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All I Want for Christmas

Top of your list should be a handlebar mirror, or better still, two like Tom Vaz. Mirrors are by far the best and most effective road safety accessory on the market. They are life savers – your life. Is your life worth spending just £15 for a good quality mirror?

In my working life time I was required to take an extensive training course, over several days with the Metropolitan Police, and to pass their final road test to qualify. The two most important elements were the use of mirrors and road positioning – the two life savers.

Check out and read all about mirrors in this article which has just appeared in Cycling Weekly, who sensibly also recommend that Time Triallists should use mirrors!
See https://www.cyclingweekly.com/group-tests/best-road-bike-mirrors-handlebars-468095 and scroll down.

I am well aware that mirrors are frowned upon by some of the our Club membership, but in the U.S.A, cyclists are a lot more sensible and take road safety information and training more seriously than we do in the UK. Below is an article from a reputable cycling coach (https://www.coach-darryl.com/) who has written an item detailing, amongst other things, the many, very sensible safety reasons for using mirrors.
Those in our Club who have already been converted to mirror users (and the number is increasing!), will agree with what Darryl says, because they now know it to be true. So do have a quick read and see the logic in what he has to say, about why mirrors are so important.
See https://selleanatomica.com/blogs/homepage-blog/why-cycling-mirrors-are-essential-for-safety

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A Bit of Light Reading!

Fast After 50 by Joe Friel

I have always been an armchair cyclist. I enjoy reading books about cycling – especially about training. And as the years roll by, training becomes more important. It is a fact of life, that by the age of 40 we are all in physical decline. This accelerates with each passing decade. By the biblical three score year and 10, most of us will be avoiding the steeper hills, or even give up cycling for something less strenuous. I only wish that the book shown above had been available 25 years ago when I did my first time trail! The book was my best Christmas present a couple of years ago.

Whilst the book was written primarily for competitive athletes, the information applies to each and everyone of us, if we want to slow down the process of aging, and stay fit and healthy for longer. And if you want a bargain, check out World Books and Amazon, for a top quality – one previous careful owner copy – always my first option!

So, What’s it all about Alfie – or in this case -Joe – see https://joefrieltraining.com/book/fast-after-50/

And one more book – mine from World Books a few years back for about £3 – was the 2nd edition. The 3rd edition has little extra of interest for us club riders. The only real difference is that Chris suggested in my book that weight training was useful, whereas, his 3rd edition, following current research, recommends it is important to do it all year round.
Chris Carmichael was in his younger days, the coach for the U.S Olympics and National Cycling Teams, through which he introduced a number of innovations to cycle training, which are now used by all coaching authorities.

Like the training programmes recommended by Joe Friel, the emphasis is on high intensity training plus weight training. The title “Time Crunched” is because Chris found when training the top U.S pro-cyclists, that the European quotes by Eddy Merckx and others, of “Get the miles in,” was having little effect relative to the many hours in the saddle. As the book cover says, Chris proved that we can get race fit in 6 hours a week instead of having to spend 6 hours a day for 6 days a week.

The main problem for us if we want to get fitter, is that we try to ride more miles, and more often, but we do not have the time! The time crunched cyclist can do one hour of interval training instead of a 4 hour bike ride – and get better and quicker results. And yes, this is a proven fact!

Happy Christmas! Des