Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

YouTube: “Houston, you have a problem.”

November 7, 2021

Jason Slaughter burst onto the YouTube scene two years ago and already he has a substantial following among people concerned about our car-centric world.

The Canadian recently moved his family to Amsterdam to settle down. He and his wife decided it was the most livable city in the world.

Here’s his take on Houston, Texas, and its wretched city planning. His description of trying to walk to a nearby store says it all.

He is NOT a cyclist. More on that soon…

YouTube: Winter riding popular in Oulu

November 5, 2021

Snow and cold doesn’t bother cyclists in Oulu, Finland.

The reason is simple: The city has an extensive network of bike paths that are maintained year around. Snowplows clear the paths around the clock.

I rode through the winter when I lived in Fort Collins, Colo. One night I rode home in a wet snow.

By the time I got home 20 minutes later, my chain was stuck in a single gear, the freewheel a block of ice.

Viva Calle 2021 in downtown San Jose

September 19, 2021

Viva Calle San Jose at the SAP Arena.
A lot of work went into these bikes.

We couldn’t have had nicer weather for Viva Calle 2021. The event started in 2015.

The city works with cycling organizations and other civic groups to choose a loop through downtown San Jose.

This strictly low-key affair brings together people from all walks of life, walking, cycling, roller skating, through city streets closed to cars.

It’s a welcome change to enjoy our urban habitat without cars.

Freestyle riders showed their skills next to St. James Park.

Greg LeMond’s first pro bike

August 1, 2021

The image below shows LeMond’s first pro bike, bought by his father in 1975(?). What’s amazing about this image is that it’s a painting!

Greg liked the painter’s work so much that he commissioned Nickalas Blades to paint his yellow Cinelli.


While we’re on the topic of Greg LeMond, I found a recent interview with the Tour de France champion, available on YouTube. JT Frank is the interviewer. He lets Greg give an in-depth summary of his introduction to cycling and early family life.

Laurence Malone made his mark

July 23, 2021

I didn’t know Laurence beyond watching him race once, and for his masterful article about Jobst Brandt published in Bicycling magazine.

He made his mark in cyclocross starting in the early 1970s. He won some championships and competed in Europe, coached, and then disappeared.

Laurence was a free spirit who grew up in Berkeley, but in my mind he was a Santa Cruz kind of rider, easy going and not one to be concerned about the good life.

He lost his life in a car crash in California while driving to his home in Chimayo, 6,000 feet altitude, north of Santa Fe.

Cycling News article

Here’s two photos I took in 1985 at the cyclocross state championship in Santa Cruz. I guess the barrier was too high for him to use his trademark “bunny hop.”

Laurence Malone in 1985 cyclocross championship

Laurence Malone on YouTube

Laurence Malone accepts Bicycling Hall of Fame award in 2017.

Cycling to Foothill College? Here’s the expected route

August 3, 2017

El Monte Road path under I280. Cyclists are expected to use this path, or didn’t you know that?

I’ve been riding on El Monte Road into Los Altos Hills since 1980 and in that time I have not seen one finger lifted to make it safer for cycling. Or so I thought.

You see, I always assumed the improvement would come with bike lane striping as the road heads through the classic cloverleaf intersection at Interstate 280.

There’s a lot of traffic on a weekday at hours when a student cyclist attending class would be expected to ride here. However, I NEVER see cyclists riding on El Monte Road at these times.

For good reason. Drivers blast through this intersection, always in a hurry to get onto the freeway for a meeting, to which they’re already late.

After seeing some cyclists stop at a crosswalk prior to the freeway, walk across, and then ride under the freeway on a paved path, it occurred to me this is what the state of California and Los Altos Hills expect us to do.

So I tried it out, several times. I can’t say it’s terrible, just bad. For starters, I would never use the crosswalk to get to the path. That’s silly. I’m a cyclist, not a pedestrian. Check the video below to see how I handled it.

I’m not going to completely dismiss the intended route, because it does work after a fashion, but anyone new to the area riding west on El Monte would have no clue that the path existed, nor would they have any idea where it went even if they got on it for the first time.

The issue I have with the route is that anyone riding on the path has to be especially alert at the left turn for Stonebrook Drive and access to the path from El Monte calls for a complete stop before crossing, assuming you can’t see what’s coming.

I’m not crazy about this stretch of El Monte, even with the path, which is why I always take Stonebrook Drive through Los Altos Hills over to Magdalena Avenue. I think the I280 – Magdalena intersection is far safer.

Of course, that route does nothing for a student trying to get to class, but then nobody rides a bike to Foothill College, and I can hardly blame them, considering how the death-defying El Monte Road freeway interchange stands in the way.

Lilliputian bike light an LED marvel

September 17, 2015

Is there a smaller bike light? From Kikkerland.

Is there a smaller bike light? From Kikkerland.

We have LED lights, yet another semiconductor marvel, to thank for small, powerful bike lights that brighten those rides home in the dark.

None would be smaller than the Lilliputian Kikkerland® flasher bike light.

I found this useful doo-dad at The Container Store for $2.99, including front and rear units. While the size and price are small, the amount of light it puts out is nothing of the sort.

In the fast- or slow-flash mode you’ll be seen with ease at night, both front (white) and rear (red). In the non-flash mode you can even see the road ahead.

Weighing just 7 grams each, you can’t complain about the weight. The clever mounting is fabulous. There’s a stretchy rubber loop that wraps around the handlebar. The body has two small notches to hold the loop. It’s a secure fit.

They come with replaceable CR1220 batteries, which are a breeze to change.

The only issue you may have is that they’re flimsy and may require some tape or glue to keep in one piece. Other than that, they’re a handy item to keep in a bike bag for those rides at night when you’re caught without a light.

Check out the video above.

Shimano PD M540 creak an easy fix

July 7, 2015

Shimano PD M540 will creak after about a year of use. Here's how to fix it.

Shimano PD M540 will creak after about a year of use. Here’s how to fix it.

I didn’t realize it the first time I heard creaking sounds coming from my Shimano PD M540 pedals nine months into ownership, but it’s an easy fix.

I’m not accustomed to pedals creaking so quickly, but I guess it’s a feature of this particular pedal.

All you have to do is add grease, and clean out the old grease while you’re at it. That’s what I did and now the pedals are silent.

Clint Gibbs does an excellent job describing how it’s done. I recorded a video about the PD M520 pedal, which requires the special removal tool. The M540 does not need that tool.

You don’t need to unpack the bearings, which I showed in my video. That’s only necessary if the bearings are shot.

I’m disappointed that these pedals creak so quickly, but at least it’s easy to eliminate the annoying noise.

Easy and Not So Easy Tire Mounting

June 7, 2012

After more experimenting on tire mounting, I’m changing my thoughts about what’s more relevant to a good fit.

I thought it was the tire, but now I’m beginning to think it’s more the rim than the tire that matters. I mounted all sorts of tires on the modern Mavic Open Pro rim and they went on with ease, even the Nashbar tire, although that was not my original experience (Good Tire, Bad Tire).

However, mounting tires on the old Mavic MA2, MA40 and Rigida rims was much harder than the Open Pro for the same tire. After looking carefully at the two rims, the deeper channel on the Open Pro appears to give the tire more adjustability for an easier fit. I can’t think of any other explanation.

The Open Pro has a 19 mm vertical profile, while the MA2 is only 13 mm.

I’m not an expert though, so I’d like to know more.

I still believe the tire plays a role. Some tires go on easier than others, but I’m not finding anything on the Open Pro rim that’s an issue, yet.

Considering how much easier it is to mount tires on the Open Pro, my love affair with the MA2 is over. I’d certainly never shell out $300 for a NOS pair on eBay.

A brief video above shows how incredibly easy it is to mount tires on the Open Pro, versus mounting a tire on an older French rim.

Tire Size Actual width
Bontrager Select 700×28 27 mm
Bontrager All Weather 700×28 27 mm
Continental Ultra 2000 700×28 25 mm
Continental Grand Prix 4 season 700×28 26 mm
Continental Gator Hardshell 700×28 26.5 mm
Michelin Optimum Pro   700×25 26 mm
Michelin Speedium 2 700×25 25.5 mm
Nashbar Prima 700×25 25 mm
Continental Ultra (modern) 700×28 25 mm

Memories of a Bike Shop Owner – Part 3

February 26, 2011

In this final installment, Mike Jacoubowsky, owner of Chain Reaction bike shop in Redwood City, California, talks about his website, where the bike industry needs to focus, and children riding to school. First photo shows a 1974 ride over Mt. Hamilton, with Mike in the group. The second photo is a ride with Jobst Brandt and Jim Westby on Loma Prieta Road around 1974.