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    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    Every winter, teams from all over the world travel to warmer climates to train for the coming races. For 10 to 14 days, the riders spend every hour of the day with their teammates: they eat together, ride together, and even share hotel rooms. In fact, there are few solitary moments when they aren’t with a teammate. For most teams, this is the only time of the year where the entire team will be together in one place. After the camp, the squad will be fractioned off into different parts of world. Of the 20 to 30 riders on a [...]

    First, is an old one to some, and a revelation to others. Take a look at Ol’ Baby Face Sagan in what can only be described as a possible sponsor-me video. True, there are some chops in there, but it’s also obvious that he won the Junior World Championships in XC, not downhill. Thankfully, Sagan found his way to the road bike about one season after this video, and the rest is history. But this short piece provides a resounding, “what if?”     The Men’s Sprint Final this year at Worlds between Francois Pervis and Stefan Botticher is, well, [...]

    Inspired by an inquiry from Triathlete magazine editor Aaron Hersh, in October 2013, we decided to measure the actual apparent wind direction (yaw angle) for a rider on the entire bike course of the world championship Kona triathlon. What is the goal of this test? It’s to define where the wind comes from on various segments of the most iconic (and most windy) triathlon on the planet. Knowing perfectly the distribution of the wind yaw angle (i.e. how much time is it a direct headwind, how much time It comes from 5°, etc…), we can determine more precisely the time [...]

    When the season ended last year, did you take a few days to sit back and reflect? Did you take a pen to paper and thoughtfully write down what you wanted to accomplish for next season? Or, like many riders, did you just reel off a list of races that you wanted to win? While there’s nothing wrong with compiling an endless list of things that you want to accomplish, learning to refine your goals is a skill that’ll set you apart from your peers. In Sports Psychology, goal setting is a defined skill set. Goals are delineated into three [...]

    Every rider in the group knows what is coming: a small town with narrow streets and roundabouts, a corner, then another, then a mud-slicked, small-cobbled farm road, and then a climb. A peloton of nearly 200 will charge down a four lane road using the entire tarmac and the adjoining sidewalks and bike paths. Slightly panicked, the riders at the front accelerate to stay near the front and hold their positions. The peloton surges as the town nears. A strong wind blows, fanning the front of the group across the road and then pushing the rest into a long thin [...]

    “Kimchi Jjigae” Spicy, Vegetarian, Low Carb, High Protein, Gluten Free, Delicious. This is one of Chef Biju’s favorite winter soups and, while it’s darn near impossible to spell, it’s also a great combination of flavors and textures that he craves whenever the temperature dips. It’s a deep red and pungent classic Korean restaurant favorite, brought out in bubbling hot clay pots with eggs cracked right into the broth, cooking while it sits at the table. This also just happens to be one of the best low carb, high protein soups which will keep you feeling very full while watching your [...]

    Orange County Getaway For the dedicated road cyclist, life buried under snow is no life at all. In the throes of winter, you need to recharge your batteries and get in a solid weekend of warm weather riding. But given that work is always calling, Majorca probably needs to take a backseat this year. When it comes to consistent climates that serve up stunning rides here in the US, it’s hard to beat Orange Country, California. Forget what you’ve heard about theme parks and reality shows, the rolling coast of the Pacific is calling. Where to Ride On the first [...]

    It’s not an exaggeration to say that electronic shifting has revolutionized cycling, and as we all know, Shimano has been at the forefront of this electronic revolution. Accordingly, its Di2 groupsets have set a lofty standard, but if there’s any remaining drawback to upgrading, it’s this: Compared to their mechanical counterparts, Di2 groupsets are tricky to understand, let alone to just buy what you actually need. Seriously, though, I research and write about this stuff, and I’m continually left with a residual WTF expression every time that Di2 comes up in conversation. However, after numerous discussions with our expert mechanics [...]

    1. The function of a road tire Although it may look rather unassuming on your bike, a tire has six main functions that it must perform in order to offer a high level of functionality to the rider. It must: - Roll well (providing an efficient and consistent ride). - Absorb shocks (the road surface isn’t always good). - Support the load of the rider and bike. - Steer and change direction (following the trajectory given by the rider). - Transfer pedalling and braking power, especially when it is raining. - Be durable. During the development phase of a tire [...]

    With all of the books, blogs, and pre-written training plans out there, it’s easy to find yourself feeling either over- or under-trained. Or, more commonly, you’re just feeling like you aren’t improving fast enough. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to hire a coach. After all, you aren’t meant to be an expert at everything, and a set of outside eyes will help to craft a training plan that’s tailored specifically to you. How do you know which coach is right for you, though? First, remember that no matter how hard you drive yourself toward the top step of the [...]

    Regarding power, heart rate, and perceived exertion it’s important to realize that all are a measure of intensity and that all have a strong relationship between one another. For a given individual, as power output increases, heart rate and perceived exertion also increase in a linear and predictable fashion. This relationship, however, is different depending upon an individual’s fitness level, the environment, and other factors such as dehydration and fatigue. Because of this strong relationship, heart rate and perceived exertion are often used as estimates of power output and exercise intensity. The important distinction here, however, is that intensity can [...]

    In much of North America, snow is continuing to fall. We ride indoors, ski, skate, run, and workout in the gym in order to maintain some level of fitness, while elevating our endorphins to keep the mental balance that we’ve become accustomed to with daily exercise. However, there are those who embrace the extremes and head outdoors to ride, turning what could be a lousy day into an adventure. Somewhere, decades ago, I read a story about Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, and Ron Kiefel riding on the dirt mountain roads in Colorado. On their long training rides, up and over [...]

    At one point or another, we all ride in low-light conditions. Perhaps you get your base miles in before and after work, or maybe it’s just too hot to ride during the day? Either way, though, we can all stand to increase our visibility in these conditions. However, until the Capo Padrone HV kit, the only way to achieve this goal was through over-the-top, deafening colorways like Blaze Orange and Fluoro. Now, through some rather clever textile engineering, Capo has created a kit that’s subtle, attractive, and more effective then the aforementioned — all without sacrificing anything to performance. First [...]

    I remember it fondly, a non-stop, international flight from America to Tokyo. The beer was only malt, the vegetarian meal was some kind of octopus stroganoff, the inflight movie was in Thai, and my seat was strategically located eight inches behind a big screen — somewhere in between the third and fourth circle of Dante’s hell, aka the food prep quarters, lavatory, and baby cradle wall. It was arguably one of, if not the, worst flight(s) of my life. In retrospect, however, these moments don’t occupy my memory — they really aren’t that memorable. No, when I look back on [...]

    There’s a pretty good chance that a ’90s or Double Ought hardtail is collecting dust somewhere within your circle of friends. Given that, I’m sure that the relic has heard an exchange or two about rejuvenating it into a singlespeed. After all, it’s just sitting there, so it’d be fun to try something new. It’s easy, right? Just strip the redundant parts and go for a ride — done and done! In actuality, there’s a reason that the bike is sitting, and not just because it’s been ridden hard and put away wet. It’s due to the immense changes in the [...]

    You wouldn’t like me when I haven’t been riding. Surely, you’ve personally experienced this, but without the calming rhythm of spinning my legs out, minor inconveniences seem somehow inexcusable. The reason for this is simple: being a bike rider is, or so I’m told, akin to being a pseudo-junkie. You spend too much money, and the pounds melt off your body. The people closest to you start to worry about your health, and you don’t care, because it makes you feel so damn good. When we can’t get what we need, irrational feelings kick in and there’re only two solutions [...]

    Despite spending twenty years atop World Cup Downhill game, Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat is showing no signs of slowing down. We catch up with gravity racing’s elder statesman and talk history, team dynamics, and raising the next generation of shredders. GF: It’s become something of a post-season ritual for the rumor mill to report that you’re retiring from downhill. Is this the year you throw in the towel, or can the fans expect to cheer you on for the 2014 World Cup season? SP: They had better be there to cheer me on, it’s so much more fun when [...]

    From the Pro’s Perspective: Michael Barry For ages, cyclists assumed that narrower tires were better. Time trial bikes were fitted with 19mm tires, as we thought that they would slice through the air better than a 23mm. The rider cautiously rode to the start line, avoiding any bumps or road grit, for the fear that the tires might be punctured. We’d pump them rock hard, as we thought that harder tires created less rolling resistance. We also thought that narrower and harder tires were more aerodynamic, rolled faster, and were more responsive. Well, they aren’t. In the last five years, [...]