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Tips for Cyclists
#1
Just joined and thought I'd share some off the things I've learned... or think I've learned! Look forward to reading your feedback... Training, Tires, Saddles & Safety
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#2
(05-01-2024, 12:38 PM)Qwerty Wrote:  Just joined and thought I'd share some off the things I've learned... or think I've learned! Look forward to reading your feedback... Training, Tires, Saddles & Safety

Pretty good article that covers the basics, we actually have a term that we use for "long slow" slow rides which is called Zone 2 or base Training, recently there have been studies that point that this type of riding or workout actually make you way stronger too. It sounds weird but these studies mostly point to training slow to go fast, a lot of athletes in the pro peloton now also put an emphasis on this type of training.
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#3
Thanks @Qwerty for linking that article. As with many things relating to physical fitness and training, much is dependent on one's own unique anatomy and physiology including setting up a bike for an individual use. It is good to have a general starting point and then adjust for your personal needs. Maintaining a decent level of activity that incorporates the entire body is always a good thing. Cross training in different disciplines helps keep the entire body in shape, but often it is not possible if you have injuries that do not allow it or facilities (swimming pools, gyms etc.) to enable you to do everything needed. That can also apply to certain training since some of us do not have hills to climb (I live in Florida) which help work out different muscles. I have extreme trouble going north to my old home and doing the mountain climb without having properly developed my body for those conditions. It takes me about 2 weeks of hill training to get back up to speed, but that is lost once I hit the flatlands for the next 6 months (I try to find bridges, and climb parking garages just to get something to ascend).

Overall, a very good article and worthy of reading, but this one thing stuck out as a possible issue since it may not apply to everywhere; and I had never heard of it, nor do I do it when driving. As stated: "A large percentage of motorists don't know they are legally required to get into the bike lane when they are approaching a cross street where they intend to turn right." As far as I know in my State vehicles are required to avoid travelling in a bike lane unless allowing an emergency vehicle to pass. If making a right hand turn the vehicle must travel up to the turn in the normal travel lane until reaching the intersection where you would cross the bike lane, but not actually travel in it. If there is a dedicated turn lane you would cross over the bike lane to enter the turn lane, but once in it the bike lane going straight should be unimpeded by vehicular traffic (unfortunately if many cars are needing to turn right there may be a blockage of the bike lane). I just completed my commute today where the bike lane disappears just before reaching a round-about (I have 3 in about 1/4 mile; I do not know why it was done that way!) and I need to enter the normal traffic lane or be run into the curbing. I hate this both as a cyclist and a driver since I know I either need to slow down to obtain a spot behind a vehicle within the traffic flow which now reduces my speed and interferes with traffic behind me, or speed my butt up to obtain a spot in front of a vehicle which I do not like to do either. I know my body's capability and generally speed up since I can travel faster than the vehicles through the rotary, but vehicles entering into it from other points are now a hazard because I have to brake to avoid colliding with them while often having another vehicle right on my butt. Yes, I like not having to stop, but it is rather precarious, and really dangerous when wet where I have had many close calls over the years (still no accidents, but I chalk that up to experience and luck). Also, many drivers still think they need to stop before entering a rotary even if no other traffic is present or entering the rotary and I have nearly rear-ended cars while trying to maintain my speed to avoid cars hitting me from behind. If someone has a rule about vehicles having to enter a bike lane before reaching the intersection for a right hand turn I would like to know where that is because I will avoid it. I do not ride on sidewalks; they seem to cluttered with debris and/or are not in good enough condition for suitable riding (some areas do not allow it anyways).
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#4
Here is my commuting cross-training tip of the day for those riding in 93°F/70%RH such as I did today: cycling and weightlifting (16 oz. curls).

   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#5
(05-01-2024, 12:38 PM)Qwerty Wrote:  Just joined and thought I'd share some off the things I've learned... or think I've learned! Look forward to reading your feedback... Training, Tires, Saddles & Safety

Wow you've got a lot of good stuff in there!
Do you have any advice on how to engage your glutes more while riding?
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#6
(05-01-2024, 12:38 PM)Qwerty Wrote:  Just joined and thought I'd share some off the things I've learned... or think I've learned! Look forward to reading your feedback... Training, Tires, Saddles & Safety

Wow! A lot of great points in that article.

I aim for Zone 2, which I think is analogous to your "Fartlek." I do this both because it's more in line with my long-term needs and I'm not supposed to exceed HR of 150 (doctor's orders). The other day I inadvertently managed to hit 192 a couple of times. My brain is too addicted to intensity. *crying*
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#7
@enkei that's why I avoid the Dr's office; I'm afraid he/she will tell me to slow down at my age. I was hospitalized (at the hospital I work at!) for kidney failure due to dehydration a couple years ago during a 40 mile commute to work. Medical staff was freaking out that I was riding that far and then going to work for 9+ hrs. IV for a day and a half; jumped out of bed and rode away on my bike before they could stop me.

@Amanda_W change saddle position. I actually do it while riding (front to back, I do not have a dropper post), but with my body moving position not the actual saddle. I will slide forward a little (1/4"- 3/8") and cycle a few miles and slide back for a few. I can feel a little difference and it spreads the work out a bit between muscle groups. I am still comfortable in either position whether riding high or in the drops. Moving the saddle up and works I guess but I like my leg angle to stay the same during the stroke to be consistent. A little forward or back does not seem to affect my leg angle enough for my stroke to feel odd. I like to be comfortable and I think sometimes the emphasis on adjusting your bike and/or riding style is more than what is needed for most riders. Ride in a position with the bike adjusted for your comfort. You cannot properly workout all the muscles by riding a bike. You need to be active in different ways. At work I always take the stairs; 2 at a time going up (no bouncing or rushed effort, just a slow steady press), 1 at a time going down (again slowly giving a little resistance against your weight). Occassionally, I will do 3 steps at a time, but tough on my shorter legs and injured hip). A little running and a lot of walking help round me out.

Today I did some LSD to calm down after a horrible week at work. Resigning from my job after 10 yrs this week! Looking forward to doing more LSD! LSD= Long Slow Distance; I attempt to maintain the same speed regardless of gear and terrain; no standing for the hills, just spinning at higher cadence to climb. Average speed 15mph. It works well for me for training on the short rolling hills in north Florida.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#8
(06-03-2024, 01:42 AM)Jesper Wrote:  @enkei that's why I avoid the Dr's office; I'm afraid he/she will tell me to slow down at my age. I was hospitalized (at the hospital I work at!) for kidney failure due to dehydration a couple years ago during a 40 mile commute to work. Medical staff was freaking out that I was riding that far and then going to work for 9+ hrs. IV for a day and a half; jumped out of bed and rode away on my bike before they could stop me.

Thanks, Jesper. In my case it's because of paroxysmal AF, which has in the past provided me with a comfy 2-night stay in ICU. Once the use of cold ablation has expanded a bit here in the UK, I plan to try and have that done. Then I won't have to worry about HR anymore.
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#9
@Jesper, I LOVE that story. I, too, hate doctors and avoid them at all costs. My dad is a doctor, and so were many folks in my family. I worked in biotech, and I avoided medication and doctors at all costs. I swear I was laughing out loud reading your post. :-) Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.

My family thinks I am torturing my body too much. My dad kept telling me to buy a car so that I could provide business to his profession eventually. :-) I rode through the deep winters of Boston and then long distances, just to keep doctors away.

@enkei, what's your average HR, and could you please provide some info on these HR zones? My resting HR is in the 30s-40s, while when I push myself, it goes up to the 180s or sometimes above, and I just "love" that feeling of my chest beating hard. Sadly, my style of long-distance biking rarely gives me that feeling, so it's during runs when I push myself. I am curious about the zones, though, as my Strava sometimes gives me that info, but I rarely pay attention to it.

Thanks again for bringing out that anecdote from Jesper. :-)


(06-03-2024, 01:42 AM)Jesper Wrote:  @enkei that's why I avoid the Dr's office; I'm afraid he/she will tell me to slow down at my age. I was hospitalized (at the hospital I work at!) for kidney failure due to dehydration a couple years ago during a 40 mile commute to work. Medical staff was freaking out that I was riding that far and then going to work for 9+ hrs. IV for a day and a half; jumped out of bed and rode away on my bike before they could stop me.

@Amanda_W change saddle position. I actually do it while riding (front to back, I do not have a dropper post), but with my body moving position not the actual saddle. I will slide forward a little (1/4"- 3/8") and cycle a few miles and slide back for a few. I can feel a little difference and it spreads the work out a bit between muscle groups. I am still comfortable in either position whether riding high or in the drops. Moving the saddle up and works I guess but I like my leg angle to stay the same during the stroke to be consistent. A little forward or back does not seem to affect my leg angle enough for my stroke to feel odd. I like to be comfortable and I think sometimes the emphasis on adjusting your bike and/or riding style is more than what is needed for most riders. Ride in a position with the bike adjusted for your comfort. You cannot properly workout all the muscles by riding a bike. You need to be active in different ways. At work I always take the stairs; 2 at a time going up (no bouncing or rushed effort, just a slow steady press), 1 at a time going down (again slowly giving a little resistance against your weight). Occassionally, I will do 3 steps at a time, but tough on my shorter legs and injured hip). A little running and a lot of walking help round me out.

Today I did some LSD to calm down after a horrible week at work. Resigning from my job after 10 yrs this week! Looking forward to doing more LSD! LSD= Long Slow Distance; I attempt to maintain the same speed regardless of gear and terrain; no standing for the hills, just spinning at higher cadence to climb. Average speed 15mph. It works well for me for training on the short rolling hills in north Florida.
  Reply
#10
(06-06-2024, 01:55 PM)GirishH Wrote:  @enkei, what's your average HR, and could you please provide some info on these HR zones? My resting HR is in the 30s-40s, while when I push myself, it goes up to the 180s or sometimes above, and I just "love" that feeling of my chest beating hard. Sadly, my style of long-distance biking rarely gives me that feeling, so it's during runs when I push myself. I am curious about the zones, though, as my Strava sometimes gives me that info, but I rarely pay attention to it.

Your resting HR is amazingly low! What do you mean by average HR?

You can find info about HR zones here. Zone 2 training has been quite fashionable lately, but I'm not sure if there's actually any solid science behind it. I only aim for what is my Zone 2 because it's in line with doctor's orders since I first developed AF.
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#11
@GirishH well it has been said that laughter is the best medicine. You may very well be "torturing" your body; but sitting idle behind a steering wheel or desk is actually doing much more harm than riding a bike. Where I work I see people retire after being active due to their jobs which require standing and movement throughout the day. After retirement many pass on fairly quickly since they are no longer actively engaged on a physical and mental level. Cycling engages mind, body, and soul. My afterwork rides, be they 5 miles or more, are cathartic for me; I can feel that "evil sludge" slipping away. When I do not ride my body and mind are not releasing the "toxins of life" which build up. Since I tend to be somewhat asocial the solitude of biking lets my mind travel and my body release. I am certainly not implying that cycling is cure-all, but it is much better than doing nothing.

Seriously though, certain medical conditions do require proper treatment and monitoring, even then as @enkei has related, he is much better off being active than to be avoiding activities all together. At my work we see an increasing amount of adult onset diabetes, and with few exceptions doctors that I know of are not telling their patients to less active (being idle is often the cause of that ailment and others); but instead tell patients to be as active as they can. Most folks do not understand that their work often translates into hours of exercise; but one must consciously realize that fact in their minds to get the true benefit from their daily work activities.
A study done on some service workers tested their blood pressure, heart rates, blood sugar, O2 saturation, weight, etc. and broke them up into 2 groups. Both groups performed the same kind of work. One group was not told anything other than to go about their daily tasks. The other group was educated on the fact that every day they were walking X amount of miles, lifting X amount of weight, bending, reaching, and climbing which engaged certain muscle groups, all of which equated to doing the same thing in a gym for X amount of minutes. They were told to think of their jobs as exercise and not drudgery. Not long after both groups were rechecked for the same tests as before. Group 1's tests came back as nearly the same or even worse from their original readings. When the second group was checked they found that their numbers got better (lower blood pressure, lower weight, etc.) and when interviewed stated that they felt better with some able to reduce or eliminate their medications. Always be aware that even the most menial tasks are benficial if thought of as such, as opposed to being thought of as drudgery.
Stay active, think healthy, stay healthy!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#12
Sage words, dear @Jesper. Good for the Heart, mind, and body!

(06-07-2024, 05:06 PM)Jesper Wrote:  @GirishH well it has been said that laughter is the best medicine. You may very well be "torturing" your body; but sitting idle behind a steering wheel or desk is actually doing much more harm than riding a bike. Where I work I see people retire after being active due to their jobs which require standing and movement throughout the day. After retirement many pass on fairly quickly since they are no longer actively engaged on a physical and mental level. Cycling engages mind, body, and soul. My afterwork rides, be they 5 miles or more, are cathartic for me; I can feel that "evil sludge" slipping away. When I do not ride my body and mind are not releasing the "toxins of life" which build up. Since I tend to be somewhat asocial the solitude of biking lets my mind travel and my body release. I am certainly not implying that cycling is cure-all, but it is much better than doing nothing.

Seriously though, certain medical conditions do require proper treatment and monitoring, even then as @enkei has related, he is much better off being active than to be avoiding activities all together. At my work we see an increasing amount of adult onset diabetes, and with few exceptions doctors that I know of are not telling their patients to less active (being idle is often the cause of that ailment and others); but instead tell patients to be as active as they can. Most folks do not understand that their work often translates into hours of exercise; but one must consciously realize that fact in their minds to get the true benefit from their daily work activities.
A study done on some service workers tested their blood pressure, heart rates, blood sugar, O2 saturation, weight, etc. and broke them up into 2 groups. Both groups performed the same kind of work. One group was not told anything other than to go about their daily tasks. The other group was educated on the fact that every day they were walking X amount of miles, lifting X amount of weight, bending, reaching, and climbing which engaged certain muscle groups, all of which equated to doing the same thing in a gym for X amount of minutes. They were told to think of their jobs as exercise and not drudgery. Not long after both groups were rechecked for the same tests as before. Group 1's tests came back as nearly the same or even worse from their original readings. When the second group was checked they found that their numbers got better (lower blood pressure, lower weight, etc.) and when interviewed stated that they felt better with some able to reduce or eliminate their medications. Always be aware that even the most menial tasks are benficial if thought of as such, as opposed to being thought of as drudgery.
Stay active, think healthy, stay healthy!
  Reply
#13
(06-08-2024, 12:27 PM)enkei Wrote:  Sage words, dear @Jesper. Good for the Heart, mind, and body!

I remember when I first heard of that study years ago. These people were not athletes or even anything akin to someone who occassionally goes to the gym.
I thought to myself; wow, how can I apply that to my own life.
Next thing I did was to use my mind as a way to train my body's activity to being a way of training in a physical sense, and in turn mental improvement too. I now refer to my workplace as a gym (people think I'm nuts!) and even take some tasks as an added opportunity to create a more phiysical effort (e.g. lift a box of copier paper and then do a few resistance curls with it while walking; stairway training; walking from the parking garage with a purpose of exercise in mind, etc.).
I then applied it to my cycling activities; e.g. this isn't a commute this is combat zone interval training. I am not heavy (5'6" ish 140-145 lbs), but I could see and feel the benefits as I lost a little weight and improved heart rate and blood pressure. It blew my mind since I always figured if I wasn't out on the road pounding away for 20 to 30 miles I was loosing conditioning. Afterwards in the following years when I was not cycling for a variety of reasons over an extended period of time I was still staying in decent shape and could hop on the bike for 2 or 3 hours and not notice much difference within reason (still had build up my saddle butt again, otherwise no issues). Even when cycling longer distances I think about what a specific muscle or group is doing as if watching an anatomical movie in my head. It became a different way of meditating on the road; odd because I always did that in my other jobs in visualizing electrical, water, and airflow. I became the electron, the water molecule, a particle floating in the air. Now I am a blood cell flying to different muscles, transporting oxygen, etc. which I find rather fun and a great distraction on those tough or boring rides. Next thing I know ride over, mission accomplished! It even helps during my post "cool down" after a hot ride; makes the process quicker and I feel less fatugued.

The mind truly is a terrible thing to waste; but so is a good porter ale!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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