Sunday, 28 February 2010

Amsterdam: The Bicycling Capitol of Europe

Is Bicycling a Good Exercise For Burning Calories

You bet it is! Bicycling is one of the best possible exercises for burning calories. Whether it is on a stationary bike in a gym, at home or riding outdoors, riding a bicycle burns more calories than almost any other exercise in a given amount of time. On top of that bicycle riding is a lot more fun than most other exercises.

Bicycling is also much more user friendly than most forms of exercise. It is not a high impact sport that that wears on joints like running or many aerobic exercises. It is even an exercise that can be enjoyed after hip or knee replacements.

The longer you stay at it the more calories you burn. The amount of calories burned bicycling or any other exercise, depends on the time you spend at the exercise along with your intensity. This is a great plus for bicycling because it is very easy to continue bicycling for an hour or more. The longer you stay at it the more calories you burn.

Most of the bicyclists I know can easily ride for two hours or more. Some of my wonderful fanatic friends are randonneures. Their rides are anywhere from 60 to 750 miles at a time. These folks ride day and night to reach their goals.

Talk about long rides, I recently met a very nice young lady on the University of Texas, Austin, bicycle team and they just completed a ride from Austin, TX to Anchorage Alaska and back in eighty days. They raised over $250,000 for cancer research.

Then there is the Ride Across America (RAAM) from Oceanside, CA to Atlantic City, NJ every year. This is a truly amazing race. The 8 person men's team completed it in 5 days and 16 minutes with an incredible average speed of 22.42 mph. The solo men's race was won in 8 days and 20 minutes with an also incredible average speed of 14.38 mph.

Those riders are incredible! I'll bet they can tell you about calories burned bicycling.

Join a Bicycle Club

Join a bicycle club and you will meet some very interesting people. Or join the community to meet other bicyclists living near you. Don't worry about that little bicycle seat, you'll soon get used to it. We all did.

Most riders started out with short rides and slowly increased so that now bicycling has become part of their lives. Many of them join clubs or groups where they enjoy long weekend rides with their friends on peaceful country roads. When I started, I thought 10 miles was a big deal but today a 30 mile ride after work twice a week is my norm. I also try to get a longer ride in on the weekend.

While they are at it they burn calories galore. Let's look at a list of the amount calories a 200 pound person burns at various activities in one hour to see how bicycling compares:

Bicycling for one hour at 12 mph = 725 calories
Running for one hour at 6 mph (10 min mile) = 908 calories
Basketball game for one hour = 725 calories
Rowing (Moderate) for one hour = 862 calories
Jump Rope (Moderate) for one hour = 908 calories
Aerobics (General) for one hour = 544 calories
Weight Lifting (Moderate) for one hour = 275 calories

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Bicycle artistic show

Bicycle Tour in Europe - Top 5 Cycling Routes of Switzerland

The top 5 routes for cycling in Switzerland:

Rhone Route - this is the most popular of the Swiss cycling routes. Starting in Geneva with a combination of bicycle paths and dedicated lanes along the roads you cycle along the north shore of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). Along the way you pass through Lausanne and the Olympic Museum and numerous vineyards before reaching Montreux.

Montreux is home to the lakeside Castle de Chillon, the number one historical attraction in Switzerland. Take the excellent tour (in English) and find out why Lord Bryon and others found it so fascinating. The bicycle path continues the banks of the Rhone River passing the International Cycling Association velodrome and wine center of Sion before ending in Andermatt. This route is gently rolling and can be handled by any level of cyclist.

Rhine Route - this route starts near Andermatt and heads over to the Austrian border before turning north to the Bodensee (Lake Constance) and Basel. You may decide to continue along the Rhine through Germany and the Netherlands if you wish. The Swiss cycling is over gently rolling terrain.

Lakes Route - if you are looking for a hilly and scenic Swiss cycling experience across the entire country this is the route for you. Starting in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) you have a very steep climb at first taking you into the cheese making town of Guyere. The route continues over hilly terrain passing through scenic Lucerne.

Mittelland Route - This route also starts on the shores of Lake Geneva and heads across northern Switzerland and along the shores of Lake Neuchatel, the watch making town of Biel and eastward into the Zurich area and finally Lake Constance. A few hills at the start although most of the route would be considered gently rolling terrain.

Bodensee (Lake Constance) Route - offers an easy cycling experience around the lake with the benefit of visiting three countries - Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

The best time bicycle tour in Europe including Switzerland is in late May, June or September. Avoid the heat and crowds you will find in the summer. Any of these Swiss cycling adventures will provide you with a great 2 - 3 week vacation.

And every year Tom Oxby visits Europe on bicycle touring and hiking trips. He has found that proper planning is essential to get the most from your trip. For more fascinating information about bicycle touring in Europe and the regions of France visit his website at Easy Bicycle Touring

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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The fastest human powered bicycle

San Francisco Cycling Plan

San Francisco is known around the world for its incredible beauty and the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. A lesser known topic of conversation is the city's cutting edge Bicycle Plan that is intended to make San Francisco a bike-friendly region by creating an environment that limits bike accidents.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, a nonprofit public benefit corporation with over 7500 members paying dues, has been working with the city since 1970 to make San Francisco healthier and more livable by improving the road conditions for cycling. The city has responded in a positive manner, approving a major proposal in 2005 to add bike lanes, bike paths, and connect traffic-calmed streets throughout San Francisco for improved bike travel.

While bike accidents continue to be a problem throughout many cities in California, the San Francisco Bicycle Plan has four main goals that will encourage biking and make it a safer option than it has been in the past:

1. Improve Facilities for Bicyclists: Not only is San Francisco looking to provide cyclists with transportation routes that avoid the major traffic areas, but the city is also looking to increase the number of safe parking areas for cyclists and improve maintenance to limit the amount of obstacles on the roadway.
2. Improve Bicycle SafetyL San Francisco intends to introduce bicycle training to explain the rules of the road and provide information on how to share the road in a safe manner. The city will also enforce violations more strictly to discourage bad biking habits.
3. Promote Biking in San Francisco: The San Francisco Bike Plan intends to increase bicycle use in the city and encourage potential cyclists and visitors alike to ride a bike. By promoting biking as a healthy alternative and making it easier to make the switch, it is believed that many more cyclists will be on the road in years to come.
4. Increase Bike Funding: To continue moving forward, San Francisco will always need additional funding to make biking an ever-growing alternative. The bike plan will seek out funding sources while the San Francisco government will match the donations.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Track Cycling World Championships 2009

Endurance Cycling - what to do

So you've done the training and your nutrition leading up to the start line was dialed in. That can all go out the window if your on-bike nutrition plan isn't solid. Your body has enough stored carbohydrate to a few hours but after that you will run out of gas if you aren't feeding on the bike.

You want your eating and drinking during an event to be habit that has been worked out in training so you don't even have to think about it. That's because some time during the event you become a bit dumb. You don't want to have your performance crash and burn because you forgot to eat and drink.

On the bike nutrition is broken into 4 areas: Hydration, Energy and Electrolytes.

Hydration is just fluid. You can drink water, energy drink or water with electrolytes. Energy is food, gels or energy drink. Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium and magnesium that are needed for muscular contraction and fluid balance within the body.

If you are new to endurance cycling all of this will seem complicated but the simple rule to follow is that you want to consume a large bike bottle per hour of fluid and take in 200-300 calories per hour mainly from carbohydrates.


The amount of fluid you need can vary depending on the heat but a large bottle(750ml) per hour is a good starting point. The hotter it is the more you will need to drink. To fine tune your fluid requirements, weigh yourself before a long training ride and weigh yourself after. Add in the amount of fluid you drank during the ride and divide this by the number of hours of the ride. This way you will know how much fluid you sweat out per hour. Pay close attention as a 2 % weight loss due to dehydration will decrease power output by 10% or more. And of course severe dehydration is even more dangerous possibly leading to heat stroke.


Your body can only store so much energy in the form of carbohydrate. A well trained rider that weighs 160 lb will have about 1800-2000 calories of carbohydrate in the body between the muscles, the liver and blood stream. During a fast century ride that rider will burn 600-750 per hour. This means they are good for 2-3 hours before bonking if carbohydrates aren't ingested during the ride. By taking in 200-300 calories per hour you push out the time before the body runs out of fuel. I recommend starting with 100 calories per 60 lb of body weight and experiment from there. Over time you can train your body to absorb more calories while exercising but it takes time like any training. If you start taking in calories in the first 15 minutes of the ride and keep on it you will dramatically increase endurance just by providing energy. To absorb this many calories while exercising takes practice. You need to train your system to absorb food while exercising just as you have to train your legs.

My own approach to long events is to go all fluid in the form of energy drinks and gels. I find it hard to chew and breathe so the liquid lunch on the bike works well for me. I use Hammer Nutrition HEED, Perpeteum and Hammer Gels as they work better than any other products I've tested. Part of the appeal is they are easy on the stomach but I also find the taste better which helps when you are taking this stuff down hour after hour.

You can experiment with solid foods like bananas, oat meal squares, fig newtons and even peanut butter sandwiches. There are a ton of drinks, bars and gels on the market but make sure you test it out in training before going into an event. What ever you do, make sure you have it down as a system, knowing how much you need to take in per hour to give you the calories you need.


Electrolytes are minerals that regulate body functions. Getting low in electrolytes can lead to muscle cramps, poor heat regulation and weakness. They get sweated out when exercising so you need to pay attention to replenishing them during long rides. While any of the food and drinks (other than straight water) you take in will have some electrolytes, I recommend adding extra to your water bottles. I use the Hammer Nutrition Enduralytes as they are a full spectrum electrolyte supplement. You can get them in capsules or powder form. The capsules are great because you can break them apart to put in water bottles as well as carry some extras in a baggy in case of cramping. If you get muscle cramps, taking 2-3 capsules will make them go away within a few minutes.

Drinking straight water dilutes the electolytes in the body which in extreme cases can lead to death. This condition is known as hyponatremia, is a severe case of electrolyte depletion leading to heart failure. If skeletal muscles can cramp due to electrolyte imbalance, so can the heart which is a muscle too. Make sure you have electrolytes in your energy drink and gels as well.


Here's where you are looking for an edge. Caffeine has been shown to increase endurance if you aren't a regular coffee drinker. 50 mg per hour is a good starting point. There are gels with caffeine as well as tablets available. The thing to watch is that it can be hard on your stomach. Make sure you try it in training.


Make sure you get 200-300 calories per hour and 750-1000 ml of fluid. If you are using energy drink make sure you calculate those calories. Supplement Electrolytes as needed depending on the heat. Following these guidelines will help you do better at longer endurance events.

It's in you to become a better cyclist. Helping you get there is my goal. Equipment, riding skills, fitness and nutrition all have to be dialed in to reach your potential. To take your next step on that journey visit

Monday, 22 February 2010

This is funny Lee Evans Cycling

What to look for when buying a Bike

Find the right indoor cycling bike for you can be a challenge. However, if you can figure out your objectives and needs, as well as what a quality indoor cycling bike consists of, then you put yourself in a position to make the right choice.

The following guidelines will help you in finding a bike that will get you the most out of your workouts.

Before going any further, it is important to determine what you personally are looking for, as bikes come in many different styles and colors. What are you needs? What features must the bike have?

Here are some factors to think about before buying:

How often are you going to cycle? Will you have a consistent routine, or do you plan to only cycle on occasion?
Is the appearance and style of the bike important to you? Which colors do you prefer?
Where are you going to put it, and on what type of surface?
What is your budget? If you haven't already, determine a maximum amount that you can spend.
Can you handle the repairs or maintenance yourself, or will you need to hire someone to do this for you?

If you are a more advanced user, be sure that the bikes you are considering can accommodate the type of resistance that you need to maximize your workouts.

Once you have answered some of these personal questions, then it's time to figure out which features the bike must have to suit your needs. What features do indoor cycling bikes come with?

What features should you be thinking about when buying an indoor cycling bike?

Also, learn how to find the best cycling bike.

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Bicycle Images to Queens bicycle race

Notes on a Bycycle Club

Singer songwriter Wyatt Scruggs and his friends have been drunk for 17 years. They are not ordinary drunks. They are musicians on a mission to play at an annual witch convention.

The Bicycle Club by author and singer/songwriter Dave Schultz is a rollicking adventure/comedy featuring a colorful assortment of characters. It resides comfortably at the crossroads between The Blues Brothers, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Tom Sawyer.

The character development in this tale is superb. The reader is introduced to each of the unique characters at appropriate points in the story with sufficient detail to provide a clear picture. The characters are then further developed through dialog and narrative comment that remains consistent throughout the story.

The story development is not only well conceived but also begins immediately as Schultz sets up each scene with great form and style to maintain our interest from the first page to the very end of the story.

While the subject matter of this dark comedy offers (and requires on the part of the reader) some relief from the moral rigors of ordinary society, the effect is very funny. Fans of Hunter S. Thompson's books or Quentin Tarantino's movies understand this brand of comedy very well and will be pleasantly surprised with Dave Schultz.

While it is hilarious at times, the story is also a character study as it transforms the ordinary, everyday life of a drunk into a deeper philosophical understanding of interpersonal relationships amid humble surroundings. Furthermore, the story delivers a fresh perspective of people who have both heart and a desire to have a good time with little regard for materialistic mainstream culture. They share a thirst for life.

This book also offers adventurous moments, providing the overall story even more depth and entertainment value. I loved the suspense and the imagery during the adventurous night at the ruins. This chapter builds to the climactic scene in which the Dowager completes her ghostly tale in the attic!

But wait! There's more! There is an accompanying volume of music that is also written and performed by Dave Shultz and his band, Purple Hank. Purple Hank was formerly known as The Bicycle Club. If you like Wilco, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon or Steve Earle, you will love Purple Hank.

Finally, this story and accompanying music has movie written all over it. It has a few cameos and a lot of inside musician humor with the potential to become a cult classic among working musicians as well as music fans. It is irreverent, good fun and guaranteed to produce at least a smile on the face of the most prudent among middle aged conservatives. A truly spell binding literary work that is well crafted and entertaining at its core, I give this book eight fingers, two thumbs, eleven toes and morning wood.

Article written by Del Boland and distributed by permission of Del Boland and is a free online community for songwriters, bands, and musicians.

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Saturday, 20 February 2010

Some great Bicycle stunts - impressive!!!

Make it comfortable - sort that saddle!!!

If you have cycled for more than a few years and if you live in an area where you cannot cycle all year long you may find that the saddle on your bike is not as comfortable in the spring as you remember it being in the fall before you put it away for the winter. That goes even if you ride a stationery bike in winter. Saddles on stationary bicycles tend to be larger and more heavily padded than those on a traditional bicycle. Also most people don't ride stationary bikes as long as they do traditional bicycles, there are no bumps, gravel or potholes to hit on a stationary bike, so a saddle that is acceptable on a stationary bike will not likely be as comfortable on a traditional bicycle.

Notice that so far I have always called it a saddle, not a seat and believe it or not there is reason for this. When I was growing up and before I started actually transforming from a person that enjoyed cycling to an actual cyclist I used the term seat and saddle interchangeably. After reading several articles on the subject, most recently by the late Sheldon Brown I have come to appreciate the difference between a seat and a saddle.

Sheldon explained it like this: a seat is something you sit on and is designed to bear your entire weight, much like a chair would do. Recumbent bikes use seats upright traditional bikes have saddles. Saddles are designed to carry some of the weight of the rider but not all. The legs as well as the arms and hands carry some of the weight of the rider also. So you see the bicycle saddle is found on traditional upright bicycles. Bicycle seats are found on recumbent bikes.

At this point I do not have or ride a recumbent so this article will be mostly about the traditional upright 2 wheel bicycle. It also does not really cover saddles for BMX bicycles, since BMX riders spend most of their actual riding time out of the saddle the saddle is more of an ornament for them except when they are in staging waiting for the race.

The average recreational cyclist will ride their bicycle until it gets cold outside then put it up for the winter and bring it back out to ride when the weather gets warmer in the spring. The cyclist gets in a few miles on his/her bike from last year and the saddle is no longer as comfortable as it felt in the fall. The cyclist then goes to the nearest bike shop or searched the Internet for a new saddle. The purchase is made and after a few dozen miles the new saddle feels better, so they stick with it and retire the old one. This scenario may continue each year, not because there is anything wrong with the old saddle but because the rider needs to get accustomed to riding again. In most cases gradually getting back in to riding by doing short rides at first then adding miles each time you ride is the best way to find out whether you really neat a new saddle or whether you just need to get more used to riding.

If after trying for a while you still feel a new saddle is what you need then here are some things to think about.

The width of the saddle is crucial to your comfort. Your sit bones or ischial tuberosities are designed to bear your body's weight when seated. If the weight is carried between the sit bones instead of on them you will be uncomfortable. If the saddle is too narrow the soft tissues will bear the body weight. If the saddle is too wide you may notice chafing on the inner thigh especially when it gets warmer outside and you perspire more.

The material that the saddle is made of makes some difference in comfort. Personally I prefer the leather saddle for my bicycle, but it doesn't really have to be fine Italian Leather, just regular stretched, vinyl is too slippery, and Lycra is not as durable as either leather or vinyl. Heavily padded seats are comfortable for short rides but tend to get uncomfortable quickly as the rides get longer.

Many times the cause of pain is not the saddle itself but the adjustment of the saddle and whether or not the bike fits the rider. Before tossing out a perfectly good saddle and laying out a 100.00 or more on a new fancy saddle make sure that your bike actually fits you and that the bike is adjusted properly.

You may need help with the fitting of the bike or adjusting the saddle correctly. Any good bicycle shop should be able to help with this. You can also do a Google search for bicycle fitting and find many variations of fitting a rider to a bicycle.

About the Author: Jerry Goodwin is an avid cyclist, Medical Technologist, Personal Trainer and bicycle mechanic. Jerry and his wife Ruth have operate BMG Cycling and Fitness in Moultrie Georgia. Jerry is a member of the Pecan City Pedalers, he races his bicycle in the Georgia Golden Olympics and races BMX with his grandsons at CCheck out for more information

Friday, 19 February 2010

Ooch!!! this is how not to be cool

How to avoid falling off your bike

I fell off my bike the other day - how stupid. I should have read this

These are some of the basic things cyclists can do to minimize the risk of being injured:

• Take a safety course in cycling so you are well aware of the road rules and how to avoid or escape possibly hazardous situations
• Always wear a properly fitted helmet. 75% of cycle fatalities are through head injuries. Don't use second-hand helmets and replace any helmet that has come under any impact.
• Be Visible. This is important for all cyclists but especially for children. Use flags, reflectors and lights. Always wear an item of bright clothing so you can be seen.
• Keep your cycle in good working order. Making regular maintenance checks should be part of your routine.

If you should be involved in a cycling accident seek prompt medical attention. Do not discuss liability at the scene, but do gather the names and contact details of any witnesses. Take photos if you can and as soon as you are able note down any details you can remember about the accident (what happened, what speeds were involved, weather conditions, road conditions and anything else). Contact your insurance company and contact a personal injury lawyer.

This article is not intended as legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. Please make sure to contact an attorney if you have been involved in a cycling accident and are looking for help.

These tips are to help keep people safe while on the road!

Supplementary Legal Tools: Accident Attorney Elan Wurtzel, PC. Serving clients in Long Island, NY.

Frank J Smith is the web master for He enjoys working in the beautiful sunshine state of Florida.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Mountain Bike Frames

No matter what type of mountain bike you are searching for, there are several different frames available depending on the type of usage they will receive. Cross-country bikes have little front or rear suspension and are very light, as they use materials that are light in weight for the frame and also the various other components. This makes them not as strong as their other mountain bike counterparts if they are used for something other than their intended purpose. Pneumatic shocks are usually the suspension of choice on these frames.

All terrain mountain bikes are a mix of freeride and cross-country bikes and usually weigh from 29 to 35 pounds. They have a better suspension travel, and usually brakes that can be adjusted. They are made to climb and descend steep hills.

Downhill bikes usually have 7 or more inches of suspension travel. These frames are light, yet strong, as they are made from expensive alloys. They are designed to be ridden down racecourses and downhill trails. They feature the greatest sag so they can get good traction over trails that are bumpy. Since downhill riding involves high rates of speed, most of these bikes have one front chain ring, large bash guard, as well as a chain guard, but now many riders are forgoing the bash guards to lighten the weight of the frames.

Freeride mountain bike frames are made from materials that are more durable and heavier than cross-country bikes. They are much like downhill bikes, but they are more about strength and less about weight. Their frame angles are usually steeper than those seen on downhill bikes.

Dirt jumping mountain bikes are in between a freeride bike and a BMX bike, and are usually made of extremely strong materials. They have fast rolling tires, which are either slick or mostly slick. Dirt jumpers usually feature oversized handlebars and low seat posts. They usually have extended rear brake cables and no front brake, allowing the rider to spin handle bars without getting the brake cables tangled.

Single speed mountain bikes have only one set gear ratio. The ratio is chosen depending on where the bike is being ridden, the skill and strength of the bike rider, and the bike size. These types of frames are fully rigid, and made from steel. They are usually ridden by people who are very fit on milder or moderate cross-country terrain.

Dual slalom is much like mountain cross, but there are only two competitors. There are generally lanes for each rider, although some have a single lane throughout much of the course. They have technical courses and have smaller jumps than mountain cross courses have. The bikes used for mountain cross are also used in dual slalom.

Whatever type of bike you are looking for, knowing where you will be riding ahead of time can save you a great amount of money and frustration. When you can choose the best mountain bike frames for your purpose, you will get the most use out of them, as well as the most fun.

Simon Macdonald writes about Mountain Bikes at

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Choosing the right cycling frame inc mountain bike and road bike

Choosing the right Cycling frame for your Bike

While there are a lot of good quality brands of road bicycle frames to choose from, it is important to consider that you get the frame that's right for your size. Think of choosing bicycle frames as choosing shoes - you need to choose the right fit.

The bike frame is probably the most important part to consider when choosing your bike size. You will need to check if your bike frame is the right size for you. The best way to do this is by taking measurements of your leg's inner aspect. You will then have to subtract 9 inches from whatever numbers you get from measuring your inner leg. This will now serve as the correct measurement for the road bike frame that's right for you. The rationale behind such computation is to allow you to rest your feet comfortably on the ground once you stand over your bike's frame. Moreover, you should be able to have a lot of clearance from the crossbar.

Bicycle frames are also of different types. Titanium frames are great but a bit pricey. While they are durable and known to last for a long time, they are light in weight, which is why it is recommended that the main tubes should be mixed with carbon forks for better handling and comfort.

Bicycle frames that are made of carbon fiber, on the other hand, are less expensive but are very strong. This is probably why they are popular to bike enthusiasts.

Above are just some tips to consider when choosing the right frame for your bike. What is important is the biker's personal preference. Other factors that could also fall into play are comfort, performance and, of course, budget.

Speaking of budget, you can also consider checking out discount road bicycles before going to the bike frame details. Who knows, you might just find the right road bike with the perfect bike frame that just has the right price.

Having written extensively for more more than 8 years on road bikes, Brandy has dedicated a lot of time to writing about the best way to find discount road bikes.

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