Category Archive: Bicycle Fitness

Gran Fondo bike rides gain popularity in US

–Updated with more gran fondo events–

Bridge2

Amateur cyclists and recreational bicyclists in the US and Canada will get more opportunities to participate in Italian-style gran fondo bike rides in 2010.

Nearly a dozen gran fondo bike rides are scheduled next year in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ontario.

Cyclists appear to be hungry for such events.

When 3-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer launched a gran fondo-style bike ride in Santa Rosa last October, 3,500 cyclists signed up.

Word must have spread among cyclists, because when online registration opened on Tuesday for the October 2010 King Ridge Gran Fondo — 10 months before the event — half the 6,000 spots were reserved the first day.

In addition to Leipheimer's event in Santa Rosa, the Tour of California is sponsoring two gran fondos along the course of two Tour stages before the race in April. Centurion Cycling  is launching its first season of gran fondo with rides in California, Colorado and Wisconsin, and Gran Fondo USA is offering rides in San Diego and Philadelphia next year …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/12/18/gran-fondo-bike-rides-gain-popularity-in-us/

Old hip injury leads to fresh knee pain for bicycling

Update: Dec. 8 — The physical therapist told me today that it's OK to ride my bike, even though there will be some pain. The knee cap should be realigned so it's not rubbing the femur after about 10,000 repititions of the exercises he's given me. That means 3 to 4 months.


I'm still kind of stunned that a bicycling fall I had way back in January has forced me off the bike in November.

Although I had badly bruised the muscles around my right hip in that fall, it's my right knee that's been feeling the pain since August.

I finally found the time (got up the nerve) to visit my doctor about the knee pain about a week ago. That's after three weeks of self-imposed rest off the bike hadn't made anything better.

Here's my tale of woe as a lesson to anyone with knee pain in the past, present or future. Obviously your knee pain can stem from other causes, but it's illustrates the importance of keeping our muscles, ligaments and tendons in balance ..

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/11/28/old-hip-injury-leads-to-fresh-knee-pain-for-bicycling/

Two who started bike riding later in life to improve health

Here are two examples of when you should age-out of bike riding — never.

First is John Damiano, 80, who just finished up a cross-country bicycle vacation this summer. He told PhillyBurbs.com:

“I wanted to do something totally hard. I wanted to do it to see if an 80-year-old man could ride 3,629 miles.”

He can.

Damiano bicycles frequently and has done several long-distance trips. The recent ride from Astoria, Oregon, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was his first cross-country adventure …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/08/18/two-who-started-bike-riding-later-in-life-to-improve-health/

Beating the bonk with roadside blackberries

Blackberries

Just 3 miles from home on a bicycle ride along Lake Washington Saturday afternoon and I started feeling light-headed. It was going to be a tough climb to my neighborhood.

I had that “emergency” PowerBar with me, but really didn't feel like chowing down on 240 calories of chewy paste that close to dinner. Soon I realized the road was lined with blackberry bushes and ripe berries hung from the vines.

This is an instant source of tasty energy. I was ready to go after eating about a dozen, but couldn't stop until I'd had about twice that many.

There are several different types of roadside blackberries here in the Pacific Northwest. There are the native wild blackberries (Rubus ursinus) and the invasive noxious weeds — Himalayan blackberries and Evergreen blackberries. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/08/09/beating-the-bonk-with-roadside-blackberries/

2 videos show different ways to achieve a good bike fit

Spring might seem to be the best time to dial in the fit of your bicycle, but some riders may notice that necks and backs begin to pinch a little during long summer bike rides.

For me, it's a sore knee brought on by too many uphill miles on my second-hand mountain bike that I never took the time to fit properly.

While searching for some other bike-related videos, I stumbled across this video (on jump) from YouTube of a bike fit system used over at Veloce Velo in Issaquah. I also found a do-it-yourself system produced by Performance Bicycles.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/08/02/2-videos-show-different-ways-to-achieve-a-good-bike-fit/

Bicycling's impact on bone density

Another day, another study with something for us to worry about.

Coming on the heels of a report that tied bicycling and infertility, the New York Times reports on a couple of studies that ties bicycling with the reduction in bone density.

That makes cyclists more susceptible to breaks, such as Lance Armstrong's collarbone fracture earlier this year, above.

An encouraging note is that recreational cyclists are not subject to the infertility and bone density problems. The studies looked only at elite athletes who push themselves to the extreme in training and competition ….

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/07/01/bicyclings-impact-on-bone-density/

New study: Too much time on the bicycle can lead to infertility

How much bicycling is too much if you're trying to start a family?

Lengthy and frequent bicycling — like more than 186 miles a week — can cause “significant fertility problems” for men, says a report presented to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

But bicycling to work on a daily basis wouldn't cause a significant increase in abnormal sperm.

This isn't another urological study about saddle pressure causing male impotence. The current study from the University of Cordoba Medical School finds that tight clothing that holds heat, friction of the testes against the saddle and the stress from hours of high-energy exercise can contribute to inferior sperm quality …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/06/30/new-study-too-much-time-on-the-bicycle-can-lead-to-infertility/

Achieving long-distance bicycling success in “The Ride of Your Life”

David Rowe says he was taking the leap from recreational cyclist to ultra long-distance cyclist when he rode the arduous Torture 10,000 century in Oregon a few years ago.

He wasn't surprised by the length or elevation gain — more than 13,000 feet. What surprised him was seeing so many sag wagons filled with the bikes of participants who had thrown in the towel.

“It was clear that they didn't think about what they were getting into.”

So David set out to write the recently published eBook “The Ride of Your Life.” It covers an aspect of cycling that doesn't get the attention it deserves — mental preparation …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2009/01/25/achieving-long-distance-bicycling-success-in-the-ride-of-your-life/

Bicycling and beer

It's probably not a bad thing that so many bicycle clubs factor in the local brew pub at the end of a bike ride.

It bears repeating that beer and bicycling are both good for the heart.

Iowa cyclist John Gray told the local newspaper that riding a bike and drinking beer just seems right; “The two things just go hand in hand.”

So if you're looking for justification for quaffing a couple of beers after a ride, check these facts presented by the Sioux City Journal. Just remember, says nutrionist Sarah Nelson:

“The key, here, is the darker the brew, the higher the level of antioxidant present ….

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2008/10/27/bicycling-and-beer/

Fastest way to get around Vegas at CES? Bicycle

While the big suits of the electronics industry waited in traffic in their limos, taxis and rented cars last week, analyst Roger Kay found the easiest way to get around Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show was by bike.

The first thing Kay did when he landed in Las Vegas was rent a Cannondale mountain bike, which he used to speed from his hotel to meetings or to the convention floor.

CES is spread out between two convention sites (including the Sands Expo Center, home of Interbike) and dozens of hotels where industry gurus take meetings. Instead of spending up to an hour waiting for buses, taxies or just plain walking, Kay made the rounds on his bicycle…

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2008/01/13/fastest-way-to-get-around-vegas-at-ces-bicycle/

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