|Trace The Mitten|
When I started riding a bike as a kid helmets were not on our radar. When my kids started riding they were starting to promote them in bike safety classes at school. I did not see the importance, even though I used them on tours and races; don't ask me to rationalize that.
When I started riding steady and seriously ten years ago I bought a good helmet. I had read that my old helmets could not remain safety rated effective. I use a helmet close to 100% of the time now.
Five years I experienced a fall that showed the value of my helmet. I was riding a single track connecting two paved walkways. I was going less than 10 miles an hour when I touched the pavement. My street smooth tires grabbed hold and wrenched the tires 90°. I immediately hit the pavement! My head hit the hard surface, my glasses flew into the grass. Skinned elbow and knee paled to my embarrassment. I looked around with an air of bravado for anyone who might have seen me. As I removed my helmet to replace my glasses, I noted a crack in the helmet from the impact.
Wo! A cracked helmet from that speed.
Soon into my ride today my chain came off as I downshifted going up a hill. The photo above shows how the chain was wedged between the gears and bottom bracket.
There was no way my fingers could pry the chain out. I travel with a bike multi-tool and a leatherman type multi-tool. I was able to use the pliers to loosen the grip on the chain.
I do not use tools each outing, but when I need them; I am glad to have them.
I really just thought about this until this past week while on the trainer and I want to figure this out to have a more comfortable ride.
On tour rides i am sitting for hours and my butt gets sore sometimes. During the rides now I will use my legs, arms, drops and weight shifts to relieve the pressure on the rear. This will strengthen my legs. The stronger legs will help power the ride. Too many times I have felt that I was spinning and rooted on the seat. I felt that pushing the pedals down with the leg muscles will add power; at least more than just the spinning the mass of my legs.
Do road riders hover over the seat, straddling the seat most of the time. Doesn't seat allow you better balance?
What do you think? I will give you my conclusion after some long spring rides.
I am feeling my way with using the fat tire bike in snow. I only went out once last winter and today was the only time this season.
What did I learn?
1. Blazing a trail uses a Lot of energy. The wider tires add stability, but you still sink into the surface.
2. It can be hard to get started once you stop. I need to stop as I work hard.
a. The slightest incline causes your feet to slip as you try to push off to move forward. My front wheels wobbled to either side
In the first month I exercised 29 out of 31 days. Due to the weather all of this was inside onan exercise bike.
I resolved to be more aggressive in my winter mileage. Last year I felt soft going into the nice weather. Staying healthy this winter is essential for me to stay on track. I believe you can only do so much to stay clear of the germs. ( Diet, sleep, wash those hands, be aware of compromising situations, vitamins & minerals)
I must attribute my great month to a friends suggestion. I previously had exercised in the basement and my friend suggested moving the bike upstairs where I could take advantage of the sunlight. GREAT SUGGESTION! I love it.
When I moved the set up I did another adjustment; I used my current touring cycle. The previous set up used a bike the was not as comfortable. Duh, why did I not do this earlier?
MY ADVICE: Listen to your complaints why you don't exercise more or whatever and figure out a solution. Share your frustration with a friend, a new perspective may provide new insight.
I just up a touring bike on a new magnetic trainer and found the angle of the seat much different from what I remember on the last ride.
My arms were holding too much of my upper body straight. I had a difficult time staying on the seat without both hands on the handlebars. I used my level and could see why. Get out the hex wrench and make corrections.
Level your seat! It will help your safety and ride.
Are you like me when planning you workout and say one of these two things? I will ride for an hour. I am going 10 miles. Well, you might say a third; I will ride to a point and turn around.
With winter snow and ice I do inside training and i find it hard to maintain time in the saddle. I do like to watch football and basketball games. I found a way to motivate me and that is to ride until half time or the end of a quarter. The nature of those games is that you do not know exactly how long you will cycle. I like this because when I ride in a new area I do not know how long it is to a destination.
I am pleased with this new aspect of my inside workouts, because it has motivated me. I want to be ready to hit the road once the roads clear up.
What suggestions do you have?