Skewer on Disc Brake Bikes a Safety Hazard – 1.5 Million Bikes Recalled

Road.cc reports:

“Seventeen bike brands have announced a joint recall of over 1.5 million bikes. The recall affects disc-braked bikes and the problem is the front quick release skewer, which can enter the disc rotor when fully opened.” – Road.cc

Brands recalling bikes:

Access
Breezer
Cannondale
Civia
Diamondback
Felt
Fuji
Giant
GT
Haro
Jamis
Novara
Norco
Raleigh
Ridley
SE Bikes
Specialized

Full details on the recall at quickreleaserecall.com

A Vet and His Pet

Gulf War veteran cycles across America with his dog

Harold Palmquist is a Gulf War veteran. When he lost his job as a truck driver, he lost his home and was out on the street with his beloved 9 year old dog Daisy. Homeless shelters would take in Harold, but not Daisy, and he wasn’t about to abandon Daisy.

Finally he chanced across a shelter that would accept pets, the Phoenix shelter “Veterans and Their Pets,” which also offers food and veterinary care for pets.

Now Palmquist is raising money for the shelter, and awareness for the plight of many veterans, by riding his bicycle across America.

If you’d like to help Harold and Daisy in their goal, you can donate via their Go Fund Me page.

The Improbable Threat of Mechanical Doping in Cycling

I think so-called “mechanical doping” is very different to traditional chemical doping. And the difference is such that it makes mechanical doping far less likely than normal doping.

Traditional Doping: It’s All About the Rider

Doping actually changes a rider’s physiology and transforms him into a stronger and faster rider. He can get on any bike and take on anyone and kick ass. His human performance is elevated, even if it is ultimately thanks to some alien substances in his body.

It’s virtually indistinguishable from the rider being naturally strong and a highly trained elite athlete.

Mechanical Doping: It’s All About the Bike

Mechanical doping transforms the bike. It does nothing for the rider, and with the right mechanics he could even be a complete wimp. He just needs to know where the switch is turn.

So while these forms of doping are both cheating, there’s a big philosophical and psychological difference.

There’s some degree of honor and in the rider being stronger, there’s none what so ever in your bike having a motor.

Mechanical doping is just flat out cheating with no upside for the rider apart from a stolen win. I can see an elite athlete  being tempted to dope, I can’t see such an athlete sticking a motor on his bike.

There’s also the problem of conspiracy. A doper can dope privately and independently of the team. That’s highly unlikely in the case of mechanical doping, the mechanics at the least would have to be in on it.

And what if you have a mechanical for real and the team car can’t get to you in time? Your bike is going to be suspiciously heavy to anyone that touches it.

Recent Mechanical Doping Conspiracy Theories

There’s been a few, of course Cancellara’s Roubaix win was a big one, but there have been many more… Google “mechanical doping”.

At the time of this writing,  “mechanical doping” conspiracy theories erupted after a Movistar mechanic “hides” broken bike in team car…

These fans must be bored and a little dense. There’s a simple and obvious answer. Sigh.

 

You Do It Every Day and It’s Killing You

New research shows that sitting at work is killing you. Get active while working and improve your creativity, productivity and health.

Recent and thorough research done in Australia in 2013 has reinforced earlier research… and it is very bad news for most of us.

If you sit for more than 4 hours a day, you’re at a much higher risk for chronic disease and death.

And what’s scary about it is that it doesn’t matter how much you exercise outside of those 4, 6, 8 hours of sitting.

“This is the one piece of bad news you shouldn’t sit down for: Sitting for hours on end, every day, is bad for your health. Sitting at work is bad for you. Sitting after work is bad for you. Sitting is the new smoking, except that the furniture lobby probably isn’t as powerful as the tobacco one.”

Seven Ways Sitting Will Kill You

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/many-reasons-chair-killing-you?image=0

Self-Defense Against Sitting

What can you do about it? Quite a lot actually… The good news is there’s many options available today that enable you to stay active while working.

Not only will you be healthier, but active workers are more creative, more productive, and just pain awesome.

Your Self-Defense Against Sitting – the best standing, walking and cycling desks:

http://velologic.com/store/exercise-desks/

What the Fixie?! Now That’s Old School…

It’s Labor Day and we’re heading to lunch and I see something that makes me slam on the brakes and do a u-turn.

Rolling down the road in the opposite direction is a guy on a Penny-Farthing. He’s going at a decent speed. I catch him but he pulls over, dismounts and remounts heading the other way. Another u-turn and I’m back on his tail.

I pass him pull over well ahead of him and shot this short video of him coming by.

About the Penny-farthing

Penny-Farthing Riders, Santa Ana, California in 1886French mechanic Eugène Meyer invented the wire tension spoke wheel in 1868, and paved the way and popularized the penny-farthing that later developed.

In the US the high wheeler’s heyday was around 1878 to the end of the 19th century.

Penny-farthing bicycle crash known as a "header" - ouch!

According to Wikipedia:

An attribute of the penny-farthing is that the rider sits high and nearly over the front axle. When the wheel strikes rocks and ruts, or under hard braking, the rider can be pitched forward off the bicycle head-first. Headers were relatively common and a significant, sometimes fatal, hazard.

Source: Wikipedia “Penny-Farthing”

Due to the danger of “headers,” the safety bicycle was developed, where the rider was not in such a precarious position.

The well-known dangers of the penny-farthing were, for the time of its prominence, outweighed by its strengths. While it was a difficult, dangerous machine, it was simpler, lighter, and faster than the safer velocipedes of the time. Two new developments changed this situation, and led to the rise of the safety bicycle. The first was the chain drive, originally used on tricycles, allowing a gear ratio to be chosen independent of the wheel size. The second was the pneumatic bicycle tire, allowing smaller wheels to provide a smooth ride.

Source: Wikipedia “Penny-Farthing”

How to Ride a High Wheeler

Mounting and dismounting a penny-farthing (also known as a high wheeler) can be tricky. Basically you need to put one foot on the rear step, scoot the bike along until you get it up to a stable speed, then mount the saddle and keep pedaling.

Hiwheel.com gives you the lowdown…

Get Your Own Penny-farthing

If you want your own, you can buy an antique replica high wheeler starting at about $1000 and going up to $3000. Hiwheel.com has a range of meticulously constructed replicas. But please, try keep your face off the road.

Bike Burglar Window Shops on Local Raleigh Rides

Here’s a story from my neck of the woods…. about a fixie-riding, KOM-holding, bicycle thief.

Christian Browne rides a fixie in the Raleigh NC area and holds KOMs on Strava. (Seriously? He must be using the Nibali bidon pull.) Browne is also a bike thief, and, by the sounds of it, a pathological liar.

Browne hung out on the local rides, scoped out the high end bikes, then nicked them in the evenings.

He ran a fairly sophisticated operation, breaking up the bikes, switching parts to disguise the bikes, then selling them around the country.

He denies he’s guilty and wants back in, but the locals are having none of it. Good for them.

Read the full article: The Bicycle Thief

 

Will Cycling Be Bought?

Vuelta Update

It’s half way through the Vuelta and today’s stage is a monster! With  6 categorized climbs and a summit finish, we’re bound to see some serious time gaps open/close. Who’s relishing it and who’s dreading it?

Peloton prepare for monstrous day in the mountains at Vuelta a España

Will Pro Cycling Be Bought?

One of China’s richest men just bought the World Triathlon Corporation and with it the Ironman. Will cycling be next?

Steve Maxwell and Joe Harris write in VeloNews:

Dalian Wanda now has access to more than a quarter-million licensed triathlon participants, and is well-positioned to spur innovation and capitalize on a global marketing initiative to grow the sport even further. Ironman already has rock-solid and protected intellectual property rights, which includes the right to host its own world championship in Kona, Hawaii. It has a proven monetization model and virtual control of the sport’s strategic direction.

On the other hand, pro cycling is still as financially fractured and economically unsustainable as it was 50 years ago. There is no consolidation of events into a coherent business structure, and only a small handful of top-level WorldTour events make any money at all. This financial uncertainty and lack of coherent exposure puts the sport in a perpetually unstable situation. Sponsors whose teams don’t make the cut for the single iconic and profitable event — the Tour de France — are quick to exit. Teams and races come and go with alarming regularity.

Read full article: Triathlon Sprints Ahead of Pro Cycling

 

The Bicycle Capital of the USA

There’s a small town in California, where… “if you squint you could be in the Netherlands.”

That’s because, like in the Netherlands, bikes are everywhere:

“In most American cities, the modal share for cycling struggles to reach 2%; in Davis it’s 20%. That’s well on the bike path to 25%, the average modal share for cycling in the Netherlands.”

But it looks like Davis, CA is about to lose its title as “the bicycle capital of America,” as Boulder Colorado is snapping at its wheels.

Read full article at The Guardian: Davis, California, the American City Which Fell in Love with the Bicycle

Related:  50 Places to Bike Before You Die