Thursday, September 16, 2010

NEWS: Charlottetown Transit planning on adding bike racks to buses

So it looks like cyclist are finally being heard in Charlottetown.  We have a series of bike lanes being created around the city.  Additional signs to help remind drivers that we exist, and now bike racks for the buses.

Charlottetown Transit is planning to add bike racks to most of its buses, and the first one is already installed on the bus running between Cornwall and the capital city.
The rack added $1,500 to the cost of the new $400,000 bus. The two-bike rack sits on the bus's front bumper.
Coun. Marlene Hunt, chair of Cornwall's transportation committee, said using the bike rack is a lot faster and safer than dragging a bike onto the bus.
"To have a bicycle loose inside the bus is a little bit dangerous," said Hunt.
Hunt was the first to use the new bike rack. "For myself and probably for a lot of people, they get off work maybe an hour before the bus arrives to take them back to their town," she said.
"That gives me a chance to bicycle around Charlottetown and get some exercise before I head home."
Charlottetown Transit intends to install the racks on all its buses, but it will take a little extra work on the trolley-style vehicles that run around the city. The small front bumpers on the trolleys will have to be modified to carry more weight.
"Machinists could make something very easily, and then with the right engineering we could put it in," said company general manager Bobby Dunn.
"It's just a matter of getting someone to design something, and then implementing it. And getting the money to do it too."
Dunn estimates it will cost $50,000 to outfit all 20 buses in the capital city area. He hopes to have bike racks on most of them by next year's cycling season.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

HOW-TO: Field Repairs

So you're out for a ride, and things are going great then suddenly life throws you a curve ball...  Your bike breaks.  Maybe it's just a flat, maybe you snapped a chain, maybe it's extreme enough to break your frame.  The point is you need to be able to fix things enough to limp back home or if you're lucky finish the ride without further issues.

Frame Repairs
Now in most cases if you break a frame on a ride, you're walking home.  However depending on the location of the break and the materials available, you might be able to patch it together well enough to limp back home.

In this case, the frame broke at the top of the seat tube.  The seat post still had a few inches into the rest of the frame but every bump resulted in the seat post popping off the bike.  The solution wasn't elegant, the draw string from a pair of shorts was used to tie the seat down to the frame.  It still pivoted at the break but was secured in a way that it couldn't fall off.

Tire Repair
If you bike, you've probably found yourself fixing a flat.  A simple patch kit or spare tube should be considered essential tools for all cyclists.  But what if it goes beyond a basic puncture... what happens if the tire itself failed and you have a hole in the tire itself?  Obviously the tube will bulge out and puncture very quickly.  However is you happen to have a piece of  sturdy plastic, or duct-tape, or even some paper money (US money works better than Canadian and comes in smaller bills), you can apply any of these to the inside of the tire to prevent the tube from bulging out.   The reason money works so well is that it's not actually paper, it's a combination of many things and is closer to fabric than paper, but it stays strong when wet.\

Chain Repair
Another essential tool is a chain tool... it does not have to be huge, my small multi tool has one.  But if you ever need it on a ride you will never ride without one again.

A broken chain is actually quite easy to repair and be on your way.  Simply use your chain tool to take out the broken link and re-attach the now shorter chain.  You will have to be careful not to shift into gears that require longer chains such as the larger chain ring to larger cassette gears, but that's a small price to pay for finishing your ride.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MISC: Nine short workouts to deliver big results.


The average pro cyclist trains 20 to 30 hours a week and logs 20,000 to 25,000 miles each year--farther than the average American drives in that time. Too many of us mere mortals mistakenly believe we need to approach that sort of volume to reach our peak. But if you work 40 or more hours per week, cramming in another 20 on the bike may wear you down rather than speed you up.

The best results come from a smart blend of rides of all lengths and durations. Long, steady efforts are still important for boosting your circulatory system's network of capillaries, which enables you to deliver more nutrient-and oxygen-rich blood to your cells and increases your body's fat-burning ability. But don't turn up your nose at outings that last less than two hours. Exercise science shows that you can build speed, raise your sustainable pace and even ratchet up your endurance with rides that last between 30 and 75 minutes. To meet your cycling goals, mix it up: Each week clock one long ride--three hours will do for most riders--and take at least one day off. On the other days, choose from among the following workouts...

See the remainder of the article HERE at

Monday, September 6, 2010

RACING: Ironman Canada through the eyes of an amateur athlete

Paulette Dalton recently competed in her third Ironman Triathlon at the Subaru Ironman Canada in Penticton BC.  She competed along side her father Paul Dalton, and this is her story.

The pre-race: 

Everyone was weary about the weather and even a bunch of tents blew over in the expo Wednesday afternoon and registration/check-in had to be closed down for a bit b/c the winds were too strong! The normal Penticton weather of 35+C was replaced with 15C! 

The Swim: 

Felt good during the swim, aside from a few knocks on the head, which is to be expected with a 3000 person mass swim start! I came out of the water @ 1:26 (7 minutes faster than last year).

The Bike:
My strategy for the bike was to conserve in the first half to save my legs for Yellow Lake and of course the marathon. This strategy was fine until I hit the 60k/h head wind around 130Km in which slowed my average pace wayyyy down. I heard the pro's were met with rain, wind and HAIL! I also heard some of them stopped at the top of Yellow Lake to get emergency heat blankets to wear around their shoulders before descending the mountain! Looking back maybe I should have pushed it a bit harder in the early part of the bike ride when I had the wind in my favour. I was a bit disappointed with my bike time, but it is what it is and you can't always control the weather. 

The Run:

My favorite! Nobody passes me on the run :) This is where I made up most of my time and finally passed Dad! (It also helped that I speed through my transitions!). Just past mile 12 I was figuring I'd see Dad soon on his way back into town, but then I looked up and realized he was just a head of me. Just the motivational push I needed to push past the half way turnout in just under 2 hours! The way back into town my strategy was to just run a steady pace and not worry too much about the time. I was reallllllly tired at this point and didn't need any discouragement from seeing that I was a couple minutes slower on any km/mile markers. 

The Nutrition:
For food during the day I ate clif bars, clif bloks, gels, sharkies, bananas, gatorade and red bull on the bike. For the run I had 2 gels then stuck with bananas. I tried pepsi, but wasn't a big fan...I go from starving, to full, to bloated to starving again every 2 miles. No nausea or barfing this year at the finish line though! Yay! :)

Paulette finished this grueling event ahead of her father with a time of 12 hours, 48 minutes and 12 seconds.  Next on her list is the 2011 Ironman Switzerland in July.

Friday, September 3, 2010

HOW-TO: Tune that pesky derailleur

So you get on your bike.. your riding along you get to a steep hill and shift, the shifter goes "CLICK" then your rear deraileur and cassette go "GRIND" "SCRAPE" "RATTLE" and you go nowhere....

As we pack more and more gears into our cassettes the space tolerances for your shifts need to be more and more precise.   What this means for you is that as your shift cables stretch (even sligthly) the precision alignment of the derailleur and cassette will get out of wack.

So what do you do?  It's actually quite simple.  If you're mid ride and this starts to happen, in all likelyhood the cable has stretched, especially if it's new.  To fix this simply look at the deraileur where the cable enters it.  You will see an adjustable barrlel that can be turned.

Turn this adjuster to alter the alignment of the deraileur in relation to the cassette.  If your cable is stretched you will want to go counter clockwise by 1/4 turn increments and then test it.  If you make it worse... try going the other way, again in 1/4 turn increments.  The key here is to be patient and eventually you will find the sweetspot where all your gears are working smoothly.

If you have an issue with getting into the top or bottom gears on the cassette, you might have to adjust the max movement screws.  On the side the derailleur you will see these 2 screws.

Adjusting the one labeled H will affect how high the derailleur is able to travel (easier gears), while the one marked L will affect how low it can travel (faster gears).  Simply increase the allowable distance that's causing you trouble.  If you find that you are shifting right past the top or bottom gears, use these screws to back off the maximum travel so as to hit the limit while inline with the gear.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NEWS: A new home to discuss cycling in Prince Edward Island

Well it's finally happened, has expanded with the opening of the new forum.  (notice that new link in the top left corner?)

This new message board is to provide a place for all cyclists, particularly those from P.E.I. to get together and discuss this great sport we all love.   Use it to organize a group ride, or to share the conditions of your favorite trails.  Maybe you want to share your latest touring discovery.

The point is, we're all cyclists, and we're always looking for fellow cyclists to share the joy of this sport with, so come join us!

You can get to the new forum using the link in the top right, or by going directly to