Systems Lessons To Learn From Core Strength for Cyclists

I like to bike and have biked for years. Anyone that bikes seriously will tell you how important one’s core strength is for performance and endurance. I’ve not seen a better group of core strength exercises than these from Tom Danielson and Allison Westfahl from their book, Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage: Core Strength for Cycling’s Winning Edge.

So, I decided to create this page to use as a visual workout guide. Since one video is worth thousands of words, check out the example from youtube.

You can grab a copy of Tom and Allison’s great book from Amazon.

What does core strength have to do with computer and network systems, you ask? If you want your systems to endure over time and perform at a top level, develop strength in your core systems management practices. Use high quality systems monitoring, state of the art mobility management and best practices driven systems management. One can accomplish all of that, even with disparate systems located in your office and in the cloud. If you’re wondering how, contact me.

Your Business Computers Need Flint Catchers

Flint Catchers come from a bygone era of English cycling when an afternoon sporting ride would take one along the dirt paths and gravel roads of the UK. Flint Catchers or Tyre Savers as they were called, came in all shapes and sizes, but they were all designed to remove rock chips, "flints", glass, nails and other road debris from the expensive flat prone bicycle tyres of the day. The more expensive Flint Catchers were hand crafted alloy or chromed steel.

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Flint Catchers attached to the front and rear brake center bolts and would glide across the rotating tyre, removing their charges before subsequent revolutions of the tire embedded the debris into the tyre, flatting it. Less expensive Flint Catchers were made of stainless steel wire and rubber tubing. But, they all provided a basic level of protection for those expensive tubular tyres.

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Today, a good set of road racing tubular tyres will set one back a couple of hundred dollars.

So, what do flint catchers have to do with business computers? It’s quite simple really. Think of your company’s network of computers, network printers/scanners and tablets/smart phones as those expensive tubular tyres that keep your business rolling along. And, think of proactive monitoring and security as your Flint Catchers, protecting every revolution of your expensive computer resources. Desktop and laptop security software, unified threat management at the Internet gateway and device monitoring comprise the three pillars of maintaining robust local network computing. Your business would be at risk to try to roll along without any one of these three pillars.

During your first quarter planning, consider addressing desktop and laptop security software, unified threat management at the Internet gateway and device monitoring. If you need assistance, contact me and come along for the ride.

If you’re interested in protecting your expensive bike “tyres”, search eBay for Flint Catchers.

New VR Cycling Studio Runs Video Intensive

One of my more interesting projects occurred when I agreed to tackle a new Virtual Reality Cycling Studio shortly before my birthday this Summer.

The studio is VR Cycling Studio, the brainchild of Steve Elliott, a cycling coach, massage therapist, former bicycle racer, bicycle advocate and visionary. Steve’s pulled together ideas from fitness centers, bicycle racing, training regimens and computer technology to create a state of the art cycling training center. I’m honored that he found me to work with him to overcome the computer and technology challenges of his new venture.

Virtual Reality Cycling trains a cyclist by using a bicycle control mechanism to simulate road load and measure cycling performance. Combined with 1080p HD video and sophisticated software, a cyclist can enjoy a custom made training planed workout along with the visual stimulation of some of the finest bike rides on the planet. Take one look at the studio’s CompuTrainer training stations and you will come away with the sense of how important HD 1080p video becomes to the overall effectiveness of the virtual cycling training experience.

The heart of state of the art virtual reality cycling is the system developed by RacerMate, the CompuTrainer, RacerMate’s software and an impressive software developed by Paul Smeulders, called ErgVideo.

CompuTrainer provides the most interesting indoor bike experience yet created. It increases your cycling power by 20 to 30% and your speed by 2 to 4 MPH. Whatever your starting point, you’ll improve significantly.

CompuTrainer is best in its class by a wide margin. It sets the industry standard for accuracy (± 2.5%), power (1500 watts), quality, and service lifetime (10+ years). Exclusive performance features like SpinScan™ electronic pedal stroke analysis and Adjustable Aerodynamic Drag Factor are unique to CompuTrainer. Cycling and triathlon coaches worldwide use CompuTrainer as their primary testing instrument. USA Triathlon and USA Cycling test and train their team athletes with CompuTrainer.

I’ve learned a couple of great lessons.

First, that the right video deployment can make a business. ErgVideo™ creates a true simulation from the real power requirements of an event or training session. With an easy-to-use interface, you can adjust the power profile, and even edit the training sequence, to suit your own fitness level and targets. You can also choose from several pre-defined workouts or an entire training plan, created by NCCP III certified coach and ErgVideo developer Paul Smeulders, for each ErgVideo™. Rendered in 1080p HD video from the right computer equipment, the workout time that can sometimes exceed an hour and a half just blows by. I know, because I train at VR Cycling Studio when my schedule permits.

Second, after 20+ years off a bike and a 60th birthday, virtual reality cycling training and a reasonable training plan helped condition me to return to road cycling and experience all of the excitement, intensity and great local scenery that I had missed. Work can often be an awful lot of fun.