Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lois Springsteen and Bill Bryant on Lee Mitchell

Lee Mitchell at the 2013 Davis Double Century
More about Lee Mitchell:

It is with great sadness that we pass along the news that Lee Mitchell passed away this morning after a lengthy illness. He was 77 when he died. Lee was well-known throughout the world of long-distance cycling from his many years of supporting participants at brevets, centuries, double centuries, the Furnace Creek 508, RAAM, and other cycling marathons. Lee, a resident of Woodland, a charter member of the Davis Bike Club, an early member of Randonneurs USA, and a recently retired community college instructor, had countless friends made though his years of helping at cycling events around the western United States. 

Lee was a man on the move. He was on the road most weekends, driving to various events in his well-known red Bike Van. A good cyclist himself with several double centuries and Team-RAAM events under his belt, Lee knew that providing effective support during a long race could make the difference between success and failure. Or, when not helping a particular racer, Lee would drive at other events for hours on end, providing roving sag support to everyone who needed it. He helped stranded riders replace or repair their broken equipment, he gave them water when their bottles ran dry, and he ferried exhausted riders back to the start/finish. Lee usually had classic rock blasting from Bike Van’s loudspeakers, something that always lifted the spirits of weary randonneurs in the wee hours after midnight. Even if we didn’t need help, just knowing Lee was out there looking after us was a real comfort. For decades, Lee spent the month of June traversing the country while supporting RAAM riders, and the lengthy waiting list of endurance racers seeking his support showed the high level of expertise he brought to the job. The amazing part is that Lee did all this sag support for free, year after year. Lee sought nothing more than to help riders go far on their bicycles and fulfill their sporting dreams. (Between the cost of fuel and replacing worn-out vehicles, he must have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to help cyclists.)

In the end, I hope Lee knew how much he enriched the lives of so many people. Indeed, the high regard with which Lee is held by so many people--friends, family, students, and cyclists alike--is strong testimony to how he made our world a better place. Simply put, he was a lovely guy and all of us will miss him terribly. The Santa Cruz Randonneurs, along with riders all around the country, send Lee’s family, and our friends in the Davis Bike Club, our sincere condolences in their time of sorrow.

Bill Bryant & Lois Springsteen

Lee Mitchell Passes

Sad news today from the Davis Bike Club:

Lee Mitchell, a dedicated and devoted friend and supporter of cyclists everywhere, but especially of the Davis Bike Club, died this morning.

Lee will be remembered for his unfailing smile, his signature "Santa Claus" look, his never-changing wardrobe, and his red mini-van blasting music to get you over that next hill. Most of all, we'll remember him for his unfailing SAG support, his generosity of spirit, and his single-minded concern for the safety of cyclists on the road.

I understand plans for a memorial service are pending but no definite date is yet set. As I learn more, I will pass it on.

Our heartfelt condolences to Lee's wife, Shirley, to his family, and to all those who counted him among our friends.

Barbara Anderson
President, Davis Bike Club

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Need a Slimmer Battery

It's 2013, and bicycles are finally entering the space which has up 'til now been occupied mostly by high-end electronics: the "slimmer, lighter model this year" arena. Yes, now that our bikes require batteries to shift (thank you, ShimaNO and Campagnolo), we have the need for ever-smaller and -slimmer batteries (think about every year's refresh of the iPhone). Because nobody wants a heavy battery weighing down their electronic bicycle.

Today's entry from Eurobike is the new, streamlined Campagnolo EPS battery, which is slimmer, lighter (by 50 grams) ... and requires more frequent charging. Seems that even Campagnolo can't change the laws of battery physics.

If only someone would invent a shifting system that didn't need batteries. Oh, wait! We've had that for more than 100 years!

Here's the link for more info: Campagnolo offers streamlined EPS battery | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Video From Today: LifeFlight Helicopter Leaving Moscowite Corners

Reminder to everyone to ride safely--this helicopter was carrying an injured motorcyclist.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Campagnolo Introduces New Bottom Bracket Design

First there was UltraTorque, then came PowerTorque ... now, Campagnolo introduces OverTorque, a new one-piece bottom bracket design (like PowerTorque) that promises a lighter, stiffer unit. The bottom bracket features a 30mm-diameter titanium spindle.

In a radical departure from past practice, the new crankset/BB unit won't take their name from one of Campagnolo's standard lines (Record, Chorus, etc.). Instead, they will come in two models, Comp and Comp Ultra.

Hit up this link for more info. Pricing and availability are not yet available.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Welcome to the Cult

Bicycling Magazine highlighted Campy Only as one of the centers of worldwide Campagnolo fanaticism. Some years later, we're still here, and still fanatical.

70's Cinelli Speciale Corsa SC 48 cm Extreme RARE x Small Campagnolo Record Cult | eBay

Nice example of a classic Cinelli is up for sale on eBay:

70's Cinelli Speciale Corsa SC 48 cm Extreme RARE x Small Campagnolo Record Cult | eBay:

We can't say for sure whether this bike is an "investment" in the sense that its value will go up (as the seller suggests), but it's a nice-looking bike in a rather small size.

(We of course appreciate the reference to the Campagnolo Cult.)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ride from Martinez to Davis, 8-3-13

Photos from today's ride, which started with an Amtrak ride to Martinez, CA, and ended 72 miles later back in Davis.