“Best Tour de France ever.” - George Hincapie, Veteran Tour de France racer
We knew the 2020 version of the Tour de France was going to be different due to the pandemic. The race started 9 weeks later than originally planned, there were strict limits on interactions between fans, staff, and teams and the race was wide open during the first six or so stages with the winner being predicted from six contenders. A likely winner rose up, but pundits were blown away by the surprising upset during the next to the last stage of the race.
In the second week of racing the 2020 Tour de France headed west in the Charente-Maritime département before heading across France to the Alps, visiting the Jura and Massif Central in the process.
The second week of racing saw team tactics change. Teams start out with hope and as it becomes clear they cannot win the overall race, the strategy changes to trying for stage wins.
The first week of the three week Tour de France is on the record books now and we have settled into a familiar groove with a little excitement thrown in.
The race started out in Nice and due to wet weather and nerves among the riders, there were a lot of crashes taking out some contenders before the race got very far. The three lap format enabled riders the first chance to really to size up the competition and fans to begin picking their favorites.
The second stage started and returned back to Nice with a mountain stage in between. It is unusual to have climbing so early in the event. We got to see a favorite from last year attack, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, which made for some thrilling racing and allowed him to capture his first yellow jersey of the year.
The next stages rotated from flats suited for the sprinters to mountain suited to the climbers. The first summit finish on stage 4 identified the likely contenders, but everyone has a different list of who that might be, so this just means that the race is currently wide open with no clear favorite. Of course, even when there is a strong team and a favorite, there is always the chance of a surprise result due to the risk of crashing, injury, illness, crosswinds, and weather--anything can happen in the Tour de France. Two more weeks of fun.
Long live the Tour de France! The 2020 version of the world’s greatest cycling event is later in the calendar this year, but it is still taking place--at least the initial stages. The 107th edition of this grand tour is steeped in tradition, but this year some things will be different and some things will still be the same.
The fact that Tracy and Peter Flucke bicycled across the country on a tandem 4,362 miles is amazing. What enhances their recounting of the adventure is their willingness to share all the details, from why they decided to do it, how they trained, the bicycle equipment, a day by day log of the cycling conditions and destinations, people they met along the way including some heartwarming acts of kindness towards them, and personal challenges and triumphs. All of these are documented in their book, Coast to Coast on a Tandem. They provided highlights as guest speakers at the Evanston Bicycle Club meeting on Tues. Aug. 18, 2020.
For many people their bike is a prized possession and losing it as a result of theft is devastating. If you’ve ever had a bike stolen you know the sense of loss you experience. It is like going through the 5 stages of grief:
If you are going to bike anywhere and leave your bike outside, you need the equipment and knowledge for proper locking so that your bike is there when you return. While no bike security system is 100% effective, you want to do whatever you can to make stealing you bike harder than the next bike. If your bike looks inconvenient to steal, there is a good chance a thief will look somewhere else. Following are some practices to help stop or at least slow down thieves.
If you've discovered the joy of cycling during the pandemic and are now looking for a way to learn more about the sport of cycling and keep up to date on the cycling scene all over the world, you should check out VeloNews. According to Betsy Welch, Senior Editor at VeloNews the VeloNews team is based in Boulder, Colorado and it publishes a magazine and website. Betsy was the guest speaker at the July 21 Evanston Bicycle Club meeting and she provided a glimpse into what are the current trends in cycling as well as some of her own cycling adventures.
There are three points of contact between you and your bike: hands, feet, and seat. Of these three, the bike seat or saddle is the area with the most options for customization. All bikes come with a saddle, but if you experience pain or discomfort on rides it is time to swap out the saddle that came with the bike for another one.
The bike saddle should support your bones, not your flesh and it is hard to know just by looking at a saddle if it will fit your bone structure. Also, if you want to give a new saddle a try, it takes more than just a ride around the block to know if it is right your you—you need to take it on a long ride of at least 1 hour so you can settle in and determine how it accommodates your pressure points.
You’ve discovered that cycling improves cardio-vascular and aerobic fitness, lowers blood pressure, boosts energy, builds muscle, and improves coordination and is just plain fun, so now you need a bike. But with so many styles, options, and places to buy, how do you know what is the right bike for you?
Cycling is a diverse world and there is a bike for everyone regardless of age, fitness level or riding style. You can increase your chance of finding your best ride ever by answering a few questions.
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories