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Why Should a Fitness Rider Do Training Time Trials?

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By Fred Matheny

Q: In the past, I’ve heard you recommend short time trials to improve racing ability and as a way to gauge improvement. But I’m a fitness rider and don’t race. Is there any reason I should do these time trials? — Nando R.

A: Time trialing isn’t just for racers.

Read more . . . Why Should a Fitness Rider Do Training Time Trials?

Elizabeth Wicks Shatters 12-Hour Record

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By Coach John Hughes

“Oh my God,” John, “it was unbelievable.”

That’s how Elizabeth Wicks summed up her record-breaking ride at Calvin’s 12-Hour Challenge on May 2, 2015. She rode 182.0 miles to break her women’s age 70-74 record. Not only did she break her personal best of 172.7 miles set

Read more . . . Elizabeth Wicks Shatters 12-Hour Record

How to Jump ‘Bunnyhop’ the Bike

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By Fred Matheny You’re riding on a narrow road close to the edge because traffic is picking up. As you round a curve, you hear (and see in your mirror) a car approaching from the rear and also see a gaping pothole directly ahead on your line.

You can’t miss it on the

Read more . . . How to Jump ‘Bunnyhop’ the Bike

More Fun, More Gain, Less Pain

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By Fred Matheny

Last week, we talked about the concept of using “play” to avoid the drudgery of high-intensity training.

Lactate threshold (LT) is highly trainable. Using the proper workouts, you can improve the percent of maximum heart rate you can sustain, and improve the amount of power you generate at a

Read more . . . More Fun, More Gain, Less Pain

How Can I Survive Pack Contact?

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By Fred Matheny

Q:I’m pretty new to road cycling and love it, but I’m still a bit afraid of riding in a group. The other day a guy got too close and bumped into me. I swerved and nearly crashed. Is there a way to handle contact so I can enjoy group rides?

Read more . . . How Can I Survive Pack Contact?

Do Winter Cycling Shoes Work?

Q: I hate shoe covers because they’re such a pain to get on. Does anyone make insulated winter cycling shoes? Do they work? – Mary P.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies:

Some shoe covers are not too hard to get on – like the Gore Race Power model (and many similar ones) that

Read more . . . Do Winter Cycling Shoes Work?

What’s the Benefit of Floating Pedals?

Question: I think I need pedals that allow my feet to pivot (“float”). It seems like they want to move on my current fixed-position pedals. However, I have heard that float can cause knee problems. Is that true? And what is “stack height”? Should I get a professional pedal set-up evaluation? —

Read more . . . What’s the Benefit of Floating Pedals?

What Makes a $12,000 Bike Worth the Cost?

John Marsh – As we do on occasion, a few weeks back Jim Langley and I were riffing back-and-forth via email on the seemingly never-ending escalation of high-end bike prices. I think it started with his mention of Trek’s new 10.25-pound model, the Emonda SLR 10, for just under $16,000.

That’s not nearly

Read more . . . What Makes a $12,000 Bike Worth the Cost?

Are Wider Tires Right For You?

By Jim Langley One of the quickest and most effective ways to improve the ride of a road bicycle is to go to wider tires. For example, most new performance bikes have been equipped with size 700 x 23c tires for many years. However, this is changing a bit with the

Read more . . . Are Wider Tires Right For You?

A Drafting Refresher

By John Marsh Let’s do a refresher on a primary skill in cycling: drafting. The advantage of riding close behind another cyclist is great and the danger is minimal when you use the right technique.

The best way to learn is to pair up with an experienced rider. So if you’re an old

Read more . . . A Drafting Refresher

More Cyclists on Road Means Fewer Collisions

By John Marsh Huh? That doesn’t make any sense!

Research shows that the higher the bicycle traffic volume, the lower the car-bike collision rate. Specifically, intersections with more than 200 cyclists per day are safer than intersections with lower numbers of cyclists.

Researchers at the University of Colorado (Denver) studied the crashes

Read more . . . More Cyclists on Road Means Fewer Collisions

Cycling Jargon Defined – M to W

By John Marsh Ever been on a group ride and felt like other cyclists were speaking a foreign language? They chatter about blocking, bonking and breakaways, and your head is spinning trying to figure out what they mean.

Cycling, like other intensive pursuits, has its own lingo. Here’s a quick introduction to cycling

Read more . . . Cycling Jargon Defined – M to W

Cycling Jargon Defined – A to L

By John Marsh

Ever been on a group ride and felt like other cyclists were speaking a foreign language? They chatter about blocking, bonking and breakaways, and your head is spinning trying to figure out what they mean.

Cycling, like other intensive pursuits, has its own lingo. Here’s a quick introduction to

Read more . . . Cycling Jargon Defined – A to L

Try This 2 x 20 Minutes, Twice Per Week For Amazing Results!

By John Marsh

No, this isn’t a plug for a new no-sweat fitness machine. Instead, it’s a prescription for more power and endurance on your bike.

It’s simple. On a normal ride, choose terrain that allows you to pedal hard and steady for 20 minutes. It might be a gradual climb or

Read more . . . Try This 2 x 20 Minutes, Twice Per Week For Amazing Results!

What Climbing Cadence is Best for Knees?

By Fred Matheny Q: I’ve heard that it’s better for knees if you spin a lower gear on climbs rather than mash a big gear. Why is it harder on the knees to pedal at a slower rpm? What about pedaling slowly when out of the saddle? – Jim

Read more . . . What Climbing Cadence is Best for Knees?

What Does Gearing Terminology Mean?

By Fred Matheny

Q: I’m a new cyclist and confused about gearing. I have no idea what’s meant when other riders use numbers to talk about gears. And I’m not sure how this applies to my riding, either. Can you explain? – Sally P.

A: Good

Read more . . . What Does Gearing Terminology Mean?

Is Professional Bike Fitting a Scam?

By Fred Matheny

Q: I’ve been fitted by three different bike shops using different fit systems. Each shop measured me on and off my bike, which they all agreed is too small for me. They also came to the same conclusion regarding my body: extra-long legs and arms, very

Read more . . . Is Professional Bike Fitting a Scam?

How Should I Pedal When Standing?

By Fred Matheny

Q: I have read many articles about circular pedaling techniques, but they all relate to seated riding. When I’m standing and climbing on short, steep hills, my feet feel like they’re attached to a stair climber and I’m just pumping up and down. What exactly should

Read more . . . How Should I Pedal When Standing?

Secrets of Indoor Training

By Fred Matheny

The No-where Bike Most cyclists don’t like riding an indoor trainer. They equate it with miserable, mind-numbing boredom. They’ve had it after a few winter weeks of grinding away in the basement while sleet batters the windows and streams of toxic sweat drip from their chins, corroding

Read more . . . Secrets of Indoor Training

Indoor Trainer Safety Warning

By Jim Langley

Today’s column is a simple yet important bicycle safety warning covering one critical detail about using indoor trainers. It was spurred by this Comment from a reader with the pen name “dyonchik,” who shared,

“My carbon 2010 Cannondale Synapse suffered excessive wear on the rear dropouts. After the C’dale rep

Read more . . . Indoor Trainer Safety Warning

Training vs. ‘Just Riding’

By Fred Matheny

I know several fast, strong and accomplished cyclists who won’t let the word “training” pass their lips. They feel the word connotes a level of seriousness that’s unhealthy at the least and, at worst, could dim their enjoyment of the sport. They simply “go for a ride.”

Of course,

Read more . . . Training vs. ‘Just Riding’

Tips For Using Car Racks Safely

By Jim Langley

Andy asked

“I have a Giant Defy Advanced bike with a carbon frame. When transporting my bike by car, I was told not to use a bike rack that held the bike from the top tube, but to get a rack where the bike sat on wheel supports.

Read more . . . Tips For Using Car Racks Safely

Take the Lane When Your Safety is at Stake

By John Marsh

We all love to ride country roads. Quiet, scenic, hills, curves — the essence of road cycling.

Occasionally, though, you may find yourself in a tight spot. It can happen on a twisty two-lane when motorists can’t see very far around the next bend. There may be a rough shoulder,

Read more . . . Take the Lane When Your Safety is at Stake

Comfort and Safety in Spring Training

By Fred Matheny

Here are a few tips for added comfort and safety on your long Spring rides.

Stand and shift positions. To prevent crotch numbness and undue tenderness during long hours in the saddle, stand frequently and sit in slightly different locations. Dwelling in one position and grinding

Read more . . . Comfort and Safety in Spring Training

Set Your Goals for a Successful Summer

By Fred Matheny

Your cycling objectives probably are based on summer events. Maybe you’re aiming at a best-ever century or a PR in the local 10-mile time trial. Maybe you want to be strong every day on a weeklong tour. Or maybe you just want to be ready and fit to ride

Read more . . . Set Your Goals for a Successful Summer

Age Is No Barrier: Training Elizabeth

By Coach John Hughes

What do you do when you are 69 years old and hold the women’s age 65-to-69 record of 169 miles in the Calvin’s Challenge 12-hour race? Set a goal of at least 180 miles in this year’s race on May 4!

My good friend and client Elizabeth

Read more . . . Age Is No Barrier: Training Elizabeth

Finding Your Exercise Sweet Spot

By John Marsh

I was intrigued by the subject line of an email I received late last week from Premium Member Bill Rosenfeld. It read: “Most De-Motivating Study Ever.”

Bill sent a report in the New York Times about a recent study “showing that a fairly leisurely approach to scheduling workouts may actually

Read more . . . Finding Your Exercise Sweet Spot

Road Bike Fork Safety Check

Jim Langley

When you work in the bicycle media, you see press releases and bulletins from around the world every day. Most of the time the news is comprised of interesting product developments, race results, efforts to grow cycling, and other fun bicycle stories. Unfortunately, you also see cycling accident reports — some

Read more . . . Road Bike Fork Safety Check

Winterize Your Ride

By Jim Langley

I’m writing my column from Boulder, Colorado, where I’m spending the week to attend meetings at one of my company’s offices. So far on this trip the weather has been beautiful for a mountainous area. But on past winter visits to this bike mecca, I’ve marveled at how nothing —

Read more . . . Winterize Your Ride

Breathe With Your Belly

If you’re like most riders, hills are a serious limiter. You do fine on the flats but on steep stuff your lungs scream, especially on group rides where the hotshots force the pace. You gasp for breath and maybe you’re forced to slow down.

Get help from the technique known as belly

Read more . . . Breathe With Your Belly

How Can I Combat Poor Recovery?

Question: I’m 57 and each year find it more difficult to recover. I used to do three or four hard workouts in a row, but now it takes me at least 48 hours to feel lively again. Stage races or week-long tours are tough. It’s not just my legs — my

Read more . . . How Can I Combat Poor Recovery?

What’s the Right Way to Wear Warmers?

By Fred Matheny   Q: This will be my first winter on the bike. I’m confused about whether to wear leg warmers under or over shorts. And what about tights? Should I wear shorts underneath? — Robert M.

A: Wear leg warmers or knee warmers under your

Read more . . . What’s the Right Way to Wear Warmers?

Tips for Mountain Riding

By John Marsh

One of the joys of Summer for me is the chance to pick up one or both of my sons at camp in the north Georgia mountains.

Sure, I miss my boys and look forward to seeing them after a week away. But I also appreciate the chance to

Read more . . . Tips for Mountain Riding

How Do You Analyze a Training Diary?

Question: You’ve mentioned that you’ve kept a training log for almost 37 years. I’m curious — what are your training totals for 2012, and how do you analyze your entries to help you plan ahead? — Mark N.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Good question, Mark. Not many riders keep

Read more . . . How Do You Analyze a Training Diary?