TNW Rules and Info

A Toast to the Walking Cyclist

During this holiday season as you are tipping and toasting a few, I would ask that you remember the elderly gentleman (not that old) in the red cycling hat cleaning the shoulder of Metcalf between 199th and 209th on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 27th.  No doubt many of us ride and enjoy this section of Metcalf with it's generous shoulder - a tribute to the St. Lukes' doctor that was killed on a ride many years ago - but who would think to keep it clean for the rest of us?  This gentleman was actually walking along the shoulder kicking the rocks, bolts, nails, glass, road kill, fan belts, mud flaps, etc. into the ditch so that I could cruise along in my 53/11 with a tail wind and actually feel like a pro.  He's the Pro.  I didn't even turn around to get his name!  I did yell thanks at 30 something.

So the next time that you're toasting the joys of cycling, remember this kind gentleman and those like him.  And maybe the next time that it's too cold… too windy… too hot… too anything, maybe you'll call your pace line and walk a stretch of your favorite bike lane or shoulder that isn't maintained by a city. 

Happy Holidays!

-Ron Johnson
       Secretary, KanBikeWalk, Inc.

A View From Inside the 2009 El Tour de Tucson

Although he took 56 seconds off of last year's time, it was a rough go today for cycling legend John Howard at this year's El Tour.  I talked with him after the race and he sends us this:

El Tour all done.  60th place.  An inexperienced rider took me down and into a cactus bush!  The bike was damaged and so was my body, so I was dropped from the lead group just before the second wash.  Chased, caught, but the best I could do was the second group of about 60 riders.  With 20 miles to go I opened a gap solo, and brought it up to 1:04 to the end.   

Very disappointed that I could not do battle with the Mexican Division 1 pros who won again this year.  Still pulling cactus needles out of my skin and looking forward to my next challenge!

 - John Howard
       Cyclist, pincushion

Midwest CX and More Power at Mellow Johnny's

Last weekend's cyclocross races lucked out with great weather. A cool morning and damp grass handed us the first casualty during warm-ups at Veteran's Cross as a rider took an endo. A cracked helmet and bruised hip, he grabbed a spare lid and saddled up. That's 'cross!
This was one of many military flags displayed on the CX course by Race Director Roger Harrison.                      (Click photos to enlarge).

If you haven't been to Pedal Hard Training Center at Mellow Johnny's - GO! Kevin Livingston has created a peach of a facility where we positioned several cyclists on their road and triathlon bikes. Kevin got to see our PowerFiTTE technique, and I got to see his Pedal Hard technique. I was joined at Pedal Hard by Ralph Walker, CEO of John Howard Performance Sports, who took care of the business end of things as well as shooting the photos below. It was fun to do these bike positionings together and learn from each other, and the athletes felt pampered by getting so much attention.

Kevin Livingston observes as Gina evaluates a cyclist.
(Click photos to enlarge)


This cyclist has tight QL muscles so Gina implements Dynamic Motion Therapy (TM) to improve mobility.

Wednesday morning was Kevin's turn. Gina found a bit of muscle imbalance, so she got Kevin all straightened out with some table work and a BodyFiTTE session.

We're discussing more work together in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that. If you'd like to be contacted directly about PowerFiTTE in Austin, TX or wherever you live, give me a shout.


The Subaroooo is coming to an event near you!

11/7:  Cyclocross Grand Prix HPT                                    -Topeka, KS
11/8:  Veteran's Cross Cyclocross                            -Leavenworth, KS
11/10-11:  Gina brings PowerFiTTE to Mellow Johnny's       -Austin, TX

A full weekend of cyclocross with officiating, coaching and the all-important pre/post-race soft tissue work on athletes.  I officiated both of these races last year, and they're very well produced.  The Grand Prix is directed by Topeka cyclist and anesthesiologist Jeff Unruh.  I recently officiated another one of his races, the Capital Cup, known for it's leg-shredding Mound of Mercy.

I am proud to sponsor this year's Veteran's Cross in Leavenworth.  This popular race is directed by Roger Harrison of Lanterne Rouge Racing. When we see that bright red van with the colorful graphics, we know we're in for a fun day and a top notch race experience.  Proceeds from Veteran's Cross benefits the Gold Star Mothers organization.  I'll have the treatment table set up for body work on athletes, and I'll do a bit of coaching. 

Then it's off to Austin by invitation from Kevin Livingston, 6-time Tour de France rider and founder of Pedal Hard Training, where I'll be introducing the PowerFiTTE bicycle positioning technique to Kevin and his staff at Mellow Johnny's.  Like many cyclists, I'm pretty excited to make my first visit to Mellow Johnny's.  I'll get to show off the PowerFiTTE technique while helping Texas cyclists improve their performance, and I'll get to learn more about Kevin's training center and philosophies.

Stay tuned for Twitters from the road, and additional updates here.

CrossVegas, InterBike, and USA Criterium Finals

No doubt that Las Vegas is a happenin' place, and Life Balance Sports attended all three events. Coach Gina caught up with Kansas City cyclocrossers Shadd Smith, Bill Marshall, and Curt Shelman at CrossVegas and at practice the night before while assisting John Howard with his practice and pre-race.
Click here for CrossVegas Results.

John Howard (left) warms up
on the CrossVegas course.
               Photo by Gina Poertner

Life Balance Sports teamed up with John Howard Performance Sports and Dr. Ernie Ferrel for some good meetings during InterBike. We had a chance to check out a lot of new products, meet some new people, and catch up with old friends.  John was a Guest  Expert at the BikeFit booth on Wednesday afternoon, so he invited Dr. Ferrel and I to accompany him as we talked to attendees about our PowerFiTTE technique.

The Louis Garneau  company gave me a helmet a while back. It was nice to have the opportunity to thank Mr. Garneau personally as I checked out gloves and other gear at his InterBike exhibit.
Photo by Ernie Ferrel  

The USA Criterium Finals were an enjoyable end to a busy week. Held at Mandalay Bay hotel parking lot, spectators were treated to some exciting races.
Fast & furious at the USA Criterium Finals
Photo by Gina Poertner

From the 2009 Tour of Missouri

Finally back home and getting caught up on e-mails, phone calls, and yard work. The week doing PowerFiTTEs during the Tour of Missouri was busy, fun, challenging, and inspirational.  In other words, perfect!

Listen in to Coach Gina from the TT in Sedalia on The Kansas Cyclist Podcast, Episode 11. Randy Rasa and Edward Eroe cover the ToM with a variety of interviews, including a shoutout from David Zabriskie

I get a lot of questions as to what I do when I load up the Subarooo with my bike, CompuTrainer, and all the gear.  Well folks, here's the answer!

John Howard and I PowerFiTTEd a number of cyclists and triathletes in Sedalia, MO and Kansas City.  Ebby Norman, Owner of Pro-Velo bike shop in Sedalia brought in several of his cyclists for PowerFiTTE and BodyFiTTE sessions. It's wonderful to meet so many different types of cyclists and triathletes.  Different experiences, different goals, many inspirations.

John Howard and Gina Poertner
discuss Stage 7 while watching 
the jumbotron.

We were fortunate to keep up with our own training during the time away from home.  Norman, Pro-Velo's great mechanic, lent his bike to John for the week.  We stayed with friends Doug and Connie Kiburz, and along with the great hospitality was a great location.  A nearby golf course cart path made for a fantastic running trail each morning as we watched the sunrise, squirrels in search of breakfast, and the grounds crew preening the greens.  We were also right on the Time Trial route, so we rode that several times during the week. The day before the racers hit the course, John and I made sure the dogs wouldn't be a problem for them (note sarcasm here).  About three miles into the ride, two medium sized dogs scampered out to the road and "greeted" us as we maneuvered to dodge them.  John made it through just as I T-boned one of them and went down sideways.  Much more preferable than the endo I thought would happen.  On my way down to the asphalt, the thought of Dan Schmatz getting nailed by the infamous armadillo at the '07 Tour of MO went through my brain.  The dog ran off yelping, I looked at the bike and all was OK, just a thrown chain and scuffed bar tape.  I hope the dog is OK.  More than that, I hope the owners of those dogs realize the value of their pets' lives and protect them from getting hit by something bigger than a bike.  Got the chain back in place and we set out to continue our ride.  It's a great area to train.  We explored a bit off the course and found some bigger hills.

The post-Time Trial dinner was rather interesting.  Our table at El Tapatilo was next to George Hincapie and the rest of team Columbia-HTC.  John raced with Ricardo Hincapie, George's dad, back when Big George was a little baby.  Somehow our group elected me to go tell George to stop by and say hi to John on his way out.  I'm sure he thought I was some kind of crazed fan (OK, so I'm a fan!), but he did get to talk with John and got a photo with him, too.

We saw George and teammates signing a tortilla as we enjoyed our margaritas.  It turns out that my good friend Mark Rainey was behind that little caper, decked out in his armadillo T-shirt, no less. Click here for the Team Tortilla.

Then it was off to Kansas City for the weekend where we did a couple more FiTTEs at the Bicycle Shack and watched the final stage of the Tour of MO. Since KC is a little closer to my stomping grounds, I got to see many of my cycling friends at the race, including Randy Rasa, creator of  A big THANKS goes out to KartaPurkh Kalsa and to Mark Thomas of for setting us up with VIP passes!  Friends Matt Maher and Chris Thomas also joined us for some fun at the race.  Check out Chris's photography here:  Chris Thomas Photography.

It was great to see Mike Weiss, Scott Moninger and Kevin Livingston again.  Congratulations to Mike, recipient of this year's Tom Yarbrough award.  Well deserved!

It's a bummer that Springfield native Brad Huff had to pull out of the final stage due to a rib injury from Downer's Grove. He said he's hangin' in there, and we wish him good health! 
Brook Watts, John Howard, Gina Poertner, and Brad Huff
in Kansas City.
4 cyclists, 8 legs, and a helluva lotta miles pedaled!
Photo by Mia Sullivan