Read This if You Think Alcoholism is a Choice. – http://wp.me/p8C8CK-30
Interestingly, there are a dozen “tells” listed for how to know if you’re an alcoholic. Two is a problem, four is bad and six is extreme. I exhibited ALL twelve. That’ll let you know how far down the scale I was.
For clarity, I commented that while being an alcoholic was not a choice, getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk, was always a choice. It should be treated as such.
38 days in a row, 1,076 miles, and we’re just starting to get into the good miles (50+ in a day).
My average pace is between 17 and 18 mph this early in the season. In May and June I’ll hit 19, easy. Shedding all of the bulky clothing is worth 1 mph alone!
Now those are averages. My fast days are closer to 22 mph, my slow days, 16. My mediocre days are between 18 & 20 mph depending on my mood and who I’m riding with.
Each and every day, I ride. I only take a day off when the rain stops me.
I don’t take rest days, not because of a need to lose weight or even to ride daily. There’s no need whatsoever.
I ride every day because it’s fun. I ride daily because riding makes me happy.
I like to borrow from a phrase and modify it to say, “I’ll taper when I’m dead”. If the pros can do it, and they can, then I can do it too, only slower.
On a bike, rest days are vastly overrated. With running they’re almost indispensable but the question is how not why though, when pedaling to happy destiny. It’s about having a good plan and sticking to it. It’s about knowing, and sticking to, one simple concept; As amateurs, our easy rides aren’t easy enough and our hard rides aren’t hard enough.
I ride with a guy who is every bit as strong as I am but on most days I can wax the floor with him. I have use of the perfect system that keeps me riding hard after more than a month straight while others struggle with two decent days in a row.
I plan my hard days out and ride easy accordingly around those days….
My friend rides willy-nilly, no planning. When the mood strikes him, he rides hard, even if it’s the day before a planned tough ride. If that wasn’t bad enough, and it is, he takes days off at the worst times too.
What I’ve learned over the years with cycling is that days off are just as detrimental, if not more so, than riding too hard before a big day in the saddle. Taking a day off before a big ride is just about the worst thing I can do. Taking a day off requires a day dedicated to spinning my legs back up just to get my legs to 100% so if I take a day off the day before a big ride, I’ll struggle the whole next day to keep up.
I find it better to ride easy before a big day than to take a day off. Period, end of story.
Then there’s the dreaded hard ride before the hard ride. I’d argue that the day off before the big ride is much worse than the back-to-back, but the back-to-back is bad enough if I’m not used to it. Eventually I’ll be able to string four hard days in a row together though, by the end of the season, but I have to work up to it.
I’ll just get right to the schedule to simplify it, and also add that it’s been four years since I suffered any kind of injury that slowed me down (it didn’t stop me, just slowed me down)….
My hard ride days are Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday… So, Monday is an easy day (15-17 mph average). Tuesday is my fastest day (21-22 mph over 30 miles with the club). Wednesday will me a mediocre or easy day (18-20 mph average depending on how my legs feel). Thursday is an easy day. Friday is mediocre and longer (17-18 mph, 30 to 40 miles). Saturday and Sunday are hard, long rides, though we tend to take one of those long rides a little easier in the beginning of the season.
Monday comes and I do it all over again. Two, three, four weeks in a row, it doesn’t matter. Five weeks, even six. I only get into distress when I try to do too much on those easy days, it’s simple as that.
Interestingly, my wife was the only one who could get me to slow down enough to enjoy the easy days. Going for easy rides that she could enjoy became my easy days and they’re two to three miles an hour slower than I would do on slow days a few years ago. I truly believe it’s the slow days that made me faster. In fact, I’m quite sure of this.
I know this because I’ve tried every other combination I could think of eliminating the slow days. One day off a week, two…. Nothing I could do had me feeling as good and as fresh as no days off with two or three slow days a week.
As the season wears on, and after 30 or 40 days in a row, I will take a day off for weather, even if it’s two days in a week. When you ride as much as I do, riding in the rain isn’t all that necessary, and a day off now and again is kind of nice. But only kinda.
Where this gets important is for those who do want to lose weight… On a bicycle, they’ll be able to burn extra calories every day, rather than a few days a week. Ride hard my friends.
UPDATE: A friend pointed out in the comments section below that he has a few medical conditions that require rest days to recoup after a ride. Because I’m a bit ignorant at times, I have a tendency to not take preexisting medical conditions into account in my posts… simply because I don’t have any. This caveat must be taken into account.
This is cyclist food at its best, and highly recommended after anything north of 50 miles… Less than that and you’ll have to skip meals to afford the calories, and we wouldn’t want that. Would we?
Bigddy’s Barbecue Bacon Burgers.
First, bacon on goes into the oven at 450, cut in half on a cookie sheet and rack. Bake until your approximation of done. Don’t fry it. Bake it. A little less fat.
Make your burger patties… Third or half-pounders. I’m partial to half’s lately. Sprinkle them with Montreal Spicy Steak Seasoning (or regular) and douse with a bit of worcestershire sauce. Set them aside for the time being.
For the onion straws, slice an onion thinly. Break the slices apart and dunk them in water. Then dip them in flour and fry in preheated oil in a frypan. Fry till golden brown. Set aside when done. We use vegetable oil, feel free to use whatever method you can.
Pull the bacon out of the oven, it should be done by now. Set that aside.
Time to get the burgers done. Grill ’em to a perfect medium-rare (or medium if you must). The best quality ground beef you can afford. The better the beef, the tastier the burger.
I recommend putting the barbecue sauce on the burgers while they’re on the grill, just as they become done, but that’s just me. My personal favorites are Famous Dave’s Natural, Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Sassy, or Weber’s Sweet and Spicy.
Now that’s the proper carbs to protein ratio for refueling muscles!
I rely on my wife, and sometimes my friends, to keep a leash on me the day after a hard ride because I have a problem.
I lose my mind just a little bit when I ride alone. I simply can’t help it.
You see, I start out with the right attitude. “I’m going to take it easy. Take an hour to do the 16 mile route, or a little more for the 17-1/2″. It starts out so well. 200 yards/meters in and I’m sitting up, spinning my legs at a wild clip for the 17 mph I’m going….
And then I realize I’m atop one of the greatest aero road sprint bikes ever formed out of carbon fiber and resin and trace bits of aluminum…
“Surely I can up shift one gear. That won’t hurt! This is too easy anyway.”
Then, “I’m pedaling so easy, maybe one more gear.” I look down at my computer. It reads 20.6 mph. I’m riding into the wind.
Oops, I did it again.
“No sense in slowing down now”, says someone in my melon committee. I like him – unlike a few of the other @$$holes who roam around up there, stirring up crap, this one gets me.
25 mph, I’m down in the drops, with a bit of a tailwind, just happily pedaling along. 26 mph. 27. My chances of taking an hour to complete the route were left in the wind long ago, and I’m not on the short 16 mile route… Finally, I decide to relax a bit, with five miles to go I slow the speed down again. Less power, same cadence.
I pull into the driveway, 56 minutes and a few seconds after I rolled out. 17-1/2 miles. That works out to something like 19 mph and I can feel it in my legs… And it feels good.
Hopefully my wife will wait to ride with me this evening so I don’t have to “Oops, do it again. Again.”
I’ll need an actual, real easy day before the long weekend rides.
Last week was a 200 mile week, as was the week before. To do this is relatively simple, seven days, 30 miles a day, 210 miles in a week.
During the week though, 30 miles a day isn’t possible, at least not in my world. I do get away with 38-ish on Tuesday nights but I simply don’t have the time for that more than once during a work week.
This means long miles on the weekends. In my case, if I’m going to post a 200 mile week, half of my miles are done on Saturday and Sunday, often more than half.
The long rides are where it’s at. The long rides are what melt the fat. The short rides just condition me for the long rides. The short weekday jaunts (16-20 miles) also provide the dual benefit of the need to take active recovery days along with an enjoyable time to ride with Mrs. Bgddy and just check out the scenery that I’m usually pushing too hard to pay attention to.
The hard part was in building up to that mileage and to get that mileage done in a reasonable amount of time. Many new cyclists make the mistake of assuming that those of us who are cranking out big miles we are simply, magically, granted the ability to ride long and fast miles. I don’t know anybody who started off crunching out 20 mile rides, let alone 50. I started on a mountain bike doing 4 mile loops at about a 14-15 mph pace. After a couple of weeks I started upping miles, I went from 5 to 8 to 10… Then I bought a road bike and went from 10 to 13 to 16 and my pace jumped from a decent 14-15 mph on the mountain bike to 19-20 mph. That was the game changer, the pace. When you can bang out 20 miles in an hour, 200 miles is only going to take 10-12 hours in a week:
Once I got to a regular 16 mile ride I started doubling mileage. I found that if I dropped my average pace by about a mile an hour, I could double my distance. 16 miles at 20 mph became 35 at 19 mph. Try it, it works!
Finally, I started cycling with a club and my mileage shot through the roof. I went from 100 miles being a big week in July to 210 being a regular Spring week. Now the 100 mile weeks are only reserved for the winter, when outdoor riding is limited by snow, ice and extreme conditions. Where I used to ride 90% of my miles solo, now 90% are with my wife and friends and are vastly more enjoyable.
Finding time to exercise isn’t always easy (it was quite impossible when I didn’t like the exercise). On one hand, juggling everything is a challenge, there is no doubt. On the other, I’d rather do the best I can to stay fit so I can enjoy a long life rather than make excuses and end up with a short one. I don’t want to be the guy who gets the “Well, as unhealthy as he was, it was only a matter of time and he had to know it” at his funeral. So juggle things I do, and I make it work – and it helps that I love the ride.
I Almost Forgot about My Annual Post About Shaving the Guns (Legs)!!! So, Should a Cycling Enthusiast Shave his Guns Too?
Here’s the honest to God truth, no bull$#!+, to the question “Should a male cycling enthusiast shave his legs”: Yes, but only kinda.
This question does not apply to the female of the species because the answer is already yes before one throws a leg over a bike. If it’s no – for any reason, then if you become a cyclist, the answer changes to abso-freaking-lutely.
First, it is more aerodynamic. This is a proven fact and if you try to hit the comments section saying anything different, you’re preemptively wrong – you don’t even have to write the comment and you’re already wrong. It’s wind-tunnel tested, baby.
For that reason alone, I’d shave (and I have ever since I started riding with a group).
That’s not the end of the story though. Mrs. Bgddy likes my legs shaved, and if she likes it, I like it. It’s that simple.
Besides, it looks better.
There is a small caveat: Shaving the guns is not required for guys. In fact, usually mainly racers bother with shaving and many on club rides won’t bother. For mere enthusiasts, it’ll depend on where you live. Go to a club ride and don’t shave first. If you show up and you’re the only one with hairy guns, guess what.
At the very least, if it were me, I would take clippers to my legs every couple of weeks and knock the hair down to a reasonable length. Wait a minute, no I wouldn’t, because I shave mine.
Now if you’re wondering why my arms look rather glistening, well that’s because I use the clippers on them. Average arm hair length is between 1/4″ and 1/2″ during the summer.
In other words, fellas… mind the hair.