Cycling and Hearing Damage?

The subject of hearing loss from wind noise has always played on my mind. When you’re bombing around at 20+ mile an hour in the paceline, flying down your favourite descent or just battling a strong headwind – the noise from the resulting wind rush can get quite loud. Sometimes you notice it, sometimes you don’t, but it’s there. Should we be worried about it?

Huh? What did you say? Time for cake?

Ever been sitting somewhere and seen a bunch of cyclists ride by having a good old chat to each other? They need to raise their voices quite a lot just to be heard clearly by one another! Here’s an interesting article from Cycling Tips discussing the issue:

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/08/listen-cyclists-risk-hearing-loss/

About to head back down the mountain, should I pop my earplugs in?

On my motorbike I always wear hearing protection (disposable foam earplugs rated at 30 decibel reduction). Even with a full-faced helmet the wind noise can easily reach damaging levels, enough to cause permanent hearing loss as well as increasing fatigue and distraction levels.

Wearing earplugs is not something I plan on doing while out cycling. I haven’t heard any reports of pro cyclists suffering hearing damage, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Maybe future helmet technology will focus on reducing wind noise? My aero road helmet (Bontrager Ballista) is noticeably quieter than my heavily vented Specialized Propero, so there’s definitely something in it.

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Tragedy at Indi Pac Wheel Race

Incredibly sad news coming from the Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia as we learn that competitor and world class ultra cyclist Mike Hall has been hit and killed in a car accident while taking part in the 5,500km race from coast to coast.

For the past two weeks we have been watching the dots on screen as riders made their way from one side of Australia to the other, totally unsupported and racing under their own steam. We’ve watched their progress, their photos on Twitter and updates through media as they endure incredibly tough conditions along the way. We admired their determination and athletic ability to even attempt such a challenge.

Then disaster strikes. One that should never happen. The Indi Pac has been cancelled with immediate effect as word is being delivered to the other competitors. RIP Mike Hall. A dark day in ultra cycling indeed and our thoughts go out to his friends, family and every other Indi Pac competitor. Stay safe out there folks…

Update your Strava privacy

Strava have recently added some new privacy settings to your profile, so now is a time to have another look at your current settings and maybe tighten up the security on your account.

You should already at a least be using the “Hide Your House” option to keep the start and finish points of your regular rides from showing up (ie: your house or even work).  In the past there have been reports of clued up bike thieves using Strava data to target homes with expensive bikes. This privacy zone can be set from 200m up to a 1000m radius, which is good if you live in a more rural area.

The new settings can enhance your privacy further. Ever had loads of random kudos from Zwift riders or for a Sportive where Strava has shown you “rode with” a whole bunch of strangers? Well now you can also hide your activity from group rides, so it only shows to athletes you follow or that follow you. You can also remove an activity from Strava segment leader boards completely for added privacy.

Alongside the “Hide Your House” option, I have my Strava profile page and training log set to private, with my activities uploaded as private by default. So spend a minute or two now reviewing your settings to ensure you’re happy with your Strava privacy.

When Twitter is awesome, plus bonus Peter Sagan content!

Every now and then, Twitter can be truly awesome. Take this example: A budding young cyclist, Ruby from the UK recently tweeted to Peter Sagan about their shared love of post-ride Haribo…

Then this happened…

A retweet and reply from the World Champion himself!

There are so many reasons to love Peter Sagan and this is simply one more shining example to add to that list! A true ambassador of cycling. In a sport where many take themselves way too seriously, Sagan is a breath of fresh air.

See this article on Cycling Tips about Sagan’s infamous Haribo habits.

The Zwiftcast

If you’re into podcasts and are an avid (or even occasional) Zwift user, then you really should be checking out the Zwiftcast.

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/i5rtj-6815e8?skin=108

Released roughly every two weeks, it covers everything new or rumoured in the world of Zwift including map expansions, the racing scene, new trainers and training tech, troubleshooting, competitions and of course general Zwifting tips and talk. The contributors are big time Zwifters (obviously) as well as real world gamers and racers, plus there’s the occasional big name special guest. Well worth a listen to current and previous episodes!

My 2016 in eight simple bullet points!

What an interesting year 2016 has been, one of many changes in my life. I started out in England with no intention of that changing and here I am now living at the opposite end of the world! There have been some curve balls I did not see coming. There were some sad times, but many happy moments too. All in all I think it was a positive twelve months of my life and a year I won’t forget.

1) I cycle commuted right through the British winter and out the other side into the start of Spring. There’s nothing quite like that first taste of Spring after all the frosty pre-dawn commutes.

2) I finished my time at Sigma Sport. Working in the cycling industry was a blast and a real eye opener. I learnt a lot and met so many great people (and some super strong cyclists). The hours were long, the workload high, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff discount afforded me some kit I never would have dreamed of buying otherwise too.

img_1489Farewell drinks with Elz (The Lonely Cyclist) after my last day at Sigma Sport

3) In fact in 2016 I cycled a lot. Well, not a lot, but a decent amount. Not as much as last year. As soon as I stopped commuting to Sigma I knew I would never surpass last year’s total mileage. That’s cool though. Plus there was my discovery of…

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4) Zwift! This has totally changed my outlook on indoor training, giving me so much more motivation to hop on the rollers. Never before have I thought “I can’t wait to get home and jump on the trainer!” But with Zwift, that’s what happens! Of course, it’s no match for a sun soaked outdoor ride in the fresh air!

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5) I said farewell to my parents, again. After Mum and Dad retired they moved across to join me in England (Dad is English) and bought a beautiful place down on the South Coast. It was great having them close by again and being able to spend more time with them both, so breaking the news that I was off to the far end of the earth was hard.

6) The big one. I moved to Tasmania! So after 11 fantastic years in England I find myself back in the Land of Oz. I absolutely love it here with its fantastic weather and laid back lifestyle, but I do miss England some of the time, the people I’d met, the places I’d experienced, the European travel. England had become my home and I very much get “homesick” when I think about it or see people’s travel photos.

img_2876Beach on my doorstep, Tassie does have it’s advantages!

KLR_0097) I also got back on motorised two wheels after a long break! Owning a motorbike in the UK wasn’t going to happen. The weather and road conditions just doesn’t make it an all year option. Back in the land of sunshine and blue skies, I didn’t waste any time getting back on board. This is my first dual sport style motorbike and it’s helped me explore parts of Tassie. Nothing like 650cc’s of Kawasaki engineered motor doping! I’m all about life on two wheels, pedal or piston powered!

8) I rounded out the year with old friends. The Christmas break was spent with two friends from Brisbane that my wife and I have known since we were teens. It was a great getaway for the four of us in the Blue Mountains just relaxing, catching up and shooting the breeze. I even got a few cheeky outdoor rides in. Aaaaand relax….

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So to sum up an eventful 2016, that’s a wrap! #thanksforreading #keepcycling