May 8, 2013 3 Comments
May 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Some people can’t imagine riding 180 miles on a bicycle from Charlotte, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC in three days. Now imagine doing this ride using nothing but your arms to complete the task. That is what a group of cyclists did April 25 – 27, 2013 to raise money for the Adaptive Sports & Adventures Program (ASAP) at Carolinas Rehabilitation Hospital. Cycle to the Sea (CTTS) is a unique ride that raises critical funds and awareness for ASAP to offer a variety of low-cost programs for youth and adults with physical challenges. This bike ride is held every spring and involves athletes with physical disabilities who cycle on hand cycles and/or tandem bikes. Mark, a distributor from our components division here at our home office, participated in this ride with his hand cycle (he is also an accomplished wheelchair rugby player) and he took the time to share what this experience meant to him:
Day 1 started with a dozen hand cycles, 40-45 able bodied cyclists, and countless family members gathered to see their loved ones off on their journey. The weather was chilly but it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirit and anxiousness to get the ride started. The group rolled out as one big unit but quickly separated into two smaller groups once we got out onto the open road. There was over 3000 feet of climbing the first day but it didn’t seem to curb anyone’s spirit. Everyone got over the climbs the best they could, whether by pedaling or getting pushed by a fellow cyclist, and everyone finished together.
The surprise of the day for me was our “safety patrol”. The local Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club volunteers every year to shepherd the herd to Myrtle Beach. The guys were amazing. They created a rotating formation around each group of cyclists stopping traffic from ALL side roads and on ramps allowing the cyclist to pass unimpeded. We did not stop at 1 stoplight the entire 3 day ride. Gentlemen, my hat is off to you and what you do. This ride would truly not be what it is without you. THANK YOU!
Day 2 brought more of the same just with flatter terrain. The weather was a little grey in the morning and quickly burned off shortly after the ride headed out. The longer the ride went on the more the cyclist, both hand cyclist and able bodies cyclist, gelled together. The two groups were operating as fine oiled machines and were very impressive to see. The speeds got faster and those that had been pushed the first day didn’t seem to need as much help as they once had. Folks seemed to have a growing confidence in themselves and their ability to get this ride done. It was truly inspirational.
Day 3 brought on the last 63 mile stretch and you couldn’t tell from anyone’s face they had ridden over 120 miles in the past 2 days. Folks were eager, feeling good, and ready to get the show rolling. Early in the ride, you could feel there was a sense of purpose. I rode in the front group and speeds stayed between 17-25 miles per hour the whole way. For those that do not know, such speeds are reasonably swift on a traditional bicycle but that is “cooking” on a hand cycle.
Upon arrival to Myrtle Beach, you could see emotion on everyone’s face. Not only on the participants faces with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment but also on the family members faces that their loved ones could pull off such an undertaking. I’m honored to have been a part of such a great event and Cycle to the Sea will now be on my yearly calendar of “must do’s”.
I was fortunate enough to be both a participant in the ride and a representative of Performance Bicycle, which was one of Cycle to the Sea’s corporate sponsors. As a long time cyclist both before the wheelchair and after, I understand the amount of time it takes to both organize a ride of this magnitude and the dedication it takes to complete it. I salute all involved for a job well done. The ASAP staff that Jennifer Moore has put together is second to none and I’m proud to be an associated with this organization. I strongly encourage anyone that is looking for a good ride, an incredible experience, and a worthwhile cause to be a part of to consider the 2014 Cycle to the Sea bike ride.
Everybody has different reasons why they ride. Some ride to prove something to themselves, some ride to prove something to others, and some ride to honor someone that has touched their life. For me, the 2013 Cycle to the Sea is dedicated to my friend Jimmy Melton. I met Jimmy this past Thursday as the CTTS ride was leaving town. We were both first time riders and Jimmy was there to support one of my fellow hand cyclists Jacob Conley. We talked and came to know each other pretty well over the next three days. The end of the ride came, Jimmy met my wife and baby daughter, and we made plans to see each other next year at the 2014 Cycle to the Sea. Then I got the bad news that Jimmy had died the next night in his sleep. I was numb. Jimmy definitely touched my life and made me a better person for knowing him. Godspeed my friend. I will see you on the other side.
Ultimately this bike ride is not about a charity event. It is about those with physical challenges that display uncompromising human spirit, determination to accomplish what they aren’t supposed to be able to do, and those that just want to ride their bike.
May 3, 2013 1 Comment
The nutrition experts over at Skratch Labs are on a mission to use real world science and practice to create the best nutrition products – that taste great, that are made from real all-natural ingredients, and that are designed to optimize performance and health for both sport and life. Their story began while Dr. Allen Lim was working as a sport scientist and coach for a professional cycling team – he started making his own training food and sports drink from scratch for the cyclists he worked with because too many of the pre-packaged sports bars and drinks that were marketed or given to them were laden with artificial ingredients and making them sick to their stomach. Eventually, Allen started making a “secret drink mix” in his kitchen using a recipe with less sugar, more sodium, and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors, with a simple and clean taste created by using real fruit – thus Skratch Labs Hydration Drink Mix was born.
So with that in mind, we thought we’d ask Allen to weigh in with some tips for fueling for your next ride – whether it’s a training loop, a local race or a long-distance charity ride. Read on below for his 5 top tips to improve your performance on the bike by taking a holistic approach to your nutrition planning and preparation, before, during and after your ride.
1. Eat & Drink Early & Consistently—One of the biggest mistakes riders make is forgetting to eat and drink early and consistently throughout the day. While this is plain common sense, it‘s often disregarded on ride day—a mistake that can spell disaster no matter how well trained or prepared you are.
As a general rule, you need to replace at least half the calories you burn each hour, and you need to begin replacing those calories in the first hour if you’re going to be out for more than three hours. On a flat road without drafting, the average cyclist will burn about 200-300 Calories at 10-15 mph, 300-600 Calories at 15 to 20 mph, and 600 to 1,000 Calories at 20 to 25 mph.
Regarding hydration, on a hot day your fluid needs may be as high as 1 to 2 liters an hour. The best way to get an appreciation of how much fluid you might need is to weigh yourself before and after a workout. The weight you lose is primarily water weight, where a 1-pound loss is equal to about 16 ounces of fluid. As a general rule, try not to lose more than 3 percent of your body weight over the course of a long ride.
2. Try Eating Real Food—While there are plenty of pre-packaged sports bars and gels touting their ability to improve one’s performance, it’s important to realize that real food can work just as well if not better than expensive, engineered nutrition. A regular sandwich, a boiled potato with salt, a banana and a ball of sushi rice mixed with chocolate or some scrambled eggs can all give you the calories you need without upsetting your stomach the way a lot of sugary gels or sports bars can. In fact, while coaching teams at the Tour de France, the riders I worked with used real food as their primary solid fuel source, because it just worked better. Most of the recipes for these foods can be found in “The Feed Zone Cookbook” that I wrote with Chef Biju Thomas to promote healthful, real-food eating.
3. Don’t Just Drink Water—When we sweat we lose both water and valuable electrolytes. If you drink only water and are sweating heavily, you’ll dilute the electrolytes in your body, in particular sodium, which plays a critical role in almost every bodily function. Diluting the sodium content in your body is called hyponatremia and can lead to a host of problems ranging from a drop in performance to seizures and even death. The amount of sodium that we lose in sweat is highly variable, ranging anywhere from 200 to 400 mg per half liter (16.9 ounces). Because of this large range, it’s always better to err on the side of more salt than less salt. Unfortunately, most sports drinks contain too much sugar and not enough sodium, which caused many of the riders I worked with to become sick during long days on the bike. For that reason, we developed an all-natural sports drink using less sugar, more sodium and flavored with freeze-dried fruit. Outside of using a sports drink with more sodium, also consider eating salty or savory foods on your ride rather than just sweet foods.
4. Learn What you Need in Training—Ride day is not the day that you want to be experimenting with yourself. So try different hydration and feeding strategies during training well before the big day. As an example, simply weighing yourself on a long training ride before your big event can give you valuable information to optimize your hydration for that event. Likewise, taking the time to prepare your own foods or trying different products beforehand and then writing out a specific game plan for your drinking and feeding needs can go a long way to making sure you don’t make any mistakes on ride day.
5. Come in Well-Fed and Well-Rested—While proper training is obviously important, making sure you are well rested coming into an event is sometimes even more critical. You can’t cram training, so as you approach the big day, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and aren’t killing yourself in training the week leading into your event. Just sleeping an extra hour each night the week before your event can significantly improve your performance. Finally, adding extra carbohydrate to your diet, and making sure you get plenty of calories the week before your event, will assure that your legs are fueled and ready to go.
You can find Skratch Labs Hydration Drink Mix in our stores and on Performancebike.com, including their classic Exercise Hydration Drink Mix and their new Everyday Hydration Drink Mix (formulated with fewer calories). For real food recipes that you can make at home, check out the “The Feed Zone Cookbook”.
April 1, 2013 Leave a comment
Since Kestrel-sponsored world-class pro triathlete Cameron Dye will be dropping by our Fort Lauderdale store on Friday, April 5, we thought that we would reach out to him beforehand to answer 10 questions, for those of you who aren’t able to meet him in person in Florida. But before we get to the questions, we want to give you a little background on Cam, and what makes him so fast.
The 28-year-old Boulder native won his age group in his first triathlon, the Boulder Peak Triathlon, as a 15-year-old high school student. Cam attended the University of Iowa on a swimming scholarship, where he was named team captain of the swim team and received All-Big Ten Academic honors. After receiving his degree in finance in 2006, he moved back to Boulder and began training and racing full-time. He earned his pro license later that summer.
With his 2010 victory at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, Cam – along with his blonde, curly locks and his signature style of demolishing the field on the bike – made his presence known. Deemed an up-and-comer storming onto the tri scene, Cam tallied two wins and five podiums in 2011. After tallying six wins and an additional six Top-10’s aboard his Kestrel 4000 last year, Cam capped off his 2012 season with the greatest victory of his career: the 2012 Race the Toyota Cup series title. In recognition of his outstanding year, Cam was named 2012 Non-Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year by USA Triathlon.
10 Questions with Cameron Dye
Where are you from and how did you get started racing triathlons?
I was born and raised in Boulder, CO and began racing triathlons at 15. I grew up a swimmer and runner and after doing one at 15 decided it was something I wanted to chase as a career after swimming in college.
What is your favorite distance and why?
My favorite distance is the olympic distance, because of all the variety you have between drafting and non draft racing, and the fact that it is flat out for the whole race.
What’s your strongest event – swim, bike or run?
Historically it’s swimming, but I have won most of my victories because of my riding.
Which event do you need to work on the most?
Running is my weakest of the 3, and although I have made big strides as a runner it is something that I will continue to try and master.
What’s one piece of gear that you can’t do without (for racing or training)?
My headband… something has to keep the ‘fro under control!
Tell us about your bike – what do you love about your Kestrel?
My 4000 is fast, plain and simple. I love the fact that it still looks like a bike, and not a space ship like some of the “super bikes” and yet it is still winning lots of races. I have won 9 out of my 10 professional victories on a Kestrel, 8 of them on a 4000.
What do you eat before a race – is it the same every time?
I try and find Hawaiian pizza the night before, and I have always eaten maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal the morning of the race.
What is your best advice for a beginning triathlete?
In everything you do have a plan, but be willing to deviate from it if necessary. Listen to your body, and make sure you are having fun. Even the hardest workouts need to be enjoyable in some respect.
What are your goals for the season?
Defend my title as the Lifetime Fitness Series Champion, and win the fastest race in the world at HyVee.
Tell us about your hair – how does it fit under an aero helmet?
My hair has sort of become my trademark. I love the fact that I stick out a little bit from the average pro triathlete, and it fits my personality. Once it’s wet it fits just fine in a helmet, the trick is keeping it under control on the run!
February 5, 2013 Leave a comment
With plenty of cowbells, intense racing and a raucous crowd – the 2013 UCI Cyclocross Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky, was a great show! For the first time ever, the elite cyclocross world championships were held outside of Europe, and, since it was only a short drive from our Cincinnati store, we couldn’t miss the chance to see what it was all about in person! As a proud sponsor of this once-in-a-lifetime event here in the US, Performance Bicycle sent a team of associates to meet some of the dedicated ‘cross fans and also take in the racing action.
Our team arrived a day early to get set up in the expo area near the race course only to be greeted by frigid temperatures and fresh snow – perfect ‘cross weather. But soon after we started unpacking our gear, we learned that the planned 2 day event had been compressed down to a single day of racing, due to impending flood waters from the nearby Ohio River.
So that meant that race day was an early one for our team – to get all 4 championship races completed, the schedule started in the morning and ran all day long. Fans started rolling in shortly after 8AM to find their favorite viewing spot on the compact race course and we were ready for the influx with an array of giveaways, games and (of course) cowbells.
Our tent was busy all day long – we met ‘cross fans from all across the US and Europe, including folks from about 30 states and at least 6 different countries. It’s not just Belgians and Dutch who love cyclocross – fans of all stripes were out in force to watch their favorite racers!
Of course the dedicated European supporters’ clubs made the trip as well – with matching wigs, flags, hats and outfits. These groups travel to almost every race on the pro circuit, so they weren’t going to let an ocean get in the way of watching the world championships in person.
But we should also take a moment to give a special thanks to the dedicated Louisville Parks Department team that worked late into the night to hold back the flood waters long enough for the race to go on – without the sandbags and barriers below, no one would have had the chance to enjoy this spectacular event.
Finally it was race time – a non-stop showcase of the best cyclocross racing in the world. The junior men’s race was first out of the blocks on a still-frozen course – as you can see, conditions were fast but still slippery for these youngest racers. Dutch rider Mathieu Van Der Poel continued his season-long domination and defended his junior world crown, but American Logan Owen rode to an impressive 4th place overall – supported by a boisterous crowd!
And the crowd noise was indeed impressive! The ‘cross fans were in full throat from the earliest races to the end of the day – and not just for the leaders or US riders (although there was plenty of “USA! USA!” chants for the home team). Even the last place riders were supported with a wall of sound on every lap – we put together a quick video to share some of what the atmosphere was like:
And they’re off – these Belgian fans got a snapshot of the women’s race as they gunned for the hole shot.
But in the women’s race no one could touch the incomparable Marianne Vos, who soloed to her 6th cyclocross world championship (although American Katie Compton put in a valiant chase to get second place).
American Jonathan Page put together a great race on his brand new Fuji Altamira CX 1.0 bike – he was running in the top 10 until a jammed chain slowed him down in the middle of the race.
All in all, this was an amazing event – we want to thank everyone who came by our tent to say hello and the folks at the Louisville 2013 organization for letting us be a part of this historic day of racing. If you weren’t able to make it to the race in person, definitely check out the replay on the UCI Youtube channel.
January 29, 2013 3 Comments
We were recently asked the following on Facebook, by Michael P., and we thought it was an excellent question that is not often discussed in cycling:
I always carry a well equipped first aid kit in my vehicle. I also keep first aid kits in my target shooting bag. What should be in a first aid kit for road biking? Recreational biking with the family? Mountain biking?
Luckily we have a certified EMT who also works here in our home office, Chris, who could offer some advice, and he was happy to write up this reply to Michael’s inquiry:
First off, let me say that you sound like a great person to ride with (though I’m sure you hear that all the time). Your question really highlights the varying needs that different cyclists have. To respond very generally, let me start with your basic family trip. Most of your injuries are going to be scrapes and bruises. You’re probably not going to see anything that a basic “stock” first aid kit wouldn’t cover. I would carry: band-aids, small gauze pads (2”x 2”), waterproof tape, anti-biotic ointment, anti-itch cream, and some sunblock. Stock first aid kits will have more variety and will range from $15-$60 depending on the size and quality. A good “all-around” kit would be the this one.
For road riding, you might consider our Brave Soldier Crash Pack: It’s got a very well thought-out mixture of gauze, non-adhering wound dressings (essential for comfortably treating road rash), butterfly closures, and betadine. This pack will keep you ready to handle basic road crashes and get you and your friends home or to a doctor’s office where you can get more treatment. It’s also very light weight and comes in a waterproof pouch – perfect for that un-used jersey pocket.
Mountain biking is an entirely different animal. I’ve been deep in the woods and had a nasty crash that would have had me calling a friend for a ride if I was on the road. No such options exist when you’re in the back country however, so I would recommend a couple of extra measures.
Starting with a basic first aid kit like the one mentioned above, you might think about adding Tegaderm. Tegaderm is a transparent dressing that will seal a wound off from the outside. If you have a cut and have contained the bleeding and cleaned (and dried) the area, Tegaderm will keep it that way until you make it out of the woods.
SAM Splints would also be a good, light weight add-on to a back country first aid kit.
Of course the MOST important thing is your knowledge. Having training can make a panic-inducing situation into just another pit-stop. See if there is a Wilderness First Aid class in your area or take a basic First Aid/CPR class. Most community colleges will offer these things for a very reasonable fee. It’s fun, interesting, and could save a life. Also, I would be remiss to not include a big reminder to call 911 if there’s a real emergency. If someone loses consciousness for even one second, or slurs their speech after a crash, it’s hospital time. If you can’t stop their bleeding or if they have a broken bone, it’s best to call it in. EMS workers will be happy to come get you and will have many more tools than you could ever carry in your hydration pack. That being said, the most important life saving measure we all carry today is probably our cell phones. Keep yours intact and safe in your bag by adding a waterproof case like the Blackburn VIP SL Ride Wallet.
Any other suggestions from our readers out there?