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Is Road-Biking Better Than Gym-Biking?

Posted Wednesday, 12 October 2016

This is an article by Helen Traynor

If it’s raining, the roads are crowded, or our bikes are out of action, plenty of us like to maintain our training by hitting those stationary bikes at the gym. Few of us would argue that the view of the gym mirror is as compelling as the natural landscape unfolding before you as you cycle. Or that the still and sweaty gym air pressing around your face is as exhilarating as the breeze whistling past your ears. But we’re a little more unsure when it comes to the question of which is ‘better’ for us. Do stationary bikes provide as good a workout as outdoor bikes? Do they give the same health benefits? As with most things, it’s a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other. And a lot of it depends upon your own personal proclivities, and the intensity at which you engage with either form of cycling. Here’s a quick weigh-up of the two...

Musculature

Stationary bikes come equipped with a flywheel, usually weighing between 30 and 40 pounds. The aim of this is to provide the kind of resistance one would push against on the road. However, the complex forces working on a road bike are extremely hard to emulate correctly, so what we’ve got is a compromise whereby pushing the pedals is harder, but the force of resistance stays more or less in one place. What this means is that the major muscles you work on a stationary bike are your hamstrings, while outdoor biking involves much more detailed muscular engagement. While you’re on a road bike, you’re not only propelling yourself forwards (over varying terrain which requires the use of differing muscle groups), you’re also balancing yourself, and dealing with cross-wind resistance, potentially from many directions. Road biking therefore requires you to use your quadriceps and hip flexors a lot, as well as your shins, your calves, your abdominals (marginally, for balance), and your arm muscles (while steering and, again, balancing yourself). This is why people with long-term musculoskeletal conditions are often advised by insurers and doctors to avoid cycling on the roads, but are allowed to use the cycle trainers at gyms. In theory, therefore, road biking provides a much more detailed workout than the hamstring-concentrated gym version. However, muscle-group usage isn’t the only factor at play, here. One also has to consider how hard these muscles are getting worked...

Effort

Assuming that the same amount of effort is going into both, road biking wins hands down on the calorie-burning, muscle-working front. However, the amount of effort involved in the two is rarely the same. Some people find that stationary biking is simply too ‘boring’. They lack the motivation to continue, and lack the ‘distraction’ from bodily aches provided by things like the landscape whizzing past which you get while you’re biking outdoors. However, others find the gym a far more motivational environment than the road, due to the presence of trainers, music, gym buddies and the like. It’s also worth noting that road-biking is a far more stop-start affair than stationary biking. Those who cycle outdoors slow down to avoid obstacles, they free-wheel down hills, they pause to admire the view...While stationary biking involves a good deal of consistent effort, you have to be extremely dedicated, and have a very clear stretch of road in order to put the same amount of consistent effort into road biking. So it’s a bit of a moot point. For the majority of people, it’s easier to maintain consistent movement on a stationary bike than it is on a road bike, meaning that stationary biking wins on the calorie-burning front for the average person. But, for those who are able to put the steady effort into road biking, it’s a far better workout overall.

And The Rest...

As we’ve mentioned, stationary biking is pretty dull when compared to road biking. Even if you like this ‘dullness’ and lack of distraction, your brain will thank you more for taking it out on the roads. Exercise is always good for the brain - but it’s at its best when it allows the brain to stretch its own ‘muscles’ a bit. Road biking stimulates the brain with all the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors - proven to be extremely good for our mental health - as well as keeping our cognitive abilities sharp with all of those micro-decisions you have to make while cycling outdoors. However, stationary biking is undoubtedly convenient for when the weather is appalling, or other factors conspire to keep you off the road. Furthermore, if you’re canny, you can use stationary bikes in an interesting way (pedalling backwards, for example) in order to mix up your muscular workout. So, while stationary bikes are never going to be a substitute for the thrill of road-biking, they can be a very useful way of getting some good training in when you’re unable or unwilling to get on the road itself!

Riverina Allschools MTB Championships

Posted Thursday, 29 September 2016

4 Hour XC Team Relay
Open to year 7-12 students

1 Hour XC Team Relay
Open to year 5-6 students

When

Sunday 20 November 2016

Where

Pomingalarna Park, Wagga Waggs

Entry

Rego closes November 12

More Info

More information at www.riverinaallschoolsmtb.com

2016-2017 Victorian Mountain Bike Championships Series

Posted Friday, 16 September 2016

Series entries can now be purchased! Click through to get yourself set up for a summer of XCO racing.

Individual race entries will become open at a later date but with a series entry you get one race free.

A race free of cramps, mechanicals, bonking and crashes? .......... well no ........that's up to you and your preparations.

Entry Zone

2016-17 Victorian Mountain Bike Championship Series

Posted Thursday, 11 August 2016

There are 6 rounds in this series and your best 5 results will be counted towards your series result. Meaning if you miss a race or have a mechanical etc you still have a chance.

  • Round 1 - 10 Dec 2016 at Castlemaine
  • Round 2 - 11 Dec 20016 at Bendigo
  • Round 3 - 4 Feb 2017 at Officer
  • Round 4 - 18 Feb 2017 at Bendigo
  • Round 5 - 19 Feb 2017 at Castlemaine
  • Round 6 / Championship Round - 5 Mar 2017 at You Yangs (Venue to be confirmed)

Categories

  • Elite Men / Women
  • Open Men / Women
  • Veteran Men / Women – Age 30 to 39
  • Masters Men / Women – Age 40 to 49
  • Super Masters Men / Women – Age 50 to 59
  • Ultra Masters Men – Age 60 and above
  • Under 19 Men / Women
  • Under 17 Men / Women
  • Under 15s Men / Women
  • Under 13s Men / Women

Points

1st – 80, 2nd 65, 3rd 55, 4th 48, 5th 43, 6th 38, 7th 33, 8th 29, 9th 25, 10th 22, 11th 20, 12th 19, 13th 18, 14th 17, 15th 16 and 16th to last all get 15 points each.
Did not finish (DNF) will get 15 points
Did not start (DNS) will get 0

The Championship round will be for double points.

Age Calculation for categories

Based on the MTBA rules for their National Series: The date on which the age of a rider is calculated is December 31 of the year the State Championships occurs during or concluding the series in which an event takes place. For the 2016 – 2017 Victorian MTB championship Series this is December 31, 2017.

Race Start Times

At each round there will be 2 race start times. The groups for these start times have been created to group riders who through MTBA recommendations are to compete for similar time lengths. This also means that as a general rule faster riders are not sharing the course with more beginner slower riders which makes it more enjoyable for everybody.

Start Group 1 – 9:30am start time
1A – Under 17 Men, Ultra Masters Men
1B – Open Women, Veteran Women, Masters Women, Super Masters Women, Under 19 Women Under 17 Women
1C – Under 15s Men / Women, Under 13 Men / Women
No new laps are allowed to be started by any categories in these groups after 1:30 of race time. Any riders not allowed to go out will record a finish as +1 Lap or similar as their position in the race when they crossed the line the last time.

Start Group 2 – 10:45 Start Time
2A – Elite Men, Veteran Men, Under 19 Men
2B – Open Men, Elite Women
2C – Masters Men, Super Masters Men
No new laps are allowed to be started after the first elite rider has crossed the line to complete their race. Any riders not allowed to go out will record a finish as +1 Lap or similar as their position in the race when they crossed the line the last time.

Pricing

Series Entries are $250 per rider and $175 for Juniors (Under 17 and below)
Individual Race Entries are $50 per rider and $35 for Juniors (Under 17 and Below)

Entry

Enter online at EntryZone

More Info

More information at 2016-17 Victorian MTB Championship Series

Top Apps for Mountain Biking

Posted Thursday, 11 August 2016

This is an article by Helen Traynor

Anyone whose idea of fun involves clocking up the kilometres while cycling up a vertiginous mountain knows that one of the best parts of the ride, is making it to the top, stopping for a rest and pulling out our smartphone or mini tablet to celebrate our achievements, listen to our favourite tune or record a Vine or Snapchat vid. If you are one of those brave techie lovers who can’t go anywhere without your phone or tablet, who doesn’t fear losing their device or who simply needs music to make the most of their experience in the Great Outdoors, then get your hands on these cool Apps:

  • Dirt School Mountain Bike Coaching: This App comes at a small price but is worth every dollar. It offers everything you need to coach yourself, with a library of 11 mountain bike techniques to learn. Watch videos of the right technique to employ, and spot the most common errors committed. Film yourself and compare your riding to the App’s riders and learn to identify any mistakes you may be making. Each lesson includes information on where to practice, how each technique should feel and how it shouldn’t feel. The App was created in 2007 by Chris Ball, a keen mountain biker and head of the Enduro Mountain Bike Association.
  • GoPro: This camera’s mobile app connects the device to your camera, enabling you to snap the perfect shot, with the right angle and light, every time. A handy ‘Highlight Tag’ allows you to mark important moments while you are recording; view these tags later in your camera roll to playback the best parts of your day. The App is also compatible with the Apple Watch, permitting you to use your watch to frame the perfect pic.
  • Shred! Downhill Mountain Biking: Consider this the ideal App for the days when you can’t actually get on your bike because of an injury or bad weather. Hailed as the coolest mountain biking game on the planet, it seeks to mimic the intensity and flow of downhill and freeride mountain biking (we know nothing beats the real thing but at least this App invites you to dream you are actually in the midst of rolling hills and vertiginous peaks). The game comprises over 30 different mountain biking courses, with every inch of trail designed to get your adrenalin flowing. Awesome 3D graphics, brutal crashes and fun bonus levels will keep you hooked for hours.
  • Easy Bike Repair: This App provides simple instructions on how to repair and maintain your bike, also offering 26 examples of problems and solutions. If you bike alone on some days, then you know the importance of fixing your own problems, especially when damage to your bike occurs at the top of a mountain. Another good App to download for this purpose is Feedback Sports Bicycle Maintenance Tracker – it doesn’t actually provide tips on how to fix problems, but it serves as a log of all the maintenance work you have carried out on your bike. It records how much you paid for equipment, when you last changed your tyres or how long ago you purchased that new chain.
  • Map My Ride: Few things are quite as frustrating as discovering an amazing track, only to forget where it is the next time you go for a ride. This App tracks route, elevation, speed etc. with the help of a GPS; it is great for accurate tracking and for analysing the routes you have completed.
  • Strava GPS: This App is ideal for sociable riders who are up for community challenges, and those who like to try routes discovered by others. Track your own ride via GPS, share photos of some of the most beautiful secret spots you have discovered and follow friends and receive information on the routes they have completed.
  • Bikemap – Your bike routes: This is ideal for those who like to discover new areas and even new countries! The App contains hundreds of thousands of killer mountain biking routes across the globe, with an interactive, real-time map providing reliable descriptions. You will always know how long and challenging the route is, and because there are so many available, it is easy to find one that matches your skill and confidence. Either use the routes provided, or upload exciting new routes you have discovered.

Riverina All Schools Race in Wagga Wagga

Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2016

When

Sunday November 20, 2016

Where

Pomingalarna Reserve, Wagga Wagga, NSW

What

The race will be a 4 hour team’s event. Teams will consist of 3 or 4 riders.

There will be Male, Female and Mixed categories in each of the 3 divisions:
Senior: years 11 & 12
Intermediate: years 9 & 10
Junior: years 7 & 8

The Senior (Female & Mixed), 2 and 3 laps will take about 15 minutes.

Senior (Male only) lap will be slightly longer and take about 20 minutes.

The team with the most number of laps completed in the 4 hours will be the winner. There will be points awarded for participation and category results to determine the NSW All Schools XC MTB Champion.

To register your school’s interest, please email schools info@riverinaallschoolsmtb.com

Schools will then be notified as more information becomes available.

More Info

More information as www.riverinaallschoolsmtb.com

Fitness And Mental Health

Posted Thursday, 21 July 2016

This is an article by Helen Traynor

We all know that physical fitness can make us feel and look physically great. It fights obesity, it strengthens our bodies, it gets out heart and lungs working at optimum...basically, exercise and physical fitness is a truly wonderful way to get physically healthy. But did you know that regular exercise can also improve your mental health? It’s true! And, in an era which is seeing more of us than ever succumb to mental health disorders, a mind-healing workout has never been more apposite! Here are just a few of the ways in which exercise can aid your mental health:

Exercise Boosts Your Mood

Many people think of exercise as an exhausting, miserable slog. However, the fact is that exercise can seriously improve your mood. When we work out, chemicals called ‘endorphins’ are released. Endorphins are natural opioids, which your body releases to combat pain and encourage you to perform physically demanding feats. They promote a sense of euphoria and wellbeing which can last for significant amounts of time. It also releases dopamine, the ‘reward’ chemical which we get when we eat something delicious, have sex, and things like that. Studies have shown that exercise can alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression (largely due to the endorphin effect). Exercise-induced endorphins have also been touted as a method of reducing the symptoms of drug withdrawal. As the endorphin and dopamine system are what is often ‘hijacked’ by drugs, it’s thought that providing what the brain craves through natural rather than artificial means may help to reduce cravings. But this is only the tip of the iceberg - the effects of exercise upon our mental health run much deeper…

Exercise Improves Self-Confidence

Lots of us exercise in order to look good, and looking good in our own eyes does have a tangible effect upon our mental health. Those with positive body image are less likely to be depressed, less likely to be anxious, and exponentially less likely to develop eating disorders. However, often our body image and the way we actually look are reasonably unrelated - it often depends upon other factors in our life, such as self-esteem, the pressure we put upon ourselves, and the height of our expectations. Exercise can certainly fulful the rather shallow criteria of making us look good - it tones us up and helps us to lose weight, which lends us a societally acceptable physique. This definitely helps mental health. However, it’s probably the sense of achievement more than any actual alteration in looks which brings about the most positive mental health benefits. Knowing that we can make a marked improvement to our bodies through our own efforts does fantastic things for our sense of self-worth. And a good sense of self-worth is vital for good mental health.

Exercise ‘Tones’ Your Brain

When you exercise regularly, you quickly start to feel the improvements in your body. However, what you may not realise is that these bodily improvements are also having an impact upon your brain. Your brain is a physical organ. It relies upon blood, nutrients, oxygen and so forth just as much as your body does. If your body is not working particularly well, then your brain will suffer just as much as any other organ. However, if you exercise regularly, your cardiovascular system, your immune system, and most other aspects of your body will be working at their full potential. Your brain will feel the benefits of this with enhanced blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow. What is more, it won’t have to work as hard to get your organs etc in working order, meaning that it will be generally less tired, and more able to work efficiently. All in all, this means that your brain will be at its full potential, and more able to fight off the niggling growth of mental illness. If you combine exercise with a good diet, then the benefits for your mental health will be even more evident!

Exercise Relieves Stress

Through a combination of all of the above, combined with the cathartic relief of ‘letting off steam’, exercise has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of stress, cheering us up and allowing us to think more clearly about things. If you’re having a bad day, there are few better remedies than heading to the gym or hitting the running track! As chronic stress is a serious issue for both mental and physical health, the benefits of this can not be denied!

You Yangs Yowie 8th October‏

Posted Tuesday, 19 July 2016

When

Saturday 8th October - 8:00am

Where

You Yangs Regional Park, Branch Road

What

33km loop chosen for one, two or three laps solo Male and Female plus 99km Teams of Two/Three.
A 15 km Mini Yowie is also available for male & female min age 13yrs.
Age restrictions apply for each category.
Short Junior Dirt Squirts courses are also run for youngsters under 13yrs.

Entry

Enter online at RegisterNow
20% discount for those who enter before 8th August.
On the Day entries will not be available

More Info

For more information see www.gmbc.com.au.

2016 Single Speed World Champs

Posted Wednesday, 11 May 2016

When

21 - 23 October 2016

Where

Woodend, Victoria

More Info

For more information see sswc2016.com or www.facebook.com/sswc2016downunder

The 24hr Race that continues to grow

Posted Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The 4th running of the THULE B24 Mountain Bike Festival has been confirmed for the weekend of November 12th & 13th, 2016 in beautiful Bright Victoria.

The 2016 edition of the annual “B24” will see the continuation of the traditional 24-hr MTB race alongside the “ride with your mates” format introduced in 2013 - the B24’ s “Esprit de Corps”. And with the event catering to the full spectrum of MTB riders - from the hardened solo racers to the casual novice team – the B24 will have something on offer for everyone!

Bright is quickly becoming known as the place to ride your mountain bike. The tracks of Bright have hosted the Australian MTBA National Championships for the last 3 years and have been considered the best championships in a long time. Bright has benefited from the Champs and the great work done by the Alpine Cycling Club in the Mystic Mountain Bike Park with some sensational new tracks.

What’ s more, the B24’ s groundbreaking “Esprit de Corps” category provides a relaxed ride with your mates approach to 24-hour racing for casual teams, rendering the course open for 24-hours but without the traditional requirement of needing a rider on track at all times (particularly the middle of the night!), allowing teams to accumulate their required 24-hours in a manner that suits their aspirations. Leaving them plenty of leisure time to enjoy the tourist haven of Bright.

While the B24 will again offer the usual categories of racing – solos, pairs, quads and sixes – your support crew will be able to partake in any number of regional highlights in conjunction with their riding, including: vineyard and craft brewery tours, tandem paragliding, visits to the local chocolatier, local rock-climbing and caving experiences and of course lunch and/or dinner options at a range of renowned cafes & restaurants.

The B24’ s event village will again feature the huge transition marquee, a range of demo fleets to sample and a variety of food and beverage options including craft beer and local wine. The transition area and the sponsor expo bring a vibrant village atmosphere and participant convenience.

Each year the event grows in activities, size and the number of entrants. Riding the favoured sections of previous years and improvements of more new track, the THULE B24 continues to entrench itself on the MTB calendar as a must do.

Keep up-to-date on all things B24-related here: bright24hr.com.au


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