Archive for the ‘Road Cycling’ Category

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“Schumacher Insists on Quickstep Contract” – Wha???

November 15, 2008

Strange News of the Day

There was a story on my cell phone today that fell in the category of strange news.

November 14, 2008
York, PA. – Police say a central Pennsylvania man tried to rob a bank – but teller’s empty drawers thwarted the attempt. Springettsbury Township Police Lt. Scott Laird said the teller’s were waiting for their drawers to be filled when a man entered a Susquehanna Bank branch Thursday morning and demanded money. The first teller fainted and the next two showed him the empty drawers.

Laird says the robber then threatened to file a complaint with bank management before leaving.

Associated Press

Maybe Schumacher was in York – fookin’ moron thinks we are all fools. Hate to tell it to him but the Quickstep drawers are empty. You gotta wonder what size this guy’s brain is. First he comes storming out nowhere to win 2 TdF TT’s and in between be OTF for what seemed like the whole freakin’ race. Gosh he was practically flaunting his obviously doped legs with the wake he was leaving behind. And then have the gall to insist on continuing to work. I just gotta laugh – no team manager is crazy enough to touch this guy with a flagpole. Unless of course he is a Kazakh.

Read the strange news on Cyclingnews.

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John Korioth on Drafting Lance – Tour de Gruene TTT

November 7, 2008

Mere mortals like me can only wonder and relate to John Korioth in just succeeding to draft behind a POWERFUL animal like Lance.  To quote John, “This was probably the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike.”

From a Training Peaks Interview with John Korioth

John Korioth Shares His Thoughts (and SRM file) About Racing with Lance at the Tour de Gruene

4 November 2008

Lance Armstrong teamed up this past Sunday with John Korioth to race the Tour de Gruene two-man team time trial event. John describes his experience as “probably the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike.” The pain paid off as the pair won their division with a time of 56:37 on the 27.3 mile course, which was 2:34 faster than the second place team of David Wenger and Steven Wheeler.

John and Lance both raced with an SRM powermeter and John has provided TrainingPeaks with his race file which can be seen and downloaded here.

gruene TTT Korioth

John averaged 340watts and had a normalized power reading of 357watts, which makes you wonder how many watts Lance was pushing given that John rode the majority of the race in Lance’s slipstream. John reflects on his experience racing with Lance in a short interview with TrainingPeaks.

TP-How did you feel during the TT?
JK- This was probably the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike. Its tough to say I felt good with my HR so high all the time (well above my Lactate Threshold 168hr). I would have thought I would have been able to get some recovery sitting on Lance’s wheel as I do on my road bike when riding behind him. However, once he is fully aero (TT Suit, and helmet) it is very tough to get a good draft off of him and then be able to get any recovery. As you can tell from the file, I think only once during the race did my HR ever get back down below 170 and that wasn’t for long before it was back up to 178.

TP-Did the race go as planned?
JK- I thought I would have been able to help a little more and make some stronger pulls. When I was called through I was so redlined I tried to go easier just to get some recovery. Lance and I knew one of the keys was going to be communication and with those Aero helmets it is tough to hear so there was a lot of shouting at each other. If you would have heard me you would have thought I was mad at him but that was not the case. I was just trying to tell him to take it easy up the hills and into some turns so he wouldn’t gap me off.

TP- How much did you pull versus Lance?
JK- I would probably say Lance pulled 75% off the time. I think he could have won all by himself if he wanted to. He is just that strong. He also just has the ability to make the bike go fast. He can get it up on a flat road to 31mph and just hold it there. Its tough to stick behind that for a long time.

TP- Did you specifically train for this race? You had a great race.
JK- I did train for it, but not like Masters Nationals (John is the current USAC 40-44 National Road race Champion). This wasn’t even on my schedule until about 3 weeks prior. So I had to go get dust off the TT bike and make some adjustments and do what I could. My coach Dave Wenger (who was part of the second place team) from Source Endurance did the best he could but I think it could have been better with more time and some motor pacing.

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Good NY Times Article on the Truth About Stretching

November 5, 2008

I’ve not been one to stretch before exercise and have always preferred a slow start to warm up so this article certainly affirms my approach.

Stretching the Truth

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
Published: October 31, 2008

WHEN DUANE KNUDSON, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Chico, looks around campus at athletes warming up before practice, he sees one dangerous mistake after another. “They’re stretching, touching their toes. . . . ” He sighs. “It’s discouraging.”

If you’re like most of us, you were taught the importance of warm-up exercises back in grade school, and you’ve likely continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements.

“There is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching,” says Malachy McHugh, the director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The straining muscle becomes less responsive and stays weakened for up to 30 minutes after stretching, which is not how an athlete wants to begin a workout.

THE RIGHT WARM-UP should do two things: loosen muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and literally warm up the body. When you’re at rest, there’s less blood flow to muscles and tendons, and they stiffen. “You need to make tissues and tendons compliant before beginning exercise,” Knudson says.

A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow. Warm muscles and dilated blood vessels pull oxygen from the bloodstream more efficiently and use stored muscle fuel more effectively. They also withstand loads better. One significant if gruesome study found that the leg-muscle tissue of laboratory rabbits could be stretched farther before ripping if it had been electronically stimulated — that is, warmed up.

To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Most coaches and athletes have known this for years. That’s why tennis players run around the court four or five times before a match and marathoners stride in front of the starting line. But many athletes do this portion of their warm-up too intensely or too early. A 2002 study of collegiate volleyball players found that those who’d warmed up and then sat on the bench for 30 minutes had lower backs that were stiffer than they had been before the warm-up. And a number of recent studies have demonstrated that an overly vigorous aerobic warm-up simply makes you tired. Most experts advise starting your warm-up jog at about 40 percent of your maximum heart rate (a very easy pace) and progressing to about 60 percent. The aerobic warm-up should take only 5 to 10 minutes, with a 5-minute recovery. (Sprinters require longer warm-ups, because the loads exerted on their muscles are so extreme.) Then it’s time for the most important and unorthodox part of a proper warm-up regimen, the Spider-Man and its counterparts.

“TOWARDS THE end of my playing career, in about 2000, I started seeing some of the other guys out on the court doing these strange things before a match and thinking, What in the world is that?” says Mark Merklein, 36, once a highly ranked tennis player and now a national coach for the United States Tennis Association. The players were lunging, kicking and occasionally skittering, spider-like, along the sidelines. They were early adopters of a new approach to stretching.

While static stretching is still almost universally practiced among amateur athletes — watch your child’s soccer team next weekend — it doesn’t improve the muscles’ ability to perform with more power, physiologists now agree. “You may feel as if you’re able to stretch farther after holding a stretch for 30 seconds,” McHugh says, “so you think you’ve increased that muscle’s readiness.” But typically you’ve increased only your mental tolerance for the discomfort of the stretch. The muscle is actually weaker.

Stretching muscles while moving, on the other hand, a technique known as dynamic stretching or dynamic warm-ups, increases power, flexibility and range of motion. Muscles in motion don’t experience that insidious inhibitory response. They instead get what McHugh calls “an excitatory message” to perform.

Dynamic stretching is at its most effective when it’s relatively sports specific. “You need range-of-motion exercises that activate all of the joints and connective tissue that will be needed for the task ahead,” says Terrence Mahon, a coach with Team Running USA, home to the Olympic marathoners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor. For runners, an ideal warm-up might include squats, lunges and “form drills” like kicking your buttocks with your heels. Athletes who need to move rapidly in different directions, like soccer, tennis or basketball players, should do dynamic stretches that involve many parts of the body. “Spider-Man” is a particularly good drill: drop onto all fours and crawl the width of the court, as if you were climbing a wall. (For other dynamic stretches, see the sidebar below.)

Even golfers, notoriously nonchalant about warming up (a recent survey of 304 recreational golfers found that two-thirds seldom or never bother), would benefit from exerting themselves a bit before teeing off. In one 2004 study, golfers who did dynamic warm- up exercises and practice swings increased their clubhead speed and were projected to have dropped their handicaps by seven strokes over seven weeks.

Controversy remains about the extent to which dynamic warm-ups prevent injury. But studies have been increasingly clear that static stretching alone before exercise does little or nothing to help. The largest study has been done on military recruits; results showed that an almost equal number of subjects developed lower-limb injuries (shin splints, stress fractures, etc.), regardless of whether they had performed static stretches before training sessions. A major study published earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control, on the other hand, found that knee injuries were cut nearly in half among female collegiate soccer players who followed a warm-up program that included both dynamic warm-up exercises and static stretching. (For a sample routine, visit www.aclprevent.com/pepprogram.htm.) And in golf, new research by Andrea Fradkin, an assistant professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, suggests that those who warm up are nine times less likely to be injured.

“It was eye-opening,” says Fradkin, formerly a feckless golfer herself. “I used to not really warm up. I do now.”

You’re Getting Warmer: The Best Dynamic Stretches

These exercises- as taught by the United States Tennis Association’s player-development program – are good for many athletes, even golfers. Do them immediately after your aerobic warm-up and as soon as possible before your workout.

STRAIGHT-LEG MARCH

(for the hamstrings and gluteus muscles)

Kick one leg straight out in front of you, with your toes flexed toward the sky. Reach your opposite arm to the upturned toes. Drop the leg and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue the sequence for at least six or seven repetitions.

SCORPION

(for the lower back, hip flexors and gluteus muscles)

Lie on your stomach, with your arms outstretched and your feet flexed so that only your toes are touching the ground. Kick your right foot toward your left arm, then kick your leftfoot toward your right arm. Since this is an advanced exercise, begin slowly, and repeat up to 12 times.

HANDWALKS

(for the shoulders, core muscles, and hamstrings)

Stand straight, with your legs together. Bend over until both hands are flat on the ground. “Walk” with your hands forward until your back is almost extended. Keeping your legs straight, inch your feet toward your hands, then walk your hands forward again. Repeat five or six times. G.R.

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Cycling Shoe Sizing Chart for Different Brands

October 29, 2008

Well if you are reading this you are likely an internet shopper when it comes to fulfilling your cycling apparel and accessories wants and needs. But heck its difficult to make a judgment on cycling apparel for brands you have no experience with. Ideally, you would like to go to an LBS to try sizing but this just might mean driving around for miles to different stores that carry the brands and sizes you want. With the cost of gas as it is I’d rather not do that. Heck its nice to just sit here in front of the computer and just click away to all the different bike swag sites.

I’ve been the kind of guy to stick with one cycling shoe until the sole tears apart before I buy a new one (true). With so many deals that you can find for new or even lightly used items around its become rather inexpensive to expand your selection. However, there is the issue of sizing that becomes a barrier to many like me. Does the Shimano size 42 I am comfy with equate to a Northwave 42? Turns out that the Northwaves run a little large and would need a 41.5. The standard on sizing for shoes or clothes seems left to interpretation by the different manufacturers so there is trial and error involved, which can be a waste of money and time. To make it a little easier when considering a brand of shoe you’ve never fitted before, I’ve search the internet for shoe sizing charts and have compiled this info into a single chart below. If you have any references for Pearl Izumi or other brands not on the list please chime in.

US Men’s
2
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
US Women’s
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
Adidas
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
Airwalk
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
Cannondale
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
Carnac
39
Diadora
36
37
37.5-38
38.5
DMT 37 37.5
Duegi
36
37
38
Lake
36
37
38
Look
37
38
Nike
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
Northwave
36
37
Pearl Izumi
Scott
38
39
Shimano
37
37.5
38
Sidi
34
35
36
36.5
37
38
Specialized
34
35
36
37
Time
35
36
37
38
US Men’s
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
US Women’s
7
8
8.5
9
9.5
10
10.5
Adidas
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
Airwalk
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
Cannondale
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
Carnac
39.5
40
40.5
41
41.5
42
42.5
Diadora
39
39.5
40-40.5
41
41.5
42-42.5
43
DMT 38 38.5 39 40 41 42 43
Duegi
39
40
40
41
42
Lake
39
40
40
41
42
42
43
Look
39
40
40
41
42
42
43
Nike
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
Northwave
38
39
40
40.5
41
41.5
42
Pearl Izumi
Scott
38
39
39
40
40
Shimano
39
39.5
40
40.5
41
42
42.5
Sidi
39
40
40
41
42
43
Specialized
39
39.5
40
40.5
41
42
42.5
Time
39
40
40
41
42
42
43
US Men’s
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
US Women’s
11
11.5
12
12.5
13
Adidas
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
Airwalk
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
Cannondale
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
Carnac
43
43.5
44
44.5
45
45.5
46
Diadora
43.5
44
44.5-45
45.5
46
46.5
47
DMT 43.5 44 44.5 45 46.5
Duegi
42
43
44
45
Lake
42
42
43
43
44
44
45
Look
42
42
43
44
45
45
Nike
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
Northwave
43
44
44.5
45
45.5
46
47
Pearl Izumi
Scott
41
42
43
44
45
Shimano
43
44
44.5
45
46
47
47
Sidi
44
44
45
46
46
47
48
Specialized
42.5
43
44
45
46
47
48
Time
43
44
45
45
46
47
47
US Men’s
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
Adidas
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
Airwalk
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
Cannondale
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
Carnac 47
48
Diadora
48
49-50
DMT
Duegi
47
47
Lake
47
47
Look
48
Nike
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
Northwave
Pearl Izumi
Scott
47
48
Shimano
48
Sidi
44
44
45
46
46
Specialized
48
49.5
Time
48
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Schumi + Quickstep = Major Fail

October 7, 2008

All the doping got to his head 🙂

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#8

September 10, 2008

Wanna know the bottom line motive – take a lookie see here.

#8 - photo courtesy PEZ

#8 - photo courtesy PEZ

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Siclista Cycling Club

August 14, 2008

Hey there,

I’ve been an avid cyclist off and on for a little over 20 years now and definitely all on for the last four. Wow I can be considered a masters rider now 😯 Thankfully, I got the blessing to buy a new bike to re-invigorate the passion and landed myself a sweet Orbea Orca in June of 2006. I previously had a 1994 Trek 5200 and was no longer happy with how flexy it had apparently become. Maybe its because I’ve gained much weight since I bought it LOL? Well true, me thinks cuz when I bought that bike I was at my low watermark of 138lbs. I stopped cycling for a few years (you know got married – had kids story) and ballooned to 185lbs. I’m down to about 162 at the moment and bottomed out last year at 156 when I was trimming down seriously for the Death Ride.

This year I really have no goals and wanted to not have the stress of having to ride for something. Well as it turns out I had to ride more to not get robbed at the gas stations 😦 So more than ever I’ve been commuting between Foster City where I work and Milpitas . Home bound to Milpitas has a stiff tailwind so I’ve been able to train for speed using a higher gear at a higher cadence. If you want top end speed, this is sweet ride for a commute!

I’ve since met a great group of Filipino cyclist in a group called the Siclistas centered mostly in the lower East Bay and Silicon Valley. If you happen to stumble on this post, check us out and join up. So speaking of the club, we just got our new kits in and they are very sweet. This is me sporting the new kit along with mi bicicleta:

Siclista Kit By SM Bridge

Siclista Kit By SM Bridge

Siclista Kit

Siclista Kit