Local bicyclists in the world amateur finals, down with the Brambleton barricades!, urban cycling tips, and more from BC Wilson.
From the local to the global, cycling is charging ahead!
Local Guys Ride in World Amateur Finals
If you know Dan Netzer or Frank Cundiff, two local guys who ride on Team Celerity, you know they are about to take off for Belgium to ride in the finals of the UCI World Cycling Tour, the culmination of the 2011 amateur racing series. The race takes place from Sept 9 to 11, and consists of a road race and a time trial, both in the mountains near Luxemburg. These guys have been training like maniacs and I’m excited to see them get this far. The local community has been supportive, pitching in to help raise money for the trip.
To give you a sense of the spirit of these guys, I’ll share with you my favorite Dan Netzer quote (stolen from Frank’s Facebook feed):
Take that confidence all the way to Belgium, guys, and make us proud.
The championships won’t be aired on any TV station that I know of (please correct me if I’m wrong about that), but Frank has promised to post video and text on his Facebook page.
Down with the Barricades! Video Shoot
Last Sunday, Sept 3, local bike advocate Wes Cheney hosted a video shoot at the infamous barricades on the Brambleton Avenue Bridge in Norfolk. The idea was to demonstrate that these complex barriers are
difficult almost impossible to navigate if you have a jogging stroller, bike trailer or tandem bike. The end product will be a video of various cyclists trying to work their way through the security gauntlet, possibly sped up and set to the music from Benny Hill. ‘Cause funny is how we roll, even when we mean it seriously.
On Aug 28, the Pilot reported that Virginia Beach has found $2.4 million in the city’s existing capital budget and will use the money to construct a bicycle lane next to the roadway on Shore Drive. Right now the only ways to get from the bay side of Shore Drive to the ocean side are to ride on the narrow high-speed roadway, where cars travel at 55mph and higher, or to ride on the dirt bike path through Seashore State Park. The new bike/ped lane will make the ride much safer for cyclists on road bikes, hybrids, beach cruisers and other non-dirtbikes, and should make the route an option for anyone wanting to ride to the Oceanfront.
I was considering a ride from Norfolk to my inlaws’ house at the Beach just last week, and I gave up when I realized I’d have to ride on Shore Drive to get there. I’m a confident road cyclist with years of experience, but I just don’t want to ride that stretch of road. I’m excited that in a year or so I should be able to ride the 20 miles between my home and the Beach without fear of getting creamed.
Cycling News to Increase your Cultural Literacy
If you follow cycling at all, the next couple of links aren’t going to be news to you. If, on the other hand, the only thing you know about cycling is that Lance Armstrong does it, then you can read the rest of this column as a means of increasing your cycling literacy, and perhaps your cultural literacy in general. After all, I know who Tom Brady is, even though I watch about one football game a year.
Team Radioshack rider Levi Leipheimer won the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge held last month in Colorado. The race is an attempt to bring pro cycling back the US in a big way. Leipheimer, a veteran at 37 years old, beat a field that included many of the top pros in the world, including the Schleck brothers and Tour de France champion Cadel Evans. I’m looking for a poster of him to hang on my wall.
This news rocked the cycling world yesterday: riders and sponsors of two of the top pro teams have merged to form a new super-team called Radioshack-Nissan-Trek. Key Riders on the Team will be: Time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara; Andy and Fränk Schleck, the second and third place finishers at the 2011 Tour de France; Tour of California Champion Chris Horner; two-time Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden; respective national champions Matthew Busche, Jani Brajkovic, Nelson Oliveira and Robert Wagner; standout neo-pros Jesse Sergent and Ben King; all-around powers Jakob Fuglsang and Haimar Zubeldia; and sprinter Daniele Bennati.
Interestingly, Levi Leipheimer is not mentioned in the release. Perhaps, at 37, after his huge win in Colorado, he’s planning to retire…
Urban Cycling Tips
Bicycle parts and accessories are notoriously expensive, but you don’t have to put down a lot of green if you want to outfit your bike for hauling groceries. If you already have a rear rack on the bike, then these instructions for $4 Grocery Panniers can save you money and turn your bike into a handy market-runner. This clever hack combines one of my wife’s favorite things (reusable shopping bags) with one of mine (bicycling).
A couple weeks ago I asked Mike Shipp at East Coast Bikes to order in some bike lights I’d seen on the internet. These little wonders cost less than $10 and screw onto the valve stems of your front and back innertubes. They are motion and light sensitive, so they only turn on when you are riding in the dark (saving batteries). It took a lot of fiddling to get them to work, initially, because the parts are very cheaply made, but now that they are installed they seem to work great, and they add a little flair to my urban ride while making me a bit more visible at night. I’m sure Mike could procure some for you too…
Got local bike news you’d like to see included in the column? Email BC .