Group rides + aerobars + stop signs = Destiny

Casual cyclists and mtn bikers often rail against the snobbery of uptight roadies…what with their slavish dedication to Euro-cool trends, to say nothing of their condescending enforcement of “group ride rules”. But isn’t that society in general? When many individuals must coexist in limited space, our social etiquette becomes more elaborate, and the magnified consequences of an individual’s undesirable behaviours prompts the group to collectively police itself.

Take aerobars for instance. Sure, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are impossibly cool when using them, but think twice about trying to emulate these heroes while on the group ride. FUNNY….er, I mean bad things can happen.

FWIW: anyone wanna have fun guessing where the incident in the video occurred? I have an educated guess based on 5 clues. My guess after the jump

Speedplay Zero Pave Shipping

Speedplay Zero Pave pedal starts shipping, but is the SYZR offroad pedal just a hoax?

Speedplay announces that their Zero Pave pedal has begun shipping. Hooray! For 500 bucks (for ti spindle version) you too can own the road pedal for riding in conditions in which you might have to foot down into mud or dirt, but you don’t plan to walk or run off the bike. After all, with the Pave Zero, you’re still wearing a 3-bolt metal cleat with no traction on shoe with no tread. Simply put, this is a pedal system that makes it easier to get back on the bike and in the pedals, not to be easier to get around off the bike, Because that’s why this pedal exists…because Speedplay-sponsored pro teams demanded a system that debris and dirt couldn’t hinder ingress/egress. The professional riders, loathe to change something as personal as their shoe/pedal system, would clearly balk at using mtb shoes and pedals for just a couple races in the spring, like Paris-Roubaix and Strada Bianca. But for the majority of us non-Pro Tour riders and racers, we’d probably just use a 2-bolt cleat/pedal and a walkable shoe for a gravel grinder.

What I would be sooooooo much happier to see is a mtb pedal that feels and supports like a good road pedal….something like what the Speedplay SYZR promises to do. The problem is that Speedplay has been promising this pedal since at least 2008. At Interbike that year, I snapped this photo of a prototype pedal. I was told that the pedals would ship after the first of the year. Then I was told the same thing the next two Interbikes. Frankly I’ve lost track of how many times those pedals “would be shipping in three months.” Most recently, Speedplay displayed yet another update to the design at this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

Listen, I’m all for thoroughly developing a product before selling it to consumers, but this is just ridiculous. Still, I do hope the SYZR finally makes it to market, because if it performs anywhere close to the hype, it should be awesome.

Issue 15: A Mt. Bachelor Playlist Photomap


My editor’s letter for Issue 15 is written as a vignette and shares the music listened to during a 5 hour ride on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. This annotated photomap is an accompaniment to the ride playlist.

Like a headwind in all directions, the uneven, rough-and chunky chip seal surface drained the watts, robbing my legs of speed — setting me off tempo. Grabbing for another gear that wasn’t there on the final hundred feet up to Mt. Bachelor, a dirge shuffled in. Interrupting my concentration, it was a snatch of a song, a click of a shifter. Just a few Morphine downbeat notes from a standup bass and skip!

RockyMounts Driveshaft Thru Axle adapter for fork-mount bike racks

This year I acquired a new mountainbike, and other than some experiments with a dropbar mtb a few years ago, it’s the first mtb I’ve gotten since the ’90s. Things have changed since then: 29er and now 650B/27.5 wheels, tubeless tyres, carbon fibre EVERYWHERE. But the night before leaving to do my first mtb race in 16 years, the most important change was the evolution of suspension forks. Not because forks are better in some way. No, the crucial difference is that most high-end suspension forks now have some form of thru-axle that wasn’t going to fit the bike rack on my ride’s car. It was 8pm on a Wednesday evening, and we were leaving at 9am in the morning. Not a whole lot of time to find a solution, but luckily REI had one.

The DriveShaft rack adapter from RockyMounts allows your mtb equipped with 20 or 15mm front thru-axle to fit a typical fork-mount rack. It even allows you to lock the bike in place (assuming that the rack itself has a lock too). Hint: the DriveShaft tends to rotate in the fork, so make sure you clamp the adapter into the rack and then the fork on the adapter. All fork-mount racks make me a little worried, but once you clamp the bejeezus out of the rack-to-DriveShaft connection, the DriveShaft’s grasp on the thru-axle seems really secure.

Retails for about $70.

Issue 15 The Mountains and Burnt Socks

He’s one of the smartest people I know and Chris Matthews still put his cycling socks in the oven. You can guess what happened next, right? The story of how he rode without socks until the next town with a store, and a sock aisle is featured in Issue 15 of Bike Hugger magazine.

And I can relate. When riding, I often become stupider. I have a permanently-scarred knuckle from this one time when I decided to dry my cycling shorts in the microwave. I did not know that the shorts (a pair of piece-of-shit Pearls perhaps or equally shitty Assos during one of their bad importer periods), had a plastic insert sewn into the pad. I guess the insert held the pad in place and microwaves melted it into a molten, burn-skin-to-the bone mass that scarred me instantly.

Chris didn’t get burnt, but had to endure a sockless ride and luckily no other Rapha Gentlemen saw him sans socks, suffering on a climb. I would have called that out if seen, like I did Lance Armstrong, when he was spotted sockless.

The burnt sock story is featured and you can read it for free with a sign in.

Besides the free cover story, Issue 15 includes 10 more articles like

And a mountain playlist from me.

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