Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019 SART 200k brevet

I had 38 riders reserve places on my 2019 SART 200k brevet and even though the weather looked quite sketchy I was pleasantly surprised to see 33 of them set off this morning. I'd like to thank you all for being so well prepared. I managed to get all 33 riders registered in about 40 minutes.

The pavement was wet, the sky was overcast, but it wasn't raining and the wind was calm. Just as the sun came up at 7:00 am (theoretically -- we couldn't actually see it) they rode straight from the motel parking lot onto the upper Santa Ana River Trail.

Although it was not raining when they started, the riders had to deal with flooding on Rincon and a heavy rainstorm in Anaheim as well as the flats that are common when it rains.

Flooding on Rincon - credit Stacy Kline

About three pm I drove over to Starbucks and bought two traveler packs of coffee - one decaf and one not. I figured the riders would appreciate a hot cup of joe after their ordeal. The first riders arrived shortly after four so I ordered some pizza to go with the coffee.

Riders continued to arrive in various states of hypothermia and hunger until it became obvious I needed another round of pizza. The last riders all showed up about 7:30. I only had one DNF. Considering how vile the weather was, that's impressive.

Last but not least
Stacy Kline posted more photographs here

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Air bag for cyclists?

I came across this video article about an air-bag for cyclists that was shown at the CES tech expo in Las Vegas.

It's a high visibility vest that contains a large CO2 bottle. Sensors detect an immanent impact and inflate the vest. Motorcyclists have had this kind of technology for a while, but the vests are heavy and tend to work by detecting when the rider and bike separate - rather annoying if you forget to disconnect it before stepping off. Apparently equestrians can adopt this kind of protection too.

There's a better video link at that gives more detail. There's a link to the Helite B'Safe website here

You attach a sensor to the seat post that detects high G-force events and triggers the vest remotely. In the video, the rider falls off the bike rather sedately so I'm surprised the vest triggered. The device only works if the vest's zipper is closed, which is inconvenient when it's 100 degrees outside.

After being triggered, the vest can be re-used by replacing the CO2 cartridge. It looks like the same 16 gm cartridge that brewers use, but they don't actually specify the size on their website. The product is French so who knows if you can get the CO2 in the States.

I have to say that, overall, this is a very interesting product.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

New Year - first ride and a flat

Last year (2018) I amassed a total of 10,415 miles - fewer than last year but still meeting my target. But that's all past history now, the counter returned to zero on 1/1/2019 and I hope I can meet my target of 10,000 miles again in 2019.

Today Amber, her boyfriend Glen, and I rode The Crema. The sky was overcast, the wind was blowing the wrong way, and the waves were huge. All sure signs there's a storm coming in. We were thrilled to see the beach trail through Huntington has been completely repaved and it is lovely.

We were very lucky to get straight into The Crema and loved the food as usual. On the way back I got a rear tire flat - I have no idea what caused it. I felt nothing in the tire but the replacement tube held air. I searched back through my blog and I think this is my first flat in 18 months - probably about 7500 miles.

We felt a couple of drops of rain on the way back so we were relieved to get back to the cars without being drenched. Getting straight into The Crema and a five minute flat change probably helped.

I found this story on about a 90 year old competitive cyclist who was stripped of his title for failing a drug test. And no, it wasn't Geritol. That's inspirational and sad at the same time.

There's an interesting and thought-provoking update to this story in the Guardian newspaper here

Next week is my SART 200k ride. I have 27 riders signed up for it already and I expect to have over 30 on the day. The weather forecast looks OK right now although some of the slower riders might get rained on.