Arrived Down Under

Rolling out in SydneyI’ve made it to the land of Oz. It’s pretty nice down here (85+), and I’m hoping to really get out for some exploring now that I’ve settled into my home base in Brisbane. Sydney was NOT a bike town. I rode for an hour up and down the same street - mostly because I was afraid of getting lost, but also because it was the only street I found that had any sort of a shoulder to it. I couldn’t imagine trying to get around Sydney on bike alone. Commuting to work there would be a challenge for sure.



Masters and the Cramps

Reading the definition of McMansion Masters on Nega-Coach was even funnier after completing my first masters race of the season. The first race with the old guys is always who’s gonna cramp first. Or a big-effort suddenly reeled back with a desperate realization that, “whoa, not quite ready, better back right off … .”

My cramp was a twanging hamstring and I imagined it looking like a guitar string, buzzing after a hard, Peter-Townsend type power-cord strum. It was one pedal stroke away from snapping and I spun like a spin class, at the highest cadence I could to stay with the group. I finished the race favoring my right leg and was relieved it was over.

For cramps, I never try to ride through it, spin, soft pedal, and down all the sugar in my bottles. My worst cramp ever took me out of a finishing hill on a circuit race and I remember it vividly to this day. Pain, yelping “cramp!” and I was suddenly on the shoulder of the road limping.

What was your worst cramp and what do you do? An old-school racer, Dan Norton would recommend salt water in your bottles, but I don’t think homeopathic remedies or drinking salt is going to solve it.



Sitting in traffic, breathing dirty air . . .

Following the study last year linking asthma and inner-city children to diesel pollutants, a new study by the Clean Air Task Force and reported by Reuters finds that diesel soot shortens lives and that “fine particle pollutants released from the exhaust of diesel-powered vehicles pose a major health risk to commuters.”

Yet another reason to bike to work.



Mark V’s Travel Bike

sands%2003%20yokohama.jpg


It’s late on Sunday night and I’m packing up my travel bike for a little trip to Florida and South Carolina. I’ll be flying with my custom steelSycip.

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I’ve had this one for a couple years and I’ve taken it around the world, literally. I can’t remember in how many cities I’ve been lost while riding this beautiful machine. Taipei, London, Moscow, Lucerne, Paris, Oslo, Guteborg, Stockholm, Tokyo, Shanghai, Siem Reip, Hanoi…I’ve gotten around. The bike is mostly Columbus Zona with those awesome S & S couplings that allow you to split the frame in half and pack it in a airline friendly case. Jeremy Sycip was fantastic in working with me on the design. The bike can be raced legally on the track but it also has a derailleur hanger and cable stops to be run as a road bike. I usually travel with the bike set up as a streetlight drag racing fixie with a front brake, but the bike descends mountain passes with vigor in full roadie trim. Next weekend I’ll race it in some little time trial in Tampa, as a fixie with aerobars.sands%2002%20countries.jpg



Bicycle Songs

I’ve been thinking about that bicycle movie list posted a while ago. There’s this Japanese movie called Messengers that I’ve wanted to see. It kinda sounds like the movie Quicksilver if Kevin Bacon was a woman…and Japanese (actually that’s a disturbing image). Anyways, I’ve always been into music more than movies, so invite people to submit their favourite bicycle songs. Rules: it’s gotta be pretty obvious that the song is referring to bicycles, not motorcycles. so I here’s my own list of bicycle songs to start the ball rolling:

The Trucks- Big Afros (self-titled) My two favorite things in life: big Afros and riding bikes with you.

Orbit- Bicycle Song (Libido Speedway) What a pretty bicycle she said, I want one just like that.

Lily Allen-LDN (Alright, Still) Riding thru the city on my bike all day cause the filth took away my license

They Might Be Giants- Narrow Your Eyes (Apollo 18) get on my bike, ride down our block, ride thru the rows, thru the green lights, but when I think of all your advice, I narrow my eyes…

Tori Amos- Pretty Good Year (Under The Pink) Tears on the sleeve of a man, don’t wanna be a boy today. Heard the eternal footman bought himself a bike to race

The Smiths- This Charming Man (originally 7 single) Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate, will Nature make a man of me yet?



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