Lees-McRae College now offers degree in cycling

15 02 2011

Students attending Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC can now minor in Bicycling Studies. The college is the first in the U.S. to offer a degree in cycling. According to an article in cyclingnews.com:

“Courses that make up the program include History and Principles of Bicycling, Business and Economics of Sports, Nutrition and Athletic Performance and Creativity and Innovation. Students will also complete a field study in cycling and an internship in cycling before graduation. This program will position graduates to obtain positions in fields such as team management, bicycle design, coaching, education, urban design, training, retail, planning, event promotion, marketing and more.”

Lees-McRae College’s cycling team won its first national title in 2003 while competing at the Division II level. The team has won over 10 national titles and continues to win individual and team championships each year. The team suffered a recent tragedy with the death of Carla Swart in a training accident in her native South Africa on January 19.  Swart had recently signed with HTC-Highroad for the 2011 season.  She was the most decorated collegiate cyclist in history with 19 national titles, and in 2008, she won a “Grand Slam”, with national titles in each of the four collegiate cycling disciplines in a calendar year, a feat no other collegiate cyclist has accomplished.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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Bike riders = dopers?

29 01 2011

As most everyone knows, Lance Armstrong is still in the news fighting the drug allegations. And while it sounds like that investigation may not wrap up for quite a while, Alberto Contador‘s “tainted meat” defense seems to be falling apart as he received a one-year provisional suspension and may be stripped of last year’s Tour de France title (depending on the outcome of his appeal). Obviously, I have no idea who does or doesn’t dope during their career in the Tour (and in a way, I don’t really care). This guy, though seems to have it all figured out (warning: language is probably NSFW). Still, it cracked me up. Enjoy:

It’s a shame that performance-enhancing drugs seem to tarnish just about every sport to some degree. But as long as athletes have to compete against other athletes who do use drugs, there’s no good way to level the playing field. New guidelines and testing will continue to be done, but each new drug test just opens the door for someone to figure out how to cheat and circumvent the drug tests. It’s a never-ending circle. Still – drugs or no drugs – I always enjoy watching the Tour each year. I can’t wait to see what happens this year!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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Day 360: “Across America by Bicycle” and “Ghost Trails”

29 12 2010

Across America by Bicycle

A couple weeks ago I started reading a book called “Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi’s Summer on Wheels” by Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery.  The book describes the adventure of two retirement-age women who ride across country from Astoria, Oregon to Bar Harbor, Maine – a journey of over 3,500 miles. I was about 30 pages into the book when I misplaced it (presumably at work which is where I had it last). I found it odd that I lost it. I don’t recall ever losing a book before. I remember having it in my hand after leaving the cafeteria at work during my lunch break. After that, I’m not sure where it went. I searched my bookbag, my car, the house, my desk at work … everywhere. So far it’s still missing (along with one of my favorite bookmarks my Mom made me). I ended up ordering another copy from a bookstore and I received it last week. I plan to start the book again soon.

Ghost Trails

In the meantime, I just finished “Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime” by Jill Homer, deputy editor of Adventure Cyclist magazine. You may be familiar with Jill from her blog Jill Outside (formerly Up In Alaska). “Ghost Trails” is an account of Jill’s experience during the 350-mile ultra-endurance Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. (The race involves either the 350-mile route or an even more insane 1,100-mile route all the way to Nome.) Jill was relatively new to cycling when she decided to enter the race. The annual race includes not only cyclists, but runners also. While reading the book, I kept thinking, “How can I complain about cold weather when it’s 25 degrees?” Throughout the race, Jill describes cycling or walking in 30-below zero conditions (or worse). Racers faced frostbite, and hunger not to mention the extreme mental and physical exhaustion. One runner in the race dropped out early after becoming blinded on the trail due to frostbite on her eyes. Not her eyelids, mind you – her eyes. She apparently was running into the wind with no goggles. Ugh!

I have absolutely no intentions to ever enter such a race as the Iditarod Trail Invitational, nor am I a fan of winter weather in general. But the book was a fascinating read and well-written. I found it very difficult to put down. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 353: Louisville’s Red Zone Cycling wins USA Cycling’s Club of the Year award

22 12 2010

USA Cycling recently announced the awards for the 2010 Club of the Year – clubs recognized for outstanding programs throughout the season. The winners receive complimentary renewal fees for 2011. According to USA Cycling’s Web site, “Clubs were judged on several key areas including race promotion, membership composition, instructional clinics and seminars, club activities, charitable contributions, and racing performance.”

Louisville’s Red Zone Cycling won the Junior division for the third year in a row. Red Zone Cycling is designed for ages 6-16 of all cycling abilities and provides increased challenges to enable riders to move to higher levels of racing. The club hosts various mountain bike, cyclocross and road biking events throughout the season. It’s nice to see a great organization recognized for their hard work. Congratulations to Red Zone Cycling!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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Day 321: Danny MacAskill

20 11 2010

I love watching this guy! Truly amazing stuff.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast/Lunch:
— Organic yogurt with granola = 5 points

Snack:
— Power Bar = 3 points
— LF chocolate milk = 3 points

Dinner:
— Turkey sub sandwich = 9 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

         _O
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…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 293: Photos from the Cyclocross Park

23 10 2010

Today Carrick and I rode over to the new cyclocross park that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. As we rode through downtown, we were stopped at one of several traffic lights when we heard someone say something from the car to our left. A little girl stuck her head out the passenger window and said “Hi!” We smiled, said “hi” and waved to her. The man driving also smiled. At the next few traffic lights we stopped beside them again. Each time the kid gave us a big grin. Nice to know not everyone hates cyclists. 🙂

We soon arrived at the cyclocross park just past Tumbleweed on River Road. What a great place! I’m terrible at judging crowd sizes, but there were a lot of people there. Also a few dozen team and vendor tents, in addition to a couple food booths with pizza, hot dogs, hummus and veggies just to name a few things.

The UCI Elite Women’s race started not long after we arrived. Cyclocross looks like fun, but also a lot of hard work. It made me tired just watching them. If you haven’t checked out the park yet, I highly recommend it.    

I had my pocket camera with me today (as I always do on bike rides), so I took several dozen photos. Next time I take my DSLR so I’ll have a good zoom lens. Here are a few shots from today:

Park entrance

The U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross

Team and vendor tents.

One of several hills on the course.

Under the steps.

Up the steps.

Big steps for a little kid, but he did a great job.

One of the downhill areas with soft dirt.

Carrying their bikes up the other side.

Pink Specialized

Another area with soft dirt.

A sign at one of the vendor tents. Seemed appropriate for today.

Women's race.

Women's race.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Rasberry peach smoothie = 4 points

Lunch:
— Turkey sandwich on whole wheat = 6 points
— Diet Coke = 0 points

Dinner:
— Alicha Doro Wot (ethiopian) = (not sure how many points)
— Diet Coke = 0 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 292: Eva Bandman Park and Cyclocross Venue now open

22 10 2010

Louisville’s new Eva Bandman Park and Cyclocross Venue opened yesterday at Eva Bandman Park off River Road. The park is the first permanent major-city cyclocross venue in the U.S. Pretty awesome that it’s right here in Louisville! I think it’s great that the city is willing to put money into sports other than basketball, football and baseball. Not that there’s anything wrong with those sports. I’m just saying it’s nice to hear about something else for a change.

The first event at Eva Bandman Park will be this weekend’s U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, starting tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. The new venue will also host the 2012 Masters and 2013 Elite and Masters UCI World Cyclocross Championships. Parking for tomorrow’s event is $3, but Carrick and I will be riding our bikes down there. I hope to get a lot of good photos to share with you tomorrow. 

Our local Metro Parks Web site has some great information on the park (and on Cyclocross in general). I was glad to see the story from WLKY on MSNBC’s Web site today. Also, the Courier-Journal ran a story earlier this week. Bikereg.com has a detailed schedule of this weekend’s event, including a breakdown of the various age group categories and who’s racing when. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out!

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Strawberry, banana, peach smoothie = 4.5 points

Lunch:
— Jimmy John’s Slim Turkey sandwich = 8 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Dinner:
— BBQ pork sandwich = 8 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.