Monday, January 13, 2014

Best Seller WHEELMEN On Sale Now @Strictly Bicycles

Vanessa O’Connell, an award-winning reporter at The Wall Street Journal and co-author of "Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever", held an informal book signing at Strictly Bicycles on Sunday, Dec 22. We now have several signed copies for sale at the store and online.

This *New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller, which she co-wrote with Reed Albergotti, is the first book to go beyond the scathing headlines and reports by the media on the Lance Armstrong doping controversies.

In May 2010, Albergotti uncovered emails sent to cycling officials and sponsors by a former teammate of Lance Armstrong’s that revealed the complex doping program on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team.

He broke the news about the shocking emails in a story, which he wrote with his colleague O’Connell, that sent shockwaves around the sports world and led to a two-year federal investigation. Albergotti and O’Connell received a National Headliner Award and a New York Press Club award for their coverage of the doping scandal.
Here are just some excerpts from Wheelmen:

The Doping Culture among Cyclists


By the early ‘90s, doping culture had already become quite advanced among the European teams.

• Recombinant erythropoietin (EPO), a synthetic version of a natural hormone in the body that causes bone marrow to produce red blood cells, was even more powerful than the anabolic steroids that had become commonplace in athletics in the 1970s and 1980s, and injectable vials of EPO were ubiquitous in pro cycling in the ‘90s (pg 62, 200)

• Blood boosting was a way of increasing the body’s supply of red blood cells by way of transfusion and with no chance of detection (except for eye witnesses). Riders would lay down face-up on the floor of the tour bus, parked in the middle of nowhere, while the team doctors hung chilled transfusion bags from overhead luggage racks so that gravity could help the blood ease its way into their veins. 500 cc of blood (the equivalent of two cups) would be withdrawn from each rider, then re-infused a few weeks later during a race (pgs 30-32, 62). 

Co-Author Vanessa O'Connell
  Doping and Armstrong

• Lance began using low-octane doping products and human growth hormone around 1993, when he became the youngest American to win a stage of the Tour de France (pg 63).

• In 1995, Armstrong soon started complaining to his teammates that they’d done so poorly because they were competing with riders who were pumped to the gills with EPO (pg 69).

• In October 1996, at a hospital with friends and family at the start of his cancer treatment, he openly confessed to having taken performance-enhancing drugs, listing EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone, and steroids (pg 86).

• Armstrong kept his EPO in the butter compartment of his refrigerator, so he code-named it butter. If the French police came knocking and wanted to search the house, presumably, Armstrong or his wife at the time, Kristin Armstrong, could warn each other to throw out the “butter.” (pg 104)

• Armstrong figured out, shrewdly, that most Americans put a lot of stock in the effectiveness of drug testing, so all he had to do was to cite the hundreds of times he had been tested, and people would believe he was clean (pg 316).

To read the entire compelling story, pick up your book at Strictly Bicycles now or order online. O'Connell signed the remaining copies before she left. If you're still looking for that last minute gift for a cyclist or triathlete, pick up yours before the 24th!

Anyone who purchases a signed copy of Wheelmen at Strictly Bicycles can return for the signature of co-author Reed Albergotti in February when both authors visit the shop for a more formal presentation. (hold on to your receipts)

To learn more, go to the official Wheelmen website and the Wheelmen Facebook page.

*AWARDS/DISTINCTIONS: New York Times Bestseller (#13 e-book, #18 e-book/print combined), The Wall Street Journal Bestseller (#4 hardcover business), Indie Bestseller (#13, hardcover nonfiction). One of the 100 books chosen as's Best Books of 2013.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GWB Cable Restoration Could Disrupt Cyclists For Decade

Story by Max Almenas Photos courtesy of John Ford & NJBWC

In 2015, hundreds of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians traversing the George Washington Bridge (GWB) could experience dramatic changes if the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) moves forward with their cable replacement project. The 1.2 billion dollar effort, which is expected to last 8 years, will replace all 592 suspender ropes and clean all four main cables on the GWB.

The cables are 10 years overdue for replacement. But in order to replace the cables, paths to bicycle, walk, or run across the bridge will be closed or rerouted. The PANYNJ will close off the north path while the south path is repaired, and vice versa for safety precautions.

While it is not clear which path will be closed first, the north path is clearly the more difficult of the two to traverse. Cyndi Steiner, Executive Director of New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC), is concerned the closures could have widespread effects for pedestrians and cyclists who utilize the GWB daily for commuting, leisure, or training for world class cycling events such as Gran Fondo New York.

"The south side is bike and wheelchair accessible,” said Steiner. “There are 171 steps on the north side spread out over more than a handful of staircases. Some of the staircases are on the New Jersey side, and some are on the New York side.”

The staircases on the north path are steep and covered with metal grating, which could be particularly difficult for cyclists attempting to carry their bikes up multiple sets of stairs while wearing cycling cleats. During inclement weather, the metal grating can provide less than perfect traction.

“So the concern is when the south path is closed, many cyclists are just not going to come across the bridge or carry their bikes up those steps,” Steiner said. “As of 2012, there are 500,000 cyclists who cross the George Washington Bridge every year. “And that number doubles every five years. That’s going to be severely limited once this project gets started.”

Everyday, hundreds of cyclists cross over the GWB onto Hudson Terrace and pedal past Strictly Bicycles with friends or in group rides enroute to 9W, the most traveled cycling route in the United States. In February, members of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Transportation Alternatives (NYC), and New York Cycle Club attended a PANYNJ board meeting on behalf of non-motorists.

"We made them aware that this was an unacceptable situation for us. We [cyclists and pedestrians] are valid users of the bridge, we’re a constituency also, and they need to think about us,” Steiner explained. "Two weeks later, the PANYNJ contacted the advocacy groups and arranged to spend a day in April walking the north and south paths with bridge engineers, planners and operation managers."

Representatives from PANYNJ, Planning Corps,
the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, and the engineering firm of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. attended the meeting. They brainstormed to find solutions that could move the project forward without impeding cyclists and pedestrians.

“We had a bike with us and showed engineers what it’s like riding a bike on both sides of that bridge,” Steiner said. “And in the afternoon we brainstormed solutions mainly focused on removing the steps on the north side because that seems to be the biggest barrier.”

The groups also pointed to the low visibility at the towers, crowded ramps leading to the bridge, tight squeezes where the paths narrow at gateways, and standpipes, all which the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition believes is a clear and present danger for thousands of bicyclists daily.

While the advocacy groups were expecting the PANYNJ to get back to them with a set of potential designs this summer, Steiner says she expects to hear from them in the coming weeks and hopes the general public will connect with the advocacy groups to mainstream the communication channels without disrupting the efforts.

“The Port Authority asked us to keep the advocacy among the organizations that were already involved, because they said, ‘Look, we’ve never done this before, we’ve never worked with a group of advocates, this is new to us, we want to do this right,’” Steiner said. “So if you look at that list, you’ve got a recreational touring club on each side of the bridge and you’ve got advocacy groups on each side of the bridge, so we feel we’re adequately represented.”

Anyone concerned with how their cycling to and from 9W and New York City will be impacted, is encouraged to visit websites for the following organizations: New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Transportation Alternatives (NYC), Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey, and New York Cycle Club.

"Sign up for our (NJBWC) newsletter, let us know that you’re interested in updates on the bridge, provide us with any feedback or any ideas you have, and we’ll keep you informed as to what’s going on,” Steiner said. “But it does help to hear from cyclists so we can count you in our numbers.”

“We have a rough idea who our constituency is but the more numbers we have, the better when we work with the Port Authority,” Steiner added. “What we don’t want is a barrage of communication directly to Port Authority because we’re trying to abide by what they asked us to do, and that was to funnel all of the communication between the two advocacy groups.”

To stay informed on developments regarding the cable restoration project, sign up for the Strictly Bicycles newsletter.

Friday, November 1, 2013

From Kona With Love: New York Triathlete’s Dream Comes Full Circle

Story By Max Almenas     Photos courtesy of Paul Dauber and Cervélo

Triathlete Paul Dauber is experiencing fatigue and constant hunger after completing the GoPro Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii October 12, arguably the most challenging one-day endurance event on the planet.

While the Kona event is virtually the same distance as other Ironman races, 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a full 26.2-mile marathon, the Hawaiian version comes packed with its own set of challenges including an emotionally-charged mass swim start with approximately 2,000 triathletes, intense trade winds across the Hawaiian lava desert in the bike segment, and blistering heat and humidity during the run.  

“I can eat all day and nothing happens,” said Dauber. “It’s hilarious. But I’m pleased with the whole thing and how it all turned out. Tired, but happy.”

Dauber, who qualified for Kona after a strong finish at Ironman Mont-Tremblant this summer, admits he went a little too hard on the bike segment, and had a little less “fuel” than he would have liked for the marathon segment.

This was not Dauber’s first trip to Kona. Nine years ago during his honeymoon, Dauber, still a newbie to the sport, had the New York City Triathlon and a half Ironman in Rhode Island checked off. But after witnessing the “great race” he was forever hooked.   

“I had no aspiration at that point until I saw the start line to think about the possibility of ever getting to Kona,” Dauber said. “It never really crossed my mind that someday I could actually have the opportunity to race Kona.”

Transitioning From Ironman Distance to Kona

Dauber, who turned 50 during Ironman Mont-Tremblant, came into the sport as a runner with ankle issues and a friend recommended he purchase a bike to minimize impact during workouts. Shortly after purchasing a road bike, he completed several triathlons and within a few years, five Ironman races.

Dauber believes the trick to finishing well in an Ironman is recognizing the race is not made up of three separate components but one entire experience requiring the greatest emphasis on the bike segment.

“If you’re going to run a marathon after the bike, you have to be so strong on the bike, that the run training doesn’t mater as much,” Dauber explained. “So I spent the bulk of my time training on the bike, getting lost somewhere near Bear Mountain, spending a lot of time on Route 9W, working on the hills and doing some interval training on the flats and going fast.”

“And of course, I was thrilled to buy a new Cervélo P5 at Strictly Bicycles and started riding from the time I knew I was going from Mont-Tremblant to Kona,” Dauber said. “So I spend a lot of time on the bike. That’s probably the most important thing because if you’re not strong off the bike, the rest of the Ironman doesn’t come through so well.”

Making Connections With Local Bike Shop

While Dauber trained for Ironman Mont-Tremblant, he was also transitioning from a home in Chappaqua New York to his new residence in Englewood, New Jersey. When he decided it was time for a new bike, he visited Strictly Bicycles.         

Before the Cervélo P5, Dauber trained on the Scott Plasma 3 Premium, a triathlon bike that set a new world record during the 2011 Ironman championship in Kona, packaged with 11-speed Shimano Durace components.

While he enjoyed the bike, it was a little long for him due to his short torso, and with 35-inch inseam and long legs, he needed a taller yet shorter frame.

“I was interested in going back to Cervélo. My first tri bike was a Cervélo P2 carbon, so I knew the fitting on the P5 was a little bit less aggressive than the old P3s,” Dauber explained. “When I came in [to Strictly Bicycles] to meet with Nelson, get fit, and work with Gato [de Leon, mechanic], it was a no-brainer for me.”

After purchasing the P5, Dauber realized he was more comfortable and could remain in the aero position longer. Now he is generating more power and cycling faster.

According to Cervélo, the P5 landed seven Ironman wins within the first six months of launch with outrageous records in the bike split. Other milestones include David Zabriskie’s win in the U.S. Time Trial Championship, Caroline ”Xena” Steffen’s first place finish in the 2012 Ironman European Championship, and Ryder Hesjedal’s win at the 2012 Giro d’Italia.


“And I’m proud to say that my bike split in Kona was in the range of 5:25, so I averaged close to 21-miles per hour over the whole course, which can be windy with both cross and head winds,” Dauber added. “The bike made a big difference for me, plus I like it, it looks cool, it makes me faster. I’m so glad I made the switch.”

If you're interested in the P5 or any of our triathlon/time trial bikes, email or call Max at 201-944-7074.

You can also listen to the full interview at our new podcast station: Strictly Bicycles Cyclecast


Friday, October 25, 2013

GFNY Kicks Off 2014 With New Course, Bike, & Family Member

Story by Max Almenas   Photos Courtesy of Gran Fondo New York

Aspiring cyclists who have only dreamed of riding from New York City to Bear Mountain on roads closed to traffic or with moderated traffic can now train for the GFNY BEAR, a 50-mile event, which will be part of the 4th annual Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York on May 18, 2014.

While 100-mile and 50-mile riders will start together on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge and cycle to Bear Mountain, century riders will ride back to the finish line, while 50-milers will cross their finish line at the top of Bear Mountain, then receive transportation back to the GFNY finish line.

“We always like to give people a taste of Gran Fondo New York with a not-so challenging option as we had in 2012,” said Uli Fluhme, co-organizer of the GFNY. “In 2011 and 2012, we offered the Medio Fondo, which was a 60-mile ride with the same start and finish as the 100-mile Gran Fondo. But we had trouble with people using the 60 mile as a race, even though the 60-mile is really meant for beginners and less hard core riders.”

While the GFNY BEAR celebrates Bear Mountain’s 100-year anniversary, it also provides cyclists a climatic finish, ending with a 4-mile climb to the highest peak in the New York City metropolitan area.

“The finish at the top of Bear Mountain will be very unique,” said Lidia Fluhme, co-organizer of the GFNY. “In 2011 and 2012, the Medio Fondo participants rode only the first 30 miles with the Gran Fondo.

After that, they turned around and rode 30 miles to the finish, and at that point they were not part of the main event anymore because the Gran Fondo makes up 80 percent of the field. But in 2014, GFNY Bear participants will be surrounded by the entire field of participants start to finish and getting the full Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York experience.”

Upon completing the race, all participants and their supporters are invited to the pasta party and tents featuring GFNY swag and apparel from sponsors at the GFNY finish area.

At 3pm, awards will be distributed to overall podium, age groups, teams, and him and her category winners.

De Rosa Creates Protos GFNY Frame

According to Lidia Fluhme, GFNY is the first event in the world to feature its own bike frame designed specifically for an event.

When the opportunity presented itself, the Fluhme couple didn’t hesitate on the choice for manufacturer - De Rosa.

“This is so exciting for us,” Lidia said.

Founded in 1953, De Rosa has been associated with professional pelotons in Italy since the early 1960’s, and quickly became the preferred bike manufacturer for legendary cyclists including Raphael Geminiani, Gianni Motta, and eventually Eddy Merckx, arguably the greatest cyclist ever.

Lidia and Uli Fluhme met with Cristiano and Danilo De Rosa, sons of Ugo De Rosa, as well as the founder himself over the summer in Milan, Italy, and a deal was struck to design a De Rosa Protos, their most successful road frame to date, designed with the official Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York logo and colors.

“The De Rosa family is very friendly and very excited about working with Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York,” Fluhme said. “We gave Cristiano a little goody bag and he reached in and took out our Gran Fondo baseball cap, put it on, and was wearing it the whole afternoon. We met again a month later and made a deal.”

While the decision to choose De Rosa as the official bike frame of GFNY stems from the company’s influence in the history and tradition of cycling, the seed was planted when Uli Fluhme was just starting to take cycling seriously at the age of 16.

He said the pure designs and the company’s true understanding of how bikes should be built inspired him. Fluhme would go on to cycle for 20 years and competed for an Italian cycling team, racing gran fondos through the late 90s.

While he never had the opportunity to own his own De Rosa, the bikes remained on his radar, and in his heart.

“If you look at a bike today, you can’t really see what angles and tubes lengths are used because they’re deviating in slightly different variations from the diamond frame,”

Uli Fluhme explained. “It’s harder to tell how the bike is built and it can make a huge difference to how it rides, whether it’s a more American traditional frame that rides well on the flats and straights or a reactive Italian frame, which is more built towards attacking and cornering.”

Winners of the GFNY will be awarded the De Rosa Protos GFNY bike. Join the Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York Sunday group rides at 9am, starting from Strictly Bicycles on December 8, 2013 to see the official bike, which will be ridden by members of GFNY’s Gruppo Sportivo.

New Family Team Member Expected Soon

While the Fluhme family has been busy working on the logistics of the GFNY, and their new De Rosa Protos, they’re also preparing for another life changing event – the birth of their first child, a baby boy, which is expected any day now.

While Lidia Fluhme has not been able to cycle during her pregnancy, she has spent a considerable amount of time exercising in the pool.

“I miss cycling. It made me appreciate cycling a lot more. I miss it,” Lidia Fluhme said. “Can’t wait to get back. I started as a runner and then became a triathlete, and now I'm more of a cyclist who does triathlons. The pool was my home for the whole summer and continues to be now.”

“She put in one legendary 8km swim, which is 5 miles, one day this summer,” Uli Fluhme added. 

While the Fluhmes are both avid cyclists, they’re not expecting their first born to be a future Tour de France or Ironman World Champion.

“I don’t think it’s realistic that he’s going to be Tour de France or something because we’re big people,” Lidia Fluhme explained. “That level in pro sports is for someone with a smaller frame than us. So genetically, we’re not quite there for pro sports.”

“We certainly hope he’s going to do some sort of sport and have fun with it, whatever it's going to be,” Uli Fluhme added.

GFNY fans can expect a GFNY baby apparel line in the future.      

Strictly Bicycles is the exclusive bike shop to build and sell the De Rosa Protos GFNY bikes. Bicyclists will be able to purchase the frame-only at the GFNY shop.

To register for GFNY events, go to GFNY event site.

For alerts announcing launch of the GFNY De Rosa Protos, sign up for the Strictly Bicycles newsletter.

Watch the official 2013 Gran Fondo New York video.

Watch De Rosa frame production from start to finish video.

Friday, October 18, 2013

NYC Cyclist Wins World Cycling Tour Despite Broken Pelvis

Story by Max Almenas   Photos courtesy of Ann Marie Miller

NYC Cyclist Wins World Cycling Tour Despite Broken Pelvis By Max Almenas Photos courtesy of Ann Marie Miller When Ann Marie Miller arrived in New York City (NYC) from Seymour, Indiana to become a professional actor, she never imagined she would trade the stages of Broadway for world championship podiums in cycling.

 Miller, who had already won the UCI World Cycling Tour in her age category twice in the last two years continued her streak on September 22 earning gold in the women's 55-59 road race, and women's 55-59 time trial during the UCI World Cycling Tour in Trento Italy – adding to a career that includes 11 United States National Master’s Championships.

“I qualified to go to the World’s last year in South Africa and I won the time-trial and road races, so I was really motivated to go back this year because if it was in Europe, I knew it would be more competitive,” said Miller, adding the tour ended with a 12 -mile climb to the finish line. “How could you go wrong racing in the hot bed of competitive cycling?”

But the road to victory would not be etched in stone this year. On May 5, the 55-year-old fractured her pelvis during the Putnam Cycling Classic.

“It’s a great event, but it was one of these mishaps where I was riding in a group of 20 guys, someone swerved and took out the rider in front of me and I went down,” Miller explained. “Tim [Snell] [boyfriend] was riding me around in a wheel chair and I didn't know what that would do to my season.”

After consulting with NYC orthopedic surgeon Claudette Lajam, a fellow cyclist who was more optimistic of Miller’s potential for recovery than she was, Miller began water therapy.

“Doing anything at that point was intimidating, but it was great because it was just what I needed,” Miller said. “I could still keep my legs moving without the impact or weight. Based on her encouragement, I did things I wouldn't have gone to. I had from July 5 till September 20th to whip myself back into shape.” Miller would go on to finish the Green Mountain Criterium with the front group, which instilled her confidence to continue to the UCI World Cycling Tour and victory.

Life Transformations 

Miller made her transition into fitness after enrolling in Marymount College’s first fitness program and later earned her Master’s in Applied Physiology at Columbia University, which led to a career as a fitness instructor and eventually a cycling coach.

“What had attracted me to performing was communicating and sharing a message to people and when you’re in fitness or education, you’re also sharing information, Miller explained. “I was called to spending more time helping people instead of pouring all this energy into show business. I enjoy motivating people and helping them take their fitness to the next level.”

Although Miller owned a bike at the time, she was afraid to ride on the chaotic streets of NYC. But after enjoying a ride in Central Park one afternoon, she decided to commute via bicycle everyday. After a friend convinced her to enter a duathlon, and she won second place in her age category, Miller entered multiple events and joined group rides, which led to her enrolling into the Special Interest Group 12-week program with the New York Cycle Club.

“They start out with 40-mile rides and get progressively longer which ends with a graduation ride to Bear Mountain,” Miller said, adding she was 42 at the time. “And then a friend said her bike handling skills improved when she started racing. I had no illusions about bike racing. It looked terrifying to me having watched CRCA [Century Road Club Association] races in Central Park.”

After winning at Bear Mountain, Miller transitioned from a cat 4 to a cat 2 within 6 weeks. Miller, now a cat 1 racer, has 5 road race championships, 4 criterium championships, and two-time-trial championships under her belt.

In the UCI World Cycling Tour, Miller topped the women's 55-59 podium after crossing the line in 2:41:16.4. She was one of 16 Americans who earned medals.

In addition to racing, Miller coaches cyclists and provides lactate threshold testing in NYC.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Cycling Program Transforms Lives One Child At A Time

Story by Max Almenas    Photos Courtesy of CYCLE Kids

A boy named Toby was born with Hepatitis C in a home where there was a prevalence of drug, alcohol, and physical abuse in the family. He lived in a home for battered women with his mother in Boston.

In addition to being socially awkward and suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Toby was overweight and didn’t perform well scholastically. But after enrolling in CYCLE Kids, an after-school program designed to teach children how to ride a bike, wear a helmet properly, and eat healthier, Toby’s life took a different direction.

“His mother said, ‘I don’t know what this program is but now he [Toby] comes home and talks to me and does his homework,’” said Julianne Idlet, founder of CYCLE Kids, a school program designed to fight child obesity and promote healthier nutrition through the love of bicycling.


Idlet was a marketing executive for technology startups who left the corporate world in 2004 to develop CYCLE Kids. While conducting research as a coach for the Harvard University cycling team, she realized how prevalent diseases common with adults were becoming more prevalent among children. 

“The more research I did, the more I realized children don’t exercise. They’re not doing the things I did when I was a kid, which was going out playing and riding my bike,” Idlet added. “They’re going to after-school programs and they’re much more sedentary.”

After designing the cycling curriculum for after-school programs in Cambridge and Boston, and hiring several fourth and fifth grade teachers, it was evident children were embracing the program. CYCLE Kids has worked with the American Heart Association to ensure the program is appropriate for each age group.  

“Kids loved the program. They wanted to ride bikes. They just didn’t have the access to it,” Idlet said. “And it was really important children understood the necessity of eating well. I grew up in a family where everything was made fresh. We had our own garden we picked our own food. It was a healthy lifestyle.”


At the start of every school year, Idlet transported over 60 bicycles to schools, which were stored in the backyards and basements of friends and parents. But when it became evident she couldn’t scale CYCLE Kids as an after-school program, Idlet repackaged it as a physical education program to be sold or implemented to schools nationwide through fundraising to provide books, bikes, and helmets.

With the help of students from the Harvard Business School Social Entrepreneur program, she was able to launch CYCLE Kids in Cambridge and eventually expanded to other states including Atlanta, Texas, and New York. 

Through the support of community leaders in New York City (NYC), such as Dr. Ed Fishkin and Charlie McCorkell, CYCLE Kids setup programs in Brooklyn schools, with the NYC Children's Aid Society, the Police Athletic League, and the YMCA in Chinatown. 

CYCLE Kids has also teamed up with the Citibike program to make it easier for parents and children to learn the benefits of cycling together. To date, CYCLE Kids has reached over 1,500 children in NYC, and is expected to reach an additional 400 children in 2014.

On October 17, at 7pm-9pm, CYCLE Kids, with help from cycling legend Evelyn Stevens and teammates from the women’s pro cycling Team Specialized-lululemon, will be holding a fundraiser to expand the program.  

You're invited to join them at the offices of the Wasserman Media Group, 444 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York City.  You can purchase a ticket by going to their website,

Idlet is also searching for celebrity sponsors to get involved in CYCLE Kids and Breakaway, the flagship annual cycling event, which celebrates the core values of CYCLE Kids: nutritious food, fun on bikes, and vibrant community. 

To introduce CYCLE Kids to your school district, sponsor the organization, or learn more about their events, go to  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Strictly Bicycles Helps Ride 2 Recovery Continue 440-Mile Trek

Story by Max Almenas  Photos Courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery

Thousands of cyclists traverse the George Washington Bridge on a daily basis, but last week veterans from Ride 2 Recovery crossed over from Fort Lee to New York City to continue their six-day, 440-mile ride from Boston to Philadelphia during their annual Minutemen Challenge.

Ride 2 Recovery utilizes the sport of cycling as the key method to rehabilitate veterans who have lost limbs or suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other injuries.

When Scott Moro, Chief Engineer and Equipment Director for Ride 2 Recovery, stopped at Strictly Bicycles to get a bike computer repaired for a quadruple amputee, he explained how he and his wife helped founder John Wordin get Ride 2 Recovery on the road. 

“We used to run a professional cycling team called Mercury Cycling and we applied what we know towards creating a cycling program to help the mental and physical rehabilitation of these veterans,” said Moro. “We don’t just teach them how to ride – we teach them how to ride in a group.”

Once cyclists learn to ride in a group, they enter the next level of the program – peer to peer therapy, where they discuss the difficulties of physical and mental recovery, loss of friends during combat, and transitioning back into civilian lifestyle.

“Now they [veterans] can talk to someone else who’s been through the same thing in an atmosphere where they’re exercising, having fun, and they can let their guard down,” Moro explained. “It also gets them off their meds [medications]. The goal is not to get them off their meds – it’s just one of those things that happen. It helps them heal. It changes their lives.”

The multiple city ride included stops at the Empty Sky 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park in Jersey City and the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center in New York City where veterans paid their respects.

In addition to the Minutemen Challenge and other multi-day events, Ride 2 Recovery employs hundreds of retired veterans who worked as bike mechanics before joining the military, and trains them to apply the Ride 2 Recovery rehabilitation methods at military bases nationwide.

“Their experience with bike repair combined with their understanding of the physical and mental benefits of cycling make them the perfect conduit for our programs,” Moro added.

Ride 2 Recovery also organizes one day events designed to raise funds to help support the organization.         

A week after the Minutemen Challenge, several members of Ride 2 Recovery joined bicycle industry organizations and bike shop owners such as Nelson and Joanna Gutierrez of Strictly Bicycles at the 2013 Interbike convention in Las Vegas.

Through the “Interbike by Invitation” program, which allows registered retail bike shops to invite their most loyal customers to the final show day at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Race 2 Recovery was able to attend for the first time.

Interbike, the largest bicycle industry trade show in North America, partnered with Ride 2 Recovery on the new 25-mile Ride 2 Recovery/Interbike Honor Ride at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center where veterans, troops and all attendees were invited to ride to the OutDoor Demo site in Boulder City, Nevada.

Next stop? The California Challenge, where veterans will cycle down the scenic Highway 1 while enjoying stunning views of the Pacific Coast through cities such as Carmel, Big Sur, San Simeon, Pismo Beach, Solvang and Ventura. The ride will leave Palo Alto and will finish at the Santa Monica Pier.

Ride 2 Recovery is produced by the Fitness Challenge, a (501C3) in partnership with the Military and VA Volunteer Service Office to benefit mental and physical rehabilitation programs for our country’s wounded veterans and healing heroes that features cycling as the core activity.

Held in partnership with the Fitness Challenge Foundation, R2R raises money to support cycling programs at military and VA locations around the U.S. to help healing heroes overcome obstacles they face.

Cycling is important part of the recovery process because it’s an activity that everyone can do, no matter the disability and cycling helps speed up the recovery process.

To learn more about Ride 2 Recovery, click here.