Saturday, December 29, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Copeland Invasive Alien Species

Here I go tooting my own horn again. Saturday June 23, 2012 over 25 people including CTS members sacrificed their Saturday morning to tackle a large patch of garlic mustard in Copeland near the old Pine Ridge Ski Club.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Set Up Your Cockpit

Small adjustments make a big difference
A wobbly stem, Brake lever clamps contact your grips and Unreachable gear levers are all indications that your cockpit is purely set-up. If you've never adjusted your handlebar setup, you're not alone. A lot of mountain bikers have overlooked this area on their bike. Some have had their bike for years and have just grown accustomed to their incorrect setup. Taking just a few minutes to adjust your handlebar controls properly can drastically improve the way you ride. From increased braking power to smoother shifting.

You want to make sure that your stem is aligned with your front wheel. Also shorting the stem can offer the rider more controle of the bike. Though for the taller rider adding a longer stem may give you that extra inch to keep you down on your ride.

Brake Lever Spacing & Angle
Many people place their brake lever right up against their handlebar grip because it looks nice. This places your fingers too close to the brake lever pivot, which tires out your hands and leads to decreased braking power. To figure out the proper position, grip your handlebars at the very outermost spot. Stretch out your pointer finger and then position your brake accordingly. The proper Brake Lever angle varies from rider to rider. Hop on your bike and see what feels most comfortable and causes the least amount of wrist strain.

Once you have moved your brake levers into their proper location, you’ll want to adjust your shifters. Position them so that you can easily access them without accidentally catching the brake levers. Shift through a complete cycle while seated on your bike to make certain they aren’t in the way of your brake levers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dock to Dock - Midland Bike to Work Day 2012

Highlights from Midland's 2012 Dock To Dock Bike to Work Day. Big thanks to Nate Lacroix & The Midland Film Club for this video.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Copeland Forest Stewardship Update 001

Hello fellow MTBer's. Last night myself and Ted Greatrix meet with the other members of the Stewardship Committee to review the 4-season biological inventory of Copeland Forest that was completed in March. This was the first time the members of the Stewardship Committee have meet together, in an effort to review the science report, and start to digest this information. The discussions did not include any terms of reference for the Committee. There will be a facilitated meeting soon where this work will begin.

The big highlight for me was that there is a large infestation of the Invasive Species, Garlic Mustard, near the Pine Ridge Entrance of Copeland Forest. If left unchecked, Garlic Mustard will out-compete all other species, and take over the forest. It also changes the chemical composition of the soil, so that even after it is picked, nothing can grow. For that reason, a recovery strategy will also be required.

Pick it whenever you see it! Try and get the whole root.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When is the best time to stretch?

Should you stretch before exercise? or after? This has been debated quite a bit in the research lately. The best evidence to date indicates that stretching before exercise (especially before your warmed up) is not recommended. Don't confuse this statement with properly warming up before exercise. For sure a proper warm-up is supported by research.

So what is best?
The general consciences seems to be that one should begin to warm-up with cardiovascular type exercises similar to your given activity ex. walking before running. Then add in some simple dynamic movements of the body to limber up the most important limbs/joints and muscles to be used in your given activity. A few sprints and drills would also be a good idea especially if you are warming up to do some intense exercise or a race. Finally after your work out is finished it would be a great time to cool down slowly and follow that with a series of slow static/or yoga type stretches.

An example for someone warming up to do a fast 10 km run.
I would suggest that you start by walking briskly for 5 minutes, followed then by some dynamic movements involving the hips, knees, ankles, arms, and shoulders etc.. followed then by some light running drills for 5 minutes i.e. "A's", "B's" etc... followed then by some short 10 - 20 sec moderate sprints. All this needs to be done before actually starting your 10 km run. Of course I would suggest a slow walk to cool down after your run workout, followed then by a good static stretching routine. Sounds like a lot of warm-up? Perhaps overkill? Lance Armstrong has been know to warm-up for over 1 hour before his intense time trial stages of the Tour. A proper warm-up will protect you from injury and increase your performance. So warm-up and have a great workout.

Happy Trails
Dr. Bill Cameron

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trash Clean-up

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but members of the CTS Bike Club & Total Sports The Bike Shop traded their bicycles for trash bags as they participated in a trash pickup along The 5th Line of Copeland Forest Tuesday April 3rd 2012. Members gathered trash in anticipation of the upcoming warm-weather riding, Members cleared a large area of the forest floor and trails. Volunteers picked up beer cans/bottles, old televisions, broken Glass, among other items. The CTS Bike club members are looking to participate in more Copeland Forest Stewardship activities like trash pickups and want to encourage the community to get involved. If you would like to get involved in the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative contact: Dorthea Hangaard at www.couchichingconserv.ca

Monday, April 23, 2012

What Motivates Women to Mountain Bike

A survey endorsed by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and conducted by Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures set out to better understand the motivation behind mountain biking women and how to attract more females to the male dominated sport.
The survey was completed by 710 women; participants of the survey are from 13 different countries, including United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and more. The survey results are beneficial for the bike industry – which consists of bike, gear and clothing manufacturers – the results call for more customization, improved fits and reduced prices.

The key findings of the survey indicated:
  • The vast majority of mountain biking women participate in numerous other outdoor pursuits
  • 90% of respondents got into the sport through an invitation by a friend or partner/spouse
  • Enjoying nature and building friendships wins over competition as a motivation to ride
  • Mountain biking needs to soften its image to connect with more women
  • Intimidation and fear of injury are keeping many women off the trails
  • One of the best ways to grow the sport would be through women inviting other women to give it a try
Women MTB Survey – Sacred Rides

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The role of grativy in pedal stroke

Do you know how to fall? - The role of grativy in pedal stroke.

Dwell on this for a moment: The only reason you have bones and muscles is to interact with gravity. You will find clear evidence of this fact if you've ever tried to run under water.

Gravity is the force that binds us all to the earth, it is present 24/7, 365 days a year and pulls you down towards the center of the earth at a rate of 9.81 m/s2. That is tremendous force. For perspective, think about this piece of trivia: It takes the Space Shuttle 2 million pounds of solid-state propellant and more than 500,000 gallons of super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to break free from the hold of gravity. Gravity never takes a day off (if it did you would notice), which sometimes causes us to forget it's importance in our daily lives. You learn from a very early age the power of gravity as you learn to walk through a series of (semi)-controlled falls. Some of you reading this may have also have a very intimate relationship with gravity if you like dirt jumping as the following rule always applies:

What goes up...must come down, wheels underneath you or not.

So what does this all have to do with cycling?

Once you understand that all movement (on earth) is a destruction of balance (De Vinci's words, not mine) then you start to relize that efficient pedalling is essentially falling forward in a controlled and smooth manner.

Taking something as simple as walking for example. You do not go anywhere until you shift your bodyweight to one foot, and slightly fall forward. The leg movement is a by product of falling, not vice versa.

Let's apply this principle to pedaling. Imagine your pedal cycle as the face of a clock. Studies show that peak power output occurs when the crank arm moves from 3 o'clock through 5 o'clock, which consequently means that 9 to 11 o'clock should be the most relaxed phase for the oposing leg.

From a gravitational perspective, 3 o'clock is the earliest moment when you can apply full bodyweight to the downward stroke of the pedal.

Sounds logical right? It is. However, we can sometimes be guity of forgetting that graivty is the force that drives us, and that muscle function is only to support our use of grativy by moving us into the best position. This forgetfulness can get us into trouble then we start analysing the pedal stoke.

Most pedal stroke advice on the interwebs follows the conventional wisdom -also known as coaching what you see, not what you understand- of applying a pull to the upward stroke of the unweighteg leg to help gerenate more downward force. This is a mistake however, and known as pedaling in a box. Pushing down with one leg as you pull up with the other causes fast phases between 3 and 6 o'clock on the drive leg, and 9 and 12 on the recovery leg, with susequent slow phases through the bottom and top of the pedal strokes respectively. This leads to unnaturally squared corners rather than a smooth continuous circle. The box is also always associated with excessive effort from the rider, and a lop-sided pedal stroke.

So what does this mean for your pedaling efficiency? When you understand that all your effort should be directed at subtly shifting your bodyweight to your downward moving foot from the 3 to 4 o'clock position, you will stop wasting valuable energy trying to pull in a phase of the stroke that us unproductive.

The key take away from all this is that gravity is a FREE FORCE. Until you make it into outerspace, it will never stop pulling you down. It takes much less effort to shift your bodyweight from side to side for a brief moment (during 3-5 o'clock) than it does to try to artificially spin the crank through 360 of rotation, yet both accomplish the same result. Remember your Newton and his apple? You can not fall faster than the rate at which gravity pulls you, thus, why try and pull the pedal down faster, when falling on it with your body weight is as fast as it can go? Said another way; why use effort when you can get the same thing done for free?

Which brings up my final point. Efficient movement is the effective application of technique that allows you to take maximum advantage of the free forces given to you by nature, gravity being the big one. When you regard top athletes in their respective sports, a word that can describe the gamut of them is "effortless". These althetes have found a way to get themselves in the best body position to use gravity, and in doing so have made their sport easy.

I challenge you now to use this knowledge to better your technique. Perception is the first step. Once you learn to feel gravity, movement, and specifically biking, will become easy.


Devin Glage

Monday, April 2, 2012

Air Arizona

What a great way to spend March Break and start the 2012 season, whether it was Hiking or Mt. Biking, Sedona has it all. From fun, fast, flowy downhills to technical, switchback filled climbs. The trail were nothing like I have ever ridden before(a cross between 3 Stage and Buckwallow), with a view like no other, with an elevation of 4500 ft.. Definetly a place to go and ride, trails are in amazing shape and well marked, and no need to ride the same trail twice, but spending more time there would be great. We hardly scratched the surface of trails, with networks of trails you could go for a quick 1 hour spin to an epic all day ride. Even the bike shops were great, friendly staff and coffee bars for a quick expresso before or after a ride.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Do You Ride?

People mountain bike for all different reasons. Some cycle for the social aspect, while others pedal with a purpose. I ride because it is indescribable! The sense of freedom, health, adrenalin, exercise, and of course to get out in nature with my CTS brothers and sisters. Share why you ride your bike! Post below.

Monday, February 27, 2012

4 Tips to Climbing Technical Terrain

Tackling a technical climb can bring trail flow to a halt. follow these 4 tips to keep your hill charge going.

1. Roll: On technical climbs, provide extra power just before clearing obstacles, momentum keeps you from getting snagged and stalling out.

2. Lift: As you approach an obstacle, give your forward pedal a stab and slightly to pull the wheel into the air and onto the obstacle. As the front wheel hits, stand on the pedals as you push the bike forward with your hips and hands.

3. Groove: Position your weight on the rear tire so it doesn't spin out while keeping enough weight on the front that it doesn't wander. Move forward on the saddle and drop your torso closer to the bar. This will let you keep pushing the pedals and still shift your weight.

4. Starting Over: So you put a foot down, and now you're trying to get going again. Without changing gears, point the bike up the trail, sit on the saddle, clip one foot in and go for it. Don't start from standing, if you're standing, there's a good chance you'll just spin out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Preparation and Rest Heals All

When we think of working out, exercising, training...whatever you want to call it, we typically think of our contribution or our “output” to complete the task at hand. We usually gauge how effective the exercise was by how exhausted and sore we are the next 24 – 48 hours. But, how do we know exactly what happened within our body? Was it productive? Are we getting stronger because of it? Are we increasing our stamina?....Without proper rest and recovery we will not increase performance, feel healthy, energetic or even lose unwanted fat.
In order to be conducive to achieving our goals we need to ensure we have a “balance” of rest to benefit from our workouts. If we fail to give our bodies this time to recover, we risk the possibility of “over training”, and contrary to what you believe is proper rest periods, you would be surprised as to how much we really need.
It doesn’t matter how fit you are, exercise is stress on the body and our bodies need to constantly replenish energy stores, heal tissues, and prepare for the next bout. There is short term and long term recovery. In this blog I will concentrate on the long term.
Long term recovery would be considered essential for athletes with specific “competition” seasons. A good way to get that recovery/rest time is to break up your style of training, often referred to “Periodization”. This method involves tiering your workouts to build on a balance of endurance, strength and sport specific exercises with changes in intensity throughout the year. For example: Getting ready for “the season”, during the “season”, and after the “season” should be composed of different styles of training. In particular, they should be tiered to have the athlete peak in his/her time of competition.
For our application of biking in the months of primarily May-September we would have a lighter training schedule during those 5 months and include cross-training exercises to keep us active. But leading up to the month of May (February and March), a training regime consisting of endurance and hill preparation would be ideal. And, after the season a rest period of a week or two would give your body ample time to recover and would lead you into a “re-building” or “foundation” training workout which would be “October and November. “Strength” training would be best to concentrate on peaking 6-8 weeks prior to “competition” months Ie. November –January. In between these training “modules” a week off would be appropriate to recover and prepare your body for the next change. Therefore, if you use these “weeks off” we are looking at a 6-8 weeks of NO training. Now, you can still be active. Walking, golfing, leisure biking etc will not put the stress on your body like our 2-3 hour treks in Copeland, weight training in the gym, or 3-5 hours at Joyride.
While training, it is advised to limit your weight training to 45min max. Cardio can be performed same day or alternate days of weight training, although IMPO I find that the one day weights, one day cardio works best to minimize over training and maximize time spent on training. I also believe in taking at least 1 full day off of all training. Example: Mon, Wed and Fri weights...Tues and Thurs cardio and weekends off for a walk with the dog or a bike ride.

Overtraining signs/symptoms may lead you to believe that you are suffering from something completely different because it shares many common side effects like:
  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
  • Decrease in training capacity / intensity
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased incidence of injuries.
  • A compulsive need to exercise

I hope this gives everyone an idea of what our bodies can handle while exercising a little better. So, in closing, while we bike Copeland every Tuesday with the season upon us shortly, it is a good idea to have at least a day off of any exercise after Tuesday nights and if you are going to go for another intense ride the same week make sure you get ample sleep and give yourself a day in between your workouts to be best prepared for a kickass ride and minimize injury and overtraining.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Set Goals to Become a Stronger Mountain Biker

With the objective to become stronger and more confident on my bike. I have set 4 mountain bike-specific goals that I feel certain I can attain throughout the year.

1. Keep strong in the off-season. I realize now that I need to change my way of thinking if I want to feel strong on my bike come spring. I’ve started an early-morning fitness routine at Raw Crossfit that I hope to continue until the snow melts and beyond.

2. Master a challenging section of trail. I’ve talked about becoming proficient in this area for years. This is the year I’m going to follow through with it. This year I will actually attempt the rock drop! You can hold me to it.

3. Take part in an event. This year, I’ve set my sights on a first time local event and put it on the calendar already. Myself and 4 other brave CTS members are going to attempt the Tough Mudder. I'm looking forward to testing my strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.

4. Show my local trails some love. I ride my local trails a lot, and far too infrequently I take part in trail work to maintain their glory. I plan on staying on track with the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative to make sure we are able to ride it's amazing trails for years to come.

What are your mountain bike goals for this year?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gorilla Approved

The full strength of the gorilla has never been measured. It should be sufficient to say and history shows the ability to bend and snap objects such as steel frames and giant aluminium crank arms suggests that the Gorilla On A Bike has the muscle power of between 8-15 men and possibly more. Few products have been able to withstand the pressure of the Gorilla On A Bike.
Starting in 2012 the gorilla will be turning up the pressure and putting in the miles, using whatever methods he can to bring you the very best in MTB product testing and review. Together we will see what equipment holds-up or shatters. Only products worthy will receive the "Gorilla Approved" Seal. Have a product you want to put to the test? Contact me at: greg@ctsbikeclub.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grind My Gears

6 Steps to Smooth Shifting. Once a rider figures out which lever makes pedalling harder and which makes pedalling easier, they know how to shift, right? Maybe. Finding the right gear takes practice and timing. Know what you're doing when you shift and you'll ride faster and extend the life of your drivetrain.

1. CROSS CHAIN: Rubs You the Wrong Way... The conventional wisdom is that cross chaining riding in a combination of the big chainring and big cog, or the small ring/small cog is wrong. It at times can provide the ideal gear, though it can also lead to clumsy shifts and eventually do damage to your chain and rear derailleur. If you're on the inner chainring in the front and the small cog in the back, chances are if you shift into the big ring the chain will fall off. Stay away from the 2 rear cogs that are opposite the front chain ring.

2. KEEP YOUR SPEED: Keeping your cadence a tad on the high side you ensure you always have enough RPM to make a smooth shift. Caught in too high a gear with too low of a cadence on an unexpected rise. Your only choice is get off the saddle and try to muscle up the climb on your bars or do an ugly dismount and hick-a-bike.

3. THINK AHEAD: Anticipate what gear you need and when to accelerate. Shifting after the terrain changes slows you down and robs you of energy. Look ahead and be in the right gear before you get there.

4. USE YOUR FEET: When you want to get a jump on the trail during a group ride don't grind your shifters, use your feet to unload the drivetrain, so you can butter up into the gear you need. This decreases your power for just a moment, so you can smoothly shift into your attacking gear.

5. BE THE CHAIN: If your chain is shot, shifting suffers. Change the chain more frequently, and you won't have to replace your cogs and rings as often. If your chain is in good condition, and a cable adjustment doesn't fix your shifting issues, inspect your chainrings and cassette for burrs and nicks.

6. FEEL THE LOVE: On long rides be a bit more gentle. Slamming shifts and stand on the gears hard will lead to you breaking something and throwing away an epic CTS ride. If you love your bike it'll love you back.

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