Today as I have a bit of head cold, nothing serious just a bit of a sore throat, I thought I could go and try a little bit of low intensity cycling to help clear the yards of mucus I had trapped within my shell.Rather than following me on Strava, you could just have used the mucus trail.
Whilst out today I noticed that walkers fell into one of two categories. The ones that would acknowledge your existence and the ones that would just look blankly at you and then have a huge wave of disgust rush across their features if you dared to say hello to them. It is nice to watch that disgust consume them and they are the kind of people I imagine feel sympathy for Richard Spencer getting punched. Remember folks it is always Alt-Right to punch a wannabe fascist.
In the ongoing war of cyclists versus motorists and in danger of bringing up the Boardman Principle. It turns out in a week-long crackdown on mobile phone use whilst driving, the police were ticketing nearly 50 people every hour. That is 50 people every hour who feel that they do not have to be in full control of a many ton death metal machine.
We seem to have reached a point where most people accept that drinking and driving are wrong but for some reason, we happily apply cognitive dissonance towards mobile phones and driving safely. If you want to understand the term cognitive dissonance look at the UK laughing at America having a right wing government that is planning to erode healthcare and civil liberties.
Based in this we are going see the doubling of penalty points and fines for this behavior. People may also now finally receive a custodial sentence if they run someone over and kill them whilst on the phone, can we finally start to turn the tide against the “Sorry, I didn’t see them” excuse?
Whilst we are at it, could we also make sure there is serious repercussions for the person who tried to punishment pass a group of Edinburgh cyclists at the weekend. Thankfully, although he caused a crash, they only needed one ambulance and the person in that ambulance was later discharged from the hospital all safe and well. I just can not get what goes on in someone’s head when they try to commit that type of crime, it is a crime and should always be referred to as such, we can not call this crash an accident it is simply a crime.
In other news we have seen the return of the sub-compact chainsets to the media in the last week. Despite being an avowed single speed rider, I like the idea here. We all know the rider who tells us that he (it is always a he) keeps spinning out his 53/11 and well Mr. Power these are not for you, these are for the mere mortals who just want to enjoy cycling and may well still have hairy legs.
A sub-compact chainset is front rings that are 32/48T, 30/46T, or even 28/44T. This means we can have a nice low, a range of gears, perfect for going out on a pootle. Like gravel bikes, this is one of the few areas that I think the bike trade might be making sense. With gravel bikes coming with wider tires meaning that standard gearing is now harder, it is nice to have an option to not kill your knees. You will also find that people now just do not ride on a smooth tarmac road, mainly as these are becoming increasingly rare in the U.K. As such a lower gear on looser terrain will mean you can still keep the grip as you winch your way up slopes.
You will also find it easier to spin a cadence of around 90rpm up slopes on a bike with lower gearing. 90rpm being considered the sweet spot for maximizing power and minimizing force on the joint. Who doesn’t want to that? Well me but I may change my opinion as I get older, not that I am not old at the minute, or feeling old anyway. You will also find that a 52/11 gains you only 3km/h over 48/11 and as I am not a racer and indeed as many people are not racers that will probably make no difference for their riding. This calculation is done on the same tire width at a cadence of 90rpm, so 53km/h over 50km/h.
This move to bring in smaller chain rings will also mean that manufacturers can then start to bring chain stays out earlier than just now. This will then allow fitting of fatter tires and more comfort. Cycling can actually be a pleasure, I came to that conclusion today, after working in the trade for a decade I had come to hate cycling and now I am getting out and able to remember why I rode a bike in the first place. Finally, we are also getting parts that I feel are worthwhile and buying a bike is not a compromise between what you want and what manufacturers will provide.
It is a great feeling when all you want to do is go out and pedal and not worry if all your equipment matches and is in fashion. I will be taking back cycling one unfashionable garment at a time.