Paceline Podcast #109

Paceline Podcast #109

Vacation. It’s such a loaded term. Is it time away from work? Time away from home? Is it recreation? Can it be a vacation without a bicycle? Hottie recently reviewed four different bike travel cases and decided to put the question to Fatty and Patrick of what their tips are for good travel with bike.

Last week one of Uber’s self-driving cars struck and killed a woman walking her bike through a crosswalk. It was night and she was wearing dark clothing and the person monitoring the allegedly self-driving car was busy LOLing on their smart phone with their BFF. It’s also worth noting that Uber recently made the decision to drop the number of LIDAR sensors on their cars from six to just one. Fatty wonders if having beacons on bikes is a smart idea. He polled readers and listeners and presents their opinions as well as the problems with some of the technical hurdles, not to mention the risks of victim-blaming anyone who doesn’t ride with said beacon.

Recently, Seven Cycles approached Patrick with an advertising proposal. He calls it an affiliate program on steroids. It’s a different approach to advertising, for sure, and is a chance to align one brand with another. Opinions abound, but one question is worth asking? To what degree should media entities pretend to be agnostic about brands if they aren’t really?



This podcast is supported by Health IQ, a life insurance company that celebrates cyclists and other health conscious people.  Visit to learn more & get a free quote, or check out their life insurance FAQ page to get your questions answered.

The Paceline is also supported by Eliel Cycling. Crafted in California, the Eliel brand combines the latest technology with cycling tradition to deliver an experience that is authentically California. View their retail gear and custom program at


Show links:

Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag

Tri All 3 Sports Bike Case

Rebecca Rusch – How to Pack Video

A Guide to Trigger Point Massage

DC Rainmaker

Skydio R1 Drone


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  1. Robert Ryan Clark

    Hey guys

    Had a quick recommendation on traveling with a bike. I have a bike Friday pocket rocket pro and it fits in a regular samsonite suitcase and is no charge with the airlines. I love if and have even raced on it before.

  2. Jon Benn

    I don’t know what you have done with the site. I cannot download the podcast as I used to by simply clicking the “Download” hyperlink. I subscribed through Google Play. Still cannot download the file. I am not a tech idiot, this frustrating as hell.

  3. Brian Edward Ledford

    re: bike cases, for non s and s bikes, I’ve had good luck with the bikebox alan ones. and with an s and s coupled one, I’ve had effectively (one time) negative fees – the southwest agent was fascinated with the idea of a full size road bike fitting in the case and, after I opened the case and explained a bit, gave me a 25$ travel voucher for explaining.

    On the beacon thing, I think you want something more like a reflector, but a reflector the car can see. Something like the rfid tag that’s in a race number? Maybe embedded in a helmet? But it should be passive, and set once and forget for the rider, so the responsibilty for any failure should be 100% with the vehicle. I think the problem with the more sensitive versions of current sensors is false positives – if you turn up the sensitivity, the car will get confused by rain or snow or a plastic bag, etc.

  4. mark

    I’m not following your VIQ on Twitter or FB, so I’ll chime in here: I likewise already run front lights and a rear blinky, so adding a transponder would be no problem for me, but- not to make this a helmet debate- I’ll still support people who choose not to carry one, just as I’d support them not to wear a helmet even though that’s something I’d almost never do myself.

    Re: having an app. Wearing my tinfoil helmet, I don’t want that kind of tracking, and obviously there’s the issue of battery drain, cell phone dead spots, and other phone related issues. Putting on my black hat, it sounds like there’s a great possibility for spoofing a pack of riders and completely disrupting traffic, or at the very least, doing a denial of service attack on the server.

    You can’t quite wreak the same havoc with a transponder, but you can still cause problems. If you put the transponder in any of the numerous potholes you can easily find, an autonomous car wouldn’t see the transponder until it’s just about to pass over it. What would it do? Slam on the brakes? Swerve?

    Yes, there are ways to attempt to determine whether a transponder ping is legitimate, but if it comes down to verifying the object optically, or with lidar or radar, then you’re back to where you were without a transponder.

    If the transponders have serial numbers, you can flag one as… adversarial or unreliable. But then what happens if it is spoofing the legitimate transponder of someone who actually rides on that road?

    So, transponders are a poor technological kludge to fix a sensor issue. Though in the Arizona case, I think it was more a problem with the software, not the hardware, so there’s no saying that the software would have dealt with a transponder any differently.

  5. Jim

    Regarding the beacons, the burden of safety is always on the bigger faster vehicle. I’d be happy to use such a device, but the self driving cars should not depend on pedestrians and cyclists using these.

  6. Jeff Dieffenbach

    The Uber crash that killed Elaine Herzberg was tragic. I hope that it was avoidable or will become so with near-future improvements to autonomous vehicle technology.

    I’ve seen two versions of the dash-cam video, including the one embedded in this NYT article (not for the faint of heart):

    While I’m concerned about the testing of self-driving cars on public roadways, I’m confident that in the not-too-distant-future, they will make driving and cycling and pedestrianing substantially safer than they are today. (The National Safety Council puts the 2017 toll at more than 40,000, so that’s something of a low bar to clear.)

    With the significant caveat that I’m basing my observations only on two videos and a graphic showing the scene, it’s hard for me to see how an attentive human driver would have avoided the collision. Yes, our angle of view is dramatically wider than that of the camera, But Ms. Herzberg doesn’t appear from the left of frame (where it seems that she would have been coming out from a stand of trees)–she appears in the middle of the frame. I think that as drivers, we’ve all been surprised to see how invisible a pedestrian is, even in relatively light clothes, until they are incredibly close.

    From the article, it’s reasonable to infer that the Uber vehicle in question was equipped with lidar, radar, and video. Apparently, lidar at least should help in low light. It will be interesting to find out whether detection systems were working properly, when the systems detected Ms. Herzberg, and whether it should have been possible for the car (which was stated as going 5mph under the speed limit) to have slowed or stopped in time.

    Clearly, the human driver was not attending to the road or the steering wheel. That’s both unacceptable and entirely understandable–I’m not convinced that people are wired to be as attentive as we should be behind the wheel without having the task of actually driving to engage us. If the external video is any guide, though, that attention might not have mattered.

    I look forward to learning more about what went wrong.

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