Monthly Archives: December 2009

Most expensive car wrecks ever – Ferrari, Bugatti. . . you’ll be surprised.

Got a great email from a buddy with the “most expensive car wrecks ever”.  We’ve all been in a fender-bender, but these are truly painful to look at:

#10. Bugatti  EB110  …   $500,000

This 1992 $500,000 super-exotic  Bugatti EB110 was being driven by a mechanic as  part of its annual checkup. He claims  there was an oil slick on the road which caused him  to lose control and crash into a  pole. The owner of the Bugatti is a famous “feel good”  guru named Emile Ratelband. Not sure  how good he was feeling after this  wreck.

#9. Pagani Zonda C12 S  …   $650,000

Only 15 Zonda C12 S were ever  built, but that didn’t stop this owner from driving it like a  mad hatter. He crashed this beauty in  the wee morning hours while driving in Hong  Kong.

#8.  Mercedes Benz  SL  300 …   $950,000

The SL 300 “Gullwing” represents  the very finest of Mercedes.  The owner thought it would be a good idea to race  this million dollar car on the streets of Mexico, at the annual  “La Carrera Panamericana”  race – limited to classic cars produced before  1965.

#7. Jaguar XJ220 …    $1.1 Million

The XJ220 once held the record  for highest top speed for a production car (217  mph).

#6. Ferrari Enzo …    $1.3 Million

The most famous Ferrari Enzo  crash (shown above) was at Malibu, California in  2005, when  the driver ,  “Fat Steven” Eriksson crashed the car at 196  mph and walked away.

#5. Bugatti Veyron  …   $1.6 Million

The Bugatti Veyron is the most  expensive production car in history. Only 300  are expected to be produced, and  already two have crashed. Above is the first  one. The driver thought it was okay to  speed at 100 mph in the rain. He only had the car for one  week.

#4. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT TDF  …   $1.65 Million

This extremely rare classic car,  the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT “Tour de France”,  crashed into a wall at the Shell  Ferrari-Maserati Historic Challenge in  2003.

#3. Ferrari 250 GT Spyder  …   $10.9 Million

The record price for a 1961 250  GT California Spyder at auction was set on May 18,  2008 when a black one was sold for  $10,894,900. So what is one doing buried in the  sand? The unlucky owner had it stored  near the beach when a Hurricane  hit. 

#2. Ferrari 250 GTO  …   $28.5 Million

The 1962-64 Ferrari 250 GTO  became the most valuable car in the world. In 2008  an anonymous English buyer bought a  250 GTO at auction for a record $28.5  Million. The crash above represents a car  worth more than the combined value of all 14  Enzos (see #6 above) involved in  accidents. After a track event involving historic  cars,
the owner rammed into the back of  another car after traffic slowed  down.

#1. Tiger  Woods’ Escalade  …    $55 million and rising

The most expensive car crash  ever?
Final estimate to be determined  by Elin Nordegren and corporate sponsors.

PowerCranks Review: Can they improve my cycling?

A couple weeks ago I ordered an early Christmas present – some PowerCranks.  PowerCranks are independent bicycle cranks. This means one leg cannot help the other and in order to pedal the bike you must push all the way through the pedal stroke – no relaxing on the back stroke. You’re forced to raise the pedal using your hip flexor and hamstring muscles,  ensuring that your leg muscles will become balanced. Put simply, after using PowerCranks you are supposed to have a more efficient/powerful pedal stroke (since your leg pushing down is no longer fighting the “deadweight” of the opposing leg).  You can read some scientific studies of the effect of PowerCranks on training here.

I put the PowerCranks on my cyclocross bike and gave them a whirl on the trainer. The first 10 minutes on the PCs were some of the hardest I have ever spent on the bike. I fought through the pain and finally found a “rhythm” after 15 minutes and managed to ride the PowerCranks for 30 minutes on the initial try. My next four PowerCrank workouts looked like this:

  • Workout 2 – 45 minutes
  • Workout 3 – 60 minutes
  • Workout 4 – 75 minutes
  • Workout 5 – 90 minutes

I’ve been very careful to slowly increase my time on the PCs and can’t imagine riding them for more than 2 hours (inside or out) because they are pretty painful on the nether regions. 100% of your weight is on your bottom (instead of your legs supporting some of your weight), so I would recommend slapping on some DZ Nuts or other chamois creme when using the cranks.

So what do PowerCranks feel like? It’s almost like doing one-legged-pedaling drills, but with both legs at the same time. I also like doing the “dolphin pedal” where you pedal with both feet, in unison. This one really works the core and forces a smooth pedal stroke.

I’m about to do a field test on my PowerTap to determine my threshold power before training with PowerCranks, then I’ll do another test each month to monitor the progress. My plan right now is to ride the PCs 3 times per week for 90 minutes per workout. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll be brave enough to ride them outside.

First trip with the Ritchey BreakAway travel bike

  

I just got back from my first trip with the Ritchey BreakAway and I must say, it was a huge success. The good folks at Fort Worth Cycling helped me with the build:  

  • Rtichey BreakAway frame
  • Ritchey Logic white bars, stem and seatpost
  • Fizik Arionne saddle
  • Fizik dual bar tape
  • SRAM Rival group
  • My old Mavic Ksyrium wheels
  • Continental GP4000 tires (in matching blue for the style points).
  • Look Keo pedals

All-in the bike weighs ~ 18 pounds, not bad for a steel travel bike.  

The BreakAway in it's travel bag

 

The bike packed surprisingly easy and I had plenty of extra room to put my bike clothes, bottles, food, etc. in the bag. However, I would not include anything easily breakable like your helmet in the bag (I speak from experience) since the bag is a soft side.  

Check-in with the bag on American Airlines posed no problems (no additional charge). They even put a “priority” tag on the bag so it was the first off the plane when I arrived in San Francisco. After some business meetings in San Francisco and Palo Alto – Kevin, Ken and I were able to squeeze in a couple rides in Palo Alto (all 3 of us bought BreakAways). Assembling the bike was easy (probably 15-20 minutes) and it was SO nice not having to worry about finding a shop that rents bikes, a car that could carry a bike, etc. Just brough the bag up to my room, assembled it, and rolled out the hotel lobby.  

  

Day 1 we put the bikes to test by doing a 50 mile loop that included the famous Old La Honda Road climb in Woodside.  This was my first time on Old La Honda, but managed to finish the 3.3 mile climb in 19:30, which isn’t bad on a steel travel bike!  

  

On Day 2 we decided to really put the bikes’ bottom-bracket-coupler to the test by tackling the “Ring of Fire” loop in Palo Alto. It’s a short loop (~33 miles) but has some insanely steep climbs. The Los Trancos Rd./Ramona Rd. climb is particularly painful and something like 12%+ for a mile. I think Kevin literally cursed the engineers that built the road – In his words as we caught our breadth at the top, “that was ridiculous!”  I definitely wished for my stiffer, lighter, carbon race bike on those climbs, but the Ritchey’s got us to the top – and down – safely and with a big smile on my face.  

I took my time breaking the bike down (cleaned it good, etc.) and was able to get it fully packed in less than 30 minutes (could easily shave off 10-15 minutes if I was in a hurry). This is going to dramatically improve business travel for me. I just wish I had bought one sooner so I could have taken it to Europe last summer for the Tour.

The Chinese news have this whole Tiger Woods car crash incident figured out

This is hilarious. Make sure to watch the whole clip since the digital re-creations near the end are the best. A little scary to think that 1.3 billion people are getting their news in the form of salacious digital re-creations of “rumored” events. Then again, I don’t speak Chinese, so as far as I know this show is the equivalent of TMZ or Extra in China.