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4 Ways to Motivate Yourself to get out and Ride Your Bike

Did you spend too little time on the trainer and too much time eating pumpkin pie this winter?.  Now that the weather is finally turning and the Holidays have passed, are you ready to get out and ride?  How’s your motivation?  Here are our top 4 ways to get yourself motivated for the riding season (in no particular order).

1) Get a fitness app.

There are a number of apps to choose from.  We here at the shop are partial to Strava because it is geared towards the racer who is seeking results.  Fitness apps provide a well organized and easy to use exercise journal.  They monitor your progress and help you set goals.  The next best thing to riding is being able to look back on your ride and see what you accomplished.

watch?v=sJtLZ8Ufevo

2) Get a cycling computer

If you don’t have a smartphone, there are other ways to record your rides.  A GPS cycling computer such as a Garmin 510 can easily be mounted on your bike and later recorded data can be uploaded onto your favorite fitness app online.  Many cycling computers are able to  sync up with wireless cadence sensors and heart rate monitors.  Stop by the shop and we’ll be happy to show you some great options.

Garmin 500

 

3) Clean and Tune up Your Bike

Cycling is only enjoyable if your bike and gear are functioning properly.  Dust off the cobwebs and bring your bike in for a spring tune-up so that you can enjoy your exercise.

4) Get a New Bike!

You might find this crazy, but nothing motivates like a new bike.  Sell your old bike and come grab a new one.  The same principle can be applied to new gear.  Come grab some new shorts, gloves, shoes, pedals, helmet, etc…All these things are going to enhance your riding experience and are guaranteed to add some motivation.

2014-Cannondale-SuperSix-Evo-Ultegra-Di2-blue01

Yes, we have this bike in stock. Yes, it will motivate you to ride.

 

 

What motivates you to ride?  Sound off in the comments, and remember:

cyclingmeme1

 

What is PeopleforBikes?

Why do you ride? Have you ever thought about how you would describe it to a bike skeptic? What about describing it to your child? We thought that Peopleforbikes summed it up real well for us:

” We ride for fun. We ride for fitness. We ride to get from here to there, to free ourselves from the daily grind, and to make our world a better place through bikes. Sometimes we ride for no reason at all.

We ride because we love how riding a bike creates a cool breeze on a still morning and how, after a long day at work, hopping on a bike makes us feel like the day has only begun. We ride so that our kids can enjoy the simple pleasure of two-wheeled adventures around the neighborhood. We ride to make familiar places new again.

But mostly, we ride because it’s fun.”

So if you can agree with this, what does it make you want to do? The first option for most of us would be to get out and ride. One possibility is to write down why you feel the way you do about riding and share it with those around you. Peopleforbikes.org also points out how important it is for us to take a stand and let our leaders in the local governments know about our thoughts on making cycling safe for all levels. Join the close to 800,000 just like you on Peopleforbikes! Cannonadale has People for bikes as their key advocacy sponsor. In their words: Now is the time to help influence the direction of cycling as an alternate form of transport and recreation. Help support those who spend every waking moment creating more ways for all of us to enjoy our bicycles.

P4B

Stop the texting while driving

This a reminder to stop texting and driving

 

This may definitely look familiar to everyone that has traveled on the I-15 south in Springville. We believe that it is an important cause to support and that the casualties are never worth any message that we are trying to send while driving. David Henson and his wife Leslie were simply walking on the sidewalk when a driver that was texting ran into a car that pushed that car into the Hensons. Being a cyclist of any level, you use the roads as well and in order to ensure your safety we challenge you to remove any form of distraction including texting while you are driving. For more information on the efforts by the Henson family you can visit stopthetextsstopthewrecks.blogspot.com or another helpful website is stoptextsstopwrecks.org.

 

3 Tips for Spring Bike Cleaning

Bears are not bikes.

So unlike coming out of hibernation, your bike is going to need some TLC before it turns into a beast once again. Here is a list of 3 simple checks to spring maintenance that are going to need to be made before you want to ride like there is no tomorrow. Some bikes are lemons but no one wants a ticking time bomb!

1.  Tires – The tire that just made it through the last ride you had isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore. But good thing you are the rider that makes sure they have some good rubber to keep them glued to the road.

Check your air pressure. If you aren’t sure what that is check on the side of the tire for PSI. Often times people think they have a flat when it really just has been a while since they put air in the tires.

 

2.  Brakes – Only your grips should be squishy. If you squeeze the brake levers and they come close to touching the bars then its time to tighten things up. Depending on the brakes you have you would follow the cable till it meets with the actual brakes. Find the bolt that is holding the cable in place. Loosen it and given the cable a good tug and then clamp it down again. Look it up on youtube if this doesn’t make sense. Also make sure that the brake pads are in their proper place.

 

3.  Chain - Rust is a color of hair , not bikes. If your chain has some rust on it, take some steel wool and give a go through. Then a rag for the dirt and follow that up with a topping of lube.

3 Reasons to use a Helmet

 

 

Helmets are ironically far from our minds. There are plenty people out there that can remember their parents militantly reminding them to wear their helmet. In response the thought would be “if helmets are so important why aren’t you wearing one?” Helmets were the things that you purposely left behind at a friends house when you knew the disney princess or ninja turtles design it had wasn’t cool anymore.

Growing up in California, we had a helmet law go into effect. Any kids under 18 seen riding without a helmet would be given a ticket and escorted back to their parents. In absolute shock and bewilderment we watched a cop chase, in his car, a kid on a bike that wasn’t wearing a helmet. Apparently it was severe enough of a problem to drive up the sidewalk in his car after the kid. I am grateful for the cop reinforcing how important helmets are.

1) Hospital bills are more expensive then helmets

I currently own a Giro helmet. I bought it because it looked descent and it has a great price tag. I have owned it for 6 years now. The helmet cost $45. There was obviously no to maintenance fee to it so what you see is what you get. We don’t need to go too far into what would happen if you weren’t wearing a helmet and the price of just an emergency room visit or a ambulance fee. Broken bones are able to heal but brain damage is permanent. I wonder how much physical rehab costs? My guess is more than $45.

This is the rear of the helmet where my head met the cement.

This is the rear of the helmet where my head met the cement.

This is from the inside of the helmet

                      This is from the inside of the helmet

 

2) Creditably

As in the example stated above, when it comes to give advice like wearing a helmet, lead by example. I once saw a bumper sticker that I thought said it all. ” More walk less talk” Anyone that you care about you would want them to be safe in whatever they did, wouldn’t you think they would want the same for you. And if you  earn a living as a stunt professional…you should probably have two helmets.

3) Insurance against bad drivers 

While we may feel that we are entirely competent on how to be safe, unfortunately you can’t say that about every driver out there. There will be plenty of absent minded drivers on any given day. In addition to wearing a helmet, make sure that when you are crossing major intersections and are using the crosswalk make eye contact with the drivers that are looking left but turning right. They could be half way through the turn before they look in front of them.

There are plenty of other things to consider in order to make your helmet decision one that you will not regret. The fit, the price , the design and functionality are a few of them. For more information on helmets you can click on the link to know how to find a helmet that fits. Thank you for coming by the Noble blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to change bar tape

 

There are a couple of tricks when it come to changing bar tape. How much to bar tape overlaps as you wrap it is crucial. Too much and there won’t be enough when you get to the end and too little and the tape will separate when it gets warm. The amount of bar tape that you leave at the end of the bar is important so that you have enough to hold the bar plug in. Don’t forget your electric tape when changing bar tape so that you have something to anchor the shifter cables before you wrap the bars and also to anchor the end of the bar tape closest to the stem. Lastly you will need some scissors in order to cut the the end so that the bar tape runs parallel with the stem.

 

3 Painfully Simple ways to Maintenance your bike

Clean your ride regularly- There are many degrees to cleaning. It isn’t spring so so don’t worry about the deep cleaning at this point. (That is why you have a bike shop do a tune up every six months) This would be superficial cleaning of the frame, but more importantly the moving parts like the chain. Degreaser is the key to cleaning. The places to get would be the chain, derailleurs, cassette, sprocket, brakes. brake and derailleur cables and your pedals. Follow the next step after cleaning.

BikeLubediagram

 

Points that need to be lubricated- the chain in a no brainer, but what about your bottom bracket cable guide? Where is that located and why does that matter? If you lift up the bike you’ll find the bottom bracket and mounted under that are the cable guides. Can you imagine a place on your bike that would be as exposed to all the mud and water? This simple place to maintenance will ensure that your derailleurs work properly which make it a whole lot easier for you to go anywhere. Lube the moving parts that you just cleaned off but be sure not to leave extra lube on there because it is a magnet for dirt.

lube-bottom-bracket-cables

 

Tighten things up regularly- How do you think boat captains would keep a tight ship? We would never want it to ever to be true if someone accused you as to having a loose nut. There are plenty of parts on the bike that can be maintained or tightened regularly and are painfully simple. It is true that for parts like the derailleurs the tension really matters but bolts on the chain ring done matter. I had an experience where I was on a ride and climbing a hill I shifted into the smallest chain ring. Needless to say it didn’t work. After the ride, come to find out, that all the bolts except for one had fallen off the chain ring and I had never noticed. Keep a tight ship so that you can set sail at any time.

tightning bolts

 

How to prepare for cold weather riding

One thing to prepare for cold weather riding is make sure that you have plenty of layers. You can always take layers off but if you have few to start with then you may be out of luck. The other variable that makes it difficult to predict is that since you are doing exercise you are going to generate some degree of heat. This means, as the video will point out that if you start a little cold on your ride then you can be assured that you dressed appropriately. The clothing for cold weather riding specifically will be covered in the second video so be sure not to skip that one. If ye are prepared ye shall not freeze.

Cycling Training Plan

Developing a Training Plan

The purpose of this class is to teach you the steps on how to develop your own training plan.  We are not personal trainers here but we have lots of riding and racing experience plus I have read lots of books on the subject.  If you really want to get hard core get a personal trainer they will help you a ton and help you get to your goals faster than any other way.

What are your goals?

  • What are you trying to accomplish, do you just want to go faster, have a century in mind or want to do Lotoja?  Depending on what your goal is will affect how you plan.
  • Begin with the end in mind.  There are several different types of exercises and routines you can do, knowing where you are going will help us pick which to do.
  • I look at training as 3 different animals:   Short distance Road biking under 50 miles, Long distance Road Biking, Insane distance over 100 miles. picture about training goals

The different type of training regiments

These are some common training regiments, think of these like sets when you go weight lifting.  Each one does different things and we’ll help you in different ways.  Before starting these you need to figure out your max heart rate.  The easiest way to do that is, to get a heart rate monitor, bike 10 minutes as fast as you can then rest  5 minutes then do another 10 minutes as fast as you can, the highest your heart goes is a pretty good estimate of your max heart rate.  You can also take your age – 220 but that is a ball park figure

  • Fast Pedal -  This ride should be done on a flat section of road and will go on for about 30 minutes.  Start with at least a 10 minute warm up, then pedal for 1 minute at a 85 to 90 RPM then go to a 95 to 100 RPM, repeat this 2 times (4 minutes total)  then rest 2 minutes, this would make a complete set.  Your heart rate will climb but don’t use it to judge your intensity.  This workout is all about your cadence, focus on that.
  • Endurance Miles -  This is also called base build miles, we want to do these a lot in the beginning of the season.  Find a long ride (at least an hour) and keep your heart rate between 50-91% of your max heart rate the entire time. 
  • Tempo Training is an excellent workout for developing aerobic power and endurance.  This will really help to make your legs stronger.  Keep your gears high (harder) and your cadence low around 75-80
  • Climbing Repeats- Do this on a road with lots of hills, preferably short hills.  Keep your heart rate at 95-97% of max as you pedal, Cadence should be high around 90-100.  Basically you will go up the hill as hard as you can for 2 minutes, then go downhill for a bit, then back up repeat. You can do this on a long hill to; just go up as hard as you can for 2 minutes take it easy for 1 minute, repeat. 
  • Power Intervals – These hurt, but are extremely helpful. Don’t do these more than 2 times a week.  The way these work is you gradually increase your effort for the first 30 seconds until you get to what you feel is your max you can sustain for 2 minutes, then keep it at that max effort for another 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Take your effort down for 2 minutes, repeat.

 

There are more work outs to choose from these are just some very common ones.  I recommend any of Chris Carmichaels books or videos along with the Cycling Training Bible by Joe Friel

cyclisttrainingbiblebookChrisCarmichealbook

 

 

 

 

 

Developing the plan

            Now its time to put it all together.  I normally write out a weekly plan, what rides am I going to do each day what days am I going to rest etc.  On the topic of rest, rest is extremely important, if you start a ride and you are super sore from the last day, take it easy, just do a nice gentle ride.  The worst thing you can do is push it and try to build, soreness is the body’s way of telling you to take it easy.

For short distance rides, do a lot of power intervals, climbing repeats, and fast pedal work outs.  SO here is a basic example of how a short distance work out would go.

Short Distance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Recovery Ride Warm Up, Tempo Training 10 minutes, 4 Power intervals Recovery Ride Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Endurance Ride (2 hours) Rest

 

           

 

For Long Distance, do a lot of endurance miles, a lot. Also in Utah you want to do a lot of climbing repeats and more power intervals.

Long Distance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warm Up, 2 sets of fast pedal, 6 climbing repeats Recovery Ride Warm Up, Tempo Training 20 minutes, 6 Power intervals Recovery Ride Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Endurance Ride (3+hours) Rest

 

For Insane Distance, you are going to train very similar to Long Distance, in fact depending on where you are at in your training you will start with Long Distance than work up.

Insane Distance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warm Up, 2 sets of fast pedal, 6 climbing repeats Endurance ride (2+ hours) Warm Up, Tempo Training 20 minutes, 6 Power intervals Recovery Ride Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Endurance Ride (5+hours) Rest

 

Recovery

Your body needs time to recover, the purpose of the recovery ride isn’t to build more muscle or lose more weight, it’s to get the blood circulating in your legs to remove the lactic acid build up.

The key with any work out plan is to adjust it weekly.  If you get sick for a week, this will set you back about 2 weeks, 1 week of being sick and 1 week to recover where you were before you got sick.  You want to be building off what you did the week before.  If you were able to do all the power intervals than add another set.  If you are limited by time, try doing more sets and lest resting time between.  The key is to develop the plan each week and work towards your goal.

 

The grand finale Heart Rate Monitor post

Just like the favorite cowboy hat that we found out the we were wearing backwards, heart rate monitors can be used incorrectly and we may not even notice.

There is almost a guarantee that a heart rate monitor will stay in the “toy-gadget” unless you learn how to make it accurate and most effective towards your goals.

For you to know how the bang for everyone of your bucks here is a list of the 2 most commonly made mistakes thanks to Matt Fitzgerald at Competitor.com:

Mistake 1.) Using the formula 220-Age to determine your maximum heart  rate. We covered this in the last post but it needs to be 205 – (.5 x age). It is important   to get one of the most important measurements right.

Mistake 2.) Using a heart rate monitor for interval (short and fast) work outs. You all know what jet lag is, well there is such thing as cardio lag. If the workout is too short your heart rate monitor will say you are in Paris when your heart rate is on New York time. Just like your body when traveling, you monitor needs time to sync with your heart.

cyclingheartrate

Knowing what you do about heart rate monitors and the benefits as well as limitations we should take to heart (no pun intended) what my mother often told me:start savin!- Dont buy something only because it is the cheapest but because it has what you need. If you buy cheap things that is all you can expect from them.

  • the inexpensive ones will measure your heart rate but most likely won’t include the sensors needed or be compatible with bicycles
  • Garmin products allow for a GPS product as well as a heart rate monitor
  • the difference for men’s and women’s heart rate monitors are the colors
  • When scrolling through the different monitors they show what other products are compatible but most likely aren’t included in the price
  • A good question to ask yourself is if it is important to be able to upload your workout information onto you computer. If so you will need to spend a little more.
  • Garmin, Suunto and Polar are the ones that have an attachment for your bike

garminpolar

suunto

 

And this we come to the end of our Heart Rate Monitor saga. Thanks for coming by to learn more of what we hope was helpful information. If you cant find info on a topic of your interest please pose the question and we will answer it.