velobob.com
email: bob@velobob.com

a Bakersfield Road Cycling Resource


Thanksgiving Day Ride!
8:00 am Beach Park

WEEKEND GROUP RIDES!
moderate to race pace with occasional re-groupings at the discretion of those present; routes determined by those present; typically distances range from 25 to 75 miles

Saturday  8:00 am Beach Park
​Sunday 8:00 am Beach Park

WEEKDAY NOON RIDES  (October thru April)
TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS
 
 Tuesday:  
ride starts at 12:20 pm from the FoodMax Shopping Center parking lot at the southeast corner of Chester and Columbus
   Thursday:
ride starts at 12:20 pm on the Bike Path at the Chester Ave. bridge, just north of Jack-in-the-Box
note that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is an "early option" which leaves the No. Chester Bike Path at 11:40 and joins with the 12:20 group    
 Both Tuesday and Thursday rides return to the corner of Chester/Columbus by 1:45 pm
brisk to race pace with occasional regrouping at the discretion of those present or more detail, see Tuesday/Thursday Noon Rides "Fine Print" in the Seatbag section below  

WEEKDAY (Tuesday/Thursday) MORNING RIDES!
6:00 am Beach Park
these rides go year-round, although in the fall/winter expect much smaller groups
Headlights and Taillights Mandatory for pre-dawn riding!
"spirited" or race pace, return to Beach by approximately 7:30 a.m.



DISCLAIMER 
The rides listed here are NOT official rides of any organized group or the responsibility of any one individual
There are risks inherent in participation in the activity of bicycling, and these risks are assumed and understood by those individuals who choose to participate

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

DO NOT BE SURPRISED IF YOU SHOW UP TO A RIDE WITHOUT A HELMET ON AND FIND THAT NO ONE WANTS TO RIDE WITH YOU!    
MOST OF US CONSIDER A CYCLING HELMET MANDATORY EQUIPMENT, WITHOUT WHICH WE DO NOT RIDE.

It should come as no surprise that the "ride call" is only an advisory announcement......None of us should feel obligated to do a particular ride and the route will always be at the discretion of the riders in attendance.   Although generally the routes are predictable, the riders present reserve the right to modify their route, distance and pace in accordance with variables of schedule, mood, weather, riders in attendance and numerous other factors. The riders can and will, on occasion, decide to modify their route mid-ride. 
As such, do NOT depend upon the group to arrive at a specific location at a particular time so that you can join the peloton mid-ride. 
The most reliable way to avoid missing the ride is to be at the advertised ride start location at the appropriate time. 
Be aware that this website does not pretend to be the definitive source of ALL Bakersfield ride information...it is primarily directed towards the more competitively-minded road cyclist

ROAD ALERTS!  

***Woody Community Center:  may now be inaccessible due to perimeter security fencing....water can be gotten at the Woody Post Office (east side) or Woody Fire Station***

***Woody Crossover Road:  Please Respect Private Property Owners....Don't Just Assume that They Want Cyclists Using Their Water Spigots!***

***Breckenridge Climb:  Water IS available at Pine Saddle ("Peacock Ranch"), but the road in general is in TERRIBLE condition!  Be forewarned, and be careful, especially on the descent!!*** 

***Piute Store (top of climb between Walker Basin and base of backside of Breckenridge) is Closed for Business***

***Round Mtn. Road:  Oilfield traffic!   Be careful out there and share the road respectfully***
​some useful and interesting links:
bikebakersfield.org       cycling in the south bay (GREAT blog!)         kernwheelmen.org       pactour.com    

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(click here)


AAA to offer roadside service for bicycles!!!
In a nod to the growing acceptance of cycling as a means of transportation and the distance we sometimes ride from home (and a reality check on how many of its long-time services, such as free maps, route guides and such are now virtually obsolete) AAA recently announced that it is extending roadside service to bicycling members as well as driving members.

All bicycles and tandems, including rental bicycles and bicycle trailers, are eligible for roadside pickup and delivery to a safe destination if the bike can be safely delivered using normal servicing equipment.

Bicycle transportation service is provided only for the rider whose bicycle has become disabled or inoperable. Coverage applies to any eligible bicycle the member is riding at the time the bicycle becomes disabled. Just like when driving, the member should be with the bicycle and have their AAA Membership Card in hand at the time of service.

Under the terms of the pickup service, AAA will transport you and your bike to any point of safety within the limits of your coverage, based on the level of membership:

Classic: Get up to four transports within a 5-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown.
Plus: Get up to four transports within a 100-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown.
Premier: Get one transport, up to a 200-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown; remaining transports are 100 miles.
Think about that: With Plus membership, you can actually get picked up and driven 100 miles if necessary to reach a safe destination. Premier gets you up to 200 miles (but just once a year).

What You Don't Get
The service is strictly a pickup and delivery service that seems to be a "last resort" option. It does not include any type of repair or parts supply. In fact, there's a laundry list of "not included" items, including but not limited to:

Airing or changing a flat tire
Pickup from anywhere not reachable from a paved, "regularly traveled" road
Parts, including tires
Pickup for "fatigue and physical inability to continue with ride"
Locksmith services, in case you accidentally lock up your bike
Still, in a situation where you can't get a friend or family member to SAG you in – for example if you're touring far from home, on vacation, etc. – it's a service that could come in very handy when in need.

CRASH-AVOIDANCE MAINTENANCE
Let’s look at some common maintenance issues:  what checks and maintenance to do to help avoid hitting the deck.

Tired treads
Some of the best road tires today last seemingly forever, especially on the front wheel where there’s less weight and drive force. Because of this, it’s easy to take these tires for granted and just keep logging the miles.

The problem is that tires wear from use and also from age. Even if there’s still tread all around the tire and no threads from the casing are showing through, an old tire may be ready to fail due to weak sidewalls or thin spots in the tread.

When a bad tire fails – front or rear – it can easily cause a crash. If you’re lucky it’ll happen when you’re crawling along a flat, straight road. If it blows on a fast descent, it can be very hard to slow and stop without having the bike go out from under you.

To prevent tire troubles like this, inspect your tires at least monthly during the riding season for signs of wear, aging and damage. Look for worn out tread or bald spots, cracking, brittle or damaged sidewalls, gashes in the tread and S-shapes, bulges or twists in the tire when you spin the wheel and watch it. If you see any issues and you know the tire has seen over a year’s riding, you should probably replace it.

Clipless pedals
When clipless pedals and their cleats wear enough, it can be hard getting into and out of the pedals. And if your feet suddenly won’t come out when you’ve already committed to stopping, you can fall hard and even break an ankle or wrist.

It’s also possible for a foot to slip off a clipless pedal under pressure when a worn cleat or pedal doesn’t hold fast as it should. That’s another crash-causing glitch. Unfortunately, these problems usually surface on rides rather than in the repair stand. So the best plan is to regularly inspect your pedals and cleats for things that can cause these problems.

For example, worn cleats can make it hard to get in and out of pedals and/or let your feet slip off. But, it can be hard to tell just how worn they are. I like to always keep replacement cleats on hand so I can compare my old ones with the new to tell how worn the old ones are.

Or, if you know you’ve got mega miles on your cleats and you’re starting to feel a difference getting into and out of your pedals, it’s probably smart to replace the cleats.

Inspect pedals for any loose parts that might allow shoes to slip or interfere and prevent getting in. Some clipless pedals have screws that can loosen, rise up a bit and block entry. And look for worn or damaged jaws that grip the cleats. Most pedals tend to hold up a lot longer than cleats, but since clipless systems require both the pedal and cleat to function correctly, you do want to check the pedals and make sure nothing’s about to fail.

Wheels tight?
Regularly check that your front and rear wheels are firmly fastened in the frame. If wheels aren’t tight, they can move in the frame. On the front, this might only mean the brake dragging. But, on the rear, you might pull the wheel out of the frame accelerating and stop the bike abruptly, causing a crash.

Wheels can get loose because they weren’t tight enough to begin with and because the quick release adjustment loosened and you didn’t realize it. Or it can happen if the wheels get taken on and off a lot, for example if the bike goes in and out a car a lot or onto a fork-mount car rack.

To check quick release wheels, try opening the QR lever to make sure it resists. It should take a decent amount of force to open the lever. If that's not the case, open the QR, adjust it so it’s tighter and close the lever again. For bolted wheels, check tightness with the appropriate wrench.

Handlebars, stem and controls

Three of the most important things to make sure stay tight on road bikes are the bars, stem and levers. If any of these loosen, it can cause a loss of control and crash because we put so much weight on the front end of the bike – especially when climbing while standing.
I’ve seen riders flip over the bars when the handlebars moved under them and others crash when a loose stem swung to the side when they were trying to turn. Loose levers can surprise and cause crashes, too.
Handlebars, stems and levers are easy to check and snug up. Stand in front of the bike, holding the front wheel from moving with your legs. Now, holding the drops, pull up on the handlebars. Next, put your hands on the brake hoods and push down on the bars and sideways on the levers. Lastly, try turning the bars with a little force to both sides.
When you do these tests, nothing should move or give way. If it does, tighten the bolts and recheck to make sure everything’s tight. Most components today have torque specifications that you can often find printed on the part, or on the maker’s website. You’ll also need a torque wrench with the appropriate allen tips for your components to tighten them right.

Seats and seatposts

Like the handlebars and stem, since so much weight and force can be on it, the seat and seatpost slipping can surprise you and cause a crash. And like the bars and stem, all it takes to prevent issues is keeping the seatpost tight in the frame and the seat tightly fastened to the post. Here’s another place your torque wrench comes in handy.

Chain
Lastly, chains can jam, skip and break, causing crashes.  Just keep in mind that if you’re noticing a noise or sensation that only occurs when pedaling, it’s a good idea to carefully inspect the chain and see if something’s wrong. You might find something about to fail and prevent a crash.


Five Types of People Who Will Quit Cycling!



MY $.02 on "BLACK GEAR"
I have noticed that more and more riders are taking to riding in "black gear".  
A recent issue of Bicycling mag had no fewer than 33 riders pictured in jerseys that are either totally black, primarily black or in a dark enough color that they might as well be black.   It's by far and away the most dominant color jersey, whether in articles or in ads. 
Strange.....black is essentially road camo, and in my opinion dressing like a Navy Seal on a night combat mission is like asking to be unseen on the road.
As cyclists, we are conspicuously vulnerable....When we are on our bikes, we should be as conspicuous as possible in order to lessen our near-invisible vulnerability.  
Whether by wearing bright or light colored cycling clothing, or riding with front and/or rear lights, being seen is the first step in avoiding the regrettable after-crash comment "I just didn't see him".


HELMET CLEANING IDEAS:


Here is an easy way to clean your helmet. It gets the salt and funk off the straps, and freshens up the foam pads. I use high temp wash but AIR DRY.  Place the helmet on the top rack of the dishwasher, and make sure the straps don't hang down to contact any moving parts inside the washer. 
Other methods of cleaning:
Spray off the helmet in the sink using the dish sprayer, then let the helmet dry in the dish drainer. 
Some riders wear their helmet into the shower to clean their helmets!

EVERYTHING YOU WONDERED ABOUT WHEELBUILDING


new road id app!!
The all new Road ID App is a great tool for runners, cyclists, hikers, walkers and basically anyone not glued to their couch. With amazing features like eCrumb Tracking, a Stationary Alert, and a custom Lock Screen creator, the Road ID App is your perfect training partner. With the ability to track your workouts in real time, your friends and family can stay better connected whenever you head outdoors...delivering peace of mind like never before.
https://www.roadid.com/ecrumbs


WE DEPEND ON EACH OTHER

In my experience when someone calls clear, the other riders in the group don't even look, they just proceed through the intersection. I can't speak for you, but I do make the occasional mistake. A couple of years ago I happened to be at the front of the group. I looked, yelled "clear" -- and it wasn't. There was a car that I'd missed seeing, and a couple of riders came very close to being hit. I wouldn't want to have to live with that for the rest of my life. Follow-the-leader is, in my opinion, way too prevalent in group cycling, and when riding in a group, stressing that each rider is responsible for
their own safety sometimes seems to fall on deaf ears.
Responsibility on Both Sides
Namely, the fact that even the most experienced cyclists on the road can sometimes miss seeing, or misjudge, an oncoming vehicle, leaving some fellow riders in possible harm’s way. Second, that some riders in groups “blindly” follow the leader without taking the time, or assuming the responsibility, to see for themselves and verify that the coast is, indeed, clear. I think we can all agree that there is inherent responsibility in both the lead and follow positions in a group. If you’re the leader, it’s your job to spot, and call out/point out road debris, obstacles, impending stops, etc. And it’s your responsibility to check for traffic and adequate crossing time for the entire group at intersections and other potentially dangerous spots on the road. By the same token, as a member of the group, you have the responsibility to verify for yourself, and those riders around you, that it remains “clear” and safe to continue. Anybody
can make a mistake in judgment, leaving you with your you-know-what hanging out. And when it comes right down to it, you alone are responsible for your own safety on the road. Heck, I verify when riding with only one other buddy – and I fully expect him to verify my “calls,” too. Just as I hope you all do the same. Yes, of course I trust my regular riding buddies. But I verify, too, because it’s the right thing to do.

interesting VeloNews article about amateur racer who gets caught doping....


Bike made out of Cardboard!
check out this interesting short video.....

http://www.buzzfeed.com/samir/israeli-man-creates-a-bicycle-out-of-cardboard

That’s right. Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni, 50, has developed a way to produce a working bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard. 
The actual cost of materials for one of the bikes is about $9. However, using government grants to help offset production costs, he and his partner hope to mass produce the bikes effectively for free and give them away in poor countries. 
After the cardboard is cut and shaped, it is treated to make it waterproof and fireproof. The final product is then painted. The tires are made of recycled rubber and are solid, estimated to last for 10 years. The drivetrain uses a automobile timing belt instead of a chain. Then entire bike requires no maintenance or adjustments. A full-size model weighs about 9 kg (20 lbs).
 "In six months we will have completed planning the first production lines for an urban bike which will be assisted by an electric motor, a youth bike which will be a 2/3 size model for children in Africa, a balance bike for youngsters learning to ride, and a wheelchair that a non-profit organization wants to build with our technology for Africa," said Nimrod Elmish, Gafni's business partner. 
A Reuters reporter who rode one of the bikes wrote, “A ride of the prototype was quite stiff, but generally no different to other ordinary basic bikes.”


....cue "Twilight Zone" theme music!
Wouldn’t it be amazing if a bike of the future allowed you to shift using only your thoughts? Guess what? That bike already exists!
Bike maker Parlee and auto maker Toyota, as part of its Prius Projects program, have designed and built a streamlined carbon road bike that uses a “hacked” Shimano Di2 electronic shifting system connected to a “neural headset” that reads brain waves and shifts gears according to the rider’s thoughts.
The neural headset is incorporated into a helmet, and a rider uses an iPhone app to help train the system to read his or her brainwaves when thinking “shift up” or “shift down.” Once the system can differentiate the thoughts, it’s ready to roll.
To see this amazing display of ingenuity in action, click   http://tinyurl.com/43grgcn .


Check out this POV view of a downhill MTB race in urban Chile!

www.wimp.com/urbanchile/


GPS Cycle Computers and Mapping Websites
Many of us are riding with GPS enabled cycle computers.  Not only are they wireless and need no bike calibration;  they can be transferred from bike to bike and they provide all of the usual minutae (and more!) that conventional cycle computers provide.  Some integrate Heart Rate Monitor, Cadence and Wattage (power) functions.  I have been riding with the Garmin Edge 500 for the past few years, and I love it.  Oh, it has its minor issues, but overall, it's a great device. Even non-users can go onto www.garminconnect.com to lookup rides in pretty much any geographic location.  Let's say you go someplace where you're unfamiliar with the local ride options.  Go to www.garminconnect.com,  search for the location, and....voila!...a list of user submitted rides will pop up!  Ride distance, elevation profiles, and maps are all available, and you don't even need a Garmin device to access most of the information!  (Garmin's website serves as a training log for users of Garmin devices)  In addition to proprietary, dedicated sites such as Garmin's, there are other websites which are not device specific, such as www.strava.com

Houchin Bike Team



 








The Houchin Community Blood Bank Bike Team can be seen cruising along local roadways, jamming up hills, and sprinting across finish lines throughout Kern County and beyond. The team members raise awareness of Life Across America and blood donation each time they train or race. Some of the team members are, from left to right, Greg Walker, MT Merickel, Richard Beene, Katie Nickell, Dr. Bob Smith, Rogers Brandon, Herb Benham, and Scott Garrison.  Not present in the photo are Glenn Hammett, Steve Hereford, Ryan Rickard, David Lari, Rhonda Grundeis, Rob Baker, Mike Moseley and Brian Crook.  For more info on Houchin Community Blood Bank, visit www.hcbb.com 


STICKER ("goathead") SHOCK?
Bike Path/Kern River Parkway

Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department is very tuned in to keeping the Bike Path in optimal condition, so if you wish to make your opinion heard:

Dianne Hoover 
Director City Parks/Rec: 
dhoover@bakersfieldcity.us

Bob LeRude
 CountyParks/Rec 
lerudeb@co.kern.ca.us


ROAD SURFACE ALERT!!

Hey, it's been fixed!  Well, maybe not yet...but, you can get your pet road defect attended to and repaired!  Give a call to KC Roads (862-8850) or City of Bakersfield Roads (326-3111) (depending on location/jurisdiction), and the folks there are usually very interested in trying to please.   My theory is that they toil on an endless list of projects and get minimal positive stroke for all their effort.   If we take the time to call about a specific issue, at least they know that someone cares about what they do!   Take the time and give them a call about that pothole, asphalt chunk, debris or dangerous spot on the roads!


Little-Known Fact!
MAVIC 

is an acronym for "Manufacture d'Articles Velocipediques Idoux et Chanel"...it was originally founded by Charles Idoux and Lucien Chanel in 1889

More Commentary on us (road cyclists)!!
....short animated videos worth watching:

  "It costs to be Epic" 

"Charity Ride"
"Cycling Explained"
these are just three of a whole series of youtube videos with some great observations on our sport!
(They seem kinda dopey when first watching, but they really grow on you)



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Chain Care and Feeding
The condition of your chain is critical to the operation of your bike.  A well-maintained chain not only shifts better, it will save you money by helping to avoid premature wear and failure of expensive drivetrain components



How to check for chain wear:  




Why WD-40 should NOT be used on your chain: