High price of pretend pedaling
Despite what we diehard bicycle traditionalists may think — or wish — it's quite evident that e-bikes are here to stay and are growing in popularity. Some cyclists need — or want — a little extra boost while riding, which is fine.
Truth be told, anything that gets a greater number of people pedaling, assisted or not, is what's important. More people — more bikes — more safe ... is my credo.
Anyway, if you're in the market for one of these "fake" bicycles, I read about one just recently that might fit the bill for you. Believe it or not, it's made by luxury sports car manufacturer Lamborghini. It's kitted out with some really cool components, and it should be. It carries a price tag of $18,000. For that kind of money, you should have help motoring up hills.
Let me know if you purchased one, as I'd love to see it.
I see the light
The other day I was busy publishing the latest issue of the People Plus newspaper — my other part-time gig besides the bike shop — so I was unable to get out for a ride. But I was itching to jump on the saddle and decided it would have to be a nighttime cruise with my gravel bike.
It's obviously not the safest of options, but journeying along the Kennebec River Rail Trail would at least eliminate any vehicle traffic. So that was my route, but unfortunately for only three or four miles. Icy conditions forced me to switch to backroads for the remainder of the ride.
Yes, it was quite dark, but my way home was illuminated with a front light that I highly recommend. It's the Bontrager Ion Pro RT. Simply put, I was very visible for any on-coming cars or trucks and I could easily see where I was going. I had it mounted on my helmet — you also can attach it to your handlebars — and had a well-lit, long-distance view of the road. I felt very safe.
The USB rechargeable light features five modes for day and night, and measures up to 1300 lumens of visible light. I was out riding for just over an hour and the light never lost any of its brightness. I realize from working at Mathieu's that some bike accessories are hard to come by, but the Bontrager lights are worth making the effort.
Tommy was terrific
Just a quick word or two on the Tommy Simpson autobiography, "Cycling is my Life" (Stanley Paul, 1966). While he was definitely a much better cyclist than writer, it was enjoyable reading in his own words how much he loved the sport and what drove him to excel way beyond his wildest dreams.
The one big take-away from the book was this: He knew his chances of success, i.e., winning, were greater if he paced himself and was more mindful of when to attack. But Tommy couldn't help himself; he always wanted to be out front ... going flat out.
It was a good book; a keeper for my library.