The Flying Scotsman

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by Byron on May 03, 2007 at 6:48 PM

It’s not often a bike-themed movie comes along and who knows if we’ll ever see one about Lance. That leaves us American Flyers, Breaking Away, and Quicksilver. In advance of the screenings, there are good reviews of The Flying Scotsman and Seattle is one of the few cities to get it in theaters.

Of course I remember the story in 1993 when Graham Obree broke the world record, had it stripped, won again, and the ongoing battles with his mind. In 1994, I started to get “serious” about cycling and he was one of the most talked about athletes in the sport.

Ain’t it cool news interviews Jonny Lee Miller who plays Obree and according to the reviews, Obree has several cameos in the movie.

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An interrupted commute

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by Byron on May 02, 2007 at 10:04 AM

A sinkhole will ruin a commute every-time! Bike Month Day Two in Seattle was interrupted by a massive sink hole under the south end of University Bridge.

I talked to a couple of cyclists from Redfin that just missed the sinkhole. Anyone see that happen?

Update

The Seattle PI updates the Sinkhole story with photos and the blogs are posting.

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Northwest Hills

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by Byron on May 02, 2007 at 7:21 AM

Hills, especially for those of us that don’t climb, are often debated, considered, and argued about during rides or when prepping for the big race. “What’s the grade? Does it stair-step? Is there a wall? Mostly flat, or rollers?” While we debate if it’s a climber’s race or power hills and what wheels to ride, a reader sent in meInnovations Rides, a definitive guide to the hills of the northwest, including Cougar Mountain.

The guide has most of them, but doesn’t include the Col de Roy in West Seattle. The climbed was named for Rob the Roy Chalmers who had to get off and walk up it after bragging for weeks about his climbing prowess (he may have puked as well, that’s also debated). The climb follows Marine View Drive (Marine View Dr, SW 125th, Shorewood Dr SW), descends down to the coastline and right back up about a thousand feet at 20%. That’ll break your legs or Rob’s legs at least. Pam told me to f-off one time up it and we never climbed it together again (riding with your spouse is a whole other topic for another post).

Another is the Col de Kent (West on 216th, 37th Pl S) that’s now disrupted by a housing development and roundabout. The Col is a 22% monster that climbs up the ridge to Military Road. Near Orillia Road, also in Kent and featured on the REI Legendary Lunch Ride is the Graveyard Berg (West on South 204th, past the graveyard, joining Orillia) – while just a blip, in relative terms, it’s relentlessly attacked and gives no quarter to the unsuspecting riding who may have tragically chose the wrong gear.

What famous climbs are in your neighborhood or city? Back in the day, when I rode more in the Tri-Cities it was Clodfelter Road and Finley Hills.

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Bring the good wheels

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by Byron on May 01, 2007 at 12:53 PM

During an REI Legendary Lunch Ride last week, I quipped, “Hey! no one told me it was bring the good wheels day!” One of the lunch ride hammerheads was all riding his Zipp’s and damn, I should’ve brought my Heds. That reminded me it was time to post a review of my new hoops.

To some, cycling is all about the wheels and earlier this year, Mark posted his Aero Wheel Wisdom and that’s the Stinger 50 he’s gluing up. I’ve also been riding the Jet 60, another great wheelset.

The Jet 60s roll really well and I use them for roleur type of courses, which are flatter circuits, also known as a kermese. The wheels reminded of Hed Alps, but lighter, and are a good all-around wheel.

For the hillier races, crits, and tighter circuits, I’ve been riding the Stinger 50s and totally dig them. They’re the fastest wheelset I’ve ridden. Of course, that’s a perception, but perception is everything. The speed I’m feeling is a direct result of the stiffness, which translates to out of the corner acceleration. They’re also exceptionally well made with Hed’s Sonic hub.

Little known facts

Hed manufactures the carbon rims for Bontrager and they rely on his patented rim shape. The Aeolus 6.5 Clincher is very similar to the Jet 60 and both are thought to produce a flywheel effect. Specifically, you get them up to speed and they carry that momentum.

Hed also designs their wheels to always get you home. So, if you’re bringing them to a lunch ride or for a commute during Bike Month and a spoke breaks or something bad happens, you’re still going to finish your ride. That can’t be said for a lot of good, race day wheels.

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Bike Month Day One: The Challenges

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by Byron on May 01, 2007 at 6:57 AM

Bike Month is here – yippee! – and all over the country bike challenges are being thrown down. Like the Seattle org that’s donating cash for every 5 round trips a commuter rides, the Kennewick REI stores with schwag and prizes, and the overall Group Health Commute Challenge with lots of activities and lots of sponsors.

To further celebrate Bike Month, Street Films resurrects a bikeTV classic, where Hal Ruza (famous bike mechanic) humorously grades the bike locking ability of New Yorkers.

Check these cities for examples of more activities and the 50 ways to leave your car.

Also take note that the American Lung Association released it’s yearly report on air quality today.

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Pedal Power on KOMO TV

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by Byron on Apr 30, 2007 at 6:22 PM

KOMO TV, Seattle’s ABC affiliate, reported tonight on the 8K (and growing) bike commuters on Seattle streets and how that’s expected to grow with high gas prices or downed overpasses like in San Francisco. It was a good report, especially on the eve of Bike Month.

Are you riding to work more now because of gas prices? What’s your BIke Month plan? And how are our San Francisco readers?

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Rush Hour in Beijing

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by Byron on Apr 30, 2007 at 7:25 AM

In another clip from our Blogging Beijing by Bike videos, we ride during rush hour. In a city with 13 million people, 3 million cars and millions of bikes, riding is a chaotic experience. We just rode, found a way through it, and joined the flow in Beijing.

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BMP Off To A Rocky Start

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by Kelli on Apr 27, 2007 at 7:45 PM

Less than a month after Mayor Nichols released Seattle’s Bike Master Plan to the city, it seems political pressure is already derailing some of the key components. Released this week in Cascade’s Braking News:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has backed down from a project to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety because of what appears to be political pressure from a minority of business owners on Seattle’s Stone Way North.

While the City seems to be doing its best to mitigate tensions between us huggas and the business community, the proposed changes to the original plan for Stone Way North is far from a compromise. Stone Way serves as a vital artery between Seattle’s popular Burke-Gilman trail and the city’s north end. Without the completed “Road Diet” implemented, the changes not only fail to serve the needs of many cyclists, the increased interactions between cyclists and motorists have the potential to cause more accidents.

Cascade is working hard as a prominent voice of Seattle cyclists and is reviewing the City’s decision. We’ll be keeping on top of this and other Cascade news as we move into the very busy Seattle cycling season. Let there be sun!

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Bikes + Art = Skatepark

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by Byron on Apr 27, 2007 at 8:49 AM

I was at the Javabean getting espresso and saw a postcard for Bike + Art = Skatepark. I’m still trying to figure out what that is, but the site says,” we’re having a bicycle decorating party, a bike parade, an Art Walk, AND a benefit for River City Skate Park.”

That sounds def like something Bike Hugger would want to do. They’ll decorate bikes, then parade them, and tour South Park all to raise money for the River City Skatepark. River City must mean the Duwamish? And maybe they’ll put a bmx track near the park?

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