The Honda Active Life Concept 12/06/2015


Honda_Active_Concept

There is some really smart design work in this Honda Active Concept for cyclists. One of the first things they did was move the fuel tank to the center of the car under the driver and passenger seats. This allowed them to drop the floor in the back storage area creating a “Well” that allows you to comfortably get to bikes in sitting upright. The bikes lock in with the front wheel out which also doubles as a rack that can be pulled out under the back door to function as a bike stand for maintenance (the back door also has an extended canopy to keep the rain off). Other features include an integrated pump and its own toolbox. Because the back of the car is filled pretty much with bike they have also included a compartmentalized roof box for helmets and kit. The only downside is that most concept cars never make it in to production. They are used for brand building stories at Auto-shows and technology demos that they hope to push into production models. Although with Volvo’s latest exploration of cycling partnerships car manufacturers are recognizing the growing appeal of cycling globally and the lifestyle tweaks riders make for traveling with their bikes.

Categories: The Other Stuff

Untapped: It’s Like Magic! 08/01/2015


untapped If like me you struggle with a lot of the mid-ride energy gels giving you an “upset” stomach then you are always happy to hear about a brand coming along and offering something natural. I have been using the Scratch Labs products in my drinks now and love them (especially the Orange flavor) and my wife bought me the Scratch Labs cook book, but I find it really hard to get myself organized to make whats in there as good as it sounds. This summer I was lucky enough to spend time in France on a ride with Ted King (of Cannondale Garmin fame) where I got introduced to UnTapped, a pure Maple Syrup “Athletic Fuel”. I was intrigued as I live in “Syrup country” upstate on the New York/Connecticut border. Syrup wasn’t something I though of as fuel. A few weeks later the guys at Untapped sent me a box to try out and I packed it in the kit bag on a two week trip to the Pyrenees, and this is where it proved to be a magic life saver. You know those days when you get the Michelin map out at breakfast and highlight a route. Something that looks good and will get you home before dark in time for a Panaché by the pool. But sometimes those maps lie, in a really bad way and a “triple chevron” road, well just doesn’t have the triple chevrons on. The climb started poorly with a 17% nice to meet you. That climb was called Col d’Ahusquy. The next 7km sat somewhere around the ever lucky 13% easing of to a what felt like a lovely average of 8-9% for the last 10km. At the top suffering from heat, jet-lag, not eating enough and generally sucking I pulled out the UnTapped with the wise words of Ted King ringing in my ears (“it can get you another 2 good hours…) In it went on the way down and we started the ride home over the Col d’Osquich. It literally is like magic. It kicked in pretty immediately and along with two new bottles of water I was feeling really good again. It was quick and effective and I reckon it got me at least another 2.5 hours. There is more to this than just a sugar kick, its naturally full of minerals and anti-oxidants – its basically just good for you. Its something I will definitely be adding to the every day ride kit. When something saves your ass like this did, you just put it in your pocket and don’t ask any questions – and put in a spare one for a friend in need.

If you want to get your hands on some go here

Me_UntappedRiding in the Pyrenees is serious business, so you better bring the good stuff.

 

Categories: Kit / Rides / The Other Stuff

The Schiller Water Bike 08/30/2014


schillerHere we have a very modern and brilliant interpretation of the Pedalo by Schiller in Mill Valley, California. The Sport X1 Water Bike puts an aluminum and steel frame aboard two inflatables to make a very stable and safe ride. For steering they abandoned a traditional rudder design and instead attached two oscillating propellors to the handlebars, that when turned backwards also let you travel in reverse. I think the best design feature of all is the fact it all breaks down to fit in the trunk of a car and can be assembled in ten minutes. For anyone that lives close to a lake or the sea this is a great think to keep in the trunk of your car.

Schiller Sports Inc.

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

Fireflies West 2014 – Asking For Support 07/27/2014


fireflies2014

On the 19th of September this year I will ride the Fire Flies West again from San Francisco to Los Angeles (600 miles in 6 days). I am doing it again not because it is an excuse to spend 6 days in the saddle on one of the most beautiful roads in the world. I am doing it because I have never met a group of people so dedicated in their fight to beat Cancer. Last year I lost my father to it and this group of riders through the ride showed me the way back, and a way to help fight.

The charity we ride for is called City Of Hope in Los Angeles, they are pioneers in the fight, and an incredible organization. Last year we raised $250k (sounds better when you say a quarter of a million dollars), our goal this year is to beat that, and beat it well. $350K is our goal. I know we have a lot of organizations that want what we can give, understanding that I am going to ask for your support anyway. I can assure you that every single dollar you give to City Of Hope is put to good use. Anything you can give helps get us to our goal and makes soaking up the miles that little bit easier.

The link below enables you to donate and will be open from now all the way through until we reach Los Angels on September 24rd. Anything you can give is much appreciated.

Donate here: http://bit.ly/1sL6sea

If you are interested in reading about last years ride and hearing about some of this great group here is a link to a post I did last year.
http://elcyclista.com/2013/10/04/the-fire-flies-west-ride-2013/

Thank you in advance for any support you can give. For those who suffer(ed) we ride.

Conor.

Categories: Routes / The Other Stuff

Fred Perry + Wiggins Cycling Badges 10/06/2015


Patches

British fashion brand Fred Perry continues its collaboration with Bradley Wiggins by commissioning five illustrators to design these beautiful cycling patches. Each illustrator was given the theme of the city that they live in and include including London, New York, Tokyo, Munich and Paris. Not sure where I would put them, but love them.

The full Wiggins collection is here

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

A New Bucket List Ride: Route 24 Colorado 08/27/2014


Battle_MountainThe stunning Route 24 in Colorado to Leadville captured here.

Route 24 is one of those roads you end up taking when you decide to ignore the GPS for a day. A road that looked interesting on the map, made up of lots of twisting bends and rapid elevation gains. It is labeled one of Americas Scenic Byways, “Top Of The Rockies”, usually a good sign that you are in for a spectacular ride. I found the weather in the Rockies some of the hardest to read anywhere I have traveled. It can go from blistering sun, to thunderstorms and rain, to windy cold descents all within and an hour, weather that makes for great shots but difficult riding. Climbing starts at the town of Minturn, a charming one street town, the home of Weston Snowboards. You enter Main Street after passing through some beautiful rolling meadows before heading towards Cooper Mountain Ski Resort and the road up to Battle Mountain. First climbing gradually, and then steeply, as you pass an old abandoned mining town and the mountain community of Red Cliff as you pass over a bridge and it lies beneath you in the gorge. The road up is quiet and holds a steady grade, but the air is thin making the climbing tough. You top out as you round the bend at the entrance to Cooper Mountain Resort at 10,500ft one of the oldest ski resorts in Colorado, and you pass over the Continental Divide at Tennessee Pass the dividing line between the San Isabel National Forest and the The White River National Forest. The descent down the other side rivals most of the Alpine climbs before you roll out onto a massive flat open plain stacked on both sides with snow capped peaks and Galena Mountain. From there you roll straight on towards Leadville, one of Americas most famous mountain bike communities and the home of America’s Hall Of Fame for mining.

Categories: The Other Stuff

If You Are In Belfast For The Giro 05/04/2014


giro_belfast_2014

Just five days left to the start of something I thought I would never see in my lifetime, a Grand Tour starting in Belfast. I will be heading back home to watch this probably once in a lifetime event. I think Belfast is going to surprise a lot of people. It is a great city on the rebound from all of the bad headlines of the last 40 years. There is great food and maybe more important great coffee. For anyone in the cycling “Veloratti”, teams and visiting fans here is a quick guide to a few places to get a good coffee and other places worth checking out when you are in town. If anyone is visiting the stages and want to meet up drop us a note on Twitter or at thisiselcyclista@gmail.com and come have a pint.

5A Coffee Shop
Not for off the TTT coarse. Get a Cortado will you wait for Orica to burn up the road
Map

Common Ground
Just a short walk in from the Ormeau Road section of the TTT small but great coffee
Map

Established Coffee
Our personal favorite tucked away in the Cathedral Quarter
Map

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Categories: Races / The Other Stuff