The number one key to a successful and enjoyable year on the bike, is trying to achieve the ever-elusive state of shape each rider
strives for. Having form makes you feel like anything is possible on the bike. But reaching that goal is easier said than done. Each
year, your training program should include a base building phase. In this phase, you should concentrate on longer miles at a lower
intensity, preparing your body for the workload ahead. Depending on the style of riding you are planning on doing, your base:
phase should be done during the wintertime, when racing/touring are not that important. Also, you can use this period to work on
different skills (descending, climbing, cornering, etc.). If you are new to the sport, talk to more experience riders or consult with a
coach. Try different approaches until you find a program that works for you, but make sure not to do too much, you dont want to
be flying in February and be done in mid July, when it really counts. Cycling is a sport that takes time to develop, do the hard work
now, so you can enjoy it later.
The 2001 Tour de France is promising to be one of the best races in recent years. Thats what all the experts are predicting, but
the race is five months away. If everything goes according to plan, we should see the likes of Ullrich, Armstrong, Pantani, Zulle,
Beloki and company arrive at the tour at the peak of their form and delight us with one of the most contested tours in the last
decade. The USPS has gone through a tune-up this year, bringing more climbers to help Lance Armstrong conquer his third tour
victory. But the departure of his friend and mountain helper, Kevin Livingston, to the mighty Telekom team, have kept the fans and
press wondering how strong the USPS and Lance will be without this valuable ally. USPS should be just fine, with Heras,
Hamylton, Peña, and Chechu Rivera guiding Lance through the big mountain passes and Ekimov, Hincapie, Vassuer and either
Vandevelde or White handling the flats and medium climbs. The team has the firepower to deliver another yellow jersey, but we are
still five months away and thousands of racing and training kilometers from the start, nonetheless, the next few months should give
us an idea on how competitive each contender and their team will be.
Talking Cycling is looking for members of the club (new and old) to write an article on a ride/tour/race he/she has done or is planning
on doing or on any other cycling related topic. You can send your thoughts, comments, comments and articles to
Website of the Month
Visit www.uspsprocycling.com to learn more about the USPS. Riders bios, team schedule and multiple links, makes this
site the perfect to learn all you need about the United States Postal Service Cycling Team.
A look at another Tour team on Tour Watch, Phase two of the yearly training plan, Website of the Month and much more
by Eric Williams
This month's issue of the Rails to Trails magazine has an interesting article about an abandoned railroad right of way that has been
converted to a paved, 42-mile-long, cycling, and hiking trail that extends from the outskirts of Hattiesburg to Prentiss, Mississippi. There is also an Equestrian trail that parallels the paved trail for about 38 miles of its Length. The name of the trail is the Longleaf Trace.
I've read about other conversions in the magazine, but this article had special interest for me because I am a native Mississippian and of
the Similarities with our efforts to get a rails to trails built south of town. I suspect that Hattiesburg is not too much larger than Tyler. It is a college town (University of Southern Mississippi), and it is in the South, which usually means that you are slow to change and the last
ones to accept newfangled ideas. However, the outcome was vastly different. The Longleaf Trace is a story of common people and small towns along the old line, a state representative, the city of Hattiesburg, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation working together to get this thing through. They all saw the value of the trace as a means to enhance the quality of life with recreation and leisure, the economic possibilities for the communities along the trace, and the Preservation of a bit of their history. Their efforts were persistent enough to overcome a veto by the governor of the state of Mississippi.
There are some people out there who still understand the concept of "commonweal" or "for the common good". It is a foundational
principle on which this nation was built without denying the right of private ownership. I am proud of the people of Mississippi for their vision.
It's too late for our East Texas rails to trails, but maybe we will have another opportunity in the future. However, we do have an
opportunity and a RESPONSIBILITY to stop House Bill 238.
By Galén Williams
I want to welcome Dave Williams as the new editor of Spoke Signals. Dave brings years of cycling experience to his new "job".
However, Dave, with the help of his wife, Jean, has done this job before. This time, Dave can dance back and forth between 3
computers and even give us stories about riding with Jean on her new electric bicycle.
By the time you read this, Stephanie and Ron Hancock will be the proud parents of a new baby girl. Thank you, Stephanie,
for your hard work on the newsletter. Some of you may not know it, but Stephanie was working full time, going to school at night,
preparing to have a baby and editing Spoke Signals. I guess Ron had to do the cooking. On second thought, maybe Stephanie did
Your membership dues help us publish Spoke Signals and mail it out to you. If you have not sent your dues yet, don't forget to
do it soon.
We are just about two months away from Beauty and the Beast 2001! It was a success last year, and we are working to make
it even more successful this year. By not bumping heads with rides such as the MS 150, we feel that we have a good chance for a
good turnout. I'll be working together with about 80 other volunteers to make this event a hit, and your help is important. Without
you this is not possible, so please join in!
If you have wondered about the "Bad Bike Bill 238", we gladly report that Senator Ratliff and State Representative Berman
have answered our letters. They are listening. This Legislative bill would effectively outlaw group rides on our rural roads. Please,
write to our senators, if you haven't done so. We thank the Texas Bicycle Coalition for their efforts, and we encourage every member
to give their support by joining them. Our voice in the Legislature can make our cities and roads more bike friendly. For the latest
information on this matter, visit their web site.
I recently rode my mountain bike at Tyler State Park, and noticed that a lot of trees have been cut down in one section of the
trail called Buffalo Gap. It looks as if someone has dropped a bomb. Also, some bridges need to be repaired. I hope the park keeps
the trail in good shape. The rain has left its mark.
We thank the Texas Department of Transportation maintenance department for sweeping the shoulders on Hwy 69 South.
This is very important for us, since March marks the start of the riding season for many of us. We are looking forward to our
weekly group rides. By joining us on Topica, you can find out what's happening and any last minute changes for a ride that may
have occurred. Remember to share some of your knowledge and good sense with those who are new and need to learn how to ride in
Smiles... courtesy... things we never forget... Let us ride!
TBC VEEP & The Bhigg Fiyve Ohh:
Yes, he is "There." Our faithful V.P.,
"Old Bill" Cornelius made "It." Photographic evidence from the House of Starrett proves the fact...
Black Arm Bands?
Rude Dog Time Trials 2001
By David Starrett
You had better get ready!!!! We are going to use a new 6.2 mile course again this year. We will be using Eastside Drive, starting and
ending at Sandy Beach recreational area on Lake Tyler, it will only be about 10 miles from town. Last year was a good year with
many first timers to the Race of Truth (time trialing). We had a course that was near town but Smith County saw a need for a 4 way
stop on the course. So, my goal this winter was to find us a new course. I think Eastside Drive will be a great course and Sandy
Beach will be a great place for us to gather before and party after the time trials. A time trial is not only a race against other riders
your age it is also a gauge for you to tell if you are improving. Time trialing is fun. Hope to see all of you this year. The first time
trial is scheduled for Thursday, April 5th at 6:15 p.m. (pending TBC officer approval). A full schedule for all time trails will be in
the next newsletter.
Beauty & Beast Update
By David Starrett
The Beauty and the Beast is rapidly approaching. April 28th will be here before you know it. If you plan on riding in the B & B
you had better be training. If you have not started training the B & B committee sure could use your help. The B & B committee
has been working hard and on April 28th you will see the results of their hard work. We could still use your help, passing out
brochures, help getting the brochures ready to mail, stuffing the bags to be passed out at registration and many other task. The
committee is excited about some new additions for the 2001 B & B. We have added a Kids Race, it will be around the parking lot of
UT Tyler after the tour has left the campus. It will start at approximately 8:30 am, it is for kids between the ages of 5 to 12 and it is
FREE to all kids. Each kid will get a T-shirt, thanks to Tanner Bikes for sponsoring the event. Tanner Bike has also donated 2
Redline bikes to be given away at the Kids Event, also Wal-Mart and Target has also donated bikes to be given away to the kids.
We are also excited about our door prizes this year we have one mans and one womans Festina watch and jersey donated by
Simpsons Adventure Sports and Jims Jeweler. We are using the same routes as last year, same rest stop areas and UT Tyler is
happy to host the event again this year, with the new additions we are expecting to build on the momentum we built from last year.
If you would like to help or if you have any suggestions please contact one of the committee members. The committee members are
myself, Eric and Galen Williams, Bill Cornelius, Zulema Rodriguez, Ron Hancock, Dave Williams, Roger Singleton and James