Get a reflective bicycle for night riding


This is from Popular Science’s Ten Best Things in August, 2014.

Live on the Web: Ironman Canada

swimmers emerging from the water

Ironman Canada 2008: swimmers emerging from Lake Okanagan

Canada’s Ironman triathlon is running in Penticton, B.C. today. I’m watching the streaming video & audio (announcements and their choice of music on the speakers at the start/finish lines! Check it out at Just keep following the links to live video. The results/transcription window pops up automatically.

The competitors are divided into professionals (pros) and amateurs (age-groupers). The pros compete for the overall win. The age-groupers have separate prizes for each age group (about a decade). 2230 people started.

Ironman criteria:

  • Swim 3.8 km or 2.4 miles
  • Bike 180 km or 112 miles
  • Run a full marathon (42 km or 26.2 mile)
  • Cut-off time, 17 hours
swimmers approaching the finish

Ironman Canada 2008: swimmers approaching the finish

The youngest competitor a woman of 18 and the oldest a 78-year-old nun. The oldest man is 77. I saw one man with a full grey beard, no one with large breasts.

Swim cut-off:

  • 2 hours, 20 minutes (9:20 a.m.)
  • Bike cut-off, 5:30 p.m.
  • Run cut-off, midnight

Human-powered vehicles: the quadricycle

There are many neat pictures here of a four-person cycle powered by legs, bike chains, and gears.

Horrific car-bike accident in Mexico

One thing that bothers me about getting around by bike is the fragility of the vehicle. Drivers don’t often see us; in fact, the other day I saw a driver turn left into the path of a cyclist who had the right of way, strike him amidships and bounce him off the hood. Luckily, the car was going slowly; but the driver had just seen the cyclist and discounted him because “cyclists don’t move that fast.” The cyclist was unhurt and went on his way after a brief lecture on rules of the road and a sarcastic comment. So that’s one car-bike interaction that won’t get into the city’s statistics.  This cyclist was in the right, but about 80% of those I see make dangerous and unpredictable moves. I’m amazed that more don’t get hurt.

Still, the nightmare is to be riding along, minding your own business, when a car ploughs into you or your group. It happened a few weeks ago in the U.S. when a deputy “fell asleep at the wheel” and killed someone. He may have been drunk but we won’t know because no one took a blood sample on the scene and secured it. Any blood sample that turns up later is questionable. And it happened the other day in Mexico when a driver, apparently drunk, “fell asleep at the wheel” and slammed into a bicycle race at speed.

car slams into cyclists, Mexico

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