Author: jasminwelter

About jasminwelter

Up to a random day in January 2014, I couldn't have cared less about bicycles. After having been talked into trying the sport, I developed a strong passion for riding - and swimming and running. I had a lot of fun in the sport and was honored to compete in my national colors at the 2015 ITU AG World Championship. While I consider myself a triathlete first and foremost, I also love gravel and CX racing, mountain biking and the occasional trip to the velodrome - especially with the amazingly fierce, supportive and overall rad women of my team, BFF Bike Racing. Follow me @princess_layup!

On Safety, Speed and Style

adobe-sparkWhenever you’re riding a bike, you should be wearing a helmet. Whenever we ride outside, we are sharing the road with many other users and are confronted with uncontrollable factors such as weather, road conditions, etc. In bike racing, USA Cycling requires helmets that meet certain safety standards for all races. Luckily for us, today’s helmets are anything but dull: In addition to outstanding safety technology used, there are options that come for all formats, purposes, and styles.

One of the most recent safety features in helmets is Continue reading

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Part 3 – The Seatbag

Ladies love their purses – well, I certainly do. And while riding bikes might have limited your style statement in the past, those times are long gone. Join me on a journey of fabulous options that will turn your commute to work, your coffee ride, or your touring in an adventure where form meets function!

After focusing on rear rack options in Part 1 and the handlebar and cockpit bag in Part 2, it’s time to see which seatbags can help you ride prepared for all scenarios. Seatbags are usually designed to hold the bare necessities – spare tube, tire levers, and maybe a CO2 cartridge. More often than not, I have had trouble with a) fitting everything in and b) having the seat pack stay attached to my bike on bumpy roads. A lot of companies started introducing clip mounts in addition or replacement of the traditional strap closures. While I love the reliability of the clips, there is one drawback: the clip mounts won’t fit all saddle positions. So while the mechanism is more secure than the usual straps, make sure Continue reading

Part 2 – the Handlebar Bag

Ladies love their purses – well, I certainly do. And while riding bikes might have limited your style statement in the past, those times are long gone. Join me on a journey of fabulous options that will turn your commute to work, your coffee ride, or your touring in an adventure where form meets function!

Part 2 of the series introduces you to an alternative that I discovered relatively late in the game: The Handlebar/Cockpit Bag. Read Part 1 on the Trunk Bag, Bent Basket and Pannier Set here!

Detours DayPass Handlebar Bag

Detours DayPassI am surprised that it took me so long to think about handlebar bags. They are the easiest feature to keep your phone, wallet or camera accessible while riding – plus some of them, like the Detours DayPass, transform into mini-purses that are not only cute (a purse design with radishes??? Yes!) but super practical. In addition to their secure buckle straps for the handlebar, the DayPass comes with a detachable shoulder strap so you can carry the purse around when you’re done riding – it definitely has become my perfect companion for a coffee date with friends! It also comes with reflective details for more safety on your way back home.

Banjo Brothers Canvas Barrel Bag Continue reading

Part 1 – the Rear Rack

Ladies love their purses – well, I certainly do. And while riding bikes might have limited your style statement in the past, those times are long gone. Join me on a journey of fabulous options that will turn your commute to work, your coffee ride, or your touring in an adventure where form meets function!

Part one of this series on all things transportation is rear rack options.

Business Casual: PoCampo Uptown Trunk Bag

Uptown Trunk Bag
PoCampo
is probably one of my favorite brands when it comes to Continue reading

Recover Right

As a competitive athlete – and an injury-prone one – I am a big recovery tool aficionado. There’s a plethora of products available on the market, from high-tech tools such as recovery boots to traditional household remedies such as epsom salt.

The importance of rest and recovery

Whether you are training or just riding a lot, we all put our bodies through often increasings amount of stress. To reap the benefits of training or to keep healthy and fit, it is essential to pay equal attention to rest and recovery. With a myriad of tools available to improve our recovery time, here’s a selection of my favorites to make your body recover.

Compress it – Foam roller

rollerProbably the tool everyone has a deep love-hate relationship with. While I love stretching out my back on a regular foam roll, I came to love the TriggerPoint Cold Roller. Especially after long rides in the heat of summer, the cooling effect of the roller eases the discomfort of rolling and eases pain and inflammation in your muscles through the power of ice and compression. This video gives a great overview of the Cold Roller. Continue reading

You’ve got the Power

Training with power can be a most wonderful (and truly powerful) way to boost your training. However, only investing a fairly large amount of money into a powermeter won’t do the trick. As with all things data, it’s not only the numbers that matter but the analysis of them.

But let’s take a step back: What are we talking about when we talk about power?
PowerMeterHandbook FullCover.inddIn order to make my training with power as effective as possible, I talked to many seasoned athletes, coaches – and did my research. One book that stood out was Joe Friel’s The Power Handbook published by Velo Press. The book takes you through the entire journey of understanding and training with a power meter.

Power, in its most basic definition, “equals force times velocity.” In this equation, force refers to what you put onto the pedal, while velocity means how fast you are turning them. The unit power is put out is Watts, a unit named after Scottish engineer James Watt – remember those physics classes in high school? Continue reading

For Your Eyes Only

At least officially, it has been spring for a while, and all cyclists are dying to put their trainers back in the basement and get out on the roads.

Sure, better weather and longer days are definitely welcomed by all of us, but they also require a well thought through investment into protective eyewear. When spending hours upon hours outside, it is important to have the right lenses, right fit – and, let’s be honest – the right design. Just like with helmets, many women tend to need women’s specific glasses, and luckily many brands have invested in women-specific designs for high-performance sunglasses. I tested a variety of glasses to see which ones work best for the many different kinds of riding and racing that I do. While all lenses provide 100% UVA/UVB protection, they each have different strengths.

Here is a guide for what’s new for your eyes in 2016: Continue reading

Bike Commuting Etiquette

Bike commuting isn’t scary when you follow a basic bike etiquette and remember that we are all human and we are all in this together – cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.

Here are my top 10 on how to do commuting right

1. Pay attention – and don’t assume everyone else is following the rules!
I’m a triathlete and bike racer, but I certainly don’t set any Strava records when I commute to work. As a cyclist, you’re more vulnerable than drivers, so I like to pay extra attention to how traffic around me moves. When approaching an intersection, I try to read the cars’ behaviors much more than purely relying on them doing “their job”.

2. Pass on the left, with an audible verbal warning and at a safe distance.
This is one is probably not as universal, but I really appreciate it when people alert me when they pass. In the end, they don’t know what I’m up to, if I’m about to Continue reading

Commuting and the City

IMG_0761

Bike commuter in Chicago. Photo courtesy of The Chainlink.

As multiple studies have shown, bike commuting has many benefits: People who bike to work are richer, fitter, more successful, and, arguably, happier.

As a year-round bike commuter myself, author David Byrne’s comparison of riding in the city to “navigating the collective neural pathways of some vast global mind” resonates well with me (Bicycle Diaries). Cycling connects you to your self, your environment, and your city in quite a special way. And, while there is still a large gender gap between men and women biking to work, bike commuting is gaining popularity overall: From coast to coast, the number of people who traveled to work by bike increased roughly 60 percent over the last decade, with the median commuting time of roughly 20 minutes (US Census Bureau).

How Cities Encourage Cycling

How do cities react to this  rising number of people commuting to work on their hybrid bikes, fixies, or road racing machines? There are several approaches to Continue reading