Friday, May 28, 2010

The flight of the Mountain Turtle

You read a lot about how rotten the Internet is, how it's laden with sexual content and malware and viruses, how it leads to molestation and murder, how it's making people fat and dumb and lazy. There's a flipside to that coin, something that often goes unstated, that the Internet is the greatest democratising communications tool ever invented and it lets us people share their wisdom and their lives across vast distances quickly and cheaply.

There's lots of blogs I read regularly, but here's two that have struck a chord recently. One of my greatest Internet joys is seeing a new post lob on Dave Moulton's bike blog. I don't know Dave and I'm unlikely to ever meet him, but thanks to the world wide web I can enjoy his pearls of wisdom from afar. He's a great writer and has a terrific perspective from decades of riding and framebuilding.

Kent Peterson, (above) calls himself the Mountain Turtle, after his riding pace. I'm a regular reader of his blog too. He's off to Race the Tour Divide 2010 in a few days. It's a non-stop self-supported race the length of US Grade Dividing Range. Quite an undertaking to be sure.

I've never met Kent either but thanks to the Internet, a few bucks I earned in Hobart, Tasmania are now doing something more interesting that paying bills by helping a guy chase his dream. I'm not sure why I feel like I'm along for the ride, but it's a wonderful thing to be able to support an ordinary person to do something extraordinary. I suppose in a way I'm sponsoring a racing team!

Kent rolls out in a few days, if you're a fellow cyclist you can follow the link on his blog to support him via Paypal. You'll know for sure he'll make the money go a long way - 4418km to be exact. All power to the Mountain Turtle.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I've been riding a while, so sometimes people ask me for advice on cycling. I generally give them a few pointers about being visible and asserting their right to use the road and so on. Tanya Bosch, who writes for Australian Cyclist magazine, has come up with the most sensible set of tips I've ever read for cyclists. They were in the magazine a month ago and have just gone online.

Among the pointers:

* Bunches shouldn't exceed 20 riders. I'm sorry guys, but for a start it is not good training and bunches over 20 are a big presence on the road.

* Know and obey the road rules. Nothing enrages motorists more than cyclists running red lights. Please don't. On the other hand, there are road rules that motorists don't know, for example that cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast, ride up the inside of stopped traffic and ridein bus and transit lanes in some states.

Do yourself a favour and check out Tanya's tips here.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

Spotted this on the web. I already have a perfectly good repair stand. It's near-new. This one is $US240, but phwoaaar! If these guys ever decide make a wheel truing jig I'm going to sell a kidney to get the set.

Here's the link in case you want to buy me one.

1806km so far this year.