That Sunday morning torture of training rides

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Riders gather for the start of a training ride

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Sunday start and enough in number to make a peloton, of sorts. At least, some place to find shelter.

A meeting of wheels. Another ride with Refuge des Cyclistes and 70 kilometres done. The closest I have to a cycling club. I even wear spandex, though buried under camouflage baggy clothing. I eventually got home home, recovering with a Continue reading

Discovering the beauty of the Frankenstein tandem

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Tandem bike created bu welding two separate frames together

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A gifted weld and a custom tandem.

Granted, I usually do bikes and df their riders, but this owner has proven elusive. I have seen the bike across the city centre in Brussels for a couple of years, but never with the rider. Starting to irritate me.  Continue reading

Table talk about the best of cycling

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cycl;is talking about her best experiences in cycling

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Telling tales about the best sport…

I asked her to tell me her favourite dinner table story about cycling: “I won’t tell the time about the time I knocked a girl off the road during a race. But riding in Belgium. Just riding. On stone paths, on the Tour of Flanders course. I’ve done it three times. The second time was 2009 and that was the hardest. They added two Continue reading

Refining your bike with proper placement

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bike fitting expert discussing faults in rider's position

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Creating that harmony between body and machine

“I have a business where I specialise in bike fitting, primarily multi-sports. A lot of people are doing road bikes, but I do everything from fixed to road to cyclocross to Race Across America fittings. But we live in Chicago so lots of road bikes.  Things that cyclists get wrong with their bike position? Cleat placement. That is where I start.

“The shoe fit and if it is functioning for you. If the shoe the right size. Its position on the pedal. Then seat height and I am looking at lower leg kinetics, foot and ankle, to see if you are too high or too low. See how the spine is reacting. Then up to saddle height and the reach according to pelvic flexion and torso length. Over 100 kilometres you might see a centimeter of compaction in your spine. And then the muscles dehydrate through the day. Your muscles are not lax. They are actually tighter and there is less mobility in muscles and ligaments over the ride.

“The bike is still out there but you are shorter and shorter. And your arm position is about stretching your torso out so you can breathe. All those organs and your stomach have to go somewhere. You have to open your body so you can breath. And then shoulder mobility is another thing and how your pelvis is rotating. That might change if you were riding 150, 170 km.”