Archive for the What Would Cyclists Do? Category

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 www.atlantabike.org 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

 

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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 www.cdc.gov Figures vary depending on region and ethnicity.

14“Exercise-Induced Asthma,” posted on www.Emedicinehealth.com

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 www.jakecolsen.com

British & Canadian Cycling

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on June 14, 2011 by bethleasure

Cyclists Speak

19“Nah ah’tall      Translation:         I think he can do it (an impossible race feat)

blimey                    Translation:         Wow that was an awesome move!

t’isn’tit?                  Translation:         He really could’ve done better.

maght ah dun yeah  Translation:But since he didn’t, let’s tell you what we think he should’ve done.

ah bit-ah faahya-pow-hya   Translation: He needs  power/courage / strength/speed/brains

British-isms from two Race Announcers speaking one form of English

 

Dans la tape (said with 2 fingers pressed against your jugular then exhale puhhhh.) Translation: In the Tape/On the rivet/Maxed                                                           Québécois Cycling Slang

Beryl Burton dans la tape

 

Wish my translations were as witty as a Brit’s. Isn’t it great that English is becoming another language of the peloton? Our English-speaking cousins and French-speaking friends from Canada bring a remarkable contribution to competitive cycling – from the refined streets of posh Londoners poised to teach the world how to time trial to the Scottish highlands of famous hors catégorie specialists to the rugged regions of western Canada known for epic riding to eurocool Québéc, an enclave of cycling culture. So many stories, characters, achievements, interesting tid-bits too great for this one run-on paragraph.

 

These are ways of winners whose language we want to speak, and dialects we wish to understand! I acknowledge and ponder and praise the peoples of these areas today with a story from each country:

 

Svein Tuft, World TT silver medalist based in 20back country, mountaineering for several years before taking up competitive cycling, but not before pedaling a bike trailer as he trekked through snow – tough, but demure off his bike. That’s impressive, Eh?!

 

From across the pond, British Time Trialist 21Beryl Burton was introduced to cycling by her husband. She won 100 titles over 30 years of racing. She earned the distinction of Best All-Arounder by winning 25, 50, and 100 mile trials and reserved the title for 25 years. She set several national records and won seven world titles. Her distance in the 12-hour time trial was over 5 miles more than the men’s record.

 

Two warriors of the sport from separate continents represent the shared language of a universal passion. Both nations’ cycling histories deserve books, and more, this prayer.

 

Prayer for Canadian & British Cycling

Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.” 22Zechariah 6:8

 

We ask blessing on Canadian and British cycling.

 

Ponder Who are my favorite Canadian and British cyclists? Affirm I think both countries rock as far as cycling enthusiasm. Watch these places for more great riding and glib speech to come.

 

19Two unnamed British race announcers, lovable and understandable enough calling a race on www.cycling.tv

20“An interview with Svein Tuft: From survivorman to cyclist,” posted September 24, 2007 www.cyclingnews.com

21“Beryl Burton” Britannica Online Encyclopedia www.britannica.com

22The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Pacing Strategy

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on June 7, 2011 by bethleasure

Cyclists Pace

1“The beauty of cycling is that you’re forced to think and to be so calculating at the same time as your body is in agony from hard effort…the important question is how you distribute that effort.” Dr. Stephen Cheung, Cyclist & Exercise Physiologist

Zabriskie zings the pace

Distribution of effort within a Pacing Strategy is a must for a competitor whose endeavor is a new personal best. Generally, when pacing is discussed among physiologists about road racing, the main focus concerns effort against the clock. Graphically, these efforts have many shapes. The most typical shapes tell a story, such as: the classic tophat silhouette of an even effort preached as salvation in the early days of powermeter analyses; a U-curve typical of self-paced efforts with a hard start then forced adjustment reducing average power output and last ditch punch in the final kilometer; and a tight sawtooth pattern reflecting a tough course with uneven efforts within a certain range. A winning ride isn’t based on a picture but on which of these or other patterns covers the distance in the least amount of time.

 

2Studies indicate subjective pacing without a powermeter tend toward slower times. Starting too fast is often the main culprit. Riders with pacing technology have a more complicated task devising a strategy that incorporates many details, such as air conditions, cadence, and terrain. There are subjective means to transverse that terrain based on rider strengths and intuition within a certain power output. There are objective measures using an overall average wattage coupled with time or speed splits at intervals, or max and minimum watt targets based on course features applied at starts, ascents, descents, corners, finishes etc. A mix of this time trialist intuition and the science of the numbers provides a winning formula for pacing.

 

Another factor to consider is 3feedback – a luxury for an amateur but precision science spoken to the rider by team staff during the event. While Pacing Strategy is applied most notably in a time trial, road races also require distribution of effort. Studies about pacing are few, but it is clear that riding like a brute out of the blocks isn’t the proper method.

 

Pacing varies its energies throughout the year for racing, training, psychology, goals, spiritual growth, resources – all of which must be distributed well for optimal performance.

 

Prayer for Pacing Strategy

“The Lord your God…directs you in the way you should go.” 4Isaiah 48:17

 

We ask for wisdom in recognizing our governors for optimal pacing.

 

Ponder What am I using to set pace? Affirm I let these markers propel and not prohibit me. Watch the details and determine pace for full potential.

 

 

1“Toolbox: Time Trial Pacing Strategies,” by Dr. Stephen Cheung, PhD posted on April 15, 2008  www.pezcyclingnews.com. Stephen Cheung is Canada Research Chair at Brock University, with a research specialization in the effects of thermal stress on human physiology and performance.

2“Pacing strategies during a cycling time trial with simulated headwinds and tailwinds,” by Atkinson & Brunskill published in Ergonomics 43:1449-1460, 2000

3“Effect of distance feedback on pacing strategy and perceived exertion during cycling,” by Noakes, Lambert, Gibson, Albertus, Tucker & Hampson in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, WK Health 0195-9131, 2005. This measures negative feedback and concludes perceived rate of exertion and heart rate did not change. I submit that any feedback, even negative or incorrect feedback, acts as an encourager but that proper feedback that includes more than RPE and HR makes a measurable difference, and would love to see a study on it.

 4The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Women’s Cycling

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on April 26, 2011 by bethleasure

Annie Londonderry rode around the world in 1894.

Cyclists Equalize

5“The American woman had many difficult obstacles to overcome in order to cycle, but she was determined to enjoy the benefits men were already achieving. She too, yearned for independence… delights of Nature, and fresh physical activity…Those were adventuresome women!”  Karen Knudsen, Cycling Historian

This statement about the origins of bike riding by women in 19th centuryAmerica may still apply to some aspects of women’s cycling today. Difficult obstacles still exist. When I first began riding, I was made to feel welcome and wanted…mostly. There was exuberant support from some male quarters and excruciating criticism from others.

The biggest source of conflict was my very quick competitiveness in the group rides, and perhaps my satisfied attitude about that. Abilities tend to equalize gender in a group ride. Mostly I was clueless and welcomed advice from big, strong men…well, really skinny bike racers. It was at a women’s clinic run by women where I learned the fundamentals of racing. But it was men who sponsored, supported, coached and equipped me. As a minority in a male-dominated sport this is the reality.

Current 6data shows female participation rates at a mere 12%. Men in the sport have got to support us, just as they must support men. Women in the sport have got to work with men, just as men must work with men. Like a parking lot criterium, you get around this fact quickly developing tough skin as you go to survive. Fortunately, more women in leadership are now working and supporting men and women.

Many are fighting a battle against chauvinism and expressing the issues better than I. For example, a sound 7argument is gaining ground for parity in prize money for top-placed female riders whose full-time race focus is on par with elite male counterparts. We are no less passionate, no less sacrificial, no less dedicated, no less ambitious about cycling. Our lungs and hearts may be smaller but our spirits soar equally on wheels.

 

Prayer for Women’s Cycling

In Christ’s family there can be no division into…male and female. Among us you are all equal.” 8Galatians 3:27-28

 

We acknowledge equality doesn’t mean we’re the same. We celebrate our differences! We ask for equal opportunity and blessing on women’s cycling and on the men who love us – even when we out-ride them. We ask blessing on women’s cycling and also on female supporters of cycling men.

Ponder Do I treat female cyclists and female cycling enthusiasts respectfully? Affirm I encourage women in cycling by —. Watch that equality doesn’t mean deleting appropriate distinctions of gender.

5 “American Women Awheel,” by Karen Knudsen The Wheelmen Vol 1, Number 1, Summer 1970 

6American data for female racing licenses as of January, 2008 Women In Cycling Coaches Conferences by USA Cycling, Colorado Springs, CO

7The argument’s logic doesn’t ignore the fact of less female participation rates and therefore a smaller registration fee income for a promoter to draw prize money for elite women. Instead, it advocates parity for the top-placed females on par with male counterparts inferring that those winning and placing are full-time riders also. There would be a cut-off after the top five or so places where prizes would reflect realities of female participation rates. 

8The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Cyclists Breathe

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on October 29, 2010 by bethleasure

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

Air Helmet may be a little extreme

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 www.cdc.gov Figures vary depending on region and ethnicity.

14“Exercise-Induced Asthma,” posted on www.Emedicinehealth.com

15Conversation with Sam Callan, USA Cycling Science & Education on April 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 www.jakecolsen.com

Cyclists Pray: Pray for Cyclists

Posted in What Would Cyclists Do? on October 9, 2010 by bethleasure

Cyclists Pray

23“Tomorrow is a rest day, thank God.”  Steve Cummings, Pro Cyclist, on finishing Giro d’Italia

Where at least two agree, God can work

 

With normal race season all about over, we near the end of our annual journey together. We’ve raced through many topics, pondered many issues, and prayed for many things all year. None of them has been more important than the prayers prayed for each one in the cycling community.

Some of you, I’ve prayed for by name and hope to know specific requests in the future. I may be a fan of yours or I may struggle thinking fondly of you because I’m not a saint without a full range of emotions. All of it, from love to hatred, awe to disappointment, and happiness to hurt – is put aside in the prayer closet to bring what I know of your needs and desires and what’s best for all of us – before God. You have me as a prayer partner and are mentioned as beloved in my quiet petitions before God!

I see answers to some of these prayers immediately. I praise God for other things and ask more fervently awaiting some answers. Know this: all of cyclingdom has been covered in prayer regardless of my limitations. If you’re reading this, I’ve prayed specifically for your spiritual growth, cycling success, financial stability, emotional wholeness, mental prowess, and relational fulfillment.

I’m watching change in our sport amazed by transformation wrought by new developments. I’m experiencing change and transforming personally. Sometimes the biggest mountains we have to move are not one another but ourselves…closer to God’s viewpoint. God has moved me many times this year as a privilege in prayer for you. For this, I thank you greatly. Join me in prayer. Pray for me and all of us as we keep riding!

Prayer for Us, The Cycling Community

“If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center…”  242 Corinthians 5:13-14

I confess my imperfection and am glad that You give me new perspective on everyone in the cycling community because You love all of us. Bless us all, O Lord.

Ponder Has prayer changed you? Affirm I pray until I see you through eyes of love; because of my limitations, I must keep praying! Watch God change our sport one heart at a time.

23“Eyes on the road: The Steve Cummings Giro diary 2007,” Monday, May 28, 2007 “Ready to have a go” posted on www.cyclingnews.com

24The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson