Caffeine:  The Legal Performance Enhancer?

Caffeine: The Legal Performance Enhancer?

By Linda Lindsay The International Olympic Committee maintains a long and thorough list of substances banned for athletic use. But in 2004, they removed the psychoactive, performance-enhancing drug known as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine from the list. The IOC wasn’t crazy; they just realized that the drug, commonly known as caffeine, had become a ubiquitous part of everyday life and culture for millions of people around the world. As a result, athletes are now permitted to consume caffeine in doses that approximate drinking about five cups of coffee per day. In the U.S., about 90 percent of adults partake in caffeine daily, in the form of coffee, tea, cocoa, soda, energy drinks and chocolate. Caffeine not only boosts our alertness and productivity – it also makes us happy. That may be reason enough to indulge, but science is providing even more excuses to continue our daily habit; for many conditions, it appears, caffeine...
After the Plows, Before the Crowds

After the Plows, Before the Crowds

Each spring for a few days cyclists can ride Tioga Pass, sans autos, into Yosemite’s still snowbound high country Story and photos by Matt Johanson Touring from Tioga Pass through Tuolumne Meadows and past Tenaya Lake Exploring Yosemite’s snowbound high country, quiet and deserted, richly rewards hardy trekkers who labor to reach it in winter. Though there’s also much to like about the easy access mountain roads provide in summer. These two elements come together for just a few days each year, and for bicycling and Yosemite lovers, it’s a trip to savor. Between the annual snowplowing of Tioga Pass Road and the highway’s opening to motor traffic a few days later exists a short window of golden opportunity. Grand views of snow-covered peaks, the chance to cycle a breathtakingly scenic route without the threat and noise from automobiles and RVs, and a warm and comfortable cabin are a few...
Epicenter of Good Friction

Epicenter of Good Friction

Returning to the winter climbing mecca of Joshua Tree, where their knot was first tied, couple finds solitude a bit harder to come by Words and photos by Bruce Willey Caroline Schaumann climbs Headstone Rock in the evening light. Trust the friction. I’m three or four body lengths above the last bolt, but who’s counting? All I know is if I my foot blows on this tenuous smear I’m going to go for the long slide. Trust the friction, my brain tells my climbing shoe again. Then inch up slowly in balance. There just might be a handhold above. But there isn’t. Just an odious penny-pinching crimp of a hold. Here’s to the joys of a Joshua Tree 5.10 slab. A place where the cheap-ass, bad-asses of yore found it necessary to add a little spice to each climb by drilling ground-up and adding as few bolts as necessary. Then...
Seeking Mojo at Glacier Point

Seeking Mojo at Glacier Point

Can a winter ski trip to “the edge of the world” reinvigorate a cancer-weary spirit? By Robert Frohlich The author looking for good juju. Photo: Hank de Vre. You start out striding on groomed track from Yosemite’s Badger Pass towards Glacier Point, watching the world recede, thinking how appropriate it is after a year of heartache and turmoil to be soaking in only evanescent vignettes of backcountry along the wide trail. As society’s stress begins to rush away, things switch to a glow engulfed by one of the greatest spots on the planet where time becomes magically languid, if not, well, a fluid concept. Yosemite in winter feels good. I mean like really good, like better than graduating off probation or noticing the laugh from a girl’s fingertip. At times it transcends any rational discussion, because, really, it’s a wonderland that’s anything but rational. Like Martin Sheen says in “Apocalypse...
Leave Your Pajamas at Home

Leave Your Pajamas at Home

Got an itch to ride a 24-hour race solo? The trick is making it to dawn By Jesse Smith Topping out on last climb on lap nine, two and a half hours from the finish. Photo: © ScottRichPics.com If you’ve sampled 24-hour racing as a competitor on a relay team, you’ve probably entertained the thought of racing a 24-hour race solo. Once you’ve tasted the odd mixture of pain, celebration, delirium and camaraderie, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the thought of attempting the whole enchilada yourself. During my first 24-hour relay race at Laguna Seca in 2007, I clearly remember my impression of the soloists riding in the midnight fog. They appeared to me as ghosts as I passed them, slowly and quietly inching their way through the darkness. Their private struggle, the seeming nobility of riding alone through the night, independent and self-reliant, like the heroic loner...
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