Archive for January, 2014

January 23, 2014

The Grass Track

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Traffic in large cities has made teaching children to ride bicycles difficult. Allowing them to venture around the block on a bicycle alone, as past generations did, is worrisome for parents. Even for experienced cyclists, riding in traffic can be daunting. Drivers speed through neighborhoods, rushing to get to work, to get their kids to soccer practice, to pick them up from school, or to go for coffee while chatting on phones or texting. Now that modern traffic no longer allows kids to ride up and down many streets, where can we safely teach them to ride, race, and have fun? The answer might be on a grass track.

Grass track racing was once a popular discipline in Britain and northern France. In some areas, it still is. The format is simple. Set out on a soccer field or cricket pitch, on a 400-meter, smooth grass oval that’s marked with chalk and wooden stakes. (Continue reading)

January 18, 2014

Health

The global reach of professional cycling extends further with each passing season. The World Tour peloton begins the racing season in Australia in January and finishes in China in late October. In between, they are not only racing in central Europe and North America, but in the Middle East and northern Africa. The internationalization has livened the sport by reaching new markets, providing an influx of sponsorship, public interest, money, and competition. But the rapid expansion into parts of the world that were previously unknown to cycling may also be coming at some expense to the riders’ health.

Bike racing is a tough and dangerous sport. Cyclists accept the risks and are aware of the demands, but it may be time for limits. In sport, athletes shouldn’t be asked to risk their lives for our entertainment. Continue reading.

January 10, 2014

Cross Training

 

 

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While the WorldTour professionals ride day-after-day in southern Europe, and the American pro teams accumulate hours in California or Arizona, most cyclists are stuck in their basements logging hours on stationary bikes as snow builds outside. For some, including me, it’s torturous. We count down the minutes until the workout ends. To pass the time we stare at screens showing cyclists racing over cols or cobbles, we bop to music, and we dream of warmer days and clean roads. We hammer away, spinning like hamsters on a wheel, going nowhere but riding with gusto, hoping to not be lagging behind..(Read more)

 

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