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Your Weekend Ride Reports -- December 21/22

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Your Weekend Ride Reports -- December 21/22

Old 12-21-19, 12:09 AM
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Your Weekend Ride Reports -- December 21/22

Happy Solstice ... and the weekend before Christmas!

Tell us about your cycling and other exercise. Burning off those holiday calories!
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Old 12-21-19, 12:12 AM
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I, unfortunately, am not doing anything much this weekend ... I had a punch biopsy on a mole on my leg on Friday afternoon. Punch biopsies aren't big but they are deep. And I'm not to be too active for the first 48 hours.




In other news, this week I finally got in to see an ENT specialist. I've only been waiting 5 years for this appointment. I have been having breathing difficulties for a long, long, long time. I've been diagnosed with asthma (mostly exercise induced asthma) and it's likely I do have asthma. I've been diagnosed with allergies and have gone through a 3-year desensitisation program for dust mites ... and I likely do have a number of allergies. I've even been for an angiogram for shortness of breath back in 2014, when I was put on the wait list to see the ENT specialist. I get frequent sinus infections, my sense of smell is limited, and in general cycling up hills is an incredible challenge for me not because of my legs but because I can't seem to get enough air in.

So, I finally got in to see this ENT specialist and she figured out what was wrong in about 2 minutes. I have a badly deviated septum which, in combination with swollen/overgrown turbinates (because of allergies, asthma, etc), means that I can hardly get any air in through my right nostril.

And I've likely had this since birth or childhood and it explains so much!!

I go for a CT scan to determine the entire extent of the problem in mid-Jan, a follow-up appointment in early Feb, and likely surgery soon after that!!

Word has it that after the surgery, I should be able to breath much better than I've ever done, my sense of smell might return, and it is just possible my voice might change a bit.

But here's hoping that I'll be able to cycle better!! If I can breathe, maybe I can get up those hills easier!!

Last edited by Machka; 12-21-19 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 12-22-19, 10:21 AM
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45 miler today with friends. Started off nice, but then it rained. Ended up being fairly tough for the last half as straight into a headwind. But the company was good. And hit the 6000 mile mark for the year as well. Now the bike is going away until the new year
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Old 12-22-19, 06:56 PM
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Sunday, Rowan and I walked to the beach and back!

I didn't do any walking on Saturday at all, and figured that by Sunday (today) I should be all right. Getting down there was OK, but by the time we stopped and sat down, where I took the photo below, my right leg was tired. By the time we climbed back up to home, my right leg was tired and sore.

Who would have thought that a little biopsy would do that!!

I am glad we got out and may try it again tomorrow.

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Old 12-22-19, 10:43 PM
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20 miles Friday with some aero bar practice. Still hate the aero bars but I need to learn to use 'em if I'm gonna get serious about taking a whack at the state time trial event next year.

Indoor trainer spin Saturday.

25 miles Sunday, mostly relaxed ride looking at Christmas lights, but some high gear mashing on every climb, standing and seated. Trying to work different muscles.

Machka , I can definitely relate to the allergies and asthma problems. Besides that, I also have a deviated septum from amateur boxing. I'm not sure how much it hinders my breathing but it must have some effect. And my nostrils and sinuses always feel congested no matter how much decongestant, Flonase, saline wash, etc., I use. I can rarely smell anything milder than a garbage dump or animal carcass along the road. Maybe once a month my head clears up enough to smell ordinary stuff, which reminds me how much I'm missing. And I can actually breathe on those rare occasions.

I'm hoping an ENT specialist can suggest something. It's bad enough now that it interferes with sleeping. I can't lie down for more than a couple of hours before my head is so congested I can't breathe, and for the past year or two I've waked up every day with a crushing sinus headache that takes 2-3 hours to relieve. It's exhausting.

And then I go for a bike ride and feel better.

That's one reason why I'm switching from high spin to low cadence pedaling. I've read all the theories and lab tests applied to pros. I've tried both methods myself. There are advantages to high cadence but only for folks with really good cardio and respiratory systems. When I try seated spinning on some climbs I often get dropped even on moderate pace group rides because my heart rate is pegged and I'm gasping for air.

But when I practice high gear, low cadence, seated and standing, on my own, my heart rate stays much lower and I'm not strangling from lack of oxygen. I just needed time to work on adapting to a new technique, including more leg strengthening with squats, lunges, moderate weights, etc. My body resisted the change for awhile and my legs would cramp and burn out quickly. But now I can stand to pedal for up to a half-mile at a time if I'm careful to monitor my effort.
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Old 12-25-19, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
20 miles Friday with some aero bar practice. Still hate the aero bars but I need to learn to use 'em if I'm gonna get serious about taking a whack at the state time trial event next year.

Indoor trainer spin Saturday.

25 miles Sunday, mostly relaxed ride looking at Christmas lights, but some high gear mashing on every climb, standing and seated. Trying to work different muscles.

Machka , I can definitely relate to the allergies and asthma problems. Besides that, I also have a deviated septum from amateur boxing. I'm not sure how much it hinders my breathing but it must have some effect. And my nostrils and sinuses always feel congested no matter how much decongestant, Flonase, saline wash, etc., I use. I can rarely smell anything milder than a garbage dump or animal carcass along the road. Maybe once a month my head clears up enough to smell ordinary stuff, which reminds me how much I'm missing. And I can actually breathe on those rare occasions.

I'm hoping an ENT specialist can suggest something. It's bad enough now that it interferes with sleeping. I can't lie down for more than a couple of hours before my head is so congested I can't breathe, and for the past year or two I've waked up every day with a crushing sinus headache that takes 2-3 hours to relieve. It's exhausting.

And then I go for a bike ride and feel better.

That's one reason why I'm switching from high spin to low cadence pedaling. I've read all the theories and lab tests applied to pros. I've tried both methods myself. There are advantages to high cadence but only for folks with really good cardio and respiratory systems. When I try seated spinning on some climbs I often get dropped even on moderate pace group rides because my heart rate is pegged and I'm gasping for air.

But when I practice high gear, low cadence, seated and standing, on my own, my heart rate stays much lower and I'm not strangling from lack of oxygen. I just needed time to work on adapting to a new technique, including more leg strengthening with squats, lunges, moderate weights, etc. My body resisted the change for awhile and my legs would cramp and burn out quickly. But now I can stand to pedal for up to a half-mile at a time if I'm careful to monitor my effort.
Hope you get a good solution to your breathing issues.

Wow! I thought I was a halfway decent climber for my age (55), but I don't think I could pedal hard in a semi-low-cadence manner for 1/2 mile on a serious grade. That is a long way to be seriously going at it. To me. I can cruise up without any real issues if I go high-cadence in the saddle with periods of getting out, but certainly could not do what you are doing. Guess I need to hit the hills... Again...
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Old 12-25-19, 11:26 PM
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Dec 21 - 38 miles
Dec 22 - 47 miles
Dec 24 - 56 miles

https://strava.app.link/AEUdmaO1I2

by far the most miles I’ve squeezed into 4 days . Good thing because I’ve eaten tons of cake and ice cream in that same time period haha!
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Old 12-26-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
...Wow! I thought I was a halfway decent climber for my age (55), but I don't think I could pedal hard in a semi-low-cadence manner for 1/2 mile on a serious grade. That is a long way to be seriously going at it. To me. I can cruise up without any real issues if I go high-cadence in the saddle with periods of getting out, but certainly could not do what you are doing. Guess I need to hit the hills... Again...
Surprised me too. I've been working on improving my climbing for a few years and seemed to make zero progress. But suddenly the past couple of months I'm seeing some progress. Probably at least partially related to very slow progress in recovery from a thyroid illness that sapped my energy for years. I didn't realize how bad it was until 2018 when my GP referred me to endocrinology and oncology docs. My thyroid was calcified and cancerous. No metastasis, no chemo, surgery got it all. Lucky compared with some folks. But it's been a frustratingly long recovery.

I rode Christmas night and was really surprised by how much my standing climbing strength had improved. I rode out to a couple of fairly wealthy neighborhoods with elaborate holiday light displays to take one more look before they all come down. I intended it to be an easy cruise but by the time I reached that neighborhood, about a 15-20 minute ride, I felt warmed up and pretty good.

So as a personal challenge I decided to tackle every climb standing. This enclave is deliberately set in naturally hilly terrain, so there are lots of really nice homes on multiple crests and bluffs. Most are short and steep, around 50-200 yards in the 6% range, but a few are around 15%. Usually I can do one or two standing climbs before my thighs are burning and I'll need to sit and recover for several minutes.

But not last night. I did every short steep climb standing, just grinding slowly around 40-50 rpm in the biggest gear I could churn without stalling out. I'd ease up as soon as I felt any burning, stayed in the sweet spot for effort and cadence.

The one that really surprised me was a 1.4 mile long undulating climb. I did most of that standing, sitting only for 15-30 seconds or so at a time when the road leveled out a bit, recharged, then stood again. Felt great. Not my fastest time, but among my fastest while also feeling good throughout.

Part of it was mental, my attitude. I tend to dread climbs, so I'll tense up and not breathe properly. Add some traffic and I'm even more tense. But I had the road to myself last night. Well, me and the deer. I had to watch for critters crossing a couple of times but I used two headlights flooding the road just for that purpose.

And today my hip adductor muscles are baked, sore and it's hard to walk. But it was worth it.

I'm gonna rest a couple of days and try it again, just to see if it was a fluke.
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Old 12-27-19, 01:52 PM
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I was off for an extended time this holidays and was expecting to get in some miles on the bike. However, bad weather and family obligations got in the way. Friday before Christmas I drove (something I usually don't do) to a trail head. It was the Suncoast Parkway and I hadn't been there in years. On the good side they built a brand new trail head with real bathrooms. On the bad side they moved it about 1.5 miles away from the old trail head. It also connects to Starkey Park which is where I got most of the miles in. I lost track in fact and my legs were really sore when I realized I still had 8 miles to go to get back to my car. Anyways 48 miles. Saturday my legs were still killing me and it was very windy. Tried to do my usual S. Tampa ride but cut t short to 32 miles. Went out again the day after Christmas to Davis Is. for 27 miles.
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