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More 200km brevet aftermath stories
So it turns out I belt the rear derailleur on my bike after the 200km brevet as well...
On air-cycling as a sporting discipline
In 1979, the Gossamer Albatross flew into history by crossing the English channel showing that humans really could fly an interesting distance. Since then, computers to model aerodynamics have become many orders of magnitude faster and our ability to fabricate lightweight sturdy structures, while not improved as much as computers, has also improved. Human powered aircraft have replicated the mythical flight of Icarus, a 74 mile distance....
A few more bike thoughts
I'm fairly close to buying a road bike...
Quick note: Eating is the key to long distance biking
Let's say that you are basically a noob to cycling and aren't transitioning over to cycling from something like jogging or another athletic sport. Maybe you want to get more fit or maybe you just want to drop some weight. You should be eating some food while you are riding on the bike. You'll have an easier time getting in shape if you do. Let me explain...
More bike purchasing test rides
One mark of a lot of salespeople is that if they've got one product in stock but you want a different product, similar but not exactly the same, they'll push you towards what they've got with the hopes that you'll be out the door with something out of their stock. Sometimes, they will even tell you that the product you really want but they don't have is crap and that you will hate it.
A real genuine spokeless bicycle(via)
I've seen tons and tons of pictures of spokeless bike wheels. But it's always been from industrial designers who haven't done much bike riding, have never wrenched a bike, and who have no idea about what's possible or practical. Sometimes they claim that it's somehow "freeing" to not worry about such things, but I tend to think that there's a fine line between genius and stupid.

Anyway, some engineering students actually made one. I suspect that it's not the sort of thing you'd be comfortable riding a 200km brevet in, but at least they built it in real life instead of in a design program.
Disc brakes suck. There. I said it.
I've found it's actually quite hard to buy good mountain bike wheels that aren't set up to only work with disc brakes these days. And there's a bunch of fancy new designs for disc-brake specific road bikes out there. Disc brakes have buzz going for them. I can see why. Adding disc brakes to cars was a huge improvement because previous drum brakes had real problems with controlability and fade. But disc brakes on bikes pretty much mean that you move the braking surface from the rims to the hubs, both being equally "perfect" designs, so I tend to think of disc brakes as wasted weight...
Post 200km brevet bike repairs
I was talking to one of the bike shop guys, while still bruised up from my fall, and he told me how shocked he was about all of the cycling injuries and their beat up bikes he'd seen. I told him "Yeah, but imagine if you were working at an auto repair shop."

"Yeah," he replied, "but cars have all the protection around you."

"True," I replied, "but if you worked in auto repair, you'll get to repair cars with bikes smashed on the hood, while here you don't have to repair bikes with cars smashed on the hood."
200km: I finished it
At 6:30 AM, about two weeks ago, I found myself near the Golden Gate bridge, ready for my first randonnée. I was one of very few people who were there with flat handlebars. Most everybody had road bikes with roadie handlebars. I had my mountain bike with a suspension fork (which is, after all, the only bike I own). We had our safety briefing and then went on our way. I had my first problem of the day when my front light popped off and I had to rescue it on the Golden Gate while not getting run over or knocking down any of the other cyclists. Soon, we were all riding down through Sausalito on our brevet.
Honking at the cyclist(via)
A motorist lays on the horn to harass a police officer while he's demonstrating safe cycling, thereby demonstrating why cyclists generally hate motorists.
Let's see how 200km goes
You should note that my diploma from college states "BS Math and Computer Science" on it. I took coursework in abstract algebra, formal languages, linear algebra, numerical methods, differential equations, and other fairly unpleasant forms of math.
Randoneuring in the rain
The first 200km brevet of the year is next week. Sunday, I took an experimental ride through the rain. I have my commuter raingear well characterized because I do ride rain-or-shine to work, but I was wondering about my long distance riding gear...
Copenhagen has railings and footrests for stopped cyclists(via)
Copenhagen, apparently, has been installing footrests and handrests so that you don't have to put your foot all the way down on the ground while stopped at a light. Here, I just pull up to a curb and use the curb.
Commuting, broken zippers, and a 50:50 split of Lance and Jeans
A few days last week, I commuted to work looking 50% like I was Lance Armstrong, in a long sleeved blue cycling jersey, and 50% like a jeans-wearing valley nerd. It looked silly.
Road Bike Gearing Thoughts
I'm building up to buying a road bike. I do not intend to purchase it until 2010 at the earliest. But any big purchase requires careful thought... and research... and agonizing over it.