Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Cycling Along Lake Titicaca

Cycling along Lake Titicaca
Looking to venture someplace exotic on your next cycling trip? Consider visiting Lake Titicaca in South America along the Peru Bolivia border. At an altitude of over 12,000 feet, it is the highest navigable lake in the world. With a surface area of over 3,200 square miles (roughly equal to eight Indiana counties), it is the largest lake in South America. It has been considered sacred by many cultures, including the Inca. It was also a center of political power.

For information about cycling along Lake Titicaca, visit Andes by Bike. At first there doesn't seem to be much there. Click on the heading that says "Sketch Map" to see a diagram of the route. Click on "Google Map" and you can see that the route goes around the northern tip of the lake and along much of its eastern shore.

Here's a video that shows some of the sights in and around Lake Titicaca:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Wabash River Ride

Crossing the Wabash River
This Saturday the Wabash River Cycle Club will hold its annual Wabash River Ride. The ride begins at Fort Ouiatenon in West Lafayette, with several mileage options:
  • 34 miles
  • 47 miles
  • 65 miles
  • 107 miles
I've ridden this ride a couple times in the past. It's a good ride with interesting scenery along the Wabash River. At the sag stops there will be cookies that are home baked by members of the Wabash River Bicycle Club. After the ride there will be a barbecue lunch.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Photo - Aero Helmet on a Budget

Do it yourself aero helmet
Okay, let's say that you're going to do a time trial, but you don't have the money for one of those fancy aerodynamic bike helmets. What do you do? The guy above came up with the answer. Just get some cardboard, fold it up so it ends with point, and attach it to your regular helmet.

This photo came from the blog Bikenarian - Inconsequential Ramblings of a Vet on His Bike.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Video - Mark Cavendish / Peter Sagan Crash

Mark Cavendish (far left) going down after contact with Peter Sagan
The big controversy in this year's Tour de France was the disqualification of Peter Sagan after his contact with Mark Cavendish during stage 4. Cavendish suffered a broken shoulder blade and had to abandon the race. There seems to be little agreement over the incident. Some called it a "dirty" move by Sagan, while others thought it was "just racing." Most thought the penalty was overly harsh. I think this incident will be talked about by cycling fans for years to come, and there will never be agreement about Sagan's guilt or innocence. Take a look at the video below and see what you think.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - 1948 4-Man Bicycle

4-Man bicycle featured in a 1948 issue of Life magazine
Mankind has been building weird bikes for quite a while now. This 4-man bicycle was featured (along with other weird bikes) in a 1948 issue of Life magazine. There are 5 bike chains on it, so everyone is helping to propel it forward. The guy in front has his hand on the horn. The guy on top is Art Rothschild, who built the bicycle. He suffered three broken ribs while learning to ride it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Ten Best Cycling Holdays

See the world best by bicycle
I ran across an interesting article on the website of the London newspaper The Telegraph entitled "10 of the Best Cycling Holidays of 2017." All of these ten are commercial tours:
  • River Roaming, Czech Republic & Germany (Chapters Experience Holidays) - Starts with a day of sightseeing in Prague, then follows the Vlatava and Elbe Rivers to Dresden. They say along a river in Germany, you will always find a castle and a bike path.
  • Winelands & Whales, South Africa (KF Adventure Travel) - An eight day exploration of South Africa's western cape. Highlights include vineyards, whale watching and penguins on Boulders Beach.
  • Best of the British Isles (Wilderness Scotland) -  A twelve day ride through five countries (Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland).
  • Backroads of Burma (Intrepid Travel) -  Here's a chance to spend two weeks in a country that was closed to outsiders until recently.
  • Finland in Winter (Exodus Travels) - Here's one for you cold weather fans. Fat tire biking on frozen tundra, watching for elk and reindeer.
  • Bikes and Barges in Provence,France (Saddle Skedaddle) - Eight days in France. Along with beautiful views of other sites, you will get to see (but won't have to climb) the dreaded Mount Ventoux you've seen in the Tour de France.
  • Classic Cycling Tour of Nepal (Mountain Kingdoms) - Ten days of cycling with views of the Himalayas, plus a chance to see rhino, crocodiles and tigers in Chitwan National Park.
  • Seville to Porto (Explore!) - An eight day ride from Seville in southern Spain to Porto in northern Portugal. Along the way you can see sites left by the Romans and Moors.
  • Classic Wales (The Carter Company) - Most of the cycling is offroad. Highlights include Brecon Beacons National Park, St. David's Cathedral and a boat trip to Ramsey Island.
  • Vietnam End to End (Freedom Treks) - Here's a challenging 17 day, 1,000 mile trip from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Hanoi inn the north.
While I have no doubt that these trips are all fantastic, I can't help but notice the anti Western Hemisphere bias. No tour in North, South or Central America made the list. There also seems to be a home country bias as well. The British Isles, which have about the same area as the state of New Mexico, have two of the ten tours.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kokomo's Sizzling Century Ride

Not many hills on the Sizzling Century (photo courtesy of The Ride So Far)
If you are looking to ride your first century, and want to find one that isn't too difficult, consider the Sizzling Century coming up this Saturday. The event is run by Kokomo's Breakaway Bicycle Club.   The route is pretty flat (Where are you going to find hills around Kokomo?). Of course, the weather could make it quite challenging (It's called the Sizzling Century for a reason). Fortunately, they have some other route options (40, 62 and 80 as well as 100 miles) in case the weather drains your energy a little too fast. You can register online.