Maximizing Your Mitochondria with Magnesium Intake

Maximizing Your Mitochondria with Magnesium Intake

If you do any kind of aerobic sport or endurance activities, then you want your mitochondria to be very developed.

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One Woman’s Rant on Smoothies

One Woman’s Rant on Smoothies

Good video!

CLICK HERE to view the first of this two-video series.

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What is FTP and Why is It Important

What is FTP and Why is It Important

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Can You Train Effectively on an Indoor Trainer for Hilly Routes Outside?

Can You Train Effectively on an Indoor Trainer for Hilly Routes Outside?

Interesting video!

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Why Professional Cycling is Broken

Why Professional Cycling is Broken

Simply explanation – It’s business model is weak.

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The Main Online Tools I Use When Designing Bicycle Routes

The Main Online Tools I Use When Designing Bicycle Routes

1.  Ride With GPS. This mapping program is a wonderful tool to use when plotting a bicycle route. Sometimes I plot with it set to plot “walk ” routes. Sometimes while plotting “cycling” routes. And sometimes while plotting “driving” routes. It all depends on whether I want to plot on- and off-road routes, exclusively on-road routes, or I want to route where the program will not let me route when in cycling or road routing mode. This program allows me to easily see where nice rest stops can be found along my routes. And I can easily click through to Google Maps to learn more about the rest stops and the roadway intersections at Google Maps street view. Learning how to use the following functions in the program skillfully has made a big difference in how powerful this tool is for me: Follow Roads, Draw Lines, and Add/Remove Control Point. Sometimes I click from a starting location and end up at a destination. Other times I know my starting location and destination location and the program automatically creates a route for me which I then in turn need to manipulate into something I like.

2. Plotaroute. I use this mapping program mainly to combine routes I create in Ride With GPS (RWGPS). Or to shorten such routes. Or to compress such routes so the file I load into my GPS devices is not so large. I used to edit routes more in this program. But now it does not use Google Maps. So it is not as helpful to me for editing purposes. I also use this program to add controle markers in my routes, edit intersection names, and to create image maps that identify the controles and rest stop locations on my routes. This program lets me download GPX files with the waypoints included.

3. Google Maps. I use this online resource in three ways. I mentioned the first way above when writing about my use of RWGPS. I click through from RWGPS to get information about the various rest stops to determine if they are open 24/7. I also get the phone numbers for those convenience stores or whatnot. The second use is to copy a location address into my computer’s memory so I can paste that address into Bing Maps to do a review of street traffic levels regarding my route. And the third use is to use the Street View offered so I can see what the intersections in my route look like. Do they have a stop sign (SS), traffic light (TFL), or neither. Of course, sometimes I like to use the Street View just to look at the roads to get a feel for the route without actually riding or driving it.

Google Maps also plays a pretty big role in determining where the controles in my routes should go. Most of my routes only use controles that are open 24/7 or are US Post Offices. I’ll pick out towns in or around the route I want to design and zoom in to see it closer. Then I do a search for “convenience stores,” specific convenience store names, and/or “US Post Office.” I write down the location addresses I find and then use them as controles when designing the routes in RWGPS.

4. Bing Maps. After I create a route and have sketched out a rough cue sheet I then go to Bing Maps to follow the route in order to determine if roads are too busy to be included in my final route. And to determine if the road might not exist or might not be paved. I have found Bing Maps to be an incredible resource for a route designer who is not familiar with the roads where the route exists. Because of Bing Maps I can create a route from NJ in California and feel VERY comfortable that the route is good to go without even riding the route. Bing Maps rates low traffic roads as White, moderate traffic roads as Light Yellow, somewhat heavy traffic roads as Dark Yellow, and heavy traffic roads as Purple. Sometimes I will use a Purple road, but not usually. I try to avoid using Dark Yellow roads. Light Yellow roads are the staple in my routes. While the White roads are ideal.

5. Gravel Map. I typically do not want to include unpaved roads in my routes. Unfortunately Google Maps nor Bing Maps offer a full-proof way to determine if a road is unpaved. When those two programs are used in tandem to analyze a route you can usually figure out if a road is paved or not, but not always. As a “third eye” on the subject I have found using Gravel Map to be helpful in determining if a road is paved or not.

6. Strava. I very rarely use Strava to help me design a bicycling route. However, if I want to design a route with minimal elevation gain (minimal climbing), then this program can be helpful when initially figuring out the best course to follow on a route. It also can help me use roads that local cyclists are more inclined to use. I’ve used this program some, but definitely not very much.

7. Miles to Km Converter. I use RWGPS with “Miles” as the default distance setting. But my routes are supposed to be measured in kilometers. A conversion program is needed from time to time.

NOTE: All of these online resources are free to use. No membership fees are required.


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Ultra Whatever 362k

Ultra Whatever 362k

Come May 31 this coming year there is a second 24-hour RUSA team event I plan to participate in. This one will be up in the Niagara Falls region of New York state. As seems to be typical of these team events, I had to design a route to ride. Below is my creation. Click on the map to see the route in more detail at RWGPS.

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