Advanced Cyclist

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  • ‘Super Tuck’ Is Not So Super

    One thing that has stood out in both the Tour de France and the US Pro Challenge this year is the extreme descending position adopted by many riders on steep descents. Instead of using the traditional method of sitting on the saddle with the hands next to the stem and pedals horizontal, daring riders have taken to sitting on the top tube. Although several pros have tried this in the past few years, I suspect that because Tinkoff-Saxo's Peter Sagan got lots of camera time in the Tour while squatting on the top tube, the technique has gone mainstream. I can't figure out why.

  • ‘Super Tuck’ Is Not So Super

    One thing that has stood out in both the Tour de France and the US Pro Challenge this year is the extreme descending position adopted by many riders on steep descents. Instead of using the traditional method of sitting on the saddle with the hands next to the stem and pedals horizontal, daring riders have taken to sitting on the top tube. Although several pros have tried this in the past few years, I suspect that because Tinkoff-Saxo's Peter Sagan got lots of camera time in the Tour while squatting on the top tube, the technique has gone mainstream. I can't figure out why.

  • A Cautionary Tale: How Cycling Saved My Life

    My eBook Pedal Off The Pounds (POTP) is filled with tips on healthy eating. While the eBook if focused on eating for weight loss, most of the suggestions are designed for healthy living as well, including heart health. When I wrote the book, I based it on the diet that I have come to eat and live by. I walk the talk. It has helped me stay lean as I have gotten older. And I was hoping it would keep me free of the diseases of civilization: cancer, diabetes and heart disease. So I was shocked recently to learn that I had a blocked coronary artery!

  • A Primer on Atrial Fibrillation

    It was a warm picture perfect day in early October and a group of us were going to do hill intervals on Pebblebrook Road. This road has about 350-400 feet of steady elevation gain over 2 miles, and is about 10 miles from my home. As I rode to meet the other riders I was having trouble catching my breath and attributed this to mild seasonal allergies and the fact that I had not used my inhaler prior to the ride.

  • A Roadie's Story: Riding Paris-Roubaix

    Westly Windsor is a 68-year-old roadie from Melbourne, Australia. An RBR Premium Member, he graciously agreed to share his account of riding the first-ever Paris-Roubaix Gran Fondo in April 2012.

  • Aero Perfection: How to Find Your Lowest, Fastest Position

    Your power is good but you're worried if your aero position is as sleek as it could be.   How can you achieve the most aerodynamic position so you slice through the air, thus going faster for the power you're producing?  Our RBR experts weigh to help  you find your lowest, fastest position.

  • Are My Indoor Workouts Divided Right?

    I have a CompuTrainer and a set of rollers. Currently, with no outdoor riding, I'm doing two days of weight lifting, three days on the CT, one day on rollers and one day off. Each workout is about an hour long. Am I doing it right?

  • Bee Stings, and How to Deal With Them

    Bee stings while riding are an unfortunate, largely unavoidable, and nearly inevitable nuisance at the very least. At worst, they can cause extreme swelling and discomfort. Because they happen more often than we would like, and are potentially dangerous, it's helpful for all riders to refresh our memory on what to do if we're stung.

  • Can an Inclined Treadmill Improve Cycling?

    Could you settle an argument? I don't have a trainer, so I walk on a treadmill for an hour. It's set for a 12-degree incline. My friend says this workout won't help my cycling, but it maxes my heart rate and I believe I can tell the difference when I ride. Who's right?

  • Can I Determine My Potential Functional Threshold Power?

    I am 59 years old and I been cycling for 12 years. Each winter of the last 10 years I have been looking for a training plan to improve. My FTP hovers around 225 watts after winter training and reaches around 240 watts by the end of the outdoor cycling season in Southern Ontario. I am curious if there is a physical test one can do to determine one's potential FTP? 

  • Can I Determine My Potential Functional Threshold Power?

    By Coach John Hughes  I am 59 years old and I been cycling for 12 years. Each winter of the last 10 years I have been looking for a training plan to improve. My FTP hovers around 225 watts after winter training and reaches around 240 watts by the end of the outdoor cycling season in Southern Ontario. I am curious if there is a physical test one can do to determine one's potential FTP?

  • Can I Go Fast for 40K and 100 Miles?

    I'm a 49-year-old cyclist who enjoys riding centuries at a 5-hour pace. But I also like to time trial and want to break the hour for 40K next season. Can I train successfully for fast time trials AND fast centuries? 

  • Can I Keep Cycling Fitness During a Business Trip?

    I'll be in China on business for the next three weeks, with only a stationary bike in the hotel's fitness room. The best I can hope for is 45 minutes a day of boring pedaling. Prior to this trip, I've been averaging 150 miles a week with interval work and climbing. Any suggestions for maintaining form?

  • Can I Shorten My Surgery Rehab?

    I'm 52 and ride 80-100 miles a week. Recently, I had a 7-hour surgery that will keep me off my bike and out of the gym for 4-6 weeks, possibly longer. I'm concerned that I will lose all of my fitness. Do you think it's okay to start training sooner?

  • Can I Survive 200 Miles on Minimal Training?

    I want to ride a double century in four weeks. I did a 6-hour century three months ago. Since then I have ridden 200 miles per month with some interval training, and run 15-20 miles per week. Can I complete the double?

  • Can You Simplify Heart Rate Training?

    I've been trying to calculate my heart rate for different training zones. I'm confused. Some authorities say to base the percentages on max heart rate while others say lactate threshold should be used. One book says to figure max heart rate using the "220 minus your age" formula, while another says I should get a lab test. Can you simplify this mess?

  • Causes of Saddle Pain, Part 1

  • Causes of Saddle Pain, Part 2

  • Cleat Placement on Cycling Shoes, Part 1

    This is the time of year we ramp up our mileage to get ready for the big rides to come later in the season. It’s also a common time to buy new equipment for the season, such as new shoes or new clipless pedal systems. If our cleats aren’t positioned correctly on the shoes, it can cause inefficient pedaling, pain or, worse, even knee injuries.

  • Cleat Placement on Cycling Shoes, Part 2

    In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we covered finding an efficient, safe, neutral cleat position using a four-step process, and explained some different cleat positions for different types of riders/riding. We’ll finish up with a look at cleat positioning for recumbents, cleat angle adjustment, ankle clearance, marking your cleat position, and a few additional bonus tips.

  • Climbing Tips for the Road

  • Clothing is Key to Enjoyable Winter Riding

    Elizabeth Wicks, 71, lives in the central Massachusetts area just north of Worcester and has been a record-setting endurance cyclist for 20 years. She rides year-round and logged 5,500 miles in 2013, 5,700 miles in 2014 and 5,824 miles so far in 2015 (aiming for 6,000). Knowing that Elizabeth is an avid winter rider, even in the harsh conditions of the Northeast, we asked her to describe how she prepares for and rides in the winter. There are some terrific lessons here for all of us recreational roadies.

  • Clothing is Key to Enjoyable Winter Riding

    Elizabeth Wicks, 71, lives in the central Massachusetts area just north of Worcester and has been a record-setting endurance cyclist for 20 years. She rides year-round and logged 5,500 miles in 2013, 5,700 miles in 2014 and 5,824 miles so far in 2015 (aiming for 6,000). Knowing that Elizabeth is an avid winter rider, even in the harsh conditions of the Northeast, we asked her to describe how she prepares for and rides in the winter. There are some terrific lessons here for all of us recreational roadies.

  • Co-motion Carrera Tandem

    Coach Fred Matheny reviews the Co-Motion Carerra tandem. He counts numerous technological improvements in the Carerra over his 10-year-old Co-Motion Speedster tandem. Among them: disc brakes front and rear, no diagonal tube, Gates belt drive, lighter weight, lively handling and a 10-speed drivetrain, to name a few.

  • Co-Motion Speedster Tandem

    Coach Fred Matheny reviews the Co-Motion Speedster tandem. "The Speedster is a do-everything bike," he says. "Although not as light as a carbon or titanium tandem would be, its steel frame isn't a burden on long climbs and it offers the stability to mount racks and panniers for an extended tour. We opted for some bells and whistles: a WoundUp carbon tandem fork, Old Man Mountain rear rack, Shimano Flight Deck, RockShox suspension seatpost for the stoker and an Avid mechanical disk rear brake.

  • Coach, I Need an Altitude Adjustment!

    Do you have any recommendations for racing at altitude? I've bonked badly in events at elevations of 5,000 to 8,000 feet. Guys I beat in the valley are killing me. Basically, I just can't breathe.  My coach says it's all in my head. My doctor prescribed Diamox and some type of steroid, but I bonked even worse. Before the last race, I even took a week off work and stayed at race elevation for seven days, but it didn't help. And I've done the opposite, not going up until late the night before the race. I even tried oxygen-enhanced water!

  • Cycling Sports Medicine Tips from an Expert

    Andy Pruitt’s name has become synonymous with sports medicine for cycling. As director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, Pruitt has made a career out of treating world-class riders. He has served as chief medical officer for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team and is an elite athlete in his own right, too. He lost his lower leg in a hunting accident at age 14 but still wrestled and participated in track, eventually winning 12 high school varsity letters. When he took up cycling he earned a category 2 ranking in able-bodied racing and was twice a world champion in disabled cycling. We've got a sampling of Pruitt's cycling wisdom.

  • Dial in Clothing Choices for Enjoyable Winter Riding

    By Elizabeth Wicks  Elizabeth Wicks lives in the central Massachusetts area just north of Worcester and has been a record-setting endurance cyclist for 20 years. She rides year-round and logs 5,000 to 6,000 miles per year, riding year-round. Knowing that Elizabeth is an avid winter rider, even in the harsh conditions of the Northeast, we asked her to describe how she prepares for and rides in the winter. There are some terrific lessons here for all of us recreational roadies.

  • Did Endurance Camp Include Intensity, Too?

    I wondered if all rides at your high-mileage training camp were the same intensity, or were they like they've been described in Coach Fred Matheny's eBooks? Were you riding often in "no-man's land?" Did you use a heart monitor?

  • Do a Quick Check After Falling

    If you or someone you're riding with falls – even if it's just toppling over after failing to click out at a stop or for some other silly reason – take a minute to check the rider and the bike to make sure everything is OK. Here's a short checklist.

  • Do a Quick Check After Falling

    If you or someone you're riding with falls – even if it's just toppling over after failing to click out at a stop or for some other silly reason – take a minute to check the rider and the bike to make sure everything is OK. Here's a short checklist.

  • Do Knees Need a Neutral Bike Fit?

    How strictly should I interpret the need to achieve a "neutral knee position" as per bike fit guidelines?

  • Do Training Rides Need to Be as Long as Events?

    I'm 48 and in the past rode 12-15 hours per week but was usually overtrained. This season I'm trying to recover better by doing 10-hour weeks including weekend rides of about 100 miles and building up only for major events.  I'm planning to ride one of Australia's toughest "classics" in September, Grafton-Inverell. It's 140 miles, starting at sea level and ascending to about 4,000 feet, with an 11-mile climb of 7 percent. It'll take me about 8 hours. Do you think I need to do training rides of the same distance? Is an 8-week build-and-peak phase adequate?

  • Do Training Rides Need to Be as Long as Events?

    By Coach Fred Matheny  I'm 48 and in the past rode 12-15 hours per week but was usually overtrained. This season I'm trying to recover better by doing 10-hour weeks including weekend rides of about 100 miles and building up only for major events.  I'm planning to ride one of Australia's toughest "classics" in September, Grafton-Inverell. It's 140 miles, starting at sea level and ascending to about 4,000 feet, with an 11-mile climb of 7 percent. It'll take me about 8 hours. Do you think I need to do training rides of the same distance? Is an 8-week build-and-peak phase adequate?

  • Does a Layoff Raise Maximum Heart Rate?

    My max heart rate is usually right at 160 bpm. I did some heavy training for eight weeks (sprint intervals, hill intervals, long rides), then took six days off. No riding or other exercise. Now when I do sprint intervals, my max HR is about 10 beats higher than before my break. Is this caused by the layoff?

  • Does Cross-Country Skiing Work for Cycling Training?

    I live where the snow starts flying in October and ends in late June. I cross-county ski to retain my aerobic conditioning, but do you have any suggestions on how to keep my legs in cycling shape, too? 

  • Does High-Altitude Simulation Work?

    My gym has a "hypoxic" enclosure outfitted with a stationary bike and treadmill. Would training in the simulated high altitude two or three days a week improve my fitness? 

  • ECOS Emergency ID System

    ECOS EID Tags.web If you've ever crashed on the road, or stopped to help a fellow rider who has, you can easily understand the value of readily accessible personal identification on road rides. First responders need to know your name, your emergency contact info, any medical conditions or drug allergies you may have — and the list goes on.

  • Happy (Cycling) Wife, Happy (Cycling) Life

    I think we've all heard the old saying, Happy wife, happy life. It goes both ways, of course, and you don't have to be married to want to do what you can to please your significant other. If your spouse or partner doesn’t share your passion for cycling, it can cause some friction from time to time. But I’m sure there are many of you who wish your spouse or partner would share your love of cycling, for a variety of reasons – from mitigating that occasional "friction" to enhancing your relationship to paving the way for doing tours and cycling vacations together, and more.

  • Happy (Cycling) Wife, Happy (Cycling) Life

    By Sheri Rosenbaum  I think we've all heard the old saying, Happy wife, happy life. It goes both ways, of course, and you don't have to be married to want to do what you can to please your significant other. If your spouse or partner doesn’t share your passion for cycling, it can cause some friction from time to time. But I’m sure there are many of you who wish your spouse or partner would share your love of cycling, for a variety of reasons – from mitigating that occasional "friction" to enhancing your relationship to paving the way for doing tours and cycling vacations together, and more.

  • How Can a Fast Rider Develop Endurance?

    I'm a reasonably accomplished velodrome racer but I want to switch to criteriums and road racing. I train on Wednesdays with Pete Penseyres' group in San Diego.  I suffer on the climbs but have improved. Would I be better off avoiding hills in midweek training sessions and doing flat, fast speedwork instead? My teammates say I should forget the hills because of my genetics. 

  • How Can a Heavy Sweater Avoid Cramps?

    I sweat beyond belief. Sweat runs off my face and drips like a worn faucet. Then I cramp badly, even though I drink a lot. What do you suggest?

  • How Can I Exercise While Traveling?

    I travel for my job. Do you have recommendations for exercises that don't require weights?

  • How Can I Get in Shape for a Long Tour?

    I'm in average shape. I currently commute 10 to 20 miles a day. I would like to do a two-week, 1,000-mile ride five months from now, riding a mountain bike on the road. Am I a little crazy or is this possible?

  • How Can I Go Faster at the End of a Ride?

    I got my first road bike three years ago and fell in with a group of racers at work. We've been doing fast 30-mile lunchtime rides with a good deal of climbing. I'm improving quickly, but I still get dropped near the finish. My friends say, "The only way to ride at 30 mph is to ride at 30 mph." How do I get to the next level? 

  • How Can I Improve Speed on Long Rides?

    I just finished a 600K (373-mile) brevet with 15,000 feet (4,500m) of climbing. Next, I'm signed up for several double centuries. How can I improve my average speed in these long rides? I hate structured training plans, and don't lecture me about nutrition!

  • How Can I Ride Faster in the Wind?

    I'm a cyclist and a runner who does trail races and climbs Colorado mountains. I like duathlons and run well, but if it's windy I'm slow on the bike. Women, children and old men fly by me. How can I ride better in the wind? 

  • How Can I Ride Safely on Wet Roads?

    I live in Seattle and the rains have begun. I just bought a road bike to replace my trusty old mountain bike, but it seems much less stable in the wet. I'm spooked by slick pavement on the steep hills. What's the secret to safe control in wet conditions?

  • How Do I Taper for Several Successive Events?

    I've used the tapering protocol you recommend in Basic Training for Roadies. It worked well. However, most of the tapering research seems to deal with the weeks before only one event. What if you have consecutive weekend events for two or three weeks?

  • How Does Snowshoeing Help Cycling?

    Snowshoeing has become the hot crosstraining sport among the local cyclists in my area, but I don't see the connection to riding a bike. What's the carryover to cycling?

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