Three Weeks in July

For the last two years, my son has cried at the end of the Tour de France. I’m fairly certain it had much, much less to do with drama and the thrill of victory and much more to do with not getting to watch TV while eating breakfast. Hey, you take what you can get.

I’m always a little sad at the end of the Tour, too, but mostly because it means there’s not a lot of summer left. The road racing circuit tends to dry up around here after July, and it takes me while to really start thinking about ‘cross. (Usually it helps to have the temperature under 80 degrees before flogging yourself on a ‘cross bike makes any sense at all.)

In the meantime, though, I’ll spend my mornings with a cup of coffee (or four) and the Tour. We’re part of the non-cable-or-satellite-dish-having crowd at our house, so we’ll be dialed in to the NBC Sports online feed. On one hand, it’s nice to be able to watch it wherever we are (like in a motel room next weekend when we travel to a race), but on the other hand, we tend to all stare at a smallish laptop screen for half the morning.

At $30 for the whole smash, it’s not too bad. The video quality was generally pretty solid, and was nearly HD when we hooked it up to our TV. It beats watching the ticker on Velonews.

Oh, and if we’re talking Tour predictions, here’s mine: Bradley Wiggins. He probably could have won last year had he not crashed out. He climbs well and time trials well. As long as he can stay off the pavement well, the path is clear.

Things That Work

With the exception of a select few items, everything we use on the bike (we being Velogear employees), we pay for from our own pockets. Sure, there’s a discount in play, but working for a cycling company doesn’t mean the truck gets backed up to your driveway.

One of the products available here that’s been working really well for me is the Feed Zone Cookbook. Written by Allen Lim and Bijou Thomas, the Feed Zone is all about real food that’s easy to prepare and tastes great. We’ve added a few of the recipes to our weekly menu over the last several weeks. My wife and I have both been pleasantly surprised by the results. For one, our son has devoured pretty much everything. He’s not a bad eater, but new foods are a crapshoot sometimes. He’s actually requested a couple of the meals a second time.

On the bike — the reason for the cookbook to begin with — things have gone equally well. I raced last weekend having fueled exclusively with food from the Feed Zone. Sure there’s a bit of fitness involved with racing well, but I rode as well as I have all year. It started with a good breakfast (I’ve tried a lot of the recipes by now, since I love breakfast) and continued with a hearty pre-race meal. In the past, I’ve had problems with feeling crippingly hungry about 30 minutes before race time. At that point, you’re left with trying to decide whether or not to eat before the race. And then, what do you eat?

That wasn’t the case this time around, and it was nice rolling to the line — and down the road during the neutral rollout — feeling content and confident.

Whether you race or not, check out the Feed Zone. As a guy who thought I had nutrition pretty much figured out, it’s been a revelation.

Things That Work Part 2

Because I’m a little slow on the uptake — or maybe because I’m dumb and stubborn — I tried 25c road tires for the first time a few weeks ago. My first road bike came with 23c tires, so that’s what I’ve always ridden. (I’m the same way with cassettes. I started on an 11-23 and that’s what I’ve had ever since.)

I had a pair of 23s that wore out their welcome, though, so I replaced them with 25s. Hey, why not?

I should have done that years ago. So much smoother, so much more comfortable. And no, they’re not slower.

Seriously, give them a shot.

 

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