Friday, July 20, 2018
Health

Is a bike on someone's holiday wish list? Let the good times roll

On Christmas morning, there isn't much that rivals the visual impact of a shiny new bicycle wrapped in nothing more than a big, red bow.

Recent years have seen massive mergers and acquisitions in the bicycle-building industry, leading both cycling enthusiasts and market analysts to speculate as to what the future holds. While many fear that consolidation of this nature leads to stifled creativity in design and fewer choices for the consumer, all indications (at least at the present time) seem to be pointing in the other direction, with innovation definitely on the rise and prices at an all-time low for some of the better entry-level bicycles.

Just as in car buying, the cost of buying a bicycle can vary widely. Here are a few offerings.

One bikemaker, Cannondale, has added a number of new builds and categories to its catalog in recent years, but the most notable news from the well-respected company is on the price tag. While Cannondale still sells many models costing well over $1,000 and continues to cater to the hard-core enthusiast and high-end racing markets, it has introduced some entry-level models geared toward beginners, kids and novice riders.

The Catalyst line of sport-mountain bikes starts at $440 and has four models ranging in price up to $710. The most popular, so far, is the bright Neon Spring (yellow) Catalyst 3, which comes equipped with an excellent array of components, front and rear disc brakes and a sticker price of $490. Cannondale now also offers a popular line of kids' bikes in 16-, 20- and 24-inch models, with the Trail 16, for boys or girls, starting at $260. To get a list of local dealers or to purchase online, go to cannondale.com.

Some innovative new designs in cycling include "urban" bikes that are ridden in a more upright position, as well as models that the rider steps onto almost like one would step into a walk-in bathtub. But the most popular of the newer innovations is definitely the "Fat Bike." The main difference between the "Fat Bike" and traditional bicycles (and the one that's most immediately noticeable) is the extra-large tires. At first glance, it may look as if someone put motorcycle tires on a bicycle, but there is a definite function to this form. Originally designed for slippery conditions such as wet terrain and roadways, snow and sand, these bikes have grown steadily in popularity.

In a description for its El Oso line of Fat Bikes, Diamondback explains, "the amazing float and traction provided by these big-tired beasts opens up whole new realms of cycling fun." The El Oso line features five models, including the El Oso Nino 20 for kids ($550) and the El Oso Grande ($1,700). Visit diamondback.com to learn more.

And perhaps the most important innovation of all in the cycling industry isn't in what you ride, but in what you wear. The same technology that's used in NASCAR and NFL helmets and head restraints can now be found in cycling helmets. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, which is a leading slip-plane technology inside the helmet developed by brain surgeons and scientists to reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head. This technology can dramatically lessen the occurrence of brain injury in a serious fall and looks to be a design staple for the future. The FL-1 with MIPS from Bern retails for $119. And while that might seem a little pricey for a cycling helmet, the safety benefits far outweigh the cost. The website is bernunlimited.com.

Happy holidays and happy riding.

Contact Will McCormick at [email protected]

     
Comments
When suicide threats come calling: ‘I try to make a connection.’

When suicide threats come calling: ‘I try to make a connection.’

TAMPA — At first glance, it’s a typical office with more than a dozen cubicles under florescent lights. The operators wear headsets and stare into computer screens, some tinkering with handheld toys, others browsing Facebook or chatting with colleagu...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Sarasota man dies from infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters

Sarasota man dies from infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters

A Sarasota man died of an infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters.The bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, is often associated with eating raw or under-cooked shellfish or entering into warm coastal waters with exposed wounds.The 71-year-old Sara...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18
Soy, almond ‘milk’ don’t come from a cow, so they may soon be called ‘drinks’

Soy, almond ‘milk’ don’t come from a cow, so they may soon be called ‘drinks’

NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks don’t come from cows, so regulators may soon ask them to stop calling themselves "milk." The Food and Drug Administration is signaling that it plans to start enforcing a federal standard that defines "milk" as coming ...
Published: 07/18/18
Florida nursing homes have enough staff, numbers show. But the state has shortages in other areas.

Florida nursing homes have enough staff, numbers show. But the state has shortages in other areas.

In most places across America, nursing homes are facing an acute shortage of workers to take care of the country’s growing population of aging and disabled patients. But not in Florida. A Kaiser Family Foundation report published this month found tha...
Published: 07/17/18
So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

So far, so good. Doctors at Tampa General find success with a device that fights often-fatal aneurysms

TAMPA — Dr. Murray Shames holds a flexible, lightweight tube as wide as two garden hoses pushed together in his office at Tampa General Hospital. The polyester tube, and its thinner fastening branches with metal wiring, will be attached inside someon...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/16/18
Sunday Conversation: Sherry Hoback looks to move Tampa Family Health Centers to the next level

Sunday Conversation: Sherry Hoback looks to move Tampa Family Health Centers to the next level

TAMPA — Taking over for an administrator who has run a company for almost 20 years can be daunting. • But Sherry Hoback prepared for some time to replace Charles Bottoms as CEO of the Tampa Family Health Centers, a non-profit organization that operat...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/15/18
How can City Hall improve our health? A new push in Pinellas hopes to show the way.

How can City Hall improve our health? A new push in Pinellas hopes to show the way.

The charitable organization that owns a 20 percent stake in St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Health hospital is working with local governments to improve the public’s health, part of a strategy to make a difference in new and often subtle ways. The Foundati...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18
New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure

New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure

The government is threatening to close one of the country’s largest "organ procurement organizations" for poor performance, a rare move against a nonprofit group that collects kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs used in transplantation.In a lett...
Published: 07/11/18
Retirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors

Retirement communities turn their sights on a once-invisible group: LGBT seniors

In 2016, as Kenneth MacLean was about to turn 90 and was looking to move to a retirement community, he had a question for Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Maryland."I asked, ‘Would there be many gays here? Would gays be welcomed?’ " MacLean,...
Published: 07/09/18
The other victims: First responders to horrific events often suffer in solitude

The other victims: First responders to horrific events often suffer in solitude

The day a gunman fired into a crowd of 22,000 people at the country music festival in Las Vegas, hospital nursing supervisor Antoinette Mullan was focused on one thing: saving lives.She recalls dead bodies on gurneys across the triage floor, a trauma...
Published: 07/09/18