The Tuesday morning commute was made extra-special-icy by the monday evening snow here in Seattle. We usually only see real ice here a couple times a year, making it hard to get any real practice in. What’s a committed commuter to do? Ride right through, maybe take a fall or two. Here are some guidelines for falling from Bike Snob NYC – finally a good excuse for fulfilling my breakdancing fantasies.
My short commute is pretty short, enough to just fit outside the 2-mile challenge radius. Seeing the streets all icy Tuesday morning I decided shorter was wiser and called my carpool mate to see if he was OK with unplanned passenger.
Having secured my car-ride, I went out to select my bike. Choices were limited as my main bad weather bike had a bum bearing, and I needed to pick up the wheel from a local bike shop that evening. I thought about taking the mountain bike, but in the end the folder was more convenient and I’d need it in the car anyway to pick up my other wheel and ride home. Folder + slicks it was.
I took it slow and easy on the flats, and slow and 1-leg down while headed down the big hill on 50th st. So far so good and I have to admit some hubris as I sat at the head of the line at the 50th St. Stoneway intersection. As always hubris pays off in spades and sure enough 20 feet later I was splayed out in the middle of the busiest intersection of my commute, thousands of smug car-muters chuckling wisely to themselves.
At the end of the day I’ve got a minor bump on one knee, and I still think I had much more fun than the car-muters. Next annual icy commute? Kneepads to go with my breakdancing.
This photo shows an old, way-old flyer for the Raingo Stay dry rain shield system. I’ve googled and can’t find this system, but it could inspire some SUB riders to develop their own. As much as I love Bettie, she’s a cold ride, on a cold day. It’s sitting upright, high on the bike, with your face in the wind and rain.
I also like the Jetsons aesthetic of the stay dry rain shield. Also, noting how it’d really pick up a tailwind and conversely a head wind.
At CES last week, I was on hand to see Bill Gates give his final keynote speech as Microsoft CEO. Before introducing guitar legend Slash to the audience, he mentioned interactive technology that would allow a TV audience to choose, per his example, a race car to follow in the Daytona 500. You could then see the that team’s pit crew and the car’s POV camera rather than just watching what the broadcasters select. I say, screw NASCAR, let’s get that technology for the Tour de France.
Wouldn’t it be so much better if you could choose to follow your favourite racer among the 180 athletes on the road? Half the technology is already there since many of the races kit the participants’ bikes out with transponders. The next step would be current speed and maybe HRM data that would be cool. You’re watching tv, use a remote to find Racer A among all the others, and then you see his place, how fast he’s going, and his position in the field. Maybe have an alternate screen with the course profile showing where Racer A is within the field of riders.
A more complex version could be a computer rendering of a 3D map with topography. If anything, something like that could finally make cross country MTB racing a viable television event.
I think baseball is popular partially because of the plethora of statistics involved. Interactive technology would certainly aid in television viewership of bike racing by letting the audience really get into that world.