Sunday, July 27, 2014

Train Like A Tour de France Cyclist

I’ve heard comments from fellow cyclists over the past couple of weeks that went something like “I wish I could ride half as fast as those guys in the Tour de France — what is their secret?”

My response was “You could — if you trained just half as hard and half as smart as they do.”

Although the cyclists who make it into the ranks of elite professional racers are genetically gifted, their workout regimen is also among the most grueling of all professional sports.

To be competitive at the upper end of professional cycling, these riders must be capable of performing at an almost superhuman level.

They achieve that level by following carefully structured training programs designed to achieve a very high power-to-weight ratio and to maintain a high power output for an extended period of time.

Power in cycling is measured in watts. The average well-trained recreational cyclist may be able to maintain a power output of about three watts per kilogram of body weight for an hour. For a 180-pound rider (81.6kg), that would equate to 245 watts of constant power.

Professional cyclists are able to produce twice that amount of power or more, with the top Tour de France racers being able to produce power outputs close to 6.7 watts per kilogram of body weight for an hour or more on long, steep climbs (450 watts or more for a 150-pound racer).

While recreational cyclists will average 17-18 miles per hour on flat terrain and 9-10 miles per hour up mountain climbs, the pros will use their high power output to scoot down the level roads at 25-28 miles per hour for hours at a time and go up long climbs at 20-plus miles per hour.

How do these professional cyclists develop the ability to produce that much power and achieve that type of power-to-weight ratio?

The answers to those questions (genetics aside) are simple — they follow a structured training plan, ride a lot of miles, minimize body fat and train extremely hard when the plan calls for hard workouts.

Those are things that all of us could do on a “normal cyclist” scale.

Tour de France racers will start their training year by completing what is known as a base phase that consists of riding a lot of miles at an easy to moderate pace while concurrently doing strength workouts and working on weaknesses such as descending or doing time trials.

After developing their endurance base, those cyclists will shift into a build threshold phase that includes doing long intervals at a faster pace, performing hard climbing repeats in the mountains, and racing selected, low-priority events that are used as hard, race-specific workouts.

During the base and threshold phases, they will also pre-ride some or all of the Tour de France stages to ensure they properly prepare for each specific section of the course.

Their workouts during the threshold phase may include multiple 30-60 minute race-pace climbs on steep roads, followed by a fast descent and then another (and another) race-pace ascent of the climb.

They will wrap up their preparation by competing in shorter multiday races to acclimate their bodies to racing hard for multiple consecutive days.

Riding a lot of miles is another characteristic that differentiates pro racers from everyday cyclists. A typical training year for many professional cyclists will include riding 25,000 to 30,000 miles per year with some weeks having 600 or more miles of riding.

Assuming the average pace is in the range of 20-25 miles per hour, that would be 24-30 hours per week in the saddle.

Add in the strength, flexibility and other cross training activities and these athletes may be training for 40-50 hours per week.

Train, eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep.

The net effect of the structured plan, high miles and race-specific workouts is that these professionals arrive at key races with body fat percentages as low as 4-5 percent and with the ability to generate high power outputs for long periods of time, day after day.

So how could a recreational cyclist learn from what these professionals do?

Although most of us have busy lives with jobs, families and other time-consuming responsibilities, we can apply the same general strategies by following a structured plan, increasing the number of miles ridden, improving our power-to-weight ratio and doing the hard, interval workouts.

The pros’ secret is simple — lose excess weight and do the hard work needed to produce a lot of power for long periods of time.

Ride On, San Angelo and remember — if you train half as hard as a Tour de France cyclist, you will get faster.

Bill Cullins is an old cyclist, slow runner and former state Masters cyclocross champion. His column appears every Saturday. Contact him at bcullins@suddenlink.net.

Upcoming events

Aug. 2: Southland Shuffle, roadlizards.org
Aug. 6: Cyclocross workouts begin, Middle Concho Park
Aug. 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, Spring Creek Park, roadlizards.org
Aug. 13: Run to Remember

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dirt Divas


There's a unique ladies group in San Angelo that meets on a regular basis for bike rides, trail runs, swim workouts, adventure races, paddling sessions in kayaks, after-workout yoga sessions and just about any other type of fitness activity you can think of.

You might spot some of the them riding the roads or trails in the State Park on Tuesday evenings, mountain biking at Middle Concho Park on Wednesday evenings, swimming around the buoys at the Lake Nasworthy swim beach, kayaking on local streams or competing in local bike, run, and multisport races.

Their ranks include housewives, business owners, veterans, nurses, fitness coaches, university professors and college students, with many of the ladies also being members of the local Team Red White Blue (RWB) chapter. 

On any given day, the group will include all ability levels ranging from absolute beginners who are just getting into one of the sports to experienced athletes who enjoy mentoring the beginners.

They call themselves the Dirt Divas.

The Divas are not an organized club - they're simply a group of ladies who enjoy being outside, exercising, having fun, and - most importantly - helping new people enjoy the various fitness activities.

Guys are not banned from the Diva group workouts - in fact, they are welcome as long as they're willing to air up bike tires, fix flats, and intelligently discuss which color of nail polish best matches with the workout outfit of the day.

"The Divas started out as a small group of ladies on the MAC Racing Team who started getting together for "girls day out' mountain bike rides a few years ago," said Dionnie Hoelsken, a member of that initial group.

"Christina McBride, the MAC team organizer and coach, coined the phrase 'Dirt Divas' because everyone ended up with a 'dirt tan' after a long dusty race or ride."

Today it's common to see 12-15 or more ladies show up for a Diva activity, with experienced riders such as Hoelsken, Donna Durbin, Dorothy Langdon and Debbie Yohman mentoring the new Divas in whatever the fitness activity of the day is.

Yohman says one of the fun weekly activities for the Diva group is the group ride that takes place on most Tuesday evenings at the State Park.

" We've been meeting at 6:30 pm on Tuesdays at the Playground parking lot in the State Park," said Yohman. "Most of us ride our mountain bikes on the park's paved roads but sometimes we do ride a few easy trails off the road with the normal ride distance being between 8 and 12 miles."

Cindy Simmons, who has been working on her 'dirt tan' with the Diva group for several years, urges other ladies to get involved and join in on the fun.

" Don't be afraid of the diva rides and other fitness activities if you are a beginner," said Simmons.

"Come out and join us for some fun girl time and get fit along the way."

Although the Divas are not an organized group with a web site or email distribution list, their upcoming bike rides and other fitness activities are typically posted on the Facebook pages for Team RWB San Angelo and SABA-San Angelo.

Anyone wanting more information about how to hook up with this fun group of ladies can also contact Debbie Yohman at (325) 223-1080.

Ride On, San Angelo and remember - the Dirt Divas are all about having fun and getting in some healthy exercise.



Upcoming Events

July 24: Mountain bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/events/mtb-time-trial-4/
July 26: Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug 2: Southland Shuffle, roadlizards.org
Aug 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, Spring Creek Park

professors and college students, with many of the ladies also being members of the local Team Red White Blue (RWB) chapter.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Dirt Road From Hell

If you’re looking for a close-to-town place to run, walk, or ride your mountain bike while enjoying nature and being away from traffic, the dirt road that connects from Middle Concho Park to the paved Twin Buttes Reservoir access road near Highway 67 might be just the ticket.

In fact, it’s my go-to location in San Angelo for fitness activities and also where I send new people who ask where to go for workouts.

You can hike the road, run it, or ride your mountain bike while enjoying the desert scenery and taking side trips on the assorted 4WD roads and trails that connect to the main dirt road.

Officially, the road is called Middle Concho West but most local athletes refer to it affectionately as the ‘Dirt Road From Hell.’

That nickname was coined years ago by athletes competing in the Wool Capitol Triathlon each August when they had to complete their final 10K run on this road with the sun beating down, buzzards circling overhead, and rolling hills adding more pain to their already-tired legs.

Nickname aside, it’s a fun and relaxing place to do workouts while getting away from cars and people.

The east end of this dirt road starts in Middle Concho where the park’s paved road ends seven-tenths of a mile west of the park’s entry station.

You can also start near the park’s main front entry and follow the dirt park roads along the shoreline as you head toward the back of the park.

After leaving the pipe fence at the beginning of the dirt road, you’ll go about four-tenths of a mile and reach the park’s main back gate. It’s usually open, but if not just squeeze around it and continue on.

The road will make a big right turn as you leave the park and you’ll traverse around the edge of a bluff called Spillway Hill. Watch for buzzards along the lip of the bluff surfing the updraft from southerly winds that flow up and over the hill.

At about eight-tenths of a mile from the start the road will start to make a sweeping left turn and you’ll enter ‘the sand and clay’ zone. This is an interesting area that can be really muddy after a rain, firm and packed a couple of days later, and then a loose sandpit after continued days of hot dry weather.

Continue west on the road and the grade starts to pitch up a little. It’s not a long climb but enough to remind you that the Dirt Road From Hell is still in control.

At 1.4 miles from where you started you’ll come to a ‘T” intersection with a dam in front of you. Turn left and you can top out at Spillway Hill about 1.9 miles from the start of the dirt road, or continue on the main and at 2.4 miles you’ll be on the shore of Twin Buttes Reservoir next to the cage at the dam.

If you decide to head right at the ‘T’ you’ll gradually climb up what I call Twin Buttes Pass, reaching the high point of the road underneath the twin peaks at 2.1 miles from where you started.

From the top of the pass, the road will drop back down into a draw and then undulate up and down over several small hills before reaching the paved Twin Buttes access road at about 3.1 miles from the road’s starting point.

Wanting a little more distance? One option when you reach the paved Twin Buttes access road is to turn left and follow it for about two miles to the main Twin Buttes boat ramp.

You also have a multitude of other add-some-distance options as you bike, run, or walk along the route by turning onto some of the 4WD roads and trails that intersect the dirt road both on Spillway Hill and in the area between the Twin Buttes hills and the reservoir.

These roads and trails are fun to explore and are routinely used trail running events, adventure races, and mountain bike rides.

There are no restroom facilities or places to get water along the dirt road, so it’s a good idea to carry water, a cellphone, and other out-in-the-wilderness necessities with you.

Remember — the Dirt Road From Hell is a great place to exercise. Give it a try.


Upcoming Events
July 13: LakeNasworthy Triathlon, roadlizards.org
July 24: Mountain bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/events/mtb-time-trial-4/
July 26: Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug. 2: Southland Shuffle, roadlizards.org
Aug. 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, SpringCreekPark

Saturday, July 5, 2014

It's Tour de France Time

This year's 101st edition of the Tour de France, the largest and most prestigious cycling race in the world, started this morning at 11:10 am British time in Leeds, England.

It will end at approximately 7 pm on July 27 with a sprint finish on the famed Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France after covering 3,664 kilometers (2,275 miles) of wind-swept roads, mountain passes, and rough cobblestones sections in England, France, Belgium, and Spain.

"Le Tour' is the cycling equivalent of the NFL championships and soccer's World Cup, with thousands of frenzied cycling spectators lining the roads for each day's stage and millions more in 190 countries watching (and re-watching) the action on television or via streaming video over the Internet.

Over two million spectators are expected to line the roads in England during the first two stages in that country.


This year's tour will consist of 21 individual race stages plus 2 rest days, with 9 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 6 mountain stages that climb as high as 2,360 meters above sea level, 5 mountain-top finishes and 1 individual time-trial stage.

The length of each individual stage will range from 85 miles to over 147 miles, with the 33 mile individual time trial scheduled for the next-to-last day of the tour on July 26. The racers will be on the road for over five hours on the longer stages, consuming up to 8,000 calories of solid food, energy gels, and liquids each day.

Racers will have two rest days during the overall event (July 15 and July 21), although most riders will opt to do an 'easy' 2 hour or longer ride during each rest day to ensure that their bodies stay awake and primed for the next day when racing resumes.

Today's opening stage from Leeds to Harrogate in England covered 118 miles. Although not considered a mountainous route, it did include some 'lumps' along the course with the equivalent being a ride from Abilene to San Angelo via Bronte, Robert Lee, Water Valley and then along a long flat stretch on highway 87 to a high-speed sprint finish in downtown San Angelo.

The average speed for the overall Tour de France winner over the entire 2,275 miles of the 2014 race will be around 25 miles per hour with competitors hitting speeds well over 50 miles per hour on the long descents from high mountain passes.

This race is - without a doubt - the most grueling cycling event in the world.

Twenty-two teams with nine racers per team started the race this morning, with each team having a designated team leader, sprint specialists, and worker bee 'domestiques' who are tasked with supporting the team leader and sprinters.

The Tour de France is actually multiple competitions within one race.  The overall 'Yellow Jersey' or General Classification winner will be the cyclist who completes the 2,275 miles in the lowest elapsed time.

There will be concurrent competitions during the race for the Green Jersey (most sprint points), Polka Dot Jersey (best climber), and the White Jersey for the best young rider age 25 or under.

Racers will also be competing for daily honors such as winning an individual stage, being the most aggressive rider during a stage, and being part of the best overall team during the event.

Pre-race favorites for this year's tour include the 2013 winner Chris Froome from England and Alberto Contador of Spain who won the event in 2009.


The United States also has some fast cyclists in the race who could challenge for the win, including Colorado's Tejay van Garderen who won the Best Young rider in 2012, California's Andrew Talansky, a 25-year-old who recently beat all of the tour favorites to win the Criterium du Dauphine last month, and Oregon's Chris Horner, a 42 year-old racer who surprised the world by winning the 2013 Tour of Spain.

Overall, there are nine US riders listed on the start list for this year's tour.

Texas has a special connection to the Tour de France because of Austin's now-retired Lance Armstrong.

Although his record seven Tour de France wins were stripped from him because of his admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs (during an era when almost all professional cyclists doped), many people still consider him to have been the most dominate tour racer in history.

Between now and the tour's end on July 27, we'll see heroic performances from many of the racers, horrific crashes that injure riders, and day-after-day thrilling competition where seconds may be the difference between winning and losing after racing almost 2,300 miles.

Enjoy the race.






Upcoming Events

July 10: Road bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/road-time-trials/
July 12: Lake Nasworthy Triathlon, roadlizards.org
July 24: Mountain bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/events/mtb-time-trial-4/
July 26, Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug 2: Southland Shuffle, roadlizards.org
Aug 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, Spring Creek Park

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Staying Healthy As You Get Older

I’ve spent much of the past two weeks sitting in a hospital room with an elderly parent who suffers from heart disease, osteoporosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

At the same time, I have older friends in their 60s, 70s and 80s who are very active, healthy and who compete in cycling and running events on a regular basis.

I’ve also written previous columns about active and healthy older individuals such as Fred Schmid, an 80-year-old bicycle racer from Waco who competes in multiple disciplines of cycling, 82-year-old Sister Madonna Buder, a nun and triathlete who trains by running to church every day and bikes 40 miles to swim in a lake near her home, and 100-year-old French cyclist Robert Marchand who set a one-hour cycling speed record for his age.

So, why do some individuals stay healthy as they age while others suffer the effects of heart disease, osteoporosis, COPD, diabetes and other disabling conditions?

The short answer for most individuals is lifestyle, or — as the Pogo quote states — “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”

A report titled “Healthy Behaviors and Onset of Functional Disability in Older Adults: Results of a National Longitudinal Study” in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society noted that “older adults who performed a combination of common healthy behaviors were less likely to become disabled as they age.”

Those healthy behaviors included regular exercise, not smoking, light to moderate alcohol consumption, and sleeping between six to eight hours a night.

The researchers also noted that “A program for improving physical functioning and quality of life in later life can be designed for anyone to include these healthy behaviors.”

Other research, such as the 2013 pilot study conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish, founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, suggests that healthy behaviors such as exercise, good diet and stress management have the potential to reverse aging on a molecular level and partly restore the vitality of a person’s cells.

This study noted that moderate exercise, proper nutrition and stress management were key factors related to healthy aging.

If you don’t know what the ‘healthy aging’ implications are for you and your family, start by taking a critical look at any unhealthy lifestyle factors that might affect you and those you love.

If exercise isn’t currently part of the picture, start a doctor-approved exercise program that includes at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five or more days per week and moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week.

Work with your doctor or a wellness professional to conduct a ‘Health Risk Assessment” screening that helps you identify your key health risk factors.

Stop smoking (today) if you smoke.

Take steps to eliminate or modify aspects of your life that cause high stress (note: exercise is a great stress reliever).

Concentrate on maintaining a well-balanced and healthy diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts while limiting red meat, sugary foods and beverages.

One family strategy to ‘give forward’ might be to become a healthy behavior mentor for a spouse, parent or grandparent by dedicating one or two of your ‘easy workout days’ to some fitness activity that can be done with those individuals.

 Remember — a healthy lifestyle today is the key factor in preventing health issues in later life.


Upcoming Events



July 4: Christoval VFD 5K, roadlizards.org/events/christoval-vfd-5k/
July 10: Road bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/road-time-trials/
July 12: Lake Nasworthy Triathlon, roadlizards.org
July 24: Mountain bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/events/mtb-time-trial-4/
July 26, Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug 2: Southland Shuffle, roadlizards.org
Aug 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, Spring Creek Park

Saturday, June 21, 2014

No Country for Old Men A Test of Cycling Endurance

On Oct. 25, cyclists will roll out of Alpine as they take on one of the most grueling long distance bicycle races in the United States.

That event will be the 3rd annual No Country for Old Men race, organized by Del Rio’s Dex Tooke.

The race’s name comes from the Coen brothers film of the same name, which was based on the rugged and remote SW Texas desert area surrounding the Rio Grande River.

Race director Tooke is a Del Rio native who knows a thing or two about long-distance cycling and the West Texas area, having ridden thousands of miles on the area’s roads as he trained to compete in numerous long distance cycling races to include the 2010 and 2011 Race Across America (RAAM) events.

He came up a little short in the 2010 RAAM, learned from the experience, and successfully completed the 3,000-mile race in 2011 with a finishing time of 12 days and 19 hours.

Tooke chronicled his RAAM experiences in the book ‘Unfinished Business’ which is available in paperback, Nook, and E-book formats at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Author House, and other outlets.

No Country for Old Men (NCOM) will not be as grueling as the 3,000 mile Race Across America, but any one of the three race NCOM distances will be tough enough to challenge any long distance cyclist.

All three race courses will traverse remote West Texas roads that wind through the desert landscape and rugged mountains of far West Texas.

This part of the country personifies rough and remote. With the exception of a few towns, the cyclists will be pedaling through an area that’s harsh and unyielding with very few urban-area amenities such as quick stop stores, bike shops for repair parts, and — for almost 80 percent of the route — no cell phone service.

The shortest race will be the 208-mile Ed Tom Bell event, using a challenging course that takes racers through Ft. Davis, around the scenic MacDonald’s Observatory Loop, through Marfa and then back to the finish line in Alpine.

Cyclists who choose to test themselves on this ‘easy’ route will encounter almost 10,000 feet of vertical climbing while reaching altitudes over 6,000 feet.

Racers wanting even more of a challenge will take on the 383-mile Anton Chigurh race. This route includes most of the 208-mile course but adds riding to Marathon, past Hallie Stillwell’s Hall of Fame store, through the primitive black canyons and a stop at the old remote La Linda Bridge at the Mexico border.

This route has nearly 17,000 vertical feet of climbing spread across the 383 miles.

The truly serious No Country for Old Men competitors will take on the 1,000-mile Coen Brothers course that has 40,000 vertical feet of climbing. This route includes most of the 208- and 383-mile courses but adds Langtry, Del Rio, and other remote areas of far West Texas.

As cyclists pedal their way through the 1,000-mile non-stop ‘up close and personal’ tour of the rugged West Texas terrain they’ll have to overcome extreme fatigue, weather, saddle sores, mechanical malfunctions and nutrition/hydration issues.

The 1,000-mile race will be a qualifier for Race Across America (RAAM).

Although the cyclists must supply all of the ‘pedal power,’ they are required to have a follow vehicle and support crew. A one-person minimum crew is required for the 208-mile event, two people are recommended for the 383, and a crew of at least three is suggested for the long 1,000-mile race.

Some of the crews working the 1,000-mile race will be perfecting their support skills as they — along with their team’s cyclist — use the event as a multi-day training experience for Race Across America.

The long NCOM event lets the crews practice communications, drive the support vehicles, and perform all of the other tasks required to successfully support a cyclist during a multi-day ultra-distance event.

In addition to the solo categories for the three No Country for Old Men race distances, there will also be relay team categories (two person) for all three races. Relay teams doing the 1,000-mile route must have a support crew but — if so desired — the two-person teams doing the 208- and the 383-mile routes may opt to self-crew.

For more information on the No Country for Old Men cycling event, visit http://dextooke.wix.com/ultradex#!ncom-home/c1nbj.

Remember — in October, the roads of far West Texas will serve up a world-class challenge for long-distance cyclists who are tough enough to take on No Country for Old Men.


Upcoming Events

July 4: Christoval VFD 5K, roadlizards.org/events/christoval-vfd-5k/
July 12: Lake Nasworthy Triathlon, roadlizards.org
July 26: Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug. 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, SpringCreekPark

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bike Prices Discourage New Cyclists

Every spring I start hearing from people thinking about buying a bicycle who have 'sticker shock' based on the price of new and used bikes.

The cost of what’s perceived by some to be an ‘entry-level’ bicycle is one of the primary reasons many people choose to run or walk for exercise or recreation instead of cycling.

Although there are good low-cost bikes on the market, the cycling industry’s marketing gurus have done a great job of pushing the message that $800-$1,000 is actually a bargain for a decent-quality, entry-level road or mountain bike.

Move up to what many people in the industry consider to be a medium-range bike, and you’ll see price tags of $1,500-$3,000 or higher.

The marketing hype suggests that even if you just ride for recreation, you should be on an ultralight bike with trickle-down-from-pro-level components such as 10- or 11-speed integrated shifting and braking, front and rear suspension on mountain bikes and deep-section aero wheels.

Conversely, there are cycling troglodytes like myself who understand that, while professional racers may need featherweight bikes with twice as many gears as an over-the-road 18-wheeler, it is possible and even enjoyable to pedal down the road or trail on an affordable non-pro bicycle.

If you look closely at the bikes that I own (and ride a lot — and race), you’ll notice some ‘antique’ parts such as 9-speed shifters, a 20-year old square taper crank on my road bike and wheels that were less than $150 a pair when new.

Contrary to what the marketing says, there are many cyclists who manage to roll down the road just fine using older or moderately priced components.

One of my all-time favorite bikes has been a ‘Frankenbike” that I built up years ago using an old Mongoose mountain bike frame and castoff components from other bicycles.

It has a rigid steel fork purchased online for less than $50, antiquated 7-speed Shimano top-mount thumb shifters mounted on the tops of road handlebars, 26-inch mountain bike wheels sporting $15 semi-slick ‘city’ tires, and cantilever brakes that date back to when my (now adult) kids were in kindergarten.

This decidedly low-end bike has completed the week long 550-mile Ride the Rockies cycling tour through the Colorado mountains, won a state cyclocross championship in 2003 and has been loaned out countless times to new cyclists for group rides, duathlons and triathlons.

A beginner cyclist used this bike (minus the fenders and rear rack) to train for and complete Saturday’s Tour de Burma.

If you’re interested in cycling but don’t have a lot of disposable income, there are several options that can get you into the sport without having to cash in your retirement fund.

Start at your local bike shop by clearly articulating what your bike budget is and what type of riding you want to do. Chances are that most shops will be able to show you some lower-cost bicycles that will meet your needs.

You can also find used bike bargains on websites such as Craigslist, eBay or Texas Bicycle Buy/Sell/Trade page on Facebook. Be sure to enlist the help of a knowledgeable cycling friend if you decide to go this route.

If you are mechanically inclined, consider buying a used frame on one of these sites and then ‘building’ your own bike using new or used parts. Doing this will also ensure that you understand how the various bike parts work and — more importantly — you’ll learn the skills needed to do most of your own maintenance and repairs in the future.

The key point to remember is that enjoyable cycling depends more on having a dependable and properly fitted bike than having something that reflects what elite cyclists ride.

Remember — you can start pedaling without maxing out the credit card.


Upcoming Events

June 21: Stop, Drop and Roll, roadlizards.org
July 4: Christoval VFD 5K, roadlizards.org/events/christoval-vfd-5k/
July 12: Lake Nasworthy Triathlon, roadlizards.org
July 26: Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug. 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, SpringCreekPark