Thursday, April 28, 2016
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
Find a recap, results and photos of last weekend's Submit to Hartford alley cat here:
I won't post more photos here because the software only accepts 15kb, grainy photos. Read more!
Posted by bikeculturetheory at 6:39 PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
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:
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.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1998368570388521/ Read more!
Friday, April 15, 2016
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
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.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
I was riding to work this morning and thinking that maybe there's more to the internet than Instagram and remembered that there was this time when I wrote on a fascinating blog about riding bikes in Hartford. Or maybe more accurately, my memory was jogged about it because someone from the Courant called me about bike lanes and speed bumps on Brookfield Street because they sent an email to the blog email address. After pacing around on my front porch on the phone for awhile and gesticulating, I reminisced with myself (is that possible) and realized my days of pontificating about stupid bike stuff shouldn't be over just because I don't live in the 06114 anymore. My commute is even longer, so I have even more dumb things to stew about and vent than I used to.
Or maybe, I'll be positive and post narratives about the pretty hills and dales of near western Connecticut! Read more!
Posted by Brendan at 2:29 PM