Archive for April, 2010

Mark Miller is enjoying himself, surrounded by the beautiful sites of Zion National Park, Utah.
Soon the enjoyment will give way for a brutal battle, choppycold waters, hills and 30 MPH winds will make this a ‘Stainless Steel Man’, rather than an Ironman…
The Dutch do their homework. Like any self-respecting advocacy org they have traffic consultant dedicated to scientific issues and they know that bicycle helmets don’t have a lot going for them as far as effectiveness goes. They know that the mere promotion of helmets reduces cycling and they’ve read the chilling results of the mathematician Professor Piet de Jong’s study about the heavy price helmet laws inflict on countries and regions.

So, in an inspired moment of rationality, they decided to put forth the idea of putting air bags on the machines that cause the damage – the cars. No ignoring the bull here. Place the responsibility where it belongs.

The airbags for cars idea met a great deal of enthusiasm in the Netherlands. So much so that funding has been given to test the idea.

And the email I recieved today was about the Dutch Transport Minister pledging €1 million more for further research. Here’s the minister saying stuff about it in Dutch:

The crash test in the film is one of a series to determine where cyclists land on cars in order to figure out where the airbags should be placed. The next step is the completion of a detection system for pedestrians and cyclists. Then there is a test on the streets of Amsterdam.

“Thanks to this detection system, an airbag will be activated in the event of a collision so as to considerably cushion the impact of a cyclist’s head on the windscreen. The cyclist will not die from his injuries, and will have a good chance of coming out virtually unscathed.”

“The test in Amsterdam will take a year. The researchers of Autoliv and TNO Automotive want to know if the sensors on the front of the car will function well under all weather conditions. The test car will be fitted with a button which the driver must push in special situations, such as a collision or near collision. The recordings of the detection system’s cameras will be saved. The researchers want to analyze the observations of the system. A collision sensor is fitted in addition to the sensors – the cameras – that will recognize cyclists. This collision sensor registers when a cyclist is indeed hit and an airbag should be activated. These extensive tests are needed in order to make sure that the system is fully reliable. The airbags should only be activated when a cyclist or pedestrian is hit. It is not supposed to activate when the car hits a pigeon or post.”

Mandatory Airbags on Cars?
‘The airbag is expected to be taken into production in 2015, but that of course depends on the wishes of consumers and car manufacturers’, says Van de Broek of TNO.

‘That’s an amazing result’, says Theo Zeegers who is responsible for the project on behalf of the Fietsersbond. ‘We’ve come much further than we’d ever hoped for.’ The costs involved are as yet unknown, but Zeegers expects it will be a couple of hundred Euros per car. He pleads for the airbag system to become a compulsory part of each new car. ‘Just compare it to the compulsory introduction of the catalytic converter.’

A compulsory airbag on the windscreen will add a couple of hundred Euros to a car’s price tag. But what does it yield? According to Zeegers, it may save dozens of cyclists’ lives in the Netherlands. In terms of the EU we are talking hundreds of lives.”

The airbag system is a big success for the Fietsersbond. ‘In collisions with passenger cars in which the cyclists dies, it is nearly always the head injuries that are fatal. That’s why we’ve been busy for years trying to find out how we can make cars safer for cyclists’, says Zeegers.

TNO carried out an exploratory study on the instructions of the Fietsersbond four years ago. They expected the shape of the front of a car to largely determine the seriousness of the injuries. Ultimately however, it emerged that airbags on the exterior of a car may save many a cyclist’s life. But they have to be in the right position.

The TNO studies showed that cyclists often benefit little from an airbag system specifically developed for pedestrians. In a collision, pedestrians end up with their heads on the hood or the lower part of the windscreen. That is often different for cy-
clists however. Their heads usually do not hit the hood, but the upper part of the windscreen. If they are unlucky, their heads even hit the hard metal window stiles. This is where airbags for cyclists should be fitted.

Dead or dizzy
So we know that an airbag can drastically cushion the impact. But by how much? Researchers express the force of the impact in Head Injury Criterion (HIC). This HIC value should stay below 1,000. For the elderly, this value should even be below 600. During computer simulations carried out by TNO in 2008 it emerged that in a collision at 30 kilometers per hour, the cyclist endures an HIC value of 3,700. Hardly anyone would be expected to survive such an impact. With the airbag however, the HIC value dropped to 590. All a cyclist will suffer from in that case is a headache and dizziness.

Here’s a link, in Dutch, to the Fietsersbond’s page about this exciting project.


Mark Miller and Brad Delcambre
are on their way to Utah in order to compete in the St. George Ironman
on Saturday, May 1st 2010.
This will be Mark Miller’s 20th Ironman
and a new one to add to his extensive list of all the different Ironman races in the U.S. he has completed.
Tim and Claudia Thomas will also be competing in the St. George Ironman.

wishes all safe travels and a great race!!

Mark Miller in the process of building up Dave Suter’s new weapon, a Scott Plasma LTD.

The Plasma2 was designed as the ultimate triathlon bike, and it posted the fastest bike split at the 2008 Ironman World Championship in Kona. Using our IMP5 technology, SCOTT engineers created an incredibly shaped, aerodynamic machine. Utilizing Shelter127™ with the Speed Skeg™ bottom bracket design, the Plasma2 provides 127 degrees of wheel shelter. The TwinTurbo™ aero carbon chainstays and integrated cable routing further reduce wind drag to an amazing 4.952 Newtons, the lowest drag of any wind tunnel tested triathlon bike.

Here is the “wallpaper” created by RCS, organizers of the Giro d’Italia,
for their new advertising campaign for this year’s event.
The visual is of Ivan Basso and World Champion Cadel Evans chasing a symbolic rider in the pink leader’s jersey.

The fight for the pink jersey begins on May 8th in Amsterdam and ends in Verona on May 30th, after three weeks of intense, exciting, and hard racing.

Click on photo to expand it.

There was a great turn-out for the Tour de Festivale. Plenty of sunshine and plenty of wind.

This was only the second time this event was organized and it sure looked like everybody, or should I say, “most everybody”, had a great ride.

Thanks to Cajun Cyclists Bicycle Club, for putting on a great ride and post-ride feast;)

(Looks like John was celebrating, before the start…)

In addition to Mark Miller and Jared Quoyeser,
we now have a 3rd local athlete with a slot
in the Clearwater 70.3 World Championship.

John Fell qualified yesterday in Galveston
with a time of: 4:21:42


Ann Sagrera claimed 1st place overall woman’s
in the Zydeco Triathlon Eunice.
Congratulations Ann!!!

Originally published in Cycling Plus, 2001.

In the beginning God created the bicycle, saw that it was good, then went for a nice Sunday ride on the bike lanes He’d made the day before, and they were good too, because they were new and He had the angels keep them clear of debris. Later, of course, God would get cross and have the flood wash all the good ones away.

And God said to Himself, “Let us create man, because cycling is too much fun to keep to Myself,” and so He created man, him did He create, create did He him do. And God put man in paradise, and commanded him, “Glideth upon the earth anywhere thou wisheth, except for that big hill over there. For on the day thou goeth down that hill, thou shalt surely die.”

And God said, “Man needs a companion to keep him from spending too much money on new bicycles.” So God caused man to fall into a deep sleep by asking him if he wanted to go clothes shopping at the mall, then took a rib from him. Then God said to Himself, “Who am I kidding, I’ll never hear the end of it when she finds out she was just a rib,” so He created woman from frankincense and myrrh and a certain je ne sais quoi.

And God said, “Let man have dominion over lathe drills and Philips head screwdrivers, and let woman have dominion over everything else, and as long as thou art naked and unashamed, thou might as well be fruitful and multiply.”

Lastly, God created the chicken and the egg, in that order, which should clear up that matter.

Now the serpent, he was a wily one, and he said to woman, “Yea, hath God said you may cycle anywhere but down that hill?”

And the woman said unto the serpent, “That’s about the size of it: go downhill and die.” And the serpent said, “Ye shall not surely die, you probably won’t even fall off. For God doth know that on the day you go downhill, you will not need to pedal for a long time. Go on, give it a try.”

And the woman saw that the hill was good, she did not need to pedal for a long time. She told the man about it, and he also went downhill. Their eyes were opened, they saw they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves into padded cycling shorts because sometimes it got bumpy going downhill.

And they heard the voice of God as He was off-road, fully suspended of course, and they hid their bicycles at the bottom of the hill and started whistling nervously. And God called unto the man, and said, “Where art thou?”

And the man said, “We art down here.”

And God said, “Hast thou cycled downhill, whereoff I commanded thee that thou shouldest not?” And man said, “C’mon, it was her idea.”

And God said unto the woman, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow whilst climbing hills; in pain shalt thou perch upon thy saddle.”

And God said unto the man, “Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, cursed is regular bike maintenance. The inner workings of the hub gear will be beyond thou to repair. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou service thy freewheel.”

And God said, “Behold, the man doesn’t listen very well,” so he kicked him out of paradise and guarded the entrance with a sign of a picture of a bicycle in the middle of a red circle. And He had a Cherubim with a flaming sword stop by a few times a week for good measure.

This is the book of the generations. The first bicycle was a single speed, Godspeed, but after that it got complicated. Sprockets begat sprockets and cables begat kinks. Celerifere begat Draisienne begat Macmillan begat Michaux begat Ariel begat Bayliss Thomas begat Lawson begat Rover begat Boneshaker begat Ordinary begat Raleigh.

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth in a critical mass, God saw that the wickedness of man was great and he did not like to give way to anyone on the road even his mother, so He directed Noah to build an ark made out of renewable resources. There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark every type of bicycle: one to ride and one for spare parts. And Noah gathered two touring bikes and two mountain bikes; two recumbents and two tandems; two road racing bikes and two cross bikes; also four unicycles, just in case there was a misunderstanding, and a brace of Bromptons, as their folded countenance pleasethed Him. And God said there might be Some strong winds in the Southeast. And it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, then drizzled for another fortnight.

And God remembered Noah and asswaged the waters, and Noah opened a door on the ark and set loose Japheth on a unicycle, and God said, “This is a covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature: that a man on a unicycle is a hilarious sight. The waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

A bit later, God spake unto Moses, saying, Here are a few ground rules, I hath numbered them for thou for easy reference:

I. Thou shalt hold no other races above the Tour de France.
II. Thou shalt not make unto thee helmets which cost more than £100.
III. Thou shalt not take My name in vain everytime thou gettest a flat tyre.
IV. Remember to oil thy chain, to keep it rolling.
V. Honor the Zebra Crossing and those walking upon the face of it.
VI. Thou shalt not ignore other road users, nor cycle recklessly upon the pavement.
VII. Thou shalt not steal bicycles.
VIII.Thou shalt not kill, except bicycle thieves.
IX. Thou shalt not hang onto moving cars.
X. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s new Cannondale, nor his group set, nor his £3000 MTB, nor even his stylish shades.

Forget not the Titanium Rule: Signal unto others as thou wouldst have others signal unto thou.

And moving right along, there came four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they were the Taxicab Driver, and the Motorcycle Messenger, and the White Van Man, and the Man Opening a Car Door Without Looking.


A unique insight into a champion’s adrenaline and drive as he trains for the Olympics.
Maclean’s heroic cycling is set against the story of Odysseus,
creating a heart-stoppingly rich portrayal of man.

‘Man, a being in search of meaning.’
Craig Maclean powers his bike at over 40mph, over a distance of 250m from a standing start. ‘Know yourself Odysseus – for a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories’. Taking you right into the blood, sweat and tears of the sportsman
Remember to exhale after watching!

To view this incredible video click here

Looks like we’ll be washed away, if not, blown away……