Tips to Keep Safe on the Trail

Tips to Keep Safe on the Trail

At Bicycle Across South Carolina, safety is our #1 priority- on and off the trail. Here are some tips, tricks, and guidelines to help you and your fellow BASC riders stay safe and up on two wheels.

Q: What should I do if I need help on the trail?

A: While on the trail should you find yourself in need of assistance, we urge riders to communicate through the TraqCentral app. The app displays the route(s) and your location.  If needed, you can request assistance with the simple click of a button.  It receives any notifications, including location-specific alerts such as road conditions or weather warnings, and serves a the primary means of communication between riders and the SAG team.

This year our Saftey and Gear Team is comprised of 3 to 4 vehicles equipped with bike supplies such as; inner tubes, floor pumps, tire levers, multi-tool, first aid kits, bottled water. However, please note that BASC is a self-supported ride and we ask that riders come prepared with the necessary equipment and materials.

Download TraQCentral today and pre-register it with Bicycle Across South Carolina here.

If there is an immediate medical emergency we ask that riders call 911, followed by the SAG Team.

Q: How can I keep myself and others around me safe?

A: The mark of a safe and effective cyclist is to show respect for and awareness of the surroundings, including weather, road conditions, and others using the road. We request all riders follow these basic guidelines:

All participants who are mounted on a bicycle shall wear a securely fastened helmet that meets either the US DOT helmet standards or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard for bicycle helmets. Helmets with the European CEN certification may also be worn by riders while participating in the BASC event. For more information about our helmet policy, please click here.

  • Obey all traffic laws and stop at all stop signs
  • Ride no more than two abreast (Some areas only have room for one rider at a time.)
  • Ride as far to the right of the road as safe to do so
  • Move right and ride single-file when cars are behind you and need room to pass
  • Use appropriate hand and verbal signals when turning or stopping
  • Alert slower riders when you are passing on the left and do not pass on the right
  • Observe whether an intersection is clear before crossing
  • Do not wear headphones while riding
  • Always ride in a safe and predictable manner

We take your safety seriously. Please make sure you are familiar with the above rules and are able to follow them. We won’t compromise the safety of our riders; failure to follow the rules can result in removal from the rides/festival.

Q: What new changes and precautions are being put in place in light of COVID19?

A: We have implemented new protocols that focus on monitoring and dealing with potential COVID-19 cases during the event. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Sanitation stations will be set up at all venues, and rest stops.
  • All BASC Staff will be versed in COVID-19 protocols and contingency plans
    • All BASC staff will also be wearing masks or facials coverings wile in the venue or engaged with guests
  • There will be staggered start times for riders to prevent and congestion around the starting line.
  • Professional cleaning companies will be hired to clean all cabins per State Park protocols
  • Strategic placement of tents and campsites to ensure appropriate and safe social distancing
  • Strategic placement of food and beverage tents to avoid congregating in small areas.
    • This year we will be utilizing predominately smaller tents instead of larger ones to prevent large crowds from forming
    • Food and Drinks will be served by a staff member, there will be no buffet. Most items will be prepackaged or prepared.
      • All vendors and caterers will be required our rules and standards per their contract

We have also budgeted for various materials that will be used to create a safer and more clean environment, such as:

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Makes or Facial Coverings
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Touchless Thermometer
  • Bleach

Catch up on some previous blogs…

  • Are you wondering how to navigate the trail… browse through our Navigation Guide, with multiple options to help get you to the finish line.
  • If you’re asking yourself what to pack… check out our Packing Guide.
  • If you’re wondering where to sleep… read more about our Nightly Accommodations.
  • Can’t stay the whole weekend…. what about our 1-Day ride options?

Housekeeping

This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3-Day, 2-Day, and 1-Day ride options. Sign up here!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Email Nichole Blevins at nblevins@postandcourier.com.

For the most up to date information, subscribe to our Newsletter here! Or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Meet the Team – Nichole

Meet Nichole

If you’re subscribed to our newsletter then you’re familiar with our weekly ‘Meet the Team’ snippet featured at the bottom each week. We thought this would provide riders and those interested in learning more about BASC with a unique insight into the amazing collection of people who work behind the scenes. This week we are going to get to know Nichole, Event Marketing Manager, and BASC Team member.

 

Nichole grew up in Fairfax County, located in Northern Virginia. After graduating from George Mason University with a degree Sociology and Art History, Nichole decided to take a leap of faith and move across the pond, settling down in London where she lived for 14 years, working in the Advertising Industry.

Being more centrally located provided Nichole with ample opportunities to travel and explore the world. With an impressive 45 counties under her belt, the fondest memories include adventuring to Nepal where she trekked through the Himalayas to the Base Camp of Mt. Everest, Borneo to visit an Orangautange sanctuary, and skydiving on the coast of New Zealand.

As her tenure in London came to a close, Nichole made her way back State-side with her growing family. She has since lived in New York City and now Charleston! In the 4 years that have passed, Nichole has made the Lowcountry her home, working several years at the Charleston Radio Group, and joining the Post and Courier team last November.

 

In her spare time, you can find Nichole enjoying leisurely rides on her beach cruiser through her neighborhood. She also can be found trying out the newest restaurants in town, attending a local wine tasting, practicing photography, and listening to her favorite podcasts.

Quick Q & A

Q: Beach or Pool?

A: Both, but in the shade!

 

Q: Movies or Books?

A: These days, Netflix

 

Q: Camping or Glamping?

A: Glamping

 

Q: Rain or Sun?

A: 72 degrees and sunny

 

Q: Favorite Color?

A: Sea Foam Green

 

Q: Favorite Food?

A: Goat’s cheese on everything

Housekeeping

As you may have seen from our Instagram and Facebook, we officially have launched BASC 2020 Registration! This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3, 2, and 1-day ride options. Sign up here!

For the most up to date information, subscribe to our Newsletter here!

 

Early Bird Registration

Early Bird Registration is Open!

The wait is finally over and the early bird gets the worm! I think we can collectively exhale in a sigh of relief, because as of right now through July 15th, 2-Day and 3-Day Early Bird Registration is now open and ready for our first sign-ups of 2020!

This limited-time offer allows potential riders to save $50 on their registration fee! All participants will receive one camp site, transportation between State Parks (you and your gear!), breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks, water and beer/wine!

Additional costs and pricing is listed below.

  • Regular 3-Day Registration: $400 (July 16th to Sept. 16th)    
  • Regular 2-Day Registration: $300 (July 16th  to Sept. 16th)
  • Last Minute 3-Day Registration: $450 (Sept. 17th  to Oct. 12th)
  • Last Minute 2-Day Registration: $350 (Sept. 17th  to Oct. 12th)

We are also offering Non-Rider and Child Rider Options! Click here to register!

What to Expect in 2020

Over the past several months, as I’m sure I have mentioned, we have been eagerly and excitedly planning for our second annual, Bicycle Across South Carolina ride this October. Having gained knowledge and perspective after last year (hindsight is 2020 after all) we know what works, what needs to improve, and the adaptions and precautions required to make this unique experience happen. Some things will be staying the same, some changes will be made, and some new guidelines and precautions will be put in place!

Staying the Same

Similar to last year, BASC 2020 will kick off at Poinsett State Park, from there taking riders through Santee State Park, Overton Park, and finishing in the Francis Marion National Forest.

Despite venturing through the same parks as the previous year, riders can expect completely different routes and scenery along the way as they make their way towards the Lowcountry.

Riders can also enjoy nightly live music and entertainment, great food and beverages, and great conversation with like-minded enthusiasts. Similarly to last year, each night will include a complimentary camping option for those who want to embrace the great outdoors, as well as cabin or hotel options at an additional cost for those who need a little extra padding under their back when they sleep.

Some Slight Alterationsnew riders

This year, on average, each day of riding will consist of at least 80% dirt surface (mostly dirt roads) and 20% pavement. The ride is set up for mountain, cross, gravel, and crossover bikes with wider, knobby tires.

This year we will also be offering a 1-Day ride option! 1-Day riders will join the group on Day 3 with several routes to choose from with varying mileage. Our finale party will feature activities suited for all ages and is a family-friendly event! 1-Day registration will open soon – stay tuned!

Some Big Changes and Upgrades

We are proud to announce that we are officially a USA Cycling Association Sanctioned Ride!

Considered the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” in the cycling world, this bodes very well for all things BASC. Read more about USCA and the amazing rides and opportunities that they have to offer!

However, that isn’t our only big announcement. This year we have teamed up with New Belgium Brewing and are excited to say they will be the Official Beer Sponsor for BASC 2020! There will be an ice-cold Fat Tire Beer waiting at every campsite.

As the current situation unfolds, we continue to have conversations with our towns & communities, riders, business partners, vendors, and leadership team to determine the best course of action for everyone in 2020. We have made the decision to increase our safety precautions- technical and those pertaining to COVID-19. As we’ve stated previously, we are closely monitoring the situation. Riders can expect a more socially distant social scene and a staggered start time, but the spirit of BASC remains as fervent as ever.

Housekeeping

As you may have seen from our Instagram and Facebook, we officially have BASC 2020 dates! This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3, 2, and 1-day ride options. Sign up here for Early Bird Registration!

For the most up to date information, subscribe to our eNewsletter here!

 

Shopping Local for Bicycles in 2020

Bicycling in 2020

2020 has seen a huge increase of bicycle activity. In the midst of national unrest and a global pandemic, we have watched from our windows observing how small changes can create much larger impacts. New York City bicycle rental company CitiBike reported a 67% increase in rentals compared to this time last year. Not to mention their amazing Critical Workers Program, helping Critical Workers all across the city get to work safely and timely. In addition to CitiBike, the New York Department of Transportation has reported that it has seen a 50%+ increase of cyclists along all of their East River Bridges.  The Brooklyn Greenway has also seen a major uptake of daily users, reaching a staggering 112% more compared to the previous year.

On a more local front..

Bicycle shops in and around Charleston (as I’m sure the world) have been almost completely wiped clean of their regular inventory. Shops are now faced with tackling the steady flow of bicycles being brought in desperately in need of some TLC after a trail ride. Though more likely due to the long stint spent forgotten in the garage. Though the NIH and various government assembled COVID Task Forces may not consider bicycles shops ‘critical’ to day-t0-day operation, it is safe to say that without them, most peoples quarantine would have been a lot more boring and would of included a lot more time spent indoors.

Shopping local helps stimulate the local economy. The money you spend at a local business stays within your town and community, helping to ensure future fiscal growth. Local shops can offer more personalized service and often have one-of-a-kind products on display. We wanted to highlight some bike shops that can service all of your needs while also supporting local businesses.

Sweetgrass Cycles

Owned and operated by a bicycle shop veteran of 18 years, Lee Edwards, Sweetgrass Cycles is a one stop shop. Patrons can browse through a variety of road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, cruisers as well as bicycles for kids. Services such as rentals and repairs as also readily available. Lee was quoted by the Post and Courier in an article covering the increase of bike sales during the pandemic saying,

“We’re selling everything. Cooped-up people seemed to suddenly want bicycles. It’s a great way to get outside and exercise without getting too close to other people”

With an average google review of 4.6 stars, it is little wonder that this bike shop is a favorite among locals. Two reviewers stated:

 

 

 

The Bicycle Shoppe

Family owned for thirty years, The Bicycle Shoppe is the oldest bicycle shop in Charleston. With four locations spread across the city, this local treasure offers a wide selection of bikes to choose from, customizations, rentals, repairs- you name it and they have it at The Bicycle Shoppe. 

With an average Google review of 4.2 stars, The Bicycle Shoppe has been a long standing figure withing the cycling community. Two reviewers commented:

Holy Spokes

With a more limited range of services, Holy Spokes specializes in providing quick and easy bicycle rentals.  With 250 bikes available at 27 kiosks strategically placed around the peninsula, Holy Spokes is accessible to tourists and locals alike. A huge step in the right direction when in 2016, Charleston was voted the “Worst City for Cyclists“. Coupled with affordable pricing and the ease of picking up and dropping off whenever, all tracked by an app on your phone, finding an easier rental service is hard to beat. Similar to the CitiBike service in New York City, Holy Spokes has teamed up with MUSC as a title partner to promote a healthier way of living and getting outdoors. One report stated that their goal was..

“…..in one year, for riders to collectively burn 1,000,000 calories.

Google Reviewers said:

Housekeeping

As you may have seen from our Instagram and Facebook, we officially have BASC 2020 dates! This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3, 2, and 1-day ride options.

As we closely monitor the ongoing COVID19 situation, we are working together to ensure the safest possible ride and routes. For the most up to date information subscribe to our eNewsletter here!

Check out our Instagram to enter our giveaway! Running through the 22nd of June, enter to win a Terry bike saddle!

Catch up on last weeks blog post “Surface Level Introduction”

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!

I remember it vividly.

The summer of 2009 working my first summer job scooping ice cream at my Aunts shop. It was also the summer I learned about the importance of hydration. My mothers sister eagerly took me in, as I have cousins galore and out of all of them, I was (and still am) the only girl! Craving a female presence in the house coupled with the opportunity for a readily available employee who conveniently did not yet meet the age requirement for a drivers license, it was the perfect match!

My parents carted me two hours up the road to Myrtle Beach, unpacked the “shocking amount of luggage needed for such a short period of time” as said by my father, wished me luck, and promptly turned around, headed back to Charleston. As they faded into the distance (more accurately south on highway 17), undoubtedly giddy at the prospect of a summer spent relaxing with one less child to worry about, I stood excitedly on the metaphorical cusp of what would be one of the best summers ever.

As for the aforementioned cousins, I had now inherited four brothers. Also home from college for summer break, they were seasoned veterans working at the shop and aside from the familial bonds and a shared mailing address to bring us together, they were now my coworkers and bosses!

I don’t know who has or hasn’t worked scooping icec ream, but when it’s the dead of summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and hotter than Satans house cat, people want their freaking icecream. There is, not shockingly, little room for error when a line of 50 people is out the door and the only thing that is going to disperse the crowd is how fast you can scoop. It was a baptism by fire- literally, it was 103 degrees outside and although I learned a lot, there is one phrase in particular that will always stand out. A phrase repeated ad infinitum by my eldest cousin and manager of the shop.

“Hydration is Key to Success”

And he isn’t wrong. Our bodies are made of 60% water so whether you’re out cycling on the trial or scooping ice cream for a summer job, it should come as no surprise that proper hydration is critical to our bodies functionality. Yet for a task so deeply rooted in the reptilian brain, achieving and maintaining a hydrated state is often overlooked or even forgotten, only remembering to take sip when the dry mouth kicks in or at the onset of a headache.

8×8=?

We know you didn’t come here to do math, so we’ll do it for you.

8×8=64.

Although water intake varies by individual and you should let thirst guide you, the 8×8 rule- 8 glasses of 8 oz of water per day, sets a standard that when executed in its totality, will reign victory over dehydration, flaunting the fruits of war after a job well done. Helping maximize physical performance, boosting brain function and improved skin complexion? I’ll have what they’re having, please.

Of course consumption quantities are subject to variation when considering lifestyle and exercise. Dehydration can have noticeable effects when the body loses as a little as 2% of its water. When exercising, it is not uncommon to lose anywhere between 6-10% of water weight. So, if you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

The CamelBak

Hydration is critical for any serious cyclist. If you don’t stay hydrated, your performance will suffer. With longer rides, sometimes a water bottle or two just isn’t enough. Bikepackers often use hydration packs while on the road. The Hydrobak 50 is perfect for cyclists or those who lead an active outdoor centric lifestyle. A smaller hydration pack that doesn’t weigh as much, it carries about 50 oz, which is about two large water bottles’ worth. This is a good option for shorter adventures that won’t last as long, or where you’ll be able to refill it during stops.

 

 

 

Help!

Trying to drink more water every day can seem at best boring and repetitive and at worst well, a little torturous. But with some simple tricks and making some fun rules for yourself, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are our best tips for drinking more water every day.

  1. Add fruit or other flavor to your water
  2. Use an app to track your water intake like Daily Free Water
  3. Drink one glass before each meal
  4. Eat foods with a high water content
    • Lettuce: 96% water
    • Celery: 95% water
    • Zucchini: 95% water
    • Cabbage: 92% water
    • Watermelon: 91% water
    • Cantaloupe: 90% water
    • Honeydew melon: 90% water
  5. Set an alarm
  6. Make a water wager with your friends and colleagues. Set goals and challenges on who can drink the most water (within reason). Making water drinking fun will encourage you to re-hydrate.
  7. Set yourself rules.

    “I can’t have another coffee or snack until I drink 2 more cups of water. “

  8. Introduce spicy food to your diet. By eating more spice and hot foods you will naturally want to drink more water
  9. Invest in a reusable water bottle
  10. Use a water filter. If you live in a hard water area, your water could have a funny taste. Using a filter will purify your water, making it fresh and delicious.
  11. Check out our blog post Back to the Basics that also delves into the importance of hydration

Housekeeping

As you may have seen from our Instagram and Facebook, we officially have BASC 2020 dates! This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3,2, and 1-day ride options.

As we closely monitor the ongoing COVID19 situation, we are working together to ensure the safest possible ride and routes. For the most up to date information, subscribe to our eNewsletter here!

Tired of the wrong Bike Tire

“If the tire don’t fit, you must quit!”

-Jonnie Cochran, 1995

– BASC Team trying to be clever, 2020

Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Plenty of bikes and wheels on the rack
Plenty of bikes and wheels on the rack

Similar to what we tell our friends after a heartbreak, “There are plenty of fish in the Sea” we can also use this euphemism when describing the oversaturted sporting goods retail market. With gadgets galore, a body or build modification needed for every terrain possible and an information overload looming at every commercial break, it is of little wonder that when researching bike tires, it can get overwhelming. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again,

“AN IMPROPERLY FITTED BIKE (tire) CAN BE (one of) THE (many) CAUSES OF THE PAIN YOU ARE EXPIERENCING FROM CYCLING”  – An almost direct quote from last weeks blog regardigng “Fanny Fatigue”

  • Read about our favorite stretches to combat the discomfort caused either directly or indirectly by cycling.

This includes the tires are you riding on! With the growing number of options available on the market, buying the right tire for your bike can be tough. Much like car, bike tires have become increasingly more technical, which makes it difficult to sift through all of the complicated terminology to find the best option. Although there are ‘plenty of fish in the sea’ we’ve narrowed down to we think is an all encompassing, well rounded and hopefully helpful list.

Clincher Tires

The most popular tire, Clinchers are the bike tires you rode as a kid.  They have an outer “carcass” made for whatever type bike they need to be.  The name clincher comes from the fact that these tires “clinch” to the rim of the wheel with a bead of hard rubber.  Like a car tire, a clincher has an open bottom, and the only way it stays on the rim is to clinch to it.

Pros:

  • The main advantage of clinchers is that they make fixing a flat easy- even on the road, leading to their increase in popularity.

Cons:

  • Due to the weight of the rubber beads surrounding the tire, Clincher tires and rims are heavier when wet, and can increase the likelihood of pinched flats

Tubular Tires

Most frequently used by cyclists interested in racing and widely considered the most comfortable tire. Tubular Tires contain no inner tube and is glued onto the rim, can only be used when the glue is set, and usually require at least 3 layers of glue which can take days of drying and reapplying. For a flat tire with a puncture larger than a few millimeters, a spare is almost absolutely necessary.

Pros: 

  • Lightweight and less prone to punctures, widely considered the most comfortable tire
  • Lack the plastic beads of the Clincher Tire, making it noticeably lighter

Cons:

  • Tubular tires take time and patience to mount. Days can be spent applying and reappling the glue in order to bond to the rim
  • Less prone to flats but when they do occur are a bigger hastle to deal with
  • Considerably more expensive than Clincher Tires

We Suggest:

 

Tubeless Tires

The Holy Matrimony of Clincher and Tubular!
The Holy Matrimony of Clincher and Tubular!

Now close your eyes and imagine: The Church bells are ringing, the crowd is cheering, rice is flying through the air. I just took you on a trip down memory lane to the holy matrimony of Clincher and Tubular! Love is in the air, and with it brings a new generation of cycling innovations. The Tubeless Tire! The Tubeless tire can be used on any clincher wheel set without an innertube, making it the perfect combination of the two. We all know parents can be embarrassing so we’ll spare Tubeless the intimate  details and get straight to the facts. In order to use a tubless system on a clincher wheel, a special tubeless tire and conversion kit are needed. Heres what you need to know:

Pros:

  • Light and comfortable similar to the tubular
  • Easy to change road-side similar to the Clincher
  • If stranded roadside, a tubeless tire can be fitted with an inntertube, making it ideal for training and racing

Cons:

  • Price range is usually around $100 and the current market only offers a select few options to choose from

Housekeeping

As you may have seen from our Instagram and Facebook, we officially have BASC 2020 dates! This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3,2, and 1-day ride options.

As we closely monitor the ongoing COVID19 situation, we are working together to ensure the safest possible ride and routes. For the most up to date information, subscribe to our eNewsletter here!

Back to the Basics

“Look both ways before crossing the street!!”Look both ways before crossing the street!

The first rule of the road we all learned and a precautionary warning yelled in vain by parents across the world as their child eagerly sprints off in hopes of finding whatever ball was thrown with such a velocity that it landed in the neighbor’s yard. Advice that is so cemented in our heads some would almost say it’s like riding a bike- you never forget! So let’s get back to the basics!

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned cycling veteran, we can just about all agree that knowing the basic rules of the road can be the deciding factor between a good day and a really really bad one. Old dogs and Puppies alike can stand to benefit from learning (or relearning) a few new tricks. That’s why we’ve come up with a quick and easy-to-remember checklist; The 4 H’s.  Meant to help not only those new to the sport but to anyone who needs a quick refresher. You can’t run before you walk, and you cant multiply before learning addition so why is cycling any different? Build a solid foundation based on facts and situational awareness so future cycling excursions can be enjoyed to their fullest extent all while remaining fundamentally safe.

Hydration

With the human body composed of approximately 60% water, it should be no surprise that a large fluid intake is needed to perform optimally. Studies have shown that even shockingly low fluid losses can significantly affect riders abilities. A 2% drop in body weight due to sweating will impair performance noticeably, 4% will decrease your capacity for muscular work, and, at 5%, heat exhaustion can become an issue and your capacity for work will drop by up to 30%.

The daily suggested intake is about a half-gallon or 64 fl oz. But what about when exercising? While cycling, aim to take 2-3 good sized gulps from your bottle every 10-15 minutes. For rides lasting longer than an hour, you’ll want to add some electrolytes. Staying hydrated improves muscle function, regulates blood pressure, and helps improve circulation- creating a perfect formula for happy cycling. Help stay hydrated with:

  1. The Elite Super Corsa Water bottle
    • a 750 ml water bottle best for long-distance rides
    • Entire bottle, including the cap, is biodegradable
    • Easy to grip bottle with ergonomic shape – dishwasher safe and BPA-free
    • Buy If: You want a large volume water bottle for long, non-stop riding.
  2. CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack
    • Like a regular backpack but better! Trade-in textbooks for 100 oz of the beverage of your choosing!
    • Features such as an overflow storage compartment, reflective accents and external hooks for helmet storage
    • Buy If: You want a large volume water pack to last throughout long days on the trail
How Hydrated are You?

Headphones?

Short Answer: NO
Long Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT but if you do there are ways to be safe and situationally aware

SIR THERE IS A CAR BEHIND YOU CAN YOU HEAR ME????

We jest, we jest. All cyclists are entitled to make their own decisions when it comes to personal safety and music preference, however that doesn’t mean we won’t try to change minds with compelling evidence. Much of the debate hinges on safety. On the one hand, riding with headphones presents an obvious safety risk. The chief concern being that it compromises a cyclist’s awareness of cars and other warnings, like shouting pedestrians, barking dogs, and opening car doors. The second being hearing loss. Permanent damage can begin at 85 decibels, which is only 70 percent of the maximum volume of the typical MP3 player. Busy streets already reach that level on their own, so it’s reasonable to assume that a cyclist’s headphones would have to be far louder to overcome the sound of traffic. The concern is that wearing headphones increases the likelihood or severity of an accident. Keep your eyes and ears open while on the road. Similar to texting while driving, cycling is best practiced distraction-free. However, if you truly have the music in your bones and enjoy spinning to a tune:

Head Up

Look out in front far enough ahead so you can react to any obstacles in the road, or on the shoulder in front of you.  Things like storm drain grates are very bad for skinny road bike tires. Not to mention, Humans were not designed to ride bikes. Cycling completely changes the weight distribution through your muscles and spine by bending the back and neck into an unnatural position. While tackling the arduous 3,000 mile Race Across America, cyclist Michael Shermer’s neck muscles became so fatigued they simply failed and he was no longer able to hold his head up at all. His team had to construct a makeshift brace from bungee cords to restrain his head in a position that enabled him to see where he was going and to carry on to the finish line. To avoid a stiff neck while also enjoying the surrounding vistas try..

  1. Proper Positioning
    • Many people experience neck pain because they are improperly positioned on their bike with their head tipped upward.
      • To Check your Form: Pull your stomach in toward your lower back, elongate your torso, slide the shoulder blades down your upper back and keep your chest slightly lifted while riding. Keep your chin tucked in and stretch your neck during relaxed parts of your ride.
      • Check out our blog post for The Best Stretches for Cyclists
  2. A Properly Fitted Bicycle
    • A fitted bicycle can help avoid cycling injuries in the long run and will make a better and more efficient cyclist.
      • Visit a local bike shop for a personalized fitting. Most shops often can make small adjustments that can help you feel more comfortable on your bike.

Heed to the Rules

Heed to the road signs

Ride with traffic and obey all road signs. Closely watch all cars in front of you so you can try to anticipate what they are going to do. South Carolina ranks 46th in the country in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities, with 23.7 fatalities per 10,000 commuters.  13% of all traffic fatalities are either pedestrians (11%) or bicyclists (2%).

 

 

 

Though tips and forewarnings like The 4 H’s may seem redundant, there is something to be said about the obviousness of them all. The precise reason we may not remember is that they are in fact so obvious, they need not be said at all. Thus allowing them to fall to the wayside, escaping recollection and execution altogether. We hope that with our easy-to-remember system, hobbyists and professionals alike can enjoy the sport with less worry and a better understanding of the fundamentals of cycling.

Housekeeping

As you may have seen from our Instagram and Facebook, we officially have BASC 2020 dates! This year’s ride will take place on October 15th – 18th with 3,2, and 1-day ride options.

As we closely monitor the ongoing COVID19 situation, we are working together to ensure the safest possible ride and routes. For the most up to date information, subscribe to our newsletter here!

How to Avoid Fanny Fatigue and Soreness

You know the feeling I am talking about. What first comes to mind is the hour’s long pilgrimage to my grandparent’s house that growing up we would make quite frequently. Confined to the backseat of the car, I sat and watched out the window while my dad would play a game called ‘Trying to beat our personal best record of shortest trip to Gannys House ever’. Which in my family translates to- “no stops unless absolutely necessary”. Around hour two, a numbness would creep up through your legs and before you knew it- wham! All sensation in your butt would be gone. A plight my mother appropriately dubbed “Fanny Fatigue”.

In the decades since, and having procured a driver’s license of my own, I have been able to make the trek to my grandparents’ house successfully, sans fanny fatigue. As cyclists, I am sure this is an sensation shared by many. If you have ever experienced cycling-induced saddle soreness, you know it can make cycling unbearable. Not only that, but many worry about potentially doing permanent damage to their bodies.  Through a 20 year period of trial and error, I have learned the ways of sore butt syndrome and have come to the realization that:

  1. Fanny Fatigue descriminates against no man- regardless of skill level
  2. Fanny Fatigue can result from just about anything that requires a surplus or lack of blood circulation in your butt
  3. Though we might not be able to win the war against Fanny Fatigue, we can still celebrate small victories through proper knowledge and implementing preemptive solutions before it is too late!

Pain is not a normal part of cycling. We are here with tips and tricks to help keep your butt in tip top condition- while also avoiding the dreaded Fanny Fatigue.

Make Sure your Bike Fits

Proper bike fit means you have a position on the bike that lets you ride as long as you want, as hard as you want, and stay comfortable the entire time. A good fit can also help prevent overuse injuries that result from an improper position. There are several ways to ensure your bicycle is properly fitted to your body and its needs, you can:

  • Pay for a professional fitting. Expect an average cost of about $150 and up for a comprehensive fit. These can be done at most professional bicycle shops
  • Do your own research at home with the help of this book, meant to educate riders on proper positioning
  • Check out Treks Precision Fit System, designed by biochemical engineers specifically for cyclists

 

Get the Right Saddle

Make sure you have a great saddle! When fitting your saddle, make sure it is either dead straight, or angled just a degree or two down in the front. It’s a good idea to start with it dead straight. If that doesn’t work for you, try tilting it down in front, just a tiny bit at a time. Also make sure that your handlebars are not lower than your saddle – crouching forward at an angle is obviously not kind to your groin area. Fortunately, there are several types of seats that can help alleviate that pressure and prevent injury. Look for seats with a split saddle, or one with a space in the area that would normally press into the perineum. There are more extreme options like the “no-nose” bicycle seat, the moon seat and the easy seat that are geometrically different from a standard saddle as well. For help finding a bike saddle best for you try:

  • Adjusting it to the correct height. This contributes to a more efficient pedal stroke and helps to prevent irritating symptoms from arising. Try using Bike Fittings Online analysis  to determine your correct inseam
  • A comprehensive list of the best bike saddles for Men and Women

Wear Bike Shorts

Hailey Bieber and Princess Diana rocking bicycle shorts

Though bike shorts have made their rounds within the world of pop culture and fashion, in reality they serve a much more useful purpose. Cycling shorts protect your most sensitive regions from the pain of long contact with a bicycle seat. The rubbing action of your inner thighs against the bicycle seat is offset by the smooth face of the cycling shorts. In addition to the mild compression provided by a tight-fitting pair of shorts that increases blood flow to the legs, cycling shorts are also close-fitting to maximize aerodynamics, and give a full range of motion to the rider. It is essential to spring for good quality, well-fitting bike shorts that have a chamois, or a gel liner. And if you do multi-day rides, you will need at least two pairs. This is so that you have a clean and dry pair at all times. Here are some resources to help find the best pair:

Generously apply Chamois Cream

First of all, what the heck is Chamois Cream? Chamois cream is an anti-bacterial, viscous substance that helps eliminate friction between skin and clothing, and therefore the chafing that can occur during a ride. It comes in a number of forms including balms, creams and even powder. If you start to get hot spots, Camois Cream might be your saving grace.  It is your choice as to whether to put it on the chamois of your skin, though most find its optimal use is by applying directly to areas afflicted. It’s a whole lot less messy than coating the entire pad. You can even apply chamois cream beforehand to areas that you know are prone to irritation.

  • Here is a popular cream used among many in the cycling community

STAY DRY

Moisture weakens your skin and increases the chance of irritation. If there is no way to stay dry, apply chamois cream before cycling. Heres how:

  • Leave your underwear at home! Underwear decreases the effectiveness of your chamois. Your underwear may move and cause chafing, as well as lead to the potential of getting damp, making matters even worse.
  • Be sure to have good, wrap-around fenders on your bike to avoid water splashing up at you.

TAKE A BREAK!

Take periodic breaks to rest your butt and stretch your legs. Use the opportunity to do some stretching and listen to your body. Your bicycle will be there waiting for you upon your return. Afterall, distance makes the heart grow fonder. That is of course distance on the trail as well, but also taking time to heal your body!

 

 

 

Staff Picked Favorite Smoothies

At BASC, we believe proper fuel for the body is a critical ingredient to success. At times, it may come in the form of a burger and fries, however, we want to highlight a quick, easy, team favorite go-to. The Smoothie. Though it may not sound revolutionary, smoothies are a great way to obtain much-needed nutrients and protein that juicing can leave behind.

  1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

A staff pick right off the bat, we’ve taken a childhood classic and turned it into a delectable beverage, enjoyed by children and adults alike. For this smoothie you’ll need:

2. The Classic Green Smoothie with a twist

A favorite of our staffer, Alison, this green smoothie is the perfect wake-me-up in the morning. You’ll need:

  • a handful of Spinach
  • Almond Butter
  • Almond Milk
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Fresh Ginger to your tasting

3. For the CoCo Loko Smoothie

All of the creamy chocolate flavor, none of the guilt. This smoothie is a staple within the BASC office. What started out as inspiration from a desperate Uber Eats order, we have made our own amendments to the recipe to create this one-of-a-kind beverage. You’ll need:

4. Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

It tastes like summer in a cup? If you need more convincing than that, you’ll have to try this smoothie for yourself and let the flavors do the talking. Easy and Delicious you’ll need:

5. The Smoothie Bowl 

One might think a blender is crucial to make a smoothie. However, the smoothie bowl is here to tell you otherwise. Simple and aesthetically pleasing, this is a recipe crowdsourced from friends of BASC and is sure to provide you with the energy you need to tackle the day. You’ll need:

  • A Greek Yogurt base (or yogurt of your choosing)
  • Kiwi
  • Granola of your choosing
  • Blueberries
  • Coconut shavings

 

Though these are just a few favorites from the BASC team, we wanted to share some of our quickest and tastiest favorites. The wonderful thing about smoothies is their customizability. Proportions and ingredients can be doled out or withheld per your liking. Additions such as flax seeds, chia seeds, berries and fruits of all sorts, and veggies!

We are anxiously awaiting the official BASC 2020 dates to be finalized, however, in the meantime check out our blog post on Ways to Stay Limber at Home!