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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

Captain Kirk and the Knights of Nature Valley

June 21, 2012


Charlie Schlatter, one of our moto marshals, composed this epic tale about the cancelled Cannon Falls Road Race, and we thought it provided a great behind-the-scenes look at another aspect of the Nature Valley Grand Prix. 

They arrived one by one on their various two-wheeled steeds. Clad in their full armor, ready for whatever a bicycle race might require of a guy on a motorcycle. Most of them claimed an affinity for bike racing, but all they really wanted to do was to ride their bikes. Lined up along the road they looked like some odd collection, colors, shapes, ages, and equipment all different, all individual.


Captain Kirk called the band together just as the rain began in earnest. Wearing a yellow raincoat, his imposing, tall, grey countenance was unmistakable. He gave us a lecture on safety and proper moto-marshall technique.


For this reporter, it was the second storm of the day. The first was in St. Paul, where our entrance to the freeway in the pouring rain had been enhanced by hail stones beating on our helmets and bikes. The Captain immediately dispatched me, the scout, to find suitable shelter for the band. Finding the deli full and the pizza parlor too small, we held out under an awning for a time. Then one of the knights discovered a bakery and coffee shop.


The knights assembled there. Made bold by draughts of coffee and sweets, we sat down at the long table. The boasting began. We rode in the cold rain with Sir Jim. We led a bicycle race in the Rockies with Sir Les. We rode through rain and dirt in the far north with Sir Charles. We dodged tornadoes. We envied the spirit of youth, who would try all of the above without armor or gear. Sir Duane displayed his new suit, a bright green shell that looked impenetrable. Sir Les quietly admitted that his raincoat had been blown from the back of his bike on the way and could someone lend him a raincoat? Outside the sky was full of thunder, fork lightning, and gusts. The Knights held forth, swapping yarns and eyeing each other’s gear, until the coffee was gone.


When the rain finally let up enough to see a little, the band left the bakery to return to their duty stations at the start of the race. There, Captain Kirk informed them that the race was officially cancelled, and that their services were no longer needed. The sky began to threaten once again.


The Knights of the long table, having been dismissed, were released to ride their own rides home. Someone said the big storm was yet to come. Captain Kirk and this scout considered the situation. I, the scout, suggested waiting until the pending storm had blown over. Captain Kirk merely started his engine.


Off we went, into the gathering dusk, trying to clear the fog from both the inside and the outside of our soaked helmets as we rode. The rain began in earnest as we swung into the traffic headed north. On we rode, I the scout in the lead. When I could see far enough, I noticed a really black cloud bank looming. I was headed straight into it. I saw the red-eyed devil’s herd stampeding along the top edge of that ragged black cloud as I rode head on into it. The rain increased. I passed a highway overpass, thought about stopping under it, and immediately rejected the idea as foolishness. If we weren’t to be washed away, a truck would surely kill us. On we went, as the flood waters collected. If we crossed deep water, I never saw it. I was blinded by the heavy rain. Visibility was nearing zero. Tail lights in front of me became emergency flashers blurred by sheets of rain and spray. I followed them up the nearest exit ramp, up a hill and onto a side road. There, to the right, a pickup had taken shelter behind a small building. Deep muddy water surrounding it prevented me from following it there. The roadsides were awash as well. I turned my bike into the storm, let it idle, and stopped in the deluge. The wind tried to push me over. Sheets of rain blotted out the headlight. Captain Kirk, following me, had not even made it up the exit ramp. I could barely make out his headlight several hundred yards down the hill, also stopped.


The rain let up a little. Captain Kirk made it to where I was yet stopped, idling. We could not speak. The rain let up a little more. The ditches were filling with water and beginning to wash over the road. I put the bike in gear and rode onto the highway. With tail lights ahead of me, I could stay on the road. We rode into heavier rain, and heavier still, until visibility was gone once again.


At last I noticed a lighted sign and a turn off. I took it. Fording a couple of new rivers, we arrived at a restaurant. We went in. The scout took off his armor and left it in the doorway to drip and leak on the floor. Captain Kirk just tromped to the table, trailing water. The waitress asked what I’d like. I replied, “A double shot of Jack Daniel’s.” But none was offered. We settled for coffee and food.


When we finished, it was still raining hard. We put the gear back on. We strode to our bikes. We forded the new rivers and returned to the highway. Through the mess we continued.

At last, somewhere just south of St. Paul, we rode out of the rain. Slowly I began to be able to see again. We picked up speed. We got home.


There is no word from the rest of the Knights, except for Sir Duane, who has unfortunately reported that his new, impenetrable armor leaks water.


How to Recover After A Long Bike Ride

June 14, 2012

With the Menomonie Gran Fondo this past Saturday, we thought it would be nice to a deeper look at how you can recover once you are done with a ride like that.

By:  Jane Schwartz Harrison, RD, Nutritionist

Congratulations! You just finished a long and challenging ride. But wait! Don’t abandon your nutrition needs just yet. The right mix of recovery foods will go a long way to helping you feel less sore, less stiff, and less tired in the hours and days that follow. A smart nutrition strategy includes a follow-up plan that will re-feed your glycogen stores and repair muscle tissue. Make sure you follow these five tips for prime recovery:

Timing Counts

The minutes immediately after you’re off the bike (when there is increased blood flow to your muscles) is when your body is most receptive to refueling.

  • Aim to eat within 15 to 30 minutes, and do not wait longer than 45 minutes.This is essential!
  • Then continue to eat at regular intervals for the next 24 hours to keep up replenishment.

Carbs Are Key, Protein Secondary

Carbs are the most important recovery nutrient. They stimulate the release of insulin, a hormone that helps build muscle and restock glycogen stores.

  • Aim for 1 to 1.5 grams of carb per kilogram of body weight in the first 45 minutes. Keep this up for about four hours after the event, or until you eat a larger meal.
  • For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, eat 70 to 100 grams of carbs per hour. One gram of carb has four calories, so that translates to about 300 to 400 calories of carbs as soon as possible after you get off the bike. You can break it up by having something 15 minutes after you stop, and again in another 15 to 30 minutes.
  • For the following 24 hours, your carb intake should be about six to 10 grams per kg of body weight (450-750 grams of carb for a 150 pound person).
  • Adding some protein to your carb can improve your recovery, but don’t overdo the protein (or fat) in the first couple hours, as that can slow the absorption of the carbs.

Smart Recovery Meal Ideas

Here are some meal/snack ideas that contain about 70 to 80 grams of carbs and eight to 15 grams of protein:

  • Large fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt
  • Peanut butter sandwich and large carton of juice
  • Bagel and yogurt
  • 16 oz 100% juice and two ounces of low-fat cheese
  • Chocolate milk and a one or two granola bars
  • ¼ cup raisins, a large banana, and 16 oz. milk
  • Large baked potato and cottage cheese
  • Recovery drink with mostly carbs and nine to 10 grams of protein

Save higher protein intakes until at least two hours after the event. This could include chicken breast, fish, lean steak, high protein drink, etc.

Replace Fluids and Electrolytes

Replacing fluids lost by sweating is critical in order to prevent dehydration.

  • Your goal will be to drink on schedule during your ride and lose no more than 2 percent of your body weight (three pounds for a 150 pound person).
  • During training, practice weighing yourself before and after to get a sense of how much fluid you lose. For every pound lost, you need to drink 16 oz of fluid.
  • A pound of sweat contains about 90mg of potassium and 400 to 700mg of sodium.
  • As long as your recovery food or drink contains some salt or potassium, you don’t need anything special. One banana has 350 mg. Even foods like a cup of yogurt (520mg), large potato (800mg), cup of OJ (475mg), etc have plenty of potassium.
  • Sodium can also be found in most foods, from bagels and sandwiches to dairy and granola bars – just don’t choose low-sodium foods after the ride and you should be fine!
  • Don’t rely on sports drinks for potassium unless they specifically have it included. Check labels for sodium, as they vary.

With this recovery plan in place, you’ll be ready for another long ride in no time!


Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000;100(12):1543-1556.

Hargreaves M, Hawley JA, Jeukendrup A. Pre-exercise carbohydrate and fat ingestion: Effects on metabolism and performance. J Sports Sci. 2004;22(1):31-38.


A Surprising and Delicious Recovery Drink

June 7, 2012

Whether you are racing your bike or training to ride the Menomonie Gran Fondo, as you begin to increase your amount of exercise, recovery starts to become more important.

Despite all the science that has gone into all the recovery drinks on the market, it is beginning to look like the kids favorite, chocolate milk, just might be your best option, and because of that we are excited that KEMPS low-fat chocolate milk is the “Official Recovery Drink” of the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

You might be saying, “wait a minute, chocolate milk? Really?”

But a growing body of research supports chocolate milk’s recovery benefits after strenuous exercise.  Most recently, a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggested that recovering with chocolate milk can give runners a performance edge. Researchers from Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut and Eastern Michigan University, found that when recreational runners drank fat free chocolate milk after a strenuous run, they ran 23 percent longer during a subsequent exercise bout later that day and had a 38 percent increase in markers of muscle building compared to when they drank a carbohydrate-only sports beverage with the same amount of calories. It’s also been shown to help athletes tone up gain more lean muscle and lose fat when compared to drinking a carb only beverage and contains 9 essential nutrients that an athlete needs, including some not typically found in recovery drinks.

Because KEMPS low-fat Chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles, it helps restore muscles quickly to their peak potential. Because of this athletes and coaches, like Nick Folker the USA Swimming Trainer and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of California, are recognizing the benefits of refueling with low-fat KEMPS chocolate milk. “It has the right carb to protein ratio scientifically shown to help the body recover, high-quality protein to help repair muscles and fluids and electrolytes to replenish what’s lost in sweat. It’s so simple, plus it tastes great!” said Folker.

Want more information on the benefits of KEMPS low-fat chocolate milk with strenuous exercise? Visit for additional information.