Archive for May 2nd, 2021

PEZ Bookshelf: Bespoke: A Guide to Cycle-Speak & Saddle Slang

05/2/2021 12:07

For someone just coming into the world of cyclesports, the terminology, concepts and history can perhaps be baffling. How can you win the Tour de France without winning a single stage? Who was the Eagle of Toledo? What is the Cima Coppi? When you ride tempo up the Alpe and the elastic snaps, does the Man With the Hammer come? Thanks to a lovely little book by Tom Bromley, all will be made clear.


“Bespoke: A Guide to Cycle-Speak & Saddle Slang” is a valuable lexicon of terminology that is not only useful for the neophyte but entertaining for the aficionado or, if you prefer, true tifoso. Because cycling has been an international sport for more than a century, its terms come in a variety of languages—primarily French, Italian and Spanish—that non-native fans are happy to employ. As the back cover proclaims, “Bespoke” offers “170 of the most lyrical, outlandish and down-right humorous terms, complete with rich anecdotes, wry observations, as well as detailed usage and origin notes.”


For a small book of less than 200 pages, the author has included a remarkable amount of information. Fourteen chapters cover what actually happens in a race—look out for the loneliness of the Chasse Patate!–, to the different types of riders, how the pro season is arranged, prizes and the meaning of jerseys, and much else. The dark side is not overlooked as cheating has a long history and is an inescapable part of the lore of cycling and one can only be impressed by the inventiveness of those wanting to circumvent the rules.


While it is true that in other sports there are nicknames for notable participants, cycling has to boast the weirdest collection as journalists coined monikers that were meant to spice up the stories of epic suffering, valiant defeat and unparalleled (well, for that race anyway) triumph. The chapter on nicknames reminds us of how the Deathrider of Lichtervelde, the Pedaler of Charm, and the Squirrel of the Canals (!) all came by these names, and even mentions some that were self-applied—Il Pirata; the Shark of the Straits—but not the luckless Cobra. Could there have been a more appropriate nickname for Bernard Hinault than le Blaireau—the Badger? “When I am annoyed I go home, you don’t see me for a month. When I come out again, I win. You attack me; I get my claws out.” Nicknames are so prevalent in cycling (although, oddly, not so much for English-speaking riders) that several chapters could have been devoted to them.


The final chapter of the book covers “The Races of Races,” events that were even beyond the normal epic scope of pro bike races. The insanely difficult 1914 Giro d’Italia, Coppi vs. Bartali in the 1949 Tour de France, Beryl Burton’s smashing the 12 Hour time trial record in 1967, the frost-bitten 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and even the surprising last-minute result of the 2020 Tour.


Each of the individual terms, which are cross-referenced, follow a logical sequence. For example, the Queen Stage is given its alternate language name (Étape Reine/FR; Il Tappone/IT; Etapa Reina/SP), then a definition is provided: “The queen stage is the stage within a race that is generally considered to be the hardest and toughest. The origins of the name are a little unclear, though a comparison with chess, where the queen is the strongest piece, is not an unreasonable inference to make.” This is followed by a description of just such a brutal stage in the 2015 Vuelta.


There is much here to delight someone casually skimming the chapters, from etymology to history. While there are several vintage black-and-white photos to illustrate the book, what really makes it are are the wonderfully charming works of artist Neil Stevens, which head every chapter as single page illustration but also are sprinkled throughout, adding enormously to the overall good humour of “Bespoke.”


The bibliography is a useful one, including not only many recent books that we have reviewed here but includes a selection of good websites, with Pezcyclingnews amongst them, of course!


Published by The British Library in a quality little hardback edition, “Bespoke” would not only be welcomed by a reader new to the world of pro road racing but also as a handy reference to those who have loved the sport for years but are wanting to add to their knowledge of cycling lore. The author notes: “Cycling at its best offers fans something few other sports can match—rivalry, romance, stories, scenery—it has, to borrow the word for winning in style, panache.”


“Bespoke: A Guide to Cycle-Speak & Saddle Slang”
by Tom Bromley, with illustrations by Neil Stevens
192 pp., illus., hardbound
The British Library, London, 2021,
ISBN 978-1911162049
Indicated retail price: GBP 12.99

Available from AMAZON at:


The post PEZ Bookshelf: Bespoke: A Guide to Cycle-Speak & Saddle Slang appeared first on PezCycling News.

Categories:PezCycling News

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How Cycling Makes You Healthier and Happier

05/2/2021 12:07

For cyclists, riding a bike is the greatest workout and recreational activity you can ever engage in. If you ask any experienced cyclist, they will tell you how much they love cycling and how it has improved their lives. Cycling is a simple and effective way to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. Bikes can be used to get to work, school, and other destinations.

Riding a bike isn’t nearly as unpleasant as jogging or going to the gym for most people. This is because getting on a bike and going for a ride often requires dragging your feet which is not usually stressful after you have mastered it.

Cycling, as opposed to other types of exercise, can be more challenging and exciting. You can ride your bike for fun, but you can also compete in races and other cycling events. There are also a variety of cycling tools and gadgets available, such as power meters and heart-rate monitors, that can be used to track your progress and help you learn to become a better cyclist.

Riding a bike comes with a lot of mental and health benefits. Cycling is one of the healthiest physical activities you can do. It improves cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscles, lowering resting pulse, and lowering blood fat levels, just like any other aerobic exercise. The resistance factors associated with paddling also helps to strengthen joints, muscles, and bones.

Cycling improves your balance, agility, and posture as well. It is also an ideal physical activity for young children, adults, and people suffering from osteoarthritis because it places little or no adverse stress on the body.

Physical activity is needed to stay fit and healthy. Obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and arthritis are all illnesses that can be prevented with regular physical activity. One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of health problems associated with a lethargic lifestyle is to ride your bike regularly. Cycling will take you to mountains, valleys, hills, trees, rivers, and lakes, allowing you to see lots of amazing things in the world. Cycling is simple to incorporate into your daily routine. It’s safe for kids. It doesn’t pollute the environment and is accompanied by lots of excitement.

How Cycling Makes You Feel Healthier

It’s amazing how cycling can provide so many health benefits. Since it’s a form of exercise, it has been proven that it can be very effective if done regularly. Below are some ways in which cycling can make you feel healthier.


1. Cycling helps in managing weight

Managing Weight
Managing Weight

Cycling is an aerobic workout that can help you burn calories and lose weight. Cycling increases your heart rate while also lowering your overall body mass.

Riding your bike will help you get rid of excess body fat when combined with a healthy diet. It is a low-impact aerobic exercise that is better on the joints than running and is often recommended for weight loss. It would interest you to know that most people find it easier to stick to a daily workout schedule because of the low-impact nature and slower speed.


2. Cycling is a stress reliever

Cycling has been linked to a better mood according to several studies. People with depression who were taking antidepressants were the subject of one report. Their levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, dropped after just 15 minutes of cycling. After their cycling session, the volunteers in the study indicated that their mood had improved. This demonstrates the value of cycling to us.

One of the things you can do if you are too tired is to engage yourself in cycling. Even a few minutes of physical activity will serve as an important wake-up call. 


3. Cycling will help you get a better night’s sleep

Happy Sleeping

Daily intense sleep is important for satisfaction and quality of life. According to studies, 20-30 minutes of exercise a day helps people with insomnia fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Exercising outside exposes people to sunlight, which may help them re-establish their circadian rhythm. Cycling regularly can help you synchronize your circadian rhythm and minimize stress hormone levels, which can make getting proper intense sleep difficult.


4. Cycling helps improve your memory

A 30-minute bike ride has been shown to enhance memory, thinking, and planning according to studies. The time you spend pedaling your bicycle pumps more blood into your body, providing more oxygen and nutrients to your brain and muscles.

Pedaling increases the firing of the nerve cells and the production of proteins that aid in the development of new brain cells. This has the potential to double or triple the output of neurons, which are the building blocks of the brain. The exercise also releases neurotransmitters, allowing all of your cells to interact more effectively, thereby improving brain function.


5. Cycling Improves Coordination, Balance, and Posture

Improves Balance
Improves Balance and Posture

You can strengthen your overall balance, coordination, and posture by stabilizing your body and keeping your bike upright. Balance deteriorates with age and inactivity, so it’s important to maintain it.

Improved balance aids in the avoidance of falls and injuries, which can put you on the sidelines as you recover. Just so you know, as you are cycling regularly, you are also improving your body coordination, balance, and posture.


6. Cycling Can Help Cancer patients

If you have cancer or you are recovering from cancer, cycling is an excellent addition to your treatment plan. Cycling may help you stay healthy, which can lower the risk of some cancers, such as breast cancer. Staying active if you have breast cancer, according to studies, will help you minimize the side effects of cancer treatment, such as fatigue, and also increase your overall quality of life.


7. Cycling helps lower the risk of having Cardiovascular Disease

Cycling regularly strengthens and activates the pulse, lungs, and circulation, thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. These diseases include stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Cycling improves heart muscle strength, decreases resting pulse, and lowers blood fat levels.

Cycling commuters are often exposed to two to three times less noise than car commuters, which means their lung capacity is enhanced.


8. Cycling improves your sex life

Sexual Life

Most of us understand that sex is beneficial, but not everyone understands that it is also beneficial to your overall health. In reality, regular sex can help you live longer. Cycling will help you have a better sex life because it develops some very essential muscle groups in your body.

Just to let you know, these muscles are needed for better intercourse. The more these muscles are formed, the better and longer the duration of the intercourse

9. Cycling helps in strengthening your immune system

Cycling has been shown to have significant benefits for the health of the upper respiratory tract, reducing the incidence of the common cold. Cycling on most days of the week will reduce sick days by around 40% while still providing a plethora of other exercise-related health benefits.


10. Cycling Helps in Controlling Diabetes

Poor circulation of the blood in the lower body is common in people with Type II diabetes, which can lead to swollen feet. Cycling is a perfect way to improve blood flow from the lower body, which helps to reduce swelling and foot pain. Cycling can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar because it uses up glucose in their muscle cells.

Read Also: Cycling Doesn’t Just Make You Healthier, It Makes You Smarter too!


How Cycling Makes You Feel Happier

Side Stretch Female Cyclist

Cycling is a lot of fun. Nothing beats getting on your bike and going for a ride to raise your spirits. You might be wondering what makes cycling have such an effect on people. The response is very easy. Cycling is a form of exercise. Physical exercise influences the release and uptake of chemicals in your brain that make you feel healthy. Exercise lowers stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol while increasing the production of endorphins (also known as happy hormones) in the body.

Staying healthy also lowers the risk of depression and decreases depressed mood, as well as short- and long-term anxiety feelings. Many people find that going for a bike ride provides them with relief from their daily pressures and anxieties. Cycling requires you to focus on navigating the road and jostling for space while avoiding other road users.

You don’t have time to think about the problems or concerns because you need to concentrate on staying healthy while riding. The physical and emotional effort in cycling helps relax and calm the mind and body by the end of the ride.

By engaging yourself in cycling, you tend to be smarter as you continue because everything about you is improving. Research has found that people who engage themselves in cycling tend to be more decisive in their approach to any situation because of their cycling experiences. When you notice that you are getting smarter from the exercise you are into, you tend to derive fun from it because it has become part of your daily routine.

Cycling is a very social sport. Joining a cycling club or community is a great way to expand your social network, and if you’re new to biking, you will likely find all the maintenance and fitness and maintenance tips you need there as well. It also allows you to spend more time with your partner. It doesn’t matter if your paces aren’t exactly in accordance; just take it easy and enjoy each other’s company. Every week, several couples go on one or two riding dates. It makes sense because exercise releases happy hormones, so you will feel comfortable with each other after a trip.

Another reason why cycling makes you feel good is the idea that you’re protecting the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Now that you have known about the benefits of cycling, it’s up to you, to determine if cycling can become a daily part of your happiness routine. If you answered yes, here are some tips to help you get started;

1. Get a bike

If you are going to engage yourself in cycling, you will probably need a bike. And covering everything you need to know about choosing the right bike for you will require at least an entire post. Just keep in mind that you don’t need one with a thousand gears and all of the extras. Just make sure it’s well-made, suits you properly, and is designed for the type of riding you want to do.


2. Begin with the basics

As with any new fitness program or practice, it’s best to take things slowly at first. Also, stay on familiar roads that are close to your house. Soon enough, you will get used to it.


3. Make it a daily or weekly routine

Just like any new fitness program or practice, making cycling a habit can greatly increase your chances of success. Ensure you make an effort to go out every day, and stick to a routine. But don’t be too strict. Remember to have a good time because the aim is to enjoy your cycling without any stress.


4. Follow the rules

Cycling should be pleasurable and stress-free, which is difficult to do when you’re constantly bombarded by blaring car horns and irate pedestrians. Following the laws of the road is the safest way to stop exhausting riding.


5. Don’t ride alone

There’s nothing like not knowing what you’re doing to take the fun out of riding. Fortunately, there are plenty of cyclists who will gladly assist you in discovering the joys of cycling. Join a local cycling club or form your riding party. Remember that cycling is a social activity, and being social is an important part of happiness, so share the happiness.

Cycling as Part of Daily Life

Road Bikes

In both the transportation and health sectors, cycling has played a huge role. Cycling was able to gain popularity in the health sector due to its potential to increase physical activity levels in both children and adults. It would interest you to know that cycling daily does more than make you healthier and happier; it also helps in making you look younger, even if you are getting older.

If you are new to cycling or you haven’t cycled in a while, the prospect of incorporating cycling into your daily routine may seem daunting. Cycling more, on the other hand, is quite simple – all you have to do is think ahead and strategize. Spending time in the saddle regularly will help you save money while also keeping you fit.

Here are a few ways to incorporate cycling into your daily routine:

Make plans for cycling

You don’t have to cycle every day if it seems too much to you at the early stages. Plan out your week to include as much cycling as you want. You also don’t have to ride the entire route. You can cycle as much as you want if you have the time.


Choose a safer route

Just because you drive on major highways doesn’t mean you have to cycle on them as well. You will feel much better while leaving in the morning if you can find a safer route for cycling.


Motivate yourself

Don’t tell yourself you can’t; instead, keep telling yourself you can. When you do, you will feel a lot better that way. Cycling has to do with determination and passion. Since it’s very easy to cycle, it shouldn’t be an issue for you.


Run errands on your bike

Another way to incorporate cycling into your lifestyle is to run errands on your bike. Get on your bike and ride to your local market or any other place and see the way it will become part of your daily routine.


Discover a new place

You might be wondering if you have to spend thousands of dollars to find peace and adventure. Well, that isn’t necessary. When you ride a trail, you will feel completely at ease. Cycling is the best way to discover new areas in the city. It guarantees that you get a first-hand experience without having to worry about finding a parking spot.

Final Thoughts

Cycling is a low-impact, safe, and enjoyable type of exercise for people of all ages. It encourages people to live healthier, happier, and smarter. Cyclists are more likely to be in shape and less likely to be overweight.

Daily cycling will help you build trust, get fit, and achieve your fitness goals, in addition to the physiological and emotional benefits. Cycling will help you forget about your problems, increase social interactions with other cyclists, and give you a sense of control over your life.

Cycling will help you avoid severe illnesses like stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. Cycling to the park, school, or work is a simple way to incorporate cycling into your everyday routine.

Just so you know, happiness does not come in an already made form. It stems from your own decisions, and keep in mind that you still can act. So go ahead and start cycling to become healthier and happier.

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Should You Get The New Apple TV 4K For Zwift?

05/2/2021 0:03

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The post Should You Get The New Apple TV 4K For Zwift? appeared first on SMART Bike Trainers.

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