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Just keep spinning, just keep spinning - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Just keep spinning, just keep spinning [Jun. 27th, 2005|02:02 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |chipperchipper]

Today's Feat of Great Bravery(TM) will be biking home in a furnace - 92 degrees and sunny here in bee-yootiful downtown Cleveland.

Once again I am quite happy that I have sturdy mountain-biking nobbies rather than frail road slicks. I do not want to contemplate the possibility of a flat. I have sucked down 48 ounces of water this morning and intend on sucking down another 48 before the day is out. And even though I rode down through the park this morning, I will be avoiding that detour and its uphill climb when I leave this afternoon. There are limits even to my insanity.

I felt a little wobbly at the beginning of this morning's ride, but then realized that it was coming less than 12 hours after our 5-mile walk last night. Not a lot of recovery time worked into that schedule. So I took a deep breath, relaxed, and told myself that it was all right if I was a little slow on the ride in this morning.

Second fastest ride time ever. My legs are clearly getting stronger, and my ability to just keep spinning those gears is increasing. I'm having fewer need-to-adjust-how-I'm-seated uncomfortableness problems, and the suggestion to tighten the nut on the other side of the seat quick release did the job - it's stopped working downward as I ride.

I've put over 400 miles on my bike in a month. I'm thinking I may make it to over 1,000 for the summer.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2005-06-27 06:34 pm (UTC)
Your earlier post about your seat adjustment made me realize that my bike seat is probably far too low, and may well be the reason why I _die_ every time I try to bike any kind of reasonable distance. I'll test the theory, once I can figure out how to actually adjust the seat (no quick release that I can see).
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 06:42 pm (UTC)
Your leg should be fully extended, knee locked, at the bottom of the downstroke. A lot of bikes don't have quick-releases on the seats, so you'll need a couple wrenches to make the adjustment.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2005-06-27 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not even close to that length of extension. Which I knew was too short, but I have trouble not falling off when I have to come to a stop otherwise :D But since it made such a big difference for you, I might just have to get used to it somehow.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 06:46 pm (UTC)
You have to get used to standing down from the seat when stopped. You can't rest on the bike seat at a stop and have the proper extension. Just don't work that way!
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 06:48 pm (UTC)
My boss is an avid cyclist - he took it up after he had bypass surgery. He wears the riding shoes that lock into the pedals. I could never understand how you don't wipe out wearing those things!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I won't even wear toe clips because I'm afraid of wiping out. I know that they would increase my efficiency, etc., but avoiding faceplanting is a tradeoff I'm willing to sacrifice a little efficiency to achieve.
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[User Picture]From: wyrrlen
2005-06-27 06:54 pm (UTC)
You get used to them surprisingly fast. The trick is just learning how to get your foot away, since it's not the natural "lift off the pedal" method, but more of a "twist your ankle out" motion.
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[User Picture]From: wyrrlen
2005-06-27 08:48 pm (UTC)
clipless, that is. Toe clips I wouldn't recommend to anyone, because they can actually catch your foot more than clipless can. Not to mention you don't get the true, full upstroke force with toe clips.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2005-06-27 07:03 pm (UTC)
I was thinking those would be pretty useful, because then you'd get the power as you lift your foot as well as when you press down. But yeah, I'd probably kill myself.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 06:47 pm (UTC)
You beat me to it! Sounds like the recommended height is still the same.

I need to adjust the front and rear derailers on our bikes, because they are way out of whack. Do you know how to do that? I know the screws that need to be turned, I just don't know which ones and by how much...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 06:49 pm (UTC)
I know exactly how to do that. You take your bike to the nice people at the bike shop.

Seriously, I don't mess with the gearing. Too many things that can go wrong. If I was ambitious and wanted to learn how it all worked that would be one thing, but I'm never more than a cellphone call away from rescue if something goes wrong, so my energies are expended elsewhere.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 06:57 pm (UTC)
LOL. That's probably what we'll end up doing. We've put it off because the crappy bike rack we have ends up stretching out the gear cables.

They're opening a bike store down the road, so we'll probably ride them there. I've been entirely too sedentary lately, and need to get some exercise. Biking is a good option. We have rollerblades, but after I broke my arm snowboarding, I have this innate fear of cracking the ol' wrist bone again.

That was one memorable Valentine's day, to say the least!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 07:51 pm (UTC)
I am terrified of falling, after shattering my shoulder two and a half years ago. I have a friend who keeps telling me I'd love rollerblading, but I'm very, very wary.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 07:58 pm (UTC)
Funny thing is, up until then I felt I was pretty invincible. Even started skateboarding again. But that fateful February 14 changed all that. It was a three and a half hour drive to the resort, and I wiped out on our second run. Spent the afternoon in the emergency room, and dinner was spent with T cutting my food for me. Of course, it was my right hand that broke.

My sister wants us to drive up to Burlington, VT (she goes to school there) and go to Bolton with her. If we do, I'll be staying on the bunny/beginner slopes for a looooong time.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 06:45 pm (UTC)
Not sure if zoethe mentioned this, but a good rule of thumb for seat height: when you are seated, and the pedal is at its lowest point, your leg should be almost completely straight.

Or so they said back when I bought my mountain bike, which was...hmmm...(counting on fingers)...fifteen years ago.

If you don't have a quick release, there should be a nut/bolt combination on the bike frame where the seat post enters the seat frame. It will probably be a 9/16" nut. Just loosen it to ease the tension on the clamp, and you should be able to slide the post up and down. Just make sure you tighten it really well. Nothing quite like being on a long bike ride, hitting a bump, and having the seat slam down onto the frame.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2005-06-27 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! :)
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[User Picture]From: wyrrlen
2005-06-27 06:52 pm (UTC)
When you start seriously exceeding 64-oz. of water a day, you need to be careful of water intoxication and the effect it can have on your kidneys. Not to say you shouldn't be well-hydrated for a ride in that kind of heat...it's important to be hydrated before you even step outside, because you'll only be in a net-loss position once you start moving.

But if you're doing 96 while just at work...wow, assuming you have 8 oz of fluids in the morning and up to 36 oz at night, you're really getting up there. Be really careful, and don't drink fluids to the point that you feel sick.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 06:58 pm (UTC)
And I think I've read stories where people have died from drinking too many fluids, though that is rather extreme. Something about the cells not being able to retain any more water...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 07:48 pm (UTC)
I am sipping, though pretty constantly. And yeah, I am definitely drinking extra for the ride. I am considering buying a bottle of Propel for the actual ride home.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 06:54 pm (UTC)
Good for you! Keep up the cycling - it's a great low impact workout.

Is your bike a hybrid or a mountain bike? We bought hybrids because the narrower tires were a little easier for road riding than the wide mountain bike tires.

My wife used to have a Cannondale racing bike, and I always thought I was going to kill myself whenever I rode it. Sure, you could ride a million miles per hour at ease on the thing (she regularly smoked me when I was riding my mountain bike), but I was always afraid I was going to get those 1" wheels stuck in something. And since I never wore a helmet, getting the front tire stuck in a sewer drain or crack would have been a Bad Thing.

Other thing I hated about that bike: changing gears. It didn't have quick-trigger gear changers - they were down on the lower frame of the bike, so you had to take your hand off the handlebars to change the gears. Oi vey!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-06-27 07:50 pm (UTC)
Mountain bike. And about 12 years old, so no suspension or kewl stuff like that.

I am terrified of those skinny-tire bikes, but I never even go around the block without my helmet on!
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-06-27 07:59 pm (UTC)
If we were to start biking again, I'd definitely wear a helmet. I was young and foolish back then ;-)

Santa bought me a helmet to wear while snowboarding, so I'm learning about self-preservation. Slowly...
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