Thursday, April 30, 2009


Black 2001 Saturn SC2. That’s the car I drive —

 and if you’re a bicyclist on the road but not in a bike path and you see my car, I hope you’re wearing a helmet, because I might run you over.

Maybe not intentionally.

But you see, with all these things I can do in my car nowadays, such as choose a different song on my iPod, send a text message while driving or fall asleep at the wheel because I had to wake up for a worthless 8 a.m. biology lab, I might not notice you.

And, considering you are where you should not be, I might hit you.

The simple fact of the matter is, MSU has so kindly provided sidewalks for people on foot and Rollerblades, and MSU’s ordinance should be revised to require bicyclists be there too. The university has outlined bike paths on certain roads, but bicyclists can’t just create imaginary bike paths like they do.

I cannot drive my car on the sidewalk, so why must you ride your bicycle where I drive?

Many of my friends ride bicycles on campus, so I’m not trying to berate a whole demographic of students. I appreciate bicyclists who advocate environmentalism, since they are making up for the damage I do with my car.

I respect bicyclists who use bicycles as a form of exercise, since people certainly can never get enough fitness in their everyday routines.

But for as much as I respect and appreciate bicyclists, I will not hesitate to honk at them when they are interfering with the roads.

My concern is not merely about inconvenience.

Bicyclists on the road are a driving hazard to people in automobiles, since many bicyclists make turns without using hand signals and ride too close to other vehicles when there is no designated bike path.

For example, I was driving to work Tuesday when a bicyclist pulled up in front of my car in the right lane on Farm Lane going northbound where it intersects with Shaw Lane. There is no bike path at this portion of the road, and I needed to be in the right lane to avoid the left turn only lane, but the bicyclist was in the way.

Instead, I had to speed ahead and veer away from the fast-approaching rear end of the car in front of me, just barely making it into the right lane.

Some will say I could be more patient on the road.

But roads are for cars, not bicyclists. The bicyclist should not have been in the car lane.

It’s possible some bicyclists are trying to live out their dreams of being Lance Armstrong, and the smooth terrain offered by the roads where big, people-killing cars are designed to travel on are more desirable than the sidewalk pavement.

I get it, bicyclists — you’re in the Tour de France. Well, in your head at least.

But in reality, my gas-guzzling, carbon footprint-leaving car is trying to get around you, the bicyclist. And you, the bicyclist, prefer to coast, not along the side of the lane but in the exact middle.

Maybe in your head you are actually driving a car. Maybe that’s why you believe you should be behind a pickup truck and in front of 15 other cars trying to pass you.

And maybe you are Armstrong, so talented and in shape and able to pedal so, so fast. But Armstrong’s average speed in the 2001 Tour de France was 24.9 mph, which is 0.1 mph less than most of the speed limits on and around campus.

Plus, I’ve had difficulty finding students who actually obey the speed limit anyway.

It’s common for motorists to drive at least 5 mph above the speed limit, which makes your task to out-pedal Lance Armstrong all the more daunting. And considering you’re not actually Armstrong (even if you do wear a skintight yellow bicycle uniform), you likely are not going 24.9 mph.

And, oh yeah, Armstrong is competing when he is bicycling — your leisurely ride through campus might not even register on a police radar.

But, hey, snap out of it. You’re not Lance Armstrong.

And those are the headlights of my black 2001 Saturn SC2 bearing down on you.

Zack Colman is the State News opinion writer. Reach him at

Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is old news, but I thought I would bring it to the attention of those who havent seen it yet.  Hes been goofed on by the famous Bike Snob NYC, and bashed by just about every cyclist in the state. 

Speaking of idiot, guess who ran into a tree yesterday at Island Lake? Good thing my face broke the fall. Scraped up nose. Check. Black eye. Check. Bruised Ego. Check.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Last year I decided I was going to build a Niner One9 for the 2009 race season. I ordered one in December with a slated delivery date of March. No big deal, right? I wouldn't want to ride my sweet new scandium bike in the snowy slushy weather anyway, right? Long story short, the Niner frame never came in, I did some research and decided I was going to go with a Bianchi Sok SS frame instead. 

After riding my Bianchi Sok a grand total of 5 times I decided the frame was WAY too big. Which was a bummer, cause it was a sweet bike and it rode really well. After a little deliberation with Daniel from Cycle to Fitness, I decided that I'd just find a new frame and swap all the parts. I was thinking I would go with a Misfit Psycles DiSSent.  I talked to Daniel  about getting one in my size to build up. He showed me the Soul Cycles Dillinger. All signs pointed in this direction. It has the same tube set as the Bianchi (Easton Ultralite Race Aluminum), no track dropouts (it has an eccentric bottom bracket), and was close to the same geometry and about 1/2 the price of the Niner One9 I was originally looking at. 

I built it up last thursday just in time for a PLRA pre-ride. The only thing thats different is the Seat post as this one requires a 31.6mm post and the Bianchi took a 27.2mm. Here it is fresh after a cleaning and lube this afternoon. The geometry of the frame along with how I've got it set up make it feel really agressive. It just wants to go fast! I am also super impressed with the Laserdisc Single Duty hubs. They roll very smooth and are pretty light for a fairly inexpensive hub set. The one thing I haven't decided on yet is if I'm keeping the Reba up front. I almost always have it locked out, so I think I'm going to go with a carbon fork to save some weight. I am very happy with how this bike turned out, now I just need to put some more miles on it!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Pontiac Lake TT

Pontiac lake has a little bit of everything: rocks, roots, mud, grueling climbs, fast downhills, and fast flats. That being said, this trail is tough. It seems like you're always climbing or decending there is no place to spin the legs out for recovery untill the last mile of the trail coming down the two track. 

 It was a two lapper for the experts/elites again today and I opted for the extra single speed lap too. Most people (not CMo, Daniel or MV) think I'm crazy for racing 3 laps, but I feel like I have to if I want to better my Lumberjack100 time from last year

The first two laps were nasty. And not good nasty. I didnt get a chance to eat early enough so I ate a few mini bagels with PB&J at about 9am and I guess that just wasnt enough time for my body to process them. I got to the line feeling sluggish and it never got any better. 

I started with another guy on a single speed, he was on a 26" with slightly less gear.  
I took the lead and he was on my tail for the first 2 miles. I kept telling myself to run my own race and not worry about him. I kept finding myself on the gas trying to put some space between the two of us. The hill at 2 miles is a monster.  I picked a bad line and spun the rear tire on a root, I had to un clip and run the rest of the way and the guy i had worked so hard at putting some trail between got by. I caught him again in the next mile, waiting for my chance to throw out an "on your right!" and never looked back. The rest of the first lap was rather uneventful other than the 2 kids parked in the middle of the chute. I was able to navigate around them safely but as i'm cranking to make it up the short steep uphill on the other side, there is another kid standing in the middle of the trail. Running that hills probably wasnt a bad idea anyway. i had to save some of my chips for the second lap. From the way I felt I was expecting DFL.

Lap two felt better than the first, though my lap time was about 45 seconds slower. still feeling like trash, I slogged my way around the 9.5 mile courseover the hills, through the mud and
 crossed the finish line. Water. Recoverite. flip flops. thats all I could think. I was convinced I wasn't riding lap #3. I did much better than my expected DFL. 6th place in Expert 19-29 with Daniel Sterling and Earl Hillaker taking spots 3 and 4 respectively.

Its a good thing there was more than an hour between races or I wouldnt have even thought about riding another one. 
Lap 3 felt the best of the day and was actually faster than my second lap by about 15 seconds. Good enough for 13th in the Elite/Expert SS class. (thanks
 to for that photo)

Things I learned from this race:
1. Just keep moving. No matter how bad you feel, chances are you're doing better than you think.
2. Eat at least 2 hours before a race.
3. I need to spin my legs for a bit of recovery between hills. (read: I need to do hill repeats)

Thanks to the Greyhounds for all the food and the cool place to hang out between races. I had a great time hanging out at the Compound and meeting all the new team members.  The Cycle to Fitness RACING GREYHOUNDS experience is absolutely top notch.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Race Schedule

These are the races i'm planning on being at this year, plus some random 5 & 10K's here and there. I'm sure I'll be talked into some Advenutre Races again this year too. 

4/19/2009 Yankee Springs Western Chapter Benefit – TT 
4/26/2009 Pontiac Lake Time Trial - TT 
5/3/2009 Fort Custer Stampede - XC 
5/9/2009 6/12 Hours of Addison Oaks - Endurance 
5/17/2009 Xterra Ft. Custer- Du 
5/30/2009 Mohican 100 - Epic  
6/20/2009 Lumberjack 100 - Epic 
7/19/2009 Big M Cross Country MTB Race - XC 
7/26/2009 Black Bear Century 
8/15/2009 6/12 Hours of Pando - Endurance 
8/16/2009 Pontiac Lake MTB Race - XC 
8/23/2009 Fort Custer - TT 
10/17/2009 Peak 2 Peak - Epic 
11/7/2009 Iceman Cometh - Epic

I'll be racing Expert 29 & Under this season. Come out and support grassroots mountain bike racing!

Look for the RACING GREYHOUNDS jersey and the Bush League Bike Mafia shorts. If I'm not out on the course look for me under the KHS tent with a beer in my hand and a smile on my face. 1Gear1Love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yankee Springs TT

So this is my first attempt at blogging.  Is anyone even going to read this? probably not, but here it goes.

Sunday was the Yankee Springs TT in Middleville, MI. This is traditionally the kick-off to the mountain biking season and there is always a huge turnout. this year there were over 500 participants dispite the coldish rainy weather.

I decided this year would be a good time to move up to the expert category, even though I never placed any better than midpack in any sport races last year. What better way to get faster than to ride with people that are better than you? anyway, I rode hard and finished 5th in my division. 1Gear1Love.

I was also signed up for the Expert/Elite SS race that was slated to go off about 25 minutes after I finished my first 2 laps. Needless to say lap 3 of the day was my slowest, but it was good enough for 16th place.

After taking a day off i was ready to ride today, but alas its been pouring all day off and on. The last thing I want to do is get caught in a down pour in 43 degree weather. I'll tough it out and wait for tomorrow. 

While researching races today it dawned on me that I'd need a USAC license if i wanted to race at the expert level the rest of the year. so I ponied up and paid my $60 to USAC. I know that the $60 gets me longer races and earlier start times, but I feel like its just another way to milk people for money. I guess I'll see if the extra $60 is really worth it on Sunday at the Pontiac Lake Rec. Area Mountain Bike Time Trial