Scott B. sent this link to me. It is nuts!
I have seen insanity and it happens on the streets of Valparaiso, Chile. The Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Race is a legendary urban bike race and is more extreme than skydiving out of an exploding F-18 piloted by Charlie Sheen – while chugging a 2 liter of Mountain Dew. The rider must brave jumps, stray dogs, and flights of stairs along the steep downhill path. The first person perspective provided by the excellent helmet cam lets us take in every glorious and frightening detail. Do yourself a favor and watch this one in full screen mode.
Scott and I were talking helmets the other night. I’m pretty much of the position that I’ve got one and I wear it. What else is there to talk about?
Well my eyes have been opened up to the world of helmets. Call me a little slow but I have just been tuned into the fact that there are different helmet designs for road biking vs. mountain biking.
In hindsight this should have been obvious. The awakening quickly prompted me to visit the garage and check my head gear.
Now recognizing that I am the owner of a mountain bike helmet I begin to rewind some of my recent road bike rides. Surely the added wind drag of my mountain bike helmet has suppressed some of my pedaling potential on the road bike. It explains a lot.
As a result of my helmet discovery I am now in skull cap awareness mode. For the short term I am going to be very observant of the fast riders. Certainly they must be wearing some aerodynamically modified speed enhancing head protection. It is very possible that some of the helmets have wing profiles in the venting system providing lift to the rider and a reduction in gravity.
It is probable that soon I will need to do some helmet modification or in the worst case, upgrading. It could be the performance advantage that has been eluding me.
As a starting point, I found some helmet basics for reference from How to Choose a Bicycle Helmet: Expert Advice from REI. The basics are:
Helmets come in 3 basic styles—sport, road and mountain bike helmets. All types are designed to protect riders from impact while being light, comfortable and stylish.
Now that there is a Toronto Bike Map app available on the iphone this Bike Mount™ for iPhone 4 is on my wish list.
The BioLogic Bike Mount for iPhone 4 lets you attach your iPhone 4 to the handlebar of your bike so you can use GPS and an appropriate app to track your position, your speed, or distance travelled, while you ride. The Bike Mount is a weatherproof case with a welded touch-sensitive membrane so your iPhone is completely protected from the weather but still fully functional. The inside of the case is lined with silicone for shock resistance.
The Bike Mount pivots so you can use your iPhone in portrait or landscape mode. Membrane protected openings for the front and rear camera lenses lets you take video or pictures while you ride. Fully compatible with the BioLogic ReeCharge. Suitable for handlebars or stems with a diameter of 38 mm (1.5”) or smaller.
Sunday March 21, 2011
Today was the first day of Spring. It didn’t feel like it when I woke to an outside temperature of -5c. It was sunny and the forecast was for the temperature to rise to 5c (it hit 4c).
I decided to ride to Humber Bay West. I prepared the Bad Boy and took off.
Long story short … I had time, I felt good, and I just kept going to complete my first Century!
And that is why I am Ahead by a Century.
I took a few wrong turns in Toronto. I have a Toronto bike map but I had misplaced it. I looked on the internet before I left to get a general idea of where to go. It’s tough getting old, my memory let me down after I passed through High Park and reached Annette Street. That was pretty much the last of the bike lanes. Traffic was pretty lite. Even zooming down University Avenue past the ROM and Queens Park I pretty much had a lane to myself.
When I was nearly home my Garmin indicated that I was 10k short of 100k. Then I decided to do a little loop over to 9th Line and up to Erin Center Blvd. That was enough mileage to hit 100.5 km.
That’s a long ride … on a hybrid. My legs held up, and even though I was not wearing padded bike shorts, my butt wasn’t sore thanks to my B17 now broken in and custom moulded to my ass.
Tonight the stairs keep reminding me that I did some distance. I’ll consider the ride a success if I am able to walk tomorrow.
Ride data here.