Sunday, January 20, 2008


It's supposed to be for industry people only ...but

Dirt Demo was created to give bike dealers the chance to actually ride the bikes they were laying down money for at the Las Vegas Interbike trade show. The event expanded into a two-day riding extravaganza based at Boulder City's famous Bootleg Canyon riding area that included both road and mountain bikes. Now, Interbike's organizers have planned an East-Coast Demo event to include those who couldn't afford the time or expense to make it to Sin City. Here's the official release:

In an effort to better support retailers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, Interbike announced it will host its first annual Interbike Outdoor Demo East Tuesday, October 21 to Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Roger Williams Park in Providence, R.I.

The Interbike Outdoor Demo East event is based on the Interbike Outdoor Demo held in conjunction with the Interbike International Bicycle Expo in Las Vegas and will include product testing, National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) seminars and networking events. The new event is aimed at servicing retailers who do not attend and/or additional staff members who are not able to participate in the Interbike International Expo and Outdoor Demo.

"We recognize there are members of the industry that have difficulties attending the Interbike Expo in Las Vegas," said Lance Camisasca, Interbike's industry consultant. "Interbike Outdoor Demo East is a hands-on, no-hassle, inexpensive regional style event that allows retailers to not only test new products but also educate staff members on the latest trends and network with industry members in a historic and event friendly location."

Manufacturers who have already committed to exhibit at the event include Advanced Sports (Fuji, SE Racing, Kestrel), Fox Racing Shox, Giant Bicycles, Kenda USA, Pacific Cycle (GT, Schwinn, Mongoose), Pedro's Total Bicycle Care and Santa Cruz Bicycles, with more expected to follow in the coming weeks.

"Interbike always produces a great trade event," said Pat Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports "We're confident OutDoor Demo East will be a great event as well and we are looking forward to giving our East Coast retailers another opportunity to learn about and test ride our products."

"The genesis of an opportunity to reach out to the other half of cycling is perfect," said Chris Zigmont, general manager of Pedro's Total Bicycle Care. "We will now be able to meet with the guys and gals who work the shop floor and who can't attend Interbike's Las Vegas trade show because of time and money constraints."

The OutDoor Demo East is not intended to replace Interbike's September trade event, but will include additional events to benefit retailers unable to attend the Las Vegas show. For example, the partnership with the NBDA will bring its popular Super Seminars to the event.

"We've had great feedback on our Super Seminars around the country and attendance has exceeded expectations," said Fred Clements, executive director of the National Bicycle Dealers Association. "By partnering with Interbike at Outdoor Demo East, we feel we'll be able to offer high quality sessions in a convenient setting that will allow us to reach an even larger audience in a region that deserves the support."

Roger Williams Park is located just south of downtown Providence and has been the host city for the 2006 and 2007 National Cyclocross Championships. In addition to being a great place for cycling, Providence is a central location for Northeast and Mid Atlantic retails and is easily accessible by most forms of transportation.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Fastest Learner - Georgia Gould stepped up big time in 2007

At first glance, Georgia Gould's rise to cycling success reads like the same story often repeated in the world of women's professional bike racing. A formerly unathletic woman finds the joy of cycling in her 20s and quickly discovers a deep vein of untapped talent. After some years of solid training and coaching direction, the woman rises to the upper echelon of the elite ranks.

But Gould's rise from novice to mountain bike hero has set a new standard for speed. Now 27, Gould is a former smoker who never raised a finger in the name of athletic competition before her junior year of college, when she started running while studying abroad in Africa. Just three years ago, Gould was a first-year elite racer who crisscrossed the country, racing and living out of her boyfriend's Chevy van. In 2006, Gould won the national championship in her first season as a full-time pro. In 2007, she became a World Cup podium contender in her first stab at racing at the international level.

"I never thought success would come this soon, I'm just going to see where it takes me," Gould told VeloNews in 2006.

Her abilities took her many places in 2007. Gould was in Argentina in March, where she won the Pan American championships. In April she was in California at North America's season opener, the Sea Otter Classic, a race she also won. She traveled Europe and Canada throughout the summer on the World Cup series, where she grabbed her first-ever podium finish and wound up in 7th place in the overall. She was in Scotland for the 2007 UCI world championships, where she finished 9th as the top American. She was in Beijing on September 22 for the Olympic test event - she finished fourth. Most recently, Gould was in Portland, Oregon, where she won the 2007 U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross series.

Gould's rise to the top has been impressively quick.

photo: Fred Dreier (file photo)

Like the country's other cross-country racers, Gould hopes her talent takes her to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. With two spots available for American women, Gould is on the extra short list to go. She needs a top-three finish at one of the European World Cups to punch her ticket.

"I don't think there's any secret to get there. I'm really going to be targeting those races," Gould said.

The Perfect Season
Only a small collection of fans were on hand to see Gould win the 2007 National Mountain Bike Series finals, held August 11 in Snowmass, Colorado. But the paltry crowd was treated to a small piece of American mountain bike history, as Gould became only the second woman in history to sweep the NMBS (formerly NORBA) series. American great Juli Furtado swept the NORBA series in 1993, the same year she came one race away from sweeping the World Cup.

But while Furtado came into the 1993 season having wrapped up the NORBA overall and taken five World Cup wins over the previous two seasons, Gould entered 2007 never having won a NMBS cross-country, short-track or World Cup race. Her victory at the series opener in Phoenix on March 31 was her first-ever NMBS victory.

But Gould followed that win up with a string of crushing victories in Santa Ynez and Fontana, California. She climbed away from the women's field in Deer Valley, California on June 16, and at the Sugar Mountain NMBS on July 28.

"I don't think everyone goes into the races thinking Georgia is going to win," said Subaru-Gary Fisher rider Heather Irmiger. "But she wins by such huge margins that we're all racing for second. It's pretty unbelievable."

Gould's only hiccup came at the 2007 USA Cycling national championships at Mount Snow, Vermont. After weeks of heavy rainfall soaked Mount Snow's trails, the women's race churned the soil into slick peanut butter after the opening lap. The muck was to the benefit of Californian Mary McConneloug, who used her superior mud-riding skills to slip away. As the defending U.S. champ, Gould was not pleased with losing her jersey, but admitted she had given it her all.

"On a course like this it's about who makes the least amount of mistakes," Gould said. "I definitely had a few near misses and a few good saves. Mary made the least amount of mistakes."

Save for nationals, the entire domestic women's field spent the year chasing in vain after Gould, who usually shot off the front from the gun. But it was Gould's Luna teammates Katerina Nash and Shonny Vanlandingham who generally were the closest riders to Gould's wheel.

Not surprisingly, Gould, Nash and Vanlandingham finished 1-2-3 in the final NMBS overall standings for cross-country and short track, with Nash taking the short-track title ahead of Gould. After taking the series win in Snowmass, Gould couldn't help reflect on her season of success.

"I am kind of amazed," she said. "I wanted to be a little more consistent this year. I wanted to be a regular podium contender."

The question is what will Georgia Gould want to be next year.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sex and weight loss

Just like everyone else, cyclists have been known to gain a bit of weight over Christmas or after a non-cycling holiday. Eating good food is one of the pleasures of life and, after all, exercise is the best way to counteract any excesses.

The road to the perfect diet and fitness programme is littered with myths, misconceptions, discarded trends and mixed messages. So, is it true that exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat? And why do men come back from two weeks of cycle touring having shed pounds when women do the same distance but their weight doesn't budge?

There is a lot that we still don't understand about weight management. One thing that is clear is that most men tend to lose weight more easily than most women. Men simply add on exercise, subtract the extra beer, crisps, chocolate and fatty foods, and the extra pounds melt away. Women by comparison complain that they lose a bit of weight, reach a plateau and cannot seem to shift the last few pounds despite regular bike rides.

The reasons for this are complex but include the effect of exercise on appetite and nature's design of the female body. The latter relates to the women's need to maintain a supply of calories to support a nine-month pregnancy.

This is nature's way of ensuring survival of the species, but not much help when your priority is fitness and weight loss rather than producing more young cyclists. Exercise may temporarily dampen your appetite, but hunger usually kicks in after an hour or so.

Exercise and appetite

Exercise on its own is not an effective way for women to lose weight. Appetite is partially regulated by body temperature so if you are hot and sweaty after a long ride or training session, you may not feel hungry for a while. But a tough cycle in rain or a cold wind may leave you feeling ravenous.

This effect of exercise on appetite seems to be different in men and women. Controlled experiments using rats showed that male rats who exercised regularly ate less and lost weight. In comparison, the female rats after exercise seemed to have a lively appetite which stimulated them to eat more and maintain their weight.

Another study, using human volunteers, showed that even without an increase in appetite, men still seem to lose weight more easily compared with women. A group of normal weight but unfit men and women took part in an 18-month training programme (to prepare them to jog and complete a marathon event).

The men increased their daily intake by 500 calories while the women limited theirs to an extra 60 calories per day. Both groups were running 50 miles per week. The men lost about 5lb of fat, the women lost none.

Fat and fertile

Other studies have also shown that exercise, on its own, is not an effective way for women to lose weight. Lean female athletes in particular tend to struggle to lose fat. It is clear that evolution has hung on to the design to ensure that women are fat and fertile while men are more useful as lean hunters.

When food was scarce or fluctuated because of a poor harvest or the effects of the seasons, women developed a mechanism of energy expenditure which is very efficient. As each cycle of famine followed by a feast came round, women became more efficient at storing any available energy as fat and developing a mechanism which would not give it up easily. This allowed women to survive and to conserve essential fat stores to support the next pregnancy.

These days the cycle of famine and feasting is known as 'yo-yo dieting'. The belief that more fat will be burned on an empty stomach has some truth. Before breakfast, your blood sugar and insulin levels will be low. This will stimulate release of fat to be used as fuel during exercise. However, it is the total calorie balance at the end of the day which counts, in terms of weight loss, not just what you burned during exercise.

Life balance

After a long ride, you may feel hungry but also tired. It's easy to confuse tiredness with hunger (especially when you are trying to limit your calorie intake). So it's easy to overeat (especially at night) when you feel tired, or you simply want to enjoy a good meal as a reward for all that exercise you've just done.

Life is all about balance. It is important to balance the enjoyment of eating with that of cycling. If you ride just to burn off the calories, exercise then becomes a punishment. Change your eating habits to lose weight but also change your attitude. Enjoy cycling for the long term health benefits, not just to support a short term diet

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The art of muscle care

As chief soigneur of the US Postal-Berry Floor team, Freddy Viaene looks after Lance Armstrong and arguably the most powerful cycling team in the world. While talent and hard training is a big factor in USPS' successes, Freddy believes that how riders are looked after is also extremely important - and so is how you look after yourself.

US Postal-Berry Floor maintains a staff of 16 to support the nine riders during a race: directors, doctors, mechanics, chefs. I have a staff of three experienced massage therapists. Not every rider can have a support team, but there is much you can do yourself and with your team-mates.

Too often riders and teams think riding is all they have to do to keep themselves at top performance. But your training can go sour and injuries ruin your season if you don't pay attention to protecting and repairing your muscles and giving your body the proper nutrition. All the members of the US Postal-Berry Floor Team from Lance Armstrong to the newest member understand that the muscle care we give them is as important being in top form as the days they put in riding.

The key to endurance, as well as quick recovery after an event is circulation. Tight, cold muscles squeeze the vessels and slow the blood so it can't do its job of renewing and protecting. Warm and flexible muscles reduce swelling and improve circulation through the muscles bringing them the nutrition they need and taking away the toxins that build up from fatigue.

Stretching, massage and balms all contribute to increasing circulation.

When I am in my hometown of Izegem, Belgium, in the off season, I work with my hometown football and triathlon clubs. I tell them what I know from experience is true, that massage, balms and stretching are the keys to winning.

Be sure to stretch properly before training or events.

This is something we trainers preach constantly and I know how difficult it is for riders who are trying to find time to train and still meet the demands of family and work schedules. Take the time: it's worth it.

Stretching before and after a ride helps warm the muscles and speed recovery.

Stretching exercises are usually well known to the cyclist. Every member of US Postal-Berry Floor stretches for a long time before a race, particularly in the later stages. But even five minutes a day can help, especially if you combine stretching with the proper balms.

Even if you have only a short time, stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Remember to breathe. And use your breathing to relax into your stretch. The object is to relax the muscles so pain is not the objective-it only tightens the muscles. So if you feel pain when stretching, you are pushing too hard.

Don't just concentrate on your legs. Your neck, shoulders, spine, lower back, groin and Achilles tendon are all vulnerable to injury and should receive attention.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

WV's Nick Waite Returns to Team Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast

Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast 2008 Squad Announced

By Staff
Date: 12/19/2007
Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast 2008 Squad Announced

Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast 2008
Jonas Carney’s Sophomore Squad Returns with Stronger Sprint and GC Capabilities, Fast Young Guns from US & Canada and an invitation to the Tour of California.

Carney adds Five New Riders for 2008
Following a first season that saw the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast pro cycling team take on the strongest teams on the North American circuit, Jonas Carney’s sophomore squad returns in 2008 with proven performers and five new athletes that strengthen the sprinting core and GC threat for the new season.

2007 USA Criterium Championships - Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast train pushing the pace in the pouring rain with ten laps to go. Photo © Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

Joining the roster in 2008 are former Jelly Belly teammates Alex Candelario and Andrew Bajadali. Cadelario is the 2007 winner of the Tour de Nez and one of the fastest sprinters in the United States today, while Bajadali who won the 2007 Redlands Classic and the Tri Peaks Challenge this year is one of the strongest climbers in the country.

Also new to the roster are Ben King, the US Junior National Road Race and Time Trial Champion who won the road race by seven minutes, and David Veilleux, three-time Canadian U23 champion and the 2005 winner of the Tour de L’Abitibi. Rounding out the new additions is Brian Buchholz, a phenomenal time trialist who joins the team for his first year as a pro after only three seasons of racing.

“I’m extremely exited about our roster for the upcoming season,” says performance director, Jonas Carney. “In 2007 we demonstrated that with great teamwork we could take on some of the biggest teams in North America. 2008 is all about building on that momentum, so it was important to return with the majority of our team intact plus some strategic new additions.”

“Our sprinting core will be stronger with the addition of Alex Candelario, and Andrew Bajadali will improve our overall GC threat. All of our athletes who suffered injuries in 2007 have a full, clean bill of health for the new season and will be coming back stronger and faster than ever. Plus we’ve added three powerful all-rounders in David Veilleux, Brian Bucholz and Ben King so we’re excited to see what they’re capable of doing, especially in the time trials."

Returning Riders
Returning for a second season are Dan Bowman, proven sprinters and Canadians Martin Gilbert and Keven Lacombe, Jonny Sundt attempting to better a phenomenal, career-defining year plus Nick Waite, Justin Spinelli, Reid Mumford and Mark Hinnen, all of whom suffered injury in 2007.

Martin Gilbert wins the USA Criterium Championships in August, 2007
Photo © Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

“We are focused on building the best team in the United States,” says John Kelly, title sponsor and president, Kelly Benefit Strategies. “We’ve taken a giant stride toward that goal in just our first season. But we’re not here to buy results or rush things. 2008 will be about looking after our guys first and foremost, making sure they have the environment, equipment and support to race at their best – and then about watching them win.”

Mike McDevitt, co-title sponsor and CEO, Medifast Inc., agrees. “We had a few of our athletes down with injury last season. But we’re big believers in proper nutrition, training and in total athlete care. Even with a weakened lineup last season, Jonas and the athletes achieved tremendous results. This year should be even more exciting to watch what happens.”

The Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast pro cycling team is managed by Minneapolis based Circuit Global Sport Management.

Tour of California Invitation for KBS
The team received an invitation to take part in the Tour of California, from February 17 - 24.

Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast
Pro Cycling Team 2008 Roster
Andrew Bajadali
Dan Bowman
Brian Buchholz
Alex Candelario
Martin Gilbert
Mark Hinnen
Ben King
Keven Lacombe
Reid Mumford
Justin Spinelli
Jonny Sundt
David Veilleux
Nick Waite

Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Beefs up 2008 Roster

Spiuk Sponsors Kelly Benefit Team
Team to use Spiuk Helmets, Shoes and Eyewear
Following its great success last season, in which the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team proved to be one of the strongest teams in the North American circuit, the group led by Jonas Carney has returned to work with renewed enthusiasm and has incorporated several new faces among its ranks. Hence, it still maintains its trust in SPIUK to provide the competition kit which is to be worn in all races, since SPIUK is to sponsor the
team between 2008 and 2009.

The recently signed agreement between Kelly Benefits Strategies/Medifast and SPIUK means that the USA team will wear the competition helmets with the international emblem. During 2008, these will use a NEXION helmet which has been specially designed for the occasion, as well as the KRONOS, a successful helmet used in the time trials, which is becoming increasingly popular in the North American territory. They will also wear SPIUK eyewear and shoes.

Kelly Benefit Strategies is a group insurance broker and consultant that specialize in healthcare, and is a division of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group, Inc, headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland. KBS serves thousands of employers ranging in size from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and is committed to bringing its customers affordable group benefits through innovative benefit design, management, and administration.

About Medifast - Medifast (NYSE: MED) is the leading easy-to-use, clinically proven meal replacement program. Medifast has been recommended by thousands of physicians and used by over one million customers. Its programs have been proven effective through studies by researchers from major university teaching hospitals. The company sells its products and programs direct to consumer via the web and national call centers as well as through its national network of physicians and clinics, and Take Shape for Life program. Medifast was incorporated in 1980 and is headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland.

About Circuit Global Sports Management () Minneapolis-based CGSM facilitates strategic alliances between corporate partners and professional cycling initiatives. Previous high-profile clients include Cadillac, Red Bull, Panasonic, DKNY, Dollar Rent a Car, Jeep, Timberland, and the State of Minnesota.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Indoor trainers causing knee problems

Indoor trainers causing knee problems
Like many cyclists, I am now settling into a long winters worth of indoor training sessions on my trainer. I currently have my bike hooked up to an Elite fluid trainer with my front wheel up on a block.

My question is related specifically to knee pain experienced while riding on the indoor trainer only. For the last two seasons I have been getting pain in my left knee, just under the knee cap. I only experience this pain when riding inside, never outside. At this point in the year I am spending most of my time spinning comfortably in mid 90 rpm range with concentrated efforts to simulate climbing a couple days a week for a total of 5 - 6 days of training per week. My knee doesn't show any signs of swelling but does seem to tighten up after a long ride.

What could be causing this knee pain and why does it only present when on a trainer? Given that my position hasn't changed and my workload is really pretty easy right now, the only thing that I can think of is that it has something to do with the bike trainer combination. My thought is that the bike, while mounted on the trainer, has no give so any natural movements or quirks are being stopped by the trainer whereas they would normally be absorbed into the natural movement and flow of riding on the road. Of course I could also be on the completely wrong path which is why I am writing to you.

Any help or direction that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


Steve Hogg replies:

G'day Jason,

Assuming the bike is level on the trainer and given what you say about riding under moderate load only, the most likely reason for your problem is the lack of momentum of an indoor trainer compared to you and your bike on the road. Indoor trainers have relatively small flywheels and when flywheel momentum and the roller momentum is added to the weight of your rear wheel and crank rotation etc, it is still only a fraction of momentum of you and your bike on the road.

That in turn means that on an indoor trainer, pedaling technique differs anything from slightly to massively.

Here is a test; next trainer session, twist your left hip forward a touch when the knee niggle starts.

If that arrests the niggle, then either your seat is too high by a few mm on the trainer and you are autonomically choosing to self protect the right leg and sacrifice the left (very common) by mildly twisting the right hip forward OR you are already doing that on the road but the technique you adopt on the trainer causes you to drop your heels more and again, you choose to protect the right side as described above. Either way, drop the seat 3 - 5 mm and let me know what happens.

If twisting the left hip forward (and it will seem forward to you but if I am right, that forward movement of the left hip will be squaring up your hips) doesn't eliminate the niggle when it arises, get back to me for more advice.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New tentative route of Tour of America stoping in two WV cities!

The Tour of America is a month long cycling race that will commence the Saturday closest to the September 11th and end three weekends later on a Sunday. For the year 2008 the event will begin appropriately on September 6th, 2008 and end on the 28th of September 2008. The event will be 23 days long with 2 days of rest in between. The first day will start from Central Park. The remaining 22 days of races will snake its way through states in our country till we reach one of the many beautiful cities on the West Coast. This would truly be a race across the continent from sea to shining sea. The route taken by the race each year will differ with every single one of the 48 states in the contiguous U.S. being trekked across by the cyclist once every 5 years. All races will be run on local and state roads avoiding any Interstate Highway.

This is a tentative route and subject to change upon city approval:

The breakdown of the stages of the Tour is as follows:

Stage Date Start Finish Miles/Km Cumulative
1 9/06/08 Central Park, NY Philadelphia, PA 122/195.2 122/195.2
2 9/07/08 Philadelphia, PA College Park, MD 135/216 257/411.2
3 9/08/08## Olney, MD Frederick, MD 30/48 287/450.2
4 9/09/08 Winchester, VA Morgantown, WV 139/222.4 426/681.6
5 9/10/08 Fairmont, WV Athens, OH 142/227.2 568/908.8
6 9/11/08 McArthur, OH Cincinnati, OH 125/200 693/1108.8
7 9/12/08# Greenfield, IN Indianapolis, IN 27/43.2 720/1152
8 9/13/08 Casey, IL St. Louis, MO 143/228.8 863/1380.8
9 9/14/08 St. Louis, MO Columbia, MO 134/214.4 997/1595.2
Rest Day 9/15/08 Columbia, MO Denver, CO (via Air)
10 9/16/08* Denver, CO Buena Vista, CO 120/192 1117/1787.2
11 9/17/08* Poncha Springs, CO Pagosa Springs, CO 135/216 1252/2003.2
12 9/18/08 Farmington, NM Gallup, NM 118/188.8 1370/2192
13 9/19/08* Window Rock, AZ Winslow, AZ 125/200 1495/2392
14 9/20/08* Cameron, AZ Williams, AZ 113/180.8 1608/2572.8
15 9/21/08 Kingman, AZ Las Vegas, NV 110/176 1718/2748.8
16 9/22/08# Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas, NV 35/56 1753/2804.8
Rest Day 9/23/08 Las Vegas, NV Barstow, CA
17 9/24/08* Ridgecrest, CA Whitney Portal, CA 92/147.2 1845/2952
18 9/25/08* Big Pine, CA Yosemite, CA 118/188.8 1963/3140.8
19 9/26/08 Harden Flat, CA Sacramento, CA 127/203.2 2090/3344
20 9/27/08# Napa, CA Santa Rosa, CA 40/64 2130/3408
21 9/28/08 Santa Rosa, CA Palo Alto, CA 107/171.2 2237/3579.2

# Time Trials ## Team Time Trial
* Mountain Stages