Check out my Charity Fitness Events blog when you get a chance.
My husband and I participate in a variety of charity biking events throughout the year. Our main volunteer efforts are with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies Team in Training program.
We have also done events that benefit other charity organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Kids in Distress and Police Athletic League of Palm Beach County.
The Charity Fitness Events site focuses on sporting events, such as marathons, triathlons and century rides, that help to raise money for non-profit organizations. The site includes tons of information on charity fitness events, fundraising tips, training guides, nutrition help and more.
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva
My husband and I are quite active in the south Florida road biking community. One of the clubs we belong to is the Boca Raton Bicycle Club. The club has rides scheduled for almost every day of the week. Visit the club's website for the current ride schedule.
Boca Raton Bicycle Club
P.O. Box 810744
Boca Raton, FL 33481-0744
Annual dues are due January 1st of each year.
Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $35.00
From the Boca Raton Bicycle Club website:
"The mission of the Boca Raton bicycle club is to promote cycling safety and greater awareness of the sport, through club events and community activism. The club promotes safe bicycling and personal development by encouraging club members to cooperate with public authorities in the observance of all traffic regulations and by providing educational information on safe and proper methods of bicycling."
Two great south Florida road bike races take place the weekend of May 31st & June 1st in West Palm Beach. The Florida state time trial championship takes place on Saturday, May 31st. The Bill Bone Gran Prix Criterium race takes place on Sunday, June 1st.
My husband and I will be participating in the 40K (25 mile) state time trial on Saturday. We have participated in two 15k time trials that are part of the West Palm Beach race series. To complete the series, you must participate in a minimum of five of the 15k time trials, and one of the 40k time trials. The Florida state TT takes place on the same course as the WPB race series 40k TT. If you participate in the Florida state TT, this will qualify as the 40k TT needed to complete the West Palm Beach race series.
We won't be able to compete in the Bill Bone Gran Prix Criterium on June 1st. We have a team ride with our Team in Training cycle team that day. And I haven't competed in any criterium races yet. Not sure if I'm going to like those or not, with their mass starts. There is a local criterium series held during the summer at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Jupiter. If I ever get around to trying one of those races, I may decide to compete in other criterium races in south Florida.
You can register online for the Florida state TT championship and/or the Bill Bone Gran Prix Criterium on the BikeReg website. The race flyer for both events can be viewed online too.
ABOVE: Team in Training Member David Blackmon
My husband and I have been involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program for the past three years. This year my husband, Rob, is coaching and I am mentoring, the team training for the Intracoastal Century Ride. This is a 100 mile road bike ride which takes place in Cocoa Beach, Florida on October 26th.
We have a fantastic team this year - 21 members so far, and we are hoping to get a few more cyclists signed up. Our very first ride, for the fall 2008 season, took place on Mother's Day - Sunday, May 11th. One of our team members, David Blackmon, took the initiative to contact road bikers, bike manufacturers, team directors, etc, asking them for advice for a person's first century ride.
The question David placed to them was:
"Other than a new bike, what are your suggestions on the most important
upgrade/accessory for a beginner to intermediate level rider?... How would
you suggest a rider spend perhaps $100-$200 to best improve that rider's
experience and performance in his or her first century ride?"
Here's the responses David received:
Thank you for writing with your interest in Slipstream/Chipotle H3O. Your request is an interesting one and we gathered some tips from various sources for you and your team.
Though, ultimately, there is no need to spend money if you already have and been training with the correct equipment and clothing. But here are some suggestions nonetheless:
The right equipment means comfort. Your bike should fit you well and should be familiar. If you aren’t sure, have your local bike professional provide a fit-assessment. Don’t plan to ride a new or a borrowed bike on your first century. Consider having a tune-up before the ride, and carry a spare tire and patch kit, tools, a pump and knowledge of how to use them. Other essential equipment includes:
• A properly fit helmet
• Comfortable cycling clothing, including shoes, shorts, gloves and rain gear
Hope this helps. We wish you all great success in your worthwhile efforts.
Woody, Web Editor, Slipstream Sports, LLCwww.slipstreamsports.com
.... One of the most efficient ways to improve the ride quality of any bicycle, as well as shaving a few pounds of weight off your equipment, is a lighter, higher quality set of wheels. These will be lighter, ride better and are transferable to other bikes as you upgrade. Lighter wheels can shave several pounds off the average bike. They also feel great when you ride them too.
Good wheels can be more expensive than your budget you mention, so this might still be out of reach for you. If you have decent wheels already, you might have to spend $500 on a new set, but if you're riding some really low end, inexpensive wheels, spending just $200-300 can really improve your ride. Look for new or used options to help stretch the budget.
If you want to increase your rider comfort, you can invest in a premium pair of shorts or bib shorts. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can make a huge difference when you're training and competition over long distances. The more comfortable the shorts are, the more miles you will want to ride. Some shorts are cheap and wear out quickly. Some shorts, like the Hincapie HC-12 bib shorts, have a 4-way stretch chamois that moves with the body to eliminate hot spots and chafing. The high tech construction will hold up wash after wash for all your training miles. Cheaper shorts will degrade and fall apart much faster.
I hope these suggestions will help you make gains in your fitness and comfort as you pursue your cycling goals. Ride safely and have fun.
Steve Baker, Marketing Director, Hincapie Sportswear, Inc.www.hincapie.com
The biggest thing you can do for a Century Ride is the training and preparation that comes with the Team in Training program. Make sure you follow a consistent ride schedule and build your fitness over at least a 10-12 week period. It's been my experience that many riders try to shorten the process and miss many of the base building rides that are so critical for a 100 mile effort.
Also keep in mind that you will be much stronger if your weekly riding involves a balance of time on the bike each day. Many riders with stiff work and domestic schedules often try to "stack" their riding to two long rides on the weekend...you will be much better if you can fit in an hour per day and keep the weekend rides at moderate levels, but building through the summer.
As for a moderate expense that will pay dividends I suggest you make sure you are using a good energy-electrolyte drink while riding and especially for any ride over two hours in length. Personally, I think EFS from First Endurance is the best product available.
Len Pettyjohn, Team Director, Toyota-United Pro Cycling Teamhttp://toyota-united.com
That is great David! I hope to do a century ride this summer as well.
Good luck! ....
I would say that your best upgrade would be clipless pedals, shoes and good clothing. The shoes and pedals will increase your energy transfer and efficiency. The clothes will make you more comfortable for a long fun day in the saddle.
Also make sure you have enough water and tools with you. If you want to upgrade the bike, you may want to look at a new pair of wheels.
Jason Schumacher, Customer and Technical Service Manager
Trek Bicycle Corporation
...But I'm glad to hear you're getting involved with Team in Training. It's a great organization and you'll certainly get a huge amount of satisfaction from riding your first century. I'd say that the number one place to spend money in order to make that ride enjoyable is on a high quality saddle. Find a bike shop with a liberal return policy and try a few out. I went through probably ten saddle models before I finally settled on the Fizik Aliante, and now I wouldn't let any sponsor commitments make me change. Everyone's different, and it makes such a huge difference in comfort.
After that, a good pair of cycling shorts is also crucial. More money leads to a higher quality chamois (though none are actually made of made of chamois leather anymore), and that really makes a difference.
Also, clipless pedals are completely indispensable. Practice pedaling a full circle with them. Greg Lemond has likened it to pretending to scrape mud off the bottom of your shoe across the bottom of the pedal stroke. You can also practice by pedaling with one leg. If you're using more muscles in your legs, and not just your quads to push down, you'll fatigue a lot more slowly and you won't be as sore afterward.
But certainly do not waste money on fancy racing parts. That stuff only makes a difference when you're worried about the final 10%. If you're comfortable, just about any bike will be suitable for a hundred miles.
I hope that helps. Have fun.
Doug Ollerenshaw, Professional Cyclist, Team Rock Racingwww.dougollerenshaw.comwww.rockracing.com
Good luck to you and your teammates in TeamInTraining. It's a great organization doing good things.
In the $100-200 range I would suggest the following upgrades
1) Better saddle
2) Better tires
3) Better handlebar tape (better padding)
You can't do all three of these for $200, but you can do either 1 and 3 or 2 and 3 most likely (though there are saddles that run more than $200.
Better tires will make the bike feel and corner better. A high thread count is the key here, just like sheets. Anything more than 200 TPI is good. A better saddle is more comfortable and better bar tape will make not only the rider's hands more comfortable but their arms and shoulders more comfortable.
Patrick, Felt Bicycleswww.feltbicycles.com
If you can afford it, and don't already have some, get clipless pedals and shoes. The increase in efficiency from platforms pedals is off the charts!
Jesse Lawler, Director Sportif, Jittery Joe's Professional Cycling Teamwww.thebeanteam.com
Active.com is a great place to visit for all sorts of sporting interests. Articles, nutrition tips, training suggestions and more are included for a variety of sports including:
* Action Sports
* Cool Running
* Field Hockey
* Ice Hockey
* Mountain Biking
I subscribe to the Active.com Cycling newsletter. It is sent every few weeks through email. The current cycling newsletter contains many articles including: The Relationship Between Fatigue and Riding Style, Legally Speaking: Is Flipping the Bird a Right?, Freedom From the Grind: Become a Bike Commuter, Examining Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and much more.
You can also register to participate in a variety of sporting events, such as marathons, triathlons and century rides on Active.com. Visit the Active.com cycling community when you get a chance.
I just found a link to the newly formed Florida Women's Cycling Network on the forums of one of the mountain bike clubs I belong to.
The Florida Women's Cycling Network was started by Barbara Perigard Shircliffe. Barbara is the coordinator for the Florida Women's Cycling Network along with being a mountain biker, road biker and cyclo cross tourist. The goals of the Florida Women's Cycling Network are to:
1. Promote women's and girls' development and participation in cycling.
2. Support skill development through women-led clinics and organized rides - mountain-biking, road riding, and cyclo-cross.
3. Assist race promoters with creating formats that will increase women's and girls' participation and identifying sponsorship for women's and junior women's races.
Please visit the Florida Women's Cycling Network and take their online survey.
Carlos G., of the Club Mud Mountain Biking club, made an awesome video of the recently reopened Quiet Water mountain bike trails. The trails had been closed for two years after being destroyed in one of those pesky s. Florida hurricanes. Thanks to lots of work by Broward County Parks and Recreation, IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) and some terrific volunteers, the trails were totally rebuilt from scratch. AWESOME JOB!!!!!
Here's the video showing the trails being enjoyed:
A review of the rebuilt trails at Quiet Waters can be read here: Quiet Waters Trails.
I was checking out the Downtown Delray Beach website looking for upcoming events. I found a link to a two page brochure for a self-guided walking/biking tour of the downtown area. Here is a link to the brochure in PDF format: Historic Bike Tour.
The brochure includes a map of the downtown area which is divided into 5 sections: SE section, NE section, NW section, SW section and Oceanside section. Each section is marked with points of interest, such as churches and historical buildings, that can be found along each section.
The brochure is a joint effort of the Delray Beach Historical Society, Delray Beach Downtown Marketing Cooperative, City of Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, Downtown Development Authority and the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.
If you happen to be in the area, or vacationing in Delray Beach, check out the historic walking/biking tour of the downtown area. A great way to get a bit of exercise while exploring sites of interest.
Here's three photos taken by our coaches wife. Our coach for the Office Depot Team was Alan Kurtz, AKA Captain Sprocket. He was a great coach and made training for the ride a lot of fun.
Mingling with the crowd at 7 AM.
Finally at the start line. That's me behind the "S" of stop.
End of the ride on day one at John Pennekamp State Park. I've never been happier to have a chicken sandwich and popsicle in my entire life.
Here's a few photos my husband took during the first day of the MS150 ride.
Start of ride. Around 7 AM, still a bit dark.
Top of Card Sound Bridge, waiting for the rest of the Office Depot Team to catch up so we can take a team photo.
Taking a much needed rest stop.
And here are a few more photos from one of the official MS150 photographers.
Office Depot chicks Deb, Victoria and Lynn.
My husband Rob.
Riding with the pack.