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REVIEW: SEASUCKER TALON BIKE RACK

314906_255805694474594_1103734556_nOnce you have owned a vehicle with factory equipped roof racks, their lack on vehicles thereafter can be somewhat of a nuisance.  You may only use your rack one time a year for the family trip to the Outer Banks or the Great Smokey Mountains, but a vehicle without these bars-of-infinite-possibility can really put a damper on travel experiences.  Lets say that the only reason you need a roof rack is to take around your bike.  And then, lets say you like a car that doesn’t come equipped with factory racks.  And then, lets add in that we all think those “hang on the trunk” racks look cheap.  What is there to do?  Suck it up with a SeaSucker Talon Bike Rack of course! Continue reading

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Review: QuadLock Belt Clip

belt_clip_v2_2048x2048If you’ve been around here for a while, you know we have a love for the creative and useful products pumped out by the mates at Quad Lock Case in the land down under!  Even after having produced a quality product, the team based out of Prahan felt they could improve upon their design even more.  Version 2 of the Quad Lock Belt Clip was born out of a need for simplicity and convenience.  Read more to see how it was done. Continue reading

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Jack Kane possibly sold at your local dealer

774-Jack-Kane-Team-Carbon-_-ritchey-proWe have heard that Jack Kane Bicycles may soon be sold at your local bike shop!  The independent Bicycle manufacturer is in the planning stages of expanding its operation to more stores across the state.  Already known for their top-notch construction and amazing paint work, seeing their bikes in more shops around North Carolina would surely give them the exposure they need to keep growing and helping NC’s cycling industry.  We can’t confirm that it will happen, but we with Kane and the staff all the best in this endeavor!

Check out Jack Kane at KaneBikes.com

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REVIEW: QUADLOCK ARMBAND

We’re cyclists.  We have our super-slick (and expensive) bikes; our sunglasses that weigh less than air; our helmets that allow more airflow than most commercial jet-engines; and even our sandwiches are wrapped in carbon fiber instead of deli-paper.  While we have all the fanciest (and coolest) gadgets at our disposal (see the ORP SMORN, Rocky Mounts, Wahoo Kickr, and others), sometimes we just like to get out there and exercise with the commoners.  Sure, running isn’t for everyone.  Its for those who can’t cycle.  :)  Continue reading

Tuesday and Thursday Weekly Rides

PedalNC is now going to be holding Tuesday and Thursday Rides with all ability levels included for road cycling.  Each ride will start promptly at 6:00 pm and will end by 8:30 pm.  We will be meeting in the Nashville, NC Wal-Mart parking lot towards the end of row 2 at about 5:30 to 5:45 so that we have plenty of time to warm up some and to socialize with other riders.  Typical pace will be around eighteen miles per hour negotiable depending on the ability levels of each rider.  Riders will then break down into A, B, and C groups for the ride.  B group riders will be moving at about seventeen to twenty one miles per hour while A group riders will be moving at about 21 and over and C group riders will be moving at less than seventeen miles per hour.  Distances and routes will vary.  I hope to see you all there and look forward to meeting all of you soon!

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Proper Cycling Etiquette and its Benefits

At least once a week, most people who are a driver or a passenger in a vehicle see a person on the side of the road (or maybe even sometimes in the middle of the road) pedaling along on a bicycle somewhere during our travels.  You’ll notice that with most people, if that cyclist is off to the right shoulder of the road (where they should be) that most vehicles will move over just a little bit to give that cyclist a little bit of extra space.  There are always those one or two people however, that will refuse to yield any ground to a cyclist pedaling along whether they are on a long ride for the purpose of training or exercise, or they’re just trying to get from point A to point B.

imageIn 2001, there were 732 cyclist deaths and 45 thousand cyclist injuries due to traffic related causes (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm#No1).  In 2012, there were 726 cyclist deaths and 49 thousand cyclist injuries due to traffic related causes (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm#No1).  A large number of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented from each cyclist involved practicing proper cycling etiquette.  Etiquette, by definition, means “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.”

For cyclists, there are many practices in etiquette which they must follow.  Following on the side of the road moving with traffic, not against it so as to not impede the flow of traffic is just one of them.  Making sure to stay far enough over to the side of the road in order not to inhibit the flow of traffic and potentially cause a wreck or get hit by an automobile themselves is another.  There are also certain hand/arm signals which cyclists should familiarize themselves with.  Most important of all to cyclists and auto drivers and passengers are your turn signals and slowing and stopping signals.

imageThe hand signal for a left turn is simply extending the left hand out to the side of the body, palm forward, arm straight out toward the side, keeping the left elbow fully extended.  The hand signal for a right turn is left arm out, palm forward, with the fingers pointing up towards the sky with a ninety degree bend in the elbow.  The hand signal for a cyclist slowing is simply placing the hand towards the rear of the cyclist body, fingers pointing down towards the ground and swaying the open left hand back and forth from left to right repeatedly behind the body of the cyclist performing the slowing signal.  The stopping signal for a cyclist is extending the left arm out to the side of the cyclists’ body with a fist pointing up towards the sky and the left elbow bent at a ninety degree angle.  By using these signals, the cyclist will be able to further ensure their own safety as well as the safety of cyclists and automobile drivers and passengers alike around them.  It will make the intentions of the cyclist clear to vehicles on the road, giving the advanced warning of the cyclists’ intentions to either continue straight, turn left, turn right, stop, or slow down so that the driver of a vehicle isn’t caught unawares and may avoid getting into a collision with the cyclist, helping to prevent potential injury or even death to the cyclist and passengers within the automobile.

Also, there is the hand/arm signal among cyclists indicating a potential hazard in the road.  The cyclist simply needs to maneuver to one side of the potential obstacle and point to the side in which the obstacle is to be present and state what the obstacle is (i.e.  gravel in the road.  The cyclist will simply move out of the path of the gravel, point down towards the ground in the direction the gravel is to be present, and shout, “GRAVEL!” in a voice loud enough for the cyclists behind them to hear.)  By doing this, cyclists will be able to avoid crashes which could pose other potential collateral crashes and run-ins with other cyclists and vehicles on the road.

By performing these simple actions, and by maintaining such simple etiquette procedures, the safety goes up dramatically not only for cyclists, but for those traveling by automobile as well.  It may help to reduce “road rage” from people in vehicles as well as allowing traffic to flow in a much smoother manner.  The number of cyclist deaths and injuries will drop and the roads will be much safer for all of us, cyclists and auto passengers alike, making the cycling experience that much more enjoyable for all of us.

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Win a CamelBak Insulated Bottle

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Special thanks go out to CamelBak for allowing us to present our fans with the opportunity to win a CamelBak Insulated Bottle!  Beat the heat with one of CamelBak’s innovative and quality hydration products.

The contest goes live on July 6th, 2014 at 1:30 PM and ends at midnight on July 31st, 2014. There are many chances to win. Winner must be a North Carolina Resident, or have a mailing address in North Carolina. No purchase is necessary, but if you’d like to buy your own bottle, head over to CamelBak’s website. Make sure you tell them thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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REVIEW: FOOT RUBZ

Feet.  They are great tools for life.  You can do amazing things with them.  You can walk.  You can play soccer.  You can tap dance.  You can even paint them, stub  them on furniture, and blister them on hot sand!  Once in a while, you may want to strap your feet on and use them for cycling.  But what is the solution when your only pair of feet are sore and tired?  If you forgot to bring another set of feet, at least you can pamper the ones you brought with FOOT RUBZ by DueNorth.

IMG_3109The FOOT RUBZ stimulates acupressure points in your feet, hands, and body.  The process is simple.  Rub the hard PVC ball across your sore or tired muscles and immediately feel the 160 nubs relieve tension.  The FOOT RUBZ is small so its portable and can be carried easily in a backpack, sports bag, purse, or in the car or saddle bag.

FR-AlternateView-3DueNorth recommends sitting for the best experience, and usage is quite simple.  If your feet are tired, place the ball on the floor and roll your feet across the ball.  Tingling sensations are immediate and relaxing.  The only prohibited action: DueNorth advises not to be standing while using the FOOT RUBZ.  And trust us, it feels so good when sitting but stand on this little PVC ball of comfort and you will find it can turn in to a PVC ball of excruciating pain.

FOOT RUBZ is widely available online and in sports shops.  We picked ours up at REI, but specialty athletic shops will carry them as well.  Like always, we suggest supporting local business.  We give the FOOT RUBZ 160 nubs up!

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Proper Nutrition and How It Can Help YOU

Once in a while, you may find yourself out in the woods or on the road on a long ride.  Everything is going fine, you’re feeling strong, and all of the sudden, BANG, you feel like you’ve hit the proverbial wall.  This can happen for a number of reasons, primary among them is the nutritional value of your diet.  There is the old homage of you get out of something what you put into it.  In other words, you put crap into yourself, you get crap out of yourself.  This is exceedingly true for endurance athletes.

I know from personal experience that it is difficult with our daily lives to be both cyclists and employees, parents, husbands, wives and so on.  I know from very personal experience that it is sometimes easiest to just stop by your local McDonald’s or Wendy’s drive-thru in order  to just grab a “quick bite” to eat.  However, this isn’t always the best thing for you to do.  The grease in the fast food gets into your hearts arteries, clogging them up and forcing the heart to work double time in order to provide your body with much needed oxygen to supply your muscles, providing them with crucial energy during periods of heavy physical exertion.

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If you’re looking for a relatively quick fix, try some wheat pasta instead with a light sauce.  It’ll take you no more than fifteen to twenty minutes to prepare.  That’s about the same amount of time it would have taken you to swing by the drive through and get home.  And on top of that, you don’t even have to burn the extra gas to get to the fast food restaurant just to pick up your meal.  And the reason I previously stated wheat pasta is because it’s healthier for you than the white pasta noodles as it has undergone little to no processing and is more natural in content than the white pasta is, putting more natural ingredients into your body than the white pasta so many of us are so fond of eating.

Also, try some blueberries once in awhile.  They’re high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants help to prevent cellular damage and are a great asset in recovery after a grueling workout.  Also, one cup of blueberries only has 84 calories plus a good healthy dose of potassium, manganese, vitamin c, fiber, and copper.

Next, we come to carrots.  While carrots have many benefits, we’ll focus on the most important ones to cyclists as this page is in essence, dedicated to cycling.  First, carrots help to prevent heart disease.  Now, we all know as cyclists that a healthy heart is crucial to being a successful cyclist, whether you’re trying for a new fastest time on your route from your house to work or you’re trying to hit a new mileage goal.  Also, carrots help to flush out the system by providing it with Vitamin A which is crucial in flushing out toxins in the body.  It helps to reduce the fat and bile in the liver.

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Also, try eating some greens or spinach once in a while.  These are great sources for iron.  Iron helps to increase red blood cell count in the body.  Red blood cells are the blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body.  More oxygen to the body’s blood stream means a lack of lactic acid build up as oxygen helps to combat the build up of lactic acid.  Lactic acid is partially responsible for cramping in muscles in day to day life whether on the bike or sitting on the couch in front of the television at home.  More iron, in essence, means more pedaling with fewer cramps.

Finally, but not nearly the least important, is proper hydration.  Unlike the mind set of the 1990’s anti-carb kick, a bottle of Gatorade is a good thing once in awhile.  It’s got crucial carbohydrates and electrolytes to support the body’s nervous system and endurance.  Gatorade is a great thing to consume the day before a long ride as it will provide the body with a great source of energy in its carbohydrates and will pump the body full of electrolytes which help to allow the body to absorb much needed water into the blood stream, keeping you more hydrated along your rides.  Another reason for cramping is dehydration.  The body’s muscles don’t contain enough fluid to keep them plyable and flexible, making them more susceptible to cramping.  The sodium in the Gatorade helps the body to absorb water into the blood stream.  Without enough sodium in the body, the water will just get flushed out and you will dehydrate faster.

So, keep in mind that when you’re getting ready for a big event or just have to get to work the next day, proper nutrition can get you where you’re going more efficiently than a quick swing by the drive-through.  Also, it will make your rides much more enjoyable because you will have to worry less and less about when you are going to feel your first signs of a nasty charlie horse popping up and will allow you to focus more on the ride its-self.

North Carolina Cycling and Biking Enthusiasts