My contract, by the way, is with Satan, and I can only assume he smote me on Friday in order to punish me for leaving my post and fucking off for a ride:
I'm like the Flying Dutchman of bike blogs, consigned to complain about cycling-related matters for all eternity.
As for the nature of my (thankfully) short-lived malady, I can only conclude that I managed to dehydrate the fuck out of myself, which is something I must admit have pulled off in the past. I'm not very good about drinking water as I go about my day, so when I headed out on my impromptu ride Friday my fluids were probably already pretty low, and the unseasonably warm temperatures coupled with a morning of "riding furiously" after a fairly sedentary week probably put me unwittingly into the danger zone. So by the time I got home I was probably out of water and electrolytes and my system started short-circuiting, which is why you should always carry a bottle of Brawndo:
In other words, I made the sort of mistake the typical Fred or Frederica learns not to after the first month of his or her Bicycling subscription.
Then again, cycling is a lot like drinking: no matter how much experience you may have every so often you go at it with too much enthusiasm and too little prep and you wind up moaning under the covers.
Nevertheless, I'm pleased to report I was back in action in relatively short order and even managed to get out on the Milwaukee yesterday afternoon:
I admit I'm a sucker for blustery fall days. The foliage is transitioning from vibrant to drab, the cold gusts are trying to wrest control of your front wheel from you, and climbing requires some finesse lest you lose your footing on wet leaves. One needs a sober, sure-footed bicycle for the road rides of fall and winter, and so it is this time of year when the Milwaukee takes its turn at the front.
Speaking of Milwaukee, I've become an avowed fan of the whole 27.5+ wheel thing, and now they're offering one called the "Gravy:"
This sucks because I totally want one now.
Just imagine how severely I could dehydrate myself on the trails behind the mall with that bad boy.
In other news, it looks like New South Wales is now paying the price for its draconian bicycle fines:
And by "paying the price" I of course mean "succeeding in their goal of culling those pesky cyclists:"
The number of people cycling in central Sydney is lower than it was two years ago – with some advocates blaming the drop on the policies of the Baird government.
Until about a year ago, the state government had a target of doubling the number of trips made in Sydney by bicycle.
But the government scrapped that target last September – and, in the meantime, cycling rates have remained below where they were in 2013 and 2014.
Yes, it turns out that when you remove bike lanes and fine the shit out of people they're less inclined to ride for some reason:
Separate RMS figures, meanwhile, appear to show a drop in cycling numbers around February and March this year in some places across the city. During that period, heavy increases in fines for cycling offences came into effect. However the government disputes there has been a significant drop in cycling rates since March, and the overall figures for 2016 are slightly higher than the previous year.
Indeed, my little jaunt on the Milwaukee yesterday afternoon would have cost me AU$850:
In March, fines for cycling offences increased significantly. Riding without a helmet attracts a $319 fine, running a red light attracts a $425 fine, and not having a bell carries a $106 fine.
That's "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai" money right there.
Even Cadel Evans won't ride his bike in Sydney:
"I'm not intimidated to ride in many places but Sydney is one of them," he said.
While the narrowness of streets, volume of traffic, poor cycling infrastructure and distance from the CBD to good riding areas were factors, Evans said there was just too little respect on the roads.
"This could apply to many places in Australia but in Sydney the traffic is concentrated because the population is concentrated [so] that lack of respect and sometimes aggression is concentrated," he said.
Though he made sure not to blame the poor innocent drivers:
The former champion cyclist, who still rides most days for love of the sport, said he was far from being anti-car. He described himself as "a car guy" who has a V8 SS Commodore as well as classic and sports cars.
"I'm not accusing drivers," he said. "I'm saying road users in general so it's bikes getting angry at cars, cars getting angry at bikes, trucks getting angry at cars and vice versa. A little bit of respect would go a long way."
Anyone who'll logged the kind of miles Cadel Evans has knows damn well it's all the drivers' fault, but you can't really blame him for lying since he's got his GM partnership to think about:
Then again, Cadel Evans was always rather prickly, so he could easily be accounting for most of Australia's cyclist-generated aggression himself. Plus, as a head-butting enthusiast and an Australian, he understands more than most the importance of wearing a helmet:
Speaking of helmets, as I briefly mentioned yesterday that disposable paper bike share helmet has won the International Sucks-Like-A-Dyson Design Award or whatever it's called:
And apparently they would go for $5 a pop:
Shiffer envisions her single-use helmets being sold in vending machines near bike-share stations; they would likely go for $5.
Not only does it only cover the pointy end of your head, but it also looks like something they'd make you wear if you worked in a restaurant kitchen:
Or else something Martha Stewart would teach you how to make in order to liven up Thanksgiving:
I'm pretty sure the true Bike Share Freds (oh, they're out there, I see them doing laps in Central Park) will continue to carry their own helmets, and the rest of civilized society will rather astutely continue just hopping on and not giving a fuck.
Though I do think that if the inventor were to repurpose the design and market it as a one-use-only suspension chamois for gravel racing she'd have a real hit on her hands:
Lastly, remember XShifter? Well it turns out it opens up the possibility of voice-shifting:
That does sound great for handcycles, but I really hope this feature also catches on with the upright Freds too so we can shout, "Faster, faster, faster!" at them on the climbs and watch them upshift themselves stationary.