Nov 122013

Frequent visitors may have noticed some new content showing up on the main VeloReviews home page. We’re really excited to have teamed up with Ted Rogers of Biking In LA fame to share some of his great (and frequent) articles. Ted has been a long-time friend of JustAnotherCyclist, and I’ve even written an article for his blog. Now you can find links to his latest posts right here on VeloReviews. Ted brings loads of experience and knowledge of the LA cycling scene. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and participates in the LAPD bike task force.

You can find Ted Rogers on Twitter @bikinginla. He regularly blogs at BikingInLA.

Mar 042013

Ed OrcuttWashington State Representitive Ed Orcutt (R -Kalama) has claimed that cycling is harmful to the environment by claiming that because of “an increased heart rate and respiration.” In an email exchange shared by Cascade Bicycle Club between Orcutt and a constituent, Orcutt made the statement that “You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car…” [source].

Seattle Bike Blog reportedly reached out to Orcutt for followup, where he appears to focus on tax issues instead of his environmental statements.

Here’s the complete email as posted on the Cascade Cycling Club website:
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Oct 242012

Photo credit Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious. http://www.cyclelicio.us/

For many of us in the bent state on the left coast known as California, this month has brought some of the first significant rain of the season. And for the cycling crowd, that means its time to bring out the fenders. For those of us that like to ride skinny-tired, pretend-to-be-a-racer road bikes, fenders can be a bit of a challenge. The narrow clearances between the tires and frame/forks of most sport-centric road bikes make common commuter fenders impossible to install. That generally reduces your options to one of two categories – ultra-thin (and expensive) full size fenders that fit the tight frame tolerances, or reduced coverage fenders that avoid the clearance problem by not going between the wheel and the frame.

Another challenge for road bike fenders is that – generally speaking – road bikes have no eyelets on either the fork or rear dropouts. This means you will be restricted to fenders using straps to attach the fenders rather than screws. While they may not look aesthetically as clean as bolt-on fenders, they have the advantage of requiring no tools to install or remove.

For almost all applications, I believe that partial, snap-on fenders that cover the front wheel from the fork back and down, and the back wheel from the brake/seat stays back and down provide a reasonable amount of protection. RaceBlade have been around for a long time, and are a quality product. The more mass-market focused Planet Bike line of fenders perform nearly as well. The different between the two sets is a general increase in stability – or lack of wiggling around while riding – for the RaceBlades.

If you demand full coverage, take a look for the RaceBlade XL – which avoid the clearance problems bu including an adjustable “gap” in the fender that you would place in the tight area around the brake calipers.

Any of these solutions can be had for well under $100 (us), and many of them for under $30. If you are unable to keep dry clothes at the office, or your travels in the rain done allow for you to be soggy by your destination, a good set of fenders can be the difference between riding and driving for some. In addition, once you have the fenders on, I’d recommend leaving them on for the weekend group rides on wet pavement too. The guy drafting you will thank you.

Sep 272012

Given that I’m writing this as a staff writer here on VeloReviews.com and not over on my own blog, I’ll try and keep my snark level to a minimum. And let’s face it – nothing demands snarky comments like Critical Mass. But, I’ll refrain and ride on the most serious side of the bike lane for now.

So what is all the hub-ub about Critical Mass right now? It just so happens that tomorrow, Friday, September 28th marks the 20th anniversary of the first ride in San Francisco that many believe lead to the phenomenon that is now known around the world as Critical Mass. Ross was nice enough to set up a forum for us to discuss our collective opinions on this whole phenomenon. Is Critical Mass a good thing – has it lead to infrastructure improvements? Was Critical Mass a good thing that has now lost its relevance? Is Critical Mass a bad thing – a dark stain on an already tarnished image of cyclists in the common culture? Join me in the forums to discuss this and anything else Critical Mass-.

Jun 182012

National Bike MonthMay is bike month. We all know it, and many of us go on about it. We get bike to school day, bike to work day, and in addition a whole bike to work week! Local coffee shops, bike shops and assorted business get the excuse opportunity to set up tables along popular bike routes and paths giving away free swag and looking very bike-friendly. This should be a month for me to rejoice – to share enthusiasm and passions with the greater cycling community. A time for us to pat ourselves on our collective back and take stock in how far advocacy efforts have come. And May is action packed with a lot more than just advocacy and riding to work. On the racing front, we had not only the grand american race Tour of California, but also the Giro d’Italia.  The Tour of Cali was especially engaging for me this year, as I watched one of my personal favorites – and fellow old guy – Chris Horner appear to struggle through the Time Trial with an anchor on his bike. The setback would have crushed the spirits of other folks. But the drama unfolded in the final significant climbs of the race as Horner, Jens Voigt (another personal favorite and fellow old guy) and others took a flyer off the front. Slowly riders from the break away dropped one by one, until Chris Horner had actually made back all the time lost in the TT and then some.  He climbed his way into first place on paper – as Phil Liggett likes to say – and had me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately the herculean effort was not enough and he was eventually caught. But what a way to highlight what bike month is supposed to be about – enjoying all aspects of bicycles. Rolling the cruiser, commuting to work, or ripping the peloton apart.

Unfortunately, this time around all Bike Month managed to do for me was remind me that the other 11 months are not bike month.  June came this year to punch me in the gut and drive the point home. June has brought us the apparent implosion (again) of what should have been the best team in the peloton – RadioShack Nissan Trek. Andy Schleck has been plagued by … something … all season. There are already rumors of the Schleck boys leaving the squad. When the team announced their Tour de France lineup, Chris Horner was not on the list. This lead to all kinds of speculation and drama as to why that happened. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the presumed Tour de France GC contender Andy Schleck was not going to make it due to injury. Ahh, but poor Bruyneel wasn’t done with bad news yet. Just when we thought it was over, Bruyneel and Mr Armstrong find themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Yup – doping allegations again. What is a cycling enthusiast to do.

But hold on a second…

I once again started my commute on a bicycle this morning in beautiful San Francisco. I passed numerous folks doing the same thing. I continue to ride my bike and enjoy it. And despite the fact that folks are predicting a guilty finding for Armstrong would “destroy cycling” my bike will still pedal and roll regardless of a USADA decision regarding Armstrong.

So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll let June suck for Bruyneel and Armstrong. Come July, I’ll be keeping track of the Tour de France and enjoying it. Bike Month is irrelevant to me, honestly. I don’t have a bike month, or even a bike year. I have a bike life, and plan to until I can’t turn my pedals any more.

May 162011

Sacramento was treated to some fantastic pro racing as the modified stage 2 course of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California offered 3 circuits around the state capitol building.  A breakaway of 4 riders struggled to stay ahead of the peloton, but were caught before rolling onto the streets of California’s capitol city, where huge crowds waited despite the threat of poor weather.

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May 162011

In response to anticipated weather conditions, officials have moved the start of stage 2 of the 2011 mgen Tour of California to Nevada City, CA.  The start time has also been delayed to 12:15 Pacific Time.  This essentially moves the start along the original route to the location and time it was expected to pass the new start location, thus allowing the rest of the 61 miles to follow the originally planned route.

The route was expected to leave Squaw Valley and pass over Donner Pass.  However, the threat of more winter-like conditions again raised concerns for the safety of riders, spectators and crew, prompting this change.

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May 152011
Snow at Lake Tahoe

Photo via UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis rider Rory Sutherland

Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California was unfortunately canceled due to the risks presented to riders, spectators and staff by winter-like weather conditions.  Many riders expressed their agreement that the cancellation of stage 1 was the right thing to do.  This was further underscored by reports that as many as 6 race marshals may have been involved in an incident or incidents resulting in their motorcycles crashing in the slippery conditions.  There are no reported injuries as a result of these crashes.

However, while stage 1 is behind us, there is still risk of potential impact on tomorrow’s stage 2.

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May 152011

Update: Stage 1 was canceled. And Delores Pickford (@dpk4d) gives us a really good example of why.

The official release from officials says that Stage 1 of the Tour of California is slated for a 1:15pm Pacific time start – using a much shortened course allowing for the scheduled end time of  3:15-4pm pacific to remain as scheduled.

However, given the weather that just rolled through Sacramento, there still remains the possibility of a complete neutralization of the inaugural stage of the 2011 race.

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May 142011

Riders in this years Tour of California will be wearing wrist bands to honor fellow cyclist Wouter Weylandt.  Weylandt was a rider for Pro team Leopard Trek.  His life tragically ended after a crash in stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.

Stage 4 of the Giro was neutralized in memorial, with riders completing the stage as a group, Leopard Trek leading across the finish.

Also joining Leopard Trek at the front of the peloton was Tyler Farrar, friend of training partner of Weylandt.  Farrar opted not to complete the Giro after Stage 4 in an understandable move to mourn the loss of his friend.

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