Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend race and ride

Saturday was the Tour of Richland County, aka the Malabar Farm Road Race. Chris B., Pete S., and I represented SBR in the 3/4 race. 4 laps, 40 miles, one big hill each lap with a few short and steep rollers.

I ended up taking 5th after making the winning break, which formed at the top of the climb at the beginning of lap 3.

Pete S also made the winning break, but fell off the pace after giving it his all to help keep us away from the field.

Chris B. finished 9th in the 3/4 race. He got caught up in traffic on the hill when the field split, ended up on the wrong side of the break, and played the good teammate role by not helping the chase catch us.

SBR's Mike Nies won the Cat 5/Citizen race, and Matt Tuskan finished in the field in the 4/5 race.

Today's ride started as a group ride to Willoughby. We then headed south, where a few people headed home and a few of us took the long way home through Chagrin Falls. We saw SoloGoat somewhere around Solon, then went home. 59 miles later and I'm pooped.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stupidist Bike Lane

Anyone know of a stupid bike lane? Send it in to Slate Magazine.

In the meantime, check out what Slate considers to be the stupidist bike lane. It's pretty stupid, but there has to be one more stupid out there.

Thanks to Ben from HeightsEats for the heads up on this video.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Guess what...

All the clothes in the world can't keep you warm when the last 8 miles of your ride is in a 35 degree driving rain right before sunset in late March.

Not that I would know by experience or anything.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Sunday in Hell

In honor of the upcoming Paris-Roubaix race, let's all take 10 minutes to watch this nifty clip from the 1976 movie A Sunday in Hell:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


For bike racers and competitive cyclists, winter is the great equalizer. Then spring slaps us in the face.

During the winter, many "rides" happen indoors on a trainer, where you are as fast as your ego makes you think you are. Outdoor group rides are usually mellow, so the fast people, slow people, fat people, and skinny people all usually stay together for the majority of the ride. We obsess over our new outfits, new teams or teammates, new bikes, new wheels, and new training programs. The possibilities for the upcoming season are endless....race wins, category upgrades, offers to ride with the "good" teams the following year, the list goes on.

Despite the fact that most of us will hardly perform much differently than we did last year, winter is a time to ignore this reality and ponder the "what ifs"

Then spring comes. The social group rides become far less social, largely because everyone is gasping for air and physically unable talk for half of the ride. Then the first hard group ride leaves us wondering what everyone else did all winter that made them so fast. The first races in March/April also usually serve, for most of us, as cold, hard reality checks that maybe we won't be soaring through the ranks this year as we so boldly discussed during that one January group ride.

After about the second or third race of the year, most of us make some sort of pronouncement that we are "targeting" the later season races. That allows us to save face and provides an excuse for why we performed way below expectations in the spring races. When we bomb the late season races, we say that we are burnt out by the long season, but will come back strong for the fall cyclocross season. When that flops, it's already winter, and time to focus on how we will tear the legs off of everyone. Next season.

Two things, however, remain constant throughout this process.

1. It is a blast, because we would not be doing it if it wasn't.

2. Those who spend more time riding their bike than worrying about their clothes, accessories, or bling factor of their gear usually ride much faster than those who spend way too much time worrying about their clothes, accessories, or bling factor of their gear.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Old Ride New Ride

Sometimes a minor detour can really make a ride.

Today's early evening solo ride started like any normal ride to Chagrin Falls and back, which is always pretty enjoyable. After riding through town, I took some roads that I have either never or rarely been on. I found a new park that the dogs will like, a log cabin I plan to buy once I become old and rich, and a great side road that reminds me of a great side road for biking in the Shawangunk mountain range in New York.

This typical 1 hour 45 minute-long ride turned into a great 2 hour and 15 minute-long ride. Although it only only included about 8 miles of "new" roads, the ride seemed like it was over before it began.

And that is why I ride.

And because the chicks dig it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some cities' "problems" are worse than others

Barack Obama recently spoke at a large convention center in Portland where one of the largest parking issues involved an insufficient number of spaces to park bikes. Article and photos here.

Now I will go retreat into my cave where I will stay until the half foot of snow that fell on my house yesterday goes away.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Lion King

So it looks like Mario Cipollini has once again retired from bike racing. Below are two short videos of Cipo. The first is from the 2003 Ghent-Wevelgem, when he chucked water bottles at a race referee who got between him and his team car. The video then shows that same referee on the ground after a motobike crash that happened shortly after. Crazy stuff.

The second is from a brutal looking crash in a sprint in the 1994 Vuelta A Espana. Ouch.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Weekend photos from the pro peloton

Here and here (Oscar Freire, an unknown rider, and Paulo Bettini taking a "shortcut" at Tirreno-Adriatico), and here (Ina-Yoko Teutenberg playing with her dog before throwing down at Sunday's Sequoia Cycling Classic crit in California). doesn't allow you to import its photos onto a blog, so the links are the best I can do.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two charged in death of local cyclist

A Plain Dealer article in today reports that:

Garfield Heights police said they have arrested two people involved in the death of Michael Gedeon Oct. 26, when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle.

This is what happened, according to Capt. Tom Kaiser:
Samantha Rauch, 19, of Richfield, was driving about 8:30 p.m. on Granger Road. She struck Gedeon in the curb lane.

Her boyfriend, Anthony Hominsky Jr., 19, of Maple Heights, then got behind the wheel. He drove to an apartment in Broadview Heights. He smashed out the car's windows and removed a CD player to make it look like the car had been damaged by a thief. He reported the "theft" to Broadview Heights police and took the car to a junk yard.

Rauch is charged with vehicular homicide. Hominsky is charged with obstructing justice and tampering with evidence. Both were in jail Monday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Twenty. Four. Miles.

I just found out that, this past fall, Mohican State Park officially opened a new 24-mile long mountain bike trail. This new trail is within the state park and is different from the other Mohican area trails that have been there for several years.

This is probably old news for many of you diehards out there, but I figured I'd still share it for those (like me) who were ignorant of it.

Here is a link to the state park website about the trails, and here's a link to a trail map.

Word is that the new trail is pretty much all singletrack, is rolling, drains well, and will be included in both the 100 mile and 100K versions of the Mohican 100 race being held this May.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Biking brings you closer to joke

As I mentioned a few days ago, the Catholic Church recently acknowledged that environmental degradation is a sin.

Now, this recent AP article says that Southern Baptist leaders have stated that they too have been timid on environmental issues and have a biblical duty to stop global warming.

This article also talks about the Southern Baptist developments, a church that promotes bicycling, and has a photo of a "Ride Your Bike to Church" marquee in front of a Baptist Church.

Does this mean that bicycling is now officially a religious experience? This could seriously increase numbers on Sunday morning group rides (as long as you ride to, instead of drive to, the meeting spot, of course). Only time will tell.

Speaking of Sunday morning religious experiences, this morning involved a group ride, 40+ miles, 5 big hills, a "spirited" pace, and a broken chain link halfway up the last hill that Brett D. was kind enough to repair for me with his chain tool.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Ventoux

Cadel Evans won today's Stage 4 of the Paris-Nice bicycle race, which finished with a climb to the top of France's beastly Mont Ventoux.

I'm sure that he was going fast and all up the mountain, but was he going THIS fast:

(The video is titled MONT VENTOUX HILL CLIMB IN A F3000)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This article discusses the recent deaths of two bike racers who were killed in California while training when they were run over by a sheriff deputy who fell asleep at the wheel. It also talks about other recent and not so recent bike tragedies from that same area, as well as a close encounter the author (also a cyclist) had with a driver who nearly took him out after "not seeing him" in his multicolored cycling outfit.

On its surface, it's just another well-written tribute to cyclists killed on the road through no fault of their own. It also implores motorists to share the road and use caution around cyclists, who actually have a right to be there.

The thing that makes the article different is that it appears on (the website for Sports Illustrated), which probably has a readership of a gazillion more people than the combined readership of,,, and every other bike related website where an article like this would be an exercise in preaching to the choir.

I'm sure this article will receive far fewer hits than ones addressing much more important issues like the NCAA basketball tournament rankings and what Kobe Bryant eats for breakfast. But I still give credit to Austin Murphy for writing it and SI for publishing it. Even if it only alters one person's opinion or approach to driving around cyclists, it was worth it.

It's a tragic shame Matt Peterson and Kristianna Gough will never be able to read it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Sins!

According to this article, the Vatican has acknowledged some "new sins," which include environmental degradation and some bioethics issues.

Absent on this list is sandbagging in local cycling races. Was this exclusion an oversight, or is it so obviously a sin to sandbag that its inclusion on the list was unnecessary?

I will get to the bottom of this and will update you on any information I may obtain, even if I have to go to the Pope himself.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Island Etude

The 32nd International Cleveland Film Festival begins today at Tower City. This is one of the coolest things to come to this town.

The movie Island Etude looks like a winner for you cyclist types. An Odyssey-like story about a deaf Taiwanese college student who cycles around the coast of Taiwan and meets all kinds of people along the way.

Tuesday March 11 at 11:30am
Thursday March 13 at 9:30pm

Here's the full description of the movie from the Film Festival's website:

During a break in his studies and with no other reason but to do it while he still can, college student Ming Hsiang decides to take a road trip on his bicycle, circumnavigating the entire coast of Taiwan. In this wonderfully simple story, somewhat comparable to Homer’s “The Odyssey“ Ming endeavors around the island on a seven-day journey with nothing but his bicycle, a sleeping bag, and his guitar. He starts at the southern port of Kaohsiung, cycling counter-clockwise around the island’s coast, up through Hualien on the east coast, and then down the west coast. Ming has been deaf since birth. But despite relying on his hearing aid and having a muddled accent, the solitary student cyclist in no way lets his disabilities impair his openness to connect with anyone and everyone he meets on his journey. Ming’s encounters en route include an eccentric but friendly film crew, a techno-hip-pop young biker from Canada who is visiting his mom amidst her divorce, a beautiful Lithuanian model armed with a camera who shares the same openness as Ming, an art teacher contemplating early retirement, pilgrims of the goddess Matsu, an early wood sculptor, and a vivacious tour guide (played by the director himself). Each vignette manages to blend, delicately blurring the line between documentary and fiction, giving us a rare glimpse into the beauty of a land and its residents in a very localized way without being stereotypically “traditional.” (In Taiwanese with English subtitles) - KL

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

These are the people in your neighborhood...

I enjoy reading the weekly e-mail newsletter from But, these guys are a bit extreme in their bias against gear that was marketed post 1985.

In their recent newsletter, they tear apart "low spoke count" wheels as dangerous and unreliable. Their main safety argument revolves around some photos of someone hitting the deck in a race, presumably because his low spoke count wheel failed. There is no context to the photos, we don't know how old the wheels were, who last repaired them, who last tensioned them, whether they were run over by the family minivan before the race, etc.

I generally use what they consider to be "low spoke count wheels" in training, racing, and even cyclocross. I do not, however, necessarily advocate them opposed to traditional 32-spoke wheels. It is really a personal preference, and many of their arguments against non-traditional wheels are reasonable. I do take issue with them exploiting this one crash as a reason to avoid non-traditional wheels. For example, the only wheel that ever totally failed on me while riding was a traditionally spoked wheel whose rim just unraveled on a climb. Does that mean traditional wheels are dangerous? Of course not.

Then again, I'm pretty sure that one of these guys complained a few weeks ago that carbon forks are too dangerous to ride.

Wouldn't lawyers and consumer advocates be all over this stuff if it really was as dangerous as these guys claim? I don't know, maybe we should ask Ralph:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Arnold Classic

On Sunday, I drove to Columbus with Thom D. for the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Classic crit, which was part of the annual Arnold Fitness Challenge. We met up with Chris B. from SBR and did the 3/4 race. We all had an unremarkable race and finished in the field. The race pretty much stayed together and finished in a sprint. I am no crit rat, and it shows.

For a brief write up of the other races, Arnold's brief appearance, and photos of the event, check out the Factory Rider's post.

And don't forget to vote today.