January 2018

A Dozen Bucket List Rides For 2018

From PeopleForBikes.org

 

We know that sometimes the best bike ride of your life can take place right outside your front door, on your local neighborhood streets and trails. Then there are those other times—when the wanderlust kicks in and the need to travel with your bike just overwhelms you. For those moments, here are a dozen bike riding events that we think are worth the trip.

Rebecca’s Private Idaho

Started by endurance champion Rebecca Rusch, RPI is not for the faint of heart. To conquer this event you’ll have to ride 100 miles, “on grueling gravel roads, through canyons, over summits, and across high mountain basins.” Still, if you’ve ever wanted to explore riding in the Gem State, this is the ride for you. Plus, a portion of the proceeds are donated to PeopleForBikes, to help us toward our goal of making every bike ride better across the U.S.

Slow Roll Detroit

Founded in 2011, Slow Roll Detroit is a weekly bike ride (every Monday from May through October) dedicated to promoting cycling in the City of Detroit. Thousands of riders show up for a leisurely ride that builds community at a pace that welcomes riders of all types. You may not think of Detroit as a top bike riding destination—this event will surely change your mind.

Climate Ride

Climate Ride is an organization that produces charitable multi-day rides, allowing participants to explore different regions of the world while raising money for non-profit beneficiaries. Some of the event locations include Bhutan, Glacier National Park and Nova Scotia, but you can do an independent challenge any time, anywhere. Participants can choose from more than 100 beneficiary organizations, including PeopleForBikes. That means you can enjoy a great ride and also contribute to making bike riding better across the U.S.

RAGBRAI

If you think there’s nothing exciting about riding in Iowa in the middle of summer, you’d be wrong. RAGBRAI is the largest bike touring event in the world and there’s a reason why people come from all over to participate. Yes, the riding is fun, but the atmosphere can’t be beat. Rest stops along the multi-day route feature local food vendors and you’re guaranteed to get a laugh from the hilariously-named teams.

Leadville 100

The second oldest 100-mile mountain bike race in the United States, the Leadville Trail 100 MTB was first run in 1994 and takes place in Leadville, Colorado on the second Saturday in August. With a total elevation gain of 11,000 feet, this mountain bike race is definitely not an entry-level event. You’ll be totally wiped if you finish, but you’ll get a special belt buckle for your effort.

 

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Electric bicycles emerge as a hot trend in the U.S.

From CNN.com

 

After a brutal horseback riding accident, Joseph Marino Jr. felt like his freedom was gone. His days of giving horseback tours seemed over.

Following his third and final surgery in the spring of 2016 — a year after the incident — Marino knew he had to change something in his life.

“I used to whip around corners on horseback with the wind in my face,” said 27-year-old Marino, who lives in Torrance, California. “It hurt not to have that anymore; not to feel myself riding anything.”

With horses out of the question, Marino opted for an electric bicycle. He sold his truck, and began riding a Faraday ebike to work and school.

He is among the growing number of U.S. riders who are gravitating to electric bikes for convenience, health benefits and their fun factor. Although ebikes first appeared in the 90s, cheaper options and longer-lasting batteries are breathing new life into the concept.

“You honestly feel like you’re floating,” said Marino, who found pedaling easy for his recovering leg. “I felt like I was riding horses again. Instead of trails, I was road biking in and out of traffic.”

 

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Monterey Pass Road Complete Street Was Approved

From LA.Streetsblog.com

Tonight the Monterey Park City Council will be deciding how to proceed with a planned complete streets project for Monterey Pass Road. The decision is expected to be a close one, so Bike SGV is encouraging supporters to attend the city council meeting and speak in favor of the project. The meeting will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at Monterey Park City Hall Council Chamber at 320 W. Newmark Avenue.

The project, officially the Monterey Pass Road Complete Streets Bike Project, would extend 1.6 miles from Floral Drive to Garvey Avenue. It is the least hilly route through a fairly hilly area, making for convenient bicycle access to East L.A. College and to the eastside Gold Line’s Atlantic Avenue station.

The planned project would preserve existing through and turn lanes, and all parking. It would narrow a wide, partially-landscaped parkway to provide new parking-protected bike lanes. The project would also add new sidewalks, and replace aging water pipes.

 

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7 Trainers and Rollers We Love

From Bicycling.com

 

No matter what your training or indoor riding needs are, we have a recommendation for you.

 

A good trainer or set of rollers isn’t just for the when the weather forces us indoors—indoor riding can be great for the time-crunched cyclist, urban riders with limited route options, or anyone recovering from an injury. Even the most weather-hardened winter riders sometimes like to control the environment they’re riding in.

A trainer, which lifts the back wheel and fixes it in place, works by applying resistance to the wheel to create a ride-like feel. The least expensive options use a magnetic or fluid resistance, with higher-end models offering digital route simulations, phone connectivity, and power-specific workouts. Trainers are a great option for small spaces, new riders, or anyone who likes to zone out while riding indoors, because they’re really hard to fall off of.

Rollers, on the other hand, tend to require a little more concentration. Rollers consist of a set of cylinders attached to an external frame, and work like a treadmill for your bike—you simply get on and start riding. Because you’re free to move back and forth, and depend on your own balance to remain upright, it’s easier to have a mishap if you’re not paying attention. But rollers generally offer the most realistic-feeling ride.

 

Deciding on the best trainer for your needs can be a task more daunting than the actual hours you spend riding one. Here are some of our staff favorites, chosen for ease of use, features, and cost. And don’t forget, if you get really into it you might even end up earning a pro contract!

 

Wahoo Kickr Power Trainer

Recommended by: Selene Yeager, the Fit Chick Why she loves it: The accurate power meter and rock-solid base make it perfect for Zwift

For the cyclist who wants the ultimate in smart trainers with all of the bells and whistles, Wahoo’s Kickr Power Trainer is an excellent choice. Its weighted base is designed to feel rock solid even during the hardest of intervals, and it’s able to measure and handle up to 2,000 watts of power within 2 percent accuracy. The wheel-off design comes with an 11-speed Shimano/SRAM cassette and can be changed to accommodate most other types of bikes, both road and mountain. The Kickr is compatible with Zwift and other training software and it’s Bluetooth Smart, Ant+ and Ant+ FE-C ready. Additionally, it’s one of the quietest trainers available.

 

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20th Annual Tour de Palm Springs

Tim Esser had an idea on January 31, 1998. He would hold a bike event in Palm Springs that would allow local cyclist to ride 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles. 400 cyclists rode in the first event, known at that time as Spokes for Different Folks. Tim, however, being the guy that never goes only part way, decided to use the event as a launch pad for his own personal ride across America. It took him 30 days to cross the country from Palm Springs, California to Jacksonville, Florida. When it was all over Tim had survived his chase vehicle crashing and catching on fire, a fall that sprained his shoulder, rain in the valleys, snow in the mountains and tornadoes on the plains! But, he made it.

The first event raised $20,000 and was hailed as a great success by all who participated. Tim, along with his mother Fran, set up a not for profit organization called CVSPIN. Even though many cyclists may think that CVSPIN means to turn over their bicycle pedals as fast as possible in the Coachella Valley, it actually stands for Coachella Valley Serving People In Need. The first Tour de Palm Springs was held in 1999. The number of riders exceeded 1,000 and a 100 mile (century) ride was added. In 2001, the Coachella Valley Desert Business Association recognized the Tour de Palm Springs as the best event in the Valley. The competition included the Bob Hope PGA Tournament, the Dinah Shore LPGA Tournament, The Skins Game and the Tennis Masters Series.Every year the Tour de Palm Springs continues to attract more and more riders. The money generated has gone to help many organizations in the Coachella Valley. In 2015 over $179,000 was donated to 80 local charities that in their own special ways met the varied needs of the people in the Coachella Valley.

 

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Artist Paints Exquisite Miniature Landscapes Based on Bike Routes She’s Traveled

From MyModernMet.com

 

The habits and interests we establish when we’re younger often go on to influence our lives in powerful ways. When artist Dina Brodsky was eighteen years old, she discovered two passions that would become permanent fixtures in her life. “The first was painting,” she writes. “The second was long-distance bicycling.” In her series Cycling Guide to Lilliput, she demonstrates how the two work together to inform her exquisite miniature landscape artwork.

“Long distance cycling tours became my preferred form of travel, a way to gather ideas and information for the next year of painting,” Brodsky explains. “Specifically, I was drawn to miniature painting, studying first Islamic miniature art, then medieval manuscript illumination, combining that with the classical painting techniques I learned through the years.” Each of her small works encapsulates a memory she had while traveling, from moon-lit scenes to snowy roadways to reflecting ponds. Painted with an incredible realism, the circular life-like compositions allude to a larger story in which Brodsky guides the way.

 

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Cyclocross Nationals Gets Underway in Reno

From SoCalCycling.com

 

Thirty-six national titles are on the line Jan. 9-14 as the nations leading amateur and professional cyclocross racers descend on Reno, Nev. for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. National champions will be crowned in the junior, collegiate, U23, masters, and elite ranks.

Nearly 2,000 racers from across the U.S. will convene at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno for the championships. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is managed by Washoe Countys Community Services Division: Regional Parks and Open Space. The Departments mission is to provide exceptional parks and open space, and recreational opportunities while preserving our natural, historical and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.washoecountyparks.com/.

Cyclocross is an exciting sport to witness and spectator vantage points are available close to the action all along the course. Riders complete multiple laps around the 3-kilometer course (3.3 km for elite riders on Sunday) in all weather conditions through asphalt, dirt, grass, and sand while encountering various obstacles that may require the riders to dismount their bicycles. The fan experience is enhanced at the start/finish area with live race announcing and an expo providing merchandise tents and a variety of mobile food vendors.

Competitions begin Tuesday, Jan. 9 and culminate on Sunday, Jan. 14 with the fan-favorite events which include Junior 17-18 Men, U23 and elite competitions for men and women.

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Research shows that exercise like cycling can reverse age-related heart damage

From Bicycling.com

 

Failed love affairs notwithstanding, time can take a real toll on your ticker. Sedentary middle-aged adults can end up with stiffening in the heart muscle, particularly the left ventricle (the chamber that pumps oxygen-rich blood to the body), raising the risk for heart failure. Masters athletes of the same age, by contrast, have large, compliant left ventricles similar to those of their younger peers.

Now, groundbreaking research shows that people can reverse age-related heart damage, but they need to make regular aerobic exercise—like cycling—a part of their daily lives before it’s too late.

In a recent study published in Circulation, cardiologists at UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources had 53 sedentary adults, ages 45-64, either perform a cardiovascular exercise program for two years or act as a control group, participating in yoga and balance training over the same period. After a gradual three-month buildup, the cardio group ultimately worked out four to five days a week and for 30 minutes at a time, including one high-intensity interval workout and one longer session.

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Celebrate Safe Streets in El Sereno!

Kicking off January with a casual, family-friendly ride in Northeast LA. We will ride from Highland Park to El Sereno for the ground breaking of Alhambra Avenue Improvements (bike lanes! crosswalk! new sidewalk!) at noon. Meet 11AM at York Park. Depart around 11:15AM. The ride is about 5.5 miles; route has plenty of bike lanes. The destination is El Sereno Arroyo Playground, Alhambra Ave & Lowell Ave, 90032.

 

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8 Tasty Mini-Meals You Can Make in a Mug

From Bicycling.com

 

Trying not to overeat this year? From desserts to healthy pre-ride snacks, there’s an easy, single-serving recipe for all your cravings.

This year is all about individuality in nutrition and training, so why not take your cooking to a micro level by making more meals in mugs? With these simple, microwave-friendly recipes, it’s easy to create a meal that’s perfectly sized for one, from breakfast to dessert to the perfect pre- and post-ride mini-meals. Need a new mug to get started? Check out our New Year’s sale to get 10-percent off our cycling elements mug bundle.

 

Ultra-Fast Omelet

Eggs in the microwave sound weird, but once you’ve tried it, you won’t go back when you’re short on time. This “Crafty Mom” has a great veggie-heavy recipe for a two-minute omelet made in a mug: no mess or pans to clean up, and easy eating even if you spend the morning chasing the kids. It’s also a great way to individualize omelets for family or for a brunch party, since you can build your own by adding different toppings to each.

 

Nutella Rice Krispies Treats

Need a quick dessert but don’t want to have a bunch of leftovers in the house? YellowBlissRoad’s Single-Serve Rice Krispies Treats made in a mug are quick, easy, and will quell any sweet-tooth cravings—but won’t allow you to overeat! (Plus, what cyclist doesn’t love Nutella?) The recipe is simple and takes under 30 seconds in the microwave to complete. That’s practically faster than pouring yourself a bowl of cereal!

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