May 24, 2024

Family Biking Fun by Jennifer Austin

Consider riding bikes for fun as a family. Pick up a bike map at your local bike shop, sit around the kitchen table together and plan a route for a group pedal.

Safety is paramount when riding with little ones. Helmets are a must for all riders. Teach kids these principles so they became safe riders:

Kids in the middle. Riding with one adult in front and one adult behind is a way to make sure everyone stays safe and with the group.

Buddy-up. The buddy system still exists because it works. For big groups, each rider should choose another to keep an eye on.

Focus forward. Reminding kids to focus their eyes forward at all times will insure they see obstacles in the road such as acorns, bumps in the road, tree branches and the like.

Shout it out. When riding with others, communicating about upcoming obstacles or changing direction is nice habit to put in place. For example, simply pointing at the ground as you’re riding by a hazard on the bike path will alert those behind you to something in the road they should be aware of.

Keep it steady. Riding at an even pace adds fitness benefits, but more importantly allows those around you to anticipate your moves. Darting in and out of traffic or speeding up and then randomly stopping creates a hazard to those around or behind you.

Yield to cars. Just because a cyclist legally has the right of way, doesn’t mean the driver sees them. Always assuming the driver does not see you, is a great rule. When in doubt, simply teach your kids to pull to the side of the road, stop and wait for the car, other cyclist, pedestrian, etc to pass.

Rules of the road apply to cyclists too. Cyclists should obey all road rules just as they are required as in a car. For example, teach kids to stop at stop signs, stop for red lights and pedestrians, ride on the correct side of the road, ride in the bike lane single file, and signal to motorists their course (right turn, left turn, etc.)

Pass on the left only. Slower riders should always ride on the right side of the bike path or road, allowing other riders to pass you on the left.

Be seen. Insist every rider wear visible clothing. Choose bright colors, reflectors or even a flashing light that attaches to the seat post is a great idea to insure visibility to cars, other riders and pedestrians.

Ride for fun and boost fitness for the whole family. No mileage or speed requirements. Stop and smell the flowers or check out an interesting sight along the way. Pack a lunch or snacks and sit and relax at your destination for awhile. Just go!

Fitness on 2 Wheels by Nicole Bryan

Have you considered adding cycling or bicycling into your fitness routine? Biking is a mode of exercise that boasts many benefits. It’s a non-impact, full body, functional and economical, as well as an adjustable intensity workout.

Non-impact exercise basically means there’s no jarring or impact on your bones and joints in the exercise. If you’ve experienced joint injuries, biking may be a good choice. Biking could also be considered a full body workout if you’re keeping your upper body and core under tension by maintaining proper posture and spinal alignment while cycling. If you’re planning to head to the trails on your bike, the terrain alone will have all your muscles working the entire time, while also testing your bike handling skills.

As a functional and economical exercise, biking to and from running errands, commuting to work or simply leaving the car at home on the weekends and heading out your bike, will ease finances from having to fill up your gas tank.

Cycling is also an adjustable exercise in regards to intensity, enter your bike gears. You can push a harder gear up a hill or shift to an easier gear and focus on increasing the turn-over of your legs. You can pedal fast, slow or even coast if you’re in need of a break. All in all, most would agree cycling is a workout to consider.

A few safety considerations:
Helmet: Helmets are a must. There are road biking helmets, mountain biking helmets, as well as general sport helmets. Choose one based on what type of riding you’ll be doing most. Prices range from $40.00 on up to $200.00 and more. According to the law, all helmets sold in the USA must be approved by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, so be sure to look for their seal of approval. Another quick safety note, any helmet that has been involved in any kind of impact should be replaced, regardless of the external appearance of the helmet.

Reflectors: If you’re riding at night, a clear/white light must be attached on the front to either the bicycle or the person, check your state requirements. Riders, by most state law, must be visible for up to 300 feet. Also often required for night riding is a red rear reflector, white or yellow reflectors on the front and back of each pedal, as well as clear/white reflectors on both sides of the front half and back half of your bicycle.

Road Rules: Cyclist and drivers follow the same rules of the road.

Emergency Contact: Always carry ID and emergency info with you.

As far as cycling gear goes, that’s up to you. If you’re riding for long distance, padded cycling shorts may be a good investment. If you’re interested in aerodynamics, consider a riding jersey with a rear pocket to hold your belongings such as your keys and phone. Biking shoes will also allow for an efficient pedal stroke, if you’re considering riding for fitness either on the paved road or dirt trail.

5 Factors for Triathlon Fitness written by Mark Kleanthous

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5 Factors for Triathlon Fitness written by Mark Kleanthous

There are five main factors that contribute to fitness in triathlon – aerobic threshold endurance, nutrition, economy, strength and recovery – but your approach to them has to be balanced. Neglect one and your performance will suffer.

Aerobic threshold endurance

The use of intense aerobic-threshold training (which effectively, means training at your predicted triathlon pace) is perhaps the best way to get fit – the more you do the easier the training session gets and the faster you become. However, the problem is that we have a limited tolerance to it, and the result can be over-training. Therefore, not all your training should consist of intense, aerobic-threshold work-outs, also known as a ‘key work-outs’. Unfortunately, it is a common mistake to do too many of them with more than eight weeks to go before a triathlon.


In order to compete successfully in any triathlon event you must be able to load your body with all the fuel necessary to propel yourself across the required distance at the desired speed. But this factor isn’t only important when racing, because in order to complete your training successfully your body must be constantly carrying the correct amount of fuel. By that I mean the type of carbohydrate that can be accessed and fed to the muscles during training, as well as when racing.

Top triathletes all have one thing in common – they don’t waste energy doing things they don’t need to do. Having 10% extra energy is not good if you use up 15% more running compared to a fellow competitor. Economy of movement is something that can be learned early and needs to become automatic.


Strength is important in all sports. However, what is required in triathlon is sport-specific strength to the level required. For example, resistance training using hand paddles, cycling up hills and running off road is more specific than weight training.


Full-time athletes are obviously more successful than those who work full time because they can dedicate more time to training, but another equally important reason is because they are able to take more recovery time. Most injuries and illnesses are caused more by the lack of consistent sleep, regular massages, healthy food, stretches and cool downs than anything else. These recovery essentials  not only help you recover from work-outs, but more importantly they allow you to tolerate a greater amount of training. Fitness is about being able to recover as you train; the quicker the recovery the greater the effect it has on fitness.

This article is written by Mark Kleanthous. Mark has competed in triathlons for 30 consecutive seasons and crossed the finish line in more than 450 triathlons including 35 ironman events. He is author of The Complete Book of Triathlon Training and is a full time sports and nutrition coach. Mark can be contacted via