Tuesday, October 2, 2012

how to trigger a traffic light on your bike

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reasons to take up cycling

Whether it's to boost your fitness, health or bank balance, or as an environmental choice, taking up cycling could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Not convinced? Here are some benefits of taking to two wheels.

1. You’ll get there faster

Commute by bike in the UK’s major cities and you’ll get there in half the time of cars, research by Citroen shows. In fact, if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour, you’ll spend over 30 minutes going absolutely nowhere and average just 7mph, compared to averaging around 12-15mph while cycling.

2. Sleep more deeply

An early morning ride might knacker you out in the short term, but it’ll help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour.

“Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”

3. Look younger

Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Harley Street dermatologist Dr Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while flushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.” Don’t forget to slap on the factor 30 before you head out, though.

4. Boost your bowels

According to experts from Bristol University, the benefits of cycling extend deep into your core. “Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr Ana Raimundo.

In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. “As well as preventing you from feeling bloated, this helps protect you against bowel cancer,” Dr Raimundo says.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cycling Under the Summer Heat

The summer heat can make a cycling experience much fun but sometimes almost unbearable. With temperatures expected to climb higher because of our planet warming up, our summer rides can become more challenging. Too much heat while riding a bike tour can make things very difficult. You would get dizzy, dehydrated and tired from overexposure to the sun’s heat. With too much heat beating down on you, you might also get irritable and lose your cool altogether. So what can you do?

You probably have been waiting for the summer season to arrive but you might just be surprised how the summer heat can make things very difficult. So before riding, make sure to expect high temperatures and of course keep in mind these tips that would help you keep cool under the summer heat.
  • Ice! Ice! Baby! – Keep your cool even when the summer heat is beating down on you on your tour by making a stopover at gas stations not just for water refill but for ice too! You can drop a few ice cubes in your water bottle to keep your water cool for a few miles and also drop a few ice cubes in the pockets of your jersey. This would help keep the temperature of your body down. Doing this may not last for a long time but it would refresh you while it lasts. You can also plan ahead and have two of your water bottles (of course with water in them) in the freezer the night before riding. In the morning, your water bottles would have frozen water in them. The summer heat would then melt your frozen water but at least you would have cooler water for a few miles.
  • Cool Down Your Jersey! – If it happens that the summer heat becomes too overbearing, cool down your jersey whenever you can. At the gas station, you can ask for water to soak your jersey into. You can also toss in some ice cubes while you are at it. If you come across a clean stream or a river, do a stopover and soak your jersey in the water. This would help keep your body cool down.
  • Breaks in the Shade! – When you want to rest, always pick out a shady area where you would take your breaks. If you have a flat tyre, keep rolling the extra distance until you find a shady area. You can just push the bike beside you until you find that spot where you can fix your flat.
  • Protect Your Skin from UV Rays! – At least 30 minutes before riding, apply sunscreen lotion on all exposed skin. This is so you can prevent skin damage. UV rays from the sun can cause much damage to your skin and can even cause skin cancer. Be sure to bring along your sunscreen lotion so you can reapply after about 2 hours. If you have been sweating a lot, you should reapply at once.
  • Don’t Forget your Sunnys – Wear a pair of sunglasses when you are riding out in the summer heat. Protect your eyes from glare. Too much light will only make you squint which can compromise your vision. Plus too much glare can give you a headache! But if you have cool sunnys on, you would even look cooler!  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do I ride during my menstrual cycling?

Tough question, that only seems to be asked by women with very tough skin or no shame. It is something that all women go through, and daily riders can’t take the few days off to deal with their monthly “friend.”

Here are some of the best suggestions I can give :

  • Increase exercise the days before your cycle starts.  Exercise seems to relax those muscles and make the cycle go faster (for me.)
  • Plug it, and have a pair of shorts for those extra strong days.
  • Keep a couple extra tampons in a ziplock, air-tight, bag in our saddle bag.
  • Plan longer rides around stopping points were you can change out your tampon.
  • Avoid binging on trashy food and make yourself feel good with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Monday, April 23, 2012

HERMES Bikes and MONSTER Energy: a powerful combination.

                                       HERMES Bikes and MONSTER Energy: a powerful combination.
                                            Looking for the new MONSTER ENERGY Girl!




¿Por qué el ciclismo y no el béisbol? ¿Por qué la bicicleta y no la pelota? ¿Por qué el ciclismo? Cuando un sábado en la noche tienes que marcharte para casa mientras todo el “coro” se va de “party” y te preguntan: ¿Por que te vas? Y respondes: “Mañana entreno...” ¿Y qué juegas? …Yo juego a la bicicleta; soy ciclista. Las respuestas se ven en la cara de los que preguntan, muchos expresan admiración, otros se quedan curiosos, otros se ríen… hasta dicen “E´te tipo ´ta loco”.

La bicicleta es ese asunto que todo el mundo usó alguna vez, por la que tuviste predilección cuando fuiste pequeño; es ese deporte tan duro y extenuante que te hace perder la consciencia, capaz de ponerte el corazón a 220 pulsaciones, capaz de hacerte vomitar sangre.

Un deporte tan duro, como desesperante, en el que hay que ser paciente y tener sangre fría. Además de tener cabeza, no sólo son piernas. La cabeza hace falta, no sólo para aguantar el casco, sino para hacerte ver una escapada que te lleve al triunfo, la que te hace ver los bajones y puntos débiles del contrario mientras bajas por un descenso a 60 kilómetros por hora, la que te hace “administrarte” para no perder todas tus energías a mitad del recorrido.

Un deporte que es un estilo de vida, una forma de vida, el deporte que ofrece más orgullo personal, donde sólo -y repito “sólo”- el propio esfuerzo de tu cuerpo te hace ser capaz de recorrer kilómetros y kilómetros, donde cada entrenamiento es una superación personal, donde cada día que montas cargas un “mazo” de anécdotas nuevas, un deporte que te hace brillar, llegar a lo más alto, donde por mejor equipo que tengas no eres nadie si no eres bueno, si no tienes coraje, si no tienes valor.

Un deporte donde hay que tener agallas. Pocos se levantan un domingo lloviendo a las 6 de la mañana, disque porque hay que “montar”. Un deporte tan duro, que las caídas son parte de nuestro oficio, donde las clavículas, puntos de sutura, laceraciones y rodillas maltrechas son el pan de cada día, es el amor por el deporte, por la bici, por el sacrificio y por el sufrimiento los que te hacen caer un domingo y correr pocos días después todo adolorido.

Es un sacrificio tal que te hace tocar el cielo, con ascensos de 2000 metros sobre el nivel del mar, con caminos que sólo 3 más conocen, con pendientes del 21% en las que ni una 4x4 sube, pero un hombre y su sacrificio y vergüenza le hace aguantar y aguantar hasta el borde del infarto, cuando el sabor a sangre llega a la boca, cuando sólo piensas "soy el mejor", "soy el mejor", “yo subo”, "lo voy a lograr”…

Es ese deporte que hace emocionar a cualquiera, cuando ganas una carrera, cuando subes el ascenso más alto, cuando entrenas con un fuerte sol o una fuerte lluvia y vuelves para tu casa “debarata´o”, cuando te vas a kilómetros de casa a competir, cuando montas varias veces en una semana, cuando te caes, cuando te haces daño, cuando en otros deportes un golpecito en un músculo es 1 mes en la lista de incapacitados y en el ciclismo corres hasta con una luxación de hombro, cuando la gente te grita, cuando das espectáculo, cuando te apoyan, cuando te caes y te vuelves a levantar, cuando le echas más ganas que nadie, cuando tienes una ilusión, cuando cada día que montas más orgulloso te sientes, cuando te hace crecer como persona, cuando te hace madurar… La bicicleta te lo ha dado todo, te ha hecho ver los problemas y solucionarlos de otra manera. Eres de otra raza, eres ciclista.

Te da igual el reconocimiento, la prensa, las medallas y el dinero, tú sólo quieres trillos, montes, lodo. Hay que tener mucho coraje para bajar a 65 kilómetros por hora, por un camino accidentado, de material suelto, dejando de lado que sólo te separan de suelo 2 ruedas de 26 pulgadas, frágiles, que con un resbaloncito caes al suelo.

Por todo eso, porque te sientes orgulloso de llevar un jersey con unos colores, porque todo lo que llevas encima merece admiración, porque cuando subes una cuesta y te dan ganas de ir para casa (piensas "esto no es para mi ", "yo para eso no valgo" y sigues ahí, aún con el pulsímetro altísimo) y te preguntas “¿Por qué sigo aquí? Porque eres ciclista, porque el único rival eres tú mismo, porque lo serás hasta la muerte, porque eres un deportista de los pies a la cabeza, porque eres un sufridor nato y te mereces una felicitación por ese coraje.

¡El que no esta dentro de esto no sabe lo que es, como se vive, como se sufre!


Why cycling and not baseball? Why the bike and not the ball? Why cycling? When a Saturday night you have to leave for home while all the "choir" is going to "party" and they ask: Why are you leaving? And answer: "Tomorrow I train ..." And do you play? I play ... the bike, I'm cycling. Responses were seen on the face of the enquirers, many express admiration, others are curious, others laugh ... until they say "E'te type 't crazy."

The bicycle is the matter that everyone ever used, which you had when you were little predilection, is that so hard and strenuous sport that makes you lose consciousness, able to put the heart at 220 beats, can make you vomit blood .

A sport so hard, and desperate, which have to be patient and have cold blood. Besides having head, not only are legs. The head is needed not only to hold the helmet, but to make you see a trip that takes you to win, that makes you see the lows and weaknesses of the opponent while low by a decline to 60 miles per hour, you does "administer your" not to lose all your energy to halfway.

A sport is a lifestyle, a lifestyle, the sport that offers more personal pride, where only-and I repeat "only" - the effort of your own body makes you able to travel miles and miles, where each training is an improvement, where every day you ride loads a "deck" of new stories, a sport that makes you shine, to reach the top, where for the best team that you're nobody unless you're good, if you have no courage if you have no value.

A sport where you have to have guts. Few rise raining on Sunday at 6 am, because you have to dial "mount". A sport so hard, that falls are part of our business, where the collar bones, stitches, lacerations and battered knees are the daily bread is love for the sport, by bike, by the sacrifice and the suffering that make you fall on a Sunday and run a few days later all pain.

It is a sacrifice that makes you touch the sky, with ascents of 2000 meters above sea level, with only 3 more roads meet, with slopes of 21% which rises or a 4x4, but a man and his sacrifice and Shame stand and hold it to the edge of the infarction, when the taste of blood reaches the mouth if you just think "I am the best", "I am the best", "I raise", "I will achieve it" ...

It's the sport that makes any move, when you win a race, when you climb the highest rise, when you train with a hot sun or heavy rain and return to your home "debarata'o" when you're miles from home to compete, when you ride several times a week when you fall, when you get hurt, when sports a tap into a muscle is 1 month on the disabled list and in cycling run even with a dislocated shoulder when people screaming at you, when you give the show, when you support when you fall and you get to raise, when you miss him more eager than anyone, when you have an illusion, when every day you ride you feel more proud when you grow as a person when it makes you grow ... The bike has given everything, made you see the problems and fix them otherwise. You are of another race, you're cycling.

It gives equal recognition, the press, medals and money, you just want trails, hills, mud. It should be a lot of courage to go down to 65 mph, along a bumpy, loose material, leaving aside only separate you from soil 2 26-inch wheels, fragile, with a resbaloncito hit the ground.

For all that, because you feel proud to wear a jersey with colors, because all you are carrying to be admired, because when you climb a hill and you want to go back home (think "this is not for me," "I for that I am worth "and still there, even with the high heart rate monitor) and ask yourself" Why am I here? Because you're a cyclist, because the only opponent is yourself, because it will be until death, because you are an athlete from head to toe, because you are a sufferer born and you deserve congratulations for their courage.

That is not within this do not know what it is, how people live, as we suffer!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vulvas At Risk? News for the female cyclist. Part 1

A recent Yale study written about in Monday's New York Times studied 48 "consistent" women cycllists who cycled at least 10 miles each week. They concluded that handlebar positioning can be a big determinant in whether women cyclists experience numbing and tingling in the soft tissues around their vulvas.

Here's how New York TImes writer Anahad O'Connor described the study:

"The women took their personal bikes and saddles into the lab. The researchers mounted the bikes on a stationary machine, and had the riders position their seats and handlebars according to their preference. As the women pedaled, they reported whether they felt soreness, numbness or tingling as a result of sitting on the bike seat, and a device was used to measure sensation in the pelvic floor."
In cases where the women's' handlebars were positioned lower than the seat, more numbing and tingling were "observed" in their perineums (that all important area of the anatomy that women seldom think of unless pregnant and about to give birth, or if it is saddle sore). In fact, the study's authors conclude that handlebar heights lower than saddle heights "significantly impact" genital sensation in women.

In one sense, this study is useful for city cyclists, and most especially for bike store owners who want to correctly fit bikes to their female owners to ensure they are comfortable and avoid this loss of genital sensation.

Otherwise, it's more or less no cause for alarm, due to a number of factors. First, as the Yale researchers pointed out out, they were studying competitivewomen cyclists, as this handlebar study was actually a subanalysis of an earlier study the researchers did on bicycle seats and competitive women cyclists.
Secondly, though there aren't fast and hard statistics, fewer female city cyclists seem to use the drop-bar handlebars or road bike models.
Thirdly, though again there aren't any statistics, city cyclists tend to prefer higher handlebars and a more upright positioning.
And lastly, bike fit and the type of saddle a woman chooses can vastly help to alleviate perineum pressure.
Stephanie Edman, a bike fitter explained to me when I asked her about saddle fit that when cyclists sit on a saddle they are generally resting on their sit bones (ischial tuberosities) as well as on a bony structure called the pubic rami. Choosing a saddle that provides good support to this bony structure is important. Softer cushy saddles or gel saddles might seem like a good solution, but if a rider is pressing soft tissue into that soft saddle there's still a chance that the dreaded decrease in "genital sensation" might occur.

The Yale researchers who studied the saddle issue concluded that cut-out saddles are NOT a good option for women riders (though in this case they mean competitive women riders).
So what's a female city cyclist to do? Get fitted to your bike – that can be done either before you buy or after you already have a bike. Having to reach too far forward to grip the handlebars is one thing to watch out for when getting fit to your bike.
Make sure your saddle is wide enough to support your bone structure (which can actually be measured with a device known as the Ass-o-Meter), and also make sure that when riding the saddle doesn't press unduly into your soft spots. Saddle noses can be adjusted up or down to aid this issue - you may have to experiment with minute adjustments up or down. Brooks saddles are known for their ability to, over time, conform to your body shape. Noseless saddles have a lot less area available to press into.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thank you for making the sport a more beautiful one.

Young Entrepreneur in Central Florida making marks on a specialized niche in the sport of Cycling!

 In the world of international cycling names like Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong are easily recognized. However, one  us of has done and keep doing a great mark in cycling.
The Puerto Rican Herfel Torres is the creator and co-founder of HERMES BIKES. A company dedicated to design, redesign and customizing of mountain bikes.

"Since mountain biking became an Olympic sport, the momentum of this discipline is unstoppable. And the demographic and economic studies show clear industry growing statistics. HERMES BIKES, we are here to stay and dominate the market for high-caliber athletes who want the best. "Torres commented about the industry.

The young entrepreneur, who lives in Central Florida, after completing undergraduate studies at the UPR ( Rio Piedras campus, in PR), was devoted to studies in physics,mechanical and aerodynamic specializing in cars. What he learned working in the automotive industry and competition, he applies to bicycles.

As part of its mission to help others and delivery in the sport, Torres and HERMES BIKES share their success by being an active part of the local community. The businessman and his company, are
sponsors of health and fitness events also organizers and members of the exercise program of the "Coalition
to Defeat Childhood Obesity" (non-profit) and the fight against child hemophilia.

 Herfel Torres has been cycling from an early age. Competing nationally in forms of BMX, Freestyle and then Route. With a passion speed, became the goal of this pioneering Hispanic. After spending several months in China and Taiwan in meetings for design and manufacturing of bicycles and parts, HERMES BIKES became his dream come true 8 years ago.

"It is all mechanics: the body is the engine and driver. My job is to achieve greater efficiency and output power with less effort. In the car racing circuit, winners are not the most powerful, but if the most efficient " Assure Torres who began his passion for bicycles at 11 years of age and then became a competitor and cycling enthusiast.

About the market Torres said: it  is very commercial and that his company brings unique and high quality parts. "When you go to the factories, you realize who makes what, and not the brand names you see out there. There are many brands and parts that do not come to our countries not only because price but for lack of knowledge and / or advertising.

"HERMES Bikes produces about 40 bikes a year with a range value from $ $ 3.500 to $ 7.800 usd. Each creation is unique in its kind and works as a piece of art. According to Torres, in many cases customers are so exclusive that prefer to remain anonymous.

In the tradition of the Greek god Hermes, the swift, efficient, mischievous and magical messenger is given life in this millennium HERMES BIKES, sudden,swift and no rules. "Come fly with the gods," says
Torres invites you to experience the speed of HERMES.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Joven Empresario de la Florida Central haciendo marcas en un nicho especializado al deporte del Ciclismo!

En el mundo del ciclismo internacional nombres como Alberto Contador y Lance Armstrong son fácilmente reconocidos. Sin Embargo, uno de los nuestros ha hecho y sigue haciendo una gran marca en un reglón del ciclismo diferente. El puertorriqueño, Herfel Torres es el  creador y co-fundador de HERMES BIKES. Una compañía dedicada al diseño, re-diseño y costumizacion de bicicletas de montaña.

“Desde que el ciclo montañismo se convirtió en un deporte olímpico - el momentum de esta rama es imparable. Y los estudios demográficos y económicos de la industria nos muestran claras y crecientes estadísticas. HERMES BIKES, estamos aquí para quedarnos y dominar, el mercado de alto calibre y atletas que desean lo mejor.” comento Torres acerca de la industria.

El joven  empresario, quien reside en la Florida Central, luego de culminar estudios universitarios en la UPR (recinto de Rio Piedras, en P.R.), se dedico a estudios de física, mecánica y aerodinámica especializada en automóviles. Lo que aprendió trabajando en la industria automotriz y de competencia lo aplica a las bicicletas.

Como parte de su misión por ayudar a los demás y su entrega en el deporte, Herfel Torres y HERMES BIKES comparten su éxito siendo parte activa de la comunidad local. El empresario y su compañía, son patrocinadores activos de eventos de salud y ejercicio además organizadores y miembros del el programa de ejercicio de la “Coalicion para Derrotar la Obesidad Infantil” (non-profit) y la lucha contra la hemofilia infantil.

Herfel Torres ha sido ciclista desde temprana edad compitiendo nacionalmente en modalidades de BMX, Freestyle y luego Ruta. Con una gran pasión, la velocidad, se convirtió en la meta de este pionero hispano. Luego de pasar varios meses en China y Taiwan en reuniones de diseño y manufactura con fábricas de bicicletas y partes,  HERMES BIKES se convirtió en su sueño hecho realidad  y ya lleva 8 años.

“Es mecánica: el cuerpo es el motor y el conductor. Mi trabajo es lograr la mayor eficiencia y producción de potencia con el menor esfuerzo. En las carreras de autos de circuito, los que ganaban no eran los más poderosos, pero si los más eficientes” Asegura Torres quien comenzó su pasión por las bicicletas desde los 11 años de edad y luego se convirtió en un competidor y entusiasta del ciclismo.

Acerca del mercado especialista Torres asegura que el mercado es muy comercial y que su compañía trae piezas únicas y de alta calidad.  “Cuando vas a las fabricas, te das cuenta de quien hace que. Y no los nombres comerciales que andan por ahí. Hay muchas marcas y piezas que no llegan a nuestros países no solo por el precio sino por falta de conocimiento y/o publicidad”

HERMES Bikes  produce alrededor de 40 bicicletas al año con un valor desde los $3,500 $usd hasta $7,800. Cada creación es única en su clase y trabaja meticulosamente como una pieza de arte, según las necesidades  del comprador.  Según torres, en muchos casos clientela tan exclusiva que prefieren permanecer anónimos. En la tradición del dios Griego Hermes, el veloz, eficiente, travieso y mensajero mágico se le da vida en este milenio a HERMES BIKES, súbito, veloz y sin reglas. “Ven a volar con los dioses” comenta torres invitando a experimentar la velocidad.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Best Way to Refuel After a Ride

A person can spend a bunch of money on energy bars and other high-tech nutritional products. But that’s not necessary for most of us regular Joe cyclists. Simple is best, and what your body most wants after any sort of extended ride is two things – sugars/carbs for immediate energy and proteins to rebuild your muscles that have been taxed on the ride. And so here are some ideas of what your fellow riders enjoy when they refuel after a ride.

1. Quaker oats with Apples & Cinnamon instant oatmeal
"My traditional post-ride meal is a mix of Quaker oats along with Apples & Cinnamon instant oatmeal. It's a good mix of simple and complex carbs and I have it with milk to hydrate and get some quality protein. It really fills you up, too!"

2. Chocolate milk

"Chocolate skim milk is my number one choice for post ride refuelling. Sugar, liquid, protein all in a tasty quick and cheap package. It's got the optimal carb/protein ratio, plus antioxidant benefits of cocoa."

3. Bananas, grapes, cheese and yogurt
"grapes bananas fruit"Digital Vision/Chris Stein
"When I'm done riding I like to dig into fruits and dairy, specifically some bananas and grapes along with some cheese and yogurt. I find this gives an excellent and rapid supply of carbs and protein along with the right amount of fat for energy later. Couple that with lots of fluids such as Gator-aid or water, and you're all set."

4. Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars
"I’ve used the “Sweet & Salty” Granola bars as my post-ride snack for years. I get them at Sam’s Club. They have 11 g of Sugar and 4 g of Protein in each bar, just about the exact mix."

5. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
"My favorite thing to have after riding is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread. If I'm really hungry, I'll have a bowl of oatmeal with milk to go with it."

6. Whole rye bread with almond butter and honey
"My favorite is whole rye bread with almond butter and honey. It gives me both a quick boost and a longer energy rise."

7. Fig Newtons
"My post-recovery snack is a fig newton or two and a glass of chocolate milk mixed with glutamine. I also carry fig newtons on long rides for quick energy as needed."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shifting: A Lost Art. part 2

First a couple of fundamentals; number one: the purpose of gears is to make the bike easier to pedal up hills and enable you to pedal down them. The idea is to maintain a constant pace on the pedals and change your gears according to the wind and terrain conditions. Once you find your pace, that rhythm, you can ride all the way to California if you want to.

Fundamental number two: you must be pedaling when you change gears. That's because the chain has to be moving in order for the derailleurs to "de-rail" the chain from sprocket to sprocket. That's also why it's best not to click the shifters when you’re sitting still. Besides stretching the gear cables, the bike immediately changes gears when you start off again, usually with some very disconcerting noises. Shifting your gears while sitting still is like fingernails on a chalkboard to your bike mechanic.

Now back to the gear shifting tips.

Tip one: Pedal at a brisk pace. It’s better to pedal at a brisk pace using the easier to pedal gears than to muscle the harder gears more slowly. This technique will increase your stamina over a longer ride and will enable you to accelerate more quickly if you need to "jump". I promise you’ll still get a good leg workout. A brisk pace on the pedals also improves the shifting.

Tip two: And this is hugely important. Lighten the pressure on the pedals when you shift. Keep them turning, but don't be muscling down on them while you shift. Lightening the pressure on the pedals significantly smoothes the gear change, reduces those grinding noises when you shift, and lengthens the life of your drive train. You’ll have to anticipate your shifts a bit as you approach the hills, but it only takes a beat to change your gears on a hill once you get your timing down.

Tip three: Use your low numbered gears on the left with your low numbered gears on the right; and use your high numbered ones with the high ones. Thus, if you're in gear number one on the left, you should use it with gear numbers one through four on the right. Likewise, if you're in number three on the left, you should use it with gear numbers five and above on the right.

This tip has to do with chain line. Although no real damage is done using the wrong gears together, avoiding them prevents those rattles and rubs you sometimes hear. With the number of gears that come on today’s bikes, you can avoid "mixing your highs and your lows" and still find a comfortable gear in which to ride.

On road bikes, where you have to look down to see what sprockets the chain is on to determine what gear your in, avoid running the large sprockets on the front with the large ones in the back, and similarly, avoid using the small ones in the front with the small ones in the back. Another way to say the same thing is, when you’re chain is on the inboard ring on the front, it should be on the inboard cogs in the back. Similarly, when you’re chain is on the outboard ring on the front, it should be on the outboard cogs in the back.

Tip Four: Remember to shift back to a low gear before you stop so that you’ll be in an easy gear for starting out again.

When to change gears will be pretty obvious. You’ll want to shift to an easier pedaling gear (i.e. down shift to a lower number) when the bike gets hard to pedal up hills, and then shift to a higher gear (higher number) so your pedals can catch up when you go down one. Thus, we have come full circle on our gear shifting discussion. Gears make it easier to go up hills and let you pedal down them.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Numb Genitals? Get a new bike saddle!

 Nearly 40 million Americans ride bikes every year. Among them the same problem keeps creeping up: genital numbness.
"Something has to give; either you genitals have to give or your sit bone or the saddle" 

The federal government recommends people who ride bicycles for work -- like police officers and messengers -- get better seats or face potential reproductive damage caused by compressed nerves and arteries in groin areas. The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health encourages workers to use no-nose saddles or seats that are designed to relieve pressure on those sensitive areas. For casual riders, there are various types of seats designed to relieve stress on genital areas. Some seats may have noses, but also have large holes in them to increase comfort.

The bikes seats are flexible. They typically have holes in them or a large space so that the grion does not touch the seat. That flexibility relieves pressure on a man's testicles, but similar seats are also designed for women. They tend to be shorter and wider.

Mr. Jones bought one of the no-nose saddles for his 30-plus year old bike. He doesn't ride for a living, he just enjoys doing it and wants to make sure he can continue enjoying all of life's pleasures.

"My girlfriend mentioned it, so I said, hell, I'll get this seat,"

Nutrition for Cycling

The best eating plan for a cyclist is one that includes plenty of low fat, high carbohydrate foods to provide energy and fluids to offer hydration. While ‘carb’ is a four letter word to many dieters, they are certainly not the diet-wrecking evil food that some people might lead you to believe. Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy for cycling. Since you are constantly burning carbs to fuel your cycling as well as daily activities, you must regularly replace them with a high carbohydrate diet.

The kind of carbs that give all carbs a bad reputation are those made with simple sugars and refined flours. These offer little nutritional value. Get your fill of carbohydrates through fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grain breads, rice and pasta. Round out your diet with lean protein and a small amount of fat.

When you eat is almost as important as what you eat. About an hour before a ride, fuel up with a high carbohydrate snack or small meal. Some ideas might be fresh fruit and whole grain toast or a half whole wheat bagel with peanut butter.

If your ride is longer than 60 minutes, you’ll need to refuel with more carbs. Researchers recommend about 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrate each 30 minutes you ride beyond the first 60 minutes. This might be a good time to consider a sports drink or energy bar. Eating a high carb snack or meal within 60 minutes after a lengthy ride is important to replenish your body and prepare you for your next ride.

Cyclists must make a conscious effort to drink fluids before, during and after riding to stay hydrated. Becoming dehydrated is one of the worst things that can happen to you and so it is important to be proactive and push lots of fluids, even before you feel thirsty. You'll want to drink at least 8 - 12 ounces of fluid immediately before a ride, another 8 ounces every half hour during a ride, and enough when you're finished to gradually replenish those lost fluids after a ride.

The Importance of Streching

The top 3 cycling stretches

Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won't be effective or important.

Stretching is essential to overall conditioning and should be an integral part of any training routine. Due to the long period of time spent in the same position on the bike, stretching is very important to cyclists, both pre- and post race or training. Stretching can be a powerful rehabilitation and recovery tool, as well.

Below are 3 of the most beneficial stretches for cycling. Obviously there are a lot more, but these are a great choice to start with. Please make special note of the instructions beside each stretch.

Kneeling Quad Stretch: Kneel on one foot and the knee of the other leg. If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance and then push your hips forward.

Single Heel-drop Achilles Stretch: Stand on a raised object or step and place the ball of one foot on the edge of the step. Bend your knee slightly and let your heel drop towards the ground.

Lying Knee Roll-over Stretch: While on your back, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the sides and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.

The above 3 stretches are just a small sample of stretching exercises that will help you improve your cycling game and eliminate cycling injuries.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Shifting: A Lost Art. part 1

    Most people don’t shift enough, which leads to premature   drivetrain wear, sore knees (or worse) and one tired rider. Here’s how to shift a bicycle: Think of yourself as the bike’s engine. Like an auto engine, you’re most efficient pedaling at a certain rate, usually from 70 to 90 pedal revolutions per minute. To maintain this efficiency, shift every time you feel your pedaling rate (called cadence) slow or speed up. Following this rule, on a rolling course, you’ll be shifting almost constantly to maintain that steady cadence. But at ride’s end, you’ll be fresh while a ride partner who shifts less will be spent.

How do you know what gear to select? First, don’t get confused by the many choices, and don’t worry about harming the bike by shifting it “wrong” — you can’t hurt it as long as you slightly ease the pedal pressure when shifting (you must pedal to shift). And understand that the correct gear is any gear that allows you to pedal comfortably at the moment. There’s no right or wrong gear and there’s no proper sequence to follow. You just shift when your body tells you it’s time for a change. Just compare to the RPM's on a car.

Shifting the right lever one click makes it slightly easier or harder to pedal. Think of this lever as a way to fine-tune the effort required to pedal. As you pick up speed on a slight downhill for example, you’d click the lever once or twice to shift into a better gear for the speed. Shifting the left lever makes large differences in pedal effort. Think of this lever as a way to make it considerably easier or harder to pedal. Dropping into a valley for instance, you’ll want an easy gear to get back out. But, you’ll probably be in a hard gear because you were just riding downhill. To make the pedaling easy immediately, shift the left lever to move the chain onto a smaller chainring providing much easier pedaling.

If you’re at all nervous about shifting, practice. A good way to do this is to shift the bike when it’s supported on a stand. You might place the bike on a trunk-style bike rack or in a repair stand, hang the nose of the seat on a low branch, or ask a friend to hold the bike off the ground by the seat. Once the bike is supported, use one hand to pedal and the other to shift while watching the chain move over the cogs and chainrings. With a few sweeps of the levers, you’ll get a clear understanding of what’s going on back there and should feel more comfortable about shifting a lot while riding.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

ONE OF THE BEST MTB RIDING VIDEOS. Awesome scenes and magnificent edit work. You guys make me fall in love with mtb again and again. SET ME ON FIRE!

Bikes stimulates creativity and possibilities.

On the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. there’s a strange kind of meeting space: a seven person bicycle.
“Imagine one person facing forward and then the other six people around a circle,” explains Google’s Brendon Harrington. “And the way the bike is manufactured and constructed everyone can actually peddle each other all contributing to propel the bike forward. But since they’re facing each other, they can chat with each other, they can share ideas, they can have a team meeting if they’d like.”

Pandora, in Oakland, organizes employee bike rides. Foursquare encourages employees to bike to meetings. Etsy’s got an in-house bike mechanic.
That’s pretty much the way it is in the tech sector these days: companies are in a race to outdo each other on bike-friendliness.
“Biking has become the mode of choice for the educated high-tech worker,” says Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU. ”The modern office today is not really jsut a work place. It’s a play place.  If you go to Mozilla they have pool tables.”
At Foursquare’s new offices in SoHo, New York (conveniently located on a major East-West bike lane) — there’s a ping pong table and a dart board.
Biking is so-ingrained in the paradigm, that when I asked Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley whether he thought his brand new bike-rack would help attract talent, he didn’t understand the question. “It was not an option to be in a building where people would have to leave their bikes outside,” Crowley told me.
For him, and other tech CEO’s, NOT having a place to store bikes in the office would be like building a suburban campus without a parking lot.
“We talk about Foursquare as being — as creating software that helps people change the way they experience or use cities. I think bikes do the same thing.”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How alcohol affects your body and exercise.

Alcohol in your system is detrimental to any kind of fitness activity (except maybe on the dance floor). Here's how booze wreaks havoc on your regimen.

1. Slower Recovery
Hard workouts drain the glycogen stores (carbs stored in the liver and muscles) and leave your muscle tissue in need of repair. "Pouring alcohol into your system as soon as you finish stalls the recovery process," says Tavis Piattoly, R.D. High levels of alcohol displace the carbs, leaving your stores still 50 percent lower than normal even eight hours later, according to one study. Sip or snack on a combo of muscle-repairing protein and carbs (think low-fat chocolate milk or peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers) before tipping back.

2. Packed-On Fat
When booze is on board, your body, besides having to deal with the surplus of calories, prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol over burning fat and carbs. Alcohol also breaks down amino acids and stores them as fat. "For some reason this process is most pronounced in the thighs and glutes," says Piattoly. "Excessive alcohol consumption really chews up muscle in those areas." It also increases levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), which further encourages fat storage, particularly in your midsection.

3. Disrupted Sleep
Boozing also blows your muscle recovery and performance by sapping your sleep. In a study of 93 men and women, researchers found that alcohol decreased sleep duration and increased wakefulness (particularly in the second half of the night), especially in women, whose sleep time was decreased by more than 30 minutes over the night. "Disrupting the sleep cycle can reduce your human growth hormone output—which builds muscle—by as much as 70 percent," says Piattoly.

4. Depleted Water and Nutrients
Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which can reduce your capacity to absorb nutrients (the reason you have an upset stomach after a few too many), says Brian R. Christie, Ph.D.—not to mention that alcohol makes you pee. For every gram of ethanol you suck down, you pump out 10 milliliters of urine (that's about 9.5 ounces for two beers). As little as 2 percent dehydration hurts endurance performance. And by the way, you can't rehydrate with a dehydrating drink (e.g., beer).

Orlando Urban Assault Ride "The East Ride"

Orlando is well know for the Mouse and its parks, but for the cyclist this group is always on time.
For many years twice a week this group get together and take the town. Done at night and on MTB's, the Urban Assault as they call it, has become the latest trend with the 9 to 5 professionals with a healthy attitude and a young spirit. Imagine those old days riding along the neighborhood with the buddies when you were 12!

Here is the info:

 Mix of road riding & mountain biking in an urban & residential setting. The route is random with some urban obstacles (eg. curbs, staircases, medians, etc.) Ride is roughly 2hrs long and averages about 25 miles. Speed varies throughout the ride but overall average is around 16-18mph. We will ride thru (not all in one night) Casselberry, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Longwood, Maitland. Suburbia is more cyclist friendly and most of the streets/roads have bike lanes. But we have plenty of residential roads and trails to zig zag around. **WEATHER PERMITTING!!**This is a no-drop ride - nobody gets left behind. Lights and helmet are required. We meet in the parking lot next to the Buffalo Wild Wings at 7:00. We roll out around 7:05. Ride ends at the starting point. The BWW restaurant/ bar with outdoor seating for food, drink. Hope to see you there.

The Health Benefits of Cycling

       7 Health Benefits of Cycling

Bicycling, along with being the most efficient mode of human locomotion, is also one of the best all-around activities for improving our health. From head to toes, cycling’s health benefits are hard to beat.

1. Cycling is good for your heart: Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. Cycling is good for your muscles: Riding a bike is great for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body – your calves, your thighs, and your rear end. It’s also a great low-impact mode of exercise for those with joint conditions or injuries to the legs or hips, which might keep them from being active.

3. Cycling is good for your waistline: You can burn a lot of calories while biking, especially when you cycle faster than a leisurely pace, and cycling has been associated with helping to keep weight gain down. And cycling has the added benefit of ramping up your metabolism, even after the ride is over.

4. Cycling is good for your lifespan: Bicycling is a great way to increase your longevity, as cycling regularly has been associated with increased ‘life-years’, even when adjusted for risks of injury through cycling.

5. Cycling is good for your coordination: Moving both feet around in circles while steering with both your hands and your body’s own weight is good practice for your coordination skills.

6. Cycling is good for your mental health: Riding a bike has been linked to improved mental health.

7. Cycling is good for your immune system: Cycling can strengthen your immune system, and could protect against certain kinds of cancers.