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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

Old 05-23-18, 04:42 AM
  #3076  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
word is that for the first time ever, everyone got in -- no one was refused.

i think it's a sign of reduced demand for road events in general.

Dang, for a minute I thought I wuz special...

I reserved a room in a motel in Logan for the two nights prior. First night was $66, second was $300. Then I checked Air BnB and got both nights for $88 total, much better. Guess the local businesses are in the "make hay while the sun shines" mode.
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Old 05-23-18, 08:12 AM
  #3077  
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Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
Not racing, but an alternative for me...I got picked in the lottery for LOTOJA. I'm doing the sportive, M65+. Pretty pumped to do this.
Its still competition in some form, maybe with yourself, but still drives you to train. Good luck, just watch out for the cyclists near Jackson. I haven't heard good things...

My wife actually surprised me and we're signed up for an obscure Sportive / UCI Race in overseas next year. I really want to win my AG, so I'm not telling anyone which one it is! I friend of mine in Redlands would sign up if I mentioned it and no way I could beat him. I also wouldn't put it past someone in the 33 to enter with a false ID in my AG to keep me in gutter status!
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Old 05-23-18, 08:49 AM
  #3078  
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Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
"make hay while the sun shines"
I am in this mode with TTing. So much drama this year with the schedule- cancelled races, late date changes, uncertainty as to whether races on the schedule will actually happen. Makes it difficult to train for races, increases the attrition rate amongst racers, you can see itís in a downward spiral and talking to my local association, I see that thereís zero vision as to how to stop that. They feel like theyíre barely keeping their heads above water and just the tiny inside glimpse I got in trying to get info about our state TT revealed a shocking level of internal animosity amongst board members.

So my idea is to make hay while the sun shines. Iíll race whatís available and suits my schedule. But Iím not building a season around USAC events after this year. Looking past it. Bought a better mountain bike yesterday. Not entirely moving on, but strategizing my way through the decline....
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Old 05-23-18, 10:11 AM
  #3079  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post


I am in this mode with TTing. So much drama this year with the schedule- cancelled races, late date changes, uncertainty as to whether races on the schedule will actually happen. Makes it difficult to train for races, increases the attrition rate amongst racers, you can see it’s in a downward spiral and talking to my local association, I see that there’s zero vision as to how to stop that. They feel like they’re barely keeping their heads above water and just the tiny inside glimpse I got in trying to get info about our state TT revealed a shocking level of internal animosity amongst board members.

So my idea is to make hay while the sun shines. I’ll race what’s available and suits my schedule. But I’m not building a season around USAC events after this year. Looking past it. Bought a better mountain bike yesterday. Not entirely moving on, but strategizing my way through the decline....
I'd really like to do the SCNCA TT Series but its down to 2 race locations and both are 100 drives (almost exactly) from my house. I feel like winning the Series is more about who has the spare time and money to drive than who is the fastest.

The SCNCA State TT is run by Antigravity. They picked it up I believe to help the Association (since the previous promoter quit). They do Everest Challenge, Sherman Pass, etc. and often times those races just kinda dissapear, and the site is rarely updated. To be fair, most have low attendance and are in obscure areas. The Ontario Series has also halved this year, and Majestic Cycling (another promoter) is having issues with both attendance and sponsorships. I could easily see those 3 promoters just hang it up which would probably cut our race schedule by 40%. That's a worst case scenario.

I do think our association is trying but ultimately they can't do anything if no one wants to promote races. I also can't blame the promoters if they're bleeding cash. Racers want zero margin non profit race fees, cities want large fees with a cop and ambulance on every corner, and promoters are disappearing.
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Old 05-23-18, 10:39 AM
  #3080  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
I'd really like to do the SCNCA TT Series but its down to 2 race locations and both are 100 drives (almost exactly) from my house. I feel like winning the Series is more about who has the spare time and money to drive than who is the fastest.

The SCNCA State TT is run by Antigravity. They picked it up I believe to help the Association (since the previous promoter quit). They do Everest Challenge, Sherman Pass, etc. and often times those races just kinda dissapear, and the site is rarely updated. To be fair, most have low attendance and are in obscure areas. The Ontario Series has also halved this year, and Majestic Cycling (another promoter) is having issues with both attendance and sponsorships. I could easily see those 3 promoters just hang it up which would probably cut our race schedule by 40%. That's a worst case scenario.

I do think our association is trying but ultimately they can't do anything if no one wants to promote races. I also can't blame the promoters if they're bleeding cash. Racers want zero margin non profit race fees, cities want large fees with a cop and ambulance on every corner, and promoters are disappearing.
Important point: the SoCal TT Series in *not* something put on by SCNCA. None of the races in that series are USAC-sanctioned races. You'd have to ask the promoters why they don't bother working within USAC/SCNCA to put those races on, but my guess it that it adds expense and another layer of complexity without adding anything of value to the races.

I have spoken with the organizer of the SoCal TT Series. It used to be (when there were 5 venues and more total TT races) that there were X number of races in the series (12 when I first read about it, which was the year that two of the venues dropped out and things started to really change) and your series points were calculated based on your 10 best performances. So it was less a contest of who shows up most consistently back just a few years ago- the venues were more well-spaced geographically and you could take a vacation or get sick and miss a race or two and still be in the running. I've tried to get the organizer of the series to consider making changes to make the series something more people want to do- the biggest and easiest change would be to make the series your best 8 races out of 10. At least people could miss a couple of races, they don't have to organize their lives from Oct to May around TTing. I volunteered to help organize the series and potentially to take it over when the guy who currently runs it wants to "retire" from doing it (he's a member of the club that used to put on TTs at one of the defunct venues, so how long is he going to continue to do it?) The response? Literally crickets. No response and I have cheerfully contacted him more than once on the subject. Have since dropped it but the only response I ever got was a terse "I've gotten a commitment from the club to run it for a few more years". Ok, then what? It will die and then be up to someone else to revive it. Who knows? Maybe me. Maybe I'll have moved on by then. I have no idea why bike racing is like this. I understand why you'd want to retire from doing stuff but why you don't respond with open arms to someone who is willing to take your baby over? It perplexes me but its common. I say, "Hey I see this issue coming up, we could address it in this way, lets do it!," the typical response is crickets.

As to the Antigravity Cycling, yes they agreed to take the State TT over because the promoter is the board member. He was attempting to do a good deed. But the cluster with getting the permits finally approved is probably something I shouldn't talk about publically. Suffice it to say that there is internal bitterness amongst board members over the process and it would not surprise me if the race registrations are down (due to lack of information as to whether the race was actually happening) and the typically-profitable race loses money. Or if the promoter just decides it is not worth the hassle to him to put it on again.

Great point that you make about races can't happen if promoters lose money, I totally agree with that. You have to accept facts and take a realistic position on these things. Is the current model- promoters putting on races for profit- the only or best model, given the current degree of public interest in bike racing? Probably not. You probably are going to need to move more and more races to the purview of clubs and a spirit of volunteerism. But any time I try to get anyone to look at the bigger picture with bike racing- to consider changing fundamentally the way in which its done, all I ever get is patted on the head and told I don't understand bike racing.

Ok. Carry on. Because its all going so well right now as is.
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Old 05-23-18, 12:18 PM
  #3081  
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Thanks for the responses! Some good thoughts.

It's not that big a thing, the more I think about it. I quit before when I was 23 after getting destroyed trying to race in Denmark. Started backpacking around the world for the next seven years. Now with a family and a career, those fill up the time more than enough. Kind of relishing not being exhausted all the time. i was hoping my 14 year old would want to race, but he just likes cross country. Maybe I'll try some running with him.

Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
out of curiosity, do you train to race, or do you race to train?

when you race, are you there to win, or is there more to the experience for you?

]
I only ride to race. Always have. That's the part I enjoy. Just riding around for the scenery or whatever has zero appeal to me. I race to compete for the win, though I rarely actually win. But as long as I'm capable of being there going for it, I'm satisfied. Or in PRTs, for a good result (at least in the money!)
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Old 05-23-18, 02:56 PM
  #3082  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
i was hoping my 14 year old would want to race, but he just likes cross country. Maybe I'll try some running with him.
interesting you say that. would you actually let your kid race on the road (and do what it takes in training)?

my kid is younger than yours, but i feel like given what happens with vehicles these days there is no way i could in good conscience have him out there riding extensively on the road. even in races i've had enough sketchy stuff happen (car on the course) that i can handle as an adult, but a kid may not make the right decision. E.g., in one example there was an un-manned intersection (volunteer left) where I knew cars don't stop. Some guys just blew that sign hoping the cars would stop for them. As an adult I could decide whether it was worth risking my life for that. Kids are inherently less able to ponder consequences.

This is one reason why I think the sport is at-risk: when some of the biggest supporters of racing can't put their kids out there, it's hard to see it growing.

MTB? Cross? I'd feel better about that.

My kid would REALLY have to push hard for racing on the road for me to allow it.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I only ride to race. Always have. That's the part I enjoy. Just riding around for the scenery or whatever has zero appeal to me. I race to compete for the win, though I rarely actually win. But as long as I'm capable of being there going for it, I'm satisfied. Or in PRTs, for a good result (at least in the money!)
fair enough. i enjoyed racing and the rare wins (more often feeling like i could at least influence a race or have a shot, however small, was key) -- but i spent way more hours training alone than I did racing.

since wins are rare, i came to appreciate the friendships, the travel, the courses, and the process of training and what it did for my health/body. Training was good for health.... racing, on balance, was probably worse.
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Old 05-23-18, 03:02 PM
  #3083  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Racers want zero margin non profit race fees
This is so short-sighted, IMO.

Same with prize money for amateurs.

Yep, a few profit and yep, cheeper races are nice, but in the end it means people doing a bunch of work for less money, who then eventually quit when they've had the last straw over some Cat 4 or a Masters rider complaining loudly over some minor issue.
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Old 05-23-18, 03:20 PM
  #3084  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
This is so short-sighted, IMO.

Same with prize money for amateurs.

Yep, a few profit and yep, cheeper races are nice, but in the end it means people doing a bunch of work for less money, who then eventually quit when they've had the last straw over some Cat 4 or a Masters rider complaining loudly over some minor issue.
And indeed there are no shortage of folks with great ideas or know how to tell promoters how it should be done. But those actually pitching in to help, or put on races is pretty small. That's why promoters tend to not pay much mind to the suggestion box. A lot of work and thin margins.

Back in my work we had loads of volunteers, and loads of people who utilized services freely. In the end the policy that was in place was that if you didn't like something have an alternate suggestion and pitch in to see it manifest. If not...
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Old 05-23-18, 04:14 PM
  #3085  
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My Uber from Providence to Boston reeked if marijuana, and the guy added to it with marijuana air fresheners. My coworker nearly had him pull over half way through to let us out and change cars because it was so bad.

I feel eel gross and canít wait until I get home to shower.


As for promoting races, itís a hard and thankless job. I did it for our team for several years and worked with several other teams to help them get races on. I am glad to have handed that off to others.
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Old 05-23-18, 06:30 PM
  #3086  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
This is one reason why I think the sport is at-risk: when some of the biggest supporters of racing can't put their kids out there, it's hard to see it growing.
So do you think itís safer to ride on the road in Europe (where bike racing is doing well)? My perception is that it is, although I donít know enough about this to be confident in asserting that.

Then the question would be: if itís safer in Europe, where streets are narrower and shoulders often non-existent, why is that so? Interesting to me personally because I ride a lot solo in the dark and I worry about cars a lot.

I recently read an article by a guy whose field of expertise is visual processing, he is accident investigator.. He writes on many subjects including bike safety/bike-car accidents. One point he was making is that unpredictability of other vehicles on the road is very distracting/confusing/frightening to drivers so cyclists obeying traffic rules exactly like cars do results is less accidents- If your behavior on a bike is very predictable to a driver, the driver will actually be a ďbetterĒ driver.

That got me thinking about online diatribes against cyclists, how many drivers are outraged by cyclists doing something they think the cyclist ďshouldnítĒ do. Like take the lane, or not ride exclusively on the shoulder, or not ride an MUP thatís right beside the road. It occurs to me how many drivers obviously donít ride bikes or understand why cyclists do some of this seemingly inexplicable stuff. But if you ride bikes on the road, itís understandable.

So is it the case that a lesser number of road cyclists in a given area makes the road less safe? (By virtue of more drivers finding the actions of cyclists to be unpredictable.) If so, one issues feeds the other- as the roads get less safe for cyclists, more people avoid road riding, and the roads get less safe. And so on.
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Old 05-23-18, 08:46 PM
  #3087  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post


So do you think itís safer to ride on the road in Europe (where bike racing is doing well)? My perception is that it is, although I donít know enough about this to be confident in asserting that.

Then the question would be: if itís safer in Europe, where streets are narrower and shoulders often non-existent, why is that so? Interesting to me personally because I ride a lot solo in the dark and I worry about cars a lot.

I recently read an article by a guy whose field of expertise is visual processing, he is accident investigator.. He writes on many subjects including bike safety/bike-car accidents. One point he was making is that unpredictability of other vehicles on the road is very distracting/confusing/frightening to drivers so cyclists obeying traffic rules exactly like cars do results is less accidents- If your behavior on a bike is very predictable to a driver, the driver will actually be a ďbetterĒ driver.

That got me thinking about online diatribes against cyclists, how many drivers are outraged by cyclists doing something they think the cyclist ďshouldnítĒ do. Like take the lane, or not ride exclusively on the shoulder, or not ride an MUP thatís right beside the road. It occurs to me how many drivers obviously donít ride bikes or understand why cyclists do some of this seemingly inexplicable stuff. But if you ride bikes on the road, itís understandable.

So is it the case that a lesser number of road cyclists in a given area makes the road less safe? (By virtue of more drivers finding the actions of cyclists to be unpredictable.) If so, one issues feeds the other- as the roads get less safe for cyclists, more people avoid road riding, and the roads get less safe. And so on.
could write a bunch but limited time.

i've been hit by a car in Europe (and was 100% the driver's fault, as they admitted), so Europe is by no means perfect. that said, i'd say it is *generally* safer to be a cyclist on the roads. drivers seem to have more respect for cyclists, and the laws favor 'vulnerable users' (pedestrians and cyclists). also, actual thought is given to the construction of roundabouts and other road features. should there be an accident, an inquiry will often be made into what could have been done to prevent that accident.

it seems like a higher percentage of people actually ride a bike there in some form (school, work, errands), so even if they are in a vehicle they are also aware of what it is like to ride.

people ride in sunshine, in rain, in snow. cyclists are omnipresent.

in contrast, in the US roads are for cars. period. cyclists are freaks or poor people. expendable. laws favor the driver. "i just didn't him, officer!" that excuse actually works.

while i've raced in europe, i don't have enough perspective to say how well it is doing. it's more of a stepping stone for people to go to the pros (and viewed as a viable path), so when racing you don't usually see people in their 30s actually doing it. if you are 18 or 20 you will get a ton of support from your town/region; if you are 23 and haven't made it, it's time to give up the bike and get a real job. {sportives are a different beast and what most 'masters' would do.**

yadda yadda.
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Old 05-24-18, 07:01 AM
  #3088  
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Anyone from Tampa or Clearwater Beach? I'll be there for a week with my bike in late June and looking for some routes/tips on where to ride, etc.
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Old 05-24-18, 03:27 PM
  #3089  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
interesting you say that. would you actually let your kid race on the road (and do what it takes in training)?

my kid is younger than yours, but i feel like given what happens with vehicles these days there is no way i could in good conscience have him out there riding extensively on the road. even in races i've had enough sketchy stuff happen (car on the course) that i can handle as an adult, but a kid may not make the right decision. E.g., in one example there was an un-manned intersection (volunteer left) where I knew cars don't stop. Some guys just blew that sign hoping the cars would stop for them. As an adult I could decide whether it was worth risking my life for that. Kids are inherently less able to ponder consequences.
.
Yeah, I'd train with him, though. Probably the beginning or end of my own rides, just a few hours a week. I wouldn't let him go out alone at this point, but probably by 15 or 16 that'd be alright. I live in a rural enough area; the few intersections are just stop-signs, and I don't generally have to put a foot down once my rides start. Loose dogs are a bigger issue than cars most of the time.
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Old 05-24-18, 05:58 PM
  #3090  
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I have a 14-year old who races on the road. He would like to do CX, but his real passion is soccer and his club season is in the fall. We've also gone to the track and loved it. And from a parent's POV, it's so much safer. But it's a 3-hour drive for us to the nearest velodrome, so it's not exactly convenient. When we have done some road training, it's mostly been on the bike path or quieter roads I can take him on. I've also taken him on the Saturday B Ride a handful of times. He's definitely not the sketchiest rider in that pack....

But I know what you're saying. One of his classmates was just hit on the way to school the other day and is in the hospital awaiting surgery. It was pretty bad, but could have been worse.
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Old 05-25-18, 06:43 AM
  #3091  
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
could write a bunch but limited time.

i've been hit by a car in Europe (and was 100% the driver's fault, as they admitted), so Europe is by no means perfect. that said, i'd say it is *generally* safer to be a cyclist on the roads. drivers seem to have more respect for cyclists, and the laws favor 'vulnerable users' (pedestrians and cyclists). also, actual thought is given to the construction of roundabouts and other road features. should there be an accident, an inquiry will often be made into what could have been done to prevent that accident.

it seems like a higher percentage of people actually ride a bike there in some form (school, work, errands), so even if they are in a vehicle they are also aware of what it is like to ride.

people ride in sunshine, in rain, in snow. cyclists are omnipresent.

in contrast, in the US roads are for cars. period. cyclists are freaks or poor people. expendable. laws favor the driver. "i just didn't him, officer!" that excuse actually works.

while i've raced in europe, i don't have enough perspective to say how well it is doing. it's more of a stepping stone for people to go to the pros (and viewed as a viable path), so when racing you don't usually see people in their 30s actually doing it. if you are 18 or 20 you will get a ton of support from your town/region; if you are 23 and haven't made it, it's time to give up the bike and get a real job. {sportives are a different beast and what most 'masters' would do.**

yadda yadda.
This discussion hits close to home. A friend of mine was hit and killed by a texting driver two weeks ago while he was out on a training ride. This happened on the outskirts of town, in the countryside where we used to think we would be fairly safe. There's very little traffic on the road (maybe 1 or 2 cars every couple of minutes) and nothing to obstruct a motorists view of the road, the fact that he got hit still boggles my mind.

Two summers ago I was rear ended by someone texting and driving. Five years ago my wife's car was totaled by someone that was texting and driving, and that driver had had two other accidents in the proceeding few months. The other countries that I visit regularly, mostly throughout the Caribbean, have strict laws against using a cell phone while driving. People won't talk on their phones while driving for fear of a ticket, let alone Snapchat / Facebook / Text. But here in the 'duh, cell phones use is as cherished as our guns and our state legislature has actively shot down every bill that proposes strict penalties for texting and driving.

Fracking open season on cyclists.
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Old 05-25-18, 06:44 AM
  #3092  
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BTW, has anyone played with a Varia? https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/518151
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Old 05-25-18, 07:04 AM
  #3093  
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
This discussion hits close to home. A friend of mine was hit and killed by a texting driver two weeks ago while he was out on a training ride. This happened on the outskirts of town, in the countryside where we used to think we would be fairly safe. There's very little traffic on the road (maybe 1 or 2 cars every couple of minutes) and nothing to obstruct a motorists view of the road, the fact that he got hit still boggles my mind.

Two summers ago I was rear ended by someone texting and driving. Five years ago my wife's car was totaled by someone that was texting and driving, and that driver had had two other accidents in the proceeding few months. The other countries that I visit regularly, mostly throughout the Caribbean, have strict laws against using a cell phone while driving. People won't talk on their phones while driving for fear of a ticket, let alone Snapchat / Facebook / Text. But here in the 'duh, cell phones use is as cherished as our guns and our state legislature has actively shot down every bill that proposes strict penalties for texting and driving.

Fracking open season on cyclists.
aside from races, or riding whiteface mountain when itís closed, I basically wonít ride outdoors anymore.
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Old 05-25-18, 07:16 AM
  #3094  
big john
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Sorry to hear about your friend, kensuf. Texting is a real problem here, too. We have minor penalties for using a hand-held device while driving but I don't think there is much enforcement.
We do have severe penalties for drunk driving but that still happens. The thing that concerns me lately is speeding. Drivers are more aggressive than ever and speeds are higher than ever, (when there isn't a traffic jam).
There are still a lot of good drivers but the bad ones are so bad it's alarming.
I bought a new mtb in May and have been spending more time off-road these days.
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Old 05-25-18, 09:19 AM
  #3095  
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
BTW, has anyone played with a Varia? https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/518151
Yeah I've been using one for a while, highly recommended.
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Old 05-25-18, 11:56 AM
  #3096  
rankin116
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How do you use it? As in, what do you do differently knowing that a car is coming up behind you?
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Old 05-25-18, 12:26 PM
  #3097  
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I use a Cycliq rear cam but I 100% expect the cops to 'lose' the video files if anything happens.
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Old 05-25-18, 01:21 PM
  #3098  
rankin116
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Yeah, I feel like for cars coming from behind, the only real hope is to find them after the fact. I want to get a rear camera as well. I don't see how being warned that a car is coming is going to give you the time, or ability even, to get out of the way. But I haven't used it so I don't know, interested to hear other thoughts about it
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Old 05-25-18, 07:36 PM
  #3099  
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Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
How do you use it? As in, what do you do differently knowing that a car is coming up behind you?
on the back of the bike obviously....
go single file if riding 2 abreast which is no different but you get advanced notice and you dont have to depend on the last person in the train for the "carback' call.

it is actually really useful...believe it or not.

I mean it cant tell you if the car is going to hit you... but it's much harder for a car to sneak up on you. (land of silent hybrids and electric cars)
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Old 05-26-18, 05:15 AM
  #3100  
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I've been thinking about the varia since they announced the new form factor. I thought along the lines of @rankin116 but the more I've thought and read about it, I would think that it would be perfect for a heads up on those mid to low usage roads where everyone gets too comfortable and cyclists drift further into the roadway and drivers start texting/talking more.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/601468
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