Thank you for the earlier article, Judi, mind over matter indeed! I’m taking part in Calvin’s Challenge again this year and will be considering and dealing with that same mental struggle, attitude, time management and other considerations that you mention. Yes, there is a strong and satisfying sense of euphoria when you complete a long-distance event like Calvin’s and it is, unfortunately, addictive! This will be my fifth Calvin’s and yes, I’m hoping for better weather than last year (for those that were there – the horror! the horror!).
Calvin’s is a very rewarding event to attempt, especially as a recumbent rider – it’s very well organized, it’s all in daylight on a ‘relatively’ flat course and there are many different categories for just about every type of bike (uprights, ‘bents, trikes, single speeds, high wheelers to name a few) so recumbents are very welcome. All of my previous attempts have been on a Catrike Speed and on several occasions I did ‘own the podium’ in my category with very few trikes taking part. Own The Podium – a fun phrase for Canadians since 2010!
This year, however, I will be riding a Bacchetta Corsa and will instead be riding in the same category as some very strong riders – no podium ownership this year, I suspect! The current record for my category and age range was set in 2007 by Jim Verheul at 267 miles in the 12 hours, which is a huge number – rest assured, Jim, I won’t be challenging the record this year!
I find Calvin’s to be a nice balance between being an extreme event (as in, “seriously, who rides a bike for 12 hours straight?”) but not so extreme that it significantly impacts family life either before or afterwards (although my wife might say different). Sure, there needs to be training and preparation leading up to a 12 hour event but it’s not the same as, say, a 24 hour event – that’s on a whole different level and would require significantly more time invested than I can spare. I also find that the impact on ‘normal life’ afterwards is limited and manageable. It’s about as extreme as I can accommodate around all the other things that life entails currently.
So here we go again; it’s only five weeks away, I’m excited and Spring’s almost here in Ontario. I’m a little behind in training from where I’d ideally like to be but not so much that it’s going to be a disaster…
At least, as long as the weather cooperates this year!
Can you imagine riding for 12 or 24 hours? Or can you do 100 km or 100 miles?
If you can imagine it, you can do it. It’s a question of mind over matter.
As much as I love touring on my tricycle, and in a former life my bicycle (yes, I rode one of those diamond-frames that hurt your butt after a few hours on it) – I still cannot see myself on it for those periods of time or distances. On the other hand, I fully understand the people who do, as I myself compete in half-marathons walking (which requires similar commitment-to-completion goals):
- It starts with the “I can do it” attitude! That’s the visioning part – see yourself participating and completing the challenge before you even start.
- Then it requires more “I can do that” commitment. My athletic friends and colleagues call this training. If you like /love the activity, be it cycling, running, walking, weightlifting or kayaking (etcetera), you will be able to dedicate the hours required to get you to your goal.
- Next comes the “I can make it happen” management. No matter what the goal it will require time, effort, and dealing with weather, moods, and motivation. I am a fair-weather athlete who doesn’t like to take time away from my priorities like family, eating, reading trashy novels, and watching crime shows on TV. So finding a minimum of 3 and possibly a maximum of 12 hours of week to prepare for this challenge is itself a challenge. However to reach the level of elite athlete requires mental and physical preparation.
- Then comes the “I will do it” pledge. It is the time where you register for the event, book your airfare and tell your family that no matter how much coercing they do to change your mind and take them to the beach instead – this is going to happen. This is where “the pig becomes bacon”. This is the obligation phase where you tell yourself and your family that you cannot back out. It generally includes a financial expenditure too, which helps.
- And lastly, we reach the “I did it” euphoria. Thank you Nike for those encouraging words “Just do it!”. Where were they when I sacrificed all those hours of torture, nursed my Achilles tendon injury. and decreased my wine consumption – all for the sake of the goal. Good thing that I had my family and friends offering empathy and encouragement of course. However, I did do it and this is the “pat yourself on the back” reward time that you were looking forward to when you started your goal.
Crossing the finish line gives you a euphoric sense of accomplishment. No matter how many supporters, coaches and Nike ads there are shouting in your head – and we thank them all – the accomplishment and the glory truly belongs to you. You pulled your own body weight through all of these phases and made it to the end.
I was recently adding a number of events to the REVERSE GEAR calendar and realized that there are many events out there to get us started down the path of challenging ourselves. Whether it is a neighborhood race or the Tour de France, set your own realistic goals in 2015 and “just do it”. You will be happier for it.
If you doubt me, just look at the joy on the face of Jon Deeks (resplendent in REVERSE GEAR) when he owned the podium in the tricycle category at Calvin’s HPV event in 2014. It was an exceptionally windy year so he only managed 143 miles in the 12 hours, a big drop from his own personal best of 186.5 miles from two years before. The amazing thing about attending events like this is meeting the other people who do it, and the ones who come back and do it again and again. In 2014, Jon met someone who was doing his 24th Calvin’s and who made him feel good about facing a wind had never been that bad, ever before. Jon isn’t going to let the wind discourage him from trying again in 2015.
Are you in your first year or 24th? What challenge will you take on this year? Share your experiences and photos.
This is what he had to say about the shorts: “the ‘recumbent-specific’ aspect is that they’re not encumbered with a bulky, awkward pad like most cycle shorts. Instead they just fit snugly around you as shorts should, with a nice quality fabric and feel.”
And he thought the long-sleeve Phoenix jersey was “rather lovely” too, saying that: “The full-length zip makes it easy to get on and off, and it”s made from a very open, lightweight material which feels cool against the skin. Zips are neatly sewn in, the back is completely seam-free where you sit on it.” [Editor’s note: the front is also seam-free where the pockets are attached, so there is no chafing from seams.]
He continues to say: “There are two zip pockets at the front for keys, some cash and a card perhaps, and it wasn’t uncomfortable with the weight of a mobile phone in there too. This is the key recumbent feature: almost any other jersey you buy will have the pockets on the back where you’ll be sitting on the seams uncomfortably.
But the pockets aren’t my favourite thing about this top. That goes to the yellow band across the shoulders and down the sleeves. It’s brilliant for visibility as you indictae a turn.” The photos in the article clearly show this feature.
Peter concluded hs review with: “Overall I was pleasantly impressed with this Reverse Gear outfit. If you’re finding conventional cycle gear just too compromised while riding laid back, give it a try!”
Thanks Peter. We hope this is encouragement for new riders to try – and to get the benefits from – recumbent-specific gear. At Reverse Gear our designs are engineered for the ‘laid back’ experience of recumbents with lower necklines and straight hemlines, in addition to front or side pockets which are zipped to prevent your valuables from falling out.
Reverse Gear is disappointed that we will not be attending this year – as we were sponsors of the first two events in California. However we offer our continuing full support to Recumbent Cycle-Con (RCC) presented by Recumbent & Tandem Rider Magazine. We hope that many of you will get a chance to visit the trade show and expo in its new northern location – whether you are involved in the recumbent and/or adaptive sports industry, or are a member of the riding public. There is something for everyone!
This year Recumbent Cycle-Con 2014 with Adaptive Cycling Fair will be held at the DuPage Expo Center in St. Charles, Illinois (3o miles west of Chicago) – on October 10, 11, 12, 2014. With many large recumbent shops and events in the mid-west, we think this is an excellent location to offer the benefits of this unique recumbent-specific event.
If you are a member of the riding public, you can meet technicians, engineers and designers from the major manufacturers. You can attend hands-on seminars, demonstrations and training sessions. Or just visit the booths to see some of the latest equipment and take it out for a demo ride.
We hope everyone has a great time at the Recumbent Cycle-Con 2014 with Adaptive Cycling Fair this year. Click here for registration details and schedule.
Reverse Gear does custom designs in jerseys and shorts. Custom designs are “walking billboards” for manufacturers and retailers. In fact they are a great advertising platform for sponsors too.
People like to identify with their ride – hence the huge succss of Harley-Davidson clothing.
People like to support their local retailers and will generally buy clothing from them – as well as equipment.
People love to bring back memories from trips or special rides.
Custom jerseys and shorts:
- evoke memories of an entire “experience”.
- are more often a favourite jersey than any other ordinary functional clothing item (e.g. people who ride in the MS, Diabetes, Cancer or Ataxia rides).
- are like bringing back lots of photos – they allow us to re-live the “good times” in our mind – long after we settle back to day-to-day living.
These are also some of the reasons why most fundraising rides either provide a jersey as part of the package or sell them to participants before, during or after a ride. They can also produce an income stream from the jerseys.
Some of the groups that can benefit from creating custom design work on a jersey are:
- Cycle Manufacturers – Cyclists are proud of their ride – they will always tell you what they are riding and why.
- Clubs, Associations, Teams and Individuals – Groups can put their logo on existing gear or have a jersey produced that expresses who they are. Organizations, clubs or associations, can make a profit or create an income stream.
- Retail Stores – Riders will promote the store every time they ride.
- Rides, Rallies, Events, and Trade Shows – A jersey can feature sponsors of the event and be either a give-away in the registration package or sold before, during or post- event to raise funds.
- Travel Touring Groups, Tours – Custom apparel is often worn on group rides to identify the participants to the communities through which they travel.
- Adapted Sports, Paralympics Events, and Hand-cycling Events – Reverse Gear has adapted sportswear but styles can be further adapted to suit special needs of specific sports and/or customized for organizations such as Wounded Warriors.
Custom work can range from having a logo printed on existing garments to having a garment fully sublimated (where the design/artwork is printed right into the fabric). It can also include the creation of new patterns and styles to accommodate specific needs. For example, the Chevron line was created because there was a request for large zippered pockets on the side of the jersey.
Shorts can also be customized with either sublimated panels or custom logos printed on standard gear.
There are no limits on the imagination of the creative!!!
Contact REVERSE GEAR for a quote on your custom design.
There are six events being held from April to September 2014 at the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, AL.
To be eligible for the Lima Foxtrot Programs for Injured Military, the service member must have sustained a severe physical injury during their time of service on or after September 11, 2001. Both active duty and veterans are eligible.
- Operation Perseverance (April 2-6) is for military personnel who have sustained physical injuries for an introduction to Paralympic sports. Clinics will be led by Paralympic athletes and coaches. Sports included are: Archery, Biathlon, Cycling, Shooting, Sitting Volleyball, Sled Hockey, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Triathlon and Wheelchair Basketball. Sessions on nutrition, strength and conditioning and goal setting will be included.
- Operation Night Vision (May 28 – June 1) is designed for servicemen and women who have sustained a significant eye injury or vision loss. This operation is made possible by funding from the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama and Wounded Warrior Project®.
- Operation Refocus (June 25-29) is a program for servicewomen who have sustained spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, vision impairments, amputations, burns, and/or disfigurements while serving on or after September 11, 2001. A female-only event, it gives an opportunity to address the needs which are specific to women and focus on the mind, body and spirit. This Operation is funded by HillCrest Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.
- Operation Down Home (July 16-20) introduces the entire family of servicemen and women who have sustained a significant injury or vision loss to recreational sports opportunities. Qualifying injuries included but not limited to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, vision impairments, amputations, burns, and/or disfigurements. This camp is limited to families, and is made possible by funding from Wounded Warrior Project.
- Operation Alpha (August 6-10) is designed for servicemen and women who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. This operation is made possible by funding from Wounded Warrior Project.
- Operation Rise and Conquer (September 24-28) is an extended outdoor adventure weekend for servicemen and women who have sustained a significant injury or vision loss. The weekend begins at Lakeshore and moves on to Lake Martin, located near Alexander City, Ala., for a variety of challenging outdoor recreation activities. Qualifying injuries included but not limited to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, vision impairments, amputations, burns, and/or disfigurements. This operation is made possible by funding from Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information about the programs and to apply, visit www.lakeshore.org/lima-foxtrot for an application.
The mission of Lakeshore Foundation is to serve individuals with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions to live healthy, active and independent lives. To learn more about Lakeshore Foundation, visit www.lakeshore.org.
A participant in each of the six programs will be provided with an ADAPTIVE SPORTSWEAR jersey.
Send us your photos and win a REVERSE GEAR Jersey and 24 bars – see details for submitting below…
REVERSE GEAR (RG) is proud of its innovation. We put zippers on both our front and side pockets so that active athletes – especially recumbent and hand cyclists – could securely store and easily reach their food and valuables while continuing down the trails.
We know these zipped pockets are valuable in other sports too. Judi carries three hours worth of food as well as her camera and cell phone when she walks half-marathons.
The zipped pockets are also useful for: walkers, runners, hikers, kayakers, canoeists, cross-country skiers, golfers and wheelchair athletes.
We also know from surveys that more than 60% of recumbent cyclists have lost valuables on the trail. One recent story on Facebook told how a cyclist was going back-and-forth on a muddy trail trying to find lost car keys.
We debated with many people over the past six years of designing about the right size and location of the pockets. So we thought we would share our thinking with you:
- RG pockets are zipped so that valuables can be carried securely. And you don’t have to carry a bag or pannier on your cycle – which you must remember to take with you when you get off your cycle.
- They are low so that if you are carrying a heap of food and/or electronics, they are sitting comfortably below the belt, and not pressing on your solar plexus. Some pockets are in the side panels so they sit further out of the way.
- The pockets, even though they have a zipper sewn-in, are non-chafing because there are no seams on the inside of the jersey to rub or irritate.
- We also designed the pockets to be large so that you can carry a lot of stuff without it falling it out.
We knew they were LARGE – but we wanted you to see just how large they really are! So we thought we would have a photo contest to demonstrate their value to your riding comfort and enjoyment.
Send your photo(s) and/or description(s) of what you carry in your pockets to contests at reversegearinc.com.
We will post them on our Blog or Facebook page. We of course prefer photos of REVERSE GEAR pockets, but we will post others too – for comparison.
Every photo entered will give you a chance in a draw on June 15th for a REVERSE GEAR jersey and a box of 24 energy bars.
24 bars is how many Judi can get in her pockets at one time – along with her cell phone, camera, keys and credit cards of course (you know she won’t need food, but she might need to stop and shop).
Warren Beauchamp wrote this review some time ago – but everything he said then is still true about our clothing today. In fact, because our clothing is of such high quality, some folks out there are still wearing their original purchases (and we have been around for almost six years now). We have summarized what Warren said about Reverse Gear, but you can go here for the full review on the www.recumbents.com site.
Reverse Gear makes a line of clothing designed for recumbent bicycle (and trike!) riders. It’s high quality clothing …
The jerseys all have zippered front pockets that can be opened and closed with one hand while riding. The shorts have an extra layer in the crotch area. It’s not a pad like tradition bike shorts, but more of a soft layer to prevent chafing. In addition it is excellent for us folks that prefer not to wear anything under our bike shorts.
The Reverse Gear line of clothing is designed for comfort, just like recumbent bicycles… They also are cut different on the bottom. Standard jerseys are longer in the back than the front, Reverse Gear jerseys are the same length all the way around, and are a bit longer than traditional jerseys. The jerseys are made in a wide range of sizes all the way up to 4XL.
The material is wicking and after half a season of riding with various Reverse Gear jerseys I can say that they feel and work fine.
[The] Reverse Gear Men’s Shorts are a bit shorter than average bike shorts and are very comfortable. The extra layer of what looks like a fleece material prevents the shorts from riding up, and the relaxed fit prevents any binding of sensitive anatomy. The fit in the legs seems a bit looser than normal bike shorts, but the elastic is wide and they are tight enough to keep them in place and prevent air from getting in. (For photos and descriptions of liner – see original review.)
I have tested both the short sleeve Boab and the long sleeve Mulga 3 models. Because I have a long torso, I often have issue where the tight fitting waist of traditional roadie jerseys causes them to ride up my stomach. Because these are cut for recumbent bikes and are as long in front as in back, they do not have this issue.
These jerseys have now been washed many times and are not fading or coming apart. They seem to be quite durable.
…See those pockets? They work very well. I can open and close them with one hand and they are very handy for keys, bars, and other items that don’t mind being sweated on.
Journey Pictures Ltd has just completed the filming of a documentary covering two years in the life of twice world record holder and twice world champion, cyclist icon Graeme Obree. It began in his kitchen in Saltcoats, Ayrshire in 2011 and… just ended in September 2013 in Battle Mountain, Nevada. Graeme Obree is a very dedicated human powered speed racer.
Journey Pictures is delighted to announce that the KICKSTARTER Campaign for the documentary “THE OUTSIDER: Graeme Obree’s Story” is doing very well. They have alreday amassed more than £ 14.000 and 313 backers with only 5 days to go until the deadline. The response is massive and people are definitely interested.
If you would like to contribute, HERE IS THE LINK: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/369066676/the-outsider-graeme-obrees-story-in-his-own-words
They are trying to raise £20,000 to cover the cost of the editing and the completion of the final big screen version.
In conjunction with the trade show, the Adaptive Cycling Fair at Recumbent Cycle-Con is an event that supports cycling for everyone regardless of age or ability with trial rides on a variety of adaptive bikes and an introduction to a variety of specialized accessories.
To register for the event, click here.
To follow the event on Facebook, click here.