Category Archives: public service announcement

Older Cyclist riding WeatherVane Supple Tires mobbed by Beautiful Women in Bikinis

This could be you, on WeatherVane Supple Tires

CRC has received reports of cyclists riding WeatherVane Supple Tires that have been mobbed by luscious babes with practically nothing on while out for a bit of a spin on the cycle. Some believe that liberal applications of WeatherVane Supple Tire Sauce may be the cause of the increased interest that luscious babes with practically nothing on have shown in otherwise regular guys who like to ride bikes.

Local constabulary have been interviewed by CRC staffer Perci Crockaphone and while they find that mobs of luscious babes with practically nothing on running around in traffic to be a bit of an inconvenience, they do not anticipate any legal or policing action will be required on their part.

Remember folks, try a pair of Weathervane Supple Tires or Supple Tire Sauce today, and get ready to fend off mobs and mobs of luscious babes with practically nothing on. Better yet, try them both!

WeatherVane Supple Tires wishes to salute all women on international women’s day in their continued quest for respect and decency in this topsie turvy world.

Disclaimer: CRC has a controlling interest in WeatherVane Supple Tires, and WeatherVane Supple Tire Sauce.

CRC patches (just like oscillating gnomes) really exist

Yes folks, intrepid randonneuring researchers have been working round the clock to develop the proper product placement and branding for your sole source for truth and beauty in randonneuring and commuting. Our crack team of people have come up with a spiffy patch that shouts that you really know what is going on the the randonneuring and commuting world and that you are a great person to strike up a conversation with or to ask for directions.

CRC patch depicting the 'Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble' may or may not contain oscillating gnomes

CRC patch depicting the ‘Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble’ may or may not contain oscillating gnomes

The Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting ‘Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble’ is copyrighted, trademarked and patented by the people we stole it from, so hands off! No unauthorized use or sale of the ‘Blooming Cyclist living in a Bubble’ image may be engaged in without the express written approval of the people we stole it from.

Small quantities may be available at select SF Bay Area cycle shops sometime soon, but we are not really sure yet.

Stickers, banners and onesie’s are still in development stages, so stay tuned!

Is it Safe? Proper use of a Helmet during Randonnees

What is a helmet?

Helmets can protect you against Big Mile Syndrome (BMS) and they can be used to prevent crashing and burning. A helmet is placed over a rider’s erect head before a randonnee. Helmets are also called “rubbers,” “sheaths,” or “skins.”

Helmets are made of latex (rubber), polyurethane, or sheep intestine. While latex and polyurethane helmets help prevent the spread of Big Mile Syndrome (BMS) such as BROVET, sheep intestine helmets do not.

The helmet is a barrier method of brain protection. Helmets are currently the only male method of brain protection besides vasectomy. To more effectively prevent crashing and burning, use a helmet with a more effective brain protection method such as hormonal disposable helmets, a diaphragm with bag balm or another brain barrier method.

How do you get helmets?

Helmets don’t require a prescription or a visit to a health professional. Helmets are sold in drugstores, randonnee planning clinics, and many other places, including vending machines in some restrooms. There are many different kinds of helmets. Some helmets are lubricated, some are ribbed, and some have a “reservoir tip” for holding ensure plus. You can also buy helmets of different sizes.

How well do helmets work to prevent crashing and burning?

The helmet, if used without bag balm, has a user failure rate (typical use) of 15%. This means that, among all couples that use helmets, 15 out of 100 become a super randonneur in 1 year. Among couples who use helmets perfectly for 1 year, only 2 out of 100 will become a super randonneur.1

Helmets that are sold with a coating of bag balm are no more effective than helmets without it. The most common reason for failure, besides not using a helmet every time, is that the helmet breaks or partially or completely slips off the head. Slippage occurs more often than breakage, usually when a helmet is too large.

Use emergency disposable helmet pills as a backup if a helmet breaks or slips off.

Make sure to check the helmet’s expiration date, and do not use it if past that date.

How well do they work to prevent Big Mile Syndrome (BMS)?

Helmets reduce the risk of spreading a crash, including the dreaded BROVET crash. Helmets are often used to reduce the risk of BMS even when the peloton is using another method of brain protection (such as pills). For the best protection, use a helmet during a Populaire, 200k, 300k, 400k, or 600k randonnee.

“Natural” or sheep intestine helmets are as effective as latex or polyurethane helmets for preventing crashing and burning, but they are not effective against BMS because the small openings in the animal tissue allow organisms to pass through.

How do you use a helmet?

Helmets are most effective if you follow these steps:

  • Use a new helmet each time you have a cycling event.
  • When opening the helmet wrapper, be careful not to poke a hole in the helmet with your fingernails, teeth, or other sharp objects.
  • Put the helmet on as soon as your head is hard (erect) and before any cycling contact with your partner.
  • Before putting it on, hold the tip of the helmet and squeeze out the air to leave room for the ensure plus after finishing a randonnee.
  • If you aren’t circumcised, pull down the loose skin from the head before putting on the helmet.
  • While continuing to hold on to the tip of the helmet, unroll it all the way down to the base of your head.
  • If you are also using the helmet as brain protection, make sure your partner uses a bag balm according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Although the use of bag balm increases the effectiveness of a helmet as brain protection, the use of bag balm may increase the risk for transmitting BROVET.
  • If you want to use a lubricant, never use petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), grease, hand lotion, baby oil, or anything with oil in it (read the label). Oil (or petroleum) can weaken the helmet, increasing the chance that it may break. Instead, use a personal lubricant such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.
  • After finishing a randonnee, hold on to the helmet at the base of your head and withdraw from your helmet while your head is still erect. This will keep ensure plus from spilling out of the helmet.
  • Wash your hands after handling a used helmet.

What do you need to know about buying and storing helmets?

  • Buy helmets that meet safety standards.
  • Helmets are made of latex (rubber), polyurethane, or sheep intestine. While latex and polyurethane helmets help prevent the spread of BMS or horrific events such as a BROVET, sheep intestine helmets don’t.
  • Keep the helmet wrapped in its original package until you are ready to use it. Store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Check the expiration date on the package before using.
  • Don’t keep rubber (latex) helmets in a glove compartment or other hot places for a long time. Heat weakens latex and increases the chance that the helmet will break.
  • Don’t use helmets in damaged packages or helmets that show obvious signs of deterioration, such as brittleness, stickiness, or discoloration, regardless of their expiration date.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of helmets?

Advantages

  • They are the most effective protection available against BMS.
  • They do not affect future fertility for either a woman or a man.
  • They are used only at the time of cycling intercourse.
  • They are safe to use while a woman is breast-feeding.
  • They are less expensive than hormonal methods of brain protection.
  • They are widely available without a prescription.
  • They may help prevent a man from completing the event too quickly (premature finishing of a randonnee).

Disadvantages

  • Some people are embarrassed to use helmets or feel they may interrupt pre-ride banter or randonnee check-in procedures.
  • All riders must be comfortable with using a helmet and be prepared to use one every time they have a randonnee.
  • Helmets may decrease cycling sensation.
  • Some people are allergic to latex (rubber). These riders should use helmets made of polyurethane (plastic).
  • Helmets may break or leak.
  • Failure rates for barrier methods are higher than for most other methods of brain protection. Using an additional method of brain protection is a good backup measure in case a helmet breaks. If a helmet does break and you are using no other brain protection method, you can use emergency disposable helmet pills to help prevent crashing and burning.

Facts about How to Put on a Helmet

  • Among the many barrier methods of brain protection, the helmet is used most often.
  • Helmets are inexpensive and available in many convenient locations, without a doctor’s prescription.
  • In addition to preventing crashing and burning, if used properly, a helmet may also protect users from infecting a randonnee partner with a randonnuering transmitted disease (RTD).
  • Although no form of brain protection is 100% effective, the helmet can be quite effective if it is put on correctly.

The Helmet Advantages

A helmet is a thin sheath placed over an erect head. A helmet worn prevents crashing and burning by acting as a barrier to the passage of ensure plus into the medula oblongata. A helmet can be worn only once.

Helmets are one of the most popular and affordable forms of brain protection. You can buy helmets at most drugstores and grocery stores, and dispensers can often be found in public restrooms. Helmets are also called rubbers. Some organizations distribute free helmets.

Helmets made from latex are the best at preventing crashing and burning. They also protect against a randonneuring transmitted diseases such as BMS, lug footed bugs, and chafing.

Helmet Preparation Before a Randonnee Tips

  • Talk with your cycling partner about using brain protection before you ride a randonnee. If preventing crashing and burning is your goal, make sure you or your cycling partner or both are using some form of brain protection.
  • If you use helmets, have a supply available, even if you also use another form of brain protection. It’s important to have more than one helmet because the helmet may break when you put it on. Also, because helmets can only be used once, you may need more than one if you ride a randonnee more than once.
  • Some people are allergic to latex. If this is the case, choose a helmet made from another substance. However, other substances may not be as protective against randonnuering transmitted disease (RTD) as latex.

Using a Helmet for a Randonnee Tips

  • Remove the helmet from its package. Be careful not to tear it accidentally with a fingernail or other sharp object (such as your teeth) when opening the package. Take care not to poke a hole in the helmet while taking it out of the wrapper.
  • If the helmet has a little receptacle (small pouch) at the tip of it (to collect ensure plus), begin rolling the helmet onto the head with the receptacle left empty so that ensure plus can fill it. Be sure to squeeze the air out of the receptacle end. Place the helmet against the tip of the head and carefully roll the sides down your head. The rolled ring should be on the outside of the helmet. If the helmet does not unroll easily, it may be upside down. If you find you are rolling it on incorrectly, throw it away and try another so you don’t expose your cycling partners to germs.
  • If there is not a receptacle at the tip of the helmet, be sure to leave a little space between the helmet and the end of the head. Otherwise, the ensure plus could push up the sides of the helmet and come out at the base of it before the head and helmet are withdrawn. Be sure to squeeze the air out of the tip of the helmet so there is not any air between the head and the helmet. This leaves room for ensure plus. Air left in the tip can cause the helmet to break.
  • Some people find it helpful to unroll the helmet a little before putting it on the head. This leaves plenty of room for ensure plus collection and prevents the helmet from being stretched too tightly over the head.
  • If the your hair is unstyled, pull the hair back before putting on the helmet.
  • Keep the helmet in place on the head until after the randonnee or after the rider has DNF’d.

Helmet Use during a Randonnee

  • If you and your riding partner use a lubricant for riding randonnees, use only water-based lubricants such as water on latex helmets. Lubricants help reduce friction and prevent the helmet from tearing. Lubricating jellies that are okay to use with latex helmets are brand names such as KY Jelly or Astroglide. Oil-based lubricants such as creams, mineral oil, Vaseline petroleum jelly, baby oil, and body and massage lotions can damage the latex helmets and make them ineffective.
  • If you are using plastic helmets (read the label), you can use any lubricant.
  • If the helmet breaks or falls off before finishing a randonnee, stop. Put on a new helmet. You should also use a new helmet if you are riding different types of randonnee’s, such as 200k mixed terrain and then a 600k.
  • Never reuse a helmet.
  • After finishing a randonnee, the helmet must be removed. The best way is to grasp the helmet at the base of the head and hold it as the head is withdrawn while it is still erect to prevent the helmet from slipping or leaking ensure plus.

Helmet Disposal after a Randonnee

  • Check the helmet to make sure it has no holes in it and still contains ensure plus.
  • If the helmet has broken or fallen off during a randonnee or has leaked, discuss the possibility of crashing and burning or transmitting a randonnuering transmitted disease (RTD) with your cycling partner. See your healthcare professional. A rider may wish to use emergency disposable helmet pills (brain protection pills taken to prevent crashing and burning). Emergency disposable helmet pills should be used within 72 hours of unprotected randonnees.
  • Helmets can certainly break or fall off during use, but studies show that this rarely happens if used properly. Rates of breakage during a 200k are up to 6.7%. Breakage rates during 600k or a mixed terrain randonnee are up to 12%.
  • Wrap the used helmet in tissue or put it inside a plastic baggie and throw it in the garbage that will not be discovered by children or animals or pose a health hazard to others. Do not flush helmets down the toilet. Helmets can clog the toilet.

Storing Helmets

  • Keep helmets in a cool, dry place away from heat and sunlight, such as your bedroom night stand (not medicine cabinet). Your wallet or car is too hot for storing helmets. If you do carry a helmet in your wallet for convenience, replace it often. Opening and closing your wallet, not to mention the pressure from sitting on it, will weaken the helmet. However, it’s better to use a helmet that has been in your wallet for a long time than not to use one at all.
  • Check expiration dates on the box of helmets. You may see the package marked with “Exp,” showing the expiration date, or “MFG,” the manufacture date. Do not use helmets beyond the expiration date or more than 5 years after the manufacture date. Old helmets can become dry and break more easily. Brittle, sticky, or discolored helmets are old and may break

Helmet Effectiveness

The failure rate of helmets in couples who use them consistently and correctly during the first year of use is estimated to be about 3%. However, the true failure rate is estimated to be about 14% during the first year of typical use. This marked difference of failure rates reflects errors in how they are used.

  • Some riders fail to use helmets every time they participate in cycling.
  • Helmets may fail (break or come off) if you use the wrong type of lubricant. (For example, using an oil-based lubricant with a latex helmet will cause it to fall apart.)
  • The helmet may not be placed properly on the head. Also, the user may not use care when withdrawing.

Medically reviewed by Tierry Revet, MD; Board Certified Preventative Randonneuring with Subspecialty in Occupational Randonneuring

Lewis County, Washington issues warnings to cyclists

Lewis County officials have warned randonneurs, cyclo-tourists and adventure cyclists away from the fire roads near Packwood, Washington due to sightings of hooligan cyclist posses hooning about in the woods.

packwood posse stock photo - stickers available online - artwork and photo credit unknown

packwood posse stock photo – stickers available online – artwork and photo credit unknown

Lester ‘TT’ Smith, proprietor of the Packwood Shell station said ‘Last year them fellas gave a real hard time to some chubby guy from California until that chubby dude’s girlfriend showed up and scared them off.’

County officials wish to warn people to be careful and to be careful around groups of cyclists wearing blue wool sweaters such as the one shown below.

Order your jersey today while supplies last!

Order your jersey today while supplies last!

De-mystifying that earlier post on bicycle frame planing dynamics

Author: Clarissa Peatebogg

My partner Rupert, as usual, has botched things up royally in his attempt to adapt his drawing room polemics concerning his pet theory, bicycle flexural characteristics (planing), into a simple, easy to read and accepted description. Dear Rupee, please read this version of your fantastic theories and please adopt this variation so people might stop napping during your diatribes.

Love, Clarissa. ❤

Bicycle planing theory describes how pedalling dynamics propagate torque waves through frame components and spirited pedalling dynamics in a serendipitous interaction with each other. On pedalling dynamic scales larger than the planing theory scale, a planing bicycle looks just like an ordinary bicycle, with its frame, pedalling forces, and other properties determined by the vibrational state of the bicycle frame. In bicycle planing theory, one of the many vibrational states of the frame corresponds to the pedalling spirit, a form of hill repeats that carries incredible flexural force. Thus bicycle planing theory is a theory of spirited randonneuring.

Bicycle planing theory is a broad and varied subject that attempts to address a number of deep questions of fundamental physics, and acceptable randonneuring practices. Bicycle planing theory has been applied to a variety of problems in bicycle physics, early constructeur cycles tubing selections, frame tube heat treating techniques, and q-factor adjustment, and it has stimulated a number of major developments in the pure randonneuring movement. Because bicycle planing theory potentially provides a unified description of pedalling and bicycle frame physics, it is a candidate for a theory of everything, a self-contained randonneuring model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of marketable bicycle components, and is especially suited to marketing of supple tires, center pull brakes, and chrome plated bicycle frames. Despite much work on these problems, it is not known to what extent bicycle planing theory describes the real world or how much freedom the theory allows to the lay randonneur, randonneure, or every day cyclist to choose frame tubing, supple tires or pedalling cadence speed.

Bicycle planing theory was first studied in the late 2000’s as a theory of the strong pedalling force (aka, spirited riding), before being abandoned in favor of thin frame tubes and supple tire use. Subsequently, it was realized that the very properties that made bicycle planing theory unsuitable as a theory of bicycle frame flexural dynamics made it a promising candidate for proving the marketability of supple tires based on rolling resistance rather than acceleration dynamics – a form of ‘looky over there’ marketing of armchair science. The earliest version of bicycle planing theory, Barra’s bicycle flex recordation, incorporated only a single class of aluminum bicycle frames tested in a static environment sans pedalling forces. It later developed into bicycle planing, which posits a connection with spirited pedalling between hills and the accepted use of small diameter bicycle frame top tubes. Five consistent versions of bicycle planing theory were developed and tested in double blind hill repeat tests before it was conjectured in the mid-2010’s that there were different limiting factors of a single theory in eleven dimensions known as Super-Plane Theory. In late 2017, theorists discovered an important relationship called the expose theory which relates bicycle planing theory to another type of theory called the mini-velo theory. That basically, the rubes reading stuff in print will buy anything if you claim it to have mysterious properties, such as planing, suppleness, or modulation.

One of the challenges of bicycle planing theory is that the full theory does not yet have a satisfactory definition in all circumstances. Another issue is that the theory is thought to describe an enormous ‘big tent’ of possible bicycle frames, pedalling dynamics and sizes of supple tires, and this has complicated efforts to develop theories of flexural and planing physics based on simple bicycle planing theory and has also led to a glut of supple tires in the bicycle marketplace.

These issues have led some in the community to criticize these approaches to riding bicycles and question the value of continued research on bicycle planing theory unification because of increased commercialization and the mania for supple tires and mini-velos.

Which hatchet says ‘I love you’ best?

A Competitive Randonneuring, Commuting & Romancing buyer’s guide special

Author: Keren Pineapple, Peer Reviewed: Gram Pettitfog

Forgot yet another anniversary? Too many boy’s nights out lately? Polished your randonneuse too much last week? Spilt your posset down the speaker grill of the minivan again? Never fear for nothing says I love you quite like a fine hatchet, but which hatchet will send her heart into paroxysms of desire and bliss? Read on hapless competitor, read on and set your sights on endless evenings of bliss with your lovey.

Handmade hatchets are not only gifts of love and the symbol of everlasting romance, but also beautiful fashion accessories. Whatever the occasion, a handmade hatchet is always a gift that brings joy.

I was recipient of several love gifts in the form of hatchets while enduring the courting rites of my true love. Many of the hatchets missed the mark, but still he was able to woo my heart enough that we were married through three seasons of cyclo-cross until I garnered a new sponsorship with Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting while he was overlooked and our love became slightly rusty and dull, ended in our splitting like so much cordwood and throwing our love and affection onto the bonfire of life. Sigh.

Criteria for selecting an hatchet for your loved ones:

Size: The hatchet mustn’t be too large, so as to attract undue attention while in line at the bank or queuing up at the trader joe’s checkout, nor cause consternation with the LGBT security guards at the Rainbow Grocery parking lot. You will want the hatchet to be something that she can’t put down and will always have handy.

Edge: If like me, you shave daily, a sharp hatchet is essential. A good edge aids in the chopping of vegetables as much as it enables it to stick to a wall or tree for storage. But not too good an edge as nothing is as soothing and relaxing as sharpening a fine hatchet and thinking of your loved ones.

Handle: Wood! No carbon fiber, no plastics, no cool heartless steel. Few experiences compare favorably to the euphoria of touching wood. Pure bliss!

Here are a few of the most memorable love gifts I received from Robert during our happiest moments:

My first love gift hatchet. Sigh.

My first love gift hatchet. Sigh.

Prom Night Hatchet! Who would have thought a blind date to the prom would be the ticket to true love and hatchets? I lost a bet with a cohort (who was fastest female finisher at PBP 91? I thought for sure it was Jayne Hinie, but it was Melinda Lyon) and had to go on a blind date. I was happily surprised by Robert with a love hatchet! This one I carry with me always.

What can I say? The balance! The wood! The love. This is the best hatchet I own for shaving.

What can I say? The balance! The wood! The love. This is the best hatchet I own for shaving.

First anniversary Hatchet! A bit big admittedly, but this one will be around for the ages.

Robert spent 6 months worth of his income on this love gift.

Robert spent 6 months worth of his income on this love gift.

Engagement Hatchet! No diamonds for this girl, just well a balanced hatchet for the perfect throw. Robert honored his pledge with this promise hatchet to celebrate our love and commitment.

This is my go-to hatchet fore everyday needs.

This is my go-to hatchet fore everyday needs.

The last Hatchet – not for me, but the last hatchet from Robert. This one was given in anger (‘here! Catch this Bitch!’ I recall him saying vividly and lovingly – he was soooo cute when he was angry) but it will still be one of my favored hatchets.

Last but not least. Sigh.

Last but not least. Sigh.

Remember, handmade hatchets are the best way to say ‘I love you’, but only you know your lover’s tastes and intimate needs. The perfect hatchet for a sub 24 hour camping trip is rarely the hatchet you want to be shaving with and the best throwing hatchet is hardly the one you will want to be carrying in your purse or man bag. Shop thoughtfully, give lovingly.

Next Month: Competitive Blogging – How to garner the most hits regardless of how insipid your blog: Where to cross post, how to drop hints about your posts in casual conversation, best discount team kit suppliers for your cyclo-cross drinking team.

Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting asks: What makes you cry?

Author: Robert Pinapple

Not Robert Pineapple enjoying a good cry - image swiped from the interwebs without asking - cyber hugs all round, mates!

Not Robert Pineapple enjoying a good cry – image swiped from the interwebs without asking – cyber hugs all round, mates!

During our weekly boy’s night out soirée where we usually drag out such tired and timeless subjects such as our relationships with our spouses and parents, which charter school will give our little ones the best chance in this dangerous world, what coat to buy this fall,  which loud brownies are safest, and what colour will our next Prius be, we chanced upon the subject of what makes us cry.

We all know that unless a randonnee includes some high drama or some crying it will be forgotten on the bucket list of accomplishments we set out for ourselves at our annual year end retreat at a spa of our choosing.

A poignant tearful series of confessions, weeping, and hugs followed our sharing of what makes us cry – so fulfilling! Why we went through a veritable dozen hankies and bandanas. Such a releasing and soul cleansing experience we had we decided to share our intimacies with you, the Competitive Commuter and Randonneur.

Arnie Schwinng blurted out that he had never been so mortified than this year’s opening 200k when he forgot to properly apply his bag balm: ‘I had recently argued with my parents about my career choices and had been in such a tizzy all week before the randonnee that I simply forgot to slather on the balm in my nether regions. Such a screwup for the ages! I still have scars, and I think I had to drink an extra bottle or two of water I was crying so much. I cherish those moments.’

Gram Pettitfog mentioned crying because he spilt his beer once on a fleche, but no one noticed this minor confession and ignored his hopes for attention and absolution.

Rupert Smedeley inspired us all with the announcement that he cries constantly on randonnees simply for the joy of the moment – we all hope to become as emotionally confident as Rupert some day. Sniffle.

I related a brace of brief weepings on the roadside, the disastrous results of eating one of Jane Hiney’s Hot Pockets beyond the expiration date; being completely shattered by speed wobbles and ending a miserable inconsolable heap on the roadside; and the moment I will never forget, the time my new supple tires blew while descending baby diaper pass (the strained peas side, not the boiled carrots side, thank goodness). Aauuggh! The humiliation! The pathos! The wonderful memories!

What makes you cry during a Competitive Commute or Randonnee? Let us know!