Death of MTB
March 6, 2013

Death of XC MTB Racing

With racer registration numbers struggling, and races seemingly dropping off the ABA XC MTB calander, are we seeing the slow death of the traditional 90 min XC MTB race here in Alberta?

When I first started racing, there was only one kind I wanted to do – cross country mountain bike. The problem was, I wasn’t really in good enough shape to do it. I was your typical ‘weekend warrior’, spending a couple hours per week bombing around on the single-track trails with my pals. After a while, we got bold and signed up for a few bike shop-led group rides. In that context I thought I was pretty good, and with some encouragement decided to go out for an actual race, only to have my ego shattered! The 90 mins of max effort riding required in a typical ABA MTB XC race was so far beyond me, I was shocked. I finished the race, but it damn near killed me. Afterwards, I thought long and hard about if I wanted to do another one…

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Fatbike
February 27, 2013

Fatbike: Fad or Revolution?

Is the Fatbike revolution here? I’ve been hearing the term for a few seasons now and I remember seeing one for the first time back in 2010. In a word, although I thought they were interesting with their giant clown-like tires, I also thought they were ‘ridiculous’. I wondered why anyone would want to ride a bike so cumbersome and heavy? Through my ‘racing’ lens, the bikes made about as much sense to me as a unicycle or a Penny Farthing – sure they might be unique and fun to mess around on, but really, what’s the point beyond that? I was perfectly happy to leave what I considered the Fatbike fad, to others. - Read More -

car2go
February 20, 2013

car2go

Like many cyclists, I own a car. Truth be told, I own two.

Despite the fact that it’s rarely driven and sits mostly idle in my driveway there are times when the convenience of a car is tough to ignore – especially if your car is paid off, cheap on gas, and the insurance costs aren’t crippling (as mine is).

With that said, I still have trouble justifying the cost of gas, parking and the time spent sitting in traffic just to have a car available whenever I’d like, especially when I generally have more attractive means of transportation at my disposal. But there sure are times a car would be nice to have around…

Enter car2go. - Read More -

Rosinante SC15-4
February 13, 2013

Backpack vs. Panniers

I prefer my bike to be as clutter free as possible. Panniers, racks, fenders, bells, baskets, streamers, spokey-dokes… All of these things offend me on some fundamental level.

Despite efforts to keep my bike unadorned, the practical matters of riding to work everyday has made certain accessories worth their affront to my clutter-free preferences.

With all the paraphernalia adorning my rig there is no choice but embrace the “commuterism” of it… During the fall, winter and spring I’m sporting a bell, lights, fenders, rack and panniers. And while my commuting bike has never been exceptionally svelte, it now bristles with clydesdale-ness. - Read More -

Bikeridr Refresh
February 3, 2013

Refreshed

Sheldon and I have been filling the pages of this blog since October of 2008. In almost 5 years, we’ve written over 400 articles and have interacted with you through thousands of comments, hundreds of tweets and countless Facebook updates.

Although our lives and the content of this blog continue to evolve, our passion for cycling remains unchanged.

When we unveiled our new kit last summer (to a very small distribution) – we felt it marked a more ‘grown-up’ Bikeridr. Along with our kit, we have slowly been updating all our digital touchpoints and the refresh of this blog marks the last step.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve noticed an increasing number of you coming from tablets and smartphones and even better – that you’re actually taking time to read our articles. We’re proud to say that our new design is optimized for reading… Regardless of device. Bigger photos, bigger text, less distraction. We hope you enjoy.

– Ken & Sheldon

Smoking
January 30, 2013

The Beard

At Christmas, Ken showed up at my place with a truly horrendous beard. Naturally, I thought it was awesome, and figured I should grow an even worse one.

4 weeks later, I sent Ken a text message to find out the state of his beard, and discovered that he didn’t enjoy looking like a lunatic who’d wondered off from the nearby hospital, so he’d buckled and trimmed it. This however confirmed to me, that with some willpower, I stood chance at beating him. When I let him know my plan, he scoffed – called me a ‘copy-cat’, among other things and demanded an immediate photo. So, fueled by his displeasure, obviously I forged on. At first I was just going to take the photo right away, but being aware of the photo of him sporting his ridiculous beard and that even more ridiculous fur hat, which he posted on Facebook, I knew I needed to ponder my photo carefully – it needed to be epic.

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Dusty cross
January 22, 2013

Cyclocross Comes of Age

According to USA Cycling, cyclocross is America’s fastest growing cycle-sport. Participation has grown from 32,000 to 72,000 in the just the last five years.

125% growth over 5 years sure ain’t bad.

Here at home, similar trends are afoot. The feeling that the start line is getting a little crowded is definitely justified. Rumour has it that a Novice category will be added to  2013 races – A definite sign that cyclocross in Alberta is maturing. I’m unsure of whether this decision was a result of an active effort to grow cyclocross, or simply a response to the burgeoning Sport class (usually easily in excess of 40 racers). I’d imagine it’s likely a bit of both.

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Jens Voigt
January 8, 2013

Gettin’ Old & Stayin’ Young

Amongst friends, co-workers and family there’s been a lot of talk lately about getting old. Arthritic hips. Aching knees. Tweaked backs. Fading eyesight… The list goes on, and it’s less than inspirational.

Now, I can’t in good conscious say that there are parts of me that haven’t been affected by the years going by, but I think there’s something about riding a bike that keeps you a little younger at heart, body and mind than everybody else.

As people get older I think they have a tendency to move past certain activities. I can’t really say why. With cycling specifically, perhaps it’s because they view it as childish, something only the young do – Without realizing that reason is precisely why they should embrace it.

As I reflected on 2012, I noted how much cycling had given me. It made me think of what cycling offers everybody and the benefits are pretty wide and deep – I pulled together a list. It’s just five things. But, to me, they’re big:
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Ride, Ride, Ride...
January 2, 2013

Hello 2013!

Hello 2013! And, goodbye to 2012. Looking back, as we all like to do this time of year, I thought it would be interesting to check some stats – specifically to do a comparison between 2012, and 2011. On the whole I felt like 2012 was an off year, for cycling… Life was busy. I was working longer hours at the office. At home, I was enjoying more time with the family, and what felt like less time on the bike. At least, I really thought so.

I made the decision very early in 2012 that I needed to be more pragmatic about my training. It needed to be more concerted, more purposeful. So I adapted shorter and more intense training sessions. Most of the time, I’d limit all my training rides to 1 hour. In fact, I’d even go as short as 30 minutes if I was doing really hard intervals. The thinking was that by training this way, regardless of my busier schedule, by pushing harder for less time, I could still manage to build a reasonable amount of fitness, hopefully at least similar to that achieved in 2011. Generally speaking though, I was resolved to 2012 being a ‘blah’ year on the bike.

So, looking back at 2012 now, the stats are a bit shocking!

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