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Cross-training for Road Cyclists, when Reality Hits the Road.

May 2018
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Cross-training, for the avid enthusiast road cyclist, is important.  They say too much of a good thing, that would be cycling, can be bad.  Or somethin’.

Something about weight training, or weight bearing exercise comes to mind.  Heck, I think I wrote something about that way back when.  I was running back then, not because I was good at it, but because it kept the pounds off.  I only transitioned to cycling because running got a little boring.  At the time, running made sense as a cross-training tool.

Then I went all full-on avid cycling enthusiast and running, well running didn’t even take a back seat.  Running was following in the short bus five vehicles back from the back seat.

So here I am, and I have no problem getting on a bike daily to get my exercise in but there’s this nagging sliver in the back of my mind saying, “Well, ya gotta get your weight bearing exercise in, there big fella.”  So what’s an avid cycling enthusiast to do?!

 

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The Gravel Bike – the answer to the cross-training conundrum

There’s only one problem, at least for me; once the weather turns nice, and right now it is nice, I find it very difficult to pick a 23 pound gravel bike over a sub-sixteen pound super-bike.

Enter my friend, Chuck.  He’s a heck of a cyclist and he loves a wide array of cycling, from mountain biking, to gravel road cycling, to pure road cycling.  So we’re talking at the Tuesday Night Club Ride the other night and he invites me to a gravel grinder ride out east of Fenton…  It’s a tough ride, that one.  A plethora of steep, short, punchy climbs through the whole 27 mile dirt road track.

I almost thought of bailing yesterday, to ride the road rig, but ended up opting for the butt-kicking I was sure to get on the dirt bike.  In the end, I threw the gravel bike in the back of my car and got my butt bounced around for 27 miles on gravel roads, many of them washboard pothole strewn…

So, if you’re worried about issues arising from only riding on the road, give the gravel a try once in a while.  Choose the right roads and it’ll definitely bounce you around enough.

This has been a public service announcement from Fit Recovery.

 


13 Comments

  1. Brent says:

    Yeah, a gravel ride is a very different beast from a road ride, even though (to the uninitatied) the bikes look almost identical. Takes a lot more upper body strength to muscle a gravel bike through a ride, just like a mountain bike adventure, even if you’re not doing rooty singletrack and rock gardens.

    And it’s important to keep perspective: remember when, all those years ago, that cross-training for you was to drink beer on the off days when you didn’t drink Jack Daniels? (Me, I never cross trained; I always said I couldn’t be an alcoholic because I never drank hard liquor…)

  2. theandyclark says:

    There are a lot of ways to mix it up on the bike. You can go attack some serious hills or run fast along relative flat lands. You can go gravel or trail biking. You can push yourself into harder gears where you have trouble keeping the pace – I believe that’s what you do off season on the turbo. You can pick up some weight, which is what I do when I commute. You can moon your neighbor’s wife and see if you can outrun bullets.

    The possibilities are really endless.

  3. I need a true gravel bike. Don’t get that confused with want. It would help me transition back to road.. I have a difficult time getting back to riding road, after riding mountain bike.

  4. I do worry about bone density as I age. No way I’m taking up regular running through! 😂

  5. “Gravel grinder”…love it! That needs to be on the sign for the trail we tried to ride. We ended up walking our bikes uphill most of the time, but the ride out was soooooo much fun!

  6. […] via Cross-training for Road Cyclists, when Reality Hits the Road. — Fit Recovery […]

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