Monthly Archives: July 2010

Tips for the Tour of Elk Grove

Before I could even settle into a routine back at home after the Tour de France, remnants of the Tour were calling my name. Not even three days after the Tour ended, I was working out an arrangement to talk to 10th place finisher and Team RadioShack member Chris Horner on American soil. And not just anywhere in the States, but all too close to home at the Trek Bicycle Store of Highland Park. On Wednesday night, Chris came and spoke to cyclists, triathletes and Tour de France followers with a portion of the sales on Team RadioShack gear–that Chris would autograph–going to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Continue reading

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Coaches Corner: Sunglasses are not all about style

I’ve addressed fashion in cycling before, but the first time it related to jerseys and this time it relates to eyewear. While appearance is everything in fashion–or so they say–that’s not even close to true in our sport. Fashion is secondary to performance. Need proof? Read more in this article that I wrote for the Versus Coaches Corner (and be sure to check out the videos that correspond at this link, too).

Sunglasses are definitely important to how you look on your bike, but the real value to the performance of the athlete cannot be underestimated. Proper eyewear is absolutely essential in keeping the riders safe and can also help athletes conserve energy by actually helping facial muscles to relax. Sun protection for the eyes is a multi-billion dollar business. The cost for performance glasses can far exceed the $200 mark. Continue reading

Coaches Corner: Gearing for the Tour

I think we can all agree that cadence plays an important role in cycling and it’s one of those things that we focus on when we’re riding. It’s all about how many revolutions we make with our pedals in a minute and finding that perfect cadence. I explained gearing in this Coaches Corner at Versus. Check it out below:

The riders at this year’s Tour de France will ride over 2000 miles and pedal nearly a half-million revolutions in the course of this epic three-week stage race. That is a lot of circles! One thing a rider needs to dial in is his cadence throughout the Tour. Cadence is the number of revolutions the pedals make in a minute (RPM). The range for most cyclists just cruising on a flat road is between 85 and 105 revolutions per minute. But–and this is a big BUT–that cadence may drop to below 70RPM when climbing hills, depending on how steep the climb is and what the gearing combinations are. Continue reading

The difference between tubular and clincher tires and how much air pressure is needed

Sometimes when I address cycling equipment it sounds to some like I’m explaining the obvious. But for those who aren’t as familiar with cycling, they have their “ah-ha” moment. So for those cyclists, triathletes, and Tour de France and bike enthusiasts out there who want to learn more about the bike and its parts, this is for you. I recently wrote about tires and air pressure at Versus and posted the full story below:

People always ask me about the difference between “tubulars” and “clinchers” and what the guys at the Tour ride. The follow-up question is always: how much air pressure do they run?Let’s start off by clarifying the difference between a tubular tire and a clincher tire. A tubular tire has the tube sewn into the tire itself as one piece. It is either taped or glued onto a special tubular rim. A clincher is what most recreational cyclists use. It has a separate tube and tire allowing for the separate changing of either one independently of the other. The clincher rim is shaped with a ridge to fit the bead of the tire securely to the rim. Clinchers are significantly more practical for everyday bikers since changing a flat tire is a snap and can be done in minutes on the side of the road. Tubulars on the other hand require a time-consuming process of gluing a new tire to the rim–a black art that can take several days if done “old school”. Continue reading

A Lift from RadioShack at the Port de Balès

Talk about an adventure! But this time, instead of the Tour providing all the excitement, I created some of my own. The Tour didn’t disappoint by any means, and I managed to give myself an unforgettable day. Here are all the details:

I had a very interesting experience yesterday at the Tour de France. I had this great idea to ride the last 55km of the race and meet the crew at the Finish. This was the plan anyway. What actually happened, I will never forget… Continue reading

Halfway Home

We are at stage 11 and the Tour is officially halfway over. It has been a great tour thus far on many levels. The racing has been some of the most exciting ever, the time has passed quickly, the hotels have been great, my crew continues to rock, and I’ve shared lots of laughs with my driving partner Frankie Andreu on our transfers.

The Tour is all about routine. This is my fifth year doing the Tour and it is crazy how the process becomes so automatic. I was talking to Frankie about how it feels like we never left France last year. When you do the same thing every day for a month it becomes a habit, and those habits seem easier to lock into since you’ve done it in the past. Continue reading

I Picked Today’s Stage Winner!

The Tour de France is full of twists and turns–just take the Tour’s opening days full of crashes, injuries and predictions gone wrong. That’s part of the fun and excitement of it all. I’ve created a little challenge of my own while I’m out here, with the help of my friends back at Trek of Highland Park.

Each day I pick my prediction for the stage winner. Trek of Highland Park announces the prediction on Facebook and Twitter with updates if I was right or wrong. If I’m right, Trek HP will offer 20 percent off one clothing item or accessory, except for Mellow Johnny’s. If I’m wrong, you just have to stay tuned until the next stage and hope I pick a winner. Continue reading