I watched a good deal of the Tour of California this year. It was great to get a cycling fix so early in the season. I watched some of the hour-long shows and more of the live coverage for the last few stages.
Watching the race coverage, there are a few things that pushed my eyebrows together and
made my forehead wrinkle in wonder:
Do you think there were an unusually large number of men running like rabid dogs next to the peloton wearing Speedos? I dunno, maybe it was just me?
How about the costumed guys? I want to know how they go about selecting just the right costume to presumably get themselves on camera and hopefully not edited out for the footage that stays around for posterity? I think there were just too many of them and their (presumably) intentional affect is lost. One crazy guy running around in costume is a novelty, but a dozen or more kinda looses the effect – for me anyway.
What about the dude running next to the peloton, holding his infant outstretched as if the kid was a sacrifice to the cycling gods? Did you see the look on that guy’s face?
I totally missed the intended effect of Rasika Mathur. If she was to represent the person watching cycling, knowing nothing about cycling, but eager to learn more…well…I think she missed the mark. If she was intended to represent the female market watching Versus, totally missed the mark. If she was intended to provide comedic relief, then for my taste in humor, missed the mark. So I wonder, what was the goal of her segment?
On occasion, I get the question, “What is reasonable substitute for running?”
The people that have asked this question wonder how to keep their fitness going while they are working their way through some sort of minor injury issue, dealing with travel or recovering from surgery.
There are three activities that I find to be reasonable substitutes for running, depending on what suits your sport, personality and
what you have available to you.
You can water run in the deep end of the pool. You stay vertical and do a running motion while staying stationary in the water. This can be done with or without a water running vest. If your pool is shallow enough that you can run the length of it, literally, this is a good option as well. If you are running on the bottom of the pool, you may need some water aerobics shoes to keep the rough pool surface from bothering the bottoms of your feet.
Elliptical trainer. I’ve had several athletes use an elliptical trainer as substitute for running workouts when the impact of running needs to be eliminated for one reason or another. The elliptical is also a good option when you’re traveling and a treadmill is not available.
Substitute a cycling workout for a running workout and include some seated hills and some standing intervals in the workout. Be careful that your seat height is correct. An incorrect seat height can aggravate existing problems or bring new problems.
If your issue allows you to keep moving, just doing something is most often better than doing nothing. Hopefully, you’ll be back to
The first ride on my new road bike was a week ago in SanDiego. The timing was such that I received it just before I left for the coast.Two people in California said, “Woah, that bike is "sexy"!”
Yesterday a group of us rode to Estes Park, to bag our once-per-month-to-Estes goal. It was the new bike’s debut ride locally. One person said, “Man, that bike is sexy!”
I smiled and said, “Yeah, it is, thanks.”
When Bill Frielingsdorf (not his real name to protect his wife, otherfamily members and friends) arrived, he was very complimentary of thebike, LOOK 586 Pro Team Issue Framset (photo below). He said, “I’d say that bike is sexy, but my wife won’t let me use that word to describe a bike.“
The rest of the people standing around contemplated, “Can a bike be called "sexy"?”
Six of us proceeded to ride up to Estes with temperatures dropping as we climbed the canyon. The canyon walls are steep and rocky in several places, as seen below.
One of the treats of riding up this particular canyon is the possibility of seeing wildlife. The most sought-after glimpse is that of
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. If you take a closer look at the canyon photo,you can see the sheep perfectly disguised as nature intended. These sheep are only about 25 yards away from me. </span>
Watching them easily dance up the rocky ledges with ease is awe-inspiring. Even the young sheep are light on their feet, er, hooves.
When we arrived at our favorite Estes haunt, the Notchtop Café, we found Carl Ciacci enjoying a burrito. He started the ride in another location thinking he had missed us. One of the first things he said when we entered the café was, “Nice bike! Man, it’s sexy.”
We told him that Bill’s (an alias) wife banned him from describing a bike as sexy. This brought up more conversation about what things can be described as sexy, other than the obvious male and female human answer.
Leaving that conversation for more contemplation and discussion, we headed down the canyon. Towards the bottom of the canyon, there is a section called “The Narrows”. This section is a ton of fun to ride when there is no traffic and no viscous headwind. You can fly. On this day there was some traffic and a decent headwind, meaning we weren’t going as fast as normal.
I was in the lead and when we came around a corner, I saw a rock in the road. It is not unusual to have rocks of all sizes fall on the road in this section of the canyon. I pointed to the rock and Bill (an alias) shouted, “ROCK!”
Seconds later I heard the sound of a loud bang.
No one is really sure about the details, but the result was Bruce Runnels crashed into the snowy ditch and Scott Ellis put on the brakes so hard he wore a hole in his tire. He managed to keep the bike upright. He says it’s the mountain bike skills that kept him up.
First, and most importantly, Bruce is okay. Nothing broken and no open wounds. He’ll have a nasty bruise on his thigh; but from what we know now a bruise and a few sore muscles is the extent of it. Turns out this ride was within two days of a nasty crash he had on a different group ride last year. Should he be riding on the first weekend in February – ever again?
Bruce was shaken, but okay. He and Peter Stackhouse decided to spin easy back to town, roughly 9.5 miles. Bill (an alias) headed home as well, he had an appointment.
Carl, Chris Luttet and I stayed to help Scott decide what to do. It was going to be tough to repair a hole the width of a thumbnail.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Luke Smith, the content Kahuna at the Active Network, requested we do some videos on “McGyver roadside repairs”. I suggested doing a video on “booting” a tire. Typically I use a boot made from the guts of an old sew-up tire; but, because I’m a vain bike geek, I left my normal bike bag at home because I wanted the new LOOK to
float through the day with no extra weight.
I didn’t have my boot, but luckily Chris was carrying a . Though Carl offered to ride to his car about six miles away, Scott wanted to try riding in. Scott booted the tire and pumped it up to about 70 pounds (any more pressure caused the tube
to bulge out of the hole).
He was able to ride about five miles before the road friction wore through the boot. I don’t know if a sew-up boot would have done better or not.
We didn’t have time to catch this kind of repair on video while I was in San Diego working with a video pro (Michael Clarke). I’ll do what I can from home to make a video on how to boot a tire and how to make a boot from an old sew-up.
At the close of the ride, just a couple people were left. We discussed the day’s events and concluded that surprising road obstacles are part of cycling. Sometimes, even the best prepared riders will encounter hazards they cannot avoid.
The last question we discussed was, “Can a bike be described as "sexy"?”
As many of you know, I was in San Diego last weekend for the Endurance Sports Awards. On Saturday morning before the awards I went on the 7th Annual Klingensmith Commemorative Crash Loop Ride. The ride retraces the route where Rob Klingensmith had a nasty crash that broke his pelvis and did various injuries to cause bodily damage that kept him in the hospital for six weeks. Glad you
are healthy and riding strong, Rob.
When I returned home, I had a chance to chat with my old friend Steve Diggs. Steve lives in San Diego, but due to my busy schedule, I
didn’t get a chance to see him. We were chatting about group ride dynamics and that prompted Steve to send me a list of standard cycling phrases that made me laugh (thanks Steve.) Some of the riders on my San Diego ride definitely used the phrases and I could have used the translations:
I'm out of shape
Translation: I ride 400 miles a week and haven't missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.
I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape.
Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering. I will win the line sprint if I have to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seat post and spray energy drink in your eyes.
I'm on my beater bike.
Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using composites blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a human pass of gas and costs more than a divorce.
It's not that hilly
Translation: This climb lasts longer than a presidential campaign. Be careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over -- backward. You have a 39x23 low gear? Here's the name of my knee surgeon.
This is a no-drop ride.
Translation: I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-and-rescue dogs.
It's not that far.
Translation: Bring your passport
AND THE EVER POPULAR CLASSIC… "It’s about a three-hour tour.
Translation: Think Gilligan’s Island and check on your life insurance policy, being sure to leave a parting note to your loved ones.