Skip to main content

Take the lane...

I wouldn't suggest coasting through an intersection as demonstrated by the dude at left...but posturing with an assertive riding style has been an asset to my daily bicycle commuting.

Let's back up about 23 years. I first started to ride road bicycles with a guy named Mark Harris. Mark was a wild flower, owned a small bike shop, and was an eternal part time student. But what Harris could do best was ride a bike. Fast, hard and with authority.

Mark would take me through the streets of Greensboro, North Carolina. And, he taught me well. We'd always ride hard and make sure automobiles knew our intention. We'd point to indicate a move into the lane, make eye contact, and then dart into the opening. Instead of cowering near the curb, we'd demonstrate our ability and surge just ahead of the car next to us, to assure that motorists knew we were part of the traffic flow.

Much of that riding style is still with me today. I am not a casual commuter, but rather one who rides hard and fast and as close to 100% smart as I can get. My moves are deliberate and when a car does me wrong, I let the perpetrator know.

I'm not recommending my style to everyone; I just want to say it works for me. Cycling is a big part of my life and I demand my small sliver of the road.

So, here's your time waster for today: Take five minutes, click the link below, and watch how the couriers in New York City work the traffic. Very wild stuff.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…