Monday, March 31, 2014

Things You Should Know When You Begin Cycling

When you begin cycling you should do your best to be as assertive and to ride as safely as possible. There are a number of things to keep in mind, and as boring as cycling safety may be, it is what will help prevent accidents.

Lock it up

Always lock up your bike. Even if you are just popping into a shop for five minutes, lock your bike up. You might even want to use two different locks.

Be assertive

Take a cycling training course if you haven’t done so already. OK, so you may have learnt to ride a bike when you were small and how hard is it to remember?  It’s literally like riding a bike again. But, you will be surprised what a two hour course can do. It will change the way you think about cycling and the way you cycle, forever. Understand the rules of the road and exercise good cycling proficiency. This will help to keep you safe on the roads.

Traffic lights

When you get to a traffic light what should you do? Gear down. Pedalling in high gear once the lights have turned green is for fools. Gear down and give yourself a head start.

Punctures and bike maintenance

Part of being a cyclist is knowing your instrument; your bike. Get to know your bike inside and out. You shouldn’t set off on a ride if you don’t know how to fix a puncture. A puncture repair kit will help you, so will puncture-proof tyres. Be wise, and know how to fix one, just in case.

It is also important that you carry out essential bike maintenance. There is plenty of advice on the internet; apps, YouTube are all there with helpful tips. By learning these handy tips yourself you will be able to save yourself money by not constantly checking your bike in for regular maintenance and fixes. Make sure that your tyres are always firmly pumped before heading out on your bike, a flat tyre can be extremely dangerous.

Take your time

It can be tempting to cycle fast and not take the time to practice proper cycling proficiency. Take your time, look before you signal to manoeuvre, glance back before you place your arm out to turn.  

You will find that pedestrians do walk out in front of you, cars forget to look and people in general will irritate you. Take a deep breath, sometimes you need to take an extremely deep breath, and focus on the task at hand. Try your best not to get angry, cycling should not be stressful, despite what can happen sometimes.

Bicycle accidents sadly do happen. If they do it is important that you speak to a bike solicitor to file a bicycle accident claim. Do what you can to be as safe as possible on the roads, but if you are involved in a bike accident then take the necessary steps to claim the compensation that you deserve.

Carry on Cycling can help you with your claim. Get in touch with the specialists today.
To learn more about cycling in Wales click here.

About the author:
Sarah Mcarthy is a writer for Carry on Cycling. You can find her on Google Plus here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cleat Positioning on New Shoes: A Bike Fitter's Perspective

Honestly; I'm a little reluctant to "ask a mechanic" about something so closely related to your positioning on your bike; but this video pretty much hits the nail on the head. Mostly for their emphasis on the fact that this achieves an "approximation" and will not be a precise method of replicating the cleat position from shoe-to-shoe.

The tips in the video will help you achieve a starting point - but for fine tuning; you must treat every pair of shoes individually - especially if different brands and models are involved.

Other things to consider:
  • The markings on the sole should not be treated as precise either. These are merely a guide for approximate purposes. Differences in stencil or decal position or how the sole is joined to the upper from shoe to shoe can influence their accuracy significantly.
  • Getting new shoes is an excellent time to have your bike fit checked if not re-evaluated - especially if it has been a few years since your last comprehensive fitting. Aside from physiological changes that occur in that time from changes in fitness, flexibility, or injury; new shoes will position your foot differently relative to the pedal in the X, Y, and "Z" planes (3-dimensional) and pain, discomfort, or injury may result if not done properly.
  • A new pedal system (change in brand or model) is also a good time to re-evaluate your fitting. These above guidelines apply even more loosely when a change in pedals/cleats is involved. Different brand/model pedals have different "stack" which effects leg extension. They also may need to be positioned differently in terms of fore/aft, left/right, and rotation to account for float and other positional differences.
Be kind to your knees and take your foot/shoe/pedal interface seriously. It makes a difference!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Zipp Looks to Educate Buyers on Counterfeits

I have well documented the bike industry's battle against counterfeit product here on the blog. (Here and here specifically, with other references throughout.)

Aside from the obvious effect it has on manufacturer/distributor bottom lines and brand perception; counterfeit product presents a dangerous safety risk. Authentic products are tested to extreme levels of performance by the brand which designs and produces them to ensure they deliver on the promises they make but also to protect the end users - us - in this inherently dangerous sport we love.

Have you ever experienced a component failure? I know from my years behind a bike shop counter that those experiences are few. But; the ones I have seen are scary and often quite injurious to the user as well.

Counterfeit products can be hard to spot (except from the often accompanying "too good to be true" price); but the downside to the risk is huge. Learn to identify some of the warning signs that a product may not be what it is represented to be and be an advocate for your own safety.

Finally - buying authentic product is also a way of saying that you want these companies that produce the best gear in the world to stick around and continue doing what they do best - serve up two-wheeled joy! Buying fake goods puts money in the hands of cheaters instead of those doing the hard work as well as delivers an often inferior and unsafe product to you.

Zipp posted some photos on their Facebook page that are helpful - not only for their products - but as a guide for what to look for on many bands.

Ride real!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Are You a Cyclist? Know Your Rights on the Road!

Cyclists have the same rights on the road as other vehicles, even though the size difference may make cyclistsoccasionally forfeit some of them for safety’s sake. The Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) established your rights and responsibilities as an operator of a vehicle that are equal to those of automobile drivers with some exceptions such as stipulations that are not applicable to you as a cyclist. The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances established the UVC as a reference that addresses traffic laws in the United States.

Bike Accident Attorney Spencer Farris put together a list of things a cyclist must know to ensure their safety and rights on the road.

Enjoying Your Statutory and Constitutional Rights
Your rights as a cyclist are included in the UVC, and they are accepted by most states. Many countries include cyclists’ rights in their constitutions so that you enjoy safety when you ride.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Allegro Elite Cycling Welcomes Wahoo Fitness!

Just arrived last night; the Wahoo Fitness RFLKT and BLUE SC. These are test units; I'll be testing and reporting on them (so be watching for my review) and you can schedule an appointment to test yourself and then buy direct from Allegro.

If you are not familiar with Wahoo and their line of products; they create tools which augment and complement the apps that many of us have grown to use and love for tracking our fitness activities using our smart phones. Integrating seamlessly with Strava (my app if choice);the  RFLKT will display your data live from your handlebar while your phone is still safely stowed in your pocket. 

To test the RFLKT and BLUE SC (speed and cadence sensor) yourself; contact me by email ( or call/text me at 971-238-4130 to reserve a date. Your small deposit includes installation and setup/pairing with your iOS device (iPhone, etc) and can be credited to your purchase. 

Purchase pricing also includes delivery, install, and setup. 

Watch here for a through review and details including all Wahoo pricing. 

Enjoy the ride!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Basic Tips for Cycling Safety

As my safety month comes to a close; I thought a post from some industry associates in Colorado was apropos. I hope you enjoy as I let them weigh in on the issue...

In an effort to stay physically active, more people than ever are beginning to reap the benefits of cycling. Although cycling is a very exciting way to exercise, the rider must contend with potentially dangerous obstacles such as passing traffic and environmental hazards. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind when commuting via a bike.

Stay visible
It is of the utmost importance that every cyclist stays visible at all times. Wearing extremely bright clothing is a great way to alert inattentive motorists. Never ride a bike without first installing the appropriate reflectors.

Inspect the bike before hitting the road
Although a traditional bike is not equipped with a motor, it stills needs to be properly maintained. Some of the most important things to do before heading out include checking the tire pressure, inspecting the chain, and testing the brakes. It is also advisable to keep a tire repair kit on hand during the journey.

Obey the law
When traveling along public roads, cyclists must remember to obey all of the traffic laws. Even if no vehicles are present on the road, make it a habit to always use the appropriate head signals.

Stay alert
Although cycling can be a very relaxing experience, it is still important to stay attentive to the surroundings. Looking ahead for oncoming obstacles such as parked vehicles and potholes will help to keep the rider safe. Readers that desire to obtain more cycling information can click here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Are Helmets Getting Uglier?

''Form follows function'' - a design mantra attributed to Louis Sullivan; Chicago architect and designer of some of America's most recognizible buildings including Manhattan's Flatiron. The principle being that you need to ensure that an object will serve the intended purpose (be functional) before you set out to make it beautiful (perfect its form).

I think helicopters are an excellent example of form follows function. After all: when was the last time you looked at a helicopter and said ''That's one beautiful helicopter!'' Yeah, I can't remember either. And, I love helicopters - I'm a big aviation nut - but as much as I love the AH-64 Apache, it is NOT pretty. Functional beyond the shadow of a doubt, but ugly as sin.

Now that we've established my understanding of modern design (or lack thereof), I think we can also easily establish that we all understand that the primary function of a good helmet is to protect the wearer from impact induced injury. After all, how many of us wear a helmet to look cool?

Show of hands?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Can Richard Sherman Teach us About Cycling?

Richard Sherman's infamous post-game rant: Video here...

I'm dedicating the month of January to safety. And Richard Sherman is a Cornerback, not a Safety - so that's not the tie-in... nice try though. ;)

Even if you don't follow the NFL or aren't a football fan you have probably heard something about this story on the news or social media. The "rant heard 'round the world" has garnered quite a reaction (and an elevated profile for Mr. Sherman, which he certainly appreciates). And, all the cool bloggers are covering it, so I figured I'd jump into the fray! What's to lose? Right?

Is this a stretch? Nope, you'll soon see. Stick with me here...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Maintaining the Motivation to Exercise

"You said it was a safety-themed month. What does this have to do with safety, Matt?" I can hear you all asking right now...

Without stretching or grasping at straws; here's your answer: Without exception, the times that I have experienced my greatest exercise related injuries and accidents all occurred when I was fighting to get back into a routine after taking time off. If I'm being honest with myself; most of my "time off" has been for lack of motivation, and not other, possibly more "legitimate" reasons.

I've dealt with the topic of motivation before, in fact; you could consider it a cornerstone of the blog as my first post addressed the topic directly.

So, without further adieu; our latest contribution on Motivation. Enjoy.

It is easy to say, I will exercise but what about the commitment and discipline. We need to motivate ourselves in order to sustain regularity and continuity.  We must have that inspiration to do exercise.  If we can have models in our mind, perhaps we can identify with them and be motivated to exercise.  Even without idols as long as we keep in mind that our bodies are God’s temples and without these bodies we won’t be able to carry our spirits nor achieve our purpose here on Earth.  Therefore, let’s get physical.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don’t Just Spin Your Wheels: Road Safety Tips for Cyclists

January is taking on a bit of a safety theme with this next post - perhaps I'll continue that through the month with some of my own contributions on the topic as it is something I think of often while I'm riding.

Some of the safety errors I see by fellow riders make me sad and want to share some tips to help us all be safer and make the roads a better place for all users. But I tend to get bogged down in all the tech stuff because it's what I'm such a geek for... So; with that, I'll let my associate from Adams Law Firm in Texas kick off the rest of the month with some great tips. Enjoy!

With cars zipping past you at forty miles an hour, cycling on public roads can be a terrifying experience for new and experienced riders alike. That's why personal injury lawyer Kelvin Adams recommends knowing the best ways to keep yourself safe while riding your bicycle.

Bike Safety​What to Wear

The first, and most important, thing a rider can do to protect themselves is to always wear a helmet when riding. Brain injury is the most likely cause of death in a cycling crash. Even if it is not required by law to wear one in your area, it as very important to wear a properly fitting helmet. Also important is making sure that drivers are able to see you. High-visibility clothing and bicycle mounted reflectors will make cyclists more noticeable to motorists, making it easier to avoid hitting them. Front and rear lights should also always be used when cycling at night.

Plan Ahead

Some places are safer for cyclists than others, so it is a good idea to plan a route before leaving home. Roadside bicycle lanes, dedicated bicycle paths and multi-use paths are the safest places to ride. Roads with a wide, unobstructed shoulder are also good.


All content - except where otherwise noted - copyright 2006 - 2013 Matthew Magee. Do not use without permission.

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