Archive for February, 2011

Cycling Environmentalism

Posted in Going Green on February 25, 2011 by bethleasure

Greener Pastures

47” It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best…you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through…”                Ernest Hemingway, Author, Bicyclist

Hemingway wrote, rode, advocated


Open-air enjoyment is our passion, but the earth and others benefit from our bike riding. Congratulations to us who ride more and drive less! Even passively we contribute to a cleaner environment, reduce emissions, economize fuel, take up less space on roads and for parking, promote public health, and are safer to pedestrians than motorists.

Active efforts for conservation include: trail creation, cleaning, and recovery; rides raise awareness and funds for environmental causes; and advocate groups who inform and cooperate with transportation authorities.

Cycling environmentalism goes beyond rights to ride on streets. Our growing bicycle commuter constituency is part of 48smart growth, assisting in a philosophical shift from expansive urban planning and economic development to improving quality of life. Bike use helps contain urban sprawl by reducing vehicle miles traveled, especially in conjunction with mass transit and walkways.

Going green for us can mean a few other simple choices. We already reuse our water bottles, saving plastic. Use your stuff until it’s worthless, then decide how best to recycle. HHHang your shorts out to dry – saves the chamois and your electric bill, use energy-saving bulbs, go paperless with event registration, recycle bike electronics. Some kid-hauling cycling parents are using bike trailers for shopping. A ride to the local market with a backpack was part of my euro-racing experience that transferred state-side. Most of us are already eating locally-grown produce and less processed foods…now if I could only find an authentic fresh patisserie! Cycling already knows about the value of greener pastures.

Prayer for Cycling Environmentalism

“You lead me beside green pastures, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” 49Psalm 23:2-3


We are glad for a Go Green trend. We confess our food garbage goes from jersey pocket to roadside sometimes. We ask for reminders to honor the earth and tangible support for cycling conservationism.

Ponder What can I reduce, re-use, or recycle? Affirm I can go green by using the bike to run an errand on an active rest day instead of the car, and I can ride my Scooter! Watch increased commuter miles cause training time to go green.

47“A Bicycle is a Splendid Thing,” Hemingway’s Source for Bartolomeo Aymo in A Farewell to Arms by Mark Cirino in The Hemingway Review – Volume 26, Number 1, Fall 2006

48“John Holtzclaw: Cycling Environmentalist,” posted July 17, 2007 on Bike Commute Tips Blog A San Francisco-based consultant in transportation, urban development, energy consumption, and air quality, Dr. John Holtzclaw is chair of Sierra Club’s Transportation Committee.

49This is my paraphrase from two versions: Holy Bible, King James Version public domain and The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Cycling & Public Image

Posted in April Fool's on February 22, 2011 by bethleasure

Fool For You

3“The bad boy image only works for one out of a thousand, if even, and usually does not last very long. And remember, you must speak positive about your sponsor. Nobody wants you to lie. If you can’t stand behind your sponsor or what they are offering you… then move on. You have got to be [tuff] enough to turn down a deal ahead of time, if you know it is not going to work for you.” Hans Rey, Trials Superstar on public persona

Sorry *dude, sponsors just don't like this kind of look...


Hans “No Way” Rey got his nickname because friends saw him riding stuff they never thought possible. Hans fools physics but is no fool when it comes to managing how he is perceived. He leaps and bounds beyond performance to balance his worldwide media exposure. He knows how important it is to sponsors to generate interest from millions of spectators in order to sell product. Even companies going for “cool” consumers learn the value of an untouchable image for market share. I’d like to hope that perhaps Hans doesn’t want to just seem good, perhaps he wants to be good from within as well as without.

Eventually to sell enough one has to tap into mainstream, and bad doesn’t play on Main Street. In cycling’s public controversies, a lesson should be noted: it’s not enough to do right, one must also appear to do right. If you do right but appear to do wrong, you will limit your opportunities; and if you do wrong, don’t stay a fool – change direction.

One sad reality in the news is when clean riders are teams are trashed because of one doper. In the past, teams prepared for events but were unable to race because of actual bad behavior or public image. So heads up – don’t be a fool! Choose to affiliate not only based on competitiveness, successful management, and program efficacy, but on how the association will be perceived. Birds of a feather flock together, and the peloton has a number of dirty birds. But there are some eagle aces out there who are genuine in their pursuit of both excellence and goodness.

Decide wisely which culture and sponsorship suits your image. But do your homework, not every team with a bad apple is rotten. So often we think any opportunity is a good opportunity. Choose the best over the good, and often the best is found by looking a little deeper while noting public opinion and past moral record. People can change. Things are not always as they seem; get your facts straight. You don’t need to be anybody’s fool.

Prayer for Public Image

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 41 Thessalonians 5:22

We are thankful that with increasing worldwide interest in cycling now more than ever success depends upon image. We confess our map of Main Street has some dirty alleys. We ask for swept streets to stay on Clean Boulevard.

Ponder Do I consider how my associations appear to others? Affirm I choose what is allowed and also what is advisable. Watch for scenarios that may not best present you: protect your public image.

*My apologies to David Clinger. He may be a great guy but you wouldn’t know it from this image. Still appearances can be deceptive, so I give him the benefit of the doubt now or perhaps in the future. 

3“Beyond Sport!” by Hans Rey on “How to become a Pro” posted on

Hans does indeed walk the walk of smart exposure with TV work, publicity stunts, riding clinics, photo shoots, Hans Rey Adventure Team trips, marketing consulting and providing bikes to people in third world countries in need of transportation. I suspect Hans Rey has a very good heart – but this is a public perception and my opinion.

4Holy Bible, King James Version public domain

Cyling’s Private Parts

Posted in Private Cycling on February 18, 2011 by bethleasure

Private Parts

49“This isn’t the usual bicycle seat/numbness discussion — it involves pain when NOT cycling, pretty much constantly, and often in more than one [private] area, moving around.” Posted by tilyou1, a Bicyclist in misery

Not a delicate picture but a delicate area

This is where ignoring or overcoming pain becomes not the trait of an invincible champion but gross neglect of a real condition. As riders we train to increase our pain tolerance; but this is a very different kind of pain. Nerve issues should never be tolerated, ignored, or discounted.

Pudendal Nerve Entrapment (PNE) is similar to carpel tunnel except its location is around the sit bones. Hard to treat, 50it’s so common in bicyclists that’s it’s been labeled, Cyclist’s Syndrome. Difficult to diagnose because the pattern and place of pain may move, it occurs both suddenly or develops over time. It is treatable through various means, including surgery and physical therapy, but the earlier the treatment the better. Quality of life can be greatly affected not just by the lack of enjoyable riding, but persistent pain or problems off the bike.

51A concern for female cyclists is urine leakage when pelvic floor muscles are weakened perhaps through childbirth or from endurance activity. One can have a six-pack of ab muscles and still encounter problems with pelvic floor musculature. There are urogynelogical approaches to this private problem.

An important consideration with any condition is to find a medical team that is both knowledgeable and sympathetic to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of an endurance athlete. Being off our bikes isn’t like hanging up any hobby. It is an attachment, a mindset, and a lifestyle that’s not easily replaced by inactivity during recovery time. Riders uncertain about their conditions and treatments experience real and valid feelings of loss.

Prayer re: Cyclist’s Syndrome

“…some people end up as know-it-alls who treat others as know-nothings. Real knowledge isn’t that insensitive.” 521 Corinthians 8:7

We are glad that knowledge about certain private conditions is becoming more public. We pray for the right treatment and healing for sufferers in these sensitive areas.

Ponder Am I smug about the suffering of others? Affirm I sympathize with loss even without understanding causes or conditions. Watch for opportunities to encourage and support cycling colleagues experiencing grief from sensitive areas, physical and otherwise.

49“‘Cyclists’ Syndrome’ (medical) aka Pudendal Nerve Entrapment,” posted by tilyou1 on 4/15/04

50“Introductory Frequently Asked Questions,”

51“Peeing on the Run,” Posted by Michelle Grainger on 4/19/2008

52The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2011 by bethleasure

Foe & Friend

32“You know the guys would all be decked out…and there is Bobke in his Mom’s sweater…I would KICK THEIR ASS every day. It just took one guy to say you’re in your Mom’s sweater to dole out the punishment!” Bob Roll, Euro-pioneer and cycling personality

Bobke found his way

A second generation cashmere hand-me-down turned jersey is perfect for northern California spring training and teasing. So Bobke is describing a merry motivation: playful retribution. This episode was all in good fun, but sometimes the words of peers have as hard an edge as the pavé in Paris-Roubaix; sometimes those in your world aren’t merry men ready for you as their Robin Hood. Once in a while, there may even be a few decided upon your destruction, or at least the decimation of your dreams.

I’ve been the recipient of another’s sneering domination. Three weeks of second place and I’d about had it until Miss Win-Thing went away to another region. Her absence made me realize that her instigating presence was teaching me how to win. Subtly, I was being polished by proximity to a worthy competitor.

Sometimes the lessons become personal and the opponent blatant in their enmity: public criticism and gossip murder a reputation; relentless revenge inflicts real damage. There’s nothing like an intruder to evoke territorial showmanship, and there’s no lack of nemeses. Yet in every case, there IS a reason to rejoice. Through firings and defrauding, betrayal and broken hearts, an enemy is more faithful than a flatterer. This person can be your “friend” – “assisting” you to learn some painful lesson, change to a less resisted path or increase determination to stand before an army of naysayers. The effect is motivation; if not merry, then memorable.

Every epic has a hero and a foil – the character whose tension sharpens the resolve and moral fiber of the protagonist and in the process makes a hero draw upon their best.

Prayer for your Competition

“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.” 33Luke 6:26-30

We ask forgiveness for our hatred. We ask for discernment to see how the placement of a foe is part of a problem we’re to solve. We pray for our competitors – their best and worst brings out our best.

Ponder Whom do I hate and why? Affirm I am always in control of my attitude and can resist hatred’s hold on me. Watch your energy flow into its proper place when fighting ceases and tactics begin.

32PEZ Interviews: Bobke!” Reported by Matt Wood, Wednesday, October 03, 2007

33The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Safety on the Road

Posted in Going Green on February 11, 2011 by bethleasure

Green Light

42“…spread the joy of bicycling bliss…if so much can come from unconscious or non-deliberate action, imagine what our bike commute can be like when we mix action AND thought.” Jeff the Veloteer, Bicycle Commuter

Lights, reflectors, screaming...whatever works to get noticed.

Definitely mix action and thought when riding in traffic. With warmer weather, everyone is eager to be outside: guys driving ‘Benz clinching deals wearing ear buds; newly licensed teenagers cruising while sending text messages; sleepy, overworked truckers; and people who’d rather pause than stop at an intersection.

A bicycle commuter city like Portland boasts 6 years with ZERO cycling fatalities. Some credit this to strength in numbers, designated lanes on busy streets, lights and intersections engineered for it, and motorist awareness. Most of us live in areas without this kind of safety focus for cyclsits on the road – some of us even encounter hostility when riding. Even so, we can have a significant role in our safety.

Most but not all bike accidents in traffic are avoidable. The top two 43scenarios of traffic-related cycling fatalities in America occur when exiting a driveway in front of an on-coming vehicle or when turning left in front of a passing vehicle. Of 44crashes involving minor injuries only 11% involved a motorist and of serious crashes only 24% were with cars. Of these injuries, over half were recreational users on secondary streets or streets without bike lanes. 45Other leading crash causes with motor vehicles are:

b   oncoming motorist turning left into the path of a bicyclist

b   motorist misjudged the space required to safely pass

b   bicyclist turning left in front of car going same direction

b   motorist failed to yield right-of-way at a junction violating the sign or signal

b   bicyclist failed to yield right-of-way at an intersection

b   bicyclist did not stop for a sign/flashing signal and was struck in intersection

As riders, we need to remember: we are also subject to traffic laws; cars often do not see us; some motorists have no clue how fast we go and don’t estimate the speed at which we’ll reach a certain point. As you’re training out there, ride defensively. Wave arms, yell, shake your head – whatever it takes to communicate to a driver not to come toward you. Force eye contact. Go only when you get the green light. Be safe! 

Prayer for Commuters/Traffic Safety

“Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts. At the town center she makes her speech. In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand. At the busiest corner she calls out.” 46Proverbs 1:20-21


We are glad we belong on streets for which we also pay taxes. We confess we think we own the road when what we need to do is navigate it and assume all its dangers are for us to avoid. We ask to be seen by motorists and to take responsibility to ride in traffic – eyes wide open.

Ponder Do I ride on autopilot in traffic? Affirm I must be present even before I leave the driveway. Watch the cars and adjust accordingly.

42“Green-tuesday-on-being-an-environmentalist,” posted by Jeff the Veloteer on 1/29/2008

43“Crash-Type Manual for Bicyclists,” by Carol Tan from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research study Pub No. FHWA-RD-96-104. This work was done by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.

44“Adult Bicyclists in the U.S. – Characteristics and Riding Experience in 1996,” by William E. Moritz, Ph.D. Professor (Emeritus) Human Powered Transportation, University of Washington. Revised March 30, 1998 paper 98-0009 presented at the Transportation Research Board 77th Annual Meeting, January 11-15, 1998, Washington D.C.

45“Their summary of crash causes,” Funded by the US Department of Transportation, University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center in cooperation with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, as updated in 2004 by Doug Mink “Bicycle Crash Statistics”

To test your awareness of seeing many things at once, Try this “See the Cyclist” Test to find the Moonwalking Bear This gives you pause to ride defensively.

46The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Cycling Advocacy

Posted in Going Green on February 8, 2011 by bethleasure

Road Envy

39“Do you feel that 93% of federal funding for bicycle transportation should be used for shared pedestrian/bicycle paths and trails with less than 2% going for such things as education, sharable-width lanes and bikeable shoulders?” ProBicycle, Bicycle Advocacy by Bicyclists for Bicyclists 

Carla Swart RIP

Everyone should take a lesson from the Dutch about how to accommodate bicycles on roadways. What a model of shared transportation! One can go anywhere on a bike in all of The Netherlands via designated bike lanes and be yielded to, as well as properly directed. This is a bike commuter’s dream: an entire cycling- friendly nation, its windmills wave to us in welcome, “Come on over and see how we bike to work, to shop, to school.”

In America, we have more space than sense sometimes. We have bigger and better roads than probably anywhere on earth, and we still build separate places for bicycles and call them greenways. It’s good that some of these projects offer parks and paths to areas which may not otherwise have them. Yet there’s little incentive to commute when unable to ride the most direct route to work or in competition with rollerbladers and dog-walkers.

So bicycle advocacy has moved beyond new trails to safe accommodation on roads with the same rights and rules as cars. In market economies, the harder, smarter workers are supposed to be rewarded with sustainability and profits. It’s time to reward bike commuters with safe road infrastructure and more widespread public education of motorists regarding bicycle awareness, rules, and driving habits on shared roads. We who choose to ride versus drive profit by reduced gasoline and health bills – that is if we don’t get hit by a car. Let’s reduce emissions and become a healthy, compatible, collision-free cycling republic.

Prayer for Cycling Advocacy

“Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property, For they have a powerful Advocate who will go to bat for them.” 40Proverbs 23:10-11


We are thankful for those lobbying for the bicycle as utility and recreational mode of transportation. We confess we don’t do enough to show others how to treat us on the road. We ask for more bike lanes and that bicycle awareness become a component of driver education.

Ponder Besides riding, how else am I a bicycle 41advocate? Affirm I will do one more action item to help this cause. Watch the bike advocates for opportunities to serve your community and your country.

39“The Shameful Side of American Advocacy,” under “Who Claims to Speak for You?” Copyright©1995-2008 by Chainguard and Probicycle

40The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

41League of American Bicyclists defines advocacy and these points for taking action: ride a bike; form an advocacy group/club; encourage friend/family to ride and employers to support commuting; speak to elected officials; respond to tragedy; and share the road.

Asian Cycling

Posted in Foreign Tourin' on February 4, 2011 by bethleasure


65“I am having fun in other parts of the world.”  Leon van Bon, Dutch Pro, on his Asian team contract

Asian superhighway now trading cyclists

The Silk Road extended from southern Europe, through Arabia, Egypt, Persia, and India until it reached China. It connected East with West allowing trade, communication, and cultural interaction and was a significant factor in the development of several great civilizations in which the modern world has its foundations. It was a superhighway of mutual benefit revealed by the tales of Marco Polo. Known more as an explorer, in reality Polo was a trader seeking rich merchandise. Egyptian jade was carved into beautiful jewelry in the Orient and Chinese silks adorned ancient western kingdoms; Indian spices seasoned the known world. The result was Europe’s exposure to Asian culture. While sea routes replaced the Silk Road, Polo’s tale inspired other explorers like Columbus who was in search of another route to China when he discovered the New World.

Now66 Marco Polo rides again to discover new worlds as a cycling team. The team has become a route for Asian cyclists to reach the highest levels of competitive cycling in partnership with the experience of its multinational roster and exposure of its international schedule. Like any development team, they face disparity in resources when racing against the pro teams at international tours.

China hosting the Olympic Games accelerated the pace on this new path for Asian cycling. Its spring stage races are already host to worldwide professional teams in search of early season spice: Jelajah Malaysia, Tour of Thailand, Tour de Langkawi are a few flavors.

While the names of routes may change, fine silk is still considered a priceless treasure. Look for Asian cycling to do as Asia has always done – play a critical part in adorning cycling’s future upon silken superhighways.

Prayer for Asian Cycling

“I’ll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into a superhighway.

Look: These coming from far countries…” 67Isaiah 49:11-12

We are grateful for new paths that open up before us. We ask for fresh spices to flavor cycling’s stir-fry and ask blessing on Asian cycling.

Ponder Have I some goods to offer? Are there some concepts or things I need in order to spice up my cycling? Affirm I am a traveler seeking the best. Watch for new ways to trade for fuller, richer and more luxurious cycling.

65“Last year’s Nokere winner now world traveler,” Latest Cycling News, March 19, 2008 Edited by Bjorn Haake

66Marco Polo Cycling Team info

67The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

South American Cycling

Posted in Foreign Tourin' on February 1, 2011 by bethleasure

Sin Represas62            Without Power-Lines

63“The environment along the Carretera Austral is so beautiful, you don’t care if you’re riding along at 5mph for days and days and days!”  Nik Obriecht, Bicycle Mechanic and Cyclo-Explorer 

The wild road calls gently


As cycling explorer, we are thrilled by the ride itself and in awe of the beauty around us. A trio of bicycle wanderers pursued whimsy and took weeks in January-March on hundred-pound, steel touring bikes hauling tents and all their gear in search of adventure…and found Patagonia.

Perhaps the last edge of un-civilization exists along the road, Carretera Austral that leads to Patagonia in southern Chile and Argentina. The road of 1350 kilometers is epic like “the worst, steep, craggy gravel driveway you can imagine” twisting through many climates: coast, snow-topped Andean mountains, desert, rainforest, jungle and glacier lakes. Even the word, Patagonia, sounds like a fantasy world. Patagonia is an expansive undeveloped land fiercely protected to remain as is with an incredible variety of fauna and flora. Thousand year old plants live at road-side. It’s considered the last wild place on earth.

Despite its lack of infrastructure, the experience of these wanderers was remarkably problem-free. Its indigenous people were accommodating to their cycling guests, assisting with transport to ferries, safe bike storage, and hosting meals. The hospitable natives peacefully live in the region with European émigrés who settled there within the last century. Each town is a distinct cultural enclave of its settler’s origin. Much different from taking a cruise and souvenir-shopping at tourist malls, there were no complaints even while encountering the “horrendous” conditions of the road itself. Everyone was smiling as they enjoyed one of the last frontiers without an industrial footprint. Sometimes it’s best to ride without connection to any technology – cyclometer or powermeter, reminding yourself why you love it.

Prayer for South American Cycling

“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 64Numbers 14:7

We are thankful for the good earth. We ask for eyes to see beauty, to be without complaint, and ask blessing upon South American cycling.

Ponder Is there wildness in my cycling? Affirm I sometimes ride without power-lines and make time to explore. Watch and appreciate as you are only passing through this good land.

62Sin Represas really means without development and could refer to power-lines, dams, deforestation or any symbol of urbanization that changes natural topography. It is a movement or campaign to arrest development and the slogan seen on signs throughout Patagonia.

63Conversation with Nik Obriecht. Nik shared his stories of adventure riding in South America. All quotes in this section are by Nik. He and fellow cyclo-explorers took thousands of photographs. You can view them at or speak to Nik about his trip at the shop in Ellicott City, Maryland, USA.

Carretera Austral means Southern Road.

64The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society