By Yokota Fritz
I don't know why, but "Alta Bikes" has been in my top ten searches for the past week. People looking for this Norwegian bike company -- which offers a single model of a fixed gear bike -- are finding this article on Alta Bikes. Alta Bikes is perhaps most famous for their underwear model ads.
Bicycle Design has mentioned Alta in the past, and he's been blogging about other Scandinavian bike designs lately. Among the Scandinavian bicycle companies he mentions are MBK Cycle in Denmark, which sells the "MBK Retro" immediately below, and the "MBK Easy Boarding" for people with hip joint problems who can't easily swing a leg over a top tube.
Kronan in Sweden sells a nifty Swiss Army style bike that's available in the United States.
Recykel has a sorta fun bicycle "konfigurator" that allows you to design your own bike, selecting color, saddle, chainring, fender, and handlebar.
By Yokota Fritz
Jesper Therkildsen coaches junior riders for the Danish national team. Because of his interest in cycling training and exercise physiology, Jesper is now a medical student at the University of Aarhus.
He now shares his knowledge of exercise physiology through his blog, Cycling Training Tips. I asked Jesper a few questions about his cycling background and how cyclists and other athletes can benefit from reading his fitness tips for cyclists.
Denmark is famous for its cycling culture. Is there much recreational road riding there in the style of much American road cycling?
Denmark is a good place for recreational cyclists and there are many great roads to ride. Also Denmark is very flat, making it easier for a broad range of cyclists to ride quite fast. Since Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France back in 1996 there have been a great increment in the number of roadcyclists in Denmark.
Why should cyclists read "Cycling Training Tips"? What type of audience benefits the most from your blog?
When serious mtb and road cyclists spend more than 10 hours per week on training, they do it because they have some goals to achieve. I hope that I can make the road to their goals shorter, smoother or at least more enjoyable. By getting some knowledge about basic exercise physiology, training planning and interval training, there is a good chance that they can improve their performance without spending more time or energy on their cycling.
Cyclists at all level from beginners to pro cyclists can benefit from learning how a power meter works and how to train intervals. Clever training is not rocket science, but I try to get more scientific approach into cycling training since there too many myths out in the cycling clubs about how we should train. The tips you get out in the clubs are almost never evidence based knowledge, but often just an old fellow telling stories about how he won races in the 70's.
My power meter project shows that strong cyclists can benefit from a structured training program with significant improvements after only 6 weeks training. These cyclists are absolutely not un-trained, what make these results even more impressing.
Would other athletes benefit? Do you know, for example, of runners, skiers or other fitness enthusiasts who read or link to Cycling Training Tips?
All endurance athletes can benefit from the basic principles about training, recovery, nutrition etc. Actually most athletes can benefit from a structured, well-planned training program. I think we will see more academic coaches in the future.
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
I do some road cycling in the summer time just for fun. I work as a coach for a couple of mtb and road cyclists. I think it is a lot more fun to see them make results than watching pro cycling. I do watch the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix (cool race!), but the rest of the year I don't watch cycling on TV.
45% of Copenhageners ride their bikes to work or school each day. Danes, along with the Dutch, ride more than any other nation - 1000 km a year on average. There are 5.3 million people in Denmark and 15 million bikes. Danish photographer Mikael Colville-Andersen created his Cyclelicious Bikeness photoset on Flickr to celebrate his country's love of cycling.
"Kronan" is a swedish brand. It is an evolution of a swedish army bike. "Kronan" means "the Crown" in swedish and that is what the army is informally is called.
Thanks for that correction, Andreas. I'll fix the article.
Fitness tips for cyclists
I have been using some supplements from Topform before and after my rides. I know alot of racers and endurance riders are using many different products. Just curious to get some feedback on which ones have good performance and are easy to down, cheers!
Danish cycling photos
Thanks for the link to his pix. I had a long software update that I was walking someone through on the phone and running the slide show helped pass the time.
I love Copenhagen rush hour (on bikes). Thanks for the link. Here's one back atcha, my first experience with Danish bike traffic.