Sunday, October 27, 2013

Check out this video ... Richard Sachs makes a quick appearance at 0:13:  See the video

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Bicycle Video Cam for Your Heirs

The latest in bicycling electronics--a camera that records what happens when you're hit by a car. Be careful if your spouse joins the Kickstarter campaign ... and especially careful if he/she starts insisting that you go riding.

More info from Core77 here.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ultramarathon Cycling's Demographic Problem

The author rides the Davis Double, circa 1985.
Ultramarathon cycling is aging, and unless the sport somehow convinces younger riders to take up the sport, demographics will catch up with our beloved double centuries and randonneuring events with disastrous consequences.

That's the unfortunate message that can be gleaned from the stats for riders in ultradistance cycling events.

Example: Statistics published by the California Triple Crown, which for 24 years has tracked the average age of the riders who finish the CTC series each year (completing at least three 200-mile "double century" rides). When the CTC started in 1990, the average age of a finisher in the series was 35. By 2013, the average age has risen to almost 51.

The figure mirrors the demographics for members of Randonneurs USA, the US organization for randonneuring. RUSA's members average 49.76 years of age; male RUSA members are slightly older (50.19), while female RUSA members are slightly younger (47.80).

Statistics for Paris-Brest-Paris, the most famous long-distance event in the worldwide randonneuring circuit, tell a similar story. In the most recent running of PBP in 2011, the average age of a finisher was 48.7 years of age. Male finishers in 2011 averaged 49.0; females 45.4.

The median age in the US in 2013, by comparison, is 37.1. The average age of U.S. men in 2013, by the way, is even lower--35.8 years.

Using that measure (because ultramarathon cyclists are overwhelmingly male), the average age of a long-distance cyclist is almost 16 years older than men as a whole in the U.S.

Why is this? It's probably true that other types of cycling--mountain biking, racing, etc.--appeal more to younger riders and attract younger participants. Long-distance cycling demands a measure of endurance and patience that many younger cyclists don't have. It's also expensive--the average double century now costs more than $100 to enter, and most require travel and overnight stays. All told, one ride can easily cost $500 or more. Many of the younger cyclists that we know can't afford that kind of scratch.

The author at the 2013 Davis Double
But that doesn't explain why the CTC managed to attract such a young crowd in 1990 (35 years of age, at a time when the US median age was 32.9). What was different then that a group of riders almost half the age as the current crop took part in the events? And what can CTC--and other ultramarathon groups--do to bring younger riders into the fold?

There are some bright spots. In 1990, the CTC had only 33 finishers. Last year (this year's season isn't over yet), there were 515. That's partly due to the larger number of double centuries to choose from (just six in 1990 and 24 this year), and partly due to the growing awareness of the series. Still, CTC participation peaked in 2007 with 555 finishers, and has exceeded 500 only two years since then.

We're interested in your take on this issue. Let us know what you would to do increase participation in ultramarathon cycling in the comments below.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Today's Bike: Yuri's Wilier Zero.7

Everywhere you go in this great world, you'll find fans of Vicenza riding Campagnolo-equipped bikes.

Here's a great example: Yuri L's Wilier Zero.7, equipped with new Super Record 11 (except for the Rotor cranks). You'll see Yuri riding this near his home in Muscat, Oman.

To see your bike on the Campy Only blog, email photos to enorris [at] campyonly [dotcom]

24 Consecutive California Triple Crown Finishes for CampyOnlyGuy!

We're still waiting for the California Triple Crown to update their database, but our successful completion of the Knoxville Fall Classic Double Century on Saturday clinched our 24th consecutive CTC series. That's a successful completion in all of the 24 years the CTC has been around.

Not to brag (well, OK, a little bragging), but there is no other rider who's done that--only CTC founder Chuck Bramwell is close, with 23 finishes.

See you next year, Chuck!

Lee Mitchell's Bike Van

The famous Bike Van--photos taken at the celebration of Lee's life on Sept 29, 2013. RIP, Lee!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Today's Bike: Pieter's Chorus 'Cross

Reader Pieter S sent these photos of his Chorus-equipped cyclocross bike, which he describes as "a match to any forest and rides like a dream." Enjoy.