How well do you know yourself? If you’re like me when I first started cycling you probably don’t know much at all. There is a real progression in the sport of cycling. It starts out with a beginner bike, or a borrowed bike of sorts from a friend. Then you get enough courage to buy your first real bike and its likely used slightly and you’re still shocked at the cost! After a while you are fully hooked and you buy a real nice carbon bike brand new. You can’t even imagine the days you were on an old clunky thing from Wal-Mart and you find yourself grateful that you have evolved to the understanding that it is perfectly OK for a bicycle to cost more than most college student’s cars!
This evolution also includes those accessories from the cycling kit, cycling computers, wheels, power meters, electronic shifting, and on and on and on. The more we ride the more we get sucked into the experience of it all and we learn that there is always so much more that we still don’t know. We learn that some accessories actually help us go faster, ride with more comfort and less pain, function better, sync to our networks with WiFi, or simply just help the overall ride experience feel better. Cycling is an amazing experience with layer upon layer of new information and upgrades. The technology changes so fast that every year the bicycle manufacturers are releasing some new frame, brake system, or shifting system that completely changes everything they have accomplished the year before. As I sit here and write this I do not find myself irritated or annoyed at the constant progression of the sport but rather find it all very exciting. There is just so much out there that can help us become better.
To this point I will write about my experience with metabolic testing. I am lucky enough to live near one of the best metabolic systems and testing methods/equipment in the country. Right here in Arizona there is a former pro cyclist and nutrition guru Anna (Sanders) Sparks. She formed Sparks Systems. Through this company anyone can get tested know their personal metabolic data. This data is so MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAT YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE. Knowing this type of information and how it affects you is like the difference between a WWII bicycle and what we ride and race on now. It is just simply significant.
The nutshell version is you get to see whether or not your body burns carbs or fat as it’s primary fuel source on and/or off the bike. You also get to know exactly when your body switches from fats to carbs. You also get to know your exact and precise heart rate zones AND how to enlarge them. You get to know when exactly your body starts producing lactate acid at a level that your body can’t clear it out anymore and your legs start burn – AND how to enlarge it. You get to know exactly what your VO2 Max is and how it affects your training and what you can do to make progress with it. You also get to know your metabolic efficiency point (MEP) where you can with exactness know what exact bpm of your HR are most efficient in the burning of fats vs carbs. Other things are of course your power zones, and how many watts it takes before you hit your Lactate and Aerobic thresh holds.
I mean seriously- this info can change everything. Many of you know that I like to train and race in long distance non-stop ultra cycling challenges. Some of the races I have successfully completed include things like Saints to Sinners (522 miles – solo, 2nd place finish), Race Across the West (930.4 miles – solo, 9th place finish), Race Across France (1504 miles – 2 man team, 3rd place finish), and this coming summer in June of 2019 I will race in the Race Across America on a two man team with my incredible friend Tommy Liddell. We will race it as a two man team and will be hitting approximately 3,200 miles in 6.5 days. I love to ride, and I love to ride in extreme circumstances. But don’t let that thought scare you away from the importance of this data. Anyone who wants to be faster, never bonk again, race or ride without fatigue, and more can benefit from this type of data!
After testing you get to get the 411 so to speak on what it all means from Anna herself or someone under her employ. Armed with what all of this info means and their professional highly individualized advice to your personal situation on how to make improvements, then you can literally change it all up. The results are astounding and relatively quick. Most changes can be made in a matter of weeks.
Who wouldn’t want to increase their speed at lower HR zones? Or how many of us would give anything we had to be able to hang onto that fast group without feeling like our legs are catching fire and will fall as dead and heavy burnt little stumps?!
Below is a picture of the data I have been tracking on the last 5 tests I received. The important column is the middle test dated July 5, 2018. This is only about 2.5 months after my crash and clavicle surgery earlier that year. It is also only about 1 month before I had to go race in the Race Across France. The results of that test are depressing. It shows what lack of training can do. After my crash and surgery I immediately began training the best I could in my garage on my smart trainer. But it wasn’t that great, and it was certainly painful. The volume and quality of training certainly fell well below what I was used to doing and the testing beforehand shows the decline. In fact just about 1 month prior to the crash I tested and my results are on the 2nd column there dated March 2nd, 2018. That test was awesome. my fitness was amazing. But alas, a single wreck and surgery can change everything…
Applying what I know about the data and certainly following the careful guidance of Anna and her team at Sparks Systems, I was able to crawl back. Check out this chart and see the fitness. I pay particular attention to the HR Zones as these are pretty key in long distance cycling per my training focus on fat adaption etc.
Right before the Race Across France my Zone 2 was a dismal range of 106 bpm to 126 bpm. As of today my Zone 2 starts at 150 bpm and goes all the way to 170 bpm! This is an incredible change and it is a product of intention and creation. I get tested. I learn where I am at and then apply their principles to affect a change. So cool. I’m not even known as a geeky data guy at all, but this sort of thing I love to keep track of because it directly affects how well I am riding out there. I can actually feel the difference. It is awesome.
Check it out. Fly in and make an appointment. You don’t even need to bring your bike- the whole test is done on a stationary bike. Thank you Anna and Sparks Systems for an incredible journey. I look forward to the next few months! Check them out here: https://www.sparkssystems.net/
Ben Dodge, Esq., Endurance/Ultra Cyclist
A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the world. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. Ben competed in the first ever Race Across France – 2018. This was a non stop 1500+ mile race across the entire country of France. He and his teammate finished 3rd. He is registered for a 2 man Race Across America (RAAM) team as well in 2019.
The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases. Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- Your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- Your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
- The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- The value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
His main Arizona offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded a national network of independent bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.