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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-04-06, 09:03 PM   #1
FarHorizon
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Winter walking instead of cycling?

I find that when the weather gets really cold, about 40F or cooler (I'm from Louisiana ), the wind-chill factor on the bike becomes unpleasant. I've been walking daily (interspersed with whatever jogging my ankles will tolerate without spraining).

Am I just a wuss, or is this a reasonable variation with temperature? For those who say that I'm just ultrasensitive to cold, you're probably right, but I also bike all summer at 100F AND 100% humidity. Maybe it balances out?
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Old 11-04-06, 09:20 PM   #2
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I would say three things:

1) Some exercise is better than no exercise; and

2) It would be just as valuable for your cardiovascular system if you work hard enough to get into your "training zones"; but

3) Your muscular strength and endurance in your legs will suffer according to the Principle of Specificity. Come springtime, you will have lost a bit in your cycling. But if your goal is to stay fit and/or lose weight without regards to modality (i.e. cycling), you'll be fine. If your goal is to race, or to train for a century (or double) in the spring, you'll be hurting your success.

My 2 cents.

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Old 11-04-06, 10:01 PM   #3
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I've only ridden around -6 C (approx 21 F), but I've skiied at below -18 C/0 F. Partly it's dressing for the climate, and partly it is acclimatization, ie. gradually getting used to the cold. Simply put, -6 seems really cold in the fall, but not in the spring. The more often you get out and ride in the cold, the more your body will adapt.
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Old 11-04-06, 10:03 PM   #4
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Some years I drop cycling and try jogging on treadmills, swimming, walking. Even in the best of winters I'll be a wimp on the bike once spring arrives. I figure as long as I excercise I'm doing okay.

As for riding the cold - I commute and my rules are ride if it's +20F to +110F - no riding in snow or freezing rain or microburst winds. (I learned those rules the hard way).

Riding in cold is all about the clothes - layers, layers, layers. The only real trouble I have is at 20F my glasses frost over. I have to scrape the ice off.
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Old 11-04-06, 10:49 PM   #5
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IMHO walking || running || jogging is very akin to cycling and likely goes hand in hand.
I sometimes go for a 30 - 45 minute walk after eating dinner instead of just sitting on the couch having the cable TV wash over me like so many other Michiganders... is it any wonder we are the most obese state in the US?
Sometimes on my commute home, anywhere between 3:00am and 6:00 am, when the weather is cold (30 or lower) I get off my bike and walk for a few hundred feet. This warms my feet up quite a bit and stretches out the muscles I have had in a sedentary position while riding (my commute is 25 miles RT).
If I weren't so big (read: overweight) I'd probably take up running as an additive exercise to cycling. Maybe when my weight gets below 250lbs I'll give it a shot.
I don't think you are wussing it out for walking, if anything it'll help develope the muscles you are neglecting while riding, helping you to become a better cyclist because of it.
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Old 11-04-06, 11:04 PM   #6
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that would definitely be a factor if i were in a colder state. as it is i run/walk now that days are shorter; no time to ride during the week.
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Old 11-05-06, 05:34 AM   #7
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now that days are shorter; no time to ride during the week.
Oh there's time. Buy some lights and replace a couple hours of sleep with riding
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Old 11-05-06, 07:27 AM   #8
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Walkin

Greetings,

During the winter months around Western New York, I bike less since the salt combined with magnesium chloride on the roads really will corrode a bike in no time. I suppliment with an indoor trainer listening to music to kill the boredom and walk the Erie Canal Towpath I am escorted by 2 German Shepherds on the walks and they really love it! Layering is the key to your warmth, your body will adjust!

Tom......
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Old 11-05-06, 08:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
IMHO walking || running || jogging is very akin to cycling and likely goes hand in hand.
I sometimes go for a 30 - 45 minute walk after eating dinner instead of just sitting on the couch having the cable TV wash over me like so many other Michiganders... is it any wonder we are the most obese state in the US?
Sometimes on my commute home, anywhere between 3:00am and 6:00 am, when the weather is cold (30 or lower) I get off my bike and walk for a few hundred feet. This warms my feet up quite a bit and stretches out the muscles I have had in a sedentary position while riding (my commute is 25 miles RT).
If I weren't so big (read: overweight) I'd probably take up running as an additive exercise to cycling. Maybe when my weight gets below 250lbs I'll give it a shot.
I don't think you are wussing it out for walking, if anything it'll help develope the muscles you are neglecting while riding, helping you to become a better cyclist because of it.
Walking/running has about half the caloric burn of cycling, but as said earlier in the thread...any exercise is better than none!
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Old 11-05-06, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Walking/running has about half the caloric burn of cycling
That depends on how fast you go. Running is likely to burn more calories than cycling, because you can't coast.
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Old 11-05-06, 10:19 AM   #11
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walk,ride a skateboard, use a pogo stick it's all exercise and it's not driving a car. It's not being a wuss.
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Old 11-05-06, 10:25 AM   #12
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Only high winds stop me from riding. I wear a down parka, thermal long underwear,Thermolite gloves, & a heavy-weight balaclava, & heavy socks. After a little exertion some of that can prove to be too much in these days of global warming. Oh yeah, don't forget the electrically heated glasses.
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Old 11-05-06, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker
That depends on how fast you go. Running is likely to burn more calories than cycling, because you can't coast.
60 minutes running at my weight: 949 calories burned
60 minutes cycling: 1099 calories burned.

This is based on flat ground and a running pace of 12 mph vs cycling 14 mph and not allowing for temp, elevation or wind.
http://www.wvda.org/calcs/sport.html

It's not twice the burn, earlier statement was a big oversimplification, but given the lower impact of cycling on the joints, etc, the net gain is much larger than indicated by caloric burn alone!
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Old 11-05-06, 10:42 AM   #14
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I find that keeping your fitness through power walking works fine.. At 200+, running is very hard on the knees. I have found that power walking w/ short intense bursts (sprints) works best for me and my knees..
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Old 11-05-06, 11:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
given the lower impact of cycling on the joints, etc, the net gain is much larger than indicated by caloric burn alone!
That I agree with 100%.
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Old 11-05-06, 12:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
60 minutes running at my weight: 949 calories burned
60 minutes cycling: 1099 calories burned.

This is based on flat ground and a running pace of 12 mph vs cycling 14 mph and not allowing for temp, elevation or wind.
http://www.wvda.org/calcs/sport.html
I will also bet there are VERY FEW clydes that can maintain a 5 minute mile (12 mph) for an hour. Depending on my conditioning I can maintain a 7 or 8 minute mile for an hour and feel like I am hauling along pretty good. So Tom is correct it is easier to maintain a higher burn rate on a bike if you do your part.

Regardless of which is "optimal" between biking or walking both are great exercise if you do them consistently. The trick to weight loss is caloric control the trick to fitness is is consistency of exercise. The exercise you do is far better than the exercise you avoid due to discomfort.
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Old 11-05-06, 01:16 PM   #17
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If you don't enjoy riding in certain conditions, don't do it. I'd hate for you to resent riding and have it feel like an obligation or a chore. It's supposed to be fun. In my case, the cold doesn't bother me too much. I do, however, find that I lose weight easier if I walk.
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Old 11-05-06, 02:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
...sitting on the couch having the cable TV wash over me like so many other Michiganders... is it any wonder we are the most obese state in the US?
I thought my native Louisiana had that dubious honor? Maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 11-05-06, 03:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
I find that when the weather gets really cold, about 40F or cooler (I'm from Louisiana ), the wind-chill factor on the bike becomes unpleasant. I've been walking daily (interspersed with whatever jogging my ankles will tolerate without spraining).

Am I just a wuss, or is this a reasonable variation with temperature? For those who say that I'm just ultrasensitive to cold, you're probably right, but I also bike all summer at 100F AND 100% humidity. Maybe it balances out?
Cold is actually easier to deal with then heat, you need to dress properly, which varies depending on the temperature and your own heat production. I tend not to bike in winter, for other reasons, the primary one is that they use chemicals to prevent ice forming on the roads, and those chemicals are not good if they get on a bike. A good site for information is icebike.com, you want to dress a little cool so that heat from activity will keep you warm.
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Old 11-05-06, 04:26 PM   #20
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Cold is actually easier to deal with then heat, you need to dress properly
If you have some cash and are willing to experiment a little bit you should be able to stay on your bike. Winter cycling clothes are hard to come by up north so I can imagine they'd be super tough to find down south. It's easy to keep riding at 40 degrees with the right gear though.

That said, I enjoy trail running too. It's way easier on the joints than running on pavement and, as far as I'm concerned, more fun.

Walking doesn't do much for me but I suppose it is better than nothing.
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Old 11-05-06, 06:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
I question any site that lists fishing as more exercise than frisbee. Also, for my weight (245) they estimate riding 14-15.9 mph is equal to running a 10 minute mile (6mph). That's a pretty slow run. I've always found running to be a much more intense physical effort. In particular this is because when you run you are lifting yourself off the ground with each step. The heavier you are the more work is being done since work in this case is mass * gravity * height. Mass has a linear relationship to how much work you do in this part of your stride when running. This is only true for biking when you climb hills. It's definitely not true on the flat. The rest of the work is overcoming drag, which is where you do most of the work on a bike, but it's proportional to surface area and the square of velocity rather than weight.

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Old 11-05-06, 07:02 PM   #22
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I question any site that lists fishing as more exercise than frisbee. Also, for my weight (245) they estimate riding 14-15.9 mph is equal to running a 10 minute mile (6mph). That's a pretty slow run. I've always found running to be a much more intense physical effort. In particular this is because when you run you are lifting yourself off the ground with each step. The heavier you are the more work is being done since work in this case is mass * gravity * height. Mass has a linear relationship to how much work you do in this part of your stride when running. This is only true for biking when you climb hills. It's definitely not true on the flat. The rest of the work is overcoming drag, which is where you do most of the work on a bike, but it's proportional to surface area and the square of velocity rather than weight.

-Adam
Adam, all I know is I get a more reliable runup into cardio range on my heart rate cycling than running and I am not damaging my knees doing it. I really don't have a problem with you running, or anybody else running. All I am saying is what I have seen based on both my observed evidence from my activity as well as established emperical evidence from medical studies from sources that I consider to be both reputable and accurate. This is based on my training I am going through in physiology currently and my best judgement on the credentials of the researchers. I also do other exercises to prevent hypertrophy of my Quadriceps and atrophy of my adductor muscles. This helps me avoid problems like shortened hamstrings and IT band/SI joint issues.
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Old 11-05-06, 07:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Adam, all I know is I get a more reliable runup into cardio range on my heart rate cycling than running and I am not damaging my knees doing it. I really don't have a problem with you running, or anybody else running. All I am saying is what I have seen based on both my observed evidence from my activity as well as established emperical evidence from medical studies from sources that I consider to be both reputable and accurate. This is based on my training I am going through in physiology currently and my best judgement on the credentials of the researchers. I also do other exercises to prevent hypertrophy of my Quadriceps and atrophy of my adductor muscles. This helps me avoid problems like shortened hamstrings and IT band/SI joint issues.
Tom, I'm sorry, but I gave you the totally wrong idea. I said running is HARD. I never said I did it! Heavens no. Running kills my knees, and it's hard enough that I can't really keep it up for more than 20-30 minutes. I feel like I'm going to die. Cycling on the other hand I've done for 4+ hours, and all I got was a fabulous workout. I fully support cycling as a stellar cardio exercise, especially for those of us who are living large!
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Old 11-05-06, 07:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
I find that when the weather gets really cold, about 40F or cooler (I'm from Louisiana ), the wind-chill factor on the bike becomes unpleasant. I've been walking daily (interspersed with whatever jogging my ankles will tolerate without spraining).

Am I just a wuss, or is this a reasonable variation with temperature? For those who say that I'm just ultrasensitive to cold, you're probably right, but I also bike all summer at 100F AND 100% humidity. Maybe it balances out?
I hate the cold. It's cold here from now to April. I ride my bike on a trainer in the basement and every third day or so I walk in the local mall for 60 minutes. Walking is great exercise!
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Old 11-05-06, 07:39 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by abertsch
Tom, I'm sorry, but I gave you the totally wrong idea. I said running is HARD. I never said I did it! Heavens no. Running kills my knees, and it's hard enough that I can't really keep it up for more than 20-30 minutes. I feel like I'm going to die. Cycling on the other hand I've done for 4+ hours, and all I got was a fabulous workout. I fully support cycling as a stellar cardio exercise, especially for those of us who are living large!
No apology necessary! I was just trying to clarify my position, not whip on you, believe me!
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