Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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Coach Wharton
16:10

Stage 18 - 21 Days, 21 Tips for Cycling in July! "What's in YOUR Pocket?"

Pocket

Cycling is a pretty minimal activity. You just throw a leg over a bike, and start pedaling. However, most people want to stay connected, or have a way to get out of trouble if something should occur when out on a ride. That's why bike jerseys have pockets, and bike shops sell saddle bags!

Let's take a look at what's inside my jersey pocket/saddle bag.

Currently, I keep the following on my person:

  • Phone (Charge it, but don't necessarily look at it! Keep it protected from sweat and moisture).
  • Tire Tube Patch Kit - the new superpatches work great!
  • Tire sidewall patch kit. Park Tool makes something that will get you home.
  • Tire Tools (I carry three, since these tend to snap in two at times).
  • One extra tube (make sure it's the right size (650c, 700c), and that the nipple is long enough to fit in any of the new, aero wheel rims).
  • TWO Co2 cartridges (always carry a backup just in case - cartridges can be finicky).
  • A "Cool-Tool", with allen wrenches, maybe a philips head and regular head screwdriver on there, maybe even a chain-breaker...
  • Money - I usually carry two $10 bills.
  • Business Cards. Because, well, you never know...

You can add or subtract from this list, but it's always a good idea to be prepared. Take a maintenance 101 class at your local bike shop as well, because you'll end up with a good idea of what to do if you experience something when cycling.

Remember - the vast majority of your rides will be event-free: Cycling should be mundane. But it never hurts to be prepared, mentally, physically, and equipment-wise!

Being prepared means knowing what causes events and anomalies to occur, and riding in a way that those events are much less likely to happen in the first place. Being fit and improving through our classes will help you be more prepared.

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Coach Wharton
16:57

Stage 16: 21 Days, 21 Tips: LONG RIDES!

LOng Rides

While the riders of the Tour de France are used to being in the saddle for 3 to 7 hours every day, day after day, that's a luxury you and I can probably not afford. Instead, we have to plan our long rides accordingly.

North Texas is lucky, in that we have great routes that leave from popular bike shops every weekend, and we're also fortunate enough to have a FANTASTIC bicycle rally calendar! I prefer the rallies, but you'll certainly get something out of every event, local, regional, or otherwise.

Preparing for a long ride requires some logistics. Here's an example:

On Friday night of last week, in order to prepare for a rally on Saturday, I did the following:

ABC Quick Check - Checked the air pressure on my tires, made sure the brakes were touching the rims in the right places and not rubbing the tires, lubed and cleaned the chain, and then checked the bike over for cracks, dings, rips in the saddle, etc. If you do this the night before, you can always fix it at home, instead of scrambling at the start of the ride.
Checked to ensure that my shoes, helmet, gloves, glasses, and sunscreen were in the car. Honestly, since I'm a cycling coach by trade, I always carry an extra helmet and shoes, just in case.
I prepared and chilled my bottles and Camelbak (YES, I drink a Camelbak as a fast road cyclist, and I'm not ashamed of it. My safety and health are more important than a verbal jibe). ALWAYS BE PREPARED. I carry extra fluids, and I drink on a schedule.
I also checked my saddle bag to make sure I have tubes, Co2 cartridges, cool-tool, tire tools, patch kits, and some cash. Because you never know.
Before the ride itself began, I repeated my ABC-Q check, made sure my Camelbak was working (clogged hoses are bad, really bad), and made sure I had some food in my pocket as well, just in case.

Car keys - well, find a spot to put them, because I think they're better served closer to the car, in case, well... just in case you get sidetracked. Do NOT lock your keys in the car!!

For the ride itself, whether you're alone or with others, remember these three rules:

BE VISIBLE, both to oncoming traffic and upcoming traffic.
SIGNAL YOUR INTENTIONS. I don't care if it's dorky, use your hand signals and communicate with all the other road users.
CONTROL YOUR POSITION IN THE LANE. I know it's controversial, but you're safer in the lane than on the shoulder, and if you're visible, upcoming motorists can always prepare to pass safely, or wait until that is possible. If you're slogging it out at a slow speed, and you can 'sense' a queue of motorists behind you, well, do the courteous thing and pull over. It's an easy way to avoid conflict. Let them pass.
If you're solo, make sure you know the route, and make sure that others know where you're going, how long you'll be, and when they might expect your return. Something as simple as a note on a fridge or windshield can make a difference if others are looking for you, and you're out on the side of a road with a broken bike that can't be fixed on the spot.

ALWAYS drink early, drink often, and drink on a schedule. Any rides over 90 minutes, go ahead and eat a bar or waffle. It's far better than bonking, and dragging yourself or others home at a delayed pace. And finally, PLEASE consider cycling without earbuds. I'm convinced that hearing is a great way to plan for and avoid pending events, and I just see too many looks of surprise when I pass cyclists with earbuds, even after I've been announcing myself for the past ten or fifteen seconds, clearly.

There's no concrete definition to the term "Long". A long ride can be an hour, a morning, a day, or a voyage of many days. Work within your limits, train smart and hard, and watch that definition change as your body adapts and becomes more powerful!
Long Rides are one of the most enjoyable aspects of cycling, and the reward is looking back at what you've accomplished with satisfaction. If you have questions about how we can help you accomplish a longer ride, be it a rally, or even the Hotter 'n Hell 100, come by the studio some evening, and introduce yourself. We'd love to help - after all, that's what coaching is all about!

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Coach Wharton
16:02

The Tour de France is Here! Read on for 21 Tips over 21 Days of Cycling in July!


Stage 1 Tour de France 2015

The Tour de France began on Saturday, and if you're a cycling enthusiast, there is no better way to celebrate cycling and fitness than to watch and follow the Tour!

The winner of Stage 1, Dennis Rohan, rode the 8.6 mile course (slightly less distance than a lap around Dallas' White Rock Lake), in just under 15 minutes. The other cyclists followed behind, with the slowest cyclist finishing in 18 minutes and 30 seconds. It was a flat course in Utrecht, Netherlands, and it set the stage for some incredible cycling to come.

Several cyclists commented on their ability to handle the heat, and it was only made worse, when they donned their skinsuits and aero helmets, which are designed to cheat the wind, but not necessarily ventilate heat from the head all that well.

What can YOU accomplish on a bike in 15 minutes? Try it and see. Can you keep pedaling that long? Can you do it seated, or do you need to stand? Are you cycling for leisure, or are you dedicating yourself to riding at increased intensity, so you can improve your fitness? Are you drinking enough fluid?

Fifteen minutes can feel like an eternity, but it can also be short enough that it's something you can accomplish. Next time you ride, inside or out, watch the clock. After a good warmup, see what you can do in fifteen minutes. Break it down in to 5 minute periods. Watch your cadence. Listen to your breathing. Shift when you start to grind your gears. They say that the faster your speed, the slower time travels, so live in the moment, take several drinks along the way, and when it's over, reflect on where you are, versus where you were that short time ago.

Dedicate yourself to fifteen minutes of intensity every day this week, be it all at once, or broken down in to intervals with recovery, and watch your cycling change!
Thanks, and if you have any questions about this tip or your cycling, give us a call or just stop by before our evening classes!

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Coach Richard Wharton
15:34

Functional Threshold Power (FTP), Anaerobic Work Capacity (Now Titled W'...), and How It Applies to Classes at Cycling Center Dallas.

It's Mid-February, and the Groundhog decided rather quickly to re-enter his den, after seeing his shadow. That means more opportunities for us at Cycling Center Dallas, to help you continue to improve your Stamina, Speed, and Strength through our Six-Week Series of Classes. Many of you begrudgingly participated in two days of testing, to determine your absolute highest-average-power outputs for three minutes, eight minutes, and later, twenty minutes. Read More

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whareagle
17:48

Thank you Semipro Cycling!!!

resized group image http://semiprocycling.com/indoor-group-training-richard-wharton

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whareagle
18:12

CORE BELIEFS LECTURE DATES! Get faster, delay fatigue, and improve your on-bike performance this Fall and Winter!!!

What ELSE can you do to get faster? You have the bike, the wheels, the shoes... You have a training plan and you follow it... You run the miles, swim the laps, ride the hours.. Yet you STILL hit that plateau? What else IS there? It depends upon you CORE BELIEFS! Proper core training for endurance athletes will... Improve Performance Reduce Fatigue Improve Breathing Improve Posture Prolong your “career” If your "core training" program consists of planks, crunches, leg lifts, med ball slams and kneeling cable crunches (especially for an endurance athlete), this seminar is for you. Read More

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cyclingcenterdallas
12:13

A Weekend With RaceDay Apollo Co-Developer David Tilbury-Davis

A couple of weekends ago, our White Rock Lake studio was honored to host one of the two partners for some very powerful cycling and triathlon training and analysis software, David Tilbury-Davis. Mr. Davis is a triathlon coach with the British Triathlon Union (BTU), and will be relocating from his base in Spain to a new location outside of Houston this year. He came to Dallas to explain to an elite crew of coaches, what RaceDay Apollo is, and what it can do for the coach and the athlete. Read More

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cyclingcenterdallas
11:04

Personal Shopping Services Explained

One of the primary reasons that we chose to relocate so close to each of the Richardson Bike Marts (Sorry, Frisco - you're on the list for expansion, though!), is because of our incredibly strong relationship. I've said before that I could live anywhere in the US, but I choose to live in Dallas, because of the Richardson Bike Mart. Read More

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cyclingcenterdallas
11:00

...Because EVERYONE Deserves a Professional Bike Fit.

Well, we're coming out of May, and rolling in to June, and the weather is still sort of taciturn. We had several good weekdays, however, and the midday lulls have been a great opportunity for me to try out my new bike fit with Coach Craig Fulk. Those of you who know me, know that I'm a dedicated Cervelo owner, having owned over 5 so far, and upgrading as they continue to roll out new models. Read More

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cyclingcenterdallas
13:56

Why Six Weeks?

Wow - what a question. It's one that we get a lot at Cycling Center Dallas, and it finally requires some words. So let's have a look and a discussion, and hopefully you'll see why we think Six-Week-Long Series' tend to work the best for our cyclists. Read More

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