Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Post

Man, I sure wish someone would update the blog...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Invisible Cyclist. Safety Check

Taken from Dave Moulton's Blog

Statistics show that this scenario, more than any other, is the most common cause of serious injury or death to both cyclists and motor-cyclists.

The cyclist is riding to the right of the lane and is going straight. The red SUV has just passed him and is also going straight.

The blue car is stopped with his turn signal on waiting to turn left into the side road. As in the Part I scenario, the driver of the blue car can’t see the cyclist because he is behind the red SUV, and also the cyclist cannot see the blue car for the same reason.

It is possible the driver of the blue car has been sitting waiting to turn for some time, and the cyclists has been partially hidden from his view by a steady stream of traffic. Now all the driver sees is a gap in traffic behind the red SUV.

The red SUV passes and the driver of the blue car guns it to turn quickly. It is a small gap in traffic and his only thought is that he must get across before the next car arrives. He is no longer looking down the road otherwise he might still see the cyclist; he is now looking at the side road in the direction he is headed.

The cyclist is either hit broadside by the front of the car, maybe run over, or he runs smack into its side of the vehicle. Even if the driver sees the cyclist at the last moment, car driver and cyclist both have only a split second to act.

The car driver either panics, brakes hard and ends up as a stationary object in the cyclist's direct path; or he underestimates the cyclist's speed and tries the beat him through the intersection. Often a collision is unavoidable the moment the vehicle making the left turn has started the move.

How to avoid this situation.

1.) Think ahead. As I have just mentioned, the blue car has probably been waiting to turn for some time before the cyclist arrives. The cyclist could have made a mental note some 200 yards before he arrived at the point of a potential collision.

2.) If it is safe to do so, take the lane. Signal and move over to the left so you are visible to the driver of the car waiting to turn. Had the cyclist done this, chances are the red SUV would not have passed him, but would have still been behind him. The blue car would have had to wait for both the cyclist and the SUV to pass before turning.

Also, if the cyclist moves to the left, nearer the center of the lane, should the blue car turn, the cyclist has more opportunity to simply steer a course behind the vehicle.

3.) Listen for cars behind you, they are your safety buffer. If there are none and there is any doubt that the turning driver has seen you; be ready to make a panic stop.

If the car driver has not seen the cyclist, an accident can still be avoided if the cyclist is aware ahead of time, what could happen. Otherwise, given the cyclist's speed, the reaction time, and the distance it takes to stop on a bicycle..... Well, you get the picture.

In these scenarios I have used an SUV as an example of a vehicle blocking the view of a turning driver. More often than not the vehicle you are following is a large commercial box van, truck, or bus, making the situation even worse.

The onus is of course on the driver of the vehicle entering or turning from a highway, but as it is the cyclist has the most to lose in such a situation, it behooves him or her to ride defensively at all times.

Don’t be a victim. Always think ahead and look for potential hazards. Remember it is not that you are actually invisible; it is more an illusion that the cyclist is not there, brought on by years of conditioning and not being aware of bicycles.

Multiple times, every day for years a driver waits for a gap in traffic to make a left turn. When he sees it he goes for it; always without mishap. Then one day there is a cyclist in that gap.

Don’t let it be you; don't be the Invisible Cyclist.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Often I have trouble motivating myself to work out in the morning. These past few weeks with the added workload and late nights mixed in with the crappy weather we've been having has made morning workouts even harder if not impossible.

Yesterday when Sherwood asked if anyone wanted to do an 8AM ride this morning, I looked at the forecast and saw rain. Sitting in lab at midnight I had convinced myself that this wasn't a good idea. Following a wet ride home I toiled with the idea. For some reason the letters WWJD kept running through my head.


No! Not this guy!

Then who you ask? What other J's do I know. Although typically I take this next guys advice, turns out this J is also not my guide.

J is none other than Jens Voigt. The workhorse of the peloton.

Jens is probably my favorite cyclist. So much so that my friend Amy was making fun of me for having a man crush because I was talking so much about him. He is in no way the most exciting to watch, however, if someone told me he was in a breakaway I would definitely tune in to see the outcome. He probably won't win, but you know he will be putting on the hurt.

One notable quote about Jens Voigt I remember reading from David Millar's Tour de France diary. It was a conversation between David Millar and Robbie McEwen.

Robbie McEwen, phenomenal sprinter

David Millar, time trialist

Quote from David Millar:

"I found myself next to Robbie McEwen for a minute in the bunch, we exchanged pleasantries and that obviously led to the weather, which was incredibly windy and storm like.

RM: "I bet there isn't one guy racing today who woke up and looked out the window and thought, YES, YOU BEAUTY!"

ME: "Yep, this is shit..."

We both pause.

RM laughing: "Well actually, Jens probably did."

Then we both start laughing and say at exactly the same time,


RM laughing: "Animal."

ME laughing: "Freak."

That had us chuckling for a few more minutes and says so much about the man, the machine that is Jens Voigt."


So whenever I am in question of whether to ride or not, I always have to ask myself, What Would Jens Do? The answer, Always ride!

In case you wanted to know how H.C. you are and needed a reference, I've snatched a rating system from to evaluate my Jens Factor (FYI don't google the word Hardcore images without safesearch on... YIKES!)

Todays ride comes out to a big fat ZERO on the Jens factor. It wasn't windy and was warmer than 4*C. Clearly I need to HTFU. But at least I was out there. Matt pointed out that Jens would have ridden more than 18km but I take what I can get, I've got a day job.

If ever you need inspiration while out there riding, just remember these words from Jens himself. When asked what he says when his legs are burning, one quick reply is all that was needed.

Hopefully we will see more people out to tomorrows ride than last week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

7 Quick Tips

7 Quick Tips

Taken from a great website which is filled with helpful tips.
  • After riding through debris use your bidon to rub your wheels clean instead of using your hands. This will save wear on your gloves and avoid getting slivers getting caught in your fingers.
  • If you don’t have a tyre lever to fix a puncture try using the quick release part of the skewer.
  • Instead of trying to wipe your sunglasses clean from sweat with your jersey, just pour water over them and give them a shake. You won’t risk scratching them and they’ll dry without spots or smears.
  • When riding beside someone and you need to look backwards put your arm on the shoulder of rider next to you. This will give you a sense of reference to keep riding straight ahead.
  • Tip for cleaning jockey wheels: Let the chain pull a wipe into the derailleur and when gets stuck there it’ll clean as you turn the chain. Then just push the derailleur until it is straight and pull the wipe out.
  • Open your energy bars before you start your ride or race. This way you won’t need to fiddle with them while you’re riding and it’ll make you eat more frequently.
  • Use babywipes to clean your bike, shoes, chain….nearly everything. I don’t know what they put in these but there’s no better thing on earth to keep your gear clean.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pre-Game Show: UBCTC Spring Fling Race Series

VANOC confirms earlier start of UBCTC Spring Fling Race Series will buy more time for snow making process in Cypress

Vancouver, BC - In response to ongoing unseasonably warm weather, an innovative effort to combat the issue is implemented in the contingency plan by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games. This strategy will in effect permit the University of British Columbia Triathlon Club to host TWO of seven events in the 2010 Spring Fling Racing Series before the Olympic Break to stall for more time. Despite earlier concerns of increased traffic congestion between the two big sporting events being hosted in the city during similar times, which have already pushed back other named events to later dates such as the Vancouver Sun Run and UBC Triathlon, warmer weather is expected to continue to deplete existing snow stockpiles at alarming rates.

This strategy is to buy more time to tackle the snow stockpiling problem for the venue organizers in Cypress, while the world’s attention is drawn towards the exciting and new UBCTC Spring Fling Race Series leading up to the Winter Olympics Games.

Snow Makers

The UBCTC executive team expects more intense competition among the field in this jammed-packed 7-event race series than the previous 12-event race series witnessed in the 2009 Fall Classic. Like last term, points will be awarded based on placing on a uniform hierarchy scale and in addition bonus points will be added for participation. Nifty prizes will be also awarded to those who break the existing course records. More details to be released later.

All athletes who competed in the 2009 Fall Classic couldn’t pass up on this exciting opportunity for another chance at triumph or redemption or BOTH. New competing athletes will enjoy this cool experience, one they can’t really say no to.

Matt Reeve sporting the Golden Cape in 2009 Fall Classic Race Series.

Together, their passions are fuelled by countless hours dedicated to training. It sounds like an unlawful punishment to most, but it’s often considered as a lifestyle choice for the most fervent athletes. They are competitors by nature, and will do whatever they can to win. You can bet trash talkers are already witting away at several clever nick names to have at their disposal. The competition will be fierce; many have already linked the level of competition in the race series equivalent to the other big sporting event.

In response to the announcement of the new UBCTC Spring Fling Race series starting earlier, an anonymous person was quoted, “I hate it, but I love it!”

The first event, 500m test swim set, is scheduled to take place on Sunday February 7th, 2010. The second event, 5km run, will commence soon after on Wednesday February 10th, 2010.

This Spring Fling Race Series will mark for exciting blogging coverage. Be sure to stay tuned for updates.