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Tuscany Road Ride by Carlo Bonetti

23 November 2017 1:00:24 PM AEDT

Tuscany Road had long been marked on the calendar as a bench test for my first true long distance ride in solitude and self-sufficiency. The goal was to complete the 600km of the first edition of TR, brother of the most famous Tuscany Trail, within 40 hours, the Audax limit time for this type of randonnée brevets.

 lake_garda

Personal choice, as the event has no maximum time and the only rule is to follow the GPS track provided. Gait, break and any overnight stays are at your own discretion, so total freedom to interpret your challenge. Since I'm going to spend the night in the saddle, I got Knog's PWR lights up to keep my ride safe.

roubaix florence drop 1 

Departure scheduled for 8:00 on Saturday 23rd September 2017 from the magnificent Piazza degli Aranci in Massa.

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20/600 km - Vestito Pass is the first passage of the Apuan Alps at 1,100mt to be overcome immediately after leaving Massa. At the top, before going down to Fornoli, you cross a gallery overlooking Carrara's marble quarries.

 marbles

170/600 - After meeting Robin on the road, a Belgian guy who accompanied me about a dozen kilometers after Pistoia, I reach a Florence invaded by tourists.

firenze con robin 

firenze

firenze 2

roubaix florence 1

260/600 km - San Giminiano. After shooting for almost an hour and a half looking for a place to spend the night, I find a mobile home available at the campsite. It's 23.30, three hours of sleep and then wake up and start again.

mobilehome 1 

poggibonsi 1

360/600 km - A slight mist envelops Siena early in the morning, after a quick passage in the center of the city of Palio is Val d'Orcia time.

Buonconvento, San Quirico d'Orcia and Pienza pass through fast, a steady climb up and down that never lets you pace. Radicofani is there, waiting for me, but not without making me suffer.

countryside

radicofani

510 / 600km - Sorano. The village you don't expect, the true surprise of this Tuscany Road, suddenly sprouted in the mist as I descended from Castell'Ottieri accompanied by a slight rain.

pitigliano 1 

600 / 600km - Arriving at the end of the first Tuscany Road edition in Capalbio Scalo when the clock marks at 22:40. I'm very happy with the 578km with 8,700 meters of elevation gain in 38h42 '.

the ride 

Words and Photos by Calo Bonetti
Posted in Events By Knog

AVOID THE SCYTHE: 10 BIKE SAFETY TIPS TO STAY ALIVE

16 October 2017 2:58:58 PM AEDT

Cycling is great/bonza/tops/lush/’tastic/wicked/well good. If you’re reading this, you probably agree but let’s just revel in it for a moment. It’s keeps you fit, is green and clean, and gives you a healthy shot of adrenalin meaning your brain is firing at full tilt at the end of a ride. And mmmn, endorphins. 

That being said, there are a plethora of hazards that come with cycling, especially in busy urban areas. In Australia, cycling accidents are on the rise and the majority of these happen during morning and afternoon rush hours.  

Here are some tips to help not get dead. Read on…

 

1. Protect your noggin:

Helmets are the most important piece of cycling safety equipment - they don’t cost much, and they could save your life. 

You’ll want to make sure your ears sit in the middle of the V shape of the straps, the front of the helmet sits two fingers width above your eyebrows, and just one finger can fit between your chin and the strap when the strap is done up. Ask a shop attendant for help if you’re unsure about fitting. 

helmet shot

2. Wear reflective clothing:

It’s a good idea to optimise visibility when cycling. Wearing a reflective vest or backpack is a better look than being smeared across the road because a driver didn’t see you. This is especially important in rural areas, at night, and times of low visibility (fog, rain, snow).

If you don’t want to walk around all day with a reflective backpack, you can get a backpack cover to just use while cycling. 

3. Get lit:

You want people to see your fresh new wheels, right? You also want them to see you, especially at night. Cyclists should also have front and rear bike lights when cycling at night or when visibility is poor.

Some lights are designed to help you be seen by other road users, and some are designed to help you see where you’re going (headlights). This isn’t an ad. We don’t care if you buy Knog lights, JUST BUY LIGHTS!

get lit

4. Kit your bike out with safety gear:

There’s a whole heap of equipment that can be fitted to your bike. Some useful items are:

  • - Pedal reflectors to enhance visibility.
  • Bells to warn pedestrians.
  • - Pump and tool.
  • - Clip/strap in pedals if you’re using cycle cleats.
  • - Rear-view mirrors.
  • - Chain guards.
  • - First aid kit. These are easy to lug around, and you can be the hero if someone gets hurt.

 

5. Wear the right gear:

Along with visible clothes, you should be wearing covered shoes and clothing that won’t catch onto the chain or other parts of the bike. Tuck your shoelaces in as well, and wear waterproof clothing in bad weather.

6. Bring your phone:

When shit hits the fan, having a phone with you can get you out of some serious strife. Plus, it’s a good way to get in contact with emergency services if you or someone else gets in trouble. 

bring your phone

7. Check yo'self :

Before going out on your bike, make sure you do a pre-start check. Ensure your tyres, chain, brakes, lights, spokes, and pedals are all working. If you need a hand, then ask a mate or your friendly local bike mechanic for assistance.


8. Cycle with your mates:

Cycle in groups when possible. You’ll be more visible as a pack of cyclists, and you’ll have friends around who can look after you if you're new to cycling. 

cycle with mates

9. Maintain your bike/gear:

Keep your bike looking and feeling the business. Bikes need to be serviced and maintained every few months. If you’re not sure what’s up, ask your new bff the bike mechanic.

10. Learn the rules:

Some simple road safety advice is to learn and follow the road rules.

Often accidents happen because people don’t know how to respond in situations involving cyclists and cars. Road rules are safety guidelines for motorists and cyclists alike, so learn them and follow them before heading out onto the road.

 

Sofia Lockett is a freelance writer from New Zealand, with a passion for health and fitness. Sofia has written for numerous lifestyle and fitness sites such as Industrial Athletic

Posted in Accessories By Knog

How to Build Your Own Race Lap Counter

3 August 2017 10:02:58 AM AEST

Ever thought about building your own race lap counter? Well, now you can. Knog teamed up with the guys behind the legendary Mission Crit race in San Francisco to develop and build a Knog lap counter made entirely out of Blinder Mob bike lights for the race. You can check out Mission Crit's step by step guide to building a lap counter below. Enjoy.

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Mission Crit was stoked to hear back from KNOG about teaming up for the spring 2017 edition of the race, and we were even more interested when KNOG presented the challenge of coming up with a cool way to showcase their bike lights. we’d been working out how to source a lap counter for the race, so the idea of making one out of KNOG bike lights was a pretty logical connection to make. with some help from the innovative team at AKQA San Francisco, we’re pretty happy with what we put together.

side_on 

side_off


Step 1: investigation - breaking stuff is always the best way to start a project, right? We busted open a few of the lights to figure out how we could hack their on/off function. we soon realized that we didn’t actually need break the lights open; we could hack the lights just by stripping away the rubber casing on the on/off button with an x-acto knife and soldering wires to the button leads so that we could short the lights with the program we’d write.

1_b skinning_buttons


Step 2: soldering & laser cutting - at the local tech shop, we cut the rubber casing away from the on/off buttons on each light, soldered wires on each side of the button leads, and etched the KNOG logo into an acrylic panel with a laser.

1_a busting_lights 

2_b logo_laser_cutting


Step 3: programming - using Node.js, we wrote a program targeting the lights in such a way that they would form digit patterns and using a presentation clicker let us count down on button press from whatever number we set. 

2_a sodered_lights


Step 4: frame construction - we opted to make the lap counter frame out of pvc piping so we could use the bike light’s straps to easily mount them. once assembled, we drilled holes in the back of the frame for the wires at the spots where the bike lights would sit, and then spray painted the whole frame black.

4_b light_mounting

4_c drilled_wire_holes


Step 5: hooking up - we connected the light wires to the relays, which were then connected to the raspberry pi that would parse the presentation clicker clicks to run the program we’d written to count the laps down.

5_a connecting_relays 


Step 6: Assembly - this was super labor intensive; we determined what the light placement would be and trimmed wires accordingly, then threaded them through the corresponding holes and out the back of the frame. The KNOG logo was mounted in the frame using zip ties, and the relays were placed in a cardboard box in an attempt to contain the guts of the device a little.

6_a threading_wires 

6_b frame_reassembly


Step 7: Action - the lap counter set up on the race course, blinding everyone from across the street. having digits burned into your retina is a small price to pay to be able to keep track of a kick ass race though, right?

7_a 

7_b


Special thanks to Nate Waddington and Nick Mitrousis of AKQA San Francisco, and to RP Cuenco for their enthusiasm and technical expertise. We could totally R&D this baby and get it on the back of a pace bike in subsequent races. just sayin’.

- Clare (Mission Crit)

knog



Posted in Blinder Lights Events By Knog

Red Hook Crit London: A Round-Up

28 July 2017 2:32:19 PM AEST

A photo round-up from this year's Red Hook Crit London race by Caro Paulette.

Race Highlight: Knog sponsored team Revo Racing had an impressive race in both the men's and women's races with @lewis_wil hanging on for a solid 11th place finish overall. Congrats team!

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All photos by Caro Paulette
 
Posted in Events By Knog

what is a crit race?

14 July 2017 12:34:36 PM AEST

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Red Hook Crit series, the world’s leading track bike criterium race. What started as one-off race organised by David Trimble to celebrate his 26th birthday has morphed into a global annual race series with crits in Brooklyn, London, Barcelona and Milan, bringing together the best riders in the world.

red hook crit race 4

It’s a race series Knog are proud to have been a part of for many years, supporting great teams such as 2015 Champions Team Cinelli Chrome, Cykeln and F.A.S.T Amsterdam. This year we’re sponsoring new fixed gear crit team Revo Racing, who you can catch at the London Red Hook Crit on July 22nd.

red hook crit race revo racing team

red hook crit race 5

 That’s all great and everything, but what the hell is a criterium?

A criterium is an action packed and somewhat frenetic bike race that is commonly raced on a closed road circuit loop for a duration close to an hour. Road bike or fixed gear, the pace is intense and is generally faster than that of your typical bike race.  It can also be a hell of a lot of fun. 

red hook crit race 1

WATCHING A LOCAL CRIT RACE

Crit races are a great spectator sport. Unlike the tour or other road races where you might catch a glimpse of the riders once in the race as they ping past in a blur, crit racing tends to be held on smaller urban courses, where spectators can pick a spot and watch the action unfold lap by lap.

red hook crit race 7

I want to race, not spectate.

One of the beauts of crit racing is that it is probably the most accessible form of bike racing to get into as an amateur racer. However, that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Criteriums are one of the hardest and most technically skillful forms of bike racing to compete in. Riders on average will be pushing 50km/h for the duration of the race, navigating tight corners, short straights all while trying to stay in contention at the finish.

red hook crit 10 year anniversary

WHAT ARE primes?

Primes are basically sprint sections of a race, signaled by the ringing of the lap bell, where racers have the opportunity to win additional money or prizes by crossing the line first at the end of that lap. These occur regularly throughout a race and are super entertaining for spectators.

red hook crit race 2

The final countdown

Unlike road racing where you know when the finish will be, in crit racing, you often don’t find out until a few minutes before the end of the race. Race officials will be monitoring the lap times and will try to end the race as close to the set time as possible.  About 5 minutes or so before the end of the race the officials will ring the bell and display the lap counter to show how many laps there are to go. This is when the race intensity really kicks on a gear as riders jostle to position themselves for a sprint to the finish. 

Photos by Caro Paulette

red hook crit race 3


Posted in Events By Knog

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