Serving Cyclists in the Mid-Atlantic States winter 2010.11
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14477 Potomac Mills Road
3411 M Street, N.W.
8/27/10 1:07:37 PM
Approaching 40, Henrik Olsen of Walkersville, Md., decided
to get into bicycling. By 45, he's become one of the East
Coast's best long distance racers.
what do q-tips and love have to do with each
other? Read on.
I wasn’t planning on getting a new bicycle this winter.
My bike was only two years old, and when I got it, it
was state-of-the-art. Carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber
cranks, carbon fiber handlebars, stem and seat post.
Aero wheels, of course.
So, when I took this new baby out for a test ride, I’d
already prepared my “thanks, but no thanks” speech.
I was already riding the best of the best, and what
could be better?
How do bike companies do this? This first ride was
on a fall group ride, put together by Rob Laybourn,
founder of the U.S. Air Force Cycling Classic in
Arlington. The group included some of his events
sponsors, but also about 15 members of the U.S.
Naval Academy bike racing team. Yikes. I’m old and
don’t do those kind of training rides anymore.
This challenging ride, I figured, would accomplish
one of two things. For whatever reason, the bike
would not work out and I’d have a built in excuse
to drop back and cruise in on my own. Or the bike
would astonish me and propel me enough to actually
I was putting my money on scenario #1.
Well, as the group headed out on flat to rolling sections,
I stayed in the back and sucked wheels. I was
finding my tempo and rhythm and found that I could
hold onto the field. Surprisingly, I found on slight
rises the bike seemed to accelerate and I had to do a
slow brake. No longer much of a climber, I couldn’t
hold with them on the climbs or up Sugarloaf
Mountain, which I didn’t even attempt. But this baby
flew, unlike any bike I’ve ever ridden.
The bike manufacturer somehow managed to shave
another full pound, putting the complete bike in the
sub-15 pound category. All its brake and derailleur
cables were now hidden from view buried inside the
bike’s tubing. But the biggest difference had to be the
full carbon wheels (carbon rims and carbon hubs).
Wow! Love again.
Last night I found myself doing something I haven’t
done in years. I brought the new baby into our sunroom,
and as I watched a Redskins game (and I am
not a football fan) I detailed her every inch.
Want a measure of my newfound passion? I dug out
the Q-Tips. There is no other way to get the road grit
out of a bike's nooks and crannies.
The downside to all this passion is it rained last night,
and while I fully planned on riding her to work today,
I couldn’t bring myself to getting her dirty.
Oh well, it is supposed to be dry tomorrow.
Editor & Publisher
Touring • Racing • Off-Road
Recreation • Triathlon • Commuting
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Circulation: 30,000. Copyright©2010 SPOKES.
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What will you find at the SWAP... More than 200 vendors,
thousands of discounted cycling and fitness products,
product demos, prizes and giveaways, special events and
so much more…
Admission is still only $5!
Sunday, February 13th, 2011
9:00 am-2:00 pm
Carroll County Agricultural Center
706 Agricultural Center Drive
Westminster, MD 21157
See you at the SWAP!!
Touring Ride In Rural Indiana®
TRIRI® presents four tours in 2011,
visiting Indiana’s beautiful state parks
along lightly traveled, scenic routes.
Overnights in state parks
Catered breakfasts and dinners
TRIRI® Bicycle Rallies 2011:
June 12-15 at Spring Mill State Park
August 14-17 at Clifty Falls State Park
Loop rides from a single state park
Five century rides over
five days, with 160 miles
on day six
SEPTEMBER ESCAPADE 2011:
September 11-16 • South central Indiana
www.triri.org (812) 333-8176
TOUR DE CARROLL
Save the date: APRIL 23, 2011
Get those bikes and
cycling legs in shape
& enjoy the beautiful
Carroll County countryside!!
Show and Go – 7am to 10am
Lunch (included) – until 3pm
4 New Sensational Bike Routes:
High Tech Metric Century, 63 miles
Spring Classic, 39 miles
Recreational, 25 miles
Family Fun, 8 miles
Radio sag and sweep on all routes until 3pm.
Rest stops, maps, cue sheets.
Plenty of free parking and nearby motels.
Easy location at Dutterer’s Park in Westminster, MD
(just off Rt.140; 25 miles W of Baltimore, 20 miles E of Frederick).
$40.00 Registration includes:
Brownies and Ice Cream
50/50 Raffle Drawing at Noon
30 day pass to Westminster
Family Center, full service
gym. ($55 value) Sponsored
by the City of Westminster Parks
and Recreation Department
BICYCLE RIDE ACROSS GEORGIA
32nd annual BRAG RIDE
Join BRAG 2011, June 4-11,
begin in Atlanta and March to the Sea, with
overnight stops in Oxford, Milledgeville, Dublin,
Metter, Hinesville, and ending in Savannah.
1300 Riders • Street Dances • Ice Cream Social
End-Of-The-Road Meal • Great Fun for Families
60 Miles Average per Day
Hammerhead Options (for additional mileage)
Layover Day • Rest Stops Every 10 – 15 Miles
For more information, visit www.brag.org,
or email email@example.com, or call 770-498-5153.
Other 2011 Rides:
• Spring Tune-Up Ride,
Madison, GA, April 15 -17
• Georgia BikeFest, October
To register and for further information go to or call:
www.active.com or www.tourdecarroll.com
100% of the funds raised directly benefit our partners, West End
Place (Carroll County’s only private, non-profit service for low
income seniors) and the Humane Society of Carroll County.
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It All Starts at 40
by neil sandler
“My goal from the start was to break 30 hours, but
DeLong scared me the day before we started when he
said he was hoping to break 26 hours,” Olsen recalled.
“He started off very strong, averaging 23-24 miles
per hour on a slight incline that lead up to the first
real climb. He was probably putting out about 300
watts (of power) into that first real climb. I thought
I’d made a mistake teaming up with him. I thought
I shouldn’t have given his wife my water bottles and
(nutritional) mixes. But he was happy to lead.
“About around the 100 mile mark I seriously thought
about dropping back,” Olsen continued. “He was
doing the majority of the pulls, so I did everything
I could to hold onto his wheel. Suddenly, at the
168 mile mark (a control point) the roles reversed.
Dennis appeared to have become dehydrated in the
heat of the day and told me several times to go ahead
without him. We kept it together though and managed
the remaining 232 miles.”
It is not often that one finds team efforts in ultraendurance
cycling, but the sport is not short on
humanity or an understanding that everyone is vulnerable
to mechanical, physical or natural obstacles.
If, as you approach middle age, you decide you want to become one of the country’s
best long distance bike racers, you might find a better way than rising long distance
star Henrik Olsen of Walkersville, Md.
So how did this middle-aged recreational cyclist
manage to formulate a career as a long distance
bike racer, when prior to these events, the longest
bike ride he’d ever been on was a camping tour of
England and Ireland when he was 28?
In 1993, he took a job in Canada with the goal of
improving his English. He had recently finished his
masters in mechanical engineering and was hired to
work for a year at Queens University in Ontario. It was
there that he met his wife to be, Susan, who was from
Calgary, AB, Canada, but studying at the university.
After Susan graduated and he finished his year at the
university he traveled west to Calgary. Despite having
only bought her first hybrid two weeks earlier, the
two of them completed a two week bike tour of the
Canadian Rockies. On the last day of their tour, they
ran out of food a the highest point in their journey.
As they were riding their bikes up an 11% grade,
with no convenience store in sight, his future wife
declared, “I am done; I want a couch, some bonbons
and a TV remote.”
“honey,” he called his wife on the phone midway
through the Shenandoah 1,200 kilometer race.
“My knee hurts so bad I can’t go on. Can you come
pick me up? I’m at the North Carolina border.”
Turns out the North Carolina border was the furthest
point the racers in this event would ever be from the
starting in Leesburg, Va.
Henrik, it turns out, made the cataclysmic mistake of
attempting this huge challenge on a new bike he’d
never ridden longer than 50 miles.
If there was any good news, Henrik managed to talk
some others who dropped out of the race into renting
a car back to Leesburg.
But when Henrik arrived in Leesburg, he realized
he’d forgotten his car keys at a hotel in North
Carolina. His wife was okay with the one hour drive to
Leesburg to drop off the spare key.
Welcome to the life of the dedicated long-distance
Five years ago, as Henrik Olsen approached the age of
40, he decided that neither soccer, handball (played
in his native Denmark), or running were motivating
enough to make “his sport.”
He had tried biking before. Growing up in Denmark
he used biking as a means of transport rather than a
means of physical challenge.
“I never raced, and other than a bike camping vacation
through England and into Ireland, I never did
any real serious bicycling,” he told SPOKES.
So how does a now 45-year-old noise and vibration
engineer for Bechtel Power Company, with two busy
young children, turn into one of the most competitive
long distance bike racers on the East Coast?
Along with a former winner of this year’s 400 mile
race around New York’s shimmering Finger Lakes the
5’10” tall, and 157 pound Dane shattered the race
record. Olsen and two-time-Race Across America rider
Dennis DeLong of Greece, NY, smashed the 2007
record by a full hour, finishing in a time of 29 hours,
54 minutes in the mid-August event.
Competing in the Finger Lakes' QuadZilla 400 miler
for the first time, Olsen agreed the day before the
race began to share pacing roles with DeLong in
exchange for having DeLong’s wife serve as both riders’
support crew. The QuadZilla is one of the long
distance events that allows drafting.
But the partnership nearly broke up at the very start.
6 Winter 2010/11
In 2002, Olsen heard of a good job opportunity with
Bechtel in Frederick, Md. With two small children,
Anders (now 10) and Amelia (now 8), Olsen took the
By 2004 Olsen was catching the biking bug. At first,
all he had time for was 20 mile jaunts after work. But
a couple of co-workers; John Gantnier and Bernie
Sellers introduced him to night riding, and that
opened up his cycling horizon. Through night-time
riding buddy Bill Smith, Olsen learned about long
distance randonneur rides and the National 24 hour
Challenge in Michigan.
After his first 100 mile ride, which took him 8.5 hours,
Olsen confessed he was sore for weeks. That year,
Olsen rode just over 2,000 miles total.
In 2006, his brother-in-law talked him into entering
L’Etape du Tour, where cyclists have the opportunity
to ride one of the most difficult stages of that year’s
Tour de France, and in one day required him to
cover 125 miles, ascending 15,000 feet in the French
Pyrenees, including two Category 1 climbs and one
HC climbs (so long and steep that it is beyond categorization
by race officials).
Returning to the U.S., Olsen now began training in earnest,
riding the many mountains of Western Maryland.
By 2008, Olsen was
training for long distance
events, but discovered
he frequently didn’t eat
properly, or frequently
overtrained. At that year’s
24 Hours of Michigan he
expected to cover 350-375
miles, yet only covered
“I was truly beginning to
understand the science
of long distance riding.
In that event, I just didn’t
fuel my body properly,
and basically my body can-
at 40 continued on p.8
at 40 continued from p.7
nibalized itself...eating itself up. I was trying to
get by on Gatorade.” He is now a firm believer in
using Hammer Nutrition products. He meticulously
plans for his races. He rations and proportions
his fueling and is guided by his past experiences
At his next 24 hour race, he covered 408 miles, exceeding
his goal of 375. His distance set a new age group
record, blowing away the existing record of 358 miles.
“Now the bug was in me. I knew I could race and
perform with the best out there,” he told SPOKES.
As his training clicked up a notch, Olsen sought out
rides with riders stronger and faster than him. He
also set up a gym including a CycleOps and treadmill
in his basement so that his training would not be
impeded by weather. He watches Tour de France videos
for hours as he tries to maintain his endurance
in the winter.
Although his current training is still limited to after
work rides, and early morning Saturday rides that he
tries to complete by noon, he is more calculating and
specific in his training regimen.
This past June, at the 24 Hours of Michigan again,
he had a huge breakthrough, covering 438.1 miles.
Oddly enough, Olsen isn’t totally satisfied. “My nutrition
still wasn’t dialed in. I quit with 20 minutes to
go. I should have been able to cover more miles.”
At another event, less than a month later, he hit
424.5 miles in an event that, unlike the Michigan
race, does not permit drafting.
Now, with the knowledge he needs for the correct
training, correct nutrition and correct amount of
rest and recuperation, Olsen thinks about the three
or four events he intends to compete in 2011 and
perhaps someday competing in the Race Across
America…and he contemplates other possibilities.
Maybe rough starts and a few years under the belt really
are the way to develop an ultra-endurance cyclist.
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8 Winter 2010/11
Ironman, M-Dot are registered trademarks of the
World Triathlon Corporation used here by permission.
Georgia on My Mind
by ann abeles with photos by fred abeles
As I drug my suitcase and gear toward the tents, sweat streaming down my face, I
asked “What am I doing starting a week-long bicycle ride in Georgia in June? I must
have gone crazy last winter and forgotten what the southeast US is like in the summer.
Oh well, it’ll be fun – I think.”
it is saturday afternoon, June 5. My husband
and riding partner Fred and I are at Our Lady of
Mercy High School near Fayetteville, Georgia, a town
about 25 miles south of Greater Atlanta, checking in
for the 31st BRAG, Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. This
year’s ride is planned as a seven-day loop ride from
Fayetteville to Columbus and back, 50 to 65 miles a
day with a layover day in Columbus.
I admit I knew it would be warm but I had forgotten
about the humidity. To make the ride a little easier on
us, we had booked with Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers
so we would have some amenities like shade, chairs,
cool drinks and snacks. Also, Bubba’s crew would deal
with putting up our tent in the 90+ temperatures that
were expected for the week and taking down the dewcovered
tents in the mornings.
Fred and Ann Abeles
10 Winter 2010/11
After checking in at the ride headquarters to pick
up the cue sheets and our meal tickets, we sat in
the Pampered Zone and met some of our fellow
riders while waiting for evening. There were about
1100 riders registered for the ride and some were
camped around the school grounds. About 80 were
with Bubba. A large number have opted to sleep in
the air conditioned school gymnasium which looks
like a shelter for victims of some major disaster. Air
mattresses and sleeping bags cover the floor and
some hallways leaving just narrow walkways between.
When it was a bit cooler, we went over to the school,
took our showers and then drove a few miles towards
Fayetteville where we found some dinner before
returning to the school to park the car for the week
and crawl into our tent for the night.
On these rides, the morning alarm is the sound of
tent flaps being unzipped about 5 a.m. Sunday morning
we got dressed, packed up our gear and rode our
bikes over to the school cafeteria for breakfast. The
first day, we are always a little slow so it was nearly 7:30
before we pedaled out of the parking lot and headed
down the road for Griffin, our camping spot for
Shortly after leaving the high school we passed an
enormous mansion and several slightly smaller mansions.
The big one that looked like some small college
is the “home” of the boxer, Evander Holyfield. We’re
told that the others are homes for some of his former
wives. Within a few blocks, we were flying down and
slowly pedaling up the rolling hills, typical of this part
of southwest Georgia. The morning was pleasant and
we soon were out of the Atlanta suburban traffic and
passing through rural farmland and forest on quiet
roads. The mimosa trees and huge crape myrtles were
all in bloom adding visual delight to the accompanying
song of the birds.
The rest stops were spaced every 10 – 15 miles along
the way and were well stocked with hand washing stations,
fresh fruits, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
pretzels, coolers of water and sports drink and, of
course, a row of port-a pots.
Fred and I, definitely in the senior citizen group, were
riding our Tour Easy recumbents and moved along
towards the rear of the mid-pack of riders. Since we
were usually greeted by a cheerful, “On your left” we
were able to see a good many of our fellow riders during
the day. This ride had many young riders, 20 – 50
year olds, who quickly passed us on their sleek road
bikes. There were also quite a few parents with youngsters
on tandems or on tag-a-longs and a few little
ones in trailers.
About 20 of the bikes were recumbents of many different
styles and another 20 or so were tandems.
There were a few trikes, especially because the ride
also included riders from the Special Olympics
Georgia, SOGA. One remarkable family had an adult
and one child on a tandem pulling a specially modified
trike that assisted the handicapped child on the
trike to pedal.
Well over half of the riders were from Georgia and
most of them had done other BRAG rides.
Because we knew very little about this ride when we
signed up, we also purchased the meal tickets that
were offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The
meals turned out to be quite variable – sometimes far
too small for an adult biker and sometimes adequate.
The rest stop provisions were good and plentiful so
we could have easily skipped ordering the lunches.
Dinners were hit and miss. It was difficult to know
ahead of time whether it would have been convenient
to go to the nearby town for dinner or not, and often
it was not convenient. We ate the breakfast and dinner
meals supplied by the schools and had enough
snacks in the Bubba Zone to make up for missing
calories. As the week went on and the weather got
hotter, food was no longer high on my list.
Even with our late start on Sunday, the pleasant route
brought us to Spalding High School in Griffin by 1
p.m. We rested in the Bubba Zone and had some cool
drinks before organizing our stuff in our tent and
then having our showers. We briefly considered taking
the shuttle bus into town for the Wild West Days
– Griffin is the birth place of “Doc” Holliday – but we
decided we preferred a quiet afternoon in the shade
and a chance to visit with some of our fellow riders.
After dinner we did take the shuttle bus into town in
the hopes of finding some ice cream. Unfortunately
for us and several other fellow riders, there were no
ice cream vendors around and no ice cream stores.
We’re not great fans of loud country music, so we
caught the next shuttle back to the school and read
our books till dark.
georgia continued on p.12
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georgia continued from p.11
Monday morning we were up and packed earlier and
headed into breakfast a bit before 6. For a Yankee,
not into grits and sausage, my breakfast was a little
oatmeal with grape jelly. We were on the road by
6:30 and I looked forward to the first rest stop. The
morning was clear and cool as we biked south to
Thomaston. We made good time rolling through
the rural countryside and arrived at Rest Stop #3,
the “lunch” stop by 9:30. I was starving by then and
so we picked up our veggie burgers with trimmings,
lemonade and a slice of sheet cake. We ate it all,
improving Fred’s mood as well as my energy level.
We passed lovely flower gardens and an interesting
tower along the route. Around 12:30 we rolled into
the Thomaston-Upson Civic Center and Upson Lee
Middle School after 54 miles. The showers in the
school were cool, no hot water for some reason, but
Dinner in the middle school was much better than
the night before and we retired to the Zone to rest
and visit. If it had not been so hot we might have considered
the shuttle into town but line dancing in the
heat wasn’t that appealing.
By now, you’re probably wondering if we’re just party
poopers. No, we’re just senior citizens on a ride
where the majority of riders have come with a group
of friends, done the ride before, are younger and
are Georgia natives, acclimated to the climate. Fred
and I enjoy taking different bicycle tours in order to
see other parts of our country but do not need to be
entertained after each day’s ride. Our view of Georgia
has been mostly from I-95 and now we were seeing
other parts of the state. Also, we knew no one else on
the ride. In these circumstances, a big advantage of
being with Bubba is that we get new friends to visit
with. In general, bike riders are friendly people and
like to share their knowledge of different bicycles
and rides. We enjoyed these afternoons, sitting in the
Zone, visiting with our new friends.
Tuesday morning’s better breakfast included milk
and fruit. We were on our way by 6:40 on a clear and
cool morning. We had lots of turns to get out of town
and a few good climbs before we turned onto a road
called Po Biddy. This route was smoothly paved, with
little traffic and included an almost 4-mile downhill
to the Flint River. Of course, what goes down usually
goes up again so after taking pictures and having a
quick snack we headed up out of the river valley.
Our third rest stop of the day was in Waverly Hall, a
pretty little town. Lunch was taco salad, yum. Now we
had about 25 miles with lots of down hill stretches.
The afternoon was getting pretty hot so we stopped
for drinks and a rest in the shade before tackling the
last 15 miles into Columbus. We took the optional
4-mile route downtown which included a new bike
path, the Warm Springs Bike Path.
After 67 miles, we were happy to see the sea of brown
tents (Bubba Zone) spread out in front of us. We
gratefully relaxed with cold sodas and snacks.
About 5:30, we strolled up the street a couple blocks
to Broadway, a street with several restaurants. We
chose the Cannon Brew Pub and shared our table
with a nice grandfather and his grandson (13) from
Alabama (also Bubba Zone folks). Grandson was finding
the ride a lot of work and wasn’t sure he wanted
to ride at all on Wednesday, the layover day. We said
we were going to ride the Riverwalk Bike path the
8 miles over to Ft. Benning and the new National
Infantry Museum. That didn’t sound so bad after
all so he was game for that – and a visit to the Port
Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum that we
would pass on the way.
As Wednesday was forecast to be hot, we were up
before 6 and walked up to a coffee shop on Broadway
for coffee, bananas and delicious blueberry muffins.
Thus fortified, we were soon off pedaling south along
the Riverwalk Path overlooking the Chattahoochee.
The path is beautifully landscaped with lots of crape
myrtle in full bloom. We parked our bikes on the
museum’s large portico and went in.
The multimillion dollar museum was established in
1998 but just recently opened. It houses several exhibits
about the history of Ft. Benning, which was started
in 1918 as Camp Benning, and the history and training
of the infantry. There also were many special halls
with exhibits concentrating on each major war involving
the Colonial States and the United States such as
the Spanish-American war, WWI, WW II, etc. up to the
current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, before we turned left to our tent we biked
back up to Broadway to Brother’s General Store.
There we enjoyed A&W root beer floats in air conditioned
comfort. Columbus has a rotating street art
show that puts different sculptures around town for
several months. There was a very cute statue of a little
girl holding a huge cat stationed in front of Brothers.
After our break, I got our clean clothes out of the
sweat lodge – probably 120 F inside, and we went to
the shower truck to get cleaned up. I had a chance to
wash my hair and we sat outside a bit while I tried to
dry it in the sun. Unfortunately my sweat was getting
my hair wetter so we went inside the air conditioned
Corn Center so it would dry.
We sat for a while, reading in the air conditioned
comfort, then walked up to another restaurant for
dinner, the Downstairs at the Loft. We enjoyed our
beers with a collection of starters that appealed to us.
After dark on Wednesday there was a “light” show, the
“Moonbase Planetarium” projected on a sheet on the
bank of the river.
After a very hot night, we got up at 5, packed up and
pushed our bikes up to the street. We bought strong
coffee from the coffee vendor traveling with the ride
and ate the Power Bars that were in our registration
packet along with some dried fruit I had brought for
emergencies. By 6:30 we were on the road heading
out of Columbus using the same streets and Warm
Springs Bike Path we had used coming in on Tuesday.
Then the route veered away and headed north
We were fortunate that the sky stayed overcast much
of the morning so we could tackle the rolling hills at
temperatures in the 70s to low 80s. But by afternoon
the heat returned. Finally we arrived in LaGrange
after 64 miles. We collapsed in the zone and I guzzled
2 cans of soda before I could even think about getting
our stuff from the tent. We took some more soda and
went into the air conditioned school to sit (actually
just lie on the cool floor) a while before we could take
our showers and sit some more.
12 Winter 2010/11
We found that the “movie” room was carpeted and
quiet; no one wanted to watch anything, just sleep or
read quietly. I used the time to study the cue sheet for
Friday and discovered that there was a possible short
cut that shortened the Friday ride by about 20 miles.
While I was back at the tent getting our meal tickets
and putting stuff away, Fred told a couple of other
ladies about the short cut. The word quickly spread
to others that were having difficulty with the heat so
there were quite a few that were planning to take the
44 instead of 64 mile ride on Friday.
Dinner was up the hill at LaGrange College next to
the West Side Middle School. After dinner, we sat in
the air conditioned middle school for a while before
calling it a night.
The temperature finally dropped into the 70s and we
must have fallen so deeply asleep that we didn’t hear
our alarm. It was 5:30 when we woke, quickly dressed,
and packed up. We bought vendor coffee, ate some of
our dried fruit and headed into the fog at 6:30. The
route was very pretty today, lots of flowering trees, especially
magnolia and mimosa and some forested areas.
Many homes had huge gardenia bushes that I could
smell before we could even see them. Their heavy fragrance
lifted my sagging spirits for the bigger hills.
It turns out that the Smokey Road short cut was a
lovely route. Much of it had new, smooth paving and
passed by many attractive horse farms. We arrived at
Newnan High School and Bubba’s camp about 11:30.
We visited a bit, before heading up the hill to the
shower truck – about a half mile. Then we returned to
the Zone to rest and visit till dinner time.
Saturday morning, the last day, we were up at 4:30.
Fred drug our suitcases up the hill to the luggage truck
(Bubba’s truck was not returning to Fayetteville as they
had another ride to cater in South Carolina beginning
that evening.) Then we biked up to the cafeteria, 0.7
mile. After breakfast we set off as soon as it was light
enough, 6:30. For a while the temperatures remained
in the 70s and we enjoyed the rolling hills and low traffic.
However, by the time we arrived back at Lady of
Mercy the sun was out and it was in the 90s again.
We unloaded our bikes by our car, picked up our
luggage and packed all our stuff into the car. Then
we joined the others in the cafeteria for lunch. The
family from Atlanta that we had visited with most
evenings also had just arrived. We sat with them and
talked about bike rides and neat places to go. After
exchanging email addresses we said farewell to some
more new biking friends and headed for home, where
we hoped the temperatures would be lower.
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Wander Cross Country with Bob One Last Time
by neil sandler
SPOKES normally doesn’t celebrate the retirement of an
advertiser with a story, but Bob Davenport, founder of
Wandering Wheels is different…a legend, many who know
him well might argue!
Bob and the company he founded in 1966 have guided
more than 3,500 participants coast- to-coast over the
course of 67 supported group trips. Bob himself has lead
and ridden 43 of these 3,000 mile tours, and now approaching
78-years-old, announced he will participate in
his final Wandering Wheels cross country tour in 2011.
Wandering Wheels preceded the legendary 1976 Bikecentennial
crossing, which many incorrectly believe started
the group cross country cycling phenomena. A full decade
earlier, this former All American UCLA football star created
a bike touring concept for which there was no precedent.
When most American cyclists were riding balloon tired
single speeds, Bob had already jumped aboard the tenspeed
bandwagon, buying 15 state-of-the-art Louis Bobet
(the Frenchman who won the Tour de France three times
in the 1950s) 15-speed racing style bikes for his first riders,
who wore Bermuda shorts and t-shirts.
When no one riding a bike in the mid-1960s wore helmets
(and we mean no one other than racers who wore leather
hairnet helmets), Bob insisted his riders ride safely, and
provided each rider with a hard shelled hockey helmet.
Bob also required the use of warning bike flags, and
strongly recommended the use of bike mirrors.
A very religious individual, Bob set out to instill in the
young people on these early tours a sense of physical and
mental accomplishment, a moral compass, and belief in
a higher power. Those who have gotten to know Bob by
participating in any of his many organized rides, which
expanded into tours of Europe, China, and New Zealand,
know they gained much more than exercise and fresh air
by being on board.
Bob credits success in Wandering Wheels to his rough and
tumble upbringings, growing up the oldest of three boys,
with parents who separated, were “among the drinking
crowd” and forced their children to mature fast.
“My dad would put us in a motel and we’d stay there
until the motel owner realized they weren’t going to get
paid,” Bob confided to SPOKES. “I was forced to grow up
early and pretty much figure it out on my own by the time
I was 13.”
But Bob landed “on his feet” becoming “quite a jock” in
southern California and getting into football, where he
went on to become an “All American” at UCLA, where he
played in the Rose Bowl twice, and was named MVP in the
Hula Bowl, playing against pros.
After his football career ended, he was offered a coaching
job at Taylor University in Indiana, just three blocks from
where Wandering Wheels has since been headquartered.
Always a devout Christian church goer, who also enjoyed
spreading the good word of God from the podium, he
wanted another platform from which he could “spread
the word.” Bob confesses that the bike touring activity
became this vehicle.
14 Winter 2010/11
“The carryover” from participating in any of his tours was
that the participant would retain a passion for God and for
a healthy lifestyle. Wandering Wheels’ earliest tours were
centered primarily on boys aged 14-15, but more recently
centers on riders over 50.
“If I was going to be in the business of sharing my faith,
I needed something other than the church or the YMCA
to get the kids to go home and openly brag about it,” he
“So one day, having never been a bicyclist, I saw a
10-speed Schwinn Varsity that a classmate was riding,
and asked him if I could try it out. I hopped on it, rode it
about three miles, and it hit me like a ton of bricks that
this was my answer. Quickly, and without much reasoning,
I wondered what would happen if I took a group of kids
on a 1,000 mile bike ride and pushed them beyond their
comfort zone. In 1964, I got the 15 bikes, got the 15 kids,
and we rode 1,000 miles from the headwaters of the Mis-
sissippi in Minnesota to Cairo, Illinois. That was the start
of something I had no idea what it would become.”
Today, Bob still rides a lot, averaging 8,000 miles a year
outdoors, (mostly lunchtime 40-50 mile jaunts on Indiana
gentle byways) and when weather turns bad he’s worn
out three Schwinn Aerodynes indoors.
Bob’s legacy? “Outside of my family, and outside of having
played football at the highest level, and coaching it for
11 great years, and then doing the bike thing for over 40
years, I would have to say my greatest accomplishment is
leaving a sweet taste in so many people’s mouths about
the importance of having God in their lives. Pleasing
someone beyond yourself. I hope that is my legacy.”
and lasts forever.
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shop in town.
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8313 Grubb Road, Silver Spring MD 301-588-6160
My “Backroads” Birthday
Present to Myself
by larry lipman
It’s just before 7 a.m. and a long line of cars is at a near-standstill on U.S. 7 on the
western edge of Berryville, Va. Bicycles from sprout from roof-racks or protrude from
racks on the backs of most cars. Inside those cars are the hard-core riders: those
who plan to ride the Back Roads Century’s full 100 mile route.
been meticulously painted on the roads. They are easy
to follow with different colors denoting the different
routes. Third, the cue sheet and a map of the route,
also available weeks in advance on the website, are
easy to read and the street signs are in place--something
that is often not the case in rural areas.
Before the ride, the website in invaluable. In addition
to the cue sheets, maps, photos and altitude chart,
i’m in one of those cars creeping into the
Clarke County Fairgrounds where we’ll park before
starting the ride across the street at the Clarke County
High School. It’s my 62 birthday and I’ve decided to
celebrate by trying a century.
For weeks I’ve debated with myself whether to go for
the full century or scale back and do the 65-mile metric
century which is one of five routes laid out by the
Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, the ride’s sponsor.
The other rides are at 50, 30 and 25 miles. On the
one hand, I’ve done a few centuries before and I’m
confident I can go the distance. On the other hand,
it’s been a few years since my last century and this one
is billed as “moderately hilly,” and I’m a wuss on hills.
The ride’s excellent website has photos of the route
from previous years plus an altitude graph. But I find
it difficult to imagine how steep those climbs are without
actually seeing them. So two weeks before the century,
I decide to test the course by riding the second,
and reportedly more difficult, half.
I discover a few things during that ride. First, while
there are hills, only a few are steep or long. During
the test ride I drop into my triple’s granny gear only
four times over 50 miles. Second, even though it’s still
two weeks before the event, directional arrows have
That's the birthday boy in the bright orange "Spokes Magazine" jersey, front and center.
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16 Winter 2010/11
it also has a GPX suitable for downloading into your
computer. It also features an article about how to
train for a century, a check list of what to bring, information
about parking and the rest stops, and a timetable
for when everyone should arrive and start. Since
there are so many different routes, riders start at different
times, with the full century riders leaving first
while those doing the 25-miler start two hours later.
Also on the website is a forum for people to ask questions
and communicate with other riders. That proves
invaluable. There is a topic about riders looking for
similarly paced riders. One list is for those who expect
to average 15 or 16 mph. On my trial ride, I averaged
just under 14, so I worry that these riders will
leave me in the dust and I’ll ride the entire course by
myself. Then Nadine Beck posts a query looking for
riders in the 12-13 mile range. I make arrangements
to meet with that group.
While Berryville is only about an hour and a half west
of Washington, D.C., and it would be possible to drive
there in the pre-dawn hours before the 7 a.m. start
time, I decide to spend the night in a hotel in nearby
Winchester, Va., about 15 minutes away. There are
plenty of relatively inexpensive hotels to choose from
and the hotel parking lot sports several cars with bikes
The riders who have responded to Nadine’s post
agree to meet at the information tent in front of the
high school and depart at 7:15. By the time I park my
car and ride over the to school, the school’s parking
lot is swarming with cyclists. Mark Alpert, the century’s
chairman, said later that more than 1,500 riders
registered, about half of them signing up for the full
Alpert said the ride, now in roughly its 10th year—it
wasn’t formalized in its early years—set an attendance
record. It could have been even larger, but PPTC
cut off registration at the end of August so it could
make accommodations for the large number of riders
already committed, rather than continuing to take
registration up until the last minute and then not
have enough food, beverages, portable toilets and
There are several tents in front of the school, including
some sponsored by companies such as Specialized
and Spokes, Etc. I notice a few cyclists gathered next
to one of the tents, including a woman whose bike
sports pink wheels. This is Marianne Perciaccante
and she’s told us on the forum about her wheels. Also
there are Mike Murray and his wife, Laura, of Reston.
The three of us look around but don’t see any others
from the group. Then Marianne gets a call on her
mobile phone. It’s Nadine, who is with the rest of the
group about 25 yards away near another tent. After a
final pit stop inside the school--thanks, Clarke County
for opening the school for us to use the restrooms--we
set off at 7:30.
That’s the last time I see Laura until nine hours later
at the end of the ride. She’s way out front. But there
are seven of us who will stay together, more or less, for
the next 100 miles. We lose one rider after a few miles
who has decided to do the 65-miler—which takes a
different route—and pick up Aviva Olsavsky at the
first rest stop.
It’s a gorgeous morning. The air is cool. We get a few
drops of rain early on but that’s the end of it. The
day will be clear and warm with a high in the low 80s.
As advertised, the route is only moderately hilly at
the beginning. The hills are gently rolling as we head
north. Traffic is light and generally accommodating
the horde of cyclists.
Our group rides two-by-two for much of the beginning
with Nadine often in the lead. At some point in
the ride, each of us will take turns in the front. There
is no organization and no requirement to pull. We’re
each riding our own ride, but with people of similar
abilities. The result is that sometime a couple of our
riders are far ahead or behind, but we’re generally
together and frequently coalesce into a group.
As we expected, pace lines of faster riders fly by us.
They are friendly and polite and always warn us they
are passing. Other people are riding solo or in pairs.
They sometimes merge into and out of our group.
After about 10 miles I ride with Nadine at the front.
She’s 46, from Arlington and has been a cyclist for
several years, including continuously riding while
undergoing surgery and chemotherapy for breast
cancer. This is her first organized century, although
she’s ridden more than 100 miles in a day before.
She’s worried she didn’t get enough sleep the night
before because of her son’s 17th birthday party at
At 68, Mike Murray is our group’s oldest rider. He
and Laura took up the sport only six years ago, but
they did it in a big way. Now retired, Mike rides about
three times a week including a weekly 60-mile roundtrip
from Reston to Purcellville. This is his second
full century; last year he rode the Back Roads Metric
Century. Mike and Laura participate in computerized
training classes in the late fall and winter in Herndon.
There are times, going up some hills, when I have a
hard time keeping up with Mike.
At 24, Joe Fang from Fairfax is our youngest member.
He’s been riding less than a year but says he really
enjoys the sport. Joe complains about the hills, but
then blasts past the rest of us for a power climb. This
is his first century.
The other man in our group is Rick Ludwick from
Libertytown, Md. He’s 59, has done four or five centuries,
and is one of our fastest riders. Particularly in
backroads continued on p.18
ackroads continued from p.17
the last quarter of the century, Rick and Aviva own the
front of our pack. Rick had planned to ride alone but
saw Nadine’s post on the web forum and decided to
ride with a group.
Marianne is color coordinated with her bike, wearing
a pink jersey and pink bike gloves. She lives in
Alexandria and rides about 150 to 200 miles a week,
much of it commuting into downtown Washington.
This is her fourth century, although her first Back
Aviva may be our most accomplished athlete. At 35
she’s a former Wall Streeter who was in New York on
Sept. 11, 2001. Now she’s a UCLA medical student
living in Bethesda while working at NIH. She’s done
several ironman and triathlon events, but hasn’t done
an organized bike ride since February and says she’s a
bit worried whether she’ll be able to finish.
Just past mile 15, we cross into West Virginia.
Unfortunately there’s no sign (or if there is, none of
us notice it) to mark the fact that we’re now participating
in a bi-state century. But we start noticing that
subdivision signs mention Charlestown and some of
the political yard signs are for a West Virginia congresswoman.
The first rest stop is at South Jefferson Elementary
School at mile 28. The expected energy bars, cut
bananas, orange slices, water and Gatorade are there
as well as a repair tent. Again the school is open and
I witness a rare sight: men standing in line to use the
restroom while the occasional woman walks right into
the “girls” room (it is an elementary school).
Our group gathers for a photo and then we head off
to complete the 50-mile loop that will take us back
to Clarke County High School for the second rest
stop. At about mile 42, I suddenly feel a wobble in my
back tire. I stop and check. It’s soft. Mike and I had
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been at the back of our group chatting as we climbed
a hill. He slows for me, but I wave at him to keep
going. By now my tire is flat. I turn the air blue with
profanity. This is a new tire, only a few weeks old, and
it’s a Gatorskin, one of the toughest tires out there.
Additionally, there’s a tire liner between the tube and
the tire. How could I have gotten a flat?
I change the tube, never finding where either the tire
or the tube was punctured. As I sit by the roadside,
numerous riders pass by, most asking if I need assistance
or if I have all the necessary tools. I grumble
that I’m fine. Just as I finish putting the rear wheel
(why is it always the rear?) back on, a SAG wagon rolls
by. The driver asks if I’m okay and I foolishly say I am.
If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have asked for a
decent pump to inflate the tire fully. The small pump
I keep strapped to my cycle is only capable of inflating
the tube to about 40 psi rather than the usual 120.
So, with a soft back tire, I begin the last eight miles to
the rest stop. By now, virtually all of the full century
riders have gone by. Those that are still on the road
pass me as I ride very slowly. It’s a lonely feeling.
When I finally get the to school, my first stop is the
Spokes, Etc. tent where I pump up the back tire. I
mention to the guy manning the tent that I’d had a
flat and ask if he can sell me another spare tube since
I’m not sure why the first went flat. He hands me a
box with a new tube and says, “Have a nice day.”
Over at the food tent they’re serving pork bar-b-que,
hamburgers, hotdogs and beans. I ask if they have
anything like chicken or turkey and a woman says
they can make a Boca-burger if I’m willing to wait.
So I wait for it. This is the only surprise I have about
the logistics of the ride. I’d guess there are several
vegetarians or people who don’t eat meat on this ride,
so why wouldn’t they have a bunch of veggie burgers
already made up? A disc jockey is playing tunes and a
many riders are lunching under one of the tents.
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Saturday 9am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
302 Montgomery Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Now selling essential tri-gear: clothing, shoes, wetsuits, bike accessories.
I’d expected my group would have begun the second
50 miles long before I arrived, but they are still there.
They offer to wait for me, but I repeatedly urge them
to go ahead so I won’t feel rushed. They ignore my
request and by the time I’m ready to go, all of them
are still there waiting for me. What a great bunch
of new friends. So the seven of us pedal out of the
school. It’s now high noon.
We pass some expensive farms and ranches as we
head to the Burwell Morgan Mill and the next rest
stop. As part of the ride, we’re allowed free admission
into the water-powered mill. Inside we can see the
enormous wooden wheels which once were so important
to this region’s economy. Food and beverage
tents are set up in a field below the mill.
Leaving the mill we slowly begin climbing. There is a
directional sign I find hysterical: Paris 4 Winchester
12. Hmm, let’s see, Paris or Winchester? Oh, not that
Nadine starts having mechanical problems. Although
she’d had work done on her bike just the day before,
she suddenly loses her left shifter. She can’t get her
front chain out of the small ring and it’s making a rattling
sound as we grind away the miles.
We pass a couple of country clubs as we head toward
the final rest stop, at White Post (car) Restorations,
where we munch on the ride’s famous cucumber and
tomato sandwiches. I don’t learn it until we arrive at
the rest stop, but Marianne has taken a tumble into
some briars. Luckily Mike was with her to help pull
the nettles off and ply her with some electrolytes. At
the rest stop a worried Nadine hands her bike over
to the Specialized repair guys. Turns out she needs a
new cable. The cost is $5; Nadine has only $4 in cash.
They cheerfully take it.
Leaving the rest stop, we pass a massive white directional
post in the middle of a crossroads. I later learn
there is a sign claiming that the original white post
was put there by George Washington in 1750 under
orders from Lord Fairfax to show the way to the lord’s
Now comes the ride’s toughest part. We climb to the
crest of Tilthammer Mill Road and then go screaming
down the rough road. It’s the ride’s steepest descent
and my speed accelerates to about 38 mph. Not a
rocket, but fast enough. We pay for it on the other
side with two long, grinding climbs.
Then, surprisingly, we’re heading through downtown
Berryville. Up ahead is the high school. We’re strung
out along the road with Rick in the lead; Aviva and
I close behind, followed at some distance by Joe and
Nadine and later by Mike and Marianne. But we all
There is supposed to be a big bar-b-que bash post
ride. But by the time we get in, the bash is about over.
There are a few bar-b-que sandwiches left, not much
else. I later learned there was a DJ playing music and
giving away thousands of dollars worth of bike-related
door prizes including panniers and a camping tent.
I stand in line for my souvenir long-sleeve t-shirt and
water bottle. Then, after a quick chat with my fellow
riders, and Laura who has been patiently waiting for
the rest of us to finish, I head for the parking lot and
the drive home. It’s been a great way to celebrate my
birthday, flat tire and all.
A few days later, I chat with Mark Alpert to get his
take on the event. Alpert is ecstatic. He’d been deluged
with hundreds of complimentary e-mails from
first-time and veteran century riders. People were
excited “going to the ride, on the ride and after the
ride,” he says. “It opened up a new world of cycling
to a lot of people and that’s exactly what the ride was
supposed to do.”
About 100 volunteers helped make the day such a
success, including the dozen who spent their Labor
Day weekend painting the directional arrows that
were so important.
18 Winter 2010/11
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U of M Gets an “A”
by charles pekow
Local institutes of higher education are beginning to learn the lesson that it makes
sense to encourage biking to school. And that means sponsoring biking programs,
rearranging the campus to make it bike-friendly, and putting a transportation official
who knows what to do in charge of the biking program.
the university of maryland (UMD), College
Park got the idea. Two years ago, it assigned a grad
student at its National Center for Smart Growth
Research & Education, located on the campus, to survey
the university community on bicycling attitudes.
Respondents opined that they would be more likely
to ride to school if the school and community added
bike lanes, trails and paths and secure parking.
Respondents cited a lack of bike lanes on campus as
the biggest (but by far not the only) factor impeding
them from cycling to school. (The College Park campus
includes no bike lanes.)
“This finding reveals the fact that a connected bicycle
network is the backbone of a successful bicycle program
and there is an immediate need to establish
a bicycle network on campus consisting of bicycle
lanes, routes and trails connected to the surrounding
residential areas,” says Influence of Individual
Perceptions & Bicycle Infrastructure on Decision to
Bike, a paper published in Transportation Research
Record, a journal of the Transportation Research
Board. The Maryland survey formed the basis of the
And it’s certainly in a university’s best interest to
encourage biking to campus. It cuts down on traffic
congestion, improves safety and provides exercise.
And the cost of bicycle facilities pales when compared
to the cost of building and operating roadways, parking
lots and garages and enforcing traffic safety.
Biking to school makes even more sense than commuting
to work in many ways as students tend to be
younger, less affluent and live on or near campus. The
on-line survey got about 1,500 responses from undergrads,
grad students, university faculty and staff, bicyclists
and non-bicyclists, dwellers on and off campus.
Among respondents who lived within five miles of
campus, about 20 percent reported riding their bicycles
to school. (While many drove or walked, almost
30 percent took the campus shuttle bus). Yet about 70
percent of the non-bicyclists said they would consider
riding if the school provided a more bike-friendly
environment. In addition to bike routes on campus,
respondents cited bike lanes to and from campus as
a high priority. Besides designated bike routes and
parking, they wanted convenient places to change
clothes or shower – and a bike station on campus that
could provide repairs.
Additionally, many people said they don’t feel safe riding
in traffic. They also complained that they didn’t
feel safe on campus after dark. Many suggested that
better lighting would encourage them to bike. But
they didn’t seem too interested in safety classes.
The paper determined that the most promising group
of people to promote biking to consists of those who
live within five miles of campus. The survey found
some common concerns among people the school
could encourage to ride: traffic congestion, the price
of gasoline, parking fees (though in fact Maryland
charges far less for parking than most other national
universities), and that people wanted to ride for exercise.
People also liked the fact that you can take off
on your bike at any time as opposed to waiting for a
bus or fighting rush hour traffic.
20 Winter 2010/11
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Herndon W&OD trail in Herndon. Handling
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The researchers came up with a mathematical formula
based on the responses and recommended some
strategies for encouraging people to bike to campus.
People indicated they’d be more likely to bicycle if
it took less time. And the study also suggested that
surrounding communities could add more bike
lanes to roads – which tend to lead more directly to
school than off-road trails near campus that mainly go
through parks. Communities could also adjust traffic
signal times so cyclists wouldn’t have to wait as long at
intersections and take steps to further integrate bicycling
with public transit.
The authors also suggest that people who drive and
complain about parking costs don’t seem to think
they have options, but they might reconsider if the
university suggested alternatives, such as making campus
more bicycle-friendly. One simple low-cost shortterm
solution the authors suggest: distributing a map
of the campus showing the bike routes and locations
of area bike shops. Another: place “Share the Road”
signs on campus roads, especially at the entrances, to
remind motorists to watch for bikes.
The university also needs to step up its enforcement
of traffic safety – both against motorists and bicyclists
for unsafe riding.
Despite a lack of desire for safety classes, the university
needs to remind cyclists to stop at red lights and
not go the wrong way on one-way streets.
UMD apparently got the message. No one individual
or office can create a bicycle-friendly campus on
its own. So UMD's Department of Transportation
Services (DTS) worked with the campus police and
rec center. It’s not that the school hadn’t been promotion
bicycling previously --- it was just sponsoring
weekend trips or mountain bike excursions for students
as opposed to encouraging commuting, noted
Beverly Malone, assistant director of transportation
services, who’s in charge of the bicycling program.
So UMD took some action. First, the campus bike
shop moved to a more convenient location making it
easier to get repairs and parts. The move increased
visits sixfold during its first two months. Second, DTS
put info on biking on shuttle buses and in garages so
people could learn of the alternate mode of transit.
And it installed bike racks in most campus garages. It
plans to add pumps.
On a day in early April, the campus sponsored a bike
fair with a registration program and gave free U-locks
and maps and helmet fittings. In addition to showing
how to get around the area by bike, the maps showed
where people could shower. And a campus police
bicycle brigade gave drivers information about sharing
The survey found that females are much more reluctant
to ride to campus than males, and not strictly out
of a fear for their safety. “Women get hung up on that
‘I might be stinky’ type of thing. I say to people 'you
can always bike slowly,'” Malone said.
(The Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals
(APBP), however, released a survey of 13,000 women
cyclists in June that found “only low levels of concern
regarding such factors as clothes and appearance”
but great concern about unsafe driving habits. The
respondents consisted mainly of women who already
cycled regularly while the UMD survey included a
greater percentage who didn’t. APBP plans to analyze
the data as part of its Women’s Cycling Project,
an effort to get more women involved in sustainable
transportation.) UMD has also been working -- so far
without a solution – with local communities to try to
make the roads leading toward campus more bikefriendly
and to ease the ride to campus. “The problem
is some roads belong to the state, some to the
county, some to College Park and the bike trails to the
Department of Parks, so it is hard to get everybody to
the table.” Malone said. (Recently, representatives of
governments around the region formed the Regional
& Long Distance Bikeways Task Force to deal with
such issues on a regional basis, as cyclists often need
to cross jurisdictional boundaries where signage differs
or trails end or don't match up. Participants
include the National Park Service, Maryland National
Capital Park & Planning Commission, Federal
Highway Administration, UMD, State of Maryland,
City of Takoma Park and others. The task force plans
to recommend ways to ease the commutes of people
who may want to cycle, say from Bethesda to UMD. Its
first burden is to get governments interested.)
And the lack of interest in bike classes found in the
survey isn’t unique to College Park. In an email sent
to members of a national university bike program
coordinator listserv last winter, Chuck Strawser,
pedestrian/bicycle coordinator at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, wrote “although I and others that
I’ve worked with at the statewide advocacy org have
attempted many times over the years to teach a bike
safety (i.e. Road 1) course to college students here in
Madison, we’ve never really had to figure out what the
curriculum would be because we never had anyone
show up….No matter how good your curriculum is, it
doesn’t do any good if no one ever sees it.”
One partial solution UMD found was to promote the
instruction as group activities to student groups, rather
than as classes.(Montgomery College is considering
offering the course for credit.)
UMD also made sure to include bicycling in its latest
landscaping plan – including choosing convenient
locations for bike racks so people wouldn’t have to
walk far. UMD also sought to learn from other campuses
around the nation – and at least one not far
away, though on the other side of the Potomac. UMD
and George Mason University (GMU) are even competing
– not for students or even in basketball – but
in a bike to campus contest.
GMU planned to promote biking on September
22 in conjunction with the annual World Car Free
Day. GMU hopes to work alternative transportation
days into its routine but Bike-to-Work Day, normally
conducted in May, doesn't fit the college schedule
“because it's our commencement week,” explains Josh
Cantor, GMU director of transportation. So GMU
put on an alternate commuter challenge in April to
promote “any mode of travel that does not involve a
single person auto,” he said. The ideas include “challenges,”
or competitions to give prizes to the departments,
fraternities or sororities that get the most
people to bike to work or class, Cantor says.
GMU also took some other steps to rearrange campus
to encourage biking. Covered bike shelters work better
on campus than locker rentals because those living
on student budgets find the rental fees rather steep.
“We have made arrangements with fitness centers so
people can shower in those facilities,” Cantor noted.
GMU also subsidizes full time employees who bike to
work a minimum number of days up to $20 a month
they can use at local bike shops for maintenance.
Putting bike racks on shuttles that go from campus
to the Metro and between campuses “has certainly
helped,” Cantor added.
Montgomery College has also seen the bike light
recently. A bicycle/pedestrian task force organized
at the Rockville Campus that includes faculty,
administrators, government officials responsible
for bicycling and members of the Rockville Bike
Advisory Committee. “We hope to turn campus into
a model for other community colleges and institutes
of higher education," explained Michael Jackson,
bicycle coordinator for the Maryland Department of
Transportation, who works with the group.
One task was to link campus to the rather extensive
bike route network Rockville established over the last
few years. “The city had bicycle routes around the city
and links to the rec center but nothing to the college,”
Jackson noted. “Not much had changed since
the early 1970s in that the vast majority of students
got there by car.”
Not all universities in the area have gotten as excited
about spinning the bike wheel so far, or they've
left the initiatives up to the students. At American
University in Washington, DC, for instance, the student
government, not the administration, runs a
bicycle loan program “mainly for students who want
to take a bike down to Tenleytown or Georgetown
and go shopping and come back. It is not like a city
service where you pick it up in Northwest and drop
it off in Southeast,” explains Maralee Csellar, the
university's acting director of media relations. Nor is
the program geared toward commuters. She said the
university is looking at ways to promote alternative
transportation but hasn't developed plans. If students
ask, the university will provide sheltered bike storage
George Washington University spokesperson
Courtney Bowe issued a statement indicating the
school is beginning to get interested. “the university
aims to work with its city and community partners
to determine the feasibility of bike lanes and plans
on exploring city biking safety classes to campus to
increase commuter comfort with city bike commuting.
To make bike commuting accessible, GW will also
evaluate all current bike rack locations and explore
the potential for new bike racks.”
Universities in other parts of the country have taken
on the ball in different ways. Way back in 1971, students
at the University of California Davis started a
Bike Barn in an old barn as a student co-op to lend
tools and help students repair their own vehicles.
California campuses have used both carrots and sticks.
Students riding at night without lights? Davis hands
out tickets. Campus police at Stanford University, on
the other hand gives the students lights. Stanford also
started a $1,000 raffle that only students riding on
campus with helmets could enter.
trispokes by ron cassie firstname.lastname@example.org
Ulman Fund's Half Full Tri is a Hit
Diana and Lou Ulman never envisioned 100 cancer
survivors/triathletes coming to Columbia for an event
like the Half Full Triathlon when their son Doug was
diagnosed with cancer at Brown University. Of course,
neither did Doug, now CEO of the Lance Armstrong
But this past fall, there was Doug and the whole family,
surrounded by friends and Ulman Cancer Fund
supporters at Centennial Park where Doug grew up,
cheering on 1,000 competitors at the inaugural charity
Geoffrey Irwin, 45, of Frederick, won the race, with
Megan Martin, 27, of Greencastle, Pa., taking the
women’s title – and both talked about the inspirational
nature of the event after crossing the finish line.
“It’s a great cause,” said Irwin, who won in dominating
fashion, winning the half-Ironman distance race
by more than seven minutes. “A lot of people have
been affected by cancer, and so many young people,
especially, show great courage through dealing with it.
That’s a lot tougher than anything we had to do today.”
“It was motivational just to be out here,” said Martin,
who won the women’s race by two minutes, finishing
in 5:06:45. “Our wave (the professional/elite wave) was
just ahead of the cancer survivor’s wave and I got to
meet a lot of people and hear some of their stories. It
was amazing. It makes you realize that whatever little
injuries you have, it’s not the end of the world. It puts
things into perspective – it’s not all about winning.”
Martin bested pro/elite wave athletes Amy Alexander
and Tara Flint, who took second and third overall,
Irwin won in 4:41:56, beating out Richard Rapine and
Albert Kim, who won the men’s 35-39 and 30-34 age
A diagnosis and commitment to helping others
Three months after Doug, a former Centennial High
School star soccer player, learned of his chondrosarcoma
diagnosis, Diana Ulman said, the family
watched a Sam Donaldson report on cancer together.
Shortly afterwards, her son, a three-time cancer survivor
after two subsequent bouts with melanoma,
decided he wanted to do something to help other
cancer patients, a commitment that eventually led to
the nonprofit Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
Founded in 1997, the organization provides support,
education, and resources to young adults, their families
and friends who are affected by cancer.
“We wanted to do something that wasn’t already being
done,” Diana told SPOKES. “And that was something
for young people. There were support groups for
children and the older people, but nothing for young
people. We looked for support groups for Doug and
there wasn’t anything for him, for someone his age.”
Many of the issues faced by young adults diagnosed
with cancer – medical insurance, fertility, relationship,
career concerns – are different than those facing children
or senior citizens, Diana Ulman said. “We get a lot
of young people who don’t have insurance,” she said.
A dozen years after launching Team Fight, the Ulman
Cancer Fund triathlon team that raises money and
awareness for the cause, Doug Ulman said the time
had come to launch an entire event.
“While Team Fight, and other groups, like the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation teams do a great
job raising money and participating in individual
races,” Ulman said, “we thought why not an entire
race dedicated to the mission – with everything going
toward the effort and raising awareness.”
Ulman and his school soccer teammate, Brock Yetso,
now executive director of the Ulman Cancer Fund
and a triathlete as well, along with Half Full race
director Brian Satola, put a twist on the traditional
Columbia Triathlon course at Centennial Park. To
cover the necessary distance for the .9 mile swim,
56-mile bike, 13.1 mile run, they drew a two-loop
course while also adding a new finish area. By all
accounts, the new course, including the larger finishing
area, was a hit among the participants.
Ulman and Yetso said the hope is to expand the field
in 2011, possibly up to 2,000 entrants.
Next year, with a bigger field, Irwin likely will face a
tougher race than he did at the Oct. 3 event. At 45,
Irwin, a former collegiate swimmer at the University
of Maryland, took the lead two-thirds of the way
through the first bike loop and never needed to look
back. Though he did. After posting a sub-23 minute
swim, Irwin nailed the bike, averaging 21.63 miles-perhour
on tough, hilly course – the only cyclist to top
the 21 mile-per-hour mark. His big lead off the bike
held up with 1:40:29 run, not close to the best run
split of the day, but plenty good enough for the “W.”
Despite his collegiate swimming career, Irwin was an
unlikely candidate to win. He said he’s “folded” at each
Eagleman Ironman 70.3 he’s attempted previously and
actually “DNF’d” at Cambridge earlier this summer.
Although he’s qualified for the 70.3 National
Championship in Clearwater, Fla. this year and has
done very well in his age group in a bunch of races,
he does not have a lengthy list of overall wins. In
fact, his only previous overall win came earlier this
summer, when he captured the Fort Ritchie Sprint
After tackling triathlons in his 20s, Irwin did not
complete for roughly a decade after he and his wife,
Dawn, began the process of adopting two Russian children
more than a dozen years ago. A small business
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A kinesiology major at Maryland and a regional supervisor
with TNT Fitness, Martin said she hadn’t taken
her triathlon career too seriously until a co-worker
mentioned to her before the 2007 Eagleman race that
the event was Kona qualifier and she might have a
shot in her age group.
“I was like, ‘Oh, whatever,’ until about halfway
through the run when I realized I was going to do it,”
Martin said. “After that, I thought, maybe I should
keep doing this.”
As Irwin and Martin were coming home on the running
leg, Doug Ulman explained why tackling triathlons,
marathons, century bike rides and other physical
challenges are important to cancer survivors.
“I think for a lot of people, whether they were athletes
before their diagnosis or become athletes after their
diagnosis, it’s about regaining their physical ability
and their confidence,” said Ulman, who completed a
five-day, 100-mile race in the Himalayas in 1999 after
“It’s like proving to yourself, ‘I’m okay. I’m go getting to
get back to being myself again before this happened.”
Piranha Sports Season Summary
Piranha Sports’ Greater Atlantic Multisport Series
wrapped up its 10th season at the Cape Henlopen
Triathlon and Duathlon on 10-10-10.
Winning the overall individual male divisions in this
series, were Kent Buckson with 63 points, William
Moyer at 65 years young with 56 points, and John
Dawson with 53 points. The overall female winners
were Leslie Randall with 56 points, Katie Dickerson
with 51 points, and 14 year old Drew Sanclemente
with 48 points.
The series had over 3,750 participants. Series points
can be viewed at www.piranha-sports.com/GAMS/.
In the famous club challenge, the Greater Atlantic
Club Challenge there were over 150 clubs representing,
with the winners being Team Bricks MultiSport
Club with 631 points, DE Swim and Fitness Tri-Dawgs
with 287 points, and The Bike Rack DC with 186
points. Club Challenge points can be viewed at www.
Registration for all 2011 Piranha Sport events is
now open, including the famous Escape from Fort
Delaware Triathlon which is back for it’s 11th anniversary.
To register, go to www.piranha- sports.com.
owner, he stayed in shape by “swimming a little, running
a little,” spending most of recreational time sailing
or with his kids. He eventually took up the sport
again after turning 40, and after a lot of bike work on
the strenuous hills around Frederick with members of
the Frederick Triathlon Club, cycling has overtaken
swimming as his strongest leg.
Running remains a challenge – and it was a concern
at the Half Full. “I had no idea, I’d win today,” Irwin
said with a big smile afterwards. “ I kept waiting for
someone to run me down. This is a huge deal.”
Former Terp wins women’s side
For the women’s champ, Martin, the win was less of a
surprise, but she does have a few things in common
with Irwin. For one, she also swam at the University of
Maryland, albeit, nearly 20 years later. And, like Irwin,
she also won this summer at Fort Ritchie, capturing
the Olympic-distance women’s title.
Martin, in pro/elite wave, won the Annapolis Tri on
2007 and her hometown Hagerstown Tri in 2007
and 2008. She’s previously qualified for the Hawaii
Ironman Triathlon and at the Ironman Florida race
in 2007, made the podium as one of the top three
Burned out slightly on swimming after college, she
first took up running. However, she said, the everyday
pounding of running proved too hard on her body,
so she added bicycling into the mix. Unlike Irwin, she
still considers cycling the weakest of the three triathlon
The win at Half Full happily coincided with her first
year wedding anniversary, she noted with a smile and
a nod to her husband, Jason, a former discus thrower
who runs with her occasionally.
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Family Cycling 101
Oui, Oui... A Great Place for Family Outings
I am always on the lookout for new places to have family
bike rides. I have some unique things that I look for;
relatively flat, minimal or no traffic, interesting things
to see and places to stop. Kim and I found a wonderful
location this fall when we took a trip to Paris.
No, not Paris, Virginia or Paris, Maryland but
Now if I could just convince my editor to send me
to other foreign capitals to investigate family bike
As we took a boat ride along the Seine River we saw
lots of families riding along the roads that parallel the
river on either side. It was interesting to see how many
of the children were on their own bikes but the adults
were frequently on rent-a-bikes. Paris has an active bike
sharing program similar to the Bike Share program
that has started up in Arlington and Washington DC.
The vast majority of the adults that we saw on bikes
over the week were on the Share Bikes.
We also saw bike lanes throughout the city with
steady use, however the riders did not keep to just
the streets with bike lanes, we saw bikes everywhere
and there did not seem to be any contention between
the motorists and the bike riders. This mapped to my
experiences years ago when I did a bike tour along
the north of France visiting World War II battle sites.
It did dawn on me how fortunate we were to be able
to experience the different cultures and how different
but how alike they really were. When I look at the
families riding at biking events, I see high end racing
bikes, tandems, triplets, low end specials from the dis-
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count stores and everything between. The important
thing is that we get our families out riding.
Biking along the Seine
Kids on Recumbents!?
My bike tendencies have always leaned towards touring
bikes and as a result, most of our family’s bikes
are of that nature. But when my youngest son outgrew
his current bike, I asked him if he wanted to go with
a bike with flat bars or drop bars? He hesitated and
took a deep breath.
Just as I was afraid that he was going to say he didn’t
want a new bike, he told me wanted to go with a
recumbent. Now I have to admit, I was happy to hear
that he wanted to keep biking but I had my doubts
on getting a child a recumbent. But as a good friend
pointed out: he was happy to hear that Jason is interested
in experimenting with bicycles.
“Our kids are going to grow into adults with their own
tastes, and if the boy loves recumbents, we should just
remember that they have pedals, too.”
They all have pedals! So we have been out looking
at bikes with pedals in front of the seat instead of
under the seat. We started looking at recumbents
when we went down to the Between the Waters ride
on the Eastern Shore. As my son pushed me along the
ride on the tandem, we commented on every style of
recumbent we saw.
Remember how when you buy a car, it seems like
everyone who has the same model as you do has the
same color. The number of recumbents on the bike
ride may have increased, but our awareness was far
greater. It seemed like someone had put on a recumbent
show for us. We saw long and short wheel base
recumbents, we saw above seat steering and below
seat steering, we saw recumbent tandems and recumbent
trikes. And of every basic model, it seemed like
there were multiple derivations.
At the lunch break stop we took a walk around and
looked at the different recumbent bikes we saw. As
we were looking at one bike, the owner came up,
ready to take off on the next leg of the ride. Before
she could take off, we started peppering her with
questions and she soon let my son sit on the bike and
then encouraged him to try to take a test ride. This
particular recumbent was a short wheelbase model
with below seat steering. It was difficult enough just to
get him in place with his seat down low and legs stuck
up in the air and he really tried. But trying to ride a
recumbent in an area crowded with bike riders riding
around on a mixture of grass and gravel is not the
right place for a child to try a recumbent bike for the
first time. We politely thanked the lady for her time
and we finished the ride on our own.
I thought that this might have quenched his taste for
a recumbent bike, but once again I thought wrong
about my son’s interests. Upon return from the bike
trip he again expressed interest in a recumbent so I
called a local dealer who sells a number of different
kinds of recumbent bikes and asked his advice. He
said to come on up, he had a number of different
bikes that might interest my son and price ranges that
would not scare off dad. So on the first available day,
we headed off to the bike shop.
True to his word, John had several bikes there for
us to try. His first suggestion was a long wheel base,
above seat steering model. As soon as Jason sat down,
his confidence seemed to wane. This was not his
mountain bike and it really felt really strange. John
went back to a method that I had used when the boys
were young, he had Jason just sit on the bike with his
legs off the pedals and coast down a slight hill. After
a couple of times doing that, Jason seemed to have
regained his confidence and desire. Next he had
Jason ride with his feet on the pedals and was soon
riding around in big circles in the parking lot.
After getting comfortable with the first model, he
switched to a short wheelbase with under seat steering.
This time it was almost as if he was starting new
again. But once again he started by coasting and eventually
started pedaling and controlling the bike. But
then he went downhill at a good clip and had to stop
in a hurry. That time he slowly came back at a much
more reserved pace. When he had done a quick stop,
he had felt himself lurch forward off the seat and
nothing in front of himself to stop him. After that he
went back to the above seat steering model.
We have continued to try out some bikes and have
done one longer ride with a steeper hill. Jason is still
trying to figure out what he wants. This is a big change
and he is taking this at a slow and deliberate pace. We
figure we have the full winter to try out recumbents
and make a decision before spring. One nice thing
about recumbents is that they are easier to ride while
wearing winter clothes and with a faring you can comfortably
ride year round as long as the snow is not too
deep. In the meantime I can continue to ride the tandem
with Jason and let him push me around while I
relax and remember, they all have pedals.
Speaking of winter riding, most years the weather in
the Mid-Atlantic allows for riding most of the year.
There are often times for short rides on the weekends
in the winter when not competing with Saturday
morning soccer or baseball games. Saturday morning
rides are an opportunity to ride to new destinations.
Instead of riding to the local ice cream store, it is a
great time to ride someplace to get a hot chocolate.
Even after it freezes, rides like C&O canal can take a
new view. There is far less traffic and with the leaves
down, the view is totally different than in the summer.
While the winter rides are not as common, look out
on New Year’s Day for local rides. Several bike shops
in the area host rides and there is the big PPTC “most
boring century of the year” ride down at Haines
Point. You can ride all 33 or just a few of the 3.3 mile
laps at Hains Point. What a way to start the New Year
and keep any resolutions to increase exercise for at
least one day. Here is wishing everyone a Happy New
Year and looking forward to meeting up with everyone
24 Winter 2010/11
by ron cassie firstname.lastname@example.org
Cities for Cycling Symposium in Baltimore
A project of the National Association of City
Transportation Officials, Cities for Cycling is an effort to
catalog, promote and implement the world’s best bicycle
transportation practices in American municipalities.
According to its website, Cities for Cycling was
founded in 1996 by then commissioner Elliot Sander
of New York City’s Department of Transportation.
Sander concluded that unlike the states, which often
interact with each other through the American
Association of State and Highway Transportation
Officials (AASHTO), large cities had virtually no
meaningful political or technical relationships with
each other. They also lacked such critical relationships
with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Jim Sebastian, the District of Columbia’s bicycle coordinator.
Last summer, the organization named Eric Gilliland,
former head of the Washington Area Bicyclist
Association, as the association’s new executive director.
And in the fall of 2010, under the auspices of
Cities for Cycling and Bike Maryland (formerly One
Less Car, see below), Gilliland, Jim Sebastian, the
District of Columbia’s bicycle coordinator, Dani
Simons, director of communications for New York
City’s Department of Transportation, Roger Geller,
Portland’s bicycle coordinator since 2000, and
Baltimore City bike coordinator Nate Evans, led a
panel discussion at the University of Baltimore, sharing
the experiences of their cities in trying to build
more bicycle-friendly infrastructure and communities.
With an ear aimed at listening to Sebastian, Simons
and Geller, each part of nationally acclaimed efforts
that have dramatically improved their cities’ bike
infrastructure and community, SPOKES covered the
symposium. Each brought the unique perspective of
their own cities to the discussion, offering a variety of
lessons, history and guidance for area bicycle advocates
in the audience.
Sebastian, in highlighting how far the nation’s capital
has come, in terms of bike-friendliness in recent years,
pointed out that in 1978, Washington D.C. had just
3 miles of bicycle lanes. And although the District of
Columbia produced the city’s first Bicycle Plan that
year, it remained, “kind of stagnant for a while.” The
city’s bicycle rejuvenation in the last decade, “was led
by advocates,” Sebastian said, making a point stressed
by each city representative.
Today, Sebastian noted, the District has nearly 50
miles of bike lanes, has developed bicycle parking programs,
the Union Station bike station, a bike-sharing
project, a dedicated cycling lane on Pennsylvania Ave.
and is near completion of the Metropolitan Branch
Trail, which will link Silver Spring and Northeast D.C.
neighborhoods with Union Station.
“Stick around long enough,” Sebastian told the audience,
“and you get to see good things happen. We
have 47 miles of bike lanes in place and another
20 more miles in planning and design. We’ve been
installing over 100 bicycle racks a year. Last year, we
installed 300 and we aren’t even keeping up with
demand because of the growing number of bicycles.”
Home of one of the first bike sharing programs in the
country, Sebastian said over 1,000 bikes in September
were rented as part of the District program. Sebastian
plugged the city’s new transportation website: www.
goDCgo.com and broke down the city’s $5.7 million bike
budget, which includes $500,000 for bike lanes, $100,000
for bike racks, $4 million for trails, $150,000 for education
and $900,00 for safe routes to school programs.
Washington, D.C. is now rated the 6th best bicycling
city in the country and tops on the East Coast.
Dani Simons, formerly Transportation Alternatives’
director of communications, is now a part of New
York City’s Department of Transportation. She is
a daily bike commuter, trekking from Brooklyn to
Manhattan for work. A native of Alexandria, Va., she
described herself as a big fan of Baltimore’s diverse
“The idea of connecting them (Baltimore’s neighborhoods)
by bicycle is a really exciting idea,” Simons
told the local audience.
A former bicycle advocate in Rhode Island, Simons
moved to New York in 2004 and noted the profound
changes in the city’s bicycle landscape in just the last
“If you told me I’d be watching people in flip flops
riding bikes, women carrying purses, people standing
on top of pedals, I never would’ve believed it,” Simons
said. “The only people you used to see on bicycle in
New York were spandex guys and bike messengers. It’s
just totally different now.”
A lot of the credit, she said, has to go to Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, who has made a concerted effort
to increase the number of bike lanes in the city.
Simons added that bicycling planning in New York is
crucial to the city’s future. After population declines
in 1970s, New York started to grow again in the 1990s,
and is projected to add another million by 2023.
“It’s an older city and we have to find space, open
space, green space and street space,” Simons said.
“We need to commit the resources to do that, not to
mention upgrade sewer and power infrastructure. We
need to green them, too, and face climate change in
Public transit, Simons stressed, is actually overcrowded.
“We need to shift more people to walking and biking,”
Simons said. “It’s a flat city, it’s a dense city, and
it’s quicker than the subway. It’s a natural.”
New York has added 200 miles of bike lanes over a
three-year period from June, 2006, to July 2009. The
city is continuing to work on painting new bike lanes,
protecting more by buffer plants and adding paths to
more bridges. Meanwhile, the Westside Greenway in
Manhattan is one of the busiest bike paths in the country,
attracting up to 50,000 people on nice weekends.
Overall, Simons said, the bicycle riding community in
New York City was expected to double by 2012 from
2007 levels. Closing Broadway through Times Square
and Herald Square, creating pedestrian plaza and
Dani Simons, director of communications for NYC’s Department of
Transportation, and Roger Geller, Portland’s bicycle coordinator.
building dedicated bike lanes from 59th St. to Union
Square have proved to be ground-breaking, wildly successful
“No one would have dreamed this five years ago,”
Simons said. Interestingly, she noted, with volume on
city bike lanes up 50 percent, crashes are down 56
percent, making the case familiar to serious cyclists
that more bicyclists mean safer bicycling.
Roger Geller, the bicycle coordinator in Portland for
the past decade and with the city’s bike program since
1994, said change in bicycle policy and infrastructure
ultimately comes down in political leaders who want
to make changes. That doesn’t mean, however, advocacy
isn’t important. It makes it more important.
“People need to let them know they want bike lanes,
bike parking, on-street parking,” Geller said. “You
need to get the word out, write letters, get the newspapers
to write articles – anything you can to increase
Portland, long held up as a model biking city, is close
in size to Baltimore and the District of Columbia,
but has five times the number of bike lane miles
compared to the nation’s capital. Today, Geller said,
the top bike infrastructure issue in Portland is bike
parking. Also, new laws are being directed at requiring
greater proportional bike parking for residential
and commercial buildings. A major recent victory has
buses, light rails and trains accepting bicycles at all
hours, in all locations.
In step with the theme of the evening – that real
change for more bicycle-friendly cities is underway
– Geller noted that in 1991, in Portland, there were
approximately 2,500 cyclists per day. That number
today is 17,500. In Portland, one-in-six people identify
bicycling as their primary or secondary means of
transportation. As in New York, greater ridership has
translated into safer bicycling, with Geller noting that
bicycling in Portland today is 400 percent safer than
in the mid-90s.
“The next step for Portland,” Geller said, “is adapting
bike signals at awkward and busy intersections, and
Dutch-style design principles.”
Even Portland still needs to increase the confidence
of people riding on the road, Geller said.
“How cyclists interact with automobiles is crucial,”
Geller said. “The less confident people are, the fewer
riders you’ll have.”
One Less Car changes its name
The Maryland non-profit, One Less Car, a longtime
voice advocating for pedestrian and bicycling issues
statewide, changed its name to Bike Maryland
The organization’s mission has narrowed its focus to
bicycle issues. Its mission, according to the website, “is
to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety,
commuter continued on p.26
by joe foley email@example.com
With the crisp days of fall fading fast and the long
days of summer now nothing but a distant memory,
what is the mountain biker, or any cyclist, to do to
make it through a long wet winter?
While some riders may be content to settle in for a
while, spending some time with the family they’ve
lost touch with during weekend long riding trips, and
enjoying some lazy days on the sofa, for others that’s
not a choice. Racers want to keep as much of the hard
earned form they’ve developed throughout the year
and for many others, not riding just isn’t a choice.
Cyclocross season makes for a fun way to keep riding
into late fall and the beginning of the winter and help
keep that peak form a little deeper into the winter.
But unless you’re a pro riding in Europe or heading
to the world championships, cyclocross season ends
just as the worst of the winter is starting to settle in.
So what’s a rider to do? There are a couple of options
to help keep you riding through the winter. With a bit
of preparation you can keep yourself riding outside
-- on the trails or at least on the road -- through a lot
of the winter. When the weather is too bad to ride
outside you can hit the trainer or rollers inside. And
when all of these options fail you, or when you just
need a change, winter can be a great time to do some
weight training or change things up and cross train.
While the winter can be tough on mountain bikers,
as overnight freeze-thaw cycles soften the trails we
love making them especially prone to damage. There
are ways that you can get out on the trails over the
winter. When the mercury drops below freezing for
an extended period of time the trails will freeze hard
and as long as you’re prepared for the cold -- more
on that later -- you can get great rides in on the frozen
tundra. You can also find frozen trails early in
the morning, but be aware that the combination of
sun and above freezing temperatures will warm the
ground will lead to trails softening up very quickly.
Another great chance to get out on a mountain bike
during the winter is once the snow has fallen. Many
riders already know that a good snow ride is one of
the joys of the winter and anyone who hasn’t should
make the effort. The conditions can be tough on
riders and equipment, but if you’re prepared it can
be a real blast. How to prepare for a good snow ride
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could fill an entire column (see this column from
March of this year for example) but there are a few
keys: keep your head, hands, and feet dry and warm,
simplify your equipment -- singlespeeds are great for
snow riding because there are less parts to be affected
by the cold and derailleurs are particularly prone to
freezing, and make sure you’ve got a way to keep your
water from freezing.
When the trails are out of the question, the first resort
of most riders is the road and if you’re well equipped
you can stay out on the road for most of the winter.
Olney resident Tom Vaughn will hit the road when
the trails are too wet “if the wind chill is above freezing.”
Commuting is also a great motivator to stay moving
through the winter. DC resident Matt Donahue
keeps commuting through the winter. In spite of living
and working in the district, by riding the long way
in the morning he’s able to ride 20-25 miles a day.
Many riders try to keep some structure to their winter
training riders, including some intervals in with
tempo riding but Donahue enjoys the opposite in
the off season. ”In the winter I don't have a training
agenda like during 'cross season or MTB season” he
told SPOKES. “It's more riding to enjoy the ride and
stay fit, but not chasing any sort of specific racing goal
But how to stay on the road when the temperature
drops? When you’re riding your body is going to be
generating a lot of heat, but it’s also going to be generating
a lot of sweat. The key is to dress in layers and
to make sure that your clothing wicks moisture away
from your body. Wicking fabrics help keep you dry
-- and dry means warm -- and dressing in layers helps
you regulate your body heat so that you don’t overheat
as you warm up. As Donahue told SPOKES “I
own a few wicking layers and three different 'grades'
of cycling jacket which I choose from to wear depending
on the temperature.”
Overdressing can be as much of a problem as under
dressing as it can lead to excess sweating which will
end up cooling you down, especially if you stop or
Once you’ve taken care of your core, the next step is
to take care of those extremities. The head, hands,
and feet are the first parts of your body to get cold
and lead to a lot of heat loss.
Evan Ellicott from College Park likes Pear Izumi’s
Amfib lobster gloves for the coldest of days and I’ve
found that for all but the coldest days, most days a
pair of fairly thin gloves with a good windstopper
layer and some fleece insulation will do a great job.
As far as your feet are concerned you can add a pair
of insulated booties over your shoes, pop some chemical
warmers inside your shoes, or go all out and get
a set of winter riding boots. Ian Spivak from Vienna
swears by his Sidi Winter Boots. “I would not be able
to ride at all without my really nice winter shoes” he
told SPOKES. He also prefers to use a balaclava for
his head, “because it covers your neck.”
When all else fails, it’s time to head inside and spend
some quality time getting to know a stationary trainer.
The key to trainer workouts is structure. While no
rider is going to relish an hour of tempo riding on a
trainer, a good structured workout can really help to
keep your mind off the fact that you’re riding a bike
Some riders suggest cycling workout DVDs as a way to
get some structure into your trainer workouts, while
others just have workouts that they know. Many riders
swear by music and movies, both cycling and noncycling,
as a distraction technique.
Photo: Mike Joos
Michael Klasmeier from Crofton recommends using
rollers instead of a trainer, saying it’s “way more fun”
than the trainer, and also recommends group workouts.
He joins other riders at his local bike shop,
Family Bike Shop, in Crofton.
Many racers also use the winter to get back into the
weight room for some strength training or to work on
their core strength. Those “other” muscles that are
neglected all year long need some love too. Improved
core strength can improve performance and minimize
pain and soreness associated with the aggressive position
of many road and mountain bikes. Weight training
can help to reduce muscle imbalances that cyclists
are especially prone to, which can reduce injuries.
And last but not least, what about cross training? For
a lot of riders, the winter is time to take a break and
focus on other sports they love. Like many mountain
bikers, Takoma Park’s Mark Drajem looks forward to
cross country skiing in the winter.
commuter continued from p.25
Anna Kelso enjoys a winter ride
conditions, and provide a voice for bicyclists
The newly-named organization is still led by executive
director Carol Silldorf, who took over the helm at
One Less Car in 2008. Likewise, program coordinator
Rachel Myrowitz, will remain as a consultant, helping
organizing events such as Tour du Port, the annual
Annapolis bike symposium and the nonprofit’s legislative
Bike Maryland’s board of directors include Alex
Olbriecht, a bicycle store owner for 32 years and the
owner of five Race Pace/Bella bicycle shops in central
Maryland; Greg Cantori, executive director of the
Marion I. and Henry Knott Foundation and a longtime
bike commuter; Tom Blanks, pricing director at
Constellation New Energy and also a dedicated bike
commuter; and Stu Sirota, founding principal of the
TND Planning Group, a consulting firm specializing
in the integration of sustainable transportation and
Bike Maryland advisors include, Buddy Alves, a
senior marketing specialist with Commuter Choice
Maryland, and Rebecca Ruggles, of the Association of
Baltimore Area Grant Makers, and the Green Funders
Four more board members are expected to be added.
26 Winter 2010/11
calendar of events
To be listed, send information to Spokes,
5911 Jefferson Boulevard, Frederick, MD 21703 or
G RIF FIN CYCLE
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Bethesda, MD 20814
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JANUARY 1 - BBC NEW YEAR’S DAY RIDE
Celebrate the New Year with a moderate hilly ride to
Hampstead Jiffy Mart. Ride begins at 10:30 a.m., ride
about 33 miles from Oregon Ridge Park. For details
contact Gloria Epstein at (410) 665-3012.
JANUARY 8 – CRABS POTLUCK
The Baltimore Bicycling Club’s tandem group
(Couples Riding A Bike Simultaneously) will hold its
annual potluck dinner at 4:30 p.m. at the home of Jen
and Stan Sunderwirth in Ellicott City. Be prepared to
boast of your tandem adventures to the group, and
learn of the 2011 ride schedule. New members always
welcome. Contact Peggy or Tom Dymond at (410)
272-9139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JANUARY 22 – PPTC ANNUAL MEETING
The popular annual meeting of the nation’s largest
bicycle club, the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club
(PPTC) will be held at a new location this year, the
Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, 1000 Forest
Glen Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901. It’s mostly a
social event, with a pot luck lunch, awards, elections
and more eating. For details log onto www.bikepptc.
org or call (202) 363-8687.
FEBRUARY 9 – MARYLAND BIKE SYMPOSIUM
Maryland Bike, a statewide bicycling and pedestrian
advocacy non-profit, will sponsor the 14th Annual Bike
Maryland Symposium, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in
the President's Conference Center at the Miller Senate
Office Building in Annapolis. The Symposium is an
opportunity to meet and hear from elected state and
local officials, planners, community leaders as well
as other bicycle and pedestrian advocates who want
more bike lanes, wider sidewalks, better trails, and a
statewide Complete Streets policy. The Symposium is
free and open to the public and a registration link can
be found at www.bikemd.org. Organizations and business
who'd like to exhibit at the Symposium are asked
to e-mail executive director Carol Silldorff at carol@
bikemd.org or call (410) 960-6493.
FEBRUARY 13 – STOP, SWAP & SAVE MD
This 14th annual bicycle swap meet will take place
from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Carroll County Agricultural
Center in Westminster, Md. Featuring over 200 vendors.
Road, mountain, BMX, tri or vintage, there is
something for everyone. Admission is $5. All buildings
are heated and breakfast and lunch are available. For
details visit www.stopswapandsave.com
MARCH 8-10 – NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT
The League of American Bicyclists and leaders of the
nation’s cycling community will meet with members
of the Congressional Bike Caucus, host workshops
and speeches, and honor several member of Congress
for their efforts to make America more bicycle friendly.
For details log onto www.bikeleague.org or call
APRIL 14-17 – ST. MICHAELS SINGLE & TANDEMS WEEKEND
Members of the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club
and tandemists who attend the Eastern Tandem
Rally will join forces for this Eastern Shore weekend.
Lodging will be both at the Best Western Motor Inn
and nearby camping facilities. Four days of riding: no
hills, sparse traffic, wide shoulders, many roads near
the water. If you would like to rent a tandem, you can
contact Mt Airy Bicycles (Maryland) at 301-831-5151
or Tandems East (New Jersey) at 856-451-5104. To
register for the event contact Ed and Cindy Brandt
email@example.com (301) 657-4657 or Bob and
Willa Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 978-7937.
APRIL 15-17 – SPRING TUNE-UP
All cyclists and their families are invited to join this
17th annual weekend ride held in Madison, Ga.,
hosted by BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia). Flat
to gently rolling hills. This is a fun time for the whole
family and a great time to get in shape for BRAG!
Various ride options available daily as well as daily
rates for those who cannot ride all weekend. Plenty
of food, music and entertainment. For more info visit
www.brag.org or email email@example.com or call (770)
APRIL 23 – TOUR DE CARROLL
Join 750 other cyclists in checking out the scenery of
Carroll County, Md., and get those winter-lazy legs in
shape for the summer. Ride the 7th Annual Tour de
Carroll and enjoy the beauty and great rides that the
county has to offer. All proceeds benefit local charities.
There are four rides for all skill levels ranging
from a full metric (63 miles) 39 mile spring classic,
25 mile recreational ride, and 8 mile family fun ride.
Check out this event at www.tourdecarroll, register at
active.com, or call (410) 840-8381 for details.
MAY 7 – SIX PILLARS CENTURY
Character Counts Mid-Shore is sponsoring this fundraiser
at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near
Cambridge, MD. The event includes four ride choices,
including an 11-mile family ride, a 37-mile fun &
fitness ride, a 56 miler Eagleman Ironman course,
and a full century. The event will support Character
Counts Mid-Shore, Inc., an agency which provides
the Winners Walk Tall Program in the public schools
in Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties free of
charge. The lessons, provided by over 200 character
coaches, are based on the six pillars of character:
Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness,
Caring and Citizenship. For details visit www.charactercountsmidshore.org
or call (410) 819-0386.
MAY 14-16 – TOUR DE CHESAPEAKE
Celebrate the arrival of spring with a bike tour
through the wonderful, scenic and flat Mathews
County backroads along the Chesapeake Bay. Join
800 cycling enthusiasts on this tour, perfect as a family’s
first biking adventure, or maybe the intermediate
rider’s, and even the experienced veteran’s, season
warm-up. Choose tours of 17, 40, 60, or 80 miles.
Families especially will enjoy the abundant quiet,
scenic lanes winding down to forgotten coves on the
Chesapeake Bay, the East River and the North River.
Pedal in and out of the beautiful salt marshes instead
of traffic. Visit www.bikechesapeake.org for details and
to register online. For inquiries, call (757) 229-0507
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNE 11-12 – CHESAPEAKE CHALLENGE
Join the Maryland Chapter of the National MS
Society for a one or two day ride on Maryland's
Eastern Shore. Routes range from 30 -100 miles on
Saturday and 30 & 50 mile on Sunday. Overnight
at Chestertown, Md.’s Washington College campus.
Route is fully supported with rest stops, bike techs and
support vehicles. To Register or find out more, visit
www.marylandmsbikeride.org or call (443) 641-1200.
MAY 22 – COLUMBIA TRIATHLON
Celebrating its 28th year, the Columbia Triathlon is
famous for its outstanding race organization and its
fun and extremely challenging race course. Held in
Centennial Park, Ellicott City, Md. Consists of a 1.5k
swim, 41k bike, and 10k run. Even though the event
is full, it’s a great spectacle for on-lookers. For more
info call (410) 964-1246 or visit www.tricolumbia.org
MAY 27-30 – KENT COUNTY SPRING FLING
Join the Baltimore Bicycling Club and Washington
College as they host this 28th annual weekend event
along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Rides range from
11 to 100 miles on flat to rolling terrain. Stay at
Washington College’s dorm and enjoy great food, an
ice cream social, live music, blue grass on the square,
contra dancing, sock hop, and much more. For details
contact Frank and Kathy Anders at (410) 628-4018 or
JUNE 4-11 – BICYCLE RIDE ACROSS GEORGIA
Come discover Georgia by bicycle on the 32st annual
Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. This year’s loop ride
will begin in Atlanta, with overnights in Oxford,
Milledgeville, Dublin, Metter, and Hinesville, before
ending in lovely Savannah. Join over 1,500 riders for
street dances, ice cream social, end-of-the-road meal
60 miles average per day, hammerhead options. For
more information, visit www.brag.org, or email info@
brag.org, or call (770) 498-5153.
JUNE 11-12 – BIKE MS: BEYOND THE BELTWAY
Join 1000 participants from across the mid-Atlantic
region for the National MS Society, National Capital
Chapter’s annual Bike MS event in Middleburg, Va.
Choose from several mileage options along our challenging
new routes ranging from a 30-mile one day
ride to 150 miles over two days, and enjoy great food,
beverages, and live music at the finish line. Ride for
28 Winter 2010/11
one day or two. For details, visit www.MSandYOU.org/
bike, or call (202) 296-5363, option 2.
JUNE 18-25 – GREAT OHIO BICYCLE ADVENTURE
See Ohio while on two wheels with 2,999 of your closest
friends! GOBA, now in its 23rd year, is a week-long
bicycle-camping tour which visits a different part of
Ohio each year. Bicycling the daily 50-mile route at
a relaxing pace leaves plenty of time for sightseeing
and other tourist activities. This year’s GOBA begins
and ends in Kenton, travels to overnights in Marion,
Delaware, London, and Bellefontaine. Advance registration
is required. For registration materials and fees
visit www.goba.com or call (614) 273-0811 ext. 1.
JUNE 24-29 – BIKE VIRGINIA
Twenty four years ago, 117 men, women and children
embarked on an adventure crossing Virginia on bicycles.
They rode from Charlottesville to our nation's
colonial capital in Williamsburg, establishing what
has become the largest, multi-day, recreational bicycle
event in the Commonwealth. In 2011, Bike Virginia
will “roll through time” exploring the prehistoric
New River valley, which was a popular portion of the
legendary 1976 inaugural Bike 76 cross country tour.
Cyclists will need to be able to ride up to 50-60 miles
each day. For inquiries, call (757) 229.0507 or email
JULY 11-16 – RAINSTORM
Challenge yourself with five century rides over five
days. On day six, join the Ride Across Indiana to ride
160 miles back to your point of departure. Stay in
Indiana State Park inns along the way, with catered
meals designed for athletes. If you’re a recreational
rider hoping to reach new fitness goals, a triathlete
in search of intensive time on the bike, or an ultra
marathon cyclist, this tour is for you. For more information,
see www.triri.org , email email@example.com, or call
JULY 24-30 – FANY RIDE
The Great Big FANY Ride will spin five hundred
miles Across New York – for it’s 11th annual ride.
Explore Niagara Falls, visit farm stands near the Erie
Canal, sample wines at Finger Lake region vineyards,
ride over 100 miles without a traffic light in
the Adirondack Mountains, and arrive in Saratoga
Springs. SAG support, marked roads, cue sheets, luggage
transfer to overnight campsites, optional bus
to parking at start/finish. In honor of each biker
the FANY Ride makes a donation to the Double H
Ranch – a camp for children with chronic illnesses.
No pledges are required. www.FANYride.com (518)
AUGUST 12-14 – TOUR DE FREDERICK
Explore Frederick County, Maryland, as only the
locals can show you. Ride the legendary covered
bridge route, tackle Sugarloaf if you dare, see many
of Frederick County’s finest sights including wine
tastings, a brewery tour, a special evening at the local
minor league baseball set up just for us, and a gourmet
dinner at the local arts center. Lots more. Space
is limited on this second annual Spokes Magazine
weekend. Call 301-371-5309 or log onto www.spokesmagazine.com
SPIRITED SUNDAY ROAD RIDES
Join the folks of the Bicycle Place, just off Rock Creek
Park, every Sunday morning (beginning at 8:30
a.m.) for a “spirited” 36-40 mile jaunt up to Potomac
and back. This is a true classic road ride that runs
year round. While the pace is kept up, no one is
left behind. No rainy day rides. The Bicycle Place
is located in the Rock Creek Shopping Center, 8313
Grubb Road (just off East-West Highway). Call (301)
588-6160 for details.
BIKES FOR THE WORLD – Collection Schedule
Bikes for the World collects repairable bicycles in the
United States, for donation to charities overseas, for
productive use by those in need of affordable transport.
Note: $10/bike donation suggested to defray
shipping to overseas charity partners. Receipt provided
for all material and cash donations. Bikes for the World
is a sponsored project of the Washington Area Bicyclist
Association, a 501 c 3 non-profit charity. Collections
will take place rain or shine. For further info, visit www.
bikesfortheworld.org or call (703) 525-0931.
Bicycles may also be dropped off for Bikes for the
World during store hours at selected bicycle retailers:
Bikes of Vienna, 128-A Church Street, Vienna VA;
Bob’s Bike Shop, 19961 Fisher Avenue, Poolesville MD;
Race Pace, 8450 Baltimore Natl Pike, Normandy
Shopping Center, Ellicott City MD;
Pedal Pushers, 546 Baltimore & Annapolis Road,
Severna Park MD.
Please remember to leave a $10 donation (check
preferred, payable to “BfW”) with each bike; BfW will
mail you a receipt good for tax purposes.
2 nd annual
August 12-15, 2011
the best of
Visit us on the web at www.tourdefrederick.com for more information!
Chocolate: Is It a “Health Food”?
“Chocolate! I try to stay away from it!!!” commented
my client, a cyclist who described herself as having a
rampant sweet tooth. For her, chocolate fits into the
categories of junk food, guilty pleasure and ruiner
of good intentions to lose weight. Yet, she also recognized
there is potentially a happier side of the story.
Ads for (dark) chocolate suggest chocolate is good
for us. Chocolate comes from plants and contains the
same health-protective compounds that are found in
fruits and vegetables.
So what is the whole story on chocolate? Is it little
more than an alluring form of refined sugar, saturated
fat and empty calories? Or does chocolate (in
moderation, of course) have positive qualities that
might be beneficial for athletes?
Here are some nuggets of information about chocolate.
I'll let you decide whether or not the health benefits
of eating chocolate are greater than the health
costs—and if you personally want to define chocolate
as a “health food” within the context of your own
The bad news is chocolate consists of primarily saturated
fat and sugar. A Hershey's Chocolate Bar (43 g)
contains 210 calories, 24 grams sugar (46% of calories),
13 g total fat (55% of calories) and 8 g saturated
fat, equivalent to a tablespoon of butter. Boo hoo.
(But here's how you can rationalize including this
popular treat in your overall well-balanced sports diet:
The fat in chocolate does not raise bad cholesterol
levels and the sugar (carb) in chocolate fuels your
• People tend to eat chocolate in bursts—a lot in a
day, such as on holidays or pre-menstrually—or none.
The question arises: Would enjoying some chocolate
every day help reduce an athlete's urge to binge-eat
the whole bag of, let's say, M&Ms in a moment of
weakness? That's a good question and one that needs
to be researched. We do know that deprivation and
denial of food contributes to overeating. You know
the syndrome: “I'm starting my diet Monday morning,
so Sunday is my last chance to eat chocolate...” and
there goes the whole bag of M&Ms!
I invite my clients to try taking the “power” away from
chocolate by enjoying a little bit every day, such as
for dessert after lunch. Ideally, daily chocolate could
reduce it to being simply a commonplace plant food,
just like bran cereal, an apple or carrot sticks. Give it
Some athletes claim they are “addicted” to chocolate.
Perhaps “chocolate addicts” grew up in a household
where the parents banned chocolate? Now, as grownups,
maybe they rebel by eating Reece's Pieces by the
bagful? Or are they “super tasters”—and the flavor
of chocolate is just irresistible? Perhaps they have a
genetic difference that makes chocolate highly attractive?
Some day, genetic testing may help us find the
answer to that question.
by nancy clark, ms, rd
Chocolate is made from cocoa. Cocoa comes from a
plant. It is a rich source of health-protective phytochemicals,
just like you'd get from fruits, vegetables
and whole grains. Two tablespoons natural cocoa
power (the kind used in baking) offers the same antioxidant
power as 3/4 cup blueberries or 1.5 glasses
• Of all the types of chocolate, dark chocolate is the
richest source of phytonutrients. Unfortunately,
dark chocolate has a slightly bitter taste and most
people prefer the sweeter milk chocolate. Maybe we
should raise today's children on dark chocolate, so
they will they learn to prefer it...?
• One phytochemical in cocoa is nitrate. Nitrate gets
converted into nitric oxide, a chemical known to
increase blood flow. Nitric oxide lowers blood pressure,
a good thing for aging athletes who want to
stay youthful and invest in their health. (1)
• Another group of phytochemicals are called flavonoids.
They are in many plant foods, including
tea, apples and onions. Epidemiological surveys of
large groups of people indicate those who regularly
consume chocolate consume more of these
health-protective flavonoids than non-chocolate
eaters. This reduces their risk of heart disease. In
the Netherlands, elderly men who routinely ate
chocolate-containing products reduced their risk of
heart disease by 50% and their risk of dying from
other causes by 47%. (2)
• Cocoa increases blood flow to the brain. If this
means you can process information better and
faster—like calculate your split times or help your
kids with their math homework—wouldn’t that be a
great excuse to enjoy chocolate?!
• Many parents keep chocolate away from their children,
thinking chocolate makes them hyper. No
research to date supports that claim. The party or
special event that surrounds the chocolate likely
triggers the hyperactivity. (3)
• Chocolate is yummy! Most athletes love chocolate.
Chocolate lovers don't want sugar-free or
fat-free chocolate. They want the 100% real stuff!
That's because consumers buy benefits, not products.
Being yummy is a huge benefit! During the
recession in 2009, sales of Hershey's chocolates
increased. Is that because worried people bought
a moment of yummy, cheer-me-up chocolate? Or,
did they simply settle for a bag of less expensive
Hershey's Kisses instead of a box of pricey Godiva
Chocolates? Regardless, chocolate seems to fit every
mood, be it happy, sad, tired or celebratory.
• Flavanol-rich cocoa may help reduce muscle soreness.
Studies with athletes who performed muscledamaging
downhill running and then consumed
a cocoa-based carbohydrate and protein beverage
experienced less muscle damage and felt less muscle
• Although the chocolate used in flavoring milk lacks
the health-protectors found in dark chocolate,
the yummy flavor makes chocolate milk a popular
recovery drink. The sweetened chocolate offers
carbs to refuel muscles; the milk offers protein to
build and repair muscle. Plus, milk boosts intake of
calcium and vitamin D, needed for strong bones.
Despite all this good news about chocolate, it is still
just a candy and not a life-sustaining food. Yet, it does
provide pleasure—and pleasure is certainly part of a
health and wellness program, right?
The trick is to enjoy dark chocolate as part of the 100
to 150 “discretionary” sugar calories that can be part
of your daily sports diet. As for me, I'll enjoy my dark
chocolate during a long hike or bike ride. Tastes better
than most engineered sports foods and nicely fuels
both my body and my mind!
This low fat brownie pudding forms its own sauce during
baking. It’s a tasty treat for when you are hankering
for a chocolate-fix and a yummy way to add a little
dark chocolate to your sports diet. This recipe is one
of many in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com).
1 cup flour, preferably half white, half whole wheat
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened dry cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons oil, preferably canola
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened dry cocoa
1-3/4 cups hot water
Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts.
1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, white
sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt;
add the milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
3. Pour into an 8x8" square pan that is nonstick,
lightly oiled, or treated with cooking spray.
4. Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, and hot
water. Gently pour this mixture on top of the batter in
5. Bake at 350º for 40 minutes, or until lightly
browned and bubbly.
Yield: 9 servings
Total calories: 2,100
Calories per serving: 230
Carbohydrate: 46 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Fat: 4 grams
30 Winter 2010/11
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T R E K B I K E S . C O M / F I S H E R C O L L E C T I O N
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