disc wheel, bike rack

We had a client today make a strong statement about having an aero wheel on a car-rack – it is best not to do it. His bike was mounted via a hitch rack behind the car, with this aero wheel.

Inside of a Zipp, honeycombs.

There is too much cross-winds for it too be safe. This accident not only destroyed his wheel, but also, his frame. The bike flying off his car (which he saw via the rear view mirror) caused his saddle to shear off the seatpost and crack his seat stays.

The best/safest thing is to have a spoked non-aero wheel on your bike for traveling, then put on the disc wheel before the ride. It sucks to have to swap the wheel out, but that is better than having this type of accident happen.

compact cranks can make you weak

We have several conversations with clients about compact cranks that tend to come on new bikes.

Recently we had a strong client at the studio that was loosing a block of time in the bike portion of this Triathlon. After looking at his VO2 max and wattage numbers in spin class, we asked him to bring in his bike, sure enough he was on compact cranks – he was actually spun out during his race! Granted this won’t happen to everyone, but this is a case where to race to his potential compact cranks were holding him back!

There are good reasons for compact cranks, and there is debate for why people should or should not ride them.

The PROBLEM with compact cranks is that too many people use them for too long and then end up relying on the ‘bail-out’ gears more and more on the same hills until they slowly loose strength since they no longer challenge the leg muscles, but rather transfer the workout to the lungs via spinning.

Train your weakness and Race your Strengths! However, the problem with compact cranks is that you ‘CAN’ end up training yourself into muscle weakness. As a racing buddy Kent Bostick used to say, if you don’t race the small chainring, why train in it? This from a guy that at 45, was an alternate for the US cycling Olympic team in 1996.

If you were doing a workout to get stronger, would you add more resistance or would you just do the reps faster – and then expect to be stronger?

During the Spring, I would do my climbing on a grade that did not allow me to spin easily. I would have to mash the cranks to get to the top of this climb, I did this because I know it would make me stronger! It was training. Mashing is something that I avoid during a race or big ride, but when I would start the season, I would make myself mash some hills! Mash now, so You can spin a bigger gear when it counts!

If your training is periodized as it should be, there is time to gain strength & a time to gain speed.

This blog post is not a new one for this site, I wrote about this previously here

Find a safe rider in a strange group

Sometimes when racing you are in a field of riders, and you may know very few other people there – how do you tell a steady/safe rider from an unsafe rider? Many times I can tell first by their pedaling stroke. Are they a smooth pedaler with little upper body movement?

Break on the 1st lap of the Field

Smooth, fast pedaling is the key to riding a bike like a pro. You can always recognize
experienced riders. They steadily sit in the saddle, upper bodies nearly motionless, while their
legs spin beneath them. There is no wasted motion, just an elegant application of power.

Then as I watch the rider, I notice whether or not they swerve at all while they pedal. Not always, but often less experienced cyclists will swerve as they pedal, and have trouble maintaining a straight line. More experienced riders can maintain a straight line no matter what the riding conditions are.

Drafting on the Athens Gambler

A smooth rider will not make any sudden movements during the ride, unless it is a reaction to another rider. They will most likely move smoothly and steadily around the pack. You know what they are going to do by their actions. Direct and deliberate.

Use these tips when you are doing the next group ride with riders you know and see how the results compare to your experiences.
But remember, even the best riders may crash at some point.

How to get six pack abs

There is a lot of promotions and products out there that promise many things….. but you want to really know what it takes to find your abs?
Here is a quick ‘abbreviated’ guide that if followed will put you on the right track!

A) Proper nutrition
B) Proper Exercise
C) Proper flexibility

A) Nutrition. You can NOT out train a bad diet. This is KEY!

Eating guidelines is something that many people seem to struggle with. It can be very confusing due to all the mis-information and Advertising that companies do. Companies do advertising in order to increase sales, and increasing profits is the true bottom line.

Nearly every cell in your body reproduces about every 6 months, it can only reproduce based on the nutrients that are provided!! So, you truly are what you eat.

This 10+ page document outlines how I made some easy changes and lost 20 pounds of fat in less than 2 months! It was easier than I thought it would be. Trust me, I have a thing about going hungry and the whole time, I didn’t. I was surprised that this way of eating allowed me to satisfy my hunger, and actually eat less snacks.
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

B) Exercise. You must Move! If you want to loose fat, you must move. If you want to loose fat quickly, then you must sweat while you move! If you don’t want to sweat, then you must have lots of time to move slowly.

Tip: Get a Heart Rate monitor!

Quick fat loss = you must push your heart rate up doing exercises, then allow the heart rate to drop….intervals will ideally vary! Intensity and using the highest number of muscle groups is KEY! That is another reason functional training is so popular!

Want six-pack abs? then you have to remember it is the visibility of the abdominal musculature, not the strength of the muscles that matters.

C) Flexibility. In order to prevent injury, perform optimally, and reduce aches and pains, the muscle must be with in proper length tension relationship.

In fact here is an ebook on how to do myofascial release, which is more effective because it is just like a massage and better than stretching.
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So, is doing abs a waste of time? Yes and No.

Yes, it is a waste of time if you want a six pack and that is all you are doing to attain that goal – everyone has abs, you just can’t see them – so you have to start there first!

No, because done correctly, ab work is great for your core.

Why cyclists shave their legs

I have often been asked why cyclists shave their legs. There are actually several reasons – usually not what most non-cyclist figure.

7) It is not due to aero-dynamics, that actually has the least to do with it, although it may have a psychological benefit.

6) There is a rumor that if you have hair on you legs and have a crash, then it will actually pull off more skin than if there is no hair – I can’t say if it is true or not.

5) Tradition: There is a certain amount of peer-pressure – your not a serious road cyclist until you start shaving your legs.

4) The easier it is to clean road-rash the less likely it will get infected.

3) Yes, I do it because I ride a lot, and honestly I like the aesthetics of it.

2) A big reason that I shaved my legs was because I have been sponsored by several massage therapists at different times, and it is MUCH easier on them to massage legs that are shaved.

1) The main reason that cyclist shave their legs is that when you do crash, it is much easier to clean the wound and to apply bandages.

Some of my friends will remember a crash that I had. I was racing a Pro,1,2 race around a neighborhood – well, the race promoter decided to place an Orange Cone over a particular man-hole cover that was in the middle of the lane that we were racing. On the 2nd lap of this race, the field ahead of me suddenly split and the gent ahead of me suddenly swerved, leaving me to take full impact into the cone. I was suddenly ejected from the saddle, over the handle-bars in a awkward half super-man. I landed on my right arm, which was tucked into my side, so full body-weight grinding into asphalt. I ended up having to shave the area on my arm that was around the wounds in order to get them cleaned out, and to get bandages to stay on.

I have crashed a couple of other times, and it is much easier to clean the wound and stick on and take off bandages if the area has already been shaved.

Crashing sucks, but having the area shaved makes for easier clean-up – and massages are Awesome, so I’m still a shaver.

RIP Jeff

Cohutta overlook at sunset

Saturday night I got an email that Jeff had a bad accident while out Mt biking & passed away. I had the honor and privilege of sharing a ride, some laughs and a drink with Jeff. He immediately seemed like a great guy.

I really can’t imagine going out with a team mate & not coming back with them. This is what happened. A good friend of mine Derek, was just up ahead Jeff on the ride when Jeff had his accident. I texted him the next morning; his response was ‘the worst part is that the day had been so Awesome, until then.’

I’ve been thinking about that message – maybe too much. Yes, we never know when our time is up. Yes, we should all live life to the fullest – as much as possible. But what got me thinking is, when I go out, do I want it to be on a Bad day or on an Awesome day?

I get the same feelings about dogs. They give us so much, and when the time comes some folks can’t let them go. They may have operations done, or all kinds of medicine, or feel bad as the animal clearly is in lots of pain. A friend once told me he had to put his dog down…. ‘he lived a Great life with Great memories, he went out with those memories and not memories of pain.’

view of ceasar's head

I guess when I go, I want to go out with Awesome memories.
R.I.P. Jeff.

Here is an article with more information about the accident.

UPDATE According to the Autopsy Jeff died of a heart attack and no broken bones.

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