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Standing up to pedal, lot harder at 56...

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Standing up to pedal, lot harder at 56...

Old 10-22-17, 08:55 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by teebox View Post
All, update on the standing to pedal... can do it a little more than I could a month ago, except, I have to use this sparingly as I have no cartilage in my left knee (baseball catcher for 14 years) and the pressure on the knee creates, well, a helluva lot of pain.... had to come to a complete stop, dismount and "walk off" the pain on one attempt. So, I will continue to ease into it and in the meantime I will just grind hard uphill in the saddle.
I played softball for a few years in my 40s after a 20 year hiatus. I played catcher. Took me a whole season to be able to crouch behind the plate. At that point I had been a serious bike commuter for 15 years.

I do better on the hills now that I have more winter riding days these last two years. But there are still some days where I have to hop off and walk, although not as many.

Oh, and I almost never have to hop off my older MTB-based commuter. Between the granny gears and being able to sit upright, holding the aero bar's elbow pads, I can sit and spin up any hill even with a backpack full of clothes and groceries.

I am seriously thinking of putting a triple on my two road bikes.
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Old 10-24-17, 06:38 PM
  #77  
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Probably a stupid question but ........ does standing up work different muscles?
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Old 10-24-17, 06:47 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by teebox View Post
is it necessary to relearn this skill at 56?

Thank you.
You know, it differs depending on the bike. I can sprint up and stand for quite a long time on most my bikes, even rode one several miles standing (someone stole my seat). But I have a hybrid, somewhat crank forward, that is a beast to stand up on. The crank is so far forward you have to launch yourself into an upright position, and balance is all off trying to pedal there.

Could be that bike....
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Old 10-24-17, 08:46 PM
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I seem to have a barrier about standing up..... never used to have this issue. I got back into cycling in about April this year, and struggled on hills due to having a 53/39 crank and 11-26, 8 speed cassette.... so I would get off and push... just could not seem to get up on the peddles thought about it a lot but still didn't try it....

Overcame the hills with a 50/34 crank and 12-30 cassette.... but still push on the really steep stuff (of which I have a lot)....

It's like I'm passing a room I want to go in but continually just walk past.....going to have to pick a small quiet street and "just do it" and see what all the fuss is about....

Deffinately I have found that my enjoyment of cycling have improved as my granny gear gets bigger...
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Old 10-25-17, 04:00 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by bikehoco View Post
Probably a stupid question but ........ does standing up work different muscles?
Yes. Pedaling while seated is good but does little for glute muscles. Standing to pedal is good for glutes.
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Old 10-26-17, 09:21 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by deaninkl View Post
I seem to have a barrier about standing up..... never used to have this issue. I got back into cycling in about April this year, and struggled on hills due to having a 53/39 crank and 11-26, 8 speed cassette.... so I would get off and push... just could not seem to get up on the peddles thought about it a lot but still didn't try it....

Overcame the hills with a 50/34 crank and 12-30 cassette.... but still push on the really steep stuff (of which I have a lot)....

It's like I'm passing a room I want to go in but continually just walk past.....going to have to pick a small quiet street and "just do it" and see what all the fuss is about....

Deffinately I have found that my enjoyment of cycling have improved as my granny gear gets bigger...
Practice using a huge gear on the flat, and on a low traffic road. When you're comfortable staying up for a minute or so, try it on shallow, then gradually steeper hills. Keep your knees close to the top tube. Always use a big enough gear so that your top foot naturally comes across the top without stuttering.
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Old 10-27-17, 09:41 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by teebox View Post
So questions: how many 50+ stand up to pedal? when do you do it, going uphill, etc? is it necessary to relearn this skill at 56? Interested in hearing peoples opinions and thoughts.
I'm 63 and stand up to pedal often. I stand almost exclusively to accelerate. Yes, if you've been off the bike you will need to relearn the skill, even if it involves the finer points of standing.

Like you, teebox, I was off the bike for a long time, about 35 years since I raced and hadn't put on 1,000 miles total in those years. In January I decided to take up racing again because of health reasons. I have stage-4 prostate cancer, arthritis in my right knee and nerve damage that leaves my left arm numb when riding and has weakened the power output of my left leg. I am 5'9", weighed 212, and had an 80-watt FTP when I started. Now I weigh 165, my FTP is up to 217 watts, my peak power in a jump is around 1200 watts and I can maintain 1,000 watts in a jump for over 6 seconds. I still have about 20 more pounds to lose.

Looking at what you have written about your beginning fitness level, height, weight and difficulty standing on a bike, I'll address the elephant in the room: Like me when I started again, you are fat, weak, and out of shape. Let's fix that.

First, realize that even if you were a strapping, muscular 245#s as a young man and you haven't done any resistance training over that period you may have lost up to 30 pounds in muscle mass since your thirties, even if you've been doing serious endurance work, and even if your weight has not changed. So body mass that used to propel you is now holding you back.

Another thing you're having problems with are the stabilizer muscles used in standing on a bike have atrophied. These muscles support your bigger muscles and keep them in line. Take it from somebody who has been there this year, if you aren't building strength in your stabilizer muscles then you will hurt yourself. To build them back, you'll need to start very easy.

As for weight management, I highly recommend the M.E.A.L. Study plan. The NIH is behind the study, which is based on strong anecdotal evidence that this diet stops or slows the progress of prostate cancer. It's worked for me. Basically eliminate all processed carbs, white rice, flour, sugar, etc. Eliminate dairy products, reduce animal protein consumption, increase plant protein consumption, and eat at least 10, yes ten, fruits and vegetables a day. I've gone from being a heavy carnivore with a junk food habit, to eating vegan four times a week.

I'm going to give you some exercises to fix your issue, but before I do I need to give you some advice about starting a resistance program: Go easy. No, you don't get it. Easier than than. Nope, even easier than that. Otherwise you'll hurt yourself.

1. The single-leg bench squat. Even if you don't have a weight bench or gym membership you can do this right now. Stand next to a kitchen or dining room chair and face away from it. With your back to the chair place one leg on the chair behind you standing far enough from the chair that your knee joint on the suspended leg is at about 45. Now squat with your leg. You wobble a lot, right? That means you're working your stabilizer muscles. As you get stronger you can put a dumbbell in each hand. Right now I'm doing 65# dumbbells in each hand right now, 3 sets of 4, then I finish on the 45 squat rack with 320#s of plates, again with a single leg, 2 sets of 4.

2. Sit ups, crunches and planks will all help build core strength. I like the sit ups where I raise one knee at a time and touch my opposite elbow to that knee.

3. Suspended leg raises. There are all sorts of variations on that, pull your legs up straight so your body forms an "L" shape, or try driving your knees up one at a time.

4. Pully machine knee drives. Find the pully machine at the gym and set it up so you are pulling up from the bottom pully. Wrap the cuff attachment around your ankles, back to the pully and drive your knee upwards. This will improve your upstroke when standing. It will also help increase strength in your stabilizer muscles.

5. Hip stabilization drill on the bike. Find a hill, put your bike in a smaller gear and sprint down the hill. Eventually your cadence will get so high you will begin to bounce off the seat. That is bad, but that is good. To stop the bouncing you'll need to stabilize your hips. Imagine you have a pin driven through your hips and saddle that is keeping you from wobbling. As you improve you'll feel like you are sending your power generation to below your hips. You'll feel this change most in your glutes -- that and you'll stop bouncing at high RPMs. It also helps stabilize your hips when you get out of the saddle.

6. Hill drills. 10 strokes in the saddle, 10 strokes out until you get to the top of the hill.

7. 50- to 100-meter flat drills. Get out of the saddle and accelerate, then ease back down into the saddle and rest. Give yourself a minute or so to rest and do it again.

This should help you.

Rick

Last edited by rickbuddy_72; 10-27-17 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-27-17, 09:55 AM
  #83  
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Rick,

I appreciate the information, you obviously spent considerable time crafting the message. I do have to say though that the fat, weak and out of shape comment was maybe a bit unnecessary. I fully understand my current physical condition. 4 years ago I weighed 400 lbs and had full gastric bypass surgery and have lost 150 lbs, so the fat part hit me a little harder then needed. Weak, maybe not as weak as you might think I am. Out of shape, yup, a lot of us over 50 are out of shape hence, on the bike. Now I served in the military was and athlete in high school and some college so it is not like I am not aware of what it takes to achieve certain physical goals in life. I also have no cartilage in my left knee and it is the friction that causes the pain when I stand.

Quite frankly the more I respond the madder I am getting. I asked a simple question, looking for some advice, that is all. Yes a lot of advice has been presented but your statements tended to be more harsh than needed.

Thank you for your comments and I think in the future if I have a question I will keep it to myself...
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Old 10-27-17, 02:30 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by teebox View Post
Rick,

I appreciate the information, you obviously spent considerable time crafting the message. I do have to say though that the fat, weak and out of shape comment was maybe a bit unnecessary. I fully understand my current physical condition. 4 years ago I weighed 400 lbs and had full gastric bypass surgery and have lost 150 lbs, so the fat part hit me a little harder then needed. Weak, maybe not as weak as you might think I am. Out of shape, yup, a lot of us over 50 are out of shape hence, on the bike. Now I served in the military was and athlete in high school and some college so it is not like I am not aware of what it takes to achieve certain physical goals in life. I also have no cartilage in my left knee and it is the friction that causes the pain when I stand.

Quite frankly the more I respond the madder I am getting. I asked a simple question, looking for some advice, that is all. Yes a lot of advice has been presented but your statements tended to be more harsh than needed.

Thank you for your comments and I think in the future if I have a question I will keep it to myself...
teebox,

I'm sorry. I did not make that comment to hurt your feelings. I simply referred to you frankly the same way I did describe myself when I started this journey to get fit before my cancer kills me. Personally, I prefer that kind of good-natured frank talk.

I'd hoped you would see that I share a similar struggle getting back on the bike. To me, what hurts most isn't people thinking I was fat, it's that 500-foot hill that calls me fat. That hurts in the legs and lungs. As for cartilage in the knee, that osteoarthritis in one knee has pretty much killed my own there. I figure it doesn't hurt as much as the cancer will.

I certainly wasn't aware of your struggles with your weight, and I give you my heartiest praise and encouragement for your efforts there.

As somebody facing terminal cancer, let me give you a piece of advice about getting angry. Save it for the real stuff. And then learn to get over it. Anger is only stage 2 of the Kubler-Ross scale of grieving. I've been in acceptance for a while now. It's why I started riding. Life is too short to be angry.

I'm dying of cancer, I have no interest in making enemies before I die. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.

Please, keep me posted on how your battle is going.

Rick
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Old 10-27-17, 04:01 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Get yourself a fixed-gear bike and you'll learn in no time.
This would be my answer, as well. I'm 58 and while riding my fixed gear bike it's imperative to stand once approaching hills in order to maintain momentum. As I get older my back likes me standing while going up hill no matter what bike I'm on though.
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Old 10-27-17, 06:40 PM
  #86  
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I've ridden a good bit on a single-speed, using ~70" gear. On long steep climbs, like 10% for instance, I've always sat 90% of the climb, simply because I run out of gas trying to stand the whole thing in that big a gear. I can climb pretty well at a 35 cadence, seated. Just takes having a decent round pedal stroke and holding the upper body still. It's all in the legs.
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Old 10-30-17, 09:31 AM
  #87  
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Rick, this can be the problem with one dimensional communications such as message boards. I can appreciate the direct response given your life situation and yes, there are bigger issues in life to get upset about and I often tell others that was well, but being human I forgot to listen to my own advice. I will continue my battle with my smaller issues as compared to yours and I wish nothing but the best for you in your life battles...
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Old 10-30-17, 09:03 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Practice using a huge gear on the flat, and on a low traffic road. When you're comfortable staying up for a minute or so, try it on shallow, then gradually steeper hills. Keep your knees close to the top tube. Always use a big enough gear so that your top foot naturally comes across the top without stuttering.
Thanks for that, found a quiet road in the middle of padi fields and did just what you suggested, and there I was bum of seat and flying along...... just have to do in on a hill next...
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Old 03-04-18, 09:21 PM
  #89  
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Rickbuddy, I've bookmarked your helpful post and appreciate you sharing your suggestions.

Due to a University requirement of getting a physical, plus a few weeks of coercion they diagnosed me with cancer, and gave me a 50 percent chance of living for 5 years, if I did their treatments, or otherwise being dead in a month. I chose the latter, walked out and haven't been to a doctor since then, which was 40 years ago, and I continue being quite healthy. The most important decision that I made was to stay far, far away from them, and I feel strongly that this would be the best decision for most people. Best regards.

In regards to the OP, after not riding outside for a couple of decades, I'm somewhat loath to do so again, for the fear of falling. Were that not the case, I used to alternate standing and sitting on long climbs and would like to do so again. I have no problem with standing on the indoor trainer, which I'm primarily using these days, and continue to do various exercises.
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Old 03-10-18, 01:21 AM
  #90  
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I don't stand up at all, I just can't do it. I mostly tour so I have a bit of weight on board. I just sit, change down and if need be walk the bike.
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Old 03-11-18, 05:57 PM
  #91  
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After doing spin classes once a week for many years I found because there is a lot of standing that I now stand on most short/ sprinters hills. At 75 and 185lb I am comfortable with standing. I also do quad and hamstring sled type weight machines which did add leg strength.
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Old 03-11-18, 06:20 PM
  #92  
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I’m fairly strong in the saddle but really want to get better with standing on the longer, tougher grades to work associated and alternate muscle groups. Amazing how much easier it was as a child.
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Old 03-19-18, 12:40 AM
  #93  
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I've always loved standing on the pedals for hills and against the wind. I'm nearly 70, but in the past few years, plantir fascitis has been a problem which I've largely got over.
I don't know if that's due to the cycling (never bothers me on the bike) or the running i did down the gym on the treadmill, which i still do in short bursts; this helps as a warm up to the cycling classes i attend which require much standing up.
My foot sometimes feels a rad weak in the lower ankle area as a result.
I really don't want to see the doc again . . . .
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Old 03-19-18, 09:08 AM
  #94  
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I generally sit while pedaling although I'll stand for short bursts. Having said that, I find that if I don't stand until my legs are already burning while sitting on a steep grade, I really struggle and just go back to sitting. I'm thinking that may be because I've not strengthened the different muscles used for standing/pedaling???
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Old 03-19-18, 05:37 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
I generally sit while pedaling although I'll stand for short bursts. Having said that, I find that if I don't stand until my legs are already burning while sitting on a steep grade, I really struggle and just go back to sitting. I'm thinking that may be because I've not strengthened the different muscles used for standing/pedaling???
I have to stand before my legs are burning, and sit again before my legs are quivering, to stay in control.

For about a year I'd take it a little at a time, just riding to work the muscle. But I finally realized I wasn't making much progress and added some basic home exercises that involve little or no apparatus: squats, lunges, etc. That helped.

Now on every ride I shift between standing and sitting to climb or accelerate into the wind, always before my legs are actually tired so I stay in control and balanced. I'll start out about 5-10 minutes into a ride after a brief warm up, just to stretch, not to push hard. I usually wait until I've warmed up for 20-30 minutes before I push anything too hard.

Standing to climb on my road bike is still more difficult than with my hybrid. I think it's because the hybrid's bar is higher and puts my body in a more upright position, so more of my weight is on the pedals. With the road bike the handlebar is lower, I'm leaning forward, less weight is on the pedals and I need to push harder to be effective. So it's more tiring.

I try to focus on my balance and ergonomics, keeping my back reasonably straight, hips aligned, extending my legs, etc.

Progress has been slow but between all these -- including the squats, lunges and stretches at home -- it's all helped.
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Old 03-19-18, 06:03 PM
  #96  
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Hello All, I turned 71 this year, and have been doing HIIT climbing intervals this winter. I do stand, to get over short, steep climbs. I have gone from a 53/26T gear over the years , to now, 34/26T on 3 bikes. So, lower gearing and HIIT intervals, will no doubt , get me over most hills, I encounter in my area. KB
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Old 03-19-18, 07:50 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I have to stand before my legs are burning, and sit again before my legs are quivering, to stay in control.

For about a year I'd take it a little at a time, just riding to work the muscle. But I finally realized I wasn't making much progress and added some basic home exercises that involve little or no apparatus: squats, lunges, etc. That helped.

Now on every ride I shift between standing and sitting to climb or accelerate into the wind, always before my legs are actually tired so I stay in control and balanced. I'll start out about 5-10 minutes into a ride after a brief warm up, just to stretch, not to push hard. I usually wait until I've warmed up for 20-30 minutes before I push anything too hard.

Standing to climb on my road bike is still more difficult than with my hybrid. I think it's because the hybrid's bar is higher and puts my body in a more upright position, so more of my weight is on the pedals. With the road bike the handlebar is lower, I'm leaning forward, less weight is on the pedals and I need to push harder to be effective. So it's more tiring.

I try to focus on my balance and ergonomics, keeping my back reasonably straight, hips aligned, extending my legs, etc.

Progress has been slow but between all these -- including the squats, lunges and stretches at home -- it's all helped.
Thanks for that response ... sounds like a really good, intentional approach to improving that part of your riding!
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Old 03-19-18, 08:25 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I have to stand before my legs are burning, and sit again before my legs are quivering, to stay in control.

For about a year I'd take it a little at a time, just riding to work the muscle. But I finally realized I wasn't making much progress and added some basic home exercises that involve little or no apparatus: squats, lunges, etc. That helped.

Now on every ride I shift between standing and sitting to climb or accelerate into the wind, always before my legs are actually tired so I stay in control and balanced. I'll start out about 5-10 minutes into a ride after a brief warm up, just to stretch, not to push hard. I usually wait until I've warmed up for 20-30 minutes before I push anything too hard.

Standing to climb on my road bike is still more difficult than with my hybrid. I think it's because the hybrid's bar is higher and puts my body in a more upright position, so more of my weight is on the pedals. With the road bike the handlebar is lower, I'm leaning forward, less weight is on the pedals and I need to push harder to be effective. So it's more tiring.

I try to focus on my balance and ergonomics, keeping my back reasonably straight, hips aligned, extending my legs, etc.

Progress has been slow but between all these -- including the squats, lunges and stretches at home -- it's all helped.
Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
Thanks for that response ... sounds like a really good, intentional approach to improving that part of your riding!
HERE in flatland SW FL we have NO CLIMBING. 103 miles today with 141' of gain. THE ONLY WAY I prepare for the fantastic Six Gap's 11,000' climbing in 103 miles is to stand and pedal in my 53/12 into the wind, the higher the better, for miles at a time. Today's wind was 8/9mph kicking up to 13mph at the end and I would ride standing for a minimum of 1 mile segments with a couple of 2 mile segment thrown in.

BTW, at almost 68yo my flexibility is such that 80% of today's riding was on my bolt on aerobars. Long distance standing/pedaling is great for my core strength thus no issues on aerobars.

Last edited by OldTryGuy; 03-19-18 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 03-19-18, 10:54 PM
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I think the biggest reason for why I find standing up on my bike a lot harder now, than when I was a child, is that my handlebars are much lower, so standing up now puts me in quite a different position to the position I use to stand up in, as a child.
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Old 03-20-18, 07:12 AM
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standing on flats

Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
HERE in flatland SW FL we have NO CLIMBING. 103 miles today with 141' of gain. THE ONLY WAY I prepare for the fantastic Six Gap's 11,000' climbing in 103 miles is to stand and pedal in my 53/12 into the wind, the higher the better, for miles at a time. Today's wind was 8/9mph kicking up to 13mph at the end and I would ride standing for a minimum of 1 mile segments with a couple of 2 mile segment thrown in. BTW, at almost 68yo my flexibility is such that 80% of today's riding was on my bolt on aerobars. Long distance standing/pedaling is great for my core strength thus no issues on aerobars.
I like this idea. What cadence do you average when standing, and how many miles do you stand?
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