The year was 1989. It was the Wild Flower Triathlon race. The 55 mile bike segment loomed ahead of me. I had just finished the swim segment of the race. I was already lightheaded and exhausted. I now had to face torturous hills, 110 degree heat, and perilous downhill turns. If I took a turn too fast, the centrifugal force could send me hurling down a 2000 foot gorge.
For me this was the test. Would my many hours, days and weeks of training and preparation pay off? Yes. I not only finished the race, I cut nearly an hour off my finishing time from the previous year! My teammates were impressed. What was my secret?
The articles in this 100 to 150 page magazine really helped me with my training. It features topics such as fitness, training, touring, nutrition, racing, clothing, equipment, new technology, maintenance, product reviews, and cycling experiences.
As with most magazines, you can write a letter to the editor. There are various department headings within the contents, which feature the aforementioned topics. Below I will provide you with some examples of my experience with this magazine.
Fitness And Training
One fitness article I read advised that during the rainy season, I could train indoors using a bike trainer, which is a device you attach to your bike that converts it into a stationary bike. This enabled me to train while I watched TV. Instead of turning into a couch potato during the winter months, I was able to improve my fitness.
Nutrition And Health
Nutrition articles I read taught me to load up on carbohydrates and water a week before a race. Doing so, would give me more energy and stamina. They were right. I also learned that after a grueling race it is important to isolate yourself from others for at least two hours because your immune system is low and needs time to restore itself to normal.
I used to get sick all the time after races until I started isolating myself as the article recommended.
If you are a casual rider or you would like to spend your vacation doing a bike tour, this magazine gives you the lowdown on all the favorite tours and bike paths and trails. One of my favorites is the Monitor Pass ride: 55 miles up a mountain until you are so high up you can almost touch the clouds.
This magazine has taught me how to handle those perilous bank turns I mentioned earlier. When turning left, make sure your right pedal is down, and vice versa. Even when the turns are not life threatening, and I am just going for a casual ride, I still use this turning technique. It just makes the ride smoother.
I also like some of the technical articles such as the one regarding “moment of inertia.” This article explained that a larger cyclist has the advantage on a flat course, while a smaller cyclist has the advantage on a hilly course. It is the main reason why Lance Armstrong (when he lost 20 lbs) did so well on the mountainous course of the Tour de France.
Clothing, Equipment And Product Reviews
There are many ads for bike gear, equipment and clothing. I pretty much passed over most of the ads. The product reviews, on the other hand, led me to purchase the Kestral 5000 racing bike, which helped me cut a huge amount of time off the bike segments of my triathlon races.
Here is where I learned to use W-D 40 to lubricate my bike chain. I also learned how to tune up my bike’s gears.
This magazine covers various races like the Tour-De-France, Tour of Italy, etc. It also features well-known athletes and their experiences. These articles I found entertaining and enlightening.
I never subscribed to this magazine. Instead, I mooched issues from the public library-so arrest me for being a tightwad. However, after doing a little research on the web, I found that you can get a yearly subscription for around $10.
I have long since retired from competing in triathlons, but cycling is still a way of life for me. I never drive my car unless I need to carry something that won’t fit in my knapsack. It is crazy wild-eyed fanatics like me who benefit the most from Bicycling Magazine.
I also think that the casual Sunday bike rider can get some benefits from this magazine as well. Just learning some basic riding skills like how to do turns properly can make any bike ride more enjoyable. Also, learning how to do some basic maintenance and repairs could benefit any cyclist.
Finally, if you are a cycling fan like me, you don’t have to even ride a bike to enjoy the entertaining articles about famous races, people and places. I read this magazine when I’m taking a plane or bus ride. I read it when I’m sitting near my coffee table or on my porcelain throne.
Bicycling is my life.