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Old 11-28-09, 07:38 AM   #1
garethzbarker
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activities that complement cycling

I am a beginning cyclist. Today I went hiking up a fairly steep mountain. I tried to do this exact same mountain one year ago and only made if half way up, I was shaking really bad on the way down. This time I finished the mountain in the same time it took me to just do half and it was quite easy. Since the only workouts I have been doing are cycling and cycling related stretched I assume hiking and biking complement each other extremely well. I'm just wondering what other activities are the same? It sounds kind of like a simple question but I know in my case I couldn't run before I started cycling and I still can't really so it's not like every leg activity improves every other.

Also what exercises would help me to pedaling while standing? I really have a hard time pedaling while not seated; I was trying to ride with a guy that doesn't speak English, he was trying to teach me to climb better with my bike but since I couldn't stand on the pedals long it was hard. Tried spinning class last week and had the same problem, all the fat old ladies around me had no problem working out off the seat but i kept having to sit down.

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Old 11-28-09, 10:10 AM   #2
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If you wern't very fit before, then any activity that increased your cardiovascular fitness would help your hiking.

But other than general fitness and weight loss, cycling won't improve ones hiking and vice versa since they use different muscles.

You get better at standing by standing. It's mostly technique. Most people need to shift up a cog or two in the back because they are more comfortable pedalling at a lower cadence while standing. I like to stand rather than downshift on small rolling hills or when the pitch of a climb increases for a short distance.
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Old 11-28-09, 01:30 PM   #3
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A big part of the deal with riding out of the saddle is getting the resistance right.
Too little and it doesn't really work, too much and you run out of gas too fast.

I disagree with the other guy. Hiking is an aerobic exercise, cycling is an aerobic exericse. They use the legs
differently, but as you yourself noted, the improvement was huge.

I like rowing. Actually, I don't like rowing at all. I don't like boats. Don't get me wrong, I have used them
hundreds of times. But they have no appeal for me.

I needed to do some crosstraining, and got a used Concept 2 rower in a yard sale a couple years ago (yeah, how weird is that).
It has worked out great. It's aerobic like crazy, and the pullback works the back and arms in a similar way to riding out of the saddle.
I find it to be a quite synergistic form of crosstraining.

Of course, hiking was my love. I'm old, if my knees were any good, I'd still be doing it.
You're doing great, just do a couple hikes for me.

Last edited by late; 11-28-09 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 11-28-09, 03:20 PM   #4
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yeah it wasn't just a cardio change. if it were i think my running would have gotten better but it really hasn't much. hiking uses different muscles than biking but think about the way you move your legs on a steep trail. it's very similar to pedaling a bike. also, when going downhill at one point I noted to my girl that that particular part of the descent felt exactly like cycling to my legs, same stresses.
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Old 11-29-09, 09:59 AM   #5
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I hike and ride. They do complement each other. I don't carry much but a backpack with a few provisions, so I really don't use a hiking boot. I use trail shoes that I purchased from an outdoor sporting retailer. The brand is Solomon. Its like a running shoe but more built up. The soles provide more insulation from the rough terrain and have more grip. The top part has more protection features and is a bit more supportive laterally.

With this type of shoe, a hiker can actually do some running. You might try a bit of running while hiking. Try alternating between running and hiking. On the ascents, it will help in the bike climbing. On running the descents, the shoe has to be a half size larger to prevent the toe jamming into the shoe. I begin the hike descent and gradually do a choppy jog until I get my rhythm. Then the stride begins to stretch out. On more technical trails, the arms play a big part of balance.

I have a Garmin Edge 305 for my road bike. I also use that Garmin for hiking. It will tell me the amount of climbing. But I have to turn off the auto pause feature. Easy enough.

Have fun.

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Old 11-29-09, 10:21 AM   #6
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Hiking helps your cycling and vice versa. Roller blading. Cross country skiing, especially skating. Rowing of course.

Spin class will help you stand more than about anything. Just stay up until the pain absolutely forces you down. Just do it. Highly recommended, especially in winter. On the bike, just practice standing, especially on shortish hills and inclines of every sort. Rock the bike a little, and keep your knees close to the top tube. Feel around for your most efficient CG location. I like to feel the saddle nose tap my hams every stroke. Keep your back straight.

On long climbs, I'll cut the cadence way back when standing because I do it to rest. I'll shift up at least a chainring, maybe also a cog or two in back, and stand for one minute in 10, by the clock. Speed will stay about the same, maybe go up a little.
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Old 11-29-09, 10:58 AM   #7
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others are more helpful. My take on it is simple: not house work. That is for sure.

As far as other activities, I'm really not sure. I can say that over time you will become stronger in areas specific to this sport. This will simply take time and training. So, don't freak out that you are not climbing with those that have been cycling for years, because your body--regardless of other activity--is not as well trained to do it yet. Over time you will be amazed how much stronger you become and look back on your first season riding for comparison.

Do the other activities for fun. That is way more productive, and...fun.

good luck!

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Old 11-29-09, 02:09 PM   #8
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although i'm new to it, cycling has saved my life this year. I've lost 35lbs, feel way more strong in general and enjoyed every ride that helped get me there. it gets really icy here so i'm looking for things i can do that will help me improve my cycling this winter. It's very cool to know hiking could help fill the gap. I plan on doing spin class, hiking, and cycling/core specific exercises, thanks for the tips on the workouts!
Garfield, it's interesting that you mentioned hiking shoes b/c i was thinking of buying hiking shoes for hiking AND cycling. Right now I just use a pair of running shoes for everything b/c i'm flatfooted and they are the only shoes that don't hurt my feet; but i noticed some hiking shoes have everything i want for cycling. And I did actually kind of run up some of the trail. I could only do it for a few seconds haha and my friends were laughing at me but it really felt a lot like simulating climbing on a bike. I'm in S. Korea and it's 70% mountains here so we have no trouble finding places to hike (or climb on a bike for that matter.)
I've never rowed but I've read over and over that rowing complements cycling. Rowing and cycling tend to be right next to each other in vo2 max i noticed.
I thought it was funny that cycling didn't really affect my inability to run though. It's probably b/c I tend to just ride in low aerobic form, barely pushing myself. I like endurance riding. But I can guess that if I did interval training and stayed off the seat it would help running a little. but as a flatfooted heavy guy I'm not too interested in running anyway.
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