Saturday, July 31, 2010

When feel-like temps are near 90 degrees F at 6:30am, you know it's going to be H-O-T!

Still, there were 30+ BPY tri club members who showed up at Coach Jacklynn's today for a long brick workout. We had bikes of all types: tri bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, a beach cruiser and even one pulling a trailer with a pint-sized teammate inside. It's all good!!!

Coach Jacklynn giving out instructions. (click to enlarge).

The group getting ready to roll! (click to enlarge).

Congrats to everyone who braved the heat to do the brick workout. Come race day, you'll be glad you did.


And I was riding in a car a few weeks back with a couple fellow teammates and one reminded me of Team Hoyt, one of the most (if not the most) inspiring father-son teams to compete in triathlons. For those who have not seen this 10 minute viral video, it is a must-see. For those who have already, it never gets old.

Watch ... be inspired ... and never say you can't again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Congratulations to Diane for being named ‘Triathlete of the Month’ for July!

Determination and dedication are two words that come to mind when I think of Diane. She is very thoughtful and a steadfast encourager to this team. We appreciate her hard work as she puts this team first above herself ... always. And her running has been improving week by week. It wouldn't have without her driven attitude and it's truly a joy to see how far she's come. What a great role model and team player!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wow, we are at the end of another month which means it's time to announce a new Triathlete of the Month. Check out the green box in the center column to see who Coach Jacklynn picked for July!

And very impressive that there were quite a few of you who answered all the names correctly in our Name Game. First of all, here are the answers:

Click photo to enlarge.

As stated in the rules, we'd draw the winner randomly from those who had answered the most names correctly if there was a tie. So that's exactly what we did. The lucky winner is: Barry L Amanda*!!!

*Amanda had sent in her answers from an email account in her husband's name that they both share.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Monday mid-morning. Another HOT day in the making with temps nearing 90. Most people are in air-conditioned quarters enjoying their second cup of coffee. Where is the BPY Tri Club morning crew?

They are off to the track to run 800's!

Was it tough? You betcha. But everyone knows that to get stronger, you have to push the envelope. And the best way to do so is with a group of supportive friends. If you are new to running on a track, here are a few tips and notes on track etiquette to make your experience more pleasant:

- Bring/wear lots of sunscreen. No shade at the track!
- Bring PLENTY of fluids, some to drink and some to pour on yourself to cool off. No water fountain either!
- Use an insulated water bottle or bring a mini cooler to help fluids stay colder.
- Bring a watch, Garmin or some device to keep track of your lap times.
- First try to be consistent with your repeats, then work on doing them faster.
- Use the recovery periods. Proper pacing and recovery are key to doing track workouts well.
- If you are a slower runner or recovering, avoid running on the inside track (Lane #1).
- If you are a faster runner coming up on someone going slower in Lane #1, yell "Track" to request that they move over.
- If you are done running a hard interval on Lane #1, peel off to the side. Do not slow down or stop while remaining in Lane #1 as someone may be right in back of you who is continuing.
- When you are recovering, cheer for others who are running hard. The favor will likely be returned.

Come on out and join us!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As many of you know, our tri club spinning classes are sometimes so full that not everyone can get a spin bike. Yet, there's still room on the floor so Coach Jacklynn has been encouraging everyone who has a trainer to bring theirs and their bike.

Trainer??? You mean the "Body by Jake" guy?

No. A bike trainer, which is a piece of piping and rollers that can turn your bike into a stationary bike and give you a great indoor workout. (By the way, there are also things called rollers which some cyclists use for indoor training but unless you are quite advanced or have a death wish, we will not talk about those.)

First off, given that we live in a place that's warm enough to ride outdoors year around, why would we want to ride a bike indoors?

In short, more focused training, better use of time, more time on your bike and convenience.

On a trainer you won't have any stop signs, traffic lights, downhills, or people to draft behind so you can focus on a specific structured workout as in the spin classes or on your own, say, following a Spinerval DVD. Since you will generally pedal the entire time while on a trainer (no coasting), studies have shown that roughly 45 minutes on a trainer burns about the same amount of calories as riding a bike outside for an hour at comparable effort (although your speed will be different as you'll have to overcome air friction and wind drag when riding outdoors). Riding your own bike, versus a spin bike, you'll spend more time in your saddle (if you're new to riding, a must to either get used to it or figure out you need a new one), be able to practice using your gears, reaching for and putting back your bike bottle, clipping in/out of pedals, using aero bars if you have them, etc., all of which will help you become a better cyclist for tris. And lastly, having a trainer just makes riding more convenient, especially for folks who work full-time and can ride only certain times. Whether it's dark outside or pouring rain, you can always just put your bike on a trainer and ride!

A couple additional notes: If you decide to bring your trainer and bike to a spin class, don't forget the wheel block (the thing that goes under your front wheel to make your bike level) or else you will feel like you're riding downhill the entire time and your arms will get really tired. Also, if you ride a trainer often, check your rear tire for wear regularly as it will wear down much faster than your front tire. There are special tires for indoor training but unless you have an extra rear wheel to put it on or plan to ride on a trainer for an entire season (like folks who live in cold places do), they are not worth getting because they are not designed to be ridden outdoors and you'll have to change tires often.

Ride safe, ride hard – Dave

Monday, July 19, 2010

The hard work is paying off! Everyone who's raced recently has done so well with many personal records (PRs) being set. Let's give them all a shout-out, shall we?

Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Tri, Sun 7/11
Kimmy B - FIRST Oly tri & qualified for USAT Nationals!!!
Erik H - FIRST Oly tri & a sub-3 finish!!
Will - FIRST Oly tri & a sub-3 finish!!
John - Second Oly tri & PR'd on a MUCH tougher course!!
Julie - Second Oly tri & an 8 min swim PR!

Moss Park Sprint Tri, Sat 7/17
Coach Jacklynn - 1st Overall Female, PR'd on her bike!!!
Tabitha - 2nd Overall Female, PR'd on her run and a faster bike split!!
Melissa - 3rd F55-59 - PR'd in ALL 3 sports & a 17 min race PR!!
Britney - FIRST tri & 1st Female in the My First Tri Division!!
Deanna - FIRST tri & 2nd Female in the My First Tri Division!!
Kerrie - PR'd on the run!
Doug - PR'd on the bike and run!
Evelyn - PR'd on her run (we think)!

Clermont Sprint Tri #2, Sat 7/17
Ellen - FIRST tri & 1st Female in the Fat Tire Division!!

Moss Park Olympic Distance AquaBike, Sun 7/18
Roy, 2nd Place Male!!

BPY Tri Club Athletes and support crew at Moss Park Sprint Tri

Congrats to all who raced. Full race results for the Chattanooga Waterfront Tri can be found here, the Moss Park races here and the Clermont Sprint #2 here. If we missed anyone or any corrections are needed, please let us know in the comments.

Friday, July 16, 2010

1. Today is the last day to submit your entry for the Name Game, if you haven't already. Email entries to bpytri @ by midnight Eastern. A $25 Panera gift card is at stake!

2. Has watching the Tour got you dreaming of a new bike? If so, two local bike stores are having a "Dream Bigger" sale. Check out our Classified Section (third column) for more details.

And now a quick Q&A from the Bike Geek:

I am buying a bike and conflicted regarding 700 and 650 wheels. I am 5’1” (on a good day). Seems like most frames that fit me have 650 wheels, but most people seem to think if I can find a frame that fits that has 700 wheels that it would be better. I think I may have done that, but I am still wondering if it is not best to go with 650 wheels anyway on a frame that fits. Do you know?

Ah, a really good question. First, why to get a bike with 700 wheels. They are bigger and ride over bumps, pot holes, curbs, etc., smoother. They are more standard so it's easier to find replacements and more varieties of tubes, tires, and after-market wheels. Also, you can bum a tube from your friends easier when you get a flat because chances are they're riding on 700 wheels too.

Ok, so given all that, why 650s? They allow the bike to be proportioned better for a small person so you will get a ride and fit that is more standard for you. There is LESS chance of a "toe overlap" with 650's, i.e., where the toe of your shoe touches the front wheel when it might be turned, say, starting off from a stop (not so much an issue when riding as you will nearly always lean your bike to make a turn rather than turn your wheel) making it a safer ride. The down sides to 650s is that you should always carry two tubes with you in case you get a flat as chances are you won't be able to borrow a tube to fix your flat. It'll be harder to find 650 tubes/tires and to upgrade your wheels (but not impossible, just some places might not have them or much of a selection and good deals on them may be few). Also, if there is someone else in your household who rides with 700 wheels, you will have to take extra care to make sure you've both got the right size tubes as they cannot be interchanged but look similar when rolled up.

In my opinion, if you are buying an off-the-shelf bike (as opposed to a custom bike that is being built specifically for you), I think you should go for the 650 wheels. I think you will get a better fit and enjoy the ride more. Not only that, bike with a little bike, it's hard to draft off you but real easy to draft off somebody else. Right Shirley?

Ride safe, ride hard -- Dave


Good luck to all who are racing this weekend!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The first question for the Bike Geek!

What bike would you recommend for me? I want one that is much more than mine now (a $600 Giant road bike), faster and lighter. I'm looking at the $2500-3000 price range. Should it be a tri bike or a road bike?

This is a question that every bike geek loves and fears. We love it because it gives us a chance to show off how much we think we know and our biases. We fear it because we don’t really have a quick, easy answer, because it depends. It depends on what type of riding you'll be doing, how you want to spend the money (what combination of frame, components and accessories), how well the bike fits and, believe it or not, how it even looks.

If you would rather not read, a really good video about the differences between road and tri bikes can be found here.

In my opinion, the short answer is this: get the bike that you will ride and enjoy the most. The long answer I will have to explain in three parts. For part one, we'll look at what type of riding you will be doing, which I believe should be the biggest factor in making your decision between a road bike or a tri bike. I'll assume that you can get a good bike fit for either bike and both bikes look great to your eye. I'll also assume that your old bike will no longer be available so all of your riding will be done on your new bike. If you're planning on keeping your old bike, sometimes the best answer to the question is “the other kind." Since I have both types, I pick which bike to use based upon the type of ride I’m going to do (Shirley actually got a tri bike first and then a road bike more recently as the type of rides she wanted to do became more varied and she wanted to become a stronger cyclist).

So, what type of riding will you be doing? To answer this we must consider both training rides as well as races and for most of us, we will ride many more miles in training than we will in races.

Will you be doing lots of group rides with drafting involved?

To get faster on the bike, many triathletes often do group rides with serious cyclists (aka “roadies”). Just as in group running and group swim workouts, you'll tend to push yourself harder in a group than you would on your own. Plus, if it is the right group of folks, it's a lot more fun. So if you'll be doing many group rides with drafting involved, like the ESCC A & B group rides, you'll want to get a road bike because many such groups do not allow tri bikes for safety reasons (see the ESCC Aerobar policy, which I agree with completely for the reasons mentioned in the next section). They'll usually allow clip-on aerobars as long as you don't use them on those rides. In tris or non-drafting group rides, clip-on aerobars, assuming they're properly fitted, will allow you to have much of the same aerodynamic benefits as tri bikes.

Right about now, many of you are probably asking “What about BPY Tri Club rides?” Well, this is a different kind of group ride. We spread out more and don’t draft nearly as much as true roadies do. The greater separation between riders and smaller number of people riding together tends to minimize the chance of people bumping into each other or not having enough time to react.

If the majority of your rides will not involve drafting, a tri bike may the better choice, depending on the course which we'll talk about next.

Will you be riding lots of “technical courses” (ones with a lot of steep hills, tight curves, many stops, potholes, traffic, etc.)?

If so, a road bike handles better and is the safer choice. Whether to change gears, brake, go straight, climb hills, corner, navigate around obstacles or stop suddenly, hand position changes are minimal and your brakes are always easily accessible. You are also sitting more upright and it is easier to look around/ahead to see and react better. For beginners and advanced riders needing good bike handling, road bikes are the best choice.

If most of your bike courses are relatively flat with long, fairly straight stretches, as in East Orlando, then a tri bike makes better sense. You should be able to stay in aero for long periods of time with little need to brake or go around corners. To shift gears, you only need to move a thumb or fingertip to move bar end shifters located on the ends of your aerobars. A tri bike may, of course, be ridden in the non-aero or upright position too, but it's usually not as comfortable to do so for long periods of time as a road bike and shifting will require you to reach for a bar end shifter, which is not as convenient or safe (especially when riding inches away from other people, which is why tri bikes are not welcome in many group rides).

To summarize, if you'll be riding in the aero position most of the time in training and racing, then a tri bike is the way to go. Otherwise, a better quality road bike with clip-on aerobars is what I would recommend. I purposefully did not mention other benefits tri bikes are touted as having (steeper seat tube angles for better running off the bike, shorter top tube lengths for more comfort in aero position, more aerodynamic tubing, etc) because none of that really matters if the type of riding you'll be doing won't allow you to ride much in the position that a tri bike was designed for.

In my upcoming posts, I will discuss bike prices and options on how to spend your money on a new bike, bike fit and the bike coolness factor. That is, unless I get a question I want to answer more. ;-)

Ride safe, ride hard -- Dave

Friday, July 9, 2010

You know you are married to a bike geek when ...

He has more miles on his bikes than he does on his car.
You own more bikes than TVs or computers.
Your living room has been partitioned into a bike workout area and a bike mechanic shop.
There's a stack of Coach Troy Spinervals by your TV.
There are even more bike training books on your bookshelves, coffee table and dining table.
You have subscriptions to multiple bike magazines (aka bike "porn") which are all over the place, even by the bed.
The bike tools have their own toolbox but they never seem to be in it.
There are different bike chain lubricants, cassettes and other bike parts adorning your shelves.
You have a big bottle of Simple Green to clean up bike grease that invariably gets on the carpet.
He doesn't notice bike grease spots on the carpet.
He complains when you put away all his bike stuff because now he can't find anything.
He forgets family member birthdays but can remember the build kits (components) of all his bikes.
Your monthly Performance Bike and Bike Nashbar expenses often exceed your grocery bills.
He always wants to go to the local bike shop (at home or on travel), even if there's nothing really needed.
You know he wants a new bike toy when he encourages you to buy something extravagant.
He drools at the thought of attending an Interbike show.
He has more than a dozen bike-related websites bookmarked on his web browser.
The fastest way to get Tour de France highlights is to just ask him.
He says he's doing some "work" in his office but you hear the podcast music playing over and over.

But I consider myself lucky. Because if it weren't for my husband Dave, I wouldn't be where I am as a cyclist (which is not to say that I'm a great cyclist, just that I'm much better than I would be otherwise). He's my riding partner, my de facto bike coach, my bike mechanic and my resident bike geek. Any bike questions I've had (and believe me, there have been a LOT), he usually knows the answer to or if he doesn't, he enjoys looking up.

Dave has kindly agreed to help other BPY tri club members who might have bike questions by participating in a series of blog posts called "Ask the Bike Geek." Questions may be posted here on this blog, on our club Facebook page or emailed to the club (bpytri @ I'll make sure he gets them. Dave also occasionally rides with our club on weekends and, as some of you already know, LOVES to talk about bikes and is willing to help if someone needs help with their bike. If he's not wearing his green BPY Tri Club bike jersey, look for a unique green bike (He's not wearing his helmet in the above photo because it was really hot and he was trying to cool off during a break. He always has his helmet ON when riding).

Stay tuned for the next "Ask the Bike Geek" installment!

Also, one more week left to submit your entries for the Name Game. Entries are due next Friday, 7/16, by midnight Eastern. A $25 Panera gift card is up for grabs!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

1) A reminder: Please always wear a bike helmet when riding outdoors. You do not have to be Lance Armstrong to crash on a bike. Take it from me who took a spill last Saturday while wrapping up a solo training ride thinking the hard part was over. Surprise! Hitting the asphalt hurts more than riding in 15-20mph headwinds for 20 miles.

Luckily, my injuries were relatively minimal, just minor road rash and some bumps and bruises, and the damage to my bike was mostly cosmetic. My poor helmet, however, was toast.

A cracked or broken helmet is no longer safe to use and should be replaced.

So that now makes a total of four, FOUR bike helmets that I have gone through. But the good news: ZERO head injuries! Although some may question my sanity at times ...

2) Feeling the summer heat? Check out this USAT article called Nutrition for the Heat which explains some basics about training in heat & humidity and provides some useful tips. The part in goal #1 about heat preacclimitization, however, you can ignore as there is plenty of heat right now every day. But practicing your nutrition and training your stomach is good advice. Remember, the longer the race and hotter the conditions, the more important nutrition becomes. If anyone has additional tips for beating the heat, feel free post them in the comments.

Train safe and train smart, everyone!

PS - For those who don't know, PSA = Public Service Announcement.

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