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Cool Route: Fanno Creek Greenway

Like riding on paved off road trails? You’ll love the Fanno Creek Greenway in the Tigard area!

This wide, smooth trail takes you on a quiet wildlife journey through the areas of Tigard and Garden Home on the edge of Portland as it follows Fanno Creek, an important restored habitat for turtles, ducks, beaver, nutria and other wildlife. The out-and-back trail features many offshoots, nature loops and optional side routes so you can see different scenery on the way back to the start location. You will pass through seven parks along the way during this very flat ride.

VIEW THE FULL ROUTE HERE >>

This route comes from the Best Bike Rides in Portland book by ORbike editor Ayleen Crotty and published by Falcon Guides.

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Nutrition on a Big Ride

Guest post by Jamie Singer

Every biker remembers their first time. No, no, not THAT first time, we’re talking the first time they bonked.

Perhaps you’ve heard about it, others have told you about their own experiences but you never thought it would happen to you. Then wham! You’re out for the count, losing touch with reality.

My first time was in France whilst riding from London to Paris over three days. It happened somewhere between St Malo and Paris – please forgive my vagueness, in my condition, I was way beyond geographical certainty.

Let me back up. That morning I had shunned the grim looking breakfast on offer at the ferry’s “restaurant” in favour of a few extra minutes of sleep (in truth I could’ve been a little hungover from a late night in the Ferry’s “night club”). Besides, I was trying out an energy powder, ‘free-mixing’ it with approximate measurements into my water bottles.

Upon further research later on, I found out that energy powders might not actually improve the performance during extreme exercise. It turns out they subtly change the way you feel during that exercise. Recent research carried out by United States Sports Academy and Concordia University Chicago has shown that the supplements cause vasodilation of the arteries within the muscles being worked the most. This increases cardiac output and decreases systemic resistance which gives a tickling feeling on the skin that makes you feel as if you are pumping those pedals harder.

After an hour or two naively setting the pace on the front, burning nothing but early morning enthusiasm, we hit a small town and descended en-masse on an inviting looking Boulangerie, where if my memory serves me right I gorged on an apple turnover, pain au raisin and a cone shaped pastry filled with custard. Whilst admittedly a little queasy I felt good and ready to ride on to Paris. The sugar hit that ensued was palpable.

Sugar is broken down into simpler carbohydrate molecules in the gut. In turn, these are broken down in the constituent glucose molecules which are stored in adipose tissue and the liver. Glucose is the most essential ingredient that the body needs in order to produce energy – every cell in the body needs it. Although the breakfast I just ate may not have contained much other nutritional content, I did get that hit of energy I needed to continue… but not for long.

Half an hour later, slowly at first, I started to struggle. Hanging out at the front of the peloton didn’t feel so good. So, I hung on at the back, the wheel in front becoming harder and harder to hold. The gap was getting wider and wider; first six inches, one foot, a yard. Then the elastic snapped. I was off at the back.

The rest of the day was a blur. Every pedal turn became a monumental effort until I threw in the towel. Lying amongst the flowers in a roadside pullout chewing slowly on an energy bar, I wondered where it had all gone wrong.

Energy bars have one purpose – to give you that extra drive required to push you that extra mile. How do they do that? You guessed it: Glucose. Energy bars are not fantastic for nutritional content but that’s because they don’t need to be. By supplying you with a rush of carbohydrates the bars fulfill their purpose by giving your muscles the energy they need to push those pedals an extra turn.

Now I don’t wait for the hunger pangs, I dutifully consume a bar on a regular basis. I keep hydrated, again with the hydration tab brand that’s the most effective in warding off cramps in my legs (it’s worth trying a few different brands to find your optimum). If I know a big climb is coming up or know the pace is going to pick up, I pre-empt the increased energy burn with an extra bite or two of energy bar or a banana.

This is optimum fueling efficiency because at this stage, my body is respiring both aerobically and anaerobically. By respiring anaerobically, the liver is undergoing a synthesising glucose to meet the energy demands of the legs during cycling. The main thing to remember is that eating little bits enables us to give the legs enough energy at the points it needs it the most.

Only in an emergency – Chris Froome on Alpe D’Huez style – will I resort to energy gels or jelly babies/beans to get me through to a proper food stop or even better the end of the ride.

It’s only after completing this mammoth ride, that I realised how important nutrition is. Eating right is what can make the difference between muscle ‘hangover’ and post workout soreness. Ultimately, everybody is different and I highly recommend you test different types of pre- and post-workout nutritional plans to design something that is unique to you. But be aware of the claims energy bars and powders elude to – although they may promise you the world, let your body be the judge.

Photo by Human Powered Health


Jamie Singler writes the Bike Torpedo Blog where he reviews the latest cycling gear. For updates from Jamie, follow him on Facebook or Twitter

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Live the Revolution

The 7th Annual Live the Revolution, presented by Sugar Wheel Works and Gladys Bikes, is a wild night of live storytelling to support Safe Routes to Schools and foster the next generation of bikers.

Live the Revolution is a collection of stories told live by some of your favorite Portland personalities. Check out this year’s storytellers:
– Ric Hjertberg, Wheel Fanatyk
– Erin Lolich, Northwest Regional Education Service District
– Lale Santelices, Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program
– Erik Tonkin, Sellwood Cycle Repair

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.

The fun includes Hopworks beer, live music, Love Poem Writers, a huge raffle and much more.

DETAILS

Alberta Abby, Portland [map]
February 10
6:30-10:30pm
Tickets >
More info >

WATCH THE VIDEO

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5 Tips for Training Success

Training seems intimidating – the motivation to begin can be daunting.

But with a little preparation and planning, you’ll find that it’s easy to stick with your routine, even if you are on vacation, engrossed in an online slots session like All Slots Casino, or busy with work.

Train for the terrain, meaning if you’re training for a hilly ride, be sure to include hills in your training rides.

Write it down. Keep a training diary, log on your phone or use a spreadsheet. Include how the ride made you feel, how far you went and what you ate before the ride. Add in any other details that may help you plan for future rides.

Adjust. As you settle into longer distances, make adjustments. How’s the saddle, your padding in the shorts, shoe angle etc.? Find the comfort now so you can make the most of the ride you’re training for.

Take time to recover. Your muscles need time to rest and re-build. Anything you do on a recovery day should be light duty and under an hour. These rest weeks can do wonders for the body and mind.

Realistically assess.Sure, you want to push yourself. But you also want to be realistic. If you are continually setting lofty goals that you can’t meet, you will feel discouraged. Beating yourself up is not the right approach. It does not make you stronger or more eager to conquer your feats, though it’s tempting to go that route because it is how our society operates. Instead, check out your progress and goals, and set goals that you know will be JUST beyond your previous success. Push yourself a little harder. On days when you know you’re feeling under the weather or sore, go a little easier on yourself

This last point is so important because it’s about a LONG TERM approach. Ride day to day, but plan for the future. Over time is when you will see results and track success.

But when it really comes down to it, just getting out there and riding TODAY can make a huge difference, no matter the distance.

There are many ways to approach your training. Some are better than others, and really it comes down to personal preference and finding something that works for you, personally. But when it comes down to the format, these few key points will help you make the most of your time on the bike, so you can spend more time getting back to the rest of your day, perhaps that All Slots Casino session.

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Cycle Oregon Kickoff Party

Best Bike Rides in Oregon

For 29 years, Cycle Oregon has taken riders on a grand adventure through little-known hamlets of Oregon as they pedal past spectacular views and through the quietest of rural areas on hidden routes known only to the locals.

The event provides superior support, camping every night and gear support.

Every year the ride explores a different region of our gorgeous state. Where will this year’s journey be? That’s a heavily guarded secret known only to the privileged few. The rest of us have to wait patiently until the big Route Reveal Kickoff Party.

Details

Free
January 24
Portland Art Museum, Mark Building
Doors: 6:00 pm
Route Announcement: 7:00 pm

Hang out, meet other riders, get to know the vendors and services that will be riding and camping along with you, and enjoy food and drink at this festive night that Cycle Oregon fans look forward to every year. If you are unable to attend, you can following along on their website.

More Information

See additional info here >

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Event Volunteer Miriam Steierman

During a long ride, having a cheerful volunteer hand out snacks or help air up your tires certainly is a nice perk. These people provide much needed support to help alleviate the event’s workload, and help things run smoothly. Some events even rely on the support of high level volunteers who can tackle advanced projects to ensure a successful event.

So just who are these people who donate the time? And why would someone opt to volunteer instead of ride?

Miriam Steierman probably knows about this more than almost any other Oregon rider. The veteran volunteer has spent years volunteering for a slew of events, including Harvest Century, Cycle Oregon, Portland Century, Portland Sunday Parkways, Jackson’s Ride the Gorge and many others.

Miriam describes herself as “a joyful 60+ woman who loves to help others and work hard and ride my bike.” We’ve gotten to know her over the years through her volunteer work, so we decided to sit down with Miriam to learn more about the wild world of event volunteering.

Why do you like volunteering for bike events?

I get great joy from the experience of volunteering. I love chatting with the participants

Describe one of your favorite events.

Sunday Parkways is by far my favorite event. I love “racing” with the little kids or carrying their bikes when they are too tired – and mom and dad just don’t know what to do. I enjoy talking and smiling to riders (and drivers too) even when the weather is bad.

We know it’s not all roses out there. Describe one of your worst volunteer experiences.

I was working on an event’s site team. It was very hard, unappreciated work. I was very sore and tired all the time for days on end. Never again!

Okay, so being made to feel appreciated is clearly important. Aside from that, how do you decide what events to spend your time on?

I normally volunteer for people I have known for a while, like Axiom Event Productions (Harvest Century, Bike MS, Portland Sunday Parkways and others) and Good Sport Promotion (Petal Pedal, Portland Century, Worst Day of the Year Ride and others).

If the event is new event and they need volunteers, I’ll probably sign up. If they succeed, I’ll probably come back the next year if they want me. It’s just that simple.

What should someone take into consideration when volunteering for an event?

Volunteering takes time and effort. I highly dislike when people sign up to volunteer for an event and then don’t show up. It’s important to follow through and be reliable.

What are common mistakes most people make when signing up to volunteer for an event, or while volunteering?

A common mistake is knowing what the job entails, not knowing how much time the job will take. Also, not listening to veteran volunteers who are trying to make their job easier by providing helpful information.

What are some common mistakes event organizers make in regards to their volunteers?

My biggest irritation is when my job as a volunteer is not appreciated, like the scenario I mentioned.

Often event managers don’t train their volunteers appropriately. Sometimes they also really miss the mark by not reaching out the following year of the event, or not giving enough attention to the volunteers who go the extra mile and are reliable.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of volunteering for bike events?

I would have to say: contributing to the success of the event, any event.

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