Monday, December 5, 2016

Let's jump right in with both cleats!

Is there any more pleasant time of year to ride a bicycle than the autumn?

Probably, but whatever.

Nevertheless, yesterday I engaged in a bit of urban exploration (which perhaps you'll read about in a future Brooks blog, it's been awhile since my last one), after which I pointed my bicycle northward and scurried along the Hudson:

Keeping the Palisades on my left, the backyards of suburbia on my right, and my Brooks securely under my scranus, I pushed northward upon 32mm Paselas set to the optimal #whatpressuryourunning for the terrain, elevation, and atmospheric conditions:

When suddenly I came upon this arrangement of Osage oranges (I had to look that up), preternaturally stacked around the circumference of this old aqueduct vent:

"No human being would stack Osage oranges like this," I thought to myself, and immediately ascribed it to some supernatural being or folkloric creature:

After all, many regions have their own mythical beasts--the Pacific Northwest has Bigfoot, the Pine Barrens has the Jersey Devil, Cleveland has this guy--so it could very well have been the work of some local equivalent like Scraps, the Hellhound of Yonkers:

Or maybe it was Auðumbla, the primeval bovine of Norse mythology:

In case it's not clear what's going on in that painting, here's the description:

While Ymir suckles at the udder of Auðumbla, Búri is licked out of the ice in this 18th-century painting by Nicolai Abildgaard (1790)

Religion's a funny thing, and you've got to wonder why Jesus caught on but Ymir the Norse Bovine-Suckler didn't.

Speaking of bovines, my Brooks saddle's made from one, and it looks especially distinguished with an EH Works saddlebag tethered to it:

(Yes, in an emergency you can suckle your Brooks.)

That's called PRODUCT PLACEMENT, and it's what we semi-professional bloggers do around the holidays.  I'd be pretty happy to find an EH Works saddle bag or even a Brooks underneath my Festivus pole, Chrismas rock, or Ice Menorah, and I'm sure you know somebody who would the same, that's all I'm saying:

And this morning's ride was no less "epic," for I loaded up my WorkCycles with one of my spare human children and headed to the local library:

On the way there, we enjoyed a wildlife sighting on Helmet Mime Hill:

As I understand it, skunk are crepuscular, so I assume the fact it was out at mid-morning means either: A) it's rabid; B) it's doing the walk of shame; or C) both.

Regardless, it looked wet and pissed off, so it's a good thing my human child was wearing a helmet:


Anyway, we picked out a book, which my human child struggled to figure out:

(He's wondering why this primitive object doesn't automatically orient itself like the phone.)

But once he did it kept him occupied for the ride home:

Yeah, my kid's reading (well, looking at) a book on a bike.  Out-smug THAT, suckers!!!

Meanwhile, Citi Bike was supposed to destroy New York City or something, but now there's citywide demand for it, go figure:

“It is imperative that we turn Citi Bike fully into a public good and a resource for our lowest income communities,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Democrat from northern Manhattan, said at a recent City Council hearing on the program’s future.

Citi Bike officials say the system might not extend to all five boroughs unless the city is willing to help pay for it, an idea that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is considering. For some elected city officials, the arrival of Citi Bike in Jersey City last year was yet another slight for their oft-neglected communities.

Seems to me giving the entire city access to Citi Bikes makes a lot more sense than that goofy streetcar he wants to build.  After all, there's clearly a lot of pent-up demand for cycling in New York City, which is liable to explode if they ever manage to pop the cork of imminent death;

Many New Yorkers across different races, incomes and genders are concerned about riding safely on harrowing city streets. Though traffic crashes remain a persistent problem, no Citi Bike riders have died in an accident since the system started in 2013. But overall cyclist deaths in the city are up this year. There were 17 deaths so far in 2016, compared with 14 during the same period last year, city officials said.

Unfortunately when the city does try to liberate New Yorkers from the specter of death a small, vocal minority decries it as a deliberate attempt to inconvenience the poor, unfortunate motorists:

Today’s gridlock is the result of an effort by the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations over more than a decade of redesigning streets and ramping up police efforts, the sources said.

“The traffic is being engineered,” a former top NYPD official told The Post, explaining a long-term plan that began under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and hasn’t slowed with Mayor de Blasio.

No, today's gridlock is the result of a bunch of fucking morons in leased Hyundais who think driving into Manhattan during rush hour is a good idea.

“The city streets are being engineered to create traffic congestion, to slow traffic down, to favor bikers and pedestrians,” the former official said.

I wish this were true.  If the city actually went forward with street design that was punitive to motorists we'd be about a thousand times better off.  Tolls on the East River bridges?  Speed and red light cameras?  Weight-activated tire spikes in the bike lanes?  Bring it on, baby!

Green Light includes pedestrian plazas and protected bike lanes that are still being completed under de Blasio, who has further snarled traffic with reduced speed limits, redesigned intersections and aggressive summons-writing as part of his Vision Zero initiative.

I would give anything for a mayor with the balls and/or labia to tell these winy, entitled motorists to shut the fuck up.  If you can't figure out when it makes sense to use your car and when it doesn't then you deserve to sit in traffic.  Burn in "vehicular hell," suckers!

Still, Manhattan has become a vehicular hell where drivers suffer an average speed of 8.2 mph.

It's true, I miss the days when Manhattan was the first place you'd go to take a Sunday drive.

Among them was Braulio Cefea, who was stuck in a traffic jam on the Manhattan side of the Queens Midtown Tunnel Friday.

“This is a bad idea,” he said of Midtown’s intentional traffic snarls. “Bad, bad idea!”

Yeah, it was a bad idea.  Trying to take the Midtown Tunnel on a Friday, is he fucking nuts?!?  Too bad there's no other way to get from Manhattan to Queens, apart from numerous subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

Troy Johnson, 29, sitting in the same traffic jam, was furious at the insiders’ allegations of an effort by City Hall to clog traffic.

“If it’s true,” he said, “you are going to see some serious road rage!”

Right, because we don't have that already.


These are the same geniuses who go to Black Friday sales and wind up stabbing people.

Meanwhile, London's mayor's spending a shitload of money on cycling:

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has promised to spend £770m on cycling initiatives over the course of his term, saying he wants to make riding a bike the “safe and obvious” transport choice for all Londoners.

Following criticism that Khan has not been as bold as his predecessor, Boris Johnson, in committing to new bike routes, and amid increasing worries about air quality in London, Khan’s office has set out what is described as a hugely ambitious programme to boost cyclist numbers.

Wait, he's being criticized for not doing as much bike stuff as his predecessor?  This is exactly the opposite of New York, where our mayor gets criticized for continuing his predecessor's bike projects.

Wish we had that problem.

And there's even good news in New South Wales, where they've scrapped the mandatory ID for cyclists thing:

NSW residents will not be required to carry identification while riding a bike, after another about-turn by the Baird government.

The government had said cyclists could face a $106 fine for failing to carry identification from March.

This "alternative solution struck the right balance between safety and convenience," Mr Gay said.

Good day for cyclists, bad day for greyhounds and sharks:

Dropping the identification requirement is the latest in a string of policy backflips by the Baird government. Others include reversing its ban on greyhound racing, and agreeing to shark nets on the NSW north coast.

I sure hope those greyhounds wear helmets.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Speed of Sound

Now that bicycle frames are available in every conceivable configuration and material from boron to bamboo (you can get both from the same company by the way), the bicycle industry is finally admitting that it's mostly just tire volume and pressure that's informing your bicycle's ride quality and performance, which is why the roadies are allowed to use wider tires now:

See, they couldn't have told you that before, because if people knew then what they know now then nobody in their right mind would buy a carbon fiber bicycle.  They'd have simply kept what they had and bought some Paselas:

(28mm Pasela: the only road bike tire you need.)

Of course now they're telling you that you also need new wheels for your new wider tires, and of course disc brakes to stop them with, but that's a whole other story.

But there is another crucial factor that determines how your bike rides.  No, it's not your frame's elastic modulus or resonant frequency or cognitive dissonance or anything like that.  It's a far more profound quality called "acoustics:"

So how do your bicycle's acoustics affect its ride quality?  Well, they don't.  But you think they do, and that's what matters.  Consider, for example, that chain ejaculator we looked at yesterday:

This device keeps your chain in a constant state of moderate moistness, just like a Matthew McConaughey movie.  In so doing, it claims to increase your power transmission by 12 watts--which is a load of utter crap, as drivetrain efficiency is mostly a function of sprocket size and chain tension:

The researchers found two factors that seemed to affect the bicycle chain drive's efficiency. Surprisingly, lubrication was not one of them.

"The first factor was sprocket size," Spicer says. "The larger the sprocket, the higher the efficiency we recorded." The sprocket is the circular plate whose teeth catch the chain links and move them along. Between the front and rear sprockets, the chain links line up straight. But when the links reach the sprocket, they bend slightly as they curl around the gear. "When the sprocket is larger, the links bend at a smaller angle," Spicer explains. "There's less frictional work, and as a result, less energy is lost."

The second factor that affected efficiency was tension in the chain. The higher the chain tension, Spicer says, the higher the efficiency score. "This is actually not in the direction you'd expect, based simply on friction," he says. "It's not clear to us at this time why this occurs."

But try telling your ears that.  When your chain is thirsty for lube it makes pedaling your bike sound like you're raising a medieval drawbridge, which in turn makes your bike feel slower, even if it's really not.  So it makes perfect sense that a clueless Fred with a £250 chain-slathering device is going to mistake his bicycle's sudden silence for 12 more watts of pure, unadulterated speed.  (Until the thing malfunctions, dumps a bunch of chain lube onto the rear tire's contact patch, and causes him to crash--and I'm saying "him" because only a man would be dumb enough to buy one of these gadgets.)

The same thing goes for bottom bracket stiffness.  For years the bicycle industry has been telling us that your spindly, diminutive bottom brackets are robbing you of precious watts.  Consequently bottom bracket shells have gotten bigger and bigger, to the point where they're now just gaping holes that you have to stuff full of various adapters:

Do you really thing a giant sandwich of crush washers and spacers and seals and shims and washers and plastic sleeves and whatever else they stuff in there is somehow more efficient than the square taper cartridge bottom brackets of yesteryear?

Of course not.

The way your bottom bracket sounds, though, is hugely important.  For example, recently the generic stock bottom bracket on my Marin Pine Mountain 1 started making noise on the climbs, so I replaced it with one of those boringly solid Shimano Hollowtech II ones that last roughly forever:

Can you possibly discern bottom bracket stiffness or frame flex through two big fat 27.5+ tires at extremely low #whatpressureyourunning?  No.  Did swapping one pair of thread-in bearings for another make any appreciable difference apart from silencing the bike?  No.  But I can assure you that with a quiet bottom bracket I suddenly felt like I was rocketing up the same climbs upon which I had once struggled, and that I was riding a totally different bicycle, one that was somehow newer and better and maybe even lighter.  (A quiet bottom bracket is a powerful thing.)

Of course, the irony is that those new giant bottom bracket shells are more likely to creak, but it's a worthwhile trade-off because they also allow bike manufacturers to use gigantic crabon tubes, and that's where the real acoustic benefits come into play:

See, nothing sounds faster on a bicycle than a big hollow plastic tube.  It amplifies everything: the click of the shifter, the thrum of the road surface, the gun-cocking sound of your chain dropping into a smaller cog...  A plastic bike with giant tubes rolling on those whooshy plastic wheels sounds as tight and lively as a snare drum--and if you add the weaponized whirr of a loud freehub and the servo sound of an electronic shifting group then Fred's spank-bank doth overflow:

BikeHugger really oughta be careful because he's gonna go blind:

And of course gravel opens up a whole new exciting world of acoustical possibility:

Ah, so soothing...  It's like listening to a gentle spring rain fall on your windowsill while you're frying bacon in a skillet.  Sure, you can ride pretty much any bike on gravel, but you can expect tomorrow's dedicated gravel bikes to be 100% acoustically optimized to amplify that wonderful sound and keep you in a state of bacon-y bliss.

So to recap, I'd estimate that (assuming correct fit and geometry of course) bicycle performance breaks down thusly:

Tire Pressure/Volume/Etc.--50%
Miscellaneous (wheels, frame materials, ergonomics, blah blah blah):--10%

*[For purposes of this analysis "aesthetics" also includes weight, since the only time it means anything is when some Fred lifts your bike at the coffee shop.]

In other equipment news, I guarantee you that Freds are going to be wearing self-lacing cycling shoes within the next two years:

Yep, you can add "lace tension" to the array of electronic systems riders will have monitor while on the bike, right alongside wattage output and shifter battery life and dropper post position and suspension setting and chain lube flow rate.  Come on, a drop-bar mounted "sprint" remote that increases lace tension by 2.5Nm increments?  The gimmicks practically invent themselves!

Though if self-lacing comes to Brooks then we'll really be in trouble:

(Pic from Lovely Bicycle)

I hear remote saddle lace tension adjustment will be an option on the new electronic shifting group from Rivendell:

(Rivendell's new bar end-mounted electronic shifter.)

Can't wait!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

This Post Is Self-Lubricating

First of all, we haven't discussed this:
No hands?  No helmet?  On an old mountain bike with cantis and thumb shifters?

Not only is Kenny okay in my book, but he's about a thousand times cooler than Russell Crowe:

I guess when you're from the Antipodes it's hard to shake off the shackles of bike-dorkdom.

Moving on, after two days of heavy rain the sun is shining upon us once again:

Though as I headed out this morning I was dismayed to discover that my chain was a bit noisy.  Oh sure, I'd lubed it after my rainy ride on Tuesday, but evidently it could have used another slathering.

Clearly I need one of these:
Yes, it's the automatic chain lubricator of your wettest, most Fredliest dreams:

Always forgetting to oil your chain before or after a ride? Take away the hassle with the Flaer Revo Via, an automatic lube dispensing system that oils your chain as you’re riding along and is claimed by the company to “significantly increase the power transmitted through the drivetrain to the rear wheel” by a heady 12 watts. 

Heady indeed--assuming "heady" means "fictional," since a study revealed that chain lube has little effect on bicycle drivetrain efficiency.  (The study is even cited in the story about the chain lube device.)

So really, the worst thing about forgetting to lube your chain is that you might have to hear sounds from it until you can scrounge some White Lightning from a bike shop (they love when you do that I'm sure) or surreptitiously rub your chain on Mario Cipollini's unctuous limbs:

Yes, by rolling your bike past Cipo and allowing your drivetrain to graze his glistening calves you can keep your chain noise-free for up to a year--for free!

Nevertheless, according to the company that makes the auto-squirt, they know it works because they've conducted "extensive testing:"

The company tells us it purchased a Chain Efficiency Tester that is apparently one of only three in the world and with this, it conducted its own extensive testing.

“It is impossible to achieve a 100% efficiency through a drive train, there will always be a discrepancy between what you put in at the cranks and what you get out at the rear hub,” says Flaer’s Andy Parker. “However, what we are able to do is keep these losses to a bare minimum, approx. 5 watts. This is where any chain that has been appropriately lubricated would be at the beginning of a ride. Where the Revo Via provides a performance advantage is, it can keep you at this 5 watt level for the duration of your ride.”

Hmmm, let's see: a special device that totally and conveniently validates their absurd claims?  Isn't that basically the idea behind an E-meter?

Indeed, the gap between Fred-dom and Scientology is rapidly closing, and at this point I'm not sure there's much difference between a custom-tailored training program and an auditing course.

And if special rare devices aren't enough to convince you that you need a chain lubing device on your bike, there's also this chart:

You're probably one of those poor schmucks using "other lubricants," and applying them at home instead of while in motion.  Silly you.  See how low you are on the chart?  Don't you want to be all the way up at the red line where the Revo Auto-Sploodge 2000 is?  Come on, get with the program already!  Plus, it doesn't sound like something that would be a pain in the ass at all:

The Revo Via comprises a small control module and fluid reservoir that can be attached to the down tube of the bike, and a short hose then runs along the chainstay to the dispensing unit which is attached to the rear mech. The whole setup adds 121g before you add any fluid, with a maximum of 27ml of fluid in the system. Refill intervals range from 7.5 to 37.5-hours depending on the frequency, and this will depend on the riding conditions. The system is powered by a battery and run time is 150 hours. 

Best of all, it only costs a mere £250 to catheterize your bicycle, though I suppose now's the time to buy one given the favorable post-Brexit vote exchange rate.

Though I'll probably wait for the gravel version:

In other news, if you've got any money left over after purchasing your Ejac-U-Tron 9000 make sure to help fund the USA Grand Tour, since they've only got another month to raise $1.3 million:
Clearly they've really thought this thing through:

The USA Grand Tour will be a race like the Tour De France, The Giro D'Italia and the Vuelta Espagna. Each of these 21 day stage races, or Grand Tours, is designed to showcase the country in which they are held, the products which sponsor the race, and to push the 198 or so riders to their very limits. The enormity of the race logistics and the secondary nature of bicycle racing here in America has made such an undertaking unthinkable. ..until now.

We've entered a new era where the growth of cycling participation and spectating in America is exploding! As a result of that growth it's time America stands up on the world stage and demonstrates how WE do a Grand Tour!

No it isn't.

And the video's not helping:

"Professional bicycle racing means many things to many people: Incredible speed that you can reach out and touch..."

Yeah, please don't reach out and touch the speed, it makes them crash.

"...and sensational triumphs:"

I'm not sure that's the photo I'd use to accompany the phrase "sensational triumphs."  Chris Horner's biological passport smells fishier than the Dumpster behind a Long John Silver's.

Bike fighting, on the other hand, could very well be the sport America needs NOW, and a commenter on yesterday's post was kind enough to share this article about on-the-bike self-defense:

This studio is the only one in the world with a defense program catered specifically to cyclists. The Krav Maga For Cyclists workshop, a three-hour hands-on tutorial on principles and special techniques, was a response to a rash of attacks against bikers in the city throughout the early 2000s.

Yes, your bicycle can be a weapon, as many triathletes know all too well:

Bike Attack

In most situations, the bike is your friend, you should not leave that friend behind unless absolutely necessary (more on that below). In addition to being a partial shield when you’re off the bike and a trusty escape vehicle, it can also be a weapon.

If your attacker(s) is (are) in front of you, you can pull the bike onto the rear wheel so that your front wheel is in the air with your hands still on the handlebars. Engage the rear brake (right hand), to keep the bike firmly planted. Thrust your arms out, using the front wheel to jab at your assailants.

With the rear wheel planted, you can swivel the bike, keeping it between you and the attackers. As soon as you have an opening, drop the front wheel, run forward and re-mount the bike.

Question: when you're pummeling your opponent in the face with your front wheel, what pressure should you be running?

Also, you may be forced to throw your bike to the wolves, turn tail, and flee for your life:

When To Ditch The Bike

In almost every scenario when you are confronted by a single attacker, keep your bike. But if there are multiple assailants from coming from different angles, let go of the bike and focus on protecting yourself. The bike may be the most valuable item on your person, so surrendering it may “buy” you a way out. Nothing is more precious than your life.

Nothing is more precious than your life?  Really?  Clearly the author has never ridden a CUSTOM RODE BIEK:

As far as I'm concerned Larry Olmsted remains the greatest cycling writer of all time.

Anyway, I enjoyed the bike-fighting article, but I could have done with an in-depth analysis of what the best frame material is for a weaponized bike.  Do you want the lateral stiffness and vertical compliance of crabon?  The supple reliability of steel?  Or the pleasant springiness of titanium?

Though in the right hands even high-tensile steel can yield high performance:

Lastly, here's a tragic instance of life imitating Super Mario Bros.:

Investigators found no evidence that another vehicle was involved. An autopsy showed that Kervin's head trauma was consistent with falling off his bicycle.

The turtle survived the crash with a small crack in the bottom of its shell. It crawled away with minor injuries.

No mention of whether the victim was wearing a helmet, but they do point out the turtle was wearing a shell.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Wednesday by Any Other Name Would be a Tuesday, or Possibly a Thursday

Well, it's gift guide season, and the latest book by Jørs Trüli has made Portland's River City Cycles 2016 Gift Guide:

It's the perfect stocking stuffer, as is a tub of chamois cream:

Indeed, my words and this chamois cream have a lot in common: they're buttery smooth, they're soothing when applied to the scranus, and they've both been tested on animals*.

*[Just kidding, as far as I know Assos chamois cream is not tested on animals, though I did test my book on animals by reading it to the cat**.]

**[The cat coughed up a hairball at around page 96.]

Not only that, but River City also mentioned my book in the Willamette Week:

I've got to admit I'm pretty intrigued by that beehive and am thinking it could make a great Festivus gift for the kiddies.  Beekeeping seems like a wholesome hobby and I see no reason why I shouldn't set up a hive in their bedroom.  In fact I visited the maker's website and they even offer a complete starter kit:

Though I'm sure rocking this will mark you as a total Bee Fred.

Speaking of lit-ritch-ur, today is Mark Twain's birthday:

(Mark Twain was just a pen name, his real name was Mark Goldfarb)

And to mark the occasion I highly recommend reading his account of learning to ride a bicycle, which is the source of this oft-used quote:

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.

Not only is it highly entertaining, but he describes the sensation of riding a bike better than anybody else has since, and this was only 1884:

The bicycle had what is called the "wabbles," and had them very badly. In order to keep my position, a good many things were required of me, and in every instance the thing required was against nature. That is to say, that whatever the needed thing might be, my nature, habit, and breeding moved me to attempt it in one way, while some immutable and unsuspected law of physics required that it be done in just the other way. I perceived by this how radically and grotesquely wrong had been the life-long education of my body and members. They were steeped in ignorance; they knew nothing--nothing which it could profit them to know. For instance, if I found myself falling to the right, I put the tiller hard down the other way, by a quite natural impulse, and so violated a law, and kept on going down. The law required the opposite thing--the big wheel must be turned in the direction in which you are falling. It is hard to believe this, when you are told it. And not merely hard to believe it, but impossible; it is opposed to all your notions. And it is just as hard to do it, after you do come to believe it. Believing it, and knowing by the most convincing proof that it is true, does not help it: you can't any more DO it than you could before; you can neither force nor persuade yourself to do it at first. The intellect has to come to the front, now. It has to teach the limbs to discard their old education and adopt the new.

Now cycling writing is just bike reviewers telling you a $10,000 plastic Fred Sled "goes where you point it."

Indeed, you could argue that the refinement of the bicycle is the very enemy of art.  Consider, for example, that if Twain had had access to a modern-day gravel bike this passage might never had been written:

Stones were a bother to me. Even the smallest ones gave me a panic when I went over them. I could hit any kind of a stone, no matter how small, if I tried to miss it; and of course at first I couldn't help trying to do that. It is but natural. It is part of the ass that is put in us all, for some inscrutable reason.

Instead he'd have bored us with some crap about how the Cannondale Slate ($4,260 with Force group) is equally at home on the tarmac and the trail and gives you the confidence to rail those corners like a monkey in a mining cart.

And would his spills have been half as entertaining if he'd had the false sense of security you get from wearing a helmet?

Though I suppose this is the 19th century equivalent of getting heckled for not wearing one:

He was full of interest and comment. The first time I failed and went down he said that if he was me he would dress up in pillows, that's what he would do.

"The victim was not dressed up in pillows," the newspapers would say.

Oh sure, the safety bike was a welcome innovation, and without pneumatic tires we wouldn't be able to obsess over #whatpressureyourunning, but it should be clear to everybody now that bike innovation topped out years ago and now they're simply grasping at windmills and tilting at straws.  For example, does anybody really need magnet pedals?

Apart from mountain unicyclists, of course:

Note how all-terrain unicyclists flail their arms like they're being attacked by a swarm of invisible bees.

Still, I wouldn't try these in New York City, if only because the streets are littered with bits of metal and your pedals would look like this in short order:

Also, they already ran a Kickstarter like two years ago that didn't get funded.

In other news, a reader forwarded a groundbreaking study with a shocking conclusion:

Yes, believe it or not, when you add bike lanes and stuff cycling becomes safer:

The odds of cyclists being injured in an accident in Boston have decreased significantly in recent years as the city has made a slew of changes to promote bike riding and improve safety, a new study from Harvard University researchers has found.

The study, published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that there was a 14 percent reduction in the odds of being injured in a cycling accident for each year from 2009 through 2012.

And when you add more cyclists then cycling becomes safer still:

“There is a concept of safety in numbers that several studies have evaluated and we touched upon briefly,” said Pedroso. “The concept is based on the fact that with increased number of bicycle riders there is increased cyclist awareness by vehicles. This improved awareness results in reductions in vehicle-cyclist accidents.”

If you didn't know better you'd think that adding bike lanes and encouraging people to ride is more effective than making people wear helmets.

And here's a frustrating fact:

■ The odds of injury in accidents involving car doors are 225 percent higher than other types of accidents. “This is an interesting finding because it shows that if we expanded on strategies that separated bicycles from cars that we may have a significant impact on overall injuries,” Pedroso said.

Yes, of all the crap we deal with out there on the roads, we're most likely to be taken out by some asshole who can't be bothered to check before flinging open their fucking car door.

Drivers are so lazy they don't even put any effort into hitting you.

Lastly, on the subject of safety, race organizers are taking bold new steps to keep riders from getting hit by race vehicles:

During the General Assembly of the International Association of Cycling Race Organizers (AIOCC), the three groups decided to decrease team rosters from nine to eight in the Grand Tours and from eight to seven in their other events. This new policy will go into effect for the 2017 season.

"This decision responds to two-pronged objective: The first being to improve the safety conditions for the riders with a smaller peloton on roads equipped with more and more street furniture," read a statement released Friday by the ASO.

Wait, the road are crowded so they're going to reduce the number of bike racers instead of the number of race vehicles?  Aren't the bike racers why people follow the sport in the first place?  Isn't this like "improving" Lucky Charms by reducing the marshmallow count to three per box?

I guess we can look forward to an all-ITT format for the Tour de France by 2025.