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RBR Newsletter

Happy Holidays – and Our Thanks!

Let me start off this week by wishing all of our readers around the world a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays throughout this festive season. I want to thank you for being loyal readers of RBR and wish you a restful, peaceful – and hopefully, ride-full! – holiday season with your family and loved ones.

As both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on Thursdays – and knowing how uber-busy this “quiet time” actually has a way of becoming for so many of us – we’ve decided to take the time off to spend with our own families, so this will be the last issue before we see you again on January 8. (Don’t forget, the site’s open 24/7, so feel free to catch up on past issues, skim the eBookstore for some holiday reading, etc.)

My own need to recharge has become acute as I’ve been waylaid by a nasty bug for over a week now and have been “powering through” to get out these past 2 issues. Thus – and I beg your understanding – I’m going to keep it short today, at least in this space. I think we’ve got another great issue for you overall. One last note before I get to what’s in today’s issue: I’ll have some exciting news to share about something new early in 2015, and we’re already working on some great topics for January. More on that later. Now, on to today’s issue. I hope you enjoy it.

What’s In This Issue: the Highlights

  • Leading off is Mike Tierney’s new The Wheel Builder column. Before he dives into the nuts and bolts of how to maintain and build wheels, Mike’s taking on the why today: Why Bother Building and Maintaining Our Own Wheels?

With the proliferation of factory pre-built wheelsets, wheel building has become a dying art, Mike says, and it’s also understandable that some of us prefer to farm out our wheel maintenance to the local bike shop, as some of us are not as mechanically inclined as others.

But, he says, there’s no better feeling in cycling than taking the first ride on wheels you’ve built yourself. And learning to maintain your own hoops will give you both power and control in your cycling life. See News & Reviews for a dose of Mike’s wheel wisdom, along with a number of other short takes on some unique cycling stories.

  • We continue the No Problem series on using off-road riding to enhance your roadie skills by taking a look at how you can hone your bike-handling through riding, watching, asking and learning about MTB handling techniques.
  • And in Quick Tips readers offer their own advice to a fellow reader as follow-up to last week’s Ask Coach Fred in which Fred Matheny responded to a question by Premium Member Malcolm F. about suggested wheel size for a travel bike Malcolm was thinking of purchasing. Sharing advice and experience with fellow riders is just another example of what makes the RBR community great.
  • In this week’s Tech Talk, Jim Langley shares the story of reader Steve Andruski’s drive to create a community co-op bike shop in suburban Washington, D.C. An avid mechanic himself, Steve used some of the ideas from Jim’s eBook on home bike workshops in building out his own home shop. Doing so helped cement the idea for a community bike shop, which he’s now working toward.
  • And finally, Dr. Gabe Mirkin reminds us about the difference between fact and old wives’ tales in how we catch colds in today’s Cadence column. He also addresses cold weather's impact on our immune systems. It’s particularly timely advice; you definitely don’t want to be laid up during the holidays.

Quick Reminders: Holiday Offers, Shoulder Injury eArticle

One last quick reminder on the special Holiday offers on gear we worked hard to line up for readers from Sampson Sports and LifeBEAM helmets. Note: Sampon's special offers have changed from last week in order to tie in with their already low holiday pricing -- and are open to all RBR readers. See full details at the bottom of News & Reviews. Don’t miss out on some great savings on quality gear!

Dr. Alan Bragman’s new title, Shoulder Injuries and Cycling: A Guide to Treatment and Prevention, launched last week.

“Understanding the shoulder’s anatomy, and the various exercises used to address the different types of shoulder injuries or problems, can benefit cyclists – whether you’re trying on your own to overcome a less-serious shoulder problem or working with a physical therapist or other medical professional to rehabilitate a traumatic injury,” he writes in the eArticle.

The benefits of this anatomy and exercise knowledge extend beyond merely rehabbing an already-injured shoulder, he points out. The exercises, in particular, may “also help you avoid some of the typical shoulder problems as well. They are recommended for overall strengthening and stability of the upper extremities, with the goal of increasing your riding comfort and avoiding injury.”

Again, I Wish You the Happiest of Holidays & a Happy New Year!

---John Marsh

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