Our Rider-First Engineered™ frames are directly inspired by our relationship with McLaren, meaning D81DD85I6?3EC851F9<I?>41D14B9F5>45C97> ð5B all, to understand the reality of a problem, you need sound data, and this can only be derived from hundreds of hours of testing. Of course, the question begs to be asked: What have we been testing for? Over the years, our engineers found that riders on smaller frames were experiencing ride characteristics that were inverse to that of their larger counterparts— and vice-versa. For example, where a smaller frame 9C CD9K ?> D85 W1DC 9D =978D E>45BCD55B 9> D85 corners, while the opposite can be true for large frames. Correcting this required sophisticated instruments to quantify the forces being applied to the frame. In real-world testing, these measured the reactionary forces through the fork, stem, saddle— every conceivable input & output. With an immense supply of data in tow, our engineers were able to create the remedy.
“It’s a different way of developing a bike platform. It’s making sure that this bike performs at a level that we’d expect across the entire size range.” – Chris D’Aluisio, Specialized Principle Engineer
To equalize performance, they found that each size’s @5B6?B=1>35D1B75DCB5AE9B5449B53DC@539V39DI *89C means that, for every frame size, each tube size & carbon layup is purposefully selected with the collected data in mind. The result? The optimal balance of rigidity, weight, and responsiveness across every frame size. What does this mean to you? No matter if you’re riding a 61cm or a 49cm, you’re going to experience D85 G?B<4UC 25CD B945 D19<?B54 C@539V31<<I D? I?E That’s Rider-First Engineered™.
THE NEXT COUNTERVAIL EVOLUTION: ULTRALIGHT Bianchi continues the Countervail revolution with the introduction of another technological evolution to increase power transfer and ride control.
ULTRA LIGHT At 780gr*, Bianchi’s Specialissima frame changes the game in the ultralight frame category thanks to the use of Bianchi’s patented Countervail vibration cancelling technology, developed for NASA by Materials Sciences Corporation. The new Countervail ultra light carbon formula is tuned to smooth out the inherent nervousness of ultralight frames.
FAST. ALWAYS. Countervail cancels vibrations that affect performance and transfers your full energy into power. A super fast and reactive climbing machine with unparalleled control and precision in the descents.
MAXIMUM CONTROL Excellent traction and stability at high speeds makes Bianchi’s Specialissima ideal tackling different types of surfaces during fast accelerations and super high-speed corners when maximum power and control are essential.
Specialissima perfectly combines the historic Bianchi name together with the future of cutting-edge Countervail technology. *Black version frame, 55 size, +/- 5%
BIANCHI FRAME WITH COUNTERVAIL® IMMEDIATELY CANCELS VIBRATION ACCELERATION
TRADITIONAL CARBON FRAME CONTINUES TO VIBRATE
80% INCREASED VIBRATION CANCELLING CAPACITY
J U N E 2 0 1 6 // V O L U M E L V I I // N U M B E R 5
Stories 24 A Broken Derailleur Changed Everything
By Jeremy Borden
26 Make the Perfect Pour-Over Because coﬀee. By Molly Hurford
28 The Science of Stoke How to harness ﬂow state. PLUS Ride your best—6 simple secrets. By Patrick Brady
36 Nature’s Energy Gel Drizzle it on. By Jennifer Ward
38 Inside the Hour Record And why it keeps toppling. By Jen See
42 The Wow Rides 25 life-changing adventures.
58 Learn This Crazy Bike Stunt Impress your friends! By Natalie Ramsland
61 More Taco!
Yes, please. PLUS How to make the perfect pocket taco. By Ian Dille and AC Shilton
70 Recover Faster The 10-minute secret. By Anne-Marije Rook
74 What Makes Me Cry By Jens Voigt
On the Cover Photograph by Mitch Mandel. 10
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
S cience: M ichael H ar r ison; H oney & Wow : G et t y Ima ges ; J ens: G r ub er Ima ges
By BICYCLING Staff and Contributors
HOW DO YOU FUEL LONG RIDES? JUST ASK GNC.
Bob T. / GNC Store Manager Training for a Gran Fondo
SOLO TOURING NEEDS PROPER FUELING HEREâ€™S FOUR WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENDURANCE Peak performances on endurance rides arenâ€™t accidentsâ€”theyâ€™re the result of careful preparation. Unlocking your bodyâ€™s true potential to crush the longest rides requires careful attention to training, rest, recovery, and, most importantly, nutrition. When it comes to fueling long rides, too many athletes think only about what can be eliminated from their diet. While skipping empty calories is important, so is adding in nourishment that will help you ride your best. What you consume prior, during, and after exercise will determine how hard you push todayâ€”and how strong you are tomorrow. 1. A FEW HOURS BEFORE RIDING Your muscles rely on glycogenâ€”stored carbohydratesâ€”for fuel as you exercise. Research has found that when athletes consume carbs prior to exercise, they work out longer and stronger than when hungry. But protein is important too, because it takes longer to digest, keeping you feeling full for longer. Before your ride, choose foods that provide one gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. You also want 10-20 grams of protein. A bowl of oatmeal paired with a scoop of GNCâ€™s Pro Performance 100% Whey Isolate Protein will give you sustained energy.
2. AS YOU SUIT UP When you exercise, blood is diverted from your stomach to your muscles. Translation: this is not the time to ask your stomach to process Grandmaâ€™s lasagna. While itâ€™s good to take in a few last calories before you head out the door, opt for simple carbs that will hit your bloodstream TXLFNO\$YRLGKDUGWRGLJHVWĆ“EHUIDW and protein. You also want to ensure your muscles have the amino acids they need to perform and recover. As you pump up your tires, sip GNCâ€™s Ultra Amino Complex, which supplies 10,000 milligrams of the most crucial amino acids like L-luecine and taurine. 3. WHILE YOU RIDE On longer rides youâ€™ll need to keep your tank full. Aim for 80-100 calories for every 40 minutes, and reach for simple carbohydrates like those found in GQ-6 Flooid. Not only does this performance hydration drink provide quick-burning energy, it also packs electrolytes to make sure you stay hydrated. 4. WHEN YOUâ€™RE DONE If youâ€™ve pushed hard, youâ€™ve likely done some damage to your muscles and depleted your energy reserves. To refuel and repair, aim to get a mix of carbs and proteinâ€” try pasta with grilled chicken and fresh veggies. Wash it all down with GNCâ€™s Ultra Mega Greens Active Powder, which provides antioxidants to support recovery, plus chia and hemp seeds to boost cardiovascular health.
Check out GNC FAQs for answers about: Fitness â€˘ Diet â€˘ General Health Supplements â€˘6SHFLĆ“F&RQFHUQV GNC.COM/JUSTASK
Have Questions? Get Social!
SIMPLE & STRESS FREE If you want your next big all-day ride, race, or fondo to go smoothly, make sure youâ€™re prepared by always following these easy rules. Âť CHECK YOUR BIKE 0DNHVXUH\RXKDYHDĹ´DWNLWDQG know how to use it. Bring a phone too, just in case you canâ€™t repair your bike. And, check your bike well ahead of time. If your gears are skipping and your brakes feel squishy, take your bike in for repair.
Âť MAKE ROOM FOR EXTRAS Lay out your clothes the night beforeâ€”waiting until the morning means youâ€™ll likely be dressing in a hurry and you may forget your shoes or gloves at home. Even if the weather forecast is for sunshine, having a rain jacket and an extra set of arm warmers in your bag is always a good idea.
Âť KEEP YOUR TANK FULL Pack more fuel than you need. Some days your body just needs a little more fuel, so itâ€™s always smart to bring extra bars or gels.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHATâ€™S RIGHT FOR YOU? JUST ASK. WE MAKE IT SIMPLE.
The Selection An exquisite cap
This Way Why she prefers that glory be shared
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Best Bikes Ever! The 2016 Editors’ Choice Road Bike Awards
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Introducing the newly redesigned Volkswagen Passat with Blind Spot Monitor, one of seven available Driver Assistance features.* Passat. Where family happens.
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THIS MONTH’S TOP TIPS, BEST ADVICE, AND PERSONAL PICKS FROM OUR EDITOR BILL STRICKLAND
THIS IS THE TIME
of year when I start prizing those final few chilly morning rides—even more so this spring because I’ve been laying our new BICYCLING Embro on my legs. A collaboration with Pete Smith of Mad
Alchemy, the creamy, vanilla-coconut liniment is a return of one of my favorite Mad Alchemy scents, and carries a mellow but resilient heat good for spring, autumn, and the first touches of winter. Check it out—along with our Puncheur coffee, custom kits, a limited-edition print that reveals the fastest bike color, and other stuff—at shop.bicycling.com.
BETTER IS BETTER THAN FASTER BUT GETTING FASTER IS FASTER SO NOT MANY CYCLISTS CHOOSE BETTER. T H I S Y E A R ’ S B A S E for the final week of Editors’ Choice testing was The Cycling House in Tucson—which, in the 12 years we’ve been running the program, proved to be the all-around best setup we’ve had for riding, wrenching, resting, and putting down staggering amounts of tacos-n-Tecate. We were four miles from Mount Lemmon, a short roll to Saguaro National Park East (such an ideal, fun test loop that Jen Sherry picked it as one of our Wow Rides, page 42), and just a kick or two away from a dirt road that clambered uphill for a stretch before winding all the way to the Arizona Trail. If you’re looking for a winter training camp or just a quick getaway from cold weather next year, check out what Owen Gue (pictured) and his team have going on at the House. You just might see me there—I wanna go back so bad in ’17 for some secret winter miles that there’s a reminder on my calendar. 22
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
IT’S NO SECRET THAT I LOVE CAPS. (I helped inspire and launch the #CapsNotHats campaign to get more pro racers wearing them on the podium.) And those who’ve seen me in caps know that my favorite style of wearing one is the luft—impossibly high on the head. So the cycling haberdashers at This is Cambridge wanted me to try their Luft, a cap designed and sewn especially to accomplish its name. TIC has the most extensive and exquisite functional range of caps I know of, such as the Blood, Sweat and Gears (a five-paneler in the style of the ’40s and ’50s), and the Panache (made to remain dashing & secure while you’re working hard).
P o r t r a i t : B r a ke t h ro u g h M e d i a ; M i tch M a n d e l (x 2) ; G e o r g e Z i p p
Want to find more WOW Rides like those on page 42? Spend some time at BICYCLING.com/ ActiveLivingGuide. It’s a resource we put together to help you plan your next wow—whether that means riding on either side of the edge of epic or having a great time in a downtown cycling scene.
WHATâ€™S NEXT With its modern, striking lines, a futuristic interior and uncompromising sense of style, the 2016 Prius has an edge at every angle. toyota.com/prius Prototype shown with options. Production model may vary. ÂŠ2015 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
I N S I G H T S , I D E A S , A N D I N S P I R AT I O N F R O M A L L K I N D S O F R I D E R S
THE ONE THING THAT CHANGED IT ALL A BROKEN DERAILLEUR Photograph by R O M A N S I R O M A K H A
I started riding in 2010, to classes at The New School in Manhattan, on my mom’s 10-speed. It was faster than taking the subway 70 blocks from the Upper East Side. One day, I had a minor accident with a car and my derailleur broke. I decided I needed something easier to repair, so I got my first fixed gear. Riding without brakes allowed me to hone my technical skills—I’d crashed because I pulled on the brakes at the last second when I should have anticipated the car better. Then the competitive aspect of alleycat races drew me in. I started training, and that snowballed into racing the Red Hook Crit. The simplicity of one gear really appeals to me. It’s just you, your bike, and your body. JEREMY BORDEN , 26
/ TE AM MANAGER AND RIDER , DOSNOVENTA BIKES / NE W YORK CIT Y JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
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† This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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The Simple Secret to Great Coffee David Sutton, owner of the Coffee Registry in Fort Collins, Colorado, roasts beans and builds displayworthy pour-over stands. Here’s his java philosophy. BY MOLLY HURFORD
Coffee isn’t a black art, an unknowable art. It’s the simplest mix of things; lemonade has more ingredients! But good coffee is really intentional, from how it’s grown to how it’s roasted to how it’s brewed. It’s a ritualistic thing that centers me. It’s not just the caffeine, it’s the act of making it every day. The stands came about because my wife and I wanted something to make pour-overs that was attractive enough to leave
out all the time. It was a way to show people this different brewing style. I love how brass develops a patina through use. I wanted to craft something that would get better with age. The dark walnut base offers a nice contrast. We deliver by bike most of the time. When I first started, I couldn’t afford a delivery vehicle. It’s a Long John–style bike I designed myself. It’s built like a tank. You wouldn’t take it crosscountry, but we use it to transport our kids around
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
town—we have a seat that can attach. We call it a Fort Collins SUV. We deliver the beans in halfgallon glass jars and switch them out, milkman-style. Making coffee is about putting someone in a position of honor for the moment. But being a snob about it doesn’t help. I don’t buy coffee often but I just went on a road trip with my family and I got the caramelvanilla-whatever that you push the button and it comes out. And it was fantastic for what it was.
Photography by D A R R E N S Q U A S H I C
THE PERFECT POUR-OVER Heat 12 ounces of water to 195° to 205° degrees F. While the water is heating, weigh out 21 grams of ground coffee. (You want 1 gram coffee for every 16.9 grams water.) Place the brewing cone over a mug and the filter into the brewing cone. Run hot water through the filter, so your brew doesn’t cool off when it hits a cold mug. Put the coffee into the filter, then empty the warm water from the mug. Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee. Get all the coffee wet and let it bloom (expand). Fresh coffee is really bubbly. Give the grounds a little stir as you continue to pour the water over them. Sip and enjoy. Repeat as necessary.
Buy This Stand— and Our Coffee! Named for the term granted to the heroes of the hardest rolling bike races, our Puncheur dark roast will power you through the toughest stretches of your ride. Pick some up—along with one of Sutton’s handcrafted pour-over stands—at shop.bicycling.com.
HACK THE MIND -BLOWING T
YOUR SENSES ON A RIDE TO BECOME A BETTER CYCLIST—AND N
A C S T
By Patrick Brady
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE MAY 2016 2016
Yuri Hauswald, becoming one with the universe at the 2015 Dirty Kanza
A S I P L U N G E D T OWA R D T H E T U R N ,
I saw a family of four on the edge of the road preparing to cross as they continued their hike high in the French Alps. The mother put out her arms to stop the others from stepping onto the pavement. The son grinned in awe. The daughter’s face was an exclamation point, as though shocked to see a cyclist this far up on the mountain going so fast. When I thought back on the scene
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
I was moving at a speed that demanded I completely focus on the road, yet I felt an odd mix of calm and excitement. Each turn seemed obvious, my line dictated by forces beyond my comprehension. I knew exactly what to do, despite never having ridden such a technical descent so fast. An hour later, I met up with my companions at the bottom. Despite screaming pain in my shoulder from having to maintain a nose-tostem tuck for so long, I was euphoric. I didn’t have a name for it at the time, but I had just experienced a phenomenon called flow state.
T H E WO R D S “ E U P H O R I A” A N D “ F L OW ”
probably don’t come to mind when you think about a race like the Dirty Kanza 200. With 200 miles of dirt and gravel, and only spare stretches of pavement holding the route together like tape, Kanza asks participants to go deep. And in 2015, that’s exactly what endurance mountain bike racer Yuri Hauswald did.
Photo Illustrations by M I C H A E L H A R R I S O N
Hauswald: Eric Benjamin
later that day, I couldn’t comprehend how I’d recorded so much information. I was descending the Cime de la Bonette, which tilts at a dramatic pitch—at times 15 percent—and gives France the distinction of claiming the highest paved road in Europe. It tops out at 9,193 feet of elevation. Roughly a quarter of the descent to the town of Jausiers is above treeline. Without anything to obscure my view, I could sometimes see a full kilometer of unoccupied tarmac ahead. Being able to see when there were no cars approaching meant that I could use the whole of the road from edge to edge and—for the first time in my life—take a descent like a Tour de France pro. I shot by sand-colored boulders, ponds of azure snowmelt, and over kilometer after kilometer of blacktop. In turns, I countersteered with force and felt the pull of gravity against my body, the way I did as a kid on amusement park rides.
U N L O C K CONTROL
U L T I M A T E RELAXATION
R I D E
S T O K E Five ways to tap into this powerful state of mind on the bike
THE FLOW MODEL SKILL, CHALLENGE, AND HOW THE TWO MAKE YOU FEEL, ACCORDING TO PSYCHOLOGIST MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, PHD
“Ten, 15 miles would pass without me really noticing,” says the 45-year-old Hauswald. “Time just turned off.” Fellow participants who saw him said he had a look of intense determination. He stopped feeling pain, saying he hurt more in the first 70 miles than in the final 130. With only three miles to go he started to see another figure on the horizon. It was race leader Michael Sencenbaugh. With two miles to go, Hauswald caught him. “There was a slight rise,” he says. “I decided to open it up there, but he brought me back. I was thinking I probably spent my last match, but I focused on my breathing and recovery.” As they approached the finishing chute, Hauswald’s field of vision was reduced to little more than the brick buildings lining the street. The barriers seemed to grow taller. In the flat light of early evening—he had been on the bike 13 hours—he picked out the cones that marked the beginning of the chute. “My brain turned off and I was running on pure instinct. I didn’t go,
‘Should I?’ It just happened. That’s when I laid down 900-odd watts. “Sencenbaugh was on my left as we entered the chute. I never deviated from my line, and he may have tried to come back around me, but at the end of 200 miles it came down to half a bike length. “When I finished, it was complete shutdown. I let out a freakin’ Lord of the Flies primal scream. I don’t recall any sound until I collapsed on my bar. I heard Dave Towle announcing my name and my wife saying, ‘You won, honey! You won!’ I was driven on pure instinct. There’s no more thinking at that point.”
FLOW DOESN’T HAPPEN UNLESS YOU MATCH CHALLENGE TO SKILL.
T H E
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
AS DIFFERENT AS M Y
exhilarating descent down the Bonette was from Hauswald’s Dirty Kanza ride, the two share key characteristics: a sense of superhuman athleticism, personal bests broken, time speeding up or slowing down, painlessness, instinctive judgment. And a euphoria that rises from depths we rarely access.
BE IN THE (RIGHT) ZONE A moderate tempo pace is most conducive to flow. That’s about 6 to 8 on a 1 to 10 scale of rate of perceived exertion. You should get home and think, That was a nice hard ride, rather than, I’m completely wrecked. HIT A SWOOPY TRAIL Flow mountain bike trails feature frequent turns and undulations, jumps, and drops: a constant barrage of stimuli that turns off the frontal lobe and allows you to be fully in the moment. CHASE! Following someone who’s just a little better than you can be a powerful trigger— everything comes at you faster. It should be just fast enough for you to ask yourself Can I do this at that speed?
ROLL WITH YOUR SQUAD Riding in a group requires intense focus. “When you’re in the pack, you’re plucking the novelty,” says flow researcher Steven Kotler. A group can actually enter flow state together when members share the workload (a smoothly rotating paceline) and even heart rates can synchronize, says neuroscientist Chris Berka, MS. PUSH HARD, THEN DIAL BACK Engage in a challenge just beyond your comfort zone. This causes a norepinephrine release to start (see page 35), expediting the alert mental state we need for flow. Then back off a hair. Example: Follow wheels for the townline sprint for the first time. Then dial it down and sit in the pack. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself in the “Whoo!” zone.
The Science of Wheeeee!
You may be familiar with it. You become completely present and intensely focused. You lose your sense of self—becoming one with the bike, trail, or road. You possess control or mastery over the situation, feeling like, “I got this.” Time may seem to speed up, as with Hauswald’s recollection of miles going by quickly; or slow down, as I observed on the Bonette. You experience the activity as inherently rewarding, shorthand for, “That’s so much fun I’d quit my job and do it all the time.” The feeling is usually brief, sometimes lasting only seconds, but occasionally it can last for minutes, even hours. It is known by many names—“being in the zone,” “zen mind,” “runner’s high” are a few. But it’s most properly called flow state, a term coined in 1990 by researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, a professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. In a flow state, psychological and physiological conditions line up for us to achieve peak performance and, in Csikszentmihalyi’s words, “optimal experience.” For a cyclist, flow can make a ride unforgettable instead of merely great. And if you understand why it works, you just might be able to achieve it more often.
I N HIS BOOK , FLOW: T HE PS YCHOLOGY OF
AS FLOW STATE WANES, YOUR BODY GIVES YOU A FINAL LITTLE FIST BUMP TO CONFIRM WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE YOU’VE JUST HAD.
Optimal Experience, Csikszentmihalyi explains that flow doesn’t happen unless you have the optimal ratio of challenge to skill. (The chart on page 32 shows how the relationship between these two factors affects your mental state.) When the two are matched—say, on a descent that’s challenging but not terrifying—your nervous system is confronted with slightly more stimuli than you can attend to consciously. The brain’s prefrontal cortex, the part of your frontal lobe that is responsible for cognitive skills like judgment, planning, decision making, and problem solving, shuts down. “You trade conscious processing for subconscious processing,” says Steven Kotler, founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project and author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. In other words, you’re processing so much information that you don’t have time to think, creating a sense of total absorption. You stop wondering whether you’ll get hurt if you screw up and take the wrong line or how silly you look making that face. You quit the self-editing that happens when the prefrontal cortex is running the show and become completely in the moment.
TAKE COMFORT IN EVERY ride.
This part of the brain is also responsible for personality. Without a forebrain telling you where you end and the rest of the world begins, your sense of self gets fuzzy. Flow junkies talk about becoming one with the universe: Archers will become one with their target, and riders become one with their bike. In this altered state of consciousness, you’re able to perform your best. Chris Berka, MS, a neuroscience researcher and founder of Advanced Brain Monitoring—a developer of medical-grade devices that measure brain activity—has seen evidence of this on brain scans of expert marksmen, archers, and golfers experiencing flow. The parts of the brain associated with creativity light up, and all attention is focused on the target, says Berka. All the while, the athletes are calm and relaxed, as shown by a decrease in their heart rate.
THERE’S ALSO POWERFUL NEUROCHEMISTRY
underpinning “Wheeee!” Kotler has spent more than a decade consolidating research about the neuroscience of flow states. What he found is that the body releases a potent combination of neurotransmitters that enhance
performance during flow. When you tell your friend at the bottom of a sweet descent, “Dude, it was like time slowed down,” it’s because your body was producing norepinephrine, a stimulant that kicks the brain into overdrive. This allows you to process much more information on a subconscious level, leading you to perceive an elongation of time. The body also releases dopamine. It’s what floods your brain when you get a kiss from your sweetie or win the town-line sprint, making you feel amazing so that you want to go out and do the thing that triggers it again. It also tightens your focus and speeds up muscle reaction times. Hauswald’s 900 watts? That was the endorphins at work. Endorphins are natural painkillers, neurochemicals that allow you to push through discomfort and discover reserves normally inaccessible. During flow state, your body also produces a neurotransmitter that enhances creative thinking and the ability to find novel solutions to problems. It’s called anandamide (from the Sanskrit for bliss), and it promotes nonlinear thinking— the type of inspiration that drives jaw-dropping stunts at events like the Red Bull Rampage or enables average people like me to see new lines on
techy descents like the Bonette. (Anandamide’s chemical “twin”—which attaches to the same receptors in the brain—is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the component in marijuana that makes you feel high.) As flow state wanes, your body gives you a final little fist bump to confirm what a great experience you’ve just had. It puts serotonin sprinkles on top of the sundae. Serotonin makes the world amazing—it’s one of the powerful neurotransmitters responsible for happiness, and it leaves you with that post-flow afterglow. This cocktail of neurotransmitters released in flow state is better than any prescription antidepressant, says Leslie Sherlin, PhD, a neuroscientist and cofounder of SenseLabs, a San Francisco provider of brain training research and programs. “If we think about all the different things we could put into antidepressants,” he says, “this combination would be it.” Sherlin says this makes flow state autotelic, meaning that it makes us feel so good that we chase it without any outside motivation. According to Csikszentmihalyi, after your flow state ends—you peel off from the training ride, you finish the continued on p. 128
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"In some ways an hour time trial is like my fantasy,” says former world record holder Molly Shaffer Van Houweling.
She Did It First Last September, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, 43, became the first woman in 12 years to break the World Hour Record, setting a standard for Bridie O’Donnell and Evelyn Stevens to tackle a few months later. Here’s how the UC Berkeley law professor and associate dean came out of nowhere to crush it. BY JEN SEE
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
You were the ﬁrst woman to break the hour record after the UCI rule change allowing time trial bikes. How important was it for you to set the benchmark? It was exciting to be ﬁrst, and of course it meant I didn’t have to go as far! It was fun to be part of the excitement about the hour record during that year or so when ﬁrst Jens Voigt and then ultimately Bradley Wiggins went after it. What gave you the idea? When the UCI announced the rule change in May 2014, my husband, Rob, said, “This is the event for you.” I continued focusing on road racing, but just as the season was ending,
Jens made his attempt. “What would Jens do?” is one of my mottos. Around the same time, Rob gave me a Cervélo T4 track bike, a back-to-school present. Pretty nice back-to-school present. As a matter of fact, a present is how my racing career started. When we were in graduate school, Rob purchased a road bike for me—he saw a ﬂyer advertising a bike and thought it was my size. It was the same story: I have this bike, I guess I have to learn how to ride it! One of your strengths is aerodynamics—how have you developed that? In 2007, a few years into my
racing career, I was a decent time trialist—in 2006, I’d placed third in our Northern California-Nevada district time trial, 90 seconds behind the winner—but I felt like I hadn’t lived up to my potential. As a birthday present, Rob sent me to the San Diego low-speed wind tunnel. At the time I thought it was ridiculous. I was a recreational rider and to do something that I associated with ProTour people seemed fraudulent, like I was an imposter. But I was game. The most dramatic thing we learned was how much diﬀerence head position made. That year, I won the district time trial championship on about the same power, going 90 seconds faster Photograph by W I N N I W I N T E R M E Y E R
I MAKE UP MANTRAS FROM THE SONGS THAT GET STUCK IN MY HEAD. using the things I learned in the wind tunnel. How do you train to hold an aero position for an hour? Being on the time-trial bike resembles the plank position, and that’s part of my core work. I was a synchronized swimmer from seventh grade through college, and I wonder if that gives me an advantage in terms of being able to hold a strange position. Do you have a race playlist? No, but I make up mantras that coordinate with the songs that get stuck in my head, like “Get
Up!” by Caitlin Canty. This song is good because I can think, “Ease up, ease up, ease up,” or I can think, “pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.” What’s your secret to balancing the demands of your job with your training? As full-time professional jobs go, mine is more ﬂexible than many. I know that I’m happier living a life that has multiple components: not just going to work, but making time for my workout or my recovery. It is sometimes a challenge to ﬁgure out when am I going to eat. This morning, I had an
early conference call. I put something in the rice cooker before I showered, then tossed it into Tupperware so I could have breakfast during the call. You were in Colorado for Evie’s attempt. What was it like to watch her? It was genuinely exciting and not too hard for my ego to take. I had come to terms with the fact that records are made to be broken when Bridie broke mine in January! Think you could go farther? I do. That’s the beauty of the record—each time it’s extended it makes you think that what didn’t seem possible is possible after all. That said, what Evie did might be impossible for me! For now I’m just racing on the road and spending time on the track. I’m not prejudging what the future might bring.
UCI WOMEN’S HOUR RECORD, 2003–2016 OCTOBER 2003 Leontien ZijlaardVan Moorsel Netherlands
46.065 km (28.62 mi) SEPTEMBER 2015 Molly Shaffer Van Houweling United States
46.273 km (28.75 mi) JANUARY 2016 Bridie O’Donnell Australia
46.882 km (29.13 mi) FEBRUARY 2016 Evelyn Stevens United States
47.980 km (29.81 mi)
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Descending Ras Dashen, Ethiopia’s highest peak
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
O W W
ES D I R
From legendary climbs to off-the-grid trails to uncelebrated routes so tucked away many locals don’t even know about them, here’s your guide to some of the most rewarding places to ride on the planet—plus a few that feel absolutely unearthly. by bicycling staff and contributors
SIMIEN MOUNTAINS, ETHIOPIA the simien mountains are a climber’s dream. And by “dream,” I mean the most physically and mentally challenging part of the four months I spent cycling through Africa in 2014. We began our 1,000-kilometer, 10-day ride through rural, highaltitude Ethiopia in the northern town of Gonder. From there we pedaled in a clockwise mostly unpaved loop through Aksum, Lalibela, and Bahir Dar,
navigating steep switchbacks that seemed to continue for days. Here, sharing the road means pedaling alongside herds of livestock, mischievous children, and the occasional construction vehicle. The donkeys make it look easy, but don’t let them fool you. We spent long days in the saddle battling chilly mornings that turned into sweltering afternoons, and the gravel and sand paths demanded just as much concentration on the downhills as they did on the climbs. The rewards are worth the struggle. The route snakes through a beautiful, barren landscape—gold earth dotted with green trees and shrubs. Asymmetrical rocky peaks jut into
vibrant blue sky. Small villages of mud-and-thatch huts seem to materialize out of blank valleys and steep, terraced hillsides. When we reentered civilization, in the city of Bahir Dar, we recovered with a drink that’s naturally sweet—colorful layers of pureed fruit such as mango, papaya, and avocado stacked in a glass. The coffee was some of the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica, after all. Difficulty 10 bina bilenky trahan is the event director of the philly bike expo and served as an assistant tour director on the 2014 tour d’afrique.
Outside the village of Mekarbya
WOW Santuario del Ghisallo Magreglio, Italy It’s a pilgrimage to the chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo, originally known as the patroness of travelers until 1949, when Pope Pius XII granted a local priest’s request that she be called the patron saint of cyclists. At the shrine you’ll ﬁnd old jerseys from such legends as Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, and Felice Gimondi, and row upon row of portraits, and rafters packed with racing bicycles—including the one Fabio Casartelli was riding the day he died in the 1995 Tour de France. The fork blades are cracked. It’ll give you chills just to stand there. Know Before You Go There are several routes to the chapel, but start/ﬁnish in the town of Bellagio for gorgeous views along Lake Como. Diﬃculty 4, for the above route, although harder ways are possible. From Bellagio, the round-trip is less than 19 miles, with an average grade of 5 percent and a few steep pitches (with grades of up to 14 percent).—joe lindsey
Even before California became a state, the Santa Ana Mountains provided cover for bandits, horse rustlers, and outlaws. Today, their oak-covered canyons still oﬀer shelter for the wayward. For many, the San Juan Trail on the edge of Orange County is an escape from the congestion. Twenty or more switchbacks climb 1,400 feet in the ﬁrst three miles. On cool mornings, that will put you
HOW WE RATE RIDE DIFFICULTY 1 = You can bring the kids—and your grandparents 10 = You’ll question your sanity
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Ethoipia : Dan Milner; S aguaro: George Zipp
San Juan Trail Orange County, California
Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona
o fully appreciate the paved, mostly one-way, 8-mile loop through Saguaro National Park East, you have to do it at least twice— because the momentum and fluidity of your first trip through absolutely must not be interrupted. You’ll be tempted to pose with clusters of spiny jumping chollas, peruse the signs about Sonoran Desert plant and animal life, hold a roadside vigil for a fallen Carnegiea gigantea, and hop onto the quarter-mile Desert Ecology Trail to grab my QOM (that’s right, I own that crown—for now). Don’t. Save it for round two. Your ride begins on Cactus Forest Loop Drive just past the guard shack at the far end of the visitor’s center parking lot ($5 gets you a seven-day access pass). Right out of the gate, you’ll climb. But like a roller coaster car pulled by a winch to the crest of the first hill then released at the top where gravity barrels it downward, your bike will do the work for you. When the kinetic energy from that first descent (use caution here; the road takes a hard right at the bottom) begins to wane with each subsequent rise, you’ll settle in to a consistently
undulating ride that includes a one-mile climb with an average grade of 6 percent, fast twists and turns, friendly salutations (or obscene gestures) from towering saguaros, and majestic views of the Rincon Mountains to the east—a coniferous contrast to the surreal desert landscape of the park. This loop is also a scenic drive. Fortunately, more than two dozen pull-offs entice four-wheeled sightseers to glimpse a better view, so cars often stop, leaving you the road. When you reach the end, where Cactus Forest Loop Drive becomes a two-way road, you have a choice: Turn left and exit or turn right and do it again. If you choose to turn left, you will deprive yourself of the whimsy and splendor that defines this prickly park. Difficulty 4 managing editor jennifer sherry once rode the same roller coaster 22 times in a row (dork!) and can confirm with confidence that once is never enough.
JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
above the coastal fog. Up there, the scenery changes and so can your attitude. Climb higher into the chaparral, up to Cocktail Rocks at 6.5 miles. Look west as waves with emerald ridges crash into the Paciﬁc. From there, bomb back down or keep climbing—there’s another 7 miles of rugged, remote terrain ahead. Do the whole thing and you’ll have climbed and then descended nearly 2,600 feet, enough to make anyone feel a little wild. Know Before You Go Pack a lunch and bust it out at Cocktail Rocks to refuel alongside stunning views. Diﬃculty 7—louis mazzante
South Island New Zealand
ARGENTINA’S LAKE DISTRICT out of the 10,000 miles i rode from Oregon to Patagonia in 2013 and 2014, my favorite stretch was the 300 miles from San Martín de los Andes to Esquel, on Argentina’s famous Highway 40. The route through northern Patagonia is almost all paved, with some climbing and long descents, but nothing too strenuous. You start in the northernmost lake town of San Martín de los Andes, which sits on Lago Lácar, and bike from lake to mountain pass to lake. Each town along the way resembles a postcard: Mountains and rocky cliffs tower over aquamarine finger lakes. You’ll find German-inspired architecture, log cabins, as well as pubs and hotels and shops selling outdoor gear. The
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
towns are developed, but still feel wild—surrounded by pine forests and green meadows and Andean condors. When you reach the town of Villa La Angostura about 70 miles from San Martín de los Andes, you’ll find doughnuts and cream-filled pastries and cozy cafés. Wild camping opportunities abound, or you can stay at a campground right on the shore. One night I slept inches from a glass-still lake and woke up to find the sun rising over a snow-covered mountain and the wind rippling the clearest water I’d ever seen. In another 50 or so miles is the city of Bariloche, the brewery capital of Patagonia (15 microbreweries and counting). With a population of more than 100,000, it is the largest town on the lakes. On its outskirts, where civilization ends at the foot of the Andes, you can visit the Llao Llao Hotel, located on the edge of a peninsula on Lago
Nahuel Huapi. Its red roof and sprawling wings and hundreds of rooms reminded me of The Shining. From Bariloche, the road winds through valleys where horses greet you from behind fences as you approach El Bolsón. The town sits at the base of a massive mountain, Cerro Piltriquitron: a wall of sharp stones, like spears, stacked tight together. Continue south and you’ll hit Esquel, the final stop on the Old Patagonia Express route. You won’t be the only rider on the road, as Highway 40 has become popular with adventure seekers, but I can promise you it won’t be crowded, and you’ll be warmly received in each town by the locals—a mix of retired city people, farm workers, indigenous people, and expats. Difficulty 6 jedidiah jenkins is the founder and the executive editor of wilderness magazine.
Watershed Grade to Saluda, North Carolina This 27-mile out-and-back starts in “upstate” South Carolina and winds north through the Greenville watershed in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, gaining 2,200 feet of elevation in the ﬁrst half of the ride, the 13.5-mile climb across the border to Saluda. The grade (around 4 percent) is challenging enough to warrant the best sticky bun you’ll ever have from Saluda’s Wildﬂour Bakery, but not so taxing that you can’t appreciate the view: lush, fairy-tale woodland that gives way to rolling
Luiz Felipe Sahd/Getty Images
Lago Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche, Argentina
You’ll hit nearly every microclimate imaginable within a few weeks of riding, including mountains, beach, desert, and glaciers. You might even get to high-ﬁve a penguin. Expect lots of climbing on a mix of quiet roads and busier tourist areas, with campsite ocean views that make it all worth it. Know Before You Go Pedallers’ Paradise: The South Island by Nigel Rushton is a top-notch guidebook. Adventure South NZ oﬀers ﬁve- to nine-day supported tours ($986 and up) of South Island segments. Feeling more adventurous? Independent Cycle Tours can arrange a self-guided tour of the rugged West Coast ($1,073 and up). Diﬃculty 7—caitlin giddings
Morey Milbradt/ Getty Images
High above the breakers near Manzanita, Oregon
BICYCLING.COM â€˘ JUNE 2016
The Oregon Coast
f you’re going to bomb down a coastal highway at 40 mph on the back of a tandem behind someone who just gleefully yelled, “I don’t care if I live or die!” the final thing you want to see before you squeeze your eyes shut in terror is the Oregon Coast. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself, as we plunge down a cliff above a rocky shoreline so stunning it rips tears out of the corner of my eyes. When my possibly unstable friend and I decided to pedal from Portland to San Francisco on a rickety Craigslist tandem, we set a goal of 125 daily miles as we delusionally envisioned quiet highways and gentle seaside topography. But the Oregon Coast is no boardwalk. It’s wild and rugged in a way that makes you want to scream something into the wind—a love poem, a battle cry, a patriotic anthem, or in my case just a prayer that I’d make it to the next peak intact. To tour the left coast is to weave in and out of misty, evergreen-lined back roads and burst out at vistas high above tall pillars of rock stacked against the waves. It’s a view that knocks the wind out of you—even when you manage to stay on your bike. Difficulty 6 since surviving this trip, staff writer caitlin giddings has ridden the oregon coast two more times—on her own bicycle.
JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
farmland and ﬁnally to Saluda’s Victorian charm. Enjoy it on the way up—it’ll be a blur on the way down. Know Before You Go Start and ﬁnish at the Hotel Domestique (about 20 miles north of Greenville, South Carolina), where you can also rent a road bike and enjoy a pre- and postride espresso. Then take Old Highway 25 past the North Saluda Reservoir, and follow signs to Saluda. Diﬃculty 4 to 5—leah flickinger
Haleakala Maui, Hawaii
AS-SALT, JORDAN last fall i discovered the vibrant cycling community in Jordan, a country that deserves a place on anyone’s cycling bucket list. Four spots you must visit are Petra (pictured), the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba; there’s good riding near each of these locations. My favorite mountain bike trails are near the town of As-Salt, a 50-minute drive west of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The network was developed off of Google Earth satellite images and is constantly evolving. I climbed
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dirt roads past loping camels, an old Egyptian movie set, and friendly Bedouins clad in pale tunics and red and white scarves (keffiyehs) rolled up just above the brow to provide protection from the intense sun. I descended dusty, rocky singleand doubletrack. Many of these trails are animal paths that split and reconnect, allowing you to create your own loop combinations. They offer dazzling views of the Jordan Rift Valley—a sun-bleached, arid landscape that’s home to some the world’s most fascinating ancient sites— as well as the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea at around 1,400 feet below sea level to the south, and Israel to the west. Hearing the hauntingly beautiful call to prayer echoing
from a distant mosque in the middle of a ride gave me goose bumps every time. I didn’t know a single person in Jordan when I arrived, but I felt safe traveling alone as a woman: Thanks to Facebook and an amazing bike shop in Amman, Cycling Jordan, I always had someone with whom to ride, share meals, and laugh. Given current world affairs, the thought of visiting Jordan may seem scary, but I urge you to do some research, check state department up-dates, and make an educated decision for yourself. Maybe I’ll see you there. Difficulty 6 katie holden is a freeride and adventure ambassador for liv cycling.
Lost Lake Trail Seward, Alaska Moose, glaciers, waterfalls, and meadows of wildﬂowers create a colorful backdrop to singletrack that intermingles ripping smooth ribbons of trail with twisty rocky, rooty bits. Know Before You Go The 7.3-mile trail connects to the Primrose Trail near Lost Lake. Pack extra of everything—cell service is iﬀy. There are 1,800 feet of climbing in the ﬁrst 6 miles. Difﬁculty 6 to 7—selene yeager
Crested Butte, Colorado It’s real singletrack with natural ﬂow in one of the most beautiful places on earth, with mountains, trees, and wildﬂowers stretched out in every direction. Some of the trails are the same ones mountain bike pioneers rode in the ’70s.
Emad Aljumah/Getty Images
Bikes aren’t allowed at Petra’s ancient Treasury, but there’s good road riding nearby.
You climb 10,023 feet from near the beach at Paia to the summit of a volcano—on a smooth road with sweeping views of the Paciﬁc Ocean and Hawaiian Islands—at a moderate average grade of 5.3 percent, for 36 miles. Then you turn around and scream downhill for an hour and a half without pedaling once. Know Before You Go Bring warm clothes and layer up: Even when it’s 90 degrees in Paia, temperatures at the top can be below freezing. There’s a fountain at the ranger station 7,500 feet up that dispenses ﬁltered water and accommodates cycling bottles. You’ll need it. Diﬃculty 10—l.m.
The Cobbles of Paris-Roubaix
ou want, I know, the wow—because what cyclist doesn’t?—but if we’re really going to get into this and if you’re really considering this (and yes we are and yes you should), you need to understand that this thing here is the wow of the wow, an undertaking so bounteous with woooo! and also with owww! that the ride won’t merely wow you but will wooooww! you in ways that you, before pedaling the cobbles, are unable to imagine and that I, after pedaling them more times than I anymore can or care to accurately remember, cannot fully explain. The cobbles, of course, being the Roubaix cobbles, the only cobbles you can mean when you say “the cobbles.” Yes other places are cobbled but that does not make them the cobbles, and yes I’ve ridden a good bit of those other cobbled places, the rattlers of Flanders, the pleasant stones of sundry European streets, the cute little world championship dingity-dings on the Libby Hill and 23rd Street climbs in Richmond, Virginia, and the churlish blue-collar pavers in Philly, and, listen, whatever you got, wherever you got it, whenever you’ve been on the roughest cruelest destroyed-ass road and shouted to your friends, Paris Roubaix!
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
good for you and I know you had fun (because I do, even knowing what I know) but, come on, just get over there and ride the cobbles once and for all and let ’em change who you are as a cyclist forever. Here is a cumulative approximation of what riding the cobbles is like: Everything. Nothing. Kafka. Dante. Jimi Hendrix. Beatrix Kiddo. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ????????? I hate you. I’m in heaven. I love you. Go to hell. My tire has to be flat. My bike has to be broken. I am broken. I won’t be broken. !?!?!?!?!? This is wrong. More. This is beautiful. No more. No, more. Oh my god my god my god my god my god. This in actuality is what riding the cobbles is like: riding the cobbles. Ride them. Please. So you’ll know. Start with the hardest and the most famous, the Arenberg Trench (pictured). Get to France and drive to Arenberg, just outside of Wallers. Start riding north on the D313. In a kilometer or so, when you cross the railroad tracks and the road bends right, pedal straight past the barriers into a new cycling life. Difficulty 10 bill strickland recommends finishing roubaix before 6 p.m. so you can celebrate with a jupiler in the bar inside the velodrome.
Know Before You Go The joke goes, “There are three seasons in Crested Butte: July, August, and winter,” so plan your travel accordingly. (Western Spirit oﬀers ﬁve-day Crested Butte Singletrack trips in August for $1,360.) CB is at 8,900 feet and the rides ascend from there, so take it easy until you acclimate. Difficulty 6 (terrain); 9 (elevation)—matt phillips
Province Lands Bike Trail Provincetown, Massachusetts Experience a kaleidoscope of Cape Cod landscapes on this two-way, 7.3-mile paved path that’s part of Cape Cod National Seashore, the ﬁrst national park to include trails built for cycling. It climbs over sweeping sand dunes that sometimes blow across the trail, cuts through a pine forest rich with green moss and shorebirds, and passes saltwater kettle ponds teeming with frogs and turtles. Oﬀshoots treat you to scenic vistas of beaches (don’t miss the sunset at Herring Cove Beach) and the ocean—look for seals. Know Before You Go Carry a trail map. With four spurs shooting oﬀ from the loop, two corrugated steel tunnels that look identical, and four parking areas, it’s easy to lose track of where you are. Difficulty 1 to 3 (steep sections and sharp curves made my seven-year-old cry)—j.s.
Katy Trail Missouri At 237 miles, it’s the nation’s longest rails-to-trails project. How often can you ride a rail trail (nearly) across an entire state? Flat and scenic—more than half of the trail follows Lewis and Clark’s route along the Missouri River—it’s also a good place for beginners to get started on a bike. Know Before You Go Wilderness Voyageurs oﬀers six-day inn-to-inn bike tours ($1,695) that meet in St. Charles, shuttle to Clinton, and follow the trail back. Plenty of campsites in small towns along the route mean you’ll never have to ride far between snack
the Parlee of components. Three for the road.
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Heading south along the Monarch Crest section near Salida.
THE COLORADO TRAIL
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sure, there are longer trailsâ€”the 2,768-mile Great Divide route, for instanceâ€”and ones with more unbroken miles of singletrack, like North Dakotaâ€™s Maah Daah Hey. But perhaps no trail in the world combines the length, quality, and experience of the Colorado Trail. The CT is 486 miles total, from suburban Denver to Durango. Some of it runs through federal wilderness areas that are offlimits to mountain bikers, but that still leaves more than 300 miles of exquisite singletrack: the high-speed aspen slalom on buffed-out loam from Kenosha Pass to
Breckenridge; the seemingly endless vistas on the hour-long climb up 11,530foot Sargents Mesa; the rollicking 3,000-foot descent from Kennebec Pass to a well-deserved Modus Hoperandi and brick-oven pizza at Durangoâ€™s Ska Brewing. The catch? Youâ€™ve got to do it yourself. Two companies, Western Spirit and Lizard Head, offer multiday guided trips on parts of the trail, but no outfit covers the whole thing. Itâ€™s a significant undertakingâ€”one that will change you forever as a rider. In 2003, five friends and I crammed a VW microbus full of bikes, food, beer, and camping gear and set off for the trailhead at Roxborough State Park. We did the trail in eight days of riding, using the van to detour around the wilderness areas and taking turns leading the group and serving
as ride support. I still donâ€™t know what my favorite moment was: whooping carefree along subalpine singletrack across the base of the majestic 14,000-foothigh Collegiate Peaks, or cooking a massive batch of pesto tortellini, served with salad and cold beers, for the rest of the group as they came off a high, long day in the San Juans near Silverton. As a rider or a guide, every day offered a fresh challenge, a new accomplishment. Now, 13 years later, that ride remains perhaps the most rewarding bike trip Iâ€™ve ever completed, and no ride Iâ€™ve done since has ever intimidated me. Difficulty 9 to 10 bicycling contributor joe lindsey is a colorado native and unabashedly biased about the quality of its singletrack.
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stops or places to sleep. Between Boonville and St. Charles you’ll pass through Missouri’s “wine country,” which, believe it or not, is most deﬁnitely a thing. Several wineries are right on the trail. Diﬃculty 1 (day ride) to 5 (longer tour)—c.g.
Allegrippis Trails Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania Raystown is a roller coaster masquerading as a mountain bike trail. Thirty-three miles of smooth, grippy dirt undulate through the forest like a pump track, with rollers, berms, and plenty of swoopy dips. Though you’re doing lots of climbing (one staﬀer measured almost 2,000 feet of gain on a 20-mile ride), the momentum of the trails cancels out a lot of the sting. If you go slow, the singletrack is easy enough to ride that even beginners will fall in love. Experienced riders need only go faster to up the diﬃculty. Biggest challenge? Peeling the smile oﬀ your face once you’re done. Know Before You Go Some trails are designated “one-way” so check a map for arrows that indicate which direction to ride. Turn a weekend into #squadgoals with a houseboat rental from Seven Points Marina. Diﬃculty 3 to 5—taylor rojek
Kyoto, Japan This compact city of nearly 1.5 million is one of the most-preserved towns in Japan, and its 1,600-plus temples and 17 World Heritage sites are easy to visit by bike. Cruise wide, ﬂat paths along the Kamo River for views of cherry and maple trees, herons
and egrets, and 48 bridges, or wander narrow back streets, where you might spot a miniature shrine— or even a beer vending machine. Go in late March or early April, when the cherry blossoms bloom—their delicate fragrance (and the festivals held in their honor) are worth the time you’ll spend maneuvering through the crowds. Know Before You Go Motorists drive on the left side, and traﬃc can be heavy. There are few bike lanes, so most Japanese cyclists ride on the sidewalks, which are technically oﬀ-limits to bikes (unless specially marked), but police rarely enforce the law. Kyoto Cycling Tour Project rents city bikes for about $9 a day and oﬀers guided tours of the city in English. Diﬃculty 2 to 4—emily furia
Col du Tourmalet Hautes-Pyrénées, France When the 17.4-kilometer climb was introduced to the Tour de France in 1910, the ﬁrst rider to the top, Octave Lapize, had to walk partway and is supposed to have cursed the organizers: “Assassins!” Mostly steady slopes of 4 to 7 percent ascend past two big waterfalls, through four snow tunnels, by rustic hamlets and open ﬁelds, and beside precipitous canyons to the ski resort of La Mongie, after which steep hairpins cluttered by cows and sheep careen to a crest that makes it seem as if you’re about to ride oﬀ the edge of the world. Know Before You Go You want the eastern approach, starting from the town of Sainte-Marie de Campan. Also—sorry—it’s a gradual, 12-kilometer climb from just about everywhere to get to the base of the Tourmalet. Duvine Cycling’s $4,395 Pyrenees Journey
Bike Tour crosses the Tourmalet during trips in July, August, and September. Diﬃculty 5 to 7—b.s.
Kingdom Trails East Burke, Vermont Two dozen or so trails— more than 100 miles of singletrack and double track through tall ferns, forests, and farmland in the Green Mountains of Vermont— ﬂow like a magical chocolate river through lollipop forests. The one feature Kingdom Trails is missing? Rocks. The area was once a glacial lake that left behind smooth, sandy eskers. Know Before You Go It’s pay to play, but it’s the best 15 bucks you’ll spend all year. Riding season is May through October. Diﬃculty 4 to 7—s.y.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park British Columbia, Canada From high-alpine descents through snowﬁelds and volcanic debris to smooth cruisers with zen-like ﬂow to jump trails that will test (and improve) your skills, Whistler’s trails are more diverse than anywhere we’ve ever ridden or even heard about. Know Before You Go Leave your bike at home. Many of Whistler’s bike shops demo the latest rides. Diﬃculty 3 to 10—l.m.
Mauvoisin Dam Switzerland This is a real adventure ride—about two-thirds dirt road, one-third rocky and sometimes very steep and exposed hiking trails. There are also more than 3,400 feet of climbing on the remote, 17-mile loop. Start circumnavigating the dam by riding through several long tunnels through rocky cliﬀs. Once you’re out, the scenery is a smattering of | continued on p. 126
Ready to try this? Of course you are.
YOU’LL NEED A bike with 16- or
20-inch wheels A sick beat A friend who embraces
GO FOR IT 1. Cue the music. 2. Stand back-to-back with your partner.
Raise Your Stunt Game The Sprockettes, an all-female minibike dance team in Portland, Oregon, explain the mechanics of one of their signature moves, Baby Got Back— pink knee socks optional. BY NATA LIE R A MSL A ND
3. Grab your bike's handlebar and lift the front wheel. 4. Brace one foot on a pedal; keep the other on the ground. 5. Have your partner squat low enough so that her butt is just below yours. Link your arms through hers. 6. As your partner bends forward, tighten your core and hoist your bike into the air. Put your other foot on the remaining pedal. Grimace heroically. 7. Pedal. 8. Have your partner lower you. Exchange high fives and repeat.
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Photograph by M AT T H E W D ’A N N U N Z I O
If you’re satisfied with current MTB pedals, then you may not be interested in the Speedplay Syzr. The Syzr is designed differently to deliver 100% of rider power directly through the cleats instead of through the spongy rubber lugs of the shoes like the others. The Syzr includes additional features you won’t find anywhere like micro-adjustable float, Target Acquisition Technology, and custom fit options. If you’re tired of wasting power and are ready to adapt to an advanced technology that gives you total power efficiency as well as improved ergonomics, then the Syzr is designed for you. To learn more, visit Speedplay.com.
Hand assembled at Speedplay in San Diego, California
CARBS? CHECK. PROTEIN? CHECK. PLUS THEY’RE JUST TASTY AS HELL. WE’VE BEEN CRAZY ABOUT TACOS FOR LONG ENOUGH. IT’S TIME TO CROWN THESE HANDHELD FLAVOR BOMBS AS ONE OF THE BEST RIDE FOODS THERE IS.
Photograph by W Y N N M Y E R S
JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
UNITED STATES OF 1
A GEOGRAPHIC CELEBRATION OF THE CYCLING-TACO CONNECTION BY IAN DILLE
1. Taco Time Seattle This 54-year-old institution has 70-plus locations and sponsors a cycling team. 2. Taco Pedaler Portland, OR A roving trike that dishes up locally sourced tacos on hand-pressed corn tortillas. 3. Power House Hailey, ID Bikes and tacos are on the menu at this shopcafé combo. 4. El Taco Bike Oakland, CA Authentic Mexican street fare served from a taqueria on wheels.
5. Stan’s Bike Shop/ Eastside Bike Club’s Tour de Tacos Los Angeles A roughly 30-mile jaunt through the streets of LA to sample some of the city’s best. July 16, 2016 6. Roberto’s Taco Shop Boulder City, NV Hop off the River Mountains Trail and fuel up at this authentic Mexican joint just outside Vegas. 7. Joyride Taco House Phoenix Park your bike in the dedicated rack off
the outdoor dining area of this downtown eatery, and order from an extensive taco menu. 8. Cyclhops Bike Cantina Longmont, CO The holy trinity: tacos, tequila, and craft beer by Oskar Blues. 9. Tour de Taco Clovis, NM A 60-mile charity ride between two Taco Box locations, aka “your hometown tacotorium.” October 1, 2016
10. Letty’s Tacos Ride Austin, TX An occasional Sundaymorning 50-ish miles with the Violet Crown Cycling Club to sample Letty’s renowned handmade flour tortillas. 11. Tour de Taco Houston Fifteen to 20 miles, three taco joints, and a social vibe. First Friday of the month
12. Taco Ride Sioux Falls, SD A social 10-ish miles through historic neighborhoods en route to a variety of local taco joints. Third Thursday of the month 13. Tuesday Taco Ride Sioux City, IA Hit two states (Iowa and South Dakota) on this weekly 18-mile loop that starts and finishes at Rudy Navarette’s Mexican Food.
14. Taco Ride Council Bluffs, IA A wildly popular, Thursday-night, 20-mile round-trip for tacos at a local steakhouse. Go figure.
16. Springdale Taco Tour Springdale, AR This self-guided tour hits eight local taquerias, all a quick ride from the bike-friendly Razorback Greenway that runs through town.
15. The Taco Ride Lawrence, KS This popular Wednesday-night ride meets downtown at South Park and covers a brisk 33-mile loop, ending with dinner at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
17. OK Bicycle Shop Mobile, AL A bike shop, bar, and taqueria all in one.
19. Blue Bike Burrito Marinette, WI This bike-loving joint in the Upper Peninsula serves tacos made from local and organic ingredients. 20. Big Star Chicago Sample some of Chitown’s best streetstyle tacos—if the abundant bike parking isn’t full.
18. Taco Cat Minneapolis Get tacos delivered by bike, or grab ’em at the walk-up location on the bike-friendly Midtown Greenway.
21 20 14
21. Taco Tour Nueve Ypsilanti, MI Try the “Torture” version of this ride: Fill up at eight taquerias in just 30 miles. September 11, 2016
24 23 15
22. Taco Trek Johnson City, TN Bring the family to this Tuesday-night casual roll from the local Trek store to Holy Taco Cantina.
23. District Taco Washington, DC Once just a taco truck, District Taco now boasts seven walk-in locations in the DC area plus a cycling team.
FILL IN THE MAP! SHARE YOUR FAVORITE TACO RIDES AND HOT SPOTS WITH THE HASHTAG #MORETACO.
24. Tour de Taco Philadelphia The formerly low-key taqueria crawl has grown so big participants are encouraged to preorder their tacos. 2016 date TBA
25. Sunset Park Taco Tour Brooklyn, NY A custom tour through this largely Mexican neighborhood with professional guide Matt Levy to sample what he calls “the best tacos this side of Texas.” 26. Tour de Taco Brooklyn, NY Pedal 15 miles and stop at taco joints all over Brooklyn and Queens. September 10, 2016 27. Taco Tuesdays Kendall, FL Top off 20 miles with tacos and temporary tats at local hot spot, Tacos & Tattoos.
JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
TACOS BY THE NUMBERS HEAVIEST TACO EVER MADE
THAT’S 11 CHRIS FROOMES, 9 TAYLOR PHINNEYS, 13.5 EVELYN STEVENSES, OR 106 OF THE FOCUS IZALCO MAX ON OUR COVER.
$12 MILLION VS
You know the advice: Consuming lean protein and healthy carbs postride speeds recovery. But an active human cannot live on kale and almond-milk smoothies alone. We have teeth for a reason and that reason is tacos. Here’s how to pack the most nutrition into this tasty Mexican staple.
GO FOR CORN TORTILLAS
They contain whole grains, which deliver extra fiber and even a bit of plant-based protein, says Tommy Rodgers, RD, a cycling coach and elite racer in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (the good kind), Rodgers says. You’ll get big doses of potassium and magnesium from them too—both of which you lose (along with sodium) when you sweat.
LOAD ’EM RIGHT
Next, jam those suckers with some sort of grilled protein like fish, chicken, or tofu. If you’ve hammered hard for a few hours, add rice and beans. “These provide additional fiber, protein, and carbohydrates,” Rodgers says.
There’s some evidence that capsaicin—the chemical in chilies that ignites our tongues—may lower blood cholesterol levels. Plus, “hot sauce adds a ton of flavor without a lot of excess calories,” Rodgers says.
GET SALTY SALSA-FY Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to disease prevention; and onions contain quercetin, a polyphenol that has been shown to help increase the body’s ability to use oxygen.
If you’ve ridden less than 30 minutes, you don’t need to worry about taking in extra salt (or tacos, for that matter). But if you rode for more than an hour, the salt in those tacos is going to help replace the sodium you sweated out.—AC Shilton
HOME OF THE FIVE MOST “TACO CRAZY” CITIES IN THE U.S. 1) ARLINGTON 2) FORT WORTH 3) AUSTIN* 4) DALLAS 5) SAN ANTONIO* *Also on our most recent list of America’s Best Bike Cities: #11 and #48, respectively
1947 YEAR THE HARD-SHELL TACO WAS INVENTED A
THE YEAR FRENCHMAN JEAN ROBIC WON THE TOUR DE FRANCE, BECOMING THE FIRST RIDER TO WIN WITHOUT EVER WEARING THE YELLOW JERSEY IN THE RACE
STRAVA SEGMENTS CONTAINING THE WORD “TACO”
NUMBER OF TACOS CONSUMED BY AMERICANS IN 2015 THAT’S 490,000 MILES OF TACOS, OR ROUGHLY 224 CIRCUITS OF THE 2016 TOUR DE FRANCE.
TH AT TACO GU Y! 64
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
“One Halloween, I dressed as a Korean BBQ taco for a local ’cross race,” says Christopher Lee, a photographer in New York City. “It seemed like the perfect way to represent my identity: My favorite foods are Korean and Mexican, plus I’m a Korean-American who was raised in Texas! I even got a special call up for my festivity and fusion of so many great things. Needless to say, I was hard to miss in the front row. To this day I still get, ‘Hey, you’re that taco guy!’ from random people. I ain’t mad at it.”—Becca Schepps
TIST NAME Photograph by W Y N N M Y E R S
hen an editor at BICYCLING asked me to argue the virtues of soft tortillas versus crispy taco shells, I just about choked on my barbacoa. Sure, you might find hard-shell tacos in an elementary school cafeteria, but never near the mouth of a true taco lover. The real debate, a centuries-old rift that divides families and can make taco aficionados redder than a bottle of Cholula, is corn versus flour tortillas. A rigorous poll we conducted on the topic received such comments as, “If you order al pastor tacos on flour, you’re dead to me.” Clearly, personal preference plays a role, but does one tortilla truly reign superior? To start, corn comes with history on its side. The Mesoamerican process of turning tough corn kernels into pliable tortilla dough dates back thousands of years. Today, in most of Mexico, a traditional taco still arrives on doubled-up corn tortillas. Flour tortillas, prevalent in northern Mexico and the American Southwest, came with the European introduction of wheat in the 1700s. But authenticity does not always equate to taste, and here opinions swing widely. Some claim the corn tortilla’s mild acidity heightens a taco’s flavor, while others argue for flour’s subtle sweetness, allowing the filling to shine through. As for texture and durability, flour undoubtedly makes for a tougher container. But if you find your corn tortillas falling apart, don’t blame the vessel—get a better tortilla maker. Nearly all foodies concur: The best tortillas come fresh and are made by hand. Corn tortillas contain less saturated fat and sodium and far more fiber and potassium, clearly making them a healthier choice. But when it comes to the blessed filled and folded tortilla, deliciousness should always rank first. In campaigning for flour or corn tortillas, people frequently cite the type of tortillas served by a beloved grandmother or the variety they downed at a taco spot with dear friends. The point is that we should not let the debate over corn versus flour tear us apart—but rather, like the opposing wings of a folded tortilla, allow our mutual love of tacos to bring us together. Even if that taco is, sigh, crispy.—I.D.
I W ENT TO JA IL OV ER TACOS “When I lived in Brooklyn, my biker gang and I were racing back from a ride for Papacito’s 2-for-1 Tacoand-Margarita Happy Hour,” says San Fransisco designer, Xander Bremer. “We had an unspoken rule that the first one to shower and get to Papacito’s wins. In the car, my bae was pumped for us to be first, and urged me to drive faster. In my haste, I accidentally cut off a cop car. When the officer checked my license, he discovered I had an unpaid traffic ticket. Long story short, while my friends feasted on tacos and margaritas, I was fingerprinted at the precinct. Moral: Beware taco mania, don’t cut off cops, and pay your tickets.”—B.S.
TH AT ONE TIME AT TACO BELL “After getting locked out of our host housing following a bike race,” says Phil Wikoff, an application scientist in Asheville, North Carolina, “a single $20 bill fed me and three other hungry racers at Taco Bell with a couple of tacos left over.”—I.D.
JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
SALSA DE MOLCAJETE
MANY TACO PURVEYORS CLOSELY GUARD THE INGREDIENTS IN THEIR UNIQUE BLENDS, AND AT THE MOST AUTHENTIC ESTABLISHMENTS, SALSAS OFTEN LACK IDENTIFYING SIGNS OR EVEN PROPER NAMES. HOWEVER, NEARLY EVERY SALSA BAR FEATURES AN ARRAY OF THE USUAL SUSPECTS. HERE’S YOUR GUIDE.
Tomatoes and chilies blackened over an open flame, then ground in a stone bowl called a molcajete HEAT Mild to medium (more smoky than spicy) PAIRS WELL WITH A warm corn tortilla, slathered in butter; or carnitas (braised pork) AS A RIDE A midride nap in a sun-soaked field
A thick and creamy sauce made by emulsifying cooked jalapeños and spices with oil HEAT Hot, hot, hot (also, usually very hot) PAIRS WELL WITH Anything and everything AS A RIDE Racing up a steep hill, then enjoying the dizzying view
CHILE DE ARBOL SALSA FRESCA
A loose chop of uncooked tomatoes, onions, chilies, and cilantro, with lime juice and vinegar HEAT Generally mild, depending on chilies content PAIRS WELL WITH Grilled meats, or combined with other salsas AS A RIDE The smell of the open road right after a rainstorm
A thin sauce made with chile de arbol peppers; often orange hued with red flecks of dried peppers HEAT Medium to scorching hot—tread lightly PAIRS WELL WITH
Any grilled or braised meat taco or otherwise absorptive dish AS A RIDE Rolling hills, as far as you can see
One of the most common salsas in central Mexico; most often a thick blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeños HEAT Medium to hot; can vary with the individual heat of the jalapeños PAIRS WELL WITH Breakfast tacos. AS A RIDE Walking in the front door, exhausted; you’re home
TACOS M A DE ME HUM A N
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Tomatillos blended with onion, garlic, cilantro, and chilies (usually serrano, jalapeño, poblano) HEAT Mild to medium; if you fear spiciness, try this one first PAIRS WELL WITH Tortilla chips, or pollo asada (roasted chicken) tacos AS A RIDE
An easy spin alongside good friends—I.D.
“One winter night after work about six years ago, when I was a bike messenger, a fellow courier and I met up at a tiny taco place on 1st Avenue and Saint Marks in New York City,” says cyclocross and mountain bike racer, Dan Chabanov. “We were soaking wet and freezing; our entire bodies, not just our fingers, were shriveled like prunes. The tacos were warm and made us feel human before the ride home.”—B.S.
TACO In parts of the country blessed with a deep taco culture—Texas and Southern California, for example—it’s not uncommon to see a foil-wrapped tortilla poking out from a cyclist’s jersey pocket. No doubt, a midride taco can nourish both body and soul. But how do you turn the inherently nonportable taco into a source of on-the-bike fuel without it coming undone? We asked professional chef and bike racer Lori Bergeron. She knows what’s what when it comes to riding for food because she is also a member of the Austin-based cycling club Team Snacks, pictured on these pages. Her advice: Make it breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and melted cheese will hold together better than chunks of meat dripping with sauce.
Pro tip: Breakfast tastes good all day. Double up. Make each taco with two tortillas for extra durability. Frying them lightly in oil or
bacon fat also helps. Roll and twist. Roll the taco in foil, then twist the top of the package for easy access. Place in your
A LL . THE. TACOS.
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
jersey pocket so it’s slightly visible. Induce extreme taco envy. To eat. Grab the twisted section and peel the foil in a spiral.—I.D.
1. PLACE TACO ON A 10X10-INCH FOIL SQUARE.
2. FOLD ONE EDGE OF FOIL OVER TACO.
3. FOLD BOTTOM OF FOIL UP.
4. ROLL REMAINING FOIL AROUND TACO. TWIST THE TOP.
FIND BERGERON’S RECIPE FOR THE ULTIMATE JERSEY POCKET TACO AT BICYCLING.COM/JERSEYTACO.
“After a hill climb bike race, my husband and I made our way to Sonterra in Colorado Springs, and I ordered two entrées’ worth of tacos, three beef and three fish, plus sides,” says Suzanne Crespo, an attorney in Colorado Springs. “I’m not a large person, and the server looked at me perplexed and said, ‘Uh, do you also want the rice and beans with both orders?’ I considered it for less than a second and declared, ‘Yes! I will eat it all.’”—B.S.
Photograph by W Y N N M Y E R S
HEADS UP: you just nailed 46MPH
Varia Vision™ puts the stats you want where you want them — in your line of sight1. So you never lose focus if you’re trying to hit your targets for a workout or stay aware of cars bearing down on your backside.
Check out our line of cycling awareness products at Garmin.com/edge
1 When paired with compatible device; see Garmin.com/VariaVisionDevices For situational awareness only. Users should view data on the display at a glance only and should always focus on surroundings.
©2016 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries
The Greatest Bad Idea Two riders + one camper + 100-plus races = the ultimate cycling road trip BY A NNE-M A RIJE ROOK
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
LAST MARCH, Steve M. Cullen and Beth Everhart quit their jobs, sold their Seattle home, bought a camper, and headed east. Their plan: to document the history and culture of American criterium races—by competing in more than 100 events between the two of them. The project, which the couple called Fasturdays, “started because we read a ton of sports and adventure books,” says Cullen, 40, a graphic designer and Category 2 racer. Unable to find much information on US crit racing history, the couple began researching the sport on their own in early 2014. “Criterium racing in the United States is setting a global standard for fast technical racing,” says Cullen. “There’s a passage in Team 7-Eleven about the riders riding all day, partying with the local kids, smashing Photography by H E AT H E R M C G R AT H
the crits, and looking good doing it. It’s mesmerizing.” By June, Cullen had put together a map of races around North America, from Speed Week in Georgia, to Superweek in British Columbia, and a road trip was in the works. “This map symbolized all those romantic ideals of the adventure stories I’d spent a lifetime reading,” he says. “Epic quests to find hidden passes, chart blank spaces on the globe, [explore] foreign cultures, or learn secret trades. All that swashbuckling kung fu shit.”
What sounds romantic on paper turned into the most physically and emotionally demanding seven months of their lives. At the start, Everhart, a 37-yearold account marketing manager, was a newly upgraded Cat 3 racer with only four criteriums under her belt. Cullen became intimately acquainted with first-aid staff across the nation, tallying upwards of nine serious crashes that resulted in three broken fingers, two fractured wrists, and more than two dozen stitches. But by the end of the summer, they’d
posted impressive results (Everhart is now a Cat 2), visited 43 states, and collected enough stories to fill a book, which is due out this year. “Criteriums show American life at its best,” says Cullen. “The events are held in the heart of interesting neighborhoods in small towns and cities alike. What’s on display? Fearlessness, speed, tactical savvy, raw horsepower— up close, in your face, in a very human way—the bravado and risk taking and can-do effort that is so very American.”
CRIT-RACING REVELATIONS STAY SMOOTH Tensing up, looking behind you, or hitting the brakes will increase your odds of going down, says Everhart. “Practice calm in the race. It’s a skill.” SPRINT SMART “The sprint is mostly decided by the positioning battle beforehand,” she says. “If you can get into the last turn near the front, you are going to sprint well. It takes a lot of eﬀort. You sprint with whatever is left in your legs.” POWER DOWN “We have a saying: ‘A warrior’s calm is the source of his fury,’” says Cullen. After a race, do 10 minutes of deep breathing with your eyes closed, lying on the ﬂoor. “It resets the body and kick-starts deeper recovery.”
Fa n Fav o r i t e Last year, the Tour of Utah saw close to 400,000 spectators, had over 21 hours of National TV coverage and was followed in 139 countries. It’s easy to become a fan when you’re watching
America’s Toughest Stage Race.
JUST GET OUT THERE AND SMASH THE COMPETITION. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME!
Preach, Jensie! JENS TALKS BREAKAWAYS AT BICYCLING.COM/JENSATTACKS.
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
“Shut up, legs!” sent Jens Voigt’s fandom to historic levels, but the retired professional cyclist’s way with words extends far beyond his famous phrase. Here are nine more pieces of timeless wisdom, from his new book.
Photograph by G R U B E R I M A G E S
Chebacco Parish is right in our Boston backyard. It’s where we ride back in time on craggy roads, muddy paths and rutted trails. The Parlee Chebacco lets you have more fun in more places. Gravel, dirt, backroads or city streets, Chebacco turns the rough stuff into ripping adventures. Discover the thrilling Chebacco at parleecycles.com.
“Whatever makes the race wet and sticky is good for me!”
“I would love to be a sprinter… one of those guys who can just sit in the pack all day long adjusting the gel in his hair! I’ve got to do it the other way, the hard way.”
“I’m sort of like a rock in the ocean. The waves are crashing against me, but I just stand there.”
“If I’m hurting, the others must be hurting twice as much.”
“I probably missed some opportunities to make more money. But those opportunities generally bring more stress, which I’ve always tried to avoid.” “ TH E FR E N C H J U ST S E E M TO H AV E TH I S A M A Z I N G D I S R E G A R D FO R PA S TA ! ”
“I DON’T CRY FOR VICTORIES. BUT I DO CRY WHEN EACH KID ARRIVES.”
LEARN MORE FROM JENS IN SHUT UP LEGS: MY WILD RIDE ON AND OFF THE BIKE (WITH JAMES STARTT, RODALE, MAY 2016)
All roads lead to Chebacco.
“PEOPLE SEE WHAT THEY GET WITH ME, AND THEY GET WHAT THEY SEE.”
LET YOUR RIDE DO THE TALKING.
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BEST ROAD BIKES OF
Photography by @ B I C Y C L I N G D E S I G N
JUNE 2016 • BICYCLING.COM
It started with 110 of the most intriguing, fun, fast (and fastand fun-looking) bikes we’d ridden, reviewed, studied, or dreamed about. Then our test team handpicked 42 promising finalists. And we rode the hell out of them backto-back in Tucson, Arizona: hammering (and tootling) up shut-yourbrain-off climbs, screaming down snaking mountain descents, jamming over swoopy rollers, and hanging on through teeth-chattering dirt washboards. At the end of it all, we chose 21 bikes that are so rad, we guarantee they’ll change your life if you buy one. — bicycling staff
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
SPECIALIZED S-WORKS AMIRA PRICE $8,000 WEIGHT 14.6 LB (54CM)
The Amira was the bike I chose for my first 90-mile group ride of the year. It’s the bike I know will never leave me wanting more on any ride, the bike I could never blame for letting me fall off the back. The bike that makes an hour-long climb feel easy after 75 miles of fighting headwinds— shoutout to the mid-compact (52/36) gearing and 11-28 cassette!—gloria liu
*ACCORDING TO THE EXPERT OPINION OF BICYCLING ART DIRECTOR, COLIN MCSHERRY, BLURPLE IS “THE RADDEST STOCK COLOR YOU CAN BUY.”
f a mysterious s t r a n g e r s ud denly handed me $8,000, I might immediately blow it on this bike—high-interest student loans be damned. Fast, light, responsive, and the whole frame is a #noflexzone. Climbing Mount Lemmon, this bike would have disappeared beneath me if it weren’t for other riders cruising up next to me to compliment the blurple* paint job. Say what you want, but a bike’s appearance matters, and this one is a head-turner. I’m fully committed to sparkle motion now. —Caitlin Giddings
MVP (MOST VALUABLE PARTS) The 24mm-wide Specialized Turbo Cotton tire is made of the same supple casing material as a tubular, but offers the convenience of a clincher.
XC IS DEAD LONG LIVE
Today’s XC courses are way more intense and way more technical. They’re the kind of courses that don’t require a bike, they require a weapon. A weapon that’s still ultra-light for climbing and insanely stif for acceleration. But designed for more X.
FOCUS IZALCO MAX ULTEGRA PRICE $4,000 WEIGHT 15.6 LB (54CM)
knew the Izalco Max would fly—practically every bike that weighs this little does. I also expected it to be either a jackhammer or a noodle (like practically every bike that weighs this little). But the ride is shockingly pleasing— stable, cohesive, and comfortable. On porous roads, the frame seems to damp the worst vibrations and keep the bar from buzzing, an accomplishment that’s rare on a bike this light. I’m not sure how Focus did it, but the Izalco has one of the greatest comfort-to-weight ratios of any bike I’ve ridden. The bike felt best climbing, when its low weight allowed me to spin a slightly harder gear than normal. But it felt good when swerving along country roads, and when descending a steep hill, too.—Louis Mazzante 82
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
THIS BIKE IS SO FUN TO RIDE, I ALMOST DON’T WANT TO SHARE THE NEWS WITH ANYONE. I WANT IT FOR MYSELF. “SMOOTH” IS THE DESCRIPTION THAT RAN THROUGH MY MIND MOST. IT IS SUPER STIFF, RESPONSIVE, AND LIGHT; IT MAKES CLIMBING FUN. REGARDLESS OF THE TERRAIN—CLEAN PAVEMENT, CRAGGY DIRT PITCHES, GRASS—IT ALWAYS FEELS BUTTERY.—LEAH FLICKINGER MVP • The DT Swiss R20 Dicut wheelset and Schwalbe Pro One 25mm tires are as tubeless-ready as it gets—just add sealant and go.
WHERE WILL YOU RIDE TODAY? Made for the roughest of roads, and the smoothest of climbs, the GTR TEAM DISC marries ideal endurance geometry with the power of hydraulic disc brakes. With room for 28mm tires and the famed ride feel found in all Wilier bicycles, all you have to decide is…where will you ride today?
follow @wiliertriestina on:
W I L I E R . C O M
FELT ZW3 DISC PRICE $3,399 WEIGHT 18.0 LB (47CM)
he ZW3 Disc helped me conquer unrelenting stretches of punchy climbs, and multiple off-road detours. It scampered up potholed gravel sections without skidding and held its line during impromptu ventures across unkempt grass. On crumbling sections of bike path, I was still aware of ripples and bumps, but I felt as though the bike was skimming across the surface. When I accelerated on hills, the frame, especially the rear end, responded directly and efficiently to each pedal stroke. I even set a Strava PR on my local “nemesis hill.” In the snow. From what I understand, there’s still some debate among cyclists as to whether disc brakes on road bikes should be a thing. WTF, people? They work so much better. At least these do. I was able to let go of the brakes more often, knowing that I’d be able to slow down quickly if I needed to. Technology that lets me go faster and be less of a wuss? Yes, please. —Emily Furia
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
MVP Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes are the best available for road bikes. Even the RS685 brakes on the Felt ZW3—which are one step down from the top-end R785s— provide not only solid stopping power, but also great modulation (the ability to measure out that power).
One word: Grace. “It’s really quiet,” said a friend when I rolled up on the ZW3 Disc. He was right. Even the Ultegra group barely whispers when it shifts. I especially appreciated the disc brakes when a steep, gravelly downhill ended abruptly at a stop sign. For the stopping power and peace of mind in packs and on descents, I would not have traded them for lighter rim brakes, even on one long, hard group ride when I would normally want every advantage. The stability is standout: So many times on fast sections I’d take a hand off the bar to drink or signal, and felt confident. If my best friend had $3,400 to spend on a road bike, and she wanted to be happy with it for years, I’d recommend this one.—Gloria Liu
TIME IZON PRICE $4,555 (FRAMESET) WEIGHT 15.7 LB (S)
Time is one of those bikes that only rides like itself, and the damping fork really does work—to the extent that I’d now recommend Time to an entirely different type of rider. One of the qualities that makes Time Time is a delicious edginess that makes the ride feel more exciting, demands your full engagement (and rewards it with performance), and gets you and the road nose-to-nose in either an ecstatic dance-off or a shouting match (I could never decide). I love and appreciate that kind of ride but it is not for everyone—and it isn’t even for me fulltime. The Aktiv fork gives the bike less sting and a little more fuzz. Bourbon instead of moonshine? Safety razor instead of straight razor? Something like that.—Bill Strickland 86
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Rolling out of my driveway, onto the cracked pavement of Marion that leads away into the hills to the north, the Izon (with the Aktiv fork) proved to be the most quiet bike I’d ever ridden. On this section of neglected road, other bikes—some that claim to be as plush as a Snuggie—sound like a middle school band warming up. Wheels pop across cracks, and chains bounce and jingle and slap on chainstays. On the Izon, I heard nothing except the pleasant hum of rubber on road.—louis mazzante MVP • The Izon comes with a standard fork or Time’s Aktiv fork (a $1,000 upgrade) which has a tuned mass damper, a resonant device inside the fork that reduces vibrations.
PHOTO: DEVICH // TEAM: UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING
RELIX / 205g
#maxxistires // maxxis.com
DOLOMITES / 185g
BIANCHI SPECIALISSIMA SUPER RECORD EPS COMPACT PRICE $14,000 WEIGHT 13.8 LB (53CM)
The best bike Bianchi has made in years. It will make believers out of anyone who hasn’t tossed a leg over a Bianchi in a while, or ever. —mike yozell
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
few hours before my first ride on the Bianchi, I watched Bill, who was describing it on live video, cup his hand so his thumb touched the gap between his middle and ring fingers, then raise it to his lips and kiss it the way some Italians do when talking romantically of a memorable glass of wine. Though I’m Italian by heritage, I don’t romanticize Italian cycling culture the way some do. I prefer Shimano to Campagnolo, carbon to steel, and don’t know much of Coppi or Gimondi. But damn, the Specialissima is sweeter than cannoli. From the first rise, the bike revealed itself as thrilling and trustworthy. It accelerated sharply, but it also did so smoothly, without the grumpy hiccups or rear-wheel skips you sometimes feel on overly rigid bikes as power travels through a less refined frame. Three pedal strokes—four tops—all made out of the saddle carried me over the first bump then into a sharp right. The bump bump as the road surface broke from tarmac to cement and back again, while I strained against the bar in attack position—I felt it all and also felt somewhat above it. One thousand meters of tricky road, handled with such wonderful nonchalance that my only concern was if I went fast enough. I rode hard and easy. I took corners aggressively and rolled through them upright and chatting. I tried to match an attack. And I generally loved every minute I spent on the Bianchi. It’s got everything I want a fast road bike to have: light weight, decisive handling that responded quickly and accurately to input, geometry made for sawing off corners, all with a spectacular balance that delivers just enough sensation from the road while shielding the rider from the worst of it. Is it worth $14,000? Is an $1,800 bottle of wine worth it? I’ll say it’s the best Bianchi I’ve ever ridden, and one of the best road bikes I’ve ever tried. But only you can justify the value of that rarefied performance.—Louis Mazzante
MVP • We love the performance, looks, and ergonomics of Campagnolo’s Super Record EPS group, and the new smartphone app makes updates and customization more user-friendly compared to other electronic groupsets.
PRICE $2,550, AS TESTED WEIGHT 24 LB (ONE SIZE)
The 16-inch wheels and all the joints may look intimidating and not totally trustworthy at first, but they are. Besides around town, we’ve taken Bromptons over cobbles, up steep hills, and down winding descents and they never feel unsafe or nervous. They’re responsive and nimble in corners and fly up climbs. A Brompton is also the ultimate excuse eliminator. Once you have one you can’t say “I don’t have room in my apartment for a bike,” or “I can’t take a bike into my office.” It fits just about anywhere—it’s even allowed as a carry-on for the overhead bin on a plane. And once you own one, you’re part of this crazy cool #BromptonMafia that is so passionate about these versatile commuters.—elspeth huyett
E T H T S E B STILL
We grant the privilege of returning to defend their titles to the most exceptional models from the previous Editors’ Choice test. Even compared against all the new bikes and new technologies we tried in the past year, these four retained their status as leaders in their class, or provided an inherent and unique ride nothing else matches. We awarded them repeat Editors’ Choice titles. We couldn’t not.
The PINARELLO DOGMA F8 remains among the best race bicycles ever made, with a timeless blend of stiffness, tech features like the asymmetric frame and aerodynamic shaping, stable handling, and an exotic look and pedigree that give this bike an unmatched X factor. PRICE $5,750 (FRAMESET), WEIGHT 15.6 LB (53CM)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
FOR MORE OF OUR IMPRESSIONS ON THESE REPEAT WINNERS, GO TO BICYCLING.COM.
©Tim De Waele
CAMPAGNOLO POTENZA 11: RIDE ANYTHING, RIDE ANYWHERE. POTENZA: (italian) noun – power, intensity, strength, the newest groupset in the Campagnolo Revolution 11+ family. Fantastic Campagnolo top range performance available to all with the added benefit of more versatile 11-32 gearing. With Potenza 11 no climb is too severe and no competition too fierce. Build the power, intensity and strength of Campagnolo on your next bike: ride Potenza 11!
STILL THE BEST
The SPECIALIZED S-WORKS TARMAC DISC Di2 has yet to be surpassed by any other model in its blend of speed, comfort, handling, parts, and ability to be a disc-brake bike that doesn’t constantly remind you it’s a discbrake bike with weight, noise, or a stilted ride. PRICE $9,250 WEIGHT 16.0 LB (54CM)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Maah Daah Hey Trail, near Medo ra
ACTION! Roller coaster whoop-de-dos. Corners to carve. Clip-in and bike up to 146 miles of family-friendly to challenging terrain on the Maah Daah Hey Trail in the beautiful Badlands. Itâ€™s where North Dakota native Josh Duhamel rolls off into the sunset. Visit us online to discover Joshâ€™s favorites and to find a great reason to saddle up.
STILL THE BEST
The COLNAGO C60 is like nothing else: a statement about the purity of vision and execution of one man. PRICE $5,996 (FRAMESET) WEIGHT 15.0 LB (50 SLOPING)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Flare R Designed for daylight visibility. Studies have shown that 80% of cycling accidents occur during daylight hours.1 Flare R is the first tail light engineered from the ground up to illuminate cyclists when the risk of an accident is most prevalent. Proven to be visible from up to 2km away day or night.
Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013: Main Results”, Department for Transport, 2014 “Collisions Involving Cyclists on Britain's Roads: Establishing the Causes”, TRL Report PPR 445, 2009
Learn more at bontrager.com
“THE COLNAGO C60 IS THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY BIKE HERE. THE SPECIALIZED S-WORKS TARMAC DISC IS THE BEST ALL-AROUND BIKE HERE. BUT THE GIANT DEFY 3— THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BIKE HERE.” — M AT T PH I L L I P S
The GIANT DEFY 3 is still the best proof that a great bike can be found at any price—and we don’t mean “it’s a great bike for the money.” We mean it’s a legitimately great bike that happens to cost less than $1,000. PRICE $920 WEIGHT 20.8 LB (M)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
STILL THE BEST
GRAVITY LINE WHEEL SECURITY WITH THE CONVENIENCE OF CARRYING ONLY ONE PRIMARY LOCK. NO SPECIAL TOOLS REQUIRED.
CARRY LESS. PROTECT MORE. KRYPTONITELOCK.COM
UNLOCKED UPSIDE DOWN
BREADWINNER LOLO PRICE $2,445 (FRAME WITH ENVE FORK) WEIGHT 17.7 LB (54CM)
This is a bike that adapts to its environment. Stiff in quick accelerations and sharp turns, soft enough to ride all day. —jesse southerl and 98
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Every year I come away from Editors’ Choice with a favorite bike. This time it is the Breadwinner. It’s not as stiff as many of the bikes we tested, yet it has plenty of get-up-and-go when called upon. Handling was a superb combination of a stable-feeling rear end and a front end that split the difference between modern responsiveness and old-school steadiness. The ride quality is where it really stands out: It dances across fresh chip seal, and rough corners seem to melt under the Lolo, letting it stay planted, predictable, and always fast. While I was riding the Breadwinner and for quite some time after, I felt an emotion that could be summed up in one simple word: happiness. Every bicycle takes me there, but none in recent memory did it as strongly as this one. The Lolo is every reason the next bike I buy will be steel.—ron koch
CAMARADERIE & SPIRIT OF AN EXTRAORDINARY
ADVENTURE FIND YOUR RIDE › BIKEMS.ORG THANK YOU TO OUR PREMIER NATIONAL SPONSORS
ONCE I FOUND OUT THE PRICE, I HIT THE YES BUZZER SO HARD IT GOT JAMMED. — C A ITLI N GIDDI NGS
he first time I set eyes on this bike, words that came to mind were: racer, fast, aero, pricey, pretty, light. Then we began testing it, and I was able to add to that list: versatile, amazing, stable, reliable, comfortable, pleasant, really freakin’ fun. I could also eliminate one word: pricey. I just assumed the Envie wouldn’t fit my needs as an average, everyday rider who’s not interested in racing. I was wrong. I cruised up Mt. Lemmon in pure comfort. I typically climb out of the saddle, but on the Envie I found myself seated most of the way up. On the long and winding descent back, the bike sliced through each twist and turn and zipped up and over short rises. I got passed by all sorts of cyclists while I was climbing Lemmon, but the one that sticks in my mind is the extremely fit woman who turned to me with a genuine smile and said, “Good morning. Pretty bike.” She was right about both. —Jennifer Sherry
T THIS MAY BE THE FASTEST-FEELING SUB-
LIV ENVIE ADVANCED 1 PRICE $2,600 WEIGHT 17.0 LB (M)
$3,000 BIKE I’VE RIDDEN—IT FEELS SPEEDIER THAN SOME BIKES ABOVE THAT PRICE POINT. BUT THAT WASN’T A SURPRISE. WHAT WAS: HOW EASY OF A BIKE IT WAS TO RIDE. IT FELT SO STABLE FOR SUCH AN AERO-LOOKING BIKE. BUY THIS BIKE, LOVE IT, RIDE THE HELL OUT OF IT, AND FEEL FAST AND CONFIDENT IN ANY SITUATION.—gloria liu
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
w/ Axial Clutch Technology™ • Precision set bearing preload • XD driver body compatible
depth external internal
ABLC™ SAWTOOTH™ Technology
SHOWSTOPPER™ Brake Technology
58mm 27.8mm 17.25mm
A DVA NCE D DE V E L OP ME N T DE F INE D. wheelset at our versatile (and popular) 58mm rim depth. This second of fering in the NSW Series provides improved braking per formance, exceptional aerodynamic ef ficiency, and unparalleled crosswind stabilit y. The 404 NSW also features our Cognition hubset with A xial Clutch technology. Learn more at zipp.com/NSW
Introducing the Zipp 404 NSW Carbon Clincher – our most technically advanced
MARIN GESTALT 2 PRICE $1,209 WEIGHT 21.7 LB (52CM)
knew of the Gestalt as a gravel/adventure bike, then I got out on it while chasing Yozell around as we tried to beat the sunset. What surprised me was how smooth it was, and how lively. This would be a great $1,200 road bike. But it has increased versatility, which you can decide to take advantage of or not. The 1x10 drivetrain is simple and quiet. This bike shows that the benefits of the adventure trend aren’t exclusive to high-end bikes or at a prohibitive sacrifice of on-road performance.—Matt Phillips
Wow—just wow. I rode it back-to-back with another $1,200, all-road bike, and the Gestalt was so much better, especially on broken pavement. A really great ride. And one of the best values I’ve seen in years. —mike yozell
On a dirt descent on Redington Road, I speedily picked my way down the best lines through loose pebbles, deep gravel, and rutted washouts, forgetting my tires had left the macadam.—jennifer sherry
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
TREK ÉMONDA ALR 6 PRICE $2,200 WEIGHT 16.4 LB (54CM)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
THE RIDE IS SMOOTH AND CIVILIZED—NOTHING HARSH ABOUT IT—AND THE BIKE IS NOTICEABLY LIGHT, TOO. IT MAKES CLIMBS FEEL PRETTY EASY, WITH LIVELY, QUICK ACCELERATION WHEN YOU’RE ASCENDING OUT OF THE SADDLE. IT’S ALSO STABLE, ESPECIALLY FOR A BIKE BILLED AS A RACE BIKE. IT’S ROCK-SOLID ON FAST DESCENTS AND GIVES THE SENSE OF BEING A LITTLE LONGER THAN IT REALLY IS, GIVING YOU EXTRA COMFORT IN A PACK.—gloria liu
grabbed the ALR to join a large group ride filled with top-end carbon bikes. The route was a mix of smooth roads, narrow bike paths, a slick grassy hill, a muddy trail, broken pavement, and plenty of climbs and descents. While I found myself often admiring the bike’s light weight and smooth and comfortable ride, and (especially) the pretty stripes painted on the inside of the fork, I never thought about the ALR’s price—something I usually do the minute I get on a test bike. Later, when I found out how little it costs, I was even more impressed. This aluminum bike, with an Ultegra drivetrain, is a kickass deal.—Jennifer Sherry MVP Value alert! The jump in price from Shimano’s mechanical Ultegra components to its top-of-the-line mechanical Dura-Ace group is big, while the difference in performance is almost imperceptible.
p: Mark Welsh
Ultimate integration. Designed to work as one, the Overtake helmet and PivLockâ„˘ Arena sport shields create a perfect system of fit and performance giving you the ultimate experience. The experience is everything.â„˘
SPECIALIZED DOLCE COMP EVO PRICE $2,100 WEIGHT 22.0 LB (52CM)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
enjoy riding road bikes on dirt but don’t ever really relax. I feel like I have to be hypervigilant about my lines to keep things from going pearshaped. But on the Dolce, I could just enjoy it. I could chat with Jen or Cait, or get lost in thought. When I relaxed a little too much, and suddenly found myself drifting through sand, the bike allowed me to save the ride without a second of doubt. But maybe most telling was this: As I was descending, I was thinking how much fun the Dolce would be to take on a bike path near my home that has sections of road, dirt, and cobbles. Cait was telling me about how she sometimes does the 140-mile round-trip ride to Philly in a weekend, carrying a change of clothes, and we agreed that this would be a great bike for it. I began piecing together other routes in my head, thinking about different places within riding distance of my home that I could visit on the Dolce. When you start planning adventures around a bike, you know the people making it are doing something right.—Emily Furia
When the dirt road turned downhill, I was reminded that an adventure bike is not just a road frame crammed with a fat set of tires and larded up with disc brakes. This bike was quick, allowing me to flick the rear end around at the last instant to avoid giant craters. It put me in a racy-feeling position, making it easy to hammer up a short rise or out of dodgy turns. The road was really rough sometimes, but this bike handled it all so well that I had to remind myself I wasn’t on a mountain bike. —gloria liu
MVP • The Dolce Comp Evo’s 48/32 subcompact crankset matched with a widerange 11-32 cassette makes it just a little easier to spin up dirt climbs, even with loaded bags.
THE ALL-NEW DOMANE
A MONUMENTAL A DVA NTAG E The all-new Domane is born of these historic roads and built to respectfully challenge them with three groundbreaking technologies that will irrevocably alter the time-honored battleground of the cobbled Classics: Front IsoSpeed, Adjustable Rear IsoSpeed, and IsoCore handlebar.
The cobblestones of our sport’s greatest races are the proving ground of the world’s best equipment and racers. These roads have conquered all. Until now. The all-new Domane is a revelation in technology in performance, bringing a new standard of comfort and ride quality to even the world’s roughest roads.
Great in a way that grabs you by the neck and shakes you. It is so quickly and overwhelmingly obvious that this is a spectacular bike. And man, when you get out and open it up—stunning, magical, thrilling, fast, surprising…pick any superlative. —matt phillips
W GIANT TCR ADVANCED SL 0 PRICE $9,000 WEIGHT 13.7 LB (M)
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
LIGHT. REALLY RESPONSIVE WHEN YOU JAM ON THE PEDALS. THE GEOMETRY IS AS CLOSE TO PERFECT AS YOU CAN GET. IT’S GOT A GREAT PARTS MIX. AND IT’S AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN THE BIANCHI SPECIALISSIMA AT $5,000 LESS. LESSER VERSIONS OF THIS BIKE, LIKE THE $5,900 SL 1, WOULD BE PRETTY INCREDIBLE TOO. WHAT REALLY GETS ME IS THAT THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A RACE BIKE. IT’S ALSO A GREAT, FUN BIKE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO RIDE FAST—SOLO, WITH A NUMBER PINNED ON, OR JUST WITH A GROUP.—joe lindsey
e’ve wanted to give this bike an Editors’ Choice award for years, and for years it kept just missing—unfairly so, I always thought. It’s an astonishingly finished bike—as if it’s been tested and retested and ridden and reridden and each time given a little more here and given away a little there, until finally we arrived at a bike that feels as if it were not so much aimed at some lofty marketing goal (“best bike in the world!!!”) but instead was constructed methodically and in iterations, to simply make it better at discrete aspects of performance: stiffer and stiffer and stiffer but never too stiff. More responsive and more responsive and more responsive but never to the point of wild. Lighter and lighter but never so much it hurt any other characteristic. This feels, to me, like the most balanced of the ultra-high-performance race bikes.—Bill Strickland
THE ALL-NEW FOCUS SPINE The ideal bike for that post-work ride, exploring new trails, or setting out across the Alps on an adventure? Whatever the purpose, this 27.5â€? trail bike with 120 mm efective travel is the epitome of a smooth ride with more than enough playfulness to keep you on your toes. With supreme traction in the rear, the SPINE crests summits like a pro, while ofering a generous helping of fun on technical descents. The lightweight full-carbon version of the frame, weighing just 1,950 grams, is aggressive and speed-oriented, making it ideal for long rides across diverse terrains. With four diferent models hitting your local FOCUS retailer later this year, this is a bike created to suit any rider.
www.focus-bikes.com // facebook/focus.bikes
MOOTS VAMOOTS RSL PRICE $11,540, AS TESTED WEIGHT 16.0 LB (54CM)
he RSL is all the good stuff you’ve ever heard about titanium frames: It’s supple, it’s lively, it floats up climbs and flows down descents. The handling is neutral, almost vanilla but slightly to the stable side—just where I like it for my fast, homestate Colorado mountain descents. The frame stiffness when climbing out of the saddle and cornering is great—not equal to the best carbon bikes, but much greater than you’d expect—and the bike remains smooth. It’s totally raceable, and great for casual weekend rides too. Plus, it’s beautifully made. I love the etched and engraved finish: the perfect tough and long-lasting graphic treatment for a tough and long-lasting material.—Matt Phillips
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
THIS BIKE REMINDED ME OF ONE OF THE SMARTEST THINGS I’VE EVER HEARD ABOUT BICYCLE DESIGN: IT’S ABOUT GETTING THE RIDER IN THE RIGHT PLACE BETWEEN THE WHEELS. IT HAD THAT MYSTERIOUS IF NOT MAGICAL COMBINATION THAT LET ME SIT IN THE BIKE INSTEAD OF ON IT, THAT REMOVED THE DIVIDE BETWEEN MY ASK AND THE BIKE’S ANSWER (AND THE BIKE’S ASKS AND MY ANSWERS, TOO).—BILL STRICKLAND MVP • Our Vamoots RSL was built with SRAM’s wireless eTap group, which made it one of the cleanest bikes we’ve ever seen (our frame was custom built with no stops for shift cable routing).
TREK MADONE 9.9 PRICE $12,000, AS TESTED WEIGHT 16.1 LB (54CM)
o me, the new Madone represents the furthest-yet evolution of one very slender branch of the cycling tree: the full-on race bike. It’s also one of the best representations we have for the ever-building trend of parts integration. Aerodynamics matter more than weight on almost all courses, yet even when grams matter the most to pro racers—climbing stages—the Madone was light enough to entice Trek Factory team riders to sometimes choose it over the company’s superlight ascender, the Émonda SLR. For many consumers, the much-cheaper 9.2 is understandably tempting. But if you’re devoted to racing and can afford to show up on a $12,000 bike, this is the one.—Joe Lindsey
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
One of my favorite bikes of 2015. An exceptional ride quality with all the speed to match its looks. Fast, stable, and amazingly fun. Braking was also excellent (which isn’t always the case with aero bikes). —colin mcsherry
SPORTS BRA AND TIGHTS TEST
#14 Ultra-stretchy. Ultra-sexy. Ultra-comfy. Perfect for tough workouts like climbing the Empire State Building.
SHINOLA WOMEN’S RUNWELL PRICE $2,950 WEIGHT 32.3 LB (S)
THIS BIKE IS BEAUTIFUL. I AM A SUCKER FOR PRETTY STEPTHROUGHS, AND I WANT TO PUT CASCADING FLOWERS IN THE FRONT RACK OF THIS ONE AND TAKE PICTURES OF IT EVERYWHERE. MADE BY WATERFORD PRECISION CYCLES, IN WISCONSIN, AND ASSEMBLED IN DETROIT—AWESOME.—taylor rojek
A new disc-brake bike can’t help stop muscle “burn”. But SportLegs® can. Faster-acting SportLegs Pronto primes your muscles to produce less lactic acid. Without sodium or painkillers. So you can ride faster, longer, with less pain.
Find yours at sportlegs.com, your local bike shop and these fine retailers:
MVP An 11-speed Shimano Alfine internally geared hub protects some of the moving parts against weather, is low maintenance, and helps keep your pants and boots grease-free.
Faster-stopping bike, $$$$. Faster legs, $28.95. Upgrade wisely.
THE PRETTIEST TOWNIE EVER. IT MAKES ME WANT TO RIDE AROUND TOWN, EVEN TO PLACES THAT ARE WALKING DISTANCE. t first, the $3,000 price tag made me uneasy, in addition to a couple other practical considerations: The bike is a little heavy, so it can feel slow on hills. The front rack is shallow. (You have to strap most things down to keep them secure.) Then I rode it one afternoon
when I was in the middle of an existential crisis, super stressed and wondering what it was all about. I needed to get out for some fresh air, pedal, and just cheer myself up. The Runwell did that for me. It was the details but also how they came together: how the real-leather grips felt in my palm, the surprisingly sporty way this bike
takes a corner, the comfortable but still efficient riding position, and of course how pretty it is and how pretty it made me feel when I was riding it. I realized that if I owned this bike, I would ride it all the time and love it. The Runwell makes people happy. That’s what it’s about. —Gloria Liu
HANDCRAFTED IN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO
Find your ride at Moots.com
VAMOOTS RSL pure road performance - stif tight handling-fast acceler smooth, balanced ride - titanium dur
Colin McSherr y
— ELSPETH H U Y ETT
Psychologically Dominant Stay loose, ride fast and overcome opponents Q: I was having cofee with a cycling pal the other day. I had just inished a race and was feeling down on my results. I’d been training my tail of and my itness level was very high. But when race day came for some reason I didn’t have that sharp edge necessary to dig in and bear down. I was tense and tight, I got crushed because of it.
So we were talking about it and the only conclusion I could come up with was a good old fashioned case of the nerves. You can train until you are blue in the face but you just can’t duplicate race day pressures when you are out there training by yourself or with your closest teammates. hat’s when my buddy told me about a ‘nootropic’ – or smart pill - he takes called Grey Matter that he said helps him feel calm and relaxed but also energized and focused.* He says it ‘smoothes out’ his brain waves allowing him to establish self conidence and learn both mental and physical skills faster.* He said he takes it mostly to combat the struggles of a high stress work environment and three little ones at home and that it gives him a strange, but awesome, ability to quickly and calmly absorb, organize and execute on any and all information provided or instructed to him.* He happened to have a bottle of Grey Matter on him and he gave me a capsule. It felt a little weird, him handing me this pill under the
table at a cofee shop. But I popped it and I have to admit it did smooth me out a bit.* It was like I walked around the rest of the day not angry about my race results but internally visualizing how my next race would go the way I wanted it to.* Is this all in my head? Have you heard of Grey Matter? Does this stuf work? A: Yes, I have heard of Grey Matter and it just so happens I take it regularly. Each and every ingredient it contains has the potential to do powerful and positive things to your overall mental state.* It’s no wonder your buddy is efortlessly executing tasks at home and at work. hat’s because he’s discovered the secret to positive vibes, clear headed thinking and zero stress whatsoever. Grey Matter’s unique formulation contains completely legal vitamin and nutritional supplement ingredients that are backed by science based evidence to help decrease stress, increase energy levels, and enhance mental cognition in terms of processing and reaction time.* If you are looking to target a goal with more mental intensity and less physical tightness then Grey Matter will deinitely help you out.* Grey Matter lets you mentally distance yourself from the stress that competition can
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
bring on.* It does this by helping you stay relaxed, yet energized, making it easier to control your thought processes in a more positive kind of way.* Cycling is a unique sport in that you don’t always see your competition coming (or going) or know exactly where they are or what their overall time is or what they are doing. hese types of unknown and constantly shiting strategic dynamics can put you in a sort of psychological stranglehold that has the potential to stile your performance and sufocate your conidence. Grey Matter helps combat these stresses by helping you ‘stay within yourself.’* It helps you control what you can control and not worry about the outside distractions.* Grey Matter is extremely afordable and highly efective. hey also have an iron clad money back guarantee on all unopened bottles. You can order by calling 855.594.4127 or visiting www.BuyGreyMatter.com. I usually get mine about a week ater ordering. Hope this helps! P.S. hey also have a product called Lurosil for knee discomfort and Corduzin for energy and stamina. Ask about them when you call or check out these sites too: www.Lurosil.com and www.Corduzin.com
or a bike that could potentially replace a car, or significantly reduce the amount you use one, the price is reasonable. The large panniers that come stock give you plenty of space to pack and haul several bags of groceries. There are also accessories available to transport up to two children—not many bikes allow this.—Jimmy Cavalieri
MVP • The centerstand is super easy to use, and it holds the Ute rock-steady even when its cargo is lopsided.
PRICE $1,399 WEIGHT 47.0 LB (M)
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Colin McSherr y
completely lit up the moment I got on the Kona Ute. The bike was incredibly fun to ride with no cargo. Then Taylor got on the back, and I huffed up a few steep hills. It was a strain, but the gear range was extensive: I kept rejoicing in the discovery of new, smaller gears as I cranked up to the top of the climb. Then we tore back down like a bobsled team, navigated a narrow winding bike trail together, and took the Ute through some gravel to an abandoned warehouse to do donuts around broken glass and other obstacles. Cargo bikes tend to be thought of as “work bikes,” but this one encapsulated the spirit of riding just for fun, and wandering around town to pick up groceries, shop, or accommodate an unexpected ride-along.—Caitlin Giddings
IT TOOK JUST A FEW SECONDS TO GET UP TO SPEED, IT CORNERED SURPRISINGLY WELL, AND WAS SOLID WHILE CLIMBING. I COULD MOVE AROUND A LOT WITHOUT THROWING THE BIKE OFF ITS LINE EVEN WHEN THE CARGO WAS UNEVENLY WEIGHTED. A QUICK YANK OF THE DISC BRAKES GOT IT TO STOP WHEN I ALMOST BLEW A STOP SIGN ON A DESCENT (BECAUSE I WAS LOOKING DOWN AT THE BIKE ADMIRING IT). I LIKED THE FENDERS, AND THE BAGS ARE REALLY NICE, OUT OF THE WAY OF THE WHEELS, WITH GOOD-SIZED POCKETS. I KEPT LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING ERRANDS.
PRICE $3,500 WEIGHT 42.0 LB (M)
MVP The integrated LED lighting on the controller does double-duty as a taillight—though one editor noted he usually added a blinky anyway—making the Porteur a go-to at our office when we forgot to bring lights for our own townies or got unexpectedly stuck working late.
The power-assist ramps up smoothly. When starting from a complete stop, some e-bikes lurch forward, but the Porteur gave me all the help I wanted, nothing extra. Yet when I rode it with the power off, it didn’t feel like a tank. Love all the beautiful and functional details— the belt drive, bamboo fenders, and front and rear lights. —emily furia
Made in America. Ridden Everywhere.
When I applied that first bit of pressure to the pedals and felt the little kick of the electric motor, I let out a loud, high-pitched, sustained “WHEE!” The zoom provided by the silent motor immediately turned my adult heart into that of an eight-year-old flying down a driveway. The entire ride I yammered on to the group about how I would never pedal for myself again and how they were suckers for not having a little electric helper. Eventually, the novelty wore off and my thoughts turned to how great this bike would be for any number of people. It’s a good choice for anyone, especially someone who doesn’t want to show up to the office a sweaty mess because of a few hills.—Tim Solliday
THE ASSIST ISN’T SUPERDRAMATIC. IT JUST MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE HAVING A REALLY GOOD DAY.
BIKE TO LIVE. LIVE TO BIKE.
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Wow Rides continued from p. 56
HOT LIST Must-Have Bikes & Gear colors: green grass on the mountainside to your right and bright pink, purple, and yellow wildﬂowers waving in the breeze. You probably won’t see another soul out there. Know Before You Go Don’t be fooled by the mileage and elevation numbers—this ride will take most of your day on account of the long hike-a-bike sections. Difficulty 7—gloria liu
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Don’t worry that the ﬁrst climb is called Puke Hill—it’s pure hyperbole. This alpine trail bumps along the peaks and saddles of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains with stunning views of Salt Lake City, golden aspens, meadows popping with wildﬂowers, and snowy peaks as far as you can see. The crest is challenging, and it’s advisable to walk some short sections, but many more segments ﬂow over deep-red dirt, weaving between cottonwoods and bursting onto dramatic ridges 10,000 feet high. And the ﬁnal downhill is four miles of swoopy, swervy, blissfully fast fun. Know Before You Go You can do it as a loop, but it’s most enjoyable with a shuttle back to the trailhead atop Guardsman Pass Road. White Pine Touring oﬀers guided trips that start at $250. Difficulty 5—l.m.
Colorado National Monument Loop Grand Junction, Colorado At 33 miles, this national park route is packed with breathtaking views of sandstone and red rock carved into fantastical formations by centuries of wind and water. After the initial ascent of about 2,300 feet, the paved Rim Rock Drive follows the contours of the Uncompahgre Plateau. Highlights include two sandstone tunnels on the west side of the park and one on the east. Bring a camera because you’ll want to take advantage of the numerous pull-oﬀs that line cliﬀ edges revealing the expansive Grand Valley below. The loop is best ridden counterclockwise to take advantage of the ultrafun curvy eastern descent. Know Before You Go Entrance fee of $5. Park rules require cyclists to ride single ﬁle and have front and rear lights in the tunnels. Difficulty 7—ron koch
Chapada Diamantina National Park Mucugê, Brazil Constantly changing terrain—from slickrock to limestone to red clay to dark, loamy earth— makes it one of the most magical-looking places you’ll ever ride. Watch for wild horses and burros. Know Before You Go Tour company Terra Chapada runs seven-day mountain bike trips through the park ($669 and up). The location is home to Cachoeira da Fumaça, or “Smoke Falls”—named because the wind catches the falling water before it can complete the 112-story drop, creating a cloud of billowing mist. Difficulty 5 to 8—s.y.
The Science of Wheeeee! continued from p. 35
descent—your brain does a debriefing, transforming that previously challenging experience into your own personal new normal. The turn that was once so terrifying? It ain’t no big thing. Flow stokes progression. And since the primary demand for flow to occur is a balance of challenge versus ability, not only does your skill set improve after each flow experience, but you also continue to chase ever-increasing challenges.
The theory of flow suggests that extreme sports athletes like Tony Hawk, Brandon Semenuk, and Danny MacAskill, who typically are described by the media as adrenaline junkies, are more accurately flow junkies—the fix they’re looking for is not adrenaline, but actually that cocktail of norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, anandamide, and serotonin. In fact, too much adrenaline is counterproductive. “It causes anxiety,” says Sherlin. As we
near flow, the adrenal system starts pumping, raising levels of stress hormones like cortisol. “We are on high alert. But if we work ourselves up too much, we overwhelm our system,” he says. “Adrenaline fills the receptors so that the body can’t absorb these other neurochemicals [like dopamine and anandamide].” Once you get a big shot of adrenaline, you go from I got this to I need to get outta this! This is why it’s important for a situation to be challenging, but not too challenging.
W H Y IS FLOW STAT E E V EN A T HI NG? T HE
reason goes back to our predator days. “Our love of aerobic exercise is rooted in our ancestry,” says David Raichlen, PhD, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, where he primarily studies the evolution of physical activity. “There is good evidence that our evolutionary history included high levels of aerobic exercise, and that this is associated with the rewards that occur during it.” Raichlen’s research draws a link between heart rate and the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters like anandamide: It is most profound when we exercise in the range of 60 to 80 percent of our maximum heart rate. Going all-out in a sprint won’t produce these results, nor will taking a leisurely spin around the block. That “high,” says Raichlen, is most likely to happen when we’re engaged in what’s commonly called moderate exercise. This effort level is also referred to as tempo, or zone 3. It’s where many cyclists are probably happiest spinning along, much to the chagrin of most cycling coaches: It’s too hard for recovery, yet not hard enough to result in significant fitness gains. But from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Back when we were hunter-gatherers, those who could run longer ate better (and were more likely to pass their genes to future generations). Flow was how our bodies rewarded us for pursuing prey for hours, making us love the journey. We’d get little sips of dopamine to make us enjoy the run, anandamide to keep us sharp to opportunity, norepinephrine to keep us processing all the input at a superhuman rate, and endorphins to let us run through fatigue. And when we brought the beast down, we’d get a massive dump of dopamine to tell us, “You did good.” This is also why group rides often default into this demilitarized zone of training. For many of us, the greatest priority on a ride isn’t our fitness, it’s our sanity. Like those early hunter-gatherers, the pack is our community,
working together to track our next meal, running it down. And when we hit that town-line sprint, led out by our friends or foes, that victory harkens back thousands of years to the thrill we felt when we captured our quarry. The Lord of the Flies scream Hauswald let out at the finish of Dirty Kanza? “Honey, we eatin’ good tonight.”
joke that riding is their therapy. “Aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to bring people happiness,” he says. It’s why I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the bottom of the Bonette. Or why the first time I got to the bottom of Santa Cruz’s famed Emma McCrary Trail, I was so incapacitated by the awesomeness that all I could say to my buddy was, “Oh. My. God.” I couldn’t help it. We are evolutionarily wired to be rad.
BICYCLING (ISSN 0006-2073) Vol. 57 No. 5 is published 10 times a year (monthly except bimonthly in November/December and January/February) by Rodale Inc., 400 S. 10th St., Emmaus, PA 18098. Periodicals postage paid at Emmaus, PA 18049, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to BICYCLING, P.O. Box 26299, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-6299. In Canada: Postage paid at Gateway, Mississauga, Ontario; Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement Number 40063752. Return any address changes to BICYCLING, 2930 14th Ave., Markham, Ontario L3R 5Z8; GST #R122988611. Copyright by Rodale Inc., 2016. BICYCLING, incorporating Cyclist magazine, is published by Rodale Inc. Subscribers: If the postal authorities alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within 18 months.
THERE IS NO ROAD MAP TO REACHING FLOW
state. But the work of Csikszentmihalyi, Kotler, and other flow-state practitioners does leave some breadcrumbs to follow. As mentioned earlier, the key issue in flow is matching your skill set to the challenge, which floods the system with slightly more input than you can attend to consciously. “If you’re overprocessing, you have anxiety,” says Sherlin. “If you have only a couple of inputs, you can attend to them, but when you cross this threshold from demand of input, you hit a nice sweet spot [where flow occurs].” Closely related, a central quality necessary for flow is novelty. When you do something so well memorized that it feels familiar to the point of being easy, it kills flow. You need an onslaught of stimuli to cause the prefrontal cortex to go offline. That’s part of the reason downhill mountain biking is a great generator of flow, says Kotler. “Moving in three dimensions is more novel than moving in two.” There are high speeds, sudden changes in elevation and direction, and more technical obstacles than the more two-dimensional nature of riding on a flat, paved road. To achieve flow, you must also meet two other conditions, according to Csikszentmihalyi. You need a clearly defined set of goals and rules to give you a sense of progress and structure—like the finish line of a race or the bottom of a long mountain descent. You also must have clear and immediate feedback so that you can tell if you’re meeting the challenge—which results in that crucial dollop of dopamine. Flow rewards good work, but you have to know your work is good.
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MOST C YCLISTS A R E FLOW FA NAT ICS TO
some degree. Every time we do a mountain bike ride and think, “I’m going to rail that berm just a little faster this time,” or salivate at the prospect of a long and technical descent on the road with other riders, it’s because we’re chasing that high. And repeated experiences with flow beget fulfillment unlike any other. Raichlen thinks riders are spot-on when they © Saris Cycling Group 2016
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CAROLINE GAYNOR 32, tandem pilot for visually impaired cyclists and triathletes CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
Arriving x 1 Flat 1
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1 High tech
1 x Glory2
Less x 1
Beer hops 1 Racing 1 x
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Heart x 1
x1 x Digital 1
x Style 1
New x 1
Spandex 1 x
East x 1
Camping 1 Be good 1 Coast 1 Dream 1 1 Sunrise x Low socks 1
x1 Hotel 1 x Do good 1 x Pedal5 x1 Plan 1 Sunset
x1 Tall socks6
1. I completed RAAM on a four-person team with three veterans in 2012, two essentially riding with one leg, as they’d both suﬀered combat injuries. I experienced some absolute zen moments climbing the mountains late at night. 2. Glory only appeals to me if it’s shared—everything I do is about helping someone else achieve their goals. 3. On a tandem, you’re never alone—not technically a pack, but I always have a riding buddy. 4. Miles is misleading. It depends on terrain, temperature, wind. 5. It’s all about putting in the work. 6. Socks are everything. That’s not even a question!
BICYCLING.COM • JUNE 2016
Photograph by J O D Y H O R T O N