Post-Sandy spin in NJ

One of my most memorable rides last year occurred the day after Hurricane Irene hit the Hudson Valley. There’s no better way to experience the heart of an area than by bicycle and to take in all the tiny details in the landscape. Plus after spending time without heat and power and fighting half the county just to charge my cell phone and get a cup of coffee, I was more than ready to stretch my legs and see how our local roads fared. Since gas is a precious commodity right now, I decided to hop on my bike, heading north through Hunterdon County.
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Should cyclists use a foam roller?

Mention the words “foam roller” to a group of cyclists and the response will likely be as polarizing as a discussion on Lance. Some swear by their rollers, using them daily to dig into every ache and pain, while others place the torturous device in the same category as “hill repeats” and “saddle sores.” But does a roller really live up to the hype? Can a piece of foam replace a trip to the massage table?  Continue reading

Be your own queen of the mountain

Yesterday something truly magical happened. Out of 99 women on the medio Gran Fondo NJ route, I placed second on the timed climbs and got the QOM on a tough climb with double digit grades. Me? A climber? Wait, did someone swap timing chips? Remember, I’m the girl who spent years dropped off the back, scaling the elevation solo.

But the magic wasn’t a fluke or a random lucky day. It’s been in the works for two seasons now, slowly percolating since the day I stopped dreading ascents and decided it was time to shape myself into a climber. A few changes made a huge impact. Continue reading

Back to basics

It turns out the cure for my burnout wasn’t to take a vacation or to challenge myself with another sport.  I just needed to get my ass kicked. I’d been sitting around for two weeks resting a sore calf and hamstring and feeling dreadfully slow and sorry for myself. My season’s over, I reasoned, and I didn’t even want to imagine the pain Gran Fondo NJ would bring in two short weeks.  It’s funny how you spend months on the trainer and the road plugging away day after day. Then a low period strikes and it’s hard to resist the urge to pull the plug on the entire season. Continue reading

Cycling Superfoods: Chia Seeds + Chocolate banana chia muffin recipe

Remember when you couldn’t walk into a drugstore without spotting a zoo of Chia critters? Then we discovered that the same gooey seeds we stuck to our terra cotta-shaped turtles and bunnies are actually a superfood. Runners have been extolling their countless health benefits since the days when the Mayans and Aztecs relied on them to fuel their cross-country conquests.

So why should this tiny black dot be a staple in any endurance athlete’s diet? For starters, chia seeds are excellent for hydration. When left in water (or your stomach) these little buggers can absorb 10 times their weight in water. This means that as they’re digested, they slowly release water, helping to maintain proper hydration. They also help stabilize electrolytes. To get the maximum benefits, soak the seeds before ingesting them. Continue reading