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Alex Stieda’s “Secrets of the Road” — April Newsletter

April 29, 2006 – Getting ready for a ride can sound like a basic skill but it can have a profound effect on the outcome of a successful outing on your bike. Here are some tips to help you be a rider that someone can depend on to be prepared:

Your bike:

– Check the tire pressure once a week – manufacturer’s spec range are on the sidewall or you may have personal preference.
– In your spares bag: 2 spare tubes (that hold air!) with valve stems that are long enough for your rim type, tire levers, extra CO2 cartridges and CO2 tool, I.D. Card, Allen keys, spoke key that matches your wheels and $20 into your spare bag. Attach securely under your seat.
– Clip-on pump in addition to your CO2.
– A clean, properly lubed chain.
– If you are going on a longer, adventurous ride, it’s a good idea to tape spare spokes (correct lengths) to the seat stay (even if you don’t know how to install them, someone in the group will).

Fuel – For any ride over 1 hour bring:

– 2 water bottles (always use the energy mix that you are used to using).
– easy to digest food that you like to eat.

Clothing – Prepare for the worst — rain can make things rather nasty in a quick way:

– Wear layers — arm and leg warmers are great for Spring weather
– Vest or rain jacket is a must esp. if you are close to the mountains
– Long fingered gloves/goretex overmitts
– Light booties

Ride Plan:

– Plan a route that avoids traffic and/or uses bike lanes/pathways.
– Which way is the wind blowing? Generally, it’s good to ride out against the wind and (hopefully) come back with a tail wind!
– If you are riding with a group, be sure that everyone is on the same wavelength with respect to ride difficulty, speed and total time. You could agree to ride to a certain point, then split up for easier/more difficult return routes.
– I like to use the rule that if you can’t talk while you’re riding for at least the first half of the ride, then you’re riding too hard. Save the “˜hammer fest’ for the end of the ride or a climb

Registration Deadlines Approaching

Road Skills Camps
– Jasper, Alberta
– May 12-14
– 60% full

Banff, Alberta
– June 9-11
– CTAPP skills camp

Whistler, BC
– August 4-7

Cycling Enthusiast’s Dream Vacation and Gran Fondo 2006
– Bassano del Grappa, Italy
– August 27 – September 4
– 90% full — 2 seats left
Take advantage of your season’s fitness and ride in some of the most enjoyable cycling terrain that you could imagine. From beautiful, undulating rides to the legendary climbs of the Giro d’Italia, you are guaranteed to test yourself to your heart’s content. We’ll also ride on some Strada Bianca (Italian for “White Road”) which is a packed gravel road similar to the famous 2005 Giro D’Italia stage on Col de Finestre. Finish off the trip with an entry into the Gran Fondo Monte Grappa, a mass-start citizen’s event where you can choose between 2 riding distances.

More details on this vacation can be found at:

Tipico “˜Strada Bianca’ in the Dolomites

Tour de France 2006
– Alps to Paris: July15-24
– Full — Join us in 2007!
More details on this year’s vacation can be found at:


“You’ve got to take risks, and you’ve got to make hard decisions – even when you yourself are in doubt. It’s not failure, but the fear of failure that stops most people” Philip Anschutz — creator of the Tour of California www.amgentourofcalifornia.com

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