Monday, September 20, 2010


When you ride a bike, you cover a lot of ground.  Unless you're riding underwater or riding across the Australian outback, you're likely to encounter a lot of people too.  Some of them may even be cyclists, but most will just be walking or driving cars.

Here's the thing.  The general public HATES us.  They think we're a bunch of assholes who run lights and get in the way of their miserable commutes and don't pay taxes.  Except for the last one, they're mostly right.  So it would go a long way in cyclist-everyone else relations if we were to simply wave as we passed.   Not like a "hi we're friends and I want to talk to you" wave, but more of a "I respect your right to be here and hope you would do the same for me" wave.  Wave at cops, wave at pedestrians, wave at 60 year olds on hybrids.  Especially wave at kids.  When they hit 16, they really need to know that we're humans, and our lives have slightly more value than that text message they just received.

So wave.  Let them know we're people too, and that we aren't all douchebags.  We have a lot of bad relations to atone for.  Don't be a douchebag.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to the Rules: Don't Ride, Train, or don't complain.

Overheard at the end of a race recently:  "I don't know what happened, I do 150 mile rides all the time"

I don't care how much it impresses the people at your office, riding a kajillion miles is not that hard.  You just sit on your bike and pedal all day.  You don't have to do it particularly fast, and it never really hurts.  Well not the way it hurts when you're getting dropped because you can't put out 400W for another 2 minutes.  Racing a bike is not the same as riding a bike.  Sure the physical motions may be the same, but they are entirely different worlds of pain.  This is what separates us from the pathletes, the pretend tri-geeks, and the group riders.  When the purpose of riding your bike is to race it, everything changes.

Most racing puts incredibly huge demands on your body for relatively short periods of time.  An attack may last a few minutes, a hill may last half an hour, but that's pretty much it.  Crits are even worse.  You sprint out of every corner, gasp for air between them, and then sprint super duper hard one more time before it's all over.  Going out and riding all day is not going to prepare you for this type of racing.  Racing me on the path isn't going to either.

Learn to train, or just do whatever you want and be slow.  Those are your options, but don't think that any racer is going to be impressed by your 500 mile week or your bike trip up the coast.   Riding up lookout in 19 minutes is WAY more impressive than the 6 hours you rode yesterday.  Try it sometime and you'll see why.  Plus, I guarantee that anybody who can do a 20 minute lookout would beat you at a double century, they just have better things to do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I'm thinking...

A follower recently suggested that I post about what's going through my head during a race.  There was also a link to a few (well written) examples.   I'm not sure this is the best thing for me, however.

It would have been a great idea before I upgraded.  I  used to think things like "conserve here, attack here, suffer here and you can win," etc.  Now that I have (get) to race against the best cyclists in the hardest state to race bikes, all I ever think of is "hold the fuck on" for as long as I can.  Last weekend, this was intermittently replaced by "do some work for your team," but it went right back to "hold the fuck on,"  and then straight to "oh crap there they go" and then "suffer alone, don't lose too much time, you MUST beat Jon Moro or your life is worthless."

I often wonder how much more I'd be able to suffer if Bjarne was back in the team car screaming at me.  At the time I think there is no possible way I could have hung on, but after the fact I continuously think "Really?  REALLY? You couldn't have gone ANY faster?"

Next year I need to work on losing some serious weight, and gaining some serious mental toughness.  I could have held on longer, maybe even until the end, if I were being chased by a bear or something.  Maybe I just need to visualize bears.  Or tape a picture of Jens with his face on the ground.  He never gave up until he was unconscious.  What would Jens do?  He would suffer way more than my miserable self ever has.

But that's for next season.  For now, all that's on my mind is cupcakes, donuts, cheeseburgers, maybe even a beer, and some long fun rides without any concern for LT or V02Max.

But underneath that, I'm already planning next year's training/racing/dieting/suffering.  It'll suck horrbily, but it's going to be great.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Steamboat Springs Stage Race: Racing against the pros.

Since the rules thing has apparently gone out the window, I suppose I'll use this blog to write an extended race report for the past few days.  I spent Labor Day Weekend in Steamboat springs, and competed in a 4 Stage race.  This is my 4th race as a Cat 2.  My previous 3 have ended in:  dropped on the 2nd of 9 laps at Salida, dropped on the 4th (maybe 3rd?) of 8 laps at Air Force, and ended up in the winning break of 8 at the Primal Crit, but sprinted on the wrong lap.  Riding in the p12 field is RIDICULOUS out here, but I really love it, and I hope I can continue to improve and become more of a player in these races.

Stage 1 wasn't actually a stage but rather a 10km prologue TT.  It was windy, and mostly flat with a 3-ish minute hill at the end.  My time of 13:16 was good enough for 27th place, and put me :57 behind the winner, Peter Stetina.  Just for a comparison, 31st place in our field would have won the SM3 time trial by 4 seconds.

Stage 1 for reals.  Circuit race, 4.5 miles, 10 laps but 11 times up the hill.  The very first hill was enough to start shedding people. I got dropped on the 4th lap when Stetina launched an attack that made my head spin.  I knew it was coming when he dropped back from the front in order to slingshot himself forward, but nothing could prepare me for the subsequent acceleration the entire pack made to try to hang on.  WHen it became obvious that I wasn't going to catch back on after the descent, I sat up and waited for the inevitable groupetto.   Through awesome luck I was caught by a group of 3 strong, determined chasers.  I worked as hard as I could, but I was lucky that the others in the group were considerably stronger than I.  We managed to catch the main field halfway through the final lap.  I got dropped on the final 3-ish  minute climb almost instantly, but was only a minute or so down from the main pack.   There was a group off the front by many minutes too.  I've never been so happy for an almost pack finish.  It was great.

Stage 2.  Road Race.  70 miles.  The first  50 were rather boring, but I'll take it.  There was a group of 3 off the front that had 3 minutes just after the first feed zone.  Some teammates and I went to the front to reel some of it in.  By the bottom of the hill we had put 40 seconds into the break, but I paid for it when I fell off about halfway up the hill.  The group did eventually catch the break, and I caught up with 3 others for the trip home to the finish.  2 of us were willing to work, but the other guy got a flat, so I just TT'ed all the way home, dragging whoever was willing.  I ended up losing about 5 minutes on the group, but only 1 place on GC.  Not horrible, and I'm telling myself that it was better for our team leader that I worked to catch the break instead of defending my 23rd place on GC.  It was nice to be useful.

Stage 3, the Crit.  Oh God.  Holy Shit that was fast.  At one point there was a break up the road.  I tried to bridge my team leader up to it, but when I was about halfway there, some guy from the bridge group attacked.  The teammate was able to hold his wheel and make it up to what was eventually the winning break, and he got 2nd.  I spent the rest of the day sprinting as fast as I could just to stay in the peloton, but I managed to do it, and finished in the pack.  At a few points in the race I was hanging by a thread, but it ended up ok.

All in all, a great race.  I'm sad that there isn't any racing until at least February, but I'm also glad to take a break, eat some donuts, and regroup for next year.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Descending, time to get serious.

I wrote this article for a friend of mine who can climb way faster than me, but keeps getting dropped on descents.  That's a crappy way to lose a race.

Overview:  The entire outcome of a turn will be decided before the turn is initiated.  Your entry point and entry speed into the corner determine if you'll make it through, and how fast that will happen.  Everything depends on setting up the turn correctly.  The second half of a perfect turn is bliss, because all the work has been done, and you just get to ride it out in triumph.

Brake Adjustment:  Make sure that your brakes are centered so that both pads hit the rim at the same time.  Also make sure that the cable tension is such that you can almost make the brake lever touch the handlebar when you're squeezing as hard as you can.  Your hands can apply less force when they're extended, and more force when they're almost closed.  This ensures that you have the most braking power available.  Lots of people (and bike shops) like to make brakes super tight, but then all of the braking action happens when your fingers are extended, and relatively weaker than if they were closed a bit.

Braking:  Try to do 95% of your braking before the turn even starts, and use mainly your front brake.  Always be in the drops, stay low, and shift your weight  as far back as you can while braking.  When you hit your brakes, your center of gravity shifts forward, putting much more weight on the front wheel than on the back.  The extreme of this is the endo, when your back wheel lifts up and you go flying over the handlebars.  If you're low in the drops and have your weight shifted backwards, this will never happen on a road bike unless you hit something like a curb or another cyclist, or are going down a VERY steep hill.  What this weight shift DOES do, however, is take a lot of weight off your rear wheel, giving it significantly less traction.  This will cause it to skid with much less applied brake than it would take to lose traction on the front.  The fastest possible stop that could happen is when you hit the front brake so hard that your rear wheel is just about to lift off the ground.  In this scenario your rear brake is completely useless.  In real life, we don't do this, but mentally know that your front brake is doing almost all of the work, and squeeze it accordingly.  Just feather the rear brake as necessary.

If your rear wheel starts to skid, it your bike will try to swing around you, sometimes called fishtailing.  If this happens, you need to let go of the rear brake completely, and the front brake partially, until you regain control.  Then fully squeeze the front again and be cautious with the rear.  Your momentum wants you to keep going forward.  Since your front wheel is providing most of the stopping power, all of the mass behind the front wheel (you) will have a tendency to want to pivot around so that it can keep moving forward.  Your rear wheel keeps this from happening, but not when it's skidding.

The first thing we're going to practice is hitting the brakes SUPER hard while riding down the hill in a straight line.  The goal of this is to understand what maximum braking feels like.  The goal again is to apply as much front brake as possible, and some rear brake, but not enough to make it skid out.  While practicing, you may lock up your rear wheel to get the feel for what it takes, and how to control the bike while it’s happening, but that’s not the goal when actually descending.

Brake sharply before the turn, then apply minimal brakes through the turn to keep from accelerating due to the hill.  Your speed should be slowest at the beginning of the turn, and you should accelerate or maintain that speed throughout.   If you find your self needing to decrease your speed during the turn, you entered too fast.  There is a concept in auto racing called the Traction Circle.  A tire can only apply so much force to the road before it starts to skid.   A tire is just smooth rubber, so it doesn't know which direction the force is being applied.  The end result is that a tire can apply maximum traction in the forward direction while braking in a straight line, or maximum traction in a sideways direction while turning, or some non-maximal combination of the two.  As a result, the theoretically quickest way through a turn is to apply maximum brakes in a straight line, then turn as sharp as possible without braking through the turn, and coast or accelerate out of it.  Our task is complicated just a bit if the turn is on a downhill section, so what we'll do is slightly different.  You can continue to brake through the turn, but only enough to maintain the proper speed.  You should do all your slowing down before you turn in.

Again, momentum wants us to keep moving forward in a straight line.  If you apply too much brake during a turn, you may lose traction, but more likely is that your bike is going to want to straighten out, and push you into a wider turn than you had anticipated.  This can cause you to cross the yellow line, or even ride off the road.  It's a really weird feeling, and it sucks.  Don't brake hard while turning.

Choosing a Line:  If making a right turn, you should start on the left side of the road, dive in and just brush the white line in the very center of the turn, and drift out to the yellow line on the left side as you exit the turn.  The sideways force required to change direction is directly related to how sharp of a turn you're trying to make.  The purpose of choosing a good line is to make the turn as wide as possible, this requiring the least amount of force and allowing you to get through it as fast as possible.  The point on the inside of the turn, halfway through, is called the apex.  You should aim for this point when turning in to a corner.  If the turn gets progressively sharper, you need to do something called a "late apex,"  where you choose your target point deeper into the turn.  Conversely, if it starts sharp, and then gets wider, you can apex earlier for maximum speed.  Not really important right now, but worth thinking about.

This is the best line through  a 90 degree turn

Learn when to initiate a turn:  Practice diving into corners at different points.  If you turn in too early you’ll reach the inside of the road before the apex.  If you turn in too late, you’ll never reach the apex and you’ll be forced to the outside.  Both of these will result in you having to take the turn slower than you could.  Knowing when to turn in is very specific to the conditions of the turn, but knowing the consequences of turning in too early or late will allow you to learn as you go.  If done correctly, just as you reach the apex of the turn, the road will open up in front of you, allowing you room to drift back to the outside edge without any abrupt braking or turning.

Look Ahead, where you want to go.  Don’t look at your front wheel or directly in front of it.  Your balance and the balance of your bike are important to cornering smoothly.  Your head controls your balance, so point it where you want to go.  Staring at your front wheel will make you very twitchy, and can lead to dizziness and vertigo.  Not good things when you’re trying to control your line at speed.

Weight Balance:  During the turn, keep your weight low and a bit forward compared to normal riding. Stay in the drops, and sit near the front of your saddle, or hover just over it.  Keep your pedals horizontal, and your knees bent.   Our bikes are designed to put more weight on the rear wheel than the front. This makes them more stable for normal riding, but for descending, you want to weight both wheels as evenly as possible.  This means you need to shift your weight forward a bit.  I've heard that you're supposed to drop the outside pedal, and put all of your weight on it, but keeping the pedals even allows you to use your legs to absorb bumps in the road, which I'm a big fan of.

Countersteering:  Know that it exists but don’t worry about it.  Countersteering is the subject of much debate on the internet and otherwise.  It is a physical truth but you don’t really have to think much about it.  The idea is that in order to make a right turn, for example, you must first turn to the left a bit.  Try this:  As you’re riding down a wide, straight, safe road, push your palm forward against the right handlebar.  The bike will twitch to the left, but you’ll end up turning right to keep your balance.  That’s all you need to understand.  While cornering at speed, don’t think about your handlebars turning at all, just look where you want to go, lean, and your bike will follow.

Flat Cornering:   A lot of this stuff isn't applicable to crits.  With crits, I think it's more about pedaling as much as possible than it is about coasting through turns with the right line.  I'm not good at crit cornering, so I'll stop here.

What we're going to do is this:  Once you find out how hard you can slam on the brakes while going straight, we'll start cornering.  You'll approach the corner, hit the brakes, glance at your speed, follow the correct line through the corner, and glance at your speed on the way out.  You will then progressively build speed by repeating the corner over and over.  As you get more familiar, you can brake harder and later, and also carry more speed through the corner.  Lookout has 12 corners that require braking:  Starting from the top:  2 right hand turns that can be taken at 30mph.  The first set of switchbacks can be taken at 25, as can the second set of switchbacks.   There are 2 left turns near the bottom that can be taken at 30 and 35 mph respectively, and then the final left which you can take at 25 or so.  Obviously you can't memorize every turn in every race, but you can get a feel for how fast you can take a corner by looking at it.  By training yourself to eek every bit of speed out of the corners that you’re familiar with, you’ll gain confidence to solidly descend on corners you’re less familiar with.  If a race has many laps like the one at steamboat, you should get progressively faster on each descent as you learn where to turn in to each corner, and how fast you can afford to take it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mountain Biking.

Mountain bikes are a whole world of money and time I don't have.  I'm already about to lose my job from all the training I do on the road.  How anybody with a semblance of a job and/or a relationship can mountain bike AND be decent on the road is way beyond me.

What I don't get about mountain bikes is how ridiculously expensive they are.  Strange I know coming from a guy with a bike that would retail for like $8k.  But a road bike, if ridden ideally, isn't going to crash.  Of course disaster can strike.  Road bikes seldom crash, but when they do, it's costly.

The first (and only) time I rode a mountain bike, I had good fun, but I crashed like a gazillion times.  I've been told that if you aren't crashing, you aren't learning/progressing/having fun/whatever.  I imagine that as I progressed, I wouldn't crash any less, I'd just be doing it at higher velocities, and I 'd be breaking a lot of shit.  Hydraulic brakes and carbon everything just don't make much sense when a stray branch on that "wicked" descent can snag a brake line, cover you in oily goo, and subsequently snap your carbon frame like a Haussler'd front wheel.

I have respect for people who can do things on a bike that I can't.... i just don't get it.

and yea, I know this doesn't really follow the "rules" format.  Honestly I'm running out of rules.  There really aren't too many of them, just a ton of violators.  Suggestions?


Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  I've been feeling a little burnt out, plus I upgraded recently so I'm feeling a lot less superior than I used to.  Rest assured, I'm still riding, and still making fun of you behind your back on the road, and publicly on the internet.

 Today's rule is worth rementioning
I don't care HOW HOT is is outside, don't wear sleeveless Jerseys.  Just don't.  And cycling caps aren't helmets, they just aren't.  You don't look cool, and you're not the old school pro you're apparently dressing like if I'm passing you up the hill.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Race to win, loser!

I don't know who emasculated the entire Colorado Cat. 3 peloton, but I suspect that this is happening in other places as well.  Nobody wants to work.  Nobody wants to win.  It's like there are 75 people at a bike race, and their only aspiration is to not lose.  Ricky Bobby anyone?  If you're not first, you're last.

Of course you can be all sorts of other things, 2nd, 3rd, but most people are content with 45th or 23rd, as long as they didn't do too much work to get there.  That's fucked up, and it's a waste of your time and money.

Here's a secret.  You have to work if you want to win a bike race.  If you work and someone else gains a little from it, good for them, but you still have to work if you want to win a bike race.  More on this later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cost heirarchy

If your bike is worth more than the car it's riding on top of, that's admirable, maybe.

If your roof rack is worth more than the bike that's sitting on it, you're an idiot. 

Put it in your trunk.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rule: Learn to do your own maintenance

So there a a few different types of shop mechanics:

Those who think it's a job:
Horrible people, these.  An entry level mechanic makes minimum wage, has absolutely no clue what they're doing, and is likely in it for the shop discount.  Good deal for him, bad deal for you.

Those with an agenda:
These people love bikes, and think that everybody should get rid of their car and ride a steel bike with 700x32 tires and racing is stupid and anything newer than 6-speed is stupid.  They often know their shit, but not with new equipment, and they despise you for making use of technology that's any newer than the printing press.  If your mechanic wears a cycling cap indoors that looks like it's a bazillion years old, this is probably his category.

Mountain Bikers:
MTB suspension and braking systems require a fair amount of expertise, so anybody who is skilled at fixing a mountain bike should be able to handle anything that goes wrong on your road bike.  The issue is that they don't care about your road bike, and they're likely too buzzed to get it done in any reasonable amount of time.

The ex-pro mechanic:
The guy that's been in the industry forever.  He probably worked on Sean Kelly or Andy Hamsten's bike back in the day.  They race masters, and simply love working on bikes.  Somehow, they are at a place in life where it's ok to work at a bike shop full time.  They keep updated on new equipment, and can fix anything with anything.  These guys are awesome, but they're few and far between, and the shops that they work for are going to be pricey.  They're also probably quite busy, so anything more complex than a tire change is going to take your bike out of commission for a week or more.  You don't find these guys at performance, or your local trek/specialized concept store.  Actually, if you think your mechanic is like this, you're probably wrong and you're probably getting overcharged for shoddy work.

Unless you have way more money than time (if you do, please accept my jealousy), you don't have any use for a bike mechanic.

With a modest number of tools, you can do 99% of what a shop can do, and you can do it better.  What bike shops have in terms of experience, you can more than make up for with the fact that you actually care about your bike.

You do care about your bike, don't you?

Ok the tools you need:
A set of allen wrenches, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Here's a cheap set.
Chain tool, Like this one
Cassette removal tool, and chain whip 5 bucks, 12 more
Cable Cutters (wire cutters will NOT work for this)nice ones will make your life a lot easier
Rags, You can figure this one out.
Your chain lube of choice ,  Everyone has one, this is mine.
Grease, you can get a 1lb tub from an auto parts store for less than $5
A phillips head screwdriver, you know what those look like
A set of needle-nosed pliers, those too.
A bottom bracket wrench, like this, but they also come with shimano cranks (bet the shop didn't tell you that!)

Ok that looks like a long list, but aside from building wheels, this will accomplish EVERYTHING you'll ever need to do to your bike.  Check out the website for tutorials on how to fix or adjust anything on your bike and you're good to go.

Knowing how to ride a bike is great, but understanding your machine makes you a true journeyman.  It also gives you the power to help others should the need arise.  So stop wasting your money and losing your bike for weeks at a time, and learn the tools of your craft.

Want to know how to do something specific?  ASK!  I can tell you how to do it, or I can point you to a website that does it better than I would.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Earphones: Do I REALLY have to say this?

Ok, so I get that Triathlons are boring, and I get that training for tri's is also boring.  That DOES NOT mean you should shut out the outside world while you do hot laps up and down the bike path.  Commuters: same shit.  I know that you don't know how to ride a bike anyway, and that's okay, I'm happy that you're swerving down the bike path instead of swerving into me in your SUV, but do you really need to complicate something you apparently struggle with already by removing one of your senses?

Road cyclists, you have no excuse.  One of the purposes of getting on the bike is to escape from the constant drone of technology.  The other is to suffer.  Of course there is also an implied goal in there to make it home without getting run over.  Listening to music inhibits all of these.  You might as well be driving your car or sitting in front of your computer at work.  And the suffering:  music distracts from it.  You really shouldn't short change the suffering.

I'm not buying your "it's not very loud" or "it's only one ear" bullshit.  Even turned off completely, earphones block a fair amount of outside noise, and I have no desire to make myself blind in only one eye.  When you are cycling, it's best to assume that every single other person is both completely unaware of your presence, meanwhile they are trying to kill you.  If you were being hunted by ninjas in big lumbering SUV's, would you not want to hear them coming, and at least brace for impact?

And then of course there's me.  I have to somehow get around your path swerving bumbling beach cruiser, road bike with clip ons, or whatever.  Trying to predict when to pass is a lot like watching plinko, and it's not made any easier when my "on your left" falls on deaf ears.

To sum up, just don't do it.  Of course if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to run you over, go for it, but if it's in a place where me, or anybody else can tell that you're trying to block us out, we're all going to think you're a douchebag.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I see people breaking rules all the time.  For this particular offender on my way home yesterday, his "ride super fast and try to drop the guy in matching kit whilst looking backward erratically" speed was strikingly similar to my "riding with no hands while trying to fish a camera/phone out of my backpack" speed, so he got documented.
Don't do this:

Of course this guy is breaking all sorts of rules (backpack, non-functioning blinky light, dork disk (not pictured), hairy legs, MTB jersey,  1980's bike shorts with neon yellow and purple stripes.  All of those would be forgivable since he obviously isn't a roadie, he's a commuter, albeit a commuter desperately trying to drop a roadie. . .

But under NO circumstances should ANYBODY be allowed to rock the back gap.  Just don't people.  The LAST thing I want to see on my leisurely ride home is your hairy, sweaty assback.  It's only made worse by the part where you're desperately trying to stay in front of me, and my mandated recovery wattage isn't enough to drop you.

Related note:  Don't try to drop people on the bike path or on city streets.  It's stupid, unsafe, and worst of all, it makes you look desperate.  If you want to race, you know where to sign up.  If you want to be competitive with other cyclists on the road, even that has a place, but that place is on the training hill, not on your commute home.  Definitely not on mine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cycling Caps part Deux:

Ok, so upon reader comments, and careful consideration, I rescind my previous judgment on cycling caps.

The goal of this blog is to explain the rules as they are, not to make them up based on my own judgment or opinions.

I stand by my previous statements though.  Cycling caps are mostly useless.  What about a flippy bill keeps your head warm?  I have plenty of cycling specific beanies for their sweat-wicking and head-warming properties.  And I've never once thought to myself "wow, I really wish I had a diminutive bill on here to keep me warmer."  When it's raining, I'm less worried about water from the sky, and more worried about the crap coming from the wheel of the guy in front of me.... but I digress.

The new verdict: Cycling Caps = Ok, but proceed with caution, and be prepared to defend your decision.

Make sure you look more like this guy:

And less like this guy:

And whether you decide to rub a cap or not... riding without a helmet is still retarded.  Period.

Boonen pic stolen from

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cycling Caps: Nope.

On friday morning, I received my first comment from someone I don't actually know.  That's rad, thanks!  To end my brief hiatus from complaining blogging about cycling, I will answer your question:  No, cycling caps are, sadly, not allowed.

My problem with these things is twofold:
1.  I don't think they actually serve any useful purpose. 
You should already be wearing a helmet and sunglasses, so why do you need a tight fitting cap with a short/flippable bill?  Their wicking properties are practically nonexistant, as are their sunblocking properties.  The bill is big enough to get in the way, but not big enough to actually do anything useful.  The one possible exception is that I've heard that these things can keep water out of your face if it's raining.  I don't believe this, but haven't disproven it either.

2.  Douchebags wear cycling caps.
Hipsters. Euro wannabe riders.  That bike shop mechanic with hairy legs that swears he rides 500 miles a week on his fixed gear but is at least 20 pounds overweight and obviously painfully slow.  People with way too much facial hair.  All of these people think it's okay to wear cycling caps, so why would you want to be associated with them?  You don't.

I've tried to like them.  I've perused the entire catalog over at, but I really think that they are better left to people you don't want to associate with.  And Ivan Basso, who can really do whatever the fuck he wants.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Required Reading

I think a lot of our problems would be solved if everybody who thinks they know how to ride a bike was forced to read The Rider, by Tim Krabbe.

Cycling is about Suffering.  Suffering, and some strategy, but mostly suffering.  The strongest riders are the ones who suffer the most, everyday.  The riders who win the race are the strongest riders who are willing to suffer, and if they don't it's because someone else suffered almost as much, but had better strategy. 

 I think that if everyone were required to read this book, we wouldn't have to have discussions about why street sprints are stupid, and why crits are to bike racing what pizza hut is to Italian food.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Riding Fast: Know when to hold em, know when to chill the fuck out.

If you want to ride socially, you're going to have to go on a few group rides.  Here is how most of them work:  A bunch of guys all ride somewhere and then all hell breaks loose and somebody wins.  Today's rule involves the "all ride somewhere" part.  If you show up to a group ride for the first time and a bunch of guys are talking to each other about their favorite brand of taint cream, or how many calories they're allowed to eat on this ride, that isn't your cue to go to the front and hammer your fat argyle clad ass off.  We are NOT impressed with how strong you are.  We ARE all pissed that you've strung us out single file on a busy city street where we can no longer talk about our favorite flavor of nair and instead have to ruin our fun conversational warmup ride to chase you around.  This is only made awesomer when we get to the real part of the ride and you get dropped like a plinko chip with a helmet mirror.  Then we spend the rest of the ride complaining about the fatty that had to show off on the ride to the ride.

Moral of the story:  If you're new to a group ride, don't show off.  Especially don't show off if you don't know when you should be going fast.  ESPECIALLY don't show off if in the first 10 miles of an 80 mile ride.

That's all.  Thanks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Helmet Visors: We aren't savages

I really need to get quicker with the camera.  I spotted a guy on Lookout this thursday riding a Ridley (newer, don't know which model) with Reynolds deep carbon wheels and a helmet with a VISOR, yes a visor.

I know you're fat and slow, but if you were fast, you'd know that you can't wear a helmet visor while riding in the drops because you need to look up through the space that the visor is taking up.   Since you are trying to give the appearance that you are fast, you need to remove the visor.

Helmet visors are for mountain bikers.  We are NOT mountain bikers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Carbon Wheels: I don't want to see them.

I think the most common faux pax to happen on the bike path is when some guy with more money than skill decides to buy fancy wheels, that he then decides to train on.

Here's the deal:  Carbon wheels are light, fragile, and awesome.  The purpose of them is to make you a very small percent more aerodynamic, and thus faster at speed.  The only time you need to be 1% faster is in a race, so you DO NOT NEED THEM while riding on the path, or going up lookout about as fast as one of those paragliders comes down.  Riding ridiculously expensive wheels when you aren't racing is really just a big red flag that tells us all that you aren't fast, and like to waste your money trying to impress us.

Don't tell me about how "it's your money" or you'll "ride what you like."  A better use of your money would have been a powertap and decent training wheels, or better yet, a cycling vacation so you'd actually BE fast, and not just be a tool who thinks they look fast.  The ONLY reason to ride deep carbon wheels on the bike path is so that others will see you on them.  You want to impress us, not give us fodder for ridicule, so leave the zipps and reynolds at home, until you're actually ready to race.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick frustrated note

I don't care how "sexy" your bike is.  If it has a squeaky, grinding drivetrain, that trumps it all and makes your bike worthless to me.  The same thing goes double for fixed gears.  Just because you only have one cog doesn't mean you don't have to keep your chain clean.  The intermittent squeak of a poorly kept fixed drivetrain is very distinctive, and just thinking about it creeps me out. 

Silence in a drivetrain is nirvana. 

Just trust me and clean your bike every now and then.  If you have a rediculously expensive or "customized" whip, then pay someone else to do it.  I don't care, I just don't want to hear you from 3 blocks away.

On Modesty, Part 2: Equipment

Anybody who has taken music lessons at some point should be familiar with the phrase: "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach."  In cycling, those who can't, buy.  And buy we do.    If you can't impress your friends by destroying them up hills at races, you can always impress them with cool shit, and here's how you do it:

It's important to have a complete package.  I'm talking about that guy in boulder with the Trek Madone whatever.0 with Di-2, full assos kit, and no helmet.  I see that and I think anybody who can buy a $900 rear derailluer really should invest in a decent helmet.  Similarly, an awesome bike can be ruined aesthetically by having one yellow tire or dirty bar tape.  Just be mindful.

There's sort of a tipping point with bikes after which they become "dentist" bikes.  Serottas and newer orbeas are like this.  I don't care if it cost $7000.  If the head tube is 2 feet long and nobody in the pro peleton rides one, it's going to be hard to impress the group.  Cervelo is quickly going this way too, especially since they are so loved by triathletes, and the rich fat guy spillover has been forthcoming.

Newest and greatest is always good, but mix it up.   Campy can come off as pretentious, especially if it's written on clothing, and not on shifters.

The goal is go get stuff that people will recognize as awesome, but not as overdone.  This can be a moving target, so be careful.   Look, BMC and Time are pretty cool, but Pinarello and especially Colnago are too dentisty.  It's hard to get away with anything american, so avoid Trek, bontrager etc.  Specialized has managed to lose some of the american stigma by sponsoring every team under the sun, but Cannondale still reeks of NFL and NASCAR.  Somehow, high end carbon wheels are okay, Zipp, Hed, and Edge are all cool.  I don't quite get why, but that's how it is.  Somehow Giant bikes are allowed too, especially the newer ones with the gigantic downtubes.

There are a few bikes out there made by companies that specialize in Tri bikes that are NOT allowed.  Guru, Quintana Roo, and Argon 18 just aren't going to fly with road cyclists.  They may make a decent frame but we just don't care.

Friday, February 19, 2010

On modesty, Part 1: Fitness

Ok, cycling is a group sport and we all want to be accepted, if not admired by our peers.  We look up to professional cyclists because they are ridiculously strong, and we recognize that their ability to suffer and their physical fitness are way above ours.  We also would like some of that admiration to be given to us, because we suffer too.  Like the Lemond quote about it never hurting less...  although I feel like Jens has felt more pain than any of us ever have or ever will, and he just keeps on destroying.

But I digress; nobody is going to admire your efforts unless they know about them, so it becomes necessary to inform your peers of your achievements so that they can tell you how cool you are.  Nobody appreciates boasting however, so it becomes tricky business getting your awesomeness across without being a dick.  Above all, don't be a dick.

Really, you should let your riding speak for itself.  If you do well in a race, news will get around.  If you do well in a race that nobody knew about, then bragging about it is just going to get you ridiculed.  We admire strength and suffering, not the will to show up and fork over $25 when nobody else did.

If you can't do well in races, then your next best chance for ego stroking is group rides.  The key to these is to do the best you can but only expect people to care on the day of the ride.  This week, nobody cares if you won the group ride sprint last week.  So if you win it this week, soak it up.

Don't tell us all how you dropped a known stronger rider.  There is a reason they are stronger than you.   Bragging about it makes you look desperate.  Nobody cares if you put in "big miles" on the trainer this week or did intervals so hard that you puked.  First off, we don't believe you, and secondly, plenty of people faster than you found some way to get fast without puking, so you should too.

If you can't shine in group rides or races, you really should just not be a dick.  Not being a dick can go a long way, and most of us would rather ride with a nice guy than a slightly faster guy who can't shut up about how fast he is.   This goes for girls too, if not especially.

Really, the keys to the clubhouse just come from being safe on the bike, and being cool.  "Being cool" involves congratulating other riders' achievements.  A lot of these rules can be broken without ill consequences if you're just an otherwise nice person.   Be safe, train hard, ride well, and be cool, and we'll all want to be friends with you.

Next post is about how to get recognition without fitness:  buy cool shit!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What you can and can't carry with you on the bike.

We wish we were all getting paid to do this, and were getting followed by our directors sportif in Audis with spare bikes mounted to the roof.  In reality this isn't the case, so we need to be prepared for the inevitable mishaps that are going to happen when you ride a bike over road debris for 90 miles at a time.

Minimalism is the acme of the competitive cyclist, but worse than being the dork with the seat bag is being the dork who has to borrow (and never return) a tube from the guy who was smart enough to bring one.

A (very small) seat bag is acceptable, indeed recommended, if you are riding without a support car.  This seat bag should have at least:

1 tube. ( a new one please, carrying along patched tubes is embarrassing.  I'm embarrassed to be with you if you're too cheap for a $3 tube.)
1 tire lever (1 more is acceptable)
1 inflation device (CO2 or a micro pump)
1 small multitool is acceptable but not necessary.

That's it.  Your seatbag should look like a small, tight pack under your seat, not a huge swinging testicle.  You don't need another tube in case your first replacement needs replacement.  You don't need a spare tubular (triathletes do this, and they don't know how to change tires in the first place... odd. )  You don't need a new set of spokes, a torque wrench, or a frame pump.  Your goal is to be able to get yourself home with the most likely mishaps taken care of, not to be a rolling bike shop.

You do NOT need a mirror of any kind.  Not on your helmet, not on your sunglasses, not the impaling weapon that mounts on your handlebars.  If you are incapable of turning your head or using your ears to get a sense of your surroundings, stay the fuck away from me and any other bikers you see.

If you are riding with somebody who doesn't know the rules, you should give him(her?) your spare tube, but feel free to be as smug as you can about it.  Don't expect to ever see your tube returned, but you can hold a grudge if you'd like.  As with any of the rules, just make the offender feel as awkward as possible, and you're doing the right thing.  We all thank you, good sir (madam?).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Slow = dangerous.

I wish I were able to make this post witty but I can't.  This is just how it is, so I'll try to keep it short.

Group rides are supposed to be fast.  Especially flat ones.  If the ride gets slow, people bunch up, and weak inexperienced morons start riding too close to each other.  This leads to unnecessary contact, some hairy moments, and possibly crashes.

If the pace stays high, then the weaklings are just hanging on for dear life in a single file line behind you.  It's much harder to lock handlebars with someone if there is nobody riding next to you.

I've crashed on the bike twice, and both times were because some moron though it would be a good idea to move up through the field by sprinting on that crack on the side of the road between the asphalt and the curb.  Granted that the people tho do this are just morons, but if the pace were faster and we were strung out, then they would either be to weak to move up, or atleast they would have some space on the road to try to sprint around us.

In a race, there's a lot of other stuff to worry about, but in a group ride;  Keep it fast.  If others don't want to keep it fast, then attack.  If they catch you, and slow down, attack again.  It's really the safest way to ride a bike in a group.

That is all, maybe I can think of something more entertaining later.

Monday, February 8, 2010


and I don't even know how to spell plagiarized...
 Check out rule #6 (the rest are stupid anyway.  Rules about the proper way to wear a $70 scarf?  please.  Rule #1, don't spend $70 on a fucking scarf)
Anyway, also note that their rules are posted a mere 15 days AFTER my post about the same thing, and just about a month after I PIONEERED the entirely original idea of blogging about rules on the bike in the first place.

Thanks to the diligence of BSNYC for noting this blatant ripoff and reporting it to me by way of his own blog.  Like I really needed another reason to hate Rapha (which until last week I honestly thought was called Ralpha, like the sound you make after a few 3 minute intervals)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

LANCE: Hate the lovers, not the player.

Lance Armstrong is sort of a big deal.  Discussing him is a task better left to his own twitter.  I'm here to talk about how he pertains to amateur competitive cyclists.

Sure he won le Tour 7 times, he may or may not have been on drugs (like EVERYONE else), and he had cancer.  He's also sort of a douche.  He has that "win at all costs screw you" thing going on, and he only trained for 1 race a year, while other greats (Mercx, Hinault, Lemond...) won everything in sight.  But that's fine.  Win the hardest race in the world 7 times in a row and you can be a douche and not race other races.  What pisses me off about lance are his fans.

I was lucky enough to compete in a non-professional category at the SRAM Tour of the Gila in 2009.  Worth mentioning is that Lance has a lot of money in SRAM, and he's essentially responsible for the race not getting cancelled ITTET.  Because of an interesting set of circumstances (broken collarbone, in the country before the Giro), both Lance and Levi showed up to this race to participate.  As a result, MILLIONS of Lance fans (Here after referred to as Lanceholes) migrated to Silver City, New Mexico, in order to catch a glimpse of the god among mortals.

Lance in the Pance

I think Lance is just a symbol of everything American.  He's rude, he gets to bonk celebrities, and he beat the french at something nobody cared about until he did it. His not for profit foundation raises lots of money for cancer awareness (I think we're all pretty aware by now??) so he's managed to get one of those yellow bracelets on the arm of every douchebag and pornstar in the country.   As a result, we, as cyclists, don't have a problem with lance per se, our problem is with his Lanceholes.

Rules Regarding Lance:
DO NOT display anything having to do with Trek, USPS, Discovery Channel, or anything Astana related unless you're Vino.  In addition, although yellow is the color of the jersey given to the leader of the Tour de France, it has since been assimilated by Lance, and will be forever known as "Lance Yellow".  Don't get Lance yellow shoes, sunglasses, or bracelets.  I respect the Schlecks as bike racers, but I'm not going to go out and buy all the shit they happen to be getting paid to ride.  Doing the same for Lance makes you an idiot.

We don't hate Lance, but we hate you for being so in love with him.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What you can and can't wear while riding.

A lot of people seem to be confused about what they can and can't wear while riding outside.  Here's what you need to know:

Really the best option is to get on a decent local team and only wear your team kit while riding in public.  Understandably this can't always work out, because not everyone has the time to join a good team and buy enough jerseys to wear every time you leave the house.  If you can't, you're still okay, just follow these guidelines...

The only acceptable shorts are bibs.  This is because bibs are infinitely more comfortable than shorts, and because bibs eliminate the ubiquitous back gap that must never happen.  The only acceptable color for bibs is black.  I know that plenty of professional teams have non black shorts but you aren't on one of them and we don't want to have to see your junk when you're fumbling with your seat bag at the 7-11 before the ride.  I wish I could forget the image of Boonen's weiner in that green jersey, but he's Tom Boonen and if he wants to show off his weiner, that's his decision to make.  Win a green jersey and I'll stop telling you what to do.    If your amateur team has non black shorts, you need to find a new team.  I'm looking at you Spine&Sport.   Note that's it's ok if your side panels aren't black as long as the front and back panels are.  See CU and DU's team kits:
Not Acceptable:

I know this is a hard one because there are so many awesome jerseys out there that you really think need to be seen by the general public, but the ONLY acceptable jerseys are solid colors without writing on them.  This means that you can't wear a jersey with your favorite beer or band from the early 80's on it.  In addition, nobody gives a fuck that you finished the triple bypass in 1997.  Unless you're doing it right now, don't wear the jersey.  Hi-vis yellow is not allowed.  Bright colors in general should be avoided, really you should stick to black, white, and dark blue.

Really the best stuff out there is assos if you can afford it.  It's easily the best designed stuff in terms of fit and materials.  The only reasons I don't wear it everyday are it's lavish cost, and that I'm on a team that I'd like to represent.  I fantasize on a regular basis about my team clothing fitting as well as Assos, so if you own a ridiculously expensive bicycle, and aren't on a team, you owe it to yourself to try it out. 

Worth mentioning is that jerseys must have sleeves.  You aren't a triathlete, you shouldn't have shoulders or biceps, and we shouldn't have to look at them.  Do not show up on a group ride in a sleeveless jersey.  Ever.

Follow these basics and you'll be fine.  Some people out there just don't get it though, so a few more items need to be spelled out:

Even worse is the guy that gets the bike to match the clothing of the team he isn't on.  Nobody believes that you're friends with Dave Zabriskie so don't try to pretend he just happened to give you all of his shit one day.  This goes doubly for anything involving USPS, Discovery Channel, Astana 2009, or Radio Shack.  See where I'm going with this?  Don't be that guy.
Exceptions include:  Teams you used to be on, and one of the following: Bottles, Socks, or Gloves associated with some professional team other than those mentioned above.

I feel like that's about good.  Stick to basic color coordination, and if all else fails, white is a good choice for your frame,  helmet, and/or clothing.  Cyclists really like white, so you should take advantage of that.

Next up: LANCE!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Regarding Helmets and Sunglasses.

Always wear a helmet.  You aren't climbing some col in France in 1952.  You're in a road with cars that want to kill you.  The guy who thinks he's cool in just a cycling cap is a moron, and everybody except him thinks so.  In this country anyway. I don't quite get the rules as they apply in Europe.  Although being Euro can be cool, going helmetless isn't.  It's partially about safety, and partially about not being the tool in the world stripes cap.

Always wear sunglasses. Always wear the sunglasses over the helmetstraps.  I've heard that this has something to do with safety but I don't buy it.  Just do it.  See Spartacus for inspiration:

Colors of sunglasses should more or less match your kit, helmet and/or bike.  We don't have to be obsessive like the pros because we can't afford a different pair for every kit, but wearing bright pink sunglasses is not a good idea, nor is wearing any bright colors that aren't represented elsewhere.

I'm not quite sure if this is universal or not, but clear yellow lenses = not cool in my book.  Sure they have a purpose (riding at night), but riding at night isn't about looking cool, it's about getting home without getting run over, so ugly sunglasses at night are ok, but they're still ugly.

To those that think Team Performance brand (or other super cheap) sunglasses are "just as good" as the more expensive brands, you're wrong.  They may protect your eyes but they won't protect your soul from me thinking you look like a goober.  There's a reason designer jeans cost more than walmart ones.  You can buy your jeans from anyplace you like, just don't get your sunglasses from Performance.  Don't give me that "they're cheap and I'm broke" excuse either, I know your bike cost 4 grand.  Get a decent pair of Oakley/Rudy/whatever looks decent sunglasses for another $60.

(Fabian pic from Saxo Bank Website)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't be that guy 1.0

In a large group ride (20+ riders) it is common for the group to take up an entire lane.  This is outside of your individual control so don't worry about it.  If you are riding on a road that has 2 lanes, however, it is your responsibility to NOT USE THE SECOND LANE!  Motorists hate us enough for taking the first lane, but blocking the second one is just asking to get run over as they speed by.  The cyclists don't like it either, it makes us look bad, but more importantly, it shows your ineptitude at being able to move up through a pack.

The same is true for a yellow line.  Don't cross it to move up in a pack.  In a race it will get you relegated or kicked out, in a group ride it will get you yelled at, or killed.  If you can't move up through the lane that has already been taken up by the group, you need to move slowly through the pack, not into oncoming traffic.  Again, this makes us look bad, and it makes you look bad.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rotating Weight is a Myth.

People who think rotating weight is more important than standard weight are wrong.  Yes, technically, it requires more energy to accelerate something that is rotating than it does to accelerate it in a straight line, but if you actually do the math instead of just kinda sorta remembering what you did in high school science class, you would see that it's insignificant.
I can spare you the nerdy details, but I have them if you want them.  Losing rotating weight is no more useful (that is to say, not very at all) than losing standard component weight.   So PLEASE stop talking about it like you understand science.  If you did, than you wouldn't be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Riding With Strangers

If you feel the need to grab onto the wheel of a cyclist or group of cyclists you don't know, you really should announce your presence, and ask if they are willing to tolerate you.  We don't care if you  want to tell your friends that you can "hang" with a bunch of guys in matching lycra.  We just want to get home without someone we don't know crashing us out all over the bike path.

In addition, should you grab the wheel of a person who thinks he is alone, you open yourself up to the possibility of getting snotted on.  The snotter isn't being rude, they just had no idea you were there, and hey, this time of year there's a lot of extra mucus that needs evacuating...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Regarding Group Ride Attendance & Punctuality

Don't show up late to your own ride ( I've done this but it's still stupid)

Don't show up to somebody else's ride, then try to form your own offshoot.  That is stupid and lame.  You shouldn't have shown up in the first place if you weren't going to participate.

If you aren't ready to leave when the ride is supposed to start, you are making everyone wait and that's rude.  Just because you showed up at 8:59 for a 9am ride, we aren't going to wait while you pump up your tires, put your bibs on, and grab a coffee.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What the fuck was I thinking?

I don't have time to write a blog.  I barely have time to ride my bike.  My wife has graciously agreed to stay married to me despite the fact that I'm always training, and if I'm not training, I'm cranky because it's that time of year to start starving myself for the Gila.   Oh and work!? WTF?  Can't buy bike shit if I got fired because I was blogging during the 4 hours I actually spend at work a day because I spend the rest training.

This was a great idea for that magical week between christmas and new year's.  When santa isn't watching, calories don't count, and I have free time for stuff like blogging.  Back in reality it doesn't work, so I bid adieu to my one follower.  Maybe one day the internet will be blessed with my witty cutting humor, and infinite knowledge about what you are and aren't allowed to do on a bicycle.

Until then, thanks.  and I'll try to post twitter-like rules when possible, instead of pagelong rants, which I'd much prefer.

Here's a rule:  Never EVER allow a gap between 2 pieces of clothing.  This includes but is not limited to:  Letting a gap show between your knee warmers and bike shorts,  a gap between your arm warmers and the sleeve of a jersey (this is excusable DURING a race if the armwarmers were removed and replaced while riding), and worst of all:  Letting a strip of back and/or buttcrack show between your bike shorts and your jersey.

Here's another.  Don't wear bike shorts.  Wear bibs.  Unless you're a girl and your boobs get in the way, there is really no excuse.  Bibs are better than shorts in every possible way.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Types of Cyclists

So to the outside world, anybody who rides a bike ever is a cyclist, and we're all just inconveniences they have to deal with while driving.  Within the world of cycling, there are quite a few distinctions and it's worth discussing them and how they pertain to us, the road cyclists.  Here are a few of the broadest categories of cyclist.


Commuters can be identified by their hi-vis yellow everything, multitudes of lighting mechanisms, flat bar hybrid bikes, and their blatant rudeness and sense of entitlement on the road.  They are most often found during the weekday commuting hours, but can be found on bike paths and "taking the lane" at any time of the week.
As roadies, we avoid commuters at all costs.  They are slow until you try to pass one, not particularly good bike handlers, and they think they own the road, bike path, sidewalk, or any other paved or unpaved thoroughfare they happen to be huffing and puffing down the center of.  If you find yourself needing to pass a commuter, know that they will do everything in their capacity to pass you at some point later on.  They won't smile or wave, but just smugly pedal by as if they were planning on riding 6mph, and then ramping it up to 30, and you just happened to be riding by as they did this.  Once you let them pass you, they will inevitably tire and the process continues.  Your only options are to exert some real modicum of effort to keep them from catching up, or turning off.  You cannot ride slow enough to let them get away, because they will always ride slower.

Mountain Bikers:

Real mountain bikers won't ride more than a few hundred feet on a paved road.  As a result we will seldom see them except at trailheads, road crossings and bike shops.
Mountain bikers think they are cooler than we are, and they're right.  They wear baggy clothes, smoke pot, drink beer, and get to ride over rocks and off cliffs.  This requires skill, and courage, but generally not as much fitness as racing a road bike.  This means that we see them as slackers that don't have to suffer in training to be successful (lame), and they see us as nerdy calorie counters who obsess over power numbers and lactate thresholds.  We are both right.  As a result, we should treat mountain bikers with respect, but expect to receive the same respect in return.  We both recognize the other as an acceptable way to spend one's time, but think that our particular version is better.


Hipsters have been discussed ad nausuem by many other people and are way beyond what I'm capable of understanding.  Most of them view bikes as accessories like the guys in high school with souped cars.  Very few of them know how to actually ride a bike, and actual bike messengers hate them as much as we do.   One notable exception is the hipster who knows that most hipsters are douchebags and goes out of their way to be friendly.  Because of this exception, we should be at least decent to hipsters we pass while riding, but expect nothing from them, except maybe the joy of witnessing a failed trackstand every now and then.
Worth noting is that the guy who shows up on a group ride on a fixed gear.  He isn't a hipster, he's a moron.  While fixed gear bikes have their place (the velodrome), and some people (not me) might attest to their credibility as training tools, they are absolutely not for riding in groups with other people who have made the leap in technology to gears and brakes.


 Triathletes are NOT road cyclists.  They think that they are, and for this reason, they are potentially the most dangerous sect of cycling from both a stylistic and safety standpoint.  The job of even the very best triathlete is to ride at a moderate pace for 4 hours by themselves.  Most people you will encounter are "finishers" who just bought their first bike and don't find it odd that their brake levers are nowhere near their hands most of the time.   Triathletes are responsible for sleeveless jerseys, those water bottle cages that mount behind your seat, and the idea that riding a bike in a thong is ever a good idea.  None of it is a good idea.  Plus running hurts.  Not like cycling hurts, running hurts in a way that is stupid.  Anyone who thinks running is a good idea is suspect in the first place.
 Triathletes are horrible bike handlers because they don't train or race in groups.  Even professional bike racers have a hard time controlling a bike at speed in those aerobars. (Menchov in the rain, Rasmussen like 4 times at Le Tour.)   For this reason they are to be avoided and treated as dangerous.  Let them pass if you're on a bike path, otherwise you'll be going faster than them.  If they think it's okay to grab your wheel,  slow down so they don't think you're acknowledging them as existing on the same plane that you do.  They don't.

Everyone Else:

These are the people on $100 walmart bikes, beach cruisers, and the like.  They think we're super weird and they're right too.  We should appreciate them for riding bikes instead of driving into us, and leave it at that.


People on road bikes with skinny tires.  That's us.  This is who we'll be talking about for as long as I can come up with ideas for the blog, so summarizing here won't be useful.  This is going to be fun though.