Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween...

Whether you celebrate in the Village or elsewhere, have a great Halloween.

In keeping with the day, this poor bee-dog was being devoured by that terrifying shrubbery. And if you happen to be in the Village tomorrow, check out the exhibit at Studio Claremont in the Packing House. The kids and teachers always put on a creative display showcasing their latest projects, the current Halloween-themed one included.

King of Style competition...

or Queens of Style as the case may be. So USAC Collegiate Cycling is holding a competition (Facebook) to determine the school with the best cycling kit. Is there really any reason to look any further? It is a wrap in my book. Biased? You betcha.
But honestly, for a minute, take note of the stategically placed black panel on the shorts, and compare to a certain other UC school who thought all white shorts were the way to go. Really? Have those ever worked?

Friday, October 29, 2010

A ride in search of autumn color...

It being almost Halloween, I decided to head up to the mountains in search of some autumn color. I found it, within our own local context at least. It is not as brilliant as you see in the eastern states, but there is still some yellow, some orange, some red if you look for it. The route was along the Barrettt-Stoddard Truck Trail as mentioned in an earlier post.

the burnt red of buckwheat was everywhere.

everyones least favorite plant
the Felt greeting the Sun as it rises over the ridge

just before i turned around i noticed a new sound coming from my bike. i have had a problem with this pivot breaking before. the bolt shouldn't protrude like that
looking down at Cucamonga Canyon with the road down into it on the distant mountainside
it was not all about autumn colors though; the sky was very blue

This Schwinn Spitfire...

could be yours. It is being auctioned at the Velo to benefit (help defray medical and legal expenses) a local resident and cyclist who was hit by the driver of a vehicle. There is a minimum bid, and if this is not met the bike will be taken to the Press restaurant where it will be auctioned during a benefit concert this coming Monday night, November 1. Contact Dale at the Velo (or the Velo facebook page) for more information.

The bike, I believe, is early 1970s, it has been cleaned up, new tires put on, and is ready to ride.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rose Bowl redux...

I sometimes find it hard to believe that seven years have passed since I last turned cranks during the Tuesday/Thursday Rose Bowl training race. I have been thinking about it lately, mostly because my next post in the "ride history" series will be the Bowl ride, but also because I have wondered if anyone I knew then is still there and, quite frankly, I miss it. The Bowl was a rush like few others. Anyway, I knew that tonight was going to be the last of the season, and there was no way I was going to miss it. Turns out, there were a number of familiar faces; I took warm-up laps with Devon, saw Doc, Nick, Del, and others I knew, but didn't know, from rides long past.

The ride was still a rush, though it being the final night, the peloton was not at its mid-summer finest. Doc swears the ride is faster this time of year since, being down to a six lap affair, people want to make the most of it. I am not so sure, and it certainly wasn't as fast as the above photo (showing the front of the group coming around the final turn on the last lap) would suggest. I really need to figure out this shutter speed thing during dark conditions, darn it. I didn't get a single good photo. I had pulled out the previous lap in order to take some pics of the finale for nothing apparently, since all of the photos came out blurred. Cest la vie.

Velo-swap in San Diego...

Just once I would like to be in San Diego for this particular weekend. Any reason will do really; I have heard good things, and understand deals can be had.

The coyotes...

in this town are getting bold. It is not unusual to see them loping along - I have seen them crossing Monte Vista in the middle of the day, I have seen one dancing around a grassy area at the Claremont Colleges (actually there were some squirrels in the trees mocking it so that it would run back and forth between the trees), just a couple weeks ago I shared a residential street in north Claremont with one on my evening ride (and by the way, I believe this one must have been the worlds largest Coyote). Last night, I was headed up Mills to start my evening loop and crossed Baseline with one. I hadn't yet turned on my lights, but still failed to see it until we were practically on top of each other - I in the bike lane, and he casually using the crosswalk, with cars passing by or waiting at the red, as if it were an everyday occurrence. Used to be in past years I would be riding the loop up in the hills on my mountain bike and would hear them yowling, and yelping across the canyons in the autumn, marking the fading light at the end of daylight savings. I always considered it a little seasonal farewell from them. I am just going to believe that they have come down looking for me, now that my evening rides have switched back to the road rather than the trail.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More walking school buses in Florida...

Daytona Beach this time. Florida regularly receives bad press (often apparently deserved) for being the most dangerous state for pedestrians and bicyclists. But I have also been reading more often lately about advocacy and safety efforts there. Maybe they can turn things around to become an example of how these various safety programs can make a difference, while promoting the health and other benefits of active transportation. Anyway, here is the link to the Daytona Beach schools story.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bike to School, Orlando, Florida...

This video of a high school bike bus has been on the "airwaves" for about a week, I think. Every time I see something like this it renews my hope that a break on the strangle-hold of
auto-dependence can be forged.

Go home team...

as long as they are not competing against the old alma mater (UCSB), or myself, that is. I was a bit remiss about noting the win by student Claremontonian Ryan Merlin at the Krosstoberfest cyclocross Cat 4 race a few weekends ago. There is a brief write-up by Ryan on the Claremont Colleges Cycling site. As of October 17 Ryan stood in 2nd place overall for the SoCal Prestige Series, Cat 4's. I am not sure if this is a photo of Ryan or someone else from the CCC team who may have been there also. It would be awesome if someone, who does know, would let me know.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bicycles and derrieres...

with apologies to the 5th Sister I quoth only a portion of the poem "D is for Derriere"

...These derrieres are everywhere
In every place I seek.
I bet you'll find them in the air
If you "butt" take a peek.

derriere, from Old French derrier, back part, rear, from derier, adverb, behind.
Most of the time that I ride a round I happen to be going quite fast, normally not a whole lot of tooling around. As such I am constantly catching up to other riders, coming up behind them, before passing with a wave, a hello, good morning or what not.
While this is not the preferred angle, I would rather see smiling faces (I know they are smiling simply because they are riding), I have noticed upon looking back through my photos, that this backside view does show up with some frequency. So why the heck not make a post about the views from the rear?
synonyms: backside, behind, booty, bottom, breech, bum, buns, butt, caboose, can...

cheeks, buttocks, duff, fanny, fundament, hams, haunches, heinie, hindquarters, hunkers...

keister, nates, posterior, rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tush, beam, stern, moon

"But if we can stop judging the appearances of our backsides long enough to understand their anatomy and cycling physiology, we can find many reasons to appreciate the locomotive uses of our cabooses."
"Love Your Butt" by Delaine Fragnoli at

"Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round
Get on your bikes and ride" - Queen

You can quote all the other "shake your booty" songs you want, as well as any more current raps with similar themes, of which I am sure there are a lot, until you are blue in the face. Queen's "Fat-bottomed Girls" is still the song by which all others in the genre must be judged.
"Yeow! Ow! My biscuits are burnin'" - Yosemite Sam

*There is no connection between the keisters portrayed herein, and any song references to large bottoms. The author simply sought references from popular culture, and these were the result. Fact is, most of these posteriors would likely be blue ribbon award winners, if such a thing existed.
"Your butt is the seat of your cycling power, so to speak. Among the largest and strongest of all muscle groups, the gluteals in your rump aid hip extension and rotation, helping you initiate strenuous movements like climbing stairs, squatting and pedaling." 
"Love Your Butt" by Delaine Fragnoli at

"Cycling didn't make my butt fat but instead actually gave me one where there wasn't any before!" Sa-weet!" - kee73, at

"What? Cycling gave me my tight ass! I don't know who thinks that it makes UR butt fat. That's just silly." - danceralamode, at

 "Butts are the domestiques of cycling muscles: hard-working, unappreciated powerhouses that get none of the glamour of the legs..."         - "Love Your Butt" on

"...Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah
Fat bottomed girls they'll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah..." - "Bicycle Race", Queen

Now, I know your eyes have been focused on the derrieres and that's fine, that is the topic of the post, but drag your eyes away just a bit, a little lower and consider for a moment the saddle. Use the proper term and call it what it is, saddle, not seat. Rather than make you jump to a link, I quoth in short from Sheldon Brown here to explain the difference: "a bicycle's saddle is not intended to support the rider's entire weight" while a seat is "the chair-like fitting the rider of a recumbent sits on."
You may notice all different shapes and sizes of saddles, from the hard, skinny racing types, to the broad, cushy "comfort" ones. If you happen to be one of those riders who can not imagine your derriere perched upon a racing saddle consider the following: Racing type saddle are designed for performance, and when I say performance I do not just mean racing. Performance can relate to, and in this case does, everyday activity as well. They are designed to optimize the transference of power or force from the legs, buttocks, and back to the pedals and drivetrain of the bike, while minimizing the loss of energy during transfer from body to bike. Those cushy saddles that you sink into on beach cruisers and townies, they are a detriment when it comes to transferring power. Another point to consider is that the larger the saddle the greater the area of contact. If you only ride on short trips around town or campus, this may not be important, but is still something to consider. There are any number of websites that will provide you with information on choosing the appropriate saddle, just search "how to choose a bicycle saddle", but in the end these are only so many words, and they can in no way replace an actual test; you owe it to your posterior to find the best saddle for it.

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