The blog of the Penn Cycling team, 2nd place in ECCC D1 and the Ivy League in 2010!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Core Blasting! and delicious biking snacks

similar to BEAR BLASTING!

Since cycling is more than just pedaling fast (but not always, as a wise ECCCer once astutely put), take some time every week to do what we at PEnn Cycling like to call "blasting your core." Rather than spending all that money on super fast carbon wheels and an aero frame that reduces your drag by .007%, why not work on those overlooked muscles that help maintain an aero position (e.g. in the drops) and keep you more comfortable throughout a race?

This article explains the necessity of having a strong core as well as providing 8 fairly simple exercises that are specifically designed for serious cyclists. And hey, even if it is total BS there's something cool about saying "I am CORE BLASTING!!!!" enjoy,0

and onto tasty snacks...I haven't quite gotten the proportions down, but I assume the combination of carbs and protein is pretty solid, so figured I'd give it a shot. Taste isn't too bad and I get a little self satisfaction out of making a huge slab of these rice snacks rather than eating clif bars and gu's all the time. Haven't experimented with the PB and nutella option, but imagine it would be mighty tasty.

(sidenote: notice how this article was posted under fashion and style...nice)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Need to cram? Last minute prep advice to get in shape

For a lot of us, this fall has been full of too much OCR, too much homework, too many recruiting-financed gin & tonics, and not enough biking!

For the team members thinking, "Crap! Racing is less than two months away! ...and Philly is a snowy mess," here are a couple of tips for last-minute cramming to get in shape for the upcoming races:

  • Sign up for RPM!
    The RPM classes at Breakaway are great. You go in, strap your own bike into their compu-trainers, and get a hard core workout in a coached environment. Sign up ASAP.

  • Ride when it's nice out!
    The snow will be cleared up soon. I'll be riding next week (on "Samantha," my beloved new bike) and slow/old/new folks are welcome to join me, since I fit in all those categories... haha.

  • Hit the gym!
    Go to classes at the gym. Pottruck has good classes, and we will soon send out new spinning hours, but general classes are great, too. My gym, Fusion (, has awesome, small classes that include 30 minutes of intense spinning intervals, 30 minutes of tough strength training intervals, yoga warm-down and a mini-massage. You essentially get uber-cheap personal training because of the small size. Hit me up if you want to check out a free session or two. It's especially good for busy students or those who need a pro to organize their workouts.

  • Get a bike "fit!"
    For anybody who's never had their bike "fit" to them, I promise that it makes all the difference in the world! You will ride farther, faster, and hurt a lot less. It's the best money you will ever spend on biking. Our sponsor shop, Breakaway, can help with discounts for team members (or talk to the shop where you bought your bike... they willl often do it for cheap or free).

  • Come to the practice clinics!
    You'll soon see emails about our team clinics on topics like cornering, bumping, sprinting, drafting, etc. They are great places to learn or practice. If you're like me (i.e. still need to learn to ride better), they are a phenomenal place to learn from some of the best riders in the country.

  • Ride inside!
    As a Californian-in-exile and USC alum, I hate the cold. So, I just got a new set of rollers to ride inside. The team has trainers you can borrow, too. Any of those are a great way to get in shape despite the nasty and snowy Philly roads.

  • Do your paperwork!
    Matt sent the list on how to register for USAC Collegiate races... Penn Cycling pays for it, so it's FREE to you if you race. Go for it!
So, if you've spent the past semester eating too many McKinsey-sponsored steaks, drinking too much Four Loko in one of those heinous high-rise dorms, sitting through too many Goldman EIS sessions, or (god forbid!) actually doing some homework... There's still hope! Let's get out, ride, and get ready for some fun races!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saddle bag wallet: What to carry with you on rides

We always tell folks to carry ID and cash just in case when they ride, but I learned the hard way once when I was stranded without any money how helpful it can be to make sure you're not only carrying the usual (tubes, water, etc.), but that you bring the right things from your wallet, as well.

Different folks carry different things, but I am kind of lazy, so I keep a permanent "saddle bag wallet" in my bag so that I don't have to always pack and repack it (invariably forgetting something). Take a look and I hope it gives ideas to others. Feel free to add comments on other things you carry with you at the end.

(Paper clipped together in the saddle bag pocket)

  • Drivers License - Laminated copy
    It's important to have ID with you any time that you ride, but I always fear either A) losing the original or B) forgetting it in my bike bag when I need it later, so I keep a laminated copy
  • Penn Card - Laminated copy
    Much like the drivers license, the Penn Card is helpful in case of emergency. In the case of a bad accident, the hospital will contact the university if they know you're a student, so this is a major help
  • Spare credit card
    I leave a rarely-used Visa card in my saddle bag for unexpected expenses. This saved me when I had to unexpectedly replace a tire & tube at a bike shop in the middle of the Cape Cod Rail Trail and was 20 miles from my hotel. It's also handy in case of emergency, since Philly cabs are equipped with credit card scanners.
  • $20 cash
    For any unexpected expenses (most often: lunch), it always helps to have cash. This is also helpful if you're far from campus, have a problem, and need to take a SEPTA Regional Rail home.
  • SEPTA token
    It's Philly... You should always have a SEPTA token just in case you have a problem and need to get on a SEPTA bus, trolley or metro train
  • iPhone - in Ziplock baggie
    The most important thing I have on my ride is my iPhone. Whether I need emergency help (phone), get lost (GPS mapping), am hungry (Yelp application), bored waiting for somebody to fix a flat (Angry Birds game), or need email connectivity to the school project that I am ignoring to go ride in the first place, it's important to have the iPhone. Just keep your phone in a little bag to make sure it doesn't get any moisture from sweat or fall in a puddle, though! (Note: the iPhone is the only thing I take in/out of the bag, and I leave the other stuff there)

    Note: Some folks point out that you're not supposed to make copies of your license or Penn Card. Phooey. If I'm in an accident and need the ID, that's the least of my worries...

What else do you guys carry in your saddle bags? Feel free to chime in with thoughts and advice for others!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Hello fellow ECCCers, alums, parents, friends, and stalkers-- Penn Cycling has a blog! Stay tuned for updates on training, racing, eating, and shenanigans.

Make sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter (@penncycling), too.

Also, follow the blogs of our sponsor bike shop, Breakaway Bikes, at "Breakaway is Blogging Away" and good friends Temple Cycling.