Archive for Riding Performance

Cycling Head Games

It’s that time again. The fight for the yellow jersey is on!

Tour de France is here.

And with it comes an extra motivation that hits all cyclists: recreation riders, triathletes, endurance engines, commuters, home town racers, and semi pro’s to boot.

How can we not get excited. It’s mid stream in the warmer, drier months. Especially here in Seattle where the winter rains make it a bit more interesting to ride skinny tires. And many folks just consider winter an off season. Come July 5, summer is on, it’s hot, people are in better shape, and they once again are loving their bikes. I know it’s true. It happens to my husband and I every year. We watch the opening day. It’s fun. We tap in to the world of cycling where we see individuals compete on teams.

The views are gorgeous.

The crowds are fun.

The commentary is a combination of education, color, and hope.

The wins and the losses touch us deeply, as if we are watching friends.

Mind / Body Kinesthetic Motivation

Every year, as we stare at those guys in colorful kits spinning hard across fascinating terrain, our leg muscles literally twitch with motivation. Their cadence becomes our mental map of what our legs should do. It’s a mind body thing, similar to the Kinesthetics programs sold that teach a sport via a video. They use a technique that trains the mind to activate the muscles.  What I mean is simple. The mind watches so closely that the body is tricked into thinking it is doing what it sees.  It’s part Inner Game of Tennis, Kinesthetic Learning, and part Psycho Cybernetics.  (Ref: ideas and books that I grew up with)

The Kinesthetic Ski Instruction Videos are long off the market, but check out this awesome reference guide on the Mental Games of Sports Performance.

But it’s just a bike race. Or is it?

Oh heck no. It’s not just a bike race. It’s an opportunity for the viewer to learn, get excited about the industry, learn what new items are on the market, find out about great products, fun escapes, and …. ok, all of that. But its’ also the best marketing machine for cycling for the entire year.

How do I know? Because each year, as I watch, I also get emails. Emails from favorite manufacturers. Facebook posts offering a chance to win. Bike companies offering great discounts. And favorite cycling stores like Competitive Cycle, offering a deal a day. Like this one from a favorite vendor: Competitive Cycle

It’s brilliant. Everyone wins. The Tour de France Sale: Daily Deals for All 21 Stages

It’s not just the Tour! It’s mid summer special season and if the stores aren’t touting Tour deals, they are touting Mid Summer Seasonal specials. It’s time for them to gear up for fall, so they need to inspire us to get into the store and help them clear out inventory. And if you are like me, I’d rather be riding that shopping. I tend to put off purchases until I really need stuff. A simple trip to a store can be an hour or two lost riding time. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a time suck.  And my solution: Buy Online when I can, when it makes sense, when I trust the vendor.

Companies like Competitive Cycle make life so much easier. They are a known entity. They offer not only the best, but a nice array. Sure they cater to the elite, but aren’t we all a little elite?  I trust these guys. I can call them and ask specific questions. I can get honest answers. Returns are easy too.
Then there is the stand by Recreational Equipment Coop, Inc.  REI not only has a great Mega Sale or Summer Sale, but you can buy online, and return in store if it doesn’t work.

I have my favorite local brick and mortar stores, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Some local guys that only carry the elite and cater to the upper echelon. They lose me. I don’t really need the top of the line cycling stuff. Do you? If you aren’t a racer, aren’t in the industry, and really just want a bit of comfort for a reasonable price –you don’t want to spend $300 on a pair of tights when the $150 tights do the job.  Unless the guy at the shop convinces you that those $300 knickers are the absolute most comfortable ever and you just can’t live without them.  Me? I buy the best that works for me. And I bet you do too. If everything in a store like Competitive Cycle makes sense, that’s where you shop.

Every year, on the 5th of July, we start seeing it. More yellow. More polka dots. More Strava reports. More fun. It’s summer! It’s time for the Tour de France. Let’s RIDE!

And don’t forget — check out the daily deals at Competitive Cycle for the next 21 days. The Tour de France Sale: Daily Deals for All 21 Stages

Core Muscle Strength in 10 minutes a day – Seriously!

It’s true! Without strong balanced core muscles, you will fatigue easily. It’s never been about sit ups and crunches — I’ve never gotten six pack abs anyway.  What I do have is a strong core and that makes me:

Stand taller

Ride longer

Handle turns easily

Balance

Fit my clothes easily

I have more fun on both my MTB and my Roadie. I feel solid. I feel confident. I don’t wobble around like a beginner.   This article provides strong rationale for why you need to work your core.  AND gives you 10 exercises you can do at home with no extra equipment.   Read More→