If you still insist on training, you can at least minimize the risks by sticking with more old-fashioned techniques. And few techniques are more old-fashioned than riding the rollers naked:
Please note that I've made this image safe for work by applying a t-shirt and a pair of cycling shorts. Note also that I've taken the additional step of making it artistically viable by tinting it with a sepia tone. (However, as always, you are free to view the unsafe and unsepia version at your own risk here [link removed at rider's request].) Naked roller riding in front of a mirror has a number of advantages, chief among them being that it keeps you cool and it allows you to monitor both your technique and your body art. However, if you do plan to train sans chamois you might want to consider staying both comfortable and sanitary by using a saddle cover. Also, think about getting a relevant set of knuckle tattoos for additional motivation:
|Get your own knuckles at the knuckle tattoo gun.|
You might even consider applying the tattoo thusly so that it's legible in the mirror:
And as the winter wears on and you inevitably grow tired of the sight of your own naked and tattoed body, consider getting a top tube-mounted mahogany iPod dock:
ipod dock for bicycle (bk)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-11-09, 9:28PM EST
impress your pals with this handmade mahogany ipod touch dock. it has a cush inside and removable clip to securely hold your tunes. one of a kind. make me an offer or trade.
The only thing classier and more impressive to pals than riding the rollers naked while staring at yourself in the mirror is riding the rollers naked while staring at yourself in the mirror and simultaneously entertaining yourself with a state-of-the-art handheld device ensconced in mahogany. Though I must say that the mahogany iPhone dock is the ugliest thing I've seen on a top tube since visiting the eminently unsafe-for-work Teabags on Top Tubes. Perhaps the good people behind that site can get hold of one of these for testing (or testi-ing). I understand the seller is also working on a Zune-compatible model which will be carved from a hunk of cheddar cheese.
And stupid wooden boxes aren't the only thing you'll find on Craigslist. There's also been a tremendous surge of media interest on the subject of bike theft. In addition to the call for stories we saw last week, here's a freelance journalist who wants to hear your tales of woe:
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR BIKE STOLEN? I WANT TO HEAR ALL ABOUT IT. (NYC)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-11-07, 5:42PM EST
I am a freelance journalist and avid cyclist. I have had my bike stolen from me twice and let me tell you, it was a shocking and most vile experience. I have noticed more and more NYers rolling around the city and I am reluctant to rejoin their ranks because I was burned. Biking still remains an easy, efficient, pro-green and healthy-(if you don't get hit) mode of travel. The city is slowly doing their part to smooth out pot holes, create new bike lanes and some of them are even protected, but what are they doing about these bike thieves?
If any of this ring true to you, or if you have a story to share, please send me an email.
As reader Daddo pointed out in Friday's comments, the typical bike theft account generally consists of little more than "I came out of the Starbucks and turned left and it was gone!" However, I must admit that I am compelled by this journalist's claim that his own experiences with theft were "shocking and most vile." This indicates to me that there's a lot more to his story than a brief errand and a pair of bolt cutters, and I suspect that he may have been separated from his bicycle in a truly sordid manner. A reader recently informed me that the term bike-sexual has been inducted into the Urban Dictionary. Perhaps this journalist had infiltrated some kind of bike-sexual cult for a story by pretending to be one of them, only to be discovered and kept barely alive in a deep hole for months like in "Silence of the Lambs" while the bike-sexuals made perverse love with his bicycle and ultimately absconded with it. I can only hope he saw that other Craigslist ad and answered it, because if nothing else his story would surely make for compelling TV.
I can speak with more certainty to his question about what New York City is doing about bike thieves. The answer, of course, is "nothing." Though in fairness to the city, I'd much rather they focus on stuff like potholes and bike lanes. Of all the problems cyclists in New York City face, theft is the one thing over which you have some measure of control in that you can actually make it difficult for someone to take your bike from you. Unfortunately, many people in New York and across the country still lock their bikes very poorly, and I continue to receive pictures from readers of low-hanging fruit. Here are just a few cautionary examples I've received recently:
Seen on Fixedgeargallery, this bike is secured using the cunning lock-over-the-bars technique. While looping something over something else might keep a rowboat from floating away, it's not going to keep your bike from getting stolen. Although in the rider's defense, I suppose working the lock past those incredibly dorky aero extensions might cost the thief a few more seconds.
Here's a bike in Charottesville, VA locked up by the quick-release front wheel with a pair of novelty handcuffs. The only thing that might delay a thief here is deciding which is easier to open: the skewer or the handcuffs. Note the Bontrager vibration-damping bar plugs, which will ensure the thief's getaway is free from fatigue-inducing road buzz.
Like a drunk on his wedding night, this rider in Oakland, CA seems to have attempted to get it in but ultimately just given up.
Theft frequency varies from city to city, and locking jobs that are sufficient in one city can be insufficient in another. This bicycle was spotted in New York, NY and as such is completely indefensible. Even if the thief chooses not to saw through that electrical conduit for fear of electrocuting himself, both wheels are there for the taking. (Then again, they are Rolfs, which may be enough to render them inherently theftproof.)
But while even a New York thief might be able to resist a pair of Rolfs, you'd think no thief anywhere could possible resist a completely unsecured Full Force Canyon Lands with a u-lock dangling from the handlebars like a Euro pro's earring (as photographed by the proprietor of the Metal Inquisition blog). Yet amazingly, it remains. Perhaps that's because this is one of the few bicycles for which a pair of Rolfs could actually be considered an upgrade.
This bike in Austin, TX (via the proprietor of austinbikeblog.org) remains as well. Perhaps New York is even worse than I thought and a lock hanging from the handlebars really is enough to keep your bike from getting stolen in the rest of the country. Kind of like putting a napkin on top of your drink when you step away from the bar.
I guess that's why nobody's taken a pair of nail clippers and 20 seconds in order to liberate this flimsily-locked Madone in Denver, CO...
...or simply separated these two bikes in San Francisco, CA and dragged them away. Then again, I suppose this presents a conundrum to many San Franciscans, and it's not immediately apparent to them that the bikes are not actually attached to the pole. They're like a pair of Chinese linking rings.
But in its way, this image is the most vexing of all. Not because of the way it is locked, but because it may very well be photographic evidence of the only Bianchi Pista in the world to be equipped with a suspension fork. You'd think no lock on Earth would be strong enough to secure a technological marvel such as this. And it should come as no surprise that this bicycle was spotted at M.I.T., that school where all the smart people go. It clearly belongs to some mathematical genius like that guy from "A Beautiful Mind," and from the looks of it he's just moving into his paranoid and delusional stage.
And speaking of freaky bikes and doping, it seems that Roberto Heras is having a hard time finding a team despite having served his suspension. Frankly, this is shocking to me, since a reader recently brought to my attention that Heras finished second in the 3rd Brompton World Championship:
Professional cycling is truly in a shambles when professional teams are not leaping to sign the runner-up in a folding bike race. I suppose it's only a matter of time before Michael Ball slithers out of his hole in order to claim him. In the meantime, Heras better get out of those clothes and onto the rollers if he's going to win next year's race.