How to: Custom Colored Cables and Hose

How to: Custom Colored Cables and Hose:

Here is a how to guide on changing normal black cables or hose on your bike to pretty much any color you could want. Not only is black boring, but the hard coating on the outside of the cables can rub through paint and even aluminum. I have seen a Hayes brake cable eat right through the stanchion on a Fox 40. Braided stainless brake lines look nice, but are expensive running over $50 a line and don’t match your derailleur cable. By using the same heat shrink tubing electricians use you can protect your frame and match your cables to any color scheme for your bike.

[Jenni, This one’s got you written all over it…]
Source: Blue Collar Mountain Biking

Bike Writers Collective — Cyclists’ Bill of Rights

Bike Writers Collective: NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE CYCLING COMMUNITY, do hereby claim the following rights:

  1. Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.
  2. Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.
  3. Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.
  4. Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
  5. Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.
  6. Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.
  7. Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.
  8. Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the organization and administration of our communities.
  9. Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.
  10. Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.
  11. Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property, and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment.
  12. Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

And further, we claim and assert these rights by taking to the streets and riding our bicycles, all in an expression of our inalienable right to ride! [Good stuff. Fight the good fight. Some of it is silly in that we already have these rights, but I believe what they are saying is that there seems to be the age old bias about “different” and how folks are treated. Just as with race, gender, color, etc. cyclists are seen as a group “separate” from normal folks, and therefore treated as “less than” by many. That really has to stop.]

Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday: If you partake in Critical Mass and you dont didnt excersise your duty to vote, you are a total douche bag.
A record number of women didnt vote in the last presidential election, nor did voters age 18 to 24.
I have a easier time dealing with somebody who voted for Bush than somebody who didnt vote at all.
All Im saying is that registering to vote is not that hard. [The first sentence is particularly to the point. It’s easy to feel like you’re doing something when you join a protest ride or march of any sort. But the fundamental way to change life in this country is through voting. Please get involved.]
Source: How to Avoid the Bummer Life

Sheldon Brown, 1944-2008

Sheldon Brown, 1944-2008: 1944-2008. Word has come from his wife that Sheldon Brown passed away last night from a massive heart attack. Countless cyclists have been inspired and influenced by Sheldon’s vast writings of his seemingly endless cycling knowledge. [Sad. I’ve been using his site lately to look up information about bottom bracket spindle lengths. I only recently read about his health travails. Thanks for all the info. RIP]
Source: Urban Velo


I’ve been riding regularly since the end of last year. After a terrible year (from a cycling viewpoint) I’ve recommitted to getting out. So I’ve managed to keep this up for over a month, and yesterday some friends who are back from their annual sojourn in Florida said they were riding so I took up a big section in the heart of the day for longer ride. (Thanks Lisa!)

The last time I did this ride I hadn’t been on my bike for weeks and weeks, and not before that for weeks and weeks, etc., etc, and that’s not a great way to have fun while riding with folks who are on their bikes all the time. I Panted and heaved and struggled and got dropped and dropped and dropped again, and generally had little fun other than proudly knowing that I had earned the price I was paying through neglect. Suffering on a bike has a long history. I was in good company, other than the relative speed at which all this was taking place.

So I’ve building back up a bit and it was time to go a bit longer and as it turned out faster. Amazingly the weather cooperated and it was relatively warm out (high 40’sF). That in and of itself was pleasant — my birthday ride the other week was in the low 20’s, the feel’s like temps were 0F when we started out.

Anyway, we hit the first flat and we’re cruisin’ along and my partner drops off saying something about going back and riding with someone else, so I keep going. I continue on and when I actually look back I see no one. I’m awfully surprised. How could I have dropped this group of stronger riders and folks who have been riding every day in Florida? No idea. I still don’t. I really lighten up now floating at 10MPH and shortly I here a “whoop” from behind, and a second later there’s the group. One person suggested doping was the cause for my new found speed. I wondered whether I had just burnt all my matches unintentionally, and would be dragging and bonking on the backside of the ride.

But it turns out not to be the case, and there was plenty more groovin’ along on this basically flat route. There were a couple of little hills which I struggled with as much because I wasn’t prepared for them as anything else. For me tempo on even a short hill… and “knowing” the hill, where it gets steep, how to ride it (bigger gear here, spin here, out of the saddle here) is critical to maximizing what little I have.

However I felt some strength, and some spin, and just a bit more like someone who rides than I have in a year. I’m sure I held my partners back a bit on the ride home, but not so much that I felt like a drag. This month is “try to ride every day Sunday through Thursday” month for me. Yesterday was the start, and today should be no problem, though I have to get the trainer set up in addition to doing the spin.

I’ll keep mentioning it over the course of the month to embarrass myself into keeping the commitment as much as possible.

The point of all this however, was to reming myself of the huge improvements that can be achieved simply by making riding routine. Even the once a week or better I’ve been doing has greatly restored some ability. I’m not sure why that should be such a revelation at this point, but it is. So now it’s time to amp things up, and seriously prepare for the hills. I hope to ride shorter and more intensely this year as time is as short as ever, and there’s less time for long lazy rides (as pleasant as those can be) so I have to make my time on the bike count, and that means intervals and hills. So be it. At least my knees aren’t hurting for the first time in 2 or so years now.


Vision Zero

The Washington Post Writers Group: “Vision Zero” — no more deaths from highway accidents. The idea was born in Sweden, where it’s had spectacular success in reducing traffic fatalities. Now zeroing out all traffic fatalities must become an explicit U.S. and worldwide goal. Otherwise we have no prospect of taming the appalling roadway death toll — 42,000 lives lost yearly in the United States, close to 1.2 million worldwide. [snip -ed]

How did the Swedes do it? Tough seat belt and helmet laws, to be sure. But they’ve also begun to remake their roadways. Red lights at intersections (which encourage drivers to accelerate dangerously to “beat the light”) are being replaced with traffic circles. Four-foot high barriers of lightweight but tough Mylar are being installed down the center of roadways to prevent head-on collisions. On local streets, narrowed roadways and speed bumps, plus raised pedestrian crosswalks, limit speeds to a generally non-lethal 20 miles an hour.

[As said… imagine if that 42,000 death toll was from Jet crashes? Or a drug? Why is it an acceptable part of our lives since it comes from traffic? That’s an awful lot of maximal system failures. We need to do better, and it starts with a Vision Zero plan for the country. Who’s going to step up? So many roads in my neighborhood are barely safe because of the style of driving they reinforce. Walking is extremely dangerous during the day and nearly suicidal at night. Bike riding is horrendously dangerous at all times. Parking lot driving habits are awful… and the lots themselves are poorly designed. We must stop the madness.]