The Most Cycle-Friendly Cities in the World

Today’s bulletin is short and visual. It’s a collection of comments and photos from people around the world nominating their cities as cycling-friendly… some cool pics. How does yours stack up?

My wife and I once cycled in Holland, all I remember was cycling commuters whizzing around (on the “wrong” side of the road), ringing their bells and yelling at us “Pass op!” (Watch out!). Phew.

On the other hand, cycling in New Orleans, contrary to what I anticipated, was really fun, and the cars gave bicycles a lot of leeway. If you’re down that way, I highly recommend the Confederacy of Cycles tour, they’re very enlightening and entertaining.

The Most Cycle-Friendly Cities in the World

New Orleans is a fantastic place for cycling

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/guardianwitness-blog/2015/jun/01/cycle-friendly-cities-world-your-pictures-and-stories

Enlist Your Brain When You Train

Ever had one of those workouts where you feel like crap at the beginning, but you persevere, and it ends up being a great workout? I had one today on my lunch run. I’m pretty sure much of it is in your head.

As I hit the trail I was thinking about how I had recently been ripped off with an online purchase (never received the goods), and how I should respond. 10 minutes later I was struggling and found myself walking.

I recognized what was happening and shifted mental gears. I looked down at my soaking shirt. It was from my first ultra (which was a real struggle!), and reminded myself if I got through that, I sure as hell could get through a few miles at lunch. Besides, I am planning to do another ultra in a couple of months so I’d better start behaving like a freakin runner.

I focused on form and treading lightly and quickly. I decided to run hard up the (short) hills and recover on the descents, even walk if I had to. I did. No problem, that was the deal. And if it was going to be a struggle, so be it, I wasn’t going to mope about it and shuffle along, I was at least going to put up a damn fight and run with conviction.

AS I settled in to a steady pace I set the goal of making some plans for Velo Logic and growing the audience. In the last half hour my mind wandered a bit and I formulated an idea for a new product. I got excited.

Then I realized I was rolling along at a decent pace, and feeling strong. What a turnaround.

That’s happened to me many times, on and off the bike, often when I start out riding the trainer; and it’s probably happened to you. I’m sure if I had continued to seethe at the thought of getting ripped off, my run would have stayed a painful, run/walk ordeal, and I would never have developed the idea for some new stuff for Velo Logic.

The mind is our most powerful tool. We fuel our bodies, often we fail to do the same for our minds.

My advice… when you have one of those rides, don’t give in to that first impression. Maybe its legit, often it isn’t. Recognize that the sluggishness could evaporate in 10-20 min, and don’t quit.

Shift mental gears, think of a time when you had a great ride, and know you will have one again. Think of an upcoming event, perhaps a competitor you’d dearly like to beat, and imagine him on your wheel. He ain’t going home with his tail between his legs, are you?

And even if it turns out to be a hard, grinding ride, it’s still made you stronger, tougher, especially mentally as you’ve flexed and worked out your mental muscle.

One thinker said it well, “Ideas move man. Man moves the world.” It’s true, what we think has a huge impact on us, on a ride, in sport in general, in life, and throughout the sweep of history, ideas drive progress… or undermine and enslave.

Next time you train, enlist your brain.

Become a Bicycle Ninja

Yesterday I mentioned Dave’s crazy sale on his bike maintenance course, which teaches insider’s tips and short cuts from pro bike mechanics, and it can save you a ton of money down the road.

I say “course,” and it is that comprehensive, so if you’re a bike geek and want to do it from start to finish, you’ll know your bike inside out in just a few hours. You could even open your own bike repair business.

If that’s not you, you can just as well dive in at any point and pull up any video on any issue you’re having and learn how to fix it in minutes.

You save time, you save money, and you get it done right.

About that… I’ve had stuff screwed up by bike shops. You never know who’s going to be working on your bike, the seasoned pro, or the kid who works there afer school. I’m guessing the guy who cracked my carbon rim with a hairdryer trying to remove the tubular was not the head mechanic.

Short of going to in-person classes, this kind of video is by the best way to learn. Books are just too vague and confusing, like reading a story with every second page ripped out. For the life of me I cannot figure out what the hell happened between figure 1 and figure 2.

That’s not what this is. Sure, you do get a 150 page manual, a great quick reference and reminder, but the meat is the videos which show you step by step, and from multiple angles, with closeups.

bicycle-repair-and-maintenance-video-course-sm-600x449

Complete Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Course

What you do get is:

  • Expert instruction aimed at beginners and seasoned pros, taught by 3 experts, covering standard road bikes, racing bikes and mountain bikes.
  • 200 videos (10 hours) plus 150 pages of in-depth lessons – it’s comprehensive, leaves nothing out, so you’re covered for almost any problem
  • Easy to follow step-by-step instructions 
  • Detailed specifications, exploded views and photographs – so you’re never left wondering which part goes where, or what to do
  • Suitable for BOTH beginners and seasoned pros
  • Learn to fix, upgrade and maintain any bike, from road, race and mountain bikes – heck, you could open your own repair business if you like
  • From the simplest repair procedure to the most complex – this is not just the usual stuff like how to change a tube, or adjust a derailleur, want to upgrade any part of your bike… you’re covered.
  • Clearly see all procedures from multiple viewing angles, including up-close views – unlike static photos or one viewpoint videos, you get to see exactly what to do

The package is a steal, but Dave has thrown in a couple of bonuses that make it a no brainer:

You get all future updates and new videos, so your investment never goes out of date (…unlike the Park Tools Bicycle Maintenance Manual I have in my shed which cost me almost as much as this course).

Limited Bonus: You also get one-on-one coaching from Dave via Skype if you need clarification or advice.

BTW, you have 2 months to check it out, test it, and if for any reason you don’t think it’s a bargain, shoot him an email and you’ll get your money back, no questions asked.

Finally… conquer your bike

Video: Huge Crash in Tour de France Stage 3 Causes Carnage

The early days of the Tour are notorious for crashes, but yesterday during stage 3 things got bad, the stage had to be neutralized while medics took care of riders.

According to Cycling Weekly:

“The double crashes on a fast descent in the Ardennes at the Tour de France on stage 3 left many of the riders battered, scraped and bruised on the worst possible day – right before they hit the cobbles of Northern France. So numerous were the injured that race organisers were forced to halt the stage to let the medics do their jobs.”

Cycling Weekly Photo Gallery of the Crash

Cancellara who was in yellow went down and has abandoned with a fractured vertebrae. Many other riders were injured. Those who survived have to face the cobbles today.

“Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” -Mark Twain

What You Need to Know About the Tour de France 2015

The Tour kicks off tomorrow, July 4th with the individual time trial in Utrech. Here’s a list of some key Tour de France resources, the route, the stages, who and where to watch online.

Tour de France Route Map and Stages

Get a quick overview of the route of the 2015 Tour de France and a breakdown of the TdF Stages

Where to Watch the Tour de France Live Online

There are places you can watch the tour online streaming for free, but I don’t trust them. In my experience they’re slow, loaded with ads, ask you to download dodgy plugins, or worse.

For $29 you can get full access to the whole tour… watch it live, replays, highlights, interviews and more on NBCSports.com

http://tourdefrance.nbcsports.com/

The Story of the Tour de France

The Story of the Tour de France - an incredible story about an incredible race! The Story of the Tour de France is a rare gem of a book in a crowded category. It grabs you from the start, electrifies and keeps you immersed in the powerful drama that is the Tour.

“Drenched in rich detail.” -Paul S

“As soon as I began reading this book I was hooked!” -John W

The Story of the Tour de France

The 2015 Tour de France Teams

http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/07/news/preliminary-start-list-2015-tour-de-france_375043

Who’s Got a Shot at the Tour Podium?

We all have our favorites, and Contador is certainly a proven contender, but who else will have a target on their backs? Here’s the riders to watch… and who will be watched closely in the peleton.

Top Contenders for the 2015 Tour de France

Last Minute Tour Preparation

Who’s working feverishly at this late hour… and will be for the entire tour? The mechanics of course!

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/mechanical-storm-before-the-tour-de-france/

Track Tour Riders on Strava

Ten Tour Riders to Follow on Strava

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/racing/tour-de-france/10-riders-to-follow-on-strava-during-the-tour-de-france-180285

Want to Take Part in the Tour?

That’s all very well I hear you say, but I’m a doer not an onlooker. I hear ya. You need to head on over to VeloGames.com and check out

Velo Games Fantasy Tour de France

Recommended: The Story of the Tour de France Vol 2

The Story of the Tour de France Vol 2 The Story of the Tour de France Volume 2 covers the period from 1965 to 2007, with even more drama and excitement.

“Volume 2 is even better; more robust and with greater detail; and it is the best piece on the world’s greatest sporting event ever.” – Paul S

The Story of the Tour de France Volume 2

Enjoy the Tour!

 

The Tour de France Route 2015

Here’s a quick overview of where the Tour de France will be passing this year. The Tour kicks off July 4th in Utrecht and ends July 26 in Paris.

The Story of the Tour de France

The Story of the Tour de France - an incredible story about an incredible race! The Story of the Tour de France is a rare gem of a book in a crowded category. It grabs you from the start, electrifies and keeps you immersed in the powerful drama that is the Tour.

“Drenched in rich detail.” -Paul S

“As soon as I began reading this book I was hooked!” -John W

The Story of the Tour de France

 

A Breakdown of the Tour de France 2015 Stages

Stage Date Course Distance Type of Stage
1 4 July Utrecht – Utrecht 13.8 km (9 mi) Individual time trial
2 5 July Utrecht – Neeltje Jans 166 km (103 mi) Flat stage
3 6 July Antwerp – Huy 159.5 km (99 mi) Medium-mountain stage
4 7 July Seraing – Cambrai 223.5 km (139 mi) Flat stage with cobblestones
5 8 July Arras – Amiens 189.5 km (118 mi) Flat stage
6 9 July Abbeville – Le Havre 191.5 km (119 mi) Flat stage
7 10 July Livarot – Fougères 190.5 km (118 mi) Flat stage
8 11 July Rennes – Mûr-de-Bretagne 181.5 km (113 mi) Medium-mountain stage
9 12 July Vannes – Plumelec 28 km (17 mi) Team time trial
13 July  Rest Day
10 14 July Tarbes – La Pierre Saint Martin 167 km (104 mi) Mountain stage
11 15 July Pau – Cauterets 188 km (117 mi) Mountain stage
12 16 July Lannemezan – Plateau de Beille 195 km (121 mi) Mountain stage
13 17 July Muret – Rodez 198.5 km (123 mi) Medium-mountain stage
14 18 July Rodez – Mende 178.5 km (111 mi) Medium-mountain stage
15 19 July Mende – Valence 183 km (114 mi) Hilly stage
16 20 July Bourg-de-Péage – Gap 201 km (125 mi) Medium-mountain stage
21 July Rest Day
17 22 July Digne-les-Bains – Pra Loup 161 km (100 mi) Mountain stage
18 23 July Gap – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 186.5 km (116 mi) Mountain stage
19 24 July Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – La Toussuire – Les Sybelles 138 km (86 mi) Mountain stage
20 25 July Modane – Alpe d’Huez 110.5 km (69 mi) Mountain stage
21 26 July Sèvres – Paris 109.5 km (68 mi) Flat stage

 

Recommended: The Story of the Tour de France Vol 2

The Story of the Tour de France Vol 2 The Story of the Tour de France Volume 2 covers the period from 1965 to 2007, with even more drama and excitement.

“Volume 2 is even better; more robust and with greater detail; and it is the best piece on the world’s greatest sporting event ever.” – Paul S

The Story of the Tour de France Volume 2

 

Teaching a Kid to Ride a Bike

My first memories of learning to ride a bicycle are not good. Oh my…

I remember precariously balancing on my new “Black Panther” bicycle at the top of a fairly gentle little hill in our yard. As I started to roll forward I hopped on the saddle with my legs splayed. My bike had pedal brakes only, and my feet were no where near them.

As I rolled down the hill, I was completely focused on trying not to fall over. I weaved and swerved as I gained speed, barely staying upright.

The bottom of the yard leveled out and ended in a bed of rose bushes. I was frozen on the bike and I tore into the rose bushes… and the thorns tore into me.

I still remember sitting in the bathtub, with scratches all over my body and it stinging like crazy.

It’s a wonder I ever got on a bike again.

When I taught my daughter to ride a few years ago, I was determined that she would not suffer the same fate. Here’s what I did… it worked great. She was quite a daredevil but never crashed once. She has since, but that’s

How to Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike Without Tears… or Backache

1. Buy a small bicycle with pedals that is suitable height for you child. With the saddle in the lowest position, they should be able to straddle and reach the ground comfortably. They should not just be able to touch the ground with their toes, make sure they can put their feet flat and there is a slight bend at the knee.

2. Remove the pedals from the bike. You don’t need them at this point, they just get in the way and can actually hurt our novice rider.

3. Hold the seat from behind and run behind them as they “walk” along with their feet. Here’s where a Bike Balance Training Handle comes in handy, as it allows you to have complete control over their bike without breaking your back!

It serves many other functions too. It let’s you slow them down if you’re on a downhill, they get away from you fast, which can be dangerous. This happened to me a couple of times, our road gradually gets steeper and steeper. Holding on to the seat is not safe under such conditions, you need something like the Bike Balance Training Handle so you have a secure grip. It let’s them steer and lean and get the feel of the bike, balancing, and how steering affects balance.

4. Once you are confident they can scoot and steer… let ’em rip! If it’s a safe area, flat, low traffic, you can take the training handle off. Let them experiment and scoot around by pushing themselves forward with their feet. (That’s why they need to reach the ground comfortably, so their legs have a little bend and they can push.) They will very quickly learn to balance and steer, and will naturally start lifting their feet so they glide further. Once they gliding for fairly lengthy distances, about 15 feet or more…

5. Put the pedals back on. Yup, they are ready. If you have a training handle that you’ve removed, you could put it back on just to be extra cautious and guide them as they make the transition to pedaling; but in my experience it is unnecessary.

If you want to make your life easier, and your child safer, I do recommend getting a Bike Balance Training Handle.

Good luck! Here’s to many years of happy riding together.