Sunday, February 25, 2007

2/16-18/2007 - Minneapolis, MN

When it comes to outdoor activity, it is hard to beat the moderate climate of Middle Tennessee. But even the few snows that we received this winter can't take the place of a trip to the Great White North for a reminder of what the "4th-Season" really feels like. Nothing like falling snow and a wind-chill of -9 degrees F to give you a dose of a real winter! Al Gore himself couldn't build a case for global warming in these conditions.

But, while I try to be environmentally conscious, that's not the only reason I was in Minnesota. I was invited by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), the largest bicycle parts and accessories supplier in the U.S., to be a part of their annual Open House, called Frostbike. Now, it takes a very special place to draw a bunch of people to Minnesota on their own money in the middle of February - and QBP is that special. Not only are they a leader in the industry for service, technology, prodict availability, and the breadth of products they offer; but their facility in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington is LEED certified for it's minimal environmental impact. They even recycle rain water for the restroom functions - how "green" is that?!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

2/10/06 - The Art of Bike Fit

Science: 2 a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge

Art: 1 : skill acquired by experience, study, or observation, 4 a : the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects

- Merriam-Webster

I believe that most people perceive the act of “bike fitting” as a science. An easy evaluation to make given all the measurements that are usually taken of the prospective rider: Height, inseam, arm length, torso length, shoulder width, etc. Then there are angles and tube lengths of the frame, not to mention terms such as rake, trail, and the somewhat abstract concepts of bottom bracket height and chainstay length. Enough to make your head spin? If yes, you’re in the majority.

Friday, February 9, 2007

2/9/07 - Big News from Team Disco

Several big news items came out of the team of reigning U.S. National Champion, George Hincapie, this week. The team released photos and interviews from it's annual training camp in Solvang, California with an understandably heavy emphasis on new team member Ivan Basso and returning rider Levi Leipheimer. After finding success on Team CSC and Team Gerolsteiner respectively, the two add an explosive element to a team which sat relatively sterile during last season with a few gleaming moments in the Spring Classics (although those moments seemed over shadowed by Hincapie's shocking and amazing "crash-out" of Paris-Roubaix) and a lack-luster victory by Hincapie at the end of the season in the U.S. National Road Racing Championships. Perhaps the addition of these two riders will be just what the doctor ordered after the departure of Lance Armstrong, now a partial team owner.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Editor's note:

Posts after this point also appear at While they appear in chronological order, the date code for the posting is incorrect. The correct date is noted in the title of the entry.


2/1/07 - My New Bike!

Yeah, even us shop guys get excited about getting new bikes! Truth is, I've somewhat secretly wanted one of these for quite some time. I got a Trek X0-1 frameset from Trek and built it up with parts that had been on another frame to end up with a new cyclo-cross bike. It's been quite a project - as some of these parts are new, and some have been on as many as three of my bikes. I even built the wheels myself a couple years ago. Yeah, it's not the prettiest or the coolest, or the lightest or newest - but it'll be a great rainy-day, commuter, winter bike. You might even catch me on it in some cyclo-cross races next winter. (Yeah, I know the last 'cross race of the season was on Sunday...perfect timing, huh?)

1/31/07 - Trek Concept Bike?

What does Trek have up it's sleeve for 2008? John Burke, President of Trek Bicycle Corporation, has already leaked to dealers that 2008 will mark the first change in the OCLV bike platform in nearly 15 years. There have been rumors spread for a couple of years that they were working working on custom geometry (which I secretly had wished they'd consulted with me on...). Well, these photos from an uncredited source might shed some light on the subject.

1/27/07 - More Buyer Beware

The internet is an amazing place which has presented us with new oportunities in many different areas of life and business - and created entirely new concepts that we weren't familiar with even 5 years ago. I mean, who knew what a "blog" was in 2001?

But, as with most things in life; with new opportunity comes new responsibility. E-commerce, while it accounts for only a small percentage of all commerce in the United States (which is the little-known fact that the "dot-coms" don't want you to know), is becoming an increasingly fertile platform for scam artists and fraud.

I've written on a couple of occasions about internet fraud in our industry; and in spite of increased effort by bicycle brands and distributors to police the exchange of their goods online and increased awareness by reputable retailers - internet fraud involving the sales of bicycles and bicycle-related goods is becoming more and more pervasive.

Just today I recieved an e-mail from someone who visited our store - doing due diligence - to research an advertised sale of a bike on e-bay. After visiting our store to get our opinion and then going home to do some further research, here's what he told me via e-mail:

12/24/06 - 1/2/07 - Holidays in the Great Northwest

For the first time in two years, we were taking a real vacation. Amazing how it becomes more difficult to take time off and travel when you have a 10-month-old "third wheel". We're lucky though, because Jacob travels well; and with this being his third plane trip across the country, he's now a very experienced traveller for being so young. Come to think of it, I ought to see how many frequent flier miles he has...

We flew out of Nashville on Christmas Eve to my hometown (and home of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl Champion Boise State Broncos) of Boise, Idaho. We touched down to 2" of snow - a welcome sight to a native-Northwesterner on December 24th. We would indeed have a white Christmas. Too bad we wouldn't have time for any skiing. We did find time for a required trip to a real Mongolian Grill restaurant though. My apologies to Ghengis Grill in Cool Springs - but the folks out west do it better. If you want to enjoy genuinely delicious mongolian grill, go to one of the little, independent places in the Northwest.

After catching up with friends from school and spending time with family, we got up early on the 29th and flew to my favorite city and my second hometown, Portland, Oregon. My wife's family lives in the area as do most of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my grandma. We have a hard time sitting still for long in Portland. Between visiting all of our college friends and enjoying holiday time with our family, there are restaurants to eat at and shopping to do (no sales tax in Oregon makes shopping a must-do; even if, like me, you don't usually enjoy it).

Additionally, I stopped in to visit my friends at the Bike Gallery's Hollywood store ( and to meet with Dave Guettler of River City Bicycles (; both of which are world-class bike shops. Bike Gallery is one of the largest Trek dealers in the world, and River City is one of the few stores in existence that sells more Waterford and Seven bicycles than we do. They're both great stores to visit, Bike Gallery's staff is the best and the hand-made display fixtures and indoor test-track at River City makes it especially fun.

Topping off my vacation though was arguably one of the best college football games ever! If you're a fan of NCAA football, you know what I'm talking about. On January 1st, I cleared my calendar to watch my Boise State Broncos battle the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. No one outside of Boise thought that the game would turn out the way it did; but after blowing an 18-point lead, Boise State won the game in overtime with a two-point-conversion, run in by NCAA leading scorer, Sophomore Ian Johnson on a signature trick-play. Critics will say that Boise State "cheapened" the win by using trick plays. But those who truely understand team sports will know that execution is the secret to making trick plays work, and no one executes better than Boise State. Go Broncos! So much for the BCS system!

The next morning it was back to Nashville and back to the bike business - the best job in the world. Thanks to my valued and loyal clients for letting me get some time away! And, thanks to the best bike shop in Nashville for covering for me while I was gone. I'll be much nicer now that I've had some time off!

Best wishes for the new year and thanks for reading...

(The photo above shows stately 11,922 ft. Mt. Hood - snow capped year round; and a view of downtown Portland from the beautiful Washington Park in the hills above town. And, no - it doesn't look that beautiful in person. It's better!)

11/25/06 - Winter Riding "Must Haves"

So you've spent all summer and fall following your training schedule or working toward your goal of riding the MS150 and now that winter has come, you're thinking "now what?".

You're not alone. We talk to many people every day who are in your shoes and come to us to look for the gear they need to make it through the winter and hit the road in better shape next spring. Whether you're the hard-core rider who plans to ride outside as much as possible this winter or looking for ways to ride inside to beat the cold and darkness - we've got what you need. Here's a quick and easy guide:

11/15/06 - The Saga Continues...

Trek Bicycle Corporation, recently issued the press release quoted below:

November 13, 2006
To: All Trek Dealers
Dear Valued Trek Dealer:
We have received several reports about a fraudulent website which purports to sell Trek bicycles over the internet at deeply discounted prices. The website is currently up and running at In the past, the same website has appeared under several other names such as,,, and [this is also the same website I mentioned in my Oct. 31 2006 entry at the url of, which has also been shut down.] We have successfully shut this website down several times, only to find that it reappears under a similar domain name shortly thereafter. Other major brands are also featured on the site.
Elsewhere in the press release:

11/12/06 - Clipless pedals and shoes.

The single best upgrade you can make to your bike - and it seems, one of the areas of the most confusion - is a clipless pedal and shoe system. Since this is the time of year that many of us look forward to what we want to improve on for next year and begin researching new purchases, I'm going to use this entry to my blog to offer some advice and helpful hints to those who are looking to add a cliples pedal system or upgrade what you're currently using.

First - the terminology. Like a few other areas of our sport, this one uses some jargon that is a little confusing. here's a quick glossary of terms to help our discussion make a little more sense:

10/31/06 - Scary stuff for Halloween... Online Bike Fraud

BEWARE! There are people out there trying to take advantage of cyclists!And they're posing as legitimate specialty retailers just like the trusted bike shops in your town! The story below is from Tuscon's Arizona Daily Star:
Online bicycle store is a fraud
BBB says many cheated by elusive scam artists
By Thomas Stauffer
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 10.31.2006

The Better Business Bureau is warning local bicyclists about a fraudulent Internet bike store that changes names quicker than some can change a flat tire.The BBB of Southern Arizona has yet to receive complaints from Tucson-area residents about a company most recently operating under the name Steve's Cycling Store, and it wants to keep it that way, bureau spokeswoman Kim States said."We're wanting to give the cyclists in Southern Arizona a heads-up that this seems to a be a popular and lasting scam," States said. "We'd rather get the word out now to people before we get a complaint."The company's Web site,, shows images of scores of bikes and several employees eager to serve you at a shop in Cheyenne, Wyo. Trouble is, there are no bicycles or employees at Steve's Cycling Store in Cheyenne, because there is no such store in Cheyenne. The address listed on the Web site is actually the location of a large truck stop.That hasn't stopped hundreds of people nationwide from being taken for tens of thousands of dollars through an elaborate scam that uses the company's fake online store and eBay, said Barbara Read, communications supervisor for the Mountain States BBB. Steve's — aka Todd's, George's, Kent's, Stan's, Jones', Max's, Moby's and possibly dozens other names — offers high-end bikes at ridiculously low prices on eBay, Read said. A common scenario is for a customer to call or e-mail about a particular bike, she said. When the customer asks about the eBay listing, he is told that rather than paying through conventional online sources, the company prefers that buyers use its own escrow service. The service is not legitimate, and the goods are never delivered, Read said.To "prove" that a bicycle has been shipped and is on its way to a customer, the company often gives tracking numbers. While the tracking numbers are valid, the package that can be tracked is not a high-end bicycle but rather a very small, empty cardboard box, said Jack Ailion, owner of Alpharetta, Ga.-based Ibex Bicycles.The Web site for Steve's Cycling Store features testimonials from customers stolen verbatim from Ailion's own site, he said."I investigated them far enough to find out that there is no way of tracking them down," Ailion said. "EBay catches them pretty quickly and will take their listings down and suspend their I.D., but then they just come back with a a different name and a different URL for the same phony deals and the same phony Web site." 
The moral of the story is - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Find a store you're comfortable with and confident in their abilities to meet your needs and be loyal to them. A good store will reward your loyalty with outstanding service and prices that may not be the lowest, but are fair enough that you don't have to worry if it's a scam or where the part came from. Best of all - your trusted local bike shop cares about you and your safety. When you're in a jam, where's "" going to be? If they're still in business - they certainly won't be the shop around the corner with the knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff who wants to help you love your cycling experience!

Edit; Nov. 15, 2006: The URL for has been suspended as a part of the investigation.

Enjoy the beginning of your Holiday Season. My favorites: Thanksgiving and Christmas; are right around the corner!

10/12/06 - Sharing the Road? What are Cyclists' Rights?

It seems that more now than ever I'm hearing stories of awkward and occasionally violent meetings between cyclists and motorists. There's the things we've all encountered - honking, yelling, maybe you've even had things thrown at you. But lately there's been swerving, verbal exchanges at traffic lights, and intentional screeching of brakes. In fact, WKRN ran a news story just weeks ago as a part of their "I'm ticked off!" series about motorists frustrations with cyclists in rural Nashville. How far is too far?

Actually, our real questions should be; What is fueling these incidents and how do we extinguish the flame? Are motorists just intolerant or are we cyclists provoking them? What can we do to improve this situation?
Well, educating all motorists on the rights of cyclists and telling them to back off would take a very long time and would be quite ineffective; even though some of them probably need to hear it. However, we cyclists can learn our rights and the responsibilities that accompany those rights and become smarter, more considerate cyclists and hope that we can change the hearts of the motorists in our area. So, where do we begin?

First, the best resource for finding your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist in most states is: This website links to other online resources which reference the driver's code for most states and even some territories of the U.S. The listing for the state of Tennessee is very thorough and clear and is worth a read; whether to discover your rights and responsibilities for the first time or to refresh your memory.

The biggest thing that we as a community of cyclists need to acknowledge is: while the laws generally give us the right-of-way, there is a great deal of responsibility that comes along with those rights. And the first responsibility is to obey the same rules of the road that motorists do. There are those among us who run stop signs and ride around traffic lights - simply because we're too lazy to slow down and stop. You know who you are. I've been riding for a long time; I know it's not easy or fun to accelerate back up to cruising speed from a complete stop. But at an intersection we're not talking about ease or fun - we're talking about safety and it's not safe to run an intersection in a bike or in a car. And if you want to be treated like a car, you have to act like one. We are safest on our bikes when we ride in a predictable manner and obey traffic laws.

I myself have gotten myself into verbal exchanges with motorists when I've been obeying traffic laws and riding as I'm supposed to. (Either as far to the right of a lane as is safe or in another case signaling to cross traffic to use a left-turn lane.) In those cases, I knew I was right and in no way was I unpredictable or did I endanger myself or the motorists around me. I'm not proud of the fact that a driver and myself were yelling at each other (although I did keep my cool; and my volleys were definitely more intelligent sounding due to their lack of profanity...) but if yelling was the result of my choice to ride responsibly instead of a cyclist or a motorist getting injured in an accident, then I made the right choice; in spite of what that motorist thinks.
In the end, ride better than you would drive. Remember the concept of "defensive driving" from Driver's Ed? Ride like no one knows you're there. Plan ahead, signal your intentions, and be predictable and you'll find that motorists are more understanding.

And, just because there are many roads that you can ride side-by-side on, doesn't mean you should do it. If there's a car behind you, move to single-file so that they can pass safely without endangering themselves or yourself.

I may come off a little abrasive on this entry, but it's something I'm very passionate about and think about every time I ride. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for reading.

9/16/06 - More on doping in cycling... Frankie Andreu Comes Clean

This week former U.S. Postal rider, Lance Armstrong teammate, and team director for Toyota-United, Frankie Andreu, came clean. In an excerpt from the N.Y. Times article that broke the story,
Frankie said:

“I tried my best never to use performance-enhancing drugs,” he said. “I did make a couple of bad choices, but that was a long, long time ago. It’s not something to be proud of. I did use EPO, but only for a couple of races.”
I've talked to many people this week and this year about the doping in cycling issue and I hear many different opinions and reactions. Some people stand up in fierce defense of their favorite riders, others meet each breaking story with a deeper sense of dispair for our favorite sport and others still almost seem to revel in the "house-cleaning" we are experiencing. My reaction through all of this - especially over the last 2+ since two of my favorite riders met their fate (David Millar turned himself in for EPO use and Tyler Hamilton tested positive for blood-doping during the Tour of Spain) - has been that if you've abused the system, you deserve to serve the commensurate punishment for your wrong-doing. Additionally, if you turn yourself in - while you need to take what is coming to you - I have the utmost respect for you as an individual.

Frankie's conscience was eating him alive. He couldn't stand the thought of raising his family and trying to teach them right from wrong all while knowing what he had done himself. That level of integrity is something that is missing in much of our world - and blatantly absent in professional sports. Frankie is to be commended for forgetting about himself and his image and doing what is right. Some will say that he has turned his back on his former team-mates and friends and some will resort to legal action; but if they were involved in a program as well - whether individual or team-wide - they do not deserve to hide from the light any more than Frankie did. Regardless of who they are or what they have accomplished.

A Sports article by E.M. Swift from the same day the NY Times story broke makes some pretty bold statements about doping in the pro peleton on the heels of the Andreu confession:

"...In 1999 I went to see Willy Voet, the Belgian trainer of the French-based Festina cycling team who was at the center of the '98 Tour de France scandal when he was arrested while crossing the border with literally hundreds of vials of EPO, growth hormones and testosterone."...Of the 500 cyclists he'd worked with over the years, only two had ever failed a drug test. "A racer who gets caught by doping control is dumb as a mule," Voet told me."And how many of those 500 cyclists he worked with did not take drugs to enhance their performance? "I can count them on two hands. Maybe two hands and two feet if I'm generous," Voet said."And where did the clean ones finish? I wondered."'The back of the pack," Voet said."Armstrong never finished at the back of the pack. Neither did his onetime teammate, Tyler Hamilton, the '04 Olympic champion who was suspended for two years for blood doping. Neither did another former teammate, Floyd Landis, who failed a doping test after winning this year's Tour de France. Neither did Italy's Ivan Basso, or Germany's Jan Ullrich, or Spain's Francisco Mancebo, who finished second, third and fourth to Armstrong in the '05 Tour, all of whom have been implicated in the Spanish doping investigation that rocked the start of this year's Tour. Each disputes the allegations.There's nothing new in any of this. Voet was telling the truth, but not enough people were listening. The sport of cycling is dirty, was dirty and will continue to be dirty until more athletes like Andreu and trainers like Voet come forward and break the code of silence. Remember those names. They're the heroes.Here's the thing about truth: It may take a while. It may take years. But truth's a tenacious battler. Eventually it will come out."
Swift's article hits the nail on the head and is a much needed, rude-awakening to many. This year's Tour de France was probably the cleanest race we've seen in years - however still clouded-over by the potential of performance-enhancing hormone abuse.

As long as there are loose and inconsistent controls for performance-enhancing drug abuse in our sport and penalties which do not reach every level of the teams involved we will continue to see individuals trying to gain the slightest advantage over others by whatever means they see possible. Just look at professional football or baseball. Penalties that are so tame they are probably laughed at by the individuals they are served upon are the norm. And while the governing bodies of the sports (and the Congress of the U.S. who stepped into the issue of steroid abuse in baseball last year) claim to be cracking down on drug abuse - until real penalties like multi-year suspensions and no-tolerance policies like those in profesional cycling are instated our nations most popular passtimes will continue to have problems as well.

Pro cycling is taking it on the chin right now for stepping forward and setting an example for other sports to follow when it comes to doping control and consequence. The athletes like David Millar and Frankie Andreu who step forward and admit that they are wrong deserve our unwavering support - in spite of what it means to their careers and those of their teammates.

Oh, and by the way - in case you missed it, a drug-free David Millar won a time-trial at the Vuelta a Espana this last week. Great job, David!

8/16-18/06 - Madison, WI and Trek World 2007

It is one part of my job that doesn't feel like work, but at the same time will exhaust me to no end: Trade Shows. And as a Trek dealer, our trade show season starts off in August with a trip to beautiful Madison, Wisconson for Trek's annual dealer show: Trek World. This was my fourth year travelling to the show and it's something that I always look forward to. This year was especially cool because we were invited to the opening of the show which is only for the largest Trek dealers. We were among the first to see Trek's plans for 2007.
Madison is perfect this time of year. The weather is absolutely beautiful and it rarely rains (although it did rain a little this year and last year's show hit town one day after a tornado...). Built on an isthmus between two lakes; the major one being Lake Monona, their capitol square is at the very middle of the isthmus with the scenic campus of the University of Wisconson nearby and the stately but modern Monona Terrace Convention Center; designed originally by Frank Lloyd Wright (a favorite architect of mine), built directly on the shore of Lake Monona it is a quite picturesque location for such a meeting. And the riding isn't too bad either!

7/4/06 - Vive' le Tour

Yes, it's cheesy and probably a little cliche', but I don't care; this is my favorite time of year! I love the Tour de France. I am one of those geeks who checks out and several times a day for the latest news and the gear reviews on what the different teams are riding. I set my VCR every day (Bike shop employees don't make enough to have TiVo...ha, ha) to catch the live action while I'm at work and then watch it when I get home. I can recite the winners of the yellow jersey for the last two decades and then some (which is made easier by the fact that 2 Americans have won ten times and there have been three riders who have won 5 or more times in that time period...thank you Hinault, LeMond, Indurain and Armstrong...see, there I just named half of them.) The month of July is my favorite month - the Tour is my SuperBowl. Heck, the tour even ends on my birthday every once in a while!
And, wow! Was I ever anticipating this year's race. With Armstrong out, the race was finally as wide open as it has been since Indurain's fantastic flop in 1996 when current CSC Director Bjarne Riis won. But things started to change back in May when Manolo Saiz was arrested (former Director for the former Liberty Seguros - a.k.a. Astana-Wurth - now Astana squad) on blood doping allegations under what we now know as "Operacion Puerto". And now, we're watching a tour lacking many of those who had been tapped as "heirs to the throne" and an entire team with a promising rider (Alexandre Vinokourov; who has not been implicated in the case, but lost enough team members that they did not have a large enough squad to start the race). So, how do I feel now that we do not have Basso, Ullrich, Mancebo, Vino, et. al.?
Illegal use of performance enhancing substances (EPO, blood doping, amphetamines, or the method du jour...) is rampant in professional sports world wide. As a fan of track and field, I've watched sadly as many athletes like Ben Johnson and recently Marion Jones have been scrutinized, banned, proclaimed to have damaged the sport or made it "impure" - and yet the sport lives on. Athetes continue to compete for Gold Medals, the drama continues to unfold, and records continue to fall. While it is discouraging to watch people (sometimes our favorites - for me it was Tyler Hamilton and David Millar) try to gain unfair advantages - occasionally at the cost of their health (Tom Simpson's tragic death in the Tour on a mountain stage) - we must continue to strive to improve drug testing and emphasize the importance of a clean and fair competition.
In all world-class competitions, the athletes and equipment are so evenly matched that they must scrape for every advantage they can get. These events - whether cycling, running, or others are often decided by a margin as small as one-tenth of one percent and if you can gain that much over your opponents through refined equipment like a more aerodynamic skinsuit or lighter bike or more efficient technique it can mean that you have a better chance of winning. But some athletes try to take the "work smarter - not harder" principle to a different place and stretch the boundaries through the use of performance enhancing substances.
All this is not to say that I am against "enhancing performance." If I were, the two energy gels, energy drink, and recovery drink that I consumed when I rode the other day would make me a hypocrite (as well as the countless PowerBars, Gatorades, bananas and other things I've ingested in my years in Soccer, Track, and Cycling). I just disagree with performance enhancers that put an athlete's health at risk. And the methods in question have well documented health risks. It is possible to run a clean competition, use substances and training that allow athletes to perform at their pinnacle, and not harm a person's health.
So, in the end - I'm still excited about the race. Don't let the choices that a few athletes, doctors, and coaches have made dampen the spectacle that is the Tour de France. This is the single most spectacular annual sporting event on the planet (with proper recognition to the Olympics and World Cup every four years - also favorites of mine) with the most fit, courageous athletes, most amazing physical performances, and most striking scenery of any sporting event known. The race is not just the roster or the teams involved. The race is everything involved. Someone will still attack and someone will still pop on L'Alpe d'Huez. It won't be Basso or Ullrich this year - but it will be someone and it will be spectacular!
And a note on the picture. That's my boy, Jacob at just over 4 months enjoying his first stage of the Tour de France. I figure that, based on history, the next American pro cycling revolution will be coming around about the time he's ready for the tour. So, I've already got Trek's Advanced Composites Group working on his bike - but until then one of those super cool Litespeed tricycles outfitted with the new Bontrager time-trial bars will have to do.

2/18/06 - Allanti Goes to Iraq!

Actually, I've done a limited amount of "International" business in the past - so this is nothing new; and our focus really is here in Middle Tennessee - but I thought some of you might find this interesting.
Terrell is serving our country over in Bagdad, Iraq. We helped Terrell get his new Trek 4300 disc out to the International Zone to get some exercise and break up the monotony. Regardless of how you feel about the situation in the Middle East and the surrounding issues - we feel it is important for our guys to know that we support them. So, in thanks to Terrell and all our guys faithfully serving our country and protecting our rights - here's some pictures of Terrell and his 4300 in Bagdad.

2/16/06 - Bike Fit

2/16/06 - Bike Fit
I try to study bike fitting every winter. While I definitely have enough fitting appointments to keep me busy (and some of you keep me busier than others...just kidding), I think it's important to keep up with new developments in physiology, bike geometry, and theory in general.

It's this time of year that I get especially frustrated though, by being reminded of all the bad advice that is swimming around out there on the "Bike Club Circuit". Now, that's not a knock on bike clubs - they're vital to the existence and continued growth of our sport - but it seems that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about how bikes ought to fit and about what you can and can't get away with when it comes to choosing a bike and making it fit. Worst of all, some of those rumors are propigated by bike shops!

2/8/06 - Motivation

2/8/06 - Motivation
I've been struggling a lot with motivation this winter. Because I'm from a cooler climate than the mid-South, I typically enjoy riding in the fall and winter more than the summer. The heat and humidity here is absolutely oppressive to me. But this winter has been tough. There's a lot going on at the store (which beats the alternative...) and when that is coupled with the reluctance of leaving my now 8-month pregnant wife at home by herself; I just don't get out much. (Notice I don't have any cool "action" pictures like Kerry does...just me standing here in the store like I always am...) :)
However, when I do get out; instead of my usual pace - trying to rip up the road, pushing my heart rate to the max, working as much riding into as little time as I can - I've been keeping the intensity down and doing more "base miles" type riding; leisurely riding through the hills in West Nashville, through the park, and up and down Belle Meade Boulevard. Sometimes we just forget how enjoyable this sport really can be. With the information-overload of our heart-rate monitors and wireless cadence computers and the performance benefits of our super-light frames and aerodynamic wheels it is easy to lose focus on why we do this. Ultimately it's about the experience. Great gear sure adds to it - just like having a wide-screen plasma TV with a great surround system - but if you keep getting distracted by other things, it's hard to enjoy the movie or game you're watching.
You know, we really are blessed here with some of the best riding in the country. Before moving to Nashville in August of 2000, I lived in two cities that Bicycling Magazine has touted as being among the best cities in the country for cycling. And, while I'll tend to agree with them; Nashville is really under-rated. Yeah, we don't have all the bike paths that other cities do (but we're working on that) and the mountain biking isn't as accessible - but few places in the U.S. compare with Percy Warner Park, the Natchez Trace, Leipers Fork, and the Old Hillsboro area. When you're not trying to push your speed up to race-pace or focusing on catching the group of riders ahead of you (or keeping away from the riders behind you...) and you really just bask in the ride - Middle Tennessee is hard to beat.
We all struggle with motivation from time-to-time, and it's not always the same thing that brings us out of it. But, try a change of pace every once in a while. Take a ride without your computer and heart rate monitor. Ride with a new group or take a new route and wander a little. Sometimes this is where we find our new inspiration and re-discover our sport.
And, with the excitement and distraction of a newborn about to hit me; I'm sure to need a new source of motivation to get on my bike so I can do some racing this year and not fail miserably like I did last year. I'll be sure to let you know how that all turns out...
Now, turn off your computer and go ride!


All content - except where otherwise noted - copyright 2006 - 2013 Matthew Magee. Do not use without permission.

Google Analytics