This weeks free clinics and rides at Cycle U

This Saturday May 2nd we do our Fix a Flat, lube your chain and basic maintenance clinic at West Seattle store 11-11:45am.  We then lead a free shop ride at noon of about 20 miles with Head Coach Craig Undem.  Learn to paceline and ride correctly along with finding a new route!

Sand Point shop there is a free ride at 11am, going to Seward Park and back from the shop.  This is a classic “bread and butter” route that everyone needs to know, from here you can launch to Mercer Island, South end of Lake Washington or anything on the East Side.  We don’t want to see anyone riding up through the Arboretum (down or North is OK if you are going fast) because there is no shoulder.  Learn the right way to navigate through the North end to South Lake Washington by bicycle.

Our 11th anniversary sale also continues with everything in both stores on sale 20-60% through this weekend. 

Ride with Cycle U


Other upcomming free events in May:

How to Fix a Flat and Lube your Chain, basic maintenance. 
-Saturday May 2nd 11-11:30am West Seattle shop. 

Try Road Racing!  Clinic at Pacific Raceways.  info at Budu Racing the race promoter website
-Tuesday May 5th 5:55pm AT Pacific Raceways 

How to Commute by Bicycle or use it as basic transportation.
-Wednesday May 6th 6:30-7:15pm West Seattle shop.

Get Ready to Ride! safety, mechanical and fitting check on your bicycle
-Saturday May 9th 11-11:30am West Seattle AND Sand Point shops, same times at each.

Winning Cyclocross, the secrets to a winning season by Head Coach Craig Undem
-Tuesday May 12th 7:30-8:30pm Sand Point shop.   Link to sign up, limited seating

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So you think you can pedal. Prove it.

Every kid knows how to pedal a bike, but not every kid can *really* pedal a bike.  You can hear about pedaling circles, have someone describe how to drag your foot through the bottom of the stroke but until you can see your pedal stroke, you are only guessing.  I just did the noon workout on the Computrainer at West Seattle, and despite 30 years of focusing on pedaling circles, the best I can sustain is 85%.  

If you don’t have access to a Computrainer then you can do technique work on a very gentle hill.  Carefully unclip one foot and pedal with one foot and try to eliminate the “chunk clunk” deadspot in your pedaling and make it smooth.  Try it for 1-2 minutes then go back to both feet and then try the other foot.  


Once you try the Computrainer either in one of our ICE indoor classes or for a pedal stroke analysis, you will understand just how difficult it is to maintain 80% pressure, many cannot even do it and max out at 70% or lower.  The first thing to do is to lock your upper body as still as possible.  This core activation allow you to push and pull your legs against each other and get more leverage around the stroke.  

The next thing to focus on is where to put your pressure, you don’t have to think about pushing down, it is automatic.  Try to get your foot to slide back into the heel cup of your shoe and actually push against the heel cup through the bottom of the pedal stroke.
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How not to crash on your bike

The key is protecting your front wheel, here is how most crashes happen.  Your on a ride with other people (most crashes by yourself are cornering too fast or getting your tire stuck in a rut, hole or road seam) and they slow down and you get tangled up, or they turn without signaling and take your front wheel with them, or you are riding too close and your front wheel gets hung up on their rear wheel.   Here is how to avoid it.

Constant focus, looking at the riders ahead of you and adjusting your position to stay safe.  If you are going faster and getting close for drafting then don’t follow directly behind, be off to the side 6 inches so if they slow up you will roll up alongside them.  If you are approaching a turn give a little extra room in anticipation that the rider you are following might turn or slow down.   The better you know the rider and where you are going, the closer you can get.  The better you are at braking and anticipating what the group will do the closer you can get.

With newer riders after 30 minutes of practice in our Road 101 class, it is amazing how much closer and safer the riding gets.
Get out and practice in this great Spring weather! 



Ride to live past 100

I want to see 2063, because in that year I will turn 100 years old.  It seems like it is a fantasy number, so far in the future that the world will be a vastly different place, and writing this makes it seem even more fantastic, like I am on a journey to the space age.  I don’t know if there have been any studies about how *deciding* to live to an old age has any bearing on that coming true, but if it does, let’s all take a moment to visualize hitting 100.  I can now see myself high-fiving my grand children as I take a victory lap on my electric trike, grab a glass of Champaign and see how fast I can take a corner, hell if I get to that stage might as well go for broke!

Set your goals high, remind yourself of what you are really all about, and realize that taking care of your health is the key to being able to do anything else worthwhile in your life.  Cycling is the new wonder drug that can have you living full and strong, till the finish line of life!  Come ride with us.

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Blog, Dean's Letter, Uncategorized

Dean’s Letter: Step up to Fitness!

Spring has sprung and excitement for riding season is at its peak. This is the time of year when everything is possible. This year, you will set your personal record up Goat Hill. You will finally tackle that epic ride, your own personal Tour.  Whatever your goal or target is this season, now IS NOT the time to double down on your training.  Pushing yourself too hard this time of year is a recipe for poor performance and sickness later on.

It is very tempting to overwork yourself in the spring. Riders who want to improve over the summer season often feel  faced with two choices :

A.Vow to double down on their training in the next month so they quickly reach their goals or  B. map out the next 8 weeks with a step by step plan, building ride length and intensity with plenty of recovery riding in between.

Although it is natural to pick A, the correct choice is B. Pushing yourself  too hard early in the season can cause overuse injuries. To avoid over training, steadily build your training hours as the days get longer. Taking small steps will allow you to achieve your goals without causing injury.

The key to Plan B is  scheduling. If it isn’t in my schedule, it doesn’t get done.  When I started teaching two  noon classes each week, I realized that I needed to keep those rides as a part of my schedule year round. The foundation of my week is based on that two ride plan. I always make sure to complete two good rides during the week, then a bonus ride on the weekend. Working towards the cyclocross season in September, my training plan builds steadily in intensity.  Stepping  my way up to big events allows me to bring the heat without burning out.

C U on the trails!

Craig Undem