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Pedal to the metal to prepare for Kauai Marathon

Training for the Kauai Marathon any other way than running, to me, is crazy. But when you’re stuck with an ailing left heel/achilles and a sore right hamstring, you don’t just keep running, which I did. But friends convinced me I was being foolish and risking long-term injury, which I was. The easiest way to aggravate an injury is to ignore it and just run through the pain, which is exactly what I usually do. However, the older you get, the less silly stuff you can get away with.

So no more.

To prepare for 26.2 miles on Aug. 31, I’ve turned to other means of exercise which I’m not wild about, swimming and biking. Swimming in Morgan’s Pond at Lydgate Park is nothing less than wonderful. Calm waters, colorful fish, good friends and lifeguards. It’s where I’m preparing for the Hanalei Bay Swim Challenge (1,000 meters) on July 26. I’m just a bit worried about it, because I’m a lousy swimmer, fear the deep and have been known to panic in the water. I’m praying for dead calm waters that day.

Biking, I’ve discovered, is not as miserable as I thought. Randy Blake let me borrow a great, older road bike. Bought a pump and some chain oil, and I was in business. There is no better way to enjoy Ke Ala Hele Makalae, and while I cycle on the highway shoulders sometimes, drivers are generally courteous and kind. Only one driver honked and yelled for me to get off the road. It happens.

But as I’ve increased cycling, I’ve studied more of its benefits. Here are some, according to  bikeradar.com

You’ll get there faster

Commute by bike in the UK’s major cities and you’ll get there in half the time of cars, research by Citroen shows. In fact, if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour, you’ll spend over 30 minutes going absolutely nowhere and average just 7mph, compared to averaging around 12-15mph while cycling.

Sleep more deeply

An early morning ride might knacker you out in the short term, but it’ll help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour.

“Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”

Look younger

Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Harley Street dermatologist Dr Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while ushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.” Don’t forget to slap on the factor 30 before you head out, though.

Boost your bowels

According to experts from Bristol University, the benets of cycling extend deep into your core. “Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr Ana Raimundo.

In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. “As well as preventing you from feeling bloated, this helps protect you against bowel cancer,” Dr Raimundo says.

Increase your brain power

Need your grey matter to sparkle? Then get pedalling. Researchers from Illinois University found that a ve percent improvement in cardio-respiratory tness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30.

“It boosts blood ow and oxygen to the brain, which res and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” says the study’s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.

Beat illness

Forget apples, riding’s the way to keep the doctor at bay. “Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re ready to ght off infection,” says Cath Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London.

In fact, according to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, ve days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes.

Riding’s the way to keep the doctor at bay

Live longer

King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did the equivalent of just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years ‘biologically younger’ even after discounting other inuences, such as body mass index (BMI) and smoking.

“Those who exercise regularly are at signicantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity,” says Dr Lynn Cherkas, who conducted the research. “The body becomes much more efcient at defending itself and regenerating new cells.”

Save the planet

Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around ve percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution.

Bikes are efcient, too – you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel’ you put in your ‘engine’, you do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon. You have your weight ratio to thank: you’re about six times heavier than your bike, but a car is 20 times heavier than you.

Improve your sex life

Being more physically active improves your vascular health, which has the knock-on effect of boosting your sex drive, according to health experts in the US. One study from Cornell University also concluded that male athletes have the sexual prowess of men two to ve years younger, with physically t females delaying the menopause by a similar amount of time.

Meanwhile, research carried out at Harvard University found that men aged over 50 who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise.

Heal your heart

Studies from Purdue University in the US have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. And according to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves tter. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, it says.

Your boss will love you

No, we don’t mean your Lycra-clad buttocks will entice your superiors into a passionate ofce romance, but they’ll appreciate what cycling does for your usefulness to the company. A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress.

The study also reported that workers who exercised felt their interpersonal performance was better, they took fewer breaks and found it easier to nish work on time. Sadly, the study didn’t nd a direct link between cycling and getting a promotion.

Cycle away from the big C

There’s plenty of evidence that any exercise is useful in warding off cancer, but some studies have shown that cycling is specically good for keeping your cells in working order. One long-term study carried out by Finnish researchers found that men who exercised at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to develop cancer as those who didn’t. And one of the moderate forms of exercise they cited? Cycling to work. Other studies have found that women who cycle frequently reduce their risk of breast cancer by 34 percent.

Lose weight in the saddle

Loads of people who want to shift some heft think that heading out for a jog is the best way to start slimming down. But while running does burn a ton of fat, it’s not kind to you if you’re a little larger than you’d like to be. Think about it – two to three times your body weight goes crashing through your body when your foot strikes the ground. If you weigh 16 stone, that’s a lot of force! Instead, start out on a bike – most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so your skeleton doesn’t take a battering. Running can wait…

You’ll make more money

If you’re cycling to lose weight then you could be in line for a cash windfall… Well, sort of. Researcher Jay Zagorsky, from Ohio State University, analysed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth – which saw 7,300 people regularly interviewed between 1985 and 2000 – to see how their obesity and wealth changed over that period. Zagorsky concluded that a one unit increase in body mass index (BMI) score corresponded to an £800 or eight percent reduction in wealth. So, shed a few BMI points on the bike and start earning.

Avoid pollution

You’d think a city cyclist would suck up much more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the noxious gases. Not so, according to a study carried out by Imperial College London. Researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians.

On average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultrane particles – which can settle in the lungs and damage cells – per cubic centimetre. Bus passengers sucked up just under 100,000 and people in cars inhaled about 40,000. Cyclists, meanwhile, were exposed to just 8,000 ultrane particles per cubic centimetre. It’s thought that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes because we ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren’t directly in the line of exhaust smoke.

Cyclists breathe in fewer fumes than drivers

Enjoy healthy family time

Cycling is an activity the whole family can do together. The smallest tyke can clamber into a bike seat or tow-along buggy, and because it’s kind on your joints, there’s nothing to stop grandparents joining in too.

Moreover, your riding habit could be sowing the seeds for the next Bradley Wiggins. Studies have found that, unsurprisingly, kids are inuenced by their parents’ exercise choices. Put simply, if your kids see you riding regularly, they think it’s normal and will want to follow your example. Don’t be surprised, though, if they become embarrassed by your tendency to mismatch uorescent Lycra when they become teenagers.

18. It means guilt-free snacks

Upping your salt intake is seldom your doctor’s advice, but in the few days leading up to a big ride or sportive, that’s exactly what you should do. This gives you the perfect excuse to munch on crisps and other salty foods you might normally avoid. The sodium in them helps protect your body against hyponatraemia, a condition caused by drinking too much water without enough sodium that can lead to disorientation, illness and worse.

19. Get better at any sport

Whether you want to keep in prime shape or just improve your weekly tennis game, a stint in the saddle is the way to begin. A recent medical study from Norway carried the title Aerobic Endurance Training Improves Soccer Performance, which makes it pretty clear that the knock-on benets to other sports and activities are immense.

20. Make creative breakthroughs

Writers, musicians, artists, top executives and all kinds of other professionals use exercise to solve mental blocks and make decisions – including Jeremy Paxman, Sir Alan Sugar and Spandau Ballet. A study found that just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise boosts at least one measure of creative thinking. Credit goes to the ow of oxygen to your grey matter when it matters most, sparking your neurons and giving you breathing space away from the muddle and pressures of “real life.”

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Will Essex have a Tour de France legacy?

Will Essex have a Tour de France legacy?

The Tour de France sweeps through Chelmsford

It came and went in the flash of an eye but it would appear the Tour de France has left a lasting impact on Essex. An estimated one million people lined the streets on Monday to welcome the riders to our county, but now the streets have been cleaned and re-opened and life has got back to normal, what effect with the Tour have on cycling in our county. FRAZER CLARK and PAUL ALTON investigate.

COULD SOUTHEND GET ITS OWN VELODROME?

A SOUTHEND councillor is hoping interest in the Tour De France might lead to the town getting its own velodrome.

Adam Jones saw the tour race through Essex at Roxwell on Monday and now harbours plans to capitalise on the interest shown in cycling this week.

His dream for a open air concrete velodrome is very much in its infancy but the Conservative councillor for St Lawrence ward is planning to strike while the iron is hot.

“I was completely taken aback by the experience of the Tour de France,” said Jones, who was a keen club cyclist in his youth.

“I was talking to people who knew nothing about cycling through to members of Essex Roads and Southend Wheelers cycling clubs and everyone was so positive about it.

“But cycling is not all about road racing and the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas have come from track cycling.

“That made me think about the possibility of building a velodrome in Southend because it could host a variety of events such as pursuits and sprints, and I think it would create more enthusiasm for cycling.”

Jones, who lives in Barling Magna, is planning to speak to council officers about the possibility of setting up the track and has already identified the former Ekco site or Garon Park as possible sites for the velodrome.

He also believes that the track could be built for between £1m and £1.5m, with some funding coming from sporting bodies.

Jones said the facility could be build at ground level to minimise the impact on the surrounding area and would produce little noise other than spectators cheering.

And the councillor says a velodrome could boost cycling and the town in the way that the Olympic mountain biking course at Hadleigh and the diving centre at Garon Park have done.

“I want to capitalise on the enthusiasm and passion created by the Tour de France,” Jones added.

“Something like a velodrome would not only boost the sport but would have a positive impact on people’s health too.”

Jones was first inspired by watching the Tour de France on television when he was a teenager.

He joined Carmarthen Wheelers Cycling Club while at university and used the velodrome in the Welsh town. He later competed in time trials and hill climbs.

The Tour de France goes through Finchingfield

LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL NOW BE DIGGING OUT THEIR BIKES

SOUTHEND Wheelers’ Chris Smith, 51, believes the legacy of the Tour de France’s Essex stage is there to be taken by grassroots cycling clubs throughout the county.

The keen rider and coach – who watched the Tour on Monday from a favourite spot between Roxwell and Willingale – said the Tour would spur people into action.

“I think the effect will be that there will be lots of people digging their bikes out of the garden shed or garage and riding again.

“When you saw the crowds or even watched it on TV, you saw the interest and the enthusiasm for the sport and the riders.

“Cycling has changed a great deal over the last 10 or so years and this is partly responsible for more people getting back on the saddle.

“Car drivers are much more considerate these days because so many more people do it and, although people are still concerned about potholes and traffic, I think this is improving.”

Smith said that his introduction came as a 14-year-old but he felt the sport had given him plenty back in the way of great friends, a healthy hobby, foreign trips and now the opportunity to coach others.

He said: “The Wheelers used to be a traditional road racing club but, like most clubs we’ve changed a lot over the years.

“The name of the game now is to intice people into cycling and at our recent road racing championships we had, as well as the mens, ladies and youths section, a section for all-comers.

“We held it at the Cyclopark in Kent and there were 20 to 25 all-comers which is about getting people to feel happier and make the sport less daunting.

“Sportif events such as the London to Southend ride are another way of building up grassroots strength. It’s because, in these events, the competition is against yourself – rather than others.

“The Tour de France’s Essex leg was just crammed with cyclists of all standards watching and cheering.

“The British Olympic success on the bikes has helped too, and although it’s a shame that Mark Cavendish went out so early – there is still Chris Froome. It would be nice if the Sky team could continue their success.”

Southend Wheelers have moved to attract people into the sport with user-friendly runs from Canewdon village hall some Sunday mornings at 10am, and many of the people coming into the sport were aged between 20 and 30, while the club has also seen an increase in the number of women riding.

IT’S NOW UP TO CYCLING CLUBS TO TAKE UP THE REINS

ESSEX Roads club stalwart Chris Bodell travelled to Yorkshire for the Tour de France Grand Depart, and even rode the first stage the day before the race proper.

And the 42-year-old from Brentwood believes the first three stages will leave an indelible mark on the sport in this country.

His own experience of the Tour will remain with him forever.

Chris Boddell

He said: “I went up to Yorkshire on Thursday night and rode the first stage on Friday as part of a charity event for the Orchid charity which raises money towards testicular cancer.”

And the experienced rider, who has done Pyrenees stages in France before, said he was used to doing plenty of mileage and found the distance within his capability.

“My time was six hours and five minutes – which is averaging 18 miles an hour, so I was happy with that.

“What made life difficult was the weather changes out on the route.

“Seeing the Tour itself go past the next day was brilliant.

“Now millions have seen the Tour at first hand it’s up to the clubs to make sure that people convert this interest into participation.

“I think that the Essex Roads club – which started out as a road racing club and then progressed into time trials, Sunday rides and a youth section – is doing well at attracting new people.

“The Tour, along with the Olympics has had a big effect on cycling. We’re moving in the direction of sportifs which brings people in,” he added.

A so-called Spring Lamb sportif event – attracting a massive 650 people – and an Autumn Leaves sportif brought in 100 newcomers to the club at Barleylands.

“We don’t have a clubhouse, but we run time trials from East Hanningfield village hall and in the winter there are turbo training sessions from the Scout hut at Greens Farm Lane in Billericay,” said Boddell. “We regularly get 50-60 people doing rides starting behind Iceland in Billericay.”

Bodell said rider leaders helped newcomers develop cycling road sense and etiquette, plus there was interest within the club in other aspects of cycling including cyclo-cross and even cycle speedway.

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Men Who Cycle Regularly Are More Likely To Be Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

Cycling to work and back may be doing wonders for your calf muscles, but experts have found that excessive cycling may put men at a higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers at University College London (UCL) found that middle aged men who spend over nine hours a week on their bike are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The study of over 5,200 cyclists found that men over 50 in this activity category were five times more likely to receive a diagnosis.

man cycling

In the report, published in the Journal of Men’s Health, the researchers said they could not rule out that cycling itself was to blame for the increase in prostate cancer diagnosis.

“It’s tricky to interpret,” said study author Dr Hamer. “Obviously the men who are cycling for the most amount of time are more health aware so they may be just more likely to be diagnosed.

“Or there could be a genuine biological link between trauma in the area of the prostate associated with bike riding.

“We were quite surprised by the size of the finding for prostate cancer so it does warrant further investigation, but we can’t draw any conclusions from this study.”

SEE ALSO:

Dogs Can Detect Prostate Cancer Using The Power Of Their Nose, Researchers Find

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate): What Is It And How Do You Spot The Symptoms?

The UCL study also found no evidence to suggest that the myth that cycling causes infertility or erectile problems is true.

The study researchers were keen to note that although the link between prostate cancer and cycling needs further research, cycling does have many proven health benefits, such as providing exercise.

The NHS says: “Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it’s also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment.”

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  • Chicago

    In his first year as mayor of America’s third largest metropolis, Rahm Emanuel laid out ambitious plans to “make a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/illinois/chicago” target=”_hplink”Chicago/a the most bike-friendly city in the country.” To that end, “Rhambo” has proposed a 500-mile network of bike paths, with at least one path within a half-mile of every Chicago resident. In the meantime, the city already boasts over 12,000 bike racks, more than any other U.S. city, and one of the best dedicated urban bike paths around: The 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail takes bikers through several popular parks and attractions, with sweeping skyline views around every bend. Several high-capacity bike parking areas are located throughout the city, including many of the city’s rail stations and at Millennium Park, where the state-of-the-art a href=”http://www.chicagobikestation.com” target=”_hplink”McDonald’s Cycle Center/a even offers showers and lockers. And when it comes to bike-share programs, things have never looked brighter for the Windy City: A system launched in 2010 by a href=”http://chicago.bcycle.com” target=”_hplink”Chicago B-cycle/a consists of seven self-service bike rental stations at several popular Lakefront locations, and the city recently contracted with Alta Bicycle Share to make a whopping 3,000 bikes available at 300 solar-powered, self-service stations this summer.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    117 miles of on-street bike lanes, more than 30 miles of marked shared lanes, and dozens of miles of off-street paths (including the Lakefront Trail)

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    a href=”http://www.bikechicago.com” target=”_hplink”Bike and Roll Chicago/a has been operating on Chicago’s lakefront for 19 years at top Chicago destinations such as Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Wabash Wacker (across from Trump Tower), North Avenue Beach, and historic Hyde Park (President Obama’s neighborhood). Rates for one of their new Trek models start at $10/hour and $35/day (save $5 on the daily rate by booking online). The same company operates Chicago B-cycle, with rates starting at $5/hour and increasing by $2.50 every half hour; after 4 hours, the $20/day rate applies.

    strongTry this Route/strong
    “Though a bit off the standard tourist track, the Illinois Institute of Technology has world-class architecture that definitely makes a worthwhile visit…” suggests Jeremy Rothschild, director of marketing for Chicago B-cycle. “The campus boasts several buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe, Rem Koolhaas, and Helmut Jahn.” From Grant Park, travel south along the Lakefront Trail and make a right at East 31st Street, then continue a mile to the IIT campus, home of two B-cycle bike-share stations.

    Photo: City of Chicago/GRC

  • Austin

    Home to seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/texas/austin” target=”_hplink”Austin/a is a bike lover’s mecca: The city estimates that more than 6,000 people ride bikes here each day. The Lance Armstrong Bikeway will soon connect East and West Austin with a dedicated bike path for the first time (4.6 miles of the planned 6-mile path is now complete), and the Barton Creek Greenbelt offers a 7-mile mountain biking trail right in the heart of the city. These are just two of the reasons Austin is recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists. “The city has earned this prestigious spot by excelling in bicycle education, evaluation, and enforcement,” says Steve Alberts, communications manager at the Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Austin is the only city in Texas to earn this recognition.” Thanks to a recent partnership between the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Armstrong’s Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, Austin’s bike-share program will launch in 2013 with 450 bikes located at kiosks in downtown and East Austin. For now, temporary bike-share programs are available during special events like the annual SXSW festival in March. And if you don’t have a bike and have trouble hailing a cab after the bars close, hop onto one of the city’s numerous pedicabs. “Drivers work for tips, and can point out the coolest nightspots,” says Alberts.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    155 miles of bike lanes and 170 miles of off-road, multi-use trails

    strongRent a Bike /strong
    Austin offers a slew of savvy bike shops, including a href=”http://www.mellowjohnnys.com” target=”_hplink”Mellow Johnny’s/a (rates start at $20 for four hours) or a href=”http://www.bartonspringsbikerental.com” target=”_hplink”Barton Springs Bike Rental/a (rates start at $7.50 per hour), which also offers bike tours of Austin ($35 for two hours).

    strongTry this Route /strong
    Take a spin around Lady Bird Lake (known to locals as Town Lake), a reservoir on the Colorado River that runs through downtown Austin, offering 10 miles of trails.

    Photo: Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • Boston

    Not long ago, Beantown was often cited as one of the worst cities for biking. Dismayed by the unsavory title, Mayor Tom Menino started the a href=”http://www.bostonbikes.org” target=”_hplink”Boston Bikes/a initiative in 2007 headed by former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman. In the past five years, a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/massachusetts/boston” target=”_hplink”Boston/a has created over 50 miles of bike lanes (up from just 60 yards), installed 2,500 bike parking spaces and 850 bike racks, and established numerous city-wide programs to promote cycling and bike safety. The city recently ranked number one in the country for safety for bikers and pedestrians by the Alliance for Biking Walking, and carries silver-level status as a bike-friendly community from the League of American Bicyclists. The a href=”http://www.thehubway.com” target=”_hplink”New Balance Hubway/a bike-share program debuted in summer 2011, garnering 100,000 rides in the first 10 weeks. In 2012, Hubway plans to expand into neighboring Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline, and hopes to add even more stations in Boston proper.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    52.2 miles of bikeways

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    The Hubway bike-share system – with over 600 bikes and 61 stations – costs $5 for one day or $12 for three days. The first half-hour of your ride is free; then it’s an additional $2 for up to an hour, $6 for up to 90 minutes, and $14 for up to 2 hours of riding.

    strongTry This Route/strong
    “I think a hidden gem is Harborwalk,” says Nicole Freedman, Director of Bicycling Programs for the City of Boston. “It’s a stunning view of the city. Absolutely stunning.”

    Photo: City of Boston

  • Denver

    “Biking is a great way to explore Denver,” says Katie Adamson, a public relations coordinator at Visit Denver. “Visitors can take a B-cycle to almost every major attraction in the city.” The B-cycle bike-share program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, provides access to the riverfront, the Denver Botanic Gardens, City Park, downtown shopping areas, and the Golden Triangle museum district. The weather is great for cycling, too, with blooming trees and flowers in the spring, a href=”http://www.denvercruiserride.com” target=”_hplink”community bicycle events/a in the summer, and abundant fall foliage (B-cycle stations are closed from December to March). a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/colorado/denver” target=”_hplink”Denver/a has the added bonus of being 30 miles from Boulder, another great bike-friendly city. Denver’s smaller, outdoor-loving neighbor has its own, more extensive B-cycle share program and hundreds of miles of downtown bike lanes and mountain biking trails. Even the a href=”http://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com” target=”_hplink”USA Pro Cycling Challenge/a, a year-old professional bike race on par with Tour de France, deems both cities excellent for biking. The seven-day race begins in southwestern Colorado, travels through several Rocky Mountain towns, including Boulder, and ends dramatically with a time-trial finish in downtown Denver. Free for spectators, the 2012 challenge will be held from August 20-26.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    850 miles of off-street paved trails, plus hundreds of miles of bike lanes and dirt trails

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    The base day rate at a href=”http://denver.bcycle.com” target=”_hplink”Denver B-cycle/a bike share starts at $8, with reasonable usage fees accruing after the first 30 minutes: $1 for 30-60 minutes after checkout and $4 for each additional 30 minutes. You can pick up and drop off your B-cycle at any of the 52 stations around town.

    strongTry this Route/strong
    The Cherry Creek Bike Path, which is lined with cherry blossoms in the spring and includes the Cherry Creek Shopping District as well as Castlewood Canyon State Park and the Cherry Creek State Recreation Area.

    Photo: VISIT DENVER

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul

    The Twin Cities emergence as a bike-friendly superstar coincided with a general plan to make the area more livable. “Fifteen years ago almost no one lived downtown,” says Bill Dossett, executive director of the Nice Ride bike-share program. Now, downtown apartments have some of the highest occupancy rates around, a new light rail line will connect downtown a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/minnesota/minneapolis” target=”_hplink”Minneapolis/a with the University of Minnesota and downtown St. Paul, and emBicycling Magazine/em calls Minneapolis the best biking city in the country. Launched two years ago, Nice Ride had over 100,000 rides in 2010 and over 217,000 rides in 2011; rentals will start again for 2012 sometime in the spring. Currently there are 116 stations and 1,200 bicycles, with plans to add 30 new stations – mostly in downtown St. Paul – and 128 more bikes this year. The cities host bike-themed events “almost every weekend,” says Dossett, from scavenger hunts to organized rides to cycling races. In 2011 alone, Minneapolis added 37 miles of bikeways, installed hundreds of bike-specific street signs, and created a citywide bike map for the first time. “All of these things are happening at the same time that we’ve made this great investment in the last five years,” says Dossett. “You bring all of that together and I think our future is very bright.”

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    81 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street bikeways

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    A 24-hour subscription to the a href=”http://www.niceridemn.org” target=”_hplink”Nice Ride/a bike-share program costs $6, after which you can ride for free for the first 30 minutes. Fees are $1.50 for up to an hour, $4.50 for up to 90 minutes, and $6 for each additional half hour after that.

    strongTry This Route/strong
    For visitors staying near the Convention Center, cruise down the Nicollet Mall then head over to the river and across the Stone Arch Bridge, a pedestrian- and bike-only bridge with a view of the St. Anthony Falls. “That’s just a great route to see the Old Mill District, to see the new Guthrie Theater, to see the river, and to see downtown from the Nicollet Mall,” says Dossett.

    Photo: Nice Ride MN

  • New York City

    Conventional wisdom holds that biking in car-clogged a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/new-york/new-york-city/” target=”_hplink”New York City/a is a fool’s errand best personified by the plucky bike messenger weaving in and out of Midtown traffic, not always successfully. It’s true that two-wheeling it in Manhattan is a giddy experience, but those jolts of adrenaline can be meted out safely thanks, in part, to the city’s recent bike boom. Developing the country’s first bike path in 1894, stretching over five miles from Prospect Park to Coney Island via Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway, New York City has long welcomed bikers with its relatively flat terrain and dense urban proximities. Since 1993, the city has created over 100 miles of car-free greenways linking parks and communities in all five boroughs, and over the past four years 260 miles of bike lanes have been added. Ridership has increased 20 percent over the last decade, with the NYC Department of Health estimating that over a half million New Yorkers now ride bikes. What’s next? An extensive a href=”http://www.nyc.gov/bikeshare” target=”_hplink”bike-share system/a from Alta Bicycle Share will open this summer with 600 stations and 10,000 bikes in Manhattan and a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/new-york/brooklyn” target=”_hplink”Brooklyn/a. “Once the stations and bikes are in place it’s just a matter of time before the word spreads that, if used correctly, bike sharing can be the fastest, cheapest, and most fun way to get around town,” says Brogan Graham of Alta Bicycle Share. Riders will be able to walk up to any station, swipe a credit card at the solar powered terminal, and get on the go.

    strongBikeable Miles /strong
    260 miles of bike lanes and 100+ miles of car-free greenways

    strongRent a Bike /strong
    Until the bike-share program kicks off, try a href=”http://www.hudsonurbanbicycles.com” target=”_hplink”Hudson Urban Bicycles/a, conveniently located just a block from the Hudson River Parkway in the West Village. Cruisers, hybrids, and mountain bikes can be rented at $5/hour or $30/day on weekdays and $7/hour and $35/day on weekends. Free bikes are offered to guests at many city hotels, including the a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/new-york/new-york-city/hotels/bowery-hotel” target=”_hplink”Bowery Hotel/a, a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/new-york/new-york-city/hotels/the-jane” target=”_hplink”the Jane/a, a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/new-york/new-york-city/hotels/the-james-new-york” target=”_hplink”James Hotel/a, the Nolitan, and the Maritime, among others.

    strongTry this Route/strong
    “I still love crossing any of the bridges over into Brooklyn,” says Graham. “The return back over is also exciting; it never gets old. Family members in Harlem always love to push the path along the West Side Highway. Calm, safe, relaxing – some days that can be the perfect pedal fix.” We also recommend participating in the city’s a href=”http://www.nyc.gov/summerstreets” target=”_hplink”Summer Streets/a program, when nearly seven miles of streets, from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, are closed to automobile traffic and opened for biking and walking on three consecutive Saturdays in August.

    Photo: Joe Buglewicz/NYC Co

  • Portland, OR

    It makes sense that a city with the highest percentage of bicycle commuters, according to the U.S. Census, would also be a great bike city for travelers. Serious cyclers will notice as soon as they touch down at PDX and head to the on-site airport bike assembly station. More casual bikers might observe that Portland drivers behave a bit differently than back home: “Everyone who visits will notice that cars will stop in the middle of the road for you,” says Todd Roll, owner of Pedal Bike Tours. a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/oregon/portland” target=”_hplink”Portland/a is one of only three cities nationwide (and the only one with a population over 200,000) to be designated at the platinum level for bike-friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists. The city has 80 on-street bicycle parking corrals (with space for 10-20 bikes each), and numerous resources for mapping your route, both in paper form and online. Plans are moving forward for a bike-share program to launch in early 2013. An ambitious citywide initiative will increase the bikeable network to nearly 1,000 miles of bikeways by 2030, as well as expand bike parking options, update street signs, and promote bike safety and education so that Portland continues to be as bike-friendly as possible. “We may be number one in North America, but we’re laughable compared to Europe or Asia,” says Roll.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    318 miles of bikeways, including bike lanes, greenways, paved park paths, and cycle tracks

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    There are over a dozen shops that rent cycles, from vintage wheels to tandem bicycles to mountain bikes. Try a href=”http://www.portlandbicycletours.com” target=”_hplink”Portland Bicycle Tours/a ($5 for 1 hour) or a href=”http://www.pedalbiketours.com” target=”_hplink”Pedal Bike Tours/a ($8 for 1 hour) for low-cost rentals and fun guided rides throughout the city.

    strongTry This Route/strong
    “The very first place that we send people from the shop when they rent bikes is the Eastbank Esplanade riverfront loop,” says Roll. “Those are beautiful, scenic, natural rides.”

    Photo: Travel Portland

  • San Francisco

    a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/california/san-francisco” target=”_hplink”San Francisco/a is one of the most popular biking cities in the country. “Biking is a great way to discover the hidden corners of the city and travel like a local,” says Kristin Smith, the Communications Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “San Francisco is a compact city, with an extensive bicycle route system, most of which avoid our famous San Francisco hills.” In fact, in the last five years the number of people biking in the city has increased by 71 percent. With over 200 miles of routes and more added all the time (17 miles of bike lanes just last year), plus plenty of bicycle parking racks, spaces, and garages, it’s no wonder that the bike-obsessed City by the Bay is so often explored on two wheels. What’s more, the year-round mild temperatures make for great biking weather (although watch out for winter rains). The best time for biking is on Sunday mornings for a href=”http://www.sundaystreetssf.com” target=”_hplink”Sunday Streets/a events, when different neighborhood streets are closed to cars to encourage biking, walking, and free yoga and tai-chi group events. San Francisco also has a public bike-share program in the works that is set to launch in pilot form this summer (vendor still to be decided), so look out for the first of the SFMTA-provided bike rentals in the downtown area. San Francisco hopes to eventually have 500 bikes at 50 stations, plus 500 more bikes in other Bay Area cities.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    200+ miles of designated bike routes

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    A bike-share program is in the works, but for now you can rent bikes from a href=”http://www.parkwide.com” target=”_hplink”Parkwide Bike Rentals and Tours/a, a service similar to a bike share but with rental locations in the city parks only. Visitors can pick up a bike in one park and drop it off in another, with rates starting at $14/hour.

    strongTry this Route/strong
    Bike the a href=”http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2012/01/10/the-golden-gate-bridge-turns-75-and-the-bay-area-is-celebrating” target=”_hplink”Golden Gate Bridge/a and Golden Gate Park, which has paths on both sides of the bridge and which is closed to vehicles on Sundays, leaving it completely open to bikers and pedestrians.

    Photo: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

  • St. Petersburg, FL

    The a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/florida” target=”_hplink”Sunshine State/a isn’t generally known to be bike-friendly, but efforts are being made in certain cities to make two-wheeled transportation easier, safer, more frequent, and more fun. St. Petersburg’s hard work is particularly notable, and as St. Pete’s Director of Transportation Joe Kubicki states, “Our relatively flat terrain, temperate climate, and great cycling infrastructure with plenty of trails and road facilities make it an excellent choice for visitors.” Indeed, St. Pete is striving to make the city better for biking all the time. Since 2006, it has been designated a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists, and have been working to raise their status, from providing more bike parking to connecting the recreational trails and street lanes. You can already enjoy the beautiful waterfront parks and beaches as well as the popular downtown shopping areas by bike, and with the coming myBike bike-share program (designed and funded by St. Pete residents, and based on NYC’s coming Social Bicycles technology), biking will be even easier for area visitors.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    35 miles of bike trails and 75 miles of on-street bike lanes

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    St. Pete’s bike-share program, a href=”http://www.mybike.org” target=”_hplink”myBike/a, is set to launch on July 4th with 500 bikes. In the meantime, you can rent from a href=”http://www.abcbicycles.com” target=”_hplink”ABC Bicycles/a or its sister store, a href=”http://www.trekstorestpete.com” target=”_hplink”Trek Bicycle Store/a; rates start at $30/day for one bike or $25/day for two or more.

    strongTry this Route/strong
    The a href=”http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd” target=”_hplink”Pinellas Trail/a stretches 47 miles from downtown St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. It spans an abandoned railroad corridor through parks and along coastal areas, oak glades, waterways, and tidal streams. The downtown St. Pete portion of the Pinellas passes Rail Switch Park, the Morean Arts Center for Clay (in the Historic Seaboard Train Station), and Tropicana Field, home to the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Photo: City of St. Petersburg

  • Washington, D.C.

    As the first major U.S. city to implement a bike-share program, a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/district-of-columbia/washington-dc” target=”_hplink”Washington, D.C/a. is ideal for bikers. Even politicians making the trip from Capitol Hill to the White House can opt for pedal power thanks to new bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue. In recent years, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has created nearly 50 miles of new bike lanes and installed over 1,000 bike racks throughout the metropolitan area. Whether you’re commuting from the suburbs of a href=”http://www.shermanstravel.com/united-states/maryland” target=”_hplink”Maryland/a or Virginia into downtown D.C., or a tourist who wants to cruise down the Mall and past the cherry blossoms, the nation’s capital has a plentitude of trails and bike lanes. Capital Bikeshare, the country’s first bike-share program, is open year-round, 24 hours a day, with 140 stations and over 1,200 bikes. “Bike sharing has transformed transportation in D.C.,” says James Sebastian, Supervisory Transportation Planner at the DDOT. “People can make one-way bike trips without worrying about what to do with their bike on the next trip of their day.” For those with either their own or rented bikes, a href=”http://www.bikestation.com” target=”_hplink”Bikestation Washington D.C./a, located near Union Station, offers indoor bike parking facilities, restrooms and showers, lockers, bike repair stations, easy access to public transportation, and bike rentals.

    strongBikeable Miles/strong
    109 miles of trails, bike lanes, and cycle tracks

    strongRent a Bike/strong
    Visit the a href=”http://www.capitalbikeshare.com” target=”_hplink”Capital Bikeshare website/a to search for bike kiosks before you travel – then pick up a bike and get going. After an initial membership fee ($7 for 24 hours or $15 for 3 days) it’s free for the first 30 minutes; rates start at $2 for one hour, and $6 for 90 minutes.

    strongTry This Route/strong
    Pick up a bike in Georgetown and then bike along the Potomac River on the CO Canal path all the way to Great Falls, Maryland, for a glimpse at the juxtaposition of urban Georgetown and the beautiful, natural falls. Sebastian suggests Rock Creek Park, the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River in Virginia, and bikeable neighborhoods like Shaw, Capitol Hill, and Dupont Circle.

    Photo: DDOT DC

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Gareth Dowing ‘proud’ of LeasePlan efforts at 2014 UK Challenge

Published: 8 Jul 2014 19:130 comments

IT WAS a case of brains and brawn for Gareth Downing as he went head-to-head with Olympians across a series of tasks in the mountains of Snowdonia.

The LeasePlan team for the 2014 UK Challenge.

Downing, a manager at LeasePlan in Slough, headed to North Wales last week to join one of 62 teams in the 25th anniversary of the UK Challenge.

The 2014 UK Challenge saw groups from all over the country undertake physical and mental tasks including night runs, mountain biking, canoeing and intellectual puzzles in a bid to be crowned champions.

Downing and his team also went up against a squad of athletes from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust including retired marathon runner Mara Yamauchi and judoka Sophie Cox – both of who competed at London 2012.

However, it was the efforts of his own team which caught the eye of captain Downing. He said: “It’s been really good and we’ve really enjoyed it,” said the 39-year-old.

“We struggled when it came to building a catapult in stage four but overall we were proud of our efforts.

“It’s a balance of things from physical and logical. We were worried about the physical side beforehand, you think everyone is going to be ultra fit but it hasn’t been that way at all.

“There are some really fit people but most are the same level as us. Then the intellectual challenges mean it is not all about how fast you can run.”

The winner was the team which accrued the lowest time from the five events contested over three days – an honour this year going to a team from Accenture.

As well as working on strengthening team building across businesses, the UK Challenge also helps to raise money for worthwhile causes including official charity partner the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

This year saw over £100,000 raised for the Trust, and Downing believes it will not be the last time he and his company appear at the event.

“We predicted about £8,000 beforehand,” he added. “A couple of our sponsors are still to pay so we are hoping to reach as close to that as possible.

“There’s a good chance we will be back next year. We’ve just taken a lot of new people on. We’re trying to get people to bond together, work together and this was really good for that.”

The UK Challenge is the UK’s leading corporate team building event, providing companies from a variety of industries with an epic, adrenaline fuelled adventure that delivers powerful business benefits. To find out more, visit www.ukchallenge.co.uk.

**PICK up a copy of the Observer, out every Friday, for all the latest sports news and action**

**FOLLOW the Observer on Twitter at @Observer_sports**

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Largest Private US Residence to be Offered at No-Reserve Auction

Largest Private U.S. Residence to be Offered at No-Reserve Auction by Supreme Auctions.

The residence itself, which spans more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space, encompasses 11 en-suite bedrooms throughout the home with two connecting apartments. The master wing is a haven unto its own with its full study, kitchenette, library, and one of the home’s two conference rooms. Automobile aficionados will appreciate the abundance of garage space to house a dozen or more vehicles. An additional auto barn with its elevated ceiling will accommodate the most discerning collection, and the above living quarters are perfect for staff when the entertaining bug bites.

“Located on 70 serene acres close to all that Metropolitan Denver area has to offer, this estate is secluded enough to welcome the most private of residents,” said Maverick Commins, president of Supreme Auctions. “This luxury getaway is perfect for celebrities and CEOs who want to escape and get away from it all. Words don’t do this property justice; even pictures and video pale in comparison to immersing yourself in the ambiance of this private sanctuary, one where you can feel totally at peace yet entertain on multiple levels when the occasion arises.”

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Acres of solitude offer unobstructed, panoramic views of the Colorado Front Range Peaks and Rocky Mountains. Two ponds for fishing, a restful cascading waterfall, numerous patios, and fresh breezes await the outdoor enthusiast. Serenity Ridge is surrounded by a multitude of activities including stunning hiking trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and rivers for rafting and kayaking.

“This is literally a one-of-a-kind house. When I saw the property, I fell in love with it, and every time I’m here, I leave feeling rejuvenated,” said the owner. “We wanted to give personality and hominess to this grand property, and adding the porches was important because it is an indoor / outdoor family residence that is friendly and fun!”

Residents and guests alike will want to soak up all of the offerings at Serenity Ridge. With four kitchens, entertaining is a breeze, and the indoor pool with locker room, steam, and sauna provide year-round exercise and relaxation. The property is perfect for corporate retreats, complete with a conference-room facility and a complete floor devoted to entertainment, including a home theatre, two-lane bowling alley, arcade game room, performance stage, billiard table, and four-star, restaurant-quality, full-service bar.

“This house is the most beautiful house I have ever seen in all my years of real estate and although it is large, when you are inside it feels so intimate,” stated Christine Battista of Keller Williams DTC Luxury International. “Every room you go into just makes you feel like you have been teleported to another space in time, and you can just relax and create the memories of a lifetime.”

Parker, Colo., provides one of the sunniest climates in the U.S. and a wonderful sense of community with a deep respect for privacy, making this the perfect home for a busy professional who needs to jet away at a moment’s notice yet longs for a private retreat from the outside world. The residence is within a short 20-minute drive of Centennial Airport, servicing private business and vacation travel.

“This property provides an exceptional opportunity for the discriminating luxury buyer,” shared Liza Hogan of Joshua Co. “The finishes and attention to detail are apparent at every turn with stunning artwork, rich materials, and high-end systems. This grand home is comfortable and intimate both with its scale and the well-designed floor plan that provides ample space for family gatherings and entertaining.”

This stunning retreat will be offered at a no-reserve auction on Sept. 27, 2014, and will be available for viewing prior to auction. Up to a 3% commission is available to any buyers’ representing broker, see auction terms and conditions. For more information on how to schedule a viewing or become eligible to bid, please call 866-929-2243 or visit www.supreme-auctions.com.

About Supreme Auctions
Supreme Auctions is a leader in luxury real estate property auctions, providing proprietary accelerated marketing services that are unique to each distinctive property represented and sold. With six offices across the United States from New York to California and an office in London, UK, the company has a dedicated team of auction marketing professionals that provide decades of expertise, integrity, and knowledge. Supreme Auctions provides the highest level of service to both sellers and buyers of multimillion-dollar luxury properties by combining experience with the most current technology and marketing resources. The company offers sellers and luxury brokerages nationwide the appropriate auction strategy to ideally suit each exclusive property, providing services that are unparalleled in the real estate auction industry.

Contact: Jennie Heal, 866-929-2243, jennie@supreme-auctions.com

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140707/124817

SOURCE Supreme Auctions

Copyright 2014 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved


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Priorswood teenager tackles Rocky Mountain Challenge in Canada

Priorswood teenager tackles Rocky Mountain Challenge in Canada

Welsey Williams with his cadet leader in the Rockies.

TEENAGE Army cadet Company Serjeant Major Wesley Williams has flown out to Canada as the UK’s sole representative in the Rocky Mountain Challenge.

Former Taunton Academy student Wesley, 18, from Priorswood, Taunton, was invited back after his exploits as one of six British competitors last year.

During his seven weeks over there, he will be responsible for leading a platoon of 30 cadets through a multitude of challenging and adventurous activities, many in demanding conditions, including white water kayaking, rock climbing, mountain-biking, hiking, and horse riding.

Wesley will end his six year cadet service when he returns to the UK and takes up a place at King’s College University, in London.

For more information about the cadets, go to www.armycadets.com/somersetacf or call Somerset ACF county headquarters on 01823-284486.

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Priorswood teenager tackles Rocky Mountain Challenge in Canada

Priorswood teenager tackles Rocky Mountain Challenge in Canada

Welsey Williams with his cadet leader in the Rockies.

TEENAGE Army cadet Company Serjeant Major Wesley Williams has flown out to Canada as the UK’s sole representative in the Rocky Mountain Challenge.

Former Taunton Academy student Wesley, 18, from Priorswood, Taunton, was invited back after his exploits as one of six British competitors last year.

During his seven weeks over there, he will be responsible for leading a platoon of 30 cadets through a multitude of challenging and adventurous activities, many in demanding conditions, including white water kayaking, rock climbing, mountain-biking, hiking, and horse riding.

Wesley will end his six year cadet service when he returns to the UK and takes up a place at King’s College University, in London.

For more information about the cadets, go to www.armycadets.com/somersetacf or call Somerset ACF county headquarters on 01823-284486.

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Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge, Will Be Forever Sporty (PHOTOS)

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge… and sports.

The Duchess, along with husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry, officially launched the Tour De France race in Leeds on Saturday, according to Hello Magazine.

The royal trio, without baby Prince George (he was sleeping), kicked off the 2,272-mile biking trip, which features 22 teams riding through the U.K., Belgium, Spain and Paris in July.

On Sunday, both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge graced Wimbledon to watch the men’s final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, where Djokvic was crowned the winner. After the game, Djokvic was greeted by both Will and Kate and asked the Duchess about her own tennis skills.

“I’m slightly out of practice at the moment since having George,” she said laughing.

Although Will and Kate have played a handful amount of sports on their own and with each other, Kate, to us anyway, has always been our favourite. Even as a young girl, the Duchess played tennis, hockey, netball, and swam and was on several school teams, according to the Daily Mail.

Even last year, just a few months after giving birth to Prince George, the Duchess was spotted playing volleyball (in wedges) during an event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. We’ve also seen Kate take part in sailing and she even nudged an Olympic athlete she wanted sailing lessons for Prince George.

And when she’s not playing sports, she’s advocating for them. As a patron of the SportsAid charity, Kate helps support young athletes in the U.K. excel in sport.

Check out some photos of Kate in action below:

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Britain Cycling Tour de France

    The wind plays with the hair of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she watches the final of the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 190.5 kilometers (118.4 miles) with start in Leeds and finish in Harrogate, England, Saturday, July 5, 2014. At right are Prince William, rear, and Prince Harry. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Britain Cycling Tour de France

    Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, rear, and Prince Harry watch as Mark Cavendish falls from his bike near the finish line of Stage 1 of the Tour De France Saturday, July 5, 2014 in Harrogate, England. The world’s greatest cycle race, the Tour de France started for the first time in its history in Yorkshire this weekend. The event is expected to bring thousands of cycling fans to the region. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Britain Cycling Tour de France

    Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, watched by her husband Prince William, left, and her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, 2nd right, prepares to cut the ribbon officially starting the Tour de France at Harewood House near Leeds England. The 198 competitors in the 101st Tour de France will start their grueling three-week ride through four countries before ending the world’s greatest cycling race in Paris on July 27. (AP Photo/Asadour Guzelian, Pool)

  • Britain Tour De France

    Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, speaks with a cyclist, before officially starting the Tour de France at Harewood House near Leeds England. The 198 competitors in the 101st Tour de France will start their grueling three-week ride through four countries before ending the world’s greatest cycling race in Paris on July 27. (AP Photo/Asadour Guzelian, Pool)

  • Britain Cycling Tour de France

    Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, watched by her husband Prince William, left, and her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, 2nd right, is presented with the scissors to cut the ribbon officially starting the Tour de France at Harewood House near Leeds England. The 198 competitors in the 101st Tour de France will start their grueling three-week ride through four countries before ending the world’s greatest cycling race in Paris on July 27. (AP Photo/Asadour Guzelian, Pool)

  • Britain Cycling Tour de France

    Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, centre, and Prince Harry, right, watch for riders approaching the finish line of Stage 1 of the Tour De France Saturday, July 5, 2014 in Harrogate, England. The world’s greatest cycle race, the Tour de France started for the first time in its history in Yorkshire this weekend. The event is expected to bring thousands of cycling fans to the region. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Britain Cycling Tour de France

    Britain’s Prince William, right, Prince Harry, left, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, second right, pose with Germany’s sprinter Marcel Kittel, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, on the podium of the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 190.5 kilometers (118.4 miles) with start in Leeds and finish in Harrogate, England, Saturday, July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Britain Wimbledon Tennis

    Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive in the Royal Box prior to the men’s singles final between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on centre court at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Sunday July 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • Britain Wimbledon Tennis

    Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, applaud after Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland in the men’s singles final at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Sunday July 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, Pool)

  • Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge In Canada – Day Five

    The Duke And Duchess Take Part In A Dragon Boat Race, At Dalvay-By-The-Sea, On Prince Williamce Edward Island. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge In Canada – Day Six

    The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge On Their Official Tour Of Canada.The Duke And Duchess Begin Their Day In Yellowknife, At The City Hall, And Make A Walkabout.And Watch A Game Of Street Hockey, And Presented With Two Hockey Shirts. . (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge In Canada – Day Six

    The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge On Their Official Tour Of Canada.The Duke And Duchess Begin Their Day In Yellowknife, At The City Hall, And Make A Walkabout.And Watch A Game Of Street Hockey, And Presented With Two Hockey Shirts. . (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN WIMBLEDON TENNIS

    Kate Middleton, center left, the former girlfriend of Britain’s Prince William, watches the Men’s Singles tennis match between Sweden’s Robin Soderling and Spain’s Rafael Nadal on Court Number One at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Monday July 2, 2007. Others in the photo are unidentified. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **

  • Prince William and Kate – Courtship to Engagement

    Britain’s Prince William, centre with his gilrfriend Kate Middleton and Prince Harry watch the England against Italy Six Nation rugby match at Twickenham stadium in London, Saturday Feb. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Britain Olympic Park Duchess of Cambridge

    Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge hits a shot as she plays hockey with the British Olympic hockey teams at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park, London, Thursday March 15, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge viewed the Olympic Park and met members of the men’s and women’s British hockey teams. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Britain Olympic Park Duchess of Cambridge

    Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge laughs as she plays hockey with the British Olympic hockey teams at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park, London, Thursday March 15, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge viewed the Olympic Park and met members of the men’s and women’s British hockey teams. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • Britain Olympic Park Duchess of Cambridge

    Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge hits a shot as she plays hockey with the British Olympic hockey teams at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park, London, Thursday March 15, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge viewed the Olympic Park and met members of the men’s and women’s British hockey teams. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, Pool)

  • London Olympics Handball Women

    Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, watches the women’s handball preliminary match between Croatia and Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

  • London Olympics Hockey Women

    Britain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, second left, watches the women’s hockey bronze medal match between Britain and New Zealand at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • London Olympics Hockey Women

    Britain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leaves after watching a women’s hockey bronze medal match between Britain and New Zealand at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. Britain won the bronze medal. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • London Paralympics

    Britain’s Kate Duchess of Cambridge leaves after watching Britain play Lithuania in Goalball at the Paralympic Games at the Olympic Park in London Thursday Aug. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/Pool)

  • Tusk Charity Polo Match

    Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge At The Tusk Charity Polo Match At Beaufort Polo Club Near Tetbury. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • New Zealand Royals

    Britain’s Prince William, left, and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, center, arrive at Viaduct Basin in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, April 11, 2014, as they prepare to go sailing. The royal couple, along with their son Prince George, are on an official visit to New Zealand. (AP Photo/Fiona Goodall, Pool)

  • New Zealand Royals

    Britain’s Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, prepares to go match-race sailing on America’s Cup yachts with skipper Dean Barker, in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, April 11, 2014. (AP Photo/SNPA, David Rowland) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • New Zealand Royals

    Britain’s Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, prepares to go match-race sailing on America’s Cup yachts with Skipper Dean Barker, in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, April 11, 2014. (AP Photo/SNPA, David Rowland) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Britain Wimbledon Tennis

    Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge applaud from the Royal Box on centre court after Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria defeated Andy Murray of Britain in the men’s singles quarterfinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday July 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Toby Melville, Pool)

  • Royals Attend Sports Project Launch – London

    Prince William And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge With Prince Harry Attend A Sports-Themed Event At Bacon’s College, To Launch The Coach Core Programme, A Partnership Between Their Foundation And Greenhouse. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • Royals Attend Sports Project Launch – London

    Prince William And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge With Prince Harry Attend A Sports-Themed Event At Bacon’s College, To Launch The Coach Core Programme, A Partnership Between Their Foundation And Greenhouse. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • Britain England Soccer Royal Opening

    Britain’s Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge play a reaction game in the new gym during the official launch of The Football Association’s National Football Centre at St George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent, England Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira/Pool)

  • Britain Royals

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, plays hockey during her visit to St. Andrew’s School, where she attended school from 1986 till 1995, in Pangbourne, England, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge has gone back to school. The royal, formerly known as Kate Middleton, played hockey and revealed her childhood nickname — Squeak — when she returned to her elementary school for a visit Friday. Kate told teachers and students at the private St. Andrew’s School in southern England that her 10 years there were “some of my happiest years.” She said that she enjoyed it so much that she had told her mother she wanted to return as a teacher. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, Pool)

  • Britain Royal Pregnancy

    FILE – In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 file photo Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, plays hockey during her visit to St. Andrew’s School, where she attended school from 1986 till 1995, in Pangbourne, England. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby, St James’s Palace officially announced Monday Dec. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, File)

  • APTOPIX Britain Royals

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, centre, plays hockey during her visit to St. Andrew’s School, where she attended school from 1986 till 1995, in Pangbourne, England, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge has gone back to school. The royal, formerly known as Kate Middleton, played hockey and revealed her childhood nickname — Squeak — when she returned to her elementary school for a visit Friday. Kate told teachers and students at the private St. Andrew’s School in southern England that her 10 years there were “some of my happiest years.” She said that she enjoyed it so much that she had told her mother she wanted to return as a teacher. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, Pool)

  • Britain Royals

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, plays hockey during her visit to St. Andrew’s School, where she attended school from 1986 till 1995, in Pangbourne, England, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge has gone back to school. The royal, formerly known as Kate Middleton, played hockey and revealed her childhood nickname — Squeak — when she returned to her elementary school for a visit Friday. Kate told teachers and students at the private St. Andrew’s School in southern England that her 10 years there were “some of my happiest years.” She said that she enjoyed it so much that she had told her mother she wanted to return as a teacher. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, Pool)

  • Britain Royals

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, centre, plays hockey during her visit to St. Andrew’s School, where she attended school from 1986 till 1995, in Pangbourne, England, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge has gone back to school. The royal, formerly known as Kate Middleton, played hockey and revealed her childhood nickname — Squeak — when she returned to her elementary school for a visit Friday. Kate told teachers and students at the private St. Andrew’s School in southern England that her 10 years there were “some of my happiest years.” She said that she enjoyed it so much that she had told her mother she wanted to return as a teacher. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, Pool)

  • New Zealand Britain Royals

    Britain’s Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, plays cricket in Latimer Square in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, April 14, 2014. Prince William and his wife Kate are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia with their son, Prince George. (AP Photo/Martin Hunter, Pool)

  • New Zealand Royals Visit

    Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at a ICC Cricket World Cup promotion in Latimer Square during their visit to Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) **NEW ZEALAND OUT**

  • New Zealand Royals Visit

    Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at a ICC Cricket World Cup promotion in Latimer Square during their visit to Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) **NEW ZEALAND OUT**

  • Fashion Kate’s Whirlwind Wardrobe

    FILE – This is a Monday, April 14, 2014 file photo of Britain’s Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, as sheplays cricket in Latimer Square in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, April 14, 2014. Kateís dilemma: What to pack for a two-week trip, when your itinerary includes everything from state receptions and church services to toddler playdates and cricket games? For the Duchess of Cambridge, whoís rounding up her trip to Australia and New Zealand with husband Prince William and 8-month-old son George, there were additional sartorial dilemmas: Do royals take off their shoes at the beach? And whatís the most ladylike way to climb into a fighter jet while in a pencil dress and high heels? (AP Photo/Martin Hunter, Pool, FILE)

  • Kate Middleton

    Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, plays volleyball during a trip to the SportsAid Athlete Workshop in the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on October 17, 2013. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge plays volleyball during her visit to a Sportaid Athlete Workshop at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on October 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, plays volleyball during a trip to the SportsAid Athlete Workshop in the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on October 17, 2013. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) walks off the court after participating in a volleyball game during a trip to the SportsAid Athlete Workshop in the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on October 17, 2013. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laughs after participating in a volleyball game during a trip to the SportsAid Athlete Workshop in the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on October 17, 2013. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leaves after visiting the SportsAid Athlete Workshop in the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on October 17, 2013. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, plays volleyball during a trip to the SportsAid Athlete Workshop in the Copper Box at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London on October 17, 2013. (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge departs after attending a Sportaid Athlete Workshop at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on October 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge plays volleyball during her visit to a Sportaid Athlete Workshop at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on October 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Kate Middleton

    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a Sportaid Athlete Workshop at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on October 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • NEXT: Kate Middleton’s Style

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend The Tusk Conservation Awards

    LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Tusk Conservation Awards at The Royal Society on September 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

  • The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend The Tusk Conservation Awards

    LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Tusk Conservation Awards at The Royal Society on September 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

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