Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Related Regulations:

  • Bicyclists are drivers of vehicles – with roadway rights and duties (§ 20-4.01(49)).
  • Bicyclists cannot be cited for impeding traffic –non-motorized vehicles and inherently slow vehicle types are exempt from the impeding traffic law § 20-141
  • Riding side-by-side – NC state law provides no specific restrictions, but some city ordinances prohibit bicycling more than two abreast. Riding abreast means matching speed. Cyclists may pass each other when riding two abreast, as in a double pace line.
  • Bicyclists may use a full lane – NC Driver’s Handbook, p.77:

Cyclists obeying the same traffic laws as vehicles, have one-fifth the accident rate.
John Forester, “Effective Cycling”


Lane Control = Defensive Cycling

  • Assert control of the entire lane when it’s unsafe to pass within your lane.
  • If the lane is wide enough and staying to the right will help drivers pass safely, move to the right as a courtesy.
  • When stopping at intersections, always take control of the entire lane and do not pass stopped cars
  • Approach left turns from near the center of the road, approach right turns from near the right side, approach through movements from between these extremes. Use the correct lane if marked.

Group Composition

  • Limiting group size to 18-20 cyclists can be safer and reduce stress with drivers
  • Keep the group tight and compact in order to make it safer for cars to pass
  • Riding closely and two abreast improves inter-group communication
  • Riding two abreast is generally safer:
    • On narrower roads where it is unsafe for a car to pass in your lane
    • When there are two lanes in the same direction
    • When the group contains four or more cyclists
  • Riding single file is a helpful courtesy on busy two-lane roads with usable pavement that is wide enough to accommodate safe passing without changing lanes
    • Don’t string out and force cars to “hop” past individual cyclists

Be Predictable

  • Follow the rules as if you were driving a car
  • Always look behind you and signal intentions before moving left
  • Hold your line – don’t make sudden moves left and right
  • Use hand and vocal signals to show intent and call out hazards
  • Anticipate problems by looking up the road and listening behind you

Be Efficient – Your actions impact everyone behind you

  • Limit gaps in front of you
  • Each gap becomes magnified toward the rear
  • Repeatedly closing down these gaps burns unnecessary energy
  • Pedal smoothly and use gearing to maintain a continuous effort
  • Coast only on steep downhills or to stay behind the rider in front of you
  • Limit braking by:
    • Predicting speed decreases
    • Briefly sitting tall and wide to catch more wind
    • Soft pedaling on slower sections
  • The rider(s) in the front need to maintain a constant effort – the speed will vary
    • Limit coasting as it can bunch the riders behind you
    • Be aware of the capabilities of the weakest riders – especially uphill
    • When rotating to the front, pull through without picking up the pace
  • Drafting is the great equalizer
    • It makes it much easier to ride faster and/or for longer distances
    • Varying time at the front allows different caliber riders to stay together

Be Aware – Group norms are sometimes unique

  • The more established group rides tend to have a leader(s) who communicate the norms, set the pace and over time develop the group “story”
    • For example: “the ride may start slowly, attack the hill and regroup at a faster pace”
  • Strong leadership helps keep groups safe and the rides consistent and fun
    • Don’t be surprised by a friendly admonishment if you make a mistake
  • Group communication practices vary
  • Hand signals for turning and stopping vary from group to group
  • More experienced riders tend to use less vocal and more minimal hand signals
  • More Experienced Cyclists Have An Obligation To Teach and Lead

Be a good example – cyclists learn from tribal knowledge

  • Stronger does not necessarily equal a better cyclist
  • It takes about 50,000 miles to qualify as experienced
Learn to enjoy group riding, while raising funds for LLS!

Questions: Are you new to group riding?  Are you afraid to ride closely to other riders?  Do you find pack etiquette mystifying? Are you planning to ride your first large century ride this year?

Answers: Join us for a group cycling skills clinic and learn how enjoy the true pleasure of riding in a group with other cyclists.

When: March 4, 2012  (March 11th weather date)

Time: Noon to 3PM

Location: Thomas E. Brooks Park, 9008 Green Level Church Road, Cary, NC (near USA Baseball Complex)

Cost: $25 per person (The best part is that this is a fundraiser for LLS and your entry will be tax deductible.  Make checks payable to LLS.  Extra donatations are absolutely appreciated)

Registration: Please email to register.

Coach: Todd Spain is a 33 year cycling veteran, has organized and led hundreds of group rides, taught dozens of group cycling clinics, co-founded The Peloton Project to promote cycling safety and is the founder of the IOSDT triathlon team.

What Is Included:

  • Bike Equipment Evaluation
  • Bike Fit Assessment
  • Rules Of The Road
  • Hand and vocal signals
  • Cycling efficiently
  • Riding a straight line
  • Riding in close proximity to other riders
  • Braking, acceleration and cornering
  • Drafting
  • Paceline riding
  • Special group circumstances
  • Spatial awareness
  • Nuances of the pack

This three hour class will include about one hour of group discussion, one hour of skills practice and one hour of practicing together on the open road.

If you can’t make it, please consider a donation to LLS at Todd’s fundraising page.

Le Hilly An-Amháin
(A Very Hilly One)

A bit different that the one we did last April and about a mile longer! Cue sheets will be available.
Lystra, Bynum Ridge, Gum Springs, HWY 42 East, Ball Road

Date: Saturday June 11, 2011
(Move to Sunday if it’s raining on Saturday)
Time: 9 AM – Clip in and ready roll
Start: The Bicycle Chain in Apex
Distance: 102 miles
Pace: 17-18 MPH
Planned Store Stops @ 45 and 79 Miles

Route Details:
View the Route Map
Cue Sheet To Come…


Questions or to be added to the email list: Email


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The IOSDT Triathlon Team has added a new partner.

Team Members will now receive a very nice discount on custom orthotics from InMotion Orthotics.

  • Custom comfort/accomodative foot orthotics for running or cycling shoes – $100 – regularly $150
  • Custom functional/corrective foot orthotics for running or cycling shoes (requires an rx from a healthcare provider such as a PT, MD, or Chiropractor) – $150 – regularly $200
  • Get 2 pair of running (works in mtn biking shoes too) or 2 pair of cycling (road or tri shoes) orthotics – get an additional 25% off the 2nd pair.
  • Other services – replace the top cover of your existing orthotic – $20


Jeff Freer, C.Ped
InMotion Orthotics, Inc.

If you want to become a better triathlete or runner, you have to have a willingness to suffer. The word suffer does not need to have a negative connotation. Although the official definition is to undergo or feel pain or distress,  it can also mean allowing yourself to push beyond your comfort level. Our comfort level is just that – comfortable. It’s working hard, but not hurting too much. It’s breathing hard, but not uneasily so. Willing to suffer can help you break through those barriers.

But how do you do it?

Train yourself to suffer

You have to suffer in training. There is no way around it. We all have goals for the season (at least, I hope we all have goals for the season), and these goals need to be at the forefront of your mind when you need to make it hurt. Training with others can also help push you past places you haven’t been, or don’t usually go by yourself – the hurt locker.

Every training session should not be a suffer-fest. Key training sessions, breakthrough workouts, and workouts that your coach marks “Do not miss this one!” are the ones where you need to focus and be willing to suffer.

Growing up, there was a very well known high school running coach in my area. I remember reading an article about one of his best athletes who had just had an amazing race. When asked how she had such a breakthrough performance she said, “Coach told me I needed to run with PAT today. Pain, Agony and Torture.” Now that seems a bit extreme, but the idea of it has never left me. Be open and embrace the discomfort – yeah, okay PAT, I’m ready to run with you today.

Suffering takes experience

Experience is needed to know how and how much to suffer. Everyone’s perceived pain tolerance is different. I was once told that if something hurt, that was your body’s way of telling you to slow down. I was completely baffled by this idea – how will you ever make any athletic gains if you don’t ever allow your body to hurt? But my hurt and your hurt may be completely different. Training at different effort levels, at different paces and heart rate zones can all help us develop our own internal guide. All of this will help when you get to your races, but pure racing experience is tough to simulate. So get out there and sign up for some races!

Suffering in races

Suffering in racing can be easier for some folks, but here’s the thing – you can’t expect to show up to a race and put up with racing discomfort when you have never put yourself in that type of discomfort in your training. Magic doesn’t just ‘happen’ on race day. You wouldn’t show up to a race and expect to swim fast if you haven’t swum fast in training, right? Aha – caught some of you. It’s time to go throw in some really hard intervals on short rest in the pool! 😉

As mentioned above, every race does not need to be a suffer-fest. This can lead to burnout very quickly. That’s why it’s good to have ‘B’ and ‘C’ races where you may be dialing down the effort, working on something specific, or just not worrying about your finish and simply having fun. When you toe the line for your ‘A’ race, though, you’ll be ready to go to that proverbial well.

Check your ego

This is an interesting quote:  “Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily…” I can relate this quote to many aspects of training, but it also resonates with racing. Have you ever gotten close to the end of the race and seen another competitor up ahead? You can dig really deep and try and beat them to the line. It’s going to hurt and, and – gasp – what if you fail?! It would be so much easier to just sit back here in this comfortable position and finish. But, so what if you don’t catch them? You have shown yourself that you’re not done racing until you cross that line, no matter what the outcome may be.  And of all the outcomes that could happen…failing to try your best is definitely NOT going to be one of them.

Mental Tricks

There are many different ways to handle suffering other than just telling yourself to suck it up. If fact, telling yourself, “suck it up,” is so intangible it may not help at all.
Remove yourself from the situation. I don’t mean in a way that causes you to lose focus on the task at hand, but in a way that you can put some of the discomfort your feeling toward the back of your mind.

I remember reading that when Shalane Flanagan won the bronze medal in the 10K at the Beijing Olympics, she imagined she was doing one of her hard runs on the Tobacco Trail. There she was, vying for a medal in arguably one of the most important races of her life and she’s mentally putting herself on a trail where she knows she’s had fantastic runs and can stay relaxed, rather than getting wrapped up in the high pressure moment.

Focus on specific form cues. Having short mantras you can repeat can get your mind focused on something that will enhance your race, while also alleviating negative self talk. Here are couple of examples I will use. During the swim: “Reach…and pull” During the run: “Quick feet, elbows in.”

Develop some of your own form cues to concentrate on

Come up with small goals. Sometimes you may need to resort to bargaining with yourself: you can walk at the next aid station, or, run 3 more light poles, walk 1, run 3 more. These little goals can help break the race and/or training down into doable parts when you’re having a particularly rough time.

Draw confidence from some of your hard training sessions. “I got through that horrible bike workout where coach had me do multiple 20min rounds at Z4…I can get through this!” or “Remember those mile repeats you nailed? You were strong then and you can be strong now.”
Run with PAT.

Finally, I need to stress that when I’m talking about suffering and pain, I’m referring to workout discomfort, NOT injury pain. There is a big difference between pushing your body to make physical gains and knowing when to stop because you’re going to hurt yourself. As an endurance athlete it is extremely important to understand when to say when…and when to not say when. Sometimes this only comes through experience, but often times it comes from listening to your body and responding appropriately.

Coach Bri Gaal of One Step Beyond is certified with USA Triathlon and USA Track and Field.  She has suffered a lot over her athletic career, in a good way.

March Century Ride

Snow Camp Out & Back

This route uses most of the same roads as the 200K Brevet route out of Morrisville. We will ride out to Snow Camp and ride back along the same route. Advertised pace is 17-18. When we get to Snow Camp at 50 miles then we will figure out if anyone wants to go faster.

Date: Saturday March 19, 2011 (Move to Sunday if it’s raining on Saturday.)

Time: 9 AM – Clip in and ready roll

Start: The Bicycle Chain in Apex

Distance: 100 miles

Pace: 17-18 MPH Store Stops @ 50 and 87 Miles.

View the Route Map

Download Cue Sheet


Questions? Send email to and ask to be put on the mailing list for future ride announcements.

The North Carolina Bicycle Club and Friends have organized an informal New Years Day Ride.  Bring your friends and start off the 2011 season with a fabulous 50 mile loop out to Bonsal. Everyone is welcome.

Where: MacGregor Village in Cary (map)

Start Time: 10 am

Distance: 50 miles

Route: (map)

Pace: You and your buddies decide, but there will be enough riders to find the perfect pace for you

Weather: The ride will be canceled for rain or ice

February 12-13, 2011

Saturday- Sunday
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
5-10 USAT CEU Credit Course
Human Performance Consulting
Athletic Lab – Cary NC
1823 Northwest Maynard Rd Cary NC 27513
Minutes from Raleigh & Durham & RDU Airport

Saturday – February 12, 2011
Core Training for the Triathlon – Sage Rountree
Considerations for Coaching Youth Triathletes – Stacey Richardson
The High-Yield Minimalist: Lower-Volume High-Intensity Training – Eric Bean

Sunday February 13, 2010
Running for Triathletes – Andrew Allden
Swim Training for the Triathlon – Marty Gaal
Cycling’s “T’s”: Technique, Testing, Tempo, Threshold, & Time Trialing – Eric Bean

Registration fee:  $150.00 USAT Certified Coach; $100 for General Public (each day counts as one session) or $25.00 discount for USAT Coaches signing up for both sessions ($275.00)

Registration:  Register at
Or mail check:  Andrew Allden, 77 Lily McCoy Lane, Pittsboro NC 27312
Include Name, Address, Email, Home and Cell Phone and USAT # if applicable.
Questions? Contact: Andrew Allden,  919-619-3426 or visit Athletic Lab


ANDREW ALLDEN, M.Ed., is the head coach of endurance events for the Human Performance Consulting Elite Team.  He joined the HPC staff following a successful 20-year collegiate coaching career in track and cross country at the Division I level.  As a college coach, Allden served as the cross country and distance coach at the University of North Carolina, the University of South Carolina, and Tulane University.  He also served as head track and cross country coach at Tulane University and Coastal Carolina University. Allden has been a successful coach of elite runners for a number of years.  His current top charge is the #5 ranked 800m male in the U.S. (outdoor, 2009). Allden has coached athletes ranging from an Olympic 4 x 400 silver medal winner to a top-10 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials finisher. Road running athletes coached by Allden range from a state masters marathon record holder to an ultra marathon national champion.  Nationally known as a USATF Level I Coaching Educator for the endurance events, he has directed and instructed in 20 USATF Level I coaching schools in the past dozen years. As a cross-country coach he earned coach-of-the-year honors in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana. While at Coastal Carolina Allden was the Southeast Region coach of the year and a finalist for national coach of the year. Allden was the men’s distance coach for the U.S. men’s track and field team at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in 2004. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Allden directed the distance practice facility. Allden currently serves as men’s long distance running and coaching education chairman for NC USATF. A 1986 graduate of Emory University and he has a master’s in sport administration from the University of Georgia (1991).

ERIC BEAN, M.S., is a professional triathlete and the coach of the Fast Forward Triathlon Pro Development Team presented by Inside-Out Sports. Prior to founding FFT (a coaching service that mates Bean’s training system to local coaches who are themselves elite athletes) Bean was the head coach of the Stanford University Triathlon Team, the USAT Collegiate National Champion, and is frequently seen on the pro podium in ITU and Ironman racing. Bean’s breadth-upon-depth understanding of triathlon training is guided by his athletic background as an NCAA swimmer and runner, and masters national champion cyclist. A nerd at heart and proud of it, Eric holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering, an MS in Biomechanical Engineering, and is currently spreading his final year of medical school over two years to race Ironman Hawaii for the fifth time. Practicing what he preaches, he used his high-intensity, lower-volume approach to endurance training to race to an 8:29 Ironman personal best. After residency in anesthesiology he plans to unite his medical, athletic, and engineering interests with clinical practice in anesthesia, insightful sports physiology research, and coaching. He splits his residence between North Carolina and the Midwest. You can reach him at

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon coach who lives in Cary, North Carolina.   He and his wife Brianne coach triathletes through their company, One Step Beyond OSB Multisport.  Marty has been swimming in ocean competitions since 1986 and racing triathlon since 1989.  He is also the head coach of the TAC-OSB Masters swim team at the Curran Aquatic Center in Cary.  One Step Beyond recently produced the  Powerstroke®: Speed through force and form freestyle technique DVD, intended to help new to intermediate triathlon swimmers become faster and more powerful in the water.

STACEY RICHARDSON, is a professional triathlete and certified mulitsport coach. Her coaching certifications include:  USATF Level I, USA Cycling Level II with distinction, USAT Level I, and WSI Red Cross.  In the Triangle Stacey has been the event coach for the Carrboro Classic Duathlon for 2007 and 2008 as well as co-coach of the Fleet Feet Raleigh Marathon program.   She is also part of the TriangleMultisport coaching team that founded North Carolina’s first kids’ triathlon team in 2008 and continues to work with youth triathletes on a daily basis.   She is currently coaching both youth and adults.  Her coaching experience includes more than ten years of coaching kids in age-group swimming as well as three years of multisport kids’ coaching.   One of her specialties is youth athlete development and bringing skilled and balanced kids into the world of multisport training and competition.  With her guidance, two of her youth athletes took first and second in the female 15-16 age group this year in the NCTS.  Another stellar youth athlete achieved his personal goal of leaving kids’ tris completely and (at age 11) racing sprint triathlons against adults.   The ranks of her adult athletes, include two National Age Group Champions in 2010, and her top male athlete again won the NCTS State title for Open Men.

SAGE ROUNTREE, Ph.D., is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and USA Triathlon level 2 certified coach. She holds coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the Road Runners Club of America, as well. Rountree is author of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga (VeloPress, 2008) and The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga (VeloPress, 2009); creator of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga DVD (Endurance Films, 2008); and a contributor to USA Triathlon Life, Runner’s World, and Yoga Journal. She has competed for Team USA at the Short-Course World Triathlon Championships, run the Boston and New York Marathons, and completed Ironman Coeur d’Alene last year. She coaches athletes at all levels, including elites who have competed at the duathlon long- and short-course World Championships.  Rountree leads workshops, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and at ZAP Fitness, an elite training facility for post-collegiate runners. She trains, teaches, and coaches in Chapel Hill, NC.