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American cyclist Carter Jones is jumping from the United States to head to the European peloton, signing with Team Giant-Shimano for the 2015 season.  At just 25 years of age, and with growing climbing legs, Jones should be able to gain more experience, though it’s a shame to see Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies lose such a strong rider.

Here is what Marc Reef, Giant-Shimano coach recently said of Jones (via VeloNews):

“Carter is a talented climber that we have been following for the past two seasons.  He has been improving year-on-year and has already finished in the top 10 in Utah and the USA Pro Challenge.  He’s made another step up this year and with his climbing strength he will be a good addition to support Warren [Barguil] and Tom [Dumoulin] in stage races.  There’s still progression possible with an improved race program and also the opportunities to develop his time trialing, working with the experts on our team, and to improve as a GC rider himself.”

It will be great to see Jones riding on a WorldTour team next season – as he continues to evolve into one of the best American riders.

The Alameda Runners met Jones during the 2013 Tour of California, following a brutal individual time trial (ITT).  Here is Ted with Jones:

I’ve already praised the video footage filmed at the Tour of California using the Shimano CM-1000 sports camera. Now, IMG, the Tour de Suisse cycling stage race, released footage courtesy its inCycle TV show.

The videos are available after the jump: Read more… »

Triathlon race check list

Tri-gear
Tri-gear

This is a good post to bring up every year.  I am preparing for another triathlon this weekend and I need a checklist for my stuff.

I was getting my stuff ready for an International distance triathlon when I decided to take a picture and post my plan.  I am packing up to drive a few hours to the race location where I will spend the night in a hotel then ride my bike about 5 miles to the race start area.

It is always a good idea to create a list of triathlon gear you are going to use and how you are going to use the gear.  You can organize the list in any order that suits you.  For this event, I used a towel on the floor, the equipment and a picture as my list.  My list shown below is based on importance of the equipment.  Some things are just required for most triathlons.

Required:
Bike – Tuned and in good working order
Bike helmet – I am not a good one to ask about helmet requirements.  If it fits, I am happy.
Running shoes – I have the added optional upgrades from RoadID and SuperFeet inserts.
Bike shoes – Running shoes will work but your feet will hurt and you will lose power on the hills.
Shorts – I have some Snazzy TYR Tri shorts that work well for all 3 events.  Any shorts will work but I really like the tri shorts.  The pockets are in good places and they don’t chaffe.
Shirt – Required at most races and they protect your back from the sun.

Optional:
Bike pump – I like to pump up the tires right before I leave for the race.
Water bottles – I have 3 bottles
One to rinse my feet after the swim
One for the bike that is filled with an electrolyte mix
One bottle of water for the bike
This course is very hot for me.  I will drink half the electrolyte before I get on the bike and drink one bottle of water on the bike.  I will discard both bottles at the bike water stop for fresh ones, filled with cold water.
Two towels – one for the ground and one to use after the race.
Bike gloves – Just in case I feel like wearing them.
Body glide – Great for preventing chaffing from the wet suit.  It also protects your neck from the sun.
Food – I bring it but I probably won’t eat much.  I will probably eat a stinger waffle after the swim.
Spi Belt with bib hangars – A great place to put your bib and it only takes one clip to put it on.
Socks to help prevent blisters on your feet.
Super thin underwear – Some people like them, some don’t.  I like them.
Swim goggles – tested and adjusted to fit properly.
Multi-tool kit for bikes – In case something goes wrong while getting ready for the race.
Wet-suit -  fit tested with operational zipper.  I like to lubricate the zipper with body glide.
Bike pouch:
Spare tube
CO2 dispenser
CO2 cartridges (2)
Tire levers
Spare tube
Patch kit
First aid kit
Allen wrenches 3,4 & 5 mm
Bag to carry goods to and from the start line.
Sunglasses are in the car and I have not made up my mind on the bike jersey yet.

Prepare for your distance.  For my current level of fitness, an Olympic distance triathlon is a short event where I don’t need to worry about nutrition.  I do have to worry about the heat and water.  Practice with your equipment, including nutrition before the event.

Aerodynamic has great significance in cycling, with bike companies and professional riders spending a lot of time in the wind tunnel.

Based on a question asked by a fan, Specialized identified if having a beard actually slows down riders. Following testing, it was found that not having a beard saved less than one second over 40 kilometers – so keep the facial hair if you want, because it’s not slowing you down!

I’ve written a couple of stories about the Shimano CM-1000 sports camera for TweakTown (here and here), but thought I should post something on Alameda Runners. Shimano used the 2014 Tour of California as a testing ground for the camera, and some unique videos have been released.

The Shimano CM-1000 will be available to consumers in early August with an expected $300 MSRP.

Content available after the jump:  Read more… »

Review: Bracketron TruRunner Belt

This review is a guest review written by Miriam “Wombat” Kaufman, a personal friend, running enthusiast, and all-around neat person.  She has several stories currently in the works for Alameda Runners, so hope you enjoy.




I was excited to have the opportunity to try out the Bracketron TruRunner belt for two reasons:

1. I’ve had my current belt for almost five years and it’s just about lost all of its elasticity
2. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect no-bounce belt.

I really dislike carrying stuff while I run, and I think I’m extra sensitive to every little bounce, slosh or jingle that drives me crazy. I prefer to run minimally, free of gear that weighs me down or is distracting, but sometimes it’s not only convenient but necessary to carry my cell phone. So, when a gear company comes around saying they’ve got a new belt that stays put, I get excited. Skeptical, but excited.

Rest of the review available after the jump:  Read more… »

Get off Your Butt and Pedal!



Ride for your health!

People tend to think of riding a bike as a way to exercise, but overlook it as a great way to explore your neighborhood and burn calories at the same time. As I flipped through the May 2014 edition of “Cycle California Magazine,” (PDF) the “Prescription for better health” column added great insight:

“Cycling can conveniently and pleasantly burn calories.  In fact daily 75 minute rides burn enough calories to lose over a pound per week.  So just riding to work may be enough to win the battle of the bulge.  Every 30 to 60 minute ride stimulates both the adrenal and thyroid glands to produce adrenaline and thyroxin.  These hormones act to increase riders’ metabolisms up to 25 percent for 15 hours after the initial exercise.  This increased basal metabolic rate causes an after-burn of calories.  Thus the weight loss process continues even when you rest.  Cycling also strengthens and develops muscle mass, so that weight loss is further induced by thermogenesis.”

I have a lot of casual biking tips to share with everyone in the future – so stay tuned and remember, have fun but stay safe out there.

(Thanks to Monique Rodriguez for the excellent photo.)

The Tour of California begins tomorrow from Sacramento, California, as some of the biggest names in cycling will blur by on Golden State roads.

Along with Peter Sagan, whose 10 stages tallies the highest in ToC history, will be joined by former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and sprinting ace Mark Cavendish.

From the Team Sky website:

Sir Bradley Wiggins heads the squad this time around and he will be aiming to make his mark on the overall standings. Ian Boswell, Joe Dombrowski and Danny Pate will also be aiming to impress on home soil, with Nathan Earle, Christian Knees and Luke Rowe rounding out a talented eight-man line up.

Whether you love him or hate him, Wiggins looks to be in great shape and wants to show everyone he is on form for the 2014 Tour de France in July.

(Image courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I am a fan of Team Cannondale rider Peter Sagan, one of the fastest cyclists in the European peloton.  Not only is he a talented rider, he is a popular draw among cycling fans.

To capitalize, apparel maker Sugoi has launched a custom Cannondale Peter Sagan jersey prior to the Tour of California.  The jersey should be available in the United States by June 15, with a $100 MSRP.

“I wanted a jersey that spoke to my inner drive to win, but also shows off my fun side. Working with Sugoi they quickly understood my vision, and I hope people love the jersey as much as I do,” Sagan said in a company press release.

I look forward to seeing Sagan at the 2014 Tour of California, where he will look to improve his leading 10 career stage wins in the Golden State.

I know the Alameda Runners have owned a few pieces of Sugoi gear over the years, and its products are simply incredible.  (You will pay for that quality however, so don’t get sticker shock!)

The 2014 City of Alameda Earth Day Festival is taking place this Saturday, and should be a fun time, especially for those of you with young children.

Kids will enjoy free activities, there will be Earth day games and exhibits, and stop by the farmer’s market stands! The event will take place on Saturday, April 26 at Washington Park (Central and 8th) from 10:00A.M. to 3:00P.M.

Thanks to event sponsors: City of Alameda Public Works Department, East Bay Regional Park District, Alameda Municipal Power, Alameda County Industries, Chinook Book, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, Earth Day Network, and the City of Alameda.

Take a look at the flyer (PDF) or visit this link.