17 November 2013

Lance Armstrong making his amends. Lance meets Emma O'Reilly for the first time in 13 years.

You have to hand it to Lance, he hasn't gone into hiding post doping.  He's out saying he's sorry to many of the people he insulted and tried to destroy.  Maybe he's motivated by the thought of returning to competition?  Perhaps he's genuinely sorry for what he did?  Maybe it's part of a therapy prescribed by a therapist?
Photo via Daily Mail.

17 September 2013

College Cycling Jerseys Make Excellent Gifts

Bicyclinghub.com stocks over 100 different college cycling jerseys from one of our favorite suppliers Adrenaline Promotions.   College cycling jerseys have consistently been a best seller since we started our store in 2002.  

College Cycling Jerseys Make Excellent Gifts Shop Now

16 September 2013

Chris Horner takes control of the Tour of Spain on stage 20.

Chris Horner seals his win in the Tour of Spain on this mountain top finish in Spain.

Nobody loves cycling more than Bicyclinghub.com

15 September 2013

The Craziest Downhill Video Ever?

This video has been around for a little while.  It features one of the craziest downhill runs we have ever seen.

Remember, Bicyclinghub.com is the place you turn to when you want to find people as passionate about cycling as you are.  

Danny MacAskill's Latest Video and Jaw Dropping Tricks

While watching Danny MacAskill all I think about is how I would never do the things he does.  Perhaps it's the self preservation instinct?  Or maybe just common sense?  Whatever the case, it does make for entertaining viewing.  

13 September 2013

Warehouse Clearance September 21st- 22nd!

If you're in the Portland area next week Saturday through Sunday, swing by BicyclingHub.com HQ for your chance to save big in our Warehouse Clearance event! With discounts of up to 75% off select jerseys, shorts, jackets and more by Castelli, Primal Wear, Canari, Pearl Izumi and other great brands, you won't want to miss out on this awesome chance to save big on your favorites. *Warehouse Clearance Hours:*  Saturday, September 21st: 10am–5pm Sunday, September 22nd: 10am–1pm View Larger Map.  Any questions? Feel free to give us a call toll-free at (888) 817-8060.  Our address is 642 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97214.

08 September 2013

Why you never wear underwear with cycling shorts

When should one wear underwear under cycling shorts?


One should never wear their underwear under cycling shorts. Wearing it will cause friction and ultimately lead to chaffing.   This can will create a very uncomfortable ride.   Cycling shorts work best when they're next to the skin.   Underwear under bike shorts are hot, not sanitary, create unsightly "panty lines."

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND NOT RIDING IN UNDERWEAR and getting a good pair of shorts.  Luckily, Bicyclinghub.com can help with this!

25 July 2013

This Weekend: Warehouse Clearance Sale

If you're in the Portland area tomorrow through Sunday, swing by BicyclingHub.com HQ for your chance to save big in our Warehouse Clearance event!

With discounts of up to 75% off select jerseys, shorts, jackets and more by Castelli, Primal Wear, Sugoi, Canari, Pearl Izumi and other great brands, you won't want to miss out on this awesome chance to save big on your favorites.

Warehouse Clearance Hours:
Friday, July 26: 10am–6pm
Saturday, July 27: 10am–5pm
Sunday, July 28: 10am–1pm

View Larger Map

Any questions? Feel free to give us a call toll-free at (888) 817-8060

22 July 2013

A Look Back at our Tour de France Predictions

Back in June, a full 20-some days before the Tour de France even started, we gave you our list of riders to watch in this year's 100th edition. Now, a day after the end of the race we take a look at our predictions to see how we did.

Who We Had:

Peter Sagan, photo via Cannondale Pro Cycling

Vincenzo Nibali

We were way off. Nibali heard we were calling him a favorite and then he decided to skip the event altogether.

Peter Sagan

It's hard to call the green jersey a failure—but we admittedly expected Sagan to win more stages than he did. Last year he won three, this year just the one. Even so, he held onto the green jersey with a remarkable lead.

Chris Froome, photo via Team Sky
Chris Froome

It was pretty easy to be right about Froome. He was a big favorite after his performance last year and, as we all saw, he did not disappoint. Even so we pat ourselves on the back for our accuracy in this prediction.

Alberto Contador

In all honesty, we sort of figured the Tour would be between Contador and Froome, but Contador wasn't even on the podium. He was a strong contender in many of the stages, but he faded badly in the last week. After three times standing on the top step—though one was wiped from his record for the whole "Spanish Beef" thing—the Spaniard probably pretty disappointed with the outcome.

Tejay van Garderen

Aside from Nibali, van Garderen was probably our least successful pick. He crashed early in the race and ended up finishing 45th—and he narrowly missed winning the Alpe d'Huez stage (though he did get Team BMC's first top three finish). We expected much, much more from the American, what with his fifth overall placing in last year's Tour and his win at the Tour of California this year.

Ryder Hesjedal

Hesjedal went down in a crash in the race's first stage and was dogged won the rest of the Tour with a broken rib. An overall finish of 70th, it wasn't the performance we expected to see from the Garmin-Sharp rider.

Mark Cavendish at the Giro d'Italia
Mark Cavendish

Looks like Cav finally found his rival. Two stage wins isn't what we'd call a failure, but with an overall finish of 148th and four stages lost to Marcel Kittel, we can admit the Brit wasn't as remarkable as we thought he'd be.

Cadel Evans

Evans seems to be going the wrong way. He won yellow in 2011, was 7th last year and came in a dismal 39th this year after a tough, exhausting race. He's credited his poor performance at the Tour to his last-minute enter in the Giro d'Italia, where he was 3rd, but perhaps it's time for the Australian to find a different focus?

Andy Schleck

We have to admit, 20th place is a disappointment for a man who, by default, took first in 2010. A broken pelvis takes time to heal, apparently.

Who We Missed:

Nairo Quintana, photo via Movistar 
Nairo Quintana

Not including Quintana in our list was a huge oversight. The Colombian rider for Movistar kicked ass at his Tour de France debut, coming in 2nd overall and scoring both the white and polka dot jerseys. Oh, and he won stage 20, so it's pretty easy to say Quintana is a powerhouse. We look forward to seeing his career develop.

Joaquim Rodríguez

Another big oversight, since Rodríguez, a Spanish climber for Katusha was 3rd overall. We should've known he'd do well, what with his 4th place finish at this year's Tour of Oman, his 2nd place finishes at both the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Volta a Catalunya, and last year's 2nd place standing in the Giro d'Italia and points classification win.

Marcel Kittel

We're also kicking ourselves for forgetting Kittel. After dropping out during his Tour de France debut last year due to illness, the 25-year-old German stole the show with four stage wins this year, including the finale.

17 July 2013

Sneak Peek: BicyclingHub.com 5.0

As you may've already seen on Facebook and Twitter, we will soon be transitioning to a beautiful new website—or, as we're calling it: BicyclingHub.com 5.0. The design isn't quite done yet, but it's getting close. We're so excited we thought we'd share the latest mockup with you:

We don't have an exact launch date yet, so all we can say is: coming soon. 

What do you think? Are you as excited as we are?

15 July 2013

Video: Tour de France Impersonations

It's a rest day, which means we're seeing a variety of interviews with Tour de France cyclists and tweets from teams about how their riders spent the day. But this is what we're watching: an awesome mashup of Tour de France cyclist impersonations.

Looking forward to more TdF action tomorrow with Stage 16.

12 July 2013

Watch a Bicycle-Powered Helicopter Take Flight

The Sikorsky Prize—given for projects achieving human-powered flight for at last 60 seconds—has been awarded for the first time in 30 years to Aero Velo, a Canadian startup for their bicycle-powered helicopter, Atlas.
Originally funded on Kickstarter, Atlas consists of a single-wheeled modified bicycle attached to a lightweight frame with four blades. Though an incredible innovation, it isn't all that hardy, and test flights often result in broken pieces that must be repaired before the next flight attempt.
But they now have $250,000 for their efforts. So that's pretty cool.
[Via Business Insider]

11 July 2013

Watch the Flying Scotsman Test His Beastie

We all know who Graeme Obree is, right? One of our favorite cycling moviesThe Flying Scotsman—is based off of his life. Well his latest speedy creation, his 'Beastie,' is headed to the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in September. He tested it out for the first time in the video above. Looks a little shaky, but hey, we have faith in Obree. 

09 July 2013

Bid on a Cannondale Pro Team Jersey Signed by Peter Sagan to Benefit the American Diabetes Association

Today, July 9, at 10am PDT, we began a 10-day eBay auction of a Cannondale Pro Cycling jersey by Sugoi signed by Peter Sagan—all of the proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Association.

Place your bids here.

The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s leading 501(C)3 nonprofit charity fighting against diabetes and its deadly consequences. With nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States diagnosed with diabetes and 79 million Americans considered to have prediabetes, the mission of the American Diabetes Association is urgent. Everything the charity does addresses the mission: “to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”

To do so, the American Diabetes Association funds innovative research to combat and manage diabetes at 125 of the country’s leading research institutions, provides the public and health care professionals with up-to-date information on diabetes, fights to increase federal funding for diabetes research and programs, improve comprehensive insurance coverage and to end discrimination against people with diabetes, and puts on events such as the Tour de Cure, a fundraising cycling event in 44 states across the country designed to inform, empower individuals living with diabetes, as well as friends and family, and raise funds to support the overall mission of the American Diabetes Association.

“The American Diabetes Association is excited to be working with BicyclingHub.com, a long time supporter of Tour de Cure, on this auction,” said Kris Bockmier. “The money raised will us fulfill our mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabates, through diabetes, research, advocacy and education.”

We managed to raise over $1,500 for the Davis Phinney Foundation in an auction last month, and we are excited at the opportunity to raise money for another great organization.

A big thanks to Peter Sagan, Cannondale Pro Cycling and Sugoi for helping us make this happen.

08 July 2013

7 Conclusions From the First Week of the Tour de France

As we head into the second week of the Tour de France, we thought we'd take a look back at we learned from the first nine stages.

Photo via BMCRacingTeam.com
Team BMC is stronger on paper

We had high hopes for Team BMC following a great showing from Cadel Evans at the Giro d'Italia and Tejay van Garderen's win at the Tour of California. Thus far in the Tour, however, BMC is not looking so hot. It all started with a less than wonderful performance in the team time trial. Then van Garderen succumbed to the heat in the first mountain climb during Stage 8, and team leader Evans dropped. With a team with so much talent and power—on paper, anyway—it's hard to say why they're underperforming.

ORICA GreenEDGE had a great week

Despite the bus trouble and sprinter Matt Goss' crash during the first stage, ORICA worked it in the first week of the Tour. Simon Gerrans took Stage 3 on the final island day and the team crushed it in stage 4's team time trial in Nice, with a 75 hundredths of a second victory over world champions Omega Pharma-Quick-Step. This is not at all what we expected after their lackluster performance last year, and it's a very pleasant surprise.

Nairo Quintara, Paris-Nice 2013
Nairo Quintana has the white jersey

Going into week two, Colombian cyclist Quintana is in control of the white jersey. An incredible climber, the Movistar team member attacked during the 8th stage, climbing the Col de Pailheres, the highest in the race. At this point, the overall battle for the white jersey looks like it'll be between Quintana and Omega Pharma-Quick-Step cyclist Michal Kwiatkowski.

Chris Froome is strong despite Team Sky's overall weakness

Team Sky isn't looking so hot anymore, what with injury and crashes causing them to fall back in the ranks—and giving Froome a lonely ride at the front of the pack. Froome looked great last week. He avoided crashes, did well in the time trial and matched Quintana's accelerations in the climbs. But he's going to have to work a hell of a lot harder if he wants that final yellow jersey, since, going into week 2, it looks like he might be going it without much help from his team.

Peter Sagan, 2013 Tour of California
Peter Sagan has a tight hold on the green jersey

Will Sagan (Cannondale) take him his second consecutive points classification? Looks like he might. He has a comfortable 93-point lead over Andre Greipol (Lotto Belisol) and Cavendish sits in third. Sagan's lead is likely due to his versatility as a cyclist; he's managed five podiums thus far, including a win in Stage 7.

Alberto Contador not doing as well as expected

It cannot be denied: Contador isn't doing as well as he should be considering his performance just the last year. In September 2012, he took home the red jersey in the Vuelta a España and he's stood on far too many podiums since to be so out of form going into the rest day of the Tour. We definitely expected a stronger performance from the Saxo-Tinkoff rider.

Photo via Flickr user Lori Branham
Corsica is gorgeous

The opening island stages brought into the Tour to celebrate its 100th year were brutal for the riders, but man, were they gorgeous. With two weeks left of the race, perhaps the only thing we really know for sure is that Corsica is beautiful and those first few stages were wonderful to watch.

Rest Day at the Tour

This is what ORICA GreenEDGE is doing during today's rest day:

The race resumes tomorrow with the 10th stage. We're looking forward to it.

7 Ways to Beat the Heat on the Bike This Summer

Photo via Flickr user John Gronberg
The dog days are upon us, but sweltering heat isn't enough to scare us off our bikes. In fact, it only seem to bring us out to pedal more. As temperatures continue to creep up, however, it's important that we take care of ourselves so we can stay safe and have a fantastic time in the process. 

Here are our top 7 tips to beat the summer heat:

Dress appropriately

Just as you wouldn't wear your shorts and thinnest jersey during the height of winter, it's not a good idea to dress too heavily in the peak of summer. Opt for a short-sleeved jersey made of a technical fabric, since cotton and silk will absorb every ounce of moisture your body produces. (Check out our collection of men's and women's cycling jerseys here.) On the bottom, opt for a cycling short or bib made of similar materials, as they'll wick sweat and push moisture out, giving you a much more comfortable, cooler ride. (Shop our collection of men's and women's cycling shorts here.) 

Opt for panniers

Have you ever had a backpack on during a hot day and noticed the relief you feel almost immediately after taking it off? Allow for optimal air flow while you're on a ride and pack anything you need with you in a pannier or a basket. The same goes with your head. Don't skip the helmet, though; instead, invest in one with a lot of ventilation so you can keep your noggin cool without skimping on protection.

Embrace your sweat

Sweat might be a little gnarly to some, but it's the body's natural cooling system and it works really well once you stop trying to avoid it. Drink a lot of water, opt for a deodorant instead of an antiperspirant and choose a light, breathable sunblock.

Freeze your water overnight

Photo via Flickr user John Gronberg
On a hot day, your water will likely cook as you do and we can all agree that a gulp of hot water is less than refreshing. Fill your bottle with plenty of ice or freeze your water overnight for a chilled swig. The only trouble with completely freezing your water is you want to be sure it melts as you need it to, so there's never a moment you reach for a drink and all you have is a block of ice. Experiment with different water to ice ratios to figure out what works best for you.

Pour a little water on your head

Your sweat not doing the trick? Squirt a little water from your bottle though the vents of your helmet and you'll feel immediately refreshed since the water will, hopefully, be cooler than your head and you'll stay cooler as it evaporates. Just be sure you have plenty of water with you, though, since you most certainly don't want any dehydration.

Wrap a wet bandana around your neck

Since the head and neck are basically the body's thermostat, it's important to keep them as cool as possible. A good trick is to wrap a wet or—even better—icy bandana around your neck. It'll provide relief from heat for as long as it takes the water to evaporate. Then, if you need to, you can just soak it in cool water again and start over.


The most important thing you can do for yourself on any ride—especially one in hot conditions—is to stay hydrated. Even if your water is warm and less than fun to drink, be sure to drink it anyway. Your body's core cooling system cannot work without water.

Have any tips of your own to share? Leave it in the comments section below.

01 July 2013

ORICA GreenEDGE's Video of Their Bus Getting Stuck is Hilarious

We can all probably agree that the first stage of this year's Tour de France was chaotic (the New York Times has a great write-up here.) What with ORICA GreenEDGE's bus getting stuck at the finish line and the crash that took down several riders, it was certainly on the crazy side. But at least the folks at ORICA GreenEDGE aren't so serious they can't laugh at themselves a little. While this first stage recap video may not be intentionally hilarious, it's certainly funny in concept and received at least a few laughs from us.

Bike Thief Sells Bikes Before Stealing Them

Photo via Flickr user Lorena Cupcake
What is probably the most forward-thinking bike theft investigators have seen has been discovered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. The thief—who, at this point, still doesn't appear to have been apprehended—lists bikes for auction and ensures he has a buyer before he steals them.

Nine bikes, with a total value of around 2.2 million yen (which is roughly just over $22,000), were stolen from Hiroshi Tamura, editor-in-chief of a Tokyo bicycling magazine. At midnight on June 17, his wife called police after she noticed someone hanging around outside the house. When police arrived, they discovered three bikes had been stolen from the parking area of the house. When Tamura went out the next morning, he found another six had been stolen.

Police discovered that six of Tamura's bikes, four that had been stolen and two that he'd moved into the house, had been listed for auction on June 1. Each of the listings had photos and all six bikes had been sold. 

According to road.cc, the seller has listed other bikes in the past and investigators believe they may have been stolen as well.

[Seen via Bike Portland]

24 June 2013

8 of the Best National Parks for Bicycling

Glacier National Park
This summer, as you pack up and head out on weekend trips with your friends and family, don't forget to pack your bike. While not every national park is best suited for cyclists—what with so many trails off limits to anyone but hikers—there are definitely a good handful that you shouldn't leave your bike at home for. If you're looking for a good place to start, here are some of our favorite bike-friendly national parks:

Via Flickr user BLMOregon
Crater Lake National Park

The 33-mile loop around Crater Lake is certainly a physically demanding ride, what with the long, steep elevation gains when you're already well above sea level, but it's absolutely worth it. As you follow Rim Drive around the lake, be sure to stop at the vistas to get a glimpse of the gorgeous crystal-blue waters that fill that crater.

Acadia National Park

At Acadia National Park, you can explore both the beautiful New England coast, as well as the lush forests and granite slopes this incredible park has to offer. With 45 miles of historic carriage roads and plenty of paved roads, there's no shortage of good cycling.

Shenandoah National Park

If you're looking for a lengthy, hilly challenge, then Shenandoah is the park for you. The 105-mile Skyline Drive following the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a demanding route and is best reserved for more experienced cyclists. But do be careful: Skyline Drive is a two-way road with a lot of curves and blind spots, so just be aware of your surroundings and the cars passing you.

Grand Canyon National Park

Bikes may not be allowed in the canyon, but there are still plenty of options for bicyclists at this beautiful, iconic national park. Besides, the view from the top is simply outstanding. Both the North and South Rims have options for cyclists, including the 2.8-mile Hermit Road Greenway Trail on the South Rim.

Via Flickr user Andreas Johansson
Death Valley National Park

It may be the hottest, driest and lowest national park the U.S. has to offer, but Death Valley National Park has 785 miles of road and trail available to cyclists—you just might want to avoid the hottest of the summer months, when temperatures can rise to 120 degrees during the day and drop to zero at night.

Glacier National Park

Take your two-wheeled transport on a ride through the heart of Glacier National Park and around the mountainsides on the 55-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road. The scenery is gorgeous and you'll get a chance to view Jackson Glacier Overlook as well as local wildlife, like bighorn sheep and mountain goats. But it is a tough ride, so be prepared for some climbs.

Grand Teton National Park

There are plenty of awesome things to do at Grand Teton National Park, and biking is definitely one of them. With a multi-use pathway to ride along and see the park's sights, as well as several roads, there's plenty of great pedaling.

Redwood National Park

The paths and trails in Redwood National Park ride among the gorgeous redwoods of this Northern California forest, which tower 350 feet above the ground, and even offer incredible ocean views at certain points. With several different loops and trails to ride, you can easily spend an entire day (or a couple of days) exploring the area.

Are we missing your favorite? Let us know in the comments section.

21 June 2013

Top 5 Reasons to Ride Your Bike This Summer

Happy Solstice! Today is officially the first day of summer*, and we couldn't be happier. Well, actually, it would be nice if it wasn't so cloudy this morning or supposed to be rainy much of next week, but beggars can't be choosers.

Anyway, as if you even needed them you awesome cyclists you, here are our top 5 reasons to ride your bike this summer, with gifs!

It's fun!
Even other mammals can't get enough.

monkey riding a bicycle gif

It's good for your health.
Seriously, look how hard this guy is working—and that's not even a real bike!

dude pedaling

You'll make great new friendships and strengthen old ones.
Friends (and family) who ride together, stay together.


There's a lot of support in the cycling community.

via cycleboredom

You'll see things you don't always get to.
You know, like cows running down the road with a pack of racers.


* for those of us in the U.S.

20 June 2013

Top 5 Stretches Every Cyclist Should Do

Photo by Gabriel Amadeus, via Flickr
Whether you ride distance, to race or simply to get yourself around town, your muscles are working hard to keep your feet pedaling and your wheels moving. The last thing any of us wants is soreness or an injury that might keep us off our bikes for awhile. Even if your longest ride is just a few miles roundtrip, it's a smart idea to practice good stretching habits regularly to keep your muscles long, limber and pain-free. Here are some stretches to get your started:


If you've ever noticed that heaviness in your thighs after a long ride—or you've ever felt them burning during one—then no doubt you know just how much these muscles work. Treat them to a nice, long and slow stretch. Start by standing up straight, then reach back with your right hand and grab your right ankle and pull the foot up towards your rear until you feel the tension. Hold for at least five deep breaths and switch sides.


Have you ever ridden behind another cyclist and seen how much their calves flex and move while they pedal? Needless to say, it's a good idea to stretch these muscles out. One great way to do this is to stand straight up with your feet hip's width distance apart and your toes pointing forward. Then step forward with your right foot and bend your knee. Keep your left toes tucked under and push back into them until you feel the pull. Hold for at least five deep breaths and then switch it up.


It's easy to forget about the hamstrings, but when these puppies are tight there are huge complications for your back and knees. To stretch them out, find a step or curb. Stand straight up and lift your right leg so your heel (toes pointing straight up) rests on the step. Then, keeping a flat back, slowly bend over at the hip until you feel the stretch. Again, hold for five deep breaths and do the other leg.

IT Band

A lot of cyclists might at one point or another complain about knee or hip problems. Most of the time, these aches and pains are caused by a knotted up IT band. Sit straight up with your legs out in front of you. Then bring your right foot of your left knee, turn to face your right and add resistance by pressing your left elbow against the outside of your right knee. Gently push through your elbow until you feel the stretch. Hold for at least five breaths and switch legs.


It's ridiculously easy to transition into a glute stretch from the IT band stretch above. In the same seated position with your right foot on the outside of your left knee, just face forward pull your knee to you in a hug. But just because it's so easy doesn't mean you shouldn't do it—tight glutes can cause more work for your lower back, which can cause chronic pain now or later in life. Just be sure to hold the stretch for at least five breaths and to repeat on the other side.

17 June 2013

The Bicyclist's Survival Guide

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) just released a pretty great guide for bike commuters. Though it specifically deals with Oregon road law, the suggestions are basic enough they could apply elsewhere in the U.S. as well.

The Bicyclist's Survival Guide (see the full PDF here) is nicely organized with four main sections and great safety tips in each. For instance, in the first section, "Abide When You Ride," the guide reads, "Pedal by the book. When on the road, your bike is a vehicle. That means you have the same rights—and responsibilities—as motorists. So obey all traffic signs, signals, lane markings and other rules of the road."

There's also a really neat spread cleverly called, "Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself":

Download the full PDF here.

[Via BikePortland.org]

14 June 2013

Would You Ride a Flying Bicycle to Work?

It might sound like something right out of a movie (say, E.T.), but it's very, very real. Duratec Bicycles has released a prototype of a flying bicycle—though, at this point it has only been flown by a dummy. Here's what it looks like:

The flying bike uses six giant fans to provide its lift and balance. It's powered by batteries. It's currently unsafe for humans to fly the thing, since its weight limits give it 5 minutes of flying time. 

To that, technical director of Duratec Bicycles, Milan Duchek, says: "Because the capacity of batteries doubles about every 10 years, we can expect that in the future the capacity would be enough for the bike to used for sports, tourism or similar things."

Don't get us wrong. It's kind of a cool device—but doesn't it sort of defeat the things we love about cycling in the first place, you know, say, it's exercise potential? And it definitely looks pretty ridiculous with its giant fans on the back. So we'll pass on this one, thanks.

13 June 2013

Why Don't We Know More About Cycling and Brain Science?

To tell you that cycling is good for your health is to tell you something you likely already know. As a reader of this blog, whether you came across it because you're a customer or a friend of a customer or it was shared somewhere on a social network and you just so happened to be interested, chances are you enjoy riding a bicycle and you likely know the health benefits already. To write at length about how and, to some degree, why cycling is beneficial to your body and mind would seem a little bit redundant and very much like preaching to the choir.

This year alone, this blog has featured stories about how cycling can help you lose weight and the effect it can have on diabetes—in fact, we've written on the diabetes control/cycling link more than once.

In the last couple of weeks, during preparation for and then the actual auctioning of the 7-Eleven cycling jersey signed by Davis Phinney to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation, I was reminded of the following YouTube video about patients with Parkinson's disease and bicycling.

The first part of this video is very difficult to watch. You see a man with Parkinson's struggling with a condition called "freezing gait," and he can hardly make it a few steps down the hallway, even with help.

Cut to the second part: he's riding a bicycle around a parking lot and you'd have no idea there's anything wrong with him. He seems at ease, happy even. But when he stops and gets off of the bike, he freezes again. In February, Atlantic Cities discussed this video, and continued, quoting the NEMJ:
This striking kinesia paradoxica may be explained by the bicycle's rotating pedals, which may act as an external pacing cue. Alternatively, the motor-control mechanisms involved in gait as compared with other activities engaging the legs, such as cycling, could be affected differentially in Parkinson's disease. Cycling may offer a useful approach for exercise training in patients with Parkinson's who are “grounded” by severe freezing of gait.
It's pretty clear that studies like this one are still in very early stages. No big conclusions can be drawn; they don't reveal any real answers beyond conjecture. But what this study does reveal, however, is that there is something to the idea that cycling has a different effect on the body and mind than other exercises. Yet these studies aren't being fully explored. The video above comes to us from the Netherlands (which also explains the lack of a helmet), where cycling has long been a major form of transportation. But what about here in the U.S. or other parts of the first world where driving is still the main method of getting around?

The primary reason for the lack of major research into bicycling and brain science is this: there's no money to fund the studies. Studies are typically backed by pharmaceutical companies with deep pockets, so who's going to spend money to find results that may show a prescription isn't always necessary (or that the dosage doesn't need to be as high)?
Adam Leibovitz

In "Riding is My Ritalin," a feature published by Bicycling magazine, journalist Bruce Barcott tells Adam Leibovitz's story about how he was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, put on medication and, because he was tired of the side effects that came with it, figured out a way to manage the disorder with a regimen of heavy cycling.

As it turns out, there were studies on ADHD and exercise happening even before it was a recognized mental health condition. In 1978, W. Mark Shipman, MD, medical director for the San Diego Center for Children, an institute for psychologically troubled kids, conducted a simple experiment. The hyperactive kids under Shipman's care were the first ones receiving doses of Ritalin. So Shipman had a group of his kids start running for 45 minutes a day, four days a week. What happened? Exactly what you might hope: the kids who ran started behaving as if they were getting extra doses of medication. Their doctors were able to begin lowering their dosage. But the kids who weren't running primarily stayed at the same level of medication. As a control, the doctors administering medication did not know what kids had been running. And the results were clear: the exercise helped.

What happened next, though, was not what you'd hope for: doctors began writing more and more prescriptions for Ritalin. Shipman's results weren't discredited—his results were even reinforced in two separate studies in the 1980s—but the American mindset toward medicine had shifted away from natural remedies and instead people sought cure-all drugs to fix their ailments.

But one of the things that's fascinating about this increase in Ritalin prescriptions is the effect it had on professional cycling. Barcott writes:
These changes have reverberated in competitive cycling, a sport filled with athletes whose behavioral traits trend toward the disorder's symptoms; at pro races and masters' events it's not uncommon to hear jokes about cyclists' ADHD-like characteristics. When I ask Jonathan Vaughters, director of the Garmin-Slipstream team, whether he's noticed ADHD-like behavior among any pro riders, he says: "Only the entire peloton." 
He is partly serious. "I think a lot of elite cyclists, if properly diagnosed, would probably be shown to have some form of ADHD," he says. Vaughters, a top pro rider in the 1990s, says his son was recently diagnosed with ADHD. "I think he gets it mainly from me," he says. (Vaughters was undiagnosed, but ADHD is often passed from parent to child.) 
One of the sport's retired champions, an Olympic gold medalist who asked not to be identified in this story, recently wondered aloud about the effects of Ritalin on the younger generation. In his day, he said, you cycled away your hyperactivity; that was partly how he got into the sport. "I wonder how many kids over the past decade got put on Ritalin instead," he said. "How many potential racers never discovered the sport?" 
In other words: How many would-be greats never found cycling because they were medicated?
It's a good question.

Think about it: why do you ride? You might start because you want to lose a few pounds and a great form of low-impact exercise so it's easy on your joints, or maybe because you want to save money on gas or bus fare. But at some point, for some of us anyway, something changes and the desire to go for a ride turns almost into a necessity. When we have to drive to work, we feel jittery and unable to focus all day. When we don't have a chance to get out for that weekend ride, might get a little irritable. All we want in the world in those moments is to feel the breeze, to pedal and grip our handlebars.

If cycling has that effect on someone without a mental health condition, can we imagine would it could do for someone with ADHD? Or depression? Or bipolar disorder? Is cycling different than other forms of exercise for people with these conditions? Can cycling help them control and manage their conditions? It's hard to say since nobody is really actively seeking the answers to these questions. So for now, all we have to go on are individual stories and conjecture. It's not much, but at least it's a start.

Has cycling helped you with your physical or mental health condition? We'd love to hear your story. Tell us about it in the comments section.

11 June 2013

6 Tips for the Beginning Bike Commuter

The weather is heating up and spring is turning into summer, which means more and more fair-weather cyclists are using their two-wheeled transport to get where they need to go. Which is great! Studies show people who ride their bikes to work are more focused and have better concentration, which easily leads to getting more done in, likely, a better mood.

But for the first-time bike commuter, handling the streets can be a little nerve-racking, especially in urban areas or places with very little bike infrastructure. But no worries. Here are a few tips to get you started pedaling to work more comfortably:

Plan your route in advance

Chances are your bike commute to work will be along a different route than a drive, walk or public transportation trip would. You'll definitely want to map out the best and safest way to get there before you need to leave. Depending on how far of a distance you'll need to travel, your route might take you on several different backstreets, rather than a straight shot on a major road, so you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to memorize the route. If you don't know the streets well enough to juge whether they're best for bikes, then check out Google Maps' bicycling directions option. They aren't always the best, since the technology is still in beta—but they're still fairly reliable.

Don't be afraid

If you're terribly nervous when you set out on a bike, it's going to show in the way you ride—which ultimately means you're going to be riding worse and more susceptible to having an accident. If you've never cycled so close to cars before, the first several times can be really scary. But just relax, pay attention, follow the rules of the road and you should be fine. 

But use caution

When you're on a bike riding in traffic, it's a good idea to ride with the assumption that not everyone can see you all of the time. So when you approach an area you could very easily be right-hooked, maybe hold back and be sure the driver is going to stop before you power through. Or when you see a vehicle park, maybe give a wider berth around the door if you can, just in case they open it without looking. That's not to say you should assume the absolute worse in every situation. Not at all. Just maintain a good awareness of your surroundings.

Dress comfortably

Though it largely depends on how far you'll be traveling, the weather and what kind of office environment you work in, you might want to ride in different clothes than you plan to wear all day at work. That's not an issue here at BicyclingHub.com, since we have a friendly, laid-back, bike-friendly atmosphere. But if you work in a business wear kind of office or your ride is long enough you'll likely get pretty sweaty, wear something comfortable to ride in that won't cause any chafing and will be nice and breathable. (Hint: cycling apparel will make your longer commute much more comfortable.)

Know your signals

At least here in Portland, more often than not cyclists don't use hand signals. But you really should if it's safe to lift your hands off the handlebar to do so. It's a nice way of alerting drivers and other cyclists of what your plans are and can easily help you avoid an accident. For a left turn, hold your left arm out. To indicate a right turn, either hold your left arm at a 90-degree angle with your fingers pointing up or hold your right arm out. When you're slowing or stopping, hold your left arm at a 90-degree angle with your fingers pointing down.

Have fun!

What's the point of riding a bike if not to get your endorphins flowing and have a good time? Smile and enjoy yourself, even if you have to deal with a rough climb. It's way better than sitting in traffic, am I right?

08 June 2013

Top 9 Riders to Watch in the 2013 Tour de France

The 100th Edition of the Tour de France begins in just a few weeks, with the first stage (from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia) kicking off on Sunday, June 29. Naturally, we're really excited for the 21-day race in 22 days and we simply couldn't wait to start talking about it. And with news of Fabian Cancellara skipping the race and Brad Wiggins and Chris Horner unable to ride due to injuries, we just can't help but be thinking about the top contenders in this year's Tour. Here are some of the riders we'll be watching—so long as nobody else drops out (fingers crossed!).

Vincenzo Nibali (Editors note: Nibali decided to skip the Tour de France to focus on the world championships)

Vincenzo Nibali, currently riding for Astana, is a powerhouse. The 28-year-old Italian was this year's Giro d'Italia champion, marking his second Grand Tour win (his first being the 2010 Vuelta a España). This season, he also took first at the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro del Trentino. In fact, in his entire professional career, Nibali has done no worse than 20th place in any race. Combine all that with his third place ranking in last year's Tour, there should be no wonder we think he'll be a strong force this time around. And if Nibali wins? He'll be in the history books with just seven others (the last was the late, great Marco Pantani in 1998) who have managed to win both the Giro and the Tour in the same year. That said, the cold snowy Giro does take time to recover from, but we wish him the best.

Peter Sagan at the Tour of California
Peter Sagan

With a nickname like "The Terminator" and a race record like Peter Sagan's, of course this 23-year-old Team Cannondale cyclist is on this list. Sagan was second this year at the Tour of Flanders, second in the Milan-San Remo, first in the Brabantse Pijl, first in the Gran Premio Città di Camaiore, among others. At last year's Tour, he won stages three and eight and took first in the points classification—so he's definitely one to look out for this time around. And with two stage wins at the recent Tour of California, the Slovak is looking good.

Chris Froome

What with his teammate Wiggins unable to compete because of a knee injury, Chris Froome is looking to be a top pick to take the whole thing. He's currently in the lead in the Dauphiné Libere. He took second at this year's Tirreno-Adriatico, first in the Tour de Romandie, first in the Critérium International and first in the Tour of Oman. At last year's Tour de France, he placed second. Will the 28-year-old Team Sky rider take first this year? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Alberto Contador

In recent interviews, Froome pointed to the 30-year-old Alberto Contador as his "biggest threat" in this year's Tour de France. Post doping scandal, Contador took first in the Milano-Torino and Vuelta a España in 2012 and second at the Tour of Oman this year, as well as a third place finish at the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico (finishing first in points classification). Plus, he did win the Tour in both 2007 and 2009. (He also won in 2010, but tested positive for doping.) Is the Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider as big of a threat as Froome suggests? We will soon find out.

Tejay Van Garderen at the Tour of California
Tejay van Garderen

Fresh off of his 2013 Tour of California win, Tejay van Garderen is likely to have a strong showing at this year's Tour. At last year's, he came in fifth overall and first in the young rider classification (he's 24)—all the while doing a ton of work for teammate Cadel Evans. Besides his California win, Tejay's had a pretty strong showing elsewhere, coming in second at the Tour de San Luis, third at the Critérium International (first in the young rider classification) and fourth in the Paris-Nice. It'll be interesting to see how he fairs in France this time around. We're guessing he'll do well.

Ryder Hesjedal (Editor's note: Hedjedal crashed out of the Tour de Suisse and we're not sure if he'll be competing in the Tour de France.)

Maybe this hasn't been Ryder Hesjedal's best year racing, but last year he won the Giro d'Italia and he just signed a contract for three more years with Team Garmin-Sharp, so it's best to not discount the 32-year-old. He's Canada's best hope for a Tour de France win and we're looking forward to seeing what he brings to the race this year.

Mark Cavendish

Currently riding for Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Mark Cavendish, 28, has had a hell of career. This year he placed first in the points classification, as well as the Azzurri d'Italia classification and most combative rider classification at the Giro d'Italia (along with four stage wins at the race), as well as first in the general and points classifications at the Tour of Qatar, among others. The British cyclist is doing quite well, that's for sure, and it'll be fun to see what's got for us at the 2013 Tour.

Cadel Evans

Andy Schleck at the Tour of California
With a first place overall win at the 2011 Tour de France, first at the 2011 Tour of Romandie, first at the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico, first at the 2012 Critérium International, third at this year's Giro and third at the 2013 Tour of Oman on his track record, of course we're keeping an eye on Cadel Evans. The 36-year-old Australian will be leading Team BMC in this year's Tour de France, which some are suggesting is an interesting choice considering Van Garderen's success—especially considering how he seemed to struggle in the final week of the Giro, falling to third place. But we can't deny Evans is a great cyclist—so we're looking forward to it anyway.

Andy Schleck

When Contrador was caught for doping and his 2010 Tour de France win was revoked, Andy Schleck received the glory retroactively. The next year, he came in runner-up. With previous great showings at our favorite French tour, we wouldn't be surprised if he managed do well again this year. We'll definitely be keeping a look out for this Team RadioShack Leopard Trek rider.

07 June 2013

Video: Falcon Chasing a Downhill Mountain Biker

In the race of peregrine falcone versus downhill mountain biking legend Gee Atherton, who do you put your money on? Earth Unplugged teamed up with Red Bull to create this "ultimate experiment between man and bird." With bait strapped to his back, Atherton takes off and the falcon follows (there's even a bird cam!). What happens next? Well, you'll just have to watch the video below to find out.

03 June 2013

A Man's Guide to Leg Hair Removal, Written by a Woman

Men cyclists de-hair their legs for a multitude of reasons. We asked our Facebook community over the weekend why they or the men they know shave and received a variety of responses. William O. pointed to racing strategy, "The difference between .0002 seconds can mean 1st or 2nd," and Winsor H. responded, "Because they look so pretty and my girlfriend loves it." Others commented that hairless legs keep you cooler in your rides. But the most common response related to how hairy legs conflict with crashes, road rash, cleaning wounds and bandaging (also, removing bandages—ouch!)

Whatever your reason, if you're a man unused to removing your leg hair, it can seem a little daunting. Here's a breakdown of your options to make the process smoother.


The most common, overall cheapest and, frankly, the easiest leg hair removal method is shaving. But if you have never shaved your legs before—or it's been awhile since the last time—there are a few things you might want to keep in mind:

  • It will probably hurt a little. If your leg hair is decently long, you might feel a tugging sensation as you shave. But after the first time, so long as you keep up the practice, the process should be pain-free.
  • Don't use the same razor you use for your face. This may seem like a given, but I figure it's best to throw this out there just in case. 
  • It takes time. There's a lot of surface area on legs and going too quickly can lead to nicks and cuts for an untrained leg shaver. Be sure to account some extra minutes so you can take your time and go slow. Your legs are full of curves and contours (shins, knees, back of knees, ankle) that are easy to cut if you're not careful.
  • Shave at the end of your shower because you want the skin and hair to be nice and soft before taking a razor to your leg.
  • Exfoliate first. A gentle scrub down with a loofah or wash cloth can mean the difference between a stubbly shave and a smooth one. Plus, you're less likely to get nick yourself. 
  • Be sure to lather up well. Trying to shave your legs without shaving cream and gel is a recipe for a bad shave, cuts, razor burn, what-have-you—it will be unpleasant. 
  • Shave against the grain for a close shave. But if it's your first time shaving, be sure to go across with the razor in the other direction, mostly just to trim the hair before you try to a close shave—it'll help minimize pain or cuts.
  • Moisturize post-shave. It'll help with the dryness that can come with shaving. 
  • Practice makes perfect. 


Depilatory hair removal is less common than shaving but still a pretty effective method. You rub the cream on your legs, let it sit for the amount of time stated on the bottle and then rub it off gently with a wet washcloth. But, especially if you're not used to getting rid of your leg hair, sensitivity can be a huge problem—the chemicals can burn and cause irritation. That said, it takes longer for hair to grow back than shaving, since it actually breaks down the keratin and weakens the hair itself. Just don't leave it on too long.


One commenter, Gavin G. told us, "I wax mine. I've been doing it so long that hairy legs on a dude just looks wrong now!" A wax can be a rough experience, which is why most people, men and women alike, shave or use a depilatory. It really hurts. But, it's a tradeoff, since the hair grows back much slower and legs stay smoother for longer.

Have any advice of your own to add? Let us know in the comments section.

01 June 2013

Recovering a Stolen Bike With Pedal Power

When one of Rock the Bike's best cargo bikes was stolen after a meeting a few weeks ago, team members reached out to friends on social media, friends and a stolen bike recovery network to keep an eye out. So when one of the crewmembers spotted the highly-customized Mundo 500 locked to a sign in his neighborhood. 

They called SFPD to report it, stuck their own lock on it and came back in the morning with an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel and a Rock the Bike Pedal Power Utility Box to collect the energy from two different bike generators to saw off the offending lock. All of which is captured in the video above.

Have you ever had your bike stolen? Did you get it back?

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