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Techniques for Winter Riding

If you ride all year like a growing number of people in the world, I’m sure you have experienced less than ideal riding conditions, especially during these winter months. I’d like to give you a few pointers on good riding technique to keep your ride safe and uneventful!

Eye contact: This is true in all weather conditions, but eye contact with motorists is very important. Don’t assume that people see you 100% of the time. Intersections are a place where the unexpected can happen in a heartbeat. Make sure you have eye contact with someone driving near you. It’s always better to know that someone sees you than to make assumptions.

Lights: The nights still come upon us early and riding without lights is unsafe and sometimes illegal in certain states. Not only does it help with vehicles, but it helps with fellow pedestrians on the bike path. I can’t tell you how often I barely see other riders because they don’t use a light. I can’t imagine driving without headlights, and we shouldn’t be riding without lights either. Personally, I’m a fan of multiple rear lights too–one blinking and one steady. You can never be too safe!

Avoiding Debris: While riding on the roads be careful about riding too close to the curb. That’s an area of the road that collects debris this time of year. Broken glass and a lot of miscellaneous items that can ruin your day live by the curb during the winter months. Riding just a bit further into the lane, away from these potentially dangerous items, can be a good idea to avoid a puncture or flat tire. Also keeping a straight line and riding predictably is much safer than weaving to avoid debris and keeping the cars behind you guessing your next move.
Winter cycling tips from Trek Travel Logistics Manager

Winter Riding Blues

As Juno covers the East Coast in snow, and others of us have been riding downstairs on the trainer for months, we are all dreaming of those warm 72 degree days. But if you’re brave enough to face the elements, we’re here to provide you with a few tips on riding in the snow and cold.

  1. Don’t bring your bike inside. It’s best if the bike stays the same temp throughout the day. Having the slush/water freeze then melt daily will wreak more havoc on it than just keeping it below freezing all the time.
  2. Keep that chain as clean and lubed as you can. A daily wiping down of the chain is a good practice to get into. All of the road salt will quickly erode any lubrication properties of most chain lubes. Use a good wet lube weekly to keep your chain in tip top shape and don’t forget to wipe the excess off after you apply it. Remember you are trying to lube the parts inside the chain, not the parts you see!
  3. Gear up, get out, and enjoy the ride!

Winter Riding Tips from Trek Travel

Top 10 tips for taking a bike tour

Our friends at Global Cycling Network have put together this great video on their top 10 cycling travel tips. They joined us on our Mallorca ride camp this spring and over the course of 7 days got some great tips, beautiful weather, and the type of riding Mallorca is known for.

“Whether you’re arranging your own trip, or joining up with a guided tour, we’ve got 10 tips that will help you to get the most out of your cycling tour.” –GCN

Intern Chronicles: Part 2, the next step

Although interning for Trek Travel has been remarkable, I can’t contain my excitement about moving on.

During the last four years I have lived the dream. I’ve learned from world-class educators. I’ve sailed across the breathtaking Pacific Ocean and skied 30+ days per winter in the magnificent Colorado Rockies. I’ve spent summers enjoying the lakes and bikes paths of Madison, WI. Like I said…living the dream. But when a new opportunity came knocking, I had only one question: when can I start?

Before you worry, I’ll still be around. In fact, I think a better word to describe my move is ‘up’. Last month, I had the opportunity to play hooky for a week and head to Solvang, California for Trek Travel’s 2014 New Guide Training. For ten days, we potential new guides worked tirelessly to learn the ropes. Although my family thought it was a glorified excuse to escape winter and ride bikes in the sunshine, I can assure you this was not the case. We spent far more time learning how to fix, load, clean, and fit the Trek Domane than we did riding it. We went back to drive school and learned how to safely maneuver a fully loaded van and trailer unit. Despite their humility, ask any Trek Travel guide and they are likely to brag about their ability to back a trainer into a parking stall without any hesitation. We spent hours in the hotel conference room, learning as much as we could absorb. We heard from Tania about Trek Travel’s values, spoke with Meagan about trip design, sat in on a sales meeting with Emily, and talked to Tim about expenses on our newly minted credit cards. We learned enough acronyms to make anyone’s head spin. Finally, after we had covered the ‘basics’, it was time for the real test. We met with vendors, drove routes, grocery shopped, prepped bikes, delivered safety talks, crafted picnic lunches, and provided support from the van and the saddle. From start to finish, we guided a mock trip…and that makes it sound simple.

Because of the veterans who made it happen, not a single minute of the week felt like work. They imparted their knowledge, shared their secrets, and patiently answered our questions. They are the rock stars we hope to become. My 2014 co-guides and I come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences, but during those late nights and early morning we bonded over our enthusiasm for what is the next chapter in each of our lives. The creativity and collaboration, ingenuity and zest, determination and dedication that we bring into our new careers is infectious. With the leadership and guidance of those who came before us, we are ready to put all this talk into action.

This June, college diploma in hand, I will finally get to join my co-guides in the field. I couldn’t ask for better companions with whom to share this adventure. Although the learning never ends, the fun is just beginning. I’m ready to take on the world. The question is: are you?

Loving the BITE: Dr. Lim’s Rice Cakes via

Thanks to Daryl at Loving the Bike for allowing us to repost Kelli’s awesome blog post on here.

Originally posted on on March 26, 2012
I was recently asked to give my thoughts on Dr. Lim’s Rice Cakes.  Have you heard of them?  Dr. Allen Lim is the world-class physiologist who’s worked with many professional cycling teams, the US Cycling Team, and who has recently co-written a cookbook entitled The Feed Zone Cookbook.  During his career, he has created many whole-food, homemade “savory” fuel options for his athletes to balance some of the sweet-carbohydrate, processed fuels often used.  I’ll admit, I haven’t tried this recipe yet myself, but I didn’t want to hold out on this post going into the cycling season.  Until I do, I’ll let you be the judge and taste-testers.

Recipe of the Week: Dr. Allen Lim’s Rice Cakes



  • 2 cups uncooked calrose or other medium-grain “sticky” rice
  • 1½ cups water
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons liquid amino acids or low-sodium soy sauce
  • brown sugar
  • salt and grated parmesan (optional)


  1. Combine rice and water in a rice cooker.
  2. While rice is cooking, chop up bacon before frying, then fry in a medium sauté pan. When crispy, drain off fat and soak up excess fat with paper towels.
  3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then scramble on high heat in the sauté pan. Don’t worry about overcooking the eggs as they’ll break up easily when mixed with the rice.
  4. In a large bowl or in the rice cooker bowl, combine the cooked rice, bacon, and scrambled eggs. Add liquid amino acids or soy sauce and sugar to taste. After mixing, press into an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan to about 1½-inch thickness. Top with more brown sugar, salt to taste, and grated parmesan, if desired.Cut and wrap individual cakes.

Makes about 10 rice cakes.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 cake): 225 cal, 8g fat, 321 mg sodium, 30g carbs, 1g fiber, 9 g protein


Most Loving the Bike readers know I’m all for whole foods.  Especially in Daily Nutrition.  When it can be used effectively in Training Nutrition and promote optimal results, I’m all for it there, too.   This certainly may be a good, whole-food, homemade option for many cyclists on long rides.  To maintain the most nutritious and highest quality ingredients, I would simply remind users to choose cage-free organic eggs, organic bacon without nitrites , and consider organic honey in place of brown sugar since it’s a whole-food that promotes health, contains antioxidants, and has been shown in studies to provide a good source of training energy.  As far as nutrient breakdown, the rice cakes look great for on-the-bike fueling.

I also see the high value in a savory food source, as opposed to a sweet one, on long rides.  You just get sick of all the sweet-tasting carbs.  But, since carbs are a very important source of fuel, you need them and I recommend them.   Rice mixed with salty ingredients may be a good answer for the carbohydrate needs of many athletes.  And, from what I’ve read, the cyclists he’s worked with love them.

On the flip side, anytime you mix intense cycling with foods, whether they are solid, gel, or liquid, there are always some concerns and issues of which to be aware.

From reading several interviews, I understand that Dr. Lim created this recipe in part to reduce the amount of “gut rot,” or gastrointestinal problems, of cyclists with whom he works.  It seems that he believes that one of the biggest contributors to gut rot is the practice of drinking your fuel (carb-containing drinks and gels).  This has simply not been my experience as an endurance athlete or as a professional with my own clients.  In fact, as long as the drink is being sipped throughout the ride and not chugged all at once, I often find the opposite to be true.  From my experience, most clients experience nausea, heartburn, flatulence, and generally GI upset from 1) becoming dehydrated, 2) eating a high fat or high fiber meal before riding, 3) eating too large a meal all at once on-the-bike instead of small amounts throughout the ride (waiting until the half-way point and then sucking down a big lunch), 4) riding at a much higher level than what they’ve trained (such as in an epic ride or race), and 5) individual digestion quirks.

For almost every cyclist out there, there is a different preference on fueling.  I have clients that swear by Hammer products, and others that can’t stand the texture or taste.  One that even vomits every time she drinks anything from them.  I’ve seen athletes eat “whole-foods” throughout long competitions with no problems, and ultra-endurance compete and win with nothing but liquid nutrition. Possibly the most important aspect of on-the-bike nutrition is individual preference and individual digestion.  If you don’t like the sound of it, the taste of it, or how it “settles” with you, you won’t do well with it.  This only leads to dehydration and bonking no matter how much your partner loves it.  Dr. Lim seems to also advise finding the foods and drinks that work well for you individually.

In terms of digestion, cyclists who have sensitive stomachs may experience some problems with solids foods while riding.  Solids simply take longer to leave the stomach than liquids and semi-liquids.  This can work for you in terms of long-lasting energy.  This can work against you in terms of having something churning in your stomach.  What’s more, solids require more gastric acid to break down.  For those who experience heartburn on the bike, this can be an issue.  On the flip side, a cyclist who’s been chugging down liquids (water or sports drink) dilutes the acid, and may further delay the breakdown of the food.  Along with the physical “settling” of the food is the cost of it in terms of energy expenditure and blood flow.  Digestive tract blood flow is significantly reduced when training at a high level.  If it has to be increased to breakdown a high-fat food, it’s usually inefficient and at a cost to another part of your body.  I for one have definitely experienced a noticeable decline in leg power after a solid whole-food meal.

Next, for all of those of us who don’t have support handing these out, there’s the issue of carrying them.  In your jersey?  In your pack?  Not sure.  The thought of cooked eggs in my sweaty pack on a hot day is not particularly refreshing to me.  Then again, the thought of a salty food almost always sounds good after 3 hours of riding.

Another issue is food safety…technically, cooked protein foods like eggs shouldn’t set out for more than a couple of hours to avoid high levels of bacteria that may not have been destroyed during cooking or that may have contaminated the eggs after cooking.  We all know people who eat raw eggs, kept at room temperature, without ever getting sick from them. And, I’ve certainly hiked for hours with hard-boiled eggs in a pack.  To minimize the risk, make sure to use high-quality eggs that are from cage-free hens.  Again, individual preferences, logistics, and risk-analysis…

Lastly, if you like the convenience of commercial sports foods, there are certainly good ones on the shelves.  Sure, there are those with junk ingredients including colorings, potentially harmful chemicals, and unnecessary additives, but there are plenty of companies trying to give us good foods that will work well on a bike.  Clif bar, Lara bar, and Ignite Naturals are just a few.

With my clients, I typically recommend a “treat” food every 3 hours or so when riding longer than 5 hours (this is in addition to my regular fluids, carbs, and lytes per hour recommendations).  I recommend a food that they’ll look forward to, such as a salty savory rice burrito or cheese crackers if individually they do well with a solid whole-food snack.  Dr. Lim’s Rice Cakes may be a perfect fit for this 3-hour “treat food.”  If you try it out, make sure to keep the portion small as suggested on the recipe and do not “double up”  in order to avoid stomach issues and blood flow diversion.  Remember…small amounts of drinks and foods throughout the ride.  This one may be a keeper for me, or may not, but I’m excited to try.  Loads of cyclists are reporting good rides using these on different forums.  What do you think?

Photo c/o Lava Magazine


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