Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What a season (and it's still not over)

This past weekend I competed in my last criteriums for the year, The (CBR) Razor's Edge State Criterium Championships. Almost needless to say, I didn't win either race that I entered, but at the same time I didn't ride as complete pack fodder.

So far I've paid an entry fee and had a number pinned on my back 67 times (road races, criteriums, and road and track time trials). I will be racing in a few more road time trials before the year is over.

I had two (2) goals at the start of the season: (1) ride a 40 Km time trial in under an hour and (2) finish a weekend race in a winning breakaway (though not necessarily being first overall in the race). I accomplished goal number 1 pretty readily by finishing with an official time of 58 minutes and 30 seconds at the CBR (California Bicycle Racing) Individual Time Trial State Championships. The course for this race is the classic, Southern California, Avenue E route in Lancaster. It's a flat 20 Km out and 20 Km back. I would have been happy with 59 minutes and 59 seconds so my official time made me feel really good. However, just to keep me humble, my personal record was only good for 7th out of 12 competitors in the Masters Men 50-54 age group.

I did not accomplish goal number 2, though with the number of weekend races that I did, I had plenty of opportunity to make it happen. When I set this goal I didn't realize how much the complexion of Masters 50+ races would change because certain, nationally renowned riders would cross the 50 year-old age threshold. The end result was I tried, but I couldn't do it. My only saving grace was finishing in the points in a weekday race field sprint and field sprinting to a bronze one of the California Senior Games road races.

It's been a good year for bicycle racing and cycling, in general, for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

SoCal Sharrows

About a year ago, Long Beach christened their first sharrows in Belmont Shore on 2nd Street. Now there are sharrows popping up throughout the LA Basin. Dan Gutierrez has photographed many of these installations and shows why all sharrows are not created equal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Promise of a Cycling Lifestyle

(For various reasons I have had several unfinished posts sitting in my queue on Blogger. This is the third of three old posts that I am finally finishing.)

I have been trying to get more involved with bicycle advocacy to promote cycling as a lifestyle; as a way to reduce our use of automobiles as primary transportation. To that end I have been supporting events related to the Long Beach Bicycle Master Plan. I also read the book, Pedaling Revolution, by Jeff Mapes.

Jeff presents a pragmatic view of how we can convert our American car culture into a more bicycle-centric culture that promotes better health, reduces dependence on foreign oil, and improves many aspects of our social structure.

Read the book (please).

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Will cycling be safer?

About 1-1/2 years after Dr. Christopher T. Thompson caused two cyclist to smash into the rear of his luxury sedan by slamming on his brakes after passing them on a residential road, Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington sentenced Thompson to 5 years in prison. There have been a lot of discussions on the internet about the incident, Thompson's trial, his conviction, and his sentencing during this time.

Bob Mionske, an attorney and former pro cyclist, has written the best piece that I have seen to date on the topic. Bob closes his blog entry by writing:

"Clearly, it’s time for some real leadership on making our commons safer for all who use them. Although Judge Millington was speaking directly to Los Angeles when he called for improved protection for cyclists, this isn’t just a Los Angeles issue—it’s an issue everywhere. Is Los Angeles ready to provide that leadership? Is your community ready?"

To me, it's clear that as cyclists, we must work with local and state governments to improve the ability of automobile drivers and cyclists to co-exist on our streets. The city government of my current hometown of Long Beach is very actively trying to improve the city's infrastructure to make this co-existence happen.

I will be doing as much as I can to help.

Where I've Been