The Importance of Proper Running Footwear

Running shoes are important to any type of runner.  If you are first time running who just read about the best fitness tips for moms from your favorite parenting blog, or if you are a seasoned runner, you need good shoes–period!

 

You are likely to be wearing these shoes frequently, at extended periods of time and sometimes in challenging conditions or ruffed terrains and as such, an investment in a good pair of running shoes is imperative. A good pair of running shoes can be pricey, but they don’t have to break the bank. We’ve outlined below precisely why choosing a pair of good running shoes is such an important decision.

 

To ensure comfort during your run

Feet come in all different shapes and sizes. That’s not just talking about the particular shoe size but other aspects and traits that vary from one individual to another. For example, those with wide set feet are going to find themselves experiencing some problems and discomfort down the line if they try and force themselves into a regular width shoe that is too much of a tight fit. Similarly, different people have different arches in their feet and so they may require different levels of padding and support. Fortunately, running shoe brands are very aware of these variances and as such, you will be able to find a model for virtually every type of foot, across each brand. The store assistants that work in stores which supply running shoes are generally quite knowledgeable about people’s specific needs so don’t hesitate to consult with them when making a purchase. It is better to buy products from a reputable brand such as Nike or Adidas. With these, their reputation precedes them and as such you can feel confident that you are getting a quality product without breaking the bank.

 

To prevent injury

If you choose not to invest in a proper running shoe, and instead opt for buying a cheap alternative type of exercise footwear then you are likely to come into some problems down the line. Sneakers, plimsolls and walking shoes do not offer the support and flexibility that you need for runs and as such, you are more prone to injuries if you do not make the investment into a proper, high quality running shoe.

 

To avoid blisters and other small irritations

If you buy a cheap pair of shoes, or you so do not carefully select a pair of running shoes that are well suited to your feet then aside from serious injuries, you will be prone to other undesirable side effects on your feet. For example, if your shoes are too tight – either in terms of width or at the front where your toes are, the material of the shoe is likely to rub against your feet, chafing them and causing blisters, bunions,  and other irritations that can make your run an agonizing experience.

 

To protect those with a history of sustaining injuries

If you have experience injuries in the past, regardless of how serious or minor they may be, there is every possibility of that injury raising it’s ugly head again when you start running if you are not mindful of providing your feet with the support and cushioning you need. Discussing your previous problems with a knowledgeable shop assistant can help you to identify the perfect model.

 

To ensure support

The perfect running shoe should accommodate your feet perfectly. You should feel no discomfort during extended wears. The shoes should be snug and your feet should fit inside them well, without being too tight.

Any small irritation that you feel at the point of trying on the shoes in store (i.e. they feel a little tight around the edges or at the top) are only going to be magnified when you go out on a run. If you find that your shoes are too tight (or to the other hand too loose and your feet are slipping around inside them) then not only does that make you more susceptible to injuries and minor irritations, it will actually hinder your running performance and distract your focus.

 

To accommodate for expansion

Have you ever noticed how your feet can swell up slightly over the course of a day? The extent of this varies on the individual but it’s very likely that this will occur to your feet after a running session. As such, a flexible, lightweight running shoe will accommodate for this, rather than feeling restrictive and uncomfortable.

 

To ensure durability

It’s true when people say that nothing lasts forever but you want to ensure that you are getting sufficient use out of your running shoes. If you opt for a very cheap pair of shoes, only for them to become damaged and fall apart after a few running sessions and for you to have to replace them then that was a wasted investment. A good pair of running shoes should last you up to 400 miles of use.. They may seem like an expense at first, but ultimately this is the more economical choice, since they offer you more longevity and durability.

12 Adventure Ideas for the Summer

Summer is one of the most anticipated seasons all year. Maybe it’s because school is out or the fact that it’s so hot making for a perfect excuse to go out to the beach.

 

Whatever it is, summer is a beloved time of the year filled with potential things to do. If you’re struggling to think of an idea for adventures to do this summer, below is a list of things you can do.

1. Learn a new cuisine

Find a cuisine or several dishes that you have never tried before and make it.  The more challenging it is, the more fun. Even the process of scouring for ingredients at the grocery  will become a great adventure!

2. Pick apples

Go to your nearest orchard and pick a whole bunch of apples! This goes very well with the tip above. If you know a few good recipes, make a meal with friends and enjoy a nice meal together. Apple pie is always a good idea and make for a perfect summer treat!

3. Go on a hike

Work off those calories you gained from the cookoff by going on a hike. Go to your nearest state park and explore nature. You can make this date a multi-day activity where you both camp out underneath the stars for the next few days, or just make it a day thing. Whatever you prefer!

4. Make a bonfire

Snuggle up in front of a bonfire and grill s’mores with your buddies. You can even have them bring their significant others and friends with them to make the evening event more fun and social. If you don’t have a bonfire, a fireplace acts as a good replacement. Share stories with each other while enjoying the cozy warmth of the fire.

5. Rent a boat for the afternoon

Impress your friends with a boat rental and go wherever you please whether it’s the beach or the lake. Make a stop in the middle of the ocean or somewhere scenic and enjoy a nice picnic with your companions. What could be more fun than spending some time on the water with a rented boat?

6. Rent a bicycle for two

If boating is not your thing, you can just go biking. Doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, it’s nice to ride along this warm weather. So go ahead and rent a bike and make a plan on the routes you’ll be cycling into.

7. Go on a road trip

Enjoy the beautiful view of the countryside during this season by going on a road trip. If it’s a long drive, take turns with friends on the wheel. Bring some snacks and drinks along with you so you have something to consume in between stops.

8. Get coffee

Starbucks released their pumpkin spice latte earlier than the usual this year, so even if it’s only summer, you can already start enjoying your favorite fall drink! This gives you a good excuse to head to the coffee shop and grab yourself a nice warm latte with a friend. It doesn’t even have to be Starbucks. You can go to the coziest cafe in your area and hang around there all afternoon.

9. Head to a karaoke bar

Get loose and sing your heart out at a karaoke bar. Take turns singing your favorite songs. Yes, even the Celine Dion hits.

10. Wine tasting

If you have a knack for wine, why not do some wasting? No need to go out of town for those expensive wine tours. Just do it at your own home. Pick up some inexpensive wine bottles at the store and whip out your wine glasses. Don’t forget to buy some cheese and crackers to pair your wine with. You can sit outside your patio, taking sips while enjoying the nice, warm weather.

11. Create a new cocktail

A twist on the previous tip, this one involves a little bit more creativity. Grab whatever liquor you can find in your house along with some basic cocktail ingredients (juice, lime, mint, etc.) and try to concoct a delicious cocktail. Play nice music in the background while you’re at it.

12. Shop for summer outfits

Going on break this summer? Why not take this opportunity to go shopping for outfits you’re going to wear for the holiday. Plan first the outfits you want to wear and bring along some friends who can help you decide which items you should get. Even if you end up not buying one, it’s still a fun therapy trying new clothes on.

 

What other fun adventure ideas do you recommend for this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

11 Extreme Adrenaline Adventures To Try

Extreme adrenaline adventures are something that you should try at least once in your lifetime. They give you exhilaration that makes you appreciate life even more. Once you get a taste of it, you might never want to stop. Thankfully, there’s an endless list of extreme adventures you can do. Below, we list the top ones that you should definitely try!

1. Bungee jumping

Interested in free-falling activities? Bungee jumping might just be the activity you’re looking for. It’s understandable to get paranoid about the straps suddenly breaking during your jump. But that’s something you never have to worry about as multiple staff in these places ensure that all your straps are in place.

2. Ziplining

Want to know what it feels like to be Superman? Ziplining will take you there. The longer and more elevated the zipline is, the better. Don’t forget to look down. The best part is enjoying the beautiful scenery that’s underneath you.

3. Mountain biking

Mountain biking is one of the more accessible extreme adventures out there, but don’t mistake this for a simple activity. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart especially when you’re doing it on pavement going upwards. To make it even more daring, you can do it on a mountainside. You get to enjoy the scenery while making sure that you don’t die falling off from the cliff. Woo!

4. Tree camping

Instead of camping on the ground, why not tie your sleeping bag to trees? It’s definitely a unique way to camp in the woods with you suspended in air the whole time you’re sleeping.

5. Mountaineering

Mountaineering allows you to see Mother Nature at her best. To make it a true challenge, go hiking for several days. This forces you to carry only what you need as you’ll be bringing your backpack with you throughout the trip.

6. Drive a Porsche

Why not go rent a Porsche and find out what it feels like to drive one of the fastest cars in the world? If you know how to choose between your Porsche 996 exhausts and pipes, you might just end up with a Porsche model that gives you the best drive of your life. If you don’t know how to drive one, you’ll be trained by highly experienced Porsche drivers who will train you on cornering, avoiding skids, and split surface braking.

7. Skydiving

Skydiving is almost synonymous with adrenaline adventure. You can’t be a junkie unless you have tried it yourself. You’ll be launched out of an airplane and plumet through the air on a breathtaking free fall. You might not even feel like you’re falling at all. Once you unfold the parachute, you’ll be able to take a deep breathe and this time, actually appreciate the beautiful view around you.

8. Canyoneering

A great way to beat your fear of water and heights at the same time is canyoneering. Basically, you go through multiple canyons through different methods whether it’s cliff jumping, climbing, floating, or swimming down the river. It’s a challenge but you are guided every step of the way.

9. Shark cage diving

In the mood to become predator food? Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound as fun but if you’d like the ultimate adrenaline junkie experience, you can go shark cage diving. This is where you step into a cage to be submerged underwater while the crew throws fish head and guts on sharks around you.

10. Water rafting

Be prepared to get wet for this one. Grab a paddle and go through some of the most turbulent waters. There are plenty of variations for this and the difficulty depends on your comfort level. There’s ones with multiple turbulent rapids while others are as calm as going through an underground river. Take your pick.

11. Dog sledding

Nothing brings you closer to winter scenery than dog sledding. Stand or sit behind four powerful husky dogs as they pull the sled at full speed under the freezing weather. The dogs used in this activity are quite the intelligent as they can respond very well to the driver’s commands. Be sure to check the background of the company arranging the activity before participating in any dog sledding activity. You want to make sure their animals are humanely raised and trained.

 

Nothing ruins an adventure faster than an unexpected accident so make sure to get proper certification or training before partaking in any of these activities.

 

What other extreme adrenaline activities do you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Proper Nutrition Guide for Cyclists

There are a number of aspects influencing the success or failure of a cyclist and diet tops the list. Proper nutrition affords you sufficient strength to get you through the race. Your diet could also make or break your cycling ambition when it comes to surviving long miles on the saddle in addition to determining your ability to train without fatigue. It is, therefore, imperative to consume a well-balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, and fiber. Ideally, bicyclists should ensure to take dense meals prior to a race. Read on if you’re wondering what cyclists consume to fuel those epic pulls, swift climbing stunts and exceptional sprints to the finish line.

 

The Day Before

 

On the day before your big day, you can eat a normal meal but remember to drink a lot of water. This is because your body should be optimally hydrated in preparation for the race. Water should be consumed in plenty the day before the race date rather than in the morning of the imminent event. Last minute rush will result in unnecessary toilet stops. If you are traveling long distance the day before your race, don’t rely on station service food. Take time to pack yourself a bread sandwich, unsalted nuts as well as some fruit for your mid-afternoon snack.

 

During the Evening

 

To ensure proper nutrition, you will want to order your evening meal and breakfast for the following day well in advance if you are going to spend the night in a restaurant. Remember that your body can only host a certain amount of carbohydrates comfortably. For optimal results, take a small portion of carbohydrates in the form of pasta, potatoes or rice and don’t overload. You should also avoid heavy foods that are difficult to digest like red meat. Instead, go for light protein foods such as fish or chicken. Moreover, do not overdo fiber and stay away from highly spiced food.

 

In The Morning

 

Start taking your breakfast at around seven to seven thirty to afford you a 90-120 minutes break before embarking on racing. Also, in your diet, include fruit drinks that are both healthy and full of nutrition. Furthermore, visit Veranda Interiors for more information on healthy and nutritious drinks. Eggs and meat should be excluded from your breakfast as they take more time to digest than carbohydrates. Oatmeal, toast, and waffles are the best sources of energy-based carbohydrates. Add a bit of syrup or jam to provide your body with vital sugars needed to start a race dynamically. Coffee also provides a good energy boost, but too much of it can make you feel sick moments before the race.  Equipping yourself with an energy bar in your cycling jersey is reasonable, but generally, the energy from your breakfast and dinner is enough to see you through the race.

 

During The Race

 

Pacing and fueling link intrinsically. If you push yourself too hard when pacing, your body will be unable to absorb and utilize the whole amount of fuel that you fed it. Therefore, you should settle for a pace that that will be realistic and sustainable as the race begins. Don’t forget to sip from your water bottle as soon as the race starts. And since many cyclists forget to drink their water especially on cold days, you should set an alarm that will remind you of it after every five minutes.

 

After The Race

 

Because of fueling and pacing in the course of a race, you are likely to feel hungry but not ravenous. You should, therefore, consume a little energy recovery drink. This gives you sufficient energy to keep you strong as you sort out your bike and kit, as well as changing and showering. It also helps to prevent the urge of overeating when you get the chance to take a meal. Your lunch, which is likely to be delayed, should contain some quality carbohydrates and proteins; ideally, you can consume a tuna sandwich. Just like pre-racing dinner, after-race lunch doesn’t need to be huge.

 

As a cyclist, irrespective of the sportive distance you are expected to cover, there are two elements that you should take seriously; these include your training and nutrition. For instance, appropriate nutrition is not only important for surviving the long miles, but also to allow you to enjoy the racing event. Do not allow your hard earned miles through months of training go to waste due to poor nutrition. Remember to test everything including your biking equipment and diet during your training. Adequate preparation significantly will contribute to your success. More importantly, stay away from alcohol to avoid dehydration but utilize the hydration stations during the race. Maybe after finishing the race, you could thank yourself with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer at dinner.

The Backyard Collection

September 27 – Portland

Rare films. Backstories. An intimate setting.

The Filmed by Bike film festival has created a very special experience. Join movie lovers in the backyard of the Filmed by Bike headquarters for this magical night under the stars.

Filmed by Bike is showing a curated collection of rare films from their archives along with conversation and special guest presenters.

Seating is extremely limited so reserve your tickets today.

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What’s Your Event?

ORbike is a resource that promotes cycling in Oregon. We love to help riders find new events, and help organizers get more people to their events.

From fun coastal woods rides like Coast Hills Classic to mt. bike festivals like Mt. Bike Oregon, road rides, film fests and more, we’re here to help get the word out.

Do you have an event coming up? Add your event to our calendar! It’s free, and an excellent way to reach a broad audience of bike enthusiasts.

How to Crush It On Gravel

How to bike on gravel best bike rides in Oregon

Exciting times are here! We’ve declared 2018 the Year of the Gravel Ride.

Riding gravel roads is nothing new; motorcyclists and adventuresome cyclists have been hiding themselves on these off the beaten path routes for generations. But as cycling has risen in popularity, proficient riders have started to become weary of sharing their serene time with cars, traffic, noise and debris. So many have taken to the back roads, where sure, the surface might at first seem challenging but the reward is so very sweet.

The Year of the Gravel Ride

So why is 2018 The Year of the Grave Ride? Because no longer an underground or emerging-in-popularity riding discipline, supported rides are popping up in our region that have nothing to do with competition or racing – they’re simply pleasure cruises on the back roads with support. It all started with the Art of Survival Century launching a second day of their wildly popular Memorial Day Weekend ride out in the remote hinterlands on the border of Oregon and California. Day one is a traditional century ride. Day two is all about gravel – a gorgeous route through the Butte Valley in California, snaking up to hidden Juanita Lake (with pancakes at the rest stop there!).

And now the heavy hitters of Cycle Oregon are launching the aptly named October ride: Gravel. This event is sure to be an awesome weekend – Cycle Oregon truly knows how to treat their guests very well.

Support Rides To Help You Get Started

In the past if you wanted to try riding your bike on a gravel route, you were pretty much on your own. But now with these supported rides, it’s a little easier to break into the scene. Sure, the courses are rather remote and you should still come very prepared to be as sufficient as you can, but you won’t be carrying your overnighting gear and there are rest stops (ahhhh… rest stops!).

Now with a few tips, a little gumption and a thoughtful approach, you’ll be good to go. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Tips for Riding Gravel

Your Bike Matters

If you don’t have a gravel-ready bike, you can probably make a few adjustments to your current bike to help get ready to at least dip your toes in the grit and see what you think, before you invest in an all-road/gravel bike.

Go really fat on the tires and consider your bike’s geometry. Make any of the adjustments you can to reduce an overly aggressive position.

If you are considering getting a gravel-specific bike (also sometimes called all-road), here are some suggestions from Bikepacking.com.

Wheels Matter

Wheels matter more than most people ever realize. A great wheel set can make for a buttery ride.

Consider custom wheels from Portland-based Sugar Wheel Works for a life-changing ride experience. These hand-built gems are designed specifically for your riding style, your budget and your aesthetics with experts to guide you through those decisions. Plan for something light weight, sprightly and resistant to pinch flats. Maybe even go for tubeless tires, but that’s a personal choice. (Read more about tubeless from our Resident Mechanic Tori Bortman of Gracie’s Wrench here and here.

Maintain Your Speed

Forward motion creates balance. When you’re nervous, this seems counter-intuitive, but maintaining your speed will help you float through the gravel. Stay in control and if you feel you’re going to fast for a descent, lightly feather your brakes to reduce your speed. Definitely never slam on the brakes – that’s a recipe for skidding out and wiping out.

Become One With Your Bike

Feel the bike, know the bike. Allow your bike to fishtail and sometimes slosh through the gravel. It’s going to feel radically different than pavement and you’re probably going to doubt your stability – but don’t. Trust your skill and balance and keep moving forward.

Riding gravel is a more dynamic experience and you know, that’s probably a big reason so many people are attracted to it.

Get Out There and Clock Some Miles

We could go on and on about how to prepare for gravel, but the best way to become more comfortable is to get out there and clock some miles. Sign up for Gravel (October 5-7) and commit. Then head out on some approachable gravel routes to familiarize yourself.

The best cheater intro ride in the Portland-area is Saltzman Road. It’s an approachable not-really-gravel-but-kind-of-gravel route through Forest Park that will wow you, and truly help you get comfortable 101 style… especially if you like a sustained (but totally do-able) climb. You can see the route here.

Training and Stretching for a Distance Ride

Our friends at Cycle Oregon operate some of the best rides around. And they also have some of the best experts on their team. They bring along veteran physical therapist Megan Moseley, PT, LMT, of Bodywise on their rides to help riders feel great every pedal stroke of the way.

Cycle Oregon sat down with Megan to find out more about her approach to physical wellness on the bike, and we thought we’d share this expert advice with you.


Here’s how I see it: We’re spending hours bent over, pedaling away… overusing some muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, hip flexors) and over-stressing certain joints (knees, cervical and lumbar spine). It’s critical to recognize that our bodies are machines, and in my opinion, it’s our responsibility as their owners to understand how to operate them properly.

My philosophy is that everybody is created equal, and likewise every body is created equal. What I mean is, while it’s true that we come in all different shapes and sizes, there are some things that are universally true. I call these Every Body’s Rules.

Think about it: Everything we buy comes with a set of instructions, warnings or rules. We all know that if we read the instructions, heed the warnings and follow the rules, we’re going to get the best results. The same idea applies to our bodies. If we know how to operate and take care of our bodies, we can make them last as long as possible and get the most out of them. We can’t expect our bodies to continually perform, and not break down, unless we invest the time to understand and maintain them. These 10 rules are the foundation you’ll need to Become Bodywise.

Create Personal Space

Just as we humans function best when allowed our personal space, every joint in our bodies has what is called “joint space.” When a joint’s space is decreased, it can’t work the way it is meant to. This leads to degeneration, inflammation and pain.

Listen Within

Pain and inflammation happen for a reason. They’re our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Give up the “no pain, no gain” attitude. Pay attention to your body!

Don’t Be Rigid

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not “normal” to feel stiff in the morning or after sitting for a while. Stiffness is a sign of inflammation. Using our bodies in ways they’re not meant to be used creates joint and muscle trauma, which leads to inflammation. By changing the way we move, we can stop the trauma and relieve the stiffness and pain.

Know Your Limits

Our bodies are amazing structures, but they have a limited ability to adapt or compensate. I think most people “get away with” poor posture and body mechanics for a while, but at some point they catch up with us. When our bodies can’t compensate anymore, the result is inflammation and pain.

Find Balance

Our individual joints and bodies as a whole work best when they’re balanced. This position of balance is called “neutral alignment.”

Change for the Better

Do you have a habit of slumping when you ride? Could you use some help in the posture department? Don’t worry—chronic postures and bad habits canbe changed. We simply need to learn better ways to hold and move our bodies, then practice them to form good habits.

Be Flexible

Good flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue provides our bodies the opportunity to achieve neutral joint alignment and good posture.

Get Organized

The organization of movement patterns occurs when all the muscles around a joint work together as a team, each one doing its job to fire at just the right time. This organization allows the body to balance and maintain neutral joint alignment during activity.

Strive for Equality

When we move our bodies, it is important that all the joints do their fair share. If for some reason this doesn’t happen and there’s decreased movement in one area, there will be increased movement in other areas to make up the difference. The joints that move too much are the ones that become inflamed and painful, and degenerate too quickly.

Age Gracefully

Have you heard this one? “You’re getting older; it’s normal to have pain.” I’m not buying that, and neither should you. The aging process does not have to be a painful one. We simply need to learn how to operate our bodies properly.

That being said, the exercises I’m recommending take into account these 10 rules, and are detailed on my website.


You can see the entire calendar of statewide Cycle Oregon events on their website.

Explore the Portland Splendor

PORTLAND CENTURY | August 19 – Portland

Entries are still being accepted for the Portland Century sweepstakes we announced in a special newsletter yesterday. If you haven’t yet entered, check your email and put your name in the hat before Friday for a chance to win two free tickets to this awesome ride.

Portland Century is a luxuriously relaxing day on the bike – plus a whole bunch of rewarding climbing for those of you who opt for the full Century Ride challenge. But don’t worry – if 8,100 ft. of climbing over 100 miles isn’t your jam, you can always opt for a shorter route.

But we say, go big! Portland Century offers top notch support so if you’re going to challenge yourself, this is the way to do it right – with a team at your back. Plus, the finish line beers will taste even better after those gorgeous views and epic climbs.

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An End-Of-Summer Tradition

HARVEST CENTURY | September 23 – Hillsboro

The Fall Farmland Cruise

It’s one thing to hop on your bike and go for a ride, but it’s an entirely different experience to sail along well-sculpted routes that carry you along a magical journey.

That wondrous experience is what you will be treated to on the Harvest Century, a ride well known for having incredible routes and top notch support.

The excursion takes you through the quiet farmland on the fringes of Hillsboro, past fields of dahlias resplendent in vibrant beauty and across the Canby ferry for a mini nautical adventure.

The lively finish line party is in the heart of Historic Downtown Hillsboro – directly in the middle of Main Street with live music and a tasty end-of-summer BBQ.

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CONTACT US

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If you have questions about an event, please contact the event directly. We do not host any events and cannot answer those questions.

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