Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tour de Cure : my first Century

On Saturday, June 19, I will be taking part in the annual Tour de Cure, a ride in support of diabetes research, from Brielle Park on the Jersey Shore.
This will be my first ever Century ride, that is one hundred miles.
At the moment the route is unknown, but given it's on the shore hills won't be too much of a consideration, although headwinds might be.
I'm in a team; Old Cranks, which currently consists of Gary and myself, fools that we are ... Anyhow, assuming we survive, our secondary aim is to raise money for diabetes research.
I hope Gary doesn't mind me mentioning that he suffers from diabetes so for him it's a tribute to how this disease can be managed.
For me, my brother Martin has had type 1 since he was a teenager and I want this ride to be for him.
So please consider contributing to my aim of raising $175 for diabetes research, and giving me a reason to keep going when I reach milepost 80 ;-)
Please click here if you want to contribute. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

PFW : Griggstown Grinder : 20100525

A slightly larger than average group met up on the best Tuesday evening of the year so far, weather wise.
Two major hills; Hollow Road/Long Hill Road, most of Lindberg from the Wertsberg Road and a final climb over Grandview with its fast descent as a reward.

I'm using for most of my stuff now. It seems to be getting more reliable. I haven't figured out how to consistently get cue sheets from my uploads. Any one know how?
Anyway, thanks to Diane for a satisfyingly hard route.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Well, the weather conspired to cancel the regular Sunday ride from Etra Lake, NJ. And, of course, once Gary made the decision the day did brighten up but only a bit. The forecast is good for Tuesday's Griggstown Grinder though, so let's hope ...
Attending the Ride of Silence did get me thinking ... I'm not so sure I'm in tune with it. I think the format has a number of problems and contradictions, but here are my initial thoughts in a nutshell:
  • The ride portrays cyclists as victims
  • The emphasis on deaths and serious injuries does not encourage people to take up cycling
  • The activity does not encourage any interest from local or national media
  • It does nothing to advance the cause of cycling either as a healthy and safe activity or a useful utility
Around here motor vehicle drivers will still cut us up, overtaking while we're indicating/turning left, cutting corners, pass too close ... our local authorities will still consider a glass/debris/roadkill/pot-hole filled shoulder on a dangerous highway is an adequate element of a local cycling strategy ...
I'd prefer, and I think those tragically killed and injured on the road would prefer, a celebration of cycling which promoted the personal, economic and environmental benefits of cycling; which campaigned for facilities for cyclists - safe junctions, secure bicycle parking at work, at the mall, safe bicycle access to community facilities like schools and hospitals.
Improvements like this would truly serve as a fitting memorial ...
Okay ... end of rant ;-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ride of Silence : 20100519 - Skillman, NJ, USA

This is the route of this year's Ride Of Silence :

Oooops! ... broken graphic ... sorry ...

This set me thinking ... I'm not sure this is the right way to commemorate or celebrate killed and injured cyclists ... more later ...

Monday, May 17, 2010

The World of Cycling I | Cycle Speedway

Heard of road racing? You know, the Tour de France, the Paris-Roubaix, Tour de Somerville? Cyclo-cross? Track? Sprint ... Madison ... Keirin? Okay it's getting weirder now, but these are all forms of cycling competition well established in the USA.
I'm going to look at some other cycling sports found outside the Fifty One including Indoor Artistic Cycling, CycleBall, Grasstrack and Bicycle Polo. But today I'm starting with Cycle Speedway.
Cycle Speedway is based in the old industrial towns and cities spread throughout the UK and Europe.
In fact, I used to live within a five minute bike ride of a speedway track situated in the middle of a working class area of Bristol.
Most of the participants tend to be youths, although there are adult leagues as well.
A track consists of a short cinder oval and the number of laps depends on the age of the riders. The bikes are single speed with freewheels and no brakes. Unlike motorised speedway, the object isn't to skid around the corners, but since the surface can be rather loose riders will dab to maintain their balance.
The US is a member of the International Cycle Speedway Federation but has found it hard to survive and is currently moribund.
Elsewhere, Cycle Speedway is going through a bit of a resurgence along with other more obscure cycle sports. The compact track is relatively inexpensive to provide and maintain and it also serves as an alternative to BMX competition for younger riders.
Maybe it will the next big thing after Cyclo-cross in the USA.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

PFW : Etra Lake to Monmouth Battlefield : 20100516

Great ride from Etra Lake this morning, guided with increasing aplomb, by Gary - thanks ...
It started very cool, well, to be honest, cold and it took until the rest stop at Battleview Orchards for the sky to clear and the day to start warming up, although it was still pretty cool on our return.
Anyway, try the blueberry strudel ... very nice ...

Bike route 494079 - powered by Bikemap 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PFW : Griggstown Grinder : 20100511

First "official" GGrinder of the season. We beat the rain and Spring Hill Road has been resurfaced, so it was good. Thanks to Diane for leading ...
 PS: Watch for gravel on rh bend on Springhill Road just before mile9.

Bike route 487427 - powered by Bikemap 

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Giro d'Italia 2010 - live in the US

I'm not sure if live coverage of the Giro d'Italia is available on US TV, but you can watch it on the Universal Sports website. Nice win in the prologue for Bradley Wiggins ... disappointment for David Millar ... but nice to see a GB rider and a GB team leading a major tour.
You can also try the official and rather elegant website for the Giro here. The site offers live video, but it may be geo-blocked ... unless you know a way around it which would, of course, be illegal ...

Hmmm ... looks as if you have to buy Universal's live feed :-( However, if you can click the right links La Gazzetta dello Sport works ... try this and wait for the feed to start ... plus ... the commentary is in Italian ... this link only gives the live feed, so click around for recaps, etc ...

Saturday, May 08, 2010 : back again

Seems to be working well again now, so compare:


Bike route 477211 - powered by Bikemap 

Friday, May 07, 2010 : site down? is an interesting idea, but seems to be having problems.
It had been having problems dealing with GPS data but now seems to be down completely.
Consequently, there are some holes in previous VeloStage articles.
I hope it's back soon ...

Okay ... back up ... now ...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Not the Griggstown Grinder - oh no ...

A few of us looked out the window after the nasty squall around 4.30pm and saw a wedge of blue sky head ing our way ... so we met up, a week ahead of the official start of the PFW Griggstown Grinder. Same time ... same place ...
Steve said he had a 21mile route in mind, so we let him drag us into the breeze for a loop which turned out to be 21.12 miles. Good guess Steve!

Bike route 477211 - powered by Bikemap 

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 : update

I'm still getting to grips with It has potential, and today seems to be behaving quite well.
Try this:

Click on the map to go to the website; try scanning your mouse across the profile and watch progress around the map; then run your cursor close to the route and progress is mirrored on the profile ... at least that's how it works for me.

Monday, May 03, 2010

PFW : Etra Lake to New Egypt : 20100502

Just logged the weekend's ride from Etra Lake to New Egypt, NJ.

Thanks to Gary for leading ... looking forwards to next weekend.

Bike route 473784 - powered by Bikemap 

I'm sticking with for the moment. is promising, but currently seems rather slow. When I checked this link it was having trouble. The site does a lot of processing of uploaded GPS files, so maybe it's looking for more power. It'll be good when it's working properly.

PS : ad hoc Griggstown Grinder this week before Diane starts next week ... usual time ... usual place ...