Comments by velo333

Pedaling Diego: San Diego's Growing Bicycle Mania

p. 24, ¶7: “All right,” not “alright.” The Velodrome is not a “stadium.” Sean Burke is not a professional rider, he is Category 2. He is a level 3 coach. Sean Burke is not “supplied by the City.” He is a private contractor and takes half of the coaching fee. The other half goes to the San Diego Velodrome Association general fund. The track bikes used for coaching are not “borrowed from the City’s collection.” They are the property of the San Diego Velodrome Association. They are entry-level track bikes, not the typical “fixies” ridden by local hipsters. The frame geometry is different and they are geared much higher. Don’t try to do tricks, bar-spins, or skids on these bikes. They are not the same as the urban “fixies” the author refers to later in the piece, although he apparently doesn’t perceive the distinction. The corners at the San Diego Velodrome are banked at a relaxed 27 degrees, not particularly exciting. If excitement is what one is after, check out the LA Velodrome in Carson with its 45 degree banking, or even 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs with 33 degrees. On the San Diego track one can trackstand in the corners. In LA if one slows below about 15 mph the bike slides out from under one and both rider and bike make a quick trip to the apron below. The San Diego Velodrome is covered with a resin impregnated fabric that is slick as snot with the slightest hint of dampness. It is dangerous and foolhardy to even try to walk across the wet track, much less ride a bike on it. The only part that is now concrete is the ill-advised and rapidly deteriorating sprinters lane. p. 26, ¶7: Entry-level racers will never hear a countdown “Five, four, three, two, one, GO!” The starting instructions given by the starter at a non-championship race are as follows: “Timers ready, rider(s) ready, (gunshot or whistle).” National championships is probably the only time most track racers will have a countdown and it will be a series of electronic beeps starting at 30 seconds to go: (At 30 seconds) – BEEP (At 20 seconds) – BEEP (At 10 seconds) – BEEP (At 5 seconds) – BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BOOP! Riders starts on the BOOP! At national level tracks such as LA the rider’s rear wheel will be released by the starting block on BOOP! to prevent a false start, otherwise if the rider starts early the starter will fire the pistol twice and the rider will have one more chance to start properly in most time trial events. It is more than likely that a rider competing at the national level will be trained by a level 1 coach who knows this. p. 26, ¶13: If riders are in pain after their efforts, something is seriously wrong with the way the bike fits.
— January 13, 2011 2:02 p.m.

Pedaling Diego: San Diego's Growing Bicycle Mania

Cover quote: “I got hit by a car,” he says. “And it wasn’t by accident.” This is the first thing one reads after the banner headline. It is not a particularly encouraging thought for novice cyclists who may have limited experience sharing the roads with traffic. It’s not a good way of introducing the subject to someone who might be on the fence about using a bicycle for transportation. p. 19, last ¶: “It’s just so refreshing to be on the attack…” “The fight-back has begun.” The tone here is confrontational and hostile, two unfortunate characteristics that give San Diego’s Critical Mass a bad reputation. p. 20, ¶2: Obligatory Lance Armstrong reference, last refuge of the non-cyclist. p. 20, ¶3: Writer admits to having been cycling for a few weeks. That’s not even adequate time to research a high school term paper. p. 22, ¶1: I have never seen any photographic evidence from Tours de France of the past depicting participants with Ubangi-style earlobe or lip stretchers. The “old-school racers’ cap” is called a “casquette.” p. 22, ¶7: “Lugano” tire is made by Schwalbe, not Schwinn. p. 22, ¶9: Riding a road bike down the Silver Strand bike path doesn’t make one a road racer. p. 23: If a rider’s quad muscles and butt get sore during a short, flat ride, the fault is not the shape or size of the saddle. It means the bike does not fit properly. Most likely the saddle height is too low. If the hands become fatigued that is another sign of poor fit. Something is definitely wrong if one is leaning all of one’s upper body weight on the hands. p. 23: Herons are blue-grey. The white ones are egrets. p. 24, ¶1: I never read anything about the writer joining a team. How could he possibly be on a team if this is his first ride on a road bike? p. 24, ¶1: If the writer is “busting a gut” on a short, flat road ride and complaining about it being “all this way,” either the fit of the bike is all wrong, or he has been sitting on the couch for too long. p. 24, ¶2: The writer claims to be riding on the Silver Strand bike path but talks about being passed by “racers.” I just looked at the SCNCA race calendar and can’t find any record of a race down the Silver Strand bike path. USA Cycling would never permit a race on such a course. He then claims that said racers take him to be a pro, like them. As far as I know, Chris Horner is the only Pro-Tour team member who lives in the area even part time. My observation has been that most experienced competitive racers avoid two way bike paths like the plague. In this case, serious road riders prefer to ride on the road on the Silver Strand to avoid just the kind of danger posed by novices such as the author. Pretending to be a rider on a Pro-Tour team is typical Fred behavior and is frowned upon.
— January 13, 2011 1:58 p.m.

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