Category: Bicycle Fitness

Most of top 10 leanest cities are bicycle friendly

Something that immediately caught my eye when I stumbled across a list of America's Fattest Cities is that none of the top 10 were on the list of Bicycle Friendly Communities.

In fact, you had to go down to No. 15 on the list (Philadelphia) before you could find a city that the League of American Bicyclists says encourages bicycling.

Among the Top 10 Leanest Cities, however, 8 are considered bicycle friendly, and half of those have a high rating of silver, gold or platinum.

You probably can't make the argument that these cities are fat because they're not bicycle friendly …

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More gran fondos in 2010 for recreational and amateur cyclists

2009 Gran Fondo San Diego

Bicyclists don't have to travel to Italy to participate in the cycling phenomenon known as gran fondos any more. There are plenty scheduled in the US and Canada in 2010.

I've stumbled across six more gran fondos — in California, Colorado, Oregon and British Columbia — since I first reported on the sudden surge in the events back in December: “Gran Fondo bike rides gain popularity in the US”.

That brings to 17 the number of gran fondos available to cyclists in North America.

I've compiled a list of all 17, their dates and locations at a new page: “2010 North American Gran Fondo bike rides.” Check it out soon if you're interested in joining in, these rides are known to fill up fast.

Three of the new rides are slated in Colorado by sports marketing firm Cyclosportivo N.A…..

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Man, 60, celebrates birthday with 60-mile bike ride

As it could have been reported in my hometown newspaper:

A Bellevue resident celebrated his 60th birthday with a 60.5-mile bike ride on Sunday.

“It shows what you can do if you ride regularly and have a strong stubborn streak,” said Gene Bisbee, who writes the Biking Bis blog.

An avid bicyclist, Gene said that he'd run into a streak of bad luck — all his own fault — with bicycling the past year and didn't know whether he would be able to achieve his goal of 60 on his 60th.

It all started with a fall in January 2009 caused by his improperly maintained bike. He stayed off the bike for several weeks and thought everything had cleared up until this autumn when he was again forced off the bike with severe knee pain. A physical therapist told him it was related to his hip injury ……

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Gran Fondo bike rides gain popularity in US

–Updated with more gran fondo events–


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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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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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

“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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Beating the bonk with roadside 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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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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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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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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