(Nutty and robust with just a hint of chain lube.)
Anyway, Just Coffee would let you know that all this month they're having a 30% off sale on pretty much all of their coffee! Simply enter this coupon code when you place your order:
And then caffeinate yourself into a state of quaking, trembling delirium.
In other news, in the bloody wake of "Rotorgate," the UCI has decided to PUT A STOP (oh my god that's hilarious) to the disc brake trial program:
The UCI’s efforts to introduce disc brakes to professional road racing took a hit Wednesday when Francisco Ventoso penned an open letter detailing a horrific injury he suffered in Paris-Roubaix, due to a disc brake rotor. After a day of intense scrutiny, the UCI announced Thursday it will halt its trial of discs in the pro road peloton.
“This decision follows a request to do so made by the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP) — which represents all professional cycling teams — following the injuries suffered by Movistar Team rider Francisco Ventoso at Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix Classic. This request is supported by the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), which represents riders,” the statement reads.
So just in case you're keeping track, no disc brakes anymore because of a single injury that may or may not have been caused by a rotor, but motorcycles will still be allowed to maim and kill riders unimpeded:
That makes sense.
And of course Eddy Merckx doesn't like discs, so there's that:
“They work for [consumers], but in racing I think they’re too dangerous in crashes,” Merckx said. “If you crash, the brake can be hot, and if you take it in a leg, you can slice a tendon. In mountain bikes and cyclocross, it’s OK. But in a peloton, with 200 riders, I think it’s dangerous.”
Wait, he's interested in rider safety all of a sudden? This is the same Eddy Merckx who told riders to stop whining when their tires were exploding in the extreme heat at the Tour of Oman:
Merckx retorted that had the peloton been racing, the heat would not have been a concern.
“It was only 38 [100°F], that’s not so hot,” he said. “The problem was that the riders came down in a bunch and everyone was braking. If they would’ve been racing, coming down one by one, the problem wouldn’t have occurred.”
Ironically, had they been using disk brakes their rims would never have overheated in the first place, but presumably rider safety is second to promoting a bike race in a country with a dismal human rights record.
As a rim brake user I resent that Eddy Merckx has put me in the position of arguing for disc brakes.
By the way, while we're browsing the ironical department, a friend pointed this out to me:
Still, the bike manufacturers have too much invested in road discs at this point to let them fade like a rim brake on an Omani descent, so expect the UCI to allow them back and to mandate rotor guards by next season:
This would be perhaps the first instance of bike polo technology migrating to the pro peloton, unless you count the recent preponderance of beards:
Meanwhile, here in Canada's Neck Beard, it looks as though we may be bearing witness to the beginning of the end of the reign of the roadie:
Yes, the future of amateur road racing is bleak, partially because the cool people are participating in other disciplines, and the terminal weenies are defecting to gran fondos, Strava, and Zift:
"Our membership peaked in 2012 and our numbers have been down a bit since then. It does appear the fall is slowing, but we're down slightly year on year, driven mostly by road - cyclo-cross is up nicely, track is up, mountain bike is steady, but it's road where we're seeing the biggest drop - and it is our biggest segment. We believe that is because of the growth of alternative formats, gran fondos and recreational rides, Strava and Zwift. There are alternative formats to participate in cycling and they don't permit with us. Our retention is high, we're keeping people, but it's the number new people coming in [that has declined]. Newcomers to cycling are finding other formats to pursue like gran fondos or Strava and such."
And don't forget the allure of "gravel grinding:"
These apps, together with other semi-competitive events like gravel grinders - races that feature multiple sections of unpaved roads - and gran fondos - longer organised races where riders are individually timed - have all grown in popularity while road continues its slide.
In other words, USA Cycling is experiencing massive "Fred Drain," and as a result road racing is becoming the exclusive domain of the Masters racer:
There have also been shifts in the demographics of cycling, and the riders who came into the sport in the early Lance Armstrong era almost 20 years ago are getting older. "Our sport has a lot of masters racers, and we're seeing a bubble move through aging," says Bouchard-Hall. "There is also a general increase of risk aversion in society and that carries over to sports that carry greater risks like cycling."
Which is why road bikes now have front and rear decouplers and will soon come with a free AARP membership:
Hey, Trek can disguise this as a "Classics" bike all they want, but we all know an old guy bike when we see one.
Lastly, have you ever wished your backpack had more electronic features? Of course you haven't. Nevertheless, according to a press release I've received, somebody's gone ahead and designed a "smart backpack:"
Navigating the modern urban environment can be difficult. From contending with traffic when commuting, to the constant need to power-up devices on the go, moving around cities can become a perilous pain.
The traditional backpack - which hasn’t evolved in decades - does little to help solve these problems. Most offerings get zero for style points.
Enter PAIX. It’s a smart, Bluetooth-enabled backpack that offers a range of functions designed to make life easier in hectic modern environments.
Oh come on.
I tend to get a little behind on my emails so naturally I assumed this was an April Fools gag, but apparently it's all too real:
Tempting, but I think I'll wait for the "smart fannypack."