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How to find the right bike and equipment for youSubmitted: 07/24/2016

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RHINELANDER - The 103rd Tour de France concluded Sunday in Paris. The race takes 23 days to complete, consisting of 21 stages and 2 break days. The bikers cover 2,200 miles.

Andre Greipel won Sunday's individual stage but the overall victory went to Britian's Chris Froome. Froome has won 3 of the last 4 and is a member of Team Sky.The final time for him was 4 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. He finished in 89 hours, six minutes and 48 seconds.

Now to put that kind of race into Northwoods terms, that's like riding from Rhinelander to Los Angeles.

If you're wanting to get involved in biking but not too sure where to start, here are some tips from Mitch Mode at Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

The bikes in the Tour de France are a little different than what you'll need for riding in Wisconsin.

"Most of those riders are using a bike similar to this. Drop bars, race style. This, plus about 12,000 will buy you a tour bike. But the reality is that most of the riders around here are going for a little more comfortable, maybe a little more versatile. Something that we might look at over here. One with a slightly wider tire, which is great for the roads around here," said Mode.

The roads aren't perfect here so you'll want something that can handle them.

"A bike like this, more of a hybrid type bike is what most people around here are really comfortable with. It's well suited to these roads and well suited to the conditions we have up here. It's a great ride," said Mode.

Since each body is a little different, you need to find the right frame.

"Better bike design will offer 4 or 5 or 6 different frame sizes. We're talking frame size, basically the metal part here to accommodate different size riders. We also have a large selection of women specific bikes these days. It's not just a cosmetic change, it's a frame that's a little more compact, better suited to a smaller frame rider," said Mode.

If you're going down the block or you're going to Minocqua, you want to have a comfortable seat.

"A seat that feels really soft and comfortable, overtime is not because you start to bottom out on that. And instead of being on a nice soft seat, you're slamming against the frame of the seat, much less comfortable," said Mode.

Now that you have the bike, you need the right clothes like jerseys and bike shorts.

"It is more comfortable, more padded in the seat, so it's far more comfortable to sit on for long times. They're tight like this so they don't chafe your legs. A bike jersey is unique. It transfers moisture off your skin well. Key thing is, it has a few pockets on the back. Power gels, goo, tool kit fits in there and gives you a nice ride experience. Gloves are padded in the palm. A lot of people have sore hands when they ride because of the pressure. The extra padding here gives you some cushioning, makes a harsh ride, much more forgiving," said Mode.

And don't forget about the little accessories...

"One of the things people need to have in the hot weather is a water bottle. Most bikes come with a fitting and a little cage that you can put on that holds the bottle. But if you're riding in the heat, and this time of year, you're riding in the heat, carry water with you, it's really important," said Mode.

Make sure you grab a helmet too, safety is key.

"Bike lights will give you visibility in low light conditions. They have some bike lights now that are designed for use in day light. Very bright, very aggressive. Safety is always a concern. And finally, a bike computer that will give you pretty accurate descriptions of time and distance and average speeds," said Mode.

Now you're ready to strap on your shoes and go for a ride.




Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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PELICAN LAKE - For the second year in a row, drag boat racers gathered in Pelican Lake on Saturday at Gerrit's Lakeview Inn, right on the water to test their skills.

The course was only 1,000 feet and boats reached neared 100 mph. The race drew people from all over, including Dane Esser from down in Cassville, Wisconsin. He likes coming up to Pelican Lake for this event for a lot of reasons.

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MERRILL - When you watch Merrill football, you can spot one player towering over the others.

That player is Jonathan Gruetzmacher, and he recently made a verbal commitment to play football at South Dakota State after this season.

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RHINELANDER - Fifteen-year-old Grace Petzold is the founder of the non-profit Graceful Wakes. She gives those with disabilities the opportunity to get out on the water. She came up with this idea after her mom, who uses a wheelchair, was given that same experience.

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FLORENCE - Anglers went looking for bass Saturday morning on the Twin Falls Flowage. John Landenberger won last year but with fishing conditions being unpredictable, his strategy doesn't always work.

"We have our morning spots and we have our afternoon spots and we try to hit those," Landenberger said. "You have to beat other people to them because there aren't really any secret spots on this body of water."

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MOLE LAKE - More than 130 Jeep drivers went off-roading in Mole Lake this weekend for a Jeep Jamboree event.

Each and every Jeep lined up and headed out on the trails Saturday morning. They were ready for a day full of obstacles. But first, they had to be properly trained.

"We teach them how to climb over logs, rocks, and get them through and how to off-road," said event coordinator John Lewins.

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THREE LAKES - In Three Lakes, pickleball is a 7-day a week sport. It's a way to stay in shape and have fun with friends while playing the game that's like tennis and ping pong combined.

This morning, they held a tournament that had 8 courts indoor and outdoor, and a total of 82 teams.

"First of all, pickleball is great exercise. Secondly, it's very social. Third, all ages can play together and men and women can play together and have a wonderful time," said tournament organizer Chuck Radtke.

Most people think the name of the game is a little funny and always wonder where that unique name came from.

"Pickleball gets its name, many say, from the inventor of the game in 1965 on an island off the state of Washington. The inventor had a dog by the name of pickles, so consequently, pickleball," said Radtke.

The club plays every day, free of charge and they are always open to having new players join them. They play on the tennis courts at Don Burnside Park.

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GLEASON - The end of a giant mud pit was the destination for drivers Saturday afternoon at the mud bog that's been going on for over 25 years. Even though hopes were set high to make it all the way, they mostly got stuck after about 30 feet. It's not very far, but drivers enjoy it because of the feeling they get behind the wheel.

"Adrenaline rush of seeing the mud going. And seeing who can get through the pit the fastest without going out of bounds or getting stuck," said driver Joe Mills.

Cars of all shapes and sizes can participate. Since it's not a far distance, one might think not a lot of work is required with the cars, but, think again. Drivers had to make sure their cars were cleaned out and ready to go for the race.

"I went through pretty much the whole top end, checked everything, checked all my fuel, filters, everything. A bunch of tuning and testing," said driver Jacob Gribble.

Teams travel from all around Wisconsin for the event. It mainly serves as a hobby for those who loves cars and adrenaline, but there are some cash prizes involved as well.

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

GREEN BAY - The Packers completed their second week of organized team activities this past week.

Green Bay is using some new drills too.

That's because the wide receiving squad has a new coach.

Luke Getsy is using bricks, Nerf balls, and juggling as tools for drills.

The Packers wide receiving core struggled last year.

Randall Cobb thinks the new mentality will help.

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GREEN BAY - The 2016 NFL Draft wrapped up Saturday.

The Green Bay Packers added seven players to their team:

Round one: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
Round two: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Round three: Kyler Fackrell, LB Utah St.
Round four: Blake Martinez, LB, Stanford; Dean Lowry, DE, Northwestern
Round five: Trevor Davis, WR, California
Round six: Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

The smallest player out of the group stands at 6'1"

Thompson says adding bulk was one of their goals.

"There are things you'd like to add to your team," says General Manager Ted Thompson. "Athletic ability, size, that sort of thing. We do think we were able to do that [Saturday]. You don't have to be big to play in the NFL, but it helps, and we were able to get some bigs on both sides of the ball."

It takes a lot of planning and focus to draft well, but Ted says the process is still far from over.

"It's easy to sit here and proclaim 'okay, everything's good,'" says Thompson. "Quite frankly, everything is just getting started. We've got an extraordinary amount of work and people to talk to and things to see over the course of the next 24-48 hours to get to the point where you start winding up the roster from the draft itself."

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MILWAUKEE - Adeiny Hechavarria had four hits, including one of four Miami solo home runs, to help the Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5 on Saturday night.

Giancarlo Stanton, Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna also homered as Miami won its seventh consecutive game. It is the longest winning streak for Miami since it won seven consecutive games May 1-7, 2012. The Marlins are 12-11, the first time they have been over .500 since being 64-63 on Aug. 22, 2014.

Wei-Yin Chen (2-1) allowed three runs with two walks and four strikeouts one night after the team took a combined no-hitter into the ninth inning.

David Phelps pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.

Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson (1-3) had his third consecutive subpar outing, allowing six runs in just 4 1/3 innings.

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MILWAUKEE - Maikel Franco homered twice and Aaron Nola pitched seven strong innings as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Friday night.

The Phillies snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Brewers.

Franco hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give Philadelphia a 4-1 lead. He blasted a solo shot over the Brewers bullpen in left in the seventh to stake the Phillies to a four-run lead.

Nola (1-2) allowed four hits and retired 11 consecutive batters at one point and 16 of 17 to close out his outing.

Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (0-2) surrendered four runs and nine hits over six innings.

The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the first on Chris Carter's run-scoring single. The Phillies tied the game in the fourth on Darin Ruf's RBI single.

The Brewers added a run in the ninth on consecutive doubles by Carter and Aaron Hill.

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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - Jaime Garcia pitched a one-hitter, allowing only Domingo Santana's lined single into right field with two outs in the sixth inning, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-0 Thursday.

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MILWAUKEE - Jimmy Nelson struck out nine in six innings, and the Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of early wildness by Houston ace Dallas Keuchel in a 3-2 win over the Astros on Sunday.

The AL Cy Young Award winner walked four in the first inning and gave up a two-run single to Aaron Hill. Keuchel (1-1) left with two outs in the sixth with a career high-tying six walks, including an intentional pass to Ryan Braun in the fourth.

Domingo Santana added an RBI double in the fourth for rebuilding Milwaukee, which took two of three in the interleague series against the AL West contenders.

Nelson (1-1) settled down after allowing a leadoff homer to deep left to Jose Altuve on the game's first pitch. Jeremy Jeffress pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - Khris Middleton scored 36 points and John Henson had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 109-108 overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

Jabari Parker added 15 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 14 to help the Bucks hold off the Sixers in OT.

Ish Smith hit a 3 and Hollis Thompson buried a 26-footer that pulled the Sixers to 109-108. The Sixers would miss three shots on their final possession.

Smith led the Sixers with 22 points and Nerlens Noel had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The Sixers made only 13 of their franchise-record 46 3-point attempts.

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