Los Altos History Museum Bike Exhibit

LA pencil recumbent

I waited until the last weekend it was open (anyone who knows me won’t be surprised by that) but finally got to the “Pedal Power: From Wacky to Workhorse” exhibit at the Los Altos History Museum. It had a bit of everything to appeal to avid cyclists, commuters, kids and recreational cyclists. There was some significant history on display as well as some whimsical bikes.

Having been an avid mountain biker for the past 25 years I always gravitate to the early years of Mountain Biking especially the bikes and components that I lusted after but could never have. The Ibis Bow-Ti was one of those. Something I only saw in a magazine until this visit.

LA Ibis BowTi bike

The workmanship on the bike was beautiful and you couldn’t help but want to take it off the wall and ride it out the door.

On display were 3 Rock Shox forks also from the early years. The Mag 21 on the left was really the first successful suspension fork and one that my friends and I rode back in the early 1990’s.

LA RS forks
One of the more unique performance bikes from the 1990’s was Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle’s winning bike from the 1993 edition of Paris-Roubaix. A special bike because it was equipped with a road version of the Rock Shox suspension fork. He won the race by just a few centimeters over Franco Ballerini and I have no idea if the suspension fork made the difference or not. This was Lassalle’s second Paris-Roubaix win in a row on a suspension fork.

LA Duclos-Lassalle bike

Fork close-up

LA Duclos-Lassalle fork
After looking at the bikes focused on the ‘enthusiast’ and racer market I turned to the fun bikes – bikes that people created to fit their needs or passion. It still amazes me to see the amount of creativity and whimsy that revolves around a simple 2-wheel, human-powered contraption.

There are tall bikes

LA tall bike

Scraper bikes

LA scraper bike

I met these guys up in Oakland about 6 months ago

LA Scraper bike info card
and of course everyone’s favorite bike – the Pencil Recumbent!

LA pencil recumbent

I really enjoyed this exhibit. I got a view into the distant cycling past as well as more recent history of mountain bike development. Thanks to the Los Altos History Museum, the curators and the donors of hardware for the exhibit who made this possible.

Wolf Tooth Cycling Components 1X10 Conversion – Update

42T cog with ano wear
This is my follow-up review after almost 5 months of riding the 1X10 setup I first reviewed here May Review

I’ve only logged 192 miles since I put on the 42T cog and 30T chainring. My Yeti is my trail bike and mostly used for more technical riding and my longer and less technical rides are on my 29er hardtail.

You’ll see in the picture above that the anodize is wearing off the teeth on the rear cog but that’s expected with ‘cosmetic’ anodize and shouldn’t affect the wear rate of the aluminum. If you see a sharp tooth profile where the shifting ramp is, that is stock and not from wear. So I anticipate I’ll get quite a few miles out of this cog. Riding around the Bay Area is mostly dry and dusty until the Winter rains come so I don’t know if I would see more wear in muddy conditions.

The front 30T chainring shows anodize wear also, but a bit less than the rear cog (I imagine because there is no shifting going on at the front).

Performance during this time has been as good as my first ride. Not a single missed shift or a dropped chain. I didn’t install any kind of chain guard since I wanted to see how the narrow/wide chainring and clutch derailleur worked and it’s been perfect. I ride fairly technical trails on this bike but I don’t spend much time in the air so if you’re doing a lot of big drops and jumps ‘your performance may vary’.

So I consider it a great upgrade. And I would never go back to a multi-chainring drive train for a trailbike – the simplicity and performance of this setup is great.

Stop Lights? We don’t need no stinking stop lights! Video Proof

You would think the world was going to end hearing drivers complain about cyclists driving 25 pound ‘vehicles’ who sometimes blow through stop signs and traffic lights. I believe cyclists should behave better on the road but it always amuses me to hear drivers complain since the same behavior is mostly ignored when drivers do it – it’s just considered ‘normal’ driving.

And certainly the cops don’t t treat lesser infractions by motorists very seriously. I always wonder if the ‘broken window theory’ of policing might make our streets more enjoyable and safer for pedestrians, cyclists and even motorists. Basically, this would entail strict enforcement of even the most trivial traffic violations, such as non-use of turn signals, on the theory that drivers would drive more safely if even the minor laws were enforced.

Yet the discussion between motorists and cyclists always seems to devolve into a ‘He did it, too’ complaint as if we were kids justifying ourselves to our parents. Little regard is given to the fact that a traffic violation in a 3,000 – 5,000 pound vehicle moving at high speeds has potentially more significant consequences than the equivalent infraction by a cyclist.

I get tired of the sheer numbers of drivers who blow through stop signs, fly out of driveways without stopping, check out their smartphones and in general can’t be bothered to drive with care. People who only drive tend to see these things as relatively trivial since they feel safe inside their cars. Yet for a cyclist, a collision that would be a relatively trivial fender-bender between cars is likely to lead to serious injuries.

So I stop from time to time to take video of the infractions I see on my daily commute. Below is a video of drivers rolling through an intersection while making a right turn on red. The location is the intersection of Whisman and Dana St. in Mountain View. When I ride through this area I’m particularly careful since, not surprisingly, drivers who don’t stop at red lights somehow just ‘don’t see’ a cyclist coming down the road.

The video is just under a minute long – you’ll see 3 out of 8 drivers come to a stop or very close to it and the other 5 just roll on through. Why do we put up with this?




Henry Coe Beauty

One of my favorite places to ride in the Bay Area is Henry Coe State Park. It’s a rugged and varied park with fun trails and always-challenging climbs. But the real reason I go is the sense of solitude and the feeling of being in a wilderness on the edge of a huge city.

Most days I’m either above the valley fog if it’s early or baking in the heat late in the day. However, today was unique with fog clinging to the ridges throughout the day lending an air of mystery throughout my ride.

The Spring is dominated by wildflowers and green grasses but during Autumn, before our rains come, it’s all brown grass

HC panorama

and the occasional Tarantula looking for a mate

HC tarantula
When it was time for lunch I found a nice spot nestled below a ridge and out of the wind. The little knoll was covered in Oaks and large boulders with thick carpets of moss

HC boulder

Getting to the spot I walked through 10 yards or so of grasses. I had forgotten that the fall grasses have a nasty sticker that cling to everything

HC socks
I’ll probably spend 15 minutes just getting all those out to save my socks, but I’ll remember my Sunday at Henry Coe a lot longer.

Climate March in NYC?

red bike with blue bike Be the solution. Use that bus/train/plane and hotel money and get a bike instead. Buy a Clipper card. Walk, use your bike, use transit. You will make a difference the first day and if you convert others by your example (kids, parents, co-workers) then they will make a difference, too. You don’t have to leave your car at home every day. Just try it a few days a week and you will find out how easy it is.

Cross-continuum Collaboration

So he hates being called ‘my old friend, Andy’ but the other night, my old friend Andy passed on a few nuggets of corporate obfuscation from the large multi-national he works for. Following is one of the best. This comes from an email from HR announcing a new hire:

‘In this new role, she will drive the alignment of internal business operations to enable cross-continuum collaboration in the business unit’.

The thing that amuses me is that NOBODY talks like this in real life. You only see this type of BS in corporate videos and press releases. Can you imagine some HR VP speaking like this at home with the family?

So if you have a translation for this help me out.