Team NorthBay Bike Blog

The Big Race

It's all over the radio, TV and the internet! Sacramento this week hosted the opening stages of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle stage race.

So how big of a deal is it? You may not realize it, but it is a very big deal in professional cycling. The riders and the teams competing are the elite, the very top riders in the world. They are the same riders who compete in the Tour de France.

In fact, while this race is going on, there is another very big race going on in Italy. The Giro is a stage race that has been the biggest spring stage race in the world for more than 100 years. However the riders who are serious about winning in the Tour de France often do not like to compete in this early "Grand Tour," which is three weeks long because doing so does not fit into the training schedule of a rider who wants to peak in July. Most of the contenders for yellow jersey choose to come to sunny California to race instead.

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Biking to Work and Parking

This Thursday is Bike to Work Day, part of Bike to Work Week, and for the fourth time NorthBay Healthcare is participating. We will host two energizer stations in Solano County, one in Vacaville and one in Fairfield.

Our Fairfield station is on Pennsylvania Avenue at the linear Park, just a block away from NorthBay Medical Center.

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A Great Experience Volunteering at the CDA Cares Event

Although most of my blogs are about the world of cycling, I want to deviate today to share my experience as a volunteer at the California Dental Association Cares event, which was April 25-26 at the Vallejo Fairgrounds.

I arrived at around 9 a.m. to my station, Medical Triage, and saw a number of familiar faces, including Chris Johnson, R.N. , from 1 West who is new at NorthBay Healthcare and Maggie Kuzma, R.N., who is a veteran of our mother baby unit.

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Here Comes R2D2!

Mark your calendar for the first Sunday in October for NorthBay's R2D2 ride.

R2D2 stands for Ride 2 Defeat Diabetes. On Oct. 5, we will again gather at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital campus to host hundreds of cyclists heading out to ride the scenic roads around Vacaville.

Each year we have been able to refine the routes by making changes based on suggestions of riders and staff. There will be three routes to choose from.

The family ride is sponsored by Monticello Cycling Club and members will accompany riders on the 10 miles, which can be shorter by turning around at the rest stop. The 25-mile ride takes you past the Factory Stores then out into the rural area north of town through the English Hills area.

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Safe Cycling Courses Offered in Vacaville

 A critical barrier to getting people to use their bikes to commute to work or for general transportation is the discomfort they feel while riding in traffic. It's understandable. But you can become a safe cyclist by learning valuable lessons by way of taking a safe cycling class.

NorthBay's Bike to Work Committee had a goal of offering safe cycling classes, but has been unable to coordinate such a class. However, beginning in March, there is a course offered through the city of Vacaville.

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Facts About Geese (And Cyclists)

I was inspired to do some research about the Canadian goose. I spotted a flock of geese in the evening sky through a large picture window of our hospital's second floor.

The sun had set, but there was still some blue in the evening sky. The moon and some clouds were also in view. Then I remembered the week before I was in a class called "The NorthBay Way." One of the speakers used geese as an example of a team and also mentioned that she believed it was always a female goose in the lead of a flock.

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Give Me Three

A couple of months ago Gov. Brown signed a bill into law that establishes a safe distance to pass a bicyclist while driving a car. Previously the law directed drives to pass at a "safe" distance.

The new law says that safe distance is 3 feet. The new law makes it a crime to pass a bicycle without giving 3 feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle, with but a few exceptions.

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It Is Not A Race!

It is not a race, it's a ride! That is the refrain I repeatedly utter when asked about R2D2 or most other cycling events that I participate in.

R2D2 does not stand for Race to Defeat Diabetes but Ride to Defeat Diabetes.

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R2D2 No. 2

R2D2 returns this year for its second edition.

R2D2 is shorthand for Ride to Defeat Diabetes. It is a biking event for everyone.

The date will be Sunday, Oct. 6. The Start/Finish will again be at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville.

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Not Your Regular Bike

I get asked regularly about recumbent bicycles.This is a category of bike that places the rider in a laid-back position.

A regular bike, with the rider in an upright position, puts much of the body weight on a small area, mostly on your "sit bones" as well as your hands and feet. A recumbent, aka bent bike, puts the rider's weight comfortably over a much larger area. Ergonomics or comfort are the primary reasons most riders choose a bent. Recumbent bikes also have an aerodynamic advantage.

Bents come in a wide variety of configurations. Three-wheel trikes (tricycle) have become more and more popular. Some have a very long wheel base but not all. A variety of wheel-size combinations are used. There are recumbent tandems in which some models are a mix of one rider in the upright position and the second rider in the recumbent position.

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