Derailleur deployed: Rider diary from Iraq

VeloNews | Sustaining Sanity in Iraq: The Chow Race

VeloNews has been printing a series of diary entries by Maj. Jason Bryan, a serviceman in Iraq who is keeping his sanity through daily “perimeter rides” around his base, 18.5 kilometers (about 11 miles) to a lap.

He’s doing a lap in the morning and a lap in the evening, and has been averaging about 100 kilometers/week. For June, he’s set a goal of 1000 kilometers, and says his VeloNews celebrity has motivated him: He’s through 800 kilometers with almost 2 weeks to go. He’s thinking about whether he could do 1600 kms, or 1000 miles. He set a new personal best this week of 36:04, and discusses the big advantage his bike gives him when it’s time for chow hall.

Some things never change: He’s got to contend with dogs on his rides, and the desert is hard on components, so he’s learning how to do maintenance. On the other hand, I’ve never come across two cobras on a ride.

Despite the trying conditions, Maj. Bryan is clearly One Of Us.

Maj. Bryan’s diary entries:

June 5: Letter from Iraq: Not your usual road hazards

June 7: Sustaining Sanity in Iraq: A Soldier’s Bicycle Journal

June 12: Sustaining Sanity in Iraq: What a long, strange trip it’s been

Podium Girls Gone Bad

In what some were calling, “the best transition ever,” the Podium Girls Gone Bad can be seen in this video (QuickTime 200K) dominating the Marymoor Little 100 on Saturday. A few laps later and they won for the 3rd year in a row. The video is also available for your iPod.

For some background, see my earlier post. The Marymoor Little 100 is a sort of urban/punk rock homage to Breaking Away (one of two American films on cycling), where cyclists dress up in silly outfits and ride around the track on cruiser bikes. Breaking Away’s plot centers on the Indiana Little 500, a relay bike race that is taken very seriously by the groups that participate and is still ran today. The Marymoor Little 100 is taken very seriously as well, but by guys wearing nothing but tidy whities and girls dressed up like 80s Madonna.

Ditty Bops Bike Tour

The Ditty Bops are blogging a bicycle tour across America in support of cycling, clean air, and their new album Moon Over the Freeway.

The cycling Betties just started their journey for good music and good riding and are being helped by the Adventure Cycling Association. I couldn’t find their route, but they should include Portland where they could get the key to the city during Pedalpalooza!

For more on the Ditty Bops, check their Myspace and of note is how the music industry is tapping into cycling culture.

Any Given Saturday on a Bike

Added a photocast (rss reader, or iPhoto required) to Bike Hugger today with photos from a ride around Lake Washington, Flying Wheels Century, and the Marymoor Little 100. Favs include

Flying Wheels Century and Marymoor Little 100

The Flying Wheels Summer Century is on today. Right after the wheels stop flying, you can cheer on your favorite Cutter at the Marymoor Little 100. Best part about the Little 100 is that you can drink beer, while subjective voting occurs on categories like, “best team costume concept, smoothest switch out, most aggressive prime lap, best shaven legs …”

Bike Huggers will be there, in effect, taking photos and dunking someone in the dunk tank.

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