Month: April 2014 (page 2 of 3)

Are you new to cycling? Here is what NOT to do!

April Bike Loot

Bike Loot LogoMy first Bike Loot box arrived today and I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning and couldn’t wait to open it. Since this was my first Bike Loot box I didn’t know what to expect. Besides 5 great products they also include a card with a description of each product along with a “Loot Tip” which is how to/best use of the product. On the other side of the card is a quote which says “Wow. I really regret that workout” – Said no one ever

So without further ado here are the gratuitous unboxing photos.

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I’ll admit it, I’m a fair weather rider

Yuigloop, that’s right I’m not fond of venturing out in the colder temps. That’s not to say I haven’t done it and I certainly have the gear for it but I don’t find it particularly pleasurable riding in sub freezing temps. It’s much easier riding from summer to fall and then into the winter when the temps are dropping gradually. It’s not very easy when you have 70+F weather on the weekend and then wake up to a 28F temp complete with snow and ice the following Wednesday. Needless to say I didn’t venture out yesterday. Instead I did a little bike maintenance, like putting on some clear stickers from Lizard Skins to prevent the paint from cable rub. I also spent a bit of money on some new bibs and jersey from Performance Bike, specifically their Ultra SL Bib Shorts and Ultra Short Sleeve Jersey. I plan on doing a review on them so stay tuned and it looks like they already shipped so I might have them for the weekend. Woo hoo! I also couldn’t pass up their one day 20% off Garneau sale so I should be looking stylish this summer!

Not sure if I’ll get a ride in today or not as it hasn’t even hit 50F here and it’s still windy. I really don’t want to have to dig out the cold weather gear as I put it away (along with my ice scraper which made cleaning the car window interesting) I may just wimp out as much as I want to ride and hit it hard his weekend!

Rain, rain, go away…

Rubber DuckyWell there will be no riding today as it is raining cats and dogs outside. It might be a good night for me to put the 32c tires back on the Tricross… the roads took a beating this winter and the 25’s I have on it now aren’t as forgiving comfort-wise. Hopefully I’ll be back on the road tomorrow and the the snow they are predicting overnight doesn’t turn out to be anything. It’s April 15th, we shouldn’t have to worry about snow now.

To spin or to grind, that is the question!

CrankIn my  younger days I honestly couldn’t tell you how I pedaled the bike, I just pushed with my legs and the bike moved, if I got tired I shifted to an easier gear. However more recently, when I was riding my mountain bike regularly I was definitely a “grinder”, that is someone with a low cadence ~70rpm. This certainly worked well for technical single track since there really was never many long straights and with rocks, roots and stumps to avoid there really wasn’t any time to worry or think about it.

When I started riding seriously on the road again last year I just fell into my old mountain biking ways but grinding away on hills was brutal. I began to do a little reading and talking to people and the question arose what was my cadence. The suggestion was to go to an easier gear and spin at around 90-100rpms. This was supposed to have a two fold effect, it’s easier on the leg muscles and thus I should theoretically be able to ride longer.

With my new found suggestions I did just that, hills were a little easier and I found my legs less tired after a climb but I sure was winded! See all that spinning is very aerobic and taxing on the cardiovascular system. It got a little easier every time out but even with my cyclometer/gps programs I really couldn’t say if I was performing better or not.

It wasn’t until someone suggested to me on my group ride last week when I was struggling to stay on the wheel in front of me that I might want to shift up a gear or two. I had gotten so focused on my cadence I completely forgot how to stay with the pack. I’ve only been out a couple of times since that revelation but I stopped watching my cadence, I’m attacking hills harder until the legs burn and then shift to an easier gear until they recover. I don’t seem to have any longevity issues and according to a few Strava segments I’m actually performing better. Honestly it’s like a new found freedom and I think my legs recover faster than my breathing does when I was spinning.

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