Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

Picture Policy, Etc

Photograph Use Policy - If I photographed it and you would like to use it, go ahead, just give me credit if possible.


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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wolf Puppy Stride


This is a great video of some kids climbing up some mountain only to bomb down it.  This reminds me of my climbing up GMR fixed to the maintenance shed.  For me the climb it the fun part, but I can appreciate the downhill. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Supine Bicycle

The Supine Bicycle, in my never ending quest for all things bicycle I came across this.  Well not quite bicycle related, but I did learn something new.

Supine Bicycle from John Cobb on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Complete Streets, Equal Access for Bicycles

Complete Streets: It's About More Than Just Bike Lanes from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Eco Man - Taking Action on Law Requiring Equal Access for Bicycle, Pedestrians
The News of New Canaan, Connecticut
By Richard Stowe
Link: http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/ncadvertiser/columns-letters-to-editor/117802-eco-man--taking action-on-law-requiring-equal-access-for-bicycles-pedestrians.html

No matter where the destination is in New Canaan, or Fairfield County — a gym, 5K race, grocery store, work, art exhibit, restaurant, country club, movie theater, Fourth of July fireworks, or school sporting event — the trip will most likely be made by motor vehicle.

Fifty-two percent of trips one-half mile or less in the United States are by motor vehicle. Almost 70% of Americans' car trips are two miles or less and 90% of Americans' trips two miles, or less are by car. Social conditioning is the driving force behind the transportation choices we make, and that is reinforced by institutional bias — driver's education, but no bike education; state DOT policies that prohibit bike access on key bridges and highways and designs and streets designed for vehicles not people.

Complete streets is an inclusive transportation planning paradigm that allows for "safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation" within the entire right-of-way of roads and streets. The goal of complete streets policies is to create a level playing field for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation users. Advocates suggest complete streets make it easy to bicycle, or walk to downtown shops, work, or train stations.

Complete streets are not constrained by a single design prescription. Complete streets respond to community context. Complete streets may result in, but are not limited to, narrower travel lanes, wider paved shoulders, bike lanes, sidewalks, roundabouts, median islands, or curb extensions.

David Goldberg of Smart Growth America coined "complete streets." In 2003, Barbara McCann asked the America Bikes board to substitute the term "routine accommodation" with "complete streets." America Bikes set up a Complete Streets Task Force composed of the American Society of Landscape Architects, American Planning Association, American Public Transportation Association, AARP and the American Heart Association.

Today America Bike's Complete Streets Task Force is the National Complete Streets Coalition Steering Committee. In 2005, the task force member groups provided funding to establish the National Complete Streets Coalition to foster the adoption of complete streets policies at municipal, state and federal levels. Substituting the wonky term "routine accommodation" with "complete streets" has paid off in spades. As of March 2012, complete streets policies have been endorsed and adopted by 26 states and 343 jurisdictions in the United States.

Connecticut is one of those states. In 2009, then Gov. Jodi M. Rell signed "An Act Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian Access" into law. The law established the Connecticut Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, which has met monthly since its inception in December 2009.

One group that played a role in the passage of the legislation was Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance. The alliance was the brainchild of Sandy Fry, principal transportation planner at Capitol Region Council of Governments. Fry formed the alliance "to provided a vehicle to carry forward the bike to work program" — which she had initiated, "and to provide a central Connecticut bicycle advocacy group."

The alliance reinvented itself as Bike Walk Connecticut and held two Bike Walk Summits in November of 2010 and 2011.

In 2010, Tim Blumental, president of Bikes Belong, was the keynote speaker. Then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (now U.S. Senator) argued that bicycle infrastructure is cost effective. Other speakers suggested low-cost means to achieve complete streets, such as re-striping roads with 10 to 11 foot travel lanes (a benefit to bicyclists), raised crosswalks, curb extensions, refuge islands and roundabouts. The causality between high rates of bicycling and walking and lower rates of disease and high rates of obesity and auto-dependency was noted, as was the medical complications and costs of obesity. Fry stressed the importance of teaching bike education principles, such as proper positioning, bike control and hazard avoidance.

In 2011, Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, gave the keynote address. Clarke pointed out that there is safety in numbers. He cited the growth from 2,850 to 14,563 in daily ridership during a 16-year period on four main bicycle bridges in Portland, Ore., while the bicycle crash rate (the ratio of reported crashes to bicycle commuters) declined from 544 to 128.

He pointed out that bicycle commuter rates are three to four times higher in the league's designated "Bicycle Friendly Communities" than the national average. In bicycle friendly communities, 48% of arterials have bike lanes; in other communities the rate is 5%. (New Canaan has no bike lanes.)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fargo Street Hill Climb 2012

This year Kevin and I attended LA Wheelmen's Annual Fargo Street Hill Climb competition.  There were fewer attendees than last year and I think a big reason was the impending rain.  Die hard cyclist, intent on breaking records, were out early this year to beat the rain.  

Fargo Street is the second steepest hill in the USA at a staggering 33% grade.  LA Wheelmen hold their annual hill climb that gets more and more popular every year.  Racers get an LA Wheelman PATCH if you make it up at least once without touching down with your foot.  A few years ago Huell Houser came to watch and this year Channel 7 and some cable news van were out to report on the event.

I think the Fargo Street Hill Climb is going to be part of Kevin's and my annual tradition.  The Fargo Street Hill Climb tradition dictates breakfast at Nick's Cafe, two eggs, hashbrowns, toast, country sausage and grits for me!  Nick's Cafe is right across the LA Historical Park were I raced CX late last year.

After Nick's we headed to Fargo Street.  We were officially a half hour early but the competition was already under way.  We registered and Kevin had the honors of starting up the hill first.  Last year he crashed out, this year he was better prepared for the short but intense climb up Fargo.  

Days and minutes leading up to the hill climb we talked about strategy.  How best to approach the climb, when to pedal, how to pedal, when to zig-zag and snake across the road.  It's possible to muscle up Fargo but I've seen less than a handful strong enough to do so.  And even at that, those that do only attempt it once or twice before calling it a day.

So Kevin starts his climb, I'm there with the camera and support.  The coordinator asks him its his first time to which Kevin says, "I tried last year but crashed out."  The coordinator then sends Kevin off and says you are in your middle chainring. FAIL.  Quickly Kevin shifts down and he's off.  There's no point being in any other gear than your GRANNY GEAR. 

I run up along side Kevin shouting words of encouragement and bits of advice. He's looking good and he's made it half way up.  Half way up, he cuts in, snaking up Fargo a few more feet and fatigue is setting in. DAMN Fargo Street is a beast!  Kevin's getting tired and Fargo Street isn't getting any less steep, he touches down.  

Riders continue to make their way up Fargo, then there is an opening in the pack, and Kevin starts up again.  Pedal, pedal, push, push, Kevin continues on and at about two-thirds of the way, Fargo wins. Kevin touches down again.  He takes a small break and the goal is to just get to the top.  He starts up again and pushes hard up the final 30 to 50 feet.  Channel 7 is at the top and a big news camera is there to greet Kevin along with a handful of other cyclists and spectators. 

Last year I made it up Fargo Street fifteen times.  This year my goal was 36, to signify my lovely 36 years of life.  Long story short, I made it up 18 times before LA Wheelmen stopped the event.  It started raining so the coordinator decided they had enough and it probably isn't a good idea riding up a steep a$$ hill in the rain.  The first 5 times up were hard.  After that, I settled into a groove and just kept going.  When I made it up the eighteenth time the score keeper said the event is over due to the rain and I zipped back down with hopes of trying to get at least 2 more before it was "officially" over.  I started to make my way up the nineteenth time and the coordinator cut me short. 

All in all the event was a success and I look forward to next year.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fargo Street Hill Climb

Event: Fargo Street Hill Climb
Host: LA Wheelman
Date: March 25, 2012
Time: 9:00 am
Link: http://www.lawheelmen.org/fargofaq.htm

This Sunday LA Wheelman is hosting their Fargo Street Hill Climb.  I attended last year and made it up Fargo 15 times.  Fargo Street is the second steepest hill in the USA at a 33% grade.  My loose goal this year is 36 times.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bicycle Sprint Racing - Commentary By Phil Liggett

Phil Liggett has been involved in cycling for a long time.  His commentary on Sprint Racing is classic and very informative for those not understanding this race.  That East German is a monster.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Marathon Crash Race 2012

Two years ago, I heard about a race put on by the Wolfpack Hustle, The Marathon Crash Race. The idea was simple, crash the LA Marathon course before the foot races start.  When, if ever, can cyclists have 26.2 miles of uninterrupted streets to go all out and ride.

Last year, I had my heart on doing this race but for what ever reasons, I missed it.  About a month ago, I saw a promo video for this year's Crash Race and told myself I would do it.

So with all that, I was up at 2 am and out of the house by 2:45.  I met up with Michael and together we set off to Tang's the official start and home of Wolfpack Hustle.

To say it was cold was an understatement.  Yesterday it rained all day and the snow level was pegged at 2000 ft.  This morning there was no rain, but it was cold.  I am so glad, at the last minute, I decided to buy a balaclava.   The balaclava made all the difference between cold and miserably cold. 

The ride to Santa Monica was fast.  There were so many people, it was crazy.  Cyclists were everywhere. I was relived that I had made it to the finish in one piece.  I was soaked in my own sweat and getting cold fast.  That is when Michael and I decided to start moving and making our way home.  

We decided to take Santa Monica Blvd all the way back to Tang's.  The ride back wasn't so bad and I was back home by 8 am.  Just in time for breakfast and then church. 

Article Found Here, "Athens Banner-Herald"

In The Spotlight: Spring is time for Cyclists, Motorists to be Patient
Athens Banner-Herald
By Judd Smith
Link: http://onlineathens.com/opinion/2012-03-08/spotlight-spring-time-cyclists-motorists-be-patient

Things are starting to bloom, warm weather is on its way, and Daylight Saving Time is just around the corner. So, other than allergies, what does spring bring out? Cyclists!

Less than a year ago, the Georgia General Assembly passed a law clarifying and expanding rules related to cyclists on public roads. The law now requires that motorists move over at least three feet when passing a bike. Quite frankly, that’s not much when a car is traveling 30, 40 or 50 mph. Keep in mind that every time you buzz past a cyclist within a few feet at 50 mph, and they are following the law, you’re only an arm’s length from facing a homicide by vehicle charge.

I realize that every time an incident involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle occurs, it seems to bring out the venom in both camps, but I think everyone should sit back and take a deep breath before passing judgment.

I’ll admit I might be a little biased in one direction, because I am a cyclist — as are quite of few of my friends and coworkers. Regardless, let’s take an objective look at the conflict between drivers and riders.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from motorists about cyclists is that they are blocking the road and slowing them down. Does this happen? You bet. But keep in mind that the law does allows bikers to ride two wide. Most of the riders I know are courteous enough to ride single file, unless they’re on a road where passing is not a problem.

The fact is that both cyclists and drivers need to be more courteous. A good rule of thumb is to imagine that everyone you pass on the road, whether in a car or on a bike, is a family member.

My guess is that if you actually timed how long you are inconvenienced by someone riding a bicycle, you’ll find the delay is something like 15 to 30 seconds. If you can’t afford to be held up for 60 seconds to get where you are going, you probably should have left a little earlier.

And if you can’t manage to pass a biker without yelling or making some gesture, you should probably reconsider whether you should be piloting a multi-ton metal box at 60 mph down our public roads. You should know that gestures made from behind the wheel can lead to an aggressive driving charge, which can be costly.

Remember, it’s your legal obligation to pass a bicycle with care, just as if you were passing another car.

The second most common complaint I hear is that bicyclists should be taxed to keep up the roads. Frankly, I don’t know of a single biker who doesn’t own a car and buy at least some gas. Yes, most cyclists — at least in the more rural areas — are recreational riders. But you should be careful what you wish for. Perhaps the public roads should be used primarily for non-recreational transportation related to business and commerce, and drivers should pay an additional tax on miles driven recreationally. Talking about taxation can be a slippery slope.

Thankfully, the vast majority of cyclists and drivers are basically good people with good intentions. I’ve been riding for years and have only had a couple of bad encounters with motorists. The bottom line is that — with the exception of interstate highways — cars, bikes and pedestrians are all legal on our roads. A very wise man once told me that in this life you can do anything you want — as long as you are prepared to handle the consequences. So let’s all try to be a little more careful out there.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ice Then Snow Then Rain (My Dad is Stupid)

Kevin's on fire, training hard up GMR.  Today he made it to Monroe.

(Kevin Writes)


I can’t decide which title best fits my ride today.

After hearing about my ride and making me a cup of HOT coffee, my 20-year old daughter posted on FaceBook “My dad is stupid” in less than two minutes she had three LIKES.  I hope her comment had more to do with her attitude since she turn 16 and began to believe that she is enlightened.  I would like to know what you think….

The ride today started after examining the weather report and seeing that by 10am the temperature would bust above 45degrees and the chance of rain would drop below 30percent (which to me means no chance in southern California).  I packed a rain jacket and a head warmer, nevertheless.  That’s what I call preparation. Oh, I also asked my wife to heat up the spa in a couple of hours, knowing that there was a good chance I would be a little chilled.

I then began the steady climb up GMR hoping to surpass last week’s ride.  Unlike last week, it was not the quintessential GMR riding day-- cloudy and few riders.  I figured maybe the fitness buffs were enjoying running the LA Marathon or were watching the finals of the San Dimas Stage Race. To which my daughter would say, “No Dad, they just use good judgment”.    Imagine that, a UCSB college student living in Isla Vista extolling the virtues of good judgment, ironic.

 I did see a few riders descending and one passed me going up.  There was little traffic and only a couple of motorcycles.  One of the riders coming down said “its cold…” another said “it snowing up there..”. They looked like they might have been coming back from Baldy Village, and I was comfortable and not going that far, so I paid no attention.

Well after about 6.5 miles into the climb, it started experiencing little ice balls falling from the sky.  No big deal as they would bounce off me and I stayed warm and dry.  Nevertheless, I stopped at 7.5 miles to put on my jacket as it was starting to get a little chilly.  See, good judgment that I was prepared.  Flurries of ice ball continued as I passed the maintenance shed and pushed a little further.  I stopped to rest at the junction of GMR and the Monroe Truck Trail.

It was then when little flakes began to float around.  It was snowing.  I pulled out my camera/phone to try to capture the moment as it turned into a snow shower.  My phone shut off due to moisture or cold, I am not sure which.  I was beginning to think about how cold it was going to be descending and I pulled on my head warmer.  I even that for a second about trying to call for a ride, but I figured the snow would stop as I headed down, and my phone wouldn’t turn on. 

 So down I went, taking it easy so as to not crash on the wet pavement.  The snow quickly turned to ice balls again, then a pretty steady rain as I continued down.  Despite three layers, long sleeves, arm warmers, and full finger gloves, I began to get quite cold pretty quickly.   With about 5 miles to go my hands and feet were numb.  I stopped and made windmill motions with my arms to force blood back into my fingers so I could have strength to pull the break levels and keep to a safe descending speed.

So as she made me some coffee, while I was getting ready to go in the 104degree spa to thaw out, my daughter after hearing my story posted that I was stupid and got immediate concurrence.  I tried to convince her that I exhibited both preparation and perseverance.

I am looking forward to the Fargo Street Climb next Sunday.  No chance it could be so cold and definitely not as long.  I just hope I don’t crash again…(I cant handle another FaceBook posting)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Juliet Elliott - A Stop-Frame Film

Juliet Elliott - A stop-frame film from Charge Bikes on Vimeo.

Several thousand frames go together to make this film of Charge Bikes rider Juliet Elliott riding her Plug around her home town (London).

Filmed by Georgi Banks-Davies

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rules Every Cyclists Should Know (And MASH Breaking Everyone of Them!)

Mash from romk on Vimeo.

Article Found Here, "Rules Every Cyclists Should Know"

"Rules Every Cyclists Should Know"
Santa Monica Daily Press
Artis Williams
Link: http://www.smdp.com/Articles-opinion-and-commentary-c-2012-03-02-73572.113116-Rules-every-cyclist-should-know.html

Q: A few weeks ago I remember reading a column regarding bicyclists riding along the right edge of the roadway and the new sensors City Hall installed at controlled intersections ("Cycling safely on city streets," On The Beat, Jan. 14-15). I have considered using my bicycle more often for transportation and I wanted to know if there are other laws I should know when I am out on my bicycle.

A: If you remember we talked about cyclists having to ride close to the right edge of the roadway when traveling slower the normal speed of traffic (21202(a) VC), but there are other laws that cyclists need to know.

First let's take a look at the Santa Monica Municipal Code:

• Section 3.12.540(a) of the Santa Monica Municipal Code prohibits bicyclists from riding on the sidewalk. Bicyclists must use the roadway when traveling in Santa Monica.

Now let's take a look at the California Vehicle Code. As mentioned above, in the January article I talked about sections 21202(a) (ride close to the right edge of the roadway when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic) as well as 21201 (reflectors and light required while riding during hours of darkness), but let's take a look at some other rules for bicyclists:

• Section 21650.1 states a bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway, shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway. During my career I have met many cyclists who ride in the opposite direction of traffic, in other words they ride with traffic coming toward them. There have been various reasons why some cyclists ride this way but in California, it's illegal and a cyclist can be cited.

• Section 21203 prohibits an operator of a bicycle, motorized cycle, motorcycle, roller skates, skateboard, sled or operators of toy vehicles from clinging or holding on to moving vehicles. This means cyclists (and the others previously mentioned) may not hold onto (or attach themselves to) cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses or other vehicles traveling on the roadway. This includes skateboarders/skaters holding on to bicycles traveling on the roadway.

• Section 21204(a) states a person operating a bicycle upon a highway shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle. Subsection (b) states an operator of a bicycle shall not allow a person riding as a passenger, to ride on a bicycle on a highway other than upon or astride a separate seat attached to the bicycle. Simply put, riding on handlebars or foot pegs are not allowed for operators or passengers of bicycles. Each person on the bicycle must have a permanent or regular seat on the bicycle. Parents who have small children (40 pounds or less) must use a seat that secures the child passenger in place and protects the child passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle.

• Section 21205 prohibits an operator of a bicycle from carrying any package, bundle or article which prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

• Section 21208(a) states whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane. A cyclist may only move out of the bicycle lane when overtaking another bicycle, vehicle or pedestrian within the lane if the passing and overtaking cannot be done safely within the bicycle lane.

Cyclists may also exit the bicycle lane when preparing to turn onto a private road or driveway, preparing to make a left turn at an intersection and when reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazards. No cyclist may leave the bicycle lane until it is reasonably safe to do so and only after giving the appropriate signal.

• Section 21210 states no person shall leave a bicycle lying on its side on a sidewalk, or shall park a bicycle on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.

• Section 21212 requires any operator of a bicycle, non-motorized scooter, skateboard or anyone wearing in-line or roller skates on a street, bikeway or other public bike path or trail and is under the age of 18 to wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). If you are unsure about a helmet, look for a sticker with the letters ASTM either inside the helmet or on the packaging that came with the helmet.

• Section 27400 prohibits drivers and cyclists from covering both ears while operating their vehicles on the road. This includes personal headphones/earbuds.

Let's not forget about red lights and stop signs. Bicyclists are required to stop for both stop signs and red lights when operating on the roadway; this includes T-intersections as well.

Now I know I may have thrown a lot of information at you in this column, but if I had to put in simple terms I would say this:

Drivers need to be careful and watch for bicyclists on the roadway. Cyclists have the right and are required to use the roadway when traveling. Cyclists and drivers have to be careful and share the road, but it doesn't give a cyclist carte blanche to ride on the road any way they choose. There are rules cyclists need to follow so everyone may use the roadway in a safe manner.

Safety tip

Drivers of motor vehicles must remember to always look out for cyclists on the roadway. Section 22517 of the Vehicle Code prohibits any person from opening the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of traffic. No person shall leave a door open on the side available to traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Commentator

"The Commentator"
Brendt Barbur
Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2105237365/the-commentator

"In 1976 Danish Filmmaker Jorgen Leth made the legendary sports and cycling film, A Sunday in Hell, about the Paris Roubaix cycling race. It defined a genre and helped put the Paris-Roubaix on the global sporting map. Leth now comments on the race for television.

We plan to follow Leth as he prepares for and comments on the race. We’ll be with him from his hotel in Paris until the end of the race at the Roubaix Velodrome. Along the way our team of photographers and filmmakers will shoot footage of the race, crowds and Leth himself caught up in the excitement of sport. We’ll capture the intense effort of contemporary pro racers, and will be sure to include stars from cycling’s past."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Le Tour De Backyard

No "Riding" for me this past weekend.  Spent the weekend nursing a sick household but I did get a few hours on the rollers.  Since it was a beautiful day, I pulled the rollers out of the garage. I was nice riding the rollers outdoors.  It was sunny, with a gentle breeze, and the smell of blossoming jasmine and music by the Beetles helped pass the time. 


Advice for Drivers: How To Drive With & Around Cyclists

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kevin Rides on and on and on to the Maintenance Shed

Kevin's been riding up GMR these past few weeks and is progressively working his way higher and higher up the mountain. Great job and you'll make it to Baldy this year for sure!
Kevin Writes:

'Great weather plus a little encouragement makes for a great ride'

Jason asked for some pics and a write up about my ride. Here it is:

Thinking back three years this month, Jason talked me into starting to train for rides to Baldy Village.  You see, he was on a fitness kick and found a website authored by Annette that talked about riding GMR.  We met Annette and Matt at the corner of Sierra Madre and GMR and began to ride to the maintenance shed.  I think Annette was assessing Jason to see if he really had what it takes.  I had no doubt about Jason, but I on the other hand was a much longer term project. 
Kevin 3 Years Ago
Something went terribly wrong for me on that ride, which I had to cut short.  I later found out that I had a serious deep vein thrombosis in my leg.    Two and a half years later after great care from Dr. Paul Bressman, I was able to stop taking Coumadin (a blood thinner) and get back to riding.

Jason helps keep me motivated with pep talks about riding the Fargo Street hill climb, rides to the Rosebowl, and getting ready for the Tour of California.  He is going to do the L’Etape, while I plan to ride up to Glendora Ridge and watch the peloton pass in both directions.  So no surprise that he was checking in with me to see if I was riding this weekend.  I told him that I was riding today, rather than my typical Sunday trek.

Turns out, today was the quintessential California riding day.  Nice weather, clean air, and plenty of friendly fellow riders.  It really can't  get any better.

Kevin Today
As I continue to get back into shape after more than two years of minimal activity.  Each ride I pick up the pace a little and put in a bit more distance.  My plan today was to climb about 7.5 miles from my house, somewhere around 1,700 to 1,800 feet of vertical.

The great thing about GMR is the friendly fellow riders, always greeting and some giving good advice like “shift down and spin” or “stay in the saddle” to conserve energy.  I really appreciate it, although often when breathing heavy, my best response may be an unintelligible grunt “thanks”.   Today was like any other, many encouraging comments for this recovering pachyderm as I climb and twisted up the scenic road.

As I was nearing my goal, maybe about a mile to go, I noticed a pack of riders descending lead by the red bandana clad ambassador of GMR cycling herself.  As she passed, Annette shouted out “Hey Kevin way to go! Keep it up!”  Well, that was like a shot in the arm, although certainly not one that would be banned by the International Cycling Union.  You see, it got me thinking about that ride I never finished 3 years ago.

With a half bottle of water left, I decide it was enough. My legs seemed relatively strong.  So, I decided to streak pass my goal (it felt that way, but probably was turning it over enough to stay between 5-6mph).

The result:

9.5 miles of climbing

2,000 + feet of vertical

Kevin Rides on to the Maintenance Shed

Kevin - "Jason found out I was riding to today and asked for pics and a write-up. Here is my Thousand Words essay"

Great job Kevin.  

Kevin Rides Glendora Mountain Road

Last Sunday Kevin rode up GMR for a Personal Record.  Keep it up!

View of The First Saddle while sitting on the saddle.  No time to stop!

Looking down the canyon.  First Saddle Plus 2.  Time to get ready for TofC!

Friday, March 9, 2012

MotherF@#King Bike

KY's Olde Towne Bicycle Shop

Now this is a restaurant I would love to visit! Check out the menu ...

The building now occupied by K.Y.'s has a long and rich history in Slidell. Built in 1902, it was originally the home to Marguerite McDaniels Millinery Store. In 1910 Italian immigrant Andrea Carollo purchased the site for use as both his home and family business, "Carollo's Grocery".  The Carollo family operated the store until 1965.  In the late 60's Johnny Krolak purchased the building where, for the next 23 years, he operated Slidell Bicycle and Lawnmower Shop.  K.Y.'s Olde Towne Bicycle Shop began operation on this site on May 2, 1992.

K.Y.'s offers casual dining featuring fresh Louisiana seafood, Po-Boys, Specialty Plates and, of course, the incomparable K.Y. Burger.

Ky's Olde Towne Bicycle Shop 2267 Carey Street, Slidell, Louisiana

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crossing a Double Yellow Line to Pass Cyclists

Article Found Here, "The Morning Call..."

"State Law Gives Bicycle Wide Berth on Street"
Lehigh Valley's Newspaper, The Morning Call
Dan Hartzell

"Q: My understanding is that state House Bill 170 dealing with bicycle safety rules makes it legal for a motorist to cross a double-yellow line to pass a cyclist. If that's correct, that means it currently is illegal to do so! That might explain why some drivers don't move over when otherwise they could. In any event, I basically support the provisions of this bill, and the measure has been signed into law by Gov. Corbett.

— Terry Terfinko, Upper Milford Township

A: By my reading of the state Vehicles Law, Terry, it's not even illegal to cross a double-yellow line to pass another car unless "do not pass" or "no passing zone" signs are posted. We've been down this road several times over the years, and conflicting traffic always comes my way in response, but most police officers I've consulted agree that the signs must be there for the provision to be enforceable.

Ted Kohuth, retired commander of state police Troop M in Bethlehem and also retired as Whitehall Township police chief, is among those who see it that way. Kohuth is quick to point out that, as a matter of safety, he recommends against crossing a double-yellow to pass another car on a two-lane country road, but that as a matter of law, it's not illegal if the signs are missing. Crossing the line briefly to pass a bicycle is a model of a different color, but the same clearcoat rules apply.

State Rep. Ron Miller, R-York, who introduced HB 170, said one of its intentions is to assure motorists that it's legal to cross "the center line," or the double-yellow line, to pass a cyclist, so long as it's done in the absence of conflicting traffic and otherwise safely. Miller wasn't really ready to sign on to my contention that it's always been legal to cross the double-yellow — he said he'd have to check into it — but even if that's true, the new law helps clarify the matter.

"More than anything, it's going to be an educational piece [of legislation]," hopefully helping to broker a peace agreement between motorists and bicyclists, Miller said. "This clarifies that it's OK for a car, if it's safe to do so, to move across a double-yellow line to pass."

It may well be that some motorists think they could be cited for crossing the line to pass a bicyclist, but given the fact that bicyclists have the same rights (and responsibilities) as motorists, it follows that if you can cross the line to pass a car, you can cross it to pass a bike, and always could. If the new law reinforces this assertion in the public mind, it will be helpful.

From my limited experience riding my bike on the streets, it's not so much clueless drivers who come too close for comfort as they pass, but rather angry ones — people who are convinced that bicycles don't belong on the streets and should not be allowed there in the first place. Often, these close shaves are intentional, a sort of "I'll put a scare into this guy to show him what I think" philosophy. It gets no more small-minded than that.

It's true that too many motorists tend to drift carelessly onto and over the double-yellow, into a portion of the oncoming lane for absolutely no reason, and those folks should be cited. But with legitimate cause — and of course, assuming the oncoming lane is clear and all other laws are being observed — it's perfectly safe and legal to encroach in order to pass. In the view through my windshield, the new law doesn't change that.

What the law does is clarify and solidify the requirement that motor vehicle drivers must give bicyclists safe clearance when passing on the road, and it unambiguously defines that clearance as a space of at least four feet. If a motorist comes so close that the cyclist can reach out and touch the car, then the law is being broken; there's no contrary argument to be made.

Miller said his area's highly engaged bicycling community had been pressing for the safety measures for years. He said bicycle safety ultimately depends on mutual respect between drivers and cyclists, putting it this way in a news release: "Some motorists will try to get as close to bicyclists as possible in order to 'make a statement' because of a belief that [bicyclists] don't belong on the road, which is not the case. At the same time … bicyclists must be mindful of larger vehicles, and adhere to the rules of the road that they must also obey."

It's a good law, though I'm not sure how much enforcement we can expect. Police officers will have to witness violations and take the time to issue citations. Many motorists won't be aware of the new rules, and others — the perturbed types again — won't care. Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill Feb. 3, making it effective April 3. Hopefully the educational aspect cited by Miller will get some traction.

The law makes other important changes. It clarifies and emphasizes that bicycles are allowed to be ridden not off to the shoulder, but directly in the traffic lane — the "shared lane" practice considered to be the safest by many experts. The law states that, while observing all other regulations, bicycles "shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway." This provision already exists for motor vehicles — it's meant to keep slow-moving cars from hogging the passing lane — and it applies to bikes as well since they are considered vehicles.

The new law adds the provision to the section of law specifically applying to "pedalcycles," as they're called in the code. Unfortunately for shared-lane advocates, two-lane roads are exempted from the new regulation, but again, as vehicles under the law, bicycles still are allowed to be ridden in the lane itself.

There's something in the law for motorists, too: It's always been advisable for courteous in-lane bikers to pull to the side and even stop if necessary to allow jammed-up motor vehicles behind them to pass. The new rules make it a requirement: "A pedalcycle operator shall use reasonable efforts so as not to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic." That leaves a lot more than four feet of space available for interpretation and judgment, but at least it signals the legislature's intent.

The law also gives bicyclists the right of way over left-turning cars crossing their path — another provision already granted to motor vehicles and, by extrapolation, to bikes.

It's all good stuff, and I hope these rules get through to the motoring public. The main road of bicycling season is not too far ahead.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coming Soon

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kids at Play

Daddy takes too many pictures.

Bicykillers take Santa Monica

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Big Ride - Pomona to Azusa Canyon to Glendora Ridge Road to Ice House at Mt Baldy

It was cold when we left the house at about 6:45 am, but I was well prepared.  I hate "Over" dressing but something told me it was going to be cold as we made our way into Azusa Canyon.  I right and last Tuesday's rain left parts of GRR wet with patches of ice and snow in the shadier parts of the road.  

Our goal was to ride from my house in Pomona to Azusa Canyon with a final destination to Mt Baldy Ski Lifts.  We were pressed for time so we ended up riding to Mt Baldy Road / Ice House Canyon (Pictured Below). For me this was an epic ride but I did well.  I decided against the fixed gear bike today. I would not have made it to East Fork on Fixed going Michael's pace.

I still want to ride fixed all the way to Mt Baldy but I need to start training for Le Etape Du California, Ontario to Mt Baldy.  If I want to make Le Etape, I will need to pack in some more miles and more altitude training.  Riding to the lifts hurts!


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Bicycle RULES! Opps, I Mean Know the Bicycle Rules ...

"Everyone Should Learn Bicycle Rules"
The Columbia Tribune
By Robert Johnson
Link: http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/feb/20/everyone-should-learn-bicycle-rules/

Columbia has likely the largest bicycle education program in the United States, yet many bicyclists are not taking advantage of this opportunity. Most people — including many who ride regularly — think bicycling is so simple they have nothing to learn. The reality is few bicyclists understand how to ride safely in traffic or have even a basic understanding of bicycling laws. I've developed a short quiz for you to see whether you might have something to gain by taking a course.

Question 1: You are bicycling down a street, staying approximately 3 feet from the right curb. Cars are passing you too close to your left side for you to feel safe. Should you:

A. Move closer to the curb, even though you think you might hit the curb and crash?

B. Maintain your position and hope drivers will begin to use more common sense and give you a wider clearance as they pass?

C. Look behind you, signal and move left to the center of the lane when there is a gap, forcing drivers to look ahead for oncoming traffic, waiting for a clearing and then passing you in the other lane?

The correct answer is "C." The law allows bicyclists to ride in the middle of a traffic lane if they think the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle. Many times bicyclists who complain of being passed too closely are guilty of inadvertently encouraging close passing by riding too far to the right when the lane is narrow. The driver, seeing a bicyclist hugging the right curb, takes that visual cue as an invitation to pass, even if the narrow lane width means it's too dangerous. Moving to the left takes away that visual cue. Traffic flow improves, and the bicyclists usually get far more clearance from the passing vehicles.

Question 2: True or false — it's illegal for two bicyclists to ride side by side on a public roadway.

The correct answer is: It depends. City Ordinance 14-503 says "bicyclists may ride abreast when not impeding other vehicles." That means that if traffic cannot pass only because the bicyclists are riding abreast, then they should move to single file. However, in most cases, traffic can easily pass by changing lanes, and the bicyclists are free to ride down the street side by side.

Question 3: While bicycling, you approach a red traffic light with a line of stopped cars. Do you:

A. Continue along the right side of the lane between the cars and the curb and make your way to the front?

B. Look behind you, signal and then move left to the center of the lane to wait in line just like a motorist would?

The correct answer is "B." Bicyclists who ride to the right side of stopped automobiles are vulnerable to a type of crash called a "right hook." This is where motorists making right turns strike a bicyclist who was passing them on their right side. By moving to the middle of the lane and waiting in the line of traffic, a bicyclist eliminates this threat. Then after crossing the intersection, the bicyclist can move back to the right side of the lane if it is safe.

Several hundred adults have taken a bicycle education course in Columbia over the past six years. Every single student has learned a tremendous amount about bicycling, many even admitting they were surprised they learned so much.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

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