April 2017

Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever,” Episode 2: Mt. Diablo

Phil deals with the problems of being a Strava pro, which isn’t a real thing, and his Cannondale gets even lighter!


In the Good News Category: Denver bike giveaway puts 750 kids on wheels

From the DenverPost.com


Based on smiles, hugs and tears of joy, it was hard to tell who was happiest or most satisfied: the 750 Denver kids who received brand-new, free bicycles, or the 4,800 volunteers who assembled the bikes.

Denver-based DaVita Inc., one of the largest kidney care companies in the United States, pulled off the feat, tapping mostly employees, in town for an annual multi-day company meeting, as the bike builders.

The massive bike assembly and subsequent giveaway, a year in planning, was witnessed by staff from Guinness World Records.

“What if we do the biggest bike build in history?” said James “Skip” Thurman, senior director of communications with DaVita. “This all came to fruition, it’s extraordinary.”

In a big hall at the Colorado Convention Center, 1,100 unassembled bikes, still in cartoons and covered with colorful cloth, awaited the throng. A black zippered bag with tools needed for assembly, sat atop the boxes.

As the volunteers arrived, music blasted and colorful lights flashed across the room. People danced and gave each other high fives and fist pumps.

Dave Hoerman, chief wisdom officer of the health care company, stood on an elevated stage in the middle of the cavernous room and rallied the troops.

He encouraged volunteers to be thorough in their assembly, making sure to tighten and secure all nuts and bolts — the safety of the children who would be riding the bicycles depended on them. He encouraged the builders, mostly in groups of four, to work in tandem as a team. Hoerman then announced that the bike building would be timed, and bikes should be complete in 15 minutes.

Whistles, groans and hoots of nervous laughter filled the hall.


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If You Live or Ride in South Pasadena, Help shape the future of South Pasadena

The City of South Pasadena is updating the General Plan and Mission Street Specific Plan. These plans are the link between the expressed values and vision of the community and the daily decision-making that affect the physical, social, environmental and economic character of South Pasadena.


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Traffic Laws – In All 50 States

From the League of American Bicyclists


In all 50 states, people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers.

Here are a few key principles that underpin all US traffic laws:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic
When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning
Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection positioning
When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings


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Around the world in seven years, on a bike!

From BBC.com

Leigh Timmis has been cycling around the world since 2010 – and on Saturday he’s coming home.

His seven years in the saddle have seen him confront a mountain lion and sing to a bear, all on a globetrotting budget of £5 ($6.40) a day.

As he reaches the final leg of his journey home to Derby, Leigh, 35, thinks back over the previous 43,000 miles (69,000km) with a broad smile.

“The whole world has been my garden,” he says wistfully.

“I never thought about what happens on the 23rd (of April). What do you do after this?”

It was seven years ago when, depressed with a life lacking direction, Leigh said he would circle the globe on a bike.

With youth on his side and savings in the bank, he thought he could achieve his dream in two years, while raising money for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre.

“I guess a lot of men want to go on this sort of ego trip – show the world how great I am.

“I thought it would just be about me and this freedom.”

But the naive visions he had of conquering the world changed soon after he left.

“I didn’t know how to do what I’d set out to do. I couldn’t speak languages, I didn’t know how to sleep wild,” he said.

“So I began meeting people – sharing evenings with them and meeting their families.”

The journey was no longer about racing from one country to the next, but experiencing them one by one.

The slow and vulnerable bicycle was the perfect vehicle “to connect to people”.

When he ran out of money, he didn’t go home, but found work and kept cycling.


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Architect, Mia Lehrer, is transforming the Los Angeles River as part of the L.A. River Revitalization Project.

From ABC7.com

Longtime advocate and accomplished architect, Mia Lehrer, is transforming the Los Angeles River as part of the L.A. River Revitalization Project.

Gruen Associate, Mia Lehrer + Associates and Oyler Wu Collaborative are set to design a 12-mile bike path to run alongside the river through the San Fernando Valley. The goal is to build accessibility to the river and expand greener spaces for people to enjoy.

Lehrer said the plan to revitalize the river started 10 years ago, when the Los Angeles City Council approved a new master plan with the improvements in 2007.

“It’s a living river. But it took a while to convince the authorities that this was viable,” she said.

She added the changes along the river have been carried out in phases throughout the last decade. There’s even a 5-mile stretch of the river where people can kayak.


Thankfully, this is something we don’t have to worry about in California. How to Ride in Alligator Country Without Becoming Lunch

From Bicycling.com

Cyclists in Houston discovered this weekend that bypassing a gator requires more than riding fast


While riding in Houston’s Brazos Bend State Park this past weekend, a few cyclists were surprised by a living road block: a large, scaly alligator.

The incident, which prompted plenty of “why did the alligator cross the road?” jokes, also brought out the Fort Bend Emergency Medical Service, which helped direct cyclists away from the 12-foot gator.


The alligator didn’t seem to be bothered by the commotion, and lazily made his way across the road on his own timetable. Wherever he was going, he wasn’t running late.

“This is not an uncommon situation on paths or roadways through wetlands,” Dr. Kent A. Vliet, an alligator behavior expert at the University of Florida, says.


If you’re ever faced with a gator situation in the middle of a ride, Vliet has a few tips useful tips—though he stresses that appropriate safety practices around alligators are often situation dependent. “Alligators are generally quite peaceable, shy, and retiring, but there are situations or individuals that can be troublesome,” he says.

1. Assess (to the best of your abilities) the alligator’s mood and temperament.

The alligator in this situation could be described as quite clearly laid back, Vliet says. He can tell because the alligator’s body is flat on the ground, its mouth is closed, its legs are folded back against its body, and it’s “not doing anything to cause the apparent ruckus except being there.”

When should you worry? “If an alligator is lifting itself off the ground, arching its back, gaping its jaws, possibly hissing, then some additional caution must be taken,” he cautions. “Just because many alligators are accustomed to people and will allow you to approach closely does not mean that you should!”


2. Make the call: Pass or turn back? 

Pass: This is appropriate in most circumstances, Vliet says: “If a cyclist can pass a non-threatening alligator with some distance between them—for instance, those in this photo that are in the opposite lane—there should be no problem.”

Turn Back: If passing would put you between a gator and a body of water, Vliet says, that’s when an alligator might be in a bad mood. “Water is refuge for an alligator. If an alligator is caught out in the open on land, it naturally feels somewhat vulnerable and threatened. One should not try to pass between that alligator and the water, as that is the direction the alligator is likely to take off if disturbed,” he says.


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2017 Belgian Waffle Ride

Welkom to the most unique cycling event in the U.S. — the Cervélo Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) — now in its sixth year of irreverence. The only Euro-style Spring Classic on American soil will once again be hosted by the Lost Abbey Brewery on May 21, 2017. It will proffer the same type of insanity, challenge and the unparalleled experience that has made the event infamous — with another new course to surprise and delight all (not as long).

The Cervélo BWR attracts world-class cyclists from around the world. It has a cult following of fervent racers from cyclo-cross, road and mountain biking. As a result it has become known as much for its difficulty, with all the glorious trappings of the Belgian Spring Classics — as it has for the celebratory atmosphere that pervades the event’s every funky facet.

Each year the course is different. Last year’s was the longest and most difficult yet at 146 miles; 40 of which were in dirt, with 13,000 feet of elevation gain. We hope to keep the course similar to that of last year, but shorter. Now entering its third year, the Belgian Wafer Ride covers roughly 68 miles of the Cervélo BWR’s tricky trails, hellacious hills and rolling roads.

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L.A. Debuts New Interactive Vision Zero Map

From StreetsBlog.org

The city of Los Angeles has a new interactive Vision Zero map. The map shows the locations of recent traffic fatalities, identifying them by age, gender, and whether those killed were traveling by foot, bike, or car.

In case readers are not already familiar with Vision Zero, it is the city’s adopted policy to reduce traffic deaths to zero. The policy was first adopted as part of the city’s Mobility Plan 2035 and strengthened via mayoral directive. Numerous city departments – including Transportation, Police, Planning, and Public Works – are working alongside community groups to reduce fatalities and injuries. Vision Zero efforts focus primarily along the city’s High Injury Network (HIN): the six percent of streets where 65 percent of all deaths and severe injuries take place. As part of the city’s 2017 Vision Zero Action Plan, staff thoroughly analyzed crash data to identify 40 priority corridors within the High Injury Network. The city’s meager Vision Zero programs would take a major leap under a funding proposal currently wending its way through council approvals.

L.A.’s new map went online yesterday. It is the result of a motion by Councilmember Paul Koretz directing LADOT, with the Bureau of Engineering and the Information Technology Agency, to develop an interactive web-based Vision Zero HIN Map that included various data layers showing death and injury locations, similar to San Francisco’s interactive Vision Zero website.


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Ellipse – A smarter bike lock.

A smart bike lock that connects to your phone to provide keyless entry, theft detection, bike sharing, crash alerts and more.

Half of all cyclists have had a bike stolen.

Theft Alerts
Ellipse will send you an alert if your bike is disturbed, through its long-range Bluetooth*. You can adjust the alert sensitivity to your liking and toggle the feature on and off.

Resists Attackers of All Kinds
Ellipse’s 17mm thick steel shackle offers proven bike security. Its dual-locking mechanism means that it would have to be cut through twice to break. Bank-level encryption prevents the most determined hackers from finding a virtual way in.


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