This is the first entry in the RTBL Book Club — to help you get your head out of the interwebz and into a book. Seriously, reading a book from cover to cover seems like a lost art these days. All that said, my first featured book is something readily available on the internet.
Aside from my passion for riding in circles, I also love to ride for long distances. Right now is the perfect time for bike touring or bike camping here in Southern California. So it’s good timing for Russ Roca and Laura Crawford to drop their touring gear guide, Panniers And Peanut Butter.
Over a year ago, Russ and Laura left their home in Long Beach to embark on a grand bicycle adventure. They’ve been travelling across the United States on a couple of loaded Surly Long Haul Truckers ever since while keeping all of us updated with their blog, The Path Less Pedaled — which I have been following with great envy since day one.
Having been living on bicycles for so long, Russ and Laura have been able to narrow down a keen wisdom as to what gear works and what doesn’t. Panniers And Peanut Butter is an accumulation of their experiences and knowledge born out of a deep passion for their chosen method of travel plus an eagerness to make sure you have a great experience on your travels too.
It harkens back to the bike touring guides of the mid-70’s — a few of which I’ve been able to collect on my bookshelf. Only a couple things remain the same over the years (like the Trangia stove) so it is nice to have an updated gear list with equipment readily available in the here and now. From the bike to the tent to the wardrobe, the 75-page book is full of tips and recommendations for both shorter trips and extended tours. Most importantly, for those of us who might just be getting into bike touring, a guide like this helps out with the most important aspect of preparing for a journey: bringing only what you need.
Panniers And Peanut Butter is available in PDF format. If you are at all into bike touring or even thinking about the possibility, I highly recommend reading it and also reading Russ and Laura’s blog, The Path Less Pedaled. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Giddeon Massie (pictured above, photo by Stefan) defended his National Sprint Champion title yesterday. See a recap of Friday’s events on USA Cycling. After three days of competition, 12 National Champion titles have been awarded. Here are the winners so far:
Men’s Sprint » Giddeon Massie (Cypress, CA)
Women’s Keirin » Dana Feiss (Telford, PA)
Men’s Individual Pursuit » Adam Leibovitz (Indianapolis, IN)
I got nothing for you on Sunday. Chill out, ride, maybe watch a movie…
or check out the all-weekenders below.
Bicycle Film Festival - SLC » The BFF hits Mormonville with screenings on Friday and Saturday. Probably some other stuff going on too so keep your eyes open.
Fast Friday - The Finals » Winners from the DVSxCadence Fast Forward races held around the world shall converge in the Bay Area to find out who is the fastest mofo out there. Main race is on Saturday with a couple other side-races, rides and fun shit to do all weekend.
Furnace Creek 508 » Damn I can’t believe it’s already time for The 508, a grueling two-day non-stop race across Death Valley presented by AdventureCORPS. Yeah, it’s 508 miles.
Kross-toberfest » SoCal Cross presents two days of UCI-sanctioned cyclocross racing in San Dimas, CA. Plus lots of other amazing fun stuff to do including a Saturday morning group ride from Santa Monica to San Dimas, a custom bike show and a home-brewed beer copmetition. Sounds awesome.
UCI Road World Championships » The most dexed out roadies in the world duke it out for the WC Stripes in Melbourne, Australia. Competitions already started on Wednesday. If you don’t find yourself on the bottom right part of the globe this weekend, you might find some coverage on Universal Sports.
USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships » Even if you’ve just started reading this blog, you should know what this event is by now. This is the climactic battle of the year for trackies all over the country. Races have already started on Wednesday and will continue to Sunday at LA Velodrome.
The 2010 Elite National Championships are well underway now. After one day of competition, Omnium riders have contested in four events (out of six) — Flying 250m Lap, Points Race, Elimination Race and Individual Pursuit.
The way the Omnium is scored is for each event, the first place rider gets 1 point, second place gets 2 points, third gets 3 points, tenth gets 10 points and so on. After all the events, the rider with the lowest points wins the Omnium. For example, in a six-event Omnium, the best score you can get is 6 points for six first place finishes.
Here are the top 5 standings so far:
US Olympic cyclist Bobby Lea leads the men’s field with Dan Heeley right on his heels. For the women, Sarah Hammer (current World Champion in Individual Pursuit) cleaned up with a 1st place finish in all the events so far. Last year’s Omnium National Champion Cari Higgins has a big points gap to cover but anything can happen.
There are still two more events in the Omnium to be contested today — the Scratch Race, the Kilo Time Trial (for men) and the 500m Time Trial (for women). Racing starts at 9am and you can catch all the action down at LA Velodrome (free to spectate!) or on Ustream (free to watch!). Team Pursuits will be contested in the afternoon.
“I plan to do some track (racing) this winter. Track is good, but I’m lacking the passion that I’m now starting to have for the road and time trialling.”—Taylor Phinney on his doubts about competing in the Omnium event at the 2012 Olympics after his event — the Individual Pursuit — has been removed from the program.
The twenty-year old has had a great year on the road and just won the World Championship title for the men’s U23 time trial. Maybe it’s time to say farewell to the ‘drome. We’ll miss you, Taylor!
For those of you planning to attend the course, please come to Encino Velodrome tonight at 7:00pm for a fun little pre-session to help us all get to know each other. We’ll just be riding around, practicing some drills and running a few races.
The Intro class will focus on a different track racing event each week. It’s $60 for the full six-week course. If you want to ensure your spot in the class, click the Paypal button below. Otherwise you can pay cash on the first night but there’s no guarantee that there will be room for you as space is limited.
A while ago I reported on a guerilla urban renewal group called MowerGang who went and cleaned up Detroit’s abandoned Dorais Velodrome. Their mission was not to fully take on the restoration, but to invigorate the community’s interest.
And that’s where Thunderdrome comes in, a series of races taking place at the still-cracked and dilapidated Dorais Velodrome. Not just bike races either, we’re talking scooters and moped categories too — perhaps taking cues from these guys.
Given the condition of the track surface, it’s not really suitable for actual track racing yet. There will be a race category for road bikes and also a mountain bike course which strays from the velodrome surface a bit. Hey, someone should be throwing cyclocross races here!
All profits from Thunderdrome events will go towards restoring and revitalizing Dorais Park and the velodrome. Let’s see what you got, Detroit!
The first Thunderdrome race day is scheduled for Oct 16th. Check their website for more info and pre-registration.
I’ve been a reader of Bike EXIF for a long time ago — a site dedicated to the appreciation of beautiful photographs of beautiful motorcycles — and I was delighted to see that they’ve started a sister site called Cycle EXIF. Yep, it’s dedicated to the appreciation of beautiful photographs of beautiful bicycles.
“It seems [the UCI] are set on destroying the sport… I don’t think any decisions are made with the athletes in mind. They don’t seem to understand the sport. It’s as if track is an inconvenient add-on behind road cycling.”—Sir Chris Hoy talks more smack on Union Cycliste Internationale for their absurd qualification processes. I’m sure a lot of track cyclists share his point of view, especially considering how UCI is treating the Olympic track cycling events.
With all the trouble brewing in New Delhi around the 2010 Commonwealth Games, it seems like there’s some ancient gypsy curse at play here. With most athletes scheduled to arrive in the next couple days and competition scheduled to start in about 11 days, already there are already a slew of dramatic problems:
It all seems like the first half hour of some epic disaster movie. The concerns have apparently gotten so bad that a few countries are considering withdrawing from the Games unless the situation improves. Apparently, the organizers are being given 48 hours to figure shit out or a bunch of the main competing countries will leave the competition.
Of course nobody wants that to happen. Hopefully despite all the chaos, things will come together and we can all enjoy a great 2010 Commonwealth Games. Good luck, India!