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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Life after cycling...

    I've noticed a few threads where folks have gone back to driving the car or feel they can no longer cycle on city streets.

    I'm kind of doing that the last 10 days or so. Visiting family in Canada, where there's a ton of snow, and I've been doing little physical exercise (except for massive amounts of shoveling)

    I have to say that the lack of cardio exercise early in the morning leaves me feeling sluggish for the whole day. Even walking to the grocery store or shoveling the driveway doesn't help much.

    I would have to replace the cycling with some other activity or I'd become a complete grouch for the rest of my days. [edit: I'm not planning on giving up cycling... too much fun, but I am just speculating here... since I can't get out for a bike ride.]
    Last edited by gerv; 12-28-13 at 09:28 AM.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Cross Country skiing may be a good snow abundant exercise .. it's touring too.

    And an Olympic racing sport to watch next month..

  3. #3
    Junior Member gregmxwll's Avatar
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    In Winnipeg I had to stop in November(first snow). I rode into work on my 30 Km (return) trip and found it to be a little too much. I wouldlove it if I didn't have to mingle with traffic.
    So I am trying to stay in shape but I am now 12lbs up. Ifeel really sluggish. Winter sucks.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Personally, I have little more trouble riding in winter than in summer. Obviously riding in the midst of a snowstorm is challenging, but so is riding in a rain storm or excessive heat and humidity. Waiting for a bus in those conditions is no picnic either. But snow and rain fall only a few days of the year. Once the storm passes, the roads are back to normal.

    For that matter, driving in snow, rain and heat are also challenging. My son has permanent disabilities since crashing a car on an icy road. He was in the hospital and nursing home for months. If he had been riding a bike, he probably would have been fine.

    For me, the advantages of riding are multiple. Being immersed in all the seasons is one of the greatest joys of my daily life. As I get older, I appreciate being tougher and stronger than other people my age. If somebody feels differently, by all means they should get a car.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    I just got an Iso-Bow. This new device will help me to build muscle, and more muscle burns fat twenty-four hours a day.

    My lifestyle has become more sedentary during the winter. I just don't want to go cycling unless I have an errand. My legs seem to get into shape really fast because my body is accustomed to that motion. Even with lots of pedaling my extra ten pounds just won't go away. It is because my leg muscles and lungs are just coasting. They're accustomed to the regular cycling effort.

    To complement my lower body strength I need to work my upper body. Heavy weight training is just too cumbersome, inconvenient, and expensive. I don't want to buy or store heavy weights. I don't want to travel to a gym. A few years ago I began a serious body weight exercise program called Combat Conditioning. It was very limited because essentially it was calisthenics. My dedication didn't waver yet after ten weeks there was barely anything noticeable in my shape. It even injured my shoulder.

    Recently I've researched isometric exercises. I didn't know it but the famous Charles Atlas from last century built his incredible physique using this technique along with some calisthenics. Muscle against muscle doesn't require weights. As the muscles grow they get stronger. Since the arms both get stronger at the same time the resistance goes up in each. So there is no need to buy bigger and bigger weights. On Youtube there are many people who have gotten big muscles using just this technique.

    Charles Atlas did demonstrate one curl exercise on film. He did use muscle against muscle but he moved his arm through a range of motion with resistance applied. That means he didn't use isometric exercise alone (fixed resistance without motion). A term has been coined for that. It is called isokinetic motion. He was maintaining a constant speed as he curled his arm but we know that the resistance along the whole range of motion changes. A fully extended arm can't hold as much weight as an arm with the elbow bent. His marketing guy called their system Dynamic Tension. It's a good descriptive term.

    I'm embarking upon a strength training program that goes beyond body weight exercises. It should work for me whether I ride a bicycle or not and it can be done for very little money, or even none; but I've chosen two things to use. One is the Iso-Bow and the other is something I've had for a while. It is one of those little wheels with an axle with hand grips on each side of the wheel. It is used for abdominal exercises. Nothing is tougher on abs than this thing.

    Iso-Bow.jpg Mine is red with black handles. I was expecting it to be black but red is just fine. It cost $13.90 with shipping. The Iso-Bow allows me to have a stronger grip when doing movements. That is why I bought one.

    This is the web site for it. http://isobow.com/ There are several videos there that demonstrate how to use it.

    Exercise Wheel.jpeg I got one of these at a local sports equipment store for $9.99.

    These simple tools would work for anybody at any age. They're cheap, lightweight, and fit almost anywhere. The Iso-Bow can fit into a large pants pocket.

    The big appeal of these items for me beyond their functionality is they fit perfectly into my new simpler lifestyle of owning less stuff.

    I doubt I'll become a Charles Atlas figure but achieving half his size would be a big improvement.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  6. #6
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    There are advantages to resistance training (weights and bands) over the various isodynamic methods. One is that the resistance conditions bones and nerves as well as muscles. Two is that full range of motion improves balance and flexibility. Three is that resistance training translates to increased strength for daily activities.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #7
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    I can't not ride. I get a short temper and have a complete lack of energy and willpower. If I couldn't ride, I'd probably run, but I don't think I could get the same amount of cardio every day and remain injury free.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
    I can't not ride. I get a short temper and have a complete lack of energy and willpower. If I couldn't ride, I'd probably run, but I don't think I could get the same amount of cardio every day and remain injury free.
    I hate running for exercise, at least the way I did when I was in school. This year I've read a few articles about people who run barefooted. The gist of it is they don't get injured because they don't land on their heels. Landing on the heels sends a strong shock wave up the spine and jars everything. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet and that absorbs the shock. The method requires much shorter strides and for the arms to be held in tighter against the body. Some people reported they can go farther using this method.

    As an aside, there is a PDF file somewhere on the web (I can't find it) that explains how running isn't a good way to lose weight. It explains exactly why I don't lose weight by cycling alone. The body gets accustomed to the movement of running or cycling and doesn't strain anymore, which builds up muscle. After that plateau nothing much changes unless calories are restricted.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wipekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
    I can't not ride. I get a short temper and have a complete lack of energy and willpower. If I couldn't ride, I'd probably run, but I don't think I could get the same amount of cardio every day and remain injury free.
    For a short period of time, I gave up almost all riding due to various obstacles and unsafe situations that I encountered while trying to get around by bike. It was awful: I was angry and depressed all the time.

    Running was fine at first, but it got old fast. I ran out of places to run that didn't subject me to the same obstacles and unsafe situations that kept me off the bike, and the thought of doing little 1-2 mile loops around the same streets was kind of depressing. Plus, running in the heat - compared to riding in the heat - really, really sucks.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregmxwll View Post
    In Winnipeg I had to stop in November(first snow). I rode into work on my 30 Km (return) trip and found it to be a little too much. I wouldlove it if I didn't have to mingle with traffic.
    So I am trying to stay in shape but I am now 12lbs up. Ifeel really sluggish. Winter sucks.
    In Winnipeg, I cycled year round ... but then my commute was only 13 km round trip.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I've noticed a few threads where folks have gone back to driving the car or feel they can no longer cycle on city streets.

    I'm kind of doing that the last 10 days or so. Visiting family in Canada, where there's a ton of snow, and I've been doing little physical exercise (except for massive amounts of shoveling)

    I have to say that the lack of cardio exercise early in the morning leaves me feeling sluggish for the whole day. Even walking to the grocery store or shoveling the driveway doesn't help much.

    I would have to replace the cycling with some other activity or I'd become a complete grouch for the rest of my days. [edit: I'm not planning on giving up cycling... too much fun, but I am just speculating here... since I can't get out for a bike ride.]
    That's what gyms are for.

    Last year, Rowan and I spent a month in the lower mainland BC area and one of the first things we did when we got there (just before Christmas) was to get a 1-month membership at a nearby community centre. That centre had a gym with weights, spin bikes, treadmills, and rowing machines. It also had a squash courts, a large gym where people could play basketball or floor hockey, and a large swimming pool.

    We went there just about every day and did a circuit on the spin bikes, treadmills, and rowing machines ... and Rowan swam most days as well. I swam occasionally. All up we would spend 1.5 to 2 hours there each day.

    If it happened to be nice outside, we would go for a ride too ... or some days we opted to go for a longer ride outside instead of going to the gym.

    It was well worth the money! We both lost quite a bit of weight (over Christmas!) and felt so much better.

    We are planning to get a gym membership here soon too, probably at the beginning of February. We've scouted out the gyms, and have decided which one we like ... and have gone there to swim on a few occasions.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    That is why I live where I live. seriously I have moved from places simply because of the weather. But as far as a life after cycling my hope is if I can't ride Diamond frame I will get a Recumbent Trike and continue as long as I can move my legs and see where I am going. Already have my LBS on Notice to look for a nice Cat trike to take in trade someday. One of the men I used to admire the most was an old guy of 84 that I used to ride with now and then. He had to give up two wheels for three. We did a ride together on a Friday just before his 85th birthday and joked about getting ready for his birthday ride. That Saturday night/Sunday morning he passed away in his sleep. He simply had a life that included cycling right up to the end.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  13. #13
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    One of the men I used to admire the most was an old guy of 84 that I used to ride with now and then. He had to give up two wheels for three. We did a ride together on a Friday just before his 85th birthday and joked about getting ready for his birthday ride. That Saturday night/Sunday morning he passed away in his sleep. He simply had a life that included cycling right up to the end.

    I hope I can be that guy too.
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    That is why I live where I live. seriously I have moved from places simply because of the weather. But as far as a life after cycling my hope is if I can't ride Diamond frame I will get a Recumbent Trike and continue as long as I can move my legs and see where I am going. Already have my LBS on Notice to look for a nice Cat trike to take in trade someday. One of the men I used to admire the most was an old guy of 84 that I used to ride with now and then. He had to give up two wheels for three. We did a ride together on a Friday just before his 85th birthday and joked about getting ready for his birthday ride. That Saturday night/Sunday morning he passed away in his sleep. He simply had a life that included cycling right up to the end.
    One of my dad's friends was like that: he rode almost every day until about age 80, then got Alzheimer's and had to quit, while still in good shape otherwise. He would have described himself as a road rider and racer, but he had commuted to work and after he retired he did grocery runs and such on his bike.

    Those who think about quitting because they think they're "too old" should think long and hard. Not riding will for sure not make you any younger, and could have the opposite effect.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    One of my dad's friends was like that: he rode almost every day until about age 80, then got Alzheimer's and had to quit, while still in good shape otherwise. He would have described himself as a road rider and racer, but he had commuted to work and after he retired he did grocery runs and such on his bike.

    Those who think about quitting because they think they're "too old" should think long and hard. Not riding will for sure not make you any younger, and could have the opposite effect.
    I think that is the point about cycling and activities like it. They often keep you going. We had a guy with Parkinson's that credits cycling with keeping him going. He rides a Delta, or he did before he moved. I just hope I can continue as long as I can move. Even if I also have to turn to a Bent trike.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Recumbent tricycles are a blast to ride. One doesn't need to be old to really get a lot out of them. I had a tadpole for a while and really liked it. I sold it because I needed some money. Now the designs are so good that when one applies the brakes on a tadpole unevenly the things don't veer off course. That was the only flaw I ever really complained about back in 2004.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    Recumbent tricycles are a blast to ride. One doesn't need to be old to really get a lot out of them. I had a tadpole for a while and really liked it. I sold it because I needed some money. Now the designs are so good that when one applies the brakes on a tadpole unevenly the things don't veer off course. That was the only flaw I ever really complained about back in 2004.
    My son has been lusting for a cat trike for years now, and he is only 39. I would buy him one if he took better care of his bikes.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  18. #18
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    I've noticed a few threads where folks have gone back to driving the car or feel they can no longer cycle on city streets.

    I'm kind of doing that the last 10 days or so. Visiting family in Canada, where there's a ton of snow, and I've been doing little physical exercise (except for massive amounts of shoveling)

    I have to say that the lack of cardio exercise early in the morning leaves me feeling sluggish for the whole day. Even walking to the grocery store or shoveling the driveway doesn't help much.

    I would have to replace the cycling with some other activity or I'd become a complete grouch for the rest of my days. [edit: I'm not planning on giving up cycling... too much fun, but I am just speculating here... since I can't get out for a bike ride.]
    I don't anticipate any "life after cycling" at all. That photographer in NYC -Cunningham?- is still riding his bike all over the city well into his 70's. In my daily riding around Seattle, I see quite a few people commuting by bike who are clearly in their 70's as well. I have a reasonable hope of being one of these people in the future.

    As far as fitness/weather is concerned, I simply don't ride in the snow. When it's icy, I walk instead. It's pretty good exercise, and the mental benefits are equal or even superior to those of bicycling. And to stay in good shape, I find that cycling by itself isn't enough; it's too easy. To stay in shape, I also run three days a week, spend some time in a climbing gym, and do daily stretching/calisthenics in my living room. I'm not a fitness nut or anything, but I find it pays to do something light every day, to mix it up (not just cycling), and to never, ever miss a daily dose of stretching.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  19. #19
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    I don't anticipate any "life after cycling" at all. That photographer in NYC -Cunningham?- is still riding his bike all over the city well into his 70's. In my daily riding around Seattle, I see quite a few people commuting by bike who are clearly in their 70's as well. I have a reasonable hope of being one of these people in the future.

    As far as fitness/weather is concerned, I simply don't ride in the snow. When it's icy, I walk instead. It's pretty good exercise, and the mental benefits are equal or even superior to those of bicycling. And to stay in good shape, I find that cycling by itself isn't enough; it's too easy. To stay in shape, I also run three days a week, spend some time in a climbing gym, and do daily stretching/calisthenics in my living room. I'm not a fitness nut or anything, but I find it pays to do something light every day, to mix it up (not just cycling), and to never, ever miss a daily dose of stretching.
    I think you're right. Cycling almost every day gives me a fantastic base for fitness, but I definitely need other activities as well. I don't care for indoor exercise, and I don't like to stay in one spot. Besides cycling, things that keep me moving include walking, hiking, swimming in lakes, rowing, canoeing. I used to do snowshoes and skiing also.

    I need to get back to weightlifting. I hate the activity itself, but it does make me feel good when I'm done. I used to do about 15 minutes a day, low reps with heavy dumbbells. I did a lot of research to figure out the best routine that could be done cheaply with a minimum time investment. I think weightlifting, even more than aerobic exercise, is the real fountain of youth.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  20. #20
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    I have a reasonable hope of being one of these people in the future.
    Many of us should be cycling late in life. Especially after these brief glimpses of what a life without exercise might mean.

    That's one reason why I do as much as possible to keep going. If a route feels unsafe, re-route. If I have a sore shoulder, I take a brief rest and get back in the saddle. Bad back... raise the handlebars.

    That sort of thing.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Many of us should be cycling late in life. Especially after these brief glimpses of what a life without exercise might mean.

    That's one reason why I do as much as possible to keep going. If a route feels unsafe, re-route. If I have a sore shoulder, I take a brief rest and get back in the saddle. Bad back... raise the handlebars.

    That sort of thing.
    But occasionally stuff happens to take us off our bicycles. Twice, I've been forced off the bicycle, and out of exercise all together in one instance, for several months. Once was a bad burn to my left foot. I couldn't move, not even upper body exercises, for 5 weeks, and then it was a long slow process getting going again. The other time was DVT.
    Even now, I'm fighting to keep cycling and keep active while struggling with breathing issues.

    When those things happen, sometimes you've got to take a break until you heal ... and maybe switch to another activity for a while.

    But I look at the example my parents are setting ... they're both in their 70s and still cycling. So I'm hoping to do the same.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I've been off the bike for 7 days now due to my christmass vacation. Not a problem for me. I still workout at home with weights and do bodyweight calisthenics.

  23. #23
    cycleobsidian
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    I don't anticipate any "life after cycling" at all. That photographer in NYC -Cunningham?- is still riding his bike all over the city well into his 70's. In my daily riding around Seattle, I see quite a few people commuting by bike who are clearly in their 70's as well. I have a reasonable hope of being one of these people in the future.

    As far as fitness/weather is concerned, I simply don't ride in the snow. When it's icy, I walk instead. It's pretty good exercise, and the mental benefits are equal or even superior to those of bicycling. And to stay in good shape, I find that cycling by itself isn't enough; it's too easy. To stay in shape, I also run three days a week, spend some time in a climbing gym, and do daily stretching/calisthenics in my living room. I'm not a fitness nut or anything, but I find it pays to do something light every day, to mix it up (not just cycling), and to never, ever miss a daily dose of stretching.
    I don't anticipate any "life after cycling" either. I watched the movie Billy Cunningham (He's actually 84 now) and I was amazed at this guy's fitness, agility, and how "with it" he is. Of course his cycling contributed to this.

    I've already decided (don't know though if I'll get my wish) that I have no desire to live a long life, just to live a full one. I don't want to stop moving; when that happens, I don't know how I'll define myself.

    As far as staying in shape, I walk as opposed to cycle in the winter. I do some weights but mainly shlep around things I buy. That's cheaper (and more fun for me, anyway....) than a gym!

  24. #24
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleobsidian View Post
    I've already decided (don't know though if I'll get my wish) that I have no desire to live a long life, just to live a full one. I don't want to stop moving; when that happens, I don't know how I'll define myself.
    Yes... really.. who wants to end up immobile? From my brief, recent brush with it, it's unpleasant.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    I hate running for exercise, at least the way I did when I was in school. This year I've read a few articles about people who run barefooted. The gist of it is they don't get injured because they don't land on their heels. Landing on the heels sends a strong shock wave up the spine and jars everything. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet and that absorbs the shock. The method requires much shorter strides and for the arms to be held in tighter against the body. Some people reported they can go farther using this method.

    As an aside, there is a PDF file somewhere on the web (I can't find it) that explains how running isn't a good way to lose weight. It explains exactly why I don't lose weight by cycling alone. The body gets accustomed to the movement of running or cycling and doesn't strain anymore, which builds up muscle. After that plateau nothing much changes unless calories are restricted.
    try this new thing called: "intervals" basically if you "sprint" on a bike you get the benefits like a sprinter (runner) without the injury...

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