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Tour of California Expert Sources

May 14, 2010

The following UC Davis campus experts are available to discuss issues related to the Amgen Tour of California and cycling in general.

Bicycle design and cyclist performance

Maury Hull, a professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering and in the biomedical engineering program, directs ongoing cycling-related research programs at the UC Davis Biomechanical Engineering in Sports Laboratory. In 2008, Hull received the inaugural award from Bicycling Magazine for Excellence in Applied Science Research related to cycling. He is studying cycling biomechanics to optimize cyclist performance and prevent knee injuries as well as bicycle design to optimize structural components and suspensions. His research has been sponsored by industry leaders including Trek, Specialized, Shimano, GT and Rock Shox. Hull attended the Tour de France in 1992 for a special scientific symposium on cycling, and he has also been a competitive bike racer for 20 years. Contact: Maury Hull, mechanical and aeronautical engineering, (530) 752-6220 office, (530) 795-4788 home, mlhull@ucdavis.edu.

Nutrition and fitness

Nationally renowned nutrition and fitness authority Liz Applegate is an expert on the topics of eating and hydration for top athletic performance and exercise. An avid cyclist herself, she has published several books, including "Bounce Your Body Beautiful," "The Encyclopedia of Sports and Fitness Nutrition" and "Eat Smart, Play Hard." She has written more than 300 articles for national magazines, and is the nutrition editor and a columnist for Runner's World magazine. Applegate is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and a nutrition consultant for various U.S. Olympic and professional athletes. Contact: Liz Applegate, Nutrition, (530) 752-6682, eaapplegate.@ucdavis.edu. (Applegate is away from campus but can be reached by e-mail.)

Biomechanics, movement performance and injury prevention

UC Davis biomechanist David Hawkins is interested in understanding what influences skeletal muscle performance and human movement. His work at the UC Davis Human Performance Laboratory aims to develop tools and training strategies that can assist people afflicted with various musculoskeletal disorders, as well as prevent injury and maximize athletic performance. He can talk about properties of biological tissues (i.e. bone, ligament, tendon and muscle) and how they respond to exercise and disuse. Contact: David Hawkins, Exercise Biology, (530) 752-2748, dahawkins@ucdavis.edu.

Psychology of sports and team dynamics

Paul Salitsky, a UC Davis lecturer in exercise biology, studies the psychological aspects of sports and exercise. He specializes in sport and exercise psychology, sport sociology and motor learning, and has coached women's volleyball at the international, club and NCAA Division I level. Salitsky, an avid runner and cyclist, has conducted more than 250 clinics and workshops on the mental skills needed for performance success. A certified consultant for the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), Salitsky has been listed on the U.S. Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology Registry since 2000. Also in 2000, he was selected to join the Sport Psychology Committee for USA Track & Field. Salitsky's recent research interests have been in the area of mental-skills training for cancer patients and survivors; in 2002, he survived non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Contact: Paul Salitsky, Exercise Biology, (530) 752-3381, pbsalitsky@ucdaivs.edu.

Biomechanics and physiology in cycling

Judd Van Sickle Jr. is a biomechanist and physiologist for the UC Davis Sports Medicine and Sports Performance Program. He is a Category 1 competitive cyclist and a USA Cycling Level 1 coach, and coaches the UC Davis cycling team. Van Sickle received a master’s degree in biomedical engineering with an emphasis in cycling biomechanics from UC Davis in 2003. He will speak about cycling biomechanics and injury prevention at the "2nd Science of Cycling Symposium," to be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 16, in the Natsoulas Gallery in Davis. He also can discuss what it takes to race and be successful in cycling events like the Amgen Tour of California. Contact: Judd Van Sickle Jr., Sports Medicine Program, (916) 734-2992, judd.vansickle@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.

Genetics, pharmaceutics and endurance

Matthew Wood, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, directs ongoing research on the perception of and protection against oxidative stress and other toxic compounds in our bodies. Oxidative stress is known for playing a role in certain diseases and the aging process. He was a presenter at last year’s “Science of Cycling Symposium,” in which he discussed recent advances in antioxidants, health and regulation of energy metabolism. This year, he will serve as moderator of the "2nd Science of Cycling Symposium," to be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 16, in the Natsoulas Gallery in Davis. Contact: Matthew Wood, Environmental Toxicology, at (530) 754-2271, mjwood@ucdavis.edu.

Bicycling behavior and community planning

Civil engineer and regional planning expert Susan Handy is director of UC Davis’ Sustainable Transportation Center and a professor of Environmental Science and Policy. She studies the relationships between transportation and land use. Handy says that communities need to not only invest in bike lanes and bike paths but also must commit to programs that help people become more comfortable with bicycling. In a recent study on “Fifty Years of Bicycle Policy in Davis,” Handy and colleagues found that the percentage of UC Davis students biking to campus dropped from 80 percent in 1977 to about 50 percent in 2007. Handy is now digging deeper into community bicycle use and is investigating bicycling behavior in Davis, Woodland, Chico and Turlock as well as in two other college towns: Eugene, Ore., and Boulder, Colo. The study is intended to help transportation planners better understand how to encourage bicycle use. Contact: Susan Handy, (530) 752-5878, slhandy@ucdavis.edu.

Stopping bicycle theft

With so many bicycles in Davis and on the UC Davis campus, bicycle theft is a concern. Lt. Matt Carmichael of the UC Davis Police Department recommends simple steps to protect your ride: Make a note of the serial number; register your bicycle with your local city or campus; and always lock your bicycle to a fixed object. But remember that bicycle locks can be defeated, so if you have a valuable bicycle bring it indoors. Contact: Matt Carmichael, UC Davis Police Department, (530) 979-0204, mecarmichael@ucdavis.edu.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 32,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $600 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

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