Rants and Raves

First Ride of 2020

I went on a nice ride yesterday. I wasn’t sure of where I was going, but I left the city and headed north to Mill Valley. I wound up heading up the hill to 4 Corners and then back through to SF and home.

It was a bit chilly (for me) but it was really nice out. I’m just glad to be out and riding outside. My mileage has been dropping steadily since going to my current job. I’m not blaming the job, but work commitments definitely play into the riding schedule.

There’s something to be said for just moving… just getting outside and seeing the sights and moving.

omata

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Some snaps from today

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Bikey Gift Guide

So one of the more popular posts I did a while back was a quick gift guide for cyclists. Sadly, that’s one of the posts that vanished, so I’ll try to recreate it.

The original list was intended as cheap guide and for both roadies and just general riders. I’ll try to keep the spirit of that but I know I’ll list some things that have higher prices. In fact, let’s get one of my more expensive faves out of the way first:

1. The Fly6 from Cycliq

In a nutshell, it’s a rear-facing camera with a light. It’s not the best camera ever, but that’s not the point. You just leave it running and if something happens, you’ll have footage. I run this on almost all of my rides and I love it.

I could go on about the features, but if you have questions, just ask in the comments.

One new thing- Cycliq has a new front-facing camera and light. I like it, but I don’t love it. I can talk about that in a separate post. For now, just get a Fly6

2. A DIY flat kit.

Here’s what you do- go down to Daiso or an equivalent store and get a school supplies pouch like this one below. Then put in some levers, a small multitool, a spare tube and maybe some pieces from a patch kit. Or perhaps a CO2 canister. Whatever you want. The pouch will easily fit into a jersey pocket, your backpack, whatever.

Want to get a fancy version? Get a pouch from OrNot- they call theirs the MacGyver (pictured next to the cheap pouch from Daiso).

A quick note- there are a LOT of nice ‘makers’ out there, so if you want to get some fancier pouches, look around your area. I’m in SF so I see things from OrNot, Fog City Gear, and Anza Bags quite a bit. Great stuff. There should be someone making something near you. Seek them out.bike-pouches

3. Some Embrocation or Chamois Cream

A nice stocking stuffer. Just beware if you buy embro cream, there are varying levels of heat. So if this is a gift for someone else, try to figure out what they may like ahead of time. Or just get a surprise and try any of the ones from Mad Alchemy.

As far as chamois cream goes- I really like Doc’s brand- the one that has the tea tree oil

4. Socks.

Yes, socks. Try some fancy ones from Ridge Supply, or some new designs from DeFeet. Need more ideas? Just search on instagram for sockdoping.

5. a bell.

What? A Bell? Seriously. It’s pricey, but a Spur Cycle Bell rocks. In fact I’m about to get a 2nd one for one of my other bikes.

6. Pins, like a poop emoji pin from etsy or elsewhere. For the back-of-the-ear helmet strap, just make sure the pin part isn’t too long. Otherwise, just put it on your backpack. Search on etsy or see other examples like what I’m talking about here.

7. A tune-up gift certificate. Go to your favorite bike shop and ask the mechanics for a gift certificate good for a tune up or other maintenance.

I can’t remember what the other items were from the original post, but if I remember, I’ll add them and update the blog post.

oh yeah-

Uniqlo has great t-shirts that you can use for baselayers. Just look for their heattech line, and size down. They’re usually $8, which is a LOT cheaper than other places. That’s more of a roadie-type gift, but it’s a nice one.

Edits:

Other items that may have been in the original post that are good ideas:

A Road ID or a Crash Tag

Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever – ****

Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy EverWheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever by Reed Albergotti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally got around to reading Reed and Vanessa’s book after being introduced to it via a SFCC (and Fatcake club) event where Reed spoke to us about the book and answered questions a few months ago.

I actually finished the book in the evenings after I’d catch up on this year’s Tour. It’s amazing that some of the same names are still involved with the sport, but it’s their lives so it shouldn’t surprise me too much.

What did surprise me is how much of a dick Armstrong is. The level of cover ups and money shifting and other stuff is astounding. The strong-arming teammates, etc… ugh. Just read it.

If you’re not into cycling it may take a bit to get ramped up and know who the major players are, but it will be worth your effort. The authors do a good job of explaining who everyone is with their backstories with good anecdotes. It’s a real life soap opera.

There’s even overlap in today’s news with some Olympic (Russian) athletes being caught doping, some problems with the labs in Rio, some MMA athletes being caught this week in Vegas, etc…

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Tour de France Logistics – Cycling Podcast

I know most people aren’t in to biking or the TdF, but if you are then you should check out this behind-the-scenes episode from the Telegraph Cycling Podcast.

Most of the episodes are about specific stage races but they have periodic episodes under the Kilometer 0 section that are bike-related, but not to specific races. That’s where the episode I linked to above is posted.

The episode I linked to is an interview with a truck driver and it’s pretty interesting.

Other Kilometer 0 episodes of note are when they talk to the riders about what books they’re reading (ep6) and an interview with Paul Smith about fashion (ep8).

One other thing- The Cycling Podcast does a great job of covering women’s cycling. They may not dedicate a lot of episodes to that, but when they do it’s very in depth and they have good interviews.