Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Headwinds, Crosswinds and Tailwinds (a tribute to this week's TNR)

After a ride like today I think it's fun to see both how much harder it is to ride against the wind and what benefit is derived from having the wind at your back.

I ran across this site (A Practical Analysis of Ærodynamic Dragthe other night and found it fascinating.  The site's author is noted for his having authored "The Bicycle Wheel", the definitive text on the theory and practice of building spoked bicycle wheels.

Jobst Brandt is a mechanical engineer (Stanford) with extensive experience, having worked for Porsche automobiles, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Hewlett-Packard and Avocet bicycle products.




If you'd like to geek out some on the physics of biking I recommend checking out the site here:
http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/index.html

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Myostatin Inhibitors Could be the Next Big Doping Agent

Belgian Blue bulls look like they are made of muscle because they have a mutation in the gene that codes for the protein myostatin. In humans, as in other types of cattle, myostatin normally limits the number of muscle fibers that form before birth and then limits the growth of those fibers later on.
Courtesy of Se-Jin Lee and Alexandra McPherron/PNAS, copyright National Public Radio
The animal in this picture is a Belgian Blue bull.  Due to a genetic mutation which reduces the activity of a protein called myostatin, these bulls have unusual muscular hypertrophy. Myostatin is a naturally occurring substance that limits the number and growth of muscle fibers in the body. If you inhibit myostatin, you build more muscle. Thomas directed me to a very fascinating NPR story on the potential of myostatin blockers as performance enhancing drugs. You can read the article or listen to audio here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/08/12/210487410/new-muscle-drugs-could-be-the-next-big-thing-in-sports-doping?utm_source=npr_email_a_friend&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20140418&utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_term=

Thursday, April 17, 2014

VeloNews Magazine Excerpt: The Spirit and the Letter.

image copyright velonews.com

Chris Horner Talks About His Accident

Despite being forced to miss the Giro d'Italia, Chris Horner was in a good mood
photo copyright cyclingnews.com

Mountain Bike Park Proposed West of Idaho Falls

"A proposal for a mountain bike park near Idaho Falls is gaining traction at City Hall.Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Director Greg Weitzel supports the concept, as do members of the city's Parks and Recreation Commission. A consultant working on the city's broader paths and trails plan was paid an additional $4,200 to develop of map of the proposed park, which is backed by members of the local mountain biking community."A mountain bike park is a great idea, and I think that it would be well-used," Weitzel said.The concept plan, developed by Joe Gilpin, a planner with Alta Planning + Design, was unveiled last week at an open house on the city's plan for trails and paths. The mountain bike park includes about seven miles of new trails, in addition to many miles of old two-track dirt roads mountain bikers already use at the 760-acre desert site near Noise Park. The plan also provides for construction of a parking lot, as well as a terrain park with dirt jumps, a pump track and dual slalom racing course".    *copyright Post Register
If you have a Post Register account (user name and password), you can read the entire story here:  http://www.postregister.com/story.php?accnum=1001-04172014&today=2014-04-17

How to Improve Your Climbing Speed. GCN


Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Watch Paris-Roubaix

I just went online and upgraded my satellite package. Afterward, I went straight to the DVR to set Paris-Roubaix to record. I was not happy to find a bunch of junk sports on Sunday morning that NBC apparently considers to be more marketable than cycling, but no listing for Paris-Roubaix.  This is what I found on the NBC Sports website:
                                               
I have never tried watching a cycling event streaming on NBCSports.com. As an alternative to watching in HD on a big screen and using the DVR to skip commercials, it seems pretty sad. Here is an update. I just found a listing for a 2 1/2 hour Paris-Roubaix recap at 6 p.m. on Monday night on the NBC Sports Network, Channel 159 on Dish.
 

Top 10 Riders to Watch at Paris-Roubaix

The Queen of the Classics is only a couple of days away and I am pretty excited. Here’s a chance to take a look at the favorites.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rules of the Road: Paceline

Thanks to Ryan for this excellent little video. To maintain the smooth rhythm of a paceline, fight the temptation to accelerate when you rotate through to the front. A constant speed (with common sense accelerations to accommodate changes in wind and terrain) allows a paceline to flow smoothly.  Even a series of small accelerations can quickly destroy the rhythm of a paceline.
 


Here is one additional video that contains some supplemental information including a description of the various types of pacelines.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tour of Flanders the Final 45 Kilometers

I still don’t have a full video, but the final 45 K should be perfect for a lot of viewers.
 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lemhi Valley Century Ride 2014

A fair number of local riders have enjoyed this well organized event which serves as a great early season tune up. See below for details from Marla Hunteman:

Mark your calendars for June 21st, 2014 and join us for the Lemhi Valley Century Ride. Come and enjoy another great ride in beautiful Lemhi County. Look for more information as it unfolds on our website http://lemhivalleycenturyride.weebly.com/ or find us on Facebook. Registration forms are now available for printing on our website. Thanks for participating in one of our previous rides and we hope to see you again this year.

A Spectacular Tour of Flanders

The two most anticipated days of the Spring Classics are The Tour of Flanders which took place earlier today and Paris Roubaix which is scheduled for next Sunday. Paris Roubaix will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. Flanders was not broadcast on US television. I managed to get up and to the computer this morning just in time to see the finish in real time. I am looking forward to seeing more of the race when the full video is posted, probably later today. I will embed that video when it is available. If you want to go directly to the heart-stopping finish, here is the video.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Open Spot on a Lotoja Relay Team

We heard from Matt Allred this morning who, along with his wife, is organizing three 2-preson relay teams for Lotoja. The plan is for the three teams to ride together at a medium tempo, something short of racing, just riding for a solid finish. They currently have five people committed and one spot available. Their preference is for a female to fill the final position, but with a short registration window, I think they would be happy to find that 6th rider regardless of gender. If you are interested, let me know and I can get you in touch with Matt. Even if you are not interested, you can help by getting this message to anyone who might be interested.

It's Decision Time

 

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REGISTRATION OPENS APRIL 2

Join us September 6 as we mark the 32nd edition of the LoToJa Classic!  Registration runs April 2 through April 9. Only applications received during this time will be considered in our lottery. Before signing up, be sure to read to content published under the EVENT INFO menu on lotojaclassic.com as well as our new Registration Guide. 
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weston and Kellen Decided to Press On

If you read the comments on last night's blog post, you know that Weston and Kellen decided to press on after the rest of the group abandoned. We believe it looked something like this.