Sunday, December 23, 2007

Not my boss......but my friend......

Tommy D(on the left) with Ed.

Local cyclist in serious condition after accident
By LAURA URSENY - Staff Writer
Article Launched: 12/23/2007 12:00:00 AM PST

Local cyclist and Chico Velo director Ed McLaughlin is in serious condition after a bicycling accident on Friday.

McLaughlin was airlifted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, where he was listed in serious condition, according to the hospital on Saturday.

McLaughlin, 63, was riding through Bidwell Park with a group of cyclists in a tight pack when his bicycle struck a bollard.

He was thrown from the bike, and struck his head. He was wearing a helmet at the time. He was taken to Enloe Medical Center.

City Councilwoman and bike shop owner Ann Schwab was with McLaughlin at Enloe Friday afternoon. She told the Enterprise-Record Saturday that McLaughlin suffered from a severe spinal injury.

Schwab said McLaughlin was conscious on Friday, but in great pain. She said he had no feeling or movement from his chest down, or in his arms.

Schwab said the bollard McLaughlin hit was on the north side of Bidwell Park, between Petersen Drive and Madrone Avenue.

"I'm sure he's gone by there a million times and never had a problem," Schwab said.

Local real estate agent Leif Petersen was riding behind McLaughlin at the time of the accident.

"I heard him call out the (first) pole. You do that out of courtesy when you're riding together. Then he hit (a second one). I was right on his wheel, so I was trying to avoid colliding with him. I pulled off the road. I didn't see him fall. I just looked back and saw him on the ground."

An acquaintance, Petersen said the group of about 15 riders was going about 10 to 12 mph.

"He hit the pole dead-on. It sheared off his fork," which holds the front tire.

Petersen said a doctor participating on the ride tended to McLaughlin before the emergency personnel got there.

Schwab spoke with the physician who examined McLaughlin at the hospital and read the results of medical tests, including an MRI.

"The doctor reviewed the MRI results and found he had severe injury to the spinal cord," Schwab recalled of the doctor's conversation.

"If anyone can recover from this, it would be Ed," said Schwab.

His partner Suzanne Hanson is at the hospital with him, Schwab said.

A healing circle for Ed McLaughlin is planned at 8 p.m. Monday in City Plaza.

Friends and acquaintances are invited to gather for McLaughlin, who was injured in a bicycle accident on Friday.

People are asked to ride their bicycles to the downtown park.

Cards can be sent to Ed McLaughlin, c/o Customer Service Department, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, 751 South Bascom Ave., San Jose, CA 95128. Flowers are not recommended yet.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Leaders......and followers......

Ahh.......the off-season. What a great time of year. My favorite part - the ON-season for cross! But, probably my least favorite part rides.

Group rides??? Rodney, what in the hell are you talking about???

See, this is the time of year - in my neck of the woods - where people get together and go on these so-called "No drop" LSD rides. Long.......Steady......Distance. Or, as some like to "think" of it.......Long Slow Distance. Now, if it were truly a LSD ride - strictly speaking - you would do them alone or with only a couple other folk. It's like Olaf would say - If you're riding alone, you're training.......if you are riding with a group, you're socializing! So, when you get a group of 20+ riders socializing together and trying to keep a LSD ride know what can happen. Mr. Hammerfest pulls, goes a little fast up front during his pull.......Johnny Chaser wants to stay on his wheel.......the paceline tries to follow......riders are getting shelled off the back......and the next thing you know, it feels like the last lap of the Champs during the Tour! Ah.....the winter LSD rides - gotta love 'em.

So, yeah, not quite like what was advertised.....or thought. But here is the worst part about it........the complaints that inevitably come at the end.

Rider A went too fast during the ride......and Rider B followed........and Rider C got dropped. So, Rider C complains that Rider A went too fast - and Rider B didn't help matters much. And so now, Rider C doesn't want to ride with Rider A or Rider B or the group they both ride in. Okay, fine.

And this is where the Leaders/Followers thing comes into play. Rider C is not a Leader - he's a Follower. So, all he'll do is complain - he'll complain to whoever will listen: "Rider A and B's group rides too fast for LSD rides, so I won't ride with them anymore!" And......that's all. Rider C would not even bother to THINK of starting his own ride. I mean......that's too much work, too much responsibility, too much hassle. It's easier to complain about rides that others put on.

Well, my advice to Rider C is - Either get faster or ride by yourself or find a little group that rides around the same speed(until you're which point, the complaints will start again!) or start your own little group ride where the pace can be better you. But, fer chrissakes......quitcher bitchin'. The fact that you were even out on your bike yesterday should be a friggin' blessing - so, why are you complaining????

Oh - the pic - Yeah, that's Sean Yates in a 1981 10-mile TT in Great Britain. He's probably bitchin' too - about the gear he's pushin' on cobblestones into the wind!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thinking outside the box........ is okay to ride your road bike on a dirt road! And yes, I know there is gravel on the road too......but I think you can handle it. And your bike can too!
(Words of wisdom from Chico's super climber).