Issue No. 743 - Since 2001! - January 5, 2017    PDF


Produced every Thursday by RBR Publishing Co. Inc. for roadies around the world. ISSN 1536-4143

Your Weekly Dose of the Best in How-To Road Cycling Info


Welcome Back! - Premium Giveaway Extended

By John Marsh Welcome back! I hope you had a great, peaceful holiday season and accomplished what you set out to accomplish – whether that meant totally shutting down your riding, getting out every single day, or something in between. I'm one of those "something in between" guys who enjoys a variety of family and workout activities over the holiday season, including dog walking, hiking, riding when I can, seeing movies, visiting friends. Really, cramming as much of all of it into the season as I can.

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On the Rivet III: Keep Falling! Keep Getting Up!

By Coach John Hughes  I'm writing this column on January 1. Today, my wife and I went skiing — my 26th day this season — to build fitness to enjoy our upcoming XC skiing holiday. I’d fallen hard several times today, and I’d interpreted that to mean I’m a bad skier. I remembered what Davis Phinney had told my friend, Pat, when he was teaching her how to descend on cross-country skis. “If you aren’t falling, you aren’t trying!” Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? Here’s mine: I’m going to keep falling! The only way I can continue to grow as an athlete is to keep trying … and failing … and trying … and failing.

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Wheel Fanatyk Mitutoyo Digital Spoke Tensiometer

By Jim Langley  Nothing is more important for the integrity of bicycle wheels than spoke tension. Too loose or tight and wheels are unstable, or worse, they may fail. Because Ric Hjertberg is a longtime friend, who owned Wheelsmith and now owns Wheel Fanatyk, I decided to look into his newer and superior tensiometer. Ric sent me the Mitutoyo Digital along with the optional Foot Pedal Data Output System to try out. Let’s look at the Tensiometer first.

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Learn How to Pedal Like a Pro this Winter

By Coach Rick Schultz  Ever wonder why the pros are so fast? One of the many reasons – genetics aside – is that they pedal differently than you and me. But we can all learn the same techniques, and the winter, or off-season, is the perfect time to improve your stroke so that you're ready to put your improved form to work in the new season. You can practice the drills listed below either on an indoor trainer or on a low-traffic road outdoors, so why not invest some of the slow season in gaining a few "free watts?"

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The Outspoken Cyclist: Richard Schwinn

The Outspoken Cyclist podcast is an RBR partner in providing timely, useful and entertaining info "for cyclists, by cyclists." Here's Diane Lees' intro: This week we feature a great, wide-ranging interview with the one and only Richard Schwinn on the state of the bike industry, and much, much more.

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Our Latest Off-Season Training ePubs

StretchingCoreStrengtheningForTheCyclist.WEBWinter Cycling BundleIn STRETCHING & CORE STRENGTH FOR THE CYCLIST, our new 57-page eBook, Coach Rick Schultz and Amy Schultz clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a stretching and core strengthening program: Just $14.95; $12.71 forPremium Members, who save 15%!

In the 3-article WINTER CYCLING BUNDLE Coach John Hughes shows you how to train in the winter, including 12-week plans based on rider goals; how to extend your "riding season" outdoors; and how to use sports psychology to improve your cycling (even long after you've plateaued physically): Just $13.50; $11.48 for Premium Members!

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Tips for Addressing Lower Back Pain

By Coach Rick Schultz  One question that the recreational roadies and racers I coach have in common – and something I hear very often from riders of all ages and abilities – is some variation of: “My lower back is always sore during and/or after a ride. What can I do about it?” In short, there's no magic bullet to address this common problem. Lower back pain is typically the result of a combination of possible issues at play. My reply is to lay out the five main factors that can combine to cause lower back pain, and how to address each one of those:

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Lack of Fitness, Not Too Much Sitting, Shortens Lives

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.  A new study suggests that it is the level of fitness, not time spent sitting, that predicts susceptibility to disease and longevity (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, published online October 18, 2016). Heart-lung fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to provide oxygenated blood to contracting muscles for prolonged periods. In this study from Norway, the authors followed 495 women and 379 men, aged 70 to 77 years. They measured sitting time with accelerometers and heart-lung fitness by peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak). They found that:

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