How to Prevent Sunburn When You’re Cycling

The signature ‘cyclist’s tan’ may help you recognise fellow roadies, but long days cycling in the sun can have a more serious impact. Studies from Cancer Research UK found the amount of men and women dying from skin cancer has increased in the last three decades, suggesting that we fail to treat our skin with the respect it deserves when it comes to sun damage.

Source: How to prevent sunburn when you’re cycling

The article fails to mention that there are sweat-proof sunscreen lotions available.  The jury is still out on whether sunscreen even helps with respect to skin cancer, as roughly a third of reported cases occur in non-exposed portions of skin (potential indication of genetic predisposition).

Why It’s Faster to Ride Hard into a Headwind Than With a Tailwind

Is it faster to push hard when the riding is easy, or when the going gets tough? Should you expend extra watts when you’ve got a strong tailwind (or a long downhill), or when you’re battling a stubborn headwind? The answer may surprise you…

Source: Why it’s faster to ride hard into a headwind than with a tailwind

A large of the the equation is knowing what you’re capable of, and how that relates to the course.  Which requires knowing the course…

How to Lose 90 Pounds and Turn Pro – One Man’s Story

In his senior year of high school in small-town Texas, Mitchell Sides weighed 250 pounds (113kg). Today he is racing as a professional on Elevate Cycling, weighing just over 160 pounds. His main advice for losing weight by riding bikes? Consistency.

Source: How to lose 90 pounds and turn pro – one man’s story

To be fair, the story is impressive but it’s not going to be the outcome for most of us.  But it is possible to make positive life choices, and easier if the choice involves doing exercise you enjoy.

Cycling Has Moved From Actual Doping to ‘Mechanical Doping’

After a century of pumping themselves full of all sorts of performance-enhancing (and other!) drugs, it appears that at least one pro cyclist has found an easier way to cheat: hiding a motor inside the bicycle frame.

Source: Cycling Has Moved From Actual Doping to ‘Mechanical Doping’

Are we to believe that Femke took someone else’s bike by accident to the world championship?  Here’s Eddie “The Cannibal” Merckx’s opinion.

Build Your Own Arduino-Powered Virtual Reality Indoor Cycling System

I’ve made an Arduino thing that can wirelessly talk to a mobile device over BLE and can now meter the revolutions of a wheel with an optical tachometer. I’m using these two hardware features to make a virtual reality (VR) cycling experience and I’ve got a working demo to share! Here’s how this works…

Source: A VR Cycling Experience for $40

The Google Cardboard viewer didn’t work for the iPhone 6S the author used, but might fit your phone.

There is a brief mention of competing products – CompuTrainer is the one I’m most familiar with, and I believe CompuTrainer setups start at ~$1,000 (outside of bike and TV).  I wonder if you can program it to ride down the streets of google street view…

Fatigue: Mind Over Muscle

Australian cyclist Jack Bobridge is well acquainted with the physical pain of pushing his body to the limit. But even a career on the track and road didn’t prepare him for the pain of what was to be an unsuccessful attempt on the hour record earlier this year. (His pacing didn’t help.)

“This is the closest to death I will ever be, I think, before actually dying,” Bobridge told the assembled media. “I can’t even describe how much pain my glutes and quads are in. It’s unbelievable.”

But was his suffering — like his determination to continue pushing the pedals — limited more by his head than his legs? For all the talk of burning quads and glutes, some scientists now believe that fatigue may be more complicated a process than originally thought, one that is as much psychological as it is physiological.

Source: Fatigue: Mind over muscle

As I understand, this is what caffeine is effectively doing.  Caffeine doesn’t make you better, it makes the perceived effort easier.

Older People May Have Trouble Staying Athletic, But Not for the Reason You Think

The older I get, the faster I was.

If you wanted to spend two weeks cycling through Denmark, you’ve just missed a good chance. A research team at the University of Copenhagen arranged just a 2700 kilometer cycling trip, to study how older people respond to exercise. The scientists measured the metabolism of the bikers and found a problem, although not necessarily the problem most people would have anticipated.

Source: Older People May Have Trouble Staying Athletic, But Not for the Reason You Think

The article makes light of what’s considered “old people” – which in most sports falls into the category of “masters”.  Swimming and cycling uses the terminology…

The current hypothesis for what is demonstrated in the study – as you get older, you need less food.  But I wonder how that is compared to say top level athletes… Olympians as I understand have an unbelievably strict diet for competition, and understandably look forward to after the race because they can then eat 😉

Strava Insights Lets You See How the World Runs and Cycles

Since Strava burst on to the fitness scene to track runs and rides, it’s collected an extraordinary amount of data—so much, in fact, that it even sells it to city planners. Now, it’s launched a new website called Insights that lets you explore how the entire world runs and cycles.

Source: Strava Insights Lets You See How the World Runs and Cycles

I think the civil engineering value is for when creating new roads and such.  Existing infrastructure is very difficult to move, which translates into costly changes.  Then there’s the reality that there’s no room to do anything because housing is in place.  A co-worker came back from Italy, remarking that there were places that were basically foot zones because cars and above could not fit (nevermind population density issues).

While it’s interesting to see the high traffic places, they aren’t surprising when you take into consideration population, local economy, and general affluence.  Right from the start, you need the gear to log your ride/run… 😉

Do You Really Need a Good Night’s Sleep to Exercise Well?

“Get a good night’s sleep” is classic advice before a big race or event. But if you stayed up late picking out your best shoelaces and then woke up early to make it to the start line on time, have you ruined your chance at a good performance?

Source: Do You Really Need a Good Night’s Sleep to Exercise Well?

The answer?  It depends™, on the activity.  There’s a lot of strategy in cycling, so I’m not that inclined to believe that cycling is the same as running.

The classic runners rule is also the triathletes rule.  Partly because lots get up between 2-4 AM to eat breakfast before going back to bed to actually get up for the triathlon.