Hello everyone and welcome to the 11th Boure newsletter. As we transition from Winter to Spring across the country, we can see the variable weather in the orders our many customers are placing. From the new sunscreen 2005 Team jersey in Florida to thermal tights in Minnesota and vests, warmers and other Spring items across the country. We have high hopes for 2005 and if the local scene is any indicator, it is taking more and more conditioning, to stay even in the general cycling population. Are we getting old, are the bikes that much lighter or has everyone else quit drinking and started getting adequate rest to go with their steroid injections? Man, it is getting fast out there.
As always we encourage one and all to write with suggestions or comments regarding this newsletter or the web site.
1. Drew gives you his personal background which shows why industry visionaries can't follow the crowd,
2. Fred seems to agree,
3. New Boure gear on the web site,
4. The other stuff...
1. A Cycling Contrarian, by Drew Bourey
"It's Francesco Moser, with his distinctive style. His still, aerodynamic position on the bicycle is an imposing sight of almost effortless rotary action."
--Commentary from "A Sunday in Hell"
I have been riding a 10-to-18 speed bicycle for sport and recreation 30 of my 44 years, and somehow I've never quite been in sync. Through the late '70s and early '80s just describing to your peers what it was you were doing required a patient explanation, but we were all proud of being cyclists who rode fast, did a little touring, and always had fun. In the '80s, road racing was just the avenue for me to learn how to suffer and see how far I could push the limits of my body. But lets face it, domestic racing was just starting to come into its own, was still clearly categorized as "minor" (one notch above "oddity"), and was often no more than a handful of racers changing into shorts on the "modest" side their cars. True, there was the phenomenal success of Greg Lemond, but once-weekly, made-for-TV coverage (depending on whether the preceding CBS boxing match went the full 12 rounds) of his Tour exploits was still being accompanied by the original music of John Tesh, and one had to find a New York Times to follow the daily GC.
Into the '90s, and most riders in Durango had turned into professional MTB racers. Just assembling a group of road riders around here for a come-one-come-all club race night became a challenge. But things were changing. Below the radar, the foundation for current American road racing strength was being laid. Lance won the Worlds in 1993, riders like Bobby Julich and George Hincapie were going to Europe as juniors, and a consistent, fun Tuesday night ride of 10+ riders was firmly established.
And me? Well I had started to re-tool my business, got married, began raising children, bought a house...whew, I get tired just thinking about it. Through this time I struggled with the commitment of time and energy it took to attain prior levels of fitness. I watched as my well-adjusted friends rode together for fun, didn't worry too much about what they ate and drank, nor planned when they would need to be peaking, and though they rode plenty, were never in danger of over-training. I beat my brains in trying to regain my previous level of fitness, they went to Centuries and Tours, then toasted their good times and newly minted friends with beers after the ride. I was pedaling squares. So, I started to think (well, by now I was too tired to ride). What was I doing wrong?
So, after an infant-induced layoff, I started by using my bike to ride the 5-miles each way to work and back - rain, shine, or blizzard conditions - and I noticed my legs started to feel good. I was having fun and never considered my previous regimen of vein-popping intervals. When I left for work and it was nice, I'd spin an extra 5 miles. If I felt energetic, I'd ride up and down a few hills around town to work. If I was tired, I'd stick to my usual easy ride in. I only rode as hard as I felt good, and never to exhaustion. Funny, but my legs kept getting stronger and I rarely felt tired. Then I got cocky and did one of our somewhat notorious B-level club rides up Hesperus Hill. I hung like grim death to the two leaders, knowing full well that I was at my limit. When everyone regrouped, I went home. I was tired. I didn't want to be this tired. When I got home the decibel-level produced by my children had somehow trebled and it was late into the night before I could wind down enough to sleep. What next? I still wanted to ride faster, but I also wanted to stay married.
As my youngest got out of diapers, I found enough energy to start concentrating on eating a healthy diet. Weight started to come off, and it didn't involve 300-mile weeks or starvation. And as a bonus, I also had more energy. This was getting better and it hadn't taken a boot camp to do it. I had seen the light that others had never lost sight of. I was riding 100 miles per week, feeling healthy and fit, and enjoying every mile of it. And where are my middle-aged friends? I don't know. Somewhere in the last 6 years they caught Yellow Jersey fever, adopted training regimes and hired coaches, acquired 16-pound bikes, rode through winter nights, and started to taper their fitness for upcoming Centuries and Tours. They have dispersed themselves among the 200 riders and 4 separate skill-level groups that race every Tuesday night in Durango. Are they all still having as much fun? I can't say. But with any luck, I'll be out there in that fast group later this season to join up with some of them. And instead of pedaling squares, I hope to be "an imposing sight of almost effortless rotary action". Of course, by then my friends might be starting to get tired and Lance will have done his last Tour...
In future newsletters I might try to convincingly extol the seductive feel of bikes with double-butted steel tubing and down tube friction shifters, the soothing comfort of Brooks leather saddles, the potential of low mileage/low intensity training (or "How to Stay Fit AND Married"), why it's OK to let your bike get dirty and stay dirty, the joys and social righteousness of commuting by bike, and anything else I think of while I ride to and from work.
2. Fred Matheny, who some of you know as one of the co-founders of RoadBikeRider.com and the rest of you know as the veteran coach, bicycle expert and author, recently responded to a question about saddles in the 4-7-05 edition of RBR's newsletter. Since Fred's response generally mirrors what we believe and spout about chamois inserts, we thought we'd ask Fred if we could include the letter and reply here. For the record, Fred's reply in the affirmative is included at the bottom where he tells you how our shorts are working for him and his riding schedule. By the way, Fred is riding a pair of Custom-Fit Boure Pro shorts with an Elite chamois (his Custom-fit size is categorized as the "former college football lineman" fit). One unrelated item was removed from his e-mailed response.
Ask Coach Fred Matheny
Padded Saddle or Firm Saddle?
Question: You may wince when I say this, but when I bought a new Litespeed Classic I immediately traded out the "racing saddle that came with it for a contoured padded saddle. I'm 51, slightly overweight and rode 3,000 miles last year. I like my padded saddle. Is there a good reason to ride one that's harder and narrower? -- Brian P.
Coach Fred Replies: I'm not sure I want to get into the "padded vs. firm" saddle debate! Everyone's anatomy is a bit different, so the saddle that's comfortable for one rider can be painful for another.
Padded saddles promise greater comfort, and if your saddle is working for you there's no reason to switch to a different style. But there are sound reasons (besides appearance) why padded saddles don't work for many riders.
First, padded saddles tend to be wider, which causes chafing against thighs during pedaling.
Second, when sitting on a thickly padded saddle, your sit bones compress the padding, causing it to well up in the crotch and create pressure right where you don't need it.
Firmer and narrower saddles, on the other hand, support your sit bones without squishy padding impinging on soft tissue. They take some getting used to because the sit bones bear much of your weight. But after the initial break-in period (your rear end, not the saddle) they're often more comfortable.
You might have proven that to yourself if you'd tried your Litespeed's stock saddle for a few rides instead of immediately replacing it.
One other point: It's friction, not pressure, that causes most saddle discomfort. That's why padded saddles usually aren't the answer. It also explains the discomfort riders often feel when wearing cycling shorts with a heavily padded liner. A thin but "slippery" (well lubricated) liner is less likely to cause pain and saddle sores than an over-engineered, plush one.
Riders who like thick padding don't need to write! It all depends on personal anatomy.
(For the latest research and advice on saddle design and selection, check out Finding the Perfect Bicycle Seat in the RBR eBookstore.
For more RoadBikeRider wisdom and information please check out their web site and sign up for the weekly newsletter full of cycling gems at RoadBikeRider.com
Wade and Drew--
I wore my Boure shorts nearly every day at 2 weeks of cycling camps I coached at in AZ in March (I washed them out each night.....). They're great and I completed 13 days of riding and 885 miles with no saddle sores or abrasions. Pretty nice.
I'd really like to come down next September to ride. Keep me posted on the dates as you finalize them and I'll put it on my calendar.
Hi to Ned,
3. The 2005 jerseys are in and they are great. We have received a number of unsolicited comments that the lightweight long sleeve "sunscreen" jersey is just the ticket in high sun areas. We have added the once secret Women's Classic short to the web site with the proper styling and fit so men and women don't have to share a "Unisex" version. After several long time customers figured out that we could make the ever popular Pro Knickers out of the heavier Elite material and Air Tech chamois, we have decided to make them full time offerings and have added the various versions to the web site. See all of these by Clicking HERE.
4. The FAQs page is getting a lot of attention and several customers have taken it upon themselves to edit, clarify and otherwise question our impeccable work. So in the spirit of cooperation we want to thank them for their assistance and remind them to get a life as soon as they can so they stop bothering busy people. Just kidding, we love ya!
Wade's world is opening and now actually includes some cool stuff that you can buy and a rather lengthy explanation of how it all works. Check it out by Clicking HERE.
We have received only one entry in the story telling contest so we know that the rest of you haven't been trying. Heck, we get more stories when people try to explain why they need an item to fit just so. Keep trying and send in those stories. Otherwise we will start telling your friends why you need those special fitting shorts and about those lumps and sores you are hiding.
Ned is working out his racing/social schedule but so far we know that the Boure Ride Week will be in September or early October. The number one candidate is Sept 18-24, with early October as a close second. We will keep you posted so please let us know if you are interested in coming so we can give you special attention and information.
Again, all of us here at Boure wish you the very best now and in the future and thank you for your support and continued referrals to your friends. Please let us know how we can help make your cycling more fun and comfortable,
Ned, Drew, Wade, Laverne and Jacque