Is Yoga The Cure-All?

    I just recently got my perception kind of turned upside down a couple of days back. I was listening to VeloReviews Podcast and a man named Al Painter was talking about how bad yoga can be for athletes. Now you may be like me and the only things I have heard about yoga are good things, and to hear him talk about it I was a little shocked.

At first I went into denial and was annoyed at this man, even though I don’t personally do yoga and I don’t know too much about it. Then I realized what was happening and I decided to listen to this man’s logic in a more objective way so I could really hear what is right and wrong. Then I went on to read other articles and do my own research. I still don’t feel like a master at this subject so I will just reference the articles that I read and you can draw your own conclusions.

Should Cyclists Do Yoga or Pilates? I Say Neither
The first article was of course from Al Painter from VeloReviews. This article is in particular for cycling athletes. He talks of the position you are sitting in on the saddle and at work.

Is Yoga Bad for the Knees?
    This is just an article showing another article from a doctor speaking about how these yoga masters are having these health problems such as knee problems.

Yoga This and Pilates That
    This is just more of an alternative to yoga and Pilates that will do all the things they promise. It is a pretty good article and answers a lot of questions I had on the subject.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it got you thinking. I really want you to think about the alternatives before you just right this off as a couple of guys raving about something they don’t like. Maybe even do a little research of your own. I found the best way to grow and learn is to keep an open mind even if it goes against everything you have ever learned. If you don’t agree hey that’s fine too. I just want to give you an alternative.

Great Inexpensive Road Bikes

I seem to be doing a lot of these bike lists lately. A lot of people don’t know where to look or where to start looking sometimes for a bike. From seeing my Cheap Mountain Bikes That Get The Job Done Right post spinmethin asked me to do a road bike version of that post. I really like doing product reviews or compilations like this so if you want to see something in particular from me you can just leave the information in my Suggestions Box! page. These bikes will be what I consider to be the best money spent on a road bike. The people that will most benefit from these bikes are starting cyclists or cyclist who are happy with where they are at and don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on something they won’t even use. Without further ado let’s begin the list.

Raleigh Revenio 2.0

    I am not sure why, but the more and more I look at Raleigh the more I like them. They have a very nice selection of bikes for people who don’t want to pay an arm and leg for a bike. The Revenio series has a pretty broad selection; the price depends on the components and such. The Revenio 2.0 is the one I chose simply because it is not too expensive and all you need to get into road riding. The frame is butted aluminum alloy but the fork is carbon composite with chromoly. The shifter and derailleurs are Shimano Sora; so a lower end Shimano but a step up from the 2300. Just as a side note I have heard that these are very nice shifters the only problem is that you can’t access the down shifting from the drop bars; this is just because of the placement. The cassette is a 9 speed with 12-25 teeth. The crank is a FSA Vero compact with 34/50 teeth. The tires that come with the bike are 700 x 23. I personally think the overall look of the bike is just great it has red shifter lines giving the stark black body a great contrast. For the in-depth spec sheet and fitting chart click here. The price tag comes in at $899.

Felt Z95

    Felt is yet another great bike producer. They do not have as much of a selection of inexpensive bikes just because of course they spend most of the time concentrating on the high-end bikes. Th Z95 is a cool looking bike for sure all black and white. The shifters and front derailleur of this bike are very low-end Microshift, but the rear derailler is Shimano Tiagra. The Tiagra is a step above the Sora and since, for me at least, most of my shifting is on the cassette this may be worth it to you to give up quality of your front derailleur. The shifters can also be accessed from the drop bars unlike the Shimano Sora. The frame is butted aluminum while the fork is carbon fiber. The crankset is FSA tempo compact so not quite up to par with Raleigh but I doubt you would notice the difference. It has 50/34 teeth. The cassette itself is a has 10 speeds and a range of 11-28 teeth. That is a broader range than the Raleigh for sure. The tires that come with this bike are 700 x 25 which I have heard are really better tires for safety. They will however be slower, whether you notice or not is depending on how avid of a rider you are. In depth specifications here. The price for this bad boy is $899.

Trek 1.1

    I am actually not very enthused with Trek’s choices of lower end bikes. This is the bottom line that they have but I find anything with more class is too expensive. I have to include Trek into the list because it is a huge name in cycling and if you are a fan I can’t very well skip over them. The 1.1 is a great bike don’t get me wrong. The reviews say even though it is an aluminum frame and fork it is a much smoother ride than other aluminum frames. That has mostly to do with the geometry. The shifters and derailleurs are Shimano 2300 so the lowest end of the Shimano spectrum. The crankset is Vuelta Corsa compact with 50/34 teeth. While the cassette has 8 speeds ranging from 12-25 teeth. The tires on these are 700 x 25 like the Felt counter part. For in-depth specs visit here. The bill for the Trek 1.1 is $729.99

Of course as usually I can’t cover all the brands and all the bikes that I think should be on this list. These are just a few of the ones that I liked. Remember for the most part you get what you pay for. You just need to know what you want out of you bike to get the best bike for yourself. I will be making a post pretty quickly on how to do just that. Some people don’t know what they want especially if they are a beginner cyclist. Of these three bikes I must say that the Felt Z95 is my favorite. It is not the best bike but it fits what I would want most out of a bike of that caliber. As always I hope you enjoyed and benefited from this post. If you would like to see a post just for you all you have to do is ASK! Or you can just leave a comment, thanks!

Greatest Story Ever!

     You would not believe what happened to me last night. I wouldn’t normally post this kind of thing but it did have a little to do with cycling. It made me laugh so hard and has gotten quite a few laughs from the people I have told. Okay so let me start by giving a little background of myself so you know where this story takes place.

I am a custodian at Two Rivers School. Two Rivers is a community separate from any city and is kind of like the redneck area of Alaska. I live in North Pole, Alaska, yes that’s right I live in the North Pole. Anyways from where I live to where I work is about 30 miles; so once summer hit I decided to start biking to work and back. My shift at work is from 2 pm to 10 pm.

It was the end of my shift and about 10 minutes before I needed to clock out. At this time I usually change out of my normal work clothes and into my biking wear. I am in my office doing just that. I have pealed all my clothes off down to my compression shorts (cool name for tight underwear) and socks. I am about to put on my bib shorts when I think to myself well I had better put my heart rate monitor on first. For those of you that don’t know a heart rate monitor is a band that wraps around your chest and sits right under your pectorals. Also if you didn’t know you need to get the electrodes wet on a heart rate monitor so they can make a connection to your body. Well I have no sink in my office so since I figure it is just me in the school I will run down the hallway to the bathroom in my underwear and socks. I get to the bathroom and am wetting the band when realization hits me.

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  I am locked out!!!!! I had left my keys in my office and my phone and any other way to get help. I am now in my underwear, with my socks, and a very wet heart rate monitor. I check all the doors in the school to see if I had forgotten one, but being such a great worker they were all very securely locked. I had no access to a phone so I was stranded. I then knew what I had to do.

I started walking. I took off my socks as to not get them dirty and started walking in my underwear to find help. Luckily not even a half mile down the road on a turn off there sat my salvation. It was a mom and her son enjoying the sunset with their dog. You may be wondering “sunset? at 10?” well if you don’t know in the Alaskan summers the sun basically never sets it just gets low. I come up to them and I was yelling so they would know I was coming and not be startled. The son who was about 21 comes out and you can imagine what he thought when he saw me in my underwear.

I gave him the quick run down of what happen and asked for his phone. He gave it to me happily but because of some lock he had on his calling abilities I couldn’t reach any of the few numbers I had memorized. So I asked if they could maybe give me a ride and that they did. They took me to a teacher’s house, that works at my school, and with whom I am friends.

I then proceed to jump out of the truck and knock on the door. They of course find my story hilarious and can’t stop laughing. I am shivering in my underwear because it is like 40 degrees outside. After they get done laughing I get the husband who is the teacher to take me back to the school and unlock the door for me.

So that was how my night went and boy wasn’t that a whole load of fun. I thought you guys might like to hear about it even if it is at the expense of my pride.

Taylor Phinney Rides On In The Giro D’Italia

    It seems that I spoke to quickly about Taylor Phinney no longer being in the Giro D’Italia. While he did get a ride in the ambulance he still crossed the line. He said he was a little jumbled during the crash and after the fact, but in the ambulance his head cleared up. He seems to have no broken bones and he is very thankful that today is a rest day. At this point it looks like he will ride on in the Giro. He is still in possession of the Maglia Rosa and is ahead of Geraint Thomas by 9 seconds. It’s great that he did not get knocked out of the competition by Roberto Ferrarri’s poor judgement. Robert Ferrari got put in last place for his actions. If you don’t know what I am talking about visit my post here, and watch the video of the crash.

Top Women’s Mountain Bikes Under $1000

    My girlfriend is just looking into getting herself a nice mountain bike. I of course wanted to help her get the best bike she can for what she wants to do. This is a list of the bikes that would probably be best for her and any other woman reaching within her parameters. What she is looking for is a bike that she can take on moderate trail riding and not down hill crazy single track rides. The main things that this bikes will have is the price, weight, look, components, and tire size. You will see a lot of these bikes will have 29″ tires this is only because I prefer them and so does my girlfriend. Let’s kick things off.

Trek Marlin

    The Trek Marlin is a really cool looking bike just because of the nice color scheme it has going on. It is a 29er and that gives it that great mountain bike look. A couple great things about the Marlin is it comes with disc brakes instead of rim brakes. The brakes are mechanical instead of hydraulic so not the best but still very functional. It is a hardtail and you will see that all the bikes on this list will be hardtails. It has a mix of lower end Shimano and Sram components. The fork has 80 mm travel. The frame is Trek’s Alpha Gold Aluminum. I don’t have a definite weight on this bike but from customer reviews it is a little heavier than they like. The bill of the Trek Marlin is $679.99.

Specialized Myka Sport Disc 29

This bike has the look of a specialized with the way the frame curves as it does. Some people like this newer look while others still like the more straight line geometry of a bike frame. This is supposedly meant to be lightweight and easy for girls to maneuver. The wheels are again 29″ and they come with disc brakes also. In addition the disc brakes are also mechanical. The fork has 80 mm of travel. This bike has much the same components as the Marlin if not completely identical; with a mix of Shimano and Sram. The frame is also aluminum as we will probably see in all these bikes. The Myka family has many options aside from this particular model, and ranging from $470 – $990. The Myka Sport Disc 29 costs $690.

Raleigh Eva 29 Sport

    I think that personally this may be my favorite bike out of the list. I don’t know why but it has a really cool look to me and while it is a big name in cycling it is not so huge in america. To have one of these you would probably not see someone else riding the same bike. The odd angle of the top tube really intrigues me also, but that is all preference. It has mostly Shimano Alivio components which may still be low-end but still better than the components on either of the bikes I have shown previously. It again has mechanical disc brakes, but while the rear disc is again 160mm just like the previous two, the front brake is 180mm for more stopping power. The fork has 80mm of travel. With, as the name suggests, 29″ tires. The frame is of aluminum again. The end price for this bike is $739.

Kona Tika

    The Kona Tika is a great mountain bike with a look and color very similar to the Trek Marlin I have put at the top of the list. Nice straight lines as far as the frame, which is also made of aluminum. Again this comes with 160mm disc brakes but the plus is that they are hydraulic making them that much nicer. Again pretty basic components mostly coming from Shimano. Not up to par with the Raleigh; equal or even better than the Trek or Specialized. Also the wheels on this girl is just 26″ which in my opinion is not great but you may prefer them. With the smaller wheels comes a smaller frame so the weight is lesser on this bike than the others. The Kona Tika costs $755.

Orange Diva

    This is the most expensive bike on this list but it is the cheapest women’s mountain bike that Orange offers. I think this is a little better than the rest but it depends on what you want and of course when you pay more you get more. The components are Shimano Deore so a step even above even the Raleigh and two steps above the rest. The wheels are only 26″ inches but again that is preference. The biggest advantage is that the fork has more travel with and optimum travel of 100mm. This could be worth it to you but you must think about how you will use that travel because you will be paying for it. The frame is of course aluminum and the has a nice look with the slightly augmented top bar for the feminine riders. It comes with 160mm disc brakes. The final price for this bike is $899.99, which is over 100 more than the other bikes.

Cannondale Trail Women’s 6

I really like the look of this bike with the deep purple you can get it in or if you want a lighter ride it comes in white. This comes with mechanical, 160mm disc brakes. Again low-end Shimano components on this ride. The wheels are only 26″ but the fork has 100mm travel. This is really a pretty great bike for the price. The frame is without a doubt aluminum. The price tag comes in at $610.

The End

The list could go on and on but those are just a few of the ones that I am looking at and I will definitely have a post of the one that she picks and the reasons. I hope you find what you are looking for. If you want me to review more just leave a comment or visit my Suggestions Box! tab and tell me just what you want to hear from me.

Giro D’Italia Crash

Unbelievable ending to today’s stage in the Giro D’Italia. Mark Cavendish got his front wheel taken out by a crazy move by Roberto Ferrari. Going down with Cavendish was the pink jersey wearing Taylor Phinney. Cavendish finished the race by walking across the finish line; he seems to be okay. On the flip side Phinney was rushed away in an ambulance for his ankle and didn’t cross the finish line. This means that now Phinney is out of the Giro altogether. This was a very poor ending to the stage taking out the overall leader and the fastest sprinter in the field. Made for an exciting race none the less.

Get Started Utility Cycling

commuters    The number of people utility cycling is growing everyday. Especially with the rising gas prices and price of transportation only going up. If you want to commute to work and all your social gatherings you need to get the right gear and I am here to get you started into your life of cycling. You will need a bike, a helmet, and some great biking apparel.

The Bike

When you are looking for a bike, it needs to fit a couple of specifications. It first of all must be the right size for you and you can find what size you need at your local bike shop. If you need to travel across large hills to commute to your work you will want to have a bike with multiple gears. If you live on relatively flat land and you want to keep things simple it may be best to stick with just a single gear bike. Utility cycling is such a broad range of thing you must decide on all the small details to make the bike fit you perfectly. On you your bike you will want a chain guard, because if you are commuting to work or a social event you don’t want to consistently have a whole in your bottom right pant leg. You should also have fenders on your tires as to not spit up mud on you during a rainy ride. Those are the basic needs for utility cycling and just to give you an idea of a great bike I like the Trek Belleville.Trek Belleville

The Helmet

A helmet is a must have for any kind of cycling, but especially if you live in a large city. A helmet is a helmet so what you need for commuting is something that will fit well and look great. Along with the helmet you should adopt some hairstyles that can endure a bike ride underneath a helmet. A couple of cool looking helmets I have found are the Bontrager Convert or the Specialized Street Smart.

Bontrager Convert, helmet, commuting

The Apparel 

     In utility cycling you want to be comfortable as well as look great. If you have a long ride to work you may want to look into getting padded cycling shorts to soften the saddle for you. Depending on where you live if it rains often when you cycle you will definitely need a rain poncho. To protect your hands while riding it is a good idea to wear gloves if you have any minor spill your hands will usually be the first to hit the ground. All other apparel is not specified to just cycling and you will need to decide what you need. In windier places you may need a jacket that is windproof. If you cycle in the extreme cold you will also need to dress accordingly. bike clothing

Utility cycling is what a large part of the community is moving towards and you should jump on board. It has health benefits as well as economical and ecological benefits. The start-up cost can be as much as you want if you wish to ride a bike that you have had for 14 years go ahead it will get you to your destinations just the same. If you like to look the coolest while going to work that may cost you a little extra, but it is your choice. Hope this start-up guide for utility cycling is just what you need to get yourself started in cycling.