Jump to content
Diabetes forums

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ronin

2016 Bicycling - A New Hope

Recommended Posts

ORjt

Hi all,

 

I was able to get out Saturday for 25 miles. Knee was relatively well behaved - but I'm finding it impossible to get out of the saddle. It feels like the knee wants to buckle (again, it's the weight bearing thing).  Not that I get out of the saddle all that much, but there are a few short rollers I like to power over ...

 

Likely no commutes this week, the weather doesn't look bad, but the schedule is difficult.

 

Next up? - we have another 'event' ride up in Vancouver WA.  Weather is supposed to be warm/hot (85 - that's warm by May standards!). I'd normally do the metric century, it's a nice distance and from a purely fitness perspective, I'd be fine.  However, there's a ton of climbing, in roller after roller, so my plan is to just do a shorter ~35 mile route. (In theory, I can still opt-in to the metric at the first rest stop; I'll see how the knee is feeling at that point).

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

First of all, wishing you all a Happy Star Wars Day -- "May the fourth be with you!" (You may groan or reply "and also with you...")

 

This week has been rainy which is lousy for riding but excellent for the lawn which was re-seeded since the previous crop of Bluegrass got a disease and died (since Bluegrass is a rhizome, if one section gets a disease, it takes out the whole lawn) I planted some generic grass seed with a bunch of mini-clover seed which should fertilize the soil without costly chemicals.

 

I went to Physical Therapy training toady and got some interesting stretches and exercises that should help.  Unfortunately, I still have to see my primary care to either get Polymyalgia medications (low dose prednisone) or a Rheumatology consult - hoping for the medications because they work fast and if they don't work you have something else.

 

I've been doing Tour de Garage because the Polymyalgia hits hard if I don't exercise.  Actually the days following a day without some bicycling is like moving from the fourth to fifth circle of hades - not fun alt all. 

 

Glad to read that everyone is still riding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

It was the men's breakfast again this morning and this morning's ride had a new twist. I talked my son into riding the tandem with me.

 

Ronin, fair warning, you might want to put your coffee down before I describe how it went lest you get your keyboard wet. I'm sure you'll at least roll your eyes a bit.

 

As you all may know, I'm nothing even close to an experienced tandem rider. My son has not ridden one at all. The ride to the men's breakfast is 2 miles of gravel after 1/8 mile of very steep rough gravel driveway and then two miles of pavement. On top of this, we both tend to like to be in control (ok were both control freaks), so not only did I need to be sure to communicate well, he needed to let me drive. This does not speak to either of our strengths. :)

 

We did the driveway as slow as the brakes would let me. I was picking our way down carefully while maintaining some small amount of balance. By the bottom, both my son and I had sore arms and hands from hanging on so hard. Once we hit the gravel road, we started pedalling and getting a feel for our balance. Fortunately, the road is in pretty good shape and I only had to dodge a couple of potholes. I managed communicate well enough that the only trouble we ran into on this stretch was when my son's shoelace tried to get caught in the sprocket.

 

Things got a little more interesting when we got to the highway. I knew we were turning onto the shoulder and that there was plenty of room. My son saw a car on the highway and expected me to stop so he stopped pedalling and sat up. This threw my balance and all of a sudden I was not sure I'd make it onto the shoulder. He figured out what I was doing and recovered quickly so we did make it onto the shoulder. Lesson learned, never assume your stoker knows what you are going to do. I think my son learned a bit too.

 

On the paved highway, we started getting into our stride and made good progress and we seemed to work well together. My son was still a bit sleepy (not a morning person) so he was not giving it his all, but the rest of the ride was uneventful.

 

After the breakfast, my son was awake and fuelled and we were starting out on pavement. We made pretty good time and it was made clear to me that my riding style was a bit on the lazy side. Riding alone, I have no reason to try to maintain a constant cadence (thought I do try to maintain a reasonable range) or effort. I knew enough about riding a tandem to know that consistency is better so I found myself pushing more than usual (and feeling it). It probably didn't help that I had given blood on Wednesday, so I'm still not at full strength. I did find that when my son turned on the after burner, we could really fly.

 

By the time we hit the gravel, we were much more comfortable with each other and the tandem and had a good (and hard) ride up the gravel road. We made it about half way up my driveway before I called it off and walked it the rest of the way. While I think we had the power to get up the driveway, I was not confident with my ability to balance us both up that steep and rough of a road.

 

All in all, it was a lot of fun and my son is interested in trying it again. Next time, I will make sure the rear seat is adjusted for him and will replace the saddle with something reasonable (the one on there now is a big fluffy one my wife likes). I might also start at the bottom of the driveway and I don't see any real benefit to trying to ride the tandem down it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronin

Raffi, et al.,

 

The description of the maiden-voyage was very good and nothing unexpected. Heck, you didn't FDGB despite the gravel, sudden loss of power from the Rear Admiral / engine room and I have the sense you are still on speaking terms. From the world of tandeming, that is a very successful first trip.

 

Regarding me: My Primary Care MD is convinced that I do have Polymyalgia in my pelvic girdle. However the protocol at the VA requires a few additional blood tests (a rheumatology panel) before prescribing the prednisone.  In the meantime I'm still dealing with the effects. I remember that my Paternal Grandfather had rheumatism (a.k.a., "The Misery" - now named Polymyalgia) when he was around my age. My father never lived to the age I'm at today so I can only guess that I have a genetic tendency. (My father was dead 16 years at my current age - smoking and drinking as well as ignoring diabetes made that inevitable.) Unfortunately, 23&Me doesn't look at the particular related gene.

 

Team Wells has been out on the tandem a few times but the weather has been wet and the local radio folks have been wondering if this area somehow moved to Seattle. The newly seeded lawn is happy though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ORjt

Raffi,

 

Great description. I've never ridden a tandem, but your description reminded me a bit of Dad and I trying golfing (once) ... (we did *really* well at tennis, though ... go figure).

 

Ronin, hopefully, you'll get everything sorted out. And Seattle's really nice :-)

 

As for me -- up to Vancouver (WA) for one of the 'spring season' event rides. I'd normally do the metric century, but given my knee, I opted for a shorter 'double nickel'.  The MC is quite hilly (~4k' in 65 miles, one @$%$@# roller after another. It's a ride I like). Sanity prevailed, I  did a 34 mile loop, with "moderate" hills and followed that with a relatively flat 18 miles out to the Columbia river and back -- with a missed turn out of the gate (duh!), I was actually really close to 55 miles. Gorgeous day, but by early afternoon it was quite hot.  The knee tolerated the 55 miles quite well, but I don't think it would have been happy with all the climbing on the longer route.  The flat route was really quite fun - very scenic, and a good portion was on wide, flat, smooth pavement. It was a good opportunity to stick it on the big ring, and just motor for a bit.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ORjt

Hi all,

 

Hope everyone's doing ok.

 

Our TdC did a (shortish) group ride on Saturday - 13 miles in Vancouver (Wa) near/along the Columbia river. Constant mist/near drizzle, but no actual rain.  There was also some sort of triathlon going on, so we were sharing the path/road with a bunch of cyclists turned runner. (or is it the other way around? No clue, zero interest in triathlons).  We all managed to stay out of each others' way, no conflicts.

 

Last Thursday, I biked in to work, knowing I had an early (730) meeting. No issues, made it in, in plenty (well, enough) time. Then my day went sideways.  Fortunately, Mrs ORjt was out running errands, so I cried 'Uncle!' and had her pick me up at work -- didn't really feel like riding home *starting* at near 6pm. It worked out well - we'd planned for this as a possibility - she picked me up, we grabbed dinner, and I got home sooner than if I'd ridden. Missed the extra miles, but overall a win ...

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

Another week off the bike (I got sick again last week) is finally over. I managed to commute in this morning. I need to stop and vote on the way home, so it will be a longer ride than usual tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rwallen

Hi all!

 

Sorry to hear about you getting sick, raffi.

 

Not much to report here, just checking in.  I'm still pursuing miles.  I'm catching up with some of the previous years but still about 250 behind last year.  I have a couple of small multi-day rides coming up but still haven't planned that "big" ride yet.  I hope to get one in.

 

Anyway, take care!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rwallen

Hi all!

 

Not much to say.  I was thinking that I hadn't posted for a few days.  So, I should come on here and say something.  As it turns out, I don't have much to add to what I posted above.  :)

 

I do have a ride over the weekend.  It is on the Katy Trail and is just a leisurely Memorial weekend ride filled with music, food, and drinking.  I usually go for the riding and the food.  As with every year, it seems, there is a potential for rain.  I also thought that the rain would put a stop to some of my riding this week.  We have been in a daily rain pattern all week.  Luckily, I have been able to get out each day.  I hope my luck holds out.

 

I will say that I was able to get out for a 56 mile ride on Saturday.  I wanted to do a little bit more than my daily miles but hadn't decide if it would be any more than about 10.  It was a beautiful morning and I decided that I didn't have anything else that I just had to do.  So, at mile 26 I decided to take a turn that would take me on a route to the next little town outside of Springfield, instead of turning back towards home.  What can I say?  It was just a great ride.  I did meet a number of cyclist that were doing an organized ride. 

 

Next weekend, is a yearly 3 day tour that includes carrying all of my own gear.  I always look forward to it.

 

Anyway, until next time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Team Wells checking in. We finally did the 22 mile loop on Saturday 28 May.  We haven't done that loop since last September just before our first of two FDGB's the second of which is still causing some problems. However, we did manage the distance and we were not too bad considering all that has gone by in the past months. I still have those idiopathic aches and pains but they are manageable. I'm doing a lot more stretching following rides than I ever did. Today (Sunday 29 May) we're planning our "Sunday-16" followed by a nice lunch. Memorial day is forecast to be really wet so it will probably be another TdG day and catching up on many of the programs stored on our DVR. One thing has changed since FDGB #2 - I've lost interest in bicycle racing. We still love riding our tandem but watching the young folks race just doesn't have the same allure that it once had. Maybe it is seeing the crash then get up and ride and me re-living the past months. Anyway it makes for less TV time.

 

I'm sad to read that Raffi has been ill again. JT: Life happens and you just have to roll with the punches.

 

Stay upright!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

It's good to see that people are out and about and getting in the rides. I've managed a few commutes, but not much else. Yesterday, I did get in a 24 mile ride. This particular ride spends a lot of time on dirt roads and in some very pretty country. I'm hoping to do it again on Monday.

 

It would seem that whatever cold I got has subsided only to have its place taken by allergies. On the plus side, I have a better grasp of how to deal with allergies. Now if I can just get my energy back as well, riding will sound like a better idea that it has the last few weeks. At least once I'm on the bike, thing have been going well enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
notme

I am back at riding again and how I missed it. I have been working the hills a bit and they are starting to feel less daunting. Age is pretty mean!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

The deer are out to get me again. This morning, I saw a couple deer away off in a field silhouetted against the pre-dawn sky. Knowing their wily ways, I got my whistle ready and kept my eye on the road ahead of me. Sure enough, by the time I got to a downhill stretch (ie, picked up some speed), they hit the road right in front of me. Blowing my whistle did not seem to affect them at all. The two that I saw crossed the road far enough ahead of me that simply not pedaling kept me from hitting them, however the third (unseen) one, jumped out right in front of me and if I did not grab the brakes, I would have had my second bike/deer crash.

 

Stupid deer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ORjt

Hi all,

 

Nancy - good to hear from you. (And of course, the updates from everyone else, too!)

 

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend.

 

Another commute last week, then met up with some friends on Monday for a ride - 25 miles on an 'out and back' on one of the local rails-to-trails routes. Beautiful, mostly through forest, almost all uphill 'out', then (of course) downhill 'back'. We started early anticipating crowds; sure enough, the trail was packed, on the way back.  Lots of families, a few walker/hikers ... etc. (around 900' of climbing, mostly at 2-3% grade. Low gear, higher cadence, no significant issues with the knee).

 

This coming weekend, one of my favorite 'event' rides - a metric century. Fair amount of climbing, almost all in the first half. It's forecast to be 90+ (yikes! It'll mean an early start).

 

Stay safe out there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

It's that time of year again! Today was another fun Friday ride. I took the 21 mile route into work. While it is a bit longer, it skips the larger of my monster hills (trading it it for a a few smaller ones). On the way home tonight, I took a 20.5 mile route that skips both of my monster hills. And by skip, I mean I trade them in for one mega monster hill that is bigger than the two others put together. It's a beautiful ride winding up a mountain road and then almost 15 minutes of downhill coming off the other side.

 

I'm tired, but quite satisfied with today's commute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

This has been a pretty good week for Team Wells. We've done the 22 mile loop a few times and logged a total of 116 miles for the week. Our average speed is down from previous years in June but considering the injuries, recover time (actually, lack of complete recovery) and our advancing ages it isn't shabby.

 

I've been back and forth on what is causing the aches and all I can come up with is my original assumption backed up by the X-Rays of my pelvis from back in October - it's arthritis. While the Orthopedist tells me that the degree of osteoarthritis isn't that bad - I still ache. 

 

Raffi: Glad to read that you have recovered from your illness and are back to regular riding.

 

JT: Keep pedaling.

 

Nancy: The combination of age and hills is nasty. Keep those pedals spinning and don't be afraid of using those lower gears, getting over the top is the key even if you are slower than you used to be. I speak from experience.

 

Have a good weekend everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ORjt

Hi all,

 

Ronin/Raffi - keep up the good work :)

 

On Saturday, I opted for the 'flatter' metric - still a full 62 miles, but only 1800' of climbing vs the ~3300' on the hilly route. It was a good call. I got started at 630, done by 1130 (3 stops - one longish to have to reboot/fiddle with my Garmin). It was into the 90's by the time I got back.  We broke numerous (meteorologic) records over the weekend.  Sunday was 'full recovery' mode ...

 

Weather's supposed to be a lot better this week - hoping I can get in one commute, we'll see how the schedule plays out.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rwallen

Hi all!

 

Good to hear that everyone is getting in some miles...kinda getting back into their "routines".  This weekend was my 3 day mini-tour.  While it started off on the wet side the whole 3 days turned out pretty nice.  I think Friday was my first metric for the year, which is kind of sad.  For the 3 days, I had a little over 157 miles.  Of course, in Missouri, we have a few hills.  I neglected to weigh my extra gear but I had probably at least 30 extra pounds.

 

I'm sure that some of you know about the TransAm race.  It started on Sat. at 10am CST.  The girl that I am rooting for is about 600 miles in at this point.  I hope to catch a few of the riders as they pass by north of here...if my work schedule allows.

 

Other than that, I got nuttin'.

 

Take care!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Team Wells had a busy week with dental appointments for Linda, projects and rain on Sunday and Tuesday, Character Building winds on Thursday and Friday that made the cycling muscles ache.  Saturday, windy but not near the other days.  I'm still processing what it means to have arthritic hips and riding.  Weird because riding makes the hips feel better although the immediate post-ride is pretty achy. Fortunately some stretching, ice and massage and that settles down.

 

Tomorrow is going to be a rest day as we've done four days in a row and the tandem needs a new synch-chain and a few other maintenance items.  Also, more high winds predicted for Sunday.

 

Stay upright everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ORjt

Hi all,

 

Back-to-back rides this weekend - felt good to get out two days in a row.

 

Saturday, our TdC group ride was a 10 mile out and back (so, 20 total) along the Columbia river. Beautiful. We had a small group of only about 10, and just 3 of us did the full 20 miles. Weather had threatened rain, but actually was pretty nice. Low 60s, and overcast, but dry.

 

Sunday then was a local ride for me - ~22 miles out in the farmland. Much nicer day - mid 70's, few clouds, lots of sun and blue sky. Must have seen 2 dozen folks out riding.

 

We're back to off and on rain/showers for the week, not clear if I'll be able to get in a commute - have to just play it by ear.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

I made up, and installed, a new synch-chain for the tandem. It is surprising just how much power we were losing to a loose synch-chain. Unfortunately, I forgot to reset the seat post to accommodate the change in position of the pedal-axle in the eccentric. That caused a lot of discomfort in my hips. While it's probably about 1/8 of an inch the change in angles is pretty dramatic (remember geometry class?) when it comes to stress on the joints.

 

Today was yet-another Character-Building ride with continued stiff NW winds well in excess of 20 mph with stronger gusts. Not typical for June in NJ. Tomorrow is a day off for our 41st Anniversary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rwallen

Good morning!

 

Hope everyone is doing well!

 

JT, sounds like you had a couple of nice rides!

 

Ronin, we haven't been on our tandem, I don't think, in over a year.  We thought we would like to have a road tandem but I have discovered, unless I take a different approach, that my wife will never enjoy cycling the way I do.  That's ok but what I mean by a dfferent approach is, she won't ride for long stretches at a time and then when she does, it's usually 20 miles or more, which causes a lot of discomfort on her part.  I think we need to do short rides more often and work up to longer time in the saddle and longer distances for her.  Of course, that has to be up to her...to get out more.  I think the tandem would get her out more but our lives, especially hers, seems pretty hectic right now.  We have thought about converting the tandem to a "little kid hauler".  We saw where someone did that on our Pedaler's Jamboree ride on the Katy.

 

I am looking for another bike.  Can you believe it?  I think if I wait a while I can get either a new one or a little nicer one that what I am currently looking at with my present budget.  I don't know what I want for sure but I looked at an older road bike over the weekend.  Perhaps, it was the condition.  Maybe it was the fact that it was a road bike.  I didn't really care for it.  My cyclocross bike just seems to be SO solid but with it comes the additional weight.  I don't know if any of you are following the TransAm bike race but I am thinking that I would like to get into something like that.  Not that in particular, but some sort of endurance riding on pavement.  I don't want a high dollar bike.  Just an entry level that I could at least complete a race on.  Betty would offer that but I'd have to strip her down.  So, maybe another cyclocross bike.  I don't know.

 

Anyway, I got out for an early ride on Saturday and then joined up with a group doing a MS training ride. I had no plans but when it was all said and done, I ended up with 56 miles.  The last half of those were at a pretty quick pace because I was trying to get back home on time in order to make the appointment to go look at the bike.

 

I have been doing good on eating healthier.  I haven't been dieting.  I have changed my eating habits.  So, the weight has been slow to come off but it has been coming off.  In Feb. I was 204.  This morning I weighed 173.  While no one has really noticed it has been good for my morale and has improved my cycling, which I knew it would.  I am still chasing last year's mileage but I am about to catch up on the total miles.  The next goal will be to exceed my total miles with only outside cycling miles and not count the miles on the spin bike, which I think I only have 89 of them.  I am considering finding time to do some century and 200K rides, perhaps 300K.  I would like to see if I could work up to multiple days of a couple of hundred mile days.

 

Anyway, enough about me!  I hope everyone has a great week!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

Busyness and weather are not promoting lots of rides. I did managed to commute yesterday and the morning commute was quite pleasant and even loosened up my stiff back (no idea why it has been so stiff lately, but at least riding does more good than harm).

 

All day long, the weather guessers were predicting high winds for my evening commute. The reality was nowhere near as bad as the predictions and it was mostly a crosswind and not the headwind that I was expecting. The predicted wind did have me change back to the poorly maintained gravel vs. the short stretch of highway. The choice of being blown around on the shoulder of a highway or on a lightly traveled gravel road did not take much thinking over. Turns out the the gravel road was in better shape than I expected which was nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ORjt

Hi All,

 

Ronin - congrats on the anniversary!

Raffi - we're both under the same weather pattern for the time being. I *might* be able to commute on Friday; otherwise, it's rain, off and on, till at least then. We were quite windy yesterday evening ...

Rick, sounds like you had a great ride. I'm always looking for n+1, but it's probably a way off before I actually contemplate buying another bike.  The contrast between the 'cross (commuter) and road bike is pretty dramatic. I don't notice so much going from road to 'cross - but coming back the other way? Oh yeah.  Were I seriously looking, I'd probably go with something along the lines of the current 'adventure' or 'endurance' bikes - I like the long rides, and I like the sharp handling of the road bike, but it could all be dialed back a little, and honestly, I wouldn't notice.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
raffi

There was a freeze warning around here last night. Needless to say, I was bundled up like it was February or March for my morning commute. At least the roads were not icy. Since I was bundled up, the commute was comfortable and went pretty smoothly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.