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To dry wet cycling shoes, use the refrigerator. The air exchanger at the bottom of the fridge is just the ticket. The air is only warm so it doesn’t hurt the shoes, but it will normally do a fine job of drying them overnight. Just remember not to trip over them when you go for your morning juice!

I bet this would work for wet hiking boots also.

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click-stand.jpgNecessity is the mother of invention. This guy probably faced the frustration many of us face. You hop off your bike, kick the kick stand into place, walk away, and the bike falls over. Have a look at the Click-Stand, a light-weight, portable stand that’s customized to fit your bike.

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Hurray for Hobart & William Smith College in Geneva for instituting a Community Bike Program to promote a greener campus. I’d like to see this idea spread far & wide.

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Bike Designed by DavinciBikes come in all types for all people is an article about the history of bikes and an update on bikes available today – and the benefits of biking.

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bikeshorts.jpgBy Fred Matheny and Ed Pavelka of www.RoadBikeRider.com

You should choose road-cycling shorts based on the quality of materials and construction. But also crucial is how well they conform to your unique anatomy. Sometimes a relatively inexpensive pair may work better for you than a high-zoot model.

Shorts, like saddles, are tough to recommend because of differences in butts, crotches, seats and riding positions. Every rider has to try on shorts, buy the model/size that fits snugly but comfortably, then hope for the best on the bike. It’s hit or miss, and some luck is involved. Just as with saddles, there is no universal answer.

That said, here are guidelines that’ll point you toward better choices.

  • Price. Generally, the more expensive the shorts, the higher the quality. Avoid cheap shorts because the material and construction may be substandard. They may be sewn from only 4 or 6 pieces (“panels”), which won’t give you the best anatomical fit. The padded liner (“chamois”) may not be large enough, soft enough or sewn without irritating seams. Cheap shorts aren’t as durable, either, so in the long run they really aren’t a bargain. When touring and washing shorts by hand, wringing can break threads and blow out seams if the manufacturer cut corners on quality.

  • Panels. The more the better. Usually, 8-panel shorts conform to your body better than those made from fewer pieces. Better manufacturers use flat-seam stitching so additional panels won’t result in abrasion or other discomforts.

  • Liner. Crotch liners are synthetic nowadays (not real chamois leather). That’s a good thing because the material can’t dry, crack and cause more irritation than it prevents. A large, smooth, absorbent, one-piece, moderately padded liner has the best chance of feeling comfortable. Liners that have seams, grooves, distinct sections and/or a waffle-like texture may work fine for you — or maybe not. There’s no way of knowing for sure before riding. Beware of thick padding, which can bunch and chafe. Also problematic are gel inserts. Because they’re in plastic compartments, moisture transfer can be blocked, causing excessive dampness and skin irritation.

  • Leg length. This goes up and down like hem lengths in the fashion world. Long, so-called “Belgian” shorts will be in style for a while, putting the legs just above the knee. Then the pendulum swings the other way. Short shorts, like those marketed for spinning classes, are favored by riders who want to avoid tan lines that show when wearing casual shorts. But they shouldn’t be so short that the nose of the saddle rubs on bare skin.

  • Waist length. Proper cycling shorts are cut high in back to keep skin covered in the bent-over riding position. Likewise, they are low in front so you can bend forward without restriction. The front shouldn’t be so low, though, that it’s below your hip bones with nothing to help hold it up.

  • Waist band. The elastic should be wide enough that it doesn’t feel like a cord around your middle. Some manufacturers add a drawstring. Just elastic is fine. Just a drawstring is not. If that’s the only thing keeping shorts in place, you’ll feel restricted in certain positions or when breathing deeply.

  • Leg grippers. Nothing is more frustrating than shorts that ride up and let material bunch in the crotch. Check the leg grippers to be sure they’re wide, made of “sticky” rubber-like material and securely sewn in. The legs should feel comfortably snug, not tight.

  • Stretch. Most shorts are made of a stretchy fabric generically called spandex. They’re easy to pull on and don’t feel like you’re wearing a 19th century corset. On the other hand, you may come across shorts with fabric that purposely resists stretching. The idea is to provide help to your pedal stroke. The fabric “stores” kinetic energy on the rear part of the stroke and releases it when you push down. This concept is also used in competition suits for weight lifters. I’m not aware of any studies that prove a benefit for cyclists.

  • Bibs. Shorts with built-in shoulder straps can’t sag. They keep the chamois snug against the crotch to limit movement and irritation. For men, this prevents the chance of things moving out of place when pedaling out of the saddle. However, the high front makes it difficult for guys to urinate. (Some prefer to roll up one leg instead of contorting to pull down the front.) Women usually prefer shorts without bibs so they don’t have to remove their jersey to take what cycling commentator Phil Liggett calls a “natural break.” Bib shorts are more expensive than standard shorts.

  • Size. It’s best to try on shorts before buying them. Sizing varies among manufacturers. Fred is 5-foot-10 and just under 160 pounds, but wears size XL in some shorts while M is too big in others. Some U.S. manufacturers have noticed the “plumping of America” and cut their clothing bigger. It’s risky to buy shorts by mailorder unless you’re replacing a model and size you’ve worn before.

  • Overall fit. In general, snugger is better. You don’t want any uncomfortable restriction, but you do want the shorts to stay exactly in place. Remember that properly designed cycling shorts will look a bit baggy in the butt when you’re standing in front of the dressing room mirror. Then crouch forward into the riding position and watch them mold to your body.

    Receive a FREE copy of the eBook “29 Pro Cycling Secrets for Roadies

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Here’s a new electronic forum for New York’s mountain bikers:

http://www.yourmtb.com/forum/new_website_new_york_http_www_nymountainbike_com

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Dog attacks are high on the list of cycling fears. Maybe you can’t stop Fang from giving chase, but you can outsmart him if you know how dogs think—assuming that stinkin’ mutt even has a brain!

  • Know dog psychology. The majority of dogs who chase cyclists are merely defending their territory. When you pedal off the section of road that they consider their turf, you no longer pose a threat to their ancestral instincts and they lose interest. Incidentally, this is why you’ll rarely be chased by a dog you encounter way out in the boonies. He’s not on his turf so he couldn’t care less about you.

  • Know dog tactics. Dogs want to attack from the rear, coming up from the hindquarter. Even one who sits up in his yard ahead of you may wait till you pass before giving chase. You can use this to your advantage in the next tip because it gives you a head start.

  • Sprint! You often can outsprint Fido when he’s more interested in fooling around than in actually attacking. You can tell his intent by how hard he’s running and his expression. An easy gait with woofing and ears and tail up, no problem. A full-out sprint with ears back, tail down and teeth out, problem. Still, the territorial gene can save you. If the road is flat or downhill, stand up and sprint to get past the dog’s invisible boundary.

  • Guard your front wheel. When a dog sees you coming, he might make a beeline for your bike, then attempt to turn up beside you. The danger here is that his poor little paws will skid on the pavement and he’ll plow into your wheels. If he hits the front one, you’ll crash. Sprint so that you move forward faster than he expects, and give him a margin for error by steering farther into the road—if traffic permits!

  • SCREAM! Most dogs know what happens when a human is angry with them. A sudden shout of “No!” or “Git!” or “Stay!” will surprise Fluffy and probably make him hesitate for just the second you need to take the advantage. If he’s hard of hearing, raise your hand threateningly as if it contains a rock. Outlaw mutts usually have had experience with bad things flying at them when a human makes a throwing gesture.

  • Play douse the Doberman. If you see big, fast Prince up ahead and know that he sees you, sprinting might not work. Especially if the road is tilting up. Take out your water bottle. Just having it in your hand may make him stay away. If he does come near you, give him a faceful and a loud yell. This distraction will slow him down, though he may come back for more. Just don’t distract yourself and ride off the road.

Some riders swear by Halt pepper spray that they clip to their handlebar. This stuff works great—if you hit your target. That’s a big if when you and Spot are going different speeds, the air is moving, and you’re trying to stay on the road. Pepper spray stings a dog’s eyes, nose and mouth, but it doesn’t cause lasting damage. It also works on human attackers, but that’s a different story.

  • Give up and get off. If nothing works and Toodles has the upper hand, dismount quickly and hold your bike between you and those sharp teeth. Swing it like a weapon if necessary, and start calling for help. Someone may eventually come out of a house and yell, “Oh, he won’t hurt you!”

  • Call the cops. If you are attacked and bitten, report it to the county sheriff or other authority immediately. Include the location, a description of the dog and the owner’s name and address if you know them. Get medical attention without delay. If the dog was rabid, you are at risk of serious illness or even death. Demand proof of rabies vaccination or insist to authorities that the dog be quarantined.

If the same dog accosts you every time you ride the road, report this to the authorities, too. You have a right to use public roadways free from fear for your life, liberty and pursuit of cycling happiness. Keep following up with calls to make sure steps are taken to put PupPup on a rope.

Receive a FREE copy of the eBook “29 Pro Cycling Secrets for Roadies” by subscribing to the RoadBikeRider Newsletter at www.RoadBikeRider.com. No cost or obligation!

By Fred Matheny and Ed Pavelka of www.RoadBikeRider.com

 

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