Tag Archive for Eric Rogers

Morning Links: A deep dive into fake bikes, Ford says share the Euro roads, and kid beaten by cops for no helmet

Before we get started, I hope you’ll join me in wishing a safe and happy journey to my oldest brother, who switched from Iditarod sled dog racing to dreaming of riding RAAM. And who is setting out today for a month-long bike tour through the Colorado and Wyoming high country.

No, really.

I’m only a lot jealous.

Photo by Eric Rogers, before he left the wilds of Alaska for the slightly more civilized confines of Colorado’s West Slope.

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Bike Biz takes a deep dive into the world of fake bike gear, with a 20-part series on the wide world of bicycle counterfeiting.

Here’s just a few of the highlights.

Knockoffs are nearly as old as the first bicycle.

People buy Foakleys — aka fake Oakleys — because they feel like they’re being ripped off. And not by the fakes.

Specialized’s fake fighter in chief has been running down counterfeit Specialized parts for the past 10 years, earning the Mandarin nickname “Tiger watching the Tigers.” Meanwhile, lawyers fighting Chinese fakes are just playing whack-a-mole.

How to tell which fakes are safe to use, and which will give out on you.

Your new Pinarello could be spelled a little differently.

You don’t want to count on a counterfeit when your skull is at risk.

And you really don’t want to take on the organized crime triads behind the fakes. But bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid did anyway.

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Ford says it’s time to share the roads, and see them from someone else’s perspective. At least in Europe.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

New Zealand police tackle and punch a 13-year old boy for the crime of riding a bicycle in a park without a helmet.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

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A painful read from women’s pro Molly Weaver, who confronts the depression brought on by a series of collisions with drivers, resulting in numerous broken bones and concussions, as she decides to take her leave from the sport.

At the end of the day, the reality is that the majority of us as female cyclists are riding on passion and love for the sport alone. We don’t earn anywhere near a minimum wage, and so once the joy is lost there’s not much else to carry on for.

It’s not an easy read. But it’s worth it for a rare view into the struggles of women’s cyclists.

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Let’s catch up on a few post-holiday events.

BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass will join with members of the Santa Monica Police Department to answer your questions about road safety, equity and the rights of bicyclists tomorrow night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility and Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program are hosting a ride this Saturday to mark Pride Month and remember the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting this Saturday.

Bike SGV and Women on Wheels are holding a Dam(sel) Ride along the San Gabriel River to the Cogswell Dam on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, LA’s most popular fund raising ride rolls with the LACBC’s 18th annual River Ride along the LA River Bike Path; all the proceeds go to supporting their efforts to bring you a more bikeable LA.

Whatever you do, get out and celebrate World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

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Local

The Western Avenue Great Streets Project could be expanding in scope based on public feedback, including powder-coated bike racks. But still no safe way to get to them.

The area surrounding UCLA and Westwood Village voted to split off into a separate neighborhood council, which should provide more support for bicycling and other long-stymied activities in the area.

Metro votes to cut prices for the Metro Bike bikeshare and expand the system into Silver Lake, Koreatown and Expo Park, as well as Culver City, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey. But again, without providing safe streets to ride them on.

Streetsblog looks at the new one-block long sort-of protected bike lane on 7th Street in DTLA, which has already proven popular with Uber drivers.

Now that’s impressive. A group of cyclists somehow managed to raise $100,000 by riding 1,000 miles from Watts to Oxnard and back. Especially since the two communities are a little more than 50 miles apart.

 

State

San Francisco walking advocates call for installing a raised intersection to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Francisco writer says the new litmus test for when you’re too old isn’t how loud the music is, but your tolerance for dockless bikeshare bikes leaned up against trees.

The Oakland bike community is in mourning over the death of the man known to most as Tall Paul, who spent decades building custom bikes and giving them away to kids with good report cards. A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little more than $1,800 of the $8,500 goal to pay for his funeral.

Where to ride on your next trip up to Sacramento and Stockton.

 

National

A new documentary tells the story of a 22-year old American who rode his bike around the world — including a 10,000 mile journey across the Arctic.

Nothing to worry about here. The self-driving Uber car that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, spotted her before the crash but didn’t hit the brakes because the company disconnected the car’s automatic braking system.

An Arizona writer considers why some drivers hate us for no apparent reason. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Here’s your chance to ride Colorado’s famed Tour of the Moon course, made famous in the movie American Flyers and the legendary Coors Classic stage race.

Thieves are cutting locks and stealing bicycles in downtown Denver. Which makes it pretty much like every other downtown in the US. And why you need to register your bike now

A sports columnist discovers the camaraderie inherent with any bike club, but specifically a Tulsa OK riding club where women turn to deal with health problems and other issues.

Horrible reminder that hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as bike rider was found dead along a Texas highway, the apparent victim of a heartless coward behind the wheel. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A new exhibit at a Wisconsin art museum considers the art of designing Trek bicycles. Maybe they have a special section in the exhibit on the art of intimidating anyone who — correctly, as it turns out — accused Lance of doping.

Speaking of Wisconsin, if you want to get drunk and ride your bike, move there or one of the other 28 states that don’t have a BUI law on the books. One of which is not California.

Tragic news from Indianapolis, where a man on a bicycle was killed in a crash with a trio of motorcyclists, one of whom also died as a result; witnesses said the motorcycle riders were speeding and popping wheelies before crashing into the bicycle rider.

New York officials knew a bike path was easily accessible to drivers before last year’s Halloween terrorist attack, but did nothing to stop it until it was too late; it’s unclear what permanent changes will be made to protect riders.

Smart. Instead of ticketing kids for performing stunts on their bikes, the Patterson NJ police department hosted a Wheelie Race and Stunts competition.

I know you are but what am I? Someone hacked road signs along a North Carolina triathlon route to call bicyclists idiots and assholes on bikes.

 

International

A writer for Digital Trends says e-mountain bikes straddle the line between extravagance and necessity, while allowing riders to hit the trails without the skill to do it successfully.

The Weather Channel offers advice on how to ride in the Canadian heat. All of which applies here where it gets a lot hotter.

Another reminder to always ride carefully in a group, as an Ontario, Canada cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision with two other riders in a newly formed bike club.

You don’t need insurance to ride a bicycle in Europe, but you will to ride an ebike if it can go over 15 mph.

London’s walking and bicycling chief says the city’s cyclists are too white, too middle class and too male, with people who don’t match that description making up just 15% of London bike riders. On the other hand, at least they have a walking and bicycling chief, unlike some SoCal metropolises I could name.

Madrid will ban cars from the city center this fall, with the exception of people who actually live there and zero-emission cabs and trucks.

Rihanna is teaming with Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo to give bikes to girls in Malawi to help make education more accessible.

A South African driver gets ten years for killing two bike riders in a 5am crash as he was leaving a nightclub; the wreck reportedly scared several riders off their bikes.

New stickers applied directly to the pavement tell Seoul, Korea cyclists to get off their bikes when using crosswalks.

Great idea. Public bikeshare riders in Taipei, Taiwan will now be automatically insured whenever they rent a bike.

Beijing is about to begin work on a four-mile bicycle highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, it’s no spoiler to say Chris Froome won the Giro with a spectacular solo breakaway on Thursday, becoming one of a handful of cyclists to win all three grand tours.

However, Peter Flax complains that Froome should never have competed under the cloud of a failed drug test, and stirs controversy in the comments by questioning what fueled that ride.

Now Froome turns his attention to winning a record-tying fifth Tour de France, unless that doping cloud turns into a storm. And yes, Lance won seven, but we’re all pretending that never happened.

 

Finally…

Park in a bike path, get a yellow card. Your old bike tires could end up under Canadian horse hooves.

And forget a helmet; be sure to wear your app-controlled brain stimulator.

 

From dog sled racing to dreams of RAAM

Living our dreams has never been a problem for my family.

My sister Penny went from a high school dropout to regional manager of a children’s clothing firm, before starting a second career as an administrator of her son’s school. My brother Jim took up the mandolin several years ago, and now plays bluegrass throughout Northern Colorado.

My brother Eric is the (slightly) less hairy one.

And my oldest brother Eric earned a Ph.D in particle physics before moving on to a career in geophysics and environmental reclamation work. Then walked away to fulfill a life-long dream to run an Alaskan dog sled team.

Not bad for a kid who grew up watching Sgt. Preston in the Valley.

He’s competed in the famed Iditarod four times, finishing three — 1200 miles through the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter. The last time he ran, he had his fastest team. But held them back in the face of a severe storm, choosing to protect his dogs over finishing well.

There’s one story, though, that will tell you everything you need to know about my brother Eric.

The one year he didn’t finish, a series of mishaps left him with a broken leg, wrenched shoulder and a frostbite on his foot, forcing him to drop out of the race and seek shelter in a drafty shed, in the face of gale force winds and temperatures well south of 30 below.

But before he settled in to wait for rescue, he made sure his dogs were watered, fed and safe from the storm. Then refused to be evacuated until his team could be rescued, as well.

Now he’s taken up bicycling.

But I’ll let him tell you that story.

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Eric's new bike, a GT Transeo 3.0

You would think that a grandfather with a Ph. D. in Physics would know better.  It started innocent enough.  We are involuntary retired living on fixed income.   With gas over $4 / galleon and my vehicle being a Silverado 2500 HD 4×4 dog truck (ok just read 8 mpg in town), I was feeling more than a little trapped.  I’ve been listening to Ted’s bike stories for some time, but I hadn’t ridden since I got my driver’s license at 16 (no I won’t tell you how long ago that was),  but just maybe I could ride some of my short errands and save some money.

Rather than buy a bike I might not ride (and really could not afford), I could borrow one and try it.  A good friend had a Wal-Mart mountain bike from Key West just sitting around and loaned it to me.  Ah, the slippery slope.  My first ride was 0.1 miles – from my house everything is downhill – that part went fine.  Riding back my legs almost fell off.  But it was enjoyable in a masochistic kind of way.

A week later I was riding a whole ¼ mile, all the way to the bottom of the hill and back up.  Man how I wished that bike had a grandpa gear!  Two weeks later I rode the 13 miles from my house to my VA appointment (Anchorage has great bike paths).  The feeling of freedom was every bit as good as getting my license at 16.  I was independent and could go wherever and whenever I wanted.  A month later I rode 24 miles to a meeting and rode back again.

I was hooked and went straight to the hard stuff.  Reading stories like “Miles from Nowhere”, discovering the Adventure Cycling and Crazy Guy on a Bike websites – Furnace Creek 508 and RAAM only fueled the fire.  I’ve got a daughter in Goldsboro, NC and visions of riding from Anchorage to see her are dancing in my head.  Time to buy my own bike.

With dreams of long distance touring, but reality of short commutes to meetings and errands, this has got to be a versatile “one size fits all” kind of bike.  I dreamt about riding the Novara Safari or Surly Long Haul Trucker, but choked on the price tag.  I’m haunting Craigslist, ebay, LBS, and REI.  Three weeks ago I found a GT Transeo 3.0 at REI that had been ridden and returned.  A “comfort bike” – I liked the sound of that.  Aluminum frame, front suspension, disc brakes, braze-ons, and best of all, this one had a 22t chain ring – Grandpa gear!

Of course you can’t let a good thing go – I’ve added fenders to ride in the rain (typical August through October weather in Anchorage), a Topeak rack and milk crate, water bottles, lights and lock.  I found studded tires for winter ridding on Craigslist.  I’ve ordered a trekker handlebar from Nashbar that is due next week.

For a guy that has run 4 Iditarods and signed up for the 2012 Yukon Quest, this might be serious.

Pray for me!

Eric

Run over by a riding mower, near-killer PV speed bumps to stay

As some of you may know, my oldest brother runs a dog team up in the Anchorage area, competing in the famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, and finishing three.

The other left him and his team huddled in a shelter in subzero temperatures, waiting for rescue with a broken sled — not to mention a broken leg, frostbite and a bruised shoulder.

The dogs were just fine, though.

So maybe he was in the market for a safer form of transportation, or one that works a little better once the snow melts. Or maybe, like the rest of us, he was just trying to save a little with the current sky high price of gas.

Regardless, my brother, Eric O. Rogers — perhaps the only particle physicist and dog musher on the planet — has now officially joined the ranks of bike riders.

And promptly gotten himself run over.

By a riding mower.

It seems he rode his bike to the local Lowes home improvement store, and stopped in the parking lot to ask an employee where he could find a bike rack. And as he was stopped on his bike, he was hit by man on a riding lawnmower.

Fortunately, the mower wasn’t in use at the time, and he escaped with nothing more than a little road rash.

And I’m sure you already know the answer to the question that nearly got him turned into mulch.

Lowes, at least that one, doesn’t have bike racks.

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In a decision that defies common sense, the City Council of Palos Verdes Estates has voted to keep the speed bumps that nearly killed cyclist Richard Schlickman.

As you may recall, Schlickman was critically injured when he hit the newly installed speed bumps — excuse me, speed cushions — while riding downhill at speed, with little or no warning to cyclists that they had been built on a popular riding route. He had been riding downhill at speed when he hit the bumps, sliding nearly 80 feet down the roadway before coming to a stop; fortunately, word is he continues to make slow but steady improvement from what could have been a fatal fall.

But rather than remove or replace the potentially killer cushions, the council inexplicably voted to keep them in place.

Evidently, they haven’t yet crippled or killed enough cyclists in their effort to tame local traffic. Maybe someone should tell them there are alternative methods to calm traffic that don’t put riders lives at risk.

I hope PVE has a good lawyer.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Hap Dougherty shares another great set of cycling photos. This time, it’s a Memorial Day ride that took him from Westwood’s Los Angeles National Cemetery, throughout the Westside and up the L.A. River Bike Path — home to this weekend’s L.A. River Ride.

It does make you wonder why the cemetery insists on banning bikes, when so many riders just want to pay their respects.

Myself included.

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Over the weekend I found myself drawn into a discussion on the West Seattle Blog, possibly the nation’s leading hyperlocal news site — sorry Patch — managed by a couple of longtime friends.

One of their readers was shocked and offended to see a cyclist towing his child in a bike trailer, assuming imminent danger — if not death — for the parentally neglected kid.

Problem is, while motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for children, few, if any, of those deaths result from collisions with bicycle trailers. In terms of sheer numbers, children are at far greater risk riding in a car with their parents, or simply walking on the sidewalk.

One of the writers tried to make the point that even if just one child was killed as a result of riding in a bike trailer, it would be one too many — especially if it was your child.

That conveniently ignores the nearly 7,000 or more passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions each year — many of them children. As well as the more than 4,000 pedestrians of all ages killed every year. Each of whom was someone’s child.

So rather than getting up in arms over a potential, hypothetical danger, we should be concerned about the proven risk posed by careless, aggressive, intoxicated or distracted drivers, who kill over 33,000 people on American streets every year — including a minimum of 630 cyclists.

Sadly, there are none so blind as those who cannot see through the glare of their own windshields.

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Finally, thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for stopping by to say hi as he passed through town over the weekend, along with his lovely family. It was a true pleasure to finally meet someone I’ve only traded emails with, and who’s work I have always enjoyed and admired.

And while I neglected to take any pictures, he did capture great shot of the new intern, who has been helping more than she knows by sleeping behind the sofa this morning and allowing me to work uninterrupted for a change.

Extra added post pre-Iditarod post

My brother set out on his fourth Iditarod Sled Dog Race this morning, leading a team of 15 dogs 1,150 miles through the frozen tundra of the Great White North. As a recent profile in the local Anchorage paper made clear, he’s not going to win.

To put it in cycling terms, it’s like if you, by some miracle, found yourself riding in the Tour de France.

You know you’re not going to win. But you’re still competing on equal terms with the best riders in the world.

And what could be more cool than that?

Only this. Imagine competing in that race in some of the most forbidding conditions on earth, through snow up to 12 feet deep and temperatures far below freezing, if not far below zero. And your only companions are a team of dogs — experienced athletes in their own right, who love racing every bit as much as you do.

You can follow his progress by visiting the official Iditarod website, and clicking on the link reading View Full Current Standings link. Just look for the name Eric Rogers, bib number 60 — which was also his starting position.

As I write this, he’s just under 4 hours into what should be somewhere around an 8 to 10 day race. And he’s already moved up 25 spots to 35th place.

He won’t win.

But damn, I’m proud of him.

Extra added non-bike related bonus post

Funny how things work out.

On New Years Day, I wrote about taking chances. Big chances. Like the time I loaded my belongings in my car and started driving across the country, with no destination in mind.  Or when my brother set aside his doctorate in particle physics, and walked away from a successful career to compete in the Iditarod — a 1,200 mile dog sled race through the wilds of Alaska.

A few days later, a writer associated with Fermilab — one of the world’s leading research facilities in the field of high energy physics — did an online search for particle physics.

And somehow, was lead to my humble blog.

Now she’s written about the intersecting point of high-energy hadron deuteron collisions and sled dog racing — i.e., my brother — for Fermilab’s online magazine.

You can read about it here.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

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