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New Kuota KOM

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Mar 27, 2008

On Tuesday night, I picked up my new Kuota KOM from the bike shop. I've been waiting and waiting for everything to come together, and for this bike to arrive.





My bike is the same model that is being used by the Agritubel team as their main workhorse. I'll get you a photo of "my" bike, but here is the team bike photo:





I was going to unveil the new ride report of some kind, but I couldn't wait. I was able to ride it a little yesterday, today we got snow. The time that I did ride yesterday was really sweet. The short of it is that I rode it for hill repeats on Old Stage Road outside of Boulder for a photo shoot.



Weighing in under 15 pounds with pedals and water bottle cages attached makes it one light climbing machine.



I'm chomping at the bit to go for a longer ride, but I may have to wait for several days. More bad weather is coming in and I have to have my bike fit dialed in by Roy at Peloton Cycles.



My husband made me move it out of the living room. He told me he was fairly certain it would be fine in the garage. How can he be so sure?



More gory details later and photos as well...



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My buddy Scott Ellis forwarded this interesting video link to me:


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Favorite Running Trail

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Mar 21, 2008

Yesterday I had plans to go for a run on my favorite running trail. The trail is a bit of a drive out of town, but well worth it if you have a good buddy to share the run with.


A few years back, my best buddy Cathy (aka "Buffy #1 - but that's a different story) and I trained one year for a 30K trail run and a 50K run the following year. My best memories of running come out of these two years.



Unfortunately, Cathy got the flu and we had to reschedule the run.



The photo I've included is Cathy and our dogs Pete and Shelby. Pete is the Wirehair Pointer and Shelby is the Ridgeback. Cathy is explaining to them that we need to turn around at this point in the run. The sign says:






Permits Required



For Fires or Camping



Vehicles, Weapons, Pets



& Bicycles Prohibited



Pete and Shelby do not understand what the problem is, because they are not "pets" - rather, they consider themselves just one of the gang - of people.





This photo was taken about five years ago. I hope to get you new shots, or video, in the next month.






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Different Digestion Rates

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Mar 14, 2008

Working on the last pieces of the book "Bicycling for Women" this week. Thought you might find this intersesting....


Some athletes are ravenous throughout a training ride or race, while others can't make themselves eat because they always feel full. One study looked at the differences in gastric emptying rates of solid meals between 16 men and 14 women. In the study, men had faster emptying rates than women. The men's half-empty time averaged 47 minutes faster than the women's.


A second study utilizing newly developed radiological techniques looked at 83 subjects, 43 were women, to examine gastric emptying, small intestine transit and colonic transit. For all measures, the average values for women were significantly slower than for males at 30 minutes; 1 hour and 12 minutes; and 4 hours and 48 minutes respectively. While a few studies were inconclusive or found little difference, more studies found a statistically significant difference.


In one study on gastric empty times, when athletes consumed the same fuels, the time varied from 1.6 to 4.9 hours for the women. Times varied from 0.7 to 3.7 hours for the men. It is easy to see with these values why there is such variation in the optimal fuel and fueling technique among individuals.



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IOC Women's Conference

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Mar 14, 2008

A great photograph of Bronze medalist Susan Williams and her daughter Sydney on the Athens podium was used for the column on the International Olympic Committee's Women's Conference.

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Jenny's Light

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Mar 10, 2008

Over the weekend I received a note from Becky Lavelle, giving me an update on "Jenny's Light". This is a non-profit organization created by the families of Jennifer and Graham Gibbs Bankston in response to their tragic, unnecessary deaths from postpartum depression. Jennifer and Becky are twin sisters.


I know Becky from traveling to numerous World Cup events with her and she was a member of the 2003 Pan American Games team. She is a fantastic person and of course, a good athlete as well.



I want to help Becky get the word out about postpartum depression, an issue that is not often discussed. Perhaps more discussion could help provide better solutions and fewer tragedies.



Here is an excerpt from Becky's note:



Skirt Sports is launching a Philanthropy Campaign and for the month of March they are giving customers an opportunity to donate to Jenny's Light at check out. They have also donated $500 to our cause. They have a great selection of very hip and comfortable sports wear. Please check it out here.



Also, Ironman Coffee is kindly donating a part of their proceeds to Jenny's Light and will also be distributing a flyer of information with each shipment of coffee. If you decide to purchase some of their delicious coffee, be sure to enter "Becky" in the discount code field.



We are planning to have a lot more additions on the site on Wed Mar 12, so be sure to check back soon. In the meantime, we have numerous volunteers calling local hospitals in Minneapolis, San Jose, New Orleans, and Birmingham to find out what is currently being done with PPD (i.e. screening, literature, follow-ups, supports groups, etc). Once we gather this info we'll be able to figure out what areas are lacking resources and where we can help make improvements.



We are also in the works on getting articles printed in Inside Triathlon, Glamour Magazine, and Birmingham Magazine.



Thank you and all the best,









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Q: I have a niece that I think could cut the mustard as a triathlete for the next Olympic Games. I don't know how she does on the bike, but she seems to have a lot of horse power. In high school, she ran a 5:18 mile as a freshman and a 12:25 (indoor) 2 mile as a sophomore. She swims a 5:20, 500yd freestyle event.


I'm wondering if she should be involved in some athlete training program that can help her development?


A: Your niece definitely has potential. The time standards for Junior Elite Squad athletes associated with a program sponsored by USAT include a 12:30 for two miles and 5:35 for short course yards. She is within the time standards.


You can find the time standards on this link on the USA Triathlon website. Select the link titled, "Junior Elite Squad Criteria".



Know that a there are a couple of different classifications to help athletes get prepared to be an Elite Olympian. The first is a "Junior" and that is an athlete between the ages of 16 and 19. The second is called U23 (Under 23). There is some potential crossover between the Junior, U23 and Elite age ranges.



One example of crossover is Portugal's Vanessa Fernandes. Vanessa ended 2007 ranked number one in the World, at the age of 22. Her first World Cup win, racing as an Elite, came in Madrid in 2003 at age 18. She has won an incredible 19 World Cup races as an Elite, won World Championships and been on the podium numerous times. You can find a summary of her results here. Select "Athlete", then enter her last name.



Back to your niece and what can you do to help? If you can help her have some fun in short, local triathlons that is the first step. Help her fall in love with the joy of the sport. If she's having fun going fast, take it from there.






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A fellow I know posed the question below:


Q: Hello Gale, I was wondering if you would know how low a percentage of body fat someone could get down to without loosing power? I've got one of the scales that measure body fat and at 167 pounds it says I'm at 13% and wondering how low I should go. Thanks.



A: Good question. The chart below is one that is referenced often, from The American Council on Exercise:







Essential fat













32% or more

26% or more


I did not see any ages associated with these numbers.



The book, "Exercise Physiology" by McArdle, Katch and Katch lists body fat percentages for different types of athletes and professional cyclists (roadies) run 11.6 percent and distance runners go 11.8 percent. For the gals, distance runners go about 17.2 and there are no numbers on the chart for cyclists.



So, back to your personal question - how low can you go without losing power? First, let's assume that your scale accurately measures body fat and you are indeed 13 percent. That puts you on the top end of the athletic scale - a pretty lean guy.



My gut feeling, based on experience and knowing you, is that any lower than 10 percent would cause problems (loss of power). The only real way to know would be to gently work your way down a little at a time and keep tabs on how you feel, speed and power.



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Today we took advantage of the predicted 70-degree weather and headed to Estes Park on our bikes. That 70-degrees was predicted for the front range; but nonetheless, it was the first glimpse of 70 since...well...I can't remember when.


The weather last week was also reasonably warm for several days, with a couple of days in the high 50s. The warm week made a trip to Estes via Glen Haven possible. We haven't ridden via Glen Haven since November of 2007.



Estes via Glen Haven is hands-down, my favorite ride. I don't know how steep the road is and at some point, I'm sure one of the techies on the ride will get a good measurement; but it is steep enough to have a truck on a triangle sign at the top of the climb.



Steve Douglas, Scott Ellis and Dave McClure can be seen next to the "truck on a triangle" sign, looking back east.





Ah, but looking west is another story. This, the photo below, is my favorite view in the world - yes, the world. Longs Peak (on the right) and Meeker are the two tallest peaks in the photo. Longs is one of the legendary 14ers in the state.





Happy riders are seen in the second photo.





Our traditional monthly ride goes to Estes and makes a stop at the Notchtop Café. Just on the hill to the north and west of the Café is the Stanley Hotel. The hotel has a deep history and was built by Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame. On the national register of historic places, the hotel was made famous by Stephen King visit. On a stay at the hotel King was inspired to write The Shining.





No old hotel that looks like this one is complete without resident ghosts and the hotel is said to house several ghosts.



After having a snack at the Notchtop, we headed back down to Loveland and even enjoyed some tailwinds, a rare treat.






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