Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Bike, the Web, and What Interests People

Some interesting facts from the world of google:

The word bike(s) was googled on the internet 6,120,000 times a month in 2008 – this is the average monthly search volume for the word as recorded by google. In other words the number of times that a person sat down at their computer and typed in that glorious word b-i-k-e. Google can also tell us that most people were interested in a bike during the month of July.

The number of times Lance Armstrong was googled was 301,000 times a month. Anyone still doubting he is good for our sport. Wim Ansevenant of Belgium (last years Lanterne Rouge at the 2008 TDF) yielded the result “Not enough data”. Not only did he come in last, but google has deemed him as insufficient. Further proof that people like winners.

The number of times the phrase bike race was googled: 90,500, with the greatest volume in June. The number of times mountain bike race was googled: 14,800. Road cyclists win - I am proud of that.

The number of times someone went online and typed in Century ride was 18,100 times a month, with the highest volume recorded in 2008 during the month of September. That makes sense. Cyclists are probably looking to use their end of the season fitness. So if you are planning a century event – set the date for September or October – people will register, albeit late.

Here is another effective way to use all this great data; over 12,100 people a month typed in the phrase cycling training, which was the same figure recorded for bike training. Yet only 2,900 used cycle training, 1,000 used road bike training, and 720 people used the term bicycle training. So if you are a coach, and trying to market to new clients, it is best to use the first two terms.

The keyword Boulder received 550,000 entries, Master 3,350,000, Cycling 1,500,000, Team 60,500 a month. But together the phrase Boulder Master’s Cycling Team = No Data. I’d say we have yet to be discovered on the internet - we need to work on that. We'll be working more with our website and blog in coming months.

Specialized bikes was searched for an average of 60,500 times a month. Einstein was googled 90,500 times. People like smart people. For our own fun interest – on average 155 people a month search for our teammate Marc Bekoff. The most popular words googled are the, to, and a.

How many times a day do you google and for what? Somebody is counting. Just for fun, go ahead and google Wim Ansevenant – he deserves some recognition. He completed the Tour de France and came in last three times in a row! You can discover that after 14 years as a pro cyclist he is now retired working his family farm in Belgium.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I sure hope nobody saw me do that

Can anyone remember back to when they first learned to ride a bike? Maybe not, but hopefully your parents or siblings made it a fun safe experience with lots of people jumping up and down praising your excellent balance as you swerved down the sidewalk.

Can anyone remember the first time they dropped into aero bars?
I hope you do, because as an adult it is nothing short of exhilarating and life affirming. I had seen it done, I had cheered it on, but I had never tried it on. Did anyone see me do that? No, but I felt the same thrills.

Aero bars are not the same as drops – that was lesson #1. Lesson #2 was you get an up close and personal view of the front wheel spinning underneath you – it feels powerful. Lesson #3 was Specialized has put in hours to make my new bike super aero but had they considered my gapping mouth sucking in air – somehow my mouth just didn’t feel that aero, although most of the time it formed a broad grin. Lesson #4 was riding a new Specialized TT bike is about as much fun as riding your first bike as a child.

I love that bike! The first ride was amazing. I took my new Transition Pro bike out to Cherry Creek Reservoir (a quick 8 minutes drive from my house) and rode it around. Len had teased me about the challenge of riding in a straight line, but forgot to mention how to avoid the initial death grip on the aero bars.

I was wishing Len, Christy and Dash had been there for my first mile – they would have laughed, a supportive laugh of course, but a hardy one. It has probably been years since any of them had witnessed a first timer go onto the aero bars, but it was pretty exciting stuff from my end.

I hope I hold onto that first feeling. Now I need a few sessions with teammates Randy and Christy to teach me how to really ride that bike. Meanwhile I’ll be practicing my best Jan Ullrich snarled lip expression – maybe that will keep my mouth shut. I can’t wait.

  • The aero bar -- as we know it -- was invented by Boone Lennon. It first became apparent in our sport in 1987. Yes, it is true that a lay-down apparatus did appear in long-distance racing earlier in the decade on RAAM rider Jim Elliott's bike. Both Richard Bryne -- founder of Speedplay -- and RAAM winner Pete Pensyres were involved in that project. The main difference between that bike and the handlebars Lennon introduced was the concept of narrowness. Elliott's forearms were at brake-lever width, as opposed to the mock-downhill-skier position espoused by Lennon. Indeed, the bars were "Scott DH bars:" DH for downhill. The idea behind Elliott's position was comfort; the idea behind Lennon's bars was aerodynamics: precisely the position achieved by a downhill skier while tucked.
  • The aero bar was one of the most significant product innovations in the history of bicycling. The handlebar was strategically utilized by American Greg Lemond in his 1989 Tour de France win. Watch the famous video here: Paris 1989 TT
Specialized bikes

Thursday, January 29, 2009

VO2 Maxing to the Max

Making pain is the name of the game: a morning at the Boulder Center For Sports Medicine in Boulder, Colorado.

Usually we push ourselves into that zone, for whatever reason, to tag onto a passing wheel, to bridge the gap, to reach the city limit sign first, to crest the summit ahead of the pack. But to do it because someone tells you to – well that’s just plain craziness. Yet here is Vic’s Espresso teammate Christy Orris voluntarily getting ready to follow instructions to go into the pain zone. Christy is at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine having her LT/VO2 max levels tested.

Why you ask, to place a numerical value on pain. To make it real and measurable. To gain knowledge and become a better cyclist. To create a history and aid in creating a detailed training plan for her cycling year ahead. We are lucky enough as cyclists to have expert physiology testing available to us nearby at the well known Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. The staff at BCSM are highly trained, the equipment state of the art, and the facility professional.

I dropped in this morning as Christy was receiving a Lactate Threshold (LT) test, a measure of a maintainable “hour of power” as our teammate Neal Henderson, who is also the Sports Science Manager at the Center, had taught us to think of it. Tagged onto that test was the daunting VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake) test, both were administered by Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Paul Kammermeier who offered guidance and monitoring throughout the tests.

Christy offered these comments after the testing, “just did my lactate/VO2Max test today. I did not meet with Neal yet so I have no idea how I did. I do know my finger hurts after getting pricked 10 times. It was hard to be motivated for the VO2 Max. You can bring your own music to play. I recommend putting in a song that pumps you up for the test. I think it would have helped me.”

Goes to show you a rider can enter that zone when personally motivated or by happenstance when going too hard, but getting there when someone tells you to – well that’s just plain craziness.

For more information on LT/VO2 testing from the best visit the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine it will make you a better cyclist. Read more about LT/VO2 Tests and Sports Physiology.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Would You Recognize these Women if you met them on the Street?

These are 7 of the 8 new Vic’s Espresso Boulder Master’s Cycling Team Blue Angels Women’s Team. We need a shorter name. Here we are at our first annual yoga & team dinner in January ‘09, which may soon become a monthly team dinner if Annette is willing to cook us great food like that all the time. Yes we did eat that plate of cheesecake. We are smiling because we are happy to be new members of the team. We are (back L-R) Christy, April, Susan, Julia, (btm L-R) Daphne, Annette, Karen. We realized over dinner that we represent different states from Colorado, California, Montana, Minnesota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New York. Our ages are 53, 48, 46, 42, 41, 38, and 38. But you may generalize and consider us all 40. You will see us out on the track, on Hill Climbs, on Time Trial Courses, at Cyclocross Races, and hopefully at Road Races and Crits in coming years. We will also be joining the team in volunteer efforts at the Rabbit Mountain Time Trial this year and training rides. Glad to be part of the team.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

While it appears we're waiting for the bus, we are not. I needed to take a moment to thank our sponsors, especially Vic's Espresso, as I could have used a double latte to get me home...

Oh What A Relief It Is

Don't you just love stopping by the bridge at the end of lower Apple Valley Road?

Wait a minute... Is my helmet on backward?

Why Yoga?

Annette Kissinger (photo) graciously hosted the Vic's Espresso gals last Friday night January 16th, for an evening of yoga, spirits, great food and cheese cake. That's Annette's plate. She's a healthy eater. I had to challenge her to a arm-wrestling match for a slice of each. If this is what it means to be part of the men's team, he he, I'm in!

The yoga was back has never felt better thanks to the weight of April's slight frame gently pressing on my spine. What's that dual-pose called Annette? Yoga's great for cycling too:

The conversation-just shy of brilliant (not really, but loving humorous due to the plentiful red wine!)
Looking forward to more!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Aerodynamics Cycling Clinic

A friend and client, Colorado Premier Training (CPT), is hosting a clinic on Aerodynamics in Cycling March 28-29 or June 20-21 in Fort Collins, CO.

The clinic is open to anyone interested in learning more about aerodynamics, time trialing, and balancing power output with aerodynamics. The clinic will cover various positioning inside the CPT wind tunnel; from 200M TT to Ironman distance triathlon.

USA Cycling Certified Coaches will earn 1/75 CEU for attending.

In 2008 CPT partnered with CPP wind engineering consultants based in Fort Collins. Founded 27 years ago by the pioneers in their field, CPP is a world leader in understanding the effects of wind near the earth's surface. CPP maintains a staff of 95 including more than 35 scientists and engineers, 12 of whom hold PhDs.

For clinic details and questions, go to:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

UCI Bicycle Regulations

All bicycles must comply with current UCI technical regulations. Bike Measurements for Commissaires can be viewed here:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Colby Pearce Leads Track Clinic

January 9, 2008, Boulder, CO. Last night 10 members of the Vic's Espresso Boulder Master Cycling Team (plus 13 years young Zack Gould) suited up and hit the slopes...the indoor slopes that is. From 5-6PM Garmin Slipstream's Colby Pierce (
led a one hour instructional clinic at Colorado's first and only 142-meter velodrome ( located at 3550 Frontier. You won't miss the impressive white flags lining the street as you drive toward the facility creating an energetic aura that magnifies when you enter the lobby.

While intimidating from the stands, these talented Master racers attacked the corners in what appeared to be effortless technique and controlled strength. After spectating for an hour, I thought, "hec, no problem". I'll take a clinic with Missy Thompson and get back to you... road rash, splinters and all.

Vic's Espresso Boulder Master Cycling Team members in attendance were Larry Bosch (Multiple Nat'l Champ) Paul Mack (former Track Nat'l Champ), Jerry Greenleaf and Brad Wallace (former Time-Trial Nat'l. Champs), Dennis Hastings, Barry Messmer, Joe Paulson, Scott Rost, Bill Brant, and Jim Kinsinger. Most humble team-member, Randy Gaffney, spectated from the stands in support of his track team-mates along with Susan Collins, Leonard Zinn (writer/author) and my pal and owner of Colorado Premier Training, Steve Owens.

See you all next Week! Go team!