Cycling in the Cold – aka don’t wimp out in winter


My first really cold ride, at -6C, was in January last year doing the the Strathpuffer 24. but preparation made it easy with ice spike tyres …. and enough layers to make an onion scared.

This year i have been hitting the turbo which is not a great thing as there are only so many cardio fat burn whilst watching Breaking Bad sessions I can do

I couldn’t stand the thought of riding indoors again, especially for a two-hour ride. Some will call it justification, but I prefer to call it logic.  Cycling outdoors in the fresh air and sun would be much better for my mental and physical well-being than riding an indoor trainer for two hours.

icy roads
icy roads

No, I didn’t have to ride outdoors; it was a well-thought-out choice, a preference. After doing that first really cold ride, I now know that I can do it and I much prefer being outside than inside.

IS IT SAFE?

I don’t think riding outside in sub-freezing temperatures is necessarily dangerous, but I do believe certain precautions are wise:

  • If the roads are snow-packed or icy, try to choose a route that has low traffic volume.
  • Relearn how to brake – a fistful of brake can see you hit the deck pretty hard
  • Minimize long downhill sections to avoid getting cold from wind chill.
  • A mountain bike, with its wide tires, is more stable than a road bike.
  • Run lower tire pressure to increase traction and handling.
  • Ride with a buddy so that if one of you has trouble, there is another person to lend a hand.
  • Carry disposable chemical hand or toe warmers. They can be put in your shoes if your toes get cold, or can be used to warm your hands if you have to do a mechanical repair.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Have someone available to pick you up if you call for help.

HOW DO YOU DRESS FOR SUB-FREEZING CYCLING?

I’m sure you already know that some people show up in a jersey and knee warmers for the same ride that someone else will be wearing leg warmers, arm warmers, a vest and a base layer shirt. I’ll give you my personal preferences for cold-weather riding gear, but know that I get cold easily.

Recently, I did a ride where the temperature ranged from 10.9 degrees to about -2C degrees, not counting wind chill. I’ll take you through my outfit from head to toe.

Helmet
and ear muff thing

1474782_10152079597404993_761656368_n

Merino inner layer
Rapha long sleeve Jersey
Rapha Gilet
Rain Jersey – more as emergency extra windproof layer

992771_10152076887764993_2129799907_n 1470782_10152076904639993_140999603_n

rapha 3/4 bibs
old arm warmers as lower leg warmers (leg warmers may be better)

Shimano shoes and neoprene covers

Gloves long fingered but not very thick

If the weather gets colder i sometimes wear my Nike running tights over the cycling bib and a thicker jersey over the long sleeve on instead of the Gilet. A neck warmer is handy too for the chin.

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR WINTER ADVENTURES?

From road.cc – pharmstrong sponsors say goodbye


A number of companies that sponsored Lance Armstrong have moved to distance themselves from him today. The most prominent are sportswear giant Nike, which announced that it has ended its association with him due to “seemingly insurmountable evidence” that he doped during his career and “misled” the company “for more than a decade,” and Trek Bicycles, whose recent history is inextricably linked with Armstrong’s now-nullified Tour wins.

The news came shortly after Armstrong himself said he is stepping down as chairman of Livestrong, the charity also known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which he founded after in 1997 after surviving cancer.

Electronics retailer RadioShack has confirmed it has no current sponsorship deals with Armstrong, without confirming when the last one finished, and said it has ended his relationship with him, and Anheuser-Busch, which owns the Michelob Ultra brand of beer he endorses, has said it will not be renewing his current three-year deal when it expires at the end of the year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Easton Bell, owner of Giro whose helmets Armstrong uses and endorses, has also dropped him today, although like Nike, it will continue its asociation with Livestrong. Eyewear firm Oakley is said to be reviewing the situation.

According to research cited by the Wall Street Journal, Armstrong’s pulling power as a celebrity spokesman – and consumers’ trust in him – has plummeted in recent years. Quoting data from a specialist firm that tracks that data through consumer surveys, it says he was ranked 60th in June 2008 but had fallen to 1,410th by September 2012.

That was after USADA said it was banning him for life, but it’s the subsequent publication of its reasoned decision, and the detailed evidence it contains, that appears to have irreperably damaged the Armstrong brand.

In a statement published on its website, Nike said: “Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner.

It added: “Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.”

Nike, which yesterday was awarded the high-profile contract to supply the International Olympic Committee until 2016, replacing its bitter rival Adidas, has come under pressure over the past week to affirmin its commitment to clean sport by distancing itself from Armstrong following publication by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of its Reasoned Decision against the man who won the Tour de France seven times.

A number of media outlets reported testimony yeterday from Greg Lemond’s wife Kathy given during a deposition in the SCA Promotions case in 2006 that Nike had paid former UCI President Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive test by Armstrong in 1999, a payment she said she had heard about from his former mechanic.

Nike strongly refuted the claim that any such payment had ever been made, saying in a statement yesterday: “Nike vehemently denies that it paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.”

Yesterday also saw a protest outside Nike’s headquarters in Oregon led by former pro cyclist Paul Willerton, who raced alongside Armstrong for the US national team in the 1992 world championships, the year before Armstrong won the rainbow jersey in Oslo.

Willerton, who left the sport due to his disillusionment with doping, joined fellow protestors in urging Nike to reconsider its decision to stand by Armstrond despite the evidence published by USADA.

Another major sponsor of Armstrong, Trek, said in a release today, “Trek is disappointed by the findings and conclusions in the USADA report regarding Lance Armstrong. Given the determinations of the report, Trek today is terminating our longterm relationship with Lance Armstrong. Trek will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation and its efforts to combat cancer.” Armstrong is believed to be a Trek shareholder, and many believe that it was pressure from the Texan that led in part to Trek dropping the Lemond brand; indeed, Betsy Andreu’s affidavit recalls a conversation with Armstrong: “Lance said: ‘I’m going to make one call to John Burke and fucking shut him up.’ I asked who John Burke was and was told he owned Trek, the bike company that sponsored Lance as well as made Greg LeMond’s bikes.”

Oakley is another company associated with Armstrong that has faced calls to clarify its position.

Regarding Armstrong’s decision to step down from his role with his charity, according to a statement from him obtained by Associated Press, he made his decision so that the charity can focus on its work with cancer victims, rather than it being overshadowed by the continuing fallout from the United State Anti Doping Agency’s investigation which resulted in him being banned for sport for life.

“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” said Armstrong in his statement, quoted in the New York Post. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”

According to spokeswoman Katherine McLane, vice-chairman Jeff Garvey, who was chairman of the charity when it was founded 15 years ago this week, will take over responsibility for the organisation’s strategic planning. Armstrong will remain on the Livestrong board.

LIvestrong’s 15th aniversary is due to be celebrated by a series of events in the coming days in Armstong’s home city of Austin, Texas, including a gala event on Friday evening that is scheduled to include appearances by long-time supporters Robin Williams and Ben Stiller.

The Geek in me like this: Social Running Geekiness


It’s one thing to look at your own personal-fitness data and identify trends and tendencies. But what about crunching the numbers of 1,000 New Yorkers over a nearly four-month period? That’s the kind of project that requires some serious know-how.

Graphic designer Nicholas Felton enlisted 14 of his students at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts to analyze the metadata aggregated by 1,000 Nike+ runs conducted from Sept. 7 to Dec. 21 of last year. The result is an incredibly detailed representation of New Yorkers’ running habits, where the most popular routes are, what time of day Nike+ runners are more likely to be outside, and more.

The above graphic (done by Cooper Smith) shows where the most popular running paths are in Central Park. The red lines indicate the highest trafficked areas, and as Smith notes on his blog, the lighter green and blue entrails extending from the east side of the park show that more people tend to enter the park from the Upper East Side. The same lines don’t show up nearly as often along the Upper West Side entrance points.

Felton’s team did more than just static graphical overlays. The video below (also done by Smith) puts the Nike+ into motion, illustrating where people are running during what time of day. (The actual date of the run is irrelevant in this analysis.)

Teammate Erin Moore opted for a more traditional day-by-day analysis of New Yorkers’ running habits.

In all, there were more than 500,000 data points to wade through, and you can see the rest of Felton’s students’ work at their SVA page. And although the visualizations end up highlighting shortcomings in the data collection, this effort and new fitness-tracking features being developed by the likes of Boston-based startup RunKeeper prove that the future of personal data tracking has never been more rife with potential.

 

—– even more info

check out his site here 

where you can find his London Nike+ stuff … was apparently in Wired UK

London pretty

Suunto (and Polar) needs to become fully ANT+ soon or be left behind.


Currently there are four major data exchange protocols used by fitness peripherals: Nike+ANT+ ,Suunto ANT and Polar WindLink. There may be more but these are the ones that I know of.

When it came to Heart Rate Monitoring Polar was the name that everyone wanted to replicate and copy. Polar  had a grand four data transfer standards (Polar Analogue, Polar Coded Analogue, Polar FlowLink and Polar WindLink). Sigma and Suunto where also available but nothing had the software power that polar had.

But then combined GPS running came together and Garmin grew. Other HRM like Timex released early GPS units with separate monitors and GPS units that paired. Then Garmin stole a march with early Foretrex / Forerunner units that allowed you to upload to a PC (the lack of Mac compatibility esp with Suunto and Polar is a reason many chose to desert them)

Then in  2008 Nike introduced Nike+iPod for the Gym. With an semi-open standard (Nike+) it allowed for cardio-equipment (treadmills, bikes, and cross-trainers etc.) to exchange data with the Nike+ and iPod (and now also iPhone). How cool was that? Moreover Nike and Apple provided free assistance for companies on how to integrate their protocol into equipment and suddenly several large manufacturers of cardio-equipment like TechoGym and Star Trac was compatible with an iPod/ iPhone. (cleverly capturing the wanted 17-40 age bracket)

another ANT+ adopter

In the meantime Garmin was on its heels, keeping it’s ANT+ for it’s serious use, and Polar, Sigma, Suunto, and the others did the same. Now the funny thing is that most semi-serious and serious running- and cycling-entusiasts keep at Garmin, Polar, Sigma and Suunto, although there is no free training software that allows input from all of them.

But then Dynastream Innovations Inc (part of Garmin) who controls both the ANT underlying network standard(which is in fact used by both ANT+, Nike+, Suunto ANT and WindLink) and Garmins own ANT+ data transfer standard, created the ANT+ Alliance and opened up the ANT+ protocol. So then ANT+ wasn’t limited to heart rate, GPS and cadence monitoring but a lot of fancy things, and the alliance is now joined by AdidasCycleOpsiBikeMcLarenMicrosoftTexas Instruments,Timex and Trek amongst others. I wonder what made this happen…

Suunto and Polar are in danger of being left out cold (but being Finnish maybe they like the bracing air) I have Garmin on my Bikes, as well as Suunto T6 for running (with a speed pod on one bike) but they dont talk to each other ….

So what happens next? Well since all these products are using similar hardware the obvious answer would be: They all now change to the complete open ANT+ standard, allowing for exchange between all equipment in every conceivable fashion. I doubt this is ever going to happen, but I think that something is going to happen. Because in the end people want to combine their cardio-watches, treadmills, maybe their music-devices and training managers in their own way. And these should be able to exchange data, and take input from all areas.