It’s now January 2017 and while I started writing this in December my brain is a bit eclectic, easily distracted keeping everything in the moment.
By now most of the good ol U.S. of A has been experiencing Valley Forge conditions as we here in Margarettaville enjoy low 60’s in the morning followed by low 80’s at mid day. It’s dry for the most part but today it smells like rain about 5 minutes away and so we have this, whatever this is to become. The constant steady breezes arrive daily from the north east for the most part. Perfect. Bring on the winter people, WAIT!!!….. they’re here, much to the delight of the Chamber Of Commerce. I’m pretty sure that’s where it ends. The roadways and restaurants are clogged. The former impacts my cycling habits while the latter not so much. Mrs. Heisey enjoys cooking, shopping for and talking about food. I’m blessed, married well. And oh by the way… my snow bird neighbors are great. Pretty sure Great Horned Owls are not snow birds but they’re definitely more active around my place during the winter months.
Car on bike wrecks here in Charlotte Co. Florida have become epidemic. A couple of riders hit by side mirrors,(separate incidents) a youngin’ hit while riding and a 50 something year old rider hit and killed on route 41 in an area known as South Punta Gorda. One of the side view mirror incidents happened to a rider while riding with friends on one of our cycling main arteries. She’s a very experienced rider, helmet, hi vis and all and lived to tell the tale. One of her buddies actually chased the driver down. He was unaware of the contact he made with the cyclist. The First Responders were dispatched, the driver was cited and a police report was obtained. Another side mirror incident happened to a lone rider and it was a hit and run. She was found by the road by passerby’s and reported that the sheriff was very nonchalant. The youngin’ was hit by a truck on Taylor Road and air lifted to the hospital, that’s all I know except that Taylor Road is to be avoided. Traffic can be heavy, big trucks and all, heading to and from a Wal Mart. The 50 something rider was out at night crossing a 4 lane with no lights and no helmet. She was struck down and then run over by 2 others while laying on the road, brutal. She needed more than a helmet to survive all that, she didn’t.
Optics being everything, it would be easy to lay this all off onto the winter people. A lot of them act like they’re on spring break upon arrival here for sure but we are an older population chocked full red necks with too much pickup truck, and we have our fair share of young adults out there reenacting the movie Fast and Furious. And so here we are, cyclist, just wanting to co-exist on our roadways. We choose our routes wisely, wear helmets and hi-vis clothing lights and blinkers as needed and we ride with others. We take enough of the lane hoping the motorist doesn’t try to squeeze by forcing us into the gutter when there’s oncoming traffic . We do all these things but the simple truth is we get little respect from motorist, a fact that will not change anytime soon. Why?
Question. Will I be the first to know when I’m too old to drive a car? Signs point to no.
A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run. If it’s preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run, it is not called a bike race, it is called duathlon or a triathlon. Neither of which is a bike race. Also keep in mind that one should only swim in order to prevent drowning, and should only run if being chased. And even then, one should only run fast enough to prevent capture.
I only bring this to light because I started running again. It’s a great way to achieve a complete cardio musculoskeletal workout in a short amount of time, ideal for those who work for a living and have busy schedules. That’s not me. My every day is Saturday. I’m hoping the running will compliment cycling by improving my respiration. Then there’s the whole thing about cyclist loosing bone density, calcium / minerals lost by sweating not being replaced. Impact while running ,walking triggers the tissue to replace these essentials.
THE TISSUE ISSUE
To understand why, let’s take a look at how healthy bones work. Your body is continuously renovating your skeleton, absorbing old bone tissue and replacing it with calcium that helps form new bone. Physical activity that includes impact and vibration (running, strength training, even walking) stresses the tissue and triggers the rebuilding process. Cycling, however, has no such effect. Thanks to its seated, off-the-ground riding position, it actually minimizes impact on your skeletal system. And there’s a chance that the more you ride, the greater your risk of losing bone mass, says Aaron Smathers, MS, lead author of the aforementioned study.
When it comes to calcium replacement again I’m blessed that the wife sets a great training table loaded with all those thing mom made me eat. Plenty of spinach and romaine in the daily salad. The dark leafy veggies are a great source of calcium and I’ve discovered the key to eating brussel sprouts, hold your nose. Sorry but they smell like cat pee and so getting past the smell is essential.
And so as long as I get the green light from my left knee I plan to run a few miles/week. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. ( Mike Tyson) My left knee will be that punch. No more OCD running or when the knee aches. Been that guy. Nothing feels better than a zone 2/3 ride when the knee is stiff. The pain subsides quickly. DID YOU GET THAT LAST PART! THE PAIN SUBSIDES DURING A BIKE RIDE! AND AFTER THE RIDE THE THING FEELS MUCH BETTER. SO WHY NOT TRY RIDING AFTER THE RUN!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
This is Lazarus and he’s back from the dead. He came to me quite by chance. I was riding early morning in the little town of Punta Gorda and he was out for the trash. The wheels and seat post were missing but everything else was there, chain, derailleurs, crank, headset, steerer. And so I grabbed it not knowing much about it. It said Trek on it and so…..well….it said Trek on it, 19″/48mm (tall frame), Gary Fisher. I know very little about mountain bikes but I do know that Gary Fisher is a pivotal person when it comes to the development of the modern mountain bike. Wanting to know more I live chat with Trek (very nice and friendly) and discover it’s a 2013 Gary Fisher Wahoo 29er. I jump on Amazon (about 5 months have passed) and buy a wheel set, cassette, new pads and rotors. All toll about $270.00.
First impressions: The bike IS tall and the components are low end. After fussing with the mechanical disc brakes I finally achieved some decent stopping power. Everything else checked out. The thing is very robust weighing about 32 pounds and the 2.2″ tires are way too much for the tarmac and not enough for the loose sand pits around here but that probably says more about me (newbie mtn. biker) than the bike. I do plan to ride it and who knows maybe it’ll become a regular thing. Lots of off road gravel road places around here ALL OF WHICH ARE MOTORIST FREE . Stay tuned.
Thanks everyone, all 3000+ of my subscribers. 2016 was a great year on the bike. I accomplished everything I planned to do, boo koo miles ridden blah blah blah + one very nice surprise. My average cadence is up about 10% ! I’ve become a spinner. Work the cardio save the legs. Keeping pace in lower gears is the only way to fly. A special shout out to the 5 AM boys for showing me the way.
2017 New Years Resolutions:
- Bike Handling: Will come with trail riding. Lots of twist and turns on a heavier bike and surprises just around the corner. Hoping this will enhance my road biking reflexes and concentration.
- Communication: My reaction to road hazards is to reach for the brakes. On or preferably before braking I want to announce “slowing, stopping”. To modify this involuntary reaching for the brakes behavior I will try to announce braking even when it’s expected. Hopefully those around me will tolerate this. On the friendly group ride I want to verbalize to the group “hold the pace, hold the line, pull through” rather than just ignoring the disruptive rider all while not being the disruptive rider.
- Recognize my erratic behavior: When I’m tired and hurting (usually me bottom) I tend spin, stop, spin rather than spin smoothly. When I’m hurting I tend to move around in the saddle a lot looking for comfort. Both are indicators that I need to move to the back and not be a hazard.