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Jeff Stewart

Photos: Ian Matteson, Jeff Stewart Imagine it: You tackle your favorite climb, and instead of turning around where the road ends, you keep going. With equal parts planning and bravado, the fiery question of what lies beyond is quelled. As a cyclist, you are now whole. Sure, that’s a glorified lens to gaze upon gravel through, but seriously, tell me that you don’t want a piece of this, mile after mile:   Depending on your geography, there are probably plenty of fire/service roads around you that are easy to tackle on your everyday 25mm road rig. It’s like Tom Ritchey [...]

Ryan Schoeck

Photos: Ian Matteson Maybe you’re getting used to unusual gear being strapped, stretched, and ratcheted to the bodies of pro cyclists as they roll out for battle each year. Or maybe you aren’t. Regardless of the camp that you fall into, once you actually heft and test some of these space-exploration-looking items (e.g., current road helmets), you’ll begin to see exactly what lies beyond the veil. Such is the case with the POC Octal, or “POCtal” as I like to call it, which is the inaugural road release from the Swedish brand. Those in the snowsports arenas have long been [...]

Jeff Stewart

For some, embrocation is the Belgian equivalent of Flubber — a nearly magical substance that breathes fire into the legs and courage into the heart. In reality, though, it’s a borderline toxic material that I’m frankly surprised isn’t flammable. It conjures many lyrical references — Ladytron’s “Destroy Everything You Touch” comes to mind, namely — but it’s to be handled with care, and really only to be used for racing. But if you’re like me, and you’re dead tired of wearing warmers on every ride, the late spring is the perfect environment for dry or wet weather embro’ application. Here’s [...]

Brendan Quirk

- The end is nigh. Unlike last year’s faux resignation — a well-intended joke that no one found funny but me — this farewell note is real. For 16 years, my sense of being has been inseparable from my care for Competitive Cyclist. Now, after turning in my company Visa and my key card, I’m reminded of the famous Shakespeare quote, “Exit, pursued by a bear.” In stepping into a non-Competitive Cyclist world, my terror runs deep. Will I ever love anything as much again? My final act was to organize some jottings. They’re memories, really. Old ones and new ones, [...]

Michael Barry

Photos: Michael Barry & Mike Barry Sr. We pulled up in the van midmorning, as steel barriers were being put in place to close off the course. Some of us were half asleep, our necks kinked against the windows, while others punched away at Game Boys and paged through cycling magazines. Nervous excitement spun in each of our minds for the day of racing ahead. Men wearing low-slung jeans and grimy T’s, with rolled cigarettes hanging from their lower lips, unloaded hundreds of galvanized steel barriers from flatbed trucks. The barricades lined the curbs of the town center criterium course, [...]

Garson Fields

Photos: Garson Fields The Sea Otter Classic is a madhouse. Every year, the Laguna Seca Raceway is bombarded by hoards of industry types, representing the gamut from established players to startup brands. Not surprisingly, they’re all vying for the attention of the legions of bike fanatics that are also in attendance. Over the past week, I witnessed the RockShox Bluto and Borealis Echo both leading the charge of fat bikes departing the realm of snow, while E-bikes set upon solidifying their presence in the market. And while the latter’s sheer presence in the pits made the case, the proof came [...]

Jeff Stewart

Johan Vansummeren Crash There really isn’t anything witty or profound to say about this — it’s pretty tragic, actually. Some, like Cancellara in the final kilometers of the 2013 Paris-Roubaix (6:45), use road furniture to their advantage. And some, like Vansummeren, are unfortunate enough to never see it coming. Here’s hoping that the spectator involved in this nasty crash has a speedy recovery. More on the story More Euro Than Human It’s hard to say whether the blood in this man’s veins is more akin to Hinault or Gallagher? After all, the idiocy of motorpacing at these speeds sans-helmet is one [...]

Michael Barry

Paris Roubaix is a race of unknowns. What the riders can’t control, what looms in their futures, haunts them until the pop of the starter’s pistol. In the days prior to the race, they’ll check the weather repeatedly. Some will hope for rain so that the peloton is tamer and thins out quickly, while others will pray for sun so that the cobbles will be dry. The race is one of attrition, position, and luck. It requires preparation, mental resilience, and physical strength. It will create champions. It will shred skin, bruise, and break bodies. It will fuel dreams. It [...]

Allen Lim

Table of Contents Osmosis & Semi-Permeable Membranes Osmoality Co-Transport of Water with Sodium and Glucose Water Alone Can Kill You Eat Real Food Hydrate First & You May Not Need to Eat The Egg Model Less Is More Two frequently asked questions that we get are 1) why our Exercise Hydration Mix is only 80 Calories per 500 ml (16.9 ounce) serving and 2) how to get more calories in during long endurance events with our relatively low calorie sports drink. The short answer to the first question is that our Exercise Hydration Mix is only 80 Calories per serving [...]

Jeff Stewart

Spring is the time of year that we shake out the cobwebs, slather on the embrocation, and get out on the rides that we’ve been dreaming about all winter. But it’s impossible to ignore how early spring plays by a different set of rules. And when coupled with high-speed descending, you have a rather high potential for disaster. To lower this margin of error, I’ve compiled a list of problems, and more importantly, solutions that have been plaguing me so far this year. Road Conditions If your favorite mountain roads have been covered in snow throughout the winter, the following [...]

Mavic

One of the shared, universal experiences in cycling is beating your own limits. Last season, Mavic’s communications manager for the USA, Zack Vestal, remembered a particular long ride at age 18, one that pushed beyond his limits at the time. Thinking of that ride 20 years later, he focused on breaking a new barrier by riding double the distance. Enjoy the views of Colorado as he traces a 236-mile loop, digging deep to achieve the dream before dark. And you, what limitations do you dream of exceeding in 2014? Photo Diary by Christophe Margot On a secteur of gravel — [...]

Jeff Stewart

In this day and age, I challenge you to find a proponent, a loyalist, hell, even a those-days-were-rad supporter of 27-inch road wheels. I’ll save you some time, though. You won’t find a soul, because that particular argument was killed, exhumed, and had a stake driven through its heart for good measure by the mid-Eighties. But you’re probably wondering, “Why am I bringing road up in this conversation at all?” Well, because those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. You see, the world has been at war over wheel and tire sizes since the very advent [...]

Rouleur Magazine

Words: Colin O Brien, Photos: Paolo Ciaberta Paolo was never a superstar on the bike, but he was valued by those he worked with. He enjoyed a long career with some of the sport’s top teams, and didn’t retire until he was 37, despite having just a single professional win to his name. A support rider, then, a gregario… but not a domestique. Having met him, you could never call him a domestique. Imperfect synonyms are horrible things, especially when they’ve been adopted into English from different languages. In this case, both ostensibly signify the same kind of cyclist, of [...]

Allen Lim

This is the classic rice cake originally developed by Skratch Labs founder, Allen Lim PhD. This sweet and savory portable has become an athlete favorite and remains one of our most popular recipes! Chef Biju takes you through all of the critical steps to making the perfect rice cakes. Ingredients - Bacon (as much as you’re comfortable with) - Eggs (around four or five) - Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) - Olive Oil - Medium Grain Calrose Rice - Brown Sugar - Corse Sea Salt Directions - Get your rice going in the rice cooker. To make the perfect [...]

Jeff Stewart

In the past, I’ve admittedly approached the incurred cost of road shoe shopping with a sky’s-the-limit attitude. Why? Because the pervasive logic is that any shoe under $300 is bound to embody all, or some, of what’s perceived as a negative in a shoe — heavy, moderate to poor quality, and worst of all, ugly. Whether or not I’ve been justified in this train of thought, or simply because I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd, this logic has generally held true. True, that is, until I received a pair of the Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 Shoes. First Impressions The [...]

Michael Barry

The protagonists who will animate the Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and the other Spring Classics will fine tune their fitness and test their legs in less prestigious races throughout late March. The cobbled Classics specialists will race in Belgium at E3 Harelbeke, Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the Three Days of de Panne, while those who aim to be in good condition for the hillier Ardennes Classics, in late April, will be at the Tour of Catalonia and the Tour of the Basque Country. The peloton racing in Belgium will battle for position on the windswept farm roads and [...]

Garson Fields

If you don’t know the name “Fabien Barel,” then you must not be paying attention. With three Downhill World Championship titles to his name, his racing career alone has made him an icon. But for the average rider, the role that he’s played in developing the modern mountain bike is even more important. All the while, he’s balanced a fiercely competitive spirit with a friendly demeanor. In other words, he embodies the very best of professional cycling. Fortunately for us, the French luminary was willing to answer a few questions about product development, his philosophy on riding, and his transition [...]

Allen Lim

I’ve been serving fresh from scratch beet juice to his athletes for years – it’s time for you to try it too! RELATED ARTICLES - Skratch Labs: Blackberry, Mint, and Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes - Skratch Labs: Spicy Kimchi and Soft Tofu Soup - Skratch Labs: Crispy Rice Omelete MORE RECIPES - The Feed Zone Cookbook - The Feed Zone Portables Cookbook  

Jeff Stewart

If you’re like me, the bike is more than just a tool to drag you up a mountain. Instead, the bike wears many hats, whether it’s a mode of transportation, a conduit to a circle of friends, or more often than not, a therapist. And in the past three years of my life, it’s been performing dutifully as the latter. I suppose that it boils down to the silence, the dedication to the moment, the physical and mental anguish. I don’t really know, because yes, at the surface, it’s all of this, yet it’s incomprehensibly more obtuse as to why [...]

Michael Barry

A plate of half eaten nachos sat on the table, Doug leaned back and quoted W.P Kinsella’s book, Shoeless Joe, “If you build it, they will come.” It wasn’t the first time I had heard him repeat the line. Unlike the novel’s protagonist, Ray Kinsella, whose dream was to build a baseball diamond, Doug’s was to build a velodrome. For over a decade he’d looked for a field within riding distance of his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, where he could build a track. In his dreams, this wasn’t a fancy facility that would cost a fortune, but a board track [...]

Jeff Stewart

When was the last time that you simply went for a ride? Or conversely, when was the last time that you actually trained? It’s a simple question, but a loaded one all the same. Not surprisingly, though, red-faced passion inevitably takes over the debate, regardless of the side that you find yourself on, and the logic of the matter falls flat. Some “Lycra jocks” are serious to a point of fault, while the tweed ride crowd can’t always see beyond their pannier-laden Rockhoppers to pursue cycling with more rigor. Surely, not every lunch ride is an act of training. And [...]

Mavic

Improvement of the performance and the reliability of tires results from careful analysis of the various parameters and criteria characterizing a tire. Thus, it is necessary to develop specific tests to precisely evaluate these criteria. We are particularly interested here in the rolling resistance and the adhesion (grip) which are two key elements of the tire’s performance and the safety of a rider. Of course, improvement of these criteria does not have to be made to the detriment of the weight, comfort or durability. 1. Measuring tire resistance to rotation A tire’s resistance to rotation (rolling resistance) corresponds to the [...]

Jeff Stewart

Marcel’s Giant Slam Fellow Competitive author, Ryan Schoeck, dubbed this finishing move “Marcel’s Giant Slam.” I find it fitting, and really, I don’t have any better way to describe Mr. Lundgren’s temper tantrum at Tirreno last week.   Breaking Cipollini While Marcel is content slaming his bike, Cipollini is busy slamming boulders, literally, into doors. This gem hails from an Italian television program, where they thought it would be funny to prank the hell out of the greatest sprinter alive. They nail Cipo with every tactic in the book: road rage, bike theft, and childish taunting from behind a locked [...]

Allen Lim

Here is how I make these ultra-yummy sweet rice cakes — let me know how they work for you! Ingredients 5 Cups sushi rice, rinsed and cleaned 7.5 cups water 2.5 small boxes of Blackberries (you know the little square boxes from the supermarket) 1 box of fresh mint (yeah, almost the same little box from the supermarket but not square this time, more rectangular) 1 lemon 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (but I’m not really sure how much, because I just pour it on until it tastes good) 1 cup chocolate chips Directions Cook the rice, julienne the mint, squeeze the lemon [...]