Wear a helmet. Ride at your own risk. Obey the rules of the road. Bring a pump, tube and tools. Be courteous towards your fellow riders and the public.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The return of Retro Rick - Time constrain your Dino Mojo


You've heard about Dino Riders?  Yep, those guys and gals whom talk in terms of years ago, sometimes wear wool, ride steel, post ancient race photos, ride epically but finish up in time to eat, drink, and tell war stories  epically too.  You think you're a Dino or maybe you just wanna be a Dino?  Well, there's nothing to stop you cause it's just a matter of attitude.  Yes, if you got attitude, you're a Dino.

So just how Dino are you?  Well, we all know, reptilian Dinosaurs lived during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.  Over time, early Dinosaur species evolved from primitive (Triassic) forms to advanced forms (Cretaceous) until that pesky asteroid changed the game at the end of the Cretaceous.  Homo Sapien Dino riders also follow that reptilian progression, we were primitive at the outset but advanced systematically so we can assign relative ages to ourselves.  Since everyone understands the reptilian Dino timescale, we'll just lift if for our own purposes.  So if you've bought into Dino and are interested in finding out just how primitive you are, read on:

Triassic Dinos (early,  late)

Early Triassic epoch Dinos built machines that allowed them to power them while riding.  Up to this time, wheels were used in machines that were either pulled or pushed by men or beasts (Permian power).  These wooden machines, referred to now as bicycles, used iron tires and Rube Goldberg drivetrains.  Comfortable saddles were well a few million years off.   Dinos who grew up riding these bikes are extinct unless they're frozen in Siberia.  But fossil bikes from this epoch are on display at the Davis bike museum.

Iron replaced wood during the Late-Triassic.  Late Triassic Dinos rode metal bikes with one really large, direct drive front wheel, one small rear wheel, and solid rubber tires.  Comfortable saddles were still a few million years off.  These bikes were tall (affording greater views) and fast so mid-Triassic Dinos took up racing for fun instead of survival.   Late Early Triassic Dinos are extinct too unless they're frozen in Siberia.  However, living Dinos use bikes from this epoch during special events like Tweed Rides.  Watch a Tweed Rider fall from one of these bikes and you'll understand why Late Triassic Dino's are extinct.

Jurassic Dinos (early, middle, Late)

Early Jurassic Dinos rode metal bikes with equal sized wheels, chain or direct drive, single fixed gear, and solid rubber tires.  Bikes now look like today's bikes.  Early Jurassic Dinos road for transportation, sport, and fun.   Early Jurassic Dinos are extinct unless frozen in Siberia

Middle Jurassic Dinos rode all steel bikes that used air-filled tires and chain drivetrains (elliptical chainrings debut too).  Gearing systems incorporated freewheels, internal and external shifting systems, as well as traditional fixed gearing.  Frame shifters dominated although some handlebar shifter systems were available.  Toe straps and clips, nail on cleats, narrow saddles and crude helmets also define the Middle Jurassic epoch and are common in the fossil record.  Good bikes and accessories were European (Campagnolo, Stronglight, Zeus, TA, Nervar), and Dino legends sprang up about which frame builder shaman had the most mojo.  Dinos clothed themselves in wool and were weight obsessed (some drilled holes in their bike parts and frames).  Many older living Dinos are from this period.

Invasive Japanese component companies (Japanolo) ushered in the Late Jurassic.  These companies tried to compete with European component manufactures by copying their parts.  Also, hard shell helmets, high-performance clincher tires, elliptical chainrings (again), and crude index shifting systems also define the Late Jurassic.  Late Jurassic bikes were made of aluminum, titanium, plastic, and carbon too.  Late Jurassic Dinos are relatively common and some are still pretty fast.

Cretaceous Dinos

Early Cretaceous

Clipless pedals, index shifting (an early electric form too), cassette gears and widespread hardshell helmet use ushered in the early Cretaceous.  Steel as a framebuilding material devolved into a cottage industry.  The late Cretaceous saw two copy cat Japanese component companies become extinct while the Japanese company that did things its own way thrived (if you're thinking Shimano, you get a gold star).  As an invasive, Shimano even displaced the premiere Euro company (two stars for guessing Campagnolo) on the European pro circuit.  Many Early Cretaceous Dinos don't know what toe straps,  nail on cleats, wool shorts, or frame friction shifters are. But elliptical chainrings reappeared again.     Carbon as  framebuilding material makes inroads.  Hiring a coach, especially by riders who started riding late in life becomes popular.  Hopefully, many new Dinos will be recruited from this period.

Mid-Cretaceous (We're more or less in this period now)

Carbon dominates as a frame, component, and wheel building material; frames, wheels, and accessories incorporate aerodynamic designs.  Cassettes are often confuse older Dinos because they have twice the gears that were available during their heyday.  Bikes do not need addition lightening but elliptical chainrings reappear again.  Reliable electric-powered shifting systems are introduced and priced for the masses.  Pro-bikes cost as much as a good used car (gee that's like it was in the mid Triassic).   But "Old school" bikes, clothes and components are available as part of a boutique industry (they cost as much as a used car too).   Hiring a Coach is a must do.  Hopefully, many Dinos will be recruited from this period.

Late Cretaceous

Well this epoch is reserved for riders who will start riding in the future using bikes and equipment that us existing Dinos can hardly imagine.   Future Dinos will have to be from this period because the only way to move into the Tertiary is to have another pesky asteroid hit.  If that happens, there won't be any more Dinos, just birds.

Well, hopefully you've been able to find yourself a spot in the Dino timeline as described above.  If you need further information, visit the bicycle historical center in Davis, CA, and visit the Dino Website (a wealth of Dino history, photos, sea stories, and it has an event calendar).

"Retro" Rick Humphreys PG #4304


  1. Nice Rick - I don't see you on the road anymore, probably because I'm not on "those" roads very often (0-1/yr.). Middle Jurassic - Invasive Japanese ( & Euro MX bikes).
    Regards - Paul Swinney