Road Committee Report Nov 2016

Posted in USA Cycling Advisory Board on November 22, 2016 by bethleasure

Dear Cycling Enthusiasts,

Communication received good spin at this year’s annual Sport Committee meetings, the advisory board pow-wow for USA Cycling. We love the spirit of transparency characterizing correspondence from CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall to membership in his first year! In that spirit, we think it’s important to share what our committee discusses and who we are.

Each committee member represents a role or a constituency. My role is Coach Rep. Here are the other members, all of them have varying lengths of service within the sport and admirable contributions:

Karen Bliss is our appointed Industry Rep. She is VP of Marketing at ASI. ASI owns Fuji and now Performance and Bike Nashbar. She is also closely connected with the famous race up Manayunk in Philadelphia.

Pedro Payne, Ph.D. is our At-Large Rep. He is Director of Community Outreach and Patient Experience at Loma Linda University East Campus/Surgical Hospitals. He directs a large team of para-cyclists.

Gina Kavesh is our Committee Chairwoman, Local Association Rep, and representative to the Board of Directors of USAC. She is involved in event promotion, her Local Association in the Pacific NW, and is the Executive Director of the WAVE Foundation, who brings awareness about domestic violence.

Randy Warren is our Male Athlete Rep. He is a longtime Coach with experience working in many regions across the country and within various constituencies, such as collegiate and elite development. He lives in Asheville, NC and enjoys running skills camps.

Ashley Travieso is our Race Director Rep. She is involved in the USA Crit series and runs Athens Twilight. She also brings unique perspective from her involvement in diverse sports and as the wife of a domestic pro rider.

Bonnie Walker is our Officials Rep. She is an executive leader within the software industry. She works tirelessly through Texas Bicycle Racing Association. She also sits on the National Technical Commission, which provides guidance to the Technical Director of USAC.

Jeffrey Hansen, Director of Member Experience, USAC is our staff contact. We work with Jeffrey to convey our discussions to the relevant USAC departments, and he keeps us informed using data and deduction about the happenings throughout our membership.

Events & Members

Our focus is improving the quality of USAC events and offerings. We learned that fewer race days results in fewer members. Did you know that membership growth is at a plateau but that the percentages in key segments, like juniors and women, are growing? USAC’s hope to expand the sport – Ride Membership – is showing robust growth. This reflects a reality that most sports are experiencing contracting membership within their competitive governance structures, but that more and more people are involved in recreational sport. We are embracing our ride brethren and non- or semi-competitive events, such as gravel grinders and gran fondos and offering terrific benefits, such as insurance and connection with other participants.

USAC is also committed to a high standard within our traditional events. Operating these events puts a heavy demand on human and financial resources. USAC is moving forward with a better experience for event organizers and participants and with a more cost-effective strategy. Our committee – and across most disciplines – decided to support removing some categories from Nationals and to separate various categories to offer improved venues and experiences for national event participants. We recognize that some members may be saddened by this.

In my Coach rep role, I also sit on the Coach Committee: all coaches agreed that kids age 9-10 should be riding bikes for fun; our BMX unit provides numerous opportunities for this age group also. We hope to grow lifetime cyclists, and current research indicates that talent identification under 15-16 does not indicate future potential as adult competitors, and putting kids into high levels of competition yields early burn-out – not senior stars or lifetime cyclists.


Brainstorming Board USA Cycling Road Committee

For women, we recommended standardization. This means that a Cat5 women’s category could roll out soon. We offer this to provide a truly introductory experience for new and beginning riders in the sport. To ease the burden on race promoters, we offer this as a separate category scored within existing race categories – similar to men’s introductory categories. For both genders, Cat 5-4 upgrades will reflect some changes where participation in a broader variety of ride experiences scores points, such as gran fondos and skills clinics. We hope to encourage skills focus and reduce the perceived risks of being thrown into events with more experienced riders.

Clubs & Teams

We had an exciting brain storm session about our club and team system. Clubs are not currently required to promote events. Our committee recommended that we continue this policy but that we add incentives for clubs and organizations who wish to promote a broad array of cycling-related events. We discussed a ranking system – along the lines of USAC’s Coach or Officials Continuing Education Credit tracks – where clubs can earn distinction through various activities which help grow the sport.

The Committee also had a lively discussion about the importance of acknowledging our winners but also in recognizing supporters. Cycling is a team sport with individual winners, and these individuals rely on others in mass start events. We started a discussion about how to shift our focus and reflect society’s changing behaviors about groups and working together. We hope to report more about this.

Cycling Service

We are all weary of our national Election Season, but we want you to be thinking about Cycling’s Elected Representatives.The Road Committee has two spots for Athlete Representatives – and both positions are vacant. We need you to come alongside us and provide your point of view. We discussed changing the qualifications for these roles so that a broader base can participate. Look for more on this soon so you can seek nomination in July Elections.

Until next month!

Truly Yours,


Road Coach Representative

Prayers: Table of Contents

Posted in A Table of Contents, Prayers for the Peloton on November 15, 2011 by bethleasure

Prayers for the Peloton is a daily prayer book written to meet the spiritual need in competitive cycling. In particular I wanted to let the cycling community know that no matter what the challenge, someone has prayed for them to fight through to victory.

I wrote Prayers in 2008 when I came off the race circuit to care for aging parents, and then blogged it, updating as I blogged, about twice weekly until completion in November, 2011. The book is dedicated to my parents, Bernard DeSeal Leasure and M. June Leasure, two prayer warriors and victors in life, who enjoyed riding bikes.

Under the sub-headings for Prayers for the Peloton, the book contains a daily prayer, roughly tracking the competitive road racing season. Six prayers per week are offered – assuming a rest day, even from spiritual discipline. Six days for off-season contemplation is also offered under October. See the original Table of Contents below.

Some of the Titles of daily prayers were modified when blogged but the format remains the same. Interestingly, even though written and scheduled to blog well prior, many of the blog entries responded to the current, publicized and private, needs in the race community. This was purely providential, perhaps a sign that a loving God loves those who race bikes.

This Treasured Subculture Prayer for You, the Special Reader
A Time for Everything  
Finding the Balance Prayer for Rest
Repairing Prayer for Restored Body
Let It Go Prayer for Release
Clean It Up Prayer for Internal Health
Reconnecting Prayer for Reciprocity
Re-Evaluating Prayer for Wisdom
Racing Community  
Riders Ready Prayer for Race Officials
Wrenches, Wenches & Trenches Prayer for Bicycle Mechanics
2,016 Water Bottles Prayer for Soigneurs
Event-full Prayer for Race Promoters & Volunteers
A Picture’s Worth Prayer for Photographers & Cameramen
Extra, Extra Prayer for Media
Clean Cycling  
Burnished Medals Prayer for Ethics
A Painful Reveille Prayer for Conscience
Dark Places Prayer for Consequences
A Lightened Burden Prayer for Confession
Racing at Two Speeds Prayer for Team Docs, Medical Community
Passport to Somewhere Prayer for Control: Procedures & Enforcers
Cross Training  
Confidence Builders Prayer for Cross-Training
Bearing One’s Cross Prayer for Cyclo-Cross Community
High Tail It Prayer for Mountain Bike Community
Beyond the Blue Line Prayer for Track Racing
Powerhouse, Poses & Posture Prayer for Strength, Flexibility Conditioning
Firm Foundation  
Live Chat Prayer for Training Program, Coaches
Bloody Good Show Prayer for Health Check-Ups
Conconi, Wingate, Schoberer & Co Prayer for Performance Tests, Physiologists
Body Geometry Prayer for Bike Positioning & Fitters
General Store Prayer for Bike Maintenance, Shops
Hitched Prayer for Bike Clubs
Winter Homework  
Money in the Bank Prayer for Endurance
No Excuses Prayer for Work Ethic
Frozen Nose, Toes & Clothes Prayer for Cold Weather Preparation
Making Music Prayer for Pedaling Efficiency
wanna make u Jump Jump Prayer for Neuromuscular Reactivity
Rock On Prayer for Indoor Training
High Octane Fuel  
Your Ambrosia Prayer for Healthy Diet, Good Nutrition
Necessary Nectar Prayer for Hydration
Intangible Assets Prayer for Sunlight, Pure Air, Sleep
Boosts & Balms Prayer for Clean Supplementation, Meds
Fast Feeds Prayer for Ride/Race Fueling
Another Nourishment Prayer for Encouragement
The Spiritual Cyclist  
Christmas Wishes Prayer for Joy
Higher Power Prayer for Faith
Heart Power Prayer for Forgiveness
Staying Power Prayer for Patience
Wielding Power Prayer for Humility
Lean, Serene, Cycling Keen Prayer for Peace
New Year’s Resolve  
Signs Between Switchbacks Prayer for Direction
Cyclist of the Year Prayer for Goal-Setting
Making It Happen Prayer for Planning
Les Sept Chemins  The Seven Ways Prayer for Event Selection
Modernization Prayer for Logistics & Licensing
Shifting Gears Prayer for Adaptability
Warming Up  
Warm Climes Prayer for Travel
Warm Accommodations Prayer for Hosts
Warm Climbs Prayer for Climbing Fitness/Strength
Warm Bods Prayer for Massage/Therapeutic Treatments
Warm Thoughts Prayer for Positive Thinking
Warm Companions Prayer for Training Partners
No “I” in Team  
Plein Air Professionals Prayer for Pro Teams
The Right People Prayer for Team Leadership
Top Down Prayer for Ownership/General Management
All-In Prayer for Teamwork
Extreme Preparation Prayer for Teambuilding/Training Camps
Field Commander Prayer for Directeur Sportif
Skills Seminar  
Bump-n-Thump Prayer for Bike Handling Skills
Savoir Faire: In the Know Prayer for Competence & Skills Mastery
A River Runs Through It Prayer for Pack Skills
Rage Against The Machine Prayer for Cornering Skills
Clocked at 64mph Prayer for Descending Skills
Million-Dollar Decision Prayer for Safety
World-Wide Welcome Back  
Blessing of the Bikes Prayer for Racing Season
New World Class Prayer for Globalization
International Cycling Relations Prayer for Union Cyclist Internationale
Invitation Only Prayer for Racing Organizations
Off To See The Wizard Prayer for Australian Cycling
Magic Carpet Ride Prayer for Middle East Cycling
Beginnings & Endings  
Mass Starts Prayer for Group Rides/Training Races
Flashes of Lightning Prayer for Anaerobic Power
Warm-Up, Warm-Down Prayer for Pre-Ride & Recovery Procedures
Dressing for Success Prayer for Cycling Clothing
Schwag Prayer for Equipment Stewardship
Bike Love Prayer for Bicycles
My Funny Valentine  
Love & Bicycling Prayer for Relationships
In Tandem Prayer for Marriage & Family
Solo Attempt Prayer for Singles
In My Ear Prayer for Communication
Trading Pace Prayer for Conflict Resolution
Abandonée                          DNF Prayer for Calling It Quits
Us – United Spokes  
Eagles Wings Prayer for American Cycling
Accord Paritaire               Joint Agreement Prayer for Athletes Rights
Power To The Peloton Prayer for Cycling Unions
Links in the Chain Prayer for International Associations
United Front Prayer for National Federations
Nouveau Départ                Fresh Start Prayer for New Race Season
Foreign Tourin’  
Cycling Explorers Prayer for Cycling Fun
irie jammin         Powerful Good Times Prayer for Caribbean Cycling
Bike Relief Prayer for African Cycling
Tranquilo!                           Relax! Prayer for Central American Cycling
Sin Represas       Without Power-lines Prayer for South American Cycling
Superhighway Prayer for Asian Cycling
In Like a Lamb
Like Sheep Astray Prayer for Lead-Out Skills
Sacrificial Lambs Prayer for Domestiques
Gray Sheep Prayer for Charity Rides
Counting Sheep Prayer for Time Adjustment/Jet Lag
Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing Prayer for Purity/Goodness
Baaahd Manners Prayer for Gentleness/Competitive Etiquette
March Madness  
Bad Blow Prayer for Colds, Flu Recovery
Blown Chances Prayer for Repair/Wheel Change
Blowing Up Prayer for Catching On
Road Rage Prayer for Caravan Safety
Foe & Friend Prayer for Competitors
Off the Baccalaureate Prayer for Collegiate Cycling
Going Green  
Maillot Vert                        Green Jersey Prayer for Sprint Fitness/Skills
Road Envy Prayer for Cycling Advocacy
Green Light Prayer for Traffic Safety/Commuters
Greener Pastures Prayer for Environmentalism
Green Balloons Prayer for a Happy Birthday
Incremental Gains Prayer for Irish Cycling
Out Like A Lion
Ways of the Windblown Prayer for Echelon Skills
Hung Out to Dry Prayer for Spring Conditions
Go Fly a Kite                      La Flamme Rouge Prayer for Tolerance of Pain
Returns the Roar! Prayer for Spring Classics
Gocce de Vita                     Drops of Life Prayer for Italian Cycling
La Primavera                     First of the Season Prayer for Milan San Remo
April Fools  
Anyone Can Race a Grand Tour Prayer for Public Relations
Fool for You Prayer for Public Image
Fool’s Paradise Prayer for Discernment
Tomfoolery Prayer for Teachability
Fools Rush In Prayer for Strategic Insight
Court Jester Prayer for Public Disclosure
Spring Classics  
Grand’Place  de Grote Markt     Market Square Prayer for Belgian Cycling
Light Enough for the Pavé Prayer for Cobblestone Skills
Vlaanderens Mooiste      Best of Flanders Prayer for Tour of Flanders
La Diadème Doré              Gilded Crown Prayer for French Cycling
La Pascale                           The Easter Race Prayer for Paris-Roubaix
April Showers Prayer for Rain Skills
Gezwind Straat                  Fleet Street Prayer for Dutch Cycling
Dutch Masters Prayer for Amstel Gold
Arrow on Target Prayer for Flèche Wallonne
La Doyenne                         Grandma Ardennes Prayer for Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Ab und Zu                            On and Off Prayer for German Cycling
Second Wind Prayer for Rund…Turm
Private Cycling  
Personal Points Prayer for Saddle Comfort
Private Parts Prayer re: Cyclist’s Syndrome
Nature Break Prayer for Modesty
Sacred Places Prayer for Sexuality
Puzzling Area Prayer re: External Iliac Arterial Endofibrosis
Tattooed Tips Prayer for Road Rash Care
May Day, May Day, May Day  
Game On Prayer for Race Readiness
Crash Course Prayer for Safety
Save Our Skins Prayer for Emergency Preparedness
Cycling’s Samaritans Prayer for Emergency Personnel
Break…Away Prayer for Strong Bones
Psyched to Return Prayer for Injury Management
Follow the Leader Prayer for Overcoming Fear after Crashing
Respect as Response Prayer for Paralympic Cycling
See Our Smiles Prayer for Special Olympics Cycling
Give Us A Break Prayer for Radio Communications
Winsome, Lose Some Prayer for Race Announcers
Break-In Prayer against Bike Theft/Crime
May Flowers  
Fresh Blossoms Prayer for Youth Cycling
Race for the Roses Prayer to Stretch Limits
Mountain Laurel Prayer for Climbing Speed
Winner’s Bouquet Prayer for Podium Presence
Corsa Rosa Pink Tour Prayer for Giro d’Italia
Smell the Roses Prayer for Active Recovery
In Memoriam  
Memorial Day Prayer for Military Riders
Mastered Lifestyle Prayer for Veteran Riders
Streets of Gold Prayer for Facing Mortality
Ride of Silence Prayer re: Fallen Cyclists
Maillot Noir                       Mourning Jersey Prayer re: Loss & Grief
Backpedal Prayer for Remembrance
Championship Qualities  
Few Enter In Prayer for Self-Denial
It’s not about the Bike Prayer for Identity
Our Heroes Prayer for Cycling’s Champions
Goat Paths Prayer for Discipline
Audience of One Prayer for Total Release Performance
Songs of Victory Prayer for God’s Help
Championship Psychology  
Tenth Percentile Prayer for Victory
Invincible Strength Prayer for Love Motivation
Journey & Journalists Prayer re: Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation
Sensual Cycling Prayer for Situational Awareness
Bird’s Eye View Prayer for Ride Instinct
Brutal Facts Prayer for Realism
Championship Presence  
A Prince’s Robe Prayer for Bike Poise
Balance Point Prayer for Self-Control
The Zone Prayer for Intensity
Cloak & Dagger Prayer for Stealth
For Such a Time Prayer for Influence
Polished Diamonds Prayer for Refinement
Championship Emotions  
Attack, Counterattack Prayer for Anger Management
At-Risk Prayer for Emotional Health
Tout est Possible  Everything’s Possible Prayer re: Aggressiveness
Chasing the Wind Prayer re: Envy
All the Road’s a Stage Prayer re: Drama
Professional Courtesy Prayer for Competitive Respect
Championship Spirit  
Spirit Power Prayer for Spiritual Life
Spiritual Peloton Prayer for Sanctification
Team Spirit Prayer for Chaplaincy
Yield What You Want Prayer for Submission
Opposition Attracted Prayer re: Handling Criticism
Chain Tension Prayer for Stewardship
Championship Physiology  
Suspended Ceiling Prayer for VO2 Max
Rainbow Silhouettes Prayer re: Power Profile
The Backpack Prayer for Strength to Weight Ratio
Biological Clock Prayer for Time Trial Ability
Cycles & Sabbaths Prayer for Periodization
Peaks & Valleys Prayer for Peaking & Tapering
Championship Strategy  
The Victory Continuum Prayer for Winning Skills
Steam Engine Prayer for Coping with Pressure
Aerobus Prayer for Roster Selection
Break It Down Prayer for Segmentation
True Disciples Prayer for GC Tactics
Sole Survivor Prayer for Solo Situations
Championship Lifestyle  
Know The All-Powerful Prayer for Time with God
Know Thyself Prayer for Purpose in Cycling
Short Accounts Prayer for Supportive Relationships
Shoes Not Made for Walkin’ Prayer for Boundaries & Routine
Still Small Voice Prayer for Specialized Intelligence
Off to the Mines Prayer for Stable Resources
Summer Sunshine  
Yellow Rays Prayer for the Tour de France
Long Shadows Prayer for Speed Endurance
Warm Crowds Prayer for Fans & Spectators
Hot Pick Prayer for Most Aggressive Rider
Sons Rising Prayer for Best Young Rider & Espoirs
Superb Sunsets Prayer for Completion
Summer Carnival  
Speed Season Prayer for Criterium Racing
Sounds of Summer Prayer for Criterium Fitness & Specialists
Summit on the Road Prayer re: Collusion
Rainbow Tour Prayer for European Cycling
8 Years for a Day Prayer for Olympic Cycling
Street Performers Prayer for Celebration
Heat Wave  
Wheels Flambé Prayer re: Burn-Out
Some Like it Hot Prayer for Heat Acclimatization
Hot & Bothered Prayer for Sex Drive & Racing
What’s Hot, What’s Not Prayer re: Trends & Fads
Dog Days Prayer re: Animal Interaction
Cycling Mirage Prayer for Road Infrastructure
Seasonal Transitions  
Reverie & Realism Prayer for the Future
Blame Game Prayer to Take Responsibility
Missed the Break               Day 1 Prayer for Realistic Assessment
Bridge the Gap                    Day 2 Prayer for Realistic Assessment
Dreams Dashed Prayer for New Expectations
Stair-Step Climb Prayer for Renewed Expectations
Race Favorite Prayer for Favor
Harvest Work Prayer for Contentment
Wheeling & Dealing Prayer for Team Politics
Buddy System Prayer for Peer Support
Wheels In True Prayer for Contracts & Negotiations
Bittersweet Fruit Prayer for Comebacks
The Hard Rode  
Battles & Wars Prayer re: Losing & Failure
Bonking & Bulimia Prayer for Weight Management
Broken Hearts & Bad Company Prayer re: Loneliness & Isolation
Bad Guys & Good Guys Prayer re: Unpopularity
Between Rides Prayer re: Vanishing Events/Opportunities
Broke & Bewildered Prayer re: Lack & Uncertainty
Bottom Line to Start Line  
Tour de Globe Prayer for Cycling’s Prosperity
Hamstrings & Purse Strings Prayer for Financial Resources
Outside the (Tool) Box Prayer for Resourcefulness
Grass Is Green Prayer for Human Resources
Free Wheeling Prayer for Fiscal Responsibility
Rolling Billboards Prayer for Cash Sponsorship
Title Sponsor Prayer for Brand Building
Spokespeople Prayer for Marketing & Advertising
Market Bikes Prayer for Equipment Sponsorship
Bike Messengers Prayer for Cycling Manufacturers
Bike Holidays Prayer for Bike Trade Shows
Race for the Cure Prayer for Cause Sponsorship
Autumn Glory  
Golden Season Prayer for Fall Classics
Golden Asset Prayer for La Vuelta a España
Annual Colors Prayer for World Championships
What Goes Up Prayer for Altitude Acclimatization
Must Come Down Prayer for Cooling Off
Golden Years Prayer for Lifetime Cycling
Ride IQ  
DQ: Deception Quotient Prayer for Clarity
Smart Cycling Prayer for Brain Power & Problem-Solving
Bikes-Wit-Byte Prayer for Knowledge & Information
Peloton Review Prayer for Cycling Research
Proctors of the Peloton Prayer for Testing Methodologies
Patents of the Peloton Prayer for Cycling Technologies
WWCD: What Would Cyclists Do?
Cyclists Pace                                            Prayer for Pacing Strategy
Cyclists Equalize Prayer for Women’s Cycling
Cyclists Rule Prayer for Government & Police
Cyclists Breathe Prayer for Exercise-Induced Asthma
Cyclists Speak Prayer for Canadian & British Cycling
Cyclists Pray Prayer for Us, The Cycling Community
Victory Lap  
For Our Deeds Praise for Accomplishments
Faithful Responses Praise for Answers to Prayer
Fantastic Reorganization Praise for Cycling Reforms
Fellowship Resumes Praise for Renewed Cooperation
Fare Thee Well Praise for Racing Season
Finish Line Praise for Off-Season
Prayers Revisited   An off-week study guide to start your rest period
Favorite Prayer Day 1
Day 2
Challenging Prayer Day 1
Day 2
New Prayer Day 1
Day 2
Off-Season Transition Two Weeks unstructured praise & restful prayer

Cycling & Off-Season

Posted in Victory Lap on November 15, 2011 by bethleasure

Fare Thee Well

40“Every year at season’s end, I evaluate what happened this year and thank God for it before deciding where He will lead me the next year.” Kim Morrow, Masters World Champion & Cycling Coach

Fare thee well cycling friends...


A long season closes after – many peaks and valleys, straight and crooked roads, still and windy days, hot and chillin’ moments, old bases of support and new acquaintances, deepening experience and teachable times, predictions and surprises, goals missed and hopes met, defeats and yes some victories – some of them in the form of race wins.

Each year brings its set of troubles and triumphs. Whether it finishes on a low or a high note, we have songs of praise to sing. Be joyful now and carry the highest hopes for what’s ahead. Problems aside, just now we are thankful for what has come and what is.

An entire season of daily Prayers for the Peloton has now been blogged. To track the season and see some off-season notes, see Prayers: Table of Contents. Fare thee well my friends.


Ah, when to the heart of man

                        Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

                        To yield with a grace to reason,

And bow and accept the end

                        Of a love or a season?     41Robert Frost


42Praise Our God Above (Harvest Song)

Praise our God above, source of boundless love:

                               Spring wind, summer rain, then the harvest grain;

                               pearly rice and corn, fragrant autumn morn.

                               Though our work is hard, God gives us reward.


                               God’s care like a cloak wraps us humble folk,

                               makes all green things grow, ripens what we sow.

                               Through God we are strong; sing our harvest song.

                        Sing praise, field and flower, praise God’s mighty power


Praise for Racing Season

 “God! Let people thank and enjoy you.
Let all people thank and enjoy you.
Earth, display your exuberance!
You mark us with blessing, O God, our God.”
43Psalm 67:5-6

We are glad for another year of competitive cycling. We are grateful for all the people in the cycling community that participate, orchestrate, and watch bike racing. Thanks for another year of health, fitness, and joy. Even the suffering has brought good rewards. Even our pains have led to blessings and we count those now.

Ponder What am I most thankful for this past racing season? Affirm I am so glad for — this year! Watch and carry these blessings into your next season of cycling and life.

40Conversations with Kim Morrow. Kim’s website is

41An excerpt from the poem, Reluctance by Robert Frost

422061. Praise Our God Above (Harvest Song) Text: Tzu-chen Chao; trans. by Frank W. Price, alt. (Deut. 8:1-3, 6-10; Matt.6:25-33) Music: Confucian Dacheng Chant; arr. by W.H. Wong Tune: HSUANPING, Meter: 55.55 D. This tune can be heard on

43The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Cycling & Government

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on November 11, 2011 by bethleasure

Cyclists Rule

9“Government must help to eliminate cars so that bicycles can help to eliminate government.” Dutch Bicycle Advocacy Slogan

Precise direction helps when government lead the people


Just as various governments have more control than others, so do federal and municipal governments worldwide have various funds, programs, and policies regarding road use by bicyclists. Contrast Chinese bike use with a Dutchman’s commute. From a highly organized network of bike lanes to bicycle-prioritized boulevards to gravel roads which span a continent, ride experience changes across borders.


Governments worldwide are awakening to planning and maintaining roads with us in mind. A connection between energy resources, health, and economic issues that’s always been obvious to cyclists as road-users is at the forefront of societal trends but perhaps not prioritized as a policy everywhere. Bicycle commuters and cyclo-tourism benefit when road planning for us is part of government planning. Bike racers benefit in training from these potentially safer streets and awareness by drivers. We rely on government highway authorities.


The coordination of all the municipalities and agencies is a huge task to make bicycle policy. Likewise, getting a bike race promoted requires liaison with all sorts of government officials. Incentives include tourist dollars, public relations, sponsor exposure, conservation, and traffic control. It requires cash to pay for it. It also requires patrols to monitor it.


The police sirens of every nation blare distinctive warnings in their protective, directive duty. From a French two-beat blare in a minor key to the tranquilo tunes of Mexican police autos, you can hear a peloton coming like heads of state in a caravan!


Share the Road signs warn the American motorist to watch out for us. Perhaps it can remind us as we ride that the responsibility for enabling our especially beloved form of motion is shared with Big Brother everywhere. Us means government and police involvement with cycling in infrastructure, race promotion, sponsorship, and bicycle governance.


Prayer for Government & Police

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.” 101 Timothy 2:1-2

We confess we take for granted so much as we sling a leg over a top tube to take a ride on the road. We ask for government interest and cooperation in cycling and our safety. We ask blessing on government as they legislate and administrate us.


Ponder What is my government doing for cycling? Affirm I ask not only what government is doing for cycling, but what I as a cyclist am doing for government. Watch Big Brother back and share the rule.


9“Bicycle Quotes,” from Bicycle Humor! Posted on and taken from The Quotable Cyclist: Great Moments of Bicycling Wisdom, Inspiration and Humor by Bill Strickland published by Breakaway Books Series

10The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Cycling & Asthma

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on November 9, 2011 by bethleasure

Cyclists Breathe

11“I think the asthma medicine has helped my time drop just this last week b/c my breathing has improved so much. Today I was NEVER wheezing and that hasn’t happened ever this season. I give God and the coaches all of the credit!” Marshal Hartley, Junior Cyclist


Asthma needn't slow you down.

Marshal improved despite Exercise-Induced Asthma, EIA. Inhaler relief complemented learning to relax during races. EIA can result in decreased exhalation, discomfort, and distraction.

Asthma is long-term inflammation of the lung’s breathing passages and its attacks can be mild as well as life-threatening. While 12only a small percentage of Sudden Cardiac Deaths are related to asthma, 13mortality rates per 100,000 are 1-3 people per year. In an attack, airways swell and secrete large amounts of mucous. This leads to shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness. Attacks may be caused by a number of factors, such as: air quality, respiratory infections, allergens in air, extremes of temperature and humidity, emotional stress, and exercise intensity.

Those with EIA are 14unusually sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Continuous, hard cycling is a more likely scenario for an attack than short bursts interspersed with breaks. Cyclists can control EIA through purposeful warm-ups and cool-downs and meds.

EIA prescriptions are a class of drugs related to the hormone, adrenaline, requiring a standard Therapeutic Use Exemption by WADA. However, research is 15“overwhelmingly on the side that in otherwise healthy individuals, taking a beta-2 (β2) agonist will not help performance even if it helps pulmonary function (studies are mixed on the latter).” Therefore, breathing for the asthmatic improves but there is no 16ergogenic potential of inhaled β2 agonists in non-asthmatic athletes.

With treatment, elite athletes with EIA are not hindered to perform but may still cope with stress related to the condition, and an attack may be a scary, exhausting experience. Whether you suffer this yourself or see it in another in the peloton, enlist an asthma/allergy expert for help.

Prayer re: Exercise-Induced Asthma

My strength is gone, and it is hard for me to breathe….He said…‘Don’t be afraid. God loves you very much. Peace be with you. Be strong now; be courageous.’” 17Revelation 10:17, 19

We ask for easy breathing, the proper approval for prescription inhalers and complete 18healing if You will it.

Ponder Do I seek God for all that ails me? Affirm I surrender to peace when fear tries to grip me. Watch God meet you in every struggle.


11Conversations with Marshal Hartley, Junior Cyclist with EIA

12“Sudden Death in Young Athletes,” presented by John Vitarello MD F.A.C.C. on November 8, 2007 as a USA Cycling webinar.

13“Asthma” listed on Center for Disease Control website Figures vary depending on region and ethnicity.

14“Exercise-Induced Asthma,” posted on

15Conversation with Sam Callan,USA Cycling Science & Education onApril 10, 2008. This is not necessarily an official USAC opinion. Sam himself has EIA.

16“Inhaled beta-2 (ß2) agonists and performance in competitive athletes,” by W Kindermann and T Meyer published in British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006; 40 (Supplement 1) Copyright © 2006 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

17The Holy Bible, New Century Version® Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

18Asthma is reversible through medical treatment in some cases. See the following book for an Asthma anecdote from a spiritual perspective in conjunction with medical treatment, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Jake Colsen Copyright © 2006 Lifestream Ministries published by Windblown Media Moorpark, CA

Cycling & Altitude

Posted in Autumn Glory on November 4, 2011 by bethleasure

What Goes Up

54“…Altitude tents are about learning to live with less oxygen. So then what about training in an environment without any oxygen? Now that’s the way to really do it. The next day we…pioneered…underwater training. The oxygen deprived environment lurking below the surface of lakes and oceans may be just what is needed to condition the body to perform with less oxygen…it was tricky at first getting used [to] riding underwater…looking at the little fish is also a nice change of scenery.” Highlander Bicycles

The latest trend in training?

This was a joke, but sometimes we cyclists go to ridiculous depths to adapt to the heights of competitiveness. More accepted practices for altitude acclimatization seem just as ridiculous. In just the last several years, altitude researchers reveal puzzling and sometimes conflicting data regarding altitude’s affect on performance. Sifting through myths, we outline the latest truths about ascending the heights with success. First truth is that this field of study is still finding out new information. By the time this is published, new studies will probably be available. In the meantime, facts as we currently understand them:

*Best to arrive hours prior to an event at altitude is FALSE. It helps to arrive last minute for events above 10,000’ but it’s better even at that height to gradually adapt by sleeping a mile high (5680’) the night before.

* The idea that altitude doesn’t affect you for several days is FALSE. 55Studies show that an effect takes place upon arrival at altitude within 8 minutes of hard exertion.

* Altitude doesn’t affect everyone – mostly FALSE. 56“At moderately-high altitudes (6,000-10,000 feet), most athletes see about a 10% decrease in their sustainable power at lactate threshold…with an even greater decrease in power output…closer to VO2 max.”

* The idea that altitude riders will beat you at altitude is FALSE. Performance is affected, but a fitter athlete can still win. Much was made of competing at altitude during Collegiate Nationals but the proof was many podium performers were from sea-level.

* Time is your friend for altitude acclimatization –TRUE. There are several periods of notable adaptation but complete transfer takes 12-18 months.

* Training at altitude gives you an edge – FALSE. Training at altitude could negatively affect performance since during the acclimatization period; sea level power outputs cannot be sustained. 57Losing a year’s max training potential during adaptation isn’t recommended.

* Live High, Train Low is NOT YET PROVEN. 58Anecdotal studies point to positive results. Studies proving success with altitude tents and hypoxic devices depend on duration of daily exposure over time. There are no results yet for how long the effect can be maintained.


Weather’s counterpart, Terrain, and her friend – High Ground is another cycling personification that becomes a friend through long acquaintance.

Prayer for Altitude Acclimatization

“So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.” 591 Corinthians 7:23-24

We acknowledge praying for this may compromise lowland power. Be with us wherever we are.

Ponder What do I cling to for help when challenged? Affirm God is with me everywhere. Watch for signs of God on flat road and over mountain passes.


54“Altitude Training with a Twist,” Highlander News 1 Copyright © 2005 Highlander Bicycle

55“Performance At Altitude,” presented by Andrew W. Subudhi, PhD,University ofColorado,AltitudeResearchCenter, April, 2008 a webinar by USA Cycling Sciences & Education

56“Carmichael Sez: Hors Challenges In The Alps,” posted July 22, 2008 as “Tour de France Coverage: Full Story,” on

57If you’re going to move to altitude, do so in the Fall or a nearing off-season so you have months to start acclimatization during what is potentially an off-period or a phase of low intensity work.

58“Simulated Altitude,” by Andrew W. Subudhi, PhD, University of Colorado, Altitude Research Center, at USA Cycling Coaching Summit, October, 2006

59The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Cycling Marketing & Advertising

Posted in Bottom Line to Start Line on November 1, 2011 by bethleasure


35“It’s not the rider going across the line with his/her arm raised, but how did the sponsorship affect sales, connect with people and the market?”  Michael Aisner, Cycling Promoter

Wins yes, sponsor sustainability...not this time.

Teams can be enormously successful in race results and still lose sponsorship. The key to a successful relationship between sponsor and sport is to target corporate marketing objectives and cooperate in a joint program to get the word out. For sponsorship to continue, bike racers become messengers of corporate marketing, not just the bearers of name brands on jerseys, which is only a small piece of sponsor strategy. Winning may not even be important to the corporate marketing strategy.

A message is marketed in various ways, and there can be many strategies. Athletes are sponsored mostly because of influential abilities as spokespeople, connecting sponsor interests to desired markets. For an established brand, it’s more about driving more consumers more often to the product than publicizing it.

There are other strategies as well. Sometimes the goal is an alignment with cycling’s values and brand for health, active lifestyles, environmentalism, a cause, or particular technologies. The match may be to reach a similar demographic of race enthusiasts to recruit employees or other services. It may be to educate a company about an emerging product line as a research unit with athletic applications. It may be to reach specific markets where races have broad consumer exposure or to send cyclists to retail centers to attract customers thereby appealing to a broader demographic.

This may occur at bike races, but also at events within a sponsor’s industry including expos, trade shows,  swap meets, pod casts, websites, email newsletters, and the be all-end all, media exposure. Some live to track media hits to ensure the value of its cycling investment. Others establish ambassador programs where teams represent a brand message at school visits. The value of this type of visibility is tougher to evaluate for measurable impact.

Whichever strategy, cycling sponsorship is an extension of corporate marketing’s efforts to speak to the people they want to reach. Bike racers may need to be concerned about winning – races and continued sponsorship, and the two may be exclusive goals.

Prayer for Marketing & Advertising

“I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 36Romans 9:17

We ask for new ways to present cycling to the world – ways that attract sustainable provision.

Ponder What organizations would benefit from a cycling presence? Affirm I am my sponsor’s representative. Watch your talk because it’s not just about you.


35“Rasmussen College Summit: Sponsorship,” Rasmussen Summit Staff presented “Sponsorship: Getting it, keeping it.” Moderator-Tom Schuler, Team Sports Panelists: Michael Aisner-Coors Classic, David Kutoff-Materials Processing Corporation, Stephanie Scott-Jelly Belly Candy Company, David Wilson-Wheaties. Posted on “Women Cyclists: Articles”


Tom Schuler gets Honorable Mention in this piece. He was one of the original crew within an American sponsorship dynasty that began as the 7-Eleven squad and evolved into Motorola, with eventual ties to US Postal Service and eventually Discovery Channel. Tom has run a number of successful teams proving his longevity as a survivor in the intense milieu of cycling’s well-sponsored teams through quality marketing programs – Team Saturn being the crown jewel thus far, but with Team Type 1 number 1 as a cause sponsorship.

36The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Cycling & Cool

Posted in Autumn Glory on October 28, 2011 by bethleasure

Must Come Down

60Wearing an ice vest before [performance] in warm, humid conditions allowed athletes to start and finish the competition with a lower Tc [core temperature] than did those who did not wear a vest.

University Research, Cooling Study

A little too cool

Class is back in session and we need to be reminded that we’re never too cool for school by using smart products. Old school helmet-less racing had a cool factor other than its justification that they were too hot to wear during hard climbs. Technological advances in helmets that don’t thwart heat dissipation were catalyzed by several race-related deaths due to head trauma. So we’re using our heads and wearing lids these days because it’s way cooler, so to speak.

Another cooling product is the ice vest as a means to promote cooler core temperatures. Reduction of thermal stress caused by prolonged exertion upon core temperature contributes to increased performance by reducing sweat rates, allowing the rider to worker harder for longer. In fact, 61studies show that optimal time trial performance occurs around 50°F. Another 62study concluded that repeated sprint exercise in hot temperatures resulted in a faster rate of fatigue but also resulted in higher peak power outputs due to increased pedal cadences. So maybe it’s not so cool to be too cool in certain events.

Finally, one of the coolest activities in cycling, leg-shaving, is associated with one of cycling’s coolest products – embrocation creams. The ritual and the oils within act as a 63thermal layer keeping you cool on hot days and protected and warmed in rain and cold.

As temperatures cool down, dress accordingly and remember that after all this year’s hard riding, your best ride may come during this season of optimal aerobic temperatures. And if you get a hot day, you may be able to post the highest sprint outputs of the year. Either way, a cool-down is a great way to end an argument, a ride, and a season.

Prayer for Cooling Off

“God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time…Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. He gets the last word. Keep a cool head. Stay alert…The suffering won’t last forever.  64 First Peter 5:6-11

We ask blessing on times likes these when we utilize the products and methods that capture the essence of cycling’s cool factor.

Ponder Where’s my cool weather cycling gear? Affirm I’m psyched there’s never a ho-hum day as a bike rider. Watch the leaves change, enjoy these colorful autumn moments; now eyes back on the road!

60“Warming Up With an Ice Vest: Core Body Temperature Before and After Cross-Country Racing,” Hunter & Hopkins, Brigham Young University, and Casa, University of Connecticut published in Journal of Athletic Training 2006 Oct–Dec; 41(4): 371–374.

61“Mythbusters,” a webinar presented by Stephen J. McGregor, Ph.D. on3/18/08 arranged by USA Cycling. Stephen is part of USA Cycling Science & Education faculty and Applied Physiology Laboratory of Eastern Michigan University.

62“Human power output during repeated sprint cycle exercise: the influence of thermal stress,” by Ball & Sargeant- Neuromuscular Biology Group, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University; and Burrows-Royal Liverpool University Hospitals. Copyright © 2008


64The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Cycling & Equipment Sponsorship

Posted in Bottom Line to Start Line on October 26, 2011 by bethleasure

Market Bike

37The team works closely with technical sponsors and this allows us to bring new and innovative products not only to athletes but also to consumers.Scott Bicycles, Equipment Sponsor

Latest and greatest is enhanced by athlete input.

Products Pros Need – An Incomplete List: bikes-components-glasses-helmets-pedals-powermeters-rollers-saddles-tires-wheels. Some of the latter is equipment from within the bike industry; and some stuff comes from elsewhere: vehicles-insurance-travel-nutrition-communications-clothing.


When a team goes to market, a more-equipped bike than a cruiser with a straw basket on the handlebars brings home the day’s fresh bread. Generally, so much stuff requires calculated logistical preparation for safe handling in vehicles the size of truck containers and caravans. This vast movement of supplies down-line from manufacturer/provider to market uses cycling as a vehicle to connect with consumers.


An added benefit or reason for equipment sponsorship may be technical innovations inspired by athletes. Usually this has to do with tweaking and specifying versus testing although destruction happens regularly. These failed tests generally stay quiet as part of the secrets of the caravan that are privy among team and supplier. Often improvements and cool innovations result from real-world Research & Development.


Like cash sponsors, equipment suppliers need to see a return on investment in similar marketing strategies from branding messages to shared values to corporate visibility. A cycling team’s shopping list may be scrawled on a loose scrap of paper held tightly at a trade show but once bagged, it’s widely consumed.


Prayer for Equipment Sponsorship

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” 38Proverbs 22:7

We recognize we’re not slaves to equipment sponsors, but that borrowing does come with responsible representation. Lending also comes with trust that products are safe and sturdy – able to handle race demands. We pray for all the necessary provisions for competitiveness and some wants as well as rewards. We ask for assistance with logistics to manage all this schwag. We ask to reach new audiences with fan give-aways and marketing strategies. Bless our equipment sponsors.


Ponder What am I using to ride or race that is truly a great product? Affirm I tell others about who has the goods! Watch your manners when it comes to public product comparisons as this year’s best may be bust next year and this year’s novelty may work better next year.


37“Scott Bicycles To Become The Equipment Sponsor of Team Columbia,” by Editor posted September 10, 2008 on

38New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Cycling & Reform

Posted in Victory Lap on October 21, 2011 by bethleasure

Fantastic Reorganization?


33“This reorganisation has been the subject of intense discussion with the teams and organisers with the view to establishing a common platform to allow cycling to return to a period of stability and serenity.” UCI Plan for the future of professional cycling


“The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance.” ― Thomas Jefferson


This entry was originally written at a time when the road beneath our bikes shifted a little less, and this was meant as a Praise entry for cycling’s apparent reforms. Since then, pro cycling’s track record on being truly reformed seems shakier still and perhaps has pedaled a few strokes in reverse. A winner of Grand Tours remains untried for alleged activity; and yet another is under federal investigation. The sport’s governing bodies seem even more entrenched in a purpose of smoothing things over to maintain status quo, pursuing its role of Promoter in conflict with its role as Overseer.


Even the humblest of coaches can appreciate that even a great athlete cannot have two goals in conflict and expect to accomplish either with supreme excellence. Let’s say Lance Armstrong wants to pursue both a Tour win and Olympic gold in the 500m sprint. For his coach to advise that as a conflict in goals and that he’d be better served focusing on the one thing he does really well would be the loving thing to do. But if the coach were more concerned about personal ambition and expansion and could see Lance impacting both areas at least some, then the coach may advise with self-interest. Lance loses the Tour but crowds flock to watch him challenge; he gains a placing on the track but walks away medal-less, in this fantastic scenario. The coach sells more books; Lance’s media entourage penetrates the world of track; the promoters of the Tour are a bit richer. No one walks away claiming excellence. The coach has chosen something other than the high road of loving Lance.


Thus it’s not harsh to point out when goals are in conflict, even if there is a payback in the short-term within that conflict. There is also a cost in the long-term, a huge cost. Thus let me do the loving thing for cycling and its participants and not be the first to point out that the goal of promoting cycling is in direct conflict with the goal of overseeing its behavior. These kinds of organizational checks and balances are why democracies thrive – the executive branch must be accountable to the legislative process, which is bound by the judicial system. Each organization focused on its goal, pursues its purpose in an accountable, presumably better way where the opportunity, at least, for less corruption provides for a healthy society, where care for its citizens demonstrates its excellence.


We have a long way to go for accountability to be the norm in cycling, and for its citizens to be in the best care. Significant reform is necessary, and former dictatorships must die. Short-term stability is compromising specialization and excellence in the long-term. Every successful athlete accepts the short-term pain in the process of long-term excellence.


I originally wrote: “today celebrate your discovery, confession, repentance and reforms!” but now I feel instead we should pray all the harder for that discovery, confession, and repentance, as well as for the reform that is its evidence. That reform must include a separation of powers based upon the admission that in fact, cycling citizens are better served by accountable governing.


And so I end with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Va., 1782.



34Amazing Grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.


Praise for Cycling Reforms (in advance)

“Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.’  Suddenly the pressure was gone—my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared. These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;

when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts we’ll be on high ground, untouched. Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be— you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky—God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him.

Celebrate God. Sing together—everyone!  All you honest hearts, raise the roof!” 35Psalm 32:5-6,1-2,11

We are glad for stellar examples of confession, repentance and restoration in professional cycling. Thank You for forgiving honest hearts and for making beauty out of ashes. Thank You for many graces that keep us on the high road.


Ponder In what area in cycling did I realize I was wrong? I know my area, do you know yours? Affirm I celebrate change and reform in my character, even if that change hurts! Watch what could be when the limits of power are subject to other powers; just as competition makes us stronger.



33“UCI’s plans for Future of Pro Cycling,” By Rebecca Charlton – Cycling TV posted Switzerland| Cycling 18-08-08 on

34Amazing Grace by John New­ton, Ol­ney HymnsLon­don: W. Ol­i­ver, 1779

35The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson