A Golden Ride


Before the flight yesterday to Taiwan for an industry media event, took the D-Plus out for a sunset spin. My ankle is healing up ok and after a week abroad will come back to more riding, then racing again. Mark V is covering Starcrossed this year and it’s tonight. There’s also big races going on in Oregon where Matt Haughey is racing.

Expect bike pr0n later this week as we get into the event. I’m meeting with the Taiwan’s best bike makers with reports to follow. The trip is sponsored by TAITRA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

Turtle Shell Boombox for your Bike

Red flavor

Red flavor

I thought it looked more like a brick from a geodesic home than a turtle shell, but the sound and design is impressive. I met Outdoor Technology in Tiny Town at Interbike. That’s the space under the stairs where the smaller booths are and a blogger can find unusual products that haven’t hit or are about to hit the market. Turtle Shell is a bluetooth, waterproof boom box that sounds like a high-quality bookshelf stereo. It’s got a cleat-mount system to hang it off most anything, including your handlebars. There’s a competition on our social rides for who can bring the most boom. This is a good start.

blue flavor on a bike

Blue flavor on a bike

Listening to Busta’s new cuts with Gucci Mane that green Turtle Shell bounced across the kitchen island with an impressive whoomp-whoomp sound. Again, this electronic is so cool, the teens at Hugga HQ confiscated it for their rooms. Also cause it’s so easy to connect. Equally impressive is that Outdoor Technology is an established company with a new product and they used Kickstarter for pre-orders. They just got funded for 73K of the 40K requested. Suggested retail is $149.00.

Connected with Whodini

Connected with Whodini

Apple Doesn’t Have Bike Maps


Google Bike Maps on iOS 5

The daunting task Apple has to fix their maps app, after removing Google from the current version of their iOS, includes better alternative transportation options. While they’ve pledged to fix the maps, currently they’re not offering bike maps and offloading bus routes to 3rd parties. I met and rode with the coder who wrote Google’s Bike Maps and don’t think he’s on Apple’s team, Tom Tom, or one of those 3rd parties working on a fix. Just yesterday on a spin to test out my sprained ankle, I rode to my daughter’s soccer game. It was a few miles away at a park and Google mapped the route near perfectly and I could make changes to the map in web view and send it to my phone. Then view it in the app.

Google Bike Maps deskop

Google Bike Maps Desktop

Apple Map’s version of that isn’t even close. As I was writing this post, Google added Street View to their mobile browser site, which is great news. So you can map your ride directions, send it to your phone, and view it in your browser. Google hasn’t said when they’ll get a new iOS 6 app done.

Apple Maps with no bike route and longer way

For the reasons behind Apple’s decisions to remove Google and focus on their own solution, see this Bloomberg article on a post Jobs Apple. The business of it make sense, sure, but it was a bad call for users and especially those of us that map alternate routes.

Blind Date at 240 FPS

What’s so great about Kent’s Cyclocross films is I was thinking before the season started that the sport could use more edits like BMX and MTB.

He’s doing it. This video is from the Blind Date series in Oregon. They’re racing Cross at night.

The First Cyclocross Race

first race

First cross race? Maybe

This is quite possibly the first description of a Cyclocross race in a letter for the French Cycling Union. The French describes a 100km road race where riders chose their own route, intentionally or otherwise, like an anarchist, point-to-point randonee. That meant they crossed farms, over fences, past steeples and rode/ran whatever was necessary to get to the finish line. Of the many Cyclocross origin stories, ones that describe the terrain raced as “uphill and down dale, over stone walls and through shallow streams” stoke the tradition the most.

This matters little likely to the growth of the sport or the people lining up to race grass crits with steeplechase barriers and mud pits. At times, when I’m out there burying myself and wondering why I even do it, my mind drifts to the legend. To a sport born from and made for the media. Géo Lefèvre, who blurted out the idea for the Tour de France, cause he couldn’t think of anything else to say to his bosses, also said this.

Think about a cyclist in wartime. He can’t use the main roads; he has to ride or walk across unmade roads and worm his way through the undergrowth and clamber across ditches. Think of that and you’ll get the principle of the cross cyclo-pédèstre.

A race format created to sell more newspapers, like the Tour de France, now fills social media with content.

Max Missile O’Neal found this archive and said

Daniel Gousseau, who’s credited with creating cyclocross, wrote this letter introducing the concept of the sport and seeking official sanction from the French cycling union in 1901. He suggests that this new form of racing which would mix bicycle racing with running over difficult terrain also served the purpose of maintaining military readiness and fitness (he was a private in the French army and possibly a member of the bicycle infantry).

What’s interesting is that it casts doubt on the general belief that cross was developed by euro road racers as a method of winter training and instead was created to sell more newspapers or if today, blogs.

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