Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Car Crash, Art of Peeing, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov & More..

First off, check this latest CNN story out. A car with a sleepy, intoxicated driver plows into a road race at the U.S - Mexico border. 1 dead, 10 injured, and we are left with a striking picture of recklessness, injury and death all perfectly frozen in time. Some pictures silently give you a nudge pointing to you how dangerous cycling in traffic could get. This one though, literally gave me a push and had me gaping in shock.

2. I was alerted to a review of my blog from none other than Competitive Cyclist. Says CC :

(2) The Cozy Beehive is another daily delight for us. The King Bee clearly has a serious engineering background, but in place of wonkiness he demystifies & educates on the design elements of high-end bike gear. He's like your favorite college professor: He's full of brains, enthusiasm, and joy for the subject matter. He has a remarkable ability to triangulate the engineering qualities, marketing efforts, and practical benefits of cool bike products.

I had a nice laugh. Thank you CC but I'll always consider myself a student, leave alone college professor. Somehow after many many thousands of miles of riding, countless hours of research, sleepless nights, and shameless solicitations on various bike forums, I have finally managed to be 2nd among your most loved blogs. One thing you are right about though, is my enthusiasm for subject matter. I'm ever so super inquisitive about asking deep cycling related questions that lately, local bike shops have been closing their doors to me.

'Oh shit, here comes that engineering blogger, hide!', they say.

Open yet sensible advice from Uncle Bill : Look where you're peeing, boys. In the midst of adrenaline and pangs of heavy breath, and having to stop to take a leak with your "desperate getaway" gang, you could overlook spilling the human juice onto tires and rims. When you then get back on the road, brakes squeal, tires whirl the juice, you cannot brake, people get wet. Woohoo, dirtyyyyy...

4. Hey, remember Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, the dreaded Uzbek sprinter from the 90's? So ferocious was he that his unorthodox and often-erratic sprinting style caused him to have a number of spectacular crashes, like this one. I was thinking about him this morning and the coffee in my hands literally shook with fright. What kind of imagery does the Tashkent Terror bring to my mind, you ask?? Here :

5. Here's a Bicycling Mag video of the latest Dura-Ace electronic shifting system on Fabian Wegman's bike. Note how the Shimano rep says that when you shift the rear derailleur, automatic adjustments will be made on the front derailleur as well so that the chain won't rub on the cage. Hey, thats not a bad idea considering that some of us can't always use all our gears because of this situation (which is another reason why I think adding extra cogs to make bikes 10 speed and 11 speed is not always useful, its really unnecessary too).

An ultra novice cyclist, and an NY Times' journalist, a certain Robert Mackey has signed up to ride L'Etape du Tour, the single stage of the Tour de France open to amateurs, before he really "thought it through". You can read his blog called "The Climb" here. Apparently, he's not being sponsored and much of the spending for the adventure is from his own pocket, including expenses for his bike, training lessons and what not. I don't think its a bad idea and if Mr. Mackey wants to take up a challenge, let him do it, although he must be prepared for the big God-slap across his ego and whatever his notions of real suffering are.

7. Trivia : What was Specialized's first ever product? No, it wasn't bikes at all. Tires, infact! Here's a very early picture of the company's founder Mike Sinyard posing with an early line. Read this very interesting Fortune Small Business magazine article on the early formative years of Specialized. Story alert courtesy of Team Armada.

And lastly, let's take a tiny look at what the steepness of Passo del Mortirolo is really like. Followers of the 2008 Giro d'Italia will note that this climb was featured in Stage 20. 15kms of cruel pain, after 150 kms, and 19 difficult stages earlier. I'm in awe. You've got to have a certain respect for these giants, or they'll humble you.


Ron said...

Sprocket : Wilmington? I've never heard of that place before. Thanks for pointing out, that race profile looks humbling. June 14th I'll be down in Texas for company training, I believe...

Spumoni said...

I don't think this is the Mortirolo. I've ridden the Mortirolo and it doesn't look anything like this. The real Mortirolo is much more wooded and lush. A quick look at the original YouTube posting calls this "Mortirolo" in quotation marks, suggesting that it's not really the Mortirolo. The clip description is in Spanish, suggeesting that this road may be in Spain or Spanish-speaking America.