Weekly Video Roundup: Santa Monica modes, horses, racing and more

Posted by on June 2nd, 2016 at 9:15 am

Welcome to this week’s roundup! I went bike camping over the long weekend, rolling 165 miles in three days on a 40+ year old bike. I also managed to review 45 videos for the roundup. We start with this Streetfilms video from Santa Monica, which is a strange place. In some ways it is isolated from the rest of Los Angeles, but it’s also full of tourists and celebrities. The Third Street Promenade has two different crowds: during the day it is mostly office workers, and in the evening it’s people out for entertainment. A light rail line was just extended there, which quickly led to classism. Look at those buffered bike lanes! Also note their bikeshare uses the same system as Biketown.

There was another cool Streetfilms video out this week showing “peloton commuters”. I like riding across Hawthorne to Clinton or Broadway to Williams during ‘rush hour’ for the same reason- it’s cool to be surrounded by other cyclists. In many ways it feels safer.

There’s a new video on Mike Cotty’s Col Collective, cycling from Girona (Spain) up to Rocacorba. It’s really close to Girona where many pro riders are based. Here’s the climb on Strava, the closest nearby comparison I could find is part of the Mt. St. Helens climb.

I like this Vox segment on “cars vs horses”. They equate it to “cars vs self driving cars”, but it applies to “car vs bikes” too. Certainly the auto industry did a great job making cars the status quo. Note the final quote, discussing how removing horses will decrease accidents and traffic. (the video is distilled from G Wayne Miller’s book, “Car Crazy”)

‘Ask GCNything’ (get it?) is an neat segment. I enjoyed the community answers to the question of “how often should I wash my [lycra] kit?”, and the post-ride nutrition strategy is helpful too.

If you like how that video ends, you probably like Brunotti. I certainly do. This video is pretty much every Italian cliche, scenery-wise.

I’m featuring two Brunotti vids this week. Usually I restrain myself. But I love the “180 onto rollers” and the bridge crossings in this. So good.

Brompton had an “instagram film contest”. Here’s a compilation of the top videos- I especially liked the Romania and China entries.

A lot of riders are nervous about descending. I mentioned Cornell on here and there were a few responses about avoiding descending it. Here are some tips from GCN.


BikeRadar reviewed a handful of bikes with trickle-down tech from the Tour de France. They aren’t cheap, but they are more affordable than the top-spec bikes.

Seeing ‘science’ is often fun. In this video, two of the GCN hosts go into the lab to see how much harder their bodies work at 2700 meters (almost 9000 feet).

Tour of California

It’s been over a week since TOC finished, so here are a couple of recap videos. First, the womens race. It’s neat to see TOC as part of the Women’s WorldTour. The podium and jerseys were all claimed by American riders. (also see SRAM’s on-bike footage)

Next, the mens race. Here’s on-bike footage from SRAM:

Giro d’Italia

It has just finished. Any videos here don’t spoil the race or leaders.

Here’s a tour inside a team car- they carry a lot and are prepared to respond to a ton of possible problems.

What screens do racers have on their bike computer? It’s interesting to see the pro-power and anti-power camps; I agree with the riders who say power is more useful in training.

What is in a rider’s musette bag? It’s especially interesting to see the “real food” since the Allen Lim food revolution hit- there are a lot more rice cakes and cakes than in the past. (see also: what food is in their pockets?)

Honorable Mentions

This week’s honorable mentions: super-basic “can bicycles ride two abreast?” presentation from an officer in Michigan, PathLessPedaled reviews water filters for bikepacking and two wood/alcohol stoves, KymNonStop at the Long Beach crit, 5 terrible gadgets for your bike, DCRainmaker on the latest crop of high-end bike trainers, Col Collective’s Mike Cotty talking with David Millar, and bike lanes used for truck deliveries in NYC.

Inclusion criteria: If I’ve missed something, post it in the comments! I prefer videos published in the last week or so. Note if there’s a specific point in a long video that is worth highlighting. Also note if there is colorful language. I will delay videos containing pro racing spoilers by 7 days.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

Edited 5pm 6/2/2016: removed Santa Monica/Big Blue Bus statement “(including a bus system that isn’t compatible with the local payment system)”, which is not true anymore. Thanks commenter LAPDXtransplant.

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The ideas from two of these videos can be combined to generate a great future idea for bike commuting. Bike commuters could group up on 10 minute intervals at predetermined locations to form giant commuting Pelotons of Thursday ride proportions. Then sweep in to town as a group unheeded by traffic signals or stop stops counting on the embedded logic of the self driving cars to act as digital corkers waiting patiently for the endless streams of cyclists to pass. We could of course do this now, but the human drivers are more likely to lose their tempers and create mayhem.


Great stuff, just a note that the Big Blue Bus IS compatible with the public transit payment system of the region. It’s called TAP (Transit Access Pass) and it provides a single card that can be used on 24 mass transit systems in the region. Passes for one bus systems won’t work for another bus system, but cash value will.




A peloton is a group of cyclists racing in close proximity, drafting each other as much as possible. What you see in the video is not a peloton, just bike traffic. Beautiful, bountiful bike traffic.

P.S.: Please don’t try drafting behind other cyclists on your commute.


Yes, and please stop injecting racing culture into cycling.


By now your disdain is well noted. Please stop injecting it everywhere—and only where—you are affronted.


I have fellow commuters grab my wheel almost every day, and I do the same at times. It literally has not been a problem in 18 years of commuting most days from NE PDX to Beaverton, and back. It’s nice to get a break from headwinds at times, and I enjoy the “push” of leading others. I also enjoy the comraderie, and feel safer riding with others down Walker Rd with 40+ mph traffic zooming by.


The “terrible gadgets” link goes to a “genius gadgets” video. Let’s see the terrible ones!


Is there a link to the Cornell conversation? I am curious to hear the sides, but have learned not to opine about such subjective things in my household.

Relatively speaking, though… c’mon.