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A Road Racing Primer for Cyclists

A Road Racing Primer for Cyclists

Bike racing has exploded in the United States. In 2010, USA Cycling, the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, issued 69,771 licenses. This represents eight consecutive years in which the number of licensed, competitive cyclists rose compared with the previous year. USA Cycling also sanctioned 2,933 events across five disciplines (road, track, mountain, cyclocross and BMX) in 2010 alone.

As the name implies, road racing takes place on paved roadways. It is generally considered the most traditional and popular form of bike racing and it takes many forms. Specifically, road racing can be divided into two categories: mass start races and time trials. Mass start races include road races, criteriums, and stage races while time trials include both individual and team competitions.

1. The Individual Time Trial (ITT). A time trial is an individual race against the clock. Riders start one at a time, usually at 1-2 minute intervals. It is known as the race of truth because every rider’s performance is based entirely on his or her ability. There is absolutely no drafting or team tactics. Whoever navigates the course in the shortest amount of time is the winner. Most time trials are between 16 km (10 miles) and 40 km (24.8 miles) in length, and are contested over a variety of terrain. Because of its ease of entry and relative safety, time trialing is a great place to start as a competitive cyclist.

2. The Team Time Trial (TTT). The TTT is very similar to the individual time trial. The primary difference is that the TTT involves two or more cyclists working together to cover the route as quickly as possible. The members of the team take turns pulling at the front and providing a draft for their teammates, however, there is no drafting off of other teams. To avoid this potential problem, teams are usually released at 3-4 minute intervals.

3. The Road Race. Road races are team-oriented, mass start events held on public roads that consist of either an out-and-back route (start and finish is the same location) or point-to-point configuration (start and finish separated by the distance of the race). Some road races are held on a circuit. These are loops of more than 1 mile but generally less than 5 miles within a particular town. Race distance is typically based on rider experience (i.e., the more experience the longer the race).

4. The Criterium. Criterium racing is a purely American endeavor and is one of the most popular forms of road racing in the U.S. Criteriums (also known as “crits”) are held on relatively short (less than one mile), closed courses and are typically 1 hour or less in duration. Criteriums tend to be extremely fast races, held on relatively flat terrain that benefits the pure sprinter. Because of the frequent turns and high speeds, bike handling ability is vitally important during a criterium.

5. The Stage Race. Stage races take place over several days and often include a combination of a road race, a criterium and a time trial. The winner is the person that accrues the lowest cumulative time over the various stages. Stages races can be as short as two days or as long as three weeks (e.g., the Grand Tours which include the Tour de France, the Tour of Italy and the Tour of Spain).…

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Ten Good Reasons to Get on Your Bike This Summer

Ten Good Reasons to Get on Your Bike This Summer

We all know cycling is good for us but that still doesn’t give us anywhere near enough of an incentive to go out, identify and buy the bicycle that would be best suited to our travelling, fun, fitness and transport needs.

Here are ten top reasons to encourage you to get on your bike this Summer.

1. Transport bosses have recommended raising the cost of parking on city centre streets by up to a third. The decision to increase the cost of parking in city centre streets will be taken on 3rd June 2010 and affects a lot of cities in which we work, live and play. Are we to see another 40% hike in parking fees?

2. The average price for an adult bicycle in the UK in 2001 was A�107 (Source: Mintel, Bicycles 2001).It’s likely to be much lower now, perhaps as low as A�80.

3. There’s the fitness angle. Did you know a 130-pound woman burns about 715 calories riding 17 miles in one hour. If she slows down to 13 mph, she burns only 468 calories per hour. If she goes mountain biking, which burns about 3.9 calories per pound per hour, she burns about 507 calories. Working on a 30 minute cycle to and from work each day, she’ll be quite trim!

4. It seems our Government is keen to get us all on our bikes with the increase in funding for cycling initiatives and the expansion of the Cycling Towns Programme where over 2.5 million adults and children will benefit from levels of investment equivalent to the best European cycling cities.

5. Cycling is addictive! Like other regular exercise cycling stimulates the pleasure centres of your brain so, the more you cycle, the happier you should be.

6. You can join the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme and get your new bike for 50% less than the retail price or simply order one online.

7. The London Cycle Hire Scheme goes live this July in time for Summer excursions in the mother city – great for a family day out.

8. British Cycling wants to get 125 000 more people cycling once a week and 1 million more people cycling once a month by 2013. To do this they are working with Sport England and Sky which means more initiatives and more cycling offers.

9. Bicycles are green. If you cycle instead of driving you’re helping save the planet or, at the very least, your immediate environment.

10.There’s a bicycle for everyone including people with hip pain! From folding, mountain and racing to children’s, tandems and electric. Bicycles are now available in just about every size, colour and for every type of body. Cycling is great for all the family and encourages family togetherness, fitness and fun.

There are a lot more points we can add to this list but you know most of the reasons why bicycling is good for you. Cycling is gaining in popularity in the UK month on month so why wait?

Go on, get on ‘yer’ bike!…

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A Brief Guide to Using Bike Lights

A Brief Guide to Using Bike Lights

Which Bike Lights to Use

The bike lights that you use should suit the type of cycling in which you partake. Those cycling on public roads, particularly in built up, street lit city settings should only require a set of standard LED lights, including a white front light and a red rear light. When cycling in urban areas the main function of your light is to make you more visible to motorists. They should therefore emit at least 4 candelas, the legal requirements for cycling on public roads, and should feature flash settings. For unlit lanes and mountain biking, much brighter lights are required. A high quality LED torch light is ideal for the front of your bike, and it is important to make sure you also have a strong rear light. At the higher end of the market these tend to need to be purchased separately.

How to Use

Most bike lights come with fittings to mount the light to the frame of your bike, meaning that they can be easily removed when they are not in use. Cyclists tend to fit their front light to the handlebars of the bike, and the rear light to the seat post (the pole below the saddle) or just below. This will however vary depending on both light and frame. The law states that when cycling on public roads a front light must be positioned up to 150cm from the ground, while rear lights must be between 35cm and 150cm from the ground. Be sure to keep your lighting clean at all times, and be careful that your rear light is not likely to be obstructed by bags and/or coats. For mountain bikers and off road cyclists the rules regarding positioning relax, and there is much more freedom for the cyclist to choose where and how their lights are positioned.

When to Use Your Bike Lights

The law requires cyclists on public roads to use bike lights between sunset and sunrise, however there are other occasions when you may need to use them. Poor weather considerably reduces visibility, and in such conditions it is wise to use your lights to ensure motorists can still see you clearly. Conditions such as heavy rain, mist, fog and sleet/snow all fall into this category. On a daily basis it is also wise to turn them on as soon as the light begins to fade. As with the positioning of your light the rules surrounding when to use them relax when cycling off public roads, however it is still advisable to use your bike lights in all of the above conditions.…

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In-Building Wireless Considerations

The benefits of in-building wireless are numerous. However, there are some key considerations to consider when implementing this technology. First, mobile operators must be involved and approved before implementation. They’ve invested billions of dollars in building their networks and want to provide their customers with the best mobile experience. To avoid legal issues, in-building wireless systems must be licensed and able to access the appropriate frequencies. These considerations are outlined below.

Distributed antenna system (DAS)

Choosing a DAS for your in-building wireless coverage depends on the size of your building and the location you want to cover. For example, a large stadium, concert hall, or sports arena may have high levels of cellular data usage. If your DAS cannot handle the additional demand, nearby cell towers may be overwhelmed, causing your local network to become unstable. In such cases, you need a high-capacity DAS.

A distributed antenna system (DAS) combines multiple antenna elements to distribute power efficiently. This helps deliver coverage similar to a single antenna while reducing the total power consumption and improving reliability. Several small antennas replace a large antenna, requiring high power to operate. The DAS is used by several service providers across the United States and has been proven effective in situations where zoning and terrain obstacles are a problem.

Microcell system

A Microcell in-building wireless system provides a high-performance indoor coverage area within a building. A microcell system includes a central omnidirectional antenna and a distributed antenna system. The latter comprises four directional antennas covering a section of the building, forming a ring that extends to the corners of the building. Each directional antenna covers a particular building portion, and all are connected to a single base station. Because the antennas in these building blocks are identical, the frequencies and channels are the same. Because this is the case, a portable device does not need to change channels to receive a signal.

A microcell can automatically transfer users from one access point to another to provide better network reliability and eliminate the need for a separate cell tower. Before installing a Microcell in-building wireless system, locate it in a building with enough backhaul. This backhaul is typically in the form of fiber optic cables installed in the ground. If a facility has existing conduits, these cables can be routed to the Microcell.

Distributed cellular system

In-building wireless coverage is one of the primary considerations for any building. The best solution for an in-building wireless range blends well with the outdoor macro network. The in-building wireless network uses a distributed cellular system, ensuring complete coverage in a particular service area and a smooth handover from a building to the macrocell. Distributed cellular systems also allow carriers to allocate radio resources specifically to the building. The results are full coverage in buildings, giving carrier marketing teams the ability to present corporate promotions and give landlords an edge over the competition.

The in-building cellular enhancement system connects to a carrier signal source, usually a bi-directional amplifier or base transceiver station. The signal is carried using coaxial or optical fiber and boosted through the building by in-building coverage antennas. Small cells and repeaters increase coverage in areas where macrocells are not installed.

Distributed antenna system (BDA)

A distributed antenna system can improve overall coverage and capacity while using less power than single antennas. It can also overcome feeder losses, reduce fading depths, and delay spread. Several service providers have used the distributed antenna system to meet their building codes. This system is handy in scenarios where zoning restrictions or terrain obstacles are a problem. It also offers the added benefit of being future-proof.

This system is also designed to solve the coverage issue, eliminating the need for workarounds. The indoor antenna will feed a clear signal from the outside throughout the building. In addition, because the system is flexible, it can integrate existing coverage. For example, if a building has a lone wireless provider, the system could be configured to repeat that carrier’s frequencies throughout the entire building. However, if multiple pages are present, it may be best to use a multi-carrier system.…

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5 Reasons For Concrete Repair and Maintenance

Concrete is a common building material used for a variety of purposes. It is flexible in its application and easy to work with. However, concrete should be regularly repaired and maintained to maximize its longevity. This is especially important for areas where heavy machinery or traffic may be present. Here are some of the main reasons you may need to have concrete repaired. You should contact a Concrete Repair and Maintenance Columbia, SC, professional company for a free estimate in such cases.

Polyurethane is an excellent method for gap sealing in the soil

Using a polyurethane sealant to bridge gaps between existing structures is a great way to prevent structural damage caused by settlement. This type of sealant is ideal for bridges and other facilities that experience movement and is effective for gap-sealing in the soil. In addition, its quick and controlled application minimizes unwanted airflow and can be used in wet conditions.

Another option for filling voids in the soil is mudjacking. While mudjacking can be less expensive and easier to control, this method is also less durable and may cause additional damage. Additionally, polyurethane injections can be used for a broader range of projects and reach even small spots. For this reason, polyurethane is the best choice for concrete raising and repairing projects.

Epoxy-based concrete repair provides high compression strength

The epoxy-based concrete repair offers high compression strength, hardness, and durability than regular concrete. These products are ideal for both concrete and mixed-material structures. Furthermore, they can be applied at any temperature, operating from -60°F to +2000°F. They can be used on both old and new concrete substrates. In addition, they can be applied to steel, glass, and wood.

Compared with PU, EP is the most popular choice for structural repairs. It is highly effective in filling voids and lifting structures. PU also has a higher flow rate than epoxy. However, it is more expensive than EP. Epoxy-based concrete repair can be used on both old and new structures. It is also highly resistant to aging and weathering. In addition, it can withstand high-speed traffic.

A concrete protection system provides high compression strength

When used properly, a concrete protection system will provide a high compression strength for the repair and maintenance of your concrete structure. These compounds are added during the batching process to increase durability and reduce the permeability of concrete. This type of treatment also reduces the risk of water penetration by filling micro-cracks and capillary pores in concrete. Moreover, it will provide a waterproof barrier.

A concrete protection system should be applied by Concrete Repair and Maintenance Columbia, SC professionals after thorough laboratory or field testing. This is particularly important when working on historic structures or with not reversible concrete. In addition, it is essential to perform trial samples before implementing the treatment in a concrete form to ensure that the treatment is effective and will not affect the appearance or durability of the concrete. Finally, it is essential to understand the exact cause of concrete deterioration before deciding on a concrete repair and maintenance system.

Random spalling is a result of ground shifting

The crystallization of salts causes spalling under the surface of bricks and stone. This occurs most commonly in underground structures and conditions that allow for a relatively dry climate. To simulate this phenomenon, place a concrete cube in salt water. After a couple of months, salt will accumulate on the cube, and the corners will begin to spall. This effect can occur if old, weak bricks are repeatedly used without the proper surface treatment.

Spalling can also be caused by cement pointing in old buildings. Because cement fills mortar joints, it blocks the moisture that can escape through the brick faces. If the cement fails to cure correctly, the resulting spalling can crack or crumble the brick. Then, the structure will begin to crumble. Spalling can cause a range of damage, including the destruction of buildings or their contents.

How to choose a concrete repair contractor

You’re looking for a reliable Concrete Repair and Maintenance Columbia, SC, a contractor who will take care of your project easily and smile. However, it is essential to keep a few things in mind before choosing the company to work on your project. If you’re looking for a quick solution to your concrete problem, The Driveway Company is your solution. You can get a free quote from a The Driveway Company dealer today.

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Cycling Holidays In Spain

Cycling Holidays In Spain

For anybody interested in seeing the real Spain, try a cycling holiday. Cycling is a great way to discover parts of Spain well away from the busy resorts featured in the holiday brochures. Spain has a mild climate and a diverse landscape, ranging from the lush meadows, mountains and rugged coastline of the north to the more familiar Mediterranean holiday resorts in the south.

There are a variety of cycling holidays available in some of Spain’s most beautiful and unspoilt areas, places far away from the bustling resorts. Catalonia, just over the french border is the perfect place to discover the real Spain. Catalonia was once a country in its own right and the inhabitants of Catalonia are fiercely independent. They have their own language, Catalan which is more than just a dialect. Catalan is spoken in many rural areas and the menus of most inland towns and villages are written almost exclusively in Catalan, which can make it extremely difficult to know what you’re ordering.

Eco friendly adventure holiday specialists, Responsible Travel, feature a number of cycling holidays in Catalonia including an excellent self guided, holiday cycling through the beautiful Catalonian countryside, exploring medieval villages in the company of a small group of cyclists. This holiday has received rave reviews from over 20 people.

Another of the Catalonia cycling holiday being offered by Responsible Travel is called “the food lover’s tour”, if you love cycling and Spanish food, this holiday combines the two by giving you the opportunity to sample Catalan cuisine as you cycle through the remoter parts of the Catalonian countryside. The tour takes in vineyards, and manufacturers of local produce including the region’s cheeses.

Spain has the ideal climate to really enjoy all the benefits of cycling, riding a bike on a warm sunny day along deserted roads winding through stunning scenery is hard to beat.

The region of Andalucia in the south of Spain is another popular area for cycling holidays. This area, away from the coast, has some magnificent scenery. The famous whitewashed villages of Andalucia feature in a number of cycling holidays being advertised by Responsible Travel. If you fancy something a bit more physical, there’s an excellent family mountain biking holiday in the Sierra Nevadas.

The green north of Spain with its rugged coastlines and mountain villages is almost unknown by overseas tourists. The area is crisscrossed by medieval footpaths known as the “pilgrim’s routes” These ancient pathways terminate in the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela where the remains of the Apostle James are said to be buried in the city’s magnificent 11th century cathedral.

Santiago de Compostela is the third most important city in Christendom behind Jerusalem and Rome. Serious walkers have known about the pilgrim’s footpaths for years and there are a number of companies specialising in walking holidays along the various routes. For an unforgettable experience you are now able to cycle along the camino de Santiago from Gijon with a small group of up to twenty cyclists. This holiday is featured in Responsible Travel’s 2012 activity holidays.

If you love cycling, sunshine, excellent food and good company a Spanish cycling holiday would make the perfect holiday.…

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Cycling Around the Derbyshire Peak District, a Brief Guide

Cycling Around the Derbyshire Peak District, a Brief Guide

The Derbyshire Peak District is one of the most beautiful areas of the Great British countryside, so it’s not surprising that it was designated as the first “National Park” in the British Isles.

Even though the Peak District is essentially a rural area with plenty of rolling picturesque landscapes; it was also home to the start of the industrial revolution towards the end of the 18th century. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, many of which were based in the north with many based around the Peak District and rural farming communities. The expansion of trade was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railway networks.

A lot of this bygone past can still be seen today around the Peak District region and in many of the villages as you can see old villages, remnants of the old mills and railway lines. It’s the railway lines that have now had a new lease of life after their closure over the last decade, as now many of the historical rail routes are now available for cyclists to get around the area to see the sights.

The cycle routes in the Peak District vary so there is something to suit everyone’s ability and fitness, plus they make an ideal safe non-road traffic option for families. One of the most popular cycle rides is the “The Tissington Trail” which follows a 13 mile route from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay, where it then joins up to the High Peak Trail.

The High Peak Trail is higher elevation cycling option which navigates through from the High Peak Junction to Dowlow, near to the Spa town of Buxton. All the routes you will find in these areas are surrounded by beautiful countryside, as the traffic-free trail is an ideal option for cyclists, horse riders, hikers and walkers.

Cycling in this area is good at pretty much anytime throughout the year with the exception of the snow-covered winter periods. If you want to get a bit more energetic you can head out on many of the single tracks, or head across the High Peak area which is suited for people with a reasonable level of fitness and ability, plus there are many local cycle guides to take you on many of the cycle tours available. So wherever you decide to cycle in the Peak District, there will be something for people of all ages.…