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London Calling – Olympian Shelley Olds

When I first met Shelley Olds, she was a budding track cycling star who was still navigating the nuisances of road cycling. But throughout the course of her professional career, the one constant has been the Olympic dream. While it would take some sacrifice and a move from away from her comfort zone, in a few days, Shelley will represent the United States of America at the London 2012 Olympic Games. I caught up with Shelley shortly after this year's Giro Donne to discuss the London Games and what it took to be an Olympian. Lenny B (LB): During the
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Viva Brings Copenhagen Cycling Style to NYC

New York, NY - Copenhagen and New York City have more in common than one might think. Over the last few years New York created more than 200 miles of bike lanes. Daily ridership is up—some estimates say it has nearly doubled since 2005. New York’s streets now include 482 miles of bike lanes, and a total of 1,800 miles are planned by 2030. In Copenhagen, 55% of commuters use a bicycle every day, and 37% of commuters crossing the city boundary do so by bike. Forty years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else, but today roughly
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The Nalini 2012 Summer Collection: Italian Design, Italian Style, Italian Made

More compression jerseys & bibshorts, innovative materials, convertible jackets, and stylish designs highlight the Italian maker's newest Summer Collection Oxnard, CA. and Castel d'Ario, Italy – The 2012 Nalini Summer Collection of cycling apparel showcases new compression jerseys and bibshorts – the Nalini Compression line -- plus innovative “Quick-Burst” convertible jackets and jerseys, fabrics with ceramic fibers, fabrics from recycled plastic bottles, plus underwear, baselayers and accessories, announced Gianluca Caliari of Albabici. The Nalini 2012 Summer Collection is imported to the U.S. exclusively by Albabici, based in Oxnard, California. All Nalini apparel is designed and manufactured 100 percent in Italy.
Team Camp Base
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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I love this part of my day. Our team clips in and rolls out, turning left onto the one road that passes by the old convent where we are staying for our preseason camp. Within a few turns of the pedal, we fall into formation—an easy line of pairs—relaxed, talking happily in the sunshine. The road winds over small green hills checkered with olive trees, and twists through curves made just for a bike. In two lines, close and easy, we flow through each curve. By now we know the buche (potholes), and flow easily around them. Already I’m too
Hills Ride
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Australia

In Australia, waking before 5am quickly became my daily routine. Last week temperatures soared above 40 C, so training required getting a good chunk of the ride done before sunrise. I love this. Admittedly, it's somewhat painful to get out of bed in the four o'clock hour, but getting a good session finished before 10am feels great and leaves plenty of time for napping (a major bonus). In an effort to get the most out of the good weather, I smashed myself in training, which pretty much rendered me useless for anything off the bike. As much as I tried
Hearty Green Soup
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The Soup

David and I fled south for a few weeks of training in Tuscany, and on the first day, we took our bikes exploring into the mountains. The weather here is a good 10-15 C warmer than Graz, but after a scenic sunny climb, we froze descending through a deep, shaded valley, gingerly making our way down icy hairpin turns, frost crackling under our skinny tires. We had to stop twice to swing our arms around to force blood back into our burning cold fingers. Physically, those forty minutes of coasting were miserable. As David put it, “I never thought I
Český Krumlov Castle
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Make Every Minute Count

Sunday night found us in Český Krumlov at the Eggenberg Brewery, happy, cozy and full after a meal of Bohemian-style roasted duck and potato dumplings in the pub's majestic hall. More than 700 years ago, the very same towering arches and thick walls stored great blocks of ice, hauled from the nearby Vltava River for cooling barrels of lagered beer during the brewing process. Now, they insulate the brewery’s pub, one of the only places on earth one can taste their famous yeast beer, true to the original centuries-old recipe, a natural, living brew (This beer it is always working,
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Hell Hath No Fury: A Review

As do many professional riders, I face some frigid training conditions during the winter in Europe. As much as I would like you to believe that I'm a machine programmed to crush outdoor training sessions regardless of weather conditions, the fact is, I am a human being, one who has whined plenty and publicly about the challenges of winter training. However, even worse than training with an ice cream headache in freezing fog, is sweating indoors on a stationary trainer. Like (probably) many of you, I hate the trainer. I really do. I will ride in ridiculous sub-freezing temperatures just
Sunset in seafood country
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To The Sea

For this column, I'm flashing back to my pre-cycling graduate school days, or Amber's Life, B.B. (Before Bike). I hope you enjoy the tangent! I had finished preparing the surgery station, so I settled into a seat on the upper deck of our 92-foot fishing vessel and took in the view: a yawning afternoon sky over the Pacific ocean. I relaxed and savored the sunshine, knowing this afternoon calm would be cut short at any second by the call: Boil at the stern! Start a chum line! We had been at sea for nearly four days of a three week
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25 Things

I was recently asked to relate some little-known facts about myself, a question that led me to look up this piece, which I'd done for a blog a while ago. Just to mix things up a bit, I decided to post it here for fun. 1. I believe the universe is a friendly place. I believe in the good in people and in the world and do not care if that makes me naïve. I don’t really think it does. 2. I wish I could reasonably drink coffee all day long and have breakfast for every meal. 3. Between the
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