Team CSP-SBI kits available

Southwest Bike Initiative invites you to join our team of cycling ambassadors, Team CSP-SBI, on this bike to work month 2018!  Clothing is available through Wednesday May 22 on our online store.  Take a look and enjoy the ride!  Sizing chart is here: Sizing  And here is the direct link to the store:  https://custom.zootsports.com/CSP  Items ordered ship about end of June.  More information on Team CSP-SBI is below!

Team CSP-SBI cycling ambassadors, leading by doing

Team CSP-SBI creates a welcoming and truly inclusive cycling community.  We are open to everyone.  We bring people from all backgrounds, ages, genders, abilities, disciplines and interests together through cycling.  We celebrate cycling as a way of leading by doing.  Cycling is an action we can take that makes a positive difference in our lives and communities.  It is healthy, practical, affordable, sustainable, low impact, and worlds of fun. I hope you, your family and your friends will consider joining us in sharing the joy of cycling and spreading the word!

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More on Team CSP-SBI—

 

Southwest Bike Initiative (SBI), a sustainable transportation nonprofit in Albuquerque, NM, partners with Conservation Science Partners (CSP), an innovative conservation science nonprofit, to organize this global network of cyclists.  We use storytelling and social media such as Strava to share our cycling experiences and encourage others to discover more of the joys of cycling.  SBI provides educational tools and resources to help members build confidence and advocate for safer roads in our communities.  Most of all we take pleasure in cycling with friends! Team CSP-SBI grows the culture of cycling by expanding the community of practice.

Participation—

Your experience with Team CSP-SBI is what you make of it!  We have a dedicated race team in Albuquerque, NM but most of our members are non-competitive.  Cycling ambassadors can be on other clubs, too!  We strive to create unity through cycling and build a diverse network.  We participate in a wide range of cycling activities from daily commutes to community rides, events and competitions.  Our network increases learning and skill acquisition, and expands access to cycling by opening doors for people.  We help people get started and grow their cycling life.  Cycling is unlimited!

unnamed-285.jpgOur logo—

The American pronghorn is native to North America, and the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere.  Its top speed is about the same as that of a person on a road bike, around 55mph.  Pronghorn have a large heart, lungs and windpipe for sustained swift movement.  Pronghorn were more numerous than bison when the United States expanded West, with a population around 100 million.  Due to overhunting and habitat alterations such as fences, by the 1920’s there were only about 13,000 pronghorn left.  An ongoing conservation success story, their numbers are now approaching 1 million again.  They have large eyes, weigh 87 to 129 pounds, and walk just 30 minutes after birth.  Pronghorn are only found in North America, across the American West, in Baja and northern Mexico and in parts of the Great Plains.

About Team CSP-SBI technical cycling clothing—

Team CSP-SBI apparel are designed to optimize your cycling experience.  They are comfortable, stretchable, breathable, moisture wicking, they block sun and are soft and silky to the touch. The jerseys are a standard cycling jersey, with a full zip front for ease of wearing and for cooling down on hot days.  Three pockets in the back can carry food and anything else you want to bring on a ride.  The shorts have a pad to provide comfort and protection where the body rests on the bike seat.  The arm warmers and vest are great for cool morning starts, downhills, and protection in case of changes in weather.

Leadership–

Team CSP-SBI is led by Mark Aasmundstad, the founder and director of Southwest Bike Initiative.  Mark is a cycling instructor (LCI) with the League of American Bicyclists, and has trained as a commercial truck driver and geographer.  He’s focused on using planning, design and education for making transportation safer for everyone, growing sustainable communities and encouraging people to walk and bicycle more often.  Mark bicycles for every reason, and keeps discovering more reasons to ride.  We learn bicycling from others, and Team CSP-SBI is about building relationships and connecting people to opportunities to get into cycling and make it more rewarding.  Mark is an everyday cyclist, and a six-time State champion at the elite level, and a masters national hill climb champion.  When it comes to cycling he is a true amateur, one who participates for the love of it.

More about the kit—

Items ship in 4-6 weeks, so they arrive around the start of summertime!  Sizing chart is here: Squadra Size Chart. Sale of the kits cover the costs of production only. If you would like to contribute money to Southwest Bike Initiative to support our work, here’s the link:  DONATE
Donations are 100% tax deductible.  THANK YOU!!!
#biketoworkday

Team CSP-SBI’s Tom Sisk receives science award

Team CSP-SBI cycling ambassador Tom Sisk was honored by the Defenders of Wildlife with a science award this Fall.  Tom joined a prestigious group including Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, and Dr. Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston from Yellowstone National Park, for making “lasting and extraordinary contributions to wildlife and habitat conservation.” Tom is a pioneer in ecology, environmental management, education, outreach and leadership training.  In his remarks from the award ceremony, Tom noted healthy ecosystems depend on all people having “opportunities to experience, learn about, and value nature.”

Dr. Tom Sisk, on left, receiving the Spirit of Defenders Science Award, from the Defenders of Wildlife

One of the highlights of my year was experiencing the great outdoors with Tom and more Team CSP-SBI ambassadors at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic this past May.  Cycling connects us with wild places and the spirit of life within ourselves. Cycling gives us opportunity to get oriented, and gain first-hand knowledge of the places where we ride.  We learn about them in detail through our senses, while connecting with the communities that conserve them.  Riding a bike with teammates and thousands of friendly people in a place as grand as the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado was incredibly energizing.  Cycling’s light footprint and positive health impact makes it a great match for safeguarding lands and habitat.  Plus sharing a bicycle ride is a great way to bring communities together and forge memories that bond people of all ages and backgrounds for a lifetime.  Cycling opens the way for community engagement, action-oriented learning, and thriving communities.  So fun!  Congratulations to Dr. Tom Sisk for the Spirit of Defenders Science Award, and wishing him lots more productive work and cycling.

Tom Sisk cycling at the Iron Horse with Wendy Palen, May 2017.  The bike heritage in Durango is special.

References / Credits:
Award photo and opening quote from the Defenders of Wildlife Blog

You can learn more on Dr. Sisk’s work at:
Landscape Conservation Initiaitive where he is director
Conservation Science Partners where is a founding board member

Learn more about Team CSP-SBI at the Iron Horse on SBI’s Blog

Cycling makes a better life

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”  –Leo Tolstoy

Although changing ourselves may be the hardest thing, a lot of people are putting their imaginations to work through cycling.  The positive effects of cycling are astounding.  62-year-old Geoff Whitington gained a new lease on life after taking on the challenge of doing the Ride London event in 2014.  Geoff had diabetes before he committed to training.  Now, three years later, he’s transformed his life by losing 98 pounds.  He’s diabetes-free.

Geoff was part of the “Fixing Challenge” in the UK, where families are encouraged to change their lives and share their stories to inspire others.  Geoff’s story “could be the story of millions” who are suffering from imbalanced eating and sedentary lifestyles.  The truth is when we try to change ourselves we get a lot of support from others.

We need to hear more of these good news stories.  And they go well beyond diabetes.  Cycling helps us improve our mental health, freedom and independence, and gives youth a chance to explore their world while discovering their inherent mobility powers.  Cycling can also give us a sense of fullness that comes with a purposeful life filled with meaning and joy.  Cycling helps us experience beauty and satisfaction in our everyday lives that we can share.  This is on top of all the social benefits such as savings on healthcare, freed up space, and creating more livable cities.

Here are links to Geoff’s story, and a few more.  Cycle on!
The Prudential RideLondon Fixing Challenge, Geoff’s story:
 https://www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk/events/100/entries/ballot/fixing-challenge/
An article in the NY Times today about veterans re-centering their lives with outdoor activities:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/finding-some-peace-after-war
Lael Wilcox on why she tackles long distance rides by herself:
http://www.bicycling.com/rides/why-i-choose-to-tackle-really-long-rides-by-myself

 

A view of Durango from Ft. Lewis College earlier this year at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Taking the High Road with Team CSP-SBI

2016 has been a big year for us.  The highlight for me was when our new cycling team, Team CSP-SBI, won the inaugural USA Cycling National Hill Climb Championships in the master’s men 40-49 category at Pikes Peak in Colorado this July.  I love climbing mountains on the bike, but there’s never been a national event for that until this year.  The best things in life are not necessarily reaching your dreams, but having an experience that fulfills something beyond what you dreamed was possible.

the-start

and-were-off

2016 Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb / USA Cycling Hill Climb National Championships

crossing the line above 14,000′ at the 2016 Broadmoor Pikes Peak USA Cycling Hill Climb National Championships

As any competitive person knows, you appreciate achievements fully, especially because we received a lot of help.  But we’re always thinking about what’s next, what’s out there in those vistas on the distant horizon.  Part of sensing the moment is seeing it in the stream of our larger life journey.  Every step we take in life satisfies us enough to propel us forward.  It’s nice when your goals have to do with getting the most out of yourself and performing better to honor relationships and opportunities.  Doing good is our humble way of saying thank you.

 

a-tight-fit

in-the-air

I have a lot people to say thank you to.  I’m thanking you for your support, and sticking with me when I failed.  Here it goes.
David Sandusky for leading me into the American West, and sharing some crazy bike trips on horse trails in the mountains.
Michael Hernandez, the Squadra training group (each one of you!), and the Reno Wheelmen for teaching me more on the joy of cycling.
Drew Miller for climbing mountains.  I was inspired by seeing him race in 2004.  We became teammates later and shared good rides.
Jim Silverman, who represents everything that is best about the cycling scene in Flagstaff.   Jim mentored me by example.
Doug Loveday for being the entrepreneur behind Grand Canyon Racing, creating opportunities to race as a team, and being a great ambassador.
Joe Shannon for his passion for cycling and the environment, starting a movement in Flagstaff, getting me racing again, and sharing the love.
The faculty and students of SESES at Northern Arizona University.  How they love exploring outdoors.  Inspiring.
Brian Lemke and the White Mountain Road Club, for cycling tradition, commitment and community at an entirely new level.
Chris Abbott and Heather Farrell in Albuquerque, and the best of cycling, health and wellness they exemplify here.  Community excellence.
All my teammates at Team CSP-SBI.  Without you this would not be possible.
Mai Wakisaka for recognizing how cycling expresses us, and sharing the bike life together.  What good fun!

It’s impossible to single out all the energy you pick up from cycling with people.  Going through pressing circumstances together–a hard workout, a hail storm, a race–reveals character.  Witnessing so much character from common people riding bikes has uplifted my sense of humanity.  We have gobs of character.

post-race

You get the idea.  Cycling is a social thing!  And it reveals the web of life.  The sport largely runs on volunteer enthusiasm, sacrifice, love and selfless commitment.  But that’s not enough.  Success requires structure and support.  This year Team CSP-SBI was fortunate to have sponsors that literally made my cycling possible.  Thank You Sponsors.

Conservation Science Partners  http://www.csp-inc.org/
Specialized Bicycles  https://www.specialized.com/us/en/
Landscape Conservation Initiative  http://nau.edu/lci/
Live Oak Associates, Inc. http://www.loainc.com/
Congratulations on the win Team CSP-SBI.  Onward.

Climbing for Conservation

“Good morale in cycling comes from good legs”
Sean Yates from cycling quotes at UC Santa Cruz SCIPP

I dove in and registered for the Mt. Evans hill climb this Saturday.  How hard can it be…it’s only 24 miles?  It is pretty hard since those 24 miles take you from around 7,000′ to over 14,000′ on the highest paved road in north America.  Mountain goats are typically milling around at the top.

Mt. Evans logo

In addition to the race, the promoters offer a casual ride open to all.  Registration is open through Friday at noon 7/22.  Cyclists who love climbing mountains must make this pilgrimage at least once in our life.  Each time I ride Mt. Evans I am awed by the open spaces and swayed by the Rocky Mountain high above Denver.  About half the ride is above tree line.  The last trees you pedal past are silent and ancient Bristlecone pines.  The vistas opening as you climb upward make you feel like you’re part of the sky.

One climb I have not done is the Mt. Washington Hill Climb in New Hampshire.  It ascends nearly a vertical mile over 7.6 road miles.  Steep pitch!  The Mt. Washington climb benefits a conservation nonprofit called the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, whose mission is to “to promote appreciation of the natural environment…through hands on programs…”.   Pedaling up Mt. Washington is definitely hands on, a holistic way to be engaged!  If the Mt. Washington hillclimb is too extreme Tin Mountain also promotes a century ride July 30 through the beautiful New England countryside.  That might be a better option if you actually want to be able to talk while you ride.  Riding everyday helps me pay more attention to where I’m at and what’s going on.  A special event like a hill climb, grand fondo, or century ride elevates the experience.  To couple a ride with a social benefit bringing together diverse people and great places makes it especially good.

Bike Safety Table at Family Health Fair

magenta Sandia

I staffed Albuquerque’s bike safety table at a family health fair today.  Talking bikes and healthy hearts to motivated people was a good way to start Saturday morning.  The fair was hosted by the New Mexico Heart Institute on Johnson Field at the University of New Mexico.

bike safety event

bike safety table at UNM

I gave away hundreds of the new 2016 ABQ bike map and learned a lot from talking with citizens who love to ride.  I was right across the way from the New Mexico Philharmonic’s table.  NMPhil is doing great work, especially with education, outreach and engagement for kids.   “Every fall and spring over 17,000 4th and 5th grade students attend live symphony concerts presented by the musicians of the NMPhil in Popejoy Hall”.   Albuquerque’s bicycle safety education program has a similar strategy, delivering bicycle education for youth at schools, community centers, public bicycle rodeos, and summer camps.  Through the bike safety program this week I helped get over 200 kids on bicycles, instructing them on traffic safety skills to help keep their cycling safe and fun.

bike safety looking at Sandias

Bicycles and music are pathways for building healthier hearts and joyful lives, and are both universal languages that connect people across cultures.  I also met a ride leader from the CyclingPeeps, an all women’s cycling group with almost 400 members!  Fairs are fun ways to learn, build partnerships, and strengthen networks essential for sustainable living.  Safer cycling increases opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible.

bike tableI

Cycling in the National Parks

The Tour of Utah starts in Zion National Park this August to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial, and to promote cycling as a healthy way of recreating outdoors.  This race draws top cyclists from around the world.  In 700 plus miles over seven stages, the race highlights  Utah’s unique heritage, challenging terrain, beautiful cultures and stunning landscapes.

In this one minute spotlight of Stage One you may have noticed the peloton (the group of cyclists) is crossing the road centerline.  This is because the road is closed to public traffic for the racers’ safety.  This is the case with most professional races.  In amateur races roads usually remain open to the public and cyclists use the right lane.   Protection is provided with a rolling enclosure (escort vehicles in front and behind), and intersections are controlled by traffic police while the racers pass through.

Cycling is a great way for Americans to appreciate our national heritage while preserving the integrity of the landscape.   Cycling is a solution for “NPS’s dual mission–to prevent ecological injury to parks while simultaneously promoting tourism” (Brinkley, Rightful Heritage).  It is exciting to see a cycling event highlighting features that make America unique, and showcasing our cultural identity as a healthy people inspired by our lands.  Cycling is becoming as iconic to the American identity as Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and the colorful canyons of Zion.

Resources–
https://www.tourofutah.com/
David Brinkley, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America
http://www.nationalparks.org/our-work/celebrating-100-years-service