Monthly Archives: October 2010

Geocaching – adding interest to your ride

There are 1,211,988 active caches and an estimated 4-5 million geocachers worldwide.

What is it?

Wikipedia describes “Geocaching” as a “game of high-tech hide and seek”.  www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching

According to the Geocaching.com website – “Geocaching” is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices.

It is an outdoor activity in which the participants GPS to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.

A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers or ammo boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value.

With many of the cache owners the aim is to impart some local knowledge, share a special memory or join together to save a precious vista with an eco-message.

How do you get started?

The Website:

Log on to www.geocaching.com

  1. Register for a free Basic Membership.
  2. Click “Hide & Seek a Cache.”
  3. Enter your postal code and click “search.”
  4. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
  5. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
  6. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
  7. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
  8. Share your geocaching stories and photos online.

Start with ‘easy’ finds like “The Ghost of Tokai Manor” or “Mosterts mill” to get the feel of things, it can even be a family affair with kids loving the outdoor treasure hunt.

The Equipment

Start out using what you already have that has gps e.g: your phone or existing cycle computer etc.

As you get more involved there is an array of devices to choose from such as the Garmin cycling specific range:

From the basic:

The Garmin Edge 205.

Rugged, lightweight Edge 205 attaches easily to the stem or handlebars of your bike with the included bike mount. Just turn it on, acquire GPS satellites and go. Edge automatically measures your speed, distance, time, calories burned and altitude, and records this data for your review. For even more detailed data, get the Edge 305, which can track your heart rate, cadence, climb and descent.

To the Full House:

The Garmin Edge 705 with HRM.

Trainer. Navigator. Edge 705 pushes you to do your best, then shows you the way back. This GPS-enabled cycle computer knows no limits. Get heart rate, turn-by-turn directions, cadence (from optional sensor), power data (from optional ANT+Sport-enabled third-party power meters), the works. Even share your data with other Edge 705 buddies after your ride. All wireless with a color display, this is no ordinary cycle computer.

Take on more challenging finds as you advance and eventually create your own.

Whatever you are after .. history, puzzles, adventure or saving the world … you are sure to find like minded people here.

Happy cycling

Microshift Flatbar Shimano Compatible Shifting

The Microshift’s TS83-10 Flatbar Shimano Compatible Shifters

If you’re running a Shimano compatible 10-speed drivetrain on your bike and want to convert to a commuting, flat bar, road bike these new Microshift shifters gives you an affordable (aprox R550.00) alternative to the Shimano Ultegra R770s (R1021.31 at CRC)

The system has two levers and is thumb operated (think Shimano Rapid Fire circa 1990).

Availability seems to be the main issue though.  Microshift is not available on CRC.  The new shifters are not the Microshift website and the local Microshift retail outlet did not have any new info.

I have sent off an email requesting more local info directly to Microshift and await their response.

Watch this space.

October Fest!

The last time ‘this’ happened it was the September in the year 1187.

And now 823 years later its happened again ..

October 2010 has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.

The most notable thing that happened in the year 1187? Jerusalem fell to Saladin’s army (he used two of the 5 weekends) and no bicycles in sight!

What will be the most memorable thing you do with this time?

Need some ideas?

Well there is fun-ride cycling with an event planned for every weekend

there is cycling on TV with the commonwealth games

and most importantly there is family pottering along on any type of bicycle just for fun cycling.

With one weekend down and only four more left, whatever you decide, spend it doing what you love with who you love …… Choose wisely … you won’t be here in 2833 to have another go.

Happy cycling!

The Doping Soapie

The Doping soapie continues:

David Garcia da Peña- EPO

Nathan O’Neill has been caught shopping for drugs

and Mr Lifetime Ban, two timing,  Kirk O’Bee.

Like any good daytime soapie the Contador sub-plot is adding a much needed sprinkling of humor.

Astana’s cook, Paco Ollala yesterday commented on why he had prepared food for the team.  Apparently some of the team members had complained that ‘the hotel food was bad” so Paco asked someone to “bring some steaks from Spain because the meat in France was awful’.

Cookie prepared the meals in the Astana trailer as the hotel had refused access to their cooking facilities.  Only the three Spaniard riders ate that meat and so far only Alberto was tested. To prove all of this?  Well a receipt would be handy but alas its missing.  Cookie gave it to Astana management and they? misfiled it? Sounds like one big ‘mis-steak’ to me.

I think Mr. Torri’s (Italian Anti Doping big wig involved in doping investigations of Basso, di Luca, Valverde) comments yesterday are starting to sound prophetic,  he said he believed all cyclists were using drugs and that doping should be legalised.

Or maybe they should just take a page out of the MTB book:

The last I read about doping in MTB was a 3 month suspension for Hash in 2009.

The biggest name in doping in MTB … Filip Meirhaeghe from Belgium for EPO in 2004.  He admitted it, he served his time and now he is a famous Belgium TV star and author.

At least the muddies are having fun.

The roadies just use, cry when they are caught and then throw ‘I’ll quit’ tantrums like primadonnas.

“Like sand through the hour glass ….”

Contador’s sample indicates IV use

The New York Times and The Associated Press are reporting that a blood sample taken from Alberto Contador at the Tour de France has been found to contain traces of a plastic chemical that could indicate he had taken a blood infusion.

The latest test found traces of a plasticizer chemical that is found in plastic IV bags. The test can not be used to directly indicate doping, but can be used as one piece of evidence to establish a non-analytical doping charge.

Apparently, IV transfusions of ANY type are expressly prohibited by the UCI except for in medial emergencies. So he cant use the ‘I was dehydrated” excuse.

Contador has denied ever doping and blames contaminated meat for the positive result (this is another reason why cooking in plastic is never a great idea)

Whatever detractors may say about Contador, he is one of the worlds best.  So here are a couple of thoughts for the Conspiracy theorists in you:

How easy is it to contaminate meat with Clenbuterol? And if you could, how would it move from the intestinal tract to his blood? Is it possible that an ‘enemy’ doped him on purpose?

Also, he has a brain condition that required surgery and takes medication for epilepsy,  could the minute traces of Clenbuterol and ‘plasticizer’ come from there?

He won in July, why has it taken 2 months for these blood results to be released?  The runner up in the Tour of Spain,  Ezequiel Mosquera, who was found to be doping, had his results in less than two weeks.  Granted that was urine sample for HES and Contador’s is a blood sample, so, if the timing is normal and only now the TdF winners results are being released how many more positive results will come out of the tour this year?

Its never straight forward black and white is it?

Bicycle Hi-Jacking

We recently received this email from one of our clients:

“3 of us were on an off road ride and held up on Saturday morning (2 October 2010) by 2 armed men near Hoekplaats in Centurion / Erasmia area. (GPS coordinates are -25.852456, 28.076946) at about 08h00.  They ambushed us and then tied us up face down on the ground and took all our valuables (and obviously the bikes).  The men indicated to us that they had been watching us ride there previously and asked us where our other two usual riding partners were.  They kept us there for at least 30 minutes and were in no hurry whatsoever to clear the area.

We are all fine and diffused the situation by co-operating and remaining calm. Having been through a few hold ups I can assure you this is the best way to respond particularly if you are taken by surprise. They knew what they were doing and made sure they kept their distance until we were well tied up.

The bikes that were taken are as follows:.

1)      Scott Spark 15 2009 (with Epic sticker). Black with Yellow and white trim

2)      GT Marathon Team Bike 2010. Black Carbon with silver and a bit of yellow

3)      GT Marathon Pro 2009. Silver with a bit of black carbon

I am convinced that someone has to be behind this as they must be creating a market for these bikes. My bike for example is only one of very few of its kind in South Africa. We must be able to start to track down whoever is ‘redistributing’ these bikes into the market. There are possibilities that these bikes are making their way across our borders, but there is also a good chance that they are staying right here. Please also send to people in other provinces as the bikes may well make there way there too.

Should you ever be buying a second hand bike please make an effort to enquire as to the details of the previous owner and somehow make sure it is not a stolen bike. We have to stamp this out and be allowed the freedom to enjoy our riding with peace of mind. We will most certainly keep on riding and not let this affect us, but this vicious circle must be stopped……………stolen……….sold………..claim from insurance……………no arrests…………so it goes on………….stolen…………………

I hope that we can put an end to this and start to live a rightfully free existence.”

We have removed the name and contact details, if you have any information regarding the bikes or the hi-jacking please feel free to contact us.

Most of us know how crime trends in South Africa go, what they start in JHB shortly follows in Cape Town.

If the deal is to good to be true it usually is.

Be vigilant, vary your cycling routine and routes and if possible cycle in a group.

Be safe!

Happy Cycling!

Emergency Repairs – for when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere

Here are some useful tips we’ve picked up along the way from our own experience, clients and various websites that may help you out in a sticky situation.

Bent or broken Chain ring, Broken Derailleur or Derailleur cable:  Convert your bike into a single speed to get yourself home.  Place the chain on the middle/small chain ring in front and in the middle cog at the rear.  Select the gear that’s most appropriate for your terrain. Shorten the chain by removing the couple of links it’s too long and gently pedal home.

Broken Chain with no chain-tool:  use two rocks, crude at best!   Use one rock to hammer the pin into the next usable link against the second rock.  This will limit your gearing but it will get you home.  Replace with a new chain before your next ride.

Torn Tyre Sidewall: Generally, if you put something between the tube and a tyre you should get home.  You can use anything from a sweet wrapper, paper money to the sandpaper from the tube repair kit, but duct tape is usually best.  Wrap some tape around your tyre lever for just this type of emergency.

Bent rim:  the first step is to see if you have any broken spokes and remove those.  If you cant remove them then twist the broken spoke around the nearest spoke.  Next open up your brakes or release the brake cable for as much clearance as possible.  If that doesn’t get you home, remove the wheel, lean the bent edge against a tree or similar and firmly grip the wheel on both sides of the bend and push it into submission or a vaguely circular shape.  You may need to do this in a ‘quick jarring’ fashion and repeat a few times until it is ready for you to ride home.

The best plan is to always be prepared:

In your back pack, camelbak, saddle bag or tool bottle have the following:

  • pump or air cartridges
  • tube
  • patch kit
  • tyre lever with duct tape wrapped around it
  • chain tool and chain link (or pin) taped to the chain tool
  • 5mm allen key (this should fit most brakes, gears, stem, saddle etc but check before you leave home)
  • energy bar, money, plasters
  • matches or lighter
  • spoke key

The key is to always be prepared even though you won’t need these things 99.9% of the time its the 0.01% you will wish you had.

Here at BMC we offer a Bicycle Maintenance Course evening where we cover anything from basic emergency repairs to complicated advanced repairs.  To find out when the next course is due and book your space, please feel free to contact Kerrythe for details.

Cycling season has kicked in!

With one or two events every weekend ’til mid November we are spoilt for choice when it comes to training fun rides.

To shake up your training, improve your time or generally just to add a little bit spice to your training schedule browse through the events planned over the next few weekends and enter one or two.

Pedal power has an Events Calender and and easy entry link to assist you with planning your training rides over the next few months as well entering before the event so that everything runs smoothly.

www.pedalpower.co.za/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

With spaces filling up fast for those who have not yet entered the 2011 Argus the entries are now up the the 75% mark and as for the DC thats close to full with the meter nearing 90% full.

We’re in for hot season!

Safe and happy cycling all

Doping

Yesterday Contador, today Ezequiel Mosquera (finished second in the Tour of Spain this year) and team mate David Garcia Da Pena both failed a doping control for Hydroxyethyl Starch, also known as HES in the urine samples collected from them at an in-competition test at the Tour of Spain on September 16.

I’m so over this….

Especially after initially backing Hamilton and Landis, I no longer  hold out hope for anyone accused of doping.  Unfortunately the hard learned lesson of ‘where there is smoke there is fire’ holds true, more so in cycling than in any other sport. Even with Lance, they just need to find a test for the substance he is using.

However, Schleck, who will inherit this years Tour title if Contador is guilty, said yesterday ‘I really hope Contador is innocent’, in this instance so do I, but not because I hold a candle for Contador, only because I want Schlekie to massacre Contador in racing, not by ‘inheriting’ the title. What BS!

In the words of Phil and Paul I wanted a good old fashioned ‘Mano-a-Mano’ race and 2011’s Tour de France was shaping up to be a real humdinger, tense and exciting with two very dedicated camps backing two very capable cyclists taking each other on for the title.

And now? A shadow cast over the true abilities of Contador.

Doping sucks!