EPO BOOST follow-up

After being sent a sample of EPO BOOST I was eager to test it out.  I started on the 4 pill a day (at 4 different times a day) regiment and was able to stick with it pretty well for about 3 weeks.  I was riding other day putting in about 75-100 miles a week.  I was feeling great and setting new PR’s (gauging this using my Garmin and Strava) regularly.  Around the 3 week point I started to notice it was difficult for me to keep track of my dosage.  I’ve never really taken pills before and I found it difficult to do it everyday and at 4 different times.  Then I caught a lung infection the totally knocked me down for 2 weeks.  I stopped taking the BOOST and was  not doing any physical activity.

I wish I could have finished the experiment straight through.  Now that I’m feeling good again and back on my bike I don’t think I will be ordering the BOOST to start the regiment again.  If I was a serious racer I would probably stick with it because I do think the science is sound, but for an average guy I don’t want to deal with the added hassle of taking pills all the time or the expense.

Naturally BOOST EPO? Sounds good to me.

So I got my free sample of EPO-BOOST and started taking it on 4/12/12.  I was offered a trial after my “Gaining an Edge Through Nutrition” post was read by one of the folks at EPO-BOOST.

It’s supposed to take about a week to start noticing a difference in your performance.  My plan is to track my performance in a pseudoscientific way by using my rides on Strava to do comparisons from a 30 day starting point.  I really hope I notice a difference!

I read about EPO-BOOST in Bicycling Magazines May 2012 issue: “How Elite Athletes Are Gaining an Edge:” and was curious how they were boosting red blood cell production naturally as the article claimed.

I would encourage anyone interested to visit the HOW IT WORKS page of the EPO-BOOST site and read through the detailed info, but here is the basic idea: “EPO-BOOST™ safely stimulates your body’s natural production of the erythropoietin (EPO) hormone. EPO increases the body’s oxygen carrying capacity and has been shown in controlled human clinical studies to significantly increase athletic performance and endurance.”

When I first went to the EPO website and started reading about the ingredients the first thing they mention is the use of Echinacea in a dosage of 8g per day.  My initial thought was that I could save some money by purchasing Echinacea and concocting my boost, but after searching at my local store and online I have found that it’s actually much more expensive to purchase that much Echinacea on its own and you do not get the other vitamines and minerals included in the EPO-BOOST formula.

I started EPO-BOOST a week ago and so far I feel great.  My last two rides have netted several PR (personal records) and I have a century club ride coming up on May 5th so the timing is great to have started the supplement.  With any luck my friends will have a hard time staying on my wheel!

I plan to do a wrap-up post after my full month is up.

Gaining an Edge Through Nutrition

I obsess about improving as a cyclist.  Like many of you I have limited time to ride and maybe 1 out of 10 rides I can see or feel like I have made some progress in my overall endurance and speed.

I have come to believe that I can significantly improve my performance through diet and nutrition.  Although I am not as disciplined as I could be in this area I have been tweaking my diet and believe I see improvements.

The biggest change I’ve made is juicing.  After watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead I became convinced that I needed a juicer. If you have not seen this film I highly recommend it.  You can watch it for free on Hulu by clicking the link above.  It’s a documentary about two men who are in wretched condition and turn their lives around by going on a juice only fast.  I have not gone on a juice fast but have added it to my daily diet and having the infusion of natural vitamines and minerals is defiantly boosting my immune system and recovery time after rides.  I have 3 small children so the common cold and viruses are always being brought home from school.  Several times I have felt the symptoms of sickness creeping in and I will immediately go to my juicer and make and extra-large batch of super juice.  The results have been great! I have been able to ward off several colds that I’m convinced would have otherwise had to run their course. I bought the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer from Costco for about $100.00 and have been very happy with it.

My favorite juice recipe right now is:

1/2 cucumber

2 apples

2 or 3 cups brocoli

4 stalks of celery

3 cups carrots

2 tablespoons chia seeds (If you are not up on the “super food” chia seeds here is a link with more info)

In the latest issue of Bicycling there is a very interesting article How Elite Althletes Are Gaining an Edge: The article focuses on a product called EPO-BOOST www.EPOBOOST.com EPO BOOST claims to “naturally safely stimulates your body’s natural production of the erythropoietin (EPO) hormone. EPO increases the body’s oxygen carrying capacity”. They back up their claim with a 28 day double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial.  The study found a 90% increase in EPO production in those using EPO-BOOST as compared to those taking the placebo.

After reading the article I was ready to go the website order the product and I was working on my justification speech to my wife explaining why I need to spend $45.00 a month for this product.  Then I started thinking that if this is an all natural product they must be formulating it using ingredients I can buy at the store. Conveniently any food product has to list their ingredients so I went to the EPO-BOOST site and within seconds had my answer.

After looking at the ingredients I realized Echinacea was the most obvious ingredient lacking from my diet.

I did a Google search on Echinacea and  boosting EPO and found this recent article on BikeRadar.com.  The article cites a very similar study to the one done by EPO-BOOST in which participates were given 8g of Echinacea for 28 days and placebo.  The group given the Echinacea showed “EPO levels similar to the results obtained from altitude training,”  “There was a significant increase in the per cent change of measured maximal oxygen uptake in the experimental as compared to the control group.”

My conclusion is to run out get some Echinacea and start my own experiment for a month to see if adding this my diet helps me see some significant performance increase.

GREEN GURU

If your like me you love finding products made from recycled materials.  GREEN GURU has a variety of very cool products including some bike bags.

If you like the products at GREEN GURU you will want to check out Alchemy Goods as well.  These two companies are to be on the same path of making quality low environmental impact products.

2011 looking back / 2012 looking forward to the many miles on the road

I just totaled my mileage for 2011 and give or take 50 or so miles I completed 2,259.4 miles.  Most of these miles were riding the trails at Annadel.  The past few months I have been spending more time on the road riding with some friends.  This has opened up a whole new world of cycling for me and 2012 will be a year with many more road rides.

Because I’ve been hitting the road much more I began looking for a new set of wheels and found a deal I could not pass up.  A closeout 2010 Scattante Sport SL9.  It has a full monocoque carbon frame and carbon fork.  The components are a bit of a mash-up but it was marked down from $1999.00 to $999.00.  Pretty great deal for full carbon.  After my test ride I was sold. I think the bike rides and looks great.  The carbon feels so much more responsive and balanced than my steel bike, not to mention it’s 6 lbs lighter.  Climbing is where I have noticed the biggest difference I feel like the bike is an extension rather than the a feeling of pull something up the mountain.

First ride on new bike. Geysers road.

 If you’re visiting northern CA or new to the road like me and looking for some good rides here are a few of my favorites in no particular order.

1. http://app.strava.com/rides/2955470 Cavedale to Trinity loop.  15 miles over 2,000 foot climb

2. http://app.strava.com/rides/2916688 Sonoma Mountain loop. About 20 miles 1,700 foot climb

3. http://app.strava.com/rides/2649070 Geyesers road.  About 50 miles 3,000 foot climb.

4. http://app.strava.com/rides/2343092 Joy road to Willow Creak. 34 miles and 3,500 feet of climbing.

I would highly recommend picking up a Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition map http://bikesonoma.org/map.html.  This is a great resource for awesome roads and details about the expected traffic and difficulty.

Cycling Products Made in the USA

I’ve been taking inventory of my families possessions lately.  What I’ve found is that we own a bunch of crap.  Most (if not all) of the crap we own was made in China.

I realize that it would be remarkably hard to cut out buying stuff made in China but why not look for goods made in the USA?

I did a quick Google search and found several sites devoted to products made in the US.

Below is a list of bicycle goods made in the USA courtesy of Still Made in the USA.com.  My experience is that the quality is very high with domestic cycling goods.

  • 1upUSA (Platteville, WI): 1upUSA Bicycle Trainer and eMotion Rollers provide indoor training for mountain and road bikers (Other products imported)
  • Aegis Racing Bikes (Van Buren, ME): carbon fiber bikes, handmade in Maine
  • Aero-Fast Bicycle Co.  (Jacksonville, FL): Emory industrial bikes, unicycles, and Aerofast vintage bikes. Very cool, and handmade in Florida!
  • Bike Friday (Eugene, OR): hand-built folding and travel bikes, made to your specifications by a small company with a great attitude.
  • Cannondale Bike Co.  (Bedford, PA): as of summer 2010, Cannondale bikes are no longer made in USA. (In April 2009, the company announced that it would cease all US manufacturing in 2010.)
  • Catrike (Winter Garden,FL): high-performance recumbent trikes, with light and stylish aluminum frames. Find a local dealer.
  • Co-Motion (Eugene, OR): tandem bicycles, plus road, racing, and travel bikes
  • Easy Racers (Freedom, CA): recumbent bikes for everything from cross-country riding to commuting to work. Innovative seat designs and lots of frame options, all made in USA.
  • EcoSpeed (Portland, OR): manufacturer of “electric assist” systems to turn your bike or recumbent into an electric bike. Helps with hills and extends your biking range.
  • Independent Fabrication (Somerville, MA): custom-made bike frames in titanium or steel, your choice of paint schemes and just about everything else
  • Linear Recumbent (Alfred Station, NY): recumbent bikes for comfortable transportation or outdoor exercise, handmade in beautiful western New York State.
  • Litespeed Racing Components (Chattanooga, TN): manufacturer of road and mountain bikes with handcrafted titanium alloy frames
  • Lynskey Performance  (Chattanooga, TN): a new company by the original founders of Litespeed
  • Midwest Contracting & Mfg (WaKeeney, KS): makers of the Dirt King trike, sizes for kids and adults. Pneumatic tires on steel rims, tilting handlebars and adjusting seats, handcrafted in USA.
  • Nalgene (Rochester, NY): water bottles, bike bottles, travel mugs, and other “hydration necessities” (bottle carriers imported)
  • Park Tool (St. Paul, MN): bicycle repair tools made in USA ( multi-tools imported ), available from REI
  • Saris Cycling Group  (Madison, WI): manufacturer of cycle racks and trainers (use Dealor Locator)
  • TerraCycle (Portland, OR): parts and accessories for recumbent bikes, including idlers, racks, and TailSoks for enhanced visibility and safety. CNC machined at their facility in Portland.
  • Trailmate Specialty Cycles (Bradenton, FL): adult tricycles, industrial trikes, special needs, and recumbent fun trikes, made in USA for over 40 years
  • Trek Bikes (Waterloo, WI): most Trek carbon-frame bikes (except the 5000) and full suspension bikes, like the EX’s, Top Fuels and Sessions, are still made at their factory in Wisconsin. (Many of the aluminum road bikes and other products are made overseas.) Take a virtual TREK factory tour, courtesy of Chain Reaction Bicycles
  • Volae (Stevens Point, WI): recumbent bicycles with carbon forks, racing wheels, and high-tech molded seats
  • Walz Cycling Caps (Vista, CA): cycling caps with a four-panel design to fit snuggly under a cycling helmet
  • Waterford Precision Cycles (Waterford, WI): handcrafted cycles for racing or recreation, made in USA by Richard Schwinn and a dedicated group of highly skilled American craftspeople
  • Worksman Cycles (Ozone Park, NY): this manufacturer of industrial bicycles and tricycles also makes adult tricycles, folding tricycles, and cruiser bikes. All made in New York.

CA Parks Update

I just finished reading my calparks newsletter and thought I would report on some key updates.

AB 42 has been signed into law by Gov. Brown and will take effect on Jan 1.  Assembly Bill 42 will allow nonprofits to help operate state parks that might otherwise close.  This is a great news in the fight to save CA parks!

If you are not familiar with the parks that are due to close calparks.org has launched a gorgeous new website mag70.calparks.org that has stunning images and information about each park.

Here are just a few images from magnificent 70 parks that are slated to close.

savestateparks.org also has been updated and offers new tools to spread the word about park closures and information on how to help by giving time and money.

To make sure you stay updated follow the calparks blog.

 

The Art and History of the Bicycle

Whoa!  I’ve been on a rush of work from my job (which I’m grateful to have and is totally un bicycle related) and have been neglecting this blog.  In between work and kids I’ve been squeezing in as many rides as possible and did make a quick visit to the Sonoma County museum’s exhibit of the Art and History of the Bicycle.  The show is up until February 5th and is well worth the a visit if you’re in the area.  I had to do a quick run through the show because I had my 3 kids with me and keeping them from touching everything was basically impossible.

The shows focus is a general overview of bicycle history and northern CA’s influence on mountain biking and regional bike builders.  I definitely could have spent more time reading up on everything but here is a brief photo overview of the show.

The star of the show for me was a bike made of wood by the Old Hickory Cycle Company  in 1896. 

The Healdsburg Wheelmen 1895.

Santa Rosa Wheelmen 1895.  These guys look serious.

Fondo Follow-Up

Had a great day at Levi’s Gran Fondo.  Met some really nice people including a family from Overland Park Kansas my home town!  Sold some HG products which was cool, and enjoyed hanging out with Holly and Gail (check out Gail’s website http://smilingtreegail.com/wordpress/) at the Sono-Ma support tent.  Thanks again Sono-Ma!

Here is a short video at the begining of the ride.  Turn the volume up the drummers were awesome!

A Few Fondo Festival Pics

Fondo Festival

Nissan tent?

Z Fondo Mobile

HG Tent Wall. Almost as impressive as the Nissan tent.

Just walking around

Levi’s Gran Fondo – We Are In!

That’s right HG will be pedal-ing it’s cycling eco-goods at the Fondo-Festival  Oct 1st from 10-6 located at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa.

This is all due to the generosity of the Sono-Ma main lady Holly White-Wolfe whom HG will be sharing a tent with.  Many thanks Holly – YOU ROCK!

Hope to see y’all at the festival, you can expect to see some of the following:

  • Free Bike Valet
  • New Belgium Beer
  • Artisan Food Court
  • Kid’s Fun Activities
  • Bike Expo, including local frame builders and bike shops
  • Live Music

Here is a little bit more info about what Sono-Ma is all about:

 

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