Jeff Lowe Real Estate Donation

Jeff Lowe, the Chicago Real Estate professional and his wife, Molly have agreed to donate their time and money to help fund raise and market the latest quest in the city of Chicago to add more cycle friendly roads to the windy city.  As busy as the streets get and with the cold winter as severe as they are, sometimes a bicycle might be your only means to get around town.  So the city is trying to pass a ordinance that crave out more road that will accommodate cyclist.  Jeff Lowe, is a advent cycling hobbyist so the cause is near his heart.

Vuelta A Murcia Race

Spain Vuelta Murcia Cycling

Vacansoleil’s Luke Roberts from Australia, left, sprint to win the third stage of the Vuelta a Murcia cycling tour between Las Torres de Cotillas and Alhama de Murcia, Murcia, Spain, Friday, March 5, 2010.

Mountain Bike Calendars

USA Cycling announced on January 22, 2010, the dates and venues for the 21 events that will comprise the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars.

In their fourth year, the three calendars will provide professional and elite level athletes with top quality racing opportunities across all disciplines of mountain biking: (1) cross-country, (2) gravity, and (3) ultra-endurance.

Consisting of 10 events in six states, the cross country calendar will kick off with the U.S. Cup Fontana in Fontana, Calif. on March 27 and wrap up on September 6 with the Laddies Loppet Stage Race in Callaway, Minn.

The eight-event gravity calendar will span five states, featuring downhill, 4-cross, super D, and dual slalom competitions. The series begins April 10 with the Santa Ynez Valley Classic in Buelton, Calif. and concludes September 12 with the Whiteface 5th Annual 5k Downhill in Wilmington, New York.

A five-race ultra-endurance calendar will give competitors the chance to duke it out in 12-hour, six-hour, 24-hour, and marathon events, starting with the 12-hours of Santos in Ocala, Fla. on Feb. 20 and ending with the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships in Breckenridge, Colo. on the Fourth of July.

Tour de Georgia Needs Help

The Tour de Georgia is on its last life line and is in need of major sponsors.  The Tour is one of the nation’s top professional cycling events.  It has had a six year run in Georgia before falling prey to the faltering economy.

The 2009 was canceled.  This past week, the 2010 was canceled as well.

There is a very real danger the race, which is estimated to pump $30 million-plus annually into the state economy, could vanish if it is not soon revived, Tour and national cycling officials agree.

Tour needs to find a sponsor that can pony up $500,000 to $1 million.  It cost about $3.5 million to put on the 6 day race, 600 miles event.

ndrea Smith, spokeswoman for USA Cycling, said the Georgia race is widely considered a warm-up event for the annual Tour de France, the World Series of cycling. Her organization is the official governing body for competitive cycling in the U.S.

“It’s a big deal, not just in Georgia but on the national scene,” she said. “We certainly hope it comes back. There are a lot of people in the cycling world rooting for it to come back.”

The Georgia Tour, along with similar races in California and Missouri, is considered one of the top three races in the nation, Smith said. Biking great Lance Armstrong won Georgia’s race in 2004, competed again in 2005 and has praised the event. Several hundred thousand spectators have viewed some part of the race each year it has been run.

Chrysler and AT&T had sponsored the Georgia race in the past, and the state’s Department of Economic Development had kicked in some seed money. AT&T was the title sponsor for the 2007 race, kicking in about $500,000.

Hopefully the Tour in Georgia can find the necessary sponsor to continue the tradition and bring in some much needed revenue into the State.

How to train

This is where a pulse monitor can come in helpful. Interval training has been around for years, the best way is to go with a group of others and take turns to ride hard at the front and rest behind, the smaller the group the more times you have to ride hard and less places to hide from the wind.

On your own you can do the same, but you have to pick points were to ride hard and when to rest. With a pulse monitor you have it to tell you when to try hard and when not to and when to go home because you have done enough.

The main thing is to enjoy your cycling, when it becomes a chore that’s when to stop and do some thing else until you want to ride your bike. Pulse monitors can take the guess work out of training, but you must listen to what you body says, rest when you don’t want to do it and ride hard when you do, but have fun.

No pain is gain

The No. 1 thing my cycling cronies whine about is a sore butt. There are three reasons for a bruised glute:

1. The first (and most obvious) reason is not wearing proper cycling shorts.

2. The second is improper positioning of your butt on the saddle. Your sit bones should make contact with the rear portion of the seat. If you ride too far forward, the center part of the saddle presses against your soft tissue.

3. Lastly, early in the season, pedal a maximum of 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back to allow for a gentle break-in period.

Knee Pain

The most frequent joint discomfort in cycling emanates from the knee. Knee pain must be addressed immediately to prevent further injury.

Pain on the outside of your knee during your pedal stroke may be aggravated by friction on your iliotibial (IT) band. Your IT band is a long, fibrous tendinous sheath located on the outside of your leg, extending from your hip to past your knee. Lowering your seat, stretching, anti-inflammatories and ice may help alleviate IT band syndrome, according to Peter Francis, professor of physical education at San Diego State University.

Pain behind your kneecap may be a sign of chondromalacia, a progressive softening of your patellar cartilage (the cushion between your bones). To relieve this pain, pedal easy gears and try raising your seat a little. “Strengthen the quadriceps on the inside of your knee (vastus medialis) by using the leg extension machine in your gym,” says Dr. Francis, one of the forefront researchers in the area of cycling injury prevention.

If you pedal big gears or don’t warm up properly, you may find yourself limping through a severe case of patellar tendinitis. Your patellar tendon is soft tissue just below the kneecap. “Instead of hammering heavy gears, spin faster in your small chainring,” says Mike Michels, competitive triathlete and athletic director for the Colorado Athletic Clubs. Emulate the pros by icing your patellar tendon for five minutes, massaging it for five minutes and then repeating the sequence.

Pain on the back of the medial (inside) of our knees may be caused by friction of three muscles rubbing together–your sartorius, gracilis and semitendinosus. Friction causes inflammation, so you know the drill: rest, ice and lower your seat a notch. Remember, pain is a signal that something is wrong. If your pain lasts longer than a week, consult your doctor.

How to Keep Cool and Stay Pumped

1. Take a deep breath, focusing on riding your race when you exhale.

2. Expect the unexpected–a flat tire or a broken spoke. Visualize yourself handling any eventuality. Nothing can rattle you.

3. Smile no matter what. Mimic the cringe-grin of Lance Armstrong ascending a mountain.

The Benefits of Cycling

Bicycling has several advantages over other exercises:

  1. Cycling exercises the heart better than walking without the pounding of jogging.
  2. One can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and at low cost.
  3. Little or no time has to be lost, as bike travel can be used to get to work, perform errands, or enjoy the outdoors.
  4. Commuting by bike reduces pollution that causes asthma and bronchitis. A commuting cyclist is also less exposed to air pollution than a commuting motorist.