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Shoals Cycling Club began many years ago as the Wildwood Rundlers a mountain biking group. To get in better shape for their mountain bike rides, the group began to ride road bikes. Later the name was changed to the Northwest Alabama Cycling Club as some of the riders became interested in racing. In January 2004, the name of the club was changed to the Shoals Cycling Club to link it in a definite way to the “regional name” of the area in which the majority of the members live – “The Shoals.”

In September 2005, the club began a process of reorganization by writing and ratifying a constitution and by-laws and is developing ways to fulfill its mission statement – “Promoting Cycling in Northwest Alabama.”

Across the years, the club has helped to sponsor and organize various rides - most notably the “W. C. Handy Music Festival 3 State Century.” In 2005, the Club was co-sponsor of the first “Muscle Shoals Music Cityfest Ride.”

Shoals Cycling Club is a blend of cyclists with various interests and skill levels. Members of our club are involved in riding road bikes, mountain bikes, and riding for the sheer joy of being on a bicycle. We seek to involve everyone who loves cycling and want to provide the means by which the members can become better cyclists.

If are looking for a cycling club that is family friendly and open to anyone, Shoals Cycling Club is that club. We would love to have you as a member!

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Healthy Cycling Benefits
Posted by shawny mack on January 29 2018 02:17
For all of its simplicity, cycling benefits physical activity. For this reason, it appeals to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Since its first incarnation as the draisine in 1817, the bicycle has become useful for many things, such as a source of fun, a form of exercise, or a means of transportation.

While people most often learn to ride a bicycle as children, there are some who learn at a later age or do not pursue it as a regular activity until they are adults.

For these individuals, a guide for beginners may provide valuable information that will help get them started in a manner that is safe and responsible while also allowing them to reap maximum health benefits.
Read More
Spring Training: Tips for Long Rides
Posted by shawny mack on May 14 2013 06:28
An excerpt from Road Bike Rider newsletter:

HYDRATE. Hydrate the day before the ride but don’t overdo it. The recommendation used to be to drink at least 8 large glasses of water the day before a long ride. But now authorities tell us to drink based on feelings of thirst. Also, cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake. These are mild diuretics. You don’t want to urinate away the fluid you need to store.

OPEN YOUR LEGS. Most riders go short and easy to rest and conserve energy the day before a long ride. That’s fine, but take a tip from the pros and throw in 3 or 4 short sprints. These efforts “open the legs,” making them feel ready the next day. Don’t sprint all-out, just accelerate briskly.

PLAN A VARIED ROUTE. Are you growing weary of riding the same roads? Use long-ride opportunities to explore new areas. Ask other riders for their favorite jaunts. Check with your local bike club or shop for cycling maps or route books. Or tap your favorite app or online resources for help with new routes. There are lots of options these days for creating a cue sheet for whatever new route you pick.

If you always ride on paved roads, don’t be afraid to include some that aren’t. A beater bike with beefy training tires can handle dirt and gravel. In fact, some pros ride dirt roads and even singletrack trails on their regular road bikes. It’s a fun change of pace and sharpens bike-handling skills.

TAKE BREAKS. It’s a British cycling tradition to stop at a café for tea and a snack during long training rides. This stop is usually about 15 miles from the end so riders can meet their training objectives first, then socialize and spin easily home. A stop can be earlier, too, or there can be more than one. A long ride accommodates such breaks, and they needn’t detract from training benefits.

EXAMPLE! My favorite long route of about 100 miles traverses a rural area with few services. But the small town at the halfway point has a great little coffee shop with killer muffins. I ride pretty hard up the gradual climb into town and enjoy my snack on the sunny deck. The easy spin back down the hill helps the food digest. I still have 35 miles to resume my training pace before cooling down near home.

MAKE THE TIME. It can be hard to do a long ride during the week if you work full time. One way is go in earlier so you can get off earlier, then ride till sunset. Or, ride 90 minutes before work and 90 minutes after. If you commute by bike, take your regular route to the office, then a longer one home. If these rides have you on the road at dawn or dusk, be sure there’s plenty of reflective material on your bike and clothes. Use a headlight and taillight for extra safety.

INCLUDE THE FAMILY. Weekends are the usual time for long rides, but you also don’t want to abandon your spouse and kids. So, plan your ride around family activities. For instance, get up early to ride to the lake, beach or park while your family leaves later to drive there. You meet up, spend the afternoon together, and your bike goes on the rack for the trip home. You’ve gotten your long ride with minimal sacrifice of family time.

EAT AND DRINK. On long rides, your endurance is often more affected by what you eat and drink than by your fitness. No matter how many training miles you’ve done, failing to keep fuel in your tank will doom your ride. Drink to satisfy your thirst and eat about 20 grams of carbohydrate (about half an energy bar) every 30 minutes. If you’re not good at remembering to eat, as a reminder to stay on schedule, set your watch’s countdown timer to beep every quarter hour.

TIP! Some energy bars have wrappers that are nearly impossible to open while riding. Tear the wrapper before the ride so it’s easy to rip open. Or, cut the bar (still in the wrapper) into 3 bite-sized pieces.

TIP! If you’re fading near the end of a long ride, stop for a soft drink with caffeine. The caffeine/sugar combo can provide a noticeable lift, especially if you aren’t a regular caffeine user.
Should My Knees Be Closer to the Bike?
Posted by shawny mack on May 14 2013 06:21
An excerpt from Road Bike Rider newsletter:


I recently rode with an experienced racer. He said my knees are too far out to the side as I pedal, and I would benefit from bringing them closer to the top tube. “Think of holding a ball between your knees,” he said. I'm quite bowlegged (thanks Mom), so for me to make my knees touch the top tube is almost impossible. So what should I do? -- Randy S.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies:

I see quite a few riders with knees splayed outward. This can be caused by anatomical characteristics or bad bike fit -- or a combination.

Narrower knees are certainly better in terms of aerodynamics. Watching the pros on TV, head-on camera shots make some riders even look knock-kneed.

But it’s a common misconception that pedaling with knees nearly brushing the top tube increases power. Knee position is determined by your anatomy. Ideally, your knees will be directly over the pedals. But if you're bowlegged, they will tend to be fairly far from the top tube.

Trying to pull them in is likely to strain and ultimately injure ligaments and tendons in your legs.

The best advice is to get a professional bike fit. Using one of the various systems available, a coach or a bike shop's fit technician can set your saddle position and cleat location to accommodate your anatomy. Then let your knees do what they want to do, naturally. That's the best way to avoid injury and produce the most power your body is capable of generating.


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08-20-2017 08:49

Larry G
09-06-2016 03:34
2016 Larry's LIVESTRONG Loop details posted in Weekend Rides section. Join us on Sept 24!

shawny mack
02-23-2016 03:15

Larry G
08-26-2014 06:34
Larry's LiveStrong Loop details are up in Weekend Rides section. See you on September 27!

Larry G
08-21-2014 01:55
Larkin Memorial Ride will now be 41 miles (was 50) with less climbing.