Systems Analysis: The Bike and You

The trick to the local trips is to jump on the bike and go, not to worry about anything but the joy of riding and the hardfun of getting there.  I think I view real riding the same way despite everyone talking about the bike and its rider as a unit.  My advice is to view yourself and your bike as a system, and while you are at it to pay attention to both parts.  My issue was a calf-pirformis issue and minor knee skirmishes.  And I viewed them as unrelated to my bike, despite their regular occurrence when I pushed my speed up a notch.

The October, 2009 Bicycling magazine, a great magazine that still doesn’t get the Internet so don’t look for the article to ever be online, had a great article on repositioning your cleats to maximize power as well as removing painful conditions.  They apparently got the information from Joe Friel who wrote the “Training Bible”.  The article includes pictures and details, but is similar to the first paragraph of this article by Jennifer Sherry.

So I moved the cleats back.  Tomorrow I will go out and find out if the adjustment has an impact or needs further tweaking.  The point I am making after I made the decision to adjust and before I know the impact is to read the articles, make your mind up, and think about the system as a whole.  Makes sense.

Countdown to the BTA’s 2009 Bike Commute Challenge

Who’s team is going to bag this year’s Bike Commute Challenge?

Tuesday is the first day of September and the first day of the BTA’s 2009 Bike Commute Challenge. We hope that you’ll join us again in the friendly competition to see who can bike to work more.  Weekly prize drawings, head to head challenges, the goal to beat last year’s personal or workplace record. . . It’s Challenge time again, and we hope that you’ll log back in and start logging trips.

Did someone say prize drawings?  That’s right.  If you missed the survey email that went out last week, you have one more chance to qualify for the first prize drawing of the year by taking a short 3-minute survey from ODOT’s Transportation Options program, one of our lead sponsors.  The end of the survey will take you right to the Bike Commute Challenge homepage.

If you haven’t logged back in yet this year, go to the Bike Commute Challenge homepage, click “I rode last year,” and enter last year’s username and password.  (Forgot it?  No problem.  Click on the “I forgot” text under the login box, and we’ll send you an email reminder of your username and a link to reset your password.)  All of your personal and team information remains intact from last year’s Challenge, so once you’ve logged in for the first time this season, you’ll have the chance to make any changes to your profile.

We thank you for getting on a bike, and we hope you challenge a friend to try out bike commuting this September as well.

Wishing you luck in this year’s Challenge and many happy bike commutes,


The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has a mission to create healthy and sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, convenient, and accessible.