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The humble cycling computer…
If you don’t know how fast you’re going, you have no idea whether you’re crushing the wills of your friends, doing them right, or babying them. Worse, you have no way of tempering your pace when you are riding with slower cyclists so you don’t bury them.
I capped off a perfect week of cycling with an easy club ride yesterday followed by a cookout/potluck for the club in my backyard. We had one of the craziest mixes of cyclists I’ve ever ridden with – four B’s, three C’s, a D and two E’ s (!). Heading into the wind, it was easy to keep the pace reasonable and I took advantage of the best characteristic of a strong headwind: It kills those at the front while the cyclists in the back get an awesome free ride. My first turn at the front, in a double pace line, lasted ten miles. I never rode at the back, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
After we got the whole group out of the headwind we split the group up. B’s and C’s in one group, D and E’s in the other – and we picked up the pace.
Before long it was tailwind time and it was all good all the way home. We ended up with 35-1/2 miles at 17.8 mph – an excellent, moderate to easy ride to cap off a perfect 250 mile week.
Then there was the cookout after. Burgers, hotdogs, garden burgers, coleslaw, salads and desert…. and fellowship.
Witnessed yesterday, live and in person, picture this:
A man rides down a short, steep hill. One hand on the hood, feathering the brake, the other holding a can of beer. He picks up speed coming down the hill (I needed and used both brakes) and promptly hit a spray paint marked speed bump at what looked to be 15 to 20 mph.
Long story short, he stopped his bike the rest of the way with his face.
On hitting the speed bump, the rider’s front wheel turned instantly following the line of the speed bump, launching him over the handlebar and planting him on his nose and chin. He slid on his face for several feet, removing a fair bit of skin from his nose and chin in the process.
As he sat there on the ground bleeding on the pavement, another cyclist walked over with a half-crushed can, head oozing from the can’s opening and hands it to the dazed man… who says, “You didn’t spill all of your beer.” It was priceless.
The injured man finished the ride on his bike. The crash was at mile 60(ish) of 100. One could hardly call the crash an “accident”.
My friends, please don’t ride stupid. The idea is to keep the rubber side down. Oh, and if drinking and driving a car don’t mix, you have to be worthy of the Darwin Award to ride a bike and drink.
Stupid is as stupid does, Forrest.
On a brighter note:
I can’t remember the last time we knew it was going to be a white Christmas in southeastern Michigan. A few years ago the temperature went below 18 degrees on the 18th of November and it didn’t rise above that point again until late February but we had sparse snow until January. I remember this because it’s tied to my sobriety anniversary.
This winter is a different story:
This year, we’re getting pounded. Record cold, lots of snow.
Last year, while it was cold, we were at least cycling into January. This year, without picking up a fat bike and some studded tires, we’re stuck inside on the trainers:
There are obviously worse places to be… After suffering a sprained ankle at work a couple of weeks ago, I still haven’t regained full range of motion. On the other hand, I only took one day off riding. It was painful, cycling, but not ridiculously so.
A few points on that front:
1. I truly believe that, were it not for the stability/strength of my legs created by cycling, the sprain would have been much worse. I’ve sprained my ankles in the past, much worse, wrenching them less violently.
2. I was pain-free after a couple of weeks, standard for a decent sprain. I did, and didn’t, “listen to my body”. I iced my ankle withing three hours of an unsuccessful attempt at “walking it off”. The walking didn’t help, the icing did, immensely. I didn’t listen to common practice and take a week, or more, off. The way the ankle felt after intermittent icing for the entire afternoon/evening didn’t warrant being laid up.
3. Recovery is to blame for this way of doing things. I learned that truth is not always comfortable, or what I want. I learned that honesty is the easiest path to happiness…
All too often I see people and read of people overusing injury to warrant lethargy. It is indeed rare to see someone work around ailments to stay fit.
I am afflicted, as most are, with that melon committee member who constantly advocates doing less, pushes for more couch time, more food, more fat, and an easier gear on my bicycle. I know the difference between listening to my body and listening to the committee. I know my enemy.
There are, without question, those ailments that require rest. Not many can’t be worked around though. Besides, I want to drop below a 2,200 calorie a day diet like I want a hit in the head.
So, I’ll hit the hamster wheel once again, sometime this morning, because in a little more than two months, it’s going to be spring again and I will be ready to enjoy riding the roads with my friends once again. Doing what I love requires that I am fit, and I won’t miss a beat.
To do that, I’m willing to put up with a little pain and boredom on the trainer because I know one important truth:
The only thing more painful than exercise and exertion is sitting it out.
One final note: Yesterday was Fit Recovery’s fifth anniversary. Pretty cool methinks.
Trigger (heh) Warning: This post isn’t for weak-kneed, lilly-livered whiners. It isn’t for diaper wetters who would rather sit in a pissed-in diaper than change it. This is a post for big boys and girls. Buck up, camper. I do apoligize for the title. It’s click-bait. You have been Trigger (heh) Warned.
F@CK! I know a guy. Dude is fat, lazy, full of excuses. He’s a pretty great person and he is going to die soon. His body is starting to shut down on him.
I’ve wanted to shake him violently and slap him a few times when he got into the excuses. He suffered under the delusion that going for a walk or a bike ride would hurt, all the while I knew the truth: Laying on my fat ass for a few weeks hurts way worse than it does ten minutes after a sub-five hour hundred miles… and for those who don’t know, that hurts.
My friends, a friend I ride with rode through chemotherapy. He said it was the only thing that made the nausea tolerable. He wasn’t fast, but he was out there.
Another friend of mine was riding on his trainer six weeks after open heart surgery. Two weeks after that he was on the road holding a 16 mph average on beta blockers.
Another friend was out mowing lawns with a push mower days after having a pacemaker installed in his chest.
I fell at work Tuesday. I landed on my ankle after a 1-1/2 foot drop… Not on the side of my foot, I landed on my ankle and the outside of my foot. One of those stupid things – I should have been paying better attention and a temporary ramp should have been built. There shouldn’t have been a drop-off. That said, my ankle crumpled and I ended up on the concrete on my back. I tried to walk it off, covering three miles on site before heading home to ice it. I took yesterday off the bike (not work) and I’ll be riding again later today. I have a 50 mile ride tomorrow that I won’t miss because it’ll be raining Saturday and snowing Sunday. Trainer days.
I found this photo in a post:
Thinking about a plan also does no good at keeping my ass thin and out of a doctor’s office. Action does.
Ladies and gentlemen, the guy with the pacemaker once told me (shortly after the operation), “It’s real easy to talk tough about dying… till the bus shows up”. This encapsulates the insidious nature of obesity.
Get out the f@ckin’ door.
And if you’re one of those made to sit through those donut shop lies, don’t. Reject them for the bullshit they are. Chances are, someone you give a shit about’s life depends on it. Literally. You won’t be liked… Until your liar sees the light and thanks you for being an asshole. Trust me.
Sorry. I miss having my platform a lot more than I thought I would.
I wrote a post in my sixth day of writing this blog and it was a doozy. Sadly, nobody saw it because nobody in the community knew me. Back then, I maybe had six or eight people who read my blog.
Humorously, I’d forgotten I wrote the post myself… Then Shay-lon stumbled on it and left me one long, well reasoned, and passionate comment on the post. In that comment she suggested I reblog it to get it out there…
The post, before you read it, is a bulldozer for myths about exercise. Please check it out:
Exorcising the Myths of Exercise… – http://wp.me/p248iZ-1m
1. Fit people are “lucky” to be that way.
2. Running is bad for the knees and joints.
No it isn’t. And I’ve used that one myself….
3. Low impact exercise is better than running or “high” impact exercise.
That isn’t true either, though I’ve used that one too….
When I was considered a runner, I needed help to show up every now and again. I almost never ran alone and I really didn’t love it. I liked the results, just not the recovery time. Still, I showed up and got fit again. Most days I could have easily thought myself into rolling over and going back to sleep but I suited up and showed up anyway. I had to.
The way I saw it, getting fat was a lot worse than showing up so I did what I had to do.
Then came cycling and my whole life was turned around. All of a sudden, my chief concern wasn’t just not getting fat, it became how skinny can I get so I can climb hills more enjoyably. Then, once I found out that this was less than 150 pounds (that’s skinny for a 6′ tall guy), I decided that I had to eat more to keep my weight between 165-170…
Gone were the days when I struggled to get out of bed to get dressed and out the door. I couldn’t wait till the sun came up so I could get clipped in. Instead of showing up 15 minutes early with sleep in my eyes, I’d ride out to where we were meeting, then ride with the guys, then ride home. Just to extend the fun for five or ten miles. Warm-ups at the club ride went from a minimum of four miles to get my legs moving to a full 7-1/2 mile circuit “around the block” (it’s a big “block”).
Today I want to show up. More often than not, I can’t wait to show up. Today I don’t have to show up anymore.
There’s no telling if I’d ever have gotten here with running but that doesn’t really matter one way or the other. I did get there.
The most important suggestion I can give (and this rarely gets mention), when it comes to fitness, is this: Just keep showing up. Whatever your chosen activity may be, whether it’s the gym, cross fit, running, swimming or cycling, it doesn’t matter. If you get bored with what you’re doing at the moment, change it up. Keep showing up for the old activity while the new takes root, too.
Eventually you’ll hit on something that will be so much fun, you won’t have to show up anymore. Then all you’ll have to do is bask in the wonderful glory that has become your life.
One of my favorite truisms is, “It works if you work it”. It’s simple, to the point and doesn’t have a down side that one can use to argue the alternative – a lazy, sedentary life. Well, at least if one is honest. In this case though, I might amend that slightly…
It works, as long as you work it.