone was really fast today, but when you see the last 200 meters, you go as hard as you can and don’t look back. We have a lot of good sprinters in the Amgen Tour of California, really a good level of competition.”
The 98.6-mile stage from Sausalito to Santa Rosa took the scenic coastal route along Highway 1 before turning inland for a difficult ascent up the 827-ft. Coleman Valley Road climb, 64 miles into the race. After about 10 miles, Jackson Stewart (USA) of Team BMC, who lives in nearby Los Gatos, Calif., found himself in a solo lead after attempting a breakaway move with three other riders.
“Suddenly I was a minute ahead of the field and I thought I’ll just keep it going and try for the KOM (California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountains classification points),” said Stewart.
Stewart achieved this goal by remaining clear of the field over the summit of Coleman Valley Road, where he backed off as the field raced up to reabsorb him about 20 miles before the Santa Rosa finish. Stewart also claimed the three intermediate Herbalife sprint prizes, at Point Reyes Station, Tomales and Bodega Bay.
With 40 miles covered, Stewart’s lead over the peloton had grown to as much as 13 minutes, but as the field approached the steep Coleman Valley climb, with gradients up to 15 percent, the pace intensified and Stewart started to come back.
The peloton fragmented as it powered up Coleman Valley Road, and Jens Voigt (GER) of Team CSC showed strong form by following Kevin Seeldraeyers (BEL) of Saunier Duval – Scott over the top, second in the peloton.
In the undulations following the summit, more attacks came and the group broke up into three, with 80 riders in the first group, 11 in the second and 33 in the third.
The tight Santa Rosa finishing circuits have gained a reputation in the short history of the Amgen Tour of California for producing thrilling action in front of a vast, roaring crowd. This year was no exception as the riders sped around the closing laps. QuickStep lined up its two World Champions, Tom Boonen (BEL) and Paolo Bettini (ITA), for the sprint, as did the formidable Team CSC and Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30.
“So far, the race has been fantastic; exceeding expectations,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “We’ve been doing this for three years now and it keeps getting better. I think we’re getting to the point where we are one of the most important races on the calendar. We want to continue to grow bigger. We want to be one of the races that people plan their calendars around.”
Showing an impressive performance on Stage 1, the California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey and the Tachyon Most Aggressive Jersey were both claimed by Jackson Stewart (USA) of Team BMC. And the Herbalife Sprint Jersey went to Haedo (ARG) of Team CSC. Gerald Ciolek (GER) of High Road took the Union Bank of California Best Young Rider Jersey. Team CSC, winner of the 2006 and 2007 overall team classification, leads the overall team classification.
Defending champion, Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Astana rode into a hometown welcome from the cheering crowds lining the roads in Santa Rosa. Fourth overall after today’s stage, Leipheimer heads into Stage 2 with high hopes for his team’s performance over the rest of the week.
“Compared to last year, the crowds just get bigger and bigger. Every year, I’m astonished at how many people are here,” said Santa Rosa resident Leipheimer. “Cycling has really grown around here and I think that is due in large part to the Amgen Tour of California. It feels great to have people cheer me on and to race on the roads that I know every inch of and have trained on for the past twelve years; it’s really special.”
As a new component to the 2008 Amgen Tour of California professional road cycling race, Stage 1 featured a category Pro 1,2 Women’s Criterium. Using portions of the Stage 1 men’s finishing circuit in Santa Rosa, the Women’s Criterium was enthusiastically welcomed by the fans lining the course. Brooke Miller from Tibco won the inaugural race.
Say hello to Bob Mionske, the bicycling lawyer and book author. That's his buddy Sky Yaeger behind him.
Speaking of Sky Yaeger, here she is showing us how to control the bike.
The woman in the Fox shirt is Erin, the marketing mind at Swobo bikes. She's riding a pre-production Swobo Del Norte bicycle.
This Italian guy is Fulvio Aquati, the General Manager of Deda Elementi in Italy. He's riding a Swobo Novak town bike. I love his sock!
Meet Jonathan Tessler, the man behind Bicycle.net.
This is Marilyn Price, the woman who runs Trips for Kids. Trips for Kids is a non-profit that helps disadvantaged children discover the joy of mountain biking.
Below are Peter Cossins, editor for Bike Radar and other cycling publications, Gary Boulanger, writer for Bike Radar, and Gary's daughter Sam. Some of you might remember Gary as the man behind Gaansari and Fisso Bikes. Gary is also known as The Bike Evangelist.
Tony Tom here owns A Bicycle Odyssey, a bike shop in Sausalito. He started the shop in 1975 when he was just 19 years old.
The guy at the cash register is Andrew, who manages A Bicycle Odyssey, a bike shop in Sausalito. He's a really nice guy.
bikesgonewild played host for me in Sausalito. He wishes to remain somewhat anonymous, but he's an amazingly nice guy. Those Enduro cycling pants are from Europe and look tres cool. Check out is old school Bianchi converted to SS with shorty bars.
Last but not least, a shout out goes out to the lovely lady behind the wheel of this Rock Racing Cadillac, who impatiently yelled at bikesgonewild and I to "GET OFF THE ROAD" when she was behind us and couldn't figure out that we were in the left turn lane in order to turn left.
The fans were fabulous as the peloton paraded three times through Sausalito. Freddy Rodgriguez suffered some sort of mechanical problem in the first lap and fell behind (apropos of his name FRED), but he was able to catch up by the time the race started in earnest.
The crew from Bicycle.net caught a ride in the media van; their report is not available as of this writing but look for some good stuff from them soon.
Ken "KWC" Conley traveled up to Santa Rosa to cover the women's criterium, which started at noon (sorry about my earlier misinformation!). He should also have some good shots of the start and finish -- again, his photos are not yet downloaded but watch his Spare Cycles site for his fantastic cycling photography.
Finally, be sure to listen to The FredCast cycling podcast for interviews from the field.
My photoset from the Stage 2 start can be found here at Flickr -- please feel free to comment on the photos. You might see some recognizable faces. A shout out to all the kind bike nerds I met today!
He notes that a determined bike thief can take any bike, no matter the lock. The trick is to make your bike less attractive. The fact is, most stolen bikes are unlocked and most bike theft are crimes of opportunity. Carlton does go over some useful information on how to slow even the determined professional thief. Read more at quickrelease.tv.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Some spectators on the course expressed surprise that Leipheimer didn't win, but the time trial is not his strong suit, and coming in just six seconds behind a time trial specialist is nothing to sneeze at.
While Cipo finished 44th overall and his team is in 10th place (out of 17), the Rock Racing team tent was clearly the spectator favorite as hundreds crowded around to get autographs from the cyclists before the race start. Rock Racing also had the largest area by taking an entire block with their trademark Rolls Royce, autograph tables with sound system and video screens, warmup tent, a monstrous team RV and several other support vehicles. Compare to some of the other continental teams such as Jelly Belly, which had a minivan in which the cyclists squeezed to change from their cycling shorts into something more comfortable.
More Tour of California coverageDavid interviewed Phil Liggett, Cancellara and others in his prologue commentary at the FredCast cycling podcast. Steven does his usual great job of providing links to the various photo and video resources of the tour at Steephill.TV. And KWC's photographic skills are put to excellent use in his Tour of California photo sets.
I plan to be in Sausalito tomorrow to cover the start of Stage 1, while KWC plans to travel to Santa Rosa to cover the finish and photograph the women's criterium, which should start at about 3 p.m.
Fabian Cancellara (SUI), First Place, Prologue
“It was like being in the Tour de France out there on the course today. The last time I raced in front of so many people was in London last year. The Amgen Tour of California is a really great race. It is good for cycling. The race has had a great start in the past two years. I hope it continues like this.”
On winning the Prologue:
“To win the first race of the season wearing the Rainbow Jersey is a great experience for me, and for the team as well. It’s just amazing. I had hoped to be first today, and as a team, we hope to win the Amgen Tour of California.”
On the anti-doping testing:
“I think it’s important that all teams continue to fight. For the teams and sponsors, what they did last year and this year, this is what everyone has to do. I think the results show that we did the right thing. The biological passport is a good thing. We need cycling to go back to the way it used to be. We need to give our best on the road. I accept the rules and I’ll continue to do my best.”
Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Second Place, Prologue
Tyler Farrar (USA), Third Place, Prologue
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“I was pleasantly surprised with how well I did today. This race was good for me. I knew it was possible for me to have a good ride, and it was an honor to be on the podium with Fabian (Cancellara) and Bradley (Wiggins). Today’s finish ranks up there as one of my top-5 finishes. This was a fantastic day for our team, and hopefully a sign of things to come.”
On his first appearance in the Amgen Tour of California:
“This is my first time riding in Amgen Tour of California. It’s probably the biggest cycling event in American, and for me, as an American, it’s great to finally take part in one of the nation’s top races. I couldn’t believe the fans; it felt like one of the biggest races in the world. Every rider in Europe wants to come to this race. I can’t believe how lucky we’ve been with the weather. All the guys in Europe speak so highly about this race.”
Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Best Young Rider, Prologue
“This is my first professional race, so it’s a good start, and it’s good to start my season so well.”
On the today’s course:
“I liked the course. The first two corners went well for me. The straight was longer than I thought it would be, so I tired a little coming to the end, but I think it’s like that for every rider.”
On the crowds:
“The crowds were really good. There were a lot of people and it was fun to ride through them.”
Levi Leipheimer (USA), Amgen Tour of California Defending Champion
“A prologue like this, combined with best riders in world, makes for a competitive day. I’m feeling good and looking forward to riding into my hometown of Santa Rosa – it’s going to be extra special.”