Category Archives: Cycling

PSA: This is why we wear helmets

So Sunday, September 10th started out like most years at the Evanston Bike Club’s North Shore Century ride.

The weather was perfect, a bit chilly, but nothing arm & knee warmers couldn’t handle. I had a great group of people to ride with. It was shaping up to be a fantastic day for riding.

Everything was fine until about mile 41.

A group of cyclists there were ahead of me had suddenly stopped for no apparent reason. I tried to stop, but couldn’t.

The last thing I remember was yelling out Woah!

About 15 minutes later, I was standing next to my bike.

I don’t remember anything between those two points.

Police were called, ambulance was called, statements were taken, etc. The person who I collided with had taken off, which was disappointing.

The paramedics checked me out and said it was my choice as to go to the ER or not … however, in the case of a crash (especially considering the helmet damage), they recommended I go to the ER. I deferred to their expertise.

I went to the Lake Forest Hospital ER and was checked out … they did a CT scan and took X-rays. Luckily, everything was where it was supposed to be and they saw no problems.

After getting discharged, and being picked up by Ginny, we went back to the starting point to pick up my bike.

It was a mess … handle bar scraped up, bar wrapping torn up, derailleur hanger bent, etc. The next day I took the bike over to Crank Revolution. Nothing damaged beyond repair. I’m sure I’ll have my trusty steed back in a few days.

As for me … I’m still feeling some aches & pains from the crash, but they are fading.

I’m not going to let this crash dissuade me from riding … I’ll just be more careful when approaching another group of riders.

Based on the condition of my helmet, I doubt I would have walked away from the crash if I hadn’t been wearing it.

Moral of the story: Please wear a helmet when riding a bike (pedal or motor). They work.

Tubeless Tires

A little more than a year ago I made a major shift in my road bike configuration. I switched from standard tires with tubes to tubeless.

I did this based on recommendations from my friends Steve, Larry, and a few others.

I also upgraded my gravel bike to tubeless at the beginning of the year.

This weekend, however, I switched the road bike back to regular tires with tubes.

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Wahoo Kickr

Winters here in the Chicago area can be pretty brutal … so riding outside from mid-December through mid-March is often not an option.

The only real option, other than going to a gym, is to use an indoor trainer.

There are many trainers available … from dumb, resistance based, trainers to sophisticated smart trainers, to rollers.

I used to use a Kinetic Road Machine resistance trainer … it was OK, but not great. It had a ‘power meter’, that was supposed to report power to trainer apps … but I had no confidence in it (it has no idea how hard you were pedaling, just how fast your wheel was turning).

A few years ago I decided to upgrade to rollers … but could not get the hang of them. There was no resistance … it was like riding on ice.

I decided to get a Wahoo Kickr smart trainer. Wahoo pretty much defined the consumer bike trainer market.

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I fell off my trainer

I’m probably one of the few people who can honestly claim that they fell off a bike trainer.

Keep in mind that, when riding on a bike trainer, the bike is locked in place on the trainer and it can’t move.

Nonetheless, I managed to fall off my trainer. Well, more like catapulted off.

This happened quite a while ago … I was using the Zwift training software with my Kinetic Road Machine dumb trainer (not dumb as in bad, just not a smart trainer).

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Good Customer Service from Road iD

A number of years ago I purchased a Road iD bracelet so, if I crashed during a ride, anyone who tried to help me would know who to contact if I wasn’t able to tell them.

I’ve worn that bracelet for most, if not all, my rides. It’s gotten kind of beat up over the years.

At this point the metal plate with the emergency contact information is pretty scuffed up and almost illegible.

While browsing the Road iD web site, I noticed they have a lifetime guarantee.

Yesterday I sent their customer service department a note indicating that the plate is scuffed and illegible … and they responded, within about an hour, indicating that they would provide a replacement.

They confirmed the information for the bracelet and shipping address … and said it would be sent out that day.

Today I got the shipping confirmation of the replacement.

That’s good customer service.

Temporary Wahoo RPM Cadence Mounting

If you’re like me, when cycling, you prefer to have a bike computer and some sensors with you on a ride.

On a recent vacation, where I rented a bike, I brought my bike computer (Garmin Edge 1030) and my Wahoo RPM Speed & Cadence sensors along.

The RPM Speed sensor mounted fine on the bike’s hub using its built in rubber bands.

The issue was with the cadence sensor.

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Vivoactive 3

As you might have guessed, I like keeping track of my fitness. On my bike, I use the Garmin Edge 1030, on the trainer I use Zwift.

I also like to keep track of my steps. Being a programmer, my job is mostly sedentary, so being aware of how much I’m walking and moving in general.

To this end, I wear a Garmin Vivoactive 3 smart watch.

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Cycling Sunglasses

One of the things I’ve struggled with since I started seriously cycling was eyewear.

I normally wear glasses … but, occasionally, wear contact lenses.

The problem is, with contact lenses, I’m far sighted … but can’t read anything up close (specifically maps, cue sheets, and my bike computer to a certain extent). I also find it hard to drive with contacts in (The dash board & GPS display are just out of the clearly visible range). If I wore reader glasses (+1.5), I was able to see stuff close up.

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