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  1. #1
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    Taking care of your 'engine' and riding styles

    So, as carfree peoples, your body is your engine.....how do you keep it in good condition, clean, and ready to deliver day in/day out?

    Since being carfree (a few weeks now) i've had days where i just didnt feel like riding.....

    How do you 'psyche' yourself into getting into the saddle when in that kinda mood?

    Its funny, i'll leave home and feel awful....5 minutes into the ride, i'm loving it!

    All i do to take care of my body is to stretch regularly.....any tips?

    What about diet...has it changed at all for you?

    This leads into the next question....what is your riding style like? I've found lately that its much more enjoyable and less stressful to leave 5-10 minutes earlier and have a really cruisy/slow ride to work than have to hammer it all the way to work to get there in time......same goes on the way home.

    Whaddabout you?

    I think the main thing i've learnt since being carfree is to not worry about what everyone else is doing and keeping up with them.....do things your own way and at your own pace...even if its slower than everyone else!

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    First, I'm quite careful how I eat. I don't eat nearly as much meat as I did a few years ago. Now I might have meat once or twice a week, if that often. I will have beans, lentils, cottage cheese or tofu quite often. I'm also eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and almost no commercially processed foods.

    In the warmer months, I'm outside quite a lot and I get my exercise walking and cycling. It's not really an exercise program because I've incorporated these things into my lifestyle. In winter, because it's cold and because the days are quite short, I'm not on the bike as much, although it's still my primary form of transportation. I also get a gym pass for several months each winter. My workouts are primarily cardio and upper body since my legs get a workout from the bike.

    My commute is short and so are most of my other routine runs in town. Still, there are times I don't really feel like getting on the bike. But I keep riding and almost as soon as I get on the bike, I feel pretty good. It's as if the act of cycling energizes me.
    Life is good.

  3. #3
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    I eat a lot.... of chocolate !

    lol

    No meat though, I am a vegetarian...
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  4. #4
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    I've noticed the biggest difference by watching what I eat. I've all but completely cut out fast food and I can honestly say that I feel "fresher" longer. Also, eating rebuilding foods, like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, really help get me over the "I'm pretty tired today" blues. If you're a veggie, like me, just make sure you get all of the nutrients that you are missing out on by not consuming meat. I thought about a multivitamin, but I never take 'em. Oh yeah. I'd also suggest going easy on the carbs. They just end up slowing me down.

    Also, I'm an advocate for stretching. It might not be necessary for cycling, but it puts my mind in the right place.

    Sure, there are days when I don't feel like riding either. But, as I'm sure any cyclist, or runner, can attest, once you start remembering the high that you get from riding, you really look forward to getting back outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    It's as if the act of cycling energizes me.
    amen.

  6. #6
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    Stretching and strengthening the legs, for the sake of the knees.

    I have heard that imbalances in strength and tightness can move things out of proper alignment and cause pain when using the knees in high-repetition activity.

    I don't know much about it personally, but I did have an episode of bad knee pain and the doctor gave me a month's worth of drugs to get rid of the pain plus as sheet of stretching and strengthening exercies to do every day.
    Riding in search of the simple life.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan180iq View Post
    I've noticed the biggest difference by watching what I eat. I've all but completely cut out fast food and I can honestly say that I feel "fresher" longer. Also, eating rebuilding foods, like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, really help get me over the "I'm pretty tired today" blues. If you're a veggie, like me, just make sure you get all of the nutrients that you are missing out on by not consuming meat. I thought about a multivitamin, but I never take 'em. Oh yeah. I'd also suggest going easy on the carbs. They just end up slowing me down.

    Also, I'm an advocate for stretching. It might not be necessary for cycling, but it puts my mind in the right place.

    Sure, there are days when I don't feel like riding either. But, as I'm sure any cyclist, or runner, can attest, once you start remembering the high that you get from riding, you really look forward to getting back outside.

    I have a couple questions.

    If you realize your missing out on some essential amino acids than why not just eat meat.

    My other more serious question is if your a vegetarian and you tried to go easy on the carbs what were you eating???? I may have figured out your fatigue problem. ha ha

    Ok so maybe that one was not serious either

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitram View Post

    Since being carfree (a few weeks now) i've had days where i just didnt feel like riding.....

    How do you 'psyche' yourself into getting into the saddle when in that kinda mood?

    Its funny, i'll leave home and feel awful....5 minutes into the ride, i'm loving it!

    All i do to take care of my body is to stretch regularly.....any tips?

    What about diet...has it changed at all for you?

    This leads into the next question....what is your riding style like? I've found lately that its much more enjoyable and less stressful to leave 5-10 minutes earlier and have a really cruisy/slow ride to work than have to hammer it all the way to work to get there in time......same goes on the way home.

    Whaddabout you?

    I think the main thing i've learnt since being carfree is to not worry about what everyone else is doing and keeping up with them.....do things your own way and at your own pace...even if its slower than everyone else!

    Cheers
    I don't worry about any of it. In a rain in the 30s I get a shock but like you say in a few minutes it feels refreshing. Why should I go at anything other than "my own pace"? I'm not sure what you mean by psyching myself to get in the saddle.

  9. #9
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    I think that once you are more fit you will find that you can ride 10-15 miles or whatever without even feeling like you are exercising.

    Its like riding a scooter or a motorcycle.

  10. #10
    aspiring island dweller spinninwheels's Avatar
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    This is obviously an individual thing, but I think there are common themes most everyone can agree on. But one must be able to separate the mental aspect from the physical.

    For example, two winters ago I took the bus into work (2 days in a row), coincidentally during one of the infrequent snow storm(s) that we can experience here in Vancouver. But it wasn't because of the wx or the roads - I was sick, and barely had the energy to work, let alone cycle there. That being said, when it rains here (which is a lot in the wintertime), I'm not always inclined to run errands and such - but I still do if it involves food.

    If you eat poorly and don't hydrate accordingly, you're going to have problems (GIGO). So I think a fitting diet is instrumental in fueling your engine. Myself, I am a pescetarian (vegetarian plus seafood). I turned vegetarian back in '95, but I reintroduced fish into my diet around 2000 (I reiterate, this is an individual thing). And as healthy as I eat, I have some vices like chocolate, really strong coffee and potato chips.

    Since I’ve practiced yoga on and off over the years, I am a proponent of stretching and the benefits yielded from it - yet ironically, I don’t stretch before I jump on the bike. Mind you I don’t crank out 400 watts right off the bat either. I ease into it. But I think this is an individual thing as well.

    And I guess that is my point with respect to diet, fitness and cycling. As long as you’re on the bike, things can only get better.
    Life is either a wild adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

  11. #11
    Instigator at best kjohnnytarr's Avatar
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    I try to eat healthy, but sometimes it's all about cramming whatever calories I can get. As long as things go well on the Jon, I figure I'm doing OK diet-wise. Unfortunately, I do eat a lot of processed food because I eat at a dining hall, but I stay away from sodas and syrupy stuff.

    I don't really do any exercise outside of biking, except for a bunch of chinups (to stay in shape for the rare climbing trip)

    My riding style? As fast as possible, with as few stops as possible I do signal and obey the law though, with the exception of running reds after a check. I must admit I do have a fondness for skitching.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
    I have a couple questions.

    If you realize your missing out on some essential amino acids than why not just eat meat.

    My other more serious question is if your a vegetarian and you tried to go easy on the carbs what were you eating???? I may have figured out your fatigue problem. ha ha

    Ok so maybe that one was not serious either
    Not eating meat is a moral/philosophical thing for me, so simply starting to eat meat isn't an option.

    Being a vegetarian, I actually have learned to eat a wider variety of foods. Not eating meat doesn't force someone to only consume carbs. At the beginning, yeah, I was on, I'd say, a 70% carbohydrate diet. Now, I just eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Of course I'm not anti-carb. I just don't over indulge, like I used to. I mean, there is nothing better than a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan180iq View Post
    Not eating meat is a moral/philosophical thing for me, so simply starting to eat meat isn't an option.

    Being a vegetarian, I actually have learned to eat a wider variety of foods. Not eating meat doesn't force someone to only consume carbs. At the beginning, yeah, I was on, I'd say, a 70% carbohydrate diet. Now, I just eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Of course I'm not anti-carb. I just don't over indulge, like I used to. I mean, there is nothing better than a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
    all of which are composed mostly of carbs

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by flats View Post
    all of which are composed mostly of carbs
    Ok. When I say "carbs", I'm talking about processed breads. No heavy bread carbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan180iq View Post
    Not eating meat is a moral/philosophical thing for me, so simply starting to eat meat isn't an option.
    Eating meat is a moral/philosophical thing for me. I only eat wild game which I hunt, kill, skin, process, freeze, thaw and eat myself.

    Tracking a blood trail is a very religious thing for me.

    peace.

  16. #16
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    Riding my bike IS taking care of my body! I tend to eat whatever I want, though I do try to cut out a lot of fat, and I don't eat at fast food places.
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  17. #17
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    I was once on a 100 mile plus ride when I stopped at a sonic for lunch. I ordered a 44 ounce dr. pepper with my meal and the kid says to me over the intercom, "you know thats just going do dehydrate you right?"

    I was so pissed. Here I am working in an exercise physiology lab at the time and I'm getting lectured by a high school kid with probably 8 years less school than I have had.

    I told him to just bring me the soda and I declined to lecture him about caffine and hydration.

    Bottom line is that if you took straight caffine it can do that but the water in the soda or coffee is way more than enough to offset it.

    Funny story though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
    Eating meat is a moral/philosophical thing for me. I only eat wild game which I hunt, kill, skin, process, freeze, thaw and eat myself.

    Tracking a blood trail is a very religious thing for me.

    peace.

    That's nice. I'm the opposite of that.

  19. #19
    i like mud discosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitram View Post
    So, as carfree peoples, your body is your engine.....how do you keep it in good condition, clean, and ready to deliver day in/day out?

    Since being carfree (a few weeks now) i've had days where i just didnt feel like riding.....

    How do you 'psyche' yourself into getting into the saddle when in that kinda mood?

    Its funny, i'll leave home and feel awful....5 minutes into the ride, i'm loving it!

    All i do to take care of my body is to stretch regularly.....any tips?

    What about diet...has it changed at all for you?

    This leads into the next question....what is your riding style like?
    How do I take care of my body? Ride my bike!

    If I don't feel like riding (which hasn't happened once since I moved this summer) I just walk instead. Or I ride my other bike. I live less than a mile from anything I need, so I have the luxury of that option. When the weather starts sucking, I'll probably be walking more.

    Stretching is so important. I don't bother stretching immediately after a ride unless it's particularly hard or long. But I do a nightly yoga practice which I've been doing since long before getting back into cycling. If I don't do it, I wake up the next morning all stiff and achy, especially if I've ridden a lot that day.

    As for diet, I pretty much eat what I want, including diner food once or twice a week and 5 cafeteria meals a week. Otherwise, I eat pretty well--all whole grains, fresh or raw foods, and almost all organic. Sometimes it just comes down to getting enough calories, fat, or protein, but usually my diet is balanced enough that I don't have to worry about it. I'm pretty in tune with my body, so I can always tell when I'm missing something. I also take vitamin supplements, which might be overkill, but I can't mess around when it comes to nutrition. I take a cal-mag-d (family history of osteoporosis), b-complex (i don't eat meat), and vitamin c in the winter when I get no fresh fruits or veggies every other day. On the other days I take a standard multivitamin.

    My riding style is laid back. I don't ride hard, fast, or long. Sometimes if I have energy to burn, I hammer up hills or kick the gear up to 48/11 and see how long it takes me to wear out. I don't keep track of distance or time, but I estimate I ride well over 100 miles a week, mostly broken up into short rides (my 0.8 mile commute or 1.2 mile grocery shopping) and a few longer 15-20 mile rides, just for fun.

  20. #20
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have long felt that all of the additives, preservatives and other unpronounceable ingredients in today's over processed foods can't be very healthy. We try and eat minimally processed food, watch the concealed sugar and salt intake. I buy in season organically grown veggies when available and local grown the rest of the time. (we have a hydroponic greenhouse farmer just down the road) We do eat meat but do so only once or twice a week and in very small portions and I consider fish to be a meat dish. As far as riding style...I spent several years of my life trying to go as fast as I could, racing, training, training and racing. Now I am just out for the ride. My average speed can range from 15 mph to less than 8 mph on some of my weekend rambles, depending on how sidetracked I get. My "normal" riding speed depends on which bike I am on. I can maintain 17mph + on my unloaded tour bike more like 13 mph or so on my Raleigh Superbe. I really don't keep track much anymore. The computer on the tour bike broke a while back, with all of the fancy online mapping programs I can figure out how far I really rode if I cared, or remembered where I rode

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  21. #21
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    I ride my best when I've had a solid diet of veges, basic grains and such. Lately to save time I've been doing mass production of spinach, onions, green onions and the like just chopping cleaning and putting them aside in the refer, then taking handfulls out and putting them in the frying pan. I then add a special meat/paneer/veges/spices concentrate (usually saag style) and rice and mix it together.

    I'm also heavily into sourdough. I got my own starter brewing off ambient yeast and whatever was in the flour. It's a frothing mad dog now, and will turn anything I feed it into sourdough beer if I'm not careful.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  22. #22
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    I dont really do anything else special to take care of my body. I ride my bike and thats about it. I eat tons of carbs. I am a whatever that word was for a vegetarian that eats seafood. I do that about once a month or so though. I basically live offa PB&J and cereal, every now and then I go to this ghetto pizza buffet and eat a weeks worth of carbs at once. I know I need to watch it though because right now Im 25 and 150 lbs (only 5'6" though). But I dont think my body will be able to handle my eating like this when I reach my 40's. I dont wanna hit 5'6" 230lbs.

    I would like to start a stretching routine though as I can hardly touch my knees with out bending my knees (ok its not that bad, but my feet are untouchable!)

    For times when I dont want to ride I just make my self do it. And everytime I dont think I make it out of my apartment complex parking lot before Im having fun on the bike. Im stealing this quote from another bike forums member because it applies to me also: I have never rode my bike and wish I'd drove, but just about every time I drive, I wish I woulda rode my bike.

    I have to watch my riding style on the way to the destination. By nature I try to go as fast as I can and I am covered in sweat by time I get there. I am starting to get in the hang of cruising to the destination and then doing the hammering on the way home. And for some reason the hammering only saves 5 minutes or so and about a gallon of sweat!

    BTW, any of the "stretchers" here have any suggestions for some good websites with good stretching routines on it?
    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    ..... but at the end of the day we're all just dorks riding around on bicycles, right?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    I try to eat better most of the time, but to be honest I have literally no willpower when it comes to food. I've also noticed that most truly healthy food almost always tastes terrible to me. So much so that I can't stomach eating certain things. 2 weeks ago I tried eating oatmeal for breakfast instead of cereal and I nearly vomited. Don't get me wrong, I don't eat terribly bad things all the time, but I could stand to do much better. I have a severe weakness for cheese and mayo. I have about 15 pounds that I need to lose, but at least by biking everywhere I don't gain much fat beyond that.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Lamplight, there are so many good and tasty healthy foods out there, if you're willing to look around and experiment a bit. You can also get low-fat or natural versions of some of the things you enjoy now. Light cheese, for instance, is lower in fat than regular cheese and low-fat mozzarella is even lower than other low-fat cheeses.

    For oatmeal (my breakfast of choice) I'll cook it up and then add a heaping tablespoon of natural peanut butter to it instead of using milk and sugar. I may also add some raisins.

    I've been working on a healthy diet for a number of years and it's become second nature. If I were to have a junk food meal or some foods that are higher in fat than I prefer, I'd probably feel a little sick for the next couple of days.
    Life is good.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    Lamplight, there are so many good and tasty healthy foods out there, if you're willing to look around and experiment a bit. You can also get low-fat or natural versions of some of the things you enjoy now. Light cheese, for instance, is lower in fat than regular cheese and low-fat mozzarella is even lower than other low-fat cheeses.

    For oatmeal (my breakfast of choice) I'll cook it up and then add a heaping tablespoon of natural peanut butter to it instead of using milk and sugar. I may also add some raisins.

    I've been working on a healthy diet for a number of years and it's become second nature. If I were to have a junk food meal or some foods that are higher in fat than I prefer, I'd probably feel a little sick for the next couple of days.

    The low fat craze is pretty much over. That was very solid science from the 80's that has since been proven untrue. We are starting to realize how important some fats can be to our health.

    Fats help your athetic performance a lot. I should eat more fat and less refined sugar. I should basically quit drinking all soda when I'm not actually on the bike.

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