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8.53 Miles - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
8.53 Miles
Sunday I went for a bike ride with F, and we rode 8.53 miles! I wanted to make sure I went farther than the day before. Unfortunately my butt-bones -- or "sit-bones", as cyclists call them -- were pretty sore from saturday's ride. After all, I haven't ridden a real bicycle in a couple of years now. But yesterday I shifted around until I found a manageable position, then I went riding anyway. Now of course my butt is even more sore. I know I will toughen up with use though.

The knee (or more specifically, the lower quadriceps muscle and the quad tendon from with the graft was removed) is still pretty weak. I only managed to average 10 mph again, and I was definitely slowing down for the last couple of miles. I have enough power to pedal, but not to actually push. I also can't stand and pedal at the same time, which is unfortuate...that's a good way of giving your bottom some relief when you ride over bumps. I did it though, and I know that biking will help me get stronger!

It was fun. It was a lovely day, and we rode through some pretty neighborhoods. My bike's seat seems pretty well-designed. In the past, my crotch has gone numb on long rides. I was on the bike for probably 45 minutes yesterday though, and although my butt hurt like heck, I didn't go numb! So that's a good sign; maybe I won't need to buy a new one after all. I'll decide in a couple of weeks. My left pinky finger did numb up though, so I think I should invest in some biking gloves to take pressure off the heel of my hand and all the blood vessels that go through there.

Current Music: I wish I had more icons. Maybe I'l splurge and buy some....

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Comments
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: June 14th, 2004 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Drink more water. See my Camel-Butt Theory here.

Personally, I just picked up a Camelbak bladder for my tank bag last week, and am very happy with it. It fits the bag just right.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 14th, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's an interesting theory, but I'm not sure I'm convinced of its validity.

Though I will freely admit that I don't drink nearly enough water....
radiantsoul From: radiantsoul Date: June 14th, 2004 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love that song too!
From: caneprints Date: June 15th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
With all you've been through with your knee injury, it's great that you were able to ride a bike at all. I can relate on some level because I'm just starting to exercise after being pretty much a couch potato all winter, and it has been a real struggle, but I think with time, your body does start getting stronger and tolerating more and more exertion, and then it starts to feel good. Good luck!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 16th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the encouragement. Isn't it frustrating, getting back into shape? Good luck to you too!
From: ex_erikvolso370 Date: June 16th, 2004 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it takes a while to get you butt in riding shape. Having a weak leg doesn't help either -- the idea is you carry a good part of your weight on the legs, not the saddle, but you're limited after the surgery.

Note, however, since you can't stomp the pedals, now's the time to learn how to spin. Spinning's easier, and it'll help keep your knees flexible.

Amongst the millions of other things you'll want to buy for the bike, include a cyclometer with a cadence counter. It's very hard to pedal, watch a clock, and count how many times you've pedaled in a minute, but a computer does so easily.

The lovely thing about a fast spin is you go fast without working hard -- and, it helps keep a bad knee flexible. I speak from experience.

I don't know if I can agree with the Camel-butt theory, but hydration while you're riding is imporant. With the implict breeze of riding, it's very easy to dehydrate.

Also, Dorky Bike Shorts: There's a reason we wear them. Many, acutally, but all of them have to do with comfort. Try them.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 16th, 2004 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)
The idea of spinning is to basically pedal faster, in a lower gear, right? I have a computer without a cadence counter right now (the guy at the bike shop didn't think it was worth the significantly extra money, since all I plan on doing right now is cruising around my neighborhood, which would involve lots of starting/stoping/slowing down), but I can certainly focus on pedaling faster when I am moving.

With the Dorky Bike Shorts, are they all basically equally useful, or is there a type that I should lean toward?

I'm looking forward to my butt-bones feeling better....
From: ex_erikvolso370 Date: June 16th, 2004 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep. Spinning lets you use your mechanical advantage more efficently. It's hard to describe what a difference it makes -- ones you get it, you can go twice as fast and twice as far -- and not become tires.

Just recently, I've found myself able to really spin -- burst around 125-130 rpm. I can't hold that for that long -- but, by the time I have to back down, I've made it up the hill.

As to shorts. In general, the more panels they're made of, the more comfortable, and expensive, they are. I wear REI shorts, but that's because they fit, and most cycling gear is made for really skinny Italian guys.

I know no woman, and few men, who can wear four panel shorts without a seam ending up in the wrong place and causing real problems. So, go for six panel. The top end seems to be 8 panel.

More importantly, make sure they fit.

In general, all cycling clothing is desiged to be tight (to reduce drag -- which becomes a big factor as speed increases) and to wick away moisture. Good jersey's have a long cut back (so they stay covering the back, even when you bend over) and pockets in the back, since your shorts won't have them.

If you dislike that, mountain biking shorts are basically bike shorts sewn into loose shorts. They're more expensive, because they're two shorts in one.

The other, other alternative is breifs that you wear under regular shorts. I've not tried them, but the work.

The reason to wear shorts. 1) Seams are in odd places, so you aren't sitting on them. 2) They're tight, so they don't chafe. 3) The pad makes things easier to sit on 4) It can get unbelivably sweaty between you and the saddle, and the pad helps keep things dry.

I didn't belive in Dorky Bike Shorts until I wore them. Now, I very rarely ever ride without. The comfort is that much improved. However, the only way to get over bike-butt is to get your butt used to bike. Every spring, everybody fights it, unless they've been riding all winter.
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: June 16th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
What is spinning, and how does one go about it? It's very possible that I've been spinning for years all along, but I'm not sure. I know that I've been able to go long distances without tiring, but haven't really thought about how I did it. (I'm sure being in shape at that point in my life helped though. (grin))
bjorng From: bjorng Date: June 17th, 2004 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Spinning is your friend. It's when you move the pedals around quickly (60+ rpm) rather than simply pushing down on them. That's one of the reasons you get the clippy things for your shoes: to allow you to do less pedal-stomping and more pedal-spinning. Spinning lets you use more muscles, put less pressure on individual muscles/body parts, and generally get better leverage out of your gear ratios.
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