Unknown Bike brands: Atala bikes

Founded in 1921 by master craftsman Cesare Rizzato in Padua Italy, the Atala brand has been the choice of champions for many generations, from participating the inaugural Giro de Italia to the numerous world championship victories.

The company also had some championship success in the 1980s before hitting financial difficulties. It was sold in 2002. It is now owned by Bianchi Bicycles and in 2002 moved most of its manufacturing to Izmir, Turkey, then in 2009 returned all of its manufacturing to Italy (Monza). In 2011 50% of the company is owned by Accell Group. The company also produces bicycles for the brands “Carraro”, “Whistle USA”and “Maimo” e ‘Dei”.

Atala had some nice track bikes – all chrome with nice painted panels which had an attractive translucent quality. Because these bikes were both mid-level and very common, their value is based mostly on their parts. N.R. bikes except Universal brakes valued about $550. With N.R. brakes about $600.

Atala track bikes, as described above, are attractive. That doesn’t make them particularly valuable. Nice examples about $550.

As a small word of caution, don’t be terribly excited buy seemingly ornate lugs with cut outs on some Atala models. Such frames are very common and not terribly unique or desirable. In Italy, they are everywhere – even on the typical commuter bike.



Sportive training continued

Seems like I slept well enough – up at 6am and the 3x10min hill training on the spin bike. Afternoon slow run then tomorrow is spin bike fat burn so very lazy HR.

hills 3 x 10min

Are heart rate monitors still useful for cycling (or is power-metering the king)

An interesting article – cycling specific at http://velonews.competitor.com/category/training-center

srm power meter
power meter at TdF



I recently read about a study that brought heart rate monitors into question. The study said that there was a disparity between anaerobic thresholds when cycling vs. running. It basically brought the whole concept of heart-rate training into question. This concerns me because I cannot afford a power meter and I use a heart rate monitor cycling computer to measure my progress. Is this a good study, and are there other pitfalls with heart rate training we need to know? Should I dump the HR monitor?
— Peter


The term anaerobic threshold is a bit dated, though unfortunately many people still use this term. If you could provide the specific article that you read, then I could comment further on that specific study. But the idea of the existence of a threshold intensity above which exercise capacity is limited can be measured in an exercise physiology laboratory in various methods such as using blood lactate concentration or measuring oxygen consumption and CO2 production relative to respiratory rate. Most tests used to evaluate a breakpoint in these physiological responses will then reference the value obtained relative to the testing method, such as lactate threshold or ventilatory threshold.

In our physiology lab at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, we use both methods but most importantly look at the associated power (watts), heart rate, and perceived effort at not only the breakpoints (or thresholds) but also across the continuum of effort from easy to threshold and to maximum effort. As a coach, I also like to establish not only laboratory threshold values, but also real world power output using tests such as constrained heart rate efforts as well as maximum power output tests from short duration (1-5 seconds), all the way to 1-hour maximum efforts. I usually have my athletes who are undergoing physiology testing also perform power output testing on their bike to look at the correlation between lab results and performance capacity.

When looking at different sports such as cycling and running, there are typically differences observed in peak or maximum heart rate in each activity — as well as the corresponding threshold heart rates. Generally speaking, running and cross-country skiing yield higher maximum and threshold heart rate values with respect to cycling. Swimming, on the other hand, is typically lower than cycling, though your training history and experience in a given sport can influence this. I also encourage the combined use of heart rate and perceived effort, in addition to some sort of output (power for cyclists, pace/speed for runners & swimmers) to evaluate training responses with my athletes.

The heart rate, though different from sport to sport, can still be a useful tool for training. The use or lack of a power meter does not mean that you should ditch your heart rate monitor; ideally you should integrate whatever tools you have available to track your progress. Without using a power meter, you could evaluate your progress occasionally (every month or two) by performing a trial effort from Point A to Point B while holding a constant heart rate and track your speed. I like to use a sustained climb of 15-30 minutes if possible, as this reduces the effects of differences of wind speed from trial to trial.

for some HR is the same as power

Red Bull Minidrome – GLASGOW 2nd October

Red Bull Minidrome 2

OCTOBER 2nd at the Barrowlands

You may remember the road.cc report  earlier this year on the Red Bull Mini Drome when it was temporarily installed at Bethnal Green’s York Hall – the spectacle was memorably likened by TR to watching “a cat on a bicycle, cycling around in your bath.” Now, track cycling fans in Scotland’s largest city will have the chance to see the Minidrome for themselves and even ride it when it visits Glasgow in October.

Built by Velotrack, who designed the tracks for the Atlanta Olympics and Delhi Commonwealth Games, the velodrome, on which riders can hit speeds of up to 80 kph, will be at the Old Fruit Market on 2 October 2011.

Anyone with a fixed gear bike can apply to take part in the event, with registration through the Red Bull website. More than 100 competitors will race against the clock, with those posting the ten quickest times going through to the finals, which will have an individual pursuit final.

Entry for spectators will be free – although donations to Glasgow Bike Shed or Wings for Life are encouraged – on a first-come, first-served basis at the venue, which has a capacity of 400 people.

The three winners will receive custom gold, silver and bronze Charge bikes, and Neil Cousins from the brand said: “We’re excited to be part of Red Bull Mini Drome once again. After a thrilling and successful night at the last event in York Hall, London, we wanted to help bring even more to Glasgow.”

‘our video for Glasgow Bike Shed – a worthy charity …….

Red Bull Minidrome – Barrowland Ballroom 2 October 

Breathe deeply and this will explain: respiratory training

an excellent article explaining lung/ breathing training and how to do it.

Using the Powerlung Trainer is a one way to practicerespiratory muscle training.

Respiratory muscle trainingmay help you run better.

Written by: Matt Fitzgerald

In the final miles of a long or hard run, your muscles become very tired. Which muscles? Why, your leg muscles, of course. But your hamstrings, quadriceps and calves are not the only muscles that become fatigued during a hard run, nor are they necessarily the first muscles to bonk. Your respiratory muscles may also become tired. And to the degree that these muscles fatigue first, it is their fatigue—not that of your legs—that limits your performance. In fact, as your respiratory muscles begin to fatigue, your nervous system will redirect oxygen from the muscles of your limbs to those of your diaphragm to keep them going. Thus, during running your legs may fatigue because your respiratory muscles have begun to fatigue first—and to prevent these muscles from fatiguing to a dangerous extent.

Every runner is aware that he or she breathes hard when running hard. But few pause to consider that hard breathing requires intense work by the respiratory muscles, which are just as susceptible to fatigue as other muscles. There is scientific evidence that respiratory muscle fatigue is a limiting factor in endurance sports performance. What’s interesting is that these muscles may be trained independently of the rest of the body. You’re almost doing it right now, as you sit still and breathe. Naturally, everyday breathing is too easy to have a conditioning effect on your respiratory muscles, but when you inhale and/or exhale against resistance with a respiratory muscle training device, these muscles may be taxed even more than they are when you swim, bike and run. As a result, they become stronger and more fatigue-resistant and therefore less limiting in your running performance.

Some studies of respiratory muscle training have shown no performance benefit, but others have shown benefits in running, as well as in swimming and cycling. Among the better studies showing a performance benefit resulting from respiratory muscle training was one conducted by exercise scientists from the University of Arizona. Twenty cyclists with an average VO2max of 56.0 ml/kg/min participated in the experiment. Half of them, representing an experimental group, performed 20, 45-minute respiratory muscle training sessions in addition to their regular bike training. Four others, representing a placebo group, performed 20, five-minute “sham” respiratory muscle training sessions in addition to their regular bike training. The remaining six riders, representing a control group, just did their regular bike training.

After completing the 20 sessions, members of the experimental group exhibited a 12-percent increase in their respiratory muscle endurance capacity. More importantly, their performance in a bicycle time trial designed to last approximately 40 minutes improved by 4.7 percent, with nine of the 10 subjects in this group showing some improvement. There were no improvements in either respiratory muscle endurance or time trial performance in the placebo group or the control group.

Experiments such as this one usually involve fancy and expensive respiratory muscle training devices normally used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But there are some relatively inexpensive devices that are marketed primarily to athletes. The oldest and best known is PowerLung, which has been around since 1999 and currently sponsors the Slipstream professional cycling team. The folks at PowerLung were kind enough to send me their Trainer device recently (MSRP: $109) so I could try respiratory muscle training for myself.

The PowerLung Trainer looks like an overbuilt plastic kazoo with a snorkel’s mouthpiece at the business end. It is almost as easy to use as a kazoo. One of two numbered adjustable twist knobs varies the amount of resistance the device imposes against inspiration (breathing in). The other knob varies the amount of resistance your expiratory (exhaling) efforts meet. In my first PowerLung session I just played around with these knobs and practiced breathing through the device until I felt I had found an appropriate starting level. Thereafter, in obedience to the literature that came with the PowerLung, I did two brief respiratory muscle training sessions per day: the first during my morning commute and the second during my afternoon commute. (Yes, I got more than a few strange looks from other drivers.)

Within a matter of days I began to notice a training effect. It became easier and easier to complete the same number of repetitions with the same amount of resistance, so I incrementally increased first the number of repetitions and then the resistance. It’s now been about eight weeks since I started using the PowerLung, and while the strength and endurance of my respiratory muscles are markedly improved, I still can’t say that I’ve noticed an obvious improvement in my running performance resulting directly from these changes. There have been moments, however, in hard workouts when I have felt less limited by my capacity to draw air—when my lungs have seemed to be coasting along even as my legs have begged for mercy. But it could be a placebo effect, for all I know.

When you’ve been an endurance athlete as long as I have, you have to start looking in out-of-the-way places for improvement. And it can be difficult to judge whether or to what degree a particular new out-of-the-way measure has contributed to any improvement you do experience. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith based on the results of controlled scientific studies showing that a particular tool or method really works. Such is the case with respiratory muscle training. Several good studies have shown it enhances endurance performance when done properly. So if you’ve been a runner for some time and are already training as hard as you’re ever going to train, you might want to try respiratory muscle training.

About the Author:
Matt Fitzgerald is a regular contributor to competitor.com, Triathlete, Inside Triathlon and Competitor. Matt has written 17 books, and counting, including Brain Training For Runners and Racing Weight.

Planet X – The secret Life of Titanium

“Steel is real” goes the phrase. Aluminium doesn’t really rhyme with anything and carbon fibre? Well- “carpet fibres” isn’t a good rhyme or terribly endearing either. Titanium isn’t good at rhyming couplets, but “like steel on drugs” isn’t far off the chart. Everything that the classic original ferrous frame material can do, Ti can do better.

The Life of Ti- Inside the Super Material’s World…

Aluminium, as a material is light, but it’s not terribly strong and is quite flexible. Aluminium frames are built from lots of light aluminium, with big tubes providing stiffness and strength – they weigh less than steel ones, but are more rigid as a result. This is fine for sprints, or a solid tracking ride, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Titanium too, is light. It’s density is less than steel. It’s strength is less. It’s stiffness is less, but almost splitting the difference between steel and aluminium in weight, it’s strength and stiffness are higher.
Planet X Ti Pro Road and Ti Sportive Frames Back In Stock Only £799!

The Best Strength to Weight Ratio of Any Frame Material…

As a frame, the weight of a titanium model can rival aluminium in weight, yet is as comfortable as steel and has a sprightly ride and superb handling that many riders swear by. Our frames are built using a Ti 3-2.5 alloy- 94.5% pure titanium, 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium, balancing the higher strength of some Titanium alloys and ductility of commercially pure Titanium to create an all round high performance material.

Technically speaking, titanium combines the best characteristics of all the other frame materials.What this means is that when drawn to tube sections that frame builders are happy welding (typically around 0.9mm), titanium frames end up lighter than steel, and similar to aluminium, with more spring and compliance than aluminium, but with a very similar steel like resilience. All this, with a strength – particularly fatigue strength – that means they will stand to be ridden for many years without problems – coupled with one fantastic un-steel-like feature – no rust. No paint problems.

As New Looks and A Lifetime Guaranteed Service…

Ti frames can be scrubbed with a plastic kitchen pan scourer and be made to look like new. Even large scratches are easily removed. With no paint to degrade, your ti frame can be kept looking great for years. Compare that to a steel model with worries of corrosion and paint chipping.
Planet X Ti Pro Road and Ti Sportive Frames Back In Stock Only £799!

The new Planet X Ti Pro Road and Sportive frames are back in stock!

Offering the very best in road bike performance, these frames are now hand built to Planet X’s exacting standards and specifications by the Dutch titanium experts Van Nicholas. £799 isn’t a cheap frame, and the titanium frame might look less sexy than a carbon number – but the durability and year-long-riding you can get out of a ti frame can make the expense easier to swallow. Beat it up all winter, strip it down, clean, polish and ride all summer.

No need for a summer and a winter bike- just one will do- for now! We are offering the very best in road bike performance at industry beating value. Hand built to our exacting standards and specifications by the titanium experts Van Nicholas, these eagerly awaited frames are available now, and yes, from just £799. With input from Planet X’s team riders and all the years of experience that goes with miles and miles of racing and training, we’ve designed two outstanding frames ideally suited to either road racing or sportive riding.

Both models are offered with Lifetime Guarantees- so you’ll not need to worry about shelling out twice!!!

A Ride Like You Never Knew Before…

There is nothing to beat the ride and the longevity of titanium. For some people it makes a statement. “I’ve got class”. “I know what I want in a frame”. “I want something that looks the business, does the job and will last a lifetime”. The unsurpassed strength-to-weight ratio and the superb physical properties at lower weights give titanium the unique ability to dampen road shock while retaining excellent torsion resistance to counteract pedalling loads. Add to that titanium’s phenomenally high fatigue strength and the fact that it doesn’t rust or corrode, and there’s simply no better choice.

Thanks Nick Morrell, Hywel Davies, and Menno for sharing their bikes pics on our Readers Ridespages!

Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Sportive frame
Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Pro Road frame

Planet X Ti Bikes Postcards from Round the WorldPlanet X Ti Bikes Postcards from Round the World

Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Sportive frame
Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Pro Road frame

Sportive Training Continued: Turbo Day

My training plans for the Sportive is based on a short training period – I am a finisher as opposed to front runner. I am already doing over 7 hours a week of cross training, running and cycling so planning on more specific Sportive preperation as opposed to exacting cardio.

Intensity: The intensity level of training is defined as ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’. In pre-season (and off season) the focus is still on low intensity work to continue building endurance and in particular increase your aerobic fitness. This is the bedrock of sportive riding – developing heart and lungs so they can efficiently deliver oxygen to your working muscles. At this stage we also introduce some mid intensity work to start developing speed and the ability to sustain that speed.

At mid intensity you’re operating just below your anaerobic threshold – the point at which your heart and lungs can no longer keep up with the oxygen your muscles need to function properly. This can be tested scientifically, or you can aim to be working hard enough that conversations are possible but in short sentences only, and you are never getting ‘puffed out’ (start to breathe/blow more rapidly to expel CO2) which is a sign of excessive CO2 production due to anaerobic activity.

Cross training: Cross training is any non-bike exercise and it’s useful to ensure that this covers a wide range of muscle groups to keep you in overall good shape. One round-the-world cyclist said that all of his pre-ride training was on core strength, including arms and most of the upper body, because he wanted to avoid strain or injury from so many miles in the saddle. He said he got bike fit once the ride began!

Turbo trainer: Turbo sessions can serve a range of purposes – a standard session is a good low intensity steady ride when the weather is too bad or nights are too dark to go outdoors. Long interval sessions should be about 6-8 minutes at medium intensity followed by an easy spin at low intensity for 4 minutes to recover. With all sessions, aim to maintain a good cadence of 80-100rpm and a smooth, steady cycling rhythm.

Low intensity flexible training: If you have limited time then developing your aerobic system through long workouts is not an option. Instead you need to find one hour a day that you can use effectively to raise your heart rate – it could be a solid hour of rapid walking at lunchtime, a Sunday dog walk, or an extension of your cycle ride home from work. It’s about stealing snippets of time that add up to a real training benefit



Today’s training was turbo training at low to mid-intensity. Had a friend on the bike next to me (in a gym 3000 miles from home and my bike) so the time passes really quickly. Hadn’t had breakfast so grazed a Clif Bar between 30mins and 1 hour into it so never felt hungry although Desert Roadie said he felt a gnawing hunger …..

Here is the Heart rate graph – I am surprised it went up to a 153bpm spike as I was trying to keep it around 139-142 (70% of max HR for me)

Dream Bike: Budnitz Bicycles No 2 ‘Ti Belt Drive 96er’

Paul Budnitz does 2 bikes in his range. You may not know him as a bike maker you may know for kidrobot …..

But the bikes might trump his other work – his ethos is great and I love the quote from the website –

‘We believe that we create the fastest, most fun, and most beautiful urban bicycles in the world. Working exclusively in Titanium, our super-light bicycles will last a lifetime and are a blast to ride.

Paul Budnitz Bicycles trademark Cantilever Frames™ ,U™ and Half-Crown™ forks are stunning — and are designed to optimize each bicycle’s ride. The gentle split top-tube arc that characterizes all of our frames flexes in the right places, and is stiff in others. We make our own titanium seatposts, stems, and Speedbar™ handlebars. All of our proprietary Ti parts are handmade by Lynskey Performance in the USA, the world’s top Titanium bicycle fabricator.

All bicycles feature only top-end components, most developed for bike racing and made by hand by small boutique fabricators in the US and Europe.’

Both bike frames are titanium, and equipped with a Gates carbon belt drive and a top-shelf selection of Chris King, Phil Wood and Paul Components.

The $5500 No. 2 sports a 26″ rear wheel and a 29″ on the front, and is touted as a ‘BMX bike for adults’, which is right up my alley. I have the Carver Ti 96’er but this is much more arty interpretation ….

Created by Paul for joy rides on sunny spring days and errands around town, our beautiful model No.2 features an upright sitting position, 3.4 pound titanium frame and fork, and superfat slick tires. The giant front wheel rolls over just about anything, while the smaller rear wheel helps the bike accelerate very, very fast. Yes, you can jump curbs on this bike and it’s suitable for dirt roads too!

Includes his trademark all-titanium No.2 Cantilever Frame & U-fork,  Ti stem, handlebars & seat post.

Gear & brake cables are elegantly hidden inside frame tubing. And in this configuration is available as a belt-driven single speed or internally hub geared transmission. If you are a ‘keeper’ when it comes to bike then this could last a lifetime.

  • Paul Budnitz No.2 Titanium Cantilever Frame™, rack and water bottle mounts, handmade in USA.
  • Fork

    No.2 Titanium Half-Crown Fork™, handmade in USA.


  • Handlebar

    Paul Budnitz Bicycles cold-forged Titanium handlebar. New 24-inch flatbar with 12 degree bend.
  • Stem

    Paul Budnitz Bicycles handmade Titanium stem.
  • Headset

    Chris King No-Threadset.
  • Seatpost

    Paul Budnitz Bicycles handmade Titanium seatpost.
  • Saddle

    Saddle options from Fizik and Brookes.
  • Pedals

    MKS Touring Lite


  • Transmission

    Gates CTX belt drive & singlespeed Paul Components hub.
    Gates CTX belt drive & 11-speed Shimano Alfine internal hub.
    SRAM XX 1×10-speed traditional chain-and-gears.
  • Brakes

    Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, USA.
  • Brake Levers

    Paul Components Compact Love Levers, handmade in USA.
  • Cable Housing

    Beautiful silver metal housing by Nokon, Japan.
  • Crankset

    Davinci design, handmade in USA.
  • Bottom Bracket

    Phil Wood & Co., handmade in USA.


  • Rims

    Velocity Blunt, 29″ in front, 26″ in rear, made in USA.
  • Hubs

    Paul Components, USA.
  • Tires

    Schwalbe Big Apple Liteskin 2.35″, Germany.


  • Lock System

    Pitlock locking wheel skewers, seatpost clamp, and stem cap.
  • Fenders

    Lightweight & elegant alloy fenders, made in Belgium.
  • Bell
    Incredibell Bellini, brass bell. Ding!

  • Frame Sizing
    Three sizes: M, L, and XL.

Bryton Cardio 30 ordered – to be reviewed soon

Interesting to see how the new upstart compares to others on the market.

Cardio 30

Cardio 30, the smallest GPS sports watch on the market, is for all levels of athletes. By setting goals in our pro-training programs, Cardio 30 can accurately calculate and record your location, speed, distance, pace, stride rate, cadence*, heart rate* and more. Your training results then can be shared and analyzed at brytonsport.com.

With built-in “G sensor”, no extra foot pod is needed for indoor exercise.

Obviously Garmin (with their patent infringement lawsuit) have their various Forerunners (which I found uncomfortable and too chunky) and Suunto with their T6C and Polar are main competitors … although Suunto/Polar have seperate GPS units which pair.

I wanted a system that worked on ANT+ so that my cycling and running as on one system …..

A review coming which will hopefully give more info and insight than the Bryton website.

What cycling does for the UK economy


Dr Alexander Grous, a productivity and innovation specialist in the Centre of Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics has published a report that shows cycling produces £2.9bn every year in total benefit to the UK economy.

Titled The British Cycling Economy ‘Gross Cycling Product’ Report the 17 page document shows how the the growth of cycling over the last five years, with high profile sporting success in Beijing besides, is continuing to effectively pump real money into UK plc’s bank balance.

The report is sponsored by Sky and British Cycling with Sky’s Group Director of Corporate Affairs Graham McWilliam starting off plainly in his welcome, “We believe this is the first-ever attempt to chart the full extent of cycling’s contribution to the British economy” with Dr Grous continuing in the introduction that having attempted to quantify the contribution of all aspects of cycling, he’s calculated that each individual cyclist’s personal contribution as a result of their riding is £230 per year.

Key points:

•   £2.9b total contribution to UK economy

•   28 per cent increase in volume of cycle sales in 2010, generating £1.62b

•   £853m further contribution to the UK economy through the purchase of cycling accessories and bicycle maintenance, resulting in total retail sector sales of £2.47bn

•   Over £500m generated in wages and £100m in taxes from 23,000 employed directly in bicycle sales, distribution and the maintenanceof cycling infrastructure

•   Health benefits save the economy £128m per year in absenteeism
Even more significant, though:

•   Frequent and regular cyclists could further save the economy £2b over a ten-year period in terms of reduced absenteeism

•   A 20 per cent increase in current cycling levels by 2015 could save the economy £207m in terms of reduced traffic congestion and £71m in terms of lower pollution levels

•   Latent demand for cycling could amount to around £516m of untapped economic potential for the UK

Certainly sections like “more cyclists equals less time off work’ should see this report zinging into the inboxes of bosses and human resources departments across the country this morning – in fact, why don’t we do that right now?

Training started – Hill training

according to my list:

If you cannot find a hill that is long enough then complete a 30 minute TT then complete a total of 30 minutes of hill repeats (not including recovering spinning back down to the bottom)
Cycling over geared 55-60 revs per minute before riding up hill can closely stimulate sportive. You need to get use to being tired when riding up hill.
Learn to spin your legs down hills, not necessary at 70 revs per minute but 10-20 revs keeps the blood flowing and saves your legs.

3 sets of 10min standing (I can barely turn the pedals sat down so I guess high resistance) at a cadence of between 58-65. Rest with about 4/5 mins in between of very low resistance spinning at 95-100 cadence.

Think my heart rate was too low although I know this is strength training rather than cardio …

hills yellow - squat jumps at end

My first Sportive 100 miler – still training

Tips I am picking up from the www

You will be riding in close proximity to many hundreds and thousands of other cyclists.
Expect the unexpected, cyclist suddenly stopping in front due to fatigue, poor gear change, dropped chains, punctures, others swerving to avoid a dropped drinks bottle. Try and avoid stopping using an easy gear will allow you to safely pass others who may have gone off too fast.
You need very easy gears. Use your fitness and save your strength at all costs. Especially if it’s hot a good way to keep cool is use an easy gear pushing against resistance creates your body temperature to quickly raise.

If you cannot find a hill that is long enough then complete a 30 minute TT then complete a total of 30 minutes of hill repeats (not including recovering spinning back down to the bottom)
Cycling over geared 55-60 revs per minute before riding up hill can closely stimulate sportive. You need to get use to being tired when riding up hill.
Riding off road builds up strength while you have a high cadence again similar to long hot sportive climbs.
Set your watch to go off every 5-10-15 minutes and practice drinking. Learn how many swigs it takes before you empty a bottle. If you need to drink 500ml per hour keep a note of your swigs so you stay on track and hydrated.
Learn to spin your legs down hills, not necessary at 70 revs per minute but 10-20 revs keeps the blood flowing and saves your legs.

Sportive foods
Practice with the foods that you will eat in your sportive. Even have your 1,000 calorie breakfast before your long training rides.
Expect your taste buds to change and if the weather is much hotter in the sportive then gels and some bars can be hard to swallow!

You will be burning up 500-900 calories per hour.
A 10 hour sportive will therefore need 5,000-9,000 calories. You will not be able to consume that much and still cycle but you will still need at least 40% of your sportive needs during the event.

The air will be thinner (less oxygen) but also the air will be drier so you need to drink more the higher up you go.

Prepare for 4 seasons during one long day.
Comfort 1st that you have tried many times in training not new clothing.
Cold to start then expect the temperature to rise. Even rain may fall higher up.
It can often be cold at the top. Staying warm requires extra energy (calories). Spare layers can make all the difference and defiantly worth stopping to put on an extra layer.
Once you get tired you will need a much wider ratio cassette to help you get up hills comfortably. Practice easy spinning on the hills to develop muscle memory.

Gear selection
Choose a gear that seems too easy save yourself.
No one will ask you what gear you used but were you able to cycle without stopping.
It is difficult to train on the same terrain so see my table below of using an easy gear high cadence to comfortably cycle up a hill. Compare the sprocket and cadence required to maintain the same speed.
The climbs will be long so you need to find your own rhythm.
Keep your arms wide apart to allow as much air into your lungs as possible.

700c wheels – 36 inner front ring
Sprocket – Inches for one revolution – revs per minute to maintain
8 mph –    5 mph
20    48.6     68  42
21   46.3     71  44
22   44.2     75  46
23    42.3     77  48
24   40.5     81  50
25   38.9     84  52
26    37.4     87  54
27   36.0     91  58

Other Sportive gear ratio’s listed below.

700c wheels –
40/22 (49.1 inches)
42/23 (49.3 inches)
44/24 (49.5 inches)
46/25 (49.7 inches)
39/21 (50.1 inches)
38/21 (48.9 inches)
36/20 (48.6 inches)
36/19 (51.2 inches)

36/25 (51.2 inches)
36/26 (48.6 inches)
36/27 (51.2 inches)

Carbo Loading
7 days before:
In the 7 days before your sportive you need to keep snacking and never getting hungry.
Carbohydrate on race day will be your main source of fuel. Your readily available carbohydrate energy will be around 2,000-2,200 calories.
Liver 100g/400 calories and 400g/1,600 calories in the muscles and the rest in the blood. This is not enough for your sportive so you will need to have 300-450 calories per hour from foods and drinks.

Last 7 days:
Make sure you keep you keep hydrated with a 6% carbohydrate drink and have a protein recovery drink after each work out.

3 days before:
Increase your carbohydrate and reduce fat protein and fibre from your diet.
A reduction in training will mean you need fewer calories anyway.

Sportive Mistakes to avoid 
Make no changes to your bike position. If you have to remove saddle handlebars etc for travelling make sure you use tape or marker pen to be able to replace everything back to normal.
Don’t just drink plain water in the last 7 days otherwise you could wash away your natural minerals from your body with your urine. Have food with your water or add fruit juice.

Drafting – is this no longer allowed in etiquette

A humorous article from the Guardian .....

Posted by Thursday 25 August 201107.00 BSTguardian.co.uk 


Does my draft look big in this?


This is a blog post which is unapologetically slimline in scope. I want to canvass views on a relatively minor point of cycling etiquette which nonetheless fascinates me: where do you stand on drafting?

By drafting, I mean the practice of riding in the slipstream close behind someone’s rear wheel, thus greatly reducing the effort you need to expend keeping at their speed. If you’re riding in the middle of a big group this can, supposedly, save you up to 40% in energy. Even behind one other cyclist it makes a very noticeable difference.

It’s all pretty standard and uncontroversial if you’re participating in an organised road race or sportive, assuming of course you take your turn at the front. Where it gets more contentious is commuting.

My position’s pretty clear: I’m happy to either draft or be drafted. With the former I don’t go ludicrously close to another bike’s rear wheel and I’m vigilant in case my temporary helper has to brake or swerve to avoid something. And if we reach a red light I’ll often try to set off quickly so as to offer a reciprocal helping hand. When in front I indicate well in advance, and point a helpful finger towards upcoming potholes and the like.

But I’m having to reconsider whether it’s worth the bother. I’m not sure about your home cycling patch but in London a reasonable minority of fellow commuters seem to view being drafted in much the same way as if you’d walked into their home and helped yourself from their fridge.

These malcontents react in different ways: some turn round and scowl; others begin weaving round the lane, slowing down or speeding up. One young man’s facial expression was so laughably aggrieved – you’d have thought I’d propositioned his mother – that when we stopped at a red traffic light I felt obliged to ask him, politely, why he so objected to being drafted. “Look,” he hissed, “we’re individuals, we’re not in this together. We’re cycling alone. Don’t you get that?” Even by London’s famously misanthropic standards this was strong stuff.

There is, of course, an obvious answer: if someone clearly doesn’t like being drafted then don’t do it. That’s all very well but doesn’t help much with that annoying breed of urban cyclist who, having been overtaken on the open road then edge in front at a red light and/or set off before the signal changes.

If you’re a light jumper, I reckon, then being drafted is the comeback. I’m damned if I’m going to expand effort overtaking a rider of broadly similar speed so they can enjoy my slipstream, even less so hang back a designated few metres. This is commuting, not a triathlon.

I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve grimly hung on to the back wheel of a speedy traffic light ignorer who is trying hard to shake me off, pushing myself far harder than I’d intended, more or less purely to irritate them.

There is a spin-off minefield of protocol connected to drafting: as a male rider is it a bit ungentlemanly to do so to a female commuter given that the basic technique involves staying as close to their buttocks as possible? A friend of mine was once drafting a Lycra-clad road cyclist round Richmond Park’s cycling track when she turned round to accuse him of “having a gawp”. He backed off.

I’ve gone on long enough. It’s your turn. Commuter drafting: sensible, mutualistic effort-pooling or presumptuous and potentially intimidating?

Cycling – time for a jailbreak

Great video – humourous and nicely thought out

Arundelbike.com Arundel Derny motorpaces cyclocross hero Dave-O. A Monday in Hell

Bicycle race cyclocross dream CX bike crash Eddy Merckx Jorgen Leth A Sunday in Hell guy on Derny gangmaker motorpacing motorpacer motorpace winter training Fort Worth skyline oil rigs covered bridge donkey road bike wheelie shower scene Campagnolo lamp and the most bitchin’ team van EVER!

Desert Roadie – A wife’s perspective

“Shall we take the bikes on holiday to France?” says my road bike mad husband. As if I didn’t know the answer. All three of our girls (8, 6 and 4 years old) have bikes, naturally. I have a hybrid Trek for pootling about town and the school run. I also have a Cannondale road bike which was a birthday present in 2009. It got to the point where I thought if you can’t beat them, join them. I had this romantic idea that the two of us would cycle off into the sunset and spend weekends and evenings on beautiful long rides. Well, so far, I have yet to realise my dream. Life just gets in the way and Chris is also a lot faster than me!! Don’t get me wrong, we have been out together whenever we get the opportunity and I absolutely love it but it’s just not very often. Most of the time I am a ‘roadie widow’!

When you live with someone who is so into cycling you can’t help being sucked into the whole road bike scene; for goodness sake, I even know what a derailleur does, what cadence is and who won the Tour de France this year (an Aussie called Cadel Evans from team BMC in case you were wondering). I have even just finished reading a book called ‘The Bicycle Book’ by Bella Bathurst and surprisingly I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who is connected in any way to cycling. This guy features in the book. You must watch this:

Armed with our cow bells and camera, the girls and I sometimes go and watch Chris race. The whole bike racing etiquette was a mystery to me but when you live with someone who can explain the most minutiae of detail then it makes it all the more interesting and I get carried along by my husband’s enthusiasm. I do put my foot down, however, when it comes to one issue and that is shaved legs. Chris knows that I would divorce him if he even considered it. I refuse to be married to someone who has less hair on their legs than me so the Desert Roadie is also hirsute! In my mind there is absolutely no benefit and is purely homoerotic vanity. Not sure if I fancy racing myself but I may give a sportive a go in the coming year. First I need to make sure Chris is home often enough to have the girls while I train, not sure that will go down too well! It would mean a big sacrifice from him with less training, maybe put on a few extra pounds in weight and miss out on the yellow jersey next year.

Sometimes Chris will be out for hours and then when he does eventually get home, he spends another hour cleaning and polishing his bike. It can be incredibly frustrating for the rest of the family especially when we haven’t seen him for the previous few weeks because of work. On the other hand, I know that when he’s been for a ride, he will be in a great mood and will pretty much do anything I ask! He spends a considerable amount of time and money on his bikes and really gets an inordinate amount of pleasure from them. A friend of mine once said, “at least cycling is a pretty cheap hobby, I mean once you’ve got a bike that’s it”. That is true in my case but for Chris, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The design and technology of bikes and bike paraphernalia is incredible. They are always bringing out new stuff from the latest bike colours (which change every year) to fancy sunglasses. My friend got the message when I told her Chris had just spent £2000 on a new pair of carbon racing wheels (and so I didn’t feel too guilty buying that new handbag!!).

So the bikes were loaded onto the car, apart from mine which wouldn’t fit, and off we headed for our French campsite in the grounds of an old chateau in Brittany. The girls loved bombing about on their bikes and it made the trek to the pool a breeze. Chris managed to ride every day. He tried to convince me that the French roads made him go faster. I simply smiled. Sometimes I’m not sure which one of us is being taken for a ride but one thing is for sure, cycling is part of our family DNA and its here to stay.

TP52 bow and stern video

Keith Brash gives you yet another look from on board the TP 52 Quantum Racing. The boys get rolling today in Cartagena, Spain…. this gives you a flavour

this is on Quantum but all I can say is come on Container ….


Dream Bike: Expat S bike by Seven

Seven Cycles Expat S

The Expat S displays a split personality: one part mountain bike for loaded pannier exploring; the other part a touring bike that is off-road worthy. 700c wheels accommodate every type of tire available—from 21c road slicks to mud shedding 29er mountain tires. Designed for multi-day expeditions, the Expat S excels where the road ends.

Seven’s Expat S Gateway is ready to become your ultimate two-wheel escape vehicle. It boasts Seven’s light, lively and super-durable 3Al/2.5V titanium frame with a Vicious steel fork up front so you can hit the road to places unknown. Shimano’s brilliant XTR/Ultegra drivetrain gives you gearing as versitile as the terrain you’ll tackle while Avid’s BB-7 disc brakes ensure you’ll be able to slow when you need to. Other options would be to fit a Rohloff for fit and forget perfection ….
Other high-end specs include Chris King’s renowned hubs and headset, a custom rear rack and Seven’s own aluminum stem, bars and seatpost. Of course, a rig like this has clearance for panniers and everything else. And, this do-everything machine is also a Seven, so you’ll get a fully custom machine, made to measure and built by hand, just the way you want it, right here in America.
“A Seven is not a mixture of different ride qualities that sacrifices one benefit for another, but integrates them together into one well-designed solution that offers all-around quality and performance” — Procycling
Seven also sponsor a great tour on this bike
here is a video clip
and here is some blurb

Seven Cycles announced today that they have formed a partnership with Cycling Silk to become the official bike supplier for their upcoming yearlong journey. Cycling Silk is both an epic adventure and an exercise in environmental advocacy. The 2011 expedition’s aim is to explore and promote conservation across borders as a force for peace, environmental integrity and sustainable development in mountainous regions along the famous Silk Road from Istanbul to India.

Cycling Silk is comprised of two scientist/ explorers, Kate Harris and Melissa Yule. Kate is a writer, wilderness conservationist, adventurer and photographer. She won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University where she completed her Master’s thesis on transboundary conservation and peace parks. She also holds a Master’s degree from MIT in earth and planetary sciences. Melissa is a social scientist, environmentalist and endurance athlete. In her work and research, Mel combines community development with environmental science to study ecological impacts on human health. She holds a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of Guelph, and is currently a researcher at the International Development Research Centre in Canada.

Throughout the duration of their trip, Harris and Yule will conduct research to develop case studies on conservation and advocate for eight existing or proposed Transboundary Protected Areas or “Peace Parks” along the mountainous route. They have planned periodic stops along their route to survey the regions, meet with local inhabitants, and continually update followers via their website, www.cyclingsilk.com.

The duo are using bikes to enable the autonomous and adventurous exploration of remote transboundary wildernesses, and to reinforce the notion of the Silk Road as a landscape of continuity, despite the borders that attempt to divide it. In the process, they hope to inspire others to get outside and ride bikes and explore the wild and look beyond borders. Both Kate and Mel will be riding Seven’s Expat S expedition bikes.

“Mel and I are so indescribably thrilled and honored at this chance to ride Sevens down the Silk Road,” said Kate Harris. “With this type of self-supported expedition, having bikes that are utterly dependable and tailored just for us means two fewer things to be concerned about,” added Harris.

“Kate and Mel’s approach to cycling and environmental stewardship fits perfectly with our company philosophy,” said Mattison Crowe, Marketing Manager for Seven Cycles. “Not only do they embrace the challenge, but through their efforts, strive to create an environmental impact many orders of magnitude larger than themselves. On top of all that, this adventure represents an ideal proving ground for our bikes.”