A Dogs day of Cycling

Yesterday after a great workout, I was pretty energized and knowing the the high on Saturday was going to be 43 – I grabbed the dog and headed up to Blankets creek. It had been raining last week, so I opted for the dog to carry the GroPro helmet cam – as a trial run (literally for him!)
While we were out, we saw another Mt bike dog on another section of trail. It’s good to see other cyclists getting their dogs out for some exercise, but it also made me realize that not all trail dogs are the same.

Apollo and me Mt biking
Apollo and me Mt biking

For example, lots of trail dogs run behind the cyclist. NOT Apollo, once he is pooped-out he runs behind me…..but before then he is usually beside my left leg. How he is able to maintain this with out being A) run over B) wacking into trees is mainly b/c he stays alert to what is going on and he listens to my commands.
So, when I’m taking a hard hairpin to the left, I will tell him “heel” just ahead of time. This will slow him down a little and let him know to pay more attention to what I’m doing and about to do, just as it would when riding with another person.

Cycling with your dog can be lots of fun for both of you, especially if you both stay in-tuned with each other!

The Quick check that saved many rides

Wednesday, I was driving down the road, heading for a Mt bike ride with friends that was about an hour away from my house. I had to do an errand on the way out & just as I had finished and before I got on the interstate I decided to check the roof rack (I was a little rushed as I put it on and it never hurts to check). It was on solid, but that check made me do my other essential parts check – Helmet, Gloves, shoes…CRAP!!! ….. Shoes?! I gotta go back.

Luckily, instead of finding out 3 miles from the trails, I was about 3 miles from my house. 10 minutes later and I was back on the road, all my gear that I needed and once again, headed out for my ride.

Don't want to forget these!
Don't want to forget these!

Many times I have saved my rear or a friends by asking those same simple things: Helmet, shoes, gloves, Front wheel? And if it is not 1 of those things, it will cause them to think through everything and possibly remember something else that they have forgotten.

Check lists are such a good thing! I can’t remember how many times that has saved my butt, but I can remember the 3-4 times that I did forget my shoes and once a helmet for a ride, it sucks! This quick checklist is much better!

Some of the things that are on my checklist
1) Helmet
2) Shoes
3) Gloves
4) Front wheel
5) Bottles

If you are traveling by air to a cycling destination – ALWAYS put your cycling shoes and pedals into your carry-on bag! If you loose any part of your cycling equipment – the shoes are the hardest to borrow and the most expensive to replace!

Non Gator Aide

I’m done with my obsession. After years of filling water bottles and mid-day re-hydration bottles with Gatorade, I’m moving on! I always thought what the ads told me. I liked the commercials. I like the slogans. I even liked some of the Athletes that endorsed it. I didn’t like the label….once my attention was drawn to it.

Is ‘it’ in you? Is what in me? sugars and 1 of 3 electrolytes? artificial coloring (Yellow 5)? Not any more, I do enjoy the taste of sugar when I’m thirsty, but ‘it’s more important to me that it is doing my body Good & not just satisfying my taste buds.

But another problem is what is going to fill the void of properly hydration with out all the sugar…..NUUN. Where has this product been? Luckily a nutritionist/endurance racer Namrita mentioned them to me. Good ingredients that re-supply the electrolytes, not all the sugar and….. AND natural ingredients.

Nuun comes in a tube of 12. You simply drop 1 in 16oz. (I use a Nalgene bottle or cycling bottle) and give it about 3 minutes to dis-solve. Expect a carbonation taste/feel to the drink, only sorta like a soft drink, but NOT as sweet! They come in several different flavors – I’m still trying different one’s, today is Citrus Fruit, but the Lemon-Lime has been my favorite so far. Although, the Tri-Berry in the morning, did taste a lot like the Sweet Water Brewery Blue that night….but I’m sure that is random memory, taste flashback.

Usually I can tell the effects from a Nuun tablet on my hydration level before I finish the liter of water I put it in (Nalgene bottle). I will take 1 of these on the way to a ride and 1 after the ride to re-hydrate.

Rudolph’s red tail light

I just got back from a 1.5 hour ride in the dense Fog, wet roads of the Atl. I was a little nervous the whole ride about getting hit due to the lack of visibility because of the fog, and lack of daylight hours.
It is the time of year when your ride maybe cut short more by day light than by your energy levels…. I just finished putting new batteries in my Red tail lights and getting them back on to my 2 main bikes (road & Mt…er, 2Niner!).

The Sunset on your Ride Time

The Sunset on your Ride Time

I have come back twice at Dusk on a road that is rather busy, with cars rushing around to get home…. it’s dangerous, so I’m not going to further my endangerment by not having lights on and a RoadID on. Yes, it’s geeky, nerdy, whatever, but it’s not Dumb. I’m sure we are all cycling advocates, so why bother giving the motorists another reason to hate. This way if anything does happen, things are on my side….and guess what, the extra weight is an advantage when I take that off next season, and with it, there is a better chance of being around to cycle next season.

The 3 things in cycling for every situation

There are 3 main things that will get you out of most situations in cycling. These are true for road and Especially for Mt. bikers!

They are:
1) The Track Stand. Being able to stop the momentum of the bike and maintain balance, and being able to start momentum again with out putting a foot down.
2) the Wheelie. Being able to raise the front wheel to get over the oncoming obstacle.
3) The Bunny Hop. Being able to simultaneously raise BOTH wheels at the same time to go over an oncoming obstacle.
For road racers, I would add, the Bump. This is where you touch or bump another rider. This IS going to happen if you race in ‘mass start’ events, or do group rides, so it is better to get used to it, rather than attempt to avoid and Fear it.

So practice these three/four movements while waiting on your riding buddies to expand your riding abilities!!

Cycling Circuits

I have a workout by the same name. I did this because it is a great way to think of a good workout for an Athlete. Circuit training.

As I was riding with a friend yesterday he was asking me about workouts for cyclists. It slowly became apparent that he was just doing some exercises with no basis of why. I can remember doing the same thing with my cycling training when I was a category 4 rider and all I did was the group rides…..but when I got serious and wanted to improve my cycling using a plan was a huge improvement and boost for me to upgrade to a category 2 rider the following year!

The same preparation that goes into a cycling training program should go into a cyclists weight training program! Don’t use machines! Use Body weights and then add Free-weights!

Another guy asked me about doing weighted squats. Asked him to demonstrate a squat for me. As he squatted, he could not get to parallel and his heels came off the ground, which is pretty typical of guys. So, I showed him the difference in the way he squats and the way I squat. How and why the mechanics of it were different. Part of the reason that his heels come up is because he is not engaging his glutes, and using mainly the quads. Tight hamstrings may also be a contributing factor to this also.

If your squat isn’t using proper form, WHY would you then want to add weight and Amplify improper form? That leads to injuries! You will get much more out of your workout if you correct the muscle imbalance.

Pretty good workout video of Lance at his home gym. Notice that there are no machine based exercises!! You shouldn’t do them either.

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