Take Your Pet On Your Bike Ride

Freshly Updated November 7, 2014

Biking isn’t just for people. Pets love to go too. For dogs it’s a perfect way to get needed exercise.

When planning your trip, choose areas with easier hills and make several stops to allow a dog to hydrate back up. That means you should bring water and do be concerned about temperatures outside. You’ll find when your dog sees you getting your bicycle out they’ll start getting very excited. Think about a trip that has a stopover at specially designated dogpark.

Going on a mountain bike ride doesn’t mean it always needs to be with your dog. It’s a fun way for cats to have a little enjoyment also. They may be more meant to go for a regular bike ride. It’s important that you equip yourself with the proper cat supplies meaning a disposable water dish, disposable litter pan (if your cat goes indoors). You’ll also wan’t to find a pet carrier that fits on your handle bars or a proper back seat similar to what may support a child. There’s lots of options out there and you’ll find it’s a great way for you and your cat to enjoy a little bit of time in the outdoors.

If you’re a cat owner with a cat that likes to go out, you can go to www.thebestcatlitterbox.com for the latest and greatest on reviews, tips and tricks for a cat.

Having the proper accommodations for your pet to take a bike ride means planning and preparation for fun and not emergencies.

Think about this list when deciding whether or not you should take your pet on the trip:

1. Pet taxi that is meant to attach properly to a bicycle either front or back

2. Disposable water bowl and water

3. First aid kit

4. Helmet (for you the human)

5. Sunscreen

6. Treats!

7. Extra bottles of water

8. Fully charged Cell phone

9. Sunglasses for you and your pet

Think about going for a test drive around the block near your home or neighborhood before you get truly adventurous and expect your pet to go along with what you have in mind.  Perhaps multiple trips around the block are appropriate before you truly decide this is the path for you.

If you are planning for your dog to walk along side while you ride, please go for this type of practice ride too. It’s like a mini training session and may prevent alot of frustration in the end if it’s not right for your pet.

Go Green: Exercise Outside

When you think about exercise programs you are probably thinking about Zumba, spinning, yoga, or just a gym in general. What if when you thought about exercise you thought about trails, bikes, lakes, or mountain sides? Going green in your exercise routine is not like finding the best organic shampoo; you cannot buy it on the internet or go to an all natural store and get it. Even though it is not something you can buy, it is something that anyone can do. Visit shampoosplash.com for great deals and brands of organic shampoo.

To Get Started: Decide what kind of outside exercise you want to do. Then do some research on it. Some activities, like mountain biking, require you to know what you are doing somewhat before you start pursuing them. You should read about the basics first. These could include the equipment you need, safety precautions that should be taken, and places to go to exercise.

Get Together Items: Next you will need to buy the equipment and safety gear you need. This could just be a water bottle and reflective belt. Or you might need a bike, helmet, and a backpack. Getting what you need all depend on what you decide to do and how long you are planning on being outside. If you plan to do anything longer than thirty minutes you will need to keep a water bottle on you. If you are going down trails you will probably want to have a backpack with some precautionary safety items. The precautionary safety items will depend on what time of year it is and where you are in the world, which brings us to the next step.

Decide Where to Go: If the exercising that you are doing outside is new to you, then you will want to find somewhere that has easy or beginner paths. If you are taking up hiking, then you might want to start with shorter paths. One way to find places to go exercise is by looking on your state parks website. On their site you can search by what activity you want to do. Some things they might not have, like hang gliding. If you want to do something more adventurous, look up the activity with you state in a search engine.

Some Ideas to Get You Started:

1. Hiking; Hiking is an easy one for anyone to do. Just get a good pair of shoes and a water bottle and you are ready. Hiking does not require you to go to a different city or very far from home most of the time. You can usually find hiking trails listed on your local parks and recreation. Hiking is also an exercise routine you can do with the whole family. I recently went on a while with my four kids, who are 7, 6, 2, and 1. I did have some help from my sister who walked with my two year old. I strapped my one year old to me with a wrap and off we went. We all had a great time.

2. Mountain biking: You will need to know how to ride a bike and have one to mountain bike. If you are a little rusty then you should probably just start with cycling on some easier trails before you hit the mountain trails. Mountain biking is something you can do alone or with a group of people. If you are looking to involve your whole family they will probably need to be at least eight or nine. Or you could get a bike trailer for your little ones, but this would just be good for smooth trails.

Sports News

Before CNN Student News signed off at the end of the 2013-14 school year, the news anchor reminded viewers that the network would be recapping the FIFA World Cup tournament when broadcasts returned in August. As the world’s most-watched sporting event, the World Cup is definitely newsworthy. Unfortunately, not all sports receive the same recognition despite enjoying a growing popularity, such as what interscholastic cycling is experiencing right now.

Small Beginnings

In 1998, Matt Fritzinger began his career as a high school math teacher. Curious to see if students shared his passion for mountain biking, Fritzinger placed a call for interested individuals in the school’s daily bulletin. Within a day, several students volunteered to join Fritzinger on mountain bike treks. That inauspicious moment eventually led to the 2009 founding of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).

Out of that small group of kids who responded to Fritzinger’s call for cyclists 16 years ago, only four stuck with the program the entire school year. To see how fast the sport has grown, one only needs to look at the 2014 California State Championships for mountain biking: more than 770 racers from more than 100 schools competed.

School-based cycling clubs are popping up all over the country as more and more young people take up the sport. Even better, formal leagues have been established through which schools compete just like the traditional sports of football, basketball and baseball. To date, NICA supports more than a dozen leagues in several states, including California, Minnesota, New York, and Georgia. Alabama and Virginia were the most recent to join.

How to Start

Not only does NICA support existing leagues, but it lends administrative expertise to students, schools and clubs that wish to create their own leagues. If you’d like to form an interscholastic mountain biking organization in your area, NICA recommends you follow these steps (find more information on its website www.nationalmtb.org):

1. Gather support
Conduct an informal survey to see how much interest exists among students.

2. Define your vision
What is the mission or purpose of the club? How will it be governed as well as operated?

3. Get permission
Find out what your school and school district require in terms of forming a club or becoming a member of a competitive league. Make sure to fill out all mandated paperwork and meet deadlines if you want to be taken seriously.

4. Continue to gather support
Once your organization receives official permission, obtain sponsorships from local businesses and engage parents in fundraising activities. Running a club will take cash, so this becomes a very important and ongoing step.

5. Recruit riders
Start advertising. Let others in the school know what’s going on with its newest club.

6. Hold regular meetings for riders and parents
Keep everyone informed on upcoming events and races and how volunteers can help, such as transportation, etc.

Just like conquering a tricky trail isn’t easy, neither is forming a brand-new organization, but it can be just as satisfying.

How To Get The Kids Into Mountain Biking

If you are reading this then you probably already have two things: an interest in mountain biking and children. So you are looking for some tips for how to combine the two without making it a chore for the kids that can turn them against it. The idea is to get them to see how much fun mountain biking is without making it seem like a chore.


GT Zaskar Pro Carbon 2008.jpg


GT Zaskar Pro Carbon 2008” by Zacke82Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.



You may have been training them since birth: read the jogging stroller reviews, bought one and been around a few trails with it when the kids were still toddlers. Therefore, they may be used to the great outdoors but getting used to a mountain bike can be a completely different proposition.

Getting The Right Gear

Getting the right gear is vitally important and it also helps to get the kids involved in the decision making process. This will get them involved in it all from the start and let them feel it is something they have chosen rather than it being pushed upon them. Of course, you’ll need to ultimate veto as kids tend to pick by color or if their favorite cartoon character is involved, rather than what is the right bike for them.
Most expert mountain bikers recommend getting the largest wheel size your child can handle from the beginning, as the smaller wheels aren’t really designed for off-road riding. Getting the best quality bike possible is a given but look for ones with an extra light frame to be easier for the kids to handle and also ones that have trigger shifters rather than the standard grip shifters which can be hard for kids to handle when on an uneven track.

First rides

Once you have the right bike, break your child in gently to off-road riding. Don’t go attempting any serious downhill slopes or arduous climbs until they have built up stamina, strength and confidence as not only can accidents happen, it can put them off the sport.
Begin somewhere as mundane as the back lawn so that your child can get the feel for the bike and how all the elements work. It is also surprising how much muscle strength can be built up solely by riding on grass. For the next level go to a car park that isn’t being used and set up some cones or similar markers to get the hang of turns. You can also add some small lengths of wood so that they get used to the feeling of going over uneven and bumpy surfaces. Riding off curbs is another good way to get used to sudden changes in the height of the trail.
When you finally get to the trails, pick easy ones first, often ones that are suitable for off road vehicles so they are wider and can be more even. Let your child take the lead so that you are matching their pace, rather than them trying to match yours. And most important, make it fun! Enjoy the environment around, take a picnic to stop and have somewhere along the trail, anything that makes them enjoy the trip and want to do it again. Before long, they will be as hooked on it as you are!

Mountain Bike Speed Control

Mountain biking downhill for fun

Downhill biking

One of the best things about bicycling is coming to the top of a mountain and speeding down it. Adrenaline starts pumping as the wind hits your face. However, people sometimes underestimate the skill required in these circumstances. They think just because they learned how to ride a bike as a child, they can handle going down a mountain trail. That’s like signing up for a downhill longboard competition because you rode a skateboard as a child, but never learned how to longboard.


Skateboarding as a kid is nowhere near the same as longboarding downhill, reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour on a different-sized board. So why would you take on a challenging mountain trail that could be filled with obstacles on a bicycle that’s not built the same as a street bike? You can if you learn how to control the descent.


Making the Bike Work for You

Instead of thinking about racing your bike down a steep trail, think about it as controlling the bike’s fall down the trail. While normally you don’t want to ever “fall” on a bike, but basically that is what is happening as you descend. However, there are ways to control the situation so that the bike is falling down the hill, but your body is not falling off the mountain bike.



Obviously, these components are critical for controlling speed. Generally speaking, front brakes offer more power than back brakes. That can be good news and bad news. If you apply too much pressure on the front brakes while gaining speed, especially in the midst of a turn, then there is greater potential for an abrupt stop.


Rather, apply equal pressure to both front and back brakes. This will help to maintain your control as you slow the tires’ rotations.



If you were to longboard down a steep mountain road, balance, especially in turns, is an absolute must. If you don’t find your balance, you’re off the board. The same is true with mountain biking downhill.


The bike’s forward motion will want to bring your body forward, too. Instead, use your body to act as a counterbalance so the bike (and you) doesn’t become front-end-heavy. Sit as far back in the saddle as you can while maintaining your balance. You’ll be able to tell if you’ve gone too far back if you feel the front end wobble or slide side to side.



Stay close to the bike frame. In addition to keeping your chest low, bring arms and legs in closer. Try not to tense up too much because a relaxed state is a more balanced state.



Focus on the trail about 15 to 20 feet ahead of you instead of looking down. Not only will this help you balance on the bike, but you can see what conditions are coming up and mentally prepare for them. This way you won’t be forced into last-second decisions that might come too late.

The Best BMX Bikes

BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross.  In its early days, BMX bikes were knockoffs of motocross motorcycles.  They were designed to race over jumps and in the dirt.  During those times, low-end bikes were complete bikes, meaning that they came fully assembled.  The reverse is true in present day.

Bicycle Motocross

TwoHipBikesMany reputable BMX manufacturers nowadays offer “completes”, as they are called, that are top notch quality bikes.  BMX companies that are popular and reliable brands are DK, Eastern Bikes, Fit Bikes Co., Haro Bikes, Hoffman, Kink Bikes, Stolen Bikes, Subrosa, TwoHipBikes, and We The People.  The list of ten is only some of the well-known companies that distribute the “best BMX bikes.”

 Price Point

Financially, BMX bikes tend to be parent-supported.  The price range for the best BMX bikes can span a rather large spectrum, so first knowing your budget means you will narrowed down which BMX bikes can be ruled out and which ones to consider.  For this reason, budget is one of the first criteria.  Look at your options online or in product catalogues.

Price point has a bearing on quality.  Invest in a complete BMX bike instead of a yet to be assembled one where you have to purchase its parts separately.   Completes can cost as low as $200 to $1000 or more.  A Kinkcomplete BMX bike that costs $200-400 is a lower-end bike, so this bike will not hold up as well as a higher end model, but is great for early starters.

$400-600 will get you a mid-range bike with higher quality frame and some parts, which is ideal for tricks and jumps.  Moreover, the $600-1000 price range takes the highest quality bikes with more parts, ideal for the experienced riders who can give their BMXs a regular beating.

Frame Material

The best BMX bikes should have frames and parts made out of aluminum or 4130 chromoly.  Chromoly is a material with a high strength to weight ratio, thus making the BMX bikes more durable and able to take more jumps, stunts and tricks.  Chromoly is also a little bit heavier but costs less.

Aluminum frames are rust-proof, lighter and usually have oversize or exotically shaped tubing.  Some manufacturers also use the weaker alternative of high tensile steel.

 Bike Size

Bike size is one of the most crucial points in bike ownership.  The length of the bike’s frame determines how the rider will be position and where the bicycle parts will rest.  The four available options in the youth category are Mini, Junior, Expert and Pro for the following age range:  4-6 years, 6-9 years, 9-13 years and above 12 years.  Adult BMX size charts are also available.  Only the bike shop can perform a proper fitting.

BMX Bike Parts

Also important is your choice in the BMX bike parts like wheels/tires, handlebars and brakes.   Most complete bikes come with 20” top tubes that may be a small fit.  Larger ones are 20.5 or 20.75 inches.  Some handlebars tend to be too low or narrow, so a wide bar may be more suitable.  If possible, choose linear-pull brakes.  Some experts believe that in the best BMX bikes, the smaller the part the better.  And, whenever possible, ensure that your purchase includes coverage for regular tweaking and maintenance.

Finally, BMX bikes come in several variations.  They are built to suit specific riding styles.  Choose racing completes for speed and performance.  Freestyle completes are best for new riders and multi-terrain.  Street completes are set up without brakes.

Product Reviews

Product reviews are a must on the checklist before you hand over the credit card.  User impressions about the model of your choice will give a good idea of what you can and cannot do with it.  If specific parts are problematic, product reviews will indicate these as well.

Entry Level Road Bikes

Some of us would sooner invest our hard earned dollars towards a car, but a road bike may be a more affordable, environmentally responsible and healthier option to consider.  While it may not be realistic for us to replace the car as the primary mode of transportation, having a road bike as an alternative is.  With that said, what is the best entry level road bike?

best entry level road bike Key Factors To Consider

There are some key factors to consider even for an entry-level road bike.  Even though we have chosen the type of bike to be the road bike, there are sub-types within this criterion.  To be precise, you should determine how you would be using your road bike.  Is it for racing?  Alternatively, will you be taking your bike out for cruising mostly short distances and the occasional long trek?

Racing Bikes

Racing bikes typically places the rider at a more aerodynamically position to decrease wind resistance.  This also means that the rider is hunched further down, placing more of a burden on joints and back.  Unless the rider for the entry-level road bike is in top shape and is used to being in the racing position, the more casual rider may be better off opting for a more relaxed posture.  The result is a happier and more comfortable ride.

 Size and Fit

While on the topic of the rider, another important factor to keep in mind is that of size and fit in order to find the best entry-level road bike.  Today, bicycles come in all shapes and sizes.  Sizing charts for different bike types are easily available online and in bike shops.  Getting the right fit of road bike for the specific rider is akin to shoe sizes.  No matter how nice the product looks, the wrong fit will bring discomfort and eventually less mileage.  Since it takes less time than a haircut, make sure confirming your fit for the right bike is on your checklist.

 Precious Metals  and Materials

Now that we have dealt with the rider side of getting the best entry-level road bike, we will need to focus on the road bike itself.  What is the frame of the bike made of?  Many bikes in the market are made of alloy.  The price tag may look pleasing for the budget conscious shopper when the bike’s frame is made of alloy.

However, there is a basic view when it comes to the bike’s frame and fork material.  Your bike is better when it has more carbon material.


Carbon is a high tech aerospace material.  It is light and strong.  It will make the difference in the type of ride.  A carbon frame and, or carbon fork can reduce the vibration of the ride.  Vibration dampening makes for a more comfortable ride.  Whatever your budget, avoid plastic components!  They are not even in the same league as steel and aluminum alloy.

GiantOne more essential checkpoint is that of the group set model.  The group set model includes the bike’s transmission and brakes.   As you can imagine, there are many options related to price, quality, weight, or performance.  Each manufacturer has its own levels of group sets.  Your budget will play a role in determining what level you can acquire.

Choose A Well-known Brand

Finally, the rule of thumb that is most crucial in choosing the best entry-level road bike is to get the brand that is well known, time-tested, and has a proven record of accomplishment.  Where possible, choose from a large company that can offer excellent warranties.  Your initial investment may burn a hole in your pocket.  However, over the long haul, the returns on your investment will more than make up for any heartache you may suffer at point of sale.  Diamondback, Giant, Raleigh, Schwinn, and Trek are just some reliable choices of countless brand options in the market today.


Diamondback Bicycles is a well-known bicycle brand.  The Diamondback Bicycles headquarters is located in Kent, Washington but fans can purchase Diamondbacks around the world in countries such as Australia, Canada, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.  The company was originally founded as a BMX brand by Western Coast Industries of Camarillo, California in 1977.


In 1999, Derby Cycle Corporation owned and merged Raleigh Bicycle Company and Diamondback Bicycles.  Since 2001, Derby Cycle Corporation sold Raleigh and Diamondback, but the latter two continue to have the same owners which include Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the Cascade Bicycle Club, Bikes Belong and the International Mountain Bike Association.

 Top of the Line Technology

Diamondback Bicycle’s technology is top of the line with its AMMP Advanced Monocoque competition road series carbon fibre frame.  Also, its 29er design for the taller rider to go faster over obstacles, improve cornering and straight line momentum and stability.  A popular design feature of the Diamondback is the Knuckle Box suspension.  This innovation comes with the Diamondback models of Sortie, Mission and Scapegoat full suspension mountain bikes.  Diamondback’s full suspension bikes are known to be the best quality in the cycling world.  The Knuckle Box design minimizes pedal feedback which in turn makes the ride all the smoother.

 Diamondback LogoUnique Company

Diamondback Bicycles is touted as a unique company.  In this industry, competitors are hesitant to sell online because bicycles require regular maintenance, fitting to size, tune ups, component tweaking and technical care.  Face time is simply too important to do without.  DB, however, is willing to take the first step into the new ecommerce frontier for the industry.

DB has been doing rather well in its ecommerce enterprise.  By eliminating the middle man, DB can shave several hundred dollars from their ticket price.  Undeniably good price, stand-up bike engineering and quality reputation, DB has made itself ever more accessible to its fans.  For the rider that needs assembly assistance, the cost is just a low $60 from the local bike store.

 Warranty and Service

Should any warranty issues arise, the DB website provides the contact information and a dealer location service.  As a bonafied company that makes bicycles for everyone regardless of riding ability or experience, ranging from racing to freestyle bikes, warranty related problems from a Diamondback bicycle is almost unheard of.

Furthermore, a quick look at the Diamondback team dubbed TEAM DF5 (Development Force 5), the DB brand name is steadfast and sure.  Just ask Kelly McGarry, Eric Porter, Billy Lewis, Kyle Thomas, Charlie Sponsel, Simon Lawton and Carson Storch.  The remarkable results of DB’s racing teams of Kelly Benefit Strategies and Allegiant Air speak volumes as to the brand’s quality and high performance.

The Brand

As stated earlier, Diamondback Bicycles is an all-encompassing brand.  DB has bicycles for all budgets on all pavements.  There are road, cyclocross, alternative road, performance hybrid, dual sport, casual, women’s, and youth.  In their mountain bike department, fans can easily find types with full suspension, hard tail, 29er, 27.5, dual sport, women’s mountain, and youth mountain.  Of course, the BMX available for jump, street or park and race, should not be excluded.

The cycling enthusiast knows that a $300 DB bike gives a sweet ride.  However with a little bit more, such as an investment of $500 will mean bringing home a high end super quality Diamondback bike.

What Size Bicycle Do I Need?

What bike size do I need?  This is a crucial question when considering purchasing a new bike.  If we are getting a new type of bike, have experienced changes in height or weight, or will be using our new bike in a different environment, we will do well to check on the bike size we need.

Asking, “what bike size do I need?” should be one of the primary questions we ask in order to ensure the most bang for our buck.  The correct size goes a long way in ensuring riding comfort.  As is true with most items that require good fit, a bike that complements our sizing will be efficient, thus making it a utility that will do what it promises.

Take Measurements

At the heart of size is the ability to answer the question of measurements.  While bicycle charts for different types of bikes and riders are available at our disposal, especially on the internet or at bicycle shops.  However, the measurement principle is quick and simple to understand without having to carry charts bicyclesaround with us.

We will need to know the rider’s leg inseam, torso length and arm length.  The leg inseam is the measurement from the crotch to the foot.  The leg inseam, or the “stand-over height”, is the one that is most referred to.  Add 1-2 inches to the leg inseam measurement allows for comfortable clearance of the bicycle’s top tube.

Some sources recommend 2-4 inches if considering a mountain or commuter bicycles.  Please note that if the bicycle does not have a top tube (but has a step-through frame), we will not need to consider the leg inseam measurement.  Since the lowered top tube allows for a step through, we will no longer need to ensure step-over clearance.

Torso Length

Torso length is the measurement from the crotch or the sternum while the arm length is the measurement from the end of the collarbone to the middle of the closed fist.  The sum of torso length and arm length divided by two, minus six provides the ideal distance between seat and handlebars. [ (torso length + arm length)/ 2 = x.  x – 6 = reach distance].  This calculates the reach distance for the rider.

Other Basics To Consider

Setting measurements aside, there are other important basics to consider.  Bicycle frame, for example, helps to maximize power.  A fit too small will not allow full leg extension by cycle or pedal power.  A fit too large, on the other hand, will not allow for full drive from leg rotation.  Rider should stand over the frame with both feet on the ground and allow about 2 inches of clearance.

Seat position is up to rider preference, as long as the rider’s feet can rest on the pedals through the full rotation.  At the furthest rotation, the legs must remain fully extended while the feet rest flat on the pedal.  The rider’s hips should not see a side-to-side movement when the rider is pedaling.

bicycle seatCheck Handlebars

Often the forgotten checkpoint, incorrectly fitted handlebars can cause serious injury like back pain, shoulder strain, and wrist soreness.  Depending on whether the rider likes to ride high or low, upright or forward, handlebars should not extend beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Lastly, find the best fit through trial and error.  Common sense and feel will rule out the obvious misfits.  Whatever our shopping style, one thing is certain:  Before you hand the hard-earned dollars, take your new bike out for a spin.

The Strength of Tara

If you are a serious bike racer or a fan of this sport, it just may be that you are familiar with the name of an amazing ex-competitor turned race organizer Tara Llanes.    What you may not know, especially if you have never heard her name pronounced, is that Tara’s last name sounds like “yaw-ness”.

 Tara Llanes eventTara Llanes

Tara Janelle Llanes was born on November 28, 1976 in West Covina, California.  She competed as an American “Mid School” Bicycle Motocross (BMX) racer in 1990-1993.  She became a champion Mountain Bike (MTB) racer.  She competed in her first race at the young age of 11 in 1988.  In 1996, Tara turned professional in Mountain Biking.  She had hoped to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics with the US BMX team.

BMX Racer

Tara Llanes has had an impressive career as a competitive racer.  What kind of a mindset is needed to be as successful as she was prior to her paralysis?  To get to know the pre-injury Tara, the web allows public access to her blog entry in which she mentioned her arrival at Beaver Creek and what she thought of the course.

Professionally, Tara held many titles.  Nationally, she was the National Off-Road Bicycle Association’s (NORBA) 1995 Junior National Downhill Champion, 2002 Dual Slalom National Champion, 2002, 2004 U.S. National 4-Cross Champion, 2006 National Downhill Champion.

In USA Cycling, she held the 2006 National Championship title.  In Professional/Elite Women category, Tara was the 1999 Biker X Winter X Games Champion (Gold Medalist) in the ESPN Extreme (S) Games.

Tara LlanesFor Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Tara held several titles:  1999 Bronze Me1999 Bronze Medal Dual Slalom World Cup Champion, 2000 Silver Medal Dual Slalom World Cup Champion, 2001 Bronze Medal Dual Slalom World Cup Champion, 2000 Dual Silver Medal World Champion, 2001 Dual Bronze Medal World Champion, 2001 4-Cross World Cup Champion, 2004, 2005 4-Cross Bronze Medal World Champion, 2004 4-Cross Silver Medal World Cup Champion, 2006 4-Cross Bronze Medal World Cup Champion.

 Tara’s Life Changing Event

Tara’s paralysis was a result of a 2007 Jeep King of the Mountain race in Beaver Creek, Colorado.  Tara hit an obstacle which threw her over the handlebars of her bike.  She landed heavily on her head and back.  She was taken to Vail Valley Medical Center and then airlifted to Denver Health Medical Center.  A team of spinal cord specialists worked on her for seven hours.  Despite her surgeons’ best efforts, Tara suffered a below-the-waist paralysis that is believed to be permanent.

 Tara Llanes Classic

Tara did not disappear from the bike race scene post-injury as is evidenced by her support of the Tara Llanes Classic.  For the first time since her career ending in-competition injury, the organizers of the Tara Llanes Classic (TLC) announced that 2013 would not happen.  In May 2013 at a press conference, Tara announced that she was sorry that the Tara Llanes Classic competition would no longer continue.  To Tara, the TLC raised over US$125,000 for spinal cord injury rehabilitation and research.  The TLC competition was not just a race, but an “unwavering love and support” from everyone who had a part in its success.

Despite the TLC no longer continuing in 2013 and afterwards, it should be noted, however, that Tara herself promises “big plans ahead” and that she looks forward to sharing them with her fans.  Make sure you are tuned to her website and Facebook page if you want to stay on top of the new things to come.  Meanwhile, we wish Tara Llanes and her loyal fans the very best of 2014!