Mountain Biking Again?

Posted: August 16, 2013 in Cycling
Amy Marsh and I on a mountain bike ride in May 2011.

Amy Marsh and I on a mountain bike ride in May 2011.

 

I have been riding a lot, mostly to and from work. That’s working out great, both as exercise and as a stress reliever. But, it has not helped me do things like climb. Even after loosing 30 pounds I still find myself struggling up steep hills at the back of the group. Yea, I know, age may have something to do with it too.

I have found that fitness for me tends to be exercise specific. That’s why I like to mix it up: cycling, yoga and swimming has been a good mix for me. I have decided to add some intensity to my cycling as well as to try to mix it up a bit more. Mountain biking is mostly climbing (in terms of time) plus it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Yes, and mountain bikers are great people too. Time to dust off my mountain bikes I think!

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Planned ride for Sat. May 11

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Cycling
Tags: ,

UPDATE I am sick and will not make this ride

Sat, 11 May 2013, Easy Rider, 9:30 AM, 32 mi, 4 LM Billy Goats: Westridge, Alpine East:
Steve Gruber is leading this ride that meets at Shoup Park at 400 University Ave, Los Altos, CA 94023 near University Avenue in Los Altos for a two-goat ride through San Mateo County. We will stop at Roberts after the second goat. This is a social ride with lots of regroups and an LM pace (the leader doesn’t go much faster than that).

Snail Rides Anybody?

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Cycling

Since I have let go of Whine and Dine if I do start leading rides again I may indeed go with something like “Snails Climbing Hills Slowly and Descending Sanely.” These would be dedicated LM, nobody left behind rides with the expectation being, “LM riders are expected to ride together at the pace of the slowest rider on the Mellow LM ride with all riders being rested at regroups.”

It’s a salute to Marcia’s great rides without being an outright name ripoff!

Bike to work day 2013

Bike to work day 2013 – A bicycle commuter gets crowned with a new bike helmet at the aid station at 4th and San Fernando in downtown San Jose in front of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

Image  —  Posted: May 9, 2013 in Cycling

The myth about bicycling

Posted: May 8, 2013 in ACTC, Cycling

For many the point of riding a bike is to be first, be fast and/or ride the furthest. That’s fine and Almaden Cycle Touring Club (ACTC) has many rides for those folks.

As a former ACTC ride leader who tried to lead social paced LM rides, I can also share the frustration of having first/further/faster riders take over my LM rides and push the pace and even drop me, the ride leader, on my own rides even though I was riding at my advertised LM pace.

That’s a big reason why I am a former ride leader.

It has truthfully been stated here that ACTC is a big club with a lot of rides and there should be a place for everybody. As for me; if I am on the back on an LM ride crawling up the hills by myself on my bike at an LM pace and if I am going to be riding alone anyway; why go on a club ride? I know the roads after all these years. Eddy Merckx, who as Tom Sawyer, an ACTC member pointed out, had the best advice on the subject of improving your skills – “ride your bike”. I do. I leave right from my garage on my own schedule.

I think the myth that bicycling is only about being first, riding far and/or riding fast is not only a barrier to entry to many potential cyclists, it is also a source of discouragement for some already in cycling.

Short rides need respect

Posted: May 6, 2013 in Cycling
Tags: ,

Short rides work better for me than long rides. I gain weight on long rides. You cannot ride on stored fat; if you could. overweight people would never bonk. At a certain point your body uses up all it’s stored glycogen (about 1500 calories worth) and it starts screaming, “I need sugar, I need fat and I need it now!.”

I have found that in terms of loosing weight, and maintaining fitness, short rides work better for me. Bicycle commuting is great! My commute is 11 miles each way, that’s less than an hour on the bike twice a day. I am not alone in finding that short workouts work better at loosing weight than long ones.

It’s your body so your results may differ. But, I find on a long intense ride I am so hungry and my body just craves calories, especially fat and sugar, so much that I overcompensate. Maybe that’s just me.

I have been a member of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club (ACTC) or about 15 years. I used to be a regular on ACTC rides, but not much anymore. Why? Well I have slowed down due to age and health issues and it seems to me the rides have both speeded up and, for slower riders anyway, become less social.

It seems to me riders used to stick together more. Now, they seem to spread out on the roads and ride on their own more.

Whatever the reason, club rides are not working for me anymore. I am on the back crawling up the hills by myself on my bike and if I am going to be riding alone anyway; why go on a club ride?