Selma Cyclepaths –
You have reached $2 million raised for the National MS Society. $2 MILLION!! This weekend’s celebration is the culmination of YEARS of hard work, dedication, persistence through hurricanes, pandemics, you name it…by a group of individuals passionate about finding a cure for multiple sclerosis. WE ARE READY TO CELEBRATE YOU!
We’ve said it before but you all have been a part of the movement during the most exciting and critical time as more and more treatment options have become available. You’ve worked towards this incredible milestone while the Society established incredible programs like MS Navigator and Partners in MS Care and invested in research projects to make life better for those with MS. Because of YOU, the first ever treatment was approved for primary progressive MS. Because of YOU, the National MS Society is able to do this work and be a resource for all people affected by MS. We always will be—until we find a cure.
Take time to visit this link and read the messages from staff members across the Greater Carolinas and southeast who are inspired by you all.
On behalf of the National MS Society and the local Bike MS staff, we are eternally grateful for your commitment to our friends living with multiple sclerosis.
Can’t wait to give you all high-fives as you cross the finish line this weekend! Thank you!
Director, Bike MS – Greater Carolinas
Pronouns | She/Her
National MS Society
Home Office | Richmond, VA
Office Location | 2610 Wycliff Road, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27607
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 289, Canton, MA 02021
Phone Number | 919-792-1001, ext. 51201
Fundraising Support | 855-372-1331
This has truly been a TEAM endeavor. For many years (since 1990), lots of riders have contributed their time, training, fundraising and teamwork that culminated in reaching this $2 million turning point. There were years when the team had as few as 3 riders and as many as 112 riders (maybe even 120 one year?). The combined efforts of ALL of these folks are an incredibly impressive achievement.
I appreciate every single team member who has participated over the past 33 years (this year makes 34), and I stand in awe of the landmark level of donations reached by their combined efforts. Without the unselfish contributions made by each team member, every person who works our Cyclepath tent in New Bern and every donor, the Cyclepaths would never have reached this milestone.
Thanks to one and all. and especially to those who have served as captains, organizers, committee members, etc.
The work continues….
Save the Date!!! August 13th!!!
Join us to celebrate raising $2,000,000 for MS!
Get your bike checked and approved for riding in New Bern.
Enjoy great food and company, and find out everything you need to know before BIKEMS New Bern.
Matt, the famous Cycle Surgeon will be performing the inspections and providing the stickers. Talk to the guy who knows everything about bikes. Fix all those things you’ve meant to get to all summer (or at least make an appointment with him to get it done!)
If BIKEMS ride packets, t shirts and jerseys are ready we will try to have them at the celebration, but no guarantees at this time. Remember you must have raised $300 in order to pick up your packet and $1,000 to receive a Club K jersey.
Celebration open to all Cyclepaths and their significant others. Come renew old friendships and encourage those of us riding this year with your stories and support! We would love to see all Cyclepaths (once a Cyclepath always a Cyclepath) in addition to those riding in New Bern this year.
What to Bring: food to share, BYOB, bicycle for bike check
Time: arrive anytime after 5 - dinner will be about 6 pm
Where: 4227 Galaxy Drive, Raleigh, 27612
Google Map of location
RSVP: text Janet @ 919-219-6327 - be sure to include your name in case you aren't in my contacts! Or simply reply to this email.
Looking forward to celebrating with YOU!
To brake or break ...
A few kind words from the pros:
Having trouble with your spokes?
There is one possible solution: try this
SAG - Support And Gear
The Cyclepaths, at least for our training rides, have almost always had SAG support. It is one of our "features" to help new riders feel comfortable being out on the road for many miles, sometimes many hours.
Our SAG volunteers make the effort for the TEAM and provide a great peace of mind for everyone in attendance. It involves two major components: providing cool water at our designated rest stop for the day AND being able to pick up someone anywhere on our routes and return them to the starting location (Flowers Plantation). It requires being at the Grocery Bag early to prep the water coolers, taking attendance (usually) at our starting location, obtaining new rider info (name/eMail), setting up at the rest stop, providing support (e.g. tire pump), retrieving riders in trouble (pickup and return to Flowers), being the consistent smiling face at the rest stop that everyone expects to see (SAG is usually a great cheerleader), and returning the coolers to the Grocery Bag. It may seem like a lot but once you've done it there's that feeling of accomplishment and pride that YOU were there when a lot of others depended on YOU. I look forward to SAGing every year.
This year has been a bit of an exception due to no fault of our own with COVID-19 concerns. We've made the effort to ensure our SAG volunteers are comfortable with the possibilities of having others around in a way that could be more risky than normal (i.e. if you have concerns that the risk is too great for your health, don't SAG). For those that do SAG, please know that everyone is grateful for your effort and we'll do our part to minimize our collective health risks.
If you are able and willing to SAG for us this year, you can sign-up online here:
Just drop your name on the chart and we'll be in contact with you.
Thanks again to the many that have SAG'd over the years!
Leaders don't coast!
A quick reminder on pulling a paceline ... you always pedal. Yes, that includes a downhill. You don't need to put a lot of pressure on the pedals on the downhill, but you do need to ensure more than just "spinning."
If you quit pedaling, surely all the others behind you will be breaking which is counterproductive for the paceline. It's just one of those rules: when you pull, you pedal.
Just do it.
A person in need was more important
Roger Decock has passed away. An inspiring rider from decades ago.
Read about him.
What's your average?
This is a very common question. Someone inquiring of you about your "average" is looking to know how strong of a rider you are. They're creating some mental picture of how you compare to them.
A cyclist that averages ~17mph for any given ride is usually cruising at 18 to 18.5 mph in order to average 17. The math just works out that way given your starting, stopping, slowing, etc. There's nothing wrong with saying your average speed is 17 mph!
So, when another cyclist asks you about your average -- don't inflate the number. Just say what it is. A "real" cyclist will know that a person averaging 18mph on rides can ride 19 to 19.5 pretty consistently.
When you look to go from a "B" group to an "A" group ... do so when you know that your average is capable to increase. Your solo rides should be at the minimum for the "A" group. If so, you KNOW you can keep up with them; particularly in a pace line.
If your cycling goal is to reach the "A" group ... then work you way into the "A" group. Move up the cycling ladder while being true to yourself and your capabilities.
Cycle well my friends.
Sometimes cyclists go down ...
When this happens, particularly in a pace line, everyone should review how it happened and what, if anything, could have been done differently to avoid the crash.
Sometimes it is just simple equipment failure. And sometimes that equipment wasn't maintained sufficiently.
Sometimes the cyclist going down is at fault - nothing anyone else could have done to prevent the mishap.
And sometimes the group, or at least a few others in the group could have made a signal or voiced a warning that may have prevented the crash.
It's well worth the time to think through a crash event and consider all possibilities of how to prevent another one. We're all out to enjoy our time on the road and helping to keep each other safe is a great way to ensure we have fun doing it.
COVID-19 infection potential
There's another study (European) which delves into the effects of strenuous exercise and the potential to become infected afterwards. Here's the reference:
One gist of this long document is that extreme exercise, while making the lungs more efficient for that exercise (e.g. marathon running, long-distance cycling), is likely a detriment to the body being able to deflect the virus naturally -- the virus is able to penetrate much more of the lungs. They state the vulnerable period AFTER the exercise is 3-72 hrs (while your body recovers).
As for the Cyclepaths, we generally do ride longer as the year progresses (we're up to ~52mi on the long routes already) which do take more than a couple of hours. To me the length of the ride is not so much the issue as is the amount of exertion you're putting on your body; i.e. if you're able to ride long and basically breathe from your nose most of the time, then you're not over-stressing your body. I'm certain there is some wiggle room in how much your lungs are expanding even though you don't feel over-stressed, but we're not marathoners nor Tour de France atheletes.
As is the usual case, the position you take on this issue is up to you. If you can tell you're over-stressing your body on a ride, according to this paper, you're likely to be increasing your risk of COVID-19 infection within 3 days after the event. If you're uncomfortable with this assessment, then you'll need to back off the exercise level and/or isolate yourself for ~3 days after the event. That's up to you.
Also keep in mind that pace-line cycling puts you in the "path of exhaust" of cyclists ahead of you; thus, you could be breathing in a sputum, unknowingly, from pace-line cyclists and that "event" could be the trigger within the following 3 days ... you/we just don't know.
As for the group that meets every Saturday, the following guideline still applies:
We ride upon our own personal cognizance, taking all risk upon our individual selves -- this COVID-19 situation is no different than any other Cyclepath ride in this regard; we're all aware of the increased risk in this situation.
One "general rule" of road cycling fit is that you're hips don't rock back-n-forth as you pedal; i.e. ensure your saddle is at the appropriate height for your leg length.
From what I've gathered ... there are many opinions about this. Some say whatever is comfortable for you determines what your saddle height is; others say get the "fit" and leave it alone (unless you have issues, of course).
My position on this is as follows:
1) like all "rules" or "guidelines" they are intended for the average person (is there one?) whereby most people will benefit from adherence.
2) if you're new to road cycling, you should be "fit" to your bike by your fav LBS and start from there paying attention to how your lower back and knees feel after long rides a few weeks later.
3) if you have not been fit, you'll have to gain experience only by cycling and paying attention to your body ... keeping in the back of your mind the possibility that your saddle is not at it's optimum position for your body and style.
4) if you've been cycling, fit to your bike or not, and you've had no physical issues and are satisfied with your performance (power, etc.) ... then leave your saddle alone; even if I mention that your hips are rocking back-n-forth.
Here's a discussion that meanders back-n-forth on this issue:
In a locked-down world ... well, at least a good portion of it ... how are cyclists contributing to the pandemic situation? Viviani says nada.
Read more about it here as Italy prepares to resume (some) normal activities.
If you can't cycle outside ... is virtual the way to go?
Peter Sagan says ... no way!
Read about it here.
" ... never take for granted ... [the] ability to go for a ride outside"
Keen words in this day and time. Porte describes the 2020 season ... the ups and downs (in life) given our current situation:
Read more here.
I rode 41 miles yesterday from Newport to Atlantic Beach and back.
I named the ride (Strava) the Remarkable 41 because I was quite surprised, and pleasingly so, that nearly every person I saw (riding, walking, running, doing yard work), which were many, smiled and waved at me.
A friend from Durham County, not a cyclist, wrote me to tell of how many cyclists he observed in and around RTP over the weekend -- and how glad/happy he was to see so many of them out there.
Social media posts are changing ... people are looking for "good news." Things like asking for people to post anything (like a photo) that will make you smile -- e.g. post a picture of your bike, your last trip to the beach.
What is it about a national crisis that brings out this behavior? i.e. this is not "normal." And we should like it.
Stay healthy -- ride on.
NC will be under a stay-at-home order come 5pm this afternoon.
Here's a link to the order.
Can we still ride? Yes. Here's the pertinent info (copied from the order):
I'm hopeful everyone can get out and ride, at least individually, or in very small groups, while we maintain our distancing as requested by the governor. Maintaining your health is one of the prime combatants to navigating through (or past) any disease.
Ride safe. Ride smart. Keep your distance.
If you're ill, with any symptoms regardless if COVID-19 or not, stay home.
The world has changed. Our cycling world has changed. Some pertinent info on the virus and its effects on racing are here:
Please remember to keep your immune system at peak:
- healthy eating habits
- sufficient sleep
SARS CoV-2 (a.k.a. Wuhan Virus) is having its way with cycling these days. Both Italy and Spain have banned cycling; yes, all cycling, even recreational outdoors.
And there are doctors providing info about the benefits (to your immune system) of cycling and where they draw the line (i.e. too much of a good thing can be detrimental).
My thoughts on the matter:
1- If I'm sick, I stay home (doesn't matter what the cause is)
2- I'll likely not be hugging anyone I've not seen in a while for the foreseeable future
3- I'll keep riding
4- I'll expect you to stay home if you're sick
5- I'll continue to scour the 'net for info affecting cycling
Stay safe everyone.
Brand wars ... there's a lot of choices out there when you decide to buy a new bike or simply upgrade. Here's a take on Specialized vs. Trek.
One of the Tours was affected the last few days ...
As we look forward to kicking off our 2020 cycling season on 4 April, we'll likely be in the middle of learning about the widespread effect of the disease, even here in NC.
My research indicates ...
a) coughing/sneezing releases the virus, but due to its "heavy" nature, its airborne spread is very minimal (i.e. it settles with available liquid on things).
b) touching those "things" and then touching your face provides a path to your mouth/nose.
c) it is a disease of the lungs
d) detrimental effects (e.g. death) are largely being recognized with those over 60 and/or having some other immune system liability.
Things to do:
1) fist-bump instead of handshake (keep that in mind when we meet at Flowers!)
2) wash your hands often
3) minimize what you touch outside your home
4) wear face masks if you are very concerned; they are intended to keep YOU from touching YOUR mouth/nose; since the transmission of this one is not airborne, the mask doesn't have an effect on "that" transmission pathway.
If you're coughing/sneezing on one of our rides this Spring, please move to the back of the group you're riding in. This really applies at any time as no one behind you needs to be exposed to whatever you have ... particularly during the flu season.
Converting from vehicle mindedness to cycling wonder
For those just starting to cycle and are wondering what the transition is like from one passion to another ... or just wondering what the experience is like with a cycling group ... here's an article of one person's experience and a little of what they've learned.
To train or not to train -- indoors.
I'm a hot weather rider and am stuck inside during winter. Here's a perspective on the different aspects of that trainer you have in your den (right?):
A lower risk of dying?
Cycling to work was studied recently and the conclusion was a lower risk of dying WHEN COMPARED TO walking to work or taking transportation.
Check it out.