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The Joy of Weekend Getaways on the Bike

Great article, and I wanted to comment on the point about keeping the load under 20# even if camping overnight.  I attended an REI presentation in April by Alan Carpenter from the Boulder, CO area.  He had completed the Pacific Coast from Vancover to San Diego, and I was amazed at how light (and little) he packed.  Excluding the weight of his water bottles and whatever food he picked up for the day, his load was just 15# and carried in a custom made stuff bag strapped to his rear rack.  This included his sleeping bag and tent.  While not everyone wants to give up as much as he did (example - a thin washcloth served as his towel), it was great to see just how little you truly need on even an extended tour.

Create your own products

There was a point years ago where I ended up riding a number of long rides in a row that happened to include a good dose of rain.  After the sun came out, there I was riding in a wet diaper for the rest of the ride (even though the jersey etc dried out.

I took a pair of long waterproof rain pant and cut them off, made a new velcro fastener above the knee and created rain shorts.  Rolled them up and stuck them in an old waterbottle with the top cut off and stuck in my second waterbottle cage.

On short rides, who cares about a little rain, but on week long tours it's kind of nice to have along so those short showers don't have to "dampen" the rest of the day.


Tale of 2 cities

I agree wholeheartedly that it makes no sense that a cyclist is "guilty" until proven innocent in any incident between cars and bikes. I believe bikes ought to be treated similar to sailboats vs powerboats on the water. It is the powerboat's responsibility to avoid the sailboat. I also agree that I have NEVER seen a cop enforce a 3 (or 2 where I live) foot passing infraction. Heck I've been "edged" by cops.

BUT I believe we cyclists have contributed to the problem in a way that I rarely hear mentioned. That is in general we are not a very "inclusive" group. Many cycling clubs never cater to the beginning cyclist which in many cases is a middle-aged person who has decided to try it for fitness fun,etc. Sure the "club" may advertise a lower level or beginner ride. So what happens when the real "beginner" shows up?: everyone is gathered in their groups, many on multi-$1000 bikes, the latest pro-looking jersey on their shoulders, ready to sprint to the stop signs looking and more importantly ACTING intimidating as hell. Someone may politely point out the "slow" ride group, which likely also contains a few faster riders who want to "rest their legs", (or more likely show off their prowess) and so the beginner gets dumped off the back within the first few miles - if not sooner. They then may not give up immediately cycling, but group rides are out, therefore really learning how to ride is out, and soon, after riding a little by themselves a few times, they retire the bike or sell it.

We need a much "bigger tent" to get the law enforcement, infrastructure, etc that we believe we deserve. Sure cycling is more popular in the US than ever. But proving to the middle-aged lady with the gym shorts on that you can drop her in the first mile on the "D" ride sure isn't helping. Those middle-aged beginners are the ones who have a heck of a lot more influence on our passion than most serious cyclists ever realize. You get enough (and keep enough) of them out on bikes, and you'll see resources devoted to cycling.

3-foot law

In this area, we generally have fairly wide shoulders.  Many are 6 or more feet wide, paved and clear, with a single continuous white line separating them from the travelled lanes.  Even in the absence of a well defined shoulder or breakdown lane, there is usually at least some extra space on the right side of the road.

What astounds me is the high percentage of cyclists that deliberately ride in or very near the travelled lane despite all the room to the right.  They themselves often make it impossible to maintain the 3-foot rule, because of opposing or passing traffic.  Many riders seem to be going out of their way to make it uneccessarily difficult for drivers to share the road with equinimity.

This seems to me to be incredibly stupid.  Why would you not put all the room feasible between you and vehicles?  Why would you not show the very same courtesy that you would like to have yourself?

At the very least, if not actively increasing your own risk, you are at least inspiring more incidents of discourtesy or worse, simply by being hard to live with.  Why would any reasonable person do this?

Please don't misunderstand me.  I am a bike rider, and have been for something like 60 years.  But I'm also a driver, and what I see many cyclists doing ticks me off even when I'm sensitive to riders' issues.  I don't think putting your body out there and being contentious is a good way to make a point.

Riding Shoulders

I for one am one of those who ride near the white line when using a road Shoulder, and have always considered those who ride far away from it as novices. Here are a couple obvious reasons to do so. There is far less debris next to the area where motorist travel, thus you are many times less likely to get at flat.  You are also far more visible to drivers and, in my experience, much less likely to get a right hook from turning drivers.

Roller Fan

Back in the early 80's all we had to train on in the winter were rollers.  I had (and still have) a nice set of Weyless blue rollers but they didn't have any resistance.  So I came up the idea of hooking up another belt off the front and attaching it to a blower fan that aimed back at me. It worked quite well for a home made job.  Now you can buy Kretler Headwind Rollers - same design (but much better engineered!). I guess I should have patented it.

Why You Should Wear a Helmet

The utter piece of nonsense.

An anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all.

In this specific case the author might be long time dead if he warn helmet during the described incident. At least concluding from the (very vague) description of the incident. As you know helmets not only provide some (mostly inadequate) protection, but pose some additional risks, like increased chances for ihjuries caused by torsional twist.

"You don’t need to understand the different tests." - sure, you need, as there is no single test modelling an impact of the high-speed crash (unless something was added recently). That means that tests do not verify protection for the case when this protection is the most necessary.


Custom Fit Bike

I have several bikes. I have 3 that were custom built to my fit. I have 2 that were not. I am short waisted and there isn't a bike on the shelf that can truly be made to fit me.  Shorter stems, longer cranks, seat post changes, saddle length changes don't come close to matching a custom built bike. I ride the custom built bikes a lot and for all distances.  The off the shelf are used for 10K TT and nothing longer.  The other one is a commuter bike for going to the store and again short distances.  I highly recommend a custom made bike. 

Shift the Chain Back On

I've done this same thing for years and most of the time it works.  But I have a question, a question that I don't have to worry about but others might.  The question is: what if your chain falls off the small ring in the front and you have a carbon fiber bike?  I've known people who have had their chains saw through one side of the chain stay!  I think if you own a carbon fiber bike it should be a no brainer to get a chain catcher whether you have the problem or not.  Now you're all probably wondering why I'm not worried about that...I don't own any carbon fiber bikes!

what if your chain falls off the small ring

A correctly adjusted chain catcher "should" prevent this. Where this fails is with protruding and squared off chain ring bolts. For example, if you look at Shimano's chain ring bolts on the inside (small chain ring side), the are heavily recessed as well as rounded so if a chain falls off on the inside, the chain catcher does its job. On the other hand, if you look at ROTOR's chain ring bolts, they protrude as well as squared off. So....what happens is that as the chain shifts off, the chain ring bolt will actually catch the chain and force it past the chain catcher. Now the chain is stuck underneath the chain catcher and you will have to force the chain catcher over and pick up the chain by hand and place it back on the small chainring. I have filed my bolts down and have reported this iss to ROTOR who says that there will be no new bolts.

Another factor is the BB design. Bikes with large BB's are stiffer but the drawback is that if the chain falls off the small ring, it gets lodged between the crank and the BB shell. Now you have a bigger problem in that you will probably have to loosen the crank to safely remove the stuck chain.

So as you can see, all bikes/component mix are different as to how the ultimate problem will occur and be handled. Some frames like the Cannondale actually have a metal piece epoxied into the right-hand chain stay to prevent this "sawing". I've actually done the same thing and took a small piece of Kevlar cloth and epoxied onto the right chainstay near the crank.

Bottom line, if the chain falls off the small ring - STOP pedaling immediately and assess the situation.


Wearing a Helmet

First let's be perfectly clear, I wear a helmet, I've always have since the Bell Biker helmet came out, and I know that wearing a helmet has saved my noggin at least once and maybe twice.  The problem is the Bareheaded Antihelmet League of Melons (BLAM)  will argue to say that Jim's accident would have caused the same injuries with or without a helmet!  I'm sorry, but that is what they're saying on a popular bicycle forum that has generated over 8,000 posts!   All very argumentative of course and each side showing their facts and each side coming up with crazy things to say.  I kind of think that the US government who specializes in compiling miles and miles of data and has done this with helmets have shown a decrease in death and injuries to those who wear a helmet year after year, this goes against what some studies have shown in Australia and England, but in the US the facts are completely different, not sure why the differences between countries but I'll go with the US data and continue to wear a helmet.

SadaBike Misconceptions

If you visit the website, you'll see that while the frame assembly folds down to the length of an umbrella, that doesn't include the wheels, which are separate and the handlebars apparently just disappear, as they are nowhere in the photos of the folded bike. The bottom line is that the folded package is not any smaller than most folding bikes and considerably larger than a few.

Wearing a helmet

thanks for your great article about the importance of wearing a helmet! I had a really bad accident in 2000 while cycling in Ireland. Thankfully I was wearing a helmet but it was destroyed and I would be dead w/o it. As it was I had a severe TBI, broken ribs, collapsed lung, bleeding liver, and lots of hemotomas. I had to make my way home alone w/all these injuries. The doctors here couldn't believe I was still alive. I've been fully recovered for a long time now and very grateful. But you will never see me ride w/o a helmet . . . ever!


Why do I have sore triceps?

Fred,  You are recommending tricep endurance tips, not tricep strengthening exercises.  Why not suggest consulting with a qualified personal trainer or strength coach (C.S.C.S.)  In the repetition continuum, (Poliquin & King, 1991) strength occurs with low repetitions and endurance occurs with high repetitions.  I would like to offer this comment from Mike Boyle of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Woburn, Mass.,

No one has ever gotten better lifting light weights.
Light weight is an oxymoron. A weight should be appropriate to the goal but, rarely, if ever, intentionally light. The load should be based on the strength level of the person. The reality is if you
are lifting a weight ten times, numbers nine and ten should be difficult. If you can lift a weight 20 times but choose to do only ten, you are wasting your time. Period.
The essence of effective strength training is a concept called
progressive resistance exercise or overload. This means that that even if
the resistance may be light to begin with, it should not stay
that way. 



I agree with your views on building strength. For avoiding triceps soreness from long hours of leaning on the handlebars, endurance-level resistance training works well.

Freb Matheny

A Tale of Two Cities

I originally hail from Germany and have lived 12 years in the South, specifically Louisiana.

One marked difference is the application of the law as it relates to cyclists.  In Germany any collision is strictly defined as a burden of proof on the motorist.  In other words, the motorist must prove beyond doubt, that the cyclist was at fault when any contact has been made.  In all other respects and in the absence of such incontrovertible proof, the driver is always held accountable in both criminal and civil court, which is the majority of cases.

This is the single most effective way to generate the same defensive driving as should befall vehicles as a function of their weight, size and inherent danger when combined with momentum.  The 3-foot passing law is just one belated American effort at emulating long-standing European codes.  Much more needs to be done and can be done with the passing of appropriate laws.

Just as a cyclist would not test the proposition of the 3-foot law by willfully veering into the path of a car, neither would such a cyclist try to get a motorist into trouble by generating a collision on purpose!  There are better ways to commit suicide.

Captain Eurotrash

violence toward bikers

This is why I got a Concealed Carry Weapon permit, and always carry a small handgun with me on my rides. I wonder if any other Road Bike Rider readers carry a weapon during their rides for protection against violent drivers and pit bulls? 

Police strength pepper spray

Police strength pepper spray works well.

Violence towards bikers

Rick mentioned carrying a weapon for protection from biting dogs and idiot car drivers. I have carried a weapon for years, as have a number of my biking friends. I have been roundly condemned for that practice. The standard comment is "how could you ruin the bicycling experience by carrying a gun!" Well, it is simply a matter of survival. I cannot run a car into the ditch by swerving into its path. I cannot wear body armor and ride comfortably. I, at a whopping 140 pounds, cannot easily defend myself against a 300+ lb idiot who has decided I have no right to be on "his" road and is prepared to beat me to prove his point. I neither desire nor intend to shoot anyone. BUT, when threatened with injury and/or death I fully intend to take whatever action required to survive. One note- your cell phone camera also is a wonderful weapon. You might be amazed by the reaction of a moron when told you have just e-mailed his photo and a photo of his vehicle and tag to the local law enforcement.

Low Spoke Count Wheels

I couldn't agree more with your writer Rick Schultz regarding Shimano Dura Ace wheels. I have a set of C24 wheels with 16/20 spoke count and these really are very robust and light weight climbing wheels. My set are now into their fourth season and still performing great. I've hit a pot hole that put me over the bars at 25mph and gone over the edge of a rocky 15 ft embankment on these wheels and they are still true. At the end of each season I check them out and apart from a clean, no further work is required. Inadvertently I put them on my wife's bike for her to check out a new derailleur and tune up. She came back ranting about how come I only get the best stuff-so last Christmas she also got a pair of Dura Ace C24 wheels. I can only say that we're both extremely happy with these fine wheels. 

paddler. I was given a pair

paddler. I was given a pair of Dura Ace 7850 carbon clincher and asked to review their 'new' braking surface alloy. A friend is now riding them and these wheels now have over 36,000 miles with no broken spokes. Ive rebuilt the hub bearings every 10,000 miles and they are still rolling fine. Granted, they are getting a little tired now but, I know we will get 40,000 miles out of them.

Low spoke count kinda depends on the manufacturer. With Shimano, you are going to get a great product that will last a long time. Shimano over builds their wheels. For the racer, they will complain that they are too heavy. For everyone else, expect to get years and years of trouble-free riding !!!

Enve, Reynolds also make high quality wheels. Others I cant speak for.

Where companies get into trouble is buying Chinese open-box wheels, importing them into the US, then labeling them as theirs. These are the ones that you hear about all of the time, breaking, cracking, exploding......

Low Spoke Count Wheels

Regarding your mention of cracked rims on Neuvation wheels, I had that happen on my rear Neuvation and John replaced the first rim under warranty. Several years later that one cracked and I had to pay for the replacement. Which was fair, totally out of warranty by that time. I've also had to replace the bearings a few years ago (rear only). Good news is, I have over 30,000 miles on these wheels, the front has been perfect and I've used the same spokes on all the rear wheel rebuilds! I've also gotten 20,000 plus miles from Cane Creek Volos wheels (straight pull spokes) but the rear finally died due to cracked rim syndrome. I got one of the asymetircal rims from Velocity, but still have to rebuild that one!

Low Spoke Count Wheels

I've had Mavic Ksyriums since I bought my Litespeed in 2002. The fronts are 18-spoke, rears are 20, with the drive side laced radially and the non-drive side cross-2. These wheels are prone to cracking. I've had three sets fail (mostly the rear wheels), and I've seen other cyclists with the same problem on these wheels. The cracks always develop at the spoke holes and spread along the middle of the rim body. Mavic provides a 2-year warranty, and I have gotten my rims replaced by them (they also replace the bladed spokes because they don't think they should be re-used). On these rims, the spoke hole are actually left-hand threaded holes tapped into the rim, and the spokes are manufactured with the nipple on the spoke. The nipples won't come off over the knob at the end of the spoke, nor will they fit down the length of the bladed spoke. Perhaps screwing the nipples directly into the rim adds to the stress on the metal, because they do seem very fond of cracking.

I've also cracked/broken

I've also cracked/broken every Mavic wheel I have owned. Won't buy them anymore. 


On Coaching

10% is huge. Can make the difference between getting dropped and dropping others. In 10 weeks of internet coaching, after reading all the books and failing miserably to self-coach, I gained 10% FTP, or, about 1% a week which included a recovery week roughly every 3rd or 4th week.  Now, in my 3rd year of coaching it's made the difference between enjoying life and continuing to cycle while undergoing cancer treatments. Coaching works on so many levels. If you can afford one get one.

Low Spoke Count


Agreed, with exceptions,and yes, I have broken wheels in the past (won't mention which manufacturers). In my experience and looking at this as an engineer, in order to maintain profits, some manufacturers use cheaper and cheaper materials in their wheels causing premature failure. I have been riding Shimano Dura Ace / RS-80 / Ultegra wheels for decades and had only 1 spoke break in all of this time. Current long-term test wheels are the Dura-Ace 7850 carbon clinchers. Shimano actually went the other way from most manufacturers and made this (the first in the new style) better, stronger, stiffer, lighter. They crossed the spokes on both sides of the rear wheel (stronger, stiffer), went to a carbon overlay rim (stronger, lighter), went to a new alloy for the rim braking surface (better-longer lasting), stronger nipples, spokes and a lighter and stronger hub design. So far, this wheelset has over 35,000 miles and still has braking surface left. No broken spokes. This is with myself (185 lbs) hammering these wheels for 20,000 miles, then loaning to a (205 lb ex-pro triathlete) friend who has also hammered on these wheels for the better of 15,000 miles.

So, not all low-spoke-count wheels are built the same. If you want a great set of wheels that you can use for racing, training, even touring, look no further than Dura-Ace, RS-80, or Ultegra.

The best bang for the buck is probably RS-80 which is actually the Dura-Ace rim and Ultegra hub.


RS-80 is now replaced with

RS-80 is now replaced with RS-81

Go to Shimano's website and open the Wheels/RoadSport page.

C24, C35, C50 options



Low Spoke Count Wheels

It is interesting timing to see this right now, even though it is an older article.  I just recently found that my Bontrager Race X-Lite rear wheel had cracks at every drive side spoke, except 1.  These are 20 spoke front and 24 spoke rear.  I am probably far too heavy to be riding such a wheel (235).  It did last for about 10 years and came with the bike when I purchased it.  I have gained about 25lbs during those years.  Anyway, the symptoms were pretty much exactly as described.  The only difference is that the wheel/spokes were not popping, but making a noise that almost sounded like a rub.  The noise would start after 15-20 minutes of riding, under heavier loads, and on every pedal stroke.  I ended up replacing a lot of drivetrain components and doing maintenance, that was not really a waste, but did not solve the issue.  I finally noticed the cracks as I was tearing down the freehub to see if that was the source.

I just replaced them with some Stans Alpha 400 Team wheels that are 24 spoke front and 28 spoke rear.  I hope that these will last as long, or longer, and be trouble free.

drivers in US

We have to face it; as long as the republican leadership allows, even encourages their constituents do anything without condemnation: carry guns in resturants, belch smoke from trucks, armed opposition to tax collectors, murdering doctors in church, harrassing women,   on and on and on, we will not have a civil society and miscreats will be lionized for acts like we all have witnessed.  This is the price we pay for allowing weirdo and socially harmful opinions to blossom as they have.  Its despicable.  

I vote for cyclists being

I vote for cyclists being able to carry and use handguns.


I don't know about everyone else, but the majority of my flats are not the least bit obvious until I remove the tire and do an "inside search" for the culprit.  The PatchnRide would rarely work for me but if you ride in an area with something like goathead thorns it would be useful (assuming it works as advertised).


AT first blush this seems like a great tool/idea, however, most, if not all of my flats are from some debris on the road that punctures that does not stay in the tire.  Most times I think it is a shard of glass.  The PatchNRide requires that you are able to see what has punctured dthe tire or leaves a hole that is visible.  It is a great idea, but I see only limited use.cheeky

Riding at Age

Your article was spot on. I am still riding with the 30 to 50 year olds and have no kids who can keep up or go the distance with us. We live in a very hilly area and our intensity is sprinting the rollers and grinding the 4 to 7 mile climbs. At almost 78 I am riding better than when I started at 35. Just do it!! Age has nothing to do with it. It is only an excues. 


Go Michael!!!!! Love it!!!

Go Michael!!!!!

Love it!!!

Commute Training

My commute is also 13 miles each way.  The route is the same, but the traffic is not.  Early morning, its very light with maybe ten cars encountered until I get close to work.  Afternoons, traffic is heavy.  And for schedule reasons, I bicycle commute Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  So I have Tuesday and Thursday recoveries built in.  Saturdays are for long touring rides.  Sundays recovery.

The morning commute is a fairly steady pull from traffic signal to traffic signal.  Its a good warm-up / wake-up and I don't get worn out before even getting to work.  The ride home is a different story.  Because of traffic patterns (and experience with impatient drivers), the ride centers around two sprints.  For those two relatively short distances, speed is defintiely my best friend.  So on the ride home, I'm either warming up and prepping for the first one, pushing for all I'm worth, recovering from that effort and prepping for the second one, again pushing for all I'm worth, or recovering from that one and then toodling the short remaining distance home.  It really is a great ride.

But Celia is absolutely correct.  Training is most definitely a distant second to survival.  From the moment I start out to the moment I finish, my primary focus is, "Where is the next threat?" and "How am I going to deal with it?"  It keeps my head up and eyes and ears alert.  Dealing with a threat can be taking an escape route, maneuvering abruptly, or just judiciously slowing.  For every threat identified, there are at least two options identified.  I've yet to be hit.  But I've had plenty of close calls.

BTW: A loud and hardy, "Thank you, very much!!" gets a much better, and often sheepish / guilty apology than any hand gesture or less gracious epithet.

For anyone who thinks riding in a threat awareness mode is a downer, it's exactly what they teach motorcyclists to do, and you actually see more, hear more, and are generally more in tune with your surroundings.  Isn't that one reason a lot of us ride?


Commuting and training

Hi, Coach Fred. I enjoy your advice. As a longtime commuter who has seen two friends killed in traffic, I want to add a fourth consideration to your list for anyone who plans to use his commute as a training ride. 

Unless you live on a stand-alone bike trail leading directly to your office door, commuters navigate auto traffic. Nothing else should be on your mind other than survival, especially at intersections, stop signs and stop lights.

I see guys I know are getting ready for a race or tour blow through traffic signals because they're timing a run or watching their power meter. It only takes one miscalculation, one blind spot, one drunken driver, one speeder, one grandmother distracted by the kids in the back seat ...

For longevity's sake, a commuter should focus on commuting.


I agree, safety should always trump training.

Fred Matheny

I asked a good friend Wayne

I asked a good friend Wayne Stetina about this and his comment was "You don't know how many miles of sidewalks I commute on".


Had a routine training circuit years ago that included encountering dogs on a regular basis.  After feeding one attacker my air pump, I looked for another method.  Began carrying one water bottle with very diluted ammonia.  A hardy squeeze anywhere in their general direction would stop them in their tracks, even at a full run.  Didn't have the range of a gun or a dog whistle, but it was very effective.  In a very diluted solution, the smell is the retardant.  It has to be diluted because in higher doses / more concentrated solutions, it can harm the eyes and breathing passages.


I have appreciated all of the concern over chasing dogs.  About 10-years ago I was on my typical Saturday Century to the NC mountains and back.  Fortunately I was not solo that day and was riding with two friends.  We were enjoying a 20+mph return trip home on a desolate road when out of the bushes on the side of the road a very large 90-pound dog pounced out at the rider in front of me.  I struck the dog in its shoulder which felt like hitting a brick wall.  It taco'ed my front wheel and I flew about 30-feet before crash landing in the middle of the road.  As I laid there waiting for the ambulance the two one-toothed guys from the house ran out from the house and said, "That not our dog, it just hang around here!"  I can laugh about it now but I still carry $26,000 of steel where my shoulder used to be and I have never gotten back to the riding level that I was before that fateful Saturday morning.  I am really happy to be alive and riding but the painful recovery and expense has forever changed my life.  Many times now when my wife asks how my ride went I can smile and say, "Great honey!  It was a "NDD" (A No Dog Day).

Dogs/Rat Shot

I appreciate the comments about dogs made on June 10th by my fellow Tennessean, oclvroadbikerider.  But I want to sound a caution about using any kind of shot (bird shot, rat shot, or pellets) on any domestic pet.  I know someone who  fired a pellet gun at a cat which had been using their childrens' sand box as its private toilet. They only intended to scare it away from their yard but the pellet hit the cat injuring it.  Later when the owner took the animal to the vet it was determined that it had to be put down.  The pet owner pressed charges. The shooter was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.  The  shooter spent several thousand dollars in defense expenses, and the case still has not been completely settled.  I'm not saying that one wouldn't be justified in spraying an attacking dog with bird shot or rat shot, or in the extreme even killing it, but an irate pet owner could also cause a lot of grief and expense for the cyclist which he might not be prepared for. 

Sandbox shooting.

And that is totally understandable since in THAT situation they had no justification to shoot an animal.   In that situation I'd probably live trap it and take it to the pound since the irresponsible owner doesn't deserve having it.

In detail, IF a dog is running along out of the road because I'm the most interesting thing he's seen that day, I'll talk nicely to them all day.  

However, IF a dog is IN the road attacking or directly theatening my or other riders safety, only then would you be justified in shooting.  Criminally you should be justified.  And yes, people can sue you civilly for just about anything.  But I'd rather face a pissed irresponsible owner in court, with a good chance of winning IF it was a justified shoot, than just be a victim and try and recover damages from them in court for injuries that might never fully recovered from, might never ride again, or be DEAD, and in many instances, you'd never get a cent from the owner even if you do win.

And I won't go into details about persons I know who haven't fully recovered from such attacks.



using a handgun for protection

Having had to fend off two german shepherds for 15 minutes with my bicycle after they had taken a large chunk of my rear as a snack, and the owner finally showing up and laughing about it, and spending 5 hours in the E.R., I got a CCW permit and now carry a handgun. 

In a nearby town, a lady on a bike trail had two pit bulls attack her and totally destroy her  one leg (calf) muscle. Only a firearm would have prevented that extent of damage. She is crippled for life.

You have to decide before hand when you would use deadly force. I will only use it after I am bitten and the dog is still persisting in its attack. Anytime you use a firearm in personal defense, there will be an investigation and often legal fees, possibly even arrest. I have subscribed to insurance for that reason. 


One thing that I have found very effective for a charging dog is a dog whistle.  I hang one on a chain around my neck.  If the dog is locked in on me and charging the dog whistle is enough to break their concentration and they stop the chse long enough for you to get by without hammering.

No being scared helps but when they catch you off guard your adrenaline takes over, unless you have just finished a hard climb and have a screw you attitude :)



Cycling Jargon

I just invented one. The word is Garmentia

It is the repeated forgetfullness  to start or reset your Garmin ccycing computer .


Talons - doing hill repeats where you are clawing your way up the hills.

Riding in the Heat

Another way to escape the heat is to ride your mountain bike on dirt trails. Dirt and gravel paths are usually much cooler than paved roads. Routes that wander through shady forest paths are even better. It beats riding on searing hot asphalt and you can still get a good workout.  Put off that road ride until a cooler day.

tips for newbies

If you getr a flat and change it on the road, carry your old tube home.  "Pack it in, pack it out."

Throw that banana peel well off the road so little animals, which will become road kill, aren't attracted to it where we ride.

tips fosr newbies

I carry a very small pump that fits into a back pocket or seat bag.  I am unable to put 110 pounds of air in my road tire.  I carry a presta to shrader adapter in my seat bag and stop at a gas station or auto repair to top off the tire at the earliest convenience.

New UCI Rule Change May Usher in Hour Record Renaissance

I could never figure out why UCI has the stupid rules it does, some say it's so poorer countries can compete yet we have $15,000 bikes competing! others said it was due to safety of the rider, but whatever the reason is a 15 pound bike limit is nuts with technology today that could easily make a 12 pound bike, heck I know of a custom builder building fully loaded STEEL bikes that weigh just under 14 pounds what does that say about how far carbon fiber bike can go in weight?  The biking industry needs to be given free reign in designing light weight and strong bike frames and wheels if cycling world is ever to see much needed innovation, and as of now UCI is preventing such innovation, hopefully the new UCI president will let the doors fly open.   

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