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Oh to climb like a god

To climb, to reach, to strive valiantly…to come up short again and again…to push yourself to your limit and hold it there, balancing on the precipice of sanity and cruelty, to exercise your demons and blast away your fears of death and challenge the almighty to take you if now be the time, to go into the void of your soul and find a way to keep pushing when nothing in you wants to continue.  To give everything that you have, and watch as others dance by and take the prize from you without effort or toil.  Then the next to find you have the grace, the gift, the favor to be the one at the front, setting the pace, driving the machine toward the summit and able to respond and then push back on your limits again and again to a place beyond your mind and fly with the Angels toward the heavens and taste the heat of the sun as Icarus did…and yet not be burned…to fly, to be free of the chains of this devilish coil and taste the sweet refreshing dew of the high and hallowed mountains, having bent them to your might and courage and resolve as you scaled heroically the peaks on your life on a bicycle.

Hmmm, I get kinda emotional when I think about climbing, what it really means to me.  I just finished our first night of Hill Climbing boot camp and I am reminded that I was fortunate to start my riding career in Steamboat Springs, where climbing was what you did on a bike.  When you live in the mountains, you learn how to climb.  I remember my first time getting to the top of Rabbit Ears pass, I felt like I had found a new world, the summit meadows of freshly melted of snow, the quiet deer grazing and still little ponds of pure mountain water, it changed my soul and MAN do I miss it!  

I usually make the climb from the Crystal turn where we park up to Sunrise or Chinook or both, but for me Chinook is the best climb between here and Colorado.

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Seattle Bike Show Review, formerly Seattle Bike Expo

I think this was the 19th year in a row I had a booth at the Seattle Bike Expo or Bike show.  It is interesting to see how things have changed over the years, I was the first professional Bicycle Coach in Seattle to be at the show in 1997, at that time people said “who needs a bike coach, everyone knows how to ride a bike!”  How wrong they were…but this year there weren’t any other coaches there, but there was some cool stuff despite there being less bike shops in attendance.

#1 on my list is the new locally made Gerard bicycles, a very sexy looking road machine created by local racing/cool guy legend John Sheehan, former Irish national champion who is making these sweet rides out of Kirkland!  They look like a cross between a Pinarello and an Orbea, Here is a link and a pic:Oh and there were some cool bikes from Portland, and fenders and other fancy artesian stuff…but who cares, I’m not really into the “slow” bike thing, although I support anyone not in a hurry, just don’t get in my way : )

#2 holy crap the Electric bikes are here!  This show had more electric bikes than charity century rides, there were blocks of 10 booths ALL electric with CRAZY looking machines that looked like mini motor cycles, scooters, regular bikes and trikes.  

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Coach Articles, Tips and Tricks, Training, Uncategorized

Staying Cool on your bike #2

Skip the warm-up
When the temperatures are at or above 80-90 degrees, there’s really no reason to put in much of a warm up. You’ll probably find that it won’t take long for your muscles to warm up so I would recommend trying to stay cool. Stay in the shade, pour cold water over your head and onto your shorts and jersey. In even more extreme temperatures, I have used ice in my jersey as well as in stockings stuffed down the back of my jersey.
 
Staying cool
When you’re racing in temperatures over 90 degrees, heat exhaustion is a real health concern that I’ve personally experienced and is not to be taken lightly. If you start to get nauseous, dizzy or foggy/start to black out, then you are past ‘the point of no return’ and you should stop riding immediately and get cooled off as soon as possible. No matter how acclimated one is to the temperature, there is a maximum amount of time in those temperatures one can exhaust themselves in so don’t take temperature extremes for granted under any circumstance.
 
Hydration
Part of staying hydrated also has to do with the proper amount of electrolytes in the liquids that you’re ingesting.  The hotter it is, the more sweat and electrolytes will be drawn from your body.  If you start a ride, whether it’s hot or not, already dehydrated, there is no physically possible way for you to make that up during the ride. Always start any physical activity properly hydrated and again, listen to your body for how often you need to drink. 
 
Sipping more frequently is better than gulping infrequently for several reasons: it’s easier on your system to absorb water and electrolytes if taken in smaller and more spaced out amounts and also if you’re already taxing your body in extreme temperatures, adding another ‘pressure’ of having to deal with GI distress is only going to make your body’s ability to sustain the endurance &/or effort that much harder.
 
For a complete description of signs, symptoms and preventive measures to take for heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat stress conditions the Center for Disease Control has a complete list here.

 

*”Heat Acclimation improves exercises performance” published in the October issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology
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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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How to Fix a Flat (Step by Step Instructions)

Fix-A-Flat Supplies:

• Bicycle pump or Co2 Cartridge and Co2 inflator
• Patch kit
• Spare tube or 2
• 2 Tire levers
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FIRST: Understand the Terms.

The Tire is the round rubber circle that actually makes contact with the road.
The Wheel is the metal frame that the tire sits on.
The Rim is the side of the wheel, where the tire lip rests. (The part that the brakes grab on to.)
The Tube is the rubber thing that’s filled with air. So you see, you don’t really have a flat tire, you have a flat tube.
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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. BREATHE. Then remind yourself that you CAN do this!

2. REMOVING THE WHEEL. First release the brake on the wheel that has the flat (the mechanism is usually found right above the wheel), then remove the wheel from the bicycle. IF REAR wheel – Shift to put your bike into the smallest cog on the back and front cassette before removing the wheel. (This releases the chain and makes it easier to reinstall at the end.)

3. REMOVING THE TUBE. Empty the remaining air from the tube. Then use tire levers, insert them between the metal rim and the rubber tire bead (the curved edge that hugs the metal rim) on either side. Push both tire levers away from the wheel and remove one side of the tire bead. You need to remove only one side to change the tube. Remove the valve cap (where you pump air into the tire), then pull the tube from inside the tire.

4. INSPECT THE TIRE. Carefully inspect both the tire and the tube for the cause of the flat by running a cloth or tire lever inside the tire. Any sharp objects will snag the fabric. Remove the debris. Visually check the tire tread for other culprits or large cuts. Also make sure that no spokes or rough edges are rubbing along the inside of the metal rim. (If tire is blown out or severely damaged you will need to replace the tire or if on the road, use a folded dollar bill or gel wrapper to cover damage inside the tire until you can get to a bike shop.)

5. INSPECT THE TUBE. Pump up the old tube, then check for a leak. Choose to either repair the old tube using a bike patch kit (use the instructions on the repair kit you have) or replace it with a new tube.

6. INSTALL NEW/FIXED TUBE. Take your patched or new tube and insert it back into the tire. First install the valve in the valve opening, then work the rest of the tube into the tire all the way around. Pull the rubber bead of the tire back toward the metal rim. The tire bead should drop down into the metal rim. The bead will become trickier toward the end. You can push the bead with your thumbs or tire levers to make it fit. Sometimes this can take some muscle.

7. INFLATING. Once the tire is attached to the wheel, rock the tire back and forth looking to make sure that you cannot see the tube sticking out. (If it is and you didn’t check you will get a “pinch flat” as soon as you inflate.) Once the tube is up inside the tire, it is ready to be inflated. Look at the sidewall to find the recommended pressure or PSI. When inflating, make sure the tire is even and has no bulges or low spots.

8. INSTALL THE WHEEL. Put the wheel back onto your bike. If REAR wheel, ensure that you put chain back onto the smallest cog on the cassette (same as when you removed it) and then make sure that all gears are shifting properly again.

9. CONNECT THE BRAKES. Don’t forget this part!

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*Want more information about Nutrition/Lifestyle/Cycling/Triathlon Coaching, or to join the Cycle University Multisport team – contact Mary Craig at Mary@cycleu.com.