-the UCI will stop treating women as unequal to men in the track events. The men race the 1km time trial, the women 500m. The men do a 4000m pursuit, the women do 3000m pursuit. The men's Olympic sprint is 3 riders and 3 laps. The Women's Olympic Sprint is 2 riders and 2 laps. In Track and Field, the women run the same distance as men all the way up to the 26-mile marathon. The UCI should realize that these unequal distance are silly and make the sport of cycling look backwards.
-pass the law that Idaho has that allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs. It makes a lot of sense.
-have the airlines charge equitable oversize baggage fees for bicycles. Skis and golf clubs fly for free, why should cyclists pay extra?
-have Campy, SRAM and Shimano come up with a standard cog size and cog spacing so all shift levers and cog sets are compatible and hence, interchangeable.
-have the mountain bike world design the one true rear suspension. OK, I am being a bit cynical, but it seems like mountain bike manufacturers seem to be coming up with new rear suspension designs each year just to sell bikes.
-have Comcast, which now owns both Versus and NBC Universal Sports, come to an agreement with DirecTV (and Dish Network when their contract expires) to keep the only two networks showing significant bike racing coverage on all three major cable/satellite companies.
-somebody invent a chain lube that lubricates, but doesn't leave a greasy residue on the chain. White Lightening is about as good as it gets in the clean category, but it isn't a great lubricant. We put a man on the moon (or in a Hollywood sound stage for you skeptics). Somebody should be able to invent a clean chain lubricant.
This week Shimano gave us all a first look at their new 2009 Dura Ace Gruppo. There were a lot of interesting developments the most noticeable is the departure from the exposed shift cables to an internal routing method which is similar to both Campy and SRAM. But, what interested me most was the introduction of a master link for joining the chain. No more pins which need to be precisely centered between the plates. No more worrying if the pin is too tight and is holding the plates too tight as a result. Click the master link and you are good to go.
First off, let me state for the record that I am not a professional bicycle mechanic. However, I like to know how to work on my bike not only because sometimes it is more convenient to do it on my own and if I ever break when I am on the road I have a better chance of making a repair and getting myself back up and running.
This explains why I think chain master links are the best way to join a chain. Using a master link is basically goof proof and that is a huge benefit when you are way out in nowheresville and don't need to add the additional worry of whether your chain is going to snap.
I have to give credit to my local bike shop (LBS), The Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos, California, for turning me onto master links. Unlike me, these guys are top-flight pro mechanics and I trust their advice. So when they recommended that I switch from pins to a master link I decided to give it a try. I haven't looked back; I haven't broken a chain and I no longer worry about breaking a chain.
So, should you all rush out and put master links in your chains? If you run Campy or SRAM, breath easy, you are already there. If you run Shimano, next time you replace your chain, think about putting in a master link. Obviously, I think it is a desirable upgrade, hopefully you will, too.
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