This video is just another reminder on how safe we need to be on the road. Even in cases when we are doing everything right like staying on the edge of the lane, staying single file and wearing a helmet…bad things can happen that are out of our control.
Mulholland Drive in Southern California
The wreck happened on Mulholland Drive in southern California. For those of you that don’t live in the area, that might mean nothing to you, but it is a go to spot for road cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers as the road has a lot of twists and turns. In the motorcycle and car industry, it is famous for this and this turn is quite possibly the most recognized in the area…Rock Store (Search for it in YouTube and you will find nothing but motorcycle wrecks). In northern Georgia, we have similar roads that we use for road biking (roads that were used in the Tour de Georgia back in the day) which made this video a strong reminder for me personally as well.
It appears that the motorcyclists just froze. As the old saying goes…”look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to be” and he fixated on the two road cyclists and basically drove right through them. The only good news is that both cyclists appear to be able to walk away from the accident. Judging by the video, the first one my have a concussion or other head related trauma as he was down for awhile and wasn’t completely all there when he got up.
The road cyclists in this case were doing everything they were supposed to do when we “share the road” with other sports. This is just a great reminder to be extra aware while riding in popular spots. Even if you are in the right, things can go really wrong.
I came across this really cool video today that a company called SportsGarage.net put together and it is rather unique. The basic premise is a split screen look at mountain biking vs. road biking.
At Bike198, mountain biking has always been the spark that initiated the passion for pedal induced forward motion. What started off as a love for dirt has grown into road, urban and other platforms of cycling. The best part about this sport is the ability to enjoy it in an infinite amount of ways that all have their unique angles. For guys that like to get pointed downhill like me, the aggressiveness of steep, technical terrain blasting through the trees and rocks is where I find my inner peace. However, that doesn’t take away from the adrenaline rush that comes with testing the limits of skinny tires at 50 mph down a country mountain road.
My favorite caption from the movie is this:
The trail is the technical challenge…solving the riddle. The road is the rhythmic zen…releasing the power.
Cycling is a passion as much as it is a sport. Get out an enjoy whatever kind you call home and do not be afraid to experiment with other forms of the sport.
Martyn Ashton made a big splash in the cycling world of YouTube this week with this insane video showcasing his ability to manhandle a very expensive Pinarello Dogma 2 from the Team Sky team in a series of amazing trials maneuvers. While I have seen my fair share of crazy road bike trials videos, backflips on golf courses has to take the cake with this one. What are they going to come up with next?
I received an email yesterday that is a pretty cool story. It involves two guys who are taking the bike ride of a lifetime in honor of Fremont, California-based HERS Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF) and to bring awareness to breast cancer. One of the great things about cycling in all forms is the ability to bring people together for a cause. Over recent years, bringing awareness to different forms of cancers has been at the forefront of raising awareness and funding in cycling.
This latest pair is doing a really cool ride that will help bring that awareness even farther.
From Andria at Gutenberg PR:
It is my pleasure to tell you about two courageous young men who have decided to bike from Alaska to South America. After experiencing the challenges and triumph of breast cancer with his mother, Neil Walsky is leading this endeavor. After watching his mother struggle to get the essential products that insurance doesn’t cover, such as lymphedema and post-mastectomy garments, Walsky was immediately attracted to HBCF and its mission to help women with or without insurance receive these necessities. HBCF is an organization dedicated to supporting all women who are battling breast cancer or are breast cancer survivors, regardless of their financial or insurance situation.
Walsky, a recent Civil Engineer graduate and ex-pro Switzerland hockey player, will be joined by best friend Jesse Frechione. Between the two, they have racked up less than 1,000 miles on a bike in their lifetimes. However, both believe this challenging adventure only adds more inspiration to their mission and increases their determination and passion to raise money for HBCF.
Walsky and Frechione’s will ride through Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and will complete their journey in Colombia. From new bicycle equipment, camping gear and navigation equipment – these guys have planned for it all, using some of the most advanced gear available.
The two will be departing today, August 23rd, for this extraordinary biking expedition.
On October 2, 2011, some friends of mine and I headed up to Pisgah National Forest for a special ride. My wife was scheduled to have our first baby that coming Tuesday, so this was a chance to get out for one last weekend before our son came.
The weather was perfect, the trails were in incredible condition and everything was primed for a really good weekend out on the trails.
Except for one thing.
My back was starting to act up and in a serious way. This had been a long time in the making. What started off as a dull pain was starting to get worse. I shrugged it off as typical cycling pains for weeks and by the time we got to the top of the first climb of the weekend, I was seriously wondering if I was going to make it down.
At that point my back was in so much pain that even any simple sitting hurt. I couldn’t bend forward and pain was shooting down the back of my legs. I rode as softly as I could to the bottom and started my trip home for the weekend. My riding was done.
Over the next couple of weeks, we acclimated to our new lives as parents and I scheduled a doctor’s appointment to see what the hell was going on with my back. An x-ray pointed out that I had Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower two vertebra in my back. While this sounds more serious than it really is, the long story short is that the discs in my back are deteriorating. As they get smaller, they are pushing out of my spine and causing pressure against my sciatic nerve (the source of the shooting pain down my legs).
The treatment at this point…physical therapy.
The idea here is to do compression stretching to push what is left of my discs back into my spine, get them to set, and then strengthen my core to the point it acts like a back brace to support my back. The bad news…basically zero activity during this time.
The 141 Days of Inactivity
I wrote earlier this week what cycling was to me. It is more than just an activity. It is my source of health both physically and mentally. I would imagine that most of you reading this can agree with that statement. This 141 days was the longest period I have ever had off a bike since 1993 and I started to go a little crazy.
Luckily, I did have a new son that was keeping us pretty occupied and I was able to get away in the car for mountain passes to keep a little bit of adrenaline flowing through the body, but it wasn’t the same.
When you are off the bike for long periods, there is a disconnect with a life you once knew. What started with sharing experiences with friends turned into vicariously living them through pictures and posts on Facebook. While you say you are going to still hang out and keep in touch through times like this, the reality is that much of my activities with my friends were centered around weekday and weekend rides. I don’t blame them for not wanting to just hang out somewhere when the weather this winter has been insanely warm. I’d be out riding too.
The next couple of months consisted of going to the physical therapist twice a week. With a series of compression stretches, core workouts and electrical muscle stimulation therapy, we were able to get my back feeling better. But…I was starting to notice that the complete lack of physical activity was not only starting to make me gain weight, but that it could actually be making matters worse.
This week, I made the decision to break the 141 day off the bike streak and get out with two friends on the road bikes. This non-impact riding would allow me to not only test my back, but do so in a way that we were always close to a way to get home.
Out on the ride, my back felt surprisingly well. There were only two instances where I felt a twinge and it was on starts from stops. While on the bike and standing climbing, everything just seemed to work out ok outside of the fact that my legs felt like they had zero power. A little over 20 miles later, I was back at the car and had completed my first ride in months. It felt incredible and I slept better that night than I have in a long time.
The next day, everything seemed to flow as normal and I didn’t notice any increased pain. The plan now is to continue road riding and continue building core strength to get my body back into shape. The reality is that big drops to flat and other freeride maneuvers on the mountain bike are probably no longer in my riding due to back issues that are not going to just disappear and go away, but it is looking like my favorite style (big mountain AM) is within the realm of possibilities this year.
It was a long stint, but now I can see the light on the end of the horizon…and I can finally pedal towards it.
I have seen a lot of different things over the years, but this has to be the most extreme trials maneuvers I have ever seen done on carbon road bikes. Last year, a video was released by Martyn Ashton about his road bike commute where he did some trails and dirt moves, but this one takes that to a whole different level.
So we posted up the version from NSMB.com that depicted typical comments made by mountain bikers…and more specifically…those in the North Shore.
People for Bikes thought it was a pretty cool idea, so they put together this clip of “Shit Cyclists Say” for the roadie crowd. It’s amazing how even though riding groups are spread out all over the place…we all still say the same things. We got some great response to it on the Bike198 Facebook page so we thought we would go ahead and post it here as well. Check it out below.