Monday, November 11, 2019

Eel X(treme)!

All zero of you readers probably thought that (a) the eel didn't happen or (b) I never came back.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it did and it was probably the best one since the first one.


There was nearly 20 people and all but two made it all the way through the ride in some fashion. No one did the 70 miles route the right way. Since even though I came up with the thing, I led a group astray through People's State Forest. Though in sacrificing some dirt, we rode the extremely fun road ("road") descent through the middle of the park. 



I think the route road extremely well, so no plans to change it for next year in an meaningful way and I think the date was perfect for "fall color". Maybe I'll charge $2 and get some kind of food option. Maybe not. I got a whole year to think about it. Read more!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Eel eel eel eel!


Remember The Eel? I've thrown like sixty or five of them, but now I'm bringing back. Bringing it back to the level putting it on BIKEREG! https://www.bikereg.com/eel-x/



~70 miles on Oct 13 at 9am. Meet on Tunxis Road in Tariffville. Plenty of parking on the street if drive here. Up to Mass and then back to here. And, of course, it's free!


These are pictures from the actual route. Can you believe it???

This ride has a river-centric air to it, too-- headwaters of the Farmington, another river containing eels https://lowerfarmingtonriver.org/learn-about-the-river/biodiversity/.
Read more!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

We did that thing!

So yeah, a few of us went for a ride this past Saturday.  It was pretty long, over ten hours to finish the entire kit and caboodle, which is just fine with me.  After trying to hang onto Seth slipstream for a record time in 2018, I needed a recovery year.  This year, Seth went easy on us, keeping his monster pulls along the Airline trail in the low 20mph range.  Thanks Seth, it's always a pleasure to witness smooth, steady power, especially when it is just slow enough that one can keep witnessing it.

 
Our new favorite watering hole on the first pass through Willimantic, THANKS!
 
So yeah (to heck with good paragraph transitions), we had another beautiful day of almost fall temps, toping out with a gang of seven riders.  Admittedly, I've been doing less then the bare minimum of advertising the last couple years since I'm no long quite local, and running a little busy to recon the route before the event, so lucky seven it was.  The small group stayed mostly together, which was fantastic, especially when we found the Mohegan Forest beyond passably overgrown with briars, and I had to devise a quick reroute with only one trip down a dead end!  A little more exploring and I should have a Detour worth detour of the forest for next year.
 

Free ride, with free veggies!  THANK YOU.
 
So yeah (what, you're still actually reading this?), I still really like this ride and have a blast sharing it with new and old friends every year.  We'll do it again the first Saturday in September of 2020, and maybe we'll see you there.  Ride fun.


Read more!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Yet another Detour de CT






While we thought maybe it was the tenth annual Detour de CT, it may in fact only be the 9th. According to the historic documents, the first one was fall of 2010 (when no one died). That first was one was invitational and all since then have been public affairs.


Nevertheless, Saturday was another running of the Detour. I don't think I had ridden a hundred miles in a clip since the Detour in 2017, so I was a little nervous about survival. I had ridden down to Milford the other day and averaged 18 something MPH, which is pretty quick for a slow piece of shit like me.

Since Salem has stopped really publicizing his ride except on his blog and no one reads blogs, the number of riders has shrunk to 7. There's no a and b group anymore, and the canvas bag contingent doesn't come.

Anyway, we did not ride the whole thing, since Mohegan State Forest is now impassable. First year the entire ride was left unfinished. We did, however, ride almost the whole thing and even stop for lunch. Everyone is getting soft.




The day before, I crashed and totally abraded my hand. Riding on the hoods hurt, but it was other ok.
Read more!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bad tubes



As much as I try to avoid buying bike parts off of Amazon, from time to time I do. There had been a bunch of deals of tubes like 8 for $25 or something like that. That's a good deal. So I bought some road tubes. They keep failing next to the valve stem. Very frustrating. So anyway, that's my PSA.

Tomorrow is the De Tour. Hope my tubes don't fail somewhere in Mohegan State Forest.


Read more!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mirror Tricks


I started reading a book this morning by a writer I like. The first chapter is largely about self-delusion and identity curation in the 2014-present stage of the internet, wherein everything is filtered through a platform that prevent much original or unique self-expression, i.e. a blog vs. twitter & instagram. It makes short reference to the decline of blogging and the rise of apps that only allow a narrow window of expression through their defined parameters. As the beat bike blog has always been cutting edge, its decline and transition of its peoples to twitter, strava, and instagram, presaged the larger trend. Anyway, very good book so far. Like Rebecca Solnitt if you also like self-deprecating humor and irony.


If you need to be convinced towards further reading, this interview should seal the deal:
https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/08/07/please-fire-jia-tolentino/ Read more!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Is it antisocial to take your bike places?



As a family-haver, sometimes I have to go things with family. Sometimes I ride my bike, sometimes we pile in the car all together, and sometimes we pile in the car and I bring a bike. Traditionally, I take a walk or something when at a family thing, because family things can make you want to stretch your legs. Now, I bring a bike and often taken it for a quick jaunt around the slightly unfamiliar neighborhood (or maybe a little further?) of in-laws. Is it any more antisocial to bring a bike than just bringing your feet?

Read more!

Friday, June 28, 2019

The giddiness of aughts blogging


Every so often I check to see if anything has happened on the beat bike blog and I'm reminded of my bygone days of riding in jeans and sweating through my tshirt under a messenger bag. The days of a blog instead of just posting a picture on Instagram or a ride on Strava was nice.



But, also not nice. You gotta wade through someone's diatribe, when you really just want to see a pretty picture or if they rode to Granville or not.


So anyway, I guess the era of telling everyone about your bike ride is over and now it's about showing.
Read more!

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Hartford Durty Beer Ride Series


                                                            Hartford Durty Beer Rides

Like riding bicycles off paved streets? On paved streets? On bike paths? On gravel and dirt? Like beer? Like supporting local businesses and craftmanship? The Durty Beer Ride series is calling you!

                                                               Never.A.Boring.Ride.
We leave paved streets behind as much as possible and seek out dirt, gravel, bikepaths, trees, rivers, streams and locally brewed beer! The Durty Beer Rides are a fun mix and an alternative to super fast, spandex oriented road rides and crazy technical mountain biking. We will usually begin/end in Hartford proper.

Sunday 9/10/17     Durty Beer Ride 24. Thomas Hooker Brewery. Boomfield!

Sunday 9/24/17   Durty Beer Ride 34. Still Hill Brewery. Rocky Hill.

Saturday 9/30/17 Dirty Beer Ride 60. Brewery Legitmus. New Hartford.

hint: The numbers are the approximate number of miles!

Rides will average 20-40 miles at 12-15mph on all kinds of mixed terrain. This is not a slowroll nor is it a Cat 1 race! It's somewhere awesomely in-between! All riders are riding their own ride and are solely responsible for their own safety and decisions.

Some parts of rides will be far from easy access to civilization, so please bring basic breakdown sundries and be self-responsible. Expect the likely possibility of urban traffic, suburban traffic, mud, dust, brush, downed trees, itchy plants, rain, sun, glass, thorns, unstable gravel, small gravel, large gravel, skeeters, ticks and/or  rabid deer. /seriously

All bicycles and riders who are appropriately equipped and skilled for the ride are super welcomed, but please respect the basic requests and come correct! We are all friendly people and would be happy to loan you a tube or pump if needed; but please don't need one!

We're sure to have an assortment of bicycles and riders on singlespeeds, geared bikes, cyclocross bikes and mountain bikes. Please carefully read the event description for each ride as they will vary considerably. Most rides would be best done on a 'cross bike with 700x35's; though mountain bikes and other bikes could be just fine depending on the rider.

This is not a slowride, nor a spandex ride, but an adventure on two wheels in mixed terrain! 


Please check out Mon Day Night Rides Key West for an idea of the spirit of this new ride in Hartford that we hope to do bi-monthly on Sundays. (and sometimes Saturdays).

Since we'll be a ways out there sometimes; please be fully self-responsible and please bring:
-helmet/spare tube/basic tools
-bicycle lock and moneys for food/drink
-water! hydrate or die!!!
-a sense of adventure
Read more!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hyland Park Bandit Cross CANCELLED, but also reformatted

Hi Folks,

Bandit Cross was shut down by an overzealous interpretation of what it means to protect Hartford's parks.

 But we'll still be riding at 2pm today from Hyland Park, heading down to my house for a backyard bike race. We've got a very rad, short course all set up. #SaveBanditCross #Don'tTreadOnMe

In the meantime, email me if you're interested in working with Minnie Gonzalez to start a cyclocross league in Hyland Park.




 Justin


Read more!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Second postponement of The Eel



Regrettably, too much has got in the way of organizing the ride, so I'm going to push it back again to a date uncertain. No big deal. There are other bike rides in the world for you. Read more!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Eel postponement



Hello! I have decided to postpone the proposed Eel by a week. There are some people who can't do it the day I picked and I have a potential conflict that day, too.

So, let's switch to Nov. 13 instead. Still a Sunday, still same details. It even allows you to do a ride I heard about it in New Haven on Saturday the 12th.



Read more!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Two great rides on the horizon



My dudettes and dudes!

I have had two great ideas for rides in the coming months.

1. The Eel's Return to the Connecticut River. It's happened before and it's happening again. 60 miles of trails up and down the CT River starting in Hartford. Same route as 2014. I'll dig up a gpx file or write a cue sheet. 9:30 a.m. start in Hartford first Sunday of November. Just like old times.

2. The Old Mountain Bike Omnium. Bring an old mountain bike and do two laps of Cowles Park (~20 miles). I'm going to work out some kind PAX-esque timing to handicap the race. Year 2000 bike gets straight time, time off for older bikes and steeper time tacked on for newer bikes.  Race on a high zoot 2016 bike and get 16 minutes added to your time. Race on a 1985 Diamond Back Apex and get 7 1/2 minutes shaved off. Something like that. The goal is to favor the older bikes. I haven't quite worked the system out yet, but I think it'll be fun. Date TBD and prizes TBD. Read more!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

River clean up again!



For the eighth (though not eighth consecutive), I am organizing a clean up of the bank of the Connecticut River at its confluence with the Park River. Even though I moved to Tariffville, I still would rather clean up this location in Hartford. This spot doesn't get its due attention, but it is where two mighty river meet.. I think it deserves a good annual cleaning. The clean up will take place Saturday, September 24 from 10am to 1pm. Come for a little or come for the whole thing.
If you come by car, your best option for parking is either on Charter Oak Ave or Van Dyke Ave. From there, you can walk down the paved access road and up the levee. If you come by something else, you won't have to worry about parking. I'll have some gloves on hand. I advise wearing pants and closed shoes. Also, bring water and perhaps a snack. I'll be bringing gloves and bags via bicycle, so I can't carry a whole case of water or pizzas. Leave a comment here and I'll answer it.

This clean up is part of the larger Source to Sea Clean Up that Connecticut River Watershed Council puts on. It is happening all up and down the Connecticut River Friday & Saturday. If Hartford is too far away for you or you just don't like it but still want to clean the river, here are other locations: http://www.ctriver.org/projects/source-to-sea-cleanup/.

Here's a map illustrating approximately where the access road is and where you should park: http://g.co/maps/f9erq
Read more!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

BiCi Co. is Going Strong and Now Has the BiCi Blog

Tony C is riding his bike from Hartford, CT to Minneapolis, MN under the guise of a fundraiser for BiCi Co.  Really he just likes riding his bike and taking a break from the grind - but humor him (me).  Here are the photos to prove it.

BiCi Co. is doing all sorts of amazing stuff, and has only been around a year.  Just wait until we really find some grant funding.  In the meantime (and even once we do get some grants) BiCi Co. will need support from volunteers and donors to fill in the gaps and get new programs off the ground.  Don't know if you've ever worked in nonprofits, but it seems that there is a lag time between great program ideas and opportunities, and the funding to execute them.  That is where individuals donors and members make the difference and provide a little bit of flexibility to do the right things for the community at the right time.

1) You should follow the new BiCi Blog.  Tony C will be writing while bike touring and posting there.

2) You should become a BiCi Co. member (or renew) right now.  We've even got options for five year and lifetime membership!  Don't want to become a member?  You can gift a membership to someone or just make a straight up donation.  We'll put it to good use immediately with bike programs in Hartford.  Share this with friends and cycling aficionados.  Even those outside Hartford will get a lot out of a shop full of hard to find classic bike parts - AKA treasure.

3) One thing that BiCi Co. has coming up is a Traffic Skills 101 course.  This comprehensive course on October 16th will school you on vehicular cycling with on-bike application and could save your life.  Skip the school of hard knocks and go to the head of the pack.  Register here - and don't wait.  The class sells out.

4) BiCi Co. is also planning social rides from Hartford and West Hartford to Night Fall - where there will be valet bike parking.  Night Fall is in its 5th year, and has had bike valet every year.  They added the group bike rides to encourage attendees to try something other than a car for getting to the performance.  More info here.

5) Don't Miss the September Slow Roll! - Our friends at Breakfast Lunch & Dinner have a Hartford Slow Roll Planned for September 18th.  The roll leaves at 3pm from 1429 Park Street.  More info here.  Slow Roll has its own Facebook group now that you can follow so you don't miss the rides.

Hartford's First Bike Corral (temporary at BiCi Co) for our 1st Anniversary Happy Hour
Celebrating Year One at BiCi Co.!

Read more!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

party at shad row, preceded by a connecticut river dirt road time trial 8/19 6:00 PM

Come ride four of the best dirt road miles in Connecticut. We'll do a simple staggered start. Stick around for a beer (BYOB) / food at the Shad Shack at the Rocky Hill Ferry, where the ride ends. Any bike will do, wider tires will be better (32s and up). They've recently been smoothing out some of the bumpy bits next to the river.

Come hang out and watch and party even if you don't want to ride. We need a volunteer or two or three if you're interested in helping out, as well! let us know at wrongwayslaughter@gmail.com

course: https://www.strava.com/routes/5987227

Friday, August 19 6:00 PM
Start: 73 Great Meadow Road, Wethersfield, CT

Women particularly encouraged to ride. 

It's an easy bike ride from most places, but if you're driving, park at the Rocky Hill Ferry parking lot where the ride finishes and ride to the start. 

Lo-fi, 'pick-up' gravel time trial. Just show up. Ride like hell or ride slow. It's cool. We'll be there. It'll be fun. You will be safe and smart so we still get to have nice things.

​$5 sugg'd donation to cover beer and an upgrade to this site so it doesn't say weebly and maybe we'll even get an RSS feed. Prizes for a range of categories. 




Read more!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

new site for hartford rides -- wrong way slaughter

I've put together a new site to advertise Hartford and some Connecticut rides and route suggestions. I really like these routes, that all start in Hartford, and I'd love to see more folks out riding them.

Part of what I'm after with this site is providing a web presence for the incredible riding Hartford has to offer so that new folks moving to the city don't think they have to join a cycling club in the far flung suburbs to ride a bike or drive hours to get to the woods. It's all right here. Please add wrong way slaughter to your feedly, blogroll, etc. More routes and media to come.

- Justin



Read more!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Mixed terrain from Hartford to Middletown

It is impossible for me to ride through the Wethersfield and Rocky Hill meadows without a shit-eating grin on my face. Each time I find myself on these gorgeous, narrow, dirt and gravel roads right next to the Connecticut river, just a few miles from my house in the South End, I kind of can't believe how nice it is to be there.


Rocky Hill Meadows road

I ride these roads to the Rocky Hill Ferry a lot, particularly in the summer months. The ferry is fun in its own right, and the roads on the Glastonbury side immediately adjacent to the river are incredibly nice. Tryon Road runs between the Connecticut and Balf Bluffs Open Space--a narrow road with little traffic and a river view is the stuff that dreams are made of.


Tryon Road along the Connecticut River in Glastonbury.
There is not yet a really good direct route to Middletown from Hartford, so I took a rambling loop through the Meshomasic State Forest to get there on traffic-lite roads. The highlight of this route is Woodchoppers Road, a rusticated, thin strip of packed dirt that gradually climbs through the forest into the highlands of Portland, CT. 



Woodchoppers Rd.
For just the second time I road over the Arrigoni Bridge into Middletown, a 1930s gem. The only way to finish this ride, IMHO, is with the buffalo tofu wrap at ION. It's amazing, especially on the first day of summer vacation.

Connecticut River from the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown. 



Read more!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

An Open Letter to Mayor Bronin and City Council: Isn't it time for 20mph streets and Vision Zero in Hartford?

The amount of shattered glass and car wreckage on the streets of the City of Hartford is back up again. It seems to happen every year at this time. 'Tis the season for raging through the city, a practice seemingly shared by everyone in Hartford, including suburbanites driving the streets. Speed is always a factor on Hartford streets, as anyone who lives here can attest.

The aftermath of a Christmas Day 2015 fatal crash near Pope Park West on Hamilton Street.


Car crashes happen all the time, we read about them in the paper or hear about them on the news, but usually we fail to link them and recognize a trend. In fact, we're trained to think about them as unfortunate, disconnected "accidents." If a person is involved in a crash crash or killed in one, it's merely bad luck and we're quite slow to place blame. The penalties for injuring or killing someone with a car are notoriously light.

This spring has been a bloody one on Hartford's roads and in its cars. Here are just a few of the lowlights from this year:

On March 25th of this year multiple people were killed in two separate crashes on the same night. This past Christmas Day, 2015, Luis Fajardo was killed in a grisly multi-car crash on Hamilton Street near Pope Park West.

On May 8th, Luis A. Maldonado was struck and killed by a car at the quiet intersection of Preston and Campfield Streets in the South End. Apparently he was changing a tire on his car in the early AM. The motorist that hit him ran and left him to die in the street.

Driving home from work this afternoon (5/22/16), I saw the aftermath of a daytime crash that sent at least one person to the hospital at Hillside and Flatbush in the Behind the Rocks neighborhood. In 2011, a 10-year old girl was killed after being struck on her bike near this area of Flatbush.

Other cities around the country are starting to wake up to the carnage and treat road violence and the injuries and deaths it causes like the public health issue that it is.

These cities, which include NYC, are starting to question the supposition that road injuries and deaths are a fact of life and something we cannot avoid. The goal of the Vision Zero programs these cities are implementing is the elimination of all traffic injuries and fatalities. This may seem like an impossible goal, but how can doing nothing continue to be possible? They seek to achieve this through new infrastructure, education, and in many cases lowering city street speed limits to 20mph. Cars traveling more than 20mph are much more likely to kill a person that they strike than if they are traveling 20mph or less.

In Hartford our streets are populated, social, and exciting. Why should we default to treating dense, narrow pathways for all people--whether in cars, on bikes, or on foot or wheelchair--as speedways for cars alone? At any public meeting in Hartford the conversation is often dominated by the risks posed by illegal ATVs and dirt bikes. These vehicles are a nuisance and are dangerous. However, it is peculiar that we ignore the risks and very real carnage caused by the much more ubiquitous operation of standard cars and trucks on our streets.

Gun violence is a big problem in our city. Drug overdoses and drug-related violence are big problems too. But so is road violence, and we need to stop thinking of it as just part of the cost of doing business and living our everyday lives. If we can have a shot spotter system, why can't we step up speed traps and move toward enforced, lower speed limits on all of our roadways?

This summer would be a perfect time for Mayor Bronin and the City Council to get serious about a Vision Zero program to reduce the destruction and violence on our roads.

As we continue to improve our roads and make them safer with better infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists (along Bushnell Park, on Zion Street, on Albany Ave to name just a few) we have to make sure we address the bigger cultural hurdles as well--driver behavior and driving culture. As long as Hartford's streets continue to feel unsafe and lawless our city's growth and reputation will continue to be held back.

The Mayor's Office and the Council should work with our police department, with DPW, and with nonprofits in the City and State that work to improve the health and safety of residents to implement a program to reduce the carnage on our streets now. We shouldn't have to wait any longer for something so basic.

- Justin Eichenlaub, South West
eichenlaub@gmail.com

Read more!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hartford to Portland in four photos

Le Grand Depart.
The farm roads out to Ellington were gorgeous this early in the AM.


People at this Whole Foods in NH were really interested in & supportive of what we were doing. This does not happen in CT...I wish our culture was more like NH's or VT's...

On the bridge into Portland. 236 miles in 24 hours. No sleep, lots of food.

You should check out randonneuring. It's pretty rad. http://nerandonneurs.org/


Read more!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Returning to randonneuring in New England

This weekend will mark my official return to randonneuring, the relatively non-competitive style of long distance cycling that has been around since the end of the nineteenth century, tracing its origins to Italy and France.

I got interested in randonneuring events early in graduate school when my girlfriend at the time had a very odd roommate named Mike who had a passion for the sport and had completed the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris a few years before. Mike was into safety meetings and riding the Marin Headlands on week days. I had way too flexible of a schedule and was often up for ticking off the miles along the Pacific coastline with him while everyone else was at work.

The San Francisco Randonneurs were a wonderful group to ride with and begin to explore California by riding longer and longer distances. I got up to a 300K, about 190 miles. It was a great ride, but also made me question why I wanted to ride such long distances. Why end with sore ankles and a desperate need to get in a hot tub to ease the muscles when we could just stop at 60 miles and have a beer?

I'm a much better cyclist now and ride a more appropriate bike for the work, so I'm looking forward to getting back at it with The New England Randonneurs, a very well-run group based in Boston and Vermont that hosts a variety of rides in both Massachusetts and Vermont, dipping into NY, CT, and NH at various points.

Brevet card. Sometimes it seems that half the fun of randonneuring is receiving actual pieces of paper in the mail that are not a result of failing to turn on e-delivery at my bank.


This Saturday my teammates Hans, Sam, and I will depart Hartford at 6am and aim to make it to downtown Portland, Maine at 6am on Sunday morning--about 226 miles in 24 hours. That's plenty of time to do the ride, but the rules of this event--what randonneurs call a Fleche, modeled after an original, social, Easter ride organized by Velocio in France, requires that you complete the last 20km after hour 22 to discourage rushing to the end and encouraging (requiring really) longer breaks. I really like the idea of riding from the city in which I live to another city, albeit a much hipper one, over the course of a day. I'm lucky that teammates were also up for a Hartford start.

2/3 of our team.

I attempted a Fleche (minimum 360km, must ride it over 24 hrs) in California with three friends, several years ago; we tried to ride from the foothills of the Sierras, through Napa and Sonoma counties, out to the ocean, and home to San Francisco. We didn't make it when one of our team members started to have some knee issues and we were tempted by the prospect of abandoning at Calistoga Hot Springs.

My California Fleche team: Jill, Jade, Kelly, Justin, plus large gold miner (in Auburn, CA)

There are no hot springs between Hartford and Portland, but there are a lot of good places to stop for food and drink. Our first stop will be Chickpea Diner in Worcester for brunch, about 70 miles in, just the first segment of a very big day on the bike. There are five other teams riding different routes to Portland and we'll all get together for some food and a beer on Sunday morning.

Team 'Bash Bish Brothers' will be leaving from the Maple Ave Dunkin' Donuts in the South End this Saturday if you want to come wish us luck and grab a very early donut.

- Justin

I'm riding this VO Pass Hunter I built up this winter. It has been a great bike.



Read more!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Opposite lock



I went to a bike commute panel last night at the Simsbury public library. It was nice to meet some fellow Simsbury and greater Simsbury bike people. I talked about riding my bike and my bike and other bikes and Justin riding a bike and bike developments in Simsbury. Looks like Tariffville will finally get connected to the rest of the world. A rear some inexplicably popped while my bike was leaning against the wall. Nice group of people. Simsbury really is as into bikes as it claims to be.

Some people were talking about how great the league of American wheelmen's traffic skills class is. I had to bite my tongue because all the literature and descriptions I've heard about it makes me think it isn't too great. The big thing is the counter steer they're always talking about: turn left to go right. I hear that and think, "This is not a real thing."

But before I hit publish on this silly little screed, I figured I google "counter steer bike" to see what came up. It's all about motorcycles and there are like three bike people talking about it whom I've never heard of. One guy on pinkbike made this whole video about it, but then when he starts riding around cones, he leans the bike but I don't see any of this counter steer he described when stationary. All the counter steer experts are super exaggerated about how to do it and all I'm thinking is that nobody in their right mind would corner this way. In fact, I tried doing it on my way home around stuff in the rode and it totally slows down your ability to corner. Turning your wheel ~10 degrees the wrong way before corning helps nothing. Then I cornered naturally and thought, "There's ever so slightest shift in weight and bike orientation before you corner, but it's so de minimis and subtle that there's no reason to tell anyone to do it." (I have a lot of inner dialog when riding). There are definitely things about cornering that can be taught, like lean the bike not the you and lead with you shoulder, but the physics of the turn happen on their own.

Then I checked with Jobst Brandt (RIP) and he agreed with me. A bike is not a motorcycle and requires minimal input from you to change directions, so none of the motorcycle stuff applies. Countersteer happens naturally. Turn while you're riding with no hands and it just works. No input to the bars required.

Salem and I have discussed this at times, too, when we're not ragging on fat bikes. His theory is what they're really talking about setting up your line through the corner. So, you come out slightly (or maybe not so slightly) to increase the apex of the corner so that you can take corner quicker or without as heavy of braking. However, if you're riding so close to the side of the road that you need to swing out like a tractor trail to make your corner, you're way too far over. And, swinging out into the lane suddenly before an intersection or obstacle is gonna get you hit by a car. I tend to agree with him. So, don't ride so close to the curb and if you can't set up a corner with the ideal line, brake harder first.

In sum, I am highly suspicious of Traffic Skills 101. Read more!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Submit to Hartford alley cat recap


Find a recap, results and photos of last weekend's Submit to Hartford alley cat here:

http://wrongwayslaughter.weebly.com/submit-to-hartford.html

I won't post more photos here because the software only accepts 15kb, grainy photos. Read more!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ally's cat



Alley cats are still a possibility in the cultural backwater that is Hartford! While people in California are bro'ing out bikepacking in the state of Jefferson, our gears are fixed and our spoke cards are sharp.

I mean no disrespect. Alley cats are fun and I'm happy they're still happening. I'm going to my grandpa's 80th birthday party, so I'm resentful of everyone else who will be having a good time on Saturday. Below is an email that Justin sent me about the race entitled SUBMIT TO HARTFORD:

Friends,
We're having an alley cat bike race (ride) this Saturday, April 23 starting at 2:00 PM at Charter Oak Landing. The weather looks perfect.
An alley cat is a bike scavenger hunt. This one is a very lo-fi, simple event that isn't connected with any organization or cause. It just is. Which is kind of nice we think, at least once in a while. :)
Please share with friends and folks you know that might be interested. On twitter, facebook, etc.
All riders, all bikes welcome. No one turned away for lack of funds.
See also:
http://wrongwayslaughter.weebly.com/submit-to-hartford.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/1998368570388521/  Read more!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Back pain speed



I ride a bike quite a bit and usually pretty slowly. Sometimes for long periods and while it may tire me out, it doesn't really hurt. However, if I decide to pedal hard, after like a half an hour, my lower back starts killing me. Why does this happen? I don't think it's a bike fitting thing. I feel like some how I'm unconsciously tensing it up, but how do I stop doing this? Hypnotism? Read more!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Big commute



I spend a lot of time in Bloomfield now. My former 5 1/2 mile commute is now 28 miles. The bulk of the ride is the longest possible way through Bloomfield. I like Bloomfield. I strongly considered living there. I really took this series to heart. I'm trying to continue to like Bloomfield by not just riding in and out on 189 to Granby Street everyday. I'm sort of at the point after a year that I can ride for like 7 miles on 189 and not recall a single thing about what happened.


So, I'm trying to mix it up and get my pants dirty. Today, I very much did that by exploring the newly acquired farm sort of in the middle of town. You can connect Mountain Road to Duncaster Road, which are nice road in and of themselves, in a bomb through hay fields a la Vermont way. At the end you get to meet these guys.




Read more!