Inside Cycling - August 12th, 2019

Inside Cycling (Aug 12th, 2019)

Earn-a-bike program for immigrants / Two cyclist deaths this weekend / Blix Vika+ e-bike

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In today’s issue of Inside Cycling: a review of a folding electric bike, the best lower-body exercises to help your pedal stroke be more smooth and more.

Hope today’s newsletter makes your Monday a little brighter!

— Hailey Hudson

1. A Portland, Maine, program lets immigrants earn a bike. The program, which was first launched by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine in 2014, has a simple goal: to teach immigrants and low-income individuals how to care for a bike and understand traffic laws. When students complete the work and graduate the program, the bike is theirs. “On the bike you are free,” said a student, Jose Mavungo (pictured), who has only lived in the U.S. for 10 months. “You don’t need to spend money on things like gas or bus tickets.” The program has been in existence for seven years and has helped 125 people; they’re currently looking for more funding so they can accept waitlisted students. — PORTLAND PRESS HERALD

2. Blix Vika+ folding electric bike is great for commuting, not so much for anything else. The Blix Vika+ is stylish and refined, but it’s deeper than just good looks. The bike's top speed sits around 18.5 mph, while the range is up to 72 km or 45 miles with a 5-6 hour charge time. It has an aluminum frame and 20-inch wheels, coming in at 50 pounds. The Vika’s saddle and hand grips are both very comfortable, and overall the bike is a good value for the price. This is a great commuter bike that adds a little extra power thrust thanks to the 500 W engine. One reviewer said, however, the bike is not ideal for climbing hills and is also not a good fit for taller people. — ELECTREK

3. Nairo Quintana is leaving Movistar. In a move that many people saw coming considering Quintana’s longtime debate with his team, the Colombian rider is transferring, most likely to Arkea-Samsic. Quintana turned pro with Movistar back in 2012, but now it seems he's known for a while that it's time to move on. In his own words, Quintana wants to find a team where he is happy, supported and feels at home. — CYCLING NEWS

4. San Antonio residents can take a survey to ask for protected bike lanes. The city is redoing Roosevelt Avenue (a commuter street that's seeing more and more traffic) and has invited cyclists to take a 34-question online survey evaluating proposed street designs. A local cycling advocacy group is asking people to take the survey and ask for protected bike lanes. The city is undertaking a $14 million street infrastructure project and has money to spend. — RIVARD REPORT

5. Lower body exercises can help your pedal stroke be more smooth. As you pedal, you should focus on pedaling in a circle instead of just pushing down at the beginning of each stroke; stomping on the pedals limits your power. Make sure your bike is set up correctly, too, with a good fit. And work to improve your muscle strength, as this will help you pedal in perfect circles. Recommended moves to include in your workouts: single leg squat, single leg deadlift, lateral lunge, side-lying leg raise, single-leg bridge and single-leg calf raise. You can also do one-legged drills on the bike to help your stroke be even more fluid. — BICYCLING

6. A Miami cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run this weekend and a New York cyclist died as well. On Saturday, a Miami cyclist was riding on the MacArthur Causeway when the biker was hit and killed by a driver who authorities said was speeding along a lane for cyclists. Detectives from the Miami Beach Police Department have identified the vehicle; however, they haven’t released a description of the driver. One local Miami Beach cyclist said the city needs to do a better job of public safety. “There are too many accidents every single weekend here,” the cyclist said. In New York, the city’s tally of cyclist fatalities now sits at 19 for the year. Jose Alzorriz, 52, was biking through the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L in Midwood when a driver allegedly ran a red light and collided with another car, forcing one of the vehicles onto the curb, striking Alzorriz. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. — AM NEW YORK / WPLG-TV

7. If you want to carry your dog in your bike basket, consider its size and personality. If you think your dog will like the idea, slowly introduce your dog to the basket by leaving the basket on the floor and encouraging your dog to nap in it. When you do get out on the bike, make sure to tether your dog in the basket. For big dogs, you may want to get a bike trailer that attaches to the back of your bike. — AVERAGE JOE CYCLIST 

8. What’s your favorite rain jacket to stay dry on the bike? Reddit users in the Cycling thread chimed in sharing their recommendations to stave off summer showers. One uses a Voler rain vest; another recommends models from The North Face, which are very breathable. "If you want a more full fit, I would go with a Gore Tex," one user said. "They make great rain gear, but it comes at a price." Share your go-to rain jacket with us by replying to this email.

9. Amy Pieters won the European Road Championship. With a sprint finish, Dutch rider Pieters took the victory over Elena Cecchini and Lisa Klein, who finished second and third respectively. Pieters’ final time was 2-56-03. — CYCLING WEEKLY

10. The medals at the Tokyo Olympics will be made from recycled phones. The medals will include the usual symbols of Nike (Greek goddess of victory), the name of the Olympic host city and the five Olympic rings. But next year’s medals will also focus on sustainability — thousands of electronics such as cameras and phones were collected to create the medals. — BICYCLING

Inside Cycling is written and curated by Hailey Hudson, an Atlanta freelance writer with a love for all things fitness and sports. Hailey performs an equal mix of journalism and content marketing services for clients such as Sitejabber, Barnes & Noble Education and FloSports. In her spare time, she writes YA novels, tap dances and snuggles with her beagle puppy Sophie. Follow her on Instagram @haileyh412.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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