Cycling Tips - DOC by BrandalJaclson


									                                            Cycling Tips
Note- These tips were originally posted on the message board. At the time that they were posted, the hyperlink(s)
worked. As you know, hyperlinks eventually die. You can use the search words to find more articles as well. The
purpose of these tips are not to make you an expert in the world of cycling rather to make you more knowledgeable.
As an FYI tidbit, you are a cyclist not a biker. Bikers ride Harleys. 

How to become a better cyclist
I read an article years ago and the biggest take-away was having confidence in yourself as a cyclist.
Another article that I read indicated that the best way to become better as a cyclist is to just ride
more. The most important thing that has kept me going is the love of the hobby. I am able to meet
many great individuals and see more of the areas that I have lived in as I am out on my bike vice in
the car at a much higher rate of speed. Even with a set route, I may “accidentally” alter that ride and
NEVER consider myself lost as I am finding a new way.

Living in the local area, one knows that we have hills and have to overcome them. Through practice
and improving your technique you can take ANY hill!!!! That said, when you are out there and see a
challenging stretch of road, just believe in yourself and know that you can do it.

Here is a site that will allow you to link to other sites and articles related the improvement of your
cycling performance. Cycling Performance Tips

Bicycle maintenance

The tip this week is bicycle maintenance as this is a very important subject to keep your bike on the
road so that you can continue to enjoy this fine hobby. As a disclaimer, I insist that you know your
limits on what you can do to your bike. If you have absolutely no skills when it comes to working on a
bike, take your bike to a bike shop. Those people are experts and will take care of you. You might
consider an annual tune-up at the bike shop.

Regardless of your skill, you can keep your bike clean. This includes the frame as well as the chain.

Frame - Cleaning the frame is important as it reduces the chance for corrosion and makes your bike
look good. I have used lemon wipes as well as Finish Line Cleaner. Regardless of your desired method
or chemical, you should use something on a regular interval. If your bike is really muddy, you can even
take it to the carwash.

Chain - How often should one clean the chain and how should you do it? We all have our own ideas
and methods of how to accomplish this. Much of it depends on how bad the chain looks. You can clean
your chain once a month or once every six months. A good thing about a clean chain is that you will
see improvement in the shifting. You can clean your chain with a rag and a solvent or you can
purchase a chain cleaner. I encourage you to buy a chain cleaner as the brushes, in combination with
the solvent, do a great job of getting into the spaces that a rag can’t. However, a rag cleaning is better
than nothing at all. After cleaning the chain, you must lubricate it. Make sure that you remove the
entire cleaner BEFORE applying lubricant.

Lubrication of the chain - This is another area of personal preference as the chemical choices (wax, oil,
synthetics, etc) are up to you. I use Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant (2 oz) as it has an applicator tube.
Regardless of the chemical of choice, your lubrication effort is a concise and almost exact science. You
only want to apply lubricant to the part of the chain that makes contact with the cogs (sprockets). In
short this is the roller part of the chain. Do not lubricate every surface of the chain as this only attracts
more dirt and dust. If you use Tri-Flow, you can add one drop to every second roller part of the chain.
Why every other roller? You will be amazed at how much lubricant gets spread on your chain. If you
want to apply to all rollers, so be it as it is your choice. Don’t worry about rust as you can remove it on
the next chain cleaning.
Proper seat and handle bar adjustments
As you know, having the correct fit on your bike makes a world of difference. BUT how does one know
if they have the proper fit? For some, it comes down to the feel and when you have everything dialed
in so to speak, your ride is just as about perfect as possible. The key is knowing a good starting point
from which to start making the small adjustments. Don't just have a person tell you that things look
about right as there are methods that can be used to get you at a good starting point. Being that we fit
our bikes to our individual bodies, loaning your bike to another person is a bad idea. Not sure of how
many people are the same match as you. In a sense, your measurements are like your finger prints
and specific to you.

Here are some articles that will discuss measurements

Bike Fit
Underwear is NOT fun to wear “under” your cycling shorts

Many may already know this but some may differ on opinion. This tip looks at why one should not wear
much of anything under the cycling shorts. As indicated in the next two paragraphs and attached
articles, it is best to go Commando as some may call it. My apologies to the Fruit of the Looms gang.

Never wear underwear under your bike shorts! The materials used in pads today are designed to wick
moisture, breathe and prevent bacteria growth. As such, bike shorts are much more sanitary than your

Additionally, the whole purpose of the short's pad is to prevent chafing. In order to work, the short
must fit your body like a second skin. Having a layer of clothing between your body and your bike
short will prevent the short from working the way that it should, and will increase your chances of
experiencing chafing and sores where the underwear sits against your body.

The Basic Bike Short: Essential and Amazing!

What to wear while cycling

One thing you may want to try (I encourage it as I use it) is Chamois BUTT'r. This is a better product
than your regular lotion as it washes out which is important to keep the Chamois pads breathing. You
can buy it at most cycling shops.

Chamois BUTT'r

A final tip is that you wash your shorts but hang them to dry. The dryer will break the lycra down.

Remember that spandex is a privilege and not a right!!!!
How to climb hills on your bike

We all love to ride but some do not love riding hills. With training and proper technique, you can
reduce the pain associated with climbing hills. I look at each hill as an opportunity to improve on my
skills or remind me that I am VERY thankful that I am on a triple vice a double cogged bike. I have
located a few articles and placed them in this e-mail. Posture is important when riding. I read an article
sometime back and it indicated that you need to sit up rather than crouch over the handlebars. The
reason that you want to sit up is that it allows your diaphragm to expand and of course place more
oxygen into your lungs. Crouching down over the handlebars is used on the downhill slope for
aerodynamics. Most import thing is to allow your body to circulate as much oxygen through the blood
stream as possible. Make sure that you shift down in advance of the climb or you may throw your
chain off or worse, break it.
Note - Climbing hills on a road bike is different from climbing on a mountain bike. The main difference
involves the presence or absence of traction.

How to Climb a Hill on a Bicycle
Hills/Climbing Tips
How to Climb Hills (road and mountain bike methods)
What to carry on your bike for a ride

Here is a simple list of items that you can easily carry. This is not a "You better have or else" list. It is
just a good idea to review your setup.

1. Water - One or two water bottles.
2. Protective or sunglasses.
3. Food - Quick-energy food like dried fruit, bagels, energy bars, and bananas. Fig Newtons have great
bang for the buck.
4. Tools - Tire levers (plastic as the metal ones will scratch your frame and may put a hole in your
tube), a frame pump or CO2 cartridge system, a spare tube or two, a multi-tool that includes Allen
wrenches and screwdrivers. An adjustable wrench is helpful if you don’t have quick-release hubs. Some
carry a patch kit but tubes are not that expensive but it is personal preference.
5. Mirror - (not required) but If I can’t see them, I can’t get out of their way!
6. Bell - Extra item which can be nice going around turns.
7. Sunscreen - For the sun. However, sunscreen also does a pretty good job of removing chain grease
on your hands and legs.
8. Cell phone.
9. Identification - worst case scenario, you are knocked unconscious.
10. Medication / First Aid Kit - Aspirin and band-aides can be a lifesaver.
11. Money - I always bring a few bills that can be easily changed.
12. Light - Nice to have just in case it gets late.
13. Toilet Paper - for the long rides.
14. Lock (not required but nice when we stop for lunch).
15. Whistle (nice to scare of dogs) does not seem to be an issue in this area.

Bike Fitting
       Greg Thomas at Conte's of Arlington

       Travis or Chris Minatello at Capital Hill Bikes. (202) 544-4234
       Jeff Palmer at Spokes in Vienna

       http://www.cadencecyc...
       "Andy MacDonald, a local coach and fellow club member, will do a good job and will give you a
     good price since you're a DC Tri Club member. You can email him at, or
     call him at 571-344-3002."

       http://www.tri-speed....

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