By Tessa Greegor
FC Bikes program manager
The city is developing a comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan to shape the future of bicycling in Fort Collins. The plan envisions Fort Collins as a world-class city for biking; a city where people of all ages and abilities have access to a comfortable, safe and connected network of bicycle facilities; a city where bicycling is an integral part of daily life and the local cultural experience.
On July 30, the city will host a Bicycle Master Plan Open House to share initial recommendations for the future of bicycling, based on best practices from around the world and input from around 2,000 local residents who’ve shared their thoughts through community bike audits; an online survey and WikiMap; a citywide transportation open house; a bike plan update open house; a visioning workshop with advocates, city departments, and business leaders; an interactive exhibit at the Lesher Middle School Tour de Fit; and most recently, Bike to Work Day.
We also are taking into account recommendations made by the League of American Bicyclists, or LAB, bicycle friendly community specialist, who recently was in town. He toured Fort Collins by bike, both solo and with a group of stakeholders. Afterward, he shared many suggestions about how Fort Collins can improve conditions for all levels of cyclists.
At the open house, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the city's proposed approach to developing a low-stress bicycle network, including recommended locations for future improvements and state-of-the-art bikeway designs to create a comfortable environment for bicycling. We'll share strategies for developing a wayfinding system to help people safely navigate to destinations around town; new bicycle program ideas to increase safety and promote a culture of respect and responsibility among all transportation system users; how we're proposing to advance public transit through an expanded bike share system; and much more.
Stop by anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Columbine Room at the Lincoln Center for an engaging, informative and family-friendly open house. And, of course, it will be another chance for you to make sure your voice is heard.
If you can't make it to the open house, bring your family and friends to the city's inaugural Open Streets event on Laurel and Whedbee from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. FC Bikes will have a Bicycle Master Plan booth at the event. It will be another place you can share your thoughts about our new bicycling plan. The Open Streets event also will feature fun and healthy activities that will take place in the street. You won't want to miss it.
For more information about the Bicycle Master Plan, visit fcgov.com/bikeplan, and to learn more about Open Streets, visit fcgov.com/openstreets.
Tessa Greegor is the FC Bikes program manager, a Bicycle Ambassador (www.bicycleambassadorprogram.org) and a League Cycling instructor.
This week we take a look at Amanda Miller of Team Tibco's 50cm 2014 Fuji Supreme. Miller lives here in Fort Collins and races professionally for Team Tibco.
Frame: 2014 Fuji Supreme
Size: S (50cm)
Fork: Fuji Carbon FC440
Wheelset: Reynolds Carbon Clincher 46 (or 32 if it's a hilly race)
Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 11spd electronic
Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra electronic
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra 11spd electronic
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra with Reynolds carbon pads
Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 11spd (50/35t)
Pedals: Look Keo Blade Carbon
Seatpost: Oval Components 910
Saddle: Prologo Kappa Evo
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11spd (11-25t, 11-28t for hilly races)
Tires: Maxxis Cormet One 70
Stem: Oval Components 713
Bars: Oval Components 700s
If you have any physiology, performance, or nutrition related questions, email Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I were to ask you, why does cycling prevent disease, you would probably answer with some statement related to the fact that it makes you healthier. If you think about that answer though, you would realize that it is redundant or a circular argument because health is the absence of disease. I could then ask you again, how does cycling make you healthier? Perhaps then you would provide an answer such as it prevents obesity, heart disease or diabetes. However, that is still not very insightful. The question is really how does cycling (or exercise in general) help prevent disease? What is it about the act of moving that helps fend off disease?
Chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In fact 7 of the top 10 causes of death in the US are chronic diseases. I often state that if shows like ER, Grey’s Anatomy, and House focused on what really put people in the hospital, no one would watch the show because it would be the same boring conditions over and over. It is no mystery that exercise helps prevent chronic diseases and can often be used to treat chronic diseases. Those interested in the exercise and chronic disease have even gone so far as to view exercise as a “drug” in that it should have a prescription of frequency and dose. If we know that exercise works, why doesn’t everyone do it? Well, that is a question for the behavioral psychologists to answer and not me. Many of us, however, are very interested in how exercise works physiologically so that those same mechanisms can be targeted by other means to slow the progression and enhance the treatment of chronic disease.
The answer to how exercise works to prevent disease is a complicated one because of the huge diversity of mechanisms. The diversity of mechanisms is what makes exercise so powerful – it has vast systemic effects at multiple points of control and regulation. For now, as a general overview, I will focus on one consideration, known as energy flux. Energetic flux is the movement of energy in and out of the body. Low flux is a rather stagnant system, while high flux is dynamically changing. Nutrition represents entry into the system and physical activity can be a large exit from the system. In the athlete, flux can be very high. In opposition, conditions such as obesity are characterized by low energetic flux. It is thought that humans evolved during a period when large changes in flux rates were common (e.g. periods of high and low food availability, migrations to follow animal food sources) and that these changes were responsible for the gene expression changes to keep one metabolically healthy. In other words, by not being physically active we are not triggering the pathways that evolved to keep us healthy.
Highly trained cyclists have some of the highest recorded human energetic flux rates. On the flip side, chronically low flux rates (i.e. sedentary behavior) are clearly related to the dramatic rise in obesity and chronic diseases. Low energy expenditure that is not matched by an equally low intake leads to energy surplus, fat storage and, ultimately, obesity. Although there are other important factors involved (genetics, epigenetics, environmental exposure, social factors), the links between obesity and chronic diseases are inarguable. In addition, it is now clear that low flux itself, in the form of inadequate exercise and/or excessive sedentary behavior (e.g. sitting), causes changes to physiology that dramatically increase the risk for chronic diseases independent of obesity. Decades of careful research suggest that many of the key physiological processes that mediate the effects of low flux rate/energy surplus on human disease are captured in several broad categories including (but not limited to)mitochondrial function, production and removal of reactive oxygen species and insulin sensitivity. These examples are some of the “how” exercise prevents disease.
I want to return to the concept that humans evolved during a period of time when food was scarce and we required physical activity to get food (while also trying to avoid being food). Because our bodies evolved for large changes in flux, some have argued that those who are active are actually the “normal” and those that are inactive are the “abnormal”. By this reasoning, if you were to design a scientific study related to human function, the active people would be the controls (what we are supposed to be) while sedentary people would be the experimental group. Sadly, that is not the case today since we know that inactive people far outnumber active. The fact that we study exercise is evidence that it is treated as the experimental, not the control.
What I provided here was just a broad overview of why exercise (cycling) contributes to a healthy state. In reality, the mechanisms behind this go far deeper and require additional columns to explain the intricacies of cellular signaling and tissue specific effects. Rest assured, that those of you who practice a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, are doing the best you can to fend of chronic disease. No pill or supplement can yet give you what exercise can.
On Wednesday, Theresa Marie O'Connor was informed what her sentence would be for killing Ernesto Wiedenbrug in a hit and run on January 25th. Roughly 50 cyclists and most of the major local media outlets were in attendance. Ernesto's brothers made a taped statement from Germany.
O'Connor pleaded guilty to two charges; Leaving the scene of a crash a class 3 felony and careless driving, a class 1 traffic offense.
4 years probation.
200 hours community service.
1 year in jail (w/ work release if she has a job.)
$24,487 in restitution to Ernesto's family and just over $5,000 to Bike Fort Collins.
DMV will ultimately decide how long her license will be revoked.
June 14th transformed lives.
She wasn’t drunk. She wasn’t high. She has no criminal record.
Peggy Brown wasn’t texting, IM’ing, or chatting on the phone. She was driving. A visitor from Des Moines, she was driving to the Sculpture Garden around the picturesque Loveland Lake on Father’s day weekend. She is 72.
Jeff Wicks, my husband, set out on a 4 hour training ride on the same big blue skied Colorado morning. August 3rd beckoned—his first full IRONMAN; A goal for himself in his 40th year.
Their lives collided in Loveland: He, on his recently purchased and pined for beautiful tri bike, she, in her white Mazda protégé.
An abrupt errant turn; an elite athlete making great time on his ride, and a collision. 170 pounds of cyclist flesh pounding into a passenger window…shattering it, and life as we knew it.
Look all ways.
And then. She fled. She left my husband on the asphalt, broken and bleeding. She left a human on the road; his blood on her car amidst the beads of glass.
While Peggy panicked, Jeff bled.
I got the call. “It would be best if you don’t bring your children.”
Still adorning pajamas, I put keys in the ignition and remember little else of the drive. Walking toward the ER, the father of our children bloodied and silent, lay splayed on a gurney. Meatloaf. I heard labored breathing through coagulated nostrils. Meatloaf with life.
Massive road rash, patella edema, fractured wrist, stapled double wrist lacerations, tendon damage, 7 inch moon-shaped stapled shoulder laceration, fractured tooth, at-risk teeth, broken nose, major soft tissue facial trauma, and…head trauma.
Oh Peggy. I know you meant no harm, yet harmed you did. You severely injured and deserted a HUMAN in need. Given you are 72…I implore you to teach your descendants to never follow those tiresteps. Thank-you.
Run from it or learn from it.
Pettiness is not my MO. Holding onto ‘other people’s crap’ that gets flung intentionally or not...won’t help my husband play with his little kiddos with ease, assist him with his return to OtterBox any quicker, get back to training for his ironman dream any sooner, or take any of our pain away.
We. Are. Fractured.
I fed a grown man jello. I helped pick tooth fragments and white mazda protégé paint chip fragments out of his mangled face. Helplessly, I watched an incredibly strong man crumble a little when his daughter was afraid to approach his ‘new face’.
And, Peggy Brown, 72, from Des Moines, Iowa…
I. Forgive. You.
I’m not holding onto the darkness. It’s all yours. I wish you the best.
We’re forging ahead. PT. OT, ST, NeuroPsych, Ortho, and Dentistry beckon. Jeff Wicks really is an Ironman. So there.