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10 Tips to Help You Race

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Guest Post:  http://thecyclingblog.com/10-tips-to-help-you-race/

As the season fast approaches there are a number of key items that any aspiring racer needs to be aware of, and to focus upon. You have trained hard all winter so you might as well put all of that work to good use. Here are 10 tips that should help you on your way :

1 : Have a plan
Recently I was out on the bike training with Fitzy (Mehall Fitzgerald winner of 5 Ras stages and former National Champion who represented Ireland over 120 times) who is never short of clear straight talking advice. He said that if he was bringing a good cyclist to a race and asked what the plan was and then got an answer of ‘I’ll see how it goes’ that he would stop the car, f**k your man out and make him cycle home.

You must have a plan. You must know why you are going to that race. Maybe it is for training so that you will be in peak condition for your main goal weeks later, or maybe you are going to get placed in the top 6 or maybe you are going to win, but you must know why you are going.

2 : Using a race as training
If you are going to a race that you are viewing as a training event that will increase your fitness and abilities so that you will be in peak condition for an event later in the season there is only one way to ride the race. Attack, Attack, Attack. Each time you attack and get caught it will make you stronger. You might end up getting dropped but that is OK. You will eventually attack someday when you will not get caught and you will solo to victory. Hiding in the bunch all day will not really make you stronger. Be part of the race and be active. You will enjoy it more too.

3 : Races are not won on Strava
Fitzy also had strong opinions on people racing who gauge their ability on where they rank on a Strava KOM leaderboard. This gives very little indication of how they will do in a race. All that matters in a race are how many people, if any, cross the finish line ahead of you. If you sit on a strong group of riders and jump them at the top of a drag in the middle of a race to get a KOM you are only fooling yourself. In the past any cyclist you spoke to would tell you that they were not training and hadn’t seen the bike since the previous Sunday, whilst having done over 30 hours that week. That was part of the tactical battle. If you want to be competitive don’t put all of your cards on the table for all of your competition to see. Keep some of your spins off of Strava. Maybe only upload them in batches of 10 or 15 every few weeks.

It can also be a good idea to put your garmin in your back pocket during a race or just have it showing speed and distance. Looking down watching heart rate and watts will only hold you back. You can always push yourself further in a race than you ever will in training. After a race, too often you hear people say that they looked down and knew they were gone once they saw how high their heart rate was. Some who have percentages onscreen even remark that they had hit 110% of their max h/r. All that tells you is that the figure entered was not your max h/r, and that by looking down and seeng 110% and easing up you still do not know what your max really is.

4 : Use others lack of planning to your advantage
In a race of 100 riders on any given Sunday in any given bunch there are about 80 who are there to see what might happen and maybe they might get up for a place at the finish. That is fine and they enjoy that, but if you are being competitive you can forget about that 80%. Then there are about 15 who are seriously planning on getting a placing in the top 6. Be at the very least one that 15 and try to figure out as many of the remaining 14 as possible to know who to follow approaching the finish. Then there are about 5 who are actually there to win. When you are amongst that group you must know who the other 4 are and pick one or possibly two to follow and watch them like a hawk.

5 : Train in bad conditions to race in bad conditions
You do not necessarily have to like training or racing in the rain but you must get used to it in order to shorten your odds of a victory. Sean Kelly is famous for his ability to race in bad conditions but even he will tell you that he does not particularly like riding his bike in bad weather, but he dislikes it less than others. On a wet day at least 50% of your opposition will have cracked before they get out of the car. Once you have trained in bad conditions you can use this to your advantage.

6 : Know how to sprint
You must be able to sprint and you must train to be able to sprint. Even if you view yourself as a climber you have to be able to sprint out of corners, sprint across to breakaway groups and most importantly be able to sprint in a small group at the finish, so you must do sprint training.
A good way to sprint train is to find a very quiet straight section of road.
Mark out 200 meters.
After a 20 minute warm up, roll to the start point and almost come to a stop in a gear something like a 53 x 16.
Then kick as hard as you can and change into a 15 and possibly a 14 if you get on top of the gear.
You should be 100% empty as you throw the bike at the line.
Then drop it down into a 39 x 25 or whatever the smallest gear is on your bike and spin back up to the start line again and repeat.
You should only be able to do 4 or 6 of these before you are completely empty. Then just do a 20 minute warm down and you’re finished. This 4o minute training session is very important and best done on a Tuesday.
Doing 20 or 30 sprints during a training spin is good practice for sprinting out of corners etc. but you need to do the tank emptying type to get that race winning edge.

7 : You can’t win a race on twitter or Facebook
Social media is great for many things but again as Fitzy says ‘You can’t tweet the lads up the road in the break to wait for you’

Mental recovery is an important part of race preparation just as physical recovery is after a hard training session. You need to arrive at a race slightly keyed up and some nervous energy is a good thing. To have the right amount of this energy you need to be mentally fresh. Spending all day and night before a race on Facebook and twitter keeps you wound up and makes you mentally fatigued. Read a book, watch a movie or do any single thing that you find relaxing, but don’t do it with your phone in your hand.

8 : Preparation is key
Your bike should be spotless and in as new condition every Saturday evening before a Sunday race.
Tyres should be checked for any piece of glass or debris that could cause a puncture.
Chains should be oiled invisibly i.e. you should not be able to see the oil on the chain or dripping from it. Your cassette should sparkle in the sunshine.
You feel better on a clean bike. You race better on a safe bike.

Your kit bag should be packed the evening before and everything in it should be fresh and clean, including shoes and helmets.

Your food and drink should be either packed or on the kitchen counter ready to be prepared before you leave.

You should have a race morning routine of when you eat breakfast, what you eat and drink on the way to the race. Some even plan where they will stop to use the toilet along the way. Always bring your own toilet paper just in case.

9 : Do your homework
If the race is on anywhere within cycling distance you should ride the course beforehand. Ideally you should also do your sprint training the Tuesday before on the finishing straight so that you know exactly where you can begin your sprint and hold it all the way to the finish line.

Look at the weather forecast and know exactly what direction the wind will be coming from. Look at the course on google maps and pick out a number of locations where you think that an attack might succeed.

The best place to attack is approaching the top of a drag or climb. People make an effort to get up the climb and then many tend to ease off slightly once they reach the summit. That is a good place to attack and go very hard down the other side. 10 meters over the top can easily become 100 meters on the way down. On a narrow twisting road you can get out of sight quickly and then you are in with a real chance of staying away.

Another good time to attack is just as another breakaway is being caught. If there has been a hard chase there will be a natural lull that you can take advantage of.

If you are not a sprinter attacking in the last kilometre just before the sprint begins when everyone is watching each other and nobody wants to waste their efforts by leading everyone else out can be a good time. It might only work 5 or 10% of the time but throughout the season that could be two race wins for you.

There are times when it is good to bring a few riders with you such as 20k from the finish and times when you should just try to go it alone such as anywhere in the last 5k.

Do not sit up until you are caught or cross the finish line. I once won a race by keeping going when all of my breakaway companions sat up and said that we were caught and there was no point continuing. The bunch saw them sitting up and the chase eased up too. That was enough for me to open up another gap which grew out again and I made it to the finish alone.

10 : Enjoy racing
There is nothing in ordinary life that can give you the feeling of exhilaration that bike racing can. But you must be involved and not just a spectator in the bunch. No matter how competitive you are against your opposition there is always a mutual respect afterwards that leads to very long lasting friendships.

Racing is what you have been training for. All of those hard winter spins, those intense efforts as you buried yourself in training and those Saturday nights when you were in bed at 9.30pm were all for this, so make the most of it.

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5 Unique e-bikes for 2017

Love them or loathe them, e-bikes are here to stay. Here are the five most brilliant/unique/crazy specimens we spotted at Eurobike 2016.

1. PedalPower eTandem FS

A full-suspension tandem is already pretty niche, but the eTandem FS has a motor on board too. The spec list on this bike includes parts we haven’t seen for nearly five years, and imagine the looks you’d get riding this past another rider, leaving your riding companion at the rear to hang their head in shame.

2. Riese & Müller Delite GT Touring

It may not be much of a looker, but the Delite GT Touring could pave the way for commuters of the future. The bike includes full suspension and voluminous Schwalbe tyres, which should create a comfortable ride, while Bosch’s CX motor cranks put out a maximum torque of 75Nm. The bike can be upgraded too to include satellite navigation.

3. Trenoli Ruvido

Even taller children can join the e-bike ‘revolution’ with the Trenoli Ruvido. It has been designed with a slightly smaller frame, rolls on 24″ wheels and sits somewhere between a hybrid and a mountain bike.

4. Rotwild R.G+ FS

This German bike has added a big, powerful motor to a downhill mountain bike with eight inches of suspension at each end. Sandwiched between the cranks is a motor that produces a colossal 90Nm of torque, which could spell the end to your uplift days. Rotwild has also designed the bike with those inevitable crashes in mind, with an e-bike control unit and display much smaller than on other electric bikes, very sensible.

5. Bionicon Engine

This 27.5 plus bike packs 140mm of suspension travel at either end and the integrated motor comes courtesy of Shimano’s E8000. This choice of motor allowed Bionicon to design a bike with a slammed rear-end and probably the shortest chainstays seen on an e-bike so far.

Source:  http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/top-5-unique-e-bikes-for-2017-48346/

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PEDAL PUSHERS: Seven reasons why cycling is good for the North Shore

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We live in such an amazingly beautiful place. Snow-capped mountains, tall trees and friendly, quiet neighbourhoods are all hallmarks of life on the Shore.

It’s a pity that road congestion so often makes other news and views take a backseat. There are forms of transportation, however, that exist harmoniously with the natural world and our neighbourhoods.

Here are seven reasons why we think cycling helps make the North Shore an even better place to live.

1. Bikes are the ultimate zero-emission vehicle.

We’re fortunate to have cleaner air than many cities, but after several days of dry weather, the air pollution is visible over our region. Cycling contributes to cleaner air by taking pollution-emitting vehicles off the road. Having fewer cars on the road results in less traffic congestion, which in turn further reduces pollution, making our roads and cities more pleasant for everyone.

2. Bikes take up less space.

On the road and while parked, bikes require less physical space than cars. Portland’s highly successful bike corral program – like the racks outside of Crema in West Vancouver on Bellevue – has helped local businesses increase customer street parking ten-fold. Each bicycle corral accommodates a dozen bicycles, and four horses, replacing a single parking space. On-street corrals also free up sidewalk space for people walking, although there is the issue of horse patties.

3. Bikes make for healthier people.

Cycling on a regular basis increases longevity, strengthens the immune system, and reduces heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis and a host of other maladies, not to mention making you taller. Ever notice how all those Dutch people are tall? Now you know why.

Replacing a car or transit commute with a cycling commute is also great for energy and productivity at work and school. A 2015 article in the American Journal of Public Health determined that in Holland, cycling prevents approximately 6,500 deaths each year, and that people who cycle live for half a year longer than their non-cycling counterparts. The researchers calculate that the health benefits correspond to more than three per cent of the Dutch gross domestic product. Three per cent of Canada’s GDP equals $53 billion per year. That’s a lot of Aspirin.

4. Bikes make neighbourhoods more social.

When cycling, it’s easy to engage with your neighbours and to make stops at shops or parks on a whim. You’re not trapped by lack of parking or traffic. Just hop off and boom, there you are patting the neighbours’ dog and talking about – well, other neighbours, of course. We’ve enjoyed many spontaneous conversations with neighbours, other people on bikes and people walking. Cycling is a great way to explore what a neighbourhood has to offer without being intrusive. As well, events that foster community for people interested in cycling take place year-round. In April some of us attended the beautiful cherry blossom rides.

5. Bikes are quiet!

Living in the city, we hardly notice how noisy vehicles are anymore. They are part of our “noise landscape.” We have rare opportunities to enjoy quiet, relaxing main streets during parades and car-free festivals. The fewer cars we have, the less noise pollution – and the more we can listen to what really counts: birds, kids playing, rushing creeks and the wind in the trees.

6. Biking supports the local economy.

While a few cyclists might have cargo bikes that can accommodate the 36-pack of chicken you can get at Costco for five bucks, not many will pedal that far from the North Shore for a such a “deal.” Most people who shop and cycle shop locally, and they shop more often, because they carry only what they can pedal up Lonsdale. Also, biking costs a lot less than driving or transit, leaving you with more money in the pocket to spend locally. Restaurants, coffee shops and craft breweries seem popular places to rid oneself of the extra cash saved by cycling. Alternatively, your savings can help you afford a mortgage or rent on the North Shore.

7. And finally, people who cycle have more sex appeal.

Cycling makes the North Shore all the more “attractive.” We don’t need to explain the benefits of toned calves and buns, sun-kissed skin, or the athletic endurance of people who regularly ride bikes. That said, cycling is for anybody and everybody. See you on the Spirit Trail!

This week’s Pedal Pushers column was written by guest writer Erika Rathje. The Pedal Pushers are Dan Campbell, Antje Wahl, Anita Leonhard and Heather Drugge, four North Shore residents who use their bikes for transportation. northshore.pedalpushers@gmail.com

– See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/living/health-wellness/pedal-pushers-seven-reasons-why-cycling-is-good-for-the-north-shore-1.2303284#sthash.PrnklppV.7Ud5wN91.dpuf

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Formigli announces the new GTF carbon frame, designed for pounding out miles in comfort and style

By Steve Fisher – Posted on September 27, 2016 – 11:00 am
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If you’re a fan of custom, hand-made Italian bicycles you’re likely familiar with Florence’s Formigli. Bikerumor has covered Renzo Formigli and a few of his bikes before, such as their first carbon fiber frame called The One which debuted late in 2013. Since then The One has been the company’s top selling model, so I’d bet they’re excited to now have a second carbon bike available.

The new frame is dubbed the GTF, which stands for Gran Turismo Formigli. If you’re familiar with auto racing, you’ll know Gran Turismo races are high speed, long distance events. Suitably so the GTF is designed for grand touring rides, allowing cyclists to cover long days in the saddle in comfort (and of course, style).

The GTF has been in development for the full two years since The One was completed, and is now available to order through Formigli’s website. Check out all the details and customizable options below…

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The GTF frame is constructed from high-modulus T800 carbon fiber, and features proprietary tubing designed and manufactured by Formigli in Florence, Italy. The frame uses a tapered head tube and includes an integrated headset.The GTF frameset is mated to a high modulus carbon fork which, like the frame, can be modified with a disc brake mount.

It also has a braze-on for the front derailleur, an 86mm press fit BB shell, and fits an aero-style non-integrated seat post (which comes with the frame). The frame uses carbon for the dropouts and a replaceable hanger is included.

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Of course with build-to-order bikes there are always customizable options. Geometry-wise, every Formigli frame is custom-sized to the buyer- the company does not produce any stock frame configurations. You’ll also have to decide between internal or external cable routing and whether or not to add a disc brake mount. Furthermore, if you like electronic shifting the frame can be built Di2 or EPS ready with the battery mounted inside the seat mast.

As for the aesthetics, frame finish (matte or glossy) and standard or custom paint schemes are also up to you, along with the option for customized decals (custom graphics come at an additional cost). As seen above, standard frame colors include blue, yellow, green or red with black and white accents.

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Formigli requires a deposit of $500 USD to start building your frame, and the total cost (without custom options) is $5500. Buyers should expect a build time of about 60 days from their order date. For guidelines on how to measure yourself or to place an order, check out Formigli’s website.

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From Cycling Hero To Rickshaw Driver, The Tragic Story Of Pakistan’s Mohammad Ashiq

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Mohammad Ashiq is Pakistan’s most celebrated cyclist, having participated in the 1960 Rome Olympics and in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics but today he drives a rickshaw in Lahore for a living

Former Olympian Muhammad Ashiq looks daily at the trophies he won in a glittering cycling career for Pakistan decades ago. “Perhaps most people think that I have died,” he laments.

“I just recall that I have shaken hands with… former Pakistani prime ministers, presidents, chief executives,” the 81-year-old tells AFP tearfully.

“Why and how they all forgot me, I cannot believe.”

Ashiq, who competed for Pakistan at the 1960 and the 1964 Olympics, now scrapes by as a rickshaw driver in the teeming eastern city of Lahore.

He began his sporting career as a boxer, switching to cycling in the 1950s when his wife complained about his injuries.

He competed in Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964 and though he won no medals, he was hailed as a national hero for Pakistan.

“I was so happy… I considered myself lucky to represent Pakistan in the Olympics,” he says.

But when his cycling career ended, so did his luck.

He took a PR job but left it for health reasons in 1977. He briefly drove a taxi and a van then bounced around several other small business ideas, but for the last six years has been reduced to driving a rickshaw, ferrying low-income passengers around Lahore’s bustling, choked streets.

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He lives in a 450 square foot house on which he owes more than one million rupees ($9,500) — a near-insurmountable amount, given his rickshaw salary of roughly 400 rupees per day.

His wife has passed away, and his four children no longer live with him, he says, adding he does not want to be dependent on them.

He used to hang his medals in his rickshaw, but not anymore.

Instead, the canopy is inscribed with a twist on the famous quote by former US President Calvin Coolidge: “Nations and states who forget their heroes can never be prosperous.”

When passengers ask him about the message, he says he tells them his story — using it as a cautionary tale for the poor in particular, whom he warns never to take part in sports.

His wife and four children begged him over the years to stop thinking about his fall in life, he said.

“Once my wife started weeping. I asked her why… She said she was just worried about my health.

“She told me to be happy all the time and forget those who forgot us. I said OK, and she became happy for a while.

“And after some period, she died.”

That was two years ago. Now, he says, his hands shaking, he too prays for death.

“I pray… to meet my beloved wife in heaven. I think it is better to avoid this pathetic situation I have endured,” he says.

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Silca Wrenches its Way into Tools with Slick T-Handle Wrench, Ti Torque Beam

By Tyler Benedict – Source

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Silca is introducing mini tools, and they’ve taken to Kickstarter to get them unto your hands. The campaign has just launched and is already fully funded. but that won’t stop you from wrenching a deal outta the crowdfunded launch…

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The collection’s foundation is the 100mm long T-Handle wrench with interchangeable bits and a 72-tooth ratcheting mechanism for ultra fine adjustments.

It’s joined by a titanium torque wrench extension able to measure from 0-8 Nm of resistance. The torque measurement is based on a 6/4 titanium torsion beam and dial design.

Check the Kickstarter campaign here. Pledge as litte as $40 and you’ll get a kit with the following:

Kit Includes:

  • 1x T-Ratchet with 72 Tooth Ratchet Mechanism
  • 10x Hardened Steel Bits (2,2.5,3,4,5,6,T10,T20,T25,PH2)
  • 1x Hard Steel Magnetic Bit Extender
  • 1x Waxed Canvas T-Ratchet Bag w/Magnetic Closure

Bigger packages get you both items, some include a shop apron, too.

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Lock Roundup: Wearable Hiplok DX & DXC, Abus’ Brooklyn chain lock & a unique hitch rack from SCS

Guest Blog
By Trey Richardson – SOURCE

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If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re out and about and need to leave your bike unattended, not even the greatest hunger or need for caffeine will give you the confidence to leave even the most roached out fixie unattended. Here’s a few of the latest options for securing your ride Hiplok and Abus, plus a hitch-mount bike rack with a unique way of keeping your bike safe…

Hiplok

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Locks have always been designed to secure our rides in various situations, but how we transport them during our ride has always been secondary if even considered at all. Hiplok took a different approach by incorporating a simple and effective way to carry their chain and D locks. Their new larger DX ($102) and DXC ($117 – includes a cable) give you a little more wiggle room when finding something to lock your bike to.

With the DX’s 8.5 x 15cm internal volume, you won’t be limited to parking meters and other less than bulky objects. The DXC adds a handy cable so securing your seat or wheel is possible.

ABUS

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Abus had the namesake chainlock designed in Brooklyn and packed it with some serious security (level 12 out of 15), at a price that keeps your wallet safe as well. The $99.99 loop chain is 120cm long made of hardened 10mm thick steel links that are near impossible to cut and is locked down with their solid-body titanium lock.

SCS Racks

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Made to be simple and effective, the SCS Rack hitch-mount unit is lightweight and has a simple, easy to secure lock. They’re made in the USA and come with 3 or 4 tube cradles, and you only have to use as many as you need. Simply adjust the distance between the mounts by sliding them and they can be angled to work with different top tube designs. The built-in lock then slides over the bikes without contacting them so there is no messing with cables.

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The SCS Racks run $379 – $409 depending on the number of mounts and come in regular and extended stinger lengths depending on how much clearance you need.

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eCyclingStore to Attend The Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego

Southern California meets Italy in this celebration of cycling, food, and San Diego’s picturesque water front. Held in beautiful Downtown San Diego, the two-day festival features a mass-start, timed Gran Fondo with 4 route options, timed King and Queen of the Mountain, The Bike & Fitness Expo, challenging and picturesque routes, outstanding Campagnolo ride support, and delicious food on course.

gran-fondo-san-diegoeCyclingStore specializes in offering the latest cycling gear at affordable prices and will be showcasing some of its latest designs, as well as great items at clearance prices. All these jerseys are made from 100% Polyester DrySport Wicking Fabric to keep you cool and dry at all times.

eCyclingStore owner Elan Powell states, “We love getting involved in local cycling events and the Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego is a great opportunity for us to meet with cycling fans and show our latest cycling designs. We will be offering cycling gear at clearance prices for those that attend the event.”

The Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego is open to all riders 15 years of age and up. Each rider must be in sound health for the event chosen. Riders under 18 must have the signed consent of a parent or guardian. While most riders will use a road bike for the Granfondo, those riding the shorter distance Piccolo Fondo and Fun Fondo may use other types of bikes such as mountain bikes and hybrids.

Elan Powell continued, “You don’t have to be a gear-head or a sponsored team rider to look and feel good riding your bike. And you also don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to wear quality bicycle jerseys and shorts. Stop by our booth and check out our cycling gear, we look forward to meeting everyone.”

To learn more about The Campagnolo Gran Fondo San Diego please visit www.sdgranfondo.com

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