Despite a paralyzing injury to Martyn, this film has been completed and presented by GCN, along with the help of some friends, to bring you road bike party 2. Let's make sure Martyn gets the recognition he deserves and be sure to share this with all your friends and family. Absolutely incredible.
I have been commuting by bike for some time now. I started by riding to and from class as soon as I got to college and this led to me building my first commuter bike my senior year. This love of riding blossomed when I arrived in DC. I left my car behind and moved here relying on only two wheels to get me around the city. There is just something about riding; I prefer it to nearly any mode of transportation in the city. Then around 6 months ago I began my cycling career. No I don’t race officially; but I do pretend to when I pass unsuspecting Segway tourists. I had wanted to graduate from commuting into cycling for some time and when the perfect CAAD10 frame showed up on Craigslist I jumped in. After building my bike I hit the streets and things haven’t been quite the same since. Here are a few things I have learned in my first cycling season:
1. Friends teach faster than discovery
Starting out I didn’t know much beyond pedal hard. The strategies, techniques, and mindsets required to be a good cyclist aren’t all intuitive. I quickly discovered that having friends to show me the ropes makes learning not only much more efficient but more enjoyable as well. My friends dragged me to group rides and down new paths teaching me all the way. This mentoring expanded my knowledge and trained my intuition at a rate my own discovery never could have matched.
2. Getting faster takes suffering
My first few times out I quickly realized that I was slow. I guess that’s just the way it is when you start something new, but I really wanted stop being the lead weight at the end of the paceline. I quickly learned that my friends were going fast because they had earned it. They had put in the miles, climbed the hills, and sprinted the straightaways until their legs burned in ways they never knew they could. We all know this as “suffering”, it’s the pain required to go fast. I’ve come to embrace it, to almost love it, because it is the only way to get better. It gives me a sort of satisfaction knowing I laid it all out there, I pushed hard, and am getting faster.
3. Getting out there takes friends and makes friends
Riding is a joy, that’s why we love it so much. This joy, however, is most acute when shared with friends. I’m finding that not only do I love riding but I love when my friends join as well. There are times we cruise and chat about the happenings of the days and there are times we push each other well past the point of pain. Cycling is a vehicle for relationship; it has grown many friendships in my own life and I’m confident many more have had the same experience.
4. When you cycle, the Tour de France gets WAY more interesting
The Tour is an incredible cycling experience in itself. Knowing strategy (and learning more along the way) made watching the Tour captivating to say the least. These men who conquer mountain stages beyond my wildest dreams and sprint at speeds I never knew were possible become an inspiration to me. They not only impress and entertain me but also empower me to continue to ride and improve. And this wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Jens, shut up legs!
5. Cycling can be therapeutic
Cycling’s draw has many facets: friends, exercise, challenge, speed. Yet there is one that I think drives us all to get back on the bike time and time again and it’s cycling is therapeutic. There is something about getting out there and riding that calms my mind, sharpens my senses, and relaxes my body. Though it isn’t always easy, and sometimes I can’t believe we are about to go over ANOTHER hill it still has a draw that keeps me coming back. It allows me to be where I love the most in nature, getting out away from the city is a breath of fresh air to me. Cycling has become an avenue for me to find equilibrium amid the busy and sometimes chaotic life I live.
About the blogger:
Mike Semmel lives in Washington, DC and rides his bicycle everywhere possible He is a graduate from Purdue University in Electrical Engineering and currently manages a local theater on 8th Street in SE DC. Mike, like most of us, finds plenty of joy (and suffering naturally) in riding solo and with friends in the area. He periodically blogs about life here: http://mikesemmel.wordpress.com/.
Stumbled across this video today and it's amazing what the power of a bicycle can do for someone. Think about your own daily commute to work. Walking vs. riding. There really is no comparison when it comes to the efficiency and speed of riding as opposed to biking. Love the movement this organization has going on right now. World Bicycle Relief is empowering people through fostering sustainable development and social enterprise. More can be found at their website here. Also check out their latest video below:
If you want to consider supporting their initiative you can do so here. Every dollar donated is matched 1 to 1!
It goes without saying ... everyone in the cycling community can rejoice upon the announcement Jens Voigt will be joining Trek for one more year! Shut. Up. LEGS!
After reading some of the messages on the MABRA list serve today regarding interpretations of the TT passing and drafting rules, and then re-reading the messages to understand what people were saying, we thought it would be beneficial to clarify the proper interpretation of the rules:
With cycling season nearing its completion, and championship season of triathlons upon us, we thought some of you triathletes could use some pointers on how to better prepare yourself for the open water swimming portion of your triathlon.
Any of you cyclists looking for some solid cross training during the off season ... You won't find any other sport which have a large aerobic benefit, will not structurally damage your body (impact forces of running), and will build your core strength quicker than swimming will. Give it a try.
We have some friends in NYC who recently documented their journey from New York City to Montreal Canada. We stumbled across their trailer late last night and it immediately caught our attention. The full video will undoubtedly be worth the watch.
Riders who are featured include:
Vincent Malo (Québec - SRS & Team iBike)
Josh Gieni (Saskatchewan - Team iBike)
Gophrette Power (France)
Danny G. Taillon (Québec)
Romain Albertini (France)
Marie-Hélène Lapierre (Québec)
David Trumph (USA - Chalet Magazine)
Phil Penman (England - Chalet Magazine)
James Stevens (Australia - Chalet Magazine)
Martin Amiot (Québec - Ombres & Lumières)
Philippe Bellemare (Québec - Ombres & Lumières)
After sorting through all of the suggestions & feedback we received, we have added even more rides to the DC, NOVA & MD pages! We also added a team, Evolution cycling, to the team page.
There was a ton of great racing going on this weekend between the All-American RR & many others across the Mid-Atlantic region. BIG races coming up shortly for the MABRA. As the summer progresses and you find yourself lacking motivation to ride your bike? See below:
Option #1 - Go to the group rides page, stop making excuses, and have some fun with other people. If 1 fails consider option #2:
Option #2 - Watch video below and ride your bike into a state of utter pain & bonk town. If options 1 & 2 do not work, consult option #3:
Option #3 - Consult the rules, have an espresso and go ride your bike already!
Today marks the launch of DCpaceline. A website aimed to serve as a resource for the DC community by creating one central location for all of the best group rides in Washington, DC. We hope this website can serve as a resource to locals, visitors or anyone who simply wants to ride their bike with other people!
So what is "The Paceline?" We plan to use the blog as a place to provide updates and information on group rides, awesome local events, great coffee shops or really anything any person riding a bike in and around DC would enjoy. We hope you like the website and we value any opinions you have about the site! Please let us know via our feedback page!
Grab a bike, grab a friend, make a friend and go enjoy some awesome riding in the nations capitol!
The Paceline is our blog which is updated periodically with different news about races, events and anything else interesting and involves a bike.