Posts

Personal Care – Improving Sleep Quality and Recovery

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Sleep is the primary pillar of effective recovery—getting enough quality sleep is therefore fundamental to endurance sports performance. I have learned the hard way what a lack of sleep can do to your health, wellbeing, and cycling success; in this post I look at seven of those lessons, and tips on how you can improve your sleep quality and recovery. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night is a critical part of recovery. It is during the deep sleep period that our bodies begin to fully repair and rejuvenate themselves, readying themselves for the next effort. Key growth hormones are released when you are in undisturbed sleep—so it makes it a fundamental part of performance improvement. 1 – The Sleep Routine The most important ingredient in getting superior quality sleep on a regular basis, is to create a regular sleeping schedule. You often hear people say "I wake up at the same time, even when I am tired…"—this is natural—it is because our bodies like routine, and so we

Maintenance – How to Prevent and Fix a Puncture

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We have all had that sinking feeling. Flat tyres are something you accept with bike riding, but there are several ways to prevent and reduce the chance of a puncture on a bicycle tyre. Whether you are running tubeless tyres or an inner tube there is still a risk of a puncture, and several ways to repair a flat. This blog post considers 7 Tips for preventing, fixing, and repairing a bicycle puncture on all kinds of wheel setups. Prevent Punctures – Tyre Choice The single most influential factor in preventing a bicycle puncture is your choice of tyre. Not all bicycle tyres are made equal. Most confusingly, even those with the same name are often not of an equal quality level. Some tyres feature inbuilt puncture protection belts made of Kevlar or a similar fibre—these help to avoid penetration of the tyre and puncturing of the inner tube. When looking at tyre reviews and choices, look out for those tyres with inbuilt puncture protection. It is worth noting that when you bu

Review – Smith Trace MIPS Helmet and Smith Optics Attack Max ChromaPop Sunglasses

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Smith make exceptional bicycle helmets and cycling sunglasses. I have used their accessories for many of my past trans-continental bikepacking tours, because they are exceedingly comfortable and built to offer the highest level of protection. The Smith Trace MIPS Helmet and Smith Optics Attack Max Sunglasses are new releases from the Italian brand. They have fast become my go-to choice—offering the highest level of performance, comfort, design, and protection. Review – Smith Trace MIPS Bicycle Helmet The new Smith Trace MIPS Helmet builds on the strengths of my favourite Smith Overtake Helmet; with subtle design tweaks to supply added comfort and flair. Like the Overtake, the Trace helmet uses Smith's signature Koroyd technology. This honeycomb polymer structure material is built into the shell of the helmet; its superb impact resistance has allowed Smith to reduce the overall weight of the helmet by minimising the volume of the helmet's shell material, yet still offeri

Recipe – Rude Health No-Bake Cereal Energy Bars

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My recipe for High Energy Flapjacks has always been a favourite on the blog. So, when I spotted this great looking recipe on the Rude Health website, I thought it needed to be shared with the cycling world—these are a great homemade cycling energy food bar. Combining Rude Health's Puffed Oats with seeds, fruit, and nuts, these make a great snack either for on the bike or for those mid-afternoon stomach rumbles. Best of all, there is no need to bake. Ingredients (makes 8 breakfast bars) 2 ½ cups (65g) Rude Health Puffed Oats   ¾ cup (150g) dates (about 7 medjool dates)  ¼ cup (80g) honey (or substitute in maple syrup, for a vegan option)  ¼ cup (60g) almond butter  ¼ cup (50g) almonds  ¼ cup (50g) pecans  ¼ cup (35g) sesame seeds  ¼ cup (50g) sour cherries or dried blueberries Method  Line an 8×8 inch (20×20cm) pan with parchment paper Add the dates into a food processor and run until the dates are well chopped. If the dates form a large ball in the process,

Kit Care – Re-Waterproofing and Restoring Waterproof Cycling Jackets

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In the ' Kit Care ' series I look at how to rejuvenate and re-use well worn kit; saving you valuable money compared to replacing favourite pieces of cycling apparel. In this post, I consider the frequent question of how to re-waterproof and restore a waterproof cycling jacket. Waterproof shell jackets using fabrics such as GORE-TEX, Polartec NeoShell, and eVent are designed to last. With proper care and attention there is no reason the waterproofing and performance of a jacket cannot last for many seasons. The key is how to wash and treat these waterproof jackets. GORE-TEX and other similar waterproof fabrics such as Polartec NeoShell, eVent and Conduit use an advanced waterproof membrane to provide a waterproof and breathable layer within a garment. This fabric is often coated on the outside with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish—to provide the 'beading' of water that you see on the surface of a jacket. Two problems occur when using a waterproof jacket in