A Few More Definitions for Cyclists

Chain: Archaic method for connecting the cranks and rear wheel of a bike to provide forward motion. Dirty and greasy and the subject of continual efforts for at least 100 years to find a better alternative. Yet chains continue to combine the benefits of low cost, efficiency and relatively good reliability and have kept most ‘improvements’ at bay – at least until the ‘string drive’ came along

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salsa vest

Vest (gilet in the UK): Probably the most useful piece of clothing to own. Keeps your core warm without getting your arms too sweaty as when wearing a jacket. Can regulate your temperature with the simple movement of the zipper in temps from 45-65F.

High-vis: The popular bright lime green color worn by middle-aged cycling club members and others who want to survive on the road even if it means derision by the roadies wearing all black.


Carbon fiber: Woven high-strength material infused with resin that lightens your bike and wallet at the same time.

Kickstand: Controversial piece of hardware attached to the bike that keeps the bike from falling over when parked. Most won’t work on high-end bikes because the attachment method can crush carbon or thin-wall metal tubing. Enthusiast cyclists wouldn’t use one anyway since it is a feature similar to high-vis clothing and a dividing line between ‘racers’ and everyone else.

Fenders (mudguards in the UK): Useful piece of kit that covers the wheel reducing the amount of water spray that hits the rider. Another item that serious riders disdain unless it’s the minimalist version (such as SKS Raceblades) that can be used during training but never in a race where there is a shared joy in suffering.

Use full lane

Share the Lane sign: Cyclists think: ‘I can use the lane’. Motorists think: ‘Those bikes better get out of my way’. The more modern sign ‘Bike may use full lane’ is becoming more prevalent.

Velominati: Keepers of ‘The Rules’. 95 somewhat tongue-in-cheek rules on how to be a ‘legit’ cyclist. It gets superfluous after Rule #5 which is ‘Harden the F*** Up’. How can you talk about acceptable clothing colors, tire colors, tan lines and the like if you believe in HTFU?

Driver’s Ed: Class where motorists can learn such useful phrases as:
– ‘I didn’t see him’
– ‘She came out of nowhere’
– ‘Those bikes go too fast’
– ‘Those bikes go too slow’

Singletrack trail: Narrow trails that mountain bikers long for. Typically 4 feet wide in California and 1 foot in Idaho

Right turn hand signal: The old-school way of signaling a right turn is by using the left arm and pointing it up like you’re asking a question. Made sense in cars about 60 years ago before turn signals but makes no sense for bikes since cyclists can just indicate with their right arm. No idea why we still give cyclists this option since the only car drivers who understand this archaic signal are probably too old to be driving anyway.

Definitions for Cyclists

Lycra: Material used for bike clothing that let’s everyone know how your training program is progressing.

Bike Lane: Shoulder of the road usually demarcated by a white line where you will find glass, sand, leaves, garbage cans, parked cars, dumpsters, road work signs, abandoned shopping carts, delivery trucks, taxis and more. Sometimes there is room for a bike.

Stop light: traffic signals that are placed at regular intervals on the road to allow drivers to pause and complete the email they started at 40 mph.

Bike lock: a security device that prevents theft only for bikes nobody wants anyway.

Helmet: A safety device intended to make drivers more comfortable when they cut you off in traffic.

Race: An opportunity to pay for a ride you wouldn’t do for free while riding with people you shouldn’t pay to ride with.

Century ride: See ‘Race’ then add many more people and food stops every 15 miles.

Standard: A specification for components on a bicycle that allows interchangeability amongst manufacturers. Often updated, improved and obsoleted all in the same year rendering much of your gear useless. The only ‘standard’ that remains in common use 40+ years after I started playing with bikes is the pedal thread.

Bike path: A path separated from car traffic where runners, skaters, child walkers, dog walkers, jogglers and the like can complain that bikes go too fast.

Cycling apparel: Take regular clothing and multiply the price by 2X. 3X for brands with vaguely European-sounding names.

Annual Performance Review Time

credit office space

I just got my performance review. I’m still trying to figure out if I did OK or if I need to find a new job. Here is the summary section – tell me what I should do.

Jim needs to get out of his silo and work on some cross-functional synergies so we have alignment on the world-class operating rhythm around the white space opportunities that out disruptive technology allows. That is – if you accept the key learnings from out recent buzz session about our architectural entitlement that we benchmarked vis-a-vis the voice of the customer analysis that should give us a significant force multiplier if we can connect the dots and get to the end state we see in the adjacent markets. If Jim can focus on his core competence and particularly on projects in his wheelhouse he will likely achieve escape velocity in his career as I believe he has demonstrated full-spectrum leadership abilities.