Friday, August 16, 2019

Bike Fit

I’m a bit embarrassed, actually, as yesterday, I discovered that the seat post height on my #1 road bike had dropped about 5mm.

The backstory is that this year has been a struggle to gain consistent form, as the demands of having a two year old child and doing a large home remodel, combined with some very unfavorable for Seattle weather in February have left me unable to ride as much as I usually had in the winter and spring.  Finally, over June and July, I was able to get to an average of about 120 miles a week between my road and commuting rides – it felt great for a while, and I really started to feel back to myself.

About a month ago; however, I started noticing increased tightness and pain with my hips/glutes/hammies/low back.  I continued riding about the same mileage for a little while, adding stretching, massage, and foam rolling to my routine.  I’ve also had to reduce my riding to close to 0 and have added core strength exercises to the routine as well.  I took a test ride last week after feeling a bit looser, but the original spots of pain and tightness returned within about 3 miles, so I shut it down again.

Yesterday, immediately into my first ride back/another test ride, I noticed the seat felt low and turned around to investigate.  I discovered the 5mm discrepancy, set it to the correct position, and did about 12 miles, feeling much better than I had previously.  My legs today don’t feel any worse than they did yesterday, and I’m hopeful that with the bikes’ setups now matching at the correct values, I can begin upping the mileage again without the negative consequences.

I’m surprised with myself for not noticing the differences in saddle height, but the bike fitting lesson in this to me is that when something doesn’t feel right, check to ensure everything is set up right first.

In the meantime, I’ve scheduled a bike fit with a recommended PT/Bike Fitter, which I still think I’d like to come in for, as I’ve aged 5 years since the last one, which was coincidentally about 5 years ago.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Riding Lots is Good for You

According to researchers, it turns out that heeding Eddy's advice to, "Ride lots" is good for you.  From the paper, "Increased Longevity among Tour de France Cyclists", the major finding was that "repeated very intense exercise prolongs life span in well trained practitioners. Our findings underpin the importance of exercising without the fear that becoming exhausted might be bad for one's health."

Thursday, August 8, 2019

How to Enhance the Chances of Being Seen

I came across this article from Trek on the ABC's of Awareness, which, of course, is meant to sell product.  There is, however, lots of useful information that cyclists can use to improve their chances of being seen by the average motorist.

To summarize:

"A" stands for Always On, meaning that daytime running lights should be used.

"B" is for Biomotion, which has shown that the human perceptual system is hard wired to notice things that are alive and moving in ways that animals do.  The most dynamic part of cycling in relation to biomotion would typically be the legs/feet/pedal, which is where always on or contrasting colors should be based for maximum visibility.

"C" represents Contrast, and basically represents that something that contrasts with the surrounding environment will tend to be noticed more than something that blends in.  Basically, the idea being to go flouro during the day and reflective when dark.

Though I'm usually loathe to wear bright colours, some yellow shoes with reflective patches may be in my future. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Mount Baker 2019

I rode up the Mt Baker Highway SR 542 to Artist’s Point this week.  It had been a couple of years since I’d ridden it, and I mistakenly parked an extra 5 miles out from the summit.  There is a parking lot for the ski area I also had forgotten how far up the climb continues past this point.

I set my second to slowest times on the climb, but had some PB’s on the descent, indicating that I’m *rounding* into form nicely.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

3-D Printing at the Public Library

I just found out from a Bike Forums Mechanics Tips and Tricks post about someone's public library in San Diego offering 3-D Printing, so of course, I checked to see if Seattle Public Library offered something similar.  It turns out they do, and they had a link to Thingiverse, which has all kinds of drawings that could potentially be used.

A quick search on the Thingiverse site for 'bicycle' revealed several potentially interesting projects:

A holder for Ortlieb panniers.

A bicycle Stand.

Bicycle work stand clamps.

I need to run down to the library and find out more before I get too excited.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Global Bicycle Cities Index 2019

I saw this article published which ranks the top 90 cities worldwide based on their overall cycling conditions.  It was interesting to note that Seattle is ranked 49th worldwide, but 3rd within the US.  Also interesting that the top 3 US cities are west coast, hilly, and not known for great weather, all of which must handicap them somewhat as weather is factored into the rankings and all would seem to discourage cycling.  The top US city, San Francisco is also only ranked 39th worldwide.  Another point of note is that Los Angeles is the only US city to make the grade that is known for good weather.  No Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, etc.  Seems that one could argue that cycling conditions are largely cultural vs environmental based on these results.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Riding Arizona

At the end of April I was afforded the opportunity to ride in the sunny, warm, and dry environs of Scottsdale while on a family trip.

I rode to Rio Verde, Stagecoach Pass, and Bartlett Lake.  It was very nice to visit and spend some time in temperatures in the ‘90’s, but also very dry and dehydrating, like spending one’s time in a hair dryer.  This was especially the case given that I had spent the previous weekend riding well beyond the snow line.

The end of the pavement at Rio Verde Road.
The area has many surrounding hills and mountains; however, unlike Seattle, they are long drags of 2-3 percent, rather than the short but steep coastal hills we have here.

Headed back homeward from Rio Verde.

Stagecoach Pass

The mountains here always seem to be in the distance.

Looking towards Bartlett Lake.  Note the power lines, as this ride heads toward a hydro electric generating lake.