There are true heroes in this world. If you want to meet one, check out Ted, who is doing something very few people have tried. There have been a lot of bike rides to raise money and awareness to fight diseases, but these have always been for the benefit of two-legged creatures.

Now there's a biker who is riding for the life of animals. When a person gets cancer, they have a lot of options. For animals, sometimes the best they can hope for is to be drugged beyond the reach of pain. But when Ted's dog came down with cancer, he sought out cures and treatments, and wrote a book for other dog owners.

But now he's doing something great. He's riding his bike across the country to raise money to help dogs with cancer. On his website you can learn more about the story, and the scores of fellow dog owners who are grateful for his work. You'll see some videos of the ride, and you'll have the chance to donate funds to help dogs who have been stricken with this disease.

Here's the link: http://www.dogcancerride.com

I read all those recommended training routines in Bicycle Magazine, but even when I have the time to try and follow them (which is rare and inconsistent) I'm usually not up to snuff.

But I've found a way to really benefit from the saddle time I have.

Nearly all of my bike riding time is commuting in the city. I get a short stretch of biking in between traffic lights and stop signs. Normally I would take the whole route at an easy pace, the kind meant for bike touring, and get restless and frustrated whenever the usual urban obstacles forced me to stop.

Now I look at my daily bike route as a series of sprints through an obstacle course. Now when I hit a red light I'm breathing hard, my thighs are burning, and I'm grateful for the 45 seconds of rest. The results:

  • More fun on the way to work, and less frustration
  • I might end up in better shape after a few months of this
  • I'm learning how to handle sharp turns, potholes, and bumps at faster speeds
  • I get to workearlier

This connects with a very popular philosophy of bike touring. Use what you've got. On a tour this means fixing a bike with duct tape, broken pens, or anything you can find because the only other alternatives are walking or hitchhiking.

In an urban bike commute, you practice this philosophy through better training. The "duct tape" is the time and circumstances you have available. Use what you've got.
Try this. Seek more challenges, fun, and rewards without changing where, when, or how long you ride. The secret is to change how you ride the bike.

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Rome tour night forum Italy

I've been getting a lot of emails (as well as a few comments added to old posts) from people wanting tips and advice on biking in southern Italy. Some of you are riding (or even hiking!) the Via Appia, and it's a shame that it's so hard to get a group of people together when our schedules, wills, and finances are all in alignment.

We're basically all doing prettymuch the same ride, just not at the same time. So... ...continue reading "Now you can ride with me in Italy, even if you don’t ride with me"