Where have I been for the last couple of years?  Have I been living under a rock?  Why didn’t I know what Sharrows were until just yesterday?  I’ve seen the chevron looking markings on the road in one section of my commute but until yesterday I had no idea what they meant.  I’m a dunce!  In my defense, the markings I have seen in Oceanside haven’t been there for two years but at least 6 months!

So what are Sharrows?  Below is an image of one.  What are they used for?  Here are some examples.

The stated purposes of the shared-lane markings used in California were to:

  • Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist’s impacting the open door of a parked vehicle;

  • Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane;

  • Alert road users of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way;

  • Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists; and

  • Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.


So this morning “On my Commute”  I decided to pay more attention to them as to where exactly they were located, and record a little video.  Interesting commute– It appears I’m not alone at not knowing what the chevron markings mean.  Cars honked and made nasty gestures as they passed me.  All the while I was just below the posted speed limit of 25mph going about 23mph.  Two miles/hr would be imperceptible to a motorist driving behind me at above the speed limit.
Look at this short video where I am traveling 25 mph in a 25 mph zone and the car behind me is going 34 mph (notice the flashing speed limit sign).  He then passes me and makes angry gestures pointing to the yeild to him and to get over to the right of the lane.  Oh by the way, I was loving my Fixed Gear bike this morning until this butthead.
(cue Mission Impossible theme) Your mission, shall you choose to accept it is to tell just one motorist (coworker, friend, relative) what Sharrow markings mean.  Do it as an “Oh by the way, did you know…?” Don’t bother doing it on the road — you’ll never get through to them!  I have completed my Mission — you do the same.

The video below features Tony Cruz, professional bike racer, talking about Sharrows in Long Beach!

Ride and Run

After my 25 mile recovery ride on my Fixed Gear I went for a run.  1.5 hours nice easy pace.  It turned out to be 9 miles.  I’ll need to adjust my heart rate in the “sport specific zones”. As I view this graph it shows I was in “hard intensity” zone.  I didn’t feel that at all.  I don’t have much faith in Heart Rate training anyway since I use a power meter on the bike.  I will adjust my max Heart Rate so that my perceived effort coincides with what the software thinks is a hard effort.

Fixed Gear Century …sorta and new shoes

Brandy and I went out early this morning with the intentions of riding a century (100miles or 160km).  The plan was to leave in the wee morning hours and have our century done by 11am.  All went to plan except the route was a little short …by six miles.  Well we both thought the extra six miles wouldn’t add any real benefit to our fitness so we called it at 94 miles.  By the way, this was the longest ride for Brandy since April.  I’m proud of her for getting it done.  She didn’t look too bad when it was over either.

The Detour bag was packed to the hilt once the weather warmed up a little. These bags are awesome.  If you are a brevet rider or on a credit card tour you NEED to pick up a Detour bag.  The bag below is the Hightail ULP.

Here’s a short video (90 secs) you must watch until the end.

The weather this morning was just perfect.  I wore my Skins compression long sleeve garment, a short sleeve jersey, arm warmers and knee warmers.  I believe it was in the low 50’s.  It felt brisk at first but about 10 minutes later I thought it was perfect.  The route was coastal without any significant climbs.  We rode at endurance pace and restrained from chasing rabbits. 

On this 6 hour ride I rode a new pair of shoes.  Bont A-One Cycling Shoes.  They are fantastic!  I mean it.  They are the stiffest shoes I have ever owned.  And I’m not just talking about the soles everybody is doing that.   No!  They are stiff all the way up the front, sides and the heel cup.  Even with all that stiffness the shoe is remarkably comfortable.  And my lord are they light!

The toe box is plenty roomy for my feet.  But I think they would accomodate a slightly wider foot without having to buy a “wide” model.  They are heat molded custom shoes and you can mold them yourself at home.  Unlike the Shimano R310 that require all the Shimano doodads (oven, toe caps, bags and suction hoses etc) at an authorized dealer to get the shoe molded to your foot. 

I would strongly recommend the Bont A-One cycling shoe to someone looking for a very stiff shoe. 

Go here for the making of the shoes

More info on the Bont A-One cycling shoe

And finally as far as few I used Prolong Energy for the 6 hours I was on the bike.  I felt great the whole time and I didn’t feel hungry.  Calorie expenditure is higher on the Fixed Gear because you can’t coast which means you spin like crazy on the downhills.  I am doing a product evaluation on Prolong Energy.  Here is a product comparison including some of the iconic brand names of sports nutrition.  John Heiss tells me there is a new production run coming soon where the taste has been modified.  I’m really looking forward to evaluating that formula when it’s available.

Onyx Summit on a Fixed Gear…





Yeah I had this crazy idea to make Onyx Summit even more epic. I’ll post some more pics and some type of report later.

8,800 feet of climbing in the first 60 miles

Total of 9560 feet for the 90 miles