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READ A HURST BOOK

WU-TANG MOUNTAIN BIKING

BOULDER STREETS SAFE?

WHEN RIMS FIND GLORY

RESEARCH UPDATE

THE THINGS IT CARRIED

FRAC-ENSTEIN

 

           
 

 

WHAT ELSE IS UP:  CITY OF BOISE CYCLING SAFETY TASK FORCE FINAL REPORT (pdf) 2009 report contains crash statistics for previous five years, recommends continuing 'Idaho Stop' law. IDAHO TRAFFIC CRASHES 2012 (pdf) Includes rudimentary information about bicycle crashes in the "Idaho Stop" state.  What's In Your Backpack?? (YouTube) -- Hurst-related video. Answer: Several mini-pizzas in individual thermal delivery pouches.

See  THE INDUSTRIALIZED CYCLIST NOTE PAD  for juicy chunks of information related to transportation, energy, war, bicycling, Mayans, helicopters, jackups and Ku-Maloob-Zaap.


Check out the table of contents, index, bibliography and cover propaganda of my new book THE ART OF MOUNTAIN BIKING: SINGLETRACK SKILLS FOR ALL RIDERS  

SHOP FOR IT ON AMAZON, BARNES N NOBLETATTERED COVERPOWELL'S. Thanks.


JULY 21, 2013

Best Rides?



Over the past year a few really cool things happened around here. I won't bore you with the details except for one -- I wrote a new book called Best Bike Rides Denver and Boulder, which, as you might have guessed, is a cycling guide for the Denver-Boulder area. But this isn't your typical guidebook, oh no. This one is unique in that it includes both road rides and mountain bike trail rides. Yup. In the same book. Dogs and cats living together. 

The mountain bike section includes a near-comprehensive lineup of area off-road rides (just about all of them). The road rides are more selective, geared toward more casual, relaxing rides for beginners and intermediate bicyclists, although there are some toughies included as well. 

Best rides? Well... That's a subjective judgment. But there are a lot of very fun rides included (40 full chapters plus 15 or so short descriptions). It's also a full-color and very handsome book, with nice maps made from GPS tracks. Beyond that, I wrote the heck out of it, with tons of information about the history of the areas the rides pass through. And of course, sly remarks. Lots of sly remarks.

Please buy the book, read it, use it, enjoy it. I hope you like it, and if you don't, please let me know why at robert @ industrializedcyclist.com.

You can always get it through Amazon, or try my favorite local bookstore, Capitol Hill Books (they don't have it yet, but call them anyway and say hi, and ask them why the heck not). 

SHOP FOR IT ON AMAZONBARNES N NOBLETATTERED COVER.

Thanks folks. Take care out there.


MARCH 6, 2012

Wu-Tang Mountain Biking

At this juncture I'd like to throw out a little sample from my new book The Art of Mountain Biking: Singletrack Skills for All RidersAs you can see, it's not your typical mountain bike book. Instead of laying out a plain directional manual for off-road skills ("do this... don't do that..."), The Art of Mountain Biking digs deeper into the underlying physical and mental functions that lead to transcendent form and performance -- great trail riding. Like my earlier book The Art of Urban Cycling, this book is a compilation of bicycling wisdom from a multitude of highly experienced individuals.  I guarantee it will surprise you and change the way you think and move on the trail, whether you're a beginner or expert.

At the risk of confusing everybody by pulling an excerpt out of context, here's an early chapter called "Wu-Tang Mountain Biking" (pp. 4-5):


As is common when humans are frustrated by inanimate objects, it is easy to fall into a state of antagonism with the trail, with the rocks and dirt and the earth that spawned it. In this willful state, I have often reminded myself: "Ride the trail. Don't let the trail ride you." Pretty sharp sound bite, I always thought. This kind of instruction seems to make good sense to experienced trail surfers. Beginners may find it immediately helpful. It means, choose your own line, instead of letting the features of the trail choose for you. Don't be jostled around where you don't want to go. Take control, make it happen. As one old friend of mine puts it, "Look, decide, ride."

Look. Decide. Ride. There is a lot of willful wanting and doing in that phrase. At its core -- decide -- it sings with yang, fire, aggression. It happens to be helpful advice. And it rhymes. But does "look, decide, ride" really describe what happens when we navigate a section of singletrack? The word "ride" is a possible hint. In "ride" there is both action and acceptance.

Although the trail is in some sense alive, not entirely unyielding, and changing over time (being composed of zillions of little and not-so-little shifting components), it does a decent impression of an inanimate object, or a pile of them. We see before us the geometric parameters. There is no use arguing with them. We mountain bikers can talk about willful choosing all day long, and it sounds pretty good to our own ears. Ultimately, however, our range of choices is determined by the trail. We cannot force our bikes to roll anywhere we'd like, only where the geometry allows. The only thing to do is flow with the trail. And with this flow we are back over to the yielding yin side of things, the empty vessel, the so-called feminine energy, versus the masculine yang of "decide."

No experienced trail rider who thinks about it for a minute or two could deny that the sport involves a mysterious combination of active and passive elements. Only by appreciating and cultivating both sides of the circle can the mountain biker develop and improve.

The application of "soft power" is a common but often sneakily hidden feature in many areas of modern life. The term is commonly used in international relations, for instance, to describe just about any method of influence other than coercion through military force. A different kind of soft power is important in our popular sports, although it takes a back seat to hard hits and other explosive movements, and casual fans may not even notice it. Some basketball players are said to possess a "soft shooting touch." (Try shooting a basketball any other way.) Football receivers and hockey players are occasionally praised for "soft hands" amid the intense violence of those sports. Soccer players need "soft feet" to trap and control hard passes -- very Tai Chi.

More so than any of these activities, and almost as much as Tai Chi itself, trail riding is inseparable from soft power....


Spellcheck still doesn't fathom singletrack. Probably a good sign. 

I go on to discuss the science of relaxation and balance, how to attach yourself to the bike, the importance of controlling the weight of the head, how to use the eyes, the philosophy of line choice, pitfalls like hazard fixation, et cetera. Along the way I compare mountain biking to other sports, from rock climbing to horseback riding, motorcycle racing, surfing, skiing -- even bowling -- to see what we can learn. In addition to the holistic approach to trail skills (teach a man to fish and feed him for life) there are specific instructions and tips for certain important moves. There is also discussion of logistics, like what to bring on a long ride and how to keep a group together. The end of the book gets into the big picture stuff, environmental impact, trail maintenance and access, among other issues, and wonders about the future of the sport.

Thanks for reading. I hope you liked that enough to purchase 1,300 or more copies from your local independent bookseller, like TATTERED COVER, or POWELL'SFailing that, one of these guys: AMAZON, BARNES N NOBLE.

Thanks.



FEBRUARY 12, 2012

Boulder Streets Safe?

Review of the 2012 Boulder Safe Streets Report (pdf), and suggestions for future analysis.

The first litmus test that I apply to these crash studies, kind of like Van Halen's infamous M-and-M contract rider, is this: How does the study break down the crash stats by the age of the bicyclist, if at all? After all, that info is available in the police reports, and it’s critical to any crash study's usefulness. Well, the Boulder study is better than most but still doesn't use this age information in any meaningful way. Its authors tell us only how the overall bike-car crash count breaks down by age, a metric which doesn’t say anything important to them, as it seems to jibe at first glance with the overall demographic of the city. The studiers don't go any deeper into the age information, failing to cross-tabulate age with fault or type of wreck. This is like offering someone a delicious-looking donut, but only allowing them to nibble a few sprinkles off the top. Incredibly frustrating, and useless. But typical. It fails the litmus test. 

Anyway, here's what else I can get out of it. ...






JANUARY 21, 2012

When Rims Find Glory

Rims get discarded when they're taco'd beyond repair in crashes, or simply put out to pasture along with bad hubs and neglected bikes, but most folks will go through their entire bicycling lives without ever wearing an actual rim down to the nub.

This is what the end of a rim's long life looks like: Due to brake-caused wear on the surface, the thickness of the rim's sidewall diminishes to the point that the air pressure begins to force it outward, and it cracks. 


READ MORE ...

DECEMBER 18, 2011

SUPER SUNDAY RESEARCH UPDATE

NEW ON THE I.C BICYCLING RESEARCH PAGE:

BICYCLE RETAILER AND INDUSTRY NEWS ANNUAL STATS ISSUE (pdf) Excerpt of summer 2011 issue looks back on 2010 numbers.

PROSPECT PARK WEST PROTECTED BIKE PATH AND TRAFFIC CALMING UPDATE (pdf) Before and after study with raw data, from NYCDOT, 2011.

INITIAL FINDINGS: KINZIE STREET PROTECTED BIKE LANE JUNE - SEPTEMBER 2011 (pdf)  No safety data, but the facility seems to be popular.

CYCLING STATISTICS FROM DENMARK Short list of 'facts' from the Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

2010 U.S. BIKE COMMUTING STATISTICS Data from the US Community Survey, parsed by League of American Cyclists.


READ MORE ...

OCTOBER 31, 2011

THE THINGS IT CARRIED

The troubled relationship between fracking and water is often characterized as an issue for individual homeowners with contaminated wells. But hydrofracking has become a major problem for public water treatment plants and tap water. In other words, it's an issue for all of us.

One hydrofrac requires something on the order of 3 million gallons of fluid, according to USGS....


READ MORE ...

 

OCTOBER 19, 2011

FRAC-ENSTEIN

A single hydrofrac  operation in the Marcellus Shale requires about 3 million gallons of water according to the USGS. In the mix with that water is a stew of secret chemicals, various polymers designed to decrease friction. The chemical portion of the fracing fluid is only about one half of one percent; sounds small but that translates into something like 15,000 gallons of chemicals per frac.

 

READ MORE ...

 

Additional Hurst energy propaganda: THE RESERVES MYTH 1 , 2 , DRILLING FOR DIMWITS THE REFINERIES MYTH , A QUESTION FOR PRIUS OWNERS , THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN IS UNSUSTAINABLE , more in the ARCHIVES.

 

OLDER STUFF:  44 MONTHS  PLOWSHARES A.K.A. FRUKING  A CHILLING DAMPER , COPS N ROBERTS  ELECTRIC KOOLAID ,FRESH LIES , THE WANDERING DENVERITE , THANKS I STOLE...  RUGRATS IN THE STATS , COVER COPY , CASUALTIES , THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN IS UNSUSTAINABLE , AN ESPECIALLY THICK INFO SHIELD DIRT SWEET DIRT , BICYCLE STINK FACE , DRILLING FOR DIMWITS ,THE REFINERIES MYTH , THE RESERVES MYTH 1 , 2 , A NEW ERA IN SIGNAGE 3, MIND SUCK,The PHYSIOLOGY of BICYCLING , PRAIRIE STEAMERS  

ALL OLDER ENTRIES VIA THE I.C. ARCHIVE  

1. A QUESTION FOR PRIUS OWNERS

2. MIND SUCK

3. WEIRD LITTLE BOOK

4. WALL OF NOTHING

THE ART OF MOUNTAIN BIKING: SINGLETRACK SKILLS FOR ALL RIDERS  2011

No matter how many years/miles you ride, you'll never master the unique art of riding a two-wheeled machine on a skinny, rocky trail in the mountains. No matter how good you get, skill and strength advancing by leaps and bounds, the trail will always be a little bit better. This book leaves few 'babyheads' unturned in its quest to provide useful trail-riding tips for all riders, from beginner to expert. Robert Hurst's love for the mountains, the trails and the bottomless challenge of riding them shines through in this darkly humorous manual.

SHOP FOR IT ON AMAZONBARNES N NOBLE, TATTERED COVERPOWELL'S.

READ MORE ABOUT IT. SHOP FOR IT ON AMAZON, BARNES N NOBLETATTERED COVERPOWELL'S.