Dead cyclists

December 1, 2019 § 106 Comments

If you want to read a meaningless puff piece about cycling fatalities, check out this stinker by Peter Flax. It’s no surprise that it’s published in Bicycling Magazine, a publication that exists only to Sell More Shit.

What is a surprise is that Peter wrote it. He’s normally a great writer but lately his work has a pretty ugly corporate aftertaste to it, and this is perhaps the worst piece he’s ever written. Basically, he falls into lock-step with motordom, arguing that the solution to cycling fatalities is more bike lanes.

Which is crazy because the article he writes says exactly the opposite. It’s as if someone walks you through the principles of arithmetic and then announces at the end, “See? 2 +2 = 5.”

To sum up, the article claims that more cyclists are dying because of larger cars, more smartphone use, more people driving more miles, more cyclists, and Zero Vision (a/k/a A Bike Lane in Every Pot) has stalled. I’ll get to the ridiculous conclusion that we need more bike infrastructure, but first a word about the cause, singular, that Peter and like-minded advocates refuse to analyze: Cyclists get hit because motorists don’t see them.

That’s right, folks. If larger cars and more miles and more cell phone use were the cause of collisions, then we’d be seeing more car-on-car fatalities as well, or at least a parallel uptick in collisions. We see the opposite. Cyclist deaths have increased 37%, whereas auto fatalities are up about 14% over a 5-year period, less than half that of cycling deaths. While cycling deaths rise, traffic fatalities as a whole have leveled off; there was actually a 1% decrease between 2017 and 2018.

To repeat: Cyclists get hit for the most part because motorists do not see them. It’s that simple.

And it’s a horrible analysis for the purposes of Zero Vision advocates, because these people are convinced that the solution to not being seen is to create segregated bike lanes and the like, even as they admit that such programs are stalled, or that they are long-term, or that implementation will more less always be blocked by angry motorists … like Flax’s co-residents in Manhattan Beach, whose rage at losing a lane of traffic on Vista Del Mar resulted in de-striping a Zero Vision bike lane.

Any logic or fact that points to something simpler, faster, and less expensive than a billion-dollar pork barrel infrastructure project gets ignored because Zero Vision advocates aren’t really interested in fixing the problem so much as they’re interested in the political process of allocating and spending the public pork. The best example? This incredibly damning paragraph in Flax’s article:

So while the NTSB analysis focused primarily on encouraging or mandating greater helmet use, as well as things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists, those factors don’t really explain why a serious, sustained uptick of deaths began in 2011. It’s not like helmet use had a major decline, or cities ripped out quality protected bike lanes, or high-viz apparel or auto headlights got worse. These factors, especially related to road design, might have an impact on fatalities going forward, but they don’t explain why more cyclists have been dying in the past decade. 

https://www.bicycling.com/culture/a29762318/why-more-cyclists-are-dying/?fbclid=IwAR3VHm7AINKjqaROowsfLjGH85QyH-ozTVmOHquWJMf0dUVVMbwOs0ugE2w

Let’s break this down. First, Flax lists the flawed NTSB analysis about how to decrease cycling fatalities. He rightly notes that encouraging or mandating greater helmet use doesn’t explain increased deaths. If more people are riding and wearing helmets, why are more people still dying?

But he lumps “things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists” together with helmets as if more steps to encourage cyclist visibility to prevent fatalities is the same as wearing more helmets to mitigate the effects of getting hit. They are emphatically not the same. Helmets, to the extent that they do anything, protect you after you’ve been hit. Wearing more helmets won’t decrease collisions, and the cause of cyclist fatalities is the collision. As advocates have long noted, putting the blame on the cyclist, “You didn’t have a helmet so you deserved to die after that soccer mom hit you while texting,” is the epitome of victim blaming and abdication of responsibility for making the streets safer for bikes.

No, the things that cyclists can do to be more conspicuous to motorists is the absolute core of savvy cycling because it’s the one thing we absolutely know: Except in the most extreme cases, drivers do not intentionally hit cyclists. They hit them because cyclists are inconspicuous.

The corollary to this is key. Whereas more helmets won’t prevent collisions, more conspicuousness will. And bike lanes do not foster conspicuousness, they shunt riders off to the edge, where poor design and narrow roads force riders into the door zone or onto the far edge of the bike lane, next to the giant SUV mirrors and bumpers of passing traffic. Bike lanes are especially hazardous when they are random tack-ons, as they are here in LA, where you have a nice, wide green stripe that cars generally respect … until the stripe goes away for no reason at all.

The only thing that will keep you off mom’s windshield is being seen. And the only ways to reliably be seen by every car are to 1) park your ass in the travel lane when it makes sense to do so, and 2) illuminate yourself like an emergency vehicle rushing to a train wreck. I’ve found that even when splitting lanes or playing gutter bunny, huge lights alert cars and they take pains not to hit me.

Flax’s conclusion that we need more bike lanes is as horrific as it is nonsensical. He concludes that the death of a rider in NYC has a silver lining because it has caused a push in major bike lane/infrastructure construction, even though fatalities continue to increase as bike lanes continue to be built. “Hi, ma’am, sorry your son got run over by that dump truck. Here is a bike lane for you along with that one he was in when he got hit. Enjoy.”

This idiocy is on me-too parade in places like Encinitas, where North County planners, in response to more dead cyclists, have approved construction of a short “protected” bike lane (materializes out of nowhere, ends randomly) that will protect cars, but not the riders who are forced to dodge moms, dads, kids, surfers, walkers, strollers, and other traffic funneled into the Zero Vision solution.

Why won’t people simply admit that the best way to prevent getting hit is to be seen, and spread the word? Unless you’re willing to build a national network of protected bike lanes, at some point every rider is going to see that dreadful “Bike Lane Ends” sign and know that she is back in traffic, to say nothing of riders who pedal outside the inner city limits of LA and NYC, which is virtually all of them.

Riders do a great job of teaching others to do things like wear helmets. Public shaming, private admonition, and a whole host of other peer-pressure tools are instantly brought to bear that result in near-uniformity in cycling behavior when it comes to helmets. Similarly riders do a great job of teaching others lane control and conspicuousness when they understand it.

When I began teaching lane control on PCH several years back, the leader of my riding club publicly scorned the effort as dangerous and crazy. This very guy now leads every weekend ride down PCH … in the lane, and everyone in the club now knows that you’re safer when you’re seen. This behavior has converted hundreds, if not thousands of riders on PCH to take the lane when it makes sense to do so. And it hasn’t cost a penny of public money or required a single drop of green paint.

Cyclists don’t need infrastructure that’s never going to be built to keep them alive. They are perfectly capable of understanding concepts and passing them on, especially when survival is at stake.

But ridiculous articles brushing aside cyclist conspicuousness in favor of hiding cyclists from the traffic flow actively work to endanger more people, all under cover of a publication supposedly dedicated to cyclists written by a guy who ferfuxake actually commutes by bike.

The sad answer is that it’s easier to blame SUVs and cell phones sipping coffee at your keyboard than it is to take a Cycling Savvy class, move two feet over, and dump $500 into a legitimate bike lighting rig.

Oh, and don’t forget to wear your helmet. That’ll keep them from running you over, for sure.

END


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Bike commuter holiday buying guide

November 29, 2019 § 20 Comments

I got a call from a cycling pal in Long Beach who I haven’t seen in a few years. “Dude,” he said, “I was reading your blog.”

No conversation that starts like this is ever good. Ever.

I steeled myself for the words “bully,” “asshole,” “defamation,” and “lawsuit.”

“Yes?” I said, trying to sound normal.

“Man, I read your post about new year resolutions and I’m getting the jump on it. You inspired me to start commuting.”

“Really?”

“Hell, yes. There’s no reason for me not to do it. My office is ten miles away and there’s a bike trail that practically goes from my front door to my office. I see people on it all day long and I’m always wishing I was out there, too.”

“That’s great!” I felt so happy. The conversation wasn’t going to be a demand for a retraction, and I now had proof positive that by blogging about commuting there were two actual people who had read any of it. In addition to reading, they were taking action. I felt like Adolph Ochs.

“But I got a couple of questions.”

My heart sank. Here it comes. “Yeah?”

“What gear do I need?”

“Gear?”

“Yeah. What do I need to commute?”

“Uh, a bike?”

“Dude, I got that. But it’s a very nice road bike. Not sure I want to turn it into a commuter.”

“Check. Shoot me an email and I’ll send you a list.”

So he did, and I did. Here it is. When you are wondering what to buy yourself for Black Friday, or Purple Tuesday, or whenever, start here!

For a bike: Any bike will do as long as it has tars and pedals. I use my ‘cross bike because it is beefy and because I suck at ‘cross. A f’rinstance is the Giant TCX Pro, about $2,900. One fact is that if your commute is in LA, you will beat the shit out of your equipment. The roads are variable and you will wear shit out if you commute much. So eventually you might want to think of something sturdy AF if you’re going to be doing this a lot.

Tars: I’d recommend the IRC sand tire tubeless. They roll smoothly but are grippy AF. When I wore out my rear tar I got a different IRC and although I like it, it’s too much tar for urban roads. Key point for tubeless commuting, per Gary Z. and Boozy P.? Run the pressure low. I have 40 in front and 45 in rear. Never (yet) flatted.

Pedals: I could go on a long time about pedals. Boozy P. set me up with these beasties. They have competition-grade bearings which means they spin as well or better than your Look/Shimano clip-ins. Flat pedals develop a whole different set of muscles. You are mashing down all the time, and if you are practicing #fakestarts at the lights, you will start to grow new thingies in your legs. Flat pedals are way more comfortable because you can move your feet around as conditions require. They also strengthen the muscles in your feet, which is a whole ‘nother piece of awesomeness. Plus, the big platform lets you really mash. And mashing is the best.

Pants: Pants are a big deal. Jeans get sopped with sweat and sag and rub. You’ll need suspenders, or at least want them in order to complete the #fakehipster look. I have two pairs of riding pants, both from BetaBrand. However, after getting them and liking them very, very much, I found out that Chrome makes what look like equally or perhaps more awesome pants. Bike pants stretch, don’t get soaked easily, look #fakedressy, and have all the pockets you need to store stuff. Most crucially, the paper over the plumber’s crack that likes to creep out when you’re hunched over the bars.

Suspenders: You can go low-rent and get clip-ons, or you can get button suspenders. They look better and don’t come unclipped, but they are a pain in the ass to take on and off the pants. You’ll need to take your riding pants down to the tailor and have her sew on suspender buttons. If you’re one of those people who’s always suffered from droopy pants, these are the best. Plus, no plumber’s crack, ever.

Shoes: With the above pedals, your tennis shoes might not cut it because the pedals have little pegs that hold your feet in place. You’ll feel these pegs through a soft or thin sole and it won’t feel good, especially at about mile 50. Normal shoes are also very flexy and it kind of sucks to be giving away all those watts to the thin air. Fortunately, Adidas makes an MTB shoe that you can walk in, has a stiff, thick sole, and only vaguely looks like it belongs in a coal mine. I wear the  Adidas Five Ten Freerider.

Underwear with cycling pad: If you have a really short commute, you don’t need anything special. If you are sitting in the saddle for any length of time, or in the rain, or in the heat, you will get raw ass. I grabbed a few pairs of the Zoic Essential Liner; it’s underwear with a cycling pad. I find it a little bunchy, kind of like wearing a big ol’ maxi-pad, but it is thinner than bib shorts and they work just fine.

Lights: Okay, here’s where I get fanatical. Combined with lane control, this will make the difference between riding as a normal part of traffic and riding as a gutter bunny always on the verge of getting smushed. Please don’t be a cheapskate and get a nice bike before you spend every penny you can on lights. It’s dumb and lazy. The Christmas tree effect has changed my riding experience because cars see me and avoid me. Even the occasional punishment pass is fine because I know they see me.

Rear: Cygolite 150 x 2 for seat post and to clip onto your rear pants pocket. These little bastards shoot out crazy bright blasts that penetrate steel. I actually have three, one on my seat post and two clipped to my rear pockets.

Rear: You can’t be overlit. Apace Vision Seat Stay Light x 4 will clip onto your seat stays. Individually they are not super bright, but together, each one set on a different blink mode, they are incredibly hi-viz. And they last forever, are waterproof, and are cheap.

Front: In the past I’ve always used the Diablo MK11. However, its runtime isn’t sufficient for commutes of over eight hours or when, for example, I did the Sags Fondo and then rode home from San Diego; i.e. I need something that can run for 10+ hours. For normal commuting the Diablo is plenty of light; if you really want to do it right, get 2 of the MK11 lights and put them on your bars so that you have twice the illumination and they act like car headlights. You can also run one on strobe and the other on steady beam for night commuting. If you don’t care about weight you can go with the Toro MK11 and auxiliary battery pack. That’s my birthmas gift to Seth this year.

Please don’t skimp on the lights and please consider running your lighting rig, including the headlights, on ALL rides. The total cost of the best lighting setup is way less than an ambulance ride. I see so many cyclists now with daytime lights, which is awesome, but many of them use the cheapest, smallest, most worthless ones they can find … and pair them with $10k bicycles. So lame.

Lights and therefore survival require planning. I’ve found that the toughest part of commuting is being organized. If you chuck all your shit in a heap after riding and wait until the next ride to sort it out, you’ll have problems, especially with the lights. It has to become habit that THE RIDE ISN’T DONE UNTIL THE LIGHTS ARE PLUGGED IN FOR RECHARGING. Spend a few bucks, get a couple of power strips, and set up a dedicated light charging station. Otherwise you’ll wind up with uncharged lights or worse, you’ll leave them on your bike because they haven’t run down all the way, and they’ll die mid-ride. In the dark. With 20 miles to go. I’ve learned this the hard way. The ride’s not done until they’re all plugged in. It’s as important as having air in your tires, maybe more so, because without air you can’t ride, but without lights you are begging get hit.

Gloves: I ride with full-fingered Giro gloves but also have a pair from Pedal Industries by Todd Brown in San Clemente. My hands are thin and girlish; the PI gloves are a better fit for a thicker, meatier hand.

Backpack: I have a small commuter pack for clothes, laptop, and lock. It is the best bike backpack on earth. Unfortunately it was a one-off promo model distributed by FastForward and I don’t know where to get another. For a mid-size pack, and I’ve just ordered one, go with the Chrome cargo or similar (Timbuktu and Ortlieb make great stuff). Rolltop packs are the best for commuting, I think. They make it a cinch to quickly get and stow stuff on the fly. And when commuting, you’re always on the fly.

Socks: I usually use cycling socks with the Adidas shoe; they aren’t too thin and fit well, but you can go with a thicker sock, too.

Glasses: Your favorite cycling glasses. Mine are still the SPY Quanta.

Helmet: Nope but thanks anyway.

Toolkit: With tubeless you should still carry a spare tube and tools to put the tube in if you get a bad gash or the tubeless won’t seal for some reason.

There. You can start your shopping engine now.

END


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Analog Stravver Post

New Year’s Evolution

November 25, 2019 § 10 Comments

I’m getting the jump on 2020.

Seems like resolutions for the new year are quaint. Studies show they don’t work anyway.

But what about a New Year’s Evolution? I kind of like that. Evolution isn’t as quick and it’s ongoing. Plus, you can (and will) break a resolution, but you can’t break evolution.

My New Year’s Evolutions are these:

  1. Ride my fuggin’ bike more.
  2. Depend on fossil fuels less in all things.

And because I am in a generous mood, I’m going to give YOU a list of evolutions to consider, in case you’re so inclined.

  1. Ride your fuggin’ bike more.
  2. Depend on fossil fuels less in all things.
  3. Ride your bike to the grocery store once a week.
  4. Ride your bike to the coffee shop once a week but not as part of a group ride.
  5. Ride your bike with your family to dinner once a month.
  6. Ride your bike to work once a week.
  7. Swap out ONE car for ONE e-bike.
  8. Retrofit ONE of your road/cross/MTB/vintage bikes as a commuter bike.
  9. Ride with huge headlights at all times.
  10. Ride with huge taillights at all times.
  11. Control a busy lane once a week.
  12. Ride from the South Bay to DTLA once a month.
  13. Ride the bus with your bike.
  14. Ride the train with your bike.
  15. Use a Metro bike locker then walk somewhere.
  16. Ride with a friend/family to Union Station and have a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
  17. Do one trafficky gnarly commute (full lights) through somewhere like Anaheim/PCH to Long Beach or Orange County from the South Bay.
  18. Do an East Side Riders Feed the Hungry Ride.
  19. Take a Cycling Savvy online course.
  20. Ride your bike somewhere and lock it up.

Do this list in 2020, starting now, and you’ll evolve. Guaranteed.

END


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#21: Take your bike up an elevator!

Hateful drivers?

November 19, 2019 § 15 Comments

For years I’ve had it in my head that cagers in LA hate bicyclists. That drivers are the enemy. That as far as they’re concerned, the only good cyclist is one driving a car.

Yesterday, though, it struck me that I have been terribly wrong.

It’s true that there is a disturbing number of cagers who, when they see bicycle underwear, racy bikes, helmets, and Terminator glasses, go apeshit. I certainly haven’t imagined the decades of honks, middle fingers, punishment passes, offensive shouts, and physical altercations that have happened while being a #leakyprostate #mastersfake #profamateur cyclist.

However.

Yesterday.

I left the South Bay at 11:30, rode through downtown, had a meeting in the Fig/Cypress area, rode through densest LA crosstown traffic, crossed Hollywood to Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, had another meeting, then pedaled through insane 6:00 PM Santa Monica traffic, all the way down Arizona to Ocean, along the entire length of Main Street which was jammed bumper-to-bumper all the way into Marina del Rey and the marina bike path. I got home at 8:20.

It was the most extended traffic jam I’ve ever seen, literally stretching in a giant loop around the bulk of the LA metro area. But get this: I got honked at once.

And get this: I’m not even sure the dude was honking at me.

And get-get this: I had innumerable vehicles nudge their stopped cars to the left to make space for me to get up the gutter or to split the lane, and the couple of times I had gnarly, high speed, no-room-to-maneuver left turns with no space to change lanes (think hanging a left onto Argyle off Franklin, with 8 billion cars queued to get onto the 101), I made the move by simply putting out my hand in a “halt” sign and watching as traffic patiently let me cross two lanes of traffic and slot into the left-hand turn lane.

Equally telling, in the long stretch along Fountain Ave., which has BMUFL markings, my 16-17 mph speed and liberal interpretation of the numerous stop signs angered no one, engendered no punishment passes, no middle finger salutes, zero ugly honks.

What does it all mean? Here’s what it means:

  1. When you are riding with seven super bright rear lights, people see you from a long way off even when they are texting. And a big chunk of motorist rage is their shock and surprise at having you “come out of nowhere,” i.e. having to navigate your presence when they weren’t paying attention in the first place. This displaced anger is a large part of cager rage–they’re the ones at fault for not seeing you, and they blame you for it. Put on the massive rear lights and voila, the rage disappears.
  2. The brilliant, 1200-lumen headlights also explain why cars make space when you’re up against the curb, passing a hundred stopped cars as you skip to the front of the line. Your headlights blast their side and rearview mirrors, a/k/a THEY FUGGIN’ SEE YOU. And a lot of cagers are either cyclists or at least sympathetic to them or, perhaps, appreciative that one bike means one less car.
  3. Hair (or bald head). When you ditch the helmet you look like a person. When you wear the helmet you look like a Star Wars storm trooper. Remember them? They were the true villains of the whole movie. But underneath those helmets that fell off after Luke killed them with his blaster, they were actual people. It’s just that when you saw the mask you hated them because mask = enemy.
  4. Backpack. Storm trooper cyclists deserving of death look inhuman. Person on a bicycle lugging a backpack looks like a barista late for work, and a late barista means you may not get your coffee! It’s hard to feel superior to a storm trooper all sleek and shaved and getting fit while you’re gaining weight sucking down a mocha frap in a 3-hour traffic jam. But it’s impossible not to feel superior to someone who not only is too poor to own a car but who also has to carry a backpack en route to a minimum wage job. And when you feel superior, you often feel just a little bit nicer. At least you don’t feel consumed with rage.
  5. Jeans and t-shirt and sneakers. This completes the human outfit. #winning

There may be other factors involved. I’m sure they are. But yesterday wasn’t an anomaly. I’ve now crisscrossed some of the nastiest gridlock in LA, Orange, and San Diego counties, and my experience isn’t that motorists hate me, it’s that they see me. And once seen, for the most part I’m safely and patiently steered around.

Light yourself up. Take the lane. You will be surprised.

END

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Battle fatigue

November 18, 2019 § 5 Comments

Before he abandoned bicycling and took up tennis, Derek the Destroyer always used to say “You race best on tired legs.”

In which case I’m ready to win the fuggin’ Tour.

My analog Stravver shows that I rode 7.9 fucktons last week. My easy day was a 35-miler to LAX and back, and my legs feel it. More than that, my mind feels it.

To quote Baby Seal, “You look like you’ve been used harder than an old dishrag.”

I’ve been thinking about that all morning, contemplating today’s calendar: a 32-mile jaunt up to Dodger Stadium, a subsequent meeting over by UCLA (adds 20-ish), and then the 25+ miles home from Westwood.

As Baby Seal was observing my rather haggard countenance, he asked “Have you noticed any changes since you started doing all this commuting?”

My answer was immediate. “I’ve gotten strong as shit.”

Because as long as the riding is endurance as opposed to intensity, more miles make you stronger. It’s that simple.

And it’s that complex, because the single hardest thing that people encounter when it comes to riding a bicycle is, surprise, riding the bicycle. All of the #socmed, #stravver, #powermeter, #data, #virtualcycling, ALL OF IT, is an ersatz for getting out on your bike and actually riding. But it’s an ersatz with this caveat: none of it works unless you actually go out and ride your bike.

To put a finer point on it, you don’t need any of that stuff to get stronger, faster, fitter if you go out and ride a lot. But if you don’t ride a lot, none of that stuff will get you anything more than very marginal gains. And it’s why lots of riding is what professional road cyclists have as the core component of their job preparation. First they have to ride 25 hours a week. Then they have to tinker with the data and the drugs in order to eke out the gains in bodies that are already operating at near-peak efficiency under near-maximal loads.

To quote, and re-quote, and re-quote Eddy Merckx. “Ride your bicycle more.”

But back to me, my wig, my flat pedals, and my gallivanting around LA in lieu of sitting in traffic:

  1. Tired all time but I go faster, longer.
  2. I need more sleep.
  3. My conversation is monosyllabic, i.e. grunting.
  4. I cannot eat enough, and the corollary: I eat all the time.
  5. Don’t leave home without suspenders.
  6. Chamois cream. Thank dog for chamois cream.
  7. Legs constantly ache from fatigue.
  8. Monthly budget for bath salts through the roof.
  9. Stronger core and back from lugging massive u-lock and cable everywhere.
  10. Mentally okay with any and all road/traffic/weather conditions (as long as it’s sunny and warm).

Okay. Monday, here I come.

END


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Bike-friendly LAX

Carmaggeddon #52, Is that a wig?

November 16, 2019 § 14 Comments

I had a meeting in Fullerton yesterday. That’s about 70 miles round trip. Biking from PV through Long Beach to Fullerton is about as urban as you can get, mixing it up with 18-wheelers, negotiating freeway on-off ramps, going from bike lane to no lane …

But here’s the thing. On the bike, you’re never late!

And even though the final miles home up Silver Spur-Basswood-Shorewood aren’t exactly pleasant, there were many, many happy remains of the day.

#1

I stopped to ask a homeless dude with a broken bike if he needed any help. “Nah,” he said. “I’ll get it fixed. I’m just frustrated so I figured I’d sit on the curb and cool down.”

“Okay.” I remounted.

“Hey, man,” he said, sharply. “Is that a wig?”

#2

Probably did 30 standing starts. Who says you can’t get a workout on your commute?

#3

Rode the Coyote Creek Bikeway for the first time, from where it picks up at El Dorado Park in Long Beach to Orangethorpe. So quiet, perfectly paved, peaceful.

#4

Got a great email from Todd Brown at Pedal Industries. He has seen the light and is now commuting to work. Check out his stuff. He’s local and a lifelong bike addict. NOT recovering.

#5

Dinner. No dinner tastes as good as the one you eat after a 70-mile urban SoCal commute.

#6

Smooth undercarriage. For years I’ve scoffed at chamois cream. I slapped some on yesterday because commuting wears your parts differently from regular cycling. That stuff works!

#7

Lots of friendly cagers. Going through Long Beach a guy in a BMW pulled up next to me and gave me the hugest knowing smile. Lugging my ass up Basswood, a Prius slowed to 5 mph, put down the window, and the driver shouted “You got this, man!”

#8

Coffee. When you are stuck in traffic in your cage you are just stuck in traffic. But when I started feeling pooked at about Atherton and PCH, I hopped onto the curb, parked my bike and had a cappucino. Boom!

#9

Dude in the coffee shop remarked about my suspenders. “They aren’t a fashion statement,” I said. “They’re to prevent me getting a misdemeanor citation for public indecency.” He mused. “Belt won’t work?” “Belt won’t hold the pants in place when they get heavy from the sweat.” He mused some more. “You look like Johnny Appleseed,” he said.

#10

Home.

END


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Take the fuggin’ lane!

Carmaggeddon Day #44: Path to destruction

November 8, 2019 § 10 Comments

I tried to figure out how much I’ve been riding since I quit driving back on August 17. Closest I could figure was, “A bunch.”

But how bunchy?

Before going to bed I whipped out my analog Stravver and wrote down the most recent rides I could remember. I’m sure I’ve left several off, but the total is about 620 miles in the last 15 days, or a touch over 300 miles/week. It also leaves off my epic commute to Rancho Cucamonga and a slew of other rides before that.

That is nothing if you are Napoleon Moore, who rides 100 miles+ per day, or if you’re Shirtless Keith, who logs over 18,000 miles a year.

But if you are me, it is a lot of miles and it means you are tired and dragging around bags under your eyes that look like you’ve lost a bad fistfight. I suspect it’s because I’m slow, old, weak, riding a heavy bike with fat tires and lugging a Kryponite + cable, but it’s probably also got to do with the fact that in addition to all that bike riding there is a pile of work that goes along with it. Another thing about commuting in LA: You hit lots of lights and so there is a bunch of starting.

Today I only have about 30 miles on the menu, but I’ve got 150+ coming up over the weekend. I don’t hate my bike yet, but I look at her differently.

Here are some #fakestats:

  1. Daily calories burned: 3,000-5,000
  2. Daily hours on bike: 2-6.
  3. Daily calories consumed: As many as I can get in my mouth.
  4. Tires replaced: 1.
  5. Flats: 0.
  6. Mechanicals: 1/2, when my rear derailleur got badly out of whack and Boozy P. had to fix ‘er up.
  7. Number of times hit in shin by rock: 1.
  8. Late appointments: 0.
  9. Miserable commutes: 0.
  10. Cups of ice cream at Union Station: 6
  11. Bicycle falling off incidents: 0.
  12. Pants waist: 30.
  13. Weight: Nothing fits.
  14. Riding lights: 9.
  15. Regrets: 0.

END


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