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Daily Archives: April 20, 2012

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Notes From The Fat Tire Saddle

In a departure this morning, I decided to take the fat tire bike out for a spin.  I’ve explained a hundred times over that I’m a speed freak, and therefore love my road bike.  I still maintain an affinity for my mountain bike but it doesn’t get near the attention that it did last summer.  Every once in a while, for my recovery rides, I love to take it out for a spin around the block – as I wrote a couple of posts ago, riding the fat tire bike just takes the expectation of cruising down the road at top speed out of the equation.  On the plate for this morning was something around a 15 mile cruise down the dirt roads.  There are a few things I noticed along the way.

1.  I forgot how nice the minimal traffic was – I think I saw four cars the whole hour I was gone.

2.  I also forgot what a workout on the glutes the fat tire bike is – holy cats!  Where the road bike is far more elegant, graceful and dynamic, the mountain bike is more about brute force.

3.  I was prepared to write that I’d actually lost a step or two by concentrating so much on the road bike – the first five miles headed south seemed incredibly slow, even taking the wider tires into account – then I realized I was headed into the breeze – lo how I missed our lady of aerodynamics – already.  On examining the data after my ride, they were actually fairly decent, considering the wind:  3:45 to 4:08.

4.  I missed the bumps.  I didn’t miss the soft saddle – the first ten miles were lovely, the last five and a half, not so much.

5.  I like the position of my back on the mountain bike – straight as a board.  I have to hunch ever so slightly to get lower on the road bike.

6.  The shorter crank arms felt weird!

7.  I enjoyed the scenery on the back roads a lot more – mostly because I wasn’t worrying about traffic.

I’ve written before that if one is looking to tone the legs and butt, then a mountain bike is the way to go if you don’t have a care either way which style of bike you ride (mountain or road).  For the purposes of this blog I don’t (and won’t) even talk about the leisure bike – daddy don’t do leisure, that’s for vacations.  Today’s ride really confirmed that, the posture on a mountain bike is more conducive to a toned butt – I’m in fantastic road bike shape, but that ride really worked my keister.

Overall Notes 15.46 miles in 57m:38s = 16.1 mph average.  Max speed 21 mph.

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Cycling Out Of Chest Pain

Before I got into cycling last year, I had a problem with chest pain.  Please don’t jump to conclusions (which I’d be likely to do after reading that opening line), my doctor is perfectly well aware of the condition, we had several discussions about it, and I had an EKG and an Ultrasound done just to make sure the ticker’s working correctly – and it absolutely is – no worries.  That said, this chest pain was bothersome.  It was almost non-existent for the most part on the weekends but it was a struggle to make it through a weekday without some odd feeling tension in my chest.  I could take several deep, calming breaths and the pain would subside, only to come back later on in the day.  As it turned out, I’m under so much stress (real or created – or both) and pressure, my body produced an abundance of adrenaline.  With no way to burn it off, it was causing chest pain.  There are very good, natural and completely explainable and understandable reasons for this stress – it has to do with my job and the path I chose as it pertains to my job.  Let’s just say in the last six years, my responsibilities have increased about ten-fold.  I love what I do, it’s just not easy (of course, if it was, anyone could do it).

That said, since I’ve added all of the extra miles, coupled with the sheer enjoyment of riding, that chest pain is all but gone.  In fact, even though the stress has escalated with the stagnation of the economy (though Michigan is admittedly doing a lot better than many other States) I’m doing much better on the adrenaline front.  Now I could go to the trouble of linking to a bunch of studies that show my results are not only typical, but expected – truthfully, this is not surprising nor is it rocket science (and I’ve already shown that many times over).

So as is usual, I’ll be suiting up today and heading out on the road, in pursuit of happiness, and relief.