Riding inside on a Tacx Cosmos
by Byron on Nov 26, 2006 at 9:04 AM
Admittedly, my indoor trainer discipline is low, terrible, and I’d normally rather ride in a hailstorm that sit on a butt-numbing trainer. But with the non-stop rain finally getting to me, it’s time to commit to riding inside. I decided a new trainer may help my motivation and ordered a Tacx Cosmos. The Cosmos is a programmable trainer with a unique motorbrake that simulates climbs, downhill coasting, and amazingly a “road feel.” It also produces enough power to break your legs - I learned this by blowing during an especially hard effort (ramp test) to baseline my fitness for the new season.
I’ll post a long term report after another few weeks on the Cosmos. Initially, I’m really impressed and also learned that it’s a complicated trainer requiring lots of time to setup, learn, and program. The software is a world unto itself and without concerted patience is very frustrating. Once you figure out that you’re connected directly to the LCD panel and not in a Windows application, it starts to make more a bit more sense. To help program the Cosmos and the Tacx family of virtual trainers, there’s a growing community of users figuring it out, offering conversion tools, and sharing workouts – here are the results from my ramp test zipped and in .hrm and .wko formats. (note Cyclingpeaks is reving their workout software to read the Tacx format)
Considering that today in Seattle, after more than a month of rain, it snows and then starts raining again, I’ll spend lots of hours on the Cosmos.
Portland’s Bike Business
by Byron on Nov 26, 2006 at 8:17 AM
Our friends at Bike Portland posted this weekend about the bustling bike industry in Portland. The topic is on the front page of the Oregonian and the Portland Development Commission is working to attract more bike-based business. This quote from Matt O’Rourke, Vice President Chris King Precision Components, says it all
Portland is a whole new day for us. Chris and I are so incredibly optimistic about the town, our new building, the new people that we have interviewed and hired, everything.
Seattle (and any City) should take note.
Car Culture & Contested Streets
by Byron on Nov 25, 2006 at 8:14 AM
Writing for the Seattle PI, Washington State Senator Dan Swecker defends car culture as being necessary. Dan apparently missed the basic tenet that when you build bigger roads, people fill them up, and it never ends. Dan’s mindset is the same as those that want to save the Viaduct or thought it was a good idea to run I-5 right through the middle of downtown Seattle. To the absolute contrary, if you add more bike lanes, and less car lanes, people will ride bikes and drive less.
I believe that fact even more after watching Contested Streets, a documentary that studies how NYC relinquished quality of life for the automobile and contrasts NYC to London, Paris, and Copenhagen. Those cities have focused on the bicycle as a primary transporter and changed their streets and traffic flow to allow for more bikes. I also saw thousands of cyclists in Spain riding beautiful boulevards to work, for errands, and just getting around.
What I’d ask Dan and anyone lobbying for more traffic lanes is what quality of live does that benefit? How much does anyone enjoy sitting in 4 lanes or 6 lanes of traffic? I’d also hope they could watch Contested Streets. It’s an excellent work. I grabbed a DVD from the Interbike press room and finally ripped it to my iPod Video and watched it on a flight a couple weeks ago.
Maybe Bike Hugger should host a screening with local bike shops and groups like Cascade and the Bicycle Alliance?
by Byron on Nov 24, 2006 at 11:48 AM
Cross-posted from Snow Hugger, we’ve got the ATC2K Waterproof ActionCamera from Oregon Scientific. The camera mounts to your handlebars or helmet and you can shoot your favorite training ride, office park crit, cyclocross race, or your incredible explosion off the back when the annual day-after-thanksgiving ride goes up the first steep hill. It also promises to be much safer than holding a camera in one hand while pedaling around a roundabout – also reminiscent of the original Late Night Monkey Cam. Hat tip to Gizmodo
by Byron on Nov 22, 2006 at 7:07 AM
Courtesy of our friends at FeedBurner, we’ve added a new hugga email feature. You can now keep up with our blog by email. Just click, enter your email, verify you’re not an evil spammer, and boom!
Our next hugga post will arrive in your inbox faster than the cancellation of K-Fed’s world tour.
by Byron on Nov 21, 2006 at 6:52 AM
By way of the Pedal : Reloaded (every photo there is a photo of the day) galleries, I found custom handmade messenger bags by Re.Load Baggage and drank two cups of espresso while clicking through their site.
Having just bought a new Timbuk2 Pro Series Backpack for our trip to Spain, I’m impressed by the craftsmanship, creativity, and art. I’ll have a long-term review of the backpack up soon (overall a very good bag) and disappointed to learn that I’ve missed the window to order a Re.Load bag as a gift (damn)
The Browning SmartShift Story
by Byron on Nov 21, 2006 at 6:27 AM
In an unrelated Google search this morning, I found a news article from 2002 about the Browning SmartShift. I’d only heard about SmartShift and don’t know the story, how it worked, if it worked, and if cyclists are still riding it.
The background is intriguing: “a new generation of more comfortable bikes, could bring a return to growth,” and the RD was largely backed by the Browning firearm fortune.
Anyone ever see a SmartShift?
Photo of the day
by Frank Steele on Nov 20, 2006 at 8:21 PM
akiko, by Yohei Morita.
Bikes give ya nut cancer!
by Byron on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM
From the bikes in pop culture file, I did a spit take when Earl was riding his bike in the Rob a Stoner Blind episode, towing his brother, and Joy says, ” … bikes give ya nut cancer!”
Geographical Pedaling Sweetness
by Frank Steele on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM
The Whiteboard | You Have Reached Your Destination
The guys over at Synthesis Studios point out that bikers don’t have to settle for bicycle GPS solutions, as discussed last week.
They went full-bling with a Pioneer AVIC-S1, a Windows CE GPS unit with Bluetooth, 320 x 240 resolution, and 2 gigs of map storage.
Take 1 GPS window-mount, add a handful of zip-ties and an empty stem, and you’ve got a pretty effective, sano install.
Can you use it on the roll?
Oooooh yeah :) It’s a hell of a lot of fun, too. The touchscreen is clear and easily visible in daylight, and the interface is forgiving enough that clumsy fingers on the ride are still adequate to navigate the menu system. The voice directions are easily loud enough for use in traffic, and it’s a great conversation starter when I’m drafting someone and my bike announces Please-turn-left-in-500-feet. Now, turn left. It’s also great to take the ETA as a challenge and work to beat it. And for that extra pinch of unnecessary, the bluetooth/handsfree integration works great with my phone, so I can take calls with my phone safely stuck in my backpack.
Handsfree and no-hands at the same time. Sweet.
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