5 Steps To Setting Up Your Trainer For Success

After a couple of years of putting it off myself (I am a procrastinator), my wife bought me a bicycle trainer for Christmas from the local bike shop. I have always put off getting one myself because trainers are meant for people who either live in colder climates or are afraid of being abducted by a Yeti while riding outside during the winter. I haven’t heard of anyone getting abducted by a Yeti but it could happen. I know they like spicy buffalo wheat thins so they may like cyclists too. Food is scarce in the winter you know. Seriously, I live in Florida. What do I need a bicycle trainer for? It doesn’t get that cold in the winter and getting rained out every once in a while isn’t so bad. Right? After receiving my trainer, and having put over 200 miles on it so far, I can’t believe I’ve gone without one for so long. Luckily my wife was looking out for me. She had help from the local shop owner, who knew me, in picking it out. She bought me the Blackburn Tech Mag 6 Trainer and I couldn’t be happier with its performance so far. She also got me a block for the front wheel to go along with it. This post won’t get into the whole debate of wind vs magnetic vs fluid vs interactive trainers. Each has their pros and cons and your situation will determine what you go with in the end. The shop owner knew me well enough to make a great recommendation to my wife. It took me a week...

Give Your Tire The Boot

On last Saturday’s group ride a buddy and I were dropped by the main group. The fast dudes must have been feeling good because by mile 8 we were already going over 25 mph and I finally gave in at 27. The other guy did the same about 30 seconds later. That left us to ride by ourselves and we had a great ride despite the wind. We followed a short ride 25 mile loop and enjoyed the cool temps. About 3 miles from the finish I heard a loud ‘pop’ from behind me. I knew immediately that my buddy had just flatted so I pulled over. Upon further investigation he discovered that not only had he flatted but he had a hole in his tire as well. It looked like the tire had simply become worn in one spot. The result was a hole in the tire and a flat tube. I asked him if he had a boot and he said, “A what?” We took care of his tire but I thought booting a tire would be a great topic to discuss here on the blog. What is a Boot? If you’re thinking cockroach-killers then I need to educate you. A boot, in relation to cycling, is a piece of material placed between the tube and tire to keep the tube from bulging out of a hole in the tire. I think we can all agree that the tube is held in place by the tire. If the integrity of the tire is broken (i.e. a cut or large puncture) the tube will bulge out of that...

When was your last Awesome ride?

Saturday saw me return to the local shop I’ve been riding with for group rides. I hadn’t given the ride too much thought throughout the week but it turned out being Awesome with a capital A. That’s why I capitalized it if you didn’t notice. At the start of the ride we rolled out with about 15 folks. A group of about five took off pretty quickly so we’ll call them the A group. The rest of us kind of fell into a group of our own, at a slower pace, so we’ll call ourselves the B group. There were a few people in the group I hadn’t seen before so I don’t know if they were brand new or just hadn’t been out with us in a while. We had two ladies in the group. One who is a very experienced rider while the other is relatively new. We also had two riders from the shop – one of the mechanics and the shop owner. Both great guys. All-in-all a pretty diverse group. After leaving the shop, getting past a stoplight, and then a stop sign, we got onto the main route and settled into a paceline at about 18-19 mph. I pulled for the first three or four miles before letting one of the ladies pull a bit. We stayed together like this for the next ten miles or so with each person in the group sharing the pulling although the pulls I took were quite a bit longer than most which I was happy to do. We eventually upped the pace to the 20-21 mph range....

Pre-Ride and On the Bike Fuel

On Monday I mentioned that I had a great group ride last weekend that, I believe, was sparked by a change in my pre-ride meal. The change came about because I was ignorant on a couple of things and Kelli at Apex Nutriton straightened me out. If you’ve been cycling for any length of time you know that your body needs to be properly fueled before you start riding and, if the rides is long, continued to be fueled it while riding. I knew this but my knowledge of fueling was very limited so I needed help. When I signed up for the Cycling for Optimal Weight plan with Darryl and Kelli I started getting an education and help. One of the first things Kelli did was help me establish a pre-ride fueling plan. Short One Hour Rides My weekday rides are, generally, about an hour in length. I ride anywhere from 10-15 miles depending on what the training plan calls for that day. The pace can range anywhere from 14.5 to 16.5 mph solo (so no drafting off a buddy). For these shorter weekday rides Kelli had me eat the following before riding: 4 oz of water mixed with 4 oz of juice. (I use a measuring cup to get it pretty exact) 1/2 of a banana. Ideally I would eat this about 30 minutes before riding but it was usually anywhere from 15-20 minutes before I rolled out of the garage. Prior to getting help from Kelli I would almost never eat or drink anything before riding in the morning. I immediately started to notice an effect...

Don’t Get Caught Without A Rubber

I had some great plans this weekend and I was excited. I posted a pic on Dailymile of the five-day forecast and the great weather we were going to have. It made for a great opportunity to get out and work up a sweat. Then, on Saturday, I was given a dose of reality as I violated one of those unwritten rules every dude should know. I got caught without a rubber. Sorry about that but I just couldn’t resist that post title. The rubber I’m referring to is, of course, a tube for my road bike. The weather this weekend has been perfect here in North Florida and I was super excited about a nice two-hour early morning ride on Saturday. Fate, on the other hand, had different plans. I got up, went through my whole morning routine of getting kitted up, drinking 4 oz of water mixed with 4 oz of juice, and eating half a banana. I even had about half a cup of coffee. What was even better was that I was going to be able to ride without tights and arm warmers. That alone had me totally jacked to ride. Ah, ignorance is bliss. Once down in the garage I immediately noticed my back tire was flat. If I was going to have one I’d rather it be now than out on the road so I set about changing it. I had one spare tube in my seat bag so I pulled it out and quickly swapped it out with the bad one. Before putting the new one in, an inspection of the tire...

Interval Training For Cyclists

If you’ve been cycling for any length of time chances are that you’ve heard of Intervals. The word ‘interval’ or ‘intervals’ is usually tossed around while folks are talking about their training. For instance, you might see on DailyMile a cyclist describe their last ride as being 3×8 Intervals at RPE 7 with a 10 minute RBI. Makes perfect sense right? In this post I’m going to explain what Intervals are, the different types, and why they’re good for your riding. What is an Interval? If you define the word ‘Interval’ you get: A definite length of time marked off by two instants. So, an interval is a period of time that’s marked off by two instants (a start and a stop). Putting all that together we can further deduce that an Interval is a measured period of time marked by a start time and a stop time. The length of the period of time is the Interval. By that definition you could define any ride as an Interval – you know the time you started riding and the time you stopped riding. That would be one Interval. That’s not how we use them though. In cycling we use the word ‘Intervals’ to define short periods of time (30 seconds to several minutes) over the course of a ride. For instance, you might hear a cyclist say that she performed three eight minute intervals during her workout today. That means that she broke out 24 minutes (3×8=24) as measured periods of time from her overall ride duration. Why did she break out those 24 minutes and what did she...
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