Riding Update and New Gear

It’s been a busy week and I haven’t been able to post at all so I apologize. Contrary to popular belief, I’m neither a full-time blogger. The 9-5 soaked up a ton of my time this week which makes me wonder why it’s called a 9-5. More like an 8-6 but I’m not complaining. Because I’ve neglected posting this week I’ve got a few things to cover in today’s post. Strap yourself in, squirt a gel, and grab a wheel. Moving in the Right Direction On the riding and weight loss front I’m seeing improvement which is great. I saw numbers on the weight scale this week that I haven’t seen in a long, long, long time. Good stuff. I can also tell my riding is getting stronger even though I’ve only managed two rides this week. The weather here has been terrible with today being the first day it hasn’t rained in a while. Today’s ride was particularly nice and I felt very, very comfy in the saddle today with no undercarriage issues. I tried to push today’s pace harder than normal and rode about 85% of the 13 miles in the big ring which is a change for me. I got over the big ring ego a long time ago and am happy to push the small ring until I get stronger. I’m now at the point where I can confidently ride a bigger gear and keep my cadence up. Today’s ride was for 13.12 miles in 54 minutes at 14.4 mph. I honestly thought my pace would have been better but I’ll take it. I did...

Five Steps To Choosing A Road Cycling Helmet

Thanks to Victor Jiminez of Bicycle Lab (@bicyclelab on Twitter) for his assistance in putting this article together. As the weather warms up ever so slowly here in North America, more and more cyclists will be leaving the trainers behind and heading outdoors to get their rides in. Before heading out we need to make sure we have all the required equipment and one of those items is our helmet. Of all our road cycling gear, I think the helmet is the most important item as it offers protection for our gray matter in the event we do crash. Five Steps To Choosing A Cycling Helmet Find your price point. Road cycling helmets are typically between $60 and $250. Design, materials, retention systems and purpose are what drive the prices. They all offer protection if you crash but features like custom fitting mechanisms, visors, adjustable/removable padding, reduced weight, exotic materials, and extra ventilation will cost more. More expensive helmets tend to have more adjustable fit and retention systems. For around $100 you can get a very good quality and nice fitting helmet. Check the certification. Cycling helmets have certification? Absolutely. Helmets sold in the U.S. are required by law to meet testing standards as set forth by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). The purpose of these tests is to make sure that the helmet can handle the impact if you were to crash. With helmets getting lighter and more comfortable every year a standard is necessary to ensure that you’ll be protected. Look for the CPSC stamp or sticker on the helmet. Pick some helmets. Road cycling helmets...

The Love and Hate Relationship With Cycling Clothing

Cycling clothes. They can be the bane of our existence as a cyclist. We’re ridiculed because non-cyclists think we look funny in them. We’re self-conscious because of how we look in them (at least I am). I love cycling clothing. It’s functional and jersey designs can be pretty cool. I also hate it. Do they make cycling clothes for real people? So what if I can’t fit into the same tshirt I wore in sixth grade. What’s the big deal? You mean, as a cyclist, I’m supposed to fit into a pair of bibs or a jersey designed to look tight on my little sister? Seriously? By real people I mean cyclists, like me, who are struggling to lose weight. Cycling is a great way to lose weight but the clothing manufacturers out there aren’t thinking about us when designing their spring lineup. I seriously think they use a telephone pole as a prop to help them determine sizes. If they’re designing European sizes then they use a 4×4 post. That’s all in jest of course but I think the underlying argument is valid. Overweight cyclists have a hard time finding cycling clothes that fit. Then you take somebody like me who’s overweight, and short (only a 27.5″ inseam), and you’re screwed. There wouldn’t be a problem if we (I) were height-weight proportionate but that’s why we (I) took up cycling in the first place. Catch 22. Are there cycling clothes out there that will fit? Yes, but it’ll be hard finding something that fits right. For instance, in order for me to find bibs that can compensate for...

Finding an affordable sleeveless cycling jersey

With the heat really ramping up here in Texas I decided late last week that I should start investing in some sleeveless cycling jerseys to maximize the ventilation. The no-sleeve design would also help me get some sun on my pasty looking upper arms. So I set off Saturday to visit some local bike shops to see what I could find. Richardson Bike Mart was my first stop because I was up near it due to attending a WordPress conference on Saturday. I’m still totally blown away every time I walk into this place and Saturday was no different. They’ve got everything and the store is just huge. I headed over to the clothing section to check out the selection. In no time I found a sleeveless jersey that looked pretty good. It was pretty plain and red/gray in color. I don’t believe there were any designs on it. Just a plain jersey. My memory could be failing me though after the trauma I received from looking at the price tag. They wanted $100 for it. I just shook my head and moved on. Now I remember why I don’t come to this store. I did try on a few helmets since I’ll be needing one and found that I basically need a medium in any style which is good info if I find a good deal online. Alas, I couldn’t resist the temptation to have a look at the new bikes. I kept my sticker shock to a minimum and just casually browsed around looking at all the carbon fiber rigs. I pulled one or two out to...

Had a good hard ride last night

I’ve still been riding just about everyday as I near the twelve weeks to go point until my first century (July 4th is the 12-week point). Once I hit that twelve week point I’ll be following a training plan but until them I’m just trying to build base mileage, work on the hills and get acclimatized to the heat here in Texas. Tuesday was a day off the bike so I had planned on riding hard yesterday. That I did. The heat this week has been pretty bad with temps at or near 100F with heat indexes over 100F. Yesterday was no different. Knowing this, I’ve been very conscious to drink water throughout the day and have a bottle of G2 in the afternoon. I’ve also delayed my evening ride by about a half-hour so I’m starting around 6:30 PM and religiously doing a slow six mile warm up. This combination seems to be working for me right now as I’ve had no episodes like last week when I was obliterated after 15 miles. One good thing was that some later afternoon clouds moved in which helped with the heat some yesterday. I rolled away from my car and made it about 200 feet when I realized I forgot my sunglasses. I immediately pulled a u-turn and headed back to get them. It’s interesting to note that I’ve had these particular sunglasses for about seven years. They aren’t even ‘cycling’ sunglasses. They were given to me while I was still in the Navy and are actually safety glasses. You can buy them at Lowes or Home Depot and come...

Sixteen cool cycling jerseys for women

I use TweetDeck as my Twitter client and have a search column open for “cycling”. Yesterday, while looking at some older tweets, I saw a lady complaining that cycling isn’t a sport very accommodating to women because they don’t make cool jerseys for women. Hmmmm I thought. She must of haven’t done very much looking so I felt it my duty to help her out. I know I’m a guy so what do I know about cycling jerseys for women. Absolutely nothing but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t think one of the jerseys below wouldn’t look cool if I saw it on a lady out riding. In fact, I think some of these designs are cooler than most jerseys you can get for guys. Speaking of cycling jerseys for guys, be a large dude and try finding a cool jersey. Those of us that are tonnage challenged are usually relegated to jerseys that are one solid color, maybe two if we’re lucky, that makes us look like a giant sail on a bike. Talk about uncool. Anyway, here are sixteen cool cycling jerseys for women that I found and...