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

Saturday, December 8, 2007

W.Va. ski town a little-known gem in the rough

W.Va. ski town a little-known gem in the rough
By Vicki Smith, Associated Press
DAVIS, W.Va. — At the summit of Salamander Slope, Tom Blanzy kills the engine and hops off his six-wheeled all-terrain vehicle into ankle-deep snow. Gray clouds have dimmed the panoramic view from the top of Herz Mountain, elevation 4,268 feet, but the silence is nothing short of astounding.

Tom Blanzy, general manager of Timberline Four Seasons Resort, advises skiers at his resort to "follow the upward elevation. "
Dale Sparks, AP

Starting in December, skiers will come to this spot and pick a path, from a beginner trail like the meandering two-mile Salamander, to the double black-diamond slope, suitably named Off the Wall. Cross-county skiers might venture just beyond the tree line and into the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.

"You can strap on some skis, follow the upward elevation and just hear your heart beat," says Blanzy, general manager of Timberline Four Seasons Resort.

Timberline and its nearby competitor, Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center, are the main attractions in Davis, a little-known skiing and outdoor sports paradise that the November issue of Men's Journal declares one of the "10 Coolest Mountain Towns" in North America.

"Like redneck in-laws, serious snow is a secret many Southerners would prefer to keep," the magazine says. "But with 150-plus annual inches, Davis is the Dixie darling for skiers who'd rather drive to the Appalachians than fly to the Rockies."

"I'm surprised the word hasn't gotten out sooner," says Laird Knight, owner of Granny Gear Productions, which stages mountain bike races. "I've lived here 23 years and I would have thought by now, the place really would have been discovered.

"It's everything that an urban refugee would look for," he says. "It's everything a city isn't."

Davis is an old lumber and coal mining town, tapped by industrialists in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and named for former U.S. Sen. Henry Gassaway Davis, who paid between $5 and $15 an acre for land.

But it is location, more than history, that makes it special.

Davis sits at the edge of the highest mountain valley east of the Rockies, a 14-by-3-mile trough with an average snowfall of 160 inches. At 3,200 feet, Canaan Valley is drained by the Blackwater River, which occupies anglers and rafters alike. It is ringed by mountains perfect for hiking, biking and skiing, and it is filled with distinctively northern trees like red spruce and balsam fir.

And with fewer than 700 full-time residents, it's a place that Claire Martin says often goes overlooked by Northeasterners in ski season.

"It was on our radar, but we realized it wasn't necessarily on the radar of the rest of the country," says Martin, deputy editor of Men's Journal. "We've all been to Vermont and seen the Green Mountains, and seen the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but not very many outdoor enthusiasts — even in the know — have been to West Virginia."

"I tell ya, people in Virginia don't know about West Virginia," says Chip Chase, owner of a cross-country skiing company called White Grass Touring Center.

"We don't reach out to a national audience, but when people in the know do come, they really get off on it," he says. "I've been here 25 years, and I've never had a boring day."

The ski stats speak for themselves.

Timberline has a vertical drop of 1,000 feet, 37 slopes and trails and 94% snowmaking. Canaan has a vertical drop of 850 feet, 37 slopes and 85% snowmaking.

This year, Timberline has improved its snowmaking capabilities, while Canaan is reaching out to families with a program allowing children under 12 to stay, eat and ski for free.

Also new at Canaan is a high-tech form of sledding that spokesman Bryan Brown says only a half-dozen resorts in the country offer. Airboards are inflatable, lightweight, steerable sleds about 4 feet long, with a grooved surface that allows for quick turns and stops. Airboarders will have their own terrain at Canaan, just like snowboarders and tube-riders.

But Brown says Canaan has lost none of the solitude and scenery that guests treasure.

"It's not overcommercialized," he says. Then he laughs. "It's not commercial at all. It's the antithesis of commercialization."

When it comes to stores, well ... there aren't many.

"If they're after the Aspen experience, they're not going to get it here," says Roger Lilly, owner of Blackwater Bikes. "If the husband wants to be outdoors and the wife wants to shop, that's going to be a problem."

In Davis, shopping is limited to anti-ques, a gourmet food store, an herb shop and an art gallery.

"It's not an area if you're looking for frills," Lilly says. "There are some really good small restaurants, but no big fancy dining experiences. And we'd like to keep it that way."

Davis' few eateries include Muttley's steakhouse, the Flying Pigs Cafe, Blackwater Brewing and Sirianni's Cafe, a rustic pizza joint whose tantalizing aromas fill the still, cold air.

Michael Goss manages Sirianni's, where the walls are decked with ski posters, some autographed by extreme skier and occasional visitor Glenn Plake. Plake's decadent "Extreme Garlic Chips" are featured on the menu, essentially a crispy pizza crust smothered with handfuls of fresh chopped garlic and gooey cheese, then cut into small squares.

"Every big city has its little communities, but they don't have the quaint, small-town charm," Goss says.

That's why he believes most visitors return. Locals remember their faces and greet them at every sighting.

"We make them feel welcome," Goss says. "Here, they have a mountain they can call their own."

Clare Ferguson and Andy Norton, Londoners now living in Takoma Park, Md., found Davis after less than a month in the United States. Clare's mother, Wendy Ferguson, was visiting from France for 10 days, so the family packed up and rented a cabin in the woods.

"We wanted to take my mom somewhere nice. We wanted to find someplace with beautiful trees, and arts and crafts," Clare says. "It's beautiful. Lovely."

After lunch, the Fergusons head for the neighboring town of Thomas, where there are slightly more shops and the MountainMade Artisan Gallery —— a showcase of West Virginia workmanship. Thomas also offers some hard-to-find nighttime entertainment, with live music at The Purple Fiddle Coffeehouse —

Susan Moore, owner of the Bright Morning Inn, worked in the advertising business for years and says she always felt she could be honest about places like Davis.

"It is wild and wonderful," she says. "This is the closest real wilderness for lots of people who live in the mid-Atlantic. ... You can really feel totally lost and totally away from everything, and that's harder and harder to find."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Do Spin Classes Help or Hurt?

Daylight hours are dwindling away, which makes riding your bicycle outdoors more of a challenge. Add bad weather to the equation and all but the toughest souls are forced indoors.

One indoor option for winter riding is a structured spinning class, where you and your stationary-peloton pals gather at the gym to be motivated into sweat rivulets by an encouraging instructor. With music pounding in the background, athletes spin the cranks as fast as possible. The instructor encourages, "More tension! Stand up! Down! Up! Hold it, hold IT!"

With red faces, burning legs and ponds of sweat below each bike, tired and tortured athletes might wonder if spinning classes are helping or hurting their athletic goals.

You must first establish goals for your training before you can decide if your spin class is helping or not. Then decide how substituting indoor cycling—and more specifically spinning—for outdoor cycling fits into those goals.

Multisport athletes have to be particularly cautious that very difficult spinning sessions do not take away from possible gains made during running and swimming workouts.

Realize You are Part of a Group
Once you decide what you want to achieve from spinning, recognize that your goals may not match the session goals of the instructor or others in the class. One of the tough things about leading a group is structuring each class so the participants have a good experience and keep coming back.

Participants often end up forming the class structure by rewarding the instructor with comment ("What a great class! You just killed me tonight. I work harder here than for anyone else. Those standing intervals toasted my legs, what a workout!") If you enjoyed a particular interval set or it fits nicely into your training plan, let the instructor know.

You can also ask what the focus of upcoming classes will be. Remember, however, that rarely will a class be structured around an individual's training plan or goals.

Additionally, some people want to feel totally thrashed after class, and that is what determines if it was a "good" spin class for them or not. It doesn't matter if the workout doesn't remotely resemble an outdoor cycling session--all they are looking for is that nice flogged feeling. If this isn't what you're looking for on that particular day, don't fall into the trap of keeping pace with someone who is.

Pre-plan Your Workout
Before you go to the class, decide what kind of workout you want to achieve. Most good instructors encourage participants to modify the workout to meet personal needs.

If you want to do a form workout that focuses on high revolutions-per-minute while staying mostly aerobic, for example, this may mean staying seated while the rest of the class is repeatedly bouncing up and down. Or you may need to keep the tension low when the instructor tells everyone to crank it up. Don't be afraid of standing out from the crowd in order to conform the session to that day's training.

Bike Fit
Some stationary spin bikes have limited seat adjustment. On these bikes, seat height can only be adjusted in half-inch increments via holes in the seat post. This limited adjustment can cause some athletes knee, hip, foot or back pain.

The fit problem is compounded when you increase the tension, or load. A high load and an incorrect fit are bound to cause you problems. The last thing you want is an injury.

Before you head to class, measure the distance on your bike from the top of the pedal to the top of the saddle when the pedal is in the position putting it furthest away from your seat. This position is not at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but rather slightly forward from that position.

Try to get the seat height of your spin bike as close as possible to that of your own bicycle. If you don't wear the same shoes for spin class as you do for outdoor cycling, consider the difference your shoes may have on seat height adjustment.

Just For You
In the end, how you participate in a class determines whether or not spinning helps or hurts your fitness goals. It is impossible for an instructor to meet the goals of every individual in the class, so it is up to you to get what you need from each class and each instructor.

Monday, November 19, 2007

2007 Carbon Rush!

Haywood take La Ruta overall

Costa Rica's Federico "Lico" Ramirez (BCR-Pizza Hut) and American Susan Haywood (Trek-Volkswagen) took overall wins at the 15th annual La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain-bike stage race in Costa Rica.

It was Haywood's first visit to La Ruta, while Ramirez, also an accomplished road racer, became the only person to claim four La Ruta titles. Both riders took three stage wins en route to overall victory.

After the race Ramirez said he would be back to try for number five.

Central America's largest bike race concluded on Saturday with the 125km fourth stage from the mountain hamlet of Aquiares to the Playa Bonita beachfront in the coastal town of Limon. Riders opened the day with a punishing steep 5km climb through coffee fields and tackled a series of rolling rocky terrain through the rainy slopes of Costa Rica's eastern volcanic mountains. Nearly half of the parcours was on flatland - but the abundance of railroad sections and hike-a-bike trestle crossings made the journey a frustrating and bumpy affair.

Ramirez, who dominated the field on the climbs through the first three stages, appeared content to follow wheels and preserve his lead. The Costa Rican strongman was joined by French marathon champion Thomas Dietsch (Gewiss-Bianchi), Swiss Thomas Zahnd (Stoeckli-Craft) and Costa Ricans Paolo Montoya and Deiber Esquivel. The ageless Tinker Juarez (Cannondale) also made the selection.

Dietsch, Zahnd and Ramirez eventually separated themselves during the tricky railroad sections, and coming into the beach finish, Ramirez let the two Europeans know he would not contest the sprint. Dietsch proved the man with the strongest kick - both men celebrated their first La Ruta finishes with a dunk in the Caribbean.

Juarez, in his third La Ruta attempt, crossed the line in sixth place, which put him in fifth overall and the top American.

Haywood also appeared happy to ride with her closest competitor, three-time La Ruta champ Louise Kobin (Sho-Air). The two spent much of the day together, with Haywood trailing Kobin on the railroad sections and trestle walks. The Trek rider did not contest the sprint at the end, adding that Kobin deserved the stage for setting the pace for much of the day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ruta de los Conquistadores Stage 1 goes to Davis's own Haywood.

La Ruta is not a race for whiners, posers or delicate persons," reads a note of caution on the event's website. "It is not a ride in the park. The grades are steep, the climate can be extreme. You must be a true adventure lover and a great athlete to enjoy it.

Enjoy might not be the best word. Endure is probably more like it. That was certainly the case for women's stage 1 winner Sue Haywood whose bike was lost by Taca airlines during her trip south from Washington D.C. Luckily Haywood's primary sponsor, Trek, has a dealership in Costa Rica, and a shop employee showed up at her hotel in Jacó late Tuesday night with a replacement bike. Haywood said it was a size too small, but that didn't seem to matter Wednesday, as she cruised to a 16-minute win over second-placed Louise Kobin. Haywood was the only rider among the race's 43 female starters to come in under the seven-hour mark, posting a 6:54:26.

"The bike worked great," said a relieved Haywood. "I had to stop and raise the saddle after a couple hours and I got chain suck a couple times, but it was never bad. It was a really nice bike. I was really lucky."

Haywood might change that tune Thursday. Next up at La Ruta is stage 2's 46-mile grind from El Rodeo to Terramall. Riding from a horse farm to a shopping mall might sound like fun, but mix in 11,887 feet of climbing as the race wraps around the south side of the sprawling capital city of San Jose, and it's unlikely anyone will be in the mood to get a jump on the Christmas gift buying season.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

End of season sale!

Blackwater Bikes has tons bicycles in the shop - so we always have cycles we are looking to clear to make way for new stock. These include last years models, scratch and dent and shop soiled bikes and other cycling products. Call us anytime if you want to but one of our end of season clearance bicycles and we'll check out what sizes and models we have left. Sometimes there are a few surprises even to us so call 304-259-5286 now.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why settle for second best in yourself or your bicycle? We proudly offer the finest in present day technology – hand crafted American made Cannondale! We are here to help you select the perfect ride for your exact needs and dollar investment. With years of experience, we are experts at cutom fitting a bicycle specifically to you. Come test ride today! (Layaway and Financing available)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

'Cross Examination: Bishop, Haywood win Tacchino 'cross

Trek-VW teammates Jeremiah Bishop and Sue Haywood won the Tacchino Cyclocross on Sunday at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, Virginia.

Lining up beside Haywood were some of the East Coast's fastest women, including three-time Verge MAC champion Betsy Shogren (Fort Factory Team), defending MABRAcross champion Lisa Vible, Team Kenda Tire's Jennifer Maxwell, Vanderkitten's Mandy Lozano and Libbey Sheldon of Tokyo Joe's.

Roaring out of the prologue loop, Shogren and Maxwell had the advantage as they powered up the finishing-hill straight to begin the first of their laps. By the time they entered the backside of the course, which is out of sight from the main spectator area, Shogren had a decisive lead and Haywood, in her first cyclocross race in two years, was charging. And then things got weird.

"We were climbing the short, hard hill in the back, and I asked Sue what she thought the sound was that was coming from my bike," said Shogren. Moments later, her left crankarm came off, with her foot still attached. Shortly afterward, the rest of her crankset fell off.

"It was pretty funny," said Shogren.

As Shogren began running to the pit, a quarter lap away, Haywood powered away to a commanding lead with Maxwell, Lozano and Jessica Hill (Trail's End Cycling) chasing.

Haywood extended her lead for a dominating win, while Maxwell attacked the chase group to finish second. But behind, Shogren - a half lap down - was working her way through traffic on her pit bike, an overgeared single-speed. She methodically passed rider after rider to take third, just seconds behind Maxwell.

With Bishop and Jonny Sundt (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast) on the starting line for the elite men's race, no one had any doubts about how difficult the race was going to be.

But MABRAcross regular Greg Wittwer (FORT Factory Team) wasn't intimidated. He attacked from the start, forcing Bishop to respond, while a sizable portion of the field - including Sundt - was lying in a pile after a chain-reaction crash.

Up front, Wittwer matched every one of Bishop's many accelerations as Sundt ripped through the field, trying to make up for lost time. Bishop finally seized the lead and began extending his margin, and while Wittwer appeared to be closing in the final laps, the Trek-VW rider held on to take his first ‘cross win of the year.

Sundt, who eventually caught Steve Cummings (Indiana Regional Medical Center) for third place in his first ‘cross race of the year, said that he was surviving on his road fitness. "I don't have that top-end yet," he said. "It's hard to get that, because it hurts." - Ken Getchell

Tacchino Cyclocross
Leesburg, VA. Nov. 4
1. Jeremiah Bishop, Trek-VW
2. Greg Wittwer, Fort Factory Team
3. Jonny Sundt, KBS-Medifast
4. Stephen Cummings, Indiana Regional Medical Center
5. Jeffrey Buckles, Alan

1. Sue Haywood, Trek-VW
2. Jennifer Maxwell, Team Kenda Tire
3. Betsy Shogren, Fort Factory Team
4. Mandy Lozano, Vanderkitten
5. Libbey Sheldon, Tokyo Joe's

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ray's Indoor MTB Park

Ray's Indoor MTB Park in Cleveland, Ohio officially opens its door for the winter riding season this weekend. is flying to Cleveland Friday for a few days of riding indoors. We'll check out all the new features Ray spent building into the park during the warmer months.

Here's the new map of Ray's Indoor MTB Park

The new course map shown here including four jump lines with a beginner 3-pack, a beginner/sport 6-pack, a redesigned sport/expert line and a new expert roll-in. Additionally, we'll check out the expanded beginner room, rally the pump track and most importantly see what the new sport section is like. The old Moen speed trials course, which we loved so much, has been completely replaced with an expanded sport riding area. Also, as the building grows so does the XC course which snakes around its perimeter. We can't wait, it's going to be a blast!

For more information go to

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Crews Search for Missing Autistic Hiker

More than 50 emergency responders and volunteers searched Monday for an autistic hiker who strayed from his parents in the Dolly Sods Wilderness area.

Jacob Allen, 18, of Morgantown, was hiking with his parents, Jim and Karen Allen, on Sunday afternoon when he got ahead of them and didn't answer when they called out his name, said Chris Stadelman, public information officer at the command post.

The family declined to speak with the media, but thanked searchers for their efforts and asked for the public's prayers, Stadelman said.

While Allen is described by his mother as severely autistic, he is in good physical shape and likes to hike, Stadelman said. He was not carrying food or water.

The family visits Dolly Sods, located within the Monongahela National Forest, a couple times a year, he said.

Temperatures dropped to as low as 38 degrees overnight, said Stadelman, but rose steadily on Monday, which was clear and sunny.

Residents of several counties were searching along with two search dogs and a crew in a National Guard helicopter.

The primary search area was about 4 square miles of terrain that included thick brush and steep inclines.

Officials on Monday asked for more volunteers to join in the search, requesting that they not call, but show up at The Canaan Valley State Park Nature Center.

"We only have one land line for all the calls that are coming in," Stadelman said.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Plantation Trail

Directions to Trailhead: Drive past Davis toward Canaan Valley for about 3 miles. The trail head will be on the right (clearly marked). Look for the parking lot on the left just before the trail head.

Trail Description: This is a great XC trail. However, this trail is not for the light hearted. It has every obstacle one could think of including rocks, streams, rocks, roots, rocks, logs, rocks, steeps, oh and did I mention rocks? You might want to bring out the fully for this one. Your ass will thank you!

Trail Length: 19 miles (1/2 singletrack)

Trail Type: Singletrack & Fire Roads

Skill Level: Advanced

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Foresters suggest heading to West Virginia’s high country this weekend to see the best fall color in the state. Higher elevations of Grant, Hardy, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph and Tucker counties are reported to be at 80 percent peak

• Tucker County is recommended destination for weekend travel where foliage at the higher elevations is reported to be 75 to 80 percent peak. Foresters recommend driving U.S. Route 219 through Davis and Canaan Valley for a variety of yellow and orange color. Lower elevations of Tucker County are at 40 percent peak.

Each fall, leaves turn breathtaking shades of orange, purple, red, yellow and brown in a fantastic show of nature's glory. But why do leaves change color? Although Jack Frost gets most of the credit, the scientific reason for our beautiful fall foliage is a process called photoperiodism. As the sun moves further south, the hours of daylight shorten and the temperatures fall. This causes leaves to cease production of chlorophyll, the chemical that colors leaves green. As the chlorophyll disappears, the underlying colors of the leaves are unmasked. The next strongest pigment becomes dominant giving the leaves a "new"color.

Friday, October 12, 2007

WVMBA 2008 Series Planning Meetings, Oct. 21 and Dec. 2

UPDATE: 2008 Series Planning Meetings, Oct. 21 and Dec. 2
** Mandatory for Race Directors **
If a race director does NOT show up to BOTH meetings, your race WILL NOT be included in the 2008 series(s).

Date/Time: Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 6:00 pm
Location: Truck Stop 67 Restaurant, Flatwoods, WV, Exit 67 off I-79
Questions: Contact J.R. Petsko at
Another Mandatory Meeting will be held on December 2nd: Details TBA

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

One day till tour!

Saturday is just one day away and if you are coming to Davis for the tour de Lilly you are in for a treat. The weather has been great here in Davis for the past month and it looks to continue for this weekends event. Trails are dry! Yes I said it dry. The normally wet and slick trails are dry and fast after a lack of rain in the last month. Take advantage with you can. And if your riding the tour on Saturday don't forget about the race for the riddles on Sunday just one hour up the road at big bear lake. Makes for a great weekend of cycling. See ya there!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

3 days till the Tour de Lilly!

This weekend marks the ten years for the Tour de Lilly. The tour is a loosely orginiatized mountain bike ride thoughout the beatuiful country side of Tucker County. The ride starts at 10:00am on Saturday. Riders are incuraged to show up around 9:00am. The ride will leave from downtown and take a morning ride. Then return for lunch. The ride will continue after lunch for those who want to continue.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Race for the Riddle's


Joey Riddle had a serious crash at this year's West Virginia Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) championship race. His injuries include two broken wrists, a broken collarbone, a separated shoulder, and a concussion. Joey is unable to work and his medical bills are piling up.

The mountain biking community is coming together to hold a benefit race on Sunday, October 7th at Big Bear Lake in Hazelton, WV. All proceeds from this event will go towards a fund to support the Riddle family. The event is sponsored by: Cannondale, Vicious Cycles, Big Bear Lake Campland, Blackwater Bikes, Fat Tire Cycle, Velocity Cycles, Dirt Bean Cafe and Bike Shop, Granny Gear Productions, Adventure Pursuit Triathlon, Ace Adventure Center (ACE), East West Printing, and WVU Cycling.

Day-of-race registration will run from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and the race will begin at 11:00 a.m. All WVMBA classes will be offered, and racing will be held in conjunction with the WVU collegiate mountain bike race. A nice prize table is promised, three deep in each race category. This is a benefit for the Riddle family and no cash prizes will be awarded.

Nearly all of the racing is on single/double track. This extremely fast and technical course is full of large embedded rocks, which provide wide grin racing for all skill levels. Expert racers will do 30 miles. Sport racers will do 20 miles, and Beginners will do a 10 mile loop.

There will also be a raffle, thanks to Cannondale, Vicious Cycles, and Granny Gear Productions, with the following prizes:
1) Cannondale Single Speed 29er Frame
2) Vicious Cycles Hardtail Frame (Single Speed or Geared)
3) A team entry into the 2008 24 Hours of Big Bear
Both of the bike frames will come from the factory in whatever size the winner chooses. Tickets are on sale now for $5.00 for one ticket or $20.00 for five tickets. Email J.R. Petsko ( for tickets or purchase them at the race.

For more information on the Race for the Riddles visit

Monday, October 1, 2007

Revenge of the Rattlesnake - A great succes!

Revenge of the Rattlesnake is part of the longest running mountain bike series in the world and this race was a started in 1984. Check out all the results, photos, and coverage on

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Race time on Saturday!

Revenge of the Rattlesnake - WVVUS #6Ultra Series Championship

The 2007 Revenge of the Rattlesnake Mountain Bike Race course is designed for riders of intermediate to expert skill levels and is projected to last between four to six hours.
Cut-Offs, Distances: There will be several cut-off points and we will attempt to finish all participants before the six hour mark. Race distances will range from 20- 50 miles with the results being determined by distance and finishing time.

The Course: The course will use single-track trails, dirt and paved roads in Blackwater Falls State Park and the Dobbin House and Canaan Mountain areas of the Monongahela National Forest. The long course will include the River Trail, Dobbin House, Plantation, Fire Trail #6, Pointy Knob, Mountainside, Railroad Grade, Davis and Yellow Birch trails.
Helmets are required for all race participants. iPlayOutside will be there taking photos. WVMBA rules apply. Racecourse will be open for pre-riding all day, the day before the race.
To Register: Registration will be at Blackwater Bikes in Davis, WV from 7:30- 9:30 AM on Saturday, Sept. 29th, 2007. Pre-race meeting will be at 9:45 AM. Registration fee will be $35 for WVMBA members and $40 for non-members.

Awards: The Awards ceremony is scheduled for 5:00 PM. Post race food and drink will be provided by Sirianni's Cafe of Davis and the Mountain State Brewing Company of Thomas.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A U.S. grand tour? North Carolina company says 'yes'

A North Carolina sports management firm has announced preliminary plans to organize a 27-stage transcontinental "Tour of America," with an $11 million prize list. In a release issued Wednesday, Aqu, Inc. promised to reveal further details - including dates - at a press conference scheduled for Thursday at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. In its release, the company said it expects the race will be "the largest spectator event in the history of U.S. sports, covering approximately 4000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean."

*Based on unconfirmed reportsOrganizers of the tentative 30-day, 27-stage race expect to invite "25 of the most elite cycling teams in the world and will boast a prize purse currently pegged at $11 million, the largest purse of any international cycling event." While no dates or route information has been made available, the Tour will purportedly reach 22 states as it works its way across the U.S.

"This event will be the greatest international cycling event in the world," said Aqu, Inc. President Frank Arokiasamy. "The Tour of America will provide the largest prize pool to international cyclists ever offered in history and will ensure quality competition from beginning to end. We are excited to finally bring one of the world's largest spectator sports to the United States through a major international competition."

The company has established a website (, which will be made available after Thursday's press conference, but what appears to be a preliminary website has already been established at (That site is not part of the company's official news release, so should be viewed with that in mind. Editor) If accurate, the proposed schedule of the Tour of America would put the race at odds with the Vuelta a España, the world championships and the second edition of the Tour of Missouri.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Coming to town this weekend?

Planning a trip to Davis this weekend? If your answer was yes, then your in for a treat. Three great events are scduedaled this weekend.

Revenge of the Rattlesnake The Race course is designed for riders of intermediate to expert skill levels and is projected to last between four to six hours. The course will use single-track trails, dirt and paved roads in Blackwater Falls State Park and the Dobbin House and Canaan Mountain areas of the Monongahela National Forest.

Tour of Davis Run for it '07 Tucker Community Endowment Foundation (TCEF) will host its premier Run For It event in Davis on Saturday, Sept. 29 in conjunction with the local Leaf Peepers Festival. The event will consist of a 2K / 5K walk or run through the town of Davis. Participants will have the opportunity to support a variety of community causes within our 6 county service area.

19th Annual Leaf Peepers Festival Selected by the WV State Journal as one of the "55 Good Things About West Virginia", the 19th Annual Leaf Peepers Festival is presented by the Tucker County Alpine Festival and we are celebrating the blazing colors of Autumn in this high mountain paradise! You are invited to join in on all the fun and activities September 28th - 30th, 2007 in Tucker County, WV also known as the "Top of the Mountain State"! Due to the high elevations of this beautiful and remote area, the extensive hardwood forests historically reach peak fall colors at the end of September.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Perfect Weather

Make the drive to Canaan Valley (8 miles South of Davis, WV) and enjoy the cooler weather. The mountains here provide a cool breeze - near perfect mountain biking weather.

On a hot day, enjoy Canaan Loop Trail (or access more than 12 trails from there)
See DaMaps Trail #1231 for details

On a cool day, enjoy one of the State Championship Trail (or access more than 20 possible variations at will)
See DaMaps Trail #1181 for details

These maps are FREE, INTERACTIVE, and will PRINT easily - view all free maps at

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

11.6 miles of new trails

A new trail map has been added: Deep Allegheny Trail (11.6 miles of mountain biking)

Place mouse over markers and see actual photo of each location - FREE online at

Monday, July 2, 2007

2007 WV State Championships

Yesterday's race was a great success for Davis, West Virginia; more than 150 participants.

Race details will be brought to you soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the PHOTOS

Gallery - scrolling gallery (editor's choice)
Photo Album - all photos taken by photographers: Ludovic Moore and Van Morales
Pictured here: Our NEW 2007 state champion


If you came in first place within your division, email for your FREE 8x10 photo. All others, $10 per photo (8x10 on professional paper) - including shipping.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2007 State Championships


Sunday July 1st, 2007

Davis, West Virginia (zip: 26260)

Registration: 9:00 am – 12:30 (Blackwater Bikes)
Pre-Race Meeting: 12:45 (Blackwater Bikes)
Race Start: 1:00 pm (Camp 70 Road Bridge)

Update: You can now view more than 98% of the race courses online – with interactive maps, pictures, and descritpions - from DaMaps.

Download or print them free…
Beginner Course: 6 miles (one loop on
DaMaps #17)
Sport Course: 17 miles (one loop on
DaMaps #17 and one loop on DaMaps #18)
Expert Course: 28 miles (one loop on
DaMaps #17, and TWO loops on DaMaps #18)

Spectators Welcomed!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lindy Point Trail

June 20 2007
Lindy Point Lookout is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. DaMaps make route finding a whole lot easier and includes numerous view points along the way that you won’t want to miss.

Preview many points of interest before heading out there.

LINDY POINT – In & out 12.2 miles
Estimated time: 1.5 hours
1900 feet of gentle single track hike at the end – gorgeous views!

By Car: an easy drive with a short hike at the end.
DaMaps #20

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Blackwater Bikes has just teamed up with DaMaps to provide you with a diversity of trail maps. Expect simplified navigation with a number of pictures.

Trail intersections, numerous points of interest and area information are now at your fingertips.

New trail mapsFree to usersInteractive WebsiteEasy printing

State Champ 1 - DaMaps #17
Loop - 6.7 miles - blue (moderate)
Single Track, open fields, wooded areas, streams, views

For more info, visit:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cannondale Demo Day

Location: Blackwater Bikes in Davis, West Virginia

Date: Friday, May 4th

Time: From 4 to 8PM

Details: Free bike demos on Cannondale’s road and mountain bikes. Bring your own helmet, shoes and pedals if you have them and a picture ID for a deposit.

Newsflash is Created

A newsflash section has just been added to our site.
We are now able to keep people updated on the current events and happenings in and around Davis, West Virginia.