Love to all of you.
Love to all of you.
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
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.]
This Toronto bike rack is a perfect illustration of how curbside parking sucks up valuable street space. Here, six cyclists are able to park in an area normally taken by one motorist, and since the rack was installed on the street, rather than on the sidewalk, pedestrians are unimpeded.
Photo: Spacing Toronto
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.
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.]