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The Pits


Much like how the Milwaukee Brewers almost missed the playoffs by hitting a slump right before the end of the season, I’ve hit my cyclocross season slump. As with most slumps it is not by choice. The bills have been coming in so I picked up an extra PAID internship on campus and continue to work at Menards. Now I have no time to race cyclocross because I have to make money to live, which is truly a college students problem, but when it comes to other reasons I’ve missed races I have that covered too.

From Oct. 13 to Oct. 18, 2011, I was being a sophisticated public relations professional at the Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference. I can’t say it was the best trip ever but it gave me a view of the career I hope to find after I graduate. So at the end of the conference I got on the plane with a 2nd place award for the National Organ Donation Awareness Campaign that I ran last year; I was feeling proud but my body was feeling otherwise.

After arriving back in Wisconsin with a sinus infection that I had since the second half of my trip, I decided I was going to tough it out and go to class and work Wednesday through Friday. Riding from home to work to class and back was my only training for the past two weeks. Then the weekend hit and I was dead, my symptoms included fatigue from waking up, a constant headache, and sinuses that wanted to explode.

Monday came and I gave up. My body was cashed so I went to Aurora’s walk-in and it turns out that I had the flu. The flu was causing my blood sugar (being a Type 1 Diabetic) to stay sky-high and thus causing the rest of my body to feel terrible. After five hours of having fluids pumped into me I was starting to feel better and they said I could go home.

Everyone understands being sick feels terrible but missing races feels even worse. So how do you recover from the flu in time to squeeze a few more races?

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Its official QR (Quick Response) codes have made it on to bicycles. QR codes were created by the auto giant, Toyota, to track vehicles being manufactured while going down the assembly line. When it comes to QR codes on bicycles Team mechanic Daimeon Shanks for Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com uses them to track the specifics of each team members’ bicycles.

QR Code Scanning Photo

Shanks using a QR code system to track the team's equipment - Photo by: Matt Pacocha/BikeRadar

According to a bikeradar.com story, Shanks uses QR codes to store rider’s measurements to set up a bike as well as exact service details. Those service details include time between services and dates of key component changes. While Shanks has adopted the QR code to bicycles in a similar method that it was original intend for QR codes are being used in another area of cycling too.

Bikeshepherd.org has created a “Neighborhood Watch Program run by you” using QR codes. The guys over at bikeshepherd.org have employed QR codes on bicycles to make sure the rest of the cycling community knows who owns your bike, you! On their website you can enter the serial number of your bike into a database along with your contact information and a QR code is produced that you can print and stick on your bike (with printable stickers).  If your bike ever is stolen anyone can scan the QR code on it and find out who the true owner is. Besides the QR codes bikeshepherd.org also does a social media blast with Stolen Bike Alerts when your bike is reported stolen.

QR Code

QR Code from bikeshepherd.org - Scan it, it works!

Have you been worried about having your bike stolen and want an added insurance to get your bike back? Want to be sure to your bike service is being documented and done on time? QR codes can be use to ensure your bike is taken care of and safe. How else have QR codes been used in the cycling community?