Thursday, February 28, 2013

Accidents or Crashes: New York Knows...

Until I received an email from Transportation Alternatives (TA) this morning, I never knew that an agency as large as the New York DMV had taken a stand on the application/misapplication of these two words. Did you know that, following years of petitions and wrangling, TA finally convinced the NY Department of Motor Vehicles to forego using "accidents" in favor of "crashes." The semantic differences between these two words is something that bicyclists have long recognized. Use of the term "accident," of course takes blame and responsibility out of the equation, suggesting something that "just happened." Most people know better - things don't "just happen", things happen for a reason. By deciding to use the term "crash", the NY DMV correctly reintroduces the idea of responsibility for our actions. I know the mainstream media is hopelessly negligent in their definition of "accident" but, does anyone know if any other government agencies have followed, or preceded New York in this matter? Is there an active campaign to do this here in California, or anywhere else for that matter?

In case you are interested this is the relevant portion of the newsletter/email:

"What's in a name?" a despondent teenager once posited. And then by pints of blood and gore, Shakespeare proved exactly how much names matter. Transportation Alternatives doesn't do iambic pentameter, but in a recent victory, T.A. convinced the Department of Motor Vehicles of that Shakespearian lesson.

After years of petitioning, linguistic arguments and T.A. activists trekking to Albany, the New York State DMV agreed to stop calling crashes "accidents."

Call it semantics, but there’s nothing “accidental” about driving. When careless or dangerous driving results in a crash, it’s no accident -- it's simple cause and effect. But abstaining from the word "accident" isn't just commonsense, it's common: along with the DMV, the New York City Department of Health and Department of Transportation both use "crash," not "accident."

The NYPD, however, has not caught on. Tell the NYPD that traffic crashes are not accidents: Sign a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly now!

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has a Master of Law degree from NYU, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard and 11 honorary degrees, but there’s one book missing from his library: the dictionary.

T.A. is asking the NYPD to catch up with their peers in the City and State, and we’re mailing them a copy of Merriam-Webster to make sure they get the message. Take action now, and T.A. will ship all your letters, and a dictionary, to 1 Police Plaza next week.

Some Local News...

Beginning the month that starts tomorrow (March) permits for parking at both the older south parking lot and the new north lot at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park will be by permit only. Claremontonians can obtain a resident permit at city hall, out of town visitors can purchase an annual permit from city hall. Daily metered permits can also be purchased on site. On street parking, such as the lines of cars along Mt. Baldy Road seen below, will be reduced at the same time. Get your permits, or be prepared to pay your fines. Complete information can be read at the City's website.

Park hours have also been established (you may recall that they used to be the rather vague dawn to dusk). Now, though a little convoluted, the hours are exact. If you are caught in the park after hours, you may be cited:

6:30am to 5:00pm  January
6:30am to 5:30pm  February
6:30am to 6:30pm  March
6:00am to 7:30pm  April
5:30am to 8:00pm  May
5:30am to 8:30pm  June
5:30am to 8:30pm  July
6:00am to 8:00pm  August
6:30am to 7:00pm  September
6:30am to 6:00pm  October
6:00am to 5:00pm  November
6:30am to 5:00pm  December

Bicycling residents of La Verne have organized themselves in an effort to "create a more bicycle-friendly city with safer riding conditions." Even it you do not live in La Verne, but are local to the region, you likely ride through the City at some point or another, and may want to follow them on Facebook to keep informed.

This is not technically bicycle related but, the Claremont Folk Festival is returning this year, and how folksy would it be to see everyone riding to the grounds with guitars, ukeleles, banjos, and what not, on their backs. What is even more fantastic, the festival this year will be held at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (where parking is limited). This is a great day of music and arts, so get your tickets and save the date - June 15. Follow along on the festivals' Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Be on the Lookout (Stolen Bike Alert)...

If you have ever done some of the local group rides, on road or trails around these parts, you likely know, or know of, the owner of this bike. He is a local fixture, not least because of his nickname - Pain Freak - and has lost his mountain bike to some low-life thief. This has been posted up other places by now, but the more the message is spread the greater the chance of something positive happening. 

2007 Turner FiveSpot, silver color
Pike 454 fork
DT Swiss 440 wheels
Fagura FR brakes w/ white hose
WTB Stealth saddle
Race Face cranks
Thompson seat post and stem
DHX 5.0 rear shock

As I said this has been posted at the Psycho-Lists Facebook page, as well as on STR. Maybe other places as well. Keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Skid Mark, or, What Bike Was That?

So, there I was, doing a little mountain biking and, at the time, in the midst of a long gradual climb. All of a sudden another rider comes into view heading down in the opposite direction. Rounding a bend in the road ahead and as natural as a wheel spinning, he lays down a smooth skid in the decomposed granite surface. We give the quick cyclist nod of recognition in passing, and continue on in our own directions. I take note of another skid being applied behind me, but grind away without a second thought. As I climb ever upward I notice that each of the turns, each bend around which the road momentarily disappears, is decorated with a similar mark rubbed into its surface.

As I am apt to do, I engage in a little running conversation in my head, talking with a group of guys about this rider up in the hills, who would skid his way around each turn. I couldn't say I knew him, or even remember seeing him before and so, for obvious reasons, I started referring to him as Skid Mark. Of course everyone is trying to figure out who he is. They press me for a better description, but all I can say is that he was kind of old school looking, whatever that is. What about his bike, they ask? What was he riding? In a rather stuttering confession I have to admit that I do not have a clue.

It was then I realized that something, at some undefined point in time, had changed in the way I see other riders. Or, more likely, it was a gradual shift. It used to be that I could name the bikes that each of my friends rode. I could recognize familiar strangers by their bikes, as we all jockeyed for position in the peloton. I might not have known them, but I knew what bike they rode. These days, it seems, I can't connect any more than a handful of bikes and riders. I don't know, maybe it has been a slow realization that the bike doesn't matter as much as the rider - ungh, nearly got finger paralysis clacking the keys on that sentence - seriously though, right, it's not the bike you ride that is important. It is the simple fact that you are riding that matters. 

I am not sure how this realization changed over time; age? Maybe. Fundamental shift in the perception of what is important? Maybe. Maybe people started changing bikes too frequently for me to keep track. Maybe. Could be I just need to focus more, pay closer attention to that most basic connection - bike and rider. In the midst of the peloton, where riders are constantly flashing in and out of our lines of sight, we need to be able to quickly decipher bits of information. Two things immediately stand out at a short glance - the kit riders wear, and the bikes they ride. After a while you will recognize riders for themselves, or the way they ride, little nuances in riding style, the way they sit their bike, that sort of stuff, but initially it is kit and bike.

In the grand scheme of things is this a big deal? Probably not. I can't have a conversation with a bike, a bike won't be reading this post, or any other on this blog. But connecting riders to their bikes does contribute to a more complete picture, adds another level of depth to what ever story is being told. If not for Skid Mark, and my subsequent self-conversation regarding him, I likely would never have realized what was missing from my cycling life. So, if the next time you see me on the road, or trail, and I seem preoccupied you'll know why; I've got some catching up to do.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Blues: SGRT, Just Open It Already...

So tantalizingly close, the new tunnel on the San Gabriel River Trail seems all but done. I mean, if lines have been painted, symbols applied to the pavement, there can't be any more construction involved. Can there? If you look closely you will even notice that the first graffiti postings have already been made. Like many I have long been waiting for this direct route to the coast to be reopened; no more detours, no more carefully riding around glass and other debris in the river channel, if you choose that detour route. Maybe this will be the week.

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Heavy Winds & Fierce Throws: The 2013 Dare To Race Grand Prix...

The wind was bad enough late in the morning through the early afternoon, they were even worse in the morning, prompting Ralph Elliot to dub this race the Dare to Race Grand Prix, Cyclone Edition.

Rigoberto Meza (Coates Cycling) throws his bike for a prime during the Pro/1/2/3 race

I will start off with the last race of the day, the Pro/1/2/3. While the winds, earlier in the day, continually rocked me back on my heels, ripped flags from their posts, and had little kids tumbling across the street, by the time the pros took off there was barely enough to push a feather around. That means the racers did not have that massive tailwind driving them down the finish straight, and it is quite possible that they were not the fastest race of the day. It also meant that the race was tighter; the wind played havoc with the earlier races, but during the pros not a single break attempt was able to gain much ground.

The powerful, and numerically superior, MRI team who had been active at the front for the entire race, powered it up and took charge with two laps to go. At the end, the finish sprint was neck and neck between two riders, with Dion Smith of Full Circle Cycling initially declared the victor. A quick check and conference among the officials decided that Orlando Garibay (MRI U23 Team) just nipped Smith at the line to claim the top step of the podium. Anthony Canevari ( took 3rd just behind the front two.

Daniel Clifford (Full Circle Cycling p/b Pure Gear) in the midst of the fray

Chris DeMarchi drives at the head of the MRI train with two laps to go

the sprint for 1st was tight between Garibay and Smith; the sprint for 3rd was just as tight - just look at those wheels!

I don't think there is any question that the wind impacted the middle races (as well as the early ones, though I wasn't there to see them) - the 45+, 35+ and Cat 3's all had significant, and successful breaks. As usual the 35+ race was one of the more exciting of the day - a four rider break formed early in the race, built  a 40 second gap, lost about 20 of those seconds by late in the race, but continued working and pulled away again. The question for the 35+'s was, what to do about Charon Smith who has been on a tear so far this year? The break was the answer - neutralize him by taking him out of the sprint. Now, what to do about Smith's teammates, one of whom, at the end, proved fastest of the four; John Wike (Surf City Cyclery) took the honors ahead of Kayle Leo Grande (MRI Endurance Elite Masters), Patrick Caro (Full Circle Cycle) and Robert Kamppila (Surf City Cyclery). The team is deep - take away one, another steps up.

yet another bike throw, this one in the masters 45+ race

SC Velo in their new kit were out in force in the 30+ 4/5 race

fist pumping win for Derryl Halpern (MetalMtn Cycling) in the 40+ 1-4 race

Cat 3's around the final turn

break in the 35+ 1-4 race

centerline, shadows, and first chase group in the 35+ 1-4 race

John Wike takes the 35+ win

Cat 4/5's rounding the first turn

Sixty-one of the better photos can be seen by clicking here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Just Add Words...

Here is one of those contrast photos, you know, the type that show something (in this case transportation) being done two different ways. It was one of the many that Bikes For All has posted on Facebook, so I am not sure where the original came from. It was pretty good all on its own, but I decided to play around, and add a little commentary. What words would you write?

Friday, February 22, 2013

GMR Friday...

 Not much to say about things up there today, other than that it was pretty darn nice. Quiet going up, there was hardly anyone on the road - a couple riders near the bottom, a couple BoBie's near the top. A lot more were heading up later, as I was returning back down. A Full Circle Cycling rider looked to be doing hill repeats on the SDSR ITT course. A literal bus-load of high school, or college, students doing something downslope from the road at a couple of the turnouts. Shrubs are blooming as well as the ubiquitous mustard. Warm enough to strip down to basics on the uphill, but cold enough to put the arm warmers and wind breaker back on for the descent. Sounds like Spring, doesn't it?

The Center Line Gallery Has Moved...


The axing of the group album feature, general slowness, and a few minor annoyances, have led me to leave Photobucket in favor of re-establishing the Center Line Gallery over at Flickr. As it is, it seems as though a lot of people are already on flickr, including myself, so I figure this will just make things easier all the way around. Simply join the CLR Effect group by clicking here. That way you can add those center line photos as you take them; be sure to add relevant in formation about them - who, what, where, when. Thanks, and see you out along the center line.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SoCal Juniors to Race the Cobbles...

Word has it that a couple Southern California racers have been selected by USA Cycling to race in some prominent upcoming competitions. Monster Media Racing teammates, Justin Oien and Seth Veenbaas, have raced well enough (in fact better than well enough) to have been selected as members of the junior development team in Belgium this Spring. The rumor mill says that both young men will participate in the Junior edition of Paris-Roubaix. You may recall that last year Seth won the SCNCA 15/16 road race championship and wrote a recap of the race which I posted here. Already this year, Seth has picked up a big win, at the Boulevard Road Race, in early February. Just to make the selection of the National Team seems quite an accomplishment to me; to be able to race the Paris-Roubaix - experience of a lifetime.
Congratulations, and good racing to both.

Oh Boy, Here Come the Cobbles...

Tom (Boonen) op de Molenberg

The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday will be followed by Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne a day later. The 68th running of the Omloop, aka Superbike will include ascents of twelve of the regions infamous helling, or bergs, including the Valkenberg, Molenberg, Haaghoek, and the Berendries, over a distance of 199 km. All three of last years finale protagonists will be in attendance - Tom Boonen, Juan Antonio Flecha, and racing for the double, at the head of Blanco Pro Cycling, Sep Vanmarcke. Expect a rejuvenated Thor Hushovd, Niki Terpstra, who may take the Omega Pharma-Quick Step leadership reins from Boonen, Filippo Pozzato and, an in-early-season form, Lars Boom to be in the action. One additional note of historical interest for this years race is the inclusion of the African MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung team.

On Sunday, the 66th Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne takes place over 196 km and its own collection of bergs, including the Nokereberg, Kruisberg, and the Oude Kwaremont. Many of the racers who battled the previous day will again be active on Sunday, but there will be a couple additional riders to contend with - Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel, each representing the two big home teams - Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Lotto Belisol, respectively.

Hold onto those bars, it's going to be a fast, bumpy ride.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Motor-Dependent Drivel...

from someone who should know better.

I saw something posted as a link on the VeloImages Facebook page yesterday morning. I knew right off I should just ignore it, but it was too intriguing. I tried, but I couldn't ignore THIS ONE; after reading the whole thing, the only way to get my blood pressure back down was to either go for a ride (which I had already done), or respond with a post of my own. There is just so much wrong with this that I decided the best way of examining it was to start at the beginning and examine it bit by bit (the quotes are from the linked post):

"...I realized the nearly stand still traffic was being caused by a bicycle and my blood boiled." 

Besides any obvious anger management issues in this quote, as an inanimate object, traffic cannot be caused by a bicycle, any more than crashes are caused by cars, murders are caused by guns, etc. The quicker you realize that human beings are involved in these actions, the more real your perspective will become. Taking the human out of the equation is an easy way to demonize any situation and devalues everyone. Second, and as has been said time and time again, bicyclists do not cause traffic, they are traffic, with just as much right to be a part of it as you in your car. 

"I will honestly say that I do not believe in sharing the road."

Pure arrogance. This road is mine, everyone else get the hell off. Guess what lady, everyone pays for that road, and deserves a share of it.

"The weight of a car can be 4,000 pounds and a car can reach speeds well over 100 mph."

Pure arrogance again. Never mind the fact that there is not road in these United States with a speed limit of 100 mph. This is the argument that bullies use - the I'm bigger than you, so you better do as I say, or get out of the way. To make matters worse, the author is a lesbian, and I can only assume should be well aware of the anti-gay sentiment long directed against those of a different orientation. Yet here she is attempting to bully a group of people based on their different means of mobility. How hypocritical can you be?

"Often, I see a bicyclist merge into existing traffic and block a lane while holding his or her hand out impatiently for us to slow down as if we 'car people' are the problem."

Guess what - you car people (I will use your own term since you deem it necessary to split people into these seemingly neat little groups, as if there were only car people and only bike people) are the problem. Bicyclists don't kill over 30,000 others each year by their inattention and recklessness. Bicyclists don't contribute massive amounts of noise, and air pollution, nor multiple tons of waste each year. Bicycles don't destroy communities by their insatiable demand for more freeways, more lanes, more parking, nor disrupt the quiet of residential neighborhoods by cutting through in order to avoid the traffic created by all those other cars on the road. Bicyclists don't waste limited resources with no regard for the well-being of future generations.

Impatience works both ways. There are two pedals on the floor of your car. Drivers, like you, seem all to eager to use one, and hesitant to use the other, yet they both require essentially the same amount of energy to use. Really, how much trouble is it to apply a little pressure to the brake pedal in order to allow another road user, another human, to safely make their way across the street? Look in the mirror, before you bring up the topic of impatience.

"Once, I saw a cyclist who did decide to wait on the light actually lean on my car for support..."

This is a two-parter: Really, you once saw a cyclist wait at a light? ONCE? Over-exageration for effect is cheap, and will garner you no respect. That is just so far from my experience. And as for the cyclist leaning on my car... My Precious..., the Golum has nothing on you, has he? It is a hunk of metal, rubber, plastic and glass; just a mobility tool and nothing more. To attach any greater sentiment to it, suggests something might be lacking from your life. Try a bike to balance things out.

"This arrogance increases threefold if a cyclist is 'sponsored.'"

You just knew lycra would work its way into her argument at some point, right? Some people just don't get it.

"Sometimes they seem to be tempting someone to hit them."

This is the worst quote of the bunch, and if I were her editor I would dock her pay, at the least. As a lifetime cyclist, I will guarantee, no cyclist, not a single one, is out there wanting to be hit. To suggest the idea is completely irresponsible, and for me at least, puts this GA Voice for which the author writes, in the category of "rag".

"...flippant disregard for all the other tax paying citizens on the road..."

Ah, the old cyclists don't pay taxes bit. Somehow, somewhere, we cyclists became a privileged group. However, somewhere along the line I missed the memo, I guess; though I can't figure out what all those deductions over the years have been. You know I used to work at a research library specializing in American Indian affairs. People used to come forward all the time asking if it were true that American Indians didn't have to pay taxes. Everyone pays taxes (excepting anti-social cheats), but somehow the myths persist.

You know decades ago certain people in positions of influence made decisions about the course of transportation options for this country with little, or no, regard for what those decisions would mean for the future. Those decisions, for a myriad of reasons, have been perpetuated by each succeeding generation. Today, people find themselves backed into an uncontrollable mess of traffic delays and wasted time from which they can conceive no viable way out. Time locked behind the wheel increases, well-being declines. In their daily frustration, they seek a scapegoat to the problem. Rather than look at things objectively in search of a real solution, they lash out at the easy target. In truth all they need to do is to peek in the mirror to see where the real problem lies. Once that realization of the problem is made, the solution is easy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest Post: SUV's to Bikes, Transforming a Life...

Every so often I receive an email from someone inquiring as to whether or not I allow guest posts on the blog. I never really gave too much thought to the idea, but the author of this one was persistent, and forwarded a couple links to some other things he had written which were both informative and enjoyable. He then sent a couple options for posts which might work well here; the following is the one I selected largely due to the local flavor, as well as the positive affirmation of the cycling lifestyle. Hope you like it, and thanks to author Andrew Stephen for submitting.

Freeways strike through the landscape like snaking stripes of car conquest - massive 10 lane no-mans lands of noise and pollution. Cars have become their own intense sub-culture, and Nick was deep in it. He spent his high school years and tens of thousands of dollars fixing up his trucks and SUV's. But in college his life began transitioning away from the automobile to the cycling life. A formative trip to London, bike tour of the West Coast, and years of careful study of cycling has sold him: Nick will never buy another car as long as he lives.

Nick, tell us about growing up in Southern California.

It was beautiful, man. I grew up in La Verne, a small community in the foothills east of Los Angeles and Pasadena. I went to a small Catholic high school, Damien, where I played tennis and was involved in a number of cultural clubs and wrote for the school newspaper. It was pretty much idyllic.

And when did cars become a part of your life?

My dad was into cars throughout my childhood, so he taught me to do some work at home. We would fix my mom's transmission, change the oil, tune the brakes, little stuff, you know. Then for my 16th birthday I woke up and sitting in the driveway was a gorgeous '99 Chevrolet Silverado. It was stunning and I couldn't believe it was mine. I took it to the beach, picked up friends for joyrides around town, up to Big Bear to snowboard, skipped out on school every once in a while - you know, all the good stuff a kid should do with a sweet new ride. My dad and I began working on it, dropping it to the floor, adding a roll pan and various accents to make it pop. We painted it midnight blue and added dual exhaust pipes. It was beautiful.

What was it like then as a car owner driving around the LA area?

That's the funny thing. Looking back on it, driving around was hellish. There are few aggravations like sitting in traffic for 2 hours at a time. SoCal is pretty much just a massive maze of highways. More people keep driving everywhere and they just keep building more highways, but no matter how many they build, more people start driving and so the traffic is perpetually horrible. There's pretty much no relief from it. My dad had it the worst. He had to drive to downtown LA, near the airport for work every day and would wake up at 4am to beat the traffic - half the time he would still have to sit in it for hours. I didn't learn about it until later, but it turns out that the oil companies, I think it was Shell or Mobil, bribed the LA city council back in the '20s to rip up all the public transportation they had been developing and build freeways for the burgeoning car population. Makes sense when you look at it now.

So you were head over heels with the truck in high school and then what happened?

I went off to school on the east coast and had a blast. The truck had to stay behind, obviously, and back east there was no need for it anyway. I lived within train distance of New York City and our campus was small enough to long board or cycle everywhere. At first the cycling just seemed goofy, but my friends were waking up 20 minutes later than me to get to class at the same time (laughs) and that's when I started taking bikes seriously. It's a paradox of laziness: I was too lazy to walk, so I biked, but then fell in love with biking, got rid of my car and now bike everywhere, which is less lazy than driving!

So you got home from college and just sold the truck you had been in love with?

No, it was a little more complicated. I needed an extra push into cycling culture and that came studying abroad in London, Paris, and Rome. I got to London before all the recent cycling improvements that have been made, but fortunately got hooked up with my buddy Caleb who is the goofiest guy I've ever met. He thought it was really cool to do pub crawls through the city on his little Falcon folding bike of bikesnbits. Bikes weren't that cool to begin with, but folding bikes were really not cool! The weird part was, English girls loved it and I've never been more popular than when cruising around on the folders with Caleb. We managed to have a blast and the same for Paris and Rome where bikes are even more ingrained in the culture. I got back to the states, graduated, and realized that owning a car is a lifestyle, and one I wasn't going to re-accustom myself to. I sold the Silverado and used the money to buy myself a touring bike, racks and panniers, and went on a 3 month long tour of the west coast all the way from Vancouver to Mexico.

You're fresh off the tour, right? How are you going to proceed from here?

I've got a job lined up in Santa Cruz and will split my time between there and La Verne where I'm helping my dad out with his business. It's great to be able to come back home regularly and ride all the great routes in this area. And in my daily life in Santa Cruz I'm able to ride my bike everywhere I need to go, and that's an incredible privilege and way of life in and of itself. My dream is to open up a little bike cafe in La Verne to cater to the local bike culture and promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle amidst all the exhaust and negativity of driving. I do know that I will never own another car again. My decision is less a rejection of driving, but more an embrace of cycling.

Authors statement - Andrew Stephen is a freelance writer, crazed cyclist, and tree hugger. He bike tours through Europe on occasion and I am very thankful to Michael who allowed me to write a post for his blog.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Blues: Hauschka — Blue Bicycle

Even though this is a YouTube video, don't watch with the expectation that the picture will change - how ever much you may want it to, it is not going to happen. Just work with that knowledge; close your eyes and imagine cruising along on a blue bicycle. Along a slow flowing river. Through a forest of swaying pine and cedar. Beside a glittering sea. Riders pass as you pass still others. The rise and fall of the path, the variation in speed, and inevitable stop at rides end.

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Looking for Host Families for the 2013 SDSR...

From the San Dimas Stage Race organization:

"The San Dimas Stage Race (SDSR) organization is searching for families in the San Dimas area who would like to host riders for the 2013 race! Host housing is needed for the professional men's and women's bicycle racing teams competing at the 2013 San Dimas Stage Race - an opportunity for families in the area to connect with National Champions, Olympians, future Olympians, and hard-working racers striving to fulfill dreams in professional bike racing. The race runs from March 22-24 but teams typically arrive 1-2 days before the race and usually leave the day after the race.

SDSR is in search of families who live within a 30-minute maximum drive of San Dimas, CA. Opportunities exist to host men's and women's teams. See the SDSR website for race information. Host homes need to provide: a bed space (couch or air mattress is fine) for each rider, kitchen privileges, and refrigerator space; garage or other safekeeping space for bicycles. Host homes ARE NOT expected to provide: transportation or food - the teams will provide their own transportation and meals. Some families do like to provide some shared meals, but are not expected to do so.

Host families are encouraged to engage with their guest racers, as experience shows that involved host families find the experience most rewarding when they connect with their guests. Come watch them race, talk to them, find out what the life of a professional road cyclist is all about. If you would like to host a cycling team, please send an email to with the following information: Name, address, city, phone, email, and the number of riders you can host. Whether you can host one or two riders, or whether you and your neighbors can host a full team of eight, they want to hear from you."

I briefly talked with a woman last year who, with her husband, had hosted racers for a number of the past years, and spoke very enthusiastically about the experience. If this is something that sounds interesting, or you would like more information before making a decision, go ahead and contact the SDSR housing coordinator at the address above.

Slow Sunday Scenes from the Village...

I am not sure what the occasion was this morning that had so many people driving into the Village, stop and go traffic attempting to get through intersections, driving around the block in search of a parking spot. Keep in mind it was a beautiful sunny, 70º day - you should think people would want to be out experiencing it rather than locked away in their rolling boxes. Oh well, some will just never understand how enjoyable a Slow Sunday on two wheels can be. On the other hand I was far from the only rider about.

"... And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings..."
W.B.  Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Where To Bike LA: Señor Vasquez...

The latest collaborative between the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) and the authors of Where To Bike LA rode back in time, through the old west, into the area known as Canyon Country. If you were to check your local copy of the book, the route basically corresponds to Ride #9, although the start was another 10 miles distant, in the city of Santa Clarita, away down Soledad Canyon. This was a regular training ride for me back in the day, though I hadn't rode the area in a good fifteen years, so jumped at the chance head out with a group today. Forty-six miles, 3000 feet of elevation gain, interesting things to see, and good people to ride with - perfect Saturday morning.

only the left half of author, John Riddle, showed up

the Rio market in the middle of Soledad Cayon

fueling up in Acton where signs admonish you to please not tie your
horses to the railings - bikes okay, though

on the road again

long after Tiburcio roamed the area, and decades since Capt. Kirk fought the Gorn,
we stopped for a photo op at Vasquez Rocks County Park


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